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Hit me with those errata ...

Ace are re-publishing THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES as a mass-market paperback at the end of the year, and I've got a set of galleys to comb for errors. I've also got the copy edits of THE REVOLUTION BUSINESS to vet, on approximately the same time scale, so I'm running around in ever-diminishing circles right now.

If you've read THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES in the US trade paperback edition (not the British mass market paperback edition) and spotted any howlers, please leave a comment here (preferably giving a page number and some textual context so I can find the offending error). You've got until September 7th before it's typeset and printed. Thanks!

54 Comments

1:

I know it's unlikely - but does the US trade paperback edition use the same print as the hardcover original?

And you know, school holidays - jobs quiet. Happy to read anything else (cough beggin as I'm so bored cough).

2:

Ah good. I hate trade paperbacks (or con-sized paperbacks) and don't buy them if I can avoid it.

3:

Serraphin: in a word, no (although I think they bought the typeset files from Golden Gryphon -- I know Orbit in the UK didn't).

Stephen: THE JENNIFER MORGUE is out in trade in January, and paperback some way down the line (hopefully before THE FULLER MEMORANDUM turns up).

4:

I've got one that I bought, in the US while visiting, that has an office cubescape (with Cthulu tentacles emerging from at lease one) and the main character front and centre. Is that the one you need checked? If so, I fancy a re-read.

5:

Oh, on the cover, if that's not obvious.

6:

Dave: yup, that's the one.

7:

The first line font is a little confusing.

"GAEEN SHY AT NIGHT..."

"THE NEXT MOANING THEY PUT ME ON THE TRAIN."

"EXCUSE ME FOR ASHING"

Yes, I am a nit-picking jerk, but it did knock me off my reading rhythm a little.

8:

p. 212 - "... and we wouldn't want to hand an H-bomb on a plate to some random troublemaker, what?" Not sure if "what" should be "right".

9:

insect_hooves: "what" in that context is British usage, not American. Not a typo.

10:

ISTR a row with SM Sterling resulting from this, but did the dodgy unit designations ever get sorted ("21st Battalion Territorial Army" s/b 21 SAS(Volunteer) Regiment (The Artists' Rifles))? There are also some foreigns in the British version that could do with changing, but I'll need to look'em up.

11:

10: known to its friends and relations as Two-One? That was certainly fixed by "The Jennifer Morgue"...

12:

Hmm, I often notice the odd typo or error while reading, but rarely remember them by the time the relevant thread turns up. Ever considered just throwing up a TRAC server? Then we can file bug reports whenever we stumble across them. And you can tag them "ASDESIGNED/WONTFIX" :-)

13:

Canis: a bug tracking server is indeed on the cards -- once I migrate to a new server (some month this year).

14:

p. 232 - "I had to visit Alan in hospital first". Maybe "in the hospital"? Could be another British phrasing.

15:

Well, terminal emphatic 'what' is *parody* over-the-top British usage, allegedly common soldier-speak and upper-class-speak. It's somewhat archaic, too: I've never actually met anyone who talks like that, even in high social circles, but some of the latter have told me that their grandparents used to talk that way.

As such it's perfectly appropriate for the person in whose mouth it's put :)

16:

insect_hooves: As a Brit I'd consider 'in the hospital' to be stilted. 'In hospital' is normal British usage.

17:

"Well, terminal emphatic 'what' is *parody* over-the-top British usage, allegedly common soldier-speak and upper-class-speak."

Surely in that sense it's spelt "wot" as in archaic "To know" - e.g. "Got wot" - thus it's more like Scots "ye ken" English "y'know", etc.

18:

pg 14, when Bob is getting the riot act read to him by Andy...

"...Heinrich Himmler. Am I making myself clear?"
I sit down again. "Yes, four very bureaucratic values of clear."


Shouldn't "four" above be "for", as in a maths expression?

19:

Red @ 17: I think I've always seen the terminal emphatic spelt "what". Maybe I should dig out some Wodehouse and check that now you've raised the doubt. OTOH, I have occasionally seen "what" spelt as "wot", as in the WW2 graffito "Wot, no...?"

20:

NelC @19, I think I've seen the terminal version as "wot." Maybe Pratchett's Guards?

21:

Actually, the one thing that bugged me about the Atrocity Archives was the multiple stories for how Bob Howard got into the Laundry. In the American edition, there's
a) p.48 "a summer vacation job between finishing my CS degree and starting postgrad work: making ends meet doing contract work for the Department of Transport. I smelt a rat in the woodpile and began to dig, never quite suspecting the full magnitude of the rodent whose tail I had grabbed hold of."
and,
b)p.92 "Nobody even noticed me until I'd worked out the geometry curve iteration for invoking Nyarlathoptep and nearly wiped out Birmingham by accident."

