The Curious Case of Anton Strout

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know about my ongoing antagonistic relationship with Anton Strout.

He is the Moriarty to my Holmes. Though that might be overstating things a bit. Maybe he’s more like the Magneto to my….

No. I don’t want him being Magneto, either. He can be…. Emma Frost. He’s the Emma Frost to my Jean-Luc Picard.

Wait. Nevermind any of that. This analogy just isn’t working out.

Suffice to say that Anton and I have had a long-standing rivalry that I keep interesting by occasionally trying to have him killed.

Now, years into our comfortable relationship, Anton has thrown me a serious curveball.

You see, despite our ongoing relationship, Anton has always been cool about helping out with Worldbuilders, the charity I run every year to raise money for  Heifer International. Over the years, Anton has helped spread the word about Worldbuilders, donated signed books to the cause, and even auctioned off a read-and-critique in support of the charity.

But now he’s taken things to a whole new level.

You see, Anton has a new book coming out in about a month’s time. It’s called Alchemystic:

Now when someone has a new book coming out, there’s a bunch of stuff they can do to promote it. They can get bookmarks printed to give away at conventions. They can buy ad space in a magazine. They can do prizes or giveaways on their blog.

But a couple months ago, Anton approached me with a different sort of an idea.

The conversation went something like this:

Anton: So I’ve got a book coming out at the end of September….

Me: Curse you, Strout. Curse you and your vile ability to meet your deadlines….

Anton: It’s a new series. The Spellmason Chronicles.

Me: Yes. My spies have reported it to me. One of the main characters is a gargoyle, isn’t it?

Anton: I was thinking that for every copy of the book that gets pre-ordered. I’d donate a dollar to Worldbuilders.

Me: …

Anton: I talked to the PR people at Penguin, and they’ve said that for the first 1500 books, they’ll kick in a dollar, too.


Anton: So… for the first 1500 books, we’ll donate 2 bucks for every pre-order.

Me: …

Anton: Are you still there?

Me: Are you serious?

Anton: Yeah. I was thinking about a bunch of different things I could do to promote the book, but this seemed like a better way to spend the money. This way, I get the word out about Alchemystic, but the money can do some good in people’s lives, too.

Me: Seriously?

Anton: And it will act as kind of a nice prologue to this year’s fundraiser too, remind people that Worldbuilders is coming up in a couple of months.


It’s not often that I’m caught without something to say. But it does happen.

*     *     *

In all seriousness, folks. This is an unprecedentedly generous thing that Anton is offering to do. It says a lot about Penguin too, that they’re willing to back his play like this and offer matching money.

Not only does Worldbuilders stand to make some money here, but if this goes well, I hope other authors might consider doing something similar to promote their books in the future.

In my opinion, it would be really great if Anton sold a bunch of books. Like, a crazy amount of books. So many books that other publishers were startled by the number. So many books that folks took notice of this as a viable advertizing solution.

In my opinion, a donation to Worldbuilders beats the hell out of spending money on refrigerator magnets or ad space. And honestly, I’m ashamed that Anton figured that out before I did.

Curse you, Strout.

So. Today I called the local bookstore and ordered my copy of Alchemistic. That’s one copy.

Care to join me?


[Edit – In response to a question asked in the comments below: Yes. The offer is also good for Kindle and Nook versions of the book.]
This entry was posted in calling on the legions, cool things, Warm Fuzzies, Worldbuilders 2012. By Pat96 Responses


  1. juliosd
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Pat, does digital edition (kindle) count?

  2. Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Yes, all digital formats will be counted toward this… thanks to my day job, I have access to all that info.

    • UncreativeUsername
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

      Hi Anton!

      What about pre-orders in Germany?

      Best wishes from Berlin,

      • David B
        Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

        Would like to know that, too. Don’t like ordering in the US and have it shipped, but I’d probably give it a go, if preorders in Germany count as well (even though I have no idea who this Strout guy is – he seems to be a reasonable nemesis to pick ;)).

