Dispatches From the Border: March 2015
Events and News From Borderlands Books
Seanan McGuire, POCKET APOCALYPSE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Friday, March 13th at 6:00 pm
Drop-by signing with Joanne Harris and Ken Liu, Saturday, March 14th at 5:00 pm
Gail Carriger, PRUDENCE (Orbit, Hardcover, $20.00) Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00 pm
Ferrett Steinmetz, FLEX (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, April 4th at 3:00 pm
(for more information check the end of this newsletter)
* Book Drive for Garfield Park
Two weeks ago, we were approached by Officer Steven Keith from the SFPD Mission Station. He had heard that we were closing and was wondering if we might have some books to donate for the community room at Garfield Park. He told me that a lot of kids from the neighborhood had been coming there for the "sandlot" sports activities sponsored by the Police Activities League.
Office Keith writes, "Mission Station's Captain Perea and officers from his housing unit brought SF PAL's (San Francisco Police Activities League) Sandlot program to Garfield Park on January 26th 2015. The program encourages children from the surrounding neighborhood as well as kids from nearby MEPI (Mission Educational Projects Inc) to gather for pick up games or just to play catch.
Garfield Park's clubhouse was secured and furnished through donations and reclaimed items from the city's virtual warehouse. This newly acquired space presented an opportunity to offer a safe place for kids to read. The idea was to provide books for kids to read in the clubhouse or take home to read at their leisure. They could keep that book or pass it on. Bookshelves were repurposed from MUNI storage and moved in to the clubhouse. Reading Mission was born and the bookshelves await the means to broaden horizons."
Obviously we thought that this was a great idea and were all in favor of it. But the problem was that the kids range in age from 8 to 14, and not very many of our books are really right for that age range.
At the time, we had every expectation that we would be closing and we were getting constant offers of support from our customers. Alan thought that filling those shelves would both be a great way for the store to go out with a bang and would give us a place to direct our customers' enthusiasm by suggesting that they make a donation to the book drive. The plan that he came up with was this: we would ask our customers to give us $10 and the name of a book that _they_ wanted to see on the shelves. We would then order the books at cost and pass them along. We would also use any money left over to purchase additional books selected by our staff. He announced the idea at our community meeting on Thursday, the 12th, and many people were very much in favor of the idea. We collected suggestions and donations that evening, and those books will be on the shelves at Garfield Park shortly.
Of course, we didn't realize at the time that we would be staying open due to the financial support and enthusiasm of our customers. Had we known that at the time, we wouldn't have planned a book drive that would rely on cash donations from our customers. However, we are very committed to doing the things that we say we're going to do, so the book drive is still on.
Here's how it works -- call, email or come into the store and give us the title of a book that you love (or loved when you were young) plus $10. We'll take care of ordering the book and getting it delivered to the Garfield Park facility for the kids.
If you have books that are in solid, readable shape that you would like to donate, bring them by the store or the cafe anytime and we'll pass them along.
Please bear in mind the age group we're aiming for - 8- to 14-year-olds with average reading skills.
In the interests of passing along some of the support and goodwill that has been coming our way, we will be matching the first 300 cash donations with $5 of our own. In essence, we'll be putting up one book for every two books that our customers pledge. But, you only have a short window in which to act -- we'll be placing the order in the morning on Monday, March the 9th. So, stop by this week and do something great for the kids in the Mission District.
* The legendary Leonard Nimoy has passed away. He was the captain of many of our hearts, if not the Enterprise. Do yourself a favor tonight and listen to "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" and remember Mr. Nimoy's greatness. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/television/leonard-nimoy-spock-of-star-trek-dies-at-83.html?_r=0
* TOR is going to start publishing The PathFinder Tales novels, based on The Pathfinder RPG, in 2015: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2015/02/tor-books-pathfinder-tales-novels-paizo
* The final ballot for the Bram Stoker awards has been announced. Congratulations to all of the nominees! http://horror.org/final-ballot-bram-stoker-awards/
* The first ever http://twitterfictionfestival.com/ is coming soon and Margaret Atwood, Lemony Snicket, Chuck Wendig, Lauren Beukes, Beth Cato, and more will be there!
* SFWA has announced the Nebula Award nominees. Congratulations! http://www.sfwa.org/2015/02/2014-nebula-awards-nominees-announced/
* Speaking of SFWA, they have decided to alter their guidelines to allow self-published authors and small presses to join under certain circumstances. Check here for more details: http://www.sfwa.org/2015/02/sfwa-welcomes-self-published-small-press-authors/
* Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire announces the nominees for the best French SF/F, included best foreign work translated into French. http://gpi.noosfere.org/2015.php
* RIP Melanie Tem. The beloved author passed after a long battle with cancer, and we will miss her. http://www.locusmag.com/News/2015/02/melanie-tem-1949-2015/
* The British Science Fiction Award has announced their nominee list, congratulations to the authors listed! http://www.bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-awards-2014-shortlist-announced/
* One of our very favorite comic book characters, Catwoman, has recently come out as bisexual. Somewhere in the multiverse, our 14-year-old selves are jumping up and down and shrieking in excitement! http://sciencefiction.com/2015/02/27/catwoman-bisexual-says-dc/
From The Office
Thank you, everyone, for your sponsorships, your kind words, and for your absolute conviction that we should remain open! We've been totally overwhelmed at the amazing response from all of you. I'm thrilled and excited and so, so grateful!
