Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Name Solo’s Companion!

An impromptu contest to celebrate the end of NaNoWriMo and the upcoming release of THIRD SHIFT. You get to name Solo’s companion! I won’t tell you what kind of animal it is. Could be a parrot, a mouse, a dog, or a fish. Could be a cockroach. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

But none of the names I’ve come up with yet feels just right. So toss out some ideas with one of two themes in mind:

1) An odd name like “Companion” or “Beast.”

2) A generic name like “Charlie” or “Frank.”

Okay, as I write this, the perfect name comes to mind, but I still want to hear what you all think. If someone posits the name I’m thinking of right now, it’ll freak me out. If I go with your suggestion, you’ll get a copy of the book once it’s out.

167 replies to “Name Solo’s Companion!”

Just got back from being in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and an overwhelming number of the dogs there were named “Pinky.”

If the show fits go with that :)

Just out of curiosity, Was it “pinky” (in English) or “Rosita” (in Spanish)?
If it’s the later, the it would be probably better translated as Rosy (diminutive of Rose).
However, “pinky” sounds much more funny :)

Other than the painfully obvious: “Chewy”

I recommend:
1) Clover
2) Fleck
Hard to name someone without knowing more about them, but those are my shots in the dark. If you’re feeling daring, you could also try, “Mitt” which always sounded like a pet’s name to me anyhow. :)

Ideally, he’d call an animal after the name of another (considering he had probably never really seen them but only read about them, it’s likely for him to mis-label the animal)
For example, calling a dog “rat” or calling a cat “mouse” or “rabbit”.

— TR

Dos (possibly invites some wordplay with MS-DOS, given that Solo decided to hole up in IT)

And just to be silly: Dixie

A name of an instrument. Let’s go with “Guitar”, but ends up abbreviated as “Guit” aka “Git”. “Git, over here, now!”

A friend has a dog called Crumbs. (Actually, the full name of the dog is Detective Crumbsworthy, but Crumbs is obviously easier – I’m sure the full name only gets busted out when she is in trouble.) Anyway, Crumbs is an awesome name for a animal companion. I hope it’s a monkey. :)


You said in a Q&A thread that most silos worship some form of the Christian God. This is a little reference to that.

Plus the symbolism. Noah was alone in the world for years, shunned. And of course there’s the ark. Mostly alone in the world, and nowhere to go.

Bishop was the synthetic right? What was the cats name? The one that she went into deep sleep with on Alien?

I’m going with food names such as Turnip or Portobello. After all, he has limited language skills and only recognizes things that he has been immediately familiar with this whole time. Maybe he was forced to eat one can of the same vegetable/fruit for a long time and he somehow created a connection with it. Who knows? I’m communicating with people right now, so i’m in no position to decide what a forced recluse might resort to for company :)

I like Creeper, Slink, or Ghost…or if you’re feeling more light hearted, Fido or Rover (especially if it’s not a dog)

When I was just learning to talk a neighbor’s cat adopted me and I called her Kitty-Friend, which ended up being her name when she stowed away in our car when we moved. So I suggest “-Friend” or “Friend-” depending on what flows better :D

Oh, let’s see..
Slade (for Henry Slade, an American mathematician and physicist who created a scandal in 1877 England with his ‘seances’ and helped to popularize the concept of a fourth spatial dimension)
Compatriot(Com, Pat or Riot for short)
Imp (Short for Impulse Buy in my family)
Lyann(Pronounced like Lion)


1) pineapple
(solo will not have ever seen a fresh pineapple, but may have heard about one or read about one.)

2) captain
(solo imagines the captain gives him orders or advice)

3) lily
4) daniel
5) arthur
6) hal
7) charles
8) marilyn


Also, if it happens to be a cat, my grandma used to just call her cat “Pussy”. It was hysterical whenever she’d go to the door and call her for dinnertime.

What about “Nothing”? That way if someone sees or hears it and asks “What was that?”, Solo could answer “It was nothing.”

i love the name dood, it has a friendship about it and the missplelling works as literacy would be less accurate in the future just as we dont spell words like olde

I like Shadow, but since that has already been mentioned I would go with a position or job title for a name. Something like Mayor, Sheriff or Deputy. The name could even be shortened to be May, Sher or Dep.

Shadow up above is a strong candidate, but I prefer one-syllable names for companions. How about:


I’m picturing this critter as something that just started tagging along behind him because there was nobody else to follow in the silo. He noticed this, started leaving food out, and named it Tag.

Seed, Pod, or Kernel. Something stored in a silo.
Echo. The echos in a silo must be dramatic when alone.

Sorry if someone else posted these. I haven’t read all the posts.

OK – if it’s an insect, how about “LEGS?”

If it’s any non-plant type companion, at some point, under those conditions, he had to make the conscious decision not to eat it, so how about “PROT” (short for protein, not the Kevin Spacey character from the movie).

Oh – and if it’s a cat – “BALLS” … Balls the cat.

