Author Archives: Pat

Puppets, Wild Things, Pumpkin Spice, and Viking Llamas…

First, I would just like to say that this blog has the best title I’ve ever written. Possibly the best title *anyone* has ever written. Ever.

As I type this, Worldbuilders has raised $250,000 dollars and we’re not yet at the end of our second week. That’s pretty amazing no matter how you look at it.

Today I’m going to post up all the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far in case you’ve missed a few.

But first, allow me to answer a few questions y’all have been asking:

As y’all know, when we hit 600,000, Neil will read something for us. Everyone who donates to Heifer International on our team page gets to vote. Here’s where the total stands right now. Fox in Socks is still in the running, though it’s a bit of a dark horse….

#NeilReads 11-19

My stretch goal is looking like a bit more of a foregone conclusion:

Animal Kiss 11.22am take 2

I will admit, when I proposed my stretch goal, I put Llama on the list without doing much research other than to make sure there were some living in Central Wisconsin. Since then I’ve discovered that a llama and an alpaca are, in fact, two very different animals. Alpaca are kinda like a cross between a sheep, a kitten, and a giraffe. By which I mean they’re furry, friendly, and they have long necks.

Llamas, on the other hand, are apparently like a cross between a sheep, a camel, and Viking berserker. By which I mean they’re furry, they hate you, and they will fucking destroy all things that oppose them. A lot of farms use them as guard animals, because other predators like coyotes are terrified of llamas and avoid even the sound of them.

So… yeah. Right now it’s looking like that’s what I’m going to end up kissing. For charity.

Here’s the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far:

  • $50k: Nika Harper Reads Dinosaur Limericks

Happiness comes in Dinosaur Limericks that are based in scientific fact.

  • $75k: Molly Lewis Sings Pumpkin Spice Lament

Do you want to know a true fact about Amanda? She recently got a ukulele, and she’s been playing Molly Lewis songs nonstop. This one is her new favorite.

  • $100k: Patrick Rothfuss will perform “The Song of Tom Bombadil.”

Yup. That’s a thing I did. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman will host a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

This livestream is going to be Monday, November 24th at 7:30pm CST. If you have any questions for Seth, you should be sure to be there, live, when it happens. Follow Worldbuilders on Facebook,  Twitter, and YouTube to know when it goes live.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke was great and had the video all ready for us… and then the file corrupted when he tried to send it to us. We’ll have it up as soon as possible, so keep an eye on the Worldbuilders YouTube channel.

  • $175k: Vi Hart will write and perform “The Lay of Felurian.”

Vi nailed it here. She even included the verse that causes Felurian to cut Kvothe off, and ends it there. It’s wonderful.

  • $200k: The Heifer International staff will perform a puppet show.

This baffled me in all of the best ways. Some of Heifer International’s staff (primarily the ones who work with Worldbuilders directly every year) got together and did this in their free time. Be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end, because people have some stuff to say about Kvothe and his lute…

We’ve got two more that have just been recently unlocked…

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.
  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

We passed both of these goals just yesterday, so we haven’t had a chance to post them up yet, but as we’ve said above. But if you stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed we’ll be posting them up when that happens.

Stay tuned folks, if for no other reason than to see me get trampled to death by a llama.

pat

P.S. Just in case you wanted a link where you could help us reach more stretch goals while also making the world a better place, here it is.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By PatLeave a comment

Donations from Generous Fans

Over the years, we’ve had more and more fans donating books to the fundraiser.

In the first couple of years it was only one or two people, but as things have progressed, we’ve had an increasing number of generous folks kicking stuff in from their personal libraries, or goodies they’ve managed to pick up at a signing or a con. That means many of these books are signed, or limited editions, or otherwise awesome.

Most of these are going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win them, but a few are being auctioned off too. So keep an eye out for those.

Let’s jump right into this with some Neil Gaiman.

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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I make no bones about the fact that I’m a fan of Gaiman, and this book in particular struck a chord in me. I’m happy to see a signed copy of it heading into the lottery.

If you haven’t read it, you should. I gushed about it on Goodreads a while back, if you’re interested in reading a review that is mostly me embarrassing myself.

  • Auction: First Edition copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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We’ve decided to auction off this first edition copy of Ocean at the End of the Lane as well. So if you missed your chance at it, or want a collectible version while you read your unsigned, later edition copy, you can grab it here.

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These are some great books that were re-donated after last year’s fundraiser, spreading the joy to more of our people from someone who already had them. There are three books, which are compendiums of the entire series, so you’ve got it all here.

“Radford’s considerable gifts as a mesmerizing storyteller shine with undeniable luster.” – RT Book Reviews

Reviver

“Supernatural thrillers don’t get much better than British author Patrick’s assured debut, the first in a trilogy…Patrick has carefully thought through the implications of this phenomenon, including religious objections and insurance issues, and maintains the suspense throughout.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • A set of the White Trash Zombie series, books 1-4, by Diana Rowland.

