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Typo archaeology 2: The Clan Corporate/The Merchants War

This is the one you've been waiting for! If you've noticed any typos or errors of fact in the two aforementioned novels (books 3 and 4 of the Merchant Princes series) I'd be very grateful if you'd list them in a comment under this blog entry. Note: not the last two novels in the series, just the middle two—the latter will get their own thread. As before, please provide some verbatim textual context I can search for in the manuscript, or a page/line number ... and specify which edition you're talking about: ideally the US mass market paperback, which was the final corrected edition prior to the one I'm hunting down typos for.

(Yes, I've been quiet for the past week; death-marched my way to the end of a novel, took one day off, then edited my way through two more novels, then went to a crime festival without a laptop. My hands are thanking me for that latter decision, and I hope to get back to work as usual next week, starting with the next editing marathon. And maybe even an essay or two for the blog ...)



This is a suggestion for notation, since it's what I use when I'm turning in an errata log:

329/-2/2 you don't what I know -> you don't know what I know

Page#/Paragraph#/Line# (with negative numbers counted from the bottom. Header text such as Chapter II doesn't count)

And, of course, the original text followed by the suggested correction.

The other format I use when I don't have a treeware copy is:

Chapter (thus and so)

Original paragraph

original text -> correction

and a two-line gap before the next entry. At least it cuts down the search space.

Best wishes with the Wild Hunt of the Typos


I have not read it, but if there are archers I hope the command to shoot is not "fire"!


This is on page 166 of the MMPB (I think; I found it by searching inside on Amazon):

"But does the knotwork specify two endpoints, in which case all a given knot can do is let you shuttle between two worlds, A and B--or does it define a vector relationship in a higher space? One that's quantized, and commutative, so if you start in universe A you always shuttle from A to B and back again, but if you transport it to C you can then use it to go to a different world, call it D?"

Unless I'm entirely misunderstanding your exposition, "commutative" is the wrong word here. That would be saying that if you use two different knotworks, then you end up in the same universe by no matter which order you do it in.

The appropriate adjective to describe the property "if you start in universe A you always shuttle from A to B and back again" is involutive.


Can we ask yet who is doing the film/TV/shadow puppet adaptation of the Family Trade series? Or are we still supposed to pretend that we haven't figured that out yet?


Dirk @2 - What is the correct command to release an arrow? Shoot? Let fly?


This, from the Online Etymology Dictionary (, suggests it would be "shoot" in English:

shoot O.E. sceotan "to shoot" (class II strong verb; past tense sceat, pp. scoten), from P.Gmc. *skeutanan (cf. O.S. skiotan, O.N. skjota, O.Fris. skiata, Du. schieten, Ger. schießen), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (cf. Skt. skundate "hastens, makes haste," O.C.S. iskydati "to throw out," Lith. skudrus "quick, nimble"). Meanings "send forth swiftly" and "wound with missiles" were in O.E. In ref. to pool playing, the verb is attested from 1926. Meaning "to inject by means of a hypodermic needle" is attested from 1914. Meaning "photograph" (especially a movie) is from 1890. As an interjection, an arbitrary euphemistic alteration of shit, it is recorded from 1934. Shooting star first recorded 1590s. Shoot the breeze "chat" first recorded 1941. Shoot to kill first attested 1867.


I'll have some from the second book for you tomorrow, unless it's too late.


Is it to early for the Apocalypse Codex? Page 175, top paragraph, "with no pavements for pedestrians" I think the North American version probably meant to say "sidewalks" and not "pavements". I see now what you mean about the trickiness of producing localized versions of the books (cell / phone / cellphone / mobile / handy / etc.).


If you want to option the movie/TV rights for the Merchant Princes series, I assure you that my agent would be very happy to hear from you.


If that's "The Hidden Family", you're too late. If that's "The Merchant's War" you've got approximately 10 days.


It's Bob's narrative, delivered in English-English. I am familiar with the pavement/sidewalk thing.


I put the geography checks from Book Two over in the appropriate thread.

I'll take a beer as payment.


Uh ... what is a crime festival?


Pickpockets, burglars, the big ones will have a serial killer as GoH, and some of them specialize in heists or con games.

