Category Archives: Arts and Crafts

10th Anniversary Edition: Cover Reveal

Hey there everybody,

As I’ve mentioned before in various places, we’re doing a 10th Anniversary edition of The Name of the Wind later this year.

Today we get to show off the cover:

It’s by Sam Weber, the same guy that did Gaiman’s Norse Mythology.

The new edition isn’t just wrapping paper on the same old thing though. This new edition of the book has a lot more to offer.

Such as more than 20 illustrations inside by Dan Dos Santos.

A few of those illustrations have been floating around for people to see before this, and I showed some of them off during the recent fundraiser…

But in case you haven’t seen them yet…

Aside from that coolness, the book will also have not just one new map of the world, but two. Both of them much more detailed, and both of them illustrated by good friend and frequent collaborator Nathan Taylor.

There’s also a bunch of supplementary appendices where I go all the way down the rabbit hole and talk in some crazy detail about things like my currency systems, worldbuilding, the commonly used calendar, and the spread of the Aturan Empire. (These are also featuring illustrations by Nate Taylor.)

There’s other stuff too, The folks over at Book Riot talk about some of it too. (They got to show off the cover a little earlier today.)

I’ll go into more exhaustive detail about the contents of the book in a couple weeks, in a blog where I’ll get to tantalize and amaze y’all with some more of Dan and Nate’s beautiful art.

For those of you who are curious, the book comes out October 3rd. If you wanted, you could call your local bookstore and pre-order a copy. Y’know. If you’re into that sort of thing…

And for those of you who are thinking, “Why are we getting this book instead of book three?” I answered that question in some detail in a video Q&A I did for my charity last year.

Here’s a link to the part of the video where I answer to that question.

So…. There you go folks. All the news that I have to share right now.

If any of you have any follow-up questions, you can ask them in the comments below. Or, alternately, I’ll be doing some livestreaming tonight (Friday the 23rd) at about 11:00 CST. If you show up for that, you can ask your question in person, and I’ll probably be able to answer it in a little more detail. (Because talking is faster and easier than typing things out.) After I’m done with questions, I’ll probably play some Fallout….

Later space cowboys,

pat

Also posted in cool news, Nathan Taylor | By Pat31 Responses

Alternative Voting for the Discerning Reader

So last week, I wrote a blog about how I had a couple stories eligible for the Hugo awards this year.

As I mentioned then, it’s not the sort of blog I like to write. But still, I wanted to let people know that they could nominate the stories. Y’know, if they were into that sort of thing….

After I posted it, folks chimed in on the comments, saying things like: “Yay!” and “I’d love to vote for you! Where can I do that?”

For those of you who are curious, the details are here.

For those of you who are curious (but too lazy to click a link) the upshot is this: If you’re an attending member of Worldcon, (Or if you attended the convention last year) you can nominate works for the Hugos.  If you’re going to the convention, you can participate in the voting after the nominees are announced. (Or you can buy a supporting membership, which gives you the right to vote.)

This is another reason I’m not fond of writing awards blog like this. It feels too much like I’m saying: “Hey everyone! Want to do a thing? Well… most of you can’t. Sorry.”

So. For those of you who can’t vote are thereby ensaddened, here are a few things you could do instead:

  • Vote Anyway

Here’s what you do: Write my book’s name on a piece of paper, then fold that paper in half and put it into one of those suggestion boxes you see all over the place.

2c2cc4dfdd99becd96b8ba29a20ef6d3

This approach has a lot to recommend it. First and foremost, you don’t have sign up for any conventions, fill out any annoying forms, click buttons, etc etc….

SuggestionBoxBig

What’s more, these boxes are all over the place, so it’s really easy to vote.

Even better, you can vote as many times as you want.

suggestion-box-spit1

Best of all, since you’re writing your own ballot, you aren’t limited to just nominating Slow Regard for a Hugo.

Notecard

(Let’s be honest, this is a little boring.)

You’re the boss of this ballot. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste.

Note3

(Better…)

Seriously. Go whole hog. You can vote for *anything.*

Notecard2

(Yeah. That’s about right.)

Remember folks, if it’s worth doing. It’s worth doing in glitter pen.

Alternately, you can always…

  • Vote for Something Real

I enjoy living in my own little world as much as the next guy. But the sad fact is that my physical body is trapped here on earth.

And here’s the thing, unbeknownst to many of you, the spring primaries are today. These elections have notoriously poor turnouts. What that means is that in practical terms, anyone who votes in them has a disproportionately large effect on the elections in question.

So if y’all did about 20 minutes of googling, then went to vote, it would have a *huge* impact on who is going to be running your local government for the next couple years.

Just sayin.

