A Great Many Stretch Goals

Hey everyone, Worldbuilders Team here! With the surprise extension to the fundraiser, we thought we’d throw our metaphorical hats in to help out with blogs for the week, so Pat can catch up on some rest.

One of the things we really want to be sure you’ve seen is all of the amazing stretch goals we’ve had this year.

Of course, you can click around and see all of them in our cool Stretch Goal Slider.

We had a lot of people step up this year. We had people attempt to read Fox in Socks without messing up (including all of us on the Worldbuilders Team).

Karen Hallion drew Pat as The Doctor, and we were all excited when the graphic came in.

Pat Doctor

It’s pretty badass. There are a lot of small details on there you might miss if you don’t click to embiggen, and we put the whole process into a video, sped up so you can watch it in all its glory.

William Alexander stepped up with a seriously good St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V… with his Grover doll and voice.

Not to mention the overwhelming amount of cute we have to show off. First, little Cutie Snoo showed off his incredible reading skills for y’all.

Have we mentioned that Pat’s baby is adorable? Because Pat’s baby is ADORABLE.

There’s a video from Heifer International that we mentioned in a blog recently. We’ve passed stretch goals from Hank Green, John Green, Django Wexler, and a collaborative effort for one-star reviews from John Scalzi, Ann Leckie, Sabaa Tahir, and Pat.

We also got a music video from Peter Orullian, this time doing a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Be aware: it is full of spoilers for Game of Thrones, and some Brandon Sanderson books as well.

We always look forward to videos from Peter, and this year’s did not disappoint, that’s for damn sure…

Just a couple of days ago, the Worldbuilders Team, including Pat, played a game of Secret Hitler, which we’re realizing now might have serious, long-term consequences on our ability to trust one another ever again.

And yesterday, we got a video from Neil Gaiman.

And then there are the stretch goals we don’t have yet, because we just hit them yesterday.

Now that we’ve hit $1 million, Wil Wheaton, Chris Kluwe, a few more friends, and Pat will get together to play a drunk game of Dungeons and Dragons. Drunkens and Dragons, if you will. It’s going to be amazing, but probably won’t be filmed for a little while yet. But thanks to everyone here kicking butt, we’re going to see it in the world soon enough.

As of last night we hit $1.1 million, so Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity is going to show up here to clean Pat’s home office. This seems like a thing Pat doesn’t want very much, so we’re incredibly excited.

* * *

That’s all of the stretch goals we’ve got ready for you, but all of us are talking to people, getting cool things ready to show off. Hopefully we’ll have more to announce soon.

If you have an idea, share it in the comments. Or, heck, just do it yourself. Make a video of your own, and share it around.

Or, you can Bilbo it up, then send us a picture. We got hundreds yesterday, and sharing them around is a great way to spread the word.


We got Bilbo photos from tons of people from the community. The Worldbuilders Team made one. Even Pierre, the CEO of Heifer International, made one.

 

So show us your feet. In a totally not-weird kind of way. For charity.

We haven’t hit our matching total of $1.2 million yet, so if you want to take advantage of having your money matched, you should  donate sooner than later

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Amanda15 Responses

Worldbuilders: Traditions, Opportunities, and Bilboing Up.

Hey there everybody,

As I sit down to write this, it’s 12:47 AM here in Wisconsin. It’s officially December 14th, the last day of our yearly fundraiser.

I had an easy blog planned today. A blog full of touching stories. A feel-good blog. A simple blog.

But something has happened. Now I have to change my plans and share some information about the fundraiser. The information is good. But this is no longer and easy blog to write. I am in disarray.

I really wish I could write a beautiful blog for you, all elegant and interwoven. Something smart and clean and quick that would clue you in and maybe give you a chuckle along the way.

But I don’t think I have a blog like that in me right now. I’m writing so slowly that five short paragraphs later, it is already 1:27 AM. I am low on sleep and I cannot fall back on caffeine to help me through, as I have a blood draw tomorrow, and I have to fast for it.

So please forgive me if this comes across as clunky. I can’t think of a better place to start than the strange tradition Worldbuilders has developed over the years. We tend to add a little time to our big yearly fundraiser right at the end.

*     *     *

It’s probably not surprising to anyone that a charity I started tends to run longer than originally expected. I write long books, after all. I miss deadlines. I tend to pursue things with methodical obsession, and that frequently leads to unexpected delays.

In the early years of Worldbuilders, the fundraiser tended to run long because I was doing most of it myself, and while I possess many good qualities, organization is not one of them.

Later on, after I’d decided to bring people in to help, I didn’t bring *enough* people on board. Making it worse was the fact that I didn’t know the first thing about actually managing people or working as a team. So chaos was rampant and the tradition continued.

Still later, we extended the fundraiser because sponsors kept jumping in left and right, we were growing so quickly we couldn’t process the donations people sent us fast enough.

donationswall3

(Nowadays, we get even *more* stuff, but we’re better at handling it.)

The reasons for our extensions were always different, but the results were always good. Using those extra days, Worldbuilders would include a new sponsor, give out more prizes, get better attention in the media, and bring in more donations.

The fact remains that for the last seven years, Worldbuilders has announced an end date, then *always* extended it. Sometimes just a few days. Often more than that. On one notable occasion we pushed it back three weeks.

But every year we got better. Every year the Worldbuilders team got smarter, and stronger, and bigger. And every year we were a marvelous success. So really, what’s wrong with tacking on an extra couple days? Why would I worry about something like that?

*     *     *

Every year as the fundraiser winds down, I struggle with a mash of conflicting emotions.

The most obvious of these is exhaustion. The fundraiser takes a lot out of me both physically and emotionally. I do a interviews. I write blogs. I stay up late writing blogs (It is now 2:39 am.) And work social media as hard as I can. I ask for favors and pull strings in an attempt to make every year a success.

But the end of the fundraiser is an electric time, too. It’s thrilling in a way. Everything accelerates. People are finishing stretch goals. Auctions are ending. The number on our donation page keeps going up and up….

The fact that I end up excited and bone-weary at the end of Worldbuilders won’t surprise most of you. Especially those of you who have watched me livestream recently, or seen the video of me, hollow-eyed and disheveled, driving into the north woods of Wisconsin looking for a Llama to kiss.

But there’s another piece to this that I work hard to keep out of the public eye. Every year, I’m terrified Worldbuilders will fail. Every year, I worry I’m going to pour my heart and energy into this thing and nobody will care. Every year, I fear that if we change things, people will be disappointed. I worry if we stay the same, people will get bored.

The fear is usually the worst at the beginning and the end. When we start, I’m afraid that I’ll announce this year’s festivities and we’ll be met with nothing but indifference and empty echoes. And at the end, I worry that if I don’t keep working at a fever pitch, the fundraiser won’t finish strong enough, and it will leave everyone feeling dissatisfied.

But this year has been different.

You see, this has been Worldbuilder’s Best Year Ever.

A lot of this has to do with Giving Tuesday. When we found out Worldbuilders could take advantage of some matching donations Heifer International had available, I let you all know in a blog about my mom. And we raised $300,000. Three times more than our previous best day ever. (And that’s not even counting the matching donations given to Heifer.)

Just to give you a little more perspective, Worldbuilders was the second most successful charity on Stay Classy that day.

Stay Classy number 2

On Stay Classy is the website used by organizations like the American Red Cross, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Invisible Children. Despite that, Worldbuilders was the #2 fundraiser on one of the biggest fundraising days of the year.

