Pledge Matching Today For the Carl Brandon Society

You know what, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, I think today would be a lovely time for people to support the idea of inclusion and diversity in the field of science fiction and fantasy. And that brings to mind the Carl Brandon Society, a non-profit group dedicated to increasing the “racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction.” Well, that sounds good to me, and I’ve participated in the work they’ve done before, specifically the Con or Bust program, to help sff fans of color go to and enjoy science fiction and fantasy conventions. In short, a fine group, doing laudable things for a goal that’s to the benefit of the entire genre.

So, here’s my plan. Today (which for this purpose runs through 11:59:59pm Pacific Time), I will pledge match donations made to either The Carl Brandon Society or The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund (which is administered by the organization), up to, oh, let’s say, $1,000. So, if you donate a dollar, I donate a dollar. You donate $10, I donate $10. And so on, up to $1,000 total. The donate buttons are there on the pages I linked to. And because the Carl Brandon Society is a 501(c)(3) organization, if you’re in the US, your donations are tax-deductible.

Why am I doing this today? Oh, as I said, for no particular reason whatsoever. In a general sense, however, any day is a good day to say, “hey, I support the idea that science fiction and fantasy is a genre open to and inclusive of everyone, including people of color.” I think most of you believe that too, so I want to encourage you to financially support a group that helps make that happen. And why not today? Today is a fine, fine day for it.

So go donate. I’ll match it. Let me know in the comments if you do. Thanks.

Update: First, we have another pledge matcher for that first $1,000:

We also have someone ready to pledge match for the $500 after the first $1,000. So go!

Update, 6:25pm: Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld have announced they’re are fundmatching the next $1,000 in contributions. So if you haven’t donated yet, here’s a very good reason. Thanks, Justine and Scott!

330 Comments on “Pledge Matching Today For the Carl Brandon Society”

  1. Ok. I just put in $20 to the Carl Brandon Society. Happy to be going to bed with this in mind rather than say, any other particular thing.

  2. $10 to each, for a total of $20 for John to match.

    (The services of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were not needed to determine the non-event which did not spark this drive.)

    //flees from Mallet of Loving Correction

  3. Donated $10. Thanks for supporting this fine organization, John. The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship fund helped bring an incredible writer to my Clarion West class.

  4. Description Unit price Qty Amount
    The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund
    Item# 001 $25.00 USD 1 $25.00 USD

    Payment $25.00 USD

  5. Buddy – BA in English from Cornerstone University. Studied Shakespeare, Greek Tragedy, and Victorian Gothic fiction at Oxford. Currently have a mindless data-entry job that allows me to listen to audio books 30 hours a week.
    Buddy Haskill

    Donated $5 to the Carl Brandon Society on behalf of my wife, Christine Haskill.

    Happy Birthday!

  6. $25 donated to the Carl Brandon Society. Today’s my birthday, and I’d much rather give a gift like this to such a worthy cause than receive gifts. Thanks for bringing this group to my attention.

  7. Done, and shared to social media (“A few minutes ago, because they are accomplishing actual good in our field — and because it seemed like an especially opportune time to do so — I donated to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. It wasn’t much (there was only $5 in my PayPal balance, so that’s basically all I could spare), but the nice thing about acting today was that they received double that amount.”), so hopefully at least one other person who doesn’t ordinarily visit Whatever will see the request.

    Thank you, John.

  8. Tea Fougner – New York – Tea is a professional comic editor who cosplays, writes, and draws comics in her spare time. She's been in love with comics ever since she started sneaking them behind her parents' back as a child, and she's a vocal advocate for fanworks and fan creation. You can keep up with Tea at
    Tea Fougner

    $10 to scholarship fund on this rainy pouring delightfully delugey day

  9. $5 from me and shared.

  10. $25 from me. (That way in addition to the Scalzi match I get an employer match.) For no reason whatsoever.

  11. Confirmation number: 7CY81256K02653350
    Donation amount: $25.00 USD
    Total: $25.00 USD
    Purpose: Carl Brandon Society

    You are awesome as always, John!

  12. Paul Graham Raven – Velcro City – Science fiction, foresight, (post)humanities, infrastructure futures research. Guitarist, scruffy mountebank. Opinions mine, not my employer's. Velcro City ·
    Paul Graham Raven

    Twenty of your Yanqui dollars to the CBS.

    Confirmation number: 9UR11116WL159021W

  13. margueritereed – Marguerite Reed's short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons and Lone Star Stories, and have been named in the Honorable Mentions for Gardner Dozois' Years' Best Science Fiction and Fantasy compilations. Her first novel, _Archangel_, published by Resurrection House, is out in bookstores now, as well as being available at and

    $5 to CBS; wish I could do more just for, I dunno, the sheer whimsy of it.

