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. Anonymous5:57 AM

    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. Anonymous6:07 AM

    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. Anonymous8:36 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. 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


  15. Anonymous5:32 PM

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

  16. 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.

  17. Anonymous10:00 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!

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

    Abraham Lincoln - Emo Kid

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

  19. 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.


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