FimFiction Link - Short ID: 428991/how-the-tantabus-parses-sleep
Published: Jan '19 — Jun '23
I didn't finish this fic, it's not very good. The start of it is pretty bad, even; this pattern is pervasive throughout it:
- The Tantabus: does something overwhelming
- Some poor pony: is overwhelmed
- The Tantabus: makes some cutting insight into the poor pony's situation
- The poor pony: oh, ok
It's a pattern present in its prequels, and awful. Two notable mitigating factors kept me reading, the first that it was clearly getting better as the chapters wore on and the second that this style of having characters interact is not actually a limitation in the author's writing capacity. I'm thinking of DoaM, in which the dialoue is persistently horrific and all the characters seem to be hell bent on ending their conversation as soon as possible. When other characters, especially Luna, talk and do things, they're pretty much always completely fine. Luna is excellent in this fic; to its great discredit, she shows up extremely rarely. There are some reasons given in the fic for the Tantabus's behavior and subsequent improvement, but overall it is unpleasant to read.
Honestly, people who unnecessarily start sentences with "Honestly" as an introductory adverb or question have a particular personality quirk that is thankfully absent in all the show's cast and, while I always hated it, I think its overuse in this fic may prompt me to drop stories on the spot in the future.
The Tantabus also names itself Moondog early on in the fic, which is a stupid name that doesn't get better as it goes on. The Tantabus Mk II is an interesting creature, and to its limited credit, the whole of the story is about exploring its abilities, limitations and other properties. There's a whole 12k section in which Twilight, Starlight and Sunburst are scientifically examining it, but the credit is limited by the story's Comedy tag and the vast majority of the humor in the fic is not funny to me. Reading these explorations frequently felt pointless, since the Tantabus is entirely contained in this author's collection of stories and I have no investment in them. I almost never got any Star Trek episode feeling of philosophical meaningfulness from the short stories.
It's worth mentioning that the fic does make good use of the good Student Six characters, them being Ocellus and Smolder, but they are not enough to counter its other weaknesses. In the end, I dropped it when it suddenly became EqG at "Deployment Environments"