Category Archives: Subterranean Press

Books from Del Rey and Spectra

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

This year, Del Rey and Spectra were nice enough to send along some books for the fundraiser.

This is kind of a big deal. You see, Del Rey and Spectra are the first big New York imprints to donate to Worldbuilders even though I don’t have any sort of direct business relationship with them.

Now don’t get me wrong. Publishers like DAW, Bad Moon, and Subterranean Press  have been with Worldbuilders from the beginning. Their support has been invaluable and lavish. I love them with a fierce love, and appreciate them more than I can say.

But it’s always been my hope that Worldbuilders would become more than just a fundraiser I run on my blog with donations I mostly wrangle up myself.

My dream, you see, is that Worldbuilders will grow beyond that. I hope it will eventually become an organization where geeks of all creeds and affiliations come together in order to make the world a better place.

This is a big step in that direction, and it warms my bitter old heart.

  • A hardcover copy of The Conqueror’s Shadow and an ARC of The Warlord’s Legacy by Ari Marmell. Hardcover signed by the author.

For those of you that don’t know.  ARC stands for Advance Reader’s Copy. ARC’s are books publishers put out early to promote upcoming books.

This particular ARC is especially cool, as Warlord’s Legacy won’t be released until January 2011. So if you win these books, you get to read it long before it hits the shelves. Then you can gloat about it to your friends.

The fabulous Robin Hobb says, “ Twists of humor leaven this story of desperate people in dangerous times, as a conqueror discovers that perhaps those who live by the sword are sometimes doomed to face the business end of one.  A great mix of character and action.”

  • A set of Three Days to Dead and As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding.

Three Days to Dead is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever. Evy Stone is a heroine’s heroine, and I rooted for her from the moment I met her. Kelly Meding has written a phenomenal story, one that’s fast-paced, gritty, and utterly addictive. Brava! More! More! More!”— Jackie Kessler, co-author of Black and White.

“As vivid an evocation of England during World War II as anyone has ever written . . . You’ll find here a novelist who can plot like Agatha Christie and whose books possess a bounce and stylishness that Preston Sturges might envy.” — The Washington Post.

  • A set of Wolfbreed and Wolf’s Cross by S. A. Swann.

A lot of people have been saying a lot of good things about these books. But rather than list all of them, let’s leap directly to the top of the heap:

“Vivid and visceral, dark and delicious, this one kept me turning pages from start to finish.” – George R.R. Martin.

  • A copy of The Warded Man and a hardcover copy of The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett.

I won’t go all gushy about how much I enjoy Peter Brett’s books. Instead, I’ll just link to the interview I did with him last year. He’s a lovely guy, and I’m not saying that just because he’s cool enough to chip to help match donations for Worldbuilders.

“I enjoyed The Warded Man immensely. There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way.”—Terry Brooks .

I had someone accost me in a bookstore less than a week ago and gush about this book. Such was their intensity that I’ve moved it near the top of my to-be-read-when-I-finally-get-a-moment pile.

The Native Star is engaging, atmospheric, and lovely. I was quite taken by the concept of an Old West built on a foundation of magic and zombie slave labor. Oh, and giant raccoons. Bring on the coons! And how spectacular is the name Dreadnought Stanton? This book utterly absorbed me from start to finish—these days you have no idea how rare that is. You have something special in your hands—no pun intended.” —Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of Soulless.

“Lebbon’s work is infused with the contemporary realism of Stephen King and the lyricism of Ray Bradbury.”— Fangoria

“You want this book…It’s the kind of book that leaves you breathless haunted and in awe. It makes me think of Little Brother meets Lord of the Flies meets Heart of Darkness meets Mad Max and the Road Warrior meets Letham. … It’s a powerful fast read of a gut punch of a novel. In other words–you want this book.” –Paul Jessup, author of Werewolves.

  • A set of a hardcover copy of Star Wars Death Troopers and an ARC of Star Wars Red Harvest by Joe Schreiber.

Okay. I lose some geek points for not knowing about these books. How can I not have heard about zombie star-wars books? Seriously. Why hasn’t anyone clued me in?

As you can see by the picture, Red Harvest is an ARC. It won’t be out until late December. So if you win, this will be a great opportunity to tease that super geeky star-wars friend in your peer group until he cries.

Or, if you’re a nicer person than I am, you could always give it to him for Christmas. Either way.

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies says, “This is the Star Wars of every horror fan’s dreams—gory, funny, and brimming with a blood-spattered cast of swashbucklers and space-zombies.”

*     *     *

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice, too.

Don’t forget, Worldbuilders is matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to the Team Heifer page and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want to go back to the main page for Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

But first, everyone say, “Thank you Del Rey and Spectra.”

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat17 Responses

Hundreds of Books From Subterranean Press

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Once again the lovely folks at Subterranean Press have sent us hundreds of books. Many of them rare or out of print, and all of them are gorgeous and lovingly crafted.

Let’s take a look….

You all know who Ray Bradbury is, right? We don’t need to talk about that.

And if you’re reading this blog, you have to already understand how big a deal Fahrenheit 451 is. I’m sure of that, too.

This book brings together 16 vintage Bradbury stories and novellas that chart the evolution of the images, ideas, and social concerns that found their purest, most potent expression in Fahrenheit 451. […]  it is both an invaluable Bradbury sourcebook and a unique, intimate glimpse into the mysteries of the creative process.”

From Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week, Starred Review): “An essential addition to the bookshelf of every Bradbury fan, the collection is also accessible to curious readers with a taste for the dark, the strange, and the macabre.”

I’ll admit that I didn’t know about this book (and the one directly below) before they were donated, but now I’m going to have to have to read them as soon as I have time. Sooner maybe.

These books are *very* new, so there aren’t many reviews yet. Instead, here’s a brief description from Sub Press:

“In paired novellas, award-winning authors Tobias Buckell and Paolo Bacigalupi explore a shared world where magic is forbidden and its use is rewarded with the axe. A world of glittering memories and a desperate present, where everyone uses a little magic, and someone else always pays the price.”

Bacigalupi is already well-known for his award winning novel The Windup Girl which was named by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, and also won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards.

In short, he pretty much won everything with that book. Personally, I think he’s probably a witch.


