Category Archives: Worldbuilders

Geeks Doing Good: Foxen Nightlight, Draccus Plushy, and BatManda

Hey there everyone. As I write this, our Geeks Doing Good Fundraiser has been running for about four days, and we’ve raised about $97,000 so far to make the world a better place.

However Because we only go for a week, this means the fundraiser is more than halfway over. It’s ending on Monday, June 13th.

That means if you want to jump in and buy some of our book or game bundles, you better do it soon. Ditto if you’d like to help us spread the word to your geeky friends and family.

Today I’m going to show off some of the things that we added late to the fundraiser, or that we just haven’t put pictures of up in the blog yet.

For example:

  • Cloaks

This is something people have been asking for for years, so we’re finally giving it a try. These come in two different sizes, but they both have a bunch of little pockets, and that’s the important thing.

cloak

Also, I would like to add, that when I added this picture to the blog, I discovered it was called BatManda.

  • Terri Windling Prints

 

dryad

(Click to embiggen, really)

I love Terri‘s art, and she was nice enough to send us some of her signed prints for the charity. These are hard to get ahold of, and we only have a few. So if you want some of this beautiful art in your home, you should grab one over there.

  • Foxen Nightlight

Foxen Nightlight Replica 8-1280

If you see this Foxen nightlight and haven’t immediately wanted it, I cannot help you find joy in life, because you don’t have the physical capability.

  • Secret Cubby Books

CubbyBook

The same is true for these cubby books. You absolutely need this thing in your life.

  • A Freaking Puzzle

puzzle

It’s so cool. The art for this is by Matt Rhodes (concept artist for Dragon Age: Inquisition), and we thought it made an awesome puzzle. It’s our first foray into puzzles, though, so if that’s something you’re into, check it out.

  • So Many T-Shirts

We’ve got all manner of shirts this year….

Shirt_RatQueens

There’s a shirt from Rat Queens, a comic I love with a fierce love. I’m so glad they were willing to come in and help out the fundraiser.

parkour_shirt

We’re teaming up with Jim Butcher again on another Dresden Files shirt, this one all about PARKOUR!

Shirt_Ademic

A new shirt from Temerant. Fair Warning: this one will be available ONLY during this fundraiser – after Monday, you won’t be able to get your grubby little paws on it ever again.

Shirt_WB

And for those of you who have been asking for a Worldbuilders shirt, here you go. A nice, subtle way to wave your geek flag and show the world that you’re an awesome, generous, kindhearted person to boot.

Note: If you order three shirts, in the Indigogo fundraiser, you save ten bucks….

  • Eolian Mugs & Coffee

CoffeeAndMug

These stoneware mugs are made right here in Wisconsin, but they look like something you might find at the Eolian. It’s a 22 oz. mug that can hold enough of your beverage of choice to get you through the day. And if your beverage of choice happens to be coffee…

We have three coffee blends: the standard Imre blend, a dark Tarbean blend, and an exotic Tinuë blend. The Worldbuilders team loves the coffee shop we worked with, and spent some quality time with the blends to make sure they matched the cities in the series. I know, I ask so much of my team, making them drink coffee.

  • Doodled Slow Regards

DoodledSlowRegard

Last year, we asked Nate Taylor to draw in a few copies of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. We figured he’d do some quick sketches or fun doodles, something small but unique. As usual, Nate went above and beyond, this time with full-blown ink illustrations. We asked him to illustrate a few more books for us this year, so we have 10 remarqued Slow Regards available, and they’re already starting to go…

  • Doodled Princess Books

DoubleSignedPrincess

The last time Nate was in town, I dug through our vault and brought out some of the long-gone first edition/first printings of the first Princess book, and had Nate doodle in some of them. We’ve got five of those available now, each one with a different character doodle. The first editions are rare enough as it is, but one that’s double-signed and doodled is a rare treat.

  • Jonathan Coulton Picture Book

PrincessWSHCoverWe’re bringing this picture book based on Johnathan Coulton’s song back into print. My kids love it, and even if you don’t have kids, I’m guessing you’ll love it too….

  • Perfumes and Soap.

FragranceAndSoapMockup

In case you’re wondering, everyone agrees that Bast smells wonderful….

  • Draccus Plushy.

DraccusPrototype3

What’s almost as cute as the plushy itself is watching Amanda lose her mind over how much she loves it in this outtake reel…

Okay. I’ll stop there. That’s all I’m going to put in the blog, but you should know that just *some* of the stuff we have up in the IndiGogo. There’s book bundles too. And the chance to buy a *ton* of games super cheap.

If you want to see the rest of the stuff, it’s all over here.

And if there’s anything you have questions about, be sure to hit us up in the comments or via email at fundraiser (at) worldbuilders.org. The team is working hard to answer them, and the fundraiser only has a few days left, so you don’t want to miss out.

Thanks for chipping in, folks. Thanks for spreading the word and helping to make the world a better place.

pat

Also posted in cool things, Geeks Doing Good | By Pat14 Responses

Geeks Doing Good: A Birthday Coup

Hey guys. Amanda here hijacking the blog again.

See, I think it’s time we start a little coup here. I’m forcing my way into the blog via hotel wifi for what I think you’ll all agree is a very good reason: Pat’s birthday.

See, Pat doesn’t want to talk about it, and he’d definitely never tell you about it himself. It’s just not his way. But Pat is very important to me, and I want him to have an excellent birthday. One where he gets exactly what he wants out of the day.

What he really wants, more than anything, is to have an exceptional fundraiser. He loves watching everyone come together over the common love for geekery and charity. He loves watching this thing he started in his living room grow and evolve into something amazing.

We’re launching our Geeks Doing Good charity fundraiser today, and we’re all really excited about it, especially Pat.

geeks doing good dates

Pat was going to wait until tomorrow or Wednesday to write a blog about it. He was going to skim right over the fact that it was his birthday, and that he spent the entire day travelling home from Phoenix Comicon.

