Thursday, April 05, 2007

In an interview on Dust of the Time last December, DustIAm asked about our title, Infinite Space, Infinite God. How can God, which is infinite, create something infinite? We replied:
Infinite space, infinite numbers, infinite possibilities… Can they really be infinite? When it comes to our limited human perceptions, the answer is, "Yes, of course." But just like in mathematics, there are different infinities.

Thomas Aquinas said that things other than God can be relatively infinite without being essentially infinite, and that when you speak of infinity, you are speaking about the potentiality of an object rather than the form of the object. (Summa Theologica, Question 7: The Infinity of God)

So "Infinite Space, Infinite God," as a title, presents a juxtaposition of infinities--relative vs. essential--and alludes to the incredible potentialities of space. What better image for an anthology of Catholic science fiction?
With 20-20 hindsight, "Infinite Space, Infinite God" is a very appropriate name for a Catholic SF work, yet when we thought of it, it was just a place-holder until we could come up with something better. Lida, publisher at Twilight Times Books, liked it and that's what we contracted under. And it is a cool name.

Still, there's a part of me that wishes we'd picked another title. One that's easier for me to type.

First, there's the word "infinite." -ite is such a common ending, so why can't I get it right? Half the time, I end up with "Infintie Space." As often as I've typed it--and it must be tens of thousands of times by now--I still transpose the I and T. I'm changing my name to "Fingers-Stumble-Over-Keyboard." At least spell check hasn't corrected it to Infantile Space….yet.

Then there's the comma in the middle. It makes an impact when looking at the title alone, but when you put it in a sentence (Our latest book, Infinite Space, Infinite God, is coming out in August.), it looks wrong. Maybe a colon instead?

Finally, it's long. Again, not on its own, but after writing it a half-dozen times in a letter, it gets old. As a former military officer and a military wife, I'm fond of acronyms, so I've shortened it to ISIG. Rob and I pronounce it I-sig. I like the flow. Lida, our publisher, says each letter. I've no idea how anyone else says it. As long as they recognize it in print, right?

So here's a hint for all of you authors: Before you title a piece, run it through the Title Test:
--Type it 10 times fast. Can you spell it right?
--Put it in a sentence. Does it look right with all the commas and other words? Does it stand out?
--Put it in a press release. Does it look annoying to say the title again and again, or dies it flow?

It's a little late for changes now (though I may ask Lida about that colon), and besides, Infinite Space, Infinite God really does project the feel of the anthology. It makes an impact.

Now, if I could just get my fingers around that ite.

ite ite ite ite ite ite....

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