I would just like to say that the above might be the best title I’ve ever given anything in the history of forever.
Today we have some cool news.
Wisconsin Life Flash-Fiction Ghost Story Contest
The folks at Wisconsin Public Radio sweet-talked me into judging a writing contest for them. And by “sweet-talked,” I mean they pretty much just asked me and I agreed. I have a bit of a weak spot for ghost stories.
Some points of interest:
You don’t have to live in Wisconsin to participate.
The contest deadline is October 7th.
Stories must be 600 words or less.
Winners will be read on Wisconsin Life. Maybe by me.
And if that weren’t enough, we ended up with a surprise guest star at the end of the show….
If my background looks different there, it’s because I was in Seattle, mooching a computer off Shawn Speakman, who runs The Signed Page.
I think it turned out pretty well, despite the fact that I’d just done two conventions and three events in five days. Plus I suck at at making things work on a Mac. The lack of a second mouse button freaks me out….
We’ll be having another episode of Story Board in just a week or so on October 2nd at 8:00 PM Pacific time. I’ll be home in Wisconsin for this one, and we have another all-star line-up ready to talk stories.
Things continue to be busy over here in Rothfusia, what with wrapping up the fundraiser, training the new assistants, and all the maniacal laughter, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.
Oh yeah, and the writing. That thing I need to do to make money and live. That takes a little bit of time, too.
This is just a quick blog to let you know of a few things happening in these next couple weeks that you might want to tune in for….
This upcoming Sunday (April 1st.) Felicia Day is going to be doing twelve straight hours of live video hangout over on Google+ as a way to spread the word about the upcoming launch of Geek and Sundry.
I’m going to be helping out with one of those hours by getting together with authors John Scalzi, Amber Benson, and Felicia herself to discuss what makes for good characters. I expect the conversation to wander pretty far afield. My plan is to drink about twelve shots of espresso before we go live, and then just see what happens.
That will be happening from 2:00-3:00 PM California time. (4:00-5:00 here in Wisconsin.)
If you’d like to see the full schedule for Felicia’s 12 hour carnival of delights, you can find that over here.
It should be a good time. You should come check it out.
In other news, I’ll be hitting the Fox Valley Book Festival on April 12th (more detailed information is up there in the Tour Schedule tab.) I’ll be reading, answering questions, and signing books. Y’know, the usual.
So if you live in that neck of the woods, you should stop by, because I don’t know when I’ll be passing through again.
Lastly, we’ll be fielding questions from the audience on Sunday’s live hangout, so if you have something you’re curious about, you can post the question below in the comments. I’ll do my best to bring your questions, comments, and smart-ass remarks into the discussion if we’ve got the time….
I mentioned his book on the blog a while back. It’s called Ready Player One. And not only did I like it enough to give it a blurb. I liked it enough to dig up his e-mail address and gush to him directly about how much I loved it.
I think the entire content of my first e-mail was, “Your book is fucking awesome.”
I tried to get them to use that for the blurb on the back, (“This book is fucking awesome.” — Patrick Rothfuss) But their marketing people wouldn’t go for it.
Anyway, Ernest got an invite to Wootstock from Wil Wheaton, who is narrating the audiobook of Ready Player One. Ernest, being a generous human being, asked if I’d like to share some of his stage time.
I said yes. I said it in a firm, manly, baritone. Then I hung up the phone and laughed my most maniacal laugh.
Right. So. We all on the same page here?
7:00 – Backstage.
I walk up to the side door of the Balboa Theater in San Diego. Someone was waiting for me at the door, where they gave me this:
My very first All Access pass. It makes me feel like a rockstar.
I go backstage and down into the secret parts of the theater. It’s a magical sort of place. It’s a secret place that only the performers get to see, and it’s electric in a way that’s hard to describe. Everyone there is getting ready for the show. They’re excited, and a little nervous, and happy to see each other. Plus it’s comic-con, so we’re all a little exhausted. And a few of us are slightly tipsy, too… (Though not me, as I’m not much of a drinker.)
