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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!

02 May 2018 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #39A: “The Efficacy of Tyromancy Over Reflective Scrying Methods in Prediction of Upcoming Misfortunes of Divination Colleagues, A Study by Cresivar Ibraxson, Associate Magus, Wintervale University” by Amanda Helms

MAGUS’S NOTE

My colleagues will note that in writing this paper I have not attempted to divide the research from myself, as can be noted here with my use of “I” and “my.” Unlike some individuals whom I will not name, I have never attempted to pass blame; I take full responsibility whenever it is deserved. Therefore, and because the use of the third person and passive speech loses the vibrancy and verve the subject of tyromancy deserves, I have elected to forgo the more pedantic and tedious tone such works more frequently employ.

CONSPECTUS

This report discusses whether tyromancy, divination using cheese, might be more effective and accurate in its predictions than the more popular methods of scrying through reflective surfaces, such as mirrors or bodies of water. Specifically, the report considers whether tyromancy is more effective at divining colleagues’ misfortunes. While the literature on tyromancy must be greatly expanded, this study’s results indicate that indeed, cheese might tell us more than the average crystal ball, mirror, or pool of water.

30 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO REVIEW: Novelette Finalists

Science fiction award season is here again, and the Hugo final ballot was announced for WorldCon 76 in San Jose.

On to the novelette category, my favorite category of all the Hugo categories, covering stories between 7500 and 17500 words.  This review covers all six finalists.

25 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO REVIEW: Short Story Finalists

Science fiction award season is here again, and the Hugo final ballot was announced for WorldCon 76 in San Jose.

On to the short story category, my favorite category of all the Hugo categories, covering stories less than 7500 words.  This review covers all six finalists.

20 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny are two short theatrical presentations currently being toured by Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia.  Based on the famous children’s books written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd from 1947 and 1942 respectively.  Both shows are performed using puppets.

16 April 2018 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #38B: “Her February Face” by Christie Yant

In her youth the doors to the shrine of Elena’s heart were wide open for all to see. Some kept their hearts in private spaces, secret and hidden, but not Elena. She kept hers in the front room, because what good is a bright heart if it can’t be shared? 

Every morning she polished the shrine, and dressed her heart with fresh flowers that filled the air with the scent of jasmine and violet. She hung small crystals that caught her heart’s light and refracted it into every color, filling the room with rainbows. 

On the wall above her heart Elena kept her collection of smiles. Smiles for celebrations, for sunrises and sunsets, for soft sheets and warm limbs, for surprise and wonder at her extraordinary good fortune. It was an impractical placement; it would make more sense to store them near her vanity, but she liked having them out where visitors could appreciate them and where she could select exactly the right one at the last minute, before she walked out the door.

13 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: Kevin (Probably) Saves the World Season 1

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World is a fantasy comedy/drama fantasy series with what I might call a light Christian backdrop (I wouldn’t call it Christian TV, particularly, I’ll get into that later).  Season one was 16 episodes and ran on ABC between October 2017 and March 2018.  At the time I write this article it’s unclear whether it will be renewed for a second season.

After surviving a suicide attempt, businessman Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, who might recognize as the voice of Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls) moves back to his hometown to live with his sister Amy (JoAnna Garcia) and her daughter Reese (Chloe East) while he recovers.  Soon after he moves in he starts getting visited by Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory), who only he can see, who claims to be sent by God to guide and protect him as he saves the world.  Not only that, but he is one of the 36 “righteous” in each generation that helps guide the world.  Except… the other 35 are nowhere to be found.

09 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

ESSAY: Not Quite Superman

Today I both write SFF and work in a high-powered slice of tech. In tech, superpowers are the norm. Superpowers are expected. Superpowers are your basic prerequisite, because of course you’re going to work-hard-play-hard, you’re going to go-go-go and get-shit-done. (You probably have a t-shirt or mug with at least one of these phrases, possibly handed out by your employer.) There is no place for weakness in this environment.

There is no place for disability in this environment.

06 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Chronos Ruler

Anime Review: Chronos Ruler

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Chronos Ruler teeters on the brink of being a really good show, but doesn’t take full advantage of the best parts of its story. It’s like the writer had a lot of ideas, kept throwing them out, and chose to stick with the most cliched plot threads because the audience would be most comfortable with them. And yet, there are parts that are genuinely good that make Chronos Ruler more than yet another show about people fighting monsters.

02 April 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #38A: “Giant Robot and the Infinite Sunset” by Derrick Boden

Giant Robot stands alone on the battlefield. Its hulking titanium shoulders slouch. Its articulated polymer knees bow inward. Its blazing fiberoptic gaze falters, downturned. But Giant Robot experiences neither regret nor remorse while surveying the wreckage at its feet.

It knows only aloneness.

Giant Robot scours the battlefield. It scrutinizes the meat and metal carcasses that litter this desert torched to glass. Servos click a nervous rhythm beneath its knuckled joints. It relocates corpses with the utmost delicacy, but still they crumble in its hands. Underneath, there is only ash. Its gaze sags—

There. A patch of sand between two corpses, shielded by an overturned transport. A desert bloom sprouts, an improbable splay of color. Lavender? Periwinkle?

No. Amethyst.

30 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Get Out (Ray Bradbury Award Finalist)

Just a few days ago I reviewed most of the Ray Bradbury Award finalists (an award that is held alongside the Nebula Awards for movies), but I didn’t review Get Out because I hadn’t quite gotten a rental of it yet.  Just before the Nebula voting deadline, I’ve watched it and slipped in the review–the voting deadline is tonight!

Get Out is a thriller/horror film written by Jordan Peele and distributed by Universal.  It won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and was on the final ballot for Best Film of 2017.

Photographer Chris Washington reluctantly agrees to accompany his girlfriend Rose Armitage to her parent’s isolated rural estate.  Chris worries that her parents won’t be welcoming of a black man dating their white daughter.  He meets her neurosurgeon father Dean and hypnotherapist mother Missy and brother Jeremy, who all (unsurprisingly to Chris) make discomfiting comments about Black people.  There are a lot of things that are… off about the Armitages and what goes on on their property.  Their servants (both Black) (Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel) are oddly intense and hostile toward him, and Missy repeatedly pushes Chris to let her hypnotize him out of his cigarette habit.  One night, when he comes back into the house after sneaking a smoke, Missy catches him alone and seems to hypnotize him, but he wakes up sure it was a dream.  The next day the Armitages have company, a yearly gathering of all their friends, and things only get weirder.