Category Archives: Things I Like

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:

20131129_033122

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.

Prime-Mystery-Bundle

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

IMG_2861

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.

Calendar-2-for

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,

pat

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, 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…

1-Sanderson

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.

Me-and-Nnedi-730772

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….

1-photo

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.

1-Republic

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.

oliver-updated

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,

pat

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

Concerning Anime

Pat,

After taking note that you’ve repeatedly referenced Cowboy Bebop, I’d like if you could include in a blog any favorite/recommended anime. I understand that you are busy or may not have enough interest in writing such a blog. Or may be hesitant to receive the potential fan outlash because you didn’t mention “insert anime name here” or haven’t seen “insert more different anime name here”.

But I would just like your opinion, as that is one of the primary reasons I read the blog – to learn more about the author. I’d like to think I’m not alone.

Until next time, fellow space cowboy!

Ben (Twin Cities, MN)

First off, Ben. I have to say I love the term “outlash.” It fills a good linguistic niche. It’s different from backlash. Outlash is less of a reaction, more of an upwelling of directionless vitriol. It’s less justified than backlash.

Off the top of my head, I’d say that roughly 27% of the internet is composed of outlash.

Here’s my utterly off-the-cuff top five Anime recommendations.

1. Last Airbender.

First off. We’re not talking about the movie. We’re talking about the animated series. I hear the movie sucked to such a degree that words cannot fully encompass it.

This series was absolutely brilliant. I could easily hold forth for an hour on the clever storytelling techniques they use. I’m looking forward to the day that little Oot is old enough so that I can watch it with him.

2. Princess Mononoke.

Out of fairness to all other anime, we’ll only include one Miyazaki title in this list. Though it’s hard to narrow it down, this one has to be my favorite. Probably because the translation and dub is absolutely first rate.

Normally I’m a subtitle guy. 99% of the time, I go for subtitle. But this is one of the rare cases where I really do like the dub more. It made me feel better when I learned that Neil Gaiman was in charge of anglicizing the screenplay for the English version.

3. Cowboy Bebop.

A true rarity. A brilliant Japanese Anime series that doesn’t turn to total bullshit at the end.

4. Trigun.

Piece and Love!

5. Akira.

Okay. You know that crack I made up there in #3 about anime turning into total bullshit at the end of the series/movie? This is the perfect example of that. The last 10 minutes of the movie are like a bad acid flashback.

But you know what? This still makes the top five despite the fact that the movie as a whole makes no goddamn sense. The music and cinematography are enough make up for the largely nonsensical story/plot/character conflict.

And believe me, that’s probably nothing you’ll ever hear me say again, that the cinematography alone makes something worth watching.

But in this one case it’s really true. Despite the fact that this is largely an action movie, I consider it a brilliant study in silence and stillness. If you’ve watched it closely, I’m sure you know what I mean.

*      *     *

Now before y’all start your anguished screeling that I didn’t include Inuyasha or Witchunter Robin or  whatever your favoritiest BFF anime of forever is. Keep in mind that I might not have seen it. If you look at the dates of the above titles, you’ll see that I’m not really on the cutting edge here. I haven’t watched hardly any TV at all in two years. I’ve heard of Bleach but never watched it. Same thing with Death Note. (I read it.)

Then again, it’s quite possible your favorite show simply didn’t flip my switch. I watched Full Metal Alchemist, and while parts of it were cool, as a whole it felt draggy and slow. Though it came highly recommended, Monster just bored me, and I quit watching halfway through.

So much of this is a matter of taste, you realize.

Honorable mentions:

  • Ninja Scroll. Subtitled. (I once watched it three times in a row.)
  • Anything by Miyazaki.
  • Lupin the Third.
  • All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku. (Seriously. It was great.)
  • Cutey Honey. (Because you have to respect the concept.)
  • Paprika.
  • Millenium Actress. (A story about stories.)
  • Ghost in the Shell.

If any of y’all have some particular favorites, I’d love to hear about them. Not that I have much time for watching TV these days. But someday I hope to be able to veg out in front of the tube again….

pat

Also posted in Fanmail Q + A, recommendations | By Pat189 Responses

The New Coolness or How I Accidentally Published a Calendar

So a couple months ago, I went to Worldcon in Reno. While I was there, I had dinner with some friends of friends. One of those people was artist and illustrator Lee Moyer.

I like graphic artists. I like them because they do something I can’t, which effectively makes them magicians.

They’re also fun to have dinner with. You can get them all worked up about the weirdest shit. They’ll get all frothy talking about color. They’ll doodle on napkins. They’ll criticize the layout of the menu.

Best of all, if they have an ipad with them, you can look at their stuff while you’re waiting for your food to show up. This is not something you can do if you are, say, an author who writes 400,000 word fantasy novels.

At that particular dinner in Reno, Lee did have his ipad on him. He showed me some of his work: book covers, posters, commissions….

“Hold on,” I said, pointing at a tiny thumbnail. “What’s that?”

“Oh,” he said, “That’s a project I’m working on. They’re pin-ups based on literary figures.”

