Category Archives: cool news

A Beautiful Game II: Kisses, Blood, and Lavender

So, for those of you who missed the first announcement I made on the blog a couple weeks ago, we’re a little more than halfway through the Tak Kickstarter.


As I write this, nearly 6000 people have joined up with us to produce a game that previously existed only as shape and shadow in my head. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve raised more than $550,000, and that is strange and wonderful to me.

As the kickstarter gets bigger and bigger, we have more and more resources available to add and improve things. And as a result, there have been a lot of additions to the kickstarter over the last couple weeks. Too many for me to go over here, especially as they’re all covered in perfect detail in the updates on the kickstarter page itself.

But there are a few things that I’m especially excited about. Things that, much to my delight, make this beautiful game even more beautiful. I can’t help but show them off to you….

*     *    *

Let me tell you a true story. And yes, I know that all stories are true. But this story is a little extra true, because it really happened.

I’m in LA right now (typing this update in a hotel room). Earlier today, I met up with Clint Evans to hang out a bit and chat. At some point, the subject of Tak came up. I mentioned I had a prototype set in my bag, and before too long, we were playing a game in the hotel bar.

(Actual footage.)

At one point the waitress comes over to bring us some drinks. She asks what we’re doing. We say we’re playing a game. What’s it called? Tak.

Then she says, “It’s really beautiful. I mean aesthetically. I just like looking at it.”

And I beam like a proud father. “Thank you,” I said. “We worked really hard on that.”

Part of what made the game we were playing a little extra beautiful is the fact that I had a early prototype of the wooden board with me.

WoodBoard2(We’re calling it the Arcanist’s board.)

It’s a little silly how much I love this board. You might think it’s because it’s pretty. (And it *is* pretty) But for me the real appeal to it is how it *sounds.* When you put one of the wooden pieces down on the wooden board, it makes the most *marvelous* sound. It’s the auditory equivalent of being given a sharp, sweet, kiss.

I’m not saying the basic game isn’t lovely. It is. What’s more, the boards in the boxed game will have levels of graphic coolness in them this wooden board simply can’t match. I love them both for different reasons.

But seriously. The sound of wood on wood. It’s like being kissed.

*     *     *

Lastly, here’s something that we really weren’t sure we were going to be able to do at all until just a coupe weeks ago.

Devi's Box1A complete wooden collector’s set of the game. The cover/board is be two-sided, so you can play in whichever way you feel is the most beautiful….

Devi's Box2It’s made primarily of walnut and maple. I say primarily because that reddish wood you see in the diamonds and on the border of the board? That’s called bloodwood.

Also? One of the sets of pieces is made out of bloodwood.

Devi's Box3

Which is only appropriate. As this is Devi’s Tak set.

James and I have been trying to figure out a way to make a posh, all-wooden box set for a long while. Something you’d be proud to have on display. Something that was a joy to touch. But up until now, every prototype we saw was either shoddy, clunky, or would have ended up costing more than a thousand dollars…

But much to our delight, the folks from Wyrmwood came in and knocked it out of the park. This is the most attractive prototype I’ve seen so far, and while it is spendy, the lovely folks at Wyrmwood have worked with us so that we can make it available in the kickstarter for less than half of what some of our previous options were.

devi's box pieces(I’d never even heard of Bloodwood before. Isn’t it gorgeous?)

We’re still finalizing certain elements of the design, including the piece shapes and the capstones. This is mostly for me, because if we’re saying this is Devi’s set, I need to make sure all the details are perfect. But the folks at Wyrmwood have been amazing so far. (Hell, they’ve already figured out a way to make the set smell slightly of lavender.)

So yeah. This prototype is already amazing, and the finished version will be as perfect as I can make it. But because the clock is ticking on the kickstarter, James and I decided to pull the trigger on this set and make it available for people to buy sooner rather than later.

And part of the reason for that is:

  • Fair Warning: Devi’s set will only be available through the kickstarter. So if you want it, you’ll need to pick it up by during the campaign, or early on when finalizing your kickstarter order.

You can find more details about Devi’s set and other cool things over on the kickstarter page.

Later Space Cowboys,


Also posted in Beautiful Games, cool things, gaming | By Pat36 Responses

Tak: A Beautiful Game

Today we have some exciting news….


