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Photo Contest Part VII – Drama

When I started the contest, I really didn’t expect there to be so much drama involved.

Not only is this shot very well composed, but her expression here is priceless. It’s halfway between “Alas!” and “Whatev.”

Captain Joe, suspiciously without pants in this photo, includes the following caption:

“Why?” begs Captain Joe of the blood-red sky. “Take me too!”

“No,” replied the Sky.

“But NOTW is too powerful for this world, too awesome – it hurts us.”

“You have a pointy chin, Captain Joe, and I find your beard lacking.”

Overcome with anguish and poor dialogue, Captain Joe despairs of ever finding true happiness again.

There were more than a few photos sent in showing the book in heavenly surroundings.

Or emanating what can only be considered a holy light.

Here we have holy light AND drama. A word of advice, if you ever see a glowing book outside your window at night. Don’t follow it into the woods. I don’t think that’s safe at all.

Some pictures told stories. Bizarre stories. Captions are theirs, not mine.

“Enough of your bitch-bitch about carry three rocket *and* book. Everybody carry book. Everybody look for Chandrian. We find them – you be glad you have three rocket.”

Before the gentle caress of Rothfuss, this poor soul was lost in self doubt, alcoholism and perhaps mental retardation….

After the gentle caress of Rothfuss, this man has become a success. He is now prepared for the trials and tribulations of everyday nerdom.

A lot of people obviously feel that the book will protect them from harm.

I’m guessing it would stop a sword thrust, now that I’m thinking of it.

Best. Fort. Ever. You’ll totally be safe there. At least until one of the Borders staff shows up, bitches you out, and makes you put them back on the shelf….

When I first saw this picture, I really didn’t know what to think. Vague threat? Dada art? My editor telling me that I needed to quit blogging and get to work on book two?

Then I realized it was a two-parter meant to demonstrate yet another way that The Name of the Wind can improve your lifestyle. I’m going to give this guy an honorable mention prize if for no other reason than he put my book in his pants.

However, the book is not merely a protective device. Apparently, it’s a bit of an ass kicker too.

While I don’t condone this sort of violence, I’m willing to bet that those peeps had it coming.

More often than not, my book seemed to get into fights with other books, rather than with sugary confections.

Joe’s caption:

The release of the paperback edition of The Name of the Wind sparked a literary war – the Last Great Literary War. It scoured libraries, bookstores, and personal book collections alike. We lost – everyone lost – the world burned. No one saw the sheer awesomeness of a mass-market edition coming. In the end, there could be only one…

A lot of photos set up an antagonistic relationship between The Name of the Wind and another more firmly established fantasy series.

Some of the photos were symbolic.

Others were more passive aggressive.

But this one was my favorite. Runner-up, mostly because of the caption.

Lute-Playing, Wind-Naming, Dragon-Slayer: 7
Boy Wizard With Angst Issues: 0

Really, he never stood a chance.

Notice: No books were harmed in the taking of this photograph. Except for HP2, which had to be emergency rolly-carted out of the area. Trauma Librarians expect a full recovery.

On a side note, if I can’t hack it as an author, I think I might try to be a trauma librarian next. That’s a job I think I’d enjoy….

(Click to Embiggen)

And the winner.

Undoubtedly this is the goriest book battle ever. It is fair to point out that this was more a battle royal, as opposed to The Name of the Wind taking on all comers. Honestly, I’m just glad that Mists of Avalon took out Dark Tower early on. If not for that, I don’t think I would have had much of a chance.

Two categories left. My two favorite categories: “Most Sexy” and “Best Cosplay.”

Stay tuned.


Posted in contests, fan coolness | By Pat30 Responses

Photo Contest Part VI – Miscellaneous

Well, I seem to be on the mend from my recent bout with hellish sick. It was one of those where, as my mom used to say, “You run for the bathroom and then don’t know which end to point at the toilet.”

Even in the moments when I was not in danger of sudden containment breach, my guts…. how to put this delicately…. They have been filled with terrible rumblings. Were we on a spaceship together, and my guts made this sort of noise. I believe that you would be fully justified in shooting me and stuffing my body out an airlock, rather than risk dealing with whatever alien life form eventually emerged with the express purpose of wrecking your shit.

