Panning through old articles over at Mental Floss, I found this question and it was kind of intriguing: if you were stranded on an island and could only have one author – not a specific book but one author – with you, who would you pick?
Zounds. I had to think about this one. At first I just took the question in the implied spirit, as to who would be the one who would provide the most mental stimulation. But after a while, I realized I would need a more comprehensive examination. Being on an island is a survival situation, after all. So I thought this through.
First, have to throw out the dead folks. Tolkein, Zimmer Bradley, et al … Great conversationalists with a wealth of knowledge but not much use in building a raft or spearing a crab. Corpses usually aren't, unless they are simultaneously trying to eat you. (Zombie Tolkein? That's an idea, albeit one that might get me lynched by certain readership.)
I winnowed down those to who would actually help. Michael Moorcock would busy himself waxing lyrical about the Cosmic Balance. Charlaine Harris would be waiting for the local vampire population to help. Harry Turtledove would spend more time re-writing how we ended up on the island, adding dragons and aliens, than figuring out how we could get out of there. George R. R. Martin has too much writing to do to help with the heavy lifting.
It really comes down to two. On the one hand, Brandon Sanderson would probably be a good choice. One, he's young-ish, with a strong back. Two, he's a proven world builder, which speaks to strong organizational skills. Three, IMO, he's an ascending author and still has a strong work ethic. (On an authorship note, I like Sanderson's work and I think I could learn something from him.)
On the other hand, Suzanne Collins has some experience (at least writing) about survival situations. Knowledge is power. Plus, she's easy on the eyes and has been known to be redheaded at times, so there's snuggling under the coconut trees while waiting for rescue. (On an authorship note, I think Collins could give a good seminar on writing for young adults.)
I guess I go with Sanderson. Survival over snuggling.
(Muse: You could snuggle with Sanderson.)
So who would you all want to be stuck with?