A recent trend is Crimepunk, where criminals are costumed according to their profession in Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, and everybody speaks in cant all weekend.


Ah, you're new to this blog, aren't you? That's why I assume you've missed the prominent references in Charlie's previous two posts about the Crime Fiction festival in Harrogate.

(It's OK, I tease.)


Perhaps I should get into this patenting of blatantly obvious but useful things, like the world and his wife do in the smartphones business...

Most tablets and smartphones have a forward-facing camera, namely one which faces the user as the user is looking at the screen. Most smartphones also have fairly decent CPUs on-board, sufficient to handle fairly CPU-intensive tasks.

Now, quite a few folk like Charlie suffer from RSI or are otherwise poor at typing. Typing on a smartphone is in any case rather difficult and slow. So, why not use a form of sign language instead, using the forward-facing camera to turn the signs the user makes into text? Given a sufficiently well-designed sign language, the making of these signs could even be theraputic and act to delay or prevent the onset of RSI.

(Yes, I know I've scuppered my chances of patenting this marvellous invention. However, I have also scuppered anyone else's chances of doing this, hence allowing it to be opensourced...)


MicroSoft already have gesture-based input in hand (so to speak). Kinect is their initial offering in this field but their next step is to add similar functionality to smartphones, tablets and surfaces. It will require multiple cameras embedded around the bezel rather than just one and, probably, dedicated vector processing hardware to keep up with the input rates but it will mean hands-off control and faster data input. The learning curve for the user will be quite high though.


Dirk @2 - What is the correct command to release an arrow? Shoot? Let fly?

I think it's "loose".

I'm probably wrong, but I think the terms "fire"[0] and "shoot" only came in with muskets.

Jim [0] except on those occasions where you're using fire-arrows, but it would be the order to set them alight, not to send them on their way.


You are indeed wrong - 'shoot' comes from the Old English scēotan, and predates muskets. Merriam-Webster has it from before the 12th Century, predating 'loose' which it dates to the 13th.

'Loose' is, like 'fire', more specific in considering the mechanism by which someone shoots. You can't fire a bow, you can't loose a gun.


@19: Ah, right-o. Thanks.


Yeah, it's the Hidden Family. I took the month deadline comment seriously.

I'm sorry that I missed your deadline: there were a few geographic howlers in it. I listed 'em in the other thread, if it's not too late.

Only three are big; the biggest being the misplaced Port Authority in New York City. The others are the Concord Turnpike being misnamed and the creation of a "downtown Cambridge" that nobody uses.

Plus another odd use of "'Lo." I'm actually curious about that one. Where'd you get the idea that Americans shortened "Hello" to "Lo"?

I still want that beer.


I'm just lazy about what I read. Crime fiction festival, that clears it up!

My internet contact with our fearless author dates way back to a now-dead forum. Makes it weird, in a way.


Charlie: crowdsourcing might not be the best way to copyedit. Frex, I was late, but you don't have other Boston residents or natives catching stuff.

We seem to be a lazy bunch here.


That Crime Fiction festival sounds like it would have good fun - I've only just finished reading Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" books, and I've liked all the Stuart McBride's that I've read (which would be all of the DS McRae novels).


No typos, but I just wanted to say that I'm glad you've been laying off. I'm ok with the quiet on the blog, since you let us know it's because you need time to heal. I'd rather you blow out your wrists finishing the Laundry series than on the blog. ;)

Take care. Lurk Mode Re-enabled.


Are typo alerts useful via the Kindle interface? It's there but I don't know if anybody reads them.


Do you find it difficult editing books you wrote such a (comparatively) long time ago ago? Presumably if you were writing them now you'd do a lot differently. Is it hard to resist the temptation to do more than just tidy up glitches and start seriously rewriting?


Most of those bugs were flagged up elsewhere in the earlier thread; so they've been mostly squished. And yes, I owe you a beer.


Yes, typos via Kindle are okay ... as long as you quote a string of 3-5 words, verbatim (including any spelling errors and punctuation) so I can search for them. OK?


There's an awful lot of stuff to tidy up, and I'm not entirely resisting the urge to tinker where appropriate; for example, I went through the first two books hunting down said-bookisms with fire and the sword. Okay, just the sword (and it was a badly notched sixth-hand short sword at that), but they needed killin'.

