Some very exciting news! In conjunction with the publishers Pan Macmillan and Missing Ink Studios, the first book apps embedding the reader from Eucalyptus are now on sale! They're available worldwide, except in the USA and Canada.
If you're a fan - and probably even if you're not - you'll have worked out from this blog post's title what books I'm talking about: all the books in Douglas Adams' seminal Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy, reissued to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first book's publication.
There are five apps available - one for each book in the trilogy - in non-US or Canadian App Stores. They're priced in the UK at two pounds less than the paperbacks - £5.99 - that's €7.99 where Euros are used, and equivalent iTunes prices elsewhere.
Personally, I'm really delighted with the apps. All the formatting from the paperbacks is in there, and so is all of Eucalyptus' ease of reading. Pages turn naturally, the main book text is text is laid out using the same great fonts and layout routines as in Eucalyptus, and you can still pinch to resize the text.
In addition to this, as you can see in the pictures, there's all the cover imagery you'd expect in a traditional book, and even a section at the end of each book with high-resolution pictures, scans of original press releases and things like letters and synopses sent from Douglas to his publishers (all pinch-zoomable for a closer look) - fascinating in their own right.
"Enhanced" version of the apps (which will be free upgrades) will be released in October, to celebrate the actual 30th anniversary, with even more archive material including audio clips, historic book covers and radio script excerpts.
If you haven't read the books in a while - or (surely not?) ever - they're well worth the purchase. I've certainly really enjoyed re-reading while we've been putting them together.
On a personal note, it's been a privilege to work on these. Spending the past few weeks keeping quiet about this, but having it never too far from the front of my mind, it's been amazing to me how much Douglas Adams in general, and the Hitchhiker's Trilogy in particular, is embedded in our culture. I don't think I can go more than a couple of days without hearing an explicit reference, and more subliminal references (42!) are all around us.