I hope you’ll forgive me a little pride here. But those other organizations have been around for a while. They have teams of people in multiple offices the around the world. And not to be confrontational or crass, but we kinda kicked their charity asses.

Gech. I shouldn’t say that sort of thing. But again: Tired. It’s 3:35.

But this year’s greatness wasn’t just the result of a single awesome day. This year Worldbuilders has had more sponsors. More prizes to give away. More people participating. More people doing Stretch Goals.

What’s more, we didn’t just beat last year’s total ($886,000). We CRUSHED it, then kept on going until we cracked a million dollars. And we did it on Saturday. Three days before the end of the fundraiser.

Million2

(I love it when our donation thermometer explodes into ducks.)

Best of all. We’ve really had our act together. We managed to fit all our announcements and prizes into our original timeframe. This was going to be the first year where we finished the fundraiser on time.

Then, late on Friday, we got an e-mail from Heifer International.

*     *     *

It turns out that Heifer International had been offered $200,000 of matching donation money. And, after seeing what we did on Giving Tuesday, they’ve decided to offer it to Worldbuilders, with the hope that we can find folks to match it.

This is great news in every way. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the fundraiser. It’s a huge gesture of trust from Heifer International. It’s a great way for Worldbuilders to give people who have been on the fence about donating a little extra nudge.

Now. Here’s my confession. It’s something I’m not proud of.

When I heard this news. I wasn’t excited.

Don’t get me wrong. I was interested. I was flattered. Intellectually, I knew it was an incredible thing for Worldbuilders. And lord knows we’ve extended the fundraiser in the past for reasons that weren’t nearly this impressive.

But emotionally, all I felt was dread and exhaustion. This was going to be the year we finished on time.

What’s more, I’d already done everything I could think of to spread the word about the fundraiser. We’d already launched our new items in the store. We’d already announced all our prizes for the lottery. I didn’t have any more tricks to pull out of my hat.

And I’ll be honest, folks. I was tired. I was really looking forward to laying the fundraiser down today. I shouldn’t admit that. But it’s the truth, and while I might not always be the person I’d like to be, at least I’m always honest with you.

The truth is, I was looking forward to having this next week off. Catching up on my e-mail. Hanging out with my kids, who I’ve been short-changing in terms of quality time lately. I was going to do some Christmas shopping. Maybe even get a tree…

So when I got the news of Heifer’s offer, I didn’t say yes. I told the Worldbuilders team I neede to think about it. I gave them a weak excuse about not wanting people to think we were stringing them along with a fake end date. I said I was worried our donors might feel ill-used. Besides, we couldn’t make the announcement until Monday anyway….

And while those are genuine concerns I have. They’re not big concerns. I know you guys are better than that. I knew you’d be excited if we announced something like this.

No. My real reason was that I wanted an excuse to end the fundraiser and go back to my life.

But at some point over the weekend, someone on twitter used the phrase, “Bilbo It Up” and linked to the blog I wrote a couple years ago. They said they were kicking in some money to Worldbuilders even though times were tough for them.

I dimly remembered the blog, but I have a bad memory for stuff like that. So I followed the link. I read the blog. And I was ashamed.

Here’s part of what I wrote:

That’s why I run Worldbuilders. […] Because there are kids out there that are hungry all the time. There are kids out there with no books at all to read. There are kids out there with no beds to sleep in. No homes to come home to. No safe places. No sweet dreams.

That’s why I do all the charity work. Because the world isn’t as good as I want it to be.

We all feel this way sometimes. Because honestly, the world is a fucking mess. It’s full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks.

But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.

So.

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It’s 4:58 AM here in Wisconsin. It’s 42 °F and raining. And right now my neighbors are probably calling the cops because of a crazy guy standing in the middle of the road taking pictures of his feet.

But you know what? I’m all the way awake now. Like, super awake. And as I was just walking back to my house my feet all tingly and numb, I remembered that a lot of people don’t have shoes. I remembered a lot of people don’t have nice insulated houses with central heating to retreat into when they’re wet and cold.

My kids are well-fed. They’re healthy. They have access to medicine and books. I read to them every night and never have to worry about clean drinking water or where their next meal will come from.

Some other people’s kids out there have none of these things. That’s wrong.

Right. I’m ready. Let’s Bilbo It Up.

I’m taking Heifer International up on their offer. I’m extending the fundraiser through Friday the 18th at midnight. Amanda will change the official countdown clocks when she wakes up and reads this.

I feel good about this. I can actually feel the excitement in my chest again. It wasn’t there when I started this blog, but it’s back now. Amazing how doing something really stupid can help you regain your perspective.

I know many of you have already donated. If you’re tapped out, I understand. But if you’re not sure. Or if you haven’t chipped in yet, here’s what I’d like you to do. Take off your shoes. Go outside. Think hard about the world you want to live in.

And if you want to make it better, come back in and donate. Spread the word about Worldbuilders. Take a picture of yourself Bilboing It Up and share it with the world. When I wake up, I expect to see your feet on Facebook, people. By the time I wake up, I want #BilboItUp to be trending. I want a billion mentions on twitter.

I can’t promise new blogs filled with fabulous prizes every day this week. But I’ll dig through my shelves and pull some treasures to put into the donation lottery to sweeten the deal. I’ll see if I can think of another couple stretch goals, too.

Here’s a link to the donation page. You know what to do.

Posted in My Mom Would Like This Blog, the longest fucking blog ever, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat60 Responses

Many Cool Books from Dreamhaven

One of the great things about Heifer International is that they work hard to partner with groups local to the areas they’re working in. For example, in Guatemala they partnered with Green Mountain Coffee to help support families who were building sustainable, self-reliant coffee farms.

And the best way to do that was to provide honey bees to pollinate the coffee, as well as to produce delicious, sellable honey.

Improving Food Security and Nutrition of Coffee Farm Workers' Fa

There are a fair number of small-scale coffee farmers in Guatemala, but the harvest season is only 4 months, so they often have no income for the remainder of the year. This was Feliciana Martin’s biggest concern before Heifer gifted her some beehives, but she doesn’t have that worry any longer.

She collected 60 pounds of honey in the first six months and doubled the number of hives she owns. In addition to a sizeable increase in the yield of her coffee farm, which was struggling to support her and her daughter, she now has income from the honey to help pay for food, school, and medicine for her family.

Then she trained some neighbors on the proper care of bees and gave them hives to start them on their own road to increased independence. This is called “Passing on the Gift.” All Heifer recipients take part it, and it’s a big piece of what makes Heifer’s work so successful.

Martin dreams of a better life for her daughter. Now she can make that happen.

And only $30 gets a family the gift of honey bees

* * *

As an added bonus to helping a family make a better life, $30 also gets you 3 chances to win one of the fabulous books or games in our lottery.

We’ve amassed a staggering number of both via private donations, author donations, and donations from our lovely sponsors. This time around, we have a few things from DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis.

DreamHaven is a wonderful bookstore, and a small press as well. We’ve got a cool mix of books produced and published by DreamHaven, as well as some of the rare or limited books they’ve come across over the years.

  • 28 first edition copies of  The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady.

roaddog

“There’s not a bad story here. It’s easy to see why they were award winners and it’s a great volume filled with Glenn Chadbourne illustrations and a cover by Alan M. Clark. Don’t let this one get past you.” – Barry Hunter

This is a collection of short stories by the Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author Jack Cady, who passed away back in 2004.

Greg, the owner of Dreamhaven, discovered a box full of first edition copies, and sent them all along to us.

