Auri, Art, and Something New….

As I type this, Worldbuilders has raised $287,000 dollars. We shot past the $250K stretch goal like it was nobody’s business, and that means tonight, (Wednesday the 26th) Nate Taylor and I will be going a Google Hangout taking about the art in The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

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The hangout will be starting at 7:30 central time, and will last for about an hour. Nate and I will answer questions, talk about how we worked together to come up with the pictures, and show off some of the images that never made it into the book.

Amanda has set up two of these hangouts for the fundraiser, which means she’s pretty much a professional hang-outer. It also means we already have a link you can follow right now so when the hangout starts, you’ll already be there.

http://youtu.be/_FOex40bR1Q

Yeah. That’s right. I just put a link in the text of the link that it’s a link to. That’s how I roll. Extra meta.

What I recommend you do is open a window on your computer right now and turn the volume on your computer up. Then when we start the hangout tonight you’ll freak the hell out because you’ll hear my voice coming out of nowhere and assume that I’m a maniac who has broken into your house.

You can show up and ask your questions in the hangout, or on twitter using the #GeeksDoingGood hashtag. Or, if you’re not into all the space age tech, you can just leave a question down in the comments at the bottom of the blog. That’s fine too.

* * *

As a bit of a teaser for our upcoming Black Friday sale, we’re doing something we’ve never done before in the Tinker’s Packs. Something we’ve never been *able* to do in the Tinker’s Packs because our previous website couldn’t handle it.

We’re selling computer games. Or rather, the steam codes for computer games.

This is kind of exciting for me because I know both of these companies, and I know they make quality games. And if there’s one thing better than sharing things I love with other people, it’s sharing things I love while making the world a better place.

Let’s do a picture here. I’ve been having the kind of day where I need to look at a happy kid to remind myself why we’re doing this.

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There. That’s what this is all about.

I don’t want to get all heavy here in the middle of my charity post. But I’ll be honest with y’all. These last couple weeks have been hard for me. Sometimes it just feels like everything in the world is spiraling into shit. Politicians are awful. Corporations are worse. Our justice system seems to be irrevocably fucked. Cash register receipts are giving us cancer and the oceans are poisoned with our plastics.

There’s just so much of it, all the time, and I can’t fix it. All this shit is so wrong and it’s just so fucking *big* and I can’t do anything about it.

There is a word: “Weltschmerz.” I’ve heard it defined as “the despair we feel when the world that is, is not the world we wish it would be.”

I feel this way all the time. I am so endlessly angry and disappointed in the world. If people really understood how constantly, incessantly furious I am, nobody would ever dare come within arm’s reach of me.

That’s why I run Worldbuilders. Because the world isn’t what I want it to be. And I can’t fix it all, but if I don’t do something I’ll either start drinking or simply rage until there’s nothing left of me but ashes.

I can’t fix it all. But I can do this.

Lugazi Dioces Heifer Project (21-0616-01)

There. That’s what I’m about. That little guy is so fucking excited because he has clean water to drink.  That I can do.

So thanks for coming along with me, folks. I do this to make the world a better place, but the fact that so many of you come with me on the ride, the fact that you are all so generous with your help. It makes me feel like there’s hope for humanity. And hope is in such short supply these days.

Okay. Sorry about that. Like I said, it’s been a rough couple of days.

Enough digression. Quick link to the donation page, then on to games.

*     *     *

First let me talk about Hidden Path Entertainment.

Two years ago, I was on a panel out at PAX, titled something like “Narrative in Gaming.” I had a ton of fun because everyone else on the panel wrote games, and I was just a novel-type author. Since I wasn’t an expert, I just got to speak as a storyteller and someone who has been playing games for about 30 years.

Which mean I mostly made jokes and shot my mouth off a lot. I probably sounded like a cross between a mad prophet and that angry old man who shouts at kid to get off his yard. “Story is King! Today’s games don’t give people the chance to fail! Narrative engagement is the Holy Grail! I spent two years trying to solve Zork III! Uphill! In three feet of snow!”

At one point, a member of the audience asked, “Is narrative important for a good game?” And I jumped in quickly with a “Absolutely not!”

Everyone was pretty surprised, because I was the story guy on the panel.

“Tower defense games.” I said. “Vastly entertaining. No narrative.”

“What about Defense Grid?” someone asked. “That’s great tower defense game and it has a great narrative too.”

“What?” I said. “Seriously?”

That was the one game that I bothered tracking down at the convention, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were fans of my work. I admitted that I have a strange love for tower defense, and one of them gave me an access code for their game.

Simply said, I loved it.

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Fast forward to now. Hidden Path has given us a bunch of codes for this, their first Defense Grid game. I have to say. I’m a bit of a connoisseur of this type of game. To say that this is the best tower defense I’ve ever played doesn’t even do it justice. It’s like saying Portal is my favorite Jumping game. Doesn’t come close to doing it justice.