Since he’s going to be so busy today, I think the best thing we can do for him is overwhelm him with how awesome the fundraiser is doing.

There’s something in it for you, beyond giving Pat an awesome birthday surprise. We have so many cool things that I’m about to go broke buying from our own fundraiser. Just look at all of the awesome.

  • A Draccus Plushie

DraccusEvolution

Everyone here at Worldbuilders HQ is pretty obsessed with this little guy, but none so much as me. Every time I look at him I get distracted. I giggle, and say “look at ‘im!” for entirely too long before I can move on.

He’s going to be $30, and I love him.

  • So many new t-shirts

So-Many-Tees

There’s the shirt from Sam Sykes with probably the best writing advice ever. He tweeted it to Pat, and when Pat demanded one on a t-shirt, Jeff one of the Worldbuilders Team, made it for him. Pat and Sam both loved it, and so did a lot of other people, so we’re doing as we’ve been asked and selling them.

We’re teaming up with Rat Queens on a shirt, which everyone in the office is excited about, but especially Pat. We’re bringing back a design they used to have, but has been sold out for a long time.

Jim Butcher agreed to do another Dresden Files shirt with us, this time depicting a certain Warden keeping busy and practicing his PARKOUR!!

And those are just shirts we’ve teamed up with other folks for. Our more traditional fare includes the much-requested Worldbuilders t-shirt, and a convenient chart of Ademic emoji to bring with you wherever you go. The Ademic Emoji shirt is a fundraiser exclusive, so if you want one, you should hop on that train now, before it’s too late.

  • Text-based wearables

Pat teased that we’re doing another shirt with Litographs, but the art wasn’t finalized yet. It is now, and guys…this shirt is wonderful.

Litographs

In addition to the t-shirt, it’s going to be on a tote bag (which Brett talks about pretty eloquently in the launch video).

Plus, the fine folks over at Storiarts have printed select text of Name of the Wind onto gloves.

Gloves

They’re beautiful, comfortable, and the perfect thing to wear for a long evening of writing.

  • Things to make you smell good

FragranceAndSoapMockup2

Last year we debuted Auri’s Most Perfect Soap in the fundraiser, and this year we’ve worked with Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs to bring you the other soap mentioned in Slow Regard: Auri’s Sunny Summer Soap. According to Auri, it smells like sunlight, summer, and cinnas fruit, and even though those are ephemeral (and in one case completely made up) concepts, Black Phoenix absolutely nailed it.

While they were working on this scent, they sent over some samples of perfumes based on characters from the books. The smells of Bast, Kvothe, and Denna were not things I had expected to experience in my life, but they’re truly wonderful. You can get one, or you can get a 3 pack, which has been discounted to save you some money.

  • An actual children’s book

PrincessWhoSaved

For those of you who’ve read The Adventures of the Princess and Mr Whiffle books, you know that they’re not really for kids. The good news is that we’ve teamed up with Jonathan Coulton and Greg Pak to bring you a much better book to share with the wee ones in your life.

The Princess Who Saved Herself is based off one of Jonathan Coulton’s songs, and it’s a wonderful story. Parents and non-parents here love it, and it sends a really awesome message. It was originally printed for a Kickstarter campaign, and we’re helping bring it to a wider audience and get this book into as many hands as we can.

If you have a tiny human in your life, you should really consider picking this up.

  • So much other awesome stuff

SoMuchMore

We can’t begin to cover all of it here, but there’s a lot. You can get randomly-written-in copies of Name of the Wind. You can get Coffee from Imre, Tarbean, and Tinue. You can get Vintish Court Rings with YOUR NAME on them. The perks go on, and we’ll be adding more throughout the week.

As in years past, for those of you looking to participate who don’t have a credit card, shoot us an email at fundraiser(@)worldbuilders.org. We’ll help you figure something out, and make sure you’re able to participate as much as you want to.

See if something piques your interest. We have a little bit of something for everyone in this year’s fundraiser, and I think it’s our best yet.

And maybe leave a little bit of love here, or on the campaign page, for Pat on his birthday. He loves you all, and I think he’s going to love seeing the campaign off to a good start when he gets home late tonight.

Thanks guys,

Amanda

Also posted in cool things, Geeks Doing Good | By Amanda35 Responses

Foreshadowing: Geeks Doing Good

So for the last two years, we’ve run a summer fundraiser for Worldbuilders called Geeks Doing Good. It tends to happen near the begining of June, and it only lasts for a week.

*Because* it only lasts for a week, it can be easy to miss. So today I thought I’d throw y’all a heads-up about it launching next week.

geeks doing good dates

It’s especially important for me to give y’all some advance notice this year, as I’m going to be traveling back from Phoenix ComicCon with my family on the 6th, so I won’t be able to make a lot of noise about the festivities here on the blog until Tuesday or Wednesday.

For those of you who are new to it, Geeks Doing Good is an opportunity for Worldbuilders to experiment with some new merchandise and team up with cool people like Jim Butcher (like we did last year, and are again this year). We also sell unique experiences that might not be right for everyone, but are *perfect* for others (like the chance to go on the JoCo Cruise, or play games with authors or members of the Worldbuilders team at Gencon).

So yeah. Today I’m gonna give a little taste of what’s to come so you’re more likely to jump on board and/or help us spread the word when we pull the trigger on this next week.

Here’s a tiny piece of what’s on the docket:

  • So Many Shirts

As of right now, we’ve got a confirmed shirt with Jim Butcher, Sam Sykes, Kurtis Wiebe (of Rat Queens) and me. Also, because people have been asking for it, we’re going to do a brand-new Worldbuilders t-shirt, too.

Tee-ser

You can grab any of these, or pick up a t-shirt 3 pack and get a discount while picking a few of your favorite designs. (Or get three of the same shirt. Or get two of one shirt and one of another. Or whatever. What I’m saying here is that you have a lot of options. We’re giving you options.)

