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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  712 ratings  ·  209 reviews
If you want to be friends with The Other Girls, you're going to have to give something up; this is the way it's always been, as long as there have been Ponies.
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
ebook, 3 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Tor Books (first published October 17th 2010)
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Interested? I thought so.

This short story is exactly that - short. But EVER so insightful. It is remarkable how something so short can be so insightful. It will literally take you like 2 seconds to read, but you will not be able to stop thinking about it.

Kids who hurt
WARNING: This 3 page story can cause WRENCHED HEART, EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION and may leave you quivering on the floor like a jello mold in a wind storm.

I read this story back in February on and I STILL can’t stop thinking about it. It absolutely chewed me up. A little girl (Barbara) and her magical pony (Sunny) receive the following invitation from the “IT crowd” of popular girls.
You and your Pony ___[and Sunny’s name is handwritten here, in puffy letters]___ are invited to a cutti
in case you can't see how cool that cover is:

this is a short story i read ages ago, but never reviewed, and the big gaping blank lack-of-review in a column of reviewed books was irritating me. so here we are.

this is like the cute anime version of Cat's Eye.

it is about peer pressure, mean adolescent girls, sacrifices, and conformity.

in this story, little girls all come with corresponding girl-sized talking ponies, complete with wings and a horn. they go everywhere together, and friendships bloss
Nov 09, 2011 Bonnie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People fond of bloody unicorns?
Uh ... what the hell did I just read?

This was like Mean Girls and My Little Pony on crack. With unicorns. And bloody body parts. But it's okay, because the blood smells like cotton candy.

..Excuse me, what?

This very short and dark story about a group of girls and beautiful, bright, colorful ponies explores the terrible consequences of not thinking for oneself and reminds me of one of the reasons I hated my childhood. It made me angry, made me sad, and broke my heart. Quite a feat for just 3 pages. Thanks to Stephen for bringing this one to my attention. This story can be read for free at

Ahh, this reminds me of my good ole days as a unicorn slaughterer.

(view spoiler)
(view spoiler)
Thanks to Nancyfor posting about this one. I would never have known about it otherwise. This story can be read for free at It's a very short read and like Nancy it made me angry and confirmed AGAIN much that I had thought about "fitting in" while growing up and about the nature of "girlfriends" and their groups of friends. It's also a sad reflection of what in general folk do to each other to be eligible join "the group".

Mean Girls comes to mind

Ironic to read this today as earlier this
Steve Lowe
I can see why this is up for a Nebula. Fantastic, dark short about peer pressure, the loss of innocence, about killing the child inside so one can become a proper adult. Stephen King recently wrote an article fearing the short story was dead as a form. Examples such as this one are evidence that perhaps the short story is not dead yet.
Jillian -always aspiring-
Feb 25, 2011 Jillian -always aspiring- rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody? Anybody? I am left conflicted.
Recommended to Jillian -always aspiring- by: Lyndsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I want to cry.

I want to be sick.

I just...

Well, I sort of want to scream at Kij Johnson. Not because "Ponies" is bad but because it's just so good.

It's unbearably good. My stomach actually hurts. And it's so short - my GR friend, Flann, made a comment on my review about, by the time she'd left her comment, I'd have finished. And I had! (Goodreads magic!)

Visceral. It's the best kind of sci-fi, the stuff that is so rare (especially now, to sound like a kids-these-days whiner): it takes what sounds
This is a story about growing up and desperately wanting to fit in, and
I can't really say why this story made me think of this, and I know that this probably isn't the message that the author was trying to send out there, but as soon as I read this story I started thinking about Female Genital Circumcision. FGC has been practiced for centuries in western and southern Asia, the Middle East and large areas of Africa, generally as one element of the rite of passage preparing young girls for womanho
Mar 07, 2011 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone tempted to do things to fit into a clique
Recommended to Werner by: My Goodreads friend Jim
This isn't really a book; it's a short story, available online or via an e-reader. Because it's very short (about three pages), I made an exception to my usual practice and read it online. At first glance, it's a story about teen girls, perhaps 14-15, and their pet magical unicorn ponies, cute creatures with wings who can fly and talk. But be warned --there's absolutely nothing cute or heartwarming about it. It's an unsparing look at the lengths people (especially pubescent kids with unformed st ...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja*

Well that was a gruesome little read.

This is "Mean Girls" meets My Little nightmares.

Like this....:

Sunny is a beautiful pony and Barbara is her bestest friend. However, Barbara wants to be part of TheOtherGirls and as is tradition has to make a choice.

Girls are MEAN!

That cover is wonderful, gruesome and sad. (view spoiler)

Thanks, K
The story is available here. Go read, I'll wait -- it'll take you less than four minutes.

Yeah, I need someone to explain to me what's so brilliant about this. Because it's being talked about like it's this amazing, groundbreaking thing, and I'm reading a controlled and perfectly constructed but ultimately shallow parable about dreams and fitting in.

