Category Archives: Worldbuilders 2016

Space Lasers: the Cards Against Humanity Sci-Fi Pack

As I put the final polish on this blog, Worldbuilders has just passed 1.3 million dollars.

Donations were delightfully brisk over the weekend, despite the fact that we didn’t get any big news coverage or make any announcements. This warms my heart, as it lets me know y’all are out there helping to spread the word about the fundraiser.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web - crop smaller(I love our logo.)

You may not know it, but that’s a really big deal to us. Our biggest challenge is getting the word out to new people.

The thing is… our charity game is really solid: We’re matching donations this year to the tune of a million dollars. That’s huge. We’ve got a bunch of cool sponsors offering up over $160,000 of books, games, and other geeky swag that we’re straight-up giving away to donors. Nobody else does that. And the folks we’re giving money to? Well, Heifer International is a charity so powerful and effective that I’ve heard a rumor that when the next Matrix patch comes through, they’re going to nerf it.

But the sad truth is this: none of that matters if people don’t hear about the fundraiser.

So I just wanted y’all to know how much I appreciate everyone coming together to make this a success. Thank you for donating and helping us make use of our matching money. Thank you for helping boost our signal. And of course a special thanks to all our sponsors for donating to make our donation lottery so amazing this year.

Together, we are a force to be reckoned with, and we’re making the world a better place.

And now, today’s big news:

*     *    *

I’m sure most of you have heard of Cards Against Humanity. Not only do they make one of the best party games out there, but they do a crazy amount of charity work, too. What’s more, Max Temkin and I have been known to hang out on occasion. And when we can’t do so physically, we do so auditorially, (by which I mean we do a podcast together.)

Anyway, if you hadn’t already guessed, here’s what we’re launching today:


Those of you who follow my blog and/or the fundraiser know that this is actually the second collaboration of this sort we’ve done.

Last year we did a Fantasy Pack. This year, we’ve teamed up with the lovely folks at CAH to put together a new expansion pack poking fun at the Sci-Fi genre.

We gathered some of our favorite authors to help throw out suggestions for these cards, including but not limited to the brilliant minds of:

  • Delilah S. Dawson
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Jim C. Hines
  • Myke Cole
  • Martha Wells
  • Catherynne M. Valente
  • and me

There are 30 cards total in the pack, and it’s available in the Cards Against Humanity store.

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.

Now this alone would be enough reason for rejoicing. But what makes this year’s collaboration extra cool is that when you buy this pack from cards, we’re going to double that donation before passing it along to Heifer International.

That’s right. You buy those cards, and DOUBLE the money will be going to charity.

What does Heifer International do with that money? Well… this:

I’m going to put up the link to Cards Against Humanity again, just in case you need it for something.

Or, if you’d prefer, here’s the donation page for Worldbuilders.

Did I mention that all donations are currently being doubled?

They are.

*     *     *

Here’s the second piece of news.

Since Cards Against Humanity is giving us the sales from the *entire* first two weeks of the Sci-fi pack, and since we’ve had a handful of other sponsors come in with last minute donations of books and games for us to give away in the lottery, and since we still have plenty of matching money left…. we’ve decided to extended the fundraiser one more week.

I thought this might be the year we might finish the fundraiser on initially scheduled date. But there’s just too much stuff coming in, and we need time to show it all off to you.

So. There you go. The fundraiser will now be ending on the 19th of December.

Let’s make the most of it.


Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat14 Responses

Creative Collaborations and Odd Opportunities for Immortality

So, it’s been an interesting couple days….

On Tuesday the news broke that Lin-Manuel Miranda has officially signed on to help develop my books into movies and television.

This news has been a long time coming, and it hasn’t been easy to keep under my hat.

I’ve already done a Q&A about it over on my twitch stream, and I’ll write about it here in the blog in the future. But for now just let me say that my creative crush on Lin is of Whedonian proportions. I’m about as excited as a human being can possibly be.

miranda-rothfuss(This excited. Plus ten.)

And if that weren’t enough to make this my best week ever, my books also got passing mentions from the Vlogbrothers and Nightvale. Which is a confluence of events that seems to imply I have gained a fairy godmother or access to a genie. It’s odd, and feels a little bit like maybe god checked his ledgers, realized that someone had done the karmic equivalent of running over my cat, and is desperately trying to balance things out before the new year for tax reasons.

Anyway. It’s been a good week. And that’s not even taking into consideration that Worldbuilders raised (and then matched) another quarter million dollars this week. Which means as of right now, we’ve raised more than $1,100,000 for Heifer International.

That’s enough money to give 9000 families goats, along with the education, training, and tools to care for them.

Buwamdelema Village, Mbale District, Eastern Region, Uganda Sandra Nabwire, 16 years old, and Edward Wanyama, 4 years old, feed the family goat fodder at their home in Buwandelema village on Friday May 20, 2011.

Goats are awesome, because they’re hardy, easy to care for, and produce a gallon of milk a day. That milk is a valuable source of protein and calcium for children, and the excess milk is easily sold to provide household income so families can pay for school fees, clothes, and medicine.

You see, in most of the world, a goat isn’t just a source of food, it’s a small business. But more importantly, it gives birth to other small businesses.

So far, Worldbuilders has raised enough to give 55,000 families flocks of chickens ($20.) Enough to provide 3,600 communities with clean water ($300.)

And we’re not done. We still have some time left. And we have some cool new announcements today.

  • We still have matching money!

Once we hit $1,000,000, a lot of people thought that we were out of matching money.

We’re not. We’ve used up $555,000 of the million dollars we have available for matching. So rest assured, when you donate, your money is still getting doubled.

  • Return of the Widget!

I’m delighted to announce the return of the probability calculator widget. Powered by math from the fabulous Vi Hart.

As you know. (Or at least I hope you know.) Every $10 you donate to Worldbuilders gets you a chance to win thousands of books and games from our prize lottery. This widget is updated with the most up-to-date numbers so you can tell what your odds are of winning something, depending on how much you donate.

  • Odd Opportunities for Immortality

As faithful readers of the blog know, earlier in the fundraiser, a handful of awesome authors offered up cameos in upcoming books.

We’ve done this for several years at Worldbuilders, and my only regret is that we’ve always auctioned them off. It brings in good money, but it makes me feel bad that only folks with a lot of money to splash around get a chance to get their names or faces in upcoming books.

So last week when a more authors came forward to offer us walk-on roles in their books, we decided to try something new, a little experiment, if you will.

We’re making separate pages for each of these new cameos, if you go in and donate there, you’re still eligible for everything in the regular fundraiser. Your donation will be doubled. You’re eligible for all the prizes in the lottery.

AND you’re eligible to win the guest star appearance that’s detailed on that page.

This way, you have a chance at immortality even if you’re not made of money.

I’m really excited to offer these up, folks. I’m huge fans of all the works listed here.


It was recently announced that the awesome authors Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu are co-writing a new trilogy featuring a fan-favorite character of Cassandra Clare’s, Magnus Bane. The book is out in November of 2017, and they’ve offered to name a character after one of our lovely supporters.

They were happy to let us put this in the lottery for anyone who donates via their page, so that’s exactly what we’ve done. The more you donate, the better your chances, but even if you only have 10 bucks to spare, there’s still a chance.


Rat Queens have also stepped up to the plate. But this isn’t just going to be some little walk-on part. The fabulous Kurtis Wiebe is offering up the opportunity to be Killed by your favorite band of adventuring badasses: the Rat Queens themselves. They’ll draw you and your likeness in to the comic, and you’ll get super dead.

