Alternative Voting for the Discerning Reader

So last week, I wrote a blog about how I had a couple stories eligible for the Hugo awards this year.

As I mentioned then, it’s not the sort of blog I like to write. But still, I wanted to let people know that they could nominate the stories. Y’know, if they were into that sort of thing….

After I posted it, folks chimed in on the comments, saying things like: “Yay!” and “I’d love to vote for you! Where can I do that?”

For those of you who are curious, the details are here.

For those of you who are curious (but too lazy to click a link) the upshot is this: If you’re an attending member of Worldcon, (Or if you attended the convention last year) you can nominate works for the Hugos.  If you’re going to the convention, you can participate in the voting after the nominees are announced. (Or you can buy a supporting membership, which gives you the right to vote.)

This is another reason I’m not fond of writing awards blog like this. It feels too much like I’m saying: “Hey everyone! Want to do a thing? Well… most of you can’t. Sorry.”

So. For those of you who can’t vote are thereby ensaddened, here are a few things you could do instead:

  • Vote Anyway

Here’s what you do: Write my book’s name on a piece of paper, then fold that paper in half and put it into one of those suggestion boxes you see all over the place.

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This approach has a lot to recommend it. First and foremost, you don’t have sign up for any conventions, fill out any annoying forms, click buttons, etc etc….

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What’s more, these boxes are all over the place, so it’s really easy to vote.

Even better, you can vote as many times as you want.

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Best of all, since you’re writing your own ballot, you aren’t limited to just nominating Slow Regard for a Hugo.

Notecard

(Let’s be honest, this is a little boring.)

You’re the boss of this ballot. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste.

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(Better…)

Seriously. Go whole hog. You can vote for *anything.*

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(Yeah. That’s about right.)

Remember folks, if it’s worth doing. It’s worth doing in glitter pen.

Alternately, you can always…

  • Vote for Something Real

I enjoy living in my own little world as much as the next guy. But the sad fact is that my physical body is trapped here on earth.

And here’s the thing, unbeknownst to many of you, the spring primaries are today. These elections have notoriously poor turnouts. What that means is that in practical terms, anyone who votes in them has a disproportionately large effect on the elections in question.

So if y’all did about 20 minutes of googling, then went to vote, it would have a *huge* impact on who is going to be running your local government for the next couple years.

Just sayin.

  • Stars upon Thars

I know what you’re thinking. “But Pat,” you think, “Both of those options require me to leave my house! There are bears outside!”

Believe me, I know. I too am loathe to leave the womblike security of my home.

So if you’re borderline agoraphobic, or just lazy like me, let me reassure you that any author loves reviews just as much as a vote for an award.

The nice thing about giving reviews is that you don’t need to worry about whether a work is eligible for an an award (based on when it was published) or if it’s a novella or a novelette (based on how many words it has.) All that really matters is how you feel about the story.

So. If you wish you could vote for something of mine in the Hugos, but you can’t, feel free to write a few lines of nice review somewhere. Or tell a friend. Or go splash some stars onto it over at Goodreads or Barnes and Noble.

Or don’t. It’s all good with me. I’m just giving you options….

pat

P.S. If anyone does the notecard thing, I’d love to see a picture of your self-made ballot….

Posted in Arts and Crafts, awards | By Pat46 Responses

Eligibility for Awards and Stuff

So. Here’s the thing. I seem to have accidentally written something last year.

When that happens, it sets off this whole weird chain of events. First the thing you write (maybe) gets published. Then (hopefully) people buy and/or read it.

And then, the next year, the thing you wrote becomes eligible for awards.

This is the life cycle of books.

Part of this process traditionally involves me making some sort of announcement to the world about my stuff being eligible for nomination. I say *traditionally* because it’s something that is commonly done among authors. Me personally? I’ve never done it.

This is mostly because it never occurs to me. When The Princess and Mr. Whiffle came out, I didn’t realize it could have been nominated for Best Graphic Story. When I did Storyboard for Geek and Sundry, I didn’t know it was eligible for Best Related Work.

The best example of my not remembering to mention my work is back in 2012 when I wrote a blog asking people to consider nominating Betsy Wollheim (my editor) for Best Long Form Editor.

The good news is that Betsy won that year. The stupid news is that when I wrote that blog post, I didn’t think to mention that The Wise Man’s Fear had been published in the previous year, and folks could have nominated it for Best Novel while they were at it.

So… yeah. As I mentioned in that blog: I’m the king of not having my shit together.

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Also, to be honest, the thought of writing a blog where I ask people to vote for me… it makes me uncomfortable. Not for any good reason. I like reading other author’s posts where they talk about their work. But writing one myself… it’s never been that appealing….

