373 posts tagged with story.
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Literature Filter #233, vol. 16: Fiction Detective / Detective Fiction

Can you identify this (possibly Borges) short story? Years ago I read a story that I'd like to read again, if only I could find it. It went something like this: A detective is pursuing a murderer . . . [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Aug 3, 2016 - 5 answers

Fables about workplace behavior: focus on your job instead of mine

Please share your published stories/fables/whatever that communicate this simple idea: focus on your job instead of mine. I'd especially like something geared toward children. [more inside]
posted by teabag on Jun 15, 2016 - 8 answers

A thoroughly modern magi

A young heterosexual couple in San Francisco try to give each other gifts for their anniversary. They give up something of value to themselves to buy each other a gift, but when the exchange occurs they realize that what they bought for the other is dependent on something the other has already given up. What have they given each other, and what have they lost? [more inside]
posted by permiechickie on Jun 11, 2016 - 22 answers

Looking for funny article about a young child arguing with parents

I remember reading a humorous article about a 4 year old arguing with her parent about whether she can have a cookie*, but I can't seem to find it in google. *I might have the age and cookie parts wrong.
posted by vegetableagony on May 25, 2016 - 12 answers

Story-focused video game for a complete non-gamer

My husband and I just managed to convince my parents that video games are a legitimate art form and that they can tell stories in unique ways. Now my mom wants to try an example of what we were talking about. She'll probably only try it once. What are some art games that have a great story/compelling message, low frustration, simple or no mechanics, and absolutely no twitch skills requirements? [more inside]
posted by henuani on Mar 11, 2016 - 46 answers

Not just an eye of newt. Can you identify this short story?

I remember reading a short story some time ago, about a little girl who was (I think?) trapped in an invisible labyrinth, and had a salamander (possibly two?) that were her companions. The salamander(s) always had to be moving or they would die/turn to stone. Eventually one (or both) saves the girl, sacrificing himself in the process. Where can I find this story?
posted by ananci on Mar 9, 2016 - 4 answers

Help me find a childhood story from my youth

When I was young, my grandfather (who was Polish/French) would often tell me a bedtime story about a young man who was incredibly lazy and always making useless inventions. Can you help me find it? [more inside]
posted by analogue on Mar 4, 2016 - 2 answers

Playboy Story from Late 70s, Early 80s

I'm looking for a short story published in Playboy in the 70s or 80s. Back in 1980 or 1981 I visited my brother in college and snagged a Playboy from his fraternity house. I was, of course, most interested in the pictures but I was also fascinated with writing stories and reading fiction. I was 12 and had discovered short fiction earlier in the year. [more inside]
posted by nathanrudy on Feb 29, 2016 - 1 answer

Story of a holy man who chooses the company of sinners?

Trying to remember a parable of a holy man who chose instead to dine/associate with a sinner instead of his devoted followers, because the sinner had more need of his comfort/presence/teachings than did those who already knew him... sound familiar to anyone? [more inside]
posted by The otter lady on Feb 16, 2016 - 7 answers

Experiencing a narrative work by identifying with the protagonist

I am casually aware of the idea that some people experience some works of narrative fiction by identifying with the protagonist of the story, and by experiencing the protagonist's story as if it were their own. What is the formal name or definition of this idea, and what are some canonical writings about it? [more inside]
posted by dan_of_brainlog on Jan 24, 2016 - 7 answers

Parable about man who creates a religion and is killed by his followers

I'm trying to remember a parable about a man who invents a religion (as a bet or as an experiment), then after he has built up a following, he reveals that it is false. However, his followers are so bought into the story that they call him out as an infidel, and kill him for blasphemy. I can't remember the origin, but it sounds like something from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Does anyone else remember this, and know where it's from?
posted by ccalgreen on Dec 31, 2015 - 22 answers

Origins of creation story about the bond between dogs and people

I am having a reoccurring memory of reading about an Native American Indian creation story but I can't remember specifics or what book I read it in. I do remember the topic of the book or this specific part of the being about creation stories and liminal time and space. [more inside]
posted by slime on Dec 23, 2015 - 1 answer

"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

point of view question

Hi, I am working on a story and I have a sentence that says, "Please give them the food packets." Can anyone tell me if that is second person point of view or if it's third person point of view. Thanks in advance.
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Oct 14, 2015 - 4 answers

Longform Magazine Articles Podcast

I'm looking for podcasts where longform magazine articles are read aloud. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 25, 2015 - 5 answers