Did I just compare this game to Portal? Yes I did. Let me say it more plainly. This is the Portal of Tower Defense games.

And I say that with layered meaning. The game bundle we have available in our store includes a bunch of DLC. And in addition to the extra levels and maps. There’s a special little expansion of the game called the You Monster DLC.

That expansion features GlaDOS from Portal. She effectively takes over your training simulation and starts to screw with you. Changing the rules of the game on ever level. Not playing fair in any way.

I have to say, I thought I was pretty good at the game before that DLC pack. But the truth is, I was cookie dough, after I worked my way through the levels and beat GlaDOS. I was carved out of wood.

Amanda says: “Really? Okay, Pat. You just made your first sale.”

You can head over to the Tinker’s Packs and buy it right now.

Defense Grid 2

After I played the game, I called Hidden Path and gushed about how much I liked it. I must have made an impression, because later on, when they were writing the sequel, they asked me if I’d like to come in and do some work on the game with them.

I really wanted to, but I said no. I was working on novel stuff, and besides, I was already committed to one video game project already. (Torment.)

So I introduce them to Mary Robinette Kowal, because not only is she an amazing writer in her own right, award-winning and more experienced with Sci-Fi than I am. But if they can’t get me, they should get someone who’s better at pretending to be me than I am.

Hidden Path has given us codes for the Steam Special Edition of this game. It comes with a bunch of stuff, including the digital book The Art of Defense Grid 2, the e-book The Making of Defense Grid 2: The Complete Story Behind the Game by Russ Pitts, and “A Matter of Endurance,” a audioplay written by Mary as well, performed by the same actors who voiced the game, including one of my favorite voice actors of all time: Alan Tudyk.

You can head over here to buy your code and all proceeds will go go Worldbuilders.

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The folks over at Hidden Path also sent us download codes for the Early Release of their new game, Windborne. It’s a social sandbox game with quests, exploration, building, and lots of multiplayer options.

I haven’t played it yet, because I just had a book come out, and I’ve been busy running Worldbuilders. But at this point, I’m willing to trust them to produce a good game.

It’s already extremely well received on Steam, and you can be a part of this early access test by buying your copy over here.

Wasteland2_Download

Remember when I mentioned that I was already working on some video game stuff? Well that’s how I know this company. InXile Entertainment is the company that is making Torment, and I’ve been working with them on that for more than a year now, building my companion character and helping write that game.

I’ve been nothing but impressed with them so far. They have a strong focus on storytelling and character, and I’ve already seen them viciously revise the torment storyline once when it wasn’t doing what they wanted. As a hard-core reviser myself, I respect that dedication to the story.

Wasteland 2 is a game that follows in the tradition of the Fallout games. And not just thematically. The first Fallout games were actually put together by people who wanted to write a sequel to the original Wasteland. So Wasteland is actually where Fallout originally drew a chunk of its inspiration.

This game has been a long time coming, and it’s been getting good reviews. I haven’t had a chance to delve into it yet (because writing) But I’ve seen people having fun with it online:


So you can see that these guys have a strong sense of fun as well.

If you want to explore the apocalypse and find your own Wesley doll, you can buy a download code over here.

*     *     *

Tomorrow’s thanksgiving, so we’ve got something a special planned. We’ll be sharing some stories you might be interested in….

And after that we’re having our Black Friday sale in the store.

So stay tuned…

pat

Posted in baby ducks, gaming, Stories about stories., Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat22 Responses

Art Galore

As I type this, our donation total sits at $275,000. Considering that this is only the beginning of our third week, we are absolutely blowing the doors off this year.

So far we’ve talked a lot about the good work Heifer does by supplying animals to families. But we haven’t talked about the fact that Heifer does a lot to improve the lives of women all over the world too.

Promotion of Food Sovereignty Honduras (Project # 23-1502-02) an

Pictured here is Maria Elsa Castellanos Rios, who started the Southern Cashew Enterprise Association in Honduras with the other women who wanted to contribute to the local economy through help from Heifer International.

Heifer knows they need to invest in the entire community, and that means investing in women. According to Economist.com ”In emerging markets, women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their families and communities—which means that investing in women is an investment in our collective future.”

Guys, I hate to break it to you. But our numbers aren’t nearly that good. All the research shows that in a similar situation, men typically reinvest only 30-40% of their earnings in the household.

Because Heifer is playing the long game, looking to make families and communities self-sufficient, independent, and sustainable, Heifer typically works with women. In many communities, they form women’s self-help groups. Later, those groups go on to help other women in other communities. And so on. And so on.

And that’s an awesome thing.

* * *

We’re always happy to feature some of the cool art that comes into the fundraiser. This year we’ve got crafts, original art, and jewelry, along with some more traditional signed prints. They’re all going up for auction for those who will love them, so jump in if you see something you need.

  • Auction: Limited edition 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Signed by all 14 featured authors.

