Tag Archives: H.P. Lovecraft

Cool Things from Awesome Supporters

It’s been a great couple of days of fundraising here, and with less than a week left, we have a little bit of business to attend to.

  • Odds of winning a prize

First of all, yesterday, someone asked what their odds of winning a prize in the lottery were. What a fantastic question! we thought to ourselves. Surely it’ll take us ages to do such a difficult calculation, so alas, we won’t be able to answer it.

At least, that’s what we’ve said in years past. We’ve proven that we really shouldn’t be the ones trusted to do the math for odds, as evidenced by the multiple fundraiser blogs where we tried and and got the math wrong. That’s why we brought in a pro last year.

Vi Hart did the math, and we used that to create this little widget. Put in your donation, and it will tell you what the odds are that you win at least one prize.

Right now if you donate $20, enough for a flock of chickens, you have a 6% (ish) chance of winning something. (Better odds that rolling a 1 on your saving throw, and we all know how often *that* happens.)

If you donate $120, enough for a goat, you have a 34% chance of winning.

Donate enough to bring clean water to a village ($250) you have a 55% chance.

Donate enough for a Heifer ($500)  and you have a 78% chance of winning.

Keep in mind that the widget doesn’t tell you how likely you are to win multiple prizes. And some prizes contain multiple books.

What’s more, the odds will shimmy around a bit. As more people donate, the odds go down. But the more prizes we post, the odds go up. It’s also worthwhile to note that some people opt out of the prize draw, and as a result, your odds are actually a little *better* than what the widget tells you.

There is one slight flaw. If you donate enter more than 2700 dollars, the widget will show a 100% chance of winning a prize. This isn’t really true. But the widget can’t show 99.999999999%, so it rounds up.

These are amazingly good odds, folks. And We’re still got an entire weeks worth of material to add to the pot.

  • Holiday Shipping Times

If you’re like me, you’re probably *just* starting to think about doing your Holiday shopping. Luckily for you, you can do some of your shopping in The Tinker’s Packs whereas I’m denied that joy, because it’s considered tacky to give your family and friends your own merch as presents.

If you *are* considering making a few purchaces for time-sensitive holidays, you might want to check the data below. Because shipping times can be pretty brutal this time of year….

2015 Holiday Shipping Dates (1)

The international times, as always, are hard to guess and highly variable. We give a rough estimate of 2-8 weeks, not because it’ll take that long to get to your country, but because we have no way of knowing how long customs might take to get your package processed. We don’t want to make promises at this point, but it’s likely you’re still safe for another few days.

But as you can see, the last day to get the cheapest domestic shipping and be sure it’ll be there in time for Christmas is today. Every day you wait after today is going to cost you more money in shipping, so I advise at least checking things out to make sure you’re not missing out on something you desperately want.

Or, if you don’t want to worry about shipping times, get them a Gift Card. Ships to your email inbox in a matter of seconds with no risk of embarrassingly choosing the wrong size t-shirt! This is a service we provide to the community out of the love of our hearts.

* * *

The authors, publishers, and game companies that donate to us get a lot of glory, and rightfully so. They donate thousands of dollars worth of prizes to the fundraiser. They make a huge impact on things here.

But there are always people supporting the cause in their own way. Lots of our team pages are made by people asking their families to contribute to the fundraiser instead of giving Christmas gifts. There’s people holding bake sales, or their own little mini fundraisers, in honor of Worldbuilders.

And there are people sending us their own treasured possessions. Books from their personal collections, some of them signed, limited, or rare.

Today’s blog is made up entirely of these. Books that our supporters gave, a few at a time, out of the goodness of their own hearts.

We have the best supporters.

Almost all of the books in today’s blog are signed, which is an added bonus. If not by the author, then perhaps by the illustrator…

necronomicon

This is a hefty tome. It has some of Lovecraft’s best-known work, including the entire Cthulu Mythos. The illustrator, Les Edwards, doodled a full page in the front, making it particularly valuable.

If you want to add this to your collection, you can bid right here.

  • Lovecraft Library Bundle: Six Lovecraft Books.

lovecraft

If that Necronomicon is a little outside of your price range, you can make a contribution of $10 or more to the team page to be entered to win one of thousands of prizes, including this six-pack of Lovecraft stories.

First Editions

A surprising number of signed first edition books made their way to us this year, and we knew they’d be loved if we put them into the lottery.