Here’s the short version: We’ve just launched the kickstarter for Tak.

If that’s enough for you, you can head right over here and check it out.

For the rest of you, a story….

    *     *     *

Long ago, James Ernest and I were working on the Pairs kickstarter, brainstorming new stretch goals we could add to the campaign.

“We could agree to make Tak at some point in the future,” James said. (Note, I’m paraphrasing here.)

I didn’t want to do that.

“How about a stretch goal where if we hit it, the two of us agree to work out the rules?” He asked.

I didn’t want to do that either.

“How about we agree to do a live google chat where we just talk about the game in general?” he said.

And I agreed that fine. FINE. We could do that. We could talk about it. And we did. It was okay.

Later, James told me he wanted to make Tak. He wanted to invent it. He wanted to build the whole thing from the ground up based on my descriptions from the book, and the unwritten stuff he knew I had hidden in my head.

Again, I said no.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Tak is supposed to be my world’s version of Chess or Go or Mancala,” I said. “I can’t ask you to make a game like that. It’s like saying, ‘you know those games that have stood the test of time for hundreds or thousands of years? The best games ever? Do that, but in my world.’ So first off, it’s unreasonable for me to ask. Secondly, you can’t do it. No one can. And thirdly, if you did somehow manage to pull if off, nobody would give a shit. We’re living in the golden age of board games right now. Nobody cares about strategy games like chess anymore.”

(If you haven’t already noticed, I can be a curmudgeonly fucker at times.)

“Just let me try,” James said. “Let me take a run at it. If you hate what I come up with, we’ll never speak of it again.”

So I told him, fine. Fine! Do it. Whatever. Jeez.

So he asked me a bunch of questions. Then he went off and made a game. Then he brought it to me….

Now you should know that I’m telling you this story so that you know where I was coming from on the subject of Tak. Simply said, I wasn’t eager to pursue it. I was the opposite of eager.

And it wasn’t because I don’t like James Ernest. James Ernest is fucking brilliant. I’ve been playing his games for twenty years. I loved Pairs and was delighted to incorporate it into my world….

Pairs_Faen_Card_Art_1024x1024(Actual footage.)

But I knew that Tak was a purely mythical game. And while James was great, I knew that nobody could just sit down and create a game on par with chess or Go. I was going to politely look at whatever he brought me, smile kindly, and try to let him down as gently as possible.

Then James brought me his game. And I played it.

And it was amazing.

I was stunned by the game. Stunned that anyone could make something like this. It’s more elegant than chess. It’s more enjoyable than Go.

I learned to play it in about five minutes and had a blast. More than a year later, the game is still unfurling for me like a flower, as I understand more and more about the play of it.

It is, in brief, a beautiful game.

*    *     *


(Is that enough gushing? If so, here’s a link to the kickstarter.)

*     *     *

For a while now, I’ve been working with James on the production of the game.

If you’ve ever bought anything from our online store, you know I’m obsessively careful about merchandise. I never want to sell you anything I’m not proud of. This is doubly true with Tak. It’s such a lovely game, the last thing I wanted was for it to be some crappy thing made out of pasteboard and plastic.

So we’re using wood pieces, even though it’s harder. And we’re getting everything ethically sourced, because that’s important. And we’re getting as much of the work done here in the US as possible, because while it’s tons cheaper to get things done in China… well… I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you why it’s nice that your friends and neighbors have jobs….

I’m really pleased with what we have here. I’m excited for you guys to play it. I want to show you how it fits into my world.

(Have I mentioned the kickstarter is over here?)

*     *     *

I’ll be honest with y’all. The first couple days of a kickstarter are really important. If we have a strong start with a bunch of backers, it’s a hundred times easier to run a successful campaign. And here’s the key, the more successful we are, the more raw awesome we’ll be able to pour into the game and the book we’re making.

Did I mention the companion book yet? We’re doing a book, too. It will talk about strategy, delve into the history of Tak, and explain in some detail the difference between courtly Tak and Tak as it’s played among… rougher elements of society.

If the campaign takes off, we’ll be able to add more stuff to the kickstarter, too. More levels. A high-end set with metal pieces and a wooden board. Custom capstone pieces. Maybe alternate boards. Maybe even stone pieces. If we get enough interest, cool things like that will be forthcoming.