There’s a blur of people all over the place. Some of them I recognize, like Adam Savage from Mythbusters. And the guys from Rifftrax (who used to do MST3K.)
I’m introduced to a few people in a whirlwind fashion. I shake hands and nod at names. But they all run out of me like water. If I say, “someone said” or “someone did” I’m not trying to protect anyone’s identity, or snub them. It’s because a lot of the evening is a blur to me. I suck at meeting people, and I only have space in my head for about 5 new names.
Then I turn around and Wil Wheaton is there.
It’s weird meeting someone you kinda already know. And I kinda know Wil from a bunch of different directions. From his blog, from Star Trek, from his books, and from the Guild.
Plus we e-mailed just a little a day or two before Wootstock. I won’t bullshit you, that made me kinda tingly.
Anyway, we’re introduced, and we shake hands. He thanks me for the nice things I said about his book on my blog. And I’m a little surprised that he’s read it, though I shouldn’t be, I suppose. I tell him that I loved it.
That’s all we have time for. The stage manager is gathering everyone up to make some announcements before the show.
We all jam into a room and Liz is introduced. She is the boss. She tells us how it’s all going to work. She tells us we can watch from backstage, and that we should, so that we don’t miss our cues. She tells us to stick to our allotted time. She tells us where the beer and pizza are.
Everyone else nods attentively. There are a few jokes. But all of this is old hat for most of them.
Me? I’m grinning like an idiot. The show hasn’t even started yet and I’m having the best time….
* * *
I should explain something. I used to do lots of group-performance type things. I used to sing in choirs. I used to do radio comedy. I used to act a little, and did a few plays, a musical or two.
I even used to do a little improv comedy. Which is like a trial by fire. Once you do improv comedy, no other type of performance will ever truly frighten you.
Now I didn’t do a lot of these things seriously. But I did them. I enjoyed them.
And I miss them.
You see, one of the downsides of being a writer is that it’s a very solitary occupation. If everything is going well with my writing, I’ll spend 10-12 hours a day alone, and the rest of my time sleeping. (Also alone, usually.)
When I do get out to do a reading or a convention, I have a lot of fun. I enjoy meeting fans and signing books. I enjoy doing Q&A and reading stuff to an audience. It’s a nice opportunity for me to go out and be social.
But while it’s social, it’s a very solitary type of performance. I’m up in front of 200-600 people talking. There’s just me and the audience.
I’d forgotten what it was like to be part of a group of performers. To be a piece of a WE.
It feels great.
* * *
Liz makes one last announcement. They’ve gone to the worst seat in the house and borrowed the person’s camera. They’re going to pass it around backstage and we’ll all take pictures with it. That way the poor schlub with the worst seat will have a cool memento of the show and, as a bonus, the pictures will go online so everyone can use them.
It’s only because of the photoset that I have a shot of Ernest and me backstage, wherein I am getting my Kawaii on.
The show kicks off, and after cadging a piece of free pizza, I head upstairs we head up onto stage and watch the show from the wings. The theatre is gorgeous. A place with some real style to it.
It’s certainly the biggest house I’ve ever played to, and I’m a little nervous. But despite the fact that I’m anxiously fretting over what exactly I’m going to read, I can’t help but get pulled in by Molly Lewis playing the ukulele.
Her songs crack me up as I watch from backstage, and it helps me relax a bit.
Then, as I’m watching her play, a little motion catches my attention from the corner of my eye. So I look over and see Wil Wheaton dancing.
Before that point, I liked Wil Wheaton. I knew he was cool. I respected him as a writer, enjoyed him as a performer, and admired him as a strong, smart, outspoken member of the geek community.
But backstage in the Balboa theatre, I watched Wil Wheaton do a happy, goofy little dance, and that was when I started to love him.
