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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 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #8: “The Grave Can Wait” by Thomas Berubeg

Old James McGrath was widely held to be the orneriest man on the frontier. They say he glared down a rattler so bad the critter’s great-great grandkids were afeared of venturing onto his land. They say that, once, a real big twister, one of them mean old suckers only found in the frontier lands, was sent packing straight back into its girlfriend’s arms by his bilious vitriol. They even say that tricky Coyote tried to swindle him out of his ranch, but ended up walking away missing thirty acres of prime real estate. It came as no surprise, then, that when Death came for McGrath in the shape of a late spring cold, he sent Old Boney packing with pant bottoms full of lead.

30 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Long List Anthology Kickstarter: The Home Stretch!

A City On It's Tentacles (1)It occurs to me 20 days into a 26 day Kickstarter campaign for the Long List anthology that I have not actually mentioned the Kickstarter campaign on my own website. It has been a crazy 20 days and so much has been happening this particular thing has been postponed while I was working on other factors related to the campaign. Well, better late than never, and with 6 days left in the campaign there is still some time for those who are interested to back the project to get their rewards and to help push toward the couple of remaining stretch goals.

You can read more detailed information on the Kickstarter page, but I’ll give a brief rundown here.

28 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

The Shepherd’s Crown is the fourth installment in the Tiffany Aching subseries set on Discworld, written by Terry Pratchett. Pratchett passed away earlier this year and this is his final published work. On a personal note, it is a somber thought to think that I have read every Discworld story there ever will be.

Tiffany Aching is a full witch these days, the only witch of her homeland known as the Chalk, a land of sheep and plains, though she has a strong bond with the witches of Lancre who trained her in witchery. She spends her days taking care of the business of witching, which is mostly a matter of taking care of practical everyday things–bringing food to the homebound elderly, helping people with their ailments, being a sort of broom-flying country doctor.

21 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul is a messy bag that almost made me quit watching twice, but the thing is, when it’s good, it’s powerful stuff. It’s unfortunate that the audience has to deal with so many ups and down that it gives the impression that the showrunners really had no idea what they were doing when they adapted Sui Ishida’s manga.

14 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Unaddressed Issues in YA Dystopian Fiction

The Unaddressed Issues in YA Dystopian Fiction

The future of mankind is dark, desolate and generally pretty frightening. At least, that is what dystopian fiction like The Giver and The Maze Runner would have us believe. Dystopian fiction pictures a future world where many of our current problems are escalated to extreme proportions.These fictitious works are set sometime in the future after we have continued down our current path of destruction and the end result is a world overrun by violence, greed and sometimes even a creepy monster or two. There is an overarching presence of oppression by some sort of political force in all these works of fiction, and it is when citizens of these dystopias realize the system they live in isn’t the one they want to live in, that the story typically begins.

09 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Gunslinger Stratos

Gunslinger Stratos is the rare show I decided to watch despite having low expectations of it. It’s based off an arcade game only released in Japan, and because of being an arcade game, I was not expecting much of a plot. Mostly, I wanted to watch it because it had an interesting concept involving parallel timelines and the potential for really cool anti-gravity gunslinging combat scenes.

01 September 2015 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #7: “A Room for Lost Things” by Chloe N. Clark

“It’s not always there,” Kelly said.

Rose looked at her niece. “What isn’t always there?”

“The room next to mine. It’s not there all the time.”

28 August 2015 ~ 3 Comments

Diabolical Plots Fiction Lineup (Year Two)

written by David Steffen Diabolical Plots opened for fiction submissions for the month of July, one story per writer for the submission window.  During that month 425 valid submissions arrived in the slushpile.  59 stories were held for a second look.  13 stories were purchased.  Both rounds of the process were judged entirely by me, […]

26 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Chasing the Phoenix by Michael Swanwick

Chasing the Phoenix is a science fiction novel by Michael Swanwick, published by Tor Books earlier this month.

The book stars Swanwick’s recurring characters, the con men Darger and Surplus. As the story begins, Surplus is journeying through a future China with the Darger’s corpse carried on the back of a yak, seeking the services of the legendary healer the Infallible Physician to raise Darger from the dead. Once that’s happened (it happens early enough in the book that I don’t think that counts as a spoiler). Considering greed a virtue, the con men are always looking for ways to profit from their circumstances. Surplus, who is an anthropomorphic dog, has used his appearance to his advantage by pretending to be an immortal, and with Surplus rising from the dead they have soon gained the attention of powerful people involved in a brewing civil war. Even among one side of the war, there are always those jockeying for power and willing to kill to get their way, and soon the two con men are working all sides just to stay alive.

21 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW (Conclusion): The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Translated by Ken Liu)

Less than a month ago, just before the Hugo Award voting deadline, I gave a preliminary review of the first 100 pages or so of the Hugo-nominated novel The Three Body Problem. I gave the partial review then to get it published before the Hugo deadline, but since then I’ve finished reading. This review will be pretty brief because I don’t want to spoil everything, and the truth about what exactly explains the weirdness that’s happened so far in the book takes a while to unroll.