204 posts tagged with story.
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Out of Bounds

The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin - "Ursula Kroeber was born in Berkeley, in 1929, into a family busy with the reading, recording, telling, and inventing of stories. She grew up listening to her aunt Betsy’s memories of a pioneer childhood and to California Indian legends retold by her father. One legend of the Yurok people says that, far out in the Pacific Ocean but not farther than a canoe can paddle, the rim of the sky makes waves by beating on the surface of the water. On every twelfth upswing, the sky moves a little more slowly, so that a skilled navigator has enough time to slip beneath its rim, reach the outer ocean, and dance all night on the shore of another world."
posted by kliuless on Oct 24, 2016 - 29 comments

Notes from the Lambda Complex

At the end of the process I ended up with a stack of 3.5” floppies, so I bought an external floppy drive to see if there was anything on them worth saving. Mostly they held back-ups of old manuscripts and story fragments from before I joined Valve, but on one disk I found several documents from the summer of 1998, late in Half-Life 1’s development, when I’d been working on the game for a year. - Novelist Marc Laidlaw unearths his notes from his time at the Lambda Complex, including an extensive piece on writing Half Life and afterthoughts on having shipped it.
posted by Artw on Oct 3, 2016 - 32 comments

I sing the city

The City Born Great, short fiction by Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin.
posted by Artw on Sep 28, 2016 - 10 comments

Still got it

Cookie Jar, a short story by Stephen King
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 30, 2016 - 55 comments

The door, and someone knocking at it.

>look
Darkness moves differently underground.
>exit is a dark, uneasy story by Jessica Hayworth, told in text adventure format and illustration. [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet on Jul 25, 2016 - 6 comments

"The inside of her head felt slow with panic"

"The Choking Victim" by MeFi's own Alexandra Kleeman is a short story that portrays one new mother's anxiety. The dream-like fiction linked at the author's web site offers a wider perspective on her work. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Apr 30, 2016 - 1 comment

New short story from Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi's new short story "Mika Model" is available online to read.
posted by Joh on Apr 27, 2016 - 26 comments

Living is complicated

Last Men Standing. The stories of eight men who aren't supposed to be here. Diagnosed with HIV in the 1980's, when that was a death sentence, they are now living lives they never expected to have. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 20, 2016 - 8 comments

“crisis” refers a moment when the body identifies intense danger

“To Become Louder, Even Still”: Responses to Sexual Violence in Literary Spaces Apogee Journal has collected fourteen responses from writers to sexual violence perpetrated in the literary community. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 19, 2016 - 1 comment

"... I suppose I thought there’d be more of a narrative arc."

Julie Beck: How you arrange the plot points of your life into a narrative can shape who you are—and is a fundamental part of being human. [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 on Apr 13, 2016 - 29 comments

Carl will be here soon

A survey about music.
posted by mippy on Mar 10, 2016 - 48 comments

Digital Humanism

The Digital in the Humanities: An Interview with Franco Moretti - "the term 'digital humanities' (DH) has captured the imagination and the ire of scholars across American universities. The field, which melds computer science with hermeneutics, is championed by supporters as the much-needed means to shake up and expand methods of traditional literary interpretation and is seen by its most outspoken critics as a new fad that symbolizes the neoliberal bean counting destroying American higher education. Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes lies a vast and varied body of work that utilizes and critically examines digital tools in the pursuit of humanistic study. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 9, 2016 - 21 comments

Cumulative and Compounding Opportunity Costs

How do you quantify the effects of things that don't happen to you? "The whole point of living in a culture is that much of the labor of perception and judgment is done for you, spread through media, and absorbed through an imperceptible process that has no single author." (previously; via)
posted by kliuless on Feb 27, 2016 - 2 comments

The future will be boring. TBD.

What is Design Fiction?
"the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That’s the best definition we’ve come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you’re thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It’s not a kind of fiction. It’s a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories." — Bruce Sterling
Examples of Diegetic Prototypes in Design Fiction. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Feb 5, 2016 - 13 comments

"Pinball Palace was a small, almost hidden place...

...tucked between the Jerry Lewis Movie theater and a specialty bra shop. From the outside, it looked forbidden and dangerous, two things that combined to point a beckoning finger at me.
Gina opened the door and I followed, knowing that this was exactly the kind of place my parents warned me about."
-- Michele Catalano, on the lost age of pinball.
posted by JHarris on Jan 26, 2016 - 18 comments

The boy had no magic except what other people hung on him.