With that in mind, if you’re interested in this, please consider jumping on board early. As I’ve said, these first couple days really shape the performance of the kickstarter. Most importantly, if you sign up now, you’ll get our updates when we *do* to roll out some of the new coolness. So if you’re hoping to grab one of the specialty sets, signing up now is the easiest way for you to stay in the loop. That way you’ll be the first to know when they come out.

So… yeah. That’s all. There’s a lot more information on the kickstarter. I’ll let you read it there.

If you have any burning questions that aren’t answered over there. You can ask them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to either find answers for you. Barring that, we will at the very least create some amusing lies to ease the sting of your not-knowing.

And, one final time, the link.


Also posted in gaming, geeking out | By Pat88 Responses

Cards Against Humanity: Fantasy Pack

It’s no secret that I’m terribly fond of Max Temkin. Not only is he fun to be around, but he’s a genuinely nice person who has pitched in to help with Worldbuilders in several different ways over the last couple years.

For example, when we did our podcast together, we weren’t originally planning on having sponsors. But when our audience turned out to be startlingly large, Max immediately suggested we take on select ads and donate all the money directly to Worldbuilders.

Hold on, it occurs to me that some of you might not realize who I’m talking about here. Max is one of the guys who created Cards Against Humanity.

If you don’t know what Cards Against Humanity is… Well, I almost want to congratulate you, because this must be your very first time on the internet. Welcome, traveler! Adventure awaits!

CAH is a hugely, crassly inappropriate game that has given me many wonderful laughs with good friends. It’s… it’s really indescribable. So I might as well just post up a link to the very NSFW edition of Tabletop where they played it. As well as this video of grandmas getting high and playing the game.

But seriously, the game has penetrated pretty much every avenue of geek culture. And even better, (he said, gliding right past many, all-too-easy jokes that could be made due to the phrasing in that last sentence) the CAH folks have elevated irreverence to an art form. Last year, Max and his team protested Black Friday by selling something they called Holliday Bullshit.


What was in the box? Actual cow poop. This is a fact that still makes me smile. Then CAH took the money they made from that and donated it to Worldbuilders so it would go to Heifer International. Which is kinda poetic, if you think about it. Circle of life and all that.

I could go on and on about the things they’ve done. One year for black friday, they raised their prices instead of having a sale. Earlier this year, they released a pack of science-themed expansion pack of cards and donated all profits to provide full-ride scholarships for women seeking STEM degrees.

Anyway, today we finally get to unveil something we’ve been working on for a while: A fantasy-themed expansion pack for CAH.

Fantasy Pack

(I have no idea what’s going on in that picture. Seriously. No. Idea.)

This pack contains 30 cards, and it’s everything you’d expect from a fantasy-themed CAH expansion. The ideas for the cards were written by a team of crack authors who have helped out Worldbuilders in the past.

And (if you haven’t already guessed) ALL the proceeds from the first two weeks of sales will go to Worldbuilders in support of Heifer International. For those of you who have been wondering about the yellow progress bar on our website that says, “Coming Soon.” Well… now you know what that is for….


Some of the authors who wrote cards are:

  • Neil Gaiman
  • Sam Sykes
  • Myke Cole
  • Jacqueline Carey
  • Kevin Hearne
  • Martha Wells
  • Sherwood Smith
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Wesley Chu
  • Laura Anne Gilman
  • Delilah Dawson
  • Me
  • And a few others who would prefer not to be named….

So there you go. I’ve seen the cards. I’ve held them in my hands and read them and they are delightfully awful. A few of them made me laugh my evilest laugh.

You can buy a pack by following this link. Hell, why not get two? Get 10! (Then you get free shipping, too.)

CAH has a running tally on their website showing how much they’ve raised for us, and we’ll be checking that regularly to update our thermometer. (But again, we’re doing it manually. Because it’s hard to automate these things, and we’d rather spend our money on helping people rather than re-programming widgets.)

So. Go forth. Make the world a better place by playing this wonderful, horrible game.

Also posted in cool things, gaming, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat30 Responses

Hollywood News

As many of you know, a few days before San Deigo Comic-Con this year, the option on my books expired.