You could try “Toto” for a literary/historical shout out, especially if the companion isn’t a dog. I can’t remember if Solo had access to the Legacy of the IT Head shadows after Silo 17 fell.

Following the same logic, if there was more than one, you could name them “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”, or even “Sam I Am.”

Well, for a little bit of an ego trip I would go with Oscar. My next though is Silo. After that, I would go with Lucky, or Spam. (no idea where that is going)


Just like Friday saved Robinson Crusoe from isolation and madness, Solo’s companion could save his sanity just long enough for Juliette to arrive. I like that parallel.

I was always struck by the similarity of Solo and Crusoe’s conditions when rediscovered by the “outside” world. If you don’t like the name, the details of how they come together would be a cool shoutout in my mind.

Howey, you are an inspiration. Thanks for being awesome!
Cool Potential Animal Names:
Gozen.(Tomoe Gozen, 16-17th century Samurai Geisha)
Minerva ,Jinx, Snodgrass, Lazarus, ( Heinlein characters)
Bucephalus , (Alex the Greats Horse)
Bucephalus Brand
Chrystal Brand (Ref. to The Chrystal Bucephalus, Dr. Who Reference Guide)
Thorn. (Vampire shepherd from The Lost Boys)
Whiskers La Rue, Mr. Velvet Ears (Bobcat Goldthwaits cats)
Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel, he’s funny)
Frontera (the cheap wine I’m drinking right now)
Moya (The living ship from Farscape)
Pliskin (Come on, you know that one)
Hawn ( Easy to type quickly, rather, easy to tap that)
Last one: Erewhon. (Solo was anything but alone; quite the opposite. Far and wide, Erewhon went everywhere he did.

Taken from him talking to Jules about the books and such being the backups. Makes sense for him to want/have one. Also thought of Legacy or Server as they were his world for so long. Have to keep in mind he has the mentality of a teenager.

Since Silo is still very much a child due to losing everyone and being alone for so long, I think he would name it DAD and talk to it like he would as if his dad was there… weird… I know

Since Solo is really just a teenager in a older man’s body, I would imagine he would name his companion like a 14 year old boy would… generally related to his surroundings, or some interest he held. So I have a few suggestions:

– James — the embodiment of Solo’s younger self, being that his real name is “Jimmy”. Almost as though a projection of himself upon his companion.

– Shadow or Caster — since Solo never had the chance to be a shadow or a caster himself in his short life of “normalcy”… that this again would be an extension of a desire he long had.

– Jules — I can’t remember if he found out Juliette’s nickname, but this would fit well since Juliette was the first person to find and name Solo. And I’m sure he misses Julietter. The companion would have to be female.

– Radio — I don’t have much justification for this, I just thought it sounded like a neat name, and something Solo would be familiar with.

– Bean — Solo offered Juliette a bean early when they first met. I assume he likes beans! Nothing more to it than that :)

That’s about all I can think of for now. Looking forward to what you choose! Regardless of what it ends up being, I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Keep it up Hugh!

I’ve always thought Eric was a great name for a pet! About the most generic human name possible. “And this is my pitbull Eric”

Finn. As in Huckleberry.

Thanks for rekindling my love of reading. I’ve read more books this year than I have in quite a while. (I’ve never been a re-reader, (not even The Guide) but that may change.) In a world of reality show drivel (drek? carrion? swill? detritus?), it’s good to be reminded that there are indeed still creative minds out there longing and able to spin a yarn.

I already suggested Noah, But I just finished Second Shift and decided the next book I would read from my list of about 75 books would be Half Way Home.

I’m still early in to it, but Hickson caught my attention. He’s introduced right away as “third shift” mining security.

So he’s security (something the silos are all too familiar with) working “underground” on “third shift”. I can’t think of a more awesome subttle nod to Half Way Home than to name his companion Hickson.

I mean, that’s his job description anyway. Even if he’s not working mine security underground on third shift, it’s still his title.

Troy, even though it was not told in any of the silo series. what if Troy was there when to talk when solo as a boy had silo 17 falling around him.

Troy, even though it was not told in any of the silo series. what if Troy was there when to talk when solo as a boy had silo 17 falling around him. congrats on this series, it will be a movie classic sooner then you think in my opinion.

Has anyone suggested Sarah yet? (After Sarah Jenkins, the cute girl that smiled at him in Civics class just before the Great Loud.) Seems like someone he would remember, and maybe name a companion after.

Other than that, I’ll cast my vote for Shadow.

Chewie – obvious enough, though I doubt Solo ever saw Star Wars, but if it was a rat, you could make it work.


Kitty – would work best if it was not actually a cat, I think.



George. I had trouble picking a name for my dog when my husband (then bf) got him for me as a Christmas present. His father kept calling him Fred and I liked the idea of giving him a very common and human name. Then a line from an old movie (Pollyanna) popped in my head when I heard my now father in law call my dog Fred and Pollyanna goes “he doesn’t look at all like a Fred, he looks more like a George to me.”

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