We’ll also have a new shirt from Litographs, this one inspired by The Name of the Wind. We can’t show you the art quite yet, but it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

  • A New Hoodie

Black_Ivare_Enim_Pullover

After how much everyone loved the Eolian hoodie last year, we figured we should do another one. This one is a pull-over, rather than a zip-up, to really show off Sarah Hartwick‘s “Ivare Enim Euge” design.

  • Bumper Stickers

Folks have been asking for a way to show off their Worldbuilders pride, so we took a suggestion from the crowd and produced a few different Worldbuilders Bumper Stickers.

unnamed

(I’m the one that suggested “Totes M’Goats”)

  • Many, Many Other Things

There will be other items familiar to those of you who have seen our prior fundraiser: Digital perks, game bundles, custom jewelry, cool books, and even a cabin on the JoCo Cruise.

I’d show you pictures of all the products if I could, but I know it’s better to wait until we actually launch the fundraiser. So instead, here’s a teaser collage. Clever viewers of the sort that like to dig though my books for clues will probably be able to make some educated guesses about what a lot of these things are.

Cluster

To see the full list in all its glory, you’ll have to wait until we go live on Monday. I won’t be blogging about it until Tuesday or Wednesday, but if you want to be notified as soon as launch, you can sign up for such a notification right here (which, conveniently, will also be a link you can follow to the campaign itself once it launches).

Thanks for being awesome…

***

P.S. As a reminder, I’m currently out at Phoenix Comicon (My schedule is here), and if anyone’s around and willing to help us by volunteering at our Mega-booth, (#740) they can contact the lovely Thera on Twitter.

P.P.S. My family will be with me on this trip. So be aware that if you see in public with a kid, that’s probably not the best time to approach me. Yes. My children are adorable. But they are not part of the convention attractions. Please be gracious and give us some space.

What’s more, when I’m with my kids, please be aware that I’m being a dad, not an entertainer, convention guest, or autograph machine. If you’d like to hear me talk about writing, see me read my stuff, ask me a question, or get something signed you should *really* consider going to one of the events we’ve scheduled for those specific purposes. Don’t try to do it when I’m trying to have a quiet moment and some ice cream with one of my sons…

Later all,

pat

Also posted in a billion links, cool things, Geeks Doing Good | By Pat5 Responses

Stretch Goals, Teaming Up, and the Impending Fundraiser

I’m guessing you know what’s right around the corner.

That’s right. The annual Worldbuilders fundraiser starts on Monday, November 9th. Just a handful of days away.

It’s been a bit of a madhouse for the last couple weeks while we’ve been getting ready. Every year the fundraiser gets bigger and better. And this year we’re doing things we never could have dreamed of pulling off before.

As a result, we have a new addition to the Worldbuilders team. Her name is Mindy, and she’s been thrown into the fray at… well…  let’s just call it an interesting time.

So… yeah. This is it. Your official advance warning. Start your engines.

Huh. Okay. That felt kinda strange to say. I don’t know where that “start your engines” metaphor came from. I take that back.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web - crop smaller

Did I mention we’ve raised $3,500,000 for Heifer International?
Because we have. We very have.

If you’re one of the true believers who read the blog regularly and enjoy helping out with the fundraiser ever year. Or if you’ve always kinda wanted to help out but didn’t know how, I have a few things you might want to consider before this year’s festivities kick off.

1. Team Pages

Last year was the first time we’ve had an easy option for people who wanted to create and manage their own teams inside the bigger Worldbuilders Fundraiser. We didn’t think much of it at the time because, well… we were busy getting all the books and prizes ready for the lottery.

But my readers are clever, quick witted folk, and some of you jumped right in and started making teams of your own. Some teams offered their own stretch goals and prizes. Some had friendly rivalries (Team Nerdfighteria and The Wayward Backers in particular)….

Worldbuilders 2014  teams

*Salutes The Wayward Backers*

It was, to be perfectly honest, one of the cooler things that happened last year. It delighted me to see what y’all came up with, and it made me proud to see so many people taking the fundraiser and making it their own.

Last year someone set up a Spanish team. A family decided to forego Christmas gifts and raise money for goats instead. A convention in Luxembourg rallied their members to donate.

And I’m sure many of you remember a young girl named Charlotte who made a video because she wanted to raise $500 dollars, enough for a Heifer. You can see her smiling face in the picture above. You’ll probably also notice that she helped raise a lot more than her initial goal.

So if you’re amazed at the fact that over 60% of the world still cooks dinner over an open fire, but you don’t have the $1000 it would take to help an entire village get stoves. Or if you wish you could help a town get clean water but on your budget $300 might as well be a piece of the moon….

Well, maybe you could start a team, then rally your friends and family to help make it happen.

Trust me on this. People are good. If you give them a chance they will surprise you.

2. Stretch Goals

Over the years, we’ve had some awesome stretch goals. Here’s some of my particular favorites:

Molly’s Greatest Adventure

Trey Ratcliff’s bathroom selfie:

Trey Ratcliff - Bathroom Selfie

Amanda is particularly fond of everything Hank Green did for us, but last year’s angsty cover of Shake it Off cover was particularly fine.

The Doubleclicks Love You Like a Burrito!

Or what about that time Kevin Hearne did the Thriller dance?

We’re always trying to think of cool new stretch goals, and cool new people to help out with them. So if you have a clever idea feel free to mention it the comments below.

That said, let’s be reasonable in our expectations. Of course it’d be cool to see me and Nathan Fillion kiss, but obviously I don’t know Nathan Fillion. Because if I knew Nathon Fillion, the two of us would be playing Betrayal at House on the Hill in my tree house right now.

3. Donations and General offers of assistance.

Are you an author? A book collector? Someone who desperately needs to reclaim some shelf-space and the illusion of control over your life?