Soon afterwards, Ernest gets his cue and heads out onto stage. He reads some hardcore geek poetry. Good stuff. He’s a good performer, too. Gets a good reaction from the crowd.
Then he introduces me. I’m a surprise guest of sorts, as I’m not on the program. People cheer when they hear my name, which is kind of a shock. It’s then that I decide what I’m going to read. I’m not going to try to follow Ernest’s poetry with more poetry. I think he’s got me beat in that regard.
I’m not going to read a piece out of my book, either. Too clunky. I even decide against reading a piece of a short story I’m working on.
No. A whole theatre of people cheering and my new man-crush Wil Wheaton watching from the wings means I go straight to my best material. The piece I keep in my back pocket whenever I do a reading. My sure-fire winner. My big gun.
I pull out The Guinea Pig Story.
Those of you who have seen me at a live reading might have heard it. Most of you have not.
It’s one of of the humor pieces I wrote back in college. Theoretically I was writing an advice column, but realistically I was making fun of people and telling incriminating stories about my life.
Here’s the only video I was able to find of the performance. The first little bit of my performance is cut off there, but it’s only about a sentence of the letter someone wrote in, asking for advice about keeping pets in their dormroom.
I got a great reaction from the audience, and left the stage feeling roughly ten thousand feet tall.
8:00 – Random House Party
After hanging around for a while and watching a few more acts, Ernest said he was going over to the Random House party and asked if I’d like to come along.
Though I was loathe to leave, I figured I should go and rub some elbows with some more bookish types. That’s kinda my job in some ways.
So I went to the party, hung out with some folks, and ended up riding a mechanical bull.
Why? No. Why is not the right question. I was at San Diego ComicCon. The proper question is “why the fuck not?”
That party was fun, but after about 45 minutes, I made my excuses and headed back to Wootstock. Because, y’know, Wootstock.
9:00 ish – More Wootstock.
I got back just in time for intermission, where I amused myself by handing out copies of the Chick Tract Dark Dungeons to members of the audience. I hope nobody thought I was serious….
After all my tracts were gone, I used my fancy pass to get backstage, feeling rockstar all over again. I wandered down to the dressing rooms and bumped into Felicia Day, who was also a surprise guest. I got a free hug and we chatted for about forty-five seconds before someone tells her she’s about to miss her entrance cue.
Somehow, someone managed to catch us on film during that brief moment. Proving that I’m not a big fibber.
I hang around and chat with folk, occasionally watching some of the show from backstage. I catch Jeff Lewis (Vork, for you Guildies out there) doing a piece of honest-to-god standup comedy. The man has amazing comic timing and delivery. As you’d already know if you were watching The Jeff Lewis 5-minute Comedy Hour.
11:30 ish – Autographing.
Eventually the show wraps up with a great closing number that I watch from the wings. Then I head downstairs to get my backpack and maybe another slice of pizza before I head out. When I’m gathering up my stuff, someone asks if I want to stick around and sign autographs. I shrug and agree, because I have nowhere else in particular to be.
Now over the last couple of years I’ve done a lot of signings. It’s old hat in a lot of ways. Usually I’m all alone. I’m a one-man-show.
But this one was different. A bunch of the performers were sticking around to sign posters and programs.
What’s more, at Wootstock, most of the people could give a damn about me. They’re there to see Wheaton, or Savage, or bask in the radiant glory of Paul and Storm.
And you know what? It was nice doing a signing where most folks didn’t care who I was. It gave me a chance to goof off and get to know the people sitting on either side of me. To my left was the aforementioned Molly Lewis. And to my right was someone I didn’t know at all, but I quickly learned that she was Amy Berg, writer/producer for Eureka (among many other things.)
So we hang out and chat as the line of people slowly trickles past. I’m feeling pretty relaxed. I’ve had a good day. I was on a panel with George Martin, had dinner with Jim Butcher, and got to chat with Wil Wheaton. I went to a party with an actual velvet rope, and the bouncer nodded me through even though I wasn’t on the list. I rode the mechanical bull and didn’t hurt myself. I got a hug from Felicia day and made a thousand people laugh….
