Author Archives: Pat

Slow Regard of Silent Things – The Narrationing.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve talked about the upcoming Auri book quite a bit.

rooftop_encounter_by_gunghogrimm-d420vi3

(Everyone’s favorite moon fae. Art from GungGoGrimm)

When I do interviews or events, people ask me questions about the story, and I do my best to answer them without giving anything away. But the end result is that sometimes I have trouble remembering what I’ve officially announced, and what I’ve just kinda talked in one interivew. Or at one particular event at a bookstore.

(My official announcement of the book and the explanation of how it came to be is over here on the blog, if you happened to miss it.)

So. There’s been some news about the book I’ve known for a while. Something that I’ve mentioned a couple of times in various places in various ways. But I’ve never make an official announcement:

I’m narrating the audiobook.

Achievement unlocked - audio_book 2

I’ve always had a great admiration for the people who are able to read their own material. When an author reads their own work, it can add so much to a story. Over the years, I think I’ve probably spent a thousand hours listening to some of the best of the best tell their own stories in their own voices: Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, and Garrison Keillor.

I’m not at that level. But I enjoy reading my work in front of an audience. I’ve done work with Wisconsin Public Radio. What’s more, I have been told I have a good voice….

Mountainous

(This might be one of my favorite complements ever.)

So I decided to throw my hat into the ring. This is a much shorter book than my usual. A perfect chance to give it a try. Besides, how different could it be, reading in front of an audience vs. reading in a studio?

Well…. quite a bit different, as it turns out.

Luckily, the folks at Random House/Penguin Audio brought in a great producer to work with me. Someone with a ton of experience who has more than a thousand audiobooks under his belt (figuratively.)

His name was Rick Harris, and he worked wonders, setting me at my ease and teaching me the ropes.

I won’t go into the details of what I learned. That should probably be a blog all by itself. Suffice to say now I have a *lot* more respect for people that do this for a living. There’s so much going on. So much craft and artistry. I look forward to working on it and getting better in the future.

Without further ado, let me present to you a brief teaser of the audiobook that the folks at my publisher have made available for you.

I hope you like it. I myself managed to listen to an entire 8 words of it before I turned it off again. For as much as I joke about loving the sound of my own voice, the truth is, I hate the sound of my own voice when I hear it recorded. I just can’t bring myself to listen to it.

Anyway, here it is. All fancy and embedded:

If that doesn’t work, here’s a straight-up link.

I hope you like it. Honestly? I’m nervous as hell about how it turned out, and not being able to listen to it at all, let alone with an objective ear, is not helping with that anxiety.

Be gentle with me, it’s my first time.

pat

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, audiobooks | By Pat98 Responses

PAX 2014

So what did I do at PAX this year?

Many things, but most notably this:

DD-Acquisitions-Inc.-V

And by that, I mean this.

Wait for it….

pat

P.S. Even if you don’t care about D&D, you should really watch the intro. That’s worth the price of admission all by itself….

Posted in gaming, geeking out, videos | By Pat23 Responses

Goodbye London, hello Seattle, and an excuse to buy books.

So I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

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(Witness the excellent Adem cosplay that happened in London.)

While that means I get to meet a lot of you in person, sign books, and make all manner of amusing tweets about my first time riding first class. It’s not exactly conducive to writing blog posts.

20140731_071024

(A great Kvothe from Avilés in Spain.)

I’m back from Spain and London now, and PAX is right around the corner. After that, I’ll hopefully be able to catch up on a few posts I’ve been wanting to write for some time.

It occurred to me today that while I might not write a lot of blogs while I’m on the road, I tend to read more. And when I read, I tend to review the books on goodreads.

As you know if you’ve ever read my reviews, they’re mostly not reviews. They’re usually more of a little story about the book, mixed in with my rambling thoughts about storytelling, and my feelings about the book itself.

And no spoilers, of course. Because we’re civilized around these parts.

