What are the bars/live music venues in San Francisco and Oakland that have real, acoustic pianos on their stages? [more inside]
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.
Back in the early 2000s - around 2001-2003 there was an awesome falafel place near the corner of Haight and Fillmore. I'm less interested in the place, but would love to find a similar style of falafel in the East Bay / Oakland. [more inside]
I'm moving. Many of my SF books can go away permanently. Who where how? [more inside]
Along the same line as this post that inquires about bath houses in Los Angeles, I'm looking for a place to get clean in The City! [more inside]
I'm going to be stopping in SF for a few nights next week (Sunday-Thursday) en route from London to Portland, and realise I've no real idea of what to do with myself in the evenings (daytime is fine)... [more inside]
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?
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.
Please tell me the latest possible date I should fly into San Francisco to look for housing, with a work start date of August 10th. More specifics within. [more inside]
I'm a 30-year-old straight single guy, debating a move to either NYC or SF. Singledom has been getting tiresome (after 6+ months), and I'd be interested in knowing whether dating would be substantially better or easier in one or the other city. I'm a slightly nerdy (but by no-means super-geeky) and fairly athletic/outdoorsy highly-educated professional. In either city, I'd be living in or near the urban center. [more inside]
Situation: I'm going to a major environmental nonprofit's fundraising gala/ball. More details inside. [more inside]
Is it possible to find a studio in SF proper for ≤$1650/mo? Where (and how) should I be looking? [more inside]
I just graduated from a web development bootcamp and am starting to look for my first job in the field in the Bay Area. I'm getting wildly different advice about how much money I should try to get paid. [more inside]
Is there a route alongside the San Francisco marathon I could take that would allow me to get back to the designated viewing locations? Bikes are not allowed in the race of course, but I'd like to know if anyone else has tried to follow the race and support a participant by riding ahead and cheering them on at each viewing location. [more inside]
I want to make sandwiches for work on Dutch Crunch bread -- it's amazing. However, the only places I've had it are sandwich shops that are selling finished sandwiches, not the bread itself. Please tell me where in SF I can buy loaves of this crunchy goodness!
Trying to identify a short story in which someone whose job is to identify emerging groups of people with specialized interests and target them as niche markets turns those skills to helping some group hide their purchases and whatnot to evade that kind of targeting. Maybe the group being helped contained some relatives of the marketer? I'm pretty sure I read it within the past 15 years, and it's possible it was in one of those annual collections of SF short stories (like Dozois's series).
Are there any good games that are based on hard science fiction, such as discussed on Project Rho? There are a lot of great SF books that draw on relativity, vast distances and solid physics to make their stories of interstellar warfare and commerce exciting (e.g. Charlie Stross, Alaistair Reynolds, Benford, Westerfield, etc.) but all video games, mainstream or indie, seem to be much more Star Wars-style science fantasy. Are there any exceptions? FTL is the closest I can think of, and that is pushing it...
I'm thinking about moving (within SF), but am not clear on how exactly to make the logistics work, especially when it comes to giving enough notice. [more inside]
This question is for straight women who have lived and dated in both San Francisco and NYC. I've heard anecdotally from a couple of women that dating was much easier for them in SF than in NYC, and I'm wondering if it's true generally or if it was just the luck of these particular individuals. [more inside]
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?
Lots of genre TV stars have written memoirs, but do any of them go into detail about life on the convention circuit? [more inside]
Reading this thread made me realize that I am completely unaware of the current state of SF/F. Who are some female SF/F authors from the last 15 years that you would recommend? [more inside]
I have family coming to visit me here in the San Francisco vicinity and I need help putting together an itinerary including restaurants and such. Please help? [more inside]
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]
I am trying to remember the name or author of a paperback SF book I read in the 1970s. From the tone, I'm pretty sure it's a late 60s or 70s publication. Memories inside: [more inside]
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?
I am traveling to SF in a few weeks, arriving mid-afternoon on Thursday at SFO. I am planning to drive to Davis the same day, spending the Friday at UCD, and drive back to SF around 6 PM, where I'll stay. Ideally, I would not have to drive to SFO and shlep back to downtown, but return the car in the city that same Friday evening, or first take a cab downtown upon arrival to a local rental company that does offer (somewhat) later returns. To my surprise, it appears to be impossible to return a rental car in SF after 6 PM to a company that offers pickup at SFO. What am I missing? [more inside]
My roommate got very drunk, put some chicken in a covered pot on the stove to reheat, and fell asleep. I woke up to an acrid-smelling room (my room is on the other side of the house from the kitchen) and the hallway smoke detector going off. She could have easily started a serious fire (she didn't wake up when the alarm went off, and when I woke her up, she initially didn't even remember that she'd put something on the stove). Even though she didn't burn the kitchen down, the house smells TERRIBLE. Like possibly uninhabitably terrible. Can my landlord evict her for this? Can he make her pay for any necessary smoke removal services? What are MY rights here? Mostly I want her gone, but if that's not possible...? We are in a rent-controlled apartment in SF, and each of the roomates is on a separate lease (not month to month).
