The Impending Demise of “PGP & GPG”

At fourteen years old, PGP & GPG is perhaps my oldest title still in print. And soon, it will be no more.

The theory in the book is still good, but GnuPG has changed in the last decade and a half. The PGP version discussed in the book is no more. Best practices and use cases have changed. I’d guess half the chapters have some utility, while the other half have none.

So the book is being deliberately eased out of print. It predates Kindle, so there won’t even be an ebook version available.

My No Starch books normally sell out their print run, get reprinted a few times, and fade into Out Of Print status. But PG3 never sold out its initial print run.

I’m glad we did it. No Starch Press is one of the few publishers who would take a chance on such a title back in the heady days of 2005. (The book came out in 2006, but the decision to take that chance was in 2005 or maybe even 2004.) But it was not a commercial success.

If you want to be a completist collector: grab this book while you can. Soon, it will be no more.

I expect the price of used copies to immediately skyrocket, of course. Because that’s what rarity does.

New novel out! “Terrapin Sky Tango,” aka “Butterfly Stomp Waltz 2”

Fire up the sirens and release the hounds, another novel has escaped!

People have begged for a sequel to Butterfly Stomp Waltz for years. (Earthquake Kitten Kiss doesn’t count; it features side character Liza Bradley, and it’s romantic suspense.) I’m delighted to finally be able to say “Here you go. Now hush.”

Terrapin Sky Tango is now available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover, almost everywhere books are sold. It’s 110,000 words of blood and mayhem–perhaps not Robert Jordan hefty, but big for a crime novel.

A FAMILY AFFRAY

With her father’s death, mercenary thief Beaks returns to the place she hates most—her childhood home, to both pay her respects and make certain he’s gone.

She finds only lies.

Determined to rip the truth out of the shadows, Beaks ricochets around the world, defying killers and government agents alike. With the man she loves and the secretive hacker Sister Silence, she targets a nightmare that turns suffering into profit and slaughter into joy.

Family. It’s worse than murder.

Grab it at Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Gumroad, Amazon US, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon DE, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Amazon ES

As part of this release, I looked at cover branding. I outsourced the BSW cover, which complicated long-term maintenance of the book. (The designer did a fine job, mind you; she simply used different tools than I do.) So I redesigned the cover to theme these books, with a theme I can use for all future Beaks novels. As part of this redesign, I was able to cut the print price of BSW down to $11.99USD and release a hardcover for a paltry $24.99.

50% John McClane
50% Robin Hood
100% trouble

Reeling from the death of her lover and partner, freelance “exfiltration specialist” Billie Carrie Salton breaks into a high-tech, high-security biotechnology firm to steal their sickle cell anemia cure and broadcast it to the world.

In, out, announce. Easy.

Except Salton’s life never works that smoothly.

And a gig gone wrong only begins the disasters.

Thievery, lies, and betrayals propel Salton across the world, from Atlanta, Georgia, to the heat of Portugal and the jungles of Myanmar, where she must put everything on the line to save everything she loves.

You can get BSW at Kobo, iTunes, Nook, Gumroad, Amazon US, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon DE, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Amazon ES, and a bunch of other places.

In other news: Sudo Mastery went to copyedit last night. I really, really hope to have print in hand for vBSDCon.

Now pardon me, I gotta start work on snmp Mastery and another Prohibition Orcs novella.

Seattle Gelato Meetup, 1 August 2019

I’m traveling to Seattle at the end of July for business. Most of my time is booked with publishing stuff, but I have one evening free. And there’s gelato. A whole bunch of gelato, all around the Pike Place Market. Which is not terribly far from where I’m staying.

So, I’d like to invite everyone to join me for gelato at Bottega Italiana at 7:30 PM on 1 August 2019 (Google Map link). If you have ever had the burning desire to meet me, I’ll be there for an hour or so.

Why this place? It’s open later than 8PM.

“Sudo Mastery, 2nd Edition” open for tech review

I finished the first draft of the new Sudo Mastery last night, and spent today polishing it up for tech review. If you want to do a tech review, this is your chance. Send an email to mwlucas at michael w lucas dotcom, telling me that you want to review and you won’t make the manuscript public.

I need all reviews back by 5 August. This gives me time (if everything goes well) to have the book in print for vBSDCon. Assuming they accept my proposal, that is.

As a side effect of this, I’ll be closing both the print sponsorships and ebook sponsorships in the next 24 hours.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about gelato.

“Sudo Mastery 2nd Edition” cover art reveal

I’m about halfway through the new edition of Sudo Mastery. Assuming nothing terrible happens, should have a complete first draft in four to six weeks. Enough stuff has changed in sudo that I need to carefully double-check every single feature. (I’m also horrified by the painfully obsolete versions of sudo shipped in the latest versions of CentOS and Debian, but people running those operating systems are already accustomed to their creaky obsolescence.)

But the reason for this blog post? I have Eddie Sharam’s glorious cover art. My Patronizers saw it last month, so now the rest of you get a turn.

A Beastie in Need

This is weirdly shaped for a book cover, but there’s reasons.

