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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. Use to either identify the media on a [story-identification] question or disambiguate works where the tag covers the novel and its form in other media.

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63 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 3,501
62 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
57 votes
7 answers
28k 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 ...
Pulkit Sinha's user avatar
  • 2,313
54 votes
1 answer
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. ...
Tark's user avatar
  • 961
50 votes
2 answers
5k views

Short story: Interstellar inspector senses "off" nature of planet hiding aggressive culture

This story was one of several published together that I read in paperback form sometime in the mid-1990s. It takes place in a period after the collapse of an interstellar human empire, and it follows ...
Otis's user avatar
  • 14k
49 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
ImaginaryEvents's user avatar
46 votes
2 answers
7k views

Pre-1972 sci-fi short story or novel: alien(?) tunnel where people try new moves and get destroyed if they're not the correct ones

It might be a short story or it might be a novel. It must be before 1972 because I read it in my youth and I am OLD. The following is very impressionistic. There is a multidimensional/not of this ...
Don's user avatar
  • 563
46 votes
1 answer
2k 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-collapse society (update edit: I think it was a ...
Danny Mc G's user avatar
  • 27.8k
46 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
max's user avatar
  • 421
45 votes
1 answer
9k views

Book about a man fired because his hyphenated last name was too long

I read a paperback book no later than the 1976 (I strongly believe that I read it before I graduated high school, possibly years before). I think I bought it from a garage sale, so it may have been ...
NomadMaker's user avatar
44 votes
1 answer
4k views

Book referring to software where you provide facts and the conclusion you want to reach

I'm not sure if this is sci-fi, might be more humour (my mind keeps connecting it to Hitchhiker's Guide, so maybe same author/style, but really not sure about that). Anyway, the key part I'm trying to ...
Philip H's user avatar
  • 493
41 votes
4 answers
7k views

Did Peter Pan, in the novel, kill every one of the lost boys as they showed signs of starting to grow up?

Here is the passage I am referring to. All wanted blood except the boys, who liked it as a rule, but to-night were out to greet their captain. The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
41 votes
0 answers
2k 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 ...
Ron's user avatar
  • 613
40 votes
2 answers
5k views

Novel set in the future, children cannot change the class they are born into, one class is made uneducated by associating books with pain

The world is a world where children are born into a class, and they cannot change it. For example, some children are radiated in the womb, so that they do not want to move to a cold climate, so that ...
Anemoia's user avatar
  • 503
40 votes
2 answers
4k views

Short scene in novel: implausibility of solar eclipses

I’m trying to identify a science fiction novel I read about five years ago. I do not remember the author, or the title, or even most of the plot(!), but one minor background scene was very vividly ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
38 votes
1 answer
5k views

Young adult fantasy novel where young girl was priestess-in-training in a dark sacred cave

Years ago in elementary school, I read a young adult's fantasy novel. The story was about a young girl training to be a sacred priestess of some kind with a monk (?) in a holy sacred caverns that had ...
Seanchaí's user avatar
  • 481
38 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
37 votes
3 answers
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 ...
c021752c's user avatar
  • 413
37 votes
1 answer
8k views

Looking for novel with a girl that knows current stock prices

I'm looking for a book containing a specific scene. I don't remember exactly when I read it, but it was at least 10 years ago. The scene is largely unrelated to the main events of the book, and I don'...
qazmlpok's user avatar
  • 10.4k
37 votes
0 answers
1k 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 ...
Neo Darwin's user avatar
  • 3,200
36 votes
1 answer
7k 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 -...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 3,501
35 votes
1 answer
5k 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 of ...
Szymon Drosdzol's user avatar
34 votes
1 answer
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 ...
plmeister's user avatar
  • 401
34 votes
1 answer
3k 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-...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
33 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
user33605's user avatar
  • 331
32 votes
2 answers
5k views

American astronaut abducted from moon, placed in alien zoo, must work with time-traveling Roman soldier

I found this novel in English at my local library in the mid-1990's, but the book itself looked like it was from the 1950's or 60's. If I remember correctly, it had a picture of an astronaut in a ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
32 votes
2 answers
3k views

