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Science Fiction Baby Names

What goes with Ender Grey and Lyra Yvaine?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Their love of science fiction and fantasy literature has inspired two great names. Let’s help them choose something with just as much magic for their third child!

Claire and Kyle write:

We’re expecting our third baby and having a great deal of difficulty picking a name.

We have a literary theme going with our kids: Ender Grey and Lyra Yvaine. We hope to continue the tradition by also naming this one after strong literary figures from science fiction and fantasy.  It’s no secret that we prefer unusual names, and we also want everyone in the family to have a unique first initial.

Our surname is unusual, and starts with an S, so names that end with an ‘s’ or ‘x’ sound don’t work.

Names we’ve considered include: Doyle (family name) Xavier, nickname Dex, but my husband doesn’t like Doyle or Xavier on their own. I love Arietta/Arrietty, but he only likes the nickname Ari. Names I like but he does not: Odette, Maeve, Rue, Taran, Thorin, Gawain. Names he likes, but I’m not on board: Ione, Ryker.

Are there any names that you or the nameberry community can think of that might fit the bill?

The Name Sage replies:

Choosing baby names from literature is a great strategy, especially when you’re looking for something outside the mainstream. But it poses a challenge, doesn’t it? Not only do you have to love the name, but the character has to personally resonate with you, too.

Let’s look at your wish list, besides the great name from fantasy or science fiction literature part. Your idea name will:

– Preferably be outside of the Top 1000

– Not repeat initials in the family, so C, E, K, and L names are out

– Probably not end with ‘s’ or ‘x’

There’s another point to consider. Ender and Lyra both make me think of their characters immediately. That’s different from, say, Luke (Skywalker) or Molly (from both Neuromancer and Harry Potter). We all know at least a few Lukes and Mollys, and maybe some of them were named for a book – but it’s not obvious.

On the other hand, Lyra and Ender are tied to their fictional inspirations. This puts them slightly outside the mainstream, even though they fit nicely with current trends. I’m guessing you’d like a third name that hits this sweet spot – different enough to hint at the name’s origins, but still consistent with given names circa 2019.

BOY NAMES

Atreyu – Is Atreyu too different? The hero of The Neverending Story feels like fitting inspiration for a son. Author Michael Ende invented it for his 1979 novel, explaining that it means “son of all” in the character’s native language. It’s a bold and unusual choice, but it has been given to thousands of boys since the 1980s.

Bastian – If Atreyu is too much, could Bastian work? Bastian Balthasar Bux is the boy who discovers the book containing The Neverending Story, and eventually leaps into the tale. Ender, Lyra, and Bastian sound exactly right to me. One caution: the similar Sebastian is a Top 100 choice.

Duncan Dune’s Duncan Idaho might make a worthy namesake, and while the name ranks in the US Top 1000, it’s never been terribly common. I don’t immediately associate Duncan with the novels, but with siblings named Ender and Lyra, the theme seems more obvious. The similar-sounding Deckard – as in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Bladerunner – might appeal, too.

Finnick – Because you mentioned Rue, I thought about Finnick. We first meet him in the second book of the Hunger Games series, and he becomes a close ally of our hero, Katniss Everdeen. It’s an invented name, but connects to the popular Finn. Ender, Lyra, and Finnick work well together.

Jareth – Okay, Labyrinth is a movie, not a novel. But this JaredGareth mash-up has lots of appeal. It was invented for the Goblin King in the 1986 film, played by David Bowie.

Poe – I’m thinking of two Poes with this name. There’s the Star Wars rebel, noble but not exactly literary. And then, of course, there’s Edgar Allan Poe. While his most famous works are Gothic, others can be considered forerunners of science fiction. That makes Poe a worthy brother for Ender and Lyra.

GIRL NAMES

Aeryn – Aeryn, inspired by Farscape, fits with Ender and Lyra nicely. Then again, it’s not literary – Farscape was made for television. And perhaps the spelling would lead to a lifetime of hassle.

Alia – Another Dune-inspired name, borrowed from Paul’s sister, Alia Atreides. It fits in with Ender and Lyra, but with Aaliyah in the Top 100, is it different enough?

CoralineAn obscure old French name, Neil Gaiman discovered it by transposing the letters in Caroline. Now it’s far more familiar, but still far from common. I think that puts it in the same category as Lyra and Ender.

