I'm brainstorming a YA novel that would be set in a wealthy Long Island suburb in 1979. What was life like for teenagers then? Anecdotes, stories, and book or movie suggestions welcome. [more inside]
I have discovered a specific taste for creepy stories where the creepy-factor comes not from things that are straightforwardly evil or horrible, but from things that are just... incomprehensibly vast or infinite. Help me find more of these! Examples below the cut. [more inside]
Looking for short novels composed of fragments, vignettes, etc. Examples: Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, Danielle Dutton's Margaret the First. [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of stories (in books, movies, tv, etc) that show a happy ending in which a prominent female character goes off into the sunset happily childfree by choice. (Minor spoilers for some genre fiction within). [more inside]
I've been reading a lot of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett lately and I am really into it. But now I want to taste some of this same flavour in a more recent vintage, especially if it is seasoned with some cross-genre pollination. [more inside]
In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
So I've got a half a dozen mystery/crime short stories written and I'd like to start submitting them for publication. I know of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen and Thuglit. What other reputable magazines/e-zines are out there that you would recommend? My stories are about 3000 words long, and they've done well in local short story contests.
I'm interested in the historical fact that there were individuals (and families) who were fiercely loyal to a royal family and served them. In terms of suggestions from most to least ideal, I'm interested in (1) biographies that depict this loyalty, (2) fictional depictions of this loyalty, and (3) individuals who this describes. And to be a bit more clear on the situation I'm interested in: (1) the individual served the royal family in some significant capacity and perhaps ideally had a personal relationship with the royal family (they weren't just peasants who admired the royal family from afar), and (2) the individual was ideologically supportive if not passionate about the royal family and the monarch (they weren't just performing their duties to make a living). Thanks!
Trying to identify a book I read as a young teenager in the early 80s, prominently featuring people traveling across dimensions. The thing I remember most is the striking explanation of how, e.g., a 3-dimensional body would look like to someone who can see only 2 dimensions. [more inside]
What are some good stories about transitioning from one place to another? [more inside]
In December, 1893, Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes at the hands of Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. From interviews at that time, Conan Doyle intended it to be a permanent death. Was this truly unprecedented? [more inside]
I've been watching the 1978-1979 Hanna-Barbera Godzilla series with my son. There's one episode where the characters encounter the lost city of Atlantis, which turns out to be an alien spaceship. The depiction is similar to the Atlantis city/ship from the Stargate TV series. I'm wondering when the earliest depiction of Atlantis as spaceship occurred. [more inside]
I'm looking for a short story published in Playboy in the 70s or 80s. Back in 1980 or 1981 I visited my brother in college and snagged a Playboy from his fraternity house. I was, of course, most interested in the pictures but I was also fascinated with writing stories and reading fiction. I was 12 and had discovered short fiction earlier in the year. [more inside]
Fictional scenario: Jim has a life threatening illness. There is a possible (perhaps experimental) treatment - or a diagnostic tool or whatever - which would involve his adult children (donating tissue or an organ?). Jim refuses it, because he is worried that his children would as a result find out that he is not their biological father. What could the medical McGuffin in this story be? [more inside]
Looking for fiction, lyric essays, poetry, or theoretical texts that discuss emotional and verbal abuse in romantic relationships. Interested in both fiction and non-fiction, but not interested in self-help, psychology, life coach-y type lit, nor YA novels. [more inside]
I need examples of famous works of fiction in books, short stories, plays, maybe movies, though that seems to easy, in which a character goes through a physical transformation. [more inside]
I'm writing a piece of fiction and have a character who works in fundraising for a big nonprofit. Is there anything I can read to find out what this sort of work is like? [more inside]
I'm thinking if writing something that heavily uses foreshadowing in any/all permutations possible. [more inside]
I thoroughly enjoyed this post on the blue -- which explored how characters fall in love in novels. I would like to find new to me fiction that uses this technique in developing love stories. [more inside]
After reading about the benefits of using insects as a food supply, I'm wondering why insect farming isn't used in the post apocalyptic fiction I've read (or maybe it is, and I have a bad memory). It seems like insect farming would work really well depending on the scenario! Recommend me some stories.
I seem to greatly enjoy fiction about the absurd, ridiculous, or obnoxious aspects of an academic or research environment. Examples that I really liked include PhD Comics (mostly the early years), Bellwether by Connie Willis, and especially Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. MetaFilter, can you recommend any similarly absurd books about stressed academics? [more inside]
I am seeking books and movies in which characters are slowly driven to complete exasperation in the face of relatively minor annoyances. Bonus if this exasperation is handled in a comedic (or blackly comedic) manner. [more inside]
I've found one meta/aggregating site, but more are appreciated, as well as web fiction hosts. [more inside]
Woman disappears: packs up her things, including all ID, and leaves without any indication of where she has gone. Adult daughter wants to file Missing Person's report, her father says it is pointless because woman clearly left of her own free will. What, in reality, would happen if the daughter tries to get the police involved? How can I find out more about police procedure in such cases? [more inside]
Years ago I read a fictional book in which a small object (I don't remember what. Maybe a ring? ) was passed down through several generations, being owned by some people that were good and some that were bad until it ended up with Lincoln's father, Tom, and his name in the book was written as Linkhorn. That's not much to go on and I don't remember if it was an adult or youth book. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Please recommend novels where trauma and healing are major themes. Bonus points if: (a) it's well written; (b) it's genre fiction; (c) it's a comic; (d) the person who underwent trauma doesn't commit violence or suicide; (e) it will make me cry.