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“Humor and gore are balanced by surprisingly touching moments as Angel tries to turn her (un)life around.” – Publishers Weekly

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This book was sent in by a supporter who knows that the early editions of this book are super hard to come by. It’s by Roger Zelazny, who wrote the Chronicles of Amber (which is included in the giant prize of books I recommend). We’ve put it into the lottery so we can spread the geeky joy.

  • A set of Blood Price and Blood Trail by Tanya Huff.

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“An entertaining blend of warmly idiosyncratic characters, cinematic pacing and sharp-fanged humour” – Locus

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We’ve got signed copies of the first four books in the Inheritance Cycle, and the fourth book is even a super beautiful hardcover copy. We thought someone would love them, so we’re putting them in the lottery.

  • Auction: Limited, slipcased edition of Brisingr. Number 929 of 1500, signed by by Christopher Paolini.

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For those of you who are already big geeky fans of Christopher Paolini, we’ve got a special edition of the third book in the series, number 929 out of 1500. The slipcase is beautiful, with an embossed dragon and gold foil.

If you get all excited looking at it, head over here for more pictures and to bid.

Pompeii

“Harris garnishes the action with seductive period detail, and the novel comes alive in the main event, a cataclysmic explosion with a thermal energy equal to a hundred thousand Hiroshimas.” – The New Yorker

  • First edition copy of The Road to Mars. Signed by Eric Idle.

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Yes. THAT Eric Idle. Of Monty Python fame.

“Filled with intelligent observations about comedy and comedians, and enough one-liners to keep a funnyman in gigs past Pluto.” – The New York Times

  • First edition copy of The House of Rumour. Signed by Jake Arnott.

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“It’s both sci-fi/fantasy pulp and an ambitiously epic work of cosmic proportions: a welcome paradox of a novel that boldly toys with the boundaries between high and low-brow art.” – Kirkus

  • First edition copy of Impossible Monsters edited by Kasey Lansdale.

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“Eschewing romantic vampires and shambling zombies, this collection presents monsters that do not merely kill, but suddenly and incomprehensibly consume, destroy, and reduce their victims to mere bones… Readers who stay up late wondering if there really is something out there will find these stories to be perfect nightmare fodder.” – Publishers Weekly

IronsInTheFire

“Shows McKenna at her best, combining politics, violent action, and a concern for the domestic… it’s fundamentally about clever people, trying to do their best, in swift-changing circumstances.” – Paul Cornell

BloodSong

“Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song is a tremendous debut; it has a fast paced, action packed and character driven story. Qualities to admire in any genre story and most of all in an epic fantasy.” – Fantasy Book Critic

ApocalypseCodex

“A weirdly alluring blend of superspy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror.” – Kirkus

  • A limited edition, traycased edition of Clowns at Midnight. Number 6 of 500, signed by Terry Dowling.

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“The author of Wormwood and Blackwater Days delivers another tale of psychological terror that should appeal to his fans as well as to general audiences of horror literature.” – Library Journal

Conan

“Howard was the Thomas Wolfe of fantasy, and most of his Conan tales seem to almost fall over themselves in their need to get out.” – Stephen King

  • 5 limited edition copies of I Live Here. Signed by John Connolly.

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This is an extremely limited chapbook from John Connolly. He only had 1,000 printed, and we have signed bookplates to go with each one, making them extra cool.

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Amanda covets this book in a way that is not all together proper. She just donated again just to up her chances of maybe winning this book, so if you want it, you might want to get in there and out-donate her.

“Inventive and absorbing…I look forward to Harris’ next foray in to fantasy, especially if she applies her love of Norse mythology again.” – Fantasy Book Review

  • Limited edition copy of The Mallet of Loving Correction. Numbered 924 out of 1000, signed by John Scalzi.

Mallet

If you’ve never read Scalzi’s blog, Whatever, you should. This is a collection of those blogs, and I wrote up a possibly-tmi-review on Goodreads for it.

  • Auction: A Publisher’s Copy, slipcased edition of Best Served Cold. Signed by Joe Abercrombie.

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“Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it’s almost ultraviolet.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

This is a gorgeous edition of Best Served Cold with a hardcore slipcase. Subterranean Press doesn’t do anything halfway.

If you want to grab this gorgeous thing all for yourself, bid on it over here.

* * *

If anything caught your eye, be sure to go donate on the donation page, where you have the chance to win many of these items, not to mention the thousands of other books and games available in the fundraiser. You can even fly your particular geek flag fly by contributing to one of the teams that’s helping Worldbuilders fundraise this year, like Team Nerdfighteria, or Team NaNoWriMo.

Keep in mind that a bunch of our current auctions are ending tonight and Sunday. So if you haven’t headed over there to take a look at what’s available, you might want to, before it’s too late.

