Darkness and Light

My review of Darkness and Light by John Harvey is up at Euro Crime. I liked this book, the third in the Frank Elder series, and am sorry to understand that it is Elder’s last outing. I hope Harvey will resurrect him in some form, as he keeps on doing with Resnik, because after a slow start, Elder has begun to "bite" as a character.

Other new Euro Crime reviews are Mike Ripley on The Chameleon’s Shadow by Minette Walters, Exit Music by Ian Rankin and Murdering Americans by Ruth Dudley Edwards; Laura Root on Gianrico Carofiglio’s first standalone novel The Past is a Foreign Country; and Geoff Jones on Tripper by Ken McCoy.

Insufferable and unintelligible

Over at Nature Network, some of us editors have set up a forum in which we answer authors’ and potential authors’ questions about the science publication process.  Most of it is a pretty sober enterprise, until we were enlivened today by the irrepressible Henry Gee, who cheered me up, and I am sure participants, with his lovely anecdote on the subject of accessible writing of technical material, here: The Insufferable In Pursuit of the Unintelligible.

Henry writes: "Once upon a time, when the world was young, a callow Nature editor was phoned by a Wily Old Fox Of A Journalist who was writing a story about this very thing – accessibility. “Turn to page 123 of the latest issue of your rag,” asked the journalist, “and tell me if you can make head or tail of the paper displayed thereon – even just the title would do.”

So the Nature editor, eager to please (and flattered to be asked) turned to page 123 and read On the positively negative interaction between one abbreviation and another abbreviation, conditional on the negatively double-negative interaction between a third abbreviation and one or other of the first two abbreviations by Trellis et al.

“No,” he said to the Wily Old Fox Of A Journalist, “it doesn’t mean anything to me either”.

“Bingo!” thinks the WOFOAJ (no, you work it out. It’s an abbreviation, right?) and publishes the story, complete with names, in the next issue of The Daily Beast, finishing with a line which said, in effect, that even Professor Trellis’s own mother would get no joy from the paper concerned."

For further plot twists, read on, read on….