While he might not be a witch, Buckell has his share of accolades as well. He’s a Writers of The Future winner and a Campbell Award finalist. Reviewers have called Buckell “a dazzling new voice” (Robert J. Sawyer) and “an exciting new writer” (Cory Doctorow.)

From the description of The Executioness by Sub Press:

“Magic has a price.

In Khaim, that price is your head if you’re found using it. For the use of magic comes with a side effect: it creates bramble. The bramble is a creeping, choking menace that has covered majestic ancient cities, and felled civilizations. In order to prevent the spread of the bramble, many lose their heads to the cloaked executioners of Khaim.”

It’s been forever since I’ve seen two authors writing in a shared world. This is cool stuff, and I’m excited to read it.

This is one of those books I’m tempted to steal from the fundraiser. I’m a big fan of Brett’s work, and I missed my chance to buy this from Sub Press. Now it’s sold out and would cost me hundreds of dollars.

From Blood of the Muse:

“If The Painted Man was a Director’s Cut DVD, The Great Bazaar and Other Stories would be the second disc filled with all the Extras. More story, deleted scenes, a ward grimoire; it’s all here. […] Fans of The Painted Man will love The Great Bazaar and Other Stories. People not familiar with Brett’s work will find this a great introduction.”

This book isn’t published yet, which means y’all can still pre-order it from Sub Press. If you want a copy, that might be a good idea, as I’m expecting it to sell out like the book up above.

From Sub Press:

“Return to the world of The Warded Man and The Desert Spear in an illustrated new novella by Peter V. Brett. […]  Arlen Bales is seventeen, an apprentice Messenger in brand new armor, about to go out for the first time alongside a trained Messenger on a simple overnight trip. Instead Arlen finds himself alone on a frozen mountainside, carrying a dangerous cargo to Count Brayan’s gold mine, one of the furthest points in the duchy.”

Here’s another out-of-print treasure from Sub Press. These signed, leather-bound, numbered books are worth hundreds of bucks on the collector’s market.

I love Butcher’s Dresden Files and really enjoyed this story. I was surprised, but pleased, when I discovered it wasn’t from Harry’s point of view. The story follows Thomas Raith instead, and gives cool insight into his character.

Rob H. Bedford for SFFWorld says, “Backup is a solid entry to the background of the Dresden Files, a terrific story in and of itself, and the book itself looks to be a great collector’s item for both fans of Butcher’s Dresden Files or of good storytelling matched up with terrific art. Obviously from what my review says, I’d highly recommend Backup.”

This was nominated for an Eisner award, so you know it’s got some mojo.

Publishers Weekly says, “This first of hopefully several volumes delivers on all counts, boasting a solid story bolstered by exceptional work from Chilean artist Rodriguez….”

From Subterranean Press:

“The three Locke children–survivors of a horrific home invasion that claimed their father–have just begun to rebuild their lives when little Bode discovers a key with an incredible power. […] Written by Hill and featuring the mind-bending art of Gabriel Rodriguez, the second installment of Locke & Key is one head-trip you won’t forget.”

Now out-of-print, A Fantasy Medley features stories by Kelley Armstrong, Kate Elliott, C.E. Murphy, and Robin Hobb.

From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review): “Four fantasy heavyweights contribute original tales featuring intriguing female protagonists to this enthralling anthology.”

From The Agony Column: Deadman’s Road is generously illustrated by the incredibly talented Glen Chadbourne with lots of his ultra-detailed pen-and-ink drawings. [….] There’s a real sense of class and detail and craft combined with truly disturbing horror and, ever present, Lansdale’s unmatched sense of fun. Stepping into this book is like stepping into an old theater, running a black and white film you’ve never seen before.”

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover…. but damn, that’s a really nice cover.

Jay Lake is one of those writers that makes me look like a chump, turning out one quality book after another.

The San Francisco Book Review says, “Jay Lake is a first-class wordsmith, an author who relishes the possibilities of language, utilizing words to their utmost to craft incredibly detailed worlds both hauntingly familiar and mind-bogglingly different.”

The Library Journal says, “The author of The Engineer Trilogy has written a mesmerizing short novel that combines fictional autobiography with political intrigue and the art of the confidence man… History rewrites itself at every turn in this tale of an alchemist whose own base metal becomes, at last, pure gold.”

From Subterranean Press:

“Featuring new stories from the bestselling and brightest writers working in the genre, including: New York Times bestselling authors Scott Lynch and Garth Nix; genre greats Michael Moorcock (with an all-new Elric novella), Michael Shea (with a fully authorized new Cugel the Clever adventure), Robert Silverberg (with an all-new Majipoor tale), Glen Cook (with an all-new Black Company story), Gene Wolfe, and C. J. Cherryh; and hot new writers who’ve been re-inventing swords and sorcery like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Tim Lebbon, and many more.”

This book should look familiar to many of you.

You can’t trust me to be objective about my own book, so here’s a quote from the San Francisco Book Review:

“In what is by far the funniest and most original book of the year (so far), Rothfuss shows off his ability to think and create outside of the expected. The story is pure comic genius that will be fun and funny for parents and children. The illustrations, not to be outdone, offer subtle little quirks that, after reading the book multiple times, shine through and give it lasting re-read incentive.”

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice too.

And don’t forget, I’m matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want to go back to the main page for Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

Also posted in The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat10 Responses

A few updates: Coolness and Prizes

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)

Huzzah.

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.]

More blogs on the way….

pat

Also posted in my rockstar life, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat40 Responses

Books from Peter V. Brett – Plus an Interview

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Well folks, here’s the last of the prizes, and the last of the author interviews.

Read on, and find out why Peter V. Brett is my new best friend.

*****

Heya Brett. Before we start, could you give us some of the details about how awesome you are? Y’know, awards, how many foreign countries your books have sold in. Stuff like that. Dazzle us.

Awesome, right. Let’s see… The Warded Man (AKA The Painted Man) was written on my cellphone during my subway commute to work. In many circles, I am more famous for that than the book itself.

No, seriously:

(You can read articles about it: here, here or here.)

Despite having been written with my thumbs, it was named one of Amazon UK’s 10 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2008, and has since sold in 18 countries and 17 languages so far (closed a deal in Turkey just a couple of days ago. Very excited about that for multiple reasons). It has been a bestseller in the US, UK, Poland, and Germany that I know of.

