I leafed through an SF novel a few years ago and put it down. And now I wish I hadn't. What I remember about it was that it was fairly modern (written maybe 90s or later), rather longish, written with fairly complex prose, was a near-future story, and somehow or another it involved Alcoholic Anonymous. :) I remember that its writer got reviews from the critics that were generally better than what a sci-fi writer gets. In some circles he is even considered a "Serious Writer". Anyone have any idea what this novel might have been?

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! Can you be more specific about "a few years ago"? A year range is better, especially if this question doesn't attract potential answers right away. Check out the other suggestions, they might help you recall additional details you can edit into your question.
    – DavidW
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


If anyone is interested, another bit of extremely roundabout sleuthing (You can find anything on the internet if your search path is wild enough.) and I got it. It is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It might be argued whether it is science fiction, it seems. The critics might classify it as more of a "magical realism" kind of thing. But it looks interesting, whatever they call it. Thanks.

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    And, it looks like you have some general Stack Overflow experience, but don't forget to self-accept in 48 hours.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:21
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    I remembered it being mentioned in First Things (a print and online mag about politics, philosophy, literature, etc. from a mainly Christian [and largely but not exclusively Catholic] perspective). So I went there and searched "science fiction" but nothing showed up. Then I searched "science fiction anonymous" and saw a line that rang a bell. The article was about another article about David Foster Wallace. I went there, nothing specific. So I went Amazon and searched for the author's name. I recognized the cover immediately. "Around my elbow to get to my thumb," as my mom used to say. Jan 6, 2020 at 19:42
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    I found this bit of blurb which, with it being set in the near future, is enough IMO to class it as science fiction....."Infinite Jest is set in a near future in which the Gregorian calendar has been supplanted by a sponsorship arrangement. Most of the action of the novel takes place in the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment [Depend is a real brand of adult nappies]."
    – Danny Mc G
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:54
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    I'm somewhat startled to find that I actually have this as an ebook, and have owned it for about two years, I might try to read it someday!
    – Danny Mc G
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:58
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    I just have to chuckle at a description of Infinite Jest that includes the line "rather longish, written with fairly complex prose.."
    – Alex M
    Jan 6, 2020 at 22:27

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