Author Archives: Pat

So Many Books from DAW….

We just finished our second week of Worldbuilders, and as I type this we’ve raised $375,000. That’s an amazing amount of money that will help improve the lives of people all over the world.

But Pat!” I hear you cry. “Exactly *how* will this money make people’s lives better? For someone willing to spend eight pages describing how someone makes soap, it seems like you’re being pretty vague here….

Fair enough.

Let’s say you donate $60. That’s enough for Heifer to go into an area and provide education, support, and seedlings. That’s everything a family needs to plant some trees.

If you’re running a small farm, or even a garden, trees are more important than most people think. They provide shade for animals and prevent soil erosion. Many poverty stricken parts of the world have been deforested to a disastrous degree. And you can’t maintain a farm or pasture if the ground itself keeps washing away….

Even better? That cute little girl up there gets to supplement her diet with fresh fruit or protein-rich nuts. The nuts or fruit the family doesn’t use can be sold. Giving a family a small orchard or grove of nut trees is effectively the same as giving them a small business.

And what if you want to grow your business? You actually, literally, grow it. Using the education and tools Heifer provides, people can plant part of what they harvest, not only improving their own lives, but the lives of their friends and neighbors.

That’s what sixty bucks does, folks. It changes people’s lives. Forever.

And when you donate directly to Heifer on the Worldbuilders team page you also get the chance to win thousands upon thousands of books like the ones that DAW has sent us.

Did I mention that DAW sent us a bunch of books? They did. They very did.

* * *

DAW is one of the few publishers that has been involved in Worldbuilders from the very beginning. But this year they’ve outdone themselves…

  • Set of the first 8 books of the October Daye series. All signed by Seanan McGuire.


“Action, intrigue, and a dash of romance.” —Jim Hines

All 8 of these are signed, and they’ll get you a really good start on the series. Collectors could love it, and people looking for new books in the name of charity could love it.


“A memorable heroine, a poetically told tale of revenge, and superb worldbuilding make Twelve Kings in Sharakhai a splendid read.” –John Marco

Brad supports us on his own, but as I mentioned before, he’s part of the DAW family now, and everyone at DAW is really excited about his book. So much so that they sent us fully 20 ARCs of it to share with all of you in the lottery.


“This is a horrifying, inspiring, painful, joyous book.” —io9

I love Nnedi. She and I were winners in the same Writers of the Future contest, and I’ve always enjoyed her writing. Enough that they put my quote about her books right on the cover here.

I hope the 32 people who win this love it as much as I do.

ancient peace

“The action is solid, and the marines are an entertaining mix of oddballs.” –Locus


“NOVA grabbed me from the first chapter, and never let go. What a ride! Unforgettable, fast-paced and original, this book kept me guessing to the end” –Amie Kaufman

This is a new one, and the author is actually a fellow Wisconsinite. Over the summer my editor, Betsy, came to visit and told me all about her, so I’m happy to see that there are so many copies available in the lottery for all of you lovely people to enjoy.


“Maresca’s debut is smart, fast, and engaging fantasy crime in the mold of Brent Weeks and Harry Harrison. Just perfect.” —Kat Richardson


“Bedford mixes romance and intrigue in this promising debut, which opens the Psi-tech space opera series…. Readers who crave high adventure and tense plots will enjoy this voyage into the future.” —Publishers Weekly


“Sprawling, spellbinding…weaves together a multitude of intricate strands, building to a suitably apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil.”—Publishers Weekly

Let me tell you a story. Just a short one, I promise.

Back in the summer of 1995, I’d been writing my novel for a couple of years. And, to be completely honest, I was feeling a little hopeless. I wasn’t anywhere done with the story I was trying to tell, but my book was already *really* long. (I hadn’t yet realized it would need to be more than one novel.)

Then I read The Dragonbone Chair and it gave me hope. I knew someone out there was publishing big fantasy books. So maybe I had a chance….

Needless to say, this book has a special place in my heart.

  • And Many, Many More!


DAW moved offices recently, and in that move, a lot of the staff finally got around to reorganizing their office libraries, which led to boxes upon boxes of books getting donated to Worldbuilders on top of the already substantial traditional DAW donation.

There’s a lot of stuff here, folks. Hundreds of books making up more than 160 prizes. There are standalones, first-in-a-series, new books, old books, and everything in between. And they’re all going into the lottery.

That means anyone who donates at least $10 dollars on our page has a chance to win them. If you were to donate more, say… 60 dollars (enough for some tree seedlings) you’d have six chances to win one of the over 1,000 prizes we currently have in the lottery.

Yeah, we’re giving away a lot of stuff here, and we haven’t even reached the halfway point yet…

Here’s one more link to the donation page if you need it.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat8 Responses

The Kindness of Authors

Worldbuilders only exists today because of the kindness and generosity of my fellow sci-fi and fantasy authors.

You see, back in 2008 when I first stumbled awkwardly onto my blog and asked folks people if they’d like to donate money to Heifer International, other authors contacted me and offered to help. They donated books and spread the word in ways I never could have managed on my own.

Now, years later, the same is still true. Authors help spread the word, they help with projects and stretch goals. And they donate books.

Every single book in this blog is signed (or has a signed bookplate). There are rarities. There is fabulousness. Here you will have the chance to get your grubby little mits on books that haven’t even been released yet. To say nothing of and an assortment of cool trinkets like pens, special tea, t-shirts…

Ah, why don’t I just show you?

The first thing we have today is something we’ve never offered before:

  • Auction: Two Tickets to the Red Carpet Premiere of The Shannara Chronicles on Friday, December 4th, 2015.


Shawn Speakman and his wife had tickets to this premier originally, but they just found they wouldn’t be able to go.

Rather than return non-transferable tickets, Shawn talked to the folks at MTV and Terry Brooks, and asked them if they might be able to use the tickets to make the world a better place instead.

Much to our delight, the studio agreed to donate the tickets to Worldbuilders.

So we’re auctioning them off to the highest bidder. This includes the red carpet experience, the two-episode screening, and an after party with those who have worked to bring Shannara to the screen. You’re responsible for your own travel and accommodations, but these tickets will get you past the velvet rope and rubbing elbows with all sorts of fancy folk.

There are more details in the auction description, so head over there, read up, and bid.

  • Welcome to Night Vale. Signed by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. 4 copies in the lottery and one for auction.