The series has been optioned for film by Hollywood director Paul WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, who have done such movies as Event Horizon, Death Race, Pandorum, and the Resident Evil franchise.

Er… I am also devastatingly handsome, and make babies with the kind of auburn hair I am told women pay vast amounts of money to their colorists for. I drew the little chapter avatars in the US version of The Warded Man myself.

And he also makes julienne fries ladies and gentlemen. Order yours today!

Let’s start with an easy question. If you were a cake, what sort of cake would you be?

The kind that’s been sitting on the counter a long time and is sort of stale so you don’t really want to eat it right this second but keep it around in case you suddenly wake up desperate for cake in the middle of the night.

What are you reading right now?

I just got over the flu, so I got a lot of reading done, including Brandon Sanderson’s new Wheel of Time book, The Gathering Storm, which I admit I really enjoyed even though Brandon is my nemesis. I think Jordan’s spirit is pleased. I also read Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks and Legend by David Gemmell. I’m trying to decide between starting Mistborn by Sanderson or Acacia by David Anthony Durham next. In the meantime I am reading a bunch of comic books I’ve accumulated over the last few weeks.

All this reading feels good. For the last couple of years I’ve been too focused on my own writing to read much else, and I think that was unhealthy. I also had trouble turning off my internal editor, which sucks a lot of the fun out of reading.

If you had to pick your favorite book of all time, what would it be?

Ugh. Hard. Favorites shift with my moods. Let’s broaden a bit. My Personal Top 5:

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
Shogun by James Clavell

You’re relatively new to the publishing world. How has getting your book published changed your life?

Man, you have no idea…

Oh, wait. Yes you do.

I sold in mid 2007, and since then, pretty much EVERYTHING in my life has changed. One minute I was begging someone, anyone, to please read my book, and the next I’m answering fan mail from Australia and Japan. In addition to selling and deciding to write full time, my wife lost her job, we had a baby, and bought a new apartment.

Even though it’s mostly been great stuff that I always dreamed about, I really felt like the rug was pulled out from under me, as all the constants in my life up to that point vanished. I didn’t know which way was up, and felt an incredible pressure to write a sequel that wouldn’t let down the readers who loved the first book. It was doubly hard because I was doing much of it as a zombie on the baby’s bi-hourly feeding schedule while we fretted over money, the cost of health insurance, etc.

Your blog helped me a lot as I adjusted to the change. Seeing someone else going through many of the same things (and coming out the other end of it) made it a little easier for me.

That’s nice to hear. Sometimes I would write some of those blogs and then think, “Why am I telling people this? Why am I burdening people with my emo bullshit?”

I know that feeling well, but the people who would feel burdened by hearing about your life probably don’t read your blog. I’ve found that blogging about my life helps me order my thoughts and keep things in perspective.

How often do you check your amazon sales rank?

Far too often. It is a sick, sick obsession. I also have google scour the internets and read every single review, no matter how nut-crunching.

Oh man. Google Alerts? I’ve avoided that particular madness by the clever application of my own ignorance. I don’t know how to set it up. I just trust that if something important enough happens, someone will e-mail me.

That is probably wise of you. Google alerts takes about 3 seconds and the internet know-how of a shoe to set up, but it’s probably best you never open that door.

How many copies of your own books do you currently own?

I have two shelves of my own books. One has two copies of each version/translation for my personal collection. So far that is 16 distinct volumes, so there are 32 books in my personal collection. These books are precious to me, and I guard them like my young.

The other shelf has books I am free to give away, and I try to run contests and things on my blog to keep those moving. That shelf has another 47 books at the moment, in various languages.

Wow. Specific numbers. Nobody else has been that forthcoming yet.

What are they hiding, do you think? Secret bunkers of their books in case of apocalypse?

Absolutely. I assume everyone buys their own first book obsessively, usually in conjunction with checking their Amazon sales rank.

Okay. Before this interview goes any farther, I have a confession to make.

You were one of the first people to send your books into the fundraiser, and while I was sitting up with my baby one night, I didn’t have anything to read. Your books were sitting right there…. So I read one. That’s not something I normally do with donations, but it was just sitting there. Taunting me.

Admission of guilt is the first step towards absolution, my friend. I think if you put a note in the front of the book saying “I read this one; the cookie crumbs and coffee stains are mine. Love, Pat” whoever wins the book will forgive the fact that it is second-hand, since they will probably get a lot more for it on eBay.

Boy, are you sure? I never write in books other than when I sign my own for people. I think it’s a sin, isn’t it?

This is a special case. Anyone who wins it in the Heifer fundraiser will probably be more a fan of yours than mine, anyway, and I give you leave to illuminate my book with your delicate cursive… or deface it with your chicken-scratch, if your handwriting is anything like mine. (Thank goodness we live in the computer age.)

Okay. If you’re sure…

  • A copy of The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. Signed by the author… and another author who read it.

Feel free to add “It didn’t suck” to your note…

Man, way better than that. I have to say, your book was really fucking good.

!! Do go on…

Okay, to be completely honest with you, I was really ready to dislike it. I’m not proud of this… but, I’d heard you’d already got a movie deal going, so I was a little jealous. And you wrote it on the subway, so I was ready to be all snarky about that, too.

I was kinda expecting you to be Paolini of the F-train. His book got popular because he was so young, and I assumed yours just got attention because of the subway gimmick.

I should know better than jump to conclusions like that, of course. But I can be just as ignorant and petty as the next guy… And I was totally wrong, your book is, like .5 of a Whedon on the coolness scale.

Firefly Whedon or Dollhouse Whedon?

There is only one Whedon, and I am his prophet.

Did you see that time in Astonishing X-Men when he made xxx Xxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxx? That was AWESOME.

That was awesome. He caught me off guard like he always does. That’s one of his gifts, in my opinion. He’s exceptionally good at coming at any sort of story from a fresh direction.

Sorry I xxx-ed out your potential spoiler, by the way. I have issues.

