Category Archives: Joss Whedon

250K Bonus: Books from Pat’s Library (And 100K: Favorite Things)

This is a Worldbuilders Blog.

This weekend Worldbuilders passed 250,000 dollars. So today, I’m going to kick in the bonus I promised to add to the Lottery: 200 books from my personal library.

But first, I’m going to kick in the 100k bonus: Some of my favorite things. Which, come to think of it, I probably should have called, “Joss Whedon, plus a few other classic bits of Geekery on DVD.”

Everything in today’s blog we’re giving away lottery-style. Which means if you donate on The Worldbuilders Team page, you have a chance to win these things as well as many others.

Here’s the first thing that I like to think of as:

  • All the Whedon.

(Click to Embiggen)

Let’s not beat around the bush here, I’m a geek for Whedon. I made my public declaration of love two years ago on the blog, and nothing has changed since then. I still miss Firefly. I still love Buffy. I still maintain a tiny shrine to Whedon, where I burn candles and leave him gifts of dried flowers, whiskey, and the still-warm hearts of my enemies.

This is everything you need to be a proper Whedon fan. All of Buffy, all of Angel, Dr. Horrible’s sing-along Blog, Firefly, Serenity, and Cabin in the Woods. I’ve also thrown in Buffy: Making of a Slayer by Nancy Holder, and the book that came out in October – Firefly: A Celebration.

Also included is Dollhouse. I didn’t leave it out as a snub. I just couldn’t find a way to include it without ruining the symmetry of the picture. Which I’m fully willing to admit is a stupid reason.

Still, it’s my blog and my fundraiser. I can have my little ways.

  • More Whedon.

The above prize is all one big chunk of awesome. But we’ll be giving out these grouped into 3-4 prizes.

This is somewhere between a Whitman’s sampler of Whedon, and getting your first hit for free from a drug dealer.

Not that I have any personal experience with that sort of thing, of course.

  • Classic Geekery on DVD.

When I was in high school, Twin Peaks was the show we obsessed over and then got pissed off when it was canceled. This was back before Firefly, you realize, and we had yet to learn what sorrow truly was.

Red Dwarf is a classic BBC series that is funny as hell. I weep that many of you have never heard of it.

And if you need me to explain to you what the Twilight Zone is…. Man, I don’t even know how I would go about fixing your egregious lack of cultural savvy. You should probably just go throw yourself into a well and restore from a much earlier save point, because you’ve been playing the game wrong for a long time….

  • $250,000 stretch goal: Books from Pat’s Library

My life has always operated on a book-based economy.

When I was a kid, that’s where my allowance went, and things didn’t change much in high school, either.

In college, I was all kinds of poor. It wasn’t odd for me to go 6 months without buying clothes. I once wore the same pair of shoes for three years. I even cut my own hair a couple times to save money.

But I bet I never went a full two weeks without buying a book.

Through all of this, the only breaking mechanism on my book hoarding tendencies was money. I was poor as a kid, poor as a student, poor as a teacher….

And then I got published. Suddenly not only did I have money to spend and to lend, but every book I bought was tax deductible. Which was important because now I had enough money for the government to want some of it.

So I bought books. So many books. Crazy amounts of books. I bought books until I ran out of shelf space. Then I bought shelves until I ran out of space in my house. I’m thinking of buying a new house now, and you know what one of the biggest reasons is? I need more space for books. I’m not even kidding.

You know what else? When you’re an author, people just *give* you books. They shovel books onto you. Do you have any idea how weird that is?

Also, I tend to prowl used bookstores a lot. And I have a crap memory. So a lot of times I bring back books only to realize that I already have a copy because someone gave it to me as a present. Or because a publisher wanted me to blurb it. Or because I already bought it myself. Twice.

And I tend to buy extra copies of my favorite books just to give away. Because it causes me physical pain when I learn an avid fantasy fan hasn’t read The Last Unicorn, or Stardust, or the Dresden Files, or Discworld….

