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ABOUT THE STORE : NEWSLETTER
DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News from Borderlands Books
Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special FeaturesScott Sigler, CONTAGIOUS, (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, January 10th at 3:00 pm
Writers With Drinks at the Make-Out Room, (3225 23rd St.): Lisa
Katayama, Ann Packer, Yosefa Raz, Steven Schwartz, Scott Sigler, and
Lan Tran, Saturday, January 10th at 7:30 pm
John Levitt, NEW TRICKS, (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99) Sunday, January 11th at 3:00 pm
Mary Robinette Kowal and John Scalzi, Friday, January 16th at 7:00 pm
Aimee Bender and Sean Stewart are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday,
January 17th at 7:00 pm
P.S. Gifford, THE CURIOUS ACCOUNTS OF THE IMAGINARY FRIEND, (Virtual
Tales, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Sunday, January 18th at 1:00 pm
Borderlands Night at Evil Dead the Musical! (at the Campbell Theatre,
636 Ward Street, Martinez, CA 94553), Friday, January 23rd at 10:30 pm
SF in SF presents free movies: “Kung-Fu Panda” and “Wall-E” at the
Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street,
Saturday, January 24th at 7:00 pm
Toby Bishop, AIRS OF NIGHT AND SEA (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99), and Pat
Murphy, THE WILD GIRLS (Speak, Trade Paperback, $7.99) Saturday,
January 24th at 3 pm
John Birmingham, WITHOUT WARNING, (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.00) Tuesday, February 3rd at 7pm
Patricia Briggs, BONE CROSSED, (Ace, Hardcover, $24.95) Friday, February 6th at 7:00 pm
(for more information check the end of this section)
* Goodbye, Forry:
We're very sorry to report the death "Mr. Science Fiction," Forrest J.
Ackerman, who passed away December 4th, 2008 at the age of 92.
Ackerman was an editor, author, actor, literary agent, producer, and
the ultimate science fiction fan. Obituary from Time Magazine
There's also a cute "25 Things We Miss About Uncle Forry" from Sci Fi
* Stacey's Bookstore to close
We just received the sad news that Stacey's, a San Francisco
institution sibnce 1923, will close its doors in March. This is a
blow both to San Francisco and to bookselling as a whole. Article from
the San Francisco Chronicle here:
* KQED Blog mention:
Danielle Sommer, a local writer, spoke to the staff at Borderlands
concerning the theory that science fiction sales increase during times
of social and political unrest, and asked us about recent
bestsellers. Her article has a couple of factual errors (the
edition of ALTERED CARBON of which we've sold hundreds of copies is the
Del Rey mass market, not the gorgeous Subterranean Press limited
edition with the Vincent Chong illustrations, for example,) but it
certainly makes interesting reading:
* Best of 2008:
Annalee Newitz over at the awesome Io9.com has published Io9's list of
Best Science Fiction Books of 2008. You'll want to check out
* Sir Pratchett!
Author Terry Pratchett has been knighted! Full details from the
BBC here: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7804693.stm>
* Galleycat interviews Tachyon:
Brief interview with Jacob Weisman from San Francisco's own Tachyon
* The Washington Post lauds many of our friends:
Michael Dirda's article on the triumph of the small press for ghost
stories, with mentions of many of our favorites:
* Ripley photo, for cat fans:
Customer (and photographer) Derek Powazek was kind enough to drop off
an enlarged copy of this picture that he took of Ripley in the store:
<http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraying/3051827422/> Thanks, Derek!
* We want your reviews:
We're posting a big bulletin board in the store for customer
reviews. Here's how it will work: Pick up a review form in the
store and fill it out. Give it to the clerk at the counter, along
with your email address if you choose. The office staff will go
over the reviews, post them to the huge board so that everyone can know
what you think, *and* pick some to run in future issues of Dispatches
From the Border, (that's this newsletter!) if you give your permission.
See? Easy! (We do reserve the right not to post/run every
review we receive.)
