This is something I’ve been meaning to propose for awhile now. Basically, the idea is this; take two different works of fiction - books, movies, TV, music, what have you - which are not directly related (i.e., one is not a remake of the other, they’re not by the same author, etc.) and use a single sentence which describes them in as much detail as possible.
The sentence should go into as much detail as possible while still describing both works accurately. For example, the sentence “A man and a woman from rival groups fall in love and then die” would be too vague to narrow it down to two specific works of fiction. However, the sentence “All of human history is the result of an epic struggle between two secret societies, one of which values order and obedience over all else, and the other of which values individual freedom and pursues its goals through terrorism, and both groups become embroiled in a potential apocalypse involving the Greek gods and the golden apple of Greek/Christian myth” would accurately describe both the Illuminatus! trilogy and the Assassin’s Creed games.
Anyone reading the thread is invited to identify the works of fiction so described, and submit sentences of their own.
Here’s a few to get the ball rolling;
In a dystopian, crime-ridden Detroit of the near future, an honest cop is brutally wounded and left for dead by members of a crime syndicate associated with his employer, whereafter he is rebuilt with state-of-the-art cybernetic technology, and embarks on a quest to bring the men responsible to justice while struggling to keep a hold on his humanity.
The king of the gods strips his son of his divine powers and exiles him to Earth for his impudence, and while there, he falls in love with a human woman, learns the value of humility, and reclaims his gifts when a rival within his family sends their forces against him, and must ultimately return to the land of the gods leaving his love behind.
Approximately 200 years from now, the human race has become a galactic superpower after spreading throughout the cosmos via a series of FTL gates constructed by an unknown ancient species and triumphing militarily against several more advanced species; they soon find themselves in conflict with an ancient race which periodically culls all sentient life in the galaxy, and a human officer in command of a smaller-than-usual warship becomes a key player who ultimately sacrifices himself to defeat said enemy.
4: This staple of early-80s TV is basically a vigilante buddy show, featuring a really sweet car that makes some epic jumps, an old dude who has responsibility over the main characters, and a hot female mechanic who never gets romantically involved with any of them.
I don’t remember any gods in Robocop. Y’all are talking about #1.
#6 - In this game for the Nintendo DS, the protagonists are trapped in Shibuya, Tokyo and must use inexplicable magical powers granted by unlikely objects to survive for seven days in a conflict they don’t understand, which won’t just effect them, but the fate of the city, and maybe even the world.
(No, the games are not related, but they happen to be two of my favorite games for the system, so the similarities crack me up.)
Set against the backdrop of a New England prep school, with an occasional trip to Vienna thrown in, the novel is well populated with peculiar characters who experience senseless and often bizarre deaths to friends and family while having lots of satisfying, enthusiastically-described sex, often in couplings of which a moralist would not approve, and oh yes let’s not forget the wrestling coaches from Iowa ad the bears, real, imaginary, and costumed, that roam the outskirts of the novel.
(ETA: Whoops, sorry, I take it back; I thought the rule was against the same characters, not against the same author. My mistake.)
And I thought of Babylon 5 for number 3, but the origin of most of the gates isn’t unknown, and can be built by any spacefaring civilization, us included. The origin of the first gates is unknown, since you need to be able to mine supernova remnants to build them, and there’s no practical way to reach the remnants without, so most races get started by renting time from more advanced neighbors (we originally used Centauri gates).
A detective who suffers from brain trauma wakes up each morning with little or no memory of what happened the previous day, but must investigate and solve a major mystery. Knowing that he will soon forget everything he has discovered, he leaves himself constant clues, notes and reminders of everything he has learned up to now.
Not specific enough. Now, if you’d said “A boy of unknown lineage finds himself thrust into a war against a black-armored, undefeatble evil who commands unending legions of unquestioning minions, falls in love with a princess, acquires a weapon of ancient lineage which can only be wielded by a select few, lives to see his mentor die, and struggles with his own doubts about his parentage before ultimately triumphing over the forces of evil”, then you’d be describing both the Star Wars trilogy, and the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
A soldier who has become weary of war and all it represents is posted to the farthest frontier where he comes in contact with the natives who live in a unique harmony with nature and the land they inhabit; eventually he assimilates into the native culture and fights alongside them against his former colleagues, who are only interested in taking and exploiting the natural resources even if it means destroying the natives very livelihood in the process.
A hotshot, self-absorbed city slicker finds himself stranded in a small town, sentenced to a short term of labor he considers beneath him as punishment for some property damage he inflicted; while at first he can’t wait to get out, he slowly learns to appreciate the small town life, even falling in love with a girl and learning the importance of friendship and having people you can count on. When he finally returns to his former life, he suddenly realizes how shallow it is and returns to the small town and the life he fell in love with.