Category Archives: Worldbuilders 2015

Stardust ARC: Many Happy Returns

Today I’d like to tell you a story about a book. Some of you might not have met it before. But to many of us here at Worldbuilders, it is an old, familiar friend….

It’s a book that has been with the fundraiser since the beginning….

2008: A Gift from Gaiman.

In 2008 I’d only been published for a year when, on a whim, I decided to try raising money for Heifer International on my blog. Things quickly spiraled out of control as other authors pitched in, helping spread the word and donating books for us to give away.

The pinnacle of the coolness/madness came when Neil Gaiman mentioned us to his vast legion of readers. He also donated a rare, numbered, slipcased ARC of Stardust to the cause.

Unfortunately, mail was delayed because of the holidays, so we couldn’t use the book until….

2009: Stardust for the People.

It was the second year of the fundraiser, and I had this book. This beautiful book. This beautiful, *rare* book. I was still doing the fundraiser pretty much by myself then, and I was having a really hard time deciding how best to use it.

I knew we could auction it off and raise at least a thousand dollars, maybe even a couple thousand, but that didn’t seem right somehow.

So I decided to put it into the lottery, where anyone who donated at least 10 bucks to Heifer International on our team page would have a chance of winning it. That seemed fair to me, more egalitarian.

Then something strange happened: the person who won the book gave it back to us. Their one stipulation is that we auction it off next year, so it would raise more money for Heifer. So….

2010: Stardust on the Auction Block.

Year 3 of Worlbuilders, we auctioned off all manner of things. And, as the previous winner requested, we put Gaiman’s Stardust ARC up on eBay too.

After some fierce bidding it sold for over $2500 to a lovely guy named Dan. There were many high-fives in Worldbuilders central. We were sad to see the book go, but $2500 bucks buys a lot of goats.

But when I e-mailed Dan to arrange shipping, he said he wanted to donate the book back to Worldbuilders.

I asked Dan if he was sure. He said he was sure. I asked Dan how he got to be so cool, and he said he was inspired by the story of how last year’s winner re-donated the book.

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

From everything I’ve heard, she sounds like my kind of lady.

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

His only stipulation was that we put the book back into the lottery next year, so anyone could win it….

2011: Stardust Full Circle.

Year Four of Worldbuilders, we put the ARC back into the lottery with much cheering. After picking the prizes, I called the winner, Maayan, to set up shipping (because you don’t want something like this to show up as a surprise on someone’s doorstep).

Maayan tells me no.  She wants it back in the fundraiser. It’s sort of a thing now.

Stardust (3)

I thanked her kindly, and sent along a box of books as as “Thanks for being cool” present.

Then something weird happened….

2012: Stardust as Statistical Anomaly.

In 2012, we put Stardust back in the lottery again. Mostly because I like the idea of this amazingly cool prize being something anyone can win.

At the end of the fundraiser, we pick the prizes and when I’m told who the winner is, I give the assistant holding the papers with grim, fatherly disapproval, telling them in the gentlest of terms that they’ve fucked up and are obviously using last year’s spreadsheets.

This is bizarre math, people. This is like Heart-of-Gold level improbability. Maayan had won again.

I called her. She was shocked, amused, and flustered. So we sent her the book.

And she sent us back a picture.

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Here’s what she had to say:

I was really extremely surprised to win the Stardust ARC two years ago, because I don’t think I’ve ever won any kind of online contest before. I was actually sitting in a hot tub on a ski trip to Colorado when Pat called, and my friends got to watch me make the craziest faces while on the phone. A few weeks later, Neil Gaiman sent me a little card with a picture he had drawn in it, which was so nice of him.

When Pat called me this year to say that I had won again, I’m pretty sure my first words were, “No, I did not!” Surprised doesn’t begin to describe it. If I win again this year, I’m going to start to be suspicious of your randomization algorithm.

Worldbuilders is such a great fundraiser, and Heifer International is an outstanding organization. I’m thrilled to take part. Thank you to Pat Rothfuss for putting it together, and thank you to all of the authors and artists who donate the prizes! I’ve enjoyed reading the fruits of your generosity.

Then Maayan sent it back to us again.

Thanks so much, Maayan. We’re glad you at least got to touch the book that seemed so desperate to meet you.

2013: Stardust In the Lottery Again.

Year six of Worldbuilders, Stardust chose a new person to love. It chose Jennifer.

She was overjoyed, happy to have won it, and just as happy to return it.

That was the year we had a cool idea – we instituted a Library Card system for the Stardust ARC.

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When I was a kid, every library book had one of these. Even now, all these years later, seeing one fills me with a strange joy.

Neil graciously agreed to sign the cards for us.

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What’s more, we had all the previous winners sign the cards and pass them on after keeping one for themselves of course (Maayan got to keep two).

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This way, if the winner chooses to return the book, they still get a memento of the experience: signed by all the people who have loved the book before them as well as the original donor, Neil Gaiman.

2014: Stardust Makes a New Friend

Last year, we drew Jeff’s name as the winner of the Stardust ARC. He donated it back again, and we sent him much love in return as well as his own signed Library Card.

Jef Neil Geiman

He’s the 5th person to sign them for us since Neil. And it’s a beautiful thing.

This year’s winner will get their very own library card signed by Neil Gaiman and the other winners.

So, without further ado allow me to add today’s book to the lottery.

