503 posts tagged with scifi.
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How much gravitational force does the Death Star exert?

What would happen if Darth Vader parked his Death Star in our neighborhood? [more inside]
posted by the matching mole on Apr 14, 2015 - 13 answers

Name that story

In the future, people trade social reputation (gained via upvotes on live-streams of their days) for goods and services. Drama ensues when a young woman meets a young man who has gone back to the horrid old way of life: cash! Name that sci-fi short story. [more inside]
posted by isnotchicago on Apr 6, 2015 - 3 answers

Hyperion -- Is there a FAQ?

Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion are really one story, split into two books. I enjoyed them, but I've never read any books that just left me with so many unanswered questions. If I had the time and inclination, I literally feel like I could sit down with a pen and notepad, re-reading the series and writing questions the whole time. If you've read and/or love the books (and I assume there are a lot of you), would you mind helping me out a bit? Questions below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Alaska Jack on Mar 31, 2015 - 13 answers

Batshitinsane conspiracy Sci Fi in the SyFy mold

Two of my favorite terrible TV shows are Zero Hour (so bad it was canceled less than halfway through its first and only season) and Ascension (SyFy miniseries). Plz help me find more. Spoilers for those shows below the fold. [more inside]
posted by BungaDunga on Mar 19, 2015 - 27 answers

Help with remembering this old sci-fi show

In the mid-'90s I watched this sci-fi show that was several agents who had to investigate anomalies. This one guy had a record player that entranced people to where they had to take part in his '50s flashback sitcom fantasy. One of the agents was a black woman who was forced to be a maid, the other was a blonde woman who was turned into the guy's teenage daughter. They shattered the illusion by pretending that they were being hit by a nuclear bomb. Does this juice anyone's mind grapes?
posted by satyricaldude on Mar 16, 2015 - 7 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 less-scary X-Files episodes?

My wife (and I) would like to catch up on the X-Files. However, she doesn't really like things that are too scary. However! One of her favorite shows of all time is Fringe, which had its own fair share of scary moments. Fringe never really scared her too much. So, with that in mind...what are the best X-Files episodes which won't give her nightmares?
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 8, 2015 - 21 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

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

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

ID scifi story about telepresence touch?

I'm looking to ID a scifi short story that was posted online, probably within the last 5 years, about a couple getting a black-market telepresence system implanted in their skin. When one of them touched their own skin, the other one would feel it. [more inside]
posted by savagerose on Dec 13, 2014 - 6 answers

Help me identify this (probably fictional) conversation?

Hey all, a particular literary conversation has gotten stuck in my head for days and I can't source it. I've tried every number and combination of Bing/Google searches, but it may be that I'm not getting the exact words right in the phrase. [more inside]
posted by The Zeroth Law on Nov 30, 2014 - 10 answers

Question About William Gibson's The Peripheral

I have some questions about William Gibson's new novel, The Peripheral. Be warned, these questions the answers will involve spoilers. [more inside]
posted by Sangermaine on Nov 25, 2014 - 8 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

A Fandom Halloween

What are some good fandom-related Halloween treats or tricks for an artsy foodie fangirl? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Oct 7, 2014 - 4 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

No violence but dark TV?

I like dark and/or intriguing television shows. I like shows with interesting characters and long pay offs. What I do not like are any sudden scenes with violence against women or children. I have access to all counties of Netflix but no other streaming services. What can I watch? [more inside]
posted by kanata on Aug 21, 2014 - 37 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

What are the Classics of Genre Fiction

Genre fiction is typically underrepresented in lists of classic novels. We all know the classics of literary fiction (War & Peace, Ulysses, Pride & Prejudice, etc.). But who's the Tolstoy of Fantasy? Who's the Austen of spy fiction? [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on Aug 10, 2014 - 26 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

Title and author of a sci fi short story about dream crafting needed

I'm wracking my brains trying to remember the title and author of a science fiction short story to do with dream crafting. I suspect it is either Philip K Dick or Robert Heinlein but cannot pin it down. [more inside]
posted by Molesome on Jul 20, 2014 - 2 answers

Thoughtful sci-fi recommendations

Looking for recommendations of sci-fi authors who are adept at some technology topics without compromising storytelling. More inside! [more inside]
posted by azazello on Jul 13, 2014 - 24 answers

Lady-friendly sci-fi recommendations?

