Sci-Fi Names: Beyond Zorg and Zalga
Loyal nameberryite Linelei leads us into the arcane world of science fiction names.
As both a science fiction nerd and name nerd, nothing gives me greater pleasure than combining the two. Since I was a little girl, I adored not only the stories but the names within the fantastical plots, and collected them as I read. While there are many science fiction names which have a tendency to be hokey, conjuring up images of green men and relying a little too heavily on the letters Z, Q, and X, there are some fabulous gems to be found in the sci-fi realm.
For example, names like Kayen and Cade, both from the expanded Star Wars universe, would mesh nicely with a classroom full of Aidans and Cashes, while names like Serenity and River, from the sci-fi show, Firefly, resonate with current nature naming trends for girls. So here I present you with boy’s names from science fiction, old and new, well-known and obscure, that may pique your interest. After all, how much fun would it be to explain that your baby was named after a psychic alien who fought to save the galaxy from total annihilation?
KAIDAN – human soldier, one of the good guys
GARRUS – alien who teams up with the good guys
THANE – alien assassin, but still a good guy!
MALCOLM (MAL) – captain of the ship.
DERRIAL – Shepherd (preacher)
STARK – has the power to help souls pass peacefully into death
BIALAR – turned against the bad guys
TALYN – living, sentient ship
RYGEL – deposed leader of many planets
Chronicles of Riddick:
RIDDICK – Vin Diesel. Need I say more?
The Fifth Element:
KORBEN – Bruce Willis’ character who saves the universe
VITO CORNELIUS – priest who assists Korben
DECKARD – main character, a Blade Runner
HOLDEN – another Blade Runner
TYRELL – genius who created the Replicants
BAIL ANTILLES – Leia’s adoptive father
ANAKIN – well-known name, and currently popular
AIREN – General in the Rebel Alliance
DENGAR – bounty hunter
KYP – Jedi knight, one of Luke’s prodigies
BARDAN – Jedi knight
KEYAN – Rebel Alliance pilot and Jedi
DAVIN –stormtrooper, turned on his superiors to allow the Milennium Falcon time to escape
RUNE – alien
CORRAN – x-wing pilot and Jedi
TALON – smuggler lord who aids the Alliance
GALEN – Darth Vader’s secret apprentice who becomes a Jedi
DASH – smuggler
CADE – descendant of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker
TYBER – leader of a criminal consortium
THAREN – last name of Bria, a rebel hero
SAREK – Vulcan ambassador, Spock’s father
REBI – former Borg drone
AZAN – former Borg drone
SOVAL – Vulcan Ambassador
Robert Heinlein’s Books:
THORBY – from Citizen of the Galaxy, an orphan who makes the most of life
JUBAL – jovial writer
LAZARUS – the oldest man who ever lived – travels through time
ELIHU – from The Puppet Masters
RHYSLING – “blind singer of the spaceways”
VORIAN – founder of House Atreides
KAGIN – son of Vorian
CANDO – commander
TALIS – inventor
SELIM – leader of the resistance outlaws
And here are the girl’s names from science fiction. Apparently it’s cool to be blue, because there are a ton of blue-skinned aliens on this list!
LIARA – intelligent and skilled (blue) alien
TALI – kind and powerful alien
SAMARA – of the same race as Liara
ZOE ALLEYNE – first mate of the ship
INARA SERRA – “companion”, also very kind
KAYLEE – ship’s mechanic, innocent and spunky
RIVER – incredibly gifted psychic
SERENITY – name of the ship
AERYN – disciplined warrior
CHIANA –spunky grey alien
MOYA – living ship
NORANTI – elderly herbalist
GILINA – tech who sacrifices herself to save the others
NATIRA – another blue alien
The Fifth Element:
LEELOO – divine being sent to save the universe
DIVA PLAVALAGUNA – blue alien opera singer
ZHORA – powerful replicant
LEIA – perhaps too familiar to be used?
