Dispatches from the Border: July 2016
Events and News From Borderlands Books
Sarah Kuhn, HEROINE COMPLEX (DAW, Trade Paperback, $15.00); Mira Grant, RISE (ORBIT, Hardcover, $25.00); and Amber Benson, THE LAST DREAM KEEPER (ACE, Trade Paperback, $15.00) on Saturday, July 9th at 6:00 pm
Writers With Drinks at the Make Out Room (3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with Sarah Kuhn, Allison Mick, Anne Lesley Selcer, Charles Stross, Shruti Swamy, and Abigail Ulman on Saturday, July 9th at 7:30 pm
Charles Stross, THE NIGHTMARE STACKS (ACE, Hardcover, $27.00) on Sunday, July 10th at 3:00 pm
Donald Sidney-Fryer, HOBGOBLIN APOLLO: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF DONALD SIDNEY-FRYER (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback, $25.00) on Saturday, July 16th at 1:00 pm (please note the unusually early start time for this event)
Early Closing - Borderlands Books and Cafe will both be closing at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 16th for a private event
SF in SF with authors Richard Kadrey and Thomas Olde Heuvelt (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco, CA) on Sunday, July 17th at 6:30 pm
Daniel O'Malley, STILETTO (Little, Brown & Company, Hardcover, $26.00) on Saturday, July 23rd at 3:00 pm
Seth Harwood, EVERYONE PAYS (Thomas & Mercer, Trade Paperback, $15.95) on Sunday, July 24th at 3:00 pm
Todd Lockwood, THE SUMMER DRAGON (DAW, Hardcover, $26.00) on Wednesday, July 27th at 6:00 pm
Eliot Fintushel, ZEN CITY, (Zero Books, Trade Paperback, $11.95) on Saturday, July 30th at 3:00 pm
A celebration of Avram Davidson with Grania Davis and Ethan Davidson, reading from the new collection DAVID & SON, plus special guest Trina Robbins! (Surinam Turtle Press, Trade Paperback, $15.00) on Sunday, July 31st at 6:00 pm
Richard Kadrey, THE PERDITION SCORE (HarperVoyager, Hardcover, $25.99) on Saturday, August 6th at 3:00 pm
Sonia Orin Lyris, THE SEER (Baen, Trade Paperback, $15.00) Saturday, August 13th at 3:00 pm
SF in SF with authors Cecil Castellucci, David D. Levine, and Ben Loory (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco, CA) on Sunday, August 14th at 6:30 pm
Drop-by signing with Becky Chambers, A LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET (Harper, Trade Paperback, $15.99) on Monday, August 15th
(for more information check the end of this newsletter)
* A warm welcome to Borderlands' publicity and marketing intern, Miranda Phaal! Miranda is a Borderlands sponsor and a student at Tufts University. She'll be helping us out with events, hopefully helping with our elusive YouTube channel, and writing some promotional material and other items for the store, including this month's From the Office piece. You'll mostly see Miranda at events or in the office, so feel free to say hi when you do!
* Overheard in the store:
[Author]: "I'm not really very collectible. My audience is primarily composed of people who shoplift books."
"I _really_ need to finish what I'm reading right now. But this one just looks so cool. . . AND this one. . . ."
* PLEASE NOTE: Because of a sponsor rental, we'll be closing both the bookstore and cafe early, at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 16th.
