Category Archives: Worldbuilders 2013

A Thank You from Worldbuilders….

Heya everybody,

So Monday morning I turned in the pretty-much-entirely-done manuscript for The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

Want a peek at the French Cover?


(That was a rhetorical question. I was going to show it to you no matter what…)

Edit: As the comments below mention, the above cover is not actually the French cover. This is:

JAC La Musique du Silence (38)V1

(I’m sure you can see how I made the mistake at four in the morning.)

It’s a hard thing for me, letting go of a manuscript. Other authors are very matter of fact about it. But for me, obsessive word tinker than I am, I hate knowing that after a certain point I won’t be able to go in and fix things any more. That means the time leading up to my deadline tends to be an endless white-hot madness of intense, obsessive work.

So the last two days have consisted of me catching up on my sleep and trying to remember exactly what it is that I *do* when I’m not obsessively revising 14 hours a day.

I know it was pretty bad because when I came home tonight my little boy said to me: “You know Dad, you just got done with a deadline.” He said the last word with special emphasis. “And deadlines are a *lot* of work.”

It made me smile, not only because he’s cute as a button. But because it’s always nice to get some sympathy.

But it also let me know that he and Mom had had a talk about deadlines. Which probably meant he had gone to her with questions like, “Why don’t I ever see dad any more?” and “How come daddy falls asleep every time he sits down?”

Anyway, now that I’m at least slightly recovered, I get to start catching up on some things that I’ve been putting off.

Like posting the thank-you video from last year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser.

Before you watch it, I’d just like to thank everyone involved. We blew the top of things this last year, and your generosity has changed thousands of lives….

Wait, rather than type all of this out, I’m going just put up the video. There’s no real sense in me saying thank you before the thank-you video, is there?

Also, even all those wonderful people can mess things up sometimes, so we’ve got the usual blooper reel as well.

Honestly, I make much better bloopers than I do raw video….

Thanks for being awesome everybody.

And if you missed out on last year’s fundraiser. Or if watching that video made you eager for the next one to start. Well… we’ve got a little surprise coming up in a couple of weeks. We’re going to be trying something a little different early in July.

So keep an eye out for that.


P.S. Yes. I’m an inveterate tease. You should all know that by now….

Also posted in being awesome, cool things | By Pat45 Responses


Well folks, we’re about eleven hours away from the end of this year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser, and I couldn’t be happier. As I type this, geeks of all creeds and nations have banded together to raise $651,000 dollars for Heifer International.

Simply said, that’s a lot of goats.


I’m not going to make any sort of pitch today. I’m not looking to nudge anyone in the direction of donating. You’ve already done so much, asking for more at this point would feel weird to me.

Instead I’d like to share some letters people have sent us over the last year. Stories about Worldbuilders.

Like Brian’s creative fundraising idea…

Hello Pat and Team,

I wanted to share a quick story about the donation I just made on behalf of Worldbuilders to Heifer International.  I was thinking this year I would take a little more of the Pat approach to my donation.

I am a part owner of 8 Record stores in Arizona and Nevada. (Well, we actually sell all kinds of stuff including two of our stores now have full book sections!) I decided for the month of December we would give customers the option of choosing to take a bag for their purchases or donate the cost of that bag to charity. I also added that for every person that chooses Worldbuilders I would personally match the donation this year.

Now, our bags cost us about a nickel so this year over 11 thousand people in one month choose to donate to Heifer International. That’s 11 thousand people that hopefully learned about the charity for the first time and their collective effort equaled over $550, a full heifer plus some!

I was thrilled to personally match their efforts from my own pocket. So that”s over $1100 bucks from us music and book geeks out here in Arizona and Nevada…a lot of it was one nickel at a time. Keep up the good work! My mind is already thinking of ways to do more next year!

Brian (Zia Record Exchange)

Thanks so much, Brian. This is a brilliant idea. Not only does it show how a lot of little donations can really add up, but each of those 11,000 people heard about Heifer International, even if it’s just briefly. Talk about spreading the word….