  14. Greg van Eekhout – Greg van Eekhout is the author of <a href="">Norse Code</a>, a novel about Norse gods and Valkyries and the end of the world starting in Los Angeles. He lives in San Diego.
    Greg Van Eekhout

    $25 to the Octavia Butler scholarship, because, among other no-reasons-at-all, she was awesome.

  15. mamadeb – I'm a devoted fan of Adam Lambert, but also of cooking, knitting, science fiction and pretty anything pop culture. I'm @_mamadeb on Twitter.
    Debra Baker

    $10 to Octavia Butler scholarship

  16. Laomagination Media – Focused on a mission to develop a body of multicultural, multimedia resources that meets the needs of Lao Americans and their friends and families interested in the speculative arts, whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, horror or other artistic genres engaging the Lao imagination and heritage.
    Bryan Thao Worra

    $13 to the Carl Brandon Society, which has been a great force in connecting readers and writers together to celebrate inclusion and diversity.

  17. Lynne M. Thomas – Lynne M. Thomas is a nine time Hugo Award winning editor and podcaster. In her day job, she is Head of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Lynne Thomas

    $25 donated.

  18. Ian Rose – Portland, OR – Ian Rose is a web developer, blogger, and writer in Portland, OR. He concentrates his work life on developing plugins for WordPress and custom PHP/mySQL solutions, and his writing on a mix of the scientific and science fictional.
    Ian Rose

    $10 for me. Thanks for doing this, and for teaching me about the Carl Brandon Society in general. Knowing this organization exists is certainly worth that money from me today.

  19. $100 to Octavia Butler society. She was awesome. And both scholarships have given a boost to new voices that need to be heard (such as Shweta Narayan, among others).

    (And I was really, really, really upset by the, um, event that clearly inspired this.)

  20. Jamie Todd Rubin – Virginia – Jamie Todd Rubin is a writer. He writes code, fiction, nonfiction, and has been writing on his blog for more than 15 years. His stories and articles have appeared in Analog, Daily Science Fiction, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Apex Magazine, The Daily Beast as well as several anthologies. Jamie lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.
    Jamie Todd Rubin

    $20 donated to the Carl Brandon society.

  21. Flo – Service dog owner-trainer (and thus handler-user), living with an ever expanding list of health problems. Writing is something that lets me leave the pains and frustrations of a disabled body behind. This account is how I comment on WordPress. I post a bit more about my service dogs at I can be reached at datista at yahoo dot com

    $10 to CBS and $10 to the memorial fund.

  22. Just donated $10, and should the donations logged in comments here exceed $1000, I’ll match the next $500 donated. I encourage anyone who has the means to offer to match donations above $1500, just to keep momentum going all day, since by my count Jon’s readers are already pretty close to cracking a thousand.

  23. $5 to the Carl Brandon Society. Thanks for the opportunity to help a bit!

  24. Flo – Service dog owner-trainer (and thus handler-user), living with an ever expanding list of health problems. Writing is something that lets me leave the pains and frustrations of a disabled body behind. This account is how I comment on WordPress. I post a bit more about my service dogs at I can be reached at datista at yahoo dot com

    Saira Ali, it’s already over $1500 in under two hours. I honestly don’t know what started this, but I’m glad it’s brought people to put their money down. According to my calculations, Vicki at 12:55pm brings it to $1537.03

  25. Leah Petersen – I am a sci-fi and fantasy author living in North Carolina. I pride myself on being able to hold a book with my feet so I can knit while reading. I'm still working on knitting while writing. Check out my books at

    $20 here!

  26. shannonrampe – Author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, philosopher, gamer, and training development project manager.
    Shannon Rampe

    $25 to CBS. We will break your wallet Mr. Scalzi!

  27. T.S. Bazelli – Canada – Technical writer by day, and novelist by night. Book lover. Baker. She blogs about writing at <a href=""></a>
    T. S. Bazelli

    $10 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship

  28. $25.00 to Octavia BUtler Memorial Scholarship.

    I have to add: I’ve taught Butler’s work, often, (mostly but not only KINDRED). In something like 25 years of teaching English classes, her work is consistently liked by all students in the classes where I teach it–something I cannot say of ANY other author!

    Thank yous to John Scalzi and Saira Ali.

  29. I donated $2 to the Octavia Butler Scholarship fund because I only have a little extra right now but I have always been inspired and intrigued by Ms. Butler.

