“Redshirt” Auction: What it Brought In (Hint: More Than You Think)

So the “Redshirt” auction ended last night on time, and the fabulous Brad Roberts took the pre-pub bound manuscript of the novel — and two rare chapbooks, and two even rarer pre-pub bound manuscripts, and a song played by me on the ukulele and a schadenfreude pie, which I will likely deliver in person to him at 4th Street Fantasy next June — all for $7,000, all of which will be donated directly to the Bradford, Ohio Public Library. I am thrilled. Positively and utterly thrilled.

But wait! There’s more!

Shortly after the auction ended — like, minutes — I received an inquiry from someone else:

I lost the auction, but I have a question. If I donated the difference between the winning bid and $10,000, would you give the winning bidder the items for $10k?

To which I responded, “Why, yes. Yes, I would.”

So: In fact the auction has raised $10,000 for the Bradford, Ohio Public Libraryand there will be a black velvet painting of me and Brad Roberts fighting aliens WITH LASERS. Which is going to be awesome. Brad will also receive the $8,000 and $9,000 tier gifts, which means his name (or the name he choose) will show up in my next major work, and I will write a short story in which (or the person he chooses) is the hero.

Surprise, Brad!

Don’t worry, as the currently-anonymous benefactor will also receive rewards for his generosity, including a special prize package filled with cool stuff (which cool stuff I don’t know yet, but I’ll go through my cool stuff here presently and he’ll be thrilled), plus he’ll receive an official, signed ARC edition of Redshirts from me when Tor releases those later on this year — and when he cracks it open he’ll find a character named after him in the novel itself. Hey, I have the copy edit of the book right here in front of me, I can still do that.

So thank you, currently-anonymous benefactor! You are fantastic.

(He’s currently anonymous mostly because it’s fun to have him remain so at the moment, but he can out himself if he likes in the comments, or later on with his permission I’ll reveal who he is.)

Please, if you would, give a moment to applaud Brad. He’s doing a really wonderful thing for my local library and I am genuinely thankful that he stepped up. He earns my admiration along with all the groovy stuff he’s getting. Also say thanks, if you would, to the currently-anonymous benefactor, for putting the financial cherry on top of Brad’s donation, and for giving me an excuse to commission that black velvet painting, which I really really really wanted to do.

And everyone who put in a bid, please take a bow as well. You guys rock.

73 Comments on ““Redshirt” Auction: What it Brought In (Hint: More Than You Think)”

  1. This is so awesome. The whole thing just makes me smile! Congratulations to Brad, the anonymous benefactor, John and the library.

  2. Bravo Brad! Bravo also to the anonymous donor, whose generosity stuns me.

    And btw, John, you COMPLETELY ROCK for doing this in the first place.

  3. Congratulations, Brad! What a wonderful thing you are doing!

    Also, congratulations to Anonymous! Our gratitude at being able to see the results of a commissioned black velvet painting of that sort is sent out to you!

    But the best thing is that the library wins!

  4. Awesome ending for this auction ! Congratulation to the winners, Brad, Anonymous and Ohio public library.

  5. Congratulations to the Bradford Public Library for inspiring these heroes to heroic feats of heroism, and “well done!” to Brad, John, and Anonymous for manning the walls and driving back the forces of barbarsm and illiteracy once again.

  6. This is such a bitchin’ story. I’m sending the link to this page hither and yon all day today. Kudos to all of you. May your inter-library loan requests always be serviced promptly.

  7. I think two humans against all the aliens are unfair odds. The anonymous donor should, with his/her and Brad’s permissions, be included in the firefight. That would give you the excuse to commission an EVEN LARGER velvet painting to fit three people rather than two.

  8. Brad, I will donate $1K to the library if I can snag the 9K tier gift (getting John to write a short story in which (or the person he chooses) is the hero).

    Note: the person I choose would be a three year old.

  9. Very, very cool. Also, I really hope that uke performance at 4th Street is going to be public. *grin*

  10. Brad, Anonymous Benefactor and John, you have boosted my faith in humanity and made the world a better place. Thank you.

  11. Kudos, Brad! And John, and O Anonymous One. And the Bradford, Ohio Public Library, which clearly is awesome enough to merit random acts of kindness to the tune of $10K. This just feels like smiles all around to me.

    :) :) :)

  12. In a time when libraries are fighting for their lives, stuck being short-staffed and open for short hours, this kind of money has to be a real godsend. Congrats and thanks to Brad, Anon and John for such a wonderful gift of reading to so many. You’ve renewed my faith in humanity!

  13. Now that the Bradford library has benefited from the generosity of Whatever readers, lets all take some time this week to go patronize our local library.

    Nothing will get a library’s budget slashed faster than the words, “Visits have again declined over last year.”

    Borrow a book. Read a book. Return a book. Or just go look something up.

  14. Steve at 15:

    I think they should be shown defending the library from aliens. Big, nasty, drooling, butt-ugly budget-cutting aliens from the planet Total E, in the Shortsighted system.

  15. Thanks to everyone on the auction! I generally support my local library by repeatedly racking up late fees, but this is probably the faster and better way to do it.

  16. Does this mean that the black velvet painting will be John, Brad and a person in a Guy Fawkes mask? Or am I thinking of the wrong anonymous?

    Well done, all. And three cheers (each) for these fine folks stepping up to help the local library.

  17. This is so cool! I support my local library, by visits, by donating books for their annual Friends of the Library sale, and by also buying things at the sale. (and, I’m sorry to say, like #33 Julie with late fees).