  • 28 first edition copies of The Creature from the Black Lagoon by Vargo Statten.

creature

“This is a must-have for Creature fans and is highly recommended for horror fans who want to broaden their knowledge of this fascinating progenitor of many subsequent man-in-the-suit horrors, Dan O’Bannon’s titular Alien being the most obvious and arguably the most frightening in the cinema.” -Cinemaretro

This is the novelization of the creepy classic movie, and it features a lot of stills from the film in addition to the novel itself.

sick

“A Delightful anthology of gruesome rhyme” -The Dark Side

Anything Neil Gaiman works on is good – that’s an empirical fact. He helped edit this collection of poems that are both funny and gruesome, so there’s no way you won’t love it. Every $10 donation gets you a chance to make this book part of your collection.

  • 48 copies of Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion by Neil Gaiman.

panic

“Certainly the most outstandingly brilliant book to have been written about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy since this morning” -Douglas Adams

A lot of people don’t realize that before Gaiman did fiction, he was a journalist. And this is one of his earliest books – published in 1988, it was his second book, after, I am not joking, a Duran Duran biography.

  • 22 first edition copies of Shelf Life, Edited by Greg Ketter.

shelflife

“[Shelf Life] is laugh-out-loud funny. Bookshop owners and habitués will appreciate the palpable affection for literary havens.” -Publishers Weekly

Greg is the owner of DreamHaven, and he’s put together a collection of stories about bookstores. This is the original hardcover printing with 5 bookstore-centered stories, and an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

It’s something that’s close to all of our hearts, I’d guess, and 22 of them have been put into the lottery.

* * *

The finish line is in sight, folks. We’ve rounded the corner, and are on the straightaway.

All of our auctions are ending Sunday night, so if you’ve been waiting to snipe something, now’s the time. There won’t be any more added before the fundraiser is over.

If you want to get an entry (or 3) into the lottery, you get one for every $10 you donate on our fundraising page. $30 get you three entries in the lottery and a family gets honey bees. $60 is enough to buy a family fruit trees, plus you get six entries in the lottery. $120 gets you twelven entries and one of my favorite donations: a goat.

And there’s only a few more days you can get something from The Tinker’s Packs and be sure it’ll arrive in time for Christmas. We have books, games, t-shirts, scarves, and even a stuffed owlbear, all of which could make someone very happy as a holiday gift.

Enjoy your weekend, folks. And keep spreading the word. We can’t do this without you.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat7 Responses

Over a Hundred Games from Fantasy Flight

Today we’ve got some lovely games from Fantasy Flight to add to our prize lottery. But before I show them off, I’m going to tell you a story. Because that’s what I do.

I’d like to introduce you to a family of refugees.

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If they seem pretty happy for a family of refugees, well… that’s because they’re farmers now. But that’s the end of the story. I should start closer to the beginning….

Uganda has been struggling with war for decades. The history of the area is too complicated for me to get into here, so forgive me if I say that the term “war-torn” is not an exaggeration. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflicts there. And ten times that number of people have been forced from their homes, or fled in an attempt to find some shred of safety.

When this sort of thing happens, many people end up living large portions of their lives in refugee camps. That’s the case with Fred and Florence (the parents pictured above). Both of them lived in a refugee camp since they were children. That’s where they grew up, got married, and started a family.

In those camps they had very little of their own, and were forced to rely on charity to survive. Aid workers provided them with beans and maize, but it was only enough to guarantee one meal a day. In addition to that, sometimes the food aid was delayed. I can’t imagine trying to raise a child in a situation like that. I honestly don’t want to think about it too much.

In 2006, Uganda entered peace talks. And Fred and Florence moved to his parent’s land to start a farm. But as I’ve said, they had been refugees since they were children. They were starting with nothing, and were forced to build from the ground up.

It wasn’t easy. The land was overgrown, and there were were leftovers from the war to deal with. Things like landmines to clear before they could even begin planting.

Then, Florence and Fred received a Frisian heifer from Heifer International.

florence fred

(Florence and Fred’s oldest daughter feeds the family cow, Flora.)

Since her arrival, the heifer has produced two bull calves, and lots of milk. “Before, my children didn’t even know what milk looked like,” said Florence. “This cow has made my family happy.”

Before participating in Heifer’s project, Fred and Florence owned no animals. Now they have over 30, including goats and chickens. They use the manure from the cows to increase yields in their crops on their farm, including mango trees that were struggling to survive without the manure.

Now the family has milk, vegetables, and eggs. For the first time they have food enough for three full meals a day.

I’m going to say that again. For the first time in their lives. These people have enough food so that they can be sure of feeding their kids three times a day.

Needless to say, the children’s health has improved dramatically.

Before participating in the project, Fred earned $1 a day working as a laborer, clearing land. In a good year, he would be lucky to make 115 dollars.

Now, the family earns $1,290 a year, just from selling milk. And that’s milk they sell *after* they’ve kept all they need for their family. They use the money to improve the farm, buy food, and pay for school fees for all of their children. Their kids are getting the education and training to have a better future.

That’s what Heifer International does. It can help a family of refugees become successful farmers. This sort of help doesn’t just let a family feed their children, it lets them give their children a whole new future.

When you give to Heifer International on our donation page, this is what you’re making happen. 500 dollars will buy a Heifer, but if you can’t swing that, 120 dollars will buy a goat that will do much the same thing for a family, though on a slightly smaller scale. A flock of chickens is only 20 bucks.

I’m going to be brutally honest here, folks. If you’re reading this on your own computer, you can spare $20 to help improve someone’s life forever. You know you can.

And if you still need a little nudge. Let me remind you that for every 10 dollars you donate on our page, you get a chance to win thousands of books and games like the one that Fantasy Flight has donated in today’s blog.

* * *

Today, we show you over a hundred games from Fantasy Flight. They’re one of the big names in board games, and when they offered to donate this year, everyone here at Worldbuilders was beside themselves with joy. To make it even better, a bunch of the Fantasy Flight employees pitched in to send us even more games than the company was already sending. They’re just good people like that.

There’s a lot of different stuff, and it’s all quality. If you donate to the lottery, you’ll have the choice of BOOKS, GAMES, or BOOKS AND GAMES for your potential prizes, and I know there’s a lot in here that would make any gamer happy.

  • 10 copies of Descent: Journeys in the Dark. 6 bundled with the Heirs of Blood Expansion.

descent

This is a game Amanda and I played together a while back. And I really enjoyed the hell out of it.

It’s a campaign game, where you develop and play with a character over many sessions. It’s a great way to play something close to an RPG if you don’t want to spend 4 hours making characters first and forcing someone to either create or learn an entire adventure ahead of time to GM it.

There are 10 copies of the base game, six of them with an expansion.

  • 6 Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition) Bundles, which include the base game, and both expansions: the Shattered Empire and the Shards of the Throne

twilightimperiumTwilight Imperium is game of galactic conquest where each player takes command of one of ten unique civilizations to compete for interstellar supremacy through warfare, trade, uncertain allegiances, and political dominance. Each civilization provides a unique game experience with different abilities and play styles, like controlling trade, building up military, or playing the politicians.

The expansions add even more races and cards, plus allow you to play with up to 8 people. It’d be the perfect thing to add to a thriving game night.

  • 12 copies of Mission: Red Planet.

mission

Steampunk technology building civilization on Mars? What more do you really need?

In this game, it’s 1888 and you’re running a mining company, setting up colonies and mining for new and rare materials on Mars. There’s fierce competition, and players win by mining the resources, and controlling various regions on the planet.

