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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!

21 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Review: Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form Finalists

Another category in the Hugo Award review series for this year, this is for the novelette category which covers dramatic presentations (most often movies, but it could be dramatic stageplays or video games).

Not reviewed here are Deadpool, because it had cycled back out of Redbox by the time I looked for it, and Stranger Things, which I haven’t gotten my hands on either.

17 July 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP Fiction #29B: “The Shadow Over His Mouth” by Aidan Doyle

Greetings From Transylvania!

Posted by Barry Lovecraft
7th July 2016.

I’m in vampire country! That’s right, I’m in Brasov, in Romania. Now that I’ve finished university, I’ve decided it’s time to take my food blog on the road.

I was supposed to start my adventure in Paris, but a storm meant my flight was diverted to Transylvania. The airline staff said it would be at least a week before flights to Paris resumed, so I’m going to make the most of my time in Eastern Europe.

Brasov has its own version of a Hollywood-style sign on the hill overlooking the city. It also has some really narrow alleyways that make Melbourne’s laneways look big. Nowhere to hide if the vampires come after you. 🙂

12 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Trolls

Trolls is a 2016 DreamWorks animated romantic comedy adventure film for kids, based on the lucky troll dolls that were popular in the 80s (you know, the little naked dolls with the giant flourescent hair?).

Trolls are tiny creatures of nearly endless happiness, spending all of their time sing, dancing, and hugging.  They also have fast-growing prehensile camoflauging hair which was admittedly pretty neat.  Twenty years ago, all of the known trolls were held in captivity by a race of much larger creatures called Bergens, who live in nearly unending unhappiness but who discovered that they can be happy for a short time if they eat a troll.  So the Bergens rounded up all the trolls and kept them captive in the center of their town, and once a year on the Trollstice holiday, the Bergens have a feast of trolls and as a result have a day of happiness.

But on that fateful Trollstice twenty years ago King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor) led the trolls on their escape, burrowing out of their enclosure and out of the Bergen city before they could be eaten.  The Bergen chef who was in charge of preparing the Trollstice feast was exiled into the wilderness.  Twenty years have passed and the trolls still live free in the woods, unharrassed by their former tormentors.

07 July 2017 ~ 2 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Sing

Sing is a 2016 Illumination Entertainment animated musical comedy about an animal singing competition.  Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), owner of the Moon theater, is on the verge of bankruptcy, but makes one last try at success to save his lifelong dream of running a successful theater:  a singing competition with a prize of $1000, which is slightly more cash than he actually has in hand.  Except, due to a clerical error by his assistant, the posters for the competition indicate that the cash prize is actually $100,000, so the contest draws a lot more notice than he expected.

03 July 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #29A: “Monster of the Soup Cans” by Elizabeth Barron

“I created a monster the other day, but I’m trying not to think about it. These things usually take care of themselves, don’t they?” The scientist’s words echoed against the grey walls of her tiny kitchen laboratory, while the orangutan she was training to speak just stared at her with a bored expression, like he’d […]

30 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets is an Illumination Entertainment animated adventure film about dogs and cats and other pets getting into adventures in New York City.  What do your pets do when you’re away at work every day?  What you probably didn’t say is that all the pets in your apartment building sneak out of their apartments and meet up with the other pets in the building to hang out.  But, apparently that’s what they do.

26 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fafner: Right of Left

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fafner: Right of Left

fafnerrightofleftFafner: Right of Left wasn’t available to English speaking audiences for a long time. Animated back in 2005, it’s the second oldest entry in the long running Fafner series, but never made it stateside, likely due to its status as a direct-to-video prequel.

Right of Left was also skippable when the Heaven and Earth movie came out in 2010, but when the Exodus TV series emerged in 2015, it became clear that Right of Left wasn’t optional viewing anymore, as they made references to characters and the plan that makes up the heart of Right of Left. It was clear I was missing something.

Thankfully, at some point in the past year or so, it quietly slipped into the streaming library at Daisuki.

Right of Left takes place about half a year before the original Dead Aggressor and involves the class ahead of Kazuki and the others who will become the pilots of the first show. As such, we get treated to slightly younger versions of most of Dead Aggressor‘s pilots, back before their worlds got turned upside and raked over the coals.

However, because we know the pilots of Right of Left don’t exist in Dead Aggressor (save for the one who’s killed in the first episode), it’s a safe conclusion going in that Right of Left is going to be a downer. Some tissues may be needed.

23 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Finding Dory

Finding Dory is a 2016 Pixel animated children’s adventure film sequel to the popular 2003 film Finding Nemo.  I don’t think that you necessarily need to have seen the original film to be able to watch this one and understand it, though some tie-in scenes between the two as well as established character relationships may make more sense if you are familiar with the previous one.

The characters are all fish, and the story starts in the ocean with the main characters from the previous film: the clownfish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), his young son Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence), and their friend a blue tang fish Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres).  As Dory will tell anyone she meets, probably repeatedly, she suffers from short-term memory loss.  She tends to forget what she’s doing, who people are, what’s happening, frequently and completely, though she is capable of remembering some things sometimes, such as recognizing and trusting Marlin and Nemo.

19 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

psychopass1 Psycho-Pass is an original self-contained anime from 2012 that I missed during initial broadcast. I’m generally not a big cyberpunk dystopia fan, so I only came back when I kept hearing about it. This review covers the first series, which is stand-alone.

I’d never thought about how much different American TV storytelling is from Japanese until I watched Psycho-Pass and realized how western its presentation is. Character development, particularly for the supporting cast, feels paced out like I would expect on an American show, with small nuggets here and there that lead to an eventual payoff, and the world itself draws clear inspiration from Philip K. Dick (particularly Blade Runner and Minority Report).

16 June 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP Fiction #28B: “Regarding the Robot Raccoons Attached to the Hull of My Ship” by Rachael K. Jones and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

From: Alamieyeseigha, Anita To: Alamieyeseigha, Ziza Date: 2160-11-11   Dear Ziza, You already know what this is about, don’t you, dear Sister? The robot raccoons I found clamped along my ship’s hull during this cycle’s standard maintenance sweep? Oh, come on. Really? You know I invented that hull sculler tech, right? They’ve got my corporate […]