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what the titles mean
Back in 2006, I did a meme where I explained where all my novel, short story, and eBook titles came from.

I figured I'd update it for fun.


First off, The Habit of Discipline was renamed Tiberium Wars by EA. A dull descriptive title. The Walter Bagehot quote that the working title came from was used as one of the novel's epigraphs.

Nevermore comes from Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem "The Raven." The novel had a series of Poe-related murders, so the title seemed fitting...

A Burning House derives from a Klingon saying first uttered by Kang in "Day of the Dove": "only a fool fights in a burning house." It has a slight double meaning, since Klingon aristocracy is made up of Houses (families), and several of them are "burning" (albeit metaphorically) in this book.

Four Walls derives from the saying that "four walls do not a prison make," since one of the two murder cases takes place in a correctional facility.

A Gutted World is a quote from Wallace Stevens's "A Postcard from the Volcano." I came this close to using a different quote, from two lines later in the same poem: Smeared with the Gold of the Opulent Sun, but I knew my editor wouldn't go for that....

Bone Key is the original name for Key West, Florida, where the novel takes place. "Key West" is an Anglicization of "Cayo Hueso," which is Spanish for, you guessed it, "Bone Key."

A Singular Destiny gets its title from a comment by Thomas Macaulay, Lord Babington, writing in 1831 about Boswell's Life of Johnson. I wanted something with "destiny" in the title, since this follows on the Destiny trilogy, and this title (and the quote it comes from) fits the book nicely.

Short stories:

"Four Lights" was something of a no-brainer, since I was reuniting Captain Picard with Gul Madred, and their first encounter revolved around the number of lights behind Madred...

"House Arrest" continues the theme of Dragon Precinct stories with crime-related titles.

"Family Matters" is a cliché, 'tis true, but the story is very much about familial relationships and how they affect people, particularly when they're high-ranking members of the Mirror Universe's Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. *grin*


Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment is, like all the titles from the Slings and Arrows miniseries, from Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech, and one I couldn't resist, given the first word....

Comic books:

"Four Thousand Throats..." continues my "four" theme *laughs*, in this case coming from another Klingon saying first heard in "Day of the Dove," "Four thousand throats may be cut in a single night by a running man."

Ghost Academy is a simple descriptive.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "St. James Infirmary" by Louis Armstrong

6 comments or Please comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
about the first comic book title; i thought it was a thousand
kradical From: kradical Date: April 26th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nope, it's four. Trust me, I've watched "Day of the Dove" a lot recently....
From: dewline Date: April 27th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Agreed. Different Klingons will put their own spins on the phrase, of course, but that's their choice.
debg From: debg Date: April 26th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice! I just posted my own (I left the essays, reviews, etc out of it...)
kradical From: kradical Date: April 26th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't even occur to me to do essays and articles and things. Most of them have generic titles, though the Smart Pop essays have cleverer titles.

May add them anon....
debg From: debg Date: April 26th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I may add them, as well. My titles for those aren't generic, so there's some interesting ones. The one I sent out this morning for Green Man Review is called "Tom Waits SWORDFISHTROMBONES: Love and Crit and the Whole Damned Thing. Finding the Fulcrum point between heart and head (in conversation with David Smay)"

6 comments or Please comment