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 Responses to “Name Solo’s Companion!”

  1. Jane says:

    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 :)

    • Narciso says:

      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 :)

  2. Chris says:

    “Precious”. :)

  3. Mike says:

    How about simply, “Friend”?

  4. Louise van Hine says:

    Sneak. Doesn’t that fit with the kind of life Solo would be leading with a companion animal?

  5. Liam in NY says:


  6. Harlow Fallon says:


    Don’t ask me why. It just popped into my head. It probably should pop back out.

  7. Will Swardstrom says:


  8. Patrick Holt says:

    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. :)

  9. Tzvi R. says:

    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

  10. Jeremy says:

    My wife and I had a wonderful Rottweiler named Kevlar. We called her Kevie for short.

  11. Dustin says:

    I’m gonna have to go with “Bob.”

  12. Bill Brunning says:

    Chewie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Isabelle says:


  14. VSC says:

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

    And just to be silly: Dixie

  15. Dan says:

    Carl or Bernard

  16. Kiran says:

    Any Solo has to partnered with a Chewy

  17. Joe J Thomas says:

    How about “Mio”?

    … or “Ranger”?

  18. James Young says:

    I like the name ‘Bahchee’ or ‘Baci’

  19. Tomi B. says:

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

  20. Leslie Flint says:


  21. Todd Williamson says:


  22. Bill says:

    1) Bestie

    2) Jake

  23. janice says:

    George. Or fluffy

  24. Alex says:

    phillip, just because

  25. Leslie Flint says:

    Peter Pan had his shadow, too. Good name.

  26. Matt says:


  27. Chad says:


    Anagram for…

  28. Eric Horowitz says:


  29. Molly says:

    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. :)

  30. Gregor Jolly says:

    Hi Hugh,

    How about “Tail”.

  31. Dave Cowdery says:

    1. Dog (but only if the companion’s not a dog).
    2. Chester.

  32. James W says:

    When is Second shift out on kindle?

  33. Stain
    Mr. Newman
    Hey You
    Big Jim

  34. Jen clair says:


  35. Ben says:

    I’m gonna throw my hat int the ring and go with: Riley

  36. Jason Wilhoit says:


  37. Joseph Midnight says:

    Svtsks pronounced “SVETsKISS”

  38. Tami T. says:

    Ill throw my hat in the ring. :)




  39. Derek says:


    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.

  40. Ruby says:

    Or Bob. Bob is nice.

  41. Cleve says:

    Tip o’ the Cap to Ridley Scott:

  42. SnappyMango says:

    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 :)

  43. Todd says:

    How about using some of the graffiti from the silo walls.


  44. Kristina says:

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

  45. Pablo says:



  46. Mary says:

    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 ๐Ÿ˜€

  47. TwistedSciFi says:

    think it has to be ‘Queequeg’

  48. dave says:

    Toadkiller Dog

  49. Travis says:

    1. Hope
    2. Faith
    3. Duo

  50. janice says:


  51. Eleanor says:

    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)


  52. Sheila C says:

    Don’t know if anyone has said this one yet…

    What about Shadow? Seems appropriate. :)

  53. Coco says:

    How about “Coco” ? Gotta admit, it has ring to it! …Solo and Coco

  54. Wendy Strand says:


  55. courtney says:

    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

  56. Crystal says:


    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.

  57. Michael Flanagan says:

    I like Loboz

  58. hamp says:

    “Bacon” would work just right for the name.

  59. hamp says:

    “Bacon” would make a great name for your pet.

  60. Jay Humphrey says:

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

  61. Amanda W says:

    Buddy? I also like Shadow, someone said that already.

  62. gavman says:

    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

  63. Claudio says:

    Fallout boy

  64. Charles says:


  65. Tracy Lynn says:

    Pamela or Cheif.

  66. erin says:

    Gus, Sarah, Fizzgig

  67. Don says:

    How about Muddy. I’m thinking Solo’s friend crawled out of the mud in the dirt farm.

    Or: Ratshit!

  68. Natalie Parker says:


  69. Tim says:


  70. Tom says:

    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.

  71. Ted Lutter says:


  72. The Star Wars fanatic in me says name him ‘Han’…Han and Solo? Yes. Though I also like Pepper.

  73. Matthew McKinley says:

    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.

  74. Gil says:

    Romeo. I feel like Solo would have eventually looked up Juliette’s name and seen the connection.

  75. Rob says:


    After a well loved and formidable friend now gone.

  76. Curtis says:


  77. Cleve says:

    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.

  78. Ray says:


  79. Carolyn says:


    Love Cleve’s suggestion of “Echo”

  80. Oldman77 says:

    Solo’s companion


  81. Steve says:

    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.

  82. Matthew Friedman says:

    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.”

  83. DawnMarie says:


  84. Wendy says:

    Of course it has to be Buddy!

  85. Jeff Sims says:

    Andy, after my wife’s miniature pincher.

  86. Oscar says:

    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)

  87. Clayton says:


    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.

  88. Peter says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, but i think ‘Echo’ would be quite fitting.

  89. linda cordova says:

    In the spirit of Richard Parker (life of pi), I offer George Martin. (no r.r.)

  90. Jason Snyder says:

    What about “Multiple”…

  91. Zach Besterfield says:

    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.

  92. Sarah says:

    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.

  93. Barbara says:

    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

  94. Liana M. says:

    Step or pilot

  95. Chris Brush says:

    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!

  96. Adam J. says:

    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”

  97. Jared says:

    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.

  98. Derek says:

    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.

    • Derek says:

      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.

  99. jeff says:

    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.

  100. jeff says:

    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.

  101. Bill Brunning says:

    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.

  102. Ericthered says:

    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.



  103. liz hosp says:


  104. SteveP says:

    During one summer vacation my son, then 4, made a friend but never thought to ask his name.
    Whenever he needed him he’d call. “Friend!”

    So, Friend.

  105. Michael says:

    Only if you’re old… Illya.

    Napoleon Solo’s companion, Illya Kuriakin

  106. tss says:

    Mr. Pickle’s !

  107. Nina says:

    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.”

  108. Louise says:


  109. Jill says:

    Louie/ Lewis

    I also like the earlier suggestion of “Eric” lol

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