Friday, March 19, 2010
Thunderdome part II - Kvothe Vs. Aslan
So Kvothe is going up against Aslan right now in round two of the fantasy cage match on Suvudu. What's surprising is that right now the votes are pretty much dead even. Half for Kvothe, half for the big cat himself.

I didn't write up a little blurb for the last fight. But I've been driving a lot over these last couple days as I go from reading to reading. So I've had plenty of time to think about how the fight between Kvothe and Aslan would go.

So I wrote it up this morning and sent it off to Suvudu. If you wander over there, they should have it posted up pretty soon. I'm actually kinda proud of that little scene.

And for those of you wondering who did the cool picture of Kvothe they're using over there on the site: it's Kim Kinkaid over at Twirling Dragon. It's one of my favorite pictures of Kvothe so far.

When Sarah saw it, she said. "Oh. He's beautiful. No wonder Fela bought him a cloak...."

That's all for now folks. I've got to get back on the road. See some of you tonight at Prince Books.

pat

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posted by Pat at 114 Comments



Thursday, March 11, 2010
Thunderdome!

...or something. Is that too obscure a reference these days? Should I have gone with the cliche but easily recognizable "there can be only one?"

What I'm talking about is the battle royal going on over at Suvudu. They've taken a bunch of our favorite fictional characters and paired them up in head to head fights. They've chosen a pleasantly bizarre and diverse group of fighters: Gandalf, Cuthulu, and Hermione are all in there duking it out.

Flatteringly enough, Kvothe is in there too, paired up against Garret Jax.

It's a fun concept, and you get to vote on who you think should win. But what makes it truly entertaining is the brief descriptions that they give each of the characters, complete with strengths, weaknesses, and special attacks. Better still are the staff's narrative descriptions of how they think the fight would turn out.

I'll admit that I'm surprised how pleased I am at how how some of the voting is going. For example, Ged from the Wizard of Earthsea is currently kicking the stuffing out of Edward from Twilight.

Anyway. Feel free to wander over and take a look for yourself. It's a good time.

pat

[Edit: For those of you asking in the comments. I didn't send in a little blurb when I heard about the contest for two reasons. 1) Because I was really busy. And 2) I heard that Terry Brooks was too busy to send stuff in too. It didn't seem particularly fair for me to step in and stump for Kvothe when Brooks wasn't going to be able to do the same.

That said, Lewis isn't around anymore. And I've got a little time on my hands. So if Kvothe makes it to the match-up with Aslan, I might send a little blurb their way.]

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posted by Pat at 82 Comments



Monday, February 22, 2010
Powells

For those of you who have never been there, Powell's Books is like no other bookstore I've ever seen.

It takes up a whole city block. As I mentioned before on the blog, I've only been there once, and that was only for a bare 45 minutes or so. Even so, that was enough time for me to get lost.

And I'm not speaking metaphorically here. I was actually physically lost. Lost as in, "I don't know where I came in or how I can get out."

Simply said, if heaven turns out to be something like Powell's, I wouldn't complain too much.

As if that weren't enough coolness all by itself, a friend recently stopped there and snapped a few pictures of what he found.

(Click to Embiggen)

Awww.... Thank you Powell's.

(Click to Embiggen)

Wow. That's unprecedentedly forthright. Thanks again, Powell's.

And just a couple days ago, someone sent me a link to Powell's "Puddly Awards" where customers and staff pick their favorite books. Even better, Powell's then sells those books at a discount until the end of February. So you've still got a week or so to take advantage of it.

That's the hat trick. Thanks a third time, Powell's.

More soon,

pat

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posted by Pat at 93 Comments



Thursday, January 14, 2010
Books from Peter V. Brett - Plus an Interview





This is a Worldbuilders blog.





Well folks, here's the last of the prizes, and the last of the author interviews.

Read on, and find out why Peter V. Brett is my new best friend.

*****

Heya Brett. Before we start, could you give us some of the details about how awesome you are? Y'know, awards, how many foreign countries your books have sold in. Stuff like that. Dazzle us.

Awesome, right. Let's see... The Warded Man (AKA The Painted Man) was written on my cellphone during my subway commute to work. In many circles, I am more famous for that than the book itself.

No, seriously:

(You can read articles about it: here, here or here.)

Despite having been written with my thumbs, it was named one of Amazon UK's 10 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2008, and has since sold in 18 countries and 17 languages so far (closed a deal in Turkey just a couple of days ago. Very excited about that for multiple reasons). It has been a bestseller in the US, UK, Poland, and Germany that I know of.

The series has been optioned for film by Hollywood director Paul WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, who have done such movies as Event Horizon, Death Race, Pandorum, and the Resident Evil franchise.

Er... I am also devastatingly handsome, and make babies with the kind of auburn hair I am told women pay vast amounts of money to their colorists for. I drew the little chapter avatars in the US version of The Warded Man myself.

And he also makes julienne fries ladies and gentlemen. Order yours today!

Let's start with an easy question. If you were a cake, what sort of cake would you be?

The kind that's been sitting on the counter a long time and is sort of stale so you don't really want to eat it right this second but keep it around in case you suddenly wake up desperate for cake in the middle of the night.

What are you reading right now?

I just got over the flu, so I got a lot of reading done, including Brandon Sanderson's new Wheel of Time book, The Gathering Storm, which I admit I really enjoyed even though Brandon is my nemesis. I think Jordan's spirit is pleased. I also read Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks and Legend by David Gemmell. I'm trying to decide between starting Mistborn by Sanderson or Acacia by David Anthony Durham next. In the meantime I am reading a bunch of comic books I've accumulated over the last few weeks.

All this reading feels good. For the last couple of years I've been too focused on my own writing to read much else, and I think that was unhealthy. I also had trouble turning off my internal editor, which sucks a lot of the fun out of reading.

