Other Things

(a blog)

Don't Panic…

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.

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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.

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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.

If you want to hear more about the new editions, and Pan Macmillan's Hitchhiker homepage "takeover", the Pan Macmillan digital team has a post about it on their blog.

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.

4 Comments
  • Looks amazing. Fantastic work mate!

  • Great news, both on HH2G releases and the fact that it uses the Eucalyptus app for the (best) reading experience. Was curious about these books on the App store but did not realise they used Eucalyptus, was wondering when some publisher would see the value of a partnership with you on that. Worth buying these books again, they're classics

    But OMG - 30 years since i first read it!! :-0

    Cheers.

  • So when will Eucalyptus be able to support other documents than those available from Gutenberg? Can we at the very least be able to upload our documents if we've already exported them to the Gutenberg format already?

  • @Mannie This question in particular is covered a bit in the Eucalyptus FAQ - although I don't say much more than it sounds like you know already (I have a bit of a policy of not commenting on future releases, sorry).

    By the way, an email to eucalyptus@th.ingsadeoutofotherthin.gs is probably a better way to ask questions like that than an unrelated blog post, especially if you're looking for a quick response.

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