I’ve loved Welcome to Night Vale for ages now. I’ve gushed at length about the book already on goodreads, and even took a trip down to Milwaukee where I interviewed them as part of their book tour. While I was down there, they signed some copies for the fundraiser.

We’re putting 4 in the lottery, where anyone who donates at least $10 can win them.

And here’s one up for auction, for someone who *really* wants a signed copy.

  • Limited edition copy of Unfettered. Signed by all participating authors. 

Unfettered special

This incredibly rare book is going into the lottery. It’s another publisher’s copy, and it’s signed by all 22 authors (myself included). It had actually slipped through the printing and binding process without my signature, so Shawn sent it back here and just told us to keep it once I signed it, which continues to show what a lovely person he is.

It’s in the lottery, where we hope it delights the person who wins it.

But there’s also one up for auction from the Grim Oak Press donations, too…

  • Copies of The Great Way Trilogy Omnibus. With bookplate signed by Harry Connolly. 3 copies in the lottery and one for auction.


“This twisty, subversive novel will win Connolly a whole new set of fans.” — Publishers Weekly

I read Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series and really dug it, which means I’m coveting this new omnibus, which is gorgeous. What’s more, this version is the Kickstarter-exclusive edition. There were only 200 printed, so we’re really lucky to have have three of them for the lottery.

There’s also one up for auction right here.

  • Set of Imperial Radch novels Signed by Ann Leckie.
  • Another set (with tea) up for auction.


“Unexpected, compelling and very cool. Ann Leckie nails it…I’ve never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed.” — John Scalzi

I’m guessing you already know about these books, as they’ve won all manner of awards. And justifiably so. I read the first one earlier this year, and the fact that I haven’t managed to get around to the other two is ample evidence of my failure as a human being.

Ann was nice enough to send us a full set of signed books for the lottery.

We’ve got another signed set up for an auction, with the added bonus of specialty tea based on the Imperial Radch series. (I would like you all to appreciate that I did *not* make a joke about this being special-tea, even though Amanda encouraged me to.)

Consider rewarding my non-punning by bidding on this auction over here.

  • A set of The Demon Cycle: The Warded ManThe Desert SpearThe Daylight WarThe Skull Throne, and companion novella Messenger’s Legacy. All signed by Peter V. Brett.


“There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way” — Terry Brooks.

Peter V. Brett is a great guy, and he always stomps out with good donations. This year is no exception, and this set is going to make someone’s day when they win it in the lottery.

  • Sets of Fool’s Assassin and Fool’s Quest. Signed by Robin Hobb.
  • Same, (plus cool dragon pens) up for auction.


Be glad all of these nifty dragon pens made it into the sets. Rachel desperately wants one of them.

All of the books are signed, and we put one of the sets into the lottery, and one into an auction over here for those of you who don’t like taking risks like this.

  • Sets of The Rig and Crystal Force. Signed by Joe Ducie. One in the lottery and one up for auction.


Captain Joe is a beloved member of the blog comments community here. He’s participated in photo contests in the past, and now he’s an acclaimed YA author.

“All the elements of a great thriller are here—sinister villains, a stoic hero with a heart of gold, even mutated sharks…A solid genre outing.” — Kirkus

He gave us a couple of sets of his books, so one set is in the lottery, and the other is up for auction right here.

  • 20 copies of Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in: Tiger Trouble! With bookplates by Grant Goodman.


Grant Goodman is a high school teacher by day, which endears him to Amanda, who taught high school until I stole her away into the glamorous life of personal assistanting and charity.

By night, Grant dons a mask and fights crime on the streets of Gotham.

No. Wait, I got that wrong, it says here that he’s donating all proceeds from sales of his book to Worldbuilders through the end of the fundraiser. AND he’s kicked in 20 copies for us to put into the lottery.

Wow. That’s actually cooler than being Batman. Thanks so much, Grant.

  • 3 copies of The Executioness. Signed by Tobias Buckell.
  • 1 copy up for auction.


“Even non-sci-fi readers will be bowled over…. Violent, poetic, and compulsively readable” — Maclean’s

This is one of the lovely Subterranean Press versions, so you know it’s beautiful. And Tobias has been awesome to us, so we’ve got 3 of his book in the lottery, and there’s one signed copy up for auction here.

  • 4 ARCs of Promise of Blood. Signed by Brian McClellan.
  • 1 signed ARC up for auction.


“This book is just plain awesome. I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast.” –Brandon Sanderson

Brian was kind enough to send some of his ARCs over, so we’ve put 4 copies of it into the lottery. For the collectors out there we put one up in an auction, too.

  • A set of Shadow Ops: with signed bookplates from Myke Cole.


“A military fantasy that combines intense personal anguish with elements of actual horror.”—

Oh Myke Cole. You’re the bee’s knees. I liked his first book enough to blurb it, and they just get better from there.

Here’s a complete set of his series, all signed. He’s also a part of the Cards Against Humanity pack we released yesterday. He’s a huge supporter of Worldbuilders, and we love the fuck out of him. (Amanda wrote that. But I’m leaving it in here because… well… it’s true.)

  • Kushiel’s Dart. Signed by Jacqueline Carey. Auction also comes with Kushiel’s Chosen (signed) and a Litographs t-shirt.


“A very sophisticated fantasy, intricately plotted and a fascinating [book].” —Robert Jordan

Jacqueline made it pretty far in her reading of Fox in Socks, which has impressed everyone here in the office. Plus, she donated signed copies of her books, and then a Litographs t-shirt based on her series.

We’re auctioning off the set with the shirt, so you can bid on that over here.

  • Twelve Kings in Sharakhai in various formats. Signed by Brad Beaulieu. One hardcover up in an auction.


Brad has been published for a while now, but this newest book was picked up and published by DAW, so he’s a part of my extended family.

He sent us a bunch of different copies of his book, including US and UK editions, plus US and UK ARCs, and audiobooks. All of that’s going into the lottery, but we pulled aside one of the US Hardcovers to auction off, as well. To bid on it, go right here. It’ll make the world a better place, and you’ll get a beautiful new signed book.

  • Copy of Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi. Signed by Kevin Hearne.


“Utterly compelling . . . [The novel] plants readers in Luke Skywalker’s boots in the early days of his heroism, during the weeks after he blew up the Death Star.”—New York Daily News

Kevin Hearne: Thriller dancer, mead drinker, and published part of the Star Wars cannon. We’ve put this into the lottery, and it could brighten your day if you make a donation or $10 or more to the team page.

