Category Archives: Novelties

New Store, New Calendar, and New Novelties

Before we launch into this month’s Novelties, I’ve got a bit of exciting news.

Our online store, The Tinker’s Packs, has a new… um… store.

Yeah. There’s probably a better way I could have said that.

What I mean to say is that for the last several months, the Worldbuilders team has been working on revamping our online store. The old one was fine back in 2009 when we were only selling a few books and t-shirts, but things have changed a *lot* since then.

These days we’ve got all manner of posters, books, jewelry, signed books, games, bizarre ephemera, books that are also games, and… well… kinda just a lot of stuff.

In addition to being pointedly less geocities than our last store, this store gives us a lot more flexibility in what we sell and how we sell it. Best of all, it’s much more streamlined on the back end (hur hur hur) so that we can ship things more quickly and efficiently. That means not only will it be faster and cheaper for you, but more money will go to Worldbuilders.

So. Now that we’ve got a new store, let’s kick the tires a bit with a few new items, shall we?

Maplecroft 2up - blog

“A mesmerizing, absolute must-read.” – Brian Keene

This is the first book in this new series, and a signed first edition to boot. We have a handful of copies available over here.

  • The Mirror Empire. Signed, inscribed, and doodled by Kameron Hurley.

MirrorEmpire 2up - blog

“A smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy.” – Kate Elliot

As you can see, some real love was put into doodling these books. All that love can be all yours (along with an awesome book) if you buy one of our copies over here.


This is a rare creature we have here. A bizzare if not entirely unique combination of game and book. The book itself is printed out of order, and you need to solve puzzles to figure out what page to turn to next.

It’s a brilliant piece of geekery, and we were excited to be able to help show off this beautiful hardcover version here, knowing that a lot of you would never run into it otherwise.

Even cooler is the special puzzles included in each of the 6 copies Mike and Gaby donated to us, but we’ll let them describe it to you…

Yeah. The 6 people who buy this book from us will each have their own, unique puzzle to solve, which then can be combined into one larger puzzle. If that larger, six-part puzzle is solved, Mike and Gaby will donate a goat to Heifer International.

Because I like their style, I’ll match that goat with another goat. If you want to be a part of the coolness, grab a copy over here.

If you’d like to learn more about the book, or would like to order non-signed copies, you can do all of that over here.

We’ve also got a new game in the store this week….

GetLucky - blog

Some of you might have caught this when it was up as a kickstarter when I posted about it on Facebook. If the picture of the game doesn’t jog your memory, maybe this will.


(Yup. I make a cameo appearance in the game.)

Amanda’s been playing this game for months, and digs it. I’m behind the times, and only first got to try it out at PAX.

If you’ve played the board game Kill Doctor Lucky, it’s a card game version of that. If you haven’t, think of this as the prequel to Clue: the players are the people trying to kill a wealthy old man in his mansion without getting caught.

It’s a fun, fast game you can carry with you. Quick enough that you can play it while you’re waiting for your food to show up at at a restaurant, or when family gatherings have gotten particularly boring.

If you want it, head over here and grab one.

And now for something extra exciting….


Some of you have already seen this in the Geeks Doing Good fundraiser we ran back in July.

In fact, if you ordered the calendar back then, there’s a good chance you already have your copy. We’re only selling this now because we’ve just finished up shipping out our pre-orders.

If you’d like to see some of the previously unseen pages, check this out.


You’ll probably want to click and embiggen that image, if for no other reason than to check out the middle picture. We specifically commissioned it for this year’s calendar, and it features a couple characters there you might recognize….

Needless to say, the Worldbuilders team was really excited to see these come back from the printer.


Everyone has their favorite page:


The sooner you order your copy, the sooner we’ll ship it out to you using our shiny new store.

Also, if you own a store and you’d like to carry copies of these going into the holiday season, drop us a line at calendar [at] and we’ll arrange to get you some.



P.S. Stay tuned to the blog, as I’ll be posting up the details of my book tour. Soon.