Eowyn – Lots of Lord of the Rings names could work nicely. Besides Eowyn, there’s Arwen, Galadriel, and Elanor, too. It also makes a great middle name option.

River – If you’re willing to consider inspiration from television and movies, River is one of the best. A significant character in both Firefly and Doctor Who, the gentle nature name carries a lot of sci fi significance, too.

For boys, my favorite is Bastian. Though I do think it’s worth seriously considering Doyle XavierDex,” too.

I’m less certain about girls’ names. Alia River is probably my favorite, but I’m not sure if it’s different enough to feel right to your family.

Let’s open this up to the community. What are your favorite literary sci-fi and fantasy names for boys and girls?

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About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.
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30 Responses to “Science Fiction Baby Names”

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JuliaKateElizabeth Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 1:03 am

Lyra is a favourite of mine!
Auryn (OR-in) is a talisman from The Neverending Story and works for any gender.
Amalthea is the name of the lead character in The Last Unicorn.
If TV nods are an option, Inara is a character from Joss Wheden’s Firefly.
Or for film, Elora is the prophetic baby in Willow.
Caspian and Aslan are nice nods to the Narnia series.

JemK Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 1:47 am

Prosper (from The Thief Lord) or Artemis (Fowl) could be options.

whatchamacallit Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 7:22 am

Darrow or Io from the Red Rising Triliogy. Sabriel from the Abhorsen Trilogy.

whatchamacallit Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 7:43 am

Oops, neither of those are just trilogies anymore. Anyway, Darrow for a boy or Sabriel for a girl sounds awesome with Ender and Lyra. 😊

JustBrowsing Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 9:23 am

It’s not popular, but I wonder if Inara is too tied to Firefly.
Ender, Lyra & Inara.

Ducaliter Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 9:51 am

Hello, I love the names and the fact that they are based on famous novels. I am a huge reader of science-fiction and fantasy and I thought of some names that could sound nice.

For boys:
– Fitz from the Robin Hobb series, it sounds friendly and not so popular.
– Seldon, From Asimov’s Foundation
– Mortimer, called “Mo”, he is Meggie’s father in the inkheart series
– Seth, one of the main characters of the Fablehaven series
– Oberon, king in the Roger Zelazny’s novels. Corwin is nice too but the initial doesn’t work.
– Alvin, the name of the main character in an Orson Scott Car novel
– Tobin

For Girls:
– Avalon, from the Arthurian myths. It’s uncommon, poetic and evocative
– Mara from the book series of Raymond Feist
– Auri, a character from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
– Morwenna, the young girl in Jo Walton’s book
– Meggie, the main character in the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke
– Saphira, Eragon’s dragon

MommaG Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 10:23 am

For girls: Aeron from the Keltiad series, Lessa, Brekke or Menolly from the Dragons of Pern.
For boys: Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time, Jubal from Stranger in a Strange Land

linda Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 11:13 am

What great suggestions!

KatieNana Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 11:57 am

I am wondering if you husband would get more on board with Doyle if he could associate it with a sci fi / fantasy character in addition to it being a family name. In Season 1 of Angel (Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin-off), there was a character named Doyle who was half-Irish/Demon with powers of premonition. I loved his character and I could definitely see him as someone worthy of naming a baby after :).

Arrianangels Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Girl names
Artemis In Greek mythology Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo. She is the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, and young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she is a Greek moon goddess, sometimes depicted with a crescent moon above her head.
She had a group of devoted female followers called the Hunters of Artemis. Many of these were mortal women, but there were also nymphs and other mythological creatures.

a character in the Wonder Woman comics, one of the Amazons. (Diana), a character in the book series Twitches, twin sister of Apolla. the male main character in the young adults’ book series Artemis Fowl (Author: Eoin Colfer), aka Tigress, a character in the DC comic universe, Main female character in the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The moon Goddess
Nicknames for Artemis:
Art, Temi, Tem, Temis, Arti, Misa, Miss, Missy, Ari, Arty, Artie.

Hermione: Origin of the name Hermione:
Feminie form of Hermes, a name of uncertain etymology borne by the messenger god. The name Hermione is borne in Greek legend by the daughter of King Menelaus of Sparta and his wife, Helene of Troy.

from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, character in “The Winter’s Tale” by Shakespeare, a character in John Updike’s novel “Terrorist”, Archie comics
Nicknames for Hermione: Mione, Hermie, Miney/Minie/Mine(pronounced like mine-ee),Minnie, My My, Honey, Ionee, Hermy-own

Luna: Directly derived from the Latin luna (the moon). She was the Roman mythological goddess of the moon and is equated with the Greek Selene. Luna can be used as an astrological name for those born under the sign of Cancer, which is ruled by the moon.

