Tag Archives: Lev Grossman

Novelties: IndieGoGo Edition

As some of you may already know, we’ve been shipping out our summer fundraiser perks for a while now. If it weren’t for the constant arrival of the UPS truck, we would be buried by the sheer mass of packages we’re assembling every day.

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And that’s not an exaggeration. Look at the upstretched hand of some poor lost Worldbuilders Minion waving for help from behind this stack of bundled packages. We have to keep shipping things out or we’re going to be crushed to death.

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So rest assured that if you jumped into the Geeks Doing Good fundraiser a couple months back, your goodies are on their way to you.

While it’s true that we’re busy with fundraiser fulfillment, we still have some new items for Novelties that have been showing up here at Worldbuilders HQ, including a couple of signed books. For example….

  • First edition copies of The Mad Apprentice. Signed by Django Wexler.

_DSC0539 Django Wexler is a seriously cool dude, and he’s helped out with Worldbuilders before. This time, he donated signed first edition copies of his newest book, which is the second in The Forbidden Library series. If you want to be cooler than all of the other kids, you should grab your copy and support Worldbuilders in the process by buying it right here.

_DSC0544 This is a collection of the webcomic my good friends Pat Johnson and Nate Taylor did for years. I wrote the introduction, and this is from the limited edition that was signed by contributing artists as well. There were only 50 of these, and it has art from Worldbuilders’ own Brett, Shane Tyree, and Phil Foglio, just to name a few. If you want in on a hilarious webcomic, grab this collection over here.

  • Boss Monster 2 from Brotherwise Games.

_DSC0542 Boss Monster is a house favorite here at Worldbuilders HQ. When we get together and hang out, or have a team game night, it’s usually one of the first choices to play. And now that Boss Monster 2 is out, we have even more to play.

One of the cool things about Boss Monster is that every card is a geeky reference to a retro game or gaming archetype in some way. Boss Monster 2 is no exception. Here’s someone you might recognize. PatCard(Wrathfuss the Namer.)

It’s kinda uncanny how easily that managed to capture me using that 8-bit style….

There’s a few other faces in there you might recognize.

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Yup. Characters similar-to-but legally distinct from Sanderson, Gaiman, and Martin all make cameos as heroes you must destroy in your dungeon. And we have copies we can sell where the profits go to Worldbuilders. You can grab them right here.

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As an added bonus, we still have some the limited edition Bast and Bastas cards they made as a promo. They play in either this game or the previous one. If you don’t already have them, we’ve got those for sale right here as well

Since we’re adding new stuff up in The Tinker’s Packs, we thought we’d add some of the items we launched in the summer fundraiser to make them available for people who missed out.

For those of you who bought one of these things in the IndieGoGo, don’t worry, we’ve already shipped out all the rewards containing these items. So if they aren’t already in your hot little hands, rest assured that they’re in the mail, making their way toward you…

  • Auri’s Gear Window Clings.

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D’aww, look at how happy Rachel is…

These are pretty cool little things. We couldn’t choose between black and white when we were planning for the fundraiser, so we gave up and did both. A pair (one in black and one in white) is available in the store now for just $6.

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Here’s the white one on Amanda’s car, looking particularly glorious. Put them on your computer, in your car, on your desk, on your cat, whatever you can think of.

  • 2016 Beyond Words author calendar.

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Lauren Zurchin drove around the country again to take photos of authors in fantasy-themed costumes and settings. The calendar turned out great, and it had a great bunch of authors this year.

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The authors included Leigh Bardugo, Jim Butcher, Melissa de la Cruz, Tony DiTerlizzi, Kami Garcia, Lev Grossman, Robin Hobb, Tahereh Mafi, Garth Nix, Ransom Riggs, Margaret Stohl, Scott Westerfeld, and me. If you follow this link, you can see some pages, and grab a copy if you’re interested.

  • Karen Hallion 2016 Happy Endings calendar.

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Next year’s Hallion calendar is extraordinarily beautiful. The art is stunning, and Brett really outdid himself on the calendar pages themselves, giving each one a theme based on Karen’s art, and putting in little extra details everywhere for those of you clever enough to notice.

I’m immensely proud of it. You can get yours over here, and it’s early enough that no matter where you live you should have it in time for the new year without too much trouble at all.