  30. $25 to the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship Fund. Can give you confirmation number if you need/want it.

    (No idea whether you’ve reached your match limit or not, but as you say, it’s a fine, fine day for donating to something good for, uh, no reason at all.)

  31. (Hi, I run Con or Bust, which was just mentioned in a comment. Con or Bust is administered by the Carl Brandon Society–so your donations are also deductible if you are in the US!–but its fundraising is entirely separate. Since the start of 2012 Con or Bust has helped forty fans of color attend SFF cons, often for the very first time. Even if you can’t donate today, check us out–we’ll be taking requests for assistance to attend October-December cons in a couple of months.)

  32. Hmmmm…. Paypal just inform me that I donated $10 to the Carl Brandon Society. I wonder why? The world is a strange, yet intriguing place….

  33. Haha, now I got an error telling me my Twitter login is expired. (which it isn’t…). John, I love you, I love your soapbox, but the Internet is conspiring against letting me leave a comment today. There’s no way this one will go through either, but 4th and final try…

    $50 from Circlet Press
    $25 from me
    both to the Carl Brandon Society

  34. $50 USD to the Carl Brandon Society. I wish I could give more, but just having graduated law school, things are a bit tight.

  35. $5.00

    I think this may be the first time I’ve ever commented here, thought I read regularly.

  36. Pledged $8.01 to the OEB scholarship. Why? I love reading works from unexpected voices. More than that, I love it when people do random, wonderful things for “no apparent reason.” Thank you for the nudge.

  37. $10 U.S. to each; $20 total.

  38. I will join King Rat in matching donations in the $1500-$2000 range. Plus, every $500 increment after that, I will match half of the previous increment (half for $2000-$2500, quarter for $2500 to $3000, eighth for $3000-$3500, etc.).

  39. Octavia E Butler Scholarship fund, $25. Kind acts of randomness.

  40. Daniel Ross – Hi, I'm Daniel Ross, and I'm a nerd. My big joys in life are learning about new things, figuring out how things work, and making things work better. One of the things I spend a lot of time on in the "making better" column is life in general. I've got political opinions ohboy. I probably won't talk about 'em that much here, though. On my own time, I spend a lot of time exploring and having new experiences. That might be as planned as taking a vacation out into the woods to hike a new trail I read about. It might be as simple as hopping a Muni bus and riding until I don't know where I am, or eating somewhere different every time I go out. I also have a shifting collection of other hobbies. I'm an avid reader, and Someday I Will Write a Novel(™); I make chainmail jewelry; and when all else fails, there's always taking your day job home with you by hobby coding.
    Daniel Ross

    I made two donations of $25 each.

  41. The Carl Brandon Society, gifted on behalf of Dr. David Macknet, Happy Doctorate!

  42. $8.01 to the Octavia Butler Scholarship Fund (and thanks to Christopher Caldwell for the tip about the anthology).

  43. autojim – Engineer for hire ( Car Guy. Waver of flags at race cars. Pretend race car driver. Nerd. Sea Monkey.
    Jim Crider

    $50 donated to Carl Brandon Society

  44. $15 to Carl Brandon and $15 to Butler scholarship.
    Perfect thing to suggest, btw.

  45. $20 to the Scholarship fund

  46. tangent42 – I am half way through a doctoral program in clinical psychology. Following time honored traditions, I hate my doctoral dissertation and go to amazing lengths to avoid working on it.

    $10 to Octavia Butler scholarship

  47. $5 to the Butler scholarship. Wish I could do more. (But at least, in a way, I am doing more, thanks to your matching donations.) (And thank you so much for doing this. *wordless admiration*)

  48. Jules Jones – I'm a writer of romance and science fiction/fantasy. My main blog is at Dreamwidth, since that's where a lot of my friends are, but some of the less inane wibble gets mirrored on WordPress.
    Jules Jones

    $8.01 to the scholarship fund.

  49. Excellent timing! My federal tax refund just arrived yesterday.
    $50 each to Carl Brandon Society, Octavia Butler Fund, and Con or Bust.

  50. $10 to the Carl Brandon Society. Because it’s a good day to donate.

  51. annburlingham – Pacifist feminist with many passions, especially free speech, etiquette, childrearing, books, and bookselling. I quixotically own a bookstore/espresso bar in downtown Perry, NY.

    $25, because I missed Wiscon this year, and committing to adding even *more* authors to my store’s shelves.

  52. Annaliese – Author of the fantasy short stories "Infant Insomnia" and "Curelom Riders." Also a mother of three, one of which has outgrown allergies to gluten, and dairy, though he still reacts to nuts.

