November 2018 Archives

So, it has come to my attention that there are a few typos in "The Labyrinth Index". Can you help me track them down so I can get them fixed in future editions?

Reporting requirements: it's not useful to tell me "you misspelled 'Bob' somewhere". I need to know:

  • If a paper edition, then which publisher and which page and paragraph (the US hardcover is published by Tor, the UK hardcover by Orbit, and the page numbers don't match because they use different paper and typeface sizes).

  • If an ebook edition, then the ebook platform you're using (Kindle, Kobo, iBooks), the publisher (Tor, Orbit), and ideally the Kindle file location or equivalent and a text string containing the typo: e.g. "fly anohter 3000 fly another 3000" (which is the blooper in chapter 11 that everyone is telling me about).

Typos I know about:

US kindle edition, Location 5534, "fly anohter 3000" should be deleted

US hardcover, Page 245 (footnote 8): "dick picks" should be "dick pics"

US hardcover, Page 362: "I his paydirt" should be "I hit paydirt"

Stuff I want confirmation of:

US kindle edition, location 2115, "Slide 9"contains the string "In excess of 109 directed human sacrifices". This is rendered correctly (10^9, 10 superscript 9) in the Kindle app on iOS, but I've heard reports of it being rendered as "109" (no superscript) on other ebook platforms. If you noticed this, please report (including the type and software version of your reader).

(Please don't re-report mis-spellings already reported on other platforms; if it's mis-spelled on paper in one country it'll be misspelled in the other, and in the ebooks too.)

Can you find anything else?

So: Brexit means Brexit means, apparently, a choice between a deal negotiated by Theresa May's government which is broadly as appealing as eating a shit sandwich, or leaving the EU with no transitional arrangement in place, the equivalent of stripping naked and rolling around in the contents of an entire sewage farm.

(Consequences of May's deal include: millions of people lose the right to move freely and live in the UK or EU territory they've relocated to, British citizens lose the right to move freely through 27 other countries, the UK has to abide by EU rules we don't get to vote on for an indefinite period, and a bunch of other unpalatable issues summed up, ironically, by pro-brexit politicians as "loss of sovereignty". Consequences of no deal make May's deal look like a walk in the park; food and medicine shortages, flights grounded, currency crisis, companies going bust because inputs and outputs are unavailable or suddenly subject to high tariffs, troops on the street, state of civil emergency likely.)

My money is on—eventually—either a parliamentary coup and a new Conservative PM who unilaterally withdraws May's Article 50 submission, or a period of chaos leading up to a second referendum (at which point the Leave side will be soundly defeated).

But. In the meantime. What options, however implausible, might make Brexit work?

Let me give you some ideas. (Then you can try your hand at 'make Brexit Brexit' in the comments!)

Sometimes current affairs rally round and serve up the perfect backdrop to a book launch - and so it was earlier this year, when the Cambridge Analytica story broke just as my debut novel Everything About You was published.

Faces pic

As you probably remember, data was taken from around 87 million Facebook profiles and used to target thousands of adverts. Whatever Cambridge Analytica did with the information, it did effectively, contributing to changes in the political landscape that are still hard to credit.

Now that the firm is no more, there is one part of the story that has stuck with me. According to whistleblower Christopher Wylie, the firm consciously targeted people’s ‘inner demons’. How is it possible that a company had access to millions of people’s inner demons? Ten years ago we would have laughed at this idea and wished them good luck.

When writing Everything About You, I was setting events in the near future (the book is about a virtual assistant who takes over the protagonist’s life through knowing everything about her). But what the Cambridge Analytica scandal brought to light is that a time in which our hopes, dreams and deepest fears are known, interpreted and sold is almost upon us, and for the next generation it's virtually unavoidable.

Hello everyone, and apologies for the lack of activity here lately!

I'd like to introduce you to our new guest blogger, Heather Child. Heather is a Bristol, UK based author who has worked in non-profit marketing for the last twelve years, coming into close contact with the digital automation and personalisation technologies that herald the 'big data' age. Everything About You is her debut novel, published by Orbit Books (US edition here); her second novel, The Undoing of Arlo Knott, is due in July 2019. You can find out more at www.heather-child.co.uk: she's on twitter as @Heatherika1, and on Facebook too. And I'm very pleased to say that she'll be posting here later this week.

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