Category Archives: Nathan Taylor Art

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

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

ScreenCap1

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.

Probably.

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.

pat

Also posted in cool things, geeking out, videos, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat53 Responses

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle – Part II

Those of you who have been around for a while know about the picture book I wrote a while back.

Some of you might even have heard me read it story-time style. It’s huge fun to read to a crowd, and I do it whenever a venue has sufficient AV setup available, because, y’know, picture book. With pictures.

Princess cover

(It’s not what it looks like.)

  • Side Note: we just recently managed to get more hardcover copies back in stock at the Tinker’s Packs, if you’re interested in picking one up. They were impossible to find for a while….

As I said. I’m guessing most of you who read the blog already know about this book, since it’s been out since 2010 and I’ve talked about it on the blog several times since then.

What I’m guessing most of you *don’t* know is that about a year ago I wrote up a script for a sequel. Since then, the fabulous Nathan Taylor has been slaving away in the art mines, hewing beautiful graphics from the living rock.

I have to say I really like this arrangement. I spend a couple days writing a script, then get to turn the story over to someone else for, let’s be honest here, most of the heavy lifting. It’s so nice compared to having to do all the work on a story myself….

Anyway, we’ve finally reached the point where we’re announcing the book all official like:

The_Adventures_of_the_Princess_and_Mr_Whiffle_the_Dark_of_Deep_Below_BandW

(Click to Embiggen)

Those of you who have read the first book know how amazing Nate’s art is. When I teamed up with him that first time, I knew he was good, but I didn’t realize how good. The quality of his work really amazed me. He turned my amusing little story into something really brilliant and cool.

So imagine my surprise when I started to see the finished art for this second book, and it was even better than before. Like all real artists, Nate is always developing his craft, and as a result he’s even more amazing now.

For example, in my script, I wrote. “I want something imposing. This is no mere door. I want a fucking eldritch portal.”

Nate worked on it for a while, then sent met this:

The_Adventures_of_the_Princess_and_Mr_Whiffle_Page_Thirty_One

I said, “Yes. I think that is sufficiently eldritch.”

So what (I hear you ask) is this second book about?

Well… you should know by now that I don’t go in for spoilers. But I’m not opposed to offering up a bit of a teaser that doesn’t give anything away….

For one thing, the Princess gets a younger brother.

The_Adventures_of_the_Princess_and_Mr_Whiffle_Page_Three

(Say it with me: Awwwww….. )

For another, in this book the Princess goes exploring in the Deep Below.

And no, that’s not a spoiler. Why? Because it’s in the title of the book. It’s called “The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below.”

The_Adventures_of_the_Princess_and_Mr_Whiffle_2

There are a few versions of the book available for pre-order over at Subterranean Press.

The first is the lovely hardcover with the nice paper. The same format as the first princess book.

The second is the limited edition. That one’s leather bound, and signed by both me and Nate. Plus it has extra concept sketches from Nate, a color dust jacket, and will include my original script write-up (parts of which are pretty funny, if I do say so myself.)

The third is the lettered edition which has everything included in the limited version, AND its own slipcase AND a piece of unique hand-drawn art by Nate himself.

Fair warning, the Limited Edition of the first book sold out in less than 24 hours. So if you want one of these, you might want to make your order sooner rather than later.

Or you could just wander over there and take a sneak peek at more of the teaser pictures.

It’s your call…

pat

Also posted in side projects, Subterranean Press, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle | By Pat73 Responses

Fanmail: Apocalypse Wow

Mr. Rothfuss,

Last night I had the most kick-ass dream that I was living through the zombie apocalypse. In my dream, I saved Oot from zombies and brought him back to my house. Since it was the apocalypse, and night was coming, I was prepared to look after him indefinitely.

But just as the sun was setting, you knocked on my door. You had run across several states (in a mere evening), and you were shaggy, but gloriously so. You imperiously held out your hand, I returned Oot to you, and then you turned around and the two of you marched off into the sunset. The experience of being in your presence left me invincible against zombies for several days.

Needless to say, I was rather angry when I was woken up.