Are you a publisher? A game designer? Are you a maker of cool geeky things and you’d like to make the world a better place by donating a few to a good cause?

Are you a juggler? A gymnast? A singer? Can you bend spoons with your mind or something else you think would make a fun stretch goal?

Are you a programmer? An artist? A musician? Are you Nathan Fillion?

(If so, I’m sorry about that whole kissing thing I wrote up there. I didn’t mean to make things weird.)

Either way, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

donations@worldbuilders.org

Soon,

pat

P.S. Don’t forget to leave your stretch goal suggestions below.

Also posted in Acts of Whimsy, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat30 Responses

Doing What We Can

Over the last year, I’ve been reading the Little House on the Prairie books to my oldest boy. I ended up reading the sixth book, The Long Winter, in the middle of a bitterly cold January at my father’s cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin.

I have to say, I’ve rarely been more caught up in a book. Without going into too much detail, it tells the story of how the Ingalls family lived through a truly horrific winter out on the frontier back in the 1880’s.

So there I am, in a Little Cabin in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. It’s 30 below outside, (-34 Celsius). Then, at 2:00 am, the LP tank runs out of gas.

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For you city dwellers, an LP tank is like a big propane tank for your house if you live out in the country. It provides natural gas for your stove, your water heater, and… well, your furnace.

So the cabin starts getting cold, and my dad and I haul in wood and light a fire in the old cast-iron stove. We feed it all night, and make it til morning without much trouble. The place has modern insulation, after all. The kids stay warm with extra blankets and the water pipes don’t freeze. Still, it’s an eye-opener.

That night I read a few more chapters to my boy about a pioneer family trying to survive in a building that’s not much more than a wooden shack. No insulation. No electricity. Cut off from civilization due to blizzards. They have a stove too, but there’s no coal. No firewood. They keep alive by burning hay. All they have to eat is potatoes. Then even the potatoes run out and they have nothing to eat but grain.

It goes on for months, and while I’m reading, all I can think is: How can people possibly survive like this?

The next morning, I stumble onto an article about the Syrian refugees. Lebanon just had its worst blizzard in a decade. Feet of snow. And most refugees don’t even have a clapboard shack for shelter. They’ve got tents. Tarps. They have nothing. They’re freezing to death. Kids are freezing to death in the snow.

So I call Maria.

*     *     *

As many of you know, I have a charity called Worldbuilders. We raise money from the geek community and use it to make the world a better place. Over the last several years we’ve raised about 3.5 million dollars.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web - crop smaller

We work primarily with Heifer International because they offer the biggest bang for our buck. Heifer focuses on providing people with tools, education, and infrastructure so that they can become self-reliant forever. It’s the whole teach-a-person-to-fish thing. Except Heifer is actually better than that, because they also teach people to teach *other* people to fish. Which means the good they do is like an ever-growing avalanche rolling forward into the future.

I used to run Worldbuilders, but not anymore. These days Maria runs it, because she’s roughly 8000 times better at it than I ever was.

So I call Maria up and say, “Syrian Refugees are freezing to death. Can Worldbuilders give them some money to help?”

There’s a pause on the other end of the phone. Maria isn’t surprised. She’s just thinking. I call her like this all the time, saying things like: “I need a map of 18th century Ghent,” or “Why don’t we sell greeting cards in our online store? Can we get than ready by tomorrow?” or “Is it illegal for me to have a laser gun? And if so, how illegal? And also, can you find someone to build me a laser gun?”

It says a lot about Maria that she has never tried to choke me. Not even once.

So Maria is quiet on the phone for about 8 seconds, processing. Then she says, “We’d need to make sure the money goes to the right place.”

“There’s a place called Mercy Corps,” I said. “I haven’t checked them out completely, but they seem solid. Also, right now someone is offering matching funds, so if we hurry, we’ll be able to double up on our donation.”

“Okay,” Maria says. “I think that’s workable.”

Now I hesitate. “I worry that people might be upset if we support another charity,” I say. “We talk a lot about Heifer. I don’t want people to feel like we’re pulling a switch on them.”

“We’ve made donations to First Book,” Maria points out. “No one was bothered by that.”

“True,” I say. “But this isn’t the sort of charity we normally support. It’s not about education or sustainability. But long-term help isn’t appropriate here. These people don’t have anything. They need blankets. They need heaters and fuel.”

“I think we should do it,” Maria says.

“But when people donate or buy something in our store, they’re trusting us to put the money to good use,” I say. “I don’t want to risk that trust by changing charities on them all of a sudden. How about I give some money to Worldbuilders, then Worldbuilders donates it to Mercy Corps? That seems safer.”

“If that’s the way you want to do it,” Maria says. “I’ll look into them and make sure it’s a good charity.”

And that’s what we did. It was different for us. Worldbuilders usually tries to work for long-term change, but we knew this donation wouldn’t solve the refugee problem. It won’t give them homes and jobs. But you can’t teach someone to fish when they’re freezing to death. Sometimes all you can do is keep people warm. Sometimes all you can do help a little, and that has to be enough.

*     *     *

Fast forward to now.

Unless you’ve been living under a heavy rock, you’ve been hearing a lot about the Syrian refugees lately. I’ve heard there’s a picture of a little boy that drowned trying to get somewhere safe. I haven’t seen it, and I’m not going to go looking for it either. I don’t want to see it, and I wouldn’t put something like that in my blog.

Instead, here’s a picture of The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

1200px-An_Aerial_View_of_the_Zaatri_Refugee_Camp_July2013

Its population is 79,900. Making it the fourth largest city in the country. There’s a lot of kids there. 

I can’t imagine what it would be like, having to flee my country with my kids. I can’t imagine abandoning everything just hoping to keep my little boys safe. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a tent and just hope desperately that someone helps me.

Actually that’s not true. I can imagine what it’s like. I can imagine *exactly* what it’s like. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I can imagine it and it’s horrifying.