What this means is that ages ago, I sold some people the rights (the option) to make a TV show based off The Kingkiller Chronicles. They tried to make it happen, but it didn’t work out. Then, when the option period expired, all the rights reverted back to me.

Just so you know, this sort of thing happens all the time. The vast majority of things that get optioned never get made. The same way that most people that think about writing a book never get it published. Shit happens. People lose interest. Things get complicated. Projects lose momentum.

I don’t have handy statistics at my fingertips, but I’d be willing to bet a dollar that more than 98% of all book options end this way, with no TV show or movie or anything happening.

Anyway, my rights reverted. It didn’t come as a huge shock to me.

This, on the other hand, was a surprise:


(Click on the headline if you want to read the article.)

Because everyone was suddenly interested in the books,  I spent most of my Comic-Con having meetings with representatives from every major Hollywood power. At least that’s what it felt like to me. It was a strange experience, and I talked about it in some detail on the episode of Untitled Rothfuss podcast that Max and I recorded out at the convention.

To say that I didn’t know what I was doing in those meetings is a bit of an understatement. In fact, I remember starting several of the meetings by saying, “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do in this meeting.” I also dimly remember explaining to someone that there was no way you could turn The Name of the Wind into a movie. I explained it rather, well… emphatically for, like, 20 minutes. I’m pretty sure that’s fairly high on the list of things you’re not supposed to do in a meeting with someone who wants to turn your book into a movie.

I had fun though. It’s nice to be desired. For that brief moment in time I was the prettiest girl at the party, and everyone wanted to dance with me. (Only frequent readers of the blog can appreciate how clean I kept that little analogy.)

Princess Pat

The meetings weren’t stressful for this simple reason: I wasn’t that interested in turning my books into a movie. I know for a lot of authors, a movie deal is like the holy grail. It’s kinda free money. And if a movie gets made? Well, then, you get a truckload of cash, a bucket of fame, and your books get to hang out on the bestseller lists for a while. Usually a long, LONG while.

But honestly? Money’s never been a huge motivator for me. And my books already sell well. And I’m already more celebritous than I’m entirely comfortable with.

Most importantly though, I’ve never been that interested in a straight-up movie deal. Pretty much every fantasy movie created so far has been an action movie, or plot centered, or both. And my books aren’t like that. My books are about the characters. They’re about secrets and mysteries and the hidden turnings of the world. My books are all about antici-


-pation. And a movie, even a long movie, simply doesn’t have enough time to fit all of that stuff in. That’s why my original option was for a TV show. I wanted space for the story to breathe.

So when I met with these people from movie studios, I told them that I wasn’t terribly interested in a movie deal. Not to be a dick, but because I prefer to be honest with folks. I’m happy to have meetings, talk about stories, listen to a pitch…  As I said, it’s fun to be desired. It’s nice that you think my books are pretty. Let’s have a dance. But I wanted them to know that I wasn’t really planning on jumping into bed with anyone. (Damn. I knew the analogy was going to end up there eventually.)


There was one exception. When I met with Lionsgate, I said, “If you come at me with a movie offer, it’s going to be a hard sell. I’m not that excited about movies by themselves. But you guys are different from a lot of other studios. Those guys are huge. Monolithic. But you’re more agile and innovative. Your movie people and your TV people actually know each other. They could work together. Share resources.

I continued: “If you came at me with a pitch that involved a television show AND a movie, I’d listen to that. I’d listen really hard, because something like that would let us be big-budget while still giving my story room to breathe. It would give people the ability to spend more time in my world. I can’t think of anyone who has really done that, but it seems like we could have the best of both worlds that way. And it seems to me that you guys are one of the only places that could realistically pull something like that off.”

Yeah. I’m from small-town Wisconsin. But I’m not stupid. And it’s impossible to have 15 hours of meeting with Hollywood people without learning something about who’s who and how that world fits together.

But ultimately, I was just shooting my mouth off and I knew it. I was running on too much caffeine and too little sleep, but I still realized what I was saying was something along the lines of, “I see you guys are offering me the moon, but I’d really like the moon AND a chocolate cake with solid gold frosting. And you need to make the cake from scratch.”

So comic-con finished up. I went home. My coach turned back into a pumpkin and my pretty dress turned back into a geeky-tshirt and kinda grubby pair of cargo shorts. Which is probably for the best. As I’m not very good at important meetings or dancing. I’m way too beardy to be a princess.