Hiding a cheesy plot device in plain sight

[FictionFilter] In the era of doxxing and all that, is it possible for a tech person with a high-profile position to keep his personal info -- and real name and identity -- under wraps? [more inside]
posted by St. Hubbins on Sep 15, 2015 - 15 answers

Give me the magic words...for an artsy artsy song

I am a composer with a commission to write a song or song set for solo soprano. I had a text in mind, but it turns out the author won't give me permission to use it. I am now looking for other poems or short stories that would work well set to some rather complex music. [more inside]
posted by daisystomper on Aug 18, 2015 - 5 answers

"Last Man On Earth" Short Story

I'm trying to find a short SF story I read over 20 years ago. It's a "last man on Earth" story, but with a couple of very specific elements that I have had no luck digging up: [more inside]
posted by murphy slaw on Aug 10, 2015 - 4 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

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

Reading recommendations for serial story I can read over e-mail

I need something chapter-by-chapter or so to read online/in e-mail after I finish Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. Special snowflake requirements within. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon on Jun 25, 2015 - 9 answers

Help me identify this book!

My mom bought me a fantasy book years and years ago, and I remember reading it with her. I am guessing it was a relatively new book at the time, so my guess would be that it was published some time between 1985 and 1990.... [more inside]
posted by rikhei on Jun 23, 2015 - 5 answers

A story I want to read again.

I want to re-read a story or a book (or maybe even a graphic novel) I've read before, but all I can remember about it is a single line, spoken during a crisis by a character that (I think) is supposed to be more intelligent than those around them: "I'm dry of ideas." I thought the line was from one of the Douglas Adams books, but if it is, Google is proving unhelpful. Thanks!
posted by Mooski on Jun 16, 2015 - 4 answers

Bedtime stories redux: looking for short histories of famous women

My daughter is 8 and she loves her bedtime stories, but she doesn't want to be read to, she would rather we recite a story out loud while sitting in the dark. Well yesterday my imagination ran out so I told her the story of Mata Hari as best I knew it and she loved it! [more inside]
posted by Vindaloo on Apr 30, 2015 - 16 answers

Name That Story part 4928

Trying to remember the name of a short story I read some years ago. It involved a university class and criticism of Walt Whitman... [more inside]
posted by mippy on Apr 28, 2015 - 1 answer

Tractor work for two?

A teenage you works on a farm. A romantic interest visits and expresses interest in riding on the tractor but ideally you'd like to get some chore-like thing done at the same time. The two of you do what together on a tractor? [more inside]
posted by pie_seven on Apr 19, 2015 - 19 answers

What is this story with a model town in it?

Forgotten Story Source Filter: I recall a short story or episode in a novel where a reclusive member of a town builds a detailed scale model of the town, which also reveals he knew the townspeople's secrets. What was it from? [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on Apr 11, 2015 - 4 answers

Short story ID: marketer helps niche group hide from marketers

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).
posted by stebulus on Apr 11, 2015 - 4 answers

Authors and novels recommendations for improving writing craft?

I have always been fond of writing poetry, but lately I seem to want to expand my writing craft towards short stories. I think the most notable clincher for writers to improve their overall craft is simply by reading voraciously; with an eclectic wide range of authors and literary works. What are some wonderful literary works, authors, playwrights, short stories, non-fiction, fantasy work, et cetera. Can you recommend for me? To further my own voice and writing craft. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow on Apr 1, 2015 - 9 answers

What was this story about a knowledge giving hat?

I recall reading a story about a society where you are given a choice between choosing to wear a hat which gives you immediate access to all human knowledge, or having to slave away for years to gain knowledge the old fashioned way. The dilemma is that the hat controls you to some degree. Can anyone identify this? I've tried many times over the years to Google for it, but have always come up empty.
posted by All Out of Lulz on Mar 14, 2015 - 5 answers

Fun stories that are also good business lessons

I'm looking for similar stories like Mark Twain's quote "If you eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." More inside. [more inside]
posted by Georgia Is All Out Of Smokes on Feb 25, 2015 - 10 answers

Short story identification post number one million or so

I'm trying to hunt down two grim short stories. Gory details (and spoilers) below the fold! [more inside]
posted by hilatron on Feb 15, 2015 - 8 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

