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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 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.

02 January 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP Fiction #23: “Curl Up and Dye” by Tina Gower

Amelia fingered an unruly hair into place, willing her locks to stay safely tucked under her scarf. She prayed the stylists cleansed the utensils between appointments. Last thing she wanted was to pick up another tangle. Although, Dye for a Change was the highest rated Psychosomatic Hair Syndrome recovery shop on Karma-Yelp.

The bell clinked against the metal door like wind chimes. Burnt hair mixed with the distinct chemical scents of nail polish, astringent, and hair spray assaulted her as she entered.

30 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

Aftermath is a Star Wars franchise tie-in novel written by Chuck Wendig and published in September 2015 by Del Rey. Since Disney decided to declare all of the pre-2014 novelizations as a separate timeline from The Force Awakens movie in 2015, Aftermath is one of the few novels in the current movie timeline.

Aftermath picks up shortly after the original movie trilogy. The second Death Star has been destroyed. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine are dead. The Empire is shaken and leaderless, but not gone (keep in mind that this book was published before The Force Awakens hit theaters, so we hadn’t yet met Kylo Ren and the First Order yet). The Rebel Alliance has become the New Republic, trying to restore as much order as possible in the wake of the conflict with the Empire.

26 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: ReLIFE

Despite taking place mostly in a high school, ReLIFE seems to be designed to appeal to people in their twenties and thirties, following the misadventures of twenty-seven year old Arata Kaizaki. Arata got out of grad school a little later than most, got his first job, and then quit after three months. Being twenty-seven and […]

23 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Hacknet

hacknetThe entire game interface takes place on a combination text console that’s made somewhat easier by the graphical interface. The text commands are Linux-based, so if you are familiar with Linux console commands then you’ve got a headstart on navigating the game world, but you do not have to be a computer expert to be able to pick up the game.

19 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy – Despair

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy assumes familiarity with both with the original Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2 video games (the latter of which was never animated). Because of this, this review will also assume familiarity with the franchise. Watching either Danganronpa 3 arc will be very difficult for the uninitiated, even if they’ve […]

16 December 2016 ~ 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: Arrival

Arrival is a science fiction first contact movie released in November 2016, which is based on the short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.  The movie stars Amy Adams, with Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner.

The movie begins shortly after 12 gigantic alien aircraft suddenly appear over various places around the globe, including one in the United States in an isolated spot in Montana.  Linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams), struggling with memories of a lost daughter, is recruited by Army Colonel Weber (Whitaker) to find out why the aliens have come and what they want.  Louise leads the team alongside Ian Donnelly, a theoretical physicist aiming to use science as the medium of communication.  It’s a race against time, because the other 11 eleven alien vessels are communicating with the governments and militaries of other countries.  Do they mean us harm?  Are they willing to share their technology?  Will they share weapons?  What if they share weapons with all those they are in contact with? What if they share weapons with only some of them?  What if the aliens support one country against another. The Army has set up protocols for the meetings, about what exact topics may be spoken of, and exactly how the aliens can be approached, but Louise is willing to take big risks to try to make a breakthrough happen.  Meanwhile, as Louise becomes more and more fatigued from overworking, she struggles with memories of the loss of her daughter, coming to mind at odd moments.