Category Archives: sci-fi names


You want a daughter with an epic destiny and a love of Jimi Hendrix?  Name her Hera.


I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy.  I’m not sure that you can really get away with naming your daughter Hera.  The pantheon of Greek gods just haven’t really inserted themselves into popular baby name culture.  The last guy named Zeus was a part-time wrestler and part-time President, but ultimately he peaked early and vanished from public eye, never to be seen again.  And while I like Icarus as much as the next guy (which is to say, not much), they’ll call him Icky for the rest of his life, and dudes named Icky just don’t land the prom queen, you know?  So maybe I’m way off here.

It’s just… look, I’ve been watching a lot of the new Battlestar Galactica lately.  I know I’m late to the party, but holy crap is this show good.  It’s so good that even though it’s on Syfy (sigh), I recommend it to actual women.  It soothes the ragged hole in my chest where Lost punched through my sternum and ripped out my heart.  Really, Lost?  You’re going to leave me like this, in a church?  Really classy, JERK.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand…  So I’m watching this show, and I’m thinking that Battlestar Galactica must have hired some of the most talented name-smiths in the business.  Everyone has names that are almost real, but not quite.  Kara Thrace, Galen Tyrol, Tom Zarek?  These sound like people you might meet, but trust me, you never will.  Hell, even the robotic Cylons have perfectly normal names, like Sharon, and <SPOILER>, <SPOILER>, <SPOILER>, and my favorite, <SPOILER>.

So <SPOILER> and <SPOILER> have a child, and they name her Hera, and from that moment on, every single character is speaking her name about every 2.6 seconds.  “Where’s Hera?” “Don’t take Hera!” “Hera is the key!” “Hera drew this picture of scary things.” “This war is great and all, but we should call timeout and go find Hera.” Seriously, there’s an entire episode where every single line of dialogue is about Hera:

“I dreamed about Hera last night.”
“Really? I also dreamed about Hera.  <SPOILER> was there, too.”
“Who me? Sorry, I’m totally out of it… I couldn’t sleep, since I was dreaming about Hera all night.”
“That’s weird.  Are you going to take Hera from me?”
“Of course not, I love Hera!”
“Sorry, who’s talking right now?  I’m losing all context here.”
“It’s okay,” said Hera. “Can I draw another creepy picture?”

So now I think Hera is a totally sweet name for a kid.  You’re not going meet any other Heras on the playground, and if anyone asks, just tell them you named your daughter after the jealous wife of Zeus.  After all, you’ll never know for sure that your best friend down the street isn’t actually a Cylon, right?  She might be looking to snatch up your kid and hop a Raider back to a Basestar.  As parents, we must take every precaution if we want our children to survive, even if that means TRUSTING NO ONE.  It might sound a little paranoid, but these are desperate times, and above all, watch out for <SPOILER>.

So say we all.


Trillian might be the most space-like of all the Nerd Baby Names.

If you're wearing a space suit, make sure to accessorize with some ginormous space-cuffs.

I love the name Trillian.  It sounds like “Trillion”, and as you know, I’m obsessed with number names. As numbers increase in popularity, you’ll need to differentiate yourself from the pack, and the easiest way to do that is with a semi-pretentious unusual spelling.  Your daughter Trillian will fit right in with her friends Alyss, Kaytlyn, Maycen, and Dooshbag.

But more importantly, you’ll be naming your kid after Trillian Astra, the nerd girl to rival all other nerd girls, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  First off, she’s an astrophysicist.  There are too few female scientists in this world, and a girl named Trillian is almost destined to wear a lab coat and glasses and test quantum teleportation on mice.  Second, Trillian is one of a handful of people to make it off of Earth before it was destroyed by the Vogons.  If you’ve noticed some of the running themes on this site, you’ll see that one of them is insuring the survival of our children.  The only way to guarantee their safety is with just the right type of name.  If Trillian had kept her original name (Tricia McMillan, BARF!), she would’ve been blown up on Earth with everyone else.  Trust me on this.

She’s also played in the movie by Zooey Deschanel, if you’re into that sort of thing.  Look, I can see why people would like her, but I just can’t trust anyone who misspells their own name.  It goes against everything I stand for.

Back to Trillian… so what’s her ultimate fate?  Well, if you’ve read the five books of the incorrectly titled Hitchhiker’s Trilogy, or listened to the radio series, or watched the movie, then you know that this isn’t a simple answer.  Here, I’ll make this easier with the multiple choice approach:

Question:  What happens to Trillian Astra?
a) She married the president of the Algolian chapter of the Galactic Rotary Club
b) She was eaten by the ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
c) She has Arthur Dent’s child, Random Dent (which is a Nerd Baby Name for another time)
d) She was blown up on Earth
e) All of the above
f) This isn’t easier at all.  These words don’t make any sense to normal people.  You might as well just make an answer something like
g) Bleep bloop beep boop.

If you answered “E”, congratulations, a winner is you.  Welcome to the Nerd Club… I’ll be happy to stamp your nerd card and validate your parking. In the meantime, you can bust out your Magic the Gathering cards, as we’ve got a sealed deck tournament getting ready to begin.

What was that?  You say you don’t bring your own cards to a sealed deck tournament?  Touché, you mega-nerd. Welcome home.

Thanks, Liz!


Save this name for your third child.

Bicycle helmets are the best protection for zero-g maneuvers.

