WMF Photo Contest Part III – Book Metaphors

As things settle out here at Worldbuilders HQ, I took the time to go through some more photo contest entries again.

If you don’t remember the Photo Contest… well… it’s probably not your fault given that I actually started this contest back in 2011 and am only now finally getting around to posting up the winners.

In my defense, there were over a thousand entries. But honestly, even that isn’t much of an excuse. There’s a reason why I’m thinking of getting business cards made that list my title as “King of Broken Promises.”

If you want to see the previous photo contest posts, they’re over here.

But for now, let’s move on to today’s categories.

  • Heavy Book

When the hardcover of The Wise Man’s Fear came out, it was the same size as NOTW. However, it was also 330 pages longer. This led to a book that was startlingly heavy to some folks. So it makes sense that about a dozen folks made that the focus of their their photo entries.

This one’s called, “Discarding the old equipment:”

Discarding the old equipment 2

Even the hero of Canton can’t hold it up forever.


Honorable Mention

Doctor, my spine is broken

I like this one because it went for the more subtle approach…. at least in the image itself. The title was slightly more forthright: “Doctor, my spine is broken.”


hot stone therapy

This one rings the winning bell because of the implication that the heft of the book is part of its therapeutic charm. Bridget had this to say when she sent the photos:

“Reading Kvothe’s story is enjoyably therapeutic. Yours words are like the basalt stones, heavy and dark but with the deep, sigh-inducing weight of ancient warmth seeping into my tense muscles and tired bones, melting the stress of the day into a puddle of wax.”


  • Things We Fear

This was another category with a dozen or so entries….

learning about fear

Dentists are a pretty obvious fear, especially if they read while drilling your teeth.

book 001

Honorable Mention

This picture might have been baffling (see our final category below) if not for the title, which was “Fear of Rabbits.”

fear of rabbits

I don’t know if they’re making a specific reference to Anya from Buffy, but I thought it was off-beat enough to warrant an honorable mention.



Yeah. Clowns. Winner.

Don’t make eye contact. Let’s move on.

  • Congrats, you have baffled me.

This was a surprisingly large category, comprised entirely of pictures that… well… that just confused the hell out of me.

The-Wise-Man's-Fear Contest Charlie Brown

Don’t get me wrong. I *like* a lot of these pictures.

Handsome book stand

But I have no idea what they were meant to convey.

competition for reading this book is stiff

Is there a narrative here? An implication?


Did my book get you pregnant? Congratulations? I’m sorry?


Is this a metaphor? Does the fancy giraffe represent… strife? Man’s inhumanity to man? The uncaring chains of fate and causality that bind us all?

My HipstaPrint 0(2)-2

More importantly, is Yoda shoving something up that wooden man’s ass?

Some of these I’m sure have hidden meaning. I know if I viewed them through the proper lens, they would reveal their mysteries to me.

Like this one:

2011 Winner!

It took me ages to realize it’s about Auri.

Before you realize that, it’s utterly confusticating. But after you make the connection, the picture makes perfect sense. It tells a story. What’s more, it’s rather sweet.

But some pictures… I don’t think there’s any hidden meaning. Some pictures, I’m pretty sure y’all are just fucking with me.

Like bookface.


And the bone cake.

chocolate cake of death and awesome

And… this.


But when two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. So…

Honorable Mention


This one tugged my heartstrings for sheer enthusiasm. I don’t know why she’s wearing a swim cap and goggles, and honestly I don’t care. I’m just glad you’re happy. You keep being your awesome self.



(Click to Embiggen. It’s worth it.)

Here we have a beautiful, delightfully mysterious masterpiece. The title of the image? “Bird.”

Winners will be receiving a set of the rare gold talent pipes that I give to beta readers and other folks that have made my life better/cooler.

Gold Pipes

And you know what? Because I feel bad that it’s taken me ages to get around to awarding prizes, we’ll give out pipes to the honorable mentions too.

If your picture was a winner, keep an eye on whatever email you used in 2011, because we’ll be contacting you to make sure we have the right address for you.

*     *     *

Lastly, as I’ve mentioned, there are too many pictures to post up in the blog. If you’d like to check the other ones out, you can head over to the Flickr stream we made. And by “we” I mean “Amanda” because we’ve all seen what happens when you wait for me to get shit done…

More photo contest results soon,


This entry was posted in fan coolness, Photo Contest 2011. By Pat57 Responses


  1. Linnet
    Posted March 2, 2014 at 9:57 PM | Permalink


    • Posted March 2, 2014 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

      Have you heard?