So why am I writing a blog like that now? (In case you hadn’t guessed, that’s what this blog is about. Or it’s what the blog *will* be about, once I get to the point.)

Well, about half a year ago, I was chatting with someone who pays better attention to the publishing world than I do. He mentioned that The Wise Man’s Fear almost made it onto the list of nominated novels that year. I think he said it was something like 8 votes short.

So this year, when I saw people start to make their Hugo eligibility posts, I thought maybe I should mention, in a casual, low-key sort of way, that The Slow Regard of Silent things is eligible for a Hugo award this year.

Slow Regard Cover Art

Here’s the thing. It’s not eligible for Best Novel. For the Hugos and Nebulas and such, a story has to be over 40,000 words to be considered a novel, this book falls short of that.

Also, while it’s full of pictures, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t nominate it for Best Graphic Story, either.

It’s a novella. So if you’re the sort of person who votes in these sorts of things, and if you liked the book, you could nominate it for something like Best Novella.

But wait, there’s more.

I also had a story come out in Rogues anthology last year. It was the story about Bast called “The Lightning Tree.”

But that wasn’t a short story. (Like I was trying to write.) It ended up being a novella too, just barely.

I kinda wish I could do what I’ve seen other people do, post up a list of things I think y’all should consider for your Hugo nominations in all the categories, but the sad truth is, I’m woefully out of date with a lot of my reading. Any of y’all who follow me on Goodreads know that I’m constantly reading and talking about books on there.

The problem is this, most of those books came out years ago. Sometimes decades ago. Only rarely do I end up reading books that came out recently.

For example, it was only last week that I finally got around to reading Raising Steam. Yeah. A book by Terry Pratchett, one of my all-time favorite authors, and I’m only reading it 18 months after it came out.

Wait. I would recommend one thing. Box Trolls should get a nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). That movie was brilliant, and if you haven’t watched it, you’re missing out on one of the good things in life. The folks at Laika are my kind of crazy, and I love them with a passionate love.

Seriously. I just checked, and Box Trolls is out on DVD. You have no excuse. Go watch it.

So… yeah. That’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, there you go. My eligibility blog. Yay. Woo.

For those of you who aren’t able to vote, or who don’t care to vote, or who didn’t like what I wrote last year. He’s a picture of Auri, just so you have something to enjoy in this blog.

auri_above_the_city_by_athenapallas87-d893u5g

(Credit where credit is due.)

Sorry this blog is pretty limp. I’ve been writing it off and on all day, but my heart really hasn’t been in it. I’ll write something fun in the blog soon, but now I should go to bed…

Goodnight all,

pat

Update: Because folks in the comments have been asking how they can nominate/vote in the Hugos, I’m posting up a link here.

The brief version is this: If you’re attending Worldcon this year (or if you attended Worldcon last year) you can nominate works and vote in the awards. Alternately, you can buy a supporting membership, and that also gives you the right to vote.

Posted in awards | By Pat19 Responses

January Novelties: Games, Books, and Valentines

For those of you who don’t know, I’m leaving today to set sail on JoCo Cruise Crazy. While I’m gone, my internet will be spotty, if not downright nonexistent. I have the feeling this will be simultaneously be liberating and terrifying.

I wanted to post up several blogs this last week before I left. But I just haven’t been able to find the time. I’m trying to focus more on my writing these days, and that means other things get pushed into the background.

For some reason, I’m guessing most of you won’t mind this particular change in focus.

That said, there are some things I’m eager to talk about here on the blog. Some little. Some big. Some informational. I’m expecting to have a little time over the next week to finish at least one of those, so stay tuned if you’re curious to see what those are…

* * *

For today, we’ve got a couple new things happening in The Tinker’s Packs. Including the Valentine’s Day cards I mentioned on the blog a while back.

But first, some lovely books, donated by some lovely authors:

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We’re really grateful for these books from Alma Alexander. She even took the time to doodle in every one, so they’re extra special and cool.

“You will never read another shapeshifter book like this. Every surprise will catch you unwary. And, like me, you will find that others will have to pry it out of your fingers.” – Tamora Pierce

We only have a few, so grab yours right here.

Stranger_WithSignatures

Sherwood Smith’s new novel is gorgeous, and she worked with her co-author, Rachel Manija Brown, to send some lovingly doodled copies over to us.

Stranger‘s thrilling depiction of a changed and deadly future landscape filled with bloodthirsty plants and dangerously altered animals drew me in. The plot hooked me with its deft interweaving of messy personal problems and lethal conflicts that threaten the town, while the vivid, likeable characters kept me reading long into the night.” – Kate Elliott

We have ten copies, so if you want one all to yourself, you can grab your own copy right here.

