Updates 10 Nov 2010 11:46 am by David !

MOD is coming to US bookstores! Help us get it right.

Today we’ve signed a deal that will bring Machine of Death into bookstores across the United States. We’re talking Barnes & Noble, Borders, indies, airports — this deal will make it available to everyone. We are negotiating Canadian and UK distribution as well.

We couldn’t have done it without you — this is the direct result of people in publishing waking up on October 26 and seeing something they didn’t recognize do something they couldn’t believe. They Googled us. They emailed us. They called us. “What are you doing?” they said, or “We get what you’re doing, and it’s amazing.” This was invariably followed up with “I’ve ordered my copy.”

And sometimes, a week later, followed up again with “This book is incredible.”

And we just smiled and said “We know! That’s the point!”

In the next few weeks we’ll be focusing on making sure the bookstores who stock our book don’t regret their decision. But there’s one very important, very mechanical task in front of us right now — one you can help with!

We’re going back to the press with a new printing of the book, and we want to take this opportunity to fix the handful of typos that crept into the manuscript. After the jump we’ve compiled a list of the ones we’ve found so far. (Some of these have already been fixed in the digital versions.) We want the next printing to be perfect! So please leave a comment with any others we may have missed, and we’ll update the post accordingly. We only have a day or so to make these changes, so we’re hoping you can help — if nothing else, verify that we’ve caught everything!

UPDATE: Thanks so much for your eagle eyes! We’ve made notations as to the corrections in the comments. We are preparing your prizes this weekend and will be announcing them soon!

if you find any more errors for Pete’s sake keep them to yourself we have a lot of books on the press now

pg 176, Superfluous quotation mark: “Try it,” she said, her voice suddenly low.”

pg 184, He went down he stairs should be He went down the stairs

pg 265, KNOWLDEGE should be KNOWLEDGE

pg 301, blamde should be blamed

Bottom of pg 312, though should be thought

KINDLE VERSION ONLY: SINKICICLE represented incorrectly in the story “Almond”

KINDLE VERSION ONLY: Ito in the story “Improperly Prepared Blowfish” rendered as It?

Any others you’ve found? First person to spot any new typo gets a prize. (We’ll be in touch with the people who’ve pointed these out to us.) We want to send this to press Friday morning (the 12th) so you’ve got till tomorrow night! Ack! Leave your comments ASAP!

42 Responses to “MOD is coming to US bookstores! Help us get it right.”

  1. on 10 Nov 2010 at 12:01 pm 1.Anthony said …

    One I noticed the other day:

    Bottom of page 176- Superfluous quotation mark: “Try it,” she said, her voice suddenly low.”

  2. on 10 Nov 2010 at 12:07 pm 2.admin said …

    Added to the list!

  3. on 10 Nov 2010 at 12:08 pm 3.Kristen said …

    On the first line of page 171, “Ito’s” doesn’t have the line over the o. 🙂

    admin: fixed, thanks!

  4. on 10 Nov 2010 at 12:13 pm 4.eyesack said …

    page 354: “Unless he finds replacements,” Raynond suggested.

    I’m guessing that should be “Raymond” not “Raynond” though I like the idea of someone named Raynond…

    admin: fixed, thanks!

  5. on 10 Nov 2010 at 1:57 pm 5.Kevin said …

    Page 430, first line: “The Delvice never became a necessity…”

    I assume it should be “The Device never became a necessity”

  6. on 10 Nov 2010 at 2:43 pm 6.Keith said …

    @Kevin: Probably not – in that story the Machine of Death is called the Delvice – it’s explained on page 428.

  7. on 10 Nov 2010 at 2:52 pm 7.Matthew Read said …

    Haha I found the “blamde” one! W00t for unexpected prizes.

  8. on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:59 pm 8.Veronica said …

    Page 4 “His letter jacket” should probably be of “leather”

  9. on 10 Nov 2010 at 4:25 pm 9.Kevin said …

    @Veronica: Probably not, it refers to a Letterman Jacket I believe. Check out the Letterman(sports) article on Wikipedia.

