Adventures in Ethics and Science

I took the quiz to find out which science fiction writer I am, and this is the result:

I am:

John Brunner

His best known works are dystopias — vivid realizations of the futures we want to avoid.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Is this a good thing? Is this something that seems consistent with the content and tone of my postings here? I don’t usually think of myself as dystopian, but maybe I’m just the last to realize it.


  1. #1 Alan Kellogg
    January 28, 2007

    Have you ever been declared prematurely dead? 🙂

  2. #2 thomas scovell
    January 28, 2007

    That’s who I got also. I was just glad I didn’t get William Gibson. I wouldn’t be too concerned! 😉

  3. #3 razib
    January 28, 2007

    dos passos of sf. i’ve read some of his stuff, pretty melancholy. might be more philosophical as opposed to techno-gadgety.

  4. #4 llewelly
    January 28, 2007

    At least it wasn’t L. Ron Hubbard.

    (ok, I really liked Brunner’s SF, but nothing about the man beyond that.)

  5. #5 K R Hasan
    January 28, 2007

    I don’t think you write the way he did for a while in the seventies. “Stand on Zanzibar” was ok but some books after that such as “The Sheep Look Down” were just too long and depressing. Otherwise I would consider it a compliment to be told I was like him.

    BTW, I took the quiz and I’m supposed to be Phillip Jose Farmer. I don’t mind that.

  6. #6 etbnc
    January 28, 2007

    I would be flattered to be described as John Brunner.

    That one-sentence description of Brunner’s writings seems incomplete and misleading. Although some of Brunner’s notable works described unhappy futures, they also implied or suggested ways to prevent those futures and ways to transform them to better futures.

    I highly recommend The Shockwave Rider, which is very relevant to our web world, and Stand on Zanzibar, which is a head-spinning bit of socially-significant writing.

    The Shockwave Rider inspired my first career. Stand on Zanzibar has influenced my second career. Being compared to John Brunner sounds pretty good to me.

  7. #7 PZ Myers
    January 28, 2007

    Your blog really doesn’t have a brunneresque quality to it, but maybe this quiz tapped deep into the dark secrets of your psyche. You’ve been putting on a cheerful front for us, haven’t you?

  8. #8 The Ridger
    January 28, 2007

    Brunner didn’t celebrate those dystopias, though – he was warning against them, and showing a way to avoid them. He’s philosophical – maybe that’s why you got him? (I got Olaf Stapledon, by the way – yay!)

  9. #9 Ryan
    January 28, 2007

    I recently read Brunner’s novel Stand on Zanzibar. It’s very well written, though in a challenging style. I’ve been working my way through a list of classic sci-fi and it’s once of the better ones I’ve read recently.

    I don’t know if it’s good news or not to be John Brunner, but he’s certainly a very good writer…

    Here’s a good review of Stand of Zanzibar:

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