At one point, I had more than a dozen copies of Neverwhere on my shelf. I’m pretty sure Sarah thought I was developing OCD….

What’s my point?

My point is that my library ends up kinda… cluttered. Not with crap books, but with good books. Books I love. Books that need a good home.

So here you go:

  • 200 Books from Pat’s Library.

(If you Embiggen this, you can read the titles…)

The obsessive among you will note there aren’t 200 books there. That’s because I pulled out some duplicates to make the picture more manageable.

Most of these are out of my personal stockpile, but some I did buy just to give away. Most notably the Sandman Slim series, which I read for the first time a couple months ago and loved with a fierce love. And Wil Wheaton’s books, which I read last year and enjoyed to much that I reviewed them not just once, but twice.

And the Dresden Files. I might be OCD, but I don’t typically have extra copies of entire 12 book series just sitting around. (Which I now realize are out of order on the shelf. That’s irritating….)

These books are going to be broken up into about 40 different prizes for the lottery. That way the winners will get more books, and we’ll be able to keep the series together.

One quick question before I’m done:

What do you guys think about this style of blog, where I take fewer pictures of bigger groups of books?

And also a heads-up: Worldbuilders is finished on January 21st. So now’s the time to donate and spread the word….

*     *     *

If you’d like a chance to win some of these things while making the world a better place, donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page. For every $10 you pitch in, you get another chance to win thousands of books and DVD’s.

Worldbuilders is running some auctions too. You can view all of our current auctions over here.

If you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to our main page.

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat38 Responses

Love Story, Horror Movie, and WPR

A couple weeks ago I did a radio interview with Veronica Rueckert on WPR. We had a fun discussion with Laura Miller about The Hunger Games and what makes for a good female character. (Among other things.)

For those of you who might be interested, they’ve got an archive of that broadcast, as well as a few other things I’ve done with WPR over the years.

Or, if you’re looking for something a little more texty, here’s a sweet story of a young couple in love., and how they met, in part due to a certain book….

Lastly, I feel morally obliged to remind y’all that Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods is coming out this weekend. Early reviews look good, plus, y’know JOSS WHEDON.

My plan is to go see it, preferably in the company of an attractive, easily startled young woman. That way, when the movie gets scary, she will cling to me desperately for comfort.

My plan is a good plan.

pat

Also posted in Interviews, movie talk | By Pat28 Responses

50K Blog – A Few of my Favorite Things

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Over the last couple years, I’ve been cautious about the donation goals I set for Worldbuilders. I set my sights on a goal I’m pretty sure we can hit, and only after we get there do I bump up the target number on our donation thermometer. Some years I’ve done this eight or nine times.

I do it this way because back in 2008 when I started all this, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could get people to donate 5000 dollars if I gave away prizes and offered to match donations?”

When I raised that much in just a couple of days, I was stunned. So I moved it up to $10,000 dollars, worrying that I was overstepping myself, not really believing that we could raise that much….

Three years and 600,000 dollars later, I still feel the same way. Every year I find myself thinking, “Will publishers help out again? Will authors care enough to send me books? Will people tweet and link and spread the word to their friends? Will geeks of all creeds and nations step up to the plate one more time?”

Then it all comes together, and I’m full of stunned, warm-fuzzy joy all over again.

This year, I decided to try something different. Rather than move our donation goal around all higgledy-piggledy, I decided to set some target levels. Something we could shoot for as a team. Then, if people are awesome enough to help me hit those goals, I’d put extra stuff into the fundraiser as a way to thank everyone for contributing.

We hit our first goal of 50,000 last Friday, so today you get the first of these blogs. I’ve got four more planned, each with increasingly cool additions to the fundraiser.

This is the one I like to think of as the AV blog. Where I share some of my favorite non-book media with with y’all.

  • A complete DVD set of Buffy and Angel.

