Tag Archives: Cory Doctorow

Games, Books, and a Video from Neil Gaiman

On Wednesday afternoon, Worldbuilders crossed the $600,000 mark on our fundraiser.

On Wednesday night, this happened:

neil jabberwocky tweets(There are some days I almost believe I’m one of the cool kids.)

Then, early yesterday morning, this happened:

Thank you, everyone for donating.

Thank you Neil for being your lovely, generous, kindhearted self.

We’ve got four days left in this year’s fundraiser, where every $10 you donate to Heifer International on our team page gives you the chance to win thousands of cool books and games in our lottery. (You can calculate the exact odds of winning something using the widget above.)

Now, on to today’s additions to the fundraiser. First the games:

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Munchkin is all of the fun of playing D&D with a lot more snark, sarcasm, and backstabbing. Plus, it’s a lot simpler, and you get to fight the Dread Gazebo.

If you’ve never played Munchkin, you really really should. These are all going into the lottery, so if you choose to receive games as a prize option when you donate, you might just get the chance.

  • Auction: Munchkin Game with signed Luggage Card

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In case you already know and love Munchkin, let’s sweeten the deal by adding the rare promotional Luggage card, signed and doodled by John Kovalic and signed by Steve Jackson. The Luggage, from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, is a semi-intelligent trunk with lots of little feet that acts as both luggage and bodyguard for the clueless, hapless, and a few other -lesses tourist, Twoflower. Twoflower eventually gives it to Rincewind, and along those lines, the Luggage in Munchkin will bounce from player to player depending on dice rolls.

Of course, just like in the book, you can never really get rid of it.

The Luggage card is *very* rare, so we’re auctioning it off with a signed copy of the game over here.

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This game is a nice twist to your traditional deck building game. In addition to buying and using new cards, the segments that make up the game board get removed from one side and added to the other during play, giving a videogame-like side scrolling feel, and challenging players to remain aware of things that had been visible and aren’t any longer.

Coolest thing of all? This game isn’t even out yet, so if you donate and win it in the lottery, you’ll be able to taunt your friends.

  • Auction: Hardcover copy of Magic the Gathering: Complete Collection. Signed by Matt Forbeck.

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This book contains 16 issues of the IDW “Dack Fayden” comic series, and it’s signed by Matt Forbeck with a sweet Worldbuilders inscription to boot. If you’re even a little into MTG worldbuilding, this is right up your alley.

You know you want it, so go bid on it here.

  • Copies of  Quarantine, including the First Aid Expansion. Signed by Mark Klassen.

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While the gameplay and rules are simple, this game will never be played the same way twice. Players are trying to build the biggest and most efficient hospital while taking care of the patients as they arrive and preventing those patients from spreading disease through the hospital.

Hospitals are built with an interesting “price-drafting” mechanic that requires some serious strategy to get the rooms you want for a reasonable price without losing them to the other players.

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Level 99 games is one of our newest sponsors, and we’re excited to have them. This game is a bit of a rarity as it’s two gaming elements I’ve never seen combined before. It’s a character-driven game with a physical element, so dexterity actually plays a part in your success.

All of these are going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win a copy.

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Here we have a real-time card game that simulates a chaotic bar brawl. It’s a simple game to pick up, but can be played as strategically or casually as the group wants. It’s all the fun of a bar fight without having to worry about the bloody knuckles! These are going into the lottery as well….

  • Auction: Full Name of the Wind Poker Box Set: 2 card covers, all 3 playing card decks, 300 poker chips, and a signed bookplate, all in a heavy wooden display case.

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This was a Kickstarter-exclusive item, so there’s nowhere to get them any more. Well… except from me, because I bought a few extras and hoarded them.

We put a few into our IndieGoGo fundraiser over the summer, where they sold out really quickly for 600 bucks each. Since then we’ve had more than a couple people come asking if there’s any other way they can get hold of one.

To see more detailed pictures of my chips, box, and other art, you can head over here.

  • Auction: Rare Tyranny of Dragons Pinny Arcade Pin.

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Some events at PAX will get you cool, rare pins. This one is from 2014. You got one if you attended the live show of Acquisitions Incorporated. I traded to get an extra one, and we’re auctioning it off over here.

  • A full set of Cards Against Humanity.

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I kind of assume all of you already know about CAH. It’s described as “A party game for horrible people” and that really says it all. I’ve played this game many, many times, always with horrifying and hilarious results.