* Science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer was just appointed to the Order of Canada for his contribution to science fiction and futurism. Presented twice a year, it is one of the nation?s highest civilian honors. The full list of appointments is here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/governor-general-announces-113-appointments-to-the-order-of-canada/article30686986/
* The Horror Writers' Association (HWA) has announced a new program that will fund endowments to help libraries set up and maintain teen writing programs! The whole announcement is here: http://horrorscholarships.com/young-adults-write-now-endowment-program/
* Person of Interest started as a weekly criminal procedural with an interesting science fiction element, and through its run (which just ended after 5 seasons), became one of the best recent science fiction shows. Io9 goes into all the details. http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-person-of-interest-became-essential-science-fiction-1782518427
* Although Kotaku argues that Metal Gear Solid is one of the best science fiction stories in any medium, perhaps a Person of Interest/Metal Gear Solid deathmatch to settle the question? http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/07/metal-gear-solid-is-one-of-the-most-fascinating-science-fiction-stories-in-any-medium/
* With Oculus on the horizon and other gaming companies coming out with their own VR headsets, this article tracing the idea of virtual reality through science fiction is especially timely. http://venturebeat.com/2016/07/03/how-science-fiction-writers-predicted-virtual-reality/
* This article in Women?s News states what many of us have always known: women love science fiction and read it just as often as men. http://womensenews.org/2016/07/in-science-fiction-the-race-for-female-readers-should-be-underway/
* Two great science fiction voices, Ann VanderMeer and Annalee Newitz were interviewed and gave their picks for the best summer reads. http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-07-02/best-science-fiction-books-your-summer-reading-list
* Many of us noticed that most of our favorite military SF writers are veterans. This article explores the reasons behind those connections and introduces us to some newer voices in military SF: http://www.stripes.com/former-troops-building-second-careers-in-military-science-fiction-1.417224
* Blastr gives us a list of 12 female presidents in science fiction, some wonderful and some absolutely terrible: http://www.blastr.com/2016-6-30/commandresses-chief-top-12-female-presidents-science-fiction
* Great in-depth review/article on Yoon Ha Lee?s space opera novel NINEFOX GAMBIT which combines space, math, and religion into an unforgettable novel. http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2016/06/ninefox-gambit-is-military-science-fiction-for-people-who-love-mathematics/
* The latest New York Times speculative fiction reviews by N.K. Jemisin! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/books/review/the-latest-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy.html
* And The Washington Post's monthly science fiction reviews! https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/best-science-fiction-novels-to-read-this-month/2016/06/21/6dd0f2f2-33e3-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html
* In geek fandoms/actors crossing-the-streams news, Tom Felton (DRACO MALFOY, WE LOVE YOU!) will be a series regular in Season 3 of "The Flash".
* Interesting conversation about science, fiction, and religion featuring two scientists, a science-fiction writer, and a theologian -- (it sounds like the beginning to a really bad joke, but it's a good article):
* You?ll never look at classic SF authors the same way again, once you see these ads.
* A really interesting discussion about comics targeted at girls that actually had a lot of science fiction and fantasy adventures. Many dismissed the comics Bunty and Mandy, but there were a lot of great ideas in those pages. http://www.denofgeek.com/books-comics/girls-comics/40252/a-girl-like-you-genre-adventures-in-girls-comics
* The New Yorker talks to the the talented Catherynne Valente about her Fairyland series, which started online and has since become a phenomenon for both kids and adults. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-wildly-inventive-fantasy-series-that-began-on-the-web-and-became-a-best-seller
* This article argues that Indian fantasy writers are not simply rewriting their mythological epics (as has been argued), but that there is a diversity in Indian fantasy for those who wish to look for it. http://scroll.in/article/810251/indian-fantasy-writers-are-creating-worlds-beyond-the-epics-but-readers-must-know-where-to-look
* Wired has a great interview with author N.K. Jemisin where she talks Patreon, writing, inspiration, and choices. Check it out! http://www.wired.com/2016/06/wired-book-club-nk-jemisin/
* In honor of Fathers' Day this past month, let's take a look at (arguably) the worst fictional fathers in SF/F: https://www.inverse.com/article/17120-the-10-worst-fictional-fathers-in-sci-fi-fantasy-stories
* The always-brilliant Ursula K. LeGuin responds to a note that "technology is studiously avoided" in her works : http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Note-Technology.html
* The inaugural Eugie Foster Award has announced its first nominees! http://www.eugiefoster.com/eugieaward
* The Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the winners of the 2016 Rhysling Awards. Check them out on their (very retro-1996 Geocities) webpage here:
* The Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) has announced the winner for their 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Awards, which recognize excellence in SF/F/H by New Zealanders. Check out all the winners here: http://www.sffanz.org.nz/sjv/sjvResults-2016.html
* The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel has announced their 2016 nominees: http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/campbell-finalists.htm
* New Award Alert: Nalo Hopkinson has announced The Lemonade Award to honor five people/groups which are doing something to foster joy and positive change in the science fiction community. More information and links on how to donate if you feel inclined are here: http://www.strangehorizons.com/blog/2016/06/announcement_the_lemonade_awar.shtml
* The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists have announced the nominees for the 2016 Chesley Awards. Full list here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/2016-chesley-awards-finalists/
* The British Fantasy Society has announced its nominees for the 2016 British Fantasy Award. Full list here: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/british-fantasy-awards/british-fantasy-awards-2016-the-nominees/
* The Lambda Awards were announced and Locus has a list of the winners of interest to SF/F/H fans. http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/28th-annual-lambda-awards-winners/
* Locus has also announced the winners of their annual awards and have a complete list of their nominees and winners here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/2016-locus-awards-winners/
From The Office
London, the Heart of the Urban Fantasy Empire
Modern London has become the capital of the new urban fantasy empire. Although a contemporary setting is not a requirement of urban fantasy, what makes the subgenre so appealing is its blend of the old and the new. The ancient historical and literary -- and, most importantly, rural -- tradition of magic is adapted to a new setting: the city. The supernatural is thus made less fantastic, and more familiar. With urban fantasy, the reader need not conjure up an unreachable realm long ago and far away to immerse herself in the world of the novel and experience its magic. All that is required, at least for the city-dweller, is to step out the front door.