  • Cheap 2015 Hallion Calendars

As some of you already know, August in the 2015 calendar features a few characters that might be familiar to you…. Denna-final

This picture pleases me to no end, so I figured we would discount the few remaining copies of this year’s calendar we have, while we put up the 2016 version.

So: Beautiful NEW Hallion Calendar: Available here for $20.

The calendar for 2015: Available here, marked down to $5 for those of you more interested in the art than keeping a calendar anymore.

  • Polka Will Never Die

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In related news, we had some trouble with people making illegal versions of the Polka shirt a while back.

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I was filled with furious anger when I heard. But that is a story for another day. (And another blog.)

The problem is dealt with for now, but since people were excited enough about the shirt to start stealing it, we figured we’d give y’all a place to pre-order on the Tinker’s Packs.

Now, note that this is a pre-order. These aren’t shipping yet, because the folks who jumped into our Geeks Doing Good fundraiser need to get theirs first.

But rather than have people buying them from someone who is taking advantage of the designer who made the shirt and the charity, we’ve decided to make them available to purchase now. If you go in and order one there, you’ll be first in line to get yours after the other orders ship.

Show your love for Butters, and do it for a good cause. You know you want to.

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And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. In another month or so, we’ll be rolling out more of the items after we finish shipping things out to folks who backed the IndieGoGo.

Want to get an immediate heads-up when we launch new stuff in the store? Since I don’t always blog about it, the Tinker’s Packs has a newsletter for those of you who hate missing out on limited edition stuff.

But if newsletters aren’t your thing, you can always keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter, or just check the online store regularly.

Later,

pat

Posted in BJ Hiorns Art, Geeks Doing Good, Nathan Taylor Art, Novelties, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat13 Responses

Final Donations, Final Days

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

This is it, folks. The last blog of author-donated books for this year’s fundraiser.

We’ve got some really good stuff in here, enough books for two blogs, really. But these are the final days of the fundraiser, so we’re going for one big, action-packed blog instead.

As I write this, we’re less than 500 dollars away from breaking $250,000. I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it. Now I’m curious to see how high things will manage to go before the fundraiser is over at midnight on Feb 7th.

And just to be clear that includes all of Feb 7th. And yes, I know I should technically say the fundraiser ends at 11:59 PM CST on February 7th, but that’s cumbersome. We all know what midnight on the 7th really means…

Will I still count your donation if it’s a little late? Yeah, we’ll probably still include you in the prize drawing and match your donation 50%. But why wait when you can just head over to the Worldbuilders Team Page and donate right now?

And remember, for every 10 bucks you kick in, you have the chance of winning some something from among the thousands of books folks have already donated.

Plus the books we’re adding today, of course….

  • An Advance Reader Copy of Redshirts by John Scalzi. Signed by the man himself.

(Book modeled by the Amazing Athena)

Though I’d never say it to his face, John Scalzi is a hell of a nice guy.

I’m not just saying that because he’s always been kind to me and given me good advice. I’m not saying it because invited me to be part his Clash of the Geeks anthology a while back.

It’s not even because he recently teamed up with Bill Schafer of Subterranean press to donate a week’s worth of profit from his most recent e-book to Planned Parenthood after Komen pulled their support. (If you head over there and buy a copy before the 8th, you can support the cause, too.)

No. The real reason I’m fond of John Scalzi is because he sent me an early look at his upcoming novel Redshirts.

At 20 pages in, I was really enjoying it. At 30 pages in, I was laughing out loud in the restaurant where I was sitting, reading it. Around page 43, I got out my phone and called him just to gush about how much I was enjoying it.

I finished the book later that day, thought I should have been doing other things, and was delighted to discover that it was brilliant to the very end. (Which isn’t always the case.) When I e-mailed John to tell him that I’d love to blurb it, he offered to donate an Advance Reading Copy to Worldbuilders.

That means if you win it in the auction, the lottery you can read it long before it comes out in June. This will improve your herd rank among other geeks and give you a great opportunity to be smug.

I won’t go on about how much I loved the book. But if you’re really curious, you can read the review I wrote on Goodreads.

  • Six copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Signed by the author.

This is one of the handful of books that I liked well enough to blurb last year. The publishers liked the quote well enough that they put it on the back cover of the UK edition:

Laini was also cool enough to send along four copies of the audiobook of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, too. So we’ll add those to the fundraiser as well.

  • Four audio book copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

  • One hardcover set of The Mortal Instruments Books One through Three: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.  Signed by the author.

