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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!

16 February 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #36B: “Artful Intelligence” by G.H. Finn

It was the worst of times. It was the beast of times. It was 1888.

A time of hammered steel, arcane runes and ivory towers. A city of steam. And ghosts.

Such was Londome. A place filled with Angels of despair and Daemons of delight.

We lived in a bold new world of gleaming brass cogs, delicate silks, spellcast iron and intoxicating spices. More than half of which we’d looted from countries we had conquered and ground beneath our feet. All in the name of civilisation, of course.

Beneath the crystal-paned glass of the dome, throughout this most ancient and modern of cities, cobbled streets were filled with glowing gaslights, grinding gears, bloodstained steel, fractal lace and enchanted metal.

12 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

2017 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, with a focus on fiction categories.

The Short Story category is the one that means the most to me, so to help suggest more reading for anyone interested, I’ve listed 10 stories instead of 5.

I left out the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, because I know a lot of amazing people on that list and I don’t want to make people feel bad they got left out (but I’m still going to have to pick 5 for my actual ballot!).

07 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a young adult science fiction novel written by Madeleine L’Engle and first published in 1962–it has been adapted for a movie that will come out in March 2018.

Thirteen-year-old Meg Murry is a smart girl, but who gets into trouble at school.  She excels at math, but not in the way her teachers want her to do the work.  She lives with her mother (a scientist) and her five-year-old brother Charles Wallace is a prodigy.  Her father (also a scientist) has been on a mysterious scientific mission for quite some time and Meg’s not sure when he’s coming back.  They encounter their eccentric new neighbor Mrs. Whatsit, who it soon turns out is a creature from another planet, one of a trio that are nearby. Mrs. Whatsit knows where Meg’s father is, and she knows that he’s in trouble.  Together with the neighbor boy Calvin they set out with Mrs. Whatsit and her friends to transport themselves to another planet and save Mr. Murry.

02 February 2018 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #36A: “9 Things the Mainstream Media Got Wrong About the Ansaj Incident” by Willem Myra

1. Jeter and Amir were neither thugs nor terrorists. They were dumb kids, plain and simple. They meant no harm to anybody, human or alien. They were armed with blatantly obvious toy guns and throughout the whole ordeal they used PG language.

2. They weren’t turned into ash. Weren’t deleted from existence with the pull of a trigger. There was no disintegration ray involved. The alien guarding the main gate used vasoconstrictor-based pistols. That’s how Jeter and Amir died, from internal bleeding. The medical report that wasn’t shown on TV confirmed it.

31 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3 is the 3rd in a series of comedy/action computer animated films feature ex-supervillain Gru and his family:  three adopted daughters, and his partner also-ex-supervillain Lucy.  Gru and Lucy work together at the Anti-Villain League to take down villains like they themselves used to be. Together they track down the 80’s child star turned villain Balthazar Bratt, but fail to capture him.  This combined with an AVL change in management, and both Gru and Lucy are fired from the AVL.  Lucy is struggling with her newfound status as parent, and now Gru is struggling to deal with being unemployed–should he take up his first occupational love–supervillainy?  Pulling him out of his doldrums, Gru is contacted out of the blue by a brother he never knew he had named Dru.

26 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Coco

Coco is the newest adventure/comedy animated film from the ever-popular moviemakers Disney/Pixar, released in November 2017.  The movie tells the story of Miguel, a young Mexican boy who is an aspiring musician in a family where music has been forbidden since Miguel’s great-great-grandfather abandoned his family to pursue his music career.  Miguel idolizes the legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz.

Miguel is determined to enter the music competition on the Day of the Dead (the one day of the year when the dead are allowed to come back from the other side to visit their living relatives, as long as those relatives hang photographs of them in their honor), when his grandmother discovers his guitar and smashes it.  Still determined, he breaks into the tomb of Ernesto de la Cruz to steal the guitar enshrined there.  Stealing from the dead on the Day of the Dead curses him to be sent to the land of the dead (with his stray dog friend Dante tagging along) where only his dead relatives can free him back to the land of the living.

19 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is Episode VIII of the main number Star Wars series, picking up soon after the events of The Force Awakens, and with many of the same characters as well as some new ones.  Rey has just arrived at Luke Skywalker’s secluded hideout to ask for training.  The First Order has broken the New Republic, so that all that’s left of the republic is very limited resources and people, and the First Order has taken over rule of much of the inhabited planets.  Kylo Ren continues to be a main figurehead of the First Order, even as young and inexperienced as he is, and he answers to Supreme Leader Snoke, his Sith master.  

15 January 2018 ~ 4 Comments

DP FICTION #35B: “Brooklyn Fantasia” by Marcy Arlin

Griffin was an undocumented immigrant griffin from Cardiff, Wales. He lived with Bringer of Dreams, a semi-materialized entity from Albuquerque, and Fossil Leaf, an animate rock, on the first floor of a run-down salt box row house in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Griffin had golden fur and an emerald beak and was extremely vain about his fingernails. Rumor had it that he had known Richard the Lion-Hearted, but since he had started the rumor, no one believed him.

12 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Classroom of the Elite

Anime Review: Classroom of the Elite

classroomoftheeliteClassroom of the Elite has some nice ideas, but swings wildly in execution. The premise is that Japan has set up a super elite school where every graduate is guaranteed to be accepted to the college of their choice. Though students are not allowed to leave their entire high school career and communication is cut off with the outside, the living facilities are top notch (there’s even a sizeable mall on campus) and every student is given a budget to live on, starting with 100,000 points (the equivalent of 100,000 yen or $900) to pay for their first month’s expenses.

Students are judged as a classroom, based on merit, and points are awarded at the start of each month. Otherwise they are free to do as they like. Several of the first year students of Class D fritter away that first month’s worth of money with the happy expectation that they will get the same amount next month. Others fall asleep in class once it becomes clear that their teacher won’t say a word if they do.

08 January 2018 ~ 2 Comments

2018 Publishing Schedule

written by David Steffen 2018 will mark some exciting new additions to the Diabolical Plots publishing lineup.  As well as publishing original fiction online, as Diabolical Plots has been doing since 2015, these stories will also be collected into ebook anthologies.  The main goals of this effort are twofold.  First, to find new readers for […]