Sparks of Fire Press Blog page 2

New Pricing Announced


Now that all of the digital versions of Borg Like Me are available, and as we go into the fall bookselling season, we wanted to re-think the pricing on the products we’re offering. We’ll be announcing some special bundles and holiday goodies, but in the meantime, we’ve decided to offer the print book with the autographed bookplate, for $30. This has previously been a $40 purchase. Originally we’d said that postage would be extra, but we’ve decided to keep the price at $30, postpaid. The book sells for $26 on Amazon (and it’s $4 for shipping), so this makes it competitive to order direct from Sparks of Fire, and you get the autographed bookplate. You also get a Sparks of Fire mailer covered in my custom Sparks of Fire Press rubber stamps.

The Sparks of Fire Press bookplate, designed by Blake Maloof and gorgeously letterpress printed by our pals at Zeichen Press.

The Sparks of Fire Press bookplate, designed by Blake Maloof and gorgeously letterpress printed by our pals at Zeichen Press.

For the ebook versions, we’ve also decided to lower the price, from the KS reward level of $15 to $10. This is to keep us price-competitive with Amazon/Kindle.

Order your print and ebook copies here.

All Formats Now Available!


We are thrilled to announce that Borg Like Me is now available in four formats. After much teeth gnashing and hair pulling (no, not mine), we now have all three of the promised electronic book formats available to add to the print edition. You can now order the book in PDF, MOBI (for Kindle), and EPUB (for iBook and Nook) formats. One benefit of the digital versions is that all of the art that was submitted to us in color is retained in color (the print book has an all B&W interior).

We have also decided to drop the price of the digital editions to $10. Kindle Publishing Direct tells us that this is something of a sweet spot for an ebook of this type. We hope so.

You can order your digital copy here.

Sparks of Fire Press Bookplate Being Letterpress Printed

Just got this video of my new Sparks of Fire Press bookplate being printed by the wonderful Fran and Jen of Zeichen Press. Can’t wait to see the plates in person!

These plates, inscribed by me, were offered as a premium for the Kickstarter campaign for my book, Borg Like Me. You can still get the book and plate, here on Sparks of Fire, and get free shipping and a free copy of the ebook version ($15 value).

Borg Like Me is HERE!

photo 2

400 copies of Borg Like Me arrived on my doorstep this week! These are the Kickstarter reward copies and copies for the media. The book is now also available from my site here and via Amazon. For the rest of the summer, when you order from Sparks of Fire, you’ll get free shipping and a free digital version (normally $15). See the order page for more info.

Here are some peeks inside the book:

photo 1 copy

photo 3-1

photo 4

Borg Like Me to Printers! Early Reader Reviews!



Borg Like Me is off to the printers! The early reader-review are starting to come in and they’re amazing so far. Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read the galley copy and comment.

As soon as the book is in-hand, the pre-order pricing (with free shipping and free ebook version) will end. Get it cheaper while you can.

Here are a few review snippets:

“It’s a big ol’ silky smooth slice of brain pie with emotive crumbles. An honest treasure. Jump on it!!”

“It’s a neat trick you’ve pulled off. A book with a title that references becoming machine, but yet is bursting with such humanity. Also a clear example of “show, don’t tell” writing.

“[Your] book, entertaining as it is, represents an important infusion of authentic spirit into conversations around technology and culture. A reclamation of our essential humanity.. Also, a great time capsule of the Weird Wide Web and its antecedent impulses.

“This book is a song of hope.”

“You have, with Borg Like Me, firmly installed yourself alongside the many wondrous and life-affirming icons that pass through my life. It is a place you rightfully deserve. The writing is whimsical, informative and sincere… But, what bubbles up through it all is your boundless love of living and your radiant, inquisitive mind. You are an authentic human being, the kind that inspires people like me to take heart and leap into the void.”

“I’M DYING, THIS IS SO GOOD! I’ve enjoyed every story I’ve read (I only have a few to go). This is something I will be sharing with a lot of friends. You overachieving ass. I love you!”

“…Borg Like Me felt deeply personal, and I was humbled to be with you as you travelled through these pocketed excerpts of your formative experiences. I’ve loved every word so far.”

Order your copy of Borg Like Me and the first two volumes in the Borg Like Me chapbook series here.

