I'm working on a nonfiction book, and I've discovered that SFF short stories can be very helpful to me in that process.

For instance, I just reread Flowers for Algernon. Because my book deals with coping with neurological disease, Flowers for Algernon helped me find the words to make a point I was trying to make about particular fears people have when facing inevitable degeneration.

I understand that, "What's a good story about an underwater society?" would be off-topic, but what if I framed it more like a Story ID question?

Like (hypothetical): Short Story About Absolute Power Corrupting

I'm trying to find a short story to illustrate the idea that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and no one is so pure as to be immune from that corruption. I'd like the character being corrupted by the power to be a likable character. The story can use any plot device, magic, technology, whatever. Any ideas?

An answer might be Pythias.

Just like a Story ID question, I'd 'accept' whatever answer I found most helpful.

Could a question like that fly? Advice? Caveats?


1 Answer 1


No. You're trying to lawyer your way around the restriction on recommendation-type questions being off-topic.

Phrasing it like a question when you know full well that it's not is not appropriate behaviour and will almost certainly result in your question being closed.

If you want to talk about suggestions for book types, we have a lovely chatroom where you can pose as many off-topic questions as you like.

  • 1
    I'll bite my tongue about your tone and just thank you for answering the question. Commented May 15, 2016 at 22:59
  • @Jolenealaska - Feel free to yell at me. Everyone else does :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 23:03

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