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This calendar features the authors Holly Black, Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, Tessa Gratton, Lauren Kate, Gregory Maguire, Brandon Mull, Lauren Oliver, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Maggie Stiefvater, Tad Williams, and Brenna Yovanoff. There were only 100 of these signed callendars produced, so they’re are extremely limited and rare.

If you want one of these collectors items, head over here and bid.

  • Auction: A full set of 8×10 prints from the 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Each signed by the author.

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We also have a full set of the photo prints from the calendar. Each photo is signed by its author (or authors, in the case of Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton).

These are printed on high quality photo paper, and the full bundle of 12 photos can be yours if you bid over here.

If you’d rather only have one or two of these pictures, you can buy them individually over in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Auction: A Kingkiller Chronicle sterling silver charm bracelet. Featuring over 40 charms.

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(Click to embiggen. Seriously.)

A fan named Noël spent some serious time and money (and time, did we mention that?) assembling so much Kingkiller symbolism your head will spin. There are over 40 charms on this sterling silver bracelet, most of them are sterling as well, a few are silver plate, and some of them are pewter.

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(This is only about a *third* of the charms. Seriously.)

The list of all of the charms is viewable on the auction, and honestly? It’s a little staggering. Even if you’re not looking to bid, you should head over o the auction and check out some of the other pictures we have of this truly one-of-a-kind piece of art.

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This was donated by Neil for our IndieGoGo fundraiser this summer, and the person who purchased it immediately emailed us and said to keep it and use it for another fundraiser. I don’t know what it is with Neil Gaiman’s stuff, but it has a tendency to come back to us over and over again

There were only 750 of this poster produced, and this one is number 210. If you want it, head over here and bid on it.

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Priscilla Spencer is very talented at drawing maps, and she lovingly donated this one to us. If you’re at all a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles, then you’ll know how nice it’d be to have this map nearby while reading Trapped. Plus, it’s really beautiful.

If you want this all for your own, bid here.

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Priscilla donated three maps total, and the second is the map from Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series. It has beautiful detail, including detailed sketches of monsters and other creatures.

If you’re a big geeky fan for Myke Cole and/or Priscilla, you should probably bid on this over here.

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Our third map from Priscilla is a beautifully detailed depiction of Alera from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera.

If you want this one, be sure to bid on it.

  • Auction: A copy of The Fairy-Tale Princess by Wendy Jones. Signed by illustrator Su Blackwell.

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This is a beautiful, hardcover book that collects seven classic fairy tales. Beyond the stories, though, is the detailed papercut sculptures that are the illustrations.

This book deserves a loving home. If you want that home to be yours, bid here.

  • Auction: Set of Copper Goat Paperweights from Esoteric Garage.

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Tait from Esoteric Garage has sent over a lot of copper goodies over the years, and this year’s donation is a set of hefty copper goats based on the Worldbuilders logo. There’s a large goat as well as two smaller ones, and they come with a signed card of authenticity from Tait.

If you want your own little piece of Worldbuilders ephemera, bid over here.

  • Auction: Original Iron Woman mixed-media artwork. Signed by Karen Hallion.

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Karen Hallion gave us the art behind our beautiful calendar this year, and she’s incredibly well known for her princess/police box mashups. But she does a lot more than that, including this Iron Woman series, where she pens and paints a steampunk character over the pages of a book.

The series is amazing, and Brett in particular is hoping our next calendar can feature this art. This is the original, hand drawn-and-painted art, on a wood panel. If you want your hands on this beautiful piece, bid on it here.

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Last year, actor Bill Heck donated two premium seat tickets to see Cabaret, and he’s happily done so again. The show stars Bill Heck, Alan Cumming, and Emma Stone in the leading roles, and you’ll get an exclusive backstage tour after the fact, maybe even a drink or two with Bill afterwards.

If you want this incredible experience, bid on it over here.

* * *

There’s some seriously cool stuff up for auction now, and if you look at the Worldbuilders eBay page you’ll even get a sneak peek of some items we haven’t even announced on the blog yet.

If you’re not into auctions, remember that if you donate directly to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you’re automatically entered into our prize drawing where you can win over $100,000 worth of cool swag, books, and games.

We’ve got more awesome stuff going up in the store tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat17 Responses

Billions of Books from Del Rey

Well, okay. I was engaging in a little hyperbole there. They didn’t donate a billion books. Which is actually probably a good thing. We wouldn’t have room for a billion books here at Worldbuilders HQ. But all exaggeration aside, Del Rey has sent along a marvelous lot of books.

And while there are a few auctions in here, the vast majority of these are going into our lottery where anyone can win them so long as they donate at least 10 dollars on the Worldbuilders team page. (Though if you donate more, you have a better chance of winning, of course.)

Have I shown you all the books and games on our donation wall yet? I don’t think I have:

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These are just *some* of the books we’re giving away right now. We’re barely halfway through the fundraiser, and we already have more than $70,000 dollars worth of books,  games, and, qua-magical items that we’re giving away.

