713 posts tagged with fiction.
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Jerry's Map

Jerry's Map: a short film about the fictional world of Jerry Gretzinger, which he has been building for decades through a process of procedural cartography. His website.
posted by avocet on Aug 24, 2011 - 20 comments

Harold Brodkey

[Harold] Brodkey produced fiction that was epic too, but chiefly in its elaboration of human intimacy. To read his prose is to be incarcerated in the situations of his characters; indeed, it is to be very nearly overwhelmed by them. ... Brodkey moved forward with new forms for rendering human consciousness. His protagonist was, almost always, "a mind shaped like a person." The action consisted of that mind discovering its thoughts. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Aug 23, 2011 - 11 comments

Stanislaw Lem on Philip K. Dick

Stanislaw Lem on Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans. (Science Fiction Studies # 5 = Volume 2, Part 1 = March 1975; Translated from the Polish by Robert Abernathy)
posted by gen on Aug 21, 2011 - 20 comments

Helen DeWitt

AM: Do you have a favorite kanji character? HD: I like this one: 峠 because it reminds me of a poem by Christina Rossetti:

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men


(what I mean is, it’s terribly nice to have the radicals for mountain, up and down form the character). I’m very fond of 競 because it makes me think of two men skating with their arms behind their backs in a Dutch painting, wearing black frock coats and breeches. 明 is not very exotic, of course, but it’s nice to have the word for ‘bright’ represented by the sun and moon – this is a bit like certain German words, where the elements of a phenomenon are put together for the word: there’s Morgengrauen (morning grey) for the sky lightening to grey just before dawn, and Morgenröte (morning red) for the sky when it first turns red, similar sort of thing. An interview with Helen DeWitt, author of The Last Samurai, Your Name Here, a novel written with Ilya Gridneff, and the forthcoming Lightning Rods. DeWitt will be in New York September 8 - 11.
posted by xod on Aug 19, 2011 - 48 comments

The L*** H*** of D***ness

Would You Please Fucking Stop?: an article by Ursula K. Le Guin
posted by rollick on Aug 18, 2011 - 184 comments

List of emerging technologies

Science fiction always uses it in varying degrees. Some believe it will bring about a perfect Technological Utopia:Heaven on Earth. Some believe it will herald a dark and dystopian future. Perhaps it will elevate man to a being that is more than human; Human+ and permanently and irrevocably transform the human condition, and still others believe that too much involvement in it will void your existence. Some religions totally depend on it and others find it harder to deal with: The list of emerging technologies.
posted by Cogentesque on Aug 16, 2011 - 49 comments

There can be only ten.

NPR Books is asking people to vote for their ten favorite science fiction / fantasy books of all time. The list is exhaustive; the picking only ten is hard.
posted by mygothlaundry on Aug 3, 2011 - 521 comments

One-Minute Weird Tales

S.S. Prazak's "Hat Tricks", Stuart Jaffe's "The Curse and the Revenge" and Bob Wilson's "Fences" are all One-Minute Weird Tales, strange and often disturbing little stories published online by the Weird Tales Magazine as short videos. [more inside]
posted by Jelly on Jul 31, 2011 - 7 comments

The Atlantic: Fiction 2011

The Atlantic has posted its Fiction 2011 issue online. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Jul 26, 2011 - 36 comments

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

Gamers, have you ever looked in the sci-fi aisle of your bookstore and wondered how there could possibly be novels set in the worlds of "Gears of War" or "Doom," but nothing in the richly imagined distopia of Bioshock? Have you fed your Art Deco obsession with Ryan-inspired fan fiction, wishing for something more? Wish no longer: Bram Stoker Award winner, sci-fi novelist, punk rocker, Blue Oyster Cult lyricist, etc. John Shirley has written the first official BioShock novel, "BioShock: Rapture," which hit store shelves yesterday. An excerpt of the book, which is a prequel to the first game, is offered here from publisher Tor. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jul 20, 2011 - 63 comments

"Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels—bring home for Emma."