Don’t be a Gary. Donate to make the world a better place, and rest comfortably in the knowledge that every $10 you kick in on their team page, gets you a chance to get killed by Rat Queens.


Or, if you’re more into the Sandman Slim novels, you could get killed to death in that.

If you donate on this team page Richard Kadrey will include you in the next Sandman Slim novel and kill you. What’s more, he’s promised to make it “as messy as possible.”

Those were his exact words.


If you aren’t reading read Bitch Planet, you really should. I picked it up just last month, and it instantly become one of new favorites.

It imagines a world where women who don’t fit in with the patriarchal society’s standards for women are shipped away from earth and jailed on Bitch Planet for being “Non-Compliant.” That can involve anything from being a violent felon, to simply not speaking politely, using too much sarcasm, or being overweight.

This comic is smart, folks. It’s dark and sharp and full of clever humor. I love it with big love.

So I’m delighted to say that for every $10 you donate on their page will get you a chance to name an inmate and the infraction that caused them to be exiled. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro will work with you to put this character into their world.


Matt Fraction is one of my top five comic writers of all time. And honestly? I think Sex Criminals is my favorite comic he’s currently working on.

And it’s hard for me. *ahem* Because it’s not exactly easy to go around recommending a comic called “Sex Criminals” to everyone you know.

The premise is this: In Sex Criminals, when Suzie and John have sex, time stops. Not in the cheesey way that people talk about sometimes. Literally, time stops. Then they do what any red-blooded American with sex superpowers would do: They rob banks.

Writer Matt Fraction and artist/maniac Chip Zdarsky assure you that, while very dirty, Sex Criminals is mostly sweet. And they’re offering you the chance to name your very own sex act in the series. Which is something I’m pretty sure everyone has wanted to do at some point in their lives. Or is it just me? (It can’t just be me, can it?)

Again, every $10 you donate on Team Brimpers gets you a chance for this.

  • Name Viari’s own personal intern in Acquisitions Inc

I talked to the folks at Acquisitions Inc, and they’re letting me raffle off the chance to name Viari’s own personal intern in a future game. You and I will work out your character’s name, as well as their character class. And then they’ll be an NPC in Acquisitions, Inc. They’ll fetch my coffee, update my day planner, and… well… probably die. Because… well… intern…

Roll with Viari over here if that sounds like a good time to you.

[Edit: Amanda hereOne more opportunity came through this morning after we shared the blog, so I’m throwing it in here because I KNOW you wanna see this.

  • Get your name and likeness in an issue of Revival


Revival is a FANTASTIC comic set in rural Wisconsin after a day when the dead come back to life. The main character, Dana Cypress, has ongoing investigations into the phenomenon, and the series has been running monthly since July 2012.

Tim Seeley is the writer of he comic, and he and artist Mike Norton have agreed to put your name and/or likeness (whatever you prefer) into the comic. If you love Revival as much as I do, every $10 you contribute on their page puts your name in the hat.]


Thanks again for coming along with us on this adventure, folks. And do keep in mind that even if none of the new teams I just mentioned ring your bell, you can just go donate on the main page.

I really want to use up all of our matching money this year.

I’m hoping beyond all hope that we can hit $2,000,000.


P.S. Our servers are getting hit kinda hard today. Because a now that we’re over a million bucks, we’re getting some media attention.

If you have trouble donating, please don’t give up. I know it’s frustrating. But please stick with it.

Also posted in cool news, movie talk | By Pat25 Responses

Giving Tuesday: Things That Are Lacking

As I sit down to write this, it’s 3:00 in the morning. So late on Monday that it’s really Tuesday morning.

Not just any Tuesday though. It’s giving Tuesday, which means I’m supposed to write an inspiring blog about the Worldbuilders Fundraiser.

You see, last year I wrote a blog about my mom, and Haiti, and Heifer International….

Marge and Patrick at Beach 1-1(You can read the blog here if you like. It was pretty good.)

…and we had our biggest fundraising day ever.

Of course there were extenuating circumstances. Last year we had unexpected access to matching money. That was a big motivator. We geeks love a power multiplier.

The result? We raised $200,000 that day.

So my team is expecting me to write a really great blog today. Something that will delight and inspire you. Something that will draw you in. Make you enthusiastic. Rile you up. Break your heart. (But in a good way.)

And I’ve been rooting around inside myself for it all night. Looking for that blog. Looking for something to say. And I just can’t find it.

I got nothing.

*     *    *

Part of the problem is that I can’t announce a big BIG one-day-only matching-money extravaganza! A tight timeline is compelling. Anyone who has ever backed a kickstarter knows a ticking clock can light a fire under the most reluctant of asses.

But here’s the problem. Last year, when Heifer gave us access to matching money, we impressed them. And while I was excited to raise that $200,000, I told them I felt bad springing it on my people halfway through the fundraiser.

“I feel like it abuses their trust a bit,” I explained. “What about the people that came in and donated early? They weren’t holding back. They didn’t wait to see if there was a better charity deal hiding around the corner. I just said to them, ‘Hey guys, come with us, and we’ll make the world a better place,’ and they did. But now some of them feel like they missed out on getting their donations doubled….”

I explained to Heifer that I didn’t think surprises were good in the long run. They work wonders in the moment, but next year people will worry if they donate early, they might miss out later….

“But if you give us money to match donations at the beginning of the fundraiser,” I told them. “I’d like the world on fire. My people would go crazy for that.”

But here’s the funny thing. They did. They gave us $1,000,000 of matching money.

And so we launched with it.

And you guys did go crazy for it. We’ve used $340,000 so far, and raised more than $680,000. It’s our best year ever…

But as a result, I have no surprises.

I have nothing shocking to unveil for you today.

But I *can* tell you a story.

*     *     *

This is Klang Savuth and Kid Moa:

kh201512-128(With their son Ky Damkoeung.)

In 2014, they were subsistence farmers, which means they grew just enough to feed themselves if things went well. They didn’t have a reliable source of income, so when they needed anything beyond the bare necessities, they had to borrow or beg.

In 2014, Heifer International gave Klang and Kid 20 chickens and some vegetable seeds. Then Heifer gave them the training and tools they needed to use them, because that’s what Heifer does.

Today, their flock has grown to over 200 birds. They used the profit from their chickens to buy a pig, and now they own 23 pigs. They’ve opened their own general store.

They have a beautiful garden that makes more than enough food to sustain them. And Klang continues to attend Heifer training courses and plans to buy more land. She wants to start a fish pond and build a biogas digester that will turn her animal’s waste into better fertilizer clean methane for light and cooking. They don’t have access to electricity.

And you know what? They’ve given 30 chickens to another family. They gave that family training and tools, too.

(Because that’s what Heifer International teaches people to do. They call it Passing On The Gift.)

In two and a half years, this family has gone from desperately poor to thriving. They’ve gone from needing help, to giving help.

Heifer International does this all over the world. Nobody is better at it.

*     *     *

Do you know how much it costs to give a family chickens?

$20 dollars.

*     *     *

Last week, the Worldbuilders team sat me down and told me that this is a bad year for charities. Fundraisers everywhere are running at all-time lows. They explained to me that with Brexit and the US election, the economy is uncertain. That makes people reluctant to donate money.

My team told me this very gently. And I know what they’re doing. They’re preparing me for the fact that maybe we might not use up all our matching money. More importantly, they’re preparing me for the fact that this year, for the first time in the history of Worldbuilders, our fundraiser might be *smaller* than the previous year.


And I’m not surprised. I don’t follow global economy stuff, but I know people. And I know that since the election, I have felt… devastated. Numb. I am worried for my country, and I am worried for my world.

