Based on a few vague memories, can you guys help me find a British TV series from the 80's? It involved roses, a maze and pairs of flying eyes that were spies for an evil sorcerer/king. It might be the TV show "Into the Labryrinth" but I can't tell for sure. Does this jog any memories for anyone? [more inside]
posted by ninazer0
on Jul 27, 2014 -
I'm sure this has been asked before, but searching the archives didn't help much. I'm an avid reader, but can't find any compelling new books to read. Feminist, sci-fi-ish books with a literary bent would be ideal. Detailed likes and dislikes inside! [more inside]
posted by snaw
on Jul 26, 2014 -
So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
posted by like_neon
on Jul 25, 2014 -
What is this short story I read sometime in the late 1990s? Plot involved two teenage girls in the 1960s, Beatlemania, and the terrifying truths of growing up. [more inside]
posted by Ideal Impulse
on Jul 23, 2014 -
I'm presenting a cryptography demonstration to a small group of nerdy teenagers soon. As part of the fun, I have an activity in which they are spies that need to arrange a key exchange over a unsecure channel without any required prior knowledge of each other. (You can assume the mechanics of the key exchange are sound.) I thought it might be fun if I could refer to different fictional characters that the teens could pretend to be. What are some fictional characters and associated unsecure channels that would fit the scenario above? Examples and further notes inside. [more inside]
posted by wiskunde
on Jul 21, 2014 -
I've always wanted to wind up with a large collection of books like my parents have. However, when I can find constantly updated information on the internet and I check out fiction from the library, I can rarely convince myself there's a good reason to actually BUY a book. What books should
I be buying? Some snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by majesty_snowbird
on Jul 17, 2014 -
What books and short fiction successfully incorporate internet communication, specifically web communication, into the narrative? I'm interested in writing a novel or novella that would switch between traditional omniscient third-person narrative and the descents into utter madness that can be found on, for example, Tumblr, and other web forums. The only piece that I can think of that uses forum posts to tell a story is "Candle Cove,"
but I am sure there must be many more. I'm particularly interested in novels.
posted by Countess Elena
on Jul 16, 2014 -
I'm looking for examples from fiction of multiple conversations happening at once, between at least three different people. The more complex the conversation, the better. Better still if it's from a known author.
posted by asher
on Jul 16, 2014 -
Hi folks. I'm working on a new eBook, a comedy-fantasy novella about a frat boy who is appalled to find himself transformed overnight into a sexy girl. There's just one problem: I don't know jack about frats! I'm trying to research frat life, but I could really use the experience of somebody who has actually been a frat boy, or at least spent enough time in a frat to have some knowledge about them... [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jul 12, 2014 -
In a discussion elsewhere on the internets a twist on a common science fictional transportation technology was proposed. A spaceship leaps from one point in space to another, but while it is instantaneous for the passengers, the transit actually takes some small amount of time longer than light would take to cover the distance (let's say the Planck time). Would the time delay prevent the violation of causality? It appears that everyone is staying in their light cones, what am I missing? [more inside]
posted by Octaviuz
on Jun 21, 2014 -
Next week, I am taking the Empire Builder
from Chicago to Portland, Oregon. In a previous question about train travel, someone suggested
reading books that take place along your train route. This is an idea I love ... and I have at least 47 hours to pass! So: what are your favorite (kindle) books which occur in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon? Bonus for rural themes. I am not a big mystery fan, but if it is particularly excellent, I'll read it. Romance is out. Otherwise, I'm open to anything!
posted by ChuraChura
on Jun 20, 2014 -
Who was it that spoke out against works of fiction with characters and plots similar to 'Slan,' in which the sympathetic protagonist is innately, biologically, invisibly superior or special for some reason, and is persecuted or otherwise struggles because of it? [more inside]
posted by Verg
on Jun 14, 2014 -
I'd like to find some software to organize and tie together less-important details in my story. Probably I want a personal wiki--but which one? I'm open to wiki alternatives also. [more inside]
posted by mattu
on Jun 12, 2014 -
I'm teaching an introductory course on prose fiction (reading, not writing). What fun post-1900 novel should I put on the syllabus? Should be intelligent, but needn't necessarily be, you know, Literary. [more inside]
posted by gallusgallus
on Jun 10, 2014 -
I'm looking for essays, books, poetry, nonfiction, or whatever else about normal people's everyday lives and pasts, humorous if possible. I'm looking for stuff in the vein of the New York Press's old columns (like the ones Ned Vizzini wrote) or like Books of Adam
. Writing that is casual, but well written.
