Those regular readers to SFFaudio might notice the name of Mark Nelson popping up frequently on this blog. I did a search of his name on this site and came up with 28 separate entries. Mark’s name first popped up as the first winner in SFFaudio’s Challenge to make an audiobook. Since then he’s done numerous stories and novels for LibriVox; and his own podcast, SciPodBooks. He’s also read on the Time Traveler Show.
Mark’s a busy and talented guy and is now making the transition into being a professional narrator. His first title for Wonder Audio, Star Born, is now for available at Audible. Being the publisher, I was really looking over the Audible entry and decided to click on the “Mark Nelson” hyperlink in the listing. And there it was, another title by Mark Nelson. But I knew this was Mark’s first professional release. A little more digging and I found that Recorded Books has six titles by a Mark Nelson. Ah-oh, Houston, we have a problem.
So I emailed Mark (the one I know) and this how that correspondence went.
Me: I think we will need to add a middle name or initial to your name. What do you think? Or how about “The Dude”? Just watched The Big Lebowski last night. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Mark: Ahh, the Curse of the Common Name strikes again. I’ve had this problem before. There are Mark Nelsons everywhere it seems, including a TV actor, but I wouldn’t have guessed another book narrator. Should have checked first, I suppose. I have a couple of P.G. Wodehouse recordings on LibriVox, and out of curiosity Googled “mark nelson wodehouse” and hit a review of a Mark Nelson who starred in and directed a Wodehouse play on Broadway. It wasn’t me, I’m pretty sure.
A quick Google (1.2 million hits) reveals a Mark D. Nelson on Amazon – author of a book on organizational communication. Apparently some other human resource hack.
M.D. Nelson doesn’t work for obvious reasons. I even tried the spouse’s name, but Mark Cauble cranked 40,000 hits. Are you kidding me?
That leaves Mark Douglas Nelson, which amazingly produces zero Google hits. Lots of Douglas Nelsons and Mark Douglas’s, but not a single Mark Douglas Nelson. Sounds a little pretentious, though. Reminds me of Charles Nelson Riley. But I guess it’s better than Mark “Knuckles” Nelson, which would be my second choice. Third would be Zatoichi Shinigami (The Blind Swordsman + Death Demon).
Me: Hmmm, Zatoichi Shinigami reads H.P. Lovecraft does have a nice ring to it.
Mark: I don’t think I could be The Dude; it’d have to be A Dude.
Me: No, Mark. You’re the Dude!
Mark: Although Mark Lebowski has a ring to it. Maybe I’ll just stick with Mark Douglas Nelson until I think of something better.
And so one email later it was decided–Mark Nelson is now Mark Douglas Nelson.