Monday, January 08, 2007

A good way to start the year

A (belated) Happy New Year to you!

I haven't, up until now, flagged reviews of Genesis Machines on the blog (partly because I assume that most people who come to it have arrived via the link in the book). However, I was delighted by this review in last Saturday's Guardian; apart from saying nice things about the book, its author, Steven Poole (who wrote Unspeak) appears to share my views on Melanie Phillips of the Daily Mail.

A minor point: Poole ends his review by saying that "It is even possible that, when the footnote numbering goes crazy on pages 199-201, it is some sort of joke about genetic mutation. Sadly, I was not able to find meaning in the resulting number series." He assumes that footnote numbers refer only to the first citation of a source; in the example he gives, I cited a report at the start of the chapter, and then again near the end. In both instances I supplied the reference number ("3"), which is why it might have appeared to be out of sequence later on.

2 comments:

Steven said...

Aha, thanks for clearing up that mystery. The sequence 49, 2, 50, 51, 3, 3, 52, 1, 53, 3, 18 did look very peculiar. Is this normal scientific footnoting practice? It seems usual in most scholarly books to use a new number each time and say "Smith, op. cit." or something in the reference.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed my review of your fascinating book.

Martyn Amos said...

I generated the manuscript using LaTeX and BibTex, which probably explains why the references appeared as they did.