Urban fantasy makes the impossible credible in our own world. Typically, it does this by taking tenets of traditional or high fantasy, placing them some distance back in the history of the imagined world, and deducing how they would have evolved over time to function in a contemporary urban environment. Something old becomes something new.
It is no coincidence that about half of all urban fantasy novels since the subgenre's inception have been set in London. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and a handful of other subsequent seminal works in the subgenre have no doubt influenced other authors to write about London's magic, but that magic was already there.
No city churns together the new and the old, the grittily real and the majestically fantastic, quite like London does. In the nineteenth century, London was the world?s largest city and most important financial center, as well as the heart of the largest empire in history. From the city's founding by the Romans in the first century A.D., through the Viking invasions and the devastation of the Black Death, London's early history was fraught with violence and upheaval. The still-extant Corporation of London survived the Norman Conquest and has remained at the core of a strong mercantile vein through the city?s history, of which the East India Company (established by London merchants at the dawn of the Age of Imperialism) is also a part. Early Modern London saw almost as much bloodshed as its medieval forebear. The Great Fire of London razed most of the medieval city in 1666. The failed Gunpowder Plot left Guy Fawkes and many of his co-conspirators drawn and quartered. Jack the Ripper prowled the streets of Whitechapel in 1888, and Sir Robert Peel's Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard struggled against a rising wave of crime. Literary greats from William Shakespeare to Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley have called London home. The Industrial Revolution, the London Underground (the world's first underground railway) and the city's "pea soup fogs" were the backdrop of a particularly brutal time in London's history, but the city's traditional institutions survived, adapting to modern times by fits and starts. London's incredible perseverance through the Blitz was a trial by fire of just how much Britain and the people living in its capital valued their history and way of life. London's rich history and culture have consistently demonstrated a simultaneous reverence for tradition and a progressive drive to embrace the future.
The city itself is a physical manifestation of those two trends. London is perhaps the most iconic city in the world, but it has collected its icons over many centuries, from the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey dating back to the eleventh and thirteenth centuries respectively, through the famous London Underground roundel, black cabs and red telephone boxes of the last century, to newer icons such as the London Eye, the Gherkin and The Shard, which all came into being within the last twenty-five years. During World War II, the Blitz ravaged London like a wildfire through a forest, destroying much, but making way for new growth amidst the old. The modern city with an ancient and very present past is the perfect place for traditional fantasy to shed its skin and slither in amongst the cobblestone streets and sodium lights.
As a setting for so much urban fantasy, one might expect London to have become a tired subject, but each author has managed to find different facets of the city to explore. Several authors see the enormous and diverse city as a place of chaos, and approach it from a law enforcement standpoint, drawing on the history of the Metropolitan Police Service (the Met), the first professional police force in the world. Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series follows the investigations of constable Peter Grant, apprentice to Inspector Nightingale, the head of an old and secret branch of the Met devoted to solving magical crimes. While the setting is modern, Aaronovitch's magic is traditional in flavor, with ancient secret societies, literal ghosts of the city's past, personifications of nature (the River Thames, for example), grimoires and Latin incantations, and the magicians' master/apprentice relationship, which causes some initial friction between the protagonist of West African heritage and his "Master." It is the integration of ancient magical practices with modern police work that makes Aaronovitch?s Rivers of London series so compelling, and which provides the dynamo for works like it, such as Paul Cornell's Shadow Police series.