The End.

*     *     *

Then Lionsgate got in touch. “About that whole TV-show-and-a-movie thing you mentioned,” they said. “If we’re going to do some sort of big narratively intertwined multi-platform development deal based on your books, wouldn’t it make more sense to do a video game along with the TV show and movies? Because seriously, why wouldn’t we want to do a video game too?” (I’m paraphrasing a little here you understand.)

I said, “What?”

*     *     *

Since then, I’ve been talking with Lionsgate kind of a lot. Going over particulars. Talking serious talks.

And when I say, “I’ve been talking with Lionsgate” I mean “Me and my team of skilled movie-smart people who do this for a living and some of them are powerful, hard-eyed lawyers.” Because like I said, I’m from small-town Wisconsin, but I’m not stupid.

And I’ll be honest, from the first moment I sat down at the table, I was ready to walk away. I liked the way Lionsgate was willing to dream big with me about adapting my books. They were willing to think outside the box. They were willing to make a whole new box just so we could go outside of it.

But… well… Hollywood is scary. The contracts are, to be quite honest, horrifying. And the power differential is immense. Even the smallest of studios is more powerful than some countries. And the biggest author ever is kinda not a very big deal at all.

So yeah. Silly as it might sound, from the very beginning of this process, I was willing to walk away from the deal. I was almost looking for an excuse to do it, because life is too short. I didn’t want to get a sack of money and pat on the head, then spend the next three years watching helplessly as they molested my books.


So we started to negotiate, and that’s where I received my biggest surprise of all.

You see, I never expected a studio would treat me like a human being. But through this whole process, Lionsgate has treated me with amazing respect. I’ve made what to me seem like reasonable requests, and they responded to them… reasonably. And I’m not just talking about pretty words here, they’re making contractual agreements granting me control of things. They haven’t just been reasonable, they’ve been kind, and understanding.


To be perfectly honest, it’s a bit disconcerting. I never anticipated that a Hollywood studio would treat me like a human being. Let alone want to work with me as a creative partner and respect the fact that I do, in fact, know a lot about how stories work. This story in particular.

So… yeah. That’s the news. Me and them, we’re gonna do a thing.

Lionsgate is making its own press release today and there will be stories in all manner of Hollywood news outlets pretty soon. It’s not a coincidence that my blog is launching up on the very same day as their big announcement. In the same hour, even. Lionsgate coordinated with me so I could share this news on my blog at the same time they’re launching their story.

This was important to me because if you read my blog or follow me on social media…  well… you’re a part of the reason my books are a big deal. A lot of you have been a part of my team for years, and I wanted the chance to tell you about this piece of news myself rather than have you hear it on the street.

The fact that Lionsgate was willing to go to some lengths to let me launch this blog simultaneously with their press release is another good sign, in my opinion. It shows they respect me, and it shows they respect you guys, too.

Now I know some of you will be reading this news with fear in your hearts. You’ll worry about them screwing it up. I understand. I know you love these books.

But hear me when I say this: You cannot love these books more than I do. You can’t care about them more than I do. I’ve put twenty years of my life into them. They ride next to my heart. They are my tangible soul.

And I’m not stupid. I hope by this point you know me well enough that you can trust me not to rush into… well… anything. If I cut a deal like this, it’s only because I really think there’s a chance for us to make something beautiful.

I’ll talk about this more on the blog later. I’ll answer questions and explain things and give more details.

Later. We’ll do that all later.

For now. Just for the next couple of days. How about we just let ourselves be a little excited about this? There will be plenty of time to fuss and fidget in the days to come. But right now, I’m not going to worry. Right now I’m just going to spend some time being a happy geek, excited at the thought of getting to see the Eolian or the Fishery. There are some scenes I’d love to see somewhere other than inside my own head.

I’m guessing there’s some scenes y’all would like to see, too….

See you later Space Cowboys,


Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, BJ Hiorns Art, movie talk, the longest fucking blog ever, the man behind the curtain, trepidation | By Pat287 Responses

Humble Bundle and Worldbuilders

I don’t know about y’all, but I love books.

You know what else I love? Supporting charitable causes.

And last but not least, I enjoy getting a bargain as much as the next guy.

