Category Archives: The Tinker’s Packs

The Tinker’s Packs: Signed Books, a New Poster, and a Game With Bast

Okay. For those of you waiting for news. I have news about that news. Meta-news, if you will.

The news-about-news is that I’ll be able to post up what I want to show you at the end of the week. Friday or Saturday. That will be my next blog.

And just so nobody’s hopes and dreams are crushed. It’s not going to be an announcement about the release of The Doors of Stone. But it will be an announcement about a book.

Is that vague enough for you?

Since I’ve got to hold off on that news, here’s something completely different for today…

*     *     *

As many of you already know, we run an online store called The Tinker’s Packs where you can buy…. well… kind of a whole bunch of stuff: Foreign editions of a lot of different fantasy books, t-shirts, jewelry, and hard-to-find copies of my books.

(Just so you know, all the money we make in the store goes to Worldbuilders.)

Last year, we tried a little experiment. In October, we put some signed books from other authors up in the store. New books that had just hit the shelves. It was a new thing for us, and we weren’t sure people would be interested.

They sold out in about a couple of hours.

Then in November, we tried it again. More new books signed by the authors.

Those sold out in just a couple hours too.

So we’ve decided to make this a regular thing. We’ll put up 3-4 new signed books in the store every month. You get to find out about new books, people get to add some cool signed copies of the books to their libraries, and Worldbuilders makes some money.

Everybody wins.

The only weak link in this plan is the name. I’ve been struggling to find a cool one, if we’re going to make this a regular thing. The best we’ve been able to come up with so far is “Library Builders.”

If y’all could come up with a better name, I’d welcome it. We’ll take suggestions down in the comments. If someone knocks it out of the park, they will be lavishly rewarded and promoted to minion first class, with all the privileges that entails.

Okay. Here’s what we’re adding to the store today. And remember, the books tend to sell fast, so if you want them, jump on them fast.

BreachZone - Bookplate

Here we’ve got the third book in the Shadow Ops series, and has been awesomely received so far. All the copies we have come with signed bookplates from Myke. Even cooler, one of the copies will come with one of the Challenge Coins Myke had printed as a special promo for his book. It was packaged in at random, so it’ll  be a surprise for everyone involved who gets it.

If you want one, get it before it’s gone.


This is the sequel to The Twelve Fingered Boy. (My review on Goodreads, if you’re interested.) These are lovely first-edition hardcover copies, all signed by the author.

You can grab them over here.


This massive tome is the second in the Stormlight Archive series. Aside from putting Wise Man’s Fear to shame in word count, it hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

If you don’t have your copy yet, why not buy it from us, and put some money toward a good cause at the same time?

  • New Boss Monster Promo Cards

Some of you might remember the folks over at Boss Monster from last year when they created a special promo card for Kvothe. They printed 200 of them, and we sold practically all of them at Gencon. The few we brought back and put in the store got snapped up really quickly.

This year, they’ve done two more promo cards exclusively for us. Both of them are versions of Bast.


(Click to Embiggen.)

It’s a fun game that the crew here has really enjoyed.

If you’ve never played, you can pick up both the game *and* the two promo cards.


Or, if you already have the game, and you’re just looking to fill out your sets, you have the option of buying  just the cards, whether you want just one or both together.

There aren’t many copies of the Epic Hero Bastas, so if you want one, you should probably grab it soon…

  • “Calling” Poster


I’m pretty open about the fact that I have a profile on Deviantart where I skulk about, looking at fanart.

A while back, I found this lovely depiction of Kvothe and asked the artist (Beth, who has a great portfolio) if we could use it for Worldbuilders. Much to my surprise, she graciously donated the rights for us to make some posters. We’ve got 200 of them in the store signed and numbered.

That’s all for now. I’ll be seeing some of you in Chicago soon.



Also posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat107 Responses

Miscellany: Some of the Best for Last….

Well folks, the fundraiser is almost over.

As I write this, Worldbuilders has raised $570,000 for Heifer International. Geeks of all creeds and nations have come together to make the world a better place. I am stunned and humbled and ever so slightly tingly at how supportive the community has been.

Today we have our last donation blog, and, according to tradition, it’s a miscellaneous blog. We’ve got signed books, weaponry, and other esoterica that didn’t have a tidy place anywhere else.

Believe me when I say, we’ve saved some of the best for last.

Keep in mind that while a *few* of these items are up for auction on E-Bay, the vast majority of these items, especially the books, are going into our prize lottery:

2013 Book Wall 03

We have more than $70,000 worth of books we’re giving away this year. Signed books. Rare books. First edition books. Books you simply cannot get anywhere else.

Remember, for every 10 bucks you donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page you get another chance to win.

