Horrors, psychological thrillers, mysteries, etc. Please no vampires, werewolves, or high fantasy, but mega points for ghosts and hauntings!! [more inside]
I vaguely recall a Louise Erdrich story which has a character obsessed with finding the recipe for the most perfect Sacher Torte that he tasted when he was young. Which book is it? [more inside]
Superheroes and vampires and dark overlords (oh my!) don't operate in a vacuum. They have meetings to schedule and budgets to balance and dry-cleaning to be picked up but obviously they can't be bothered with such mundane details. I want to read stories about the staff that gets those things done. I've wandered across a couple that I have enjoyed and would love suggestions in the same vein, especially if they are funny or lighthearted and play on the contrast between the extraordinary and the banal. [more inside]
Post-divorce, I could use some reading about single moms doing interesting things/ dealing brilliantly with their situation/ generally kicking butt. Fiction preferred, school-aged kids in the picture would be ideal. Thanks in advance!
My ex sort of boyfriend has been writing (and publishing) identifying "fiction" about me for nearly seven years. Lately, the stories (my friends forward them to me with worry, they're that identifiable) are darker. What options are available to me to stop it? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of characters from any medium (TV, movies, literature, etc) who are funny because they are unrealistically awesome or capable of inhuman feats. Details below the fold. [more inside]
What are some novels in which the genders of some or all of the central characters is not revealed to the reader? [more inside]
I've been listening to ancient Babylonian and Sumerian music, and would like to further immerse myself in this world, fictionally. What can I find as far as fiction (alt-hist, hist-fic, etc.) set in pre-Abrahamic Mesopotamia?
What is the best fiction that accurately portrays the thoughts and lives of teenagers or young adults in 2014? [more inside]
You write fictional works of some sort. The medium doesn't matter. You need to track details for the background and reference them periodically in order to have good continuity. Have you found a good system that works for you? What might that be? Or do you know of any articles, resources, etc on the subject? [more inside]
Years ago, I read a short story about two biologists (geneticists?) who are friends. After a global plague that makes all women infertile, one of the geneticists devices a treatment in which women can again reproduce, but they spend their entire nine months of pregnancy with blue, flaking, itchy skin and extreme sickness. The second geneticist realizes that the first has actually devised both the plague and the cure. He asks his friend why he did it. "Because I never wanted another child to be born unwanted," the first geneticist replies. I probably remember some of this imperfectly, but that was the gist of it. Does anyone happen to know the author/title? Thanks in advance!
I won't be able to afford much travel in the next year or two. In the meantime, I'd love to be swept away with rich and vivid descriptions of faraway places. The more introspective, the better. Can be either non-fiction or fiction; essays/short stories or longer format writing; graphic novels are fine; am open to any locations. Bonus points if it also focuses on local food, and/or has an ethnographic approach, and/or is written from a woman's perspective. [more inside]
My uncle is interested in reading science fiction or futuristic fantasy books that involve music as a strong narrative element. He has read some Anne McCaffrey that did this, as well as Patrick Rothfuss, but was hoping to find other options, and I drew a blank. Can you guys think of any more music-tinged works?
I'm looking for books or blogs about actors trying to break into show business. Fiction or non-fiction. [more inside]
I'm sure I remember reading some entries from a blog that pithily reviewed games of chess from fiction (novels, TV shows, movies) for plausibility and quality, but I'm coming up with nothing when I google for it. [more inside]
I just re-watched the 2002 film Insomnia. It was (still) great, and now I'd like recommendations for more things like it. [more inside]
Every year I load up my Mom's Kindle library for Christmas. This year I'm finding a lot of stuff on the non-fiction end but very little fiction that is up her alley. Her fave books: Neal Stephenson's "The Baroque Cycle" and Gillian Bradshaw's "The Sand-Reckoner." Got a rec? Expanded explanation of her taste inside! [more inside]
Are there any literary writers (i.e. not sportswriters) who've written about modern NFL football in the same way that Joyce Carol Oates has written about boxing / David Foster Wallace has written about tennis?
Can you recommend shows or books that act as great "love-hate" letters deconstructing and showing off the flaws in a particular idea or genre while also being loving examples of the genre? [more inside]
Which books explore the question "What does it mean to have lived well"? [more inside]
Our recent cold, drizzly weather has me wanting to to curl up with a good book, but not just ANY good book, really specific specifics inside. [more inside]
Some years ago, I read a quote from Carlos Fuentes (in English) in some secondary source. I have no idea where I read it, but I would love to find it again! [more inside]
Thanks to MeFi, I recently read Benjamin Rosenbaum's short story "Feature Development for Social Networking" - please recommend me some other high quality horror / supernatural fiction in which the Web plays a central role.
What do horror, Louis Theroux "Weird Weekend", thrillers, the show catfish, and crime fiction have in common? That's right, stocking stuffers for Mr Moonlight. [more inside]
Someone recently told me that Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses and Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels evoked a significantly New Mexico/Southwestern feeling to the point that these books helped them stave off homesickness when they were living elsewhere. What other novels and authors capture and portray a sense of place that makes you feel like you're back in a place that you remember? I know some authors are known for writing about certain settings, but which works really capture the place as felt by someone who lives or lived there?
I don't really know how to phrase the question, but I'm trying to remember or find examples of names of characters who were either complete fabrications or were presented under the guise of another identity all along (in fiction). Also does this trope have a name? [more inside]
I'm interested in how telepathy has been portrayed in fiction (written form) and was wondering if anyone could point me to some examples where the protagonist struggles with the trait and has to learn how to master/control it in order to stay sane. Note: I've read The Shining and its recent sequel. Thanks in advance!
