Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scrambling the Famous

Seventh Sanctum, one of my favorite online generator sites, just put up a new toy for us to play with: The History Scrambler. Basically what it does is pair a famous figure from history with a new job title to nudge your imagination, such as Bach - Private Detective. You can generate up to 25 results at a time, too.

Now, if I'm interpreting the use of this generator correctly, you think of Bach as an archetypal character, not actually as the historic composer Bach himself, and make him a private detective (unless you're writing alternative/secret life history, then disregard what I'm saying.) It's a provocative exercise in characterization to be sure. And a world class composer secretly working as a gumshoe? I'd buy that book in a heartbeat.

Here are a few others I generated that I thought were interesting:

Paracelsius - Mutant
Calamity Jane - Alchemist
Marquis De Sade - Vigilante (hmmmm, that sounds familiar)
Immanuel Kant - Warlock
Queen Elizabeth - Secret Agent
Archemedes - Werewolf
Florence Nightengale - Black Ops Agent (whoa, there's a cool idea)
Isadora Duncan - Super-soldier
Ptolemy - Alien Invader
Leonardo Da Vinci - Steampunk Hero (I know one writer who could do this fabulously)
Copernicus - Anime Magical Knight
Oscar Wilde - Assasin (Hey, I already wrote this one)
Emily Dickenson - Computer Simulation
Indira Ghandi - Fallen Angel
Harriet Tubman - Time Traveller
Queen Victoria - Exotic Dancer
H.P. Lovecraft - Paranormal Investigator

I especially like the one with Ghandi as a fallen angel (that sent a small shiver up my spine) and Lovecraft as a paranormal investigator -- he'd be the perfect Yog-Sothothery-buster.

If you have a chance give the generator a whirl, and let us know in comments which famous person you've scrambled.


  1. That is completely cool. Thanks for posting.

  2. No need to enter me in the drawing, but this came up on my first generator run:

    Abraham Lincoln - Boy Wonder

    Immediately I thought of all the "Lincolnesque" stuff that the press is throwing around about President-Elect Obama and his 'style' for his Administration.

    So... Is Barack Obama is the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln?


  3. Another few...

    Golda Meir - Starship Captain
    (if that doesn't set your heart to warp speed, how about...)
    Marilyn Monroe - Starship Captain
    Pocahontas - Skatepunk

    Margaret Murray - Exotic Dancer
    (Murray was a British-born Egyptologist, who then started writing a lot about witchcraft)

    Lewis Carroll - Disco Sensation
    (for some reason, I get an image of the White Rabbit decked out like John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever")

    And for a very literary inspiration...

    H.G. Wells - Pro Wrestler!

    (although Moses as a Robot Pilot was quite chuckle-worthy too)

  4. Boudica - Computer Hacker

    That just messes with my mind!

  5. There are some interesting combinations there! I'm going to peek in at this one soon. It looks like fun. :)

  6. Keita Haruka8:36 AM

    Abraham Lincoln – Biker
    (Oh yeah! I can totally picture this!)

    Albert Einstein - Pin-up Prettyboy
    (Oh please no! I do not want this image in my head!!)

    Moses - Secret Agent
    (*snicker* No comment.)

    Buddha – Werewolf
    (Oh my! Now isn’t THAT interesting? No! Plotbunnies stay away!)

    Eleanor of Aquataine - Starship Captain
    (No! Must. Keep. Muzzle. Shut...)

    Queen Victoria - Space Pirate

    Mohammed – Cyborg
    (*facepaw* “We are the Borg...”)

    FUN! Interesting too in matching personalities to professions. It certainly jolts the brain.

  7. Ooo, fun. =o)

    These are the ones I could totally see reading about:

    Leif Erickson - Starship Captain

    Cleopatra - Steampunk Heroine

    Golda Meir - Demon Slayer

    Ben Franklin - Wizard

    Isaac Newton - Computer Nerd

  8. This was fun. Here are some of the ones I got:

    Ernest Hemingway- Superhero
    Able to leap slain lions with a single malt whiskey

    Mary Baker Eddy- Torch Singer
    That's just scary

    Montezuma- Pin Up Prettyboy

    Goethe- Supervillian

    Sigmund Freud- Warlord

    Franlin Roosevelt- Werewolf
    I could see that one- the plot bunnies are circling.

