Tag Archives: Felicia Day

Twitter – A Beautiful Game

So for a couple of years now, I’ve been a bit of a laughing stock in the geek community because I’m a luddite.

You see, I did not posses a smartphone. Neither did I have a twitter account.

This might not seem like a crippling social affliction, and most of the time it’s not. Most of the time I’m at home in Wisconsin, writing and hanging out with my little boy.

But then I go to a convention, like Origins, and while I’m there, I hang out with John Scalzi, Felicia Day, and Wil Wheaton. And while we’re playing games, someone snaps a picture. And then, when they’re posting it up online, someone looks at me and says “I’ll tag you here, What’s your twitter handle?”

And I say, “I’m not on twitter.”

Keep in mind who I’m hanging with here. Wil, John, and Felicia. If you added some sort of animal sidekick to this mix, I’m guessing they could join together and form a giant robot that would somehow defend the internet. The looks they give me are the worst sort of mingled pity and scorn….

Ah hell. I just realized *I’m* probably the animal sidekick in that group. I’m Lubar, the great shambling bear-man from the frozen tundra who is charmingly baffled by the subtle magic of the interweb.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve finally, *finally* taken the leap.

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But that’s only the beginning. The phone itself isn’t enough. To really wire myself in, I know I need to get on twitter.

*     *     *

Part of the reason I want to get on twitter is because it will save me time. I tend to be… um…. wordy. Verbose even. Sometimes a blog that starts out as a simple announcement turns into a 500 word screed.

Twitter will help me reign that impulse in a bit. I’ll be able to mention things to y’all without feeling the obligation to make a meaty blog about them.

The other reason I need to get on twitter is to stay in better touch with my readers.

You see, I’m not a total technological schmendrick. I’ve been on facebook since before it was cool, and I’ve slowly built my army over there. For years I’ve used facebook to clue-in readers when I’m doing events, running contests, or going to conventions….

But these days Facebook deliberately throttles back the reach of most pages. These days I’m encouraged to “boost” my posts by giving facebook money. If I don’t boost the posts (and I never do) the things I write there only show up on *half* my reader’s news feeds.

It happens all the time. I schedule a signing in Boston. I post on facebook letting people know about my signing in Boston. I go to Boston. I get home and later that day I see someone howling on my wall “You Were In BOSTON!!??!?”

Twitter doesn’t have this problem. If you follow me on twitter, and I post something on twitter, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if it’s worth reading.

But here’s the problem. I don’t want to spend ages slowly building up my twitter following.

Also, you only get to lose your twitter virginity once.

My thought is, why not have a little fun with this?

My thought is, why don’t we play a little game?

*     *     *

So here’s what I’ve done.

I’ve created six twitter accounts, all versions of the name “Pat Rothfuss.”

I’ve recruited 5 members of the geek glitterati. Friends who are good with words. They’re witty, wired-in, and social media savvy.

Starting today, each of them will claim one of those accounts at random and do their best to convince the world they’re the *real* Pat Rothfuss.

They’ll connive and scheme. They’ll share links, twitter at you, and generally attempt to exude an aura of Rothfuss-y-ness.

I will take the sixth profile and attempt to do the same.

The contest will run for two weeks and finish on Halloween at midnight.  Then everyone will vote on who they think the real Pat Rothfuss is.

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The winner gets that most valuable commodity of all: Bragging Rights.

Even better, the winner will have 1,000 dollars donated to the charity of their choice. The prize money being provided by DAW Books, my lovely publisher.

I might also see if I can find a trophy of some sort.

  • The Rules:

It should be blindingly obvious to everyone that I could win this game pretty easily. I could post up a selfie with today’s newspaper and that would be the end of it.

But what would be the fun in that?

The five other people who are playing are going to have to win through sheer cleverness, trickery, and guile. I plan on winning the same way.

What I’m getting at here, is that I’m looking to play a beautiful game. Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?

Aside from my self-imposed handicap, there are only two rules:

1. Players can change anything on their twitter profiles except for their pictures. Those will remain the same throughout the contest. Otherwise things would just be too confusing.

2. Stories about Oot are out of bounds.

You see, I love telling stories about my little boy: (Codename Oot.)

A lot of the stories I tell are funny, silly, or irreverent. For example, on facebook I recently shared how Oot spent 20 minutes running around shouting “Gangnam Style!” and dancing naked.

I shared the story because it’s funny, and because he has no sense of shame at this point in his life.

But the thought of someone *else* making up a story along those lines…. It creeps me out a little bit.

So. No Oot stories. He’s out of bounds.

That’s it though. Everything else is fair game.

  • The Charities:

The charities are people are backing:  WorldbuildersArchitecture for HumanityTeach for America826LACon or Bust or Project Nightlight.

(Here’s a hint. I’m playing for my home team, Worldbuilders.)

If you want to know more about these charities, you can read some brief summaries over on the page where you can see all six twitter feeds at once.

TheRealRothfuss

Fair warning: We kinda threw this page together. If it gets hammered with 100,000 visitors in the next two days, it might crash.

So if you want to follow the contest, you might consider following all six of these accounts right now. That way you can watch the entire beautiful game without fear of tech glitches getting in the way.