And I see you have a store in Tuscon. I’m hoping to swing through there later this year. I don’t know how big your store is, but I’d be happy to do a signing there if you’d like….

*     *     *

Amie won the tuckerization that Adam Casalino put up for auction last year. After she won, she sent us the following e-mail:

Hi Maria:

Thank you for your quick response and I look forward to working with yourself and Adam!  I have four children and my 14 year old thinks this is the uncoolest thing I have done to date–which means it has already paid for itself!  :)


(I feel obliged to mention that in our handful of remaining auctions, Adam Casalino, has put up another tuckerization.)

Amie also came with us to the Heifer Ranch last April, too. So it’s pretty certain we’ve continued to embarrass her 14 year old as thoroughly as possible. Which, from what I understand, is the best thing to do with 14 year olds. Other than get them started playing D&D….

Pat and Amie

The story has a happy ending, too. These days, Amie stops by Worldbuilders headquarter once a week and helps us out with packaging orders in The Tinker’s Packs.

*       *       *

Here’s a poem from Sky Corbelli. Some of you you might remember the Song Review of Name of the Wind, he did about a year ago.

Hey Pat, seems Worldbuilders is just ’round the bend.
Last year was so great, didn’t want it to end!

Then I thought to myself, why end it at all?
I may be an indie with sales quite small
But I’ve flagged each dollar my books have brought in
And set them aside for a Worldbuilding win.

Now straight out the gate, I am happy to say,
I’ve over a thousand that’s coming your way
Plus, all further profits I’ll kick in with pride
And see what I can’t russel up on the side.

So keep being awesome; we’re cheering for you!
And I’m sure that the world cheers right along too.


Sky Luke Corbelli
Mathematician, Zookeeper, Placer of Poems with Purpose

*      *      *

Some folks told us how they’re forgoing gifts in favor of donations:

Hi Pat,

My birthday is coming up next week and instead of gifts or birthday wishes, I’ve asked all of my friends to donate to Heifer International, and set up a page for it. I’ve got enough stuff; what do I need with more stuff lying around, just being stuff? Other people could use what the money can buy far more than I could.

Thank you for advertising for such a great cause. I doubt I would’ve happened across it without you. I feel fantastic about doing this, and I hope that everyone who donates on my behalf does as well. It’s a far more worthwhile cause than I am, that’s for sure!

Cheers, and thanks again,

Thanks for being awesome, Craig.

Along similar lines, Javan and Emily forewent giving wedding favors, and even used Worldbuilders as their wedding theme. At their reception, there was the following note as the centerpiece on their tables:

We wanted to give you a little present to thank you for sharing this day with us, so please help yourself to the sweets that are on your table
(If you can’t find them, look in the teacup).

We also bought you a water buffalo.

We know, we know – you don’t have room for a water buffalo, you haven’t got the time to take it for walks and you don’t have a swamp for it to wallow in.

Don’t panic. We bought your water buffalo through Worldbuilders, a yearly event founded by one of our favourite authors, Patrick Rothfuss, in order to use the collective power of readers, fellow authors and book lovers to raise money for Heifer International. That means your water buffalo is going to help fight poverty and hunger by providing a family with milk and helping them plough their fields.

We hope you won’t mind that you can’t take your wedding favour home with you.

Emily and Javan
25th May 2013

P.S. Their wedding photos were pretty great.

Paul Wilkinson Photography Ltd.

I could share stories all day, but the blog would be so long nobody would read it.

Just one more:

Hi Mr. Rothfuss,

My name is Colleen and I am 15 years old. I am writing to tell you about my day.

Today I woke up, got out of bed, ate breakfast…just kidding. I am writing to tell you about the most important part of my day. Today I gave $30 to Heifer International with Worldbuilders. I am very, very, very, sorry that I couldn’t give more-I wanted to give hundreds. But as I said, I am 15, with no job, no car, no income. My family does not have much extra money so I have saved up for months to get this much. I apologize that I can’t give more, but I hope that this small amount can make a small difference.