Serpent of Venice

Y’all know who Christopher Moore is, right? He wrote Lamb, You Suck, Sacre Bleu….

The truth is, if you aren’t reading Christopher Moore, you’re missing out on one of the most brilliant, diverse, genuinely humorous storytellers in existence.

Here we have a signed Advance Reading Copy of his upcoming book: Serpent of Venice.

We’re putting this book in our prize lottery, where anyone can win it if they make a donation to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders Team Page.

That’s right, you have a chance to read it before it even hits the shelves. You can taunt your friends. You can be smug on Goodreads.

At least that’s what I’m planning on doing if I win it…

  • First Edition copies of Island of the Sequined Love Nun and Fool. Signed by Christopher Moore.
Fool and Island of

“[Island of the Sequined Love Nun has] humor that seamlessly blends lunacy with larceny … habit-forming zaniness ….” – USA Today

These are both are first editions that Christopher signed and sent to us. They are lovely, rare books, and I covet them. I desire them with a terrible desire.

Fool is my favorite of Moore’s books. And the staff here at Worldbuilders have deliberately put these books into the lottery, knowing that if they were in an auction, I’d bid a crazy amount of money to win them, potentially bankrupting myself and endangering their jobs.

That shows what they know. If I cannot bid on an auction, I’m going to donate on the team page instead with the desperate hope of winning them for myself.

(If you end up being the person that wins them, send me an e-mail. I’ll trade you some ridiculous things in exchange. Seriously.)

  • Sets of Galactic Football League: The Rookie and The Starter by Scott Sigler.


Here we have a fantasy series based in a world where pro football is a lethal sport played by humans and aliens, and financed and run by organized crime. Being the bookish geeks we are, we assumed it was already like this.

“In the Galactic Football League, wars are no longer fought in space, but on the gridiron. If you like aliens and football then I suspect you’re unlikely to find a better combination than THE ROOKIE. –Phil Plait, Discover Magazine

  • Auction: A set of The Twelve Fingered Boy and The Shibboleth.  Signed by John Horner Jacobs.  The Shibboleth will be released in March.

twelve fingered boy

We’ve got a few sets of this in the lottery already, but we thought we’d auction a set off, as well, since The Shibboleth won’t be released until early March.

If you want to get your hands on this sweet pre-release, bid here.

  • The Full Geek A Week Card Sets 2, 3, 4, and a Special MythBusters Set.


The awesome Len Peralta thought it was high time to put geek heroes on trading cards. Len interviews an awesome geek, draws them, and then turns them into a trading cards, with the write ups on the back written by Storm (of Paul & Storm).  In this prize there’s seasons 2, 3, and 4, as well as two special MythBusters sets created for Discovery Channel and San Diego Comic Con in 2012, and they’re signed by Adam and Jamie.

We’re putting one of these in the lottery where anyone can win it, and another in an auction….

  • AuctionThe Full Geek A Week Card Sets 2, 3, 4, and a Special MythBusters Set.


Len does great work.  I was on an episode of NSFW Show with him a couple of weeks ago, and it was hilarious to watch him whip something together while everyone talked.  In case you couldn’t guess by the title of the show, this may not be safe for work (depending on where you work).

If you’d like to grab this yourself, you can bid on it in an auction over here.

(And if you’d like to get in on Len’s current Kickstarter, where I’m doing a guest appearance, you can find it over here.)


The guys over at Esoteric Garage have been donating to Worldbuilders for a while now, and this is their epic donation for this year.

Here we have a warded axe and a pair of warded arrowheads, based on Peter V. Brett’s books. These sort of weapons are how people fight the demons that take over at night, and would scare off any demon threatening your homestead.

If you want them, you should really bid over here.


Esoteric Garage actually sent along four warded arrowheads, so we thought we’d spread the love around a bit by offering up two of them separately, for those of you who live in small appartments with limited room for axe storage, but still would like to protect yourselves from demons.

They’re up for auction over here.

  • A set of the Miriam Black series. Signed and inscribed by Chuck Wendig.

Miriam Black series

“If you’re looking for a sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant, Wendig has established himself as the go-to man.” – Keith Brooke, The Guardian

So if you can tell when someone is going to die just by touching them, you just don’t touch people, right? Easy! As it turns out, no. So say you touch someone–just ignore it, right? Well, you’re a good person, so that’s not an option. So how much trouble can you get into by helping the nearly-deceased? As it turns out, all of it.


“A raging flood of heroic pulp action!” – GeekDad

Psychic dinosaurs attack Manhattan. With those four words, we have triggered much want within you.

  • Unclean Spirits and a first edition of Under the Empyrean Sky. Signed by Chuck Wendig.

