I just finished reading Gene Wolfe's 'The Urth of the New Sun'. Several times throughout the book, I noticed at the bottom of the page what appears to be a footnote reference. It looked like this:

T.U.O.T.N.S - 12

The number starts at 1 and goes up to around 20 or so. The note is always on the right hand page at the bottom.

I am totally perplexed. I couldn't find references to this anywhere after exstensive googling. To make this mystery even more frustrating, I just started reading another of his books - 'The Devil in a Forest', and I've noticed similar notes again, 'T.D.I.A.F - C' (Letters instead of numbers this time).

Does anyone have any clue what these mean or link to?

1 Answer 1


I think you'll find they occur every sixteen pages exactly. They're signature marks -- the pages are printed in groups of (usually) sixteen, called signatures, and the numbers make it easy to ensure they're assembled in the right order when the book is then bound.


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