Dispatches from the Border, May 2019
DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News From Borderlands Books
Guy Gavriel Kay, A BRIGHTNESS LONG AGO (Berkeley, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, March 18th at 3:00 pm
SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with guests Guy Gavriel Kay, Ransom Stephens, and Simon Vance, moderated by Terry Bisson, Sunday, March 19th at 6:30 pm
SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with guests Nancy Etchemendy and Loren Rhoads, Sunday, June 9th at 6:30 pm
Megan E. O'Keefe, VELOCITY WEAPON (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Thursday, June 13th at 6:00 pm
Sarah Gailey, MAGIC FOR LIARS (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday, June 15th at 3:00 pm
Ferrett Steinmetz, THE SOL MAJESTIC (Tor, Trade Paperback, $16.99) Saturday, June 22nd at 3:00 pm
(for more information check the end of this newsletter)
* Overheard in the Store:
"Receipt? Oh, no, no, thank you. I don't want to be reminded how much I've spent on books."
"That?s adorable! The Prius had a bumper sticker that said 'Cool Prius! - Nobody'."
"But the paper ones are _meant_ to be edited"
"Space said 'we have black holes' and scientists just replied with, 'pics or it didn't happen'."
"You measure the cinnamon in parsecs?"
* ICYMI: Yes, we have permanently closed Borderlands Cafe (JUST THE CAFE), and we will be moving the bookstore (only) to the building that we purchased on Haight Street at some point in the future, when the construction work on the Haight Street building is complete. Alan Beatts, the business' owner, on closing the Cafe: http://borderlands-books.blogspot.com/2019/04/borderlands-cafe-to-close.html
* Because we've closed the Cafe, we'll be selling all the Cafe furniture, fixtures, and equipment, plus some extra bookshelves and other things while we're at it. The sale starts Sunday, May 19th at 12:00 pm. Come check out many tables, chairs, a variety of bookshelves, and a mind-boggling array of mugs, glasses, teapots, and such! We also have some really beautiful furniture -- would you like an amazing Chinese-style armoire, or a church pew for your place? This is a really cool opportunity to take home a little bit of Borderlands' history. We'd love to know that these items will live on with people who appreciate them. (Regrettably, it won't be possible for us to hold anything. And not to sound too salesman-y, but. . . prices will be dropping as we get closer to the cafe's must-be-vacant date of June 1st, but if you wait you'll risk missing out!)
* R.I.P. celebrated author and science fiction Grand Master Gene Wolfe: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/gene-wolfe-science-fiction-writer-with-a-literary-touch-dies-at-87/2019/04/28/9bf76226-69c1-11e9-a66d-a82d3f3d96d5_story.html
* We also regret having to share the news of the death of "Star Wars" actor Peter Mayhew: https://www.tor.com/2019/05/03/peter-mayhew-1944-2019/
* A very nice article on Borderlands Books by local author Kevin Smokler, from The Battery's magazine: https://www.thebatterysf.com/article/local-literary-gem
* A tribute and examination of one of the most important science fiction authors in history, Alice B. Sheldon (aka James Tiptree, Jr.): https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/4/18/18282660/james-tiptree-jr-feminist-dystopian-science-fiction
* You shouldn't waste food, but (#1) Oreos are barely food, and (#2) this isn't waste, this is ART! https://www.fastcompany.com/90328526/oreo-uses-2750-cookies-to-recreate-game-of-thrones-opening-credits
* Marlon James, author of the wildly popular BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF, (and the Man Booker Prize winner for A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS) is on "Time" Magazine's list of 100 most influential people in 2019. http://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2019/5567700/marlon-james/
* Privacy: a topic that is becoming increasingly relevant to our lives and our fiction: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/04/surveillance-science-fiction-colonializing-force/587863/
* More and more streaming services are popping up, and many of them are mining science fiction stories for their original programs. http://fortune.com/2019/05/03/data-sheet-apple-disney-amazon-streaming-science-fiction/
* Book Riot has organized a list of the Top 30 science-fiction books on Goodreads. Check it out here: https://bookriot.com/2019/05/03/top-sci-fi-books/
* In a continuing trend of AI and human cooperation in SFF, DJ Steve Aoki's new comic series "Neon Future" explores an optimistic future between man and machine. https://www.news18.com/news/tech/meet-neon-future-a-science-fiction-comic-that-trades-cyber-paranoia-for-optimism-2128799.html
* Sarah Ditum investigates why so many "literary" authors want to play with the ideas of science fiction while at the same time denigrating the genre and those of us who enjoy it. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/apr/18/it-drives-writers-mad-why-are-authors-still-sniffy-about-sci-fi
* "Yes" Magazine examines SFF's so-called "compassionate revolution" or "hopepunk": https://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/science-fiction-revolution-hope-hugo-award-20190423
* Inverse pulls together the top 11 SFF TV shows and movies streaming on Netflix this month. https://www.inverse.com/article/55427-best-science-fiction-movies-and-tv-on-netflix-may-2019