Other authors engage London's history more directly by choosing a historical setting. V.E. Schwab's new Shades of Magic series takes place during King George III's reign -- at least in Grey London, the version of London that most closely parallels our own out of Schwab's four. Red London is the capital of a flourishing magical empire and the home of the series? protagonist, Kell. White London?s magic is draining away, and its inhabitants fight viciously for the scraps that are left. And Black London was, at least according to legend, consumed by its magic and sealed off from the three other realms long ago. Kell is one of the few who can travel between the three remaining Londons, and a name is one of the only things that the cities share. Each iteration of London is very much a product of the its own realm's magic -- in magic-rich Red London, almost nothing is permanent as the skyline changes with the daily trends, and in White London the air smells of blood. Each London, to some extent, provides a look at a different aspect of British imperialism, and its consequences. Similarly, Jonathan Barnes' Domino Men duology begins in Victorian London with The Somnambulist, and then jumps forward to modern London in The Domino Men when the creature with whom Queen Victoria made a Faustian bargain for the fate of her empire returns to collect its debt. Barnes forges into the blood and shadows of the politics of the imperial capital, embodied best by the monstrous men kept in the cellar of 10 Downing Street.
Another popular method authors use to explore London's magical side is the creation of an alternate London. Three of the subgenre's most prominent works do this: Gaiman's Neverwhere, Simon R. Green's Nightside series and Mike Carey's Felix Castor series. Gaiman constructs "London Below," the magical community situated literally beneath London in the network of old ruins, Victorian sewers and abandoned Underground tunnels. There is little interaction between the two Londons, not least because the inhabitants of London Below are effectively invisible to their counterparts in London Above. In the same vein as Gaiman's London Below is "the Nightside" in Green?s series. The Nightside is a secret, bizarre netherworld located in the heart of London, despite being larger than the city itself, and shrouded in perpetual darkness. In the Nightside, futuristic technology and the supernatural thrive side-by-side, and almost anything can be bought--for the right price. Carey, on the other hand, creates an alternate London very different from Gaiman's or Green's. The Felix Castor series is set in a near, post-almost-apocalyptic-but-not-quite future in which the dead, demons and were-kind have risen in droves, but are kept in check by people like London-based freelance exorcist Felix Castor. Carey's London is openly engaged in a struggle with the supernatural, and all are affected.
A large part of what makes urban fantasy so compelling as a subgenre, however, is the relatability of the setting. It is almost always set in our world as we know it, and an alternate or hidden London is a step removed from the one we know. Like Aaronovitch, Benedict Jacka succeeds in bringing to life a vibrant, magical community throughout real-world London in his Alex Verus series. Also like Aaronovitch, Jacka relies largely on concepts of traditional magic plucked from their historical and high fantasy origins, tweaked and bent in a few interesting ways, and then plopped down into modern London, as seer Alex Verus must track down a magical artefact from the ancient war between Dark and Light mages, all the while doing his damndest to avoid being caught up in the machinations of mage factions both light and dark.
Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series is among the best (and certainly one of the most underrated) works of urban fantasy to date, because she expands upon a relatively unexplored form of magic: urban magic. Fritz Lieber's concept of megapolisomancy which he began to develop in the 1940s with stories such as "Smoke Ghost" and "The Hound," is an early example. Lieber wrote of megapolisomancy as a pseudoscience, and believed that the buildup of artificial "city-stuff" either created or attracted extremely dangerous entities known as paramentals. Cities, to Lieber, were dark places of cancerous growth and psychological entropy, but also sources of great power to those foolhardy enough to harness them. Kate Griffin takes quite a different approach. While the city does have a mind of its own, it is simply a manifestation of the next stage of life, and urban magic is a neutral force. As Robert Bakker, (Matthew's teacher) explains it, "Magic is life. Where there is magic, there is life; the two cannot be separated? And in this new time, the magic is no longer of the vine and the tree; magic now focuses itself where there is most life, and that life burns neon." Griffin's urban magic is based on the principle that magic -- like the people and creatures that use it -- adapts and changes. In Griffin's re-imagining of real-world London, The Whites are a clan of magicians who can only be found by taking the last Circle Line train, and who watch the city through their graffiti which, occasionally, comes to life. The Bikers can bend the laws of space and time to cover miles in a second. Fairies have tin foil wings, vampires screen their blood donors for communicable diseases and attend support groups, bloodhounds are creatures not to be trifled with, and the gods of the city are the Bag Lady, the Beggar King, Fat Rat and Lady Neon. Matthew, an urban sorcerer, can pull electricity out of the power mains, scry through the eyes of pigeons and urban foxes, send a hex via email, cast a barrier spell using the legalese on the back of his Oyster card, walk along the old city walls to commune with London itself, and on top of all that, he happens to be partially possessed by godlike creatures born of all of the life people have poured into the telephone lines ever since the first "Mr. Watson, are you there?". Like London itself, Griffin's urban magic is a vibrant and dynamic blend of old and new -- and that is what makes great urban fantasy.