      • auriismyhero
        Posted March 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

        Bababa bird bird bird, bird is the word

        • Christer
          Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

          Well… now that’s stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

          • Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Permalink


  2. isaiasw
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    Maybe the meaning of the picture with the pregnancy test is something like: “Wise man are always wary/scared of a girl’s pregnancy test”. Maybe. Bridget’s explanation of the picture, in which she uses metaphors for your books and words are pretty much perfect. Seriously, perfect.

    I wonder if entries from Brazil are valid as well, for future contests?

    • robwalmsley
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      I also thought that a wise man fears a pregnancy test.

      • Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

        It seems like that *might* be the implication….

        • kaleid
          Posted March 3, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

          Amy confirmed on Facebook that Yes, a wise man would fear a positive pregnancy test. And also that she has a wonderful two year old boy!

    • bridget9313
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

      isaiasw, why thank you kindly for bestowing such praise on my words. I do strive for perfection in all my wordsmithing. To capture the essence of an image or feeling just right is what makes life worth living. I am truly honored to be among the winners of this contest, though I do wish I could do the picture over again. The idea was good, but the execution could be better. Alas, it was so long ago…..

  3. Sandhya
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    My god! How I love your blog. No matter what kind of day I have, no matter how stressed I am, you always make me giggle. Thank you Pat Rothfuss.

  4. ggeezz
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    That’s definitely a laden swallow.

  5. Posted March 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    Ah yes. I have met this Amanda human. She does indeed have a degree in GSD (Getting Shit Done). Well done, Amanda. Well done. With any luck (and a bit of time), next time, there will be cinnamon rolls.

    • SporkTastic
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

      Time!? This is no time to be mentioning time! We don’t. Have. The time.

      • SporkTastic
        Posted March 3, 2014 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

        …I think I need a nap.

  6. spoonyspork
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Sigh. Every time I see another part to this contest, I keep hoping that random, anonymous person I saw on a Fark thread a few years back did what I begged them to do and submit their photo, because it was wonderful in a ‘that’s hilariously terrible!’ kind of way.

    The years have probably embellished the memory a bit, but from what I remember it was a pretty nice, tastefully done photo with some ‘Firefly’ references in it. Nothing *really* spectacular… except in the background is a dog taking a crap. The part my brain may be embellishing is that instead of the focal point being the person in the Mal getup, it ended up on the dog in the background. They were so horrified when they saw it, they decided not to submit anything to the contest at all. I begged them to anyway. I wonder if they read this blog any more, and if so I want them to know it made me ‘belly laugh’ for a good five minutes and deserves to be seen by more people. :D

    • spoonyspork
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

      …. and as soon as I submitted that comment, I remembered it may have in fact been a ‘Doctor Horrible/Captain Hammer’ theme, not Firefly. D’oh!

  7. MrsWhis
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    I think the girl with the goggles is ready to “dive in” to reading the book. Fun pictures!

    • Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

      Actually, she just chimed in below….

  8. robwalmsley
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    A wise man fears a proctological exam from Yoda?

    • SporkTastic
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

      A wise man fears the things Yoda shoves up the wooden man’s ass.

  9. hasseth
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    I think swim cap is going for something along the lines of “Diving into a good book.”

  10. Robo
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    So, Pat. Not doing a Sub Press version of NOTW? Ever?

  11. Ronin
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink


    I have been reading the King Killer books for 2 years now. I have also brought my 20 year old daughter into Kvothe’s world now.
    When she was 11 we started the Harry Potter books together. Since then we have had a real connection when it comes to Fantasy Books. During her teens, I’m sad to say that I even read the Twilight series because she was so passionate about them. Not since Harry Potter, have we had a truer meeting of the minds.
    She is now finishing her second year of a Musical Theatre Degree. She reminds me so much of Denna. She too, is beautiful, graceful, and intelligent, she is also a talented musician and singer. Thank goodness she does not have the dark and hidden past.
    I was thinking about getting her some talent Pipes for the end of this year, and I noticed that on the Tinker’s Pack page all the pipes are white gold, however in this blog today, they are yellow gold. With that being said, will you ever be selling yellow gold plated (as school is quite pricey) Pipes.
    Or can she earn her own pair? ;0)

  12. Ryuyasha
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    When you say all honorable mentions, does that include the earlier blogs like the action photos?

    • Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

      I’m just talking about this blog for now….

      • lykashii
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

        Ah :( I always hold out hope that Pat might decide to award those whose pictures were used in the verse he made in the prologue: A Sussian Sussurus.

        Alas! I’m afraid it is not so..

  13. Ippswich
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Swim cap here…

    Woots! I think I may be way more excited about getting honorable mention than I should be, but what the hell – how often does your goofy picture end up on your favorite authors website? (Not kissing ass here, you really are my favorite author.)

