Most folks have heard of Heifer International, a fabulous charity that empowers people to battle hunger. Food aid is a one shot deal, but Heifer International equips people with training, gear and seed stock that enables them to feed themselves for generations.
Fantasy author Pat Rothfuss has developed a charity of his own, Worldbuilders, a fundraising campaign that feeds directly into Heifer International, drawing on donations from luminaries in the Science Fiction and Fantasy field. Its tagline is “Geeks Doing Good,” and that about sums it up. Authors and publishers donate their books, their time and their skill, and fans dig deep and help out. The response is tremendous. When last I checked, this year’s campaign had already raised $250,000!
This is my third year participating in Worldbuilders. I’ve donated Advanced Read Copies of my latest novel, BREACH ZONE, along with Umbra Coven challenge coins and signed bookplates. But Pat set a special $25,000 stretch goal this year, and asked if I could donate an “act of whimsy” to help entice donors to meet it.
I figured, what the heck, I’ll let the person who took us over that mark shave my head. That’s pretty whimsical, right? The logistics of that plan (getting me and a complete stranger from anywhere in the world in the same room) proved prohibitive, so the folks at Worldbuilders asked me if I could find another SF/F author that people might like to see doing the deed.
It should come as no surprise who I asked, my near-neighbor and best friend, Peter V. Brett.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when his eyes widened at the offer. “Dude,” he said. “I’m totally using a straight razor.”
Naturally, I thought he was kidding, you know, just ribbing his old buddy.
But then he went on Sword and Laser and told the world.
That’s when the blood drained from my face. Because now I was committed. This was really happening.
Straight razor shaving is an art that people dedicate their entire lives to perfecting. Pete had never so much as touched one of the things.
I won’t tell you how it went. I won’t even tell you if I survived (for all you know, I pre-wrote this post and set a timer to put it up automatically).
Fortunately, we made a video, and it speaks for itself. Check it out:
The best parts are the outtakes at end, be sure to stick around for them.
Thanks to everyone who donated!