If you had to pick your favorite book of all time, what would it be?

Ugh. Hard. Favorites shift with my moods. Let's broaden a bit. My Personal Top 5:

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
Shogun by James Clavell

You're relatively new to the publishing world. How has getting your book published changed your life?

Man, you have no idea...

Oh, wait. Yes you do.

I sold in mid 2007, and since then, pretty much EVERYTHING in my life has changed. One minute I was begging someone, anyone, to please read my book, and the next I'm answering fan mail from Australia and Japan. In addition to selling and deciding to write full time, my wife lost her job, we had a baby, and bought a new apartment.

Even though it's mostly been great stuff that I always dreamed about, I really felt like the rug was pulled out from under me, as all the constants in my life up to that point vanished. I didn't know which way was up, and felt an incredible pressure to write a sequel that wouldn't let down the readers who loved the first book. It was doubly hard because I was doing much of it as a zombie on the baby's bi-hourly feeding schedule while we fretted over money, the cost of health insurance, etc.

Your blog helped me a lot as I adjusted to the change. Seeing someone else going through many of the same things (and coming out the other end of it) made it a little easier for me.

That's nice to hear. Sometimes I would write some of those blogs and then think, "Why am I telling people this? Why am I burdening people with my emo bullshit?"

I know that feeling well, but the people who would feel burdened by hearing about your life probably don't read your blog. I've found that blogging about my life helps me order my thoughts and keep things in perspective.

How often do you check your amazon sales rank?

Far too often. It is a sick, sick obsession. I also have google scour the internets and read every single review, no matter how nut-crunching.

Oh man. Google Alerts? I've avoided that particular madness by the clever application of my own ignorance. I don't know how to set it up. I just trust that if something important enough happens, someone will e-mail me.

That is probably wise of you. Google alerts takes about 3 seconds and the internet know-how of a shoe to set up, but it's probably best you never open that door.

How many copies of your own books do you currently own?

I have two shelves of my own books. One has two copies of each version/translation for my personal collection. So far that is 16 distinct volumes, so there are 32 books in my personal collection. These books are precious to me, and I guard them like my young.

The other shelf has books I am free to give away, and I try to run contests and things on my blog to keep those moving. That shelf has another 47 books at the moment, in various languages.

Wow. Specific numbers. Nobody else has been that forthcoming yet.

What are they hiding, do you think? Secret bunkers of their books in case of apocalypse?

Absolutely. I assume everyone buys their own first book obsessively, usually in conjunction with checking their Amazon sales rank.

Okay. Before this interview goes any farther, I have a confession to make.

You were one of the first people to send your books into the fundraiser, and while I was sitting up with my baby one night, I didn't have anything to read. Your books were sitting right there....
So I read one. That's not something I normally do with donations, but it was just sitting there. Taunting me.

Admission of guilt is the first step towards absolution, my friend. I think if you put a note in the front of the book saying "I read this one; the cookie crumbs and coffee stains are mine. Love, Pat" whoever wins the book will forgive the fact that it is second-hand, since they will probably get a lot more for it on eBay.

Boy, are you sure? I never write in books other than when I sign my own for people. I think it's a sin, isn't it?

This is a special case. Anyone who wins it in the Heifer fundraiser will probably be more a fan of yours than mine, anyway, and I give you leave to illuminate my book with your delicate cursive... or deface it with your chicken-scratch, if your handwriting is anything like mine. (Thank goodness we live in the computer age.)

Okay. If you're sure...

  • A copy of The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. Signed by the author... and another author who read it.



Feel free to add "It didn't suck" to your note...

Man, way better than that. I have to say, your book was really fucking good.

!! Do go on...

Okay, to be completely honest with you, I was really ready to dislike it. I'm not proud of this... but, I'd heard you'd already got a movie deal going, so I was a little jealous. And you wrote it on the subway, so I was ready to be all snarky about that, too.

I was kinda expecting you to be Paolini of the F-train. His book got popular because he was so young, and I assumed yours just got attention because of the subway gimmick.

I should know better than jump to conclusions like that, of course. But I can be just as ignorant and petty as the next guy...
And I was totally wrong, your book is, like .5 of a Whedon on the coolness scale.

Firefly Whedon or Dollhouse Whedon?

There is only one Whedon, and I am his prophet.

Did you see that time in Astonishing X-Men when he made xxx Xxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxxxx? That was AWESOME.

That was awesome. He caught me off guard like he always does. That's one of his gifts, in my opinion. He's exceptionally good at coming at any sort of story from a fresh direction.

Sorry I xxx-ed out your potential spoiler, by the way. I have issues.

Back to the point though. I really dug your book even though I didn't want to like it at first...

I understand completely. So long as we're being honest, I felt the same way about you at first. When my book first came out last year, it seemed like every other review was referring to it as "The best new fantasy since The Name of the Wind". I know it was meant as a compliment, but after it happened a few times, it started to stick in my craw. My inner insecurity began translating that as "this is a good book, but TNotW is a better one." Grr.

I didn't know anything about you or TNotW at the time, so I picked up a copy to see what all the fuss was about. Admittedly, I went in with more than a little bias, ready to pounce on any flaws I could find just to make myself feel better.

Of course, I ended up utterly charmed, and when I started reading your blog and saw what a nice guy you were, I realized I was being a bit of a dick.

Heh. The same thing happened with me when my book came out. Everyone was like, "Pat Rothfuss is the next Scott Lynch!" I remember thinking, "Can't I just be the first Pat Rothfuss? I've got a lot more experience being that."

Ha. I just feel sorry for the poor schmo who gets saddled with being the next Peter Brett. That's no prize.

So.... Now that we're friends and all, is there any chance I could get an early look at Desert Spear? I'll do just about anything to get a copy. I'm not joking here. I'd choke a nun.

