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NANP: The Entonomicon

Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective, after the recent 4th of July day-off, is Adrian Tchaikovsky, the author of the Shadows of the Apt fantasy series from Tor. I recently got to read the first book, Empire In Black and Gold, and one of the high points of the book was how the world was presented as one where insects are dominant, and are all divided into different “tribes” known as kinden, with their own regional variations on each. The idea of these insect-kinden as characters (presented as pseudo-humans of sorts) was quite interesting, and so was Adrian’s naming convention, which is what he talks about here. While not my favourite book of the month, Empire In Black and Gold is definitely among the better ones I’ve read this year and I’m definitely on to read the sequel. Fingers crossed! In the meanwhile, here’s Adrian on names in Shadows of the Apt.

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NANP: Why Did It Have To Be Names?

The first guest in July for Names: A New Perspective is Graham McNeill, the author of various Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 novels, and also quite a few other tie-in stuff and a few comics as well. In all the years I’ve been reading Warhammer fiction, he’s written some of my favourite books: Heldenhammer, Storm of Iron (review), Priests of Mars (review), A Thousand Sons, Warriors of Ultramar. He has also written a few that I’m not overly fond of: Dead Sky, Black Sun and Angel Exterminatus (review). But by and large, my experience with his writing has been positive, and he is one of those authors that I can try without a second guess. He is also one of the mainstays of Warhammer fiction, and he’s been around for quite a long time, both as a tabletop game designer and as an author, so in terms of tone and mood, his work has been consistent and evolving, both. Today, he’s here to talk names, so check it out!

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NANP: Names And Riddles

The last guest for the month of June on Names: A New Perspective is Steve Parker, author of two cracking Warhammer 40,000 short stories about a Deathwatch Kill-Team and their follow-up full length adventure in Deathwatch, recently released. I’ve read both the short stories, which are quite good, but have yet to read the novel. I’ve cut back quite a bit on my Black Library reading of late to make room for books from other publishers, and so I’m behind on that front, regrettably. If the short stories are anything to go by though, I’m sure I’ll like Deathwatch. It has generated a fair amount of positive buzz, and that’s always exciting. While I figure out when to read the book, here’s what Steve has to say on the topic of names.

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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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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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NANP: Just Another Name

Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is Gini Koch, author of Alexander Outland: Space Pirate and the Alien series among others. I’ve had a copy of the former for almost a year now, which I’ve been meaning to read all this time but which keeps slipping through the net. The cover reminds me of a good old space opera romp, which is why I got it in the first place. Something to be corrected for the future. Her Alien series is also something I’ve been looking at for a while now and the recent release of a new installment has convinced me to get the first two novels. Have to say, I love the covers! They have a really strong No One Lives Forever vibe to them and since I loved that video game… yeah. In the meantime, while I go around trying to fit in Gini’s books on my reading list, here’s what she has to say on the topic of names.

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NANP: Word, Weird, Wyrd

Stopping by the blog today for the first Names: A New Perspective post for June is Elizabeth Bear, author of numerous fantasy novels of all varieties and also the winner of a fair few awards, the kind that make you go all “I wish that I was that good”. We can all dream right? Anyway, Elizabeth is an author that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now, and her The Edda of Burdens trilogy is on my reading list this year, since I put it on my “Top 25 Series I Want To Read In 2013” earlier this year. I will hopefully be getting to it either in July or August, and I’m looking forward to it. Also Range of Ghosts at some time, which has one of the most beautiful covers on a fantasy novel I’ve seen in a long time. Amazing stuff. In the meantime, here’s Elizabeth to talk about names.

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NANP: Names, Beasts, Roses

The final guest on Names: A New Perspective for May is Francis Knight, the debut author of Fade To Black from Orbit (my review). The sequel, Before The Fall, is due quite soon as well. The highlight of Francis’ debut was the wonderful world she had created and the moral ambiguities that could be found therein. Fade To Black was a novel that stretched over several genres and was unique in its own way. I expect Before The Fall to offer a similar experience. In the meantime while the novel nears its release date, here’s what Francis has to say on the topic of names.

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NANP: Good Names, Bad Names

Today’s guest on the blog for Names: A New Perspective is Patrick Hester, who hosts the Hugo Award-winning SF Signal Podcast, along with The Functional Nerd Podcast, has self-published a few stories so far, and has also featured in an anthology. Suffice to say, Patrick is one of the busiest bloggers and authors that I know of, given all his various interests. Like some of the previous guests on the blog, I haven’t had the chance to read some of his work as yet, but I do have a copy of one of his recent books, Cahill’s Homecoming, so that should be getting sometime soon. In the meantime, here’s what Patrick has to say on the subject of names.

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NANP: Angels and Dragons

As another month of Names: A New Perspective begins to wind down, today I host James Maxy, author of the Dragon Age (nothing to do with the game) and Dragon Apocalypse series from Solaris Books. I’ve read only the first Dragon Apocalypse book, Greatshadow (review), to date, but I’m definitely eager to read more since I found it to be one of the best-written fantasy novels featuring dragons. James writes with a great flair for awesome action sequences and some wonderful team dynamics, and I’m very hopeful for the sequel, Hush, which has been sitting somewhere on Mount Toberead for a while now. Before I begin reading the book however, here’s what James has to say on the topic of names.

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