Hopeless Monstrosity: The PZ mutating genre meme

3 November 2007

Why work on an application with a rapidly approaching deadline when you can blog? And for that matter, why compose a thoughtful piece about lunar spawning in corals, Ming dynasty clams, or “salamander” sex casts…when I can just ape my way through the magic of memetics? Remember it’s a cultural studies blog now:

So, sure we’ll take pick up Brian’s gauntlet and jump onto the rapidly propagating “Mutating Genre Meme”

Here’s the rules:

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…”, or “The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…”.

* 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.


My great-great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite
My great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock
My grandparent is The Primate Diaries
My parent is Laelaps

As per Goldschmidt I’ve played a just bit fast and loose with the rules…

The best 80s song based on a time travel short story in SF/Fantasy is:
Sound of Thunder by Duran Duran

(based on A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury).

The best scary movie in the documentary genre is:
Jesus Camp

The best sexy song in Ethiopian soul is:
Ené nègn bay manèsh (Who is that saying ‘it’s me’?)” by Girma Bèyènè

The best novel in post-apocalyptic fiction is either:
In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan


Fiskadoro by Denis Johnson

(probably the Brautigan but I’ll have to re-read both)

The best little ice-age landscape in Northern Renaissance painting is:
Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Brueg(h)el

All this spectacular mutating has rendered me an infertile cretin, utterly incapable of passing my novelties on into the meme pool, barring some fortutious lateral action. Oh well, perhaps I’ll totally tweak the cladogram at least…

See you at the side show!

One Response to “Hopeless Monstrosity: The PZ mutating genre meme”

  1. Zach Miller Says:

    I was simply unable to watch Jesus Camp. My wife watched it for about twenty minutes, then turned it off, noting that there was no point in seeing the rest.

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