Once I stopped to think about it, I realized it was a little odd that I’d tell a story in a book review but I wouldn’t write about the experience on my own blog. So I figured I’d post the first part of a recent review up here today so you can see what I’m talking about.

*     *     *

I walked into the bookstore in a bit of a mood.

Wait, that’s my Midwestern nature talking. We tend to understate. The truth is I walked into the bookstore furious at the world. I can’t remember why. I am prone to dark moods, and when I’m in the middle of one, I tend to rumble through the world like an angry old-testament god.

I went directly to the Sci-Fi Fantasy section. That’s where I live for the most part. That’s where I go when the world gets to be too much for me.

I looked at the titles. I’d read about a quarter of them. I read a lot. But nothing looked particularly good. Nothing does when I’m in one of my moods.

A friendly bookseller walked over. “Can I help you find anything?” she asked.

“I want to read something good,” I said. “I’m tired of gritty depressing shit. I want a fun, light book that isn’t going to leave me wanting to put a gun in my mouth.”

I’m not hyperbolizing. That’s what I actually said. It wasn’t a nice thing to say, but I can be unpleasantly brusk at times.

The bookseller didn’t bat and eye. She pointed out a couple books, then asked how I felt about YA.

“I’ll read anything if it’s good,” I said.

Here’s the rest of the review if you’re interested.

*     *     *

In other news, I’ll be out in Seattle soon, making a nusiance of myself at PAX and PAX dev.

I’ve got a few scheduled events if you’re hoping to catch me there.

Thursday, August 28

5:15pm, PAX Dev, Stories of Game Design Panel, Grand III

Friday, August 29

Sometime after 6:30 I’ll be swinging by Gauntlet’s booth, which is in the South Lobby, to chat about the new game on their live stream, which will be up on PAX’s Twitch channel over here.

And I’ll be playing Gauntlet too. Of course.

8:30pm Late night at Benaroya Hall, featuring Triforce Quartet, The Doubleclicks, and Paul & Storm.- Benaroya Hall at 200 University St.

(I’m not performing at this, but I’m going to be doing a brief cameo appearance in the show. As well as perhaps heckling them good naturedly from backstage.)

Saturday, August 30

3:30-5:30, Signing at PAX, in the Paramount

Sunday, August 31

4-5, An Afternoon with Patrick Rothfuss - Main Theater (Benaroya Hall at 200 University St.)

I’ll be doing some Q&A, telling some stories, and reading various and sundry things.

This event will be streamed online, so if you’re near a computer around 4pm Pacific Time, you can see it over here, along with a bunch of other cool stuff that’ll be up throughout the con.

Monday, September 1

12:00 – 2:00, Signing at PAX, in the Paramount

I’ve got one signing event that isn’t at the convention. It’s on Monday night at a local indie bookstore.

7:00pm, Signing with The Oatmeal at Wit’s End Bookstore
1530 Grove St Suite A
Marysville, WA 98270
Call for Free Tickets: 360-386-8997
Facebook Event

Note that this is *just* a signing. I won’t be doing a reading and a Q&A as we won’t have the time or the space. But the Oatmeal will be there signing his books too, and you’ll be able to get copies of the Princess book as well.

*     *     *

In related news, we’re experimenting a bit by producing a Pinny Arcade pin. Our design is based off the talent pipes.

I don’t have a picture for you yet, but I’ll post one up here when I do.

We’ll be selling them at the Geek Chic booth because…. well…. Geek Chic is awesome.

20140723_203825

(Even Oot knows that.)

As always, proceeds from this sort of thing go to support Worldbuilders.

If you’re interested in grabbing a pin, I’ll have some of them with me at the show. So you see me in the hall, you can offer me a trade for one. Or you can probably grab one for cash if you catch me at one of my signings.

Otherwise, you can hit the Geek Chic booth at SKY3. I’ll be lurking around there as well, lowering property values and engaging in general hooliganism.