  • Stars upon Thars

I know what you’re thinking. “But Pat,” you think, “Both of those options require me to leave my house! There are bears outside!”

Believe me, I know. I too am loathe to leave the womblike security of my home.

So if you’re borderline agoraphobic, or just lazy like me, let me reassure you that any author loves reviews just as much as a vote for an award.

The nice thing about giving reviews is that you don’t need to worry about whether a work is eligible for an an award (based on when it was published) or if it’s a novella or a novelette (based on how many words it has.) All that really matters is how you feel about the story.

So. If you wish you could vote for something of mine in the Hugos, but you can’t, feel free to write a few lines of nice review somewhere. Or tell a friend. Or go splash some stars onto it over at Goodreads or Barnes and Noble.

Or don’t. It’s all good with me. I’m just giving you options….

pat

P.S. If anyone does the notecard thing, I’d love to see a picture of your self-made ballot….

Also posted in awards | By Pat46 Responses

Art Galore

As I type this, our donation total sits at $275,000. Considering that this is only the beginning of our third week, we are absolutely blowing the doors off this year.

So far we’ve talked a lot about the good work Heifer does by supplying animals to families. But we haven’t talked about the fact that Heifer does a lot to improve the lives of women all over the world too.

Promotion of Food Sovereignty Honduras (Project # 23-1502-02) an

Pictured here is Maria Elsa Castellanos Rios, who started the Southern Cashew Enterprise Association in Honduras with the other women who wanted to contribute to the local economy through help from Heifer International.

Heifer knows they need to invest in the entire community, and that means investing in women. According to Economist.com “In emerging markets, women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their families and communities—which means that investing in women is an investment in our collective future.”

Guys, I hate to break it to you. But our numbers aren’t nearly that good. All the research shows that in a similar situation, men typically reinvest only 30-40% of their earnings in the household.

Because Heifer is playing the long game, looking to make families and communities self-sufficient, independent, and sustainable, Heifer typically works with women. In many communities, they form women’s self-help groups. Later, those groups go on to help other women in other communities. And so on. And so on.

And that’s an awesome thing.

* * *

We’re always happy to feature some of the cool art that comes into the fundraiser. This year we’ve got crafts, original art, and jewelry, along with some more traditional signed prints. They’re all going up for auction for those who will love them, so jump in if you see something you need.

  • Auction: Limited edition 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Signed by all 14 featured authors.

_DSC0883

_DSC0882

_DSC0876

This calendar features the authors Holly Black, Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, Tessa Gratton, Lauren Kate, Gregory Maguire, Brandon Mull, Lauren Oliver, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Maggie Stiefvater, Tad Williams, and Brenna Yovanoff. There were only 100 of these signed callendars produced, so they’re are extremely limited and rare.

If you want one of these collectors items, head over here and bid.

  • Auction: A full set of 8×10 prints from the 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Each signed by the author.

BeyondWordsPrints_3

BeyondWordsPrints_2

BeyondWordsPrints_1

We also have a full set of the photo prints from the calendar. Each photo is signed by its author (or authors, in the case of Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton).

These are printed on high quality photo paper, and the full bundle of 12 photos can be yours if you bid over here.

If you’d rather only have one or two of these pictures, you can buy them individually over in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Auction: A Kingkiller Chronicle sterling silver charm bracelet. Featuring over 40 charms.

_DSC0790

(Click to embiggen. Seriously.)

A fan named Noël spent some serious time and money (and time, did we mention that?) assembling so much Kingkiller symbolism your head will spin. There are over 40 charms on this sterling silver bracelet, most of them are sterling as well, a few are silver plate, and some of them are pewter.

KKCCharms03

(This is only about a *third* of the charms. Seriously.)

The list of all of the charms is viewable on the auction, and honestly? It’s a little staggering. Even if you’re not looking to bid, you should head over o the auction and check out some of the other pictures we have of this truly one-of-a-kind piece of art.

_DSC0800

This was donated by Neil for our IndieGoGo fundraiser this summer, and the person who purchased it immediately emailed us and said to keep it and use it for another fundraiser. I don’t know what it is with Neil Gaiman’s stuff, but it has a tendency to come back to us over and over again

There were only 750 of this poster produced, and this one is number 210. If you want it, head over here and bid on it.

_DSC0835

Priscilla Spencer is very talented at drawing maps, and she lovingly donated this one to us. If you’re at all a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles, then you’ll know how nice it’d be to have this map nearby while reading Trapped. Plus, it’s really beautiful.

If you want this all for your own, bid here.

_DSC0844

Priscilla donated three maps total, and the second is the map from Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series. It has beautiful detail, including detailed sketches of monsters and other creatures.

If you’re a big geeky fan for Myke Cole and/or Priscilla, you should probably bid on this over here.

