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Events and News from Borderlands Books

January, 2008

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Mark J. Ferrari, THE BOOK OF JOBY, (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.95, and Trade Paperback, $15.95,) Saturday, January 12th at 3:00pm

JUST ANNOUNCED! Robin Hobb, RENEGADE'S MAGIC, (Eos Books, Hardcover, $25.95,) Saturday, January 19th at 3:00 pm

Peter S. Beagle and Mark J. Ferrari are guests of SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Saturday, January 19th at 7:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this section)


* Terry Pratchett diagnosed with Alzheimer's: Sadly, Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, as he stated online December 11th.  <>.  He added: "I would like people to bear in mind that I have been diagnosed quite early after an MRI scan and a whole afternoon of tests.  While nothing is certain, one does not have to be unduly optimistic to believe that I will be around and, hopefully, working for some time to come.  My advice, therefore, is to calm down and await events.  I have not actually gone, yet."

* Brandon Sanderson to complete final Robert Jordan book:  Tor Books has announced that fantasy author Brandon Sanderson will complete the final book in the Wheel of Time series.  From their press release - ". . . The new novel, A MEMORY OF LIGHT, will be the twelfth and final book in the beloved fantasy series which has sold over 14 million copies in North America and over 30 million copies worldwide.  The last four books in the series were all #1 New York Times bestsellers, and for over a decade fans have been eagerly awaiting the final novel that would bring the epic story to its conclusion.
Harriet Popham Rigney, Jordan’s beloved wife and editor, said of her decision to have Sanderson complete the last book in The Wheel of Time series: 'I have chosen Brandon Sanderson to complete Robert Jordan’s great work, and I am absolutely delighted that he accepted.  I will of course be editing this book as I have all of the other books of The Wheel of Time.'
President and Publisher of Tor Books, Tom Doherty, also expressed his happiness with Harriet’s decision, saying: 'I am delighted that Harriet has chosen Brandon to complete Robert Jordan’s magnificent and timeless epic.'"  Read the entire press release here <>

* In further news, Mr. Sanderson offers a thoughtful and eloquent commentary on censorship and all the religious hoopla surrounding the release of the film "The Golden Compass," which is based on Philip Pullman's novel.  This is an article well worth reading.  <>

* New blog about science fiction and futurism! We received the following from Charlie Jane Anders: "Are you an unrepentant neophile? Do you sometimes think post-apocalyptic futures and alien invasions are pretty cool?  Want to know what's going to happen next to the climate, the shape of skyscrapers, the contents of your genome, or your favorite scifi TV show?  Then it's time to check out  io9 is a brand new blog about science fiction and futurism published by Gawker Media (and edited by yours truly [and Annalee Newitz and Kevin Kelly]!), and it just went live today!  We'll be bringing you the latest about science fiction in all media, as well as futuristic science, design, and art.  Ride the nanowires over to today. Brain implant sold separately." <>   Plus, they just did a mini-feature on us! <> Thanks, guys!

* Christopher Lee's reading of CHILDREN OF HURIN finds a U.S. Distributor:

* "W00t" is Miriam Webster's word of 2007:

* Solaris offers a free download of Jeffrey Thomas' DEADSTOCK: <>

* SF Signal has a brand new feature on their site -- the Mind Meld!  "In this series of posts, we pose a single question to a slice of the sf/f community and, depending on the question, other folks as well. . . . What we hope to get is an interesting cross-section of views and opinions that open a particular topic up for discussion. We'd love to hear what you think!"  You can read responses to their first question from a bunch of interesting folks in the field, including Borderlands' owner, Alan Beatts, here: <>

From The Office

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that you all had a nice time through the holidays and that 2008 finds you well.  I had a great time this last month.  My brother and his family were in town for all of December, which was just great and for New Years I went to New Orleans with my daughter.  It was her first trip there and she loved it (takes after her dad that way, I'm guessing).

I was a little concerned about what New Orleans would be like.  I hadn't been back there since before the hurricane in 2005 and I was really concerned that it wouldn't be the same.  Actually I had no doubts that the city wouldn't be the same.  No city can go through what New Orleans did and not be changed.  What I was concerned about, in my selfish way, was the French Quarter and (to a lesser degree) the area around Frenchman St. and the Garden District.