On a different note, if I were actually living through a zombie apocalypse, your books would be in my survival kit.

That is all,

Audrey

*     *     *

My name is Patrick Rothfuss, and I approve this message.

through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered....

P.S. Thanks for taking care of Oot for me.

That is all,

pat

Also posted in dreams, fanmail, I Am Your Spirit Animal | By Pat36 Responses

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle

Those of you that have been around for a while probably already know about the picture book I did with Nate Taylor a couple years back: The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed.

The book was published back in 2010, but it’s been out of print for a long while. With the exception of the few copies we’ve had up in the Tinker’s Packs, people haven’t been able to get hold of it anywhere….

But now it’s being re-released in paperback. It’s got a new cover and everything….

They’re also doing a limited edition with a color version of the old cover, too.

[Edit: this limited edition version has a color cover. Just like I said above. Just the cover is color. Not the whole thing.]

What’s really interesting to me is that Nate (who did the coloring here) obviously thought of her dress as pink, whereas I’ve always thought of it as blue.

The new versions of the book have an new author’s note from me, if you’re into that sort of thing. But better than that, they have pages of Nate’s original concept sketches with both of our handwritten notes all over them. It was really neat for me to see those again after all these years….

Best of all, the folks at Sea Lion books are kicking a portion of all the profits raised from the sale of the book toward Worldbuilders this year. To start off, they’re donating 10% of each sale toward the fundraiser, but if they sell enough books, they’ve agreed to boost that percentage up to 15% 20% or even 25%

Personally, I think that’s really cool.

So. If you’d like to get a copy and help out Worldbuilders at the same time, you can pre-order it directly from Sea Lion over here. (The limited edition color-cover version is currently on sale, too.)

You can order it from other places, of course, but if you pre-order it there, then Sea Lion makes more money on the deal. Which means that Worldbuilders makes more money. And, in the interest of complete honesty, Nate and I get more money too.

Fair-warning: the pre-order sale will be done pretty soon, as the books will be shipping before Halloween.

Also I’m not sure how quickly the limited-edition color ones will sell out. The limited copies of Unfettered sold out pretty fast after I posted up the link….

Just so you know,

pat

Edit: A few more questions that Sea Lion noticed in the comments below and has asked me to answer.

1. The limited edition *will* come with the “This Shit is Not For Kids” sticker.

As always, I feel a slight twinge about this sticker, which on casual inspection makes my book look like a Caldecott Award winner. But then I remind myself that any parent that buys a book for a child based on an award sticker they don’t even read, deserves what’s coming to them.

2. The limited editions will still be for sale after Halloween, but they won’t be on sale. That’s just for the pre-order.

 

Also posted in cool news, side projects, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat54 Responses

Fanmail FAQ: The F Word.

Dear Pat,

Life got busy for me early on this year, and I fell behind reading your blog. But now that school’s started back up again, I’ve been able to catch up by reading back through the archives during my more boring lectures.

So I’ve got a couple of questions. Well…. honestly, I have a couple hundred questions I could ask you. But I’ll limit myself to two that came to me from a blog you wrote back in April.

You talked about going to see Cabin in the Woods. And in that blog you said:

“My plan is to go see it, preferably in the company of an attractive, easily startled young woman. That way, when the movie gets scary, she will cling to me desperately for comfort.”

This struck me as a little odd. In you’re biography, you describe yourself as a feminist. That doesn’t seem like a feminist sort of thing to say.

I’m not trying to pick a fight here, honest. I’m genuinely curious. One of my favorite things about your books is how you handle your female characters. They’re strong and smart and… well…. kinda real. They’re not generic stereotypes and helpless maids in need of saving. They’re not cliche.

So my questions are these:

1. Was Cabin in the Woods any good?

2. How do you reconcile being a feminist and at the same time wanting to have pretty young girls cling to you for comfort?

Sorry this e-mail is a long one. And I understand if you don’t have time to answer it. I know you’re busy.

A fan,

Alanna

*     *     *

Okay. First off Alanna, you really shouldn’t be reading my blog in class. I am a former teacher, you realize. I can’t condone that sort of behavior.

