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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 Features
Richard Dansky, FIREFLY RAIN (Wizards of the Coast Discoveries, Hardcover, $21.95) Saturday, February 23rd at 1:00 pm
Maria Alexander and Loren Rhoads, SINS OF THE SIRENS: FOURTEEN TALES OF
DARK DESIRE (Dark Arts Books, Trade Paperback, $17.95), Saturday,
February 23rd at 3:00 pm
Paolo Bacigalupi and Carter Scholz are guests of SF in SF at the
Variety Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Saturday, February 23rd at
Jeffrey Ford, THE SHADOW YEAR (Morrow, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, March 15th at 3:00 pm
Jeffrey Ford and a surprise author are guests of SF in SF at the
Variety Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Sunday, March 16th at 6:00 pm
Scott Sigler, INFECTED (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 5th at 3:00 pm
Peter F. Hamilton, THE DREAMING VOID, (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.95), Saturday, April 12th at 4:00 pm
Elliot Fintushel and Peter F. Hamilton are guests of Writers With Drinks at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street
(for more information check the end of this section)
Congratulations to Cory Doctorow and Alice Taylor, the proud parents of
Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, born February 3rd,
* More congratulations to Ron Turner, owner and founder of Last Gasp,
who married Carol Sue Stevenson on Jan. 15th at City Hall. After
35 years of living together, they figured it was about time. All
of us here at the store wish them continued happiness even though they
are no longer living in sin.
* Neil Gaiman's publisher has given him the go-ahead to put one of his
books online for free! Which book? Well, you (and all the
other Neil Gaiman fans) get to decide. Follow this link and vote
for your favorite. <http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/02/birthday-thing.html>
* All kinds of cool stuff is going on at io9, <http://io9.com/>
as we mentioned last month. Among the standouts recently:
commentary on military SF from David Drake and John Scalzi; a primer on
Banks' Culture; a spot-the-science-fiction-cliche' drinking game;
inflatable, water-resistant housing for disaster relief; and clockwork
insects. Go Annalee and Charlie!
* Thanks to the folks at LitQuake for bringing this information about
grant opportunities for Bay Area authors and artists to our attention:
"The Creative Work Fund invites letters of inquiry for projects in
which artists and nonprofit organizations collaborate to create new
works. Grants range from $10,000-$40,000. In 2008, projects featuring
literary artists or performing artists are eligible to apply.
Collaborating artists must reside and organizations must be based in
the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Napa, San
Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma. The receipt
deadline for letters is 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2008. For detailed
guidelines and a schedule of informational seminars, visit
* Thanks to Claire Light, an author and customer who is on the
steering committee for The Carl Brandon Society, "an organization
dedicated to increasing representation of people of color in the
speculative genres," for bringing the following to our attention. Click
this link to see the books that the Society recommends for Black
History Month: <http://clairelight.typepad.com/seelight/2008/02/carl-brandons-b.html>
* Thanks to William Smith at Hang Fire Books for the following
note: "If anyone is still paying attention you may have noticed
the extended break in Trunk Stories "semi-annual" publishing schedule
(in fact you could drive a semi through that semi-annual). Anyway
blah blah excuse, blah blah printing costs, blah blah mortgage.
Done. Now Trunk Stories is e- and free. I've integrated the 'zine
into the Hang Fire bookstore and blog as a virtual reading
series. I still lay it out like paper and it's easily printable
if you can't read fiction onscreen. Check out the first
* Thanks to Jill Roberts for alerting us to this New Weird
contest. From Jeff Vandermeer's web page: "In honor of the
publication of THE NEW WEIRD anthology, which we hope you’ll consider
buying, Ann and I have decided to have a little contest. Tell us
your “new, weird” story–something strange (but entertaining and either
PG-rated or with the naughty bits blocked out) that happened to you or
you witnessed in the last couple of years. Work-related,
fun-related, whatever–go wild. Hopefully some of these will be bizarre
but also uplifting, although that’s not a requirement. It’s more about
. . . hey, this world we live in is an odder place than we might
think. All of those stories in The New Weird from China Mieville,
Clive Barker, K.J. Bishop, Steph Swainston, Jeffrey Ford, Jay Lake,
Pual Di Filippo, Michael Moorcock, M. John Harrison, and others –
they’re not strange; the world is strange!