  • 2 full sets of Iron Druid Chronicles, including ARCs of Staked, which comes out January 26th. All signed by Kevin Hearne. One auction of the ARC Staked.


This is a hilarious amalgamation of US and UK editions, combined to make 2 complete sets of the series. Will it be “color” or “colour” in the next  volume? Who knows!

The big deal here, though, is that all of these come with signed ARCs of Staked, the newest novel in the series, which won’t be out until January 26th. The people who win them in the lottery might not get them in time, but the person who wins it in an auction definitely will. If you want to be the person guaranteed to get a sneak peek at the latest Iron Druid book, be sure to go bid right here.

  • Auction:  The Everything Box. Includes hand-written notes. Signed by Richard Kadrey.


Have you read anything by Richard Kadrey before? if not, you need to fix that. And conveniently enough, we have a great deal here for you.

This is an ARC of Kadrey’s newest book. It comes with a bunch of his hand-written notes about the novel that he used while he was writing. And this book doesn’t come out until April 19, 2016. You’ll have it so early you could read it multiple times before it actually hits shelves.

Something like this being up for auction is not just cool, it’s amazingly unprecedented. I know you want it because I know *I* want it.

So you should head over and bid on it here.

* * *

There you go folks. Many lovely books. And for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders team page, you get a chance to win.

In other news: this afternoon, I’ll be livestreaming a reading of my Night Vale/Lake Wobegon mashup fanfic, since we blew past that $200,000 stretch goal yesterday.

We blew past a lot of stretch goals yesterday, so we’ll be scrambling to post those up in the next few days. If you want to make sure you don’t miss them, you might consider subscribing to the Worldbuilders YouTube channel, where pretty much all of our video stuff lives.

A lot of auctions are ending this weekend, including the professional read & critiques of unpublished manuscripts. You can see a listing of everything that’s currently being auctioned off over here.

Lastly, I’ll be doing a writing Q&A on Twitch on Saturday at 2pm CST for those of you who are interested, and then those auctions end on Sunday night at various times after 7pm CST.

Let’s keep making the world a better place. You know what to do.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat12 Responses

Cards Against Humanity: Fantasy Pack

It’s no secret that I’m terribly fond of Max Temkin. Not only is he fun to be around, but he’s a genuinely nice person who has pitched in to help with Worldbuilders in several different ways over the last couple years.

For example, when we did our podcast together, we weren’t originally planning on having sponsors. But when our audience turned out to be startlingly large, Max immediately suggested we take on select ads and donate all the money directly to Worldbuilders.

Hold on, it occurs to me that some of you might not realize who I’m talking about here. Max is one of the guys who created Cards Against Humanity.

If you don’t know what Cards Against Humanity is… Well, I almost want to congratulate you, because this must be your very first time on the internet. Welcome, traveler! Adventure awaits!

CAH is a hugely, crassly inappropriate game that has given me many wonderful laughs with good friends. It’s… it’s really indescribable. So I might as well just post up a link to the very NSFW edition of Tabletop where they played it. As well as this video of grandmas getting high and playing the game.

But seriously, the game has penetrated pretty much every avenue of geek culture. And even better, (he said, gliding right past many, all-too-easy jokes that could be made due to the phrasing in that last sentence) the CAH folks have elevated irreverence to an art form. Last year, Max and his team protested Black Friday by selling something they called Holliday Bullshit.


What was in the box? Actual cow poop. This is a fact that still makes me smile. Then CAH took the money they made from that and donated it to Worldbuilders so it would go to Heifer International. Which is kinda poetic, if you think about it. Circle of life and all that.

I could go on and on about the things they’ve done. One year for black friday, they raised their prices instead of having a sale. Earlier this year, they released a pack of science-themed expansion pack of cards and donated all profits to provide full-ride scholarships for women seeking STEM degrees.

Anyway, today we finally get to unveil something we’ve been working on for a while: A fantasy-themed expansion pack for CAH.

Fantasy Pack

(I have no idea what’s going on in that picture. Seriously. No. Idea.)

This pack contains 30 cards, and it’s everything you’d expect from a fantasy-themed CAH expansion. The ideas for the cards were written by a team of crack authors who have helped out Worldbuilders in the past.

And (if you haven’t already guessed) ALL the proceeds from the first two weeks of sales will go to Worldbuilders in support of Heifer International. For those of you who have been wondering about the yellow progress bar on our website that says, “Coming Soon.” Well… now you know what that is for….


Some of the authors who wrote cards are:

  • Neil Gaiman
  • Sam Sykes
  • Myke Cole
  • Jacqueline Carey
  • Kevin Hearne
  • Martha Wells
  • Sherwood Smith
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Wesley Chu
  • Laura Anne Gilman
  • Delilah Dawson
  • Me
  • And a few others who would prefer not to be named….

So there you go. I’ve seen the cards. I’ve held them in my hands and read them and they are delightfully awful. A few of them made me laugh my evilest laugh.

You can buy a pack by following this link. Hell, why not get two? Get 10! (Then you get free shipping, too.)

CAH has a running tally on their website showing how much they’ve raised for us, and we’ll be checking that regularly to update our thermometer. (But again, we’re doing it manually. Because it’s hard to automate these things, and we’d rather spend our money on helping people rather than re-programming widgets.)

So. Go forth. Make the world a better place by playing this wonderful, horrible game.

Posted in cool news, cool things, gaming, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat27 Responses

Cool Books from Del Rey & Grim Oak Press

The Worldbuilders staff always get weirdly excited when the delivery driver pulls up and says with a horrified look, “You have 15 boxes today…” The team has been known to cheer at the backbreaking work of hauling thousands of books up or down sets of stairs. They’re not entirely right in the head, but it’s okay, because they’re my kind of crazy.

Recently, Del Rey and Grim Oak Press are two of the deliveries that made the team cheer. Both have been donating for a while, and we’re glad to have them, because they both are offering some really quality stuff this year.

So today we’ve got more than 100 new items going into the lottery where anyone can win them. For every $10 bucks you donate on our page, you get another chance to win.

We’ve also got 8 new rare, signed books going up for auction, too.

Let’s get rolling.

