SFX’s columnists talk errors, Doctor Strange and gruesomeness.
“The Baltimore city paper clearly had a storm of geek
Reporting the lamented death of David Bowie, chameleon of pop and Man Who Fell To Earth, a flustered Heart FM Radio presenter blurted “David Cameron has died” before her hasty revision “David Bowie, I mean David Bowie.” It would be very wrong to think SF fans’ hearts lifted a little before they sank with the correction. Newspaper corrections sometimes have genre relevance. Guardian examples include Tintagel’s “tavern traditionally known as Merlin’s Cave”, sadly corrected to “cavern”, and advice to emphasise text in email by surrounding it with Asterixes. Correction: “Asterix is a cartoon character created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The device referred to is an asterisk…”
At the end of 2015, a Pasadena Star- News round- up collected some SF/ fantasy gems: The New York Times on the author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little: “Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the number of years EB White wrote for The New Yorker. It was five decades, not centuries.”
The Brighton Argus on futurology: “The Argus would like to apologise for suggesting that the director of the Brighton Science Festival believes the ‘ 21st century will be remembered for a terrible war between mankind and goats.’”
Alas, the best Star- News discovery came from a satire site and brought a grumpy complaint from its claimed source The Prague Post. “Last week’s column mistakenly misidentified a source. The European Commission president is Romano Prodi, not Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Definitely too good to check.
The online Baltimore City Paper, reporting on a comics- themed cafe called Bamf after an X- Men sound effect, clearly had a storm of geek complaints... “Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Nightcrawler says ‘ Bamf ’ when he teleports. It is the sound that happens when he teleports.”
Wall Street Journal: “The Minotaur is a monster in Greek mythology that is part bull, part human. A travel article in Saturday’s Off Duty section mistakenly called it a one- eyed monster.” That would be a Cyclopsotaur.
Slate: “In a March 2 ‘ Future Tense’ blog post, Torie Bosch misspelled the science fiction award won by writer Bruce Sterling. It is of course the Hugo Award, not the Huge Award.”
The Independent’s Mini- Me paper i is flaky at astronomy: “In yesterday’s report ‘ Copernicus and Galileo: now stars in their own right’, we said Copernicus had demonstrated that the Sun goes round the Earth. It has been pointed out to us that this is wrong and, in fact, the Earth goes round the Sun. We are sorry for the mistake.” Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
The Sun: “In an article on Saturday headlined ‘ Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ’, we stated ‘ two flat silver discs’ were seen ‘ above the Church of Scientology HQ’. Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists.”
And a million netizens who shared Simon Pegg’s alleged tweet – “If you’re sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie” – need to know it’s not by Pegg and wasn’t originally about Bowie. Good line, though.
David Langford regrets that in his column on Shapeshifters, this word appeared with the F missing throughout.