But enough of that. On to today’s winners. I’ve been saving some of the best for last:

There were a lot of pictures that didn’t fit into any category. So I decided to lump them all together under Miscellaneous. That’s what we have for you today:

Some of these were simple, if slightly quirky.

Some were slightly odd.

…and some were surreal.


I really don’t know how I should feel about this shot….

Right now I’m going with vaguely titillated, then weird and guilty.

“Aerlevsedi” is definitely worth some extra points.

You guys….. I…. I love you guys. I don’t know who you are, but I’m guessing if I lived closer to you, we’d hang out. I’d bring over hex map (as opposed to your grid map) and teach you the Hero System ruleset so we could play in my world.

But alas….

These guys should go hang with the Barbies. I think that would be my favorite party ever.

I never expected The Name of the Wind to be scrapbooked. Ever. Never ever.

Someone familiar here, giving a bit of an Auri vibe. Plus: awesome tree.

As a side note, I think if I live a good life. I might see something like this when I die.

Hopefully just after I die though. Not just before. If I see this after I die, it’s because an angel wants my autograph. If I see it just before I die, it’s because a pretty young girl just pushed me out of a tree. Probably because I got all pervy on her.

I’m not sure why I like this one so much, but I do….


This looks like one of the old pieces of machinery you’d find in the Underthing.

(Click to Embiggen)

The Runner-Up. Most of the pictures will be familiar to you, but you’ll have to embiggen it to read the text, and the text is really what makes this one shine.

(Click to Embiggen)

The Winner. You’ll have to see the larger version of this one too. In fact, you’ll probably need to see some parts of it kind of close up to appreciate what’s going on….

Thanks again everyone who participated. And, as I’ve said before, info on claiming your prizes is in this blog post over here.

Still to come:”Best Cosplay” “Most Dramatic” and “Most Sexy.”

I’m off to work on book two….


Posted in contests, fan coolness, hodgelany | By Pat17 Responses

Photo Contest Part V – Driving, Reading, and Animals

Apparently, the book has been doing a lot of traveling lately, forcing me to add a new category. “Best Transportational Photo.”

This shows a degree of loving care that I appreciate.

Here, I can see my book isn’t entirely safe…. But it’s certainly having an adventure. That’s a fair trade-off.

This shot shot gave me flashbacks to Microsoft’s flight simulator. At the time I played it, the simulator was so accurate that you could count hours spent playing toward your total flying hours when applying for a pilot’s licence. It was so accurate that the manual was thicker than your average college history text. So accurate that I never, ever, managed to successfully land a plane without crashing.

Please do not read my book while driving.

Please do not read my book while driving. Even if you have the ability to steer with your freakish monkey feet.

Please do not read the book while driving. Even if you’re impatient for the audiobook. Runner-up.

Please do not…. Okay. Here’s the deal. If you don’t drive while reading the book, you two can have the win for this category. Fair?

A lot of people sent in pictures of themselves reading the book.

A lot of people.

A lot.

Of people.

There were several pictures of the book triumphing over homework.

If you look closely at this one, you can see that my book is also the wallpaper on the computer in the background.

You might recognize this lovely lady from before. She’s the dancer we saw back in part three of the contest.

Runner-up. I love the smile here, she’s obviously enjoying herself. If you’re ever trapped on a desert island, we all know what you should bring.

The book, I mean. Not a pretty young lady in a dress. Though now that I’m thinking about it….

Winner. The staging here is great. It’s also interesting to note that the book she’s reading from is the promotional galley. That’s the first version of the book that they ever printed. Don’t feel too jealous if you don’t have one though. I made about five thousand small changes and re-wrote several chapters between that version and when the hardcover came out.

Lastly, we have the “Book with Animals” category. Where, oddly enough, there were an disproportionately large number of bird-related entries.

I view my inability to come up with a funny caption for this picture a personal failing on my part. If anyone can come up with something worthwhile in the comments section, I’d really appreciate it.




Runner up.

Winner. I really love this picture. Not only is the composition really nice. Not only do I like turtles, but this is exactly how I feel sometimes when I’m doing revisions….

Rest assured that in these last two photos, the animals were handled well and set free in the end. Here are the two photographers (both of whom you’ve already seen at this point) saying goodbye to the turtle, who they had nicknamed “Diogenes.”

Remember, if you’re a winner or a runner-up, you get fabulous prizes. For details head over here.

