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It's that time of year, and the mass market trade paperback of SATURN'S CHILDREN slouches towards a US release.

If you have read SATURN'S CHILDREN in hardback and stubbed your toes on any typos or mistakes, please post here and let me know what you found? (Remember to specify whether it was the US, Ace edition, US SFBC edition, or UK Orbit edition. If possible, give a page number; ideally give me a few words of text I can search the MS for, and the exact typo. "You mis-spelled one of the characters names halfway through" is not helpful: "you spelled Jeeves with only two 'e's on page 264 of the Ace hardcover" is very helpful.)




Just out of interest: What sort of processes do you have, yourself, for finding typos? Reading this post made me think about something I read in Jeffrey Friedl's book about regular expressions - his use of them in proof-reading. It made me wonder if you did anything similar?



Keith: I'm crap at finding typos -- especially in my own work. By the time it's in print I've read it so many times I'm sick of it. And before it gets that far ... have you ever tried to spot your own spelling mistakes in something you've written? It's kind of difficult, if you mis-spelled the words in question because you think they were right.

NB: in proofreading a galley, I'm looking at a large hunk of dead tree with ink on it, or -- at best -- at a 300 page PDF file. Regular expressions just don't really cut it ...


My standard notation for reporting is:

"page#/paragraph#/line#" with partial paragraphs at page top or bottom counted as 1. Counts from the bottom of page are negative numbers. Lines are done the same way for paragraphs. Where a question mark follows the position are "ask the author."


247/3/3 "silicon breast implants" -> "silicone..."

311/3 nostril's -> nostrils

367/-4/-1 insert closing doublequote after: patroller?

369/-2 Indigo didn't looked convinced. -> look

I hope this helps.


re: finding typos.

Read the book backwards. It's a bit hard to start with but soon your brain stops seeing sentence structure and you start examining words as individual items. Makes spotting typo's easier.

Well it works for me anyhow.

Now...tempted to go out and buy SC just to join the typo hunt.


Geoffrey, that's how I send typos to my editors.

Serraphin: I don't have time to proof-read the book backwards, the traditional way. Got two other novels to finish and hand in by the end of June, and six weeks travel between now and then. Also? I'm a crap proofreader. People have tried to train me to do it; I'm just not good at it. (Poor eye sight, short attention span.)


Not a typo but...I hope your characters aren't still "pulling a face" you're my favorite author this week, but I don't think we do that in the U.S.


Joe: you may not pull a face in the US, but in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not American. (If you've spotted anomalous idiom in one of the merchant princes novels, just say; otherwise, it's irrelevant.)


Assuming you have the MS as a text file you could always try GuiGuts. Assuming it will handle the text not being in DP's post-processing output format

code: http://sourceforge.net/projects/guiguts

discussion: http://www.pgdp.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3075

(big disclaimer: I have not used it in a couple of years)

best regards


reading it now, enjoying it.

seriously... midget ninja? lol

and liking the no-human premise. have always wondered if clarkesque monoliths wasn't in fact the way to get things done.


I don't have the book in front of me (it's at my parents' house at the moment) but I seem to remember that the inside flap of the dustjacket spelled Freya's second name differently to the main text of the book. Nagamichi instead of Nakamichi or something similar.



Sorry, forgot to specify that it was the UK Orbit edition I read


Dave Morgan, I am not checking the MS for typos, I am checking the typeset, copy-edited galley proof (which has been edited). In the case of the paperback it's a reflow of the typeset file from the hardcover edition.

Duncan @10: noted and will prod Orbit.


@6 'pulling a face' is used in the US. The idea of changing idioms for a US edition is ridiculous. Would you expect British TV or movies to be dubbed? What's the old phrase "two nations divided by a common language"?


Afraid I'm no help. Read the book when it came out in the US, and don't recall any obvious typos. I had intended to keep track of any I came across for just this occasion, but seems I didn't. Probably spent more time looking for literary references.


I have found one anomalous idiom and one good old fashioned typo so far in the TOR paperback of The Hidden Family.

p. 26, She filled the kettle, set it on the hob to boil, began searching [...] -- I think "hob" should be "stove" in US usage.

p. 51, "Did you got where you wanted to go?" Paulie asked, pausing. Pretty sure "got" should be "get".


I'm currently reading the UK Orbit hardcover edition of SC (ISBN 978-1-84149-567-5) and there may be a typo on page 10, paragraph 4: "Some of them wear iridescent uniform shells, but most of the lowly cleaners are naked as they day they were duped and chipped".
Oughn't it be "the day they were" ?
I'm still reading the book (which is great so far, as always) so I'll keep posting further findings.


Ryan @15: alas, once a book hits mass-market paperback they aren't going to typeset it again except for really humongous bloopers. So there's not really any point reporting typos in paperbacks (except for trade editions -- such as the current Ace edition of "The Jennifer Morgue" -- which have yet to go mass-market).

Jerome @16: we have a winner! That's a genuine tyop in the wild! (And it's on page 9 of the Ace hardcover, too, because Orbit ran their edition from the same InDesign file as Ace.)


One method I've found helpful in finding typos is to use text to speech software to listen to what I've written.

Some errors that the eye tends to pass right over jump out at you when heard spoken aloud.

Of course, it won't necessarily pronounce all typos differently so its more a supplement to than a replacement for normal proofreading.

But it works. I used it here as I often do when posting comments on blogs and caught a typo in the word "supplement".


David @18: you're not listening, are you?

In what way is text-to-speech software going to help me rapidly find typos in a PDF file?

And in what way is text-to-speech software going to help me find homophones?