Everyone visitor sees a unique face of a city.  I'm sure that there are plenty of tourists who think of Union Square when they think of San Francisco whereas that's something I actively try _not_ to think about.  But, when _I_ think of London, I see Piccadily Circus in my mind's eye (no doubt a result of stumbling through it late at night and drunk on my way home from nightclubs when I lived in South Kensington), though I suspect most Londoners think about it with the same "oh-sweet-christ" reflex that I have for Union Square.

So, without apology, I'll admit that the French Quarter _is_ New Orleans for me.  All told I've probably spent over three months in New Orleans and at least 90% of that time was in the Quarter.  Hell, there was a two week trip when I never set foot out of there except to go to and from the train station.  I don't think that there is a place on earth and outside of San Francisco where I feel more comfortable and at home.  I really, deeply and passionately love it there.  And, by extension, I love the rest of the city even if I don't spend much time in it -- the Quarter may be New Orleans to me but I know that it can't exist without the support of the rest of the city.  It's a delightful symbiosis -- the rest of the city provides the structure that the Quarter needs to exist; the airport, the shipping, housing, basic services like power and water, and in exchange the Quarter brings in the money that the city needs to survive.  Without a healthy city behind it, the Quarter will sicken and eventually die.

So, as I traveled out there I was scared.  I was afraid of what I would find.

I don't know what I expected.  Closed businesses without a doubt, probably poor service and food at the restaurants, perhaps even a vaguely shell-shocked feeling from the locals and the kind of crime problems that used to vex the city in the '90s.

I was surprised.

Want a piece of news that has hardly been mentioned by the national sources, the news that contradicts the travel advice, the news that contradicts the public misinformation?  _New Orleans hasn't changed much at all_! . . . at least from the standpoint of a visitor.  

That's not to say that there haven't been major changes that have affected everyone who lives there or that there aren't still large areas that need to be rebuilt.  Nor am I ignoring the suffering of the residents and the trials that they and their city still have to face.  But my point is that there is _no_ reason not to visit New Orleans.  In fact, there are two very good reasons to visit right now (or at least very soon).

First off, this year may be, all things considered, the best Mardi Gras in a long time.  Since people are still feeling hesitant to visit, the crowds this year may be just perfect -- enough people to have a hell of a party but not so crowded that you can't get a hotel, a restroom, a table to eat at or space at the bar for a drink.  All these advantages will apply even if it's not Mardi Gras.  Hotel rates seem cheaper than in the past and availability is way up.  And you can get a table at some of the best restaurants in the city without making a reservation a month in advance.

Second, possibly the best thing that you can do to help New Orleans is visit, spend money, have a good time; then go home and tell people about it.  Tourism is the life blood of that city and anything to speed people's return is a huge help.

It's also a big help to dispel some of the inaccurate perceptions that abound about how badly the city was damaged and how slow it's been to recover.  A recent survey of Americans living outside of Lousiana by the University of New Orleans Survey Research Center < > revealed some surprising results --

Of the people surveyed:
36.6% believe the water supply is still contaminated (I drank tap water through most of my trip),
33.4% believe the French Quarter was one of the hardest hit areas (the Quarter never flooded),
32.8% believe that few French Quarter businesses have re-opened (though there were slightly more spaces for rent, almost all the businesses I saw were open as usual),
And, last but not least, 26.5% believe that _parts of New Orleans remain under water_ (fer gods' sake, I'm not even going to comment on that one).

Granted, I know that good news doesn't sell as well as bad, but it still seems like there's been a shocking shortage of news about how New Orleans has recovered in the past two years.  Imagine for a moment what it would be like, after the next really big earthquake and after we San Franciscans had spent two long, hard years putting the City back together, if everyone in the rest of the US thought we were still living in tents under martial law.

Like SF in 1906, New Orleans has been through one of the greatest tests a city can withstand and is rising, stronger (and even more fun-loving) than before.

Pass the word -- New Orleans is open for business as much as ever.  If you've never been there -- go.  If you've been wanting to go to Mardi Gras but didn't want to worry about the crowds -- get your ticket fast 'cause it's early this year (Fat Tuesday is Feb. 5th) and it's going to be a hell of a party.

Maybe I'll see you there.

