Thursday, December 21, 2023

Did You Lock the Editor in the Closet?

Kitten Update

No kittens. I'm officially pausing the daily kitten update because I won't be able to take any in until I get back from my trip to hell Orange County.

BookBub Ad Update

After yesterday's impressive efforts by Canada, things have dropped down to the usual comatose state. $3.51 spent, 1,458 impressions, 1 click.

Did You Lock the Editor in the Closet?

I'm listening to a series of traditionally published British police procedurals that are mostly okay, or at least okay-ish, but occasionally go off the rails, making me wonder what happened to the editor. What the heck, since it's traditionally published, I'll even name the author — Peter Grainger.

Things I like about these novels:

  • Teamwork. This is the main thing I find lacking in other police procedurals, where the main character often wanders around until they single-handedly catch the perp. In these books, the hierarchy is clear, different characters are assigned tasks by the person running the investigation, and there is enough office politics to make it all believable.

  • Most of the main characters have flaws but are still people you would want to work with.

And then there are the things that make me cringe:

(We'll ignore the copaganda, since that's sort of hard to avoid in this genre. This is all the stuff that could have been fixed.)
  • Holy shit is this series written by an old white guy.

  • Some conversations are plagued by a coy style that I last saw on TV in the 1970s. Instead of just saying "oh yeah, this guy is gay," during a briefing, there's an extended series of misunderstandings about whom he had an affair with because the other person assumes it's a woman and the person with the info can't think of a good way to tell her it's really a man. But... this was written in 2018. Surely nobody in a major city murder squad would have any trouble saying right off  "actually, guv, it was another bloke" or whatever the correct slang would be. There's an undertone of "tee hee, isn't this uncomfortable!" that doesn't really fly in a modern story.

  • Then there's the book where the main character falls in love at first sight with a blind woman. And all of his thoughts are "but how would she do this?" and "oh, it's so sad she can never do that." At the 60% mark, literally all I knew about this character was that she was pretty and that she was blind. For a while, I thought the author might just be intentionally showing a character screwing up, but no. That was where it stayed.

  • By the time the next book starts, this main character has rearranged his blind girlfriend's life so that she now has a different profession even though she'd shown no signs of being unhappy with her previous profession. It's just... apparently if you're a blind woman, you should be grateful for your lack of agency. Fuck that bullshit.

  • Another book consistently refers to "Down's Syndrome" instead of the correct "Down Syndrome." It's minor, but how many people went through the manuscript and missed it?
My point here is that traditionally published books go through at least two or three rounds of editing.  There is no reason any of those problems should be in the final manuscript. At least one of those editors should have said "Oh, hey, this is a problem." So either the editors were incompetent or the editors were ignored. Someone wasn't doing their job.

Okay. I guess that's enough ranting for the day.

Pet Picture of the Day

This was taken the day I brought the reluctant weaners home. I'd been told they were eating solid food, but it turned out they just wallowed in it and screamed at the skies because they were hungry. It was a long two weeks before they would reliably eat on their own.

Accomplishments of the Day

  • Lots of cleanup in the front yard. The volunteer tomatoes that were blocking the path to the front door have been yanked out, and I trimmed a bunch of bushes.
  • Remembered Holidailies for the 21st day in a row!
  • Yesterday's total step count: 16,826. Today's will probably be similar.

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