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ABOUT THE STORE : NEWSLETTER
DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News from Borderlands Books
Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special FeaturesFree
Movies from SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart
Building, 582 Market Street: "Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth", Wednesday,
May 13th at 7:00 pm
Author John Levitt's band The Procrastinistas at the Hotel Utah (500 4th Street at Bryant,) Friday, May 15th at 9:00 pm
Jeff Prucher, BRAVE NEW WORDS: THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE FICTION
(Oxford, Trade Paperback, $17.95), Saturday, May 16th at 3:00 pm
SF in SF presents authors Richard Kadrey and Heather Shaw at the
Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street,
Saturday, May 16th at 7:00 pm
BayCon at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, with guests of honor Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, May 22nd - 25th
Seth Harwood, JACK WAKES UP (Three Rivers Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95), Saturday, May 30th at 3:00 pm
The Cats' Birthdays' Sale, Sunday, May 31st from 12:00 - 8:00 pm
Rudy Rucker, HYLOZOIC (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 pm
Seth Grahame-Smith, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (Quirk Books, Trade Paperback, $12.95), Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm
Marie Brennan, IN ASHES LIE (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $14.99), Saturday, June 13th at 1:00 pm
David J. WIlliams, BURNING SKIES (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback, $13.00), Saturday, June 13th at 3:00 pm
(for more information check the end of this section)
We've heard rumors of a China Mieville signing sometime in June, so
we'll keep you posted on that! And coming up this later this
year, Jacqueline Carey, Ray Garton, Jay Lake, LitQuake, MORBID
CURIOSITY CURES THE BLUES, and much, much more.
Sadly, we report the death of science fiction icon and legend J.G.
Ballard at the age of 78. A wonderful obituary and appreciation
from Michael Moorcock follows: <http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article6160194.ece>
* Borderlands Twits (uh, Tweets)! Borderlands has joined the 21st century. Follow us on Twitter: <http://twitter.com/borderlands_sf> for general store news and events, and <http://twitter.com/borderlands_new>
for notable new arrivals as they show up. Thanks to all the
followers who have already found us, essentially by accident.
* Two super cool in-store videos from customer Professor0fate: five
minutes of the incredible PALIMPSEST performance with Cat Valente and
S.J. Tucker from April 23rd: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEKZ-H7J8jU> and Jay Lake and Ken Scholes writing in-store last month: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36vprzVmAXk>.
* Congratulations to this year's Nebula Award winners! Ursula K.
LeGuin's POWERS won the Best Novel award. A complete list of the
winners, as well as details on the new Solstice Award, can be found
* In additional award news, thanks to the terrific Pat Murphy for the
following news: "The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council is
pleased to announce that the 2008 Tiptree Award has two winners:
Patrick Ness’s young adult novel, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO (Walker
2008) and Nisi Shawl’s short story collection, FILTER HOUSE (Aqueduct
Press, 2008)." For more info on the Tiptree's, see <http://www.tiptree.org>.
* Psst! Hey, kid, wanna buy a spaceship? Buy a Raptor ship from Battlestar Galactica: <http://hplusmagazine.com/editors-blog/buy-raptor-fighter-ship-used-battlestar-galactica>
* Heliotrope Magazine #5 is available for free! Be sure to check
out this issue, which features some of our favorite folks, like Lou
Anders, Neil Gaiman, Chris Roberson, and Cat Valente: <http://www.heliotropemag.com/04/heliotrope-issue-5/>
* Eternal Pleasures: A special deal on wine, chocolate, and ETERNAL VIGILANCE from Gabrielle Faust: <http://www.gabriellefaust.com/archives/1924>
* Real-life superhero patrols Cincinnati: <http://www.wlwt.com/cnn-news/19305002/detail.html>
* We know you love cat news. One of our intrepid customers, Dale
Hoyt, created this artistic and weird video starring his Sphynx cat:
* An interesting article on the recent Amazon ranking kerfluffle.
What, you hadn't heard about it? Oh, it's rich: <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hugh-mcguire/amazons-sexual-failure_b_188389.html>
* Bruce Sterling on the Kindle: <http://www.wired.com/sterling/2009/04/dead-media-be-4.html>
* Lovely article about legend Robert Silverberg. It unfortunately
reads a bit like an obituary, but Silverberg is fortunately very much
* More congratulations are in order for local favorite Ellen Klages,
whose WHITE SANDS, RED MENACE, we understand, has just won the
California Book Award in the Young Adult category. <http://www.commonwealthclub.org/features/caBookAwards/>
* Do you have library books that you're afraid to return because
they're so overdue you'll have to mortgage your house or sell your kids
to pay the fines? NOW is the time to return them, with no
penalty! The San Francisco Public Library Fine Amnesty runs from
May 3rd - 16th. Don't miss your chance to return those books and
soothe your conscience! <http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/fineamnesty/>
been some good progress in the last month. We're still a bit away
from setting an opening date. That's something that I'm probably
not going to do 'til all the inspections are done, since final
inspections can produce surprises. In essence that is when you
get to find out if you made any big mistakes. Which I don't
_think_ I've done but . . . <crossing fingers and muttering
prayers to nameless elder gods>.
As it stands, the final electrical work is done other than putting up
the ceiling fixtures (which are on order). The plumber will be
coming in to install the sinks, toilet, and other fixtures next week
and once he's done the plumbing will be almost finished. The only
step left will be to get the hot water hooked up, which can't happen
until my landlord gets off the stick and decides what he wants to do
about the water heaters (which need to be replaced). He'll start
getting daily phone calls from me on Monday.