Have a good weekend, space cowboys….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat4 Responses

Generous Donations from Prime Books

Let’s take a minute to talk about chickens.

Simply said, chickens produce eggs, and eggs produce chickens. It’s a very simple process. In parts of the world where poverty is high and meat is scarce, protein-packed eggs from even a single chicken can have a huge impact on a child’s nutrition.

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If you donate twenty bucks, Heifer can provide a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks along with the training and materials needed to care for them. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year – that means a flock provides enough eggs for an entire family to eat, with plenty left to sell.

Best of all, chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available food scraps. That means families can make money from the birds without spending much. What’s more, chickens help control insect pests that damage crops, and their droppings fertilize gardens.

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Also, Heifer trains the people they work with to Pass On The Gift to their neighbors. That means after receiving help from Heifer, a family will go on to help others, sharing baby chicks and training members of their community.

This means a donation to Heifer is like kicking off an avalanche of good that cascades into the future. For example, in 1952 Heifer providing 70,000 hatching eggs to people in Korea after the country was devastated by war. Twenty years later, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture estimated that half the chickens in Korea were descended from the eggs Heifer supplied.

That’s how Heifer International works. That’s why it’s my charity of choice.

That’s also why we made this video.

Have a favorite Heifer animal? We’d love see a video from you explaining why it’s your favorite, and hear you make its noise.

Now. Onto the swag.

* * *

Prime books is one of our strongest supporters. They send us literally tons of books.

And when I say literally, I literally mean literally. Literally literally. They actually literally send us tons of books.

By which I mean the books they sent us weigh, literally, thousands of pounds.

prime books shipment

In the past, we’ve featured these books in many ways, including the book bundles we sold in The Tinker’s Packs and earlier this year in our IndieGoGo.

They send us so many books that the team developed an entirely new way of unloading the truck into our warehouse.

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Welcome to the end of an era, folks. I made it 7 years on this blog without using an animated gif. And, given how dirty I now feel as a result, you’ll probably never see one on here again.

Let’s move on to Prime’s lovely donations to the lottery so I can post this blog and then go scrub myself all over with steel wool….

RingsOfAnubis

This book is actually a twofer. It compiles both books from Tobler’s Steampunk Duology into a single volume.

“It is deliciously fun.” – Kirkus

  • 100 copies of Handsome Devil: Stories of Sin and Seduction. Edited  by Steve Berman.

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This collection focuses specifically on the many stories of Lucifer as a trickster as well as tempter, in more ways than one. It features some cool names, like Theodora Goss, Tanith Lee, and a lot more.

“Despite following a very particular theme, [the anthology] manages to never feel too repetitive or stale. The stories are arranged cleverly to shift tone and focal point just enough between each piece that there are no disjunctions, but also no echoes.” – Tor.com

  • 100 copies of Shades of Blue & Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War. Edited by Steve Berman.

ShadesOfBlueAndGray

Don’t get confused here. While there are shades here, and some of them are grey, this isn’t *that* book.

No, this is a cool a collection of ghost stories involving the Civil War, with stories from authors like Connie Wilkins, Rusel Davis, and Ed Kurtz. It’s a great pick up for anyone who’s interested in speculative fiction with historic elements.

Worldsoul

I have a real weakness for stories about stories, so I’ll admit, this one caught my eye when it showed up. Apparently this book takes place in a place known as the Liminality. The city “where old stories gather, where forgotten legends come to fade and die – or to flourish and rise again.”

So yeah. Sign me up for that.

“Much in the way that she does with her storybook characters, Williams can take this series anywhere she wants. I will have my seconds, thank you very much.” – Kirkus

  • 100 copies of Extreme Zombies. Edited by Paula Guran.

ExtremeZombies

Be honest. Everyone who isn’t a bit of a tight-ass enjoys a good zombie story once in a while.

And this collection gathers some truly great authors like George R.R. Martin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. Solid writers coming together to write the horror stories they’ve always wanted to write.

“If you are a zombie fiction aficionado or simply love extreme horror, you need this book right now.” – Jennifer R. Povey

  • 100 copies of Once Upon a Time: New Fariy Tales. Edited by Paula Guran.

Once Upon a Time

I’ve got a weakness for faerie tales, and in this volume, each of the stories is a reinterpretation of a classic, by clever authors like Theodora Goss, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Tanith Lee.

“Guran has actually filled this anthology with adaptations of familiar tales. The stories include urban fantasy, near-future science fiction, and more traditional retellings. A few outstanding works give new perspectives on their progenitor stories, the fairy-tale genre, or both.” – Publishers Weekly

* * *

Keep in mind that we have auctions ending soon, including the ones for Badali Jewelry and all of the stuff I personally kicked in to the fundraiser.

