Category Archives: Worldbuilders 2008

Reaping the Whirlwind

First, I’d like everyone to take a moment and appreciate the clever title of this post. I’m unreasonably proud of it.

We good? Okay.

After a long week, Sarah and I have finally managed to tie up about 99% of the loose ends on the fundraiser. We’ve drawn numbers, sorted prizes, sent e-mails, and packaged nearly everything up.

And when I saw “we,” I mean “Sarah.” I did a lot of the sifting, number juggling, and e-mailing, but Sarah was the package queen.

Awww…. She loves those packages. Those hundreds and hundreds of packages.

Also, as you can see in the lower lefthand corner, the holy light these prizes exude can shine through cardboard, tape, and two layers of bubble wrap. It’s powerful stuff.

I’d also like to note that these packages do not include the Subterranean Press books. Because not only was Subterranean Press cool enough to donate a great pile of stuff, they were nice enough to handle all the shipping for those books too. Which is why I am filled with love for them.

And speaking of love….

Here Sarah is modeling the catgirl hat many of you have seen before. I wanted to prove that I actually did buy it for her, and wasn’t secretly keeping it for myself.

Simply said, the fundraiser would have been impossible without Sarah. She spent dozens of hours bundling up books, running errands, and generally getting everything done. Hell, the trip to the post office alone took two full hours, and that was with a friend with a van helping.

Everyone say, “Thank you Sarah.”

And now, answers to some final questions.

  • Things went really crazy right at the end of the fundraiser. What happened?

Things did go a little crazy. On December 9th, I mentioned on the blog that I thought we had a decent chance of breaking $40,000. Then, we raised over $16,000 in the next two days, tearing past $50,000 and leaving me worried that I was going to have to take out a loan so I could cover my half.

A big piece of this was brought about by folks spreading the word on their blogs. Most notably, Neil Gaiman.

I’d heard through the grapevine that Gaiman was a bit of a Heifer supporter, so I sent him a little e-mail, asking if he’d be interested in mentioning it on his blog.

I should have realized that asking for something like this would be like sticking my tongue into…. well… into anything, really. In my experience, whenever you stick your tongue into something, the outcome is going to be either very exciting, very dangerous, or both.

This was one of those “both” situations. After his blog, Gaiman’s readers flooded over to participate in the festivities. Felicia Day mentioned it on her blog too. Plus, I know a lot of folks were finishing their own personal fundraisers and/or waiting until the very end to make their donations. Hence the crazy.

Rest assured, everyone who got their donations in by the 11th was entered into the lottery.

And yes, I’m all twitterpated that Gaiman referred to me as a “good author.” Though I hope at least some of that was referring to my storytelling as opposed to my ethics.

  • The donations hit nearly $55,000. How much are you matching?

The other day I asked Sarah, “What do you want for Christmas?”

Nothing you can afford to get me,” she said huffily.

And we laugh. This has become the running joke in our house.

I’ve decided to match all the donations. I could have stopped at forty thousand, but I said I’d keep matching until the 11th, and I like to keep my promises.

  • What was the final total?

If you’ve read the blog that started it all, you know I offered two options to people who wanted to donate. There was the Sure Thing option, and the Lottery option.

A surprising number of people chose the Sure Thing, which meant they mailed me a check and I mailed them something back, usually a book or a map signed however they wanted it.

(Click to Embiggen)

A *lot* of people chose this option. So many that I ran out of first edition books. The total amount raised from the Sure Thing option was over six thousand dollars.

That, plus my matching donation from the lottery, minus the cost of postage and packaging materials, brings us to $58,493.14

I’m showing you the check not as proof that I’m mailing it, but because it took me ten friggin minutes to write this thing out. I screwed up five checks before I managed to get it right. I misspelled “ninty,” wrote the wrong amount, wrote the wrong year, and failed more than once to get the total to fit on the line.

I keep pretending that I’m a grown-up, but I’m not.

Anyway, this money, plus the donations that were made directly to the Heifer page, makes a grand total of $113,466.28.

