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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!

27 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ray Bradbury Award Nominees 2015

The Ray Bradbury Award is not a Nebula, but nominations and voting and announcement are all tied up with the Nebula Awards, so its easy to bundle it in. The Ray Bradbury award is for science fiction and fantasy movies and is voted on by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. There is often some overlap with the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form but because of the difference in the voting groups this one seems to veer a bit more toward movies that are heavy on craft while the Hugo tends to lean toward fun popcorn movies.
I tried to watch all the movies before the Nebula voting deadline on end of day March 31st, but I acquire them by renting from Redbox and the release date on Redbox for one of the nominees (Interstellar) isn’t until March 31st. So that’s not enough time in my schedule to rent the movie and watch it. I’ll watch that movie later and give it a separate review.

23 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Nebula Novelette Review 2015

The Nebulas are voted for by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, based on all the published stories from 2014. The Novelette category covers stories between 7500 and 17500 words.

I have only had time to read three of the six stories before the SFWA voting deadline. It’s Ferrett Steinmetz’s fault, really. His first novel FLEX released the first week of March and my reading time was all occupied with reading his book.

20 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Nebula Short Story Review 2015

The full Nebula nominee list is here. The Nebulas are nominated and voted every year by members of SFWA, a professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. The short story category covers stories of 7500 words or less.

02 March 2015 ~ 3 Comments

DP FICTION #1: “Taste the Whip” by Andy Dudak

The ponderous starships mingle like whales in the ghost-light of distant Bellatrix, coupling and mutating in a great, ancient choreography, but one among them is out of step.

Parvati set out for this gathering with the usual intentions: to commune with thousands of her kind, to exchange new strains of life and exotic matter, all that she cannot do by transmission. But on her way here, something went horribly wrong in her core. Now she drifts through the pod with a secret.

Abstaining from communions, she begins to draw attention from the rest of the pod. She knows they are speculating in private networks as the dance falls apart. When the queries begin, she leaves them unanswered.

25 February 2015 ~ 1 Comment

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.