“Clare’s atmospheric setting is spot-on, informed equally by neo-gothic horror films and the modern fantasy leanings of Neil Gaiman. Fans of the smart/chic horror typified by Buffy the Vampire Slayer will instantly fall for this new series.” – Publishers Weekly

  • One hardcover set of The Infernal Devices Books One and Two: Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.  Signed by the author.

“Mysteries, misdirection, and riddles abound. . . . Fans of the Mortal Instruments series and newcomers alike won’t be disappointed.” – Publishers Weekly

  • One paperback set of Goblin Hero and Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines.  Signed by the author.

“Hines recognizes that wisdom is most often common sense, and that mouthing off to the big guy with the sword is a very bad idea.” – Tanya Huff, author of Smoke and Ashes.

  • One hardcover set of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin by Tobias S. Buckell.  Signed by the author.

“Tobias S. Buckell is a dazzling new voice.” – Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids

“Tobias Buckell is stretching the horizons of science fiction and giving readers a hell of a lot of swashbuckling fun in the bargain.” — John Scalzi, bestselling author of Old Man’s War

  • One first edition hardcover set of The Edge of Reason and The Edge of Ruin by Melinda Snodgrass. Signed by the author.

“If H. P. Lovecraft and H. L. Mencken had ever collaborated, they might have come up with something like The Edge of Reason. This one will delight thinkers-and outrage true believers-of all stripes.” – George R. R. Martin

  • One set of Wild Cards novels: Wild Cards I, Inside Straight, Suicide Kings, and Busted Flush, edited by George R. R. Martin. Signed by many of the authors.

“Delicious… Everything I’d hoped for in a new Wild Cards book. The character interactions and plot twists have exactly the complexity, surprise, and unsentimental realism I’d expect out of a George R. R. Martin project.” – Austin Grossman

  • One set of Jennifer Brozek-edited anthologies and an audiobook of The Tasty Collection, read by Andrew Mayor.  All signed by Jennifer Brozek.

“You’ll hear echoes of Stephen King’s The Stand, David Brin’s The Postman and even Cormac McCarthy’s The Road as you read this series of stories about the survivors of a great plague. The stories are varied and lively, and their talented authors lead you (sometimes kicking and screaming) toward sanctuary.” – Patrick Swenson

  • Two sets of the complete Rai-Kirah series: Transformation, Revelation, and Restoration by Carol Berg.  Signed by the author.

“Superbly textured, splendidly characterized, this spellbinding tale provides myriad delights for the fantasy connoisseur.”  – RT Book Reviews

  • One complete series of The Novels of the Collegia Magica: The Spirit Lens, The Soul Mirror, and The Daemon Prism by Carol Berg.  Signed by the author.

“Set in a world in which the implacable laws of science war with the resonances of magical power for supremacy, Berg’s novel is rich with vivid characters and unforgettable places…an infectiously enjoyable series opener that fans of thought-provoking fantasy and intriguing mystery should appreciate.”  – Library Journal

  • One bound galley of Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg.  Signed by the author.

“Berg brings to life every stone in a peaceful monastery and every nuance in a stratified society, describing the difficult dirty work of ordinary life as beautifully as she conveys the heart-stopping mysticism of holiness just beyond human perception.”  – Sharon Shinn, author of Troubled Waters

  • One US trade paperback re-release of The Song of the Beast by Carol Berg. Signed by the author.

“Berg’s fascinating fantasy is a puzzle story, with a Celtic-flavored setting and a plot as intricate and absorbing as fine Celtic lacework…. the characters are memorable, and Berg’s intelligence and narrative skill make this stand-alone fantasy most commendable.” – Booklist

  • Two first edition hardcover copies of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. Signed by the author.

“This book is an achievement. Readers… will be transported.” – Sunday Times

  • One hardcover copy of Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.  Signed by the author.

“Ahmed is a master storyteller in the grand epic tradition.  Swashbuckling adventure, awesome mystery, a bit of horror, and all of it written beautifully.  A real treat!” – N. K. Jemisin, Locus award-wining author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Pat’s Note: This book is also an ARC. The final version of the book won’t be hitting the shelves until June. So if you win it, you get to be reading way ahead of the curve…

“The best debut I’ve read all year! Nightshifted is simply amazing!” – Kat Richardson

  • One set of Jabberwocky and Hatter by Daniel Coleman. Signed by the author.

