Stretch Goals, The Kindness of Geeks, and Two Extra Days

As I write this, Worldbuilders has raised $617,000, crushing last year’s total.


Because of this maelstrom of support from the geek community, we blew through every stretch goal we had posted.

So yesterday I spent some time on the phone to see who else might be willing to help out. Brian Brushwood offered to teach me to eat fire. (Which is going to make for a great video not matter how it works out.) John Kovalic offered to make a mockery of me in his comic. Nate Taylor was willing to help me develop a new, more detailed map of the Four Corners world.

We posted up those new stretch goals… and passed them almost immediately.

So today we’re doing three things:

  1. We’re showing off the stretch goals we’ve already passed.
  2. We’re posting up a few new stretch goals.
  3. We’re extending the fundraiser a couple days.

This last one shouldn’t come as a *huge* surprise for those of you who have followed our fundraiser in the past. Over the last couple years, it’s become kind of a tradition. In 2012 we extended things a week. In 2011, we extended things *two* weeks.

The difference is, in previous years we needed the extra time because… well… because I was trying to do everything myself, and I suck at organization. This year I was smarter. I’ve let the Worldbuilders team handle more and more. As a result, the fundraiser has been running smoothly and raising a ton of money….

And, because of *that* we’ve been getting media coverage over the last couple days. Which means folk are finding out about us just how and jumping onboard. We’re raising, on average, about $1,500 dollars an hour. Stopping our fundraiser right now, just as so many folks are hearing about it, seems a little silly.

So we’re extending it two days. Worldbuilders now ends the night of Feb 4th, midnight.

Just long enough for disorganized people like me to make last-minute donations.

Long enough to show you our newly unlocked stretch goals…

When Trey told us he’d take a selfie for his stretch goal, we thought it was a brilliant idea. After all, he’s a world-famous photographer. Seven million people follow him on Google+ to look at his pictures.

Then we saw what he did, and it was so much better than what we’d imagined.

Trey Ratcliff - Bathroom Selfie

(Click to enbiggen. Seriously.)

He also shot a video about his adventures setting up the shot. It’s a fabulous story that involves, among other things, the taxidermied sheep you see in the photo.


Scott and Elizabeth did not hold back on their true feelings on the second Hobbit film. As you can tell from the fact that their rage-filled video is well over an hour long.

If you needed another reason to love John Scalzi, here it is….

I swear, Hank came up with this on his own.

When Mary come up to Stevens Point to film this, I hadn’t yet read the erotic fanfic she’d written for our 175K stretch goal.

That’s right, I read it cold. So if I’m blushing there, you know why.

The truly amazing thing is how much she *nailed* my writing style.

  • $400,000 Sandeep Parikh drinks a Capri Sun while doing a handstand.

This is the most dramatic thing I’ve seen in… maybe ever.

Brad filmed himself reading the riddle scene from The Hobbit out in the snow… in shorts and a t-shirt. Now, I’m a Wisconsinite… but honestly, even I probably would have worn pants for this.


In keeping with our Hobbit theme, Molly did an amazing cover of The Greatest Adventure.

It also got this song stuck in my head. For days.

It’s still there. But in all honesty, I don’t really mind.

  • $475,000 Pat Rothfuss and Amber Benson write urban fantasy erotica.

This is a stretch goal Amber and I dared each other into during an interview.

We hit it, so now Amber and I will write the story of Deuteronomy Jones a “transsexual, plucky, red-headed vampire hunter.” And Lance Franklin. “Rogue warlock-in-hiding. Half-succubus. (On his mother’s side.) And also, a Calvin Klein model.”

I’ll be writing the female character. Amber’s doing the male.

Yeah. It’s going to be a thing….

The title here tells you everything you need to know….

*     *     *

If these acts of whimsy have amused you, you can help spread the word about Worldbuilders by sharing them around to your friends.

2013 Book Wall 02

Feel free to let people know that every ten bucks they donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page, makes the world a better place AND gives you the chance to win a truly staggering number of rare, signed, or otherwise valuable books.

You can see *all* of our stretch goals here, including our new unlocked ones…..

So there you go.

Now, when you head into work tomorrow, and everyone is having the same boring conversation about Superbowl commercials, you can let your geek flag fly by saying, “That’s nothing, I saw Hank Green seduce a tree.” Or “Have you watched the video of Neil Gaiman reading Green Eggs and ham?”

Thanks for everything, folks. You’re all amazing.


This entry was posted in cool things, geeking out, Nathan Taylor Art, videos, Worldbuilders 2013. By Pat53 Responses


  1. Kali
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    Wow! So much amazingness.

    Also, while I’ve always thought of Sandeep as cute, I did not realize he was badass enough to rock a Capri-stand that hard. That is a geek with some physical prowess. Hats off to him!

    • Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

      Dude is amazing. He can actually do a standing backflip. No joke.

      • Kali
        Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

        Too cool!
        I hope he offers strange physical feats to future Worldbuilder stretch goals. Totally popcorn worthy!