I’m sorry for the weak ending to this post, and the lack of wit in the captioning. But as I started to enter the photos for the final category, I began to feel… profoundly.

I was at Wiscon this weekend, and there was a stomach flu getting spread around. I thought I’d dodged it, but, given that I feel a painful rumbling in my guts and I’m beginning to sweat, apparently not.

I was looking forward to working on more revisions to book two after I posted this, but I fear I’m in for a very unpleasant night instead.

Pray for me.


Posted in contests, fan coolness | By Pat30 Responses

Photo Contest Part IV – Celebrities and Foriegn Climes

People have been taking pictures of the book all over the place.

Based on some of the other photos that were included with this one, I’m guessing this is actually an honest-to-goodness desert-y area. As opposed to a beach or a gravel quarry.

This one was, apparently, taken on Mount Hood.

Not all of the locations were exotic. This one was taken at Uncle Hugos, a bookstore that deals exclusively in fantasy/science fiction. In an interesting side note, the guy who runs Uncle Hugos was one of the very first people to get excited about the book after reading a galley copy, and to ask me to come out for a signing. So this bookstore has a special place in my heart.

I’ve had several photos where the book was shown with famous landmarks. This one brings back some memories. I haven’t been out to the statue of liberty since I had to fetch that shipment of Ambrosia for UNATCO all those years ago….

Not all the landmarks that people used were universally well known. But anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in Madison knows exactly where this photo was shot.

Here we are above the clouds….

And here we are below the ground, in a New York city subway.

Here’s another by the same photographer. Can you guess where it is?

I have to say, I really like the composition of these shots. Even if it didn’t say, BITTER Photography I’d have a strong suspicion that they were taken by a pro.

Here’s the runner up in “Most Foreign.” This was taken in the catacombs in Italy. Apparently, the photographer got yelled at because taking pictures in there is, well, forbidden. The fact remains that it’s a pretty awesome shot.

But this has to be the winner. Not only was this the photo that gave me the idea for this contest, you can’t get much more foreign than this. The photographer told me that it was balmy out when he took this – a mere 60 degrees below.

And, because I admire ingenuity, an honorable mention for the photo of my book at the West Pole. Let me know which prize you’d like too.

Another thing I didn’t anticipate when I started this contest was the celebrity angle. A lot of folks sent in pictures of the book with famous people.

Of course, sometimes the celebrities weren’t really willing participants in this activity….

Other times the celebrities involved were completely fictional….

Or both.

Generally speaking though, the celebrities in question were desirous of the book….

Even Indiana Jones…

…and Benito Juarez.

Some celebrities were forced to make difficult choices….

Here’s Captain Joe again. Looking to help out the allied powers. As we all know, the hardcover will stop a bullet.

Here’s one obviously taken by a fellow Buffy Fan.

The caption to this one read: “The lute?… bah! A _real_ hero would have played the accordion.”

The runner-up does a nice job of illustrating why I like Batman better than Superman. Superman obviously can’t be bothered with the book. He’s obviously too busy flexing and reciting the pledge of allegiance in his head.

Batman, on the other hand, is obviously into it. I could see him appreciating Kvothe’s character.

And here’s the Winner of the celebrity category. On one hand, this picture can’t help but make me happy, as it is packed with all sorts of awesome: a beautiful woman, my book, and a Boba Fett made entirely out of Lego. But on the other hand, this picture makes me sad, as I’m guessing it’s probably the closest thing to a three-way that I’ll ever have.

Still, in terms of a three-way, you have to admit that’s pretty hot.

There’s more to come. And rest assured, I’m saving some of the best for last.


Posted in contests, fan coolness | By Pat24 Responses

Photo Contest Part III – Anthropomorphic and Athletic

Lots of pictures today. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

First category: Most Athletic

Here’s Captain Joe again, making me feel better about the fact that I still play on the springy horses too. The name of his mighty steed? Captain Joe dubbed him “Thunderplum.”

I don’t know what sport is being invented here. But I’m reasonably sure that 1) It kicks the ass off Polo. And 2) I really don’t want to play without some serious protective gear.

I love this one for many reasons, not the least of which is that it led to me learning an awesome new word: arabesque.

I don’t know the word for this pose, but I wish I did. I like to think that if I knew the word, I could make use of it at some future point in my life and be better off for it.

