Teahouse on the Tracks (Alastair Reynolds)
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Monday, 4 August 2008
The Big Issue; the Dakota thing etc
Now Playing: Mouse on Mars

It turns out that, rather than running a special issue of Welsh fiction, The Big Issue Cymru is running one story per issue - and that these stories have already started appearing. I hadn't managed to buy a copy for a few weeks (until I picked one up on Friday, just before going to see Wall-E*)  but I'm presuming they haven't run my piece yet. The upshot of this is that I may not be able to give very much notice of when the relevant issue appears, but I'll do my best.

Over on rec.arts.sf.written, there have lately been a couple of queries concerning errors or anomalies in my fiction. One that's come up many times in correspondence is the cock-up in "Diamond Dogs" where I referred to one, rather than two, as the first prime number.  There's no excuse for this; it was just pure stupidity on my part.

Much the same can be said for the Dakota thing in CENTURY RAIN. As part of her alibi, Verity tells people that she's from Dakota, without specifying whether she means North or South. Some people have even speculated that this is a hint that the entire book is embedded in an alternate history. Would that I were that clever, alas. The truth is, while fully aware that North and South Dakota are separate states, I just didn't realise that no US citizen would ever refer to Dakota as a larger entity formed from the two states. Another error in that book, one that's been pointed out to me more than once, is the reference to a Molotov cocktail - unlikely in a world where WW2 fizzled out just after the Ardennes offensive.

I really ought to create some kind of web page where I list these (and other) cock-ups. I'm certainly not proud of them, but at the same time I've come to realise that in writing big, multifaceted SF novels, it's almost impossible not to get some stuff tragically wrong.

 * - loved Wall-E, by the way. Pure sense-of-wonder...

Posted by voxish at 11:17 AM MEST
Updated: Monday, 4 August 2008 11:38 AM MEST

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