I don’t have words enough to express how happy this makes me. I firmly believe that deep down, people are fundamentally good. But it’s nice to have some data that backs that sentiment up every once in a while.

I’d like to thank all the authors who donated books, all the people who mentioned the fundraiser on their blogs, and all the people who donated money to the cause. Yay us.

  • Are you planning on doing this again next year?

Yes. But I’m planning on doing some things differently.

More stuff. A lot of people wanted to contribute books or other goodies to this year’s auction, but they didn’t hear about the fundraiser until it was nearly finished. I’ve already got stuff piling up for next year’s fundraiser.

Streamlined lottery. Next year, when you make your donation you’ll be able to mark what prizes you’re interested in. That way if you win something, it will be something you’re sure to like.

Auctions. Some prizes are really cool, but only to a very select group of people. So next year we’re going to auction those items off separately. These might be things like manuscripts. Or they might be services, like an author agreeing to insert your name into an upcoming book, a lawyer offering legal consultation, or feedback on a manuscript from a literary agent.

  • I want to be a part of next year’s fundraiser. How can I help?

Donate. Want to chip in a signed book or two? Lovely. Have a cool collectible or unique skill you think would be a worthwhile addition? Wonderful. I’m already collecting prizes for next year. Send them along.

Or maybe you’d like to be an even bigger part of the fundraiser? I’m going to be looking for official sponsors to help me match donations for next year. I’d like to be able to do all of it on my own again, but I just can’t afford it.

If you’d like to help out, drop me a line on my contact form or send an e-mail to Paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger)

Spread the word. Not everyone has signed books to donate or money to throw around. But you can help a lot by letting people know about the fundraiser. A lot of the prizes I received came from authors who contacted me, saying, “A fan sent me an e-mail about your fundraiser and I’d love to be a part of it.” So if you know someone that might be interested in helping, donating a prize, or potentially being a sponsor, talk to them about it. It’s a big help.

Help me come up with a name.
We *really* need a name, folks. We can’t keep calling it “The Heifer Fundraiser.” It lacks panache. Names are important things, you know. And they can tell you a lot about a fundraiser.

Right now, the best I’ve been able to come up with is “Worldbuilders.” But we need something catchier than that. I know that a lot of you are word-clever, as shown by your constant, witty definitions of the word verification giberish. Funnel the churning magma of your creativity toward this problem and I’m sure we can come up with something good.

In fact, let’s try to get the ball rolling in the comments below. Serious suggestions only please. Believe me, I’ve come up with enough sarcastic-sounding ones on my own…. (Geeks for Goats being the least lame of these.)

Thanks again everyone,


Also posted in baby ducks, Catgirl, cool things, Heifer International, Neil Gaiman, Sarah | By Pat75 Responses

The settling dust….

Well, the fundraiser is over, and most of my weekend has been spent dealing with the fallout.

I’ll post up a more detailed blog about the aftermath in a couple of days. I’ll talk details, show some pictures, give the final totals, and discuss the plans for the future.

But for now, my priority is sending out the books to everyone who won prizes. That means I’m too busy packaging things up with Sarah to write up a new blog right now. And no, that’s not a euphemism.

(Click to embiggen)

Check out all the swag, and this isn’t even including Subterranean Press’s books.

The more observant of you might note that my book is glowing with some sort of holy light. That’s right folks, not only is it a cracking good read, but The Name of the Wind will actually help you cut energy costs by illuminating your house. Plus, basking naked in its warm glow will help your body generate much-needed vitamin D.

This is why they don’t let me write ad copy.

In other news, if you’re looking for a way to pass the time, I did an online author panel thinger with a few other folks over at bookgeeks, talking about the classic science/magic issue.

So if you’re interested in what we had to say, or if you’re just looking to kill time at work, feel free to wander over there and check it out.