* A very interesting article that discusses the confluence of atheism and omnipotent beings in much of the SFF we consume -- the resistance to calling them gods doesn't alter the things they can do. https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/atheism-in-the-face-of-omnipotence-in-science-fiction
* Aliens move further and further from the realm of science fiction and closer and closer to science fact. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6986897/Expert-reveals-idea-alien-life-no-longer-like-science-fiction.html
* Thank you to sponsor Jo F., who made sure we didn't miss the entire cast of "Avengers: Endgame" covering "We Didn't Start the Fire". (No spoilers here.) Watch till the end for the sweet tribute to Stan Lee: https://www.cnet.com/news/avengers-endgame-cast-sings-we-didnt-start-the-fire-adds-stan-lee-tribute/
* For those who've seen "Avengers: Endgame", here are some burning questions you might have after the movie (beware, spoilers!): https://sciencefiction.com/2019/05/03/12-burning-questions-we-have-after-seeing-avengers-endgame/
* So often science fiction and fantasy focuses on colonizing powers without ever examining the history of the indigenous people, whether they be an existing culture, or one that's made up (and given attributes of real-life cultures). Here's one artist exploring the history of Mexico's indigenous people through speculative art. http://eltecolote.org/content/en/arts_culture/mexican-painter-imagines-indigenous-history-as-science-fiction/
* Ranking the most destructive weapons in science-fiction (with a few real-life WMDs included for perspective) in an infographic! https://techaeris.com/2019/04/05/infographic-what-are-the-top-weapons-in-science-fiction
* SFF is full of created sports, from rollerball to qudditch to blitzball to pyramid, and Dr. Derek Thiess' latest book explores the ideas and importance of made-up sports within the realm of speculative fiction. https://ung.edu/news/articles/2019/04/thiess-latest-book-examines-sports-in-science-fiction.php
* Are sea serpent sightings the result of actual science? https://www.sciencealert.com/the-public-s-fascination-with-marine-fossils-changed-how-we-saw-monsters
* "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons" are icons that few people forget, but for Na'amen, "The Herculoids" were an absolute favorite, and he's so glad someone is finally giving the classic cartoon some credit. https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/alex-toth-and-the-herculoids-helped-define-science-fiction-in-animation
* Apex Magazine will unfortunately go on indefinite hiatus after their 120th issue. Read editor Jason Sizemore's statement here: https://www.apex-magazine.com/sleep-now-apex-magazine-youve-earned-it/
* If you live in New York or will be there in January 2020, sponsor Flash S. is putting together a meet up to celebrate Isaac Asimov's hundredth birthday at a location near one of Asimov's childhood homes in Brooklyn. Meetup info here: https://www.meetup.com/Asimov-Centennial-Meetup/ and discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/asimov/comments/a4j4wn/asimov_centennial_convention/
* A Speculative Fiction Writers Group is starting at The Mechanics' Institute Library & Chess Room in San Francisco this Tuesday, May 7th: https://www.milibrary.org/events/speculative-fiction-writers-group-may-07-2019
* Here are the Hugo finalists both for 2019 and the Retro Hugos for 1944! https://dublin2019.com/hugo-finalists/
* The Nebula Award nominations have recently been the subject of controversy, as accusations of "slate voting" and rigging fly: https://locusmag.com/2019/04/nebula-awards-ballot-controversy/
* The 2018 British Science Fiction Association awards have been announced! https://bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-awards-2018-announced/
* The 2019 Phillip K. Dick Award winner was announced, along with a special citation winner! https://www.philipkdickaward.org/2019/04/2019-philip-k-dick-award-winner-announced.html
* The nominees for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced. The awards are presented for "outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction". The list of nominees is here: https://locusmag.com/2019/05/2018-shirley-jackson-awards-nominees/
* DOWN THE RIVER UNTO THE SEA by Walter Mosley has won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Novel! The complete list of nominees and winners is here: http://www.theedgars.com/nominees.html
* Baltimore Science Fiction Society has decided on the winner for the 2018 Compton Crook award. (THE POPPY WAR by R.F. Kuang is an amazing book that you should definitely check out.) http://www.bsfs.org/
* Madeline Miller's newest novel CIRCE, (based on our favorite witch from Greek myth, or is that just us?), has been shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction. https://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/
* PulpFest has announced the nominees of the 2019 Munsey Award, given "to an individual or institution that has bettered the pulp community." The list of nominees is here: http://www.pulpfest.com/2019/05/2019-munsey-award-nominees/
From The Office
This is going to be a very short update on our building process. I've been very busy this month getting all the work done to shut down the cafe and so time (and sleep) has been in very short supply. Despite that, we've made some very good progress at Haight Street. Milestones have been:
Revised bathroom layout approved. It's a much better arrangement than the original design and also takes up less floor space. Kevin Short, our architect, really outdid himself getting it worked out and permitted.