_DSC0853

Our third map from Priscilla is a beautifully detailed depiction of Alera from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera.

If you want this one, be sure to bid on it.

  • Auction: A copy of The Fairy-Tale Princess by Wendy Jones. Signed by illustrator Su Blackwell.

_DSC0798

This is a beautiful, hardcover book that collects seven classic fairy tales. Beyond the stories, though, is the detailed papercut sculptures that are the illustrations.

This book deserves a loving home. If you want that home to be yours, bid here.

  • Auction: Set of Copper Goat Paperweights from Esoteric Garage.

_DSC0684

Tait from Esoteric Garage has sent over a lot of copper goodies over the years, and this year’s donation is a set of hefty copper goats based on the Worldbuilders logo. There’s a large goat as well as two smaller ones, and they come with a signed card of authenticity from Tait.

If you want your own little piece of Worldbuilders ephemera, bid over here.

  • Auction: Original Iron Woman mixed-media artwork. Signed by Karen Hallion.

Karen Hallion donation

Karen Hallion gave us the art behind our beautiful calendar this year, and she’s incredibly well known for her princess/police box mashups. But she does a lot more than that, including this Iron Woman series, where she pens and paints a steampunk character over the pages of a book.

The series is amazing, and Brett in particular is hoping our next calendar can feature this art. This is the original, hand drawn-and-painted art, on a wood panel. If you want your hands on this beautiful piece, bid on it here.

cabaret-door

Last year, actor Bill Heck donated two premium seat tickets to see Cabaret, and he’s happily done so again. The show stars Bill Heck, Alan Cumming, and Emma Stone in the leading roles, and you’ll get an exclusive backstage tour after the fact, maybe even a drink or two with Bill afterwards.

If you want this incredible experience, bid on it over here.

* * *

There’s some seriously cool stuff up for auction now, and if you look at the Worldbuilders eBay page you’ll even get a sneak peek of some items we haven’t even announced on the blog yet.

If you’re not into auctions, remember that if you donate directly to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you’re automatically entered into our prize drawing where you can win over $100,000 worth of cool swag, books, and games.

We’ve got more awesome stuff going up in the store tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat17 Responses

On the Making of Metheglin

As part of the NOTW card Kickstarter a couple months ago, I promised if we hit a stretch goal I would post up my personal recipe for Metheglin.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you a few things before you go and try to replicate one of my experiments.

1. I got interested in brewing mead while I was writing my books, way back in my college days. It’s not something that I brought to my books, it’s something my books brought to me.

2. I used to be a bit of a chemistry geek. I originally went to College to study the equivalent of chemical engineering.

3. I did not stick with that line of study very long. I never took it very seriously, but I enjoyed the labwork, and I have a great fondness for all the gear involved. I’m a bit of a geek for it, and I know enough to be dangerous.

So. The stage is set. Here’s the story.

It’s 1999 or so, and I’m thinking that I’m going to take a crack at making some mead. So I start doing some research. I buy some books. I look on the early proto-internet for information.

And I learn some interesting things. I learn that the name “metheglin” comes from the old English term for medicine. Metheglin was mead with a bunch of herbs in it. Because, as you know, herbs are good for you.

But as I read more it all started sounding like a *huge* pain in the ass. The books went on and on about about how I’m supposed to check the ph level and… I don’t know, hydroginize things or some shit like that.

What it sounds like is a lot of fiddly bullshit work to me, and that’s not what I signed up for. I wasn’t looking for a part time job. I didn’t want to babysit this goddamn thing for 6 months, petting it and taking its temperature and cooing sweet nothings in its ear.

No. I wanted to muck about with glass bottles and tubes for an afternoon. I wanted to make a potion. I wanted to do some goddamn mad science and then not think about it again until the stuff was ready to drink.

Then I thought to myself, “Self,” I thought. “This is bullshit. Vikings made this, and I guarantee that they did not own a hydrometer. They just thumped it together in a barrel and then drank it and pillaged some shit.”

So, figuring that while I wasn’t a chemical engineer by any stretch of the imagination, my understanding of organic chemistry was at least as good as a  Viking’s.

In proud Viking mad-scientist style, I bunged a bunch of stuff into a big glass jug, shook it up, and brewed what would come to be known among my friends as “The Mindbender Mead.”

Metheglin page

For those of you who don’t want to strain your eyes, here it is typed up.

