Authors put a lot of symbolism in their stories. These symbols can take many forms–a place, theme, action, even an odd juxtaposition of facts, background or situation to current events. For Heaven’s Ant Farm, I took names from established folklore, myths and religion to create the characters, their moods and drive their action.
Now, using the names Yahweh and Lucifer was easy–everyone understands the traditions and belief behind those monikers. And while some thought that my use of Lucifer’s last name “Deville” was a bit over the top, I decided to have some fun and keep the obvious link.
But what about the other characters in this second greatest story ever told? What about Professor Raphael Liwet, an oversized jokester who loves high-tech toys or his serious minded and old fashioned mentor, Professor Hayyel Manakel the interplanetary animal taxonomist who can’t stand those damned contraptions. And what about Professor Maion Harahel the gloomy Dean Superior of the Great Scientific University of Heaven who constantly scolds a klutzy Yahweh or Zuphlas the village forest caregiver in Eden who sleeps with Eve and is killed by Adam. What’s the genesis (sorry) for those names and what do they mean?