Later all,


Also posted in Interviews | By Pat15 Responses

Some of the Best for Last – More Delicious Swag

Did I mention that Heifer International called my house? Yeah. They’re the coolest folks. Apparently some of them have been watching our fundraiser with more than passing interest. They confirmed something I had started to suspect. Namely, that y’all are cool as hell.This is the last treasure post, and we have some lovely stuff. Detailed below, we have another original manuscript, signed books and ARC’s, and some cool swag from Queen of the Geeks, Felicia Day.

I’ve raised the donation bar a couple times just in the last week, and right now it looks like we stand a good chance of actually raising more that 40,000 dollars. Which is awe-inspiring, really.

For the last month, the first thing I’ve done in the morning is check the Heifer donation page. It’s been a great way to start my day. But I’ll be honest with you, there have been a few times in the last week that I’ve woken up, looked at the total, and thought. “This is it. I really shouldn’t match any more. I said I’d keep going until Dec 11th, but I’m sure folks will understand if I stop matching donations a couple days early….”

When I get that feeling, I go look at Heifer’s website. Then I learn things like the fact that half the chickens in Korea are descended from eggs that Heifer supplied after the Korean War.

Or I read about a young man in Uganda who had to quit school to take care of his five younger siblings because his parents died. He got a Heifer, greatly improving the family’s nutrition. And the money they get from selling the surplus milk is helping to pay for school.

And then I think, “I can order Chinese food any time I want, and they bring it to my house. I have a car in reasonably good repair. I have a house that stays warm through the Wisconsin winters. I have a house full of books to read, and all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. I am living the best possible life.”

Then I relax, and I realize that nothing makes me happier than raising the donation bar again. And again after that if need be.

Okay, enough touchy-feely. Let’s talk about free stuff.

  • A set of the first three books in Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet: A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, and An Autumn War. Hardcover. Signed by the author.

While I haven’t mentioned these books on my blog, I’ve read them and they’re really good. In fact, these were the first books I ever decided to give an official blurb to.I’d almost forgotten about it. But when Daniel’s books showed up today, I saw that my blurb was actually there, right on the cover. First book: quote from GRRM. Second book: quote from GRRM. Third book? Quote from me. That’s right baby. Me.

So obviously I thought these were great books. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, why not trust bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss when he says, “There is much to love in the Long Price Quartet. It is epic in scope, but character-centered. The setting is unique yet utterly believable. The storytelling is smooth, careful, and–best of all–unpredictable.”

  • An advance reading copy of Jeri Smith-Ready’s The Reawakened, conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy. Signed by the author.

Another one of those cool ARC’s for those of you who are interested in getting a peek at the book before it hits the shelves. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Myth blends with passion in this colorful conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy.”

Award winning author Stephen Baxter calls Mirrored Heavens, “A crackling cyberthriller. This is Tom Clancy interfacing Bruce Sterling. David Williams has hacked into the future.”

  • A copy of Questions for a Soldier, by John Scalzi. Limited edition.

Questions for a Soldier is a limited edition Subterranean Press book set in the world of Scalzi’s first novel, Old Man’s War. Scalzi himself says, “for those of you looking for rare and unusual Scalzi-related curiosities, this is it, baby.”Paul Di Filippo, writing for The Washington Post Book World says, “Scalzi’s imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated….His speculative elements are top-notch. His combat scenes are blood-roiling. His dialogue is suitably snappy and profane.”

  • A set of S.C. Bulter’s Reiffen’s Choice and Queen Ferris, books one and two of The Stoneways Trilogy. Signed by the author.

Children’s Literature says, “Fantasy fans of all ages will be drawn into the world that Butler has created…. If one wanders away from the main characters they will not fall out of the story but will find another story somewhere in the Stoneways or Valing, and that is the mark of a truly great fantasy.”

This husband and wife team just sent me some of their stuff out of the blue. And I’ll admit that when this graphic novel showed up, I invoked my sovereign right of… um… book-lookingness. Anyway, I read it. And it was pretty cool….According to Publishers Weekly, “The tale’s unfamiliar setting and the uncanny events work together intriguingly.”