  9. << Indira Ghandi - Fallen Angel >>

    That one is so cool. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. Here's what I got, the Louisa May Alcott gave me a chuckle~
    Margaret Mead - Robot Pilot
    Van Gough - Samurai
    Mary Shelly - Biker
    Betsy Ross - Psychic
    William Shakespeare - Supermodel
    Charles Chaplin - Jazz Musician
    Marie Tussard - Fallen Angel
    Louisa May Alcott - Goth Girl
    Charles Dickens - High Priest
    Goethe - Heavy Metal Musician
    Buddha - Master of Hand-To-Hand Combat
    Zenobia - Samurai
    Eleanor Roosevelt - Rock and Roll Sensation
    Ed Wood - Private Detective
    Susan B. Anthony - Jungle Queen

  11. A couple cool ones I got:

    Saint Francis - Punk Rocker
    Calamity Jane - Computer Nerd
    Cassandra - Space Pirate
    Betsy Ross - Martial Artist
    Benedict Arnold - Cyborg
    Sappho - Demon Slayer
    Pablo Picasso - Paranormal Investigator

  12. And my next book is going to be about:

    Laura Ingalls Wilder -- Vigilante

    Oh yeah.

  13. Harriet Tubman as time traveler just Blew. My. Mind. I'm outlining a short story right now. Thank you!

  14. Keita,
    keep that Boudica plotbunny, will you. ;) I so don't need it. I already have that damn selkie that won't stay under the bed.

    This thing is evil. :)

    Leif Erikson - Unrepentant Redneck
    -- oh boy, ain't that the truth

    Boudica - Super-soldier
    Cleopatra - Samurai
    Cormac Mac Airt - Exorcist
    Alexander the Great - Martial Artist
    -- add to those Zenobia as Samurai and we can start the Leage Of Extraordinary People Of Old :)

    Queen Victoria - Vampire
    -- that explains the bleeding sickness in her family

    Harun Al-Rashid - Space Pirate
    -- I'm not going to write that, shooo

  15. Oh, boy, oh boy! I'm so using this for next year's Forward Motion's Story-a-day-marathon!

    Florence Nightingale - goofy sidekick
    Leonardo Da Vinci - rap artist
    Marie Tussard - supervillain
    Queen Elizabeth - gunslinger
    Beatrix Potter - warlord (killer bunnies there, I think)
    Franklin Roosevelt - Ninja


  16. Heh. That was fun. Had Elizabeth Blackwell as a goth girl

  17. This one was fun. I need to poke with it later. It was intresting to read about Sapho- vampire slayer, since I have plot bunny about a slayer society in Ancient Greece O_o.

  18. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Buddy Holly - Swashbuckling Hero
    Hammurabi - Psychic
    Immanuel Kant - Lord of the Jungle
    Eva Peron - Singing Sensation
    Harriet Tubman - Unrepentant Redneck

    I thought the Eva Peron one was particularly funny, since I learned about the Perons from my dad who took me to see "Evita" when I was young.

  19. Keita Haruka10:00 AM

    Gabriele C...I will keep my plotbunnies in check if you keep yours out of my hair! ;) Cleopatra as a Samurai...:P

    LOL! Queen Elizabeth as a gunslinger just blows the mind!

  20. I just had to share.. *drumroll*

    Abraham Lincoln - Emo Kid

    Now isn't that a nice picture to have stuck in your head?

  21. Here are a few I got:

    Albert Einstein - Dragon-slayer
    (brings new meaning to E=MC2)

    Hammurabi - Emo kid
    (so he conquered his neighbors because he was all depressed?)

    Golda Meir - Rap Artist
    (We are Israel, yo!)

    Virginia Woolf - Martial Artist
    (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

    Eva Peron - Pro Wrestler
    (Don't cry for me, Argentina - it's fake.)

    Hee hee.