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Reminders

A very brief update (because I'm still knee-deep in work and I don't want to bomb you with trivia):

  1. If you're in Edinburgh, I'll be reading from and signing "The Annihilation Score" in Blackwell's Bookshop this evening at 6:30pm. Tickets are free from the front desk; further details here.

  2. Tor.com have published a longer extract from "The Annihilation Score", which you can read online (it goes a good bit further than the teaser Orbit put out last week: note, may contain spoilers for the ending of The Rhesus Chart).

  3. The official UK/Aus/NZ launch date is tomorrow, which is when the ebooks will show up. In the UK, hardbacks are already showing up on shop displays; they're in a container on their way to the antipodes and on past form I expect them to be in shops by the end of the month. North Americans will have to wait until next Thursday ...

96 Comments

1:

I read Tor's excerpt. It whetted my appetite for more.

2:

I had it in my head that TAS was released today. I was pretty annoyed last night when I realised I'd have to wait a week :(
(going for a second read of Seveneves instead)

3:

I guess it got buried in the other thread, but if I do the kindle location shuffle to get it tomorrow, do I need to cancel my american pre-order and rebuy the UK version, or will just changing the location do it?

4:
I guess it got buried in the other thread, but if I do the kindle location shuffle to get it tomorrow, do I need to cancel my american pre-order and rebuy the UK version, or will just changing the location do it?

You are essentially buying two different ebooks from two different publishers via Amazon. So unless you want two copies you'll need to cancel the US pre-order. Changing locations won't do it.

One thing to bear in mind if you've not done this before is that you can't have books "purchased" from both geographic areas on the same kindle reader at the same time. As soon as you login a reader to a UK account all your US books will vanish — and vice versa.

Personally I rip the DRM off everything via Calibra so I can have everything in one place. Alternatively, if you have multiple devices, you can have one registered to each account.

(I do this dance the other way around to get at some US books from the UK)

5:

One thing to bear in mind if you've not done this before is that you can't have books "purchased" from both geographic areas on the same kindle reader at the same time. As soon as you login a reader to a UK account all your US books will vanish — and vice versa.

Are you certain about that? I changed my location settings on Amazon to UK, put the kindle app on my phone and just synced them and all my American books still show. The Red by Linda Nagata just dropped yesterday and I was able to download that (though it has no RM)

6:

Well dammit, is it next week yet.

7:

Thursday? I thought the release date was 7 July...

8:

Give our host a break, he's knee deep in work and prepping for a public reading.

That said, if you pre-order in the US via iBooks, you can be reading at 11 pm EDT on 6 July. Big River Company versus Jesus-Fruit Packers--which is the lesser evil?

9:

Not ragging at him, just wanted to be sure the release date hasn't been pushed back at the last second (like three other books I've been waiting for this year).

10:

My ( UK ) copy has been sitting at my local bookshop since Monday, and since I can't get to the shop during working hours I'm having to wait till Saturday . Ho Hum.

11:

Damn. New Stross, new Scalzi *and* Gay Marriage all in the space of a few weeks? It's too much! HAPPINESS OVERLOAD!

12:

Is feedbooks.com legit? I've been searching for an answer on that question for a while now and am still none the wiser. They have all of charlie's previous laundry books on there so i imagine this will pop up at some point. I just want somewhere i can buy an epub without having to rip it off and do with it what i want since i don't play in the ballpit of that billionaire from seattle. I know i can use the kindle desktop software and strip the drm using calibre but, y'know, hassle...it's easier to just buy the dead tree version, which i've always done anyway for the record.

13:

(Note that it's not just a nitpicky question - in my bookstore-bereft corner of Canada, a round trip to a decent bookstore takes close to three hours of bus time...)

