A friend sent this to me yesterday. I forget who he wrote like, but it was highly flattering. (He is a fine writer, by the way.) I pasted the first three pages of my WIP into the web site. (It's a hard-boiled book; the scene involved two guys in a strip club discussing how to kill their wives.) The web site said i write like Mark Twain. This was quite a surprise. I've read m most of Twain's work, and I don't ever remember him using "fuck" in his books.
That got me to thinking. I found Chandler's "Simple Art of Murder" online, and pasted the last three paragraphs, the famous "down these mean streets" section. Turns out Chandler wrote like Mario Puzo.
Then, since I'm at work, I pasted the text file of a data feed that imports into a database each night. It's several lines of names, addresses, and pipes ( | ) used as field separators. Our database is apparently a disciple of David Foster Wallace.
It's been a long time since I read LeGuin, but years ago I liked The Left Hand of Darkness.
I tried a couple of things I wrote and I got either Stephen King or David Foster Wallace. Which, according to Dana's experiment, may mean I write like a text file that imports into a database which would explain my lack of sales ;)
I.J., You should take it as a great compliment that this website (scam or no scam)! compares you to Ursula LeGuin! She is a wonderful writer.
I am not a fan of the science fiction genre, but LeGuin's is of the "cerebral" (or philosophical) sort, and she also writes very fine short stories. (I loved "Unlocking the Air.") Short stories might be the best introduction, if you can't face a full-length sci-fi novel. She's also written a fine series for younger readers, "The Earthsea Trilogy." But I read it as an adult, and remember being entranced. She is one of those writers who "transcends the genre."
I got William Gibson for a science-fiction story. (Sort of appropriate I guess, though mine is a bit more satirical)
Kurt Vonnegut for a Western.
David Foster Wallace for my mystery novel in progress. Which must make it a database of some kind.
Isaac Asimov for an extremely silly humor piece about catching a drunk & ranting Mel Gibson with a giant lobster trap that I knocked off on my blog, at the request of science fiction writer Pat Cadigan, though I was trying to imitate Chandler in that story.