In a starred review, Kirkus says, “Featuring both an uncommonly well-conceived setting and buckets of high-energy action, Taylor’s debut tale of a thumb-sized devil hunter who comes this close to meeting her match belongs at the top of everyone’s fantasy must-read list.”
  • A copy of Dead to Me, the debut novel of Anton Strout. Signed by the author.

Anton Strout is, among other things, my mortal enemy. However, I’m willing to set aside any personal rancor I feel toward the man in order to accept his generous gift on behalf of Heifer International.

Bestselling author Charlaine Harris gives this review: “Following Simon’s adventures is like being the pinball in an especially antic game, but it’s well worth the wear and tear.”

  • An ARC of Fenzig’s Fortune by Jean Rabe. Signed by the Author.
Jean has donated both a signed ARC, and a signed hardcover to the cause. Publisher’s Weekly says that, “Readers of all ages will find simple pleasures in this traditional hobbit-inspired fantasy.”
  • A manuscript of Steven Savile’s new Stargate novel, Shadows, book one of The Iblis Trilogy. Signed by the author.

I can’t say enough good about Steven. When he heard about the fundraiser, he immediately went out and started beating the bushes for donations. He brought in the folks from Bad Moon Books. He tipped off Kevin Anderson and many others. Finally, he’s donated this lovely manuscript.

Here’s what Steven says:

“Shadows is the first book in the Iblis Trilogy, an SG-1 novel featuring the original team. What makes this manuscript unique is it includes all of the mistakes and material that MGM won’t approve – so there are a good 10,000 words different between it as a first draft and the finished book which is coming out at the end of January. The story itself pits the team against the Goa’uld, Iblis, and features the Mujina, an archetypal monster who can be all things to everyone, the hero and villain their heart most desperately desires.”

(That’s not my thumb this time, folks.
Judging by the grace and poise, I think it might be Felicia’s.)

When I heard from Felicia a couple days ago, I hurried downstairs to tell Sarah.

Me: Felicia Day just sent me an e-mail! She says she’d like to donate a signed copy of The Guild DVD and a Dr. Horrible poster signed by the cast.

Sarah: Well that must make you excited enough to pee.

Which, in fact, sums up my reaction quite nicely.

I made a blog post about The Guild a while back, singing its praises. Later, Felicia and I interviewed each other, each in our respective blogs.

What I’m getting at is that I thought she was cool even *before* Dr. Horrible came out and she worked a deal with X-box to sponsor season two of The Guild.

The Los Angeles Times praised The Guild as “perhaps the smartest (and definitely the funniest) webisodic series of the year.” This year, they’re putting out a new season that’s way more budgety.

If you haven’t heard about Dr. Horrible, then you obviously haven’t been reading my blog for very long. Maybe you have been living under a heavy, heavy rock. Or perhaps you hate everything that is lovely and good in the world.

How much do I love Dr. Horrible? I’ll let this picture from my Halloween party tell the story:

Yeah. The ladies were totally into my Dr. Horrible costume.

So… yeah.
Dr. Horrible was bigger than Lennon, and the poster is pretty cool too. Signed by Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris, and Nathan Fillion. This prize is guaranteed to make you excited enough to pee.

That’s all she wrote, folks. Remember you have until the end of December 11th to get in on the action. Tell your friends….

Want to know how to win these and other fabulous prizes while making the world a better place? Check OVER HERE for the blog that describes it all.

Rock on, team geek.


Also posted in a billion links, Felicia Day, Heifer International, recommendations | By Pat39 Responses

The Awesomeness of Subterranean Press

Okay folks. I know you’ve seen a lot of blogs full of donations for the Heifer Fundraiserlately. Don’t get jaded on me. This one is something new. Something ginchy.I’ve known the folks at Subterranean Press for a long while. They were the first publisher to ask if I’d like to contribute a story to an anthology. Bill Schafer actually contacted me two weeks after TNOTW hit the shelves. It was one of the first clues I had that I might have done something right in the book.

What’s more, I’m currently working with an illustrator on a not-for-children children’s book that will be published through through them. (Details on that will be forthcoming.)

