Over the three years of The Cimmerian‘s existence, we’ve had our fair share of typos and errors of fact, and I’ve learned not to sweat them to [sic] much. Comes with the territory even when slaving for years on a book, much less hurriedly throwing together a journal every month. In the past I’ve stated that contributor Brian Leno was from Bismarck, Nebraska despite having his address on file and despite having studied US state capitals in grade school. There have been a handful of others — calling an old Arkham House book Dark Man, Dark Heart instead of the correct Dark Mind, Dark Heart, printing a Darrell Schweitzer letter where he presents a numbered list of arguments and uses the #6 twice, listing the wrong page number for an article on one issue’s Table of Contents. Things like that, each one of them slipping quietly past me and my eagle-eyed proofing team. Readers are good at correcting this kind of thing after the fact, and no real loss of information or comprehension has resulted.
But this morning I just received a call from Donald Sidney-Fryer, who said he had found a much worse problem in the printed version of his recent V3n12 essay, “Robert E. Howard: Epic Poet in Prose.” Specifically, there seems to be a whole missing line of text. I checked, and sure enough, there’s one line missing at the bottom of a column. Head on over to page 11 of V3n12 (December 2006) and you’ll see the following:
One of the most characteristic of the epic devices is the epic listing or catalogue, often featuring the names — typically highfalutin’ or exotic or both — of the different armies or tribes making up the fighting
the divertissement — the long and elaborate suite of dances in a full-length classical ballet….
As you can see, there is something missing between the bottom of the first column on page 11 and the top of the second. I went through the original files, and it appears that all of the various proofed versions my team checked have the correct wordage, but during the process to create a final booklet file with rearranged “imposed” pages for printing the line got dropped by the layout program I use, Adobe InDesign. It seems like one of those strange once-in-a-blue-moon quirks that happens when pages have to be reordered — each column gets locked down as-is instead of being allowed to flow into the next column, and on page 11 this time the program erroneously judged that the last line of the column didn’t fit in the space provided and so dropped it. Very strange, but one gets used to that when pushing computers to their limits. I made a slight tweak to the imposer file, and all future purchases of V3n12 will have the proper line reading intact.
For those of you with V3n12 already in-house, here is how the passage should read, with the added text enclosed in brackets:
One of the most characteristic of the epic devices is the epic listing or catalogue, often featuring the names — typically highfalutin’ or exotic or both — of the different armies or tribes making up the fighting [assemblage on either side of a pitched battle. As in] the divertissement — the long and elaborate suite of dances in a full-length classical ballet….
In the past Don Herron has patiently explained to this typing monkey the concept of “points” in collecting, how little errors such as this — called “points” — help collectors determine the various collectible states of a book. So consider those missing ten words a big-ass point, and hence your flawed copy of The Cimmerian ever-so-slightly more collectible. Or send your flawed copy back to me, and I’ll send you a corrected one free of charge. Your choice.
Points. Yet another way The Cimmerian is striving to give you more (of everything!) than the competition.