Coolness from Del Rey

  • First Books in Cool Series: 10 copies of 10 different books


Del Rey did not hold back this year. Here we have a collection of beginnings. Excellent books that kick off their own series. (Which is really nice if you’re a read-from-the-start-no-matter-what person like I am.)

There’s more than a few of my personal favorites in there. And I know for a fact that my blurbs are on the backs of at least two of these.

The full list includes: The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F HamiltonHounded by Kevin HearneThe Warded Man by Peter V BrettThe Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan GriffithFool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb,  Emergence by John BirminghamRed Rising by Pierce Brown, The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord, and The Hammer & the Blade and (plus its sequel, A Discourse in Steel) by Paul S Kemp. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.


We’ve talked about the Iron Druid Chronicles a lot, but it bears repeating that these are great books. Del Rey sent Kevin two complete sets to sign, and he sent them on to us, so one is going into the lottery while the other one is going up for auction right here.

Lottery Items from Grim Oak Press

Shawn Speakman started Grim Oak Press a while back, and since then he’s collected a LOT of signed books from other authors. He runs preorders for them on his website, has the authors come sign books, and then ships them out. It’s a really great deal.

Its an even better deal for Worldbuidlers, because he’s held on to a bunch of them to donate this year, and we’re putting a lot of books into the lottery.


These are some serious anthologies, with a lot of heavy hitters in them. People like Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Django Wexler, Cat Rambo, and Kat Richardson, just to name a few. Unfettered in particular is pretty rare, because only 5,000 copies were printed. Unbound hasn’t even been released yet.

All three of these anthologies are in the lottery, in all of their signed glory.


This is a good example of the wide variety of authors Shawn works with. He donated seven completely different books that do a pretty good job of spanning the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, so if you win one of these from the lottery, you’re bound to find something to like.

  •  First edition copies of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Double signed by me and Nate Taylor. One in the lottery and one up for auction.


I’m sure most of you have heard about Slow Regard, but if you haven’t, it’s my newest novella, and includes really beautiful illustrations from my friend Nate Taylor.

Nate is much harder than me to get to sign things (I’ve been known to sign a lot of books that weren’t mine), so the fact that we have two copies bearing his lovely signature is pretty cool. One is going into the lottery, and the other is up for auction right over here.

Auctions from Grim Oak Press

We put a fair amount of Shawn’s stuff into the lottery, but he’s got a bunch of stuff that’s very rare, limited, or otherwise specialty, so we’ve put the rest of it up for action.

  • Auctions: First edition copy of Firefight. Numbered edition of Legion: Skin Deep. Both signed by Brandon Sanderson.


These two auctions contain some of the books Brandon Sanderson has signed for Grim Oak. And look at this familiar blurb for the Reconers series (of which Firefight is #2):

“Another win for Sanderson . . . he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.”—Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Name of the Wind

Both of these are really good books, but both of them are second in a series,  so rather than give them to someone who won’t appreciate them properly, we’re auctioning them off to people who will love them. You can bid on the signed copy of Firefight right here, and the fancy, signed and numbered edition of Legion: Skin Deep right here.

  • Auction: First edition copy of The Skull Throne. Signed by Peter V Brett.


Peter V. Brett is one of our beloved, long-time supporters. In the early years of Worldbuilders (the second year, actually), Amanda actually won a signed copy of his first book, The Warded Man, in the lottery. This was years before she worked here, and she told me it’s one of her prized possessions.

I like to think it’s because I read that exact copy and signed it too, but she neither confirms nor denies that guess.

This is the fourth book in the series, and you can grab it all for your own right over here.


These are some beautiful comic books.

The comics are scripted by Daniel Abraham, and George R.R. Martin advises the adaptation. These are all signed by both of them. Again, they’re not the beginning of the series, so we couldn’t put them into the lottery, but they’re definitely cool, and so we’ve put them up in an auction here.

Unbound special

We have a rare ARC copy of Unbound, which isn’t hasn’t even hit the shelf yet.

This features another 22 stories by great authors, and it’s no ordinary, flimsy ARC – this ARC is a hardcover, one of only 250 printed, and has the in-progress cover artwork Todd Lockwood finishes up the final.

Plus, Todd Lockwood himself has doodled a dragon inside it. Which is pretty damn epic.

You can bid on it over here.

  • Auction: Limited edition Unfettered. Signed by all authors.

Unfettered special

(Click to embiggen, and see how everyone else has a cooler signature than me.)

Limited to 500 copies. Signed by 22 of the biggest names in modern speculative fiction. Special edition cover…. honestly, I don’t know what else you could ask for here.

Unless it’s a cool slipcase to keep the book safe. But wait, it’s got that too.

This is a truly marvelous donation, a real rarity. And if it doesn’t goes for less than 500 bucks, someone’s getting a hell of a bargain. But as I type this, it’s going for a lot less than that: bid on it here.

* * *

We’re creeping up on $125,000, which is when John Scalzi, Ann Leckie, Sabaa Tahir, and I read our own 1-Star Reviews, which is sure to be hilariously painful. And at $150,000 you get to have a Worldbuilders edition of Fox in Socks. Knowing my team, there’s probably going to be a lot of bleeped-out cussing in that video.

As a matter of fact, you should really take a glance at all of the upcoming stretch goals, because some really cool people are doing some amazing stuff this year….

Cool stuff on the horizon, guys. Big news. Exciting events. And don’t forget I’ll still be streaming on twitch every day at 4:00 CST.

Thanks for being awesome, everyone…

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat5 Responses

Books, Games, Terror, and Toddlers

As I sit down to write up my traditional blog full of Rothfuss-specific items I’m putting into the fundraiser, I notice that Worldbuilders has just crested over the $100,000 mark.

This fills me with joy. Not only because it confirms that all of you are lovely, generous people. But also because it means we’ve passed two stretch goals, and have just unlocked a third, where Nika Harper will do a Tarot reading for a goat.

What were the previous two stretch goals? Well, I brought my littlest boy (codename Cutie Snoo) into Worldbuilders the other day to see the team. While we were there, I found myself wondering what would happen if I introduced him to one of the … odder people that hangs around in our basement.

Namely, Cinder.


This is a life-sized statue created from whole cloth by Ravn Cotino. He kickstarted the project, then donated the statue to Worldbuilders.