Chuck Wendig set

“This story is just plain fun. Dark, sometimes horribly creepy, but fun.” – Fantasy Book Critic

  • Auction: A copy of The Kick-Ass Writer.  Signed by Chuck Wendig

Kickass cover

This book is filled with tips and tricks for the aspiring author who hopes to be published.  If that describes you pretty well, be sure to go over here and bid.

  • Auction: Comedy musician Mike Phirman will write a ringtone for you.


This is another one of those auctions where we’re amazed at the sorts of things people are willing to do to help us out here at Worldbuilders.

Mike has, among other things, worked on Learning Town with Paul and Storm, and is willing to write you your own personalized ringtone, and then record it and send it to you.

For more information, and to bid, go over here.

  • Auction: A consultation with professional animal trainer Laura VanArendonk.


Laura is a really cool person.  She donated one of these last year, and it went over really well, so she’s doing it again.

The consultation will be via video  or phone, and she’ll include a signed copy of her bestselling training book, Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-The-Top to Under Control.

To bond better with your dog, go here and bid.

  • A copy of Practical Demon Keeping.  First edition, signed by Chistopher Moore.

Practical Demon Keeping

“Practical Deemonkeeping is practically perfect!  It’s one of the few and special novels that conveys a sense that the author had as much fun writing it as his audience will have in reading it.  Can hardly wait for the next one – the Moore, the merrier!” – Robert Bloch

(Again the Worldbuilders staff taunts me.)

Moon and the Sun

“Drawing on deep research (detailed in an afterword), McIntyre vividly re-creates a Versailles poised on the cusp between alchemy and modern science. Her imaginings enliven her history with wonder, but, as in the best fantasy, they serve less to dazzle by their inventiveness than to illuminate brilliantly real-world truths about humanity’s responses, base and noble, when confronting the unknown.” – Publishers Weekly

This swirling tale won a little thing called the Nebula Award for the best novel of 1997. And if that doesn’t entice you, there’s a sea monster in it. Can’t resist sea monsters. Also, this might be the first blog post to feature two different sea monsters, so how can you say no?

Peters Epic Dinner

Peter Orullian set up a great little event for the fantasy geek in all of us.  He’ll coordinate with you on a date, and (so long as you can get yourself to Seattle) you’ll all go out to dinner, tour the Fantasy exhibit at the EMP Museum and have an all-around great time.

To be the coolest of the cool, go over here and bid.

  • AuctionLock In and (Not) Lock In – the novel and the seven chapters cut from it.  Signed by John Scalzi.


John Scalzi has sent along a signed copy of his novel, Lock In, which we thought was pretty cool.

He also sent along seven chapters he had to cut from the finished novel, printed and bound into a paperback book. We thought that was seriously awesome because he only made four for himself. This is one of those four. Of course he will sign and personalize it to the winner.

If you’ve ever wondered what gets cut from some novels, you can see if you just bid on this right over here.

  • The Tinker’s Packs: Cunning Knit Hats in various styles

Cunning Hats

It’s become something of a tradition at this point for someone to knit us some cunning hats for the fundraiser, and this year is no different.

Even cooler, we have regular hats for folks to wear, as well as some adorable, tiny hats, which are on keychains, pins, and loose. Clementines not included.

If you want to buy one all for yourself, go over here and grab them before they’re gone.

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Keep in mind that our auctions and the fundraiser itself are ending soon. So if you’ve been waiting to donate, now is the time.

Consider this fair warning: if you end up getting distracted by Superbowl commercials tomorrow and miss your chance, you’ll end up kicking yourself. Trust me on this.

Thanks for helping to spread the word, everyone.


Also posted in miscelany, The Tinker's Packs, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat30 Responses

Coinage from Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time

In the last four days, Worldbuilders has raised more than $45,000 for Heifer International.

That’s enough to give 150 communities the equipment and training they need to start farming fish.


Heifer trains folks how to engage in sustainable fish farming, which gives families lean, healthy protein to eat. It also creates jobs and income for those who learn to farm the fish.

Best of all this knowledge is easily transferable, allowing farmers to pass on the gift to other communities quickly, spreading the wealth far and wide.


Thanks for helping us make this happen.

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Today we’ve got something near and dear to my heart: fantasy coinage.

Specifically, we’ve got some beautifully made coins from The Wheel of Time and Game of  Thrones.

These are donated by the inestimable Tom Maringer. And I have to say, folks. He does beautiful work. If you’re a bit of a coin geek like me, just looking at the stuff he does over at the Shire Post Mint will make your fingers itch.

How much do I like his stuff? I like it enough that we’re working together to make some of the currency from *my* world, and you know how much of an obsessive perfectionist I am….

