470 posts tagged with sciencefiction.
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ID a short scifi/fantasy story - Beetles steal a museum scarab

Short story I read as a kid, so published before 1990. Beetles meet in (?Central) Park to discuss, or succeed, in stealing a scarab from a major museum. The cockroaches have a chant - 'Blatt Blatt Blatt go the Blattodea!'
posted by AFII on Jul 28, 2015 - 3 answers

How realistic is The Peripheral?

Specifically, how likely is something like the "jackpot" in Gibson's new book to happen? Spoilers below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Jul 27, 2015 - 12 answers

What is this scifi story (novel?) that I dimly remember.

I only remember a few details, but it left an impression. Protagonist a very stable, socially responsible woman. The Powers That Be for reasons I can't remember offered her rejuvenation therapy... [more inside]
posted by Fibognocchi on Jul 18, 2015 - 6 answers

now c here

I'm looking for a good anthology of time travel stories to give to someone. [more inside]
posted by michaelh on Jul 8, 2015 - 6 answers

Name for science fiction writers ramping up sexual content?

There are numerous shorthand descriptions of various phenomena, like Rule 34 and Godwin's law and Sturgeon's law. Is there a shorthand term for the tendency of science fiction writers to ramp up sexual content over time? I know Heinlein did it over time. Niven did it in the Ringworld series. Simmons apparently did it. Now I find out that Herbert did it in the later Dune books. It seems to be a common phenomenon, but is there a specific name for it?
posted by Bugbread on Jul 5, 2015 - 19 answers

Who suggested that multinational corporations are highest life forms?

Who was the anthropologist who suggested that multinational corporations are the highest life forms on Earth? Author William Gibson has recounted going to a lecture by a female anthropologist at the University of British Columbia in the late 70s. The anthropologist posited the idea that multinational corporations were the highest life form on Earth, which had a profound influence on Gibson's world view, and therefore on literature influenced by Gibson. Who was this anthropologist? I haven't been able to find out who she was.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 5, 2015 - 11 answers

Question about the Sheckley ouvre

I think a lot of (speculative fiction author) Robert Sheckley's work is brilliant and masterful. Especially the stuff he published in the 1950s and 1960s. But I've wondered for years why there was such a sharp decline in quality in it around the 1970s and thereafter. Does anybody know? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Jul 1, 2015 - 7 answers

Did you arrive? No, I did not, but I had a very nice time.

Inspired by this thread about unintentional historical double entendres, I'm looking for a science fiction short story that was published twenty or so years ago. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow on Jun 26, 2015 - 1 answer

Science Fiction novels about society forgetting science

Could anyone help me identify science fiction novels whose central theme is society forgetting science? I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and I heard a description of a novel about society moving back to pre-enlightenment levels of knowledge and I thought it sounded interesting. I don't remember any details about the book mentioned but I'm open to reading any good books about losing knowledge.
posted by rdr on Jun 21, 2015 - 20 answers

70's Science Fiction Story Identification Wanted!

I remember reading a SciFi story when I was a kid about a man who was revered because he could heal any disease. His body would go through a strange biological cycle allowing these healing powers only for a short time. The problem was that later in that cycle, he harbored infectious diseases that caused harm to anyone close to him until the cycle completed and he became "pure" once again. The name escapes me and all searches for the title have failed. Can you help me? Thanks!
posted by queue_strategy on Jun 20, 2015 - 2 answers

What is some good science fiction like this?

I'm interested in good science fiction in any format (book, film, comics, etc.) that explores that idea that we are not alone in the universe, but wildly mismatched with everybody or nearly every else in terms of civilization stages, kinds of technology, perception, etc. [more inside]
posted by cmoj on Jun 10, 2015 - 44 answers

Seasons and weather on a tidally locked planet (for a story)

I can't find any sources that really explain how they'd work to a science illiterate like me. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Even fiction will help, seeing as it's for a story of my own. [more inside]
posted by trollnystan on May 31, 2015 - 7 answers

What are some works of SFF that use extraordinarily beautiful language?

What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
posted by Going To Maine on May 24, 2015 - 32 answers

Remind me of the title and author of a science fiction short story

The story followed an alcoholic ex military leader as he tried to reach the control room (head) of a giant humanoid robot so large that it housed an entire civilization. That's about all I remember. I believe it was written by an author generally known for more literary fiction rather than SF.
posted by 256 on May 19, 2015 - 2 answers

Post-Apocalyptic Sci Fi for My Hurt Guy

I am looking for post-apocalyptic sci fi books for my husband. He is currently convalescing from a back injury, and when Husband is bored, Wife suffers. [more inside]
posted by evilcupcakes on May 17, 2015 - 55 answers

Lazyweb: Greatest *consistent* scifi/fantasy series novels?