Pretty much everyone I know feels this way. And many of my friends feel even worse. Less that a week ago, I had a nightmare about nuclear war. My first in 30 years.

This is part of why it’s hard for me to write to you today. How can I infect you with enthusiasm when I’m having trouble finding it myself?

For many of us, it is not easy to be hopeful right now. We hurt. And when we hurt, we curl in on ourselves. It’s natural. Instinctive. It’s an animal reaction to pain.

Charity is the opposite of this. Charity is an act of reaching out.

But where do we find the hope?

*     *     *

I don’t know how to fix the world. But look at this.

Lugazi Dioces Heifer Project (21-0616-01)

Look at him. Look at how happy he is. And you know why? He has clean water to drink.

Heifer International can give a whole town clean, accessible water.

Know how much it costs to give a community full of children clean water?

It costs $300.

*     *     *

A lot of you have been leaving comments with your donations. These little stories keep me going. They are much-needed injections of hope in a time when I need to be reminded that people are good. I can’t thank you all enough for this, (and I hope you all win fabulous prizes in our lottery.)

Let me share a few. Here’s one from Josephine:

I just want to say THANK YOU PAT, for opening my eyes to how EASY it is to make a great difference in other people’s lives, even as a poor student, whose bank account is below 0 every month, just by giving just a little bit – I will forgo the Christmas shopping and instead do homemade gifts.

From Melissa:

I’m broke. Like, really, really broke. But I have food and shelter, so some of my money is going to help someone else who needs help.

And there are some that make me smile a big, foolish, joyful smile, like Julia’s:

I am 10 years old and this is my first time donating to WorldBuilders.  It is such a nice thing to do.  I really wanted to use my own money to buy a family an animal.

I see see a lot of you feel the same way I do, like Paul:

Thanks for keeping positivity and hope in this world. The country is a little short on both right now. 

Like Benjamin:

Doubling what I had planned to donate because I’m frustrated with recent events and want to push back against the darkness. Thanks for being a force for good!

And people like Alyssa make me cry:

Yesterday I was reading The Name of the Wind from inside the adult ward of a mental health facility. Three days ago, I genuinely had no will to live. Today, my partner led me home, and we’re donating a goat to a family that will use it well. My heart is brimming with gratitude. Thank you, World builders, for giving us the opportunity to help. Thanks to Pat for the gift of your words.

*     *    *

I sometimes write about a girl. This girl is alone, living in darkness, working tirelessly to make the world better, one small piece at a time. The darkness constantly surrounds her. But she keeps working, even on bad days, and she always brings her own light.


She is braver than I am. And better. And she never gives up.

So. It’s Giving Tuesday.

What are you going to do?


Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat58 Responses

So Many Books From DAW

DAW was one of the first publishers to contribute to Worldbuilders. Which probably isn’t *hugely* surprising, as DAW is my publisher. They’re the folks that made The Name of the Wind a for-real book.

Every year, Worldbuilders has gotten bigger, and DAW has stuck with us, continuing to give us more and more lovely books to give away.

This year, they’ve sent us nearly 300 lottery prizes, many of them entire series of books (or significant chunks of a series.) More than six hundred books in total. Most of these are going into the lottery where you get a chance to win for every ten bucks you donate to Worldbuilders. But there’s a few up in the auctions as well.

I also feel the need to mention that this year Worldbuilders has access to matching money, so if you jump in and donate, or win an auction, the money you’re putting into the fundraiser is doubled.

daw-wall(These are just SOME of the Books)

Now, here’s the thing, I know that picture is going to drive the OCD among you kinda crazy. The books are both horizontal and vertical. They’re not in any proper sort of order…. Honestly, it makes *my* fingers itch a little just to look at that.

But here’s the thing. We’re giving away so many books this year that we simply can’t fit all the books on the shelves if we stack them the normal way on the shelf.

Seriously. Here’s just some of what we’re giving away:

And that doesn’t include *any* of the games….

So yeah, there’s a lot to show off. If you want to peruse all of it on your own, you can check out the Lottery Library on the Worldbuilders website. But I’ll get into as much of it as I can fit below…

  • A truly ridiculous number of ARCs


(There were more to the left, but you get the idea.)

ARCs are awesome, and often really collectible. They’re the copies of the books that get sent out for review and promotion purposes. Sometimes the book goes through revisions after the ARC is produced, so the text is different when it’s published. Sometimes they have different covers. There’s usually SOMETHING different, and we’ve always been pretty excited to share them with you guys.

This year, DAW sent us over 90 ARCs we’re putting into the lottery. Every $10 you donate gets you a chance to win, so be sure to donate.

  • Copies of The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood. Doodled ARC up in Auction.

lockwood_summerTodd Lockwood is not just an amazing author. Before he wrote, he was a professional artist, doing work for book covers, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, and more.


(Click to embiggen, You won’t regret it.)

He did his own book cover, and there are illustrations in here that you’d have to see to believe. DAW sent us a bunch of beautiful hardcovers of his debut, as well as half a dozen ARCs, three of which were signed and doodled.


There’s one doodled ARC up in an auction, that you can bid on right here. The others are Lottery prizes, because of course they are.


“Karigan is an engaging protagonist, and the scenes of magic and/or combat rise to a high standard.” – Publishers Weekly


“Smart, sexy, and filled with beautifully fleshed-out/kick-ass women, Heroine Complex is the kind of read that sticks in your brain like a fanged cupcake…. I adored it.” —Amber Benson

  • 5 sets of Impulse and Starbound by Dave Bara.


“This energetic mélange of tried-and-true elements—futuristic jargon, military and romantic tactics, and multiple levels of skullduggery—easily grabs the reader’s attention; more impressive is that Bara’s story holds that attention all the way to the end.” –Publishers Weekly


Twelve Kings has become an office favorite here at Worldbuilders, and for good reason. Brad Beaulieu is a long-time supporter of Worldbuilders (as evidenced by his stretch goal of reading the Hobbit to his kids in the snow), and a really great guy. To top it all off, he’s a fantastic author, and I’m glad to have him in the DAW family.


“Bedford adeptly weaves together romance, action, and fantastical elements, all set against a richly realized series of far-flung locations.” –Publishers Weekly


Jim Hines is also a huge supporter of Worldbuilders, and his books are fantastic. But don’t take our word for it…

“Hines’s writing is lyrical and fluid as it unsubtly echoes America’s past and present struggles with discrimination. Urban fantasy fans with a bent for social and historical commentary will find this provocative novel thoroughly entertaining.” –Publishers Weekly

Or, you could take MY word for it:

“I picked up the book meaning to read a few pages. My first thought was, ‘This is a cool concept.’ The second thing I thought was, ‘This is really, really clever.’ The third thing I thought was, ‘I should have gone to sleep three hours ago.'”—Patrick Rothfuss


“Brandt has created a fully-fleshed universe, filled with high tension, memorable villains, and plot twists by the dozen.” ―Barnes & Noble

  • 10 sets of This Gulf of Time and Stars and The Gate of Futures Past by Julie E. Czerneda


“Czerneda excels at creating sympathetic characters and building intricate and fascinating worlds. Fans who have missed her Clan Chronicles will welcome this revival of a setting that still has much to offer” –Publishers Weekly


“Friedman launches a series with this dimension-hopping, genre-bending adventure that will appeal to both adults and teens…. Friedman skillfully blends science fiction and fantasy elements, tying them together with fairy tales and solid worldbuilding.” —Publishers Weekly


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


I have to say. I really love these covers. I know you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and all that. But these remind me of my childhood. They look like the books I loved to read when I was a kid. You don’t often see fun, colorful covers like this, and I’m going to read them just because of that.