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]
So a friend and I are recent transplants to SF, originally from NYC. For reasons, neither of us can go home for Christmas and we barely know anyone out here. So we've decided to try to find a place to hang out tomorrow and could use advice from locals. [more inside]
Hi! I have a date planned near the Ferry Building and would like to get a drink somewhere not too loud. I went to Local Edition a month ago and found we had to YELL above the chatter of the bar. I would like to avoid that again. Where would you recommend?
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]
I want to ride from NYC to SF in 2015. I have 8 to 10 weeks (maybe 12) to do it. When would be the best time of the year to do so? [more inside]
Can't decide if I should move back to NYC from SF. Please help me find some new ways to think about the problem. [more inside]
Where can I get the best, finest, most fussy and superlative men's straight razor shave and a haircut in San Francisco?
My girlfriend's birthday is next weekend, and I'd love to surprise her with an hour or two or seven of playing with a corgi in a park, somewhere in SF. [more inside]
Looking for quiet, quiet, quiet date-y bars, lounges, and other drinking-places in SF and the East Bay (specifically Oakland or Berkeley)... [more inside]
Bug out plans for San Francisco in an emergency? [more inside]
Greetings - A friend of mine in his 50s recalls reading a SF short story about a priest and a scientist in a ship headed to a remote island. The priest arrives at the island, the scientist does not, but later returns to discover that the priest has taken charge of the islanders, who worship him for the scientist's microscope he brought with him. Some sort of cargo cult moralizing ensues. This was my friend's favorite story as a kid, and he desperately wants to read it again. I confess that my own Google foo has failed, though I did turn up a couple books by one Everett Bleiler that catalog various SF stories, likely before the era in which this one was written. Anyone with enough encyclopedic SF knowledge, or searching skills, who can shed light? I will convey any answer with props to the green. ...JZ
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]
So I started reading the "Legacy of the Aldenata" books of John Ringo, and halfway through book three ("When the devil dances") I lost interest in it. Nonetheless, I would like to know how it all got resolved in the end, but couldn't get good spoilers on the Net. Now, how did the humans defeat those 12 billion Possleens on Earth, did they clash with the Darhel about their sinister plans, are they taking the fight to the Possleens, what happened to Michael O'Neil, any high points, please enlighten me!
I enjoy SF/F short fiction that takes a wide view of a sub-genre or universe, evoking its possibilities without spending much time on any given situation/episode. I can offer some examples, but I would be glad to read more. [more inside]
All of my laptops inevitably, inexorably slow down noticeably, way before they should. I know this happens with all computers. I am reasonably tech-savvy. But my current ThinkPad slowed down in the first three months. I want someone to take my laptop, figure out what's making it slow (software and/or hardware), and fix it all. I just want my computer to not be slow. Does such a person exist in SF? Who are they, where can I find them, and how much do they charge?
Looking for advice on a long drive [more inside]
I teach math to high schoolers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'd like to get them out of the classroom on a field trip to a local math-themed destination. Any suggestions? [more inside]
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]
I'm considering attending a six-month web development bootcamp in San Francisco that runs from October to April, and I'm wondering what I can expect to pay for housing. I'm interested in learning both about cheaper arrangements like SROs in Chinatown and housing oriented towards students, as well as about what it might cost to get a room in a "normal" multi-bedroom apartment for that period. [more inside]
I have NEVER had my hair professionally cut or styled. It's way past time, but (like many things in life) the longer I wait, the harder it is. I also have a very long list of special requests. What should I do in order to have hair I love again? [more inside]
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?
Where does the elision of universe to 'verse originate? I know it from the television show Firefly (aired late 2002) and recently noticed it used casually in The Chronicles of Riddick (released mid-2004), but it seemed unlikely that the screenwriter would appropriate a bit of slang connected to someone else's failed project from barely a year earlier. It seems to me I have heard it again since, but I cannot recall where. I read very little sf these days; did both these I mention draw it from elsewhere?