Back to the point though. I really dug your book even though I didn’t want to like it at first…

I understand completely. So long as we’re being honest, I felt the same way about you at first. When my book first came out last year, it seemed like every other review was referring to it as “The best new fantasy since The Name of the Wind”. I know it was meant as a compliment, but after it happened a few times, it started to stick in my craw. My inner insecurity began translating that as “this is a good book, but TNotW is a better one.” Grr.

I didn’t know anything about you or TNotW at the time, so I picked up a copy to see what all the fuss was about. Admittedly, I went in with more than a little bias, ready to pounce on any flaws I could find just to make myself feel better.

Of course, I ended up utterly charmed, and when I started reading your blog and saw what a nice guy you were, I realized I was being a bit of a dick.

Heh. The same thing happened with me when my book came out. Everyone was like, “Pat Rothfuss is the next Scott Lynch!” I remember thinking, “Can’t I just be the first Pat Rothfuss? I’ve got a lot more experience being that.”

Ha. I just feel sorry for the poor schmo who gets saddled with being the next Peter Brett. That’s no prize.

So…. Now that we’re friends and all, is there any chance I could get an early look at Desert Spear? I’ll do just about anything to get a copy. I’m not joking here. I’d choke a nun.

Hrm. Well, here’s the thing. I only have 4 advance read copies, and two of them have been promised to fans as prizes in an ongoing contest on my blog. The other two are my personal copies, on the aforementioned “precious” shelf. They are so beautiful, the paired books on that shelf, like a little Noah’s Ark of books. Even my mom doesn’t have a Desert Spear ARC.

But that said, maybe if there were a way to make the copy eventually go to charity…

I wouldn’t want to steal one of your personal copies. Like I said, I understand the book-hoarding impulse….

Actually, I made a plea to Del Rey, and they shook loose another copy for me to send you. You know. For charity.

Muahahahaha! Witness my power! No. Wait. I mean… that will be a great addition to the fundraiser. This is all about charity you know…

Just put it and The Warded Man in a plain brown box labeled “Pat’s used books” and add it to the lottery.

Done:

What’s the most shameful self-promotional thing you’ve ever done?

I brought chocolate cake with icing wards to a signing at ComicCon just to entice people over. In my defense, it was my birthday.

You were at Comic-Con this year?

New York, not San Diego. I usually go to SDCC, but my daughter was born on that exact weekend in 2008, so I think I may miss it until she is old enough for me to convince her that an airplane hanger full of 200,000 cosplayers is a birthday treat.

If you play your cards right, you should be able to convince her that it’s a special birthday party just for her.

That’s the plan.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Milla Jovovich hugged me and told me she loved my book.

Oh man. Now I’m filled with terrible rage and jealousy. I think I might hate you again….

Uh-oh.

What’s the most hurtful thing someone has ever said in a review of your book?

A lot of readers try to pinpoint my personal morality and politics from the book. Sometimes they are wrong and say terrible things about my beliefs that are really upsetting. A few times I have tried to engage those critics in a polite, calm, and non-confrontational manner, just to set the record straight. Sometimes that helps. Sometimes it is a clusterfuck.

Two extra points for use of the word ‘clusterfuck.’ Do you have a particular piece of grammar that you screw up regularly?

I grew reading a lot of British fantasy (Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll, etc.) so there are a lot of Britishisms I use without realizing it. My copyeditors hate me.

If you could punch one literary figure in the face, who would it be?

I challenged Brent Weeks to a knife fight at the World Fantasy Convention this year, Beat It style, but he’d left his switchblade in his room so we just drank scotch instead.

Rumor has it that Voltaire wrote on the naked backs of his lovers. Do you have any little rituals that help you write?

I write very long books, so I would need many lovers.

That’s what I keep telling Sarah, but she isn’t buying it. How long was the Warded Man, anyway? It didn’t feel very long at all….

The Warded Man was 163,000 words, give or take. The first draft was closer to 180,000, but I cut a lot in the final editing pass. The Desert Spear, however, weighs in at a hefty 240,000 words, and that’s AFTER the heavy cutting. It’s no Wise Man’s Fear, but the hardcover will still make an effective bludgeon.

I hear you about the cutting. Over the years I’m guessing I cut over 100,000 words out of The Name of the Wind.

Speaking of which, I had an idea when I was interviewing Weeks a while back. It turns out he cuts a lot of stuff too. I’m thinking it would be cool to collect some deleted scenes from some other fantasy authors, put them into an anthology along with some commentary by the authors.

We could call it Worldbuilders, and some of the money it made could go to help match funds for the Worldbuilders fundraiser. I’ll admit it’s just a pipe dream so far, but what do you think?

It’s a good dream.

I saw that interview, where you both were talking about having cut the first sections from your books. I don’t know if this is just the case for all new writers, but the Prologue to The Warded Man was cut just prior to publication as well. I have a whole page of my website devoted to excised material, along with essays as to why things were cut. If you ever want to do a Worldbuilders anthology, I will be happy to contribute.

Rock. On. I’m so going to make this happen.

In the meantime, I still need to make a donation to Worldbuilders for this year. I don’t feel right about entering the lottery, though. Would it be possible for me to made a modest addition to the pool helping to match donations?

Oh merciful Buddha, are you serious? Some cash to help match donations would be the best thing ever.

Last year the fundraiser really tapped me out financially, so I was trying to be more careful this year when I said I’d only match 50%. But we’ve ended up raising WAY more than I expected. We’re already over 115,000 dollars. Even with Subterranean Press matching the first 10,000, that still leaves me stretched really thin.

I never planned on Worldbuilders being a one-man show. I’d always hoped some other folks would offer to help match donations, or maybe do fundraisers or auctions of their own to help Worldbuilders raise funds to match donations….

But you’re the first to actually offer.

Anyway, the short answer is “Yes.” I’d love to have you onboard helping to match donations.

You are now officially my new best friend.

*Ahem.* Anyway… back to the pre-tangent question. Do you have any weird writing habits?

Sometimes when I have writer’s block I will sync whatever chapter I am working on to my phone and write on the subway. For some odd reason, that always clears the block. No idea why.

That’s another reason the Voltaire thing wouldn’t work for you. It’d be hard to get properly intimate on the F-Train. People would complain about how many seats you were taking up.