    $50 to Carl Brandon Society

  53. $25 to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship, under Alice Bauer. Because of all days, this is an excellent day to donate.

  54. $8.01 to the Butler scholarship, and $12 to the Carl Brandon Society. You’re right, it is a fine day.

  55. In for $50 to the Carl Brandon Society and $8.01 to the Butler Scholarship fund for their e-book. (Don’t know if that counts, but the book should be plugged anyway.)

  56. $50.00 contributed to the Octavia Butler Scholarship Fund (earlier today, didn’t realize we were supposed to note the donation here. I also tweeted it several times and I know of at least one additional $50.00 donation done seemingly in response. Yay!

  57. $50 to the CBS. It’s a lovely sunny day for furthering the cause of diversity.

  58. I’ve donated $30 to Con or Bust (and left a note over at Arachne Jericho’s site). Thanks to everyone matching and donating – this is a wonderfully positive way to respond to, um, no particular provocation at all.

  59. I am thankfully oblivious, but thrilled to donate $15 to the Carl Brandon Society for the particular reason that it’s an awesome organization, and $15 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund because she was an awe-inspiring writer and I’m in the midst of a re-read.

  60. $100 to the Octavia Butler Scholarship. Know someone who went to a Clarion she participated in (closest I ever got to meeting her). Hope this can do someone else some good.

  61. Donated $20 to the Carl Brandon Society, plus another $8.01 for the Bloodchildren eBook, to show my support for my friend Shweta Narayan and other new writers. Because it’s a good day to donate. Thanks to John and to everyone else who is donating and matching donations.

  62. I’m broke, unemployed, and not a member of SFWA, but I have a couple dollars in paypal. $1 to Carl Brandon Society, $1 to Octavia Butler Fund. Because. For NO REASON WHATSOEVER today is a good day to donate towards inclusivity.

  63. $50 to the Octavia Butler Scholarship.

  64. Delighted to make a donation today for “no particular reason” (other than the Carl Brandon Society and the Octavia Butler Scholarship fund are worthy causes and thinking of them is better than thinking about the “no particular reason”). Thanks, John, for starting this! And thanks to you and the others who are matching donations today. Whoo-hoo!

  65. I was looking for some place worthy to donate some tax-deductible dollars. Thank you to everyone who is matching funds!

    $50 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund (plus $8.01 for Bloodchildren).

  66. $10 to the Carl Brandon Society–cheers to all matching funds!

  67. $40 to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. I have had the delight of administration the workshop the last two times Octavia taught Clarion West and since then with talented recipients of the scholarship. This is a truly worthy thing (as is the Carl Brandon Society as a whole!) Thank you, Scalzi!

  68. Kelly Stiles – Kelly Stiles is a recent graduate from the College of William and Mary. She has been published in the In Situ anthology, at With Painted Words, and at Fantasy Magazine. She talks to inanimate objects (like her computer) and enjoys long walks with good books.
    Kelly Stiles

    Forgot to mention it here, but earlier today I donated $25 to the Carl Brandon Society.

  69. “You sent a payment of $10.00 USD to Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship”

    I did! In gratitude.

  70. I donated $50 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship. In case a CBS webmaster-y type person is reading, the URL that I was redirected to after the PayPal transaction seems to be incorrect; I got a “404 Not Found” page (“/catalog/index.php” was not found on “”). Got my PayPal receipt though so I’m hoping all’s well.

    Because I’ve been meaning to read it and because I love that you did this today, I also just bought Redshirts from my local independent bookstore. Yay!

  71. Totally forgot to come back and post a few hours ago, but $8.01 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship, and $25 to Con or Bust. (I did post the latter on their website).

  72. I just pledged $15!! I know it is late in the day, but I’m hoping that it will be matched. If not, I’m still happy to contirbute!!

  73. Talk about finding a silver lining – I wonder how much the two funds will raise today? Anyhow, I just donated $15 to each.

  74. $25 to Con or Bust: Confirmation number: 5EU35687J0584771K

    This is indeed a good day for this kind of thing!

  75. $21 to Carl Brandon Society…
    …and another $21 to Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund.
    Many thanks!

  76. Donated $25 to the wonderful Carl Brandon Society for the excellent reason that generous and clever people are matching donations today.. And also because I would rather light up the Interwebs than curse the racists.

  77. I’d donated $5 earlier today to CBS. After seeing/reading/being involved in more conversations which only brought it home how this is the PERFECT day to support inclusiveness in geekdom, I’ve donated another $5 to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. Just because.

    Seeing all the expressions of support and donations made today? Absolutely fantastic.

