Tuesday 5 December 2017

What's in a name?

The Gen2K Novelettes Edition
This includes spoilers; only read for more information after you have read the Gen2K novelettes.

Geronimo -- His was a gut-naming; Geronimo just was his name.  It only grew on me more for its historical connections to jumpers in the U.S. Parachute Infantry Battalion and the great Apache warrior, Geronimo -- both ties to my heritage.  These dual connotations helped lend the nick an ambiguity; it might be feasibly derogatory, a hang-over word reclaimed to describe a social pariah diving in too eagerly, but it has that other dimension to it -- carrying some mana, or power (and fitting symbolism), for having belonged to the last native American to formally surrender to the United States. 

Tama -- It was important for me that there was some Māori / Te Reo representation in the Gen2K world.  Although Feichangbei is bleak, the native language of New Zealand was one thing I couldn't bear to envision our future without.  I chose a likable male protag to wear a Māori name largely because I've married a likable male with a Māori name (Haki).  The symmetry of Haki and Tama sharing two syllable-names that are popular also appealed (Haki and Tama are more common Māori names than many others).  It's a bonus that in other languages "Tama" has interesting or positive connotations, to match our hero; jewel and whole in Japanese, beautiful and fox in Native American and surprise in Hebrew.  In Māori Tama simply means "son," a title I believe would become hallowed in a world where having a child was so rare.

Bex -- I love one syllable names when I read -- it allows me to read fast.  I wanted the female protag to have a single syllable name and I wanted it to sound modern and playful.  One definition of Rebecca is "captivating," which also matches what I built Bex up to be.  Rebecca is also my mother's name, so there's an element of tribute there.

Dorothy -- This is pure allusion.  Because of this character's disconnect with time and place, I pulled from The Wizard of Oz.

Rebecca Foster -- Sometimes I assign names on a purely practical basis.  When I was keeping track of the two Rebeccas, Foster rhyming with "imposter" made for easy remembering of which Rebecca was the decoy.