Protecting Our Nation’s Youth

So a couple months back, I went to the Detroit area for a convention.

Whenever I’m at a convention I find myself thinking, “I need to mention it this on the blog.”

The problem is this: When I get back from a convention, I’ve usually got a bunch of catching up to do. Revisions. Sarah needs kissing. And I usually have about 500 emails to sift through.

So I put off writing the blog for a couple days. But then something else always seems to come up. The convention stories get pushed back and eventually I give up on telling them.

But today I’m going to break that bad habit and tell a few of the stories from Penguicon.

I got a chance meet Randy Milholland in person for the first time. Randy does a webcomic I’m terribly fond of. He’s also one of the first webcartoonists to mention The Name of the Wind to his readers. It was a really big deal for me at the time, as it helped spread the word back when not a lot of people knew about the book.

We didn’t get to hang out as much as I’d hoped, but it was still cool to see him. I also took this picture:

That’s Randy drawing on the head of one of his fans. I took the picture because at the time I was a little jealous. But now that I’ve thought about it some more, I’m not so sure I’d like that sort of artistic responsibility.

I also had a lovely little adventure with Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary. But rather than re-tell that story, I’ll just link to his version of events. I honestly do not remember dropping the f-bomb on him. But Howard is a lovely guy, and I trust his memory more than mine.

I got to hang out with John Scalzi a little bit. He was delightful as ever. At one point he gave me an onion ring.

I honestly cannot remember why I took a picture of it. I think I was joking about selling it on e-bay.

Scalzi also told me a story.

Apparently, (Scalzi said) Subterranean Press sent him an ARC of The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

The package showed up at his house, and his wife opened it. She flipped through it briefly, then set it down.

Later, his young daughter Athena wandered by. She saw the book and was curious about it. Understandable, really. On the surface, it looks like something every child would love:

(Warning: Do not allow book to come in contact with actual child.)

Anyway, Athena was lured in. She picked up the book, read it, and was a little… disturbed.

Athena then took the book to her mom and said, “I don’t think I like this.”

Luckily, mom was on the ball. She sat down with Athena and they chatted about the book. Processed it. Afterwards Zoe felt better, and, apparently, became rather fond of the book.

So fond of it, in fact, that Athena took it to school and asked the teacher if they could read it during story time. The teacher read the book and said “Hell no.” Though she said it in a much politer teachery way.

After Scalzi told me the story, I had a premonitory sweat. I shook my head and said, “I really need to put a sticker on the front of the book that says: This shit is not for kids.”

The idea rolled around in my head for a while, and so I talked to the illustrator, and we came up with this:

Then I had my best idea ever that week. Why not make the sticker really eye-catching? That way, people couldn’t help but notice the sticker and be fairly warned about the non-kid content.

I have to say it turned out perfectly. What’s more eye catchy than a gold-foil sticker? I’m sure when this is properly affixed to to the front of the book, people will be amply warned. Our nation’s children are now safe. Only the most foolish and lazy-minded of parents would ever mistake it for anything other than a warning label.

If you ordered your book from Subterranean Press, rest assured that you’ll be getting a sticker shipped to you along with your book. For the children.

In closing, two quick related notes:

1) Don’t hassle the folks at Subterranean Press, asking them if your book has shipped. They’re shipping them out as fast as they can. Be patient.

2) Subterranean is also shipping out their prizes from the Worldbuilders raffle. They’re sorry about the delay, but it was unavoidable. So if you get a couple unexpected books in the mail, it’s not a mistake, it’s a prize. Enjoy.


This entry was posted in conventions, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. WhiffleBy Pat72 Responses


  1. Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    That sticker is awesome. Can you make a belt buckle version of it?

    • Archestraty
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

      +1 for the belt buckle idea

    • Posted July 2, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

      +1 for belt buckle here to

    • Posted July 5, 2010 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

      I LOVE the belt buckle idea. Made me lol. I would get one for my hubby.

  2. saintburns
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

    Is that Pedobear warning the children? I feel like that could be a trap…

  3. Mossy Toes
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    I like it better in the first picture–tilted, menacing and what have you–than the shiny one, which just isn’t as scary in these two pictures. It could just be that the writing’s off-set now to make him seem straight up, but…

    Still, this only convinces me to buy it even more!

  4. Arcy
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

    Seeing as I have a 9-year-old girl, I feel impelled to mention that Shiny + Sticker + Bear = little girls eyes glazing over with LUV. Sticker may or may not work, but I’m sure putting my copy up high, away from (not-so) tiny hands will do the trick.

    • Mickey
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

      Gotta agree with Arcy on this point, if my daughter saw that sticker on a book she would beg me day and night to buy it for her (she got a double barrell blast of freak genes from her parents) …or just go on a hunger strike until we caved.

      Still, maybe kids these days need to use their imagination more and not less, not easy to compete with mind boggling array of crap out there for them to amuse themselves with !

