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Reviews FanFic / The Conversion Bureau

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05/16/2012 19:43:39 •••

Wasted Potential

The thing about the Conversion Bureau series is that despite its unfortunate tendencies, it is theoretically a fascinating situation. Although often written in an extremely ham-fisted and self-righteous way, the Conversion Bureau universe represents some truly ripe narrative possibilities: It's a union of two very different worlds and the clash of their cultures and philosophies. It focuses on a 'war' pretty much unlike any other - one fought almost entirely with propaganda and beliefs rather than guns or bombs. It has a diverse set of factions with plenty of room for expansion. Given each faction's stated goals, any or all of them could be convincingly portrayed as sympathetic or even good.

Furthermore, I would argue that as much as some of the fics in this series may upset people, the fact remains that you DO care about them. They get an emotional response out of you, and make you re-examine your own opinions on the nature of humanity. Even if you out-and-out disagree 100% with everything an author says, most of the time you feel pretty strongly about it. And there's something to be said for the fact that they can get that reaction from you.

That being said, there are some stories in the Conversion Bureau universe that examine the scenario more 'fairly' and can be a fascinating read. I HIGHLY recommend Railroad Seven-Three if you have any interest in TCB at all. It presents a fairly detailed and sympathetic look at both sides of the Conversion argument, with a special emphasis on people who would feel that Equestria had absolutely nothing to offer them despite being 'paradise.'

There are others obviously as well - Ten Rounds is iconic for its Take That approach toward the original fic's misanthropic attitude, as is its spiritual successor Ten Minutes.

In conclusion, The Conversion Bureau has got an awful lot of crap in it - but if you're willing to wade through it, there's definitely some value to be found.

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