The Traditional Pat Rothfuss Donation Blog

As I write this blog, Worldbuilders has raised $655,000, which means we’ve raised over $160,000 since we first made the announcement about our million dollar goal two days ago.

That $160,000 alone is enough to give over 300 families the gift of a cow. A cow like the one Rahel Mhema and Steven Kipagatie received five years ago, or like Guli Siwale is just beginning to prepare for, as a part of the same program.

Rahel Mhema and Steven Kipagatie (left). Guli Siwale (right).

One of Heifer’s most successful programs has been the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD), which works with small-scale farmers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to improve dairy production at every point, from caring for the animals, to training in more efficient milking techniques, to improving distribution infrastructure.

When Mhema and Kipagatie joined the program five years ago and received a dairy cow, they shared their long-term dreams:

  • Educate their children through high school and on to university
  • Establish an orchard
  • Buy more land for commercial timber
  • Plant timber trees
  • Buy a Vehicle

I’m sure you can guess where this is heading: Five years after receiving their cow, Mhema and Kipagatie have achieved all these goals and even more.

Guli Siwale is a coffee farmer who is eagerly awaiting the gift of a cow. Siwale’s life hasn’t been easy–her husband died in 2005, and she lost her only daughter a few years later. This left her to provide for her three grandchildren by herself. And time are hard, as it’s a daily struggle to provide even regular meals.

But Siwale believes better days are ahead, because very soon she will receive her cow.

As my son constantly reminds me, a cow provides 7 gallons of milk a day. Enough to provide a reliable nutritional cornerstone that will keep Guli’s family heathy. The extra milk will generate a constant income stream that will allow her to buy necessities like medicine and clothes. Beyond that, the money can be used to pay for school fees and will help put varied, healthy food on the table three times a day.

Perhaps most importantly, the cow’s manure will improve her coffee crop, meaning healthier soil, and vastly improved crop yields. Guli says her dream is to set up small businesses for her grandchildren, to give them the same hope she feels. “I will be able to lead a life that other people are leading,” Siwale said.

For Guli, the gift of a cow means hope for her family, control over her future, and a way to become self-reliant despite the upheavals in their lives.

Thanks to you folks donating and helping to spread the word, we’re making it possible to give that kind of hope to more than 300 new families. Since Tuesday.

Have I mentioned that you are awesome? Because you are.

* * *

Every year it becomes harder for me to collect items together to donate to the fundraiser. I mean, how do can I compete with 2,500 books from John Scalzi, or an amazing, hand-crafted Black Walnut gaming table from Wyrmwood?

But I’ve got to throw my hat in, because this is my charity, after all.

So. Let’s show off some things.

  • 5 sets of Kingkiller Books, signed by me.

Donating my books makes the most logical sense, so I always toss a few of these in. Each prize consists of The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and The Slow Regard of Silent Things. I’ll sign all of them for you.

Hell, I’ll even personalize them for you if you want. My team will be irritated that I’m adding that at the last minute. But if you win these, we’ll drop you a line and I’ll sign them however would make you happy.

  • Auction: 1st Edition 1st Printing of The Name of the Wind. Signed and/or personalized to the winners desire.

This auction is for a 1st/1st The Name of the Wind hardcover, which is currently unsigned. But if you win it, I’ll sign, quote, and personalize it to your specifications.

These usually end up going for a lot of money, and I’ll be honest, I’m running out of them. When I was first published I sold them out of the trunk of my car willy-nilly when I should have obviously been hoarding them. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that some day I’d have a successful charity that could turn these things into goats and cows for Heifer International.

Soon we’re going to have to start auctioning the ones I’ve rescued from libraries.

The point is, they’re pretty rare. So if you want a chance to own one (While helping out a cool charity) you might want to jump sooner rather than later and bid on it right here.

  • 5 sets of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle books, signed by me.

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle is my worst-kept secret, because for some reason everywhere I go there are still people out there who have no idea these exist.

They’re delightfully illustrated picture books that I did with Nate Taylor, and Worldbuilders is the only place keeping them in print, so every copy supports charity.

  • Auction: “Storybeard” art print. Signed by me and Nate Taylor.

When Worldbuilders was at the Emerald City Comic Con last spring, Nate was there as well, and he gave us the very last signed “Storybeard” print he had.

This is that print. I signed it, and now it’s safe in its mylar sleeve, away from my grubby hands and waiting for a new home.

You can bid on it here.

  • 5 copies of the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Name of the Wind, signed & badly doodled by me.

This book surprised me this year. We had to start a new printing practically instantly. It sold better than I could’ve possibly anticipated.

It has beautiful illustrations from Dan Dos Santos, a new dust jacket by Sam Weber, currency descriptions with illustrations from Nate Taylor, and the first-ever codified calendar.

I’ve also gotten Brett to give me a step-by-step instructional sketch on how to doodle a bee.

He makes it look really easy, but it’s not. Not if you’re me.

I’ve already started practicing:

I hope you’ll note that as I worked on this, moving from upper left to lower right, my bees actually became progressively worse. At best they look like kinda weird, hairy potatoes. At worst they look like bees brought into existence by a cruel, cartoony god. The lopsided orbs that were meant to be eyes, twisting until they seem to become mouths, crying out silently for the sweet surcease of death….

Um. Yeah. So these books I’m putting into the lottery will have bees in them. Hopefully better bees than these, but if not… I’m sorry? Maybe I’ll just draw the bee on a piece of paper and you can use it as a bookmark instead…

  • Auction: A handmade marble and copper tak board made by a fan.

A generous fan made this and gave it to me at PAX West this year. I was amazingly touched, because it was the first Tak board I’d seen done in stone.