  • Game codes for Torment: Tides of Numenera. Game is not yet released.

Torment

Some of you may remember that I’m writing for a video game. A game that means a lot to the gamer in me.

It’s still in production. I’m still working on my part of the writing. But it’s coming along nicely, and they’ve got a pre-order system set up on their website for when it comes out at the end of the year.

This works a little differently. Since it’s a pre-order of a game that was Kickstarted, you’ll be redeeming a code we send you for enough credits on the Torment website to get either the Digital Download Plus level or the Digital Collector’s Edition level (the second of which has a novella available for immediate download).

So you can preorder the game through us, read some stuff if you’re a Collector’s Edition type of person, and when the game comes out, take a week off work and play it like a crazy person. Not that I condone that sort of behavior, mind you…..

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I’ve talked about the Karen Hallion Calendar a few times, pretty much because it’s just lovely.

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January has come and nearly gone, so we’re decreasing the price of the calendar in The Tinker’s Packs to $10. We won’t be printing more after this, so don’t miss your chance to grab one while there’s still a chance it can help you keep track of your life.

  •  Valentine’s Day Cards

I’ve been wanting to do some Valentine’s day cards for years now. But this is the first time I’ve actually manage to think of it far enough ahead of time to brainstorm some good concepts, spent time designing them, and get them printed at a proper printer.

This is kind of an experiment for us. We’ve never done cards before, so we’re testing the water with these four:

There’s the beautiful art from Karen Hallion featuring Kvothe and Denna.

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It’s blank inside, so you can write whatever your heart desires.

Second we have a card with with one of my favorite pieces of art from The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

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Inside it says, “You are as lovely as the moon.” Which just happens to be, by strange coincidence, seven words.

If those seven words aren’t quite to your liking, our third card gives you more options for The Seven Words that Will Make a Person Love You.

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My favorite is: “I brought back Firefly for another season.”

Finally, the most requested card was this one:

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(Click to Embiggen.)

I remember working on that particular part of book two for days, wondering to myself, “Is this going to make sense to anyone but me?”

Apparently it did, because at last count, I’ve heard of at least a dozen different people using it in their wedding ceremonies.

It’s available over here.

You can buy all of these cards singly, or in three-packs. Or you can get a set of all four cards for those of you who would like one of each.

As always, all proceeds from The Tinker’s Packs goes to Worldbuilders. Making the world a better place.

Wish me luck, folks, I’ve never been on a cruise before, and while I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, I hear they don’t have hardly any snow at all on this cruise. I don’t know how well I’m going to be able to cope with that rapid climate shift.

Posted in Novelties, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat37 Responses

I’m curious….

So… if we were to make some Name of The Wind themed Valentine’s day cards and put them in The Tinker’s Packs, is that something y’all would be interested in?

And if so, what would you like to see on those cards? Quotes? Pictures?

And which quotes? Which pictures?

Curiously yours,

pat

 

Posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat134 Responses

… and I’m back.

Whenever I go a long time without posting on the blog, it feels like I should have something really important to say when I get back. Something newsful. Something portentous.

But I don’t. I’ve just been hanging out, catching up on my sleep, reading about a gajillion books, and spending some time with my family.

Let’s think… what news do I have to share…

Cutie is walking now. And he can say “mam” which is kind of like “mom” but about ten thousand times cuter.

We’ve started the vast packaging that is the prelude to shipping out all the prizes for Worldbuilders this year.

packages

There’s a *lot* of packages this year. A super lot….

And… that’s it. I’m just trying to remember what it’s like to have a normal life again, where I get up, spend time with my family, and get writing done every day.

It’s not a bad time. But it just doesn’t make for great stories. In a book, this is space of time that I would gloss over by saying something like, “It took me about a month to get my life straightened out after Worldbuilders…”

But if you’re looking for news of a smaller, more comfortable sort of the kind I usually post up under the hashtag #OotSays, here’s a little story.

*     *     *

Last night at bedtime, I’m reading to Oot. Instead of the two chapter books we’re reading: On the Shores of Silver Lake (With me) and Mary Poppins (With his mom) he wants a picture book, one of Richard Scarry’s.

I’ve read it before, and I don’t deal well with boredom. So:

Me: Do you know why they call it a library?

Oot: No.

Me: Because every book has one lie hidden in it. It’s right in the name: Lie-brary.

From where she’s laying in bed, I feel Sarah suddenly become alert.