What do you win? The three winners, chosen by Ann and me, will win ONE
COPY OF EACH ANTHOLOGY WE EDIT BETWEEN NOW AND 2010, PERSONALIZED. Yes,
that’s correct. You will get a copy of The New Weird, Steampunk,
The Leonardo Variations (Clarion charity anthology), Fast Ships/Black
Sails (pirates), Best American Fantasy 2, Best Horror 2009, Last Drink
Bird Head, Mapping the Beast: The Best of Leviathan, and various other
anthologies currently in the planning stages. Heck, we’ll even
throw in the first couple issue of Weird Tales with Ann as fiction
editor. We also reserve the right to give out honorable mentions,
said HMs to receive a copy of the NW antho." For rules and
complete details see <http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2008/02/10/contest-tell-us-your-new-weird-story-win-tons-of-cool-stuff/>
From The Office
I'm not a big one for blaming other people for how my life has turned
out. At this point, I'm pretty much sure that where I've ended up
is completely a consequence of the choices I've made. And really,
I'm OK with that.
But, there are a few people who I feel comfortable blaming for my love
of SF, fantasy and horror. When I was young I hated reading (and
school in general) with a fiery passion. I wasn't very good at
reading and I was way behind the rest of my class. That, added to
being a discipline problem and trouble maker, didn't produce much
affection on my part for school (and believe me, the schools I went to
didn't love me much either). When I was ten or so, I suddenly
learned how to read. I don't remember what did it or what I
started off reading but I got very good at it and very fast. But,
nothing really interested me much. Stevenson was OK (I think I
read Kidnapped because I wanted to know about the character I was named
after. And by the way, I don't think that namesake worked out
quite the way my father planned . . . or perhaps it did) and I liked
Sherlock Holmes but nothing really lit a fire in me.
Then that summer my family took a trip to visit a friend of my
dad's. My sister and I stayed in the "den" on a sofa-bed.
Above that sofa-bed was a whole wall of bookshelves that were
completely filled with copies of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Magazine. I picked one at random and I started reading it because
I liked the picture on the cover. It had a serious looking young
man in a big, red spacesuit in the foreground, a young boy (I thought)
with a teddy bear in the middle-ground, and the background was the
surface of the moon. That was a cool cover. The spacesuit
didn't look . . . wimpy . . . it looked like armor. It looked . .
That afternoon I read the first part of Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by
Robert Heinlein. I remember thinking at the time that it was,
without a doubt, the best thing I had ever read. Then I got to
the end AND IT WASN'T ALL THERE! The novel had been broken into
three parts. I was incensed. How could they do this to me?
Imagine if you will, a scrawny, short, ten year old standing in front
of a bookshelf that's at least eight feet high and ten or more feet
long and completely jammed with issues of F&SF. And they
aren't in any discernible order at all. Looking back I don't know
why I didn't ask for help. I know that my dad or my mom would
have been happy to help me look for the next two issues. But I
didn't ask. Instead I spent hours looking through those magazines
and I never did find the other two issues.
Months later, I was bored during lunch and wandering around the school
library. You know how this ends, right? Yeah. There
was a copy on the shelf. I grabbed it, spent the rest of the day
sneaking in a page here and a page there during class. When I got
home I locked myself in my room and finished it off. In the
months that followed I read everything the library had by Heinlein.
He's the first one that I'm going to blame.
The next two people who I'm going to blame came as a set. Months
after the Heinlein binge I was out with my mom while she was
shopping. By this point I had started to get the clue that there
was some pretty cool stuff to be found in books. But, I was
cautious. Reading a whole novel was a big time investment.
When I was ten or eleven, life had been so very short that hours passed
the way that days do now, a day was like a week, and a week was an
eternity. The time that a novel took was a significant chunk of my
eleven-year old life.
But still, books were cool. So, while she shopped, I would look
around the bookstore. And that day I came across a row of books
with these really bright, yellow spines. On their own they looked
pretty boring but all together like that they really caught my eye so I
grabbed one at random. The cover took my breath away. It
was a ship and in the bow was this fierce-looking guy with really pale
skin and red eyes. He was wearing baroque armor and held a huge,
black sword. I started looking through some of the other books
with yellow spines and the covers on all of them were great. And
then I noticed that they were all by the same guy. I was
definitely going to give him a try but I didn't know which one to
get. So, I grabbed the first one that I had picked up.
