Anne (netmouse) wrote,

Copyediting question regarding reprinted stories

I am reading The World Turned Upside Down, an anthology edited by David Drake, Eric Flint, and Jim Baen. It's generally a very interesting collection - science fiction stories that had a high impact on the editors, mostly from when they were growing up in the '50s and '60s.

One of the stories, "The Aliens," by Murray Leinster, made me wonder what editing rules Jim and David and Eric had set for doing this collection, and in general how one should go about copyediting reprinted stories, especially if the author is now unavailable for consultation. Near as I can tell, "The Aliens" has a continuity error in it - the progression of ship's time in a time series that is reported to be exactly 12 hours goes from to 06 hours, 50 minutes (p 291) to 08 hours 10 minutes (p 301) and back to 07 hours 40 minutes (p 306) without any hint of flashback or other intentional time jumping.

"The Aliens" was first published in Astounding Science Fiction in August, 1959. Assuming the text has been copied faithfully from that edition, what is your philosophy on whether or not the continuity error should be edited out?

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