What some folks don’t know is that folks at CAH are as lovely as their game is fun and horrible. They do a lot of charitable work, and happily donated two full sets of their game to us this year. (The base game, expansions 1-5, the 90’s pack, the 2012 and the 2013 holiday packs, and The Bigger Blacker Box.)

Due to the nature of this game… we’re probably going to call the winner before we put it in the mail. If you’ve played it, you know why.

  • Auction: The full set of CAH, including rare add-on packs and pins.

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This set has everything above, *plus* four of the rare, hard-to-come by expansion packs that only tend to get handed out at special events.

As an added bonus, I’m throwing in my own personal set of the pins they gave away at PAX Prime this year. You won’t see many of those around….

Head over here for more details, or to place your bids.

And now some lovely books. Some of these are going up for auction, but many of them are going into the lottery instead where if you donate, you can win them.

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I am a big fan of  The Oatmeal’s work. And if you’re not, you should be.

This year The Oatmeal (Matt) donated a bunch of stuff to the fundraiser, so we’re putting 4 of his books together in a bundle for you in the lottery.

The books are 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, How to Tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, and My Dog: The Paradox.

With titles like that, how could you *not* be intrigued?

  • A bundle of coolness from The Oatmeal: I <3 Tesla mug, I <3 Tesla Pin, and a rare signed original printing of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth.

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We’ve also got a different Oatmeal bundle going into the lottery that has a mug, pin, and the much-more rare edition of Punch a Dolphin. This edition was printed before The Oatmeal started to make it big, so it’s a bit of a collector’s item.

One of these is going to a lucky winner in the lottery, but we’re putting a second set up for auction over here for those of you who want to get a hold of this rare early version of his book

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This YA novel won the 2012 Young Writers Prize. It’s an up and comer, and doing pretty well for itself. Plus, it’s written by a long time fan, our very own Captain Joe, winner of the previous photo contest and all-around awesome person.

Joe also pitched in a handmade quill from his desk, which is up for auction, but these copies of his book are going into the lottery.

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This is a great steampunk series, and Liesel was kind enough to send a signed ARC of the first book for the fundraiser. It’d be awesome to receive if you’ve never read it before, or if you’re a huge fan and want to start a collection, so we’ve got it in the lottery for you.

“Schwarz’s debut blossoms with possibilities for a future hinging on the brave and determined Elle, who both loves science and wields Light’s magic” – Publishers Weekly

  • Two Hundred and  Twenty-One Baker Streets: An Anthology of Holmesian Tales Across Time and Space. Signed by Jamie Wyman.

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Here’s a fun little anthology, which allowed authors to write about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in any time or place they’d like. There are stories all over the world, written from all different points of view, and lots of other twists you wouldn’t expect.

  • Auction: Unveiled. Signed by Jamie Wyman and comes with two bookmarks and two challenge coins.

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This is a signed copy of book 2 in Jamie’s Etudes in C# series, and comes with a couple of thematically-appropriate challenge coins..

“Quirky, unique, fast-paced, and with enough geek homages to make me feel at home, it’s a Puck-load of fun.” – Delilah S. Dawson

If you want to bid on the coolness, you can do so over here.

  • A set of The Portals Series: Heart of Briar and Soul of Fire. Both signed by Laura Anne Gilman.

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Laura Anne Gilman is a longtime supporter of Worldbuilders, so we’re happy to be putting her books into the lottery. As it is, her Deadline Cat is up for auction for those of you who love her work and need a little help dealing with deadlines of your own.

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Charitable work seems to come pretty naturally for Eric. All of the royalties he receives from sales of this book are donated to his local food bank. He inscribed these for Worldbuilders, so you’ll be reminded of both charitable actions. All it takes for the chance is your own $10 charitable donation

  • Copies of Little Brother. Signed and inscribed by Cory Doctorow.

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I want to gush about this book, but Neil Gaiman has written one of the most beautiful blurbs for it I’ve ever seen.

“A wonderful, important book…I’d recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I’ve read this year, and I’d want to get it into the hands of as many smart thirteen-year-olds, male and female, as I can. Because I think it’ll change lives.  Because some kids, maybe just a few, won’t be the same after they’ve read it. Maybe they’ll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it’ll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they’ll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they’ll want to open their computer and see what’s in there. I don’t know. It made me want to be thirteen again right now, and reading it for the first time.” – Neil Gaiman.

