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No violence but dark TV?

I like dark and/or intriguing television shows. I like shows with interesting characters and long pay offs. What I do not like are any sudden scenes with violence against women or children. I have access to all counties of Netflix but no other streaming services. What can I watch? [more inside]
posted by kanata on Aug 21, 2014 - 37 answers

1970s science fiction short story about a young mother going crazy?

There's this science fiction story I can recall reading in at least one anthology, if not multiples. It is told from the perspective of a young mother who is going crazy dealing with her kid(s). The writing is very stark and bleak, but it's a fun story nonetheless. I am fairly certain the author was a woman. I believe it's from the late 60s or early to mid 1970s. [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Aug 21, 2014 - 9 answers

What are the Classics of Genre Fiction

Genre fiction is typically underrepresented in lists of classic novels. We all know the classics of literary fiction (War & Peace, Ulysses, Pride & Prejudice, etc.). But who's the Tolstoy of Fantasy? Who's the Austen of spy fiction? [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on Aug 10, 2014 - 26 answers

SF stories to make one's blood pressure rise.

I recently had the displeasure of encountering Philip K. Dick's "The Pre-Persons" for the first time. What other SF stories or novels by name authors are waiting to affront my political sensibilities? [more inside]
posted by vathek on Aug 10, 2014 - 30 answers

Title and author of a sci fi short story about dream crafting needed

I'm wracking my brains trying to remember the title and author of a science fiction short story to do with dream crafting. I suspect it is either Philip K Dick or Robert Heinlein but cannot pin it down. [more inside]
posted by Molesome on Jul 20, 2014 - 2 answers

Thoughtful sci-fi recommendations

Looking for recommendations of sci-fi authors who are adept at some technology topics without compromising storytelling. More inside! [more inside]
posted by azazello on Jul 13, 2014 - 24 answers

Lady-friendly sci-fi recommendations?

After getting really into Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, I'm looking for similar reading material. Can y'all recommend other sci-fi novels featuring a predominantly female cast?
posted by schooley on Jul 10, 2014 - 22 answers

Help me brainstorm names for Science Fiction Convention / Festival

Looking for ideas for a name for science fiction convention. This event will cover the full spectrum of the science fiction genre, as well as real space and science stuff, and I'm hoping for a name that is both intriguing and fun. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by Unsomnambulist on Jul 8, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me ID a Sci-Fi Story about computation and evolution

A few years ago I went into my school's SciFi library and I was given a book of short stories which I read several of sitting on the floor of the library. And then I put down the book and I don't remember what it was called. One short story was about a world in which computation speeds get faster and faster until someone, eventually makes computers capable of running models on the order of complexity of a world's worth of physics very very quickly. I think the computers may have been the shape of small cubes. [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jun 25, 2014 - 2 answers

SciFiFilter FTL-ish Plausibility Check

In a discussion elsewhere on the internets a twist on a common science fictional transportation technology was proposed. A spaceship leaps from one point in space to another, but while it is instantaneous for the passengers, the transit actually takes some small amount of time longer than light would take to cover the distance (let's say the Planck time). Would the time delay prevent the violation of causality? It appears that everyone is staying in their light cones, what am I missing? [more inside]
posted by Octaviuz on Jun 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Story ID: computer thinks man is dead

A friend asked me this and I'm coming up blank: I remember an old SF story ('50s or earlier) about a person living at a time when everything is run by computers (i.e. now) and he is entered has having died, so the system cancels all his ID, freezes his bank account, won't recognise him as alive, and he ends up living in the cracks (he can't be arrested because he's dead, etc.) Can you remember which story this is?
posted by ICanHazQuestion on Jun 19, 2014 - 17 answers

What's the name of this kids' scifi anthology I remember?

I read this book of short stories years ago, and for some reason I remember most of the stories in it but have had no luck with Googling for it. Must be that the stories' premises were creative enough or caught my imagination in a particular way. The most memorable story was about trying to survive on Earth after a supernova. I'm pretty sure these are all from the same book: [more inside]
posted by lostburner on Jun 18, 2014 - 7 answers

People losing it and going berserk in a SciFi novel

Current affairs - that is, the apparent epidemic of guys with guns shooting up public places - are reminding me of a SciFi novel I read long ago, but they're not reminding me which one it was. As I recall, it was a dystopia where population pressure caused people to suddenly snap and lash out physically at whoever was nearby. IIRC, they were described as berserkers. What is that book?
posted by Kirth Gerson on Jun 6, 2014 - 11 answers

Grow food in a giant cave?