After a pause and some delays for the holidays, work proceeds
apace. The hugely talented duo of Simon and Mike from Canterbury
Tile are setting all the tile in the kitchen and bathroom right now and
they're doing a great job. Tile is pretty unforgiving because,
unlike wood or sheet rock, it won't bend or flex and all the seams
show. That makes working in our 100 year-old building, where
_nothing_ is straight, level, flat or square, a challenge, but those
guys are handling it with grace and the results look wonderful.
I'm rebuilding the windows and hanging doors. It's a bit of a
rush to stay ahead of the tile but I'm managing. It's mostly hand
work and involves lots of fitting due to the before-mentioned lack of
straight, flat, level and square. Time consuming but I like it.
Once I get that work done (hopefully by mid-next week) I'll start on
the first round of painting. Contrary to common wisdom, I find
that it's better to paint first and refinish floors afterwards so the
walls and ceiling will get paint, then the floor gets repaired, sanded
and sealed. Final step will be painting the baseboards and other
trim, then putting all that up.
I'm not sure how much of that I'll get done this month but we'll see
how it shakes out. As it stands, there is still no fixed opening
date but it's going to be this year for sure and probably no later than
this Summer. Might be much sooner but I'm not going to hex myself
by saying so and giving the universe an irresistible opportunity to
make me wrong.
- Alan "I'm not a contractor, I just found this hammer" Beatts
From The Office
Happy New Year everyone,
The holidays are past, the relatives have gone home and there goes
another year. At Borderlands, 2008 wasn't such a bad year, all
things considered. Despite the economy we're doing alright in
terms of sales and the staff are all doing well. I'm overworked
as usual (well, perhaps a bit more than usual considering all the work
that I'm doing to get the the cafe next door open) but life is really
At the end of the year I like to look back and consider some of the
books that I really enjoyed. What follows are some of the
standout titles that I read in 2008. Please bear in mind that 1)
just because I _read_ them in 2008 doesn't mean they came out that year
and 2) I'm sure I've forgotten several. If I was smart I'd keep a
list of what I read but I'm neither that smart nor _that_ obsessive.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie - For someone who doesn't like
fantasy novels much, I'm surprised at how many I thought were
outstanding this year. Abercrombie's first book in the First Law
trilogy really surprised me both with the quality of writing and with a
number of plot twists and turns. He seems to revel in defying
conventions; providing the reader with wise wizards who are selfish and
have hellish bad tempers, barbarians who are secretly scared piss-less,
very smart, sympathetic torturers and a quest that doesn't really have
any pay-off at all (or at least so it seems).
Line War by Neal Asher - Asher's final (?) novel featuring Ian Cormac
brings the events which have been building over the past three books to
a satisfying conclusion and provides a number of revelations about
What's Really Been Going On. It's not the place to start if you
haven't read the other books but it's an excellent capstone to the
story that began in Gridlinked.
Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson - Though this eighth novel in the
Malazan Books of the Fallen is mostly about tying up loose ends, I
though it was great. As Steve himself pointed out when he was at
the store, it's a book about remorse and loss. I think that
Steve's awareness that great events often have terrible consequences
for the people involved is what I liked so much about Toll The
Hounds. It's a sad book and not something to read if you're
feeling down but, for those who've been following the series, it's a
necessary book and has some of his best writing yet.
Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory - And now, a book that's not part of a
series! Daryl's first novel is just brilliant. It's a
sort-of alternate history in which people are randomly possessed by
"demons" which embody archetypes like the Trickster, Judgement, Death
and so on. The protagonist's journey to discover what happened to
him while he was possessed as a child leads him into a quest to find
out why the possessions have been happening at all. It's both an
investigation into our culture's archetypes and a finely crafted
mystery chockfull of pop-culture and genre references. I'm really
looking forward to whatever Daryl does next.
The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan - Richard's previous five novels
have all been science fiction and have received a huge amount of
well-deserved attention and so I was really excited two years ago at
ComicCon when he told me that he was working on a fantasy novel.
Ever since I read Larry Niven's What Good Is a Glass Dagger, it's been
my experience that when SF writers take on fantasy the results are
surprising and usually damn good. At the time, he told me a
little about the book and gave me a chapter to read. I thought
that it seemed pretty cool. And then I read the final novel . . .