Happy New Year,

Top Sellers At Borderlands

1) Halting State by Charles Stross
2) Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe
3) Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
4) The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy
5) Confessor by Terry Goodkind
6) Fatal Revenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
7) Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
8) Dreamsongs vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin
9) Spook Country by William Gibson
10) The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds (UK edition)

1) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
2) The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
3) Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
tie with The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
4) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
5) Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
tie with The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
6) Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
7) Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
8) Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
9) Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge
10) Dust by Elizabeth Bear tie with
For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

Trade Paperbacks
1) World War Z by Max Brooks
2) The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
3) Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams
tie with Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
4) His Dark Materials (Omnibus Edition) by Philp Pullman
5) Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel

Notes From a DVD Geek

Happy New Year, movie fans.  The new year is a good time to talk about new versions, and old versions of some classic movies.  First up is Rob Zombie's interesting and earnest remake of John Carpenter's "Halloween".  As Carpenter himself is a director who has "re-imagined" many movies to good effect, I was eager to see what could happen to the "Halloween" franchise, re-imagined by one of my favorite new directors.

First let me start out by qualifying what it is I like about Rob Zombie.  Mr. Zombie seems to have a genuine love for, and understanding of, the genres and forms that he has worked in.  "House of a Thousand Corpses," for example, was a much better "re-imagining" of Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," then was the recent remake of "Saw," for example.  In his sequel to "House," ("The Devil's Rejects"), Zombie turned in a completely different direction, paying tribute to the hyper-violent visions and cinematic outsider-ness of Sam Peckinpah.

In "Halloween," Zombie makes a conscious decision to base his movie around something that flies in the face of Carpenter's Halloween mythology. In Zombie's movie, monsters like Michael are made, not born.  In Carpenter's original movie, the randomness of "the Shape's" evilness -- its manifestation in the young Michael Meyers -- is without hint, and without any direct causes.  The terror of the slasher genre that Carpenter tied into was that of the randomness of violence, be it car crashes, or mass murderers like Texas's infamous Charles Whitman, or random street crime.  Michael Meyers in the original "Halloween" movie represented all these modern manifestations of random violence.

In Zombie's "Halloween," much of the movie is spent detailing (often in excruciating detail) the life of young Michael Meyers.  The power of Zombie's movie comes from recasting Meyers not as random evil, but as a natural reflection of the everyday monstrousness that we all participate in.  Our society makes monsters every day, and we mostly don't notice, until they start killing people (a la Columbine, etc.)

Once Michael grows up and returns to Haddonfield, Zombie further explores this theme, while at the same time accurately recapturing the sparse, intense pacing of the original movie.  Michael's baby sister has been adopted, and has had a life that is the polar opposite of young Michael.  Her home life is stable and loving, she has a group of supportive friends, and while she isn't the most popular girl at school, she certainly isn't alienated from her peer group.  She's a stable young woman, ready to face the world.  Then Michael shows up, and by the last frame, she's been destroyed, and made just as much of a monster as Michael.

The attention to detail, singular vision, and this core theme of monsters that are made can be seen in the casting choices, and are manifested beautifully in a temporal match-cut that happens late in the movie.  Visually, Michael's sister becomes the image of a young Michael Meyers, after she's been subjected to the brutality and monstrousness of her brother's murders.  It was a striking moment towards the end of the film that really crystallized Zombie's intentions.  I'm going into a lot of detail on this movie because chances are there isn't much about the basic story or premise of "Halloween" that you don't already know.  What I want to get across is that this remake isn't your average remake.  The intent, interest and level of sophistication that went into this project is remarkable, and definitely worth checking out.

John Carpenter's other influential horror movie that was recently remade, "The Fog," didn't fair nearly as well as Halloween.  It is actually an interesting study, to look at how, without trying, the makers of the remake get everything wrong that was right in the original film, and address none of the original film's shortcomings.

Another film in the "stick with Carpenter's original" category is "Assault on Precinct 13".  While the original film was a huge cult hit, it had numerous problems, and hasn't aged very well.  It speaks volumes about the (in)competence of the folks who remade it that the original film still towers over the remake.

Speaking of towering, John Carpenter's "The Thing" towers above all other remakes, as a gold standard of what is possible.  The film had groundbreaking and still impressive special effects, combined with a tight script and excellent pacing that keeps ratcheting up the tension.  If you've never seen it, or if it's been years since you've seen it, do yourself a favor, and watch it again.