After getting really into Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, I'm looking for similar reading material. Can y'all recommend other sci-fi novels featuring a predominantly female cast?
posted by schooley on Jul 10, 2014 - 22 answers

Help me brainstorm names for Science Fiction Convention / Festival

Looking for ideas for a name for science fiction convention. This event will cover the full spectrum of the science fiction genre, as well as real space and science stuff, and I'm hoping for a name that is both intriguing and fun. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by Unsomnambulist on Jul 8, 2014 - 14 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

SciFiFilter FTL-ish Plausibility Check

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]
posted by Octaviuz on Jun 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Story ID: computer thinks man is dead

A friend asked me this and I'm coming up blank: I remember an old SF story ('50s or earlier) about a person living at a time when everything is run by computers (i.e. now) and he is entered has having died, so the system cancels all his ID, freezes his bank account, won't recognise him as alive, and he ends up living in the cracks (he can't be arrested because he's dead, etc.) Can you remember which story this is?
posted by ICanHazQuestion on Jun 19, 2014 - 17 answers

What's the name of this kids' scifi anthology I remember?

I read this book of short stories years ago, and for some reason I remember most of the stories in it but have had no luck with Googling for it. Must be that the stories' premises were creative enough or caught my imagination in a particular way. The most memorable story was about trying to survive on Earth after a supernova. I'm pretty sure these are all from the same book: [more inside]
posted by lostburner on Jun 18, 2014 - 7 answers

People losing it and going berserk in a SciFi novel

Current affairs - that is, the apparent epidemic of guys with guns shooting up public places - are reminding me of a SciFi novel I read long ago, but they're not reminding me which one it was. As I recall, it was a dystopia where population pressure caused people to suddenly snap and lash out physically at whoever was nearby. IIRC, they were described as berserkers. What is that book?
posted by Kirth Gerson on Jun 6, 2014 - 11 answers

Grow food in a giant cave?

I'm working on a story where some people live in a cave and have to grow their own food inside. I would like some idea of what could realistically be grown in this situation (more details below). [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000 on Jun 3, 2014 - 20 answers

Help me find a short story? SciFi simulated universe, subjects escape

I read a short story a few years ago about scientists simulating a whole world in a computer and watching history unfold. The scientists appear in the world like gods to shape it. But then the virtual test subjects figure out a way to interact with the world outside the computer and then ultimately escape by teleporting the whole computer facility through a wormhole. What story is this? [more inside]
posted by Kolath on May 28, 2014 - 8 answers

Give me your tired, your poor, your... SF authors needing a True Fan?

After this FPP on Amazon's questionable tactics dealing with Hachette (and in particular, Michael Sullivan's article on the matter, in which he mentions developing "a direct sales channel" with readers), and mathowie's comment in the MeFi funding thread on True Fans, help me find a better way to support authors than binging on the Kindle Book Store (where the majority of my payment apparently goes to publishers and distributors - boo!). Difficulty level: hard SF (think Greg Egan), space opera (think Banks' Culture series); ebooks preferred. [more inside]
posted by snap, crackle and pop on May 24, 2014 - 7 answers

Queer sci-fi

Where are some good places to read queer sci fi short stories? [more inside]
posted by tinkletown on May 22, 2014 - 23 answers

Name some cool habitats from Sci Fi books.

What are the coolest, most imaginative habitats (such as cities, rings, orbitals, asteroids, underwater domes, semi-sentient inhabited space whales, anything people live in) that you've read about in Science Fiction books or comics?
posted by signal on May 1, 2014 - 38 answers

Modern Life is Magic

Help me find books that convey a jolly feeling of appreciation for the wonders of modern life. Ideally these would be books that have a sci-fi or fantasy feel, but in which nothing overtly magical or fantastic happens. The best recent examples I can think of are Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which has all the elements of a fantasy novel but is set squarely in our world, and William Gibson's most recent novels, all of which feel fantastic to me but are grounded in real life. [more inside]
posted by spacewaitress on Apr 10, 2014 - 18 answers

I need help identifying a book.