“[Reichert] draws her characters realistically and uses the wizards believably. She has created a very real world…. Readers who love sword-and-war-type fantasy will keep turning the pages, spellbound.” —Voya

michelle-west“This story will go down as one of the best novels in its genre, propelling West into the ranks of Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin.” –The Maine Edge


“Palmatier kicks off an epic fantasy series with this complex tale set in a world where wonders are accomplished by manipulating the magical energy of ley lines…. Palmatier lets the story build slowly, introducing a sprawling cast and fascinating setting, before explosively upsetting the status quo.” —Publishers Weekly


For Nova: “This book definitely scratched my kick-ass teen heroine itch, and it did it in SPACE. That’s a perfect combo if I’ve seen one.” ―BookRiot

For The Crow: “An intriguing mix of old Celtic Fae mythology and a contemporary drama of finding yourself….Leigh is a master at building an entire world, not just the bare bones required by the plot.” —RT Reviews

For Transferrence Engine: “It’s oddly delightful to read a ripping Victorian, steam-powered yarn set in a world where Byron, Shelley, Polidori, etc., are mostly known…as depraved necromancers and mad scientists.” —RT Reviews

  • 5 sets of the first 3 books in the Alien series by Gini Koch.


“This delightful romp has many interesting twists and turns as it glances at racism, politics, and religion en route. It will have fanciers of cinematic sf parodies referencing Men in Black, Ghost Busters, and X-Men.” —Booklist

  • 5 sets of The Birthgrave Trilogy by Tanith Lee.


“An exciting, feverish, obsession-laden sword and sorcery epic, unlike anything then current—or, arguably, since.” —LOCUS

Guys. Tanith Lee. She was one of fantasy’s heavy-hitters for a reason, and we lost her last year because cancer is a heartless bastard. Luckily, her writing (and there’s a ton of it) lives on.

  • Copies of Jerusalem Fire and 5 sets of the Tour of the Merrimack series by R.M. Meluch.


“Meluch shows particular skill in creating memorable characters while exhibiting a refreshing ruthlessness in subordinating them to the logical ramifications of the plot.” —Publishers Weekly

“Enough action and suspense for three novels. Meluch’s wry, realistic wit finds the ludicrous in the military, sex in the military, and a dozen other matters. A treat for military sf buffs.” —Booklist

  • 10 sets of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Series by Tad Williams.


I’ve talked before about what an inspiration Tad Williams was to Young Pat – if Tad could sell his giant tomes, then Young Pat could too. These are beautiful new editions of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, and all three of these could be yours with a $10 donation.

“Readers who delight in losing themselves in long complex tales of epic fantasy will be in their element here, and there is the promise of much more to come in future volumes.” —Locus


“Mixing mythology and monster lore (plus a good helping of snark), Discount Armageddon is fast-paced, funny and boasts a salty-sweet heroine who can cha-cha, foxtrot, and kick ass––or any combination thereof––while she sprints her way across the rooftops of Manhattan, policing and protecting the denizens of New York City’s supernatural community.” —Amber Benson

DAW sent us the first two books (of seven!) in Seanan’s series, and we’ll be bundling them together in the lottery to give you that extra boost.

  • Auction: ARC copies of InCryptid books: Midnight Blue-Light Special, Pocket Apocalypse, Chaos Choreography. All SIGNED by Seanan McGuire.


For the collectors out there, or those of you who just love Seanan McGuire’s work (which you should), we got a set of 3 of her InCryptid books, and we’ve thrown them up just for you in an auction. These are books two, four, and five, but if you’re lusting after signed books, you probably knew that already.

If you’ll love these rare books with a fierce love, you can bid right here. If you don’t love them, I’m assuming you haven’t read them.

  • Auction: Signed ARC copy of Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire.


We’ve also thrown up this ARC of book 7 in the October Daye series. If you’re a fan of that series, we’ve taken the chance out of getting this awesome book. Or maybe you have a friend who loves the series. It’d make a pretty great holiday gift…

If that sounds good to you, then bid here.

  • Auction: One of everything DAW published in 2016


This is one hefty prize.

The auction is for 52 individual titles. Some are new series, some are new installments in ongoing series, some are hardcover, some paperback, but all came from DAW in 2016.

As you can see, they keep pretty busy.

It’s the best way I can think of to expand your library if you’re in desperate need of new sci-fi and fantasy books. If you want to have this excellent collection, you can bid on it here.

And last but not least….

  • ARCs of The Heart of What Was Lost, coming out in January, by Tad Williams. One for Auction.


This is a big deal, folks. We have seven copies of Tad William’s new book. And we’re going to be giving them away (with DAW’s permission) before the publication date.

Six of them are going out with the lottery items, and we’ll be shipping them out with all the other prizes. But if you *really* want to get your grubby little hands on one soon, we’ve put one up in an auction you can bid on here.


It’s a ton of books, y’all. And I didn’t even manage to showcase ALL of them. If you want to check the rest out, be sure to look over at the Lottery Library.

Also, a reminder that tomorrow is the first day of our Overwatch tournament. Check out the Tournament Website to see the different team standings, and watch the matches as they happen, and see what sort of embarrassing handicaps your team will have to suffer through if they don’t raise as must money as their competition…

Be good to each other,


Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat2 Responses

Overwatch + Hunger Games x Geeks = Charity?

So… I don’t know if you guys have heard about this Overwatch thing. It’s a little shoot-em-up style game made by some indie game developer or other.

If you listen to my podcast with Max Temkin, you’ve definitely heard of it. Max has been singing a song about Overwatch for ages now, trying to seduce me over to the dark side. And a couple months back, I finally gave in.

But that wasn’t enough for Max. Then at some point in the podcast he said our two companies should go head-to-head in a match. Cards Against Humanity vs Worldbuilders for charity. And I laughed and said sure. That would be fun. Whatever.

But then our people got talking, and things started to snowball…

And that leads to today. With me announcing the first (and maybe only ever) Worldbuilders Overwatch Tournament for Charity. Yeah. Let’s go with that name. That acronym shouldn’t be confusing at all….

We have 8 teams representing diverse groups from all the four corners of the geek world:

ow_logo_300dpi-smaller(Art by the amazing Kevin Budnik)

Next week Tuesday (November 29th) our first round of matches will begin. Each team will spend the time between now and then trying to rally their communities to donate on their team pages. Because for each match, the team with less money will have to play with a handicap. Like having everyone on their team play as Junkrat. Or making everyone play support characters. Or not lettting anyone play genji. Ever. Because I hate Genji so much. So so so so much.

For example, the first match next week Tuesday at 5:30pm CT, Team Secret Hitler will be playing Team Penny Arcade. Whichever of them raises less money will have their entire team playing Soldier 76. I’m pretty sure no one wants that, so they’ll be constantly battling to make sure they don’t lose.

It’s gong to get pretty ridiculous.

Here’s the tournament bracket.


(click to embiggen the glory)

Each game will be watchable in multiple places. And I’m pretty sure at least one of them will be on my very own twitch channel, where I will be blowing myself up constantly as Junkrat. So if you want to make sure you catch the show, you can go and follow me there now.

Using our first game as a reference, If you want to watch the Team Penny Arcade captain’s stream and hear all of the team’s talking in group chat, you can watch on their Twitch channel. Same holds true for Team Secret Hitler. (You can find all of the teams’ Twitch channels on the Worldbuilders Overwatch Wesite)

Or, if you want to watch in Spectator Mode and see the match from both sides you can tune into the Worldbuilders Twitch channel, where we’ll have the lovely Amanda hosting and commentating on all of the matches throughout the tournament.

