Fallen Hero?

Boneman

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#1
It's no secret Patrick Rothfuss is a hero of mine, but I've just been shocked rigid by his latest posting (18th July) and even now I'm hoping it's a spoof, or his blog has been hijacked, because I find it somewhat disturbing that he's actually going to do what he says. Rather than link the website, I'll cut and paste what he said:

So earlier in the year, I annouced my current con schedule. On that schedule, I mentioned that I’d be hitting Worldcon, just like I do every year…
But about a month ago, the folks from Penny Arcade contacted me and asked if I’d like to come out to PAX.
I said I would like to come, I’ve wanted to hit PAX for *years*, but PAX overlaps Worldcon, and I already had plans.
Then they clarified, they wanted me to come out to PAX and play some D&D.
I told them it was tempting, as I do love me some tabletop. But, y’know, Worldcon….
But wait, they said. This isn’t just *any* D&D. You’d be be playing with Mike, Jerry, and Scott. You’d be the fourth member of Acquisitions Incorporated.
“…” I said eloquently. “But… I should really….”
Then they mentioned that they’d be willing to donate some money to Worldbuilders if I came out.
And that, as they say, was that.
I contacted Worldcon as soon as I knew. I had them pull me from the website and made sure they didn’t put me on any programming. I also went back and edited the blog I wrote about my 2013 appearances, and removed the Con from my tour schedule page.
And then this:

So the bad news is that I’m bowing out of Worldcon this year. I’m sorry for the folks that were hoping to catch me there.
Am I wrong? Has Patrick Rothfuss pulled out of a convention that fans may have paid money for in order to see and hear him, to play D&D?? His justification that they'll donate to Worldbuilders may give a slight moral ground, because it's a fabulous charity that enables millions of lives, and he's been responsible for raising a ton of money already, but am I wrong to be shocked? Those very fans may have contributed to Worldbuilders via his annual fund-raiser, and it must be a crushing disappointment to the organisers when someone gives their word to attend, and they schedule events around him, to be told "sorry, I'd rather play D&D"...

I'm hoping against hope that it's a spoof exercise by him, in messing with our minds, but somehow...:(:(
 

HareBrain

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#3
It seems really unprofessional, let alone anything else. Does he allow comments on his blog? You should post one (if a thousand people haven't already done so, or even if they have).
 

Boneman

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#4
I did post a comment on his blog, saying how saddened I was, and asking 'if someone gives their word, shouldn't they keep it? Is that unreasonable?' [Prepares for abuse from other PR fans...]

What it seems, and I hate to say it, is that PR can be bought (for the best possible reason - Worldbuilders charity) but it still don't seem right. Whatif Worldcon had come back to him and said "We'll make a donation to Worldbuilders", would an auction have ensued between PAX and Worldcon?:(:eek:
 

Ursa major

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#6
This is why it's safer to admire the work rather than its creator.

The former, once it's published, is usually immutable, and if you later cease to admire it, that's up to you; the author is human, and subject to human failings.

And this also allows you to admire and enjoy works by really appalling people, because sometimes - and proving that life really isn't fair - those with abominable views and behaviours may be also endowed with genius.
 

biodroid

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#7
Never meet your heroes, they will disappoint you. I also tried the first book and thought he was very in love with his verbal diarrhea. Not a fan of him.
 

lauren$77

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#8
I read his blog but wasn't offended. I don't get it?? Is WorldCon more important than the other Pax one?? I mean he is a free agent afterall! And you don't know how much money he was offered for his charity - could have been an exponential amount!! (with many zeros)

On a side note being someone who knows nothing about fantasy Cons, why is it only members can go to the WorldCon anyway?? It's in Brighton this year, I might actually have gone, but have since found out its an exclusive thing:confused:
 

The Judge

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#9
It's not at all exclusive -- there are quite a few Chronners going, in fact. But it's full now, and has been for some time, so there's little or no chance of getting a ticket other than if someone cries off and sells his/her place.

If I'm recalling correctly from other Cons they talk of "membership", but that's just membership of the Con, not some secret exclusive organisation -- you become a member by paying the fee to attend.
 

Jo Zebedee

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#10
I read his blog but wasn't offended. I don't get it?? Is WorldCon more important than the other Pax one?? I mean he is a free agent afterall! And you don't know how much money he was offered for his charity - could have been an exponential amount!! (with many zeros)

On a side note being someone who knows nothing about fantasy Cons, why is it only members can go to the WorldCon anyway?? It's in Brighton this year, I might actually have gone, but have since found out its an exclusive thing:confused:
Yeah, I'm not a member, or I wasn't until I bought my ticket. I think it's not about which is more important, it's about that Worldcon didn't allow daily tickets, so those of us who are going had to buy for the whole four days (100 quid) and anyone who's travelling has to pay money to stay in Brighton, which isn't a cheap place (unless like me and Hex you can live in a shoebox for four days. I'd invite you all round, but me and the swinging cat are going to have a staring comp.)