A Canticle for Leibowitz (1981, NPR); an audio adaptation of Walter Miller's 1960 history of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz in the centuries after the Flame Deluge. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 19, 2011 - 69 comments

Austin Tappan Wright's "Islandia"

Cult books come and cult books go - that's part of what it means to be a cult book. A few keep reappearing, however. They get discovered over and over by successive waves of admirers. After the third or fourth reappearance, the suspicion begins to arise that this isn't a cult book, after all. It's a masterpiece with problems. Islandia is such a book. - Noel Perrin, "The Best of All Imaginary Islands" [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 18, 2011 - 15 comments

Reading as Therapy

Why do people read fiction anyway? -to deal with personal problems Jon Baskin wrote a review of a book by Timothy Aubry titled: Reading as Therapy Oprah, Amazon, and The Rise of Therapeutic Fiction.
posted by naight on Jul 14, 2011 - 39 comments

The Boy Who Lived Forever - Fanfiction According to Time

Time Magazine's Arts section features a nuanced look at fanfiction this week: Fan fiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. [more inside]
posted by grey_sw on Jul 7, 2011 - 75 comments

Josephine Tey

Someone used to great responsibility, and responsible in his authority. Someone too-conscientious...He had that incommunicable, that indescribable look that childhood suffering leaves behind it; less positive than the look on a cripple’s face, but as inescapable. This the artist had both understood and translated into terms of paint...He turned the portrait over to look for a caption. On the back was printed: Richard the Third.
From Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, "a book of singular originality, ingenuity and humanity" often cited as one of the best of all mystery novels. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 1, 2011 - 31 comments

Camden Joy: Fiction as Criticism

"The more David Lowery read of Joy's novel, the more upset he became. Lowery could no longer ignore the fact that the book's main character bore his name, played in his bands and lived his damned life. It was him. And it was most definitely not him." Boy Island is a fictionalized account of Cracker's first tour, written by a fictitious character. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Jun 21, 2011 - 34 comments

New 'Solaris' translation locked in Limbo

Solaris, Stanislaw Lem's 1961 masterpiece, has finally been translated directly into English. The current print version, in circulation for over 4 decades, was the result of a double-translation. Firstly from Polish to French, in 1966, by Jean-Michel Jasiensko. This version was then taken up by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox who hacked together an English version in 1970. Lem, himself a fluent English speaker, was always scathing of the double translation. Something he believed added to the universal misunderstanding of his greatest work. After the relsease of two film versions of the story, and decades of speculation, a new direct English translation has been released. Translated by American Professor Bill Johnston 'The Definitive Solaris' is only available as an audiobook for the time being. Copyright issues, hampered by several, widely available, editions of the poor English translation may mean it is some time yet before a definitive print edition makes it onto our bookshelves.
posted by 0bvious on Jun 19, 2011 - 64 comments

We're All Stories In The End

In other words, months before The War Games, The Mind Robber has quietly given us an origin story for the Doctor that is almost, but not quite, what we eventually get from the later "official" version. - Philip Sandifer discusses an alternate origin for Doctor Who.
posted by Artw on Jun 15, 2011 - 43 comments

putting 99 other artists out of work

Shea Hembrey created an "inaugural biennial" showing the works of 100 artists - all fictitious. (SLTED) Over a two-year period, he created over 100 pieces in a wide variety of forms, media and styles as well as profiles and bios for the 100 artists (plus two fictional curators). Is this Meta-Art, Art Deconstruction, open fraud, parody, large-scale pranking, the worst case of Dissociative Identity Disorder ever or All Of The Above? (exhibition website and catalogue)
posted by oneswellfoop on Jun 14, 2011 - 12 comments

Colored Futures

"For a genre known for depicting obscure creatures, new concepts of civilization, and future predictions for humanity, sci-fi sure has a hard time being about more than white people." Multi-disciplinary artist Adriel Luis' list of "10 fantasmic films, books, and records to transport you to the unreal—while still letting you keep it real."
posted by artof.mulata on Jun 14, 2011 - 112 comments

Doom and Gloom on Young Adults' Bookshelves?

Is contemporary young adult fiction too dark for its intended audience? Meghan Cox Gurdon, writing in the Wall Street Journal thinks so. Publishers Weekly blogger Josie Leavitt disagrees, as does YA author Sherman Alexie. Other reactions here and here. Via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog.
posted by Daily Alice on Jun 13, 2011 - 150 comments

Drama explained, via Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut explains drama.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 6, 2011 - 28 comments

Little Ellen dies of the croup because her mother has neglected to get her shoe repaired.

Many hate her, but she is alive in every fandom. She fences with Methos and Duncan MacLeod; she saves the Enterprise, the Voyager, or the fabric of time and space; she fights with Jim Ellison in defense of Cascade; she battles evil in Sunnydale alongside Buffy Sommers. 150 Years of Mary Sue, by Pat Pflieger, exploring vanity fanfic back to the 19th century. Bonus blackhole of content: TVTropes on Mary Sue.
posted by cortex on Jun 5, 2011 - 155 comments

@Poldy: Yes

This is not an attempt to tweet mindlessly the entire contents of Ulysses, word-for-word, 140 characters at a time. That would be dull and impossible. What is proposed here is a recasting or a reimagining of the reading experience of this novel, start to finish, within the confines of a day-long series of tweets from a global volunteer army of Joyce-sodden tweeps. (previously!)
posted by Trurl on May 25, 2011 - 17 comments