  10. on 10 Nov 2010 at 4:26 pm 10.The Tim said …

    I don’t know if it’s a typo necessarily, but there are some inconsistencies in the way the first sentence of each story is printed in small-caps.

    Most stories begin with the entire first sentence in small-caps. However, there are a couple odd ones out (not counting the ones where other styles supercede this, such as “Almond” which begins in italic):

    – “Piano” has the first three sentences in small-caps.
    – “Exhaustion From Having Sex With a Minor” ends the small-caps when the quote ends, while Aneurysm has the entire first sentence, in and out of the quoted text in small-caps.

    admin: With “Piano” it’s because those sentences are so short. With “Exhaustion…” it’s because otherwise the entire thing would be in small-caps! In both cases they’re judgment calls and I think they’re okay. Thanks for the suggestions though!

  11. on 10 Nov 2010 at 4:49 pm 11.Jaxon said …

    Bottom of page 71, grammatical issue.
    “… They’re protesting right outside, and throwing things at cops.”
    The comma either shouldn’t be there or the subject/verb “they’re” needs to be repeated after the word “and”.
    These stories are simply phenomenal.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  12. on 10 Nov 2010 at 4:52 pm 12.Jaxon said …

    Bottom of page 71, grammatical issue.
    “… They’re protesting right outside, and throwing things at cops.”
    The comma either shouldn’t be there or the subject/verb “they’re” needs to be repeated after the word “and”.

    These stories are simply phenomenal.

    admin: Took out the comma. Thanks!

  13. on 10 Nov 2010 at 5:26 pm 13.Thomas D said …

    Exploded is full of UK English spellings while the rest of the book has US. I’m not sure if that’s something you want to correct or not. But on 145, there’s an extra quotation mark:

    …find a bunch of sites about aneurysms, right?” ”

    plus a space after the em-dash on page 140:

    …was sure it wasn’t working- his prediction

    admin: In general we’ve left the spellings as the authors wrote them. The other bits have been fixed, though! Thanks!

  14. on 10 Nov 2010 at 5:52 pm 14.Jaxon said …

    The spacing between a and Minor is a bit large in the title “Exhaustion From Having Sex With a Minor” at the top of the odd pages 229-237.

    Inconsistent capitalization of the word “a” in the title of “Exhaustion From Having Sex With a Minor” between the table of contents and the aforementioned story header.

    admin: fixed, thanks!

  15. on 10 Nov 2010 at 11:52 pm 15.Jared B said …

    At the bottom of page 338 in the print edition: “Probably a lot more fun that the Ivy League anyway.” Presumably the “that” should be “than”.

    Loving the book, keep up the good work!

    admin: fixed, thanks!

  16. on 11 Nov 2010 at 1:03 am 16.Bjarke said …

    So far I got

    Page 4:
    “Carolyn! Yo grrl, wait up!” ->
    “Carolyn! Yo girl, wait up!”

    Page 59
    July 21… ->
    Jul 21…
    (all other months are three letters)

    admin: Camille addresses “grrl” below! As for “July”, it’s plausible that the narrator wrote it inconsistently but I’ve corrected it anyhow. I love how detail-oriented you all are!

  17. on 11 Nov 2010 at 4:38 am 17.Kewangji said …

    The text being left-aligned rather than justified bothers me a TINY bit.

  18. on 11 Nov 2010 at 5:03 am 18.Lucinda said …

    About a third of the way down page 261 in the pdf version

    “Don’t want doing something you might regret”
    I assume this should be “Don’t want you doing something you might regret”

    The book is amazing thus far, any chance of distribution in Australian bookstores some time in the future?

    also, @Kewangji: justified type is horrible for large blocks of text, it makes all the spacing inconsistent which means your eye is jumping across the page and it’s a lot harder to read smoothly. Left-aligned text was definitely the right choice, shouldn’t even be a question really.

    admin: The typo is fixed, thanks! And we’re negotiating Commonwealth distribution but it’ll probably be next year before it’s formally finalized.

  19. on 11 Nov 2010 at 5:11 am 19.Lucinda said …

    If it was available on the book depository at least that would be amazing, they do free international shipping. Please? Let me give you my money!

