Sunday, February 18, 2007

Platitudes in stained glass altitudes

When I got the proofs back for His Majesty's Starship, I found that a copy editor deep in the bowels of Scholastic had obligingly changed every mention of the ship's attitude jets to altitude jets. I obligingly changed them back and included a restrained note on how attitude control is quite a useful accessory in any good spacecraft, while altitude control is just another way of saying "wings" and is pretty meaningless in the context.

All brought back to me by reading Charles Stross's Iron Sunrise, in which on page 242 the spaceship Romanov departs a space station and Charlie uses one of each - attitude at the top of the page, altitude at the bottom. I strongly suspect he knows the difference so will just put it down to over zealous copy editing or under zealous proof reading. Either way I will feel politely smug.

Except that, do you know, it's just occurred to me I never checked the US edition ... hang on ...

[A moment later] DAMN!


  1. Good grief even I know the differance between attitude & altitude control... for the US version..... er... would they notice?

    *evil smile*

  2. This is the nation whose spaceship designers get confused between inches and centimetres ... so possibly not.

  3. Lol... sad but true... sad but true...


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