Call for Papers devoted to Names in SF, Fantasy, and Horror

ANSThe American Name Society, which promotes onomastics–the study of names and naming practices–will be devoting a special issue of its linguistics journal, NAMES, to the subject of Naming in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

From ANS:

“The American Name Society (ANS) is currently inviting abstracts for scientific papers providing an analysis of the names found in contemporary and classic literary works of science-fiction, fantasy, or horror. Any genre (e.g. poetry, short story, prose, novel etc.) or media (book, comic, television, film, etc.) may be the subject of analysis. Suggested topics include but are by no means limited to the following: the names of creatures, rituals, societies, planets, deities, technology, topography, weaponry, incantations, and alternative realities.”


  1. Proposals should include a précis of no more than 500 words and a 50-word biographical sketch of the author including the author’s name, affiliation, onomastic interests, and email.
  2. All submissions must follow the Journal’s official stylistic and grammatical regulations, see:
  3. Proposals should be sent via email attachment in a .doc or .docx format to Dr. I. M. Nick at, with “Names and Fantasy” in the subject line.
  4. Proposals must be received by 15 April 2015.
  5. All submissions will be subjected to a blind peer review process.
  6. Notification of acceptance will be announced on or about 15 May 2015
  7. Final submissions due for publication 15 November 2015.
  8. For questions, please contact Dr. I. M. Nick at, with “Names and Fantasy” in the subject line.

One Response

  1. Elizabeth Moon

    I foresee another attempt to mind-read authors’ intents and backgrounds without asking the author, based on unverifiable assumptions about how we come up with names. Although maybe someone will write a paper on the use of apostrophes in invented names (I know of only one instance where the use of apostrophes signified something in the work itself–in McCaffrey’s Pern stories, where the change from a longer to a contracted name meant “bonded with a dragon.” There may be others…)