What would have happened if Harry Potter had been a squib? How might the story of the books gone differently? Well. Perhaps Arabella Figg noticed something first.
posted by sciatrix on Jan 2, 2016 - 79 comments

“Our Christmases together were simple. ”

“My Christmas in New York” by Harper Lee, Illustrations by Bill Bragg [The Guardian]
“Several years ago, I was living in New York and working for an airline, so I never got home to Alabama for Christmas – if, indeed, I got the day off. To a displaced southerner, Christmas in New York can be rather a melancholy occasion, not because the scene is strange to one far from home, but because it is familiar: New York shoppers evince the same singleness of purpose as slow-moving southerners; Salvation Army bands and Christmas carols are alike the world over; at that time of year, New York streets shine wet with the same gentle farmer’s rain that soaks Alabama’s winter fields. I missed Christmas away from home, I thought. What I really missed was a memory, an old memory of people long since gone, of my grandparents’ house bursting with cousins, smilax and holly. I missed the sound of hunting boots, the sudden open-door gusts of chilly air that cut through the aroma of pine needles and oyster dressing. I missed my brother’s night-before-Christmas mask of rectitude and my father’s bumblebee bass humming Joy To The World.”
posted by Fizz on Dec 24, 2015 - 9 comments

Three SF Stories from 2015: Two Near Future and One Very Far

Martin L. Shoemaker's "Today I Am Paul" and Rich Larson's "Meshed" explore the emotional impact of technological developments within relatively familiar futures, and Caroline M. Yoachim's "Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World" draws on a wide variety of SF motifs to make the future a strange and sometimes poignant allegory for wonders of the past. Each story has been selected for an upcoming year's best SF anthology—either Rich Horton's or Neil Clarke's—and two received mention earlier this year from the unverified @gardnerdozois.
posted by Wobbuffet on Dec 20, 2015 - 6 comments

"Here is a fascinating game of wits for a party of any size."

Minute Mysteries (1932) by H. A. Ripley is a recent addition to Project Gutenberg: "In these accounts every fact, every clue necessary to the solution is given ... Each problem has only one possible solution. Written in less than two hundred and sixty words, these little stories can be read in a minute. Here is your chance to work on an absolute equality with the Professor; to match your wits with his and the criminal's. You know as much as the Professor does. Now you have an opportunity of proving just how good a detective you are and what poor detectives your friends are." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Dec 16, 2015 - 30 comments

Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

Neil Gaiman reads A Christmas Carol
posted by Artw on Dec 14, 2015 - 9 comments

Plot Twist: Spoilers actually a thing

In a plot twist to the 2011 study that said that spoilers are not a thing (previously) comes a new study from VU Amsterdam showing that spoilers totally are a thing.
posted by Artw on Dec 11, 2015 - 89 comments

Several Witty SF/F Stories from 2015--Some Humorous, Some Serious

Heather Lindsley's "Werewolf Loves Mermaid," Sunil Patel's "The Merger," and Emil Ostrovski's "Tragic Business" develop humorous situations from SF/F motifs: cryptid romance, intergalactic business negotiations, and the cycle of death and rebirth, respectively. Lincoln Michel's "Dark Air" combines common weird fiction / horror situations with a very dry, very dark sense of humor. Naomi Kritzer's "So Much Cooking" is a serious SF story about a grave possibility, but it brings the matter home via a witty parody of a cooking blog.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 29, 2015 - 9 comments

Boo

Jezebel ran a Scary Story contest this year, here's the wonderful (though sometimes badly edited) results. Need more? Then check out last year's winners, especially the one titled "Look at Me".
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 31, 2015 - 19 comments

The Chanel of Africa

As the main supplier of fashion prints to nearly half a continent, the textile company has continued to dominate that fashion scene there for almost 170 years. How’d that happen? Rooted in European colonialism and a testament to African ingenuity, creativity, and cultural pride; it’s a surprising story
posted by infini on Oct 30, 2015 - 28 comments

This marvellous day

The Radical Life of Rosa Luxemburg
– A graphic novelization of the revolutionary life and legacy of “Red Rosa.” (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Oct 28, 2015 - 7 comments

"Some people find it easier to talk to someone they don’t know."

Hana Feels is a short, dialogue-driven interactive story from teacher, performer, and Zombies, Run! writer Gavin Inglis. When four different characters get the chance to help Hana through a personal problem, subtle choices make the difference between painful and painfully funny.
posted by AteYourLembas on Sep 22, 2015 - 20 comments

Wait, wait, have you written this down? Aren't you a writer?