From: “Harry Potter” book series, Isabel Allende’s novel, Bombay Bicycle Club, Sailor Moon’s Cat, “One Life to Live”, Princess Luna, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, game Dota 2

Nicknames for Luna: | Lulu, Una, Loony, Lu, Lunar Eclipse, LuNu, Lunar

Boy names
Holden: From a surname which started out as a place name meaning “deep valley.”

Nicknames for Holden: Hold, Denny, Holdie

Holden Caulfield, of J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and DC comics series “Sleeper”

Jonas: Jonas is John in Lithuanian. Jonas means “gift from God’ ; and also ‘dove’

Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award-winning children’s book The Giver and the X-Men books

Nicknames for Jonas: Jonukas (Lithuanian), Joe, Jones

Orion: “Dweller on the Mountain” – Greek, “Dawn, east” – Latin, “Son of fire, son of light” – Greek, “Light of Heaven” – Akkadian

New Gods comic book series, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Artemis Fowl’s split personality.

Nicknames for Orion: | O, O-Ry, O-ee, Rion, Ry, RyRy

Mollyandollie Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Some of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy names: Larkin/Asha or Ola from Parable of the Talents
Ren, Toby, Oryx, Ramona from the Oryx and Crake series

livialucille Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Trying to suggest names that haven’t already been suggested.

From Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (since Yvaine is from Stardust):
Tristan/Tristran
Una
Septimus

From Tamora Pierce’s books (Lioness Quartet, Protector the Small series, Circle of Magic):
Alanna
Briar
Trisana nn Tris
Sandrilene nn Sandry
Lark
Rosethorn
Niklaren
Frostpine
Daja
Keladry

From Garth Nix’s books (Abhorsen series, Seventh Tower series):
Lirael
Leaf
Milla
Tal

From Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles:
Cimorene
Morwen

From Jonathan Stroud’s books:
Bartimaeus

From The Princess Bride:
Buttercup
Westley
Inigo

From Avi’s Dimwood Forest books:
Poppy

From Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books:
Prydain
Eilonwy
Gwydion
Angharad
Llyr
Llyan

From Roald Dahl’s books:
Matilda
Sophie
Charlie
Willy
Danny

catcher5 Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 5:28 pm

Prue- Wildwood
Karou – Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Bastille – Alcatraz vs. Evil Librarians
Vin – Mistborn

Kelsier – Mistborn
Nobody (Bod)- The Graveyard Book
Jem- Immortal Instruments
Ford – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Gareth – Wheel of Time

Beau Jean Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Rand
Perrin
Pippin

Aurora
Isabeau
Una/Oona

springcrocus Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 7:14 pm

I knew a family who named their daughter Trillion, after the character in Hitchhiker’s Guide. Might be too out there for your tastes, but it seems like a great match for Yvaine as a middle. Arthur, as in Arthur Dent, or Ford for Ford Prefect might be good options too.

edeslee Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 8:52 pm

How about Tavi from Codex Alera, or Auri or Denna from Name of the Wind?

oftenoverseas Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Perrin & Matrim, Min & Aviendha are my favorites from the Wheel of Time series. I live the suggestions of Sabriel and Coraline too!! I love Xavier. Jubilee, Gambit, or Marvel would be great middle names. I feel like Apollo would work both for the Battlestar Galactica connection and the planetary feel of Ender and Lyra. Apollo Xavier would be awesome! I feel like some other constellation/moon names would work too—Io & Cressida come to mind.

88Jess88 Says:

January 9th, 2019 at 11:52 pm

@Ducaliter I think Avalon would work great for the sibset they already have going on, and it’s just such a pretty name.

Luna_20 Says:

January 10th, 2019 at 1:59 pm

What about ‘Laser’ and ‘Saber’ for a boy? They’re not technically names from science fiction books, but I wouldn’t be surprised if characters usually used weapons that included laser or swords! Saber also means a heavy cavalry sword with a curved blade.

**My BF’s a big sci-fi fan, so I’m a bit familiar with this teme.

zsazsa00 Says:

January 10th, 2019 at 3:53 pm

What lovely names you have chosen for your children! My good friends sister chose Ender for her son too! And it’s been on my radar since I read the book years ago, though I always preferred Locke or Valentine or Petra. ^-^

I would recommend:

Darrow from Red Rising (Literally the most exciting sci-fi book I’ve read since Ender’s Game!)