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

Stardust (6)

Not much remains to be said here. It’s a beautiful book with its own slipcase. Numbered 28 out of 250. Signed by Gaiman.

If you donate to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you have a chance of winning not only this book, but hundreds upon hundreds of other books and game donated by authors, publishers, collectors and fans.

Every $10 you donate gets you a chance to win. So if you donate enough for honeybees ($30) you get three chances to win. Donate enough for a goat along with the training and materials to care for it ($120) and you get twelve chances to win. Donate enough to provide clean water for a village ($300) you get 30 chances to win.

As an added bonus, all donations will get us closer to Neil Gaiman’s $550,000 stretch goal of singing “Gorn Dahn the Plug’ole” to his baby.

So. If you’d like to be part of a fine tradition of people being awesome, winning books, and making the world a better place, you can head over and donate right now.

* * *

In other news, if you’re in a Cyber Monday sort of mood, we’re currently having a sale in the Tinker’s Packs (All proceeds from that go to Worldbuilders as well.)

Also, we’re launching a new event tonight. The subreddit r/Fantasy is having Worldbuilders Week, where 36 different authors who have worked with us over the years are doing AMAs every night. It will be a good time. You should stop by….

Also posted in Stardust ARC | By Pat17 Responses

Black Friday Bargains and Domesticated Owlbears

Let’s be honest with each other. You don’t want to go outside today. It’s madness out there. It’s like The Purge and World War Z got together and had an ugly baby. It’s like the apocalypse if zombies wanted cheap blue-ray players instead of brains.

So don’t do it. You’re better than that. You don’t want to get crushed to death in a Walmart trying to save 14 dollars on a blender. It’s not worth it.

Let me offer you a better option. An option that will allow you to stay in your house and eat leftovers. An option where you can do holiday shopping without dealing with traffic, crowds, or the age-old hassle of putting on pants.

Instead, come take a look at the sale we’re having in the Tinker’s Packs?

All the proceeds from our online store go to charity, and as an added bonus, all purchases bring us closer to stretch goals like Karen Hallion drawing me as The Doctor, or Neil Gaiman singing to his baby.

All that AND 100% less chance of getting trampled to death.

  • Signed Slow Regard Bookmarks, Fulcrum Challenge Coin, and Underthing Postcards.

If you missed the IndieGoGo we did back in June, here’s your chance to pick up some of the items we created for that.

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There are the Postcards from The Underthing, which I’m particularly tickled by. Brett designed each one to be thematically appropriate to a different place in the Underthing. There’s also the Year of the Gear challenge coin, and a few of the extra bookmarks made from damaged copies of Slow Regard that I’ve signed.

The bookmarks in particular are very limited, so if you want to give one away, you should grab one right here.

  • Ludis Art

Ludis

This was sent in by Catherine Please who really wanted to share it with Worldbuidlers. It’s seriously beautiful, and I happen to know for a fact that Amanda already bought one.

You can catch the moon from your broken house right here.

  • Calendars: Karen Hallion and Beyond Words

Calendars

(Want to see more of the interior art? More pics in the store.)

It’s time to start thinking about next year’s calendar. We’ve got two to chose from, and when you buy them here, you’ll know the money’s going to make the world a better place. While you’re at it, why not pick one up for a friends or family member too…

The Karen Hallion calendar has a lot of cool mashup art across lots of types of pop culture, making it a good fit for pretty much anyone. And the Beyond Words calendar has lots of fantasy authors (including yours truly) in beautiful fantasy settings, being generally badass. You can get the Hallion calendar here, and the Beyond Words calendar here.

  • Pairs Decks, including Signed Barmaids Decks

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We’ve had the four pairs decks based on my books for a while. But today we’re also releasing the Barmaids, Pirate, and Muses decks, too. As with all the decks, these come with rules for the basic cards , and you can get them right here.

As an added bonus, when we were at GenCon this summer, we saw Echo Chernik (stunning artist of the Barmaids deck) and James Ernest and managed to get them to sign some of the Barmaids decks. There’s only five of these double-signed decks in the store, so grab them while you can.

  • Domesticated Owlbear Plushie

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GameHole Con was a few weeks ago now, and we’re happy to report we have some of the John Kovalic-designed Owlbear plushies available for sale.

Don’t know what an Owlbear is? Let this clip from TableTop educate you:

The Owlbear is a beloved D&D monster, and this appearance on TableTop really cemented my love for them. We’ve got some in the store, and they’re yours for the taking right here.

  • Copies of Princess 1 and Princess 2, signed by both me and Nate Taylor

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Nate was kind enough to sign a few copies of each Princess book for us a while back, and we figured someone might want to have their own matched set. They’re up in the store right here.

  • Name of the Wind Scarves

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We just auctioned one of these off that I completely defaced, but we still have clean versions available in the store. Keep warm with a couple of the more well-known passages of Name of the Wind right here.

  • Swag Bags from Concert Against Humanity & CAH Fantasy Pack.

CAH

(Feel free to embiggen. There’s a lot there to look at.)

These swag bags were a cool perk for the people who attended the Concert Against Humanity at GenCon last summer. In addition to a truly fantastic show, you also got a bag full of stuff like limited edition cards from the Pathfinder Adventure Card game, a pack of MTG cards, the Reject Pack 2 from Cards Against Humanity, just to name a few.