Why is this photo listed in “Most Athletic?” Well, apparently it was shot while running away from security on the set of Johnny Depp’s new movie, “Public Enemies.”

Someone might need a lesson about sharing. And about keeping his center of gravity low during a bout….

See? Apparently three people can read the book at once.

I really appreciate it when people are careful with the book. Since they have someone there whose express purpose is to catch the paperback if it falls, they get the runner-up position. Since it’s a group shot, they each get a prize.

I love the pointy toes here….

Another item for my long list of Fun Stuff I Would Hurt Myself Doing.

Also, I would like everyone to appreciate the degree of restraint I’m showing by not making a swinger joke right now.

And the winner. Both ladies can have their choice of items from among the swag available. Also, you should rest comfortably in the knowledge that you rock the house, the casbah, and my socks, in roughly that order.

Next: Most Anthropomorphic

Another thing I didn’t expect when I started this competition was that folks might dress up my books or to put them into people-ish situations. Such as this…

The caption for this photo was something along the lines of, “A great book, but does it cuddle?”

And yes, that is canned frosting and a pair of fuzzy handcuffs. It appears my book is continuing in the fine tradition of getting more action than me.

…or should that be “more action that I?” Meh. Witness the deep wellspring of my not really giving a damn.

Moving on.

This is my book reading a magazine. Some flights are so long that even your leisure reading can get bored.

This one is bound to screw with your perspective a little bit…..

… especially combined with the runner-up. Who knew my book was such a rebel?

But this is the unabashed winner. The caption:

Old Grandpa muses on the new addition to the family…”It’s sure a good thing the little whippersnapper looks so much like my daughter. Look at that husband of hers – using a length of rope to hold up his pants. In my day, I had a rippling naked man chest – but I had to cast that vanity aside. Now days all you need is daisies to woo a woman and she’ll ignore your ridiculous pants!”

Every time I look at this picture I find something new to love. But even before I read the caption, I was marveling at the pants.

The next time I’m at some convention, and there’s a group of new authors hanging around at the bar trying to out-awesome each other, I’m going to sit back until everyone else has bragged their biggest brag. Then I’ll pull out my trump card: “Someone made pants for my book,” I’ll say, “And then they took a picture of it.”

So I declare this a double win. I’ll send the genius behind it a couple of prizes of her choice. She deserves them.

Later all,


Posted in contests, cool things, fan coolness | By Pat23 Responses

Photo Contest Part II – Babies

Everyone, I would like you to meet Captain Joe. You saw him paying homage to the book in the last blog.

Though Joe put together a lovely shrine and took an excellent picture, I mentioned in that he couldn’t win a prize in that category.

Joe came into the contest early, and he came in strong. He photoshopped, posed, dramatised, and wrote captions that cracked me up. What’s more, he seems to have put his life at risk at least once or twice. As in this one, where apparently he climbed up onto a roof….

…to set up a scenic shot.

So why can’t Joe win?

Well, the first problem is that Joe entered so many photos, of so many types, that if I let him win, he could, potentially, crowd out a lot of the other folks in the competition.

But the second reason is the larger of the two. You see, Joe is an Australian.

And I hate people from Australia.

No. Kidding. Just kidding. Well… I’m half kidding…. Joe is actually from Australia, Perth specifically. But I don’t hold it against him.

The real problem is that back when I set this up, back when I was hoping to get maybe a dozen entries, I said that the picture needed to include the paperback. They don’t have access to the US paperback in Australia yet.

This was a short-sighted mistake, and I don’t plan on repeating it if (when) I do another one of these.

Still, I’m left with a problem. On one hand, it is a rule. IN a way, it’s unfair to everyone else if I suddenly change it after the fact. But on the other hand, Joe’s pictures were pretty cool, and, in my opinion, this sort of fanatical minioning should really be rewarded.

So here’s the deal. In the upcoming blogs you’ll see Joe’s photos included in the categories such as “Most Sexy” “Most Dramatic,” but he won’t be eligible to win. Instead, I’ve decided to make create a new category for him. Let’s call it… “Most Most.”

What does Joe win? Well, that’s a good question. I’ve got some various stuff to give away as prizes.

1. Good old-fashioned signed copies of my book. I’ve got a bunch of the new hardcovers here at my house, and though I love them, they are taking up quite a bit of shelf-space. I’ll sign or personalize them and send them off to you if that’s what you want.

