98 posts tagged with fiction.
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Book: Red Side Story by Jasper Fforde

It's the UK, but not as we know it: civilisation has rebuilt after an unspoken 'Something that Happened' five hundred years before. Society is now colour-based, the strict levels of hierarchy dictated by the colours you can see, and the economy, health service and citizen's aspirations all dominated by visual colour, run by the shadowy National Colour in far-off Emerald City. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Apr 23, 2024 - 9 comments

Book: Birnam Wood

A guerilla gardening collective in New Zealand forges an uneasy alliance with a mysterious American billionaire. [more inside]
posted by saladin on Mar 12, 2024 - 5 comments

Book: By Sound Alone

In a slightly skewed-off timeline of mid-20th-century Earth, the surface of the ocean has become a contested place. International shipping is forced undersea, carried out by subs fitted for transporting cargo. Captain Sylvia Percy and her small crew run one such boat, the "Prospect". They fight a daily battle to keep their rusting submarine from dropping into the depths. It's just another grimy job until they find themselves pursued by a military sub driven by some inexplicable violent purpose. To survive, the crew of the Prospect push the machine that is their home to the very edge of its capabilities, while still trying to make their delivery on time. [more inside]
posted by adamrice on Mar 9, 2024 - 6 comments

Book: Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore

Whale researcher Nathan Quinn has a problem. It’s not a new problem; in fact, it’s been around for nearly 20 million years. And Nate’s spent most of his adult life working to solve it. You see, although everybody (well, almost everybody) knows that humpback whales sing (outside of human composition, the most complex songs on the planet) no one knows why. Nate, a Ph.D. in behavior biology, intends to discover the answer to this burning question―and soon. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Feb 20, 2024 - 3 comments

Book: Grave Expectations

"When 30-something freelance medium Claire Hendricks is invited to an old university friend's country pile to provide entertainment for a family party, her best friend Sophie tags along. In fact, Sophie rarely leaves Claire's side, because she's been haunting her ever since she was murdered at the age of seventeen. ... Teaming up with the least unbearable members of the Wellington-Forge family - depressive ex-cop Basher and teenage radical Alex - Claire and Sophie determine to figure out not just whodunnit, but who they killed, why and when." [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Dec 28, 2023 - 3 comments

Book: The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School / Sonora Reyes

"A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self. Perfect for fans of Erika L. Sánchez, Leah Johnson, and Gabby Rivera." -- HarperCollins [more inside]
posted by johnofjack on Dec 11, 2023 - 4 comments

Book: Zeroville by Steve Erickson

On the same August day in 1969 that a crazed hippie ''family'' led by Charles Manson commits five savage murders in the canyons above Los Angeles, a young ex-communicated seminarian arrives with images of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift - ''the two most beautiful people in the history of the movies'' - tattooed on his head. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Nov 28, 2023 - 4 comments

Book: Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Viv's career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam's Ravens isn't going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she's packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk―so far from the action that she worries she'll never be able to return to it. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Nov 11, 2023 - 10 comments

Movie: Crater

After the death of his father, a boy growing up on a lunar mining colony takes a trip to explore a legendary crater, along with his four best friends, prior to being permanently relocated to another planet. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Sep 18, 2023 - 5 comments

Book: Stone Junction

Charging like a runaway semitrailer on a downhill grade and spanning the era from Haight-Ashbury's Summer of Love into the darkness of 1980s Manhattan, Stone Junction is a wise and wildly imaginative novel about Daniel Pearse, an orphaned child who is taken under the wings of the AMO -- the Alliance of Magicians and Outlaws. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Jun 12, 2023 - 8 comments

Book: The Big Door Prize

Deerfield, Louisiana, is a sleepy small town like any other until the mysterious DNAMIX machine appears at the local grocery store. Deposit $2 and a DNA swab, and the machine spits out a ticket displaying the user's potential. Who can resist? Even as residents discover their callings, the past returns for a history teacher, a grieving student, and a Catholic priest. How people navigate hope, pursue change, and reckon with choices are the heart of M.O. Walsh's sweet and cozy novel, The Big Door Prize (2020). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Apr 22, 2023 - 1 comment

