The name of the book, Whelk, came to George in a dream back in March 2001. And frankly there's not much you can do to compete with that so "Whelk" it had to be. But we didn't get going on the book until, oh, March or April this year, ready for the two year anniversary of Upsideclown.

You wouldn't believe how many typos there are in web articles. There's something about the medium that renders them invisible on the screen, but when you've got 300 pages in Quark in front of you they manifest as an ocean of mistakes. Es fixed those. And typeset. And proofed. And proofed again, and again. She did a lot. That lasted for around two months. Arranging the articles into a well-rounded whole was like doing a jigsaw where all the pieces are square and the same colour, but it worked in the end. Flows nicely actually. Dory took the cover photo.

The most impressive thing: that's it's possible to get cheap printing-on-demand for such low runs. Instant Publisher [recommended by RavenBlack] install a special printer driver on your (Windows-only) machine that intercepts the print stream and sends it up to their server. It's simple point, click and pay to order any number of books. They're very good. (But tell them exactly what you want. As with any printer, there are a lot of variables you'll need to control.)

So we started almost four months ago, and now I have the final product in my hand. Print is fresh air after so long on the internet. Satisfyingly heavy, small enough to be clutchable on the underground, set in a bookish, resonant font (Sabon was used by Penguin in the 1960s -- it's that kind of deadly-serious space opera sci-fi feel I was after), and full of articles that suddenly work in a very different way on paper than they ever have on the www or in email. Whelk is On Sale Now. (And we're having a party too, if you'd like to come.)