written by David Steffen This is the second in a new series that I’m very excited about wherein I examine a music video by a well-known artist as a short film, trying to identify the story arcs and the character motivations, and consider the larger implications of things that we get glimpses of in the … Continue reading MUSIC VIDEO DRILLDOWN #2: Never Really Over by Katy Perry
written by David Steffen This is the first in a new series that I’m very excited about wherein I examine a music video by a well-known artist as a short film, trying to identify the story arcs and the character motivations, and consider the larger implications of things that we get glimpses of in the … Continue reading MUSIC VIDEO DRILLDOWN #1: Tightrope by Janelle Monáe
written by David Steffen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the 9th and final movie in the “main” numbered episodes of the Star Wars Franchise that largely centers around the rebels vs the Empire. Between this and the last movie a strange message has been broadcast which has the appearance of being Emperor Palpatine … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
written by David Steffen What We Do in the Shadows is an original TV series, a spinoff of the 2014 movie of the same title (reviewed here). Season one aired on FX between March 2019 and May 2019, and it has been renewed for a second season, airing soon. Similar to the movie, the format … Continue reading TV REVIEW: What We Do in the Shadows Season 1
written by David Steffen For most of its existence, Diabolical Plots has had one person, me, behind the curtain, with the occasional nonfiction contributor and of course the fiction writers. In the last couple of years we have started to shift that policy and have taken on first readers (aka slushreaders) who help out during … Continue reading Announcement: Diabolical Plots Has an Assistant Editor!
School’s out, and everybody wants to see the Great Old Ones: the line into the Miskatonic Zoo doubles back and winds out the gates. The American and Massachusetts flags barely flutter above the gate, and the sun today is merciless in a cloudless sky. I ask my grandchildren, Caleb and Cody, if they wouldn’t rather go to a museum or park, catch a ball game, or go anywhere at all less crowded, but they won’t be swayed. The zoo has been closed for renovations for two years now, and they want to see the Great Old Ones in their new, “natural” habitats.
It was originally built as a prison. It looked the part even when they opened it to public tours, back when I was a baby. It hadn’t done much to change its look in the last 70 years. I’m almost as curious as my grandkids. I’m old enough to have seen America stumble toward evolved attitudes on many things, and the Old Races are a good example. It always starts with fear. Horrors lurking in the dark. And then something shines a light on that fear, and once we see it, we can face it, fight it, drag it into the sunshine, and conquer it. And once we’re not afraid anymore, we can afford to be generous. We make accommodations. We give the object of our fear a place in society—as long as it can never threaten us again. So now the prison for monsters has become a habitat for exotic animals. It happened in a generation.
written by David Steffen Since there’s going to be a lot of people at home a lot more than usual in the near future, we’ve put the Diabolical Plots anthologies on sale for 99 cents USD (or similar value in other currencies) at all ebook vendors. (That is the “Diabolical Plots” anthologies collecting the stories … Continue reading The “Diabolical Plots” Anthologies on Sale
written by David Steffen The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch is a 2019 polished and expanded version of the 1993 Game Boy game of the same title. It is part of the Legend of Zelda series of games that came out shortly after The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the … Continue reading VIDEO GAME REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)
written by David Steffen Clarkesworld continues strong this year with a mix of science fiction and fantasy, and edited by Neil Clarke, with Kate Baker producing and usually narrating the podcast. They published 80 stories in 2019 by my count. Their translation stories are many of my favorites, as they have been for the past … Continue reading The Best of Clarkesworld 2019
written by David Steffen Lightspeed Magazine is the award-nominated science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, and their podcast is produced by the excellent Skyboat Media. They publish about half of the stories they publish in text. They published about 48 stories in the podcast. The stories eligible for the upcoming award season are … Continue reading The Best of Lightspeed 2019