Book: The Steerswoman

Steerswomen, and a very few Steersmen, are members of an order dedicated to discovering and disseminating knowledge. Although they are foremost navigators of the high seas, Steerswomen are also explorers and cartographers upon land as well as sea. With one exception, they are pledged to always answer any question put to them with as truthful a response as is possible within their own limitations. However, they also require anyone of whom they ask questions to respond in the same manner, upon penalty of the Steerswomen's ban; those under the ban do not receive answers from the steerswomen. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Apr 5, 2023 - 13 comments

Book: The Survivalists: A Novel

"In the wake of her parents’ death, Aretha, a habitually single Black lawyer, has had only one obsession in life—success—until she falls for Aaron, a coffee entrepreneur. Moving into his Brooklyn brownstone to live along with his Hurricane Sandy-traumatized, illegal-gun-stockpiling, optimized-soy-protein-eating, bunker-building roommates, Aretha finds that her dreams of making partner are slipping away, replaced by an underground world, one of selling guns and training for a doomsday that’s maybe just around the corner" (Penguin Random House). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Feb 25, 2023 - 2 comments

Book: The Deluge by Stephen Markley

In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters—a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come. [more inside]
posted by quatsch on Feb 10, 2023 - 4 comments

Book: The Measure

What would you do if everybody on the planet woke up one morning with the ability to know how long they will live? Would you even want to know? In "The Measure," that happens, and the book follows eight NYC residents as they grapple with the ramifications of that knowledge. Along the way, the book addressees some truly interesting questions, such as if you are 30 and know you will die at 42, is it selfish to marry and have children? If you are 30 can you marry somebody you know will die at 42? It also dives into the government response, and it's just as bad as you expect. I read this book in 3 nights, staying up late each night before forcing myself to put it down and go to sleep.
posted by COD on Jan 18, 2023 - 0 comments

Book: Women Talking

"The Canadian writer Miriam Toews opens her astonishing eighth novel, Women Talking, with a matter-of-fact Author's Note. Between 2005 and 2009, she explains, eight men in a remote Mennonite colony in Bolivia raped many of the girls and women in their community, first rendering them unconscious with cow anesthetic. Women Talking is "both a reaction through fiction to these true-life events, and an act of female imagination." It is also a work of deep moral intelligence, a master class in ethics beautifully dressed as a novel. And, surprisingly given the title, Women Talking is narrated by a man." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Jan 17, 2023 - 5 comments

Movie: F for Fake

Documents the lives of infamous fakers Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving. De Hory, who later committed suicide to avoid more prison time, made his name by selling forged works of art by painters like Picasso and Matisse. Irving was infamous for writing a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes. Welles moves between documentary and fiction as he examines the fundamental elements of fraud and the people who commit fraud at the expense of others.
posted by johnofjack on Oct 17, 2022 - 11 comments

Book: The Kaiju Preservation Society

Jamie Gray is miserably working as a deliverator for füdmüd in the early days of COVID quarantine in New York City. A chance encounter with an old acquaintance gets Jamie on an interesting new career path: doing odd jobs at a secret base on an alternate Earth, helping scientists who are studying -- and helping protect -- kaiju.
posted by The corpse in the library on Mar 17, 2022 - 17 comments

Book: The School for Good Mothers

Jessamine Chan's debut novel, The School for Good Mothers, is the deeply unsettling story of how Frida Liu's bad parenting day turns into a court-mandated year in an experimental rehabilitation program for bad mothers. But this program is...different. Total surveillance. Public self-criticism. And dolls, sentient AI beings, to detect a mother's "stress, fear, ingratitude, deception, boredom, ambivalence...how often she makes eye contact, the quality and authenticity of her emotions." Say it with me: I am a bad mother, but I am learning to be good. Again, please. AGAIN. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Mar 3, 2022 - 6 comments

Book: The Lost Apothecary

This book was my prize from the white elephant book exchange at a Christmastime book club meeting. The story bounces back and forth between early 1800s London, where the secret apothecary exists to help women rid themselves of abusive or cheating husbands, and modern day London, where 30-something Caroline is rediscovering her love of history on a solo 10th anniversary trip that her husband missed because he was cheating on her. It's a really fun and well paced suspense story that will keep you interested until the last page as the historical story unravels while Caroline closes in on understanding what happened, 200 years later. It's also a story of a woman reconnecting with the things that bring passion to her life, while coming to terms with her decision to junk it all 10 years ago to get married.
posted by COD on Feb 15, 2022 - 3 comments