That means when you donate to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you’re not just making the world a better place. You’re

On to the show:

  • 12 copies of Red Rising by Pierce Brown. 2 of them are first edition, hardcover copies.

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This has become a bit of a favorite in the office after Nicole evangelized about it for months. Del Rey donated 10 trade paperback copies, as well as a couple of posh, first edition hardcover copies. They’re all in the lottery where anyone can win them.

  • Auction: First edition copy of Red Rising. Signed by Pierce Brown.

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Del Rey also sent over a signed first edition hardcover of the book, so we thought it was only appropriate to throw it up in an auction so that someone who really wants it can bid on it over here.

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I’m completely baffled by Kevin’s upcoming stretch goal to dance to Thriller with a real dance troupe. Nothing would make me happier than to reach it, and if a few folks helped us get there and put their names in to win one of his books, that’d be even better.

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“This book has just about everything: magic, machines, mystery, mayhem, and all the danger one expects when people’s loves and fears collide. I can’t wait to return to the world of Evelina Cooper!” – Kevin Hearne

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Peter’s been a supporter of Worldbuilders for a long time, kicking in books of his own since the second year of the fundraiser, and participating in one of our more horrifying stretch goals last year. On top of all of that, his books are good, so we’re happy to have copies from the publisher to give away.

“An absolute masterpiece . . . The novel [is] literally ‘unputdownable,’ and certainly deserves to be the next Big Thing in dark fantasy.” – HorrorScope

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“Hamilton’s exhilarating new opus proves that ‘intelligent space opera’ isn’t an oxymoron… Anyone who begins this one, however, probably won’t be able to put it down.” – Publishers Weekly

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“Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life.” – Booklist

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“Well-crafted storytelling . . . hard to put down.” – SF Site

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“This intricately layered adventure breathes realism and overshadowing menace into ancient mythic archetypes, exposing the pain and wonder inherent in magic and the mingled hope and cynicism of modern fantasy” – Publishers Weekly

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“The story leaps into immediate action like Alix going after an adversary and maintains its breakneck pace to the very end, with blood dripping from every page.” – Publishers Weekly

  • 10 copies of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

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Scott Lynch also had a stretch goal last year where he got amazingly drunk and talked about The Hobbit movies with Elizabeth Bear.

I don’t try to hide how much I enjoy his work, and have discussed at length the reasons you should read them over on Goodreads.

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“The story unfolds with just the right balance of high adventure, espionage, humor, and emotional truth. . . . As soon as you finish, you’ll want more.” – Analog

  • 2 first edition copies of Fools Assassin. Signed by Robin Hobb.

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Del Rey had a few more first editions around, and managed to get them signed for us as well. We’ve thrown a couple of copies into the lottery so that amore of you can be exposed to the joy that is Robin Hobb’s writing.

“Electrifying and mesmerizing . . . The fully realized characters and vivid prose show that [Robin] Hobb remains a supremely talented author of epic fantasy.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • Auction: A first edition copy of Fools Assassin. Signed by Robin Hobb.

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And since we had a few copies, we’re auctioning one off for a big Robin Hobb fan out there who wants to round out their collection.

If that describes you, head over here and bid.

* * *

It’s been a crazy whirlwind, folks. If you missed the blog over the weekend showcasing all of the stretch goals we’ve hit, you should check it out.

Lastly, for you aspiring writers out there, tonight we’ve got author and agent Seth Fishman doing a livestream workshop where he talks about how to write a query letter and get an agent.

So, just to be a little more formal: that’s Monday, November 24th at 7:30pm CST. If you have any questions for Seth, you should be sure to be there, live, when it happens. Follow Worldbuilders on Facebook,  Twitter, and YouTube and we’ll post up a link for you to follow.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat3 Responses

Puppets, Wild Things, Pumpkin Spice, and Viking Llamas…

First, I would just like to say that this blog has the best title I’ve ever written. Possibly the best title *anyone* has ever written. Ever.

As I type this, Worldbuilders has raised $250,000 dollars and we’re not yet at the end of our second week. That’s pretty amazing no matter how you look at it.

Today I’m going to post up all the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far in case you’ve missed a few.

But first, allow me to answer a few questions y’all have been asking:

As y’all know, when we hit 600,000, Neil will read something for us. Everyone who donates to Heifer International on our team page gets to vote. Here’s where the total stands right now. Fox in Socks is still in the running, though it’s a bit of a dark horse….

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My stretch goal is looking like a bit more of a foregone conclusion:

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I will admit, when I proposed my stretch goal, I put Llama on the list without doing much research other than to make sure there were some living in Central Wisconsin. Since then I’ve discovered that a llama and an alpaca are, in fact, two very different animals. Alpaca are kinda like a cross between a sheep, a kitten, and a giraffe. By which I mean they’re furry, friendly, and they have long necks.

