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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

Good Russian and Eastern European SF/F/Horror

I really love the sort of bleak/dark horror/fantasy/science fiction from Russia and Eastern Europe. I loved the Nightwatch series, loved Solaris, loved the Metro series. What else would I love from that part of the world?
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Engrossing Science Fiction Recommendations Please!

Help me fill my Kindle with vacation reading! I like well-written doorstop SF, urban fantasy, spaceship books, epic fantasy, deep complicated books but also joyful romps, complicated prophecies that manifest in unusual ways, great worldbuilding, etc. Romantic elements are fine but I'm not as into stuff where the plot is a thin scrim to hang over endless sexy sex. And as a lifelong SF reader, I have now officially read enough books without women in them, so only books that include solid female characters (as opposed to braid-tugging smurfettes). Things I have loved under the cut. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT on Jun 19, 2014 - 66 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

Fantasy Disguised as General Fiction

Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
posted by xenization on Jun 18, 2014 - 27 answers

Fantasy series that inspire fan theories like A Song of Ice and Fire?

One of my favorite aspects of ASOIAF is how GRRM drops clues and foreshadowing and his use of unreliable narrators and second-hand information to keep fans guessing and theorizing about what "really" happened. And one of my favorite aspects of ASOIAF fandom is that the word count of fan theorizing seems to now exceed the word count of the actual books by an order of magnitude. What are some other fantasy series that employ similar techniques and have inspired a comparable level of online theorizing? Thanks!
posted by Jacqueline on May 2, 2014 - 15 answers

Fantasy Childhood Book Oswald the Sea Monster, Basilisks, Mandrakes...

A favorite childhood book was titled something like "A Mysterious Parcel." It was a translation from another (unknown) language into my own Eastern European language, so the original title might have been quite different. [more inside]
posted by Atrahasis on Apr 21, 2014 - 2 answers

SF/Fantasy books with a 'big reveal'?

RecoFilter: I'm looking for recommendations of books, preferably in the sci-fi/fantasy genres, that have a 'big reveal' somewhere in there that changes the whole perspective of the book or protagonist. Examples would be The Inverted World, The Prestige, or Ender's Game, for example, or the first Star Trek film, or some Lovecraft stories — the whole thing, and all events narrated, appear in a different light after, you know? [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Apr 18, 2014 - 43 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

Help me find a pair of novels set in the future with magic.

Trying to find a pair of novels set in the near future North America that I read sometime between 1990 and 2004 approximately. The "big idea" is that neopagan magic "returns" (or at least everyone believes it does, and acts accordingly) with the millennium. The protagonist of one novel is pregnant with the next world spiritual leader. In one scene, a prophet yells at her, "you're full of fish!" Another novel with the same setting (perhaps the same novel) involved a conspiracy and had a genderqueer magical cyberpunk/hacker as a minor character. I remember them as similar to Galveston by Sean Stewart but I'm pretty certain they're not by Stewart. It's not Bone Dance or DeLint, and they had nothing to do with Shadowrun. Help appreciated. They're probably not all that great, but the pair were striking enough that a few things stick out.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

The American SF "Canon"

For an upcoming project I'm putting together what's meant to be a comprehensive timeline of important (even "necessary") works of American science fiction since the late 19th century. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Mar 23, 2014 - 68 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

Help me identify this fantasy novel

I bought it from a thrift store sometime in the 90's. Mostly, I recall there being an auction of magical/religiously significant items and a chase scene involving a golem. [more inside]
posted by darchildre on Feb 6, 2014 - 2 answers

Book recomnedation: worldbuilding and self-aware, active characters

I again have time to consume books like a cookie-monster. I've avoided lists of classics-by-genera because I tend to like only 5% of what's on them. It's not that I specifically like reading dystopias or sci-fi - I liked the Poisonwood Bible for instance, as much if not more than Lord of the Rings. In addition to book recommendations, it would also be useful if, given the books listed below, you have any ideas for other trends that could help me search out books myself. Your advice is much appreciated! :) [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jan 25, 2014 - 24 answers

Where are the doorways to magical worlds?

I need more examples of the ways that children get into magical worlds in books. [more inside]
posted by not that girl on Jan 21, 2014 - 56 answers

What are some great ongoing fantasy and science fiction book series?