SOUNDS LIKE YOUR NEXT STORY!: a short play with infinite scenes by Rebecca Makkai.
posted by divined by radio on Sep 21, 2015 - 5 comments

Write your own adventure

Diorama Club - a site where you can play interactive stories or use a simple tree syntax to create and share your own.
posted by Artw on Jul 6, 2015 - 12 comments

“A very difficult time, you say. A very very difficult time.”

The Detainee’s Tale by Ali Smith Over the last few weeks, writer Ali Smith has taken part in the Refugee Tales project, a group of volunteers who befriend and support immigration detainees. This is her response:
So: the first thing you remember knowing is that there isn’t any more school. Your mother dies when you are three, you don’t remember. You never see your father, so you can’t remember him. You know, from being told, that your father’s family fought with your mother’s family; his were Hausa, hers were Christian. So you get given by your father’s family to a man in the village and for a short while there’s school under the great big tree, where you sit in the shade on the ground and the teacher sits on a seat and you get taught letters and reading. Then the school has to have money so the man you’ve been given to takes you to the farm. You are six years old. There is definitely no school on the farm.
Story contains descriptions of trauma/distress.
posted by Fizz on Jun 28, 2015 - 4 comments

They Took Our Myths

So why does the Mythos have such draw? Is it because the Mythos is classic?

Absolutely not. It's because, comparatively speaking, it's modern.

The Cthulhu Mythos is almost 100 years old. And it's the most modern part of our mythology that we're allowed to access.


Hugh Hancock on copyright and ownership of modern mythologies.
posted by Artw on Jun 8, 2015 - 53 comments

"Why do you have to talk about that stuff?"

David Sedaris talks about surviving the suicide of his sister Tiffany
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 2, 2015 - 78 comments

Happy To Be Here

The first thing you need to know about secure psychiatric facilities is that their bathrooms smell strongly of pee. What does it feel like to suffer from a mental illness? How can you explain that unique pain? I don't know how to explain it but this post hits a few points in a profound way.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on May 21, 2015 - 23 comments

The Magic of Modern Living

"Unconventional Advice for the Discerning Reader" by Sophie Wereley and "The Practical Witch's Guide to Acquiring Real Estate" by A. C. Wise are recent fantasy short stories that offer handy tips from similar perspectives. "Pockets" by Amal El-Mohtar and "The Apartment Dweller's Bestiary" by Kij Johnson (who adds one beast in a comment) are recent stories that blend strangeness into everyday life with poignant results. All via @SpiralGalaxy and @SFFMicroReviews. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on May 9, 2015 - 4 comments

She has one job, and it is to offer the hero a flower.

CONTINUE? Y/N: A Short Story
posted by Joe in Australia on May 6, 2015 - 12 comments

the point is that he doesn’t want me to buy towels.

“Hey, I need you to hold the giraffe so I can reach the crystal chandelier.” [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld on Apr 23, 2015 - 21 comments

well-written instruction manual & large, folded color map 🌏

"Some games make an enormous impact on you when you play them, and time and technology do little to diminish that impact. I feel that way about quite a few games: Elite, Super Mario Bros, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are three that immediately come to mind. Secret of Mana is without question a fourth." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 11, 2015 - 69 comments

InstaEssays

"In recent months, a number of writers and photographers have begun to utilize Instagram beyond its common use as an application that enables the creation, stylizing, and sharing of personal photographs to a particular group of friends and acquaintances, and rather as a journalistic tool. In particular, writers like Jeff Sharlet (#Nightshift // A Resourceful Woman ) and photographers like Neil Shea have paired their photos with short narratives, constrained to 2200 characters by Instagram’s caption limit. The effect is similar to that of “Flash Fiction”—short, impactful self-contained stories—except that these stories are true and paired with a photograph of the subject." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2015 - 9 comments

The Shapes of Stories

How many plots are there? Matthew Jockers says six.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 6, 2015 - 61 comments

Some notable SF/F/H short fiction from 2014

Locus Magazine has published its 2014 Recommended Reading List. BestSF.net has given its Best SF Short Story Award for 2014. Tables of contents have been announced for The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirty-Second Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois, Year's Best Weird Fiction, Volume Two edited by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly, and The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine edited by Jonathan Strahan. And several writers have called out their favorite stories of the year too, e.g. Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado and Sofia Samatar, Usman Malik, and Fran Wilde, Michael R. Underwood, Tina Connolly, and Beth Cato. Quite a few of these short fiction selections from 2014 have been published online in full. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Feb 3, 2015 - 28 comments

