Category: 2016 Auction

2016 auction final report

Apologies for the long radio silence, everyone; the period after the auction was ludicrously busy (and I’m still not dug out entirely, alas). I’m bringing you a series of updates today, however, starting with the auction final report.

I am pleased to announce that the final total of pledged bids in the 2016 auction was $10,948.00. This may drop slightly over the next couple of days, as there are still a few payments outstanding–if you haven’t heard from me yet, please check your spam folder or comment here, because I sent emails earlier this week informing everyone who hadn’t paid yet that this week was their last chance! Additional donations, including the matching donation, totaled about $2,200, bringing the total to approximately $13,150.

If you by chance haven’t paid yet, please see this post for what to do next; and if you have any questions or concerns, please comment or email me at!

the auction’s (mostly) over, now what?

(Tuesday June 7: my keyboard time has been and will be slightly restricted for various reasons but I expect to be able to catch up with payment emails tonight.)

If this post has published when scheduled, it is 4:01 p.m. Eastern and Con or Bust’s 2016 auction is now over, except for items last-minute bids. This post addresses: (1) how to tell whether bidding on an item is over and if you won; (2) what to do after winning; (3) what to do if you offered an item for auction; and (4) what to do if you need help.

Is Bidding Over? Did I Win?

Bidding gets extended by last-minute bids, so here’s a refresher on whether the bidding on any specific item is over yet:

Was a valid bid on an item posted with a timestamp from 3:50 and 4:00 p.m. today? A valid bid is higher than the last one.

  • No.
    • If the last valid bid on an item was timestamped 3:49 p.m. or earlier, then that bid is automatically the winner.
  • Yes.
    • If a valid bid was timestamped 3:50 p.m., 4:00 p.m., or any time in-between, then bidding on that item is automatically extended until 4:10 p.m.
    • Next, either:
      • no further bids are received timestamped on or before 4:10 p.m., and therefore bidding is over at 4:10 p.m. and the last high bid wins; or,
      • another bid is timestamped on or before 4:10 p.m., and bidding continues until 4:20 p.m. Repeat as necessary.

The extending and closing of bidding is automatic and the determinations are purely mechanical; no mod ruling is required.

If you can’t quite remember what you bid on, you can either search for the name you would have commented under in the sidebar, or you can comment here using the same email address you would have used for bidding and I will email you when the spreadsheet is sorted out.

I Won; What Do I Do Now?

Congratulations and thanks very much! Please pay for your winnings; you don’t need to wait for me to notify you that you’ve won. When you pay, please provide the following information:

  • What item or items you are paying for (it’s fine, in fact preferable, to pay for multiple items at once);
  • If your email address is different than the one you used to comment, what email address was on your comment; and
  • Your shipping address, if you’re having something shipped (if you use the PayPal button and the address in your PayPal account is correct, you can skip this step).

To donate online, you can either follow this link to the PayPal Giving Fund and have 100% of your donation go directly to Con or Bust, or you can use the button below and have your donation reduced by a PayPal fee (a lower charity rate of 2.2% + $0.30). What’s the difference between the two methods?

  • If you need to use a credit card rather than a PayPal account, you must use the button. (You may need to click “Continue” on the left side of the screen, above the credit card logos.)
  • If you use the PayPal Giving Fund, you must then forward your acknowledgment email only to with the information above. (Please do not send money directly to that address!) This extra step is necessary because the Giving Fund doesn’t allow you to leave notes with your donation and doesn’t notify us immediately that your donation has been made, so I literally won’t know you’ve paid.

Please don’t hesitate to use whatever method is most convenient.

If you donate using the above button, on the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions” (in small letters underneath “Purpose” and “Con or Bust”), and add the information listed above. (If you run out of room, forward your email to with the information.)

Once I’ve matched up your donation with your winnings on the spreadsheet, you’ll get two emails from a thank-you receipt for your records, and an email putting you and your seller in touch.

I Offered Something for Auction; What Do I Do Now?

Thank you for offering something! If your auction item sold, you’ll get two emails from a thank-you receipt for your records, and an email putting you and your winner in touch. Then make whatever arrangements are necessary!

If you can’t quite remember all the things you offered, use the search or the index to find any one post, and then click on your name next to “Posted by” to see all the posts you’ve made (note: this will span years, if you’ve offered things before this year).