Also posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat23 Responses

Novelties: Signed Books for July and August

As some of you who follow my facebook and twitter might have noticed, I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

That, combined with the fact that our Geeks Doing Good fundraiser went incredibly well, means that I, and the rest of the Worldbuilders Team, have been absolutely swamped the last few weeks.

All the Peanuts 03

Well. *I’ve* been swamped. The worldbuilders team just seems to be lounging around on… oh. Wait. Those are packing peanuts, aren’t they?Like, a billion packing peanuts for the billion packages we’ll be sending out….

Never mind.

Anyway, between San Diego Comic Con and Spain, I’ve been on the road for more than two weeks. I’d thought to myself that I might be able to post a couple blogs while I was traveling, but apparently that was just my lightly repressed crazy talking, because no. When I’m traveling and I have to choose between blog and sleep, sleep wins every time.

Because of this terrible weakness on my part, I wasn’t able to post up the July Novelties in a timely fashion. So we’re going to combine July and August’s books into one great big super-bomb of delicious newly-released bookness.

As always, every one of these books is a first edition. All of them are signed. Many of them are doodled in or otherwise cool.

And all the money you spend in The Tinker’s Packs goes to charity.

  • Dust and Light. Doodled, signed, and dated by Carol Berg

DustAndLight - Blog

“A tale of magic and politics, of intrigue and betrayal.  Set in a rich world, told through the eyes of a compelling and sympathetic hero, [Berg’s] store twists and turns.” – D.B. Jackson

If you’re interested in this beautiful new book, grab it over here.

TheLost - Blog

“Told in a descriptive style that perfectly captures the changing settings, Durst’s novel is a page-turner.” – Booklist on Ice

This one is available right here.

ChildOfAHiddenSea - blog

“Dellamonica’s tale is one of intrigue and power struggles, jealousy and competition, culture shock and the alienation of discovering your family is not what you thought.” – Marie Brennan

Grab your own copy over here.

TropicOfSerpents - Blog

“If you’re ever secretly wished dragons were real, this story is for you.  Fans of Naomi Novik and Mary Robinette Kowal will especially enjoy this book.” – RT Book Reviews

This awesome book is available for you right here.

FullFathomFive - Blog

“I’m having Max Gladtstone killed.  He’s too good already to be allowed to live.  If this is early work, the rest of us are out of a job.” – Elizabeth Bear

I kind of agree with Bear there. I just today posted up a review of Max’s first book in this series and I loved the second one just as much if not more. I’m currently halfway through this one, and it looks like he’s going to make the hat trick.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, get your copy here.

GoblinEmperor - Blog

“Challenging, invigorating, and unique.  If court intrigue is your wine of choice, The Goblin Emperor is the headiest vintage I’ve come across in years.” – Scott Lynch

Katherine Addison (aka Sarah Monette) went above and beyond for these, so if you want your own lovingly doodled copy, grab one here. The Tor logo never looked so good.

  • Elisha Barber and an ARC of Elisha Magus. Both Signed by E.C. Ambrose

DarkApostle - Blog - BothSignatures

“Elisha Barber is an edgy, vivid story with engaging characters and a well-drawn setting that’s almost, but not quite, our own history.  I was drawn right in, quick as a slash of a barber’s razor.” – Kevin J. Anderson

This one is particularly cool because you’re getting a hardcover copy of the first book in the series, in addition to an ARC of the second book, which was just released.

We’ve only got two sets of these books, so get them while you can.

*     *     *

We’re also throwing a new poster up in the store…

Kvothe - Shane Tyree - Blog

Kvothe and the Scraeling was a piece of bonus art Shane did while working on the Name of the Wind playing cards.

You can buy a copy up over here, along some other cool posters….

That’s all for now, everybody. I’ll share some pictures and stories from Spain and Comic Con soon…


Also posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat19 Responses

Novelties: Signed books and Cealdish Coins

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks here at headquarters. The Tinker’s Packs team only recently got caught up after all the enthusiasm for our last Novelties blog.