What I can't do is restructure the plot, insert or delete more than about a sentence at a time, or do really major surgery without a bloody good reason. It's a bugfix, not a Version 2.0 release.


If we're doing Apocalypse Codex, I've got one. Bob is in his thirties according to several references, but on page 49, he says "Only now he's my boss, and even though I'm well into my third decade he still calls me boy." - that should be "fourth decade," since you start your third decade when you're in your twenties.


We're not doing "The Apocalypse Codex". What's it say up top? I'm guessing you should save them for sometime in late Spring.


Ahh sorry didn't think of it that way (internal character mono log vs description of what's going on), makes sense.


I just devoured 1-5 with great pleasure over the past month, & will continue to 6 as soon as I finish (oddly enough) Iain Banks's Transition.

This is my first visit in a while, so I've only skimmed the typo threads--apologies if I've missed someone else pointing this out. Also, I was reading first-printing mass-market paperbacks, so the issue may already have been addressed.

At any rate, here's an important search-and-replace for any of the series you can still edit: various characters, including American career law-enforcement & national security people, say "witness protection scheme". That's a Britishism; every instance I've seen in American English would be "witness protection program".

Thanks ever so much!


Even Americans write about revolvers with safety catches now days. I'm sure I have my granddads old S AND W with one some place. Nobody really cares.
There are still differences in American speech. Its not all East Coast TV speak. No matter how the East Coast acts. Don't get nick picked too stiff.
After the War of 1812 many were so mad they backed old Noal Webster and tried to make American and English as different as possible. I think Orwell had something to say about the us and you in fictional usage. Something about crime writing "No Flowers for Miss B something?"


Kindle typos --

Ok, I'd flagged them via the interface itself on the device. I'm not sure what they're giving you to work from on the other end. I highlighted the section and submitted. Would I need to paste the text contents into the note window as well? I wasn't sure if this was sent off to some email address at your publisher or you directly.


Kindle typos --

Ok, I'd flagged them via the interface itself on the device. I'm not sure what they're giving you to work from on the other end. I highlighted the section and submitted. Would I need to paste the text contents into the note window as well? I wasn't sure if this was sent off to some email address at your publisher or you directly.


Whatever interface you're talking about using, I didn't get nuthink. Please post any suggestions as comments in the "Leave a comment" form on this page, they way you left your question! (No, nothing you send via the Kindle itself gets to me. Or to the publisher.)

Oh, and don't bother reporting hyphenation issues in ebooks.


"Raffles and Miss Blandish", I think(?) IIRC (and I haven't read it lately, must do so) Orwell was contrasting a slightly cosy, "principled" crime fiction (typified by Raffles, the gentleman criminal) with "No Orchids for Miss Blandish", standing for a much more hard boiled and "nasty" strain of fiction. But I think his point was about content rather that US English vs British English. (That should probably be Englishes - in both cases).


That's about right. It's out of copyright in Canada, apparently, and you can read the essay here if you're not fussy (remembering to always call it research...). "No Orchids..." is an English author writing in an American setting, and apparently it didn't convince American readers. Orwell concentrated more on the way in which criminals were depicted, and society. There is little to choose between the Police and the criminal, he asserts, in more recent fiction. The Police have power, and the more recent writers applaud power, however expressed.

All this has very little to do with typo-hunting, but I'm sure that the essay could provoke several different sorts of debate about crime fiction. Charlie doesn't go for crude brutal Police power. If there is a source of power in his books, it is knowledge.


Hi, I have a quick followup question regarding your comment closing off the "Family Trade"/"Hidden Family" comment thread.

I assumed that the revised manuscript for these books would be going off to an editor or copy-editor, then back to you for a final check before going to production. Is that not the case?

P.S. Sorry for adding more items at the end of the "Family Trade"/"Hidden Family" thread. I just came across them when I was cross-referencing some information in "The Clan Corporate" and figured it was worth documenting them. I hope to get my "Clan Corporate" typos up soon.


Minimal checking on this project, because it's a reissue of something that has already been copy-edited and proofread, with corrections. The corrections will get eyeballed, the rest of the stuff, not so much.

