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Questions tagged [novel]

For questions about a book of long narrative in literary prose, in order to distinguish it from other types of story. Do NOT use this tag for every question which happens to be about a novel: it is normally used only on [story-identification] questions and in cases where it would otherwise be unclear whether the question was about a novel or (e.g.) a film.

60
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2answers
8k views

A cynical demon writing annotations into the book for puny human readers

One of the first series I've ever read was about a young boy who was learning to become a mage. In this world it was possible to summon demons of different categories, ranging from small and not very ...
56
votes
1answer
6k views

Looking for a really old novel where the people are geometric figures

A while ago I read about a really old science fiction novel/novella (could have been more than a century old) where there weren't exactly people, but geometric figures in a 2-D world. I think the ...
52
votes
7answers
20k views

What is the chronological order of the novels in Asimov's Foundation series?

I've been meaning to read the Foundation series but haven't quite been able to figure out which book to read first. Does anyone know the correct chronological order of the books in the series? Are ...
44
votes
0answers
1k views

90s novel: wood nymph (similar to an otik) who becomes a scientist

I am trying to hunt down a book I read in the 90s, but lost some time ago. It starts with some children wandering in a wood, and they encounter a wood nymph creature that starts following them around. ...
40
votes
2answers
2k views

Novel about an immortal man exposed by world government relates his life through history

I read the book from my local library in the early- to mid- seventies. It was hardcover (library bound) and the dust jacket had a printed burlap or canvas background. The back flap mentioned that the ...
38
votes
3answers
8k views

Novel where the speed of light is comparable to the speed of sound

I am trying to discover the name of a book recommended to me by my school physics teacher some 48 years ago. The premise of the book is that the proponents visit a world where the speed of light is ...
38
votes
0answers
1k views

Sci fi novel about blue goo inside a man makes him immortal and invulnerable

I read this UK paperback about six years ago but it could have been older than that. Can't recall anything about the cover. The story began in a post-apocalypse society now ruled by city-states, ...
36
votes
1answer
6k views

A witch, a vampire and a pixie meet in a bar and talk about tomatoes eradicating humanity

I remember reading a series of books that took place in the Unites States in our time, but some 50 years ago or so there was a problem with genetically modified tomatoes eradicating most of humanity -...
31
votes
1answer
3k views

Main character becomes the devil

I probably read this in the early 90s, it's set in a middle ages type of environment and the main character starts off as a priest who is seduced by a demon near the start of the story. Consequently ...
31
votes
0answers
1k views

Humorous sci-fi book with a quirky space captain where everyone is turning into “glass”

I posted this question on another website, but I've yet to find the name of the book. I remember some very specific details, but nothing I can type into a search engine (I've tried). Here are the ...
29
votes
1answer
4k views

Looking for sci-fi novel I read about humanity finding alien station on orbit of Earth

I am looking for a novel that I'd love to re-read it with my wife (my 13-year old self must be proud of me I guess). Key Plot points The plot was about humanity finding an alien station on an orbit ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

Looking for a book about a man building a time machine to see if Jesus was real

The premise of the book was as follows: a scientist creates a time machine and travels to the time of Jesus to see if he's real. Upon arriving, he finds no Jesus. He then decides to be Jesus and ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

Novel: non-telepath helps overthrow rule by telepaths

Years ago, I read a novel whose title I'd like to rediscover. What I can remember is this: The novel's world has powerful, amoral-or-evil telepaths who are in a dominant social position. They've got ...
29
votes
1answer
825 views

I am looking for a story of gods/deities creating a world, then assigning a boy to name everything in that world

I am trying to identify a 'Creation myth' story I read from childhood that seems to stump Library of Congress librarians and local librarians. I've also used reddit, Abebooks booksleuth, Loganberry ...
29
votes
2answers
1k views

An old SF novel about interstellar war fought without FTL drives

The funny thing about this one is that, until recently, I thought I already knew the title and author of the novel in question! For many years, I honestly believed that what I am about to describe was ...
29
votes
0answers
1k views

Old science fiction novel about a man of the near future awakening from suspended animation to find himself in a technophobic theocracy

I remember this novel's plot in some detail, but nothing about the author, the title, or the character names. I believe this book was already on the shelves of a public library in Indiana in the mid-...
29
votes
0answers
761 views