  • First edition copy of Lock In. Signed by John Scalzi.

scalzi

Lock In is one of Amanda’s favorite books, and getting a signed first edition is extra cool. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

“The novel–which contains plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable worldbuilding and a thought-provoking examination of disability culture and politics–is definitely worth the ride.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • First edition copy of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade. Signed by Den Patrick.

patrick

“The Boy with the Porcelain Blade is an intriguing novel that opens like a flower to reveal all to those who choose to read it” –Fantasy Book Review

This is the first book in a new dark fantasy series, and we’re really excited to have one to show off in the fundraiser. The signature is even dated with March 21, 2014, so it’s got some bonus value to it. It’s going right into the lottery, so a lucky donor is going to win it…

dying

“A beautiful story, honestly told.”―Neil Gaiman

Honestly, we’re all willing to pick up any book with a blurb like that from Neil Gaiman, and this one is particularly beautiful.

moore

“Moore is endlessly inventive … This cetacean picaresque is no fluke – it is a sure winner” —Publishers Weekly

A lot of us in the office are big Chrsitopher Moore fans, so this first edition is particularly lusted after here at Worldbuilders HQ.

  • A set of first edition copies of Echopraxia and Blindsight. Both signed by Peter Watts.

watts

“A paranoid tale that would make Philip K. Dick proud, told in a literary style that should seduce readers who don’t typically enjoy science fiction.” ―Kirkus Reviews

  • Auction: First edition copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Signed by me, signed and remarqued by Nate Taylor.

srost

This is a lovely donation from a supporter, who wanted to remain anonymous. Nate did a gorgeous remarque of Auri and Foxen on the dedication page, and I haven’t seen many with such extensive art before.

This one is up for auction, so if you’re interested, you can bid right here.

Otherwise Awesome Books

First editions are great, but we have a lot more signed, doodled, and otherwise awesome books we’re adding to the fundraiser, as well.

  • Auction: Collector’s edition of The Gormenghast Novels two-volume set, by Mervyn Peake.

gormenghast

This is super cool. The Gormenghast novels are a huge part of the history of fantasy, and they’ve all been compiled into two beautiful leatherbound volumes. One of our supporters, Jill, sent it along, and we knew we had to make sure it went to a home that would love it deeply.

If you can provide that home, bid here.

mccammon

“This story blends the gripping horror and action of McCammon’s earliest novels with the empathy of his more recent work, making it one of his finest.” –Publishers Weekly

This is one of Subterranean Press’s beautiful books, and it’s been all signed up to make it that much cooler.

  • 3 copies of Diary of a Mad Brownie. Signed by the illustrator, Paul Kidby, one also signed by  Bruce Coville.

coville

“It’s not easy to merge such disparate elements as traditional Scottish lore and modern American life, but Coville brings it off with wit, style, and respect. The first volume of the Enchanted Files series is smart, amusing, and a lot of fun” —Booklist (starred review)

This is a particular treat. Not only do we have three copies to put into the lottery, but they’re all signed by both the author and illustrator, making them extra special.

conquest

“Densely plotted and decidedly grown-up, this is YA fiction for readers who are bored of fluff and sparkles.” –SFX Magazine

demons

“Whelan juggles wisecracking demons, Wicca, a World of Warcraft-style game, and even a sly Morrissey quote […] It’s a hoot.” –The Guardian

hegarty

“Hegarty’s debut and the first of a projected series is Ghostbusters meets Percy Jackson as written by Terry Pratchett. Readers will be hunting for the sequel in short order.” –Kirkus Reviews

brennan

“Full of vivid characters and terrific world building, Generation V is a fun, fast-packed romp of a story that kept me glued tot he pages to the very last word. Loved it! Bravo, M.L. Brennan, bravo!”–Devon Monk

I love seeing inscriptions like this, because the winner of this in the lottery is going to be able to look back on it for a long time, brag to their friends, and show it off as something cool they got for doing something cool. It’s a win-win-win.

  • 3 copies of A Study In Scarlet. Signed by the illustrator, Gris Grimly.

scarlet

I think we all know a Sherlock Holmes story or two, but an illustrated version signed by the illustrator would be a good addition to your collection. And the quick doodle with the signature is pretty awesome. We had a copy of Neil Gaiman’s The Dangerous Alphabet last year, illustrated by Gris Grimly, and everyone crowded around it for a while, pointing out all the brilliant details he adds to his art.

got

This is a pretty rare book. Subterranean Press doesn’t even allow people to order more than one, and it was limited to only 500 copies. This particular copy is number 331, and includes roughly 70 black and white interior illustrations, including chapter heads, full page illustrations, and vignettes, as well as three full-color interior illustrations.