Our lottery library is filling up, too, so you may want to check that out as well.

Thanks for being wonderful, folks. And keep spreading the word.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat15 Responses

Three Threes: The Return

So after we started this year’s fundraiser, something kinda odd happened.

We got a few e-mails and comments that we weren’t expecting. Stuff like this:

“Last year I happened to donate after the $0.33 sub-lottery was announced. That has primed me to delay my donation this year until late into the fundraiser, to ensure I don’t unintentionally disqualify myself from any surprises.”

This is calling back to last year, where we threw in a special lottery for folks who donated and included .33 at the end of their donation. At the time, it was the only way we had of tracking who might be interested, due to the limited nature of the donation page.

Honestly, I didn’t intend to do anything similar this year.

Still, people were obviously expecting it, as shown by some of the donations:

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So I decided to do something special for the fundraiser this year too.

Here’s a video explaining it.

God, I really do have an overwhelmingly big beard, don’t I?

Here’s a few more details:

  • Three complete sets of Cealdish Coins.

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These sets of coins include the alternate versions of both the drab and the talent, as well as what is very likely to be version 2 of the drab.

There are only 95 of these. And now three of them are in the lottery, where anyone who donates can win them.

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In a previous blog, I talk about how I found this odd misprinted book book. Since then, I discovered that other members of the Worldbuilders team had found a few, too and were hoarding them.

So I annexed them, and now we’re putting these into the lottery as well. I’ll probably stealth sign each of them in a special way, hidden somewhere in the book next to one of my favorite sections….

(Addendum/correction: When I shot the above video, the auction for this misprint was at 200 bucks, but overnight that went over 300 dollars.)

  • Three Patrick Rothfuss Favor Rings.

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One of these is currently up for auction going for over $11,000. Let’s just paste in the description from the auction, shall we?

This is a 10 karat gold ring redeemable for one (1) favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Possible uses for the favor include:

Asking Pat to insert your name/likeness into a future book or story.
Asking Pat’s assistance wooing the object of your affection, preferably under a balcony at night.
Asking Pat to read & critique your unpublished manuscript (or your published one, if you want.)
Asking Pat give a reading/workshop at your local library or University.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop at your house.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop in your bedroom.
Asking Pat to help you move a particularly heavy couch.
Asking Pat to follow you on twitter and post kitten pictures to you.

This favor has no expiration date. It can be traded, transferred, sold, or lost. In essence, the ring *is* the favor. You give the ring back when you cash in your favor. So if you lose it, you’ve kinda fucked yourself.

The nature of this favor is fairly open-ended, though some negotiation may be necessary depending on the nature of the favor. Certain ethical or legal restrictions may apply (though not as many as you might expect.) Under no circumstances will Patrick dance for you. Carnal favors must be approved by Pat’s girlfriend in advance. If you won this favor in the auction, and for any reason Pat cannot fulfill his obligation to you, he will personally refund your winning bid in exchange for the ring.

Now, can I be honest with you for a moment?

Giving out open-ended favors like this is kind of a stupid thing for me to do. I’ve had many people tell me so. But I’m not an idiot. I’m perfectly aware that there’s a high potential for things going catastrophically wrong.

Why do I keep giving them out then?

Mostly because I love Heifer International. I love the work they do. I love the thought of giving families the means to make their lives better. I love the thought of parents being able to feed their children.

If I can make that happen by doing something kinda stupid? Well. I’ve been stupid before for worse reasons than this.

But here’s the thing. Simple statistics say that I’m going to get burned on this whole open-ended favor deal eventually. When that happens, I’m probably going to stop doing it. That means if you want a chance to win one of these, I’d move on it now, because it might not be happening again next year. Or ever again.

* * *

These three items I’m putting into the lottery are only of real interest to my fans. So we’ve added a new question on the donation page, asking if you’d like to be eligible for them.

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If you donate now, we’ll include your entire donation history into the total for this lottery. We know a bunch of you have kicked in already, so if you kick in a again and ask to be included, we’ll make sure *all* your donations count toward this drawing.

There you go everybody. Make me proud.

*     *     *

  • 8:30 PM – five hours after posting this blog, we’ve raised another $25,000.

That’s enough to purchase biogas stoves for 25 villages.

“For most families in the places where Heifer International works, cooking usually means gathering firewood by hand, which often depletes the soil and robs the environment of its trees. In addition, smoke inhalation in poorly ventilated homes often leads to chronic lung and eye diseases.

A biogas stove is a better option. It runs off methane gas captured from animal waste, and burns cleanly, reliably and efficiently. This is not only better for the environment, it is more sustainable, and healthier for families feeding their children.”

I’m so happy. This day didn’t start off that great for me, but y’all have completely turned it around….

  • 11:30 PM - Eight hours after posting this blog, we’ve raised $38,000.

That’s enough to supply clean water for 125 communities.

