Scott Westerfeld, a writer of wonderful young adult sf novels, has posted a great little meditation on how he names his characters -- balancing out the need to have names that taste futuristic, but that don't jar the reader on every reading. It's a great little piece on how writers think about language, made-up words, and the way that names evolve over time.
Uglies takes place 300 years in the future. Names probably won’t be the same as now. So I needed something that’s not a current name, but that doesn’t make your brain fritz when you read it. So I chose a regular word in English.
That’s right: “tally” as in “count.” As in “Hey, Mr. Tally-man, tally me bananas.”
Thus, the little spell-checker in your brain doesn’t ping every time your eyes scan across those letters. (And the real-world MS Word spell-checker doesn’t draw a squiggly line under it.) “Tally” is capitalized, of course, so you know it’s a name, but otherwise “tally” reads as a perfectly normal word.
But not too common. When’s the last time you actually used the verb “tally” in a sentence, like “Let me tally those Scrabble scores for you, Old Chum?”
Midnighters: YA horror trilogy mixes Lovecraft with adventure
Conclusion of Westerfeld's Uglies and Pretties trilogy is out
Vampire novel as a work of first-rate science fiction
Cool-hunter detective story
We presume it can tell by the pixels.
This alarmingly funny video shows an “Apple Engineer” explaining the company’s forthcoming $999 monitor stand. This guy is better than the “Downfall” meme! Also funny: to see people who had complained vocally about Apple’s lack of truly “pro” gear denouncing it when it finally came along, because it was too pro. Perhaps Apple should have […]
Finally. It’s been almost 3 years.
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]