If you’ve been following the Worldbuilders blog, you know how it arrived and has been freaking everyone out several months. Including me. Because let me tell you, nothing is better than showing up at Worldbuilders at midnight, knowing I’ll be able to have the place to myself while I sign books for the Tinker’s Packs. And then, while I’m catching up on the Nightvale podcast, I wander back to get a fresh pen and see this out of the corner of my eye….

Cinder crop

So yeah. It’s only natural that when I brought my not-yet-quite two year old toddler into the office, I proposed that we expose him to this tangible nightmare as a stretch goal for charity.

This is what happened.

If you want to see the other stretch goals as we unlock them, or see what’s coming in the future, you can take a peek at them on the Worldbuilders page.

Now, on to today’s prizes.

*     *     *

First and foremost we’ll start with the items going into the prize lottery. For every 10 dollars you kick in on our donation page you have a chance to win these items and many, many others.

Lottery Items

  • Card Decks: Sets of Name of the Wind, Pairs, and Geek a Week Decks


There are 3 different Name of the Wind decks (Limited, Unlimited, and Magician’s Deck), 4 different Pairs decks (Commonwealth, Princess & Mr. Whiffle, Modegan, and Faen), and 3 different Geek-a-Week decks (Season 1, Season 5, and Season 5 Limited).

I’m putting 10 of each set in, so that’s 30 prizes into the GAMES part of the lottery.

  • A Set of Foreign Editions in the Language of Your Choice


My books have been published in 35 different languages, and I get between 5-10 “author copies” of each edition. More if the book goes into multiple printings.

Whoever wins this item will receive everything I have published in the language of their choice. Love Portuguese? You can have O Nome Do VentoO Medo Do Homem Sábio, and A Música do Silêncio. Want to give the book to your Grandma who only speaks Estonian? We’ve got you covered. We even have the rare, out of print set of the 3-volume Japanese edition of Name of the Wind.

And if you don’t want to leave it to chance, you can always buy some copies straight out of the The Tinker’s Packs, where all proceeds go to Worldbuilders.

Stuff in the Store

Speaking of the store, we have a lot of items in there you might not be aware of. And for the duration of the fundraiser, all the sales in the store count toward raising our donation totals and unlocking new stretch goals.

  • T-shirts


We have a lot of t-shirts. So many we don’t have enough staff to model them. Our Eolian hoodie, a onesie, and a scarf, all over in the Apparel section of the store.

  • Games & Collectibles


There are lots of games in The Tinker’s Packs, including some limited edition game pieces, like the Draccus monster for King of Tokyo and King of New York (it works for either game).

We also have Boss Monster and Boss Monster 2, which has limited edition Bast & Bastas heroes you can kill (again, in either game). Plus there’s cool collectible game stuff like our True Copper Dice made by Shire Post Mint.

  • Jewelry


There’s lots of jewelry too, like the Pinny Arcade Talent Pipes pin, Auri’s Brazen Gear, the official Eolian Talent Pipes, and even Denna’s Ring. There’s a lot more than that, though, so be sure to head over and peruse to your heart’s desire.

Lottery AND Auction

There’s a lot of stuff that I wanted people to have a chance at winning, even though the items are bit more limited and rare. So for everything in this section, I’m putting one item up in an auction (for folks with more money, or who want a sure thing) and one going into the lottery (So everyone who donates gets a chance.)

  • Doodled Beta copy of Princess 2. A Matching Set of Numbered Princess 1 & 2. All signed by me and Nate Taylor.


These are all really rare.

When we were working on the second princess book, Nate would send me his newest illustrations, I’d get them printed and bound, then get feedback from friends. After that was done, I had a few left over, so Nate signed and doodled them. There’s one up for auction right here, and one in the lottery.

We also have fancy numbered editions of the Princess books.  They’re both numbered editions, leather bound, with beautiful signature pages signed by both me and Nate. We have two matching sets, so one is in the lottery, and the other is in an auction here.

  • Rare books: 1st Edition Name of the Wind. ARC copy of Unfettered.


Here you have it guys. I’ve had to start buying 1st editions off of people at signings to keep Worldbuilders stocked for things like this. One first edition/first printing of NOTW is going into the lottery, and the other is in an auction. We sold three of these for $2500 last summer, so I can only imagine what this will go for.

These ARCs of Unfettered are pretty rare too. The regular print run only had 5,000 copies, and there are only 250 of these ARCs.  Here’s the link to the auction if you just can’t leave it to chance, otherwise one is in the lottery as well.


There are some things that are just too specialized to put into the lottery, so we’re auctioning these off to make sure they’re going to get into the right hands.

  •  General Geekery: Limited Edition Boss Monster cards, Master Set of  Cealdish Coins, and 300 Chip Poker Set.


The first is an auction for the Quothe Ladykiller, Bast, and Bastas Hero Cards for Boss Monster. There were only ever 200 made, and we only have this one because a fan donated it back to us.  Auction is here.

We also have a 300-piece poker set from the Albino Dragon Kickstarter a while back. This contains 60 of each color chip, all three decks, plus some extras in in a lovely wooden case. The bidding starts here.

Next up is a Master Set of my Cealdish currency, made by the folks at Shire Post Mint. This even includes version 1.2 of the iron drab, which  you can’t get any other way. We only made 94 of these, and they’ve been sold out since about 2 hours after we made them available.

To bid on this, head over here.

  • Bookish Geekery: ARC of NOTW, ARC of WMF, Edited & Critiqued NOTW Text Scarf.


It’s getting harder to find ARC copies of The Name of the Wind, but we’ve got one up for auction. It’s one of the cool rarities where they didn’t print on the dust jacket image. Instead my editor, Betsy, wrote a note on the cover explaining why people should take a risk on this unknown author named Patrick Rothfuss.

There’s also a Wise Man’s Fear ARC looking for a new home, and if there’s a space for it on your shelf you can bid on it here. These are extremely rare (only 227 copies were ever printed), and all of them were numbered so that we’d know who had leaked their copy if one sold before the actual book release.

Those of you signed up for The Tinker’s Packs newsletter probably saw one of the new items launched last month, an infinity scarf printed with text from The Name of the Wind. I took the liberty of correcting some of the purpler prose on one of the scarves, and it’s going up for auction. This one is truly one-of-a-kind, because the team took my pen away before I could correct the rest of the scarves.

* * *

So there you go, folks. A bunch of signed and rare stuff in the Lottery, new items in the store, and unique items up for auction. A little bit of something for everybody.