  • 6 copies of Samurai.

samurai

This game has been winning awards left and right since it was released in 1998. It’s a Eurogame, which means you play as best you can, then do one big final tally at the end to see who wins. There are a lot of different play styles that could win you the game as you lay tiles and try to curry favor with the samurai, peasants, and/or priests on the board, so it’s great for a diverse gaming group. Plus, a game that’s been around for so long and stayed popular has to be good.

  • 6 copies of Fury of Dracula.

dracula

This is an awesome game. One player assumes the role of Count Dracula as he stealthily spreads his evil influence throughout Europe, while up to four other players govern the iconic characters of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. John Seward, Lord Arthur Godalming, and Mina Harker.

By day the hunters move around and search for clues about Dracula’s whereabouts. By night, they investigate their present locale and prepare for the upcoming day while Dracula creates new vampires, lays traps for the hunters, and stealthily moves to a new location. Should any hunters find Dracula, or should the Count find them, they will engage in a brutal fight for their lives.

  • 6 copies of Condottierre.

condottiere

This is a really intense bluffing and negotiation game. The players are all bidding to acquire provinces in Italy, and the goal is to have four of them connected by game’s end. The cards used to bid have different powers, allowing you to suddenly double your bid, or keep some of the resources you had promised.

You’ve got to pay attention to cards and multiple strategies to come out on top, and it works out great for any group of friends who have that competitive edge.

  • 3 Copies of Runebound.

runebound

Just look at this box. It’s enough for Amanda, but when she read about the game, she wanted it even more.

Players are battling to become the most renowned hero, battling monsters, navigating social encounters, and exploring ruins and forests. It has tons of replay value, and you can play as one of many traditional RPG characters and customize their skills and assets to suit your play style. But unlike a traditional RPG, you’re playing against your friends, adding another level of strategy to the whole thing…

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game.

civ

This game really stays true to its video game predecessor. You start off with a single city, one army figure, and one scout, and from there you forge a great civilization. There are many paths to victory, including invading another player’s capital, developing a rich culture, and even an option to travel to space. It’s important that you plan your advancements well ahead of time, and try to keep up with your opponents while keeping your goals in mind.

  • XCOM: The Board Game.

xcom

In XCOM, the players are a part of an elite organization defending against an alien invasion. There’s a lot to keep track of, including incoming alien UFOs that need to be shot down, soldiers that need to be assigned to key missions, important research about alien technology to better defend your base, all while trying to implement your final mission to repel the invaders.

The game has a free app you download to keep it all in real time, while it also keeps track of turns, satellite communications, and much more. This game requires your full attention, and will keep you thinking for the entire time.

  • 12 copies of Battlestar Galactica.

battlestar

This is a semi-cooperative game that will make you work together to defeat the Cylons… until someone you trust betrays you to them.

Everyone is given a secret role at the beginning of the game, and the humans are working hard to keep spirits up, people fed, the ship moving, and people healthy. But there’s at least one Cylon in your midst, and they will be doing their best to counter your moves without being noticed. If you like playing a game where there is a continuous challenge and victory is always a close call, Battlestar Galactica is for you.

  • 6 copies of Star Wars: Force & Destiny Beginner Game.

star wars

This is a starter set for the Star Wars: Force & Destiny roleplaying game, and the perfect way to get yourself acquainted with the system, characters, and adventures available to you in the world of Star Wars.

This comes with four pre-built characters for your group to choose from, each with their own eight-page folio with the character’s background, as well as their connection with Hethan Romund, the Force, and the other heroes. They have quick reference guides for the core game mechanics, and recommendations for advancing your character.

  • 6 copies of Arkham Horror.

arkham horror

Arkham Horror is one of Fantasy Flight’s most popular games, and for good reason. You play as a team of investigators, trying to prevent an Ancient One from breaking into the world and wreaking havoc. You spend the game cleaning out the monsters and closing portals to other dimensions. If too many portals remain open, your last chance is to defeat the Ancient One in combat… and no one wants that to be their only hope.

  • 18 copies of Elder Sign. 12 bundled with the Gates of Arkham Expansion.

eldersign

This is a really great game, too. If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can watch the episode of TableTop where Felicia Day, Mike Morhaime, Bil Prady, and Wil Wheaton played a very intense game of it.

Six of our lovely donors are going to get copies of the base game, while twelve more will get the base game in addition to the Gates of Arkham expansion. Good luck to you keeping the Ancient Ones at bay…

* * *

We’ve only got 4 more days in this year’s fundraiser, and as of right now we’ve raised $950,000.

It’s our best year ever, but I’d really love to have a strong finish. So if you haven’t pitched in yet, this is your chance. Check out the auctions we’re currently running. Take a peek in The Tinker’s Packs. Or just donate directly on the Worldbuilders page for a chance to win in this year’s lottery.

There are plenty of families out there like Fred and Florence who just need a leg up to turn their lives around for the better.

Let’s make it happen.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat15 Responses

Jewelry, Cloaks, and Other Miscellany

One of the Worldbuilders Team’s favorite gifts you can buy from Heifer is chickens.

In some ways, it’s an obvious choice. Chickens produce eggs, and eggs produce chickens. In parts of the world where poverty is high and meat is scarce, protein-packed eggs from even a single chicken can have a huge impact on a child’s nutrition. A good hen can lay between 200 and 300 eggs a year – that means a flock provides enough eggs for an entire family to eat, with plenty left to sell.

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Twenty bucks is enough for a starter flock of 10 to 50 chickens. But the families don’t just get those chickens.  They get the training and materials they’ll need to care for those chickens for a long time.

Best of all, chickens are a good form of pest control, eating insects that damage crops. They scratch and peck at the soil, eating weed seeds and giving themselves dust baths to get rid of mites all on their own. Their droppings fertilize gardens.

Heifer also trains the people they work with to Pass On The Gift to their neighbors. That means after receiving help from Heifer, a family will go on to help others, sharing baby chicks and training members of their community.

This means a donation to Heifer is like kicking off an avalanche of good that cascades into the future. For example, in 1952 Heifer provided 70,000 hatching eggs to people in Korea after the country was devastated by war. Twenty years later, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture estimated that half the chickens in Korea were descended from the eggs Heifer supplied.

That’s how Heifer International works. That’s why it’s our charity of choice.

* * *

Today, we present to you a little bit of everything. It’s the last week of the fundraiser, and that means that some varied donations have been coming in here and there, and we’ve put a hodgepodge of them together for you.

  • Auction: Peter Orullian will kill you in his upcoming book and let you choose your last words.

Peter Orullian Photo zz

We had a bunch of tuckerizations go by a while ago, but Peter was kind enough to step up and offer one, too. He’s offering to fashion a character after you, in both name and likeness, then have them die a spectacular death. He’ll work with you on what your character’s final words will be, so you’ll get to say whatever you want (within reason).

You know you want this power. You can bid on it right here.

  • Literary Posters from Book Rapport. One full set of 53 posters in the lottery, another up for auction.

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(Click to embiggen)

These posters are designed by Steve Shell, an English and Theatre teacher from North Carolina. Each print features a period map of the setting of the text, with a cutout of an iconic image or shape from the story that shows a selection of text from the novel/poem/story.

Steve was kind enough to donate a couple of sets, which is a total of 53 posters, and Amanda is kind of desperate for them. We put one set in the lottery, and the other is up for auction right here.

  • Auction: 3 Miniatures painted by Django Wexler specifically for Worldbuilders.

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Django Wexler was kind enough to offer to paint miniatures for us as a stretch goal for this year’s fundraiser. He sat down, stuck his hand in his box of minis waiting to be painted, and pulled three random ones out. He painted them all (very well, I might add), sent us the video, and we’re now auctioning those very minis off for Worldbuilders.