Book Recommendation Filter: Looking for urban fantasy or "modern world" sci-fi (not horror) told in third person and doesn't try to sell me on vampire protagonists. This is turning out to be a surprisingly difficult itch to scratch. Help? [more inside]
I am travelling to meet my favorite science fiction author at a convention, but I haven't done this before. What do? [more inside]
Recommendations? I've got Sumiko Saulson's Black Women in Horror list/bios of 60 writers, which is an extensive and exciting resource. But I'm not looking exclusively for work by black women, so - who else brings the chills? [more inside]
I'm hunting for examples of stories about Westerners travelling to Japan that don't indulge in orientalist/exoticizing/racist tropes. [more inside]
So I'm working on a piece of fiction, in which one of the characters needs to have a job at the harbor... [more inside]
I have been binge-watching The Flash and it got me thinking... Characters who are manipulative, adept at lying, deeply skilled at reading people and pushing their buttons, who might be called chessmasters or puppetmasters always seem to be evil. Are their counter-examples, though? I can think of charming rogue types who are good at lying, but I think that's a different archetype. I'm open to any form of media--books, movies, comic books, operas, etc., even real historical examples. Preferably "good" characters, though neutral works too.
I'm writing a short story in which my main character is an urban planner. While the story doesn't center around her work life, I'd like to pepper in some details. Can you help me make it more accurate/real? Specifically, she goes from underachiever to getting kudos on the job. What might this look like in a real city planning job? [more inside]
Can you recommend fiction set in winter that will make me feel cozy? Also I am a snob so it needs to be not super cheesy (I tried The Mistletoe Promise, couldn't get past this) and fairly well-written. [more inside]
With The Man in the High Castle hitting Amazon Prime today, it got me thinking about other alternate histories that I have yet to read about or watch. Obviously this lends itself to dystopian lit, but I was wondering if there's more obscure things out there besides the mainstream/popular things like Inglorious Basterds. My favorites are sci-fi and horror, but I'm open to just about anything and will pretty much give everything a shot if it's highly recommended. Hope me, MeFites!
I am trying to think of the title/author of a science fiction story I read and loved from a couple of decades ago... [more inside]
For my NanoWrimo story, my FMC has been transported 20 years into the past and 4000 miles ("4234.7 miles, to be exact.") across the Atlantic to the USA. She works as a web designer and I have one or two questions about this. [more inside]
That is, what is a novel you read later in life that you wish you had come across as a kid or teen? Totally fine to recommend books that weren't yet published when you were young.
In my NanoWrimo story, the FMC is a website designer, and she somehow, accidentally finds out that the MMC's girlfriend is visiting dating and sex websites. Is this possible, and how could this happen? Also any hints/tips/gotchas I should be aware of? [more inside]
I'm stuck on part of a short story I'm writing. My main character is at a silent Vipassana retreat, but I'm not comfortable having so much of the action be internal. Aside from natural disasters and the like, what are some weird/dramatic things that could happen there that are realistic?
I am trying to find a science fiction story which I read in the late 50s to early 60s. It featured a group of boys in a far future who attend an educational event in an auditorium where they witness a ceremonial ritual involving a group of Viking or Viking warriors and a religious specialist or shaman or priest in a sort of transtemporal portal enclosed by a bubble forcefield. [more inside]
I'm kicking around some ideas for a sci-fi story about trash. For inspiration, I'm looking for trash-related passages from sci-fi works (e.g. there have to be some in Neuromancer), fiction or non-fiction about electronic waste, articles about trash from different eras, and articles tracing the provenance of trash, analogous to the links within. [more inside]
I've just read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. What an amazing book! Thanks to my ever-growing collection of nieces and nephews, I've enjoyed lots of middle grade fiction. It's been a few years years since I've picked up a good MG novel, though. Does anyone have any recent recommendations in a similar category or style? I'm looking for sophisticated middle grade fiction with strong crossover appeal.
Of course, the real answer is most books, but I'm looking for something a little more specific... [more inside]
It's been about nine years on the green since someone asked about novels of ancient Rome, and I'm hankering for some newer reads. Recommendations solicited! [more inside]
When I was in grade six (around 1995) we had a teacher that read us a couple of YA books that I think were by the same author. One was about firefighters trying to battle a forest fire. The other one was about being lost in a desert or a sandstorm or something? [more inside]
A friend's birthday is coming up. He likes to play darts (plays in a league) and he likes to read. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for gifts that might combine both. [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a books series I read when I was a kid. It was a post-apocalyptic sci-fi YA series (at least four or five books I think) aimed at a Christian audience. [more inside]
For fictional purposes, help me understand the structure and workings of a major city police department. Suppose I have a non-profit organization with some offices where we do our work. And one day a group of masked individuals invades our offices with automatic weapons and just shoots the hell out of the place. Who investigates the crime? [more inside]
I'm looking for more science fiction to read, along the lines of The Martian or Seveneves, where solving engineering challenges is a major part of the story. Lots of technical detail is good.