Oot: What does ‘brary’ mean?

Me: It’s called that because “Brary” was the name of the first person who ever built one.

Sarah lifts up her head and gives me a scowl. That’s my payoff right there. I only do these things when she’s around. Ever since Oot was little that’s been true. It’s no fun giving an pornographic ad-lib reading of Fox in Socks to a 5 month old if there isn’t an adult around to be horrified about it.

Oot, however, is his father’s son. Which means he has a finely-tuned bullshit detector. He gives me a bit of a narrow-eyed look.

Me: I’m just teasing you. It’s a joke. It’s called a library because “Librum” is an old word for book. Libr-ary.

Oot’s face light up, and he asks me to make up jokes for all the other pictures in the book, which I happily do.

More news and musings soon,

pat

Posted in Oot | By Pat43 Responses

The Final Day: Wherein I Kiss a Llama

Over the weekend, Worldbuilders passed $681,000 in donations.

This might seem like an odd benchmark to get excited about. But $681,000 is how much money we raised last year. Passing that is a big deal for us, especially considering that we moved our big event much earlier in the year, and cut the time of the fundraiser in half.

Honestly? I was worried we wouldn’t make it. But we did. In fact, as you can see from our thermometer, we’ve rocketed far past it. As I write this, we are just about to crest over $750,000, and we still have a full day to go. Three quarters of a million dollars.

Try saying that to yourself: “We’ve raised three quarters of a million dollars for Heifer International.” It has a nice sound, doesn’t it?

Because of this, on Sunday, I went looking for a llama to kiss….

*     *     *

That’s the promise I made at the beginning of the fundraiser: if we beat last year’s total, I’d kiss whatever Heifer animal people voted for. I thought “goat” was going to be a shoe-in. But I realize now I was being hopelessly naive.

animal kiss final

It’s harder than you might think to find a llama to kiss. There are a few at nearby farms, but when we ask people if I can come kiss them, they tend to say things like: “You realize a llama will kick a hole straight through you, right?” or “Yeaaaah… Our llama isn’t really into that.” or “Son, what the hell is wrong with you?”

Then we found a place up in the north woods of Wisconsin. A Bed & Breakfast that specializes in Llama Kisses. When I heard the name of it, I knew we’d found the right place: Storybook Farm.

So I did what I normally do in these situations: I screwed things up. I was so busy trying to spread the word about the fundraiser that I didn’t call them until Sunday around 1:00 in the afternoon. That’s when I found out that they like people to make appointments *before* coming out to their place, y’know, like everyone does in civilized society.

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “This is completely my fault. But this is for a fundraiser. And its ending tomorrow. And I promised people. Is there any way I could make it worth your while to fit this in today?”

They said it was okay, but I felt like an ass.

So I get in my car and start to drive the 120+ miles farther up into the northern woods of Wisconsin. The temperature was at that perfect temperature where it’s warm enough for fog, but still cold enough for water to freeze on the roads.

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(Actual footage.)

It was a long drive.

When I got there, Jim and Bonnie came out to meet me. They were kind and gracious despite the fact that I’d rudely intruded on their Sunday. They didn’t understand why I was there, so I explained about Heifer International and what we were doing with Worldbuilders.

Then I got to meet some animals. I knew I was among friends when they introduced me to Tumnus the Goat.

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And there were Llamas there too. Of course.

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I think the Llama on the right is Congo. We got to be good friends.

I don’t want to get a reputation as a player, but I will say that several of the llamas were all up ons. I think it might have been the beard.

Here’s the thing. The video is fun. I had fun kissing the llamas, which I have to say are actually really, really pretty creatures. (Don’t make this weird.)

But that isn’t the point of this story. That’s just the plot of the story. The point is what happened next.

The owners of the place, Jim and Bonnie, spent an hour out in the muddy field with me, helping me out. Introducing me to the llamas. Bonnie got the Santa hat for me to wear. Jim engaged in llama distraction when it was needed and gave me the grain I used to tempt them into kissing me. (Don’t judge.) Bonnie worked the camera.

They spent an hour out in the freezing drizzle on their Sunday, helping me out. A Sunday I had rudely interrupted.

At the end of it. I tried to pay them. But they wouldn’t take my money. I explained that I knew their time was valuable, and that they had helped me keep a promise, and that’s really important to me. But they wouldn’t take my money. By that point I’d chatted with them for a while and learned that their house had burned down a while back and they were still recovering from that. I said I knew that they were running a business, and I was more than happy to…

But no. They just wouldn’t. “Take that money and buy a goat for someone,” Bonnie said.

That’s the point of the story, folks. People are good.