I want you to know how much I admire your work with Worldbuilders and Heifer International and I hope that when I grow older, I can give back to the world as much as you have. With your magical words (your books are my absolute favorite and you are my favorite author ever) and wonderful work with this charity, you give so much back to the global community. You are my hero and I admire you so much. I hope you always keep doing what you”re doing, and never stop!

Best wishes, your biggest fan,

And now I’m a little weepy.

We get a fair number of letters from people telling their stories. And I love reading them. But one of the unfortunate things that I’ve seen crop up several times is people expressing regret that they weren’t able to donate more.

So let me say to you, Colleen, that thirty dollars will change someone’s life.

But more than that, Colleen, the fact that you were willing to donate thirty dollars means the world to me. It fills me with joy and makes me hopeful for the future.

Here’s the truth. If Bill Gates walked into this room right now and gave us a million dollars, it would not make me as happy as your donation. I would want to shake his hand. But you I want to hug.

While I’m glad we’ve raised $650,000 for Heifer this year, what makes me really proud is how we did it. Many of our donors have never given money to charity before. Many are students without much money. Many of them have money troubles of their own.

You see, I want to make the world a better place. And while your donation is a piece of that, a much bigger part of it is you. The fact that you genuinely care and have gone out of your way to help…. *that* makes me like the world more. Above and beyond what you do, the fact that you *exist* makes the world a better place. Not just for me. For everybody.

So thank you, Colleen. Thank you Emily and Javan and Brian and Sky and Amie.  Thank you corporate sponsors. Thank you authors and publishers, actors and vloggers, musicians and game designers. Thank you donors.

Thank you geeks of all creeds and nations.

Thank you.


P.S. If you’d like to share your story, you can do it the comments below. Or you can email it to us at [email protected] We love hearing the stories, and might use them in future blogs or newsposts.

P.P.S. Just in case you need it: one final link to the Worldbuilders Team Page.

Also posted in Warm Fuzzies | By Pat48 Responses

Stretch Goals, The Kindness of Geeks, and Two Extra Days

As I write this, Worldbuilders has raised $617,000, crushing last year’s total.


Because of this maelstrom of support from the geek community, we blew through every stretch goal we had posted.

So yesterday I spent some time on the phone to see who else might be willing to help out. Brian Brushwood offered to teach me to eat fire. (Which is going to make for a great video not matter how it works out.) John Kovalic offered to make a mockery of me in his comic. Nate Taylor was willing to help me develop a new, more detailed map of the Four Corners world.

We posted up those new stretch goals… and passed them almost immediately.

So today we’re doing three things:

  1. We’re showing off the stretch goals we’ve already passed.
  2. We’re posting up a few new stretch goals.
  3. We’re extending the fundraiser a couple days.

This last one shouldn’t come as a *huge* surprise for those of you who have followed our fundraiser in the past. Over the last couple years, it’s become kind of a tradition. In 2012 we extended things a week. In 2011, we extended things *two* weeks.

The difference is, in previous years we needed the extra time because… well… because I was trying to do everything myself, and I suck at organization. This year I was smarter. I’ve let the Worldbuilders team handle more and more. As a result, the fundraiser has been running smoothly and raising a ton of money….

And, because of *that* we’ve been getting media coverage over the last couple days. Which means folk are finding out about us just how and jumping onboard. We’re raising, on average, about $1,500 dollars an hour. Stopping our fundraiser right now, just as so many folks are hearing about it, seems a little silly.

So we’re extending it two days. Worldbuilders now ends the night of Feb 4th, midnight.

Just long enough for disorganized people like me to make last-minute donations.

Long enough to show you our newly unlocked stretch goals…

When Trey told us he’d take a selfie for his stretch goal, we thought it was a brilliant idea. After all, he’s a world-famous photographer. Seven million people follow him on Google+ to look at his pictures.

Then we saw what he did, and it was so much better than what we’d imagined.

Trey Ratcliff - Bathroom Selfie

(Click to enbiggen. Seriously.)