If you want to grab them, you can bid on them right here.

  • Auctions: Two many-pocketed cloaks, one large sized and one medium sized, handmade by Kirkii Creations.

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This year’s donations included two cloaks, each with 18 different pockets in a variety of sizes. They’re made of wool with a cotton lining, making them very practical for cool or rainy weather. We were all so happy to see them come in, and we really hope they each go to a home where someone will love them, and fill the pockets with all sorts of interesting things.

There’s one that’s just shy of 60 inches long, which you can bid on right here, and the other is just over 55 inches long, and you can bid on it here.

  • Auctions: Handmade geekry from Feathers and Fantasy: Baby Taggies, A Dragon Table Runner with Doctor Who Mug Rug, A Doctor Who Infinity Scarf, and 3 Geeky Throw Pillows.

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(Click to embiggen)

The baby taggies baffled most of the office, especially Amanda, but Mindy offered some insight: they’re made of soft fabric, and have little loops of ribbon along the edges for babies to grab onto and play with, to help with developing motor skills. As an added bonus, these are Star Trek and Firefly themed, so your baby will get an early start in their geeky career. You can bid on them right here.

Then there’s a beautiful dragon table runner, inspired by Game of Thrones, with a Doctor Who mug rug. You can bid on those right here.  And, if you’re already on a Doctor Who kick, the infinity scarf is an excellent stealth geek item, with beautiful blue fabric and an occasional sneaky TARDIS. You can bid on that one here.

And finally, a set of three geeky throw pillows, featuring designs from Doctor Who, The Hobbit, and some skull art, just for kicks. If you need more pillows for your fort, you can bid on them right here.

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Vonda McIntyre’s hobby is pretty intense. When she’s not writing, she works very hard to make beaded sea creatures like anemones, jellyfish, nudibranchs, and marine flatworms, then features them in art installations, including the actual Smithsonian.

They’re incredibly time intensive, and she was kind enough to send us a set of 4 to auction off for the fundraiser. If you want these beautiful things, you can bid right here.

  • Auctions: Tektite pendant necklaces, one with a silver chain, and another with a gold chain. Designed exclusively for Worldbuilders by Marion Anderson.

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Marion Anderson is a paleontologist and planetary geologist. She knows a thing or two about stone and rock.

She made necklaces out garnet, lapis lazuli, and tektite. Tektites are formed in meteorite impacts, when the high speed of the meteorite is converted to heat and pressure when it hits the Earth. Rocks melt, and as they splatter around they cool, forming the tektites (or “impact glass”).

These particular tektites are made from an impact in Southeastern Asia about 400,000 years ago. There’s one available on a silver chain (pictured on the left) one available on a gold chain (on the right). You’ll have a cool story to share every time someone asks you about it, so to bid on the silver chained one, click here, and for the gold chained one, click here.

Amber from Serpent’s Dance Designs has been donating to the fundraiser for years, now. There have been necklaces, pendants, and pins for a long time, and this year she donated ten different pieces for us to auction off to whoever would love them.

It should go without saying that these are all one-of-a-kind creations. But I’ll say it anyway: These are all one-of-a-kind creations. More pictures of each of these can be found if you follow the links below.

Amber sent us some dragon themed pieces, in the form of shawl pins as well as a necklace.

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They’re lovingly hand-crafted, and here are the links (in order of the picture): The stamped, silver-accented shawl pin is up for auction right here, while the etched copper pin is up right here. The necklace has a small silver accent as well, and if you’re prepared for a potential bidding war with Rachel, you can bid on it right here.

She also made a few different Kingkiller inspired necklaces.

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First was the “Practice Makes the Master” necklace, which is good stealth geek. I mean, you could be referencing anything. You can bid on that copper necklace here.

Then there are two different copper necklaces that say “You may have heard of me.” The one in the center top photo has been polished, and has hammered edges. You can bid on that here, or you can bid on the stamped, distressed copper version from the bottom center photo right here.

Then there’s the two different “All Stories are True” necklaces. The first one (pictured on top) is sterling silver, and up for bidding right here, and the second one is a stamped, hammered copper, up for bidding right here.

The last couple were simply beautiful, elegant designs, one of a fairy and the other of a copper rose petal.

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The first is a copper pendant with an etched fairy emblem. It’s really intricate, and even has a sterling silver accent. You can bid on it bid on it right here and wear it with pride if you win it.

The rose petal is kind of an office favorite (Rachel’s need for the dragon pendant notwithstanding), not only because it’s a seriously beautiful piece, but because it comes with a story. As you may have guessed, some of us around the office are suckers for stories. Amber said this:

I made this piece in honor of my Mother, who passed away earlier this year. Her name meant “Joyous Rose” in Turkish. She was the one who encouraged me to get into metalsmithing, and she always enjoyed hearing about Worldbuilders and how it was progressing through the years.

We’re really grateful to Amber for sharing her mother’s story with us, in addition to donating such beautiful jewelry. And we’re extra grateful to Amber’s mom for giving us a kind and talented metalsmith.

You can bid on the copper rose petal right here. We hope the winner loves it deeply.

* * *

There’s a lot of beautiful stuff here, so if you’re unsure, you can just go to our ebay page and look at everything that’s up for auction right now. You know, just to be sure you’re bidding on everything you might want.

Don’t forget that there’s only a few days left to buy things in The Tinker’s Packs to have before Christmas. If there’s something you’ve had your eye on, now’s the time to bite.

We still have a lot to show you, and only 5 days left to do so so be sure to check back….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat1 Response

Cool Things from Awesome Supporters

It’s been a great couple of days of fundraising here, and with less than a week left, we have a little bit of business to attend to.

  • Odds of winning a prize

First of all, yesterday, someone asked what their odds of winning a prize in the lottery were. What a fantastic question! we thought to ourselves. Surely it’ll take us ages to do such a difficult calculation, so alas, we won’t be able to answer it.

At least, that’s what we’ve said in years past. We’ve proven that we really shouldn’t be the ones trusted to do the math for odds, as evidenced by the multiple fundraiser blogs where we tried and and got the math wrong. That’s why we brought in a pro last year.

Vi Hart did the math, and we used that to create this little widget. Put in your donation, and it will tell you what the odds are that you win at least one prize.

Right now if you donate $20, enough for a flock of chickens, you have a 6% (ish) chance of winning something. (Better odds that rolling a 1 on your saving throw, and we all know how often *that* happens.)

If you donate $120, enough for a goat, you have a 34% chance of winning.

Donate enough to bring clean water to a village ($250) you have a 55% chance.

Donate enough for a Heifer ($500)  and you have a 78% chance of winning.

Keep in mind that the widget doesn’t tell you how likely you are to win multiple prizes. And some prizes contain multiple books.

What’s more, the odds will shimmy around a bit. As more people donate, the odds go down. But the more prizes we post, the odds go up. It’s also worthwhile to note that some people opt out of the prize draw, and as a result, your odds are actually a little *better* than what the widget tells you.

There is one slight flaw. If you donate enter more than 2700 dollars, the widget will show a 100% chance of winning a prize. This isn’t really true. But the widget can’t show 99.999999999%, so it rounds up.

These are amazingly good odds, folks. And We’re still got an entire weeks worth of material to add to the pot.

  • Holiday Shipping Times

If you’re like me, you’re probably *just* starting to think about doing your Holiday shopping. Luckily for you, you can do some of your shopping in The Tinker’s Packs whereas I’m denied that joy, because it’s considered tacky to give your family and friends your own merch as presents.

