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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!

23 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Finding Dory

Finding Dory is a 2016 Pixel animated children’s adventure film sequel to the popular 2003 film Finding Nemo.  I don’t think that you necessarily need to have seen the original film to be able to watch this one and understand it, though some tie-in scenes between the two as well as established character relationships may make more sense if you are familiar with the previous one.

The characters are all fish, and the story starts in the ocean with the main characters from the previous film: the clownfish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), his young son Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence), and their friend a blue tang fish Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres).  As Dory will tell anyone she meets, probably repeatedly, she suffers from short-term memory loss.  She tends to forget what she’s doing, who people are, what’s happening, frequently and completely, though she is capable of remembering some things sometimes, such as recognizing and trusting Marlin and Nemo.

19 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

psychopass1 Psycho-Pass is an original self-contained anime from 2012 that I missed during initial broadcast. I’m generally not a big cyberpunk dystopia fan, so I only came back when I kept hearing about it. This review covers the first series, which is stand-alone.

I’d never thought about how much different American TV storytelling is from Japanese until I watched Psycho-Pass and realized how western its presentation is. Character development, particularly for the supporting cast, feels paced out like I would expect on an American show, with small nuggets here and there that lead to an eventual payoff, and the world itself draws clear inspiration from Philip K. Dick (particularly Blade Runner and Minority Report).

16 June 2017 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #28B: “Regarding the Robot Raccoons Attached to the Hull of My Ship” by Rachael K. Jones and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

From: Alamieyeseigha, Anita To: Alamieyeseigha, Ziza Date: 2160-11-11   Dear Ziza, You already know what this is about, don’t you, dear Sister? The robot raccoons I found clamped along my ship’s hull during this cycle’s standard maintenance sweep? Oh, come on. Really? You know I invented that hull sculler tech, right? They’ve got my corporate […]

13 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods is a science fiction and fantasy novel from Harper Voyager, the premier novel by Nicky Drayden.

The book takes place in a future South Africa, where there are a lot of improvements for the future–everyone has a helper android to help make life easier, and the booming genetic engineering business in Port Elizabeth has revitalized the town.

09 June 2017 ~ 1 Comment

REVIEW: Hugo Novelette Finalists

written by David Steffen Another category in the Hugo Award review series for this year, this is for the novelette category which covers fiction between 7500 words and 17,500 words. As mentioned before, this year marked several rule changes–including that there will be six nominees in every category, and the nomination tallying rules are different […]

05 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

acca

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. is a slow burn, sometimes agonizingly slow, which is incredible considering that there are rumors of a coup with secrets all over the place and multiple characters who have no idea who can be trusted. Each episode feeds into the audience’s pool of knowledge and yet the truth feels frustratingly out of reach for half the show.

This isn’t necessary a bad thing, as it’s a ground zero view of the information most of the POV characters are working with, but ACCA plays its cards so close that the world seems made up of trees rather than a forest.

03 June 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Submission Window

written by David Steffen Diabolical Plots will be open for the month of July, buying a year’s worth of stories. Read the guidelines–especially in regards to anonymity and the right way to query to avoid disqualification. Guidelines

02 June 2017 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #28A: “The Existentialist Men” by Gwendolyn Clare

Kris has a talent for making toast come out perfectly every time. Never burnt. The rest of us yearn for a superpower so practical.

Ryan has incredible parking-space karma, but only after he has already parked. He’ll circle round and round the block, finding nothing and more nothing, and eventually give up and take that one empty space six blocks away. He’ll bundle up against the cold, scarf wrapped all the way up to his chin and hands shoved deep in his coat pockets, and walk the six blocks to the restaurant. And without fail, just as he opens the door, a parking space will open up directly in front. Once, he ran back to his car to move it closer, but the empty space had been claimed by the time he drove there. The parking spaces are taunting him.

29 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Sneetches: The Musical

I am a lifelong Dr. Seuss fan, so I was very excited to hear that Sneetches: The Musical. In case you haven’t heard of it, “The Sneetches” is a children’s story by children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss (the pen name of Theodor Geisel), published in the collection The Sneetches and Other Stories originally published in 1953 and still available in print.

The original Sneetches story was very short, but was one of Seuss’s most memorable pieces, about two groups of birds whose only distinguishing characteristics are that one group has green stars on their bellies and the other has none. The star-belly sneetches use this cosmetic difference as a reason to justify poor treatment of the poor-belly sneetches while the star-belly sneetches exclude plain-belly sneetches from all of their social events. This inequality continues unchanged until the shyster businessman Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town selling the use of a machine that will put stars on bellies, and then when the original star-belly sneetches complain about the injustice of it all he offers use of another machine that will remove stars from bellies, and the sneetches all run from one machine to another until all of the sneetches are bankrupt. McBean leaves town much richer than when he came, and the sneetches actually learn a lesson from the ordeal–all treating each other as equals.

26 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil

tanyatheevil

Saga of Tanya the Evil is one of the best military-oriented anime series I’ve watched. While a lot of shows feature characters who are part of a military unit and involve war-related storylines, Tanya the Evil is particularly well suited to military enthusiasts, the kind willing to argue whether the Schlieffen Plan actually could have worked.

That’s not to say that lay people can’t enjoy Saga of Tanya the Evil on it’s own, it’s fantastic watching our jerk protagonist scrabble out of situations that progressively get from bad to worse, but military history buffs will get an extra kick out of the show from its pseudo-historical setting and frequent basis in historical tactics and battles.