Since I’m well aware that some people (some sad, misguided people) aren’t into coinage, we’re not putting these in the lottery. We’ve got them up for sale in The Tinker’s Packs, instead.

As always, all proceeds from The Tinker’s Packs go Worldbuilders.

Here’s He’s donated some Wheel of Time coins:

  • The Tar Valon Mark

Tar Valon Mark Front

These are officially licensed coins based on The Wheel of Time, and this one features the face of Deane Aryman, holding a flame on her open palm, flanked by seven stars and wearing the stole of the Amyrlin Seat, striped with seven colors.

Tar Valon Mark Back

The reverse side features the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake eating it’s own tail, used to symbolize eternity. In the center is the Flame of Tar Valon, official symbol of the White Tower and the Amyrlin Seat.

We have these available on The Tinker’s Packs individually over here.

  • Manetheren Golden Crown of Ellisande


Here is a coin hailing from the town of Manetheren. The front features a bust of Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan, also known as Ellisande, Queen of Manetheren, who was pivotal in the Trolloc Wars.


On the reverse we find a rendition of the Red Eagle and the inscription. CARAI AN CALDAZAR. The ancient warcry of Manetheren and its last king, whose queen, Eldrene, was called Rose of the Sun.

If you want this one, it’s available right here.

Or if you’d like both Wheel of time Coins, you can buy them at a bit of a discount over here.

Next, we have something cool from Game of Thrones

  • Daemon Blackfyre Dragons

daemon blackfyre1

In the past of Westeros, Daemon Targaryen believed himself a king so deeply, he used his charisma to bring in followers to aid him in a rebellion against his scholarly brother, Daeron II.

During this rebellion, Daemon had the forethought to start producing his own coins, to mark his future ascension to the throne.

daemon blackfyre2

If you want to get your hands on these beautiful coins, we have them available over here.

If you buy two, you save $5, and if you buy three, you save $10, so they’re a steal.

So there you go.  Hopefully something tickles your fancy, but if it doesn’t, you can always go kick ten bucks into the Team Page for a chance to win one of the thousands of books up for grabs in the lottery, as well.

Thanks for being amazing and making the world a better place with us.


Also posted in cool things, The Tinker's Packs, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat14 Responses

A Sale That Happens to be on Black Friday.

Let me be honest with you. I kinda hate the thought of having a Black Friday sale. It strikes me as a desperate attempt to be trendy and timely.

And as we all know, I am neither of those things.

But we were *already* planning on putting up our signed books for November. And since last month’s books sold out in about two hours, we were going to put up a new piece of Kingkiller jewelry we have from Badali, too. But we realized we might sell out of *those* pretty quickly too….

So we decided to launch a few other things we’ve been thinking about for months, because honestly, with all the donations coming in for this year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser, we need the shelf space.

And then we had so much momentum going, we decided to bundle a few things together at a discount, and put a few things on sale….

If you scroll down you’ll see a lot of details, but not everything.

If you want to see everything we have going on peek over here on The Tinker’s Packs.

And remember, all proceeds from these sales go to charity, so there’s a free warm fuzzy with every order.

*     *     *

Masks Books

Here’s the books, being lovingly packaged by the author himself after signing them.

This is the first book in a new series. They’re first edition too. That’s a lot of firsts….

You can order one here. Be aware, we’ve only got ten, so they’re going to go quickly….

  • Signed copies of Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman.

Occasionally I like to help out a new authors by spreading the word about their books.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer up some signed books from a plucky up-and-comer called Neil Gaiman.

Fortuneately Milk Blog

I know you probably haven’t heard of him before. But personally? I think this kid is going places.

Again, supplies are limited, so if you want one, you should probably do it quickly.

  • Signed, limited-edition copies of The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss.

And finally from Subterranean Press:


While it might not be the Patrick Rothfuss sequel you’re really dying for. It is a Rothfuss sequel book that you can actually buy right now.

Subterranean Press sent us 10 copies of the just-released second Princess and Mr. Whiffle book. We’ve got five of the hardcover trades, and five of the special numbered editions. (There’s only 2000 of those total. And they include extras that aren’t in the trade version.)

You can grab them from the Tinker’s Packs. Or, if they’ve already sold out, (or if you don’t want to pay extra) you can order copies right from Subterranean Press.

(And if you haven’t read the first book, we’ve got that on sale for a couple days too.)

  • Mystery Book Bundles from Prime.


The lovely folks at Prime have sent us a lot of books over this last year. A ton of books. Hundreds. So many books that we’re having trouble finding places to put them.

We’ve got novels and anthologies and collections. We’ve got books by authors like Philip K. Dick and Elizabeth Bear. We’ve got anthologies featuring greats like Neil Gaiman, George Martin, Holly Black, Cherie Priest, and Ursula K. LeGuin….