It’s been a busy 14 hours, and I’m in that warm, happy place that comes when you know you don’t have to work any more. And, because I’m in a good mood, I start to joke around with the people coming through the line….
And that’s when I *really* start to get to know the people sitting on either side of me. I draw a picture of a duck on someone’s poster, and they mock me for its utter terribleness. They mocked me with a sharp-tongued viciousness I haven’t experienced since most of my best friends moved away from Stevens Point.
So I abandoned drawing and started signing clever things on the posters. Then my neighbors started writing things on their posters that were clever-er. And I feel really put out by this, because normally *I* get to be the witty one, and they were out wittying me without hardly trying. I felt the sudden need to step up my game, to say nothing of wanting to buy some of Molly’s music and catch up on the current season of Eureka….
The signing went on for at least a couple hours, and it was the perfect end to the perfect day. As I left the theater I felt that strange, glowy feeling that comes when you level up. It wasn’t until I got home that I found out where the XP boost had come from:
Best of all, I’d made it through two entire days at the convention without making an ass of myself in front of anyone.
This seems to be a theme of ComicCon for me. My first trip to ComicCon was fraught with peril, as mentioned in this comic by Greg Dean. While my second trip had a delayed flight that left me stranded in Chicago for a night.
Luckily, this year I had Valerie to help me out, so I made it to the con without too much stress. Though I did only get about an hour and a half of sleep Tuesday night.
11:00 – Nap.
I arrive in San Diego, find my hotel, and promptly fall asleep. The people at the hotel seem a little confused when I ask them for a 3:00 wake up call.
“You want us to wake you up at 3:00 AM tomorrow morning?” they say.
“No.” I say. “3:00 this afternoon. Four hours from now.”
Eventually they catch on, but I feel like they’re judging me. And I guess that’s fair. When the first thing I do at the convention is take a nap, I am officially old.
The fact remains that it was a delicious nap. I wake up refreshed and ready to get my geek on.
I’ve been approached by various people over these last couple years who want to do merchandising. Most of the time I’ve replied with a polite, “Thank you, no.”
The biggest reason is that I don’t want to feel like a great big whore. I don’t want to churn out a bunch of gimmicky merch just to make some extra money. That sort of thing has always struck me as being tacky, if not downright unethical. It seems like a betrayal of trust, like taking advantage of my readers.
But Badali Jewelry does wonderful work. They hold the jewelry licenses for several big-name geek properties (LOTR and Wheel of Time, just to name a few.) What’s more, they’re actually fans of my books. They’re proper geeks, and their love for what they do shows in their work. I trusted them enough to let them beta read The Wise Man’s Fear, and that says a lot right there.
Anyway, the pipes turned out great. That’s the moral of the story here. You’ll be seeing some more stuff from them before too long.
5:00 – Crash.
After banging out quick blog on the computer in the hotel lobby, I head to the convention center. I end up standing next to Seth Green while waiting for a stoplight to change. I try to think of a way to say, “Your stuff is awesome” that doesn’t sound gushy and fanboy, but I can’t think of anything. So I settle on a companionable silence instead.
Despite the long line, getting my badge is a remarkably painless process. I’m just putting the program book in my backpack when my phone rings.
I open it up. “Hello?”
“Hey,” Valerie says. “It’s Valerie.”
“I know,” I say. “Your text is green. What’s up?”
“Badali’s website is down. A bunch of people posted comments about it.”
“Really?” I say. “When did it go down?”
“About twenty minutes after you posted the link on your blog.”
My first reaction was to feel pretty cool. My second reaction was terrible guilt. I thank Valerie and give my contact at Badali a call. They’re only a couple hundred feet away, but I don’t have an exhibitor badge, so I can’t go into the hall until 6:00.
“Janelle?” I say as soon as she picks up. “I’m sorry. I think I broke your stuff.”
