My sci-fi story How I Came to Light Up the Universe came out in Weirdyear on a Sunday in October but no one noticed because they were either watching water golf or contributing to the pre-$mas consumer boom. My Tiny CC link still shows zero clicks and it’s Tuesday. It’s a major drawback to online publication. Either that or it’s crap. Now if it had been a Monday when everyone’s supposed to be working I’d have five million hits.
However, five million people would have seen my ghastly embarrassing fuck up. Like Franzen’s incorrect first edition of Freedom, it had more trypos than a first edition of Friday’s Guardian. Oh god you should have seen it! I even used the word “marquis” a title of nobility, when I meant to use “maquis” a thicket formation of scrubs as in Corsica and on Med shores. I nearly died. I was so shocked I thought it said marquee which would have been slightly better than marquis.
Genius editor Earl Wynn (who has such good taste) saved me from embarrassment, but it does mean that early editions will be rare and highly collectable and worth $$$$ so fill your boots. Rush out! Buy all 8000 at £18.99 each before they all go. Make it the best selling hardback in a pre-$$$$mas consumer boom.
The truth is I never made the error. It left me as “maquis” and some kind of Word Rat auto-correction came in. In future, when I use an interesting word, I’ll tell the editor in advance. It’s a strange enough story anyway. Unlike Franzen’s bookcase busting 600 pager (file it next to Hawking in the unread section), “maquis” is rare and on the verge of being extinguished by the northwards creep of global warming. It took 500 years for the ice age to come and go leaving lots of species either stranded or extinct. What’s going to happen after 50 years of global warming? A plague of authors, that’s what. So the word maquis wasn’t just chosen because it sounds nice. You can lead an idea to water but you can’t make it float. On to the next one.