Author: Kate Nepveu

Bidding now open for Con or Bust’s annual auction!

Bidding is now open for Con or Bust’s annual auction, which is the main way that we raise funds for the entire next twelve months to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons. Bidding will end Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversionscountdown), EXCEPT that last-minute bidding on an item will extend the bidding for that item (details).

Find things to bid by browsing all 2017 auction posts, looking at the 2017 auction tags, or sorting/filtering the Google Docs index. (Later in the bidding period, I’ll update the spreadsheet with the current high bids and number of bids, to make it easier to find overlooked bargains; I’ll also eventually flag items I feel aren’t getting enough love.)

Once you find something you’d like to bid on, just leave a comment with a working email address (edit: in the email field; you don’t also have to put it in the comment text) and a bid in U.S. dollars that is higher than any previous bid. You can also subscribe to comments to get notified of later bids.

If there’s nothing that catches your eye, but you’d still like to support Con or Bust, there are several ways you can. Here’s the full list, and here is a handy PayPal donation button for your convenience (requires a PayPal account, but using this means that PayPal covers all the fees).

(If you need to use a credit card, there’s a button on the Support page; also a handy form for a recurring PayPal donation and an Amazon Smile link, among other things.)

Finally, the auction submission form is now closed; please email me to discuss if you’d like to offer, because we have only a very limited ability to add items after bidding has started.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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


Null States by Malka Older (ARC)

Item Name and Description: An advance reading copy of Null States by Malka Older (forthcoming, September 2017). Donated by Tor Books.

Null States continues Malka Older’s Centenal Cycle, the trilogy beginning with Infomocracy

The future of democracy is about to implode.

After the last controversial global election, the global infomocracy that has ensured thirty years of world peace is fraying at the edges. As the new Supermajority government struggles to establish its legitimacy, agents of Information across the globe strive to keep the peace and maintain the flows of data that feed the new world order.

In the newly-incorporated DarFur, a governor dies in a fiery explosion. In Geneva, a superpower hatches plans to bring microdemocracy to its knees. In Central Asia, a sprawling war among archaic states threatens to explode into a global crisis. And across the world, a shadowy plot is growing, threatening to strangle Information with the reins of power.

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other Notes: A copy of this is also in the 10-title Publishing prize pack.

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


The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross (ARC)

Item Name and Description: an advance reading copy of The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross (forthcoming, July 2017). Donated by Tor Books.

“Smart, literate, funny.” —Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

Someone is dead set to air the spy agency’s dirty laundry in The Delirium Brief, the next installment to Charles Stross’ Hugo Award-winning comedic dark fantasy Laundry Files series!

Bob Howard’s career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat with indescribably repellent creatures of pure evil. It has also involved a wearying amount of paperwork and office politics, and his expense reports are still a mess.

Now, following the invasion of Yorkshire by the Host of Air and Darkness, the Laundry’s existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organization has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a British government looking for public services to privatize.

Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other Notes: A copy of this is also in the 10-title Publishing prize pack.

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


The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi trade paperback (signed)

Item Name and Description: A signed trade paperback of The Quantum Thief by . Donated by Tor Books.

Jean le Flambeur gets up in the morning and has to kill himself before his other self can kill him first. Just another day in the Dilemma Prison. Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is a currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turned-singularity lights the night. Meanwhile, investigator Isidore Beautrelet, called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur….

Indeed, in his many lives, the entity called Jean le Flambeur has been a thief, a confidence artist, a posthuman mind-burglar, and more. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his deeds are known throughout the Heterarchy, from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. In his last exploit, he managed the supreme feat of hiding the truth about himself from the one person in the solar system hardest to hide from: himself. Now he has the chance to regain himself in all his power―in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed.

Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief is a breathtaking joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people who communicate via shared memory, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as an MMORPG guild. But for all its wonders, The Quantum Thief is also a story powered by very human motives of betrayal, jealousy, and revenge. It is a stunning debut.

One of Library Journal’s Best SF/Fantasy Books of 2011

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other Notes: This is being shipped by the publisher, so inscription to a particular person is not available.

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


Autonomous by Annalee Newitz (ARC)

Item Name and Description: An advance reading copy of Autonomous by Annalee Newitz (forthcoming, September 2017). Donated by Tor Books.

The highly anticipated science fiction debut from the founder of io9!

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other Notes: none.

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


Con or Bust Newsletter for April 18, 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

New Conventions

The following cons have recently donated memberships to Con or Bust:

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 notavailable to these cons.

  • StokerCon, April 27-30, 2017, Long Beach, CA, USA.
  • Ice & Fire Con, April 28-30, 2017, Pembroke, VA, USA (two memberships available by April 20).
  • WisCon, May 26-29, 2017, Madison, WI, USA.

Other News

  • As mentioned in the deadlines section, Con or Bust is accepting items for auction now through Sunday, April 23. Bidding will run from April 24 through May 7. This is Con or Bust’s principal fundraiser for the entire year, so please consider offering something for auction, bidding, or spreading the word.

Fandom News

  • Anathema has published its first issue; it is a free, online tri-annual magazine publishing speculative fiction (SF/F/H, the weird, slipstream, surrealism, fabulism, and more) by queer people of colour on every range of the LGBTQIA spectrum.
  • The African Speculative Fiction Society has announced the short list nominees for the 2017 Nommo Awards, awarded to speculative fiction published in 2015 or 2016 by Africans. The awards will be announced and presented at the Aké Festival in Nigeria in November 2017.
  • Cat Rambo has increased the number of Plunkett scholarship slots for her online classes, with three now available for each, “the third of which is specifically reserved for QUILTBAG and POC applicants.”

And finally, here is a cute picture of a sea otter.

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

Kate Nepveu


new free memberships: GeekGirlCon

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

GeekGirlCon, September 30 & October 1, 2017, 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 ten passes to Con or Bust.

To learn how to request 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!


Fonda Lee’s JADE CITY (signed galley)

Item Name and Description: a signed galley (advance reading copy) of Fonda Lee’s JADE CITY, forthcoming, November 2017, donated by Orbit.

JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: to the United States and Canada only, because of publishing rights.

Other Notes: this will be delivered at a later date, as Orbit doesn’t have the galleys yet.

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

{ 1 Comment } Publishing prize pack of 10 titles

Item Name and Description: one of three prize packs from Publishing, containing the following ten titles, some of which have not been released yet:

  1. Infomocracy by Malka Older
  2. Null States by Malka Older (ARC; forthcoming, September 2017)
  3. River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
  4. The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross (ARC; forthcoming, July 2017)
  5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  6. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (ARC; forthcoming, June 2017)
  7. Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman
  8. Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan
  9. Fortress at the End of Time by Joe M. McDermott
  10. Standard Hollywood Depravity by Adam Christopher

Cover copy and cover images behind the read more.

Starting Bid: $40.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other Notes: Three sets available; top three bids win. Consecutive bids must still increase.

Edit: single copies of Null States and The Delirium Brief have also been donated by Tor Books, if you’re interested in those specifically and don’t want to bid on all ten titles.

Read More →

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