Rest assured, if we have some pins left over after the convention, we’ll put them up in The Tinker’s Packs.

As some of you might remember from last year, PAX doesn’t have booksellers on site. That means if you’re going to want a copy of Name of the Wind or Wise Man’s Fear, you’ll have to bring your own.

Or… *Pat says in his best used car salesman voice* you can go around the corner to the Barnes and Noble that’s right next to the convention center, where they’ve agreed to stock a bunch of my books.

What’s more, when we called to see if they’d be willing to carry a bunch of extra copies of my books again, they once again offered to do it in conjunction with a Book Fair. So if people show up and buy any books with our Bookfair code (11423936), a portion of the proceeds will go to Worldbuilders.

And it’s not a tiny little piece of the money, either. B&N ends up cutting us a check for about 10% of all purchases made this way.

Just to reiterate: any books you buy with our Bookfair code (11423936) will raise money for Worldbuilders. The code is good from August 28th (today) to September 5th in stores.

Even better, the code works online too. So if you head over to Barnes and Noble’s online store and enter 11423936 during checkout from August 28th to September 10th (a full 5 days longer) a portion of proceeds will come to us from that sale, too.

So if you have some books you’ve been looking to pick up, this is a great chance to kill two birds with one stone…

See some of you soon….

pat

Posted in appearances, conventions, cosplay | By Pat23 Responses

Ice Bucket Challenge

I’m assuming at this point that you’ve heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

I’d heard about it. And it struck me as something fun and silly. But I didn’t have much desire to participate.

For one thing, I already do a bunch of charity work with Worldbuilders.

For another thing, I live in Wisconsin. That means for about 3 months out of every year just walking outside is like getting a bucket of ice dumped over your head.

I figured I’d be tagged eventually. But my intention was to smile, nod, make a donation, and move on with my life. I’m kinda busy these days….

Then this happened:

If it had been anyone other than Jim Butcher….

But that doesn’t matter, I guess. It was Jim. So I figured it was time to cowboy up.

I know, I know, I only called out two people. Sue me. I had dry ice bubbling around my precious nethers, so I wasn’t operating at 100%. And it wasn’t like we could go back and do a second take.

Who would I call out for my third if I had a chance to go back and change it? Joss Whedon? Felicia Day? Tina Fey? Max Temkin? Molly Lewis? Tad Williams? The Oatmeal?

The problem is I don’t know who’s already done it. I kinda live under a rock, and I’ve been sick these last couple days (I have no idea why.) So we’ll just leave that third one hanging. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to do the challenge, this is it.

So. There you go. Share the videos. Donate. Spread the word….

pat

P.S. I would just like it to be known that I wasn’t responsible for editing together the video. My semi-loyal crew did that. You’d think it would be enough to let them douse me with buckets of ice and water. But no, they had to tuck in that little bit at the end, too….

P.P.S. Don’t goof around with dry ice if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s really easy to burn yourself. Or so I hear….

Posted in dicking around, hubris, Jim Butcher, my dumbness, Oot | By Pat40 Responses

Novelties: Signed Books for July and August

As some of you who follow my facebook and twitter might have noticed, I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

That, combined with the fact that our Geeks Doing Good fundraiser went incredibly well, means that I, and the rest of the Worldbuilders Team, have been absolutely swamped the last few weeks.

All the Peanuts 03

Well. *I’ve* been swamped. The worldbuilders team just seems to be lounging around on… oh. Wait. Those are packing peanuts, aren’t they?Like, a billion packing peanuts for the billion packages we’ll be sending out….

Never mind.

Anyway, between San Diego Comic Con and Spain, I’ve been on the road for more than two weeks. I’d thought to myself that I might be able to post a couple blogs while I was traveling, but apparently that was just my lightly repressed crazy talking, because no. When I’m traveling and I have to choose between blog and sleep, sleep wins every time.

