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Naming things

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/27/2017

I have a science-fiction-themed game in relatively early stages of development, and I have a thematic conundrum here.

The backstory is that Earth received an unambiguous "We come in peace" message from space about a hundred years from now. The broadcast was cut off a few days after it began, and it was clear that some sort of catastrophe had occurred.

A starship and several support vessels were built and "rushed" to the scene (no FTL, so we're still talking about a century in transit) to investigate and/or offer assistance.

I think it's realistic that a starship built in the early 2100's on the first journey to a known-inhabited extrasolar system would be named the Yuri Gagarin, the landing craft the Neil Armstrong, the drone carrier the Valentina Tereshkova, the science vessel the Harrison Schmitt and the scout craft the Alexey Leonov. Except that these are the names of real people, three of them are still alive, and this is not a case where fictionalized variations of the celebrities' names would be appropriate.

(The expedition did not include a gunship, which turns out to be a serious oversight. But that part of the story is not relevant here.)

Should I go for "realism" here or just throw in some bland names that sound like they came out of a UN committee?

(Edit: typo)

tikey's picture
Joined: 03/31/2017
The names sound good but

The names sound good but maybe you can do a bit of both. Having variations of real people's name or maybe just their last names. Or maybe combine them with another word
Gagarin's hope for example.

BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008
I like!

I like the way you are naming the ships and I think it fits the theme well.

You might also try adding one that is fictional from your future history to mix things up. in the story you will need to point out why that person or event was famous but that is not too hard.

You should take a look down the list of cannon Star Trek Ships, not for getting names but for thinking about why they picked the names those ships have. The logic for why people name ships what they do is what you are after... but I think based on the names you have picked that for the most part you already get it!

We do also name ships after big events and significant places, so not all of the ships need to be named after people.

I do agree with tikey that sometimes the last name only is enough.

I love a well thought out Sci-fi theme! Looking forward to hearing more about the game.


Joined: 01/27/2017
Good ideas

Thanks, good ideas there. Real ships named after people use the whole name (USS Abraham Lincoln) but you have a good point that this is just a game. Last names seems like a good compromise, especially if I never explicitly state why the names were chosen. I'd like to get someone thinking "I know who Armstrong is, I wonder who these others names are?" then learn something.

When coming up with those names, I specifically went for firsts rather than record-holders, since those records will all be broken at some point before this fictional starship is launched.

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