Over the years, I’ve made no secret of my love for Joss Whedon. I started watching Buffy seriously in 2002, right when I was seriously starting revision on The Name of the Wind. Watching this series changed how I thought about storytelling, and the tricks I learned from it taught me a lot about plot and characterization.

Simply said, I think this is the finest television show ever produced. So I’m adding it to the prize lottery.

  • Two DVD sets of Red Dwarf including Back to Earth: The Director’s Cut.

I started watching Red Dwarf way back in the day. Back when it was on VHS tapes, and you couldn’t find copies for love nor money in the US.

This is the full eight seasons and the recent three-part: Back to Earth.

In my opinion, you aren’t a real sci-fi geek if you haven’t watched this. It’s one of the classics. Best of all, because the show relies on the cleverness of the writing rather than special effects, it holds up very well these days even though the first season was more than 20 years ago.

  • Two DVD sets of Firefly.

I will never get over the cancellation of Firefly. Not in a hundred years. And I meant what I said earlier in the year when I wrote an open letter to Nathan Fillion.

If you don’t like this series, odds are we can’t be friends. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is.

  • Two DVD sets of Dollhouse.

Some people didn’t like Dollhouse. Then again, some people are idiots who drink their own pee.

[P.S. If y'all in the marketing department at Fox would like to use this as a promotional quote for the series, feel free. Just spell my name right.]

  • One audio cd of Telling Tales by Neil Gaiman.

This is one of the CD’s that you can get from Dreamhaven. It’s one of the earlier recordings of Neil Gaiman reading his own work. Good stuff.

  • One audio cd of Speaking in Tongues by Neil Gaiman.

Like the above, but different. If you catch my meaning.

  • One copy of Warning: Contains Language by Neil Gaiman.

This is a two-CD set also features music by Dave McKean and the Flash girls. It features Gaiman reading poems and stories from Angels and Visitations.

As an interesting aside, in the liner notes, it reads:

Unauthorized Copying of this CD is not only forbidden, but will prey upon your conscience, spoil your sleep, destroy your complexion, and eventually will wind up turning you into the kind of person who drinks methylated spirits out of a bottle hidden in a brown paper bag and who lives under bridges, burps noxiously, and prays day and night for release from the unsupportable burden their life has become. We thought you’d appreciate the warning.

  • Three audio cds of 3 doz Poems read by Garrison Keillor from The Writer’s Almanac.

Some people think that I hate poetry, not realizing, perhaps, that Kvothe and I are actually two different people.

Believe it or not, we are separate entities with different thoughts and emotions. Other telltale differences include hair color: Mine is brown. His is red. He is mostly a fictional character, and I am mostly real. He is a better singer, while I am a better kisser.

We also radically differ on our opinions of poetry. He has an irrational loathing of it, while I myself quite enjoy it.

Well…. some of it. The good stuff.

This is the good stuff. Lovely poems selected and read by America’s greatest living storyteller: Garrison Keillor.

  • Two audio collections of Good Poems by Garrison Keillor.

You can also tell that these are good poems. Because, well, it says so right there: Good Poems. You can’t get much clearer than that.

This is a 4 CD set, containing a marvelous selection of poetry read by a number of wonderful readers, including Keillor himself. Honestly, I would listen to the man read a phone book. Getting to hear him read some of the finest poetry ever is just a bonus.

  • One set of The First and Second Seasons of Flight of the Conchords and an audio cd of The Distant Future.

I loved Flight of the Conchords before they were cool. If you haven’t watched their HBO series, you really need to.

  • Five copies of The Adventures of Sexton Blake.

I raved about this BBC Audio production last year on the blog.

And you know what? Everything I said about it then is just as true today. I listened to this a couple weeks ago and laughed my metaphorical ass off. If anything, I think it’s funnier the 20th time around.

  • A copy of The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set.

While Garrison Keillor is my favorite living storyteller. David Sedaris takes a close second place.

I only discovered him a couple years ago when someone recommended I listen to “Six to Eight Black men.”

They were really insistent, so I looked it up on Youtube just to shut them up about it.

