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It's My Thumb in a Box

I recently half-remembered a story I read way back in elementary school (late 80s-early 90s). I am not sure if it was a standalone short story or part of a novel, but what happens is the narrator has a big plastic bloody novelty thumb that he slips on and uses to prank the person he's with at the movies. [more inside]
posted by Fuego on Sep 16, 2013 - 5 answers

Unsung Short Story Masters

I want to know about that favorite short story writer of yours that no one else has ever heard of. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 13, 2013 - 42 answers

Love and Summer and ... Death?

Love and Summer by William Trevor: What was the nun's death about? [more inside]
posted by LonnieK on Sep 12, 2013 - 0 answers

Beyond Google Glass: Good writings on Augmented Reality

I want to read about Augmented Reality. Tech developments IRL; techno-utopian / transhuman dreams, and hard-fought aspirations; and any sci-fictional dystopian nightmares you know of. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Sep 4, 2013 - 11 answers

Depictions of Children's Street Culture in Fiction and Nonfiction

Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2013 - 16 answers

Should I just google this?

What do I need to know about promoting my small online business using Google AdWords? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Aug 26, 2013 - 9 answers

Tips & tricks for capturing the 'voice' of a piece of fiction?

How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
posted by Erberus on Aug 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Looking for stories where humans are the monsters.

Many monsters in fiction are scary in large part because of their inherent, biological abilities: acid blood, teeth, claws, wings, etc. Inspired by this tumblr thread (via this Omni article), I'm looking for stories in any genre that avoid or (preferably) subvert this trope, making humans out to be inherently frightening, gross or dangerous.
posted by Skorgu on Aug 23, 2013 - 38 answers

Name some paranormal young adult fiction cliches so I can avoid doing it

Please name some Paranormal Young Adult fiction tropes and cliches (obvious or obscure) so I can avoid doing them myself in the book I am writing. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by Sully on Aug 22, 2013 - 21 answers

What short story collection was the story story "Pagent Wagon" in?

Wikipedia claims that "Pageant Wagon" by Orson Scott Card has only ever been in the short story collection The Folk of the Fringe (1989). This is wrong, as I've read it, and I've never read an OSR short story collection. I can even remember exactly when and where I read it, but not the name of the short story collection. So, what other short story collection has it been in? Possibly under another name? [more inside]
posted by Canageek on Aug 15, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me name a genome!

I'm working on a new book and I need to name a genome. I can't handwave it-- while the book is SF, I don't want people in the know to be able to look at it like people look at Law & Order address (ie, nobody from New York would ever think that's a real address. Nobody in science would ever think that's a real genome.) [more inside]
posted by headspace on Aug 14, 2013 - 11 answers

Showdowns of brains, not brawn

Recommend me fiction (or perhaps nonfiction) where clever people cat-and-mouse each other [more inside]
posted by raw sugar on Aug 10, 2013 - 30 answers

Epistolary (Science) Fiction

I recently really enjoyed Max Brooks' World War Z and Daniel H. Wilson's Robocalypse. What other books might I also enjoy? [more inside]
posted by alby on Aug 6, 2013 - 20 answers

Sci-Fi stories involving the Maitreya Buddha

Are there any sci-fi stories that involve the future appearance of the Maitreya Buddha? Looking for stories where the character is primarily identified as the Maitreya, rather than general "Second Coming" stories where the character could conceivably belong to a number of different soteriological interpretations.
posted by Greg Nog on Jul 26, 2013 - 3 answers

Examples of characters unwittingly aiding their foes?

What are examples in fiction of characters who think they are subverting the bad guys only to learn that they were unwittingly doing what the bad guys wanted all along? SPOILERS follow. [more inside]
posted by mediated self on Jul 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Possibly the Most Boring AskMeta Ever

Guys, I've got some questions about commas. Apparently everything I thought I knew is wrong? Help. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Jul 23, 2013 - 29 answers

ISO Good Mystery Series (novels)

I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [more inside]
posted by taz on Jul 20, 2013 - 30 answers

Favourite examples of foreboding or suspense in literature?

What are your favourite examples of building tension or suspense in literature? Ideally these are brief moments, single paragraphs or small scenes, compelling the reader to continue on, worried about what will follow. [more inside]
posted by swrittenb on Jul 17, 2013 - 22 answers

Name this fake documentary style nature show from IFC from 15 years ago.

