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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!

02 December 2016 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #22: “The Schismatic Element Aboard Continental Drift” by Lee Budar-Danoff

“Captain, we have a situation. I’ve been investigating a potential religious sect.”

Captain Madeleine Salim of the generation ship Continental Drift set down her vitamin soup bottle. Instead of spending the start of her shift in contemplation of the new planet below, part of the anti-agoraphobia program mandated by the ship-to-shore landing process, she faced the lieutenant. Ronald Chin resembled the noble eagle from their histories, with short wavy hair, sharp nose and piercing eyes. Salim returned his salute.

“Why wasn’t this brought to my attention immediately?”

Chin stiffened. “I couldn’t report gossip. Rumors of religion crop up during every new generation. In the past, they turned out to be student groups prepping for exams, or thought experiments. I had to rule out those possibilities.” His proper military posture tired Salim, who waved him to a seat.

28 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

TV Review: True Blood Season 7

True Blood was an HBO horror/mystery/romance series based on the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris.

The series as a whole follows Sookie Stackhouse starting shortly after the major world event of vampires “coming out of the coffin”. Where, after a Japanese company perfects the production of synthetic blood branded Tru Blood, vampires reveal themselves to be real and begin to integrate with mainstream society. Sookie has always had mind-reading abilities which has made it difficult to keep a human relationship, so she is immediately drawn to the vampires which she can’t mindread.

True Blood Season 6 ended with a world-changing event, the release of the bio-engineered Hepatitis V virus. Based on a mutation of the Hep-D virus, which only weakens a vampire for a time, Hep V is a much more contagious and much more deadly strain. Humans who contract the virus show no symptoms, but any vampire that drinks their blood will also catch the virus which causes extreme weakening and eventually the true death. It was originally spread using tainted Tru Blood so not only are vampires in danger from the virus, they also have lost their synthetic food source.

25 November 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Anime Review: Orange

Orange is a romance/high school drama with a speculative twist. Sixteen-year-old Naho Takamiya discovers a letter from herself from ten years into that future that tells her to watch for a new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, who will become one of her friends. Though happiness has not eluded future Naho, she has many regrets over things that she wishes her younger self had done differently.

As predicted, Kakeru joins her class that same day, and he’s quickly absorbed into Naho’s circle of friends (both male and female). Though she knows from her letter that Kakeru will not live to see the end of the school year, teenage Naho can’t help falling in love with him.

21 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: FIX by Ferrett Steinmetz

FIX is the third book in the ‘Mancy series by Ferrett Steinmetz. Before I go any further, if you haven’t read the previous two books, FLEX and THE FLUX, I would recommend stopping now and consider reading the earlier books (I reviewed them here and here respectively). There’s been enough backstory and worldbuilding in the first two books that I think starting with the 3rd book might not be the best way to read the series, and it will spoil a bunch of the major plot moments in the first books as well.

18 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Fall 2016 Anime First Impressions

Fall 2016 Anime First Impressions

Fall is well under way and the new anime debuted in October. As usual I watched the first episode of each to decide which series I would like to follow this season.

Because of the new streaming partnership between Funimation and Crunchyroll, this fall is unusual in that everything I watch is now on Crunchyroll since I prefer subtitles. Those who prefer dubs can still find those streaming on Funimation, if a dubbed version exists, but neither site has an exclusive on a particular show anymore now that they’re sharing all new simulcast licenses acquired by either company.

bloodivoresI’m still amazed that such a thing as simulcast dubbing exists. Funimation’s schedule runs about 2-3 weeks behind the Japanese broadcast.

14 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is an 8-bit styled platformer action game published by Yacht Club Games in 2014.

The playable character of the game is the eponymous Shovel Knight who is as you might expect, a knight who uses a shovel as his weapon instead of a sword or other more typical period weapon. Until very recently he has always worked as a team with the also-appropriately named Shield Knight. Their partnership came to an end on an excursion into the Tower of Fate, wherein a cursed amulet wrought a terrible (but only vaguely mentioned) fate–when Shovel Knight awakes he finds that he has been expelled from the now-sealed tower, and Shield Knight is nowhere to be found. His spirit broken by this loss, Shovel Knight retires and becomes a hermit, only returning to combat when the defenseless land is seized by the Evil Enchantress and her Order of No Quarter, a league of evil knights. Shovel Knight returns to battle to combat these new villains.

07 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: Wayward Pines Season 2

Wayward Pines was a weird speculative mystery/thriller show that aired as ten episodes in the summer of 2015–see my review of that season here. At the time that it aired it was unclear whether it was going to be a standalone miniseries or whether there would be a second season–the ending wrapped up a lot of things but left a route to continue the story if it were desired. And, (obviously, given the title of the article) it did return for a second season in the summer of 2016.

02 November 2016 ~ 4 Comments

DP Fiction #21: “The Banshee Behind Beamon’s Bakery” by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Most nights the alley behind Beamon’s Bakery is just an alley.

The street lamp bleeds piss yellow light, casting jagged shadows around the overflowing dumpster and discarded boxes. The walls are tagged with gang signs, claiming territory that was never theirs, yardage, bodies, souls, rights.

Some nights a transient clears away the broken glass, the random detritus, to squat for the night. Setting up camp here has its own rewards. The warmth that seeps through the bakery walls and through brick facing chases away the chill, but not the ghosts. This is the drawback, you see. The alley is never as vacant as it may seem at first, never as lonely as one may wish. The price of physical warmth is the chilling of your soul.

31 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

MEDIA COMPARISON: Wayward Pines, Book Trilogy Vs. TV Season 1

In the summer of 2015 I watched the summer miniseries Wayward Pines on FOX which they ended up renewing for a second season in the summer of 2016.  The events of season 1 of the Wayward Pines TV show  (reviewed here) are based on the events of the Wayward Pines trilogy of books written by Blake Crouch:  Pines was published in 2012 (reviewed here), Wayward in 2013 (reviewed here), and The Last Town in 2014 (reviewed here).  After I finished watching season 1, I read the trilogy of books, and I thought it would be fun to list out some of the major changes between the two.

I’m not going to make any effort to avoid spoilers of the TV show or spoilers of the book, so get out of here if you don’t want that.  Many of the comparisons are going to have to do with major spoilery things.

24 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Town by Blake Crouch

The Last Town is a… I guess I’d call it an SF/horror thriller… the final book in a trilogy written by Blake Crouch and published in 2014 by Thomas & Mercer. There’s no way to discuss the events of this book without major spoilers for the first two books, so if you don’t want to know anything about book 1 and book 2, stop here. I have reviewed book 1 and book 2 already.

It is nearly two thousand years in the future, and pollution of the environment has caused humanity to mutate into vicious animals with only a minor resemblance to the human species we know today. In the late twentieth century rich the scientist David Pilcher predicted this and prepared to save as much of humanity as he could–he perfected the technology of cryogenic sleep, and took 1000 people into sleep with him. This group of people included both a staff of volunteers who came willingly, and those who were abducted without their knowledge under the guise of car accidents and other incidents. After waking up in almost two millennia later, Pilcher discovered that his prediction was correct, and the world was overrun with what he called aberrations or “abbies” for short, humanoid vicious predators who had replaced our species of humanity. He rebuilt the town of Wayward Pines in the mountains of Idaho. Those who had been abducted were woken to live in this town, the nature of the world kept a secret from them and living under the constant threat of capital punishment for breaking a long list of oppressive rules. No one was allowed to leave, though none of the residents know that there is nowhere safe to leave to. Pilcher’s volunteers kept surveillance over the town from a base in the mountains.