As of right now, each profile is virtually identical except for its name and the profile picture. While the pictures will remain the same, (as per rule #1 above) the profiles will doubtless change as soon as the players take charge.

A careful observer will notice that each of the profiles has one tweet from Oct 14th saying, “I am the real Pat Rothfuss.”

A *very* careful observer will notice that that post is actually from Oct 14th 2012. That’s how long I’ve been planning to do this contest, but I’ve never managed to get around to it until now.

Because the profiles have been sitting around for a while, some of them have collected different numbers of followers.

I’m guessing that in the next couple days they’re going to get a few more….

In case you’d like it again, here’s a link to the page where you can see and follow all of the accounts.

Game on,

pat

P.S. Just now, minutes before we launch this blog, it has occurred to me that we should have some sort of official hashtag associated with it.

I consulted with my staff, and my twitter-smart assistant Amanda has confirmed that yes, this is a good idea.

What’s more, she has implied to me that this tag could even be used to ask a question of all the different accounts at the same time. Something along the lines of “If you’re the *real* Pat Rothfuss, what’s your favorite flavor skittle?”

And then you’d somehow… um… hash things. Together. I guess that’s another thing I’m going to have to figure out…

Anyway, how about we use #TheRealRothfuss. Using it all the time would would probably be cumbersome and cluttery. But now it’s there for people if they want it. (Sorry to make y’all use caps, but otherwise it looks too much like “There Al Rothfuss.” Which would be some other, entirely lamer game.)

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, Beautiful Games, contests, My brilliant ideas | By Pat93 Responses

Name of the Wind Kickstarter: Final Days and the Coolest. News. Ever.

Honestly folks, I don’t even know where to begin today. I’ve got a lot of cool news to share about the Kickstarter.

And this is legitimately cool news. Not bullshit cool news that I just made up so I could pimp the project one last time before it closes in less than two days.

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(Click to Embiggen Devi)

Because it *is* over in less than two days. Be warned.

Note: Please stay tuned to the end. Or skip directly down there. We have stunning news at the end of the blog.

  • We Crushed Everything

In the last blog I wrote about this project, I mentioned that if our Kickstarter hit 160K we would be the highest funded card-based Kickstarter ever.

The next day y’all stomped in to the tune of about 70,000 dollars, blowing past that goal and every other stretch goal we’d planned out.

In celebration, Shane drew a picture of me as a sort of great Krakken-bearded beast.

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Because everyone loved it so much, we made the art available as magnet and t-shirt add-ons.

We currently stand at 440,000 dollars. Almost three times the previous record. The video of me singing will be forthcoming.

  • More Jots

I added 100 more jots to the kickstarter, doubling the previous levels.

I mention this early in the blog so those you can hopefully go and grab some before they’re all gone again.

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Here’s a picture of the finished product, complete with the maker’s mark. Rest assured, more jots will be available in the future. Both in the Tinker’s Packs, and as a Worldbuilders fundraiser toward the end of the year.

  • Better Gaff Cards

Here’s the thing: all poker decks come with 2 gaff cards. They’re pretty useless. They usually have the rules for poker or some advertizement.

Shane and I came up with the idea of replacing them with something cool. We set stretch goals, then burned right through them….

So now we’re having:

1. A Lorren Gaff card that people can use as a bookmark. (Image forthcoming.)

2. A Willem Gaff card that you can use as a replacement card in your deck in case one of the cards is damaged.

All the Limited and Unlimited decks will have these Gaff cards included free.

We do this because we love you.

  • Signed Lorren Bookplates

Using the Lorren card art, Shane is going to make me a bookplate. My very first bookplate ever.

There’s only two ways of getting this bookplate.

1. You can add one to your order for five bucks. (Up to three.)

2. You get one for free if your order is $135 or more.

That’s it. Those are the only two ways to get them.

Would I love to include these bookplates with every order? Yes. But as it is, please understand that I’m going to be signing, like, 3000 of them. If I gave one away with every order, I’d be signing them for *days.*

That said, we have a stretch goal set at 450K. If we hit that, I’ll give one to everyone who buys in for 100 bucks or more.

  • Marked Cards

Or, as I like to think of it, the Taborlin deck.

I’ve always wanted a deck of marked cards. So I asked Shane if we could do one. And he said yes. And so we are…

You can add a marked deck to any Kickstarter pledge for 15 bucks. And they have a different back from the others.

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(I love the imagery here.)

Now here’s the thing: am I creating a deck of cards for cheaters?

No. I’m making a marked deck of cards. Because I think it’s cool.

Now you could use this deck of cards for evil if you wanted. But that’s your choice. You can use a screwdriver to kill someone if you wanted. That’s not necessarily what a screwdriver is for.

I like to think of this as the Taborlin deck because it will be *awesome* for card tricks.

Also, I’d get together with my friends and have a night of poker where everyone *tries* to cheat. Where it is effectively, *fair* to cheat. We would also probably drink whiskey and pretend to be cowboys of some sort.

Because I am seven years old inside, apparently.

In this deck, the gaff cards won’t be Wil and Lorren. They’ll contain the details of the marked-card cypher.

  • International shipping on the poker sets

Because several of you asked for this in the comments, we’ve added that as a special donation tier. (The rest of you can add the box sets as a simple add-on.)