Subterranean Press publishes gorgeous books. Beautiful paper. Beautiful bindings. Stuff by great authors. Stuff that’s out of print. Stuff by Neil Gaiman, Tim Powers, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury….

The last time I bought stuff off their website, I looked at my shopping cart and found myself thinking, “Next time I sell them a story, I should just negotiate my contract in store credit and cut out the middle man.”

So when Bill contacted me, saying he was willing to donate some books to my Heifer Fundraiser, I was understandably delighted. Thrilled, in fact.

Then he sent me the list. I was stunned. 120 books. Beautiful hardcovers. Many of them limited editions. Many of them sold out. Most of them signed.

All told, over 8,000 dollars worth of books.

Yeah. They’re awesome.

Subterranean Press has Donated

10 copiesof each of the following. 






Last Call was the book that really convinced me Tim Powers was brilliant, and the two sequels are just as good. These are matched, limited-edition, numbered sets, signed by Tim Powers himself.

I have it on good authority that owning these books will give you the strength of ten men, cure any illness afflicting you, and grant you eternal youth.

If you don’t believe me, then how about trusting the Los Angeles Daily News when they say Last Call is “Riveting…lyrical and brutal…a thrilling tale of gambling, fate and fantastic adventure.”



This is a book of revived, never produced (except for a pilot to the series the book was to have become) teleplays by Robert A. Heinlein, mainly adapted from his stories. Paul Di Filippo, for SciFi Weekly says, “All these narratives are gripping and full of hooks and typically engaging Heinlein characters [….] The stories have proved themselves in print for half a century, and their virtues survive the transition to a different medium.”


Ursula K. Le Guin tells us, “Keep your eye on Kage Baker! You never know where she’s heading next, but its always worth going there. She’s an edgy, funny, complex, ambitious writer with the mysterious, true gift of story-telling.”



According to author Charles de Lint, “Blaylock allows us to see the mundane world through new eyes, to perceive the familiar as strange, and therefore exciting.”



An anthology of stories by Bruce Sterling, who, according to

Strange Horizons, “has done perhaps as much as the work of any other single author to define cyberpunk, steampunk, post-cyberpunk and indeed, the broader course of the genre’s development in the last three decades.” 




Years ago, I was at a party at Worldcon, desperately trying to and prove that I fit in with all these other writer types. After a while, I ended up in a conversation that included a bunch of aspiring writers (myself included) and Larry Niven. We were talking about all sorts of things. Writing, the portrayal of magic… general geeky writing talk. Good stuff.

I mentioned Bridge of Birds by Barry Hugart as being a gorgeous book. Nobody else in the group had read it… except Larry Niven, who agreed enthusiastically. Needless to say, I felt pretty cool….

Hugart’s books have been out-of-print for a long while. But they’re back, collected here. So now you can read them and feel cool too.

In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly says, “Reading Hughart’s endearing historical fantasy trilogy, first published almost 20 years ago, is much like ‘wandering blindfolded through a myth devised by a maniac,’ in the words of Master Li, the greatest and most frequently intoxicated wise man in a colorful seventh century ‘China that never was.’ Their rollicking adventures pit them against everyone from murderers and thieves to emperors and gods. Numerous Chinese legends, filtered through Ox’s simple perspective, blend seamlessly into both lighthearted and heartrending.”




Publisher’s Weekly says, “With six-guns blazing and tentacles flailing, this nifty all-original anthology delivers impressively on the “pure storytelling” promise Lansdale (Flaming London) makes in his intro. The dozen authors manage to address serious issues while remaining true to their roots and the book’s theme.” 



Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly said in a starred review: “Lansdale’s The Nightrunners (1987), the centerpiece of this chilling collection, set new standards of graphic violence and is probably the best novel of its type between Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs… This upsetting look at the human capacity for evil breaks with crime novel conventions when a supernatural element enters the story in the form of the grotesque deity known as the God of All Things Sharp. Twenty years later, The Nightrunnersretains its ability to awe and to horrify. Six short stories that grew out of the novel, one previously unpublished, round out the volume.” 