But here’s the problem, with our main fundraiser just around the corner, more books keep piling in, and we’re running out of space.

So we’re going to try something new. Mixed book bundles.

We’re going to package up a bunch of these lovely Prime books, then sell them to you at a huge discount.

If you buy a $30 bundle, it will contain over $150 of books.

The $50 bundle will have over $300 of books.

What’s more, none of the books will show up in both bundles. So if you buy both, you won’t get any duplicates.

We’re not guaranteeing more than 50 of these bundles, so if you want one, you might want to jump on them fast.

  • Talent Pipe Earrings


The talent pipe jewelry Badali makes for us has always been one of the most popular items in our store.

But now, we’re offering them in another style – earrings.

The staff of The Tinker’s Packs have been getting questions about these for years, but now we officially have them.

Here’s the thing. We might sell out of this item. But if we do, you can just hop over and buy them from Badali directly.  And, since the fundraiser starts on Monday, they’re having their annual drive which donates 10% of your order directly to Worldbuilders.

The coupon codes will be good from December 2nd through February 1st.
  • US Customers – WBLDUSA13

US customers get free USPS Priority Shipping and 10% of your order will be donated to Worldbuilders.

  • International Customers – WBLDINT13

International orders get $10.00 off shipping and 10% of your order will be donated to Worldbuilders.

Note: This code is good for anything in Badali’s entire store, not just mine, so as soon as Monday hits, you can do a bunch of holiday shopping, save money on shipping, and know that money is being kicked toward a good cause, too.

*     *     *

So there you are. Mind you, those aren’t the only deals we have going. We have other things on sale or bundled into groups as a discount.

For example, we’re doing two calendars this year, and they’re already bundled together so that if you buy two or three, you’ll save a chunk of change.


If you’d like to see *all* the new items, discounted bundles, and sale items we put up today. You can find them here.

Thanks for being awesome everyone,


P.S. If you’d like to tuned to future Tinker’s Packs shenanigans you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.  They do cool promotions on there that I don’t mention here on the blog.

Also posted in recommendations, The Tinker's Packs, Things I Like, Worldbuilders | By Pat29 Responses

Delicious Geekery – October 2013

Back in August, we tried something a little new for Worldbuilders. Kevin Hearne and several of his anthology-mates sent us some signed copies of their carnival-steampunk collection, aptly named Carniepunk.

The books were signed by multiple authors, and rather than save them for our end-of-the-year Worldbuilders extraviganza, we decided to throw them up in our online store. We doubled the cover price because they were signed by some cool authors and because all the money goes to charity

… and despite that, the books sold out in just a couple of hours.

Since people were obviously excited about the idea, we’ve decided to make a monthly habit of bringing you some new signed books in The Tinker’s Packs:

Since this is our first month, I tapped a few of my author friends. And, because they’re all awesome people, they jumped right in.

The first to agree was Brandon Sanderson.  His book Steelheart came out a few weeks ago. It’s the first in a new series…


Look at it, looming over you like it can write faster than you or something…

Sanderson Signature

Not to mention the fact that his signature is beautiful and flowing and doesn’t at all look like a 4 year old stole a pen from you…

I got a chance to read an ARC of this and loved it even before it went through final edits. My blurb on the back says, “Unfortunately for my ego, Steelheart is another win for Sanderson, proving that he’s not a brilliant writer of epic fantasy, he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.”

If you want to know more about what I thought, you can check out my goodreads review here.

Or you could just jump right over to the Tinker’s packs and buy it.

These are signed first printings, and we’ve only got ten of them. So, fair warning, they’re bound to go quickly.

And remember, all the money we make in the Tinker’s Packs goes to Worldbuilders, helping Heifer International do awesome things all over the world.

Sustainable Community Development Project for Chitwan, Nawalparasi and Palpa (22-0531-23)

Our second set of books comes from my long-time friend Nnedi Okorafor. She and I go way back to the Writers of the Future Volume 18 in 2002, where we were both bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, newbie writers.


Awww… look at me, all young and thin and tiny-bearded.

Both Nnedi and I have both come a long way since then. Her book Zahrah the Windseeker won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. And in 2011 Who Fears Death won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

Her newest book Kabu Kabu just hit the shelves, and she’s been nice enough to send us some copies hot off the press.

Nnedi Signature

In addition to signing, she’s gone the extra mile and decorated them too….


As you can see, each of these is signed, dated, and has it’s own individual doodle along the top and bottom of the book. She sent along 10 of these, and we’re putting them up in the store for you.

Fair warning: There’s only nine left because I just bought one. I haven’t read this one yet.