*     *     *

A couple days ago, Sarah made the questionable choice of reading an entire toy catalog to Oot. He showed it to me when I came home, all excited. He had circled about twenty things in it with a red pen, and explained each of them to me. There were two marble mazes. A laser game. A skeleton with removable organs. A fossil kit….

Score one for rampant consumerism.

Later on, he came into my office, clutching the magazine. He started to explain the items to me again, focusing especially on the little terrarium that is supposed to grow plants that look like brains and eyeballs, as well as carnivorous plants (A pitcher plant, I’m guessing from the illustration) and a plant that moves (A sensitive fern.)

“I remember these,” I said, interrupting him gently. “You showed this to me last night.”

“Oh yeah,” he said. “But I was just thinking that you could order all of these on your computer. Not all at once,” he said quickly. “You could do some e-mail. Then order one. Then do some more e-mail. And then order one.”

It breaks my heart that he knows how busy I am. That he feels like he has to fit himself in between my e-mails. I’ve been neglecting him during the fundraiser. today I kissed a llama more than I kissed him. That’s wrong. I’m going to start making that up to him starting tomorrow.

“Those are pretty cool,” I said to him, then added. “Did you know that some families don’t have very much money? There are some families that are so poor that the parents can’t afford to buy any toys at all for their children for Christmas?”

I was going to lead him down the garden path. Explain the concept of something like “Toys for Tots” to him. Make a plan with him about how we could go out together and buy toys for other families.

But he didn’t even give me the chance. He started chattering on almost as soon as I’d finished. “Oh,” he said. “Well if you could buy this one thing for me,” he pointed to the terrarium. “Then we could give all of those other toys to other kids.”

That was it. There was no hesitation. He didn’t have to think it through. I could see his face when I explained that some kids didn’t have toys. It was confusing to him. His is expression said the five-year-old equivalent of “Some kids have no toys? Seriously? What the Actual Fuck?”

So they should get all these other things. He was fine with just one present.

He’s my sweet boy. He’s good. That’s the moral of the story here. He gets it. It’s just sharing. It’s simple.

*     *     *

I’ve been seeing this happen all over the place during the fundraiser. I’m guessing you’ve seen a lot of it too….

For example, since Worldbuilders started early this year, some people were unable to participate. But regular blog commenters dorwinrin, Kthaeh, and Karissima got in contact with us, and set up a donation in honor of a commenter they saw who said they couldn’t kick anything in this year.

Here’s a comment someone made on the blog early on in the fundraiser:

“I’m pretty poor, but my wife and I have decided to refrain from ordering any takeout this month and put the resultant savings into Worldbuilders. I always forgot to donate in past years, but not this time!”

 But probably my favorite success story of the fundraiser is this one:

Charlotte's Page 12.14

Those of you who have been following the blog closely should recognize Charlotte.  Last week on the blog I mentioned that she’d shot a video and started her own donation page as part of our Worldbuilders fundraiser. She wanted to raise $500 for a Heifer, and so far people have chipped in enough money that she’s up in the top 5 supporting fundraisers now:

top fundrasiers 12.14

It looks like she’s going to overtake the NaNoWriMo page soon….

On her page, folks have left comments like this:

Ruth Hallows

One of my favorite new things about Heifer’s new donation platform is the ability of people to make their own pages in support of our team. That means groups can get together and fundraise for Worldbuidlers while letting their particular geek flags fly. For example, the Wayward Backers is a group of people who banded together on facebook after they got to know each other during my first kickstarter campaign.

And there are warm fuzzies galore in the comments, like this one from the WriMos page:

“I recently got a scholarship out of nowhere, and I wanted to pay it forward somehow. I have been reading Pat’s blog for years, so this was perfect.”

Or these, from the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club:

“I’ve wanted to donate for several years but haven’t been able to. This year we stumbled on a little unexpected income and decided this was the best use for it.”

“My grandmother passed away this week. She was a very charitable person. In her honor, I’d love to offer what little support I can muster at the moment to give to this wonderful organization.”

Or Team Nerdfighteria:

“This is my fourth year donating. The first year, a goat. Every subsequent year, $250-300. I’m truly happy that, despite everything, I’m able to scrape together a decent amount of money to donate to the wonderful cause that is Heifer. Thanks Pat (and Amanda, and all the other helpers, donators, etc.) for publicizing and pushing this. I probably wouldn’t have started giving to charities if not for Worldbuilders. Thank you so much for encouraging me to be a positive force in the world.”

*     *     *

I could go on and on. But I’ll stop. Suffice to say that you’ve all impressed me yet again.

