Hi! Welcome...

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 September 2019 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #55A: “Empathy Bee” by Forrest Brazeal

DP FICTION #55A: “Empathy Bee” by Forrest Brazeal

I’m at the microphone for the first round of the 32nd Annual National Empathy Bee, and I can’t feel a thing.

*

ROUND ONE

Good morning, Alex. A man is sitting in a banker’s office. The banker says: “You have great collateral — I’ll give you credit for that.” Is this a joke? If so, why is it funny?

*

Press photographers in the front row dazzle my eyes with flashbulbs. The hotel ballroom stretches behind them, vast and dim, a fog bank of blurry faces. Mom sits somewhere in the audience, but I’ll never spot her with the naked eye from up here on the stage.

Fortunately, my brain implant has an image processing feature. I scroll through options in my mind, zooming, enhancing, upscaling. There she is, slumped on a straight-backed gilt chair with her “guardian of contestant” credentials drooping around her neck. The seat beside her, Dad’s seat, is empty.

30 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Exploding Kittens

written by David Steffen Exploding Kittens is a card game designed by Elan Lee and Shane Small, published by The Oatmeal, that describes itself as a “highly strategic kitten-powered version of Russian Roulette”, published in 2015. When you play the game, the deck will have one less exploding kitten in the deck then there are people playing. Each […]

Tags:

28 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

The Diabolical Plots Year Six 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.  1432 submissions came in from 1066 different writers, of which 122 stories were held for the final round, and 24 stories were accepted.  Now that all […]

26 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Cards Against Humanity

written by David Steffen Cards Against Humanity advertises itself as a “party game for horrible people” that was created by 8 Highland Park students in Illinois and is now published by Cards Against Humanity, LLC. The game is very similar to the children’s game Apples to Apples, but generally aimed at a mature audience (or at least, an […]

23 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Boxtrolls

written by David Steffen The Boxtrolls is a 2014 claymation film by Focus Features. Everyone knows Boxtrolls are dangerous monsters. Everyone knows they capture and eat children. This is only confirmed when a boy is taken by them, and the exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) establishes a deal with the cheese-loving aristocratic council The White Hats that if […]

21 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

MOVIE REVIEW: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

written by David Steffen Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a live-and-CG children’s mystery/action movie based on the Pokémon franchise. Through most of the world they are mostly used as the fighting creatures we know them as from the game/card franchises, who are trained by humans and pitted against each other in arena-style battles against other Pokémon. […]

16 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #54B: “Colonized Bodies, Desiccated Souls” by Nin Harris

The PPMS had cordoned off Jalan Mandailing. They had guards posted along the banks of Sungai Chua. But it was not enough. The battles ranged from midnight till the cock’s crow and the call for prayers every dawn while the sun painted delicate fingers of rose across a yellow ombre sky. In the daytime, the […]

12 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: MIB International

MOVIE REVIEW: MIB International

written by David Steffen MIB International is a science fiction action/comedy movie, the 4th and most recent movie in the Men In Black series about a secret government agency that keeps the world safe from intergalactic security threats as well as ensuring that extraterrestrial residents of Earth can live in peace and secrecy among us. […]

09 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2

written by David Steffen The Handmaid’s Tale is a TV show presented on the Hulu streaming service, based on the 1984 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, which was previously reviewed here, about a near-future dystopia in which the USA has become an extremely oppressive theocracy in which women are second-class citizens, especially the […]

07 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 1

TV REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 1

written by David Steffen The Handmaid’s Tale is a TV show presented on the Hulu streaming service, based on the 1984 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, which was previously reviewed here, about a near-future dystopia in which the USA has become an extremely oppressive theocracy in which women are second-class citizens, especially the […]