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]
I decided today that I absolutely love underdog stories. I love rooting for the little guy to come out on top. I love following along with their journey. Think Silicon Valley the TV Show or Halt and Catch Fire or the Bad News Bears, Mighty Ducks etc. What are your favorite underdog stories in books or film? Fiction is preferred for books, but either is fine for visual media.
What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
What are the best websites/blogs/etc. to read contemporary fiction? I'm particularly interested in writing by women, experimental fiction, and magical realism, not necessarily all at once. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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!
Looking for fantasy books hiding out in the non-genre section of the bookstore. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]