Book: Devil House by John Darnielle

A true-crime writer begins a new book project, centered on a grisly 1986 double murder in southern California, that leads him to question the ethics of his trade and to delve into the paradoxes of storytelling itself. [more inside]
posted by FrauMaschine on Feb 14, 2022 - 8 comments

Book: Finna

When an elderly customer at a Swedish big box furniture store ― but not that one ― slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.
posted by Literaryhero on Dec 7, 2021 - 6 comments

Movie: Dune

Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
posted by Omon Ra on Oct 21, 2021 - 179 comments

Book: The Lincoln Highway

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Oct 20, 2021 - 5 comments

Book: Beautiful World, Where Are You

Beautiful World, Where Are You is a new novel by Sally Rooney, the bestselling author of Normal People and Conversations with Friends. [more inside]
posted by Pong74LS on Oct 4, 2021 - 1 comment

Book: Black Buck

Black Buck is a how-to manual for succeeding in sales, wrapped up in a brutal satire of start up tech culture, with a heavy dose of racial commentary disguised as satire. I say disguised because a lot of what our young sales star Darren experiences in the book seems completely absurd to me. But I’m a white dude. I expect most black people would just be nodding their heads thinking, yep, been there done that. I can't imagine this not being in my top 5 book list at the end of the year.
posted by COD on Aug 1, 2021 - 0 comments

Book: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

"Addie LaRue was born in France at the very end of the 17th century — but no one remembers that. No one, that is, except for Addie herself and the devil she makes a deal with to escape an unwanted marriage and an ordinary life." (NPR Review) [more inside]
posted by jedicus on May 30, 2021 - 5 comments

Podcast: The Left Right Game: Complete Series

Alice Sharma (voiced by Tessa Thompson) is an idealistic young journalist trying to make a name for herself by following a group of paranormal explorers, obsessed with a seemingly harmless pastime known as the Left/Right Game. The journey takes her into a supernatural world that she and the other members of the expedition can neither handle nor survive. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on May 1, 2021 - 5 comments

Book: Big Girl, Small Town

A young working-class woman named Majella navigates a constrained life in Northern Ireland sometime after "peace broke out" in Ireland in the nineties. Some things distinguish her from her fellows: she's not social at all, she's unusually sensitive to sensory input, and her grandmother was just murdered. [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants on Feb 21, 2021 - 1 comment

Book: Earthlings

Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata's first novel to be translated from Japanese to English, received glowing reviews for its portrayal of a woman who rejects the values of her family-oriented social class and finds her niche working in a convenience store. Now comes Earthlings. As one reviewer puts it:" The two books might be seen as siblings, though Earthlings would definitely be the evil twin." [more inside]
posted by BibiRose on Feb 17, 2021 - 1 comment

Book: Swords in the Mist

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser discuss the tension between wage labor and freedom. Fafhrd finds religion. The Mouser tries his hand at career a in organized crime and gets bumped up into a supervisory role. They make a detour from Nehwon to explore the Levant. They see more of Ningauble's ocular organs than anyone should be comfortable with. [more inside]
posted by mark k on Jan 4, 2021 - 2 comments

Book: Cryptonomicon

Written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1999. Two groups of characters, one from the late thirties and forties and one in the then present-day ~1999 (a few who are descendants of the earlier group) involve themselves with codes, codebreaking, and Axis war gold, among other things. [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama on Sep 2, 2020 - 41 comments

Book: Axiom's End

First contact happens in the year 2007. Cora Sabino, a college dropout and daughter of a famous whistleblower, unwillingly ends up in the center of it all, acting as an interpreter for the aliens.
posted by dinty_moore on Aug 8, 2020 - 6 comments

Book: Don Quixote

Written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in two parts, first in 1605 and then in 1615, this is the story of Don Quixote, a knight-errant, and his squire, peasant Sancho Panza. Except errantry is out of style by the time Quixote begins his series of expeditions. The jury is still out on if this is fodder for great tragedy or great comedy. [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama on Jul 22, 2020 - 4 comments

Book: Ducks, Newburyport

Ducks, Newburyport is a 2019 novel by British author Lucy Ellmann which won the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. The bulk of the book is a very long, digressive, free-associative stream-of-consciousness in the mind of a forty-something mother-of-four in small-town post-Trump, pre-pandemic Ohio. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on May 25, 2020 - 5 comments