Don’t forget: I’m streaming on Twitch every evening from 4:00-7:00 CST. I’ll either be working on Book 3 or playing Fallout 4 depending on which option people vote for.

The auctions for professional critiques of your manuscript go through Sunday, so be sure to check those out too.

Thanks for helping out, everyone. And thanks for spreading the word…

Posted in a billion links, Acts of Whimsy, babies, Cutie Snoo, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat25 Responses

Professional Critiques of your Manuscript

Today we’re launching one of my favorite parts of Worldbuilders. It’s something that I would have killed for back when I was struggling to get published. Something that I’ve never seen offered anywhere anywhere else.

This year, we have many big-hearted authors, editors, and agents are offering up their services for the good of the charity. (I’m doing it too, though my heart is a small, bitter thing.) We’re making ourselves available to read your unpublished manuscripts and give you our professional opinions on it.

Before, we’ve always auctioned these off, because that was the best option we had available to us. But it always bugged me a little, because I know that a lot of aspiring authors don’t have 500 bucks to spend on a critique, even it’s worth twice that much in terms of professional development.

This year, we’re still auctioning off a bunch. But we’re also making some available lottery style to anyone who donates on the WriMos for Worldbuilders team page.


(Witness the high quality graphics we get when Amanda does them instead of Brett…)

That’s right. If you donate specifically via that page, not only will you be entered into the general lottery (which currently has nearly $30,000 worth of prizes, and that number will only go up), you’ll also be entered into this special, secondary lottery for a manuscript critique.

There are stretch goals for more critiques, including one from a literary agent if the page raises $1,500. So share the news with your friend who has been slaving over their book for years. Let your friends who are doing NaNoWriMo know about it.

In addition to donating, we have critiques available for auction, for those of you who don’t want to just leave it to chance. If you don’t win one of these, you can always go in and donate to the WriMos page and still have a chance.

We’ve got them separated into the 3 categories, which can slightly correlate to the stages of your manuscript as well.

A NOTE BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: We’ve made each critique expandable here, so if you’re interested in one, you can click on it to expand out more information. PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Everyone is offering something a little different. Each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skill sets, and they’re each offering something slightly different.
  • Some critiques are for 15,000 words of a manuscript, others are for 150,000 words.
  • The professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When auctions mention “X pages” of a manuscript, that’s standard manuscript format.
  • Most importantly, you’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor here. You’re not winning representation with an agent. Or a foot in the door with an editor. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting writing advice from a professional.

Enough preamble. Let’s get to the auctions.

  • Critiques from Authors


Authors tend to have a good sense for a story, since that’s what they spend a lot of their time thinking about. If your manuscript is in a pretty good place, but you’re not sure about some aspects of your story, or the pacing, or something like that, these are the people you should talk to.

Brad Beaulieu - up to 10,000 words.

ConFusion 2012 cropped

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one story or chapter critique of up to 10,000 words. Brad will draft a formal review that will cover such things as how well the story opens, complicates, and closes, how well the characterization works, dialogue, tone, pacing, tension, and a host of other issues. Essentially, he’ll provide a formal review on the positives and negatives found in the story.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of The Lays of Anuskaya, which begins with The Winds of Khalakovo, continues in The Straits of Galahesh, and concludes with The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. Brad’s new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands, has been sold to DAW Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK. The first book, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, was released in September of 2015. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. Brad is also one half of the dynamic duo who run Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans. Mailing details and contact with Bradley will be set up following the auction.

Brenda Cooper - up to 12,000 words of a SF/F short story.


Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 12,000 words. Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest collection, Cracking the Sky.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is EDGE OF DARK, which came out in March of 2015. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

Cassie Alexander - first 15,000 words.

Copy of Picture

Cassie Alexander is offering a read and critique of the first 15,000 words of someone’s novel. You’re welcome to include your query letter and synopsis on top of that word count.

She’ll be critiquing for plot, pacing, readability, character arcs, voice, how well the opening works, and give overall, general impressions of the story.  All critiques will be done in MSWord via track changes, and will be done in under a month.

Cassie Alexander is the author of the five book Edie Spence urban fantasy series, comprised of Nightshifted, Moonshifted, Shapeshifted, Deadshifted, and Bloodshifted, and has been published in Germany, France, and the Republic of Czech. She’s an experienced workshopper, having attended Viable Paradise and Clarion West, and frequently is a writing workshop professional at conventions she attends.

Jeffe Kennedy - First chapter & synopsis critique.


Jeffe Kennedy is offering a first chapter & synopsis critique, along with genre analysis – particularly apropos for anyone writing in romance/romantic elements crossover novels in SFF.

She is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under, followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website:, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

Robert Redick - up to 20,000 words.


Back in the states after two years in Indonesia, Rob is the author of The Chathrand Voyage Quartet, described by Locus as “one of the most distinctive and appealing epic fantasies of the decade.” The series began with The Red Wolf Conspiracy and concluded in February 2013 with The Night of the Swarm. He is also a seasoned international development worker and writing teacher, with an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in Asheville, NC. He loves all good storytelling but has a soft spot for the literary end of the SF/fantasy spectrum.

Rob is offering a critique of the beginning of your novel (to a maximum 20,000 words), and will also be glad to assess a pitch letter or brief summary of the same. He generally includes some line edits, but concentrates on providing no-nonsense, no-attitude feedback concerning structure, clarity, consistency, pacing and other fundamentals of narrative. Most importantly, Rob is always careful to search for your intentions and aspirations for the story, rather than imposing his own.

Michael J. Martinez - up to 25,000 words of a SF/F work.

MJM-author pic

Michael J. Martinez is the author of the DAEDALUS trilogy, the most recent of which, THE VENUSIAN GAMBIT, came out in May and earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. He’s also the author of the upcoming “spy-fi” series MAJESTIC-12, with MJ-12: INCEPTION due out next fall from Night Shade Books.

Michael will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel (or a shorter work), including both an overall opinion on the strength of the work, thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. This doesn’t include line edits, but he’s willing to answer questions and engage in a dialogue to help make your work better!

Brett Hiorns - up to 150,000 words.

Copy of Monkey Picture

Brett Hiorns will read and critique your manuscript (up to 150,000 words).