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The international shipping is expensive, but that’s because those high-quality clay chips are *heavy* and we’re going to be packaging them very, very carefully.

  • Guest appearances by Neil Gaiman and Felicia Day

Neil and Felicia graciously allowed us to use their likenesses for our two jokers: Elodin and Auri.

We listed these as stretch goals and met them less than a day later.

Reactions were divided. Some people made a vast ululating *squee* noise. Others said something along the lines of, “Boo! I want to see the *real* Auri and Elodin!”

So I just want to clarify things. We aren’t just going to draw Gaiman as Elodin, as if he were doing some sort of cosplay. That would be lame.

(Actually, that would be kinda awesome….)

But no. That’s not what’s going on here at all.

First off, the main reason Shane and I thought of Neil and Felicia is because they both possess certain characteristics we feel are very appropriate to Elodin and Auri.

Hell, I did an interview with Felicia on my blog back in 2008. Back before she was FELICIA DAY. While we were chatting, I asked which part she’d pick if she could play anyone in The Name of the Wind movie. She said, “My dream role would be Auri. I like playing damaged goods….”

And I thought, Yeah. I could totally see that. She has a whimsy about her that would be perfect….

Does that mean Auri is going to have red hair like Felicia? No. Obviously not. Auri will have Auri’s hair. But her expression and face will be influenced by Felicia’s because it works for the character.

It’s the same way we brought Jim Butcher in as everyone’s favorite Jackass:

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(God. I want to slap him so much….)

It doesn’t really look too much like Jim, but if you know it’s there, you can spot it.

Gaiman is a similar good fit for Elodin. Trust me about this. Neil and Felicia are perfect for my two wise fools.

  • Superhero Team-Up

Almost exactly 24 hours ago, I did a video conference with Shane and Erik, the folks behind Albino Dragon. We were going to plan our strategies for the final days of the kickstarter. Plan stretch goals. Talk strategy.

But before we could get into that, Shane said, “We’d like to give 5% of Albino Dragon to Worldbuilders.”

“Sorry?” I said.

“We’d like to give 5% of Albino Dragon to Worldbuilders.”

And then I just kinda sat there. I knew what he’d said, but I didn’t quite believe he’d said it.

So I asked. “Do you mean you’d like to give Worldbuilders a piece of the profit from this project? More than we already negotiated?”

No, he said. Then he explained again.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

Shane and Erik have built this company themselves with their time and energy, with their blood and sweat and money.

And they want to give a piece of it to Worldbuilders.

We couldn’t mention it on the kickstarter itself, of course. Because kickstarter projects can’t be directly associated with charities.

But yes, they were serious.

“And if we hit 500,000 before the end of the kickstarter,” Erik said. “We’d like to give you another 5%.”

It’s not often that I’m caught completely flat-footed and at a loss for words. But I was, I honestly was.

Eventually I kinda pulled myself together. “That’s really amazingly generous of you guys,” I said. “It’s amazingly kind of you. I’m so flattered, and I’m floored, and I’m stupefied. It’s one of the most ridiculously generous things anyone has ever offered me, and I don’t know how to respond.”

Then I paused and took a deep breath. “But maybe you want to think this over. Chat about it. Make sure it’s something you really want to do. We can talk about it some more tomorrow.”

And they kinda laughed at me. They explained that they’d already thought it over and talked about it. Which is why they were making me the offer now.

I nodded for a while kinda absentmindedly, getting my head together.

“If you let me tell this story on my blog,” I said. “Me and my people will blow the fucking roof off the last two days of this kickstarter. We will bring thunder and fury to your very door. We will shake the earth.”

They said they were okay with that.

So. Here is our 500K stretch goal.

500k

Now. Let’s be honest here. Are Shane and Erik being generous? Absolutely.

Are they being perfect, saintlike altruists? No. They’re clever folks. Really amazingly clever. Because with a single piece of outside-the-box thinking and startling generosity, they’ve brought me onto their team. I’m going to *so* many projects with them in the future. So many.

And you know what? I’m fine with that. Because they do awesome work.

This is the best sort of cleverness. The sort of cleverness where everyone is awesome, and everyone wins.

Now I’m not asking y’all to rush over and join the kickstarter. If you’ve already signed up, I’m not asking you to run over and increase your order.

But if you were thinking of picking up some of the new add-ons anyway…. Well, you can make that purchase knowing that an even larger portion of the money is going to a good cause.

And if you have a friend that loves NOTW, and you wanted to buy them an deck of cards as early Christmas present…. Well, you can rest assured that not only will that deck be as awesome as I can make it, but that the money is going directly to the artists. To the company they themselves own.

And if you wanted to twitter about this. Or talk about it on your blog. Or drop a link to this blog on facebook….

Well, I’d take that as a kindness. Because we have less than two days left.

And I’d really like to show Shane and Erik that they’ve made a good choice here.

Later space cowboys,

pat

P.S. If you have any questions about the kickstarter. You can ask them in the comments here. I’ll answer the ones I can. But tomorrow’s a busy day, and I’m flying out to Ohio for a convention.

So if some of the more kickstarter-savvy among you can help out with some answers too, I’d really appreciate it.