I'm working on a story where some people live in a cave and have to grow their own food inside. I would like some idea of what could realistically be grown in this situation (more details below). [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000 on Jun 3, 2014 - 20 answers

Help me find a short story? SciFi simulated universe, subjects escape

I read a short story a few years ago about scientists simulating a whole world in a computer and watching history unfold. The scientists appear in the world like gods to shape it. But then the virtual test subjects figure out a way to interact with the world outside the computer and then ultimately escape by teleporting the whole computer facility through a wormhole. What story is this? [more inside]
posted by Kolath on May 28, 2014 - 8 answers

Give me your tired, your poor, your... SF authors needing a True Fan?

After this FPP on Amazon's questionable tactics dealing with Hachette (and in particular, Michael Sullivan's article on the matter, in which he mentions developing "a direct sales channel" with readers), and mathowie's comment in the MeFi funding thread on True Fans, help me find a better way to support authors than binging on the Kindle Book Store (where the majority of my payment apparently goes to publishers and distributors - boo!). Difficulty level: hard SF (think Greg Egan), space opera (think Banks' Culture series); ebooks preferred. [more inside]
posted by snap, crackle and pop on May 24, 2014 - 7 answers

Queer sci-fi

Where are some good places to read queer sci fi short stories? [more inside]
posted by tinkletown on May 22, 2014 - 23 answers

Name some cool habitats from Sci Fi books.

What are the coolest, most imaginative habitats (such as cities, rings, orbitals, asteroids, underwater domes, semi-sentient inhabited space whales, anything people live in) that you've read about in Science Fiction books or comics?
posted by signal on May 1, 2014 - 38 answers

Modern Life is Magic

Help me find books that convey a jolly feeling of appreciation for the wonders of modern life. Ideally these would be books that have a sci-fi or fantasy feel, but in which nothing overtly magical or fantastic happens. The best recent examples I can think of are Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which has all the elements of a fantasy novel but is set squarely in our world, and William Gibson's most recent novels, all of which feel fantastic to me but are grounded in real life. [more inside]
posted by spacewaitress on Apr 10, 2014 - 18 answers

I need help identifying a book.

I don't have much to go on. Who wants to take a stab at it? [more inside]
posted by msali on Apr 9, 2014 - 4 answers

Near(ish) future space exploration fiction

I have a huge love for space/planetary exploration fiction. Think 2001, the sadly mistreated Defying Gravity TV show and Kim Stanley Robinson's mars series. Do you have recommendations for me? Books primarliy, but TV/Films too though I guess i have seen most of those in this genre already. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 answers

Seeking info about theories on extraterrestrial evolution and life forms

I'm looking for academic papers (but also stories, movies, news articles, or anything else!) that talk about this: most of the ideas we come up with about alien life involves those aliens being carbon-based lifeforms with eyes of some sort and internal organs and appendages. But where are the other, more wild (and probably likely) ideas? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on Apr 2, 2014 - 12 answers

old short story and newer anime where soldiers "respawn"?

bookfilter: I remember reading a sci-fi (short story?) where the key element was that once a soldier died on the battlefield, they respawned into a new body and had to keep fighting. I believe it was a classic sci-fi because the enemies were russian, I believe. I was telling my friend about this and he said that there was an anime with a similar plot element, but he can't remember what it was. Can you tell me the names of these?
posted by rebent on Mar 21, 2014 - 12 answers

Technology orgasm nightmare

My friend asks: "I once saw a sci-fi film where people had worked out how to record conscious experiences and then others could experience it directly themselves. There's one bit where a guy ends up driving himself into an insane catatonic state when he loops this recording of someone having sex at the point of orgasm and plays it for 12 hours straight." Q: what is that film?
posted by urbanwhaleshark on Mar 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Sure, it's the apocalypse, but at least there's plenty of hairspray