If you *are* considering making a few purchaces for time-sensitive holidays, you might want to check the data below. Because shipping times can be pretty brutal this time of year….

2015 Holiday Shipping Dates (1)

The international times, as always, are hard to guess and highly variable. We give a rough estimate of 2-8 weeks, not because it’ll take that long to get to your country, but because we have no way of knowing how long customs might take to get your package processed. We don’t want to make promises at this point, but it’s likely you’re still safe for another few days.

But as you can see, the last day to get the cheapest domestic shipping and be sure it’ll be there in time for Christmas is today. Every day you wait after today is going to cost you more money in shipping, so I advise at least checking things out to make sure you’re not missing out on something you desperately want.

Or, if you don’t want to worry about shipping times, get them a Gift Card. Ships to your email inbox in a matter of seconds with no risk of embarrassingly choosing the wrong size t-shirt! This is a service we provide to the community out of the love of our hearts.

* * *

The authors, publishers, and game companies that donate to us get a lot of glory, and rightfully so. They donate thousands of dollars worth of prizes to the fundraiser. They make a huge impact on things here.

But there are always people supporting the cause in their own way. Lots of our team pages are made by people asking their families to contribute to the fundraiser instead of giving Christmas gifts. There’s people holding bake sales, or their own little mini fundraisers, in honor of Worldbuilders.

And there are people sending us their own treasured possessions. Books from their personal collections, some of them signed, limited, or rare.

Today’s blog is made up entirely of these. Books that our supporters gave, a few at a time, out of the goodness of their own hearts.

We have the best supporters.

Almost all of the books in today’s blog are signed, which is an added bonus. If not by the author, then perhaps by the illustrator…

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This is a hefty tome. It has some of Lovecraft’s best-known work, including the entire Cthulu Mythos. The illustrator, Les Edwards, doodled a full page in the front, making it particularly valuable.

If you want to add this to your collection, you can bid right here.

  • Lovecraft Library Bundle: Six Lovecraft Books.

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If that Necronomicon is a little outside of your price range, you can make a contribution of $10 or more to the team page to be entered to win one of thousands of prizes, including this six-pack of Lovecraft stories.

First Editions

A surprising number of signed first edition books made their way to us this year, and we knew they’d be loved if we put them into the lottery.

  • First edition copy of Lock In. Signed by John Scalzi.

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Lock In is one of Amanda’s favorite books, and getting a signed first edition is extra cool. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

“The novel–which contains plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable worldbuilding and a thought-provoking examination of disability culture and politics–is definitely worth the ride.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • First edition copy of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade. Signed by Den Patrick.

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“The Boy with the Porcelain Blade is an intriguing novel that opens like a flower to reveal all to those who choose to read it” –Fantasy Book Review

This is the first book in a new dark fantasy series, and we’re really excited to have one to show off in the fundraiser. The signature is even dated with March 21, 2014, so it’s got some bonus value to it. It’s going right into the lottery, so a lucky donor is going to win it…

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“A beautiful story, honestly told.”―Neil Gaiman

Honestly, we’re all willing to pick up any book with a blurb like that from Neil Gaiman, and this one is particularly beautiful.

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“Moore is endlessly inventive … This cetacean picaresque is no fluke – it is a sure winner” —Publishers Weekly

A lot of us in the office are big Chrsitopher Moore fans, so this first edition is particularly lusted after here at Worldbuilders HQ.

  • A set of first edition copies of Echopraxia and Blindsight. Both signed by Peter Watts.

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“A paranoid tale that would make Philip K. Dick proud, told in a literary style that should seduce readers who don’t typically enjoy science fiction.” ―Kirkus Reviews

  • Auction: First edition copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Signed by me, signed and remarqued by Nate Taylor.

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This is a lovely donation from a supporter, who wanted to remain anonymous. Nate did a gorgeous remarque of Auri and Foxen on the dedication page, and I haven’t seen many with such extensive art before.

This one is up for auction, so if you’re interested, you can bid right here.

Otherwise Awesome Books

First editions are great, but we have a lot more signed, doodled, and otherwise awesome books we’re adding to the fundraiser, as well.

  • Auction: Collector’s edition of The Gormenghast Novels two-volume set, by Mervyn Peake.

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This is super cool. The Gormenghast novels are a huge part of the history of fantasy, and they’ve all been compiled into two beautiful leatherbound volumes. One of our supporters, Jill, sent it along, and we knew we had to make sure it went to a home that would love it deeply.

If you can provide that home, bid here.

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“This story blends the gripping horror and action of McCammon’s earliest novels with the empathy of his more recent work, making it one of his finest.” –Publishers Weekly

This is one of Subterranean Press’s beautiful books, and it’s been all signed up to make it that much cooler.

  • 3 copies of Diary of a Mad Brownie. Signed by the illustrator, Paul Kidby, one also signed by  Bruce Coville.

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“It’s not easy to merge such disparate elements as traditional Scottish lore and modern American life, but Coville brings it off with wit, style, and respect. The first volume of the Enchanted Files series is smart, amusing, and a lot of fun” —Booklist (starred review)

This is a particular treat. Not only do we have three copies to put into the lottery, but they’re all signed by both the author and illustrator, making them extra special.

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“Densely plotted and decidedly grown-up, this is YA fiction for readers who are bored of fluff and sparkles.” –SFX Magazine

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“Whelan juggles wisecracking demons, Wicca, a World of Warcraft-style game, and even a sly Morrissey quote […] It’s a hoot.” –The Guardian

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“Hegarty’s debut and the first of a projected series is Ghostbusters meets Percy Jackson as written by Terry Pratchett. Readers will be hunting for the sequel in short order.” –Kirkus Reviews

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“Full of vivid characters and terrific world building, Generation V is a fun, fast-packed romp of a story that kept me glued tot he pages to the very last word. Loved it! Bravo, M.L. Brennan, bravo!”–Devon Monk

I love seeing inscriptions like this, because the winner of this in the lottery is going to be able to look back on it for a long time, brag to their friends, and show it off as something cool they got for doing something cool. It’s a win-win-win.

  • 3 copies of A Study In Scarlet. Signed by the illustrator, Gris Grimly.

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I think we all know a Sherlock Holmes story or two, but an illustrated version signed by the illustrator would be a good addition to your collection. And the quick doodle with the signature is pretty awesome. We had a copy of Neil Gaiman’s The Dangerous Alphabet last year, illustrated by Gris Grimly, and everyone crowded around it for a while, pointing out all the brilliant details he adds to his art.

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This is a pretty rare book. Subterranean Press doesn’t even allow people to order more than one, and it was limited to only 500 copies. This particular copy is number 331, and includes roughly 70 black and white interior illustrations, including chapter heads, full page illustrations, and vignettes, as well as three full-color interior illustrations.

It’s signed by both Martin and the artist, Ted Nasmith, and it’s already being bid on pretty ferociously over on ebay. If you want it, get in on it quick.

  • A Buttload of ARCs from Shane.

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One of our supporters, Shane, runs a book review blog and ends up with a lot of ARCs because of it. He sent us “a giant Target diaper box” (his words) full of ARCs, and rather than keep all the coolness for people who can afford to bid, we’re putting them all into the lottery.

There are ARCs from authors like Neal StephesonKen Liu, Chris Beckett, David Weber, and a lot, lot more. And yes, they arrived taped safely inside a Target diaper box. Size 6.

