According to legend, the Jack Dann game was invented by Gardner Dozios when he (or someone) noticed that the novel The Man Who Melted by Jack Dann formed a sentence when one removed the word “by.” Thus, “The Man Who Melted Jack Dann,” and the Jack Dann game was born!
Throughout the years there have been even more examples of this phenomenon such as: “Fear L. Ron Hubbard,” “Earth Abides George R. Stewart,” “Dying Inside Robert Silverberg,” and so on. (Though the all-time favorite of Tor editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden is “Two Sisters Gore Vidal.”)
Patrick also tells us that the strict rules of the Jack Dann game require the title and author to form a grammatically complete sentence. “The Puppet Masters Robert A. Heinlein” is an example of this while, oddly, “The Man Who Melted Jack Dann” is not!
Either way, while looking at our Best of the Decade Reader’s Poll we found several title/author combinations that worked with the Jack Dann game!
Remember, you can download the entire sheet of authors and titles as a Google Doc here. [Download the sheet to get the entire list. Google Docs preview only goes about 3/4ths of the way through the list.]
- The Darkness That Comes Before R. Scott Bakker (#49)
- Declare Time Powers (#117)
- Judas Unchained Peter F. Hamilton (#162)
- Feed Mira Grant (#146)
- Feed M.T. Anderson (#489)
- I Dare Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (#213)
- Dead Witch Walking Kim Harrison (#390)
- Victory Conditions Elizabeth Moon (#443)
- Market Forces Richard K. Mogan (#717)
- The Sunrise Lands S.M. Stirling (#724)
- A Stranger to Command Sherwood Smith (#738)
- Rabbit Tricks C.E. Murphy (#856)
- Promises to Keep Charles De Lint (#895)
And one our personal favorites (maybe because it has a “Hold Me Closer Tony Danza” ring to it):
- Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro (#134)
Let us know if you’ve ever played the Jack Dann game and what titles (in any genre) you’ve discovered!
Note: we also loved the fact there were TWO titles which encouraged us to feed an author.
Stubby the Rocket is the mascot and voice of the Tor.com staff. Stubby’s first novel will likely be titled The World Loves, thus creating the sentence: The World Loves Stubby the Rocket.