Last week I wrote a truly butt-puckering check to Economy Restaurant
for all the refrigerators. And I mean a _big_ check. At
this point it's the record holder for biggest check on this
project. Not to say that the prices weren't fair. The folks
there, especially Linda Pierce, are great to work with and took very
good care of me. But damn, commercial refers are _not_
cheap. And by the way, if you're in SF and want some cool stuff
for your kitchen, that is the place to go. They're open to the
public and sell everything from pint glasses to the biggest damn bread
mixer I've ever seen. It's not cheap but for professional quality
gear like pans and knives they're way better than shops like Williams
Sonoma and the like.
Right now I'm in a bit of a holding pattern since I'm waiting for the
first coat of floor finish to dry. The stuff I use takes forever
to dry (i.e. many days when you put it on thick) but it lasts better
than anything else I've found, as the nearly nine year old coat on the
floor of the bookstore will attest. So, while I'm waiting for
that, I'm doing some clean up, window repairs, and planning work
(getting the menu set, finding suppliers and so forth).
Which brings me to the next thing -- I need your advice . . . .
As I've been (with Jude Feldman's priceless help) working out
details of the operation and menu at the cafe, a few questions have
come up and I'm hoping you can give me some guidance. If you've
got an opinion about any of the following, please drop me a line at
firstname.lastname@example.org or just reply to this newsletter.
They way I figure it, Borderlands customers are going to the majority
of the early customers at the cafe and you'll always be the most
important ones, so I'd like to give a lot of consideration to what you
think about how we're going to do things.
Organic Dairy - Is it worth 25 cents extra to have organic dairy products?
We can get all organic dairy products if we like but they cost
more. If we do, we'll have to pass the cost along to the customer
which in real world terms mean an average of 25 cents extra per coffee
Soy Milk - Should we offer soy milk for drinks like lattes and so forth?
I'm of two minds about this. On one hand, I don't want to offer
sub-standard stuff at the cafe and I have a deep aversion to "faux"
anything. It's my understanding that soy milk makes really
terrible lattes (since it lacks fat, you can't really steam it very
well and it doesn't foam nicely). So, my first thought is to not
offer it and suggest that, if one is lactose intolerant you get
something else to drink. One the other hand, I want to serve our
customers to the best of my ability and omitting something that people
not only want but on some level actually _need_ doesn't seem consistent
Artificial Sweetener - Should we offer things like Splenda and
Nutrisweet or just have more "natural" sweeteners (like processed
sugar, raw sugar, and honey)?
The reasons for this question are similar to the last one but there's
the added consideration that most artificial sweeteners are, to one
degree or another, kind of bad for you (though one can argue that
they're not as bad as sugar).
Internet Access - What do you think of having a limited (i.e. 5-10)
number of wired internet connections and no wifi (with loaner ethernet
cables, of course)?
This is something I've gone back and forth about so much that I'm
dizzy. On the one hand, I know (from personal experience) how
important it can be to get internet access when you're traveling and
also what an important part of a cafe environment it is to be able to
get some work done while you're there. Hell, I know at least two
writers who do all their work in cafes and really need internet access
to do things like fact checking and so forth. And on top of that,
Borderlands is all about giving people good service, whether it's books
or coffee, and omitting an important service goes against the grain.
On the other hand there are two problems that I see with providing
wireless access. The biggest concern is that it can kill the
social element of being in a cafe. Something that I have really
enjoyed are the random people I've met and conversations that I've
enjoyed in cafes all over the world. But when too many people in
a cafe are focused on their computers the social interaction stops
almost completely. As a friend of mine described it, "You end up
with a wall of laptops". That's not what Borderlands is about and
that's not the sort of place I want to work. A much smaller
consideration is that several of my friends who run cafes have pointed
out that a percentage of wifi users will stay for hours and hours,
taking up customer space, while only buying a single cup of
coffee. While I don't like to chisel people for every dime of
profit possible, I do have to be aware that I have to make the rent
each month and someone sitting in the cafe is taking up space that must
be paid for, somehow.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and comment on it,
From The Office
This is going to be short since I don't want to fill up the whole
newsletter. Despite all the cafe stuff that I've been working on,
I have had time to drag the store further into the Web 2.0 world (how's
that for buzz-word speak?). Borderlands is now on Twitter
<http://twitter.com>. We've set up two accounts that might
be interesting to our customers. If you don't use Twitter, you
might want to think about it. I'm not big on social network sites
but it's not too bad and it's really easy to sign up (no big profile to
set or any of that stuff).
The first is @borderlands_sf
<http://twitter.com/borderlands_sf>. We're posting all
sorts of stuff there including information about author events as we
book them, major books when we get a release date for 'em, store news,
and general news about the SF/fantasy/horror world. We'll also be
posting a notice when each issue of this newsletter appears on our web
site, for those of you who have trouble getting the email version
(thank you, hotmail and yahoo). We're only posting a few times a
day at most and, for myself, I think it's pretty cool.
The second one is @borderlands_new
<http://twitter.com/borderlands_new>. This is specifically
for info on books that we receive in stock. So if you want to
know _exactly_ when the new Richard Morgan, Steve Erikson or Cory
Doctorow arrive at the store, check this one out. We're not going
to list every single new title we get in, but we will be listing all
the ones that seem especially interesting, cool, or important.
Again, not more than one or two posts per day max.