In Concrete Jungle, the second origin myth is alluded to (p.243 "...as they later pointed out to me, applied computational demonology and built-up areas don't mix very well.)

Probably too big to change in the proofs, but that's the one I noticed. Perhaps p.48 needs a quick makeover, a la the infamous backwards rotating earth problem in the first edition of Ringworld that was fixed in subsequent editions?

22:

heteromeles: you're perceiving a problem that doesn't exist. (Bob is an unreliable narrator with an axe to grind. As should become somewhat more obvious over the course of the series.)

23:

As a Brit I'd consider 'in the hospital' to be stilted. 'In hospital' is normal British usage.

It's the same as the distinction between "in the courtroom" and "in court".

If I'm "in the hospital" it means that I am currently physically located within a certain large building full of sick people and nurses. What I'm doing there doesn't matter; maybe I work there, maybe I'm visiting a friend. If I'm "in hospital" it means I'm there for treatment.

"In the hospital" actually has a presumption against my being ill, because otherwise I would have said "in hospital"; "I spent three days in hospital" sounds unexceptional, "I spent three days in the hospital" sounds as though I was having trouble finding the exit.

24:

SPOILER


When exactly did Bob get engaged? In the short story at the end of the Atrocity Archives (forget the name, sorry), Mo is called his fianc´┐Że, while at the end of the Jennifer Morgue, which seems to be set after the concrete cows saga...

25:

By pure coincidence I just finished re-reading this very book. Though I couldn't quote you page numbers, there seemed to be some ambiguity as to whether a certain geometry curve is spelled "Dho-Na" or "Dho-Nha".

26:

@23: But, of course British English isn't simply consistent in this kind of usage. "I wrote Bob" is perfectly good AmEnglish for what BritEnglish would have as "I wrote to Bob", where the meaning in both cases is "I wrote a letter to Bob".

27:

One more nit for you. Several times in the Atrocity Archive /Concrete Jungle it refers to CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN coming in September 2007.

I don't know if you wish to consider re-casting that date in light of the present, but thought I'd highlight that if you'd not already perceived it.

28:

Jordan, I'm willing to bet Bob thwarted CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN and saved all of us plebes, despite the best efforts of Laundry bureaucracy to stop him.

We just haven't read about it yet...

29:

Re: CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.
The Great Old Ones are sleeping in. Shhh... Be very, very, quiet.

30:

CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN has already been recast in THE JENNIFER MORGUE. Starts in 2012 (IIRC), runs for thirty years ... you didn't think apparent stellar motion was fast, did you?

31:

Cthulhu rejects your pathetic calls for a strict timetable. The timing of his arrival to eat humanity will be entirely based on the conditions on the ground.

32:

CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN:

I`m quite certain russians aren`t trying to rebild the Energia launcher, and even if they started today, could not possible finish by 2012.

Anyway, how the hell pertifying cameras are supposed to help us against GOOs? By killing us before they do?

33:

There were a couple I noticed in Saturn's Children - are you interested in those too?

Charlie, have you considered doing all this more formally with a wiki or even the equivalent of a bug database?

34:

Petrifying cameras let their controllers kill *whatever* the threat is (shambling zombies, possessed humans, writhing monsters), as long as they can't cope with having their temperature abruptly raised by several hundred degrees. So a few bacteria, sentient gas clouds, and superintelligent shades of the colour blue might be able to cope with them, but not much else. Thinking more brutally, they also would enable 'firebreaks' to be constructed by killing *everyone* in vulnerable areas before they had their souls eaten.

The biggest worry remaining (other than the systems-penetration angle treated by Charlie in _The Concrete Jungle_) is presumably aerial attacks that can drop on the cameras from above: most security cameras can't tilt freely along all axes.

35:

@34: Or, you know, Cthulhu, who is a god and won`t give a damn about temperature...

Unless CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is somewhat milder...

36:

Or invisibility, or simple resistance to whatever basilisks do (no carbon, anti-'magic', etc.).

OTOH, Charlie, - what about a silicon suit, with no carbon on the surface layer? Would that be protection?

37:

The gentleman to whom I loaned my TPB copy of The Atrocity Archives -- more than 20 months ago -- now has a slightly-insistent message which urges him to return my call posthaste.

I can be a mellow person, easily mistaken for a chump ... but even mellow has its limits.


