Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Title Check

A bleg for feedback -- I'm submitting a paper to an academic panel at Dragon*Con. It needs to be academic in content, but popular in tone. Since most people who aren't already committed to sitting through the paper will only encounter the title, in this case the title is vitally important. It has to say, "Hey, world, this is going to be interesting, not boring! But don't worry, it won't just be a bunch of fluff, either!"

Here's the title I'm working with: Pre-Post-Humanism: The Medieval Roots of Hybrid Humans in Science Fiction and Fantasy

What do you thing? Too hoity-toity?


  1. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Basically, there will be some serious academic-minded types at Dragon*Con...but you also want to attract some "fanboys", right? I'd ditch the jargon-laden "Pre-Post-Humanism" altogether...How about something like "Ogres and Cyborgs: The Medieval Roots...." Of course, not sure if that's reflective of the paper's contents...Basically, use some of the actual "Creatures" discussed in the paper in the title to reel 'em in. Just my two cents!

  2. I second the jargon-ditch. You'll lose most non-academics after the pre-post-humanism (you'd probably lose me if I were on a con to amuse myself). And using the creatures from the paper in the title sounds like a good idea, I think... how about "Mermaids and Werewolves are so medieval! Or: Where do those half-humans come from?"

  3. I agree with the above -- the first part of your title will be too off-putting as it stands. It would be good at Kalamazoo but not so much for a fair chunk of the con-going audience.

    Amusing word verification: monstri

  4. I agree with the others about ditching the "Pre-Post-Humanism" bit. How about opening with "The Medieval Android" or "The Steampunk Dragon", something that blends a common theme from one genre with a common creature from the other?

    As for coming up for a theme for SF, I'm sadly drawing a blank. All the words I can think of are kind of dated, such as "cyberpunk" and "atomic". Although I do like the sound of "The Atomic Dragon". :D

  5. I don't think they will have any idea what pre-post-medievalism is...I'm not sure I know either for that matter but what do I know since I'm not a "professional".

  6. Anonymous6:16 AM

    You could lose the first three words entirely and I think it would lose no impact but free itself of some confusion, IMO.

  7. I think titles with colons are becoming passe (and if they're not, they should). Agree with "lose the first three words entirely." It's academic enough without them.

  8. Anonymous12:48 AM

    What everyone else said. I'm sick of the catchy colon-infested titles too.