Brett has been one of Pat’s go-to beta readers since the beginning, and was even called in as an alpha reader for Wise Man’s Fear (the book really didn’t make sense at that stage). He’s currently the voice behind a lot of the Worldbuilders website content and auction descriptions, and has done webcomic work, amusing movie reviews and plenty of longer-form horror fiction. Pat keeps pestering him to publish a book or two, but apparently he’s afraid of success.

His preferred genre is horror, but he’ll tackle fantasy and science fiction, or anything that sounds interesting. He also enjoys young adult fiction for its brevity and creativity.

Brett can help you with character voice and dialogue, concise writing, and the nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation.  He’ll also analyze pacing and the consistency of world building, and he’ll do his best to poke holes in the book’s internal logic.

The critique will include reading up to 150,000 words, marking up the margins with suggestions, corrections, and random comments.  He will also type up a detailed explanation of the manuscript’s strong points and possible weaknesses, as well as clarifications and expansions of his marginal notes.

Pat Rothfuss - up to 150,000 words.

PatSigning - Color

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 150,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. Or we could do a Google+ hangout. Or, if you live close, we can get together and chat over coffee.

I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll chat for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have. Then I’ll mail you back the manuscript with my notes on it.


  • Critiques from Editors & Agents


Editors and Agents are equally good at story, but they’re also good at marketability and editing. This is the “I feel pretty confident in my manuscript, and I’d like to see if it can be taken to the next level” level.

Joshua Palmatier - up to 7,500 words of a short story.

Copy of Picture-3

Joshua Palmatier (co­editor of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR­BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY and the Zombies Need Brains anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS and TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER) will read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. He will write a general evaluation of the story and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points in the short story.

Joshua Palmatier ( has had six dark, epic fantasy novels published by DAW, most recently SHATTERING THE LEY, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co­edited four anthologies with Patricia Bray, including TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (, which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

 Joshua has requested that you send him your manuscript no later than July 1, 2016.

David Pomerico - first 50 double-spaced pages.


David Pomerico is an Executive Editor at Harper Voyager, where he acquires and edits fantasy, science fiction, and horror while also overseeing the day-to-day direction of the imprint. Before joining Voyager, he was at Bantam Spectra, Del Rey, and 47North, working with a diverse group of authors and projects. His focus, editorially, is to help authors hone and polish their stories so that something he’s already committed himself to can reach the widest popular audience. He believes editing is a process of collaboration, and ultimately wants to work with authors who are looking not simply for a publisher, but a publishing partner.

You can probably Google him if you want to find out a bit more about him.

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary (but not a line edit) for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (double­spaced, please—and no margin shenanigans!), which he will get back to you within three months of receiving the manuscript. Although it doesn’t need to be science fiction, fantasy, or horror (he reads pretty much all genres), those are his areas of expertise. And while he could possibly be blown away and want to make an offer on your book, this isn’t guaranteed (otherwise this might be a really pricey auction!).

Mike Braff - Approximately first 50 pages (rounded up to end of the chapter).

Copy of Picture-4

Mike Braff is an editor at Del Rey Books and has been part of the editorial team there for the past six years. He is in charge of the merciless slaying of enemies by battleaxe, the boarding and capturing of space craft in zero-g, and the management of a sect of magic users that secretly runs the paranormal underground in New York City. Not true, sadly, but he does love to read and acquire books about these things and other related sci-fi, fantasy, and urban fantasy topics.

Though he’s from New York originally, Mike once went to Canada for a few years to study Comparative Religion and World History at McGill University (BA ’07). Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) the course of study proved useful when acquiring and editing fantastic stories for Del Rey, where Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Pierce Brown, Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, Alan Smale, and newcomer Indra Das, among many other talented authors. He lives in Brooklyn with a rescued pit bull named Ruby, adorable pictures of whom will be provided in abundance upon request.

 He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (rounded up to the end of the last chapter). This is not a line edit, but Mike will get back to you within 90 days of receiving your manuscript with an editorial letter detailing his thoughts and suggestions.

 Jaime Lee Moyer - first 75 pages.

Copy of Picture-5

Jaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet and editor. Jaime is the author of Delia’s Shadow (Tor, September 2013),  A Barricade In Hell (Tor, June 2014) and Against A Brightening Sky (October 2015). Delia’s Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction, administered by Thurber House and funded by the Columbus Art Council, and is nominated for the Salt Lake County Libraries Reader’s Choice Award. She doesn’t take herself nearly as seriously as those credits imply. Jaime’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Lone Star Stories, and two of the well-respected Triangulations anthologies. She was the editor of the 2010 Rhysling Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and a poetry and short fiction editor for a semi-pro zine for five years. Jaime is the current editor for the Online Writing Workshop For Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror monthly newsletter. For a short period of time she read slush for a literary agent, and has critiqued more novels and short stories than she wants to count.

Jaime Lee Moyer is offering a read and critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel. While she won’t line edit for grammar, she will comment on plot, pacing, character arc, voice, how well the “hook” or opening works, how well the story sustains her interest, and give overall, general impressions of the story. Critique will be done in MSWord via track changes, but please use a readable font and double-space your work. The critique will be returned to you within three months, edit letters and deadlines allowing.

Matt Bialer - up to 20,000 words.

Copy of Copy of Matt-Bialer

Matt Bialer (literary agent) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within three months of submission, not including the last few weeks of December. He will read and critique, and help the author think about the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses.

He will write a general evaluation of the book, both strengths and weaknesses, but line editing is NOT included. If the book is fantastic or has the potential to be fantastic then offering representation is not out of the question — but representation is not a guarantee.


  • A Manuscript Copy Edit

new avi

This is something completely new this year. A copy edit is a really big deal, and honestly something that most people don’t think about. Most authors don’t get this chance until their book has already sold, but it makes a huge difference in the readability of a manuscript.

Richard Shealy - Either a novel-length copyedit, or short novel & pitch copyedit.

Richard Shealy has been a reader of SF/F as long as he can remember, and he finally figured out he might make a living from that by combining it with his horrifyingly enormous word-nerdery. In his still relatively new career (he started in this racket less than three years ago), he already has had the enormous pleasure and honor to work with a number of authors and editors from across multiple spectra, not to mention becoming completely certain that he has found his dream job (seriously, people pay you to nitpick their babies?). He tweets occasionally via @SFFCopyediting but far more prolifically in the guise of his alter ego,@SheckyX. Caveat: Taking anything seriously from the alter ego is a massive waste of time.