    • w0rdean
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

      Done and done. In the meantime, could you possibly let us know if you actually received that fortune cookie message from Pat?

    • John Bonfiglio
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

      Hi Anton, met you at Comic-con this year after the Fae panel(I was the one who asked you for more Simon books…), and i was already going to buy the book when it came out, but do i just pre-order from ANY book site to make sure this happens? I would love to help(and i did read the sampler they gave out, it was excellent and please let Penguin know they are great for doing this!). Thanks for signing my copies of Westward Weird and The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity. I DID enjoy them!

      Pat? Seanann McGuire was sitting next to him during the panel and at the signing afterward…she said she could take Anton out. Seriously. :) Just saying…but leave some of him left so he can keep writing? Please?

  3. ezza_bee
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    You have yourself another preorder (Amazon paper format). I look forward to reading. Thank you!

  4. Kara J
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    You can add another $2 to Worldbuilders. :D Fantastic idea.

  5. Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Mine’s in. Looking forward to WorldBuilders kicking off again!

  6. Jack Lancaster
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    It’s not available in the UK :-(

  7. ShaneJ
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    An awesome idea, pre-ordered my copy the moment I read this. Kindle format, and chances are I’ll pre-order a physical copy as well. I own most of my books in both.

  8. LisaD
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    You gained +$2 in donation capability. And a new series coming out by another talented author! Hurray! It may tide me over until I can get my hot little hands on the Doors of Stone!

  9. Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink


  10. Joshua_Guess
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink


    Hey, are you serious about other authors offering to do the same? Because I’ve offered before. I’m releasing the fifth book in my main series in less than a week, and I’ll be happy to do something similar if you’re willing to give the ol’ Rothfuss bump to support it. Where O where shall we discuss this? I’m willing to donate a lot…

    • Joshua_Guess
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

      *Ahem* You’ve got mail, definitely related to this. Sorry for my above excitement, I’ve just been eager to help in Worldbuilders in this way for a good long while now :)

      • Oatmeal
        Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

        I will absolutely purchase any and all of your new books to donate to wordbuilders. Of course, I was planning on buying them anyhow, this is simply icing on the cake. :o)

        • Oliver Stein Inc.
          Posted August 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

          are you *The* Oatmeal?

          • Oatmeal
            Posted September 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

            Nope. Although that blog is ten shades of awesome.

      • Amanda
        Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

        Funnily enough, I just emailed you as well. Pat’s AFK already, so hopefully you’ll deign to respond to a lowly assistant instead ;)

        • Joshua_Guess
          Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

          Bah, you’re not lowly anything. I’m just a dude who makes up lies and types them out on his crappy laptop while sitting on the couch watching “Kitchen Nightmares”.

          …Don’t tell anyone, though. It’ll ruin my mystique!

  11. scubadivider
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Permalink


    Mr. Strout, I look forward to meeting your words!

  12. Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Brilliant! Even your arch-foes rise above mediocrity and apathy with alacrity and enviable class. Perhaps Mr. Strout is merely the Bert to your Ernie – decency overriding the rivalry. My Kindle craves the new arrival.

    Cheers to you and yours, sir.

    • kathy k.
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

      “Perhaps Mr. Strout is merely the Bert to your Ernie – decency overriding the rivalry.”

      This made me giggle – thank you!

  13. Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Another order here. The best of luck to you Mr. Strout.

  14. LisaD
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    Also, I am opening my massage business next month, and will be donating my tips for the month to Worldbuilders. If the amount doesn’t seem high enough, I’ll extend it for 2 months :) Glad to help fellow healers improve the world ♥

  15. Jessica Brown
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    It is my favorite day to find a book recommended by my favorite author :)

  16. LaNeve
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    for the other curious ones: the best reason given by pat for the enimity

    May 7, 2008
    As a fellow fantasy author and one of the founding members of the League of Reluctant Adults, you would think that Anton Strout would be my friend. In fact, it would be reasonable for you to assume that he has my respect and admiration.

