Looking for fantasy that's not based on your standard European/Tolkien background. Pretty much any flavor of fantasy is alright (straight, urban, science, what have ye). Just finished reading Barry Hughart's Master Li/Number Ten Ox books and enjoyed them. Would definitely prefer "adult" fiction versus YA, but no preference for novels versus short stories.
Are there any speculative fiction writing workshops in the Midwest? [more inside]
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]
I want to know about that favorite short story writer of yours that no one else has ever heard of. [more inside]
Love and Summer by William Trevor: What was the nun's death about? [more inside]
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]
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
What do I need to know about promoting my small online business using Google AdWords? [more inside]
How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
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.
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]
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]
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]
Recommend me fiction (or perhaps nonfiction) where clever people cat-and-mouse each other [more inside]
I recently really enjoyed Max Brooks' World War Z and Daniel H. Wilson's Robocalypse. What other books might I also enjoy? [more inside]
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.
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]
Guys, I've got some questions about commas. Apparently everything I thought I knew is wrong? Help. [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
Are there any horror works which do not derive increased horror from increased knowledge? [more inside]
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]
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]
Can you point me toward good satirical fiction? [more inside]
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]
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]
What are some stories (real/historical or fictional) about good mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships that I can read? [more inside]
Looking for videos or books that explain the craft of writing fiction stories/scifi stories, although the genre is not as important. [more inside]
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]
What the heck is going on in Spiral, Season 1, Episode 8? *SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT* [more inside]
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.
I'm looking for new mystery series with a strong, atmospheric setting. [more inside]
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]
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]
Writers, and novelists or fiction writers in particular, can you share your goals, processes and timelines for each of your drafts? [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
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]
Can you recommend books, movies, or short stories that involve academics in supernatural peril? [more inside]
I'm looking for movies and TV shows that have futuristic depictions of education. Can you help me find them? [more inside]
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]