Posted in being awesome, calling on the legions, cool news, Felicia Day, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman | By Pat137 Responses

Comic-Con Schedule

This is my fourth year attending San Diego Comic-Con. And every year, something happens immediately before my trip, as if some cruel deific being were trying to prevent me from getting my geek on.

The complication this year? Rabies.

But that, as they say, is a story for another time. Suffice to say that I refuse to be thwarted, and am currently at ComicCon, preparing to lave myself geek culture.

Whenever I go to ComicCon, I prepare a list of things I’d like to do in my head.

Some of these are simple things. Friends I’d like to get together with and chat. Booths I’d like to visit. Presents I’d like to buy for people.

Other things on my list are more…. esoteric. It’s almost like the entire con is a game. Or a safari. And I get points if I see certain things on my trip. Like, say, a 300 pound guy with a beard dressed up as sailor moon. If I put that on my list, then see it at the con, I’d get, like, 35 points. More ordinary things, like spotting Stan Lee would only get me 5 points. (15 if he’s not doing a signing, or some other event.)

Then there’s things I hope to do at the con. The top of the list is, of course, Meet-Joss-Whedon-Then-Become-Best-Friends-and-Totally-Hang-Out-In-A-Tree-Fort-Together. That’s worth so many points that I would actually level up on the spot, perhaps with embarrassing consequences.

So far I’m doing pretty well at 78 points, with the big score being the fact that I got to hear John Scalzi sing “Somebody that I used to know” in the style of Fred Schneider from the B 52s while accompanying himself on the ukulele.

And listen. I know that sounds like some bullshit thing that I made up, but it really isn’t. I swear. It really happened. It’s printed indelibly on my on my heart and mind. Fire could not burn it from me.

Anyway, if you happen to be one of the 120,000 + people here at the con this weekend, here’s some of the stuff I’ll be doing, if you’re hoping to catch me here.

Thursday, July 12, 7:00-11:00pm
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I’m just doing a little walk-on with the aforementioned John Scalzi. But if last year was any indication, it’s going to be a hell of a show.

There *might* be tickets available here.

Friday, July 13, 2012 3:30-4:30PM
Panel: THE CROWNLESS AGAIN SHALL BE KING:
Comic Con room 6A

Legendary editor Betsy Mitchell gets epic with panelists Brandon Sanderson (Alloy of Law), Raymond E. Feist (A Crown Imperiled),Robin Hobb (City of Dragons), N.K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy), Christopher Paolini (The Inheritance cycle), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), Patrick Rothfuss(KingKiller Chronicles), Heather Brewer (The Legacy of Tril), and Lynn Flewelling(Casket of Souls). 

Friday, July 13, 2012 5:00-6:00pm
Signing  with the panel from Epic Fantasy War
Autograph booth AA9

Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm
Geek and Sundry Panel
Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton.

(I’m not on this panel, but I’m going to be there. For reasons that must remain secret for now….)


[Edit: One more event!
Saturday, July 14, 2012 5:30-6:30pm
Spotlight on John Scalzi
Room 7 AB

I’ll be moderating this one.]

Other than that, I’m just going to be skulking around the con, looking for trouble. If you can’t get into my panel, then you have a decent chance of running into me in places like the Badali Jewlery booth (#530) or Geek Chic (131-133). I also tend to lurk around the Mysterious Galaxy booth a lot, I can’t remember the exact number of it, it’s somewhere in the 1000’s, but they have signed copies of my books there, and if you happen to catch me while I’m passing through, I’d be happy to personalize one to you.

And, of course, if you see me walking around the con, feel free to say hello.

Okay, I’m off. Wish me luck….

pat

 

Posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, appearances, conventions | By Pat33 Responses

Author Talk: Building Character

About a month ago, I did a G+ hangout with Felicia Day, John Scalzi, and Amber Benson in order to promote the launch of Felicia’s new maelstrom of nerd-awesome: Geek and Sundry.

We set out to talk about what makes for good, interesting characters, and the conversation spiraled pleasantly through all manner of interesting tangents after that. In addition to being a fun talk with some of the wittiest geeks around, I think we also ended up raising some interesting points about stories, writing, truth, beauty, etc.

Anyway, if you missed the live broadcast, you can stop weeping softly to yourself in the corner. They’ve just posted up the video over on youtube.

Here it is:

Man, I really need a haircut….

pat

Posted in Felicia Day, Interviews, tangentality, the craft of writing, videos | By Pat48 Responses

Brilliance Audio, BBC, Unicorns and Felicia Day

You know what’s surprising? If you google “Unicorns and Felicia Day” you don’t get any direct hits.

I find myself oddly proud to be the first.

With less than a week to go, Worldbuilders is still going strong. We’ve raised more than 92,000 dollars for Heifer International so far, and I’m hoping we can break 100,000 by the end of the week.

So remember, if you donate on our team page before Dec 13th, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. Plus you have the chance to win all sorts of cool swag like this:

Y’all know about The Guild, right? If you’re geeky enough to have discovered our fundraiser, I kinda already assume you know about the Guild.

But even if you do know about The Guild, you might not have heard about this yet, as it’s pretty new:

  • A copy of The Guild comic written by Felicia Day and illustrated by Jim Rugg.