14:
Are you certain about that? I changed my location settings on Amazon to UK, put the kindle app on my phone and just synced them and all my American books still show. The Red by Linda Nagata just dropped yesterday and I was able to download that (though it has no RM)

Ohh. That's interesting. It never worked that way for me. Indeed I had to use separate accounts to make the region change "stick", otherwise it would continually redirect me to the UK store when i was attempting to get US books (even when the US book wasn't *in* the UK store).

Looks like things have changed. I shall go poke…

15:

It appears to be legit and will sell you an epub ... but with DRM: I assume the Adobe Digital Editions platform is used.

If you see a copy of a Laundry Files book sold without DRM, then you can be certain that the vendor is a pirate and I'm not getting a bent penny -- because both Ace and Orbit insist on DRM on everything, period.

16:

Ah...yes, they now have it listed with DRM showing under the book details section - http://www.feedbooks.com/item/933405/the-annihilation-score

Now you mention it i do remember you stating several times your publishers insist on DRM. Oh well, a non-searchable dead tree edition it is then...

17:

Thursday?!!! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo ...wait, that's okay. I'm cool with it.

18:

When might we expect the US audiobook release?

19:

> If you're in Edinburgh, I'll be reading from and signing "The Annihilation Score" in Blackwell's Bookshop this evening at 6:30pm.

And a good evening it was too. If you haven't heard Charlie reading his work, you're missing out.

20:

Seconded, based on when he was GOH at one of the Satellites (I think Satellite 3?) rather than last night. :-(

Speaking of, do you have plans for attending http://www.satellite5.org.uk/ next year Harold?

21:

Just to get you paranoid: A couple of years ago I had to send an author an email to tell them that their publisher had accidentally uploaded a PDF of their entire book as a teaser instead of the first chapter.

It had been up for a couple of days and nobody else had said anything.

22:

I expect Ace will license Audible to sell an audiobook in due course. It might already have happened. I have no input in the process and no information about it; they just materialize.

(There will not be a UK audiobook in the foreseeable future because reasons.)

23:

Well, Orbit's teaser was an extract from the submission manuscript, not even the copy-edited version (I had to tell my editor about the typos they'd left in it). And the version Ace put on Tor.com ends in the right place. So that's not a problem this time round ...

24:

I did think I noticed a few differences between the two, but assumed I was suffering from a defective memory.

25:

Well just possibly Orbit posted the prologue while Tor published the first three entire chapters as well ...

26:

It was indeed. I turned up early enough to get a comfy chair in the crowded room, youngest was happily and quietly disinterested while playing a variety of games on the iPad, and firstborn discovered that even at thirteen he was the third-oldest child in the room.

I got to meet the other Martin (sorry for dashing off, I had to pay the extortion, sorry reward, of good-behaviour icecream for youngest), and there are now two of us in the house reading it simultaneously - firstborn got the dedicated copy, but my pre-ordered ebook turned up at a minute past midnight :)

So, Charlie - was that you taking your sister out on the town?

27:

Big Sister was in town for other reasons, but came along because she hasn't seen one of my launch/readings before (she lives 250 miles away).

Pub afterwards was followed by collapse and trudge back to bed after two pints -- public readings take it out of you, and the weather wasn't exactly helpful either.

(To the peanut gallery: the UK is in the grip of a heatwave -- yesterday at Heathrow was the hottest day ever on record, hitting 37.5 celsius. Which may not be high by Australian or Texan standards, but in a country without domestic air conditioning or aircon on commuter trains and buses it's pretty rough: think in terms of air temperatures 20-30 Fahreheit higher than normal for summer. My apartment has thick stone walls but it's been hot long enough that they've finally warmed through, dammit, and my brain is melting.)

28:

The Tor.com teaser still has some bugs -- Mo talks to a personable Deputy Chief Constable during the cocktail party on the oil rig in the Tor.com excerpt, not a Chief Superintendent as in the paper version of the book.

BTW did you really mean to say it was Chernobyl 2 that blew its top (page 20) when it famously was the no. 4 reactor (the newest and shiniest of the four on site) that exploded?

