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Diabolical Plots is a Sci-fi/Fantasy zine that covers virtually every media related to the genre from books to movies to video games. This site also features regular content related to the craft of writing. Take a look around!

11 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2006, the sixth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

Sookie heads to New Orleans to sort out of the affairs of her cousin Hadley who had been turned into a vampire and then killed.  Hadley’s apartment has been placed under a stasis spell placed on it by Hadley’s landlord, the witch Amelia Broadway.  Shortly after the spell is lifted, a newly-made vampire (the werewolf Jake Purifoy) rises within the apartment and attacks them.  Sookie’s new boyfriend, the weretiger Quinn, is also in New Orleans on business, so he helps with the investigation.  With the help of Amelia and her coven of witches they set out to discover how Jake came to be newly raised in that apartment on the same day that Hadley died.

06 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2005, the fifth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

Sookie’s brother Jason, bitten by a werepanther, joins the local werepanther pack that lives in the nearby close-knit community of Hotshot (where the werepanther that bit him came from). Sam Merlotte is shot by an unseen shooter, and so is Calvin Norris the pack leader of Hotshot, and Sookie learns that other shifters have been shot all over Louisiana.  Colonel Flood, leader of the Shreveport werewolf pack, is hit by a car and dies, and someone shoots Sookie as well(presumably because she associated with shifters).  Although the existence of vampires is now public knowledge all over the world, shifters are still a closely kept secret, and so the common element of these shootings is not known to police, but Sookie can’t really tell them the common element either.

01 December 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #34A: “Hakim Vs. the Sweater Curse” by Rachael K. Jones

For our one-year anniversary, my boyfriend Kit gives me a knobbly sweater knit in irregular rows of beige, dark beige, and light beige, studded with white yarn blobs shaped like aborted ponies. The left arm—clearly shorter than the right—is tourniqueted midway by red plastic gift ribbon knotted into a bad bow.

Everything but that arm gently undulates of its own volition like jellyfish tentacles, simultaneously guileless and sinister.

27 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World is a romance/mystery/horror novel, the fourth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris, which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood–this book was used very loosely as the basis for season 4 of the show. The previous books in the series (in order) are Dead Until Dark, (reviewed here), Living Dead in Dallas (reviewed here), and Club Dead (reviewed here).

Sookie (fresh from a breakup with her vampire boyfriend Bill)comes across the vampire Eric Northman running down a deserted road, with no memory of his life before that moment. She finds out that he has been cursed by a coven of witches that have moved into Shreveport and have been threatening Eric and his business interests in order to extort money out of him. Since Eric is more vulnerable than usual, without his memories, Sookie agrees to hide him at her house for a time; her brother Jason negotiates a fee for her to do this since she is short on money. But, shortly afterward, Jason disappears and the local police can’t find a trace of where he’s gone. Sookie fears that he has been abducted by the coven as well.

20 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

Gwendy’s Button Box is a novella written by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, published by Cemetery Dance Publications.

Gwendy is a middle-schooler living in Castle Rock in the 1970s.  She is not happy with her life–she never feels quite smart enough, quite thin enough, quite popular enough.  She is trying to make her life fit her expectations better, sprinting up the steep Suicide Stairs to try to lose some weight, where she meets a mysterious stranger who gives her the titular button box.  If he is to be believed, the buttons lining on the box would have catastrophic consequences of unbelievable, except the red button whose consequences are of a more negotiable scope.  It also produces an apparently endless supply of chocolates that are both amazingly delicious and they also quell appetite, as well as valuable antique coins.  He leaves her with the box, and she is left with the choice of whether and when and how to use it.

15 November 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #33B: “Shoots and Ladders” by Charles Payseur

This is a game. There are rules that must be followed. Isn’t that what you told me when you gave me the gun, when you pointed me at the universe and fired? They are easy:
1. There is a reality where you are the winner. Where you never fear and never want and never lose.
2. The gun destroys realities.

Easy. But I didn’t learn until later, until after you were gone and I was alone, what you meant. Because who would believe it from a man you met at a hotel bar, a tired man with a fading glint in his eye who you still took back to your room despite the crazy shit he was saying? Or maybe I slept with you because of the crazy shit you were saying. Maybe that’s why you gave me the gun, because you saw that I was looking for something in you, something I couldn’t explain until you put that cold length of iron in my hand.

You were smiling when I pulled the trigger. Just for laughs, I told myself, just to make sure it wasn’t real, though the voice in the back of my mind was already asking what if? What if? The most dangerous question in the universe. In any universe. Click.

10 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Disney’s Aladdin

Aladdin is a  play based on a 1992 Disney cartoon movie of the same name.  The play premiered in Seattle in 2011, and went to Broadway in 2014.

The story takes place in the fictional Arabic city of Agrabah.  The title character Aladdin is a young man, an orphan who has to steal to survive.  One day in the marketplace he meets a young woman and he falls for her, but then they are caught by the city guards and the woman reveals herself to be the princess of Agrabah as Aladdin is hauled away to the dungeons.  Aladdin is pulled from the dungeons by Jafar, the sultan’s advisor, because a prophecy stated that Aladdin was the “diamond in the rough” the only one that could retrieve the wish-granting genie’s lamp from the Cave of Wonders.  Aladdin goes and succeeds in finding the lamp, and is trapped in the cave but becomes the master of the Genie.

06 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Natsume Yūjin-chō Roku

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Natsume Yūjin-chō Roku is the sixth season of the long-running series (also known as Natsume’s Book of Friends). I previously reviewed seasons 1-4 here and season 5 here.

Natsume Yūjin-chō follows the ongoing misadventures of teenage Takashi Natsume, who has the ability to see youkai (spirits out of Japanese folklore) when most people cannot. Because the series is episodic, it’s generally easy to slip into the middle with minimal knowledge of what has happened in the past, but a few of Roku‘s episodes work better knowing Takashi’s (and his grandmother Reiko’s) history.

01 November 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #33A: “When One Door Shuts” by Aimee Ogden

The whole family wants to know when Mia is going to walk through the door, but no one has asked her about it. No one will.

The front door of Mia’s parents’ house is painted emerald green on the outside, off-white on the inside, with a knob contrived to look like real brass. No one has opened it for six months. Mia hates that door, has hated it for its full half-year of disuse. Ever since the front door of every house on the street became a portal into death.

Or a portal to somewhere else, at least. But it’s the dead who walk through from the other side. The Garcias’ stillborn little boy was the first one to come back, crawling through their open door as a fat, cheerful one-year-old. George Bojanek, who died of a heart attack three years ago in May and who was buried in the military cemetery at Fort Custer, strolled through one day. None of them have anything to say about where they’ve been and how they came back, certainly not the one-year-old and not old George and no one in between.

30 October 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Club Dead is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2003, the third in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris, which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood–this book was used very loosely as the basis for season 3 of the show.  The first book in the series is Dead Until Dark, (reviewed here), and the second book was Living Dead in Dallas (reviewed here).

Sookie’s vampire boyfriend Bill has been working on a project to the point of nearly total distraction.  Now he has disappeared under mysterious circumstances and Sookie sets out to find out what happened to him. The clues lead to Jackson, Mississippi where it appears that Bill’s former lover and maker Lorena has summoned him (maker as in the one who turned him into a vampire).  Clues seem to indicate that he is being held there against his will and their first stop is “Club Dead” the nickname for a major hangout for the supernatural in Jackson.  Sookie enlists the help of Bill’s boss and local authority in the vampire hierarchy Eric Northman and newfound ally the werewolf Alcide Herveaux.