He also shot a video about his adventures setting up the shot. It’s a fabulous story that involves, among other things, the taxidermied sheep you see in the photo.


Scott and Elizabeth did not hold back on their true feelings on the second Hobbit film. As you can tell from the fact that their rage-filled video is well over an hour long.

If you needed another reason to love John Scalzi, here it is….

I swear, Hank came up with this on his own.

When Mary come up to Stevens Point to film this, I hadn’t yet read the erotic fanfic she’d written for our 175K stretch goal.

That’s right, I read it cold. So if I’m blushing there, you know why.

The truly amazing thing is how much she *nailed* my writing style.

  • $400,000 Sandeep Parikh drinks a Capri Sun while doing a handstand.

This is the most dramatic thing I’ve seen in… maybe ever.

Brad filmed himself reading the riddle scene from The Hobbit out in the snow… in shorts and a t-shirt. Now, I’m a Wisconsinite… but honestly, even I probably would have worn pants for this.


In keeping with our Hobbit theme, Molly did an amazing cover of The Greatest Adventure.

It also got this song stuck in my head. For days.

It’s still there. But in all honesty, I don’t really mind.

  • $475,000 Pat Rothfuss and Amber Benson write urban fantasy erotica.

This is a stretch goal Amber and I dared each other into during an interview.

We hit it, so now Amber and I will write the story of Deuteronomy Jones a “transsexual, plucky, red-headed vampire hunter.” And Lance Franklin. “Rogue warlock-in-hiding. Half-succubus. (On his mother’s side.) And also, a Calvin Klein model.”

I’ll be writing the female character. Amber’s doing the male.

Yeah. It’s going to be a thing….

The title here tells you everything you need to know….

*     *     *

If these acts of whimsy have amused you, you can help spread the word about Worldbuilders by sharing them around to your friends.

2013 Book Wall 02

Feel free to let people know that every ten bucks they donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page, makes the world a better place AND gives you the chance to win a truly staggering number of rare, signed, or otherwise valuable books.

You can see *all* of our stretch goals here, including our new unlocked ones…..

So there you go.

Now, when you head into work tomorrow, and everyone is having the same boring conversation about Superbowl commercials, you can let your geek flag fly by saying, “That’s nothing, I saw Hank Green seduce a tree.” Or “Have you watched the video of Neil Gaiman reading Green Eggs and ham?”

Thanks for everything, folks. You’re all amazing.


Also posted in cool things, geeking out, Nathan Taylor Art, videos | By Pat53 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.

*     *     *

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 | By Pat30 Responses

Comics and Graphic Novels

It’s been a crazy couple of days here at Worldbuilders.

On Wednesday night, we did our first-ever live streaming video hangout with a bunch of cool geek glitterati, like Vi Hart, Molly Lewis, John Scalzi, Brian Brushwood, Mary Robinette Kowal… too many of them to list, really. You can see the entire four-hour glorious debacle over here.

Buzzfeed did an article about the copy of Stardust that has become the unofficial Worldbuilders mascot.

And yesterday I posted up a blog explaining how folks donating to Worldbuilders could win a chance to become one of my beta readers, among other things….

As I type this, our current donation total is $531,000.

That’s right, because lovely folks like you have been chipping in and helping to spread the word, Worldbuilders has raised more than $120,000 dollars in the last 36 hours. This fills me with joy.

That’s going to do a lot of good in the world.

goat 1

Today we’ve got some delightful donations from the comic world….

Some of today’s items are going in the lottery, and others are going up for auction on e-bay. So pay attention. You can also see *all* Worldbuilder’s current auctions over here.

*     *     *

Over the years, we’ve done manuscript read-and-critiques, tuckerizations, and feedback on novels. But this year, we reached out to a few comic creators to see if we could do something similar for the graphically inclined.