And, as I mentioned just a couple days ago, I’ve been on the road for a while, eating fire and singing at people foolish enough to come in close contact with me. And in the few days since I’ve been home, I’ve… well, I’ve still been eating fire and singing, but I’ve been doing it to impress my kids, which means it’s actually more exhausting and more rewarding than a tour.

So be aware, today’s blog comes to you in the midst of a lot of fun and crazy.

And remember, all the money we raise in The Tinker’s Packs goes directly into our charity, Worldbuilders. So when you buy something there you’re not just being a geek, you’re making the world a better place.

Joshs ARC

Many of you might recognize Joshua Palmatier from Worldbuilders, where he offers a read-and-critique every year. A skilled editor and author, Shattering the Ley is his newest book.

Josh has signed ten first edition hardcovers for us, but that isn’t the best part.

He sent a signed ARC, too. But that’s not the best part either.

The best part is that this book won’t even be hitting the shelves until July 1st. So if you head on over to the Tinker’s Packs you can grab a copy now and be reading it before anyone else has a chance to. Or, if you’re like me, you can read it, then taunt people by posting up pre-release reviews on Goodreads.

If you’d one of the 10 hardcovers we have, or a chance at the single ARC, head over here.

(Make that 9 hardcovers. I just bought one.)

Shattered plus signature

This is the newest book in Kevin’s Iron Druid Chronicles series, and it hits shelves today, June 17. Kevin’s always been a huge supporter of Worldbuilders, so we’re delighted to be able to offer some signed copies up for a good cause.

We’ve only got 5 of these, so if you want one, be sure to head over and grab it.

 Rogues cover - blog

Rogues is a collection of stories from some really amazing folks. I talked about it in some depth when I wrote the blog announcing the Auri novella, but the short version is that I have a novella about Bast in this anthology.

This anthology comes out today, June 17th, and we’ve arranged to have copies for sale in The Tinker’s Packs, signed by me.

But wait, Pat said in his best used-car-salesman voice, there’s more.

A lot of you already know that I’m notoriously bad at drawing. Cataclysmically bad.

Nevertheless, whenever I do a signing, a few people always ask if I can draw something for them.

To this I answer, “No. No, I really can’t.”

Some people are really insistent about it though. To them I tell the story of the time when a young woman begged me to draw a duck in her book. So I drew a duck. And while it was bad, it was actually pretty good for me.

Then I showed it to the woman, and when she looked down saw my awful, awful duck defacing their book, she looked like she was going to cry right there. No just a little either. She looked on the verge of an ugly cry.

So. Just so we’re on the same page. Me: not good at drawing.

That’s why I hang out on Deviantart. It’s also why I enjoy bringing people onto my team like Nate and Brett. People who can do cool visual stuff. People who can art.

When someone asked me if I was going to be doing anything special for the release of Rogues, I had a vague hope of having Brett teach me how to draw. Just a little. Just enough so that I could doodle a Bast in the book.

So Brett put together a step-by-step how-to for me.

How to Draw Bast orig

At first I was really excited. This, I thought, was something I could do.

But then I thought of that young woman looking down at the ugly duck I had drawn in her book. I remembered her expression, full of horror and disbelief. “There is no god,” she seemed to be thinking, “A kind god would never let something like this happen to my book.”

Then I started to worry again. I worried about people paying good money, then being disappointed when the doodle looked like something done by a four-year old. A really deranged, beardy 4-year old.

So I went back to Brett and asked him if he’d like to doodle in some books *with* me. My doodle would be charming, in the same way that a child’s sticky handful of dandelions is charming. But Brett’s doodle would be *cool.*

Brett agreed, and I felt a little more relaxed. But then I started to worry about ruining a bunch of books while I was trying to doodle in them. Because, as I’ve said, I’m really bad at this.

Then Brett came up with a good solution. We’d print up a special card. It would have the “How to Draw Bast” on one side:

How to Draw Bast

And Brett and I would effectively have a Bast Off on the other side.