This video touches on the edge of it. It’s a only a minute and a half long. You have the time.

My imagination is much worse than that. It makes it hard for me to sleep at night. 

Every day I see more of this stuff. And every day it makes me feel more helpless. Hopeless. Angry at the world.

Then I saw this:

COZddTuW8AAnP-h

This woman is named Petra Laszlo. She’s a journalist. This picture shows her tripping a refugee carrying a child in his arms. (Story here if you like.)

It’s been days since I first saw this. And I am still so angry. I’m so angry I can feel it in my chest. My skin prickles. I’m so angry that I can’t even describe it to you. I have no words for it. Nothing is big enough.

I believe that people are good. I really do. It’s one of the truths I live my life by. It’s one of the things I cling to when I have trouble sleeping at night. I’ve seen such proof of it through the years. From my children. From my readers. From the fact that so many people come together to make Worldbuilders a success.

But this. It’s makes me wonder if maybe I’m wrong. 

I hate that this is the world. And I’m so angry. And I’m tired of feeling like I can’t do anything to help.

So I call Maria.

*     *     *

So. For the next week, Worldbuilders is raising money to help the Syrian refugees.

What’s more, Worldbuilders will be matching donations for the first $25,000 of the fundraiser. So if you kick in 10 bucks, it turns into 20. Donate $50? We’ll turn it into a $100.

Dollar-panarama-704155

(Like this.)

100% of the money from this fundraiser will be donated to Mercy Corps, because they’re already on the ground, helping out the refugees. They have more than 30 years of experience doing this sort of thing. We’ve checked them out and they’re excellent.

I’m taking a flier on this one, folks. It’s an experiment. We haven’t planned this the way we normally do. We aren’t giving out prizes. There aren’t any stretch goals. We don’t have any media lined up to help us spread the word.

This is just about helping people who are in desperate need of help.

And honestly? It’s kinda ridiculous for us to do this now. Our big end-of-the-year fundraiser in November, we should be focusing on that. That would be the smart thing for us to do.

But the simple truth is this: I can’t just watch this happen any more. I need to do something to help. I’m guessing a lot of you feel the same way, so I thought I’d give us a chance to do it together.

I don’t want to feel angry and hopeless any more. I want to see more pictures like this:

1441909731

If this isn’t your kind of charity, I completely understand. Rest assured that Worldbuilders will be doing its regular fundraising extravaganza in a couple months.

But if you want to help, you can do it over here.

Thanks for reading to the end, folks. I appreciate it.

pat

Edit 9:47 am: I posted this blog late last night, not knowing what the reaction might be. Whenever you reach out to people like this, it’s a risk. What’s more, I hadn’t done a lot of planning, and I was worried it might not go over well. Around 4:00 I finally managed to get to sleep.

A few minutes ago I woke up, blearily checked my phone, and saw that we’ve raised over $28,000. I’ve never been so happy to be awake after only 5 hours of sleep. And I’m going to give Worldbuilders another 25,000 dollars so they can keep matching donations. I’d love to see this thing keep rolling.

Edit 1:28 pm: We just hit $50,000 and within minutes, someone dropped us an e-mail, offering to provide us another $25,000 to help us continue matching donations. She would like to remain anonymous. But I salute her generosity, as it means all donations up to $75,000 are going to be doubled. 

I am having the best day ever.

Edit 6:18 pm: We just hit $75,000, and another lovely human being has stepped up with $5000 dollars so we can continue to match donations. I’m not sure if he wants to remain anonymous or not, but until we know, we’ll keep his name private. Named or not, he’s the reason donations are being matched up to $80,000.

Edit 8:05 pm: Just when we were closing in on $80,000 we got an e-mail from someone who offered to match another $20,000 dollars. When I saw the e-mail I actually laughed out loud. I’ve been laughing so much today, and it’s all because of you guys.

Thanks to our newest citizen philanthropist, we’re now matching all donations up to $100,000 dollars.

(If anyone else cares to drop us a line, our e-mail is refugees@worldbuilders.org.)

Also posted in calling on the legions | By Pat77 Responses

A Blog of Three Parts

Okay folks, we’re a little more than halfway through our summer fundraiser, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how well things have been going.

Last year we raised 25,000 dollars in the first day. This year, we raised that in under six hours.

As I write this, we stand at 112,000 dollars, and I’m hoping we have a strong finish in the next four days. I’d *really* like to beat last year’s total of $206K.

Today I’ve got three things to show you….

  • Show off a few new items we’ve added.
  • Bring a few things to your attention you might have missed in the excitement.
  • Draw your attention to our FAQ.

Let’s start with the last of these, shall we?

If you have questions, please look in the FAQ. Please? Want to know about ordering multiple items? It’s there. International shipping? There. T-shirt Sizing? Yup. You guessed it, it’s in the FAQ.

If you look there and don’t see the answer to your question. Please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments of the blog or over on the IndiGoGo itself. We’re keeping a close eye on both places.

Part The Second: New Items.

  • An Eolian Bar Hoodie

Hoodie

People have been asking us to make a hoodie for years, but we’ve been reluctant because hoodies tend to be expensive to produce.

But this seemed like the perfect time to test the waters, so we’re going to make one based on the Eolian Bar design, which has been our best selling t-shirt for years.

These are $55 and that includes shipping. They’re a little pricier than I’d like, but that’s because here at Worldbuilders, we don’t want to sell you something that was made by 8-year old kids in a sweatshop in China. That goes against the better world we’re trying to create. These hoodies are made here in the US, but that means they cost a little more.

Fair warning. If you want a hoodie, you should probably order it before the end of the fundraiser. Like I said, these are a bit of an experiment, they’re expensive to make, and really bulky to store. I don’t know if we’re going to stock them in the Tinker’s Packs after we’re done.