If you know us, you know that normally, we plan things carefully. This whole sponsorship thing, not so much. It all happened so quickly, and we've gone from closing to not closing in such a short time that we're way, way behind on everything. We want to reply thoughtfully to your emails, and we are working on it, but my current count stands at 300+ behind, and I expect Alan's is about the same. We are making slow progress towards getting everything answered.
The flood of reporters has thankfully abated, so we can hopefully get back to something resembling normal pretty fast.
So! here's what we're doing now: a bit of reorganizing and moving shelves while we have the opportunity. The store hasn't been this empty since we moved to this location in 2001, so we're taking the chance to move some stuff around, get rid of the blind corner, and make a few other subtle moves prior to re-ordering books and getting sections re-filled. I'll be meeting with all of our publishers' reps to order the forthcoming titles for the current season, and also the titles we missed while we weren't ordering things over the past few months. If you notice that we're missing something we should have, please do bring it to my attention.
Getting the sponsor database set up & figuring out the sponsorship benefits is also high on our list of priorities. There is an incredible list of possibilities already, and we're still thinking of ideas and getting great suggestions. We will need to do all the sponsor data entry, and then we'll get an update email out to all of our awesome sponsors shortly.
The other things we're doing are putting back together all of the elements we had begun to disassemble, like scheduling author events. We have some fantastic events coming up that I cannot mention yet since they're not specifically confirmed, but I certainly hope you'll be as excited as we are about them. We're basically just trying to get caught up as fast as possible after this complete 180 degree turnaround. We had the plan all in place to close, but now we have to make a brand-new plan to stay open! Please be patient with us while we deal with this very sudden and completely wonderful turn of events.
First and foremost, thank you to all the people who purchased sponsorships over the last few days and a special thanks to the First 300 who are responsible for Borderlands remaining open. The speed and enthusiasm of the response was completely unexpected and heartwarming. A process that I expected to take weeks was completed in less than 48 hours! As I've mentioned elsewhere, though we've reached our requirement of 300 to remain open until the end of March, 2016, we are continuing to offer sponsorships to anyone who is interested. At this point the count is over 600 and will probably continue to climb.
However, the speed of the response and the number of people who are interested does have a downside. I had been planning on a much slower and more orderly process, which would have given me time to make changes to our customer database, set up mailing lists, and generally get all our ducks in order. Initially we were telling sponsors that they would be hearing from us in a week or so . . . that was a week and a half ago and we still haven't had time to get all the information in order. I plan to be making the changes to our database later today but, once that is done, then the data-entry process starts. So, it may be a little while until you hear anything from us directed specifically to sponsors.
Another thing that has been creating a delay is that we've made our priority getting the inventory back into shape after selling it down throughout January and the first half of February. Jude and I figured that you all would want the store back into top form first, since keeping us as we were was the main goal with the sponsorships. Once we do have things in order, you can expect an email from us with more information about benefits, as well as your sponsor number. Most of our communication with you will be via email, but we are also setting up a Twitter account (@borderlands_sponsor) for bits of news and short-notice offers.
Despite all that, I'm already working on getting some of our sponsor benefits in place:
Effective immediately you can reserve seats for any of our author events. The seats will start in the front row and work backwards. We will reserve up to two seats for any sponsor. If you'd like to take advantage of this, please email Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reserve seats at least 24 hours in advance of the event. Reserved seats will be released at the start time of the event if you have not arrived to claim them.
Private Wireless Internet
By the middle of next week I will have set up a private wireless network in the cafe for the use of sponsors. Unlike the free, public wifi service, which is only available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, this wifi will operate at all times, will be encrypted and require a password. The password will change on a regular basis but, until we're better organized, the password will be fixed. The network name will be "Borderlands Sponsors". To get the password, email email@example.com (please include your full name in the email).
That's all that we have so far but do expect more in the future.
Thanks again for the support and I'll look forward to seeing you around the shop (not to mention getting to hang out with you at the first "sponsor social", which should be sometime between the end of March and the middle of April).
