Tag Archives: David Sedaris

50K Blog – A Few of my Favorite Things

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Over the last couple years, I’ve been cautious about the donation goals I set for Worldbuilders. I set my sights on a goal I’m pretty sure we can hit, and only after we get there do I bump up the target number on our donation thermometer. Some years I’ve done this eight or nine times.

I do it this way because back in 2008 when I started all this, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could get people to donate 5000 dollars if I gave away prizes and offered to match donations?”

When I raised that much in just a couple of days, I was stunned. So I moved it up to $10,000 dollars, worrying that I was overstepping myself, not really believing that we could raise that much….

Three years and 600,000 dollars later, I still feel the same way. Every year I find myself thinking, “Will publishers help out again? Will authors care enough to send me books? Will people tweet and link and spread the word to their friends? Will geeks of all creeds and nations step up to the plate one more time?”

Then it all comes together, and I’m full of stunned, warm-fuzzy joy all over again.

This year, I decided to try something different. Rather than move our donation goal around all higgledy-piggledy, I decided to set some target levels. Something we could shoot for as a team. Then, if people are awesome enough to help me hit those goals, I’d put extra stuff into the fundraiser as a way to thank everyone for contributing.

We hit our first goal of 50,000 last Friday, so today you get the first of these blogs. I’ve got four more planned, each with increasingly cool additions to the fundraiser.

This is the one I like to think of as the AV blog. Where I share some of my favorite non-book media with with y’all.

  • A complete DVD set of Buffy and Angel.

Over the years, I’ve made no secret of my love for Joss Whedon. I started watching Buffy seriously in 2002, right when I was seriously starting revision on The Name of the Wind. Watching this series changed how I thought about storytelling, and the tricks I learned from it taught me a lot about plot and characterization.

Simply said, I think this is the finest television show ever produced. So I’m adding it to the prize lottery.

  • Two DVD sets of Red Dwarf including Back to Earth: The Director’s Cut.

I started watching Red Dwarf way back in the day. Back when it was on VHS tapes, and you couldn’t find copies for love nor money in the US.

This is the full eight seasons and the recent three-part: Back to Earth.

In my opinion, you aren’t a real sci-fi geek if you haven’t watched this. It’s one of the classics. Best of all, because the show relies on the cleverness of the writing rather than special effects, it holds up very well these days even though the first season was more than 20 years ago.

  • Two DVD sets of Firefly.

I will never get over the cancellation of Firefly. Not in a hundred years. And I meant what I said earlier in the year when I wrote an open letter to Nathan Fillion.

If you don’t like this series, odds are we can’t be friends. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is.

  • Two DVD sets of Dollhouse.

Some people didn’t like Dollhouse. Then again, some people are idiots who drink their own pee.

[P.S. If y’all in the marketing department at Fox would like to use this as a promotional quote for the series, feel free. Just spell my name right.]
  • One audio cd of Telling Tales by Neil Gaiman.

This is one of the CD’s that you can get from Dreamhaven. It’s one of the earlier recordings of Neil Gaiman reading his own work. Good stuff.

  • One audio cd of Speaking in Tongues by Neil Gaiman.

Like the above, but different. If you catch my meaning.

  • One copy of Warning: Contains Language by Neil Gaiman.

This is a two-CD set also features music by Dave McKean and the Flash girls. It features Gaiman reading poems and stories from Angels and Visitations.

As an interesting aside, in the liner notes, it reads:

Unauthorized Copying of this CD is not only forbidden, but will prey upon your conscience, spoil your sleep, destroy your complexion, and eventually will wind up turning you into the kind of person who drinks methylated spirits out of a bottle hidden in a brown paper bag and who lives under bridges, burps noxiously, and prays day and night for release from the unsupportable burden their life has become. We thought you’d appreciate the warning.

  • Three audio cds of 3 doz Poems read by Garrison Keillor from The Writer’s Almanac.

Some people think that I hate poetry, not realizing, perhaps, that Kvothe and I are actually two different people.

Believe it or not, we are separate entities with different thoughts and emotions. Other telltale differences include hair color: Mine is brown. His is red. He is mostly a fictional character, and I am mostly real. He is a better singer, while I am a better kisser.

We also radically differ on our opinions of poetry. He has an irrational loathing of it, while I myself quite enjoy it.

Well…. some of it. The good stuff.

