Monday, January 23, 2012

Errors in the Books

I’ve just been told by the nice lady who deals with the copy-editing on my books that they can and do correct mistakes in the books after publication. I have in fact asked if it would be possible to supplant all instances of ‘whilst’ in The Departure paperback with ‘while’. Now, can any of you come up with any errors in the books that you’ve spotted? I know that there was a typo in the first pages of Line War and one or two other errors have been pointed out to me, but these are buried somewhere deep in this blog.

If you do come up with any mistakes, please let me know exactly which issue it is of the book concerned – whether it’s the hardback, trade paperback, mass-market paperback, and which cover – since the page size and spacing may be different with each. An error on page five of the hardcover might appear on page four of the paperback.


Phillip J. Johns said...

Hi Neal, I've only spotted a few formatting errors with the ebook versions of the Agent Cormac series (Line of Polity onward). It's only things like a lack of a line break between two characters dialogue, to be honest.
Nothing on the scal of some of the atrocities I've had to fix in my first novel!

bascule said...

Snow in the desert.

Neal Asher said...

Phillip, if you have time to detail them then that would be great. But of course if you have your own novel to fix, then get on with that!

Thanks bascule, I've posted it. I see the date is 16/1/12 but wonder if it is current or reposted from last year.

Phillip J. Johns said...

I've fixed (I hope) the problems with my novel, so I'm busy working on my next at the moment.
I do like your habit of going through it backwards, so I might try that when I edit Serial Psyence.
As soon as I've finished reading Line War, I'll flick back through the previous books and let you know.
Thoroughly enjoying the series, and Erebus is a complete child-born-out-of-wedlock.

AD Scott said...

Hi Neal,

I recently discovered your books, and I am now on book four of the Polity novels. They are excellent.

One thing I would query is that consistently through your books is the use of "imbed" rather than "embed".

I googled "imbed" and it seems interchangeable with "embed", so I guess it is not in fact a mistake, but it certainly seems the less common spelling of the word.

In the book I just finished (Brass Man), I read the Kindle version. I don't know whether they use OCR to transcribe it, but there seem to be a great deal of instances of commas followed without a space.

These are very minor things though, your books are amazing.

bascule said...

I first spotted it on BBC News Oddbox. He makes it sound recent, last week or so.

About 1:45 in.

KJ Mulder said...

The whole Vulture issue, but that might be a much tougher one to fix. ;)

Thud said...

I;m happily too dumb to spot em.

Neal Asher said...

Phillip, yes, Erebus isn't very nice. I like my AIs nasty.

A D Scott, I'm damned if I know where that imbed, embed thing comes from. Maybe it's because the dictionary I read (yeah, I know, it's sad but I once read a whole dictionary) was probably printed before the WWII. That being said, it's no incorrect so I'll just keep it as a pesonal quirk. Glad you're enjoying the books.

bascule, mild here in Britain but obviously balanced out elsewhere.

K J Mulder, I was thinking more along the lines of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Getting into stuff like that would be opening a can of Jain worms.

Thud, few people do. Generally they're too busy ducking the particle beam blasts.

KJ Mulder said...

I kinda thought that was what you meant.

Here's one for Shadow of the Scorpion (paperback 9780330478779)

Page 130, 9th line from bottom: "The machine ooked like a...."

The 'l' got lost in the line-break.

Neal Asher said...

K J, sure you're not confusing it with a Pratchett book!

KJ Mulder said...

That was my first thought and way it stuck in my mind. I couldn't find the Librarian anywhere, so definitely not Pratchett! ;)

Phillip J. Johns said...

we could always assume that Dragon put Vulture in a male turkey-vulture body, when led to certain gender confusion on Vulture's behalf until, in Line War, decides he/she is actually male.

Neal Asher said...

Phillip, that was my excuse, but I need to reread the books to find out. They've faded in my mind quite badly now.

KJ Mulder said...

I don't think an identify crisis would quite fit the bill as a solution. I remember not being convinced by Neal's explanation and that was having read them within a month of each other.

Sadly I can no longer remember the specifics. Too many fiction novels clogging up my brain since then.

Phillip J. Johns said...

I guessed, but I do like the idea of a gender confused, AI turned vulture, lol.

Happens to everyone - I changed the name of a character halfway through Liberator's Ruin, only to later discover I'd missed the first reference to her old name much later. Oops.

KJ Mulder said...

Here's another one for Shadow of the Scorpion (paperback 9780330478779):

p 266, 9th & 10th line from bottom:
"He considering arguing against..."

Should be "considered" if I'm not mistaken.

Lee said...

Something of a personal crusade for me this one since I have switched over to kindle and it amazes me how much proof reading type setters appear to do for printed books. The kindle version of The Departure has multiple typos, far too many to list but I can assist in tracking the first dozen or so down.
From my review on;

One word of caution that doesn't effect my rating however, the kindle version does not appear to have been proof read. There is a definite lack of the letter 'i' and 'l'
rifle pops up as rife occasionally
filed becomes fled
flour becomes four
About a dozen occurrences of this ..........

Neal Asher said...

Thanks. I've passed these on.

Neal Asher said...

Incidentally, Lee, unless the same mistakes appear in the paper version there must have been some problem in turning it into the e-book version.

KJ Mulder said...

Here's what I think is an error from The Gabble and Other Stories (paperback ISBN 9780330457590).

Page 4, 8th line from bottom: "My fee from Tholan wasn't enough for me to pay off all I owed on my blimp, and prevent a particular shark from dropping in for a visit to collect interest by way of involuntarily donated organs. It would also be enough for me to upgrade my apartment in the citadel..."

I've checked the Kindle version via preview and it seems to have the same thing.

Within the context the sentence doesn't make sense. I think it should be 'was', but I stand to be corrected.

Neal Asher said...

Interestingly, KJ, I couldn't find that in the copy of that story on my computer. These are the kind of screw ups that creep in during the editing process.

KJ Mulder said...

I figured it must have been something like that. It's just such an obvious thing that I had to check that I hadn't misunderstood something.

Thezzphai said...

Some mistake I've found (english edition with the jon Sullivan covers):
Brass Man:
page 380, middle: "anddestroy" (one word)
Polity Agent:
page 7, at the end of the first passage: "AIs new better"
page 84, middle: "ertsatz"
And somewhere in the beginning of Polity Agent it's Isselis Mika instead of Asselis Mika. I don't remember where exactly but since you got the books in digital form a search for Isselis should do it.

2theD said...

I've spotted two very minor typos in the Night Shade Books paperback edition of Shadow of the Scorpion. Page 179, Line 24 is missing a full-stop. There's also an unnecessary double quote at the end of Page 205. I proofread graduate theses so I annoyingly carry over this habit into my pleasure reading (Shadow of the Scorpion being novel #98 for the year!).