If you’re into any of these things, this blog is for you.

I’ve talked about Subterranean Press here before. I’m fond of them for many reasons. They produce fine, high-quality books, doing lovely specialty editions, and occationally bringing a lost work back from out-of-print. Not only that, but they’re the reason The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle ever saw the light of day, and they’ve been long-time supporters of my charity, Worldbuilders.

So here’s the news: Subterranean Press is celebrating their 20th anniversary, and they’re doing it in style by teaming up with the folks at Humble Bundle to do an international e-book bundle.

What’s Humble Bundle? I hear you ask.

Well, Humble Bundle teams up with creators to bring together a bunch of something (a bundle, if you will) then they let you decide how much you’d like to pay for it. This means you usually end up getting hundreds of dollars of books or games for a bargain price.

But that’s not even the best bit. The best bit is that they let you decide where your money goes. You decide how much of your money goes to the creator, how much goes to a charity, and how much you’d like to leave as a tip for Humble Bundle itself.

For this bundle, the associated charity is Worldbuilders, if you hadn’t already guessed.

So let’s say you’ve been a fan of Subterranean Press for ages, and you want to grab a bunch of these delicious books for yourself. Here’s how you could do it.

humble slider

(Actual footage.)

Hmmm… you sure you want to go that route? You do know that Worldbuilders is, like, a really awesome charity, right? You know we do good things all over the world. We help hungry families, promote sustainable agriculture, provide clean water and education for….

25_wb awesome

Woah there. You don’t have to give Sub-Press the short straw, either. This is their party after all. They’re the ones supplying the books, and they were gracious enough to bring Worldbuilders in as their charity….

50_all equal

Hmmm… Well, in some ways you’re taking the coward’s way out with this option. But I noticed that you bumped your overall donation up to 50 bucks, so I’m not particularly inclined to call you names at this point….

My point is that the Humble Bundle gives you an unprecedented amount of control over your purchase. (And, honestly, these sliders are a lot of fun to play with.)

So here’s the details about the Sub-Press Humble Book Bundle:

If you pay any amount of money at all, you’ll get these e-books.

base bundle

The Jack Vance Treasury, Inside Job, Muse of Fire, Jacaranda: A Novella of the Clockwork Century, The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories, The Top of the Volcano: The Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison®, and Brayan’s Gold.

If you pay more than the average donation (currently $12.58), you’ll also get the following twelve books:

The Mallet of Loving Correction, Nobody’s Home: An Anubis Gates Story, The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, The End of the Sentence, The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate, Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium, and Amityville Horrible, Bleeding Shadows, I Travel by Night, Salvage and Demolition, New Amsterdam, and The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein.



So just to break it down for you, if you pay at least $12.58 (or so) you’ll get all 19 of these.

Lastly,  anyone who pays $15 or more will receive all of the above, plus three more additional e-books:  Academic Exercises, The Hunter from the Woods, and Black Hat Jack.


So as long as you donate more than $15, you get more than $123 dollars worth of e-books. AND you get to support a great publisher and a great charity at the same time.

I’d like to point out that included in these books are three I’ve hugely enjoyed myself. Specifically, Scalzi’s collection of blogs, and Salvage and Demolition, which is a nice taste of Tim Power’s writing for those of you who haven’t tried him before.

Best of all, one of my all-time favorite series is in this mix: The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox.


(This includes Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was)

Honestly? That e-book is worth $12.50 just by itself. It’s a book I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy and has a functioning soul.

I wish I could talk about more of these books, but honestly? Those are the only ones I’ve read. It’s shameful, really, as there are books here by some of my favorite authors. That’s why I just made a point of buying this bundle myself. It’s a bargain even if I just read one or two of them.

Need another excuse to jump in? All these e-books are DRM free, so you can read them on any platform you like.

That also means you’ll be able to read them in any *country* you like. That’s something you won’t find anywhere else.

This is a *very* limited-time offer. So don’t wait too long or you’ll miss it.

And if you know of anyone else who likes awesome things, I’d appreciate you helping us to spread the word. There’s only five days left, and after that, the deal is over.

Here’s one last link to the Bundle.

You know what to do,


Also posted in Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders | By Pat24 Responses

Link Salad

It’s been a while since I posted up a blog full of random interesting links.