        These stretch goals are becoming a talent show of stunning fabulosity. I would not be shocked if some year far in the future has G.R.R. Martin doing parkour, or Jacqueline Carey wrestling a shark. I’ve learned that you just never know what’s going to show up.

      • AlistairM
        Posted February 3, 2014 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

        Pat does a standing backflip stretch goal anyone?

    • Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

      I was actually thinking along the same lines as Kali – I wouldn’t mind having Sandeep’s number, that’s for sure. Ha!

      But really, congratulations on everything you’ve raised! I think I’ve contributed some honeybees and a flock of chickens at least :)

  2. Lymond
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    All of it is astounding. I’m not suggesting in any way you need the extra marketing, but I’d love to see you get the Colbert Bump, perhaps on the release of the third book, with a stress on WorldBuilders and Heifer International. People would probably pay to see you match up against Colbert. :-)

    • Kali
      Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

      Oh, sweet Lady of Pop Culture, let it be so! That would be amazing.

    • cynrtst
      Posted February 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

      The Green Eggs and Ham video should have gotten Colbert’s attention. That would be awesome and might blow us past a million. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

  3. Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    Wow, I plan on listening to all 88 minutes of that Scott and Elizabeth video.

    • Posted February 2, 2014 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

      It is well, well worth the time! Douche canoes are paddled, dumptrucks of money are driven, Doctor Who is spoken of for some time, and there is a good amount of profanity! Pretty much everything I could have asked for. Oh yeah and they talk about The Hobbit, too.

      • Posted February 2, 2014 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

        Ha, 51 minutes in, but I’ll have to finish tomorrow.

        • Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

          As I told Elizabeth “I took a break! I couldn’t take it all at the same time.” And also #ThatsWhatSheSaid


    • Bartb11
      Posted February 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

      I thought I could not love Scott and Elizabeth more than I already do…and then I listened to them discuss the Hobbit and found I was WRONG SO WRONG!

    • Posted February 3, 2014 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

      This is too hilarious.

      “… And by ‘extended,’ I mean stretched on a rack.”

  4. ShaneJ
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Neil Gaiman reading Green Eggs and Ham was one of the most amazing things I’ve heard today.

    And Hank Green seducing a tree was just disturbing. I loved it.

    Love how many great people support this charity and charity drive by doing things like this.

  5. isaiasw
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    So many amazing thins to comment. The reading of the fanfic sure has a bright place on the spotlight. The use of the Ketan in sex was very creative! I don’t remember reading that in the Wiseman’s Fear…hope I didn’t overlooked that. Or did Mary come up with that on her own? Anyways, amazing videos and amazing posts, as usual.
    By the way, Pat, seemed like you lost a bit of your voice in a moment or two there. Not that I blame you, though. Anyway, World Builders has no place to go but up, along with everyone involved in it. Things will only get better from here forward!

  6. gryphia
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

    I already gave money again for your three threes. But if I had more to give, this would totally get it. Especially the college survival guide. I would love to see more of that, or the book itself back in print.

    • Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

      That’s our plan. When we hit that stretch goal, we’ll put things in motion to bring it back. I’m not sure how we’ll do it, but we’ll make it available for people….

  7. Manda
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Man, everything sounds better when Neil Gaiman reads it. That would be my D-list superpower. I wish I could read books in the voice of Neil Gaiman.

    • Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

      That’s at least a c-list power….

      • Manda
        Posted February 3, 2014 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

        Heh. You’re probably right. I heard him read a couple excerpts from his books last summer and my god was he charming. It’s a good thing he didn’t try to get me to join a cult or buy a timeshare.

  8. christie
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:17 PM | Permalink


    I am still hoping/advocating for the original first chapters of “The Name of the Wind” to be available to raise money or as a stretch goal. Please.

  9. isaiasw
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Next time you can auction a rpg session of you being either the DM or a player…if I leaved around your area I’d think of this as a awesome oportunity! Of course, it’s very location restricted, but still, there’s a good chance lots of people will want to have you on their rpg tables.

  10. Jsherry
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Seriously, until the scene moves to the kitchen, where the prose becomes more purposefully purple, Mary Robinette Kowal captures Pat so well that “Penthe’s Goodbye” feel more like a cut scene than fanfic.

  11. Linnet
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    I always wondered what it was like inside the guys’ bathrooms…

    • SporkTastic
      Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

      Magical, and sometimes amazing. But hardly ever in a good way. Usually with less sheep.

  12. SporkTastic
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    Pleased. As. Punch.

    So, I turned 33 on my last birthday. This year I happen to be able to give enough to have my name in the drawing 33 times. (Only by virtue of multiple paydays, it is an *awesome* first…and may have meant a somewhat tighter belt, yeah.) I have done so. It is a magical thing. So many of my nerd friends have shared this, too – some from Mr. Gaiman’s camp, some who are just awesome…but, yeah. You and the Cap’n can make it happen. Or something.


    • SporkTastic
      Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

      Oh, also Christmas money. Might have gone into the charity. Totally worth it.