All of the authors mentioned in this article -- and many more -- have built upon the great foundation of traditional fantasy. As much as modernizing those traditions keeps urban fantasy fresh and interesting, the subgenre is nothing without its history -- just like the cities that provide its essential settings.
- Miranda Phaal
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for June, 2016
1. THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill
2. THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin
3. RISE: A NEWSFLESH COLLECTION by Mira Grant
4. THE LONG COSMOS by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
5. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
6. VELVETEEN VS. THE SEASONS by Seanan McGuire
7. WAR FACTORY by Neal Asher
8. LEAGUE OF DRAGONS by Naomi Novik
9. THE NIGHTMARE STACKS by Charles Stross
10. THE EVERYTHING BOX by Richard Kadrey
1. THE ROOT by Na?amen Gobert Tilahun
2. UNITED STATES OF JAPAN by Peter Tieryas
3. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
4. JUST ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER by Jodi Taylor
5. THE THREE BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
6. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
7. GUNSLINGER by Stephen King
8. STORIES OF YOUR LIFE AND OTHERS by Ted Chiang
9. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
10. NEMESIS GAMES by James S.A. Corey
Mass Market Paperbacks
1. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
2. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
3. SILENT HILL by N.S. Dolkart
4. VICKY PETERWALD: REBEL by Mike Shepherd
5. THE PRICE OF VALOR by Django Wexler
6. FROM A HIGH TOWER by Mercedes Lackey
7. THE DINOSAUR LORDS by Victor Milan
8. ARTEFACT by Jamie Sawyer
9. LAWLESS AND THE DEVIL OF EUSTON SQUARE by William Sutton
10. ASSASSIN QUEEN by Anna Kashina
Book Club Information
The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, July 10th, at 5 pm to discuss THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi. The book for August will be AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson. 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, July 17th, at 6 pm to discuss ALTERED CARBON by Richard K. Morgan. The book for the following month will be BLINDSIGHT by Peter Watts. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
Sarah Kuhn, HEROINE COMPLEX (DAW, Trade Paperback, $15.00); Mira Grant, RISE (ORBIT, Hardcover, $25.00); and Amber Benson, THE LAST DREAM KEEPER (ACE, Trade Paperback, $15.00) on Saturday, July 9th at 6:00 pm - We couldn't be happier to welcome this trio of fabulous authors to Borderlands!
Sarah Kuhn's new novel is a sensational, fast-moving, super-fun super-heroine story set in San Francisco! The book introduces Evie Tanaka, the tremendously put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, Evie's childhood best friend and San Francisco's most beloved super-heroine. But everything changes when Evie's forced to impersonate Aveda for an evening and Evie's own powers make their very dramatic appearance.
Mira Grant really needs no introduction, but we do love this line from her webiste: "Mira Grant was born and raised in Northern California, where she has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead." She's also the author of The Newsflesh and Parasitology Trilogies; RISE is a collection of short stories in the Newsflesh universe, including the ever-popular "San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats".
Amber Benson is the talented and versatile author of more than a dozen novels, including the Calliope Reaper-Jones series, the Ghosts of Albion books with Christopher Golden, and now a new urban fantasy series that began with THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK. THE LAST DREAM KEEPER continues the adventures of Lyse MacAllister, who has stepped into a very difficult role as master of the Echo Park coven of witches following her great-aunt's death -- and now there's a new threat, a group of fanatics intent on bringing about the end of times. . . . You won't want to miss this high-energy, awesome event!
Writers With Drinks at the Make Out Room (3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with Sarah Kuhn, Allison Mick, Anne Lesley Selcer, Charles Stross, Shruti Swamy, and Abigail Ulman on Saturday, July 9th at 7:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders! July's lineup includes the following amazing authors: Sarah Kuhn, Allison Mick, Anne Lesley Selcer, Charles Stross, Shruti Swamy, and Abigail Ulman! Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds. All proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture. Doors open at 6:30. Borderlands will be on hand to sell books, (and yes, Sarah will be sprinting out of the Borderlands event to appear at Writers With Drinks)!