Finally, I mention this only because some people have asked if they could do it in past years: if bidding was vigorous, you may, where practical and in your sole discretion, offer additional items to people with the high losing bids or who got their bids in late. But that would be an entirely optional exercise of extreme generosity on your part—which means, bidders, don’t importune or I will frown disapprovingly at you over the Internet.

I Need Help!

Comment here or email It is very important to me that everyone who participates in the auction be satisfied that they were treated fairly, and I want to hear about any concerns or problems.


auction ends in just over four hours!

Con or Bust’s annual auction, which is the main way it raises funds to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons, ends today, Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown), unless last-minute bids are received (more details, which I will also put after the jump). 

I previously linked to some auction highlights, but did you know that you can sort the auction index by number of bids or current high bid (or whatever other column you want)? Just hover over the letter at the top of the relevant column and click on the little down-arrow that will appear on the right edge of that column. As of the moment I am publishing this post, the index is current; I will be in and out for the next few hours, so probably the next time I can update will be about 3 p.m., but I hope it will be useful as a rough guide in the meantime.

And now, the instructions on last-minute bidding, copied here for your easy reference:

Read More →

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24 hours left to bid on the auction! (more to get your donation matched)

I’m scheduling this post for 24 hours before the end of this year’s auction, which will be Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown), unless last-minute bids are received (more details). Check out yesterday’s highlights post if you haven’t seen it already!

And if nothing is catching your eye, you can make a simple donation and have it matched–double your donation, now through the end of Monday! I have also fixed the PayPal problem–it really helps if that works, yikes!–and am putting the donation links/button below the cut.

Read More →

highlights of this year’s Con or Bust auction for your admiration and, possibly, bidding

As you know, this year’s Con or Bust auction is ending this Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown), unless last-minute bids are received (more details). You can always check out the Google Docs spreadsheet indexing all offers, now freshly updated with bid information, or scroll all the posts, browse the 2016 auction tags. But on the last weekday of the auction, I wanted to highlight a few things that caught my eye. This is entirely subjective and based on an extremely sleep-deprived pass through the spreadsheet, so (a) zero slight is intended on any item I didn’t mention (seriously, I am so grateful for, and delighted by, everything that’s been offered, you have no idea) and (b) I would really love it if people would comment with their own things that they think deserve more attention.

Here we go, in no particular order:

  • The critiques offered this year are amazing and there are several with few bids, so please check out the whole critique tag, but I wanted to highlight three in particular:
    • E. Lily Yu won a Campbell and has been nominated for a Hugo and a World Fantasy Award for her short fiction; she’s offering a short story critique that no one’s bid on yet.
    • Are you working on a comic strip or a comic book? Tea Fougner, the submissions editor for King Features Syndicate, is offering a portfolio review, and this is an amazing chance to get feedback from someone extremely experienced.
    • And Yoon Ha Lee, whose short fiction is well-known and whose first novel is coming out in–whoa, in a week and a half, why haven’t I preordered it yet? Let me just fix that–is offering a critique of an entire novel.
  • Where else but the Con or Bust auction could you get a brick from Ray Bradbury’s demolished house?
  • Or a custom-made poem, in a handsewn fabric bag that you can wear as a amulet?
  • The lovely folks at Small Beer Press are publishing an “extravagant limited hardcover edition” of The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz: A Romance in Eight Days by Johann Valentin Andreae in a New Version by John Crowley, illustrated by Theo Fadel, and designed by Jacob McMurray. If you’re seeing this after their Kickstarter ends, or you want to get one of these beautiful and weird books for a lower price, check out their auction offer!
  • The Wheel of Time ebook cover art prints aren’t new to the auction, as the also-lovely folks at have donated them before, but you can’t buy them anywhere and I can personally vouch for what excellent quality they are.
  • This is probably a mistake, but … Dark Matter Chocolate Laboratory is offering a truly enormous quantity of custom-made chocolate, geeky or otherwise. Actually, never mind, pretend I didn’t mention it (she says, looking at her current high bid).
  • I am not bidding on either of these offers of custom jewelry, but only because I’m out of creative inspiration at the moment:
  • Non-custom jewelry! I’m not bidding on these because I already have similar items, but I can therefore vouch for how great they are.
  • The “I wish I had a need for these items” category:
  • The “extremely smart people offering to help you” (non-fiction-critique) category:
    • Tea and advice with Rose Fox, who is Publishers Weekly senior reviews editor, coedited the anthology Long Hidden, and was program chair of Readercon for three years. You know, minor things like that. /understatement
    • Four hours of project management services from Changeset Consulting. Do you need help getting a project planned and organized, writing a grant, assessing how you’re recruiting and dealing with new volunteers or employees, getting a software project ready for open source release, or many other things? Then this is for you. (I have a dreadful feeling that I could really have used this in the leadup to incorporation and this year’s auction. Don’t be like me; actually get some sleep!)
  • All of this year’s name-a-character offers are awesome, but the one I keep coming back to is the offer to name a villain (and recommend a gruesome and personalized death!) in the last book of Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith’s The Change series. I’m not sure who I would list, but if someone immediately popped into your mind when you read that description, go check it out.
  • Finally, I know that a lot of offers are restricted to shipping within the US (because of expense and/or publishing rights), and I regret that. But if you’re in the UK,
    then the lovely folks at Orbit UK have offered lots of signed books just for you, which I hope is some small consolation. (Of course there are many, many other books on offer–a significant fraction of which will ship worldwide!–but I thought the UK-only ones might’ve gotten lost in the crowd.)