The next day I went out and bought this box set, which contains 20 CD worth of David Sedaris reading the entirety of Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Barrel Fever and Other Stories, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

I’ve been a fan of The Guild since back in 2008 when I interviewed Felicia Day and we became BFFs.

Because I love spreading the word about cool indi geekery like this, I picked up several sets of the first two seasons of The Guild when I was at San Diego ComicCon with the sole purpose of giving them away to people and getting them hooked on the series.

Felicia was nice enough to sign them for me. She’s just an all-around nice person.

*     *     *

Remember, you for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page, you get a chance to win everything here, not to mention the hundreds of other books that have already been donated.

What’s more, if you donate before January 31st of 2012, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation.

Also, every dollar donated brings us closer to $100,000. Once we hit that, I’ll post up another blog with more personal additions to the fundraiser.

And lastly, don’t forget about the auctions Worldbuilders is running right now. Some of them will be ending soon…

Spread the word…

pat

Also posted in buffy, Felicia Day, Firefly, The Guild, Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat21 Responses

My brain….

As I mentioned before I took a recent trip to Iowa City because Nancy Andreasen wanted to take a picture of my brain. She’s a Big Deal neurophysician who’s doing research into how the brains of creative folk do their big, weird think-makings.

The plan was for me to go in, get my brain scanned, have an interview, then do some tests that measure cognitive function.

It was going to be a full day, so I drove down to Iowa City and spent the night. The morning before I went into the hospital, I was nervous.

Specifically, I was nervous about what shirt I was going to wear.

While I was driving down to Iowa, it occurred to me that if, say, lightning struck the building when I was in the MRI, I might develop superpowers of some sort. And on a day when you might develop superpowers, the shirt you wear is a pretty important decision. As they say, clothes make the man.

Because I hadn’t planned ahead, I only had two good options. One was my Legend of Neil t-shirt. And the other was my tried and true, Joss Whedon is my Master Now shirt.

At first the Neil shirt seems to be the front-runner. While pixelated, Link’s powers are nothing to scorn. In addition to a cool pan-dimensional inventory system. I could throw bombs, shoot fire, and engage in some implausible but terribly convenient music-based teleportation.

Plus, when I was at full health, I’d be able to throw my sword. Or shoot lasers out of it. I was never really clear on that.

Despite all this, I went with the Whedon shirt. While less tangible, Whedon’s storytelling prowess is more in keeping with my lifestyle. If I could add his powers to my own, I would become nigh-unstoppable. Plus, I hear that due to contractual obligations, he can call up Alyson Hannigan at any hour of the day or night and have her drive out to his house just so he can smell her hair.

That’s a power I wouldn’t mind inheriting. It would be nice to cross that off my list of…

Okay. Hold on for a second. Time out. I’ve got to tangent away for a moment.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes, late at night, when I’m low on sleep and writing a blog, I write stupid bullshit that strikes me as funny. This isn’t a new thing. In addition to my novels, I’ve been writing ridiculous humor pieces of one sort or another for almost twenty years now.

What’s different now is that I’m doing it online. Also, these days a ridiculous number of people read the blog. People link to it. Sometimes 7-8 thousand people a day stop by to read what I write.

Usually I don’t think about it much. But every once in a while I get a terrible thought: what if someone reads this?

I’m not talking about us geeks. I write this blog for my fellow geeks to read and laugh at. I’m worried about one of THEM reading it. Y’know. One of the cool famous people…

What if a couple years from now I’m at some party out in LA, and I get to meet Alyson Hannigan? A mutual acquaintance waves her over and introduces me as “New York Times Bestselling Author, Patrick Rothfuss.”

She smiles politely. Nods. But wait… there’s something more. I see a flicker of recognition in her eye. I get excited, thinking, “She’s read the book! She knows who I am!”

Then she says, “You’re that pervert who wants to smell my hair!”