Last we have a lovely donation from Scott Lynch (who I’m doing an event with soon in Lond0n).

It’s the third book in the Gentleman Bastard series: The Republic of Thieves…

Lynch Cover

I’m a huge fan of the first two books in the series, and recently wrote a review of The Lies of Locke Lamora on Goodreads that was so gushy with love that his publisher contacted me to ask if they could use it as promo copy.

Scott went all out on copies he sent us, as you can see if you embiggen the below pictures.


Yeah, he’s a great guy. Because of that, I’ll try not to resent the fact that his handwriting looks like a stylish font.

By strange coincidence, I just started reading my copy tonight over dinner. And honestly, I wish I were still reading it instead of writing a blog post. It’s one of *those* books.

They’re available for sale over here.

*     *     *

We’ve also got one cool non-book thing we’re adding to the store. Something we’ve been saving for pre-christmass.

We’ve got the complete The Legend of Neil DVD series:

Legend of Neil DVDs

If you haven’t heard of Legend of Neil, well… not only do you lose some geek points, but you’re missing out on some of the best geek humor out there.

I’m not just a fan of the show, I bought the t-shirt. (Several copies of the t-shirt, actually.)

patrick rothfuss- Murder shirt

(Note: This is not the best shirt to go through airport security in.)

The series was written and directed by the inestimable Sandeep Parikh who agreed to let us sell the DVD to help raise money for Worldbuilders.

We’ve got some regular DVD’s and some signed by Sandeep, writer/actor Tony Janning, and geek glitterati princess Felicia Day.

We’ve got the DVDs and the posters available for sale individually, or you can buy them together at a discounted price.

We’ve only got a limited number of these, especially the signed ones. Fair warning.

*     *     *

And finally, a piece of news:

The Lauren Zurchin Fantasy Calendar just came back from the printers. That means as of today, we’re no longer doing pre-orders. If you buy one, we’ll be shipping it out to you straightaway.


The same is true if you’re buying a couple calendars in a combo packs to get a discount. We’re shipping those out immediately too.

So… yeah. There you go folks. Plenty of geek swag you can add to your vasty horde or use to get a jump on your  holiday shopping.

Have fun,


Also posted in a billion links, recommendations, The Tinker's Packs, Things I Like, Worldbuilders | By Pat19 Responses

2014 Calendars – Fantasy and Philantropy

So for the last couple of years, Worldbuidlers has put out a calendar to help raise money for charity.

This year, we decided to up our game and put out TWO calendars:

The first one we put together with help from Heifer International itself to showcase the good work they do all over the world:


The second is filled with joyful geekery, featuring a bunch of cool fantasy authors… and me.

LZ Cover

Right now, both of these calendars are up for sale in our online store, The Tinker’s Packs.

If you want, you could hop over right now and buy them. But if you’d like more details first….

  • The Heifer Calendar:

One of the things that’s always bothered me about charity fundraisers is that they frequently center around guilt and pity.

We’ve all seen the TV commercials. They show you starving, desperate children and say, “For the price of a cup of coffee, you can feed this child. Not even fancy coffee. We’re talking shitty truck-stop coffee with powdered creamer in it. Not that you would ever drink that. Today you had a half-decaf mocha with blueberry syrup and extra whip that cost you six bucks, you fat, disgusting American bastard.”

I’m paraphrasing, of course. But you know what I’m talking about. You see one of those commercials and if you have any empathy at all… well… it’s just crushing. Whenever I saw one, it always made me feel helpless and hopeless.

The first time I ever saw something different was Sarah Mclachlan’s video, World On Fire. Way back in 2004.

The premise for the video was this: They took the $150,000 a video normally costs, and put that money toward different charitable causes instead.

After all these years, I still remember one moment in the video where they said they’d helped send kids to school. Then they showed a picture of this little girl sitting in a classroom. And she was *so* fucking happy to be going to school and learning things. She was beaming with joy.

A screw it, I’ll just post the video here so you can see it yourself if you want….

The part I’m talking about is right at the 1 minute mark.

I remember watching that video, and thinking “This. Is. Awesome. What Sarah McLachlin has done here is Awesome.”

Then, after a moment, I remember thinking, “I want to be awesome too.”

What’s my point? Here’s my point.

When we decided to put together our own Heifer International themed calendar, that’s the feeling I wanted to replicate. I didn’t want people to feel guilty or sad or depressed at the state of the world.

I wanted you to look at this calendar and think: This is Awesome. What Heifer is doing is Awesome.

So our calendar is full of stories of people that Heifer has helped over the years. People who got a little help, then used those resources to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

Stuff like this:

After working on their own for 21 years, the women in Azacualpa village saw things begin to change in 2005 when 22 families received heifers from Heifer International.