“I posted up a link to the talent pipes on my blog. But I think the traffic crashed your website.”
“Wow,” she says. A pause. “That’s kinda awesome!”
A wave of relief fills me, and I’m no longer overwhelmed with guilt. “I know!” I say. “I feel like Neil Gaiman!”
5:30 – First contact.
I get off the phone and finish putting some stuff away into my backpack. I sling it over one shoulder and look around, wondering how I’m going to kill half an hour until the hall opens up for preview night.
A pretty young Asian woman makes eye contact with me. She cocks her head to one side. “Are you Patrick Rothfuss?” she asks.
“I am,” I say.
She looks hesitant, then says, “Can I have a hug?”
“Absolutely,” I say.
And we hug.
I decide that this is probably going to be a pretty good convention.
6:00 – On the Floor.
For those of you that don’t know much about San Diego ComicCon, let me explain. Wednesday night from 6:00-9:00 is preview night. Only people with 4-day passes can get in.
This makes it a great time to meet people in the exhibit hall. Not only is the place relatively uncrowded, but all the exhibitors are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Both literally and/or figuratively, depending on the booth.)
I wander around pretty aimlessly at first. But luck takes me past Donato’s booth, and I get to say howdy to him. He’s a hell of a nice guy, to say nothing of the fact that he’s amazing artist. We chat for a bit, and I thank him for the donation of some prints he made to Worldbuilders this year. (You’ll be seeing those in the Tinker’s Packs before too long.)
I swing by Jason Palmer’s booth too, but he’s not at the con yet. I shrug it off, knowing that I’ll have plenty of time to stop back later in the con.
Next I stumble onto a booth where the cast of the Guild is doing a signing. The con is barely half an hour old, and they already have a huge line. I consider stopping to say hello to Felicia and Sandeep, but even though they’re not signing yet, I can tell the cast is kinda hanging out together. Besides, Felicia and Sandeep are chatting with some guy and I don’t want to barge into their conversation.
I’m also vaguely anxious that if I run into them 30 minutes into the convention, I’ll look like I’m stalking them. Which I’m not. Not at the current moment, that is.
I decide to leave them to their throng of adoring fans and see what else the floor has to offer.
I swing by the Penny Arcade booth, where I say howdy to Mike and Jerry. I wrote an intro for their most recent anthology, and hadn’t had a chance to see it in the real world yet.
Jerry comes out from the booth and gives me a hug. “We said terrible things,” he says.
At first, I have no idea what he’s talking about. Then I realize he’s probably referring to the comic they did a while back, and the podcast where they talked about the book in frank terms, and, well… mocked me.
Honestly, I’m a little flabbergasted. “I don’t know what it’s like where you live,” I say. “But where I come from, mocking is how we express love.”
And it’s true. There’s a world of difference between snarkery, loving satire, and full-blown vitriolic excoriation. Penny Arcade does all of these things, and does them well, but I can tell the difference.
After establishing that we’re all still best friends, I wander by Mysterious Galaxy’s booth, where it turns out they’re selling copies of Ghost Story even though the book technically wasn’t going to be released for days yet.
Needless to say, I bought a copy and clutched it lovingly.
“Is Butcher going to be here at the con?” I ask the people at the booth.
They tell me he is.
This is good news. I’ve read all the Dresden Files books at least twice, many of them three or four times. I’m a huge fan and I’ve been hoping to meet Butcher for years.
So Wednesday was full of win. A great way to start the convention. Best of all, I’d managed to make it through the whole thing without committing any huge social gaffs and making an ass of myself.
But it was only Wednesday, I still had four days of convention left….
* * *
This is part of the San Diego Diary: Wednesday, Thursday Part I, Thursday Part II (Wootstock), and Friday Ad Infinitum.
So last week I tried something new. I went to a romance convention.
When I was growing up, the only convention I knew about was Gencon. But over the last couple of years, I’ve been around the block a bit. I’ve hit most of the big ones: DragonCon, San Diego Comic-con, WorldCon, as well as at least a dozen others.