You’d be surprised what you can get away with on the F…

I recently made a joke about “transition putty” on my blog. That being, of course, what we writers buy at Home Depot to smooth out our rough transitions. If you could have some sort of handyman tool like that, something like Plot Spackle or a Character Level. What would it be?

I wish I could go buy a box of minor character names like I can a box of nails. Look at all the trouble it’s causing you. You had to start a whole contest to get some ideas.

Heh. You detected my clever scheme, did you? Keep quiet about it and I’ll cut you in for 10% of the names.

Mum’s the word.

Those are all the questions I have. Thanks much for the interview, and double thanks for being willing to help out Worldbuilders as our first official author Sponsor. I can’t thank you enough for that.

Oh, and next time you see Milla, give her a hug for me….

Will do. Thanks so much for having me on the blog, and for all the great work you’re doing with Heifer. I’m glad I could do my own little part to help.

*****

Personally, I can’t think of a better way to end the last post of the fundraiser: our first author sponsor. Hopefully the first of many.

  • Four copies of The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. Signed by the Author.

Not only is Brett’s debut novel a smashing good read, but owning a copy will bring you good luck, protect you from the swine flu, and make you roughly 33% more attractive to the opposite sex.Plus Brett has hugged Milla Jovovich. That means if you win one of these books that he’s touched with his own hands, it’s like you’re getting to hug her too, albeit twice removed.Well folks, this is the last of the prizes. You have until midnight on January 15th to get in on the action. For every $10 you donate on my Team Heifer page you get a chance to win books like these and many, many others.

If you want to know more about what you can win, or if you’d like more info about Worldbuilders itself, you can head over here for all the details.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(Ahhh… Last post of the fundraiser. Now can relax a bit….)
Also posted in cool things, Me Interviewing Other Folks, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat50 Responses

Music, Miscellany, and Signed Copies of The Guild.

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

So Worldbuilders is almost at an end for this year. We’ve got one last blog full of prizes. We’ve got music and some other cool miscellanea, including some signed DVD copies of The Guild.

But first, news:

First and foremost, the deadline: The fundraiser ends on January 15th. You have to donate before then to have a chance at winning the fabulous stuff we’re raffling off.

Second, as I’m writing this, we’ve already raised over 110,000 dollars. That means people have donated twice as much as last year.

This is empirical evidence that y’all are awesome. Seriously. Before I was just guessing, but now I can prove it with math and such.

Thirdly and lastly, a tiny story:

Yesterday Sarah was busy feeding the baby when I walked past her bedroom.

Sweetie?” she called. “Can you do me a favor?

“You can’t afford it,” I said.

I am, of course referring to the recently completed auction for the Golden Ticket. Apparently the thought of winning a favor from me was worth over 15,000 dollars to someone.

This leaves me stunned and more than slightly frightened. If someone paid, like, seventeen bucks for it, I’d feel free to tell them to go screw if they asked for something unreasonable. But for 15,000 dollars, I worry that I might end up being pressured into something morally reprehensible, like kicking a koala bear.

Anyway, I hope the favor granting goes smoothly. Unlike the uncannily timed comic that just came up on Cyanide & Happiness…

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Okay. Enough news. On to the prizes….

  • Two CDs of Manticores and Owlbears: Songs of Dragons and the Dungeons in which they dwell! by Daniel Marcotte.

I met Daniel Marcotte at Gencon this year. He was strolling the halls all minstreled up, and carrying a gorgeous lute.

We got to talking and quickly established our mutual geek cred. He gave me a CD. I gave him a book. The rest, as they say, is history.

This particular CD is a bunch of D&D songs played on classical instruments. Fun stuff. Plus, I’ve heard it rumored that listening to Dan the Bard’s CD gives you +1 on your next encounter. So you might want to look into it.

  • Two CD’s of Unicorns and Dragons: Love Songs, Drinking Songs, and Fighting Songs from the Bristol Renaissance Faire! by Daniel Marcotte.

More from Dan. I’d already have a sample of his music up on my webpage right now if I weren’t so busy with book and baby. Hopefully soon.

Not all of Dan’s music is steeped in modern-day Geekery. Some of it is old-school geekery as well. This CD is “Tales of Wizards, Knights, Pirates and Princesses, set to music of the Ap Huw Manuscript (16th c Welsh Bardic Tradition) and transcribed for Renaissance Lute.”

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while might remember these folks from a previous post. If you never saw that blog, you should really click over here and watch the little video. It’s short, and I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it.

After I gushed about how awesome they were, we actually got in touch. I sent them a copy of the Brazilian translation of the book, they sent me some CDs for the fundraiser.

“They are considered a new phenomenon in the Brazilian guitar. With a mix of perfect technique, infallible repertory and a lot of charisma Fernando Lima and Cecilia Siqueira are winning admirers where they go” Published on “Violao Pro” Magazine, Sao Paulo – Brazil

You can also catch their music on their website and myspace page.

  • Six copies of Only Ghosts Remain by Fermata.
I caught Fermata playing about a year ago at the Afterdark, the local coffee shop here in Stevens Point. It was cool stuff, and it gave me some ideas about what type of music a group of eclectic troupers might play.

I’d have a sample of their stuff up on my webpage too if I wasn’t so swamped…

Review from Sepiachord.com, “Fermata are not most bands and make the smooth mixing of pop elements and folk elements seem easy.There’s a confidence here that makes what they do feel light, effortless. Despite the somber mood they evoke this confidence gives a sense of hope and positiveness to the work. “Only Ghosts Remain” is a chamber pop album for goths-who-smile. This collection proves that all “gothic Americana” doesn’t have to be gutter tales of depravity and desperation.”

You can listen to the music of Fermata at their myspace page.

Another Wisconsin musician was nice enough to kick in a CD of his work:

From Eli August’s myspace page: “Eli August creates music with zeal and energy, focusing on mood, tonality and lyricism. The songwriting mines memories of past regrets and failures to create melancholy aural set pieces that are sincere, passionate and some times dark, but never completely devoid of redemption.”

I guarantee you’ve never heard anything like this stuff. I could try to explain it to you, but I just don’t have the words for it…

Description from SkullsofHeaven.com, “db is a self-taught throat singer, nature mimic, and multi-voiced performance artist […] He has rolled up his sleeves and written lyrics for some of the songs, though he still keeps the emphasis on wordless imaginary flight with his vocal gymnastics. Playing bass, bansuri flute, and percussion he creates menageries of animal worlds with minimal looping effects and expressive feats of multi-tonal singing.”

