Blog Archives

NANP: Names In Jan Xu

For today’s Names: A New Perspective, I have Singaporean SFF author Joyce Chng stopping by to talk about the names in her Jan Xu series. Joyce also writes short fiction under the name J. Damask and is one of the very few Asian authors that I know of and interact with. Her work came to my attention rather recently and I’ve been meaning to give it a go for a while. Hopefully, the fast-incoming New Year means that I’ll get that chance soon. I read very little in the way of SFF that is not West-centric, but I’ve read some stuff here and there and have been exposed to some really great stuff, and its clearly a vibrant up-and-coming market as well. Besides, I’m always on the look-out for something new and the Jan Xu series seems like a good place to start. In the meantime, here are some of Joyce’s thoughts on the topic of names.

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NANP: Method To Madness

On Thanksgiving Day I bring to you Kenny Soward, the author of the GnomeSaga series and a regular short fiction writer, for the latest on Names: A New Perspective. I haven’t had a chance to read his work yet, the first GnomeSaga novel Rough Magic still awaits me on my iPad, but he’s certainly one of the more interesting authors I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Kenny is also a fellow contributor to the Manifesto: UF, which saw the publication of my short story Dharmayoddha and his story Gold Dust Woman was a stand-out story. Hopefully after reading this post you’ll be interested in his work as well. I certainly encourage you to check it out at least.

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NANP: The Sound of Names

Today I welcome debut author Laure Eve and her novel Fearsome Dreamer to Names: A New Perspective and ask her to share her thoughts on the importance of names in (her) fiction. A fellow cake and Haagen Dasz fanatic, she launched Fearsome Dreamer through Hot Key Books last month and even as all the praise rolls in, she is already hard at work on the sequel, coming next year. As a recent convert to urban fantasy, Fearsome Dreamer promises to be a really fun read and in anticipation of reading the book, I invited Laure to the blog and hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I did. Definitely one of the more fun guest posts I’ve had the pleasure of featuring here.

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NANP: More Than Just A Name

So here we are. Almost four months have passed since the last Names: A New Perspective was featured on the blog. I took a long break in between, but now I’m back and for the first post, I give you Patty Jansen, an Australian author who has experimented extensively with self-publishing and often talks about her experiences, sharing the nugget of wisdom that she’s learned over the years. I have several of her novels on my reading longlist since she writes some of my favourite type of fiction: Hard SF, Military SF, and epic fantasy. She is one of the first authors I reached out to for this brand-new edition and I’m really excited to have her on board, so here she is.

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“Names: A New Perspective” 4th Edition

A little over a year ago, I started a guest post series on the blog where I invited two authors every week to talk about names in fiction. I gave them a fairly open brief for it, to talk about what kind of naming conventions they used, what the names of their characters, etc meant, whether they went for certain resonance or what have you. The result was dramatic and outstanding. Every single guest post proved to be well-worth the read, to say the least, and I received tons of feedback from all of you, saying that you liked it.

In August, I posted the last guest post and then took a long break since I had kind of run out of authors to contact at the moment and just wanted to take some time off in general to let the whole idea gestate for a new version down the line. The result of that is this new edition of the series. I’ve spent more than three weeks getting all of this together, and despite some delays at my end, the authors have all been rather understanding, which has been great.

Enjoy the schedule!

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Monthly Report: August and September 2013

So once again, these monthly reports are delayed big time. They are just so onerous to write that sometimes I just don’t care really. But I do them regardless because they happen to serve as a good check on my writing, especially when I lose track of things, as I am often wont to do, for no reason really.

I still can’t seem to find the right frame of mind to work on anything fictional, while my non-fiction work and my editorials continue apace. Its really weird. You can find the June/July Report here.

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Monthly Report: June and July 2013

At this point, its becoming more apparent to me that sometimes I just can’t be bothered to blog about certain things, and the last two months have kind of shown that. As did the April/May monthly report. I’ve been struggling to get these out on time for no real reason other than just a general procrastination-related disinterest. Which is bad. Productivity is down and I really need to step things up desperately.

June wasn’t actually that bad but there were far too many things going on in July for me to focus on my writing, especially fictional writing, as I detail below. You can find the April/May Report here.

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NANP: The Importance Of Reasoning In Naming

As June winds down, my latest guest for Names: A New Perspective is Bruce Cordell, who has been a mainstay in Dungeons & Dragons fiction and game design circles for a number of years, and has been quite prolific as well. I’ve not been able to get around to his Forgotten Realms books as yet, and considering how much praise I’ve heard of his work from a Forgotten Realms geek friend of mine, the loss is mine. I will be reading Sword of the Gods soon however, and the sequel Spinner of Lies soon after that, as part of a planned read of several Wizards of the Coast novels in the second half of the year. In the meantime, here’s Bruce talking about names.

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NANP: Cold Names

Today’s guest for Names: A New Perspective is one of my favourite authors of this year, Kate Elliott, who has penned several SFF series over the years, like Spiritwalker, Jaran, Crown of Stars and others. I’ve only read her first Spiritwalker novel, Cold Magic (my review), but I’ll be reading the sequel Cold Fire in a few days, and then the third book Cold Steel hopefully next month. For me, Kate’s writing defines itself through detailed and thoughtful world-building, of the kind that Brandon Sanderson and Frank Herbert have done with their Mistborn and Dune Chronicles novels. World-building is something I love and Kate’s alternate Europe in Spiritwalker is one of my favourite SFF worlds. Here’s what Kate has to say on the topic of names in Cold Magic and its sequels.

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NANP: Names As Traits

Today’s guest for Names: A New Perspective is Amy McCulloch, a 2013 debut with her first novel The Oathbreaker’s Shadow released just recently through Doubleday in Canada. Based on the buzz I’ve been seeing about the novel (here and here), I’ve put it on my reading list for this year. Have to say that I’m really excited for it, especially after reading that it is inspired in part from our travels all over the world, and also draws on Mongolian culture. Very, very exciting. And she is also a commissioning editor at Harper Voyager! So, triple the excitement, yeah? Here’s what Amy has to say on the topic of names.

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Monthly Report: April and May 2013

And once again it appears that I have failed to get one of these (or two rather!) out on time. The first couple of weeks in May were pretty tight since I was both working on edits for the novella while also working on the prequel short story, so that never happened. And once again, I just go too lazy last weekend to work on this. Weekdays just aren’t that good for me generally to do one of these things. Takes too much time. But can’t putit off forever, either, so here it is.

Lots has happened in the last couple months and this is how the writing and reading went down in both April and May. You can find the March Report here.

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NANP: Names In Context

Another’s week here on Names: A New Perspective, and today’s guest is E. J. Swift, author of the post-apocalyptic Osiris, released by Night Shade Books last year. Osiris was quite a fun novel (my review), notable for the fact that it was set in a world where extreme climate changes have forced the survivors to all live in one crowded city and one of the protagonists is Indian, among other things. Any book that goes for ethnic diversity in its characters should always be applauded I feel, especially when it doesn’t come across as contrived. While you rush off to your favourite bookseller to buy a copy of the book, here’s what E. J. has to say on the topic of names.

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