What have you been eyeing? Please use the comments to chime in and help awesome things find the people who will love them!



reminders: bid on the auction by June 5; request assistance by June 6

Two reminders:

First, the auction: bidding will on this year’s auction will end Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown), unless last-minute bids are received (more details). I hope to do some posts highlighting auction offers tomorrow, but until the day job is less demanding, check out the Google Docs spreadsheet indexing all offers, now freshly updated with bid information (or scroll all the posts or browse the 2016 auction tags).

Second, requesting assistance: fans of color/non-white fans may request monetary assistance, and free memberships to cons in the fall or later, through Monday, June 6, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern (date-stamped; I may or may not be awake to turn off the form). To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page.

This year’s auction period is shorter, and this quarter’s request-assistance period is later, than usual, so please make sure to spread the word!


Body Work Graphic Novel (signed by Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel)

Form 4 Entry 153 Fileupload 1Item Name and Description: 1 Copy of the softcover Body Work Graphic Novel (otherwise known as the trade paperback of the Issues #1 to #5). To be signed by authors Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel and dedicated to the winner’s specification.

Starting Bid: $3

Shipping: Anywhere with a postal system

Bidding is now open and will close on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown) unless bids are received in the last ten minutes (learn more).


Name a character in Aliette de Bodard’s forthcoming novel THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

Form 4 Entry 152 Fileupload 1 Form 4 Entry 152 Fileupload 2Item Name and Description: Name a character in Aliette de Bodard’s forthcoming THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS (sequel to THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, due out April 2017).

Your chance to have someone of your choice feature in fractured post-magical-war Paris! I’ll also send you a signed ARC of the book when they come in.

You will be able to provide the first name of the character, and maybe the last name as well (within reason). I may need to slightly alter it to fit into the setting of the book, though I will do my best to insert it as specified. Your character may not survive for long, though!

Starting Bid: 20$

Other Notes: The book is is being revised now, so you would need to provide the name before the end of June 2016.

Bidding is now open and will close on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown) unless bids are received in the last ten minutes (learn more).


auction bidding note: subscriptions to new comments

If you subscribed to new comments on an auction post in the last little while (ballpark of 9:30-10:45 p.m. Eastern), there’s a chance your subscription might have gotten eaten by my trying to debug a problem. To be sure that you’re subscribed if you want to be, go to the post and, down below the commenting form, click on the word “subscribe” where it says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.” Enter your email address, and then you’ll definitely be subscribed (if you were already, it won’t tell you that, but it also won’t send you two copies of every comment).

Apologies for not noticing this problem before bidding went live. Please let me know if you have any questions or problems.

Name a character in John Scalzi’s forthcoming novel

CollapsingEmpire_coverfullItem Name and Description: Name a character in John Scalzi’s forthcoming novel The Collapsing Empire!

You will be able to provide the last name of the character, and probably the first name as well (within reason, e.g., not Redshirty McRedshirt). The character will have at least one line of dialogue. John can’t guarantee that the character will not be sucked into the cold bleak darkness of space, but if they are, they probably won’t be alone in the predicament (unless you want them to be, which might be possible depending on how the bidding goes).

Starting Bid: $100.

Other Notes: this book is currently scheduled to be published in 2017, and is being written now, so you would need to provide the name within a week of the auction’s close.

Bidding is now open and will close on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown) unless bids are received in the last ten minutes (learn more).


This is an archive view of Con or Bust's 2013-2016 auctions and posts. For the 2017 auction, to request assistance, and other current information, please see Con or Bust's main site.