Fantasy novel series; one of the books has a general with eagle-like features on the cover

I'm looking for a series of fantasy novels I read in the '90s. One of them had the following cover featuring a general with eagle-like features, who was one of the main characters. Note that the image ...
Gabriel Furstenheim's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
883 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 ...
Stefano Borini's user avatar
31 votes
1 answer
3k views

Prison planet book where the protagonist is given a quota to commit one murder a week

Years ago, maybe as many as forty, I read about a space soldier - Marine, I think - who goes on shore leave to a bar, leaves the bar and discovers a body. He is arrested and convicted of murder, sent ...
Quicken's user avatar
  • 329
31 votes
3 answers
4k views

Novel about defeated humanity staging a comeback by discovering an ancient starship?

A friend of a friend is looking for a paperback SF novel he vaguely remembers, possibly from an Ace Double. I was one of those asked, but didn’t recognize it. Here's what he recalls: Mankind goes out ...
Moshe Feder's user avatar
31 votes
1 answer
904 views

Novel: Woman lives her entire life, then finds out it was just practice

I read this book sometime between the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The story follows the life of a woman, which starts when she is a newborn in a kind of robotic creche that cares for her, teaches ...
Otis's user avatar
  • 14k
30 votes
1 answer
965 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 ...
Timewarp's user avatar
  • 301
29 votes
1 answer
5k views

Opening scene arrival on Mars to discover they've been beaten to it

I'm trying to place a brilliant opening scene. Humans arrive by spaceship on Mars to great joy and celebration, only to discover on arrival that mission-leader's long-standing rival has — using ...
Lucy D's user avatar
  • 301
29 votes
1 answer
2k views

A SF novel about a boy sold at a slave auction in a spaceport

I read this at least 20 years ago. I read it in a rather slim paperback in French, a novel but rather short, and probably a translation. I only remember the beginning. In a spaceport in a polity where ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 19.5k
29 votes
1 answer
3k views

Novel where character travels through hell and loses their memory

The character is traveling though a stereotypical hell (rocky, barren, hot, occasional river of lava) and they are smart enough to stay away from being captured by demons, but there are other people ...
MathewS's user avatar
  • 411
29 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
patriotpizzaman's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
2k views

Book about a physicist who discovers how to create universes with different laws of physics

I'm looking for a book I read 10–20 years ago about a physicist who accidentally discovered how to create universes. I think she worked at a collider. (I don't remember if it was a real collider like ...
user2780043's user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
3k views

Book where Earth is invaded by a future, parallel-universe Earth

I read this young-adult science-fiction book about 10 years ago, I believe I may have picked it up through an advance reader copy program. If it was an ARC, details may have been changed before ...
K45MA's user avatar
  • 293
29 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
XQYZ's user avatar
  • 804
29 votes
1 answer
2k views

Book Identification: Gas Giant with breathable atmosphere and burning core

I am trying to remember the name of a science fiction book I borrowed from a library in Ohio sometime between the years 2001–2009, though it was probably closer to the end of that period than the ...
Muuski's user avatar
  • 331
29 votes
2 answers
2k views

Novel where humans discover God exists as a space entity periodically coming closer to Earth; they board an alien spaceship and attempt to kill him

Humans discover that God does in fact exist. He (or it in the novel) is an entity that lives in space, some distance from Earth. Every few hundred, or thousand years, God comes closer to Earth and ...
Bill's user avatar
  • 291
29 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
cybermike's user avatar
  • 1,561
28 votes
2 answers
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 ...
BelGarion's user avatar
  • 383
28 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
sam's user avatar
  • 203
27 votes
4 answers
8k 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?
user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Vostrannon's user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
2k views

Late '50s SF novel with transporter tech. Those exiled are told they can transport to any planet, but transporters send them to the same planet

This novel made a tremendous impact on me as a kid in the late '50s or early '60s, and I would like to read it again. I’ve looked through lists of hundreds of titles from the era without finding it. ...
Lou's user avatar
  • 373
27 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
RSid's user avatar
  • 373
27 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Bevan's user avatar
  • 5,560
27 votes
0 answers
490 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 ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k

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