FimFiction Link - Short ID: 472971/oxygen-factory
Published: Jul '20
'Oxygen Factory' is a two thousand and four hundred word oneshot dealing with the daily life of an employee working at Equestria's eponymous Oxygen Factory.
I admit when I started reading this story I had a little bit of skepticism in me. The jokes didn't quite hit and though the description of the factory was interesting, I just felt like I was missing something. Then this line came along and everything just clicked:
>Oxygen didn’t grow on trees, after all.
This story is a lot more clever than I initially gave it credit for and once I reevaluated things in myself I began really enjoying it. The author goes into just enough detail to give us a vague picture how the oxygen that the entirety of Equestria is breathing is created without overwhelming the reader with pointless details. But what turns this story from mildly interesting to engaging is its quasi-protagonist, a pony nicknamed Lox. Due to the story shortness I wouldn't go into details, but she suffers from a condition that ties her deeply to the factory and this fact drives the narrative in such an elegant manner. The way all of her colleagues remind her to breathe turns from a cheeky motto to something that's quite literally a matter of life and death was really compelling to me and I even appreciate the slight misdirection the author threw in in the beginning by nicknaming three (and later four) different characters Lox.
I also appreciate how, despite the more than unusual circumstances, this story is still very heavily SoL. It's a good example that you don't need an end of the world scenario to tell a compelling little story and I can happily say that the ending, especially the last sentence was pretty satisfying.
There's not much negative I can say about the story. Perhaps it feels a little bit short. Though I did just praise how the process is left quite vague and I stand by it, maybe a few more details wouldn't have hurt. Or a bit more about the life of Lox and how she copes with her unique condition. As you can see none of what I'm writing here is strictly a fault in the story, just stuff that could've been expanded a little.
Overall: 7/10 What this story loses on length, it gains back in its cleverness. Though it features no epic battles or grand catastrophe only avoided by mere inches, the small personal drama it depicts along with a very interesting headcanon for the world make this an entertaining read. Can recommend.