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Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:36 pm UTC
by Abderite
Manticorehunter wrote:As a kid, I read a short story about a boy named Spit, who entered a go-cart race and ended up crashing his go-cart and dying. I'm pretty sure the boy was a street urchin.

On a less vague note, I also read a book about three siblings, the youngest of whom had a large number of cats. The kids are left alone with a babysitter because their nurse won a cooking contest. The youngest one uses voodoo to make it so the babysitter stays in her bed all day, leaving the kids to take care of themselves and they celebrate Christmas. I'm pretty sure it's a sequel to another book, but I didn't read the first one. One other thing I remember is that the youngest kid was called Toad, he was six, and all his cats had both a first name and a middle name.


Could the first one be Spit Nolan, by Bill Naughton?

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:06 am UTC
by Amarantha
Amarantha wrote:
SpaceShipRat wrote:
Amarantha wrote:My Mum would like to find a book that she describes as "like Watership Down, but with owls".
"The Ancient Solitary Reign" by Martin Hocke.
Yay! You rock so hard :D
Update - bought this off ABEbooks as a surprise for her birthday and she was thrilled. So, thanks again :)

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:18 pm UTC
by Spots
By reading some of this plots, it makes me think - are some people inventing nonexisting plots just to mess with our heads? :D
Sorry that I can't help anyone, nothing here seems familiar.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:39 pm UTC
by El Spark
Well, they ARE supposed to be obscure. =)

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:03 pm UTC
by Manticorehunter
Abderite wrote:
Manticorehunter wrote:As a kid, I read a short story about a boy named Spit, who entered a go-cart race and ended up crashing his go-cart and dying. I'm pretty sure the boy was a street urchin.

On a less vague note, I also read a book about three siblings, the youngest of whom had a large number of cats. The kids are left alone with a babysitter because their nurse won a cooking contest. The youngest one uses voodoo to make it so the babysitter stays in her bed all day, leaving the kids to take care of themselves and they celebrate Christmas. I'm pretty sure it's a sequel to another book, but I didn't read the first one. One other thing I remember is that the youngest kid was called Toad, he was six, and all his cats had both a first name and a middle name.


Could the first one be Spit Nolan, by Bill Naughton?


I think that's it. Thanks a lot!

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:43 am UTC
by Abderite
^ You're welcome :)

Deep_Thought wrote:This one has been bugging me for a while. At school I borrowed a comic/graphic novel from a friend. This featured a tripedal alien that looked kind of like a kangaroo who lived on Earth. He had been thrown out of his home-world for, of all things, eating yoghurt during pregnancy. You see bringing a child to term for these aliens was very difficult, so pregnancy was shared between three of them each of who would keep the foetus for one trimester. Apparently yoghurt acted as a cure, allowing this alien to bring his child to term single-handed. This was such a threat to their way of life that the alien government threw him out. I would really like to know for sure that this was the product of someone else's deranged imagination and not mine, but my Google-fu is failing me! Please help!

(And yes everywhere I've written 'he' in the above should probably be 'she', but I'm fairly sure that this alien was supposed to be a male...)


This is an extremely long shot, but I was wondering if it was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skizz

Mainly due to searching for "comic alien yogurt pregnancy" ( :shock: )and finding the quotes "For example, I’m unclear as to why yoghurt is so important to Skizz’s culture (has it something to do with it making them pregnant?)." and "Meanwhile, or ‘meantime’, the Gunlords, Wayne and Trevor, have been travelling up and down through time in an attempt to locate Roxy and Skizz and prevent their original meeting, or at least the introduction of yoghurt to their own society."

Also, it certainly looks somewhat like a kangaroo.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:13 pm UTC
by seabee
Okay, this is a short story that I may have read in a unit along with some Melville and Crane, if that helps. I can't remember any more if I read it in high school or college.

