The Pharyngula mutating genre meme

I just had an odd idea for another of those blog memes, and this is very much an experiment. It may be too complex to last long, but I just want to toss it out and see if anything interesting happens; it’s one where the answers may be interesting in one way, but the structure of the questions might be interesting in another way. Here are the instructions:

The Pharyngula mutating genre meme

There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, “The best [subgenre] in [genre] is…”. Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

  • You can leave them exactly as is.

  • You can delete any one question.

  • You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change “The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…” to “The best time travel novel in Westerns is…”, or “The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is&hellip”, or “The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is&hellip”.

  • You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form “The best [subgenre] in [genre] is…”.

You must have at least one question in your set, or you’ve gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you’re not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

Here are my starting propagators. Since I’m the one starting this whole shebang, my source site is nowhere but me, and I should be the only one to answer NONE…unless someone throws out my questions altogether and starts a competing meme, which would be rather interesting.

My parent is: NONE.

1. The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…

The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers.

2. The best romantic movie in historical fiction is…

Cold Mountain.

3. The best sexy song in rock is…

Gloria, by Patti Smith.

I shall attempt to disseminate my seed of a meme to:

xml Egotistical Whining

xml Byzantium’s Shores: Meditations on Nearly Anything

xml One Good Thing

xml Metamagician and the Hellfire Club

xml Literacity

xml Whatever

xml Text Savvy

xml The 19th Floor

Anyone else who wants to accept my meme can also join in the game.


  1. jdb says

    Aha! So you admit that evolution has been guided by a supreme being!

    (It’s depressingly easy to impersonate a creationist troll, isn’t it?)

  2. SEF says

    I’m not viable! I just can’t do simplistic singular “best”s.

    This isn’t much of a surprise / exception though. Under most conditions (other than this artificially sustained environment) I’d be extinct.

    PS I acknowledge your “The Anubis Gates” but offer “To Say Nothing Of The Dog” by Connie Willis for consideration.

  3. says

    I’ll second you on Patti Smith’s “Gloria,” that’s an amazingly intense song. Then again, I haven’t heard a Patti Smith recording I didn’t like yet…

  4. says

    Okay, okay … it looks a bit complicated, but I think I get it. It’ll be disseminated to Metamagician and the Hellfire Club really soon.

    I love Patti’s Smith’s version of “Gloria”. Good call. But I’ll come up with something else if I use that question.

  5. potentilla says

    Hmm, this meme is going to replicate not just blog-to-blog, but also blog-to-comment-to-blog (eg I have just pointed it out to another blog in the comments). Do its rules need to deal with this?