The folks at CAH had some of the swag bags left over, and agreed to donate the rest to Worldbuilders to use for the fundraiser. We have those up in the store for the stupidly good price of $45, so you can get that geek in your life their very own bag of cool.

We’re also adding the Fantasy Pack CAH debuted last week. For those of you who couldn’t get your hands on it because of shipping constraints, we’ve got your back. You can get it through The Tinker’s Packs.

*     *     *

We’ve got other stuff in the store today, too. Bargains and sale items and bundle offers that will save you money. But you’re all big kids, I’ll trust you to wander over there and have a look around on your own. Fortune favors the bold.

Don’t forget about the auctions we’re currently running. They’re wrapping up Sunday night, and a lot of them would make for cool presents, too.

Trying to fight against rampant consumerism? We respect that. Why not donate directly to Worldbuilders on someone’s behalf, then tell your holiday gift recipient, “I bought you a goat!”

Trust me. It’s a great conversation starter.

Thanks for helping to make the world a better place, folks. Let’s keep doing it.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat6 Responses

Hundreds of Books from Prime

Hey folks! It’s the Worldbuilders Team again, bringing you another blog full of books for the lottery.

There’s been some serious friendly competition going on in the fundraiser this year.

The Individual and Team pages are having a bit of fun going back and forth (though Amanda’s particularly excited about how well Team Nerdfighter is doing).

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There are teams from all sorts of different fandoms and communities, banding together to raise money for Worldbuilders, and that’s pretty cool.

And the competition between Fallout and Book 3 has been epic, too. Especially yesterday, when Book three was winning at 3:45…

And then it wasn’t at 4:00…

Tonight is the last night of the stream. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and Pat’s going to spend the day with his family, and the 2 weeks of competition between Book 3 and Fallout are up.

But there’s so much more to the fundraiser than that.

* * *

Some of you may remember Prime Books from previous years of donating.

Or the fact that they were one of the first donations we received where the donation came in on a semi trailer, and we had to manually carry every box down stairs and into our warehouse, until we made a ramp to slide them down.

Well, that’s why we remember them, anyway.

This year, Prime contributed literally hundreds of books that we’re putting into the lottery. They’re all books we’ve never had before, so even if you’ve won a Prime book from us in the past (and you might have, because again, they’ve given us hundreds of books), you won’t have to worry about duplicates.

They’re all anthologies, and all of them have some cool authors published in them, so be ready for some awesome.

Let’s get to it.

lightspeed

This anthology collects all of the fiction published by Lightspeed Magazine in its first year, and it has stories from Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, Catherynne M. Valente, and a lot of cool other people. It really shows off some of the best stuff out there, and 100 lucky people are going to win it in the lottery.

  • 100 copies of Magic City: Recent Spells. Edited by Paula Guran.

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Urban fantasy is one of our favorite genres. And a collection of urban fantasy stories with authors like Scott Lynch, Holly Black, Patricia Briggs, and Nnedi Okorafor is kind of everything you could want.

  • 100 copies of Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2013. Edited by Paula Guran.

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Prime takes submissions and publishes these “Year’s Best” in a few different genres every year. This collection has 35 different stories in it, and some of the contributors are Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Joe R. Lansdale.

So yeah, it’s probably not hyperbolic to call it the “Year’s Best.”

  • 86 copies of Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2013. Edited by Rich Horton.

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The Sci-Fi Fantasy version of “Years Best” is always a good one, and 2013’s edition has stories from Aliette de Bodard, Catherynne M. Valente, Elizabeth Bear, and the recently-lost Jay Lake. It’s a good chance to read something of his, along with a lot of other good fiction, and revel in some brilliant storytelling.

So there you have it, 386 new prizes in the lottery. Every $10 donated to our fundraiser gets you another chance to win one of these, or the 1300 other prizes available.

And finally, if you’re the ebook type, Prime has a Humble Bundle that launched just this morning. It has a ton of books, and Worldbuilders is the charity benefiting from it this time.

Launch Titles

(Click to embiggen the awesome)

There are lots of books that you get no matter what you donate, and some where you have to donate more than average, including one anthology that has The Lightning Tree published in it.

And then there’s a level for if you contribute at least $15. And that one has a fancy George R.R. Martin collection in it.

Now, this money won’t go toward our current fundraiser. We have no way of knowing who donated how much, so you won’t be entered into the lottery.

But if it interests you, you could always buy these ebooks and make your contribution toward Worldbuilders in your own little way.

* * *

And there you have it.

Tonight’s the last night of Pat’s little Beautiful Game, but you’ll still be able to watch Pat’s streams on his twitch profile, and we’ll be uploading the videos to the Worldbuilders YouTube channel soon, too.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it. If not, enjoy a your Thursday. We hope it’s a pleasant one.

The Worldbuilders Team

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Amanda4 Responses

Tuckerizations from Authors

Hey everyone! Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of The Worldbuilders Team. There’s a lot of cool stuff to share with you, and we’re really excited about it.

Honestly we’re kind of excited in general. Worldbuilders is doing amazingly well this year, and everything we raise is making a big difference. There is so much that Heifer does for the communities they work in. For example…

Over the last 3 years, the average income per person in Hebei province in China has increased from 900 yuan to 10,900 yuan per year (over 1000% increase). When Heifer arrived they helped form Self Help Groups and gifted cows to a number of families while teaching them how to take care of their new livestock (meaning food and basic care as well as veterinary techniques).