Because of this terrible weakness on my part, I wasn’t able to post up the July Novelties in a timely fashion. So we’re going to combine July and August’s books into one great big super-bomb of delicious newly-released bookness.

As always, every one of these books is a first edition. All of them are signed. Many of them are doodled in or otherwise cool.

And all the money you spend in The Tinker’s Packs goes to charity.

  • Dust and Light. Doodled, signed, and dated by Carol Berg

DustAndLight - Blog

“A tale of magic and politics, of intrigue and betrayal.  Set in a rich world, told through the eyes of a compelling and sympathetic hero, [Berg's] store twists and turns.” – D.B. Jackson

If you’re interested in this beautiful new book, grab it over here.

TheLost - Blog

“Told in a descriptive style that perfectly captures the changing settings, Durst’s novel is a page-turner.” - Booklist on Ice

This one is available right here.

ChildOfAHiddenSea - blog

“Dellamonica’s tale is one of intrigue and power struggles, jealousy and competition, culture shock and the alienation of discovering your family is not what you thought.” – Marie Brennan

Grab your own copy over here.

TropicOfSerpents - Blog

“If you’re ever secretly wished dragons were real, this story is for you.  Fans of Naomi Novik and Mary Robinette Kowal will especially enjoy this book.” – RT Book Reviews

This awesome book is available for you right here.

FullFathomFive - Blog

“I’m having Max Gladtstone killed.  He’s too good already to be allowed to live.  If this is early work, the rest of us are out of a job.” – Elizabeth Bear

I kind of agree with Bear there. I just today posted up a review of Max’s first book in this series and I loved the second one just as much if not more. I’m currently halfway through this one, and it looks like he’s going to make the hat trick.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, get your copy here.

GoblinEmperor - Blog

“Challenging, invigorating, and unique.  If court intrigue is your wine of choice, The Goblin Emperor is the headiest vintage I’ve come across in years.” – Scott Lynch

Katherine Addison (aka Sarah Monette) went above and beyond for these, so if you want your own lovingly doodled copy, grab one here. The Tor logo never looked so good.

  • Elisha Barber and an ARC of Elisha Magus. Both Signed by E.C. Ambrose

DarkApostle - Blog - BothSignatures

“Elisha Barber is an edgy, vivid story with engaging characters and a well-drawn setting that’s almost, but not quite, our own history.  I was drawn right in, quick as a slash of a barber’s razor.” – Kevin J. Anderson

This one is particularly cool because you’re getting a hardcover copy of the first book in the series, in addition to an ARC of the second book, which was just released.

We’ve only got two sets of these books, so get them while you can.

*     *     *

We’re also throwing a new poster up in the store…

Kvothe - Shane Tyree - Blog

Kvothe and the Scraeling was a piece of bonus art Shane did while working on the Name of the Wind playing cards.

You can buy a copy up over here, along some other cool posters….

That’s all for now, everybody. I’ll share some pictures and stories from Spain and Comic Con soon…

pat

Posted in Novelties, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat18 Responses

My Far Wanderings: San Diego and Spain

So this week begins the pure madness of my convention season.

Amanda and I did the math a few days ago and realized that between now and mid-September, I’m only home for 15 days. And those days are not all in a row.

First on the docket is…

  • San Diego Comic Con

I’ve made a habit of SDCC for years now, but this year I’m trying something a little different.

Because I hate being away from my family for large swaths of time, Sarah, Oot, and Cutie Snoo are coming with me to the con.

Cutie - 8 weeks

(The shirt was a gift. Honestly.)

Because I don’t normally travel with my kids, I think this would be a good time to establish some ground rules. Okay?

1. Being off-duty.

One of the main reasons I go to conventions is to see/hang out with/interact with my readers. I like meeting you guys.

That said, one of the *other* reasons I like going to conventions has nothing to do with you. It’s simply that I like going I like going to conventions. I like wandering the dealer’s room, looking at stuff, hanging out with my friends, and just being a geek.