Here’s a few having to do with my books:

It’s odd to me, showing up on the same list as Aldus Huxley, Angela Carter, and Margaret Atwood.

Again, very flattering company. And I like the quote they used. I remember writing that one and being proud of it.

Over the years, I’ve been described as the next Tolkien, the next Scott Lynch, the next George Martin…. And while it’s flattering, I’d really rather be the first Pat Rothfuss. I have much more experience being that.

Now that I post up these three links, I realize they’re all lists of some sort. Which makes me feel kinda awful. My only saving grace is that I didn’t find these by clicking through horrible clickbait websites. (You’ll never believe what these authors did! Number 5 will surprise you!)

Speaking of, have you seen The Onion’s new parody site? Clickhole?


(Click to Embiggen. Seriously.)

It’s lovely as only The Onion can be.

*     *    *

In other news, here’s an article on Facebook being a whole new kind of dick.

And a blog where Vi Hart is being a whole new kind of cool.

Lastly, many of you remember Tabletop episode where I played Lords of Waterdeep with Wil Wheaton, Brandon Laatsch, and Felicia Day.

(Don’t know what I’m talking about? You can see the original, delicious half-hour episode over here.)

I laughed my ass off at the original episode, but the game was edited down considerably to get it to be 35 minutes long.

If you were ever curious to see how the whole thing played out in detail. If you ever wanted more owlbear jokes. If you ever wanted to watch my terrifying strategy unfold like a delicate flower made entirely of razor wire and the screams of angels….

Well, now you can. Because they released the extended version of the episode. More than two hours of solid gaming goodness. 



P.S. Have I mentioned something kinda awesome is happening on July 7th?

It is. It very is.

Stay tuned for details.

Also posted in Beautiful Games, cool things, Felicia Day, Geek and Sundry, hodgelany, videos, Wil Wheaton | By Pat35 Responses

The News: The Slow Regard of Silent Things

So here’s the news:

I have a book coming out around November-ish.

Slow Regard - Front

It’s not book three. It’s not a mammoth tome that you can use to threaten people and hold open doors.

It’s a short, sweet story about one of my favorite characters.

It’s a book about Auri.

That’s the news. The short version. If you’d like the long version, I’ll give that below….

*     *     *

I didn’t set out to write a book about Auri. I really didn’t.

What happened was this: a while back, I was invited to contribute something to George Martin’s Rogues anthology. I mentioned it a while back on the blog…

Wow. I just went looking for the blog post where I mentioned the Rogues anthology, only to discover that I kinda never wrote it.

Well. Okay. I guess y’all get a little side order of news with your news today:

rouges cover 2

I’m in this book too. It’s coming out in June.

What happened was this: a couple years back, George Martin and Gardner Dozois invited me to be in an anthology called Rogues. I said yes, because back in 2009, when I was working on The Wise Man’s Fear, they’d invited me to participate in a different anthology: Star Crossed Lovers.

But in 2009 I was behind deadline and freaked out about it. So I said “No” and went back to struggling with WMF. It broke my heart a little. Because it’s one of those anthologies you dream about being invited to. It was the anthology equivalent of getting invited to the cool-kid party back in high-school.

Anyway, when they asked me to contribute a story to Rogues back in 2012, I said yes for two reasons.

1. Because how fucking cool is it to be in this anthology? Look at my name up there, right next to Neil Gaiman’s. Seriously. Look at that. My name is almost touching Neil Gaiman’s name….

I know I should be cooler about this. I should pretend that I’m a professional and a grown-up and everything. But I’m really not. I’m still the same person who read Neverwhere back in the late 90’s and went, “What? Seriously? You can do that?”

And now I’m anthology-buddies with him. In fact, Gaiman’s story is “How the Marquis Got his Coat Back.” It’s about the Marquis De Carabas from Neverwhere.

The other reason I said yes was…

2. I’d had a story idea about Auri tickling around my head for a while. What’s more, I thought she would make a nice counterpoint to some of the other  classic rogue-type characters in the anthology. Sort of a trickster rogue, as opposed to a thief, swashbuckler, or a con man.

“Besides,” I thought to myself. “It’s just a short story. Three or four thousand words. Maybe 6 or 7 thousand if I run long. That’s about two week’s writing, tops.”

