June 3rd, 2016

wood cat

announcing matching donation drive through Monday June 6!

Originally posted at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. All comments must be made there.

I’m excited to announce a matching donation drive for Con or Bust, now through Monday, June 6, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown). All donations until then will be matched by an individual donor, up to $500. Every donation is always welcome, no matter the size, but even more so during this matching drive! So if nothing in the auction is catching your eye, or you’ve been outbid, considering making a donation or spreading the word about this drive.


Note that the donation drive runs later than the end of the auction, which is still Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown); in fact, the donation drive runs as long as the period for fans of color/non-white fans to request assistance this quarter.


To donate online, you can either follow this link to the PayPal Giving Fund and have 100% of your donation go directly to Con or Bust, or you can use the button below and have your donation reduced by a PayPal fee (a lower charity rate of 2.2% + $0.30). What’s the difference between the two methods?



  • If you need to use a credit card rather than a PayPal account, you must use the button. (Click the button, then click “Continue” on the left side of the screen, above the credit card logos.)

  • If you use the PayPal Giving Fund, you must then forward your acknowledgment email only to katenepveu@con-or-bust.org with a note that your donation is for the matching drive. (Please do not send money directly to that address!) This extra step is necessary because the Giving Fund doesn’t allow you to leave notes with your donation and doesn’t notify us immediately that your donation has been made, so I literally won’t know your donation exists to count toward the match.


Please don’t hesitate to use whatever method is most convenient.









If you donate using the above button, on the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions” (in small letters underneath “Purpose” and “Con or Bust”), and state that this is a donation for the matching drive; soon there will be auction payments too, and it will save everyone a step if I don’t have to ask you what your donation is for.


Thank you, and please spread the word!

wood cat

highlights of this year's Con or Bust auction for your admiration and, possibly, bidding

Originally posted at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. All comments must be made there.

As you know, this year’s Con or Bust auction is ending this Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown), unless last-minute bids are received (more details). You can always check out the Google Docs spreadsheet indexing all offers, now freshly updated with bid information, or scroll all the posts, browse the 2016 auction tags. But on the last weekday of the auction, I wanted to highlight a few things that caught my eye. This is entirely subjective and based on an extremely sleep-deprived pass through the spreadsheet, so (a) zero slight is intended on any item I didn’t mention (seriously, I am so grateful for, and delighted by, everything that’s been offered, you have no idea) and (b) I would really love it if people would comment with their own things that they think deserve more attention.


Here we go, in no particular order:



  • The critiques offered this year are amazing and there are several with few bids, so please check out the whole critique tag, but I wanted to highlight three in particular:

    • E. Lily Yu won a Campbell and has been nominated for a Hugo and a World Fantasy Award for her short fiction; she’s offering a short story critique that no one’s bid on yet.

    • Are you working on a comic strip or a comic book? Tea Fougner, the submissions editor for King Features Syndicate, is offering a portfolio review, and this is an amazing chance to get feedback from someone extremely experienced.

    • And Yoon Ha Lee, whose short fiction is well-known and whose first novel is coming out in–whoa, in a week and a half, why haven’t I preordered it yet? Let me just fix that–is offering a critique of an entire novel.



  • Where else but the Con or Bust auction could you get a brick from Ray Bradbury’s demolished house?

  • Or a custom-made poem, in a handsewn fabric bag that you can wear as a amulet?

  • The lovely folks at Small Beer Press are publishing an “extravagant limited hardcover edition” of The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz: A Romance in Eight Days by Johann Valentin Andreae in a New Version by John Crowley, illustrated by Theo Fadel, and designed by Jacob McMurray. If you’re seeing this after their Kickstarter ends, or you want to get one of these beautiful and weird books for a lower price, check out their auction offer!

  • The Wheel of Time ebook cover art prints aren’t new to the auction, as the also-lovely folks at Tor.com have donated them before, but you can’t buy them anywhere and I can personally vouch for what excellent quality they are.

  • This is probably a mistake, but … Dark Matter Chocolate Laboratory is offering a truly enormous quantity of custom-made chocolate, geeky or otherwise. Actually, never mind, pretend I didn’t mention it (she says, looking at her current high bid).

  • I am not bidding on either of these offers of custom jewelry, but only because I’m out of creative inspiration at the moment:


  • Non-custom jewelry! I’m not bidding on these because I already have similar items, but I can therefore vouch for how great they are.


  • The “I wish I had a need for these items” category:


  • The “extremely smart people offering to help you” (non-fiction-critique) category:

    • Tea and advice with Rose Fox, who is Publishers Weekly senior reviews editor, coedited the anthology Long Hidden, and was program chair of Readercon for three years. You know, minor things like that. /understatement

    • Four hours of project management services from Changeset Consulting. Do you need help getting a project planned and organized, writing a grant, assessing how you’re recruiting and dealing with new volunteers or employees, getting a software project ready for open source release, or many other things? Then this is for you. (I have a dreadful feeling that I could really have used this in the leadup to incorporation and this year’s auction. Don’t be like me; actually get some sleep!)



  • All of this year’s name-a-character offers are awesome, but the one I keep coming back to is the offer to name a villain (and recommend a gruesome and personalized death!) in the last book of Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith’s The Change series. I’m not sure who I would list, but if someone immediately popped into your mind when you read that description, go check it out.

  • Finally, I know that a lot of offers are restricted to shipping within the US (because of expense and/or publishing rights), and I regret that. But if you’re in the UK, then the lovely folks at Orbit UK have offered lots of signed books just for you, which I hope is some small consolation. (Of course there are many, many other books on offer–a significant fraction of which will ship worldwide!–but I thought the UK-only ones might’ve gotten lost in the crowd.)


What have you been eyeing? Please use the comments to chime in and help awesome things find the people who will love them!