Tag Archives: Myke Cole

The Kindness of Authors

Worldbuilders only exists today because of the kindness and generosity of my fellow sci-fi and fantasy authors.

You see, back in 2008 when I first stumbled awkwardly onto my blog and asked folks people if they’d like to donate money to Heifer International, other authors contacted me and offered to help. They donated books and spread the word in ways I never could have managed on my own.

Now, years later, the same is still true. Authors help spread the word, they help with projects and stretch goals. And they donate books.

Every single book in this blog is signed (or has a signed bookplate). There are rarities. There is fabulousness. Here you will have the chance to get your grubby little mits on books that haven’t even been released yet. To say nothing of and an assortment of cool trinkets like pens, special tea, t-shirts…

Ah, why don’t I just show you?

The first thing we have today is something we’ve never offered before:

  • Auction: Two Tickets to the Red Carpet Premiere of The Shannara Chronicles on Friday, December 4th, 2015.

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Shawn Speakman and his wife had tickets to this premier originally, but they just found they wouldn’t be able to go.

Rather than return non-transferable tickets, Shawn talked to the folks at MTV and Terry Brooks, and asked them if they might be able to use the tickets to make the world a better place instead.

Much to our delight, the studio agreed to donate the tickets to Worldbuilders.

So we’re auctioning them off to the highest bidder. This includes the red carpet experience, the two-episode screening, and an after party with those who have worked to bring Shannara to the screen. You’re responsible for your own travel and accommodations, but these tickets will get you past the velvet rope and rubbing elbows with all sorts of fancy folk.

There are more details in the auction description, so head over there, read up, and bid.

  • Welcome to Night Vale. Signed by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. 4 copies in the lottery and one for auction.

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I’ve loved Welcome to Night Vale for ages now. I’ve gushed at length about the book already on goodreads, and even took a trip down to Milwaukee where I interviewed them as part of their book tour. While I was down there, they signed some copies for the fundraiser.

We’re putting 4 in the lottery, where anyone who donates at least $10 can win them.

And here’s one up for auction, for someone who *really* wants a signed copy.

  • Limited edition copy of Unfettered. Signed by all participating authors. 

Unfettered special

This incredibly rare book is going into the lottery. It’s another publisher’s copy, and it’s signed by all 22 authors (myself included). It had actually slipped through the printing and binding process without my signature, so Shawn sent it back here and just told us to keep it once I signed it, which continues to show what a lovely person he is.

It’s in the lottery, where we hope it delights the person who wins it.

But there’s also one up for auction from the Grim Oak Press donations, too…

  • Copies of The Great Way Trilogy Omnibus. With bookplate signed by Harry Connolly. 3 copies in the lottery and one for auction.

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“This twisty, subversive novel will win Connolly a whole new set of fans.” — Publishers Weekly

I read Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series and really dug it, which means I’m coveting this new omnibus, which is gorgeous. What’s more, this version is the Kickstarter-exclusive edition. There were only 200 printed, so we’re really lucky to have have three of them for the lottery.

There’s also one up for auction right here.

  • Set of Imperial Radch novels Signed by Ann Leckie.
  • Another set (with tea) up for auction.

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“Unexpected, compelling and very cool. Ann Leckie nails it…I’ve never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed.” — John Scalzi

I’m guessing you already know about these books, as they’ve won all manner of awards. And justifiably so. I read the first one earlier this year, and the fact that I haven’t managed to get around to the other two is ample evidence of my failure as a human being.

Ann was nice enough to send us a full set of signed books for the lottery.

We’ve got another signed set up for an auction, with the added bonus of specialty tea based on the Imperial Radch series. (I would like you all to appreciate that I did *not* make a joke about this being special-tea, even though Amanda encouraged me to.)

Consider rewarding my non-punning by bidding on this auction over here.

  • A set of The Demon Cycle: The Warded ManThe Desert SpearThe Daylight WarThe Skull Throne, and companion novella Messenger’s Legacy. All signed by Peter V. Brett.

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“There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way” — Terry Brooks.

Peter V. Brett is a great guy, and he always stomps out with good donations. This year is no exception, and this set is going to make someone’s day when they win it in the lottery.

  • Sets of Fool’s Assassin and Fool’s Quest. Signed by Robin Hobb.
  • Same, (plus cool dragon pens) up for auction.

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Be glad all of these nifty dragon pens made it into the sets. Rachel desperately wants one of them.

All of the books are signed, and we put one of the sets into the lottery, and one into an auction over here for those of you who don’t like taking risks like this.

  • Sets of The Rig and Crystal Force. Signed by Joe Ducie. One in the lottery and one up for auction.

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Captain Joe is a beloved member of the blog comments community here. He’s participated in photo contests in the past, and now he’s an acclaimed YA author.

“All the elements of a great thriller are here—sinister villains, a stoic hero with a heart of gold, even mutated sharks…A solid genre outing.” — Kirkus

He gave us a couple of sets of his books, so one set is in the lottery, and the other is up for auction right here.

  • 20 copies of Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in: Tiger Trouble! With bookplates by Grant Goodman.

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Grant Goodman is a high school teacher by day, which endears him to Amanda, who taught high school until I stole her away into the glamorous life of personal assistanting and charity.

By night, Grant dons a mask and fights crime on the streets of Gotham.

No. Wait, I got that wrong, it says here that he’s donating all proceeds from sales of his book to Worldbuilders through the end of the fundraiser. AND he’s kicked in 20 copies for us to put into the lottery.

Wow. That’s actually cooler than being Batman. Thanks so much, Grant.

  • 3 copies of The Executioness. Signed by Tobias Buckell.
  • 1 copy up for auction.