. I don't want to build it up too much and risk disappointed
readers but. It. Is. So. Good. As is
typical in Richard's work, The Steel Remains is on the grim side and
unforgiving in its portrayal of violence while being unashamedly
critical of aspects of our modern society. But as is also typical
of his work, the possibility of redemption is implicit throughout and
is a goal that the characters strive towards. And what
characters. I'd put the main protagonist in my personal top dozen
favorite fictional of all time and the rest of the cast are equally
Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo - You would think that the traditional
werewolf would have been done to death in fiction by now. That's
what I thought 'til I read The Wolfman. I think that the real
strength in Pekearo's novel is the characterization of the
protagonist. He doesn't want to be a werewolf but he's accepted
it. He's also accepted that, every month, he's going to kill
someone and that the only alternative is to kill himself -- which he's
not going to do. So he does his best to make sure that the people
he kills are, if not deserving of it, at least are not particularly
nice or likely to be missed by anyone. It requires very talented
writing to take a character like that and make him sympathetic and
human to the reader but Pekearo manages it despite his limited
experience (this is his first novel).
Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams - I've loved Walter's work since
the 80s when I read Hardwired (which is still one of the best Cyberpunk
novels ever) and I've followed him ever since. His recent novel
takes on new territory for him -- the post-singularity, post-scarcity
society. Authors like Charlie Stross and Ken MacLeod have done
some great work playing with the idea of a future in which advanced
technology has made any sort of tangible property essentially free for
all and where advanced intelligent computer/softwear combinations far
exceed human abilities. What made Implied Spaces such a treat was
seeing what an experienced and seasoned writer with over 20 years
experience can do in such a playground. It was so good. The
combination of the ideas with the deft plotting and great
characterization that I've come to expect from Walter was
unbeatable. It also has the distinction of being the first novel
I've read to come even halfway close to describing what a military
conflict might be like if both sides had access to advanced nano-tech.
I hope you enjoyed my idiosyncratic take on the books of last
year. Here's hoping that the books next year are equally
good. More importantly -- here's hoping that 2009 brings you all
that you need and much that you wish for.
Top Sellers At Borderlands
1. Contagious by Scott Sigler
2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
4. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
5. 1635: The Dreeson Incident by Eric Flint and Virgina DeMarce
6. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
7. The Gabble and Other Stories by Neal Asher (UK)
8. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
9. The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (UK)
10. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Mass Market Paperbacks
1. New Tricks by John Levitt
2. The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
4. The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
5. Dog Days by John Levitt
6. The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
7. Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
8. Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce
9. Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis
10. Halting State by Charles Stross tie with
Snake Agent by Liz Wiliams
1. Steampunk edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
2. Ancestor by Scott Sigler
3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
4. The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams
5. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie tie with
The Shadow of the Scorpion by Neal Asher
Notes From a DVD Geek
Our intrepid DVD Geek is off in sunny Hawaii, so the column will return next month.
- Jeremy Lassen
Book Club Info
The Gay Men's Book Club
will meet on Sunday, January 11th, at 5 pm to discuss DUNE by Frank
Herbert. 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, January
18th, at 6 pm to discuss TAM LIN by Pamela Dean. Please contact
Jude at email@example.com for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
Scott Sigler, CONTAGIOUS, (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, January 10th at 3:00 pm -
Alright, Junkies, your Future Dark Overlord is back! From Scott's
website: "Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary
people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien
agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease
responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to
fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is
driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.
Standing against this unimaginable threat is a small group, assembled
under the strictest secrecy. Their best weapon is hulking former
football star Perry Dawsey, left psychologically shattered by his own
struggles with this terrible enemy, who possesses an unexplainable
ability to locate the disease’s hosts. Violent and unpredictable, Perry
is both the nation’s best hope and a terrifying liability. Hardened CIA
veteran Dew Phillips must somehow forge a connection with him if
they’re going to stand a chance against this maddeningly adaptable
opponent. Alongside them is Margaret Montoya, a brilliant
epidemiologist who fights for a cure even as she reels under the weight
of endless horrors. These three and their team have kept humanity
in the game, but that’s not good enough anymore, not when the disease
turns contagious, triggering a fast countdown to Armageddon. Meanwhile,
other enemies join the battle, and a new threat — one that comes from a
most unexpected source — may ultimately prove the most dangerous of
all." Join us as we host Scott Sigler, and find out for yourself
why fans of the series are called junkies!