A guy disappears from his normal life by essentially altering his daily routine. I think he starts off not meaning to, by just walking a different route to work. He notices that he's never seen that part of his city, and he wonders how long he can stay "one block off" before his friends or family happen to find him. I think he goes so far as to rent an apartment a block or two from his house, and he is able to remain hidden in plain sight for a long time, and it kind of scares him. I think it ends when his wife sees him on the street, and then they go home together and he's relieved.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:43 pm UTC
by El Spark
Sounds like an extremely benign version of "Disappearing Act," by Richard Matheson.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:18 am UTC
by Abderite
Hmm, this time I have a question.

Around 5 years ago, my English teacher told me about a story she had read. It was probably in the genre of horror, and it was about a protagonist, who kept on seeing monsters at the very corners of his vision (masculine pronoun for simplicity's sake), and when he turned his head to get a better look they would again be at the corners of his vision.

I got reminded of this by reading House of Leaves 8)

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:37 am UTC
by nehpest
I once had a sci-fi book. I remember that the main protagonist was human, and that he was taken as a slave by the alien overlord race. I specifically remember that the aliens had indigo skin. I also specifically remember that, at one point, they aliens were confused by a device that could not be operated by the touch of mind. I seem to remember that the aliens had some sort of bizarre, blood-lust sort of behavior, but that is a much shakier memory. The title is just on the edge of my mind, but I can't seem to grab it :(

Edit: Based on the time I remember the book from, it was written no later than the mid-90s, and judging by the condition of the book, probably before that. Also, the title probably contains the word "Worlds".

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:16 pm UTC
by El Spark
Could it be Hunter of Worlds by C.J. Cherryh?

Amazon Link

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:36 pm UTC
by nehpest
El Spark wrote:Could it be Hunter of Worlds by C.J. Cherryh?

Amazon Link


El Spark, if I had any internets to award, I would award them to you. I could kiss you! Thank you!

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:52 pm UTC
by Deep_Thought
Abderite wrote:This is an extremely long shot, but I was wondering if it was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skizz

Mainly due to searching for "comic alien yogurt pregnancy" ( :shock: )and finding the quotes "For example, I’m unclear as to why yoghurt is so important to Skizz’s culture (has it something to do with it making them pregnant?)." and "Meanwhile, or ‘meantime’, the Gunlords, Wayne and Trevor, have been travelling up and down through time in an attempt to locate Roxy and Skizz and prevent their original meeting, or at least the introduction of yoghurt to their own society."

Also, it certainly looks somewhat like a kangaroo.


You sir, are a bonafide genius! Your long shot has hit the target. I am reassured that I am not mad, but turns out it is an Alan Moore creation, so it is probably more evidence that he is mad. I'm going to buy a copy this weekend.

I tried searching for "comic alien yoghurt pregnancy" as well :roll: Must have missed that 2000 AD link.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:14 am UTC
by SiC
I came across one of those one chapter teasers at the back of a Terry Pratchett novel a few years back, and I've recently been trying to dig up the book. I can't remember for the life of me what the authors name was, or anything else pertinent to actually finding the thing.

The story was about an assasin-in-training on his final test to 'graduate'. To pass, he had to kill one of his instructors, the poison master, who was by all accounts a real arse when it came his turn to 'proctor' these exams. They end up in a cathedral, where the student takes a pot-shot at the area above where he spied a pair of boots, giving away his position. The boots were a decoy, and he catches on just in time to save himself.

The style of writing was kinda dry humor. Time-setting was medieval-ish.

The name of the series, maybe, was "the assasins of (some place name)" and I think the author was something Hobb. Or Hobbson.


Sounds like "The Dulwich Assassins" Short story by David Lee Stone. It was in the back of Knights of Madness, which was a fantasy (comedy) anthology, which almost certainly had a Pratchett story in it.

I remember thinking it seemed to be rather similar to the assassins examination in Pyramids when I read it.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:01 am UTC
by Doom Shepherd
Thread resurrection!

deathinlonging wrote:2. Some story about people who would go back in time to retrieve items for some kid or something who kept seeing them in story books. For example, they once went back in time to get a car, and another time went back to get a blue whale but instead ran into a kracken. Eventually the World Tree somehow got mixed up into the story and that's about all I remember.