4.5 lbs Wildflower honey
1 pint apple juice
2 packages champagne yeast (LALVIN brand) -EC-1118
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
3 drops willow tincture
3 tbsp orange rind
7 whole cloves
1/2 tsp morning glory seeds (black)
1 tbsp clover seeds
1/4 (unit missing) bee pollen
1/4 oz stick cinnamon – well broken
1/2 tsp cardamom seed
1/2 tsp hysop
2 pinches brown flaky stuff
1 tbsp poppy seed
1/2 tbs fenugreek (whole)
1 lean pinch wormwood
+1 gallon distilled water (I don’t know why this is written there.)

Note the scientific rigor with which I recorded the ingredients, such as the “brown flaky stuff” that I knew was some sort of herb, because it was sitting on a bottle on my shelves. I can see it in my mind. I wonder if I still have it downstairs?

Hmm…. No luck. But here, I took a picture of one of my shelves that I just scoured to see if I could find it.

My shelves

There’s some stories on *that* shelf, let me tell you. Not the least of which is one of my my failed coffee experiments from back in 2002.

A few notes about the above recipe:

1. The stuff in pencil was me trying to make it ferment again. I thought it was stuck, but in fact, it was just finished.

2. I don’t know why it says +1 gallon of distilled water. I used a 3 gallon carboy, so I know I put more water in than that….

3. I used morning glory seeds because I had heard that they contain a substance similar to LSD. However, I used hand-gathered seeds, because store-bought ones are typically treated with anti-fungal agents you don’t want to ingest.

4. I used some wormwood because I knew it contained a substance similar to THC.

5. Note that I didn’t use much of either one. Mostly because I didn’t want people to drink it and lose their shit all over my house.

I put all the miscelaneous herbs and whatnot into a mesh bag and put it in the mead. But the mead was all bubbly with science and fermentation. It floated to the top, rather than steeping, releasing all of its healthful goodness.

This angered me. So I thought to myself, “what do I have here in the house that I can put in the bag to make it sink?” It must be heavy, but it also must be small enough to fit through the relatively small opening at the top of my carboy. It should also be somewhere inside the house, because I am lazy.

So I picked out a piece of Lapis Lazuli I had laying around. Because, among other things, I am a bit of a rock geek. Have been since I was a kid.

Why did I use a piece of lapis instead of, say, a chunk of gravel or a spoon? Because I was making a fucking potion, that’s why. And if I want to put some gemstones in there then that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

And this

(Also introducing: My Foot. And now you know.)

Lapis is a semi-precious stone, and though you can’t tell in that picture, it’s a lovely bluish color.  The piece I put into the mead was almost exactly the same at that one up there, because I bought them at the same time.

It didn’t really weigh the sack down that much, but I was done fiddling about, and decided to call it good enough.

Several months later when I bottled the mead and re-claimed my piece of lapis, I discovered it was no longer a pretty bluish color. It was no longer polished smooth.

Now its surface was pitted and crumbly and white. The mead, you see, had eaten away the outside of the stone.

I was equal parts impressed an terrified. So it was time for more research to figure out if drinking this was going to give me cobalt poisoning or something similar.

And what do I find out? Apparently lapis is mostly composed of stuff some brewers use anyway, to clarify and stabilize their wines or beers. (And there isn’t much chance of their being arsenic or cobalt at all. Hurray!)

The moral of the story is either:

1. I’m really lucky.

2. I played too much D&D as a kid.

3. Even when I’m just fucking about and making shit up I’m pretty goddamn clever.

It was my first batch of mead, and it was probably the best one I’ve ever done. It was strong stuff, and when my friends came over and drank it, the room got a warm, mellow feel. Which could be the wormwood. Or it could be the arsenic….

Or, you know, the booze.

So there you have it: Mindbender Mead.

Please brew responsibly. I am not legally responsible for your stupidity.

With love,

pat

P.S. If you ordered stuff from the Kickstarter, they’re finalizing the orders even as we speak. You should have received e-mails telling you how to log onto the Pledge Manager and confirm your order. This is important, because you’ll have the chance to add anything you missed in those hectic final days.

The folks at Albino Dragon tell me that about 2500 people haven’t finished confirming their orders. So if you *haven’t* seen an e-mail, you might want to check around in your spam filter.

Because the deadline for all this is pretty much today. Monday Sept 30th.

If you don’t confirm things on time, it will slow down your order. And if enough people drag their feet, it will slow down *everyone’s* orders.

So jump to it.

P.P.S. If you *didn’t* order stuff from the Kickstarter and wish you had, there’s no need to wail and gnash your teeth.

Ditto for those of you who are reading this after the deadline has passed. Or the folks who wish they could add a few things, but are strapped for cash at the end of the month.

Rest assured that after we fill all the orders, we’ll be putting most everything from the kickstarter up in our online store: the Tinker’s Packs.

Also posted in hodgelany, I Fucking Love Numbered Lists, small adventures, Terrible Science | By Pat60 Responses
  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)