Author: Kate Nepveu

Con or Bust Newsletter for April 3, 2017

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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 a membership to Nine Worlds, 4-6 August 2017, London, England, UK, in order to be registered in time to receive the hotel booking link (more information).
  • April 20, 2017: request a membership to Ice & Fire Con, April 28-30, 2017, Pembroke, VA, USA.
  • April 23, 2017: donate items to Con or Bust’s annual online auction.

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 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.
  • Ice & Fire Con, April 27-28, 2018, Mt Sterling, OH, USA (two tickets available).
  • StokerCon, April 27-30, 2017, Long Beach, CA, USA.

Other News

Fandom News

  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia is tracking “all short fiction and novels published during 2017 only in English-language speculative markets by Latin American authors.” Here is the list, which also has a link to a form for people to submit data.
  • Jack Jones Literary Arts, a multifaceted book publicity company, is hosting its first annual writing retreat in Eureka Springs, AR, from October 16–30, 2017. It is open exclusively to women of color; there are available nine fully-funded scholarships, travel stipends, and admissions fee reimbursements. The application deadline is May 1, 2017.
  • Lethe Press is seeking reprint submissions for two anthologies with approaching deadlines: Heiresses of Russ 2017, edited by Dayna Ingram and Steve Berman, will publish “quality works of the fantastic, the weird, the wondrous involving women (cis- and trans-) who identify as lesbian” (deadline April 30, 2017); and Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, edited by Bogi Takács, will publish “the best work of transgender-themed fiction with elements of the strange, the weird, the fantastic, horror and science-fiction” (deadline May 30, 2017).

And finally, here is a soothing link, to an article about the 3D abstract fractal art of Silvia Cordedda.

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

​Kate Nepveu

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new free memberships: Ice & Fire Con; Beach City Con

Fans of color/non-white fans: Con or Bust has the following new memberships available, first-come first-serve:

Ice & Fire Con, April 28-30, 2017, Pembroke, VA, USA. Ice & Fire Con is a convention themed around George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Ice & Fire Con has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by April 20, 2017. Note that attendees must be 18 years or older.


Beach City Con, October 13-15, 2017, Virginia Beach, VA, USA. The first Steven Universe convention is a fan-run non-profit event that will offer traditional convention programming with a Crystal Gem twist.

Beach City Con has donated two tickets to Con or Bust, to be claimed by October 6, 2018.


And for planning-ahead purposes, the following memberships will be available during May 15-25, 2017, when fans of color can next request monetary assistance to cons as well as memberships:

Ice & Fire Con, April 27-28, 2018, Mt Sterling, OH, USA. Ice & Fire Con is a convention themed around George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Ice & Fire Con has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by April 20, 2018. Note that attendees must be 18 years or older.


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.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by SL Huang (limited edition)

Item Name and Description: A limited print edition copy of The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by SL Huang (only 100 copies printed), donated by Book Smugglers Publishing.

A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid from the author of HUNTING MONSTERS 

I suppose if this is going to be recorded somewhere for posterity, I should set the record straight. The ghostwriter will probably cut it all, but hey, it’s the principle of the thing.

Dr. Cadence Mbella is the world’s most celebrated scholar of the atargati: sentient, intelligent deep-water beings who are most definitely not mermaids. When Cadence decides to release a captive atargati from scientific experimentation and interrogation, she knows her career and her life is forfeit. But she still yearns for the atargati–there is still so much to know about their physiology, their society, their culture. And Cadence would do anything to more fully understand the atargati… no matter what the cost.

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other Notes: None.

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

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The Beatriceid by Kate Elliott (limited edition)

Item Name and Description: A limited edition print copy of The Beatriceid by Kate Elliott (cover art by Julie Dillon, only 100 copies printed), donated by Book Smugglers Publishing.

A stunning new short story, written in verse, set in Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker Universe

Before Andevai, the waking of dreaming dragons, the war for Europa, and the cruel treachery of the Wild Hunt, cousins Catherine and Beatrice Hassi Barahal were novice students at the Academy. Here, Cat and Bee learned of mathematics and politics, history and storytelling. But not all stories are told or remembered in the same way–particularly where the tale of Dido and Aeneas, and the fate of Carthage and Rome are concerned.

To the victors go the spoils–only this time, it is the gilded-tongued Bee and the quick-footed Cat who will collect the winnings.

Set before the start of Cold MagicThe Beatriceid is a brand new, standalone short story written in Iambic Pentameter that reimagines The Aeneid in a feminist, Phonecian light.

This limited edition is out of print.

Starting Bid: $10.

Shipping: Worldwide.

Other notes: None.

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

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new free memberships: Nine Worlds (London, UK)

Fans of color/non-white fans: the following con has donated new free memberships, available first-come-first-serve:

Nine Worlds, 4-6 August 2017, London, England, UK. Nine Worlds is a geekfest, or a multi media, multi-genre residential pop culture convention.

Nine Worlds has donated twenty tickets to Con or Bust. Anyone who requests a membership by the end of Thursday, April 6 will be emailed the booking link for the convention hotel that Saturday (more information).

Please note: money to pay for the convention hotel can be requested only during May 15-25. Requesting a membership now just gets you on the list for the booking link.

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.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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free memberships available to Westercon 70

Fans of color/non-white fans: Con or Bust has available now, first-come first-serve, the following new memberships:

Westercon 70, July 1-4, 2017, Tempe, AZ, USA. Westercon is the most prestigious regional science fiction and fantasy convention on the west coast; Westercon 70 is also Leprecon 43 (an annual Arizona con). Its Guests of Honor are Julie Dillon, Tom Deadstuff, Larry Elmore, Connie Willis, Gini Koch, Tim Griffin, and Weston Ochse.

Westercon 70 has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by June 15, 2017.

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.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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