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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

I am in need of Urban Wizardry!

I am querying the Mefiverse for any solid, literary-leaning fiction with an urban wizard setting. Hopefully not YA fiction, and definitely not Potter. Release the hounds!
posted by Lipstick Thespian on Apr 4, 2013 - 42 answers

Perspective/emotions on a situation changed? Self, self-help, fiction?

Have you felt one way that was impotent or powerless, but now you feel calm and empowered? And the only thing that changed was you? [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Apr 3, 2013 - 16 answers

Fiction: Books/movies that involve severe prosecutorial misconduct?

I am looking for stories where a prosecutor knowingly tries to convict an innocent person or otherwise intentionally misrepresents the evidence. [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Apr 2, 2013 - 17 answers

What was this '70s or early '80s horror novel featuring spiders?

Somewhere between '80 and '82, I read this book that featured spiders... [arachnophobes: do not click!] [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Mar 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Is the main character a knight in shinning armor or a total sleaze?

Need recommendations for short stories or a book (with short self-contained sections) whereby a character's actions/motives could be considered in two very different ways depending on what you thought about the character going into the story (i.e., if I gave you some background first) The best example I can think of is of a man either being genuinely nice to a woman or only pretending to do so in order to get her number. This is for a psychology experiment. [more inside]
posted by Smegoid on Mar 27, 2013 - 20 answers

Can a terrorist murder me with my car's computer?

Can "hackers" use the power of the internet to control anything that has a computer in it? [more inside]
posted by Daily Alice on Mar 23, 2013 - 17 answers

How to stop trunking my short fiction before it's even submitted?

I've been writing short fiction. I've got my process down pretty well, to the point that I am not getting stuck in writer's block hell or any other common pitfalls. I have ideas, and I'm capable of getting them down on paper. I revise them, I produce new drafts, etc. My problem comes in the last phase of the process. I don't know when to say something is done. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 21, 2013 - 11 answers

Can you find this sci-fi short story?

I've been looking for this particular short sci-fi story for several years and I am finally giving up on going solo. Help me find it, hive mind. [more inside]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 20, 2013 - 5 answers

How do I check my feminism as a writer?

Are there other simple-to-express checks like the Bechdel Test for measuring gender bias and feminism in fiction? I try hard to make sure I'm being a decent feminist as a writer -- I'm a guy, I tend to write with male protagonists but with a lot of female characters involved, and I worry about my blind spots. [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Mar 19, 2013 - 18 answers

Gothic fiction required

I'm sick in bed with a dose of the flu and I need stuff to read on my kindle. I'm in the mood for intelligent romantic fiction with a dose of thriller - bonus if it has supernatural or gothic elements. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 on Mar 18, 2013 - 18 answers

Movies or stories with sympathetic monsters/villains?

I'd like to compile a list of sympathetic monsters/villains, portrayed in any medium--film, fiction, art, music, myth. [more inside]
posted by ifjuly on Mar 18, 2013 - 44 answers

Sci-Fi Noir?

I recently read Berlin Noir, The City and The City and Chasm City, and was looking for recommendations for sci-fi detective fiction, or detective fiction that reads like sci-fi. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Mar 18, 2013 - 37 answers

Need help finding story.

Need help tracking down a short story I read in the New Yorker a few years ago. [more inside]
posted by derivation on Mar 18, 2013 - 7 answers

The Raskolnikov Method

I'm interested in the origin and propagation of this particular trope: Extremely drunk driver, with bottle of booze in the car, gets in a crash, possibly killing someone, with plenty of witnesses. The driver, either on his own initiative or after calling someone (perhaps a lawyer) for advice, gets out of the car and starts publicly drinking great volumes from the bottle. [more inside]
posted by 256 on Mar 13, 2013 - 13 answers

Fiction: Stuff similiar to "The Star Chamber"

I am looking for works of fiction similar to the 1983 film The Star Chamber that stars Michael Douglas as an idealistic judge. Frustrated at having to dismiss the case against an obviously guilty criminal due to a legal technicality, Douglas' character is invited to join a secret group that offers a special type of vigilante justice. But what happens if they make a mistake? [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Mar 12, 2013 - 21 answers

first fiction contest

I'm submitting a story to a fiction contest, attaching it to an email. Other than the contest guidelines, is there anything else I need to do to the document or be aware of?
posted by larry_darrell on Mar 9, 2013 - 2 answers

History of Rape

I'm interested in learning about rape in 19th century America for a fictional piece I'm writing. I'm not really sure where to start in researching this, but I'd be grateful for any resources or information. [more inside]
posted by Put the kettle on on Mar 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Fiction about the end of the world/civilization

I recently read The Last Policeman by Ben Winters and really enjoyed it. I also really liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I liked the settings (basically the real world but at its end,) and the easy nature of the writing (I read both quickly.) I don't think of myself as a mystery fan, but both of these are mysteries of sorts. I'm looking for fun rather than serious books. What else should I read?
posted by vespabelle on Mar 2, 2013 - 14 answers

I can make your short story disappear

Please help me identify a short story I read in high school. It's about a man who claims that he can make people disappear to the extent that no-one will remember that they ever existed. He is asked to prove the claim... *possible spoilers inside* [more inside]
posted by pianissimo on Mar 2, 2013 - 2 answers

Books on immersive experiences

Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and Robin Sloan's Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore describe immersive artistic experiences that echo Alternate Reality Games or events like the All Worlds Fair. What other books describe events and experiences like these? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Feb 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Name that spooky book, please!