I need more cheesy, overblown, post-apocalyptic music videos from the '80s! [more inside]
posted by Janta on Mar 14, 2014 - 30 answers

Gadget review in the form of short dystopian scifi

Help me find an online review that someone wrote several years ago, reviewing a data-erasing gadget by writing a piece of dystopian fiction in which the user needs to use the device in a hurry. [more inside]
posted by brainwane on Mar 13, 2014 - 1 answer

SciFi Books from a While Ago

I'm yet again looking for some books I read over a decade ago. Details below. Somewhere in there I swear is a link to Frank Herbert, but I don't know for sure (every time I search for his bibliography it comes up all Dune). [more inside]
posted by BenevolentActor on Mar 6, 2014 - 7 answers

Let's Play "Name That Book!"

Back in the early-mid 90s, preteen me read a surreal science fiction book that I checked out from my local library. I remember a few tantalizing details, and I'm curious to find it and find out if it was any good. The basics: Many-worlds, and characters move between them unknowingly whenever they talk on the newfangled quantum telephone. Something bad happened to the US in most/all universes, but nobody in the multiverse knows what. It Gets Weird. [more inside]
posted by Alterscape on Feb 14, 2014 - 6 answers

Psychohistory

Can you point me toward any negative reviews of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 14, 2014 - 6 answers

I need to build a "social media platform" to market my novel -- help!

In order to get my novel published (comedic science fiction), I've been told that I need to build a social media platform (website, facebook, twitter, etc.) and that if publishers see that you have a following they're more likely to take a chance on you. I'm building a website and getting a facebook page in order, but I'm not sure I get twitter, I'd like input on where on the web my audience may already lie, and I need to get over my aversion to self-promotion. [more inside]
posted by rkriger on Feb 12, 2014 - 19 answers

ISO good fiction about catching babies

Recommend me fiction or very readable memoirs about midwifery, obstetrics, and the politics of birth--any genre is fine, but SF/F and historical suggestions are especially welcome. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Feb 10, 2014 - 24 answers

Sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and weird fiction from Central/Eastern Europe?

What are the best sci-fi, horror, and fantasy books, movies, and comics from Central and Eastern Europe? "Best" includes both the finest and also the most popularly influential, as well as both pro- and anti-communist material, as well as both past and contemporary work. Bonus points for such fiction from the former Yugoslavia! [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 10, 2014 - 16 answers

ID a dystopian future short story with massive unemplyment and a utopia.

I'm trying to ID a short story where the protagonist becomes unemployed in a world where once you lose your job you have no hope of getting another job and are therefor forced to accept marginal government assistance. Additional spoilerific details inside. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 7, 2014 - 2 answers

Great streaming indie sci-fi/horror films, 2014 edition

This has been asked before, but long enough ago that it's time for an update: What are the best, smartest, most compelling indie sci-fi and horror films of recent months/years, with a preference for things streaming on either Netflix or Amazon Prime? [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jan 8, 2014 - 22 answers

Hunting for a 1990s scifi novel...

Around 1999/2000, I read a pair of interesting scifi paperbacks that I can't recall the names of. I keep thinking that the name of one of the books was "Spin," but that's not the right story at all. [more inside]
posted by verb on Jan 6, 2014 - 3 answers

Recommend a particular type of science fiction story

Looking for recommendations on a specific type of scifi fiction, be it movies or books. [more inside]
posted by sock, the puppet on Jan 2, 2014 - 38 answers

How does the shrinking work in Michael Crichton's book Micro?

There's a Michael Crichton book (technically finished based on his notes) called Micro. It is about a group of people who get shrunk to miniscule size and are attacked by mundane wildlife. [more inside]
posted by Lorc on Dec 31, 2013 - 4 answers

Name that sci-fi short story (aliens discussing humans)

Do you remember reading a short science fiction story where aliens were regretting their decision to exterminate humanity? [more inside]
posted by ana scoot on Dec 31, 2013 - 2 answers

Lost scifi short story from my youth, the Golden Age of Scifi.