Hrm. Well, here's the thing. I only have 4 advance read copies, and two of them have been promised to fans as prizes in an ongoing contest on my blog. The other two are my personal copies, on the aforementioned "precious" shelf. They are so beautiful, the paired books on that shelf, like a little Noah's Ark of books. Even my mom doesn't have a Desert Spear ARC.

But that said, maybe if there were a way to make the copy eventually go to charity...

I wouldn't want to steal one of your personal copies. Like I said, I understand the book-hoarding impulse....

Actually, I made a plea to Del Rey, and they shook loose another copy for me to send you. You know. For charity.

Muahahahaha! Witness my power! No. Wait. I mean... that will be a great addition to the fundraiser. This is all about charity you know...

Just put it and The Warded Man in a plain brown box labeled "Pat's used books" and add it to the lottery.

Done:


What's the most shameful self-promotional thing you've ever done?

I brought chocolate cake with icing wards to a signing at ComicCon just to entice people over. In my defense, it was my birthday.

You were at Comic-Con this year?

New York, not San Diego. I usually go to SDCC, but my daughter was born on that exact weekend in 2008, so I think I may miss it until she is old enough for me to convince her that an airplane hanger full of 200,000 cosplayers is a birthday treat.

If you play your cards right, you should be able to convince her that it's a special birthday party just for her.

That's the plan.

What is the best compliment you've ever received?

Milla Jovovich hugged me and told me she loved my book.

Oh man. Now I'm filled with terrible rage and jealousy. I think I might hate you again....

Uh-oh.

What's the most hurtful thing someone has ever said in a review of your book?

A lot of readers try to pinpoint my personal morality and politics from the book. Sometimes they are wrong and say terrible things about my beliefs that are really upsetting. A few times I have tried to engage those critics in a polite, calm, and non-confrontational manner, just to set the record straight. Sometimes that helps. Sometimes it is a clusterfuck.

Two extra points for use of the word 'clusterfuck.' Do you have a particular piece of grammar that you screw up regularly?

I grew reading a lot of British fantasy (Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll, etc.) so there are a lot of Britishisms I use without realizing it. My copyeditors hate me.

If you could punch one literary figure in the face, who would it be?

I challenged Brent Weeks to a knife fight at the World Fantasy Convention this year, Beat It style, but he'd left his switchblade in his room so we just drank scotch instead.

Rumor has it that Voltaire wrote on the naked backs of his lovers. Do you have any little rituals that help you write?

I write very long books, so I would need many lovers.

That's what I keep telling Sarah, but she isn't buying it. How long was the Warded Man, anyway? It didn't feel very long at all....

The Warded Man was 163,000 words, give or take. The first draft was closer to 180,000, but I cut a lot in the final editing pass. The Desert Spear, however, weighs in at a hefty 240,000 words, and that's AFTER the heavy cutting. It's no Wise Man's Fear, but the hardcover will still make an effective bludgeon.

I hear you about the cutting. Over the years I'm guessing I cut over 100,000 words out of The Name of the Wind.

Speaking of which, I had an idea when I was interviewing Weeks a while back. It turns out he cuts a lot of stuff too. I'm thinking it would be cool to collect some deleted scenes from some other fantasy authors, put them into an anthology along with some commentary by the authors.

We could call it Worldbuilders, and some of the money it made could go to help match funds for the Worldbuilders fundraiser. I'll admit it's just a pipe dream so far, but what do you think?

It's a good dream.

I saw that interview, where you both were talking about having cut the first sections from your books. I don't know if this is just the case for all new writers, but the Prologue to The Warded Man was cut just prior to publication as well. I have a whole page of my website devoted to excised material, along with essays as to why things were cut. If you ever want to do a Worldbuilders anthology, I will be happy to contribute.

Rock. On. I'm so going to make this happen.

In the meantime, I still need to make a donation to Worldbuilders for this year. I don't feel right about entering the lottery, though. Would it be possible for me to made a modest addition to the pool helping to match donations?

Oh merciful Buddha, are you serious? Some cash to help match donations would be the best thing ever.

Last year the fundraiser really tapped me out financially, so I was trying to be more careful this year when I said I'd only match 50%. But we've ended up raising WAY more than I expected. We're already over 115,000 dollars. Even with Subterranean Press matching the first 10,000, that still leaves me stretched really thin.

I never planned on Worldbuilders being a one-man show. I'd always hoped some other folks would offer to help match donations, or maybe do fundraisers or auctions of their own to help Worldbuilders raise funds to match donations....

But you're the first to actually offer.


Anyway, the short answer is "Yes." I'd love to have you onboard helping to match donations.

You are now officially my new best friend.


*Ahem.* Anyway... back to the pre-tangent question. Do you have any weird writing habits?

Sometimes when I have writer's block I will sync whatever chapter I am working on to my phone and write on the subway. For some odd reason, that always clears the block. No idea why.

That's another reason the Voltaire thing wouldn't work for you. It'd be hard to get properly intimate on the F-Train. People would complain about how many seats you were taking up.

You'd be surprised what you can get away with on the F...

I recently made a joke about "transition putty" on my blog. That being, of course, what we writers buy at Home Depot to smooth out our rough transitions. If you could have some sort of handyman tool like that, something like Plot Spackle or a Character Level. What would it be?

I wish I could go buy a box of minor character names like I can a box of nails. Look at all the trouble it's causing you. You had to start a whole contest to get some ideas.

Heh. You detected my clever scheme, did you? Keep quiet about it and I'll cut you in for 10% of the names.

Mum's the word.

Those are all the questions I have. Thanks much for the interview, and double thanks for being willing to help out Worldbuilders as our first official author Sponsor. I can't thank you enough for that.

Oh, and next time you see Milla, give her a hug for me....


Will do. Thanks so much for having me on the blog, and for all the great work you're doing with Heifer. I'm glad I could do my own little part to help.

