This week I flew down to LA on official Maze business. And came back with some big news.
We sent The Maze of Games to the printer today. It took quite a bit longer to get here than anyone of us could have imagined, but it was worth it. It’s a really, really good book. The puzzles, especially those by the Conundrucopians, are some of the best that have passed through my hands. The novel has been through a torrent of editing and proofing. The art and graphic design is some of the prettiest work I’ve been associated with. And it just feels like a heavyweight book. I think you’ll like it.
The process of getting the book printed will take a while. With luck, the book will be rolling off the presses sometime in February. Then it might get to Seattle sometime in March. I can’t guarantee any of that, because it’s out of our hands now. But the important thing is that it is out of our hands now, and that makes it possible to get it to you.
Here's a look at some elements that have come together.
Elisa put the finishing touches on the cover today. Here’s what the back and front of the regular edition of The Maze of Games will look like. Note the weathered look, which we're experimenting with to get that old-time feel infused throughout this book.
And here’s (sort of) what the Gatekeeper’s edition will look like, back and front. The highlights will all be silver embossings. There will be ridges down the spine and a ribbon and other delights. Scott Kim's ambigram makes its debut here.
The Gatekeeper’s edition also has a couple of other intricacies that the backers of that edition and the first 100 people to order the hardback will get. Let’s just say that Colleen Quaice wasn’t the first person to check out The Maze of Games from the Upper Wolverhampton Bibliothèque.
The Mazefinder Bookmark is a simple way to keep track of your progress through the mazes. Here you'll see our page ordering system involving card suits and such. You mark your pages in the order you encounter them, so you'll know where you've been. You can also write your answers on the bookmark as well. Here's side 1.
We finished the map too. Eric Harshbarger did a fabulous job working with me on the puzzle construction and writing, and Corey Macourek made it look awesome. The final version will be in color. (Some blurriness has been added in places to obscure puzzle content.)
Down in LA, Austin Wintory, Elisa, and I laid down some principles for the music. It’s going to be six pieces each keyed to the specific mood of a chapter. Austin, fresh from his grand success with The Banner Saga, has a sweeping vision for the music which I absolutely love. And of course we talked about how it will tease your brain as well as your eardrums.
I was also down in LA working on another potential use for the music, which I can’t talk about yet. But trust me, if it works out I think you’ll really like the results of those discussions.
Elisa and I dropped in on the Black Phoenix Alchemy lab yesterday to see the Gatekeeper scent that BPAL perfumiers Elizabeth Barrial and Brian Constantine are decanting for your consumption. It’s an amazing scent in an awesome bottle. It’ll be ready for purchasing sometime in March, we believe. We will give you plenty of warning, we promise.
*Poor word choice. Please don’t drink it.
The bottom line
We still have a lot of things to do on our end. We’re just getting into the build of the ebook, which is a major project. We need to prepare our art prints. We have thank-you videos and Google hangouts to schedule, and pencils and cryptexes to wrap up. So we’ll be busy for the next couple months. But not on writing, editing, art, graphic design, or proofing. We’re not doing those things any more, and it’s quite a relief. We thank you for your patience and support, and we hope you like our Maze of Games.
Mike and the Sharks