Writers With Drinks at the Make-Out Room, (3225 23rd
St.): Lisa Katayama, Ann Packer, Yosefa Raz, Steven Schwartz, Scott
Sigler, and Lan Tran, Saturday, January 10th at 7:30 pm -
Writers With Drinks is exactly what it sounds like -- writers with
drinks! Emceed by the madcap and inimitable Charlie Anders, this
is a monthly spoken-word variety series that takes place at a bar down
the street from Borderlands. Do not miss this odd mix of authors,
alcohol and fun! Sliding scale, $3 - $5 at the door, proceeds benefit
good causes locally. Borderlands will be on hand to sell books at
the event. More info at
<http://www.writerswithdrinks.com/>. This month, WWD
features Lisa Katayama, Ann Packer (THE DIVE FROM CLAUSEN'S PIER, SONGS
WITHOUT WORDS), Yosefa Raz (ZYZZYVA, GLIMMER TRAIN), Steven Schwartz,
Scott Sigler (INFECTED, CONTAGIOUS), and Lan Tran (HOW TO UNRAVEL YOUR
John Levitt, NEW TRICKS, (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99) Sunday, January 11th at 3:00 pm -
Everyone loved DOG DAYS, John Levitt's introduction to San Francisco
magician/musician Mason and his sort-of dog, Lou (okay, he's an Iffrit,
not a dog. But he looks like a dog). Now the two are back
in another entertaining adventure. Meet local author John Levitt
and find out what's next for his unlikely hero. Read an excerpt
from the book here: <http://jlevitt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=40> and read an interview with Mason, John's protagonist, here: <http://jackiekessler.com/catandmuse/2008/11/29/a-san-francisco-treat/>.
Mary Robinette Kowal and John Scalzi, Friday, January 16th at 7:00 pm -
"John and Mary Show You Their Shorts!": 2008 Campbell Award winner Mary
Robinette Kowal and NYT Bestselling author John Scalzi invite you to a
night of funny short science fictional readings. Come on down! You'll
Aimee Bender and Sean Stewart are guests of SF in SF at
the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street,
Saturday, January 17th at 7:00 pm - We are very excited to
help SF in SF welcome Aimee and Sean! Each author will read a
selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience
moderated by author Terry Bisson. Authors will schmooze &
sign books after in the lounge. Books available for sale courtesy of
Borderlands Books. Seating is limited, so first come, first
seated. Bar proceeds benefit Variety Childrens Charity - learn
more at <http://www.varietync.org/>.
We REALLY encourage you to take BART into the City, or use MUNI to get
here - parking can be problematic in San Francisco, to say the
least. We are less than one block away from the Montgomery St.
station. Trust us - you don't want to be looking for parking and
be late for the event! Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Gifford, THE CURIOUS ACCOUNTS OF THE IMAGINARY
FRIEND, (Virtual Tales, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Sunday, January 18th
at 1:00 pm - From the book: "Who am I? Well, I am the
Imaginary Friend. You know -- the one you conjure up when you're
consumed with loneliness, greed or visions of imminent doom. I
have listened to thousands of stories and it would be a shame if they
just stayed with me, never to be heard again. I have chosen to
share only the ones I found particularly . . . curious." Don't
miss this chance to meet author and poet P.S. Gifford and . . . his
Borderlands Night at Evil Dead the Musical! (at the
Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street, Martinez, CA 94553), Friday, January
23rd at 10:30 pm - From the Theatre website: "The Evil begins
Friday, January 9th! Come see the musical everyone is talking
about . . it would kill you to miss it! What can go wrong
when five college students break into an abandoned cabin in the woods?