I don't have much to go on. Who wants to take a stab at it? [more inside]
posted by msali on Apr 9, 2014 - 4 answers

Near(ish) future space exploration fiction

I have a huge love for space/planetary exploration fiction. Think 2001, the sadly mistreated Defying Gravity TV show and Kim Stanley Robinson's mars series. Do you have recommendations for me? Books primarliy, but TV/Films too though I guess i have seen most of those in this genre already. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 answers

Seeking info about theories on extraterrestrial evolution and life forms

I'm looking for academic papers (but also stories, movies, news articles, or anything else!) that talk about this: most of the ideas we come up with about alien life involves those aliens being carbon-based lifeforms with eyes of some sort and internal organs and appendages. But where are the other, more wild (and probably likely) ideas? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on Apr 2, 2014 - 12 answers

old short story and newer anime where soldiers "respawn"?

bookfilter: I remember reading a sci-fi (short story?) where the key element was that once a soldier died on the battlefield, they respawned into a new body and had to keep fighting. I believe it was a classic sci-fi because the enemies were russian, I believe. I was telling my friend about this and he said that there was an anime with a similar plot element, but he can't remember what it was. Can you tell me the names of these?
posted by rebent on Mar 21, 2014 - 12 answers

Technology orgasm nightmare

My friend asks: "I once saw a sci-fi film where people had worked out how to record conscious experiences and then others could experience it directly themselves. There's one bit where a guy ends up driving himself into an insane catatonic state when he loops this recording of someone having sex at the point of orgasm and plays it for 12 hours straight." Q: what is that film?
posted by urbanwhaleshark on Mar 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Sure, it's the apocalypse, but at least there's plenty of hairspray

I need more cheesy, overblown, post-apocalyptic music videos from the '80s! [more inside]
posted by Janta on Mar 14, 2014 - 30 answers

Gadget review in the form of short dystopian scifi

Help me find an online review that someone wrote several years ago, reviewing a data-erasing gadget by writing a piece of dystopian fiction in which the user needs to use the device in a hurry. [more inside]
posted by brainwane on Mar 13, 2014 - 1 answer

SciFi Books from a While Ago

I'm yet again looking for some books I read over a decade ago. Details below. Somewhere in there I swear is a link to Frank Herbert, but I don't know for sure (every time I search for his bibliography it comes up all Dune). [more inside]
posted by BenevolentActor on Mar 6, 2014 - 7 answers

Let's Play "Name That Book!"

Back in the early-mid 90s, preteen me read a surreal science fiction book that I checked out from my local library. I remember a few tantalizing details, and I'm curious to find it and find out if it was any good. The basics: Many-worlds, and characters move between them unknowingly whenever they talk on the newfangled quantum telephone. Something bad happened to the US in most/all universes, but nobody in the multiverse knows what. It Gets Weird. [more inside]
posted by Alterscape on Feb 14, 2014 - 6 answers

Psychohistory

Can you point me toward any negative reviews of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 14, 2014 - 6 answers

I need to build a "social media platform" to market my novel -- help!

In order to get my novel published (comedic science fiction), I've been told that I need to build a social media platform (website, facebook, twitter, etc.) and that if publishers see that you have a following they're more likely to take a chance on you. I'm building a website and getting a facebook page in order, but I'm not sure I get twitter, I'd like input on where on the web my audience may already lie, and I need to get over my aversion to self-promotion. [more inside]
posted by rkriger on Feb 12, 2014 - 19 answers

ISO good fiction about catching babies

Recommend me fiction or very readable memoirs about midwifery, obstetrics, and the politics of birth--any genre is fine, but SF/F and historical suggestions are especially welcome. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Feb 10, 2014 - 24 answers

Sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and weird fiction from Central/Eastern Europe?

What are the best sci-fi, horror, and fantasy books, movies, and comics from Central and Eastern Europe? "Best" includes both the finest and also the most popularly influential, as well as both pro- and anti-communist material, as well as both past and contemporary work. Bonus points for such fiction from the former Yugoslavia! [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 10, 2014 - 16 answers

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