Over the years I’ve come to think of The Onion’s A.V. Club as the gold-standard of reviews. This isn’t just because they gave my book one of the best reviews ever. It’s because if the reviewers in the A.V. Club think something is crap, they aren’t afraid to say so, at great length, and with many scathing words.

So read the following blurb with that in mind.

“Seamlessly integrates with the web series’ mixture of discomfort humor and deep understanding of-and wry sympathy for-gaming nerddom.” -The Onion’s A.V. Club

  • Five copies of the full-cast BBC radio dramatization The Adventures of Sexton Blake.

I’ve gushed about this on a previous blog. And after buying at least a dozen copies to give away as gifts I couldn’t help myself from picking up another five just to donate to Worldbuilders.

I do this in order to share the joy with as many people as possible. If you’ve ever read a Sherlock Holmes story you’ll laugh your ass of at this BBC production of the Adventures of Sexton Blake.

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for any amount of time knows how I feel about Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Let’s just take that as read, shall we?

I’ve picked up five copies just for Worldbuilders this year because if you haven’t watched it, you really need to. And if you have watched it, but haven’t caught the musical commentary on the DVD then you’re really missing out.

Next we’ve got some lovely audiobooks from Brilliance audio.

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Read by Sam Tsoutsouvas.

While I never made it to the end of Goodkind’s series, I do have a certain fondness for this first book. I read it in 1998, back when I was having a bit of a creative slump. Reading this book for the first time jazzed me back up a little and got me back into working on The Name of the Wind.

“Wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring.” – Kirkus Review

Whenever I read Catherynne Valente’s stuff, I’m made uncomfortably aware of the fact that she’s probably way smarter than me.

That said, she writes a hell of a book, and I was proud to discover she was one of the other authors who was writing for Scalzi’s Unicorn Pegasus Kitten chapbook.

While I haven’t listened to the audio version of Palimpsest, I have read it. Valente has a gorgeous use of language and she’s created a completely unique world. Plus the book is kinda sexy. Plus it has an awesome cover. Plus extra points for use of the word “palimpsest.”

“Overflowing with poetic images and epic repetition, Valente’s story washes us to an unexpected shore. –Regina Schroeder for Booklist.

First off, this is written by Bill Willingham. So you know you’re in for a good time.

Second off, this is actually a Fables novel. So you know you’re getting to explore a well-developed world with a cool mythic underpinning.

Lastly, this book is read by Wil Wheaton.

So there you go. Even before you consider the fact that this is in a neat collector’s tin, you’ve already got a trifecta of cool.

  • An unabridged set of Vol 1 and 2 of The Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver and King of the Vagabonds by Neal Stephenson. Read by Simon Prebble.

“BBC announcer/Shakespearean actor Prebble’s performance is wonderfully nuanced. His authoritative narration, combined with his chameleon-like facility for character and accent, is nothing short of enchanting… The experience of listening to this audiobook is something rare, as it’s a literary tale that brings history, science and philosophy to life in a heartily entertaining fashion.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Read by Arthur Morly. Stories by Neil Gaiman, Robert Silverberg, Kage Baker and many more.

“The 23 stories not only capture the unique feel of Vance’s dying universe but stand individually as one of the strongest gatherings of writers to pay homage to one of their own. This is highly recommended.” – Library Journal (starred review)

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Wolfsbane and Mistletoe: Hair Raising Holiday Tales edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Read by MacLeod Andrews and Tanya Eby. Stories by Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and more.

“Fresh, interesting tales…[that] star some of the more famous series characters like Sookie Stackhouse.” – Alternative Worlds

“A captivating collection…offers up the Christmas spirit in a wonderfully wicked way.” – Darque Reviews

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Many Bloody Returns edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Read by Luke Daniels and Teri Clark Linden. Stories by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong and more.

“Thoroughly enjoyable…a toothsome collection of birthday treats you will not want to miss.” – Monsters and Critics

“Toothsome” is a word you don’t hear enough anymore. I’m going to make a point of using it today…

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Death’s Excellent Vacation edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Read by Christopher Lane and Amanda Ronconi. Stories by Charlaine Harris, Katie MacAlister, Jeaniene Frost and more.

“Harris and Kelner’s third short-story anthology sends paranormals on vacation… Sarah Smith, Daniel Stashower, L.A. Banks, Lilith Saintcrow, and Sharan Newman also contribute quality work, and readers will find this collection a great sampler for discovering authors they’ll want to follow.” – Publisher’s Weekly

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey. Read by Nick Podehl.

“Lackey makes a real page-turner out of Mags’ and the collegia’s development… this book’s outstanding characters, especially Mags, will greatly please Valdemar fans.” – Booklist

  • Two copies of the unabridged audio book of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, read by Nick Podehl. Signed by the author.

I had to get a special pen to sign these. I actually left the house. I don’t like to do that very often, so you better appreciate it.

  • A copy of The Last Unicorn DVD. Signed by author Peter S. Beagle.

This movie was made back when an author could actually be directly involved in creating a movie. Since Peter was actually had a hand in this project, it’s surprisingly true to the novel. Both in the tone of the story and the text of the dialogue itself.

This is a really great movie. It was animated by Rankin/Bass, the same folks that did the original animated Hobbit movie. It’s got a great score, and is very faithful to the spirit of the original novel. It’s sweet, mythic, tender, and frightening in places, just like any good old fashioned fairy tale is supposed to be.

