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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!

03 September 2018 ~ 3 Comments

DP FICTION #43A: “Glass in Frozen Time” by M.K. Hutchins

I freeze time. The frothing soap suds in the sink become glaciers. Dust motes hang in the air like stars. And I move.

I catch Sadie’s plate of mac n’ cheese before it splatters to the floor. While I’m there, I wipe down the table, fix Sadie’s pigtails, then — what the heck — I run downstairs and start a load of laundry.

Then I’m at the kitchen sink, water streaming, motes spinning, and Sadie’s three-year-old voice bubbling merrily on. “— I so happy to go to my Nana’s house!”

“Me too, sweet pea.” 

28 August 2018 ~ 2 Comments

The Diabolical Plots Year Five Fiction Lineup

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.  1288 submissions came in from 915 different writers, of which 26 stories were accepted.  Now that all of the contracts are in hand I am very pleased to share with you the lineup. 

There is a lot of strangeness in this lineup, varying wildly in tone from humor to drama.  I hope you’ll like them as much as I do.

All of these stories will be published for the first time around March 2019 in an ebook anthology Diabolical Plots Year Five, and then will be published regularly on the Diabolical Plots site between April 2019 and March 2020, with each month being sent out to newsletter subscribers the month before.

27 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Minit

Minit is  a puzzle adventure game with a very short time limit published by Devolver Digital in April 2018.

The story begins as the duckbilled protagonist finds a sword lying on a beach.  But it turns out to be a cursed sword that will kill the holder one minute after finding it, only to be spawned back at his house only to repeat again and again and again!  Apparently these cursed swords are being produced at a local factory, so you need to go find the factory and complain.  Which wouldn’t be so hard, if you didn’t respawn every minute.  Minit is an incremental problem solver, where for each incarnation you have a minute to try to make some kind of progress, find a new item, find a new friend who might give you a clue, open a new shortcut to save you time next time.  Where the trend is always bigger bigger bigger, bigger world to explore, larger and larger map, it’s an interesting take to head in the other direction.  The game is fun, has a good sense of humor and the minute limit keeps everything pretty fast-paced.

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.

15 August 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #42B: “The Vegan Apocalypse: 50 Years Later” by Benjamin A. Friedman

Dear valued McFleshy’s patrons, 

On this, the solemn 50th anniversary of the Vegan Apocalypse, we’d like to thank you — our loyal Consumers-of-the-McFlesh™ — for relying on McFleshy’s (and only on McFleshy’s) for all your dietary needs. As you know, without your loyal patronage our tremendous planet would have surely long since fallen prey (yet again) to the Vegans. Instead, thanks to your fortitude — we’re still here. And thanks to us (and the delicious McFlesh™) — you are too!

For it is only together by consuming at least three juicy Fleshies™ a day, that we can be certain to avoid the fate of our Beloved Billion™ — keeping the Earth safe for all our children…and all our children’s children – etc. 

13 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Zombies

Zombies is a Disney Channel original musical movie that debuted in February 2018.  The story takes place in the “perfect” planned community of Seabrook where everyone fits the 1950s stereotype of a perfect family (and everyone wears pastel pink or pastel blue).  Or they all did fit, until a tragic power plant accident turns half the town into brain-eating zombies.  But they got better, once the government invented and issued Z-Bands, watches that deliver soothing electrical shocks to the wrists to make them like other people.  Zombies returned to a semblance of normal life years ago, though they look different (with green hair and pale white skin) and are forced to wear government issue clothing, and live in the neglected slums.  But a recent change to the law has forced Seabrook High to accept zombie students.

06 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a 2018 science fiction action/adventure YA movie, directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by Walt Disney, based on the 1962 book of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle (which I reviewed here).

The main protagonist of the movie is Meg Murray (Storm Reid), a teenage girl whose scientist father (Chris Pine) disappeared mysteriously five years ago.  She lives with her scientist mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and very intelligent but peculiar five-year-old brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe).  Charles Wallace befriends a strange woman in the neighborhood who calls herself Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), who tells Charles Wallace and Meg that their father discovered the secret of using “tesseracts” to travel long distances but is now trapped on a dark planet called Camazotz by a powerful adversary known only as the IT (David Oyelowo) and that only they can save him.  Meg’s friend Calvin (Levi Miller) joins them and they meet Mrs. Whatsit’s friends, Mrs. Which (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Who (Oprah Winfrey), and together they “tesser” away from Earth to find Meg’s father.  

01 August 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #42A: “Medium Matters” by R.K. Duncan

Medium Matters is an occasional series exclusively on TheQuill.com. You can support Marissa and all our creators by donating on our Patron page.

Dear Medium Matters, 

I think something supernatural, like a curse, or a hex, or an evil eye, is wrong with my house, or with me, or with my Scotty, Baxter. He’s been acting strange lately. He’s always been quiet, especially for a little dog, but these last few weeks he’s been barking all the time. He wakes me up two or three times every night, barking and growling. He snaps, not at guests or the mailman or anything, just at blank walls and empty rooms. He’s a good dog. Yesterday, he was staring at the wall and growling and then he jumped into it and tried to bite it so hard he left a dent in the drywall.

It’s not just Baxter though. I’ve been feeling anxious lately, and I swear it’s not just in my head. Little things are getting moved around, like my makeup. I always keep it very organized, but I’ve found everything thrown around like a teenager’s room three times in the last two weeks. Other little things in my bedroom get moved around too. 

30 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MEDIA COMPARISON: Sookie Stackhouse books vs. novels

Now that I have seen the entire True Blood TV series and all of the Sookie Stackhouse novels that they were based on, I have been thinking about the differences between the two and was thinking about writing up a post. This is certainly not intended to be an exhaustive list–there could easily be a book written listing out all the differences, especially since after the first few books/seasons, the two plots diverge wildly in almost every respect. So, I am only going to note a limited number, and the ones which I found the most striking, because I find it interesting to compare adaptations of a fictional universe to different media formats.

Obviously, this will be spoiler rich, as I will be covering some major plot points for the entire run of both the TV and movie series.

25 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Ever After

Dead Ever After is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2013, the thirteenth and final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.