I just read/skimmed a story from 1983—“Cryptic,” by Jack McDevitt—in which the protagonist has come across a radio signal that seems to include “sixty-one distinct pulse patterns, which was to say, sixty-one characters.” The protagonist consults the only linguist he knows, who says, among other things: “Sixty-one letters seems a trifle much.” And goes on […]
Archive for Fiction
Some typos are more harder to detect than others. I’m currently reading the 1989 Mandarin Paperbacks edition of C. J. Cherryh’s novel Downbelow Station, which is rife with the sort of typos that a spellchecker won’t catch, because the erroneous word is also a valid English word. (Okay, “rife” is an exaggeration; I really only […]
I feel like in science fiction lately, there’s been an occasional tendency (though with many exceptions) for authors to adopt the style of Iain M. Banks in naming their fictional spaceships. Before Banks came along, I feel like fictional spaceship names tended to be one or two words (of course, many of these names were […]
On fictional words from notional languages, but mostly I'm just ever so fond of Hrairoo and Hazel-rah.
Recently happened across the Kryptonian Language Project: “an ongoing effort to flesh out a full working language for the home planet of one of the most popular fictional characters in...