In my review, yesterday, of Interzone #251, I touched briefly upon the potential for the magazine to (properly displayed) bring new readers into the genre fold. As happens frequently, an entirely unexpected thought has snowballed in mind since I wrote it, and a result I’ve been musing heavily on how, exactly, the genre world should be looking to reach out its tentacles.
Of recent years it has become almost fashionable to be a bit “geeky”. From the emergence of Firefly from the cult to the mainstream, to Marvel’s franchise-titan rolling comics out of the nerdy corner, there seems to be a somewhat ascendent atmosphere at the moment.
Yet there are still trends of an insular nature — something which the recent Jonathan Ross fiasco (“Hugogate“) exemplifies.
As a writer — particularly a short story writer — one of the most difficult parts of creating a story is actually naming the damn thing.
So many works-in-progress and, yes, the neglected hulks of abandoned half-completed tales, bear names such as “Black Hole Story” and “Horror #17”. Not terribly exciting, I know. Usually once the beast is completed, a title does present itself, and there are the rare gems where the title falls into place during the creation process.
But no, there is a distinct art to titles, and it’s an art which I’m very much an admirer of. Not simply in fiction — though I will say that I have particular love for Heinlein’s time-travel classic “All You Zombies”, and the Hugo-nominated “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick — but actually I find that the titles of TV series episodes are where some of the best work is to be found.