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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
I'm looking for the name of this classic SF story about a handful of astronauts stranded in space in radio contact but slowly drifting away from each other and running out of air. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight
on Sep 29, 2013 -
I like reading reviews of books, both to learn about new things to read, and to gain insight on things I've already read. Right now, almost all the books I'm reading are science fiction and fantasy. What are the best, most comprehensive sites that review books in these genres? I'm looking for review quality above your standard Amazon reviews—not just rehashing the plot with "I liked it" or "I didn't like it", but thoughtful, high quality analysis.
posted by ocherdraco
on Sep 24, 2013 -
Can you identify this vaguely remembered long lost scifi short story? I read this story in London when I was a kid... but it may not be British, just English language: the basic plot goes something like this - the human narrator is telling an anecdote about the pitfalls of universal translator technologies. He relates the story of a lone human scientist (perhaps a biologist or an anthropologist) studying life on an alien planet. More plot details [and SPOILERS] in the extended explanation !!!!
posted by Bwithh
on Sep 23, 2013 -
As a sort of follow up to this question
I posted last school year, I am now four weeks into the Sci-Fi elective and am worried about the lack of structure I have in my class. I'm looking for ideas/activities to do with my students in class. More details below the fold. [more inside]
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith
on Sep 17, 2013 -
I'm trying to find an old sci-fi story set in a vaguely dystopian future in which, early in the story, a man sits inside what is ostensibly a vast computer, in his underwear, a cigar in his mouth, answering questions posted to the computer. Essentially a variant on the original Turk. I keep thinking Kutner, P.K. Dick or Brunner, but I can 't find it in my collection. Thanks.
posted by dave31415
on Sep 15, 2013 -
So I'm a dedicated Culture fanatic and have loved almost everything I've read by Iain M. Banks. (His Iain Banks stuff is pretty good too, but his sci-fi is what I really dig.) I particularly love the holistic, humanist morality that pervades his work and the way that he digs right down into the philosophical implications of various ideas and worldviews while simultaneously serving up lots and lots of sex, action, and sensawunda. However, I've read everything he's written several times over. What should I read next? [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Sep 9, 2013 -
It starts with the main character's death where he meets God. God presents him with some kind of question or riddle to solve. The guy eventually gets the right answer. In the end it turns out that God deceived the man into getting the correct answer so he could be free of his immortality.
posted by laptolain
on Aug 24, 2013 -
Many monsters in fiction are scary in large part because of their inherent, biological abilities: acid blood, teeth, claws, wings, etc. Inspired by this tumblr thread
(via this Omni article
), I'm looking for stories in any genre that avoid or (preferably) subvert this trope, making humans out to be inherently frightening, gross or dangerous.
posted by Skorgu
on Aug 23, 2013 -
I'm re-reading Eon by Greg Bear which is starts set in the near future (around 2000) from when it was published. The US and the USSR are of course still very antagonistic. This made me wonder: is there much science fiction published in the 1980s where the author doesn't assume the Soviet Union still exists (or alternately, it still exists but the US and it are not antagonistic)? [more inside]
posted by R343L
on Aug 22, 2013 -
I used to really enjoy the reviews at an old website called Inchoatus, their focus was sci fi. But they went dark a long time ago. So are there any decent independent sites doing thoughtful, in-depth (and, sure, snarky) reviews of sci fi and horror (I'm less interested in fantasy, though I understand that it's part of the whole thing) books these days?
posted by turbid dahlia
on Aug 18, 2013 -
Are there any sci-fi stories that involve the future appearance of the Maitreya
Buddha? Looking for stories where the character is primarily identified as the Maitreya, rather than general "Second Coming" stories where the character could conceivably belong to a number of different soteriological interpretations.
posted by Greg Nog
on Jul 26, 2013 -
I am trying to remember an old science fiction novel. I swear I heard of it on Metafilter, but my search skills fail me. It was weird, maybe a classic, maybe an embarrassment. Setting - far, far future. Earth winding down. No space flight. Remnants of humanity live in a chasm, rest of the planet is uninhabitable. The whole thing was online (on a geocities-level website), either public domain or never actually published. Author may be unknown.
posted by SkinnerSan
on Jul 25, 2013 -
I'm looking for a particular type of escapist literature. For financial reasons, I can't travel that much at this stage in my life. So, I would like to read some fantasy or science fiction novels in which the characters travel to interesting and richly imagined worlds. I would like travel or exploration to be a significant part of the novels. I don't want to read about the same old faux-Tolkien worlds or generic galactic empires.
posted by Area Man
on Jul 23, 2013 -
After watching Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
, I'm suddenly dying to watch old, cheesy, crazy-ass sci-fi movies. Can you recommend the good ones to me? [more inside]
posted by heyho
on Jul 11, 2013 -
I need a new book to read for my upcoming trip (including long flights). It must be available on kindle. Details inside, of the kind of book I am looking for. [more inside]
posted by Joh
on Jul 10, 2013 -
I vaguely remember reading a SciFi short story about racing cars backwards around a track that was a metaphor for transistors. Does such a story actually exist, or is it all in my head?
posted by Proofs and Refutations
on Jul 9, 2013 -
Where do you go to read about written science fiction? Not a recommendation engine like GoodReads (or god help me Amazon), but somewhere that talks about new books coming out, old books you may have missed, reviews, previews, release dates, etc? And if they want to throw in some actual science, all the better. [more inside]
posted by Ookseer
on Jul 9, 2013 -
I want to write a science fiction story where somebody spends a few weeks or so living off a food that was intended for people colonising another planet, with odd effects. I'm not that scientifically knowledgeable and I want this to be grounded in facts. More details below. [more inside]
posted by KateViolet
on Jul 7, 2013 -
If Stephen King's short story collections Skeleton Crew and Night Shift are my favorite short story collections of all time, what other short story collections might I enjoy?