Most cons I attend have two things in common.
1. They have had a strong track of writing programming. (Because I like talking about writing).
2. They’re sci-fi and fantasy themed. (Because that’s how I roll).
So how did I end up at a romance convention?
Well, first off. I was invited. Most of the conventions I go to, I go because I’m invited. This is because I’m lazy.
Second off, Romantic Times gave The Name of the Wind Best Epic Fantasy of the year in 2007. It’s nice to go to a convention where they think you’re cool. (Or at least where they thought you were cool back in 2007.)
Third, I was kinda curious as to what a romance convention would be like….
It was like this:
At one point I was in a crowded hallway, heading to a panel. Out of curiosity, I looked around to see if I could find another man. I couldn’t. I kept looking, then turned in a full circle. I still couldn’t.
The ratio of female authors to male authors attending the convention was at least 20 to 1. It was like the anti-gencon.
They have an event called the “Mr. Cover Model Contest” where strapping young men parade about on stage. I don’t know what the winner gets, but I hope the prize package includes a shirt. Those poor boys looked cold to me.
I bought a book for Sarah.
Because… y’know…. viking.
And honestly, that’s all I really have to say about the convention.
The other reason I went to this convention is that it’s in LA. I know some people in LA that I don’t get to see very often, so it was a good excuse to visit them.
Now those of you who have been reading the blog for a while might remember my first, shameful meeting with Amber Benson. Since then, we’ve gotten to know each other a bit, and when we were chatting on e-mail we came up with the idea of doing a reading and signing together when I was in LA.
So we did.
We got together for dinner first, and while we ate, we shared war stories about our books. Both of us had just written sex scenes for the first time, and we talked about how weird it was.
Then something happened. I honestly can’t remember the exact details, but I’m pretty sure I suggested that we should read our sex scenes at the event later that night. I was kinda joking, but not entirely.
Then Amber said the equivalent of, “I will if you will.”
Faced with a challenge like that, there was no way I could back down.
So about an hour later, we were standing in front of 100 people, telling them that we were going to read them some sex. They seemed okay with it.
I went first, reading the end of chapter 95. I got a little sweaty and red in the face, but I made it through pretty well, especially considering I’ve never read it out loud before.
Then it was Amber’s turn. We’ve both been busy lately, so we haven’t had a chance to reach each others’ newest books yet. So she’d thought my scene would be more explicit. She was worried her scene was way smuttier than mine. She started to read, then stopped and stepped away from the mic, shaking her head.
Now that I was done with my reading, I was pretty relaxed. I felt great, in fact. My reading was done, and I was all full of adrenaline.
“If there’s dialogue in there, we could read it together,” I joked.
Little did I know there was dialogue. So I was trapped. After an extended bout of being extremely flustered, the two of us read her sex scene together, giggling like third graders all the while.
Luckily, someone caught it on tape. You can witness the glorious debacle here if you want.
All in all, it was one of my favorite readings ever. And as a bonus, I discovered I can do a southern accent if I want to. Who knew?
The bad news is that I haven’t been online for more than ten days. There are more than 2000 messages waiting for me in my e-mail. More than 500 pieces of fanmail. Two dozen packages are waiting for me downstairs, unopened. I hope none of them contain food. Or, like, a puppy.
The good news is that as of today I’m finally back from my book tour. I have some stories to tell.
In addition to finally being home, something else cool happened today. This might not be news to all of you, but it’s pretty cool for me, so I thought I’d share it…
For those of you that don’t know, every week the New York Times publishes a list of books. Nobody knows exactly how the books are selected for the list. But generally speaking, the more copies of your book you sell in a given week, the higher up you are on the list.
It’s called the New York Times Bestseller list. If your book makes it into #15 or higher, it’s a New York Times Bestseller. It’s a pretty big deal in the publishing world. As I mentioned before on the blog, I was lucky enough to hit #11 with The Name of the Wind.
