Category Archives: Stardust ARC

A story, A gift, and A Book from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has been very supportive of Worldbuilders from the very beginning. Not only has he helped spread the word about the fundraiser to his legion of fans, but he’s given us lovely donations of rare books.

Following in that fine tradition, here’s his donation for this year:


This is a pretty, pretty book. Hardcover in its own slipcase with original woodcut illustrations.

[Edit: Neil left a note in the comments below that I thought I’d post up here:

A note — the SNOW GLASS APPLES book is the text of the Play for Voices (as recorded by Seeing Ear Theatre, starring Bebe Neuwirth), with the Queen’s dialogue printed in red ink. (I only found one for sale online, for over $300.)

Now I have to go take a moment to get over the fact that Gaiman left a comment on my blog….]

They only printed 250 of these, and even when you could buy them from Biting Dog Press they would cost you over a hundred bucks. But the book has been sold out for ages, of course.

Simply said, this is a real treasure, signed by Zipes and Gaiman and Walker.

And we’re entering it into the general lottery. That means for every 10 bucks you donate to Heifer International on our Team Heifer webpage, you get the chance to win this book and hundreds of others.

Plus, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. You can’t ask for a better deal than that…

Since we’re on the subject of cool books from Neil Gaiman, I’d like to share some good news and a little story…

Those of you who have been following the fundraiser probably remember the signed ARC of stardust that Gaiman donated last year.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, the person who won that book in 2009 donated it back to the fundraiser with instructions that we auction it off to raise more money for Worldbuilders.

So that’s exactly what we did. Much to my delight the ARC sold for over 2500 dollars to a lovely gentleman named Dan.

In a way, I was sad to see the book go. It’s been living here at Worldbuilders for more than two years now. It’s a beautiful book:

But still, $2500 bucks buys a lot of goats. No matter how you looked at the deal, it was a good trade.

So we contacted Dan to congratulate him, arrange payment details, and make sure we had the right shipping address for the book.

Then something strange happened.

Dan told us that he’d like to donate the book back to Worldbuilders again. He wants it entered in to next year’s lottery so that anyone can win it, not just the person with the most money.

Needless to say, I was stunned. This is a book that I have spent more than a little time coveting. It’s a book I considered bidding on myself in the auction. And if I’d won it, I wouldn’t have given it back. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have let anyone touch it….

But Dan, apparently, is a better person than I am.

We chatted for a while over e-mail, and when I asked Dan how he got to be so cool, he said a big piece of it was the fact that he was inspired by the story of how last year’s winner re-donated the book.

But most of the credit, he says, goes to his mom. She always made a point of donating to charity even though she never had a lot of money. Not only that, but she was a died-in-the-wool geek like the rest of us: she read fantasy and sci-fi, she played Infocom games…

I have to say, she sounds like my kind of lady.

Dan told me that she passed away this March. Most of the money he inherited from her went into buying this book. He thinks she would be proud and happy to know that the money will go to helping as many people as possible.

Dan also said that he was a big Gaiman fan, and that he hoped that this whole exchange didn’t give Gaiman a complex because nobody would keep his book….

Ever since I found out that Dan was redonating the book to Worldbuilders, I’ve been trying to think of something nice I can do for him in return.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Dan’s doesn’t want anything from me. When I saw he’d ordered a few t-shirts from the store, I tried to refund his money. He refused.

Then, last night when I way trying to plan out the blogs for the rest of the fundraiser, I realized I hadn’t posted up the auction for this year’s Golden Ticket yet. The winner of the Golden Ticket gets one official favor from me. As the Marquis de Carabas would say, “a really big favor.”

I’ve been meaning to post that auction for weeks, since last year’s auction was stupefyingly successful. (It raised over 15,000 dollars.) But in the process of posting all the other blogs, finishing revisions, and shipping t-shirts, the Golden Ticket auction went straight out of my head.

So this year, rather than auctioning it off, I think I’m just going to give it to Dan.

He can cash it in however he likes. If he wants, he can get an early look at The Wise Man’s Fear. If he’d prefer to get his name somewhere in book three, we can negotiate that instead.

Dan doesn’t know about this yet. I’m announcing this on the blog so that he won’t have a chance to say no.

And just in case you were thinking it, you can’t re-donate this to the fundraiser either, Dan. It’s yours.

For any of the rest of you who might be thinking, “Gee, I wish I had a Golden Ticket.” Remember that there’s already one in this year’s general lottery. That means for every ten bucks you donate on our Team Heifer page, you get another chance at winning it.

Lastly, I feel like I should mention that yesterday we blew past last year’s donation total.

That means that in the last three years we’ve raised more than a half a million dollars for Heifer International.