*     *     *

Lastly Conlan Press has donated a couple unique items that I can’t help but auction off.

What we have here are original film cells from The Last Unicorn movie. Each of them in a clear protective envelope signed by Peter S. Beagle himself.

If you want more details about the cells, or if you want to order a specific set of cells as, you can check out Peter S. Beagle’s newsletter over here.

  • The Last Unicorn 35mm Vintage Film Cells. Signed by Peter S. Beagle.

This is what Beagle’s signature looks like on the protective envelope.

When I think of all the magician characters I’ve read over the years, only a few really stand out. Gandalf is the first of these, of course. But after that comes Merlin, Pug, and Schmendrick.

To see more pictures or to bid on this Vintage Film Cell featuring Schmendrick the magician you can follow this link.

This cell shows a classic Rankin/Bass landscape with the unicorn on the hillside at night.

To see more pictures or to bid on this Vintage Film Cell from the Last Unicorn, you can follow this link.

And here we have a cell with a close-up of the unicorn herself.

To see more pictures or bid on this Vintage Film Cell from the Last Unicorn, you can follow this link.

*     *     *

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these cool audiobooks and hundreds of others like them.

In addition to that, Worldbuilders is matching 50% of all donations made on our Team Heifer page before Dec 13th.

For more details about Worldbuilders, the auctions we’re running, and the other donated books, you can head over HERE.

Posted in Dr. Horrible, Felicia Day, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat34 Responses

Reaping the Whirlwind

First, I’d like everyone to take a moment and appreciate the clever title of this post. I’m unreasonably proud of it.

We good? Okay.

After a long week, Sarah and I have finally managed to tie up about 99% of the loose ends on the fundraiser. We’ve drawn numbers, sorted prizes, sent e-mails, and packaged nearly everything up.

And when I saw “we,” I mean “Sarah.” I did a lot of the sifting, number juggling, and e-mailing, but Sarah was the package queen.

Awww…. She loves those packages. Those hundreds and hundreds of packages.

Also, as you can see in the lower lefthand corner, the holy light these prizes exude can shine through cardboard, tape, and two layers of bubble wrap. It’s powerful stuff.

I’d also like to note that these packages do not include the Subterranean Press books. Because not only was Subterranean Press cool enough to donate a great pile of stuff, they were nice enough to handle all the shipping for those books too. Which is why I am filled with love for them.

And speaking of love….

Here Sarah is modeling the catgirl hat many of you have seen before. I wanted to prove that I actually did buy it for her, and wasn’t secretly keeping it for myself.

Simply said, the fundraiser would have been impossible without Sarah. She spent dozens of hours bundling up books, running errands, and generally getting everything done. Hell, the trip to the post office alone took two full hours, and that was with a friend with a van helping.

Everyone say, “Thank you Sarah.”

And now, answers to some final questions.

  • Things went really crazy right at the end of the fundraiser. What happened?

Things did go a little crazy. On December 9th, I mentioned on the blog that I thought we had a decent chance of breaking $40,000. Then, we raised over $16,000 in the next two days, tearing past $50,000 and leaving me worried that I was going to have to take out a loan so I could cover my half.

A big piece of this was brought about by folks spreading the word on their blogs. Most notably, Neil Gaiman.

I’d heard through the grapevine that Gaiman was a bit of a Heifer supporter, so I sent him a little e-mail, asking if he’d be interested in mentioning it on his blog.

I should have realized that asking for something like this would be like sticking my tongue into…. well… into anything, really. In my experience, whenever you stick your tongue into something, the outcome is going to be either very exciting, very dangerous, or both.

This was one of those “both” situations. After his blog, Gaiman’s readers flooded over to participate in the festivities. Felicia Day mentioned it on her blog too. Plus, I know a lot of folks were finishing their own personal fundraisers and/or waiting until the very end to make their donations. Hence the crazy.

Rest assured, everyone who got their donations in by the 11th was entered into the lottery.

And yes, I’m all twitterpated that Gaiman referred to me as a “good author.” Though I hope at least some of that was referring to my storytelling as opposed to my ethics.

  • The donations hit nearly $55,000. How much are you matching?

The other day I asked Sarah, “What do you want for Christmas?”

Nothing you can afford to get me,” she said huffily.

And we laugh. This has become the running joke in our house.

I’ve decided to match all the donations. I could have stopped at forty thousand, but I said I’d keep matching until the 11th, and I like to keep my promises.

  • What was the final total?

If you’ve read the blog that started it all, you know I offered two options to people who wanted to donate. There was the Sure Thing option, and the Lottery option.

A surprising number of people chose the Sure Thing, which meant they mailed me a check and I mailed them something back, usually a book or a map signed however they wanted it.

(Click to Embiggen)

A *lot* of people chose this option. So many that I ran out of first edition books. The total amount raised from the Sure Thing option was over six thousand dollars.

That, plus my matching donation from the lottery, minus the cost of postage and packaging materials, brings us to $58,493.14

I’m showing you the check not as proof that I’m mailing it, but because it took me ten friggin minutes to write this thing out. I screwed up five checks before I managed to get it right. I misspelled “ninty,” wrote the wrong amount, wrote the wrong year, and failed more than once to get the total to fit on the line.

