Category: Information

Au Contraire 2016 (New Zealand) free membership, available soon

For those planning ahead, I’m pleased to announce what I believe is Con or Bust’s first donation from a Southern Hemisphere con: Au Contraire 2016, 3-5 June, 2016, Wellington, New Zealand. Au Contraire is the 37th National Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention for New Zealand (NatCon for short). Its Guests include Stephanie Paul (Iron Sky), Martin Wallace (Treefrog Games), and A.J. Fitzwater.

Au Contraire has donated one membership to Con or Bust. Fans of color/non-white fans can request it during the next request assistance period, August 15-25; see the Request Assistance page for more information.

And for the other memberships to be available in August, and lots available right this minute, check out the Upcoming Cons page. Thanks, and please spread the word!

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23 free memberships to Sasquan, this year’s WorldCon

Fans of color/non-white fans: thanks to the incredible generosity of a private donor, Con or Bust has available twenty-three (23) free attending memberships to Sasquan (August 19-23, 2015, Spokane, WA, USA). Sasquan is the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon). Its guests of honor are Brad Foster, David Gerrold, Vonda N. McIntyre, Tom Smith, and Leslie Turek.

These are first-come first-served and must be claimed in time for the recipients to make the August 2 pre-registration deadline; please go to the Request Assistance page to learn how. And please spread the word!

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Happy Puppies fundraiser at John Scalzi’s blog

Through Sunday, June 7 (11:59pm Eastern time), John Scalzi will donate $1 for every picture of your happy pup posted over at his blog. If you have a dog, go post a picture! If you don’t, or if you just need a happy-dog pick-me-up, go enjoy the thread!

Many thanks to John, and to all who’ve already posted and spread the word. And as a reminder, Con or Bust currently has a whole lot of free memberships available for fans of color/non-white fans, so check it out!

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free memberships to 11 cons in 3 countries, available now

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

  • Archipelacon, June 25-28, 2015, Mariehamn, Åland, Finland. Archipelacon is the Nordic SF & Fantasy convention (but its main language will be English). Its Guests of Honor are George R.R. Martin, Johanna Sinisalo, and Karin Tidbeck.

    Archipelacon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Pi-Con, July 31-August 2, 2015, Windsor Locks, CT, USA. Pi-Con is “the friendliest little convention in New England”; its Guest of Honor is Tanya Huff and its Guest of Awesome is Vikki Ciaffone.

    Pi-Con has donated six memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Nine Worlds, 7-9 August 2015, London, UK. Nine Worlds is about gaming, film, cosplay, fandom, literature, science, geek culture, meeting people and having a really big party.

    Nine Worlds has donated twenty (20) passes to Con or Bust, to be claimed by 1 August, of which 15 remain.

  • BristolCon, September 26th 2015, Bristol, UK. BristolCon is a fun, friendly and informative one-day con. Its Guests of Honour in 2015 will be writers Jasper Fforde and Jaine Fenn, with a possible artist GoH to be confirmed.

    BristolCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, which should be claimed by the end of August.

  • Sirens, October 8–11, 2015, Denver, CO, USA. Sirens is a conference dedicated to the remarkable women of fantasy literature: readers, authors, publishing professionals, scholars, educators, librarians, and even characters. Its Guests of Honor are Rae Carson, Kate Elliott, and Yoon Ha Lee, and its theme is rebels and revolutionaries.

    Sirens has donated three registrations and shuttle tickets to Con or Bust, (edit) which have all been claimed. In addition, an individual has donated another registration & shuttle ticket. These should be claimed by September 12, the registration deadline.

  • JOFCon MSP, October 9-11, 2015, Minneapolis, MN, USA. JOFs are Journeymen of Fandom, including Journeywomen, Journeypersons, Journeybots, Journeyfolk, Journeyfen, Journeyworkers, & Journeyplatypi. All are welcome, so long as they’re interested in learning more about fanac (“fannish activities”).

    JOFCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Maneki Neko Con, October 9-11, 2015, Matteson, IL, USA. Maneki Neko Con is an all-ages science fiction, fantasy, anime, gaming, comics, and miscellaneous geeky fandom convention in Chicago’s south suburbs.

    Maneki Neko Con has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Octocon, October 9-11, Dublin, Ireland. Octocon is the National Irish Science Fiction Convention. Its Guests of Honor this year are Maura McHugh and Emma Newman.

    Octocon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, of which one remains.

  • GeekGirlCon, October 10-11, 2015, 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 six passes to Con or Bust.

  • Wincon, October 15-18, 2015, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Wincon’s mission is to bring together a diverse group of internet-based media fans in an inclusive environment to engage in fannish activities and foster meaningful connections. It aims to provide programming created and led by attendees, on topics drawn from a variety of sources and involving everything from detailed meta to wildly creative fanworks, encompassing all aspects of fandom culture.

    Wincon has donated ten memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Arcana, October 23-25, 2015, St. Paul, MN, USA. Arcana is a small horror/dark fantasy con; its Guest of Honor is Catherine Lundoff.

    Ms. Lundoff has offered to donate one membership to Arcana.

Go to the Request Assistance page to claim a membership, and please spread the word!

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BristolCon, Sasquan, Sirens memberships available

The following free memberships are now available for fans of color/non-white fans:

  • Sasquan, August 19-23, 2015, Spokane, WA, USA. Sasquan is the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon). Its guests of honor are Brad Foster, David Gerrold, Vonda N. McIntyre, Tom Smith, and Leslie Turek.

    Sasquan donated three attending memberships to Con or Bust, which have been claimed. An individual has also donated an attending membership to Con or Bust. (EDIT: now claimed.)

