30 for 30: Day 19


I published Xronixle in 2007, and I still get questions about how to pronounce the title and what the hell it means. This has led me to take greater care in the selection of titles, especially when it came to Por Vida, which had *GASP* Spanish words. Today’s 3F3 is the brainstorming session I had in hopes of picking a more accessible title. I remember…

The year is 2016. I’m 36 years old.

I was getting ready to publish my fourth novel when I decided to take a moment, step back, and see if there were any better options for the title. I really liked the title Por Vida because it could mean a few different things, as spelled out by the photo:

  • for life
  • for Vida (a character)
  • poor Vida (homophone)

To come up with a new title, I basically took the themes of the books and started riffing. My problem was that Por Vida is really two stories set ten years apart, so the title has to apply to both storylines. It couldn’t just be about Sepideh’s movie career or Vida’s life in the bunker.

Obviously, I stayed with Por Vida, as it just made the most sense. It continued a long line of least resistance when it comes to titles. I like them short, simple, and easy to pronounce.

Here’s how the others were chosen:

  • Xronixle – before your time, hackers and crackers would choose handles with some kind of letter replacement. My handle from that era was xrisis, which is a simple x for c replacement in the word crisis. If you take the word Chronicle and replace the Cs, you get Xronixle — a chronicle with two Xs, which also applies to the story. I will likely always lament this choice.
  • Veneer – name of the technology in the story.
  • Perion Synthetics – name of a company in the story.
  • Por Vida – a phrase that means both “for life” and “for Vida.”
  • Hybrid Mechanics – name of a company (and primary setting) in the story.
  • Brigham Plaza – name of the primary setting in the story.

So maybe my titles are kinda bland. I think I’m okay with that. I’d rather have something short and sweet that The Hacker Who Decoded The World or Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Piles Of Putrid Debris.

About the author

Daniel Verastiqui

Daniel Verastiqui is a science fiction author from Austin, Texas. His novels explore relationships and identity in the context of ubiquitous technology, pervasive violence, and frequent nudity. His next book, Brigham Plaza, is planned for a Summer 2020 release. He recommends you start getting excited about the new book now.

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