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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!

24 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Short Story Review: “Asymmetrical Warfare” by S.R. Algernon

Asymmetrical warfare is one of the Hugo Finalists for the short story category this year. It was published by Nature Magazine’s Futures feature, and you can read it here in its entirety.
“Asymmetrical Warfare” is a science fiction story written as a military mission log from the point of view of militant starfish-like aliens invading earth with the hopes of proving earthlings’ battle prowess as a way of inducting the species into the Galactic Union. The aliens have made the assumption that earthlings are anatomically similar to themselves (including body regeneration) because of the commonly used five-pointed stars on earthling spacecraft.

23 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

Diabolical Plots is open for submissions!

See the guidelines for more details.

Science Fiction, fantasy, speculative horror. 8 cents/word, 2 stories/writer, up to 3500 words, open through end of July.

20 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Erased

erasedErased is based on the manga Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (The Town Where Only I am Missing) and while I’m sorry to lose the more poetic title, the story itself is no less meaningful.

Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old man working a dead end job as a pizza delivery guy. He used to have dreams of becoming a manga artist, but like many people, those dreams didn’t pan out and he’s doing what he can to get by.

Unlike most people though, Satoru has what he considers a bothersome ability. Every now and then what he calls Revival kicks in and he flashes back a few minutes in time. After the rewind, if he makes the effort to look around, he can find out where something has gone wrong and take the opportunity to change it. This allows him to save a kid’s life, though the reason he considers the ability bothersome is that his intervention usually costs him in some way, like ending up in the hospital after stopping a wayward truck.

17 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Short Story Review: “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer

“Cat Pictures Please” is one of the Hugo Finalists for the short story category this year. It was published by Clarkesworld Magazine, and you can read it here in its entirety or listen to it in audio.

The protagonist of “Cat Pictures Please” is an AI written as the core of a search engine algorithm. As the story points out, an AI isn’t needed to find things that people search for, but it is needed to find what people need. The search engine knows a lot about people, including things they will not share with each other.

13 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Spring 2016 Anime First Impressions

Spring 2016 Anime First Impressions

ace attorneyThere are a lot of high profile anime series for the 2016 spring season, most of them being returning shows, but the new kids on the block have left me less impressed with only one series becoming a must watch. Ushio and Tora is back though, and that’s a good thing.

Of the new shows, there were six that I found worth checking out.

10 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Cast of Wonders 2015

Cast of Wonders is the young adult fiction podcast. They have a broader definition of YA than you’ll typically find on bookshelves, especially in terms of the protagonist’s demographic–who need not be young adults. The podcast continues to be edited by Marguerite Kenner.

This has been a momentous year for Cast of Wonders. They announced their big news at WorldCon in August, and more widely in metacasts in October. Cast of Wonders is changing owners, from Wolfsbane Publishing to the Escape Artists family of podcasts. Escape Artists, before last year, consisted of Pseudopod, Podcastle, and Escape Pod. The non-audio publication Mothership Zeta launched last year two to make a family of five publications instead of three. Along with this change in ownership comes a major increase in pay for writers whose work is published as well, bringing them up to SFWA’s qualifying rate for original fiction. This change all has gone into effect as of the beginning of 2016.

06 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Con Report: SFWA Nebula Conference

2016_05_16_0949The Nebula awards are one of the two big awards you can win in speculative fiction (the other being the Hugo awards). The Nebulas are put on by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and include not only the big, fancy, academy award-style award ceremony, but also a conference for professional writers.

01 June 2016 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #16: “The Weight of Kanzashi” by Joshua Gage

In order to prevent contamination on the space station, all the members of the shuttle crew have to be thoroughly sterilized. This means systematically cleansing themselves and their skin of all potential contaminates, including their hair. All crew members have to be completely shaved and waxed before launch. Despite this being her seventeenth mission, Yukino Kojima is always stunned at how easily her hair falls away beneath the barber’s clippers, gathering around her ankles like strands of silver fog and leaving a gray fuzz to be waxed off.

30 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Dance with Devils

dance with devilsDance with Devils was a pleasant surprise considering that I almost didn’t watch it, and it ended up being one of my must-watch shows of the season. It’s not a brilliant show, but as a guilty pleasure? Hell yeah!

Ritsuka Tachibana thinks she’s a normal high school student, until her house gets ransacked by vampires looking for a mysterious Grimoire and kidnap her mother in the process. The various members of the student council turn up alternately trying to help or seduce her, as they’re all devils who are similarly after the Grimoire and believe she is key to finding it. And to top it off, her brother comes home from overseas and he’s secretly an exorcist, but that doesn’t mean she can entirely trust him either as there’s a lot he’s not telling her about their family history.

27 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Lightspeed (and Fantasy) Podcast 2015

Lightspeed is as good as ever, another big source for my award nominations each year. John Joseph Adams continues to edit the magazine. In 2015 they ran the wildly successful Kickstarter for their Queers Destroy Science Fiction special issue. The QDSF special issue was published in May, and the Queers Destroy Fantasy followup was published in the occasionally-resurrected Fantasy Magazine page in December. The QDSF issue was edited by Seanan McGuire, Steve Berman, Sigrid Ellis, Mark Oshiro, and Wendy N. Wagner. The QDF issue was edited by Christopher Barzak, Liz Gorinsky, and Matthew Cheney. Check out the Destroy site for more information about this series of projects (People of Color Destroy Science Fiction is the 2016 special edition upcoming)
Lightspeed publishes about half of their stories in podcast form. The Lightspeed podcast published 52 stories, and the QDF special issues published 2 more.