Tag Archives: David Anthony Durham

Signed Books from Awesome Authors

 

This is a Worldbuilders Blog.

Okay. Before we look at today’s books, I’m going to tell a little story. Because that’s what I do.

The truth is, yesterday I was right on the edge of burning out on the fundraiser. I was running on about two hours of sleep, worried about the holidays, and stressed because I’m behind on about fifty different things.

I don’t talk about it a lot, but it takes a lot of frantic behind-the-scenes juggling to make Worldbuilders happen, and even with the great team that helps run things, it can get a little overwhelming at times.

So there I was, exhausted, trudging through an interview I’m doing with Fantasy Lit about the fundraiser, the calendar, and what Heifer International is all about, when I draw a blank, and can’t remember if a flock of chicks costs 20 bucks, or 30.

So I wander over to Heifer’s website, into the “Gift Catalog” section, and I see that they’ve added stuff since I’ve been there last time. You can still give money for goats and baby ducks, but now I see “The Gift of Clean Water – $300.”

I click on it, and I see this picture.

And I just start to cry.

Now I’d like to claim it’s because I was worn down and low on sleep. But that wouldn’t be the truth. Ever since Oot was born, I’ve become incredibly soppy, and I cry the drop of a hat whenever I’m confronted with stories about kids.

My mom used to be like that. We’d see a telephone commercial where a kid calls home for Christmas, and she’d get all weepy. I’d roll my eyes at her and say, “It’s a *phone* commercial, mom.” And she’d laugh, saying, “You don’t know what it’s like.”

Now I know what it’s like.

I mean, look at that kid. He’s like, “Yeah! Clean water! This is AWESOME!”

And you know what? It is awesome. It’s the best thing I’ve seen all day.

There’s something else I haven’t seen on Heifer’s page: “Family Farm Care Package – $72.”

So I click on it.

The description reads:

“This gift will help a struggling family boost the productivity of their farm and increase their income. Training in soil conservation, irrigation and marketing will be combined with seeds, saplings or livestock so smallholder farmers around the world can transform their failing farms into dependable livelihoods”

I probably spent half an hour wandering around the Heifer site, looking at pictures. Afterwards, I didn’t feel burned out at all. I felt excited about getting back into the fundraiser.

So I figured I’d share some of the pictures with you. Just to remind you what we’re *really* doing here. When you donate on the Worldbuilder’s Team Page, you’re not just signing up to win some cool books. You’re making the world a better place.

And if you’re wondering, a flock of baby chicks is only $20.

Ah fuck. I’m crying again.

Let’s look at today’s books so I can get control of myself, okay?

*     *     *

Today we’ve got another batch of books donated directly from the authors themselves.

I love it when authors send us books, because they always show up signed. And sometimes, as we can see below, they show up signed PLUS…

  • A first edition copy of The Night Circus. Signed and doodled by Erin Morgenstern.

I’ve never met Erin personally, but she was cool enough to send along some first-edition hardcovers of her bestselling debut novel: The Night Circus. What’s more, she clearly cares about the cause because she took the time to doodle a little kitten sitting on the text of the copyright page, stars doodled all over the place, plus her beautiful signature and a rubber stamp of the circus tent.  It’s awesome.

“Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book.” – Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife

  • Auction: A first edition copy of The Night Circus. Signed by Erin Morgenstern. Includes pen drawings and a rubber stamp from the author.

Because Erin was nice enough to send us a couple of these, we figured we’d put one up in an auction, too.

“Brilliantly detailed worldbuilding and complicated characters makes this an engrossing read.” –Laura Anne Gilman

“You know you’ve always wanted to read about an angry vampire slicing other vampires in half with a katana. Don’t deny it. –  Heather Watson

  • A hardcover copy of Wheel of the Infinite. Signed by Martha Wells.

“The vividly imagined Celestial Empire’s peril is made all the more dramatic by the characters’ sarcastic, reasonable conversations, and by their very human responses to inhuman dangers; there is real reading pleasure here.” – Publishers Weekly

  • A set of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea. Signed by Martha Wells.