Llamas, on the other hand, are apparently like a cross between a sheep, a camel, and Viking berserker. By which I mean they’re furry, they hate you, and they will fucking destroy all things that oppose them. A lot of farms use them as guard animals, because other predators like coyotes are terrified of llamas and avoid even the sound of them.

So… yeah. Right now it’s looking like that’s what I’m going to end up kissing. For charity.

Here’s the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far:

  • $50k: Nika Harper Reads Dinosaur Limericks

Happiness comes in Dinosaur Limericks that are based in scientific fact.

  • $75k: Molly Lewis Sings Pumpkin Spice Lament

Do you want to know a true fact about Amanda? She recently got a ukulele, and she’s been playing Molly Lewis songs nonstop. This one is her new favorite.

  • $100k: Patrick Rothfuss will perform “The Song of Tom Bombadil.”

Yup. That’s a thing I did. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman will host a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

This livestream is going to be Monday, November 24th at 7:30pm CST. If you have any questions for Seth, you should be sure to be there, live, when it happens. Follow Worldbuilders on Facebook,  Twitter, and YouTube to know when it goes live.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke was great and had the video all ready for us… and then the file corrupted when he tried to send it to us. We’ll have it up as soon as possible, so keep an eye on the Worldbuilders YouTube channel.

  • $175k: Vi Hart will write and perform “The Lay of Felurian.”

Vi nailed it here. She even included the verse that causes Felurian to cut Kvothe off, and ends it there. It’s wonderful.

  • $200k: The Heifer International staff will perform a puppet show.

This baffled me in all of the best ways. Some of Heifer International’s staff (primarily the ones who work with Worldbuilders directly every year) got together and did this in their free time. Be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end, because people have some stuff to say about Kvothe and his lute…

We’ve got two more that have just been recently unlocked…

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.
  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

We passed both of these goals just yesterday, so we haven’t had a chance to post them up yet, but as we’ve said above. But if you stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed we’ll be posting them up when that happens.

Stay tuned folks, if for no other reason than to see me get trampled to death by a llama.

pat

P.S. Just in case you wanted a link where you could help us reach more stretch goals while also making the world a better place, here it is.

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat25 Responses

Donations from Generous Fans

Over the years, we’ve had more and more fans donating books to the fundraiser.

In the first couple of years it was only one or two people, but as things have progressed, we’ve had an increasing number of generous folks kicking stuff in from their personal libraries, or goodies they’ve managed to pick up at a signing or a con. That means many of these books are signed, or limited editions, or otherwise awesome.

Most of these are going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win them, but a few are being auctioned off too. So keep an eye out for those.

Let’s jump right into this with some Neil Gaiman.

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

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I make no bones about the fact that I’m a fan of Gaiman, and this book in particular struck a chord in me. I’m happy to see a signed copy of it heading into the lottery.

If you haven’t read it, you should. I gushed about it on Goodreads a while back, if you’re interested in reading a review that is mostly me embarrassing myself.

  • Auction: First Edition copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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We’ve decided to auction off this first edition copy of Ocean at the End of the Lane as well. So if you missed your chance at it, or want a collectible version while you read your unsigned, later edition copy, you can grab it here.

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These are some great books that were re-donated after last year’s fundraiser, spreading the joy to more of our people from someone who already had them. There are three books, which are compendiums of the entire series, so you’ve got it all here.

“Radford’s considerable gifts as a mesmerizing storyteller shine with undeniable luster.” – RT Book Reviews

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“Supernatural thrillers don’t get much better than British author Patrick’s assured debut, the first in a trilogy…Patrick has carefully thought through the implications of this phenomenon, including religious objections and insurance issues, and maintains the suspense throughout.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • A set of the White Trash Zombie series, books 1-4, by Diana Rowland.

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“Humor and gore are balanced by surprisingly touching moments as Angel tries to turn her (un)life around.” – Publishers Weekly

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This book was sent in by a supporter who knows that the early editions of this book are super hard to come by. It’s by Roger Zelazny, who wrote the Chronicles of Amber (which is included in the giant prize of books I recommend). We’ve put it into the lottery so we can spread the geeky joy.

  • A set of Blood Price and Blood Trail by Tanya Huff.

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“An entertaining blend of warmly idiosyncratic characters, cinematic pacing and sharp-fanged humour” – Locus

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We’ve got signed copies of the first four books in the Inheritance Cycle, and the fourth book is even a super beautiful hardcover copy. We thought someone would love them, so we’re putting them in the lottery.

  • Auction: Limited, slipcased edition of Brisingr. Number 929 of 1500, signed by by Christopher Paolini.

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For those of you who are already big geeky fans of Christopher Paolini, we’ve got a special edition of the third book in the series, number 929 out of 1500. The slipcase is beautiful, with an embossed dragon and gold foil.

