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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!

20 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #55C: “Fresh Dates” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires

SFX, International Terminal

The scuttling of a million feet before him, the collective aspirations to get somewhere resounded in the marble hall, while he stared at his stubby chin in the glass. He rubbed a growing five o’clock shadow with a soft hand. “Paging passenger Carl Rogers. Please come to Gate 48B. Paging passenger Karl Rogers. Please come to Gate 48B.” The near-garbled voice issuing forth from the speakers was far from honeyed, but there was something sweet about the announcement and the cadence of the passenger’s name. At that moment, he would do anything to be Karl Rogers, to have such a short three syllabled name, so he could be rushing about like the many others rushing about. Needing to get somewhere and feeling the inadequacy of bipedalism in hauling body and material possessions to reach that end. 

16 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

STORY ANALYSIS: “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by Tina Connolly

written by David Steffen I am trying out a new feature that I might run occasionally here, where I pick a story that I particularly liked, and pick it apart to try to figure out why it worked so well. For this first entry, I’ll be talking about “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by […]

11 September 2019 ~ 2 Comments

DP FICTION #55B: “Dear Parents, Your Child Is Not the Chosen One” by P.G. Galalis

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goodblood,

Thank you for expressing your concerns about Rodney’s First Term grade. Please understand that the highest mark of “Chosen One” is exceedingly rare, even among our exceptional student body here at Avalon. Rodney’s grade of “Stalwart” is neither a mistake nor cause for concern, but a performance about which you and he can both be proud.

As I indicated in my written evaluation, Rodney is a bright young man, although he does have room for improvement in the areas of effort and behavior. I’m told by his Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue teachers that he shows equal aptitude in all three classes, so I’m confident that with support and encouragement, his skills will continue to improve.


Madeleine Whimbley

Teacher of Intermediate Feats & Virtues

Avalon Preparatory Academy for Adventurers

09 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments


written by David Steffen Eye Found It! is a competitive hidden picture card game aimed at children. The version of the game I’m familiar with is the Disney version, though it looks like there are other variations. Each player is dealt a hand of cards with scenes from Disney TV shows or movies, such as Winnie the Pooh […]


06 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

written by David Steffen The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a 2017 fantasy musical about the modern day children of the ancient Greek gods, based on The Lightning Thief of 2005, the first book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordon. Percy Jackson is a troubled kid who lives with his mom […]

02 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

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.



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


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 […]


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 […]