So I started writing about Auri. But as it unfolded, it went in directions I hadn’t expected. The story was… strange. I hit 3000 words and I was barely started. Writing about the Underthing was more complicated than I’d anticipated.

So the story got longer. I hit 7ooo words without even realizing it. I kept going, unearthing more secrets about Auri and the Underthing.

Eventually I hit about 15,000 words and forced myself to stop. It wasn’t going to work for the anthology, it was too long, and it wasn’t a trickster tale of the sort I initially expected it to be. Honestly didn’t know what the hell kind of story it was, but it wasn’t going to work for the anthology.

I e-mailed George and Gardner and begged for an extension on my deadline. They were very kind and understanding. I tried a few different things that failed miserably, then I realized who *really* belonged in an anthology about Rogues: Bast. Once I figured that out, I wrote “The Lightning Tree” for the anthology, and it worked out really well.

But I was stuck with half a story. Half a strange story. Half a strange, too-long story that wasn’t doing the things a story is supposed to do.

Reluctantly, I walked away from it and went back to working on book three. I love Auri, and the story had an odd sweetness to it. But I had work to do.

But the Auri story kept tickling at me. And let me tell you this, having a half-finished story stuck in your head is ten times worse than having a song stuck in there.

And there’s only one way to get it out. So when I came to a good stopping point in my revisions, I went back to the Auri story. It just wouldn’t leave me alone.

It ended up over 30,000 words long. An odd length for me. Much too long for a short story. Much shorter than my usual novels. (For a frame of reference, 30,000 words is about the same length as Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.)

What’s more, the story had unfurled into something full of secrets and mysteries. Something sweet and strange. Not a normal sort of story at all. I suppose it was silly of me to assume a story about Auri would be usual in any way.

The problem was, I had no idea what to do with it. I liked the story, but I like strange things. And I’m fond of Auri. And most importantly, I’m the author. Asking me if I like my story is like asking a mom if she likes her baby….

I showed it to a few people, and they seemed to like it pretty well. But they were friends, you can only trust them to be so honest with you.

I revised it a couple times, then showed it to a few authors. They liked it, but they agreed, it was an odd story.

Then I took a big risk and showed it to Vi Hart. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog where she put some of my lyrics to music, we are now Best Friends.

So I knew her, and respected her opinion, but since we haven’t known each other very long, I trusted her to tell me the truth.

She read it, and we talked about the story. She pointed out some things she thought were problematic. I agreed. She pointed out some things she liked, and I was flattered.

We were in a bar in San Fransisco at this point. The Casanova. We’d spent a lovely evening together, and I was drinking a little bit, which is unusual for me. And it might be because of that that I started to lament the fact that the story was kind of a hot mess. Good stories are supposed to contain certain elements, I explained, and my story didn’t have those things.

Vi said she liked it.

I told her I liked it too, but that didn’t change the fact that people expect certain things from a story. If people read this story looking for those things, they wouldn’t get them, they’d be dissatisfied. Disappointed.

And Vi said something I hope she’ll forgive me for paraphrasing here without asking her first. She said, “Fuck those people. Those people get all the other stories in the world. Everyone writes stories for them. This story is for people like me. We deserve stories too.”

That shut me up. Because she’s right. It might not be for everyone. But not every story has to be for everyone. Maybe this was just a story for people like me and Vi. People who are curious about Auri and the life she leads. People who are, perhaps, not entirely normal.

Vi said a few other things that gave me enough confidence to send the story to my agent. He liked it, and said we should show it to Betsy, my editor at DAW. Betsy liked it. Really liked it. The people in her office liked it.

That made me think that maybe it *was* a story for everyone. Or maybe there are more people like me and Vi in the world than either of us expected.

Anyway, the end result is this:

Slow Regard - Front

I’ll have more details about it later. Exact dates. If and when I’m touring. Those things are still up in the air a bit right now.

But today’s the day we’re officially announcing the cover, showing it off to people at C2E2 and letting it out onto the internet. I’ve been holding off on this post so y’all could be some of the very first people to see it.

I think a lot of you are going to like it.



Also posted in book covers, geeking out, Neil Gaiman, Stories about stories., the business of writing | By Pat156 Responses
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