2. Copies of my first published book, The College Survival Guide.

This is a collection of the first four years of a humor column I used to write. It came out in 2005 and they only printed about 500 copies. I still have a box of them here at my house, so I’ll offer them up as prizes. Signed by me and my fabulous illustrator friend, Brett Hiorns.

3. Maps of the Four Corners, as rendered by my friend Nathan Taylor. Signed by both of us.

The winners and the runners-up can have their pick from these three. So if you see you’re a winner or a runner up, you might want to send me an e-mail letting me know which you’d like, and your real-world address too, if you haven’t done that already. Remember the address is paperback.contest {squiggly at thinger} gmail.com

In Joe’s case, because he really went the extra mile, I’m also going to include either one of the old black-cover galley copies of the book, or one of my old manuscripts. Whatever makes him happier.

Now, on to today’s category.

When I finally gathered all the pictures and tried to group them together, I found they didn’t fit neatly into the categories I’d been expecting. Oh sure, there were dramatic pictures, and cute pictures, and pictures of people reading. I’d counted on that. What I hadn’t anticipated were groups of pictures involving food, or birds, or babies.

This photoshopped one was the exception to the rule. Everyone else sent me pictures of their babies, which now that I think of it, is really unexpectedly sweet.

This guy has hair like mine.
Ah yes. This guy seems to have his priorities straight….

Eeeeeee! No! Don’t bend the cover back like that!

Awwww…. This guy wants it too. What’s more, he’s picking it over a bunch of brightly colored toys. I think we could hang out.

The Runner-Up. This is about the cutest thing ever. I think it’s a combination of the hoodie and the fact that the little pink elephant wants in on the action too.
But here is the undisputed winner. The caption that went along with this picture reads:

“Levi can’t believe he has to wait so long to continue the story. A year is a long time for a 2 month old.”

I don’t know if there’s something wrong with me, but every time I look at this picture I end up laughing. I’ve never seen anyone so absolutely furious in my entire life. It’s nice to know that the angriest fan I ever have will never be this angry.

That’s all for now folks. More on the way….


Posted in babies, College Survival Guide, contests | By Pat21 Responses

Photo Contest Part I – Shrines.

When I first had the idea for the photo contest, it was completely off-the-cuff. I was making a facebook event for the paperback release date, and I thought, “What the hell. I’ll offer prizes if people want to take pictures of themselves with the new book.”

In my secret heart of hearts, I was thinking that it would be cool if I got maybe eight or ten pictures. Enough so that I could post them up in a blog, have some fun, and give prizes to everyone who played along.

I even had a secret backup plan. If not enough people participated, I would take some photos on my own to pad things out so I wouldn’t look like a big loser.

Suffice to say that I am officially stunned by the response. We ended with over five hundred pictures, so many pictures that it’s taken me hours and hours to download, label, and organize them. I’m sorry that not everyone can get prizes, and that I can’t even display all of them. There were just so many….

Anyway, today we’re going to start with just one category: Best Shrine.

Nice genuflection, you really stuck the dismount.

I like the fact that each of my books seems to have access to its own sword here.

Kneeling in reverential awe – check. Scenic backdrop – check. Dramatic sunset – bonus points.

Wait… is…. is that a frikkin gunblade? Yes. Yes it is.

While it would seem like this picture would be a shoe-in for the win, the mastermind behind it, Captain Joe, can’t win this category. You’ll learn why in more detail during the next blog, but rest assured, this level of awesome will not go unrewarded.

Here’s the runner-up. The Name of the Wind in paperback, playing king of the hill. If you look closely, there’s also a little plush draccus there.

The Winner. At first I thought this might be a very surreal candlelit dinner for a college student, but then I realized that the flowers, food, and drink were being offered up in tribute to the book. Also, the composition of the photo is really nice, though I’ll admit that the lighting makes me wonder if there might not also be a black goat and a knife just off frame.

Remember kids, blood sacrifices won’t get you book two any faster.

The clincher? The person who built the shrine got not only my favorite brand of ramen, but my favorite flavor too. Mmmmm…. Chicken.

Next blog we’ll get more photos, along with a discussion of what the winners actually win, and the revelation of Captain Joe’s tragic secret.

Later all,


Posted in contests, fan coolness, geeking out | By Pat21 Responses
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