Here’s a fact that not every parent knows… you can officially give your child a nickname as their full name.  If you really like the name Kate, don’t worry about going with Katherine.  If you prefer Xander, there’s no need to put Alexander on the birth certificate.  You’ve got the power; do what you want. So if you’re feeling the urge to give your son the somewhat final name of Ender, go right ahead.  Technically, it’s short for Andrew, but where’s the drama in that?  Enders get things done.


Sometimes, as in Ender’s Game, that thing is the overwhelming genocide of an alien species.  But let’s not be too judgemental here… Ender was a fourteen year old child prodigy when he led the human army that destroyed the alien homeworld.  Look, we all have regrets from our early teenage years, myself included.  For example, once, I drank a Zima, by choice.  It was a terrible decision, but I was a kid in the suburbs, and it was either that or race on the Strip for pink slips.  You did what you had to do, if you wanted to survive on the mean cul-de-sac’ed streets of my hometown.  Ender will have the opportunities that I, and you, never had.

Mostly the shooting-aliens-in-space opportunities, but that’ll be big business in the Future.  Might as well get him started early.

Thanks Fagan!


Most people chose the name Emmett in the 1890s. In our time, not so much.

This is what clothes look like in the future.

Last night, I trying to think of a name for my son, and I just hit a dead-end. I couldn’t focus on the task… part of the reason was that I was distracted by all of the work that needed to be done around the house. So I put the baby naming on hold, and started some long-overdue chores. For about a year now, my wife has been nagging me to hang the clock in the bathroom (which is a totally weird place to put it), so I decided to tackle that first. So there I was, standing on the edge of the toilet holding this clock up against the wall, and I slipped! I hit my head on the edge of the sink and knocked myself out. When I came to I had a revelation, a picture in my head, a picture of a name. Emmett.

Emmett is the name that makes time travel possible. An Emmett could make a time machine out of your crappy car, and head not only into the future, but also into his past. Don’t you want to see what your son looks like as an old man with white hair? I know I do. He can travel back in time and meet his parents before he was even born. He could even meet you when you yourself were still a kid!

Wait a second. If Emmett traveled into his past, you would have already met him. And you haven’t met your future son yet, so what does this mean? I see only two alternatives… either you didn’t name your son Emmett, or (and this is more likely), his time machine can only travel forward, not backward. Not as cool, I agree, but maybe his son (appropriately named Emmettson) will improve on the time machine technology and create a device that travels both ways!  He could do what his father and grandfather could not!

What? You say that you haven’t met Emmettson yet? Oh, you will.


I need someone to pioneer the numbers-as-names trend.  Can I rely on you?

What's simpler than that?

I love numbers as names.  Everyone uses places for names, or nouns, but who thinks off dropping a number in there?  ME!  I seriously put the name “Million” up for consideration, only to be undone by spousal filibuster.  I still think it could be a strong contender for someone else’s daughter.  You could even call her Millie for short!

Seven, though, won’t be defeated by some mere parliamentary procedure.  First off, it’s the highest single-digit prime number. When that thought is done blowing your mind, ponder this: Imagine all those stupid forms with the boxes for each letter of your name.  What if you could just write the number 7 in the first box and be done with it?  You would have so much more time in your life.  Finally, your child will strike fear in the hearts of other numbers, and I think you know why.

If you need a nerd reference to seal the deal, Seven (of Nine) was arguably the coolest character in the Star Trek canon.  Don’t even try to tell me that Picard was better. Jean-Luc is a name may work for Parisian waiters, but not for your kid.  I mean, come on, which is cooler, a bald Brit or a sexy cyborg?  Why are we even having this conversation?


A son named Flash could quite possibly save every one of us.

I don't care how advanced your alien civilization is... I can still beat you up with my sword.

First off, let’s address the elephant in the room.  I’m not referring to The Flash, the “fastest man alive”.  That was just his title.  You wouldn’t name your son Superman, you’d give him his real name: Kal-El.  If you want to name your kid after of the official The Flash-es from throughout comics history, go ahead, but use their real (boring) names: Wally, Bart, Barry, or Jay.

For everyone else, I’m talking about the real Flash, the one and only Flash Gordon.  This guy was everywhere: comic strips, television, movies, and ugh, back on television again (Sy-Fy, why do you ruin everything you touch, including your own name?)  Flash may look like a dumb jock, but he went to Yale and became quarterback for the New York Jets. Remember when he almost defeated advanced alien weaponry, using nothing but his football skills? This guy was the man.

And I can’t believe I’m making another Queen reference so quickly, but sheesh, Freddie Mercury sure knew how to write a song.  Every time your son will hear his name, someone else will immediately sing in impeccable falsetto, “…ah-ah!  Savior of the universe!” It’s like having a soundtrack for your life!  Who wouldn’t want that?

Thanks Alison!


I know you’re not into Weyland just yet, but give it time.

...through alien mismanagement.

Remember that scene in Alien, when that dude starts convulsing on the dinner table, and then that thing eats its way through his gut and starts running around the room?  When I saw that, I knew that I needed a way to keep that event close to me for the rest of my life. But I’m not going to name my son Alien… that’s just stupid.  It makes one thousand times more sense to refer to the interstellar global corporation that seeks to profit off the Aliens as lethal bioweapons.  Weyland has “business sense” written all over it.

If your significant other is being all sketchy, spouting nonsense like, “I don’t want our baby named after a fictional futuristic GloboChem,” I’ve got a good cover story for you: Weyland is also the name of blacksmith from Norse fairy tales (also appearing in Fables) that built the legendary sword Durandal which is also the name of the evil AI in Marathon.

See? Problem solved!

Thanks Jed!


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