Since they’re all in the lottery, every $10 you donate gets you another chance to win some of these ARCs. If you’ve been holding back, the fundraiser has less than a week left at this point, so you might want to jump in soon…

* * *

Don’t forget to check out the store if you’re shopping for holiday gifts. You’re kind of late for Hanukkah, but maybe that’s an endearing trait to your loved ones. Like we said, today’s the last day for cheap shipping for Christmas, and it’s only going to get riskier the longer you wait.

There are lots more auctions up right now, too, and we haven’t even featured most of them yet. If you want to get a jump on the bidding, you can check them out right here.

And, as always, you can get your name in the hat for one of the thousands of prizes in the lottery, and help make the world a better place at the same time, by making a donation to our fundraiser page. The entire Worldbuilders Team will grin like idiots if you do. It’s been a pretty goofy looking office for a while now.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat11 Responses

So, SO Many Signed Books from Authors

Over the weekend, while I was in the middle of a livestream, this year’s fundraiser quietly ticked past $886,000.

That might seem like an oddly specific number to be excited about, but as everyone who happened to be watching me at that particular moment knows, $886,000 is the amount of money we raised in last year’s fundraiser. It’s a big deal for team Worldbuilders that we’ve managed to beat last year’s total.

As I write this, we’re at $910,000. We have a week to go, and it looks like we’re on track to hit a million dollars. In fact, it looks like we might smash through a million and carry on out the other side.

Every year you all impress me with your generosity. And let me assure you, your generosity is having a big impact. You see, Heifer International does a lot more than just give livestock to people.

In Bangladesh, for example, the village of Bhairav is flooded every year, making it impossible for children to travel to schools that are far away.

This problem is bigger than it might look at first glance. You see, if children miss out on a good education, it effectively cripples them for the rest of their lives. Without a good education, you can’t get a good job. Without a good job, you can’t make good money. Without money, your children end up hungry and they can’t get decent medical attention, a good education….

To fix this problem, Heifer teamed up with a local women’s group to open the Bhawanipur education center so children have a school that’s closer to home. But that’s only half the battle. You see, a school needs money to run…

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Heifer worked with the women’s group to set up a rice bank where donations of rice are sold and the money is put into a group fund that covers expenses like rent and the teacher’s salary.

The beauty of this system is that it’s self sustaining. Now that it’s set up, they no longer need Heifer’s support. They’re taking care of themselves.

And that’s part of what our money is doing. We’re not just buying livestock, we’re changing lives. And we’re changing them in a sustainable, long-term way.

* * *

Authors always stomp out in a big way by sending us signed copies of their books, or full series, or sometimes rare books from their own collections.

For every $10 you donate on our team page, you have the chance to win these books as well as thousands of others we’re giving out at the end of the lottery.

  • First edition copies of The Bassoon King. Signed by Rainn Wilson. 5 in the lottery and 1 up for auction.

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We met Rainn Wilson when we were in Los Angeles for Beyond Hunger. He’s a huge supporter of Heifer International, and that’s enough to make him cool in my book. But it turns out he’s also a delightfully gracious person, and offered to send along some signed copies of his new memoir for us to use for the fundraiser.

There are a few in the lottery, but we also have a first edition/first printing signed copy up for auction right here.

  • Copies of Zombie Baseball BeatdownPump SixShip Breaker, and The Water Knife. All signed by Paolo Bacigalupi, and one of each available as an auction.

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Paolo sent us a LOT of books this year, and we were all too happy to put them to good use.

Amanda has a particular fondness for this edition of Ship Breaker, because it was one of the books that Subterranean sent many of during her first year working at Worldbuilders. It’s a beautiful edition, and it’s one of the first books she really lusted after in the fundraiser.

Paolo has signed them all, and in addition to the ones in the lottery, we’re putting one of each title up for auction. If you want Zombie Baseball Beatdown, bid here. If you want Pump Six, bid here. If you want Ship Breaker, bid here, and if you want The Water Knife, bid here.

  • Copies of Windup Girl and Drowned Cities. All signed by Paolo Bacigalupi, limited edition versions up for auction.

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We have a couple of different versions of these up for grabs. There are hardcover and trade copies of Windup Girl and trade copies of Drowned Cities in the lottery, both signed and definitely cool.

But we also got two out of the 300 limited edition Subterranean Press copies for each one, so we’ve got one of each in the lottery, and one of each up for auction. If you want a seriously-collectible version of Windup Girl you can bid here, and you can go here to bid on the limited edition Drowned Cities.

  • Copies of the Forbidden Library series, The Shadow Campaigns Series, and John Golden & The Heroes of Mazaroth. All signed by Django Wexler. Forbidden Library and Shadow Campaigns also up in auction.

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Django Wexler just did an awesome stretch goal for us, sending over a video of him painting 3 random miniatures, including a thief giving someone the finger. In addition to that stretch goal, though, he sent over a lot of books. We put one of each into the lottery, and we have the two series sets up for auction as well.

If you want a signed set of Forbidden Library books, you can bid on those here, and if you want the signed Shadow Campaigns books you can bid here.

  • A copy of Dust and Light, and Sets of the Collegia Magica series. All signed by Carol Berg. 4 sets in the lottery and 1 up for auction.

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“An absolutely gorgeous writer…[who] does incredible worldbuilding.” —C. E. Murphy

Authors are always so generous with their books, and this is another prime example of that. Carol gave us a copy of the first book of her new series, as well as 5 sets of the Collegia Magica series. We’ve put 4 sets into the lottery, and the last one is available for auction right here.

  • Copies of the Delia Martin series, including a coverplate. All signed by Jaime Lee Moyer. One for lottery and a set of ARCs for auction.

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Jaime sent us more than one set of her books, and we put one in the lottery, but when we realized the second set was entirely made up of signed ARCs, we knew we had to auction it off.

  • Copies of Armada audiobook and first edition hardcover. All signed by Ernest Cline. One of each up for auction.

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I have a lot of love for Ernest Cline, and he’s always been a wonderful supporter of the charity. This year he passed along multiple versions of Armada, so we put some in the lottery, but a few up for auction. Because really, who doesn’t love signed first editions?

You can bid on the signed audiobook edition here, and the signed first edition right here.

  • Set of the Lightbringer series. Signed by Brent Weeks.

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This is one of my favorite blurbs I’ve ever seen for a book. Ever.

“Brent Weeks is so good it’s starting to tick me off.”―Peter V. Brett

  • Copies of Servants of the Storm, Hit, and Wake of Vultures, each with a temporary tattoo and bookmark. All signed and doodled by Delilah S. Dawson.

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Let me tell you, Delilah S. Dawson writes a great story if you put her on a stage at the same time as Chuck Wendig, Sam Sykes, and Stephen Blackmore. She’s been a supporter of the charity in a variety of ways, and adding to the lottery is no exception.

“Dawson’s latest is a raw, gritty near-future dystopian tale with noir undertones . . . Thought-provoking, disturbing, and suspenseful.” –Booklist

  • ARCs of A Raven’s Shadow series. Signed by Anthony Ryan.

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“[L]eaves you both satisfied and on the edge of your seat for what happens next. Loved it.”—Tenacious Reader

This is one of a few sets of a series where the author sent us all ARCs. It’s not easy to get your hands on a signed copy of an ARC, so they’re pretty valuable. A lot of times we auction things like this off, but we wanted to give someone the chance to win this coolness in the lottery, where even a donation of $10 gets you the chance to win it.

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This is something extra cool. Not only is it buy Zach Weinersmight of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (which, if you aren’t already familiar with, you should take the time to peruse), but it’s a choose your own adventure book.

