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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 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO REVIEW: Short Story Finalists

written by David Steffen It’s award season again, and these are the nominees for the Hugo Award, voted by supporting members of this year’s WorldCon. This category covers fiction of less than 7500 words. I love to use the Hugo Awards as a recommended reading list, and I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I do! […]

01 May 2019 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #51A: “What the Sea Reaps, We Must Provide” by Eleanor R. Wood

The ball bounces off the tide-packed sand and Bailey leaps to catch it with lithe grace and accuracy. He returns to deposit it at my feet for another go. It’s nearly dusk; the beach is ours on this January evening. It stretches ahead, the rising tide low enough to give us ample time to reach […]

29 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down is a survival adventure book written by Richard Adams published in 1972 that might arguably be classified as fantasy as well, which was adapted into a well-known children’s movie in 1978.  It follows a group of young bachelor rabbits who run away from their warren when one of them has a premonition of coming disaster.  The book follows them as they try to find a suitable location for a new warren and try to settle back down.

Multiple rabbits are point of view characters throughout the book, but the most important rabbit to the story is Fiver, the one who has the premonition of disaster (an upcoming construction site where the warren is located), which might be psychic or might just be intuition based on the sudden incursion of signs announcing the construction project.  Hazel is the one who first believed Fiver’s warning and helped convinced the others to make their escape.  Most of the group are pretty scrawny, secondary members of the warren, except for Bigwig, who is a member of the Owsla, the warren’s internal enforcers.  And then there’s Blueberry who seems to not think like a rabbit at all, coming up with new strategies that no other rabbit would even consider.

26 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Monsters University

Monsters University is a computer-animated children’s movie comedy produced by Pixar, released in June 2013.  It is a prequel to 2001’s super-popular Monsters Inc, which starred monsters James “Sully” Sullivan and Mike Wazowski working in the scare factory scaring human children to produce power for the monster city and accidentally let a human child into the monster world.

As you might guess from the title, Monsters University takes place in Mike and Sully’s college days, as they’re just starting.  At the beginning of the movie they’re just starting school, both enrolled in the scarer program and they haven’t even met yet.  But they don’t quickly become friends like you might expect if you’ve seen the other movie.  Studious, hardworking model student Mike is constantly frustrated by lazy Sully who expects to cruise through college on his family name and reputation and his natural intimidating size.  But Monsters University is no easy ride, and least of all of the scare program, which Dean Abigail Hardscrabble watches over harshly.

22 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Descendants

Descendants is a 2015 Disney Channel original live-action musical movie based in the United States of Auradon where each kingdom is based on an iconic Disney movie, but 20 years later.  Twenty years before marked the end of ALL of the Disney movie stories, when the now-united kingdoms all apparently vanquished their biggest villains simultaneously, and locked them away on a magicless prison island to leave Auradon safe.

Prince Ben’s (Mitchell Hope) coronation is near.  He is the son of Belle and Beast, the rulers of the Aurodon, and Ben has decided that his first official proclomation will be that he will start giving the second generation of the island a first chance at a decent life–the villains have had children on the island and those children are likewise confined.  As part of a pilot program, he chooses Mal (Dove Cameron, of Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie)–the daughter of Maleficent, Evie (Sofia Carson)–the daughter of Evil Queen of Snow White, Carlo (Cameron Boyce, of Disney Channel’s Jesse)–son of Cruella DeVille, and Jay–son of Jafar.  The reluctant teenagers are invited to become students at Auradon and try to rehabilitate there, and they’re pressured by their parents (especially Maleficent) to accept the invitation in order to find a way while they’re in Auradon to unlock the barrier securing the prison island.

19 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is an animated action comedy science fiction movie released by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2014, which is loosely based on the Marvel superhero team of the same name.

Hiro Hamada is a 14-year old high school graduate  living in San Fransokyo (a combination of San Francisco and Tokyo apparently?), who spends his free time building robots to fight on the illegal underground bot fighting circuits.  His big brother Tadashi shows him to the advanced research lab where Tadashi has been spending his time inventing a balloon robot with nursing capabilities, and Hiro quickly makes friends with the other young researchers as well as the lab’s director Robert Callaghan who invites Hiro to apply to join the lab by entering something in an inventing competition.

15 April 2019 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #50B: “One Part Per Billion” by Samantha Mills

There were already two Irene Boswells onboard and a third in the making.

Radiation poured out of the Omaha Device in an endless stream of buttery yellow light, and Irene (the Irene in the containment room) knew they were doomed. But she slapped patch after patch over the ruinous crack in the device’s shell because she hadn’t come twenty billion miles to sit and wait for death.

Huang’s voice came through over the intercom, tinny with horror. “Your hair,” he said.

It was on fire, or close enough. The strange light lifted it away from her face in a rippling wave. The ends were burning down like the fuses of a hundred thousand bombs. Her arms were smooth and hairless, her face the same.

“Just tell me what to do next,” she said. 

There were no more patches in the kit. A six inch gap remained in the smooth white shell but it may as well have been a mile long. The Omaha Device just sat there, as unyielding and enigmatic as a ceramic tortoise, and still that noxious light poured forth. Irene squinted but she couldn’t see past the light, she couldn’t see what was inside. Dammit, if she was going to die today she wanted to know what she was dying for.

12 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

written by David Steffen The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic science fiction/fantasy novel written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (also well known for writing Treasure Island), first published in 1886.  I’m assuming most people are familiar with at least the basic premise of the story, which is not […]

08 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: McPixel

McPixel is a point and click puzzle humor game released by Sos in 2012.  The game is made up of dozen 20-second mini-levels where the main character McPixel has 20 seconds to save the day, usually by defusing a bomb.  Clear inspiration for the game is the 1980s show MacGyver (which was recently rebooted), known for putting its eponymous hero in tight spots where he had to improvise a solution to a deadly problem in minutes.  And to some extent maybe even MacGruber, the Saturday Night Live spoof of MacGyver in recent years–MacGruber came to mind more readily since MacGruber regularly fails to stop the explosions.

05 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Kim Possible

written by David Steffen Kim Possible is a 2019 live action Disney Channel original movie about a pair of high school crimefighters Kim Possible (Sadie Stanley) and Ron Stoppable (Sean Giambrone), based on the 2002-2007 cartoon series of the same name. By day the two of them are just regular high school kids dealing with regular high school […]