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“Even non-sci-fi readers will be bowled over…. Violent, poetic, and compulsively readable” — Maclean’s

This is one of the lovely Subterranean Press versions, so you know it’s beautiful. And Tobias has been awesome to us, so we’ve got 3 of his book in the lottery, and there’s one signed copy up for auction here.

  • 4 ARCs of Promise of Blood. Signed by Brian McClellan.
  • 1 signed ARC up for auction.

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“This book is just plain awesome. I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast.” –Brandon Sanderson

Brian was kind enough to send some of his ARCs over, so we’ve put 4 copies of it into the lottery. For the collectors out there we put one up in an auction, too.

  • A set of Shadow Ops: with signed bookplates from Myke Cole.

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“A military fantasy that combines intense personal anguish with elements of actual horror.”—Tor.com

Oh Myke Cole. You’re the bee’s knees. I liked his first book enough to blurb it, and they just get better from there.

Here’s a complete set of his series, all signed. He’s also a part of the Cards Against Humanity pack we released yesterday. He’s a huge supporter of Worldbuilders, and we love the fuck out of him. (Amanda wrote that. But I’m leaving it in here because… well… it’s true.)

  • Kushiel’s Dart. Signed by Jacqueline Carey. Auction also comes with Kushiel’s Chosen (signed) and a Litographs t-shirt.

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“A very sophisticated fantasy, intricately plotted and a fascinating [book].” —Robert Jordan

Jacqueline made it pretty far in her reading of Fox in Socks, which has impressed everyone here in the office. Plus, she donated signed copies of her books, and then a Litographs t-shirt based on her series.

We’re auctioning off the set with the shirt, so you can bid on that over here.

  • Twelve Kings in Sharakhai in various formats. Signed by Brad Beaulieu. One hardcover up in an auction.

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Brad has been published for a while now, but this newest book was picked up and published by DAW, so he’s a part of my extended family.

He sent us a bunch of different copies of his book, including US and UK editions, plus US and UK ARCs, and audiobooks. All of that’s going into the lottery, but we pulled aside one of the US Hardcovers to auction off, as well. To bid on it, go right here. It’ll make the world a better place, and you’ll get a beautiful new signed book.

  • Copy of Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi. Signed by Kevin Hearne.

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“Utterly compelling . . . [The novel] plants readers in Luke Skywalker’s boots in the early days of his heroism, during the weeks after he blew up the Death Star.”—New York Daily News

Kevin Hearne: Thriller dancer, mead drinker, and published part of the Star Wars cannon. We’ve put this into the lottery, and it could brighten your day if you make a donation or $10 or more to the team page.

  • 2 full sets of Iron Druid Chronicles, including ARCs of Staked, which comes out January 26th. All signed by Kevin Hearne. One auction of the ARC Staked.

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This is a hilarious amalgamation of US and UK editions, combined to make 2 complete sets of the series. Will it be “color” or “colour” in the next  volume? Who knows!

The big deal here, though, is that all of these come with signed ARCs of Staked, the newest novel in the series, which won’t be out until January 26th. The people who win them in the lottery might not get them in time, but the person who wins it in an auction definitely will. If you want to be the person guaranteed to get a sneak peek at the latest Iron Druid book, be sure to go bid right here.

  • Auction:  The Everything Box. Includes hand-written notes. Signed by Richard Kadrey.

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Have you read anything by Richard Kadrey before? if not, you need to fix that. And conveniently enough, we have a great deal here for you.

This is an ARC of Kadrey’s newest book. It comes with a bunch of his hand-written notes about the novel that he used while he was writing. And this book doesn’t come out until April 19, 2016. You’ll have it so early you could read it multiple times before it actually hits shelves.

Something like this being up for auction is not just cool, it’s amazingly unprecedented. I know you want it because I know *I* want it.

So you should head over and bid on it here.

* * *

There you go folks. Many lovely books. And for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders team page, you get a chance to win.

In other news: this afternoon, I’ll be livestreaming a reading of my Night Vale/Lake Wobegon mashup fanfic, since we blew past that $200,000 stretch goal yesterday.

We blew past a lot of stretch goals yesterday, so we’ll be scrambling to post those up in the next few days. If you want to make sure you don’t miss them, you might consider subscribing to the Worldbuilders YouTube channel, where pretty much all of our video stuff lives.

A lot of auctions are ending this weekend, including the professional read & critiques of unpublished manuscripts. You can see a listing of everything that’s currently being auctioned off over here.

Lastly, I’ll be doing a writing Q&A on Twitch on Saturday at 2pm CST for those of you who are interested, and then those auctions end on Sunday night at various times after 7pm CST.

Let’s keep making the world a better place. You know what to do.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat12 Responses

D&D, Swords from Westeros, and My Favorite Video of the Fundraiser….

We have been getting a lot of messages and comments as we approach the end of the fundraiser, asking what people can do to help out and be involved, so we thought we’d share some ideas with you today:

You can bid on one of the many auctions that are running and get yourself something cool and collectible.

You can also buy cool stuff in the store, where all the proceeds go to Worldbuilders.

Or you can do what 7-year-old Charlotte did.

You have to watch that. Seriously. I demand that you watch it.

Charlotte has created her own page as a part of our Worldbuilders fundraiser, setting a goal of $500 to buy a heifer for a family that needs it. She’s also got the energy and go-get-em attitude to someday rule the world, so you might want to consider getting on her good side now by helping her out.

Several people have created their own pages as part of our fundraiser. There’s one for Nerdfighters. One for people who do NaNoWriMo. Some of them are offering their own stretch goals and their own prizes. (But they all are included in the main Worldbuilders lottery, and they all add to our total.)

