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103947 No. 103947
#Collection #zine #TheSolarFlareReview
I'm putting together a regular e-mail/blog 'zine dedicated to fanfiction as a craft. It will feature stories, essays, and how-to columns.

This is both an ego-trip, and my attempt to create the 'zine I want to read.

Compared to Equestria Daily (because everypony will compare this to Equestria Daily):

- SFR will be opinionated and unapologetic. Stories will reviewed*, not just posted.

(*not critique and development "review," the "why you should read this, what's good, what's bad" meaning of by the term.)

- SFR will invest very little energy in developing specific fics and authors. Its goal is to be a showcase for good examples and good theory.

- No autorejection by subject. Mature content will be spun off to a sister publication.

- Integrated with existing FiMFiction features.

- Abandoned-incomplete will be avoided. For the first several issues, only complete stories will be featured.

- For the same reason, short fiction will be prioritized over long for the first several issues.

I want to feature long fiction, but I'm not willing to read a couple chapters and pass.

I don't think that one appoach is better than the other. The fandom is now big enough for alternative publications: Pony Fiction Vault, The Pegasus' Quill and so on.

I'm brining this to Ponychan first because this is where my roots are. I will be recruiting from equestriaforums and FiMFicton as well.

Here's where you come in. I'd like readers to validate my existance and all that. I need a good compiling editor or two to disagree with me - if there's anything I've learned here, it's the value of people disagreeing with me. I need people who are interested in writing non-fiction articles about fiction.

And I need slush readers. We're gonna read and triage FiMFiction. Not all of it, but a good sample of it. It will be horrifying, but we're not slowing down to help - just to highlight the best.

If you are interested in participating, please swing by

If you would like to receive SFR by e-mail (when it's ready), please subscribe at

Thank you for your time so far.
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>> No. 103949
Sounds cool! I was looking forward to this, and I hope it takes off!
>> No. 103952
So if I read this right, this is a collaboration thread for the creme of the crop, with critical reviews included. Is that correct?
>> No. 103955
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>> No. 103970
It's not really a /fic/ thing. We do a lot of good work here, but the traffic generated by slush-reading especially will be intense: lots of short, low-value messages

> Ficbot: ##65479 - Twilight Stubs a Hoof
> SR Angsty: on it 1
> SR Nice Things: 2
> SR Nice Things: Down
> SR Angsty: cute but uninspiring. Down

That's five messages to read a story and pass over it. Holy autosage, Batman. It also helps to have one thread per story. So, not on PonyChan.

I also don't want to bring the thundering FiMFiction herd to /fic/.

So, I'm gonna run it out of a set of mailing lists on Google.
>> No. 104020
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Is there anything against it being a blog? Mail-delivered content seems a bit... old age to me. It reduces accessibility a lot.

Nonetheless, I do like this idea. We do need actual reviews in this community. The only option right now seems be Chris's reviews, but he's only one person. I'm not much of a speed reader (I read slow as fuck, being honest), so I wouldn't be much help as a "slush reader"; but I'd be glad to help out with the editing and presentation side of things.

Also, this seems to run in very similar vein to Filler's project, so perhaps merging them into one would be more productive than having two split projects.
>> No. 104021
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From the Google groups link in the OP:

"The Solar Flare Review will be publised to blogspot, a Google Groups mailing list, and a FiMFiction group."
>> No. 104081
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My opinions are:

1) No auto-reject by subject: awesome. This fandom has so many horrifying things that are actually worth reading. I assume clop would be a part of it too? This seems to be the key difference between EqD and SFR.

2) I kind of doubt that authors are going to send a lot of reviews. There is nothing in it for them right now. The zine will need a readership before anyone would want to get rejected without reason.

3) Since you will not receive tons of authors right away, it's probably best the SRs read through existing material right now, like you said.

4) You seem to have some system set up where applicants who want to be a SR submit 8 fics, which seems to be your method of digging into the fan base. You would then presumably use those fics as submissions for other SR to rate. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems like what you were going for. The problem is that people could just go out and read eight six-star reviews on EqD and post them. This would create a lot of repeats and bore the crap out of you.

I propose a different idea. Make people submit stories, their own or someone else's, and if any person is able to get eight stories accepted, then they are eligible to apply for a SR role. Additionally, if anyone is able to get their own story accepted, they would be eligible to apply for SR also. This could all be accomplished with a gdoc and someone to manage it.

