500 posts tagged with sciencefiction.
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Hivememory help with a dimly remembered SF novel.

What I remember of the book (likely with errors): Starts within about 25 years of 2010. We've identified exoplanets with a (light interferometry?) telescope (on the moon?). A 4-6 member volunteer genius crew sets off on the first interstellar voyage, but they burn through their entertainment/education material early in the voyage and are so bored they become supergeniuses (one solves Goldbach's conjecture?). Then plot twist, the telescope didn't really find planets; these folks were sent out as a psychological experiment. [more inside]
posted by Emmy Noether on Oct 12, 2016 - 3 answers

Help me feed my scifi habit

I've been a fan of classic science fiction since I was a little kid - think stuff from the 30s-70s. I haven't had as much luck with 21st century stuff, but I just read Embassytown by China MiƩville, and loved it. What other more recent novels might I enjoy? More about my preferences inside. [more inside]
posted by Cygnet on Oct 2, 2016 - 39 answers

What should I listen to after Mind Webs?

Subsequent to this post (thanks, Iridic!), I decided to give Mind Webs a try. This morning, I listened to the last episode. What now? [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt on Sep 22, 2016 - 3 answers

YASID about a weird house and It's not And He Build a Crooked House

My friend is looking for this story and none of us remember where it is from. A traveler or explorer encountered a house and walked in through the front door. He walked through the house, out the back door and around to the front of the house. He discovered that the front of the house was pinched off and inaccessible. Please help
posted by bleary on Aug 9, 2016 - 7 answers

Science fiction book ID: people can choose the reality they live in

Trying to find a book I saw a review of: there's a huge number of humans at this point (trillions?), either living as uploaded minds in virtual reality, or in actual different physical/constructed realities. In the inciting incident, a main character is told there is no originality anymore: plenty of people across their society are simultaneously, in their own studios, creating pretty much the same thing, independently. [more inside]
posted by mistersix on Jul 29, 2016 - 8 answers

Comic with dolphin in exosuit

Trying to remember a comic or graphic novel that my kids read several years ago that featured a princess, flying sailing ships and a sentient dolphin that wore a "water suit" that looked like a space suit, with robotic legs that were controlled by the dolphin's mind. [more inside]
posted by Dag Maggot on Jul 13, 2016 - 6 answers

What are some fictional examples of archaeology/ruins set in the future?

I'm looking for examples of archaeology of the present day, and/or of the ruins of the modern world, from the perspective of the future, as expressed in fiction or film. These could be major plot points, recurrent themes, or merely passing references. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jul 4, 2016 - 42 answers

Future DNA modeling tech?

Is it theoretically possible to design a computer program that can take an organism's DNA and produce a model of that organism, without being given any other information? (It does not need to be possible with current tech, just theoretically possible.) This is, of course, for a story. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jun 17, 2016 - 29 answers

Please help me stop reading Seveneves

No, seriously. I keep on rereading the first two-thirds of Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, and I gotta get out of this place. Please make me aware of other things I should read. [more inside]
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub on May 22, 2016 - 40 answers

How do I avoid the troll picks in the Hugo nominees?

I want to separate the wheat from the chaff. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on May 20, 2016 - 12 answers

Balticon 50 Reading List

I'm heading to Balticon 50 and want to expand the awesomeness. What should I read? [more inside]
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer on Apr 8, 2016 - 3 answers

Space Chases in Comics

Looking for specific examples of extremely creative, well-drawn chase sequences (through outer space, preferably involving spaceships) that you have seen depicted in a comic book or graphic novel. Please be as specific as possible so I can go buy the issue online. Bonus points for double-page spreads!
posted by egeanin on Apr 7, 2016 - 5 answers


My wife and I do a radio show on a community station in Canada, usually roughly theming the show around something in the community (or going on with us) every week. A comic-book/SF convention is rolling through town next weekend. We try to have a lot of Canadian content on the show. What Canadian musicians have performed songs about SF/fantasy/comic-book themes? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Mar 5, 2016 - 21 answers

Earliest instance of Atlantis-as-spaceship depiction in media?

I've been watching the 1978-1979 Hanna-Barbera Godzilla series with my son. There's one episode where the characters encounter the lost city of Atlantis, which turns out to be an alien spaceship. The depiction is similar to the Atlantis city/ship from the Stargate TV series. I'm wondering when the earliest depiction of Atlantis as spaceship occurred. [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem on Mar 3, 2016 - 5 answers

Near future SciFi story dealing with "academic dishonesty" & algorithms

Following a recent conversation about the increasingly sophisticated ecosystem of outsourcing papers and homework assignments, I was reminded that sometime in the Spring or Summer of 2015 I read a science fiction story that now seems eerily prescient. Help me find it? [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing on Feb 29, 2016 - 1 answer

Science-fiction books from India?