They’re all in the lottery, to spread the love as much as possible.

  • A copy of Stardust. Signed and doodled by Neil Gaiman.

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This copy of Stardust was donated by some awesome fans. Even if you don’t win the Fabled Stardust ARC, you might get your hands on this awesome-and-doodled copy, since it’s in the lottery as well.

  • Copies of Angels & Visitations. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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We’re tossing one of these awesome, illustrated collections of short stories into the lottery.

This collection has some of Gaiman’s earliest writing in it.  It was published before American GodsNeverwhere, even Smoke and Mirrors, and it was published by Dreamhaven. This is the only place you can find some of his non-fiction from the late 80s and early 90s.

There’s also a copy up for auction, since these are fairly collectible. If you want it, you can bid here.

  • Sets of novellas: Emperor’s Soul and limited edition Legion. Both signed by Brandon Sanderson.

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Brandon’s novellas are great, and these are both stand-alone or first in a series. Legion is one of only 1000 limited editions from Subterranean Press, as well, so it’s a great kit for reading up on some Sanderson.

We’ve also got a set up for auction, so you can bid on those over here.

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Many of you know about Malala Yousafzai already, but for those who don’t: she has been championing women’s rights, human rights, and education since she was 11 years old, writing blogs and giving interviews  She rose to worldwide fame after an assassination attempt in 2012 that left her in critical condition.

After she recovered, she went back to doing her thing again, except twice as hard as before.

She is a bit of a hero of mine. Someone shot her in the head for speaking out, and she got back up and kept trying to change the world.

I’m happy to say that Ms. Yousafzai collected her first Nobel prize just last Wednesday. We’re auctioning off a signed, first edition copy of her book over here.

*     *     *

Ending this blog with Malala Yousafzai, makes me realize I haven’t talked about one of my favorite things that Heifer does.

Heifer International - Bangladesh. January 2013. Increasing Community Capacity for Holistic Development (ICCHD) Project –I  (Project # 22-0620-08).  Bangladesh, which is a county about the size of Iowa, has around 162 million people.  Nearly 43 percent o

Heifer helps young girls get to go to school.

If your family is poor enough that food is hard to come by, you can’t even consider paying for school fees and books. If a family can only afford to send one child to school, they will almost always choose a boy over a girl. In some places, schooling isn’t even considered for women.

And personally, I think that sucks. If you haven’t noticed, most of the Worldbuilders team is composed of women, and the only reason this whole shindig happens is because of them. They’ve turned this fundraiser from a hot mess of catastrophe-curve enthusiasm into something that works. I never could do this without them.

I think about Malala, and my sister, and Charlotte from the video I posted in yesterday’s blog. I think about my mom. I wish you all could have met her. She remains one of the most generous, kind, and *capable* people I’ve ever known….

And then I think: what would these women have been like if they’d been denied an education because of prejudice or poverty?

Honestly? It horrifies me to think of it. I don’t want to live in that world. Beyond that, I wouldn’t be the person I am if my mother hadn’t raised me. And she wouldn’t have grown into the person she was if she’d never had the chance to go to school.

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Heifer International has long understood that the best way to create sustainable growth is through teaching, and for $275, you can send a young girl to school. $275 dollars gives gives a family the tools, livestock, and training so that they can generate enough income to pay for their daughter’s school fees and supplies.

And that’s not just for a year of school. What Heifer provides a family doesn’t just last, it grows. Chickens produce more chickens. Goats produce more goats. That means that all the years and years to come that family will have the money to pay for tuition, books, paper and uniforms. That one time donation sends a girl to school forever.

Remember Malala Yousafzai up there? One of the reasons someone tried to kill her is because her family runs a chain of schools in a region that frowns on the education of women. Hell, that wins the award for my biggest understatement ever. People went looking for her and shot her in the head so they could send the clear message that women shouldn’t be educated.

Heifer International is changing those attitudes.

With the help of Heifer’s education programs, we’re working to change how people view the value of education for everyone. Ms. Yousafzai is fighting for an important cause. And I’m proud to be part of that fight.

You can be part of it too.

Donate here.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat7 Responses

Graphic Novels and Beautiful Books

So while I was off in Seattle for a quick trip, we hit our 500,000 dollar stretch goal.

Which means this is happening:

Yeah. The delightful Brothers Chaps over at Homestar Runner are going to put together a full-length video of Strong Bad (re)writing and reading that beloved children’s classic, The Ocelot and The Porridge Maiden. I think Hans Christian Anderson wrote the original version of that one late in his life when he was addicted to cough syrup. 

