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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!

08 April 2010 ~ 10 Comments

Giveaway: Bull Spec #1!

We at Diabolical Plots have recently reached a landmark–our ten thousandth hit! Around the same time, Bull Spec, a new magazine of speculative fiction, released its inaugural issue.

05 April 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Busy Fitches: David Thompson and Anna Schwind

One thing I like about working with Dave is that we complement each other so well. Often he’s perfectly happy to do the aspects of running the podcast that I find tiresome. I believe he feels similarly, and he’ll ask me if I’d mind doing something that to him seems an onerous chore and I’m overjoyed to do it. Splitting duties has been relatively painless because of that. As to deciding on stories where we feel differently, it’s about – like Dave said – talking it through. We’ve not yet had a knockdown drag out fight over anything. I’m actually hopeful that we do, at some point, just to see what that’s like, but so far we’ve been able to make a case that sways the other or not about each individual story. That sounds civil and boring. I should probably have made something up, about a contest of wills or a platinum battle in the astral plane.

04 April 2010 ~ 5 Comments

MiniCon Report (and my first editor pitch)

I’ve been meaning to make it to a science fiction convention for quite a while now. Even before I started writing they sounded like fun, lots of people with similar tastes all getting together and hanging out, swapping book recommendations, arguing about which authors write better books and why, and so on. But now that […]

02 April 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Free Game Demo: A Stitch in Time

I meant to post this a couple weeks ago, but life intervened. You remember last month we interviewed Matt Kempke, independent game developer? Well, the free demo of his next game is now available for download here! You can also play the entire first game for free here. If you like the games enough, I hope you’ll consider paying for the full version of A Stitch in Time when it becomes available.

18 March 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Game Review: InFamous (PS3)

Fast-forward to 2009, and InFamous, Sucker Punch’s new action-adventure game whose main character, Cole, prowls around a city, climbs up buildings, and runs across wires. His companions — some friendly, some hostile — give him intel and assign him capers over a cell phone. Some game elements include a villain dumping tar into the water supply, our hero following specific NPCs through the city without being spotted, and several zeppelins filled with toxic gas whose evil purpose is drive the city’s denizens insane.

01 March 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Interview with a Game Developer: Matt Kempke

Well, we decided to publish a relatively long demo, which consists of the first of four acts and makes up about 10 percent of the full game. This way gamers get a chance to play a bit and get into the game and the story – and if they are interested to see how the story continues and then at some point ends they will hopefully buy the full version. Greg does a great job building our website and also creating a streamable version of the demo, that people can play online in their browsers, while he is still programming for the game and doing his fulltime job. I am sure we will come up with some more ideas to spread the word, but from the experience of the release of WMYT back in 2007 I know that sometimes the news on the internet can travel much faster than one might expect.

21 February 2010 ~ 3 Comments

David Sale #6–What Makes You Tick reprint

Sale #6 today! It will be a reprint of my story What Makes You Tick (which I sold for the first time to the upcoming War of the Worlds: Frontlines anthology). Brain Harvest is an online magazine which specializes in very short, strange stories (up to 750 words). It’ll be posted there for free some time after the anthology is printed, so if you’d like to read what sort of stories Schnarr bought for the antho, you can look at it as a free sample.

18 February 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Niche Game: Earthworm Jim 1 & 2

The stages and villains of the game are weird and varied, Psy-Crow being the least interesting of the group. “What the Heck?” takes place on a Hell-like planet called Heck, which is ruled by Evil the Cat (we all knew a cat was behind it, admit it). The background music for that one involves elevator music and tortured screams. The level is patrolled by briefcase toting lawyers who use their briefcase to block your blaster fire, and also snowmen. In the end you face off against Evil himself. Then there’s Major Mucus, a being made entirely out of phlegm. You have a bungee jumping battle where each of you try to knock the other into rock walls to break the other’s cord.

15 February 2010 ~ 16 Comments

Review: The Golden Compass and His Dark Materials trilogy

But starting with the second book, The Subtle Knife, the anti-religion message began to coalesce even as the quality of the story declined. The third book, The Amber Spyglass, has an anti-religion message as subtle as a club with nails in, which I might’ve been able to overlook with great effort except that the story was weak as well, serving only to provide the framework with which to hang the message. Major characters constantly take a 180 degree turn in traits without any warning or provocation, even including our protagonist, Lyra! They spend embark on quests with no clear goal and much of the time is spent with secondary characters in other worlds that end up having no appreciable effect on anything!

11 February 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Super Smash Bros.

Enter Super Smash Bros. (SSB), released for the Nintendo 64 by HAL Laboratory in 1999. The most unique feature of the game is immediately obvious: the fighters are all Nintendo-licensed characters from other games. Mario throws punches and fireballs. Samus Aran fires charged-up plasma shots, missiles, and drops bombs from her morph-ball form. And others, including several that characters that you can unlock. If you’re a Nintendo lover like me, it’s a lot of fun sending Donkey Kong in for a wind-up punch against Fox McCloud.