Adam Casalino, creator of the fantasy webcomic The Wizard of Quippley, is offering a Tuckerization in the second chapter of his new story: The Goblin Wars. For your donation you will be immortalized in this exciting fantasy epic, as character or creature appearing in one of the comic’s installments. Become a great warrior of legend, or a vile monster of contempt. Be the envy of all your friends! Adam will use your name and even likeness in the comic and make you a part of the heroes’ journey.

If you want a chance at being in this comic, bid over here.


Since 1999, Greg Dean has been making his comic, Real Life, in Adobe Illustrator. With over 3,100 comics under his belt, he knows a thing or two about the program. All of that knowledge is just swimming in his brain, and he’s willing to share it with you! He’ll set up an online classroom and based on your current Illustrator skill set, you’ll get a 2 hour lesson, one-on-one to ask questions and see him answer with live demonstrations. By the end of it, you’ll be able to understand the tools and how to hack those tools to make do neat effects.

Not a beginner? That’s OK! He’s willing to teach an Intermediate class for you. Since it’s just the two of you, it’s completely tailored to your current skill set!

To bid on this, which really could be useful for *anyone*, head over here.

  • Auction: A read and critique of up to 50 strips of your webcomic series by Kris Straub.


Kris Straub is willing and ready to critique one comic series of up to 50 pages or strips, either continuity- or gag-based. He will provide thoughts about your story premise and concept, the sensibility of the humor in your series, dialogue and gag construction, overall pacing and layout, and his opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of your work.

Kris Straub is a cartoonist, writer, designer and humor scientist. STARSLIP, his seven-year science fiction comic series, was nominated for an Ignatz award in 2012. His cosmic horror series BROODHOLLOW funded a wildly successful Kickstarter in August 2013. He is co-author of the 2007 Image Comics book How To Make Webcomics. In 2008 he wrote the horror short story Candle Cove.

If you want someone this awesome giving you feedback on your webcomic draft, head over here.


This contains: A hardcover copy of Broodhollow: Curious Little Thing, signed and drawn in by the author, including a six-page additional story unavailable online; an envelope full of initiation documents for entry into the Society of the Skull and Shovels; two sets of travel postcards from Broodhollow; a Skull and Shovels insignia pin in antiqued brass; a”Cadavre” cloisonne pin, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the famed Belgian newspaper comics character; a Broodhollow “Town Pride” cloisonne pin, only available through the Kickstarter; a rare Mercy pin, only available through very high tiers of the Kickstarter; and a very rare Zane pin, no longer available except from Kris in person.

Honestly? I wanted to put this into an auction. Because then I could bid on it, because I’m kind of a geek for Broodhollow.

But Amanda has forced me to put it into the lottery instead. That way anyone has a chance to win it by donating to the Team Page.

So it looks like I’m going to be donating to my own fundraiser. Again.

  • A Deluxe Edition of The Last Unicorn graphic novel.  Signed by Peter S. Beagle.

Last Unicorn - cover

This deluxe edition was donated by a longtime Worldbuilders supporter, Kali. When Peter S. Beagle was doing a massive tour through the area, Kali went there with this book, specifically to get it signed for Worldbuilders.

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of the Last Unicorn, and the comic adaptation is brilliant. Best of all, this hardcover edition of the books is *very* posh. So whoever wins it in the lottery is going to be getting something lovely.

  • Auction: A vintage film cell from the animated film The Last Unicorn.  Signed by Peter S. Beagle.

Last Unicorn Full

This is a true rarity.  We have a frame of the original film cells from the Rankin/Bass animated film, in a clear protective cover.  The cell is from the original 1982 American theatrical release, and the cover is signed by Peter S. Beagle, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for the film.

To see more pictures or bid on the auction you can head over here.

  • A Set of Omnibus Volumes 1 & 2 of The Gutters.  Signed by Ryan Sohmer.

