ARC of Kij Johnson’s Sept. 2017 novel The River Bank

Item Name and Description: In this delightful dive into the bygone world of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows staunch Mole, sociable Water Rat, severe Badger, and troublesome and ebullient Toad of Toad Hall are joined by a young mole lady, Beryl, and her dear friend, Rabbit. There are adventures, a double kidnapping, lost letters, a series of sensational novels, two (threatened) marriages, and family secrets. (Donated by Small Beer Press.)

At least three authors have produced sequels: Johnson is the first woman to do so.

The River Bank will have color endpapers, and chapter and more than 40 incidental illustrations by award-winning artist Kathleen Jennings.

Starting Bid: 10

Shipping: USA

Other Notes: none

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Item Name and Description: Signed copies of the third through fifth volumes of the Memoirs of Lady Trent (knowledge of the previous two not required for enjoyment!), by Marie Brennan. (Edit:) VOYAGE is a trade paperback; the other two are hardcover editions. Personalized on request.

Starting Bid: $30

Shipping: worldwide

Other Notes: none

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Signed complete set of the Onyx Court historical fantasy series

Item Name and Description: A complete set of the UK trade paperback editions of Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court series of historical fantasies (Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, A Star Shall Fall, and With Fate Conspire). Signed by the author and personalized on request.

Starting Bid: $20

Shipping: worldwide

Other Notes: none

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!