If you get all excited looking at it, head over here for more pictures and to bid.

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“Harris garnishes the action with seductive period detail, and the novel comes alive in the main event, a cataclysmic explosion with a thermal energy equal to a hundred thousand Hiroshimas.” – The New Yorker

  • First edition copy of The Road to Mars. Signed by Eric Idle.

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Yes. THAT Eric Idle. Of Monty Python fame.

“Filled with intelligent observations about comedy and comedians, and enough one-liners to keep a funnyman in gigs past Pluto.” – The New York Times

  • First edition copy of The House of Rumour. Signed by Jake Arnott.

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“It’s both sci-fi/fantasy pulp and an ambitiously epic work of cosmic proportions: a welcome paradox of a novel that boldly toys with the boundaries between high and low-brow art.” – Kirkus

  • First edition copy of Impossible Monsters edited by Kasey Lansdale.

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“Eschewing romantic vampires and shambling zombies, this collection presents monsters that do not merely kill, but suddenly and incomprehensibly consume, destroy, and reduce their victims to mere bones… Readers who stay up late wondering if there really is something out there will find these stories to be perfect nightmare fodder.” – Publishers Weekly

IronsInTheFire

“Shows McKenna at her best, combining politics, violent action, and a concern for the domestic… it’s fundamentally about clever people, trying to do their best, in swift-changing circumstances.” – Paul Cornell

BloodSong

“Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song is a tremendous debut; it has a fast paced, action packed and character driven story. Qualities to admire in any genre story and most of all in an epic fantasy.” – Fantasy Book Critic

ApocalypseCodex

“A weirdly alluring blend of superspy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror.” – Kirkus

  • A limited edition, traycased edition of Clowns at Midnight. Number 6 of 500, signed by Terry Dowling.

ClownsAt

“The author of Wormwood and Blackwater Days delivers another tale of psychological terror that should appeal to his fans as well as to general audiences of horror literature.” – Library Journal

Conan

“Howard was the Thomas Wolfe of fantasy, and most of his Conan tales seem to almost fall over themselves in their need to get out.” – Stephen King

  • 5 limited edition copies of I Live Here. Signed by John Connolly.

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This is an extremely limited chapbook from John Connolly. He only had 1,000 printed, and we have signed bookplates to go with each one, making them extra cool.

GospelOfLoki

Amanda covets this book in a way that is not all together proper. She just donated again just to up her chances of maybe winning this book, so if you want it, you might want to get in there and out-donate her.

“Inventive and absorbing…I look forward to Harris’ next foray in to fantasy, especially if she applies her love of Norse mythology again.” – Fantasy Book Review

  • Limited edition copy of The Mallet of Loving Correction. Numbered 924 out of 1000, signed by John Scalzi.

Mallet

If you’ve never read Scalzi’s blog, Whatever, you should. This is a collection of those blogs, and I wrote up a possibly-tmi-review on Goodreads for it.

  • Auction: A Publisher’s Copy, slipcased edition of Best Served Cold. Signed by Joe Abercrombie.

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“Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it’s almost ultraviolet.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

This is a gorgeous edition of Best Served Cold with a hardcore slipcase. Subterranean Press doesn’t do anything halfway.

If you want to grab this gorgeous thing all for yourself, bid on it over here.

* * *

If anything caught your eye, be sure to go donate on the donation page, where you have the chance to win many of these items, not to mention the thousands of other books and games available in the fundraiser. You can even fly your particular geek flag fly by contributing to one of the teams that’s helping Worldbuilders fundraise this year, like Team Nerdfighteria, or Team NaNoWriMo.

Keep in mind that a bunch of our current auctions are ending tonight and Sunday. So if you haven’t headed over there to take a look at what’s available, you might want to, before it’s too late.

Have a good weekend, space cowboys….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat10 Responses

Generous Donations from Prime Books

Let’s take a minute to talk about chickens.

Simply said, chickens produce eggs, and eggs produce chickens. It’s a very simple process. 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.

Hiefer-photo---chicken-734240b

If you donate twenty bucks, Heifer can provide a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks along with the training and materials needed to care for them. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year – that means a flock provides enough eggs for an entire family to eat, with plenty left to sell.

Best of all, chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available food scraps. That means families can make money from the birds without spending much. What’s more, chickens help control insect pests that damage crops, and their droppings fertilize gardens.

Flock-of-Chicks

Also, Heifer 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 providing 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 my charity of choice.

That’s also why we made this video.

Have a favorite Heifer animal? We’d love see a video from you explaining why it’s your favorite, and hear you make its noise.

Now. Onto the swag.

* * *

Prime books is one of our strongest supporters. They send us literally tons of books.

And when I say literally, I literally mean literally. Literally literally. They actually literally send us tons of books.

By which I mean the books they sent us weigh, literally, thousands of pounds.

prime books shipment

In the past, we’ve featured these books in many ways, including the book bundles we sold in The Tinker’s Packs and earlier this year in our IndieGoGo.

