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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Diabolical Plots #52, June 2019

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Diabolical Plots #52, June 2019

The Ceiling of the World” by Nicole Crucial

Bootleg Jesus” by Tonya Liburd

Reviewed by Kat Day

In “The Ceiling of the World” by Nicole Crucial we meet Margaret, a woman who has moved to work in the city. She has heard that the city is 'growing,' but begins to discover that this is literally the case—everything is getting bigger around her. The story relates her gradual detachment as she loses touch with everything and everyone around her. The metaphor is an obvious one, but nevertheless this is an original idea and a beautiful piece of magical realism. Give it a read.
“Bootleg Jesus” by
Tonya Liburd is set in a town 'cursed with no magic'. One day, nine-year-old Mara finds a bust of a Jesus in her garage. It's encased in a metal box, but has no plug to plug it in. She begins to sing to it, and miraculously, it lights up. Mara's life moves on, and the bust is there throughout, appearing to answer her questions. Does she have magic herself, in this place where no magic can be? And if so, will she be able to stay? This is an interesting coming-of-age story, exploring those age-old ideas of what it means to grow up and find you don't match the expectations of those around you. It all comes together but, for my money, I would have preferred the question of Mara's abilities to have been left more open-ended.


Kat Day can be found generally hanging around on social media and internet stuff. You can follow her on Twitter @chronicleflask.