So Many Titles, So Little Time!

Or in the case of this book, too much time. For you to be waiting, that is.

Here it is: I’m publishing The Reefs of Time in two volumes—two months apart—in both ebook and print.* I’m aiming for July and September. Yes, of this year, wise guy. I want to promote the launch of the first one at worldcon. Each volume will be heftier than any of the other Chaos books except Sunborn. Taken together, they’ll mass something just shy of a neutron star, or maybe a quantum black hole.

Okay, that could be an exaggeration. But I do hope they’ll suck you in, heh-heh.

I have a mountain of work to do to prepare for this. But today I want to talk about titles. Specifically, the title of the second book.

My first thought was, The Reefs of Time (Vol. 1) and The Reefs of Time (Vol. 2). But that doesn’t work, because it’s already Volume 5 (and 6) of The Chaos Chronicles and the potential for confusion was endless. So I started noodling around titles for the second part. Until a few days ago, I thought it was going to be:

The Reefs of Time (and)
A Triumph of Time

But then I had an epiphany. How about this, instead:

The Reefs of Time (and)
Crucible of Time

I actually like both. But I think “crucible” sounds more dangerous. Riskier. Anything can happen.

What do you think? I’m inviting comments, or even alternative suggestions!

*In case you missed it, these are no longer going to be published by Tor. I am publishing them under my own Starstream Publications imprint, in cooperation with Book View Café.


12 Responses

  1. Reg Caton
    | Reply

    Below is a passage from Slocum’s classic “Sailing Alone Around The World”. This is where he is trying to round Cape Horn in a storm and he gets into the midst of the Milky Way of the sea. I don’t know the text of your second book but it could be an appropriate title. “The Milky Way of Time” maybe?
    I’m pretty sure the copyright on the book has expired. It was published first in 1899 and the last copyright renewal I could find was 1954.
    Anyway just a thought.

    Night closed in before the sloop reached the land, leaving her feeling the way in pitchy darkness. I saw breakers ahead before long. At this I wore ship and stood offshore, but was immediately startled by the tremendous roaring of breakers again ahead and on the lee bow. This puzzled me, for there should have been no broken water where I supposed myself to be. I kept off a good bit, then wore round, but finding broken water also there, threw her head again offshore. In this way, among dangers, I spent the rest of the night. Hail and sleet in the fierce squalls cut my flesh till the blood trickled over my face; but what of that? It was daylight, and the sloop was in the midst of the Milky Way of the sea, which is northwest of Cape Horn, and it was the white breakers of a huge sea over sunken rocks which had threatened to engulf her through the night. It was Fury Island I had sighted and steered for, and what a panorama was before me now and all around! It was not the time to complain of a broken skin. What could I do but fill away among the breakers and find a channel between them, now that it was day? Since she had escaped the rocks through the night, surely she would find her way by daylight. This was the greatest sea adventure of my life. God knows how my vessel escaped.
    The sloop at last reached inside of small islands that sheltered her in smooth water. Then I climbed the mast to survey the wild scene astern. The great naturalist Darwin looked over this seascape from the deck of the Beagle, and wrote in his journal, “Any landsman seeing the Milky Way would have nightmare for a week.” He might have added, “or seaman” as well.

    • jeffreyacarver
      | Reply

      Hi Reg — That’s a nice passage. Thanks; I’d never read that before. Copyright is no issue with titles; they can’t be copyrighted. That’s why you see so many duplicated titles. That said, I don’t think the phrase Milky Way of Time really works for me.

  2. David Bosboom
    | Reply

    Hi Jeff, A bit premature but congratulations on the posting of your publication dates. But more seriously, I think that the top of the book’s cover page might read “Volume 5(6) of the Chaos Chronicles” followed by the artwork with your titles “The Reefs of Time /
    Crucible of Time” at the bottom of the page. (I’d send you a sample mock-up but my laptop is on its last legs and it could be fatal if I tried to start my CorelDRAW!). I look forward to reading BOTH novels. And I want to know if you’ll be printing a hard cover version or going straight to paperback. Of course I’m also interested in the purchase price including a shipping price.

    • jeffreyacarver
      | Reply

      Hi David — I have some very talented people working on the covers. I’m sure they’ll come up with a great design. These will be trade (large format) paperbacks. I see that Ingram does have a hardcover option, but I haven’t looked into that yet. With a trade pb available, I don’t know if there would be enough demand for a hardcover to make that practical.

      I can’t even guess at the prices yet. That will depend largely on the number of pages. Shipping price will be whatever Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any other bookstore charges. I will not be selling them directly myself (except maybe at cons or special events).

  3. Robert Laird
    | Reply

    Crucible works for me.

  4. Jim Amweg
    | Reply

    You could go scientific like Litmus Test of Time. Or quasi-religious with Cross of Time.

  5. Daniel M. Kimmel
    | Reply

    How about Time, the weekly newsmagazine? Just kidding.

    Looking forward to reading the next parts of what’s turning into your masterwork. To offer a semi-serious suggestion, how about The Great Barrier of Time? (You see what I did there?)


  6. Semora
    | Reply

    I like both titles, but “A Triumph of Time” makes me think it’s the last book in a series (like the final triumph of an epic saga). And if I remember correctly from past blog posts, it won’t be the final book. “Crucible of Time,” like you said, brings to mind a dangerous series of trials and intrigues me.

    Either way, I’m very eager to read both books. I’m glad to hear that you’re still going to publish them, even without Tor. And the projected release dates are now much closer than I expected. I’m going to have to speed up on my re-read of the series.

  7. lyleblosser
    | Reply

    I like “Crucible of Time” a bit better. An online dictionary defines “crucible” as a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new. Sounds more dynamic and exciting than “Triumph of Time” which seems to describe a result instead. I am expecting some sort of triumph or resolution at least, no matter the title, so I don’t really need to have it in the title. Does that make sense? I am very much looking forward to both books *regardless*. Woo-hoo!

  8. Paul DePesa
    | Reply

    Reefs are dangerous and risky, so something about travel across those reefs – Straits of Time?

  9. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    It’s decided. Crucible of Time.

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