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It was an alien the whole time!

A short story with a surprise ending where the protagonist is an alien, and the spacecraft that crashed in the woods contains a human. This has been done before, right? [more inside]
posted by ronofthedead on Apr 13, 2014 - 13 answers

 

Spanish Horror/ Science Fiction Novels or Short Stories

I'm looking for some psychological horror, science fiction, or just plain interesting stories written in Spanish. I really enjoy Stephen King, and Junji Ito as horror writers go, and I love harder science fiction rather than softer. Philip K. Dick is one of my favorites as well. [more inside]
posted by Gargantuantoe on Apr 10, 2014 - 10 answers

Children's story about the entire world being quiet

Help me find the name of this story I remember about a moment when everyone stops making noise at once. [more inside]
posted by grog on Mar 2, 2014 - 3 answers

ID a dystopian future short story with massive unemplyment and a utopia.

I'm trying to ID a short story where the protagonist becomes unemployed in a world where once you lose your job you have no hope of getting another job and are therefor forced to accept marginal government assistance. Additional spoilerific details inside. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 7, 2014 - 2 answers

Help me remember a radio story I heard on NPR

There was a story/performance I heard on some (probably NPR) radio show within the last 10 years. It was a man and a woman meeting at a party, and instead of saying things to each other they described what they would say to each other, kind of a meta-conversation. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Feb 6, 2014 - 7 answers

meta stories are meta

I really love works of fiction that use the style, setup, or form of another media product as a means of storytelling and sometimes subversion. For example: TEDxSummerisle (complete with tweets and botched livestream) and The Theory of Narrative Causality, written primarily in the form of Livejournal posts by the Sherlock Homes fandom (inc comments and bits of fanfic) as well as GChats, TVTropes, and related media. What other similar works are out there? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 4, 2014 - 22 answers

Another finding a photo help button

I found this photo on a blog a few months ago. I have been looking for a larger higher quality version and or the name of the photographer to find out if I can purchase a print. This is what I know. It is from West Side Story It appears a number of times on the internet, all small pixel sizes The photographer is NOT Ernest Hass or Phil Stern (the two photographers who were present taking photos at some stage on the production of Westside Story) Thanks, this one baffles me. When I have time I will go to the Motion Picture Academy Library (I live in Los Angeles) and see if I can find out anything more, but until then I thought I would let Mefi rip on it!)
posted by silsurf on Dec 11, 2013 - 3 answers

What is this story about religious differences?

Iā€™m trying to find a short story I read a long time ago, but google is coming up short. The story is about two strangers who meet on the road and begin talking. Through a series of questions and answers, they discover that they are both Christians, both Protestants, both from the same denomination, both from the same branch of that particular denomination, etc etc. It keeps going on this way, with the strangers discovering that they belong to the same increasingly obscure religious sect. With each new discovery, they become more friendly and excited. At the end of the story, they realize there is one small difference between them (something like one belongs to the parish across the street from the other), at which point the strangers hate each other and nearly come to blows. What is this story, and where does it come from?
posted by helloimjohnnycash on Dec 1, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me remember the name of a Philip K. Dick story about molluscs

It's a relatively short one, and it concerns some type of land molluscs ā€“ snails or some other type of small creature that is typically regarded as "gross". I remember something about the shells being important. There's a twist in the end, possibly involving the nature of the molluscs. I can't remember much else ā€“ hence the AskMe!
posted by deathpanels on Nov 27, 2013 - 2 answers

Gay story from the 70s - 80s about a body part changing color.

Does anyone remember a story from the 70s or 80s about one day when every gay person woke up and their noses (ears?) had turned purple (blue, green?)? It was basically an illustration of Harvey Milk's call for all gay people to come out because if everyone was out, straight people would realize we were everywhere. It may have been a short story, a children's book, or a short film. I was a manuscript reviewer for Alyson Books in the mid-80s, so it might have been something I read then. [more inside]
posted by hworth on Nov 18, 2013 - 6 answers

Name of short story?

When I was 12 or 13 my English teacher assigned a short story that is quite profound. From what I remember, it was scifi. In this society there was a new company that sold delicious milkshakes. They became incredibly popular, and their stores were everywhere. Unfortunately the people in the story got obese. So another company created a product that would help you lose weight. That became popular too. The people bought lots of milkshakes, and the people paid to lose weight. Round and round... Does anyone know the title of this short story?
posted by daniel.poynter on Nov 11, 2013 - 8 answers

Once upon a time there was a... uh...

Help papa become a better bedtime storyteller. [more inside]
posted by brappi on Nov 2, 2013 - 37 answers

Recommend fiction featuring the decline of a global superpower, please!

