This is a Worldbuilders blog.
Those of you who have been following the fundraiser closely will know that I've been debating what to do with a few of the books that were donated.
Specifically, I've been wondering what to do with two very lovely, very collectible books given to us by Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson.
After reading the hundred plus suggestions that were made on the blog and doing a lot of thinking, I've decided *not* to auction these books off. I'm going to enter them into the general lottery instead.
I'm not going to witter on about all the pros and cons I weighed to come up with this decision. Suffice to say that:
1. I think the books will be a nice draw for the lottery, and will help tempt people to donate a little more for a chance to win something so cool.
2. It's nice to have a couple super-rare prizes in the mix.
3. The lottery appeals to my egalitarian nature. Everyone has a chance to win.
That said, here are the two new additions to the lottery:
- A first edition hardcover of The Gathering Storm, signed by Brandon Sanderson, Harriet Jordan, and many others.
Brandon was nice enough to take some time out from his crazed touring schedule to send us this copy of The Gathering Storm, signed by himself, Harriet Jordan (Robert Jordan's wife) and many of the people who made the book possible, including his agent and some of the production staff at Tor.
- A signed, numbered ARC of Stardust. Hardcover in its own slipcase. Signed by Neil Gaiman.
This is a gorgeous book. I covet it to an almost ridiculous degree.
It's a numbered ARC of Stardust: number 28 of 250. Signed by Neil Gaiman.
Also, because I'm a bit of a geek, I'll donate a little extra something to go along with Gaiman's book. I happen to have a piece of the Gibeon meteorite laying around the house. It seems like an appropriate addition to this book, as it's an actual piece of iron that fell from the sky.
Here's a picture:
I'm sorry it's not a very good picture. I can't find my camera, and I had trouble making Sarah's focus in on it properly. For reference, it's about an inch and a half on a side and weighs about 60 grams.
Gibeon meteorites are one of the rarer types, made almost entirely of nickel and iron. The top of the piece you see here is covered in a black coating called the fusion crust, caused by the surface of the meteorite getting really hot as it passes through the atmosphere.
You can see a better example of it in this picture:
(That's not my hand.)
The smooth faces where the meteorite has been cut show one of the cooler things about the Gibeon irons. There's a pattern embedded in the iron that looks like frost. And in some ways, it is like frost. Except frost shows up when water freezes, and these marks show up when iron and nickel slowly cool down over millions of years.
It's called a Widmanstätten pattern. And it forms because the different alloys of nickel and iron cool at slightly different rates while the molten iron is in space. The effect can't be duplicated on earth, so it only shows up in iron-nickel meteorites.
Each different meteorite fall has a different mix of iron and nickel, so they each have a slightly different pattern. In my opinion, the Gibeon's is one of the coolest looking.
Here's a better picture if you want to see what it looks like:
That's not my hand either, and the photo is actually from a site called Arizona Skies. If you're curious to get more information about meteorites, or just look at some cool pictures, they're a good place to start.
Okay. Enough meteoriticist geekery. I need some dinner.
Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds more like them. Plus there's the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That's nice too.
So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Not only will you be automatically entered in the lottery to win these books and more. But I'm matching 50% of all donations made. Trust me. You'll feel great afterward.
If you want all the details about the Worldbuilders fundraiser, you can read all the details HERE.
Oh, and Happy New Years...