I’m happy to see them all, but I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings if I say that Charlotte’s page has made my day.

* * *

Today’s blog is full of auctions. There’s a great variety of things, so read all the way to the bottom and see if there’s anything that piques your interest…

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Your chance to have a seat at the gaming table in the third year of Author D&D. Join these literary masters at Confusion as they D&D it up. If you want to know what it’s like, they’ve filmed it for the last three years, which you can watch here in an epic playlist.

The game itself will be on January 17 2015, and there will be books, dice, and other supplies provided. This doesn’t include travel or accommodations, though, so if you’re already planning on going to ConFusion, it’s a great opportunity.

Bid on the chance over here.

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Mikey Neumann is more than a great game designer (though he is that too, having worked on Half-Life 2, Brothers in Arms, and Borderlands), he’s also a fabulous public speaker, champion whist player, and a writer to boot.

This year, he was kind enough to write a short story just for us, and read it for us in a YouTube video you can see over here. This is the exact copy he was reading from in that video, and Mikey was nice enough to sign it and donate it for us to auction off.

If you’re interested, you can bid on it over here.

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These posters are designed by Steve Shell, an English and Theatre teacher from North Carolina. Each print features a period map of the setting of the text with a cutout of an iconic image or shape from the story and a cutout showing a special selection of text from the novel/poem/story.

There’s a full set of all 30 posters going into the lottery, and another one up for auction. Amanda’s totally bidding on this to give out to all of her friends who are English teachers.

If you want the auction, you can beat Amanda out over here.

Fabulous donations from Valyrian Steel

The folks over at Valyrian Steel started helping out with Worldbuilders last year, and this year they’ve stepped in to donate more of their officially licensed Game of Thrones replicas and memorabilia.

Nearly everything here is limited edition. Some of the items have as few as 500 available in the world, and a few of them are entirely sold out.

So if you, or someone you love, is a fan of Game of Thrones, read on….

  • Auction: The Hound’s Helm. Limited edition of 2,500.

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This is the helm of the Hound. Not only does it come with a display stand, but it’s also completely wearable.

The jaw opens and closes, and there’s silkscreened Clegane sigil on the stand, which shows that the folks at Valyrian Steel have a nice attention to detail.

If you want to be as badass as The Hound, bid over here.

  • Auction: Daenerys Bust. Limited edition of 2,000.

GOTDAENERYSBUST(I’m *not* going to make a bust joke. Here. Because I’m a professional. Mostly.)

Daenerys is one of the most loved characters in GOT, and this bust was made specifically to recall the closing scene of season 1.

To have the Mother of Dragons watch over you, bid here.

  • Auction: Tyrion Lannister Statue. Limited edition of 3,000.

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Everyone loves Tyrion, and here’s a limited edition statue they made of him before the second season of Game of Thrones. They asked for ideas of what to create a statue of, and were told that the moment Tyrion charges into the Battle of Blackwater would be awesome.

The producers even provided photographs that were taken during filming, expressly as sculpture reference for this piece.

Bid on it in all its coolness here.

  • Auction: Longclaw Damascus Steel Artist Proof. One of only 18.

Damascus Longclaw on Display

This is a real rarity here.

Not only is this a replica of John Snow’s blade, Longclaw, made of Damascus Steel. But this is one of the incredibly limited run of only 18 artists proofs that were made. Typically they were given to Very Important People, like George RR Martin, or folks who work on the show with HBO.

But the folks at Valyrian Steel have given us one as well, and we’re auctioning it off here for the hardcore fans. It even has the Night’s Watch Oath on the wooden plaque.

Want to be one of less than 20 people in the world with this blade, bid on it over here.

  • Auction: Ice Damascus Steel Artist Proof. One of only 18.

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The Stark family greatsword has a lot of history behind it, and plays an important role in Game of Thrones.

This is also one of 18 artist proofs, so we’ve put this one up for auction as well. The chance to grab this isn’t likely to come up again, so if you want it, you’ll need to bid on it here.

Stuff from Authors’ Desks

During our IndieGoGo fundraiser last summer, the Worldbuilders Team and I gave up a couple of precious and beloved things from our desks. We figured they might last until the final day of the fundraiser to sell out, but all 12 were gobbled up within the first couple of hours.

We all wrote careful notes to go with our items, explaining why we loved them so dearly, and shipped them out, happy to have raised some money for charity in return for a little bit of joy.

Fast forward to now, where a handful of authors who have helped with Worldbuilders are offering the same thing. This is a bit of an experiment for us. But I know as an aspiring author, I would have loved to have something from a pro-writer’s desk as my personal writing mojo. In fact, I’m considering bidding on some of these things in order to steal some of these other author’s powers….

Sherwood cat

This is a charming little cat figurine that Sherwood has kept on her desk for many many years. Since she was in the fifth grade, as a matter of fact.

This comes in a “Thanks for All You Do” velvet bag and a caligraphied note giving a little bit of history of the adorable cat. You can bid on it here.

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Jaime has been a big fan of comic books all her life, so her stuff from her desk has a definite theme: comics. Even the note she wrote explaining the gifts is on Superman stationery.

There’s her 2008 Comic Book Legal Defense Fund membership card, as well as some Superman post it notes. If you want to be half as cool as she is, you can bid on them here.

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Anne sent over a signed and inscribed copy of Written in Red to accompany Snack the Mini Moose. Apparently Snack has read the next book in Anne’s series and was really scared, so  they’re sending him along to someone who will take care of him. The note that comes with Snack was written by The Wolfgard.

According to The Wolfgard, “If you take good care of Snack, someday he will grow up to be Lunch.”

