Publishing can be a dangerous game. On my shelves I keep, as a warning to myself, a non-fiction book – perhaps the only surviving copy – which was written by a respected author, published by a major London house, and ran into awful trouble before it reached the bookshops. (Mine was a review copy, but sending a book out for review amounts to publishing it.) It was about Cold War spies and spying. It named an eminent scientist, said he was dead, and identified him as a spy and a traitor. Two errors there: first, he was very much alive, and second, he was neither a spy nor a traitor. Result: the entire print run was pulped, and undisclosed damages were paid.