They send us so many books that the team developed an entirely new way of unloading the truck into our warehouse.

IngeniusRamp

Welcome to the end of an era, folks. I made it 7 years on this blog without using an animated gif. And, given how dirty I now feel as a result, you’ll probably never see one on here again.

Let’s move on to Prime’s lovely donations to the lottery so I can post this blog and then go scrub myself all over with steel wool….

RingsOfAnubis

This book is actually a twofer. It compiles both books from Tobler’s Steampunk Duology into a single volume.

“It is deliciously fun.” – Kirkus

  • 100 copies of Handsome Devil: Stories of Sin and Seduction. Edited  by Steve Berman.

HandsomeDevil

This collection focuses specifically on the many stories of Lucifer as a trickster as well as tempter, in more ways than one. It features some cool names, like Theodora Goss, Tanith Lee, and a lot more.

“Despite following a very particular theme, [the anthology] manages to never feel too repetitive or stale. The stories are arranged cleverly to shift tone and focal point just enough between each piece that there are no disjunctions, but also no echoes.” – Tor.com

  • 100 copies of Shades of Blue & Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War. Edited by Steve Berman.

ShadesOfBlueAndGray

Don’t get confused here. While there are shades here, and some of them are grey, this isn’t *that* book.

No, this is a cool a collection of ghost stories involving the Civil War, with stories from authors like Connie Wilkins, Rusel Davis, and Ed Kurtz. It’s a great pick up for anyone who’s interested in speculative fiction with historic elements.

Worldsoul

I have a real weakness for stories about stories, so I’ll admit, this one caught my eye when it showed up. Apparently this book takes place in a place known as the Liminality. The city “where old stories gather, where forgotten legends come to fade and die – or to flourish and rise again.”

So yeah. Sign me up for that.

“Much in the way that she does with her storybook characters, Williams can take this series anywhere she wants. I will have my seconds, thank you very much.” – Kirkus

  • 100 copies of Extreme Zombies. Edited by Paula Guran.

ExtremeZombies

Be honest. Everyone who isn’t a bit of a tight-ass enjoys a good zombie story once in a while.

And this collection gathers some truly great authors like George R.R. Martin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. Solid writers coming together to write the horror stories they’ve always wanted to write.

“If you are a zombie fiction aficionado or simply love extreme horror, you need this book right now.” – Jennifer R. Povey

  • 100 copies of Once Upon a Time: New Fariy Tales. Edited by Paula Guran.

Once Upon a Time

I’ve got a weakness for faerie tales, and in this volume, each of the stories is a reinterpretation of a classic, by clever authors like Theodora Goss, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Tanith Lee.

“Guran has actually filled this anthology with adaptations of familiar tales. The stories include urban fantasy, near-future science fiction, and more traditional retellings. A few outstanding works give new perspectives on their progenitor stories, the fairy-tale genre, or both.” – Publishers Weekly

* * *

Keep in mind that we have auctions ending soon, including the ones for Badali Jewelry and all of the stuff I personally kicked in to the fundraiser.

Our lottery library is filling up, too, so you may want to check that out as well.

Thanks for being wonderful, folks. And keep spreading the word.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat15 Responses

Three Threes: The Return

So after we started this year’s fundraiser, something kinda odd happened.

We got a few e-mails and comments that we weren’t expecting. Stuff like this:

“Last year I happened to donate after the $0.33 sub-lottery was announced. That has primed me to delay my donation this year until late into the fundraiser, to ensure I don’t unintentionally disqualify myself from any surprises.”

This is calling back to last year, where we threw in a special lottery for folks who donated and included .33 at the end of their donation. At the time, it was the only way we had of tracking who might be interested, due to the limited nature of the donation page.

Honestly, I didn’t intend to do anything similar this year.

Still, people were obviously expecting it, as shown by some of the donations:

two-sets-of-.33-donations

So I decided to do something special for the fundraiser this year too.

Here’s a video explaining it.

God, I really do have an overwhelmingly big beard, don’t I?

Here’s a few more details:

  • Three complete sets of Cealdish Coins.

CurrencyPack

These sets of coins include the alternate versions of both the drab and the talent, as well as what is very likely to be version 2 of the drab.

There are only 95 of these. And now three of them are in the lottery, where anyone who donates can win them.

SROSTStealth01

In a previous blog, I talk about how I found this odd misprinted book book. Since then, I discovered that other members of the Worldbuilders team had found a few, too and were hoarding them.

So I annexed them, and now we’re putting these into the lottery as well. I’ll probably stealth sign each of them in a special way, hidden somewhere in the book next to one of my favorite sections….

(Addendum/correction: When I shot the above video, the auction for this misprint was at 200 bucks, but overnight that went over 300 dollars.)

  • Three Patrick Rothfuss Favor Rings.

