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ValhallaStreet
2012-06-19, 11:37 AM
I have a couple that are stumping me, so I figured this could also be used by others to ask for help on half-remembered books or stories they want to find again.

My first was a sci-fi short story. In it, there is this ship travelling for some reason away from humanity in an attempt to find the unknown. They had previously found some "mandalas" (I think that's what it was, I didn't know what mandalas were when I read the story). Anyway, at the time of the story, the crew had been living in their spacesuits because of the lack of oxygen supplies. They find an ice planet/planetoid, which is great, because the water ice is rich in oxygen, so for one glorious day, they get to take their suits off, bathe, and for one couple who hadn't been even been able to touch each other in months/years, make love. The hose which was sucking up ice into the ship gets blocked up, and a cube of alien construction is found in the hose. It may or may not have had a message on it. Turns out the ice is full of them. It's a sign that the explorers are on the right path! They put back on their spacesuits, take off again, and continue on their lonely journey.

The other was, I think, a young adult novel. A teenaged kid, living on a fantasy world (or maybe medieval Earth), is a slave. He has red hair, which is unusual for this world, but nothing special. Somehow, he is transported to another world, where his red hair marks him as a returned god. He gets to feast, lounge around, make love to the queen, and so forth. However, turns out he's expected to have one final feast, and then go over the cliff in a chariot. So he modifies this construct (called "Pallids", if I remember correctly), to be able to consume food and drink without immediately breaking. He also makes it look like him. While the Pallid goes over the cliff in the chariot, he's running away, extremely proud of himself.

Those are mine, and if you have any of your own, even if you can't answer mine, please feel free to ask, and others might be able to help you.

leafman
2012-06-19, 12:50 PM
I have have one. It was about a boy who lived in this tower like place, it might have been underground as well. Anyway, he lived on the lower levels where there wasn't much light but at the top there were these stones, I want to call them sunstones, set in the ceilling that glowed and were amber in color. He manages to steal one and bring it back to the lower levels. I can't remember anything else about the book except it was in the grade 4-6 range.

Edit: It might be The Fall from the Seventh Tower series, but I think the author was female.

Iskandar
2012-06-20, 01:45 AM
Yeah (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220586), I have one.

From twenty years ago, now, so I'm not really hopeful. Then again, I have managed to recover several similarly obscure books, so who knows.

ValhallaStreet
2012-06-20, 10:27 PM
Sorry, none of those ring a bell.

I have another one. It was published by Usborne, I think, and it was this picture puzzle one. You were this young boy, on an adventure in Egypt, I believe. The only one of the puzzles I remember clearly was that you had to select a cake or dessert from a tray. But at least one of them had strychnine in them, and you knew that, but you had to work out which had it. There were also mummys and things, I think.

Telonius
2012-06-21, 11:40 AM
Yeah (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220586), I have one.

From twenty years ago, now, so I'm not really hopeful. Then again, I have managed to recover several similarly obscure books, so who knows.

That one's been itching at my brain ever since I did the search for it... Do you happen to remember what the suits were called? I have a couple ideas for search terms, but "mecha" isn't going to narrow it down any.

Iskandar
2012-06-21, 11:42 PM
God I wish. This damn book has been nagging at me for 20 years. At this point, I can't tell what memories are genuine, what are pieces pulled from other half remembered books, and what has been cross contaminated from Starship Troopers.

All I really have is memories of a drill sergeant (who shows up at the end), a bit from the beginning where a fellow soldier at boot camp gets in trouble for writing (I think) a sarcastic letter home, and an epithet I may, or may not, be remembering correctly.

As far as the mecha suits go, I think they resemble the ones from Starship Troopers. I know the main character was about to be dropped from orbit at the end of the book.

I've recovered books from less. Spaceling, by Doris Piserchia, I managed to dredge up after fifteen years, for instance.

Rappy
2012-06-22, 08:38 PM
I have various such cases, but I'll start with one.

While I cannot remember the name of the book or the entire contents, it involved a group of teenagers (and possibly an adult archaeologist, I can't remember) going to an alternate universe where Earth was still in the Pliocene era. The story mostly focused on survival in the prehistoric world, the fauna of Pliocene Africa, and the teenagers interacting with Homo erectus.

I cannot for the life of me remember its name.