This is the good stuff. Lovely poems selected and read by America’s greatest living storyteller: Garrison Keillor.

  • Two audio collections of Good Poems by Garrison Keillor.

You can also tell that these are good poems. Because, well, it says so right there: Good Poems. You can’t get much clearer than that.

This is a 4 CD set, containing a marvelous selection of poetry read by a number of wonderful readers, including Keillor himself. Honestly, I would listen to the man read a phone book. Getting to hear him read some of the finest poetry ever is just a bonus.

  • One set of The First and Second Seasons of Flight of the Conchords and an audio cd of The Distant Future.

I loved Flight of the Conchords before they were cool. If you haven’t watched their HBO series, you really need to.

  • Five copies of The Adventures of Sexton Blake.

I raved about this BBC Audio production last year on the blog.

And you know what? Everything I said about it then is just as true today. I listened to this a couple weeks ago and laughed my metaphorical ass off. If anything, I think it’s funnier the 20th time around.

  • A copy of The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set.

While Garrison Keillor is my favorite living storyteller. David Sedaris takes a close second place.

I only discovered him a couple years ago when someone recommended I listen to “Six to Eight Black men.”

They were really insistent, so I looked it up on Youtube just to shut them up about it.

The next day I went out and bought this box set, which contains 20 CD worth of David Sedaris reading the entirety of Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Barrel Fever and Other Stories, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

I’ve been a fan of The Guild since back in 2008 when I interviewed Felicia Day and we became BFFs.

Because I love spreading the word about cool indi geekery like this, I picked up several sets of the first two seasons of The Guild when I was at San Diego ComicCon with the sole purpose of giving them away to people and getting them hooked on the series.

Felicia was nice enough to sign them for me. She’s just an all-around nice person.

*     *     *

Remember, you for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page, you get a chance to win everything here, not to mention the hundreds of other books that have already been donated.

What’s more, if you donate before January 31st of 2012, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation.

Also, every dollar donated brings us closer to $100,000. Once we hit that, I’ll post up another blog with more personal additions to the fundraiser.

And lastly, don’t forget about the auctions Worldbuilders is running right now. Some of them will be ending soon…

Spread the word…

pat

Posted in buffy, Felicia Day, Firefly, Joss Whedon, The Guild, Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat21 Responses

A Veritable Cornucopia of Signed Books

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Here’s some more books, folks. And as you can see, we’ve been saving some of the best for last.

Also, in the interest of complete honesty, I’m over-tired and over-caffeinated right now. This makes me punchy, which means I probably shouldn’t be doing anything delicate like writing book descriptions.

Still, the fundraiser ends on January 15th, which means I really need to get these posted sooner rather than later. So I’m going to apologize in advance for anything bizarre or inappropriate I might say below.

Sorry.

  • An Advance Reading Copy of Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods. Signed by the author.


A great book, and I’m not just saying that because a chunk of it is set in Wisconsin. I’m saying that because I’m a complete geek for Neil Gaiman *and* a big chunk of it is set in Wisconsin.

“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.” – George R. R. Martin

  • A hardcover copy of Small Favor – a Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Signed by the author.


Jim Butcher is another one of my favorite authors. In fact, he was one of the first authors I wrote about on the blog a long while back. I continue to love him despite the fact that writes two extremely well-crafted novels every year, thereby making me look like a chump.

From Publishers Weekly, “Butcher smoothly manages a sizable cast of allies and adversaries, doles out needed backstory with crisp efficiency and sustains just the right balance of hair’s-breadth tension and comic relief.”


“Crystal Rain is refreshing and imaginative, an exotic stew of cultures, myths, and technology.” –Kevin J. Anderson


Anyone who’s read the acknowledgments in NOTW knows I owe Kevin Anderson a great debt of thanks, as he helped get me started in the publishing world. On top of that, I now owe him even *more* thanks for donating this lovely ARC…

Publisher’s Weekly says, “Anderson’s sizzling sci-fi thriller resurrects the technology of miniaturization introduced in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. […] Casual sci-fi fans as well as newcomers to the genre will enjoy this well-paced, energetic narrative.”

  • A set of Jonathan Green‘s Pax Britannia: Unnatural History, Leviathan Rising and Human Nature. Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising are signed by the author.