Meigu Project (22-0017-72)

These families have seen vast improvements in their lives. They have milk to drink, make into cheese, and sell. These cows will have babies, which can be passed on to other members of the community.

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A heifer costs $500, and we’ve already raised enough for more than 630 cows, just between our fundraising page and the Cards Against Humanity donation.

We’re all making a big difference together. Let’s keep rocking.

* * *

Tuckerizations are a fun way for authors to help out with the fundraiser, and for supporters to get a real once-in-a-lifetime perk.

Except it’s not just once-in-a-lifetime. We offer Tuckerizations almost every year, and many authors have offered them this time around, more than any previous year.

What is a Tuckerization, you may ask? Well, it means different things to different people. Historically, it’s called a Tuckerization because Wilson Tucker used so many of his friends’ names as characters in his stories that it became something of an in-joke. Nowadays, it’s the chance to make a cameo appearance in a story. An author will take your name, or maybe your personality, or your physical description, and use it for a character in their story.

Maybe it’s not your name. Maybe it’s a sister’s, or a friend’s, or that kid you spent a lot of time with in kindergarten before he moved away. Maybe you only *start* with your name, but the author changes it a bit to fit in with the culture of the world you’re being put into. If that happens, you collaborate with the author and reach a solution you both like.

Whatever the case, it’s a chance to be a part of something really cool. It’s a chance, in some ways, at literary immortality.

As with the critiques of manuscripts we recently auctioned off, everyone is offering something a little different, so be sure to read carefully.

  • AuctionMary Robinette Kowal will write you into an upcoming piece of fiction, plus send you a signed manuscript before publication!

Mary Robinette Kowal

Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal will tuckerize your name into a forthcoming piece of fiction. What does this mean? It means that she will work your name into a story or novel depending on what your name is and which project it seems to fit best into. She’ll also send you a signed manuscript before publication. So it’s like a literary twofer.

If you want this, you should bid on it right here.

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Here’s what Bishop said when we asked him to describe his auction:

I’m offering to name a character (first and last) in the fourth book in the American Faerie Tale series, The Returned, after the winner. This character will have some decent “screen time” meaning that it won’t just be a barista, and it’s very likely to be a recurring character. Oh, and the character won’t just be some run of the mill mortal, you’ll get powers, and they’ll be awesome!

Powers, you guys. Awesome powers. Bishop O’Connell is the author of the American Faerie Tale series, and a seriously cool guy. If you want your name in his book, bid on the auction here.

  • Auction: Become a character in April White‘s novel Cheating Death.

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The winning bidder can choose the name and a characteristic of a featured character in the epic conclusion to The Immortal Descendants series. That character will appear in book five, Cheating Death, in which Saira, its time-traveling heroine, confronts the greatest threat history has ever seen – the Immortal, War, himself.

You know you want it. Bid here.

  • AuctionCat Rambo will tuckerize you into either a steampunk, dark fantasy, secondary world fantasy, or sci-fi story, your choice.

Photos from the World Fantasy Convention 2011 in San Diego, CA

This is a really unique opportunity. Here’s what Cat told us about it:

I am offering my first Tuckerization ever in a short story, in your choice of one of the following genres: steampunk, dark fantasy, secondary world fantasy, or near SF.  The short story will appear on my website as part of my Patreon campaign and be somewhere between 1000-5000 words long. You may specify the character’s name and whether or not the character is alive at the end of a story. (I reserve the right to reject names that are inappropriate and ask for another choice.)

So yeah. Not only do you get your name in a story, you get it in whatever KIND of story you want, too–and a say in his/her/its ultimate fate. If that sounds right up your alley, you can bid on it here.

  • Auction: Make an appearance in Jeffe Kennedy’s next book, The Edge of the Blade.

JeffeKennedy1

Jeffe Kennedy pitched in a chance to be featured as a named character in her award-winning Twelve Kingdoms series! In book 5, The Edge of the Blade, Jepp travels to the Dasnarian Empire where she will meet many new and interesting people (but hopefully won’t have to kill too many of them). Would you like one named after you? You and Jeffe can decide together who it might be. (Your name might have to be tweaked a bit, to fit the world, depending on what it is.)

You can bid on this one right here, and collaborate with Jeffe about who you’re going to be in her world.

  • Auction: Be a scholar, diplomat, mountaineer, or something else in Marie Brennan‘s next novel. Also includes copies of two of her novels, Doppelganger and Warrior and Witch.

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Bid on the chance to appear in the final book of Marie Brennan’s award-nominated Memoirs of Lady Trent series! One lucky winner will have a side character named after them or the individual of their choice. The identity of the character will depend on the gender and ethnicity of the name chosen; possibilities include a scholar of the mysterious Draconean language, an intrepid mountaineer, a foreign diplomat, and more.

How cool is that? If you want to be a Draconean scholar or the like, you can bid right here.

  • AuctionShawn Speakman will put you into his short story in Unfettered II.

speakman-worldbuilders

Shawn had a lot of nice things to say about Pat, Worldbuilders, and everyone else who helped put Unfettered out when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and we posted all of his comments in the auction. But here’s the general idea of this specific tuckerization:

Next year, in July 2016, I will publish Unfettered II.  The follow-up anthology to Unfettered has a powerhouse line-up just like its predecessor but this time all monies raised in sales will go to alleviating medical debt for other authors and artists.  In this way, I can pay forward the help I received. But first, for this year’s Worldbuilders, I am offering a tuckerization for my Unfettered II short story, The Shadowed Flames! If you’d like to have your name and physical description written into the story and eventually published in Unfettered II, you have to bid and win this auction!

