Author Archives: Pat

The Traditional Pat Rothfuss Donation Blog

Back when I started doing Worldbuilders, the only items in our lottery came from me.

That changed pretty fast, of course. Authors started to jump in with offers of help almost immediately. That’s what made me think I could turn it into something more than just me goofing off on my blog.

Now, six years later, Worldbuilders has grown to be bigger than just me, but I still like to do my part.

Most of the items I’m donating are going into the lottery, where anyone can win them if they donate at least ten bucks. A few of the rarer things are going up as auctions, too.

And some items are available in The Tinker’s Packs, so you can go grab them right away if they make your palms all sweaty, or if you’re looking to do some early Christmas shopping. Then, tonight you can sleep easier knowing that you’ve made the world a better place, because 100% of the proceeds go to Worldbuilders.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • First Edition copies of The Name of the Wind. Signed by me. 

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Back in the day, I remember selling one of these to a guy online for 60 bucks. I felt *really* guilty about it, like I was committing some sort of fraud.

Two years ago, we were selling them in the store for $700 each, but we had to stop because we ran out.

These days I have handful of them squirreled away. I hope they might help put my kids through school. But the truth is, it’s looking like they’ll all be gone before Oot and Cutie get to college. Sorry boys.

Still, for Worldbuilders, I’m willing to give up a pair of them. One is going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win it, other copy is going up on ebay. I’ll sign it however the winner desires….

  • Auction: An ARC of The Wise Man’s Fear. Signed by me.

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This, my friends, is a true rarity.

When we were getting ready to publish The Wise Man’s Fear, we didn’t want it leaking out into the internet before publication. But we still wanted to be able to show it to a select group of people. Reviewers and such.

So we printed a very, very few Advance Reader Copies. 227 of them, in fact. They were numbered before we gave them out, so if one showed up on e-bay before the book went on sale, we knew who we should sue into the ground.

My editor has copy #1. I have copy #2.

Just the number

This, as you can see, is copy #4.

A couple years ago someone sent me a link to an e-bay auction of one of these. It sold for more than 2500 dollars and it wasn’t even signed. I just went looking around online to see if I could find any for sale to see what they were going for, and I couldn’t find a single one. That means this is the only copy of this book currently for sale anywhere.

So… Yeah. This is a rarity. But I’m putting it into the fundraiser with the hope that it will bring in some serious money and make a bunch of people’s lives better.

If you win the auction, I will sign it however you like. Head over here to bid.

  • Your College Survival Guide. Signed by me, and signed and doodled by Brett.

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Ah the terrible secrets of my misspent youth.

This is a collection of humor columns I wrote for the college paper back when I was a student. This edition is annotated, and illustrated by my longtime friend Brett Hiorns, who now works with us at Worldbuilders.

This book was put together by a small press in 2005. Back before anyone cared who Patrick Rothfuss was. There were only 500 printed, so they’re fairly hard to find these days. I’ve put two of my remaining copies into the fundraiser.

One you can win by donating to Heifer on the Worldbuilders team page.

The other will go to the highest bidder on ebay.

  • The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle Volumes 1 and 2. Both signed. Also includes the Princess and Mr. Whiffle Coloring Book.

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After all these years, I’m still surprised when my fans haven’t heard of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. I’m terribly proud of them.

The Princess and Mr. Whiffle Coloring Book is only a couple months old. It went over great during our IndieGoGo Fundraiser this summer, so we’re including it in all its geeky glory in this bundle in the lottery.

If you want to see more pictures from it, you can check it out on The Tinker’s Packs, where it’s available with both of the Princess books.

  • 5 Sets of The Name of the WindThe Wise Man’s Fear, and The Slow Regard of Silent Things. All signed by me.

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A complete set of the books, all hardcovers, all signed. If you already own copies… well…. the pages are really absorbent, great for cleaning up spills. They’re also really thick, so they’re perfect for propping up your computer monitor to it’s proper ergonomic height.

All three of these are also available, signed, in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Copies of Unfettered. Signed by me.

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This contains “How Old Holly Came to Be,” my first published short story, set in Temerant. This book was published to help raise money for Shawn Speakman’s cancer treatment, and there were only 5000 printed.

I’m putting five of these into the lottery, but we also have some available in the store.

  • Copies of Rogues. Including signed and numbered BAST OFF! card.

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The Bast Off doodle cards were one of the most fun things I’ve done. Brett and I only drew 250 of them, and I’m throwing five into the lottery.

There’s a few available in the store too, but be careful, supplies are very limited.

Since we’re talking about things in the store, I should probably take a moment to mention…

A Few New Additions to The Tinker’s Packs

  • Kvothe’s Vintish Court Rings.