  20. on 11 Nov 2010 at 7:43 am 20.britt said …

    awesome! tree lobsters about MoD!


  21. on 11 Nov 2010 at 9:15 am 21.Camille Alexa said …

    You guys are all so totally full of awesome!

    In “Flaming Marshmallow,” the letter jacket is, as Kevin suggests, a “letterman jacket.” It must be regional, ’cause I’ve never even heard the term letterman jacket. (Though wikipedia redirects there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_jacket )

    …But then, I was one of those bemohawked kids hanging out behind the dumpsters or sneaking off campus for lunch, so my highschool knowledge might be slightly skewed.

  22. on 11 Nov 2010 at 9:21 am 22.Camille Alexa said …

    Oh! And @15:
    “Carolyn! Yo grrl, wait up!”
    “Carolyn! Yo girl, wait up!”

    Also intentional, though I can see it comes across as a typo if unfamiliar. It’s a grrrl thing.

  23. on 11 Nov 2010 at 9:47 am 23.Jaxon said …

    Someone who knows a ton about comma usage should proofread “Cancer” by Camron Miller, page 99-105. Starting on page 101 there seem to be too many of them.

  24. on 11 Nov 2010 at 12:35 pm 24.James said …

    Reading the book for the first time and enjoying it a whole lot!

    Here’s what I’ve got so far:

    Page 4 – ‘flaming marshmallow’. (If I am correct, the period should go inside the single quotation mark, regardless of whether it is part of the quoted material. I believe it is only question marks which go outside when they are not part of the quotation.

    Page 9 – “Dad,” I say, “It’s time.” (Either the comma after “I say” should be a period, or the “I” in “It’s” should not be capitalized. My instinct is the former.)

    Page 23 – lions, plural, not ‘a lion’. (Period should be inside, I believe.)

    Page 32 – “‘Desperately’, sir?” (Comma should be inside small quotation mark, I believe.)

    38 – “I…uh…” (I believe the second set of ellipses should be followed by a period, since it is the end of the sentence. The ellipses themselves don’t count as end punctuation.)

    40 – “Anyway,” he said, plastering on a smile. “I’ve got something (I believe the period here should be a comma, though that depends on whether the author intended “Anyway” to be its own sentence, apart from the subsequent dialogue. If so, it’s fine. If not, it should be a comma.)

    Are these too minute? Are you only looking for misspellings?


    admin: Thanks James! I think the quotes are a stylistic choice but I’m fine with changing them. No period after the ellipses, though. That is taking things TOO FAR.

  25. on 11 Nov 2010 at 3:18 pm 25.James said …

    A few more, some dubious.

    68 – how many words I can make out of “Brick Wall”. (Comma should be inside.)

    101 – over the Broad’s dining table (should be “Broads'”)

    101 – One weekend, two hundred teenagers, neatly arranged in two rows along an underground railway station platform on the Victoria Line, stepped neatly to their deaths, drugged smiles on their pimply faces. (The commas after “teenagers” and “Line” aren’t necessary, but this may be a stylistic choice, and I can understand why the author would want to slow this sentence down a bit.)

    102 – Not exactly a surprise, but still… At least
    (There should be a period after the ellipses.)

    Am I being way too prescriptive?

    By the way, I love these stories. How characters react to knowing their deaths is so revealing.


    admin: Left the commas in, it reads better that way to my eye. Fixed all else but the ellipses, four dots just doesn’t look right to me.

  26. on 11 Nov 2010 at 3:35 pm 26.Tree Lobsters said …

    A bit of a nitpick but…
    The heat death of the universe (page 391) will be in a googol years (10^100 or a one followed by 100 zeros). A centillion, on the other hand, is 10^303 (a one followed by 303 zeros).

    admin: changed the text to read “ten with about three hundred zeroes behind it.”

  27. on 11 Nov 2010 at 7:03 pm 27.Ben D. said …

    Any chance of getting some shiny red sticker on the front that says:


    maybe with a little comment underneath saying, “sorry for yelling.”

    admin: We thought about it but the consensus seemed to be that brick-and-mortar bookstores wouldn’t appreciate the shoutout to Amazon on the cover.