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Many places where Heifer works, homes lack running water, and some families don’t even have a well nearby. Instead, they spend a lot of time each day fetching water. This is often a chore left to children — especially girls — leaving them no time for school. Without a good education, those children have little hope for good jobs in the future.

Heifer helps families and communities install irrigation pumps, usually muscle-powered treadle pumps that are easy to maintain and repair. Heifer also provides education in terms of water conservation and sanitation, improving community health and making local farms and gardens more efficient *and* productive.

  • 10:30 AM – 18 hours after posting this blog, we’ve raised $47,000.

That’s enough to train and equip 235 Community Animal Health Workers.

In many countries, access to veterinary care is limited. So in addition to giving people livestock, Heifer International trains Animal Health Workers. Participants receive training in animal health, breeding, and nutrition as well as tools such as thermometers, stethoscopes, disinfectants, medicine for animals, and more.

This training and equipment gives a person the ability to support themselves in a lifelong career. What’s more, the presence of an animal health worker improves an entire community with healthier animals, more successful farms, and better education about sanitation and disease.

  • 24 hours after posting, we’ve raised 60,000 dollars.

I’m not going to keep tracking the progress here. You can check that out on the main Worldbuilders page. I will say that right now our total stands at $195,000, which is really incredible, given that we’re not even two weeks into the fundraiser.

That’s enough for 1600 goats and the training to care for them.

It’s enough for 6,500 hives of honeybees that will improve crop yields and produce honey.

Enough to provide 700 families with enough livestock, materials, and training that they can earn enough money to send their children to school.

Stay tuned for more coolness, folks. I promise we won’t disappoint.

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Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat63 Responses

Signed Books from Lovely Authors

We just finished our first week of Worldbuilders, and as I type this we’ve raised about $110,000. That’s money that will help improve the lives of people all over the world for years and years.

But Pat!” I hear you cry. “Exactly *how* will this money make people’s lives better? For someone willing to spend entire chapters describing a completely fictional alternate physics in your books, 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. Everything a family needs to it can 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 those we’re showing off in today’s blog….

* * *

All the books in today’s blog come from the authors themselves. They’re all signed, and the vast majority of them are going into the lottery where everyone has a chance to win them so long as they donate at least 10 bucks.

But a few of these are going into auctions as well, so keep an eye out in case you want to do some holiday shopping, even if it’s just for yourself.

  • Set of Little Brother and Pirate Cinema. Signed by Cory Doctorow.

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“Set in the near future, Doctorow’s novel blurs the lines between current and potential technologies, and readers will delight in the details of how Markus attempts to stage a techno-revolution.” – Booklist, starred review

  • The Black Jewels trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness. All signed and inscribed by Anne Bishop.

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These are all lovely copies of Anne’s books. I was tempted to put them into an auction so I could bid on them, but I was voted down, and they’re going into the lottery instead.

“Anne Bishop’s debut novel is a complete delight [...] Intricate plotting, fascinating characters, high drama, and dark magic combine for a powerful, riveting read.” – Charles de Lint

  • Sets of The Well’s End and an ARC of The Dark Water (release date is March 2015). Signed by Seth Fishman.

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Seth is an agent-and-author combo, and in addition to being awesome and sending us signed copies of his first book, he sent ARCs of the second book in the series, which doesn’t come out until March. Whoever wins this will get their hands on it before the book is released, so you’ll get a sneak peak.

He’s also our $125k stretch goal, where he’ll host a livestream giving tips and tricks for query letters and cover letters when sending out your manuscript. It ties in pretty well with our read and critique auctions, don’t you think? It’s almost like we planned it…

“Fishman kills it in every possible way.” –  Margaret Stohl

  • Auction: An ARC of The Dark Water, release date March 2015. Signed by Seth Fishman.

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And since we had it, we’re going to auction off one of these pre-release ARCs. If you’ve already read Well’s End, or if you want to and are pretty sure you’ll need to read the sequel immediately, you can bid on it over here.

  • Copies of What Ho Automata. Signed and inscribed by Chris Dolley.

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I just have to say, “What ho, Automata” has got to be one of my favorite titles for a book ever. Chris Dolley lovingly inscribed each of these with kind wishes to the lucky person who wins them in the lottery.

“Dolley’s collection of Wodehousian steampunk is entertaining and often spot-on parody.” – Publishers Weekly

  • Auction: A copy of What Ho Automata. Signed and inscribed by Chris Dolley.

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Chris sent us enough copies of this that we figured we’d auction one off for those of you who don’t want to leave it to chance. If you want to have it all for yourself, head over here and bid.

  • Set of Delia’s Shadow and Barricade in Hell. Signed by Jaime Lee Moyer.

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Jaime has been offering up manuscript critiques with us for years, and this year is no exception. Even cooler, she sent us copies of the first two books in her series, and they’re well-loved by other people who’ve supported Worldbuilders, so you can rest assured that they’re awesome books.