All of this information is visible on the website we made to track the tournament. We kinda banged it together quick, but it gets the job done by showing each team’s current total, along with links so you can support your favorites by donating.

secret-hitler-vs-penny-aracade(Like so.)

Also, did I mention that any donations you make on those team pages will be doubled thanks to the fact that we have access to a Million Dollars of matching money?

Dollar-panarama-704155(It will.)

Also, every $10 dollars you donate gets you an entry in our fabulous prize lottery. Which at this point has more than 1,600 books, games, and cool geekery worth more than $60,000. (With more being added every day.)

I hope y’all have a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. With an amount of family that is sufficient to your particular situation and desires.

Know that I am endlessly thankful for all of you. And for the geek community that comes together every year to make Worldbuilders a success.

Here’s the link to the page where you can see team standings and donate.

May the best team win.



(Please donate to Worldbuilders because seriously, I can’t play any support characters…)

Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat20 Responses

Fantastic Beasts, Books, My Shame, and Terrifying Favors

Hey there everybody,

Over the weekend, Worldbuilders hit 150,000 dollars.

That’s cool enough in its own right, but if you consider the fact that all donations are being matched dollar for dollar…

Dollar-panarama-704155(Like so.)

… it means we’ve actually raised over $300,000.

Needless to say, this is our best launch ever. And we’ve passed three stretch goals, including this amazing video the folks at Heifer International made to celebrate.

I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed watching a video more….

The amount of money we’ve raised is going to do an amazing amount of good. It’s enough for 15,000 flocks of chickens that will help families increase their gardens’ productivity by eating bugs, to say nothing of eggs they can eat and sell for extra income. It’s enough to provide 1,000 communities with clean water.

And this is just our first week….

*     *     *

Back when I started all this, Worldbuilders was nothing more than me desperately offering up signed books and posters in an attempt to get people to donate to my favorite charity.

These days, we have so many authors helping out. Not to mention dozens of sponsors who donate thousands of games and books for us to give away. This year, in just our first week, we have more than 850 prizes worth more than than $33,000. And for every $10 bucks you kick into the fundraiser, you get another chance to win things like this:


I will never get tired of showing off this beautiful Tak set from Wyrmwood. I’m already jealous of the person who wins it. (P.S. That person can be you if you donate.)

But even though the fundraiser is a lot bigger than me these days, I still like to do my part and throw some of my own donations into the mix.

  • Auction: My own personal Flow Hive of Shame.


As I wrote about on the blog a while back, I bought a Flow Hive.

The marketing sold me on an easy-peasy way to harvest honey without any of the usual work involved. But then I did my research and found out that if lazy, irresponsible people like me get into beekeeping, the hives can go bad and potentially do a lot of harm not only to the bees in the hive, but the whole local bee ecosystem.

So I’ve decided to auction this hive off to someone who will love it, and hopefully use it responsibly, too.

The money from this auction (and all the other auctions) will be doubled with our magical matching money. Then we’ll send it off to Heifer, where they can use it to train, educate, and buy beehives for people who will use them for extra income, honey, and to improve pollination of their gardens and crops.

If you’re interested in beekeeping and want to help me offset this bad decision, you can bid on it right here.

  • A full set of my favorite fantasy books.


(click to embiggen – Rachel had to stand on a stool to get all of them)

A few years ago, someone asked me what they should read while they were waiting for my next book. So I posted a blog listing my 40 favorite fantasy books and/or series are. Books that everyone should read if they wanted to consider themselves well-versed in fantasy.

The clever among you will note that this picture contains a lot more than 40 books. This is because I cheated and used entire series as an entry. Like the Dresden Files, which I’m absolutely gooey over. (Currently 15 books.) Or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. (38 books.)


I gave one of these away a couple of years ago, but we have another available this year. Some of these books are out of print, or at the very least VERY hard to track down. I want to bring them to as many people who haven’t had the luck to read them as possible.

So this is going into the lottery where anyone can win them so long as they donate at least $10 bucks.

  • Signed First Edition Name of the Wind. Lottery and Auction.


I still remember when I sold these online for 60 bucks and felt *really* guilty about it, like I was committing some sort of fraud.

Then came the time when we were selling them in the store for $700 each, but we had to stop because we ran out. Last year we auctioned one for $2,500. Every year people seem to be willing to pay more and more. And I can’t imagine what will happen to the price if a movie ever comes out.

Still, I have handful of them squirreled away. And for Worldbuilders, I’m willing to give up a pair. One is going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win it, other copy is going up on ebay.

  • Signed & Doodled College Survival Guide. Lottery and Auction.


These are even more of a rarity than first editions of NOTW. This is a collection of humor columns I wrote for the college paper back when I was a student. This edition is annotated, and illustrated by my longtime friend Brett Hiorns, who now works with us at Worldbuilders.

This book was put together by a small press in 2005. Back before anyone cared who Patrick Rothfuss was. There were only 500 printed, so they’re impossible to find. I’ve put two of my remaining copies into the fundraiser, one in the lottery and the other up for auction right here.

  • Signed, doodled, First Edition copies of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed. One in the lottery and one in an auction.


The Princess books are probably my favorite pet project. I worked on them with my friend Nate Taylor, who also illustrated The Slow Regard of Silent Things. We’ve been the ones printing them fora couple of years now, and they’re on their 6th or 7th printing.

These, however, are first printing copies, signed by me, and signed and doodled by Nate.

These aren’t all that easy to come by, so I’ve put one in the lottery, and the other is up for auction here.

  • One Favor from Pat Rothfuss. One in the lottery and one in an auction.

Golden Ticket Ring

I’ve auctioned off favors in the past, and it’s gone over extremely well. Here are the details:

This is a 10 karat gold ring redeemable for one (1) favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Possible uses for the favor include:

Asking Pat to insert your name/likeness into a future book or story.
Asking Pat’s assistance in wooing the object of your affection, preferably from under a balcony at night.
Asking Pat to read and critique your unpublished manuscript (or your published one, if you really want.)
Asking Pat give a reading/workshop at your local library or University.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop at your house.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop in your bedroom.
Asking Pat to help you move a particularly heavy couch.
Asking Pat to follow you on twitter and post kitten pictures to you.

This favor has no expiration date. It can be traded, transferred, sold, or lost. In essence, the ring *is* the favor. You give the ring back when you cash in your favor. So if you lose it, you’ve kinda fucked yourself.

The nature of this favor is fairly open-ended, though some negotiation may be necessary depending on the nature of the favor. Certain ethical or legal restrictions may apply (though not as many as you might expect.) Under no circumstances will Patrick dance for you. Carnal favors must be approved by Pat’s girlfriend in advance. If you win this favor in the auction, and for any reason I cannot fulfill his obligation to you, I will personally refund your winning bid in exchange for the ring.

In the past these have gone for more than $15,000. But I’m putting on into general the lottery where anyone who donates at least $10 can win it.

Or, if your dark heart is full of a desperate need for something only I can provide, you can go over here and bid.

And may god have mercy on my soul.

  • 3 Silver Court Rings – Same Place, Same Time rings. 


This is something new I’m trying out this year. Rather than continuously giving away gold rings that lay out there in the world, filled with a terrible potential to ruin my life. I commissioned some silver rings from Badali. These won’t give you any sort of favor. But if we’re in the same city, at the same convention, or somewhere convenient like that, I’ll carve out some time to grab a coffee with you, or maybe play a quick game.

Also. How fucking cool do these look? I love them. I think they turned out great.

