Character of the Week: Computer Scientist Names

This writer didn’t offer me a lot of information: No other characters’ names, no plot points, nothing about the character’s character.

Male, late 20s, Contemporary
Raised in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon/Washington) by somewhat conservative, working class parents. He is a recent grad from a computer science program.

As with most contemporary characters I began my search with the SSA’s Popular Baby Names list searching for slightly geeky names that could convey a range of characteristics—since I didn’t know what kind of a geek I was naming. Since Sci-fi and Fantasy readers tend to be especially well-read and intelligent, writers in those genres often use names with meaning or names that are referential (e.g. a werewolf named Remus). Here I chose some names that, while accurate for the area the character was born/raised in, referenced a popular sci-fi TV show.

  • Brent: Reminds me of Brent Spiner of TNG; geeky with guts
  • Wesley (Wes): Also a TNG reference; smart, not physical
  • Trevor: Same feeling as Wesley but with more bite
  • David: I know a lot of computer guys with this name; an everyman name
  • Derek: Has an intelligent, strong and attractive vibe

I don’t name my characters after people I know, but in this case I did offer a common name that a few of my friends/acquaintances share to another writer because I felt it might work well. And maybe the writer will use it for one of his other characters.

The writer replied to me: Great list. At the moment, I’m leaning towards Derek, though I might be able to work the others in with ancillary characters. The TNG references would fit in perfectly!



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