Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is it Flash Forward or Flashforward?

Is the title of my book -- and the TV series based on it -- one word or two? I was asked that question in the comments section of this post, but since people keep wondering, I'm putting the answer in its own blog post, too:

It's complicated (sigh). I always intended the title to be one word, Flashforward, since it's a play on the word flashback, which is a single word.

But when designing the book cover, Tor's art department split it into two words on the cover and the spine (without anyone asking me if it was okay), but left it as one on the back cover, and the interior designer left it as one everywhere, too.

David S. Goyer, Brannon Braga and I all discussed this in L.A. back in 2007, and all agreed that the title should be one word logically, but people keep referencing it as two words, because that's what they see on the book cover, and that ended up being the spelling used for the TV series title.

I've given up the fight: I'm now referring to my book as Flash Forward -- two words. But it really was a decison the author, not the art department, should have made.

(For Pete's sake, "Flashforward" as as single word is only one letter longer than "Calculating" and just two letters longer than "Frameshift," both of which they managed to fit on a single line on other covers of mine ...)

More about the novel formerly known as Flashforward is here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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At February 21, 2009 2:25 PM , Blogger The Hade said...

Thank you very much for taking the time to dedicate a whole blog post to answering my question!
Personally I think it's too bad you've given up the fight.
What do you think about differentiating between your novel "Flashforward" (regardless of its cover) and "Flash Forward" the TV show, e.g.?
Granted, the media still would confuse them with each other but at least it would be clear here.

At February 21, 2009 2:27 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, The Hade. I've decided to call the book Flash Forward from now on. I want people who discover the TV series to have no trouble finding the book -- they should need to know some secret code to find it. ;)

At February 21, 2009 3:25 PM , Blogger The Hade said...

Thank you for your reply!
I see your point but your book can be found effortleslly by booksellers, Wikipedia, etc. by searching for "Flashforward" and(!) "Flash Forward", fortunately.
I had no idea you didn't have a right of rejection, e.g., on the cover artwork of your publications.
By the way, the spine of my paperback copy reads "Flashforward", fortunately, as does the title page which is the primary source of information for me being a librarian. :-)

At February 21, 2009 3:35 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

In point of fact I did have the contractual right to be consulted on this ... but wasn't.

The hardcover says "Flash Forward" on the spine; the paperback says "Flashforward." And, yes, it's all been very confusing, and a source of frustration for me for a full decade now.

At February 24, 2009 7:53 AM , Blogger TheHade said...

I'm sorry, I didn't want to open up old wounds. On the contrary! I wish the up-coming success of the TV series will redound upon you and make good for all the confusion and frustration!

At June 22, 2009 2:53 PM , Blogger Lex said...

You'll be happy to learn then that the TV show has now been officially renamed Flashforward. :)

At June 22, 2009 3:04 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Lex. Actually, the official spelling is "FlashForward" now, with both Fs capitalized (although the series logo is in all caps, so the fact about the second F is more a point of trivia).

All best wishes!



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