How John Scalzi’s Garage is Going to Help Save the World

As the leaves change and the air crisps with the first bite of cold, we at Worldbuilders know we’re reaching that magical time of year: it’s time to clean out Scalzi’s garage.

Our end-of-year fundraiser is fueled by the generosity of many sponsors – game companies, publishers, etc. Sometimes a singular human decides to step up, and that’s what Scalzi and his wife did several years ago when they first contacted us.

Hey, we have a lot of books in our garage – ARCs,” (advance reader copies), “some of them signed, fantasy, science fiction, anthologies, lotsa new stuff from this year. You want ‘em for the fundraiser?

And that’s how this particular end-of-year tradition began. Worldbuilders staff and occasionally a volunteer or two pile into a truck, drive out into the pastoral beauty of Ohio where Scalzi’s beautiful house is, and we clean the books out of his garage.

Each one is bound for a new home- possibly yours – via our End of Year Heifer fundraiser.

John Scalzi loads donated books for the Worldbuilders Fundraiser 2021
John Scalzi loading books he’s donated personally to the Worldbuilders Fundraiser in 2021

Not Just a Pretty Author

Every fan wonders what their favorite author is like. Even authors like Scalzi, who have a pretty prolific presence on their blog, have a veneer of mystery about them. What are they like when they’re not in public?

Let me tell you what they’re like: we pulled in to the driveway, and were greeted enthusiastically by a very fierce and good doggy, followed by Kristine and Scalzi. The volunteer and I planned to be as unobtrusive as possible – get in, get the boxes, get out.

Charlie verifies the integrity of the trailer hitch.
Charlie verifies the integrity of the trailer hitch.

I wish I’d recorded what he said. If I was better at the social media game, I’d have video and stills and a TikTok dance or two.

Instead, I have the memory of him sitting across the table, saying “We love supporting Worldbuilders. You do good work.”

Sometimes that’s all an Executive Director needs to hear from a world-class author, y’know?

A Treasure Trove of Wonder and Words

The hardest part of the trip is not the drive – it’s Fall in Midwest USA, one of the greatest shows on earth. It’s not lifting all the boxes – as you can see, Scalzi and Kristine pitch in, under the enthusiastic tail-wagging supervision of Charlie, who is the most good of dogs even if Scalzi hasn’t yet realized that truth of the couch cushions being her ancestral home.

No, the hardest part (and this is me, Gray, speaking personally) is back in the Worldbuilders warehouse when we take out the books and realize we have to give them away.

Kristine Scalzi loading donated ARCs for the Worldbuilders Fundraiser while Charlie the dog supervises.

For one brief, shining moment, I held an ARC of Fonda Lee’s third book in the Green Bone Saga.

Then I set it down for the photo and packed it back with the hundreds of other rare editions we’re storing for the prize draw. Some will be put in the Auction, because they’re just too damn good.

You Can Be Part of the Saga of Scalzi’s Books

All of these boxes of unique books will help raise money to support the work of Heifer International – creating opportunities for sustainable agriculture, clean water, and education for people all around the world for those in need.

That means that if you get one, you get to hold in your hands – as I did, for a brief moment – a collectible book of speculative fiction direct from the home of one of the best authors of the 21st century that is literally helping to save the world.

All you need to do to bring that reality closer to you is to take part in our End-of-Year fundraiser, starting November 30th at noon CST. There will be all kinds of ways to donate, special teams, and more prizes and events. You just need to do three things to make sure you know about it:

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter, so we can let you know exactly when things start.
  2. Subscribe to both Worldbuilders and Pat Rothfuss’ twitch channle, so you’re notified when our streaming goes live.
  3. If you follow Scalzi on the socials, tell him and Kristine thanks. Their willingness to help out and share these books with us is an especially bright spot in a dark time.

See you on November 30th!