People say don't judge a book by the cover but, as a bookseller, let me
tell you -- everyone does. That day I made the right
judgement. There was a magic to those covers that I'd never
experienced before and I've only rarely felt since. So, I'm going
to blame Michael Whelan for making me pick up that book.
But I'm also going to blame Mike Moorcock for finishing the job
that Heinlein started . . . making me a junkie. See, I could have
marked Heinlein off as a one-time fluke. But after burning my way
through pretty much all of the Moorcock novels that DAW books had in
print (and, damn, there were a lot) I knew that there were people
writing this stuff who could give me a great read pretty much without
fail. So why would I want to read anything else? And so,
from then on, about 90% of what I read for pleasure was SF, fantasy,
and (once a science teacher of mine introduced me to H.P. Lovecraft)
horror. And if that hadn't been true the chances that I would be
running Borderlands are about par with a snowball's in hell.
Two Mikes and a Robert. I blame them. And, in a very
carefully no-I'm-not-a-stalker way, I've been able to tell both Mikes
how much their work has meant to me. Heinlein was long gone
before I got into this business but, hell, two out of three isn't bad.
Top Sellers At Borderlands
1) Renegade's Magic by Robn Hobb
2) A Vintage From Atlantis: Collected Fantasies vol. 3 by Clark Ashton Smith
3) Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti
4) One Beastly Beast by Garth Nix
5) Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
6) Complete Hammers Slammers vol. 3 by David Drake
7) Ice, Iron and Gold by S.M. Stirling
8) The Merchant & The Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chaing
9) The Kragen by Jack Vance
10) Ring of Fire vol. 2 edited by Eric Flint
1) Snake Agent by Liz Williams
2) Scar Night by Alan Campbell
3) Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
4) Glasshouse by Charles Stross
5) Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
6) Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
7) Idlewild by Nick Sagan
8) Dust by Elizabeth Bear
9) Dog Days by John Levitt
10) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
1)Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams tie with The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook
2) World War Z by Max Brooks
3) You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
4) The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
5) River of Gods by Ian McDonald
Notes From a DVD Geek
Hello again. February already. For Valentine's Day, be
sure to check out a complete series box set of one of the most iconic
anime shows of all times -- "Cowboy Bebop". Bounty hunters Spiek
and Jet, and (yes, you knew this was coming, right?) Faye Valentine get
their groove on -- on the space ship Bebop. If you haven’t experienced
the joy that is "Cowboy Bebop", do so now.
Staying with the Valentines Day theme, I wanted to point out the
funniest Bill Murray movies of the nineties . . . no . . . not
"Scrooged" . . . I’m talking about "Groundhog Day". This little
romantic comedy from '93 featured a classic "Twilight Zone" motif . . .
repeating the same day over and over until you finally get it
right. This probably isn't as funny as I remember it, but it
seems like a strong possibility for a Valentine’s Day date film.
It's cute and sweet and creepy all at the same time.
Turning back to anime for a moment, I wanted to point out that the
"Moonlighting" of anime TV series has been re-released on DVD, and you
can start picking up full seasons. "Ranma 1/2" is the story of a
boy, who turns into a girl when doused with cold water, and his father,
who turns into a panda when likewise doused. Did I mention they are
both martial arts masters? Ranma's betrothed to the daughter of the
head of the Tendo Dojo, but, well, Ranma and his some-day-maybe-bride
don't really get along that well, except that they DO like each other,
despite themselves. It's a classic "Moonlighting" set up, with
some gender-bending hijinks. Definitely worth a Valentine's Day
marathon. I can't get enough "Ranma 1/2", because, you know, he
gets splashed with water, and changes into a girl, and hijinx
ensue! Over and over again. It never stops being funny.
Some people think the show jumped the shark in season four, when the
panty-stealing dirty-old-man-kung fu-master showed up, and he does have
some “Gazoo” like qualities (no, he’s not green, but similarly
proportioned). But be that as it may, "Ranma 1/2" Is. Always.