Literary Blurb Translation Guide

"Trenchant satire" = poop jokes. J. Robert Lennon at Ward Six presents the Literary Blurb Translation Guide.
posted by escabeche on May 22, 2011 - 55 comments

Anno Dracula

Kim Newman discusses the novels that inspired Anno Dracula, his epic pop-culture mashup of all things vampire, set in a Victorian London ruled by Dracula. Newman's long fascination with Dracula led to two more novels in the setting and several short stories, several of which can be found online.
posted by Artw on May 19, 2011 - 36 comments

An Ankh and A morepork

We all know beloved fantasy author Terry Pratchett has a sword, but did you know he has his own Coat of Arms?
posted by The Whelk on May 18, 2011 - 96 comments

I want my edition with the subtraction!

In such a world maximalism and encyclopedism, erudite puzzle solving, simply feel like more of the same, and the last thing we need is more of the same. We need less, much less: we don't need fiction that cultivates the general noise in a slightly more erudite way but still plays by the same rules; we need fiction that strips its way down to our nerves and fibers, simulations that are willing to cut enough of our context away to let us step outside of our own increasingly simulated experience and to see it afresh, from without.
Brian Evenson, "Doing Without," an essay in The Collagist
(could also be titled "How a mistake in the digital conversion of a Cory Doctorow novel [see difference between print and electronic version] made me think about the meaning of innovative literature") [more inside]
posted by jng on May 16, 2011 - 10 comments

Cricket on the halo deck?

"This Imperial dOvewalker COOs his way into a Big Surprise. Parveen says let him have it with the dOveton Launcher 3000! He won't know what hit him after attacking my planet." Just another tale from the The Pakistani Starfleet Explorers. Via boingboing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 12, 2011 - 16 comments

Daphne DuMaurier's The Doll

Rediscovered work by DuMaurier. "Lost for more than 70 years, this dark story of a man's obsessive passion for Rebecca, a mysterious violinist, hasn't been published since it appeared in a small collection in 1937."
posted by bardophile on Apr 30, 2011 - 5 comments

James Salter Month at The Paris Review

James Salter Month at The Paris Review. A series of articles throughout April celebrating the life and work of one of the best at his craft there is. A great writer indeed.
posted by hydatius on Apr 7, 2011 - 9 comments

It turns out the future doesn't really care about space travel.

Cory Doctorow's new science fiction story collection, With A Little Help, is available in text and audio. The stories range from an order of datamining monks to Google gone terrible wrong, and the readers include Neil Gaiman, Mur Lafferty, Mary Robinette Kowal and Wil Wheaton. The introduction is written by Jonathan Coulton.
posted by NoraReed on Apr 3, 2011 - 97 comments

On First Looking into Lovecraft's Homer

A Cyclops' cave the wanderers brave
And find much milk & cheese
But as they eat, foul death they meet
For them doth Cyclops seize.

From The Young Folks' Ulysses [PDF], by H. Lovecraft, poet, aged seven. One of the "freely available editions of obscure, outlandish and otherwise outré works of semi-fine literature" from the electric publishing wing of kobek.com.
posted by Iridic on Mar 28, 2011 - 8 comments

AI War: The Big Boost

AI War: The Big Boost has just been ...released? published? Up today on FS& (or "fsand") is the latest in The Continuing Time series by Daniel Keys Moran. The first book in this series, "Emerald Eyes," was published in 1988, and the last time new material in the series hit the stands it was in November of 1993, in the form of "The Last Dancer." So, it's been a while. [more inside]
posted by thanotopsis on Mar 28, 2011 - 15 comments

Bean plating brass lanterns

The IF Theory Reader is finally out...a collection of some intriguing thought about the theory, craft, and history of interactive fiction (free PDF or buyable paperback). A must-read for both Ludologists and Narratologists.
posted by Sparx on Mar 7, 2011 - 12 comments

The Book That Tried To Kill Me

Why Do Writers Abandon Novels? [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Mar 5, 2011 - 48 comments

Clear your dance card

A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, will arrive on July 12. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Mar 3, 2011 - 163 comments

Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles - "novelist, composer, poet and quintessential outsider of American literature".
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 27, 2011 - 14 comments

The Last Ringbearer

... history is written by the winners. That's the philosophy behind "The Last Ringbearer," a novel set during and after the end of the War of the Ring... and told from the point of view of the losers. ... In Yeskov's retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!"
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 15, 2011 - 90 comments