I'm not a big PR fan, but if one of my favourite writers had been going, and then pulled out, and I'd committed £400 of my money to it already, between tickets, deposit, travel, I'd be furious. It's not professional. At the very least, he should have had the decency to lie about why. :D
 

Vertigo

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#11
Yes I think that is some sort of legal get around isn't it Judge: I don't remember what it's getting around but making every attendee a member changes it's status somehow, I think.

On Lauren's point Rothfuss is of course a free agent. But on this occasion he made a commitment which may well have contributed to many people giving up their hard earned money to go to the conference and then he has snubbed his nose at those people by backing off with no better excuse than going to play D&D. I'm not a fan - I haven't read any of his work - but I would say it does not give me an impression of someone with particularly high moral standards (I could word that a lot stronger but, as I say, I know very little about the man so I'm using restraint :)).
 

The Judge

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#12
Yes I think that is some sort of legal get around isn't it Judge: I don't remember what it's getting around but making every attendee a member changes it's status somehow, I think.
Yes, I was going to say that, but I couldn't recall what the ramifications were and chickened out! It does allow them to impose rules on those attending, of course, such as no-harassment protocols, with consequences for failing to obey, which might not be open to organisers of events open to the general public.

Also, attending FantasyCon last year gave me voting rights in the British Fantasy Awards for this year, even though I'm not a member of BFS.
 

lauren$77

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#14
Yeah, I'm not a member, or I wasn't until I bought my ticket. I think it's not about which is more important, it's about that Worldcon didn't allow daily tickets, so those of us who are going had to buy for the whole four days (100 quid) and anyone who's travelling has to pay money to stay in Brighton, which isn't a cheap place (unless like me and Hex you can live in a shoebox for four days. I'd invite you all round, but me and the swinging cat are going to have a staring comp.)

I'm not a big PR fan, but if one of my favourite writers had been going, and then pulled out, and I'd committed £400 of my money to it already, between tickets, deposit, travel, I'd be furious. It's not professional. At the very least, he should have had the decency to lie about why. :D
I had no idea the tickets were soo expensive!! Although thinking about it I guess if its for four days that's not too bad, I mean a music festival would be a lot more than that! Still its a shame, I have family not to far away, so wouldn't have needed to take you up on your friendly offer with the cat!:)
 

Boneman

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#15
I read his blog but wasn't offended. I don't get it?? Is WorldCon more important than the other Pax one?? I mean he is a free agent afterall! And you don't know how much money he was offered for his charity - could have been an exponential amount!! (with many zeros)

If you say "Yes, I'll attend Worldcon and do panels and booksignings" and Worldcon publicise this, and fans buy tickets on the basis of it, it seems pretty shabby, having agreed to be there, to suddenly drop out to go and play D&D at Pax. Using Worldbuilders as an excuse came a very poor second, from what I saw on the blog. Many of his disappointed fans might well have been Worldbuilder donors every year, how are they going to feel? Irrespective of the incentive offered, it's about keeping your word, once you've given it, nothing more.
 

Boaz

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#16
Very shabby. And if it something you believe in, then you need to hit him where it hurts... in the wallet.

Caveat emptor.

R. J. Reynolds decided in 1911, to name his first cigarettes after Kaiser Wilhelm II since his "unrolled" tobacco named after Prince Albert was such a huge hit. At the last minute he changed his mind about linking his future on a living person and renamed them Camel. Reynolds is reported to have said, "You never know what the damn fool might do."

Heroes are, and may have always been, disposable. But in our contemporary society, heroes are built with planned obsolescence in mind. Tebow, Kobe, Bieber, Obama, One Direction, Duck Dynasty, Michael Sam, etc. How much cash can The Machine generate before the "hero" implodes, explodes, burns out, or disgusts the public? If the "hero" actually dies (Elvis, Marilyn, Tupac, Selena), then The Machine makes even more money because the "hero" never changes age, politics, etc...

You guys may know I'm a big fan of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. I even met him at a book signing. Although he and I are polar opposites when it comes to politics and probably religion... we do share a common interest in football (waning by the day now) and fantasy.

Maybe this is the reason humans have always needed myth, legends, fantasy, and fiction. We need to communicate our cultural ideals even though no one lives up to all of them.
 
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