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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!

23 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Young Black Jack

Let’s start from the beginning with this one. Black Jack was an extremely popular manga that ran from the early 1970s to the early 1980s written and illustrated by legendary manga creator Osamu Tezuka (best known in the US for Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion).

young black jackBlack Jack is the titular unlicensed surgeon who charges exorbitant amounts of money to perform his job. He gets away with his fees because he’s a medical genius who can save a life when no one else can, but despite his money grubbing image, he’s not as mercenary as he pretends to be.

20 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: Wayward Pines Season 1

Wayward Pines was a 10-episode horror/science fiction miniseries written by M. Night Shyamalan which aired on Fox between May and July 2015. The story begins as U.S. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke travels to Wayward Pines, Idaho to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents who were last heard from as they approached the mysterious little town. After a car accident en route, Ethan wakes up in the Wayward Pines hospital, unable to contact anyone and unable to leave. In many ways it seems like a stereotypical small town, but there are big warning signs that something is not right in this little town–the strange things that people say, the strict rules the town keeps about not talking about your past and not asking questions. Meanwhile, back at home his wife and son are starting to wonder about him–as a Secret Service agent he can’t ever talk about his work, but after he’s been gone for several days without any news from his office, they set out to find him.

19 May 2016 ~ 4 Comments

Sneak Peek: The New and Improved Submission Grinder

ApexTimelineIf you’ve stopped by the Submission Grinder website since I posted this article, you may have noticed some changes. What you’re seeing is an overhaul of the site that’s been in the works for quite some time now. The new site includes all the features you’re familiar with, plus some exciting new ones. I’ve written this article to show off some of the new changes. As always, the site is free to use whether you register an account or not. I encourage you to go check out the new site for yourself, or for the first time if you’re a newcomer to the site.

Now that this big batch of features is rolled out, it should be much easier for me to roll out individual features as they are ready to launch. I have a lot of ideas that I think you’re all going to love; it’s just a matter of prioritizing them and finishing them one by one.

16 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Fafner: Exodus

the perfect insiderFafner: Exodus is a series made for the hardcore fan. It’s a sequel to the 2004 Fafner: Dead Aggressor TV series and 2010 Fafner: Heaven and Earth movie, both of which have made it to the US, and also makes nods to the direct to video prequel Fafner: Right of Left, which did not make it to English language audiences. As such, this review will contain spoilers for previous entries.

Exodus makes only the barest attempt to catch up the audience on anything, and what does come out is mostly because of the three year time skip since the movie. The high schoolers of Dead Aggressor are now young adults whose time in a mecha is coming to an end due to the reduced compatibility that occurs as a pilot ages, so it’s natural to show how everyone is moving on. I think it’s telling that all but one of them has chosen a non-combat-related line of work prior to the start of the series. They’ve put in their time and none of them have been left unscarred.

13 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

What’s Wrong With My Readers?!

By the submission deadline, I’d been working on this story for a while. For days, I’d been chiseling tiny pieces off and molding others. I don’t have the natural talent the pros do so it felt like I had to fight for everything until finally, exhausted, I clicked The Button. My story was out of my hands. After that, the waiting started. A new batch released for judging each day with no sign of mine until near the end. Finally, it was time to get some feedback. When people started to critique it, though, something happened and I became… unstuck. I found myself falling backwards in time to a different century, state, and even career. I was back in Santa Monica, it was the 90’s, and I was back in software development.

09 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Clarkesworld 2015

Clarkesworld Magazine has had an incredible year. As I write these lists I am considering my own Nebula and Hugo nomination ballots and I think that no less than 3 of my 5 picks might come from Clarkesworld. This year they’ve been publishing a monthly story translated from Chinese as part of an ongoing initiative to share more Chinese author’s works with the English reading fandom. These stories have been a wonderful change of pace, different in some ways from what I’m used to in works written in English, something new and fresh.

The magazine continues to be edited by Neil Clarke, published by Sean Wallace, and the podcast is hosted and most-often narrated by Kate Baker of the excellent voice.

02 May 2016 ~ 9 Comments

DP Fiction #15: “Further Arguments in Support of Yudah Cohen’s Proposal to Bluma Zilberman” by Rebecca Fraimow

Dear Bluma,

I heard that Hershel Schmulewitz, that blockhead, has also presumed to ask for your hand in marriage, which gives you two proposals to consider. Now, you needn’t worry that this will be a sentimental or a wheedling sort of letter. You already know how I feel, and I suppose Hershel’s not so much of a blockhead that he doesn’t feel the same way. I’m simply writing to lay out the reasons, plainly and concisely, why it would certainly be more to your benefit to marry me.

25 April 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Drabblecast 2015

written by David Steffen Drabblecast is a podcast of the weird and speculative.  It is the closest publication to consistently hitting my own personal tastes, with a tendency towards especially strange and often funny ideas.  Since its beginning it has been edited and hosted by Norm Sherman.  This year marked a big change with Nathaniel […]

18 April 2016 ~ 1 Comment

The Best of Escape Pod 2015

Escape Pod, the original science fiction podcast, is still running more than ten years later. It continues to be edited by Norm Sherman. Mur Lafferty began the year as editor-at-large (whatever that means) but moved on to the sister publication Mothership Zeta.

Escape Pod published 40 stories in 2015.

13 April 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Podcastle 2015

Podcastle, the fantasy branch of the Escape Artists podcast, has been running for almost eight years now. And this has been an eventful year for the podcast for several reasons:

They upgraded their pay rate for new fiction to professional rates. The other Escape Artists sister publications are now all pro-paying as well. I’m hoping that will draw ever wider talent (and hopefully get more award interest).
They are now paying their voice acting talent for the first time.
Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind have stepped down from co-editor positions.
Kitty Niclaian and Dawn Phynix were chosen to co-edit, but were unable to fill the roles.
Finally, Rachael Jones and Graeme Dunlop are now the co-editors.
Podcastle published 69 stories in 2015.