Diabolical Plots #1, March 2015

Diabolical Plots #1, March 2015

Diabolical Plots (DP) is a new fiction ezine, brought to us by “two aspirant fiction writers.” This pro-rate paying ezine which covers the full spectra of speculative fiction—books, movies, video games, and so forth—has recently added fiction (maximum length 2,000 words) to its offerings and publishes one short story per month.

In this issue, “Taste the Whip” by Andy Dudak inaugurates DP’s fiction and tells the tale of a rogue starship hardwired with a sexual submission constraint. Parvati, the ship, first requests aid from others of her kind. When that is not forthcoming, she isolates herself to explore her much-larger-than-it-should-be human population and “lose herself in submission” to them. This space opera explores the relationship between self-aware AIs and humans, focusing on the AI side of the equation. Rather than delving into why a starship would struggle with emotional desires, it gives us the experience of one such ship and leaves the theorizing to others. By doing so, it succeeds at making Parvarti relatable. Well done.

A version of this review appears on the Tangent Online website.

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