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07 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: End of Watch by Stephen King

End of Watch is a speculative mystery book by Stephen King, the third in a series of mystery books about retired detective Bill “Kermit” Hodges.  The first book in the series is Mr. Mercedes, the second book is Finders Keepers.  The nature of the series means that I can’t really describe the contents of this book without major spoilers for the other books, especially Mr. Mercedes.  So, if you don’t want those spoiled, stop right here.

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05 September 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Diabolical Plots Year Four Available for Preorder!

Diabolical Plots Year Four is now available for pre-order at major ebook vendors like Amazon and Kobo!  See the books page for links for this and all of the other books published by Diabolical Plots.

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20 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Uncanny Magazine Podcast

Uncanny Magazine is an online Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine with a commitment to diversity.  Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damien Thomas are the co-publishers and co-editors-in-chief, and Michi Trota is the managing editor.  The first issue of Uncanny Magazine was published in November 2014.  Uncanny Magazine has already been nominated for and won multiple SF/F awards, including winning the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine, and multiples stories first published there nominated in the Hugo story categories, winning a Parsec award, as well as being a finalist for World Fantasy Award and Locus Award.

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13 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

DP Submission Email Delay

written by David Steffen This morning the Diabolical Plots submission system started experiencing issues sending emails, so this will prevent me from properly resolving submissions until it’s fixed. Also, submissions can be made and you will get the confirmation number on the site (write that down if you want to check status!), but the issue […]

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27 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO BOOK REVIEW: Provenance by Ann Leckie

Provenance is a science fiction novel written by Ann Leckie released in September 2017, which takes place in the same universe as her breakout Imperial Radch trilogy (Ancillary Justice (2013) , Ancillary Sword (2014), Ancillary Mercy (2015)).  This book takes place shortly after the events of Ancillary Mercy.  It doesn’t share any of the characters or settings, but some of the political forces, cultures, technology, and alien races are familiar to those who’ve read the trilogy.  I don’t think you’d have any trouble following the story if you hadn’t read the trilogy, and I think it would work fine as a standalone, but you may have a shortcut to understanding certain elements from having seen the cultures and species in the previous books.

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25 September 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is the 4th and final movie in the Hunger Games movie series, which is based on the second half of the third book of the written trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and was released by Lionsgate Films in November 2015.

Twelve districts are ruled over by the capital of PanAm.  In continued punishment for a rebellion 75 years ago, the capital rules over the districts oppressively, including forcing children from each community to participate in annual Hunger Games–tournaments to the death both for the entertainment of the capital and to send messages about rebellions.  Inspired by the rebellious actions of Katniss Everdeen of District Twelve, and from their new stronghold in District Thirteen that was previously thought destroyed by almost everyone, the districts are in open conflict with the capital for the first time in 75 years.

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23 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Finding Dory

Finding Dory is a 2016 Pixel animated children’s adventure film sequel to the popular 2003 film Finding Nemo.  I don’t think that you necessarily need to have seen the original film to be able to watch this one and understand it, though some tie-in scenes between the two as well as established character relationships may make more sense if you are familiar with the previous one.

The characters are all fish, and the story starts in the ocean with the main characters from the previous film: the clownfish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), his young son Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence), and their friend a blue tang fish Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres).  As Dory will tell anyone she meets, probably repeatedly, she suffers from short-term memory loss.  She tends to forget what she’s doing, who people are, what’s happening, frequently and completely, though she is capable of remembering some things sometimes, such as recognizing and trusting Marlin and Nemo.

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29 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Sneetches: The Musical

I am a lifelong Dr. Seuss fan, so I was very excited to hear that Sneetches: The Musical. In case you haven’t heard of it, “The Sneetches” is a children’s story by children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss (the pen name of Theodor Geisel), published in the collection The Sneetches and Other Stories originally published in 1953 and still available in print.

The original Sneetches story was very short, but was one of Seuss’s most memorable pieces, about two groups of birds whose only distinguishing characteristics are that one group has green stars on their bellies and the other has none. The star-belly sneetches use this cosmetic difference as a reason to justify poor treatment of the poor-belly sneetches while the star-belly sneetches exclude plain-belly sneetches from all of their social events. This inequality continues unchanged until the shyster businessman Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town selling the use of a machine that will put stars on bellies, and then when the original star-belly sneetches complain about the injustice of it all he offers use of another machine that will remove stars from bellies, and the sneetches all run from one machine to another until all of the sneetches are bankrupt. McBean leaves town much richer than when he came, and the sneetches actually learn a lesson from the ordeal–all treating each other as equals.

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26 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Moana

Moana is a 2016 animated comedy/action film from Disney.

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is the chieftan’s daughter on the island of a Polynesian island of Motunui. The tribe has lived there happily as long as they remember, living off the bounties of the island the lagoon around. The ocean has been forbidden to them for generations, since the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) stole the heart of Te Fiti, the goddess who gave life to all the islands before himself being seperated from his magical fishhook that served as both a weapon and as the aid to his magical transformative power to turn into animals of the air and sea.

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21 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

REVIEW: Hugo Short Story Finalists

Science fiction award season is here again, and the Hugo final ballot was announced for WorldCon 75 in Helsinki Finland. Lots of familiar names and publications on the list, and I’m looking forward to reading more of their work. Note that this year marks the instatement of some new rules by those who attended the WSFS meetings at the last two WorldCons, meant to counteract the voter collusion dominating the ballot in the last few years. First, although voters could still only nominate five things for each category, there are six finalists on the ballot instead of five. Second, there is a new nomination-counting procedure in place meant to weaken the effect of large groups of people voting for the exact same ballot, a rule called E Pluribus Hugo which I have researched and understood and then completely forgotten about several times since it was first proposed a couple years ago. And the rule changes do appear to have an effect–the ballot looks different than it has the last couple of years.

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