  • BristolCon, September 26th 2015, Bristol, UK. BristolCon is a fun, friendly and informative one-day con. Its Guests of Honour in 2015 will be writers Jasper Fforde and Jaine Fenn, with a possible artist GoH to be confirmed.

    BristolCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, which should be claimed by the end of August.

  • Sirens, October 8–11, 2015, Denver, CO, USA. Sirens is a conference dedicated to the remarkable women of fantasy literature: readers, authors, publishing professionals, scholars, educators, librarians, and even characters. Its Guests of Honor are Rae Carson, Kate Elliott, and Yoon Ha Lee, and its theme is rebels and revolutionaries.

    Sirens has donated three registrations and shuttle tickets to Con or Bust. (EDIT: two claimed.)

These can be requested individually or, through May 25, as part of a broader assistance request. Please see the Request Assistance page for more information, and please spread the word!

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Request assistance through Monday, May 25

Reminder: Con or Bust will be accepting requests for assistance from fans of color/non-white fans to attend SFF cons through Monday, May 25. (Requests must be timestamped on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern; I may or may not be awake to turn the form off.)

Here’s how to request assistance, and here’s the list of upcoming cons for which specific assistance is available. Please spread the word!

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Invisible 2 anthology to benefit Con or Bust

Cover Jim C. Hines today announced publication of Invisible 2, a ebook anthology of essays about representation in science fiction and fantasy, all proceeds from which benefit Con or Bust.

The anthology contains 19 essays; an introduction by Aliette de Bodard; and a list of all the suggested books and stories from the comments and conversations online (full Table of Contents is behind the jump). The cover art is by Mark Ferrari.

It can be purchased at:

(iBooks availability is apparently forthcoming.)

Check it out, and thanks to Jim and all the contributors for agreeing to benefit Con or Bust!

Read More →

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final auction report & feedback request; 2014-2015 activity report

I’m very pleased to report that the final total of pledged bids in the 2015 Con or Bust auction stands at $10,139. Donations during the auction, including the matching gift, bring the total for the Con or Bust’s 2015-2016 funds to $12,726. This doesn’t beat last year’s record, but is still the second-highest amount raised during the auction period in Con or Bust’s existence.

If you haven’t paid for your auction item yet, check out this post for information and to ask any questions. And if you have feedback about the auction, I would be very glad to hear it. I’m particularly interested in what people thought of the new last-minute bidding—in terms of the load the website was under, it seemed to work pretty well to me—and any suggestions for people who might donate items next year.

I’m also pleased to report on Con or Bust’s activity since the last auction. From March 2014 through May 2015, Con or Bust provided assistance 95 times to help 85 different people attend 25 different cons. Of those 95 times, 41 did not include monetary assistance, only donated memberships (or, in one case, a hotel room donated by a convention). Monetary assistance was provided 54 times, sometimes in conjunction with donated memberships. The awards ranged from $25 to $2,300; 34 of the 54 awards were $500 or less. This is a huge expansion of Con or Bust’s reach, and I’m very proud of it and grateful for all the community support that made it possible.

Thanks again for all your help and support during the auction and over the past year. And, of course, you can always support Con or Bust by donating money or con memberships and by spreading the word about the availability of assistance, including free memberships available now and monetary assistance to be requested from May 15-25.

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free con memberships: now available & coming soon

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

  • Octocon, October 9-11, Dublin, Ireland. Octocon is the National Irish Science Fiction Convention. Its Guests of Honor this year are Maura McHugh and Emma Newman.

    Octocon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • AnomalyCon, March 25-27, 2016, Denver, CO, USA. AnomalyCon is a steampunk and alternate history convention. Its 2016 theme is Journey on the Silk Road, and its featured confirmed special guests (so far!) are Shelley Adina, Elizabeth Bear, Delilah S. Dawson, Frenchy and the Punk, Jaymee Goh, Emmy Jackson, David Malki !, Lisa Mantchev, The Cog Is Dead, Chuck Wendig, and Brenna Yovanoff.

    AnomalyCon has donated twenty (20) passes to Con or Bust, to be claimed by March 1, 2016. (Note that AnomalyCon has a policy of legal names on badges.)

    (AnomalyCon also has a separate sponsored pass program for those experiencing financial hardship, so if you’re not a fan of color/non-white fan and need assistance to go to AnomalyCon, check it out!)

These memberships will be available during Con or Bust’s next assistance request period, May 15-25, and thereafter; see the Upcoming Cons page for more cons that have donated memberships.

Con or Bust also has memberships available immediately for the following upcoming cons:

  • WisCon, May 22-25, 2015, Madison, WI, USA. WisCon is the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention. Its Guests of Honor are Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson.

    WisCon donated six memberships and a dessert ticket to Con or Bust, which have all been claimed; and three individuals have also donated memberships, of which one remains.

  • Archipelacon, June 25-28, 2015, Mariehamn, Åland, Finland. Archipelacon is the Nordic SF & Fantasy convention (but its main language will be English). Its Guests of Honor are George R.R. Martin, Johanna Sinisalo, and Karin Tidbeck.

    Archipelacon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Pi-Con, July 31-August 2, 2015, Windsor Locks, CT, USA. Pi-Con is “the friendliest little convention in New England”; its Guest of Honor is Tanya Huff and its Guest of Awesome is Vikki Ciaffone.

    Pi-Con has donated six memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Nine Worlds, 7-9 August 2015, London, UK. Nine Worlds is about gaming, film, cosplay, fandom, literature, science, geek culture, meeting people and having a really big party.

    Nine Worlds has donated twenty (20) passes to Con or Bust, to be claimed by 1 August, of which 18 remain.

Please spread the word!

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