“Wells merrily ignores genre conventions as she spins an exciting adventure around an alien hero who anyone can identify with.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • The Wizard HuntersThe Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods.  Signed by Martha Wells.

“A vastly entertaining and refreshingly different fantasy adventure with a surprisingly satisfying conclusion.” – Locus

“James Calbraith’s writing is reminiscent of a classic, epic fantasy – immersive, and detailed to the letter. The real-world cultures he draws from are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements he sprinkles in between. An intriguing and impressive series.” – Ben Galley

“Durham has created a richly detailed alternate reality leavened with a dollop of magic and populated by complicated personalities grappling with issues of freedom and oppression.” – Publishers Weekly

  • A set of Never Never StoriesMillion Writers Award: The Best Online Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Million Writers Award: The Best New Online Voices.  Signed by Jason Sanford.

“If you’re new to [Sanford’s stories] then this is a very highly recommended collection indeed.” Jim Steel

  • 2 copies of Henry Franks.  Signed by Peter Adam Salomon. Each with a signed promo postcard (leaning against the book).

“Salomon’s Frankenstein homage churns through its often confounding but highly unnerving plot like a slow nightmare–readers won’t be entirely sure they even want to know how it ends. The scenes are clipped, the dialogue spare, and the prose rewards meticulous reading, making this debut the thinking teen’s horror choice of the year.” – Booklist (starred review)

  • A giant set of Black Jewels Books: Tangled Webs, Shalador’s Lady, The Shadow Queen, The Invisible Ring, and Twilight’s Dawn.  Signed by Anne Bishop.

“Bishop will draw you into her world like a spider and never spit you back out — it is like an addiction. I am not a re-reader, but I re-read this book simply because I love her characters and the depth she gives them — along with the mystery she is able to weave around each — leaving you guessing until she’s ready to tell you what she wants you to know.” — SFRevu

  • 3 copies of Bridge of Dreams.  Signed by Anne Bishop.

“With a well-paced mystery, likable characters, and fascinating world building, this is a fun read.” —Booklist

This is a collection of three short stories by Anne Bishop, James Alan Gardner, and Anthony Francis.  So much bang for your buck!

Pat’s Note: This is an ARC for Written in Red, so not only is it a bit of a rarity. But this is a pre-release ARC, which means that if you win this book, you’ll get a chance to read Anne’s newest book before it hits the shelves. Then, if you’re in the mood, you can go taunt people on goodreads about your insider status. 

“[Bishop’s] worlds are so fully realized and three-dimensional, they jump right off the pages.” – Fresh Fiction

  • A set of The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh.  Signed by Bradley P. Beaulieu.

“Well worth exploring… Beaulieu [depicts] a strange culture [with] a remarkable fantasy/magical reality feel.” – Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

  • A copy of Shadow Ops: Control Point. Signed by Myke Cole.

Despite the fact that Myke is a relative newcomer to the publishing world, he’s made a bit of a splash, with Fantasy Faction listing his next book as one of the 10 most anticipated books of 2013.

I read his this book, his debut novel, about a month ago and really, really enjoyed it. It’s well worth your time. (You can see my full review on Goodreads if you’re interested.)

“Blackhawk Down meets the X-Men, Military Fantasy like you’ve never seen it before!” – Peter V. Brett

  • Auction: A copy of Shadow Ops: Control Point. Signed by Myke Cole.  Comes with a challenge coin.

Those of you who watched the Author D&D video may also recognize Myke’s name. He was the GM, and he did an awesome job wrangling all the other authors.

As a cool promotional item, Myke as donated a Challenge Coin with this book. He describes them thusly: “They’re somewhere between a medal and a shinier, cooler version of business cards.”

To make sure this ends up in the hands of someone that will love it, we’re going to auction it off.

To bid, head over here.

“At over 600 pages, Epic: Legends of Fantasy will definitely get you your money’s worth and the seventeen stories inside will help satisfy your epic fantasy cravings, or possibly leave you wanting more.” – SFF Chat

This anthology includes works from Sanderson, Martin, LeGuin, and tons of other prolific authors.  I snuck my way in there, too.

If you want this multiple-signed copy all to yourself, head over to the auction and bid.

