Diabolical Plots: The First Years

I’m in a new anthology Diabolical Plots: The First Years edited by David Steffen.

When I first submitted to them, Diabolical Plots was a fledgling market on the rise. They quickly selected my story to appear in July 2015. It was their fifth story. I’m thrilled to see this collection and be part of their success.

Isn’t the cover beautiful? That’s an image from my story, “Not a Bird.” The story describes a weary mother and her feathered newborn. It touches on the hopes, wishes, and weight of parenthood.

Inspiration for “Not a Bird”: Transhumanism, the artificial advancement of mankind, fascinated me and I knew there was a story there. In my research, I focused on technology and recent advances. Fortunately, I attended a panel on the topic. Many of the participants admitted that, like a lot of new technologies, sex was a major motivation for body modification. However, they explored larger questions of self-improvement and experiencing the world. I was impressed by the counter-culture feeling, and their awareness that what they wanted might not be right for everyone. I left thinking more about the people than the technology.

Becoming a parent is sobering. You’ve taken on responsibility for another life. With transhumanism–in a world where you can choose aspects of your unborn child–you also have to take responsibility for the choices you make while they’re unborn. Being a new parent is stressful enough! Long dark nights awake with the baby give new parents time to question the choices they’ve made and envision the future. That notion formed the core of “Not a Bird.”

Diabolical Plots: The First Years

This anthology collects all 25 original stories from the first two years of Diabolical Plots, an online magazine of science fiction and fantasy, with a preference for the weird. Evangelist Roombas, cybernetic giraffes, psychosomatic hair syndrome, sentient ships who must maintain their human ecosystems inside them for their own health. The stories vary from humorous to tragic to thoughtful, from contemporary authors both new and established.

Available in eBook:

Amazon (available for pre-order. On sale March 12th.)
Kobo (pre-order)

Stories in this anthology:

“The Osteomancer’s Husband” by Henry Szabranski
“Bloody Therapy” by Suzan Palumbo
“The Banshee Behind Beamon’s Bakery” by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
“The Blood Tree War” by Daniel Ausema
“Giraffe Cyborg Cleans House!” by Matthew Sanborn Smith
“May Dreams Shelter Us” by Kate O’Connor
“Not a Bird” by H.E. Roulo
“In Memoriam” by Rachel Reddick
“Virtual Blues” by Lee Budar-Danoff
“The Princess in the Basement” by Hope Erica Schultz
“The Superhero Registry” by Adam Gaylord
“The Grave Can Wait” by Thomas Berubeg
“The Weight of Kanzashi” by Joshua Gage
“One’s Company” by Davian Aw
“The Avatar In Us All” by J.D. Carelli
“Do Not Question the University” by PC Keeler
“Curl Up and Dye” by Tina Gower
“October’s Wedding of the Month” by Emma McDonald
“The Schismatic Element Aboard Continental Drift” by Lee Budar-Danoff
“A Room For Lost Things” by Chloe N. Clark
“Further Arguments in Support of Yudah Cohen’s Proposal to Bluma Zilberman” by Rebecca Fraimow
“Future Fragments, Six Seconds Long” by Alex Shvartsman
“Taste the Whip” by Andy Dudak
“Sustaining Memory” by Coral Moore
“St. Roomba’s Gospel” by Rachael K. Jones


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