*****

Personally, I can't think of a better way to end the last post of the fundraiser: our first author sponsor. Hopefully the first of many.

  • Four copies of The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. Signed by the Author.

Not only is Brett's debut novel a smashing good read, but owning a copy will bring you good luck, protect you from the swine flu, and make you roughly 33% more attractive to the opposite sex.

Plus Brett has hugged Milla Jovovich. That means if you win one of these books that he's touched with his own hands, it's like you're getting to hug her too, albeit twice removed.



Well folks, this is the last of the prizes. You have until midnight on January 15th to get in on the action. For every $10 you donate on my Team Heifer page you get a chance to win books like these and many, many others.

If you want to know more about what you can win, or if you'd like more info about Worldbuilders itself, you can head over here for all the details.



With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(Ahhh... Last post of the fundraiser. Now can relax a bit....)

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posted by Pat at 44 Comments



Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Bad Moon Books





This is a Worldbuilders blog.




Imagine my delight when, for the second year, we received several hefty boxes of donations from Bad Moon Books.

Want to see them? Of course you do...

You'll forgive me if I'm not my normal verbose self today. Little Oot is sick, and I've got a lot of Christmas-is-coming things going on right now. Next year, I'm definitely starting the fundraiser earlier....

  • Three signed limited editions, one in traycase cover, of The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus by Clive Barker.

DAVID NIALL WILSON on Barker's new book: "From the first story, in which Indigo Murphy, the best bird handler in the world leaves the show to join in matrimony with the Duke Lorenzo de Medici, to the fabled court of Kubla Khan, the magic never stops. You will meet a young apple thief named Angelo with magic eyes, an orang-outang named Bathsheba, and a host of other amazing characters with names and personas cut like a patchwork quilt from the mythologies and dreams of the world. Though written forty years ago, these pages are littered with the same magical side steps that have always been woven into Clive Barker’s fiction."

  • An uncorrected proof of The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus by Clive Barker. Signed by the author.

As above, but in sexy ARC form.

  • A signed, numbered, limited edition of Shadow of the Dark Angel by Gene O'Neill.

"When is a serial killer novel about much more than just the murders? When the psychopath is in the skilled hands of a master storyteller. In Shadow Of The Dark Angel Gene O'Neill has crafted yet another multi-genre, mind blowing adventure into the dark heart of humanity. Part horror, part psychological thriller, and part police procedural, Shadow is sure to thrill his growing legion of fans. Highly recommended." - Gord Rollo, author of The Jigsaw Man

  • A signed numbered limited edition of Doc Good's Traveling Show by Gene O'Neill.

"Listen up. I've been a Gene O'Neill fan since reading his daring and disturbing 'The Burden of Indigo' several years back. Gene is not just a good writer, he's a student of good writing, and has the kind of talent that just gets better with age and exposure to the elements." -Harry Shannon, author of Dead and Gone.

  • A signed, PC limited edition of Plague Monkey Spam by Steve Vernon.

How can you not want to read a book called Plauge Monkey Spam? The title alone says it all...

"Steve Vernon has tapped the strange fiction vein like never before." - Hellnotes

  • A signed, illustrated, limited edition of The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs and the Currently Accepted Habits of Nature by David Niall Wilson.

Description from Bad Moon Books: "From the moment Cletus and Sheriff Bob drag the corpse from the fishing hole to the final moments of terror, the action is non-stop, tense, and filled with surprises. Between the Reverend Dozier and his church, the swamp witch, the albino twins, and the local lodge's well-hidden secrets, the strange events in Old Mill, NC are pretty much out of control." Featuring illustrations by Zach McCain.

  • Two signed, limited editions of Wings of the Butterfly by John Urbancik.

"With Wings of the Butterfly, John Urbancik infuses his tale of shapeshifters, romance and pack rivalry with some unexpected and welcome surprises. Fluid prose, gore galore and all-too human characters make this unusual, fast-paced novella a must for fans who like their horror served blood-rare." - Bram Stoker Award winner Kealan Patrick Burke.



Promo copy: "In the great city of the dead, a dollar coin might buy your dearest wish. A photographer might capture her own heart. A breeze might reveal a raven. Listen to the sounds of the flute, listen to the soundless fireflies, listen to the ravensong. It's not only ghosts that wander the Necropolis."

  • Two signed, limited edition copes of House of Shadow & Ash by John Urbancik.

When his shadow cuts itself free, Philip discovers he absolutely needs his shadow to survive.

One reviewer says the book has "…subtle allusions to Shaherazade, some Ray Harrhausen skeltonic scenarios, and a tinge of Edgar Rice Burroughs…"

  • Two copies of The Day Before by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow

"The end of civilization has never been so much fun." - Sarah Langan

  • A signed, numbered, limited edition of Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way by Weston Ochse.

Brian Keene says: "Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way is what would happen if Ray Bradbury and Lin Carter got together to write a space opera. Only Weston Ochse could write something like this. In lesser hands, it would fall apart. Weston is one of the best authors of our generation."

  • Two signed, limited editions of The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton.

"A cold, calculating nightmare. Sharp as a finely honed blade. 'The Lucid Dreaming' cuts, separating the flesh before you even know you've been injured. It makes you bleed as a reader." - Del Howison, Bram Stoker Award-winning editor.


Horror Mall says this book is "A haunting tale of troubled youth, love gone bad, and demons both real and perceived."


Gene O'Neil says this book has, "slow but efficient creation of mood and unsettling spooky plot developments just out of clear sight, in many ways reminiscent of the 20th century classical stories... Do yourself a favor and read The Watching."


From the Bram Stoker award winning author of Miranda comes this new novella of love and terror and the mysteries of time.


Bram Stoker Award winner Kealan Patrick Burke says "Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll are back, in the Death Mobile drivin', leather jacket-clad corpse of Johnny Gruesome, a man who lives up to his name in every sense of the word. The reader is advised to put some Alice Cooper on high volume, crack open a can of beer and dive right in."