Returning to monumental failures masquerading as remakes, I give you the "Dawn of the Dead" remake.  While the original movie had plenty of problems, the ONLY thing the remake had going for it was the 2 minute intro, which had nothing to do with the rest of the movie.  Some people point to the "fast mover" zombies of the remake, but if I want fast moving zombies, I'll stick with "28 Days Later".

Speaking of "28 Days Later," which itself was an homage to "The Omega Man," Will Smith just inflicted a perfectly acceptable, and yet incredibly frustrating, version of the Richard Matheson novel, I AM LEGEND.  The frustrating thing is that the first half of the movie is pretty good, and is filled with hints that it's going to remain true to the book.

And then, halfway through the movie, it swerves away from greatness, sticking to the hokey "Omega Man" ending, with a whole bunch of sentimentalism seemingly stolen from M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs".  The last voice-over, a hackneyed attempt to justify the title (the meaning of which was totally jettisoned in this version) was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.  I hated this movie.  Probably far more then it deserved to be hated, but there you go.

I mention this Will Smith version of "I Am Legend," not because it's available on DVD.  Rather,  the first adaptation of Matheson's I AM LEGEND is available, and well worth checking out, because it's incredibly successful in ways that neither the Smith nor Heston versions were.  Vincent Price delivers a gob-smackingly hammy performance that just works, and the visual look and feel for this film clearly inspired a young George Romero.  Be sure to check out "The Last Man On Earth," you won't be sorry.

Another insultingly bad remake was "The Haunting," which was supposedly based on Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, or based on the classic Robert Wise movie, "The Haunting of Hill House".  It was really hard to tell, because it was so bad.  Do yourself a favor, and stick with the beautifully tense Robert Wise version of this Shirley Jackson Novel.

"The Omen" remake really sucked. . . and most insultingly, they got rid of the original score from the original "Omen".  "Bad call Ripley . . . bad call."

"The Fly" remake, directed by David Cronenberg, stands next to "The Thing" as one of the most successful remakes ever.  This one also featured groundbreaking special effects, and an incredibly moving performance by a young Jeff Goldblum.

I think I've already mentioned how bad the remake of "The Hitcher" was, but it was so bad, it deserves to be mentioned again.

There's a whole host of really bad US remakes of Asian horror films. The sad thing is, some of the original Asian films were already bad knockoffs of "The Ring".  Fourth generation crap is still crap.  Too many and too bad to list individually.  It's too depressing.

"The Amityville Horror" was remade . . . and it wasn't all that bad.  It can be said to have been better then the original, but that's not saying much, considering the original movie was a stinker anyway.

"Willard" was a weird little film that was remade in 2003.  The remake is also a weird little film, carried entirely by the weirdness of the King of Weird Actors, Crispin Glover.

The original Val Lewton movie "The Cat People" (directed by Robert Wise) was remade in the 80's, starring Nastassja Kinski.  Kinski is all the remake had going for it, and it's not enough to be better then the original Jacques Tourneur masterpiece.

"The House on Haunted Hill" remake may not have been a great movie, but it was extremely fun.  As the original film was never a great movie either, but rather a campy excuse to let Vincent Price be Vincent Price, I have to respect the postmoderness of having Geoffrey Rush do an incredible Vincent Price impersonation.  Really cool visuals also helped the remake out.

The Remake of "13 Ghosts" relied too heavily on the visual techniques of "House on Haunted Hill," and had a weak script, and lacked the wonderfully wacky characters that "House on Haunted Hill" had, and so this Dark Castle remake is less successful, IMO.

Finally, proof that nobody is infallible, I have to say that The King of Remakes, John Carpenter kind of fell down a bit when he remade "Village of the Damned".  I definitely prefer the original.

To end this piece a on total downer, I point you to a site that has cataloged the grossest of all the horror remakes out there, and gives a short list of upcoming remakes in the pipe.  This sight is truly horrific: <<>>

Have fun at the movies, and beware of scary guys with sharp objects.