29:

BTW did you really mean to say it was Chernobyl 2 that blew its top (page 20) when it famously was the no. 4 reactor (the newest and shiniest of the four on site) that exploded?

Riiiight. Army of test readers and copy editors and that one still sneaked through. (You're the third to prod me about it, by the way.)

30:

I know several people who've been to Chernobyl (for values of "know" that include watching documentaries or reading web pages by) and that one would have passed me by unless I'd fact checked it.

31:

I have no problem with heat (I actually LIKE being physically active at 40 Celsius in a hot sun), but yesterday was very sticky with almost no wind and I failed to work effectively indoors on a computer. Yes, very unusual for the UK.

32:

half way through Mo's account of the reception on the rig, I spontaneously started imaging her as Katey Sagal circa 1990, now I can't shake it.

33:

Yeah, there's a difference between 40C and 30% RH, and 40C and 90%RH.

34:

Um, yeah, I think 40C and 90% RH will kill you.

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552.full

Fortunately, no place on the planet has quite gotten to that level, although both western India, Pakistan, and Shanghai have gotten close in recent years.

35:

Yesterday hit about 33 Celsius and 75% humidity, here. Highly
unpleasant, but not lethal.

36:

Well obviously.

Human body temperature is 38 celsius, plus or minus. Over 40 celsius you are into fever/heat stroke territory; over about 42 degrees a bunch of the enzymes your metabolism depends on begin to denature (all those low energy hydrogen bonds holding the tertiary structure in place) and if you stay there for any kind of prolonged period you will die.

Humans can cool via transpiration -- we're very good at it, able to evaporate about half a litre of water per hour. But if the ambient temperature is in the death zone and it's humid, transpiration won't let you shed heat. So you will die.

The UK never (not since deep geological time, anyway) gets into the thermal death zone. That zone is survivable with active air conditioning -- refrigeration. But those places were it happens every year have ecosystems that are adapted for it (because anything that can't survive dies). Oh, and a bunch of stuff that we like to have around stops working in those temperatures anyway: C4 and then C3 photosynthesis,for example.

37:

I jokingly mentioned that you looked out your window to find skeletons dancing sarcastically earlier on imgur, so yeah, if you're not accustomed to 40 C being a regular thing in the summer you have my sympathies.

38:

Right. I have lived in a place close to, and with a marginally worse climate, than the original White Man's Grave in the days before air conditioning. I remember very little (being a mere picaninny), except showering (naked, of course) in the warm rain, but I do have some familial stories of the horrors of the climate - which even the locals disliked! But it never got into the thermal death zone - for plants - though I have heard stories that 30% of (USA) volunteers had to be invalided out. My mother certainly had to be after a year or so.

39:

Might want to double-check on the photosynthesis stuff. If I remember correctly, C4 does much better in high light, high heat situations, while C3 does better when it's cooler and dimmer. C3 evolved back in the Proterozoic, when the Sun was ~30% dimmer. C4's evolved probably a dozen times or more, but it's more recent. C4 is in everything from corn to tumbleweeds, but it's not that common in species terms. There aren't any C4 trees that I can think of, off hand. As the Sun continues to get brighter, C4 plants will probably take over greater chunks of the world than they do now.

As for what temperature photosynthesis gives out, that gets...awkward. Even in the tropics, leaves often run a bit hotter than the surrounding air, in part so they can get water vapor out and draw mineral nutrients up through their xylem. I had a lot of trouble trying to an answer as to whether 35oC wet bulb temperature would cause the same problems for plants that it does for humans. My guess is it doesn't, but I'd love to get more information on the subject.

This isn't to say that high temperatures won't nuke plants. The problem is whether high humidity nukes plants faster at high temperatures, and that part is less clear to me. After all, plants do grow bigger in tropical rain forests than they do in deserts.