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The folks over at Badali Jewelry crafted these for us, based on the court rings used in Maer’s court.

The gold and silver rings are plated, (so we could keep production costs down) But the iron ring is actually made of real iron. Do you know how hard it is to get iron Jewelry made? Nobody does it, but Badali found a way.

You can buy these over in The Tinker’s Packs, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Worldbuilders.

  • The UK edition of The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

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I got a few author copies of the UK edition, and a lot of people seem to love this cover design (including most of the Worldbuilders Staff) so I’ve given up my precious author copies to The Tinker’s Packs. If you want one, I’d grab it fast, because we don’t have many.

  • The Worldbuilders 2015 Karen Hallion Calendar.

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I would just like to take a moment to point out that *I* came up the the title for this year’s calendar.

I don’t doubt you’ve seen Karen Hallion’s artwork before. (If nothing else, we have some of her signed prints in our store.) But there’s one piece of art I’m guessing a lot of you haven’t seen. Or at least haven’t noticed….

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If you click to embiggen, you’ll see a couple familiar characters in the center page.

We’re very proud of how this calendar turned out, and it makes a great holiday gift. You can grab one over here.

  • Boss Monster with Limited Edition Bast and Bastas promo cards.

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Boss Monster is the game where you get to play the Boss in an old 8-bit video game. You make your dungeon difficult to get through and harvest the souls of the unsuspecting heroes you lure in with your treasure.

Turns out the folks at Brotherwise are fans of my stuff. So we worked together to create special promo cards based off my characters. Specifically, we’ve got Bast and Bastas cards. You can buy them by themselves, or bundled together with the game in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Auction: Boss Monster with Bast, Bastas, and rare Quothe Ladykiller Card.

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This was the first character likeness thing we did with one of my characters. Brotherwise printed special promo cards of “Quothe Ladykiller, The Polymath.” And Worldbuilders sold them at our booth at Gencon in 2013. If you’ve played the game, you can tell from his stats he’s a bit of an ass kicker, and apparently Amanda has been slaughtered by him more than once while playing the game.

Brotherwise printed a couple hundred cards, but we didn’t know how excited people would be about it, and they all sold out at the show. We never even got to put them in the store.

But one lovely shining fan donated his card back to the fundraiser, asking us to make good use of it in the fundraiser.

So we’re auctioning it off, along with a copy of the game and the Bast and Bastas cards too. If you’d like the full set, you can bid on it over here.

  • Auction: A STEALTH ROTHFUSS copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Signed by me.

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As I’ve already mentioned on the blog, Over the last month, I’ve signed of a lot of copies of The Slow regard of Silent Things.

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(Here’s the shipment of books we used to fill orders for our IndieGoGo campaign.)

When I was signing 2000 books for the IndieGoGo, I stumbled onto a couple copies that had a weird printing error. They didn’t have the silver foil covering my name like the other books. SROSTStealth03

(Oooh… Spooky…)

I thought they looked pretty cool, so I grabbed them for myself. Because I’m a bad person. Then I felt guilty because I’d hoarded them all….

So I’m putting one up in the auction. If you’re into strange, rare misprints, here it is.

  • Auction: One (1) Favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Golden Ticket Ring

I’ve auctioned off favors in the past, and it’s gone over extremely well. Here are the details:

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 in wooing the object of your affection, preferably from under a balcony at night.
Asking Pat to read and critique your unpublished manuscript (or your published one, if you really 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.

If you want in on it, go over here and bid.

  • One Full Set of My Favorite Fantasy Books.

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(So many books, Rachel had to stand on a ladder to get a picture of them all.)

A few years ago, someone asked me what they should read while they were waiting for my next book. So I posted a blog listing what the 40 best fantasy books and/or series were, in my opinion. Books that everyone should read if they wanted to consider themselves well-versed in fantasy.

My list contained 40 entries. But the clever among you will note that this is a lot more than 40 books. This is because some of the entries were for entire series. Like the Dresden Files, which I’m absolutely gooey over. (Currently 14 books.) Or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. (38 books.)

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When we had the option, I tried to buy nice versions of the books. We’ve got a leather bound box set of The Lord of the Rings. A beautiful special edition of Dune. A massive Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy tome. They’re glorious.

All together there are over 130 books in this bundle.

We’re only putting one of these into the fundraiser, and it’s going into lottery. That means it’s there for anyone, and every $10 you donate gives you a chance to win it.

So there you are. Go make the world a better place. You know you want to.

Posted in BJ Hiorns Art, gaming, Nathan Taylor Art, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat40 Responses

Games from Cheapass Games

Over the last year, we’ve been developing a great relationship with Cheapass Games. They donated games to last year’s fundraiser. And many of you jumped into the Pairs Kickstarter we ran earlier this year.

Today, here they are again, stomping out and donating a bunch of cool games.

We’re putting all these games in the lottery, because we here at Worldbuilders have the firm belief that anyone can love a Cheapass Games game, even if you’re not generally into boardgames (or much of a cheapass). Many of these games you can pick up and learn in 5-10 minutes.

So check out the game descriptions below and ask yourself, “How is this a game? What would it be like to play this?” Once you play them, the only questions on your mind will be, “Why is this so freaking fun?” and “Can we play it again?”

  • Deadwood Studios

DeadwoodStudios

The art for this game was done by the awesome Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright, which is reason enough to love it. To top it all off, it’s a great game for goofing off with your friends. Can you act badly? Can you act like you act badly? Do you like having fun? Then Deadwood Studios.

Amanda plays it a lot with her friends, and she gushed about it (and some other Cheapass Games) over on the Worldbuilders Blog.

Amanda says:

When I play Deadwood Studios with my friends and family, we go all out. The concept behind the game is that you’re new actors vying for parts in movies while Deadwood Studios films a hundred different movies on their sound stages. You need to practice your lines, perform them accurately, and pay off the Casting Director for better parts.

And it’s awesome. It brings out all of the goofy in people as they have to recite lines like “Dead Guy: …..” to get their points. Plus, the art is by Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright. There’s no way you can have a bad time while looking at that.

I wouldn’t argue with her, folks. It sounds like she knows what she’s talking about….

  • Fish Cook

FishCook

You are a new fish cook, vying for the cheapest ingredients at the market in the morning, and then making the fanciest food you can with your ingredients in the evening. CatDuo games recently finished a Kickstarter to create a mobile app version of the game, but the original could be all yours for kicking in $10 or more to the lottery.

  • Veritas

Veritas

This one’s designed by James Ernest and Mike Selinker, so you know it’s good. You play different versions of THE TRUTH, and your goal is to be kept alive through the Dark Ages by being copied into books.

Yeah. Awesome concept.

  • Captain Treasure Boots

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You can now sail the seas and work to be the pirate who brings home the most treasure in the shortest time. There are opportunities to sail, drink, and shoot, so it’s a perfectly equipped pirate game.

  • Get Lucky

GetLucky

We’ve featured this one in a previous Novelties blog. That means that, if you’d rather be certain you get your hands on it, you can just head over and buy it in the store. It’s a great game of murder and intrigue, and a lot of goofing off.

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There’s also a certain dashing author making a guest appearance on a card….

  • PAIRS: Fruit and Pirates Decks

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Pairs has made its way into the homes and hearts of everyone who backed the Kickstarter for it. There are a lot of different decks, but we’ve got two of them here. Even if you already have Pairs decks, they’re all wonderful, and it’s such a simple game you can teach someone in a few minutes, or give them as gifts. Brett is a little obsessed with Pairs, to the point of printing his own deck (it’s okay, James wants you to) and making everyone play it before the Kickstarter even ended.

  • Dead Money

DeadMoney

In Dead Money, you are Zombies in the Old West trying desperately not to win a game of Poker.

I’m not even kidding. I’m just going to leave it at that and have you figure out the rest.

  • Unexploded Cow

UnexplodedCow

This is another one that’s a favorite here at Worldbuilders Headquarters. When we occasionally get together for a game night, this generally gets played, because it can play up to 8. You’re simultaneously dealing with Mad Cow Disease and land mines, and making money off of it. More gushing about this one happened at the Worldbuilders blog as well.

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* * *

Thanks again to Cheapass Games for coming out in fine style for us. If any of these looked interesting to you, or if you just want to make the world a better place, be sure to donate on the Worldbuilders team page and say you want BOOKS and GAMES or just GAMES for an option in your prizes.

Don’t forget about the auction that’s currently running. There will be more added soon….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat15 Responses

Glorious Books from Subterranean Press

There are some traditions I really believe in, and one of them is starting the Worldbuilders fundraiser off properly, featuring the beautiful books from our oldest sponsor Subterranean Press.

They’ve been with us from the beginning, but even better, Subterranean Press produces some of the most lovely, gorgeous, high-quality books in the business. What’s more, they’re always extraordinarily generous with them.

You can tell because there are twenty copies of each of these books in the lottery, as well as one awesome auction at the end…

BlackHatJack

Black Hat Jack is profane, vulgar, hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, and full of rousing adventure, as a good dime novel, or dime novella, should be.” – Booklist

  • 20 limited edition copies of Unlocked. Signed by John Scalzi.

Unlocked

John is a big supporter of Worldbuilders, to say nothing of the fact that he’s a good friend and a generally awesome guy.

What’s more, he’s my kind of crazy. I know this because he came up with the entire social history of the incredibly pervasive disease featured in his newest book, Lock In. and written the oral history of it.

“This SF thriller provides yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master at creating appealing commercial fiction.” – Kirkus Reviews

  • 20 limited edition copies of Zombie Baseball Beatdown. Signed by Paolo Bacigalupi.

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“Printz-winning Bacigalupi writing a middle-grade zombie novel? Yes, it really happened, and yes, it’s pretty darn good.” – Booklist

RiverOfSouls

“[Robert McCammon] nicely evokes America’s colonial past and deftly straddles the boundary between the explicable and the supernatural.” – Publishers Weekly

BeautifulBlood

“Beautiful Blood is a fitting swan song for Shepard’s wonderful, under-appreciated body of work, in more ways than one.” – NPR

PrisonerOfHeaven

You know these books are gorgeous. They always are.

“[A novel] with the blissful narrative drive of a high-class mystery… Ruiz Zafón is a splendidly solicitous craftsman, careful to give the reader at least as much pleasure as he is evidently having.” – The Guardian

  • 20 limited edition copies of The Adventure of the Ring of Stones. Signed by James P. Blaylock.

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“Blaylock captures the Victorian era with careening cabs, gas-lit streets, and gangs who are trying to keep [main character Gilbert] Frobisher’s group from its goal.” – Publishers Weekly

EndOfTheSentence

The End of the Sentence only really represents an evening’s reading, but be prepared to feel the fallout of this fairytale—perfectly formed from a hodgepodge of half-forgotten mythologies—for far longer than the few hours it takes to unfold.” – Tor.com

  • 20 sets of limited edition copies of Wool, Shift, and Dust. Signed by Hugh Howey.

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Hugh Howey’s books are amazingly popular, and for good reason. These limited edition copies of the series are beautiful, and signed by Howey himself.

“Howey’s Wool is an epic feat of imagination. You will live in this world.” - Justin Cronin

  • Auction: A set of One of Everything Published in 2014.

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This is a big one, folks. One copy of everything that Subterranean Press published this year. 31 books total in this auction, many of them already sold out or out-of-print. There’s one of every book shown above, plus books by Lynch, Gaiman, and Butcher….

Subterranean Press has started doing this for us every year, and we can’t thank them enough. This beautiful assortment of books is up for auction, so bid early and bid often.

* * *

And we’re off. On our first day, we’ve already got 220 prizes on the lottery, worth well over $11,000. It’s time to change the world.

Posted in Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat8 Responses

Worldbuilders 2014

It’s that time of year again, folks. Time to make the world a better place while winning fabulous prizes.

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Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, Heifer has promoted education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient.

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(Are you ready? I’m so ready. Let’s do it.)

We’re always looking for ways to improve the fundraiser. So while much of Worldbuilders is the same as last year, we have some things that are entirely new, and some things that have changed a little.

So even if you’re a Worldbuilders Vetran, you might want to look at this blog closely so you don’t miss the new coolness we have waiting there.

As always, you’ve got three different options for donating:

  • Option 1: The Lottery.

This is the option most of you will want. It’s quick, easy, and tax deductible.

You just hop directly over to the page we’ve set up on Team Heifer, and donate.

When you donate on that page, two things happen.

1. You’ll move us closer to our stretch goals (shown below).

2. You’ll be entered into the lottery.

For every $10 you donate on our Team Heifer page, your name will be entered into our random drawing for all the swag that’s been donated. Thousands of books, comics, and games. So if you donate $30, your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, its combined awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So, for everyone’s safety, we’ll be posting up a new blog every weekday until the end of the fundraiser on December 8th.

You can see *all* the books currently in the mix on our snazzy Lottery Library page.

Or you can check out the individual blogs here:

Note: We’re doing something new this year. Thanks to our sponsors like Cheapass Games and Mayfair, we have a more games in this year’s fundraiser. A lot more. We know some of you aren’t big gamers, so you’ll be able to select whether you want to win books, games, or books AND games.

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That way everyone gets what they like best.

Stretch goals.

To encourage donations, we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be music, poetry, cosplay, puppets, and so, so much more…

Upcoming stretch goals include:

We’re recruiting folks for new stretch goals every day, so keep an eye on this list, and the Worldbuilders website under news for updates.

One of the new things we’re doing is letting y’all decide which direction these stretch goals will go. For example, donors get to vote on which animal I’ll kiss when we beat last year’s donation total.

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Personally? I’m hoping for the goat.

People donating will also get to decide what Neil Gaiman will read when we hit $600,000:

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Here I’m torn. Part of me wants to hear Neil say, “Goodnight Nobody,” while the rest of me dearly wants to hear him say, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

Either way, I’m going to have a new ringtone.

Note: Worldbuilders ends December 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm PST. To be eligible for the lottery, you must have made your donation on the Team Heifer Page before then.

  • Option 2: The Sure Thing

For those of you not interested in the lottery, or if you’re just interested in doing some Christmas shopping early, we have a well-stocked store, lovingly named The Tinker’s Packs. We’ve got t-shirtsposters, and other coolness available for purchase.

We also have foreign editions of many titles, donated and signed by the authors. These are hard to find in the US.

All proceeds from everything sold in our store go to Worldbuilders, of course.

Additionally, this year we’ve published another calendar featuring the art of the wonderful Karen Hallion.

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(Click to embiggen)

You can see many more pictures of the calendar in The Tinker’s Packs.

We’ll be adding new items to the store throughout the fundraiser, so keep an eye on the blog. If you’re worried you might miss some of the coolness, you can follow the Tinker’s Packs on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll post updates there whenever something new happens.

  • Option 3: Auctions.

Sometimes we get donations that are really cool…. but only for a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but other people, (sad, unhappy people) have never played Portal, and just don’t care.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, or other collectables.

So we put those things up for auction.

We have professionals willing to read and critique your manuscripts. We have signed art and rare books. We have the chance to win cameo appearances in comics and get your name into upcoming books.

We auction these things off as well.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

  • NEW THIS YEAR – Option 4: A Partnership with Powells.

We show off a lot of books during the fundraiser, and over the years I’ve heard many people mention they do a their holiday shopping based off the books they see here. Or, if you’re like me, you use Worldbuilders to add to your ever-expanding must-read shelf.

So this year we’re doing something new.

If you see a book in this year’s fundraiser, and think to yourself, “I’ve got to have a copy of that….” you can follow this link, buy it from Powells, and they will donate 7.5% of the sale directly to Worldbuilders.

This applies to *anything* you buy from Powells. Not just books we’re featuring in the fundraiser. If you follow that link and buy stuff, not only are you supporting one of the coolest independent bookstores around, but a hefty piece of that money will go to making the world a better place.

You can also find the link in the navigation widget at the end of each of the blogs:

Look at that, all fancy and clickable.

Important Links and Contact Information

We’ve tweaked our website, since last year. And Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into their veins.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you could check out our handy FAQ.

Need to contact The Tinker’s Packs? You can e-mail them here: orders [at] thetinkerspacks.com

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Drop us a line here: donations [at] worldbuilders.com.

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Team Heifer donation page.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat25 Responses

Slow Regard of Silent Things: Recapping the Tour

When I started my book our for Slow Regard, I had high hopes of writing a few blogs while I was on the road.

Nothing big. Just little posts where I would mention some of the fun things that happened on each particular night. Maybe post a picture or two. Maybe if I was really ambitious, I’d put a cap on some of the blogs I had mostly done.

But no. Eventually, I will learn the truth: I cannot write a blog when I’m touring.

So here’s some highlights:

  • Pre-Tour:

Believe it or not, my signing tour actually started *before* my book came out.

As many of you know, Worldbuilders tried an experimental mid-year fundraiser last year. We ran an Indiegogo for a week and raised over $200,000 dollars.

Among other things, we gave people the chance to pre-order of signed copies of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. And in three days we sold about 1600 of them.

I wanted to make sure those folks got their books as close to the book release as possible. So in the week leading up to my tour, I signed about 2000 books.

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Believe it or not, that wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was bubble-wrapping, boxing, addressing, and shipping those packages.

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You don’t really understand how many 1600 packages are until you see them all in one place. Those shelves up there are stacked three deep, and there are other shelves I’m not showing you here.

Despite the tight timeline, the Worldbuilders team pulled it off. All the packages were shipped off the Monday before the book release.

I’m really proud of the fact. This was our first kickstarter-ish project, an experiment that was vastly more successful than any of us had hoped. I think it says a lot about my team that they put in the extra hours and made sure everything shipped on time so y’all could get your books in a timely fashion.

  • Opening Night: Portland.

Not only was this the first day of my book’s launch. This was my first-ever ticketed event that wasn’t a team-up with Paul and Storm.

The thought of selling tickets to my events seems strange to me. It offends my egalitarian sensibilities. But the simple fact is that you can’t fit 600 people into a bookstore. And even if you could, they couldn’t all hear me do my reading, or see me, or have seats.

So Powells arranged for a venue, and 800 people paid to come out and see me.

.@PatrickRothfuss and Nate Taylor get ready for tonight’s event! #PowellsEvents @MajorSheep pic.twitter.com/ppgUX5o8Po

— Powell’s Books (@Powells) October 29, 2014

It was a posh venue. Ushers and balconies and a delightful sound system. If I’d had my act together, I would have taken a picture of the crowd that showed up. But I didn’t, because I even think of it.

The Doubleclicks where there to open for me, and they rocked the house. I got misty when they sang “Wonder” like I always do. Then they invited me out to play the cat keyboard during the chorus of “I love you like a Burrito.”

Here’s the thing, we planned it before hand. I practiced a couple of times. I went so far as to number the keys on the cat-keyboard.

But I still screwed it up. More than once. Every time, in fact. On every chorus.

It was a great time.

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The signing afterwards was lovely, and I was joined by Nathan Taylor, the dashing artist who illustrated the book. Unfortunately, because I’m an idiot, I forgot to mention him to the crowd beforehand.

People brought me art. People brought me hugs. People brought me pie.

The next day I stole the fancy soaps from the hotel and it was off to….

  • San Diego:

The thing I remember most was that there was a really cute baby in the front row. Before my reading I talked to him for a bit, and when he reached for me, his mom let me hold him for a couple minutes. Thank you, baby mom. That meant a lot to me.

There were some awesome D&D players there who asked me geeky questions. They reminded me of me when I was their age.

And this happened.

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That’s right, they’re all wearing cloaks. They all came to the signing from the same college where they have a book club. They call themselves “The Scrivs.”

It doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Seattle:

This was another ticketed event, and another 800 people or so showed up. It was in a church across the street from the University Bookstore.

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I was already there that I realized it would be really funny to go in with a bunch of dry ice hidden under my clothes then cuss a lot and pretend to catch fire. Maybe next time.

The fabulous Molly Lewis opened for me, but I didn’t try to sing with her, as I’ve already screwed that up once before. (I’m pretty sure there’s a video out there of me making a hash of Tom Lehrer’s Elements with her.)

I also learned that Molly is doing a musical called ThanksGiving Vs. Christmas.

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If you live near Seattle and don’t go to it, you probably really need to examine what you’re doing with your life. Seriously.

My friend, illustrator and frequent collaborator Nathan Taylor was at this event too, as Seattle is close to home for him. And in a blithering display of lame, I forget to mention it to the crowd a second time.

In an attempt to make it up to him, I’ll mention the kickstarter he just launched.

As for my reading and Q&A, I can’t remember much of what I said. But I do know that I talked about feminism a bit, and at one point I held forth about the several ways that Frogger was sexist.

I felt pretty stupid about that afterwards, until a guy in the signing line said, “I’d never really thought about sexism in games before. But you’re right. Frogger is sexist. That’s kinda fucked up.”

So I’m counting that as a win.

  • Milwaukee:

At this point I’m four days and four cities into the tour. I’m getting around 3-5 hours of sleep a night with supplementary naps on planes and in cars.

Because of that, I remember less and less of the events. I know it was Halloween in Milwaukee, but I can’t bring to mind the costumes except that someone came as Batman.

The other thing I remember is that in the signing line, someone told me that their creative writing teacher required them to go to a reading as part of their class, but that my reading didn’t count, because I wrote fantasy.

I had her record a video where I voice my opinion on the matter.

Here’s the video. It isn’t entirely safe for work, as I remember saying the word “Bullshit” about seven or eight times.

 

Then onward to…

  • Lexington:

The cafe attached to Joseph Beth bookstore changed their menu for the day of my event:

Damfine menu

I’m proud of my addition: the Damfine Apple Pie.

We had about 600 people show up, including two gender-swapped Kvothe cosplayers showed up. That’s never happened before.

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  • Chicago:

People brought me wine and wizard hats,  and after the signing I had dinner with Peter Segal and some new friends.

Other than that, all I can remember is that this was actually in a town called Skokie.

Skokie. It sounds like an adorable animal sidekick from a Disney film.

Skokie.

  • St. Louis: (Fenton) 

The last stop of the tour. It might be unfair to call me a shambly mess, but it wouldn’t entirely be untrue.

Some of my friends who live in the area turned up at the signing, and it almost made me weepy. These are the old friends, the ones I’ve known since college. The people that have known me most of my adult life.

I haven’t been a very good friend over the last five years. My life has upheaved several times in several different ways, and I’ve been endlessly busy with one thing and another. All of that has turned my ordinary bumbling forgetfulness into complete isolationist non-communication that sometimes lasts for years.

Despite this, some of my friends drove miles and miles to visit me. They stood in line for hours. They brought me food and presents. They are better than I deserve.

  • The Reviews:

The best part of hitting a different city every day for a book tour is that I was too busy to obsess about reviews. And when I got home, I was mostly too tired to care anymore if people hated it.

Besides, I’d already heard from many of my readers that they loved the book.

Some of them on my blog:

“Thank you for giving me a moment of connectedness. Thank you for helping me love (just a little bit) a piece of myself that I’ve always hated.”

Some on twitter:

(And apparently I’m some kind of sadist, because when people read my book and cry, I feel strangely proud.)

People have also forwarded very nice reviews written by people I respect.

Like this one from NPR titled: Slow Regard is a riddle wrapped in a Mystery Living in an Underground Tunnel.

And an equally lovely one from GeekDad.

Some people don’t like the book. Or they were expecting something else. There’s a delightful blog about the book called: “This Pretzel is the Worst Lasagna Ever” where they discuss the problem of reader expectation in a wonderfully ridiculous way. Another blog dealt with the same issue with considerably more snark.

Generally speaking, I don’t go looking for bad reviews. I’ve been down that road, and I don’t plan on traveling it again. Besides, I already knew people wouldn’t like this book. I said as much in the author’s forward. And I knew people would be pissed that it wasn’t book three because I have the ability to see into the future and read people’s minds.

When writing The Name of the Wind, I decided I’d rather write a book some people love and other people hate, rather than write a book that everyone thought was pretty much okay. That seems to be what I’ve done here. So I’m happy.

This helps.

#2(Click to Embiggen.)

I’m pretty happy with taking second place after Grisham.

To all of you that came, if we had a moment during my tour and it wasn’t mentioned here, don’t take it the wrong way. I had so much fun with all of you. I appreciate the gifts, the hugs, and the thousand small kindnesses you have shown me. But this blog is already ridiculously long, and I have to wrap things up.

Stay beautiful, my people,

pat

P.S. Stay tuned for the big launch of Worldbuilders on Monday. It’s going to be awesome this year.

Posted in appearances, Nathan Taylor, the longest fucking blog ever | By Pat35 Responses

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

So my book is launching today, and so far I’ve spent the day trying not to think about it.

I am not a nervous person, but I’ll be honest with you. This book has me tied in a bit of a knot. I didn’t feel this way when Name of the Wind came out because I knew that book was good. I’d carried it around next to my heart for 14 years before it was published. I was confident in it.

But this book… When I finished it, I honestly expected it to just sit in a trunk for years. I knew I liked it. But I also knew it wasn’t like any sort of fantasy story I’d ever read before. At best it was arty, at worst it was incomprehensible. Bizarre. I mean, just look at the title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things. What does that even mean? My translators can’t figure it out, and I can’t articulate it in any sensible way. So in the rest of the world, the book is going to be “The Music of Silence.”

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And yes, yes, I liked it, but it was *my* book. Of course I like it. An author’s view of their own work is never objective.

So today I’m nervous. I’m resisting the urge to go look for reviews. Actively fighting the urge. The almost overwhelming urge. That way lies madness.

So I go onto twitter instead. The first, best refuge of a desperate man looking for substanceless distraction. And instead I and see people talking about the book. They’ve already read it, and before I can look away, I see this:

@PatrickRothfuss Just finished the book. I can only compare it to Ulysses, but not boring. You just made art. Makes the world brightier.

— Deoch y Stanchion (@DeochyStanchion) October 28, 2014

And it helps. A little. The twitter handle lets me know the reader isn’t exactly objective either. They’re obviously a fan…

But the more I roll this around in my head, the more it troubles me. Ulysses was one of those books that I was supposed to read for class but I never did. All I really know about it is that it’s one of the all-time front runners for pretentious, literary self-indulgence, right?

So I turn off twitter. I avoid reading e-mails that might even imply they have anything to do with my book. Then I grit my teeth and answer them anyway, because most of them are from my publisher, and I can’t just leave them hanging.

book

I just went online to find a copy of the US cover to post up, and I found this. This sort of thing warms my heart. Y’all are so enthusiastic and encouraging and kind. It makes me smile. It makes me think that things will be okay. My readers are up for something a little different. They’re geeks. They’re smart.

Then I picture the person above reading the book, their forehead furrowed, their expression screaming, “What the actual fuck Rothfuss? What the hell is this story even about?”

I hate the thought of disappointing people. And this is something that I didn’t understand until I was a parent. The more someone loves you, the more you have the ability to disappoint them. I love my little boy, and I get so irritated with him sometimes. Oot loves me beyond all reason and sense, and when I tell him no, I have hours of work to do, I can’t play, his face falls. Then he smiles a fake smile at me and tells me it’s okay. He’s only five and he already knows how to fake a smile to hide his disappointment. It breaks my heart.

