[LMB] late-series copy-editing/copyediting/copy editing, was Character Study: Gregor - Job dissatisfaction

Karen Hunt huntkc at gmail.com
Sun Sep 6 17:26:11 BST 2015

On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 11:49 AM, Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com
> wrote:

> [LMB] Character Study: Gregor - Job dissatisfaction


> So we see Gregor:
> '...He was thin, of middle height, with dark
> hair and intense hazel eyes. A crooked smile winked in a serious young face
> that lacked laugh lines....'
> I'm assuming that 'middle height' on Barrayar is tall anywhere else. He's
> usually
> described as being tall and thin.

> LMB:  Ayup.  I have just done a read-through of _tVG_ this week, a light
> proofread/ copy-edit of the 2011 file used for the direct-placement
> e-edition, in anticipation of the reissue with new e-covers and which
> (that?) I also plan to give to Baen for their next reprint.  A couple of
> misspellings that I suspect have survived for 30 years, some punctuation
> and formatting dinks, some conversion of British spelling to standard US --
> either mode being fine, a random and inconsistent mix of both not.
> ("Inconsistant" was one of the misspellings, btw.)  Also, only _one_
> spelling allowed for "nerve disruptor", thanks.  Not three.  Comm link
> comm-link com-link now settled as comlink, and so on.  A couple of word
> choices improved.  Nothing that an average reader rereading the book would
> notice.  I do notice certain things I was doing for the _Shards_ file, such
> as an adverb-kill, are not needed here, which is interesting.  I cannot see
> my development as a writer from the inside.  Some people say I've had some;
> I have to take their word. From the inside, it all looks the same; the best
> I can do at the time.

I hesitate to note that the comm-link collection is only one of several
such things that I have noticed (I missed that nerve disruptor was spelled
in more than one way, though). I abandoned putting special notations for
hyphenated versions of comm link into the Comconsole article (
http://vorkosigan.wikia.com/wiki/Comconsole) of the wikia because I had too
many terms already.

Some others if you really want to fight the terminology war (not all are
worth the trouble - marketers are always trying to make products seem
different by having different names and sometimes the different names
actually encode different uses or capacities) are:
1. bod-pod in The Vor Game versus bod pod in Diplomatic Immunity
2. code key versus code-key (widespread)
3. Dunno if this is worth going after, but data comes in cubes, chips, and
disks (cubes in Mirror Dance, chips in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, disks
is widespread)
4. force shields are also force screens, force domes, and force bubbles
5. vidcam versus holovid camera seems not worth worrying about
6. palm-lock versus palm lock (widespread)
7. some varying terminology for needle grenades (projectile spine-grenade)
and needlers exists (auto-needler, needler-pistol)
8. plasma arc versus plasma rifle
9. shock-stick versus shock stick
10. tangle equipment can be tangle-fields, tanglefields, tangle-nets,
tangle-cords, and tanglecuffs
11. vibra-knfe and vibra knife (no hyphen is in A Civil Campaign)
12. cryo-fluid, cryo-preservation fluid, cryo-solution
13. cryo-chamber cryochamber and cryo chamber
14. electra-stim versus stim-salve (stim-salve in Memory)

That's all I can put together on short notice, anyway (some references to
wikia articles were made)

[some evil snippery]

Anyway.  Gregor's height was one of two places where I have the opportunity
> to bring this earlier text more in line with later text, and I'm not sure
> if I should.  The height one is easy, the matter of a word or two, and I
> probably will, because I can't see G. having a several-inch growth spurt in
> his mid-20s.  (Great opportunity for conspiracy fanfic, though.)  The next
> is more of a puzzle, where Miles is describing, not terribly accurately,
> his mother's military career in the Pretendership to Cavilo, and there are
> all sorts of Watsonian reasons he might have things scrambled.  Thoughts?

I've thought it ought to stay as-is. I figure he *really* doesn't want to
go into details to an enemy soldier, and he's learned instinctively about
how to be cautious around non-friends who ask too many questions about his
parents. Some tiny tweaks to reflect reality slightly more closely might be
reasonable, but he's not going to explain the details of what was
authorized by Aral and what wasn't (shopping trip in particular) under any

Karen Hunt

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list