If you want to take care of Snack for Anne, you can bid on him over here.

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April also kicked in some signed copies of her books to go with her desk item. It’s fairly appropriate, since this piece of Victorian jewelry was a part o the what inspired the period and writing of this series of books from April.

If you want this little piece of coolness, bid on it here.

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Figment has been on Kristen’s desk since the 80s, when she picked him up from Walt Disney World. Back then, he was the mascot of Epcot, meant to be a manifestation of imagination, which Kristen loved.

He’s going to start sharing his magic with someone new, and if you want that to be you, you should bid on him here.

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Laura has been helping out with Worldbuilders for a long time in many ways. According to Laura, Deadline Cat “has seen me through numerous deadlines with minimal loss of sanity.”

I’m seriously considering jumping in on this one….

If you could maybe use a Deadline Cat, you can bid on him here.

  • Auction: Joe Ducie‘s Handmade Italian Quill.

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Joe (who many of you may remember better as Captain Joe) had a very fancy, handmade quill he thought he’d share with us. Apparently, he won it off of a Fremchman in Canada, and never managed to use it properly. The full details are in the note photoed above, which you can read if you click to embiggen.

If you’d like Joe’s saucy best, you can bid on his quill (hur hur) right over here.

(I would just like to say that Amanda wrote that last bit. For Shame, Amanda. Way to bring down the tone of the blog after I took the high road by avoiding making a bust joke earlier….)

  • Auction: Martha Wells‘s Invitation to Deeper Than Swords.

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Martha’s desk item is bonus cool, because it was all about the opening of the Texas A&M University Cushing Library’s exhibit Deeper Than Swords, which was about the work of George R.R. Martin.

It includes a packet of info and pictures from the exhibit, as well as the invitation itself, some postcards, and a cool sword letter opener. Martha wrote up a letter with the full details of the event (since she got two invitations, she used one and sent us the other).

If you want your own set of memorabilia, you can bid on it right here.

* * *

We hit Neil Gaiman’s stretch goal yesterday afternoon. He’ll be filming it shortly, but in the meantime, there are plenty of others you can watch to keep yourself entertained.

Me? It looks like I better start calling around to see if I can find some farmer who is willing to let me kiss his Llama…

pat

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat18 Responses

Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers

Today, we bring you Stretch Goal Round-Up, Part Two: Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers edition.

I know it’s nowhere near as cool as the last title, but they can’t all be winners.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of the Worldbuilders Team. Pat spent the holiday with his family, had a signing down in Madison for IndiesFirst, and promptly come home sick as a dog.

While he sleeps it off, we’re here to grant him a break, as well as to show off the cool stretch goals we’ve passed in the last week, as well as an update on the #NeilReads totals at the end. If you missed the last collection of stretch goals, you definitely should check those out, too.

Let’s get right to it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman hosted a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

The livestream happened last Monday, but you can now watch the video right here. Seth talked a lot about query letters and agents, and the dos and don’ts of each.

He even brought on one of his clients, Django Wexler, to discuss the first query letter Seth received from him, and why it didn’t get him an agent.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke helped us get through the technical issues we had with this video, and it’s up in all its glory for you to see.

If you’ve ever wanted to read were-hedgehog erotica, but wanted to hear a review of the book first, you’ve got it here.

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.

James was a juggler and performer before he made it as a game designer, and this trick is his signature trick, that only he performs. Yup. Juuust him. Sure would suck if someone stole his move, made it famous, and gave him full credit. Sure would. Enjoy all of its majesty…

  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

Nate and Pat  had a great time talking about the art from Slow Regard. When you’ve got an hour to spare, be sure to sit down and watch this one.

We passed both of these next goals over Thanksgiving, so the videos aren’t ready yet, but they will be soon!

  • $300k Mikey Neumann writes and reads a short story just for us!

Mikey has been planning this one for a while, and we’re pumped to share it with you once he finishes and films it for us…

“The Eye of Argon” considered the Citizen Kane of bad fantasy writing (or maybe the Plan 9 From Outer Space?), and has been embraced in its infamy by writers and fans alike. Apparently, reading this story has turned into some kind of competition. Folks are challenged to read it, exactly as written, without smiling or laughing. Grandmasters have to read it after inhaling helium.

This is going to be good, no matter how Christopher handles it.

And we’re right on the cusp of the next couple of stretch goals as well…

  • $350k The Doubleclicks play “Love You Like a Burrito” with a special guest…

This special guest may need to redeem himself after not performing the song very well at a book release event in Portland a little while ago…

This one is going to be epic as well, and the folks at Cards Against Humanity are awesome. If you didn’t see CAH’s Black Friday Bullshit sale, you really missed out on your chance to buy real, literal bullshit.

  • $400k John Green eats a Heifer International inspired meal.

Followers of John Green may already know of his history of blenderizing meals. He’s agreed to eat a meal made up of things you can get from Heifer International: Goat cheese, bacon, honey, and lots of other things he might be able to find. It’s probably going to be really gross, in a really awesome way.

* * *

I (meaning Amanda) ran all the numbers this morning to see what animal Pat may have to kiss if we pass our total from last year:

Animal Kiss 11.30

It seems pretty solidly decided in favor of llama.

There were comments here and there of people trying to campaign for the Goat, mostly to spare Pat from what has potential to be a very scary experience with the llama, so we’ll see if they’re successful in the end…

As far as the #NeilReads totals, we’ve got quite the turn of events. I went to run my totals, and when I got the image to share with everyone, it turned up like this.