Second off, while I am busy. (So busy.) I enjoy answering questions like this. Especially when it gives me a chance to talk about two things I enjoy: Feminism and Joss Whedon.

  • 1. Was The Cabin in the Woods good?

It was was so, s0 good.

How good? Honestly, I think I enjoyed it more than the Avengers. And I enjoyed the hell out of the Avengers….

It was so good that I bought the DVD just a couple days after it came out and watched it with my friends when they’d come to visit. I think it’s the first time in two years that I’ve done that. (Have I mentioned the whole so busy thing? Yeah. I’m that busy.)

Don’t worry about it being your typical cliche horror movie. Joss Whedon is way too smart for that. And he does a good job with female characters too, in my opinion.

  • 2. How can I consider myself a feminist and still want women to cling to me?

Okay. Here we go.

First off, we have to leave aside a huge, in-depth discussion of what, specifically, feminism is. Because that’s a big, big topic. It’s a whole book’s worth, let alone a blog.

Suffice it to say that there are roughly as many types of feminism as there are feminists.

Which means it’s really complicated. And believe me, it leads to some really interesting discussions when feminists get together and talk.

(And I’m not being catty when I say that. Yeah sure. Sometimes when feminists get together they fight like Paglia and Steinem. But most of the time when I’ve gotten together with other like-minded folks to discuss the nature of feminism, the conversations have been rewarding and enlightening.)

If I were asked for a very general, simple definition of feminism….

Well, honestly, if someone asked me that, I’d probably avoid the question. Partly because I’d suspect them of wanting to start a fight, and also because because there is no simple definition. As I’ve said, it’s a pretty complicated thing.

But if I were pressed for a definition, I’d say something like this:

1. Feminism is the belief that women are as worth as much as men.

1a. (Corollary) This means women should be treated as fairly as men.

1b. (Corollary) This means women should be respected as much as men.

1c. (Corollary) This means women should have the same rights as men.

1d. (Corollary) Etc etc.

2. Feminism is the belief that women shouldn’t have to do things just because they’re women.

2a. (Corollary) Men shouldn’t have to do things just because they’re men.

3. Feminism is the belief that women shouldn’t have to *avoid* doing things just because they’re women.

3a. (Corollary) Men shouldn’t have to *avoid* doing things just because they’re men.

As an example:

#2 up there means that (to pick a trivial example) ladies shouldn’t feel obliged to shave their armpits just because of some fucked up societal pressures that started due to marketing campaigns back in 1915.

#3 means that if you *want* to shave your pits, that’s cool too. It’s not like you’re letting down all of womankind if you do.

A more serious example of this relates to raising kids.

#2 means that women shouldn’t feel obliged to be stay-at-home moms.

#3 means that if you want to be a stay-at-home mom, and it makes you happy, then you should feel free to do that. It doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist, and it doesn’t mean you’re an Uncle Tom. (Or an Aunt Tommasina, or whatever.)

The key, in my opinion, is that people in general (and women in particular) shouldn’t feel obliged to do things due to pointless, bullshitty cultural constraints. Including (and here’s where #3 comes into effect big time) the cultural constraints put on them by other feminists with differing viewpoints.

Other folks have different opinions. And there’s more to it than that, of course. I could go on and on. But this isn’t really the place for it, as your question relates mostly to how I reconcile my being a feminist with a sentiment that, to put it plainly, reeks of machismo.

My justification comes from 2a and 3a.

2a means that I don’t *have* to act like a big testosterone-y alpha-male protector of the wimmins.

3a means that, if I feel like it, I can indulge myself and play the part of the manly protector. If (and this is key) I’m not a dick about it.

Here’s the thing: It feels good to be a big tough protector sometimes. Other times it feels good being protected.

It’s like when you’re spooning. Sometimes you’re the big spoon, sometimes you’re the little spoon. They both can be nice.

Here’s the problem: there are precious few chances to be a big tough protector in our civilized society. And honestly, that’s a good thing.