When I think of Wilde's or Dickens' prose, I think of classical rhetorical techniques such as paraprosdokian and chiasmus--and of course countless others. I'm looking for sources that analyze prose fiction--modern or canonical--according to models of classical rhetoric. Internet sources would be excellent, but I might spring for a hard-copy text if it's not too expensive. Thanks.
There's a long tradition of Sherlock Holmes fans and scholars affecting to believe that Holmes, Watson et al. really existed. Has this custom been observed with any other fictional characters? [more inside]
I want your book recommendations. I have just finished watching the first season of The Americans, a TV series about two Russian spies who live as an American couple with two children during the Cold War, and was surprised that I loved it a lot. I want more of that, but I don't usually love this kind of tv series. So I thought, instead of looking for other tv shows like this, I could try to find some books that I like. [more inside]
I'm writing a dystopian sci fi novel and it's coming along sparkingly. Yay. One of the plot lines involves a shortage of women, and the development of new family units utilising polyandry. I'm looking for resources - primarily non-fiction - of both positive and negative experiences of polyandry. [more inside]
I'd like to add to my husband's very small library of books that have to do with fishing. Not limited specifically to just fishing, but more or less general maritime activities, such as crabbing, or boat-building, or mysteries of the deep....that sort of thing. [more inside]
Hey There Everyone, I'm looking for examples in movies, TV, theater, fiction, non-fiction, etc. that show older children being rescued and adopted by people who they are not related to. Thanks so much!
Does anyone remember a cyberpunk short story that involved a woman covered in digital tattoos? The tattoos are hacked or a virus is introduced -- by an evil corporation, I think -- and her friends have to rush to save her life. [more inside]
I am a 32 y/o creative writer (poetry, short fiction, essays) and arts journalist. I have an MFA and I have been very well-published in lit mags and on websites (but no book yet). I have two poetry manuscripts that I’ve circulated, and both have had some near-misses. I am very prolific and always have projects going, and I submit often. However, I feel a lack of professional traction, and I am hoping some of you have ways I can level up. [more inside]
Looking for stories/novelllas/novels about civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce" and persisted into the next universe. Is there any such thing?
When I read the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels), the aspect I enjoyed the most was the detailed descriptions of how the people did things back then (hunting, foraging, skinning, toolmaking, shelter building, etc.). While how-to books abound, I enjoy the fiction or narrative nonfiction format more. Any recommendations? Thanks!
Once again, I can't remember the name of a book I read a while back. I read it in 2006. I remember the plot pretty well but I'm unsuccessful with Google. The protagonist is a woman, age 30, and her employer has just died. She's extremely tall, which is a pretty important part of the story, I think. [more inside]
I've always been curious about how we could keep people alive without sunlight after some horrific sunlight-ending event like a supervolcano or nuclear war. The Wool series is an example of something that addresses this. Can anyone recommend other apocalyptic fiction or alt-history that covers this topic specifically, or anything similar? Thank you!
The book is young adult fiction. I vividly remember one scene in which the narrator, a young boy, goes with his mother to the station to meet the soldier they'll be hosting, who then turns out to be black. The boy, without thinking, wipes his hand on his trouser leg after shaking hands. [more inside]
I'm reaching for a phrase for a short science fiction piece I'm working on. I'd like to know what a Classical-Latin-speaking character would say if they wanted to articulate a particular concept analogous to "I think therefore I am", but expressing instead a monstrous moral conclusion they've reached along the lines of I think therefore none may be / shall be. [more inside]
I was really surprised by how much I liked the parts about Catholicism in the Mongoliad series. What other fiction is there involving the medieval Church's corruption, orders of knights (or monks or whatever) who are heretics or pagans who've drawn a thin veneer of Catholicism over themselves, gnosticism and mysticism, characters who may be god-touched, mad, or both and the people who have to keep them out of trouble? [more inside]
Here are a few facts about this old SF story whose author I can no longer recall. 1. It was written by a giant of mid-century SF whose name I can no longer recall. Not Sheckley, not Asimov. I thought it might be Damon Knight, but I can't find it in his work. 2. It's a story about a man who travels to the future as part of a gigantic relief effort to assist future men who are burying themselves in the earth. [more inside]
What are your recommendations for fiction that considers the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, either as a main focus or as a backdrop? [more inside]
There's this science fiction story I can recall reading in at least one anthology, if not multiples. It is told from the perspective of a young mother who is going crazy dealing with her kid(s). The writing is very stark and bleak, but it's a fun story nonetheless. I am fairly certain the author was a woman. I believe it's from the late 60s or early to mid 1970s. [more inside]
Further to the success of a previous Ask Me, in which I was given a great idea for a fictional story I am writing, I am back with another question. I would like to know what people, places, events and objects you associate with fairy tales, folklore, myths etc. [more inside]
Some time in the mid-to-late '80s, I borrowed a book from my local public library (in the UK). I recall neither its title nor the author's name, but I think it may nevertheless be uniquely identifiable from those details of its plot I can remember. Its protagonist is a genealogist, who is hired to discreetly research the family background of a US presidential candidate. There is an element of cat-&-mouse as unknown individuals try to put a stop to his researches, but he perseveres... [more inside]
Around 10 years ago I read a science fiction paperback novel (that I think had been recently published) and I can't remember what it was called. All I can remember is that it was largely set on a spacecraft and there were a group of Humans investigating a series of horrible deaths on a planet and on another spacecraft. They found the bones of the missing people buried on the planet they were investigating.
I like Patricia Cornwell. I like Robin Cook. Who else might I like? [more inside]
Can you recommend novels, short stories or even biographies that might help me overcome my fear, distrust and occasional feelings of downright hatred towards men? [more inside]