- Jeremy Lassen

Book Club Info

The Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 13th, at 5 pm to discuss RIVER OF GODS by Ian McDonald.  The book for February 10th is THE ALGEBRAIST by Iain M. Banks.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 20th, at 6 pm to discuss HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER by James Tiptree, Jr.  The book for February 17th is THIRTEEN by Richard Morgan.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Mark J. Ferrari, THE BOOK OF JOBY, (Tor, Hardcover, $27.95, and Trade Paperback, $15.95) Saturday, January 12th at 3:00 pm - From Tor's website: "Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they've made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome.  Born in California during the twilight years of a weary millennium, nine year old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gathering darkness of his times, like a knight of the Round Table.   Instead, he is subjected to a life of crippling self-doubt and relentless mediocrity inflicted by an enemy he did nothing to earn and cannot begin to comprehend.   Though imperiled themselves, the angels are forbidden to intervene.   Left to struggle with their own loyalties and the question of obedience, they watch Lucifer work virtually unhindered to turn Joby's heart of gold into ash and stone while God sits by, seemingly unconcerned.  And so when he is grown to manhood, Joby's once luminous love of life seems altogether lost, and Lucifer's victory assured.  What hope remains lies hidden in the beauty, warmth, and innocence of a forgotten seaside village whose odd inhabitants seem to defy the modern world s most inflexible assumptions, and in the hearts of Joby's long lost youthful love and her emotionally wounded son.  But the ravenous forces of destruction that follow Joby into this concealed paradise plan to use these same things to bring him and his world to ruin.  As the final struggle unfolds, one question occupies every mind in heaven and in hell. Which will prove stronger, love or rage?" Meet the author of this incredible contemporary fantasy at Borderlands!

JUST ANNOUNCED! Robin Hobb, RENEGADE'S MAGIC, (Eos Books, Hardcover, $25.95,) Saturday, January 19th at 3:00 pm - Join us to meet fabulous fantasist Robin Hobb and learn the fate of Navare in RENEGADE'S MAGIC, the stirring conclusion to the Soldier Son trilogy!  We are always happy to host the friendly and talented Ms. Hobb, and we know you'll enjoy meeting her.  I'd love to give you a synopsis of the new book, but it hasn't been released just yet, so we'll all have to be surprised together!  (It will, however, be here in time for the event.)

Peter S. Beagle and Mark J.  Ferrari are guests of SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Saturday, January 19th at 7:00 pm - SF in SF is an ongoing monthly reading and discussion series sponsered by Tacyhon Publications and moderated by author Terry Bisson.  There is a cash bar and books will be available for sale from Borderlands.  This month, meet Peter S. Beagle, beloved author of the perennial classic THE LAST UNICORN, and Mark J. Ferrari, whose first novel THE BOOK OF JOBY is generating rave reviews.  For more information on SF in SF, see <>

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

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams (Night Shade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.95) -  From Night Shade's website: "Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon—these are our guides through the Wastelands.  From the Book of Revelations to "The Road Warrior"; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity.  In doing so, these visionary authors have addressed one of the most challenging and enduring themes of imaginative fiction: the nature of life in the aftermath of total societal collapse.  Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction, including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King, Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon.  Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was, in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants, and marauders."

Five Strokes to Midnight by Gary A. Braunbeck, Christopher Golden, Deborah LeBlanc, Tom Piccirilli, and Hank Schwaeble (Haunted Pelican, Limited Edition Hardcover, $49.99) - From Haunted Pelican: "Haunted Pelican Press begins its maiden voyage in bringing fiction of the highest caliber to fans of the macabre by announcing its first anthology, FIVE STROKES TO MIDNIGHT. . . .
Starting with FIVE STROKES TO MIDNIGHT, each volume in the series will showcase four well-known writers of dark fiction, as well as one newcomer to the field.  The first volume features multiple, all-new works from Bram Stoker Award-winner Christopher Golden, Bram Stoker Award-winner Gary Braunbeck, Bram Stoker Award-winner Tom Piccirilli, southern gothic sensation Deborah LeBlanc, and hard-hitting newcomer Hank Schwaeble.  Each writer will be offering approximately 20,000 words of fiction -- comprising at least two stories per author inspired by a theme of the author's own choosing. For this first volume, readers can look forward to multiple tales on the subject of Folklore (Golden), Hauntings (Braunbeck), Loss (Piccirilli), Curses (LeBlanc), and Demons (Schwaeble) -- all the fear readers can handle in one book, and then some.  Each writer's section will feature an original illustration by none other than Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, Lightning Bug) who also provides the full-color, nightmarish cover."