  28. on 11 Nov 2010 at 8:51 pm 28.Cdrum said …


    “These guys, this Dr. Eli, they’re just taking your money,”

    Comma should be a period.

    admin: Don’t think this is wrong? It’s followed by he said.

  29. on 12 Nov 2010 at 1:39 am 29.Pelotard said …

    Tree Lobsters, Heat Death is a concept with huge uncertainties. Two astronomers calculating 10^100 years and 10^300 years, respectively, will feel that they are in general agreement. The jury is still out on the time scale – and they’re expected to be deliberating for a long time…

  30. on 12 Nov 2010 at 5:52 am 30.Tree Lobsters said …

    Pelotard, true but my nitpick is with the definition of “centillion” in the text. The character says “…about ten centillion … ten with a hundred zeroes behind it.”

  31. on 12 Nov 2010 at 6:21 am 31.Pelotard said …

    Ah! That’s a huge difference. Sorry. (My only defense is that I make a living picking at words 🙂 )

  32. on 12 Nov 2010 at 5:20 pm 32.FishTricker Mike said …

    In the Contributers section, you say Radcliffe is a “Mercenary scientist and poet”. If you meant that he is three things, shouldn’t it be “Mercenary, scientist and poet”? If you meant he two things “mercenary-scientist and poet” then keep on keepin’ on.

    admin: He’s probably a “mercenary scientist.”

  33. on 13 Nov 2010 at 7:33 am 33.Richard said …

    Page 189 (Murder and Suicide Respectively). “we don’t know why there’s such variablility”.

    admin: fixed, thanks!

  34. on 13 Nov 2010 at 3:40 pm 34.David said …

    Page 141, last paragraph: sceptical –> skeptical

    admin: that’s a Canadian/British spelling! It threw me too at first.

  35. on 13 Nov 2010 at 7:32 pm 35.Mark R. said …

    P38, 7th line from bottom. Should it be ‘I myself felt like’ instead of ‘I felt myself like’?

    admin: I GUESS we can change that but NO MORE FIXES

  36. on 14 Nov 2010 at 9:52 am 36.K M Lawrence said …

    @Mark R. Actually as I wrote and intended it (and how I’d say it), but I realise that to sound correct it really needs more punctuation. Your suggestion is less ambiguous, so that change is fine with me.

    (although: damn… I had a perfect track record until then, no typoes or mistakes!)

  37. on 14 Nov 2010 at 10:09 am 37.K M Lawrence said …

    …oh, scratch that. As James points out, I had a period/comma mistake. Ah well, I would have been insufferable if I was perfect.

  38. on 15 Nov 2010 at 9:04 am 38.Finlay said …

    @23 your first error is actually standard in Britain/the commonwealth; quoted material is strictly verbatim and the full stop (period) has to go outside it.

  39. on 15 Nov 2010 at 2:42 pm 39.Greg said …

    To go back a number of comments, to James’ #23:

    Page 32 – “‘Desperately’, sir?” (Comma should be inside small quotation mark, I believe.)

    This is incorrect. It would be correct had Armbruster used the interrogative, but it is instead Simon asking the question. Thus, the quotation itself is devoid of meaningful punctuation, and the question mark is reserved for where it was placed originally.

  40. on 15 Nov 2010 at 2:43 pm 40.Greg said …

    EDIT: ignore that. I misread “comma” as “question mark”.
    Don’t ask me why.

  41. on 15 Nov 2010 at 5:02 pm 41.Mark R said …

    @K M Lawrence – Sorry to have broken your streak! I really liked your story and I’m a little ashamed to have poked it. You’re right, punctuation would have, like, removed any question, but my proof-reading brain (I’m a secretary to a bunch of engineers who all type with one finger) thought it was worth an ask.

  42. on 15 Nov 2010 at 6:20 pm 42.Mike B said …

    I think I’ve got a new one for you.

    Page 436, line 2: “a a few simple words”

    admin: Oh yeah that’s one we caught earlier! We’ll give you credit for it though.