$ at now +4 hours set -ex
SITE=CAM-1817504947804.trafmon.sj.ca.us
cd $HOME/src/viscog/c2si
scp -l fldmaint -p 4811 SCORP_STARE6.bit $SITE:/fpga/img.4.bit
sleep 90
ssh -l fldmaint -L 54810:$SITE:4810 'boot - 4 0'
@@@

38:

117: "Mindwertigen" s/b "Minderwertigen"
119: "Obersturmbannfehrer" s/b Obersturmbannfuhrer (u with an umlaut, which my current kbd won't let me do. alt+0252, anyway)
242: "Vertlesgunswaffen" s/b "Vergeltungswaffen", at least if you mean what I think you mean
255: There is no such police force as the West Yorkshire Met; there is only one Met (well, there were two until Irish independence).
270: SIMM card s/b SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module)


Unspecified; y'are sure the references to Yusuf Qaradawi aren't actually libellous? I mean, I know everyone was Tebbly Tebbly Concerned about Ken Livingstone talking to him, but I'm fairly sure he's not actually planning to invoke the elder gods from beyond time.

39:

I noticed the same thing as @24, and sadly my AA book has chosen to turn invisible or return to the home planet at this point. In the second story, Bob is talking to the cop and mentions the fact he has a fiance, whereupon she reveals her own husband and family. That's why the ending of JM got me all confused since I thought they were already engaged.

40:

On page 124 there's the line where Pinky picks up the fur-lined handcuffs and the narration says "then starts polishing them on a square of kitchen roll." In the US we'd more commonly know that as a square of paper towel.

41:

Page 16 (top): "... and while there may be no aliens in the freezer room at Roswell AFB, the world is still full of spooks ..."

The aliens-on-ice rumor actually had the bodies from Roswell in a freezer at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, rather than at Walker AFB (decommissioned in 1967, now a decrepit civilian air park)in Roswell.

(After attending classes at ENMU in Roswell -- just down the road from the air park -- while living in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, I can almost believe the alien crash stories ... but I'm still trying to come to grips with the fact that the anchor store in the Roswell Mall is a Wal-Mart.)

42:

Pg. 119 (middle/bottom): "...when the Allied got wind of it and bombed the crap out of the big soul-capacitors at Peenumende."

Should be Peenemunde (umlaut over the u).

43:

@42: or pg. 129, "Allies", as the case may be.
(So much for self-proofreading!)

44:

Pg. 260 (bottom): "Dr. Ing Professor Gustaf Von Schachter"

"Ing." instead of "Ing" (super-nit-picky, true, but at first glance it looks like Dr. Ing and Professor Von Schachter).

45:

Pg. 257: "I regret to say that our most precise calorimetric analyses suggest that your theory of mass/energy conservation is being violated ... We are most perplexed, because if we accept this result we are forced to accept the creation of new mass ab initio, or treat it as an experimental invalidation of your general theory of relativity."

This would be the special theory of relativity, not the general, wouldn't it?

46:

Pg. 13, last para: "Section Three ... is our principle weapon ..." Which is to say, our principal weapon.

47:

The Golden Gryphon HB version: The glossary of acronyms only applies to the Atrocity Archives, but not to the The Concrete Jungle. You might want to add the ones you used in this section.

48:

Oops, posted the last set of edits in the "Incidentally" thread.

49:

A couple of points having to do with American English.

Pg. 67: "Well, try not to leave your car there, it's blocking the disabled space": in the US this would be the "handicapped" space.

Pg. 60: "A couple of surf dudes": "surfer" dudes.

50:

pg. 274: "...makes excellent fiscal strength in this age..." s/b "...sense...", I think.

pg. 278: "..into a seat on a train to Milton Keynes; it's full of...and irritated businessmen on their way to Luton airport, but I get off before there..."
I haven't got a rail map out but Luton is well SE of MK so I can't image a train from London would get to MK before Luton. Did you mean Stanstead? On second thoughts, maybe that's why the businessmen were irritated. Perhaps they thought they'd stay on the train as far as Dublin.

Similarly, in the Atrocity Archives, they take a flight Luton-Amsterdam through some special deal with British Airways. BA don't fly from Luton.

51:

Thanks, folks!

Two more days. Then I have to wrap up the errata and send 'em off ...

52:

Pg 134: "We ... have a little agreement with {Knuth]: he doesn't publish volume four ..." This is a little out of date, given the "fascicles" of Volume Four that have appeared since. Be easy enough to modify this, though.

53:

I'm probably just outside the window of opportunity (sorry, but I just finished reading it)

Atrocity Archives ACE trade paperback
page 231, line 7:
"Oh. Okay." 1 feel an enormous letdown...

Should be a capital I instead of a 1 (one)

54:

Thanks!

And I'd just like to let you know that I've sent the errata in, the deadline for production is upon us, and any errors you spot after this posting are too late. (So I'm closing the comments down.)

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