*     *     *

Every 10 dollars you donate on our Team Page gives you the chance to win one of our fabulous prizes, many of which still haven’t been revealed.

All the auctions Worldbuilders is currently running are over here.

Or, if you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to the main page here.

Posted in mom, Oot, the longest fucking blog ever, Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat25 Responses

A Plethora of Signed Books

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

That’s right. I said plethora. You want to make something of it?

Today we have even more delicious books as prizes for the fundraiser. All of these have been donated by the authors themselves. This means two things:

1. All these books are signed.
2. These authors are cool as hell.

Oh sure, I know. You’re thinking that ALL fantasy and Sci-Fi authors are cool as hell. And yeah, that’s pretty much true. But these folks have taken it to the next level. They’re doubleplus good. They’re hoopy. They’re, like, Fonzie cool.

Alright, on to the books:

  • Two copies of The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances by Peter S. Beagle. Signed by the author.


Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of Peter S. Beagle. This is a collection of some of his short fiction, including one of my favorite short stories of all time, “The Rhinoceros who Quoted Nietzsche.” Man, just thinking of that story makes me want to go and read it right now….

Locus describes this book as, “a definite must for Beagle fans and lovers of fine fantasy.”


This collection includes the Hugo Award-Winning story “Two Hearts,” which is a sequel to The Last Unicorn. If you haven’t read it, you don’t know what you’re missing.

I’m not the only one that’s gushy over Beagle. Ursula K LeGuin herself says that he’s “…An expert on those heart’s reasons that reason does not know.”

  • Two copies of We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle. Signed by the author.


Want a few more Beagle Quotes? Fine. Here you go…

“Peter S. Beagle has both opulence of imagination and mastery of style.” – New York Times Book Review

“At his best, Peter S. Beagle outshines the moon, the sun, the stars, the entire galaxy.” – Seattle Times

If all that doesn’t convince you to give him a read, I don’t know what will…


I’ve known David for a while, and talked about him and his first book at some length in a blog called, How David Anthony Durham Saved my Life.

But if you don’t care what I think, (and why should you, really?) then you can trust Kirkus when they say that The Other Lands “boggles the mind and transcends genre.”


I’ve gotten to know Jean Rabe pretty well over the last couple years. In addition to being a truly prolific writer, she runs the writer-track programming at Gen-Con in Indianapolis. There’s some great programming there with some authors that I’ve really come to love over the years.

This book is something special, as it’s Andre Norton’s last book. Jean and Andre were frequent collaborators, and Jean says “This was an honor–to finish Andre Norton’s last manuscript.”

  • A copy of When the Husband is the Suspect by F. Lee Bailey with Jean Rabe. First edition hardcover signed by Jean Rabe.


Something a little outside our normal Fantasy and Sci-fi bounds here. Jean notes that “This was my first true-crime endeavor with F. Lee Bailey!”


Jean Rabe says, “I had great fun plotting this with Andre. I picked the Wisconsin place-she picked the historical setting.”

  • A set of Martha Wells‘ series, The Fall of Ile-Rien: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods. First edition hardcovers, signed by the author.


Locus says that Martha Well’s books are, “Fascinating…A vastly entertaining and refreshingly different fantasy adventure with a surprisingly satisfying conclusion.”

  • A copy of The Words of Their Roaring by Matthew Smith. Signed by the author.


From the back of the book: “London is now a city overrun by the zombie hordes. Most of the human survivors live from day to day, scraping together an existence among the ruins, avoiding the shambling, flesh-hungry undead that still stalk the streets. But for others this gruesome situation is an opportunity, a chance to establish a power base within the capital, now that authority has collapsed. For gang lord Harry Flowers, the plague is his chance to finally rule the city unopposed.”

  • A set of Wanderlust and Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre. Signed by the author.


National bestselling author Sharon Shinn says that these books are, “An irresistible blend of action and attitude…”

  • Two copies of the Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. First and second edition copies, both are signed by the author.


