I don't like most popular movies and popular culture. My saying so has resulted in hurt feelings and angry people. Help me understand why they would be so emotionally invested in these things. [more inside]
My uncle is interested in reading science fiction or futuristic fantasy books that involve music as a strong narrative element. He has read some Anne McCaffrey that did this, as well as Patrick Rothfuss, but was hoping to find other options, and I drew a blank. Can you guys think of any more music-tinged works?
Hey all, a particular literary conversation has gotten stuck in my head for days and I can't source it. I've tried every number and combination of Bing/Google searches, but it may be that I'm not getting the exact words right in the phrase. [more inside]
Are there any medieval fantasy games or fiction where the illiteracy of the characters are a major plot point, or at least discussed in depth? Since most people couldn't read or do any sort of advanced math before the modern era, you would think it would come up more often, but it seems like it's barely mentioned or considered in most stories that I can recall.
I'm running a fantasy football league in which we have 10 teams. The first 9 weeks were round-robin style, with each team playing each other team exactly once. My plan was to schedule weeks 10 through 13 (four weeks) such that each team played a mix of stronger and weaker opponents based on the standings in weeks 1 through 9, then use the week 1-13 results to seed teams for the playoffs in weeks 14-16, but I'm having trouble developing an approach for generating these balanced week 10-13 matchups fairly. Any ideas? [more inside]
What are some good fandom-related Halloween treats or tricks for an artsy foodie fangirl? [more inside]
I finally have enough time to read books again. My favorite books to read are fantasy with magic. I don't dislike sex in books, but I'm specifically not looking for erotica disguised as fantasy. My favorites have been The Witches of Eileanan and the Rhapsody series. I prefer to read female authors- can't stand GRRM, and am not super into Sci Fi. Can you help me find interesting and fun things to read?
I’m looking for some in the background audiobook recommendations, special details inside. [more inside]
I enjoy SF/F short fiction that takes a wide view of a sub-genre or universe, evoking its possibilities without spending much time on any given situation/episode. I can offer some examples, but I would be glad to read more. [more inside]
What elements of Arab culture (history, fashion, calligraphy, ...), including literature, would you choose to build a fantasy or sci-fi world (or any other type of word) that you'd like to visit time and again? [more inside]
I'm looking for a children's book I read in the mid-90s about a young girl who falls through a lake into another place. Sound familiar to anyone? I've got a few more details to share. [more inside]
Here are a few facts about this old SF story whose author I can no longer recall. 1. It was written by a giant of mid-century SF whose name I can no longer recall. Not Sheckley, not Asimov. I thought it might be Damon Knight, but I can't find it in his work. 2. It's a story about a man who travels to the future as part of a gigantic relief effort to assist future men who are burying themselves in the earth. [more inside]
Further to the success of a previous Ask Me, in which I was given a great idea for a fictional story I am writing, I am back with another question. I would like to know what people, places, events and objects you associate with fairy tales, folklore, myths etc. [more inside]
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]
Seeking recommendations for a site with good coverage of books, films, comics etc. centered around SFF nerdery for my RSS reader. I used to read The Mary Sue, but have been meh about it since its revamp. I'm currently trying out Tor.com, but I'm looking for other alternatives. Feminist orientation is a plus, but not mandatory. I don't play video games, and I'm not particularly interested in rewatches/rereads other than on FanFare.
Has anyone ever attempted to realistically and fully work out what the economic and/or sociological implications of a world where dungeons and dragons or lord of the ring-style magic exists? For example, how it would impact the feudal system and so on. In any form, essay, fiction or otherwise.
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?
There are lots of interesting SF&F economic systems that are without money -- post-scarcity AI-nano cornucopias, magic subsistence economies, etc. For those who imagine worlds that still have money, though, what are the most interesting speculative monetary/currency/financial systems? (Please feel free to mention the obvious-to-you, as I've got big gaps in my SF&F reading and watching.) Thanks! [more inside]
I've had a fantasy that has been rolling around in my head for the past 15 plus years of opening a small public aquarium. It's always been the sort of things that I thought to myself "If I ever won the lottery one day." level of realism. Over the past year or so, I've been getting encouragement from friends to actually go for it. While I still thinks it's just daydream fodder, I sort of want to figure out a rough idea of cost to see just how crazy the idea is. The problem is, I have no idea how to figure that rough estimate of what it would cost. [more inside]
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]
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]
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
Please recommend to me any science fiction/fantasy novels (maybe TV shows as well) that are well written, interesting, and essentially nonviolent. "Completely violence-free" isn't necessary. I'm particularly looking for novels aimed at adults that don't rely on combat scenes to advance the narrative, generate/resolve tension, or provide Crowning Moments of Awesome.* [more inside]
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]
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!
