I’ve noticed something curious lately.  It seems that fantasy authors have an aversion to last names.  …Why is that?  Now, obviously, this isn’t every fantasy novel (I don’t know if this is something that happens a lot in other genres), but, to me, it’s a very noticeable trend – even in books I don’t like.  Brandon Sanderson does it in (almost) every Cosmere book and we all know how much I love his stuff.

Obviously, this isn’t something that bothers me, but I have to wonder: if the story’s taking place on a planet that, at the very least, contains thousands of people, why no family names?  It’s kind of weird when you think about it.

But, then again, for every fantasy book with no last names, there’s another that does have them.  Robert Jordan used them in The Wheel of Time as did Michael J. Sullivan.  Hmmm…I wonder what it says about an author if they don’t use them?  Are they just lazy or perhaps so focused on the story itself, they forget to make even more names?

Who can say?  I, for one, am in the camp of leaving out last names, yet I have no idea if that’s a good thing.  Time will tell.


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