What are the best scifi and/or fantasy book series that are consistently great from novel to novel? For my purposes this would be a series of at least three books, and probably no more than... six? ish? (I might be cutting it short; this is a general estimate of about how long my interest tends to remain keen. Not a dealbreaker if a bit more). I'm looking for the sorts of books that really draw you into the fictional world and have a lot of character building, with few or no "weak links" from book to book. [more inside]
posted by taz on May 9, 2015 - 45 answers

Yet another book recommendation

I'm desperately searching for a new series. I'm in the mood for an academic leaning fantasy romance, which is almost too specific. Help me not go crazy in my search? [more inside]
posted by Krop Tor on Apr 13, 2015 - 37 answers

Are there any post-apocalyptic stories focused on minorities?

Are there any "civilization is ruined, zombies/marauders/robots are killing the survivors, we must rebuild/get to the final refuge" stories in any medium where the main characters are not mainly caucasian people?
posted by Apocryphon on Mar 15, 2015 - 34 answers

I Am Taggart: A Memoir by Jason Nesmith

Lots of genre TV stars have written memoirs, but do any of them go into detail about life on the convention circuit? [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Mar 3, 2015 - 5 answers

Trying to ID this SF book/story

Please help me figure out what science fiction story this is. Here's what I believe I remember correctly (but we all know how fallible/inaccurate memory is): [more inside]
posted by dancing leaves on Mar 1, 2015 - 6 answers

Sci-Fi book where people switch their sex each year until 18?

Help me find a book where the characters switch between boy and girl each year and must decide as an adult which sex/gender they'll remain for the rest of their lives. [more inside]
posted by threesquare on Feb 20, 2015 - 3 answers

What is this old Sci-Fi Short-Story/Novelette?

I'm trying to identify/find this pre-1980 story set in America, about an epidemic (highly contagious, spread skin-to-skin) where everyone's turns grey and the victims have hallucinations. The protagonist is on the run (along with a woman?), trying to escape roaming victims (who have a craving to touch his uninfected skin). In that last aspect, it has a zombie apocalypse feel to it. I believe it was a little-known work by a big-name author. Can anyone tell me what it is? SPOILERS BELOW [more inside]
posted by Sceadugenga on Feb 11, 2015 - 6 answers

Best Science Fiction of the last year

I've gotten out of the loop on recent Science Fiction writing. What are the best science fiction short stories and novels published within the last year?
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2015 - 14 answers

Can you help my husband find this sci fi story?

He's remembering a story about a couple who lives their whole relationship in a virtual world. His memories inside. [more inside]
posted by lauranesson on Jan 14, 2015 - 6 answers

Quotes about science and sci-fi

Please help me find good quotes about how and why sci-fi is inspired by science, or how science is inspired by sci-fi.
posted by Unsomnambulist on Jan 4, 2015 - 4 answers

Did Arthur C. Clarke change the ending to Imperial Earth?

A Facebook discussion about good books by well-known authors passing into undeserved obscurity had me looking up reviews of Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth. In the comments on Jo Walton's review there's a discussion about the ending, specifically whether he wrote two distinct endings, replacing the an earlier one in later editions. Did Clarke rewrite the ending? Spoilers below the cut. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2014 - 5 answers

I'm looking for a solid science fiction novel...

I'm looking for a solid science fiction novel to enjoy and then send along to a friend whom I owe a book. Recommendations will be much appreciated; a few details are provided below the fold. [more inside]
posted by mr. digits on Dec 20, 2014 - 36 answers

Is it still "worldbuilding" on a space station?

I'm looking for science fiction with excellent worldbuilding surrounding a particular scenario: a population trapped in an enclosed environment that they can't leave for generations, so that they have to produce or reuse everything within that environment. Preferably something like a space station or a generation ship, but those details aren't required. [more inside]
posted by darchildre on Dec 18, 2014 - 31 answers

Fantasy books with a music as an element

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?
posted by graventy on Dec 18, 2014 - 42 answers

Books appropriate for a middle school boy

I've been tasked with finding my 13-year-old relative a good science fiction book. [more inside]
posted by rainbowbrite on Dec 15, 2014 - 31 answers

Name of novel where US is evacuated, Europe filled w/ American refugees

There's a novel I remember getting from the library when I was very young, and it mostly flew over my head. I'm trying to remember its name. I believe the premise was the US had to be evacuated for some reason, and much of the rest of the world filled up with refugee camps and ghettos of Americans. [more inside]
posted by yesno on Dec 9, 2014 - 2 answers

Tracking down a sci fi author

Awhile ago, I read about a science fiction author on Wikipedia. The series was not concluded when the author's notebook fell into a body of water. When he fished it out and saw that his notes for the stories and how they all interlinked had been obliterated, he lost the will to continue on with his stories as he didn't have the patience to try to reconstruct the contents of his notebook. Please help me ID this author as I intended to track his works down, but never got around to it. [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama on Nov 11, 2014 - 3 answers

How does "resistance to [psychiatric] medication" develop?