Apparently a whole heck of a lot! They unleash evil spirits, turn into
Candarian Demons - and sing showtunes! In EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL, Sam
Raimi's cult classic '80s films are brought to life in a hilarious,
campy show that will make you love the theatre again. As musical mayhem
descends upon this sleepover in the woods, "camp" takes on a whole new
meaning with uproarious numbers like "All the Men in My Life Keep
Getting Killed by Candarian Demons," "What the F*@k was That?" and "Do
the Necronomicon." Performances will be at the Campbell Theatre
in Martinez, with full bar service throughout the show! Performances
are January 9th through February 7th at 7:00pm and 10:30pm on Friday
and Saturday nights. For a really up-close and personal experience, be
sure to sit in the SPLATTER ZONE, where the gore hits the floor (and
the audience)! Evil Dead: The Musical is rated PG-13 for. . .
language and campy violence." Mention Borderlands when you
call the box office at 925-798-1300 to get your ticket for January 23rd
and you'll get a $5 discount (even on the Splatter Zone tickets)!
We'll be working out carpools from San Francisco, so if you need a ride
or you're planning on driving, drop a note to
email@example.com. See <http://www.willowstheatre.com/evildeadabout.htm> for more details on the show.
SF in SF presents free movies: “Kung-Fu Panda” and
“Wall-E” at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market
Street, Saturday, January 24th at 7:00 pm - Free movies!
Free popcorn! God cause! Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first movie
starts at 7:00 pm. There will be a short intermission between the
films. Seating is limited and seats are available on a
first-come, first seated basis, so arrive early! Refreshments
will be available for purchase, and your purchase benefits Variety
Children's Charity of Northern California, a non-profit organization
that supports children in local communities who are dealing with
poverty, neglect, violence, and physical disabilities. For more
information about upcoming movies, write
firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Variety
Children's Charity, see their web site at <http://www.varietync.org/> or write email@example.com.
Toby Bishop, AIRS OF NIGHT AND SEA (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99), and Pat Murphy, THE WILD GIRLS (Speak, Trade Paperback, $7.99) Saturday, January 24th at 3 pm -
Louise Marley's earlier science fiction novels won both acclaim and
awards. THE CHLD GODDESS won the 2005 Endeavour Award for excellence in
science fiction, and in 2001 her novel THE GLASS HARMONICA shared the
same award with Ursula K. Le Guin’s book THE TELLING. Louise's novels
have been shortlisted for the Tiptree, Campbell, and Nebula Awards.
Her newest novel, written under her pseudonym, Toby Bishop, is part of
the now-completed trilogy, "The Horsemistress Saga," a fantasy for
young adult readers. The first two novels, AIRS BENEATH THE MOON and
AIRS AND GRACES, began the story of Larkyn Black and her winged
stallion Black Seraph. AIRS OF NIGHT AND SEA is the conclusion. Don't
miss this opportunity to meet Toby Bishop and let her introduce you to
the wonderful, mystical world of powerful women and winged horses.
Toby is even making "crooks" for the event, the cookies that one of her
characters makes! You can read an excerpt from the first book in the
Horsemistress Saga, AIRS BENEATH THE MOON, here: <http://www.tobybishop.net/tb-abm-chap.htm>.
Joining Louise will be local favorite Pat Murphy, showcasing the
excellent novel THE WILD GIRLS, which is a magical book about the art
of writing and becoming yourself. About THE WILD GIRLS, Jane Yolen
wrote: "This novel has characters who learn to tell the truth, which is
the hardest lesson of all. And along the way, they paint their faces,
walk on stilts, rule over foxes, occasionally throw rocks, . . . and
fly. I loved it." We're sure you'll love it, too!
