Our main chatroom is called Mos Eisley. The decision was taken following a poll here on Meta. At the time, two proposals were tied for winner: Mos Eisley and The Ansible. See the chat transcript from the introduction.

Now, on Meta:
Mos Eisley +1 (+4/-3)
The Ansible +7 (+8/-1)

Have we grown used to Mos Eisley since then? Or do we not like it much as the vote count shows? Should we change the name?

  • Maybe the name can reflect the most popular tag of the previous month. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 22:48
  • I still say that if we are going to stick with the SW reference, it should be "The Cantina"
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 23:17
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    I suggested Mos Eisley because it is geeky (how many people know it outside real sci-fi geeks?) and it was described as "A wretched hive of scum and villainy!", which I found amusing and self-deprecating. But I'm open to changing it, as long as it is to something better. What's in a name? Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 12:53
  • 1
    Also, judging by the number of down voted answers in the original post, it's going to be hard to please everyone... Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 13:05
  • Just to let you all know someone outside sci-fi likes the name. Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 11:56
  • I love "Mos Eisley", but is it bad that now I love "The Ansible" more?
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 3:57

4 Answers 4


I actually like Mos Eisley. It was familiar in a good way the first time I saw it -- I could totally picture it, although I haven't actually come into chat, except once to talk with Gilles. Heh, I fear it would be like Luke and Obi Wan walking into the cantina -- a stranger! Anyway, I like giving things names IRL, so I thought, if it's okay, that I'd make some comments.

I had no idea what an ansible was until someone upthread defined it. It would be very obscure to a lot of people. (This is why I think Mos Eisley, or, say, the Federation or the USS Enterprise works well -- if you don't know what Mos Eisley et al is, really your geek credentials should be revoked ;) )

I did want to note that it's not just the Sci-Fi stack, it's the Sci-Fi and Fantasy stack. I think both are complimentary. So something that is represented as purely and exclusively Sci-Fi just might dissuade a fantasy-oriented member (like myself) from joining in on chat. Conversely, I think to suggest something like Todd and Steve's Fantastical Stargate, TARDIS Talk, The Prancing Pony, or the Department For the Encouragement of Magical Chatter and Friendship errs way way too far on the fantasy side (and is silly to boot).

It occurred to me that something with the number 42 in it might be ubiquitous enough for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy community as a whole, for HGTTG is certainly softer sci-fi than, say, The Time Machine, I, Robot, or 1984, and includes some fantasy elements. If the name of the chat room is super-specific to, say, one episode of ST-DS9, or is a term that is meaningful at first glance only to a select few, it won't be inviting to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy community as a whole. I actually like The Bridge (but, you know, we gals love to chatter while we're driving -- car, hovercraft, broom, Federation starship, whatevs!)

There are sometimes gender differences, I think, in how women and men approach Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so I think a name that is inviting to both sexes would be ideal. I guess I just wanted to say that it's not just Sci-Fi and it's not just guys.

If you made it through my post, thanks for listening and giving it some thought if you do :)

  • Heh... Given my own profile, I feel obligated to upvote this for "42". Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 21:50
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    I had to look up Mos Eisley, but I knew what an ansible was. Either may be obscure depending on your sci-fi/fantasy background.
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 9:17
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    I'm not totally clear on the gender comment. Is Mos Eisley more gender-neutral than The Ansible? Or neither are inviting to women? (This is a serious question).
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 9:18
  • I think Mos Eisley is gender-neutral and quite recognisable. The Ansible, while clever in its definition, is not readily recognisable. I think it would not be a inclusive welcoming moniker -- like, "Wow, I don't even know what "Ansible" means -- will anyone even talk to me in that chat? Maybe not." It can be intimidating for the more casual sci-fi consumer; often women are more casual consumers or prefer fantasy over hardcore sci-fi. What the name ends up being, I just think it should be easily recognisable to the majority of the sci-fi/fantasy members. :) Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 3:50
  • Why is "Mos Eisley" more recognisable to women than "Ansible"? Are women really more likely (compared to men) to be very familiar with Star Wars and unfamiliar with the works of Le Guin, Card, Moon, et. al.? Note that the works where Le Guin and Moon use the term are not at all "hardcore" sci-fi, they are science fantasy/space opera type works.
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 21:47

I'm gonna go all Rhett Butler on you: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" :)))

Seriously, does anyone actually pay attention to the chat room name WITHIN SF&F universe?

The only time it'd make a difference is if we are listed alongside all other SE chats, in which case I'd say "SciFi&Fantasy Chat" would be a MUCH better name than any in-joke.

  • +1 for Rhett Butler and youtu.be/TjhtxfSMIWk at 3:40. I didn't realise you had 42 as your age -- LOL, so do I :)) And I swear to God, I'm not making this up, but I almost suggested Cryptonomicon as a name for the chat room (along with Neverwhere, Dystopia, and Frankenchat >.< ) Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 23:00

I never liked the name Mos Eisley. And the Ansible[1] sounds like the Crucible and I don't understand the reference its making. I would rather the name have a more generic nme rather than a specific reference to a Science Fiction or Fantasy place as it creates a bias towards certain works. Or if we switch up the name every once in a while, it would make everyone happy.

The Dragon's Den or The Bridge I think would be better suited for a common area chat room.

[1] An ansible is a hypothetical machine capable of instantaneous or superluminal communication. Ansibles occur as plot devices in science fiction literature. (Thanks google!)

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    The Bridge is already the name of the Gaming chatroom. The Ansible is a well-known reference for SF readers. I, for one, didn't know the name Mos Eisley until it was suggested here (I have seen Star Wars. Once, 20 years ago.)
    – user56
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 12:33
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    Dragon's Den is also not a great name. And The Bridge is not a place for chat, but for actions and decisions. I liked your original, Ten Forward suggestion, which is a place for chat and is geeky! :) Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 12:49
  • I do prefer Ten Forward, but then again, I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars lol Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:05
  • Ancible is from Orson Scott Card's Ender universe. It's am FTL communication device. Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 21:50
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    @DVK Card took the ansible from Le Guin, not the other way round.
    – user56
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 22:22
  • @Gilles - You are correct. The reason I used Card as explanation was that I am guessing (baselessly) that more people are familiar with the term from Card than Le Guin, original inventorship aside. Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 6:22
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    +1. "Mos Eisley" looks like random gibberish to me. Took a month before I saw a reference to it in a Star Wars question and looked it up... (And as a side note, I am familiar with "Ansible" by way of the "Runcible" from Gridlinked)
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 5:22

The origin of ansible is from Rocannon's World - although this is one of Le Guin's sci-fi stories, she is well-known for fantasy as well (e.g. Earthsea) and the story has a lot of fantasy elements.

IMO the appeal of ansible is that it's a term that's used throughout science fiction (including some "science fantasy"), including Star Trek(*), rather than a term from a single (admittedly very large) work.

I also like that I can read "ansible" and imagine a way to pronounce it without any problem, which I can't do with "Mos Eisley".

However, I almost never use chat, and that has nothing to do with the name.

(*) Ok, one DS9 novel only.

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