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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!

08 February 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: School-Live!

Anime Review: School-Live!

school-liveSchool-Live! really needed to be promoted more accurately to find its target audience, because based on the promotional art (bunch of cute school girls) and the title (very similar to Love Live!, which is about young girls becoming pop stars), I never would have guessed that this was about trying to survive several months into the zombie apocalypse!

01 February 2016 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #12: “May Dreams Shelter Us” by Kate O’Connor

The air screams around their ship, the atmosphere burning and clawing at the heat shield. The cabin is dark and too hot after the long, cold quiet of space. Their hands find each other and twine together. I’m here, their interlaced fingers say. I’m with you. It doesn’t matter if they make it through. That they have come this far is victory enough.

***

Raia let go of the controls. The radiation storm had passed. Her hands ached and her eyes burned. The images were already fading from her mind. She scrubbed at her forehead, dislodging the webbed crown of sensors. Her skin tingled and flamed as though she herself had been the ship, slicing through the thickening atmosphere as she hurtled down towards a new world.

She staggered to her feet, drowning in the quiet emptiness of the med bay. Around her, the children slept. Bone weary, she checked the displays. All was well. They had heard her and calmed. No more would be lost today. She sent Jessi the all clear.

25 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace

ranpo kitan: game of laplaceRampo Kitan: Game of Laplace commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of renowned Japanese mystery author Rampo Edogawa, and each episode is based on one of his works, updating the time period from the first half of the 20th century to modern day.

Because the original pieces are not necessarily related, this results in a particularly disjointed feeling when the third episode appears to be a simple stand alone after the two-part opener, and I wasn’t sure if the series had anything more ambitious than modernizing a collection of fiction. Fortunately, Rampo Kitan makes an effort from episode 4 on to tie everything together into a loose, but cohesive story arc.

18 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Energy, Pollution and Toxic Waste: Eco-Horror in Film

Energy, Pollution and Toxic Waste: Eco-Horror in Film

Climate change has been a big button issue in recent years as more and more people have become aware of its negative effects. In fact, because of the burning of fossil fuels, the emission of carbon dioxide has increased about 40 percent since pre-industrial times, according to Ohio Energy. With this concern and changing environmental issues come a plethora of films that reflect our natural world’s burdens. Films have been warning us of impending ecological disaster for years. Whether it’s our own hubris coming to get us or the Earth fighting back, here are five of the most terrifying eco-horror-themed films.

13 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW (non-spoiler): Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I might write about the movie at a more spoilery level of detail at a later date, but for this review I’ll keep it as spoiler-free as possible, just the sort of information you’d hear in a synopsis before going. I finally saw Star Wars Episode VII yesterday. I didn’t feel like dealing with opening week crowds, but I was getting tired of trying to dodge spoilers on Twitter and Facebook.

08 January 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Award Eligibility Post

I know some people don’t like award eligibility posts, thinking that they’re desperate pleas for attention. As a reader, I like them because if I am behind on my reading they are a good place to catch up on the year’s published stories of another author, and as a writer to look back at my own. I don’t have any illusions that anyone is going to nominate me, and that’s fine–there are so many amazing people doing incredible work every year. But I still think an award eligibility post is worthwhile, and if you don’t think so, well, you don’t have to read it, do you?

This year, especially since I started selecting and editing fiction for Diabolical Plots, I’ll list the Diabolical Plots work first and then my fiction writing as a separate section. For the purposes of this list I am thinking of the Hugo and Nebula Award categories because those are the awards I’m most familiar with. Other awards have other categories that might be suitable.

01 January 2016 ~ 8 Comments

DP FICTION #11: “The Osteomancer’s Husband” by Henry Szabranski

He warned his wife the villagers would come. With their pitchforks, their fire. Their hateful ignorance.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “We have to leave. They saw beneath my mask.”

She did not listen. This was their home. Their little cottage by the burbling mountain stream. Their hard-won resting place after years of rootless travel, where they kept their lovingly tended garden with its fragrant roses and flowering vines, where she eschewed her strange abilities and practiced only mortal skill. An ideal place for a family, though they knew they could never have children now.

When he began to protest her lack of urgency she forced him into stillness and silence. She had that power.

28 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Interview: Rob Dircks

rob-portraitRob Dircks spent 20 years in advertising before writing his debut sci fi novel, Where the Hell Is Tesla? Result: Amazon listed Where the Hell Is Tesla? as its #1 time travel novel a month after it was published. (It’s actually an interdimensional odyssey comedy love story, but we won’t quibble with Amazon.) Audible lists Where the Hell Is Tesla as its #3 bestselling sci fi book behind The Martian and Andromeda Strain. Amazon and Audible review averages are above 4.

21 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Charlotte

charlotteCharlotte has been my must-see series this past summer. The title is deceptively plain to the English-speaking ear, but hides one of the most emotional series about people with special powers that I’ve ever seen.

Charlotte reunites the production team behind Angel Beats, specifically writer/composer Jun Maeda, character designer Na-Ga, and animation studio P.A. Works. If you like one, there’s a good chance you’ll like the other and Maeda’s unique stamp as a writer is all over both works.

18 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Bonus! “St. Roomba’s Gospel” in Audio

As a special bonus this month, I am adding an audio recording of this month’s story “St. Roomba’s Gospel” to the story’s post, read by the author herself, Rachael K. Jones. I would love to expand to doing audio recordings as part of the fiction offerings, so this is a sample of that potential. (I will also update the original story posting with the audio