It’s signed by both Martin and the artist, Ted Nasmith, and it’s already being bid on pretty ferociously over on ebay. If you want it, get in on it quick.

  • A Buttload of ARCs from Shane.

arcs

One of our supporters, Shane, runs a book review blog and ends up with a lot of ARCs because of it. He sent us “a giant Target diaper box” (his words) full of ARCs, and rather than keep all the coolness for people who can afford to bid, we’re putting them all into the lottery.

There are ARCs from authors like Neal StephesonKen Liu, Chris Beckett, David Weber, and a lot, lot more. And yes, they arrived taped safely inside a Target diaper box. Size 6.

Since they’re all in the lottery, every $10 you donate gets you another chance to win some of these ARCs. If you’ve been holding back, the fundraiser has less than a week left at this point, so you might want to jump in soon…

* * *

Don’t forget to check out the store if you’re shopping for holiday gifts. You’re kind of late for Hanukkah, but maybe that’s an endearing trait to your loved ones. Like we said, today’s the last day for cheap shipping for Christmas, and it’s only going to get riskier the longer you wait.

There are lots more auctions up right now, too, and we haven’t even featured most of them yet. If you want to get a jump on the bidding, you can check them out right here.

And, as always, you can get your name in the hat for one of the thousands of prizes in the lottery, and help make the world a better place at the same time, by making a donation to our fundraiser page. The entire Worldbuilders Team will grin like idiots if you do. It’s been a pretty goofy looking office for a while now.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat11 Responses

Many lovely books from Gollancz Publishing



This is a Worldbuilders blog.




Well folks, the fundraiser’s been going for just a little more than 10 days, and we’ve already hit 25,000 dollars. I think that means that we are awesome.

Well… almost. We’re just a couple bucks short, but I’m calling it 25,000. Because that gives me an excuse to post up a celebratory blog full of more donated books.

Gollancz is my UK publisher. It is there, in ye olde London, where Gillian, my lovely UK editor, works.

When I was setting up this year’s fundraiser, I dropped Gillian a line to see if they might be interested in donating a few books to a good cause. I’m pretty midwestern about these things: I never want to come across as pushy. “Just if you want to.” I said. “No pressure. A couple books would be great. Whatever you have laying around the office…”

So imagine my delight and amazement when Gillian starts shipping over boxes and boxes of books, over 150 total. I so owe her a footrub.

Let’s list them off, shall we?

  • Five sets of the first eight books by Charlaine Harris: Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse and Dead and Gone.


Booklist says that “Charlaine Harris is a superstar in the paranormal fantasy field- Just the right mixture of humour, intrigue, and excitement.”

How’s that for cool. These books don’t just have humor, they have humour. Which is way better. Because it’s Brittish.

I’ve actually read the first four of this series and was pleasantly surprised. They’re a nice change from the dark, gothic drama of some of the urban fantasy out there. And now, thanks to Gollancz, you can own the whole set.

  • Five hardcover first editions of the collection of short stories of Charlaine Harris‘ heroine Sookie Stackhouse in A Touch of Dead.


This is a nice hardcover collection, and while I haven’t read it personally, Bookpage says, “It’s impossible not to love the wry, sexy Sookie, surely one of the most winning heroines to guide us through the dark side in a long time – maybe ever!”

  • Five copies of the Commemorative Edition of the Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft.

(Ia! Ia! Ia!)

This is a gorgeous book. If you’ve never read Lovecraft, you really should. He’s one of the cornerstones of modern fantasy and horror, and his stories still pack a punch.

Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you’ll trust Steven King when he says, “Lovecraft opened the way for me, as he had done for others before me.”

Still not convinced? How bout this quote blurb from Neil Gaiman:

“H.P. Lovecraft built the stage on which most of the last century’s horror fiction was performed. As doomed as any of his protagonists, he put a worldview into words that has spread to infect the world. You need to read him-he’s where the darkness starts.”

Man, Gaiman’s way better at this than me. I’m all, “Cornerstone of fantasy… blah blah blah.” But that up there is a serious quote. I suck at blurbing.

  • Five copies of The Centenary Edition of The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. Howard.


Back before Conan the Barbarian was govenor of California, he was a character written by Robert E. Howard. Collected here, in the chronological order they were first published, are the definitive stories of Conan, exactly as Howard wrote them.