I keep pretending that I’m a grown-up, but I’m not.

Anyway, this money, plus the donations that were made directly to the Heifer page, makes a grand total of $113,466.28.

I don’t have words enough to express how happy this makes me. I firmly believe that deep down, people are fundamentally good. But it’s nice to have some data that backs that sentiment up every once in a while.

I’d like to thank all the authors who donated books, all the people who mentioned the fundraiser on their blogs, and all the people who donated money to the cause. Yay us.

  • Are you planning on doing this again next year?

Yes. But I’m planning on doing some things differently.

More stuff. A lot of people wanted to contribute books or other goodies to this year’s auction, but they didn’t hear about the fundraiser until it was nearly finished. I’ve already got stuff piling up for next year’s fundraiser.

Streamlined lottery. Next year, when you make your donation you’ll be able to mark what prizes you’re interested in. That way if you win something, it will be something you’re sure to like.

Auctions. Some prizes are really cool, but only to a very select group of people. So next year we’re going to auction those items off separately. These might be things like manuscripts. Or they might be services, like an author agreeing to insert your name into an upcoming book, a lawyer offering legal consultation, or feedback on a manuscript from a literary agent.

  • I want to be a part of next year’s fundraiser. How can I help?

Donate. Want to chip in a signed book or two? Lovely. Have a cool collectible or unique skill you think would be a worthwhile addition? Wonderful. I’m already collecting prizes for next year. Send them along.

Or maybe you’d like to be an even bigger part of the fundraiser? I’m going to be looking for official sponsors to help me match donations for next year. I’d like to be able to do all of it on my own again, but I just can’t afford it.

If you’d like to help out, drop me a line on my contact form or send an e-mail to Paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger) gmail.com.

Spread the word. Not everyone has signed books to donate or money to throw around. But you can help a lot by letting people know about the fundraiser. A lot of the prizes I received came from authors who contacted me, saying, “A fan sent me an e-mail about your fundraiser and I’d love to be a part of it.” So if you know someone that might be interested in helping, donating a prize, or potentially being a sponsor, talk to them about it. It’s a big help.

Help me come up with a name.
We *really* need a name, folks. We can’t keep calling it “The Heifer Fundraiser.” It lacks panache. Names are important things, you know. And they can tell you a lot about a fundraiser.

Right now, the best I’ve been able to come up with is “Worldbuilders.” But we need something catchier than that. I know that a lot of you are word-clever, as shown by your constant, witty definitions of the word verification giberish. Funnel the churning magma of your creativity toward this problem and I’m sure we can come up with something good.

In fact, let’s try to get the ball rolling in the comments below. Serious suggestions only please. Believe me, I’ve come up with enough sarcastic-sounding ones on my own…. (Geeks for Goats being the least lame of these.)

Thanks again everyone,

pat

Posted in baby ducks, Catgirl, cool things, Heifer International, Neil Gaiman, Sarah, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat75 Responses

Some of the Best for Last – More Delicious Swag

Did I mention that Heifer International called my house? Yeah. They’re the coolest folks. Apparently some of them have been watching our fundraiser with more than passing interest. They confirmed something I had started to suspect. Namely, that y’all are cool as hell.This is the last treasure post, and we have some lovely stuff. Detailed below, we have another original manuscript, signed books and ARC’s, and some cool swag from Queen of the Geeks, Felicia Day.

I’ve raised the donation bar a couple times just in the last week, and right now it looks like we stand a good chance of actually raising more that 40,000 dollars. Which is awe-inspiring, really.

For the last month, the first thing I’ve done in the morning is check the Heifer donation page. It’s been a great way to start my day. But I’ll be honest with you, there have been a few times in the last week that I’ve woken up, looked at the total, and thought. “This is it. I really shouldn’t match any more. I said I’d keep going until Dec 11th, but I’m sure folks will understand if I stop matching donations a couple days early….”

When I get that feeling, I go look at Heifer’s website. Then I learn things like the fact that half the chickens in Korea are descended from eggs that Heifer supplied after the Korean War.

Or I read about a young man in Uganda who had to quit school to take care of his five younger siblings because his parents died. He got a Heifer, greatly improving the family’s nutrition. And the money they get from selling the surplus milk is helping to pay for school.

And then I think, “I can order Chinese food any time I want, and they bring it to my house. I have a car in reasonably good repair. I have a house that stays warm through the Wisconsin winters. I have a house full of books to read, and all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. I am living the best possible life.”

Then I relax, and I realize that nothing makes me happier than raising the donation bar again. And again after that if need be.

Okay, enough touchy-feely. Let’s talk about free stuff.

  • A set of the first three books in Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet: A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, and An Autumn War. Hardcover. Signed by the author.

While I haven’t mentioned these books on my blog, I’ve read them and they’re really good. In fact, these were the first books I ever decided to give an official blurb to.I’d almost forgotten about it. But when Daniel’s books showed up today, I saw that my blurb was actually there, right on the cover. First book: quote from GRRM. Second book: quote from GRRM. Third book? Quote from me. That’s right baby. Me.

So obviously I thought these were great books. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, why not trust bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss when he says, “There is much to love in the Long Price Quartet. It is epic in scope, but character-centered. The setting is unique yet utterly believable. The storytelling is smooth, careful, and–best of all–unpredictable.”

