Author: Kate Nepveu

Fallen London: Firkin of Hesperidean Cider

Item Name & Description: a Firkin of Hesperidean Cider, an in-game item from Fallen London, donated by Failbetter Games.

Hesperidean Cider may just be the secret to immortality, and it’s the most expensive item in Fallen London. Though it’s been in the game from the earliest days, only a handful of players possess it.

This is the chance for one lucky soul to acquire this miraculous drink. Your Fallen London character will acquire a Firkin of Hesperidean Cider. With it in your possession you need never fear Death again — waltz from the Boatman’s clutches and back to Fallen London in a single action! Are your friends suffering from wounds? Then invite them over for a tipple! See their injuries miraculously close!

Be the talk of the Fifth City. Be a Hesperidean.

Starting Bid: $100.

Shipping: n/a.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan (limited Subterranean Press edition)

Item Name & Description: a limited edition of Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan, donated by Subterranean Press.

What exactly is the difference between a love letter and a suicide note? Is there really any difference at all? These might be the questions posed by Dear Sweet Filthy World, Caitlín R. Kiernan’s fourteenth collection of short fiction, comprised of twenty-eight uncollected and impossible-to-find stories.

Treading the grim places where desire and destruction, longing and horror intersect, the author rises once again to meet the high expectations she set with such celebrated collections as Tales of Pain and Wonder, To Charles Fort, With Love, and the World Fantasy Award-winning The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories. In these pages you’ll meet a dragon’s lover, a drowned vampire cursed always to ride the tides, a wardrobe that grants wishes, and a lunatic artist’s marriage of the Black Dahlia and the Beast of Gévaudan. You’ll visit a ruined post-industrial Faerie, travel back to tropical Paleozoic seas and ahead to the far-flung future, and you’ll meet a desperate writer forced to sell her memories for new ideas. Here are twenty-eight tales of apocalypse and rebirth, of miraculous transformation and utter annihilation. Here is the place where professing your undying devotion might be precisely the same thing as signing your own death warrant—or worse.

The stories in Dear Sweet Filthy World were first published in the subscription-only Sirenia Digest, run by Caitlín for her most devoted readers. This publication marks the first availability to the general public for most of these rare tales.

This is one of 600 signed numbered copies, bound in leather, with the bonus volume, The Aubergine Alphabet.

Starting Bid: $25.

Shipping: United States only, because of publishing rights.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


Final Girls by Mira Grant (limited Subterranean Press edition)

Item Name & Description: a limited edition of Final Girls by Mira Grant, donated by Subterranean Press.

What if you could fix the worst parts of yourself by confronting your worst fears?

Dr. Jennifer Webb has invented proprietary virtual reality technology that purports to heal psychological wounds by running clients through scenarios straight out of horror movies and nightmares. In a carefully controlled environment, with a medical cocktail running through their veins, sisters might develop a bond they’ve been missing their whole lives—while running from the bogeyman through a simulated forest. But…can real change come so easily?

Esther Hoffman doubts it. Esther has spent her entire journalism career debunking pseudoscience, after phony regression therapy ruined her father’s life. She’s determined to unearth the truth about Dr. Webb’s budding company. Dr. Webb’s willing to let her, of course, for reasons of her own. What better advertisement could she get than that of a convinced skeptic? But Esther’s not the only one curious about how this technology works. Enter real-world threats just as frightening as those created in the lab. Dr. Webb and Esther are at odds, but they may also be each other’s only hope of survival.

With her new novella Final Girls, bestselling, award-winning author Mira Grant has conjured a heartstopping, gut-wrenching story filled with as many twists as it is versions of reality. Grant offers a chilling exploration of how surviving horrors might define us all.

This is one of 1250 signed numbered copies, with a dust jacket illustration by Julie Dillon.

Starting Bid: $25.

Shipping: United States only, because of publishing rights.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong (limited Subterranean Press edition)

Item Name & Description: a limited edition of Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong, donated by Subterranean Press.

The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.

This is one of 500 signed numbered copies, bound in leather, with full-color interior illustrations.

Starting Bid: $25.

Shipping: United States only, because of publishing rights.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


Annual Report for 2016 and Board Meeting Minutes

On March 19, 2017, Con or Bust’s Board of Directors held its annual meeting. The full minutes are available online, but the highlights are:

  • We re-elected Mark Oshiro as member of the Board of Directors and President; and we thanked Zen Cho, outgoing Director, for her service.
  • We adopted our 2016 annual report, which summarized our activity for the year. To summarize the summary: in 2016, we provided assistance for people of color/non-white people to attend SFF cons 99 times, through $19,237.00 in monetary assistance and 85 donated memberships and/or sets of donated hotel room nights.
  • We submitted our required annual filings.
  • And I informed the Board that I was strongly considering not running for re-election when my current term expires in spring 2019, which will be my ten-year anniversary of running the day-to-day operations of Con or Bust. I will announce my decision before the spring 2018 election, to allow for lots of transition time if necessary. Regardless, we agreed that we should identify and encourage new candidates for the Board next year (and/or people who could start volunteering this year!), to bring new perspectives and to keep improving Con or Bust’s stability as an institution, not just my personal project.

