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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!

10 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Lobster

written by David Steffen The Lobster is an internationally-produced 2015 dystopian black comedy film. In the near future, all adults in society is expected to be in a long-term relationship and violation of this expectation is illegal.  If you find yourself single you are required to go to a special hotel where you have forty […]

05 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Animaniacs Live

written by David Steffen Animaniacs was a comedy cartoon show produced by Steven Spielberg that ran from 1993 to 1998, first on Fox, and then on the WB. It was set up as a variety show with several short skits per episode starring different casts of characters–the most often recurring being the Warners: Yakko, Wakko, […]

01 May 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP Fiction #27A: “The Things You Should Have Been” by Andrea G. Stewart

“You should have been a doctor,” my mother said. She squinted at me through the screen, as though the new computer I’d bought her had some secret flaw. She never quite trusted that it was better than her old one. “You always liked stitching when you were small. Remember that shirt you made? So many compliments!”

“Mom, it’s a little late for that. I’m thirty-three.” I tugged at the hem of my jacket, my elbows rubbing against the chair’s metal armrests. Fidgeting usually helped me calm my nerves. It didn’t help now. It had seemed simple on paper: five years away from home. Now the only thing I could think of was the blackness of space beyond these metal walls.

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.

24 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Poetry Features on the Submission Grinder

The most often requested feature on the Submission Grinder since it’s launch more than four years ago has been support for poetry listings. This support has finally been published. Most importantly the poetry advanced search page you can use to find new poetry markets here.

You can use the site without registering and use the search to find markets. or look at individual markets. If you register you will be able to track your submissions and from market listings search for your poems that fit the requirements that you haven’t submitted to that market before, and so on.

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.

17 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

DP Fiction #26B: “The Long Pilgrimage of Sister Judith” by Paul Starkey

When she heard the call to prayer Sister Judith knew something was wrong, even if she couldn’t immediately identify what was amiss. As she was wont to do when she was anxious, she tugged at the rosary around her neck, and it was as she did this that her mind put two and two together. […]

12 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

World War II is over, decisively ended when the Empire of Japan unleashes their new superweapon on t sthe United States of America. Soon they are declared the United States of Japan, under the rule of the Emperor.

The story begins from the point of view of people held in an internment camp for Japanese-American citizens, who are immediately released upon the Japanese seizing control. 40 years later, the child of one of those, Beniko Ishimura, is working as a video game censor as the subversive video game United States of America starts gaining popularity. United States of America is an alternate history war game where the United States won World War II. Meanwhile, Akiko Tsukino of one of the secret police forces, is out to investigate the game herself. They cross paths and begin to uncover deeper secrets about the game and about the United States of Japan.

07 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Ray Bradbury Award Review 2016

The Ray Bradbury Award is given out every year with the Nebula Awards but is not a Nebula Award in itself. Like the Nebula Awards, the final ballot and the eventual winner are decided by votes from members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (which despite the name has an international membership).

I like to use the award every year as a sampler of well-loved science fiction and fantasy movies from the previous year. I have been very happy with this tactic, and this year is no exception. I try to watch every movie on the ballot that I can find by rental (usually via RedBox, or occasionally from Comcast On Demand) and review them all within the voting period.

03 April 2017 ~ 5 Comments

DP Fiction #26A: “O Stone, Be Not So” by José Pablo Iriarte

We had no idea what to think the day Otto started living backward. We might have had a clue if we’d noticed he woke up all cranky and sleepy when he’d always been a morning person. It’s hard to spot subtle things like that, though, when your bright, happy ten-year-old wakes up unable to form a coherent sentence and unable to understand anything you say. I thought he was having a seizure, or had developed some god-awful disorder. I had Aidan call for an ambulance while I ran around the apartment like a madwoman: grabbing a change of clothes, our insurance cards, and a couple of Otto’s favorite toys.

The doctors could find no physical cause for his sudden incoherence and no indication his life was in danger, so they sent us to a local neurologist. I’m the one who actually figured out what was going on, though. Or really Otto did, but I helped him express it.