1225 posts tagged with fiction.
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Short fiction recommendations

What are your favourite collections of short stories written by a single author? [more inside]
posted by quaking fajita on May 28, 2016 - 68 answers

"Voodoo" is maybe not the right word

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]
posted by 4th number on May 20, 2016 - 10 answers

How best to make this internet thing?

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]
posted by Frowner on May 17, 2016 - 23 answers

Can you go to prison just to 'keep your meat alive' to save the galaxy?

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]
posted by anonymous on May 14, 2016 - 34 answers

Books to get students excited about college?

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]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious on Apr 30, 2016 - 12 answers

What was life like for teenagers on Long Island in the late 1970s?

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]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Apr 26, 2016 - 16 answers

The horror of vast/infinite things

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]
posted by Alioth on Apr 25, 2016 - 39 answers

Novels like scrapbooks

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]
posted by the return of the thin white sock on Apr 12, 2016 - 36 answers

And they lived happily child free ever after...

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]
posted by sparklemotion on Apr 12, 2016 - 44 answers

Hard-boiled detective fiction from the last 30 years?

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]
posted by 256 on Apr 9, 2016 - 72 answers

Literature about ugliness

In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
posted by thetortoise on Apr 8, 2016 - 32 answers

Good Places to submit my mystery short stories to

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.
posted by storybored on Mar 31, 2016 - 4 answers

Looking for biographies (and maybe fiction) depicting loyalty to royalty

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!
posted by Dalby on Mar 29, 2016 - 16 answers

Book identification: 80s-ish YA/teen novel about crossing dimensions

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]
posted by leticia on Mar 17, 2016 - 8 answers

Moving tales

What are some good stories about transitioning from one place to another? [more inside]
posted by ariadne's threadspinner on Mar 13, 2016 - 15 answers

Who else went around killing their serial hero?

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]
posted by dances_with_sneetches on Mar 5, 2016 - 8 answers

Earliest instance of Atlantis-as-spaceship depiction in media?

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]
posted by audi alteram partem on Mar 3, 2016 - 5 answers

Playboy Story from Late 70s, Early 80s

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]
posted by nathanrudy on Feb 29, 2016 - 1 answer

What medical treatment might unintentionally disprove paternity?

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]
posted by sively on Feb 22, 2016 - 21 answers

Literature on verbal and emotional abuse in romantic relationships

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]
posted by hollypolly on Feb 21, 2016 - 24 answers

Transformation

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]
posted by falsedmitri on Feb 16, 2016 - 49 answers

What's it like to work in fundraising?

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]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Feb 15, 2016 - 13 answers

Examples of foreshadowing in movies and literature?

I'm thinking if writing something that heavily uses foreshadowing in any/all permutations possible. [more inside]
posted by prufrock on Feb 13, 2016 - 26 answers

Looking for Quality Sappy Fiction

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]
posted by JustKeepSwimming on Feb 12, 2016 - 5 answers

postapocalypse insect farming

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.
posted by bleary on Feb 12, 2016 - 8 answers

Fiction about the absurdities of academia?

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]
posted by fencerjimmy on Feb 11, 2016 - 49 answers

Exasperate me, please

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]
posted by apparently on Feb 11, 2016 - 50 answers

Sites that link to web fiction?

I've found one meta/aggregating site, but more are appreciated, as well as web fiction hosts. [more inside]
posted by halifix on Feb 4, 2016 - 2 answers

Fiction Filter: missing person report on someone who chose to leave?

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]
posted by uans on Feb 2, 2016 - 10 answers

Book title where an object was passed down ending with Lincoln.

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?
posted by mcbeitz on Jan 29, 2016 - 3 answers

Novels on trauma and healing

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.
posted by thetortoise on Jan 27, 2016 - 30 answers

Basically I'm Goldilocks?

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]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Jan 14, 2016 - 19 answers

How do I JordanCon?

I am travelling to meet my favorite science fiction author at a convention, but I haven't done this before. What do? [more inside]
posted by lunastellasol on Jan 13, 2016 - 7 answers

Horror Fiction by Authors of Color

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]
posted by Lou Stuells on Jan 13, 2016 - 12 answers

Help me find non-racist stories about Westerners in Japan

I'm hunting for examples of stories about Westerners travelling to Japan that don't indulge in orientalist/exoticizing/racist tropes. [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog on Jan 11, 2016 - 14 answers

Odd jobs at the harbor?

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]
posted by breadfruit on Jan 6, 2016 - 17 answers

Are there any good "puppetmasters" in fiction?

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.
posted by overglow on Jan 4, 2016 - 63 answers

Short story needs details about urban planner work

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]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Dec 3, 2015 - 11 answers

Cozy, non-cheesy, well-written, wintertime fiction

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]
posted by last_fall on Dec 2, 2015 - 28 answers

I want to read books and watch movies about Alternate Histories.

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!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith on Nov 20, 2015 - 35 answers

Sci fi short story title search, on computers and being human

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]
posted by lgandme0717 on Nov 17, 2015 - 1 answer

Fiction - working as a web designer in 2005 in the USA

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]
posted by marienbad on Nov 15, 2015 - 28 answers

What's the novel you wish someone had given you when you were younger?

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.
posted by HeroZero on Nov 13, 2015 - 38 answers

Ficton - Accidentally finding out about website viewing by web designer

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]
posted by marienbad on Nov 8, 2015 - 24 answers

Nothing happens at a silent retreat

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?
posted by mermaidcafe on Nov 5, 2015 - 39 answers

Science Fiction story about super children and a Viking warlock

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]
posted by y2karl on Nov 1, 2015 - 0 answers

"Trashy" sci-fi

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]
posted by glass origami robot on Nov 1, 2015 - 40 answers

Wanted: Compelling Middle Grade Fiction!

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.
posted by orangutan on Oct 28, 2015 - 12 answers

What books can make you a better person?

Of course, the real answer is most books, but I'm looking for something a little more specific... [more inside]
posted by still bill on Oct 25, 2015 - 40 answers

Novels about ancient Rome -- with women, if you please!

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]
posted by artemisia on Oct 23, 2015 - 11 answers

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