This book should look familiar to some of you, as it’s similiar to the one I posted up myself in the original blog when I started the fundraiser. However, these books are much cooler, as they’re signed by ALL the authors.

Booklist said this about the anthology, “All the contributors share a gift for sharp-edged prose that keeps the reader pleasantly perturbed for hours.”



Joe Hill’s first novel won a lot of awards, including the Locus Award for best debut fantasy of 2007. Good on him.

His book was described by the Herald Tribune as “a wild, mesmerizing, perversely witty tale of horror [….] In a book much too smart to sound like the work of a neophyte, he builds character invitingly and plants an otherworldly surprise around every corner.”


Want to know how to win these books and other fabulous prizes while making the world a better place? Check OVER HEREfor the blog that describes it all.



some people have been asking me if I plan on continuing to match all the donations made. Some people have expressed concerns that I will end up homeless on the street, eating tuna out of a can with my fingers and talking to invisible people.First, let me reassure you that I will be continuting to match donations until December 11th. I can afford it for now, and honestly, if I’m going to be irrisponsible with my money, this is the way I want to go. This is my preferred flavor of stupidity. And besides, if I don’t do something like this, I’d just end up blowing it on something cool but stupid.

Second, don’t overestimate my current lifestyle. Anyone who has met me in person knows I pretty much look like a hobo anyway. I only own one pair of shoes, and when you come right down to it, there’s nothing wrong with eating tuna out of the can with your fingers. It saves you the trouble of washing a fork afterwards.

And I already talk to invisible people. I’m a writer. That’s pretty much my job.

So yeah. I’m still matching donations. Bring it on. I’d love to hit $40,000. Let’s show them what happens when high-minded geeks set their minds on making the world a better place.

Hugs and kisses,


Also posted in cool things, Heifer International, recommendations | By Pat21 Responses

Peter S. Beagle’s donations.

Peter S. Beagle is one of my favorite authors. I read The Last Unicornabout once a year, and every time it just breaks my heart. It’s the sort of story that I know I’ll never be able to write.Peter and his friends at Conlan Press have donated some cool stuff to the fundraiser.

Check it out:

This 72 page chapbook contains three new stories by Peter S. Beagle, inspired by the singular artwork of Lisa Snellings. According to Neil Gaiman, “Lisa’s sculptures are frozen stories.”
The Green Man Review gives us a bit of background and praises Peter’s work: “All three stories were begun by Mr. Beagle in the space of a single hour, while sitting on the steps of his late parents’ house, as his business manager held a stopwatch to his head. It’s a genesis as unique as the stories themselves, with the sly humor, humanity, and awe of beauty that are characteristic of Mr. Beagle’s writing. “
  • A 6X8 photo of Pat and Peter. Signed by Peter and soon to be signed by Pat.
Here’s a picture of Peter and me both wearing our Serious Writer Expressions.Undoubtedly, one of the major perks of being a published writer is getting to meet people I’ve admired for a long time. Earlier this year, I got to meet Peter and talk with him a bit. Terri at Conlan Press managed to perform a miracle and take a picture of me that actually looks halfway decent. Believe me, this is a true a rarity.

  • A full set of Last Unicorn prints by Rebekah M. Cox. Signed by the artist.

We’ll be giving each of these out as separate prizes. So you have twelve chances to win.I really can’t say enough about these prints. Words fail me. When I saw them for the first time down at DragonCon, I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. They’re gorgeous.

About Moon Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle says, “This is, for me, the most stunningly lovely vision in Rebekah’s portfolio. It is at once the picture I always held to, laboring endlessly over the book; and yet it is something more, as well – something that I don’t think I could have articulated in words then, and never may. All I know to say now is, yes, that’s what I had in mind, yes, though I never expected I would ever see it outside the boundaries of my own imagination.”

If you want to browse them more closely, and hear what Peter has to say about them, you should really take a look OVER HERE. If you’d like to buy your own copies, or any of Peter’s other works, you can do that HERE.

Want to know how to win these and other fabulous prizes while making the world a better place? Check OVER HERE for the blog that describes it all.

