Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Entitled [blame that Jim Swallow]

Over at his blog Jim Swallow has been contemplating the meanings hidden within titles of stories he's written. Let's see what - if any - sense I can make of my own titles, starting with the novels. The Savage Amusement was inspired by a comment my Irish grandmother once made, about work being the savage amusement. The words sounded so unlikely coming from her, that stuck in my memory. The book features Judge Dredd fighting a villain called Savage who caused chaos for his own amusement - a case of events being shaped to fit the title I wanted to use.

Cursed Earth Asylum: that was about events at an asylum. In the Cursed Earth. Natch. [Brings to mind one of my all-time favourite quotes from an Aaron Sorkin show, in this case Sports Night: 'What's a perfect game?' 'I know there's a lot of jargon but some of this is self-evident.']

Silencer: sounded cool. I think there was a conspiracy theme to the book, so it was about people being... well... silenced.

Who Killed Kennedy: A Doctor Who novel involving the assassination of JFK.

Amorality Tale: A pun of the notion of morality tales from the Middle Ages. This was a Doctor Who novel that deliberately took an amoral view of its characters. Vicious murderers acting like heroes, if it suited their needs, while good people died.

The Domino Effect: Another Doctor Who novel. It's all about cause and effect, what would happen if someone systematically suppressed the invention of the computer.

Empire of Death: Yet another Doctor Who novel. I wanted to call this Metempsychosis, as it sounded like a much cooler title and alludes to Pythagorus's theories about transmutation of the soul. The editor suggested Empire of Death. The editor won.

Bad Moon Rising: A novel that takes places over 13 hours, with each chapter representing an hour of real time. Yes, 24 had just become a hit in Britain, no prizes for spotting the obvious influence there. The story took place over one night, with a full moon overhead, hence the title borrowed from the hit single by Three Dog Night.

Kingdom of the Blind: A plotline kinda borrowed from Day of the Triffids where almost everyone in the Big Meg gets blinded. Dredd's got bionic eyes, so he is unaffected, making him king in a kingdom of the blind. That sounds better than the book was.

The Strangelove Gambit: My first Nikolai Dante novel. I wanted to call it The Faberge Experiment, but trademark infrignement concerns nixed that. My Dante novels tend to be spy-fi romps, so I was borrowing the naming conventions of authors like Robert Ludlum - you know, The Bourne Supremacy and all that.

Imperial Black: A title leftover from a rejected proposal by another author got slapped on to my second Dante novel. I managed to work it into the story okay.

Honour Be Damned!: Another Dante novel, another leftover title I inherited. It's one of Dante's catchphrases, but didn't really suit the story I wrote.

Suffer the Children: A Nightmare on Elm Street novel, inspired by a Biblical quotation. The book was akin to having Freddy torture characters from The Breakfast Club - nice.

Operation Vampyr: My first Fiends of the Eastern Front novel. It's about Operation Barbarossa in WWII and features vampires. This was suggested by the editorial team and much better than my dry, original title of Operation Barbarossa. Which stank.

The Blood Red Army: Originally The Bloody Red Army, but apparently some US book chains won't stock titles featuring the word Bloody.

Twilight of the Dead: Originally Twilight of the Undead, which made more sense. The last book of my Fiends of the Eastern Front trilogy, about vanquishing the vampire menace. Twilight of the Dead would work better on a zombie novel.

Coming soon: A Murder in Marienburg - my first Warhammer novel. It's a murder mystery. Set in Marienburg. You do the math.

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