I am looking for a science fiction short story probably from the first half of the 20th Century. It involved a deep mine, strange events at the bottom, footprints in stone and a species that evolved to live underground, INSIDE the rock. [more inside]
posted by Seamus on Dec 23, 2013 - 4 answers

Looking for dystopian short fiction and literary theory

Please help me find as much short (8,000 words or less) dystopian fiction and literary theory (any length) as possible! Anthologies are fine. It can be on the internet or in book/magazine/any purchasable form. It can be famous; it can be obscure. Anything goes, really! [more inside]
posted by Quilford on Dec 21, 2013 - 15 answers

Fantasy/sci-fi TV series NOT available on Netflix?

I'm looking for a DVD stocking stuffer for my partner, who loves fantasy and science fiction television series of varying quality (examples within). He uses his Netflix account heavily. Do you know of any fantasy or sci-fi series that are slightly more obscure -- meaning they're not available on Netflix, but are still available for DVD purchase? [more inside]
posted by southern_sky on Nov 30, 2013 - 36 answers

Battlestar Galactica viewing order

I'm watching the 2003 Battlestar Galactica series for the first time, and loving it! I've come across this post, which purports to be the ultimate BSG viewing order guide. I've just finished season 2, episode 17, The Captain's Hand, and this guide now recommends I watch Razor, a TV movie that was the start of season 4, before watching the next episode of season 2. It also recommends that I mute two bits of dialog near the end of Razor to prevent any spoilers for season 3, which I'm fine with doing. BSG fans of Metafilter - what do you think? Is watching Razor now the best idea for continuity of the story? Will I spoil anything for myself by doing so?
posted by srrh on Nov 21, 2013 - 18 answers

What sci fi story had an assistant trapped in a prof's simluation?

I remember reading a seminal short story notable for raising ethical issues about simulated consciousness, but I can't recall the title or author. I believe a group of researchers were trapped in the simulation, being used to draft papers for the Professor. [more inside]
posted by brownbat on Nov 16, 2013 - 7 answers

Name of short story?

When I was 12 or 13 my English teacher assigned a short story that is quite profound. From what I remember, it was scifi. In this society there was a new company that sold delicious milkshakes. They became incredibly popular, and their stores were everywhere. Unfortunately the people in the story got obese. So another company created a product that would help you lose weight. That became popular too. The people bought lots of milkshakes, and the people paid to lose weight. Round and round... Does anyone know the title of this short story?
posted by daniel.poynter on Nov 11, 2013 - 8 answers

Highfalutin' Genre Fiction

Give me your most well written genre fiction! [more inside]
posted by latkes on Nov 4, 2013 - 49 answers

Help me find a short story about mind control graffiti

This thread and this hypnotic diagram reminded me of a science fiction short story premised around the idea that breakthroughs in psychology and applied mathematics had made it possible to design two-dimensional black and white images that would produce extreme effects in anyone who looked at them. The result was a society in perpetual counter-terrorism lockdown. An image like "The Parrot" could cause immediate seizures and fatal strokes, and one terrorist sneaking a placard of it into the Superbowl could not only kill everyone in his immediate area but also viewers at home. Our main characters in the story are tweens who attend a school with translucent windows. They've gotten their hands on a low-powered nausea-inducing image and they've formed a secret club to take turns looking at it. Where can I find this story? [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Oct 28, 2013 - 13 answers

Recent Entry-Level Science Fiction

In search of accessible contemporary SF—help! [more inside]
posted by xenization on Oct 22, 2013 - 24 answers

Please make this pregnant lady cry

Can you recommend me some fiction, comics, and movies that are parenting positive--especially mom-positive? [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Oct 14, 2013 - 39 answers

¿Como se dice "space ship"?

I am re-re-re-embarking on my periodic quest to actually develop competent Spanish skills. (I'm Hispanic, it feels obligatory.) Something I've never had previously--books I actually wanted to read for fun that were not translated from English. So: Are there Spanish-language authors to look for who're writing science fiction and fantasy? Especially of the YA variety? [more inside]
posted by Sequence on Oct 13, 2013 - 11 answers

Help ID a scifi story about aliens and a quarantined Earth

Can you help my friend identify this scifi short story about aliens and a shield around the earth? [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Oct 2, 2013 - 3 answers

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