(The sheer size of turning around the Merchant Princes series is a bit daunting -- at around 640,000 words, it's roughly 1900-2000 pages in total!)


typos - The Clan Corporate, US mass market edition - Tor

p21 And he's got the sworn men to compurge his case before the justiciars

pp26 - 27, hyphenated over the page break .. information comes from a communicant in Lancaster

p 57 A royal party could not but transpire without a penumbra

p 96 The boot is on the other foot and the prisoner shrieking his plea as you heat it.

p124 did you mean to have italics on all 4 words of .. like Hugo Weaving in .. ?



What makes you think those are typos? I see only one that is questionable ...

(Hint: google on "compurgation". Or the Spanish Boot. Maybe leave the latter one alone if you're squeamish.)

45: Typos from "The Clan Corporate"

All references are to the first edition paperback by Tor. (t) indicates top third of page, (m) the middle third, and (b) the bottom third.


1) numerous places - doppelganger, doppelgangered => in the first two books always spelled doppelgänger, doppelgängered

2) p. 5 (t) first rule of business around here is, Don't piss off the blackmailers => should this be "don't"?

3) p. 46 (t) A woman and two guys were waiting in it, beside the driver => besides the driver

4) p. 61 (t) the generosity of the debatable society => all other references are to "the debating society" (e.g. p. 62 (m), p. 100 (m))

5) p. 65 (b) Kingdom of Gruinmerkt => Gruinmarkt

6) p. 66 (t) without painkillers and antiinflammatory drugs => anti-inflammatory

7) p. 75 (t) make a WSP run => WPS

8) p. 78 (t) your WSP participation => WPS

9) p. 136 (t) Why, did you think I was a constable? => Why did you think

10) p. 168 (t) They don wear white coats here => in my copy, the 't of don't is missing (although the text is spaced as if they were there)

11) p. 173 (b) with the bellpull: E Burgeson Esq. => "The Hidden Family", p 79 (m) had "She peered at them. E. Burgeson, esq."

12) p. 178 (t) French boots a-cooling in the Indian ocean => Indian Ocean

13) p. 208 (m) nothing in the drawers or on the chest => in the chest?

14) p. 229 (b) You said he took a lift down from the twenty-third-floor window => remove "window"

15) p. 269 (m) and Team X-ray meets you in, they hold => missing word between "in" and the comma?

Additional Notes

1) On page 6 (b) Miriam talks about going on "closely supervised courier run to an underground railway station." However, on page 9 (t), it says "They'd had her ferrying fifty-kilogram loads between a gloomy cellar of undressed stone and an equally gloomy subbasement of an underground car park"

2) On page 14 (t), Iris says, "It doesn't seem quite as funny now I'm sixty-two." However, in "The Family Trade", page 16 (t), it says "she looked increasingly frail - only in her fifties" and in "The Hidden Family", page 17 (b), she's described as "a late-fifties Jewish grandmother".

3) On page 15 (b) it says, of Lady Olga, "Her enthusiasms included playing the viola". However, on page 106 (t) of "The Family Trade", Olga says "I do hope they'll let me continue with the violin, though". Also, on page 169 (t) of "The Family Trade", Olga is described by Miriam as "an eighteen-year-old ditz whose one redeeming feature is that she plays the violin". Finally, on page 237 (b) of "The Family Trade", Miriam says "Olga's childlike enthusiasms include embroidery, violins, haute couture, and semiautomatic weapons".

4) I don't understand the configuration of Mike's apartment on page 14. It says "It was a relief to get out and slowly climb the steps to his apartment. … as he unlocked the door." It continues "… mis-entered the code to switch off his intruder alarm …" It seems clear that at this point he's inside his apartment. But then it continues "he wondered vaguely as he slouched upstairs, the door banging shut behind him." It makes it appear as if he has a two-story apartment, but on page 43 (t), it's described as a "bachelor apartment."

5) On page 75 (m), it says "Greensleeves used the same code word, this time in an envelope along with a sample of merchandise, and - this is significant - a saliva sample, not to mention the other thing that I presume is why we're all here." It seems clear that this refers to the plutonium sample. But that wasn't received in the envelope. Matthias brought it with him when he defected and had it in his pocket when he was questioned (see page 83).