A while back I stopped reading any book series that was not completely finished. I have now decided to ease up on the rule and I have realized that I am a little bit out of touch with the state of the field in fantasy/science fiction. So please recommend your favorite recent books and series in this area. [more inside]
posted by bove on Oct 2, 2013 - 40 answers

What are the best sites for science fiction and fantasy book reviews?

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 - 8 answers

Non-euro fantasy stories?

Looking for fantasy that's not based on your standard European/Tolkien background. Pretty much any flavor of fantasy is alright (straight, urban, science, what have ye). Just finished reading Barry Hughart's Master Li/Number Ten Ox books and enjoyed them. Would definitely prefer "adult" fiction versus YA, but no preference for novels versus short stories.
posted by curious nu on Sep 23, 2013 - 24 answers

I've exhausted Iain M. Banks. I want more. What should I read next?

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 - 37 answers

Economic Fantasy And The Anti-Anthem.

Settle a bet: Friend claimed that Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal" and "Making Money" where unique in the fantasy genre for dealing so much with the economics and " white collar" systems of a fantasy setting. I said that couldn't be true but couldn't think of any examples ( they abound in Sci-Fi, but we're talking wands and robes here, and the Baroque Cycle is only kind-of-fantasy). So, what are some examples of fantasy novels where things like labor unions, mediums of exchange, guild politics, trade imbalances, commodities markets, hostile takeovers and government regulation are both explored and woven into the plot? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2013 - 30 answers

Books or movies like Dark Souls?

Along with a friend, I have been immersed in Dark Souls for over 100 hours the past couple weeks. Although we still have much ground to cover, we're obsessed with the beautiful world, tone and feel created by this game. Are there any movies or books that capture this? Don't know what Dark Souls is like? Explanation has lots of detail! [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto on Jul 25, 2013 - 17 answers

I read it for the economics and the unicorns

What are some good scifi / fantasy / horror novels about economics? [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on May 16, 2013 - 23 answers

French SF/Fantasy Novels (in the original)

I recently discovered an awesome local bookstore in France, hence I'd like to pick up a French-language SF/F novel that isn't a translation and would be difficult to find in the US. Suggestions? (Subgenre preferences below the jump) [more inside]
posted by serelliya on May 7, 2013 - 8 answers

I need to read some grown-up books. With unicorns, preferably.

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 - 58 answers

The perils of listening to your readers

A while ago I read an essay/article/rant online re a fantasy author / series and I'd like to read it again but google is failing me because I can't remember any specifics. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 23, 2013 - 2 answers

Suggest Sc-iFi/Fantasy Books for a brand new High School elective

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 - 69 answers

Post-Valentine's Day Reading

Just too late for Valentine's Day, recommend me some awesome fantasy novels with satisfying romances. [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley on Feb 15, 2013 - 18 answers

Books of my youth filter

Name that young adult fantasy novel: Two boys who are enemies at school are transported to some magical scenario where they have to work together. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Feb 13, 2013 - 4 answers

Details, details, details...and then BAM!

As a reader of fiction (especially if you're a devotee of speculative fiction), how much do you like detailed descriptions and/or lists as part of the story? What if the story switches between detail and expediency? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Dec 28, 2012 - 12 answers

Goldilocks ISO juuuuuust-right fantasy novel

I'm just finishing up the third book in Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" series, and I've really enjoyed these books. What fantasy book(s) should I read next to suit my current mood? [more inside]
posted by taz on Dec 18, 2012 - 12 answers

Hamlet the pig knight and his rusty twisted sword

I remember this illustrated children's book from the 1970's, a vaguely Arthurian fantasy with anthropomorphic pigs. I think the main character was named "Hamlet" and there were other pig themed puns. He had an Excaliber-like sword that was all rusty and bent up. Please help me find it again. [more inside]
posted by wobh on Dec 4, 2012 - 5 answers

Help me figure out what to read next!

Yet another "please help me find more books to read" query [more inside]
posted by Quincy on Sep 17, 2012 - 32 answers

Fantasy novels with enchanted guns/weapons?

What fantasy/SF/steampunk/cyberpunk novels feature guns or other modern or futuristic weapons with enchantments or magical effects on them?
posted by shivohum on Sep 4, 2012 - 16 answers

The Best of Contemporary Literary Characters

Please help me find contemporary literary/fictional characters that make you want to love them, hate them, or -- even better -- both. [more inside]
posted by GnomeChompsky on Aug 2, 2012 - 44 answers

Standalone fantasy novels?

