Faster than the speed of thought, the we-might-move situation turned into looks-like-it's-happening time. Before the estate agent even had time to put one of those signs in the front garden, we had an offer to buy the house, and said yes. Yikes. Looks like the move to Welsh Wales is on. I'll soon be up a valley writing hard (while Al Reynolds is doing likewise in the next valley over). All hail Cymru, the new nerve centre of SF! It's that black hole in Cardiff by the Torchwood Institute that's dragging us all in...

Meanwhile in Official News, I didn't mention that the trade paperback of Black Blood is out in the States. I'll be posting the US publication dates of Edge and Point soon... they're the near-future thrillers written under my pseudonym of Thomas Blackthorne.

You know, it's quite weird working out what you'd like to be called if you didn't have your current name. I was going to post a link to an article written by an American-Chinese person on the practice of Chinese people having multiple names (including a western name) that change over time. Can't find the article, though... The interesting thing is that the Chinese (and Singaporean etc.) notion of a name is less tied to personal identity than in the West.

So, go on then... What name would you like to go by?


Blogger Max Kaehn said...

One way to look at that is Internet handles. I’ve often gone by Slothman, which is a name my wife gave me; lately I’ve been using Mithriltabby for sheer uniqueness online (and I nabbed the domain this time), but it would be a mouthful in person.

November 20, 2009 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Al said...

I've already had something like four or five names in my adult life. I go by my nickname, Al, but that is short for my middle name, Albert. My father went by our first name, Louis, for I am the third of my line. When he died, it was easier to go by my first name for probate and the government and banks generally think I use my first name anyway. Beyond that, I had an odd nickname for many years that some people still call me. Beyond that, I am a Zen priest and was given a Japanese name, Jigen, when I was ordained.

I know quite a few people that, at the very least, have a use name that has no relationship to the name on the government rolls. I always assumed that it was quite common.

November 21, 2009 at 6:06 AM  
Blogger John Meaney said...

Max, I'd never thought of internet handles, and you're right. Mithriltabby is a great name, and I love Maine coon cats. The only ones I've met in person have been Anne McCaffrey's!

Dead cool.

November 22, 2009 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger John Meaney said...

Al, that's interesting. I wonder how much the psychological resonance of taking a new name as a Zen priest differs from a Christian monk doing likewise. It seems to me that Zen is more about non-attachment (rather than creating a new, stronger attachment).

Certainly in the UK, there's a time-dependent characteristic. My parents' generation, born in the 1920s, commonly used their middle names, although my Mum and Dad both used nicknames. I don't think that's common today over here.

November 22, 2009 at 4:18 PM  

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