Antediluvian Tales by Poppy Z. Brite (Subterranean Press, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (400 copies) Hardcover, $45.00, and Trade Hardcover, $25.00) - From Subterranean: "The work of almost every New Orleans writer has been irrevocably split into two periods: pre-Katrina and post-Katrina.  As Poppy Z. Brite writes in the foreword to this new mini-collection, 'After the events of 2005, I couldn't see pairing stories I'd written before the flood with those I'd written after; for better or worse, my life, my outlook, and, necessarily, my work has changed forever . . . These are literally antediluvian tales, stories written before August 29, 2005 . . . Whatever else they may be, the stories in this little collection now seem almost impossibly innocent to me.'  Antediluvian Tales contains five stories of the Stubbs family, the New Orleans clan whose adventures Brite has chronicled in her popular Liquor novels and other works.  Two more stories revisit the author's fictitious alter ego Dr. Brite, the coroner of New Orleans.  Completing the book is 'The Last Good Day of My Life,' a nonfiction look at the changes the past two years have wrought on Brite, filtered through a reminiscence about a day she spent knocking around Cairns, Australia."

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chaing (Subterranean Press, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (200 copies), Hardcover $45.00) - From Subterranean Press: "In medieval Baghdad, a penniless man is brought before the most powerful man in the world, the caliph himself, to tell his story.  It begins with a walk in the bazaar, but soon grows into a tale unlike any other told in the caliph's empire.  It's a story that includes not just buried treasure and a band of thieves, but also men haunted by their past and others trapped by their future; it includes not just a beloved wife and a veiled seductress, but also long journeys taken by caravan and even longer ones taken with a single step.  Above all, it's a story about recognizing the will of Allah and accepting it, no matter what form it takes."

Frontier Cthulhu: Ancient Horrors in the New World edited by William Jones (Chaosium, Trade Paperback, $14.95) - We have Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu, pirates and Cthulhu, and now . . .  from Chaosium: "As explorers conquered the frontiers of North America, they disturbed sleeping terrors and things long forgotten by humanity.  Journey into the undiscovered country where fierce Vikings struggle against monstrous abominations.  Travel with European colonists as they learn of buried secrets and the creatures guarding ancient knowledge.  Go west across the plains, into the territories were sorcerers dwell in demon-haunted lands, and cowboys confront cosmic horrors."

Haunted House and Other Presidential Horrors by Edward Lee (Overlook Connection Press, Limited Edition (500 copies) Hardcover, $39.95) - Illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne.  From Ed Lee's site: "These stories feature one connecting theme: they all take place in The White House!  And a HAUNTED HOUSE it is!  With ex-presidents, that is, dead ex-presidents making many appearances in various forms.  Supernatural elements take place that may explain how some of the "Executive" decisions are made.  And what about that White House lawn? Who, or what, lives there in the twilight hours?  All this and more is offered up in Edward Lee's visions of the ultimate Haunted House and other Presidential Horrors.  Not for the faint of heart . . . or stomach!  This collection of presidential horrors brings together Edward Lee's political-themed stories for the first time.  Featuring previously unpublished fiction as well as rare reprints."

Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti (Mythos, Hardcover, $35.00) - Finally, an affordable edition of this book!  From Mythos Books: "Thomas Ligotti is often cited as the most curious and remarkable figure in horror literature since H.P. Lovecraft.  Celebrated for his exceptionally grotesque imagination and facility as a prose writer, he is a five-time recipient of the most prestigious awards in horror literature.  This fact is unusual in that Ligotti's work does not display the traits which have come to be associated with contemporary horror - sympathetic heroes, settings in the everyday world, and good versus evil scenarios.  Instead, he has followed a literary tradition that began with Edgar Allan Poe, portraying characters that are outside of anything that might be called normal life, depicting strange locales far off the beaten track, and rendering a grim vision of human existence as a perpetual nightmare.  The stories collected in Teatro Grottesco, for instance, feature tormented individuals who play out their doom in various odd little towns for which Ligotti is noted as well as in dark sectors frequented by sinister and often blackly comical eccentrics.  The cycle of narratives that include the title work of this collection introduces the readers to a freakish community of artists who encounter demonic perils that threaten their lives and their sanity.  In other tales, characters live in the shadow of menacing forms and forces that ultimately envelop them in the most perverse and deranged destinities.  The 'funny town' of 'The Town Manager', the 'medicine shop' of 'The Clown Puppet', and the foggy terrain 'across the border' of 'Our Case for Retributive Action' and 'Our Temporary Supervisor' are among the venues that close in on those fated to exist within their precincts.  These are selected examples of the bleak array of persons and places that compose the fiction of Thomas Ligotti.  As one critic has written, 'Ligotti is wonderful and original; has a dark vision of a new and special kind, a vision that no one has had before him.'"