  • A signed, numbered, limited edition of The Scrubs by Simon Janus.

"The Scrubs is one merciless piece of work, and in both the setting of the Wormwood Scrubs Prison and its colorful, even tragic, inmates, Simon Janus has created a terse, tense, and powerful novella [...] An excellent achievement, and a real milestone in Janus' career." -Bram Stoker Award-winner Gary A. Braunbeck.

  • Two signed, limited editions of Restore from Backup by J.F. Gonzalez & Michael Oliveri.

Restore From Backup is a cautionary tale of the careful balances that exist between nature, magic, and technology... and the forces that bring them together.


"The Bitchfight is like a nesting doll of depravity--every time you think Arnzen has maxed-out the possible weirdness level, he pops open another doll and there's something even more fucked up inside. [...] Another twisted classic from one of my all-time favorite authors." -Jeff Strand, author of PRESSURE

  • A signed, numbered, limited edition of The Hunger of Empty Vessels by Scott Edelman.

"Like some creature out of Star Trek, Scott Edelman projects a zone of distortion that elevates all existence within its influence to the realm of the surreal." - Adam-Troy Castro

  • Five signed, limited editions of This Ghosting Tide by Simon Clark.

Richard Laymon calls Simon Clark, "a master of eerie thrills."


"...one of the most clever and original talents in contemporary horror." - Booklist

  • A signed, limited edition of Little Graveyard on the Prairie by Steven E. Wedel.

"Little Graveyard on the Prairie begins with a kind of homespun and cuddly feel--a father playing with his young daughter on a farm. But something isn't quite right out there in the Oklahoma boondocks at night. A nerve begins to twitch near the reader's left eye. The creepy feeling spreads, becomes more unsettling as one suspects something bad is going on. The slowly revealed reality of what is actually happening is truly chilling, but at the same time heart rending." - Gene O'Neill


Adam Groves says the book is, "...dark, and extremely so, but also oddly revelatory, literate and provocative."

That's all for today, folks. We'll be bringing you more donated books tomorrow.

If you want to head back to the main Worldbuilders page, click HERE.



With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.


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posted by Pat at 9 Comments



Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Coming Soon: The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

Let me tell you a story.

Or rather, let me tell you a story about a story. (For those of you who know me, this shouldn't come as a surprise.)

Back in 2001, when I was toiling in the salt mines of grad school, my girlfriend Sarah and I had very different sleep schedules. I was up late, and she went to bed early.

One night, when she was going to bed, she jokingly asked me to tell her a story.

So I did, starting with with the most saccharine faerie-tale beginning I could think of: "Once upon a time," I said. "There was a Princess who lived in a Marzapan castle...."

The story was so cute and sweet that it began to irritate me even as I was telling it. And so I twisted it around until it was something entirely different. Something dark and strange. An older sort of Faerie tale.

When I finished, Sarah lay in bed, looking up at me with big eyes. "Now I can't sleep," she said.

So I told a second ending to the story. A sweet ending. A funny ending. A happy ending. An ending that made everything all better again. Sarah relaxed.

But that second ending irritated me again. It was too sweet and perfect.

So I gave the story a third ending. The perfect ending. An ending with teeth in it.

That night Sarah didn't get to sleep in any sort of timely fashion, but the next day she told some friends about it. I repeated the story for them, and one of them said, "I'd love to draw that."

Now a lot of times, that's where things would stop. But the friend who spoke up was none other than Nathan Taylor: he's the guy that drew the map for the US edition of the book. And he turned my puerile scrawlings for the Worldbuilder logo...



Into something cool and respectable looking:




I knew Nate was a great cartoonist and illustrator, as you can see for yourself over here or here.

But he completely blew me away with the illustrations he did for the Princess book. Here's a little taste:

(Awww...)

Just yesterday, Subterranean Press announced The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed on their website, making it available for pre-order.

So I wanted to mention it here on the blog as quickly as possible. Apparently it's been selling really quickly, and the limited leatherbound edition they're printing is already half sold-out. So if you want one of those, you should get over there and order it sooner rather than later.

Edit: Apparently everyone wanted a limited edition, so they sold out about 9:00 this morning. Sorry about that. I don't think anyone expected it to sell quite so quickly as that.

That said, it's only the limited edition that sold out. There are still regular hardcovers available.

Also, Bill over at Subterranean Press has offered to throw five ARC copies of the princess book in with his other donations to Worldbuilders. If you win one of those, you get to see the finished product months before it comes out.

  • Five ARC copies of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss and Nathan Taylor. Signed by the Author.





It's a picture book that's not for children. I can say with some certainty that it should never be read to children. But it's perfect for adults with a dark sense of humor and a love of old-school faerie tales.

Stay tuned. We still have a lot more to come. New blogs every day or so...

pat

As always, with thanks to: Subterranean Press.



(Huzzah for Subterranean Press! Double Huzzah!)

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Thursday, December 3, 2009
Luring the Draccus





This is a worldbuilders blog.




Let me tell you a little story. A while back, I got a piece of fanmail from a guy named Phil McDarby.

It was a nice e-mail. It had paragraphs and capital letters and punctuation and everything. It was all sorts of classy.

It also said some very nice things about my book, which I always enjoy. Then Phil mentioned that he was an artist and tossed me a link to his site. (I'm not going to link it yet, because if I do, you'll start browsing his page and forget to come back here to the blog.)

I took at look at his website and was amazed. Seriously amazed. I have no graphic ability of my own, so any sort of art is magic to me. But his stuff was above and beyond: gorgeous pictures that were photo-realistic while still being fantastic.

If you hadn't guessed, I'm kind of a fan of realistic/fantastic.