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, and I've been kicking around a setting in which the regular use of all kinds of mood- and cognition-enhancing drugs is widely accepted in society and tacitly endorsed by the government (though this is neither utopic nor dystopic). I'd like my protagonist to be dealing with the fallout of developing a resistance to these mind-enhancing medications, but before I spend 50,000 words on it, I'd like to check my premises. [more inside]
posted by dee lee on Nov 1, 2014 - 3 answers

Polyandry - tell me everything

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]
posted by b33j on Oct 17, 2014 - 10 answers

Science Fiction Short Story ID

The gist of the story: Natives take potion which slows their movements and thoughts to match those of trees, who it turns out are sentient and out to get us. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton on Sep 26, 2014 - 6 answers

Far future, alien-feeling SF recommendations

I'm getting fairly tired of science fiction set in the near or medium future where society and motivations are an extension of modern life. I'd like something set so far in the future that there is nothing that really calls back to earth politics or history or culture, or something which may well be in an alternate universe because earth-like things never even come up. [more inside]
posted by Bugbread on Sep 26, 2014 - 30 answers

Welcome citizen to a generic science fiction utopia

You how there's always a scene in science fiction movies where a character enters some futuristic utopia and a robotic voice starts talking to them, saying something like "Welcome to Futureville, where all your needs are met" ? Is there a name for this trope? Can you think of some good examples? [more inside]
posted by craniac on Sep 15, 2014 - 36 answers

Trying to remeber a short story about alien archeologists

I'm trying to remember a short story I read years ago, in school probably, about alien archaeologists examining the only remains of earth after glaciers killed the last humans. [more inside]
posted by Canageek on Sep 13, 2014 - 2 answers

1970s science fiction short story about a young mother going crazy?

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]
posted by Slinga on Aug 21, 2014 - 9 answers

Sheena is a punk rocker now (and in the year 2875)

Help me make a punk rock playlist for the distant future. [more inside]
posted by nonasuch on Aug 16, 2014 - 31 answers

The Hugo Awards: what are the odds?

I thought bookmakers would take bets on just about anything, bookish competitions included—Ladbrokes has Haruki Murakami at 6:1 for this year's Nobel Prize for Literature—but I'm not finding anyone offering odds on this weekend's Hugo Awards. Are there any "official" odds on the Hugos? And if not, why not? [more inside]
posted by mumkin on Aug 15, 2014 - 3 answers

SF stories to make one's blood pressure rise.

I recently had the displeasure of encountering Philip K. Dick's "The Pre-Persons" for the first time. What other SF stories or novels by name authors are waiting to affront my political sensibilities? [more inside]
posted by vathek on Aug 10, 2014 - 30 answers

Aka, the effect of gamma rays on man in the moon marigolds

Which nation has the most science-fiction readers per capita? [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Jul 24, 2014 - 4 answers

Seeking all-in-one SFF headline site for daily reading

Seeking recommendations for a site with good coverage of books, films, comics etc. centered around SFF nerdery for my RSS reader. I used to read The Mary Sue, but have been meh about it since its revamp. I'm currently trying out Tor.com, but I'm looking for other alternatives. Feminist orientation is a plus, but not mandatory. I don't play video games, and I'm not particularly interested in rewatches/rereads other than on FanFare.
posted by immlass on Jul 24, 2014 - 5 answers

Recent Mundane/Hard SF

Who is writing hard/mundane SF these days? I'm talking no FTL, basically. Please recommend books from the last decade or so. Not Accelerando, though. No offense to Mr. Stross, but it really was not my bag. Thank you in advance.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man on Jul 9, 2014 - 21 answers

Good Russian and Eastern European SF/F/Horror

I really love the sort of bleak/dark horror/fantasy/science fiction from Russia and Eastern Europe. I loved the Nightwatch series, loved Solaris, loved the Metro series. What else would I love from that part of the world?
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Most interesting science fiction/fantasy monetary or currency systems?

There are lots of interesting SF&F economic systems that are without money -- post-scarcity AI-nano cornucopias, magic subsistence economies, etc. For those who imagine worlds that still have money, though, what are the most interesting speculative monetary/currency/financial systems? (Please feel free to mention the obvious-to-you, as I've got big gaps in my SF&F reading and watching.) Thanks! [more inside]
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure on Jul 6, 2014 - 18 answers

Help me ID a Sci-Fi Story about computation and evolution

A few years ago I went into my school's SciFi library and I was given a book of short stories which I read several of sitting on the floor of the library. And then I put down the book and I don't remember what it was called. One short story was about a world in which computation speeds get faster and faster until someone, eventually makes computers capable of running models on the order of complexity of a world's worth of physics very very quickly. I think the computers may have been the shape of small cubes. [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jun 25, 2014 - 2 answers

Science for English Majors

I saw -- maybe here, maybe on the blue -- a link to a webpage with discussions of all sorts of future-science problems. I can't find it again. Help? [more inside]
posted by AmandaA on Jun 24, 2014 - 2 answers

Engrossing Science Fiction Recommendations Please!

Help me fill my Kindle with vacation reading! I like well-written doorstop SF, urban fantasy, spaceship books, epic fantasy, deep complicated books but also joyful romps, complicated prophecies that manifest in unusual ways, great worldbuilding, etc. Romantic elements are fine but I'm not as into stuff where the plot is a thin scrim to hang over endless sexy sex. And as a lifelong SF reader, I have now officially read enough books without women in them, so only books that include solid female characters (as opposed to braid-tugging smurfettes). Things I have loved under the cut. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT on Jun 19, 2014 - 66 answers

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