    • Posted February 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

      What a very splendid, and hobbit-tastic, way of celebrating one’s birthday!

      • SporkTastic
        Posted February 4, 2014 at 12:02 AM | Permalink


  13. grinch
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    Loved Neil Gaiman reading Green Eggs and Ham. Halfway through, when he started getting cutsie with the ‘Sam I Am’ voice, I imagined Alan Rickman taking over the voice of the (unnamed) primary character in this timeless tale. Or perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch. Someone British and disdainful in any case. Maybe next time.

  14. miscnatev
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    so glad the fundraiser is going so well! I just went in and tried to dontate again and the page didnt seem to want to go forward. I entered some monetary values, pressed continue, and then nothing happened… Not sure if this is something which needs fixing, or whether its just my dumb computer being suuuper slow today. Perhaps it’s the cold. It is so cold.

    Anyway, I’ll try again tonight, but I thought I’d drop a line here and let you know.

    • Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

      This is the other reason we extended things a couple more days….

      Drop us a line if you can’t get it to work after trying it again.

  15. ericturner29
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Does the revised & more detailed map come out in advance of, concurrent with, or after day 3?

  16. Robo
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Kind of hoping you don’t hit $650K. I like having one of the original College Survival Guides. I bought it when it was like $50-100 bucks.

    Hope the “new” “second” edition won’t resemble the first.

    • Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

      No. Rest assured, it will be a whole different thing….

      • Robo
        Posted February 3, 2014 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

        So you’re saying it’s gonna be so badass I’ll have to buy another one, aren’t you? Fuck, Pat. I think you were Rasputin in an earlier life.

        • Brett
          Posted February 3, 2014 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

          The idea is that we’ll do things like proofread and fix the errors contained in the first edition, as well as create a layout closer to what the two of us originally had in mind back in the day. I may also re-draw some of the illustrations that offend my sensibilities.
          It’ll be different enough that you’ll probably want to check it out.

          • slemay2003
            Posted February 4, 2014 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

            Yeah! 650,000!!! I’ve been wanting one of the CSGs!

            Pat/Brett, you rock!

  17. Hibs
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Permalink
    – Said the broke college girl.
    But it’s a good cause, awesome goals and- what the hell, just take the clothes off my back already!

  18. Posted February 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never been so turned on by cloven hooves … Kudos to Mary! Great read, guys!

  19. TrueEyes
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    So what does everyone hope they win from lottery once its done? Hoping of the Beta reader for Auris Novella personally…that withstanding maybe the drab/jot set or the first edition of name of the wind.

    Feel ashamed that I want to win something but if I had a million ide prolly give a mil at the shot to beta read for you lol. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help folks around the world with my donation.

  20. Jsherry
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    Is there an unofficial Who Won What With How many Entries in the Lottery thread anywhere? I know Pat doesn’t post the winners, but it might be interesting to see how the odds play out in reality.

    From my perspective, the odds are every bit as good as Pat broke them down at some point during last year’s drive. I donated $20 one year, won nothing, $30 the next, and won a signed hardcover (which I enjoyed).

    • Holmelund
      Posted February 4, 2014 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

      I have participated all the other years as well and still has not won anything :(

  21. Posted February 3, 2014 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    LOL Sandeep: “It’s for some charity!” That’s practically what I said to my sister when after telling her I needed her credit card.

    Also, I cannot unseee that video of Hank Green seducing a tree.
    Also also, Molly Lewis’ cover was amazing.
    Also also also, I’d absolutely love to see a more detailed map of the world you’ve built, legendary rothfuss. /uses left hand to sign *respectful gratitude*/
    Great post!

  22. firebird
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    I’m not quite sure how I feel about Basts and Kvothes relationship now.

  23. Hawks
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    Are there any golden tickets this year?

  24. NoahM
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Permalink


    I bought your fan fiction on eBay to support charity, because it was funny and some day it will be one of those rare artifacts like Davinci’s notebook. You’ll see I paid an absurd price, but it is cool because it is for charity. In any event here’s a stretch goal for you: a Patrick Rothfuss favor. We know you’re super busy and don’t have time, but there hasnt even been one this year. Put one in the raffle and one in the auctions buddy and I bet we break $750K. You know you want to. You know we need you to! Come on dude, just two favors! Think of the children! : ). Yes, that was my nefarious attempt to manipulate you in faux Machiavellian style into doing what you know you want to anyway.

  25. JeremyM
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    I am fire…I am death…I’m a douchebag! Favorite line of the Hobbit review so far. I wish I could be half as loquacious when sober as they are when drunk. By far my favorite stretch goal so far, but then again we haven’t seen Pat read the erotic fanfic yet.

  26. guessingo
    Posted February 5, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Who is molly? That hobbit song is terrific. You didn’t give a last name? Is she an author?

    So… what stretch goal do we need to get Patrick Rothfuss to do a handstand and drink a Capri Sun? I’m ok with you cheating and using cables or having people hold you up… But just turning a camera upside down would not be acceptable.

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