  78. For the eighth time (because WP is being difficult today): $10 to the Butler, with thanks to John and all the others who are matching this today.

    Would it be out of line to mention that Bloodchildren, a collection in honor of Octavia Butler with stories written by recipients of the Butler scholarship, is on sale through June 22 at Book View Cafe for a mere $8.01, with the proceeds going to benefit the Butler Scholarship? Make a donation here, then go off and buy the e-book…

  79. $25 to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. One of my all time favorites–she inspired me! Thanks for letting us know about this organization and for the matching donations, John!

  80. $10 to the Carl Brandon Society (Hate using Pay Pal as the owner of it is no friend to the Carl Brandons of the world, but what you gonna do.) Let’s fill several cons with non-whites and freak out people who are no one in particular.

  81. $18 to Octavia E Butler Memorial Scholarship &
    $18 to Carl Brandon Society

  82. Donated $25 – THANK YOU Justine & John & Scott for supporting the scholarship that helped the genius Lisa Bolekaja be my Clarion roommate!

  83. $25 to Con or Bust, because I got to meet an awesome Australian writer at WFC last year in Toronto who was able to go because of the program. He was so thrilled to be there, and I was thrilled to have met him (Sadly, I can’t remember his name now…).

    Confirmation number: 2YJ999240K8455234

  84. $5.00 to the Carl Brandon Society, confirmation number: 1A866071BT553002F. Also seemed like a great chance to finally pick up a copy of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

  85. $50.00 to the Octavia E Butler Scholarship Fund. Thank you so much for giving me a place to go with my no particular reason outrage.

  86. $10 to each: the Butler Memorial Scholarship and the Carl Brandon Society.

    I’m glad to be part of this. Let’s all keep trying to do better.

  87. $25 to the CBS and $25 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship. OB has provided me with many hours of reading pleasure, not to mention inspiring a book chapter on Kindred for Nisi and Rebecca’s Strange Matings anthology. I couldn’t think of a better tribute to her work.

  88. $10 to the Carl Brandon Society, and an additional $10 to the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship, because they sponsored the disgustingly talented Indrapramit Das to be my CW classmate. Also, reasons.

  89. $25 to the CBS, because it’s good to be reminded that we don’t need a reason to support an open, accepting, welcoming SF/F community.

    Confirmation: 3XY2542523189742E

  90. jltraut – Artist, writer, costumer, amateur historian, storyteller, musician, doll collector, gamer and computer geek. Still don't know what I wanna be when I grow up....

    $25 to the Octavia Butler Scholarship, because SF/F is about nothing if not diversity and seeing things from the perspectives of others.

  91. Danika – I'm an aesthete who's struggling to overhaul my wardrobe and surroundings with a minuscule budget. I'm also a recovering tomboy, and am still trying to find a balance between my love of the beautiful and my rejection of the modern standards of female beauty.

    $15 to the OEB. I think I’m glad that I don’t know the specifics of the non-event that inspired this.
    Hooray for diversity!

  92. Pledged $10 to each. Transaction ID: 75374703853240051 (OBMS) and Confirmation number: 8YF61955NT6539326 for CBS

  93. I’m not sure if I made the deadline or not, but $50 to the Carl Brandon Society and $50 to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. Even if I missed the deadline, thanks very much for doing this.

  94. Because I’m too late (I don’t know how I missed this event!) and any day is a good day to donate to the Octavia Butler Scholarship Fund I’ve taken advantage of the added incentive of Bloodchildren and donated $8.01 as Diane Severson (Mori), soprano. Just so you know.

  95. I missed the deadline, so I figured I’d double my intended donation, and gave $20 to the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship fund.

  96. Didn’t see this till today but decided to donate anyway – turns out that they are matching donations (up to $1000) through today (Friday) at the Con or Bust site, so I donated $30 there.

  97. Too late for matching, but I donated $100 to the Carl Brandon Society.

    Regarding a fund to help people of color go to conferences and conventions, I refer Guess to Mr. Scalzi’s post on difficulty levels. Or, to put it another way, yes, it is more difficult to be black and poor than white and poor (and, yes, I’m a low-income white).

    I think the idea of a fund to help poor people attend conferences and conventions is a good idea. As Guess is the originator of the idea, I hope Guess will start or help to start one.

  98. Wiscon has work scholarships available which waive the registration fee in exchange for time spent helping set-up, registration, other conference tasks. Getting there is another issue. Carpool, stay at a campground or share a hotel room, couch surf at a friend or relative in Madison, etc. It is hard.

  99. Sorry to be so late, was off at a conference this week. Donated $25 to OB Scholarship fund.

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