During a holiday break from the horror show, the dwarf Hecabano puzzled over a list of names for his next story. They sounded like what they were: uninspired. "Blast," he muttered. "Even Stephen King could come up with better monikers." Cross-legged on the carpet, he leaned back against the recliner, reaching for soda on the coffee table.
Ed came in and looked down at the list. "Names, eh? It's not that hard."
"Indeed?" Hecabano tapped one with his pencil. "Luke Jensen. Cringeworthy, positively Mayberry!"
"That's because of the last name." Ed sat on the low table. "You wanna avoid place endings like -sen, '-ford, -ing, -man, -son, and so on. Also the trade names like Hunter and Carver."
Hecabano had pencil ready. "So thrill me, Master Ed."
"Sure, bro man. How 'bout Breck Stepplet?"
"I'm intrigued. Do you know someone of that name?"
"Simple: Breck is an old west name so old it's fresh again. Stepplet is 'Stippler' with a few changes because it's a trade name."
"I see." The dwarf's shaggy brows raised. "What of scifi and fantasy?"
"For that, I take what we already have, shake it up, drop it on the table, and do some rearranging. Like so--" Ed took the pencil, and pulled over a new pad. "Take a cell like the basophil. Pronounced backwards, it's 'Lifozab'."
"Hrmm. My lead character is not a nose-bone head hunter."
"Well, how about 'wagon train' reversed. You've got 'Nairtnogow'."
"Too wild west Indian."
Ed scratched out another. "Comely reverses to Eelmuk." He saw the objection himself. "Right--too Pacific Islander. Then let's try a pill you could benefit from: Zoloft reverses to Tfoloz."
"Eh, the T is awkward. Let us go with Foloz. It's a good name for a spacegoing freighter captain. Now I need his first officer, a lass from Earth."
"Why don't we hit up the past again: Bethany."
"Patsy, then, after our own Patsy in the Outworld."
"Quite satisfactory!" The dwarf wrote it down. "With Miss Patsy being an assassin and all. When she isn't doing her standup act at the club."
Ed stood and jangled car keys in his pocket. "I'm going out for a biscuit. You got it covered?"
"I shall run another past you, the name of the ship's purser: Oyeedayr."
"It's the reverse of 'radio'!"