Want to know what kind of story you are getting yourself into? Here is a link featuring the first draft of the first 1/3 of The Shadowed Flames.

So yeah, it’s a pretty cool opportunity from a wonderful guy. If you want to be in this one, click here to bid.

  • AuctionTim Pratt will name a character, magic spell, whorehouse, or anything of your choice after you!

pratt

Tim’s stuff is amazing, as is what he’s actually offering:

A tuckerization in an upcoming urban fantasy novel in my Marla Mason series, to be published in late 2016. I’ll name a character, magical spell, house of ill repute, boat that explodes, or something else equally wonderful after you, or use a name of your choice.

A house of ill repute. You could name a whorehouse after yourself. How do you pass that up?

You don’t. Bid here.

  • AuctionBradley P. Beaulieu will name a character after you, and the more you pay, the more important s/he will be to the series!

Copy of ConFusion 2012 cropped

Brad always does cool stuff for us, and this year is no exception.

He’s offering one Tuckerization for inclusion in his brand new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands. The character will appear in the second book, With Blood Upon the Sand, and may live beyond those pages.

But it’s more than just that.

Brad is offering to elevate the importance of this character based on how much money it raises. By default, it’s going to be a relatively small role. But if it raises $250, your character will have some importance in the story. Not just showing up, but interacting with the main characters. And Brad will try to adopt some personal details about you into the character.

If it raises $500, he will ensure that the character either dies in a spectacular way or performs some major, selfless, heroic act. You’ll get to tell Brad if you prefer to be a heroic ally or a villain, what ethnicity you’d prefer to be, and so on.

Plus, this is at least a 3 book series (and possibly as much as 6), so you might live on beyond the book this auction is technically for. This is a seriously hefty auction.

If you want to be immortalized in this cool of a way, you can bid here.

* * *

No one held back this year, and for that, we are thankful. It’s easy to forget about the good things in the world a lot of the time, but people like this remind us how much there is to be happy about.

The other cool thing is that a lot of stretch goals got updated yesterday after we were sort of surprised by how fast we reached them, thanks to Cards Against Humanity’s Fantasy Pack. If you want to watch them, you can head over to the Worldbuilders YouTube channel, or just click around on our lovely stretch goal page to your heart’s content.

Thanks for helping us make the world a better place, folks. Happy bidding.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Amanda10 Responses

So Many Books from DAW….

We just finished our second week of Worldbuilders, and as I type this we’ve raised $375,000. That’s an amazing amount of money that will help improve the lives of people all over the world.

But Pat!” I hear you cry. “Exactly *how* will this money make people’s lives better? For someone willing to spend eight pages describing how someone makes soap, it seems like you’re being pretty vague here….

Fair enough.

Let’s say you donate $60. That’s enough for Heifer to go into an area and provide education, support, and seedlings. That’s everything a family needs to plant some trees.

If you’re running a small farm, or even a garden, trees are more important than most people think. They provide shade for animals and prevent soil erosion. Many poverty stricken parts of the world have been deforested to a disastrous degree. And you can’t maintain a farm or pasture if the ground itself keeps washing away….

Even better? That cute little girl up there gets to supplement her diet with fresh fruit or protein-rich nuts. The nuts or fruit the family doesn’t use can be sold. Giving a family a small orchard or grove of nut trees is effectively the same as giving them a small business.

And what if you want to grow your business? You actually, literally, grow it. Using the education and tools Heifer provides, people can plant part of what they harvest, not only improving their own lives, but the lives of their friends and neighbors.

That’s what sixty bucks does, folks. It changes people’s lives. Forever.

And when you donate directly to Heifer on the Worldbuilders team page you also get the chance to win thousands upon thousands of books like the ones that DAW has sent us.

Did I mention that DAW sent us a bunch of books? They did. They very did.

* * *

DAW is one of the few publishers that has been involved in Worldbuilders from the very beginning. But this year they’ve outdone themselves…

  • Set of the first 8 books of the October Daye series. All signed by Seanan McGuire.

seanan2

“Action, intrigue, and a dash of romance.” —Jim Hines

All 8 of these are signed, and they’ll get you a really good start on the series. Collectors could love it, and people looking for new books in the name of charity could love it.

twelvekings

“A memorable heroine, a poetically told tale of revenge, and superb worldbuilding make Twelve Kings in Sharakhai a splendid read.” –John Marco

Brad supports us on his own, but as I mentioned before, he’s part of the DAW family now, and everyone at DAW is really excited about his book. So much so that they sent us fully 20 ARCs of it to share with all of you in the lottery.

bookofphoenix

“This is a horrifying, inspiring, painful, joyous book.” —io9

I love Nnedi. She and I were winners in the same Writers of the Future contest, and I’ve always enjoyed her writing. Enough that they put my quote about her books right on the cover here.