He brought it up on the screen:

“That’s really cool,” I said.

He smiled and pulled up another one:

I had to look at this one for a while. The Twain reference was obvious, but this…

“Oh god,” I said. “That’s Hawthorne, isn’t it? It’s Hester Prynne from the Scarlet Letter. She’s got an A tattooed on her chest!”

He brought up another one:

“That’s got to be Dickens, right?”

Lee nodded.

“What are these for?” I asked.

“A calendar,” he explained. “Literary pin-ups.”

“That’s something I’d hang on my wall,” I said. “Sexy but not smutty. Clever. Bookish. Where can I buy one?”

“I’m having trouble finding someone to print it,” he admitted. “I think people would love it, but the big calendar companies don’t seem interested.”

“You have twelve of these?” I asked.

“Yeah. It’s pretty much all ready to go.”

I looked at the sexy chimney sweep. She smiled at me.

“Hell,” I said. “I’ll print it.”

Lee looked at me oddly. This is not a thing authors normally say to illustrators.

“You see,” I said, “I run a charity called Worldbuilders….”

*     *     *

Fast forward to today.

The calendars are back from the printer and they’re gorgeous. We pulled out all the stops with satin finish and nice heavy paper. They really turned out nice.

I was going to wait until we officially started Worldbuilders to put them up in the store. But the truth is, I’m too excited to wait….

So instead, I’ve decided to give y’all a chance to order the calendar before the fundraiser officially starts up this year. Not only can you get some of your holiday shopping done a little early, but if you order now, we’ll be able to ship them out to you right away, before Worldbuilders starts making things crazy busy around here.

If you’re curious what some of the other months look like, here’s a peek at the back cover:

(Click to Embiggen)

A few additional notes:

1. As always, all the money you spend in The Tinker’s Packs goes directly to Worldbuilders.

2. If you order three calendars, you can get free shipping anywhere in the US. (Or 8 bucks off international shipping.) Just enter the code: LITERACY when you’re checking out.

3. You might want to order sooner rather than later. We’re probably not going to do a second print run of these, so when they’re gone, they’re gone….

4. [Edit 7:30 AM] Please be aware that there are two *different* calendar listings in the store. One of them is for art collectors. It’s signed by the artist, and it doesn’t have any holes punched in it. We’re only doing 50 of those, and we’re selling them for 75 dollars. The regular calendar is much more reasonably priced….

And one last time, just in case you missed the link to the store.

Share and enjoy, folks.

pat

P.S. If you don’t know what Worldbuilders is, you can take a peek at last year’s fundraiser over here.

Also posted in cool things, sexy, side projects, The Tinker's Packs, Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat47 Responses

Tales of Mere Existence

So a couple days ago a friend sent me a link to a video.

And I thought, “Yeah. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”

I’m assuming a lot of you already know about Tales of Mere Existence. But if you don’t, well, here you go.

I’ve loved Lev Yilmaz’s stuff for years. In fact, I feel a certain amount of shame that it’s taken me this long to mention him on the blog. However much attention he gets for his work, I can’t help but feel that he deserves more.

That said, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that he also has books and DVD’s and such that you can buy.

I hereby grant you permission to do nothing but watch Lev’s videos all day.

Share and Enjoy,

pat

Also posted in recommendations, videos | By Pat27 Responses

Things I Like: MS Paint Adventures

Looking for something to entertain yourself with while you’re waiting for a new blog?

Why not take a look at MS Paint adventures?

I stumbled onto it a few months ago and have been enthralled ever since.

The basic premise is the cartoonist draws a little scenario similar to one of those little solve-the-puzzle flash games. Then the readers make suggestions as to how best to interact with the environment/solve the puzzle/get out of the room/win the game. Then the cartoonist draws the next panel.

It doesn’t sound like much when I describe it that way, but when you reduce anything to a summary all the flavor gets lost.

I might as well say, “The Name of the Wind is a bunch of words that when you read them you learn a story about a guy who does some stuff.”

Yeah. It’s not exactly thrilling when you boil something down to its simplest elements. So you’ll have to trust me that Ms Paint Adventures is interactive storytelling at its finest.

Let’s try again: Ms Paint Adventures is one part webcomic, one part game, two parts parody, three parts role playing with a sadistic GM, four parts clever, three parts sarcastic, one part barb wire, one part sweet, sweet methadone. Plus awesome. Plus double awesome.

The author/artist is Andrew Hussie, and as one storyteller to another, my hat’s off to him. He’s doing something strange and wonderful over there.

You can read the current story which is in-progress. Or you can read the one that’s already finished.

Be warned, the finished story (Problem Sleuth) is over 1500 pages, and it will consume a large portion of your life if it gets it gets its hooks into you.

More blog soon,

pat

P.S. By this point I know I’ve spelled the “Reccomendations” tag wrong. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that. I’m going to keep on spelling it wrong until I have time to go back and change them all. If I just change half of them, the link won’t work properly.

So take a deep breath and start thinking of ways to deal with it. I’m sure you can…

Also posted in concerning storytelling, cool things, recommendations | By Pat28 Responses
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