posted by holmesian
on Jun 9, 2014 -
I'm looking for suggestions for a book that could appeal to a diverse set of people (i.e. my family). Some historical fiction set in England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland, with a detective-style plot, seems like it would work. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss
on Jun 8, 2014 -
Has anyone written any fiction portraying Elon Musk as a villain? The story can either be interpreting his real actions as villainous, or creating fictional villainy for him to do.
posted by michaelh
on May 30, 2014 -
I'm seeking audiobook recommendations for books that are escapist, engrossing, generally feel-good, and fast-paced (without being frightening). [more inside]
posted by slidell
on May 29, 2014 -
What great short stories, short novellas, or even short nonfiction pieces can I legally download for free for my Kindle? Some details inside. [more inside]
posted by Flunkie
on May 26, 2014 -
I am looking for recommendations of great dystopian novels, novellas, and short stories. Any length will do! [more inside]
posted by SkylitDrawl
on May 22, 2014 -
I am seeking recommendations of fiiction set in medieval times - but, I'm not interested in mysteries, stories focusing on kings/queens/knights/battles etc, or fantasy. Rather, I'm looking for accurate depictions of people living in that era-- their lives, struggles, adventures. I've read the Ken Follett trilogy and enjoyed the first 1.5 books. Really liked Noah Gordon's The Physician. What are you favorites?
posted by ecorrocio
on May 18, 2014 -
I'm craving a particular subtype of historical novel: the kind that posits a dimly-remembered reality behind a famous myth/legend/story, sort of filling it out and extrapolating the details into realism.
My favorite of this kind is Mary Renault's "The King Must Die" about Theseus (also the sequel). I also enjoyed "Eaters of the Dead", about the events of 'Beowulf'.
But what are some other good ones you can recommend? More examples and specifics inside! [more inside]
posted by theatro
on May 15, 2014 -
I want to cry my eyes out over a book. It's been a long time since I have and I need the catharsis. [more inside]
posted by quincunx
on May 5, 2014 -
I am about 15,000 words into my first novel, and I'm finding it difficult to get feedback from my old English major friends. I'd like to know how the pace, grammar, syntax, etc. of my story strike various experienced readers, but I certainly don't want to put my manuscript online in an unsecured environment. Any thoughts? BTW, I live in the Maine woods; no, there are no local meet-ups. I really wish there were.
posted by jwhite1979
on Apr 28, 2014 -
What is the name and who is the author of a story wherein a woman has a second skin? [more inside]
posted by adipocere
on Apr 28, 2014 -
Authors Of AskMe, has this happened to you? During my self-imposed creative hiatus over the last year or so I conducted a lot of research into what would be my dream project. A project I could be passionate about, the kind of book I'd really want to exist. So I made a list of every thing, character, concept, idea, sudden kind of twist I'd like. I have three notebooks of this stuff. I cross-indexed it and included all my references. I have an astounding about of detail on what I want to put in and touch on but no actual story. I keep staring at it, like it's a list of SCP entries, and I can't think of a damn thing for anyone to do with these collected items, places, motifs, themes, and people. It's frustrating cause I can come up with quick pulp narratives on the fly for stuff I'm not working as hard on but every attempt to break and outline a rising action for these people results in rapid breathing and complete brain fume-lock. I keep asking "What does the main character want?" and coming up with nothing. Is this common? Is there a resource for this? Can I pay someone to go through these ideas and find something that other people might want to read? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 23, 2014 -
: 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 -
I’ve gone and written myself into a corner in a story I’m writing. I need to figure out how two thieves can escape from the grounds of a castle. [more inside]
posted by talitha_kumi
on Apr 15, 2014 -
In The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde, the title character is negatively influenced by a "poison" book that is mentioned repeatedly in the text but never named. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," the short story by Jorge Luis Borges, mentions several nonexistent books including a mysteriously altered encyclopedia and a History of the Land Called Uqbar
. I am looking for more fictional references in novels or stories to other books that do not exist. Help, please? [more inside]
posted by BlueJae
on Apr 11, 2014 -
Does The Scarlet Letter belong to a literary genre? How would publishers market the book today, and on what book shelf would you find it in the book store? Same question for The Brothers Karamazov. Could these stories, if they were told in a prose style indicative of the 21st c, find a publisher?
posted by jwhite1979
on Apr 9, 2014 -
Is there a term for when readers/watchers are pushed into trying to figure out which is the "true" version of something fictional? For example, in Life of Pi
when it's up to the reader to figure out which version of the story is "true" when we know that none of it is true at all because... it's fiction. Bonus: What are some other examples of this?