Last thing about Twitter. Due to time contraints, we're using it
as pretty much a one-way communication channel, so we're not going to
be "following" anyone. It's nothing personal, we just like to
have back and forth interactions with our customers in more traditional
ways, so give us a call anytime or drop us an email.
I'm also going to be setting up a blog for the store. At this
point I'm not making any promises about how often I'll be posting there
but one thing I'm sure of is that I'll be posting this newsletter in
small chunks over the course of the month. It's another way that
I'm trying to get past some of the email filtering problems that have
been stopping people from getting this newsletter. An added plus
is that the material there will be searchable so, if you want to find
that article from a year ago where Jeremy raved about the most recent
DVD, you'll be able to do it there.
And, on the blog topic, is there anyone out there who could give me
some advice on how to go about integrating a blogger.com account with
our website, both in terms of links / embedding and matching the
look-and-feel? I'll be very grateful and buy you dinner or
That's it for now but I hope to have more interesting news about Borderlands on the internet soon.
Top Sellers At Borderlands
1) WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
2) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
3) Imager by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
4) Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
5) Revolution Business by Charles Stross
6) Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint
7) Storm From the Shadows by David Weber
8) Coyote Horizon by Allen Steele
9) Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton
10) Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
2) Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb
3) Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
4) Spook Country by William Gibson
5) Spell Games by T.A. Pratt
6) Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
7) From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
8) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
9) Deathwish by Rob Thurman
10) Kethani by Eric Brown
1) Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
2) We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle
3) Matter by Iain M. Banks
4) The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
5) Ravens in the Library edited by Phil Brucato & Sandra Buskirk tie with
You Might Sleep by Nick Mamatas tie with
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Notes From a DVD Geek
Hey everyone. Got some new release info for you this month, and some rambling about "Star Trek".
First up: "The Uninvited" hits DVD this week. It's a US remake of
the Korean horror classic "A Tale Of Two Sisters". It’s fairly
decent, (if a little bit dumbed down,) but given how convoluted and
obtuse the original was, this isn’t really a terrible problem. I
enjoyed this one.
"S. Darko" proves the Joe Bob Briggs rule of sequels: just do the same
damn thing over again. This beat-for-beat sequel to "Donnie
Darko" is by the production company of "Donnie Darko," but original
"Darko" director Richard Kelly had nothing to do with it. In fact
he's pretty vocally disavowed it. But. . . it occurs to me that
if Kelly had turned in this movie instead of "Southland Tales," he
might still have a career in Hollywood. If you just want to
experience the frission of "Donnie Darko" again, check out "S.
Darko". It does exactly what a sequel is supposed to do - give
you precisely the same experience all over again.
Coming out this month is the mainstream science-fictional movie "The
Curious Case of Benjamin Button". This one comes from David
("Seven," "Alien3") Fincher, and is based on a short story by F. Scott
Fitzgerald. It uses the very science-fictional conceit of a man
aging backwards, to tell a star-crossed love story. Don’t miss
Brad Pit hamming it up in this one. Fincher’s last movie was also
just barely on the margins of genre, being a bio-pic of the San
Francisco reporter who literally wrote the book on one of the country's
most infamous serial killers, the Zodiac Killer. Both these
movies are only peripherally genre, and Fincher, like Ridley Scott
before him, seems to be moving away from the genre excesses of his
earlier films, aiming for more respectable territory. But there’s
still some really nice bits that a genre fan can enjoy in "Zodiac," and
On the anime side of the house, there is a very interesting series,
"FLAG," which is getting the “complete series in one package”
treatment. It follows the exploits of a peace-keeping force in
south-east Asia; the story told through the eyes of a photojournalist
whose photo inspired his nation to believe in peace. This
emblematic photo is stolen by guerrillas, and the narrative follows the
escapades to get it back. This is a unique anime series exploring
issues of revenge, nationalism, and civil war. Oh, and because
it's anime, the peace-keeping force has a transforming bipedal
exoskeleton. Don’t miss this one.
Another quirky anime title this month is "Karin". This series follows a
little girl who is the middle child of a family of vampire immigrants
in Japan. However she has a problem that makes her different from
her family. She produces too much blood. So, instead of draining
poor souls of their plasma, she must inject the red stuff into others
via her vampire bites. "Quirky" is exactly what this 24-episode
series is. I enjoyed the hell of out it.
Another quirky anime series that kicks ass is "Last Exile". It is
a TV series that combines the best elements of "Porco Rosso" and
"Steamboy". It drips with steampunk imagery, and takes place in a
futuristic world where the skies are populated by technologically
advanced 1940s-style fighter planes. "Last Exile" is the production of
the esteemed Gonzo anime studio, and directed by Koichi ("Full Metal
Moving away from the new releases, I wanted to mention that, in the
wake of the new "Star Trek" movie, now’s a perfect time to add all of
the "Star Trek" movies to your collection. Each movie has
received the 2-disk Special Edition treatment, and is jam-packed with
bonus material. High points for me are, (of course) "ST II: The
Wrath of Kahn," and "STIV: Save the Whales". Even the
recently released special edition of "ST: The Motion Picture" has its
charms, and includes a re-edited version featuring special effects
shots they wanted to do at the time but couldn’t afford. Frankly
(and I know most people won’t like me for saying this) the Next
Generation movies mostly left me cold. They suffered from the
thing that hobbled the entire Next Generation series – terrible
writing. NG may have super Shakespearian acting talent, but I’ll
take the slick writing of the 2 and 4, or the original TV series any
day. Because every time Jordie rewires something in the last five
minutes and saves the day, somewhere, a baby cries, and a piece of Gene
Roddenberry’s soul dies.
