What’s In A Name?

It’s been several years now since I published Catskinner’s Book. 

I’d like to ask people who have read it, what do you think the title means? What does the phrase “Catskinner’s Book” refer to?

I do have a specific answer in mind, something that I meant when I chose that title, and I’m wondering if I gave my readers enough information to figure it out.

I’d really like to hear your theories.  What is Catskinner’s Book?

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in Catskinner's Book, On Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to What’s In A Name?

  1. I mean, my initial assumption was that the book was about Catskinner. Jane’s book — book about Jane. Etc. But since there’s clearly more to it … maybe the book refers to all his crazy extraterrestrial knowledge that he has stored up?

  2. metallicwolff says:

    James, the host to Catskinner is simply the means for telling the Catskinner’s story. So James is Catskinner’s Book. Whatever the real reason, the story is great and Catskinner is pretty cool. Read it.

  3. kingmidget says:

    Metallicwolff stole my answer!

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Thank you! Yes, James is Catskinner’s Book–the physical representation of an incorporal being. However, the story is really about him becoming more than that–a person of his own.

  4. Dave Higgins says:

    Metaphorically, book is a structure for containing power, e.g. doing it by the book.

    So, as James both restrains Catskinner’s impulses and physically constrains the n-dimensional concept matrix that Catskinner otherwise would have been, James is metaphorically the book.

    However, if we are really going into the metaphysics, I’m not sure if ownership is a valid concept within Catskinner’s paradigm. Therefore, the possessive in the title might make Catskinner’s Book a paradox.

  5. I have always taken the title at face value, honestly. A book, ostensibly about Catskinner. My confusion was bound up in the fact that it does seem so straightforward as a title, in comparison to the titles that follow.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Maybe I’ll talk about “Cannibal Hearts” and “The Worms Of Heaven” tomorrow.

    • I also didn’t look for a deeper meaning in the title. When I’m looking for something to read, a catchy title could help, as could one that reinforces that I’m looking at the right genre, but otherwise I don’t think about it much. Once I’m past the first book in a series, I don’t really care about the title, they could just be called Catskinner II, III, and IV, and it wouldn’t make me any more or less likely to read them; I’m just going by how much I liked the previous one. Sorry, I activated the wrong side of my brain for this discussion…

      • MishaBurnett says:

        I think of subtext as being kind of like side quests in a video game–it’s there if you want to pursue it, but it’s not necessary in order to understand what’s going on and get from the beginning to the end.

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