Charles Stross, THE NIGHTMARE STACKS (ACE, Hardcover, $27.00) on Sunday, July 10th at 3:00 pm - We're thrilled to host Charles Stross, who only very infrequently makes it across the Atlantic to hang out with us! Charlie will be showing off the newest in the always-fun Laundry Files novels, THE NIGHTMARE STACKS! From the publisher's website: "Alex Schwartz had a promising future -- until he contracted an unfortunate bout of vampirism, and agreed (on pain of death) to join the Laundry, Britain's only counter-occult secret agency. His first assignment is in Leeds - his old hometown. The thought of telling his parents that he's lost his old job, let alone them finding out about his 'condition', is causing Alex more anxiety than learning how to live as a vampire secret agent preparing to confront multiple apocalypses. His only saving grace is Cassie Brewer, a student appearing in the local Goth Festival, who flirts with him despite his awkward personality and massive amounts of sunblock. But Cassie has secrets of her own - secrets that make Alex's night life seem positively normal . . ." You can check out the covers (both US and UK) of THE NIGHTMARE STACKS, as well as a Q&A about the book here: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/11/cover-reveal-the-nightmare-sta.html .
Donald Sidney-Fryer, HOBGOBLIN APOLLO: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF DONALD SIDNEY-FRYER (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback, $25.00) on Saturday, July 16th at 1:00 pm (please note the unusually early start time for this event) - We are delighted to welcome the Last of the Courtly Poets, Donald Sidney-Fryer, presenting his fascinating autobiography HOBGOBLIN APOLLO! Donald is a leading authority on Clark Ashton Smith and the California Romantics, and an absolutely captivating character. Come hear the professional and personal stories of this poet, author, editor, and marvelously eccentric individual.
Early Closing - Borderlands Books and Cafe will both be closing at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 16th for a private event. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
SF in SF with authors Richard Kadrey and Thomas Olde Heuvelt (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco, CA) on Sunday, July 17th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.) Doors and bar at 5:30 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. We're so happy to celebrate the return of SF in SF, at a lovely new venue! 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. Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books. Seating is limited, so first come, first seated. Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Daniel O'Malley, STILETTO (Little, Brown & Company, Hardcover, $26.00) on Saturday, July 23rd at 3:00 pm - We're very excited to welcome Daniel O'Malley, author of the wildly popular novel THE ROOK, to Borderlands, for the next book in the The Rook Files, STILETTO! Daniel lives in Australia, so it is a special treat to host him. Alan really liked THE ROOK, and STILETTO sounds fantastic! From the publisher's website: "When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers -- and the bureaucratic finesse -- to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries: The Checquy -- the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and. . . The Grafters -- a centuries-old supernatural threat. But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war." We hope you'll join us in welcoming Daniel O'Malley to the store!
Seth Harwood, EVERYONE PAYS (Thomas & Mercer, Trade Paperback, $15.95) on Sunday, July 24th at 3:00 pm - Seth Harwood is back with a brand new thriller set in the ugly underbelly of San Francisco! From the book jacket: "Before becoming a homicide investigator, Clara Donner spent years on vice alongside the runaways and vulnerable women who walk San Francisco?s streets. She thinks she?s seen the worst things people can do - until she?s assigned to investigate a particularly ruthless serial killer. As the body count rises and a pattern emerges - each victim is known for his brutal abuse of women - Donner follows the killer?s trail across the city. In spite of a nagging sense that the world may be better off without these men, she pursues every lead. When Donner finds a damaged girl with links to both the killer and his prey, she wonders if this new witness is the key to unraveling these murders or another victim left in the killer?s wake." Meet Seth and check out this fascinating new novel.
Todd Lockwood, THE SUMMER DRAGON (DAW, Hardcover, $26.00) on Wednesday, July 27th at 6:00 pm - We are absolutely delighted to welcome acclaimed fantasy illustrator Todd Lockwood, who will be showing off his debut novel of high adventure, dragons, and political intrigue, THE SUMMER DRAGON! Just check out the great synopsis from the publisher's website: "Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she hopes for a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. But the war goes badly, and the needs of the Dragonry dash her hopes. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon -- one of the rare and mythical High Dragons -- makes an appearance in her quiet valley. The Summer Dragon is an omen of change, but no one knows for certain what kind of change he augurs. Political factions vie to control the implied message, each to further their own agendas. And so Maia is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors -- thralls of the enemy -- and a faceless creature drawn from her fears. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she uncovers secrets that challenge her understanding of her world and of herself." Do not miss the opportunity to meet this talented artist and author!