I mean, it's very well done, obviously -- the archetypal TopGirl and everyoneLikesHerGirl, the cartoonishly nauseating violence. That moment where th
It's hard not to like any book when it's read by Mark Oshiro of Mark Reads – and he's read Twilight so I suppose I could put that to the test. Sometimes chapter by chapter reviews, sometimes YouTube narrations, sometimes a mixture of the two. Flushed from his recent Hugo nomination, he was asked to read the short story, Ponies (a Nebula winner itself), from fellow Hugo nominee Kij Johnson.

Mark manages to get so into any story he's reading, and the dark themes of this one were always going to p
My little pony, my little pony, I comb and brush her hair...

This is so twisted! What impresses me the most about this short, short story is that it delivers such a bang in so few words. The closest I can come to describing how it made me feel is how I felt after reading Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" -- high praise indeed. Don't miss this one! Story can be found here.
Would someone please hand me the Brain Bleach? I need to scrub my mind...

Seriously though, this tiny story packs one disturbingly insightful punch. Don't let the fluffiness of the "little girls and their ponies" premise fool you. This is razor sharp commentary that is stomach turning in its relevance.

The last line gives me chills.
Read it here. It's short and free.

Seriously. Um... how is one supposed to rate this story?

I'd recommend this for stupid people. But then again, they probably wouldn't understand the social commentary.

So I didn't like it. Because how can you like it? But I don't want to give it one star because it was very good. It wasn't perfect - it's hard to make a short story perfect - but it is still damn good. A great idea executed in a very fine way. The writing was fine as well, no issues there.

But still,
This Nebula award nominated short story pushes some readers' buttons and they light up. Not mine. Maybe your's?

Want to weigh in on this one? Take my gendered reading poll.

Still eager for more? Take the generations poll.

It will be interesting to see how tween readers and guys respond to this contemporary dark fairy tale. I will try it out on some and let you know how it goes. The saving grace: It is short and to-the-point, though not sweet.

MY RATING versus The TWEENs (a quick avg rating of th
Seak (Bryce L.)
I just copied and pasted my comment on Stephen Sullivan's review. :)

This may be relatively spoilerific, but the story IS only a couple pages long anyway:

Wow, I just read this. My wife's reading a book about communism in China and that's exactly what this story reminds me of. Instead of building people up, it's all about tearing people down.

Also reminds me of the short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, where after the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the constitution, all Americans
After reading this all I can say is was it really necessary to take THREE cookies? Greedy! No wonder bad things happened...


This is a really short short story, and really disturbing. Chock full of cruel girls that I imagine look just like Bratz dolls, massive amounts of product placement for a 3 page story, sacrifice and disillusionment, this story cuts deep for being so little.

Definitely read this one - Ponies can be found here.
This is a short-short story that's an allegory about popularity and fitting in and the brutality of little girls. This is the sort of short story they should have kids reading in elementary or middle school, instead of the dull crap we usually got in our middle school reading anthologies; I think it might make an impression even on tweens. Go check it out on; it will only take a few minutes to read, and it's a Nebula nominee.
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi
This story perfectly shows how people(kids and teens) will do anything to be accepted in society. They will do anything, sad but true.
This is a highly disturbing and extremely short story that completely took me by surprise. Seriously. I think I need a day or two to mull over what it is that I just read. Whew.


Ok, two days later and I think I can finally organize my thoughts cohesively enough for a review. I loved this story. And if it had been longer than three pages, it would get a five star from me. This story explores a whole lotta dark stuff here. Mean girls. The loss of innocence. Conformity. Self-i
Feb 13, 2012 John rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to John by: Alyx Dellamonica
Shelves: fantasy, literature
Heavy handed preaching from the pulpet, this letter to the editor attempts to say something about female adolescence, growing up and fitting in.

Summary: Every girl has a pony. Every pony has three fantastic traits. Every girl must sacrifice two of the three traits as the girl grows up. In this story, TheOtherGirls that the FMC wants to hang out with make her give up all three traits and in the end the Pony dies. Then, because she doesn't have a pony, TheOtherGirls reject her.

The story can be sum
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}

Short and shocking and definitely not sweet. Ponies emphasises the evilness of little girls in their Cliques of Doom and hierarchies (e.g. TopGirl, SuckUpGirl -you lose your identity once you conform). Their hazing of possible new members is horrifying.

Moral: Never bow down to peer pressure and be happy with what you've got in case you lose it.

Blood is still blood no matter how sweet it smells or what it gets you.

A chilling allegory.

*I read this story here:
Reminds me why childhood could be such a bitch.

Ponies is a short and powerful story which shows the dark side of popularity, insecurity and cliques. In only a few paragraphs, Kij Johnson manages to capture exactly how nasty little girls can be.

If you have a few minutes (really it draws you in quickly and is over before you know it) read this story online for free here.
Spooky! But sadly, all too true.

Actually it is very good story about the pressure to lose one's imagination, among other things.
Fascinating and disturbing short story, brilliantly crafted.
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Kij Johnson is an American writer of fantasy. She has worked extensively in publishing: managing editor for Tor Books and Wizards of the Coast/TSR, collections editor for Dark Horse Comics, project manager working on the Microsoft Reader, and managing editor of Real Networks. She is Associate Director for the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, and serves as a fina ...more
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