Saturday, March 11, 2023

My book is finally available for purchase

A major difference between software and book projects is that the latter have a point when they can be considered complete and finished. For my debut novel, that time has come.

The text block has been created with a "mini-LaTeX" DTP program that I wrote basically from scratch. This caused "fun" things to happen. For example I got an email from the printing house some four days before the unveiling event that the book contains words that were not hyphenated according to recommended style guides. I was aware of said style guides, had added handling for those and even had unit tests to ensure that they work. And yet in production they did not work. This lead to a very stressful debugging session where you know that the only person in the world that can fix it is you, and that there is a very strict and personal deadline.

The actual PDF generation was done with Cairo and Pango. Surprisingly there were zero issues with them, the printer accepted them just fine and the printout looks great. The cover was made with Scribus and it did have several issues none of which had anything to do with Scribus itself, just that doing a full color managed print job is to this day a bit tricky. did have to postprocess Cairo's output with Ghostscript because Cairo only produces PDFs in the RGB colorspace whereas printers require grayscale PDFs.

The "back blurb"

Humanity has managed to create the technology needed for interstellar travel and civilizations from outer space have invited them to visit. The people of Earth immediately begin work on creating a space ship suitable for the journey, with stylish appearance being their number one priority. Eventually the ship gets under way commandeered by an egomaniacal captain and staffed by a nerve wrecked crew. What they don't know is who they are actually going to meet, what they should do once they get there and why the ships has an ice rink.

[Name of book would go here, but I could not come up with a proper translation as the original is a pun] mixes classical space sci-fi, scientifically accurate technology and dark comedy into a hypergolic stew, whose blast wave nothing can survive intact — not even space sex.

Where to get it?

Every now and then people ask me how they could support Meson financially. Buying this book is by far the best way to do that at the current time. Yes, it is in Finnish, so most people reading this blog post can't comprehend it, but reading it is optional, you can just buy it to keep on your coffee table for maximal hipster street cred. :)

Finnish people who prefer getting their books via libraries can request it via online forms such as this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment