It’s the possessive, stupid!

Can someone explain to me how a glaring grammatical error — “there was nothing where it’s face should be” — makes its way from a professional writer with a dozen published novels, to one of the biggest SF magazines in the field, to page three of The Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to It’s the possessive, stupid!

  1. shunn says:

    First, the error would likely have been transmitted from Bill Barton’s manuscript directly into YBSF without reference to the magazine version, where the error may or may not have been caught and fixed. Sure, Bill should have caught it himself, but it’s the St. Martin’s copy editor who allowed it to get into print—regrettable, yes, but understandable given how fast (for the glacially paced publishing industry) they get that book into print every year. Beware, because I’m sure you’re going to find more such copyediting errors.

    It might have been somewhat better if there’d been time to coordinate having 25 authors proof galleys of their stories, but there wasn’t. If there had, my bio blurb would have stated, correctly, that I had a story in Washed by a Wave of Wind, not In the Shadow of the Wall, incorrectly.

    So that’s how it happened. It’s too bad, but I hope it doesn’t detract too much from what I think is a quite outstanding story.

    • ken says:

      No, I’m definitely enjoying the story. It hadn’t occurred to me (although it is glaringly obvious, now that I think about it) that the author would have sent his copy straight to the anthology; I was picturing it having been edited by quite a few people by the time it hit the book, so I had the same reaction as I do when I see an error in a front-page WSJ piece I know has been edited by close to a dozen people.

      I’m loving the story, but typos like that are always jarring.

      • shunn says:

        Indeed they are. I haven’t started this year’s edition yet, but I seem to recall last year’s being pretty poorly copyedited. And don’t even get me started on Ilium again.

Leave a Reply