Kathe Koja's The Cipher, brilliant horror novel, back as an ebook

I've mentioned Kathe Koja's fantastic, erotic, terrifying debut novel The Cipher before, and celebrated her recent return to horror after a long stint of writing amazing YA novels.

Now I'm delighted to report that The Cipher is back in print as a $3.99 DRM-free ebook, thanks to the good folks at Roadswell, a new ebook imprint.

The Cipher


  1. I exclusively read unencrypted epub books on my Android device with Aldiko (a good reader for such things). Is it possible for me to buy this book, download it to my computer and put it on my phone like I do with everything else I buy (say, from fine stores like Weightless Books and formerly Fictionwise)?

    I know Amazon is a disaster with this (even without encryption, still forced to use Kindle software). But how about B&N?

    I’m a bit disappointed that everyone focuses on encrypted/not-encrypted. These companies get cred for not encrypting while they shift their anti-customer lock-in into the website/reader-software stack. This is iTunes all over again.

    1. Exactly. I’m not that bothered about DRM/no DRM. As (I believe) Cory has noted before, DRM on books isn’t half as obnoxious as it was for music (back in the day). It’s not much use having a DRM-free book if it’s only available in Kindle or Nook versions.

      1.  I followed the advice from Wired magazine’s excellent article on how to use Calibre to strip any DRM (using a plug-in) and then convert the mobi formatted books that I buy quite happily from Amazon, into epub format to read on my Sony Reader. It works quite smoothly, it’s a little clunky having ti rely on a laptop to do all of the funky conversions, but I always stockpile books on my e-reader anyway, so I’m not bothered about not having “instant” access to epub formatted files on the device.
        If sony sorted out their store front, I might use that instead of Amazon, but for now I’m happy enough to tinker.

        1. It has nothing to do with the DRM. It has to do with Amazon and (AIUI) B&N both making it difficult for me to get their books. I don’t use Windows or Mac and I *never* will. So I’m left with the option of installing their spyware on my mobile device. How does this sound like being customer-friendly to anyone?

          1. You don’t have to use Windows or Mac, I remove DRM on my Kindle-books using a plugin for Calibre under Fedora Linux. 

            Have book transferred over Whispernet – connect to PC using the USB-cable – sync Calibre – remove DRM, done!

  2. Great book! I’ve hung on to my paperback for 20 or so years and reread it thrice. A really nihilistic story that gets in your head and festers, with a couple of deliciously abhorrent characters. Leagues apart from the King and Koontz fare that bookended it on the physical shelves; Cronenberg and Barker fans will be pleased.

  3. Wonderful book. The friend who lent it to me demanded some pretty high collateral as she was panicked that she’d never find another copy. Wouldn’t mind giving it a reread.

  4. Sounds a bit like Lethem’s ‘As She Climbed Across The Table’, another story about people’s obsession with inexplicable holes that spit out bizarre responses to any object inserted within. Is this a thing?

  5. Sounds like a great book! So I first sign up for Barnes&Noble to buy it, enter my credit card number, then I get “Billing address must be in the United States”. Right, no DRM, but still they seem very adept in making it hard to buy. Amazon insists on “delivering” it to a Kindle. Thanks but no thanks… I simply want to read it on my Android tablet. Why does it have to be so darn difficult.

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