Stories as agents of personal transformation

recently on Aeon: not only do stories shape our thought processes in many ways similar to lived experience, they may also strengthen empathy as readers map the narratives of authors.
posted by wallawallasweet on Jan 16, 2015 - 7 comments

Bhangra dancers, Marlboros, and a girl in a pink dress

The Indian wedding that exploded in violence: a short story by Ranbir Singh Sidhu
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 4, 2015 - 10 comments

Happiness is harder to put into words.

Leviathan - a short story by David Sedaris
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jan 2, 2015 - 11 comments

Walter Benjamin for Children

Walter Benjamin presented "True Dog Stories" on September 27, 1930, as part of Radio Berlin's youth programming. Thoughtful but sometimes oblique commentaries on human society, Benjamin's radio shows have been called "Enlightenment for Children" and "NPR for weirdos," but an interview with the editor of their recent translations into English gives much greater context. Some essays have been re-recorded in German (including the dog episode, track 16), and Börne's original poodle letter is also online.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Dec 4, 2014 - 4 comments

The best children's books of 2014

Maria Popova on the story, art, and universal truths of this year's best books for kids. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Nov 22, 2014 - 6 comments

They keep asking me more specific questions.

"And what they’re really asking me: is your first memory different from my own? Tell me, they are asking, under their breaths, tell me a story that shows how you and I are different."- a fictional story exploring conformity in sexual relations in a future society, by Debbie Urbanski.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 14, 2014 - 7 comments

Written with nightbird quills and ink-of-dedication

I try to do two things with my style. The first is to pay attention to how the words sound together ... The other thing is to juxtapose odd images.
Sometimes ornate, sometimes economical, and always striking, Yoon Ha Lee's short fiction combines motifs from fantasy and science fiction with remarkable fruitfulness: "There are soldiers and scientists, space travel and dragons, leather-bound books, locked doors, and genocidal rampages. Each tale strains at the edges of possibility. No two of Lee's stories are alike, except for a similar pulse powering each word, each juxtaposition, each startling turn of events." Much of Lee's output is available online, including dozens of flash fiction fairy tales and two works of interactive fiction. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 9, 2014 - 13 comments

a web-based choose-your-own-adventure zombie apocalypse story

"The Dead Outnumber The Living is a mix between a “choose your own adventure” book and a classic text-based video game, going beyond the typical choose-your-own-adventure theme by providing a vast amount of pathways, dynamic content, story clues, and a few puzzles to solve." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 6, 2014 - 16 comments

Howdy, young feller! Come set a spell by th’ far …

…H’it all happened along back ’bout jes’ afore’n th’ depression … mebbe 1931…

Welp, Doc Wilson, he bottled it up ’til one day, he finally snapt. He had a farmer’s shotgun he was allus wavin’ at folks. Ever’ tub must stand on its own bottom … don’t wanna talk ’bout that no more. H’it’s sartain Melvin was as strong’s a wolf. Man – he might like t’ been fit t’ be tied, but he’d make th’ trip over t’ th’ fish house ever’ day anyhow. Those were th’ days. An’body c’da tol’ yuh Clarence run fer mayor. I ’member th’ circus along yonder near th’ lake. He come up an’ he – or was’t t’other time? … Well, I reckon he tripped an’ fell plumb over his’n chair. I tell yuh, too late now, though. He sure as hell din’t win. I reckon that was when that slimy Delbert McCoy holed up at Bent Creek. He made sev’ral enemies. Had a bowie knife on ’im, too. Later, we shot ’im in th’ left eye way out at th’ pharmacy. Not much choice, really.
Bad Year in Bear Lake: a semi-coherent-supercentenarian-hillbilly-recollecting-long-forgotten-hard-times simulator. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 3, 2014 - 17 comments

"Their mothers were distant cousins long estranged..."

Exquisite Corpse [New York Times]
Taking their cue from the Surrealist parlor game, 15 renowned authors take turns contributing to an original short story.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Oct 20, 2014 - 7 comments

"a kind of weirdo, a loner, but the most interesting of all"

Some Yom Kippur thoughts from Etgar Keret
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Oct 4, 2014 - 10 comments

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