Eliot Fintushel, ZEN CITY, (Zero Books, Trade Paperback, $11.95) on Saturday, July 30th at 3:00 pm - We're happy to welcome the brilliant (and local!) Eliot Fintushel! Publishers Weekly has given his new novel ZEN CITY a starred review! Here's what they have to say about it: "Author and performance artist Fintushel (BREAKFAST WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE) blends Asian philosophy with science fiction in a mind-melting exploration of love, loss, and cultural appropriation. Like every other "hick" on the outside of the City, Big Man dreams of gaining access to it: a place of pure Buddha-nature, where every inhabitant has abandoned desire and reached a state of absolute oneness. Unable to enter by official channels, Big Man enlists the help of his would-be lover, Angela, to sneak in through a back way. In the process, he attracts the attention of the supposed bodhisattva No Mind and the less-than-holy Buddhist teacher Bobo Shin, who pursue him into the City for their own ends. Each character is fascinatingly developed in a somewhat Dadaist fashion, all while moving the plot along. Fintushel?s goal is never to mock or deride Buddhism itself, but rather to expose the ways in which the Eightfold Path is corrupted by human nature; in that regard, this book succeeds brilliantly, deftly weaving a tragic romance that?s about all of us, and none at all." We hope you'll come meet Eliot and discover his quirky and fascinating works.
A celebration of Avram Davidson with Grania Davis and Ethan Davidson, reading from the new collection DAVID & SON, plus special guest Trina Robbins! (Surinam Turtle Press, Trade Paperback, $15.00) on Sunday, July 31st at 6:00 pm - Join us to meet author and editor Grania Davis, and author Ethan Davidson, along with special guests, to celebrate the life and work of Avram Davidson! DAVID & SON: PEREGRINE PARENTS AND OTHER TALES presents stories that Ethan, Grania and Avram's son, wrote in collaboration with his father, and Grania edited. Grania, Ethan, and others will share stories about writing and life with Avram. Join us for a fascinating tribute to this very influential author!
Richard Kadrey, THE PERDITION SCORE (HarperVoyager, Hardcover, $25.99) on Saturday, August 6th at 3:00 pm - We're always happy to welcome the awesome Richard Kadrey back to Borderlands! THE PERDITION SCORE is adventure number 8 for Stark, and without giving too much away, here's a little bit about the book from the publisher's website: "Not only does the fate of the world hang in the balance, but so do the souls of everyone in it. Stark has to find a way to break the stalemate in the angel war, score the Perdition cure for the black poison, and make it back to L.A. in one piece . . . where an old enemy waits to finish him once and for all." We hope you'll join us to meet Richard and catch up with his most famous anti-hero.
Sonia Orin Lyris, THE SEER (Baen, Trade Paperback, $15.00) Saturday, August 13th at 3:00 pm - We're very happy to welcome Sonia Orin Lyris, who will be showing off her compelling new fantasy THE SEER! From the publisher's website: "In a remote mountain village, a single mother sells her younger sister Amarta?s prophecies to keep them and her infant child from starving. It?s a dangerous game, when Amarta?s predictions gain more mistrust than coin. In a tapestry of loyalty, intrigue, magic, and gold, Amarta becomes the key to everyone?s ambitions. To survive, Amarta must do more than predict the future. She must create it." Meet Sonia and have your book signed! If you'd like a preview of the novel, you can read the first chapter here: http://lyris.org/seer/ch1/
SF in SF with authors Cecil Castellucci, David D. Levine, and Ben Loory (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco, CA) on Sunday, August 14th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.) Doors and bar at 5:30 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. We're so happy to celebrate the return of SF in SF! 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. Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books. Seating is limited, so first come, first seated. Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drop-by signing with Becky Chambers, A LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET (Harper, Trade Paperback, $15.99) on Monday, August 15th - Becky will be stopping by at some point to sign copies of her debut novel, which Jude thought was fantastic. Feel free to request inscribed copies!