1980s story with telepathic boy who makes janitor feel younger

So randomly over the years I've tried to find this book using all sorts of keywords, reading release lists by decade, and nothing seems to click. I'm pretty sure I read it in 1987, give or take a ...
28
votes
4answers
2k views

In Contact: Why not send a second pod? [duplicate]

I've just finished watching the Contact movie and having had time to reflect a bit more on it, I still cannot understand why the government would not just send a second pod through the machine if they ...
27
votes
2answers
4k views

Older science fiction book about time travel to retrieve things but they went sideways through the dimensions instead

So, as I vaguely remember it. It was set in the distant future were a dictator rules the Earth. By this point carbon dioxide was so high most life outside of humans was extinct. So the dictator built ...
27
votes
0answers
285 views

A Novel About Time Travel Into The Future

So this is what I remember, and it's very specific, but even so I can't seem to track down the novel: a man discovers a portable time travel device that he can carry around with him. He gets caught ...
26
votes
1answer
4k views

80s/90s Science fiction book about planet where slaves compete in games for their freedom

I remember reading it in the late 80s or early 90s. It was about a man who was a slave on a planet where the absurdly wealthy slave owners would have a planet-wide series of games; everything from ...
26
votes
1answer
4k views

Identifying a book about spiderlike aliens that retreat after taking 50% casualties

I checked out a book from an Upstate New York library sometime in the early to mid 2000s and haven't been able to find it since. I remember the title as "____'s War," where the ____ was the main ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

I need help to identify story about someone killing 36 hidden saints

I'm trying to identify a story I read a while ago (probably about 10 years ago, but I am not certain). The plot revolves around a Jewish myth about 36 hidden saints who keep the world alive. The bad ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

Novel about genetically engineered children who don't need to sleep

A couple of years ago I read a review of an interesting novel, but I lost the details and have never read the book. The background premise was that genetic engineering had progressed to the point ...
25
votes
1answer
652 views

Process management and high technology weapon. Novel name and author?

I am looking for help to point me out at a very old novel (likely from the '60s) about two empires at interstellar war. When it comes to starships, one is technologically very advanced, and the other ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

Science Fiction novel or novels about starship that becomes a god, colonizes hostile planet

Plot Summary/Details The sharpest memory I have of this one is that it was unusually dense reading. Much more difficult going than most of the sci-fi stuff I'd read by that time (I was 10 or 11, I ...
24
votes
2answers
928 views

Can you identify this book or series in which all humans are in hell?

A while ago a friend told me the plot of a book (or book series, he isn't sure) that he couldn't remember the name of, and I want to find it. Here's what he told me: Every person in existence is in ...
24
votes
2answers
20k views

How does Dracula turn people into vampires?

Turning into a vampire seems to have something to do with Dracula drinking the person's blood, but I can't figure if Stoker actually explains the entire process. I fully expect that he didn't, as the ...
24
votes
2answers
775 views

SF novel with “keepers of knowledge” who have to answer any question they're asked, but everyone else has to answer the questions they ask

A couple of years ago I read the first two novels in a series about a post-colonization world where there was a group of people whose job was to carry information from one town to another. The rule ...
24
votes
1answer
537 views

Novel about a man living in an empty shopping complex

I read a novel, when I was a kid, that had a man that was hiding in an abandoned shopping complex, that appeared to be in a skyscraper. (It had multiple levels, at least). The guy was mortally afraid ...
24
votes
0answers
451 views

Futuristic world where reality is humanity's plaything and God is in a zoo

This is a novel I read in 2015. It was an older book. The cover was black and hardcover. Don't remember any specific details. The book was in English. I believe it was from the 1980s or ‘90s. It was ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Novel about rendezvous with alien ship travelling through the solar system

I'm looking for a novel I read, probably in the mid 1990s. The story involved an alien vessel/asteroid coming through our solar system and a human ship going out to meet it and then being stuck on it ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Out-of-control starship results in some crew members landing in a rebirthed universe?