I saw this series of shows a while back. 15 years ago maybe. 12? 17? I think they were on IFC, but that could be wrong. They were fictional nature shows, sort of like Discovery Channel style. They just had a voice over guy I think. Not a host. Except for that last show I think, where he froze to death or died somehow. I think. I might have also been some side project from a famous actor or something. As you can tell, all these details are pretty grey. Any of it ringing a bell? Thanks.
posted by gummo on Jul 16, 2013 - 12 answers

"historacle" just feels silly to me

Is there a term for a seer/diviner/oracle that is only able to see into the past? I'm willing to grab one from a non-English language if there is a word that means specifically "a seer who can only see the past", but English is prefered. Antiquated terms are OK. Bonus points for interesting etymological details (or links to interesting etymological details). [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jul 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Best Online Writing Groups/Workshops?

What are the best online writer's groups or workshops, especially for genre (scifi/fantasy) fiction? Active community of geeks wanted. Help a writer get serious about her stories. [more inside]
posted by ninjakins on Jul 16, 2013 - 5 answers

I need help in improving my short story

Is it possible to find an expert in creative writing in the Boston area or online to help me improve my short story? Several knowledgeable readers pointed out specific flaws in it that I have no idea how to fix. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jul 13, 2013 - 3 answers

I can't remember this sci-fi short story: Mass graves hidden by society

This is one I likely encountered in the 80's so my memory is foggy here. Most likely in some anthology or maybe even a magazine like Omni. I think it was by a major writer. Salient memories inside: [more inside]
posted by sourwookie on Jul 10, 2013 - 5 answers

Summer reading recommendation please!

I need a new book to read for my upcoming trip (including long flights). It must be available on kindle. Details inside, of the kind of book I am looking for. [more inside]
posted by Joh on Jul 10, 2013 - 31 answers

Sci-Fi novel predicting Google Glass

I'm trying to remember the name and author fo a sci-fi novel that predicted the idea of Google glasses and their impact on society. I can clearly remember one of the characters, a youung person, complaining that all these old people had these glasses that recorded everything that happened around them and could send that data directly to the police. It was kind of an Orwellian Big Brother feel to society. You were always being watched, recorded, reported, etc. I was reminded again about this after reading an article on NPR about the first police arrest recorded on Google Glass. Does anyone else remember this book or the author? Thanks in advance for the help.
posted by corwalch on Jul 9, 2013 - 13 answers

Horror independent of increased knowledge?

Are there any horror works which do not derive increased horror from increased knowledge? [more inside]
posted by johnofjack on Jul 4, 2013 - 28 answers

Movies/television shows: Ordering food or drinks in an outrageous manner

I am looking for suggestions where characters order food or drinks in an outrageous manner. The scene can take place at a restaurant or bar (not a private party). Their behavior can be funny, rude, or just strange. It is not about what they order, but how they do it. [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Jun 27, 2013 - 75 answers

Suggest some fun worldbuilding/milieu stories?

I love stories incorporating multiple settings/cultures. Think Lord of the Rings, with Rivendell (elves), Moria (dwarves), and the Shire (hobbits), all with a distinct "feel" to their societal standards. Can you suggest a book/series I would enjoy? [more inside]
posted by heatherfl on Jun 22, 2013 - 18 answers

Salivating for Satire

Can you point me toward good satirical fiction? [more inside]
posted by aintthattheway on Jun 19, 2013 - 23 answers

Can you identify this sci-fi short story?

I'm looking for a short story. I'm not sure of much, but I know it involved ABBA and rare orchids. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by Gin and Comics on Jun 18, 2013 - 1 answer

Story or Dream?

Asking for a friend, who wants to know if the tale she remembers is from a story she read, or a dream she had. Details follow. [more inside]
posted by ronofthedead on Jun 1, 2013 - 7 answers

Other than Naomi and Ruth...

What are some stories (real/historical or fictional) about good mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships that I can read? [more inside]
posted by peacrow on May 30, 2013 - 2 answers

Help me write fiction, Obi-Wan Kenobi

Looking for videos or books that explain the craft of writing fiction stories/scifi stories, although the genre is not as important. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on May 29, 2013 - 13 answers

Publishing options for a collection of literary short fiction

I'm nearing completion of a book of very short stories that riff in various ways on the 'joke' form. The pieces are 1-2 pages. I want to publish this book. I'm not sure the best way. [more inside]
posted by skwt on May 27, 2013 - 4 answers

Sprial, Season 1, Episode 8?