MARA JADE – Luke’s eventual love interest, also force-sensitive
JAINA – Leia and Han’s daughter, a Jedi
ALLANA – Leia and Han’s granddaughter
PADMÉ AMIDALA – also more familiar
CORELLIA – planet which is Han’s homeworld
DELIAH BLUE – minor character, great name
NATASI DAALA – red-headed admiral, one of the only women to achieve rank in the Empire
TENENIEL –force-sensitive “witch”
JOELLE – member of the Jedi Council
TENEL – Jedi Knight and lover of Jacen Solo
KREIA – Jedi Master
LUMINARA – Jedi
OOLA – green dancer who stands up to Jabba the Hutt
SABÉ – one of Queen Amidala’s handmaidens, and her secret bodyguard
AAYLA – blue Jedi Knight
AURRA – bounty hunter
BRIA – Han Solo’s ex-girlfriend, sacrificed herself to get the Death Star plans
WINTER – Leia’s childhood friend and nanny to her children
DEANNA – empathic ship’s counselor
TASHA – chief of security
SELA – Tasha Yar’s daughter
KIRA – first officer, Deep Space Nine
B’ELANNA – chief engineer, half-Klingon (Voyager)
AYALA – actually a male character, but a beautiful girl’s name!
Robert Heinlein’s Books:
PALLAS ATHENE – sentient computer
DEJAH – originally an Edgar Rice Burroughs character, heroine
ELDRETH – from Starman Jones
FRIDAY – genetically-engineered protagonist
LAPIS LAZULI (LAZ) – daughter of Lazarus Long, time-traveler
LORELEI LEE (LOR) – twin to Laz
MARGRETHE – from Job: a Comedy of Justice
ALIA – precocious psychic child
CHANI – wife of Paul, the Dune protagonist
GHANIMA – daughter of Paul and Chani
SIONA – rebel
BELLONDA – priestess
HARISHKA – priestess
IRIEL – priestess
RINYA – priestess
Linelei is a dedicated name nerd and a psychology student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She lives with a plethora of well-loved (and well-named) pets: two cats named Esmerelda and Zelda, a corn snake named Banyan, a cockatoo called Hedwig, and a hoard of fish (Octavius, Algernon, Sigmund, Jolie, Jindai, Kahuna, and Kate).
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on June 3rd, 2010 at 2:27 am
What? No Slartibartfast? Haha. Only kidding, but Hitchhiker’s Guide does have a lot of wonderful names like Arthur, Ford, Marvin, and Fenchurch.
Also, my favorite sci-fi movie from last year was Moon, which had the classic names Sam and Tess (along with GERTY).
Really good blog, btw! I love science fiction and all of the names that come out of it.
on June 3rd, 2010 at 8:53 am
No Simon? What is this sadness? That’s the only name out of Firefly that I might actually use! 🙂
I never realized all those treasures were hidden in sci-fi. I’ll have to watch some of these! Great blog!
British American Said
on June 3rd, 2010 at 9:14 am
I immediately thought of Ryker, although when I looked it up I found it’s actually Riker, as in William Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Riker doesn’t appear in the top 1000, but Ryker was at #353 last year.
For girls, I thought of Ziyal. I’m not a huge fan of the spelling – I had to look it up. But the pronunciation “Zee-elle” is pretty. She was a half Cardassian, half Bajoran character on Star Trek: DS9.
Another possible one for girls is Kes, an Ocampa from Star Trek: Voyager.
on June 3rd, 2010 at 9:15 am
River is also used in Doctor Who and the character is fantastic. (giggle. To any Doctor Who new series fans, I did that on purpose).