“Moyer creates a hauntingly real San Francisco, full of characters you can’t wait to get to know better. Delia’s Shadow is an engaging debut novel, one that cost me a good night’s sleep.” – Jim C. Hines

  • Auction: Set of Delia’s Shadow and an ARC of Barricade in Hell. Signed by Jaime Lee Moyer.

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Jaime also sent us a signed ARC of Barricade in Hell, so we though it would be best to auction off such a collectible thing. If you’re at all interested, you should really go here and bid on it.

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Laura Anne Gilman has been a longtime supporter of Worldbuilders, and she sent over these collections of short stories to add to the lottery, which is super cool because you’ll get a taste of a lot of authors who you may want to check out when you’re done…

“Enjoyable-truly worth checking out for fans of fantasy mysteries.” — Locus

  • Set of the Gin & Tonic Mysteries: Collared and Fixed. Signed by L.A. Kornetsky.

LAKornetsky

L.A. Korntesky is a psudonym for Laura Anne Gillman, so you know these will be good.  They’re in a series called  The Gin and Tonic Mysteries, and have an amazing number of pet-related puns on the covers alone.

“Vivid descriptions of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood are a plus in a cozy tale that will draw in even those normally skeptical of animal-centered stories.” – Publishers Weekly

  • Set of out-of-print, limited copies of The Lays of Anuskaya: The Winds of Khalakovo, The Straits of Galahesh, and The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. All signed, inscribed, and numbered by Bradley P Beaulieu.

BradBeaulieu

Brad actually sent us these books last year because he knew they would be out of print, and new editions with a new publisher would be coming out later. He inscribed them for Worldbuilders 2014, and now you have the opportunity to get a collectors item of the full first series of Brad’s books. He’s got a book coming out in August from DAW, so it’s only going to go up from here for him…

  • Copy of the out of print Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten. Signed, inscribed, and numbered by Bradley P Beaulieu.

BradBeaulieu2

Brad also sent along this collection of short stories last year, and it too is out of print. Its in much the same situation as the full set of Lays of Anuskaya, so we’re letting it stand alone to spread some of the collectible wealth.

Remember, all it takes is a donation of $10 or more on our Team Heifer page to be eligible to win it.

  • Sets of the Shadow Ops series: Control Point, Fortress Frontier, and Breach Zone. Each with a challenge coin and a signed bookplate from Myke Cole.

MykeCole-Everything

Myke is a longtime friend of the fundraiser, and we’re thrilled to have more of his books available in the lottery. His challenge coins are really cool, and so are his books.

“The best ride that military fantasy has to offer.” – Mark Lawrence

  • Auction: One set of the Shadow Ops series: Control Point, Fortress Frontier, and Breach Zone. With a challenge coin and a signed bookplate from Myke Cole.

MykeCole

Myke sent over a few full sets, so we’ve put one up for auction over on ebay. If you want to be certain to get this bundle of awesome, head over here and bid.

  • The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, and The Daylight War. All signed and include bookplates by Peter V. Brett.

Demon Cycle standing

For those of you who haven’t read Peter’s books, we think you should.  We’re putting the full set of his novels into the lottery.  Warded Man and Daylight War are both first editions.

To boot, Warded Man has both its original dust jacket, and the new one they printed so it would match the rest of the novels.  They did the same thing with Name of the Wind, so you know all the cool authors are doing it.

* * *

There you have it, folks. Great books from great authors, and almost all of them are in the lottery, with duplicates up for auction if you want to grab them immediately.

Don’t forget about all the auctions we’ve still got running. There’s geek jewelry, professional manuscript critiques, and some cool collectables, too. Make sure to look over there regularly, as we’re putting new stuff up all the time.

Thanks for being awesome, folks. Stay tuned, we’ve got a big announcement coming up tomorrow.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat5 Responses

Novelties: Scalzi, Leckie, and Beagle

We’re wrapping up the first week of our Worldbuilders fundraiser and as I type this we’ve raised over $107,000 dollars. Which means we’ve unlocked several stretch goals, and are on the cusp of several more…

While Novelties blogs are separate from our yearly fundraiser, the money goes to the same charity. What’s more, since this month’s Novelties is landing *inside* our yearly fundraiser, any of the books you buy here will count toward our donation total, helping us hit more stretch goals faster.

Lastly, before we show off this month’s books, I have a piece of news that won’t wait. The first of our charity auctions is ending tonight. It’s one copy of every book published by Subterranean Press in 2014. It includes special limited edition books by Jim Butcher, Scott Lynch, Neil Gaiman, and many *many* more. Many of the books are signed, numbered editions. Some are specially illustrated…

And some are signed AND numbered AND illustrated and vastly and profoundly out of print.