What the heck is going on in Spiral, Season 1, Episode 8? *SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT* [more inside]
posted by rainbowbrite on May 24, 2013 - 0 answers

Young adult novel with nuclear pool?

I'm trying to remember the name of a young adult novel I read (in the 80's or 90's) where a character is forced to do some work with radioactive materials at the bottom of a pool.
posted by Jahaza on May 23, 2013 - 7 answers

Refresh my commute reading, if you please.

I'm looking for new mystery series with a strong, atmospheric setting. [more inside]
posted by superfluousm on May 21, 2013 - 46 answers

Is there a blog that will tell me what sci-fi movies to see in theater?

Can you please suggest a blog or resource that will tell me what under-the-radar science fiction movies I should go see? [more inside]
posted by rebent on May 21, 2013 - 6 answers

I keep crying over Ian M Banks dying of cancer.

Never in my life has this happened before, but I keep finding myself in tears of grief over the looming death of Scottish writer Iain M Banks, who is far and away my favourite writer and has terminal cancer. I'm looking for ways of helping to resolve this emotion, by using it as energy to fuel a meaningful response. [more inside]
posted by Mistress on May 20, 2013 - 21 answers

Writers of Metafilter, please help me stay on track and keep going.

Writers, and novelists or fiction writers in particular, can you share your goals, processes and timelines for each of your drafts? [more inside]
posted by thinkpiece on May 19, 2013 - 8 answers

Help with project? Please list fictional cities !

For a project I'm currently working on as part of my graduation in Graphic Design, I wanted to compile something like an atlas of fictional cities. These may be from books, legends, stories, video games, advertisements, comics, really whatever... Even "real" cities but alternate versions, imagined or in some way deviate from their real counterpart are valid. [more inside]
posted by ahtlast93 on May 18, 2013 - 47 answers

Help me learn more about contemporary Indonesia!

I'm trying to learn more about contemporary Indonesia, and I'd love book & essay recommendations, especially of narrative non-fiction with a strong first person narrative voice! (But I'd also love suggestions of fiction, good travelogues, podcasts, blogs, zines, films, academic articles--really anything that doesn't demand prior in depth knowledge.) [more inside]
posted by tapir-whorf on May 13, 2013 - 4 answers

Essay on fantasy fiction, economics and trade

Many years ago I read an essay that was pretty critical of the way so much fantasy fiction could not build believable societies with plausible economic underpinnings. The author was fairly concise and snarky, arguing that (I'm paraphrasing here) she could suspend disbelief about dragons and magic, but that she couldn't slog her way through a book where not the least bit of thought had been given to how all these characters and their associates could make a living, grow or acquire food, and otherwise acquire money and engage in trade. I think it was an essay by Joanna Russ in Fantasy & Science Fiction in the 70s, when she had a regular book review column there, but I could be conflating like mad.
posted by maudlin on May 7, 2013 - 6 answers

I read way too many books by white dudes.

I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on May 7, 2013 - 55 answers

Fiction: Surviving child later meets the people who left them an orphan

Can you suggest some works of fiction where an entire family (except a small child) is murdered, and the orphan then grows up to eventually encounter the person(s) responsible? [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Apr 22, 2013 - 31 answers

Stories about academics discovering the supernatural/weird

Can you recommend books, movies, or short stories that involve academics in supernatural peril? [more inside]
posted by zoetrope on Apr 11, 2013 - 34 answers

What will education look like in the future?

I'm looking for movies and TV shows that have futuristic depictions of education. Can you help me find them? [more inside]
posted by madred on Apr 11, 2013 - 16 answers

What book did I read?

I have very little information. Maybe you read this too, though. Fiction with fantasy/paranormal elements, early or mid-90's, female author, gay romance/sex, ghosts, condom factory, divorce, maybe some Wicca? [more inside]
posted by blnkfrnk on Apr 9, 2013 - 0 answers

What are some good novels where the protagonist is in his/her mid-20s?

I tend to like humor, but other genres are acceptable. If this is too broad a category, we can limit recommendations to those where being in one's mid-20s is somehow central to the novel.
posted by jtothes on Apr 9, 2013 - 19 answers

Have you heard of these two short stories?

Can MeFi help me track down these two stories? [more inside]
posted by John of Michigan on Apr 6, 2013 - 4 answers

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