    As for the picture, I was just feeling particularly silly one day and needed something to submit for the contest. So no hidden meanings – just full-on silly.

    Woots again!

    • Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

      We here at Rothcorp officially condone silliness.

      • SporkTastic
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

        So…my brain does weird things sometimes. Like make a series of images then post them to Imgur.

    • Brickles
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

      I thought for sure this was a ‘can’t wait to dive into a great book’ type of meaning.

      Funny that it was actually meaningless silliness and I was (as typical) over-complicating things.

      Made me chuckle, thanks for the laugh :)

  14. Thomas Witherspoon
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    If an image of mine made it into the “A Sussian Sussurus” post you made years ago…does that count as an honorable mention? It was the one with Firefly and your book. I hope I can remember the email I used!

  15. christie
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    Photo contest update made my morning!

    I was concerned about the souper-tea… but if it results in photo contest updates…I have conflicting emotions. Moderation I guess. Best wishes with the souper powers.

  16. Artemis
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Fear of Rabbits guy here;

    I didn’t even catch the Anya reference until you mentioned it! I was just reading while mucking around with some of the guinea pigs when I thought carrots probably have good reason to fear rabbits and, pets being uncooperative (I wonder why…), for some reason I thought your book might make a good subsititute for. :D

    I think was at the pub beforehand though so that might explain it. :P

    Hope you’re doing well!

  17. Oatmeal
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    WOOHOO!!! Who would have imagined that when I stopped my Husband on his way to work and said “Here, hold this and look scary” that we would have WON! Ah the wonder and joy of being married to a clown.
    Meanwhile, I got him his own set of silver Talent Pipes for Christmas. Looks like the gold ones are MINE.

  18. Posted March 3, 2014 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    That giraffe one just made me really laugh.
    He’s sitting up so straight and his face is so judgy. LOL

    It’s making me ridiculously happy.

    • Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

      I’m irrationally fond of that one too….

  19. Marcus Cox
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Just realized yesterday was the three year anniversary of The Wise Man’s Fear publication. Man how the time flies.

    • cynrtst
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Time flies when you’re waiting for the next book….

  20. gv
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of heavy books, Brandon Sanderson’s new book “Words of Radiance” is out tomorrow. (I’m sure P.R. has already ARCed it, but for the rest of us…)

  21. iclimb55
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, I made the blog. My photo is an escaped flit that is now listening to your book. I am actually glad it is taking awhile for the new book to come out. It has forced me to listen to the first books multiple times which I may not have if the series was done. They are better each time. Thanks for the books Pat.

    • AlistairM
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

      Is that the Rupert Degas narrated audiobook?

      He did a fantastic job of reading the books IMO. I listen to it every time I’m on a long journey, and sometimes when I’m not, time flies by.

      I hope he’ll read the last book when it’s out.

      • iclimb55
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

        I have the Nick Podehl version, who also did a fantastic job. They better both read the last book. I hate when series switch readers. It completely ruins the flow. Like in Game Of Thrones. You would think a new narrator would at least try to pronounce existing names consistently with the previous readings.

        • Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

          Trust me. I’ll be doing everything possible to keep the same narrators….

          • AlistairM
            Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

            That’d be much appreciated.

            I remember they changed the narrator in the Robyn Hobb dragon books 3 times !

            And in the Peter V Brett demon cycle books they got rid of the British narrator for the last book.

          • KNMiller
            Posted March 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

            Will the novellas be available as audiobooks? That’d be awesome!

  22. Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    I first thought the Auri picture is about Little Red Riding Hood and the fear of the Big Bad Wolf. :D

  23. bldysabba
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    I suppose the ‘Spine is broken’ title is also going for the spine of the book being creased from reading.

  24. Frances
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure the bird with the flying iPod is a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/614/

    Little woodpecker probably got the WMF audiobook for his birthday :)

    • iclimb55
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

      Funny. Am I the only one who thought the flits were hummingbirds?

      • Frances
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 4:23 AM | Permalink

        That’ll teach me for not reading all the comments before posting. But you have to admit it does look a lot like the xkcd comic (which features a woodpecker). I personally also imagined the flits as being akin to hummingbirds.

  25. carloscastaf
    Posted March 10, 2014 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    I’m honored that you mentioned my photo (the one about Auri) and that *you* say it tells a story and that it’s rather sweet. When I took it I didn’t mean to make it about Auri at all, but maybe that’s what Auri is all about, finding sweetness on random everyday stuff…

    Now, since I’m honored of being mentioned on your blog, that means I got honorable mention right? Am I pushing logic and rhetoric too far on a desperate attempt to earn a set of talent pipes? I guess I had to try.


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