Telonius
2012-06-22, 11:48 PM
I have various such cases, but I'll start with one.

While I cannot remember the name of the book or the entire contents, it involved a group of teenagers (and possibly an adult archaeologist, I can't remember) going to an alternate universe where Earth was still in the Pliocene era. The story mostly focused on survival in the prehistoric world, the fauna of Pliocene Africa, and the teenagers interacting with Homo erectus.

I cannot for the life of me remember its name.

... at one point, did one of the characters make a dress for one of the cave-girls? If so, I think I may have read that one too.

Pokonic
2012-06-23, 12:51 AM
I have one.

The story opens up with a young person (may or may not have been a young girl or boy) with there father in a dig for treasure. They find it, but the father is later killed by a group of shadowy men. I, unfortunaty, do not remember much more than that, but I think it was continued into a series.

Moff Chumley
2012-06-23, 01:01 AM
Ugh. This happens to me with pornography on a daily basis. :smallsigh:

grimbold
2012-06-23, 01:10 AM
Ugh. This happens to me with pornography on a daily basis. :smallsigh:

its gunna be ok moff its gunna be ok

Asheram
2012-06-23, 02:22 AM
Alright, a comic from when I was young.

It was about this kid who just sat around watching TV, but one day it broke so they got a newer, really odd tv. One night he was sucked into it and it acted as a transporter to... I think it was a spaceship with this huge cat-like alien and some other person.

They were fighting other aliens. and..

god.. it must' be 17 years since I read it.

VGLordR2
2012-06-23, 02:38 AM
I once heard of a book where the main character starts to try to communicate with the author (as in, breaking the fourth wall). I've been looking for a book like this for five years, but it has evaded me.

Telonius
2012-06-23, 02:09 PM
I once heard of a book where the main character starts to try to communicate with the author (as in, breaking the fourth wall). I've been looking for a book like this for five years, but it has evaded me.

Dark Tower series, Stephen King?

Rappy
2012-06-24, 10:21 AM
... at one point, did one of the characters make a dress for one of the cave-girls? If so, I think I may have read that one too.
I can't remember, honestly, but at least there appears to be some of a similar track here.

ValhallaStreet
2012-06-24, 12:58 PM
I once heard of a book where the main character starts to try to communicate with the author (as in, breaking the fourth wall). I've been looking for a book like this for five years, but it has evaded me.

I think this is probably a long shot, but I had a couple of thoughts, both fantasy/detective cross, oddly. Both are short stories. One is "The Big Dream" by John Kessel. In it, a detective finds that the author, Raymond Chandler, who is actually in the story, is controlling reality unconsciously. Davin, an easy going and red-blooded guy, finds himself passing judgement on women and taking insane risks while in a dreamlike state. It's a fairly interesting criticism of the unrealistic and misogynistic nature of pulp detective fiction.

The other is Umney's Last Case by Stephen King. Umney finds that his world is suddenly unravelling as everyone he knows is suddenly leaving town for unrelated and far-fetched reasons. The author somehow got into the story, and since he's in poor health, intends to take over Umney and enjoy his exciting life. Umney finds himself in the author's elderly and sick body in the "real" world. He decides to learn writing in order to reenter his fictional world and take revenge on the author.

Neither of those really are quite what you describe, since they're more like the author contacting the character, but sometimes the original description in these threads is way out, so I thought it worth a shot.

Maxios
2012-06-24, 06:55 PM
There's this one book (possibly part of a series) that I know nothing about story-wise, but instead know about the authors.
The book (possibly book series) is sci-fi (most likely set in the future) written by two teenage girls who are sisters. They were once at a book fair at UCLA a few years ago, and at a comic convention two years ago in LA (the convention, by the way, was pure awesome; there were a ton of celebrities there, the 60s Batmobile, KITT, and the car from Ghostbusters).

An Enemy Spy
2012-06-24, 07:44 PM
There was a short horror story where a guy moves into a house that once belonged to an evil hanging judge. At night a bunch of rats would crawl around and the biggest one of them had the same blue human eyes that the evil judge had. I think the narrator died at the end but I don't remember.

