WorldCon membership still wanted / free con memberships available

Con or Bust is still looking for someone who’s not using their Attending Membership to Sasquan, this year’s WorldCon, and would like to donate it (we’ve already used the memberships that Sasquan directly donated). Please contact me at

In addition, an individual has donated a membership to WisCon, May 22-25, 2015, Madison, WI, USA. WisCon is the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention. Its Guests of Honor are Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson. Fans of color/non-white fans can request this membership now, first-come first-served.

Donated memberships to the following cons also remain available:

  • Archipelacon, June 25-28, 2015, Mariehamn, Åland, Finland. Archipelacon is the Nordic SF & Fantasy convention (but its main language will be English). Its Guests of Honor are George R.R. Martin, Johanna Sinisalo, and Karin Tidbeck.

    Archipelacon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Pi-Con, July 31-August 2, 2015, Windsor Locks, CT, USA. Pi-Con is “the friendliest little convention in New England”; its Guest of Honor is Tanya Huff and its Guest of Awesome is Vikki Ciaffone.

    Pi-Con has donated six memberships to Con or Bust.

Find out how to receive these memberships at the Request Assistance page.


The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton (signed ARC)

philosopher kings coverItem Name & Description: An ARC of Jo Walton’s The Philosopher Kings (forthcoming, June 2015), signed and with a hand-correction by the author.

This is the sequel to The Just City (out now), and the middle book of the Thessaly trilogy. Description:

From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: The Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato’s Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of.

The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as “Pythias” in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it’s evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.

Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers–including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence–Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find–possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves “Greek.” What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.

Starting Bid: $5.

Notes: will ship worldwide. This has been donated by the author but is being shipped by the poster, and therefore personalization is not available.

Bidding opens Monday, April 20, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern (time zone conversions). It closes Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown) unless bids are received in the last ten minutes (learn more).


Announcing Con or Bust’s 2015 Auction!

I’m pleased to announce Con or Bust’s annual auction, which is its principal source of funds to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons. You can offer items for auction now; bidding will begin Monday, April 20, 2015, and run through Sunday, May 3, 2015. See the Auction Information page for full details. Read on for a summary, and please spread the word!

Offering Items for Auction

Fill out the form on the Submit an Auction page; all you need is an email address. (I’ll even host your images for you, if necessary!) Here are some suggestions and notes.


Bidding will begin in three weeks, specifically, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Monday, April 20, 2015 (time zone conversions). It will end Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown): except this year, last-minute bids on a specific item will automatically extend bids for that item (details). I hope that this, along with some technical changes I’ve made to the website, will make the end of the auction smoother and more satisfying for everyone.

Auction Wranglers

Finally, I’m extremely grateful to note that the excellent Jaymee and Yoon Ha Lee will be helping wrangle the administrative side of the auction, so it’s possible that you’ll see them around and about in comments or emails.

Questions? Concerns? If they aren’t answered by the full Auction Information page, leave them in a comment. (And if you have a question or problem with an auction from a prior year, please feel free to email me at; I will gladly do all I can to help.)


WorldCon membership wanted / free memberships to other upcoming cons

First: Con or Bust is looking for someone who’s not using their Attending Membership to Sasquan, this year’s WorldCon, and would like to donate it (we’ve already used the memberships that Sasquan directly donated). Anyone who can do that, please contact me at

Second: free memberships are currently available, first-come first-served, to the following upcoming cons:

  • Edit: these memberships have all been claimed. WisCon, May 22-25, 2015, Madison, WI, USA. WisCon is the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention. Its Guests of Honor are Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson.

    WisCon has donated six memberships and a dessert ticket to Con or Bust.

  • Edit: this membership has been claimed. Diversicon 23, July 24-26, 2015, Saint Paul, MN, USA. Diversicon provides great panels, discussions, readings and a really fun auction with a strong literate focus. Its Guest of Honor is Ytasha L. Womack and its Special Guest is Rob Callahan.

    An individual has donated one membership to Con or Bust in Ytasha L. Womack’s honor.

Head to the Request Assistance page to claim these memberships. Memberships are also immediately available for Archipelacon and Pi-Con; see the Upcoming Cons page for details.