  • Signed Karen Hallion Denna Canvas

Denna-final

In last year’s calendar, Karen Hallion did a great job of this Kingkiller mashup that offers a theory about why Kvothe has so much trouble meeting up with Denna.

We liked it so much that we got 150 of them printed up, not as posters, but as canvas stretched over a wooden frame. These aren’t posters, they’re much nicer and sturdier than that.

We gave some to Project for Awesome last year, and they quickly sold out. Rather than horde them, we’re putting the rest up in the IndiGoGo. They’re numbered and signed by both Karen Hallion and Myself.

As I write this, there’s only 87 of them left. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

  • Multi-Color Shirts

TeeVariation2

 (Click to Embiggen)

Traditionally, we print our black t-shirts. Aside from being the traditional geek t-shirt color, black is pretty universal.

That said, many of you have made passionate pleas for non-black shirts. So we’re listening. We’ve decided to take another risk and try an experiment.

For three of our shirts (shown above) we’re going to be offering you choices for different colors (also above). When we send out our post-survey fundraiser, you’ll get to pick which styles, sizes, and colors you like best.

We picked these colors because they worked best with the designs, so while they’re still dark, you’ll have some variety this way. And the option to choose.

Fair Warning: After the fundraiser is over, we aren’t going to stock multiple colors in our online store.

Why? Because it means we would effectively have to stock 144 different items (3 shirts x 2 styles x 6 sizes x 4 four colors = 144). It would be pure madness.

When these shirts end up in the Tinker’s Packs after the fundraiser, we’re only going to carry whatever the most-voted-for color is. The odds say that color will be black. So if you want a non-black version of one of these shirts, the fundraiser is probably going to be the only place to get it

(Also, remember. You have the option to buy a shirt 3-pack as a 60 dollar perk. You save 15 bucks that way.)

  • Unfettered, in a few forms…

Unfettered combo

If you don’t know: This anthology was put together by Shawn Speakman. Shawn asked a bunch of his author friends if they’d be willing to donate a story to help him publish a book to help pay for his cancer treatments. I was happy to help. Because seriously. Fuck cancer.

Unfettered contains my first ever published short story: How Old Holly Came to Be.

Because Shawn published these books through a small press, they’re very rare. There were only 5000 of them printed. But we have 100 of them to put into the fundraiser. We’re just about the only place you can find them.

For you collectors out there: We *also* have numbered editions, signed by *all* the authors. Terry Brooks, Naomi Novik, Brandon Sanderson, RA Salvatore, Tad Williams, Jacqueline Carey, Daniel Abraham, Peter V. Brett, Robert VS Redick, Peter Orullian, Todd Lockwood, Carrie Vaughn, Blake Charlton, Kevin Hearne, Mark Lawrence, David Anthony Durham, Jennifer Bosworth, Lev Grossman, Michael J. Sullivan… and me.

sn-unfettered14

(Signed by 22 of the biggest names in fantasy.)

They only made 500 of these. They have a different cover. A color insert, and a slipcase to keep the book safe. They’ve been sold out for ages. But we have a few.

But wait, there’s more.

Shawn is putting together another anthology: Unbound. If you buy this perk, you’ll get both fancy slipcased books, signed by all contributors, with matching numbers.

What’s more, if you order this perk, you get first dibs on the same number when the next anthology after Unbound comes out. (We’ve worked that out with Shawn) So you can have the whole trilogy with a set of matching numbers.

  • The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

IMG_3719

For those of you who don’t know. Yeah. I did a picture book.

It’s been out for a while, but a lot of folks don’t know about it. It’s kinda… dark.

People have been e-mailing us, saying they’d like to buy copies, but they’d *also* want the geeky joy of being a part of the Geeks Doing Good fundraiser. So we’re throwing it in as a perk for those of you who haven’t heard of it. Or for those of you who have been waiting for an excuse to grab a copy.

The book will ship with the promotional gold-foil: “This shit is not for kids” sticker.

Part Two: Things you May have Missed.

  • Early Look at a new Jim Butcher Book

Aeronaut's Windlass

I pulled some strings with the folks at Penguin books, and they sent us copies of the promotional sampler for Jim Butcher’s new book. We’re going to be putting one into every book bundle. So you’ll get an early look at the book. (We’re including a few other samplers, too.)

  • Geek-A-Week Cards

We mentioned these before, but we haven’t done a good job of showing off the art yet.

geekaweeks1

(You pretty much need to embiggen this)

These Geek-aWeek decks are really cool, and I hope you guys take the time to check them out. Each card has a cool geeky celebrity featured, doing something awesome. Above are some highlights from Season 1, and below are some highlights from Season 5.

geeksaweeks5

(I’m in there, too. As you can see.)

The backs of the cards contain incriminating information about the geeks.

They aren’t just cool collectables. You can also play a game with them (Designed by Mike Selinker.) Even better, I just discovered today, that these cards are *great* when you’re doing tabletop rollplaying. Need an NPC? Pick one out of the deck. Suddenly Amanda Palmer is the Shady Fence you’re selling stolen jewelry to. Or Felicia day is the head of the Bandits that jump you in the forest.

Forshadowing: You might see a video featuring me doing something like this very soon.

  • Auri’s Brazen Gear

Auri Gear

Badali did such a good job on these. And since it’s the Year of the Gear, we decided to put them up into the fundraiser where you could buy them. Plus, they come with both a chain and a leather cord, so you can choose for yourself when it arrives.

  • JoCoCruise 2016

JCC 2016

A lot of people have been asking, so I thought I’d explain a couple of things about the cruise.

First of all, we aren’t covering your travel TO the cruise. You’ll still need to get down there yourself.

That said, the cruise includes everything during your trip. That means:

  • All your meals for 7 days. (Including room service.)
  • A *very* nice D3 balcony cabin.
  • Access to all exclusive JCC2016 entertainment and events.
  • Panels, concerts, cocktail hours, special gaming events….
  • Access to the 24/7 gaming room sponsored by Steve Jackson games.
  • *Guaranteed* seating at all the main performance events.