Needless to say, this is pretty cool for me. As I’ve been a fan of Homestar for nigh unto a decade.

If you don’t understand why this is cool, you should probably head over here and browse around.

Those of you who do understand why it’s cool: Spread the word.

And now, today’s books

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  • Copies of In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. Signed and inscribed to Worldbuilders by Cory Doctorow.

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Everything about the description of this book made Amanda want it. MMORPGs? Yes. Cover blurb by Felicia Day? Awesome. An honest and beautiful take on poverty, culture clash, and adolescence? Abso-freaking-lutely.

“A lovely graphic novel for gamer girls of all ages.” – Felicia Day

“The combination of girls-only gaming; gorgeous, stylized artwork; and a meaningful, sophisticated message about online gaming makes this a surefire hit for readers everywhere, especially girls.” – Booklist, starred review

Normally we don’t put two blurbs up for books, but this one seems to warrant it.

We have several copies of this, most are going into the lottery, but we’re also putting one up for auction, so you can bid on that over here.

  • Copies of Through the Woods. Signed and doodled by Emily Carroll.

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I read this book a couple nights ago, and honestly? It kinda freaked me out.

And I mean that in the best possible way. These stories were unsettling. Unnerving. I read it before going to bed, and after I finished it, it had given me too much of a wiggins, and I had to read something else before I could turn off the light and get some sleep. Seriously. I’m 40 years old, and this book *got* to me.

Simply said, I *loved* this book. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve read all year.

Before you think to yourself, “I don’t want to read anything that causes a great brimful font man-toughness like Rothfuss to flip his shit.” Let me share with you what one of the worldbuilders team had to say about this book:

“I’ve loved Em Carroll for years, ever since I read ‘His Face All Red’ – that particular story still sticks with me and gives me the shivers in the best way possible. Her haunting stories could scare the pants off the most hardened hearts (which I definitely am not), and the beautiful artwork just makes the words all the more chilling. Even if you don’t like scary things, go buy this. I scare easier than a cute kitten and I still loved Through The Woods.”

The copies we have are signed and doodled in them by the author/illustrator. Most are going into the lottery, but we’re putting one up for auction, so if you want to see some of the art, or bid on it, you can head over here.

This year, faboo publisher First Second Books sent us some graphic novels as well…

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I’ve enjoyed a lot of Box Brown’s work over the years, so I was excited to see this book included in First Second’s donations. Plus, who doesn’t want to know more about Andre the Giant?

“Larger-than-average André the Giant had a larger-than-life personality to match, and award-winning cartoonist Brown manages to capture the legendary wrestler’s career in charming, heartfelt black-and-white panels.” – Booklist

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“Expect readers to clamor for the next installments of this.” – Kirkus Reviews

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“A sort of Games of Thrones for the younger set, this epic adventure is filled with battles, swords, and ancestors showing up as ghosts and zombies … Giallongo’s artwork is gorgeous, filled with rich colors that capture the wildness of the mountain. He gives even the faces of passing animals complex emotions.” – Publishers Weekly

  • Copies of Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff.

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It’s great to see a series with a strong and adventurous heroine, and from the looks of this book we’ll get that and more.

“… destined to join the ranks of such classic duos as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A scrumptious Turkish delight.” – School Library Journal

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I read this comic last year, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was the first project of a new publisher: Improper Books.

Simply said, I dug it. And after they read my gushy review about it online, the folks in charge sent some along to the fundraiser. They’re cool like that.

“Porcelain is a gorgeous, gothic fever dream, beautiful and terrifying and funny and sad all at once. It is also that precious rarity, a perfect comic.” – Lev Grossman

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These come from my very own collection. As I’ve mentioned before in the blog, I love Girl Genius and I love all of you, so it seemed only fitting to bring those things together.

As it says above, these are signed, so we’re auctioning them off over here.

  • Sets of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth and How to Tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. Punch a Dolphin is signed and doodled by The Oatmeal.

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I did a signing with Matt Inman (also known as The Oatmeal) a while back, and it was a blast. He let me touch his Tesla (which isn’t a euphemism) and I was delighted to discover that he’s as delightful in person as his writing might suggest.

He was kind enough to send us some copies of his books, so we put one set into the lottery for all of y’all to enjoy. And another set up for auction, where you can bid with gleeful abandon.

