This from Salon:
"Next month, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Lemony Snicket, Nora Roberts, Michael Chabon and 11 other best-selling writers will auction the right to name characters in their new novels. The profits will go to the First Amendment Project, whose lawyers have repeatedly gone to court to protect the free speech rights of activists, writers and artists.
'It feels a little scary for most writers because when you're writing, you're completely in charge -- you can say this book is all mine, it's my world,' said Chabon. 'Whether giving over some of that has any monetary value or not, we'll see.'
But bidders beware -- most of the authors are clearly retaining creative control to use the names as they see fit."
I don't really have an opinion on this. I guess it's a good cause. It got me thinking, though, about the best/most ridiculous/most inexplicable names for characters. My favorite has to be the protagonist from Tender is the Night. Indeed, I remember reading a heavily annotated edition that wondered if Fitzgerald realized Dick Diver was common parlance for fellatio at that time. Other favorites?