Teaser Table of Contents

Here is a taste of what will be included in the book:

  • Chapter Zero: The Launch Party – The story about the night before I left my home town and began to live my life in earnest
  • The Lemon Song – In which I discover the magical shape of a woman’s thighs and the true mean of rock n’ roll
  • Operation Mindfuck – How Robert Anton Wilson discovered me and what he did to me when he found me
  • By This River – I meet the woman of my dreams, by a river of music, in a universe next door
  • Radio Days of Cyberspace – The night I leaked out into cyberspace and caught a glimpse of our future there
  • Journey to Kooktopia – Mark Frauenfelder and I survey far-out realms in the land of the tinfoil hats
  • The Sandwich Mailed ‘Round the World – I chain-letter mail a foam rubber B.L.T. (long story) to artists around the world and it comes back one year later, stuffed with awesome
  • This Shit Doesn’t Stink, It Exceeds the Odor Threshold – A playful look at double-speak
  • Captain, Please, Not in Front of the Klingons – In which I take an unashamed peek (OK, maybe a little blushing) at erotic sci-fi fan fiction
  • In the Laboratory of Language – My 12 years as the Jargon Watch editor of Wired
  • Mein Fuhrer, I Can Walk! – Confined to a wheel chair, I go to a costume party as Dr. Strangelove and am miraculously healed by music and dance
  • Tears in the Rain – The night I saw Blade Runner and molted into someone else on the way home
  • The Post-Industrial Manifesto – After a night of dark dervish dancing at a gothic-industrial club, I pen a breathless manifesto for techno-culture
  • The Internet is Punk Rock! – The “While You Were Out” message you never expect: “Billy Idol called. He wants to use something you wrote as lyrics on his next record.”
  • Borg Like Me – My hip dies. I need a new one. Cobalt-chrome, titanium, irradiated cross-liked polymers, and a badass surgeon with a bone saw to the rescue!
  • MAKE vs. The Blob – I experience my first Maker Faire and have an epiphany about the importance of what the maker movement may mean to cultural change
  • A VCR Was Harmed in the Making of this Article – In a fit of frustration, I go Medieval on the family VCR and it ends up on the cover of MAKE
  • Seek Ye the Hilaritas! – On the Roman virtue of being “profoundly good natured”
  • The White Goddess – My ode to the the poetic stillness of profound beauty
  • Bread of the Snowpocalypse – I get seriously snowed in, and using disturbingly old, stale ingredients, bake the most satisfying bread of my life
  • William Blake, Zine Publisher – A look at William Blake as a “patron saint of makers”
  • Darkside Rocketeer – A profile of self-taught chemist, aerospace engineer, and father of American rocketry, Jack Parsons
  • Mechanical Animism – Exploring found object art, “post-industrial surrealism,” and the leaky margins between the born and the made
  • Down the Rabbit Hole with the World’s Smallest Postal Service – What happens when I get Lilliputian mail and reminisce about the time I found a magical rabbit hole inside a tree in my yard (and I hadn’t ingested anything funny)
  • Building Spaceships Out of Fives and Sixes – In doing research for a novel, I rediscover a ritual from my pagan youth and use it to escape the terror of pending open heart surgery
  • Boating the Abyss – After getting a bad blood transfusion, I go certifiably bonkers for a week and think I’m living inside of a Philip K. Dick novel. It’s a long road out of Hell, but I return, learning a lot about myself (and perhaps something about the nature of reality and madness) in the process.
  • You’re ON! – How a touching reminiscence about my late wife with members of Thievery Corporation almost makes them miss their big encore

We Did It! Thanks to All My Backers



What a TRIP! Thanks to all my Borgie pals for making this happen. Final total $20,776. DECENT! I can work with that.

Really touched by all of your generous pledges, your help in getting the word out, and all of the general good vibes I’ve enjoyed over the past 30 days. It means a lot.

I’ll be continuing to update you all from time to time here and will also have my Sparks of Fire Press site up soon. In the meantime, I’ll be here on my blog, and on twitter @garethb2. And hopefully next week, I’ll send out the survey where we’ll be settling up on the extra pledge rewards you may have kicked in for.

Credit Card Processing

The credit card message you’ll get from Amazon has “Kevin Maloof” as the recipient. That’s ME! That’s my *real* name. Shhhh… Only my mother, the IRS, and now YOU know my secret identity. Please don’t let Lex Luthor know.

Love and hydraulic fluid to you all,


Life on the Fringes of Cyberculture: An Interview with Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn, by Scott BealePhoto: Scott Beale

Vice Magazine’s Motherboard did an interview with me last week. You can read it in full here.

Motherboard: You’ve described yourself as “Cyborg-in-Chief” in the past, and your new book is called Borg Like Me. Why the cyborg label?

Branwyn: I am literally a cyborg. I have a cobalt-chrome and titanium hip, a rebuilt heart, and every six weeks, I go to a Rheumatologist’s office and I sit there for three hours while they slowly drip tweaked mice proteins into me—a biological that’s used to treat a severe form of spinal arthritis.

But I think we’re all actually cyborgs at this point. We wear glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, take all sorts of sophisticated drugs (and in my case, bioengineered proteins) to adjust our biochemistry, we carry a brain annex around, forgotten in our pockets, and we spend many hours of every day soft-wired into the global brain and media spew of the internet.

An Interview with Gareth Branwyn