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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!

06 September 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Shrek the Musical

Shrek The Musical is a theater version of the 2001 CG comedy adventure Shrek.  As with the movie, the play is about the ogre Shrek who lives a contented secluded life in a swamp, but his solitude is interrupted with an influx of fairytale creatures who have been evicted by Lord Farquad to transform his kingdom into his perfect image of a kingdom.  When Shrek goes to confront Farquad (meeting Donkey, a talking donkey on the way) he is coerced into mounting a rescue mission of Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower to bring her back to be Farquad’s bride.

01 September 2017 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #31A: “Strung” by Xinyi Wang

The red string around Mom’s ankle does not lead to Dad, and Dad doesn’t have a red string at all. But she makes him laugh with his head thrown back, and he makes her smile the way I do at Ria Ruiz, the prettiest and smartest girl in not just my class but the whole first grade—so they must be in love, no matter what the Old Man in the Moon says.

“I hope I’m like you when I’m older,” I whisper one night, as Dad tucks me in.

He smiles and lifts his brows. “Bald?”

I scrunch up my nose. “No. I mean I don’t want a string, like you. I don’t want the Old Man to tell me who to love.”

Dad looks down at his unburdened ankles for so long I nearly fall asleep. Finally, he presses a kiss to my forehead. “Sweet dreams, Weilai.”

28 August 2017 ~ 0 Comments

EVENT REVIEW: The Science of Pixar

written by David Steffen This summer at the Science Museum of Minnesota, the touring exhibit was The Science Behind Pixar.  There are sections of the exhibit for every stage of the production from concept art, storyboarding, clay modeling, modeling, rigging, motion capture, rendering, and lighting. If you’ve ever wondered how computer animation in general is […]

23 August 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Announcing the Diabolical Plots Year Four Fiction Lineup!

written by David Steffen Diabolical Plots was open for submissions once again for the month of July, to solicit stories to buy for the fourth year of fiction publication.  1003 submissions came in from 720 different writers, of which 25 stories were accepted.  Now that all of the contracts are in hand I am very […]

21 August 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: 1984 by George Orwell

1984 is easily the most well-known dystopian novels, and one of the most famous science fiction novels in history (whether or not Orwell would call it science fiction).  The book was written by George Orwell, and published in 1949.  Almost seventy years later, the political ideas in the story are as relevant as ever, and many of the concepts have since entered everyday vernacular even when those speaking are not familiar with the book itself.  .

In the future of the story, there are only three super-nations across the entire globe–Oceania (which contains the former United States and United Kingdom among others), Eurasia, and Eastasia.  The three super-nations are constantly at war with another in ever-shifting alliances.  The super-nations are all authoritarian states, which maintain control by a combination of ever-present surveillance, constant revision of history, and the limitation destruction of language.

16 August 2017 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #30B: “Typical Heroes” by Theo Kogod

Tony started training the new girl the day before the world ended.

It was the third apocalypse that year.

The others had occurred when the dead all rose to fight the frost giants, and then again when the President’s new cyber-security tracking program became sentient and started sending combat drones against registered voters of the opposing party.

Tony was registered with the opposition, and had actually gotten to see the drones up close and personal as they descended on him, but then one of the supers had flown in and saved him, so he’d ended up still having to go to work.

11 August 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Review: Graphic Story Finalists

The final category I’m reviewing in the Hugo Award review series for this year, this is for the graphic story category. I like graphic stories, but I tend to not do a very good job keeping up with them, so I use this category as a chance to get a sampling from some popular stories.

07 August 2017 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Kill the Plumber

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Many gamers (especially those from the age of 30-40) grew up with Super Mario Bros. as their big introduction to games.  The music, the visuals, the enemies, the plot are all engrained deep in your heart with a lot of loving nostalgia.

Kill the Plumber is a platformer parody of Super Mario Bros. that turns the tables on the classic original.  A psychotic plumber has invaded your kingdom and he is massacring your citizens to pursue the princess who wants nothing more than to get away from her stalker.  So you mobilize your forces to fight this invader.  The plumber is fast and agile, and sometimes has extra powers like fireballs or invincibility, but you have numbers, and you can try each level as many times as you need to.

02 August 2017 ~ 3 Comments

DP FICTION #30A: “For Now, Sideways” by A. Merc Rustad

The text pings her mech’s computer out of nowhere. Victory is ours. Holst lowers her railguns, steps back from the blown-apart husks of the birdshells. Can’t wipe the cracked viewscreen clean or the streaks of blood dried onto the rivets. Her lungs burn. For years, she’s felt like she’s suffocating—no oxygen left, just smoke and […]

31 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The LEGO Batman Movie

written by David Steffen The Lego Batman movie is a comedy/action computer animated movie by Warner Bros. Pictures released in February 2017.  It is a followup, if not exactly a sequel, to The Lego Movie (reviewed here).  The connection with The Lego Movie is slight apart from the obvious connection that they’re Lego-based worlds:  Batman […]