I met Cindy out at Comic Con this year. And she was very helpful during this year’s fundraiser, helping me to spread the word to other authors who then donated books. Silver Phoenix is her first book, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Booklist gave her a starred review, and said: “If the cover image of a fearless Chinese heroine reminds readers of such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, that’s intentional; the story inside will too. Pon’s writing, both fluid and exhilarating, shines whether she’s describing a dinner delicacy or what it feels like to stab an evil spirit in the gut.”

  • A set of The Onyx Court series: Midnight Never Come and Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan. Signed by the author.


I haven’t read these, but after checking out these two blurbs, I think I might wander over to Amazon…

“Stunningly conceived and exquisitely achieved… Brennan’s myriad fantastical creations ring as true as her ear for Elizabethan and faerie dialogue” – Publishers Weekly

“…firmly rooted in real history, set in a convincingly-constructed Elizabethan England, but with a secret faerie court existing beneath London … a political thriller, with conspiracies, spies and shady machinations…” – SFX Magazine, four-star review

  • A set of the series Doppelganger: Witch and Warrior by Marie Brennan. Signed by the author.


Dave Duncan says, “Doppelganger is a great read. The characters are admirable people, the magic is unconventional and unobtrusive, the pace never flags, and the plot will keep you turning pages right to the wholly satisfying finale.”

  • A copy of The Clockwork King of Orl by Mike Wild. Signed by the author.


From the back of the book: “There’s a whole world out there, and it isn’t ours! The words of her mentor inspire Kali Hooper to explore the lost places of Twilight, unearth the secrets of the past, and discover the fate of the vanished Old Races. Including the mysterious construct known as the Clockwork King of Orl.”


Child of Fire
was on Publishers Weekly “Best 100 Books of 2009” list. And Sherwood Smith says that, “Harry Connolly’s story jets from 0 to 60 in five pages and never lets you brake for safety. He’s a fantastic new voice.”

  • A copy of Terribly Twisted Tales edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg. Signed by author Kelly Swails.


Kelly is one of the authors I know from the Gen-Con writer’s track. Notw only is she a complete sweetheart, but Tor.com has called her writing “ingenious” and “thoroughly inventive.”

  • A set of the Blue Kingdoms anthologies: Shades & Specters, Buxom Buccaneers and Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms. Signed by Kelly Swails.


How can you not want a book with the word Buxom in the title? It’s just a fun word. Say it. “Buxom.”

These Blue Kingdom anthologies are full of award-winning fantasy authors like Lorelei Shannon, Robert E. Vardeman, Kathleen Watness, Marc Tassin, Paul Genesse, Jean Rabe, Stephen D. Sullivan…. and, of course, Kelly Swails herself.


Publishers Weekly weekly says that Kessler and Kittredge, “create a dark world where the narrow line between hero and vigilante is defined by corporate interests […] Jet and Iridium’s multifaceted relationship will appeal to all who have come to want more from their superheroes than good vs. evil and mindless battles.”

  • A set of Doctrine of Labyrinths: Melusine, The Virtu, The Mirador and Corambis by Sarah Monette. Hardcover first editions signed by the author.


Jacqueline Carey says that Malusine is, “A lush novel, rife with decadent magic, dehibilitating madness, and dubious deeds.”

And in a starred review, Publishers Weekly speaks highly of Monette, calling her, “…a highly original writer with her own unique voice.”


From Publishers Weekly: “Monette reconstructs the traditional English ghost story—insinuated horror, no gratuitous sex or violence—with a decidedly modern-day approach in this laudable collection of 10 necromantic mystery stories featuring introverted museum archivist Kyle Murchison Booth. […] Cerebral, ethereal and stylishly understated, this entrancing collection will appeal to fans of literary horror, dark fantasy and supernatural mystery.”

And remember, if you like Monette’s stories, she’s donated a signed manuscript of four uncollected Booth stories to the fundraiser. The auction is over later today, so if you don’t bid soon you’re out of luck…

  • A set of Kristen Britain‘s series: Green Rider, Rider’s First Call and The High King’s Tomb. Signed by the author.


In addition to donating a handwritten page of her fourth book’s manuscript to the auctions, Kristen has given us a signed set of the first three Green Rider books. (The auction ends later today [Dec 16th] so if you’re interested you’d better hurry…)

Anne McCaffrey called GREEN RIDER “a stunning first novel,” and this trade edition of Green Rider features a 10th Anniversary introduction by the author.