Those two things are enough to make it awesome, but this copy in particular is signed, and going into the lottery for anyone to win.

  • William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace. Signed by Ian Doescher.

menace

“Enjoy this tale in iambic pentameter, for it has all the necessary aspects of any Shakespeare play – the betrayal, the hope, the tragedy…This book is necessary for any Star Wars fan’s collection.”—Geeks of Doom

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“…a spectacular novel that pulled me in from the first page and refused to let me go till I turned the last page.” –I Heart Reading

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Michael has been donating a read-and-critique for years now, but this year, in addition to donating TWO critiques (one of which can be won by donating to the WriMos page), Michael also sent along a set of his series for the lottery.

“This is a fast-paced and smooth read from the very beginning, and towards the end Martinez builds up the suspense and urgency like a pro….adventurous, original, and a blast to read.” –Tor.com

  • A set of the Immortal Descendants series. Signed by April White.

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April White has been contributing for a while, including tuckerizations and and special stuff from her desk, but that stuff was all auctioned off, so we’re glad to have a full signed set of her books to put into the lottery.

  • A set of The Others series. Auctions: ARC of Marked in Flesh (to be relased in March) and Murder of Crows audiobook. All signed by Anne Bishop.

bishop

Anne Bishiop sent us signed copies of the first three books The Others series, and we put that into the lottery, but we couldn’t pass up on auctioning the other stuff she sent us. One is a signed audiobook copy of Murder of Crows, the second book, which deserves a loving home. If you can provide that loving home, you should bid right here.

The other is an ARC of Marked in Flesh, which won’t be released until March 8, 2016. If you want to get a sneak peek at the fourth book in The Others series, you should bid on it right here and have months of bragging rights.

  • A set of The Borden Dispatches, I am Princess X, and a limited edition copy of Jacaranda. All signed by Cherie Priest.

priest

Cherie Priest sent over a lot of books this year, and they’re all going into the lottery. There’s a set of The Borden Dispatches, all signed, and then there’s a copy of I am Princess X, a YA cyberthriller mystery. All of these are likely to make anyone happy, but there’s something extra special going in, too.

The copy of Jacaranda she sent along is a Subterranean Press limited edition, which was limited to 250. It’s beautiful, and rather than auctioning off we put it into the lottery, because we think everyone who donates should have the chance to win this beauty.

orullian

We passed Peter’s stretch goal recently, and we’re all eagerly anticipating the video of him singing a Worldbuilders-themed cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. If his past videos are any kind of example, this is going to be amazing.

On top of being a fantastic musician, Peter’s a great author, and he sent us a set of his series, which is in the lottery just for you. Well, possibly for you. If you donate at least $10.

little

This book’s premise was enough to make Amanda interested. In this world, the gods have been imprisoned after they had attempted to enslave all of humankind. The protagonist, Ses, is raised to forge wrightings, the tools that are used to maintain that prison and imbued with soul energy.

Seriously cool. Gregory sent along 4 copies, and we’re putting them all in to the lottery.

fixer

“Seriously, if you’re looking for a solid plot with characters you can relate to, this book is for you. It was easy to read, easy to follow, and even easier to enjoy. Don’t let this one slip through your fingers.” –Amazon.com

  • Copies of The Dragons of Heaven. Signed by Alyc Helms.

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“All the fun of pulp adventure, filtered through a twenty-first century lens. Helms isn’t content simply to play in the genre; she questions it, complicates it, adds layers it didn’t have eighty years ago. Missy’s journey to become Mr. Mystic isn’t the usual heroic training montage – but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.” –Marie Brennan

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Bishop was hugely generous, and matched what his tuckerization this year raised as a donation to Worldbuilders. On top of what was already an awesome donation, he sent us the two books currently in the American Faerie Tale series for us to share with our lovely donors.

  • Copies of Cracking the Sky and Edge of Dark. Signed by Brenda Cooper.

cooper

“Brenda Cooper’s universe is detailed, inventive, and ultimately dazzling.  I will remember Chrystal for a very long time.” –Nancy Kress

  • Auction: First edition copy of Voyage of the Basilisk. Signed by Marie Brennan.

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If you love Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series, this might pique your interest. If you didn’t already know, Marie Brennan started her own team page on the Worldbuilders fundraiser, where you can make contributions, as well as directly buy copies of her books, and books by other authors, all in honor of Worldbuilders.

This particular book, though, since it’s a first edition, first printing, is up for auction for the collectors out there. You can bid on it right here.

  • Copies of Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, a set of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, a set of the Books of the Raksura series, and audiobooks of City of Bones and Wheel of the Infinite. All signed by Martha Wells.

wells

“Wells…merrily ignores genre conventions as she spins an exciting adventure around an alien hero who anyone can identify with.” –Publishers Weekly

Martha Wells does not mess around. She’s got so many different types of books out there, and she sent us a smattering of all of them, including her Star Wars novel, and they’re all signed.

  • Goblin Secrets and Ghoulish Song, and Ambassador and Nomad. All signed by William Alexander.

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“The mythic resonance in Alexander’s storytelling, coupled with his smart, graceful writing, make this novel feel both pleasantly old and thoroughly new.” –Locus Magazine

  • Auction: Your own personalized, annotated copy of any Sherwood Smith book.

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This is a first of its kind for Worldbuidlers. Sherwood Smith contacted us, and she didn’t want to send a specific book. Instead, she wanted us to auction off the opportunity to get any book of hers, signed, doodled, personalized, and annotated as the winner sees fit. Here’s exactly what she said:

I wanted to offer any of my books, which the person could name. I would personalize it for them–maps, drawings, marginal comments, footnotes, whatever they want. Anything over [a final bid of], say, $250 I would handwrite a between-the-scenes story, according to a prompt by the auction winner.

That’s right. Your own, hand-written, bonus scene in the book if it goes for more than $250. This is a huge deal, you guys. If you want to have this for your very own, bid right here, early and often.

  • Auction: ARC of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

gaiman

I’m not sure if I need to tell you how cool this is. It’s an ARC, numbered 18 out of only 500 ever made available. It’s signed by Neil Gaiman. In a cursory search online, I can’t even find one of these available to tell you how valuable it is. Richard Kadrey sent us this from his personal collection, and the whole Worldbuilders team has been coveting it ever since.

There’s already been a lot said about this book, both here on the blog and on Goodreads. Suffice it to say, you should read it if you haven’t. And if collectible rarities are a thing you’re interested in. you should bid on it right here.

  • Numbered, leather-bound 10th Anniversary edition of Elantris. Signed by Brandon Sanderson. One in the lottery and one up for auction.

elantris_long

Brandon Sanderson sent us some seriously impressive editions of Elantris. In honor of the 10th anniversary, he’s had a gorgeous leather-bound edition printed, including a 16-page full-color insert at the beginning of the book highlighting some of the beautiful Elantris covers from around the world.

These are numbered 209 and 210. We put number 209 into the lottery, and number 210 is up for auction right here. If you love beautiful books, this is for you. And honestly, who doesn’t love beautiful books?

* * *

For those of you keeping track at home, this brings us to over 2,000 prizes in the lottery (2015 to be precise), worth about $66,000. The lottery is jam packed with goodies for you to win if you donate $10 or more to the fundraiser, and we have auctions for people who don’t love leaving things to chance.

We’ve got 8 days left, folks, and I’m excited to see how far we can go in the next week.

If you want to do something to help, share us around. Tell our story, point people to the fundraiser page, and explain the impact Heifer International can have. Because the more people who know, the bigger impact we’ll all have.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat13 Responses
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