A post from Shady Characters

We have winners – and a new competition!

Congratulations to Mary Ann Atwood and John W. Stuart, winners of the first round of the Empire of the Sum giveaway! Their names were picked at random from the set of all entrants who replied the original post about the competition.* Thank you all for entering! If you won, congratulations, and look out for an email from me arranging delivery of your copy of Empire. If not, read on.

The sun rises behind a pocket calculator, whose display reads "07734"
The cover of Empire of the Sum.

Here is another chance to win one of two free copies of Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator! To enter, leave a comment on this post with a valid email address so that I can contact you in the event that you win.

One caveat: this second round will be the last one for US residents only. There will be two additional rounds for non-US residents closer to publication time in the rest of the world. To make sure you don’t miss those future contests, you might want to subscribe to the Shady Characters newsletter using the link at the bottom of the page.

The con­test will close at noon UK time on Sunday 3rd September 2023, so make sure you enter be­fore then. After that I’ll pick two win­ners from the list of all unique entrants, and I’ll get in touch to arrange free postage of your prize. See below for terms and conditions, and good luck!

Update: The competition is now closed! I’ll announce the winners soon.

Terms and conditions

  • The competition is open only to US residents.
  • Winners of the previous round may not enter.
  • The prizes are two copies of the US edition of Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator, with one copy awarded per winner.
  • Entry is via the comment section on this post only. Entries via Twitter, Facebook, email or other platforms will not count.
  • One entry per entrant only.
  • Entrants must provide a valid email address.
  • Entrants must provide a name or pseudonym for publication in the event that they win.
  • The competition will close at noon UK time on Sunday 20th Au­gust 2023.
  • The winners will be announced here at shadycharacters.co.uk within thirty days of the close of the competition.
In more detail: I arranged the names of all entrants in a text file, then used random.org to pick two numbers between 1 and the total number of lines in that file. 

15 comments on “We have winners – and a new competition!

  1. Comment posted by Mark Frankel on

    The book looks fantastic!

  2. Comment posted by Lee Littlewood on

    Etaoin Shrdlu, or maybe the comment should be in numerals: 010011011100100.

  3. Comment posted by Dave Mattingly on

    This is really sum-thing else! It just adds up.

  4. Comment posted by Julia LaBua on

    If anyone can make me love numbers as much as I love words, it would be you! Looking forward to reading it.

  5. Comment posted by Stephanie de Saram on

    my chance to learn more about calculators, if this book is anything like The Book, it will be amazing!

  6. Comment posted by Elsa Louise on

    Thrilled for the two lucky winners and am happy to be numbered again among the entrants!

    1. Comment posted by Mary Ann Atwood on

      Thank you Elsa Louise. What a pleasantly shocking surprise. My first time winning a drawing in my 70 years on this planet…not sure about any other planet;-)

  7. Comment posted by Robert Oesterreich on

    I just finished listening to the Patented podcast about this book. I was quite surprised to know that the first all-electronic desktop calculator was named after my late mother, Anita, and that it launched the year I was born, 1961. I can’t wait to find out more wonderful facts about pocket calculators.

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      What a coincidence! I hope the book does the ANITA justice.

  8. Comment posted by Mary Ann Atwood on

    My anticipation towards reading Empire of the Sum has multiplied after seeing my name added to the winners’ list. Thank you Keith Houston! Please subtract my name from the next drawing as I do not want to divide the opportunity to win from your numerous fans.
    Such a delightful surprise.

  9. Comment posted by Kevin Scholtes on

    I once spotted a Thacher cylindrical slide rule in an antique shop in Pasadena. It must have been close to a meter in length! It’s fun to imagine the work environment where that was an optimum solution.

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