Still here?

The Kraken story is "Levianthan!"

It, and the other time-travel stories related to it, were written by Larry Niven, and collected in the book Rainbow Mars.
Niven mentions the world-tree at the end of Rainbow Mars, in an essay, but at the time he hadn't gotten around to actually writing it. I don't know if he ever did, for a later edition.

The "kid" is the 28-year-old hereditary Secretary-General of the United Nations. His family has controlled the UN for over 700 years, and he's... well... kinda inbred.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:55 am UTC
by SiC
I remember Leviathan and the similar stories from "The Flight of The Horse".

The novel Rainbow Mars was set in the same universe and was indeed to do with the World Tree and Orbital Giant Beanstalks. I hadn't realised they had collected all the short stories together as Rainbow Mars as well.

Good stuff :-)

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:55 am UTC
by ian
Okay, a book where the protagonist had previously won some major photography prize (most likely the pulitzer) for a photograph he had taken of a girl about to die of starvation (based on a real quite famous photo). this was more of the background character than to do with what the actual story was about, i'm not sure if he was still a photographer. it's quite possibly a really famous recent book that i'm gonna face palm over when i work out what it is.

ha, it was house of leaves. derp.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:22 pm UTC
by vector
Dunno if you've looked it up, but interestingly enough the story of Delial is real. Well worth a read.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:17 pm UTC
by Minos Yewman
Ok, really obscure one I only vaguely remember. Wasn't very long from memory, possibly a short story.

There's this guy and his friends who have some kind of dream world place they all dream about and explore (I don't think they ever actually met in the dreams and I'm pretty sure there was never any explanation for it either). The guy's younger brother (I think) catches on and starts doing it as well. He starts going on about stuff he's found like a library or a cave at the top of a cliff. The older brother (and friends?) have never seen these places before but once they've been mentioned they begin seeing them as well.
The older brother finds them creepy and doesn't like it.

Eventually the younger brother wants something (to do with the dream world?) and the guy (and friends I think) tell him he has to do something. I can't remember what it was but it was ridiculously dangerous and involved something like climbing along something that ran across the road from the top of the house. The younger brother falls and dies.
Later, the older brother is in the dream world and climbs up to the cave in the cliff where he meets the younger brother who says something (can't remember what but I'm pretty sure it was a single, powerful line that ended the story right there).


I think the story was first person from the older brother although it could have been third person.




I realise how obscure this is but I would be really grateful if someone could tell me what it is.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:06 am UTC
by llamanaru
So the abacus topic on the school board got me thinking about a science fiction short story where people on a spaceship are reduced to using several abacuses to plot a course home. Google has brought in that the last line goes something like
Send help soon. Our fingers have worn down to the bone.

And it's probably by Arthur C Clarke. Now it's nagging me because I really want to reread it, but I don't want to sift through my Complete Clarke book. Thanks!

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:20 am UTC
by Zohar
I was just telling a friend of mine about this story as well! I forget how it's called, but I do remember some details - the computers on the ship are fucked up for some reason. It was sent to investigate a comet, and it landed on it or something. They didn't calculate the whole way home, they just used the calculations to get out of the comet's tail, which would have been dangerous on "manual".

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:15 am UTC
by Amarantha
Coincidence is awesome; I just d/l'd an abacus app today, so I can re-learn how to use it.

I too have read this story, and think of it from time to time. I couldn't remember the comet part, just that the passengers were taught the use of the abacus and each given a small part of the larger calculation to solve. I would have guessed that it was Asimov or Clarke. Google suggests Into the Comet by Clarke.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:32 pm UTC
by llamanaru
That'd be it Amarantha! Thank you!

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:45 pm UTC
by Bufo_periglenes
All I remember about the book for sure is one passage where a man talks to and/or meets various people, whom I think he describes as dotty. One of them is bald, but to disguise this fact from people he has three wigs (of different lengths, to simulate hair growth) and sprinkles white powder on his shoulders to simulate dandruff. Another is a woman who only eats oranges if the peel has been sliced off very precisely, and cannot stand to have anything to do with toenails (I think she says her boy cuts hers for her). At some point, I'm pretty sure the man describes them as "more British than the British", and maybe another description phrased the same way ("more _ than the _").