Four years later, in 2009, they received chickens and completed two rounds of Passing on the Gift, sharing chickens with other families in their community. Seeing the positive results from these first two projects, the women wanted to try something a bit more ambitious.


“We wanted something more to do to generate more income,” said Maria Elsa (bottom left, with her husband and grandchildren). From this, the Southern Cashew Enterprise Association was born, with Maria serving as president.

Heifer provided the materials and hired builders to construct the storage rooms and ovens for this cashew enterprise. They also provided 200 cashew tree seedlings.

In 2012, a drought destroyed most of the area’s corn harvest. The cashew business, however, along with the ability to sell eggs and milk from their livestock, still provided income for the families in Maria’s village.

Maria gets almost four gallons of milk a day; she uses one gallon for her family and sells the rest.

Victoriano Gonzalez, Maria’s husband, said, “I never expected to see a cow in my yard and now we have four.” While the women work, their husbands have taken over more of the household chores.

“Now our husbands bring us food while we are working,” Maria said.

 This! This is what it’s all about. Heifer helps people, then those people help themselves. Then they help *other* people help themselves.

And you *don’t* have to shell out 60 cents a day, every day, forever, just to keep some poor kid from starving. When I did that, I felt like I was throwing stones into a well. I felt like it would never *really* make things better.

But here’s the thing: you send some money to Heifer, and they use it to help people make significant, long-term changes in their lives. Now when I donate money, it feels like I’m throwing a stone and Heifer is making sure that stone lands in *just* the right place so that it triggers an avalanche of awesome that will go on for decades, improving the lives of thousands of people.

If you buy this calendar, you are throwing a stone too. I hope that every day you look at it and think: That is awesome. And I am awesome too because I helped.

  • The Beyond Words Fantasy Calendar:

The second calendar we’re doing this year is fantasy-themed. But unlike last year’s calendar that focused on fantasy characters. This calendar focuses on the authors themselves.

For example, Brandon Sanderson:


Or Lauren Oliver:

oliver-updated(It’s worth it to embiggen this.)

Or Gregory Maquire:


As you can see, the point wasn’t to dress up the authors as something out of their own books. (Gregory isn’t dressed up as someone from Wicked, for example.) This was a chance to… well… to do something fun and cool.

There are a lot of cool authors involved in this project, including:

If you’d like to see more of the pictures, you can peek at some more over in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • A special offer:

Now I can hear many of you out there howling, “How can I possibly choose between these two awesome calendars? I love Heifer, but I’m also a big geeky fan of [insert author name here]!!”

First off, rest assured that if you buy *either* of these calendars, money will go toward supporting Heifer International.

But really, why buy only one calendar? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a calendar in your office AND in your kitchen? A calendar at home *and* a calendar at work?

And what about Christmas presents? Think of those older relatives that are hard to shop for. Do you really want to give them another kitten calendar? A scented candle? No. You really don’t.

But if you give them a Heifer Calendar, you can explain to them how the money went to a *really* good cause. Then they get to feel awesome, too.

Calendar-2-forSo here’s the deal we’re offering. If you buy more than one calendar, we’ll give you a break on the price.

  • If you buy two calendars, you get $5 off.
  • If you buy three calendars, you get $10 off.

You can mix and match to your heart’s content. Here’s the link the the calendar combo deals on The Tinker’s Packs.

  • The fine details:

A few other things you might want to know:

1. If you buy the Beyond Words calendar, your money will support First Book as well as Worldbuilders.

2. The Beyond Words calendar isn’t *quite* back from the printer yet.

It should be finished in a week or so. And we’ll be shipping it soon after. That’s why it’s listed in the store as a pre-order.

So if you order a calendar bundle including Beyond Worlds, we’ll wait until *all* your calendars are ready before we mail them. It will take a little longer, but shipping is much cheaper that way.

3. Last year, a lot of people complained that while the calendar was attractive, it was hard to use.

The reason for this was that the re was little functional space for writing down doctor’s appointments, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

We’ve fixed that this year. Both our calendars have nice, big colored boxes for you to write in.

  • Being in the Loop:

As you all know, I end up being really busy. That means I don’t always get to write blogs as quickly as I’d like.

This blog is a great example of that. I’ve been working on it for days.

But the people who follow The Tinker’s Packs on Facebook and Twitter heard about the calendars almost a week ago. That means they’ve already had a chance to place their orders, and in some cases have already received their calendars, giving them the chance to be very smug among their geek friends.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss stuff like this, it would be a good idea to follow those accounts. Especially as I don’t always blog about everything we put up in the store, and a lot of time, items are limited….