Inglenook
2012-07-01, 03:26 AM
A few from my childhood that have eluded my searching for over a decade:

1. Maybe 3rd–4th grade reading level? It feels like it might have been part of a series, although I never read the others. Written in third person, I think. A shy boy named Max moves to a new school, where he is bullied somewhat. A group of friends befriend Max and discover that he's a great artist. He draws a series of comics about the bullies in which they are re-imagined as vegetables. The book has lots of fairly realistic black-and-white pencil drawings, including the vegetable comics and one of a blonde girl knocking a leaf off a plastic flower? I want to say that there was something wrong with Max's home life (something like his mother died and his father was grieving too much to give Max attention? could be mistaken). In the end Max draws a picture of him and his new friends riding on the back of a great white shark that's jumping out of the water, and this was the book's cover.

2. Similar reading level as #1? Also felt like it might be part of a series. A group of friends go on a field trip: an overnight stay at a science museum. There's a really cool map of the museum in the book, I believe. The main character is like nine or whatever but has a girlfriend (her name is Jeanine or something similar?), except they get in a fight and she gives him the cold shoulder for most of the trip. That night some thieves break into the museum to steal something, and the gang sneaks out of their sleeping bags to try and thwart them. Eventually the main character and his girlfriend make up?

3. Similar reading level as above? Two brothers and their sister are staying at their grandparents' rural home (?) and discover a series of clues planted by their great-great grandparents or great-great aunt and uncles or something. The clues ostensibly lead to their relatives' childhood treasures. At some point along the way, the younger brother tries to steal some plums from a goose and gets his bottom thoroughly pecked? The trio eventually discovers a key in a leather pouch? The morning they're supposed to go get the treasure, their grandma is so nervous amd excited that she messes up squeezing their orange juice. The eventual hiding place is a locked box hidden behind the brick and mortar of an old chimney or something? Inside are the treasures, but the only one I remember was a Native American doll or something. Maybe marbles?

4. A younger reading level, I think. This was a picture book that led you through a haunted house, describing its furnishings and various inhabitants. Many pages had glow-in-the-dark sections (e.g. the moon and stars, a cat's eyes). Writing-wise, it was pretty much a direct copy of "The House that Jack Built", except haunted—bats and stuff. And the phrase was "the house that Frank built", I believe? At the end of the book, Frank comes home and is revealed to be this cute Frankenstein's monster fella.

Any help would be appreciated. :smallredface:

Whiffet
2012-07-05, 11:11 PM
There was a book I read maybe seven or eight years ago. It's probably considered YA, but I can't be certain.

The narrator is a ghost, as is her brother. They were children when they died. They have rules in their head about what they can or cannot do; for example, they cannot leave the property. They've been spending their time scaring off the people who go onto that property to... maybe study something? Maybe just hang around? I don't know. I do know the children weren't obviously ghosts. They could seem like perfectly normal kids if they wanted, except for being behind the times.

Anyway, a man and his daughter go onto the property (not the big mansion or whatever on the property, though) and the narrator decides to befriend the new girl instead of scare her away. As the book continues we find out just how the narrator and her brother died; their parents worked for the old lady who owned the property, and they all lived on it. At one point the old lady locked the children in a cupboard or something as punishment without the parents knowing (I think they were away?), but before letting them out she ended up in the hospital. I think it was a heart attack. She did live, but was away for too long. Anyway, no one knew the children were there so they were stuck until they died. I think the parents left to get away from their sad memories after giving up on finding their children, so it was just the old lady and the ghosts of the children. They haunted her until she died, and she ended up as a ghost too, but she stayed in the mansion while they mostly stayed outside and I don't remember what happened with that part of the plot.

Eventually the narrator tells the living girl about the two children who used to live in the big mansion and how they died, and she tells her father about it. He doesn't really believe her, but he looks and finds their remains. People come to put the children to rest, and they moved on to the afterlife at the end.

Oh, I think the narrator's brother might have been named Georgie, but I can't be certain. I also distinctly recall the narrator wondering who Clint Eastwood was when either the living girl or her father brings him up. There was also a scene where the brother jumped out of a really high tree and the girl scolded him because he could have been hurt, and he says something along the lines of "I'm already dead! Booooooo!"

EDIT: On reflection, while I still stand by "I probably read it around seven or eight years ago" I think it's likely to be on the more recent end. Again, I can't know for sure. I do think the book was fairly new at the time I read it.