Rainbows have always been symbols of love, peace and color, but one particular piece of fanfiction has given them a more sinister connotation: ground up foals. Aurora Dawn, writer of the infamous Rainbow Factory, brought this grim tale to life after listening to Glaze’s song, also entitled Rainbow Factory.
Someone posted a comment on the Youtube video stating that someone should write a story about the dark song that focused on the creation of rainbows and the sinister-sounding “pegasus device.” Aurora felt the story stirring in his head, needing to escape. He wrote out the 8,000 word piece, but kept it to himself. “I never expected to share it with anyone,” he said, though he replied to the user that he had indeed written a story. But once Glaze, with the YouTube account name WoodenToaster, asked for a link for Aurora’s story, he felt the need to share it.
“[Glaze] said that it would be his first fic [he read],” Aurora said. “I still don’t know what he thinks about it, but he must have liked it.” Glaze linked to the story on the Rainbow Factory song page, which brought the story fame even before it was featured on Equestria Daily. The dark themes in the “gluefic” shocked readers like the stories Cupcakes and Sweet Apple Massacre, eventually netting Rainbow Factory over 26,000 views on fimfiction.net.
The man behind the murdered foals is Brent Lyon of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. The 20 year old shipper and receiver coined the name Aurora Dawn with his best friend and editor Autumn Wind. They both noticed that ponies tended to have names based on nature. “You don’t see any ponies named Steve,” Aurora said. His interests in astrology and space led him to researching different buzzwords until he settled on Aurora Dawn for his persona; this is also where he came up with the name Orion from Rainbow Factory.
Rainbow Factory was Aurora’s first fictional work and his first foray into the fandom. He had only been watching the show for a week when he first penned the story, which is why he cast Rainbow Dash as the main villain. His critics say that he chose Rainbow since she was a main character, but now he feels that he would have used an original character instead.
Another thing he would have changed would be to remove the swearing. “People are okay with the genocide of foals, but ponies don’t say ‘fuck,’” said Aurora. He can’t understand why so many people are offended by cursing, but he thinks it’s because the ponies don’t swear in the show. “One of the first things Applejack says is ‘sure as sugar,’ which is supposed to be ‘sure as shit.’ It’s canon that they don’t swear.”
His readers have told him that they have been “touched” by the concept of the story, citing the flight test at the beginning as an example. The modern educational system expects competence and punishes failure. “Most bronies are still in school,” Aurora observes, “so they understand.”
Another critique of his work is the video “Rainbow Dash Presents Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla,” which satirically follows the story of Rainbow Factory, lampooning plot holes, character flaws and inconsistencies of the original. Aurora loved the video and took the points made to heart.
Aurora is currently working on Rainbow Factory’s sequel, entitled Pegasus Device. The piece will be at least 50,000 words, which some say is the minimum length for a novel. Split into four chapters, the story is set 20 years after Rainbow Factory, where the factory has seen a large increase in business. The management works towards maximizing efficiency and minimizing events where foals break free. Pegasus Device follows two foals who do this; one tries to find a way out, the other looks at the workers and why they do their grim work.
“It’s an experiment to have two main characters,” Aurora said. “One can be the protagonist, one can be the antagonist. It can switch.”
Aurora’s goal is to be a published author, though he doesn’t want to go the self-publishing route, like Fallout: Equestria did. “[It’s] cheap and cheating,” he said. “It doesn’t quantify you as an author.” He wants to break into the ink-and-paper published world by moving away from fan fiction. Short stories and novels are his preferred mediums, though he has yet to come up with an idea for an original work. His readers tell him that he should write horror, and he feels that he has to, as it’s become expected of him.
Inspiration for his work comes from his heavy history of reading. His favorite published author is Christopher Moore, while his favorite writers in the fandom are Autumn Wind and Amit.
Aspiring writers should work on their dialogue, Aurora says. “You need to get a handle of natural conversations.” He also wants them to understand how ideas work. “Don’t force yourself into an idea, they should come naturally to you. ….99% will die, but you’ll latch onto one and want it.”