Just so you can see what I mean, here’s Brett’s and my first attempts, side by side:

Bast Off Brett vs Pat

See? Virtually identical.

So, for the people who would like something a little extra, Brett and I are doing 250 of these. The money we raise, as always, will be going directly to Worldbuilders.

If you want a signed copy of Rogues, and maybe one of these limited edition doodle cards, head over here and grab one.

Last but not least, we have one more thing going up in the store today.

  • Cealdish Coins

Handful of bux

For those of you who don’t remember, these are the first versions of the Cealdish currency we’re producing. We gave three sets away for Worldbuilders last year. What you see up there is a gold mark, a silver talent, a copper jot, and two iron drabs.

It’s taken us a while to work out the packaging and get everything together, but we’re finally ready to sell them in the store.

  • Marks

The gold mark actually has some real gold in it. Not a lot, but some. Just a gram of gold costs 40 bucks these days.


They’re a Japanese alloy made of copper, silver, and gold. They’ve got a cool, burnished look to them, almost like they’ve been enameled. Because of the high price of gold (and because we weren’t sure how well they were going to sell) we only made 95 of these.

  • Talents

The talents are 20% silver, 80% copper.


The alloy is called billon. Normally it’s a rosy color. But these have been put through a process where they’re heated, which makes the silver rise to the surface, then hammered, which spreads the silver out over the surface. The process is called blanching, and it’s the medieval equivalent of electroplating. We made a 1000 of these total, including a few of the the pinkish, unblanched ones, too.

  • Jot

The jots are solid copper:


The jot was the first coin we designed, and it’s one of my favorites. We’ve released some of them already for a few promotional events, most notably the first kickstarter. They’ve got a nice feel in the hand, and weigh a solid ounce each. We made an even 1000 of them.

  • Drabs

The drabs, as it says in the book, are closer to steel than iron.

Drab v11 and v12

We did 1500 drabs. They have a thick black finish on them that I think of as a fusion crust, but is probably officially called something else. It’s to keep them from rusting.

Above, you can see two slightly different mintings of the drab with differences only the most assiduous of fictional numismatists would ever notice. The finish is a little lighter on the 1.2. There’s less wax sealing the iron to prevent it from rusting. And the maker’s mark in the corner is notably larger and more detailed. For those of you who are obsessive over the details, (or just keen on updating the Wiki) I think there were 160 of the Version 1.2 mark.

So. There’s all the Cealdish coins. If you embiggen this picture, you can see they’re different thicknesses as well as different shapes…

Mark Talent Jot Drab Drab

We’re selling them in several different ways.

If you want everything, the way to go is the Master Set. It contains the a gold mark, a silver talent, a copper jot, and two different iron drabs.

Master Set Package - Blog

The Gold Mark isn’t available for sale on its own, because they’re really pricey and we made less than 100 of them. So you can only get one in this set. As an added bonus, this set has one of the Version 1.2 drabs. For all our other sets, the 1.1 and 1.2 drabs have been mixed randomly. But since I’m guessing the people who are picking up the Master’s Set are completionists, we’re making sure they get one of each in there.

We’ve also got a Re’lar Set, which has a drab, a jot, and a silver talent.

Relar Set Package - Blog

This one’s much more affordable, as it doesn’t have the gold mark in it. All of the coins have an informational insert with a detailed description of the coin inside, too.

Last we have the E’lir Set.

Elir Set 2 - Blog

This is three drabs and a copper jot in a linen pouch. If you’re like Kvothe, and silver talents are out of your price range, or if you just want more of the coins to play with, you can grab one of these over here.

You can also buy most of the coins individually. The drabs are over here, the jots are over here, and the talents are over here.

Now here’s the problem, when I started designing these with Tom from the Shire Post Mint more than a year ago, making a thousand of each of these them seemed like a great plenty. It seemed like a ridiculous amount, really.

