Inspired by the real imaginary town of Argleton, this project combines storytelling with a crowdsourced geolocation game and the craft of bookbinding.
Argleton: A story of maps, maths and motorways Matt is fascinated by the story of Argleton, the unreal town that appeared on GeeMaps but which doesn't actually exist. No one knows how the mistake made its way into the most widely used map in the world. Accusations that it was a 'copyright trap' intended to catch out businesses using the map data without paying for a licence are vigorously denied. GeeMaps promises to remove the anomaly but yet, it persists.
Finally, Matt can resist no longer. He persuades his friend and flatmate Charlie to drive them both down to to find the non-existent town. And when they are standing on the very spot, at the exact longitude and latitude that defines Argleton, Matt sets in motion a chain of events that will take him places he didn't know existed... and which perhaps don't.
The Book I estimate that the story is going to come out at 8000 - 10000 words (give or take a few thousand!), which means it's too short to put together on Lulu, as it would be well below their minimum page count. Instead, I'm going to give you three options:
1. The printed pamphlet This is likely to be a single sheaf of paper, folded, stapled, with a nice card cover. It'll probably be A6 in size. This plan could evolve as I talk with different printers, but I'll make it as delightful as I possibly can.
2. The handmade booklet I've been learning how to bind books recently, and I love it! If you buy a handmade book, then you'll get a lovingly created hardback, each numbered, covered in the best paper/fabric I can lay my hands on. Again, it will be A6 in size with professionally printed innards, thickness TBC.
3. The handwritten, handmade booklet It's a bit insane, this one. If you buy this option, not only will I hand-bind the book, I will also hand-write it. Its handmade presentation box will ensure that it stays lovely. It'll be a challenge, but I'm up for it if you are!
Whatever you choose, you'll get a lovely, limited edition booklet that will look fab on your bookshelf.
Note: There will obviously be a bit of a delay between the conclusion of the Kickstarter drive and the delivery of your booklet as I won't be able to place the print order until I know how many I need. And, of course, I'll have to actually make the books, which might take me a moment or two.
The story itself still a work in progress, but if this project doesn't complete, I shall finish it up, look at it lovingly and then put it in a drawer. So it's now or never if you want to know what happens to Matt.
The Puzzle Books don't just have to be books. They can be other things too. Like paper weights, monitor stands or cat toys. This book is not just a book, it's a puzzle too. What kind of puzzle? Well, that would be telling.
What I can say is that I need your help to make this puzzle truly puzzling. If you like geolocation, maths and photography, then this should be right up your alley.
If you support this project, you will be sent an URL to which you can upload a photo of a landmark local to you, along with its exact location as a longitude and latitude. You can photograph whatever you like, wherever you like, so long as it's a place rather than a person.
I will then do stuff with that stuff and the resulting stuff will, via the magic of technology, be sent back to you as an important, intrinsic piece of the puzzle.
The first person to successfully solve the puzzle will get a non-trivial prize that I'll decide on soon. (After all, I don't want to give away all the secrets up front!)
So, who's with me?
(Btw, if you're having problems with the Amazon payments system, see if some of these fixes work.)
Argleton has now been released under a Creative Commons for anyone to read, or download and share. It's available as pdf, epub, mobi, html or text and you can grab your copy here: