Author Archives: Amanda

San Diego Comic Con

Hey everybody, Amanda here! Pat’s out at San Diego Comic Con, running around like a mad man. He’s had a lot of stuff to do out there, and he asked me to post up his schedule here, because if we wait for him to have time, the convention will be over.

When in doubt, you’ll probably find Pat hanging out at the Horton Grand Hotel with the folks from Geek Chic, who are set up a seriously cool off-site hangout they’re calling Geek Chic XP.

It’s like a sanctuary from the usual craziness that is SDCC. There’s great food and drinks, and they’ll all be available to be delivered to you while you game on Geek Chic’s epic gaming tables.

Geek-Chic-Tables

It’s going to be a pretty cool place to be.

Pat will be spending lots of his time there, and you don’t need a badge to get in. Be sure to check out their website for details.

Here’s what’s on the schedule otherwise:

  • Fri, July 10

1pm-2pm: Signing at Badali’s Booth, #532

  • Sat, July 11

12pm: Sci-fi vs Fantasy Family Feud, Room: 7AB

1:30-2:30pm Signing, Table AA09

7-9pm: Meet & Greet at Geek Chic XP

Grand Horton Hotel
311 Island Avenue,
San Diego CA 92101

This is two hours (minimum) where Pat will be at Geek Chic XP, hanging out and gaming with whoever shows up, and eating some of the awesome food, including the Eolian Burger they’ve got on the menu…

eolian burger

It’s gonna be a casual, fun environment that isn’t usually available at cons like this, so if it sounds cool to you, you should definitely check it out.

  • Sun, July 12

12pm-1pm: Signing, Table AA18

* * *

So there you have it. If you have a badge, there are signings and panels you can attend. Even if you don’t, there’s fun to be had elsewhere, especially at Geek Chic XP. Be sure to swing by if you’ve got the chance, and tell Pat hi from me if you see him…

Posted in appearances, conventions, Geek Chic | By Amanda19 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part XI: Shrines, Scenery, and Groups

Hey guys, Amanda here again. We’re on a roll, and today we bring you part XI of the photo contest.

[I'm here too. It's Pat. I'm orange today.]

Like last time, Pat and I worked together on these blogs, and he picked our winners a long time ago. He just needs that extra push to actually post it. So… *push*

Pat’s going to be popping in here and there to give his snarky input again. I hope you enjoy my public mocking.

[Technically, that should be "I hope you enjoy my being publicly mocked." The way you've phrased it implies that you're going to be mocking people in public.]

Something tells me this is not the only time you’re gonna sass me today….

[Something tells me you're right.]

  • Groups.

My favorite thing that happened in this contest were the big group efforts.

Some were more simple, like asking these lovely women to pose with a copy of WMF:

photocontest_2_girls

And then there’s some of the more intricate set ups.

WMF_photo

I love the idea of Alan Menken writing the music for this musical. Would it be more in the vein of Little Shop of Horrors or Aladdin?

WMF_sm2

And here we have Spider-man, wrecking everything, like he does.

Advanced Not Being a Stupid Jackass 006

I was a high school Engilsh teacher before I started working for Pat, so this made me grin more than usual.

[Engeilersh.]

These sophomores are in the middle of a course of Advanced Not Being a Stupid Jackass. I approve. Plus, the teacher actually got waivers from all of the kids in the picture. Though given how long it’s taken to post this, some fairly simple math reveals that they’re all at least 19 now.

[ಠ_ಠ]

entry003 - just went around town asking people to hold their book

I admire this. This photo was made just by going around town asking people to hold their book. Making friends, sharing the love, and a cool photo.

Honorable Mention:

EolianMuses

“Wild warblings from the Eolian lyre/Enchantment softly breathe, and/tremblingly expire” -John Keats

Winners:

wiseman-büchermittelalteredit

(Click to embiggen)

Aynaet, the person who sent this photo in, outed herself as a Nerdfighter to us when she submitted these photos, though Pat and I selected this as a winner before I noticed that. I pretty much immediately wanted to be best friends with her.

Many of the pictures are of her at various conventions, adding a little bonus geek factor to the submission.

'Most Blatant Suck-up' entry

[You guys rock my socks. Seeing you flying your freak flag makes me proud to be a geek.]
The folks who submitted this were very detailed in their explanation:
“-Yes, that is a Luring the Draccus poster; yes, that is my computer background reflected in it; yes, my computer background is the art of the French cover of NOTW.
-Yes, we all three are wearing (or in my brother’s case, draped over a shoulder) Rothfussian shirts
-Yes, my brother is copying the pose from the romance novel cover of NOTW with my flute and copy of The Last Unicorn
-Yes, all those copies of NOTW, WMF, Princess and Mr. Whiffle, and assorted other Rothfuss paraphernalia do belong and were purchased by us, making this kinda an entry into the ‘Most Blatant Suck-up’ category.
-Yes, some of our copies are not pictured due to being out on loan, and yes, as this was taken a while ago more copies have been added.”

There’s a lot of enthusiasm here. They have pretty much every edition of Name of the Wind available, including the book club edition. They even have one of our long-gone original Worldbuilders t-shirts. So, for their commitment, they’ll all be getting sets of gold talent pipes.

[Only fair. It seems like that's the only thing they don't have in their collection so far....]

The photostream has even more group efforts, including bonus pictures from some featured here already.

  • Shrines.

There were more than a few shrines built in honor of WMF:

[My name is is Pat Rothfuss, and I officially I approve of this behavior.]

IMG_1385a

But not all of them were beautiful, serene things….

IMG_1390a

This contained real strands of hair from the photographer’s boyfriend, her wisdom teeth, and money from a German middle-ages festival.

[Cripes. Teeth? I never mentioned teeth as a sympathetic link, did I? That particular piece of inspired creepy isn't my personal responsibility....]

candles1

This one features a wax mommet. I’m particularly fond of the way the instrument case has been bound. If you click to embiggen, you see a note that says “SILENCE OF THREE PARTS” on the case, so it factors into whatever spell they’re placing on their mommet.

[*Pushes up glasses again.* "Binding" is the preferred nomenclature. Nobody at the university would use the word "spell."]

You know Pat, if you’d rather I *stopped* helping with these blogs, all you have to do is ask….

[*mumbles something softly to himself without meeting your eye*]

Honorable Mention:

ducks2

The photographer was convinced these ducks were performing a ritual to bring about some “well deserved happiness for our dear Kvothe.” I hope it worked…

Winner:

055

The best shrines are those that provide enough light for you to read by.

[This is just an awesome picture. I'd love it even if it had nothing to do with my book. As it is, I love it exponentially more....]

There are even more shrines in the photostream, if you want to get ideas for your own glorification of the books.

  • Scenery

Our next category was fairly simple.

A lot of the pictures are simply beautiful, and can pretty much speak for themselves….

IMG_20110515_164015

DSCN0158

I feel oddly calm and at ease looking at this photo. Stevens Point has nothing resembling this for me to climb, but I might go looking for one now…

Dennabogmark2

[My aging, decrepit mind thinks this picture was from Finland...]

Wise Man's Fear1 201

Having spent my entire life in the Midwest, and primarily Wisconsin, this was REALLY cool to me.

[Butte. LOLOLOLOL]

New York Times Bestselling author, folks. I’m so proud.

Honorable mention:

book  in stone circle

My immediate reaction to this was a desire to get a group together to sit on the stones and read the book aloud, with each person playing a role. And then I was worried some creepy fae magic would happen and someone would disappear, so I decided not to ever do that.

[I can't tell if I think this ring of stones is cool or creepy. I keep wondering who made it, and why? Then the stories I come up with in my head to answer those questions aren't always good stories....]

Winner:

Aileen Hay3

I don’t know why this picture appealed to me the way it did. It’s a beautiful picture, but there’s something more to it that makes me really happy. There’s something about the angle, the black and white, the small glimpse of water through the planks, the expanse of sky, that all just sort of… fit.

And really, that’s enough for me.

[I hear you. There's a real art to shooting a good photo. I don't know how it works, but I know what I like...]

There were so many more cool photos. We’ve added them to the photo stream, and you should really see them.

* * *

Thanks for taking this ride with me, guys. I’m pretty sure Pat appreciated having me take over a couple of these, even if he mocked my every word.

[Please, at most I mocked every fourth word or so.]

Previously: [Prologue] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI] [Part VII] [Part VIII] [Part IX] [Part X]

There are only two photo contest blogs left: Miscellany and the Grand Prize Winner. They’re both pretty awesome…

Amanda

[What she said.]

[pat]

Posted in fan coolness, I mock because I love, Photo Contest 2011 | By Amanda21 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part IX: Around the World

Heya folks, Amanda here.

[This is Pat. I'm here too, but today, I'm orange.]

Amanda square

As Pat’s mentioned before, I have been helping him sort through all of these photo contest blogs. It’s mind blowing how many photos you guys sent in, so it’s taken kind of a long time.

That said, a lot of the photo contest blogs have been about 97% done for a while. We grouped things into categories together. We sorted them out. We bickered a bit over who the winners and honorable mentions should be. We got photos into the photostreams so blogs wouldn’t have 80 pictures in them.

Pat’s been part of all these steps. He’s been the ultimate decider. And the blogs have been getting posted up. But, y’know, still kinda slowly.

Ultimately, the problem is that Pat’s more than slightly obsessed with getting things perfect. You know this is the case in his books, where he needs everything to be 100%. What you might not realize is this: for him, even posting a blog that’s only 97% feels wrong to him.

[This is true. The pursuit of perfection is kinda like a sickness.]

With his books, this leads to good books. But with blogs… it mostly leads to long delays.

[Yeah. True. Or it leads to me not writing blogs at all, dreading the amount of time they'll take to finish.]

Here’s the problem. Pat told me that it was my job to make sure we got the photo contest finished.

So the other day, I say to him: “If we don’t get the photo contest finished, we’re not going to be able to fit in the other thing you want to do before the Mid-Season fundraiser at the beginning of June.”

Pat says, “Yeah. I was wondering. How would you feel about finishing up a couple of the blogs yourself? They’re pretty much done already. They just need final spit and polish. And I know I’m slowing down the process at this point.”

“I would love that,” I said.

“I would kinda love that too,” he said.

For reference, I went to double check, and the submissions for the photo contest were all due on May 15, 2011. On Friday, we will have had these photos for four years.

[I hereby declare that we will finish this photo contest by May 15th of this year. Even if it kills us.]

[And by "We" I mean Amanda. And by "us" I mean me. Because Amanda will kill me.]

So yeah. Let’s get this ball rolling, shall we? Don’t worry. I don’t doubt Pat will jump in and give you a bit of his own color commentary here and there.

[Way ahead of you.]

* * *

Today we bring you Part IX of the long delayed photo contest.

Previous parts are here:

[Prologue] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI] [Part VII] [Part VIII]

Lots of people surrounded Wise Man’s Fear with other beloved books from their libraries.

Nerd awesome

Or reading other books.

rothfussphto2

[The glasses are a nice touch here.]

SONY DSC

This one features El Contador de Historias as Sim, La Cultura, Todo lo que Hay que Saber as Wil, and WMF as Kvothe, all having at drink at the Eolian.

A surprising number of people had Wise Man’s Fear fighting other books to the death.

PatRothCon Mockup

This was a somewhat common motif in the previous photo contest, too. I’m not sure what makes Pat’s books fight other books so much, but they sure seem to win a lot.

Winner: Epic Struggle

[I just wanted to claim credit for "Epic Struggle." That's mine. I came up with that.]

close fight

This one had great attention to detail. The blood spilling out is words. The books have hands, and WMF got wounded in battle, but not enough to prevent its coup de grâce.

This was a reference to Pat’s blog about blurbing Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, particularly the quote ”Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.”

Also Winner: Playing With Yourself.

[I'd like to *not* take credit for "Playing With Yourself." But I have to. Because I came up with it.]

Our other winner, though, really took advantage of Pat’s obsession with Catan:

Catan 6

Their suggested caption:

  • “Teaching the new guy” or “I have wood for sheep.”

They managed to get one of the cool ARC copies of Name of the Wind into the picture, and as a first edition/first printing of NOTW as well.

We’ve got a photostream of all of the other books hanging out with books, if you want to check them out.

Books Around the World.

For the contest, a lot of people took Wise Man’s Fear to cool and exciting places. Fantastic places. Far-off, exotic locales….

And Urbana. Normally Urbana is not considered an exotic locale, but this dedicated fan gave us the entire photo journey of the Travels of Mr. Book.

Anywhere youlike

This was only the first picture, but if you want to see the complete set, you can check out the Travels of Mr. Book over on the photo stream.

IMG_1267a

Apparently this is a shop for jewelery in Ulm, Germany. The Sparrow is the emblem of Ulm.

[In Ulm, um Ulm, um Ulm herum.]

photo contest heroic looking Karo

This was taken at the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, which the tourist-board calls the Fairytale-Castle and the person who submitted the photo calls “neo-gothic tastlessness.”

Even so, it made for a sweet photo.

The book made it to some classic spots too, like the Colosseum.

Wise Man's Fear Colesso

Or overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seattle….

[Cool skyline.]

at sea(ttle)

Or Cologne, Germany.

entry002

On our recent trip to Germany, I saw this very cathedral. And I think this copy of WMF looks pretty cool with his sunglasses….

[Is that the Cathedral I pointed at and said, "I've gotta get me one of those?"]

Yup. I violently rolled my eyes at you.

wisesage

This fan couldn’t get their hands on a copy of WMF, and so made their own based on bootlegged copies of DVDs and books found in the area.

[I remember I didn't get this joke at first, but when we followed up with them, they explained that bootlegged DVDs tend to have ridiculously bad cover translations.]

In the intervening years, WMF has been translated into both traditional and simplified Chinese, and they’re both beautiful, for reference.

Other folks just found beautiful or picturesque places to take the book, including places that looked like waystones.

Waystone-s of Carthage

[I think this one might actually *be* an old waystone. As in an old Roman stone that marked a road? Is that something that really existed, or did I just make it up in my head?]

[No. Nope nope nope. I'm not going to look it up. Not going to lose two hours researching it. I'm learning to let go and let some blogs be only 97%...]

Columns of heaven

Peek.

Waystone

And on that note…

Winner: Greystones.

DSCF0497

 

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These look like perfect waystones to sit and read beneath. Just be wary on night with a full moon…

[Actually *pushes us glasses* it's the night with no moon that people are supposed to fear.]

Is it okay if we just fix it and I don’t have to snark back at you because I’m actually legitimately embarrassed that I messed that up?

[No. Everyone will bear witness to your shame. That's what happens when you settle for 97%.]

We have a photostream of all of the other exotic or interesting locales, so take the time to check them out, because there were a lot.

* * *

Congrats to all the winners, and sorry for the nearly-four-year delay.

Subbing in for this blog was really fun, and Pat and I are going to work hard to get all of the rest of the photo contest blogs up this week.

[Do. Or do not. There is no try.]

I’ll probably take over at least one more. Y’know, just to be sure.

Amanda

[This was a surprising amount of fun for me, too. Make sure to stay tuned to the blog this week, because there's going to be a new blog pretty much every day.]

[pat]

Posted in fan coolness, Photo Contest 2011 | By Amanda28 Responses

An Abundance of Signed Books

You all have been going above and beyond, with our total creeping ever closer to the $500,000 mark. In the last day alone we’ve raised more than $75,000. That’s enough to buy biogas stoves for 75 entire villages.

YMCA Mbale Branch (21-0510-02)

Around 3 billion people in the world still cook and heat their homes using open fires. By buying stoves for the entire village, you’re improving the health of families who would otherwise very likely develop chronic lung and eye diseases from smoke inhalation in poorly ventilated buildings.

Biogas stoves also mean that children no longer have to gather firewood by hand, saving hours a day, so there is more time for school and homework.

And even more than that, biogas stoves run on animal manure, something that already has to be dealt with. At the end, the slurry in the biogas digester can be used for fertilizer, improving crop yields with little added effort. Nothing wasted, and they provide so many benefits.

And we’ve raised enough to provide that to 75 villages in one day. Imagine what we can do in the 10 days we’ve got left…

* * *

Today’s blog has awesome books from all over the place. All of them are signed, and there are a few very special editions, whether they’re first printings, limited runs, or personally inscribed to Worldbuilders donors.

They were kicked in by publishers, authors, and longtime Worldbuilders supporters, and while the majority of them are in the lottery, where anyone who donates $10 or more has the chance of winning them, there are a few gems that we’ve put up for auction as well, so read closely and see if there’s anything you think you’d like to add to your library.

  • ARCs of The Witches of Echo Park. Signed by Amber Benson, coming out in January 2015.

WitchesOfEchoPark

This is a real treat. Amber is a lovely person, and she’s been helping us out for years, including that time she pretended to be Pat on twitter for a while. Her publisher pitched in a bunch of early copies of her upcoming book, which was awesome.

We’ve put some in the lottery, but for those of you who want to be certain, there’s one up for auction over here.

ShadowsBeneath

Writing Excuses has been around since 2008, and is a great podcast to get into if you’re interested in the many aspects of genre writing. Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard talk for 15 minutes or so each week about a different subject that has to do with writing or producing speculative fiction or webcomics.

This anthology is one short story from each of the hosts, and this copy is signed by all four of them. It’s in the lottery, too, so someone is going to get a real treat.

  • Auction: A hardcover set of The Stormlight Archive books: The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.  Signed and dedicated to Worldbuilders by Brandon Sanderson.

_DSC0289

“Epic in every sense. Sanderson has built a world that leaps to life, a cast of varied characters and a vast history which slowly unfolds with the deepening story of Roshar.” – Guardian

These have been inscribed for Worldbuilders, and in Way of Kings Brandon even claims that the book is almost as epic as Pat’s beard…

These are really cool, and since they’re up for auction, they could be yours if you head over and bid.

  • Auctions: Copies of A Dance with Dragons. One first edition, one deluxe limited edition. Signed by George R.R. Martin.

DanceWithDragonses

“Filled with vividly rendered set pieces, unexpected turnings, assorted cliffhangers and moments of appalling cruelty, A Dance with Dragons is epic fantasy as it should be written: passionate, compelling, convincingly detailed and thoroughly imagined.” – The Washington Post

This first edition (pictured on the left) is really cool and collectible, since it’s signed by George R.R. Martin, so if you’d like to add it to your collection, you can bid for the chance over here.

If you’d rather go full archival collectible, there’s the Subterranean Press Deluxe Limited Edition, also signed, including illustrations from Tom Kidd. It’s a promotional copy of what is now a sold out edition, so if you want one, your best option is to bid on it over here.

Dying of the Light2

As has been previously covered, Subterranean Press makes really gorgeous special editions of books, and Dying of the Light is no exception.

This is actually Martin’s first novel, written before A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s illustrated with full-color end sheets, three full-color plates, and fifteen pen-and-ink illustrations by Tom Kidd. This copy is numbered 233 out of 500, and if you want it, you can bid on it over here.

MarkingTime2

April was kind enough to send us a few copies of the first book in her series. She’s a big supporter of Worldbuilders, and even has an auction going to be Tuckerized in her upcoming book.

If you want the chance at the books, all you have to do is donate on the team page.

  • Auctions: A set of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy and a copy of Razor’s Edge. All signed by Martha Wells.

MarthaWellsAuctions

Martha Wells is a wonderful, long-time supporter of Worldbuilders. She’s kicked in lots of books in the past, and this year we’ve got a bunch more.

The ones that are up for auction are a hardcover copy of Razor’s Edge, which you can bid on over here, as well as a full set of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, which you can bid on over here. All of the books are signed, and donated with love.

  • Razor’s Edge, a set of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, Wheel of the Infinite, a set of the Emilie series, and a set of the Books of the Raksura series. All signed by Martha Wells.

MarthaWellsLottery

Martha was particularly awesome and sent more than one copy or set of some things, so we’re also throwing a bunch of her books into the lottery.

Again, they’re all signed, so donating to the team page gets you the chance to get some new books to read if you’ve never picked them up before, or some fancy signed copies to brag about to your friends if you have.

Eternal

It’s always awesome when authors donate copies of their books, especially when they’ve inscribed them. The inscription here is really thoughtful, reminding everyone who wins that these books are physical proof that you changed a person’s life for the better with your donation.

And that’s a really heartwarming thing to know.

Malice2

“With three-dimensional characters, a gripping plot, and a world that became real to me, John Gwynne’s Malice is a great debut. In short, this is the kind of fantasy I love to read and I truly can’t wait for the next volume in The Faithful and the Fallen!” – Fantasy Book Review

We got a couple of copies of this, including a limited edition copy, number 424 out of 500, so we’ve put that one up for auction. If you want it, you can bid on it here.

  • Auction: A notebook full of notes for the upcoming book Killing Pretty by Richard Kadrey.

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This was an absolute treat to receive, and a lot of us here at Worldbuilders HQ have been gazing longingly at it.

You see, despite appearances, this is no ordinary notebook. Every scrap of paper, scribbled note, and printed picture has relevance and meaning to the not-yet-published book 7 in the Sandman Slim series, Killing Pretty.

KillingPretty2

Richard explained the donation thusly:

“I keep a notebook for each of my novels. The books are full of story and character notes, as well as visual reference photos. I finished my newest novel, book 7 in the Sandman Slim series, and don’t need the notebook anymore.”

The book itself doesn’t come out until July of 2015, so the winner of this auction is going to get all sorts of juicy secrets and plot points well before the actual release. There are more pictures of a few choice pages over on the auction, for those of you who are curious.

You know you want it. Bid here. We won’t stop you.

  • Auction: An early manuscript of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Critiqued mercilessly by Brett.

Pat02

This is a cool piece of history. Brett read this very copy, making all sorts of excruciatingly honest critiques of the story, and catching a lot of spelling errors. Pat found a lot of this particularly amusing, so you should really go over and check out the auction, even if only to see the photos of some of the mistakes that were made that Brett caught. We’ll just say: “simpathy lamp.”

This manuscript was printed before the folks at DAW got a look at it, so it’s a little different from the finished book, but largely familiar. There are a few passages that have been reworked, rearranged or tweaked, there are a few different names and spellings, and you can see some instances where Pat was playing with different ways to convey magical commands and slang. It of course has random notes here and there, including comments where Brett was confused, disgusted, or bowled over by the story.

As you may also see, this book is hilariously long when printed out on paper. It had to be bound in two parts, because it was just so unwieldy in one.

If you want this rough-draft manuscript, bid on it over here.

*  *  *

We love all the cool stuff that people donate to us every year, and we’re always amazed at the different types of collectible pieces that make their way through our office. It’s exciting to think that some of this stuff will find its way to the right person–the person who will treasure it like it needs to be treasured.

So while we’re getting all this neat stuff into the world, we’re also helping buy a different sort of cool stuff for people who really need it–biogas stoves, for instance.

And that’s the other side of the excitement around here. Seriously. When Amanda did the math for how many biogas stoves can be bought with what we raised in a day, all of us told her she was wrong and had to re-do her math. When we found out she was correct, we just stood there and stared at each other. There are seriously no words for how cool you guys are for blowing our minds like this.

Thank you everyone for pitching in, spreading the word, donating, voting, watching our stretch goals, bidding on auctions, and buying Tinker’s Packs swag. You’re improving the lives and futures of villages full of people.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Amanda8 Responses

Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers

Today, we bring you Stretch Goal Round-Up, Part Two: Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers edition.

I know it’s nowhere near as cool as the last title, but they can’t all be winners.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of the Worldbuilders Team. Pat spent the holiday with his family, had a signing down in Madison for IndiesFirst, and promptly come home sick as a dog.

While he sleeps it off, we’re here to grant him a break, as well as to show off the cool stretch goals we’ve passed in the last week, as well as an update on the #NeilReads totals at the end. If you missed the last collection of stretch goals, you definitely should check those out, too.

Let’s get right to it.

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

The livestream happened last Monday, but you can now watch the video right here. Seth talked a lot about query letters and agents, and the dos and don’ts of each.

He even brought on one of his clients, Django Wexler, to discuss the first query letter Seth received from him, and why it didn’t get him an agent.

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

Myke helped us get through the technical issues we had with this video, and it’s up in all its glory for you to see.

If you’ve ever wanted to read were-hedgehog erotica, but wanted to hear a review of the book first, you’ve got it here.

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.

James was a juggler and performer before he made it as a game designer, and this trick is his signature trick, that only he performs. Yup. Juuust him. Sure would suck if someone stole his move, made it famous, and gave him full credit. Sure would. Enjoy all of its majesty…

  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

Nate and Pat  had a great time talking about the art from Slow Regard. When you’ve got an hour to spare, be sure to sit down and watch this one.

We passed both of these next goals over Thanksgiving, so the videos aren’t ready yet, but they will be soon!

  • $300k Mikey Neumann writes and reads a short story just for us!

Mikey has been planning this one for a while, and we’re pumped to share it with you once he finishes and films it for us…

“The Eye of Argon” considered the Citizen Kane of bad fantasy writing (or maybe the Plan 9 From Outer Space?), and has been embraced in its infamy by writers and fans alike. Apparently, reading this story has turned into some kind of competition. Folks are challenged to read it, exactly as written, without smiling or laughing. Grandmasters have to read it after inhaling helium.

This is going to be good, no matter how Christopher handles it.

And we’re right on the cusp of the next couple of stretch goals as well…

  • $350k The Doubleclicks play “Love You Like a Burrito” with a special guest…

This special guest may need to redeem himself after not performing the song very well at a book release event in Portland a little while ago…

This one is going to be epic as well, and the folks at Cards Against Humanity are awesome. If you didn’t see CAH’s Black Friday Bullshit sale, you really missed out on your chance to buy real, literal bullshit.

  • $400k John Green eats a Heifer International inspired meal.

Followers of John Green may already know of his history of blenderizing meals. He’s agreed to eat a meal made up of things you can get from Heifer International: Goat cheese, bacon, honey, and lots of other things he might be able to find. It’s probably going to be really gross, in a really awesome way.

* * *

I (meaning Amanda) ran all the numbers this morning to see what animal Pat may have to kiss if we pass our total from last year:

Animal Kiss 11.30

It seems pretty solidly decided in favor of llama.

There were comments here and there of people trying to campaign for the Goat, mostly to spare Pat from what has potential to be a very scary experience with the llama, so we’ll see if they’re successful in the end…

As far as the #NeilReads totals, we’ve got quite the turn of events. I went to run my totals, and when I got the image to share with everyone, it turned up like this.

#NeilReads 11.30

I did a double take when I realized that Jabberwocky and Where The Wild Things are were tied. I’d taken it for granted at this point that Jabberwocky would still have a perceptible lead.  Since I didn’t think it was fair to show you this without offering up the detailed totals, I did a new chart with those included as well.

#NeilReads 11.30.2

So that’s where things currently stand – Jabberwocky is winning with a mere $405 lead. If you want Where the Wild Things Are to win (I know I do), go in there and vote, or get your friends to vote. It won’t take much…

Hope you all had a great weekend. Stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed, because we’ll be updating every day with things you won’t want to miss, including a massive blog tomorrow full of books from DAW.

The Worldbuilders Team

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Amanda12 Responses

Art and Artistry

Here we are, folks, only a week out from the ending.  Pat is in San Francisco, hanging out with the likes of Paul and Storm and Vi Hart, so today’s only-a-little-envious blog comes to you courtesy of the Worldbuilders Team.

A lot of people see what Heifer does as simply bringing animals to those in need, and while that’s a part of it, there is so much more.  They work with the people in the community, to be sure they’re bringing the right sort of animals that will benefit everyone and work well with the local climate.

In Tanzania, they worked with people to introduce the zero-grazing method of raising livestock.  One of those people was Huruma Mhapa, pictured below, who had been living in poverty until 1993, when she received one Heifer dairy cow as part of a women’s group project.

Tanzania (2)

That’s her bringing a mountain of feed to her cows.

Zero-grazing is a process where livestock are kept in an enclosure and food is brought to them. The enclosure provides protection from the elements and other animals, while allowing room for roaming and exercise. Manure is sold or used as fertilizer, and land can be used for farming instead of grazing.

Today, Mhapa is a regular lecturer at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro. She farms 11 acres and cares for four dairy cows — all descendants of that first cow.

“The cattle project brought love in our family, improved our livelihoods, and allowed our three children to go to school,” she says. “I consider these cows as part of my family. I wake up at 4 a.m. At that time, my children are not yet awake, so the first ones to be greeted by me in the morning are the cows.”

Mhapa is the ideal example of Heifer International’s cornerstone value, “Passing the Gift.” To date, she has trained more than 4,000 farmers directly, including those from Heifer projects in other countries, including Malawi and Kenya. Many thousands more have visited her farm to learn about zero-grazing and organic farming.

Mhapa’s hard work has also brought social change to her community. “The way the men in this village perceive women has changed,” she says. “They see us, the women, as very important and they now cooperate in increasing the income of our households.”

So much more than just giving a cow.

*  *  *

Today, we bring you some great fantasy and genre art.  Most of it is going to be auctioned, to be sure it goes to a good home – but we’ve got a couple in the lottery.

Fantastic Flying Books - large

This is a print of a still from the award-winning short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, signed by the directors, one of whom (William Joyce) is also the author of the original picture book.  It’s a beautiful story, depicting the relationship between a man who loves his books, and the books who love their man.

This will be going into the lottery, for any book lover to possibly win.

  • A special edition print of  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  Signed by illustrator Joe Bluhm.

Fantastic Flying Books Character

Also in the lottery, this is a great special-edition print of the character sketches made by artist Joe Bluhm for the film.  It’s not easy to come by, but the folks over at Moonbot Studios sent it over for the fundraiser, so we thought we’d make it available in the lottery.

Now, on to the auctions:

  • Auction: Numbered print of Miss Martin from the 2013 Literary Pin-Up Calendar.  Signed by artist Lee Moyer.

Wolf Lady

Like the one in our Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman blog, Lee has sent us a couple more of his beautiful limited edition prints of pin ups from the 2013 calendar.

This one is of Cersei Lanister, from George R.R. Martin’s pin up.  If you want a full sized print of this pin up, head over here and bid.

  • AuctionNumbered print Miss Carey from the 2013 Literary Pin-Up Calendar.  Signed by artist Lee Moyer.

Tattoo lady - full

Here we have the pin-up of Phèdre from Jacqueline Carey’s Phèdre Trilogy, looking beautiful as ever.  This is also signed and numbered, and available to bid upon over here.

  • Auction: Vincent Chong art pack: Prints of Saint Darwin’s Spirituals and Trick or Treat.  Both signed by Vincent Chong.

Vincent Chong Prints

Vincent Chong does some great cover art, a lot of which ends up on Subterranean Press’s books.  When his prints showed up, we were extremely happy to have them.

If you want these beautifully chilling prints, be sure to bid on them here.

  • Auction: Limited edition Wasteland video game cover art print.  Signed by artist Barry E. Jackson.  One of 500.

In Exile print

Here we have something extra cool:  Numbered 60 out of 500, this is a print of the original cover art for Wasteland.

Yeah.  Pretty sweet.

It’s signed by the artist, and there were (and will be) only 500 printed.  If you want it, you need head over and bid on it before it’s gone.

  • Auction: Framed Princess Leia Art Nouveau.  Signed and donated by Karen Hallion.

Hallion Leia

Karen Hallion has been pretty great to Worldbuilders.  Geeks everywhere can be seen with merchandise of her art, and she lets The Tinker’s Packs sell prints of it as well.

This is a particularly beautiful print, professionally framed, dated, and signed by Karen  herself.  It’s clever and fun, and would look great hanging on just about any wall.  If you want that wall to be yours, bid on it here.

  • Auction: Two tickets the Roundabout Theater’s revival of Caberet.  Includes a tour of the backstage.

cabaret-door

This is really cool, and when actor Bill Heck offered them up to us, we were floored.

Bill, who is playing the role of Cliff in this production, has offered up two tickets to see Caberet at Studio 54, also staring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams.  He’ll take you on a tour of the backstage, and maybe go out for drinks with you afterward.

The date is negotiable, so if you live in or around New York, or would like to make plans for a trip out that way, you’ll be able to make it work for your schedule.

To bid on this awesome experience, head over here.

  • Three Auctions: ”All Stories Are True” necklace, Filigree Dragon copper necklace, and a Copper Dragon shawl pin.  All handmade by Amber from Serpent’s Dance.

AllThreeCloseup

Finally, we have three auctions for you from one wonderful donor.  Some of you may recognize her style from last year, when she donated a beautiful Bookwyrm Pendant which sold out before we even posted the blog.

This year, she hedged her bets and sent us a few more things.  And we put them all up in auctions, so that more people who really want it could have a chance at them, as opposed to whoever happened to be up and on the store 10 minutes before we posted a blog.

So, if you’re interested in the “All Stories Are True” necklace: bid here.

If you would like the Filigree Dragon Copper necklace: bid here.

And if you would like the Copper Dragon shawl pin: bid here.

We’re in the final stretch folks.  Remember, all donations of $10 or more made before February 2nd at 11:59pm CST to our Team Page will be entered into the lottery for one of over a thousand prizes of books, games, art, and more.  Keep an eye out, because we’ve still got a lot to show you before that time comes…

 

Posted in Worldbuilders 2013 | By Amanda12 Responses

Signed Books, Doodled Books, First Edition Books….

We here on the Worldbuilders team know you guys like to hear stories about the people Heifer International is working with. Stories like the one Pat shared in yesterday’s blog.

We love these stories too. In fact, we published a calendar full of them for 2014.

B

(Bhumi Kumari Kathait helps her grandson drink a cup of milk in Nepal)

Of course, some of prefer hard facts and numbers demonstrating the work Heifer does. We can absolutely respect that. We actually encourage folks to check their facts instead of blindly throw their money at something.  So here’s some information from the Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation.

“Due to Heifer International’s expenditure of about $7 million over six years, about 8,500 Ugandan families are likely to experience income gains exceeding $8.5 million a year on an ongoing basis and asset gains of about $17 billion.”

“About 5,500 of their children are likely to avoid stunting due to nutritional shortfalls. For each $1 expenditure by country programs in Albania, Nepal and Uganda, households can be expected to gain about $2.35, $1.19 and $1.25 in the respective country programs on an ongoing basis once the projects reach the maturity profile of those included in the evaluation.”

That means for every dollar put into one of these projects, the people involved gain the ability to earn more than a dollar on an ongoing basis.

If you want to read the full article, head over here.

Because of the way Heifer works, ten or twenty dollars can make a huge impact.

And since everything in this blog is going into the lottery, $10 can get you a chance to win. $40 gets you four chances to win, and not just these books, but thousands of others.

Plus, did we mention *everything* in this blog is signed? It’s a very win-filled situation.

  • Copy of Steelheart.  Signed by Brandon Sanderson. Includes a code to see a secret page on Brandon’s website.

Steel - all

Brandon’s a really cool guy and an excellent writer, as is evidenced by the live-streamed short story he wrote for our $100,000 stretch goal.  If you missed the live event, the video is online over here.

“Fantastic!  The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive, with a resolution that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.” – James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series.

  • Copy of Evil Machines.  First edition, signed by Terry Jones.

Evil Machines - all

Here is a cool book by the awesome Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame), which was produced by Unbound.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Unbound is effectively a Kickstarter for book ideas.  They’ll publish, print, and distribute a book for you if your idea for a book gets funded.