6) Page 86 (t) says "Miriam - with an apprehensive Kara sucked along in her undertow, not to mention a couple of maids and a gaggle of guards". Several lines later it says "Kara, ineffectual and lightweight, drifted along passively in the undertow, like the armed guards on the carriage roof."

7) On page 103 (m) it says "She saw that Brill had cut her black hair shorter than the last time they'd met"

However, in both "The Family Trade" and "The Hidden Family", Brill is described as blonde: -- The Family Trade p. 182 (b) The Misses Brilliana of Ost and Kara of Praha - one blonde, the other brunette -- The Family Trade p. 209 (m) twenty-two years old, skin like milk and blonde hair, blue eyes -- The Hidden Family p. 9 (m) Brill, sitting up on the sofa, prim and attentive: nineteen or twenty, blond, and otherworldly

8) On page 118 (m), Mike and Pete decide to go for lunch. Mike says "It's nearly lunchtime." On page 119 (m), when he signs out, it's 14:27. On page 120 (m), when they reach Starbucks, it says "there was no queue round the block, they'd made their break in time to beat the rush."

i) 14:27 seems to be late to be taking lunch ii) even if it's a late lunch, there shouldn't be a rush to worry about at that time in the afternoon

Then, on page 124 (m) Mike says "Good morning" to Smith and Dr James. However, on the previous page it states "He'd only just got back from his lunch and chat with Pete", and since when he signs out to go to lunch it's 14:27, it's late afternoon, not morning when he meets Dr James on page 124

9) On page 128 (m) Mike thinks, "Special assets - the sort of people the CIA had been forbidden ever since the Church commission, the wake of Operation Phoenix, and the other deadly secrets from the sixties and early seventies." But Operation Phoenix was the codename for the attack on the Boston Clan office at the end of "The Hidden Family" (see the bottom of page 75), which took place only weeks before, so I'm not sure what it's doing in this list.

10) On page 150 (m) Matt says "The standard corvée duty owed to the Clan by adult world-walkers requires ten trips in five days, then two days off, and is repeated for a whole month, then a month off."

However, in "The Family Trade" p 135 (b) Roland tells Miriam "Two trips a day, five days on and five days off". This is repeated on the top of page 248 "five days on and five days off".

Also, on page 10 (m) of "The Clan Corporate", it says "Miriam wasn't needed today. She had the next three days off, her corvée paid." This seems inconsistent with both descriptions.

11) On page 163 (b), Miriam asks Paulette to get her "Two packs of RIFINAH-300 antibiotic tablets, one hundred tabs per pack, not the small twenty-tablet bottles." However, when the package arrives on page 171, it is described as "Inside it were two large plastic bottles of RIFINAH-300 tablets." But on page 172, it says "She'd decanted them into glass bottles, rather than leaving them in their original plastic wrappers."

12) On page 172 (m), there is the following text "… swaying slightly as it went. The air was slightly hazy, a warm, damp summer afternoon that smelled slightly of smoke." That's three uses of "slightly" in very close proximity.

13) On page 174 (m) it states that Burgeson "spent seven years in one of his majesty's logging camps out in the northwestern wilderness". However, in "The Family Trade" p 222 (t), the police officer states that he was in Nova Scotia (on the east coast)

14) On page 179 (b) Miriam and Burgeson are talking about Morgan and Burgeson says "I thought you said he was stupid and lazy?" There is no point in the previous conversation where Miriam says this.

15) In "The Family Trade", p 120 (b), Miriam's daughter is described as "a twelve-year old-girl". On page 34 (b) of "The Family Trade", Miriam reflects "First the unplanned pregnancy by Ben, in her third year of college." On page 164 (m) of "The Hidden Family", it also says "Miriam had held her daughter in her arms, once, twelve years ago," Since Miriam is described as 32 in both these books, it implies she was 20 when she had Rita, which fits with being in her third year of college.

However, on page 136 (m) of "The Clan Corporate", Miriam thinks "Rita had been a minor personal disaster, an unplanned intrusion while Miriam was in med school," Shouldn't this say "college"?

Also, on page 211 (m) of "The Clan Corporate", Miriam tells Doctor ven Hjalmar, "It won't be a first pregnancy. … I was twenty-one." Shouldn't this be "twenty"?