“The surprising story inspired by Lewis Carroll’s epic poem. You might know how it ends, but you won’t believe how it happens.”

  • Seven Hardcover copies of The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Signed by the author.

  • Four sets of The Magicians, The Magician King (audio book) and a Brakebills University t-shirt from Lev Grossman. Book and audio book are signed by the author.
Pat’s Note: I did a gushy write-up about The Magicians back when I first read it. I liked it enough to write a blog about it over here.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take George Martin’s instead: “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.”

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Well folks, that’s the last of the books for this year.

Remember that for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders team page, you get a chance to win these books and many, many more. What’s more, worldbuilders will match your donation by 50%.

We also have a few auctions still running, you can find them over here.

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 Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat43 Responses

Signed Books from Generous Authors

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Here’s our first batch of books. All of them have been donated by the authors themselves, and all of them are lovingly signed.

  • A first edition hardcover set of The Crossroads Trilogy: Spirit Gate, Shadow Gate, and Traitors’ Gate by Kate Elliot. Signed by the author.

One of my fellow DAW authors, Kate Elliot, has donated a full hardcover set of her Crossroads trilogy.

Fantasy Book Critic calls it “…Elliott’s best work and is highly recommended to both fans of the author and any readers who appreciate fantasy in the vein of Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, and J.V. Jones…”

  • Two copies of Cold Magic by Kate Elliot. Signed by the author.

From Publishers Weekly: “The first installment of Elliott’s Spiritwalker trilogy puts a decidedly steampunk edge on epic adventure fantasy. The setting is a pseudo-Victorian Europe at the emergence of an industrial revolution, replete with dirigibles, gas lights, and great political and social upheaval.”

  • Four copies of The Magicians by Lev Grossman. All are signed by the author and come with a Brakebills College crest t-shirt.

I mentioned Lev’s book a while back on the blog.

But why listen to me when Lisa Tuttle from the London Times says, “This is my ideal escapist fantasy read, a Harry Potter book for grown-ups … I can’t imagine any lover of well-written classic fantasy, from C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books to the works of Diana Wynne Jones, who won’t absolutely adore it.”

  • Two hardcover copies of Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells. Signed by the author.

Publishers Weekly says: “Fast-paced, witty and inventive, Wells’ latest fantasy is not only about saving the world; it is also about saving Maskelle from self-doubt and isolation. 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.”

  • A copy of Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines. Signed by the author.

I was getting all ready to gush about this book as I did on the blog long ago when I found the following quote and realized I shouldn’t even try to top it.

“This book is too f***ing cool for words!” – Wil Wheaton

That’s how awesome Wheaton is, folks. He can actually pronounce asterisks.

  • A copy of The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines. Signed by the author.

Easter Friesner author of Nobody’s Princess says, “The Stepsister Scheme is not your Granma’s fairy tale. Action, intrigue, romance, action, treachery, and did I mention action? These princesses will give Charlie’s Angels a serious run for the money, and leave ‘em in the dust. Read it!”

  • A set of The Twelfth Houses: Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House, Dark Moon Defender, Reader and Realynx, and Fortune and Fate by Sharon Shinn. Signed by the author.

In a starred review from Booklist, Paula Luedtke said, “Clean, elegant prose is, as usual, one of the joys of a Shinn novel, and here it conjures entirely likable major characters and an interesting group-development narrative. Never tripping over the plot twists and complications, Shinn gives us an easy, absorbing, high-quality read sans gratuitous bloodshed and violence.”

Personally, I always sit up and take notice when a reviewer uses the word “sans.” (Mostly because I’m never sure how to pronounce it in my head.)

  • A hardcover set of The Throne of Amenkor: The Skewed Throne; The Cracked Throne; and The Vacant Throne by Joshua Palmatier. Signed by the author.

Alma Alexander writes, “For those who like their fantasy gritty and real, without sugarcoating, Joshua Palmatier’s “The Skewed Throne” is a gift. With not a dragon or unicorn in sight, it’s the people and the places where they live that matter in here.”

  • A set of The Onyx Court: In Ashes Lie and A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan. Signed by the author.

Jim Hines, (We met him up just a couple books ago, remember?) writes, “Brennan continues to blend history and magic so smoothly it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins.”

  • A hardcover set of The Magic Thief: The Magic Thief, Lost, and Found by Sarah Prineas. Signed by the author.