If someone can do anything with that, I'll be seriously impressed and eternally grateful; this has been bugging me for years. (I think I read the book at least ten years ago, so it can't be that recent a publication, if that helps.) :?:

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:59 am UTC
by Jorpho
Bufo_periglenes wrote:All I remember about the book for sure is one passage where a man talks to and/or meets various people, whom I think he describes as dotty. One of them is bald, but to disguise this fact from people he has three wigs (of different lengths, to simulate hair growth) and sprinkles white powder on his shoulders to simulate dandruff.
Yes, and the name on his trunk was U. N. Savory.

You could only possibly be speaking of Going Solo, the sequel to Boy: Tales of Childhood and the second half of the great Roald Dahl's autobiography.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:03 am UTC
by RoadieRich
The only feature I really remember was a large (probably underground) room with a chess-set on a pedestal in the centre, with a tree that was half-black, half-white, and changed colour as it was turned. I'm pretty sure the chess-set played a large role in the plot, perhaps with other characters getting hurt or disappearing as pieces were taken. I want to say that either the chess game or the tree featured in its title, but I'm not sure. It was almost certainly aimed at teenagers.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:36 am UTC
by Kewangji
I read a preview of a book of short stories once, on Amazon. There was a story with a couple (consisting of a man and a woman) on vacation in, I think, South America. They were at a diner, and they were playing a game where they invented identities for the people around them. The two old women a couple of tables away were actually spies, they posited, and such things. And then I think the woman saw their dead daughter at the restroom.

EDIT: It was probably a female author. Like 99% certain of this.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:04 pm UTC
by Bufo_periglenes
Jorpho wrote:
Bufo_periglenes wrote:All I remember about the book for sure is one passage where a man talks to and/or meets various people, whom I think he describes as dotty. One of them is bald, but to disguise this fact from people he has three wigs (of different lengths, to simulate hair growth) and sprinkles white powder on his shoulders to simulate dandruff.
Yes, and the name on his trunk was U. N. Savory.

You could only possibly be speaking of Going Solo, the sequel to Boy: Tales of Childhood and the second half of the great Roald Dahl's autobiography.


Thank you! I shall be checking that out immediately.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:41 am UTC
by Fin Archangel
I have no idea how this arose in my memory today, but nevertheless it did and now it's bugging me like crazy.

So I read this book for school, I'm thinking in junior high, but it's possible it was earlier or later by a few years. It involves a boy who somehow got transported to a magical house where there are many other children and where they have this really great time. Also the seasons pass by really fast and stuff. I believe throughout the story he ends up unmasking the facade behind the house and how it was actually stealing away the lives of the kids? And then he fights vampiric guardians of the house or something. For some reason I keep thinking Phantom Tollbooth but I'm sure it's something else, on a similar premise however. I do remember one of the side antagonists was named Mar or Marr or something.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:30 pm UTC
by Jorpho
Fin Archangel wrote:So I read this book for school, I'm thinking in junior high, but it's possible it was earlier or later by a few years. It involves a boy who somehow got transported to a magical house where there are many other children and where they have this really great time. Also the seasons pass by really fast and stuff. I believe throughout the story he ends up unmasking the facade behind the house and how it was actually stealing away the lives of the kids? And then he fights vampiric guardians of the house or something. For some reason I keep thinking Phantom Tollbooth but I'm sure it's something else, on a similar premise however. I do remember one of the side antagonists was named Mar or Marr or something.
Ding ding! The Thief of Always, by Clive Barker. A swell little story. I'm surprised there's no movie adaptation yet; it seems kind of inevitable.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:35 am UTC
by Fin Archangel
Aha~ that was it. Thank you muchly.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:19 am UTC
by apricity
Okay, this is ridiculously vague. There was this book that I read ages ago that terrified me (in a ZOMG THE WORLD IS GOING TO END WHAT AM I DOING HERE kind of way) and I stopped reading it a few pages before the end. It's definitely about manipulating time. However, the only part I can remember clearly was an explanation of two clocks in the world that were the most accurate clocks ever made, but even they were slightly off from one another so in order to keep accurate time they had to constantly sync with each other.

