UNBORED — the website
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Kudos

Announcing Unbored.net!

HiLobrow readers may have already heard that I’ve got a book for kids coming out this fall: UNBORED: THE ESSENTIAL FIELD GUIDE TO SERIOUS FUN. Elizabeth Foy Larsen and I co-authored/edited the book; Tony Leone is art director and designer.

In Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel The Diamond Age, an 8-year-old girl gets her hands on the Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, an interactive tome which challenges its reader to try new experiences, exercise her imagination, and think for herself. As a result, the girl’s childhood is anything but tedious, and she grows up to be a bold, omnicompetent woman who changes the world for the better. From its earliest stage, UNBORED was conceived of as a real-life version of that book.

With contributions from HiLobrow regulars Joe Alterio (who, with Matt Glaser of Squonk Studio, built Unbored.net), Deb Chachra, Matthew De Abaitua, and Tom Nealon, plus friends like Mark Frauenfelder, Flourish Klink, Anindita Basu Sempere, Geoff Manaugh, Bre Pettis and Kio Stark, John Edgar Park, Jean Railla, Douglas Rushkoff, and Jessamyn West, among many others, UNBORED provides information on everything from using the library to the history of videogames to the best grownup-free adventure fiction. Most of its 350 full-color pages, however, are dedicated to activities — the best of the old (crafts, bicycle repair, science experiments), and the new (geocaching, yarn bombing, LED “graffiti”).

UNBORED comes out on October 16 from Bloomsbury; it is available everywhere. Advance reviews have been great; Publisher’s Weekly, for example, wrote: ““This year’s hottest activity book for kids may well be UNBORED.”

This post, however, is intended to direct your attention to Unbored.net — a fledgling website that will feature not only behind-the-scenes peeks at the UNBORED project but best-of lists and how-tos, as well as various kinds of inspiration to young makers, hackers, craftsters, and DIYers — and their grownups. Check it out!

BTW, UNBORED also has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed (@UnboredGuide), and a Pinterest account.

Categories: Kudos - Tags: ,


Joshua Glenn is an author, publisher, and semiotic analyst. He is co-author (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) of THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, co-editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and co-author (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) of the family activities guide UNBORED and three forthcoming spinoffs, including UNBORED Games. He is editor of HILOBROW and publisher of the Radium Age science fiction imprint HiLoBooks. Also: Glenn manages a secretive online community known as the Hermenautic Circle; he is founding editor of the e-book club Save the Adventure; and he's a frequent co-host of Boing Boing's podcast GWEEK. In the ’00s, Glenn was an editor, columnist, and blogger for the Boston Globe's IDEAS section, he co-founded the international semiotics website SEMIONAUT, and contributed to CABINET, SLATE, and elsewhere. In the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT, worked as a dotcom and magazine editor, and contributed to THE BAFFLER, FEED, and elsewhere. His publishing company is King Mixer, LLC; and his semiotic analysis consultancy is Semiovox LLC. He lives in Boston with his wife and children.