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for February, 2015
1. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman
2. DARK INTELLIGENCE by Neal Asher
3. KAREN MEMORY by Elizabeth Bear
4. FINN FANCY NECROMANCY by Randy Henderson
5. THE JUST CITY by Jo Walton
6. THE PERIPHERAL by William Gibson
7. THE THREE BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
8. HALF THE WORLD by Joe Abercrombie
9. GET IN TROUBLE by Kelly Link
10. ROGUES edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
Mass Market Paperbacks
1. FOXGLOVE SUMMER by Ben Aaronovitch
2. THE LONG MARS by Terry Practhett & Stephen Baxter
3. DEADEYE by William C. Dietz
4. 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
5. HALF-OFF RAGNAROK by Seanan McGuire
6. CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT by Seanan McGuire
7. A FREE MAN OF COLOR by Barbara Hambly
8. DANGEROUS WOMEN VOL. 1 edited by Geroge R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
9. THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire
10. LIKE A MIGHTY ARMY by David Weber
1. HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH DEMONS by Graham Joyce
2. ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie
3. BUTCHER BIRD by Richard Kadrey
4. THE CORONER'S LUNCH by Colin Cotterill
5. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
Book Club Information
The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 8th, at 5 pm to discuss THE STONE CANAL by Ken Macleod. Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 15th, at 6 pm to discuss THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir. The book for the following month will be CRYPTONOMICON by Neal Stephenson. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
Seanan McGuire, POCKET APOCALYPSE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Friday, March 13th at 6:00 pm - We are always happy to celebrate a new Seanan McGuire release. Be here to enjoy volume 4 in the InCryptid series, POCKET APOCALYPSE! "Alexander Price has survived gorgons, basilisks, and his own family -- no small feat, considering that his family includes two telepaths, a reanimated corpse, and a colony of talking, pantheistic mice. Still, he?s starting to feel like he?s got the hang of things. . . at least until his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, shows up asking pointed questions about werewolves and the state of his passport. From there, it?s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Australia, a continent filled with new challenges, new dangers, and yes, rival cryptozoologists who don?t like their ?visiting expert? very much. Australia is a cryptozoologist?s dream, filled with unique species and unique challenges. Unfortunately, it?s also filled with Shelby?s family, who aren?t delighted by the length of her stay in America. And then there are the werewolves to consider: infected killing machines who would like nothing more than to claim the continent as their own. The continent which currently includes Alex. Survival is hard enough when you?re on familiar ground. Alex Price is very far from home, but there?s one thing he knows for sure: he?s not going down without a fight."
Drop-by signing with Joanne Harris and Ken Liu, Saturday, March 14th at 5:00 pm - Joanne Harris and Ken Liu both have books forthcoming from the exciting new Saga Press! They'll be stopping by to sign bookplates and chat about their upcoming titles before appearing at Writers With Drinks at 7:00pm. Joe Monti, Saga Press' Executive Editor, will also be on hand to discuss their plans!
Gail Carriger, PRUDENCE (Orbit, Hardcover, $20.00) Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00 pm - Join us to welcome Gail Carriger and check out the start of a brand-new series, The Custard Protocol! ". . . [I]n which Alexia Maccon's daughter Prudence travels to India on behalf of Queen, country. . . and the perfect pot of tea. When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama ("Rue" to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do -- she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India. Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding -- and her metanatural abilities -- to get to the bottom of it all. . . ."
Ferrett Steinmetz, FLEX (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, April 4th at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Ferrett Steinmetz, (http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettworks/) who will be showing off his dramatic new novel FLEX! From the publisher's website: "A desperate father will do anything to heal his daughter in a novel where "Breaking Bad" meets Jim Butcher?s "The Dresden Files". FLEX: Distilled magic in crystal form. The most dangerous drug in the world. Snort it, and you can create incredible coincidences to live the life of your dreams. FLUX: The backlash from snorting Flex. The universe hates magic and tries to rebalance the odds; maybe you survive the horrendous accidents the Flex inflicts, maybe you don?t. PAUL TSABO: The obsessed bureaucromancer who?s turned paperwork into a magical Beast that can rewrite rental agreements, conjure rented cars from nowhere, track down anyone who?s ever filled out a form. But when all of his formulaic magic can?t save his burned daughter, Paul must enter the dangerous world of Flex dealers to heal her. Except he?s never done this before -- and the punishment for brewing Flex is army conscription and a total brain-wipe."
Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge. You are welcome to bring copies of an author's books purchased elsewhere to be autographed (but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while at the event). For most events you are welcome to bring as many books as you wish for autographs. If you are unable to attend the event we will be happy to have a copy of any of the author's available books signed or inscribed for you. We can then either hold the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you. Just give us a call or drop us an email. If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee. Call or email for details.
This newsletter is distributed monthly free of charge and may be distributed without charge so long all the following information is included.
Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Na'amen Tilahun
Assistant Editor - Jude Feldman
All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110
Comments and suggestions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org