Books from Dreamhaven.

Last but not least, we’ve got some lovely stuff from Dreamhaven Books. Dreamhaven is a bookstore (and publisher) located in the Twin Cities, and they’ve been supporting Worldbuidlers for ages. They also are Neil Gaiman’s go-to bookstore since he has a house so close to there, and because of that they carry a lot of exclusive and otherwise cool Gaiman items, some of which are included down below…

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Greg is the owner of Dreamhaven, and he’s put together a collection of stories about bookstores. Something that’s close to our hearts. This is the original hardcover printing with more than 5 bookstore-centered stories, and an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

  • Hardcover, first edition copies of The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady.

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This is a collection of short stories by the Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author Jack Cady, who passed away back in 2004.

Greg discovered a box full of first edition copies, and sent them all along to us. They’re hard to come by, many of you will have the chance to win them in the lottery if you donate to Heifer International on our the team page.

  • Auction: A hardcover copy of The Best American Comics 2010. Edited and signed by Neil Gaiman.

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The Best American Comics series invites a guest editor every year to choose the best comics from graphic novels, pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, mini-comics, and the Internet. Back in 2010, Neil was asked, and it created an awesome collection.

“It’s hard to flip through this book without finding a lot worth reading (and rereading).” – The Onion, A.V. Club

If you want to add this to your collection, or just want to read what Neil thought were the best comics of the year 2010, bid over here.

  •  Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion by Neil Gaiman.

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Published in 1988, this is one of Gaiman’s earlier works. It’s a great examination of the Hitchhiker’s Guide universe and all that surrounds it.

“Definitely a devotee’s book, Don’t Panic operates on several levels at once. The book pokes hilarious fun at the tell-all books by cult heroes as well as at the industry that inevitably grows up around phenomenal successes like Douglas Adams’s bizarre, witty radio series and ensuing novels.” – Publishers Weekly

  • 50 copies of Now We are Sick: An Anthology of Nasty Verse edited by Neil Gaiman and Stephen Jones.

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“Slick, gross, humorous, wry, slanted, poignant, moving, vomit-inducing and great, great fun . . . If you have the same warped sense of black humor as I do, then this is a definite must.” – Starburst

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Neil Gaiman worked on the reboot of this series and made it entirely his own. There’s also beautiful art within the series by John Romita Jr, who’s done a lot of other great work for Marvel. This includes a gallery of all the original comic covers, Romita’s character sketches, and Neil’s original pitch to Marvel for the project.

“Gaiman’s storytelling savvy combined with Romita’s distinct and compelling artwork makes this omnibus collection of all seven Eternal comic books an absolute must-have for all those who call themselves comic book fans.” – B&N Review

There are also two copies (one of each cover) up for auction, so you can bid on the green cover over here, and the comic cover over here.

  • 20 copies each of Telling Tales and Speaking in Tongues CDs, both by Neil Gaiman.

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These are a bit more rare. They were published Dreamhaven Books, which makes them extra cool, and also means that’s really the only place you can get them easily.

Or, you could donate some money to the Team Page and have a chance to win them while making the world suck less.

  • Rare, limited edition, slipcased copies of Anansi Boys. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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Everybody here in the office is coveting this book.

This is a super-rare and beautiful edition of Anansi Boys, featuring some great artwork. Aside from the book itself being full of awesome, there’s a companion notebook containing all sorts of goodies: an interview with Neil, his original outline, deleted scenes, manuscript pages…

We’ve got one going into the lottery, and another up for auction, over here.

* * *

We’ve unlocked some great stretch goals in the last week or so, so be sure to swing by the Worldbuilders website to check them out.

One of the ones we passed recently is a livestream of a day in the office here at Worldbuilders HQ. It’s going to be tomorrow, Tuesday, December 9 and we’ll probably start it around 12pm CST so that folks can tune in during the day or in the evening when they get home. We’ll definitely be here late that day, so be prepared to see us in all of our frantic glory as we get everything ready for the final days of the fundraiser. We can’t promise to be as cute as something like a Panda Cam, but the team does tend to flail around almost as much as baby pandas, so there’s that.

I’ll be in the office helping out (or at least trying to), and in the evening I’ll be having an AMA on Reddit, so we’ll be hanging out and answering questions while that goes on as well.

We’ve got 8 days left, folks. Help us spread the word so we can end things with a bang….

Posted in graphic novels, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat7 Responses
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