A friend asked me to help her find a book she enjoyed about 10 years ago. This what she remembers: man flies home to southern US to visit family; his father picks him up at airport; they get into a bad car accident; they wake up in a house where a woman takes care of them; she has a dog; she and dog turn out to be ghosts or spirits or something.
posted by mareli on Feb 20, 2013 - 0 answers

Compassionate but not boring fiction?

Help me find non-boring media that wraps you in a warm (or fierce) blanket of compassion or simply leaves you with a sense of gentle warmth, safety, or contentment? [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Feb 15, 2013 - 57 answers

Could we hear the speaking voice of a six-inch-tall human?

I am considering writing a novel/story that involves the idea of people living among us who are somewhere between three and eight inches tall, but I don't know enough about the physics of sound to know if normal height humans would be able to speak to these tiny people. Would their voices be too high-pitched to hear at all, or just very difficult to understand? Would our voices be understandable to them? [more inside]
posted by Rock Steady on Feb 15, 2013 - 18 answers

Science Fiction Short Stories About Personal Identity

I'm a graduate student about to propose a college writing class on science fiction and personal identity. The stories need to be short and brand name authors are preferred. I've got a prospective syllabus (see inside), but I bet there's a lot of good stuff that I'm missing that you know about. [more inside]
posted by vathek on Feb 12, 2013 - 50 answers

Fiction: Fatal encounters between therapist and patient

I am looking for any stories that include a fatal encounter between a therapist and his/her patient. [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Feb 5, 2013 - 33 answers

Detective fiction set in Colonial Africa 1930s-1950s?

I'm looking for examples of detective stories, or stories set among the Colonial police force, in Africa during roughly the period 1918-1955. Short stories, novels, even films. [more inside]
posted by unSane on Feb 4, 2013 - 12 answers

What to read?

Seeking recommendations for fiction that features matriarchy / female led societies.
posted by travelwithcats on Feb 4, 2013 - 36 answers

Looking for new SF books hiding in the general fiction section

I like science fiction books that are placed in the general fiction section - but for me they are hard to find on Amazon or in libraries. Examples of these kinds of books are The Sparrow, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Oryx and Crake, Cloud Atlas and The Dog Stars ... but I need more new stuff - any suggestions?
posted by Dag Maggot on Jan 29, 2013 - 47 answers

Help me remember this YA book.

I've been trying on and off for years to remember this YA book. Actually, I think it might be a series, but maybe not. Details within. [more inside]
posted by fozzie_bear on Jan 25, 2013 - 6 answers

Recommend Fiction Books for 8-yr old. As usual, special details inside

Help me find a decent set of books for an 8-yr old niece who is heavily into reading (touch wood). Harry Potter, The Hobbit and some other books are not for her at this point. [more inside]
posted by theobserver on Jan 24, 2013 - 68 answers

Looking for a page-turner that doesn't depress me

Can you recommend me a book with interesting, well-drawn characters and a page-turning plot that is not horribly depressing? Maybe (but not necessarily) something of the chick-lit variety? [more inside]
posted by lunasol on Jan 24, 2013 - 39 answers

Whats the most famous example of Western architecture? In fiction?

I was reading an introduction to "The Tale of Genji," and I was struck by the claim that Genji's manor is the most well known example of the architecture of the time, even though it never existed. Are there any corollaries in the West? Elsewhere? [more inside]
posted by matkline on Jan 23, 2013 - 14 answers

What Elmore Leonard book should I start with?

Simple enough question. I've never read any Elmore Leonard, and think I will give him a whirl. Where should I start?
posted by Alaska Jack on Jan 21, 2013 - 18 answers

Simple French-language fiction?

I spent 4 years learning French in high school, and have retained just enough since then to vaguely eavesdrop on a fellow commuter's French novel the other day. I would like to brush up on my reading comprehension, and could use some suggestions for some simply written fiction to pick up. [more inside]
posted by thirdletter on Jan 16, 2013 - 25 answers

Looking for novels featuring good parenting

I want to improve my parenting skills for my almost-2-year old. I don't have a lot of role models nearby, so I'd like to do some reading. I tend to put off reading non-fiction, even if it is well-written about a topic I am interested in. However, I will read novels even if they aren't very good and I don't really have time to read them. [more inside]
posted by SandiBeech on Jan 15, 2013 - 15 answers

I want to learn about the birth of dystopias, fictional and real

I'm looking for books, stories, films, documentaries, articles about the birth of dystopic societies. Examples could be a prequel to the Hunger Games (how did this fictional world come to be?), an article about people's lives in a nation where democracy was overthrown, stories about how Jews and non-Jews reacted to the early days of Hitler's rise, explorations of the slow realization that an ostensibly democratic nation is now really run by a strongman or single powerful party. [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Jan 9, 2013 - 8 answers

Toooo maaany booooks

How do you decide what books to read? Recommendations? Reviews? Go to the bookstore and read a chapter? I often find myself overwhelmed with the zillions of choices. How do you narrow it down?
posted by SampleSize on Jan 9, 2013 - 40 answers

Naturalistic Post-Apocalypse Worldbuilding

What elements are needed to write a frighteningly plausible post-apocalyptic story? [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jan 7, 2013 - 24 answers

Books about people starting over

Can you recommend any good books (or films, but I prefer reading) in which a major plot point is the main character dropping out of their own life and starting again in a new location under a new identity? [more inside]
posted by jamesonandwater on Jan 7, 2013 - 38 answers

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