    However, nothing could be further from the truth. Strout is, among other things, my mortal enemy. The sordid details of our long-standing feud are multifarious, and I cannot in good conscience list them in a blog that children might read.

    Suffice to say that I have many worthwhile reasons to scorn the man, none of which have to do with the fact that he seems to have more luck with the ladies than I do. Nevertheless, I am a gentleman, so I’ll mention his book here. Just to show that I am the better person.

    I have not read his first book myself, for obvious reasons, but I’ve heard others say good things. They say that it’s urban fantasy with a strong comic twist. Charline Harris gave him a glowing blurb, so if you like her stuff, you might like his too.

  17. Johan A
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of Worldbuilders, i donated last year and apparenly i didn’t win. I say apparently, because i did not hear a single word about any actual winners, not on your blog, nor anywhere else. No emails from Heifer or anyone else that a drawing had actually been done.

    It’s not so much that i didn’t win (well ok a little), but the fact that i still have no idea if anyone else did win. It doesn’t really make me very pumped to donate this year. I think this could be improved upon, to make people come back and donate again next year.

    • lordloki
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

      That’s a fair question. Pat? Can we at least have a post about the Golden ticket?

    • Istezada
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

      I won last year, but not the year before that. I got a Bradbury book!!! Wow!

      So yeah, it happens. There are a Lot of folks who donate, so the lottery is well named. I’m planning on donating again this year.

    • Oatmeal
      Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

      I saw many people state that they got their prizes, and Pat put up multiple pictures of them mailing stuff out. If you didn’t get anything, you didn’t win.
      He’s pretty clear about that.
      Heifer didn’t do the drawing, Pat and his “people” do it yearly. They don’t have the time or resources to contact every single person who participates to tell them that they didn’t win, so the general rule is, if you don’t get a phone call/e-mail/package in the mail, you didn’t win anything.

    • Peeper_j
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

      I won a book from Worldbuilders–signed copy of Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie. I was thrilled to win! Worldbuilders is such a fantastic idea and I have enjoyed donating for the past few years.

  18. Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    I did a pre-order on – hope that it counts. That is such a decent thing to do. Whoever Anton Strout is…you may be rivals, he may be your Moriarty/Macavity whatever, but I have to confess, I’ve never heard of him before today….

  19. Marina
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    pre-ordered. Also, post shared on facebook. What a great way to kick off Worldbuilders.

  20. JOhn
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Oh, look, it’s also reasonably priced! Pre-ordered the ebook, looking forward to reading it.

  21. Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    Chesterton would be doubly proud, a la: Utopia of Usurers: Art & Advertisement

  22. Treggar
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    I sense a secret plot here of Pat eventually ruling all of the authors.

  23. Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Ordered. In fact, I’m just going to set up a script that automatically buys any book Pat mentions from now on. Libriomancer was awesome btw.

  24. jayh
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Cool, new book by Anton Strout and new Mumford and Sons on Sep 25. It’ll be a good day. Guess I need to preorder.

    • jayh
      Posted August 31, 2012 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

      Okay, so I’ve preordered a kindle edition. Debating getting a hardcopy as well since it’d be fun to get one signed… and then have Pat sign it too.

      So the big questions are, have you reached 1500 yet and can you get Penguin to raise their matching past the 1500 cap? Can it be that Pat will become the Oprah of the Sci-fi/Fantasy book universe?

  25. Artemis Grey
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Done and Done! Now to spread the word!

  26. Shadow
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Hmmm… this book sounds interesting to me and I’ve got a couple gift cards to the local bookstore sitting around which means I can afford to buy it!! :D

  27. Ojodelgato
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    If only I had such rivals to curse.

  28. thesissy
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    Wow – this is exciting! I just preordered from UK – no signs of anything in Denmark yet. Looking forward to burying my nose in another brick-size fantasy paperback :o)

  29. torquenator
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    In for a kindle Edition and posted on FB, Great Idea!