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]
In Poul Anderson’s “The Last of the Deliverers,” (spoilers ahead) he describes a future America in which, for all practical purposes, cheap solar energy and a culture of decreased desires for material advancement (people are essentially satisfied with a comfortable, but low, standard of living) have led to a kind of utopia. The plot of the story is, more or less, that two representatives of remnants from an older culture – a small-government type in the Barry Goldwater mold as well as a member of the American Communist Party – meet in a village and argue about the virtues of their respective ideologies, but cannot appreciate that social evolution and the lack of scarcity produced by it has made their political differences (and their politics) largely pointless and obsolete. So how am I to understand the last half-paragraph of the story, which seems to undercut the entire story in a most paradoxical way: [more inside]
I am searching for the name of a fantasy novel from childhood, which has been calling to me lately in a way that may greatly inform my artwork. It has been fruitless to google, as I can only remember certain clues about its plotline and cover illustration. Help me, metafilter! The internet is great but some quandaries need humans. (Read extended explanation for the clues) [more inside]
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]
I'm looking for some good sports newsletters. [more inside]
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]
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.
My wife and kids are leaving town for five days. I have to stay home because of work. However, I will have some free time this weekend and in the evenings early next week. I also have a nice credit in my Amazon account. So, this seems like the perfect time to read a big science fiction or fantasy novel. I'm looking for a single long novel or maybe a trilogy. Something to fill the lonely hours. I'd like interesting characters, an exciting plot, and writing that's not too clunky (better writing is preferred, but I'm more interested in character and plotting than MFA literary styling). I want to read the sort of book (or series) that will keep me up late into the night. A page turner. I usually have to read things in small chunks in the evening and on the bus, but this is my chance to indulge in some obsessive reading.
I can't source which artist creating this fantastic image: link to floating islands click here Can anyone plead help? Image search engines have been useless! [more inside]
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]
Moviefilter: I love the imagery and atmosphere of Victorian fantasy. I don't (necessarily) mean stories that were written in the Victorian era, but rather stories which are set in the Victorian era (or in an imaginary analog of it). The genre I'm thinking of tends to have a certain mythologized and aestheticized vision of the era: melancholy, mysterious, perhaps a bit of Gothic horror or the supernatural—i.e., not necessarily a realistic period piece. Wikipedia's entry on gaslamp fantasy is suggestive. (For the record, I am emphatically not talking about romance or novel-of-manners stuff.) Now: are there any movies like this? [more inside]
Help me create a fantasy stock account - offline solutions preferred. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
I am trying to remember the name of a fantasy book I read around 1990 or so. It was written for pre-teens/young adults, took place on another planet, involved a longish journey on some sort of camel-esque creature and the development of a relationship between a trainee warrior-type and some sort of novitiate. Any ideas as to what this book could be? [more inside]
Hi metafilter, I read this (fantasy?) book as a kid and only remember it vaguely. I was hoping someone could help me find it. Here is all that I remember, which might be made up or two books joined into one in my head: [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of novels (or stories in other media) that fit a particular mold exemplified by Harry Potter. The basic premise is that the protagonist is living a (usually particularly unpleasant) mundane life when they are unexpectedly contacted by a representative from a secret supernatural (or otherwise fantastic) society and then.... invited to enroll in a school. [more inside]
My google-fu is not helping me on these, this is sort of a disjointed question, for whatever reason a few disjointed memories have come to mind recently from media I once consumed, I can usually figure out the sources if I can piece together this much memory but I haven't managed to with these ones. I read/watched these long ago. This is one classic romantic-comedy and various SF/F novels and short stories. [more inside]
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]
Is there a more relaxed version of fantasy baseball -- preferably one that I can just play online without organizing a league among my acquaintances? [more inside]
I need more examples of the ways that children get into magical worlds in books. [more inside]
Several years ago I found the Game of Throne books after several people suggested it on here. I have a pretty decent amount of Christmas vacation this year and I would like to read more, well-written, fantasy. This is where you come in - what would you have me read? [more inside]
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]