  • An advance reading copy of Jeri Smith-Ready’s The Reawakened, conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy. Signed by the author.

Another one of those cool ARC’s for those of you who are interested in getting a peek at the book before it hits the shelves. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Myth blends with passion in this colorful conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy.”

Award winning author Stephen Baxter calls Mirrored Heavens, “A crackling cyberthriller. This is Tom Clancy interfacing Bruce Sterling. David Williams has hacked into the future.”

  • A copy of Questions for a Soldier, by John Scalzi. Limited edition.

Questions for a Soldier is a limited edition Subterranean Press book set in the world of Scalzi’s first novel, Old Man’s War. Scalzi himself says, “for those of you looking for rare and unusual Scalzi-related curiosities, this is it, baby.”Paul Di Filippo, writing for The Washington Post Book World says, “Scalzi’s imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated….His speculative elements are top-notch. His combat scenes are blood-roiling. His dialogue is suitably snappy and profane.”

  • A set of S.C. Bulter’s Reiffen’s Choice and Queen Ferris, books one and two of The Stoneways Trilogy. Signed by the author.

Children’s Literature says, “Fantasy fans of all ages will be drawn into the world that Butler has created…. If one wanders away from the main characters they will not fall out of the story but will find another story somewhere in the Stoneways or Valing, and that is the mark of a truly great fantasy.”

This husband and wife team just sent me some of their stuff out of the blue. And I’ll admit that when this graphic novel showed up, I invoked my sovereign right of… um… book-lookingness. Anyway, I read it. And it was pretty cool….According to Publishers Weekly, “The tale’s unfamiliar setting and the uncanny events work together intriguingly.”

In a starred review, Kirkus says, “Featuring both an uncommonly well-conceived setting and buckets of high-energy action, Taylor’s debut tale of a thumb-sized devil hunter who comes this close to meeting her match belongs at the top of everyone’s fantasy must-read list.”
  • A copy of Dead to Me, the debut novel of Anton Strout. Signed by the author.

Anton Strout is, among other things, my mortal enemy. However, I’m willing to set aside any personal rancor I feel toward the man in order to accept his generous gift on behalf of Heifer International.

Bestselling author Charlaine Harris gives this review: “Following Simon’s adventures is like being the pinball in an especially antic game, but it’s well worth the wear and tear.”

  • An ARC of Fenzig’s Fortune by Jean Rabe. Signed by the Author.
Jean has donated both a signed ARC, and a signed hardcover to the cause. Publisher’s Weekly says that, “Readers of all ages will find simple pleasures in this traditional hobbit-inspired fantasy.”
  • A manuscript of Steven Savile’s new Stargate novel, Shadows, book one of The Iblis Trilogy. Signed by the author.

I can’t say enough good about Steven. When he heard about the fundraiser, he immediately went out and started beating the bushes for donations. He brought in the folks from Bad Moon Books. He tipped off Kevin Anderson and many others. Finally, he’s donated this lovely manuscript.

Here’s what Steven says:

“Shadows is the first book in the Iblis Trilogy, an SG-1 novel featuring the original team. What makes this manuscript unique is it includes all of the mistakes and material that MGM won’t approve – so there are a good 10,000 words different between it as a first draft and the finished book which is coming out at the end of January. The story itself pits the team against the Goa’uld, Iblis, and features the Mujina, an archetypal monster who can be all things to everyone, the hero and villain their heart most desperately desires.”

(That’s not my thumb this time, folks.
Judging by the grace and poise, I think it might be Felicia’s.)

When I heard from Felicia a couple days ago, I hurried downstairs to tell Sarah.

Me: Felicia Day just sent me an e-mail! She says she’d like to donate a signed copy of The Guild DVD and a Dr. Horrible poster signed by the cast.

Sarah: Well that must make you excited enough to pee.

Which, in fact, sums up my reaction quite nicely.

I made a blog post about The Guild a while back, singing its praises. Later, Felicia and I interviewed each other, each in our respective blogs.

What I’m getting at is that I thought she was cool even *before* Dr. Horrible came out and she worked a deal with X-box to sponsor season two of The Guild.

The Los Angeles Times praised The Guild as “perhaps the smartest (and definitely the funniest) webisodic series of the year.” This year, they’re putting out a new season that’s way more budgety.

If you haven’t heard about Dr. Horrible, then you obviously haven’t been reading my blog for very long. Maybe you have been living under a heavy, heavy rock. Or perhaps you hate everything that is lovely and good in the world.

How much do I love Dr. Horrible? I’ll let this picture from my Halloween party tell the story:

Yeah. The ladies were totally into my Dr. Horrible costume.

So… yeah.
Dr. Horrible was bigger than Lennon, and the poster is pretty cool too. Signed by Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris, and Nathan Fillion. This prize is guaranteed to make you excited enough to pee.

That’s all she wrote, folks. Remember you have until the end of December 11th to get in on the action. Tell your friends….

Want to know how to win these and other fabulous prizes while making the world a better place? Check OVER HERE for the blog that describes it all.

Rock on, team geek.

pat

Posted in a billion links, Felicia Day, Heifer International, recommendations, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat39 Responses
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