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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 October 2019 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #56B: “Save the God Damn Pandas” by Anaea Lay

My job? Purity shaming pandas. It’s great. You loom over a living, breathing, talking embodiment of the international fixation on world peace and you shout, “Why won’t you fuck, you lazy motherfucker?” And then you play them some porn. 

Okay, it’s not actually like that.

At all.

Really, my job kind of sucks.

14 October 2019 ~ 1 Comment

The Horowitz Method: A Metrics-Based Approach to Rank-Ordering Musical Groups

written by David Steffen (and no one else, alas) INTRODUCTION Since time immemorial, one of the perennial topics of humankind has been to compare music.  Whether pop is better than country, whether this band is better than that band, or this song better than that song.  Before the invention of writing, one can imagine heated arguments […]

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11 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: Castle Rock Season 1

written by David Steffen Castle Rock is a horror/fantasy drama series based in one of the common fictional locations and with some of the fictional characters of Stephen King’s novels. Season 1 aired in 2018, and a second season is upcoming later this month. You may recognize the town if you’ve read the books: Cujo, […]

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07 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3

written by David Steffen The Handmaid’s Tale is a TV show presented on the Hulu streaming service, based on the 1984 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, which was previously reviewed here, about a near-future dystopia in which the USA has become an extremely oppressive theocracy in which women are second-class citizens, especially the handmaids who […]

02 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #56A: “Tracing an Original Thought” by Novae Caelum

It’s like this: if the world has a food shortage, you eliminate hunger by leaving the planet, taking all your animals and plants in your genetic ark, and finding a new planet on which to grow and flourish. 

It’s also like this: if the world has a distribution of wealth crisis, you eliminate poverty by never having elites in your new society. At least for a little while. At least, that was the plan.

And if the world has a gender crisis, an inability for equality, you eliminate gender. 

30 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: What Do You Meme?

written by David Steffen What Do You Meme is a 2017 meme-based competitive punchline card game by Fuckjerry. Each player is dealt a hand of cards, and then for each round an image from a meme is displayed for everyone and they have to pick the best caption for the image from their hand. One player acts as […]

27 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Sushi Go!

written by David Steffen Sushi Go is a competitive point-scoring strategy game, published in 2013 by Gamewright. The game is based around grabbing sushi as it whirls by and making yourself an excellent three-course meal. Everyone starts with a hand of cards. You all pick one card, lay it face down on the table. When you’re all ready, […]

25 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

STORY ANALYSIS: “Optimizing the Verified Good” by Effie Seiberg

written by David Steffen For another round of story analysis, I wanted to draw attention to the short story “Optimizing the Verified Good” by Effie Seiberg, first published in Analog September/October 2018, and reprinted in audio in Escape Pod. As with the previous run of the Story Analysis, do expect SPOILERS after this paragraph, but […]

20 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #55C: “Fresh Dates” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires

SFX, International Terminal

The scuttling of a million feet before him, the collective aspirations to get somewhere resounded in the marble hall, while he stared at his stubby chin in the glass. He rubbed a growing five o’clock shadow with a soft hand. “Paging passenger Carl Rogers. Please come to Gate 48B. Paging passenger Karl Rogers. Please come to Gate 48B.” The near-garbled voice issuing forth from the speakers was far from honeyed, but there was something sweet about the announcement and the cadence of the passenger’s name. At that moment, he would do anything to be Karl Rogers, to have such a short three syllabled name, so he could be rushing about like the many others rushing about. Needing to get somewhere and feeling the inadequacy of bipedalism in hauling body and material possessions to reach that end. 

16 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

STORY ANALYSIS: “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by Tina Connolly

written by David Steffen I am trying out a new feature that I might run occasionally here, where I pick a story that I particularly liked, and pick it apart to try to figure out why it worked so well. For this first entry, I’ll be talking about “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by […]