Thrillers 2 edited by Robert Morrish (Cemetery Dance, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (750 copies) Hardcover, $40.00) - Stories by Gemma Files, Tim Waggoner, R. Patrick Gates and Caitlin R. Kiernan.  From Cemetery Dance: "This volume marks the long-overdue return of a dark fiction series that debuted in 1993.  After a fourteen-year hiatus, Thrillers is revived with a star-studded second volume.  Within these pages, you'll find terror, suspense, and mystery that range from quietly menacing to shockingly graphic, wildly fantastic to grimly realistic.  It's all here, with one universal ingredient: a well-told story.  The formula for the Thrillers series is deceptively simple: we invite four of the genre's most popular authors to each contribute 20,000 words of original, never-before-been-published fiction.  We add insightful Afterwords by each author, along with striking illustrations by a brilliant artist.  The end result is a wonderful showcase for the finest of today's short fiction."

Masques of Satan by Reggie Oliver (Ash-Tree Press, Limited Editon (500 copies) Hardcover, $49.00) - From Ash-Tree: "In his first two collections of supernatural tales, The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini, and The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler, playwright, actor, and theatre director Reggie Oliver demonstrated his mastery of the classic ghost story.  Now, in his eagerly anticipated third collection, Masques of Satan, Oliver shows why he is being hailed as one of the best and freshest new voices to emerge in the genre in recent years.  Many of the tales in the collection draw on the author's theatrical background, and in such stories as 'Mmm-Delicious', 'Puss-Cat', 'Blind Man's Box', 'Grab a Granny Night', 'Mr Poo-Poo', 'The Road from Damascus', and the stunning novella 'Shades of the Prison House' he takes us backstage into a world of easy friendship and a surface glamour which conceals something much more dark and desperate.  Oliver's talent for pastiche shines in 'The Silver Cord', which won the Arthur Machen Short Story Competition, while 'The Children of Monte Rosa' turns a friendly invitation to a holiday villa into something deeply disturbing.  All of these tales, as well as the four others collected in this volume, makes Masques of Satan Oliver's richest and most satisfying book to date, one that deserves to be on the shelf of every reader who appreciates fine writing and is searching for chills as literate as they are frightening.  Illustrations by Reggie Oliver accompany each story."

Strange Tales Vol. 2 edited by Rosalie Parker (Tartarus Press, Hardcover, $61.99) - From Tartarus Press: "A 'Strange Tale' is a short story that explores a fantastic idea, supernatural or psychological, with the intention of causing, through its own logical development, uncertainty or unease about that which the reader takes for granted.  The outward appearance of the story can vary infinitely from the traditional to the experimental, from the serious to the comic, but in each case the assumptions of the reader are undermined to a degree that they find uncomfortable.  The Strange Tale is a form that moves effortlessly between the various genres (as all good fiction should).  In this new volume, the Strange Tales on offer range from the dark realism of 'What Water Reveals' by Adam Golaski through to the surreal 'The Concise Picaresque Adventures of the Wanderlust Bridge' by Rhys Hughes.  From the subtlety of 'The Fairy Killer' by Quentin S. Crisp to the horror of 'Sejanus' Daughter' by Hilbourne Carlone (Don Tumasonis).  From the urban horror of 'Calico Black, Calico Blue' by Joel Knight, to the rural strangeness of 'Pastor Arrhenius and The Maiden Brita' by Dale Nelson.  From the traditionally told 'Llanfihangel' by Elizabeth Brown to the range of contemporary documentation offered in 'The Magpies' by David Rix.  Within this collection of seventeen new stories you are sure to discover some that will cause you to wonder what worlds might exist beyond the apparently everyday."