That said, I’m from the midwest. So I have trouble accepting gifts for myself. But luckily, when I asked him if we could use it to raise money during out Worldbuilders fundraiser, he happily agreed.

It’s made of three different colors of marble, with an 1/8″ sheet of copper as the base. This thing is HEAVY. It looks like an in-world artifact that you might find in some noble court off in Vintas.

I love that the surface is a little uneven, and the copper is starting to develop a beautiful patina. You can can even see a few stress fractures in the marble–the whole thing looks like it’s had thousands of games played on it.

This one-of-a-kind tak board can be yours if you bid over here.

  • A set of 40 of my favorite fantasy books.

A few years ago, someone asked me what they should read while they were waiting for my next book. So I posted a blog listing my 40 favorite fantasy books and/or series are. Books that everyone should read if they wanted to consider themselves well-versed in fantasy.

The clever among you will note that this picture contains a lot more than 40 books. This is because I cheated and used entire series as an entry. Like the Dresden Files, which I adore. (Currently 15 books.) Or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. (38 books.)

Some of these books are exceptionally hard to find. It took my team many attempts to get all of them. And now I’ve put a set of them up here.

  • Auction: Slow Regard of Silent Things page proofs, signed by me.

As part of the publishing process, authors are sent page proofs. This is an important step before publication, to make sure that everything looks right before they finally go to print. It’s the last opportunity to fix typos or change a word.

It’s a pretty important opportunity to me with any book, but especially so for Slow Regard because in addition to my obsessive revisionist tendencies, this was my last chance to make sure the art was properly positioned on the pages. That the pages where the text wrapped around or near illustrations were perfect.

I spent a lot of time with these page proofs. And now, they can be yours. They’re truly one-of-a-kind, containing the entire book, and I’ve besmirched the first page of them with my grubby signature. You can get all biddy on this over here.

Lastly, I’d like to remind you that there are more auctions than the ones I’ve mentioned in this blog going on now, and that the money we raise them does count toward our final total in the fundraiser, so bidding here will help us reach our $715,000 goal to get that matching donation of $285,000.

But don’t forget, every $10 you donate directly to the fundraiser moves us closer to that goal, too. Plus you get the chance to win all manner of books like the ones I’ve just donated above. Also games. Also jewelry. Also a Balcony Cabin for Two on the Joco Cruise and so much more…

It also make you feel really good, too. Trust me on this. Knowing you’ve changed someone’s life is a good feel. When you donate to us, you know you’ve helped a family forever.

* * *

We’ve come a long way in these last two days, folks. We’re so close to the $715,000 goal that I can taste it.

We’re making a difference. We’re making the world a better place.

Four days left. Keep spreading the word….

This entry was posted in Nathan Taylor Art, Worldbuilders 2017By Pat16 Responses


  1. Kelly
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Hi there, is the set of “40 Favorite Books” an auction? I NEED this link. :-)

    Thank you,

  2. sbrow154
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat Rothfuss,

    I am currently a reporter for The Pointer at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I was curious if you could give me a little more information on why you chose to create Worldbuilders and work with Heifer International. I’ve read many of your blog posts, but we are really interested in doing an interview with you. I had commented on one of your blog posts from last year, but I thought I would try again today with this post. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon! Enjoy the rest of your day and year!

    Samantha Brown

    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

      Maybe drop us an e-mail?

      (No offense, but putting a comment on a year-old blog isn’t the best way to get our attention.)

      • sbrow154
        Posted December 10, 2017 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

        [email protected] is my email. Thank you for the response.

        • Karim
          Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

          He means *you* should email *Worldbuilders*! :) That’s the professional thing.

        • huchamabacha
          Posted December 11, 2017 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

          sbrow154, if you need an email address for Worldbuilders, [email protected] is the one listed on their website!

  3. Karim
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    The third bee looks like someone kicked it in the stinger.

    I think that’s 41 Discworld novels, Pat. (Though I’ll always hate those American Pratchett books. Partially for the ugly, unimaginative covers, but *really* for the fact they de-Britishified the text for American audiences. It’s a shame.)

    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

      What? They did?

      Now I’m pissed. Do you know what they changed?

      • Dramlin
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

        There’s a Reddit:

        It’s like when they changed the name of the first Harry Potter book for the US audience — a sorcerer’s stone isn’t even a real thing! At least you could look up philosopher’s stone if you didn’t know what it was

      • Karim
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

        As Dramlin pointed-out, the differences are idiomatic. I’m not sure how big a difference they are, though a hardcore fan’s refusal to buy the American versions was enough for me. (I’m sure they’re not that bad, but his anger obviously stuck with me.)

        I may have conflated two memories to some degree: the big changes were in “Good Omens.” 700 words’ worth.

        I’m sure Pratchett sanctioned these changes, though! :)

        (My comment was a little irresponsible, perhaps.)

  4. teaganicole
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    The Last Unicorn made your list! That book changed how I viewed the world. I feel rewritten as a person when I read Peter S Beagle.

    Thanks for making World Builders, Heifer International is an amazing organization.

  5. 1999Brock
    Posted December 10, 2017 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Y’ALL! Y’all. We did it.

    That’s a million dollars right over there to the right of this blog post.

    That’s so many cows.

    That’s so many people with better lives.

    Today is a two party hat kind of day. *<*<:D

    • Karim
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

      This comment is so endearing. Never change.

  6. Kurty
    Posted December 16, 2017 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Man, you weren’t joking about being bad at drawing 😂
    That’s the first proper laugh I’ve had in a while.
    You can’t be good at everything though, you chose to be a great wordsmith instead of an artist.
    An for that I am grateful :)

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