Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Back in the eighties, I enjoyed the crisp one-word titles of Dean Koontz's books. Whispers. Watchers. Midnight.
Intriguing. Compelling. Terse. And reflecting the content of the books too. I find that to be true of many of his current books as well.
Amanda Quick did this for romance novels as well. I’d gotten tired of flowery titles like “The Pirate’s Passion” and “The Duke’s Desire” (even those do convey information about the time period and the characters), so it was a refreshing change to see titles like Mischief, Mystique and Rendezvous.
Not only are those to-the-point while still being romantic, they remind me of the names of perfumes. Always a good thing. The same goes for novels like Shirley Conran’s Lace.
On the other hand, I couldn’t think of any fantasy novels with one-word titles that I found really memorable. Erewhon, maybe, but that’s because it’s an anagram of nowhere. A one-word title would ideally convey the genre, but that’s difficult to do with a proper noun - when I first picked up Kara Dalkey's Goa, I thought it was a historical novel set in the Indian city.
Even New Crobuzon isn’t as evocative as Perdido Street Station. That hints at something lost, while simultaneously showing the industrialized nature of the setting.
Are there any one-word titles you especially like, of fantasy novels or otherwise?