Hi guys, does anyone have recommendations for titles or authors to discover Indian "sci-fi" books or authors? [more inside]
posted by gmm on Feb 12, 2016 - 14 answers

Books with time travel as a minor subplot?

I'm trying to find stories and/or novels which are mostly about something else but also include a bit of time travel, with that aspect of the story only made clear toward the end. [more inside]
posted by johnofjack on Jan 27, 2016 - 40 answers

Help me find my OTHER nominees for the Hugos and Retro Hugos

I'm looking for suggestions for potential nominations for the upcoming Hugos and Retro-Hugos. Difficulty level: NOT the categories for fiction, film, or television. [more inside]
posted by kyrademon on Jan 9, 2016 - 4 answers

Books with the same mouthfeel as Steven Universe

I'd like to read some fantasy or science fiction that has the same flavor and feel as Steven Universe. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Jan 8, 2016 - 4 answers

Help a Space Pirate recreate a Venusian shoreleave in his apartment

I'm looking for plastic, "realistic" plants that nonetheless look like they came from the jungles of Venus. Not the boring, toxic, crushing atmosphere Venus of pedestrian reality — I'm talking Edgar Rice Burroughs/SM Stirling "Old Venus" stuff, the lush, tropical, alien world filled with exotic life-forms & swashbuckling adventure for intrepid rocket-troopers to explore, raygun and boarding cutlass in hand. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 6, 2016 - 6 answers

3D Printing in Science Fiction

What are some works of science fiction that feature 3D printing or similar technologies? [more inside]
posted by Prunesquallor on Dec 22, 2015 - 27 answers

Book Recommendations for Teen

My 17yo son just finished the last available book in the Game is Life series by Terry Schott and is looking for other books he might enjoy. What he likes: YA science fiction, light fantasy, in-depth character development. Other books he has enjoyed: His Majesty's Dragon, The Martian, and Ender's Game. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks!
posted by rhapsodie on Nov 15, 2015 - 20 answers

Need book recommendations--science fiction and/or fantasy edition.

I want to send some science fiction and/or fantasy books to someone. These are practically the only genres I DON'T read, and for various reasons I can't ask the recipient for a wish list. Please recommend some science fiction and fantasy books that would be good choices and that are available in paperback. Stand-alone titles are strongly preferred, but series are OK too. I'd also consider some good anthologies if they're available in paperback. Thanks!
posted by bookmammal on Nov 2, 2015 - 27 answers

"Trashy" sci-fi

I'm kicking around some ideas for a sci-fi story about trash. For inspiration, I'm looking for trash-related passages from sci-fi works (e.g. there have to be some in Neuromancer), fiction or non-fiction about electronic waste, articles about trash from different eras, and articles tracing the provenance of trash, analogous to the links within. [more inside]
posted by glass origami robot on Nov 1, 2015 - 42 answers

Novels involving darts?

A friend's birthday is coming up. He likes to play darts (plays in a league) and he likes to read. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for gifts that might combine both. [more inside]
posted by jaguar on Oct 11, 2015 - 6 answers

Engineering fiction?

I'm looking for more science fiction to read, along the lines of The Martian or Seveneves, where solving engineering challenges is a major part of the story. Lots of technical detail is good.
posted by pombe on Oct 2, 2015 - 31 answers

Find me free fiction!

I really enjoy posts that solve bookmysteries with links to free, old science fiction. Where's the great and secret library of it? [more inside]
posted by Nyx on Sep 28, 2015 - 8 answers

Seeking "Hyperbrain" Books/Films: Chiang's "Understand", Lucy, Limitless

If I greatly enjoyed Ted Chiang's "Understand", Lucy, Flowers for Algernon and Limitless, what other works along the same "superintelligence", "hyperbrain" or "gifted with superhuman intelligence amongst a world of normal people" theme would I enjoy? [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Sep 20, 2015 - 23 answers

Novellas, novelettes, short stories

Where do you read novellas, novelettes and short stories in science fiction? Whom do you suggest? During the golden age of sf I relied on Analog/Astounding, but after all the recent Hugo drama I have realized that I barely keep up with the new novels. Looking back at the titles that won Hugos and Nebulas, I realized how many of the shorter pieces I truly loved and I feel the need to get to know the youngish writers. Tell me whom I should read and where I'll find that author.
posted by francesca too on Aug 26, 2015 - 11 answers

Please help identify this science-fiction book from my youth

AskMe is so good at this kind of thing! I read a science fiction novel when I was young, in the early 80s, although it may have been written earlier. The protagonist was a teenage girl who had been kidnapped because of her rare ability to see and travel through interdimensional portals. [more inside]
posted by seasparrow on Jul 30, 2015 - 3 answers

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 - 46 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

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