I’m doing an event in Portland tonight in just a couple hours. It will be a good time. The Doubleclicks are opening for me, and last I heard we’d sold over 700 tickets.

What’s the point of all of this? There’s no point. I’m just rambling. Fretting.

I should go take a shower and see if I can do something to make myself look slightly civilized. Maybe eat some dinner. I should definitely Coffee-Up for my performance. Caffeine will probably help.

I hope all of you are well. If you’re reading the book, I hope you’re enjoying it. If you’re not reading the book, I hope you’re enjoying not reading it.

As always, yours in verbosity,

pat

Posted in emo bullshit, things I shouldn't talk about, trepidation | By Pat260 Responses

On the Cusp of Awesome: Worldbuilders is Nigh

Hey there everybody. We’ve got an announcement to make… but we figured we’d do it in video format.

That’s right. It’s almost time for Worldbuilders.

This year’s fundraiser and Carnival of Delights will be November 10th through December 8th.

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You’ll note two differences from last year.

1. We’re starting earlier.

Those of you who have been around since the beginning might remember that Worldbuilders was originally a November event. But over the years, as I became increasingly busy and decreasingly organized, the fundraiser slowly got pushed back a little at at time until it wasn’t even starting until December.

In some ways this was nice, as people tend to feel generous around the holidays.

But the downside is that everyone tends to be insanely *busy* around the holidays, too. Students have end-of-semester chaos. Parents have holiday shopping. Most everyone has some sort of family gathering. All of that means it’s really hard to get people’s attention.

Luckily, now I have the Worldbuilders team.

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 (Not pictured: the monkey who took the shot, Brett)

Not only are they handling more and more of the heavy lifting of the fundraiser themselves, but they’re delightfully well-organized.

So this year, we’re getting back to our roots and moving the fundraiser a little earlier.

2. The fundraiser is going to be faster.

Last year’s Worldbuilders was a huge success. We raised more than 700,000 dollars for Heifer International.

However, the fundraiser itself went from December 3 to February 4. It was nine weeks long.

Not only was it like running a marathon, but it overlapped the holidays. That made it hard to keep the momentum of the fundraiser going while at the same time making me feel like an absolute scrooge of a boss.

It occurred to me that the length of the fundraiser was mostly a holdover from when I was organizing things myself. Which is to say I was mostly *not* organizing them. These days the Worldbuilders team is a well-oiled machine. They have meetings and timetables. They use a calendar and everything. Seeing them using these revolutionary tools, I realized we really didn’t have a *reason* for the fundraiser to run as long as it has been….

So earlier this year, we tried an experiment. We ran an Indigogo campaign for one week to see if we could make a short fundraiser work.

And it did. We blew the doors off and raised more than $200,000.

So this year we’re going to keep it short and sweet. Or at least shorter and sweet. It’s going to be like an avalanche of awesome. We’ll be posting up new stuff pretty much every day.2013 Book Wall 02

So stay tuned, lest you miss something.

  • Donations.

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Why yes. We’d love some donations. Thanks so much for asking.

We’ve had books, games, and cool ephemera coming in for a couple months now. But this is your fair warning: since we’re doing a more compact fundraiser this year, we need things to arrive by the middle of November if we’re going to make good use of them.

If you have something you want to kick in, like geeky memorabilia, or signed books, or you should email us at donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

If you’re a member of the geek glitterati who wants make a donation or help us spread the word by doing an act of whimsy, email us at donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

If you have an idea for an author or other cool person you think would be a good addition to our fundraiser but you’ve never seen featured here, maybe drop them a line and ask them to email us at (you guessed it) donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

  • Volunteer and Other Offers of Help

I’m well aware that some of you would love to help with the fundraiser, but cash is hard to come by. No worries. I understand completely. I’ve spent most of my life in that position.

What can you do to help other than chip in money when the time comes? Well….

  • If you live in central Wisconsin, you could stop by Worldbuilders HQ and help us work our magic. We have a lot of work and never as many hands as we’d like, so we’re always looking for volunteers to help out around the store. Email us at volunteers [at] worldbuilders.org
  • If for some bizarre reason you don’t live in Wisconsin, you could start planning an act of whimsy of your own for when the fundraiser starts. We’re encouraging everyone to play this year.
  • Run a blog? Write for a paper? Are you huge on Facebook, Twitter, Ello? We love it when people help us spread the word. So start warming up your click fingers.
  • If you’d like to do an interview or set up some type of more formal press or event with the Worldbuilders team. Drop us a line at Questions [at] worldbuilders.org.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more tour announcements and other sundry things.

Brace yourselves, folks, together we’re going to change the world.

pat

Posted in videos, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat35 Responses
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