I freeze in place, trying to think of something witty and disarming to say. But all I can think is, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Why did I ever write that blog? Why didn’t I just post up tour dates on my website like all the other authors? Why didn’t I write nice safe blogs with funny pictures of my cat? What is wrong with me that I’m compelled to tell these weird fucking stories all the time?”

Then, with the fluid grace that comes from years of experience, Alyson maces me. I fall to my knees, clawing at my eyes and saying something garbled about the fact that all humor is rooted in transgression. But before I can make my point clear, Alexis Denisof steps up and proceeds to give me the beating of three different lifetimes in the space of about 45 seconds.

Which sucks, because that means I probably won’t ever get a chance to smell his hair either. So that’s two things that are never getting crossed off my list.

Jesus. You see? I can’t stop. I swear there is something wrong with my brain.

Speaking of which, *that* was supposed to be the point of this blog. Showing you the picture of my brain.

So here it is:

(Click to Embiggen)

It’s actually a computer model that they generated based on the MRI scans. If any of you can find the spot on there that compels me to endlessly make an ass of myself, I’d appreciate it if you’d point it out to me. Maybe then I could do a quick Dremel trepanation and let the demons out or something.

Wearily yours,

pat

Also posted in my dumbness, small adventures, tangentality | By Pat72 Responses

An open letter to Nathan Fillion

Mr. Fillion,

First, I have to say that I admire your work. I’ve read many of your interviews and have come to respect you not only as a truly fine actor, but as an uncommonly intelligent human being.

But let’s get straight to the heart of the matter. It has come to my attention that in a recent interview, you said the following:

“If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.”

This struck a particular chord with me. As only a few months ago, I said very nearly the same thing. “If I ever get Stephen King famous,” I said, “I’ll buy the rights to Firefly and give it to Joss Whedon as a birthday present.”

Here’s the deal. My second book is about to come out. My publisher tells me there’s a decent chance of us selling a truly ridiculous number of copies. If this happens, I will have more money than I’ll know what to do with.

Except that’s not exactly true. I know exactly what I’d like to do with that money. I’d like to help you buy the rights to Firefly back from Fox.

I’m only a fledgling author. But by a strange twist of fate, I happen to be a fledgling author who is also an international bestseller.

Left to my own devices, I will probably spend my royalty money on useless bullshit. I will buy rare books and narwhal horns. If the book sells extremely well, I expect I’ll probably do something like buy an abandoned missile silo and convert it into my secret underground lair.

Clearly, this way lies madness.

Here is my thought. Alone, all we can do is dream wistful dreams of Firefly’s return. Together, we are a team. We can gather others to our cause. With 20 or 30 of the right people, we could pool our resources and make this shit happen.

You know where to find me.

Sincerely,

Patrick Rothfuss

*     *     *

Those of you who don’t happen to be Nathan Fillion, there’s a new interview over here. Rest assured, it’s spoiler-free.

On the same page, Paul Goat Allen gives The Wise Man’s Fear the best review I expect I will ever receive in my whole life. I’m serious. You’d think he wrote it after I pulled his children out of a burning building or something.

Or, if you’re in a listening mood, I’m on the Sword and Laser podcast with Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. We talk about Jim Butcher and Cylons, among other things.

Tour FAQ will be up soon. I’m working out the last few details.

pat

Also posted in Firefly, I am completely fucking serious | By Pat230 Responses

Girl Genius

If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have sworn I’d already written a blog recommending Phil Foglio’s work. I would have gone so far as to bet money on it. A lot of money.

And, apparently, I would have lost that money. Because today when I went looking for it, I discovered I’d written no such blog.

So, in an attempt to set things right, I’d like to talk to you about Girl Genius.

*Ahem.*

I’m guessing a lot of you already know about Phil and Kaja Foglio.  They attend a lot of the big conventions. And, if you’re an experienced gamer like me (and by ‘experienced’ I mean ‘old’) you probably remember Foglio’s comic from Dragon Magazine: What’s New with Phil and Dixie.