Does that mean that I resent it when someone comes up to me in the dealer’s hall and asks for a picture or an autograph? No. Not really.

But you have to realize that sometimes I’m in a hurry to get somewhere. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I haven’t eaten all day. Sometimes I’m enjoying the only free time I have available all day. Sometimes I’m just trying to get to the bathroom and you’re the third person to stop me in the hallway.

That means that if I beg off, and say, “No, I’m sorry, not right now.” You have to respect that.

I’m not saying you have to be delighted. I get that you might *really* have your heart set of getting a picture with me and the nearby statue of Sailor Moon. But it could be I’m late to a panel. It could be I only have 25 minutes to eat some food before I’ve got an interview. It could just be that I’m really, really weary and not feeling very social at the moment.

Let me put it this way. While at many points in the convention I am absolutely all-the-way there just for you. At other times I’m not. And if you hit me in one of those *not* times, I’m well within my rights to politely decline your request.

To simplify, when I’m at a convention, I exist in two possible states:

On Duty – Signing stuff. Doing panels. Taking pictures. Playing games.

Off Duty But Approachable - With the understanding that I might not be up for anything right now.

But now we have a third option, too: With My Family

If you see me at the convention and I’m carrying a baby, or pushing a stroller, or sharing an ice cream cone with my son that means I’m With My Family. During these times you should probably consider me extra-off duty.

Can we exchange companionable nods with one other? Sure. Can you offer up a geek solidarity fist bump? Absolutely.

But asking me to pose for a picture, sign a book, or explain the best way to get an agent? Not so much.

2. Don’t touch my kids.

I know. My children are fucking adorable. It’s like their mutant power.

And I know that wanting to touch kids is a totally normal mammalian response.

And I also know that a lot of you feel a connection with me, and with my kids. You’ve seen pictures of them. You’ve read stories about Cutie on facebook and seen the #OotSays hashtag on Twitter.

But seriously. Don’t touch them. I don’t know you. We don’t want them getting convention plague. And more likely than not, a stranger coming up and pawing at them is just going to freak them out.

And you *really* don’t want to see my grizzly bear type protective dad instincts kick in. You really don’t. Really. You don’t want to spend comic con in the hospital, and I don’t need the bad press.

So. Consider this fair warning. Tell your friends.

*     *     *

  • My San Diego Comic Con Schedule

Thursday, July 24
4-5pm Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy Room: 25ABC
With Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Raymond E. Feist, Django Wexler, Morgan Rhodes, Sam Sykes, Moderated by Brent Weeks

5:30-6:30pm Signing table, AA09

Friday, July 25
1:30-2:30pm Playing Gloom with Geek and Sundry
JOLT ‘N JOES
379 4TH AVENUE, SAN DIEGO, CA 92101

Saturday, July 26

1-3pm Signing at Badali’s booth – #532
4:15-5:15pm Rulers of the Realm Final, Room 6A
With Joe Abercrombie, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, George R.R. Martin, and moderated by Ali T. Kokmen.

Other booths where I tend to lurk:

  • Mysterious Galaxy: #1119
  • Penguin Booth: #1028
  • Badali: #532
  • Geek Chic: #4928
  • Thinkgeek: #3849
  • Karen Hallion: Artist’s Alley BB-11

If anything else comes up, I’ll probably just tweet about it.

  • Spain: Madrid and Aviles

After San Diego, I’ll be going straight to Spain.

First, I’ll be doing a live interview on Espacio Fundación Telefónica on Tuesday, July 29th.

The show starts at 19:00 (UTC+02) and it will also be broadcast on their podcast channel, so you can listen to it from anywhere. For more details, the podcast, and a chance to get tickets, visit their site at http://espacio.fundaciontelefonica.com/.

