Hi! Welcome...

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!

15 February 2019 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #48B: “How Rigel Gained a Rabbi (Briefly)” by Benjamin Blattberg

Rabbi Dov Applebaum argued—quite eloquently, he thought—for keeping the spaceship to its original flight plan. After all, there were Jewish children on Orion Station who needed Torah lessons before their upcoming B’nai Mitzvah. And yet the AI refused to listen to him and instead plotted a new course towards the distress signal on Rigel-7.

When the AI stated that intergalactic law compelled them to answer a distress call, Dov might’ve kept quiet—he wouldn’t actually have kept quiet, but he might have—but when the fakakta computer started citing Jewish law, Dov had to object.

“True, Leviticus says not to ‘stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor,'” said Dov, “but there are many interpretations of the Jewish law around distress signals. For one, what is a neighbor, galactically speaking?”

13 February 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Nightmare Magazine Podcast 2017-2018

written by David Steffen Nightmare Magazine is the horror sister magazine of Lightspeed Magazine, published/edited by John Joseph Adams, with Wendy Wagner as senior editor, and their podcast produced by the excellent Skyboat Media.  The podcast publishes about half of the stories they publish in text.  They didn’t publish enough stories in 2017 for a list, so this […]

11 February 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Cast of Wonders 2018

written by David Steffen 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.  This year’s offerings included their usual staff pick re-airing of stories from last year, as well as one story that was split into seven episodes, for a […]

08 February 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Toasted Cake 2018

written by David Steffen Toasted Cake is the idiosyncratic flash fiction podcast published, edited, hosted, and most often narrated by writer Tina Connolly. As noted in last year’s Best Of list, Toasted Cake had gone on hiatus for a couple years to make more time for writing deadlines and raising young children, but in the fall of 2017 […]

06 February 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Award Recommendations 2018

written by David Steffen Here are some recommendations for selected Hugo and Nebula categories. (Note that I’ve listed them in alphabetical order, rather than order of preference, and have listed more than the 5 ballot options when possible). I don’t think I’ve read any eligible novels this year, so that category is not represented. Best Novella “Umbernight” by […]

01 February 2019 ~ 4 Comments

DP FICTION #48A: “Local Senior Celebrates Milestone” by Matthew Claxton

The reporter is young, smells young even through the miasma of bleach and boiled vegetables. Three Willows Retirement Village is not an olfactory feast, so Millie is grateful for the scents of mango shampoo and coconut hand cream the girl brings with her.

“First of all, congratulations on the milestone!”

Millie wraps her knuckles around the gnarled head of her driftwood cane, leans forward.

“Congratulations?” She releases a calculated chuckle, gently chiding. “On not dying?” 

“I just mean… I mean, not everyone gets to celebrate their one-hundred and tenth birthday!”

“Well, that’s very true. I’ve been blessed.”

“I was hoping you could tell me a little about your life. You must have seen so much!”

“Oh, yes.”

The girl has a notebook out now, pen poised. 

“I was hoping you could tell me, what’s your earliest memory?”

30 January 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Lightspeed Magazine Podcast 2018

written by David Steffen 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 49stories in 2017. The stories eligible for the upcoming Hugo award season are marked […]

28 January 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Clarkesworld 2018

written by David Steffen Clarkesworld continues strong this year with a mix of science fiction and fantasy, and edited by Neil Clarke, with Kate Baker producing and usually narrating the podcast. I am sure they will continue to be heavily represented on the awards ballots, and they remain prolific as ever, publishing 80 stories in […]

25 January 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Escape Pod 2018

written by David Steffen Escape Pod is the weekly science fiction podcast, one of the Escape Artists family of podcasts.  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. In February Escape Pod once again participated in […]

21 January 2019 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #47C: “The Dictionary For Dreamers” by Cislyn Smith

Apology

(n) A sincere, though ultimately futile, effort to make right a wrong. Always involves books.

Example:
This. She didn’t mean to. It was a mistake.

Arise

1. (v) To get up from a position of repose.
2. (v) To become evident or apparent.

Example:
Time to get up. You arise from the bed, drifting, almost floating, toes straining down to reach the ground, arms flailing a bit for balance, before you thump-settle back into place.

Shake your head. Yes, that was odd. Still, you’ve forgotten about it by the time you’re dressed. Just one of those things.