Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Footnote: Roger Zelazny, The Dead Man's Brother (c. 1971)

The following sentence appears on page 206 of Roger Zelazny's
The Dead Man's Brother (Hard Case Crime #52):
"You know why I sent for you./?" he said/asked.
Any theories as to what on earth is going on here?


  1. It's an attempt, albeit cute and tortured, to indicate a question is being asked in a flat, ambiguous manner. It's tough getting questions lacking question marks past copy editors, and I often have to deal with that at the copy-edited manuscript stage.

  2. I really do hope this is right. My only reasons for doubting this possibility are that there is nothing else even remotely like it in the rest of the book and that I am amazed the copy editors would let it in. But whatever the case . . . I approve! It was one of the most interesting things in the book.

  3. I'm sure that Max is right, but it's interesting that it's a common quirk of copy-edited manuscripts, considering that The Dead Man's Brother is sort of a found manuscript.

    Zelazny wasn't one to shy away from that kind of typographic play, though he wasn't as adventurous as someone like Harlan Ellison with it. Still, that particular instance struck me as pretty out of place with the rest of the novel when I read it.