Like this traycased version of the shining.

AmandaWithShining
Due to a shipping error, we didn’t include pictures or mention of this book in the auction. And that’s a shame, because it’s beautiful and very rare (one of 750 printed). Signed by both Stephen King and the illustrator…

And because it’s sold out, copies of it are selling for more than a thousand dollars right now.

So, if you’re a fan of beautiful books, or just a fan of Stephen King, you know where to go.

*     *     *

This month we have three books by award-winning authors. All signed by the authors.

  • First edition copies of Lock In. Signed by John Scalzi.

LockIn - Blog

Lock In is John Scalzi’s newest novel, and Amanda in particular has been sharing it around like wildfire. Its gotten great reviews, including:

“Scalzi’s characters possess tangible motivations and inhabit a thoroughly believable world, and the growing partnership between Shane and Vann is a pleasure to watch unfold. This powerful novel will intrigue and entertain both fans and newcomers.” -Publishers Weekly

If you want a copy for yourself or a loved one, you can grab one copy over here.

  • First edition copies of Ancillary Sword. Signed by Ann Leckie.

AncillarySword - Blog

Ann was very generous to donate these to us, this is the second book in her award-winning series. Personally, I was delighted and impressed by these books. But you don’t have to take my word for it when the Library Journal is jumping in to gush about it:

“Few novels could match the bolt-out-of-the-sky originality of Leckie’s debut (Ancillary Justice), but this follow-up builds on the world and characters that the author introduced in the first book and takes the story in new directions. There is much more to explore in Leckie’s universe, one of the most original in [science fiction] today.”

We only have ten copies of this, so grab them while you can.

  • Hardcover copies of The Last Unicorn graphic novel. Signed by Peter S. Beagle.

LastUnicorn-Blog

I actually picked these up when Peter S. Beagle was in the area for The Last Unicorn Screening Tour. The whole team went and met Peter, watched The Last Unicorn on the big screen, and generally geeked out.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of The Last Unicorn, so I was ready to hate this graphic novel adaptation. Surprisingly enough though, I didn’t. As I mentioned in my goodreads review, I thought it was amazingly well done.

As with all our novelties books, we only have a few available. You can get yours over here.

* * *

Remember, all proceeds from our online store, The Tinker’s Packs, go directly to Worldbuilders. So when you buy books there, you’re not just getting a cool book and supporting the authors you love, you’re making the world a better place.

Thanks everyone. And stay tuned for more news about the fundraiser.

Posted in Novelties, Worldbuilders 2014 | By PatLeave a comment

Professional Manuscript Critiques

As I write this, Worldbuilders has raised more than $92,000 for Heifer International.

So here’s a video. I could claim I’m posting it because it explains what we’re doing here at Worldbuilders, but that would be a lie. I’m posting it because my kids are in it, and my kids are seriously adorable.

So there you go. That’s what we’re doing. You can donate directly to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, making the world a better place while (hopefully) winning fabulous prizes.

Or you can check out the Read-And-Critique auctions below….

*     *     *

Today we’re auctioning off professional manuscript critiques from authors, editors, and agents.

This is an exceptionally rare opportunity. Authors occasionally read a manuscript for a friend, or do a quick critique at a convention. But if you want this sort of professional attention you usually have to attend a pretty serious workshop, like Clarion. Or you have to be a student at one of the rare universities that takes sci-fi and fantasy seriously enough to bring in a professional to teach a class.

You’ll notice that I personally don’t have a critique in today’s blog. That’s because if you win the favor auction I’m running, you can cash in that favor for a read-and-critique. Any manuscript. Any size. I’ll read the whole thing, mark it up, then call you on the phone and talk about it with you.

Now, before I list all the read-and-critique auctions, I’m going to have to put on my Dad Voice: a voice which contains all the baritone authority of my teacher voice, with an added subharmonic that implies if you screw this up, I’m going to be *really* disappointed in you.

“Please read the auction descriptions carefully.”

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.

Okay. Enough preamble. Let’s move on to the awesome….

jaimeLeeMoyer_logoFinalJaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet, and editor. She’s been offering up a read-and-critique with us for years, and we’re thrilled to have her back. She’s willing to 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. This will seriously help your story.

If you want to bid on this, head over here.

CassieAlexander

We’re always really grateful when people offer critiques that include feedback of the query letter and synopsis too. Because honestly, my lack of ability to write a decent query letter probably slowed down publication of The Name of the Wind by two years.

That’s what Cassie is offering here: a full critique includes your query letter, synopsis, and the first 15,000 words of your manuscript.

Here’s what a previous auction winner said of her critique:

“It was definitely worth it, and was probably the thing that’s helped with my writing the most. You were hard hitting on points that needed to be said, but still really supportive and complimented the things I did right. People couldn’t ask for a better person to critique their work.”

If you want to get your work critiqued by Cassie, bid over here.