“A magical world, beautifully realized with totally believable characters [….] I was enchanted! A magical book that steals your attention and compels you to read on. Exciting, absorbing, compelling–a totally enjoyable read.” –Joseph Delaney, author of The Last Apprentice series.

  • A copy of Living With Ghosts by Kari Sperring. Signed by the author.

This one was Winner of the Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer 2009, and Neal Swain at AuthorMagazine says, “Kari Sperring’s writing is seamless and strong. She shows a knack for depicting not just the powerful emotions but also the caution and second-guessing that underlie many human interactions… ”

From the back of the book:

“The dazzling debut from a brilliant new fantasy talent. This highly original, darkly atmospheric fantasy novel immerses readers in a world where ghosts and other malevolent spirits seek entry into mortal realms – invisible to all but those who are not entirely human themselves”

  • A copy of The Four Musketeers: The True Story of D’Artagnan, Porthos, Aramis & Athos by Kari Maund and Phil Nanson. Signed by the authors.

This is another one I’d like to steal. I have a bit of curiosity about how legends evolve from real-life people.

From the book:

“The Three Musketeers, first published in serial form in France in 1844, is an abiding classic. It has been translated into many languages, repeatedly filmed and its heroes – d’Artagnan, Porthos, Aramis and Athos – have become literary archetypes. Yet, outside France, few people know that all four are based on historical figures: Armand d’Athos; Isaac de Portau; Henri d’Aramitz; and Charles de Batz, four Gascon noblemen who served in the French military, including the legendary Black Musketeers, under Louis XIV. The Four Musketeers is the first modern account in English of the historical background of the real musketeers, and the process by which these long-dead soldiers became legend.”

  • A set of The Singer’s Crown, The Eunuch’s Heir, and The Bastard Queen by Elaine Isakk. Signed by the author.

Traditional fantasy with a twist. The Library Journal calls this generational saga of stand-alone novels, “a richly drawn world filled with memorable characters.”

You can visit Elaine’s website but remember, you do NOT want to be her hero!

  • A copy of Steampunk’d. With a signed story by Paul Genesse.

Steampunk is hot right now, and I have to admit I’m rather fond of it myself.

What’s not to like? You’ve got lots of leather and brass. Great roaring engines. Protective eyegear. Women in corsets with wrenches. A giraffe. Tequila….

No. Wait. That’s not steampunk. What am I thinking of? I remember I saw it in Amsterdam and it looked like a hell of a lot of fun…

Oh well. Steampunk is good too.

From the book:

“Consider the slogan: “What the past would look like if the future had come along earlier.” The stories in this all-original anthology explore alternate timelines and have been set all over the world, running the gamut from science fiction to mystery to horror to a melding of these genres.”

“The writing team of Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson is an incredibly talented force to be reckoned with.  Every one of their tales is captivating, with characters that you grow to care about.  I have yet to read a tale by this husband/wife writing team that I haven’t liked. Fantasy novel fans will absolutely love the Crystal Doors series.” – Melissa Minners at G-pop.net.

Carl Hays from Booklist writes, “Sf legend van Vogt launched his storied career with Slan (1940), a now-classic tale about a race of telepathic mutants, the slans, battling oppression. Before his death in 2000, he had sketched the outlines of a sequel continuing the story [….] Already an accomplished sequel spinner with several Dune volumes to his credit, sf veteran Anderson captures van Vogt’s dynamic style and vision with immaculate precision. He even re-creates the original novel’s 1940s-era flavor, so that deep-dyed sf buffs can take a nostalgic trip back to sf’s golden age.”

Harlan Ellison likes it too, saying, “Van was a Grandmaster. Slan was his masterpiece. Now, like a dream come true, Kevin returns us to that singular world, the world of Jommy Cross.”

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.

Don’t forget, Worldbuilders is 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.

If you want to go back to the main page for Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

Posted in Wil Wheaton, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat16 Responses

A Plenitude of Signed Books

Here’s the first batch of books donated by my brethren and sistren fantasy authors. Lovely books donated by lovely people.

If you don’t know about the Worldbuilders fundraiser yet and want to know how you can win these delicious prizes, you can head over here for the details.


I’ve talked about Lev’s lovely book before on the blog. So rather than repeat myself, I think I’ll just put up a link to that blog if you’re curious about what I had to say.

But really, do you need to listen to me when George RR Martin is slinging around praise like this? “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish Whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.”