Based on a True Story

The King's Speech is an extremely well-made film with a seductive human interest plot, very prettily calculated to appeal to the smarter filmgoer and the latent Anglophile. But it perpetrates a gross falsification of history. - Christopher Hitchens on the historical revisionism of The King's Speech. The LA times suggests that this, along with the History Channel digging up footage of King George VI not really stuttering all that badly at all, might be the beginning of a backlash against the film, which has been gaining Oscar momentum since it's SAG Award wins. With The Social Network, 127 Hours and The Fighter also having a basis in reality, is today's film making too hung up on the "true" story?
posted by Artw on Feb 1, 2011 - 127 comments

Cold Reading

Cold Reading - A rationalist ghost story by Alan Moore.
posted by Artw on Jan 21, 2011 - 50 comments

"Now we will tesser, we will wrinkle again. Do you understand?" "(sigh) Ok. I get it!"

"A Wrinkle in Time" in 90 Seconds.
posted by loquacious on Jan 15, 2011 - 81 comments

The Value of Optical Delusions

William Taylor Adams, a progressive Massachusetts educator and one term legislator, was once a household name in populist fiction under his nom de plume Oliver Optic. [more inside]
posted by JaredSeth on Jan 14, 2011 - 8 comments

The End is Just the Beginning

After the bombs have fallen, the plague has wiped out most of humanity, or the dead have risen and claimed the world as their own, we must go on. The tales of those survivors are told in fiction and film, in many ways with enough to overwhelm you. Enter the apocalypse fans. Post-Apocalypse.co.uk has just under 50 reviews, with a quick note on the rating of each film. Post Apocalyptic Movie Mania has reviews categorized by the way the world ends, along with other p-a related material. But the end of the world isn't always like an Italian Post Apocalyptic Movie (Google cache), sometimes it's quirky and off-beat, in a proto-Monty Python sort of way (rough approximation of Ebert's review of The Bed-Sitting Room) (videos inside) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 11, 2011 - 20 comments

There is a large film industry in Rocaterrania.

Rocaterrania is a country located in part of what's often known as the North Country of New York State, bordering on Canada. At least, it's there in the mind of Renaldo Kuhler, its creator, who has been imagining -- and sometimes physically creating -- the nation's politics, fashion, and artifacts since he was a teenager on his family's ranch in Colorado just after World War II. The son of Otto Kuhler, who designed the Hiawatha passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road railway, Renaldo needed an escape from ranch life. He invented a nation of forward-looking Eastern European immigrants with a vibrant, distinctly un-American culture. He warns, though, "it is not a Utopia." He has drawn, painted, and been the nation's history. He created its language, Rocaterranski, and alphabet from Yiddish and Spanish and German. Rocaterrania is a large-scale work of fiction but sometimes the way Kuhler speaks, it sounds like he believes it's really there. Kuhler now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is known about town for his Rocaterranian garb. [more inside]
posted by knile on Jan 7, 2011 - 12 comments

This isn't your grandfather's science fiction

Ted Chiang is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied. A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light. Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 27, 2010 - 116 comments

Clearmountain pauses in Jennifer Egan's "Great Rock and Roll Pauses"

Great Rock and Roll Pauses (permalink) is a short story from Jennifer Egan's collection of linked stories A Visit from the Goon Squad. A 76-page series of PowerPoint slides, it's told by a 12-year-old girl who documents her autistic brother's collecting of Clearmountain pauses, the moments in rock and roll songs when the music dramatically stops and then restarts, which are named after famed music producer Bob Clearmountain. The songs mentioned in the story include: Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix; Please Play This Song on the Radio - NOFX; Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zeppelin; Bernadette - The Four Tops; Young Americans - David Bowie; Mighty Sword - The Frames; Supervixen - Garbage; Long Train Runnin’ - The Doobie Brothers; The Time of the Season - The Zombies; Faith - George Michael, Closing Time - Semisonic; Roxanne - The Police; Rearrange Beds - An Horse. More examples can be found in this previous MeFi post and a number of other excellent sites. [more inside]
posted by jng on Dec 25, 2010 - 41 comments

Whereof one cannot speak, one must write a novel.

Philosophical Sweep: to understand the fiction of David Foster Wallace, it helps to have a little Wittgenstein.
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 23, 2010 - 29 comments

"Take a step or two forward, lads. It will be easier that way."

Robert Erskine Childers was the creator of the modern spy novel, a loyal son of Empire, a fierce exponent of Irish Home Rule, an excellent sailor, a gunrunner, an Anti-Treaty partisan. He died by firing squad in 1922.
posted by Iridic on Dec 15, 2010 - 11 comments

The Futurological Congress

What Should Design Researchers Research? Report from 2020
posted by Artw on Dec 13, 2010 - 11 comments

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