A colleague recently introduced me to Google Fight, which let's you stage bouts between your favorite web celebrities based on the number of hits Google gives them.
Well, sort of. For example, if you take the two predominate figures of the longest-running science fiction franchises on US television, Google Fight gives you:
James T Kirk: 296,000 results Jack O'Neill: 24 results
which is obviously screwy. Going to Google its own self gives you:
James T Kirk: 389,000 results Jack O'Neill: 573,000 results
which is in some ways even screwier: is the Star Trek franchise so dead that its leading hero gets beat out by MacGyver? (4,870,000 hits, though “Angus MacGyver” gets 29,400)
Anyway, this led me to the task of ranking leading science fiction characters by real Google hits, not Google fight hits. Below are my results, feel free to add to them. The rules are:
- The Google search string must include the common name of the character, along with a name that distinguishes the work in which the character appears. Thus we'll search for “James Kirk Star Trek“ to distinguish Tiberius from the actor of that name.
- There are no quotation marks in the search string.
- Yes, I did search Harry Potter Harry Potter
- The rank will be the number that appears after the string “Results 1-10 of” on Google, i.e., we'll use the first count Google gives us.
- If you don't recognize the characters here, don't whine about it, just Google them. The choice of characters says more about me than you anyway.
- Don't give me any grief about using “Benjamin Sisko” rather than “Ben Sisko” either.
- If you don't like my definition of Science Fiction, well, frak.
- No, I don't know why the Kirk searches above and below disagree so strongly. Ask Google.
And the results:
|Harry Potter||Harry Potter||10,400,000||You expected different?|
|Luke Skywalker||Star Wars||2,870,000||The Force is strong in this one.|
|Han Solo||Star Wars||2,370,000||Not bad here, either.|
|Hermione Granger||Harry Potter||2,150,000||Even Ron likes Harry better than you, Hermione|
|Albus Dumbledore||Harry Potter||1,260,000||Wonder how many hits are from this fall?|
|James Kirk||Star Trek||916,000||The Captain Supreme|
|Gil Hamilton||Known Space||769,000||A very long arm|
|Lazarus Long||Future History||730,000||Still read Heinlein, I see|
|Spock||Star Trek||452,000||That I am behind a gold-tattooed alien is not logical.|
|Daniel Jackson||Stargate||368,000||Needs to Ascend again|
|Lucas Garner||Known Space||337,000||Old codgers do all right here|
|Neo||Matrix||335,000||Young twerps, too.|
|Jean Luc Picard||Star Trek||280,000||Was ahead of Teal'c until the latter stopped shaving is head.|
|Jack O'Neill||Stargate||257,000||It's a lot worse with only one L.|
|Trinity||Matrix||257,000||Apparently chicks in leather don't do as well as you'd think|
|Kathryn Janeway||Star Trek||238,000||Well, better than this, thank God.|
|R2D2||Star Wars||209,000||The highest-rated robot|
|Samantha Carter||Stargate||168,000||Should have done nude scenes when they were on Showtime|
|Adama||Battlestar Galactica||149,000||About half-and-half.|
|Benjamin Sisko||Star Trek||132,000||Deep in your heart, you know he was the best Captain|
|Miles Vokosigan||Vokosigan||103,000||Short smart punks apparently don't score as well as tall dumb Colonels.|
|Rincewind||Discworld||67,700||Wizzards are soon forgotten, especially if they don't get any new book deals.|
|Samuel Vimes||Discworld||39,900||Cops, too.|
|The Luggage||Discworld||37,100||But it does iron your shirts.|
|Granny Weatherwax||Discworld||33,800||Apparently being Good and Right doesn't make you popular, either.|
|Corwin||Amber||37,800||Obviously in the wrong shadow.|
|Hari Seldon||Foundation||35,400||Don't worry, his name is all over this one Encyclopedia.|
|Fafhrd||Lankhmar||15,000||I guess swords aren't all that popular these days.|
|John Falkenberg||Falkenberg's Legion||10,100||Johnny Christian, we hardly knew ye.|
|Dominic Flandry||Flandry||9,580||Maybe I'm showing my age.|
|John Grimes||Rim Worlds||9,200||You think?|
|Louis Wu||Ringworld||6,130||Boosterspice, Louis baby, Boosterspice|
|Kimball Kinnison||Lensmen||1,020||Mentor might not like this.|
|R. Daniel Olivaw||Robot||1,010||Robots of Doom, indeed.|
|Nessus||Ringworld||548||Two brainless heads are apparently not better than one.|
|Tela Brown||Ringworld||73||Heading this list must be unlucky.|
And, as I said before, add your contributions below.