  5. Chaos2651
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:07 AM | Permalink

    I would adore to buy those stickers all on their own.

    Come on, putting those on the door to my dorm room? Classic.

  6. katelyn
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

    i love you. that is all.

  7. Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    Isn’t Scalzi awesome? I met him at Phoenix Comicon this year. He wrote some really cool things in my books. You have to come next year and do the same!
    I can’t wait to read your contribution to the Wil Wheaton/John Scalzi Fan Fiction Contest to Benefit the Lupus Alliance of America.

  8. Master Freespirit
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

    It needs some hearts.

  9. Posted July 2, 2010 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    I love that sticker!

    (Um, also, I think Mr Scalzi’s daughter is called Athena. Zoe is one of his characters…)

    • Raven Darkmoon
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

      I have a feeling Pat knows this, and was using Zoe the same as his own child is referred to as Oot on the blog. Identity protection : )

      • Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

        You’re giving me too much credit. I just fucked up. That’s what comes from writing blogs too late at night…..

  10. jaimo
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    Pat, I thought that picture of Randy Milholland was you! Then I realized it’s just an older, less hairy version of you.

  11. bfaz
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

    I thought you wanted us to come up with t-shirt ideas. That sticker would make a kick ass t-shirt. I’d get one.

    • Blue Iris
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

      You are so right haha. As much as I’d love to get one I would only be able to wear it certain company. But none the less, I would buy one! 3x/4x!!!!! haha. I look for a my copy of Princess in the mail everyday. So ready to read it. Thanks for the laugh with the sticker.

  12. RegistrationIsStupid
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    The sticker reminds me a little of pedobear.

    Is that intended?


  13. Posted July 2, 2010 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Love the stickers… probably shouldn’t have any of my own as I would stick them on everything, the liquor in the cabinet, the ice-cream in the freezer, the TV, the actual children’s books I have… it would be wrong.

  14. Josh
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    Amazing, amazing sticker, Pat. I absolutely love it.

    Terrifying question, though – I asked for this book as a belated birthday gift, and my mom lovingly obliged. Unfortunately (and I just called her to check), she ordered it from the evil empire of imaginary release dates, Amazon, and not Subterranean Press. So I’m almost scared to ask… but will books from Amazon come with the sticker? If not, is there any way I can just order a sticker?

    Thanks, you rock.

    • thegrinner
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

      Skipping to Josh’s last question, it would be epic and awesome and cool if we could purchase these stickers. Would this be possible?

      • Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

        I’ll probably offer some for sale when we start up the fundraiser.

        • Tacroy
          Posted July 2, 2010 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

          That’s good, now I won’t have to choose which part of my life I make significantly more awesome.

        • Jaremaing
          Posted July 3, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

          Going back to the first question, only modified a bit: I ordered, well preordered, my Princess and Mr. Whiffle book April 20th on Amazon, but it ran out of stock before I even knew the book was released. That must have been some crazy list before me. So, here’s my question: Will I get my book at all through

  15. ebetzhold
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Awesome. Thanks Pat… staying patient. Also, holy crap oot is freaking CUTE!!

  16. johngard15
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    Wow, that sticker is awesome. I’m going to find excuses to put it everywhere.

    Having not read the book yet I have one question: Is the story inside so shockingly not for children that its better to put the word “shit” on the outside of a book that still looks like its for children?
    I mean, just sayin, it looks like it would increase exposure to… adultness

    still freaking awesome despite.

    • Widow Of Sirius
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      There are three endings to the book. The first is okay for children. The other two are not. At all.

  17. Daniel
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    I got my copies in the mail early this week, and was thrilled when the sticker fell out onto my lap. For a second my mind flashed… “Golden Ticket?” – but I wasn’t too disappointed once I’d realized what it really was.

    By the way the book is great. And for what it’s worth, I gave one copy to my good friend who just had a son. The dad loved it, and is sure it’ll be his kid’s favorite book when he’s old enough to understand. The mom, she’s not so sure. And she let (made) me keep the sticker from their copy, so now I have an extra.

    For someone who’s favorite books as a kid were “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Hairy Toe”, I didn’t find your book so dark that I wouldn’t recommend it for the right kids. Great job Pat!

  18. Larzid
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    is there any plans to translate The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle. to spanish?

    If so pretty please have the translation made in Mexico and not Spain since the humor is really different.

    Please have it translated cause I want to send a copy to my cousin, but he only speaks Spanish.

    I would also like to offer myself (Not trying to do business here, I’ll do it out of pure devotion to our Bearded Lord Rothfuss) and of course I would send the translation to you for approval first, I know you have a Mexican friend who can help you with reviewing the translation (everybody has a Mexican friend, we are everywhere, we are watching you and some day we’ll take over the world and the only ones who will be spared are those of you who have a Mexican Friend).


    • Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

      They are going to be doing a Spanish version. But it will take a little while…

  19. MisterMerf
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    This seems a good time to remark that I read “The Name of the Wind” on the strength of the recommendation that Randy posted. I’m glad I did so and just as glad that you enjoy his comics as well.

  20. laurafromNY
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    That sticker (and story about Zoe) is too funny! You say it’s not for kids but put a picture of a cute teddy bear on it, like that alone isn’t going to entice the kiddies. Nice! BTW, love the “Seriously.” part to it.

  21. Dianadomino
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    OMG! Randy Milholland looks like your evil twin. A much older twin, obviously, but still. Veeery evil. Almost a Mr. Moriarity of evil.

  22. marisak
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    Thanks so much for passing on the news about the delayed prizes! I just got a package in the mail from Subterranean, and was wondering if the books were mistakenly sent instead of your book (which I pre-ordered long ago).

  23. davidstvz
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Good job on the sticker idea. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t which is why I didn’t buy a copy (I have no kids). Now that I’ve been set straight, I’ve ordered a copy.

  24. midnitesmask
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Now I want to buy the book even more than before, not just for me, but also for my daughter. The kid loves to watch Coraline, and the new Alice in Wonderland, even before going to bed. That stuff doesnt faze her at all, she is the beggest 5 yr old Tim Burton fan that I know, lol. Must get her awesome taste from her dad.

  25. cass393
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    LOL, it totally looks like this book won a dang award. Newbery medal for the most inappapropriate book for children! Parents, so obviously not paying attention, will get the book because it has the shiny sticker on it! :)

    • Keith
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

      cass, exactly what I thought!! Newberry Medal LOL!

      Hehe, this will be the world’s greatest practical joke…even better than Halloween III !!

  26. Tobias
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    That’s an awesome sticker. I noticed you kept saying that this book is not for kids, but define kids, I’m in my mid-teens, does that clasify as a “kid” to you? Or am I safe from frying my brain?

    • Matt
      Posted July 2, 2010 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

      I was there, man… When Pat did his very first public reading of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, I was there. It was sweet. It was horrifying. It was hilarious!

      As for suitability for actual real-life children… it depends not on age so much as the temperament of the child. If the kid loves dark humor, then he’ll love this book. If the kid is one of those freakishly sensitive and nightmare-prone types who always got on my nerves waaay back in kindergarten… better pass.

  27. StacyInAlaska
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Very cool that you were able to meet Randy. I’ve been a big fan of his webcomic for years and that is where I heard about your book. Keep up the good work!

  28. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Heehee, that’s my picture of my sticker :)
    I realize now I should’ve made it crooked so that Mr. Whiffle was leaning into the frame, but alas, I was awash with joy over simply having the thing.

    I’m glad you posted that story, it made me giggle. Athena sounds a lot like my niece – a little wary at first, but once she understands, totally into it :)

  29. agedkindling
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Are you going to Gencon this year, Pat?

  30. Olympia
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    love the Wiffle Stamp! What if it was made into a t-shirt?

    hope I don’t get sued. all for the love of Pat.

    • JenMo
      Posted July 3, 2010 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

      OMG! I’m do buying this tshirt. Might have to buy more for my friends too. I’m also wanting to buy this logo in sticker form. I’d have all my stuff tagged with it. Genius Pat, genius.

  31. Will
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, but I have to disagree about the whole gold foil stamp thing. Those things are always too shiny or illegible, so I’ve given up on trying to read them. I can’t tell a Newbery Award Winner from a Caldercott. You don’t think there are any other inattentive parents out there who will make the same mistake?

    I suggest one of those green Mr. Yuk stickers but with a teddy bear face. If only I were a graphic artist…

  32. mehawk
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    I think we found the replacement for the DARE programs.

  33. Malana
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    I love the sticker.

    I was glad to read this post, because I had actually forgotten that it was through Randy’s mentioned that I found your book. After that I’ve passed it on to various friends and family members.

  34. cat collector
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    I got my surprise package from Subterranean Press today. I saw a box on my doorstep and wondered book club? Early birthday present? Then I read the label: “Prize Books” and realized I had hit the jackpot.

    Wow! Goodie, goodie! Two lovely books that will be treasured. Thank you for running the raffle Pat, and thanks to Subterranean Press for the beauties.

    Now to find somewhere to keep them where the cats won’t shed on them…

  35. Olympia
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    just so everybody knows, any wiffle stamp t-shirts I sell on my zazzle page, all the proceeds that I get will go to Worldbuilders in honor of pat and his awesomeness.

    • Olympia
      Posted July 5, 2010 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

      After a nice email from Pat, the whiffle stamp shirts are discontinued since they wern’t my idea originally. Rock on Pat.