Ebook purchasers will get the three Beasties and a Tux. (Why the unbalanced ratio? Because of the turtleneck.) Print book purchasers will get another Tux and Minix’s Rocky, on a wraparound cover. Hardcover book purchasers will get all that, plus Puffy on the inside flap. Sadly, Dragonfly doesn’t have a cartoon mascot. They’re not left out, though.

No, you would not be the first person to note that I shouldn’t be allowed to come up with my own cover art. And no, I’m not telling you what medications I’m on-that’s both personal and a trade secret.

This fantastic cover is possible mostly because of my sponsors. You still have a little time to become a print sponsor or ebook sponsor. A very little time, but time.

BSDCan 2019 Auction Items, and next Beaks novel

Last night, I finished the first draft of Terrapin Sky tango, aka Butterfly Stomp Waltz #2. At 117K words it’s my longest novel to date. It’s a first draft, so I’ll be sending this to first readers and fine-tuning it for a while before release.

In weirdly related news–Every year, I donate something to the BSDCan charity auction. This year it’s

1) a copy of the Bail Bond Denied edition of FreeBSD Mastery: Jails.

2) The mostly complete first draft of Terrapin Sky Tango, This is mostly an excuse to separate nerds from their cash for a good cause. As this is a specialty item, not of general interest to the con attendees, I’ll do this auction silently during the con. See me for the bid sheet.

"terrapin sky tango" manuscript

My draft of TST is almost 700 pages long. I printed it in slightly smaller type, with reduced spaces between lines, and got it down to under 500 pages. So I printed it double-sided, because this is mostly a novelty (or, for the person who thinks I’ll be a Collectible Big Name one day, an investment).

Please accept this totally non-faked photographic evidence that the manuscript is a real thing.

And I will see each and every one of you at BSDCan!

My Penguicon 2019 Schedule

I’ll be at Penguicon this year, doing a few talks and panels and such. It’s only fair to warn you where I’ll be.

Friday, 3 May

  • 18:00 – LN2 Ice Cream (I’ll be simultaneously presenting “Debauchery as a Service”)

Saturday, 4 May

Sunday, 5 May

I’m pretty sure that adding three more events will allow me to reach Penguicon Transcendence. I shall become omnipresent, simultaneously attending and giving every single presentation. I recommend you attend Penguicon before that ghastly, inevitable development.

Or maybe they’ll just assign me a room and put a sign on the door: “The Lucas Show! Different Lunacy Every Hour!” So long as they shove LN2 ice cream under the door every few hours, that’ll work.

FreeBSD Mastery: Jails – Bail Bond Denied Edition

I had a brilliant, hideous idea: to produce a charity edition of FreeBSD Mastery: Jails featuring the cover art I would use if I was imprisoned and did not have access to a real cover artist. (Never mind that I wouldn’t be permitted to release books while in jail: we creative sorts scoff at mere legal and cultural details.)

I originally wanted to produce my own take on the book’s cover art. My first attempt failed spectacularly.

I downgraded my expectations and tried again. And again. And again.

I’m pleased to reveal the final cover for FreeBSD Mastery: Jails–Bail Bond Edition!

This cover represents the very pinnacle of my artistic talents, and is the result of literally hours of effort.
But, as this book is available only to the winner of charity fund-raisers, purchase of this tome represents moral supremacy. I recommend flaunting it to your family, coworkers, and all those of lesser character.

Get your copy by winning the BSDCan 2019 charity auction… or any other other auction-type event I deem worthwhile.

As far as my moral fiber goes: I have learned that art is hard, and that artists are not paid enough.

And if I am ever imprisoned, I do hope that you’ll contribute to my bail fund. Otherwise, you’ll get more covers like this one.

Print Sponsor Gifts Mailed for “FreeBSD Mastery: Jails”

I just got back from mailing the sponsor gifts for FreeBSD Mastery: Jails. Every time I ship sponsor gifts, I tell myself that I really need to intern at a shipping company, because there has got to be an easier way to do this.

The pile on the right goes to international sponsors.

This time I attempted to be modern and use the USPS’ web interface to create customs forms, buy postage, and have them pick this mess up at my door. Unfortunately, the feature to let me buy postage for overseas packages was busted today. I could buy postage for their fancy mail service where you use their boxes, for twice as much. I already spend a third of the print sponsor income on fulfilling sponsorships, and I really don’t want to raise the rates for international sponsors. There’s no point in doing the easy half the order the modern way when I have to lug the difficult half to the post office anyway.

I did successfully use the online form to create customs paperwork for each international shipment, though. So that’s something.

I had several ideas for fancy sponsor gifts, but they all turned out to be prohibitively expensive. It is possible to get customized Beastie metal files, suitable for gnawing through cage bars. It’s expensive. Baking them inside little cakes is also possible, but a) makes the shipping fiendishly annoying, and the joke gets moldy quick. No matter how droll delightful such cakes would have been, though, the cake would have been actively toxic and my ethics got in the way.

So I’m afraid this time my sponsors get a mere hardcover copy of the book.

I’m considering this project closed, barring any shipping problems.

And this is where I should probably plug the sponsorships for Sudo Mastery, 2nd Edition. And my new sponsorship announcement mailing list.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to make some serious words on Terrapin Sky Tango…