I'm teaching an introductory ethics course, and I'd like to see if the hivemind has better suggestions for short fiction that deals with either the purpose of a social contract, or demonstrates how social contracts go horribly wrong. [more inside]
Looking for a novel that involves a character whose job is to immerse themselves in a topic for about a month, write a column about it, and then move on to a new topic. [more inside]
Is there a name for the kind of novel that's basically a biography and (often quirky/odd) family history? [more inside]
Looking for examples of songs/films/books/tv - anything really - which depict or explore jealousy - in particular retroactive jealousy, or relationships haunted by the ghost of someone from the past. [more inside]
I'm going through a rough time in my life, and I'd love to consume some FICTION (especially sci fi / fantasy) where the characters have some kind of big important failure, and then recover. (Doesn't necessarily have to end with them succeeding at the same thing they originally failed. Them finding a different goal would be just as interesting.) Books, movies, TV, anime, webcomics, etc. all welcome. Please don't suggest nonfiction.
Looking for fiction and nonfiction about road trips. Ideally the narrative would be 80% about the journey rather than the destination, but that's not a hard rule. [more inside]
What are your favourite collections of short stories written by a single author? [more inside]
I'm presently reading a (post?)cyberpunk novel, Richard K Morgan's Broken Angels. Like William Gibson's Count Zero and others in the genre, voodoo, its practitioners, and its beliefs are an element of the plot and setting. I haven't got the faintest idea about the religion, not even what its proper name is. What should I read / watch to remedy this? [more inside]
I have an abiding interest in obscure and small-press feminist and queer science fiction. I also have a collection of such material and some knowledge about it. How best to share this with the world? [more inside]
I'm wondering, for a story idea--what does the average American Joe need to do, to be kept alive at the effort and expense of someone else, ie "THE MAN", while he battles the Reptiloids in the Dream Realms? [more inside]
Over the summer, I meet with students who are about to start college. This year, I would like to email them a list of novels about college that they can read while they're waiting to start. I'm looking for fun books, not study guides or non-fiction tomes about the perils of binge-drinking. Ideally, I would like books that give them some sense of what college in the US is like, but in a format that won't feel like homework. [more inside]
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]