Gueran Names in “This Alien Shore”

My theory is that the names of (the majority of?) Gueran characters in the novel are very carefully chosen for their meaning, according to two rules:

1. They are often taken from the names of the Earth cities or places.
2. These cities and places are usually the locations of great battles, wars or conflicts, often with ethnic background, associated with human suffering.
This would be quite consistent with the name of the planet, derived from the word “guerra”, meaning “war”. (see Ms. Friedman’s comments here)

In some cases I coud not find a fitting association, although this probably means that I overlooked something and not that the association does not exist. In such cases I decided for speculations and hypotheses. This list was meant to comprise names of all the Gueran characters appearing in the novel; any omissions due to my mistake.

Name Character Meaning and Comments
Alma Sarajevo the Guildmistress the city of Sarajevo in Croatia, destroyed during the bloody war in the Balkans in 1990s.
Dr Kio Masada the Gueran scientist, leading world specialist in data security systems the stronghold of Masada in Judaea (contemporary Israel), which was the place of the mass suicide of its Jewish defenders against the Roman siege in II c.C.E. They decided to kill themselves not to be caught alive by the Romans.
Dr Alesia a minor character, a replacement for Dr Masada in his University duties Alesia, a Gaul city, the last stand of the Gauls fighting against Roman invasion in the 50s B.C.E. They were defeated by Julius Caesar in 50 B.C.E., their leader Vercingetorix was executed in Rome, and Gaul became a Roman province.
Alya Cairo Guildmistress Prima, the head of the Guild Cairo, the Egyptian capital, founded by the Muslim to replace Alexandria; the city known for ethnic tensions and problems (? – weak argument, unfortunately).
Devlin Gaza the Guilmaster, lover of Prima Gaza, the region of constant bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Luis Hsing the Guildmaster, the one sent to offer cooperation to Dr Masada Perhaps Chung-Hsing on the Yellow River, a place of the bloody battle between the forces of Genghis-Chan and the Chinese.
Ian Alexander Kent the Guildmaster Kent in Britain; would the association be perhaps with the last battle between Arthur and Mordred, which according to some sources took place in Kent, near Dover?
Anton Varsav the Guildmaster the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, during WWII a place of two major uprisings: first the uprising in the Jewish ghetto and later the rebellion of the populace against the Nazi occupants. The city was utterly destroyed as the result of the latter.
Sonondra Ra the Guildmistress Association unknown; perhaps not from the place, but from the name of the Egyptian sun-god Ra, which may be associated with the glittering wiring and jewels permanently attached to her skin, replacing the lost sense of sight.
Chandras Delhi the Guildmistress The city of Delhi in India, one of the world’s main areas of poverty.
Harlan Nagasaki a minor character, once a Guildmaster Prime The Japanese city of Nagasaki, destroyed at the end of WWII, together with Hiroshima, by an American nuclear bomb.
Arianne Berlin a minor character, a Guildmaster (sic) The German capital of Berlin, destroyed in WWII.
Chezare Arbela Guildmaster Kent’s assistant Arbela is a place in ancient Persia where Alexander of Macedon fought a bloody battle with Darius III in 331 B.C.E, ending the Persian monarch’s rule over Asia (better known under its ancient name of Gaugamela)
Hariman Alexandria a minor character, a Gueran captain of the starship The city of Alexandria, most cosmopolitan of the ancient capitals, inhabited in the hellenistic period by Greeks, Jews and Egyptians, later of course also by the Arabic populace, which often resulted in ethnic tensions. In II c. C.E. a place of the pogrom of the local Jews. Interestingly enough, the character’s first name is derived from Ariman, the evil-god and bringer of chaos in the Zoroastrian tradition.
dr Alex Rome a minor character, a Gueran scholar / scientist Rome, the capital of the ancient empire; associating Rome – both ancient and later – with ruthlesness, cruelty and suffering (of e.g. the slaves, the subdued nations, the Christians) has a long tradition in historiography.
Towcester a minor character, one of the scholars at the Gueran University the town in Northamptonshire (England), a place of the last battle of the Celtic queen Boudicca against the Romans in 61 C.E.
Sumpter a minor character, a dean at the Gueran University the Battle of Fort Sumpter during the Civil War in the USA (1861)

1 Response to Gueran Names in “This Alien Shore”

  1. Ubiquitous says:

    Very impressive! Surprised I didn’t catch this the first time around.

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