So, if you believe in Con or Bust’s mission and have ideas and time to contribute, consider running for the Board next year! (There’s some information about what that means in the election announcement post and its comments; feel free to comment if that doesn’t answer your questions.) Or let me know if you’re interested in volunteering now, either by commenting or emailing offering suggestions, helping out with the auction, running local fundraisers: we are all ears.

Thanks as always for your support and for spreading the word!


Con or Bust Newsletter for March 22, 2017

[Crossposted from Tinyletter. Get future newsletters delivered to your inbox by subscribing.]

Dear all,

Welcome back to the Con or Bust newsletter, which, approximately twice a month, updates you on Con or Bust events and deadlines and brings you news related to diversity in SFF fandom (scholarships, workshops, calls for submissions, awards, and the like). Your email address will always be kept private and you can unsubscribe at any time, at the bottom of the email.

Con or Bust News

Upcoming Deadlines

  • April 6, 2017: request free membership to TGIF/F, April 7-9, 2017, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • April 23, 2017: donate items to Con or Bust’s annual online auction.

New Memberships

The following new memberships are now available:

  • Worldcon 75, 9-13 August, 2017, Helsinki, Finland. Two memberships are available, one of which is for a first-time Worldcon attendee only.

Here is the full list of conventions to which memberships are available, and here is how to request a membership.

Upcoming Conventions

The following cons donated memberships to Con or Bust (or, occasionally, an individual donated memberships), and are happening now or soon, in case you’re looking for last-minute plans. Unless otherwise noted, memberships are not available to these cons.

  • TGIF/F, April 7-9, 2017, Los Angeles, CA, USA (five passes available).
  • Lunacon, April 7-9, 2017, Tarrytown, NY, USA.
  • Norwescon, April 13–16, 2017, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • StokerCon, April 27-30, 2017, Long Beach, CA, USA.

Other News

  • As noted above, Con or Bust’s annual online auction is now accepting items for donation! Items should be submitted by Sunday, April 23; bidding will open Monday, April 24. Check out the blog for more information.

Fandom News

  • FIYAH: A Magazine of Speculative Black Fiction has published the 2016 Black SFF Writer Survey Report, which is “a contextualization tool” for past reports of anti-black bias in publishing: “With this survey, we are attempting to add what is probably the most neglected–and most important–perspective to the conversation: that of black writers themselves.”

And finally, here is a cute animal picture, of an otter sliding on its belly.

Thanks for reading! See you in a couple of weeks.

​Kate Nepveu


available now: two free memberships to WorldCon 75

Fans of color/non-white fans: the following memberships are available now, first-come first-serve:

  • Worldcon 75, 9-13 August, 2017, Helsinki, Finland. Worldcon 75 is the annual World Science Fiction Convention for 2017. Its Guests of Honor are John-Henri Holmberg, Nalo Hopkinson, Johanna Sinisalo, Claire Wendling, and Walter Jon Williams.

    Two memberships donated by individuals are available; note that one is a first Worldcon membership. (Previously: Worldcon 75 donated 25 attending memberships and 25 hotel room nights, all of which have been claimed; and two other memberships donated by individuals were claimed.)

To learn how to request these memberships, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page.

Thanks, and please spread the word!


homemade chocolate chip cookies

Item Name and Description: Approximately 30 soft, dense, delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Starting Bid: $5

Shipping: Priority mail within the United States only. (I have shipped these literally across the country and they have arrived undamaged.)

Other Notes: I can generally provide these within a week of payment, but we can work out the best time for you.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


Announcing Con or Bust’s 2017 auction!

I’m pleased to announce that Con or Bust’s annual auction is now accepting items for auction! Bidding will start on Monday, April 24, 2017.

Con or Bust’s annual auction is its principal source of funds for the next twelve months. Anyone can offer something to be auctioned; all you need is an email address. Con or Bust tends to run heavy on books and writing-related offers, for obvious reasons, but crafts, care packages, that good-condition piece of clothing or jewelry that you just never wear — anything legal, practical, and morally and ethically appropriate is welcome. Here’s more information, or you can jump right to the Submit an Auction form. We’ll even host your images for you!

Auction offers must be submitted by Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown). This gives me a short window to make sure I approve all posts before bidding goes live on Monday, April 24.

You’ll get an email from when your post goes live, which should usually take no more than 24 hours at the very longest. I’ve made a number of back-end improvements to reduce the likelihood that these emails land in spam folders, but please keep an eye out anyway.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

(This post will temporarily be made sticky; please scroll or check out the sidebar to see what’s been submitted!)

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


Amazon donating 5% of eligible purchases to Con or Bust today only

Today, March 16, 2017, from 12:00 a.m. PST (when this post is scheduled to publish) through 11:59 PST, Amazon will donate 5% of the price of eligible products to Con or Bust through AmazonSmile—10 times its usual rate.

Click on the above banner or go to Con or Bust’s Amazon Smile page and log in for your purchases to be counted. Again, this is a donation from Amazon, and does not affect the purchase price of your product. So if you were planning to get something from Amazon anyway, now would be a great time to do it!

Thanks, and please spread the word!