Richard is offering a copyedit of novel-length manuscript (or short story and its pitch). Includes typo correction, continuity observation, voice/character consistency, context-appropriate grammar adjustment, fact-checking where needed. For a list of works he has copyedited, visit and scroll down until you see the wall of cover images!

There you have it folks. You can bid on one of the 15 auctions we have going, or you can contribute to the WriMos for Worldbuilders page to be entered into the second lottery for other critiques.

Good luck…


Posted in the business of writing, the craft of writing, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat12 Responses

A Beautiful Game

This probably won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but I’m a geek for video games. Computer games in particular.

What you might not know is how deep my roots go: I’ve been playing computer games for 33 years. Since 1982. Since I was nine years old.

To give you a frame of reference, the first game I played was entirely text. Which is a good thing, because the computer I played it on didn’t have a hard drive. I learned to type playing those early Infocom games, and played some of them for *years* before finally solving them.


Long before I ever tried to write a book, I tried to write a computer game. It had puzzles and monsters, and I wrote it in the only programming language I knew: basic. By the time I gave up on the project, the printout of the program was over 32 feet long.

Later on I played King’s Quest, Populous, Alone in the Dark…. But eventually I found Fallout and Fallout 2. They became the  yardstick I use as an example of how good a game can be.

There have been a lot of games I’ve wanted to play these past two years. Bioshock Infinite. Witcher 3. Dragon Age. Borderlands…. So many games I wanted to try. But I didn’t play any of them. I had writing to do, and Worldbuilders to oversee, and a new baby. Contracts to read. Foreign translations to assist with. I had to give up something, so I gave up the games.

This is to give you some context so you can realize how big a deal it was when I heard Fallout 4 was being released. I marked it on my calendar. I watched the trailers. I had someone build me a new computer so I could play it, because my current compy is about 8 years old….

Then I realized Fallout was coming out on November 10th. The same day I was scheduled to drive down to Milwaukee and interview Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Craynor as part of their Welcome to Night Vale book tour.

Even worse, Worldbuilder’s was starting its Big Yearly Fundraiser on November 9th. It happens every year around this time: My team and I rally the geek community to raise money for Heifer International. It’s a lot of fun, and aver the last several years, we’ve raised more than $3,500,000 dollars.

But it’s a lot of work. Every day we post up blogs full of books and games that we give away lottery-style to donors. Thousands of books and games supplied by publishers and authors. We launch dozens of auctions. We shoot video, post stretch goals, do AMA’s. And offer up new items in our online store.

In short, Fallout was dropping at the most insanely busy time of my year.

*     *     *

There’s another part of my life I’m guessing many of you already know about. But for those of you who don’t follow me much on social media…


(I wish it had been hard for me to find this example, but it wasn’t.)

It happens anywhere I have an online presence.


That’s a comment on a review I wrote on Goodreads. I’d shared a story about reading to my boys.

Tweet bitching

The moral of the story is that there are a lot of people who are really interested in reading book 3. And while I appreciate their sentiment, the way they express this desire… well… It’s exhausting at best.

Now this isn’t the only thing that happens to me online. Far from it. A lot of folks are amazingly kind and graceful.

Many of them step up to defend me from the abuse I’ve shown above:

Book Three - Shut the fuck up

So here’s some truths I think are fairly self-evident.

  • I want to play Fallout 4. And I deserve to play a game every once in a while.
  • I understand a lot of you are impatient for book three. (So am I, honestly.)
  • We *are* in the middle of the Worldbuilders fundraiser.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have some fun with this. I have a supervillain-esque delight in certain types of gambling. So I’m going to put precious gaming time on the line for the good of the fundraiser.

As of now, anyone who donates to Worldbuilders gets to vote on what I do with this precious time I’ve set aside for gaming.

Behold: The Pat-o-Meter.

If you’re frothing at the mouth for book 3, this is your chance. In this limited time offer, I’m willing to let you have a say in how I spend my personal time if you’re willing to help us make the world a better place.

When you donate, you’ll see this option:


(Pick whatever one your heart desires. Seriously.)

Every day at 4:00 CST, we’ll tally the donations. And if people have ponied up and demanded I write more of book 3, I’ll give up my gaming time and put in another three hours above and beyond my normal writing time for the day.

What’s more, I’ll stream my writing session on Twitch.

If the will of the people is that I play Fallout 4, I’ll do a live stream of that instead. Since I haven’t gamed in a while, I expect the result will either be the live stream equivalent of riding a unicorn made entirely of orgasms. Or, if my mad skillz have atrophied, it might be an embarrassing train wreck as I’m endlessly killed by rats in the basement of whatever inn we start the adventure in.

Either way, I will have my snark turned up to eleven, so it’s bound to be a good time.

As an extra bonus, every day the Worldbuilders team will pull a random winner out of that day’s donors. (We’ll work it the same way we do the main lottery, where every 10 bucks you contribute gives you a chance to win the cool thing.) So even if your team doesn’t win, you have a chance to get something cool. These items will be specific to my books, and they’ll mostly be stuff you can’t buy in the store because I’ve only hoarded a few of them.


(Your donation will still enter you into the main prize lottery, too.)

You’ll be able to watch the live stream on my newly forged Twitch channel: I’ll start at 4:00 pm CST every night. If you don’t want to constantly be peeking at the widget, you can follow @FalloutVsBook3 on Twitter to see which side is currently winning….

We’re starting today (Thursday) and we’ll do this for two weeks. If folks enjoy it, maybe we’ll extend it all the way through the end of the fundraiser….

I’m going to be honest with you. I only had this idea a couple days ago, and until today, I wasn’t sure if we were actually going to be able to pull it off. As a result, we’re kinda making this up as we go along. (As you can see, above, we haven’t figured out a way to automate the widget, so the Worldbuilders team is having to update it manually.)

Because of this, we might tweak a few details as we move forward. Fair warning.

But no matter which team wins, I win. Either I get to play the game I love, or I get closer to moving book three off my back. This will be an interesting social experiment, I’m genuinely curious as to what will happen.

And no matter what, it will be a beautiful game.


P.S. If you don’t know anything about Worldbuilders. Here’s a link to the blog where I explain everything in some detail. Here’s a link to the auctions we’re currently running.

And here’s a link to the page where you can donate and case your vote.

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Beautiful Games, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat235 Responses
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