Eek! I just discovered that I never posted yesterday's blog. I just wrote it out and saved it. My bad.
And here it is, yesterday's post . . .
I just popped my latest story "For I Have Lain Me Down on the Stone of Loneliness and I'll Not Be Back Again" in the mail today and it got me thinking about titles. I've been on an desultory long title binge lately -- "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled . . ." leaps to mind -- because I got tired of everything having short, tidy titles to the degree that there are months when the contents page of Asimov's looks like a row of neatly-tied brown shoes.
Seventeen words is nowhere near the record for longest title for a published short story, of course. But what is? Does anybody here know?
Above: It has nothing to do with today's blog, but since I didn't have anything appropriate I thought I'd share this photo of the ghost of a jack-o-lantern.
You wrote a followup to Babel's Fall'n GLORY... that I somehow missed? :)
My favourite long title is Chip's "We, in Some Strange Power's Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line", but it won't win any prizes for length.
Well known stories: "The Soul Selects Her Own Society: Invasion and Repulsion: A Chronological Reinterpretation
of Two of Emily Dickinson's Poems: A Wellsian Perspective" by Connie Willis surely takes the rose. (and don't call her Shirley)
2nd place: "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38ø 54' N, Longitude 77ø 00' 13" W by Harlan Ellison
Not a record, but "Down With the Bentfin Boomer Boys in Little Old New Alabama" by Richard Lupoff was a great yarn.
There's a resurgence in bloated title...I believe Lucius Shepard has a novella lurking whose working title is: "Got Those Way Down Below The Himalayas In A Secret Cavern Burns A Flame Brighter Then The Sun Tibetan Blues" Looking forward to that one!
Matthew, best story Roger Zelazny never wrote! I got to ask him what he thought of the novelette...he loved it.
I think you should title a story "A."
Hmmmm...that's kind of wordy, Victoria. How about "."?
Correction made, Andrew. Thanks. I keep making that mistake. "When are you going to learn the titles of your own stories?" Marianne says.
And I really do want to read the Lucius story.
So far, it looks like a tie at twenty words. That may be a natural limit.
When Zelazny and Delany were new and tearing up the charts, I thought of them as two aspects of one brilliant writer -- Delazny,perhaps. Now, of course, their essential differences seem obvious.
A tie at twenty-one words by my count.
I was reading the stories as they were first published, served up piping hot from the smithies of their souls. Back when they were what Gardner likes to call Hot Young Writers, a little ragtag, a lot unknown, and breaking new ground with every story. Long, long, long before Amber.
It was an exciting time to be a reader.
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