I’ve put all three of these into the lottery, where every ten dollars you kick in gives you a chance to win.

*     *     *

  • Update on Neil Gaiman’s Stretch Goal.

Our $1 million goal is to have Neil Gaiman read to us again. And you get to vote on what he reads:



But of course, this only happens if we hit 1,000,000 dollars. So keep donating….

  • Streaming on Twitch:

As many of you already know, to help promote Worldbuilders, I’m livestreaming on my Twitch channel every day of the fundraiser.

  • Mondays: 1:00-4:00 pm CST
  • Tuesdays: 4:00-7:00 pm CST
  • Wednesdays: 4:00-7:00 pm CST
  • Thursdays: 4:00-7:00 pm CST
  • Fridays: 2:00-5:00 pm CST
  • Saturdays: 2:00-5:00 pm CST
  • Sundays: 2:00-5:00 pm CST

And when I say, “every day” what I really mean is “almost every day.” I will happily sacrifice my health and mental well-being to the fundraiser, but Sarah and the kids have requested that they have their dad back for Thanksgiving. So I’m not having scheduled streams on the 23th-25th. Though I will probably log on later in the evening those days (After 10:00 CST, when my kids are in bed.)

Also, starting today, we’re taking votes on what I should do when I’m streaming.


This is going to be a little different than last year, where winner took all.

Instead of just doing whichever option raises the most money, it’ll be based on percentages. Let’s say that Witcher raised 75% of the money for the day, Goat Simulator got 20%, and Q&A got 5%. I’ll spend 75% of the stream playing Witcher, 20% playing Goat Simulator, and 5% doing Q&A. This way, every vote counts, and everyone gets what they want, at least a little bit.

While I’m planning on continuing to play Witcher, I’m also open to suggestions of other games. I’m probably going to do a parenting Q&A stream with some other geek dads. And a Mental Health Q&A with some authors.

If you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments below.

Thanks for coming along on this ride with me, everyone. And thanks for helping make the world a better place.


Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat40 Responses

Cameos and Critiques

Today’s blog continues two of my favorite Worldbuilders traditions, professional critiques of manuscripts and people getting to make guest appearances in upcoming books.

Let’s jump right in.

  • Critiques

This is something I would’ve killed for when I was first sending the book off to publishers. The opportunity to have your manuscript read by a skilled editor, agent, or author is huge. It doesn’t just have an impact on your book, this sort of feedback can help you develop your craft as well.

We always put a bunch of these up for auction, and this year is no exception.

But even better, this year we have critiques available in the lottery, too. Back when I was in college I couldn’t have afforded an expensive auction. So now I’m delighted to give unpublished writers a chance to win a professional critique by donating to the WriMos for Worldbuidlers team page. For every $10 you donate, you’ll get the chance to win a critique, as well as all the other goodies in our prize lottery. Even better? More critiques will be added as we hit higher donation totals on that team page team.

So, if you want to jump in on that option in the lottery, donate right here. If you’d like to be a little more certain that you’ll get a critique, then this next section is for you. We have sixteen different critiques going up in the auction.

A NOTE BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: We’ve made each critique expandable here, so if you’re interested in one, you can click on it to expand out more information. PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Everyone is offering something a little different. Each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skills, and they’re each offering something different.
  • Critiques are for different lengths of manuscript. From 7,500 to 150,000 words.
  • The professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When auctions mention “X pages” of a manuscript, that’s standard manuscript format.
  • Most importantly, it’s important to realize that what you’re getting here is a critique. You’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor. You’re not winning representation with an agent. Or a foot in the door with an editor. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting writing advice from a professional.

Also, I’d just like to point out that all donations to Worldbuilders are being doubled right now. So if you were looking for an excuse to be generous. This is it…

Okay. Enough preamble. Let’s get to the auctions.

Brett Hiorns: Critique of your manuscript, up to 150,000 words.

Brett Monkey

Brett has been one of Pat’s go-to beta readers since the beginning, and was even called in as an alpha reader for Wise Man’s Fear (the book really didn’t make sense at that stage). He’s currently the voice behind a lot of the Worldbuilders website content and auction descriptions, and has done webcomic work, amusing movie reviews and plenty of longer-form horror fiction. Pat keeps pestering him to publish a book or two, but apparently he’s afraid of success.

His preferred genre is horror, but he’ll tackle fantasy and science fiction, or anything that sounds interesting. He also enjoys young adult fiction for its brevity and creativity.

Brett can help you with character voice and dialogue, concise writing, and the nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation.  He’ll also analyze pacing and the consistency of world building, and he’ll do his best to poke holes in the book’s internal logic.

The critique will include reading up to 150,000 words, marking up the margins with suggestions, corrections, and random comments.  He will also type up a detailed explanation of the manuscript’s strong points and possible weaknesses, as well as clarifications and expansions of his marginal notes.

Pat Says: Brett is one of my oldest and dearest beta readers. I can vouch for his usefulness personally, and highly recommend his services. If you want this critique, you can bid right here.


Jennifer Azantian: Critique and commentary of entire submission packet.


Jennifer Azantian is offering a detailed critique and commentary of your submission packet (query, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words). She’ll include her thoughts on pacing, impact, characterization, world-building, and more within three months of receiving your submission. Though she makes no promises, she would be a fool not to consider representing a project if it truly blows her away.

Jennifer Azantian is an agent who founded Azantian Literary in 2014 where she specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and smart psychological horror novels for middle grade, YA, and adult readers. Of particular interest are stories that explore meaningful human interactions against fantastic backdrops, underrepresented voices, obscure retold fairy tales, modernized mythologies, literary science fiction, historical fantasy, magical realism, space operas, hopeful futures, internally consistent epic fantasy, and spooky or quirky middle-grade. With that said, she loves and will read pretty much anything that’s even a little bit “weird”. You can learn more about her on the agency website: and probably far too much on Twitter: @jenazantian.

A full submission packet critique is amazing. If that interests you, bid right here.


Michael J. Martinez: Critique of up to 25,000 words of a SF/F novel.

MJM-author pic

Michael J. Martinez is the author of MJ-12: Inception, first in the MAJESTIC-12 series of paranormal Cold War spy thrillers from Night Shade Books, as well as the Daedalustrilogy of Napoleonic Era space opera novels. His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Unidentified Funny Objects 4, Geeky Giving and Vampire The Masquerade: Endless Lights.

Michael will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel (or a shorter work), including both an overall opinion on the strength of the work, thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. This doesn’t include line edits, but he’s willing to answer questions and engage in a dialogue to help make your work better!

To bid on this awesome opportunity, go here.


Brenda Cooper: Critique of SF/F story up to 12,000 words, as well as a copy of her latest collection Cracking the Sky.


Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 12,000 words. Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest collection, Cracking the Sky.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is EDGE OF DARK, which came out in March of 2015. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

Get your own critique of a short story by bidding right here.


Robert V.S. Redick: Critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript.


Rob loves all kinds of storytelling, but has a soft spot for the literary end of the SF/fantasy spectrum. He is offering a critique of the beginning of your novel (up to 20,000 words). He concentrates on providing no-nonsense, no-attitude feedback concerning structure, clarity, consistency, pacing and other fundamentals, along with comments on the work’s overall effectiveness. Most importantly, Rob is always careful to search for your intentions rather than imposing his own.

