Print-on-demand is different from regular publishing. For one thing, it means that I can correct typos as soon as they’re spotted.

If you’ve found a typo in the book, please email it to me and I’ll correct it right away, and add your name to the bottom of the page in a footnote (and yes, I am indeed hoping you’ll buy a(nother) copy to get one with your name it it!). I’ll also give you a credit here — your name in lights!

Andrew Crocker: “understandingthe”, The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away, P31, Nov 1, 2010.

180 Responses to “Report typos”

  1. Jim Crocker-Lakness

    In ‘Epoch’, ‘Sysadmins live in the turbulent waters PEBKAC’ should probably be ‘Sysadmins live in the turbulent waters of PEBKAC’.

    I enjoyed the read!

  2. Mahima Hada

    Mobi format of the book:

    1. Para 2243 – It should be “smiled AND stopped him”. “And” is missing.

    2. Para 2444: “immediately understood that this is so much bullshit That statistically”… there should either be a “.”, or a “;”. I like the semi-colon. :)

    3. Para 2502: “Even she you know you’re doing it, you can’t help it”. Should be “Even IF you know…”

  3. Cory Doctorow

    Thanks, Mahima! Alas, those fan-generated editions are beyond my control; the errors in the Mobi are all fixed in the official versions.

  4. Ken VanBree


    I read the piece about With a Little Help in the WSJ a while back and was glad to learn about a new Science Fiction author. I bought a paperback with the Rick Lieder cover and just finished the book which I enjoyed thoroughly. Living in Mountain View and knowing a number of people at Google I particularly enjoyed Scroogled.

    I did see one typo in Scroogled on page 92. The paragraph about half way down the page reads: “Good, OK. Yes. I did spy on their email. Of course I did. Everyone does it, now and again, and for a lot worse reasons that this.

    I think you meant “and for a lot worse reasons THAN this.

    I don’t know if someone has already caught this one but after reading your blog about the cost of correcting a typo I’d say if it is a valid typo, queue it up with a bunch of other edits and do them all at once.

    Good luck with the book, I am intrigued by the business model and hope that you and Russell Galen both make money on it.

  5. Pete S


    With a little help… Liberation Spectrum

    page 119 “omnidirectional yagi antennae”!!?

    A Yagi antenna is _directional_. That is what it does, what it is designed to do. It works better in one direction (has gain) and works worse in others (has loss.) This is useful:
    * to receive a wanted signal better (in the preferrred direction.)
    * to discriminate against an intefering signal or other noise (in non-preferred directions).

    That is what I know. For your convenience I quote Wikipedia (my emphasis) “A Yagi-Uda array, commonly known simply as a Yagi antenna, is a _directional_ antenna consisting of (etc)”.

    BTW, there aint no such thing as a practical ommnidirectional antenna. The nearest practical antenna I can think of is a vertical monopole – but that is directional in the vertical direction. And that ain’t a YAGI!

    The theoretical ommnidirectional antenna is a short dipole (asymptotic to zero length). Good luck getting one of those babies to radiate with any practical transmitter!


    Pete S

  6. Cory Doctorow

    Thanks, fixed! The correction on P175 has been footnoted for “Pete S” and also corrected in the digital editions. You’ll be able to get a Lulu edition with your name in it in about 10 minutes.

  7. Cory Doctorow

    Thanks, Ken — correction made, credited, footnoted and uploaded. The current Lulu edition has a thanks to you as well.

  8. joe

    I feel a bit silly mentioning this, but the link to the ogg file of part 2 of the book is busted.

  9. Cory Doctorow

    Hey, Joe! I’m not sure what “ogg file of part 2″ means in this context. What is the broken link? Thanks!

  10. joe

    well, if you click audio>download audio you get to a page called ‘audio download’.

    Then there are all the audio files ordered by part and file type.

    The link for the ogg file of part two of the book (The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away) should link to an archive.org url, but it doesn’t. I’m not sure how else to explain it.