From the back of the book: In two scant months the nation, and all her colonies, will celebrate 160 years of Queen Victoria’s glorious reign. But all is not well at the heart of the empire of Magna Britannia. A chain of events is about to be set in motion that, if not stopped, could lead to a world-shattering conclusion. It begins with a break-in at the Natural History Museum. A night watchman is murdered. An eminent Professor of Evolutionary Biology goes missing. Then a catastrophic Overground rail-crash unleashes the dinosaurs of London Zoo!

  • A copy of Just Desserts by Simon Haynes. Signed by the author.


Signed by the author, the merest touch of this book will cure scrofula. At least that’s what the promotional blurb says.

The Specusphere urges readers to “enjoy another fast and furious ride with the zap-happy, zany rapscallions.”

  • A copy of Space Magic, stories by David D. Levine. This special signed hardcover edition is limited to 100 numbered copies; this book is copy number AC-6.


Like Nnedi, David Levine is one of the folks I met when we got published in Writers of the Future Volume 18 together. David writes short stories like I’ll never be able to, and over the years his advice about how the publishing world works has been invaluable to me.

Space Magic is his first short story collection. His “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Short Story and “The Tail of the Golden Eagle” was a previous Hugo nominee; it also appeared on the Nebula preliminary ballot and was a finalist for the Sturgeon Award and Locus Award.

It’s also important to note that this limited edition harcover of the book is numbered AC-6. Which means that it’s harder to hit than AC-10.

  • A copy of Saundra Mitchell‘s debut novel, Shadowed Summer. Signed by the author.


Booklist says that Shadowed Summer is, “Highly atmospheric, with pulse-pounding suspense and an elegiac ending.”

You hear that? Elegiac. How come nobody calls my book elegiac? I’m all kinds of elegiac.

  • A copy of The Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly. Signed by the author.


“The wildly imaginative Reilly has taken inspiration from comics, video games, thrillers and Code-style puzzle novels to create this rocket-fueled sequel to his 7 Deadly Wonders […] A tongue-in-cheek quality will help readers find this outlandish adventure thrilling.” — Publishers Weekly


“Wilson’s fantasy debut recalls the complexity of classic epic fantasy in the tradition of Robert Jordan. Combining adventure with mystery and memorable characters, this is a good choice for committed fantasy fans.” —Jackie Cassada, Library Journal

  • Two hardcover copies of To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts. Signed by the author.


“Janny Wurts writes with astonishing energy… it outght to be illegal for one person to have so much talent.” – Stephen R. Donaldson

  • One set of Webmage, Cybermancy, CodeSpell and MythOS by Kelly McCullough. All signed by the author.


“The most enjoyable science fantasy book I’ve read in the last four years.” – Christopher Stasheff

  • A set of Naked and Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays by David Sedaris. Both signed by the author.


David Sedaris is a brilliant author I only discovered a couple years ago when someone advised me to listen to his short piece “6-8 Black Men” on Youtube.

After less than a minute, Sedaris had a fan for life.

I’ve been meaning to post a blog recommending Sedaris’ books for almost a year. But something always seems to get in the way. For example, the last time I sat down to write a post about it, I got hung up about whether or not I wanted to use the word “boner” in the blog. Then I started to write a blog about how avoiding the use of the word “boner” revealed a lot about my revision process. Then I stopped writing that blog and did something else. True story.

Anyway, a couple months ago, I found out that David Sedaris was on tour here in the US. What’s more, I found out that he was making at stop Stevens Point. I still can’t imagine why he was here in Podunk, WI. His tour schedule was literally something like this: San Diego > San Francisco > Los Angeles > Salt Lake City > Stevens Point > New York. My suspicion is that he lost a bet with God.

Sedaris gave a great performance and was incredibly gracious in person, though I’m pretty sure I made a bit of an ass of myself when I got to the front of the signing line. I bought a couple of his books and rather than have him sign them to me, I had him just sign his name so I could use them for this fundraiser. Also a true story.

Washington Post Book World describes Sedaris as “Shrewd, wickedly funny […] one of America’s most prickly, and most delicious, young comic talents.”

There we go. Now I can go to sleep. Hopefully I didn’t say anything too awful…. If I did, enjoy it while it lasts, because I’ll probably just delete it when I wake up later today…

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 Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

Posted in my dumbness, Neil Gaiman, recommendations, Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat20 Responses
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