What novels or short stories grapple with the decline of a superpower? I'm thinking waning-British-Empire stuff, primariy, but the decline of other global powerhouses is fine too. Must be fiction. Decline-of-Empire can either be primary to the plot or a backdrop against which other key aspects of the story unfold.
posted by croutonsupafreak on Oct 16, 2013 - 16 answers

Fugazi - mouse shoes - Andy's room

In my late middle school/early high school years (2002-5?) I read a short story in a teen magazine that blew my mind. I think it was called "In Andy's Room," and the narrator and her crush, Andy, talked about the band Fugazi. She fretted about her flats that were pointy, like mice, and at the end of the story she sat in a tree outside Andy's room, thinking about him. Help me find this story! [more inside]
posted by wintersonata9 on Sep 30, 2013 - 1 answer

What is the name of this classic Sci-Fi story?

I'm looking for the name of this classic SF story about a handful of astronauts stranded in space in radio contact but slowly drifting away from each other and running out of air. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Sep 29, 2013 - 10 answers

How many endings to stories are there?

Various writers and critics through the years have claimed that there are only X plots (with X being pretty variable) and at the end of the day, all stories boil down to one of those plots. But today I'm asking specifically about endings. How many different endings can there be, and what are the main ones? [more inside]
posted by Naberius on Sep 25, 2013 - 11 answers

StorySourceFilter: Guy dies; god is disappointed he didn't travel more

I have a half remembered parable that I'm trying to source. The gist is that a guy dies, and when he gets to heaven, God is disappointed he didn't take time to see all the natural beauties of the world. [more inside]
posted by IvyMike on Sep 23, 2013 - 4 answers

I'm trying to find a story about a pope and a bloody slipper

So I remember reading this short story once. It was about the pope and he had some kind of an infected toe. And it made him ornery and unforgiving. And then at some point the toe bursts, he feels better, it bloodies his slipper (which he doesn't change) and then he just starts forgiving everyone and everything. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
posted by rileyray3000 on Aug 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Website where each click adds to the story

I remember a site where you load it up and it says something simple, like "I like tea". And then you click tea and it expands so it says "I like really good tea." And then you can click other words, over and over, until there's finally a whole paragraph. Love the site. Can't remember where it is. Can anyone remember?
posted by jragon on Aug 17, 2013 - 4 answers

What short story collection was the story story "Pagent Wagon" in?

Wikipedia claims that "Pageant Wagon" by Orson Scott Card has only ever been in the short story collection The Folk of the Fringe (1989). This is wrong, as I've read it, and I've never read an OSR short story collection. I can even remember exactly when and where I read it, but not the name of the short story collection. So, what other short story collection has it been in? Possibly under another name? [more inside]
posted by Canageek on Aug 15, 2013 - 5 answers

Sci-Fi stories involving the Maitreya Buddha

Are there any sci-fi stories that involve the future appearance of the Maitreya Buddha? Looking for stories where the character is primarily identified as the Maitreya, rather than general "Second Coming" stories where the character could conceivably belong to a number of different soteriological interpretations.
posted by Greg Nog on Jul 26, 2013 - 3 answers

best kindle book ever

Kindle book recommendations: I'd like to get my sister a kindle book for her birthday (she has the kindle. I'd like to send her a kindle edition of a book). I'd love recommendations! [more inside]
posted by mirileh on Jul 19, 2013 - 18 answers

Once upon a time there was a cat...

Help me find the link to a short fantasy story that was posted here about a japanese cat who goes on a great adventure. [more inside]
posted by TorontoSandy on Jul 18, 2013 - 5 answers

How to write a story, pulp style

Specific story-writing method published by a '20s/'30s crime writer? [more inside]
posted by meadowlark lime on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 answers

I can't remember this sci-fi short story: Mass graves hidden by society

This is one I likely encountered in the 80's so my memory is foggy here. Most likely in some anthology or maybe even a magazine like Omni. I think it was by a major writer. Salient memories inside: [more inside]
posted by sourwookie on Jul 10, 2013 - 5 answers

Story structure in different cultures

Are there recognisable patterns, trends or structures in the way that different cultures tell stories? If so, where can I learn about this? [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Jul 9, 2013 - 16 answers

trying to remember the name of a childrens book about a bowl

The bowl was Spanish, and didn't want to be warrior... it just wanted to smell flowers... anyone remember or know what book this is?
posted by butterball on Jun 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Trying to find a short story about an alien and bacterial mind control.

I recall reading a short story featuring a eco friendly alien or superhero driving a car or spaceship covered in plants and fueled by water. [more inside]
posted by j03 on Jun 7, 2013 - 1 answer

Great short stories to read aloud for ESL teens

I'm looking for a few short stories to read aloud to ESL students between 13 and 16 years old, each divisible into a few 15- to 20-minute chunks, and each engaging. [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jun 5, 2013 - 16 answers

Story or Dream?

Asking for a friend, who wants to know if the tale she remembers is from a story she read, or a dream she had. Details follow. [more inside]
posted by ronofthedead on Jun 1, 2013 - 7 answers

Finding good resources for explaining movie dramatic structures

Recently I was reading a book by Joseph Campbell called "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" which goes into how the "mono-myth" pattern serves as the underlying structure for most Western movies (think Star Wars, The Matrix, ...). I would love to learn more about alternative story arcs and dramatic structures (like the famous three-act structure), with examples from famous films. Any comprehensive resources, blogs, articles, anything?
posted by omar.a on May 29, 2013 - 15 answers

How can we best archive my great uncle's WWII story?