  11. carl

    I think there’s a punct. typo in “Visit the Sins,” before or after (I suspect before) “Sean said.”: “They’re going to move my grandfather to the zero-function ward, I think. If he doesn’t spend more time switched on, they will.” Sean said. “I want to get his story before they do it.”

    There should probably be a comma instead of a period after “they will.”

    Love your work–using at least a couple stories–and maybe “Little Brother” (too Y.A?–I don’t think so)–in a U. class I’m teaching this coming semester. Thank you!

  12. carl

    “Visit the Sins,” p. 151 of pdf: “Dad” in “Your Dad has nothing to complain about” should probably be lower case (not being used as proper name).

  13. David Zilk

    In “Liberation Spectrum”, pg. 176 of the print edition.

    “…the Series B man said, from the across the little table.”

  14. Bob Thompson

    In the first page or so of “Chicken Little”: “115 years after Mary Shelley first started
    humanity’s hands wringing over the possibility that we would create a machine
    as smart as us but out of our control, Dr Shannon did it, and it turned out to
    be incredibly, utterly boring.”

    I was a little fuzzy on the story’s chronology, but 115 years would put BIGMAC’s creation in the 1930s as opposed to the 2030s.

  15. Andy Peake

    In “Epoch,” on page 317 of the Amazon edition I have, there is a line that reads ‘”You a funny robot,” I said.’ It seems like it should read, ‘”You‘re a funny robot,” I said.’ I suppose it could be intentional, though.

  16. Loren

    I don’t know if you’re still monitoring this thread, but I just finished reading (this morning) via DailyLit. Many interesting stories and such. I noticed various typos, but it looks like they’ve probably all been recorded already. (I suspect the DailyLit copy is old.)

    I still have a significant question, though. In Epoch you made a couple references to BIGMAC’s architecture:

    … Those old Intel eight-cores are freaky. …

    … Intel 8-cores, that’s what he ran on. …

    … Those 8-ways were —   “You’re a 32-bit machine!” I said.

    So, what Intel processor did you have in mind that had eight cores, but is only 32-bit? To my knowledge, Intel only went up to dual-core in its 32-bit days. I know there exist other 32-bit multi-core processors (e.g. the Parallax Propeller) but I don’t know of anything by Intel (or by any others that someone would have built an AI on, especially in the future).

    Is my “google foo” failing me, or was this situation manufactored to motivate the plot?

  17. Tim Bartlett

    In the “Epoch”, on p.231 of the PDF version, the is a sentence: “Sysadmins live in the turbulent waters PEBKAC.”

    Perhaps this should be “the turbulent waters *of* PEBKAC”? At any rate, it doesn’t seem to parse quite right as it is.

  18. Kim Hayes

    Just finished reading For the Win and Little Brother. Fantastic! I appreciate your accuracy and the insightful way you handled technology and gaming culture. You must be a gamer or you could have fooled me – FTW!!1

    In the Little Brother PDF, page 70, paragraph 5:

    “Then I let out a gasp of air I hadn’t know I’d been holding in.”

    Here the “know” should be known?

    In the For the Win PDF, page 170, 1st paragraph, 2nd column:

    “Wei-Dong bit his tongue to hold in the squeak and
    pushed back even more, the fear on him know, a live
    thing in his chest.”

    And here the “know” should be now?

    Thanks for these great books. I’ll be reading more of your stuff.

  19. Kim Hayes

    Really? Nice! I cut my teeth on Everquest back in the day and have loved MMORPGs ever since. For the Win was just too accurate not to have an insiders perspective. As an IT professional, I die a little on the inside at the way most authors handle technology, geeks, and gamers. It’s a real culture that’s impossible to fake. Great job!

  20. Joe

    I was just reading “Content”.(electronic) You refer to Heinlein’s “Man Who Sold the Moon” when I am sure you meant “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. I am sure I am not the first person to tell you this. It occurred to me that making a mistake like this could be done on purpose. You probably get many comments of this type. And, this could be used to get a rough estimate of how many people are reading your paper vs. electronic versions. Either by actually asking them in the dialog, or making slightly different errors in the two versions. Just a thought.

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