There weren’t a lot of these made up, and this edition of the book sold out – but here we have a signed first edition up for grabs in the lottery.

Goblinproofing - all

“I had the most awful problems with goblins gobbling up my hens in the night.  Thanks to Mr. Bakeley’s new book, not only is my garden free of these pests, but my chickens have never been happier!” – Professor Elemental, adventurer, inventor, and tea enthusiast

In Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop readers will discover:
- Why a bustle in one’s hedgerow may be cause for alarm
- Why a garden fumigator may come in handy on evenings at the pub
- Why a toy merchant, a butcher, and a Freemason are among your best allies in the fight against the fey

This book is full of practical advice, which is always a good thing to get.

Pandoras - all

“Anyone who begins this won’t be able to put it down… Hamilton proves that “intelligent space opera” isn’t an oxymoron” – Publishers Weekly

So when a star just disappears, who wouldn’t dispatch a faster-than-light ship to investigate? But how smart is it to put a washed-up, centuries old, ex-NASA pilot in the driver’s seat? And on top of that, when a cult insists that this trip may be compromised by an alien race for their own plan, how can you tell if they’re not that crazy?

Pathfinder - all

“The implications of the boys’ power to manipulate the past unfold cleverly…, feeding into the Machiavellian political intrigue for a pulse-pounding climax….Card’s many fans will be thrilled by this return to his literary roots.” – Kirkus

  • Sets of The Darwin Elevator, The Exodus Towers, and The Plague Forge.  Signed by Jason M. Hough.

Darwin - MM - Stacked

“The best part about alien stories is their mystery, and Jason M. Hough understands that like no other. Full of compelling characters and thick with tension, The Darwin Elevator delivers both despair and hope along with a gigantic dose of wonder. It’s a brilliant debut and Hough can take my money whenever he writes anything from now on.” – Kevin Hearne

We auctioned off a signed copy of The Darwin Elevator to one lucky bidder, and we managed to dig up a whole set. This one’s for the lottery.

  • Set of The Dark Earth and Southern Gods.  Both first editions, siged by John Horner Jacobs.

Dark Earth - all

Southern Gods is scary, smart, and effective both as Lovecraftian fiction and as a Southern Regional novel set in 1951.” – David Drake

  • Sets of The Twelve Fingered Boy and The Shibboleth.  First editions, signed by John Hornor Jacobs.

Twelve Fingered - Take 2

“A fast-paced, ferocious nightmare of a story – gritty, magical, and surprisingly tender.” – Brenna Yovanoff

Pat read The Twelve-Fingered Boy a while back and gushed about it on Goodreads, mentioning how he went out of his way to get hold of an Advance reading copy of the sequel, The Shibboleth, for himself.

What Pat didn’t mention is that he got a copy of the ARC for us too. So whoever whoever wins this in the lottery will get their hands on a rare early copy…

Creature from - all

This is a copy of a new printing of the incredibly-hard-to-find original movie novelization for Creature from the Black Lagoon, in a cool limited edition.  There were only 250 copies of this edition made, and we’ve tossed this into the lottery so that anyone with ten bucks has the chance to win it. The signatures are from Creature‘s leading lady Julie Adams and the Creature himself, Ricou Browning.

  • Copy of Prince of Thorns.  First edition, signed by Mark Lawrence.

Prince of Thorns - all

“Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story.  A two-in-the-morning page turner.” – Robin Hobb

Promise of Blood - all

Promise of Blood is a hugely promising debut. Guns, swords, and magic together? What more could you want? How about tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes, and cool, cool magic? Not only the finest flintlock fantasy I’ve read, but also the most fun. Brian McClellan is the real thing.” – Brent Weeks

So you’d think a successful coup against a corrupt monarchy would improve life for everyone. Not so much.

  • Copy of Theiftaker.  First edition, signed by D.B. Jackson.

Thieftaker - all

Thieftaker is a lean, elegant, intricate tale of a conjurer and a world on the brink of revolution.  Fabulous!” – Faith Hunter

D.B. Jackson did a read and critique of a manuscript for us earlier in the fundraiser, and here we have something extra special: a first edition copy of the first book in his current series. It’s signed, plus comes with a promotional postcard you can show off anywhere.

Red Country - all

“Abercrombie rings the changes with his sixth novel, tipping his hat to the Western genre but continuing his mission to drag fantasy, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century with his characteristic mix of gritty realism, complex characterisation, set-piece scenes of stomach-churning violence and villains who are as fully rounded as his flawed heroes … Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else.” –  The Guardian

  • Copy of A Web of Air.  First edition, signed and doodled by Philip Reeve.

Web of Air - standing

“Beautifully written, grippingly paced, and filled with eccentric characters and bizarre inventions… this is a novel guaranteed to please Reeve’s fans… and very likely broaden their ranks.” – Publishers Weekly

Web of air - doodle

And by the way? That illustration? That’s not printed on the title page, that’s drawn by the author himself.

Yeah. This is a real one-of-a-kind item. You should probably click the image to embiggen it.

*   *   *

Remember, folks, it only takes a donation of $10 or more to be entered into the lottery. And for every 10 bucks you throw in, you get another chance to win.

 

 

Posted in Worldbuilders 2013 | By Amanda11 Responses
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