5) A simple zine would not meet the needs of most people. A lot of people get asked for "good" fan fics, and the typical reply is something like My Little Dashie. People are dying for a site where they can quickly search for the best fanfics the web has to offer. The best thing that people have right now is the 6 star list on EqD, but that's kind of hard to figure out. If SFR met that need, it will survive.
>> No. 104087
Not sure how I could help, but I support this idea.
>> No. 104088
>The problem is that people could just go out and read eight six-star reviews on EqD and post them. This would create a lot of repeats and bore the crap out of you.
Defeating the purpose of the exercise rarely makes a good application.
>> No. 104096
I like this idea, and will help in any capacity I can.
>> No. 104097
Yay, attention. This makes me all happy inside.

This is like when Zuckerberg gave money to Diaspora. So cool.

A few issues in, once we've got the really big bugs ironed out, I'd love to ask for some publicity.


Thank you! You've revealed some pretty serious bugs in how I present things. Tomorrow I'll reword things to better show (among other things) where candidate fics will come from:

Hell Read: A test of SR procedure. We're gonna:

- Load up the 200 most-recently-completed fics 15k or shorter (non-M)
- Add a sample of our combined Favourites list to ensure there are some good fics in there.
- Shuffle.
- See how reading goes, getting an idea for capacity, acceptance rate, etc.

SRs don't need raw words-per-minute or to be the most insightful critics. They need consistency and a clue. I'll update to make this clearer.

Do you know Blogger? I have a blogspot subdomain, but no one to run it.

>Re: archive
FiMFiction's "group" feature does this, and I'll use it as a searchable archive. It does not yet associate fics with reviews, but if knightly can add that feature, I mean to bring the content.

>Re: Pegasus' Quill
Filler and I are aware of each other.

All for now, folks. Thanks a lot and good night.
>> No. 104103
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>Do you know Blogger? I have a blogspot subdomain, but no one to run it.
You don't really need someone to run a blog, per se. Running a blog is primarily about adding content. The blog service hosts the web server for you and gives you one of their sub-domains. The way they're designed is so that you can primarily focus on content. ...or so that's what I've heard. You can drop something like $12 on a top-level domain if you want something easier for people to remember. (I'd recommend doing this, since people's perception of a website's professionalism goes up an enormous amount if you have a top-level domain.)

>SRs don't need raw words-per-minute or to be the most insightful critics.
Eh, I'd be willing to help you out with all the presentation/organisation side of things. And if you want to go the whole nine yards and host your own web server, I could help out with that. (But that's kind of overkill.) Slush reading really just doesn't sound like my shtick.

Contact is in e-mail field if you want to discuss anything specific about the content hosting.
>> No. 104199
Wait. What is this Pegasus Quill for? Just competition?
>> No. 104259
I must say I'm VERY pleased with this idea-- that is, a "best fics" publication with some solid gatekeeping. My Little Dashie doesn't get to ride its popularity, Trixie's Magic Bit doesn't get rejected for content.

I would like to freely offer any kind of assistance that is asked of me.
>> No. 104294
Thank you to everyone who provided early feedback. I'm gonna start floating this idea on other fora today.

So I'd really like to encourage/beg those with some reviewing chops/element-of-criticism to slush-read. I'm sure there are some critical folks on FiMFiction, Equestriaforums, and FiMChan, but this place is a goldmine of hard-to-please.


Well, it did earn six stars and a place in the Vault. There's some redeeming value to the fic. I'd like to talk about why it isn't perfect, and run it against better sadfic like "Somewhere Only We Know" and "The Proper Care and Feeding of Monsters."

And yes, I do want to feature Trixie's.


I need to start playing around with templates and such, or find someone who knows that.
>> No. 104297
The vault features stories RBDash thinks are good and stories with some significance to the fandom (like MLD). The Conversion Bureau's in there.

Pretty easy to do. Just sign in with your Google account and make a blog. You don't even need to code anything.
>> No. 104608

>The Conversion Bureau

Okay, who here has actually tried to read this? Anyone? Does this not totally invalidate judgements made by whatever this Vault group is?
>> No. 104610
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Well, TCB spawned what could be called an entire sub-genre, with some genuinely good stuff in there. That's pretty significant. Also, the PF Vault hosts interviews with authors, rather than making any judgements on the fics themselves. The most of RBDash's opinion you see is in the introduction, which is only a sentence or two long.
>> No. 105159

The gatekeeping process is underway and it's looking good. Here's to garnering more interest.

I don't know about other people, but I would love to see us as an "alternative" publication, throwing in works that we see as significant or underappreciated- as well as just generally giving viewpoints on fanficdom.
>> No. 105170
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>mfw I didn't get this much interest with the Quill when I wasn't busy
>mfw I won't be able to do anything with the Quill for another two weeks because finals
>> No. 105192
Your presentation wasn't all that great and I still have no idea as to what that is other than simply a bunch of stories. Plus, email.
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