Monday, November 19, 2012

Fred Saberhagen's Rejected 'Sword of Power' Ideas

For the most part, even those fans who haven't read the series are familiar with Fred Saberhagen's 'Swords of Power' series. The legendary 80s fantasy books about the twelve swords forged by the gods, each with powers that make its wielder an unstoppable force, are known far and wide. But what's not known is that Saberhagen put a lot of thought into the choices for his twelve swords. He brainstormed literally hundreds of ideas for sword names, only to winnow it down to the final twelve. What follows the cut is, for the first time, the complete list of ideas that this legendary fantasy writer considered and rejected before settling on the final versions for his novels.
1. Folksinger
2. Ghostbuster
3. Hamburglar
4. Nutcracker
5. Goatsucker
6. Throatwobbler
7. Fezwearer
8. Deerhunter
9. Wolfwhistler
10. Rugmuncher
11. Drugdealer
12. Roadmaster
13. Souptaper
14. Claimjumper
15. Fishwisher
16. Woodworker
17. Dogwelder
18. Leaktaker
19. Gasguzzler
20. Dustbuster
21. Fourflusher
22. Steamcleaner
23. Hashslinger
24. Gobstopper
25. Teatotaler
26. Treehugger
27. Sneetchbeacher
28. Toadlicker
29. Poledancer
30. Kneebiter
31. Hudsucker
32. Wimwender
33. Toddmeister
34. Moonwalker
35. Wishsquisher
36. Clamdigger
37. Cranappler
38. Frenchtickler
39. Glamrocker
40. Junkpuncher
41. Craftbrewer
42. Chipclipper
43. Fourbagger
44. Dillpickler
45. Nerfherder
46. Catjuggler
47. Rumrunner
48. Billkiller
49. Thighmaster
50. Zootsuiter
51. Gladhander
52. Rickroller
53. Dealsealer
54. Flashmaster
55. Fudgepacker
56. Bearbaiter
57. Goldfinger
58. Grandstander
59. Plantmister
60. Grasshopper
61. Pillpopper
62. Mealdealer
63. Mudbutler
64. Gunsmuggler
65. Onehitter
66. Linebacker
67. Hamdinger
68. Speedracer
69. Ribtickler
70. Gritseller
71. Choadwarrior
72. Regifter
73. Rowsdower
74. Hulkbuster
75. Landlubber
76. Beefeater
77. Rugdoctor
78. Nitpicker
79. Stainmaster
80. Spudpeeler
81. Lackluster
82. Snailmailer
83. Gogetter
84. Vampsparkler
85. Worldbuilder
86. Inchpincher
87. Beerchaser
88. Pansearer
89. Ashborer
90. Meatbeater
91. Cancrusher
92. Nailchewer
93. Slurmdrinker
94. Freightweigher
95. Flashdancer
96. Judgewapner
97. Goalkicker
98. Moonraker
99. Viewmaster
100. ShamWOWer
101. Squatchwatcher
102. Airbender
103. Fishslapper
104. Dishwasher
105. Pubcrawler
106. Daytripper
107. Killstealer
108. Leafblower
109. Leifblower
110. Cleesequoter
111. Facepalmer
112. Pursesnatcher
113. Houseflipper
114. Hogcaller
115. Strikebreaker
116. Alzheimer
117. Fulltimer
118. Timeturner
119. Gutbuster
120. Skindiver
121. Backbencher
122. Spincycler
123. Chestburster
124. Warhammer
125. Stairmaster
126. Skywalker
127. Darklighter
128. Knobgobbler
129. Nosepicker
130. Seersucker
131. Snackstacker
132. Cardcounter
133. Beltsander
134. Saptapper
135. Woodpecker
136. Leaseholder
137. Breadwinner
138. Greenmonster
139. Clodhopper
140. Beetfarmer
141. Skydiver
142. Loungesinger
143. Lawnmower
144. Appcoder
145. Cowtipper
146. Backbreaker
147. Chopshopper
148. Coathanger
149. Chartbuster
150. Shortseller
151. Eyeroller
152. Gaspasser
153. Highlander
154. Lintroller
155. Barnburner
156. Bathbomber
157. Icetanker
158. Fireblaster
159. Darkscrapper
160. Steerpuncher
161. Legpuller
162. Freeloader
163. Backscratcher
164. Pillsorter
165. Crankyanker
166. Shrewtamer
167. Ringbearer
168. Netrunner
169. Wolfrider
170. Sealclubber
171. Landrover
172. Buttkisser
173. Headshrinker
174. Leapfrogger
175. Turfbuilder
176. Fleaflicker
177. Beatboxer
178. Chessmaster
179. Callblocker
180. Sheepshearer
181. Hitchhiker
182. Windsurfer
183. Panhandler
184. Tailgunner
185. Eggtimer
186. Windrider
187. Frostscraper
188. Planesnaker
189. Potholer
190. Eyeliner
191. Potsticker
192. Steamroller
193. Handfaster
194. Loudspeaker
195. Hellraiser
196. Dayplayer
197. Dreamlover
198. Maneater
199. Finetuner
200. Nounverber

7 comments:

Matthew E said...

Admirable.

LurkerWithout said...

Well this should help if I ever get a D&D game going again and need to name some magic weapons...

"Amidst the dragon's hoard you find the dread and puissant CRANAPPLER!"

John Seavey said...

Oh, you have no idea how tempted I am to stat some of these up...

KnaveRupe said...

Now, write verses for the Song of Swords for each of them!

Here - I'll get you started:

"The banjo strums, the guitar thrums;
It is a sight to see,O!
Folksinger makes the lamest bard
sound like the Kingston Trio!"

magidin said...

Of course, these are just the "common names" of the swords. What were the high names? (You know, like how "Coinspinner" is the common name, "Sword of Chance" the 'high name'). Is "Nutcracker" the "Sword of Pain", or am I reading too much into the "nut"? :-) Maybe "Nutcracker" is just the "Sword of Munchies"?

Loadtime said...

you forgot "Deadhorsekicker"

John Seavey said...

@Loadtime: I also forgot "Stonebleeder". :)

@KnaveRupe, magidin: No time, but if you do it, I will totally post it here and give you full credit. :)