Questions tagged [books]

Use this tag on [story-identification] questions when the work is a book series or when the written media is unclear but use a more specific tag where appropriate e.g. [novel], [novella], [short-stories], [anthology-book], etc. Use this tag to indicate the question is about the book version or adaptation of a work. For differences between the book and other versions, such as a movie, use [adaptation-comparison].

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46 votes
2 answers
2k views

Identifying a story with a portal that only organic tissue can pass through

I'm looking for a book that I read when I was young (~1985). My guess is that it was published in the 70s or 80s. In this story, a scientist (or more) created some sort of portal. Only organic tissue ...
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43 votes
2 answers
2k views

Book from the 70s: Battle/Balance between Light/Sun and Moon/Dark?

I remember reading a book in the 70s, so it could be YA. It is set on modern-day Earth, and the story is about a boy. His mother is sick (maybe cancer?) and he is socially awkward, so he doesn't ...
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  • 431
8 votes
1 answer
917 views

1980s/1990s SF novel about space marines from a heavy gravity planet?

I'm trying to remember the title of a hard SF novel I read in the early 1990s. The story featured space marines from a heavy gravity planet. Because of the environment they grew up and trained in, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
851 views

What was that Sci-fi book mixing classic art and book excerpts to build a timeline of the universe?

I was 12 years old in 1988 and, that year, I spent most of my savings on a large format hardcover book where the authors attempted to tell the story of mankind's expansion in the universe. They did ...
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  • 193
8 votes
1 answer
930 views

Book about a dog who protects his family from a werewolf

I'm trying to remember the title and author of a book I read years ago. It's about a dog, something like a German Shepherd with a name like "Thor", who lives with a normal family. When a friend/cousin/...
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  • 977
7 votes
1 answer
385 views

Looking for a book (or series) in which people who had a magic word became magical

in this book one word would make people magical and if you had more than one word you became more powerful. There was a limitation in that if more than one person knew the word it was rendered less ...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Book wherein humans were most dangerous/aggressive of numerous species [duplicate]

I recall there were two warring alien empires, one of which was led by a race that could telepathically inflict pain on others, but when they tried to do it to humans, it would backfire. something ...
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  • 93
18 votes
2 answers
873 views

Who wrote the book Arena? [duplicate]

I once had a book called Arena. Unfortunately that is a very common book title. Its cover was very similar to: but that's a coincidence. In the story, the main character (female), is invited to take ...
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3 votes
1 answer
156 views

Who are the "Heirs of the Blade"?

The seventh (and latest) book of the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky is titled "Heirs of the Blade". However the only one I would really call a heir of the blade is So who are the ...
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the series where humans are genetically altered to go under cover on alien planets? [duplicate]

It was a series of 3 or 4 books. The crew of a ship were on a mission to recover something ( rings I think) from different planets. Humans had been genetically altered to live on each planet. ...
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  • 111
11 votes
1 answer
485 views

70s era YA Fantasy involving evil elves

I'm looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book I read in grade school in the mid 1970s that told the story of a modern girl who discovers a cave or tunnel that brings her to a medieval-like place. A ...
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7 votes
8 answers
629 views

Who was the first author to write about transhumanism?

I believe that this could well go to David Zindell for Neverness which was published in 1988 as it features many elements of transhumanism. Does anyone know any different?
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21 votes
2 answers
2k views

Trying to Remember a Book that explored evolution of Dinosaurs to intelligence and then encountering humans

Many, many years ago, I read a book where dinosaurs were assumed to have suvived the K-T event (or it never happened), and they evolved to intelligent species that used not only language (which ...
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17 votes
1 answer
925 views

How did Harry Dresden turn Bob the skull evil?

In the newest Dresden Files book, Ghost Story, it mentions that in the past Harry Dresden managed to switch Bob to "evil mode". Which book did this happen in and how did it happen?
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  • 5,819
14 votes
2 answers
847 views

When did Harry get the leather coat?

In the Dresden Files books, at some point Harry trades in his canvas duster for a leather duster? Which book did this happen in and why?
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  • 5,819
43 votes
2 answers
5k views

Identifying a story about a girl named Sarah who finds out she is a robot

I read this sci-fi novel for young adults when I was a kid, and I would love to re-read it but I can't remember the title. I remember the copy I borrowed from the library had some sort of television ...
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  • 439
6 votes
1 answer
292 views

Fantasy story of a prince's unwanted brother

I'm trying to remember the title of a fantasy story in which the main character is the unwanted brother (or half-brother?) of a prince. Other important characters are an older brother who is ...
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  • 69
9 votes
1 answer
737 views

What book has a space station orbiting a sun

I remember a few details of the book I'm looking for. It is a space station in close orbit to the/a sun. Only children on board who are the children of the adults. But the adults were criminals and ...
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11 votes
3 answers
809 views

90's military sci-fi book series: rifle firing "flechette" rounds, grenade launchers as a standard weapon

I've been trying to identify several series of military sci-fi that I read in the early 90's. I've had more luck remembering details of some than others. For this particular series, the only details ...
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  • 365
14 votes
1 answer
850 views

Two books by the same author: travel through different times, and news reports of aliens

I'm looking for two books that I think are by the same author. I read them both 10/15 years ago, and they're adult scifi/horror type books. One was about a group of people - I think a mixture of ...
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  • 423
14 votes
1 answer
415 views

YA novel about a backyard where shadows live, a dolphin statue/fountain? is the ruler

I read this story in the mid 1980's. A young boy is staying with either his grandmother, aunt, some older female care giver. The shadows in the backyard are alive, and anything brought back there ...
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  • 143
8 votes
1 answer
300 views

Identify the recent story with a cross-dressing undertaker/necromancer?

