I only read half of the anthology, Masques V up until today. I liked most of the stories, but as I always say, I suck at reading short fiction. But I work on that.
So I was reading on and still enjoying it. I found some typos along the way. It was annoying. Then I got to Ed Gorman’s story.
You know, I love Gorman. I count him as one of my VERY favorite writers. And his story, Intent To Deceive, is wonderful. Well, as much of it as I could stand to read.
I have never. NEVER. EVER seen so many damned typos in a book in my life. WHOLE CHUNKS of sentences appear to me missing from Gorman’s story. Misspelled words abound and there is grammar that a grade school kid should know better than to use. I literally could not continue on reading it. And THAT, my friends, truly sucks asshole.
I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to the process of the publication of a book. But I’ll say this: I don’t blame the authors for the typos. I don’t blame the editors. I DO blame the publisher. GAUNTLET is the name on the spine of this book and it it they who I assign the blame for this wretched presentation.
And yes, I do hold the small press up to higher scrutiny. When you pay twice the amount for a book as you would for a mass market release, you are paying for QUALITY. Quality that is supposed to be twice (or more) as high as from the bigger publishers. Gauntlet charged 50 BUCKS for Masques V. I don’t really give much of a squat about the signatures, even though they are nice. I want, for my money, an excellent product. And I’m not talking about an odd typo here and there. This thing is rife with them. And Masques is one of the most revered anthology series in the genre’s history. This isn’t some trade paperback from a young, not well known up-and-comer or a dime store paperback, but a series that deserves a dignified release.
Gauntlet shit upon J.N. Williamson’s legacy and reputation with this shoddy release. They should apologize to his family, to the other authors in the book and to every customer that was ripped off when they bought it.
I hear stories of how the small press is suffering of late. Nothing will kill it quicker than sloppy product turned out from the publishers. Putting out a bad piece of fiction is one thing. That’s merely a matter of opinion. This is quite another.