Gutters set

Here we have two huge, beautiful Absolute editions of The Gutters, a comic about comics and the comic industry. If you follow comics, this is going to be a great read for you. If you’re *not* a big comic reader, it’s still pretty great, as I said in my goodreads review, I don’t follow a lot of mainstream comics or know a lot about the industry. But I still had a blast reading this…

“The Gutters is truly a unique webcomic beast… At the end of the day, the combination of a rotating art cast with Sohmer’s wit and criticism of the comic industry equals a damn funny webcomic that had the Unshaven Comics crew doing spit takes while we roamed through the archives. ” – ComicMix

  • A copy of Dork Covenant: Dork Tower Volume 1.  Signed by John Kovalic.


Dork Tower is pretty much the coolest. It’s a great comic about gaming and board games, and it’s done by none other than the awesome John Kovalic, who has illustrated tons of games and been a huge part of the gaming community.

We’re putting this in the lottery, so anyone who donates to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders Team Page gets a chance at winning it, as well as thousands of other cool books. Many of them rare, signed, or otherwise unique.

Munchkin Game

This is a really cool game that very nearly anyone can play. And because of that, we’re throwing them into the lottery, where anyone who donates to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page can win them.

Munchkin Game

And, because we know some of you out there *really* need to get hold of a copy of this double-signed game, we’re putting one up in the auction.

You can place your bids over here.

  • Auction: A limited edition “The Luggage” Munchkin card. Signed by John Kovalic.


This is the official, and only, Terry-Pratchett-authorized Munchkin Discworld card. It was released at North America Discworld Convention when it was in Madison, two years ago.

Not only is this signed by Kovalic himself. But if you click to embiggen the above card, you’ll see that John has made an addendum to this already awesome card. It’s now +4 for the winner of the auction.

And he’s John Kovalic. So nobody can rules-lawyer you about it. This is cannon.

You can bid on this rare, signed, modded card over here.

  • Auction: Become an official Munchkin card, drawn by John Kovalic.  Includes signed original art and a signed copy of the game.


And in case all of that wasn’t enough for you, we have something extra special to close out today’s blog.

John Kovalic is offering to draw you into a new Munchkin card, which will be released in an actual game. As a bonus, you will receive the original art, signed, as well as a signed copy of the game that contains the card.

Yeah. Needless to say, this is a pretty awesome offer. When John offered up something similar for Child’s Play earlier this year, it went for $4000.

Not that I have anything against, Child’s Play. But I’d *love* to see us beat that.

To become an official Munchkin, head over here and make your bids.

*     *     *

Remember folks, we’re days away from the end of Worldubilders. That means you only have a little time left to donate on our team page for a chance to win thousands of books. ShelfJanuary

Also, we’ve unlocked a ton of new stretch goals today because of all the new donations.

If you have any ideas for more stretch goals, feel free to mention them in the comments below. If we don’t have time to use them this year, we might make use of them for our next fundraiser….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat58 Responses

Three Threes or Who Wants to Be A Beta Reader?

Hey there folks,

We’re coming up on the end of the fundraiser. As I type this, we’re at $417,000 and we’re closing in fast on last year’s total of 433,000 dollars.

Traditionally, this is the time of year where I kick something into the fundraiser that’s a little… unique. Something to give a little extra incentive for people to donate here at the end of things.

This year, I have three items that might be extra-appealing to readers of my books….


Here are the three things I’m putting into the lottery today:

1. Prototype sets of Cealdish currency

2. Faerie stones

3. The chance to be one of my beta readers

I’m putting three of each of these into the lottery. Hence the title of today’s blog. Three threes.

Now, if you’re interested in winning these things, I need you to read carefully, because there’s a potential problem:

Back in the day, Worldbuilders used to mostly be fans of my books. But it’s grown over the years, and now we are strong with the collected might of many different geek clans.

And that’s a good thing. A *great* thing.

The problem is this: the things I’m putting into the lottery today are a little…. specialized. They’re the sorts of things some of you are going to geek out about. But other people aren’t going to care about them at all.

I’ve been trying to figure out how I give the hardcore Kingkiller geeks a chance to win these items, while keeping them out of the hands of people who aren’t interested. How can the Worldbuilders team pull some folks into a super-special Rothfussians-only lottery for these nine items?

So here’s what we’re going to do.

