The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What's the story behind your Internet name?

I chose my handle after an obscure character, supernatural investigator Thomas Carnacki, from the early 20th century horror stories by William Hope Hodgson. I used Hodgson's Carnacki as a character in my own (as yet unpublished) vampire novel and was in the middle of rewriting when I joined the orange place. I hadn't put much thought into a computer handle. For years I was known as Odysseus on various BBSes. There was a story behind why I chose Odysseus, but when it came time to sign up at another site, I just chose the first name to pop into my head. Since my manuscript was in my thoughts, I logged in as Carnacki. It seems a good handle because the name is strange enough to be memorable. In the Hodgson tales, which I highly recommend, Carnacki is an investigator of hauntings. The tales are told as if a friend is hearing them from Carnacki. Each of them begin in a similar way to this opening from The Whistling Room:

Carnacki shook a friendly fist at me, as I entered, late. Then, he opened the door into the dining-room, and ushered the four of us -- Jessop, Arkright, Taylor and myself -- in to dinner. We dined well, as usual, and, equally as usual, Carnacki was pretty silent during the meal. At the end, we took our wine and cigars to our usual positions, and Carnacki -- having got himself comfortable in his big chair -- began without any preliminary:-- "I have just got back from Ireland, again," he said. "And I thought you chaps would be interested to hear my news. Besides, I fancy I shall see the thing clearer, after I have told it all out straight. I must tell you this, though, at the beginning -- up to the present moment, I have been utterly and completely 'stumped.' I have tumbled upon one of the most peculiar cases of 'haunting' -- or devilment of some sort -- that I have come against. Now listen.
Hodgson's tales appeal to my love of English detective characters and supernatural horror. I do hope you read them. So I'm curious. What's the story behind your online name?


Blogger protected static said...

'protected static' is from the language in which I program - but I like the double++ entendre of blogging being an exercise in free speech ergo, 'protected'; but blogging doesn't necessarily improve the signal:noise ratio, ergo 'static'.

It's also bad programming and should be avoided at all costs ;-)

My other (now largely dormant) online avatar is 'wickerman' or 'wickerman26' (my hotmail address). I started using wickerman as a handle in the late-80s/early-90s on BBSs and on the first video games that let you enter more than initials for the high score. Most of the males in my family have answered to 'Wick' as a nickname, so it seemed a fairly natural extension (in addition to the Celtic reference).

3/09/2006 02:15:00 AM  
Anonymous harmonyfb said...

"harmonyfb' is from two friends who viewed my personality as very different. One thought I was a peacemaker, one thought I was a troublemaker. I put the two together (the 'fb' stands for 'firebrand'). I've used it as an online name since 1990 or thereabouts.

3/09/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Wikipedia has a short summary on Thomas Carnacki.

Great name and perfect handle. Thanks for sharing with us.

3/09/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Taliesin_ttlg said...

Taliesin is after the welsh bard. Unfortunately, more often than not, you find that the name has already been taken by someone when you try to register to a site.

However I used to post under Taliesin on the TTLG (through the looking glass) forums. So I could find a unique online name, and so folks from the TTLG forums would know it was the same Taliesin, I married the two together... hence Taliesin_TTLG.

3/09/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger HP said...

M Valdemar from the Poe story, because I immediately identified with him. Valdemar is the anti-zombie: desperate consciousness trapped in an immobile body.

I later found out that I had severe obstructive apnea, and what I thought was a remarkable affinity for Poe's tragic character turned out to be long-term sleep deprivation.

Now I'm finding out that actually sleeping at night is seriously cutting into my blogging time.

3/09/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pirate at heart, A.M. decided that if she couldn't be a real privateer in today's physical world, she would damn well be one in the blogosphere. NOTE: Pirate NOT hacker.

This pirate, however, rescues ALL damsels--not just the pretty ones with the big boobs--and fights the never-ending battle against stupidity.

Captain Dyke is A.M.'s true personality--if she would have been born in the 1700's.

3/09/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

Personally, I'm okay with hackers, being hackishly-inclined myself - it's crackers and script kiddies I could do without.

3/09/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger FARfetched said...

The handle I use tends to reflect where I live.

The current one (FARfetched) derives from the name I gave to the house I was pushed (by wife & in-laws) to purchase: FAR Manor (for Forget About Retirement, since it won't be paid off until I'm 74 or so).

Previous to that, I used the handle Dirt Road (still more or less active at the orange place), which came from living beyond the pavement for a long time. Being somewhat naïve, the... er, colorectal implications, were lost on me until someone flamed me with it during the Y2K wars. I really didn't care enough to change it though.

3/13/2006 01:10:00 PM  

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