NANP: The Madness of Names

Stopping by the blog today for Names: A New Perspective is John C. Scott, self-publisher extraordinaire and the author of The Legend of Adam Caine and Recon One-Five among others. John is a really involved author from everything I’ve seen and the level of his writing output is crazy high. If I could write half as fast, I’d have at least a novel published this year! I haven’t had a chance to read any of his Adam Caine novels as yet, but they are certainly on the cards, especially after reading his guest post, wherein he talks a bit about his naming conventions. Here you go.

Recon One FiveThe Madness of Names: “Your name vill also go on ze list…”

by John C. Scott

No, this isn’t about Dad’s Army, though I could talk about that show until the cows come home, and quote it endlessly.

I apologise if I ramble.

Names can be important, especially when you’re stuck with a character for the rest of your life to the point where their name is tattooed on your upper arm.  No, I’m not joking.  As I said, names can be important; that’s the beauty of science fiction, they don’t have to be anything like those that we use in contemporary society, or they can be modifications of them.

For me, naming something is usually utterly random at first, especially alien names, just saying a couple of random syllables in my head and then rearranging them until they sound like a name, or they make a word.  Yeah, it’s cheating, but it works, and sometimes it can have surprising results.  The 41st Century is inhabited by Raymond Sansky’s, M’Der Tr’n’s, Yh’reth’gar’s, and Janis Mkdorn’s.  I try to make them at least memorable, and in the case of those from the same race, similar.

Naming starships and planets in my universe is also pretty random, especially Terran ships, which tend to be whatever phrase, famous military name, or British town or city that happens to pop into my head and doesn’t sound ridiculous for a warship (Bognor Regis springs to mind).  Originally, I wanted to do what the US Navy do and have specific types of names for specific types of ships; I believe they name their Nimitz-class and Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers after Presidents.  Unfortunately, I had a bunch of names ready for the first few, none of which were the same, and put all that to pot.

As Bane of Kings pointed out in the review of Ghosts of Earth, I used the name Saunton Sands for the name of a battleship.  That’s because I grew up in North Devon, just down the road from Saunton beach; in fact I worked a week as a night porter at Saunton Sands Hotel (Bane will probably laugh at that fact).  I’ve tried to put some names in where I can of places I grew up (HMS Devonshire and Chivenor spring to mind) as well as some stuff from my family’s heritage (my Dad’s a scot), so there’s lots of Scottish towns and even battlegrounds.

It’s kind of a mess really.

I’ve tried to correct this, but it’s difficult!  And as for Adam?  The name Caine comes from a very dark and personal part of my life, and I turned it around to be something good, which makes it all the more memorable for me.

And now, as you may have guessed, CAINE FOREVER is tattooed above a Scottish flag on my left arm.

The bastard.

And yes, the naming of his daughter was a complete accident.  I didn’t even think about it until Legend was already published, and it became weird and inappropriate.  Yes, I’m an idiot.  Ask Ab.  He knows.

Once again, I’m sorry for rambling.  I can’t help it.

You see, I’m mad.


John C. Scott on Twitter, Facebook, and Web.

The next guest on the blog is 2013 debut author Stephanie Saulter, and her post will go live this coming Thursday on the 9th. You can find the full schedule in the link up top. Stay tuned!

Posted on May 6, 2013, in Debut Authors Guest Series, Guest Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Shaven Wookiee and commented:
    Woohoo! I’m part of the series! Apologies for rambling!


  2. Thankyou for giving me this opportunity Ab! Nice to be writing something that isn’t


  1. Pingback: Monthly Report: April and May 2013 | Shadowhawk's Shade

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