Rob is the author of The Fire Sacraments, a new epic fantasy trilogy forthcoming from Talos Books; and The Chathrand Voyage Quartet, described by Locus as “one of the most distinctive and appealing epic fantasies of the decade.” The Chathrand Voyage began with The Red Wolf Conspiracy (finalist for the Locus Award and SFX Novel Award) and concluded in February 2013 with The Night of the Swarm. He is also a seasoned writing teacher, with an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in Asheville, NC. Rob’s other passion is international conservation & justice issues. He has lived and worked all over the world, most recently Indonesia (2013-2015).

Have a rough beginning you want smoothed out? Bid here to get Robert’s help.


Cassie Alexander: Critique of your query letter, synopsis, and the first 10,000 words of your novel.

Copy of Picture

Cassie Alexander is offering a read and critique of the first 10,000 words of someone’s novel. You’re welcome to include your query letter and synopsis on top of that word count.

She’ll be critiquing for plot, pacing, readability, character arcs, voice, how well the opening works, and give overall, general impressions of the story.  All critiques will be done in MSWord via track changes, and will be done within 60 days.   

Cassie Alexander is the author of the five book Edie Spence urban fantasy series, comprised of Nightshifted, Moonshifted, Shapeshifted, Deadshifted, and Bloodshifted, and has been published in Germany, France, and the Republic of Czech. She’s an experienced workshopper, having attended Viable Paradise and Clarion West, and frequently is a writing workshop professional at conventions she attends.

Your submission packet could rock if you bid on this auction right here.


Joe Ducie: Critique of up to 100,000 words of any manuscript.


Joe Ducie will critique up to 100,000 words of any manuscript, with an eye toward YA, Urban Fantasy, or Spy/Thriller. If you’ve read his The Rig or Reminiscent Exile series, you know what you’re getting into. He’s got a knack for writing books that read like an action scene. If you’re writing a thriller or other lean, fast-paced fantasy, Joe’s opinion will help quite a bit!

Joe is a writer from Perth, Western Australia. By day, he charges a toll to cross a bridge he doesn’t own. Yet by night, in a haze of scotch-fuelled insanity, he works tirelessly on an array of stories both short and long. Joe possesses a fierce love of a smooth finish. Under no circumstances should you ask him just what that means.

Joe was born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in November 1987, and currently resides in Perth, Western Australia. He is primarily an author of urban fantasy and science fiction aimed at young adults. His current stories include Distant Star, Upon Crystal Shores, Red vs. Blue, and The Forgetful Library.

Joe attended Edith Cowan University and graduated in 2010 with a Degree of Counterterrorism, Security and Intelligence. He went back, the idiot, and completed post-graduate studies in Security Science in 2011. Joe has also studied Creative and Professional Writing at Curtin University.

When not talking about himself in the third person, Joe enjoys devouring books at an absurdly disgusting rate and sampling fine scotch.

Joe is a really cool guy, so if you want him to read your stuff, bid on the auction here.


Mike Braff: Detailed critique and commentary of the first 50 pages of your manuscript (rounded up to end of the chapter).

Mike Braff

Mike Braff is an editor at Del Rey Books and has been part of the editorial team there for the past eight years. He is in charge of the merciless slaying of enemies by battleaxe, the boarding and capturing of space craft in zero-g, and the management of a sect of magic users that secretly runs the paranormal underground in New York City. Not true, sadly, but he does love to read and acquire books about these things and other related sci-fi, fantasy, and urban fantasy topics.

Though he’s from New York originally, Mike once went to Canada for a few years to study Comparative Religion and World History at McGill University (BA ’07). Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) the course of study proved useful when acquiring and editing fantastic stories for Del Rey, where Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Pierce Brown, Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, Alan Smale, Sylvain Neuvel and Indra Das, among many other talented authors. He lives in Brooklyn with a rescued pit bull named Ruby, adorable pictures of whom will be provided in abundance upon request.

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (rounded up to the end of the last chapter). This is not a line edit, but Mike will get back to you within 90 days of receiving your manuscript with an editorial letter detailing his thoughts and suggestions.

Want a real life editor to read your manuscript? Bid for the chance here.


Joshua Palmatier: 7500 word short story critique.


Joshua Palmatier (co­editor of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR­BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY and the Zombies Need Brains anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS, TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, ALIEN ARTIFACTS, and WERE) will read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. He will write a general evaluation of the story and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points in the short story.

Joshua Palmatier ( has had eight dark, epic fantasy novels published, the most recent by called THREADING THE NEEDLE from DAW, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited six anthologies with Patricia Bray.. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (, which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

Joshua has requested that you send him your manuscript no later than July 1, 2017.

Have a short story that you want feedback on? You can bid right here.


Joshua Palmatier AGAIN: Critique of the first 100 pages of your novel.


Joshua Palmatier (DAW Books author of the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy, SHATTERING THE LEY, and THREADING THE NEEDLE) will read and evaluate the first 100 pages of your novel within 3 months of submission. The manuscript must be in standard manuscript format (typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font, etc). He will write a general evaluation of the novel’s opening and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points of the manuscript.

Joshua Palmatier ( has had eight dark, epic fantasy novels published, the most recent by called THREADING THE NEEDLE from DAW, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited six anthologies with Patricia Bray. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (, which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

Get your novel critiqued by Joshua by bidding right here.


Jaime Lee Moyer: Critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel.


Jaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet and editor. Jaime is the author of Delia’s Shadow (Tor, September 2013),  A Barricade In Hell (Tor, June 2014) and Against A Brightening Sky (October 2015). Delia’s Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction, administered by Thurber House and funded by the Columbus Art Council, and is nominated for the Salt Lake County Libraries Reader’s Choice Award. She doesn’t take herself nearly as seriously as those credits imply. Jaime’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Lone Star Stories, and two of the well-respected Triangulations anthologies. She was the editor of the 2010 Rhysling Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and a poetry and short fiction editor for a semi-pro zine for five years. Jaime is the current editor for the Online Writing Workshop For Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror monthly newsletter. For a short period of time she read slush for a literary agent, and has critiqued more novels and short stories than she wants to count.

Jaime Lee Moyer is offering a read and critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel. While she won’t line edit for grammar, she will comment on plot, pacing, character arc, voice, how well the “hook” or opening works, how well the story sustains her interest, and give overall, general impressions of the story. Critique will be done in MSWord via track changes, but please use a readable font and double-space your work. The critique will be returned to you within three months, edit letters and deadlines allowing.

If you’ve got a finished novel, get it critiqued by Jaime by bidding here.


Django Wexler: Critique of up to 10,000 words of an SF/F novel or story.


Django Wexler is the author of The Shadow Campaigns series and The Forbidden Library, so he knows just a little about what makes a story compelling. He’s donated his time to read and critique up to 10,000 words of your novel or short story to let you know his opinions on style and pacing, characterization, what works, and what might need tweaking. This is a great chance to get some advice from one of the pros!

Django graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

Want your novel critiqued by Django? Click here to bid.


Kevin Hearne: Critique of up to 15,000 words of your novel or story.


Kevin Hearne is delighted to offer a critique of up to 15,000 words. His review will focus on issues of plot and character, and provide observations regarding dialogue, pacing, and much more. You’ll hear what works and what needs work.

Kevin is the author of the NYT-bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles and has an epic fantasy coming out in 2017 from Del Rey called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

If you want Kevin to read your manuscript, you can bid for the chance right here.


Pat Rothfuss (me): Critique of your manuscript, up to 150,000 words.

Kvothe Doll Pat Squee

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 150,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. Or we could do a Google+ hangout. Or, if you live close, we can get together and chat over coffee.

I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll chat for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have. Then I’ll mail you back the manuscript with my notes on it.

If you wanna bid on this, you can do it right here.


  • Copy Edits and Fact Checking

This is slightly different than a critique of your manuscript, and so we’ve separated it out a bit.

