Category: Information

request assistance now through August 25

Fans of color/non-white fans: you can request assistance to attend upcoming SFF cons now through August 25, 2017. To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. (Please note the updated policy regarding travel insurance!) For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page.

Please feel free to comment with any questions, and please spread the word!


updated policy regarding requesting monetary assistance

Fans of color/non-white fans: as of now, if you request monetary assistance from Con or Bust for non-refundable expenses, i.e., flights (or, occasionally, hotel pre-payment), you are required to purchase travel cancellation insurance.

Here is some background information on travel insurance: a short article from Consumer Reports; USA Today on comparing plans; and’s Top 8 Travel Insurance Providers. Con or Bust is requiring travel cancellation insurance, so we can get back at least part of the cost of your non-refundable plane tickets if you have to cancel. Any other kind of insurance is not mandatory.

Monetary assistance can next be requested August 15-25. Thanks, and please spread the word!


Support Con or Bust when shopping at Amazon on Tues., July 11

If you already shop at Amazon, you can have Amazon automatically donate a portion of your purchases to Con or Bust:

If you click on the above banner or go to Con or Bust’s Amazon Smile page and then log in, Amazon will donate 0.5% of every eligible purchase you make to Con or Bust–as long as you start shopping at (After you log in, it’ll give you some suggestions for doing that automatically, and also remind you from the website itself if you’re logged in.)

And if you’re an Amazon Prime member, there will be many deals exclusively for Prime members tomorrow, Tuesday, July 11, 2017; so if there’s something you had your eye on, check it out.

(As always, I realize that some people choose not to shop at Amazon; this is not meant as a request to reconsider those choices, but as information for those who’ve chosen otherwise.)

Thanks, and please spread the word!


help wanted: test commenting speed (again)

Hi all,

I am home today with a mildly sick kid (no worries, all will be well) and would like your help in testing the latest iteration in the ongoing saga of Con or Bust’s Commenting Times.

To wit: the post you are on right now is Con or Bust’s original site/main domain/etc. I would really love it if you could please post a comment here and take note of how long it took the comment to post. Hold that thought until step two.

(Feel free to be creative in your test comments, though remaining within the bounds of good taste. Favorite quotes? Song recommendations? Get your pet to walk across the keyboard? But “testing” is fine too, I’m just hoping for as many comments as possible.)

Then, leave a comment on our testing site, where there is also a very quick poll asking for your findings.

Thanks so much!


request assistance now through May 25!

Fans of color/non-white fans: now through May 25, 2017, you can request monetary assistance to attend any upcoming SFF con. To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which specific assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page. (However, you’re not limited to requesting assistance for those cons; any upcoming SFF con is fine.)

Thanks, and please spread the word!


reminder: auction items are intended for personal use

Dear all,

Just a quick reminder that, as it says on the auction page,

publishers, authors, and other donors have generally donated books and other items on the understanding that they will be bid on by fans for their personal use, and not by resellers. Please respect this so that people will feel comfortable continuing to donate to the auction.

That’s not to say that if, for instance, a few years from now you are moving and need to reduce the size of your library, you can’t include your Con or Bust winnings in the stack of books you bring to any local used bookstore that still exists; but please go into bidding with your personal use and enjoyment as the goal.

Thanks very much for your understanding, and let me know if you have any questions.

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


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.