Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fantasy Writer Quiz/Meme - I'm Gene Wolfe!

Ganked from the ol' Hornswaggler and Grasping for the Wind

Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?...

Gene Wolfe (b. 1931)

15 High-Brow, 25 Violent, 3 Experimental and -1 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Romantic! These concepts are defined below.

US author Gene Wolfe is a very typical example of the kind of writer who is more appreciated by critics and, above all, other writers, than by the wider public. Science fiction writer Michael Swanwick has, for example, dubbed Gene Wolfe the greatest writer in the English language alive today. However, Wolfe's novel in four parts, The Book of the New Sun (1980-83), is widely known and considered a classic within both fantasy and science fiction (the book is generally considered fantasy although it is actually set in a distant future, where some technology may seem like magic to the novel's characters).

Wolfe, a veteran of the Korean war, is un-afraid of describing the fear and violence caused by warfare and the protagonist of his most well-known piece of fiction is a torturer, who at one time openly defends the importance of his work.

Wolfe is well-known for his stylistic excellence, often using first person narration in a masterful way. His narrators are often unreliable, for different reasons, sometimes leaving it up to the reader to read between the lines and figure out what's really going on.

Being a "literary" author, one of those few writers whose books it's worth the time and effort of reading more than once, does not stop Wolfe from being a great storyteller who is quite able to create all the magic and page-turning suspence of a typical best-selling writer. Much of this might stem from Wolfe's empathy with his characters and his almost religious commitment to his worlds. Several critics have pointed out the influence of Wolfe's strong Roman Catholic faith to his fiction.

No fantasy fan should go through life without having at least tried to read Wolfe. There are few writers who manage to put imagination back into the word fantasy like he does.

You are also a lot like Mary Gentle.

If you want something more gentle, try Tove Jansson.

If you'd like a challenge, try your exact opposite, Robert Jordan.

Your score

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

High-Brow vs. Low-Brow

You received 15 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received 25 points, making you more Violent than Peaceful. Please note that violent in this context does not mean that you, personally, are prone to violence. 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 are, and you do, then you are violent as defined here. At their best, violent people are the heroes who don't hesitate to stop the villain threatening innocents by means of a good kick. At their worst, they are the villains themselves.

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.

Cynical vs. Romantic

You received -1 points, making you more Romantic than Cynical. 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, romantic people are optimistic, willing to work for a good cause and an inspiration to their peers. At their worst, they are easily fooled and too easily lead.

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