More cool things happening soon. Really soon. Stay tuned.


P.S. If you’d like to sell some of our calendars in your store, or just buy in bulk, drop us a line at

P.P.S. If you’d like to help out Worldbuilders in some other way, drop us a line at

Also posted in being awesome, Heifer International, The Tinker's Packs, Warm Fuzzies, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat24 Responses

Books, Games, Art, and Awesome….

Hey there everybody,

So it looks like I’m going to survive convention season, if only just barely.

And you know what comes after convention season?

Well…Sleep mostly. But after I catch up on my sleep, we’re going to start prepping for our yearly Worldbuilders fundraiser.

It used to be that Worldbuilders only really existed for about one month out of the year. But over the years it’s grown bigger and bigger. What’s more, authors, artists, publishers, and game designers have all come forward, offering to help in different ways….

  • Anton Strout

Some of you might remember that last year, Anton made a very generous offer.

He had a book coming out, Alchemistic, and he said that for every copy that sold in the month leading up to the book, he was going to give Worldbuilders a dollar.

Anton Strout - Alchemistic

What’s more, Anton  convinced his publisher (Penguin) to donate another dollar to match his.

Needless to say, I thought this was amazingly generous, and agreed to take back half of the bad things I’d ever said about him.

Well, a new year is upon us, and Anton has a new book coming out:


And, gentleman that he is, Anton has offered to help Worldbuilders out again….

That means that for every copy of Stonecast that people pre-order between now and the book’s release date, Worldbuilders will get two dollars. One from Anton and one from Penguin.

Now, all joking aside, let me take a moment to explain how generous Anton is actually being here….

You see, authors make their money by earning a royalty from each book they sell. For paperback books, that tends to be about 8% (at best).

That means that Anton makes about 60 cents for every book.

So you know that he’s really doing this out of the goodness of his heart. It’s not a clever moneymaking scheme.

Well… actually it is a clever moneymaking scheme. It’s just that it’s making money for charity, not for Anton.

And remember, Penguin has also agreed to match Anton up to the first $1500.  That means that $2 will come to Worldbuilders for every copy of Stonecast that gets pre-ordered between now and the publication date of 9/24.

And you can pre-order anywhere you like, your local indie bookstore, B&N, Amazon, wherever you like…

  • Boss Monster:

We’ve returned from GenCon with some copies of Boss Monster with the special promotional Quothe LadyKiller hero cards.


We only had 200 copies of these to start with, and they sold extremely well at GenCon, and now we have less than two dozen remaining

But the ones we do have are up in the store….

  • Karen Hallion Prints

Another thing we brought to GenCon that sold like mad were prints from the ever-awesome Karen Hallion. Last year she donated some for us to auction off during last year’s fundraiser.  But now she’s letting us retail some, since all proceeds from the store go to Worldbuilders.

Hallion - Great Wide Everywhere 72

This print was our best seller at the convention and a personal favorite.

Oot just walked by and said: “Oh dad, is that a video of a princess walking to a bathroom?”

I appologise, he’s too young for Dr. Who.

A lot of folks don’t realize that Karen does a ton of mash-ups that are unrelated to police boxes, too.  She’s got a little bit for everyone, for example…

Hallion - Strawberry Girl 72

This one is Amanda’s favorite. And if you like it as much as she does, odds are the two of you can be best friends. It’s Kaylee and the Morton’s Salt Girl, all mashed up into one beautiful piece of art, great for Firefly fans and advertising enthusiasts alike.

Oot says: “A clown with an umbrella. Ha! She’s poopin’ ladybugs.”

Hallion - Cunning and Blue 72

Oot says: “That’s so silly! A mouse wearing a hat!”

We’ve got 8 different Hallion prints in the store, so make sure to check out the rest of them.

  • Carniepunk

Last, but not least, we have a cool donation from Kevin Hearne.  He sent us a few copies of the new anthology Carniepunk.


Yeah. Carnival steampunk. I’ll admit that I’m all tingly at the thought of this.

I’m thinking this anthology is going to be like Ray Bradbury with a monocle and a lightning gun. I’m going to have to order a copy.

Not only did they donate some books, but fully half the authors in the anthology got together and signed these copies.


The lovely authors who autographed are Rachel Caine, Seanan McGuire, Jaye Wells, Nicole Peeler, Mark Henry, Delilah S. Dawson, and, of course, Kevin Hearne himself.

It’s a rare treat to get so many authors signing a book. But it’s rarer still that we get something like this donated that we can sell in the store…. 

We only have a handful of them though, so if you want one, you better jump onboard quickly.

As for me, I’m off to order some books.

Later Space Cowboys…


Also posted in a billion links, gaming, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat17 Responses
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