40:

35 Celsius wet bulb isn't a problem if the organism isn't producing much extra heat. Plants can certainly handle higher temperatures than (higher) animals, but I don't know how high - if something like a soybean can handle 53 Celsius, I would expect some of the desert ones to be able to handle more. But at what point photsynthesis starts to fall off, I can't say.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC396327/

41:

It's not merely "not accustomed to" high temperatures; buildings and houses in particular hereabouts are designed to keep heat in, because 90% of the time that's what you want to do.

42:

This is where I wish I'd kept in touch with the grad students who were working on heat shock proteins. There are papers about how crop yields are likely to fall with higher heat (I'll dig out the reference if anyone's interested, IIRC it's in PNAS), but heat+humidity I don't think is studied so much.

The Sherwood and Smith paper I previously referenced is worth reading, if only because they have a global map of which parts of the world will become uninhabitable due to high heat and killer humidity under extreme climate change. A few billion people live in these areas (some are very obvious, some less so). IIRC, the closest ones to the UK are eastern Spain and the western Sahara. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the rest of the world gets off scot free. What Charlie's going through will be normal to cool for Scotland in a few hundred years, if Sherwood and Smith are correct.

43:

There are other aspects, too. Quite a few of the crops we grow in the UK handle heat very badly (most of our brassicas, for a start). While they respire to keep their temperatures down, they don't have enough root capacity to do so effectively. And, of course, as with animals, respiration for temperature control depends on their being enough water. From my crude tests (i.e. feeling them!), relatively few can handle high leaf temperatures.

But the problem here is unreliable heat. Even with our low sunlight, more crops are limited by low temperatures than by high ones. That is NOT true in the tropics and even subtropics.

44:

Re: Twitter comments about new book and goths.

Guess I'm gonna have to wait to see what character is quoting Bauhaus. As in:
"The bats have left the belltower,
The victims have been bled.
Red velvet lines the black box...
Bela Lugosi's Dead"

An old favorite.
So looking forward to he book.
Also looks like a head start on the typo hunt.

45:

I recognise the lyric, but thought the song was one of Bill Bailey's?

46:

Bela Lugosi's Dead is a classic Bauhaus track, and (among the people I know) is often people's first introduction to Bauhaus, the 4AD record label, or even goth rock.

What I'd like to know: which demented grad student of Mo's did the violin transcription?

47:

Someone who got it wrong, obviously.

Which just goes to show, (a) don't trust lyric sites on the internet, and (b) don't trust your test readers to pick stuff up. Sigh.

48:

Well, to me "Bauhaus" is the German art school, not a rock band. I'll readily concede that Andras is probably correct about the track's actual origin, but it does still show the perils of assuming that person1'pop_culture == person2'pop_culture.

49:

Dead tree copies have been sighted in the wild in the Antipodes. I have one in Melbourne.

50:

Had to look up Bill Bailey, actually have heard of him, but the name makes my mind go to this Bill Bailey, as sung by Ella Fitzgerald. The band Bauhaus dates to the late 70s, so my mistake for assuming they're better known. And spending yesterday with a group of teens volunteering to help clean up my mother's yard just reminding me that we ain't getting any younger.

51:

(b) don't trust your test readers to pick stuff up. Sigh.

Or did they notice and assume it was intentonal for humor? If "You've got bats in the belfry" = "You're nuts!" then bats leaving a belfry means you're head's clearing?
Obviously haven't read the book yet so don't know the context of the quote.

52:

Hmmm, wonder if the reddit shitstorm will clear up before your AMA.

53:

That would also be a localisation FAIL; as I said in #48, not everyone is going to get the same result from a pop culture reference.

54:

We can always import some arcturan brassica's

55:

I know Bob and Mo's UK isn't necessarily quite ours, but ACPO no longer exists and is now the much less euphonious NPCC, as of April Fools Day this year, most appropriately.