posted by imabanana
on Jun 30, 2013 -
Looking for sci-fi writers' imaginings of gastronomy in the future, innovative cooking techniques, haute cuisine of the year 3000, that sort of thing. Descriptions can be mundane, fantastical or technojargony. Can include imaginary or extraterrestrial ingredients. Any medium is fine (film, TV, book, etc.). Adjacent genres such as fantasy would work too.
posted by duffell
on Jun 26, 2013 -
I need recommendations for TV shows, audiodramas and audiobooks that I can really sink my teeth into. I'm asking for both in the same question because I need to be able to listen to the TV and still catch most everything; this is stuff I want to have on while I'm doing stuff with my hands. I'm a fan of fantasy, science fiction, drama and snark. More information and a list of favorite things after the jump. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed
on Jun 24, 2013 -
I'm looking for a short story. I'm not sure of much, but I know it involved ABBA and rare orchids. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by Gin and Comics
on Jun 18, 2013 -
This is one of those things that's instantly available if you can remember the exact wording, but totally ungooglable if you can't. I am currently arguing in a bar about this exact quote and who it's by.
What I remember: it's by a really famous scientist-author who i am for wine-related reasons blanking on. Someone like Sagan or Feynman. It was the epigraph in some scifi book that I likewise can't remember what it was. What I can remember of the quote:
"Some of us look at the stars because of blah blah blah blah. Some of us are blah blah blah. And some of us are just hoping for someone interesting to talk to/some intelligent conversation."
That's all I can remember. Help!
posted by Dormant Gorilla
on Jun 17, 2013 -
Wracking my brain trying to think of a short sci-fi story I read recently, I think in an anthology from within the last couple years. The story was about the relationship arc between a man convinced that technocratic solutions could be found to eliminate the messiness of politics and a woman who was more skeptical. Early in the story the female protagonist rescues a relative of the man's from a near-drowning in California when a computer failure causes his smart-surfboard to fail or something like that. The bulk of the story is set in Washington DC where the woman leads a lobbying effort against broad introduction of further ubiquitous computer controlled systems. Whether or not a computer-controlled traffic system is immune from exploitation was a major feature of the plot.
What was it called?!
posted by Wretch729
on Jun 17, 2013 -
I'm looking for books where characters are exploring the solar system using space ships that are technologically within (or somewhat close to) our capability to build today. Bonus points if those novels are character driven.
posted by Hoenikker
on Jun 14, 2013 -
The only thing that gets me to the gym is watching science fiction movies on my iPhone. Can you recommend some more based on the criteria inside? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock
on Jun 5, 2013 -
Can you please suggest a blog or resource that will tell me what under-the-radar science fiction movies I should go see? [more inside]
posted by rebent
on May 21, 2013 -
I remember reading a short story about a futuristic treatment which causes long-life (1000 years?). In the story, a young couple gets the treatment, and we follow their lives up through old age. The only particular I remember has the couple bored with nothing else to learn or experience, and they sit, playing million piece all-white jigsaw puzzles to pass the time. [more inside]
posted by klausman
on May 7, 2013 -
After spending several years reading largely YA, I'd like to read some grown-up secondary world fantasy novels. Persnickety tastes below the fold. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi
on Apr 30, 2013 -
What is the significance of the unhappy couple (wife is hospitalized) midway in the movie Upstream Color?
posted by mnemonic
on Apr 25, 2013 -
I just read China Mieville's The City and the City and really enjoyed it. I have a long train ride tomorrow and would like to download some more books for the road. Can you recommend some intelligent, literary speculative fiction, including perhaps others by Mieville? [more inside]
posted by foxy_hedgehog
on Apr 19, 2013 -
I remember reading a scifi short story about people finding a dead/frozen angel floating in space, where there was just enough brain activity in the being that it was able to play a board game. It sounded like something that Ted Chiang might have written, but I didn't see it in the post about him that was here a while ago. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
posted by ymgve
on Apr 18, 2013 -
My cousin needs to pick out a science fiction book to read to a class of 3rd graders. She wants it to be interesting enough or memorable enough to be enjoyed in once a week installments, but she also wants to avoid the classics (so kids can discover them on their own). Oh, her first class is today in a few hours!
posted by Feantari
on Apr 5, 2013 -
Sci-Fi/FantasyFilter: I've just been told that I get to be the first one to teach a brand new Science Fiction & Fantasy elective at my High School. I am building this class from scratch and since the students will be responsible for getting the books themselves, I have pretty much free-reign for my book choices. Great, right? Absolutely! However, I want to expand my initial book search so I wanted to enlist the Hive Mind to help with this initial salvo. More details below the fold. [more inside]
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith
on Mar 21, 2013 -
An earlier question has triggered this for me. Sometime in the 90's (I think), I saw a movie with these elements: Romeo android, female bounty hunter/badass, red convertible with oxygen masks, post apocalyptic landscapes [more inside]
posted by Allee Katze
on Mar 6, 2013 -
Sci-Fi movie identification halp. Watched a movie when I was a kid that I thought was Futureworld, viewed Futureworld recently, beginning and ending are totally different. And yet certain things/scenes meshed. Am I imagining things? Maybe meshing two different films? [more inside]
posted by disconnect
on Mar 6, 2013 -
Just watched the awesome indie sci-fi/thriller "Sound of My Voice," and have questions about the ending, and the film itself. Massive spoilers inside. [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Feb 24, 2013 -