John Birmingham, WITHOUT WARNING, (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.00) Tuesday, February 3rd at 7pm -
From the book: "The author of the acclaimed novels WEAPONS OF CHOICE,
DESIGNATED TARGETS, and FINAL IMPACT returns with his most chilling --
and most mainstream -- story yet. . . . A thrilling novel that explores
what would happen if an unexplained phenomenon virtually erased the
United States overnight -- leaving the rest of the world to survive
without it." Come meet John Birmingham and ponder this
Patricia Briggs, BONE CROSSED, (Ace, Hardcover, $24.95) Friday, February 6th at 7:00 pm -
Patricia Briggs is the author of about a dozen books, and she's always
been great, but it seems that she's just recently come to major
national attention with the kick-ass Mercy Thompson novels. Mercy
is an auto mechanic and a shapeshifter, and a cooler heroine would be
difficult to imagine. In BONE CROSSED, Mercy has to deal with an
angry local vampire queen whom she has crossed; but because Mercy is
protected from direct reprisal by her powerful associates, (_really_
powerful. . .they're werewolves!) it won't be Mercy's blood the vampire
is after. It'll be her friends'. You can read an excerpt
from BONE CROSSED here: <http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/BoneCrossedChapter.shtml>
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
FEASTER FROM AFAR - THE SELECTED WEIRD TALES OF JOSEPH PAYNE BRENNAN
VOL. 1 by Joseph Payne Brennan (Midnight House, Numbered, Limited
Edition (525 copies) Hardcover, $45.00) - The first of four volumes
that will collect all of the great Weird Tales author's macabre and
I REMEMBER THE FUTURE: THE AWARD NOMINATED STORIES by Michael A.
Burstein (Apex, Hardcover, $35.95, and Trade Paperback, $21.95) - Few
writers have had their stories nominated for as many awards as
Burstein! This is a great collection that will hopefully make
this deserving author known to a wider audience. Especially for
fans of classic science fiction in the Asmiov/Bradbury/Clarke vein.
PLUGGED IN by L. Timmel Duchamp and Maureen McHugh (Aqueduct Press,
Trade Paperback, $12.00) - From Aqueduct Press: "In the kingdom of the
blind," Sydney said, "The one-eyed girl is king." In "Kingdom of the
Blind," Sydney, one of the codemonekys who maintain DMS, the software
system that keeps the physical plants of the Benevola Health Network
running, suspects the recent outages in the system may be a sign of the
system's sentience rather than due to simple corruption of its code.
Her fellow geeks view the reset button as a possible if drastic
solution for restoring the system's integrity, but Sydney fears it
might be a much too Final Solution. . . .
In L. Timmel Duchamp’s "The Man Who Plugged In," Howard Nies becomes
the first male to plug into a Siemens Carapace. And as an ad in
the February 2013 issue of The American Journal of Obstetrics and
Gynecology notes, the Siemens Carapace is "a prenatal cradle of caring"
at the cutting edge of technology, "made of the finest, strongest, most
lightweight materials ever produced. Its clean, round lines and soft,
silvery matte finish can't fail to reassure both the parents and the
gestational carrier who wears it that the child within is getting
better care and protection than any naturally gestated child."
ESCAPE FROM HELL! by Hal Duncan (MonkeyBrain, Trade Paperback, $9.95) -
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but instead it's the
beginning of a great novella! From MonkeyBrain Books: "A hitman,
a hooker, a homosexual kid, and a hobo suicide make the ultimate prison
break . . . escape from Hell itself! It’s "Escape from New York" meets
"Jacob’s Ladder," by one of fantasy’s rising stars. Four sinners
die and go to Hell, a twisted version of New York City, each to their
own torment. The four meet, and decide to make a break, guns
blazing. Before they manage to escape, they discover Lucifer himself
kept prisoner by the angel Gabriel, and in freeing him find themselves
facing an angel’s wrath. But when news of their attempted escape
gets out, the souls of the damned are transformed into a rioting mob,
and all Hell truly does break loose."
