So, commentor MikeJ linked to the awesome Guardian article about sf writer John Scalzi, his most persistent troll, and turning wingnut perversity to good use:
… John Scalzi is the author of several books, including the Old Man’s War series and Redshirts, published in the States by Tor and the UK by Gollancz. He’s also the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Fed up of being constantly targeted on his website by one particular individual and his followers, Scalzi decided to take action, pledging US$5 every time “the Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit in question posts an entry on his site in which he uses my name (or one of his adorable nicknames for me)”.
Scalzi put a ceiling on his “troll tip jar” of US$1,000, figuring that gave his bête noir 200 opportunities to abuse him over the coming year, and said he’d give the cash to four charities: RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization; Emily’s List, dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office; the Human Rights Campaign, which works for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights; and NAACP: America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
A novel enough way to tackle the trolls, for sure, but what happened next was somewhat astonishing: Scalzi’s friends, Twitter followers and readers asked if they could jump in with pledges too. Many of his friends are high-profile authors and industry types – Will Wheaton, the actor who played Wesley Crusher in TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a writer in his own right, was one of many who promised to match Scalzi’s US$1,000 pledge…
Read the whole thing, as they say, and be proud of the smart, generous people on our side of the argument.
Anyways, that led me to check out Scalzi’s blog, where I learned about the Con or Bust auction:
Authors and Others: Con or Bust Needs Auction Items
Con or Bust helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons. It’s administered by the Carl Brandon Society, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited by geography, type of con-goer, or con; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves. And with the money from last year’s annual online fundraising auction, plus some donations from cons, over the last twelve months Con or Bust was able to help 25 different people of color attend cons 28 times (three people received assistance twice), which I am very proud of…. Kate Nepveu
Here’s the Con or Bust website. I know some of you are sf/fantasy readers. Those of you who are or once were fans know that helping other fans attend sf conventions has a long history — the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) goes back to 1953, and the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) to 1970. I’m happy to see the communitarian tradition extended, even though it’s been many years since I planned my schedule around Autoclave and Midwestcon. I’m going to have to keep an eye on the Con or Bust auction (online Feb. 9 – 24), and maybe see if there are some fannish souvenirs I can donate.