If you want to be eligible to win these items, you have to go and make a donation to Heifer International on the Worlduilders Team Page. Same rules as before: every $10 you kick in gets you another chance to win.

But if you want to be eligible to win these things, your donation should end with .33 cents.

Enough for honeybees? $30.33. Enough for a goat? $120.33. A Heifer? $500.33

You follow the pattern here?

If you donate with .33 at the end of your total, in addition to being entered in the main drawing for tens of thousands of dollars worth of books, you’ll also get entered into this smaller, side-lottery for the hardcore Rothfuss fans only….

What’s more, if you made other donations under the same name, we’ll include them in this separate lottery too.

So. Just to be clear. Let’s say you donated 60 bucks back in December. But you read this blog and want a piece of the action, so you go log onto our team heifer page and donate $33.33. That means your total donation would be $93.33. So you’d have nine entries in the main lottery, and nine entries in the Rothfuss-specific one too.

You got it? You can donate over here.

1. Three sets of prototype Cealdish currency.

Coins closeup

Here we have an iron drab, a copper jot, a silver talent, and a gold mark.

A few of you have seen the jots and drabs before, but this is the first time I’ve had a full set to show off.

I’m a bit of a geek for old coins. So I’ve been working with Tom Maringer from the Shire Post Mint to develop currency for my world. If Tom’s name sounds familiar to you, it should. Last week we showed off some of his handiwork when he donated a bunch of currency from Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones.

For the Cealdish currency in my world, we’re doing something a little different. Rather than starting with the modern coins (The coins that Kvothe would be using.) We’re actually developing the historical coins first, then evolving the currency forward in history.

This set of coins would have been from about 500-600 years ago. Back when they were only a few short steps removed from bartering tokens.

The jot is solid copper. The drab is steel with a fusion crust.

The talent is made of an alloy called billion. It’s 20% silver and 80% copper. It was commonly used for coins here in the real world. It’s normally a rosy color, not bright silver like these. You see, if you heat billion in a furnace, some of the silver naturally migrates to the surface. Then, if you hammer it, it spreads the silver out so it looks much brighter, like a solid silver coin.

That’s what they used to do before electroplating. And that’s what we’ve done here.

The gold mark actually has gold in it. Not a *ton* of gold, but a little. (Even a little gold is pricey.) The rest of it is silver and copper. It’s an odd molten red color I’ve never seen before, and it’s polished and buffed to the point where it looks like it’s been enameled.

We’re doing a limited run of these. We only made 1000 jots. And there will be fewer talents and marks. When they’re gone we’re moving on to the next batch. That set will be from 300 years in Kvothe’s past. The designs will be more developed, the alloys different, and the maker’s marks more complex.

We’ll be selling these in the store eventually, but first we have to make more of them, get packaging straightened out, develop the product descriptions, etc etc…

But I have three sets now. And you can win them if you donate.

2.  Three Faerie Stones.

Fairy Stone

For those of you whose educations have been sorely neglected: a faerie stone is a stone you find on the shore with a hole bored all the way through it. They’re supposed to protect you from the fair folk. The specifics vary from story to story, but it’s generally agreed that they help you see through glamour and guard you against their charms.

When I was in Brighton for World Fantasy last November, I went looking on the beach for faerie stones. And I found some. And I brought them home.

I gave one to Oot, who promptly used it to wish for a horse. I gave one to Sarah, because I don’t want the fae to be getting all seducy on her, or pulling any changeling shit with Cutie.

Why would I give them away? Well, here’s the thing…. Some traditions say that faerie stones are only effective if they’re given to you. A freely-given gift.

I have three of these stones left, and I’m putting them in the lottery.

3.  Three chances be my beta reader.

So ever since I talked about my writing process on the blog a couple years ago, I’ve had hundreds of people e-mail me, asking how they can get to be one of my beta readers.

Generally speaking, the simple answer is this: go back in time 15 years and get to know me back before I was published.

You see, back in the day, anyone could be my beta reader provided they were willing to slog through 250,000 words of unpublished fantasy novel.