  • Three CD’s by Janis Ian, Folk is the New Black, The Best of Janis Ian: The Autobiography Collection and Billie’s Bones.

Most folks know about Janis Ian because she’s a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter who’s been making music for over 40 years. Fewer people realize that in addition to being a talented musician, Janis is also active in the Sci-fi community.

She contacted me after reading my The Name of the Wind and said some very flattering things. Then, despite her disappointment that book two wasn’t finished yet, she was nice enough to donate some CDs to Worldbuilders.

Blogcritics.org say, “Best Of Janis Ian: The Autobiography Collection is a two-disc retrospective of Janis Ian’s career. All of her hits and well know songs are included as well as some of her equally impressive but not as famous new material.”

“Now I can add another favorite to my Hall of Urban Fantasy Fame: Deborah Smith writing as Leigh Bridger… tense, heart wrenching and lovely.” – Pam Headrick, bookseller – A Thirsty Mind

  • Two copies of Once Bitten by Kalayna Price with signed bookplates.

“Once Bitten is a solid urban fantasy debut with enough original ideas and twists to satisfy readers looking for something different and fresh.” – SciFi Guy Blog

  • One set of the first two books in the Unbidden Magic series, Moonstone and Moonrise by Marilee Brothers with signed bookplates.

“Marilee Brothers’ novel stands out for its humor and Allie’s strong point-of-view as an underdog finding her place in the world. This is another good choice for public library teen/fantasy collections. I look forward to the next title in this series.” – Grinnell College Libraries

  • A copy of Mutant Chronicles by Matt Forbeck. Signed by the author.

From the back of the book: “It will be a dangerous mission. I don’t expect that any of us will survive. But it’s a chance to save mankind, to save our world. Maybe the last chance.”

  • A copy of Blood Bowl: Rumble in the Jungle by Matt Forbeck. Signed by the author.

“The action begins in the very first paragraph. From then on it is non-stop action, adventure, humor, and blood.” — Huntress Reviews

  • A set of two books in Knights of the Silver Dragon, Prophecy of the Dragons and The Dragons Revealed by Matt Forbeck. Signed by the author.

“A thrilling series of adventures that will not only get kids interested in fantasy, but also the Dungeons & Dragons game as well.” — Tim Janson


I’m guessing most of you already know about Felicia Day. She was Penny in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along blog, after all.

However, I’m guessing some of you might be woefully ignorant about the The Guild: Felicia’s brilliant mindchild.

I got these copies of The Guild signed when I was out at San Diego Comic-con this year. I was doing it for Worldbuilders, of course. Not because I have a thing for Felicia Day, and certainly not because of my my burgeoning bromance with Sandeep Parikh.

Whatever my motivation, the result is the same: delightfully signed swag available if you donate at least 10 on my page at Team Heifer before January 15th.

Do it. You know you want to make the world a better place.

Want more details about the Worldbuilders fundraiser? Click HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

Also posted in Felicia Day, Joss Whedon, music, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat23 Responses

Seven Stories Concerning Joss Whedon – or – The Road to Damascus

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s come to my attention that some of you out there might not know about Joss Whedon. This worries me.

Even more troubling is the thought that some of you might know of Whedon, but still haven’t taken him into your heart or witnessed his glorious work.

I used to be like you. I used to live in darkness. Let me share my story with the hope that you might come to know him as I do….

* * *

It’s 1999. Home from college, I go to a New Year’s party with some old friends. Halfway through the evening, someone mentions Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“Never seen it,” I say.

Suddenly they’re all bleating like sheep about how much they love the show. Everyone feels compelled to tell me their favorite line. Their favorite part. The time this character did this thing in this place.

“Yes yes,” I said. “I’ve heard it all before. Honestly, it sounds pretty dumb to me.”

Things get heated. It turns out I’m the only person there not actively following the show. They can’t believe how ignorant I am. How can I not be watching it?

Finally I’ve had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone’s attention. “Listen,” I say. “I’m a huge geek. I’ve written a fantasy trilogy that will never be published. I once dressed up as Pan for Halloween. I have LARPed.” I looked at them all seriously. “And you people embarrass me. I am ashamed to be standing close to you right now. Kindly shut up about your stupid vampire cheerleader show.”

It’s 2002. I’m in grad school, covered in a thick, greasy layer of drudgery and helpless rage. I’m fighting as hard as I can, only to realize that academia is a tarbaby made out of bullshit and willful ignorance.

One of my friends buys the first season of Buffy on DVD and leaves it in my house. That’s it. No sales pitch. I just come home from class and it’s sitting on my coffee table.

And that’s where it stays. I’ve made my feelings clear. I’m getting my Masters in English Literature. I’ll be god-damned if I watch a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But, eventually, there’s nothing else to watch in the house, so I plug it one evening while I eat my dinner.

And it’s exactly what I expected. It’s trash. It’s heavy handed. The plot is predictable.

Worse of all, there’s a showdown between the plucky blond eye-candy and the bad guy at the end of the first episode.

Buffy: Well you forgot about one thing!
Vampire: Whats that?
Buffy: Sunrise!

She breaks a window behind the vampire and rich amber light pours in, making the vampire howl in fear.

I roll my eyes. I’ve seen this cliche a dozen times before. I’d be bored if I wasn’t so insulted. I reach for the remote.

But it isn’t sunlight pouring through the window. It’s just a lightbulb in the alleyway. The vampire looks out the window, confused.

Buffy: Its not for another 9 hours, moron.

I start to laugh, realizing whoever wrote this knows exactly what he’s doing. This isn’t cliche. This is whatever the opposite of cliche is.

I watch the second episode.

It’s 2003. I’m out of grad school and teaching my own classes for the very first time.

I’ve made contact with a big-name New York literary agent. He’s read my book and thinks it has potential. He says I’m a good writer, but my book has structural problems. There are plot issues. Am I willing to revise?

I am. But I have no idea where to start. I read a book called Writing the Blockbuster Novel and it makes no sense at all to me. I re-read my novel and realize I don’t have the slightest fucking idea what I’m doing.