Still not enough? Jonathan Coulton, Jean Grae, Paul F. Tompkins, and Imogen Heap are featured performers. Plus notable geeks like Wil Wheaton, Molly Lewis, John Scalzi, John Hodgman, and N.K. Jemisin are all there doing panels, hanging out, and just generally being awesome.

I’ll be there too. Along with a few of the Worldbuilders crew. I’ll be doing some panels on writing….

Think about it for a second. Just think about going. Wouldn’t that be an amazing vacation? A great second honeymoon? Best graduation present ever?

The total cash value of the cabin is $3,991. Given that, I don’t see how you can *not* seriously consider buying the $5 perk that gives you a chance. Or you can buy 5 chances for $25.

Still not convinced? I’ll bring along my prototype Tak set and we’ll play a game. A beautiful game.

  • Auri Soap

soap

(I’m, seriously, ridiculously excited about this.)

We got a picture of the first test run of Auri’s perfect soap from Black Phoenix. It looks lovely, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some. I want to smell it.

Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily what the finished product will look like, but it’s a good start.

Those of you who pay close attention to the fine details of things (which, now that I think of it, is probably most of you) doubtless noticed that in the initial video we talked about doing a candle too.

The problem is, the candle needs to be made from the right ingredients. It needs to have beeswax and bayberry. (Which is what you get from laurel) What’s more, it needs to be a free-standing candle. Not one of those candles-in-a-jar. Because if it wasn’t like that, it wouldn’t be Auri’s candle.

The problem is, very few people make candles like that these days. Because the ingredients are expensive. And candles in jars are easier to make and safer to use. As a result, we’re putting that project on hold for now. I don’t want to make the candle for you unless I can be sure it’s perfect. Auri simply would not approve.

  • Two (2) Mayfair Game Bundles

games bundles2

Some of you may remember when the Worldbuilders Team unloaded 18 pallets of Mayfair Games off of a truck last winter (if you don’t, you should really watch the video, because Maria is adorable in it).

Since we had so many games, we’ve put them together into bundles for people. There’s a smaller, slightly cheaper one at $40, with a retail value of over $120. It has a few of the easier to pick up games, though they’re still wonderfully fun.

It was, of course, our duty to play the games, you see. To be sure that they were fun. Quality control, and all of that.

There’s also a larger bundle for $55 that retails for over $220. It’s some of the bigger and more intensive games.

Note: The games in the bundles don’t overlap at all. That means if you buy both of them, you won’t get any duplicate games.

*     *     *

Lastly: For those of you who are holding out, please be aware that we won’t be adding anything new to the fundraiser after today (Friday).

Fair Warning: Some of the final items we’re adding are limited in number, so keep an eye out for the update that will probably get sent out in the afternoon.

Have a good weekend, folks. Thanks for supporting Worldbuilders. Thanks for spreading the word, and thanks for making the world a better place.

Here’s a final link to the fundraiser if you want it.

pat

Also posted in Geeks Doing Good | By Pat54 Responses

Geeks Doing Good II: The Return

Hey there everybody. Today’s a busy day.

We’ve got the winners (plural) in the t-shirt contest. We have a design for the Dresden Files t-shirt.

Best of all, both of these are tied into the our second-annual summer fundraiser: Geeks Doing Good.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web--less-space

We started doing the summer fundraiser because while I firmly believe that people want to make the world a better place, I know sometimes it’s a little easier to make a donation if you get some thing cool in return. This way, you can come in, buy something fun, then sleep well at night content in the knowledge that all the money is going to a good cause.

Same as last year, the fundraiser is only going to last a week. 

We’re doing this with IndieGoGo because they allow non-profits to do fundraising. And, unlike Kickstarter, they allow you to buy multiple items during a campaign. And I think (hope) a fair number of you are going to be tempted into multiple purchases.

What do we have? A lot of things. Over 40 different items at my last count.

But here are a few highlights.

  • So many t-shirts

Tees03

(You’ll probably want to embiggen these.)

In the end, we decided to go with three t-shirts from the contest. The two leading contenders (Waystone Inn and What Does It Unlock?) were nearly tied through the entire voting process. And enough people committed to buying shirts, that we decided to take a bit of a risk and bring the third place winner, too. (You Have Died of Chandrian.)

Now if your favorite didn’t get picked, don’t be upset. We’re going to make use of the other designs in the future. I promise. But right now, we’re going to stick to three t-shirt designs because… well… because we have a *lot* of other stuff in the fundraiser. Including other shirts…

Such as this one based off Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I talked about it last week on the blog, and I’m excited to show you the final design…

PolkaWND_BK_Straight_NoSerif

 (Also worthy of embiggening.)

All these shirts are available individually, or you can get them cheaper if you buy three of them together over in the campaign.

Before we move on to the other stuff in the fundraiser. I’d like to extend my personal thanks to all the fabulous folks who sent in designs. You have wowed me with your talent, and warmed my heart with how generous you are with your time and energy. You’ve made our fundraiser so much cooler.

Rest assured that we’ll be posting a blog where we show *all* the designs that were submitted, as well as giving you information about the designers themselves, so you can bask in the glow of their collected glory.

  • Calendars

2016HallionCalendar_Pages

Karen Hallion sent us even more wonderful art for this year’s calendar, and Brett has stepped up his game this year designing the calendar grids. Here’s a sample of just a few of the pages, and it’s well worth clicking on to see it in its full embiggened majesty.

We also have a new Beyond Words calendar from photographer Lauren Zurchin.

ZurchinCalendarFBStyle_HighRes

If you’re more into fantasy authors than cartoons, never fear, we have a calendar for you, too. I haven’t done my photo shoot yet, but rest assured: I’m in this calendar too. And if the last one is any indication, I’m hoping I’ll look a little badass.