Oh, and they’ve won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story the last two years. In 2009 they beat out Joss Whedon’s Serenity comic. And this year they beat out Neil Gaiman’s Batman story.

Yeah. That’s right. Their graphic novel Girl Genius not only beat out Whedon and Gaiman, it beat Firefly and Batman, too.

If that doesn’t convince you of how awesome their series is, I don’t know what I can say to convince you. How about we just look at the cover for a moment while I think of something sufficiently gushy:

Simply said, Girl Genius has everything I look for in a story. The worldbuilding is clever and internally consistent. The characters are interesting and multi-faceted. The story is complex while still being clear, and surprising while still being satisfying. (Which is really fucking hard, let me tell you.)

Did I mention it’s funny? It is. Consistently, honestly funny. I don’t need to tell you how rare that is.

It has a strong female lead character who’s good with science, which is nice to see. And it’s perfectly appropriate for just about any age group. In fact, I probably should have mentioned it when was putting together my list of YA recommendations a couple weeks ago.

If none of that convinces you, let me say one more thing. Every time a new volume of Girl Genius comes out, I buy it, then I read all the other volumes leading up to the new one before I let myself read the new one. I haven’t done that with a series since I read Dragonriders back in the 6th grade.

Okay. Enough gushing.

Because Phil and Kaja are really cool, you can read their comic for free over on their website. However, I have to say that the story really deserves to be read in book form, rather than sitting hunched over a computer monitor. I’ve read it both ways and it’s so much more satisfying to read it as a book.

In fact, I like this series so much, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is.

Here’s my offer. If you buy a copy of the first volume of Girl Genius, and you don’t like it, you can mail it to me and I’ll buy it off you for whatever you paid for it.

I’m that sure you’ll like it.

Here are the conditions:

  • If you mail me Volume 1, it has to arrive more or less intact. It can’t be missing pages, crumpled up, or covered in jam.
  • You need to include the receipt showing me how much you paid for it.
  • You need to include a SASE.

As I type this, part of me worries that this might be one of my ideas that seems brilliant when I’m typing it, but later, when I’m not full of coffee and love, I end up kicking myself.

But you know what? I’m fine with that. What’s the fun of being a published author if I can’t occasionally do something lovely and foolish? In my experience being clever and careful is highly overrated.

Here’s the link to the Girl Genius website. Go on. Order the book. I dare you.

pat

Edit: Rest assured that all nine volumes are in print. I know this because I ordered them myself just a couple weeks ago. If you’re having trouble finding them on the girl genius website, you just need to follow this link.

Also posted in comics, cool things, Firefly, graphic novels, Neil Gaiman, recommendations | By Pat58 Responses

Miscellanea

It occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned the current season of The Guild on the blog yet.

This makes me feel strangely guilty, as if I’ve failed to uphold my end of some unspoken agreement we have here on the blog. Namely, that I will occasionally remind you of some cool things that are out there, so you can enjoy them.

Included in the category of cool things, of course, is The Legend of Neil. I think I already linked to it when I posted up the interview I did with Sandeep at Comic-con. But what the hell, you can have another link. It’s free.

Lastly, for those of you that don’t make a habit of checking out my tour page or the events I post up on the Facebook fan page. I’m at Madcon this weekend in… well… in Madison, obviously. Or maybe not obviously. I suppose it could be a convention for people who were mad….

Then, on Wednesday night, (the 29th) I’m doing a little panel for the Wisconsin Book Festival, also in Madison. My talk is going to be in the overture center, which makes me feel all posh. I’ll probably fancy myself up for the special occasion in the only way I know how: by taking a shower and making sure I’m wearing pants. I also plan on limiting myself to only the most erudite cussings. (They must have at least three syllables or a Latin root.)

That’s all for now, folks. Have a good weekend.

pat

P.S. Since I’m throwing out links to random cool things. Here’s a link to an article about Joss Whedon that I very much enjoyed.

Also posted in a billion links, appearances, miscelany | By Pat46 Responses
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