We’ve still got a couple days left before the end of the fundraiser, but still, I feel like I should start thanking people now for making the Fundraiser a success again this year:

Thank you Gaiman. Thank you Dan. Thank you to all the mothers out there that taught us to be generous even when times were tight. Thank you publishers and bookstores and authors for donating books. Thank you twitterers and bloggers for spreading the word. Thank you geeks of all colors and creeds. Thank you everyone.

Alright. Enough touchy- feely. Let’s see if we can hit $150,000 by the end of the fundraiser on Friday.

Edit: Wow. We hit 150,000 in less than ten hours. So I’ve decided to re-set the donation thermometer yet again.

Our last goal, the goal that I really don’t know if we’ll be able to meet, is going to be 166,700 dollars.

It’s a rather odd number. But if we raise that much it means that after Worldbuilders makes its matching donation, we will have raised a quarter million dollars for Heifer International this year.

That would be an amazing milestone for us. And it means that when I’m trying to persuade people to donate books next year, I could say to them, “Last year we raised a quarter million dollars.” That’s a persuasive piece of information…

I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it. But I’m excited to try…

pat

Also posted in fan coolness, Golden Ticket, Neil Gaiman, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat57 Responses

Sanderson, Gaiman, and a piece of iron that fell from the sky…

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Those of you who have been following the fundraiser closely will know that I’ve been debating what to do with a few of the books that were donated.

Specifically, I’ve been wondering what to do with two very lovely, very collectible books given to us by Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson.

After reading the hundred plus suggestions that were made on the blog and doing a lot of thinking, I’ve decided *not* to auction these books off. I’m going to enter them into the general lottery instead.

I’m not going to witter on about all the pros and cons I weighed to come up with this decision. Suffice to say that:

1. I think the books will be a nice draw for the lottery, and will help tempt people to donate a little more for a chance to win something so cool.

2. It’s nice to have a couple super-rare prizes in the mix.

3. The lottery appeals to my egalitarian nature. Everyone has a chance to win.

That said, here are the two new additions to the lottery:

 

  • A first edition hardcover of The Gathering Storm, signed by Brandon Sanderson, Harriet Jordan, and many others.

 

 



Brandon was nice enough to take some time out from his crazed touring schedule to send us this copy of The Gathering Storm, signed by himself, Harriet Jordan (Robert Jordan’s wife) and many of the people who made the book possible, including his agent and some of the production staff at Tor.

 

  • A signed, numbered ARC of Stardust. Hardcover in its own slipcase. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

 

 




This is a gorgeous book. I covet it to an almost ridiculous degree.

It’s a numbered ARC of Stardust: number 28 of 250. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

Also, because I’m a bit of a geek, I’ll donate a little extra something to go along with Gaiman’s book. I happen to have a piece of the Gibeon meteorite laying around the house. It seems like an appropriate addition to this book, as it’s an actual piece of iron that fell from the sky.

Here’s a picture:

(Click to Embiggen)

I’m sorry it’s not a very good picture. I can’t find my camera, and I had trouble making Sarah’s focus in on it properly. For reference, it’s about an inch and a half on a side and weighs about 60 grams.

Gibeon meteorites are one of the rarer types, made almost entirely of nickel and iron. The top of the piece you see here is covered in a black coating called the fusion crust, caused by the surface of the meteorite getting really hot as it passes through the atmosphere.

You can see a better example of it in this picture:

(That’s not my hand.)


The smooth faces where the meteorite has been cut show one of the cooler things about the Gibeon irons. There’s a pattern embedded in the iron that looks like frost. And in some ways, it is like frost. Except frost shows up when water freezes, and these marks show up when iron and nickel slowly cool down over millions of years.

It’s called a Widmanstätten pattern. And it forms because the different alloys of nickel and iron cool at slightly different rates while the molten iron is in space. The effect can’t be duplicated on earth, so it only shows up in iron-nickel meteorites.

Each different meteorite fall has a different mix of iron and nickel, so they each have a slightly different pattern. In my opinion, the Gibeon’s is one of the coolest looking.

Here’s a better picture if you want to see what it looks like:


That’s not my hand either, and the photo is actually from a site called Arizona Skies. If you’re curious to get more information about meteorites, or just look at some cool pictures, they’re a good place to start.

Okay. Enough meteoriticist geekery. I need some dinner.


Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds more like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice too.

So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Not only will you be automatically entered in the lottery to win these books and more. But I’m matching 50% of all donations made. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

If you want all the details about the Worldbuilders fundraiser, you can read all the details HERE.

Oh, and Happy New Years…

pat

Also posted in Neil Gaiman, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat26 Responses
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