My mother got a long letter describing his experiences as a pilot in World War II. He's interested in contributing that story to a public archive of some sort. Is there anything we could contribute it to? [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on May 27, 2013 - 8 answers

Can you help me find a scifi short story?

I remember reading a scifi short story about people finding a dead/frozen angel floating in space, where there was just enough brain activity in the being that it was able to play a board game. It sounded like something that Ted Chiang might have written, but I didn't see it in the post about him that was here a while ago. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
posted by ymgve on Apr 18, 2013 - 3 answers

Survivor stories - persons living well despite chronic pain.

Encouragement and survivor stories from persons in chronic pain? Symptoms of what may be fibromyalgia and an inability to manage the pain well are depriving my life of beauty, art, and color; I am looking for underdog stories. [more inside]
posted by MeatyBean on Apr 15, 2013 - 11 answers

spooky tales, let me be annoyingly picky about them.

Off-topic ghost story threads on various internet forums? They are delicious. Load me with links, please. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on Apr 11, 2013 - 10 answers

What's this short story about an owl(?) leading animals into darkness?

I have a memory of a short story I read years ago that no-one else seems to recollect. It featured animals as the main characters - mainly farmyard/woodland types. They become followers of a leader (an owl/cockerel?), who leads them to pastures new. The leader wants to remain in tight control, so he leads them underground(?) and emerge in a "new" land, but one where it is constantly in darkness. [more inside]
posted by Petrot on Mar 31, 2013 - 2 answers

Is the main character a knight in shinning armor or a total sleaze?

Need recommendations for short stories or a book (with short self-contained sections) whereby a character's actions/motives could be considered in two very different ways depending on what you thought about the character going into the story (i.e., if I gave you some background first) The best example I can think of is of a man either being genuinely nice to a woman or only pretending to do so in order to get her number. This is for a psychology experiment. [more inside]
posted by Smegoid on Mar 27, 2013 - 20 answers

How to stop trunking my short fiction before it's even submitted?

I've been writing short fiction. I've got my process down pretty well, to the point that I am not getting stuck in writer's block hell or any other common pitfalls. I have ideas, and I'm capable of getting them down on paper. I revise them, I produce new drafts, etc. My problem comes in the last phase of the process. I don't know when to say something is done. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 21, 2013 - 11 answers

Scrum: How to split a large user story

As part of the backlog items for a website, our team has been asked produce a web movie with an outside agency. The user story behind it it is huge - how can we split it? [more inside]
posted by lord_yo on Mar 18, 2013 - 8 answers

How Do I Write My First Book?

How Do I Write My First Book? I'm a bit shy and uncertain about the whole process and need some help in understanding how to just let the words and story gel into something readable. [more inside]
posted by watercarrier on Feb 8, 2013 - 13 answers

I Want My 80's TV

Are there any good drama series from the eighties available streaming online? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 4, 2013 - 26 answers

Remember this book? It's about a girl who goes to Greece and something happens to her.

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]
posted by jacalata on Jan 4, 2013 - 12 answers

Real Life Royston Vasey?

Are there any real-life historical examples of the Small Town With A Terrible Secret horror trope? Towns where long-term, ongoing crimes (or unsavory religious practices one supposes) where purposefully covered up and kept hidden from the outside world and any attempt to investigate them resulted in the investigator being detained, thrown out, or killed?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 4, 2013 - 35 answers

identifyfilter: YA story about kid trapped in Arctic cabin with murderer

Name that YA book or story! Young boy/teen is in a cabin or hut in the Arctic. There is also a murderer. It may be the kind of thing where there are a few people in the cabin, and one of them is a murderer, and people are being killed one by one. Very sketchy details follow. [more inside]
posted by Alaska Jack on Dec 18, 2012 - 6 answers

Please help me remember a short story!

Short story help, please. I remember this... [more inside]
posted by pentagoet on Dec 14, 2012 - 5 answers

Which post-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories are worth reading?

What are the best non-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, collections, and novels?
posted by jsturgill on Dec 7, 2012 - 20 answers

What can I do that would result in a good story

Can you help me think of activities I can engage in that will give me lots of good material for interesting stories? I want 2013 to be the year of the interesting story in which I do things that have a good chance or resulting in an interesting story. I want to come up with at least 12 things I can do -- 1 per month. [more inside]
posted by willnot on Dec 5, 2012 - 38 answers

Why are third acts so difficult?

Why are third acts so difficult to execute well? [more inside]
posted by mediated self on Nov 16, 2012 - 14 answers

Fooling a Blood Test (Not in the way that you think)

How can one simulate a medical condition that involves low potassium, low calcium, fewer electrolytes, and low blood pressure? [more inside]
posted by wolfdreams01 on Nov 13, 2012 - 19 answers

Helplessness at a busy crosswalk

Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
posted by argonauta on Nov 13, 2012 - 10 answers

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