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art by Seth Alan Bareiss

Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch

M. Bennardo's short stories appear in Asimov's Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, several times at Daily Science Fiction and elsewhere. He is also editor of the Machine of Death series of anthologies. He lives in Clevleand, Ohio, but people anywhere can find him at mbennardo.com.
In several items yesterday, the Visitor was variously described as having six legs, eight legs, or "an unholy agglomeration of writhing, thrashing appendages, unable to be counted." The correct number of legs is eight.
In our cover story, it was reported that electronics in the city and some suburbs had been disabled by an "electromagnetic pulse, or EMP." In fact, there was no such burst. Instead, the Visitor itself appears to be continuously emanating the electromagnetic radiation.
The extent of the Downtown Caldera was misstated. It is bounded roughly by the Boulevard of the Allies to the south and by Grant Street to the east, extending north through the former Cultural District as far as the Allegheny River. See detailed map on A3.
We incorrectly reported that all bridges in the downtown and surrounding areas were impassable. In fact, as yesterday’s Times-Dispatch went to press, both the Birmingham Bridge and the Hot Metal Bridge were intact. However, the Visitor has since pulverized both in the irresistible clutches of its sixty-foot claws.
Moreover, those claws should not have been described as "adamantium." Adamantium is a fictional substance of impossible hardness and strength. Scientists we interviewed suggested "adamantium" as a proposed name for the so-far impenetrable armor of the Visitor, but those suggestions do not represent a scientific consensus.
One of our correspondents repeatedly and erroneously referred to the Downtown Caldera as a "yawning hellgate." In fact, it is not known whether the caldera is a gateway and, if so, whether it leads to Hell. In addition, the caldera is not surrounded by "curtains of sulfurous fog," but rather by the steam of the boiling river. Finally, descriptions of "omnipresent screams" in the area should not have attributed those screams to "the wailing souls of the dead and the damned."
Surviving city officials inform us that we misquoted the Mayor as saying, "It's the end times! It's the end times! Oh God, it's judgment day!" No alternate quotation was provided, and the Mayor himself could no longer be reached for additional comment.
We erroneously speculated on the line of succession through which emergency mayoral powers might pass in a crisis. Events have since proved that the City Clerk and Deputy City Clerk are not in the line of succession, as they are not elected officials.
The photograph of the Visitor curled up on the so-called "nest" it constructed of human skeletons was taken in Highland Park, not Frick Park as the caption stated. In addition, the photo was cropped against Times-Dispatch guidelines by an editor attempting to obscure viscera in the foreground. The uncropped photo is reproduced on A6. Warning: Viewing this photo may cause madness in the weak-minded.
The estimate for the number of eggs in the Visitor's nest should have read 10,000, not 1,000. Moreover, the incubation period for the eggs can now be confidently stated as approximately 16 hours.
Finally, we misspelled the name of Miriam Bethel, a member of the School Board of Directors, in our article about the failed levies. Her last name has only one "l".
Like all mankind today, we regret our errors.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

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