Katharine Kerr donated some lovely things to the fundraiser this year. You’ll be seeing one of her manuscripts in the first round of auctions this weekend.

Kirkus Reviews says, “In this hefty tome, Kerr turns from Celtic-tinged fantasy to sweepingly far-future adventure on an alien world. The plot is built around Jezro Khan, the exiled brother of the corrupt ruler of Kazrajistan, an Islamic society… ”


Booklist says that Snares is, “..set on the borderline between sf and fantasy. It deals with Maggie Cory and the ups and downs of her and her descendants through five generations in an alternative San Francisco in which the 1960s were the prelude to a revolution… The novel has more northern California literary flavor than Kerr’s previous work, but it also features most of her superior skills at characterization, world building, and graceful language.”


From Booklist, “Kerr has written it up to her usual standard, which is among the highest for Celtic-derived fantasy sagas currently in progress. Faithful fans will be gratified, and any newcomers intrigued by this tale can retreat to its predecessors without fear of being disappointed.”

  • A hardcover set of The Iron Dragon Series: The Golden Cord and The Dragon Hunters by Paul Genesse. Signed by the author.


New York Times Bestseller Michael Stackpole says, “Taut suspense and fantastic imagery make The Dragon Hunters a tale no fantasy fan will want to miss.”


Here we have a bit of a treat. Not only is this a signed ARC of a book (Advanced Reading Copy.) But this book isn’t even out on the shelves yet. That’s right, you can use it to taunt your friends and make your enemies jealous. You can read it before it even hits the shelves, and with a blurb like the one below, you know you want to….

“SILVER is a wild combination of Indiana Jones, The Da Vinci Code, and The Omen. Read this book…before the world ends.” — Kevin J Anderson

  • A hardcover set of The Crossroads Trilogy: Spirit Gate, Shadow Gate, and Traitors’ Gate by Kate Elliott. Signed by the author.


One of my fellow DAW authors, Kate has donated a full hardcover set of her Crossroads trilogy. Fantasy Book Critic calls it “…Elliott’s best work and is highly recommended to both fans of the author and any readers who appreciate fantasy in the vein of Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, and J.V. Jones…”


Publisher’s Weekly gave this one a starred review, saying, “Editor Scalzi and four well-known writers thoughtfully postulate the evolution of cities, transcending post-apocalyptic cliches to envision genuinely new communities and relationships. […] Each story shines on its own; as a group they reinforce one another, building a multifaceted view of a realistic and hopeful urban future.”


Romantic times says How Not to Make a Wish is, “Fresh and often hysterically funny, this story also has a solid emotional core. Heroine Kira’s first-person perspective keeps it all real for the reader.”

  • A copy of the uncorrected proof for Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. Signed by the author.


Another one of those sexy ARC’s. I’ve heard good things about this one, and it’s in my own personal to-read pile. I’ve heard it referred to as fairy tale noir. I wish I could come up with a sexy description like that for my book.

Publisher’s weekly says, “Singer-songwriter McGuire adeptly infuses her debut with hardboiled sensibilities and a wide array of mythological influences, set against a moody San Francisco backdrop. October Toby Daye is half-human, half-faerie, a changeling PI with a foot in both worlds.”


Romantic Times says nightlife is: “Tightly plotted and fast-paced, this book is full of twists and turns that take the reader for one heck of a ride.”

I’ve heard this book described as, “A comedy of errors with mistaken identities ambiguous sexuality, skate god stage geeks, … and true love.” What more really needs to be said?

Well, maybe this blurb from Publisher’s weekly: “Evocative of Boy Meets Boy and Dramarama, this makes for fun, thought-provoking reading.”


“Displaying an enviable gift for pacing and action, Battles’s debut novel is a page-turner that may remind some readers of the cult TV spy series Alias… Admirers of quality espionage fiction can look forward to a new series worth following.” – Publishers Weekly

  • A hardcover copy of The Deceived by Brett Battles. Signed by the author.


BookList says, this is is a “tightly written page-turner, filled with tradecraft and offering as much action as a James Bond film… a wild ride.”

  • Three ARCs of the The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas. US release date: February 2010.


Stephen Deas is a hell of a nice guy. We had dinner when I was in London a while back, and the fact that I haven’t gotten around to reading his book fills me with constant shame.