Third: the following cons have donated memberships that will be available during the next assistance request period (May 15-25) and thereafter, if unclaimed, so make your plans now:

  • GeekGirlCon, October 10-11, 2015, Seattle, WA, USA. GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events.

    GeekGirlCon has donated six passes to Con or Bust.

  • Boskone, February 19-21, 2016, Boston, MA, USA. Boskone is New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. Its Guest of Honor is Garth Nix; its Official Artist is Richard Anderson; its Special Guests are Arnie & Cathy Fenner; its Featured Filkers are Vixy & Tony; and the NESFA Press Guest is Bob Eggleton.

    Boskone has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

Thanks for reading, and pass the word!


Request assistance through TOMORROW, Feb. 25

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

Here’s how to request assistance, and here’s the list of upcoming cons for which specific assistance is available. Please spread the word!


Con or Bust now accepting requests for assistance; auction coming soon

From now through February 25, Con or Bust is accepting requests for assistance from fans of color/non-white fans to attend upcoming SFF cons. Here’s how to request assistance; and here’s the current list of upcoming cons for which specific assistance is available.

In addition, Con or Bust’s annual online auction will take place in April this year, tentatively April 13-26. I will announce firm dates and the opening of auction item submissions in the next few weeks.

Please spread the word!


Very-last-minute free membership to Boskone—this weekend

ETA February 13: this membership has been claimed!

Any SFF fans of color/non-white fans in Boston this weekend: Con or Bust has been offered a transferred membership to Boskone, February 13-15, 2015, at the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel. Its Guests are: Steven Brust, Guest of Honor; Charles Lang and Wendy Snow-Lang, Official Artists; Maya and Jeff Bohnhoff, Featured Filkers; Robert K. Wiener, Special Guest; David L. Clements, Science Speaker; and Vincent Di Fate, NESFA Guest.

Again, Boskone starts tomorrow, Friday, February 13, so if you’re interested, head to the Request Assistance page to request the membership! (Also, Boskone has free programming from 2:00-6:00 on Friday, so if you have the afternoon open and can get there, check it out!)


Maneki Neko Con: free memberships available soon

During February 15-25, fans of color/non-white fans can request assistance to attend upcoming SFF cons, including various cons that have donated memberships. The latest con to donate memberships is Maneki Neko Con, October 9-11, 2015, Matteson, IL, USA. Maneki Neko Con is an all-ages science fiction, fantasy, anime, gaming, comics, and miscellaneous geeky fandom convention in Chicago’s south suburbs. It has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

For all the cons that have donated memberships, check out the Upcoming Cons page, and to request memberships and other assistance from February 15-25, see the Request Assistance page. And please spread the word!


free memberships: Dysprosium (Eastercon), JOFCon, Wincon

Fans of color/non-white fans interested in SFF and SFF cons, I have three new con membership donations to announce. Available now:

  • Dysprosium, 3-6 April 2015, Heathrow, UK. Dysprosium is the 2015 Eastercon; its Guests of Honor are Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Herr Döktor, and Caroline Mullan.

    Dysprosium has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, of which one remains. ETA: in what has to be a speed record, this membership has now been claimed.

Available in the Feb. 15-25 assistance request period:

  • JOFCon MSP, October 9-11, 2015, Minneapolis, MN, USA. JOFs are Journeymen of Fandom, including Journeywomen, Journeypersons, Journeybots, Journeyfolk, Journeyfen, Journeyworkers, & Journeyplatypi. All are welcome, so long as they’re interested in learning more about fanac (“fannish activities”).

    JOFCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Wincon, October 15-18, 2015, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Wincon’s mission is to bring together a diverse group of internet-based media fans in an inclusive environment to engage in fannish activities and foster meaningful connections. We aim to provide programming created and led by attendees, on topics drawn from a variety of sources and involving everything from detailed meta to wildly creative fanworks, encompassing all aspects of fandom culture.

    Wincon has donated ten memberships to Con or Bust.

Check out the full list of cons for which assistance is available now or in the upcoming request period, and spread the word!