Later all,


Also posted in Heifer International, meeting famous people | By Pat8 Responses

Donations from Bad Moon Books

The lovely folks at Bad Moon Books were kind enough to donate a bunch of signed books for the Heifer Fundraiser. 



Peter Straub gives kudos to this one, saying: “In Miranda, John R. Little uses crisp writing and a masterly sense of pace to structure a brilliant short novel filled with invention, courage, and baffled love.” 


  • A copy of Wings of the Butterfly by John Urbancik with an introduction by Weston Ochse. Signed by John Urbancik and Weston Ochse.



Author Tim Lebbon calls this story “one of the most intense reading experiences of the year,” and Weston Ochse, who introduces the book, says it’s “destined to become the heart’s blood of were-fiction.”



Illustrated and signed by former Disney animator John Pierro.


The back of this book describes it as “a cautionary tale of the careful balances that exist between nature, magic, and technology… and the forces that bring them together.”



According to award-winning author Gary A. Braunbeck, “In both the setting of the Wormwood Scrubs prison and its colorful, even tragic, inmates, Simon Janus has created a terse, tense, and powerful novella that closes in on the reader like the worst case of claustrophobia you’ve ever had. An excellent achievement, and a real milestone in Janus’ career.”


Kealan Patrick Burke is praised by Publishers Weekly as “a newcomer worth watching,” and Booklist calls him “one of the most clever and original talents in contemporary horror.”


  • A copy of The Confessions of St. Zach by Gene O’Neill. Signed by the author.



The editor of SF Weekly & Sci-Fi Channel Magazine says that Gene O’Neill’s “words bristle with a muscular intensity that strengthens any book or magazine lucky to contain him.”



How can you not want a copy of a book called Bitchfight? Author Jeff Strand says, “It’s a Mike Arnzen story, which by definition means that it is a) utterly demented, and b) utterly brilliant.”



According to author Brian Keene, “Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way is what would happen if Ray Bradbury and Lin Carter got together to write a space opera. Only Weston Ochse could write something like this. In lesser hands, it would fall apart.”



Award winning author Owl Goingbacksays, “Steve Vernon is one of the finest new talents of horror and dark fiction.” 

  • A copy of Johnny Gruesome by Gregory Lamberson.Signed by the author. Signed by cover artist Zach McCain. Introduced and signed by Jeff Strand.

Dark Scribe Magazine says: “With its fast cars, leather jackets, and wholesome small town vibe, Johnny Gruesome feels like the drive-in movie you never saw. Lamberson saturates the grisly ordeal with an ever- present sense of fun and melodrama – meant here in the best possible way.”

  • A copy of The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs and the Currently Accepted Habits of Nature by David Niall Wilson. Signed by the author. Introduced and signed by Elizabeth Massie.



Publisher’s Weekly tells us, “Wilson’s prose is smooth and powerful, carrying its allegorical weight with grace.”

Want to know how to win these and other fabulous books? Check OVER HEREfor the blog that describes it all.

More prizes will be forthcoming soon. A LOT more prizes. You have no idea. Seriously.

Stay tuned.


Also posted in Heifer International | By Pat11 Responses

Still even more prizes.

Well everyone, through liberal application of garlic, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and season 3 of Angel, I am miraculously healed.

Even better, I have more prizes for the Heifer Fundraiser. A whole stack of them. Let’s get to it….

  • Two copies of Drew C. Bowling’s The Tower of Shadows, book one of the Tides of Fate series. Signed by the author.

Drew was nice enough to donate two of his hardcovers to the cause. Terry Brooks describes this book as, “A fast-paced, exciting adventure that doesn’t allow you to take a breath.” Though personally, I’m guessing it will let you take at least a little breath here and there. Otherwise, you’d die.
  • A copy of New York Times #1 bestseller Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, by Sean Williams. Signed by the Author.
Another lovely hardcover, signed by the author. Sean Williams is a prince, not just for donating the book, but also for mailing it all the way from the hinterlands of Australia to the hinterlands of central Wisconsin.

