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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!

25 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Robot Movies You Should Watch in 2015

ChappiePosterEver wonder if your microwave has feelings? What if it felt imposed upon every time you nuked a burrito inside of it? What if the microwave started conspiring with the rest of your kitchen appliances? Would there be any hope left for any of us? Are you also craving a burrito now?

The point that I’m laboring towards here is that machines are becoming pretty sophisticated — so sophisticated that it’s slightly worrisome. There are a number of films slated for release this year that tackle this very issue issue: Chappie, Ex Machina, and the latest installment of the The Avengers franchise. And while there is much chatter about this year as a “good year for robots,” the truth is that robot movies have been around for about as long as robots themselves…or movies, for that matter. One could perhaps make the case that our aversions toward technology are, in essence, the very basis of science-fiction itself. And there are a lot of ways that the newer films will likely echo thematic elements of classic science-fiction films.

16 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Cast of Wonders 2014

More great content from Cast of Wonders the Young Adult SF/Fantasy podcast. Marguerite Kenner continues to do a great job as editor. She did mention a few episodes back that they could use more donations–they have a good-sized audience but less than 1% of them make donations. If you value work like this, please consider donating to the makers of your favorite work.

13 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Toasted Cake 2014

Another great year of Toasted Cake, the idiosyncratic flash fiction podcast. As ever, I am a huge fan, and when I was preparing to open Diabolical Plots’s slushpile I used my Best of Toasted Cake lists as an example of what I love to read. There are fewer stories this year than usual because of Tina’s reduced schedule at the beginning of the year to spend more time with her newborn baby, the occasional technical difficulties, and novel publishing interfering with podcasting (the nerve!).

11 February 2015 ~ 3 Comments

Diabolical Plots Fiction Lineup (Year One)

I have twelve short story contracts in hand, signed by the authors of twelve stories. That means that I can announce the lineup of stories for Diabolical Plots first year of publishing fiction. All of these were chosen with the author names hidden so all of them made it on the merit of the story, regardless of how well the author is known or their publishing histroies.

11 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Lightspeed (and Fantasy) Podcast 2014

Lightspeed is still one of my favorite magazines, still edited by John Joseph Adams. This year has been a big one for Lightspeed, in large part because of their “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” movement–for one month the magazine was staffed by women with women writers (edited by Christie Yant), because historically women have gotten the short end of the stick in SF writing. The Kickstarter for this project blew its goals out of the water and even unlocked stretch goals for Women Destroy Horror and Women Destroy Fantasy movements. The WDSF issue of Lightspeed was published in 2014, and Fantasy Magazine (which had been subsumed by Lightspeed) revived for a month for the WDF issue (which is why Fantasy Magazine is included again in this page)

09 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Clarkesworld 2014

Clarkesworld has been getting bigger and better. They’re publishing more stories than ever before and they’re good as ever, publishing more episodes than any of the other podcasts I listen to. Neil Clarke continues to edit and Kate Baker continues to host and usually narrate the podcast.

06 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Podcast 2013-2014

This post covers two years of Beneath Ceaseless Skies–they didn’t publish quite enough stories in 2013 to do a list. Beneath Ceaseless Skies continues to publish quality other-world fiction, edited by Scott H. Andrews. This list only covers the stories they published on their podcast, which is a bit less than half of the stories they publish–one podcast every two weeks.

04 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Movie Review: Fafner: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth

Fafner: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth is the movie sequel to the TV series Fafner: Dead Aggressor. Having been animated six years later, 2010’s Heaven and Earth is able to take advantage of improvements in CG animation (the alien Festum really benefited) and a bigger budget as everything looks much, much better.

Unfortunate the story is not as strong. Being constrained to an hour and a half, the movie reveals that the Festum were not defeated so much as divided by the destruction at the end of Fafner: Dead Aggressor, though the people of Tatsumiyajima Island have been able to enjoy what appears to have been two or three years of peace.

02 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Drabblecast 2014

The Drabblecast! Still my favorite publication, hitting just the right level of weirdness. Big editorial change recently at Drabblecast with Norm Sherman handing over the Editor-In-Chief position to longstanding head slushwrangler Nathaniel Lee–sounds like it might get episodes out with greater regularity which would be a great thing. Norm will still be host and main producer, so his talent will still make the show what it is.

30 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fafner: Dead Aggressor

Fafner: Dead Aggressor is a series from ten years ago, and it shows in the character designs and the 4:3 aspect ratio of the original broadcast, but those do not detract from making it one of the more unusual mecha shows I’ve seen.

While Fafner starts with the usual teenage protagonists as the pilots, what draws me in is the attention paid to their parents, who are both their commanders and their support crew in the war that suddenly finds their figurative Eden.