Stephen also send along some of the new ARC’s for the US version of the book, as it’s not out here in the states yet. He’s also sent along a couple copies of the UK version. For people who like their color spelled colour.

  • One trade and one hardcover of The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas. Signed by the author.


Wait, what? He’s got a Joe Abercrombie blurb on his book? Man…. I don’t have an Abercrombie quote. Now I only feel half as guilty…

If an Abercrombie quote isn’t enough for you, Brent Weeks says it’s, “A stirring debut. Stephen Deas’s dragons are inscrutable, beautiful, magical, unstoppable… and really, really pissed off.”

Remember, every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International gives you a chance to win these books and hundreds of others, so 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.

With special thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(Woo!)

Posted in Heifer International, recommendations, Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat23 Responses

Things I like: The Magicians and Faeries of Dreamdark.

It’s been a long time since I’ve recommended any books on the blog. For that I apologise.

The problem isn’t that I haven’t been reading. I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.

The problem is this, when I read a book and I like it, I think, “I should mention this on the blog.” Then I wonder what exactly I can say about the book that will be not only enthusiastic, witty, and persuasive, but also informative and true.

It’s the last two that are tricky, you see. Truth is a troublesome motherfucker unless it’s handled properly.

The other problem is the difference between what I say and what people are inclined to hear. If I say “I like this book” people are inclined to believe that what I mean is “You will like this book.” Which isn’t necessarily the case.

So I feel obliged to explain *why* I liked it. That way people can make inteligent choices about whether or not they’d like to buy it. Because that is how we all remain independant, rational human beings as opposed to mindless, soulless, consumerist cogs, right?

Right?

However, writing this sort of blog is, to say it simply, a pain in the ass. Consequently I put off mentioning books on the blog, sometimes for embarrassingly long periods of time.

Like this one:

I’ve been meaning to mention this book for over six months. I’m filled with shame…

The more observant of you might actually recognize the book from a previous appearance on the blog. That’s because the author, Laini Taylor, was nice enough to donate a signed copy to the Heifer Fundraiser we did last year.

When she sent it in, I was curious about the book. Because… well… the truth is I have a bit of a thing for faeries.

I know this might come as something of a shock to some of you. You think that, manly as I am, I could never be into stories about little wingy people flitting about. At the very least, you probably think that if I *did* like such things, I’d have the decency to stay quiet about it, lest people start thinking that I was sissy.

But that’s not actually how it works, you see. Only guys insecure about their manliness worry about looking sissy. They’re afraid that if someone looks too closely people will realize that their machismo is just a thin tissue of lies.

Truth is, you see a guy reading a faerie book in the coffee shop, you know that he has nothing to hide. Dude is confident in his manness. He knows exactly who he is.

Me, I’m so manly that I can read this book in a bus station while wearing a dress and singing “Faith” by George Michael.

I’m not saying I did, mind you. I’m saying I could.

Anyway, about the book. I really enjoyed it. Good characters. Good use of language. Refreshingly new take on Faerie society. Cool world. Cool magic. Good, quick storytelling. Technically it’s a Young Adult book, but if that’s the case then color me young adult, because I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Huh. And I just checked on Amazon. The sequel is coming out in just two weeks. Bonus. That way you don’t even have to wait for your next hit. Unlike some other tardy, lame-ass authors….

*Ahem.*

Secondly, we have something of an entirely different flavor:

I mentioned Lev Grossman a couple weeks back because we were on a panel at ComicCon together. But the truth is, I read his book when I was traveling in Europe earlier this year.

Here’s where things get tricky. You see, I honestly don’t know what I can say about this book.

I really enjoyed this book. But I can’t for the life of me tell you why.

Ordinarily when I like a book, I know why. I can point to things. Language. Character. Pacing. Worldbuilding. When I don’t like it, I can do the same. It’s easy for me. All I do is think about stories.

But I can’t point to any specific reason why I like The Magicians it except that it was clever, and it wasn’t like any sort of book I’ve ever read before.

See the problem with the Truth? As recommendations go, that’s pretty weak tea.

Hopping over to Amazon, I see that reactions to the book have been mixed. And I can’t say as I’m terribly surprised. As I said, this book was different. A lot of people don’t like different. What’s more, it was clever. And a lot of people aren’t terribly smart.

Okay, Okay. That’s not really fair. I take that back. Kinda.

My real guess is that most people will like this book. But there’s a certain type of reader who will enjoy it down to the bottoms of their feet.

