Ponies (short story)

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"Ponies" is a 2010 fantasy story by American writer Kij Johnson. It was first published on Tor.com.

Plot summary[edit]

Barbara, like all little girls, has a magic talking pony with wings and a horn. Barbara and Sunny are invited to a ritual "cutting-out party", where she must destroy two of the three things that make her pony special.


"Ponies" won the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Short Story,[1] (tied with "How Interesting: A Tiny Man" by Harlan Ellison), and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story[2] and the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.[3]

Strange Horizons called the story a "grotesque".[4]Lois Tilton considered the story to be "Highly Unsubtle."[5] Chad Orzel described the story as "just dreadful", based on a central idea that was "preposterously contrived" and "a gigantic and unsubtle literalized metaphor", and with "essentially no plot."[6]


  1. ^ Nebula Award Winners, at Science Fiction Writers of America; retrieved April 3, 2014
  2. ^ 2011 Hugo Finalists, by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, at Tor.com; published April 24, 2011; retrieved April 3, 2014
  3. ^ 2011 World Fantasy Award Winners & Nominees Archived 2013-01-12 at the Wayback Machine, at WorldFantasy.org; retrieved April 3, 2014
  4. ^ At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson, reviewed by Dan Hartland, at Strange Horizons; published October 3 2012; retrieved April 30, 2019
  5. ^ Lois Tilton Reviews Short Fiction, by Lois Tilton, at Locus Online; published 30 November 2010; retrieved June 9, 2015
  6. ^ Short Story Club: “Ponies,” by Kij Johnson, by Chad Orzel, at ScienceBlogs; published May 28, 2011; retrieved June 9, 2015

External links[edit]