Here’s a picture of the book section from today’s (Sunday’s) New York Times.
(Click to embiggen.)
Why don’t we get a little closer….
Can you see the coolness yet? No. I’m not talking about the copy of The Guild up there.
Ah hell. Let’s zoom all the way in:
Yeah. There’s The Wise Man’s Fear. Right up there at #1.
Thanks for helping me make it up there everybody…
#1 on the NYT is a pretty big deal, and I feel like I should be doing something monumental to celebrate. Something rockstar. Something with hookers and hot tubs and cocaine. Something that ends with me throwing a television out a hotel window and getting arrested for conduct unbecoming a novelist.
But honestly, I’m too tired for that to sound like a lot of fun right now. Plus I don’t think Stevens Point has any hookers. Besides, my TV is in the basement, so I’d have to carry it up a flight of stairs before I threw it out the window. And then tomorrow I’d have to clean it up off my own porch. Maybe I’m getting old, but that just doesn’t seem like a lot of fun to me.
So I’m guessing I’ll probably hold off on the rockstar celebrations for now. Instead, now that Sarah and Oot are asleep, I think I’m going to install Dragon Age 2 and make some Mac & Cheese.
That’s right. I’m not going to dig into my e-mail at all. Not tonight. Tonight it’s just Dragon Age 2 and Mac & Cheese. I make some badass Mac & Cheese, let me tell you. I put all sorts of cheeses in there. Plus spices and shit. And corn. It’s really something.
Man. I’m really looking forward to it. You really have no idea.
Maybe I will also drink some rum while I play Dragon Age. Because…. well… because I can. And because that makes it just a little bit rockstar. It doesn’t hurt to be just a little bit rockstar sometimes…
Those of you who read last week’s blog about the Gaiman-Day scale of coolness might be interested in this picture:
(Click to Embiggen)
These are just the weekly stats, and my numbers are artificially inflated by my recent blog post. But still, if you’re like me, it’s nice to get to play with the cool kids, even if it’s just for a week or so.
In other news, we’re still dealing with the aftermath of this year’s fundraiser. It’s going a lot slower this year because we’ve got WAY more stuff to sort, package, and ship out.
Just to give you a basis for comparison, this was our prize shelf last year:
I was really proud of that shelf and all the authors that contributed to it. But still, you can see that a lot of the books on there are mine.
These are our prize shelves this year…
(Click to Embiggen)
This doesn’t even include all the swag from Subterranean Press, as they’re shipping out their own books. (God bless them.)
Try not to be distracted by the extreme coolness of my brick-and-board shelves which, I would like to mention, I put up by my very own self.
As you can see, a *lot* more authors chipped in this year. Which gives me a warm, glowy feeling of goodwill toward the entire sci-fi & fantasy community. It goes without saying that the donations from DAW and Gollancz made a world of difference, too.
And just so you know, we’re not contacting all the winners beforehand. It would be *way* too much work. You’ll know you’ve won something when a package shows up in the mail. Please don’t e-mail to ask if you’ve won….
[Edit 2-2-10 Answers to a few questions:
I'm not going to post up a list of everyone's names that that won, because not everyone wants their name posted up on the internet. Just in case any of you were wondering, it's not cool to post personal information about people on the internet without asking first.
I'm not going to e-mail everyone asking if I can post their info up on the net either. Because, well... duh.
What I will be doing is asking folks to take pictures of themselves and their prizes, then we'll post them up here. That way, even if you didn't win something yourself, you can live vicariously through the joy of others. That's kinda what worldbuilders is all about.
The big winners I've already contacted personally. The people who won Gaiman and Sanderson's books, as well as the guy who won the golden ticket. I'll be putting up some information about them, if they're cool with it.
We can ship to PO boxes just fine. Don't worry about it. If something is strange or confusing about your address, rest assured that we'll contact you to sort it out. End edit.]