31 August 2017

New versions of my novels

Over the past few months I have been uploading revised versions of all my novels. The revisions consisted, first, in weeding out a few typos and secondly in emending in two or three places vocabulary which, when it was first used, was perfectly unexceptionable but now, in these hypersensitive times, can give rise to unintended offence and hence interruption of the reading flow.

The latter I have improved by reducing my addiction to the more formal punctuation with which I was raised, converting here and there semicolons into commas, colons into dashes, splitting the odd sentence, and excising quite a few commas (to which I found I was badly addicted, not least those of the Oxford variety).

I have also regularised the spelling to the accepted standard of what is termed by Silicon Valley ‘British English’ (let us slip past, without comment, the ‘cultural appropriation’ of my mother tongue by others). Thus I have converted, for example, -ize verb-endings to -ise. The -ize ending is etymologically more correct, deriving as it does from the Greek, but -ise, coming to us through Norman French, is rather more idiosyncratically English, and Englishness is something that characterises all my stories.

The net result is a smoother, less irritating feel, or so I hope, and does better service to the ideas at the origins of each book. It should also enhance the familiarity felt by English readers and the exoticism felt by foreign ones, both of which are a Good Thing.

The new versions are now available from the usual places, and I recommend them if you have downloaded earlier versions and to want to keep copies in your electronic library.


RuthieB said...

Hi, I have just finished reading The Penal Colony after a recommendation from a work colleague, and can I say-just wow! I really enjoyed the book and have already recommended it to many people. I can’t wait to read more of your books now :-)

Ruth Store

Richard Herley said...

Thanks! :-)