But since then I’ve come to better understand how enthusiastic y’all are. In this last year, we’ve had two very successful kickstarters, signing events topping 2000 people, and folks have turned out in unprecedented numbers to support Worldbuilders by buying things in the Tinker’s Packs.

I wish I could make more of this first set. But when I started this coin project, I said we were only going to do 1000 jots, and I don’t like going back on my promises. So we’re leaving that as the baseline number for this first set of coins.

Because I know there aren’t going to be enough of these to go around, we’re limiting all the coin items to three per person. I don’t want one person hoarding these to ebay later. I want these to end up in the hands of fans.

So. Only three of each coin item per person. The store *will* allow you to order more than that, but if you do, all that you’re really going to accomplish is causing a pain in the ass of the people running the Tinker’s Packs. Because they’ll have to go in and manually refund any extras you got.

For example: You could buy two Master Sets, then two of the E’lir sets. That’s fine. Or you could buy three Re’lar sets, then three individual drabs, and an additional unblanched talent. That’s fine. But if you buy *four* of the Re’lar sets and then two extra jots, we’ll go in and change it to three Re’lar sets and two jots.

I’m sorry for those of you who find the blog too late and don’t get the coins/sets you want. I’m sorry if you happen to be cash poor right now and you can’t afford to jump in and buy them.

But rest assured that this is merely the first set of Cealdish coins. It’s version 1. This is the currency as it existed about 600 years before Kvothe’s time, back when the coins were only a few small steps removed from barter.

We’re working on version two, it will be set 300 years closer to the time of the Kingkiller books. The coins will be more evolved, easier to carry, harder to counterfeit.

And we’ll be making more than 1000 of each of them, I promise.

But for now, if you’d like to grab some, you might want to get them quick.

Later all,


Also posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat68 Responses

Novelties: Signed Books, new posters, and the long awaited NOTW playing cards.

Sorry I’ve been kinda quiet on the blog lately folks, but the truth is, I’m in what authors refer to as “Deadline Hell.”

You see, in order to have the Auri book hit the shelves November-ish, we actually have to have the book finished at the end of June.

And to have the book finished at the end of June, I have to turn in the pretty-much-all-the-way-finished manuscript at the end of this month.

The good news is that this book is much shorter than my usual. The bad news is that I’m still obsessive, and I haven’t fiddled around with this story like I normally do: tweaking and fidding, getting beta-reader feedback, re-reading and red-penning the manuscript for months.

Hence I’ve been doing my best to fit in as much revision as possible before I leave for Phoenix Comic Con. Hence deadline hell.

That said, we’ve got some new stuff to show off to you today. Stuff that some of you have been waiting months and months for….

*     *     *

While I’ve been toiling in the word mines, agonizing over the difference between slim and slender, the Worldbuilders team has been hard at work.

If you remember, last month, we asked for suggestions for what to call our monthly blog where we bring you new signed books and other new things in The Tinker’s Packs.

As always, y’all impressed me with your willingness to help. There were many suggestions, and it’s helped us finally land on a name: Novelties.

It’s short, clever, and while it makes it clear that books are involved, it leaves room for us to have things other than books available in the future.

But for now, it’s books. And we’ve got some great ones for you this month.

Defenders with sig

Will was one of the first to jump in with signed books for us for this month, and we’re really glad he did. Not only is he a Hugo award winning author, but this book has been getting some great reviews, including a starred one in Kirkus: “McIntosh tells a more global yet still deeply personal tale about life during wartime and its aftermath… McIntosh has his finger on the pulse, again.”

This book is new this month, and it was terribly kind of him to send us some signed copies. If you’re quick, you can grab one over here.

Sword and Laser Bundle

(Definitely click to embiggen)

I’m terribly fond of Tom and Veronica, to say nothing of Sword and Laser itself.

So I was excited when I heard they were going to be putting together an anthology. They sent me an early copy of it, asking if I’d be willing to write a promo blurb for them. After I read it, I said I’d go so far as to write an an introduction for the book instead.

