Friday, January 1, 2010
Sanderson, Gaiman, and a piece of iron that fell from the sky...



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:



(Click to Embiggen)

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...

pat

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posted by Pat at 25 Comments



Friday, December 18, 2009
News, FAQ updates, and a Question
Alright folks. Today we're going to take a break from listing prizes. Instead, I'm going to pass along some Worldbuilders news and answer a few questions that have cropped up.

Lastly, I'd like to get everyone's opinion on what to do with few of the rockstar prizes that have been donated by Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson.

News

Donations and book totals:

The big news is that we're only 18 days into the fundraiser and we've already raised over 36,000 dollars. That's not counting the any of the matching donations from Subterranean Press or myself.

In short, I think it's safe to say that we are pretty frikkin cool.

Donations keep arriving from authors and publishers. As of right now we have more than a thousand books worth over 30,000 dollars.

Miscelaneous News:

  • I found a cheaper way to mail the Draccus posters internationally. So I'm dropping the shipping price from 28 dollars to 15 dollars. If you paid the old price, don't worry. I'll send you a paypal refund soon.
  • A cool bookstore called The Bookloft out in Massachusetts has started fundraiser of their own. For every copy of my book people buy, they're donating money to Worldbuilders. Needless to say, I'm flattered and thrilled. Next time I'm in the neighborhood, I'm going to stop by and take you all out to lunch, especially the brilliant employee who spearheaded the idea....
Also, I know the tendancy on e-bay acutions is to wait until the last 45 seconds of the auction then bid your ass off with the hope of getting the item cheap. While those tactics tend to work pretty well in general, remember that these auctions in specific are meant to raise money for Heifer international. So bidding early really wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?

FAQ


I ordered a book/galley/poster from you. When will I get it?

Man. I've got no idea. We've been getting things out the door as quickly as possible. But the mail is really slow this time of year because of the holidays. My advice is to be patient. Sending me an e-mail isn't going to make the package move any faster, it's just going to make me slower in mailing out everyone else's packages.

What are my odds of winning something if I donate?

As I said above, we've got over 1000 books. But because a lot of them are grouped into trilogies or sets, it breaks down to there being over 500 prizes.

That means if you donate 10 bucks, right now you've got about a 1 in 70 chance of winning something.

If you donate enough for a goat ($120) that means you have about a 1 in 6 chance of winning something. Pretty sweet odds, you have to admit.

Keep in mind these are rough estimates. And the odds will shimmy around a bit as new books come in and donation totals rise.

Can I still donate a signed copy of my book for the fundraiser?

Sure. But I'd get it in the mail quickly if I were you.

How come you're donating all these different versions of your book, but not the audio version?

Honestly, I just didn't think of it, the audiobook version is pretty new. I've got hardcovers of NOTW laying around the house, but I didn't have a spare audiobook sitting on my shelf.

But it's a good idea, so I went out bought one.


That this isn't *quite* the right picture. I bought the CD version, not the MP3 version. I figured anyone can use the CD version.

My uncle/mom/grampa speaks Polish/Spanish/Japaneese. If I donate double the cover price, can I buy a signed copy of one of those books directly from you?

Hmmm… I don't have all that many copies of some of my foreign translations. (Except for Spanish, I have a ton of those.) If you're really interested, drop an e-mail to paperback.contest [squigly atsign thinger] gmail.com and we'll work something out.

I wanted to get one of those Heifer Gift cards, that show you've made a donation in someone's name, but I couldn't find a way to get on the Team Heifer site. Can you help me?

I can. Heifer is sending me a bunch of the gift cards. If you've donated on my page and you want one of the cards. Drop us an e-mail at the address I just listed in the previous answer and we'll mail one (or more) out to you.


Is there a facebook event for the fundraiser that I can invite my friends to?

There is now.

Invite away. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

If I want to send you a cheque in the mail rather than donating directly on the Team Heifer site, do I send it to your PO Box?

Sure. Send it to:

Pat Rothfus
PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481


Two Questions

1) Would people like it if I put a second "Golden Ticket" up for auction? More importantly, would you bid on it?


2) This year we have a couple extra-cool books that have been donated. Take a look:
  • 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.


So. Should I put these books up for auction, or should I add them to the general lottery?

The auction would be nice, because between the two of these I expect we'd raise at least a couple thousand dollars for Heifer.

But adding them to the general lottery would be cool too. That way everyone has a chance to win them, and it might make more people enthusiastic about donating.

What do you think? I'm really on the fence about this. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win hundreds of books: some signed, some limited edition, some out of print. Plus there's the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That's nice too.

And don't forget, I'm 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.

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



pat

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posted by Pat at 117 Comments



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