FimFiction Link - Short ID: 505530/sun-in-an-empty-room
Published: Dec '21
'Sun in an Empty Room' is a two thousand and eight hundred-word oneshot. Zipp and Sunny are discussing the uncertainty of the future and whether to be scared about it. As the two come to an agreement, the story suddenly shifts into the past where Twilight and Rainbow Dash engage in a similar debate.
One thing I really like about this story is its world-building. The idea that just because magic is back, doesn't mean that everyone is immediately a master of their power, which causes smaller and greater issues is compelling. I think it's a right way of presenting a dangerous problem in the G5 world in a way that doesn't feel out of place or tonally-dissonant. While "I'm not good enough" isn't exactly the most original trope, I think the author did a good job with exploring both ponies' approach to dealing with the stress.
So then, if both the prose and the concept is competent, why am I not raving about this story as usual? I think it boils down to the idea that Sunny's argument, while undoubtedly uplifting, feels a bit shallow. As Zipp raises more and more of her own doubts, Sunny mostly just counters them with an empathetic "well yeah, it's bad for me too" and "we can do anything." This convinces the pegasus so quickly that, while the story is sweet, I didn't really feel any sense of catharsis by the end.
The Twilight-Rainbow scene was a mixed bag for me. I like the parallels between the two scenes, but the base conflict of it felt confusing. Both of them establish that there is nothing different about the airship-station compared to the others, yet at the end of the story Twilight brings it up again as a sign of major change. Unless I'm missing something big, I'm really not sure what's the point here. G4 already had airships, even before Twilight was in charge. Don't get me wrong, this would otherwise be a minor plot point, one I wouldn't likely even mention, but here it acts as the main driving force that causes Twilight to begin worrying about the future and then branch off into other hypothetical scenarios.
>“What’s so different about an airship station?” Rainbow asked. “It’s exactly the same as the last one.”
>Twilight shook her head. “I-it’s not that,”
>“So quit freakin’ out about the station, okay?”
>“Things really are changing, though,” Twilight said.
>“I mean, first the station,” she said
Rainbow's nuclear argument was also a bit eyebrow-raising. I get what the author was going for, they use it to underline that it is impossible to plan so far into the future and that Twilight should trust the inherent goodness of ponies, but mentioning sic. "magical radiation" in a story like this felt off to me, because it sounds far-far more interesting than the main plot.
Overall: 6/10 While I do like what the author was going for and the prose is competent, the narrative underpins itself a bit and stops the fic from showing its full potential.