On the Star Trek “send up” side of the house, if you haven’t seen
"Galaxy Quest," run out and do so. It is very funny, and
relatively savvy, despite the easy targets that its humor
skewers. And it's probably Tim Allen’s best big screen
No geek film library would be complete without the 1997 documentary,
"Trekkies". This one is actually a really nice time capsule, and
it's interesting to see how fandom has changed (or not) in the 10-odd
years since this one came out.
Another loving send-up of geek life is "Free Enterprise". I know
I’ve mentioned this movie before, but let me do so again. It
features William Shattner as himself, and enough references to "Star
Trek," "Star Wars," "Logan's Run," and a host of other geek pleasures
to fill two or three of my DVD columns. It is awesome. And
at its heart, it’s a romantic comedy about a guy with Peter Pan
Syndrome. He just doesn’t want to grow up. . . and hell, maybe he
doesn’t have to after all. And maybe Shattner will do a hip-hop
musical version of Julius Ceaser!
That’s all I got this month. Enjoy.
- Jeremy Lassen
Book Club Info
The Gay Men's Book Club
will meet on Sunday, May 10th, at 5 pm to discuss THE CITY, NOT LONG
AFTER by Pat Murphy. Please contact the group leader, Christopher
Rodriguez, at email@example.com, for more information.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, May
17th, at 6 pm to discuss STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert A.
Heinlein. The book for June is BAD MONKEYS by Matt Ruff.
Please contact Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org for more
Upcoming Event Details
Free Movies from SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street: "Dark Crystal"
and "Labyrinth", Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 pm - Free movies!
Free popcorn! Cash bar! Bar proceeds and tips benefits Variety
Children's Charity. Doors at 6:30, first movie starts at 7:00
pm. You don't want to miss this double feature. . . how can you
resist David Bowie as the Goblin King?
Author John Levitt's band The Procrastinistas at the Hotel Utah (500 4th Street at Bryant,) Friday, May 15th at 9:00 pm -
Local author John Levitt (of DOGS DAYS and NEW TRICKS fame) is
multi-talented. He even has a band, The Procrastinistas, and
they're playing at the Hotel Utah on Friday, May 15th at 9:00 pm.
Be there and say hi to some of the Borderlands staff! <http://www.myspace.com/theprocrastinistas> Tickets are only $8.
Jeff Prucher, BRAVE NEW WORDS: THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF
SCIENCE FICTION (Oxford, Trade Paperback, $17.95), Saturday, May 16th
at 3:00 pm - Join us for a discussion with local freelance
lexicographer and editor Jeff Prucher, who has assembled the first
historical dictionary devoted to science fiction. BRAVE NEW WORDS
won the Hugo for Best Related Book last year. "It's a window on a
whole genre of literatue through the words invented and passed along by
the genre's most talented writers. In addition, it shows how many
words we consider everyday vocabulary -- words like "space shuttle,"
"blast off," and "robot" -- had their roots in imaginative literature,
and not in hard science." This is a fascinating book to browse --
each entry you read reminds you of more that you'd like to read.
You'll find yourself captivated for hours!
SF in SF presents authors Richard Kadrey and Heather Shaw
at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street,
Saturday, May 16th at 7:00 pm - We are very excited to help SF
in SF welcome these awesome local authors! Each author will read
a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience
moderated by author Terry Bisson. Authors will schmooze &
sign books after in the lounge. Books available for sale courtesy of
Borderlands Books. Seating is limited, so first come, first
seated. Bar proceeds benefit Variety Childrens Charity - learn
more at <http://www.varietync.org/>.
We REALLY encourage you to take BART into the City, or use MUNI to get
here - parking can be problematic in San Francisco, to say the
least. We are less than one block away from the Montgomery St.
station. Trust us - you don't want to be looking for parking and
be late for the event! Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
BayCon at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, with guests of honor Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, May 22nd - 25th -
BayCon is the San Francisco Bay Area science fiction and fantasy
convention. As usual, all kinds of cool stuff will be going on,
and Borderlands will have tables in the Dealers' Room. Support
your local science fiction convention!
Seth Harwood, JACK WAKES UP (Three Rivers Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95), Saturday, May 30th at 3:00 pm -
Join us in welcoming local author and podcaster Seth Harwood!
From Seth's website: "In the three years since Jack Palms went clean
(no drugs, no drinking, no life,) he's added fourteen pounds of muscle,
read 83 books, and played it as straight as anyone can ask him. Now,
when an old friend from L.A. calls, he hits the streets of San
Francisco to help a group of Czech drug buyers make one big score -- a
single drug deal that he hopes will set him up for life. But when
people start turning up dead, and an old nemesis on the police force
calls, Jack finds himself with just 24 hours to track down San
Francisco's biggest drug supplier or face charges that will put him
behind bars. Only an Oscar-caliber performance will get him through
this alive." Seth's going to be a big star, and we hope you take
this opportunity to meet him now!
The Cats' Birthdays' Sale, Sunday, May 31st from 12:00 - 8:00 pm -
Come celebrate with two indifferent felines; two cats, two
birthdays! Ash will be a year old May 8th, and Ripley will be
seven years old June 10th, so we're splitting the difference with an
end-of-May sale! Buy two used paperbacks and get a third of equal
or lesser value free, and all non-book items in the store (excluding
staff and cats, sorry) are 10% off! The cats will of course be on
hand to greet admirers and be spoiled (unless they decide to hide in
the stock room,) and there will be cake and cat treats (but not
together). Additionally, you can participate in the party game of
helping to keep the cats out of the cake's whipped-cream
frosting. Ripley says "I already have everything I need, so
instead of bringing me gifts, please donate some money or volunteer
time to the San Francisco SPCA <http://www.sfspca.org/home.shtml> or to Wildcare <http://www.wildcaremarin.org/>.
