Two Otherwise Auctions on Saturday at WisCon, and our Gathering plans

This year’s WisCon is both in-person and online, so this Saturday, we’re hosting both an in-person benefit auction and a virtual auction! Register now to get a chance to win one-of-a-kind items, and enjoy the entertainment.

Liz Henry, in shiny metallic purple and yellow, CC BY-ND
Your in-person host Liz Henry, shiny and ready to rock

Liz Henry will be your auctioneer in Madison! The in-person auction will raise money to benefit the Otherwise Award and entertain you with comedy, stunts, mystery guests, and bizarre and special auction items. It’s an opportunity to donate and support fantasy and science fiction that explores and expands gender — and to laugh for a while. Liz chaired the 2020 and 2005 Otherwise juries, has participated in WisCon for decades going back to WisCon 20, and will bring a wealth of stories and an incisive sense of humor to the stage! In-person attendees will be able to bid (with money) on memorabilia, books (including a signed copy of Charlie Jane Anders’s City in the Middle of the Night), and weird stuff. As usual, Otherwise will be able to accept payments and donations via cash, check, and credit card.

Sumana Harihareswara, gesturing as if holding something, photo courtesy Jeff Fortin
Sumana Harihareswara will host the online auction through WisCon’s virtual offerings

The in-person auction will start at 19:30 CDT and will run for probably 60-90 minutes, ending by 21:30 CDT. It will be captioned with CART and it will be livestreamed for the benefit of WisCon’s virtual attendees as well.

Sumana Harihareswara will be your host for the virtual auction, which will start 21:00 CDT on Saturday night [CORRECTION: 21:15] and run for 45-60 minutes, ending by 22:00 CDT. Online participants will be able to view the auction via Zoom or YouTube, and participate via Zoom and Discord. Sumana has hosted the Otherwise auctions at WisCon (online and in person) for the last several years, and this year will again entertain the audience with comedy, special guests, and obscure, fun, or even desirable objects to bid on. As we did in 2020, this year our virtual auction will be moneyless! Instead of bidding in dollars, you’ll try to one-up each other with recommendations, poems, and more in the Discord chat. Enjoy using the gestures of “bidding” while prefiguring how auctions might work in postscarcity societies! A guest from the Carl Brandon Society will share an update on CBS’s work increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction, and Sumana will solicit donations for the Otherwise Award and for the WisCon Member Assistance Fund.

All that is this Saturday, May 28th. We’ll also host a table at the Gathering on Friday afternoon, 12:30 pm to 4 pm, in-person in Madison. Our table will include posters celebrating the history of past Otherwise award winners and recent Honor List honorees — plus, local bookstore A Room of One’s Own will be on hand to sell you books from those lists, with a portion of those proceeds going to the Otherwise Award.

Register now if you’d like to experience either or both! Registration for the virtual convention is only USD$25, with no cap on attendance and no deadline to register.

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