VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Monument Valley

written by David Steffen Monument Valley is a 2014 touchscreen indie puzzle game developed by UsTwo. The plot is fairly light, even for a puzzle game, and the main focus is on maneuvering from one door to another door, with a charming and simple graphical apperance. Optical illusions play a big part in the puzzle … Continue reading VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Monument Valley

Award Eligibility 2019

written by David Steffen Hello! This is one of those posts where I declare what is eligible for speculative fiction awards (such as the Hugo and Nebula and Locus) and in what category from Diabolical Plots offerings. In past years I’ve also included fiction that I wrote that was published elsewhere, but alas, this year … Continue reading Award Eligibility 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

written by David Steffen Suspicious Minds is a fantasy/science fiction thriller prequel novel, the first official Stranger Things novel, written by Gwenda Bond, published in 2019. The book (and this review) may container spoilers for the first two seasons of the TV show. In the TV show we eventually meet Eleven’s mother, Terry Ives, but … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond


written by David Steffen Scramble is a side-scrolling shooter game published as an arcade machine by Konami in 1981. The controls are very similar to other games of its type (many of which were inspired by this directly or indirectly). A joystick to move, and two fire buttons–one for quick forward shots and another for … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Scramble

DP FICTION #58A: “Consequences of a Statistical Approach Towards a Utilitarian Utopia: A Selection of Potential Outcomes” by Matt Dovey

Maximised Total Happiness

Michelle smiled, exhausted, as her baby’s cry filled the hospital room. The lights above her were harsh and cold, and the sheets beneath her were tangled and scratchy, soaked in her sweat and stinking of iodine, but none of that mattered against such a beautiful sound. She heard it so rarely—just once a year.

“Congratulations, Mrs Bergeron,” said the midwife. “It’s a girl.”

“Oh, thank you so much! I’m ecstatic!” She looked over at Nathan, cradling baby Danielle face down in his strong arms. A Happiness Moderator stood by them, uniformed with the usual black suit and easy smile; he lined up a large needle at the base of Danielle’s skull and implanted the HappyChip with a swift movement. Danielle’s cries quieted, then turned to a happy giggle.

GAME REVIEW: Jetpack Joyride

written by David Steffen Jetpack Joyride is an endless runner mobile app game published by Halfbrick in 2011. Download it for free from app stores like Google Play. The game stars Barry, a struggling gramophone salesman who breaks into a high-security laboratory to steal an experimental jetpack prototype and makes his escape with it, dodging … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Jetpack Joyride

GAME REVIEW: Elevator Action

written by David Steffen Elevator Action is a 1983 spy action game by Taito published in arcade format. As each level begins the player character grapples to the top of a 30-story building and must make their way down to the ground floor through the building filled with gun-toting guards while collecting secret documents along … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Elevator Action

GAME REVIEW: Missile Command

written by David Steffen Missile Command is a franticly paced war game published as an arcade console by Atari in 1980. In each level of the game you have three bases that can fire missiles that need to defend themselves and their cities against incoming enemy missiles. The controls consist of a roller ball for … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Missile Command

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

written by David Steffen Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn based combat game developed for the Nintendo Switch by Ubisoft, which is a mashup of Nintendo popular Mario Bros. franchise and Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids franchise. A new invention has just been completed, a visor that allows the wearer to fuse two other objects into one object. … Continue reading VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

DP FICTION #57B: “The Train to Wednesday” by Steven Fischer

Charlie Slawson sat alone in the transit station, watching a set of empty train tracks and wondering why the train was late. Truth be told, he hadn’t known until just then that temporal trains even could be late.  He looked around the underground station—its old, brick walls lined with gaudy digital displays, advertising exciting trips … Continue reading DP FICTION #57B: “The Train to Wednesday” by Steven Fischer