No-one puts westernised names in fantasy stories or sci-fi ones set in other universes or planets. Well, alright, almost no-one. I read somewhere that this started as a device to provide the reader with a visual separation between our world and the SF/F one. I’m one of ’em for that very reason, that and its a whole lotta fun making up names.
My question really is this though. Where do the names come from?
I have a file on my computer called, oddly enough, ‘Names’, and every time I make a typo, usually a transposition of letters or hitting the ‘W’ instead of the ‘E’ for instance and it looks or sounds interesting I stick it in that file and forget about it. There are some doosies in there I tell you, that will never see the light of day, but I keep ‘em just the same. Maybe I will find a use for them. Perhaps not just as people names, places and things need names too.
And sometimes I just pull them out of thin air.
Think about it. How on earth did Douglas Adams ever create the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster?
Well, perhaps not out of thin air.
If we believe in the concept that there’s nothing new under the sun, which I occasionally have doubts about because it’s based on a purely homo- (sapiens not sexual) -centric Point Of View (A bit like the old ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears, did it ever happen?’ Well of course it did. The other trees heard, all manner of forest critters of fur and scales and feathers certainly heard) … however, If we board that train of thought for a moment then those names had to come from somewhere … else.
This is why being a Science Fiction and Fantasy writer is so exciting … ‘elsewhere’ is just beyond the edge of my fingertips.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it” – Thoughts from an Ancestor