#NeilReads 11.30

I did a double take when I realized that Jabberwocky and Where The Wild Things are were tied. I’d taken it for granted at this point that Jabberwocky would still have a perceptible lead.  Since I didn’t think it was fair to show you this without offering up the detailed totals, I did a new chart with those included as well.

#NeilReads 11.30.2

So that’s where things currently stand – Jabberwocky is winning with a mere $405 lead. If you want Where the Wild Things Are to win (I know I do), go in there and vote, or get your friends to vote. It won’t take much…

Hope you all had a great weekend. Stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed, because we’ll be updating every day with things you won’t want to miss, including a massive blog tomorrow full of books from DAW.

The Worldbuilders Team

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Amanda12 Responses

Art Galore

As I type this, our donation total sits at $275,000. Considering that this is only the beginning of our third week, we are absolutely blowing the doors off this year.

So far we’ve talked a lot about the good work Heifer does by supplying animals to families. But we haven’t talked about the fact that Heifer does a lot to improve the lives of women all over the world too.

Promotion of Food Sovereignty Honduras (Project # 23-1502-02) an

Pictured here is Maria Elsa Castellanos Rios, who started the Southern Cashew Enterprise Association in Honduras with the other women who wanted to contribute to the local economy through help from Heifer International.

Heifer knows they need to invest in the entire community, and that means investing in women. According to Economist.com “In emerging markets, women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their families and communities—which means that investing in women is an investment in our collective future.”

Guys, I hate to break it to you. But our numbers aren’t nearly that good. All the research shows that in a similar situation, men typically reinvest only 30-40% of their earnings in the household.

Because Heifer is playing the long game, looking to make families and communities self-sufficient, independent, and sustainable, Heifer typically works with women. In many communities, they form women’s self-help groups. Later, those groups go on to help other women in other communities. And so on. And so on.

And that’s an awesome thing.

* * *

We’re always happy to feature some of the cool art that comes into the fundraiser. This year we’ve got crafts, original art, and jewelry, along with some more traditional signed prints. They’re all going up for auction for those who will love them, so jump in if you see something you need.

  • Auction: Limited edition 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Signed by all 14 featured authors.

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This calendar features the authors Holly Black, Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, Tessa Gratton, Lauren Kate, Gregory Maguire, Brandon Mull, Lauren Oliver, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Maggie Stiefvater, Tad Williams, and Brenna Yovanoff. There were only 100 of these signed callendars produced, so they’re are extremely limited and rare.

If you want one of these collectors items, head over here and bid.

  • Auction: A full set of 8×10 prints from the 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Each signed by the author.

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We also have a full set of the photo prints from the calendar. Each photo is signed by its author (or authors, in the case of Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton).

These are printed on high quality photo paper, and the full bundle of 12 photos can be yours if you bid over here.

If you’d rather only have one or two of these pictures, you can buy them individually over in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Auction: A Kingkiller Chronicle sterling silver charm bracelet. Featuring over 40 charms.

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(Click to embiggen. Seriously.)

A fan named Noël spent some serious time and money (and time, did we mention that?) assembling so much Kingkiller symbolism your head will spin. There are over 40 charms on this sterling silver bracelet, most of them are sterling as well, a few are silver plate, and some of them are pewter.

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(This is only about a *third* of the charms. Seriously.)

The list of all of the charms is viewable on the auction, and honestly? It’s a little staggering. Even if you’re not looking to bid, you should head over o the auction and check out some of the other pictures we have of this truly one-of-a-kind piece of art.

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This was donated by Neil for our IndieGoGo fundraiser this summer, and the person who purchased it immediately emailed us and said to keep it and use it for another fundraiser. I don’t know what it is with Neil Gaiman’s stuff, but it has a tendency to come back to us over and over again

There were only 750 of this poster produced, and this one is number 210. If you want it, head over here and bid on it.

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Priscilla Spencer is very talented at drawing maps, and she lovingly donated this one to us. If you’re at all a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles, then you’ll know how nice it’d be to have this map nearby while reading Trapped. Plus, it’s really beautiful.

If you want this all for your own, bid here.

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Priscilla donated three maps total, and the second is the map from Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series. It has beautiful detail, including detailed sketches of monsters and other creatures.

If you’re a big geeky fan for Myke Cole and/or Priscilla, you should probably bid on this over here.

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Our third map from Priscilla is a beautifully detailed depiction of Alera from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera.

If you want this one, be sure to bid on it.

  • Auction: A copy of The Fairy-Tale Princess by Wendy Jones. Signed by illustrator Su Blackwell.

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This is a beautiful, hardcover book that collects seven classic fairy tales. Beyond the stories, though, is the detailed papercut sculptures that are the illustrations.

This book deserves a loving home. If you want that home to be yours, bid here.

  • Auction: Set of Copper Goat Paperweights from Esoteric Garage.

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Tait from Esoteric Garage has sent over a lot of copper goodies over the years, and this year’s donation is a set of hefty copper goats based on the Worldbuilders logo. There’s a large goat as well as two smaller ones, and they come with a signed card of authenticity from Tait.

If you want your own little piece of Worldbuilders ephemera, bid over here.

  • Auction: Original Iron Woman mixed-media artwork. Signed by Karen Hallion.

Karen Hallion donation

Karen Hallion gave us the art behind our beautiful calendar this year, and she’s incredibly well known for her princess/police box mashups. But she does a lot more than that, including this Iron Woman series, where she pens and paints a steampunk character over the pages of a book.

The series is amazing, and Brett in particular is hoping our next calendar can feature this art. This is the original, hand drawn-and-painted art, on a wood panel. If you want your hands on this beautiful piece, bid on it here.