A copy edit is a really big deal, and honestly something that most people don’t think about. Most authors don’t get this chance until their book has already sold, but it makes a huge difference in the readability of a manuscript.

Richard Shealey: Copy edit of a fantasy/science fiction manuscript.


Richard Shealy will provide the service of copy-editing your novel-length manuscript OR short story + pitch. He only does Fantasy and Science Fiction, so please make sure that’s what you write! This copy edit includes typo correction, continuity observation, voice/character consistency, context-appropriate grammar adjustment, and fact-checking where needed. Upon the auciton completion, we’ll get the winner in touch with Richard to establish what sort of manuscript he’ll be working on and to get the ball rolling.

Please note: Richard is booked solid for the rest of the year, so the copyedit will happen in mid-to-late 2017.

Richard Shealy has been a reader of SF/F as long as he can remember, and he finally figured out he might make a living from that by combining it with his horrifyingly enormous word-nerdery. In his still relatively new career (he started in this racket less than four years ago), he already has had the enormous pleasure and honor to work with a number of authors and editors from across multiple spectra, not to mention becoming completely certain that he has found his dream job (seriously, people pay you to nitpick their babies?). He tweets occasionally from his own Twitter account, but far more prolifically in the guise of his alter ego. Caveat: Taking anything seriously from the alter ego is a massive waste of time.

If a copy edit is the thing you’re searching for, search no further and bid here.


  • Tuckerizations

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.

We have ten tuckerizations available below, but they’re all a little different, so read carefully.

Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: Your name in the final installment of THE ILLUMINAE FILES.


You are bidding on a tuckerization in the final installment of the NYT Bestselling science fiction trilogy, THE ILLUMINAE FILES. The name that will be featured in the book must be your own legal birthname, not your WoW character’s name or something silly like “Seymour Butts”. The authors reserve the right to reject your birthname for inclusion in their novel, should it be something as mind-bendingly unfortunate as “Seymour Butts”. Sorry, Seymour.

You will be expected to sign a legal disclaimer giving us permission to use your name.

There is an excellent chance your namesake will die in this book. Horribly. Probably in the cold belly of space. While screaming. The authors and their publishers accept no responsibility for any emotional trauma that may result from your fictional doppleganger’s awful demise, or any horrible shit they might get up to before they die. You could end up being a villain who lights orphanages on fire. You could be the kind who kills puppies for sport. You could be an interstellar version of Ramsay Bolton. We don’t know yet, you’re just going to have to trust us now and live with it afterward.

Jay and Amie

You can bid on this auction right here.


Brian McClellan: Maybe get killed in a POWDER MAGE novel.


I’ll work your name and a brief description into a POWDER MAGE novel as a minor character that will have at least a few lines. I may tweak the name to make it fit better with the world, but it’ll be you (or the person of your choice). Violent death is optional.

Bidding is open right here.


April White: Name a character in a new series! The more you pay, the bigger your role!


Name a character in book one of a brand new series from the author of The Immortal Descendants time travel fantasies. Ringo, the charmingly clever street urchin who traveled through history with Saira Elian, a Descendant of Time, is getting his own spin-off series. He begins book one as the guest of Oscar Wilde at a fateful meeting with Arthur Conan Doyle, and with the skills of his otherworld-seeing friend, Charlie, finds himself at the heart of a mystery in Victorian London.

The winning bidder of this Tuckerization auction will have the honor of naming a character (and providing an identifying characteristic or two) in book one of Ringo’s series. In the event the winning bid is higher than $250, that character will have a significant interaction with Ringo. If it goes higher than $400, that character will become a major contributor to the story.

To find out more about Ringo, download book one of The Immortal Descendants series – Marking Time, by April White – and follow his adventures through history.

Interested? Bid right here.


Joe Ducie: Become a character in a new espionage thriller, and get a signed manuscript & first edition when it's done.


I’m offering to name a character in my upcoming espionage/spy/thriller novel after you, a friend, family member, whatever you’d like. We’ll iron out the finer details together, but a few solid names are up for grabs. I still need to formally name the main antagonist, who will be a recurring character throughout the series, and is quite villainous. I’ve got the plucky sidekick in need of naming. A whole slew of characters who need properly naming in the protagonist’s team of rough-around-the-edge heroes.

I’ll send you a signed manuscript and first edition copy of the completed novel – these books are due to hit shelves around late 2017.

If being in a spy thriller is up your alley, you can bid right here.


Joe Ducie AGAIN: Name a character in a new YA fanatasy, again with signed manuscript & first edition on completion.


If Sci-Fi/Fantasy is more your game, I’ll stick you in my next YA release about a magical library for lost and wayward, dimension-hopping, pocket world exploring, teenagers. Fair warning that one is rife with awkward love hexagons and brooding antagonists who are really just misunderstood.

I’ll send you a signed manuscript and first edition copy of the completed novel – these books are due to hit shelves around late 2017.

Sound awesome? You can bid right here.


Bradley P. Beaulieu: Become a character in THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS! The more you pay, the bigger your role!

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one Tuckerization for inclusion in his brand new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands. The character will appear in in Book 3 of the Shattered Sands series, and may live beyond those pages.

In the event that this auction breaks $500, I will elevate the character from a minor character to a character of some import. In the event that this auction breaks $1,000, I will ensure that the character either dies in a spectacular way or performs some major, selfless, heroic act.

Please see the auction description for the full details.

Does this sound epic or what? Check it out and bid right here.


William Alexander: Get your name in the sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.


William Alexander’s next novel, A Properly Unhaunted Place, is about ghost appeasement specialist librarians. Peter S. Beagle makes a brief cameo. But you don’t. You aren’t in that book. You could be in the sequel, though. Bid for the chance to see your name in print, but please note that wonderful and/or terrible things are likely to happen to your fictional self.

Want in with the likes of Peter S. Beagle? Bid right here.


Shawn Speakman: Name a character in The Everwinter Wraith.


Next year, I will publish The Everwinter Wraith, the sequel to my debut novel,The Dark Thorn, which has been reviewed as a cross between Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Terry Brooks’s Word/Void series. For this year’s Worldbuilders, I am offering a tuckerization for The Everwinter Wraith! The novel takes place in our world as well as in Annwn, giving us the opportunity to put your real name into the story in our world or creating a fantasy name and putting you in Annwn.  If you’d like to have your name and physical description written into the story, you have to bid and win this auction!

Want to know what kind of story you are getting yourself into before you bid? Write me at and I’ll send you an EPUB of The Dark Thorn or any of the short stories set in the Annwn Cycle series!

You should really check this out. Bid right here.


Kevin Hearne: Get included in an IRON DRUID story in the Besieged anthology.


Kevin will use your full name in one of his new Iron Druid short stories to be included in the collection BESIEGED, out July 11 2017. You might be in California during the Gold Rush. You might be in modern day Poland. You may survive, or you may die a spectacularly gory death.

Kevin is the author of the NYT-bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles and has an epic fantasy coming out in 2017 from Del Rey called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

Wanna hang out with Atticus? Bid here.


Mary Robinette Kowal: Be included in an upcoming piece, plus receive 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.

Want this awesome prize? Bid right here.


So, we’ve got a lot of options for you there, folks. Take your time, click around, and see what option tickles your fancy the most. Maybe make a list of the top 3. These auctions will be ending at slightly different times, so if you miss out on one, you can still go for another.

And if all of them slip past you, don’t forget that you could win a manuscript critique in the lottery if you donate to the WriMos for Worldbuilders team page. All hope is not lost.

More coming soon…


Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat8 Responses
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