Golden Ticket Ring

One of these is currently up for auction going for over $11,000. Let’s just paste in the description from the auction, shall we?

This is a 10 karat gold ring redeemable for one (1) favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Possible uses for the favor include:

Asking Pat to insert your name/likeness into a future book or story.
Asking Pat’s assistance wooing the object of your affection, preferably under a balcony at night.
Asking Pat to read & critique your unpublished manuscript (or your published one, if you want.)
Asking Pat give a reading/workshop at your local library or University.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop at your house.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop in your bedroom.
Asking Pat to help you move a particularly heavy couch.
Asking Pat to follow you on twitter and post kitten pictures to you.

This favor has no expiration date. It can be traded, transferred, sold, or lost. In essence, the ring *is* the favor. You give the ring back when you cash in your favor. So if you lose it, you’ve kinda fucked yourself.

The nature of this favor is fairly open-ended, though some negotiation may be necessary depending on the nature of the favor. Certain ethical or legal restrictions may apply (though not as many as you might expect.) Under no circumstances will Patrick dance for you. Carnal favors must be approved by Pat’s girlfriend in advance. If you won this favor in the auction, and for any reason Pat cannot fulfill his obligation to you, he will personally refund your winning bid in exchange for the ring.

Now, can I be honest with you for a moment?

Giving out open-ended favors like this is kind of a stupid thing for me to do. I’ve had many people tell me so. But I’m not an idiot. I’m perfectly aware that there’s a high potential for things going catastrophically wrong.

Why do I keep giving them out then?

Mostly because I love Heifer International. I love the work they do. I love the thought of giving families the means to make their lives better. I love the thought of parents being able to feed their children.

If I can make that happen by doing something kinda stupid? Well. I’ve been stupid before for worse reasons than this.

But here’s the thing. Simple statistics say that I’m going to get burned on this whole open-ended favor deal eventually. When that happens, I’m probably going to stop doing it. That means if you want a chance to win one of these, I’d move on it now, because it might not be happening again next year. Or ever again.

* * *

These three items I’m putting into the lottery are only of real interest to my fans. So we’ve added a new question on the donation page, asking if you’d like to be eligible for them.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 12.36.59 PM

If you donate now, we’ll include your entire donation history into the total for this lottery. We know a bunch of you have kicked in already, so if you kick in a again and ask to be included, we’ll make sure *all* your donations count toward this drawing.

There you go everybody. Make me proud.

*     *     *

  • 8:30 PM – five hours after posting this blog, we’ve raised another $25,000.

That’s enough to purchase biogas stoves for 25 villages.

“For most families in the places where Heifer International works, cooking usually means gathering firewood by hand, which often depletes the soil and robs the environment of its trees. In addition, smoke inhalation in poorly ventilated homes often leads to chronic lung and eye diseases.

A biogas stove is a better option. It runs off methane gas captured from animal waste, and burns cleanly, reliably and efficiently. This is not only better for the environment, it is more sustainable, and healthier for families feeding their children.”

I’m so happy. This day didn’t start off that great for me, but y’all have completely turned it around….

  • 11:30 PM - Eight hours after posting this blog, we’ve raised $38,000.

That’s enough to supply clean water for 125 communities.

mcupload_52212650630bf

Many places where Heifer works, homes lack running water, and some families don’t even have a well nearby. Instead, they spend a lot of time each day fetching water. This is often a chore left to children — especially girls — leaving them no time for school. Without a good education, those children have little hope for good jobs in the future.

Heifer helps families and communities install irrigation pumps, usually muscle-powered treadle pumps that are easy to maintain and repair. Heifer also provides education in terms of water conservation and sanitation, improving community health and making local farms and gardens more efficient *and* productive.

  • 10:30 AM – 18 hours after posting this blog, we’ve raised $47,000.

That’s enough to train and equip 235 Community Animal Health Workers.

In many countries, access to veterinary care is limited. So in addition to giving people livestock, Heifer International trains Animal Health Workers. Participants receive training in animal health, breeding, and nutrition as well as tools such as thermometers, stethoscopes, disinfectants, medicine for animals, and more.

This training and equipment gives a person the ability to support themselves in a lifelong career. What’s more, the presence of an animal health worker improves an entire community with healthier animals, more successful farms, and better education about sanitation and disease.

  • 24 hours after posting, we’ve raised 60,000 dollars.

I’m not going to keep tracking the progress here. You can check that out on the main Worldbuilders page. I will say that right now our total stands at $195,000, which is really incredible, given that we’re not even two weeks into the fundraiser.

That’s enough for 1600 goats and the training to care for them.

It’s enough for 6,500 hives of honeybees that will improve crop yields and produce honey.

Enough to provide 700 families with enough livestock, materials, and training that they can earn enough money to send their children to school.

Stay tuned for more coolness, folks. I promise we won’t disappoint.

*     *     *

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat67 Responses
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