There are also a couple of places where the text implies that Rita is only 10. The first is when Miriam is on the train and sees the 10 year old girl, Marissa, with her mother, and thinks, on page 136 (m), "She's about the age Rita would be - stop that."

The second is on page 256 (m), when she thinks, of her pregnancy, "she hadn't enjoyed her one and only experience of it more than ten years ago -".

16) On page 223 (t), Kara says, of her fiancee, "He's called Raph ven Wu,". However, on page 249 (t), James Lee says, "'I know Leon.' Another nod at the balding middle-aged groom."

17) On page 236 (b), Mike and Pete are on the 23rd floor. "He turned the corner onto the last stretch of passageway. There was no door at the end, just a wide open-plan office space," However, on page 237 (t), it says "Mike backed toward the wall beside the door." and on page 241 (m), "Matt closed the door on the room with the damaged windows behind him."

18) On page 236 (t), Mike takes off his mask and puts it into his inside pocket because he has trouble breathing through it. When he is with Matt, he can't be wearing the mask, or Matt would wonder why. He puts the mask back on on page 242. So, why, on page 238 (b), as he comes to after being hit by the window, does he think, "There was something wrong with his face - it was hard to breath. The mask."

19) On page 269 (b), Mike says "Courier Three - I thought you only had two?" However, on page 266 (t), Smith told Mike, "And we've got an extra edge I haven't mentioned. We captured a courier last week." (Note that Dr. James says that they already have two couriers on page 131).

20) On page 295 (m) Mike's clothes are described as "He was wearing hiking gear and what looked like an army-surplus camo jacket under a merchant's robe, obviously picked up on his way here". However, on page 266 (b) Mike is kitted out in local costume "rough woolen fabric, leggings, and an overtunic and leather boots." There is no indication in the text that he changes out of this local costume later.



(I should be finishing my run through these two books on Monday or Tuesday ...)


typos : Merchants' War US mass market TOR fantasy, Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

p225 - 226 .. So my best bet is, he'll read my report and say 'carry on'. But until I get confirmation of that we're not going across. ... Unless the duke says "no" we're going camping .. 3 paragraphs later, they go, without any indication of communication with the duke.

p314 Days turned into hours, and the minor nuisances of keeping a round-the-clock watch

p367 .. the duke was clearly trying to conceal the extent of his ill-ease p368 .. she'd been close enough to hear the news of the machine guns, and he [should be 'she'] could hardly fault the duke ...


Given the time constraints that you gave above, I figured I'd better post what I've found so far.

Typos from "The Merchants' War" (from start to page 141)

All references are to the first edition paperback by Tor. (t) indicates top third of page, (m) the middle third, and (b) the bottom third.


1) numerous places - doppelganger, doppelgangered => in the first two books always spelled doppelgänger, doppelgängered

NOTE: since this is probably true of the last two books as well, this is the last time I'm going to mention it.

2) p. 5 (t) The guards hetman came loping back => guards'

3) p. 39 (m) "Come on," he said, waving at her car => she said (it's clear from the context that Judith is speaking here)

4) p. 47 (m) Thorold Palace => should this be "Summer Palace" (Mike is still escaping from the battle at this point)

5) p. 56 (b) the new station besides the Charles River => beside

6) p. 60 (m) "There's another matter, I needed to speak with you about," She said => she said

7) p. 64 (b) His excellency the duke of Innsford => Duke of Innsford?

8) p. 68 (t) They were at the orangery doors => orangery door p. 68 (m) The orangery doors were open => The orangery door was open

NOTE: in "The Family Trade", the exterior entrance to the orangery was described as a single door

9) p. 88 (t) we're worried about al-Qaeda => another variant spelling ("Family Trade" uses "Al Qaida" and "al Qaida", "Clan Corporate" uses "Al-Qaida")

10) p. 92 (m) be trusted with the corvee => corvée

11) p. 95 (b) isn't Ven Hjalmar the fertility specialist? => ven Hjalmar?

12) p. 95 (b) he subjected the countess Helge => Countess Helge?

13) p. 105 (m) Curious, long berms humped up => Curious long berms?

