On the B&N website, there is a link to a blog page listing their top anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy book titles for 2014. Even though the year is half over, I recently noticed a trend regarding book titles. Here are some examples: Words of Radiance, Veil of the Deserters.
Notice anything yet? Here’s another clue; Goodreads has a list of over one hundred Fantasy titles that share this similar trend: Doors of Stone, The Winds of Winter, The Thorn of Emberlain, Prince of Fools, and Shadows of Self.
Got it now? Yep, ya’ll are intelligent authors. It’s the mighty ‘OF’. Like a literary virus, the ‘OF’ in book titles has been growing in momentum recently. I’m tempted to blame G.R.R. Martin, but he might take offense and further delay his next much-anticipated book in the G OF T series.
Why this titling trend? We know that the word ‘OF’ is a preposition. Beyond that, definitions range from showing relationships between parts and whole topics (foot of the bed), showing age (girl of 15), expressing a cause (died of cancer), or indicating a substance (made of logs and mud).
Therefore, we should give a closer look to the word(s) immediately following the ‘OF’ in these titles. Perhaps we’re seeing key indicators of social significance therein. Using the Goodreads list from above, we find that we’re dealing with stone, winter, fools, and self. For the record, I’m not reading anything into the order of the words.
The Amazon top 12 list of ‘OF’ Fantasy books coming out in 2015 has us focusing on the connectivity of… silent things, fallen angels, the king, and Hollywood. Again, not my order, but interesting to see them play out this way.
Of special significance is a very special companion book to the Bible with an ‘OF’ title; only, this book is not recent. In fact, this ‘OF’ book transcends all of the others. It is the ultimate ‘OF’ book, but without Hobbits or sword-welded thrones. It reigns supreme in demonstrating the connectivity between the great and small, light and dark, the glorious and grotesque. The best part is, it’s not a Fantasy novel. It is real; it is truth.
Again, using Goodreads, I part the curtain into the ‘can’t wait’ Fantasy 2015 books that are forthcoming. But now, I see fewer ‘OF’ books. This time, it looks more meteorological: Skybreaker, Autumn Republic, Shadow Study, and Winter.
Do these titles ebb and flow with the unspoken undercurrents of society as a whole? Do these prophets of prose portend the future? Perhaps. They look fun. But even if we move off towards another book-title trend, I’m at least keeping my special ‘OF’ book on my current read list, and nightstand; the others will soon go back to the library or sold at a garage sale.