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Cyberculture pioneer Gareth Branwyn (Boing Boing, Mondo 2000, Wired, MAKE) presents a compelling collection of his work.
Cyberculture pioneer Gareth Branwyn (Boing Boing, Mondo 2000, Wired, MAKE) presents a compelling collection of his work.
476 backers pledged $20,776 to help bring this project to life.

Happy New Year!

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I couldn't let 2014 slip away without thanking all of my backers (and Sparks of Fire Press customers) one more time for a phenomenal year. Crowdfunding the book in 2013, writing and designing it over '13-'14, and then releasing it in 2014 and spending the rest of the year promoting and "touring" on it -- this entire process has been one of the most artistically gratifying experiences of my life. I'm really pleased with the book I and my edit and design team created. It's the book I've longed to do for years. The process was intensely gratifying (and equally challenging), the product exceeded my desires, and the feedback I've gotten has overall been extremely positive.

And all of that wouldn't have been possible without YOU. So, endless thanks and inebriated "I love you, man!" New Year's Eve bear hugs for that.

Some Highlights from 2014:

This year was a whirlwind. I had so many great experiences in the process of getting out there and talking about the book. Here are just a few of my faves.

Jon Lebkowsky moderates an unruly panel with Chris Brown, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and me.
Jon Lebkowsky moderates an unruly panel with Chris Brown, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and me.

* The EFF "Cyberpunk Retrofest" book reading, panel discussion, retro-computer lab (running Beyond Cyberpunk!) and awesome afterparty at SXSW, March 8.

Andrea Pollan of Curator's Office introduces my first post-release reading
Andrea Pollan of Curator's Office introduces my first post-release reading

* My favorite reading of the year was at Andrea Pollan's Curator's Office, May 15th. Really wonderful, engaged audience. They laughed at all my jokes. I loved them.

#areyouborglikeme
#areyouborglikeme

* The book finally got released in July, and as it began to circulate, the "borgie" emerged, photos of KS backers and purchasers posing with the book and tagging the question: #areyouborglikeme.

A tiny treehouse post office in the Berkeley Hills
A tiny treehouse post office in the Berkeley Hills

* The borgies were cool, but probably my favorite unforeseen development around the book was the Fairy Post Office in Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA. Artist Lea Redmond create a diorama photo illustration for Borg Like Me, a tiny post office in a tree hole in the park. She left it up when she was done with the shoot and it's now taken on a life of its own, becoming an actual post office were hikers leave tiny letters to each other and to fairies and the creatures of the forest. This makes me absurdly happy.

* I was thrilled that Maker Faire invited me to hang out in the Author's Tent at Maker Faire NY, Sept, and to do two Borg Like Me readings there.

Reading from Borg Like me at The Long Now
Reading from Borg Like me at The Long Now

* I was extremely honored to be invited to speak at the wonderful Long Now Foundation in SF on Oct 19th.

* My appearance on Leo Laporte's "Triangulation" program was my favorite media appearance of the year. [http://youtu.be/QjT1NDV-x90]

Spinning the Borg Like Me Story Wheel at FabLab DC
Spinning the Borg Like Me Story Wheel at FabLab DC

* I did my first reading from Borg Like Me at FabLab DC, in August of 2013, when I was still in the middle of my KS campaign and still writing the book. So it seemed fitting that my last reading of the year was also at FabLab, on Dec 18. To switch things up, I did an evening of storytelling rather than reading. I even made a Story Wheel that the audience could spin to select the stories I told. It was a really fun night.

* The perfect way to end the year was to get the latest issue of MAKE magazine and to find this awesome review of Borg Like Me from one of my maker heroes, Tom Igoe (Arduino microcontroller co-creator, physical computing guru, and beloved ITP arts/technology professor).

Making Good

Every time I post one of these newsletters, I hear from someone who didn't get their book, their backer rewards, or whatever. Most everyone has been very patient and kind about it, which I greatly appreciate, and it's thankfully only been a few people. If you still have an unresolved issue, please message me. I'm not trying to rip anyone off, want to make good on all transactions, and want to make sure everyone feels good about having backed this project.

What's in Store for 2015

I'll do some more book readings next year, but mainly I'll be moving on to other projects. I'm currently working on "The Eros Part: Further Writings on Love, Sex, and Muses," the third volume in the Borg Like Me chapbook series. This was a reward for a KS backer level and so is my top priority. Realistically, it may not be out until Spring, but I think it'll be worth the wait. I'm also working on "Sucks-Less, Too," the follow-up to "Gareth's Tips on Sucks-Less Writing."

I might also be launching a casual, periodic podcast, called Café Gaga, that will cover what's going on at Sparks of Fire Press, weird and wonderful things that are crossing my transom, some conversations with interesting friends doing interesting things, etc. I also have at least one Sparks of Fire collaborative art project I'm planning. And those are just what's swirling around SoFP and Borg Like Me. I have several other projects in the pipeline I'm pretty excited about and will tell you more about them as soon as I can.

I hope you have a fabulous New Year's Eve and a productive and inspired 2015.

Don't forget to visit Sparks of Fire Press for my books, chapbooks, rubber stamps, and other goodies. See you in the new year!

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