Let me leave you with a picture.

A couple days ago we took a picture of all the prizes we’re giving away for this year’s fundraiser. We had to do it as a panoramic, because… well… you can see why.

Prize Wall - all of it

Note that this picture doesn’t even include the 1000+ Mayfair games we’re giving away.

Last year we gave away about 1100 prizes. This year we giving away more than 2500. And many of those prizes contain multiple books and/or games. That means your odds of winning are really ridiculously good this year.

If you donate enough for honeybees ($30) you’ve got a 12% chance of winning something. Give a family a goat ($120) you’ve got a better than 40% chance of winning. Enough for a well that provides clean water ($300) and you’re up at 72%.

Prizes include signed and rare books, all manner of games, and, of course, the three favors from me….

Today’s your last chance to jump in. Tomorrow will be too late.

Here’s the link to donate.

Don’t miss it.

Posted in Oot, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat62 Responses

Games, Books, and a Video from Neil Gaiman

On Wednesday afternoon, Worldbuilders crossed the $600,000 mark on our fundraiser.

On Wednesday night, this happened:

neil jabberwocky tweets(There are some days I almost believe I’m one of the cool kids.)

Then, early yesterday morning, this happened:

Thank you, everyone for donating.

Thank you Neil for being your lovely, generous, kindhearted self.

We’ve got four days left in this year’s fundraiser, where every $10 you donate to Heifer International on our team page gives you the chance to win thousands of cool books and games in our lottery. (You can calculate the exact odds of winning something using the widget above.)

Now, on to today’s additions to the fundraiser. First the games:

* * *

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Munchkin is all of the fun of playing D&D with a lot more snark, sarcasm, and backstabbing. Plus, it’s a lot simpler, and you get to fight the Dread Gazebo.

If you’ve never played Munchkin, you really really should. These are all going into the lottery, so if you choose to receive games as a prize option when you donate, you might just get the chance.

  • Auction: Munchkin Game with signed Luggage Card

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In case you already know and love Munchkin, let’s sweeten the deal by adding the rare promotional Luggage card, signed and doodled by John Kovalic and signed by Steve Jackson. The Luggage, from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, is a semi-intelligent trunk with lots of little feet that acts as both luggage and bodyguard for the clueless, hapless, and a few other -lesses tourist, Twoflower. Twoflower eventually gives it to Rincewind, and along those lines, the Luggage in Munchkin will bounce from player to player depending on dice rolls.

Of course, just like in the book, you can never really get rid of it.

The Luggage card is *very* rare, so we’re auctioning it off with a signed copy of the game over here.

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This game is a nice twist to your traditional deck building game. In addition to buying and using new cards, the segments that make up the game board get removed from one side and added to the other during play, giving a videogame-like side scrolling feel, and challenging players to remain aware of things that had been visible and aren’t any longer.

Coolest thing of all? This game isn’t even out yet, so if you donate and win it in the lottery, you’ll be able to taunt your friends.

  • Auction: Hardcover copy of Magic the Gathering: Complete Collection. Signed by Matt Forbeck.

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This book contains 16 issues of the IDW “Dack Fayden” comic series, and it’s signed by Matt Forbeck with a sweet Worldbuilders inscription to boot. If you’re even a little into MTG worldbuilding, this is right up your alley.

You know you want it, so go bid on it here.

  • Copies of  Quarantine, including the First Aid Expansion. Signed by Mark Klassen.

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While the gameplay and rules are simple, this game will never be played the same way twice. Players are trying to build the biggest and most efficient hospital while taking care of the patients as they arrive and preventing those patients from spreading disease through the hospital.

Hospitals are built with an interesting “price-drafting” mechanic that requires some serious strategy to get the rooms you want for a reasonable price without losing them to the other players.

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Level 99 games is one of our newest sponsors, and we’re excited to have them. This game is a bit of a rarity as it’s two gaming elements I’ve never seen combined before. It’s a character-driven game with a physical element, so dexterity actually plays a part in your success.

All of these are going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win a copy.

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Here we have a real-time card game that simulates a chaotic bar brawl. It’s a simple game to pick up, but can be played as strategically or casually as the group wants. It’s all the fun of a bar fight without having to worry about the bloody knuckles! These are going into the lottery as well….

  • Auction: Full Name of the Wind Poker Box Set: 2 card covers, all 3 playing card decks, 300 poker chips, and a signed bookplate, all in a heavy wooden display case.

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This was a Kickstarter-exclusive item, so there’s nowhere to get them any more. Well… except from me, because I bought a few extras and hoarded them.

