What's in an alien name?

An oft-discussed topic among writers of speculative fiction, both science fiction and fantasy, is how to name characters, places, and ideas of extraterrestrial or otherwise non-human or alien origin. Naming is a difficult part of all fiction writing — it’s more difficult than one might think to make names for characters. Some (myself included) believe that character names ought to suggest something about the characters, the themes of the story, their roles in the plot, or perhaps stand in ironic contrast to those roles.


I admit it. I hate Microsoft Office. I’m constantly appalled at how bloated and complicated it is even to do simple things. I won’t write in Word, mostly because I’ve never been able to simply sit down and write with it. Maybe I’m too easily distracted? I know I don’t have the time to try to figure out how to simplify the interface by getting rid of useless toolbars and turning off annoying pop-ups that second-guess what I’m trying to do. I want to scream, «shut up and let me write!»

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