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This website is dedicated to the memory of Jessica Lincoln Smith, a John Marsden fan.
Lost tragically at 26, but never to be forgotten.

Continuity Problems

NOTE: This page is just a bit of fun. You know you are a fan when you start to look at continutity problems. This page is in no way intended as a swipe at the editors who took care of this series. There are less continuity problems with “The Tomorrow Series” than there are with this website.

With the above notes in mind; onwards.

Across seven books it is very hard to maintain “continuity”; that is make sure you don’t contradict yourself. The “Tomorrow” series is quite good in this regard, but there are a number of places where a bit more editing might not have gone astray.

You know you are a fan when you can list the contradictions in a series. It’s a fairly silly but amusing thing to do. So here are the editing errors I see in the series. Hope you enjoy them, how many did you spot ? If there are any others you are aware of (or disagree with ones I have suggested), please drop me a line using the link at the bottom of this page.

Here are the major places the books contradict themselves (in my opinion):

  1. At the end of the battle on Tailor’s Stitch in “The Night is for Hunting” (Book 6), Ellie refers to something that Lee will not say till “The Other Side of Dawn” (Book 7).

    "The Night is for Hunting", p239. "And of course we'd accidentally done one thing very right. We'd killed the entire patrol. There were no survivors. That meant no-one could go back to dob us in, and we didn't have any prisoners to worry about. Long ago in Stratton Lee had pointed out the advantages of the one hundred percent kill. It was the most cold blooded thing I'd ever heard, but he was right."

    except he actually hasn't said it yet. That scene does not come till "The Other Side of Dawn" p82 He even refers back to the scene above

    "When Lee came out of the house to take over sentry from Homer we included him in the discussion. Right away he added a new element. As soon as he understood what we were talking about he said: 'If we kill them all they won't know if it was an accident or what.' I was trying to figure out what he meant, so he added: 'Like the first patrol up on Tailor's Stitch. If we set a booby trap that kills one soldier, the others will see if and know how he died. If we set a booby trap that wipes out the whole patrol, no-one need know how they died. As long as we get rid of the evidence.'
    Trust Lee to come up with a savage twist like that. It shocked me into silence"
  2. Ellie’s teleporting rifle. In one paragraph during the attack on the truck stop she has left it behind as she moves up on the soldier with Lee. Later on the same page she still has it with her, but can’t use it for fear of making a noise.

    "The Other Side of Dawn", p131, "I dropped my pack and rifle" then two paragraphs later "I had my rifle, but I didn't dare fire"
  3. Ellie’s teleporting boots. When they go into the container for the attack on Cobbler’s Bay, Ellie and Homer hand their boots to the others so they can swim away easily. After escaping through the water Ellie then runs through the bush being pursued by the enemy and spends a day and two nights getting back to the others without once remarking on how unpleasant it is to be barefoot or doing her feet any damage. When the shot is fired by the three soldiers she is “scared out of her boots” which she is not wearing and then drives the 4WD to safety barefoot; still without noticing.

    "The Third Day, The Frost" p119 "... we gave the others our boots, socks and heavy clothes ..." then Ellie goes bush bashing in bare feet for 40 or so hours without noticing, then, on p165 she hears the shot and Fi's scream "I'd been so scared already that the sound of the shot frightened me out of my boots." Well, it is just a saying but you might have thought she would remember she isn't wearing any.
  4. In “The Third Day, The Frost” Ellie says to Harvey that Chris taught them explosives, but Harvey knows Chris is missing. However, in “Darkness, Be My Friend” it turns out that Kevin had been pretending to be Chris while in Stratton Prison. So who did Harvey think Kevin was ?

    In "The Third Day, The Frost" when Harvey is interrogating Ellie on p236 he wants to know who taught them about explosives "The best story I could come up with was to tell him about Chris, and to say that Chris taught me about explosives. But, as Major Harvey said, if that were the true story I would have told him straight away. I had no reason to protect Chris"

    then in "Darkness, Be My Friend" we find out that "Major Harvey knew the rest of us, so we couldn't fool him. Kevin he didn't know, and Kevin had taken full advantage of the fact and said he was Chris"
  5. They can't have been in NZ for nearly 5 months. When they leave for Cobblers it is July. They are in the field and then prison for nearly two months. The earliest possible date for their escape to NZ is therefore September 15th. They are back by mid November. That's at most 2 months in NZ.

Then there is the smaller stuff:

  1. Fi has a younger sister Victoria, but on at least one occassion she is called "Charlotte" instead (p190, Darkness Be My Friend). Thanks to Alix Hill of Victoria, Australia for pointing that out.
    This error has been corrected in later printings.
  2. In “Tomorrow, When The War Began” Ellie comments they ate at the Lee’s restaurant a lot (p15), but in “Darkness, Be My Friend” she had only gone a "few times" and had never really met his mum (p204).
  3. They used to sing “Fi and Lee from Wirrawee”. Why ? Lee was not in Ellie’s circle of friends (or Fi’s) when they were at school.
  4. On some occasions Ellie knows what an M-16 is (Darkness, p48 talking to Fi & p60 babies with M16s), but on others does not (Hunting, p227 the captured rifle).
  5. Ellie thinks what is obviously an automatic pistol is actually a revolver (which looks nothing like an automatic pistol) despite being quite familiar with guns. ("The Third Day, The Frost, p167 - the encounter with the three soldiers)
  6. Ellie thinks the exploding mower looks like "tracer" fire, but does not recognise "tracer" fire when she sees it in the last battle in “The Night is for Hunting”. ("Tracer" is a special sort of ammunition for rifles and machine guns which leaves a visible 'trace' throught the air.)
  7. At the truck stop the rest of the team start with firearms and when they are trapped in the scout hall they have firearms again, but while being pursued they seem to be unarmed except for Lee with his trusty knife (which he uses to kill the two pursuers).
  8. The hermit’s hut is most of the time downstream but on at least one occasion is upstream. (page 83, "Darkness, Be My Friend" I was frustrated at sitting around doing nothing so I took a walk up the creek to to ruins of the Hermit's hut.)

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