Fall semester ends, and the university tells me enrollment is down. Quick as that I’m unemployed.

So I go out and buy my very first home theater system. Bose speakers. Subwoofer. I fill up the credit card, figuring that if I’m going to be unemployed, I might as well enjoy my free time. Besides, it’s not like I’m going to be able to get any writing done….

The first thing I watch is the second season Buffy.

It opens a window in my head. It changes the way I think about stories.

It’s 2004. Despite the fact that I’m not really interested in space cowboys or whatever, I buy a copy of Firefly.

It’s 6:00 AM when I sit down to watch it. After half an hour, one of my roommates wanders blearily into the living room.

“Wassis?” he asks.

“Firefly,” I say. “First episode. I can start it over if you want…”

He lays down on the other couch and we re-start the episode.

Ten minutes later he looks at me. “They canceled this?” he asks.

“Apparently.”

He looks at the screen, then back at me. “I’m so fucking pissed!”

I nod.

Six years later I’m still pissed. I’ll probably be pissed about Firefly until the day I die.

It’s 2006, and I’m attending one of my first conventions. I’ve sold my book, so now my job is to make friends in the fan community. Mingle. Rub elbows. Network.

I get invited to a party. I drink a drink. I end up talking with a beautiful young woman in a tight red dress.

“I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” she says. “I watched some Buffy, couldn’t get into it. Firefly was boring. I just don’t get what I’m supposed to be missing.”

“Well…” I said thoughtfully. “Have you ever considered the fact that you might not actually have a soul?”

It’s 2008. Dr. Horrible goes online. I’m giddy as a schoolgirl. I write a blog about it. I bring my friends over to watch. I leave it playing on my computer while I do work around the house, while I check my e-mail, while I eat lunch.

This continues for weeks.

Then one day while I’m singing “A Man’s gotta Do…” in the shower, I have an idea for a short story. This is a rarity. I don’t do short stories. Better yet, it’s a short graphic novel.

So I sit down and start to write it out. It’s fun. I’ve never written a script for a graphic novel, and it’s tricky thinking in terms of page layouts, paneling, and dialogue placement. I break out my copy of Understanding Comics and start making notes for a friend who could do the illustrations.

Two hours later I realize I’m writing Dr. Horrible fanfiction.

Four hours later I’m still writing it.

It’s 2009. While playing Guest of Honor at a convention, I end up on a panel about Joss Whedon.

Much to my surprise, I hear people nitpicking. They say, “Buffy was great until season four.” “I got bored with Dollhouse after two episodes.” “Angel was too dark.” “Buffy got weird in season five….”

Finally I’ve had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone’s attention.

“Listen,” I say unto them. “You’re all a bunch of whiny little titbabies. Joss Whedon is a storyteller and you’re upset because he isn’t acting like a music box, playing you your favorite song again and again.

“Joss Whedon made me care about the X-men, even Cyclops. He sold me on space cowboys. He made me sing in the shower and write fanfiction for the first time in my life. He told me a subtle story with Dollhouse and gave me the best character arc I’ve ever seen with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”

“Why don’t you marry him?” someone shouts from the audience.

“Because of Proposition 8,” I shot back. “And because he never returns my calls.”

* * *

So that’s the story of my conversion to Whedonism. I’ve pulled a Saul of Tarsus and these days I’m a full-blown missionary. In fact, Sarah has informed me my man-crush is about to step from being cute to creepy, so I’m trying to reign myself in a little bit here.

For example, I’m not going to post up any of my Whedon-tribute macaroni art. Neither will I trouble you with any of the sonnets I’ve composed.

Instead, I’ll add some Whedon stuff to the Worldbuilders lottery. That means if you donate money to Heifer International before January 15th, you have a chance of winning this stuff in addition to all the other cool prizes.

  • All seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the five seasons of Angel, and the first five graphic novels composing “Season Eight”of Buffy.


About a year ago, I went to talk to a bunch of high-schoolers as part of a book festival.

As per usual, I read a bit, then did some Q&A.

One of the kids asked a question about character building. I thought of the perfect example that would answer his question and said, “Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”

I meant it to be a rhetorical question. I mean, everyone’s seen Buffy, right?

He hadn’t. I was a little surprised. So I asked the whole auditorium, “Who here has watched Buffy?”

Only about three hands went up.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, I suppose. But I was. What’s more, I was actually mad. I turned to the teacher that had arranged for me to come out and talk to the kids and demanded, “What the hell are you teaching these kids?”

  • Both hardcover volumes of the Astonishing X-Men, containing the entire story arc written by Joss Whedon.


Even if you don’t read comics, you will enjoy this. Even if you don’t care about the X-Men, you will like this story. It’s wonderfully self-contained, so you don’t need to know the last 40 years of x-history to follow what’s going on.

  • The complete series of Firefly and the sequel movie Serenity.


If I ever get to teach a creative writing class, I’m assigning Firefly as a textbook. Everything you need to know about storytelling is right there in the pilot episode.

Side note: if you watch the movie before watching the series, I will magically appear and choke you.

  • The first season of Dollhouse.


Some people I normally respect are all snarky about Dollhouse.

Fie, I say unto them. If you can’t handle a subtle story, feel free to go watch MTV cribs. The rest of us will be right here, enjoying the awesome.

It’s a different sort of story. That means, of necessity, it has a different tone. But it’s still Whedon, and that’s all that matters.

  • Two copies of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.


For concentrated cool, it’s hard to beat this disk. Not only is DR. Horrible like a primer on how to create a realistic villain, but the commentary track is a musical too. I’m not even kidding.

God. Just looking at the cover makes me want to listen to it again….

That’s all for now folks. Remember that the fundraiser is over on January 15th. So if you want to get in on the action, you better do so soon.

Money raised by Worldbuilders goes to Heifer International, which helps people all over the world raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. If you’d like to donate directly you can head over to my page at Team Heifer and I’ll match your donation by 50%. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want more information about the Worldbuilders fundraiser itself, you can head to the main page HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

Also posted in Firefly, geeking out, Joss Whedon, my dumbness, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat128 Responses

A Veritable Cornucopia of Signed Books

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Here’s some more books, folks. And as you can see, we’ve been saving some of the best for last.

