Reminder: 24 hours to bid on Of Noble Family signed manuscript, by Mary Robinette Kowal

The special auction of a signed, dated manuscript of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Of Noble Family (forthcoming, April 2015), along with signed hardcovers of the rest of the books in the series, ends tomorrow, Sunday October 19, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (unless there are last-minute bids; see that post for details). This auction, like all of Con or Bust’s fundraising, helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons. Comment on that post to bid (or with questions; comments off here to avoid the possibility of misplaced bids), and please spread the word!

Special Auction: Of Noble Family signed manuscript, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Con or Bust is thrilled to announce that it is now auctioning a signed, dated manuscript of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Of Noble Family (forthcoming, April 2015), along with signed hardcovers of the rest of the books in the series, to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons. The auction will run through Sunday, October 19, 2014 (see below for details on bidding).

About Of Noble Family and the Glamourist Histories

book cover Of Noble Family is the last book of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories and “the magical adventure that might result if Jane Austen walked on the grimmer side of the Regency.”

You can read the description at the author’s website, or find out about the dress on the cover over at Tor.com (spoiler: “Hand. Stitched.”).

Kirkus gave a starred review to the prior book in the series, Valour and Vanity, saying that it had “a clever, captivating plot” and “balance[d] emotional depth with buoyant storytelling,” while Booklist said, “Lively, well written, and with sprinkles of history, Valour and Vanity will charm both adventurers and romantics.”

Of Noble Family will not be released until April 28, 2015, but you can bid on a signed, dated manuscript copy of it now, plus signed hardcovers of the rest of the series! The manuscript and books can be shipped worldwide (free, courtesy of the Ada Initiative; see below) and the signature can be personalized.

Why an auction now?

Short answer: because Mary and the Ada Initiative are awesome, and because the next auction would be too late.

Longer answer: Mary donated the manuscript and signed hardcovers to the Ada Initiative, which supports women in open technology and culture, as an incentive for its annual fund drive. But all the donors who qualified for the manuscript . . . were too nice to take it!

The Ada Initiative today announced a stretch goal of a free train-the-trainers workshop at WisCon for its Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches men simple everyday ways to support women in their communities and workplaces. As a companion to its announcement (and with Mary’s approval), the Ada Initiative is making good use of the donated manuscript and hardcovers by donating it Con or Bust.

Since Of Noble Family comes out in April, waiting until Con or Bust’s regular auction didn’t make sense: traditionally, the auction has run in February, but this year I was already planning to announce that I was going to move it back to April or May. The just-completed quarterly assistance period had a very low total of monetary assistance, which means that Con or Bust’s bank balance is healthy enough that I can move the auction back so it doesn’t conflict with Worldbuilders and is further away from the holiday season.

Thus: the current auction, which will serve the dual purposes of getting the manuscript into the fortunate winner’s hands well in advance of publication and giving Con or Bust a bit more of a cushion for the next six months.

How does the auction work?

You can bid now: simply leave a comment stating the amount of your bid (in U.S. dollars) with a working email address. If you like, you can check the box that says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” to make sure you don’t miss any later bids.

The auction will end on Sunday, October 19, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time (time zone conversions and countdown). However, there will be a different procedure for last-minute bids than in past auctions. As discussed previously, to make bidding less dependent on the whims of the Internet, last-minute bids will extend the bidding period.

Accordingly: if a bid on Sunday the 19th is timestamped from 3:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., all bidding will be extended for another ten minutes past the original deadline (that is, new bids must be timestamped 4:10 or earlier). Bidding will continue to be extended in ten-minute blocks until no further bids are received within a ten-minute block. However, only after 4:00 p.m., new bids must raise the prior bid by at least the increments listed in this eBay table, to avoid bidders trying to wait each other out by raising in tiny amounts. I hope this will reduce the stress of hoping that a last-second bid gets published in time.

Questions? Concerns? Bids? Leave them in the comments. And please spread the word about both this auction and the Ada Initiative’s stretch goal!

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GeekGirlCon & Sirens memberships available now; ConFusion membership available later

(ETA: WFC banquet ticket has been claimed.)

In addition, the following free memberships remain available immediately:

  • GeekGirlCon, October 11-12, 2014, Seattle, WA, USA. GeekGirlCon is the celebration of the female geek. Check out some highlights from 2013.

    GeekGirlCon has donated six passes to Con or Bust, of which four are still available.

  • Sirens, October 16-19, 2014, Stevenson, WA, USA. Sirens is a conference on women in fantasy literature; its 2014 theme is “hauntings” and its Guests of Honor are Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston.

    Sirens has donated one membership to Con or Bust.

