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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!

20 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Review: My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Graphic Story)

written by David Steffen I’m afraid I’ve gotten behind on my reading and so I’ve only read one complete entry and one partial entry in the Graphic Story category for the Hugo Awards.  I haven’t even finished a single one of the graphic stories this year all the way through, but I’ve gotten about halfway […]

16 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #41B: “Jesus and Dave” by Jennifer Lee Rossman

It had been just over a year since the second coming of Jesus and, like most atheists, I couldn’t say it had been a particularly good year for me.

Sure, the Lord’s first bit of business had included clearing up some of the more vague parts of the Bible, including some mistranslations and things his father had, in his words, “gotten wrong.” That put an end to a lot of bigotry.  The lack of world hunger and the new commandments about littering were incredible, of course, more positive change than I’d hoped to see in my lifetime.

But it’s just… having proof that my entire belief system (or lack thereof) was absolutely backwards, and having every holier-than-thou relative constantly sending passive-aggressive emails filled with selfies of them and His Holiness…

My fellow non-believers converted, and one even became a priest. I think I’m one of the few who refused to do so.

13 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

DP Submission Email Delay

written by David Steffen This morning the Diabolical Plots submission system started experiencing issues sending emails, so this will prevent me from properly resolving submissions until it’s fixed. Also, submissions can be made and you will get the confirmation number on the site (write that down if you want to check status!), but the issue […]

11 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2012, the twelfth 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.

In the last book, Eric, Pam, and Sookie succeeded in killing the vampire Victor, the representative of the king of this vampire district. As the book starts, Felipe de Castro, the aforementioned king, visits the area to investigate the disappearance. Eric hosts a party in his honor, and during the party, a dead woman is found on the lawn of Eric’s house. Meanwhile, Sookie is struggling with the quesiton of what to do with the magical fairy artifact left to her by her grandmother which will grant her one wish.

06 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2011, the eleventh 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 witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s (the bar where she works).  Before Sookie gets to the bottom of that, she finds out that her vampire boyfriend Eric is plotting to kill the king of his vampire district, and she is drawn into the plot.  She has also been chafing at the blood-bond between her and Eric that makes a telepathic feedback loop between the two of them.

02 July 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #41A: “Crimson Hour” by Jesse Sprague

on’t think. Don’t feel. Concentrate on the work. Berend sliced under the unicorn’s scarlet hide. He worked swiftly to skin the beast while the pelt remained a vivid red. For a short time at dawn and dusk, a unicorn glowed red, and only during those few minutes could a blade pierce the animal’s hide. Normally, animals came to his butcher shop gutted, but with a unicorn that wasn’t impossible. 

As he pulled the pelt back, he pondered the cuts that would come next. He’d have to remove the heart first—for the Hero.

Lined up on the stone table beside the unicorn, an array of tools waited. For now, the bone knife was all the job required. Berend’s hand paused under the unicorn’s jaw. The village shaman had already removed the horn, leaving a jagged circle of white bone. Around this circle and coating the muzzle was a thick splatter of human blood.

The blood of my only son.

27 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO BOOK REVIEW: Provenance by Ann Leckie

Provenance is a science fiction novel written by Ann Leckie released in September 2017, which takes place in the same universe as her breakout Imperial Radch trilogy (Ancillary Justice (2013) , Ancillary Sword (2014), Ancillary Mercy (2015)).  This book takes place shortly after the events of Ancillary Mercy.  It doesn’t share any of the characters or settings, but some of the political forces, cultures, technology, and alien races are familiar to those who’ve read the trilogy.  I don’t think you’d have any trouble following the story if you hadn’t read the trilogy, and I think it would work fine as a standalone, but you may have a shortcut to understanding certain elements from having seen the cultures and species in the previous books.

22 June 2018 ~ 7 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2 is a superhero family action/comedy animated feature from Pixar, released in June 2018.  It’s the sequel to The Incredibles, the first in the series, released way back in 2004.  The Incredibles 2 picks up where the first one left off, after the superhero family has had their first big win together thwarting Syndrome’s plan to set up superheroes for failure, and with the emergence of the Underminer’s big drilling machine from under the city.

The family joins together again to save the city from the Underminer, and soon after Elastigirl aka Helen Parr, Mr. Incredible aka Bob Parr, and Frozone aka Lucius Best are approached by rich superhero-sympathist brother-and-sister business partners Winston Deavor and Evelyn Deavor, who want to start a new campaign to make superheroes legal again, starting with financing Elastigirl to fight crime and improve the public image of supers.  Bob and Helen talk it through and decide that she should do it, in part to make a more accepting future for their children Dash and Violet.  Bob stays home to watch the kids while Helen goes out on this mission, and their baby Jack-Jack begins manifesting superpowers.  Soon a new supervillain rises, Screenslaver, who uses hypnosis to turn others into his minions.

20 June 2018 ~ 1 Comment

Anime Review: Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens

Anime Review: Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens

hakataramens

Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens has a ridiculous premise, but once you buy into it, it’s a lot of fun. Hakata City, within the Fukuoka Prefecture, is city so populated with hitmen and other criminal elements that they’ve essentially organized into businesses. Not public facing, mind, but this is the kind of show where in the first episode a hitman finds out someone else has already killed his target, because, well, hitmen are just that easy to hire. (I imagine people with enemies don’t last long in Hakata City.)

15 June 2018 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #40B: “Withholding Judgment Day” by Ryan Dull

5:00 AM GMT

Brother Franco Corsini always woke up early when the world was ending. Some Elegian monks could roll out of bed twenty minutes before Christ returned and perform their duties without a hitch, but Brother Franco needed a long morning to get into the right mindset. He lay in the pre-dawn light with his blanket pulled to his chin and prayed for humanity in expanding concentric circles – first himself, then his monastery, then the city of Milan, the nation of Italy, the people of the world, the dead, the unborn, and all Creation. Through the wall of his cell, Brother Franco could hear his neighbor already rejoicing at the top of his lungs. But his neighbor expected Christ to return before 6:00 AM, and so of course he was yelling. Brother Franco belonged to the 2:00 to 3:00 PM GMT slot, which he shared with Brothers Dimitri Abdulov and Hernan Esteban, both of whom were currently sound asleep in the Elegians’ second monastery in central Colombia. Brother Franco had nine long hours left. He knew, but did not yet expect, in an immediate, physical way, that the world would end. For a novice, this might have been cause for alarm. But Brother Franco had been expecting the end for years now, and he trusted that he would get there, even if it took all morning.