You'd better come and adore me, though." Ash says "Am I that old
already? Where's the whipped cream? Did the cake come in a
box I can climb in? Oh, look, dust!" (Ahem. We won't be
quoting Ash anymore.)
Rudy Rucker, HYLOZOIC (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 pm -
Rudy Rucker is smarter than you. And me, and almost everyone I
know. Join us to meet him and hear him read from HYLOZOIC, the
sequel to POSTSINGULAR! Kirkus gave the book a starred review,
and they say: ". . . Rucker’s yarn of a future where
everything—animals, rocks, the planet Earth—is conscious, telepathic
and often irrepressibly chatty. This weird future stems from the
exploits of teenager Chu, who strummed the Lost Chord on a golden harp
to unfurl the eighth dimension and unleash limitless computing power.
Though based on respectable extrapolations of current physics theories,
Rucker’s approach takes a high-comic trajectory with a satirical edge,
adding plot and imagery evidently inspired by the paintings of medieval
Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. Once everything’s telepathic, there’s
little or no privacy, and the Founders—Chu, friends Thuy, Jayjay and
many others—do pretty much as they please. Chu strives to become more
connected and less fixated. Thuy writes hypertext novels. Jayjay,
addicted to the “high” afforded by deep communion with Gaia, spaces
out. However, various alien species take notice of the now conscious
Earth. While brain-surfing toward a (temporary) pinnacle of
omniscience, Jayjay encounters a talking pitchfork, Groovy, and his
girlfriend Lovva (the harp who played the Lost Chord). Groovy betrays
Jayjay into the clutches of the Pekklet, an invading alien who
quantum-entangles Jayjay and forces him to reprogram large blocks of
matter; the objects affected lose their “gnarl,” becoming dull and
predictable and allowing colonists from distant planet Peng to project
themselves into Earth’s reality and take up immovable residence. Chu,
meanwhile, meets big trouble of his own. Serious, uproarious fun,
with brain-teasers and brilliant ideas tossed about like confetti."
Seth Grahame-Smith, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (Quirk Books, Trade Paperback, $12.95), Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm -
The classic regency romance -- now with ultra-violent zombie
action! Borderlands is delighted to host Seth Grahame-Smith, who,
in cooperation with Jane Austen, presents this mash-up zombie
masterpiece for your perusal. Fiesty young Elizabeth Bennet is
determined to wipe out the zombie menace plaguing the quiet village of
Meryton, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and
arrogant Mr. Darcy. Can Elizabeth vanquish the flesh-eating
undead? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious
landed gentry? Find out at Borderlands on June 9th!
Marie Brennan, IN ASHES LIE (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $14.99), Saturday, June 13th at 1:00 pm -
We're pleased to welcome Marie Brennan to the store for a
reading! From Marie's site:"The year is 1666. The King and
Parliament vie for power, fighting one another with politics and armies
alike. Below, the faerie court has enemies of its own. The old ways are
breaking down, and no one knows what will rise in their place.
But now, a greater threat has come, one that could destroy everything.
In the house of a sleeping baker, a spark leaps free of the oven -- and
ignites a blaze that will burn London to the ground. While the humans
struggle to halt the conflagration that is devouring the city street by
street, the fae pit themselves against a less tangible foe: the spirit
of the fire itself, powerful enough to annihilate everything in its
path. Mortal and fae will have to lay aside the differences that
divide them, and fight together for the survival of London itself . .
." You can read an excerpt from the novel here: <http://www.swantower.com/marie/novels/onyx/fire/prologue.html>
David J. WIlliams, BURNING SKIES (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback, $13.00), Saturday, June 13th at 3:00 pm -
David J. Williams' site offers us the following glimpse into his
personality: "Descended from Australian convicts, David J. Williams
nonetheless managed to be born in Hertfordshire, England, and
subsequently moved to Washington D.C. just in time for Nixon’s
impeachment. Graduating from Yale with a degree in history some time
later, he narrowly escaped the life of a graduate student and ended up
doing time in Corporate America, which drove him so crazy he started
moonlighting on video games and (as he got even crazier) novels. THE
MIRRORED HEAVENS was written over six years, and sold to Bantam Spectra
in the summer of 2007, along with the rest of the Autumn Rain
trilogy. THE BURNING SKIES is the second book of that trilogy,
but has been designed to accommodate readers who (however inexplicably)
missed the prequel." Our last event with David was great fun; you
won't want to miss this one.
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 it
until you can come in to pick it up or we can ship it 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.
Call or email for details.
Chapter Two - Book Listings
Small Press Features
ADVENTURES OF MAXIMILLIAN BACCHUS AND HIS TRAVELING CIRCUS by Clive
Barker (Bad Moon Books, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (300
copies) Slipcased Hardcover, $125.00 and Trade Hardcover, $50.00) -
From Bad Moon Books: "Maximillian Bacchus is the ringmaster, ruler,
guide and owner of what he considers the greatest show in the world.
