Planet George

When participating in a writer’s Q&A at a writer’s seminar, one of the attenders asked this question.

“How do you come up with names for planets when writing Sci-Fi?”

Members of the panel answered in various ways. Some had answers filled with scientific gobble-dee-gook. Others leaned more toward mythology, like naming the planets after gods (Mars, Venus).

I smiled, inwardly. I guess I’m sort of simple. I’d name a planet GEORGE. 

That’s a great name.

Think about it. People get all caught up in fancy names or names with numbers, like Talsetti V. By the way, that “V” is the Roman numeral five, not the letter. 

SEE! What good is a name you have to stop and explain. On top of that, when something is named Talsetti V, it makes me wonder what happened to 1, 2, 3, an 4?

“We blew up Talsetti 1, so we moved on.”

Oh really? Then what happened to the other three? Did you blow them up too?

“Well, Talsetti II is just a colony of our planet.”

Don’t they have the imagination to come up with their own name?

“And we found out Talsetti III was uninhabitable. It had trees that gave off an odor that smelled like my uncle Marvin after he had a couple helpings of Aunt Betty’s Cauliflower and Bean casserole.”

That’s just disgusting!

Honestly, names with numbers makes me wonder if the inhabitants will use up the planet and just move on, checking off another mistake on their long line of blunders.

The other problem I have with naming planets is this—Who are we to think we have the right to name someone else’s home. I’m speaking in the Sci-fi terms here. Imagine we land on Mars. Low and behold, we find life! Thousands and thousands of beings, living underground in a very complex and sophisticated society. They send a delegation out to meet us. 

We approach, “Greetings Martians. It is good to meet you.”

They share a puzzled look, then in perfect English (Obviously all aliens speak English) they say, “Martians? What are Martians?”

“You are, or course. You come from this planet, don’t you? You come from Mars?”

They nod their heads, their eye stocks bouncing around as they do. “We come from this planet, but it’s not named Mars.”

“What is it called?”

They smile. “Why, George of course.”

You see, even the Martians … I mean Georgians know a perfect name for a planet when they hear it.

Of course, there is One who has the ultimate right to name all things; the One who created everything that is.         You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11)

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