On Names, and Naming

I’ve been thinking about names in fiction a lot recently, and the naming of characters in fantasy and science fiction, specifically.

When you’re working in a world created from whole cloth, or even in one loosely based on an historical time period or culture, there are certain considerations when it comes to naming characters, places, and things.  It’s essential for a writer to avoid false exoticism, using fantastic names to describe objects or creatures with real-world equivalents. As James Blish wrote, don’t call a rabbit a smeerp.

“they look like rabbits, but if you call them smeerps that makes it science fiction.”

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