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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!

20 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Podcastle 2016

written by David Steffen Podcastle is the weekly fantasy podcast published by Escape Artists.  At the beginning of the year it was co-edited by Rachael K. Jones and Graeme Dunlop.  Partway through the year Rachael retired and her co-editor seat was filled by Jen Albert.  As well as weekly full-length feature episodes, they also publish […]

13 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Pseudopod 2016

written by David Steffen Pseudopod, the weekly horror podcast edited by Shawn Garrett and Alex Hofelich, has now been running for more than ten years, an incredible feat for a podcast, which often fade away after a year or two. 2016 marked some major moments in the podcast’s history–they increased their pay rate for flash […]

06 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Strange Horizons 2016+

written by David Steffen Strange Horizons is a freely available online speculative fiction zine that also publishes nonfiction and poetry.  Their editor-in-chief is Niall Harrison.  Their fiction editors are Lila Garrott, Catherine Krahe, An Owoyo, and Vajra Chandresekera, and their podcast is edited, hosted, and usually read by Anaea Lay.  They publish a variety of styles […]

01 February 2017 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #24: “The Avatar In Us All” by J.D. Carelli

For my 88th birthday, I celebrate with a bottle of bourbon. I fumble with the anti-intoxication meds my doctor insists I take, the dispenser flying out of my hands and across the kitchen table. “Goddammit!”

Chrissy walks in, putting her hands on her hips in disapproval. Her face is her mother’s, but when I look for my eyes, all I see are the blank, grey eyes of an android. Not my daughter, only her avatar.

“Is it so hard to ask for help?” she snaps. The avatar has a faux personality—based on Chrissy’s—but the motherly tone in her voice tells me my daughter is sitting halfway around the world, jacked-in.

“I’m an old man,” I say, reaching for the bourbon. “Why bother?”

She walks over to the table, deftly dispenses a tablet, and pops it into my mouth. Sitting down in a chair beside me, she pushes two glasses my way.

“Do you at least have a glass of something where you are?” I ask, filling both glasses.

She chuckles. “It’s morning over here, Dad. You know that.”

“I know,” I say, washing the pill down with the bourbon. “I was just testing you.”

“Sure you were.” She follows my lead, downing the glass.

I fill them both again. “You know I’m just going to empty your stomach reservoir and drink it, right?”

30 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Nightmare Magazine Podcast 2015-2016

Nightmare Magazine is the horror sister podcast of Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams. They publish about half of They didn’t publish enough stories in 2015 for a list, so this list covers both 2015 and 2016. They published 46 stories between the two years.

25 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2015-2016

This post covers two years of Beneath Ceaseless Skies–they didn’t publish quite enough stories in 2015 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. They published 45 original stories on the podcast in 2015-2016.

20 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo/Nebula Award Recommendations!

Having previously listing out award-eligible works that were written or published by me, here is my list of works that I think you might want to consider for Hugo and Nebula awards that were not written or published by me.

I’m working mostly from the Hugo Award categories, but a few of these categories overlap with the Nebulas as well.

Note that I have skipped any categories that I didn’t think that I was sufficiently knowledgeable enough about during the year of 2016.

Also, in any given category, the ordering does not mean anything–the order is not rank-order, so the first is not any different than the last, etc.

16 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian is a gorgeously detailed, thoughtful action-adventure fantasy game. You play a young boy who awakens in a cavern with a large mythical creature who is chained to the floor. As the story progresses, you form a bond with the creature, Trico, as the two of you navigate through environmental puzzles set in enormous, elaborate environments, some of ancient ruins, some of dizzying heights. Sometimes you need Trico’s help to survive or progress through a series of puzzles, and sometimes Trico needs yours.

11 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: TIS-100

written by David Steffen TIS-100 is a assembly language parallel-node programming-focused puzzle game, published on Steam in July 2015 by Zachtronics. For those who aren’t familiar with what “assembly language” is, it is the lowest level of programming language; it is actually what the CPU on your computer is running (mind you, it varies from […]

06 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Book Review: Joyland by Stephen King

Joyland is a mystery novel written by Stephen King and published in 2013 by Hard Case Crime.

Devin Jones is a college student living in New Hampshire who takes a summer job in 1973 at Joyland, a local amusement park as a jack of all trades, but especially for “wearing the fur” which is the expression for wearing the park’s dog mascot costume. Besides the usual things one would expect from a college summer job–getting job experience, making friends, making money, Devin hears about an unsolved murder that happened inside the haunted house ride where a young girl’s throat was cut. Tales of the murder catch the attention of Devin and his friends and they speculate about who did it and how they got away from the scant evidence available. Devin also meets a wheelchair-bound young boy who is not long for this world and who might know more than he should.