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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!

16 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #37B: “Soft Clay” by Seth Chambers

I wander the Chicago streets unseen. I’m plain, drab, faceless. I’m a shadow drifting through the world of form. It isn’t all bad, being this way. I ghost into theaters and museums and concerts without paying. Guards see me bypass the lines and slip through the doors, but somehow I never quite register.

Being nobody has its perks but now I hunger to be somebody once again, to have a name again. To do this I must find the right man to follow. I wander the Chicago Loop looking for certain telltale signs of pain, longing, emptiness.

We live in a world of grief and so it doesn’t take long to find him. He carries himself with an undefined heaviness and peers through a fog of yesterdays. His emptiness drags me along.

14 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Toasted Cake 2015-2017

Toasted Cake is back!  After the last Best of Toasted Cake list for the year 2014, Tina Connolly decided to put her idiosyncratic podcast on hiatus.  With a young child in the house and books on deadline, Tina needed to find more time.  But she has missed it enough, and she has decided to run Toasted Cake for a school year run, and revived the podcast in September for that reason.  So, this list covers the last few months before hiatus in 2015, the one story Toasted Cake slipped quietly into the feed in 2016, and the fall portion of the school year run of the revival, for a total of 35 stories considered for this list.

Toasted Cake has already raised author pay rates, so now pays at least 1 cent/word, which is also exciting.  It sounds like Tina might want to run the podcast longer term if there’s some Patreon support, so if you love some weird flash fiction you might want to consider tossing in a couple bucks a month.

12 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Strange Horizons 2017

Strange Horizons is a freely available online speculative fiction zine that also publishes nonfiction and poetry.  Their editors-in-chief are Jane Crowley and Kate Dollardhyde.  Their senior fiction editors are Lila Garrott, Catherine Krahe, An Owomoyela, and Vajra Chandresekera, and their podcast is edited, hosted, and usually read by Anaea Lay.  They publish a variety of styles of stories and have regularly attracted award nominations in recent years.  All of the stories and poetry in the zine are published in the podcast.  This list covers all of the stories published since the last Best of Strange Horizons list posted here on November 9, 2015.  In that timeframe, Strange Horizons published about 53 stories (it’s hard to get an exact count because the poetry podcasts are mixed in the same feed).

09 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Cast of Wonders 2017

Cast of Wonders is the YA branch of the Escape Artists podcasts, edited by Marguerite Kenner, covering all speculative genres and aiming to appeal to YA audiences.  I think their definition of YA is significantly broader than most, which I see as a positive thing–I had very broad tastes when I was a young adult, so it makes sense to me anyway.

After Cast of Wonders joined Escape Artists in 2016, they increased their pay rates which helped them become qualified as a SFWA-qualifying market, which is a great sign of progress.  

07 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Lightspeed Magazine Podcast 2017

Lightspeed Magazine is the award-nominated science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, and their podcast is  produced by the excellent Skyboat Media.  They publish about half of the stories they publish in text.  They published about 47 stories in 2017.

The stories eligible for the upcoming Hugo award season are marked with an asterisk (*), with novelettes eligible for the season marked with a double asterisk (**)

05 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Clarkesworld 2017

Another great year for Clarkesworld, lots of great stories by authors both familiar and new.  Clarkesworld remains the most prolific of the podcasts I listen to, clocking in at 82 stories for the year of 2017, and with a much higher wordcount limit than most of the others, that comes to significantly more words.  Neil Clarke continues as editor, and Kate Baker continues to produce, host, and narrate most of the episodes of the podcast.

They continue to publish monthly stories published from Chinese through a relationship with StoryCom, which have been among many of my favorites.

02 March 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #37A: “What Monsters Prowl Above the Waves” by Jo Miles

We emerged, inching forth from the sea’s safe haven into the bright void above.

We had done it.

Sharp-edged light flooded the vehicle, casting disturbing shadows through the water within. Three of our arms, drifting lazily in a moment’s rest, merged shadows like a new menace from without. One arm whipped about in alarm, and we spun, searching, assuring our whole self that no danger was near. But that arm refused to calm. The interior of the vessel was safe – our other arms, questing, found nothing but smooth walls and each other, confirming we were alone – but the cloudy surface of our vehicle revealed only dim and distant shapes.

28 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Escape Pod 2017

Escape Pod is the weekly science fiction podcast.  At the beginning of 2017 it was edited by Norm Sherman, but when he stepped down from the role two co-editors have filled the positions: S.B. Divya and Mur Lafferty.

Escape Pod was already a qualifying market for writers to become members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, but in 2017, its three sister podcasts joined the list as well, making all of Escape Artists’ ongoing publications qualifying markets!

26 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Podcastle 2017

Podcastle is the weekly fantasy podcast published by Escape Artists.  At the beginning of the year it was co-edited by Graeme Dunlop and Jen Albert.  Partway through the year Graeme retired from the position and his co-editor seat was filled by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali.  As well as weekly full-length feature episodes, they also publish occasional standalone flash stories as bonus episodes, as well as triple flash stories for the occasional feature episode collection.

Because of an author pay-rate change in 2016, they qualified within 2017 as a qualifying market for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which means they have to meet certain criteria.

24 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Pseudopod 2017

Pseudopod is the weekly horror podcast edited by Shawn Garrett and Alex Hofelich. 2016 marked some major moments in the podcast’s history.  2017 marked a major landmark for them when they were added to the SFWA list of professional short fiction publications, after raising their flash fiction pay rates to be in line with their pay rates for longer fiction.

After running a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016 for their 10th anniversary to fun an anthology, that anthology went live in 2017, Of Mortal Things Unsung which included many Pseudopod favorites as well as some brand new original fiction.  (My story “What Makes You Tick” that had previously appeared on Pseudopod was reprinted in the anthology.)