I was most delighted to find my little Reaching Escape Velocity book mentioned in the pages of my favorite magazine — creative makers were exactly the readers I had in mind when writing it. The book covers the art of working with sponsors, volunteers, and media in order to launch audacious gonzo engineering projects… and is basically a distillation of the meta-hacks that made my BEHEMOTH and Microship projects possible. It may be a short review, but it’s by Gareth Branwyn… author of Borg Like Me… as well as the wonderful Tips and Tales from the Workshop: A Handy Reference for Makers… so I couldn’t be more delighted!

DIY on Demand

by Gareth Branwyn, Make: Volume 21

When I first got involved in hardware hacking, in the late 1980s, a lot of what I learned came from a series of hardware “cookbooks” self-published by a guy named Don Lancaster. He desktop-printed and bound the books himself. It seemed like on-demand publishing was finally here. It wasn’t (for most of us), but it is now, with services like Lulu and CreateSpace. Recently I received four new self-published books in a single week, exploring different areas of making. Amazingly, they’re some of the best books to have crossed my desk in a while. —Gareth Branwyn

Gonzo Wisdom
Reaching Escape Velocity
by Steven K. Roberts

Steve Roberts was also an early hardware hacking pioneer, writing his first self-published book, Computing Across America (in the late ’80s) literally from the seat of his tricked-out, gadget-laden, internet-connected bike. This new, deceptively slim volume contains 25 years of Roberts’ trade secrets on how to capitalize, publicize, and find support for your own “gonzo engineering” projects. It’s meta-hack project wisdom from the original high-tech nomad (see MAKE, Volume 06, page 28, “Tech-nomading from Shore to Ship”).


Reaching Escape Velocity is available as an eBook, or, more traditionally, I would be delighted to autograph a paper copy and ship it to you.

It’s also available from Amazon as a Kindle edition, if you prefer, or as a hardcopy from Amazon.