We put a few into our IndieGoGo fundraiser over the summer, where they sold out really quickly for 600 bucks each. Since then we’ve had more than a couple people come asking if there’s any other way they can get hold of one.

To see more detailed pictures of my chips, box, and other art, you can head over here.

  • Auction: Rare Tyranny of Dragons Pinny Arcade Pin.

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Some events at PAX will get you cool, rare pins. This one is from 2014. You got one if you attended the live show of Acquisitions Incorporated. I traded to get an extra one, and we’re auctioning it off over here.

  • A full set of Cards Against Humanity.

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I kind of assume all of you already know about CAH. It’s described as “A party game for horrible people” and that really says it all. I’ve played this game many, many times, always with horrifying and hilarious results.

What some folks don’t know is that folks at CAH are as lovely as their game is fun and horrible. They do a lot of charitable work, and happily donated two full sets of their game to us this year. (The base game, expansions 1-5, the 90′s pack, the 2012 and the 2013 holiday packs, and The Bigger Blacker Box.)

Due to the nature of this game… we’re probably going to call the winner before we put it in the mail. If you’ve played it, you know why.

  • Auction: The full set of CAH, including rare add-on packs and pins.

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This set has everything above, *plus* four of the rare, hard-to-come by expansion packs that only tend to get handed out at special events.

As an added bonus, I’m throwing in my own personal set of the pins they gave away at PAX Prime this year. You won’t see many of those around….

Head over here for more details, or to place your bids.

And now some lovely books. Some of these are going up for auction, but many of them are going into the lottery instead where if you donate, you can win them.

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I am a big fan of  The Oatmeal’s work. And if you’re not, you should be.

This year The Oatmeal (Matt) donated a bunch of stuff to the fundraiser, so we’re putting 4 of his books together in a bundle for you in the lottery.

The books are 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, How to Tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, and My Dog: The Paradox.

With titles like that, how could you *not* be intrigued?

  • A bundle of coolness from The Oatmeal: I <3 Tesla mug, I <3 Tesla Pin, and a rare signed original printing of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth.

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We’ve also got a different Oatmeal bundle going into the lottery that has a mug, pin, and the much-more rare edition of Punch a Dolphin. This edition was printed before The Oatmeal started to make it big, so it’s a bit of a collector’s item.

One of these is going to a lucky winner in the lottery, but we’re putting a second set up for auction over here for those of you who want to get a hold of this rare early version of his book

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This YA novel won the 2012 Young Writers Prize. It’s an up and comer, and doing pretty well for itself. Plus, it’s written by a long time fan, our very own Captain Joe, winner of the previous photo contest and all-around awesome person.

Joe also pitched in a handmade quill from his desk, which is up for auction, but these copies of his book are going into the lottery.

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This is a great steampunk series, and Liesel was kind enough to send a signed ARC of the first book for the fundraiser. It’d be awesome to receive if you’ve never read it before, or if you’re a huge fan and want to start a collection, so we’ve got it in the lottery for you.

“Schwarz’s debut blossoms with possibilities for a future hinging on the brave and determined Elle, who both loves science and wields Light’s magic” – Publishers Weekly

  • Two Hundred and  Twenty-One Baker Streets: An Anthology of Holmesian Tales Across Time and Space. Signed by Jamie Wyman.

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Here’s a fun little anthology, which allowed authors to write about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in any time or place they’d like. There are stories all over the world, written from all different points of view, and lots of other twists you wouldn’t expect.

  • Auction: Unveiled. Signed by Jamie Wyman and comes with two bookmarks and two challenge coins.

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This is a signed copy of book 2 in Jamie’s Etudes in C# series, and comes with a couple of thematically-appropriate challenge coins..

“Quirky, unique, fast-paced, and with enough geek homages to make me feel at home, it’s a Puck-load of fun.” – Delilah S. Dawson

If you want to bid on the coolness, you can do so over here.

  • A set of The Portals Series: Heart of Briar and Soul of Fire. Both signed by Laura Anne Gilman.

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Laura Anne Gilman is a longtime supporter of Worldbuilders, so we’re happy to be putting her books into the lottery. As it is, her Deadline Cat is up for auction for those of you who love her work and need a little help dealing with deadlines of your own.

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Charitable work seems to come pretty naturally for Eric. All of the royalties he receives from sales of this book are donated to his local food bank. He inscribed these for Worldbuilders, so you’ll be reminded of both charitable actions. All it takes for the chance is your own $10 charitable donation

  • Copies of Little Brother. Signed and inscribed by Cory Doctorow.

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I want to gush about this book, but Neil Gaiman has written one of the most beautiful blurbs for it I’ve ever seen.