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Last year, actor Bill Heck donated two premium seat tickets to see Cabaret, and he’s happily done so again. The show stars Bill Heck, Alan Cumming, and Emma Stone in the leading roles, and you’ll get an exclusive backstage tour after the fact, maybe even a drink or two with Bill afterwards.

If you want this incredible experience, bid on it over here.

* * *

There’s some seriously cool stuff up for auction now, and if you look at the Worldbuilders eBay page you’ll even get a sneak peek of some items we haven’t even announced on the blog yet.

If you’re not into auctions, remember that if you donate directly to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you’re automatically entered into our prize drawing where you can win over $100,000 worth of cool swag, books, and games.

We’ve got more awesome stuff going up in the store tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat29 Responses

Puppets, Wild Things, Pumpkin Spice, and Viking Llamas…

First, I would just like to say that this blog has the best title I’ve ever written. Possibly the best title *anyone* has ever written. Ever.

As I type this, Worldbuilders has raised $250,000 dollars and we’re not yet at the end of our second week. That’s pretty amazing no matter how you look at it.

Today I’m going to post up all the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far in case you’ve missed a few.

But first, allow me to answer a few questions y’all have been asking:

As y’all know, when we hit 600,000, Neil will read something for us. Everyone who donates to Heifer International on our team page gets to vote. Here’s where the total stands right now. Fox in Socks is still in the running, though it’s a bit of a dark horse….

#NeilReads 11-19

My stretch goal is looking like a bit more of a foregone conclusion:

Animal Kiss 11.22am take 2

I will admit, when I proposed my stretch goal, I put Llama on the list without doing much research other than to make sure there were some living in Central Wisconsin. Since then I’ve discovered that a llama and an alpaca are, in fact, two very different animals. Alpaca are kinda like a cross between a sheep, a kitten, and a giraffe. By which I mean they’re furry, friendly, and they have long necks.

Llamas, on the other hand, are apparently like a cross between a sheep, a camel, and Viking berserker. By which I mean they’re furry, they hate you, and they will fucking destroy all things that oppose them. A lot of farms use them as guard animals, because other predators like coyotes are terrified of llamas and avoid even the sound of them.

So… yeah. Right now it’s looking like that’s what I’m going to end up kissing. For charity.

Here’s the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far:

  • $50k: Nika Harper Reads Dinosaur Limericks

Happiness comes in Dinosaur Limericks that are based in scientific fact.

  • $75k: Molly Lewis Sings Pumpkin Spice Lament

Do you want to know a true fact about Amanda? She recently got a ukulele, and she’s been playing Molly Lewis songs nonstop. This one is her new favorite.

  • $100k: Patrick Rothfuss will perform “The Song of Tom Bombadil.”

Yup. That’s a thing I did. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman will host a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

This livestream is going to be Monday, November 24th at 7:30pm CST. If you have any questions for Seth, you should be sure to be there, live, when it happens. Follow Worldbuilders on Facebook,  Twitter, and YouTube to know when it goes live.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke was great and had the video all ready for us… and then the file corrupted when he tried to send it to us. We’ll have it up as soon as possible, so keep an eye on the Worldbuilders YouTube channel.

  • $175k: Vi Hart will write and perform “The Lay of Felurian.”

Vi nailed it here. She even included the verse that causes Felurian to cut Kvothe off, and ends it there. It’s wonderful.

  • $200k: The Heifer International staff will perform a puppet show.

This baffled me in all of the best ways. Some of Heifer International’s staff (primarily the ones who work with Worldbuilders directly every year) got together and did this in their free time. Be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end, because people have some stuff to say about Kvothe and his lute…

We’ve got two more that have just been recently unlocked…

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.
  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

We passed both of these goals just yesterday, so we haven’t had a chance to post them up yet, but as we’ve said above. But if you stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed we’ll be posting them up when that happens.

Stay tuned folks, if for no other reason than to see me get trampled to death by a llama.

pat

P.S. Just in case you wanted a link where you could help us reach more stretch goals while also making the world a better place, here it is.

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat25 Responses

Signed Books from Lovely Authors

We just finished our first week of Worldbuilders, and as I type this we’ve raised about $110,000. That’s money that will help improve the lives of people all over the world for years and years.

But Pat!” I hear you cry. “Exactly *how* will this money make people’s lives better? For someone willing to spend entire chapters describing a completely fictional alternate physics in your books, it seems like you’re being pretty vague here….

Fair enough.

Let’s say you donate $60, that’s enough for Heifer to go into an area and provide education, support, and seedlings. Everything a family needs to it can plant some trees.

If you’re running a small farm, or even a garden, trees are more important than most people think. They provide shade for animals and prevent soil erosion. Many poverty stricken parts of the world have been deforested to a disastrous degree. And you can’t maintain a farm or pasture if the ground itself keeps washing away….

Even better? That cute little girl up there gets to supplement her diet with fresh fruit or protein-rich nuts. The nuts or fruit the family doesn’t use can be sold. Giving a family a small orchard or grove of nut trees is effectively the same as giving them a small business.

And what if you want to grow your business? You actually, literally, grow it. Using the education and tools Heifer provides, people can plant part of what they harvest, not only improving their own lives, but the lives of their friends and neighbors.

That’s what sixty bucks does, folks. It changes people’s lives. Forever.

And when you donate directly to Heifer on the Worldbuilders team page you also get the chance to win thousands upon thousands of books like those we’re showing off in today’s blog….

* * *

All the books in today’s blog come from the authors themselves. They’re all signed, and the vast majority of them are going into the lottery where everyone has a chance to win them so long as they donate at least 10 bucks.

But a few of these are going into auctions as well, so keep an eye out in case you want to do some holiday shopping, even if it’s just for yourself.