Jen

Jennifer has been a literary agent since 2011, and is offering up a critique of your query letter, synopsis, and the first 15,000 words of your manuscript. She’s helped us out a in the past, and as an agent, she’s seen a *lot* of these, and has some valuable experience to share.

Bid on it over here.

  • David Pomerico will give a critique and commentary of the first 50 pages of your manuscript.

David Pomerico

David has been throwing his hat into the ring for these auctions for years, and is now the Executive Editor at Harper Voyager. He’s worked with some big names, including some New York Times bestsellers. (If you want more details, check out his auction listing).

He’s willing to read and give a detailed critique of the first 50 pages of your manuscript. You can head over here and bid.

josh

Josh is a fellow DAW author, and he’s kicked in critiques in the past. This year, he’s willing to read the first 100 pages of your novel and give you detailed notes and a general evaluation of the opening as well.

If you want this critique, there are more details over here.

josh

Not everybody writes novels. So Josh is offering up a read-and-critique of your short story. It will including a general evaluation of the story as well as some detailed notes and comments.

If you’ve got a short story, this is the guy for you. Bid on this critique over here.

  • Michael Braff will read and critique the first 50 pages of your manuscript.

Mike Braff

Michael is an editor at Del Rey, and has been for six years. He’s thrown in his critiques more than once in the past, and we’re happy to have him on board again. He’s willing to give a detailed critique and commentary of the first 50 pages of your manuscript, rounded up to the nearest chapter, which is generous.

If you want this one, bid here.

  • Michael Martinez will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel or shorter work.

Mike Martinez

Michael Martinez is an author, and is willing to read up to 25,000 words of any sci-fi or fantasy work you bring to him. He’ll give you an overall opinion, his thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. He’s said that he’s happy to engage in a dialogue with you, which is definitely worth something.

Bid on this one over here.

  • David B. Coe will critique up to 15,000 words of your manuscript.

DavidBCoe

David B. Coe (also known as D.B. Jackson) is willing to critique some short fiction or the early chapters of your novel. He’s a prolific writer (he has 3 books coming out in 2015 alone), and he’s supported Worldbuilders for a good long time, so we really like him.

If you want a novel or short story critique, head over here and bid.

Bradley P. Beaulieu

Bradley P. Beaulieu graciously offered one story or chapter critique of up to 10,000 words. Brad’s offered critiques in the past, and everyone at Worldbuilders was glad to see him back again for more. Apart from writing a ridiculous amount of epic fantasy, Brad also kicked in a stretch goal last year, because he’s cool like that.

If you would like to bask in the coolness, by all means bid over here.

  • Michael R. Underwood will critique your submission packet AND have a Skype consultation on the feedback.

Michael R. Underwood

Mike writes a lot about geekiness, which is always a bonus in our book. This year, he’s willing to critique your query letter, synopsis, and the first 10,000 words of your manuscript. He will then have a Skype conversation with you to discuss the feedback, which we think is extra cool.

If you want your entire packet critiqued, head over here and bid.

  • Matt Bialer, my agent, will read up to 20,000 words of your manuscript.

Matt Bialer

Matt kicks in this critique every year. And my book would not be as good as it is today without him and his help.

He’s offering up a general evaluation of the book, with the perspective of the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses. It’s a really great perspective to have.

Matt also managed to jump in with us this morning, so his auction will be live later tonight. You’ll be able to bid on this one over here as soon as it’s live.

  • Worldbuilders Monkey Brett will read and critique your manuscript.

Brett Monkey

Brett has been one of my longest standing friends and readers. He’s given me invaluable feedback on all my books, Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

What’s more, he’s a great writer in his own right. Not only is he currently the voice behind a lot of the Worldbuilders website content and auction descriptions, he’s done webcomic work, amusing movie reviews, and plenty of longer-form horror fiction. He also has a brilliant novel waiting in the wings that I keep pestering him to publish, too….

Suffice to say, he does great critique. If you want to get his advice on your work, bid here.

* * *

Lastly, a success story.

Back in 2010, Gabriel Squailia won a read and critique in a Worldbuilders auction. He got it from my agent, Matt Bialer, and Matt was impressed enough to offer to represent Gabriel.

In spring of 2015, Gabriel’s first book is going to be published.

DeadBoysCover

We here at Worldbuilders think this is pretty awesome.

Now let me say it again. We’re not in any way claiming that this sort of thing will happen if you win one of the auctions. You’re buying a critique, and that’s it. Even so, this is proof that these critiques can lead to good things. It could happen. It has happened.

So there you go. Here’s a link to all the auctions Worldbuilders is currently running. Keep in mind that there’s enough of them that they spill onto a second page.

Keep being awesome people.

pat

Posted in Cutie Snoo, Oot, the business of writing, the craft of writing, videos, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat15 Responses
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