Most notably, I saw a picture called "The Amber Dragon's Horde," which showed a little dragon tiny as a sparrow. It looked like something you'd see in National Geographic.

So I e-mailed Phil back. I thanked him for the lovely note and complimented him on his work. I also said, in passing, "Have you ever given any thought as to what the Draccus might look like?"

Okay, I lie. It wasn't a casual comment at all. I was fishing....

Still, I was surprised when a week later I got an e-mail with a link to something wonderful.

Go on, click it. It's time. Go look at Phil's site. While you're at it, check out The Amber Dragon's Hoard, too.

I'm serious. Go click over there. I'll wait for you to come back...

In the months since then, Phil and I have been getting some stuff ready for you. He made some high-end prints of "Luring the Draccus." They're a limited run of 50 museum quality prints. They're signed by both of us, and I've written a unique quote on each one of them. Some of the quotes are from The Name of the Wind, and some are from The Wise Man's Fear.

If you want to buy one of those numbered prints, he has them up on his site over here.

Now I know some of you might be tempted to squawk about the price. But before you do, you need to realize a few things.

1) This isn't the sort of poster you buy for your dormroom. They're huge, on amazing paper, and printed with a degree of detail I didn't even know was possible outside a photograph. This is some serious high-end art.

2) It's nice for artists to make money off the art they create. Believe it or not, Phil doesn't get any money from you downloading his picture over the interweb. (Yes. I'm looking at you.) I have a publisher that pays to edit, print, and ship my books around. Phil doesn't. He paid for the printing and shipping of these posters by himself. (You don't even want to know what they cost him.)

3) One of these limited posters, 2 of 50 I think, is already for sale over here for a crazy amount of money. Way more than what Phil is charging.

4) Phil is letting me use his art to do a run of smaller posters exclusively for the Worldbuilders fundraiser.

My posters aren't nearly as posh as the limited edition ones. They're smaller, and we've had to crop the image a bit. But still, I'm really happy with how they turned out.

Here's a picture of one next to the paperback, so you can have a sense of scale....


(Click to Embiggen. It's awesome.)

A copy of Luring the Draccus will be $40. I've even got a silvery pen I'm using to sign it.

All the proceeds go to Heifer International, of course. Personally, I think they'd make great Christmas gifts....

  • If you're in the US, shipping will be $8.00. We'll be sending it to you in a sturdy, hermetically sealed cardboard tube. That's right. The great god Hermes Trismegistus will perform vast and terrible magics on your package to ensure its safety. Plus we'll use a whole lot of tape.
  • You can order as many posters as you like and the shipping will remain the same.






Luring the Draccus - USA





  • If you're somewhere else in the world, shipping will be $28 no matter how many you buy. So making a group order with some friends is probably a good idea. That is, if you have any friends. If you don't have any friends, you might want to console yourself by buying an extra poster.






Draccus:International Shipping





I have about 150 posters. When I was ordering them, that seemed like a really extravagant amount. But given that we sold out all my first edition copies of NOTW in three days, it could be that I've underestimated people's enthusiasm for the fundraiser.

What it comes down to is this, I'll print more posters if we need them, but that will take time. For now it's first come, first serve.

Thank you all for helping to make this year's fundraiser such an instant success. We're only four days in and we've already hit almost 13,000 dollars. I'm stunned.


See you later space cowboys,

pat

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Worldbuilders

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while probably remember last year's fundraiser.

For those of you that are new to the blog, here's the short version: Last year I thought I'd try to raise a couple thousand dollars for my favorite charity. However I underestimated the awesomeness of my fans and the geek community at large. Things quickly spiraled out of control, and in the end we raised over $110,000 for Heifer International.

(If you want the long version of the story, you can read the blogs from last year.)

While last year's fundraiser was a success, it wasn't very well organized. I was just too overwhelmed. I told myself the next time I did something like this, I'd make it better, more streamlined. I might even have a name for the fundraiser other than "The Heifer Fundraiser."

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, without any further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Worldbuilders.

(We even have a logo. How cool is that?)

Last year, in less than a month, a bunch of fantasy and sci-fi geeks raised over 100,000 dollars to help people all over the world improve their lives.

This year, things will be even better.

How is this year going to be different? Well I'm glad you asked....

Way more prizes.
Last year we had hundreds of books to give away as prizes. This year we have way more. Way way more. Over a thousand. Maybe close to two thousand.
Auctions.
Last year, all the prizes were given out in a big raffle. This year, you'll have the chance to bid on certain special items and services.

Want a professional agent to read your fledgling manuscript and give you feedback? No problem. Want a rare signed book or a manuscript? We've got those too.

We're going to be auctioning off signed, limited edition stuff from Neil Gaiman, a piece of iron that fell from the sky, and a rockstar's guitar. I'm not even kidding.
An official sponsor.
One of our best donors from last year, Subterranean Press, has stepped up to the plate with gusto for the launch of Worldbuilders. Not only are they donating over 10,000 dollars of gorgeous signed and limited edition books as prizes, but they're also going to be helping me match donations.

This is really nice, as it means I won't have to sell my house.
More stuff available for sale.
For those of you looking for Christmas presents, I'll be offering some stuff directly for sale. You can get copies of the Name of the Wind, or rare copies of the out-of-print College Survival Guide or Tales of Dark Fantasy. All of them signed however you like.

Maps. Gorgeous posters. Worldbuilders t-shirts. All manner of things I'm just dying to show you...

The official launch of the fundraiser will be on Monday. I'll be giving all the details then. I just couldn't let thanksgiving go by without giving y'all a little peek at what's to come.

The truth is, last year's fundraiser was the best thing I've ever done in my life, and I'm thankful that I get to do it again this year. With your help, I'm hoping it can be even bigger and better than before.


Have a good Turkey Day, and remember: We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

pat


P.S. More news about the raffle winners soon. I'm still getting in touch with people and working out the details.