  30. wings_of_nite
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    If pre-orders from Amazon count then I’m in!!

  31. capncaveman
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    in for 1

  32. Cinnamon
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    This is a really awesome deal; a new book and the knowledge that ordering it is doing some good for others. You’ve got one more pre-order.

  33. SkylerH
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Add another one to the list. I seem to be burning through a lot of Urban Fantasy ever since the first Story Board. A non-sarcastic thank you very much

  34. Cyberpatrick
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    I think this is a great idea. I bought a copy. Books and charity in one swipe, you’ve got to like that.

  35. Loonbeam
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    In the spirit of charity bought a paper AND e-copy…

  36. Sokol
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Permalink


    And now I am left to ponder… How do I get an arch enemy?

    Note to self, practice evil laugh.

    • LordZod
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Good for you. Most folks forget the laugh, and that’s about standards. I, myself, have been working with a vocal coach.

  37. drajon
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    Curse you, arch nemesis to my favourite author. Curse you to heck! And thanks for good reads! You made the second box of my packing for moving to another continent. While Mr. Rothfuss gets prime place of a whole box alone for his books, you were on my list very quickly for needs to be stored safely in a dry location! Curse you two for being nemeses! PS, Mr. Rothfuss, a book about a necromancer would mean I would stop spending money on this other author! Just saying, your humour would do well in a dark realm…

  38. lepidoctora
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Do international orders count? I live in Canada and I can get it through Chapters-Indigo online.

  39. Dulcet
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

    Pre-ordered the book for my Kindle. For $7.99 you can’t go wrong.

  40. Sinitron
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:27 AM | Permalink


  41. TeRmInAlCrAzY
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:56 AM | Permalink

    Ordered from the Book Depository in the UK, delivery to Ireland; hope that this counts!

  42. aydo
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm. Available as paperback from, but not as kindle. Presumably some kind of foreign rights shenanigans?

    Happily purchased as paper in the name of a good cause – thanks Catie for the Book Depository link (which was cheaper than amazon uk…).

  43. Ellie
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    Ordered it form hope it counts!

  44. mattycares
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Ordered via kindle. I hope it’s good! As a law school student I am both broke and have precious little free time:)

    Also, I would like a quasi-arch enemy. Preferably, we are only enemies on weekends–that type of thing. I feel like have a full-time arch-enemy would be rather draining.

  45. Neville Longbottom
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    Dude! My Ranger/Assasin is FULL elven, and he’s level 41!!!



    Just pre-ordered my book…..

  46. kitgordon
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Just ordered my Kindle version. Thanks, Pat and Anton (secret brothers after all).

  47. Cielle
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Heifer International is a wonderful charity. I make a donation to them every December; it’s fun to imagine a family receiving a flock of chickens, or rabbits. And they have some great stories on their website… very inspiring reading! If I ever start making grown-up money, I will buy llamas for everybody!

    In the meantime, however, lacking a llama, I have pre-ordered Anton’s book.

    • Posted August 29, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

      Thanks, Cielle!

      *spits at you so you get an authentic llama experience*

      • Oatmeal
        Posted August 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

        Just for this, cause you made me giggle, you’ll be getting another pre-order.
        Just as soon as I get paid. ;o)

      • Cielle
        Posted August 31, 2012 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

        I love the smell of llama spit in the morning. It smells like… llama spit.

        Thanks, Anton.

        P.S. Patrick never spit at me when I bought his books. Just to add fuel to the fire.

  48. Posted August 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    I’ve pre-ordered too (in the UK)
    Fantastic idea :-)
    (I’ve never read any of Anton’s work before so hopefully I shall find a new author-I-like, too)

  49. Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Hey Anton, I just preordered the Kindle version. I haven’t ready any of your books before, if I wanted to read just one before this one, what would you suggest?