  36. Posted July 4, 2010 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    It’ll never work!

    I worked in a video store with a massive half wall high sign above the new releases that said ‘NEW RELEASES’. Guess what the most asked question was in the store…..?

  37. Jack Lancaster
    Posted July 4, 2010 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Just a very slightly edited pic of Mr. Rothfuss (or Rockfuss as he must now be called.)

  38. Alexander the Pretty Good
    Posted July 4, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    I got my books from Subterranean yesterday.

  39. Daniel
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    Just testing to see if I can post here or not….my previous post from July 2nd still says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”….am I on probation or something?

  40. Rob
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    I’m glad you linked to the Howard Tayler story. The guy who was sitting next to him at the bar is a friend of mine, who I made read The Name Of The Wind before Penguicon because I told him you were going to be there. So I laughed out loud when I heard the story the following Monday evening.

  41. Skye
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Oh the sticker…laughing so hard I can’t breathe…

    You are an evil, evil, wonderful, hilarious person, Mr. Rothfuss.

  42. Alexander the Pretty Good
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    After having gotten the sticker with my book and after having delved into the shallows of this blog, I feel certain that the following can be added to the blurbs on the back of the new book:

    “Winner of Captain Joe’s Most Kickass Novel of the Century Award”

  43. Skoivan
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Bonus win for pre-ordering my book! Free warning sticker of awesomeness!!!!

  44. williamc
    Posted July 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat! I just received box from Subterranean Press with a mess of hardbacks from Tim Powers. Thanks to you and to Subterranean for the awesome Worldbuilders contest. I’m looking forward to the next go round!

    Best of everything,
    William C.

  45. gkidd1985
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    Got my books today! Was really excited!

  46. pdxtrent
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Hey, got my book today.
    It totally made my day before I went to work, and discovered my schedule had been changed, so I got to come home and read it again. Savoring all the lovely illustrations.
    The whimsy and charm of the story.

    And the accuracy of your own description of it.

    Thanks Pat, for giving me another sequel to wait for.

  47. gfarnum
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    Woah! A trilogy from Tim Powers and some little novella by Mike Resnick. Thanks Subterranean! Thanks Pat!

  48. Henni
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    Hello Pat! : )

    I just wanted to tell you, that, when I came home from work, there was a package waiting for me in front of my door.
    And I have to admit, I was really surprised, because I kind of forgot about the book. I ordered it months ago. But it travelled a long way here to Germany and so I was even more excited when I opened it! ^^
    And I have to says: I just LOVE it!!
    Everyting! The smell of the leather! Your (very artistic) signatures! And especially the story and the drawings!
    It’s so sweet it gives you caries. xD The different endings are awesome and very surprising. It just made my (really hard) day. : )
    Btw, I’m a bookseller and I’m in charge for the fantasy section and everyone who asks me for a recommendation HAS to leave with the name of the wind, because I won’t let them get away with anything else.^^
    Two days later they are back asking for book 2. xD
    So thanks so much for your books and I’m really looking forward to everything you gonna write in future.

    Manny greetings


  49. wirelessrobin
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    Make the sticker a T-shirt!!!! :)
    I’d also buy a belt buckle as well…… or any other merchandise

    Love it :)

  50. Tacroy
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    I have just discovered that my copy of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle will be waiting for me when I get home. I may poop myself in excitement, which will be unpleasant for my co-workers.

  51. ClariVo
    Posted July 13, 2010 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Pat or Patrick, Mr. Rothfuss, or the cool dude,

    Dude, you’re serioously makin’ me foaming at the mouth now (no, I do not have rabies, ha ha). Not only have you made me love your blog and put your books on my reading list.

    But you made a graphic novel.

    I friggin’ love you.

    You do not know how much you’ve made me happy. I can’t wait to admire the art and the storyline and squee with joy.

    If you ever, EVER want artwork anykind, ask me. I would totally love that. Ask me of what and your wish is my command. That way I can go around and say “Patrick Rothfuss asked me for some artwork, oh yea, who’s cool?” I am. Because I did artwork. For you.

    Simply, you’re awesome. ‘Nough said.

  52. Emrys
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    I just got my book from amazon today (pre-ordered as a gift). It looks like no sticker made it on for the amazon books, or at least mine. Will the be an opportunity for those who got the book w/o the sticker to get/purchase one separately?

  53. CondorSultan
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Warming follow-up to the Tayler story above:

    Another convert.

  54. ThePaperChimera
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    I got the book from Subterranean (complete with the sticker, which was an exciting surprise and immediately went on the cover), and my aunt decided to read it allowed to my other aunt, my grandma, and my mom when they stopped by our house that week. I have since decided that The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle is not for some adults, either. I cannot even describe the horror that ensued. A lot of “you read stuff like this?” and “you like this?” followed by some disturbed noises when they discovered the book of James Jean prints on top of a bookcase. At the same time, she did read the book all the way to the end…

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