Traveling with a crocodile named Malachi, a trapeze girl named Ophelia,
a strong man they call Hero (which is short for Hieronymus,) a clown
named Domingo de Ybarrondo, who paints in a wagon pulled by a giant
“Ibis bird,” the troupe wanders from adventure to adventure with mythic
aplomb. From the first story, in which Indigo Murphy, the best
bird handler in the world leaves the show to join in matrimony with the
Duke Lorenzo de Medici, to the fabled court of Kubla Khan, the magic
never stops. You will meet a young apple thief named Angelo with magic
eyes, and an orang-outang named Bathsheba, and a host of other amazing
characters with names and personas cut like a patchwork quilt from the
mythologies and dreams of the world. Though written forty years
ago, these pages are littered with the same magical side steps that
have always been woven into Clive Barker’s fiction. Worlds not quit our
own, and yet so real they ring with truth and leave you wishing you
could step from your mundane life into that other place – into those
caves of ice – if only long enough to catch Maximillian’s show."
MARIONETTES, INC by Ray Bradbury (Subterranean Press, Limited Edition
(2,000 copies) Hardcover, $35.00) - From Subterranean Press: "In
MARIONETTES, INC, Ray Bradbury offers his devoted readers something
both special and unexpected: a unified view of one small corner of a
varied fictional universe. In five stories (one of them original to
this collection, plus a rare, previously unpublished screen treatment),
Bradbury explores the concept of robotics and examines its impact on
the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. Several of these tales,
including “Changeling” and “Punishment Without Crime,” are set in a
world in which the eponymous company, Marionettes, Inc., has
successfully created incredibly detailed replicas of existing men and
women. When these surrogate “people” take their place in the real,
often messy realm of human relationships, the results are sometimes
tragic, sometimes ironic, and always surprising. But the true
heart of this resonant collection is the classic novella, “I Sing the
Body Electric.” In this quintessential Bradbury story, an “electric
Grandma” enters the lives of a grieving, newly motherless family, and
slowly restores their capacity for wonder and joy. Like the very best
of Bradbury’s fiction, it is a magical, deeply felt account of hope,
growth, survival, and change, and a moving meditation on what it really
means to be human."
CHEEK BY JOWL: TALKS AND ESSAYS ON HOW AND WHY FANTASY MATTERS by
Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct Press, Trade Paperback, $16.00) -
Ursula Le Guin is a well-beloved fantasist, but she's also one of the
most interesting and eloquent non-fiction writers the genre can
boast. This title is simply flying off the shelves!
THE BEST OF MICHAEL MOORCOCK by Michael Moorcock, edited by John Davey
with Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon Publications, Trade Paperback,
$14.95) - From Tachyon Publications: "From the legendary author of the
Elric sagas, a Science Fiction Grand Master, a platinum album-receiving
rock star, and the controversial editor of the New Wave's NEW WORLDS,
this definitive collection captures the incomparable short fiction of
one of science fiction and literature's most important contemporary
writers. These exceptional stories range effortlessly from the
genre tales that continue to define fantasy to the author's
critically-acclaimed mainstream works. Classic offerings include the
Nebula award-winning novella "Behold the Man," which introduces a time
traveler and unlikely messiah that H.G. Wells never imagined, "The
Visible Men," a recent tale of the ambiguous and androgynous secret
agent Jerry Cornelius, the trilogy "My Experiences in the Third World
War," where a Russian agent in an alternate Cambodia is powerless to
prevent an inevitable march toward nuclear disaster, and "A Portrait in
Ivory," a Melibone story of troubled anti-hero Elric and his
soul-stealing sword, Stormbringer. Newer work handpicked by the
expert editing team includes one previously unpublished story and three
uncollected stories. With all of his finest stories finally collected
in one volume, this book is a long-overdue tribute to an
extraordinarily gifted, versatile and much-beloved author."
THE VILLA DESIREE AND OTHER UNCANNY STORIES by May Sinclair (Ash-Tree
Press, Hardcover, $49.00) - From Ash-Tree: MAY SINCLAIR (1863–1946)
began writing the first of her 'uncanny stories', 'The Intercessor', in
1910, and it was published a year later, laying the way for the
seventeen pieces collected in this volume. The stories are taken from
three collections: Uncanny Stories (1923), Tales Told by Simpson
(1930), and The Intercessor (1931). Here you will find tales of
psychological terror, ghost stories in their more familiar form, and
stories which reflect Sinclair's own deep thought processes. You will
be chilled by the evil Louis Carson and the Villa
Désirée; touched by the need of a child in 'The
Intercessor'; alarmed that the events in 'Heaven' might be real; and
relieved that the murdered victim of 'The Victim' actually didn't mind
being murdered at all. THE VILLA DESIREE AND OTHER UNCANNY
STORIES collects all of May Sinclair's supernatural, strange, and weird
tales in one volume for the first time, and is complemented by Rebeccah
Kinnamon Neff's detailed introduction.
THE BUCKROSS RING AND OTHER STORIES OF THE STRANGE AND SUPERNATURAL by
L.A.G Strong (Tartarus Press, Hardcover, $50.00) - From Tartarus Press:
"L.A.G. Strong may be little-known today, but in the mid twentieth
century he was considered one of the most popular, versatile and
acclaimed writers of his generation. The author of novels, plays,
poems, criticism, biography and film scripts, he wrote short stories
with 'the passion of a poet' in a closely-knit style with brilliant
bursts of description. Throughout his life Strong was a firm
believer in the paranormal, experiencing many psychic phenomena, which
inevitably inspired much of his supernatural fiction. He took his own
strange and vivid dreams and transcribed them into enigmatic narratives
and characters like the unearthly Bibi in 'The Buckross Ring'."
STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION by Rocky Wood and Justin Brooks (Cemetery
Dance, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (2,000 copies) Slipcased
Hardcover, $75.00) From Cemetery Dance: "STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION
is the first significant review of King's non-fiction. Most fans and
readers know King has written three non-fiction books and may have
noticed his introductions and Author's Notes to his own works, but few
know of his hundreds of columns, articles, book reviews and
criticism. In fact the authors review over 560 published works of
non-fiction (more than a dozen are revealed here for the first time)
and a further nine unpublished non-fiction pieces. Full details of
these unpublished pieces are revealed for the first time. Have
you ever heard of "My Little Serrated Security Blanket" by Stephen
King? It's a very rare essay King wrote over a decade ago, and most
fans have never had a chance to read it. . . until now!
Authors Rocky Wood and Justin Brooks spent five years compiling this
outstanding reference work, with the assistance of many of the leading
King researchers, collectors and 'super-collectors'; and access to
Restricted Non-Fiction Works in King's papers at the University of
Maine, Orono. Covering all King's published and known unpublished
works from 1959 to mid-2006, STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION reveals for
the first time dozens of pieces of non-fiction and their appearances
that were previously unknown to King researchers. If you've ever
wanted to know more about King's amazing and often controversial
non-fiction, this is the reference work you must have."
THRESHOLD: THE COMPLETE SHORT FICTION OF ROGER ZELAZNY VOL. 1 and POWER
& LIGHT: THE COMPLETE SHORT FICTION OF ROGER ZELAZNY VOL. 2 both by
Roger Zelazny (NESFA Press, Hardcovers, $29.00 each) - The first two
volumes in a projected six-volume series collecting all of Zelazny's
short fiction and poetry. Really lovely volumes, and they're
coming out quickly: the next two volumes (THIS MORTAL MOUNTAIN and LAST
EXIT TO BABYLON) are due in July, 2009 and the last two (NINE BLACK
DOVES and THE ROAD TO AMBER) are slated for December, 2009.
You'll probably want to reserve these in advance.
New and Notable
- DARKEST POWERS VOL. 2 by Kelley Armstrong (Harper, Hardcover, $17.99)
- Follow up to THE SUMMONING. I thought the first volume in this
series was fast-paced and entertaining enough to overlook some plot
(and logic) flaws, and so I'm anxious to read this one and see if it's
gotten a little tighter. - Jude
CONSPIRATOR - FOREIGNER VOL. 10 by C.J. Cherryh (DAW, Hardcover,
$25.95) - The first in a new FOREIGNER trilogy! From the book jacket:
"Cajeiri is the young son of the powerful leader of the Western
Association—and he has become a target for forces bent on destroying
his father’s rule. For Cajeiri is the first ateva youth to have lived
in a human environment. And after hundreds of years of fragile
atevi-human coexistence, he may very well be the first of his people to
ever truly understand the so similar—yet so dangerously
different—aliens who share his home planet and threaten the hidebound
customs of his race."
HANDLING THE UNDEAD by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Quercus, Trade Paperback,
$20.33) We have imported British copies of this new novel from the
author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. It is not a sequel, and it looks
terrifying. The jacket copy reads "Something very peculiar is
happening in Stockholm. There's a heatwave on and people cannot
turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the
terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up.
. . What do they want? What everybody wants: to come home. . . ."
FRAGILE ETERNITY by Melissa Marr (Bowen Press, Hardcover, $16.99) - Sequel to WICKED LOVELY.
THE CARDBOARD UNIVERSE: A GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF PHOEBUS K. DANK by
Christopher Miller (Harper, Trade Paperback, $14.99) - From Publishers
Weekly: "Miller's follow-up to SUDDEN NOISES FROM INANIMATE OBJECTS
once again experiments with narrative, exploring the life and death of
prolific science fiction novelist Phoebus K. Dank through a definitive
encyclopedia of the author's work; the commentators—one sycophantic,
one antagonistic—devote as much space writing about themselves as they
spend on their subject. Dank, based loosely on Philip K. Dick, wrote
scores of novels involving secret Martians, twins and
doppelgängers, enhanced or diminished senses, and near-futures in
which global warming and new viruses lead mankind in drastic new
directions. Unlike Dick (who features in one of Dank's alternate
universe tales), Dank is an extraordinary hack (though one of his
commentators would violently disagree). The book is clever and often
very funny, and the murder mystery at its heart is more complex than it
first appears. . . ."
THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY by Robert v. Redick (Del Rey, Hardcover,
$26.00) - Read the first chapter of this well-reviewed maritime fantasy
adventure here: <http://www.redwolfconspiracy.com/NewPages/chapter_one.html>.
ZOE'S TALE by John Scalzi (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) - Now in paperback.
THE DRAGONS OF BABEL by Michael Swanwick (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) -
Takes place in the same world as THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER,
Recommended by Alan.
THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by
Christopher Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, $26.00) -
From the jacket copy: "Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own
version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of
Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the
titles "The New Lay of the Volsungs" and "The New Lay of
Gudrun"." For a detailed list of frequently asked questions (and
their answers!) about the book, see <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/870-The_Legend_of_Sigurd_and_Gudrun.php>.