That reader will:

1. Be well-read in terms of classic fantasy. They’ll have read Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, and at least five or six dozen other fantasy novels.

2. Be aware of the standard fantasy cliches, and a little tired of them.

3. Be eager to read something different. Not just in terms of world, but in terms of character, pacing, and the fundamental structure of the story as well.

4. Appreciate cleverness.

Now that sums me up pretty well. And I enjoyed the book on a way that I can’t put into words. Which is why I suck at giving blurbs for books….

But then again, Lev doesn’t need me for that. He’s got George Martin on his cover:

“These days any novel about young sorcerers at wizard school inevitably invites comparison to Harry Potter. Lev Grossman meets the challenge head on … and very successfully. The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.”

See? That’s how the pros throw down. Why can’t I do that?

That’s all for now, more news soon about the name lottery. Stay tuned.

pat

Posted in recommendations, the art of blurbing | By Pat98 Responses

San Diego Comic-Con 2009: The Highlights

I’ve wanted to go to San Diego Comic-con for years, but something always seems to keep me away. Two years ago it was a family vacation. Last year I was conducting a wedding.

This year was no different: I had an exciting adventure Wednesday morning. I was in the ER two hours before my plane was supposed to take off….

But while that story is a good story, exciting, full of drama and tragedy, it’s not really part of the convention. So I’ll pass it over for now. Suffice to say that despite many obstacles, 2009 was the year that I finally made it to San Diego Comic-con.

On Thursday, I met up with a fan called Pooka. I don’t always recognize my fans, even when they contact me before the convention. But in her case, I somehow managed to pick her out of the crowd:

(I’m the one with the beard.)

You can’t see her pink leggings in this picture, but you’ll have to trust me on the fact that her plumage is abundant and bright. She was nice enough to show me around the convention, as she’s a veteran comic-con attendee, and I’m just a newbie.

Pooka and her friends throw a party every year at the con: X-Sanguin. They invited me this year, and while I was flattered, I ended up taking a pass. I expect I’m not sexy enough to hang with the glitterati. Not even when I’m wearing my shades and pretending to be as cool as Neil Gaiman:

Pooka helped me find the room where my panel was being held. It was the only panel I was scheduled for at the convention proper, and to be honest, I was a little nervous. Not only was Jacqueline Carey on it, but Lev Grossman was moderating. Dude is scary smart.

I can’t find a picture of the entire panel, but here’s one of a few of the other folks, including Carey.

In the corner you can’t see Lev, but you can spot a copy of his soon-to be released book, The Magicians. I got to read an advance copy a little while back, and really enjoyed it. I’ll probably do an official recommendation on the blog a little closer to the release date.

The panel’s topic was “The Evolution of Fantasy.” I avoided making too much of an ass of myself and got a laugh or two. Which is as much as I can ever hope for on a panel. If you want more details, Lev wrote a column about it for Time. You can read it over here.

After the panel, I had a signing where some fans gave me an awesome little Voodoo doll. (Or mommet, if you will.)

(Yes. It’s got little screws sticking out of its head.)

When I asked how they’d like me to sign their books, they said they wanted to be designated as official Fanatical Minions. Nobody’s ever asked that before, so they got to be Fantastical Minions #1 and #2.

I felt obliged to point out that the numbers were not a ranking system. Just a designation.

After the signing I got to hang out a bit with Cindy Pon. Whose first book just came out. She’s a lot of fun, and if you hop over to her blog, you’ll see her dressed up as Chun Li the next day at the con. Needless to say, she’s my kind of person…

Capping off Thursday, I got to have Dinner with Greg Dean from Real Life comics. We’ve known each other for a while, but never met in person. Dinner was lovely and the conversation…. Well…. I had a great time. But I don’t know if I can say the same for Greg and Liz.

You see, most people have conversational filters. Not so much with me. So when something interesting happens in my life, I tell stories about it. Even if these stories are… odd.

As I’ve mentioned, when I was leaving for the convention I had… an adventure. An adventure that I shared with them….

You should probably just go read the comic he wrote about it…

Last but not least, I saw the first Name of the Wind t-shirt ever at the convention:

How cool is that? Extra minion points. Doubleplus good.

Thanks all for now, folks. But come back soon, there’s going to be a blog in a day or so that will need some audience participation…

pat

Posted in Catgirl, conventions, fan coolness | By Pat43 Responses
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