Then, I’ll be headed to Aviles to Celsius 232. From what I’ve heard, it’s a really cool con. What’s more, it has no badges or entrance fees, so anyone who is in the area can come see me.

Thursday, July 31
1:15 PM – 2:00 PM Adventures of the Princess Panel. Carpa de Actividades.
Conducted by Jorge Ivan Argiz.
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Signing in the Carpa de Actividades.

Friday, August 1
10 AM – 12 PM Signing in the Carpa de Actividades.
6:15 PM -7:30 PM The Works of Patrick Rothfuss. Casa de la Cultura.
Conducted by Diego Garcia Cruz.

Saturday, August 2
10 AM t – 12 PM Signing in the Carpa de Actividades
6:15 PM -7:30 PM Three Different Approaches to Fantasy. Casa de la Cultura.
With Brandon Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie. Conducted by Cristina Macia and Jorge Ivan Argiz in the Casa de la Cultura

Hope to see some of you soon….

pat

Posted in babies, Being a Curmudgeon, conventions, How to be a Worthwhile Human Being | By Pat90 Responses

Sophie’s Choice

I just had an unexpectedly harrowing experience on the internet.

While I like to think that I’m immune to clickbait, occasionally I leave the high road and tumble gracelessly down into the muddy ditch where I roll around with all the giddy enthusiasm of a dog who’s just found a particularly feculent turd.

(Pat pauses for a moment, looking up at the sentence he just wrote, and thinks that sometimes, just maybe, he should dial the vividity of his phraseologer down from 11.)

Anyway, I stumbled onto the following webpage the other day. I can’t even remember how.

Vote for the best Geek Celebrity Ever.

So I think, Okay, sure. I’ll vote in your little poll. I am wise in the ways of the geek. I have opinions.

The thing is set up as a series of X vs. Y pairings, and you have to vote for one or the other.

The first couple were easy. Obviously Felicia Day beats Peter Jackson. Obviously Johnathan Coulton beats out JJ Abrams. Tina Fey trumps Shatner.

You also have the option to skip voting on a particular pairing. This was first useful when I was given two people I’d never heard of before, a cosplayer and a voice actor. Rather than vote blind, you’re able to just shrug and get a completely new random pairing.

But I didn’t realize how essential the skip button was until this happened:

Don't make me choose!

I saw this, and a gear slipped in my brain. How could I possibly pick? The author of the second comic I’d ever read as an adult (Watchmen). The guy who Promethia. Top Ten. Tom Strong. V for Vendetta. Someone whose work has honesty changed my perception of comic art if not storytelling as a whole. Plus, y’know, wizard.

On the other hand we have Wil: creator of Tabletop, which is a force for good in the world. Co-founder of Wootstock, a source of persistent joy in my life. The actor that played Westley Crusher, a character that made my life suck a little less as a kid. Someone who regularly speaks truth to power, and a damn fine author in his own right….

It was a flabbergasting choice. It’s not like comparing apples and oranges. It’s like comparing sex and videogames. I had to skip that matchup.

Then this happened:

Don't make me choose 2When I saw this, my soul made the sound of ultimate suffering. I think I actually shouted at the screen. “Don’t make me choose!”

As the poll continues, it winnows out the people you don’t know pretty quickly. Then it gets rid of the people you don’t care for. With a little more difficulty you leave behind geek celebs you are merely fond of.

Then it starts to become excruciating. You are forced to make choices no sane person would ever willingly make.

Still the grindstone turns until you are finally confronted with something like this.

Don't make me choose 4

Don’t. Just don’t.

So. If you want to plumb the depths of your  own personal geeky faith, go ahead and check it out. I think the voting ends today.

pat

Edit: Monday July 21st. I just googled “Sophie’s Choice” because while I knew what it meant, I didn’t know the actual etymology of the phrase.

I don’t think I would have used it as the title of this post if I’d known the original referent.

Posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, geeking out, things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat57 Responses
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