This is another one of those books that made me wish I wasn’t a moral person. If I wasn’t a moral person, you see, I could just take one of these for myself and nobody would ever know the difference.

Brain Williamson says, “The energy of the writing practically thrums off the page and often the sense of tension and unease invoked is genuinely unsettling. Read it, then use the weighty tome to smite your enemies, drive them before you and hear the lamentation of their women!”


Jacqueline Carey is bringing sexy back to epic fantasy.

Want to read the best plot synopsis ever? Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly has to say about this book, “The seventh installment in Carey’s bestselling Kushiel series follows its youthful protagonist, Moirim, from bed to bed as she worships sexuality goddess Naamah.”

There’s more of course. But would you really bother reading it? Don’t you already know enough to want this book?

  • Six ARC and five hardcover copies of The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel.


It’s rare that a book gets translated from French into English. So you should probably sit up and take notice when it happens.

The Cardinal’s Blades is part historical novel, part old-fashioned swashbuckling high-action adventure, and part classic fantasy. Award winning novelist Pierre Pevel has woven some of the best-loved fantasy tropes – musketeer-style adventuring, daring swordsmen, political intrigue, non-stop action and dragons – into a stunning new fantasy series set during the reign of Louis XIII.


I’ve heard this book described as, “an entire season of Firefly all in one book.” Honestly, you don’t get higher praise than that.

“Retribution Falls picks you up, whisks you swiftly and entertainingly along, and sets you down with a big smile on your face.” – Joe Abercrombie

  • Five copies of The Stranger by Max Frei.


Kirkus reviews says, “If Harry Potter smoked cigarettes and took a certain matter-of-fact pleasure in administering touch justice, he might like Max Frei.”


Kirkus gives Fire a starred review, and says that Cashore’s book is “Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious.”

  • Four copies of the ARC of Horns by Joe Hill.


Since he’s Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill must have absorbed some of his dad’s mojo. Publishers Weekly calls him, “One of the most confident and assured new voices in horror and dark fantasy.”


First off, Retromancer is a cool title. Second off, I have never, ever seen a book that color before. Then I hear this book has, “beautiful spies, advanced alien technology, killer robots, death rays, and a battle with an ancient god.”

It sort of makes me wonder if my own books might be a little boring, honestly.


According to Daily Mail, “Those who like their sci-fi on an epic scale will be impressed by Reynolds’ hugely imaginative, sprawling space adventure. Magnificent stuff.”

  • Five sets of Alastair Reynolds‘ books: Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, Chasm City, Century Rain, Pushing Ice, The Prefect, House of Suns, Galactic North and Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days.


This is a hefty stack of books. We’ve got five sets of all ten books. Yet another collection I’d love to keep for my own shelf.

According to The London times, “Reynolds’s narrative is truly breathtaking in scope and intricate in detail, making him a mastersinger of the space opera.”

And Publishers Weekly says, “It’s rare to find a writer with sufficient nerve and stamina to write novels that are big enough to justify using words like ‘revelation’ and ‘redemption.’ Reynolds pulls it off.”

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others. So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in?

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

As always, with special thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(I just noticed that little face in the “S” up there. Creepy…)
Posted in Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat25 Responses

What should I do #9: Precipice

Odds are if you like computer games, you either know about Penny Arcade, or you live under a heavy, heavy rock.

What some folks don’t realize is that Penny Arcade recently put out their own video game titled On the Rain-Swept Precipice of Darkness. * I played it a while back and enjoyed it to a surprising degree. The interface is solid, the steampunk-ish world is appealing, and the game itself is pleasantly challenging in places, though by no means Nintendo hard.

As you can tell by the title, it’s rather tongue-in-cheek. The tone isn’t like anything else I’ve run into before. It’s like H. P. Lovecraft and Terry Pratchett had some sort of oddly charismatic love child with Tourette’s.

For me, the main selling point was the wit, the good use of language, and the irreverent humor. I’m a big fan of that sort of thing, if you hadn’t already guessed.

Best of all, if you’re like me and fear leaving the house during the summer for fear that the sun might touch you. You can download the whole game directly via the intertubes.

If you’re curious, there’s a demo available. If you like that, then I strongly urge you to buy the game and support them in their future endeavors.

That’s all for now folks,

pat

*** Edit: An attentive reader has pointed out that the title is actually “On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness.” I stand corrected. My bad.

Posted in recommendations, video games | By Pat19 Responses
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