ENGELBRECHT AGAIN! by Rhys Hughes (Dead Letter Press, Signed, Limited
Edition (300 copies) Hardcover, $50.00) - From Dead Letter Press:
"Engelbrecht is a dwarf surrealist boxer who does most of his fighting
against clocks. His exploits were first chronicled by Maurice
Richardson back in the 1940s in the pages of the esteemed Lilliput
magazine. Engelbrecht is the most famous member of the Surrealist
Sportsman’s Club, a very dubious society that spends the time it has
left between the collapse of the moon and the end of the universe
taking the concept of the 'game' to its logical limit, for instance
arranging a rugby match between Mars and the entire human race, or
playing chess with boy scouts and nuclear bombs as pieces. Sixty
or so years after his first appearance Engelbrecht has returned for
another set of exploits that will take him on a voyage around the
world, into space, down to Hell, into a labyrinth of plots and
counter-plots that could mean the destruction of the entire membership
of the Surrealist Sportsman’s Club. Running the gauntlet with gorgons,
competing in the mesmeric tour-de-trance bicycle race, climbing the
north face of the largest ego in existence, playing tug-o’-war with
entire continents and even indulging in a round of lipograms with the
monstrous Père Ubu – all these are in a day’s work for the
TALES OF TERROR by Guy de Maupassant (Tartarus Press, Limited Edition
(300 copies) Hardcover, $55.00) - Foreword by Ramsey Campbell.
From Tartarus Press: "This volume collects together 32 of Guy de
Maupassant's best tales of terror, in Arnold Kellet's glitteringly
clear and precise translations."
ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE ISSUE 15/16, WINTER 2008 edited by John Klima
(Split Milk, Trade Paperback, $12.00) - There are only a handful of
really good small genre magazines -- Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet,
Trunk Stories, GUD, Electric Velocipede and just a few others.
From Night Shade and Electric Velocipede: "Night Shade Books has joined
forces with World Fantasy Award-nominated magazine Electric Velocipede,
and, like a pair of steam-powered metal titans joined together to form
a mighty behemoth, the pair plans to march forward in unison, changing
the genre fiction battlefield for the better." This is the first
double issue of this small-press standout, and includes stories by
Patrick O'Leary and Patricia Russo among many others.
SHADES OF DARKNESS edited by Barbara and Christopher Rodin (Ash-Tree
Press, Limited Edition (400 copies) Hardcover, $49.00) - SHADES OF
DARKNESS is the fifth anthology of original supernatural fiction to be
published by Ash-Tree Press and edited by Barbara & Christopher
CAT & GNOME by Graham Roumieu (Blue Q, Small Paperback with
Dustjacket, $8.00) - Delightfully twisted and kinda sad illustrated
story of the one-sided relationship between a talking cat and a
(totally inanimate) garden gnome. There is also a snail and an
exploding robot. It's from the author of BIGFOOT: ME WRITE
BOOK. And it is infinetly better than 101 WAYS TO KILL YOUR BOSS
by the same author, for which we had high hopes, but turned out to be
crudely drawn and just not that funny.
PRIME CODEX: THE HUNGRY EDGE OF SPECULATIVE FICTION edited by Lawrence
M. Schoen (Paper Golem, Trade Paperback, $14.00) - An anthology of 15
short stories showcasing the Codex Writers Group, a vibrant community
of "neo-pro" writers of speculative fiction. Really exceptional.
New and Notable
SOMNAMBULIST by Jonathan Barnes (William Morrow, Trade Paperback,
$14.99) - I really enjoyed this peculiar tale of noir Victorian London
which follows Edward Moon, a magician by profession, and his odd
companion. It would be a relatively straightforward historical
thriller, except for the title character, a giant, good-natured mute
creature who may or may not be a golem, and the twisty ending.
Recommended by Jude.
MEAN STREETS by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kat Richardson and Thomas
E. Sniegoski (Roc, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - Four novellas starring
the paranormal detectives that each of these authors have made
famous. I particularly liked Kat Richardson's tale of Harper
Blaine's mysterious assignment to escort a statue of a dog to a Mexican
graveyard on the Dia de los Muertos. Recommended by Jude.
THE VORKOSIGAN COMPANION edited by Lillian Stewart Carl (Baen,
Hardcover, $24.00) - For die-hard Miles fans, this book offers
background details, little-known facts about the Saga, an interview
with Lois McMaster Bujold, essays on crafting the Vorkosigan Universe,
articles on the biology, technology and sociology of the planet
Barrayar, and much more.
1635: THE DREESON INCIDENT by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce (Baen,
Hardcover, $26.00) - The newest installment in the RING OF FIRE
alternate history series.