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

      a) Thanks for preordering!
      b) My previous series is the Simon Canderous novels or as they’re often referred to “Diet Dresden.” I’d suggest the first book of that, Dead To Me, if you are curious about my shenanigans.


      • Moonlight-Rose
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

        I’m usually a reader, not a writer here, but this offers one question for me – “Diet Dresden” as in Dresden Files?

        Because after 10 years as a bookseller reading gets hard – everything fells like more or less the same. But thanks to Pat I finally found some “new” (to me) completely addicting series (Kingkiller, Dresden files, Mistborn) – only I’m already on book 10 now – and what then!? ;)

        I just preordered my kindle edition, so I’ll find out about your style on my own sooner or later. But I’d LOVE something like the Dresden Files. And if your other series is like that – I need to buy them right away to feel happy reading the last Dresden Pages, knowing something else is waiting for me…

  50. KevinD
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

    Purchased. Even commented on my Facebook about restoration of some faith in humanity, or some such drivel…

  51. rashkae
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t read Mr’s Strout’s book yet, though I promise to move some up on the priority list. :)

    However, in what I hope is a constructive observation, the cover design and blurb for Alchemystic are evoking a kind of chicklit vampire pron aversion field. (Hopefully, this is just the result of the publisher grinding the book through the same urban fantasy marketing team.)

  52. Drazulfel
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    I’d actually like to hear more about your attempts on Strout’s life. I tried to purge the earth of his presence for years, but failed. Furthermore, I’m curious to know the time, place, and circumstances of his transformation from plain old Tony to the much more grandiose Anton.

  53. novaengliae
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    I preordered it. I figure even if I hate the book (which is unlikely since I love all books, but I may say I do out of loyalty), then at least I have done a good deed.

  54. Jen-cha
    Posted September 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Ordered! Wish there were a running count; I’d love to see how the legions have responded!

  55. trunuyawkr
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    Ordered. Thank you, Mr. Strout! I have donated every year since Pat started the fundraising (when it was the Fundraiser Later Known As WorldBuilders), and was lucky enough to win once. This method is a 100% guarantee of winning! :o) Good luck with the sales!

  56. Posted September 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your books so really want to pre-order this book, but I cannot see a UK kindle edition – any ideas? cheers!

  57. BBB
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Looks like i get to try out an author i haven’t read before AND help Worldbuilders! This is guy is Moriarty!

  58. Nancy McClellan
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    I have two high-functioning autistic boys who spend their summers raising money for Heifer. It started when my oldest was 8 – he wanted to do something to make the world a better place (humanity depresses and terrifies him), so he started selling dog biscuits at our local farmer’s market and giving all his profits to Heifer. Now, 6 years later, he and his little brother and I are still working the market for Heifer, though now we make charms and jewelry (I never want to bake another dog biscuit as long as I live). We have donated several thousand dollars and raised awareness about Heifer. Equally importantly, my boys have built their social awareness and sense of personal power through this quest and educated their community about autism.

    Pat, I met you at your recent event at the University Book Store in Seattle (my friend hugged you, I hugged Nathan). My family and I are so excited that you and Anton are supporting Heifer. Now I’ve got my husband hooked on your books!

  59. Jee
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    I was reading the interview my girlfriend entered the room, cross read a few lines of the transcript and said “maybe I will read that, the title sounds cool”.

    Well, comes out 3 days before her birthday, so my preorder just went out to amazone.

    Goo worldbuilder :)

    • Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

      Jee, send me her name and a mailing address and I’ll sign a bookplate with a happy birthday message for her! I’m at [email protected].

      • Jee
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

        What an awesome offer!
        Sadly it took me a few weeks to notice it.
        I have mailed you anyway.


  60. Deborah Wolf
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Okay, I never preorder books but I”m doing this…can’t resist the awesome. When my book comes out, I’ll do the same thing.

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