    Big Congratulations to John, Brad, and Anon! What a generous thing for Anon to do, both for the library and for Brad!

  18. You guys are inspiring. Congrats, Brad, enjoy the pie!

    And I second Bearpaw’s idea: Defend your local library from budget-cutting interstellar bugs! On black velvet!

  19. @ #15 Steve & #32 Bearpaw: Better Brad & John versus all the aliens than against the badgers Athena had to rescue her parents from when she got back from camp. I heard a rumor that they’re using their highly-evolved powers of procreation to gather reinforcements. Let’s hope there is no need for a sequel to this black velvet painting…

    Hooray Brad & anonymous!

  20. I’m so proud of all of you!! Stunning Brad! Not only do you rock but you’re my current hero! Anonymous donor: Thanks a million! You made my year. And son: You are thoughtful and amazing as always! Love you.

  21. Oh, most excellent! Bravo to Brad, to the anonymous bidder, and to John for doing this.

    (Yay, libraries. For those of us with fixed/limited incomes, they’re a godsend. And yeah, we’ve had hours cut, they’re no longer open on Sundays, acquisitions are way down… hellish budget cuts, here as everywhere else.)

  22. What a terrific ending to the Auction story! BIg hugs to all. It’s nice to know such people exist in the world.

  23. Whee! This just gets better and better. I’d like to thank John for coming up with the auction in the first place. Wonderful idea and an excellent cause. I’m happy to be a part of it. Though, somewhat terrified of the concept of being in a painting.

  24. This is indeed the most impressive win-win-win, cool-thing-with-awesome-ending that I’ve seen in a while. You couldn’t write this.

  25. I like the idea of adding anon to the painting, but I think it should be a hidden thing. Paint his face in the clouds or the rocks or whereever. Finding Anon, will make the painting even more fun.

    Brad and Anon and the Scalzi: Library Heroes.

  26. My thanks and congratulations to everyone involved. I really wish I could have been in the auction, but I’m just a poor college student going by paycheck to paycheck until I can start publishing my own stuff lol. It’s a really great thing you guys did and hopefully John can do another one again sometime in the future.

  27. I’m picturing a big box in John’s basement (the part with the stuff he kept) labeled “Cool stuff”.

  28. “(He’s currently anonymous mostly because it’s fun to have him remain so at the moment, but he can out himself if he likes in the comments, or later on with his permission I’ll reveal who he is.)”

    Or later on without his permission you can put his name in your next book.

  29. Brad Roberts@45: “somewhat terrified of the concept of being in a painting.”

    Oh, I don’t know. It did wonders for Wil Wheaton’s career.

  30. “black velvet painting of me”

    I’m sorry, but there’s only three things that can be credibly painted on black velvet: Elvis, Jesus Christ and Dogs playing poker. All three combine the gently absurd with the sacred.

    Otherwise it’s just sad

  31. That’s awesome. Not only for the winning $7k bid, but for the followup anonymous donation.
    I think it’s brilliant of you, John, for doing this and I’m sure the library will be more than happy to use the donation.
    What are they planning on doing with the $10k?

  32. Awesome! Congrats to Brad and to the Bradford Public Library! Kudos to Anon. for his contribution! And many thanks to John for hosting this auction – it’s a wonderful thing you’ve done, sir!

    I support my local library system by borrowing books and occasionally at their used book sales. Not much, I’m afraid, but I do what I can.

  33. As the Vice President of the Bradford Public Library Board of Trustees and also a regular reader of Whatever (yes Mr. Scalzi, I’m the one who ratted you out), I would like to thank not only the winning bidders but also all the readers of this blog for all the nice things that have been said about the Library over the past week. I would also like to thank Mr. Scalzi who developed this idea without our knowledge and has been a true friend to the Library. We take great pride in our Library and try to give to the community as much as we can, so we will put this donation to good use. To the fans of Whatever, please try to remember your own Public Libraries as well. Budget cuts at the state level often mean that libraries have had to cut back on services, so any little help you could give would be appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    Bob Daugherty

  34. Brad@45: Though, somewhat terrified of the concept of being in a painting.

    Hey, it did wonders for Dorian Gray. For a while, anyway.

    Congratulations on winning and doing some good for a good cause!

  35. @bear
    With a little timing luck, you’ll be able, in fact encouraged, to share a slice of the pie.

    @Mr. Anon
    You going to out yourself so we can thank you more directly? I’m rather curious… who’s insane enough to want a painting with me in it. :P

  36. Awesome work to John, Brad and Anonymous. I’ve been sending links to this all over for the past few days.

    Also big thanks to Ulysses for the library plug. Every body through the doors helps keep your library afloat.

  37. FWIW, I think Anonymous should stay anonymous but allow their image to be included in the velvet painting and then we can have fun trying to identify them.

    (And if it does happen to be Wil, that would raise the Awesomeness level of the painting to the Even More Seriously Fracking level. Brad and John and Wil vs the Alien Minions of Budget-Cutting Doom … with LASERS!)

    (Which is not meant to disparage or discourage Anonymous if they aren’t Wil, you know. Because seriously franking awesome in any case. Just sayin’.)

  38. Great job all who made this happen…Athena (my 7th period aide) was talking about the auction with me yesterday. She really wanted to play the ukelele duet with her dad for the big prize.

  39. Great job Brad and Anonymous and thumbs up to John for holding out such an enticing carrot. I can’t wait to see that black velvet painting!

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