I hope the 32 people who win this love it as much as I do.

ancient peace

“The action is solid, and the marines are an entertaining mix of oddballs.” –Locus

nova

“NOVA grabbed me from the first chapter, and never let go. What a ride! Unforgettable, fast-paced and original, this book kept me guessing to the end” –Amie Kaufman

This is a new one, and the author is actually a fellow Wisconsinite. Over the summer my editor, Betsy, came to visit and told me all about her, so I’m happy to see that there are so many copies available in the lottery for all of you lovely people to enjoy.

dentonhill

“Maresca’s debut is smart, fast, and engaging fantasy crime in the mold of Brent Weeks and Harry Harrison. Just perfect.” —Kat Richardson

empire

“Bedford mixes romance and intrigue in this promising debut, which opens the Psi-tech space opera series…. Readers who crave high adventure and tense plots will enjoy this voyage into the future.” —Publishers Weekly

dragonbone

“Sprawling, spellbinding…weaves together a multitude of intricate strands, building to a suitably apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil.”—Publishers Weekly

Let me tell you a story. Just a short one, I promise.

Back in the summer of 1995, I’d been writing my novel for a couple of years. And, to be completely honest, I was feeling a little hopeless. I wasn’t anywhere done with the story I was trying to tell, but my book was already *really* long. (I hadn’t yet realized it would need to be more than one novel.)

Then I read The Dragonbone Chair and it gave me hope. I knew someone out there was publishing big fantasy books. So maybe I had a chance….

Needless to say, this book has a special place in my heart.

  • And Many, Many More!

lottery_vertical

DAW moved offices recently, and in that move, a lot of the staff finally got around to reorganizing their office libraries, which led to boxes upon boxes of books getting donated to Worldbuilders on top of the already substantial traditional DAW donation.

There’s a lot of stuff here, folks. Hundreds of books making up more than 160 prizes. There are standalones, first-in-a-series, new books, old books, and everything in between. And they’re all going into the lottery.

That means anyone who donates at least $10 dollars on our page has a chance to win them. If you were to donate more, say… 60 dollars (enough for some tree seedlings) you’d have six chances to win one of the over 1,000 prizes we currently have in the lottery.

Yeah, we’re giving away a lot of stuff here, and we haven’t even reached the halfway point yet…

Here’s one more link to the donation page if you need it.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat8 Responses

The Kindness of Authors

Worldbuilders only exists today because of the kindness and generosity of my fellow sci-fi and fantasy authors.

You see, back in 2008 when I first stumbled awkwardly onto my blog and asked folks people if they’d like to donate money to Heifer International, other authors contacted me and offered to help. They donated books and spread the word in ways I never could have managed on my own.

Now, years later, the same is still true. Authors help spread the word, they help with projects and stretch goals. And they donate books.

Every single book in this blog is signed (or has a signed bookplate). There are rarities. There is fabulousness. Here you will have the chance to get your grubby little mits on books that haven’t even been released yet. To say nothing of and an assortment of cool trinkets like pens, special tea, t-shirts…

Ah, why don’t I just show you?

The first thing we have today is something we’ve never offered before:

  • Auction: Two Tickets to the Red Carpet Premiere of The Shannara Chronicles on Friday, December 4th, 2015.

Poster-Serie-MTV-The-Shannara-Chronicles-1

Shawn Speakman and his wife had tickets to this premier originally, but they just found they wouldn’t be able to go.

Rather than return non-transferable tickets, Shawn talked to the folks at MTV and Terry Brooks, and asked them if they might be able to use the tickets to make the world a better place instead.

Much to our delight, the studio agreed to donate the tickets to Worldbuilders.

So we’re auctioning them off to the highest bidder. This includes the red carpet experience, the two-episode screening, and an after party with those who have worked to bring Shannara to the screen. You’re responsible for your own travel and accommodations, but these tickets will get you past the velvet rope and rubbing elbows with all sorts of fancy folk.

There are more details in the auction description, so head over there, read up, and bid.

  • Welcome to Night Vale. Signed by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. 4 copies in the lottery and one for auction.

nightvale_all2

I’ve loved Welcome to Night Vale for ages now. I’ve gushed at length about the book already on goodreads, and even took a trip down to Milwaukee where I interviewed them as part of their book tour. While I was down there, they signed some copies for the fundraiser.

We’re putting 4 in the lottery, where anyone who donates at least $10 can win them.

And here’s one up for auction, for someone who *really* wants a signed copy.

  • Limited edition copy of Unfettered. Signed by all participating authors. 

Unfettered special

This incredibly rare book is going into the lottery. It’s another publisher’s copy, and it’s signed by all 22 authors (myself included). It had actually slipped through the printing and binding process without my signature, so Shawn sent it back here and just told us to keep it once I signed it, which continues to show what a lovely person he is.

It’s in the lottery, where we hope it delights the person who wins it.

But there’s also one up for auction from the Grim Oak Press donations, too…

  • Copies of The Great Way Trilogy Omnibus. With bookplate signed by Harry Connolly. 3 copies in the lottery and one for auction.

connolly

“This twisty, subversive novel will win Connolly a whole new set of fans.” — Publishers Weekly

I read Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series and really dug it, which means I’m coveting this new omnibus, which is gorgeous. What’s more, this version is the Kickstarter-exclusive edition. There were only 200 printed, so we’re really lucky to have have three of them for the lottery.

There’s also one up for auction right here.

  • Set of Imperial Radch novels Signed by Ann Leckie.
  • Another set (with tea) up for auction.

leckie_fix

“Unexpected, compelling and very cool. Ann Leckie nails it…I’ve never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed.” — John Scalzi

I’m guessing you already know about these books, as they’ve won all manner of awards. And justifiably so. I read the first one earlier this year, and the fact that I haven’t managed to get around to the other two is ample evidence of my failure as a human being.

