Jo Fletcher On The Naming of Names

Those of you who have been paying attention will know that I am shortly heading off to the wilds of eastern Canada for this year’s World Fantasy Convention, which is why this blog is getting later by the minute: I have half a book still to edit and three urgent pieces of cover copy, plus two new Beloved Authors to be indoctrinated – I meant, introduced . . . and at some point I need to sort out my meetings, my diary, my covers – oh, and my clothes.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have spent quite so much time on the pumpkin – my excuse was I needed the innards for soup . . . but I did, and now I’m late . . .

And all the time I am rushing around trying desperately to sort all this lot before I book a taxi for Sparrowfart on Wednesday, the news reports are getting increasingly more hysterical about the Frankenstorm currently headed up the Eastern Seaboard of the North American continent.

Which is where I am also headed.

They’ve called the hurricane Sandy. Sandy? What sort of name is that for something that’s supposed to be the mother of all hurricanes?

Sandy’s a high school girl going through the throes of first love, not a Category 1 hurricane which is currently nearly a thousand miles wide and sporting winds in excess of 90 miles per hour, bringing with it 10 inches of rain, 24 inches of snow, extreme storm surges and power-cuts, not to mention rampant destruction and death. The number of people predicted to be affected is rising every hour (currently standing at 50 million, but that doesn’t include me as I am not yet on that side of the Atlantic).

I know it’s serious, because even publishers in New York are temporarily abandoning their desks, following the emergency services’ pleas for everyone to evacuate before it hits.

See what I mean? I’d expect a sibilant, hissing name, or maybe one stuffed full of xs, ks and zs, not a chirpy, upbeat name like Sandy! I guess North American meteorologists don’t have a lot of practise naming villainous storms . . .

Sorry, I am digressing: this is no time to be thinking about cool names for demon-inspired Frankenstorms – or maybe it is. It would certainly take my mind off how much I have to do in how little time!

So let’s do it! I hereby challenge you, Beloved Reader, to come up with something a little more apposite for Hurricane Sandy (even if it never leaves the confines of this blog) – and what’s more, thanks to editor Stephen Jones and artist Les Edwards, I’ll even through in a signed copy of the brand-new paperback of the World Fantasy Award-nominated anthology A Book of Horrors for the best suggestion.

I can’t say fairer than that, can I?


  1. They should have called it Fūjin after the Japanese wind god.

  2. Raging Bull

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