Unable to find a specific comic

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:20 pm UTC
by thetopmostdog
Hey guys,

Back in highschool, three... no; four years ago (lol), a mate and I spent some time and downloaded every available xkcd comic.
Recently, I made reference to a specific one which, since then, we have both struggled to find.
It's gone from our flash sticks from back then, even though they have been practically untouched since graduation and neither of us are able to find it anywhere else.

I'm not convinced it was even xkcd, now.. but he's still adamant. So, here I am, asking you guys if you know of it.
My memory is quite foggy, but I still remember the general gist (how could I forget..).

I don't know what good a spoiler warning is when you have to read it in order to help me out... Regardless; to be safe, details are as follows:
Spoiler:
A man is floating in a void, alone.
The Grim Reaper shows up and offers to grant him a single wish.
The man wishes he could appear in his beloved's dreams, every night.
Every time she falls asleep, she dreams of him; his wish was granted.
It was cute at first, they enjoyed each others company; but after some time, she said it was difficult.
She needed to be able to move on, but he is forced into her dreams every time she rests her eyes.
She tells him to leave. He tries, but he can't. His wish is becoming a curse upon them both.
...
Some time goes past without her dreaming. The man is somewhat confused, or worried?
In the void, someone appears; it's his beloved. She has blood on face/head?
She says she couldn't cope anymore. The grim reaper appears to grant her a wish.
She wishes she could be rid of the man; the pain of losing him practically ended her life.
He reaches for her to tell her to stop, but The Reaper and the women vanish before he could get to them.
The man is left floating in the void, alone.
I must admit that the description I gave above is merely the way I interpreted it.. I am hoping that it's how I remember it.
I'm almost desperate to show this to my partner, so if anyone has seen this on xkcd, or anywhere else.. Please, help? ...lol.

~TheTopMostDog

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:05 am UTC
by apricity
Definitely not xkcd. I'd remember that.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:17 am UTC
by TaintedDeity
Oh hey, I forgot I wanted to post something here.

I thought this was an xkcd comic, but I checked and now I'm not so sure. It was somebody at a computer and the joke was about finding a youtube playlist and eventually figuring out that the surreal videos of a seemingly mundane action are actually somebody's fetish you've stumbled upon by accident.
Any ideas?

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:10 pm UTC
by Kewangji
TaintedDeity wrote:Oh hey, I forgot I wanted to post something here.

I thought this was an xkcd comic, but I checked and now I'm not so sure. It was somebody at a computer and the joke was about finding a youtube playlist and eventually figuring out that the surreal videos of a seemingly mundane action are actually somebody's fetish you've stumbled upon by accident.
Any ideas?

Sounds like SMBC. I think I remember that.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:48 pm UTC
by Jorpho
Actually, that sounds kind of like a strip Pictures for Sad Children did once, but there was no Youtube playlist involved.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:37 pm UTC
by TaintedDeity
Nah, I'm pretty sure it was Cyanide and Happiness :P

I'll have a look through the archives of those two, see what I can find, thanks.

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:56 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
TaintedDeity wrote:Oh hey, I forgot I wanted to post something here.

I thought this was an xkcd comic, but I checked and now I'm not so sure. It was somebody at a computer and the joke was about finding a youtube playlist and eventually figuring out that the surreal videos of a seemingly mundane action are actually somebody's fetish you've stumbled upon by accident.
Any ideas?

THREEEEEEE
PAANEEEELLLL
SSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!


...

(It's Three Panel Soul. By the guys who did MacHall)

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:15 pm UTC
by TaintedDeity
That's the one!
I'm quite glad I didn't go look through SMBC and Pictures for Sad Children yet. Thank you!