And I agree I think you and your husband will come across a name that you both love by finding a character to you both enjoy that helps breath life and personality into it. Like a wish for your child. At least that’s how I view naming after strong characters. Like if I was to have a child name Ender I would hope him to smart and witty and determined and so on and so forth. Good luck!

zsazsa00 Says:

January 10th, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Oh also Belmont?

As in the family name of hunters in the Castelvania series? I think it is distinguished and an honorable name to live up to. Also fresh and up on the trends since it might be rising with the ever popular Netflix masterpiece recently released.

Not sure if supernatural counts…. I personally think its a genre of its own but I know lots who put vampires under fantasy.

Also more so the just a literary theme or science fiction theme you could expand to a “character theme” if you are having issues picking out a name from the selection based off of the original rules. Any “characters” name you chose that has a big personality and easily tied down like the Sage suggests (in much better wording) would fit in with Ender and Lyra.

csn-skittles Says:

January 10th, 2019 at 8:38 pm

hey, I know an Arwen and an Eowyn. They’re great names.

leighmiller Says:

January 10th, 2019 at 9:30 pm

Love the suggestions of Avalon and Finnick. Also like Darrow and Trillion with your other children’s names. Hera (Battlestar Gallactica, not a book) is great too. Thorin has always been a favorite of mine. Too bad your husband is not on board!

kymielogan Says:

January 11th, 2019 at 5:04 am

How about Fenchurch? From Hitchhiker’s. I know a Fenchurch who is nicknamed Fen.

alom Says:

January 11th, 2019 at 10:45 am

I feel like this question should be in my wheelhouse since I’m a big fantasy fan, too. Others have already made some great suggestions – Capsian, Bastian or Sabriel for a girl are a couple of my favourites. Here are a few others I thought of:

Girls:
Clariel
Amilyn
Ginevra
Shallan
Willow
Lettie
Serafina
Hester
Tamora

Boys:
Kaladin
Dalinar
Huxley
Malcolm
Asriel
Adolin
Akiva
Shadow

julgwill Says:

January 12th, 2019 at 10:52 am

you might get some names from Sanderson’s books as well. The Way of Kings has some awesome names: Kaladin, Shallan, Adolin. Also Navani. There’s a great series (seven realms) with some awesome names too. Cinda, Hanson (nn: Han), Raisa, Mellony, Micah, Gavan, Willow, Hayden).

Hopelesscause07 Says:

January 13th, 2019 at 10:31 am

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far, everyone! We are taking every single one into consideration, and there are some fantastic new names. (Seriously – Avalon? I don’t know how I never thought of it, but its GORGEOUS and perfect.) We’ll let you know when we decide on the names, but for right now we’re thinking its still going to be a long time until we decide. 🙂 Thank you all again, and keep the amazing suggestions coming!!!
– Claire and Kyle

morgantaylore Says:

January 13th, 2019 at 8:26 pm

Guenivere (King Arthur)
Ophelia (Shakespeare )
Hermoine (Harry Potter – a great namesake )
Arwen (Lord of the rings )
Alice (Alice in wonderland )
Aelin (Throne of glass)

Caspian (Narnia)
Jonas (the giver )
Percy (Percy Jackson)
Jon (Game of thrones – not out there enough? )

This was so fun to think about !

AnandaWren Says:

January 14th, 2019 at 4:08 pm

My favorite of Abby’s suggestions are Finnick and Deckard. What about Deckard “Dex”?

Are you Trekkies? The fact that Ryker is on Kyle’s list makes me wonder if you’d consider a Star Trek name. There are so many good ones! Some of the more usable (leaving out K’Ehleyr, a personal favorite which will, alas, remain on the future pet list), which I think fit nicely with Ender & Lyra:

Dax
Kes
Ezri
Seven
Archer
Jadzia (perhaps a little out there, but the NN Zia is so fun)

lyd810 Says:

January 14th, 2019 at 8:15 pm

I love Finnick! I also like the suggestion of Caspian and Aslan both from Narnia. Or what about Remus for Harry Potter? It also has a tie to Romulus and Remus and the founding of Rome for mythological connection. I also love the name Peregrine (could go by Perry). As far a science fiction tie there is Mrs. Peregrine’s home for Peculiar children.

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