P.P.S. If you just can't wait until Monday, you can donate a little early on my Heifer page over here.

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Monday, November 23, 2009
As if you needed another reason to love Jack Black and Neil Patrick Harris

It's a grey and rainy Monday in my little corner of the world, and I'm fighting off the last of a cold that makes me feel thick-witted and dull.

Then I ran across a video I'd seen months ago, and my day was suddenly that much better.

I know it might be old news for many of you, but it tickled me (figuratively).

Here's THE LINK, if you're interested. I think I'm going to watch it again, come to think of it...





.... yeah. That's the stuff. I guess I just needed some jazz hands today.

Oh Neil Patrick Harris, my love for you grows with each passing day. Is there anything you can't improve by your very presence?

And just so you know, I spent hours last night drawing the winners for the raffle, so some of you might be getting a call or an e-mail today.


Later all,

pat

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Monday, November 2, 2009
"And beside her came Andan..."

Back back in March, I got the following E-mail:
Dear Pat

I'm having my first baby boy with my wife (due date April 13). The only boy name I have found that we both like is "Andan", found on page 188 of The Name Of The Wind.

I just really wanted to know if you remember where or how you came up with that name, and what you had in mind using it. I mean, the story reads that his name meant anger, but if you had any more information it would without a doubt be the single kindest thing anyone has done for me for a long time (in other words much appreciation:)

Although I have searched endlessly, I just can't seem to find any good information on the name... which I really like for my baby... but am apprehensive using it as I really don''t know where it came from.

Anyway, if you got to read this I thank you so much for your valuable time. Here's to Kvothe and his story... let more people find his tale and experience wonder. Seriously, though -- Thank You.

-Jordan & Melissa

I was flattered, of course. And I dropped them the following note in return:

Jordan,

I wish I could help you more, but it's hard for me to remember with that particular name.

You see, sometimes I make up a name and say it means something. And other times I take an old word and twist it a little and turn it into a name. And sometimes I take an old name and use it...

Unfortunately, that part of the book was written so long ago that I can't rightly remember which it was. But I expect that I might have made the name up entirely....

Best of luck with the new baby, and if you do decide to name him Andan, drop me a picture of him. That'll be a first for me, someone named out of the book...

Fondly,

pat

And that was that. I knew it wasn't really a satisfying answer, but it was the only one I had. I didn't hear anything back from them, which isn't particularly odd. And I assumed that using the name had pretty much been a passing fancy on their part.

Then, just a couple days ago, I got the following message:

(Slightly edited for privacy's sake)
Pat,

I emailed you awhile back about the name Andan in your book. You were gracious enough to provide with a prompt response, and I feel horrible that it's taken so long to get back to you.... but we did have a BOY!

His name is Andan. I'm so glad that you wrote that name in your book one time b/c we simply love it for our boy, and it is just perfect.

Anyway, I wanted to get a few pictures of our son Andan to you as I said I would... and I'm a man of my word, pretty much, mostly, yeah... we'll go with man of my word.

-Jordan

So, with no further ado, I would like to introduce everyone to Andan.





You have to admit, this is one seriously cute baby. He looks like one of the podlings from the Dark Crystal. I mean that in the best possible way.



At this point I'm tempted to say something witty, or pithy, or glib. But honestly, I can't think of a thing. All I can do is think about how very strange my life has become in the last couple years.

My best to you, little Andan. Your face doesn't look like a mask with burning eyes at all. It's my sincerest wish that you someday meet a sweet girl named Ordal and form a good relationship built on the common experience of having some seriously cool geeky parents.


Jealous of little Andan? Wish your name was in one of my books? Well wish no longer...

You! That's right, YOU have a chance to donate to a great charity AND get your name in my next book. Wow. I know. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But remember, the raffle only lasts until November 15th.

Details, as always, are over here.

Later space cowboys,

pat

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
So You Want to Be a Hero?

A while back, I said I'd be giving people a chance to get their names into my second book: The Wise Man's Fear.

I've finally managed to work out all the details. So we're going to do our best to kill two birds with one stone.

You want to get your name into book two....





...and I want to raise money for Heifer International.





So, as a prologue to this year's fundraiser, we're going to have a raffle.

There are three ways you can get your name into the book. Pay attention.


Option One: The Regular Raffle.

You buy chances to win, like raffle tickets. Tickets will be 10 dollars each.

That means if you donate 30 dollars, your name gets thrown into the drawing three times. Simple.

However, if you want to be a big spender and donate fifty dollars, you get a free ticket. So fifty bucks gets you six tickets total.

At the end of the lottery, I'll be drawing a winner from these tickets. If you don't win, your ticket will enter a second drawing combined with the free entries. (See below.) What this means is that every ticket you buy gets two chances to win.


You have two ways to buy tickets:
  • To Buy Your Tickets by Mail:
You only need two things.

A check, made out to Pat Rothfuss. Signed by you.

A 3x5 index card that looks like this:




(Click to Embiggen)


Remember folks, I have to read these. That means you should probably print instead of using cursive. It doesn't need to be pretty, just legible.

And you see what I did up there? Where I wrote an "a" then wrote over it and made it a "u?" That's not very clear, is it? I should have used some white out, or done something else rather than leave it ambiguous. That would have been the smart thing to do...

Lastly, mail the check and the card to:

Pat Rothfuss
PO Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

  • To Buy Your Tickets Online:
[EDIT: Woo Hoo! After a relatively painless review process, the online option is back! Thanks for being cool about this, Paypal!]

Because international post is slow and expensive, I decided to make a paypal option available. (You can use the three custom buttons below to donate.)

Note – Tickets through paypal will actually be $11 each. This is because paypal takes a percentage of all the money it helps transfer. And, to be completely honest, because it's going to be a bit of a pain for me to sift all these digital entries onto paper tickets.






