Caesar’s Column: Third Place Press/Espresso Book Machine Exclusive Edition

I wrote about Vlad Verano‘s demonstration of the Espresso Book Machine here. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’m an Ignatius Donnelly buff and that I’ve been researching his life and works for a few projects I have percolating. Well, when I first heard about the EBM, and its ability to print public domain books archived online, one of my first thoughts was that it would be neat to have a new edition of Donnelly’s classic apocalyptic utopian novel Caesar’s Column. And that if I had my way, it would feature the wonderfully cataclysmic proto-steampunk cover art from the 1890 paperback newsstand edition, and also the interior layout from the first edition. It would also bear no mark of Donnelly’s name but rather use the pseudonym he used when the book was first published: Edmund Boisgilbert. A couple weeks ago I decided to go for it and see what Vlad could do. Here are the results and I couldn’t be more pleased, especially with Vlad’s exceptionally tasteful and artful design work.

Front cover with 1890 artwork (Airships! A populist uprising! The end of civilization!):

Back cover (Featuring promo copy from the 1890 edition.)

An exclusive TPP/EBM edition of a utopia-gone-awry classic, perfect for lovers of all things steampunk, don’t you think? If you’d like to order a copy, just email Vlad over here and he’ll set you up.

Expresso Book Machine demo

This past Saturday Laura and I were invited by David Herter to join a small group of writers/publishers/booksellers to see a demo of “Ginger,” the Expresso Book Machine at Third Place Books in Lakeforest Park. Also in attendance were Vlad Verano (who operates Ginger), Wolfgang Baur, Ted Chiang, Scott Hermann, and Peter Orullian. Quite an impressive little machine that could conceivably change the way physical books are put into readers’ hands. Ginger spat out the requested book in just a handful of minutes. There is some good info about what Vlad is doing here and here, and he’s also keeping a fascinating blog about Ginger. After the demonstration we set off for Chinese food, where we had a night of compelling conversation about the EBM’s implications. A few photos from the demo are below.