Looking for standalone fantasy novels or duologies. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Jul 24, 2012 - 29 answers

Looking for new novels - flavour: slightly epic fantasy, SF or historical, with good female characters

I'm looking for some new books and/or authors to read, probably fantasy/SF or historical, dramatic but not dark and preferably with female characters. [more inside]
posted by jb on Jul 16, 2012 - 47 answers

GAME OF THRONES is a gateway drug

Requesting intelligent, well-written "realistic" epic fantasy book suggestions. Having George R.R. Martin withdrawals. Need more severed heads & engaging dialogue and relatable bleakness, less "you're the one," stilted conversations and Randomly capitalized Words. [more inside]
posted by apostrophe on Jul 10, 2012 - 57 answers

I'm nonplussed by GoT, what now?

How to phrase my feelings about Game of Thrones? [more inside]
posted by knz on Jun 30, 2012 - 51 answers

Game of Thrones is Getting Me Down

I need a great escapist doorstop novel, and I love some magic and weird creatures, but most big fantasy novels seem to be about BAND of WARRIORS leading to EPIC BATTLE and grimness and people dying. Battles bore me and I'm just not that interested in violence (including magical violence). I'm also interested in people without so much power-- so no royalty, super-wizards, or Chosen Ones. Can you recommend fantasy books that AREN'T about warriors, magical or otherwise? That feature intrepid traders? Cunning craftspeople? What are the bourgeoisie and the working stiffs up to in magic epic land? [more inside]
posted by Erasmouse on Jun 27, 2012 - 78 answers

It's fantasy, it shouldn't be so limited.

There is no shortage of fantasy novels set in a fantasy world based on Europe. But what about fantasy worlds based on other cultures? [more inside]
posted by Kutsuwamushi on Jun 2, 2012 - 54 answers

Seeking the Title of An Out of Print, Science Fiction Novel

I'm looking for the title of a novel. The novel is set in the future, in a utopian society. Men and women have reverted to sexist roles (men farm and women cook and clean). The protagonist is a young woman, who runs away from home to go join one of the many military schools populating her country. The book has a male author, and last I checked it was no longer in print. [more inside]
posted by emilynoa on Mar 20, 2012 - 3 answers

Its breaking my heart that I can't introduce her to Tiffany Aching

I am looking for YA books with a female main character, that will pass muster with very conservative Christian parents. [more inside]
posted by PercyByssheShelley on Mar 6, 2012 - 60 answers

someone has to save our skins

I'm looking for suggestions for science fiction/fantasy/fairy-tales/etc. for young(ish) girls. I'm especially interested in epic stories that are similar to the ones I devoured when I was that age (Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, superhero comics, Dragonlance, etc.), but which are centered on female protagonists and which don't reinforce sexist social messaging about female passivity or objectification. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Feb 26, 2012 - 47 answers

Looking for Young Adult Science Fiction Trilogy

Trying to find a Young Adult Fantasy Trilogy--Can't Remember the Name [more inside]
posted by Eyeveex on Feb 21, 2012 - 22 answers

Fantasy newbie wanting more pls!

Looking for some recommendations for serious fantasy books, especially those inspired by fairy tales. A couple guidelines inside. [more inside]
posted by houndsoflove on Feb 16, 2012 - 59 answers

I want more books about powerful wizards

BookRecommendation Filter: More books that follow a character from youth through adulthood, to become someone powerful, famous and influential. ie- I'm looking for more books like Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy and Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle. [more inside]
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith on Feb 11, 2012 - 39 answers

How readable is A Dance with Dragons?

I am going to be bored by A Dance with Dragons, aren't I? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Nov 8, 2011 - 35 answers

Fantasy novels without the sexism = are they only a myth?

Bookfilter: looking for fantasy novels without the entrenched sexism. An impossible task? There are plenty of fantasy stories in which the woman proves herself equal to the men, but that's not what I'm looking for. I want a setting in which that proof simply isn't necessary. [more inside]
posted by marginaliana on Oct 18, 2011 - 79 answers

Looking for an old 80's fantasy book.

Looking for an old 80's fnatasy book. [more inside]
posted by hrhtx on Sep 26, 2011 - 4 answers

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