But watching a scary movie, that’s different. When I’m sitting in the dark theater, and the woman sitting next to me screams and grabs at me, her fingernails digging into my chest. Sorry. My broad, *manly* chest. It fills a deep-seated gorilla-type need to occasionally feel like a big damn heroic protector.

Now I’m not saying that’s now I’d like to live my whole life, but that’s one of the best thing about horror movies – they’re not real life. They’re like emotional cardio. They give us the chance to be terrified in a consequence-free environment.

That’s the joy of all fiction, really: you get the benefit of experiencing something without the burden of having to actually experience it.

And you know what? I’m gonna be completely honest with you here. Occasionally, it’s nice to have an attractive young woman cling to you in a moment of pure animal terror.

I know this because I went to see the original Scream with two pretty young women back in the day. They sat on either side of me, and I got it in stereo. Simply put, it was awesome. They both grabbed me at the same time, one of them hiding her face in my shoulder. And at that moment, I felt like Batman, Malcom Reynolds, and the next avatar of Krishna all rolled up into one.

Part of me, the educated feminist part, feels like I should be apologetic for this. Like I should feel guilty about it.

But you know what? I’m really not. No one is harmed by this behavior.

So there you go, Alanna. I hope you like your answer. It got way longer than I’d planned. But isn’t that always just the way of things…

One last thing before I sign off. Let’s be civilized persons here in the comments, okay? That means polite discourse. You can disagree with me or other folks expressing opinions, but let’s not be dicks about it.

Right? Right.

Fair warning: undue assholery from any corner will be viewed with extreme scorn.

Love and Peace!

pat

Also posted in ethical conundra, Fanmail Q + A, things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat131 Responses

Suvudu Cage Match….

Two years ago, Suvudu hosted a sci-fi fantasy cage match, where they pitted fictional characters against each other in a tournament style series of one-on-one fights.

It was a cool concept, and it led to interesting match ups like Cthulhu vs Lyra. Cthulhu being an omnipotent elder god from the outer darkness, and Lyra being a plucky 13 year-old girl from Oxford.

Simply said, good times were had.

Kvothe was one of the characters they chose that first year, which was flattering, as back then I only had the one book out, and I was very new to the scene.

Even more surprising was the fact that Kvothe won his first match. Then his second. He made it all the way to the semi-finals after beating  Dumbledore, Garret Jax, and Aslan.

Y’know. Now that I’m thinking of it, I’m going to retroactively award myself an achievement for that. Because it was awesome.

In my opinion, the best part of the cage matches was the fact that Suvudu posted write-ups describing how they thought the fights would settle out.

Even better, they invited the authors to submit their own write-ups, so WE could describe how we thought the fights would go.

I did a write up for Kvothe vs. Aslan, then later did another for Kvothe vs. Jamie. It was the most fun I’d had writing in a long time. At that point in my life, trapped under the crushing weight of book two, it reminded me that writing could actually be fun….

*     *     *

Fast forward to today. Suvudu is running another tournament, and this time Bast is one of the players….

The Suvudu Cage Matches have been going for a couple weeks. I’ve been meaning to mention them here on the blog for a while, but I’ve been busier than usual lately, so I’m only now getting around to it.

Bast’s first opponent was Seregil, from Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series.

I read the first two books of Lynn’s series and liked them. But in addition to being busy, I really wasn’t able to come up with a good idea for a scene between the two of them. I briefly entertained the thought of writing it up as a kissing contest between Bast and Seregil, but that seemed kind of… inappropriate.

Lynn, of course, is a better person than me, and did a delightfully playful write-up of the bout between them that you can see over on Suvudu’s site. It was a good scene, and I expected her to win because of it. But Bast squeaked by….

Bast’s second fight was against Richard Rahl. And again, I found myself at a loss for an idea for a scene. My only idea there was something involving bondage. And since I’m still fuzzy on the parody-as-fair-use laws, I decided to focus on a few interviews I was late on and the questions in my translator questions instead. Luckily, Bast won through that one without my help, too.

Now it’s the third week, and Bast is going head to head with Anomander Rake from Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

I feel like a bit of a slacker by this point, like I should really do a write up for this one.

So here goes….