(Click the picture to be cool and donate 11 bucks.)


However, if you donate an even 50 bucks through paypal, I'll cover the extra fees myself, and you can still have six tickets.






(Click to be awesome and donate 50 bucks.)


If you're feeling extraordinarily extravagant, you can donate as much as you like with this button. (Keeping in mind that it should probably be some multiple of 11 or 50.)






(Click to be a rockstar and donate according to your desire.)


Remember: when you submit your paypal order, you need to include all the information you would have written on the note card.

DO THIS BEFORE YOU COMPLETE YOUR DONATION! After you donate, there's no way to go back and add this information.


Your phone number.
Your name.
Your e-mail.
The name you're hoping to get into the book.


Option Two: The Poor-Boy Raffle.

I spent nine years as an undergrad, so I know what it's like to not have a lot of folding money. This is the option that will give everyone a chance to throw their hat into the ring, even if they can't afford ten dollars for a ticket.

To get into the free option, you just mail a 3x5 note card, filled out just like the one above.

To this address:

Pat Rothfuss
PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

And that's it.

After I draw the winner from the paying option, I'm going to take all the non-winning tickets from that raffle, combine them with the free entries, and draw a second winner.

Important: If you buy a ticket, I will automatically enter you in the poor-man's raffle.

That means if you buy a ticket, DON'T don't send in an entry for the poor man's raffle too. This will only waste your time and anger me.



Option Three: The Cool Name Option

If I look through the entries and see a suggested name that looks cool to me, I might tweak it a bit and use it in the book.

Simple as that. I'm always on the lookout for cool names.


FAQ:

When is the raffle over?

One month from now: November 15th.


What are the odds of my winning the raffle?

Just like all raffles, that depends on how many tickets you buy, and how many people enter. But it should be obvious that you're (roughly) twice as likely to win than if you use the free option.

Edit: As of October 27th, we had raised a little more than 8000 dollars.

That means if you buy a ticket, your odds of winning are roughly 1 in 400. (Because I'm drawing two winners.)

Or, if you donate fifty bucks and get six tickets, your odds are about 1 in 70.

Those are pretty good odds.

Also, if we get a bunch more people participating. I'll draw an extra winner from the group that paid for their tickets.

That means it won't hurt your odds to spread the word to your friends. More participants will actually lead to more chances to win.


Can I use my own name as the one I want in the book?

Of course. I'm guessing this is what most people want. I'm just leaving the door open for people to suggest other options.

If I buy more than one ticket, should I send in more than one card?

No. There's never any reason to send in/fill out more than one card.

Does this mean book two isn't finished yet?

*sigh* Yes. That should be pretty obvious. I couldn't add things if it was finished. The revision process for a book this big takes a long time, and I'm still fixing things. Adding more awesome. Taking out things that aren't quite awesome enough. Making sure everyone's eyes are the right colour. That sort of stuff.

So if I win, I get to put whatever name I want in your upcoming book?

No. What will happen is the two of us will have a talk about how your name, or a variation of it, will fit into my book. Something that will make us both happy.

Read this blog for details and reasons why.

Will I get any control over who I am in the book? Will the character with my name look like me?

This will be part of our negotiation. If you really want to be a student at the University, and your name will work for that, we can make that happen. I might be able to tweak their appearance a little so it's closer to yours, too.

The short answer is that I'll do what I can to make you happy. But the book comes first, and I'm the final arbiter of what goes in and what doesn't.

Will you be doing this again for book three?

I don't know. A lot of that depends on how well this raffle works. If people are excited and we raise a lot of money, then I'll probably do it for book three.

On the other hand, if the response is small, and the whole thing ends up being a pain in my ass, there's a real possibility I won't do it again.

So all of the money you raise from this is going to charity?

Yes. All this money will be going to Heifer International. This raffle is actually just a warm-up to the bigger fundraiser that I'll be running on the blog next month.

If you're curious, you can look at last year's fundraiser HERE.


What's to keep people from swamping the free option with multiple entries?

There are several things that I think will keep this from being a severe problem.

1) Human Decency.

My readers are generous, kind human beings. Only a rapacious fuckwit would try to game the system on a charity raffle.

2) Human Laziness.

There's no online option for the free drawing. I doubt very much people will be filling out dozens of note cards by hand and sending them all in.

3) The name and phone number required with each entry.

I'm using phone numbers to catalog and organize the entries. That means I'm just going to throw away multiple free entries that have the same phone number, or those with no phone number at all. It's the classic "one entry per household." Except in this case it's not a house, it's a phone.

And yes, I know it's not a perfect system. But it's the best we can have without going to ridiculous lengths.

Are these prices in American dollars?

Yes. Foreign payments are one of the mail reasons I'm including a paypal option. Paypal will convert from your currency to US dollars.

If, for some strange reason, you want to send me a foreign check you need to do the following.

1. Figure out how much you want to donate.
(Let's say you live in London and want to donate 50 dollars.)

2. Add three dollars. Because that's how much my bank charges me to cash a foreign check.
(That makes your total 53 dollars.)

3. Convert this into your local currency.
(53 dollars = 32.96 British Pounds.)

4. Write your check out for this amount in your native currency. My bank can't cash it otherwise.
(So you write me a check for 33 pounds. Rounding up because you're a generous human being.)

Keep in mind that the raffle will be happening pretty soon after November 15th, and international post is slow. So if you're going to mail me a check, do it sooner rather than later.

I was really looking forward to this being an auction. I'm all full of money and was willing to pay whatever it takes to get my daughter's/husband's/dwarven monk's name in the book.

I'm willing to entertain the thought. If you really want an auction, let me know in the comments below and I'll think about setting one up, maybe in conjunction with the other auctions we're going to be running for the main fundraiser in a couple weeks.

More FAQ over here.


I'm excited, folks. Let's do this.

pat

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