According to the ABC Brisbane,

The Force Unleashed is “an action packed novel set during the previously unexplored ‘dark times’ between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope.”

I’ve talked about David before in a previous blog, describing how he saved my life. So I won’t re-gush here. Instead I’ll just repeat what Lisa Tuttle says in her review of Acacia for The Times (London)

“David Anthony Durham has won acclaim for his historical novels, and brings his knowledge of the past and other cultures to create a rich and compelling world on his first foray into fantasy. His skillful storytelling, depth of characterisation, and an ability to unsettle reader expectations is reminiscent of George R.R. Martin, but his is a distinctive new voice.”

  • Gregory Frost’s two book adventure, Shadow Bridge and Lord Tophet. Signed by the author.
Fantasy Bookspot says, “The most amazing aspect of the novel may be its constraint. There is a real story. Frost can go anywhere, along the bridges of a multiverse, and he seemingly does, but it all spirals back, every step is relevant, even if we don’t know it as a fact when we whimsically take it.”

  • A copy of Hart & Boot & Other Stories by Tim Pratt. Signed by the author.
This collection of stories was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. What’s more, Jay Lake raves about the book, saying, “Tim Pratt is in the vanguard of the next generation of master American fantasists. His delightfully loopy vision, lateral thinking and exquisite sense of style combine to provide fiction which infuses the reader like a fine Napa Valley wine, leaving behind aftershocks that go on for days, weeks, even months.”
  • A copy of Pandora’s Closet. Donated and signed by Kelly Swails.
This anthology contains nineteen original tales by authors such as Timothy Zahn, A. M. Strout, and Michael Stackpole.

When Pandora’s Box was opened, so the ancient tale goes, all the evils that would beset humanity were released into the world. When the box was all but empty, the only thing that remained was hope. Now some of fantasy’s finest writers have taken on the task of opening Pandora’s closet. It is naturally chock full of an assortment of items, including a ring that can bring its wearer infinite health, a special helmet found in the most unlikely of places, a mysterious box that holds a legendary piece of cloth, and a red hoodie that transforms a woman’s world.

  • One each of The Blue Kingdom anthologies. Donated and signed by Kelly Swails.

A set of all three anthologies in the Blue Kingdom series: Pirates of the Blue Kingdom, Shades and Specters, and Buxom Buccaneers. Tales of swashbucklers and spooks in a world of waters.  

  • A copy of The Golden Cord, book one of the Iron Dragon Series by Paul Genesse. Signed by the author.

Voya Magazine says the following about The Golden Cord: “The plot is well constructed, the characters are wonderful, and the middle-ages setting creates an ominous feel. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for more. The Golden Cord is a rich and compelling fantasy full of adventure, danger, dragons, battles, revenge, magic, and more.”

  • A signed, limited edition copy of Spectra Pulse magazine.

This lovely collectible was donated by Alex Bledsoe, author of the upcoming novel Blood Groove.

This premiere issue of Spectra Pulse magazine comes with a letter of authenticity and is signed by amazing SciFi authors George R.R. Martin, Jeff VanderMeer, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente.

Want more? It includes an except from George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, the next book of the Song of Ice and Fire series.

  • A full set of E.E. Knight’s Age of Fire books, Dragon Champion, Dragon Avenger, Dragon Outcast, and Dragon Strike.

Eric was nice enough to send along these four lovely trade paperbacks that we’ll be giving away as a set. Publisher’s weekly says, “Knight turns the familiar features of epic fantasy upside down in this unique world of medieval politics and ancient magic seen through the eyes of dragons.”

That’s the latest batch of goodies, folks. But it won’t be the last. We’ve got more books coming in every day. So stay tuned, and tell your friends.

If you want all the details about how the fundraiser works, and how you can win some of these cool books, you can find all the information OVER HERE. Personally, I’m hoping we can push all the way past 30,000.

For those of you who celebrate it, have a lovely Thanksgiving.

For those of you who don’t, have a lovely Thursday.


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