New and Notable

The Ruby Dice by Catherine Asaro (Baen, Hardcover, $23.00) - From the dust jacket: "Two men, two empires.  Jaibriol ruled the Eubian Concord: over two trillion people across more than a thousand worlds and habitats.  Kelric ruled the Skolian Imperialate.  War had come before—ten years ago, Jaibriol had lost his parents in the final battle of the Radiance War between the Concord and the Imperialate—and it might come again, devastating vast swathes of the galaxy.  Neither Jaibriol nor Kelric wanted war, but neither was complete master of his realm.  And each hid a secret that, if revealed, might be his downfall. Jaibriol was a secret psion, with telepathic abilities, and to be a psion in the Eubian Concord was to be a contemptible slave, eventually to be tortured for the pleasure of the slave's owner.  Kelric, years ago, had disappeared for nearly two decades.  He had been a prisoner and slave on the planet Coban, part of neither empire, until he had managed to escape.  And if the Skolian Imperialate knew of his captivity, there would be demands for vengeance, ravaging Coban -- and killing the wife and children Kelric had left behind when he escaped.  Neither man knew how much longer he could keep his secret -- nor how much longer they could hold back the threat of a war that could incinerate hundreds of inhabited worlds."

Dust by Elizabeth Bear (Bantam, Mass Market, $6.99) - From the book: "On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world.  But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change . . . .  Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel’s wings on the battlefield -- even after she had surrendered -- proved her completely without honor.  Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off, but to devour her very memories and mind.  Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses -- exactly as Ariane desires.  But Ariane’s plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.  Rien is the lost child: her sister.  Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses.  But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed.  Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel.  And he knows they will meet very soon."

Breath and Bone by Carol Berg (Roc, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - From the book: "As the land of Navronne sinks deeper into civil war and perilous winter, everyone wants to get their hands on the rebellious sorcerer Valen-a murderous priestess, a prince who steals dead men's eyes, and even the Danae guardians, whose magic nurtures the earth and whose attention could prove the most costly of all.  Addicted to an enchantment that turns pain into pleasure -- and bound by oaths he refuses to abandon -- Valen risks body and soul to rescue one child, seek justice for another, and bring the dying land its rightful king.  Yet no one is who they seem, and Valen's search for healing grace leads him from Harrower dungeons to alien shores.  Only at the heart of the world does he discover the glorious, terrible price of the land's redemption-and his own."

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99) - From the book: "When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to shapeshifting car mechanic Mercy Thompson to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.  And she'll have to choose between the two werewolves in her life -- whether she wants to or not."  This latest installment in the series is selling like hotcakes, so get yours now!

Firstborn by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter (Del Rey, Hardcover, $25.95) - The conclusion of A Tme Odyssey.

Thunderer by Felix Gilman (Bantam Spectra, Hardcover, $24.00) - The Fantasy Book Critic Blog says ". . . Felix Gilman’s first novel deserves to be included in the debate for Best Fantasy Debut of the Year, whether it’s for 2007 or 2008. . . ." Check out the full review here: <>

Unnatural Inquirer by Simon R. Green (Ace, Hardcover, $21.95) - A new Nightside novel!  From Penguin's site: "John Taylor is a P.I. with the special ability to locate anyone or anything.  The Unnatural Inquirer, the Nightside's most notorious gossip rag, has offered him a million pounds to find a DVD purported to contain an actual recording of the afterlife.  John doesn't know if it's true, but someone -- or something -- thinks so, and will stop at nothing to possess the disc."

The History of the Hobbit Boxed Set by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by John D. Rateliff (Houghton Mifflin, Slipcased set of three Hardcovers, $95.00) - “A beautiful boxed set: the definitive examination of how Tolkien came to write his original masterpiece, including the complete unpublished draft and little-known illustrations and unpublished maps, along with a new edition of the classic work itself.  First published in 1937, The Hobbit is a story that "grew in the telling," and many characters and events in the published book are completely different from what Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as part of their "fireside reads." For the first time, The History of the Hobbit reproduces the original version of one of literature's most famous stories, and includes many little-known illustrations and previously unpublished maps for The Hobbit created by Tolkien himself. Also featured are extensive annotations and commentaries on the date of composition, how Tolkien's professional and early mythological writings influenced the story, the imaginary geography he created, and how he came to revise the book in the years after publication to accommodate events in The Lord of the Rings.  These two volumes are boxed together with a new edition of The Hobbit with a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien's own drawings and color illustrations, including the rare "Mirkwood" piece."

Paint it Black: A Guide to Gothic Homemaking by Voltaire (Weiser, Undersized Hardcover, $15.95) - The budding goth in your life will love this "Martha Stewart for Goths" decor book -- plus an extensive section on Goth weddings!  Recommended by Jude.

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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

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