  • Set of Little Brother and Pirate Cinema. Signed by Cory Doctorow.

CoryDoctorow

“Set in the near future, Doctorow’s novel blurs the lines between current and potential technologies, and readers will delight in the details of how Markus attempts to stage a techno-revolution.” – Booklist, starred review

  • The Black Jewels trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness. All signed and inscribed by Anne Bishop.

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These are all lovely copies of Anne’s books. I was tempted to put them into an auction so I could bid on them, but I was voted down, and they’re going into the lottery instead.

“Anne Bishop’s debut novel is a complete delight […] Intricate plotting, fascinating characters, high drama, and dark magic combine for a powerful, riveting read.” – Charles de Lint

  • Sets of The Well’s End and an ARC of The Dark Water (release date is March 2015). Signed by Seth Fishman.

SethFishman

Seth is an agent-and-author combo, and in addition to being awesome and sending us signed copies of his first book, he sent ARCs of the second book in the series, which doesn’t come out until March. Whoever wins this will get their hands on it before the book is released, so you’ll get a sneak peak.

He’s also our $125k stretch goal, where he’ll host a livestream giving tips and tricks for query letters and cover letters when sending out your manuscript. It ties in pretty well with our read and critique auctions, don’t you think? It’s almost like we planned it…

“Fishman kills it in every possible way.” –  Margaret Stohl

  • Auction: An ARC of The Dark Water, release date March 2015. Signed by Seth Fishman.

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And since we had it, we’re going to auction off one of these pre-release ARCs. If you’ve already read Well’s End, or if you want to and are pretty sure you’ll need to read the sequel immediately, you can bid on it over here.

  • Copies of What Ho Automata. Signed and inscribed by Chris Dolley.

ChrisDolley

I just have to say, “What ho, Automata” has got to be one of my favorite titles for a book ever. Chris Dolley lovingly inscribed each of these with kind wishes to the lucky person who wins them in the lottery.

“Dolley’s collection of Wodehousian steampunk is entertaining and often spot-on parody.” – Publishers Weekly

  • Auction: A copy of What Ho Automata. Signed and inscribed by Chris Dolley.

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Chris sent us enough copies of this that we figured we’d auction one off for those of you who don’t want to leave it to chance. If you want to have it all for yourself, head over here and bid.

  • Set of Delia’s Shadow and Barricade in Hell. Signed by Jaime Lee Moyer.

JaimeLeeMoyer

Jaime has been offering up manuscript critiques with us for years, and this year is no exception. Even cooler, she sent us copies of the first two books in her series, and they’re well-loved by other people who’ve supported Worldbuilders, so you can rest assured that they’re awesome books.

“Moyer creates a hauntingly real San Francisco, full of characters you can’t wait to get to know better. Delia’s Shadow is an engaging debut novel, one that cost me a good night’s sleep.” – Jim C. Hines

  • Auction: Set of Delia’s Shadow and an ARC of Barricade in Hell. Signed by Jaime Lee Moyer.

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Jaime also sent us a signed ARC of Barricade in Hell, so we though it would be best to auction off such a collectible thing. If you’re at all interested, you should really go here and bid on it.

DanaStabenow

Laura Anne Gilman has been a longtime supporter of Worldbuilders, and she sent over these collections of short stories to add to the lottery, which is super cool because you’ll get a taste of a lot of authors who you may want to check out when you’re done…

“Enjoyable-truly worth checking out for fans of fantasy mysteries.” — Locus

  • Set of the Gin & Tonic Mysteries: Collared and Fixed. Signed by L.A. Kornetsky.

LAKornetsky

L.A. Korntesky is a psudonym for Laura Anne Gillman, so you know these will be good.  They’re in a series called  The Gin and Tonic Mysteries, and have an amazing number of pet-related puns on the covers alone.

“Vivid descriptions of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood are a plus in a cozy tale that will draw in even those normally skeptical of animal-centered stories.” – Publishers Weekly

  • Set of out-of-print, limited copies of The Lays of Anuskaya: The Winds of Khalakovo, The Straits of Galahesh, and The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. All signed, inscribed, and numbered by Bradley P Beaulieu.

BradBeaulieu

Brad actually sent us these books last year because he knew they would be out of print, and new editions with a new publisher would be coming out later. He inscribed them for Worldbuilders 2014, and now you have the opportunity to get a collectors item of the full first series of Brad’s books. He’s got a book coming out in August from DAW, so it’s only going to go up from here for him…

  • Copy of the out of print Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten. Signed, inscribed, and numbered by Bradley P Beaulieu.

BradBeaulieu2

Brad also sent along this collection of short stories last year, and it too is out of print. Its in much the same situation as the full set of Lays of Anuskaya, so we’re letting it stand alone to spread some of the collectible wealth.

Remember, all it takes is a donation of $10 or more on our Team Heifer page to be eligible to win it.

  • Sets of the Shadow Ops series: Control Point, Fortress Frontier, and Breach Zone. Each with a challenge coin and a signed bookplate from Myke Cole.

MykeCole-Everything

Myke is a longtime friend of the fundraiser, and we’re thrilled to have more of his books available in the lottery. His challenge coins are really cool, and so are his books.

“The best ride that military fantasy has to offer.” – Mark Lawrence

  • Auction: One set of the Shadow Ops series: Control Point, Fortress Frontier, and Breach Zone. With a challenge coin and a signed bookplate from Myke Cole.

MykeCole

Myke sent over a few full sets, so we’ve put one up for auction over on ebay. If you want to be certain to get this bundle of awesome, head over here and bid.

