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What are you Reading?
I finally succumbed to the curiosity of seeing where David Weber got the name of his crime family world of Erewhon. He's always fascinated me by all his inside puns and obvious allusions to real world people in his characters. Hillary and Bill Clinton are examples of celebrities he's skewered by putting them in his books as sleazy, amoral characters with easily recognized aliases: like Guillaume Rodham. (Guillaume being French for William.) His character names in his Safehold novels are often Welsh.

Erewhon was a novel written by Samuel Butler in 1872, about an undiscovered place, reminiscent of all the places in Gulliver's Travel. Similar to the planet in the Harrington Universe, Butler's Erewhon is a place where being ugly or sickĀ is punishable with imprisonment and hard labor, and little things like embezzlement totally okay, and not treated criminally but restoratively. Makes one think of Weber's Erewhon, where crime families rule. I went to The Gutenberg Project to download his works, because I had never heard of them at all. I wonder if Weber did this on purpose?

Butler also used the Weber-used technique of spelling names backwards. Weber's Erewhon is the same as Butler's, Nowhere spelled backwards but the W and H switched. One character in Butler's novel is called Senoj Nosnibor. Maybe it's a British thing, because J.K. Rowling used it also in her Harry Potter books.

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