I wouldn't have known but Today interviewed a spokesperson for the NPCC, "formerly known as ACPO" one day earlier this week, then I started reading The Annihilation Score and up it pops. Repeatedly.

56:

And, as Charlie has said several times, the deadline for changes like that to have happened should be treated as July 2014.

57:

OGH acknowledged that in a previous blog post:

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2014/10/the-curse-of-laundry.html

Seems like the real world overtakes the laundry on a regular basis so it's now officially alternate world.

58:

I assumed the lyrics were deliberately slightly off, reflecting Mo's state of mind. A mash-up of the actual line "The bats have left the bell tower" with a reference to the generic phrase (or a Meatloaf album) betrays a slight wobble in focus on her part, and might explain why she is left vulnerable to Spratt's attentions for a moment.

When a writer becomes established, my prior shifts from "huh? obvious mistake" to "it was intended thus because The Author is exercising their Right to Bend the Rules". Given how laden your writing is with cultural references, your test readers are perhaps having an increasingly hard time trying to decide whether to flag mistakes (and therefore come across as annoying ignoramuses) or to let them past (and be seen as woefully lazy).

Looking for something close to what Mo played, I came across Bela Lugosi's Dead (Undead is Forever), which has an interesting violin part. However, I'd still like to hear that mythical transcription for solo violin!

59:

Missed the date, sorry.

60:

The Reddit AMA is on course and will happen on Monday, as scheduled. (Nearly got derailed, though ... what were they thinking?)

61:

"The Annihilation Score" and subsequent books 7 and 8 are set in an alt-hist UK that is stuck in 2014.

(Otherwise the events of the climax of "The Annihilation Score" would have made world headlines, on the scale of 9/11.)

62:

So, they didn't make headlines?

Or other things going on mean everyone is busy with their own crises?

63:

They get covered up ... barely, as a terrorist incident involving hallucinogenic gas.

What happens at the end of "The Nightmare Stacks" can't be covered up, no-way, no-how.

64:

However, I'd still like to hear that mythical transcription for solo violin!

But would you live to regret it?

Meanwhile; Careful, No Spoilers Please!

65:

Terrorist incident by a super villain no? I just finished and whilst very entertained may have to read it again to get a handle on how well informed the public are on the super powered. I thought they'd strangely accepted it no matter how world shattering the notion is but now I suspect I've misread and the consensus is its some sort of hoax/joke/fad...

66:

The events of Apocalypse Codex took a couple million Americans, one of the world's busiest airports, and the US Air Force Academy off the grid for a few days. Plausible deniability was already stretched pretty thin.

P.S. The new book doesn't get to me for a few days.

67:

Well, there have been several such events in the past. Seriously. For example:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Panorama_in_Europe_in_2015

68:

Sorry. Bloody "grab the focus" page and GUI design. This is the page I meant:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003

69:

Can I echo that no spoilers plea?

I won't see the book until next week what with bein' a yankee and havin' to many fireworks to not shoot off this weekend. While I don't mind getting spoiled, other people in my general vicinity do.

70:

That was a major power outage, but the Laundry-universe Denver events involved a total communications and travel blackout. Apparently everything from ham radio to satellite communication was affected. It's a lot less explicable by ordinary means.

71:

Re: Nightmare Stacks cover-up:— Lots more hallucinogenic gas. Terrorists! An invasion by a Russian airmobile division dressed as [redacted]; a rogue airmobile division operating without Putin's approval. A BBC Doctor Who production that failed to get appropriate permissions (the production assistant responsible has been fired, hung, drawn and quartered, then the quarters quartered, and their head stuck on a pike outside Broadcasting House). Star Wars Episode VIII pre-production tests. ~Clegg staging a coup against ~Cameron. An internet hoax and mass panic. An SF con masquerade that got really out-of-hand.

72:

Ugh, sorry, got confused about what timeline I was in, there. If there's anything too spoiler-y, please cut the comment and issue a DA notice.