Finally, a new con has donated a membership that will be available during the November 15-25 assistance period (joining the others listed on the Upcoming Cons page):

  • ConFusion, January 16-18, 2015, Detroit, MI, USA. ConFusion is a local/regional science fiction convention based in the Metro Detroit area. Its Guest of Honor is Karen Lord; its Science Guest of Honor is Dr. Cynthia Chestek; its Music Guest of Honor is Heather Dale; its Gaming Guests of Honor are Monte Cook and Shanna Germain; and its Fan Guest of Honor is Aaron Thul.

    ConFusion has donated one membership to Con or Bust.

Please spread the word!

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Free memberships to October cons!

If you’re a fan of color/non-white fan, Con or Bust currently has free memberships to attend three different SFF cons in October. Request them now first-come first-served!

  • Maneki Neko Con, October 3-5, 2014, Matteson, IL, USA. Maneki Neko Con is an all-ages science fiction, fantasy, and Japanese animation – anime – gaming, comics, and miscellaneous geeky fandom convention in Chicago’s south suburbs. The organizers state that it is run and attended by 90% young people of color.

    Maneki Neko Con has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, which must be claimed by September 21, 2014.

  • GeekGirlCon, October 11-12, 2014, Seattle, WA, USA. GeekGirlCon is the celebration of the female geek. Check out some highlights from 2013.

    GeekGirlCon has donated six passes to Con or Bust, of which four are still available.

  • Sirens, October 16-19, 2014, Stevenson, WA, USA. Sirens is a conference on women in fantasy literature; its 2014 theme is “hauntings” and its Guests of Honor are Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston.

    Sirens has donated one membership to Con or Bust.

In addition, for your future planning purposes, several cons have donated assistance that will be available during the November 15-25 request period (at which time monetary assistance may also be requested), and thereafter if not claimed. These are behind the jump:

Read More →

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Con or Bust now accepting requests for assistance

From now through August 25, 2014, Con or Bust is accepting requests for assistance to attend upcoming SFF cons from fans of color/non-white fans. (Requests must be timestamped on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern; I may or may not be awake to turn the form off.)

Specific assistance is available to attend the following:

  • Maneki Neko Con (October 3-5, 2014, Matteson, IL, USA);

  • Sirens (October 16-19, 2014, Stevenson, WA, USA);
  • World Fantasy Con 2014 (November 6-9, 2014, Arlington, VA, USA);
  • Arisia (January 16-19, 2015, Boston, MA, USA);
  • FOGcon (March 6-8, 2015, Walnut Creek, CA, USA); and
  • (new!) Archipelacon (June 25-28, 2015, Mariehamn, Åland, Finland), which has donated two memberships (more information coming when I’m not in a con panel!).

Learn more about these specific cons at the Upcoming Cons page.

To find out how to request assistance to these cons, or to any upcoming SFF con, head to the Request Assistance page. And please spread the word!

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Last minute: free memberships (two!) to the Discworld Convention!

Fans of color/non-white fans: an individual has donated a free membership to The International Discworld Convention, which is being held this weekend, 8-11 August 2014, in Manchester, UK. DW Con is a gathering of fans of Sir Terry Pratchett that happens in the UK once every two years. This year the con is also The Ankh-Morpork Grand Exhibition, a four-day celebration of the culture, technology and industry of the great city of Ankh-Morpork.

ETA: and DW Con itself has now donated another. Thanks very much!

This membership is available first-come first-served at the Request Assistance page (you’ll pick up your badge at Ops at the con). Please spread the word!

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Reminder: request assistance August 15-25

Fans of color/non-white fans can request assistance to attend upcoming SFF cons from August 15-25, 2014.

Specific assistance is available to attend Maneki Neko Con (October 3-5, 2014, Matteson, IL, USA); Sirens (October 16-19, 2014, Stevenson, WA, USA); World Fantasy Con 2014 (November 6-9, 2014, Arlington, VA, USA); Arisia (January 16-19, 2015, Boston, MA, USA); and FOGcon (March 6-8, 2015, Walnut Creek, CA, USA). Learn more about these specific cons at the Upcoming Cons page.

To find out how to request assistance to these cons, or to any upcoming SFF con, head to the Request Assistance page. And please spread the word!

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Last call for free Nine Worlds memberships; plus child memberships to Loncon 3

Fans of color/non-white fans: there are still five donated memberships available to Nine Worlds Convention (8-10 August 2014, London, England, UK). These must be claimed by August 1st—that’s tomorrow—so get them now!

Also, there is still an abundance of free memberships to Loncon 3 (August 14-18, 2014, London, England, UK), this year’s Worldcon. These can be claimed even while the con’s in progress! But also available now are two child memberships, for attendees aged between 6 and 15 years on 14 August 2014, thanks to an individual donor. There’s a track of really great workshops for kids and a programming track specifically about Young Adult fiction, so if you are between 6 and 15 years old, or your friends or family include someone who is, this is a great opportunity.

Finally, two memberships are still available to Shamrokon (22-24 August 2014, Dublin, Ireland), this year’s Eurocon.

Claim these through the Request Assistance page, and please spread the word!