FimFiction Link - Short ID: 514955/wet-equestria
Published: Apr '22
'Wet Equestria' is a one thousand word oneshot. Scootaloo is a trader in a now flooded Equestria.
As this story was written for the Thousand Word contest, there is little I can say without delving into spoilers. The best way I could summarize this story is that it evokes a very similar feel to 'Empty Horizons' and does so surprisingly well despite the strict word-limit. If this sounds intriguing enough to you, I recommend to just drop the review and read it, it's not exactly a massive time investment.
So what makes this story click so well that I'm reviewing it despite being so short? I think the reason is that it implies just enough that it paints a very interesting world without actually being able to delve into details. The author explores almost every corner of the world and the wildly different ways they cope with the biblical flood Equestria is facing. I think my favorite one was Cloudsdale, which tries its damnedest to at least keep the world somewhat liveable while it itself is teetering on the brink of destruction. These, along with the way the fic depicts Celestia, play nicely into the idea of how despite a clearly apocalyptic scenario they are still not giving up and society, through vastly changed, endures with all of its vices and virtues. Scootaloo herself is depicted in a surprisingly nice way too, I really like her reasoning of why she remains a seafarer despite having enough bits to settle. The last two sentences hit really nicely.
Obviously the story's greatest strength (its length) is also its greatest "flaw," if you can call it that. Because the author was very constrained none of these locations get any true exploration and I was frankly left wanting more (and wishing Goldenwing would finish 'Sunken Horizons' already.) I also found the idea that Cadance would suddenly turn "evil" and force the ponies to segregate in a frankly suicidal plan to summon the Windigoes fairly silly and far less believable than the rest of the fic. I understand that the intent was likely to balance the more down to earth settlements with something extreme, but to me it achieved the opposite reaction. Perhaps if this was a longfic and we saw the situation slowly unfurl over many thousands of words, it'd feel more natural, but in a fic like this, it just doesn't work for me.
Overall: 7/10 Again, my biggest issue with this story is that there isn't more to it. It features lovely light characterization, raises some intriguing AU location ideas, and paints a solemn image of a world that rages against the dying light - or strengthening flood in this case. Can recommend.