  • The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, and The Daylight War. All signed and include bookplates by Peter V. Brett.

Demon Cycle standing

For those of you who haven’t read Peter’s books, we think you should.  We’re putting the full set of his novels into the lottery.  Warded Man and Daylight War are both first editions.

To boot, Warded Man has both its original dust jacket, and the new one they printed so it would match the rest of the novels.  They did the same thing with Name of the Wind, so you know all the cool authors are doing it.

* * *

There you have it, folks. Great books from great authors, and almost all of them are in the lottery, with duplicates up for auction if you want to grab them immediately.

Don’t forget about all the auctions we’ve still got running. There’s geek jewelry, professional manuscript critiques, and some cool collectables, too. Make sure to look over there regularly, as we’re putting new stuff up all the time.

Thanks for being awesome, folks. Stay tuned, we’ve got a big announcement coming up tomorrow.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat5 Responses

Worldbuilders 2014

It’s that time of year again, folks. Time to make the world a better place while winning fabulous prizes.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web_Smaller

Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, Heifer has promoted education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient.

goat 4

(Are you ready? I’m so ready. Let’s do it.)

We’re always looking for ways to improve the fundraiser. So while much of Worldbuilders is the same as last year, we have some things that are entirely new, and some things that have changed a little.

So even if you’re a Worldbuilders Vetran, you might want to look at this blog closely so you don’t miss the new coolness we have waiting there.

As always, you’ve got three different options for donating:

  • Option 1: The Lottery.

This is the option most of you will want. It’s quick, easy, and tax deductible.

You just hop directly over to the page we’ve set up on Team Heifer, and donate.

When you donate on that page, two things happen.

1. You’ll move us closer to our stretch goals (shown below).

2. You’ll be entered into the lottery.

For every $10 you donate on our Team Heifer page, your name will be entered into our random drawing for all the swag that’s been donated. Thousands of books, comics, and games. So if you donate $30, your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, its combined awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So, for everyone’s safety, we’ll be posting up a new blog every weekday until the end of the fundraiser on December 8th.

You can see *all* the books currently in the mix on our snazzy Lottery Library page.

Or you can check out the individual blogs here:

Note: We’re doing something new this year. Thanks to our sponsors like Cheapass Games and Mayfair, we have a more games in this year’s fundraiser. A lot more. We know some of you aren’t big gamers, so you’ll be able to select whether you want to win books, games, or books AND games.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.17.18 PM

That way everyone gets what they like best.

Stretch goals.

To encourage donations, we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be music, poetry, cosplay, puppets, and so, so much more…

Upcoming stretch goals include:

We’re recruiting folks for new stretch goals every day, so keep an eye on this list, and the Worldbuilders website under news for updates.

One of the new things we’re doing is letting y’all decide which direction these stretch goals will go. For example, donors get to vote on which animal I’ll kiss when we beat last year’s donation total.

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Personally? I’m hoping for the goat.

People donating will also get to decide what Neil Gaiman will read when we hit $600,000:

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Here I’m torn. Part of me wants to hear Neil say, “Goodnight Nobody,” while the rest of me dearly wants to hear him say, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

Either way, I’m going to have a new ringtone.

Note: Worldbuilders ends December 15, 2014 at 11:59 pm UTC-11. To be eligible for the lottery, you must have made your donation on the Team Heifer Page before then.

  • Option 2: The Sure Thing

For those of you not interested in the lottery, or if you’re just interested in doing some Christmas shopping early, we have a well-stocked store, lovingly named The Tinker’s Packs. We’ve got t-shirtsposters, and other coolness available for purchase.

We also have foreign editions of many titles, donated and signed by the authors. These are hard to find in the US.

All proceeds from everything sold in our store go to Worldbuilders, of course.

Additionally, this year we’ve published another calendar featuring the art of the wonderful Karen Hallion.

KHCalendarSpread_1024x1024

(Click to embiggen)

You can see many more pictures of the calendar in The Tinker’s Packs.

We’ll be adding new items to the store throughout the fundraiser, so keep an eye on the blog. If you’re worried you might miss some of the coolness, you can follow the Tinker’s Packs on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll post updates there whenever something new happens.

  • Option 3: Auctions.

Sometimes we get donations that are really cool…. but only for a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but other people, (sad, unhappy people) have never played Portal, and just don’t care.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, or other collectables.

So we put those things up for auction.

We have professionals willing to read and critique your manuscripts. We have signed art and rare books. We have the chance to win cameo appearances in comics and get your name into upcoming books.

We auction these things off as well.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

  • NEW THIS YEAR – Option 4: A Partnership with Powells.

We show off a lot of books during the fundraiser, and over the years I’ve heard many people mention they do a their holiday shopping based off the books they see here. Or, if you’re like me, you use Worldbuilders to add to your ever-expanding must-read shelf.

So this year we’re doing something new.

If you see a book in this year’s fundraiser, and think to yourself, “I’ve got to have a copy of that….” you can follow this link, buy it from Powells, and they will donate 7.5% of the sale directly to Worldbuilders.

This applies to *anything* you buy from Powells. Not just books we’re featuring in the fundraiser. If you follow that link and buy stuff, not only are you supporting one of the coolest independent bookstores around, but a hefty piece of that money will go to making the world a better place.

You can also find the link in the navigation widget at the end of each of the blogs:

Look at that, all fancy and clickable.

Important Links and Contact Information

We’ve tweaked our website, since last year. And Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into their veins.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you could check out our handy FAQ.

Need to contact The Tinker’s Packs? You can e-mail them here: orders [at] thetinkerspacks.com

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Drop us a line here: donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Team Heifer donation page.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat27 Responses
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