73:

Gosh, no. An unpredicted solar flare hit the USA yesterday, causing a total loss of communication and freak weather conditions. Those caused all forms of travel to be disrupted. Blither, blather and more blither ....


74:

Not a clue, only interaction I get with reddit is imgur user sub being spammed by it, something about a protest or whatever. Was kinda nice while it was going on actually.

75:

Nope. It's kind of hard to miss the RAF losing a couple of Typhoons, the Army sending tank columns up the M6 motorway in a tearing hurry, and about 10% of North Leeds being set on fire/massacred. (The rain of airliners over the Pennines is just part of the nope-not-going-to-cover-this-one-up in "Nightmare Stacks".)

Plan is for book 8 to open with Bob being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight -- it's 2014, remember -- about eldritch asylum seekers.

76:

It would be highly amusing to see that for real (at least on his side) - God alone knows if he would play ball.

77:

I spent five hours of Thursday on trains so having TAS come out that day occupied me nicely! And it was fun (for horrible things happening to characters you like values of fun ;-)

In particular <rot13>gur rfpnyngvba bs Zb'f CGFQ/nakvrgl nggnpx pbcvat zrpunavfz guvat jnf avpryl qbar. Nygubhtu V'ir n ubeevoyr srryvat fbzr vqvbg vf tbvat gb ernq vg nf "tveyf pel" :-/</rot13>

(also - can we have a spoiler thread please ;-)

78:

Picked up the book this morning .

The footnote on p68 and the end of chapter 4 made me laugh out loud .

thank you.

79:

I'm working on a crib notes essay on "The Rhesus Chart", and catching my breath after finishing the first draft of "The Nightmare Stacks" (which came in 30% overweight -- it's going to be at least as long as "The Annihilation Score", maybe even longer, when it sees print). Once the US book is released on Tuesday you can have a spoiler thread.

80:

Someone needs to ask Darryl Way nicely.

Since Mo has already performed The Ride of the Valkyries as a solo in The Fuller Memorandum, and the White Violin is emphatically not a normal instrument, the entire arsenal of effects pedals can be safely assumed to be built in (along with some that are emphatically NOT safe!)

81:

You know Charlies, your lack of familiarity lead to a huge missed opportunity here. With a book about music and the ACPO, you could have easily fielded a reference to the classic NWA song "Fuck the Police"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5fts7bj-so

82:

well, I dropped the heck out of that post, goes with drinking heavily in the USA I suppose. Should say

You know Charlis, your lack of familiarity with American rap music lead to a huge missed opportunity here. With a book about music and the ACPO, you could have easily fielded a reference to the classic NWA song "Fuck the Police"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5fts7bj-so

oh well

83:

Does that 30% end up on the cutting room floor?

84:

oh god dammit

85:

Don't know yet. Quite possibly it's going to be the longest Laundry Files book yet -- they tend to grow rather than shrink when I redraft, and the new one's rather complex.

I will note that when I wrote "Annihilation Score" I originally botched the ending so had to chop the last 9000 words and re-write. And it came out 22,000 words longer overall (but had a working climax and ending).

I get annoyed if I leave stuff on the cutting room floor, and if I go over target lenghth: I'm not paid by the word, either by words written or words published. I'm paid by the story, and wasted words on one story mean less time available for writing others.

86:

Just finished reading the book. Especially enjoyed [redacted] and the [redacted] at the end.

However, believe I detected a typo or two - probably the very same everyone else will report. Is there a particular place to report these?

87:

Report typos here, for the time being -- we're talking "Annihilation Score", right? There is no point reporting typos in "Rhesus Chart" or any other book that was published more than six months ago.

88:

Probably not a typo after all: The Annihilation Score: Page 283: 'lime flagstones'. Did notice something else but can't find it again. 8-(

Before googling for the term just now hadn't encountered it before; 'The Annihilation Score' turns up on page two of the Google search.