Short Story No Woman Can Get Pregnant Without 9-Months of Illness

Years ago, I read a short story about two biologists (geneticists?) who are friends. After a global plague that makes all women infertile, one of the geneticists devices a treatment in which women can again reproduce, but they spend their entire nine months of pregnancy with blue, flaking, itchy skin and extreme sickness. The second geneticist realizes that the first has actually devised both the plague and the cure. He asks his friend why he did it. "Because I never wanted another child to be born unwanted," the first geneticist replies. I probably remember some of this imperfectly, but that was the gist of it. Does anyone happen to know the author/title? Thanks in advance!
posted by Chasuk on Dec 31, 2014 - 2 answers

Short story about a one-armed girl and a bully

My brother has been looking for this short story for a while -- help me to make his Christmas! Details: A bully is tormenting everyone in school. The main character is a one-armed girl, who is generally disliked. A boy that she likes decides to stand up for everyone one day, and fights the bully. The bully beats him up, but the boy keeps getting up no matter how many times he gets hit. The crowd starts to root for the boy, and the bully starts to feel shaken. The girl, worried about the boy, goes to tell the teacher what's happening, and the teacher breaks it up. The bully is restored to power and the boy calls the girl a mean name. [more inside]
posted by cider on Dec 26, 2014 - 1 answer

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

Searching for the "repeat a story from different perspective" meme

There's a particular meme that I remember seeing a while back, probably on Reddit, and I'm wondering if (a) it has a name and (b) if anyone has curated examples of it. [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Nov 27, 2014 - 13 answers

Another "Help me find this story"

The core of the story is that a (possibly Indian) guy falls asleep (or is knocked out {during a robbery?}) (possibly near a river) and lives the whole lifetime of a separate existence in a dream. He wakes up (or comes to) at the end (and tries to integrate the experience). [more inside]
posted by achrise on Oct 21, 2014 - 15 answers

Help me identify a fable.

I heard this in an ethics class several years ago. I believe the original fable is Indian in origin, but I'm not sure. Here is the overview according to my memory: [more inside]
posted by boo_radley on Oct 7, 2014 - 3 answers

Seeking sci-fi baseball story from my youth

I'm hoping the hive mind can help me identify a sci-fi baseball short-story I read a few decades ago, probably in the 1970's. [more inside]
posted by alms on Oct 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Seeking identity of apparently-obscure SF story pre-1970

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
posted by zittrain on Oct 7, 2014 - 2 answers

Help me identify this book!

I'm looking for a children's book I read in the mid-90s about a young girl who falls through a lake into another place. Sound familiar to anyone? I've got a few more details to share. [more inside]
posted by Mouse Army on Aug 31, 2014 - 3 answers

Looking for read stories about being forced to go in one direction.

Is there a story in the Bible or elsewhere in literature or myth about a person who wants to do many things, but is thwarted, by all sorts of forces, and ends up doing only one? [more inside]
posted by Clotilde on Aug 16, 2014 - 12 answers

West Side Story is the only Broadway musical I enjoy. Why is that?

The only Broadway musical I can actually, whole-heartedly enjoy is West Side Story. Am I the only one of my breed on this? Why might this be? [more inside]
posted by JimInLoganSquare on Jul 19, 2014 - 39 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

Choose Your Own Adventure? Halp

I have to write a piece of a Choose Your Own Adventure story for a baby shower - the idea is to put them all together so the baby will eventually read this story we've created for them - and I want to look at some examples for inspiration since it's been a long time since I read those stories. Can you point to something online? [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Jun 13, 2014 - 5 answers

I have an encyclopedia, not a story: what to do?

Authors Of AskMe, has this happened to you? During my self-imposed creative hiatus over the last year or so I conducted a lot of research into what would be my dream project. A project I could be passionate about, the kind of book I'd really want to exist. So I made a list of every thing, character, concept, idea, sudden kind of twist I'd like. I have three notebooks of this stuff. I cross-indexed it and included all my references. I have an astounding about of detail on what I want to put in and touch on but no actual story. I keep staring at it, like it's a list of SCP entries, and I can't think of a damn thing for anyone to do with these collected items, places, motifs, themes, and people. It's frustrating cause I can come up with quick pulp narratives on the fly for stuff I'm not working as hard on but every attempt to break and outline a rising action for these people results in rapid breathing and complete brain fume-lock. I keep asking "What does the main character want?" and coming up with nothing. Is this common? Is there a resource for this? Can I pay someone to go through these ideas and find something that other people might want to read? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Apr 23, 2014 - 39 answers

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 - 4 answers

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