Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Sun Mar 2 18:28:50 EST 2003

--- Irina Rempt <irina at> wrote:
> On Sunday 02 March 2003 23:43, Charles Butler wrote:
> > I was wondering about this too. It might be
> appropriate to introduce
> > another sliding scale here, ranging from the
> mundane (Peter, Colin,
> > Susan, Jane) to the slightly unusual (e.g. Dido,
> Lyra), to the
> > definitely alien (Koryfon, Dacros), to the
> outright unpronounceable.
> Isn't that a direct function of
> secondary-worldliness? I obviously can't 
> have people called Susan and Peter (or Xzaghr and
> Qwips either), they 
> have to be called Senthi and Jeran because those are
> perfectly ordinary 
> names in their language. That's not *alien*, just
> *foreign*.

I think that names have a special place in Fantasy and
perhaps do deserve a rating of their own. They
certainly should be a function of language, but in
poorly written fantasy (and even some good stuff) this
is not always the case. Sometimes a common every day
name can appear quite discordantly in a fantasy novel
("Colin the barbarian") or names can get
unpronouncably silly (grignr, cthulhu). Then we have
those names that rather give the game away "Prince
Dutiful Farseer" or "Lord Foul" - I mean if your
parents named you that you'd probably turn to evil too
- just imagine what he went through at school)


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