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?
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
I am looking for any stories that include a fatal encounter between a therapist and his/her patient. [more inside]
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]
Seeking recommendations for fiction that features matriarchy / female led societies.
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
Simple enough question. I've never read any Elmore Leonard, and think I will give him a whirl. Where should I start?
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]
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]
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]
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?
What elements are needed to write a frighteningly plausible post-apocalyptic story? [more inside]
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]
Writing fiction: is it the sort of thing where you either have "the gift," or you don't? [more inside]
Identify-a-book-filter: I'm trying to remember a children's/young adult book that I likely read 15-20 years ago in Australia. It was about a ~13 year old girl who went to a Greek island with her archaelogist parents (for a year/the summer?) and something magicky happened. [more inside]
Inspired by this post on the blue, I was wondering -- what are some examples of articles/blog posts where someone analyzed (presumably with tongue-in-cheek) a minor part of a fictional world in a serious way that treats the subject matter as truth, not fictional? [more inside]
As a reader of fiction (especially if you're a devotee of speculative fiction), how much do you like detailed descriptions and/or lists as part of the story? What if the story switches between detail and expediency? [more inside]
Finding a long lost book with a grey cover and very sparse details. [more inside]
I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
Recommendations for fiction about the rich and all their trappings, imposters within that world, or stories where the mighty fell and then rose again? [more inside]
My book queue is empty, and my brain craves fiction! Could you please recommend some books? Favorites include : DeLillo, Murakami, Pynchon, Bolaño, Lethem, Barthleme, Franzen, Chabon, DFW, Bulgakov, Rushdie, David Mitchell, Gabriel García Márquez, Mark Z. Danielewski, Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, George Saunders, Joe Hill, and Raymond Chandler [more inside]
How much fantasy speculative fiction is there out there? [more inside]
What's this novel? I just got a reference request to identify the book/series that has vampires and "bats with big bladders under their bellies". Vampire books are not my forte. Complete question inside. Help? [more inside]
What are the best non-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, collections, and novels?
Just caught a screening of Pulp Fiction on the big screen, and I have a question about Vincent's reading material, re: origin [more inside]
A world with binary suns and multiple satellites that can still be livable by a diverse (even lush) assortment of life forms - true or not? [more inside]
Fiction for a rainy weekend? [more inside]
Books / resources about monastic life? I am thinking of writing a story set in a completely fictional setting, and I'd like to research more ideas of what life is like in a monastery or abbey. [more inside]
Recommend me some seriously good romance/erotic romance fiction? [more inside]
As a reader, how do you feel about invented language versus familiar words in imaginary worlds? [more inside]
Why are third acts so difficult to execute well? [more inside]
Does anyone remember the name of an independent "interactive fiction" game that appeared on MeFi a while back? The gist of it was that there was a "writer" and a "player", and the writer created scenes visually (in an old school 8-bit, top-down view), and the player would respond with his/her action textually, and the writer would then update the graphics on the screen to reflect the actions of the user. The completed stories could then be uploaded to a common site for all to share. It was very cool, but I can't remember its name for the life of me.
Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of visual timelines in movies, video games, or fiction. Scenes where a span of time is represented metaphorically, preferably as a physical object, diagram, or action. A good example is this scene from Me and You and Everyone We Know in which two characters use a street as a visual metaphor for their potential relationship. [more inside]
What novels or movies have a vivacious, charming person drop in and change everybody's perspective or shake the place up?
Looking for specific book recommendations that are superb and by female authors/female authors of color. [more inside]
What are other modern fiction titles with superlatives? I'm thinking of "Everything is Illuminated" and "Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever". [more inside]
You don't need permission to dress up as a copyrighted character, but do you need permission to write about it?
My novel involves a costume party with some guests dressed as recognizable characters from films, TV, etc. I'm clearly not trying to claim them as my own and it's just all Halloween costumes, but am I asking to get sued? [more inside]
Help me choose what to read next! Am currently reading Richard Russo's Empire Falls and need suggestion on where I should head next. [more inside]
I looked at my bookshelf recently. Nearly every writer on there is dead and male. I should rectify this. Which books by women, living or dead, might I like? Details inside. [more inside]
Is there a name for that Victorian(?) thing where a work, usually a novel, has a second, alternate title? [more inside]