14) p. 106 (t) Eric told to himself => Eric told himself?

Additional Notes

1) Minor dialog differences between the end of "The Clan Corporate" (page 300) and corresponding scene in "The Merchants' War" (page 9)

CC "Fuck, I don't believe this" … "Ouch" MW "I don't believe this. Shit! Ouch"

CC "And what's a fine girl like her doing in a place like this?" MW "And what's a fine girl like you doing in a place like this?"

2) On pages 16-17, Miriam arrives at Hogarth Villas. She is taken upstairs and put into a locked "servant's bedroom". It then says "But instead, she fell asleep. And that was how they found her when they came for her, an hour after midnight." presumably to take her to see Lady Bishop.

However, on page 26, Ed says, "So we stashed her in the cellar" and on page 40 it says "Being taken out of the cellar room …" Both of these clearly correspond to Miriam's first confinement in Hogarth Villas. There are also later references to her being kept in the basement, but I'm assuming they moved her there later.

3) More confusion over Oliver Hjorth's title:

On page 50, when Angbard receives the phone call, he is told it's "Oliver, Earl Hjorth", but on page 51 he begins the conversation by saying "Good evening, Baron". Again at the bottom of that page, he is referred to as "Earl Hjorth". But then later in the book (e.g. page 129 (t)), he's referred to as "Baron Oliver Hjorth" again.

4) Name of Lady Bishop's manservant:

On page 27 (m), Ed's full name is given as Edmund ("Edmund opened the door.") But on pages 79-80, he's referred to as Edward ("Lady Bishop's taciturn manservant Edward", "said Edward, disappearing around a corner", "to make eye contact with Edward", "Edward hefted a leather valise.")

5) On page 85, Eric Smith is briefing Dr. James. He says that they know that CLEANSWEEP failed because of "Agent Wall's observations". "We're lucky that Rich was able to exfiltrate in good order." This implies that Rich Wall was over in the Gruinmarkt when everything went wrong and Mike had to be extracted.

But, according to pages 30-39, Rich Wall was with Judith Herz when they discovered the bomb in the lockup. I'm not sure that the timing works for him to be in both places.

5) I don't expect you to change this, but when I reached the description of "New York" in New Britain on page 101, it surprised me. The strong impression I'd had from the previous books was that "New London" completely replaced New York in this world. I wasn't expecting that New London would be revealed as basically a borough of another New York. I actually think it serves to make New Britain less distinct as a place.

6) On page 101 (m), "High above them, a propeller aircraft droned slowly across the underside of the clouds, trailing a thin brown smear of exhaust." Also, on page 131, "The sight of aircraft and streetcars and steam-powered automobiles…"

These quotes indicate that the New Britain world has heavier-than-air flight. I assumed that they didn't have the technology for that, which is why they used zeppelins instead.

7) On page 110, Angbard says "And to have my staff conduct certain preliminary tests. It appears that the Lee family design has never been tested in the United States of America. And our clan symbol doesn't work in New Britain."

If Angbard was able to test that the Clan symbol doesn't work in New Britain, why wouldn't he have been able to test that the Lee symbol doesn't work in the United States? I feel that the phrasing is a bit odd, to paraphrase, "I've done tests, but it appears that I've never done tests in the US."

8) On page 129 (m), Iris says to Mike, "They sent you because their transport capacity is tiny, probably because they're using captured - or renegade - world-walkers. Probably the former, knowing this administration:"

But back on page 77 (b), Mike told her, "Family Trade captured a couple of world-walkers. Forced them to carry."

9) On page 133 (m), Burgeson greets Miriam in the hotel lobby, "Miriam! My dear." Since they are in public here, he should use her alias "Susan" instead (page 81 (b) "Susan Burgeson")

10) On page 135 (t), Erasmus says to Miriam, "I'm supposed to catch the train back to Boston tomorrow", but Miriam already knows that since: a) she's going with him b) on page 98 (t), Erasmus says "I suggest we take a room in one of the station hotels and entrain at first light tomorrow"

... To be continued


... or not, given that I just read your latest post. Oh well, perhaps I can get in under the wire for "The Revolution Business" and "The Trade Of Queens".



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 22, 2012 5:49 PM.

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