These days, the main requirement is that I trust you.

Why? Because if an early version of Book Three gets leaked onto the internet, the results will be catastrophic for both me and my publisher.

But I *could* let someone beta my new novella about Auri….


(Art Courtesy of Amy on Deviantart.)

You’ll sill have to sign a truly draconian non-disclosure form. Then I’ll mail you a copy of the story with some instructions and a red pen. After you’ve had a chance to read it, and scribble some notes, I’ll give you a call, see what you thought, and pick your brain a little bit.

And maybe, *maybe* if things work out well, and I feel I can trust you, and the stars align. Then I might add you to my list of permanent beta readers….

If any of these things seem like they might be up your alley, remember, all you need to do is head over to the Worldbuilders Team Page and donate directly to Heifer International.

And don’t forget, end your donation with .33….

Good night, Nightvale.


Also posted in calling on the legions, contests | By Pat177 Responses

My First Fanfiction, With Apologies to Terry Pratchett

Back in the long ago. Back in the beforetimes. Back when I didn’t even know there was such a thing as fanfiction, I wrote fanfiction.

It was in 1992. I was 19, and while it was my third semester in college, I think I was still technically a freshman because I kinda sucked at being a student. I was in an Introduction to Creative Writing class.

(Interesting fact: Brett was also in this class. That’s how long I’ve known him.)

Half of the class was prose, which suited me to a T. Because I was still working on the dreaded High School Novel, which I was convinced was awesome, even though it was actually pure shit.

The other half of the class was poetry. Which I’d dabbled with, but never really taken a serious stab at.

At this point, I’d already read a fair number of Terry Pratchett’s books. I know this because when forced to write a poem for this class, I wrote one called “A Wizard’s Staff Has a Knob on The End.”

For those of you familiar with Pratchett, you’ll recognize this as a song that is frequently sung by Nanny Ogg. Usually when she is drunk.

At this point, I would like to formally and profusely apologize to Terry Pratchett.

So I wrote this poem for class. And I turned it in to the teacher. And I got it back with comments.

And when the time came for us to read our work aloud to the class, I read it.

That was more than twenty years ago. And I haven’t read it aloud since then.

But I will read it to you now:

When I read it to the class, it was rather gratifying. Everyone laughed. Everyone laughed and laughed and laughed.

Everyone except for the teacher. She just sat there, confused, and obviously slightly offended. When I was finished, and everyone was still chuckling, she spoke up, raising her voice so the whole class could hear. “Well, you don’t have to take it like that!”

And I remember thinking, “Good lord. If you don’t take it like that, there’s no fucking point to the whole poem. How could can you *not* take it like that?”

True story.

Anyway, there you go folks. One of the many secret shames I posses is secret no longer.

At this point, I would like to repeat, reinforce, and reiterate my apology to Terry Pratchett.

I had to go digging through my old papers to find a copy of this poem. It took a lot of doing, but I found it. It’s truly a document from a different era, a faded dot matrix printout. (For those of you who even remember what a dot matrix is.)

At the urging of the rest of the Worldbuilders team, I’m putting this item up for auction. I don’t know who among you might want evidence of my shameful past. But if you want to give money to charity for it, I won’t stand in your way.

Wizards Staff - shame photo

You can bid here.

Shamefully yours


P.S. If you don’t care to bid on an auction, but would still like to support Worldbuilders, you can donate to our fundraiser here, and get the chance to win some cool books while you’re at it.

P.P.S. Mr. Pratchett. (Sir Pratchett) I know you’ll never see this. But if for some reason this ends up on your radar, I really hope you aren’t offended.

The truth is, you’re my favorite author. Your work amazes me, and I know I will never equal it.

When the world gets to be too much for me, I read your books. And afterwards I can move on with my life again. They remind me that underneath it all, people are fundamentally good. They remind me, that the world, while not perfect, is a pretty great place to live.

Or at the very least, it’s a convenient place for me to keep my stuff.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Also posted in fanfic | By Pat55 Responses
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