[Editor's Note: Thanks to customer and
i09 reviewer Christopher Hsiang for the following review of Jay Lake's
novel GREEN. And come to Jay's reading on July 18th, 2009 at
3:00! - Jude]
"Jay Lake is an inventive and prolific author with possibly the largest
collection of weaponized Hawaiian shirts in North America. His sixth
novel, GREEN (Tor, Hardcover, $26.95), is a richly imagined fantasy of
exotic cities, weird gods, conspiracies, stabbings, and kicks to the
It begins as a girl child, born into poverty and ignorance, is sold
into slavery by her own father. She is stolen away from the warm
land of rice paddies and the timeless rhythms of peasant life that are
all she has known, and put on a steamboat bound for distant Copper
Downs, capital city of the Stone Coast. Copper Downs is a cold,
bustling metropolis of commerce and power at the dawn of an Industrial
Revolution, populated by even colder people, pale as corpses.
Her culture, her language, her very name is stripped away. The
girl is imprisoned in the Pomegranate Court at the House of the Factor
with only the Teaching Mistresses for company. They teach her all
manner of domestic skills as well as a plethora of academic subjects,
the arts, and the social graces expected of an aristocratic
lady. Enduring abuse and humiliation, she must excel at her
lessons in order to survive. Some of her tutors show a modicum of
kindness and compassion, especially the Dancing Mistress, a member of a
feline race of humanoids called the pardines. The Dancing
Mistress supplements lessons in courtly dance and poise with secret
nocturnal classes in martial arts and stealth. It seems that in
addition to her training as a courtesan, she is being groomed for a
more nefarious task, perhaps an an assassin or spy--but for
who? Her education includes nothing of this city's current events
or gods. She hears only rumors of the Duke who has ruled Copper Downs,
possibly for centuries.
A decade passes and the girl approaches womanhood. Her master, the
Factor, has deemed her suitable to be sold as a pretty bauble of some
powerful lord, perhaps the Undying Duke himself. She is meant to
be a "prettypet" to charm the aristocracy at gala balls and in the most
exclusive parlors with her exotic beauty and witty conversation--no
politics or religion, mind you, nothing dangerous. The Factor dubs her
"Emerald" and deems her worthy of sale. She rejects this name, calls
herself "Green" instead, and swears to be no one's tool. She will
be free, she will battle the unjust system that stole her from her
native land. Green is twelve years old, pissed off, and has other
plans, but so has Fate.
Eventually Green makes her way back to the land of her birth, Selistan
(perhaps a pun on "Celestial Kingdom") only to find herself now a
foreigner mistrusted by her own people. Impoverished in a society
that treats women as chattel, she reluctantly finds sanctuary at the
Temple of the Lily Goddess in the city of Kalimpura. This
religious order takes inconvenient girl children or women too
independent to fit into their assigned roles. At the Temple women
can take roles generally reserved for men: law, accountancy, and
Martial arts. The most promising fighters are chosen to join the
Blades of the Lily. The Blades are the only law enforcement in
the city of Kalimpura, charged with keeping the peace by means that
usually involve stabbing and kicks to the head. Free to be
themselves, these women rely on each other for strength, understanding,
and love. Yes, there are sex scenes involving teenage lesbian
warrior nuns that will raise eyebrows among some squeamish readers
(like this reviewer). But like his infamous snuff-porn Dwarf Pits
in TRIAL OF FLOWERS (Night Shade Books, 2006,) Lake uses these
brief, vivid passages to good effect serving the plot or developing a
character; not to shock or titillate. So get your mind out of the
Although the very believable societies Lake imagines here are loosely
based on the China and England of the 19th Century, this world is
definitely in the realm of fantasy. Like TRIAL OF
FLOWERS, GREEN is set on a flat (possibly endless) plain, with a
procession of suns drifting across the sky. We already know Jay
has a fondness for impossible cosmologies after visiting the 1:1 scale
clockwork orrery Earth in MAINSPRING and ESCAPEMENT (Tor, 2007 and 2008
respectively) or the infinite vertical cylinder in his short story "The
Lollygang Save the World on Accident" (from EXTRAORDINARY ENGINES, Nick
Gevers ed., Solaris, 2008). Another similarity to TRIAL OF FLOWERS
is Lake's treatment of the very real gods in Green's world. These
deities are weird and powerful but usually treat with mortal concerns
in subtle and inscrutable means. When the powerful try to use the
gods to further their own goals, entire populations suffer. The
lesson here: let sleeping gods lie; magic may seem like an easy
solution, but people are better off relying on themselves.
Green has a mind as quick and sharp as a dagger and possesses an
amazing arsenal of skills (she's a great cook, too). Given all
these abilities she is still very much a child, alone in an unforgiving
world. For all her rigorous education, she has negligible people
skills. She feels driven to stop the oppression of women and children,
but she has only vague plans involving stabbing and kicks to the
head. Green must grow into the role she has chosen for
herself. To survive, she must find the strength to endure the
crap around her. To succeed, she must develop patience and wisdom
to match her passion and intellect.
Jay Lake writes beautifully. His language hearkens back to a more
formal age, without disguising the brutal truths of the world he has
created. GREEN is split into three distinct acts with the action,
pacing, and fantastical elements ever-increasing to an exciting climax
of mythic proportion. Personally, I would have enjoyed more detail
about the steam-driven and flywheel technology (of which there are only
a few tantalizing references,) but that's how I roll. At times
unsettling but always compelling, GREEN abounds with intrigue and
adventure. A feminist fable lovingly written with a father's hope
and concern for his daughter's future, GREEN is the story of a
strong-willed young woman trying to find her place in a world that
would rather ignore her. GREEN will not be ignored."
- Christopher Hsiang
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 - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Jeremy Lassen, Christopher Hsiang
All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Comments and suggestions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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