There are some great names in that series too and in its spinoffs (Torchwood and the Sara Jane Adventures).
on June 3rd, 2010 at 9:36 am
I’ll admit to not really being all that into Sci-Fi. I did watch Star Trek NG regularly though. My husband is, like so many guys, into Star Wars, but not that much (when I compare him to a super-fan like his friend Danny, he’s not even on the scale!)… We had a running half-joke during my last pregnancy that our son’s middle would be Skywalker. He kept suggesting it only half in jest. I did finally concede Jedi if he really needed to have a Star Wars name in the middle, but he dropped it.
All that said, had I realized all the names that are not strictly Sci-Fi, but are instead *also* sci-fi, I’d have been much more receptive. (After all, my name is up there under Star Wars and I frankly had no idea it featured in the books.)
I really enjoy Malcolm, Korben (although the spelling would be tough for me to embrace), Holden, and even Davin on the boys side. For girls, Samara, Deanna, Liara, Lorelei, and Athene are nice ones. And people like me would never know there was a sci-fi connection!
on June 3rd, 2010 at 9:51 am
Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series had quite a few names that would work well:
Girls: Callista, Cleindori, Diotima (Dio), Dorilys, Ellemir, Elorie, Marguerida, Miralys, Yllana
Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series:
Boys: Aidan, Alaric, Brion, Camber, Cathal, Conall, Javan, Joram, Kelson, Nygel, Rhys, Tieg
Girls: Araxie, Evaine, Jehana, Jenniver, Jerusha, Meraude, Rhysel, Richeldis, Rohana, Sidana
on June 3rd, 2010 at 10:03 am
I’m not one for made up names, (of course I know many of these are in fact, not made up), but I do actually like the sound of these:
on June 3rd, 2010 at 10:52 am
Interesting list, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in the names that actually made the cut here.
You list Leia, but not Han? And I would far rather name my child after a cool Star Wars character, even Boba Fett or Bossk before I name him Dengar.
Woe to the person to actually names their child Dengar — the LAMEST bounty hunter in creation, who looks like his head has been wrapped in toilet paper.
I would have to highly recommend to anyone who may fall in love with any of the names on this list to please read the source materials before naming your child after them if you haven’t already.
Sure Jubal may be a ‘jovial writer’ but he is also a self described “bon vivant, gourmet, sybarite, popular author extraordinary, neo-pessimist philosopher, devout agnostic, professional clown, amateur subversive, and parasite by choice.”
And a bit of a misogynist. And not a character I would want to name my baby after.
on June 3rd, 2010 at 12:49 pm
Not sure if it was just me, but Firefly began to soud like a very cool mn choice!
Lorelei Lee is also the name of Rory, from Gilmore Girls.
Deliah has to be my favourite.
on June 3rd, 2010 at 4:47 pm
I had a bit of a laugh reading this, I am named Alia after the character in Dune. Actually most Alias I a have met, especially those born in the late 70’s to 80’s have been named after this character.
Obviously this book inspired a few brave namers.
on June 3rd, 2010 at 5:36 pm
I am not a huge sci-fi fan, but these names are really great! I really liked Cade…just Cade…for a boy, and Talon/Talyn.
Liara and Bria are really pretty and could totally see that as a sibset.
Shannon Kay Said
on June 3rd, 2010 at 6:43 pm
Jubal is also a biblical name, the inventor of the harp. I’ve got a second cousin named Jubal.
on June 3rd, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Thanks for all the other name ideas, guys! Obviously I couldn’t hit every fabulous sci-fi series, as it was long already, and I tried not to include well-known, commonly used names (which is why Simon and Han aren’t listed). The goal was to find sci-fi names that are more rare/unique but are actually usable, and we all know tastes vary on that front.
As a side note, I struggled long and hard before including Corellia on this list. It’s my choice if I have a second daughter, and I don’t want it stolen. 😉 But I shared in the spirit of nameberry!
on June 4th, 2010 at 11:57 am
Linelei–I had Corellia on MY short list too!
Oh, wait, among us baby namers sharing a favorite name could either bond us or make us enemies…..erm…..