If you’re curious about my full thoughts on this book, I posted my introduction up on Goodreads where anyone can read it.

Tom and Veronica signed 10 of these for us, and sent some cool Sword & Laser bookmarks and cards too, so grab them while you can.

Half a King US-UK

This is an extra cool thing. Half a King won’t even be hitting the shelves until July, but Joe sent us two Advance Reading Copies, one US edition (the black one), and one from the UK (the white one). Both are signed by the man himself.

I got a chance to read an early version of this book too, and as I said in my review on goodreads, I think it’s my favorite Abercrombie book so far.

These are going to go fast, since we’ve only got one of each.

So, if you want the US edition, click here.

If you want the UK edition, click here.

*  *  *

And now, after much waiting, we’re finally making the Name of the Wind cards available in the store.


(Click to Embiggen, so you can see more of their majesty.)

Some of you probably remember NOTW Card Kickstarter we ran a year ago. Ever since it ended, I’ve had people e-mailing me, asking how they could get the cards if they missed the kickstarter.

The simple answer was that they couldn’t get them. Not until now.

Now that the kickstarter has been fulfilled, and the lovely folks that backed the project have received their swag, we’re making the cards available for everyone in The Tinker’s Packs. 

I really can’t tell you how pleased I am with how these cards turned out. They’re printed by the folks who print Bicycle cards, so they’re not flimsy bullshit. They’re durable, high-quality cards.

Here’s the aces:


The art is just beautiful. What’s more, some of the cards are different on their mirror sides. In some places, the differences are obvious. Like on Kvothe and Denna’s Cards. Other cards, such as Bast’s, have more subtle changes you might need to look for a while to see…


In addition to the full deck, there’s also a spare card that shows Willem. (So if one of your other cards gets damaged, you can substitute Willem in.) And a card with Master Lorren that’s designed to be used as a bookmark.

And, of course, there’s the Jokers: Elodin and Auri.

There are three different decks. The Limited, the Standard, and the Taborlin Deck.


The art on the faces of the cards is all the same. But the Limited deck is a little more collectable. It’s the only deck with the seal on the box. Shane did some unique art just for that, showing the Amyr’s symbol: the tower wrapped in a tongue of flame.

Limited seal

The other difference is that the Limited deck has the green card back.

Limited Deck

We won’t be doing another run of the limited edition. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

(Fair Warning: Limited edition decks of Albino’s previous projects, like the White Rabbit cards or the Call of Cthulhu cards, sell for about 50 bucks online these days. So if you *really* want these, you might not want to wait too long.)

The Standard decks have the same art, but they have the red card back.

Standard Deck

And lastly, the Taborlin deck.

Taborlin Deck

This deck has an entirely different card back (which you can see more clearly if you click the picture above.) It shows Taborlin’s tools: Key, Coin, and Candle.

But that’s not the *really* cool thing. The cool thing is that this is a marked deck of cards.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted a marked deck. Not because I like the thought of cheating people at cards, but… because why wouldn’t you want a marked deck, just for fun? That’s why I called this the Taborlin Deck. It’s not for cheaters. It’s for magicians.

In this deck, the Lorren Bookmark card has been replaced with a card that describes the code embedded on the back.

So there you go. If you missed the kickstarter, or if you want to pick up a few more decks as presents, all three decks are available over here.

As I’ve said, the art Shane did for these decks was really amazing. So amazing that people wanted to buy it as posters.

So this month we’re making the Diamond face cards available.


Kilvin is the King of Diamonds, and you can grab his poster over here.


Devi is the Queen of Diamonds, and you can grab her poster over here.


And finally, Ambrose is the Jack of Diamonds, and based just a little bit off of Jim Butcher. You can buy his smarmy face over here.

As always, all proceeds from the Tinker’s Packs go to charity.

And if you don’t see what you were looking for, fear not. We’ll be posting more stuff up next month. Let us know what you were most interested in seeing in the comments, and we’ll do our best to make you happy.

Also posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat42 Responses
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