GEARS OF THE CITY by Felix Gilman (Bantam, Hardcover, $24.00) - This is
the follow-up the really excellent THUNDERER. I think both will
appeal to New Weird fantasy fans, i.e. if you've enjoyed Alan Campell,
China Mieville, Catherynne M. Valente and/or Jeff VanderMeer, I bet
you'll like it.
JUST ANOTHER JUDGEMENT DAY by Simon R. Green (Ace, Hardcover, $24.95) -
The newest installment in the Nightside series, about an alternate
London where it is always 3 am and every sin is available for a
price. I'm very partial to noir-y paranormal-investigator
fiction, and I do like this series, especially when it's cyberpunk-y
and blasphemous, which is often. Really, my only complaint is
that sometimes the awful, nasty, unspeakable things that people come to
the Nightside to engage in don't hold a candle to your average Saturday
night in San Francisco. Recommended by Jude.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU by David Marusek (Del Rey, Trade Paperback, $15.00)
- A quite uneven but nonetheless solid story collection from the author
of COUNTING HEADS. I particularly liked the first story, "The
Wedding Album," which is near-impossible to describe, but very
important to read.
THE BLACK MIRROR AND OTHER STORIES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SIENCE FICTION FROM
GERMANY AND AUSTRIA edited by Franz Rottensteiner (University Press of
New England, Trade Paperback, $27.95)
TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, Hardcover,
$12.99) - The book-within-a-book from HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY
HALLOWS, bequeathed to Hermione, and now available to you!
CONTAGIOUS by Scott Sigler (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) See event write-up above.
THE JENNIFER MORGUE by Charles Stross (Ace, Trade Paperback, $15.00) -
The second collection (after ATROCITY ARCHIVES) of
Lovecraft-meets-James-Bond spy thrillers starring Bob Howard, the geeky
December ended with a blizzard of new mass market arrivals! We
don't have room to list them all here, so we'll provide just a brief
sample. For the full effect, you'll really have to come in and
check them out.
AIRS OF NIGHT AND SEA by Toby Bishop (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99) - See event write-up above.
PASSAGE - THE SHARING KNIFE VOL. 3 by Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos, Mass
Market, $7.99) - Third in the romantic fantasy series from Bujold.
TERRITORY by Emma Bull (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) - Cary and I both
strongly recommend this awesome magical secret history of the events
leading up to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. - Jude
NOVA SWING by M. John Harrison (Bantam, Mass Market, $6.99) - Is there
such a thing as hard science noir space opera? Well, there is
now. Follow the adventures of Vic Serotonin and his battered crew
of associates in this neo-cyberpunk tale. Populated by
Schrodinger's cats (including the bar Black Cat White Cat) and classic
detective-fiction characters, including the blonde in trouble and the
sad fat man. It's not really a sequel to LIGHT, more of an
associated novel, and I didn't care for LIGHT, but I appreciated and
raced right through this one. Recommended by Jude.
THE STEPSISTER SCHEME by Jim C. Hines (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) - Jim
C. Hines is a heck of a nice guy, and a very entertaining author.
Enjoy this novel about three fairy princesses (Cinderella, Sleeping
Beauty, and Snow White) who must rescue both Cinderella's handsome
prince and themselves from some of Fantasyland's most unpleasant
characters. Fans of THE TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND will likely
appreciate both this book and Hines' funny goblin trilogy.
BONE SONG by John Meaney (Bantam, Mass Market, $6.99) - More fantasy
noir, this time in an eerie necropolis-ish alternate world where the
bones of the dead power the city's reactors. Dark police
procedural fun, especially if you liked THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Mike
Carey. Recommended by Alan and Jude.
THE TERROR by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown, Mass Market, $7.99) - Mikael,
who helps out at the store sometimes, likes to joke, "You willingly
boarded a ship called "The Terror," bound for icy Arctic landscapes,
and you thought it would work out well? What were you thinking?!"
BEYOND THE SHADOWS - NIGHT ANGEL VOL. 3 by Brent Weeks (Orbit, Mass
Market, $7.99) - We've been unable to keep this brand-new,
super-popular trilogy on the shelves.
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
All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
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