Floor framing for bathroom and lightwell completed. Since we know the layout for sure now, we were able to finalize the floor framing layout and get it done. I'm very pleased with how it all came out. And perhaps the most impressive part of the job was that it was almost completely done by our volunteers with only oversight from me. It was a difficult and demanding job (the bathroom floor especially so, since it had to be just about dead level) and, personally, I think they produced a better and more precise piece of work than the average professional crew would have.
Trench and conduit for new electrical completed. The schedules all lined up for both our trenching contractor and our electrician so that job was completed in less than a week. Now we're just waiting for a second inspection of the panels (because, really, the inspector was kind of unreasonable). After that, there are two inspections from PG&E (both scheduled for this month) and then we wait for them to connect the power (which is scheduled for the beginning of July . . . because PG&E is a little slow). But, at this point, the job is moving forward and quickly too. Which is damn nice since we first applied for the permits well over a _year_ ago.
Aside from that, the garden is coming along beautifully now that spring is here, and many smaller jobs have been knocked out.
That's about it. Goodnight.
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for April, 2019
1. Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey
2. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
3. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
4. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
5. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
6. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
7. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
8. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
9. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
10. Radicalized by Cory Doctorow
1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu
3. A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
4. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
5. Fault Lines edited by Margaret Lucke
6. The Power by Naomi Alderman
7. Blood Ink by Dana Fredsti
8. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
9. New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl
10. Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Dune by Frank Herbert
2. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
3. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
4. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
5. Spawn of Lilith by Dana Fredsti
6. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
7. Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
8. Who Fears Death? By Nnedi Okorafor
9. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
10. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
Book Club Information
The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, June 9th, at 5 pm to discuss BABYLON'S ASHES by James S.A. Corey. 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, May 19th, at 6 pm to discuss GATEWAY by Frederik Pohl. The book for June is ARTEMIS by Andy Weir. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
Guy Gavriel Kay, A BRIGHTNESS LONG AGO (Berkeley, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, March 18th at 3:00 pm - We are always delighted to welome Guy Gavriel Kay to Borderlands. He's such a lovely person and such a talented writer -- his prose is almost universally gorgeous. This time, he's presenting a new fantasy set in a world that will be familiar to his dedicated readers. As for the plot, the publisher says: "In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra's intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count--and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast. Danio's fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count's chambers one autumn night--intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger--and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place. Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance. A BRIGHTNESS LONG AGO offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune's wheel." If that wasn't enough to pique your interest, Kirkus Reviews calls the book "[a]n epic tale filled with characters compelling enough to bear the weight of the high stakes." Join us to meet Guy Gavriel Kay!
SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with guests Guy Gavriel Kay, Ransom Stephens, and Simon Vance, moderated by Terry Bisson, Sunday, March 19th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10.) Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series! This month we're joined by the fabulous Guy Gavriel Kay, Ransom Stephens, and Simon Vance (the narrator of Kay's audiobooks). The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by Terry Bisson. Authors will schmooze & sign books after. Books will be available for sale. Seating is limited, so first come, first seated. Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with guests Nancy Etchemendy and Loren Rhoads, Sunday, June 9th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10.) Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series! This month we're joined by authors Nancy Etchemendy and Loren Rhoads, who will be showing off a new charity anthology whose proceeds benefit the victims of the November 2018 Camp Fire. The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by Terry Bisson. Authors will schmooze & sign books after. Books will be available for sale. Seating is limited, so first come, first seated. Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Megan E. O'Keefe, VELOCITY WEAPON (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Thursday, June 13th at 6:00 pm - We're happy to welcome fabulous local author Megan E. O'Keefe back to Borderlands! Her new novel sounds incredible; here's the teaser from the publisher: "The last thing Sanda remembers is her gunship breaking up around her as her preserving pod expanded, sealing herself away for salvage-medics to pick up. She expected to awaken in friendly hands, patched up and patched back into a new gunship. Instead, she awakens 230 years later upon an empty enemy smartship, The Light of Berossus or, as he prefers to be called, "Bero". The war is lost. The star system is dead. However, Bero may not exactly be telling the whole truth." We hope you'll come meet Megan and check out this fantastic new space adventure!
Sarah Gailey, MAGIC FOR LIARS (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday, June 15th at 3:00 pm - We are very excited to welcome formerly-local Sarah Gailey back to Borderlands! From the publisher: "You may recognize Hugo award winner Gailey as the author of the novellas RIVER OF TEETH and TASTE OF MARROW or for their hilarious online pop culture commentary on sites like Tor.com, Mashable, and more. Their fantastic debut novel reads like Jessica Jones meets THE MAGICIANS (with a dash of Megan Abbott for good measure!) [and] is already earning great praise. . ." Sarah will be in conversation with author Maggie Tokuda-Hall, and we do hope you'll join us to meet them and check out this fantastic new novel!
Ferrett Steinmetz, THE SOL MAJESTIC (Tor, Trade Paperback, $16.99) Saturday, June 22nd at 3:00 pm - (More details to come, but Jude absolutely loves this book and won't shut up about it!)
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