Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interviews and Errata

I just finished a nice podcast interview with Tony Tellado of Sci-Fi Talk. I thought Tony asked some great questions and the 15 or 20 minutes flew by. It hasn't been posted yet but I'm sure it will be soon. Yesterday I also did an e-mail interview with Comic Book Resources, which, again, hasn't been posted yet but I expect is forthcoming.

The day before that I did a phone interview with Brigid Alverson of Publishers Weekly. I thought that interview was particularly extraordinary because Brigid and I discovered that we shared very similar interests, educations, work histories, life experience, and memories. I hope some of that gets reflected in the interview because it was a pretty cool connection. I'll be sure to mention when it appears.

Shame on Me

Reader Jim has caught my first substantive error in WHTTWOT. I knew it was coming--wouldn't be surprised to learn of more--but am still deeply abashed.

I intend to be completely upfront about corrections and errors, and collect and discuss them here in my blog. It's the scientist/journalist in me; I try to show as much integrity in these things as I can. I also think if I want my book to be taken seriously as a piece of historical fiction despite its graphic novelness (novelty?), I need to document my mistakes. Plus, I can just direct the next person who finds the same mistake to this post.

It still hurts.

On Page 169, my Kid character reflects on the Apollo program and narrates, ". . . the twenty-seven men who'd orbited the Moon on Apollos 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 had traveled as far from home as anyone would for decades." Jim reminded me that three Apollo astronauts--John Young, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan--flew to the Moon twice (although no one landed on the Moon twice). Only 24 men made the trip out and back, not 27.

I have no explanation or defense. It was just a brain fart--one of those things I knew but didn't recall when I needed it. As they say in journalism, we regret the error.

But the second edition of this book is gonna be great!


sligo said...

it is the one imperfect thread in the otherwise perfect tapestry, placed there to appease the gods, who would otherwise be angry that something other than themselves could be perfect.

and should another tiny thread be found...i'll find another old adage to throw in here.

Tim said...

Can you send me a little sticker with the number "4" on it, so I can fix this scandalous error? :)

- Tim

ronnie said...

O NOES! That's gotta hurt, because you knew it, and you know you knew it, and I know you knew it, and it's just one of those so-easy-to-make errors that you kick yourself for...

In fact, I don't have our printout of the draft at hand, but if it was in the edition that Husband and I read, we both deserve to be spanked soundly for missing it, because we both knew it. And since Lovell is my favourite astronaut, and Young is Husband's, well, there's just no excuse.

The Good News is that this is the sort of thing that 80% of your readers will never notice.

The 20% who do notice it will all just be picky fixated facts-and-figures obsessed space history geeks. And possibly Tom Hanks.

The Bad News is that every one of them will write you to point out the error. :)

Perhaps you should print up a few thousand of those little "number 4" stickers... :)

Seriously... such an easy miss.

murphydyne said...

I'll admit that I overlooked it and I should have known. Still, really enjoyed the book and said as much in the Lunar Library. Thanks for making it, warts and all.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Oh, damn.

It's on page 533 of the draft I read, Ronnie, and I presume it was on the one you and Bruce had, too.

Oh, Brian, we let ye down! My dogs think less of me now, I'm sure.

ronnie said...

Nonsense, Sherwood. Your dogs think you're God.

Whereas your cats think they're God.

Sherwood Harrington said...

... and the cats, of course, are right.

Brian Fies said...

Sligo, you're hired.

Tim, my book uses the word "twenty-four" on Page 77, Panel 2. What I suggest is copying or scanning that page, printing "twenty-four" onto a sticker or address label, and fixing the scandalous error yourself.

Ronnie and Sherwood, I blame you. Tsk tsk.

Murphydyne, your endorsement means a lot to me, and I'll be proud to mention it in an upcoming blog post. Thanks so much.

I appreciate the understanding. I regret the mistake and am embarrassed but not overly traumatized by it. There's not much more I can do beyond apologizing and promising to fix it first chance I get.

My wife Karen compares it to getting the first parking-lot dent on a new car: now that it's been dinged, I can stop cringing in anticipation and relax.