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice too.

And don’t forget, I’m matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want to go back to the main page for the Worldbuilders fundraiser and read all the details, you can click HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(Did I mention Subterranean is printing a new book of mine? I think I did…)

Posted in Heifer International, Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat11 Responses

How David Anthony Durham Saved My Life

A year or so ago, I made the online acquaintance of fellow fantasy author David Anthony Durham.

Normally, I don’t associate with people who have three names. It’s just intimidating. Plus, on a practical level, it’s hard to deal with. Does he go by the full “David Anthony?” Is he a “David” a “Dave” or an “Anthony.” Hell, he could even be a “Tony.” I have a real problem remembering names. Even the simple first names of my friends. That means someone with three to seven different potential names is going to give me a lot of trouble.

I can’t remember how we first got in touch. But I do know that our first contact was over e-mail. And, to tell the truth, I was more than slightly intimidated by him.

Part of this was due to the fact that before his most recent novel (an epic fantasy called Acacia) he wrote literary fiction. While I’m not one to engage in genre snobbery. The fact remains that to Lit Fic has a certain amount of cultural cache. A certain gravitas.

Another intimidating thing was the fact that he had a tenure-track job teaching creative writing, which means he’s got some hefty edumication under his belt.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this picture was the the first I ever saw of him:

Not only was he thinner and more attractive than myself. But to me this picture says: “I’m going kick a man’s ass, then go read some Coleridge. You have a problem with that? No. I didn’t think so. Move along.”

I know, I know. It’s wrong to judge a book by its cover. It’s doubly wrong to judge an author by his jacket photo. If you were to do that with me, you would be forced to assume that I was some sort of rogue Muppet, eremite priest, or Russian dictator.

When I finally met him at a convention. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that most of what I’d assumed about him was off-base. He wasn’t pompous, or stiff, or academic. He was relaxed and friendly, with an easy laugh.

At the last convention we hit together, Wiscon, we sat at the bar for an hour or two and had a lovely argument about Heinlein, and a different argument about C.S. Lewis, and a discussion about purpose of literature and the ethical responsibility of the author. We disagreed a lot.

It was lovely. I love few things more than a conversation with an intelligent person who is passionate in their beliefs and willing to disagree with me.

In short. He turned out to be my favorite sort of person. The sort of person that I wished lived closer to me so that he could come over to my house, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and get his ass solidly handed to him at Settlers of Catan.

Because, as I’ve said before, I cannot be beaten at Catan.

Lastly, though not leastly, David may prove instrumental in insuring that y’all get to see books two and three.

Let me explain. At World Fantasy convention last year his hotel was hell and gone from the convention center, and I had rented a car. So one night when things were winding down, I offered to give him a ride.

We wandered out of the hotel to the parking lot. After we had climbed into the car, he looked at me and said, “You’re not wearing your seatbelt?”

It wasn’t the sentence itself, it was the way he said it. He wasn’t chiding, or disapproving. He was honestly shocked. More than that. He was aghast. It was the same tone I use when I say, “You smoke?”

When I say this, usually the unspoken part of my comment is clear, “What are you, a fucking idiot?”

When he looked at me and said, “You’re not wearing your seat belt?” I thought to myself, “Of course. I should wear my seat belt. I’d be an idiot not to.”

And ever since then, I’ve worn my seat belt. This means that I’m much more likely to live long enough to get you day two and three of the trilogy, and many more after that.

Despite all of his coolness, it took me a long time to get around to reading David’s book. I did mention his book, right?

It’s epic fantasy. A nice mix of big empire-level stuff and character centered story. He’s a great worldbuilder, which is where my heart lies, and his cultures are varied and well-developed. He leans more toward description, where I tend to do more dialogue. But we’re playing a similar game in many ways. Odds are if you dig on Tolkien, Acacia will be right up your alley. Check it out.

That’s all for now,

pat

Posted in conventions, meeting famous people, recommendations | By Pat24 Responses
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