Last week, Shannon McDermott wrote a post that discussed the nature of book titles. The title of her post, “A Book By Any Other Name,” got me thinking. What if books we knew well had different titles? What would be the result?
After all, titles are inseparable from the books to which they’re attached. Hear any title of a well-known book, and it comes with an automatic rush of images, opinions, character names, and any other host of details.
Sometimes, titles describe the overall arc or theme of the book.
Sometimes they derive from the main character and his or her exploits.
Sometimes, they come from a direct quote or subtle idea addressed within the story.
To answer my question, here are 20 books (sci-fi and fantasy, of course) and potential alternate titles.
- Hunger Games…Against the Odds
- Catching Fire…Whispers of Rebellion
- Mockingjay…The Sorrow of Triumph
- The Final Empire…Beneath Tyranny’s Shroud
- Lord of the Rings…The Quest to Mordor
- Princess Bride…True Love Conquers (umm, yikes—sounds like an Amish romance)
- The Hobbit…The Exploits of Bilbo Baggins
- Eragon…Birth of a Hero
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe…Adventures in Narnia
- A Wrinkle in Time…Rescue from IT
- I, Robot…The Automaton Takeover
- Fahrenheit 451…The Flames of Oppression
- The Last Battle…Night Falls On Narnia
- The Time Machine…Where No Man Has Gone
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea…Captain Nemo’s Wanderings
- The Silmarillion…The Novice’s Handbook of Elves and Languages
- Dune…Battle for Arrakis
- Prince Caspian…Return to Narnia
- A Game of Thrones…Death Comes Swiftly
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone…The Magical Boy
Amazing what switching a title can do, isn’t it? Which book sounds the most different?