I think this was a classic "golden oldie" hard sci-fi novel or novella published at least several decades ago. I recollect: An accident or crew mutiny causes the ship's ramjet or similar engine to ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

Series Whose Protagonist Is a Leper

I am trying to remember a series I read some time ago (probably in the early aughts) about a leper who is transported to another world where he leads an army. In the real world, he cannot feel most of ...
23
votes
1answer
4k views

I'm looking for a Sci-Fi book with a female protagonist who doesn't wear logos

I'm looking for a near future (I'm pretty sure) Sci Fi book that may have more than one protagonist, but has at least this one female lead. I heard a passage from the book somewhere (possibly a ...
23
votes
1answer
779 views

What novel had forced inter-racial marriages to prevent discrimination?

I think that the protagonist had fallen in love with someone of their own race, which is obviously forbidden love. This book may also have had in it a law that forbade casting a shadow on solar ...
23
votes
1answer
586 views

Novel in which the protagonist fades out is forgotten by, and can't interact with, the rest of the world

Trying to identify a novel I read years ago (probably in the '80s) in which the protagonist (late teens, early 20s?) is gradually forgotten by and ceases to be able to interact with the rest of the ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

How many times throughout the Dune novels is Duncan Idaho ghola'd?

Throughout the Dune novels I would like to know how many times Duncan Idaho is ghola'd (cloned) before he reaches Kwisatz Haderach status?
22
votes
1answer
779 views

Earth leaves IQ suppression zone [duplicate]

I'm trying to find a book I remember reading, one I'd like to re-read. I saw it probably decades ago. Basic premise is that earth has been stuck in a zone that somehow suppresses intelligence. ...
22
votes
1answer
551 views

Human agent trapped by aliens and trying to escape

What is the name of the book or author in a science fiction novel in which: Prior to the events in the book: humanity discovered a means of teleporting between worlds and has established a number of ...
22
votes
2answers
839 views

Identify a book featuring overpopulated world with limited living space assigned to individuals

When I was wee I would read books by pile and a specific story came to mind and I wish to identify it. I have lots of the premise in mind but weak google-fu. Details include: A man awakens from ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Story about a civilization which repeatedly rises and falls, because individuals can't stop reproducing [duplicate]

I'm looking for a story which has these elements: There is an alien species whose biology compels it to reproduce every couple of years, and they don't have a choice about it. As they develop ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Story: space colonization with sentient/telepathic spaceships, also genocide and reincarnation

When I was younger I visited my local library quite frequently. I loved picking random fantasy and sci-fi books and reading them. There is this one book that I read and it seemed to be part of a ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Novel about rich industrialist who is recruited by a woman who uses magic, takes him to her world were he crash lands

Looking for a book I read in the 90's (not sure if it was published in the 90's or not). The story as far as I can remember goes like this. Human-looking aliens evolve on a very hostile planet. They ...
21
votes
1answer
785 views

Fantasy novel where the forces of good have prevailed and the “heroes” are assassins, thieves, etc

I'm looking for the name of a fantasy novel I read once where the forces of good have prevailed and now everything is out of balance. I remember that the band of "heroes" consist of and assassin and ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Book Identification: Story set on 'abandoned' spaceship with an A.I. over crackly loudspeakers

I read this book back in the late 90s, early 2000s at my public library, although the book seemed a little worn, probably came out in the 80s or so. It was a Young Adult Sci-Fi action, if I remember ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Short-story about moving “cathedral” cities on a Mercury-like planet

Looking for a particular short-story in an anthology (I don't think it was an entire novel). Set in the future, a planet was colonized by accident that is essentially like Mercury ... too close to a ...
21
votes
1answer
242 views

Aliens sterilise earth of life except small circular areas

I read this book in the school library in the early 80s, so it was probably published in the 70s or earlier. The book is composed of several stories starting in modern times going out to the far ...
21
votes
0answers
301 views

Novel about a spacewoman who needs help finding a holographic recording to defend herself in court

This was a science fiction novel, written in English, which I read in hardcover. I checked it out from a public library around the late 1980s. I don't know how old this book was at the time, but it ...
21
votes
0answers
319 views

Novel about alien symbiotes persecuted after they reject their hosts

Two alien races are living in sybioses. The symbiote is an energy creature of some sort. The host aliens do something violent (maybe an action in a war?) that causes the symbiotes to decide to leave....