Ann was nice enough to send us a full set of signed books for the lottery.

We’ve got another signed set up for an auction, with the added bonus of specialty tea based on the Imperial Radch series. (I would like you all to appreciate that I did *not* make a joke about this being special-tea, even though Amanda encouraged me to.)

Consider rewarding my non-punning by bidding on this auction over here.

  • A set of The Demon Cycle: The Warded ManThe Desert SpearThe Daylight WarThe Skull Throne, and companion novella Messenger’s Legacy. All signed by Peter V. Brett.

demoncycle_withsig

“There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way” — Terry Brooks.

Peter V. Brett is a great guy, and he always stomps out with good donations. This year is no exception, and this set is going to make someone’s day when they win it in the lottery.

  • Sets of Fool’s Assassin and Fool’s Quest. Signed by Robin Hobb.
  • Same, (plus cool dragon pens) up for auction.

robinhobb_all

Be glad all of these nifty dragon pens made it into the sets. Rachel desperately wants one of them.

All of the books are signed, and we put one of the sets into the lottery, and one into an auction over here for those of you who don’t like taking risks like this.

  • Sets of The Rig and Crystal Force. Signed by Joe Ducie. One in the lottery and one up for auction.

ducie_set

Captain Joe is a beloved member of the blog comments community here. He’s participated in photo contests in the past, and now he’s an acclaimed YA author.

“All the elements of a great thriller are here—sinister villains, a stoic hero with a heart of gold, even mutated sharks…A solid genre outing.” — Kirkus

He gave us a couple of sets of his books, so one set is in the lottery, and the other is up for auction right here.

  • 20 copies of Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in: Tiger Trouble! With bookplates by Grant Goodman.

tigertrouble_withsig

Grant Goodman is a high school teacher by day, which endears him to Amanda, who taught high school until I stole her away into the glamorous life of personal assistanting and charity.

By night, Grant dons a mask and fights crime on the streets of Gotham.

No. Wait, I got that wrong, it says here that he’s donating all proceeds from sales of his book to Worldbuilders through the end of the fundraiser. AND he’s kicked in 20 copies for us to put into the lottery.

Wow. That’s actually cooler than being Batman. Thanks so much, Grant.

  • 3 copies of The Executioness. Signed by Tobias Buckell.
  • 1 copy up for auction.

executioness_withsig

“Even non-sci-fi readers will be bowled over…. Violent, poetic, and compulsively readable” — Maclean’s

This is one of the lovely Subterranean Press versions, so you know it’s beautiful. And Tobias has been awesome to us, so we’ve got 3 of his book in the lottery, and there’s one signed copy up for auction here.

  • 4 ARCs of Promise of Blood. Signed by Brian McClellan.
  • 1 signed ARC up for auction.

promiseofblood_withsig

“This book is just plain awesome. I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast.” –Brandon Sanderson

Brian was kind enough to send some of his ARCs over, so we’ve put 4 copies of it into the lottery. For the collectors out there we put one up in an auction, too.

  • A set of Shadow Ops: with signed bookplates from Myke Cole.

mykecole_withsig

“A military fantasy that combines intense personal anguish with elements of actual horror.”—Tor.com

Oh Myke Cole. You’re the bee’s knees. I liked his first book enough to blurb it, and they just get better from there.

Here’s a complete set of his series, all signed. He’s also a part of the Cards Against Humanity pack we released yesterday. He’s a huge supporter of Worldbuilders, and we love the fuck out of him. (Amanda wrote that. But I’m leaving it in here because… well… it’s true.)

  • Kushiel’s Dart. Signed by Jacqueline Carey. Auction also comes with Kushiel’s Chosen (signed) and a Litographs t-shirt.

carey_all

“A very sophisticated fantasy, intricately plotted and a fascinating [book].” —Robert Jordan

Jacqueline made it pretty far in her reading of Fox in Socks, which has impressed everyone here in the office. Plus, she donated signed copies of her books, and then a Litographs t-shirt based on her series.

We’re auctioning off the set with the shirt, so you can bid on that over here.

  • Twelve Kings in Sharakhai in various formats. Signed by Brad Beaulieu. One hardcover up in an auction.

brad_all

Brad has been published for a while now, but this newest book was picked up and published by DAW, so he’s a part of my extended family.

He sent us a bunch of different copies of his book, including US and UK editions, plus US and UK ARCs, and audiobooks. All of that’s going into the lottery, but we pulled aside one of the US Hardcovers to auction off, as well. To bid on it, go right here. It’ll make the world a better place, and you’ll get a beautiful new signed book.

  • Copy of Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi. Signed by Kevin Hearne.

hearne_starwars

“Utterly compelling . . . [The novel] plants readers in Luke Skywalker’s boots in the early days of his heroism, during the weeks after he blew up the Death Star.”—New York Daily News

Kevin Hearne: Thriller dancer, mead drinker, and published part of the Star Wars cannon. We’ve put this into the lottery, and it could brighten your day if you make a donation or $10 or more to the team page.

  • 2 full sets of Iron Druid Chronicles, including ARCs of Staked, which comes out January 26th. All signed by Kevin Hearne. One auction of the ARC Staked.

hearne_all

This is a hilarious amalgamation of US and UK editions, combined to make 2 complete sets of the series. Will it be “color” or “colour” in the next  volume? Who knows!