Here's a hint: even if I had a machine-readable version of the final text (which I don't), running a 103,000 word novel through text-to-speech would require approximately 50-60 continuous hours of listening (which I don't have). Because the novel is approximately 500-1000 times as long as a blog comment ...

By analogy: I'm asking for help changing a car tyre and you're suggesting I should have bought an airline ticket. Not helpful!


Its never taken me 50 hours to listen to a novel using text to speech. Usually less than 10.

And I'm not necessarily suggesting you do it alone. If 20 helpful individuals had your PDF file they could each copy a twentieth of the novel into their text to speech software and probably each find most of the typos in their section in an afternoon(not all, its quite true that it'll miss homophones---which is why I called it a supplement rather than a replacement for normal proofreading).


David, read what I said: I don't have time. As in: I have other work committments and this novel has landed on my desk with a two-week production turnaround. Nor do I have time to locate and manage twenty volunteers.

This is just a quick check to see if anyone's stubbed their toe on any obvious typos/bloopers in the hardcover. Suggesting other ways of doing the job is Not Helpful.


Sorry Charlie - I didn't mean you read it backwards - it was a suggedtion for the other hunters of wild typos.

I know why you're asking us to help!


Typo-dar isn't finding much (if any).

US Ace edition:

pg 9 para 6 line 4: same typo as mentioned by Jerome @16

pg 13 para 2 line 2:the windswept empty, -> windswept empty spaces? or misplaced comma?

pg 71 para 1 line 13: of only eight principal paying fares -> Shouldn't that be "seven principal paying fares"? The next two pages list the passengers & I count seven including Freya/Kate Sorico.


Soon Lee: your second hitch (pg 13) is entirely deliberate (no missing words, no misplaced comma), but the other two are, indeed, errata. Thanks!


From the UK Orbit hardback edition:

Page 10, Line 14: Replace first "they" with "the".

[...] but most of the lonely cleaners are
naked as they day they were duped and chipped [...]

Thinking of going back and re-reading, will let you know if I find any more.


Actually, that line I quoted has two typos -- there should also be another "as" in there:

[...] but most of the lonely cleaners are as
naked as they day they were duped and chipped [...]



"but most of the lonely cleaners are naked as they day they were duped and chipped"
"but most of the lonely cleaners are as naked as they day they were duped and chipped"

say exactly the same thing, they are just different styles of writing, both are equally correct.


I've got two and a half candidates, from the Ace USA edition (berkeley publishing group).

#1 p164, the sentence goes, "I'm wanting to give Red some money,", I say calmly enough. "If he's not in, tough."

Shouldn't that be if *she's* not in? The narrator knows prior to that sentence that Red is female ("Red spends her profits on her practice"), and immediately after the sentence Red enters via the inner door and it's clear she's a she. "She looks me up and down."

It's possible that Freya wanted to gull Zire into thinking that she thinks Red is male, but not plausible - it's not pertinent to the plot in any way. Zire and Red are out of the storyline by the next page.

#2 is more clear cut. P322, "My fingertips are digging into the arms my chair." This should read, my fingertips are digging into the arms of my chair.

Also, on p 321 there's a weird extra dot on the page which could be a typo, or just a spot of stray ink. It looks remarkably like the period beside it. The location is the second paragraph after the *. "I see you're still employing Juliette", I point out.

And then after that period following the word 'out' there is another period, except vertically higher, instead of a space.


Nate: thanks!


Not sure if this is a typo, but I'll mention it here and point it out.
Ace Edition, hard cover. page 5, ¶4. "... is more intricate than her companion's." At this point Stone hasn't been established as the hired help, so it could be "companions'"


Ace Edition, hard cover. page 257, ¶1. "Because we want to get there in something less than thirty years." Then on p259, last ¶ Half a million Reals, just for a ticket to Eris that takes less than ten years. I somehow doubt that Granita would screw those numbers up.

p310 1st ¶ continuing from 309, Oh yes. He didn't have his fusion thorax in tow, that time on Mars. And since you went through great detail about why fusion reactors are mainly for planetary and interstellar, I think that's a typo.


Orbit hardback -
P 347 "There, as it happens, a starship currently taking shape in orbit around Dysnomia, the tiny moon of Eris."
Should be "There is, as it happens..."

P 354 "I nod slowly. 'It's not about Reginald, isn it?'"
Should be "I nod slowly. 'It's not about Reginald, is it?'


Whoops! I should have said: the typo hunt is now closed. (Changes sent off yesterday.)


Oh well, I was reading it for the first time anyway and they just jumped out at me. Hopefully somebody else spotted them in time?


Dang! Missed the cutoff for the typo hunt! Well, here's the ones I found, anyway.

Page numbers are from the Ace hardback.

P 59: "semimajor axis". The semimajor axis is the distance from the center to one of the ends of the long axis, so it's half the long axis. Unless that's an ostrich egg, I think you meant "major axis".

p 43: "refraction-grating": do you mean "diffraction grating"? I had never heard of refraction gratings until I googled them, and I've done some optical engineering and am pretty familiar with the technology.

p 310: "fusion thorax", "hot-burning abdomen": Where's that reactor exactly?

p 127: "nearing the zenith": They're always at the zenith as seen from the base of the beanstalk. Maybe "nearing noon"?

p 91: thirty-two million seconds is more than a year, but earlier you said it was 90 days.

p 164: "I'm wanting to give Red some money. If he's not in, tough." Isn't Red a "she"?

p. 188: "diamagnetic death": oxygen is paramagnetic.

p. 120: "east Texas": Do you mean west Texas? That has a lot more canyons and gulches. East Texas is flat flat flat. But I've only been there once, so maybe I missed the gulchy bit.

p. 120: Marinaris: Marineris.

Sorry for the lateness. I hope this does some good someday.