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper
on Apr 1, 2014 -
I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people? [more inside]
posted by colfax
on Mar 30, 2014 -
I remember reading a short story or folk tale about a man who had a ball of string. Whenever something boring was happening, he could just pull out some of the string and fast forward to the more interesting parts of his life. I read it around 1991, and it may have been Isaac Singer. Does anyone have a source for this tale?
posted by mecran01
on Mar 30, 2014 -
I read a short story a few years ago that involved a white couple living in post-colonial Africa. I think it might have been Rhodesia, but I'm not positive about that. The couple lived in a once-grand, now decaying estate and had to deal with an act of violence. I remember reading it on my commute to work, so it was likely in a magazine. I've searched the New Yorker archives and can't seem to find it there, but the Atlantic is another possibility. Does this ring any bells?
posted by trixiebelden
on Mar 29, 2014 -
I'm trying to think of more examples of this particular moment: a character who is dying, or thinking of death, or speaking from beyond the grave, gives a list
of the everyday things they remember and appreciate about being alive. A few examples inside. [more inside]
posted by Beardman
on Mar 28, 2014 -
I once read a book where someone tells the main character, "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, Veronica." I'm 99% sure the character in question was called Veronica and the line definitely included her name. (It may not have included the "than vinegar" bit.) What was this book? [more inside]
posted by badmoonrising
on Mar 20, 2014 -
Help me find an online review that someone wrote several years ago, reviewing a data-erasing gadget by writing a piece of dystopian fiction in which the user needs to use the device in a hurry. [more inside]
posted by brainwane
on Mar 13, 2014 -
I am writing a short story in which an unmanned spaceship crashes in a field, and I've gotten stuck when it comes to visualizing/describing the spaceship. I like the idea of a steampunk craft, though it will have lights. In case you are wondering, the overall tone I am going for is magic with a hint of sadness. Got any ideas for what it looks like on the outside or inside? What might my characters find when they explore?
posted by mermaidcafe
on Mar 12, 2014 -
I'm looking for fiction and non-fiction texts (video, audio, and books) that take what is ostensibly a very real situation and find a surreal perspective. I'm not looking for the fantastic though, but more of a foreboding tone/atmosphere. You know, when a narrative seemingly grounded in reality has an unreal, genuinely unsettling undercurrent. Examples below. [more inside]
posted by Quilford
on Mar 5, 2014 -
Book suggestions for a gift exchange recipient that combine business, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and/or music? (here's hoping my recipient isn't also a Mefite!) [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Mar 4, 2014 -
What fiction, non-fiction, or academic works on a "post-literate" world can you recommend? Has anyone written about a world where the most successful and powerful don't necessarily posses the ability to read or write as we know it? [more inside]
posted by GPF
on Mar 3, 2014 -
About five years ago, I remember skimming through what purported to be an internal document for how to recruit for an unnamed/generic terrorist organization. It was very fanciful/dime-novel-like in nature. Does this sound familiar? [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake
on Mar 1, 2014 -
In the Man Kzin wars books
there's a recurring protagonist called Dimity Carmody. Whilst technically human it's emphasised that she's somewhat inhuman psychologically to the point she's almost regarded as an alien.
I liked the character and would like to read more fiction with similar characters - what's out there?
posted by curious_yellow
on Feb 28, 2014 -
I'm fascinated by writing systems. I've seen this wiki page
about different types of systems in real and fictional languages. As I understand it, there are generally three kinds of systems: logographic, where symbols represent entire concepts or words; syllabaries, where symbols represent syllabic sounds; and segmental, where symbols represent phonemes or small units of sound.
Is there any other way to write? I'm having a hard time coming up with how it would even work, but I'm sure some clever author somewhere has tried. Is there another way to write a language other than the above?
posted by RobotNinja
on Feb 27, 2014 -
Looking for examples of well-written or well-respected Alternate History fiction, in the vein of Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union
. [more inside]
posted by Sara C.
on Feb 14, 2014 -
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 -
I'm trying to ID a short story where the protagonist becomes unemployed in a world where once you lose your job you have no hope of getting another job and are therefor forced to accept marginal government assistance. Additional spoilerific details inside. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral
on Feb 7, 2014 -