89:

Not a typo, but what seems to be a continuity error:

Ng gur raq bs puncgre 16, Zb trgf n fhzzbaf gb gur Ubzr Frpergnel'f bssvpr sbe Zbaqnl ng 9:30, naq vf npghnyyl ybbxvat sbejneq gb gur zrrgvat. Gura, nsgre Yn Genivngn, ure qernz naq n cebfnvp Fhaqnl fur tbrf gb gur bssvpr ba Zbaqnl, svkrf n yhapugvzr qngr jvgu gur FN, unf ure svefg erthyne Zbaqnl zbeavat znantrzrag zrrgvat, naq nsgrejneqf tbrf gb zrrg gur FN. Fb, jungrire unccrarq gb ure 9:30 nccbvagzrag jvgu gur UF?

I haven't finished the book yet, so there's still the possibility that this is a plot point rather than an error. Anyway, it was a rather large stumbling stone in my reading.

90:

Not a plot point, as far as I can see, but indeed an error.

I also found what looks like two more continuity errors. Should I wait for the spoiler thread, post them here in rot13, or send you an email?

91:

Continuity errors can't be fixed: just minor typos.

But by chapter 16 things are rolling along and you'll note that Mo isn't reporting routine/semi-routine events.

You will also be aware of course that it is possible for managers to attend more than one meeting in a morning ...

92:

You've been listening to my wife complaining about sometimes having 7 meetings before lunch.

93:

Hm. I wouldn't have thought that a one-on-one with the Home Secretary would be a routine/semi-routine event for Mo that she would skip over.

But anyway, here are the other two:

The first one could also be a minor typo and should be easily fixable:

In chapter 9, the SA tells Mo that she's just about to surpass his time with the violin, and he held it for six years and two months. However, in their final conversation (third to last paragraph of the last chapter) he speaks about her carrying it for eight years. I didn't have the impression that the events between chapters 9 and 19 took 22 months, so I guess the "eight" should really be a "six".

And the other one: during the same conversation in chapter 9 the SA and Mo reveal to each other the names each of them used for the violin. It's very plain and clear, and none is shocked about the other's name for it. But towards the end of chapter 17 there is the following exchange between the two:

'"What do you call him?” - “******.” It slips out before my internal censor can block it, and he winces visibly.'

This makes it seem like an unexpected and sudden reveal, which it isn't, given the conversation before.

----------

Finally, I apologize for not saying first that I immensely enjoyed the novel. I liked the change of perspective. I very much liked the ladies' gang and how they learn to respect each other and work together. Should they ever decide to team up against Bob, he'll be in a very tough spot indeed. :-)

94:

Probably a result of how books are published now... Multiple instances of American spelling in the Orbit edition: 'defense' being the primary culprit.

Reading a US published book (started reading the Laundry saga in the Golden Gryphon Press editions) I tend to filter out the spelling variations, but there's something about 'Ministry of Defense' or 'defense of the realm' that's just... not batrachian, squamous or rugose.

Apologies for the pedantic comments; really enjoyed the book, and looking forward to the next.

95:

I'm fairly certain that the SA is not the second-in-the-running that Mo overtook. I don't remember the SA ever saying that he was.

As for ******, could that be a reference to the violin's "true name" as hinted in the first two chapters, possibly compelled as an honest answer due to an unintended geas?

96:

"I'm fairly certain that the SA is not the second-in-the-running that Mo overtook. I don't remember the SA ever saying that he was."

Hm, you could be right. He tells her that she's one week from making it to second place, and shortly afterwards speaks about his own six years and two months. I've obviously made a connection between the two statements and concluded that she's overtaking him, but he indeed never explicitly states that. So maybe not an error after all.

But the SA reacting to a name that he already knew is definitely an error. The true name is not involved here, I simply beeped out Mo's name for her violin, because it could be a spoiler.

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 1, 2015 10:40 AM.

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