Also, in the interest of complete honesty, I’m over-tired and over-caffeinated right now. This makes me punchy, which means I probably shouldn’t be doing anything delicate like writing book descriptions.

Still, the fundraiser ends on January 15th, which means I really need to get these posted sooner rather than later. So I’m going to apologize in advance for anything bizarre or inappropriate I might say below.

Sorry.

  • An Advance Reading Copy of Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods. Signed by the author.


A great book, and I’m not just saying that because a chunk of it is set in Wisconsin. I’m saying that because I’m a complete geek for Neil Gaiman *and* a big chunk of it is set in Wisconsin.

“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.” – George R. R. Martin

  • A hardcover copy of Small Favor – a Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Signed by the author.


Jim Butcher is another one of my favorite authors. In fact, he was one of the first authors I wrote about on the blog a long while back. I continue to love him despite the fact that writes two extremely well-crafted novels every year, thereby making me look like a chump.

From Publishers Weekly, “Butcher smoothly manages a sizable cast of allies and adversaries, doles out needed backstory with crisp efficiency and sustains just the right balance of hair’s-breadth tension and comic relief.”


“Crystal Rain is refreshing and imaginative, an exotic stew of cultures, myths, and technology.” –Kevin J. Anderson


Anyone who’s read the acknowledgments in NOTW knows I owe Kevin Anderson a great debt of thanks, as he helped get me started in the publishing world. On top of that, I now owe him even *more* thanks for donating this lovely ARC…

Publisher’s Weekly says, “Anderson’s sizzling sci-fi thriller resurrects the technology of miniaturization introduced in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. […] Casual sci-fi fans as well as newcomers to the genre will enjoy this well-paced, energetic narrative.”

  • A set of Jonathan Green‘s Pax Britannia: Unnatural History, Leviathan Rising and Human Nature. Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising are signed by the author.


From the back of the book: In two scant months the nation, and all her colonies, will celebrate 160 years of Queen Victoria’s glorious reign. But all is not well at the heart of the empire of Magna Britannia. A chain of events is about to be set in motion that, if not stopped, could lead to a world-shattering conclusion. It begins with a break-in at the Natural History Museum. A night watchman is murdered. An eminent Professor of Evolutionary Biology goes missing. Then a catastrophic Overground rail-crash unleashes the dinosaurs of London Zoo!

  • A copy of Just Desserts by Simon Haynes. Signed by the author.


Signed by the author, the merest touch of this book will cure scrofula. At least that’s what the promotional blurb says.

The Specusphere urges readers to “enjoy another fast and furious ride with the zap-happy, zany rapscallions.”

  • A copy of Space Magic, stories by David D. Levine. This special signed hardcover edition is limited to 100 numbered copies; this book is copy number AC-6.


Like Nnedi, David Levine is one of the folks I met when we got published in Writers of the Future Volume 18 together. David writes short stories like I’ll never be able to, and over the years his advice about how the publishing world works has been invaluable to me.

Space Magic is his first short story collection. His “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Short Story and “The Tail of the Golden Eagle” was a previous Hugo nominee; it also appeared on the Nebula preliminary ballot and was a finalist for the Sturgeon Award and Locus Award.

It’s also important to note that this limited edition harcover of the book is numbered AC-6. Which means that it’s harder to hit than AC-10.

  • A copy of Saundra Mitchell‘s debut novel, Shadowed Summer. Signed by the author.


Booklist says that Shadowed Summer is, “Highly atmospheric, with pulse-pounding suspense and an elegiac ending.”

You hear that? Elegiac. How come nobody calls my book elegiac? I’m all kinds of elegiac.

  • A copy of The Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly. Signed by the author.


“The wildly imaginative Reilly has taken inspiration from comics, video games, thrillers and Code-style puzzle novels to create this rocket-fueled sequel to his 7 Deadly Wonders […] A tongue-in-cheek quality will help readers find this outlandish adventure thrilling.” — Publishers Weekly


“Wilson’s fantasy debut recalls the complexity of classic epic fantasy in the tradition of Robert Jordan. Combining adventure with mystery and memorable characters, this is a good choice for committed fantasy fans.” —Jackie Cassada, Library Journal

  • Two hardcover copies of To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts. Signed by the author.


“Janny Wurts writes with astonishing energy… it outght to be illegal for one person to have so much talent.” – Stephen R. Donaldson

  • One set of Webmage, Cybermancy, CodeSpell and MythOS by Kelly McCullough. All signed by the author.


“The most enjoyable science fantasy book I’ve read in the last four years.” – Christopher Stasheff

  • A set of Naked and Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays by David Sedaris. Both signed by the author.


David Sedaris is a brilliant author I only discovered a couple years ago when someone advised me to listen to his short piece “6-8 Black Men” on Youtube.

After less than a minute, Sedaris had a fan for life.

I’ve been meaning to post a blog recommending Sedaris’ books for almost a year. But something always seems to get in the way. For example, the last time I sat down to write a post about it, I got hung up about whether or not I wanted to use the word “boner” in the blog. Then I started to write a blog about how avoiding the use of the word “boner” revealed a lot about my revision process. Then I stopped writing that blog and did something else. True story.

Anyway, a couple months ago, I found out that David Sedaris was on tour here in the US. What’s more, I found out that he was making at stop Stevens Point. I still can’t imagine why he was here in Podunk, WI. His tour schedule was literally something like this: San Diego > San Francisco > Los Angeles > Salt Lake City > Stevens Point > New York. My suspicion is that he lost a bet with God.

Sedaris gave a great performance and was incredibly gracious in person, though I’m pretty sure I made a bit of an ass of myself when I got to the front of the signing line. I bought a couple of his books and rather than have him sign them to me, I had him just sign his name so I could use them for this fundraiser. Also a true story.

Washington Post Book World describes Sedaris as “Shrewd, wickedly funny […] one of America’s most prickly, and most delicious, young comic talents.”

There we go. Now I can go to sleep. Hopefully I didn’t say anything too awful…. If I did, enjoy it while it lasts, because I’ll probably just delete it when I wake up later today…

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice too.

And don’t forget, I’m matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want to go back to the main page for Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

Also posted in my dumbness, Neil Gaiman, recommendations, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat20 Responses
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