  • Copper Dice

CopperDice_ShirePostMint

(For those of you who plan on gambling with namers.)

Last year we offered up 10 sets of handmade copper dice to see if anyone would be interested in them.

And people were. To our delight and amazement,  they sold out fast even though they were priced at $100 a pair.

So this year, we worked with Shire Post Mint to produce more dice and make them more affordable than before. This new design is lovely, with a pleasing weight in the hand, and they’re only half the price of last year’s.

What’s more, we’re offering an early bird option. If you’re one of the first 50 people to buy a set, you get an even better deal.

  • Kvothe’s Vintish Court Rings

Three_Rings_1024x1024

Because you need to be ready at any moment to call upon Vintish nobles. Badali did a truly wonderful job on these, including the fact that the iron ring is actually made of iron. That’s not an easy thing to do.

There’s an early bird special on these, too. If you get in early, you’ll get them cheaper.

  • Auri’s Perfect Soap.

Fight club(Like this. Except kinda exactly the opposite of this.)

I can’t show you a picture of this because we don’t have it, yet. But we’ve teamed up with Black Phoenix Alchemy to bring you the soap Auri makes in Slow Regard. I’ve had long talks with them about the soap, going into kinda ridiculous detail. Because they’re crazy geeks over there, too. My kind of people.

It won’t actually be made out of bear tallow, but it we’ll be getting everything else as close as humanly possible. It will be all prickle-rich with mystery, full of musk and whispers and tetradecanoic acid.

I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve been looking for an excuse to work with Black Phoenix for a while now….

  • Slow Regard Jewelry made from damaged books

srost jewelry

The Worldbuilders team was kind of heartbroken when copies of Slow Regard arrived damaged at the office last year. A few of the boxes had been punctured, dropped, and otherwise mutilated. Leaving 20 copies of the book in rough shape, beyond what we could possibly use.

So, they got their craft on and made a bunch of earrings (from the text) and necklaces (from the art).

As these are all handmade, so supplies are limited.

  • Auri Poster.

Auri Johanna Rupprecht

When I was in Germany, I met a fan who brought a print of her art to one of my signings. It’s one of my favorite depictions of Auri,  absolutely beautiful, and when I got back to the states, I showed it off to the Worldbuilders team.

They loved it too. So we got in touch with the artist, Johanna Rupprecht, and she was kind enough to let us make some prints for Worldbuilders. Thanks to her kindness, we’re selling signed, numbered copies of this print for the duration of the fundraiser.

  • Slow Regard Litographs Tattoo

Gear-Tattoo-Variation

We’re doing temporary tattoos with the help of Litographs. (We’re doing a shirt with them too.)

You should buy this. Adorn your body with my words. This adds to my power and allows me to crush all those who appose me.

Plus, y’know… charity.

  • A bundle of Slow Regard related gear (heh)

AuriBundleFBStyle

I’ve unofficially named this The Year of the Gear because I’m really pleased with how much folks ended up enjoying The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

As a result, we’ve got a lot of Auri-related goodies in this year’s fundraiser. And this bundle is your way of getting everything all at once and saving some money at the same time.

The bundle contains:

  • A Year of the Gear challenge coin.
  • A complete set of 7 postcards from the Underthing.
  • A package of two static clings. (One black, one white)
  • A package of two Beautiful and Broken tattoos.
  • Johanna Rupprecht’s Auri poster, signed and numbered.
  • A chance to go on the JoCoCruise

jococruise

This is a big one, folks. Pay attention.

Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm were awesome enough to give us a cabin on JoCoCruise 2016 to help out the fundraiser.

Earlier this year I went on the cruise for the first time. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like it. I didn’t know how much I’d actually dig the cruise thing.

Short story? I had a great time. It’s everything I like about going to a convention, plus I got to go snorkling. Plus all night gaming. Plus getting to hang out with cool geeks. And there’s karaoke, dance parties, cabaret performances, panel discussions, cocktail hours…

In brief, it was a blast.

I liked it so much, that I’ve agreed to help develop their writing track programming next year, working alongside the inestimable John Scalzi.

The price tag for a 2 person cabin seems a little steep. (Though it’s not that bad if you consider that it includes meals and drinks and entertainment for the duration of the trip.)

But even that doesn’t matter in this particular instance. I know a lot of you don’t have a ton of money, so here in the Geeks Doing Good fundraiser, you can throw your hat into the ring for 5 dollars. That’s right. For five bucks, you have a chance to come along on the cruise with us.

You can enter as many times as you buy the perk. We’ll get in contact once a winner is selected, and in February you’ll be sailing high seas with the cool kids.

Seriously guys. It’s a ton of fun.

  • But wait, there’s more!

SoMuchStuff

I haven’t even mentioned half of the things we’ve got in the fundraiser. We’ve got cards, original art. Cool Books. Game bundles. Collectables and things you’ll probably never see anywhere else.

Odds are, no matter what sort of geek you are, you’ll find something over there to tickle your fancy.

If nothing else, I think our intro video is really pretty awesome…

*     *     *

A final note:

One of the reasons we decided to go with IndieGoGo is that they accept PayPal, which is nice for folks that don’t have credit cards. What’s more, IndieGoGo gives us a *big* discount on the fees they normally charge because we’re a non-profit.

But here’s the downside. Because we’re taking advantage of that discount, it turns out we can’t use PayPal after all. The two just don’t work together.

I know for some people outside of the US, credit cards aren’t an option, or they’re just unduly complicated. For those people, who absolutely can’t participate unless we have PayPal, please feel free to email us at fundraiser [@] worldbuilders.org and we’ll do our best to work something out so you can buy what you want using paypal instead.

Okay, enough from me. Go check out the cool things.

And remember, the fundraiser only lasts for a week.

One final link.

pat

Also posted in Geeks Doing Good | By Pat82 Responses
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