There was a book within last 18 months or so with the following characteristics: The main character was an undertaker and possibly a necromancer, and also a crossdresser He had a serial killer as ...
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  • 16.2k
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

A girl who transcends time

I remember quite a bit, but can't seem to find the title or (female) author. A girl accompanies her father as he captains a mission to travel at near-light speed in order to experience the effects of ...
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  • 277
23 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who edited Dune?

Who was the editor for the Frank Herbert novel, Dune? I've heard that the following books in the series were not edited by the same person and suffered for it and that a lot of credit to the novel's ...
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  • 3,271
16 votes
2 answers
940 views

Planet with hexagons with either magic or technology

I read a good book a while ago and can't remember the title. It is the story of people stuck on a planet made of hexagons, where the level of technology is set depending on the type of hexagon. Some ...
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  • 161
11 votes
2 answers
653 views

Looking for title of book, with hostile flora, tax laws

Long, long ago (probably early 80's), I read a book which actually contained three stories/books, may be by different authors, I don't recall. This particular (Dutch) edition had their pages colored ...
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16 votes
6 answers
14k views

Is Stargate (movie) based on a book?

From what I can see in the IMDB page of the movie, the writing credits are given to Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. Was it based (even loosely) on an existing book or is this an original script which ...
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  • 3,163
15 votes
6 answers
12k views

Has any Science Fiction/Fantasy novel won any of the big 3 literary awards?

The big 3 awards are the Man Booker International Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize in Literature. I can't recall any novel, classified as Science Fiction/Fantasy by author/general public, ...
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  • 16.2k
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Book about a man who's cut in half & placed in suspended animation

I remember reading a book fifteen to twenty years ago that had the following charactersitics: The main character was a man who at some point lost the lower part of his body (legs & pelvis) He was ...
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  • 1,897
37 votes
4 answers
152k views

What is the correct reading order for Stephen King's 'Dark Tower' series (updated)?

There are a considerable number of properties relating to Stephen King's Dark Tower; The original novels as well as various media such as a prequel and sequel-comic series, short stories, mentions in ...
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  • 481
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was the name/author of a Sci-Fi book where the sun goes Nova and Earth and Venus must fly away?

What was the name/author of a Sci-Fi book where the Sun goes Nova and Earth and Venus must fly away? It was written like a memoir from a scientist from the future who accidentally was thrown into the ...
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  • 233
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Plans / timescales for the final novel in Roger MacBride Allen's Hunted Earth trilogy?

I've read The Ring of Charon and The Shattered Sphere by Roger MacBride Allen, as part of the Hunted Earth trilogy. I've really enjoyed them and am saddened to see that the concluding book has not ...
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  • 605
16 votes
1 answer
942 views

What young adult SF book is about a boy saved by aliens and domed colonies?

When I was younger (lets go with probably about 20 years ago), I read a f/sf book that I've been looking for ever since, but I can't for the life of me rediscover it. It centers around a boy who is ...
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  • 263
22 votes
3 answers
2k views

What novel is about a main character who removes smoking and alcohol scenes from existing films?

Many years ago I have read a novel in Polish SF&F magazine "Fantastyka" (or "Nowa Fantastyka"), where main character job at a moment was to modify existing movies removing smoking and/or drinking ...
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16 votes
1 answer
559 views

Allegorical book about a Spanish knight who talks into his helmet [closed]

This was a book I read in the early to mid 90's. I believe it was older than that, though. It was an allegorical (specifically a "Christian" allegory) story about a knight who was on a ...
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24 votes
1 answer
2k views

What fantasy book features a feline race and a female lead character in a world with ghost-powered magic?

I am trying to remember the name and/or author of a fantasy book I read back in the mid 1980s. I have tried searching, but the Googles have not been helpful. This is what I remember of the book: ...
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28 votes
2 answers
1k views

Identify a book with a social engineering theme

I originally read this book in the mid- to late '70s. The premise was a bureaucracy whose job it was to manipulate events in human history by making the smallest possible change that would effect ...
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  • 399
27 votes
12 answers
2k views

Why are "reboots" not done for novels? [closed]

It's pretty common for science fiction TV shows to be "rebooted" (I would guess more common than other genre because of the way that the science elements date). For example, Battlestar Galactica, ...
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  • 29.9k
31 votes
15 answers
144k views

What is the best place to start Warhammer 40k?

I've got three omnibus books containing 9 total Warhammer 40,000 stories. Before I mention which ones I've got, which book would you recommend as a good place to start the series?
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  • 1,059
14 votes
5 answers
600 views

Are there reference sci-fi websites that maintain lists of "must have" books? [closed]

Are there websites that maintain lists of "must have" English SF books? As an example, in French, there is La Bibliothèque Idéale de l’Imaginaire from Le Cafard Cosmique, which loosely translates to ...
14 votes
16 answers
6k views

What is the longest science fiction saga in books? [closed]

What is the longest science fiction saga in amount of books that wasn't created after movies or TV shows (that is, discarding Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Files)? Just to name a few: 2001, Rama, only 4. ...
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  • 2,480
122 votes
9 answers
190k views

What's the recommended reading order of the Ender Wiggin books?

The series that starts with Ender's Game has a parallel series that starts with Ender's Shadow. The graph of the timeline is... well... complicated. Does it make more sense if you read them in the ...
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is Metro 2033 even released in English anywhere in the English speaking world?

I really want to read Metro 2033, by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I'm having a hard time finding it. To be more precise, I'm having a hard time finding legal copies - there appear to be bootleg English ...
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