I’d like to respectfully add Duncan and Liet to the list. I know in the Dune books Liet Kynes is a guy, but I always thought it would be a killer nn for Juliet.
Also, no Jean-Luc or Sisko? Or Vala from Stargate?
And last but certainly not least, names from OSC’s Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow series: Ender, Valentine and Petra. Not to mention Bean/Julian. Can’t tell you how many babies I’ve met who’ve been nn-ed “Bean”, especially while in utero.
Great blog. I really enjoyed reading about sci-fi names. There are so many, it’s hard to get them all.
on June 7th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
Technically, Kaylee Frye from Firefly is Kaywinnit Lee Frye. I like Kaywinnit way too much.
on June 7th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
Sachiko – Fabulous names, and important additions. I should have added Stargate names! I adore Stargate!
And, since I love your name choices for your kids, I’ll say that our shared favorite will bond us. 🙂 I’d call Corellia Cora for short.
Hastily Composed Monday Night Links « Gerry Canavan Said
on June 14th, 2010 at 11:11 pm
[…] And some science fiction names for your baby. Also […]
Chuck K Said
on June 18th, 2010 at 9:01 am
Have to mention the names of the children of a friend of mine. His oldest daughter is Perelandra, from the Narnia books, and a son named Elric, from Michael Moorcock of course.
Darn nerdery Said
on June 19th, 2010 at 3:11 am
It would be Bail Organa, not Antilles… Antilles was the name of the captain of the blockade runner that Leia was on, who owned the two droids before being killed by Vader.
on June 24th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
Ok my husband and I are having a baby girl and we really like the name Inara Grace. The only problem is EVERYONE we have told this name to hates it. It’s not that I care so much, as long as we like it, but do I have blinders on or something? I think it is a super cute name and I know I personally would probably call her Ina for short. Any opinions??
Mom of Two Said
on June 25th, 2010 at 12:01 am
My son is named Gabriel Sephiroth and my daughter is Seraphim Serenity
Anxiety Depression Support Site Said
on December 3rd, 2010 at 3:47 am
Sci-Fi is the best, i love sci-fi movies, books and stuffs like that. I am a man of science that is why i love it ”;
on December 23rd, 2010 at 11:26 am
How about Sci-Fi game names
Boy – Valerian, Raynor, Brann, Arthas, Lothar
Girl – Kerrigan, Jaina, Samantha, Ripley
These are from Warcraft, Starcraft, Aliens, and Samantha was already mentioned, but she is from Stargate.
on July 14th, 2013 at 5:25 pm
Fantastic! I’m so glad that someone did this. Two other great boy’s names would be Turlough and Adric, both from Doctor Who.
on July 16th, 2013 at 7:59 pm
Riddick’s name is Richard
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on May 12th, 2017 at 9:57 am
Darn nerdery, while I doubt NB knows this, Bail Antilles is actually a character, the senator before Bail Organa:
In the waning decades of the Galactic Republic, Senator Bail Antilles represented the planet Alderaan in the Galactic Senate. During the Invasion of Naboo, Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo unsuccessfully lobbied the Senate to intervene in the crisis to stop the Trade Federation occupation of her homeworld. She called for a Vote of No Confidence in Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, whose chancellery had been hampered by the bureaucracies of the Senate. Along with Ainlee Teem of Malastare and Sheev Palpatine of Naboo, Antilles was nominated to succeed Valorum as Supreme Chancellor. Palpatine ultimately won the election—an outcome that led to the Clone Wars and the rise of the Galactic Empire. At some point following his political defeat to Palpatine, Antilles was succeeded by Bail Organa, his relative by marriage.
You probably remember hearing :
“Who else has been nominated?”
“Bail Antilles of Alderaan and Ainlee Teem of Malastare.”
―Queen Padmé Amidala and Captain Panaka The Phantom Menace
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on August 21st, 2017 at 11:23 am
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on November 4th, 2017 at 5:59 am
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on November 4th, 2017 at 6:02 am
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