“A wonderful, important book…I’d recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I’ve read this year, and I’d want to get it into the hands of as many smart thirteen-year-olds, male and female, as I can. Because I think it’ll change lives.  Because some kids, maybe just a few, won’t be the same after they’ve read it. Maybe they’ll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it’ll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they’ll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they’ll want to open their computer and see what’s in there. I don’t know. It made me want to be thirteen again right now, and reading it for the first time.” – Neil Gaiman.

They’re all in the lottery, to spread the love as much as possible.

  • A copy of Stardust. Signed and doodled by Neil Gaiman.

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This copy of Stardust was donated by some awesome fans. Even if you don’t win the Fabled Stardust ARC, you might get your hands on this awesome-and-doodled copy, since it’s in the lottery as well.

  • Copies of Angels & Visitations. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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We’re tossing one of these awesome, illustrated collections of short stories into the lottery.

This collection has some of Gaiman’s earliest writing in it.  It was published before American GodsNeverwhere, even Smoke and Mirrors, and it was published by Dreamhaven. This is the only place you can find some of his non-fiction from the late 80s and early 90s.

There’s also a copy up for auction, since these are fairly collectible. If you want it, you can bid here.

  • Sets of novellas: Emperor’s Soul and limited edition Legion. Both signed by Brandon Sanderson.

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Brandon’s novellas are great, and these are both stand-alone or first in a series. Legion is one of only 1000 limited editions from Subterranean Press, as well, so it’s a great kit for reading up on some Sanderson.

We’ve also got a set up for auction, so you can bid on those over here.

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Many of you know about Malala Yousafzai already, but for those who don’t: she has been championing women’s rights, human rights, and education since she was 11 years old, writing blogs and giving interviews  She rose to worldwide fame after an assassination attempt in 2012 that left her in critical condition.

After she recovered, she went back to doing her thing again, except twice as hard as before.

She is a bit of a hero of mine. Someone shot her in the head for speaking out, and she got back up and kept trying to change the world.

I’m happy to say that Ms. Yousafzai collected her first Nobel prize just last Wednesday. We’re auctioning off a signed, first edition copy of her book over here.

*     *     *

Ending this blog with Malala Yousafzai, makes me realize I haven’t talked about one of my favorite things that Heifer does.

Heifer International - Bangladesh. January 2013. Increasing Community Capacity for Holistic Development (ICCHD) Project –I  (Project # 22-0620-08).  Bangladesh, which is a county about the size of Iowa, has around 162 million people.  Nearly 43 percent o

Heifer helps young girls get to go to school.

If your family is poor enough that food is hard to come by, you can’t even consider paying for school fees and books. If a family can only afford to send one child to school, they will almost always choose a boy over a girl. In some places, schooling isn’t even considered for women.

And personally, I think that sucks. If you haven’t noticed, most of the Worldbuilders team is composed of women, and the only reason this whole shindig happens is because of them. They’ve turned this fundraiser from a hot mess of catastrophe-curve enthusiasm into something that works. I never could do this without them.

I think about Malala, and my sister, and Charlotte from the video I posted in yesterday’s blog. I think about my mom. I wish you all could have met her. She remains one of the most generous, kind, and *capable* people I’ve ever known….

And then I think: what would these women have been like if they’d been denied an education because of prejudice or poverty?

Honestly? It horrifies me to think of it. I don’t want to live in that world. Beyond that, I wouldn’t be the person I am if my mother hadn’t raised me. And she wouldn’t have grown into the person she was if she’d never had the chance to go to school.

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Heifer International has long understood that the best way to create sustainable growth is through teaching, and for $275, you can send a young girl to school. $275 dollars gives gives a family the tools, livestock, and training so that they can generate enough income to pay for their daughter’s school fees and supplies.

And that’s not just for a year of school. What Heifer provides a family doesn’t just last, it grows. Chickens produce more chickens. Goats produce more goats. That means that all the years and years to come that family will have the money to pay for tuition, books, paper and uniforms. That one time donation sends a girl to school forever.

Remember Malala Yousafzai up there? One of the reasons someone tried to kill her is because her family runs a chain of schools in a region that frowns on the education of women. Hell, that wins the award for my biggest understatement ever. People went looking for her and shot her in the head so they could send the clear message that women shouldn’t be educated.

Heifer International is changing those attitudes.

With the help of Heifer’s education programs, we’re working to change how people view the value of education for everyone. Ms. Yousafzai is fighting for an important cause. And I’m proud to be part of that fight.

You can be part of it too.

Donate here.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat7 Responses
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