Avenue 5: Eight Arms But No Hands  Season 1, Ep 9

After recent events, Matt goes into in hiding with a guilty conscience, and he has the airlock codes. Chaos ensues when a narrow window for escape on a rescue shuttle suddenly becomes available. [Season finale; renewed for Season 2] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 20, 2020 - 2 comments

Avenue 5: This Is Physically Hurting Me  Season 1, Ep 8

There's a new hope for Avenue 5, but it involves an effort to jettison non-essential items. Meanwhile, Billie tries to teach an inattentive Ryan how to dock the ship, and the passengers suspect all is not as it seems with the journey. "I'm around movie sets a lot. I work in VFX. Stands for visual effects." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 20, 2020 - 4 comments

Avenue 5: Are You a Spider, Matt?  Season 1, Ep 7

Judd enlists Ryan to help charm Harrison Aimes, an uber-wealthy passenger who has a strange effect on Judd. Meanwhile, the passengers become transfixed by a divine image circling the ship and Rav deals with the fallout when the ship's moral quandary hits the media. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 17, 2020 - 4 comments

Avenue 5: Was It Your Ears?  Season 1, Ep 6

As Avenue 5 celebrates the birth of a space baby, Ryan and Billie try to identify the source of an incessant beeping, and Judd shares his latest grand idea at Karen's passenger-crew liaison meeting. In the nation's capital, Rav appeals to the President for rescue funds but, in exchange, is faced with an ethical dilemma. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 17, 2020 - 0 comments

Book: Here and Now and Then

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Mar 12, 2020 - 2 comments

Podcast: The Carlötta Beautox Chronicles: Seasön Tweux

Carlötta has achieved her dream of becoming one of the most famous people in the world -- but is it all it's cracked up to be? Of course it is. It's amazing. Fame is a no-brainer. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Feb 20, 2020 - 1 comment

Book: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

This "historically engaging and pressingly relevant" biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master. Still known to millions primarily as the author of "The Lottery", Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) has been curiously absent from the mainstream American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense and psychological horror, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of post-war American more deeply than anyone. [more inside]
posted by winesong on Feb 18, 2020 - 4 comments

Avenue 5: He's Only There to Stop His Skeleton from Falling Over  Season 1, Ep 5

Leaks are closed, heroes are celebrated (and ignored), and a comedian is anxious. It's the halfway home party! Well, it would be, if .... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 18, 2020 - 16 comments

Avenue 5: Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder?  Season 1, Ep 4

With Judd worried about his reputation, Iris arranges a meet-and-greet with several passengers in his luxury suite. Ryan and Billie bond with the engineers, before Ryan steps up and to earn the title Mr. Wetsuit. Matt encourages Frank to become the man he always wanted to be. "Fly safe!" "Fly drunk!" [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 12, 2020 - 3 comments

Avenue 5: I'm a Hand Model  Season 1, Ep 3

With Avenue 5 staff slacking in their customer service, Ryan offers Karen the opportunity to channel her unique talent for speaking the passengers' language. Judd outlines a new plan and tasks Iris with organizing an effort to raise the money to fund it. Rav endures a barrage of messages from the ship and handles an unruly press conference. "Oh, come on. My door's always broken." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 12, 2020 - 1 comment

Book: Interior Chinatown

A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, and escaping the roles we are forced to play—by the author of the infinitely inventive How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.  Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He’s merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden... [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Feb 2, 2020 - 2 comments

Avenue 5: And Then He's Gonna Shoot Off...  Season 1, Ep 2

As Avenue 5 sails on, there's optimism! And coordination! And a memorial. And advocacy. And marital counseling. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 30, 2020 - 9 comments

Avenue 5: I Was Flying  Season 1, Ep 1

Space captain Ryan Clark of the Avenue 5 tries to get along with others in the space tourism industry. (HBO US broadcast premiere) [more inside]
posted by oh yeah! on Jan 20, 2020 - 20 comments

2020 Morning News Tournament of Books

The Morning News announced back in December the list for their 16th annual Tournament of Books. The theme is “The Future Is Getting Here Awfully Fast.” Last year tofu_crouton got this more timely post which resulted in a book club to organize everything. Previously here.
posted by zenon on Jan 6, 2020 - 2 comments

Book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things...
posted by kalimac on Dec 3, 2019 - 7 comments

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