“So, Rake,” Bast said. “At last we meet again for the first time.”

“Indeed,” said Anomander Rake, tossing his flowing white hair over his shoulder.

Bast looked over his opponent calmly. “I’ve heard tell that you are old as ages.”

Rake nodded, his face giving nothing away.

“I’ve also heard that you are well versed in the arcane arts, you have a floating fortress, and that you..” Bast snuck a quick look at a piece of paper he held cupped in the palm of his hand, “…can turn into a dragon.” Bast looked up, his expression a little disgusted. “Seriously? You can turn into a dragon, too?”

Rake had the decency to look slightly abashed, if only very slightly. “Yeah,” he said. “All that and a bag of chips, too.”

“And you’re also nigh-invulnerable,” Bast said.

“That’s The Tick, actually,” Rake said grudgingly. “But yeah. I’m pretty much nigh.”

Bast nodded at this, seemingly unsurprised. “I see,” he said gravely. Taking a deep breath, he looked up, meeting the tall man’s eyes. “All that aside, do you seriously think you can eat more pie than me?”

Okay. I’ll admit it. I haven’t read Erikson’s series. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and it’s on my list. It’s even a complete series, which is a huge selling point in my opinion. (*ahem*) But it’s also ten books long. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Given that I don’t know anything about Rake (And I don’t care to, thank you very much. So no spoilers, please.) I’m going to have pass on writing a full scene for this match too.

Right now, Bast is taking a bit of a drubbing, and perhaps rightly so. If he loses this round, I’ll still be proud he made it this far.

But I’ll also be a little sad. Because if Bast wins this round against Rake, and Zaphod Beeblebrox wins his match against Saphira…

…then the next round would be Bast vs. Zaphod.

So I’m not saying anyone *should* go and vote. I’m just saying that if the Bast vs. Zaphod match ends up happening, I would write the hell out of that scene.

That’s all I’m saying.

pat

Also posted in Achievement Unlocked!, fanfic, I mock because I love | By Pat66 Responses

Yay Me!

Over the last year and a half a lot of folks have e-mailed me, asking if there’s a place they can buy signed copies of my books.

Other folks email me because they *know* there’s an online store, but they can’t find it.

In the last year, I’d say I’ve had roughly ten billion e-mails of this sort. (I’m rounding up.)

While the e-mails have been a little repetitious, they’ve never irritated me. It’s my own fault that there’s never been any sort of permanent link to the store on the website.

The best we’ve had until now is occasional links in the blog itself. Which is dumb. It’s like having a fully stocked refrigerator, except you can only open the door by walking into the bathroom and putting your foot in the toilet.

Actually, it’s not really anything like that. That’s a really awful analogy. I’m kinda tired right now, so my word-put-togethering is not all, um, good. I apologize.

Anyway, this blog celebrates the first step in the long path of tweaking and updating the website, something I’ve been meaning to do for years.

Those of you reading this blog directly off my site will see the new graphic up there on the right. It’s a little widget that will take people directly to the store where we sell signed books, posters, and other miscellany. A place we’ve decided to name The Tinker’s Packs.

I’m not going to lie to you. Nate sent me the art earlier today, and I’m really inordinately proud of the fact that I bunged that silly little widget together on my own.

I know for a lot of you, maybe even *most* of you, doing something like that is about as difficult as writing a check. But you have to understand that I know about as much html as your average dancing bear. So yeah. I’m gonna feel all sorts of self-sufficient because I didn’t have to run to one of my tech-smart friends for help on this.

For those of you that are interested, here’s a pic you can click to see a bigger version of the art:

Go on. Bask in its untrammeled glory. (I had to trammel it a bit to get it to fit in the space available for the widget.)

As always, all money spent in the store still goes directly to Worldbuilders. We’re not changing that.

So… yeah. That’s all I’ve got right now. I was just proud about my widget and wanted to share. Rest assured that in the relatively near future, we’ll be updating the website, adding some new stuff, streamlining the store, and generally embettering everything.

Later space cowboys….

pat

Also posted in being awesome, my dumbness | By Pat49 Responses
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