The big deal here, though, is that all of these come with signed ARCs of Staked, the newest novel in the series, which won’t be out until January 26th. The people who win them in the lottery might not get them in time, but the person who wins it in an auction definitely will. If you want to be the person guaranteed to get a sneak peek at the latest Iron Druid book, be sure to go bid right here.

  • Auction:  The Everything Box. Includes hand-written notes. Signed by Richard Kadrey.

kadrey_set

Have you read anything by Richard Kadrey before? if not, you need to fix that. And conveniently enough, we have a great deal here for you.

This is an ARC of Kadrey’s newest book. It comes with a bunch of his hand-written notes about the novel that he used while he was writing. And this book doesn’t come out until April 19, 2016. You’ll have it so early you could read it multiple times before it actually hits shelves.

Something like this being up for auction is not just cool, it’s amazingly unprecedented. I know you want it because I know *I* want it.

So you should head over and bid on it here.

* * *

There you go folks. Many lovely books. And for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders team page, you get a chance to win.

In other news: this afternoon, I’ll be livestreaming a reading of my Night Vale/Lake Wobegon mashup fanfic, since we blew past that $200,000 stretch goal yesterday.

We blew past a lot of stretch goals yesterday, so we’ll be scrambling to post those up in the next few days. If you want to make sure you don’t miss them, you might consider subscribing to the Worldbuilders YouTube channel, where pretty much all of our video stuff lives.

A lot of auctions are ending this weekend, including the professional read & critiques of unpublished manuscripts. You can see a listing of everything that’s currently being auctioned off over here.

Lastly, I’ll be doing a writing Q&A on Twitch on Saturday at 2pm CST for those of you who are interested, and then those auctions end on Sunday night at various times after 7pm CST.

Let’s keep making the world a better place. You know what to do.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat12 Responses

Cards Against Humanity: Fantasy Pack

It’s no secret that I’m terribly fond of Max Temkin. Not only is he fun to be around, but he’s a genuinely nice person who has pitched in to help with Worldbuilders in several different ways over the last couple years.

For example, when we did our podcast together, we weren’t originally planning on having sponsors. But when our audience turned out to be startlingly large, Max immediately suggested we take on select ads and donate all the money directly to Worldbuilders.

Hold on, it occurs to me that some of you might not realize who I’m talking about here. Max is one of the guys who created Cards Against Humanity.

If you don’t know what Cards Against Humanity is… Well, I almost want to congratulate you, because this must be your very first time on the internet. Welcome, traveler! Adventure awaits!

CAH is a hugely, crassly inappropriate game that has given me many wonderful laughs with good friends. It’s… it’s really indescribable. So I might as well just post up a link to the very NSFW edition of Tabletop where they played it. As well as this video of grandmas getting high and playing the game.

But seriously, the game has penetrated pretty much every avenue of geek culture. And even better, (he said, gliding right past many, all-too-easy jokes that could be made due to the phrasing in that last sentence) the CAH folks have elevated irreverence to an art form. Last year, Max and his team protested Black Friday by selling something they called Holliday Bullshit.

tumblr_nfraugXsgU1rbyqg2o1_1280

What was in the box? Actual cow poop. This is a fact that still makes me smile. Then CAH took the money they made from that and donated it to Worldbuilders so it would go to Heifer International. Which is kinda poetic, if you think about it. Circle of life and all that.

I could go on and on about the things they’ve done. One year for black friday, they raised their prices instead of having a sale. Earlier this year, they released a pack of science-themed expansion pack of cards and donated all profits to provide full-ride scholarships for women seeking STEM degrees.

Anyway, today we finally get to unveil something we’ve been working on for a while: A fantasy-themed expansion pack for CAH.

Fantasy Pack

(I have no idea what’s going on in that picture. Seriously. No. Idea.)

This pack contains 30 cards, and it’s everything you’d expect from a fantasy-themed CAH expansion. The ideas for the cards were written by a team of crack authors who have helped out Worldbuilders in the past.

And (if you haven’t already guessed) ALL the proceeds from the first two weeks of sales will go to Worldbuilders in support of Heifer International. For those of you who have been wondering about the yellow progress bar on our website that says, “Coming Soon.” Well… now you know what that is for….

cards

Some of the authors who wrote cards are:

  • Neil Gaiman
  • Sam Sykes
  • Myke Cole
  • Jacqueline Carey
  • Kevin Hearne
  • Martha Wells
  • Sherwood Smith
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Wesley Chu
  • Laura Anne Gilman
  • Delilah Dawson
  • Me
  • And a few others who would prefer not to be named….

So there you go. I’ve seen the cards. I’ve held them in my hands and read them and they are delightfully awful. A few of them made me laugh my evilest laugh.

You can buy a pack by following this link. Hell, why not get two? Get 10! (Then you get free shipping, too.)

CAH has a running tally on their website showing how much they’ve raised for us, and we’ll be checking that regularly to update our thermometer. (But again, we’re doing it manually. Because it’s hard to automate these things, and we’d rather spend our money on helping people rather than re-programming widgets.)

So. Go forth. Make the world a better place by playing this wonderful, horrible game.

Also posted in cool news, cool things, gaming | By Pat30 Responses
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