What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Superstars drive fancy cars like souped up Cadillacs all shuzzi'ed up on the boulevard

You know, I don't often take the social network quizes (like, "Which apple are you most like"), or at least not as often as I stumble across them. Most of them I could probably game the system to get the result I want to see. Then, the not so prolific but sometimes commentator dendrophilous had an interesting one on her LJ called Which Fantasy Writer Are You. And, well, being one myself (so is dendrophilous, BTW, and a good one at that) I just couldn't resist.

So, who am I most like. Steven Brust, Glen Cook, Michael Moorecock, Ursula LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, the Professor himself?


Apparently I'm Orson Scott Card. (my snarky comments in italics)

Orson Scott Card (b.1951)
-7 High-Brow, -1 Violent, 3 Experimental and 23 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are Low-Brow, Peaceful, Experimental and Cynical!

These concepts are defined below.
Thanks, I only have a college degree, so it's a little confusing.

Although primarily known for his science fiction novels, Orson Scott Card is also a prominent fantasy writer. His suite of books known as The Tales of Alvin Maker are among the finest examples of how fantasy can combine page-turning narration with a discussion of deeper moral messages. The books are set in an alternate world where, among other things, the French Revolution never happened, which has made America look quite different than in the world we're familiar with. Apart from showing a different political map, the world of The Tales of Alvin Maker features functioning magic, the European settlers of North America bringing various forms of folk-magic with them to their new home. Here they confront Native Americans, who also use magic, but of a slightly different type. The protagonist, Alvin, is a seventh son of a seventh son and as such has great magic powers at his disposal. Much of the series comes forth as an attempt to discuss the birth of the US and celebrating its virtues without shunning away from the mistakes that have been made.

This quiz merely looks at the author's works, not their personal philosophies (so, that's good or I might have to re-evaluate my whole existence).

Card is one of the most appealing story-tellers alive today and has the ability to combine his light and easy prose with experimenting with what fantasy can be, by bringing up subjects such as racism and slavery, by using alternate world settings and last but not least by letting the "small world" of family-life (complete with sibling envy from those who weren't born with the ability to do magic) have a prominent place in his stories.
Card is also one to propagate against violence, but without falling into the trap of being unrealistic or romantically pacifist. The question of who should be reading Card, those who want to be entertained or those who want to be challenged is easily answered: They all should!

Speculation, citation needed (channeling my inner wikki).

You are also a lot like Katharine Kerr.

Know that name, haven't read her yet.

If you want some action, try Lian Hearn.

Don't know.

If you'd like a challenge, try your exact opposite, China MiƩville.

I've read China and liked his stuff.

Your score

This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four diffent scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic.

Didn't we cover this before?

Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you're at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn't mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.

I, as Steve Martin says, was born a poor black child...

High-Brow vs. Low-Brow

You received -7 points, making you more Low-Brow than High-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, while a typical low-brow would favour the best-selling kind. At their best, low-brows are honest enough to read what they like, regardless of what "experts" and academics say is good for them. At their worst, they are more likely to read what their neighbours like than what they would choose themselves.

Yeah, yeah, I like beer instead of wine and bratwurst instead of caviar. Mmm, bratwurst. Although, you know, it's not like I'm unread when it comes to the classics.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received -1 points, making you more Peaceful than Violent.  This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you aren't, and you don't, then you are peaceful as defined here. At their best, peaceful people are the ones who encourage dialogue and understanding as a means of solving conflicts. At their worst, they are standing passively by as they or third parties are hurt by less scrupulous individuals.

It must be my clever, mild-manner disguise that has them fooled. Well, to be perfectly honest, I am quite peaceful. Until I know for certain the other person won't be, and then I open the can of whoop-ass I have ready. Why mess around with bullets when you can nuke their butts I always say.

Experimental vs. Traditional

You received 3 points, making you more Experimental than Traditional. Your position on this scale indicates if you're more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, experimental people are the ones who show humanity the way forward. At their worst, they provoke for the sake of provocation only.

Bette would be surprised to know this. Although I have made it a part of myself to try new things whenever I can (like different menu items).

Cynical vs. Romantic

You received 23 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you'll find the sentence "you are also a lot like x" above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

Well, duu-uu-uuh! Oh wait, that goes against the strongest score I got in this quiz.

So yeah, a little problem there.


Anonymous said...

Gah! 36 questions. These quizzy thingies should have disclaimers at the beginning.

I am most like Phillip Pullman.

I guess I should go read some of his stuff now.

Steve Buchheit said...

Yeah, 36 questions is a bit, but you know, it's better than the "Know your IQ in 8 questions."