This page-by-page annotation is organized by sections, as delineated by the seven squares (sprockets) which separate each section. The page numbers for this page-by-page annotation are for the original Viking edition (760 pages). Editions by other publishers vary in pagination the newer Penguin editions are 776 pages; the Bantam edition is 886 pages.
Contributors: Please use a 760-page edition (either the original Viking edition with the orange cover or the Penguin USA edition with the blue cover and rocket diagram there are plenty on Ebay for around $10) or search the Google edition for the correct page number. Readers: To calculate the Bantam edition use this formula: Bantam page # x 1.165. Before p.50 it's about a page earlier; as you get later in the book, add a page.
Finally, profound thanks to Prof. Don Larsson for providing the foundation for this page-by-page annotation.
Plastic Man’s history is a bit different than that given by Weisenburger. The hero first appeared in Police Comics in January 1941. He had his own title starting in 1943 under the Quality Comics label, which ended in 1956. The character was picked up and revived by National Periodicals ("DC" Comics) in 1966, but the new magazine lasted only for ten issues. Since then, some of the original Plastic Man stories have been reprinted from time to time, and the character has appeared in other DC publications. Plastic Man’s costume was mainly red, but also contained yellow and black. His name should be two words, not one as in GR.
213.21 The Queen of Transylvan-ia
Transylvania is, of course, the mountainous region of Romania that is legendary home to Dracula.
214.04-05 Lady of Spain
The song, composed in 1931 by Tolchard Evans, Stanley Demerell and Bob Hargreaves, has become a cliché of accordion music.
220.31 Schutzmann Joche
The constable’s last name, with an umlaut, would approximate another expression of disgust ("yuck-ey").
222.02 Cagney of the French Riviera
James Cagney, American actor who played tough guys. Called "the professional gangster". In one famous movie scene, he shoves a grapefruit into a woman's face over the breakfast table.
V222.37 the bridge music
A cinematic reference; the kind of musical accompaniment in which familiar tunes echoed the theme of particular scenes (especially during montage sequences spanning periods of time) was a common feature of classic Hollywood films (for example, the scores of Max Steiner). In this context, the music is background to a montage of scenes of Slothrop and Katje working together.
225.32 a single clarinet
The instrument, with its evocation of "clowns and circuses," suggests Kurt Weill's score for Brecht's Three-Penny Opera but also Nino Rota’s scores for several Fellini films, notably 8½ (1963 No wonder Slothrop "lacks the European reflexes" to it!)
IG and radio methods
IG = INERTIAL guidance, i.e. guidance derived from inertia (Newton's first law)... measuring the forces on a gyroscope, which attempts to maintain the spin and orientation it had before the rocket's flight started. Put those forces (and the time during which they are sensed) through some arithmetic, and you get the current position and velocity of the rocket... leading to the right moment to shut down the engine (Brennschluss).
Alternately, the guidance system can receive signals from two or more radio sources (a la GPS, today's Global Positioning System) and use trigonometry to calculate its position. This was planned for the V2 and tested, but never became operational AFAIK. Used extensively by bombers.
Either way, the transition from *powered* and *controlled* flight to *ballistic* trajectory -- governed only by gravity, all its future implicit in this moment, fated and irreversible -- is a central metaphor, arguably *the* central metaphor, of the book.
Beyond the Zero
3-7, 7-16, 17-19, 20-29, 29-37, 37-42, 42-47, 47-53, 53-60, 60-71, 71-72, 72-83, 83-92, 92-113, 114-120, 120-136, 136-144, 145-154, 154-167, 167-174, 174-177
Un Perm' au Casino Herman Goering
181-189, 189-205, 205-226, 226-236, 236-244, 244-249, 249-269, 269-278
In the Zone
279-295, 295-314, 314-329, 329-336, 336-359, 359-371, 371-383, 383-390, 390-392, 392-397, 397-433, 433-447, 448-456, 457-468, 468-472, 473-482, 482-488, 488-491, 492-505, 505-518, 518-525, 525-532, 532-536, 537-548, 549-557, 557-563, 563-566, 567-577, 577-580, 580-591, 591-610, 610-616
617-626, 626-640, 640-655, 656-663, 663-673, 674-700, 700-706, 706-717, 717-724, 724-733, 733-735, 735-760