Another release this month that really stands out is the classic Danish
television series by Lars von Trier, "The Kingdom," (series one and
two). Ignore the really bad US television remake, and go directly
to the original, now available for one low price. Creepy old
hospitals should never be this much fun.
Another non-Valentine release this month is "Nightmare
Detective". This one is a cut above your average J-horror film,
by Japanese indie director Shinya Tsukamoto, featuring two
seemingly-unrelated bloody murders, and the detective who links them
together. The detective is played by Japanese pop singer Hitomi,
and while the results could have been dreadful, they weren't. I'm
happy to give this one a couple thumbs up.
Finally, while we are in Japan, I wanted to point out that it just
wouldn't be another month, unless there was a new Takashi Miike film
released on DVD. This time around, it's "Zebraman", an
action comedy superhero flick that only Miike could deliver. If
Hollywood superhero movies had half as much energy, improv and zaniness
as a Miike movie, I might actually talk about them here, in this column
-- But since they don't, I'll simply say "ZEBRAMAN"!
Until next time, keep watching weird old Dutch and Japanese TV shows on DVD!
- Jeremy Lassen
Book Club Info
Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 9th, at 5 pm to discuss
DEADSTOCK by Jeffrey Thomas. 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, February
17th, at 6 pm to discuss THIRTEEN by Richard Morgan. The book for
March is THE CALL OF CTHULHU by H.P. Lovecraft. Please contact
Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
Richard Dansky, FIREFLY RAIN (Wizards of the Coast Discoveries, Hardcover, $21.95) Saturday, February 23rd at 1:00 pm -
From Wizards of the Coast: "A southern gothic ghost story.
'Fireflies hated my land, hated and feared it. If brought onto it,
they’d flee. If they couldn’t flee, they’d die. But under no
circumstances would my parents’ grave ever see their light.'
Jacob Logan hasn’t been home in years. With his parents dead, his
career a thousand miles away, there didn’t seem to be a reason ever to
go back. But things change, and the time has come for him to return to
a place, a life, he’d long ago turned his back on. It’s time to
go back to a house that may not let him leave a second time.
Richard Dansky’s first original novel is a compelling story about one
man’s struggle to honor the past without being destroyed by it, and
finding the courage to face the future." Join us to meet this up
and coming author!
Maria Alexander and Loren Rhoads, SINS OF THE SIRENS:
FOURTEEN TALES OF DARK DESIRE (Dark Arts Books, Trade Paperback,
$17.95), Saturday, February 23rd at 3:00 pm - Loren (the
publisher, editor, and creator of the legendary "Morbid Curiosity
Magazine";) tells us that SINS OF THE SIRENS "is a four-woman anthology
that includes Maria Alexander, Christa Faust, Mehitobel Wilson, and
me! I'll have four stories in the book, including the X-rated
version of "Still Life with Shattered Glass" and the impossible to find
"Last-Born," along with some succubus action and bad times at the
Burbank airport. I am extremely excited about this book. Hope
you'll check it out!" Loren will also be joined at the store by
the irrepressible Maria Alexander, who is known as "The Handless
Poet". Maria is an active member of both the Horror Writers
Association and also Persephone Writers, an organization devoted to
supporting female writers of horror and dark fantasy fiction and
poetry. You want it dark? You want it sexy? Don't miss this
Paolo Bacigalupi and Carter Scholz are guests of SF in SF
at the Variety Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Saturday, February 23rd
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. From the SF in SF Flyer: "PAOLO BACIGALUPI:
_The_ up-and-coming writer. A Hugo & Nebula nominee, Paolo
Bacigalupi’s debut collection PUMP SIX AND OTHER STORIES from Night
Shade Books demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction
short story. Social criticism, political parable, and
environmental advocacy lie at the center of Paolo’s work.
Immensely interesting and readable, his work will grab you from the
outset. Come join us for his only San Francisco appearance. Visit his
website at <http://windupstories.com/>
CARTER SCHOLZ: Carter Scholz’ wonderfully charming, playful, stylish
and often experimental writings have been compared to the works of
Thomas Pynchon, John Updike, and Thomas M. Disch. Carter Scholz
has been publishing novels and short stories for 30 years. He is
the author of the critically-acclaimed novel RADIANCE and the co-author
of PALIMPESTS and (with Jonathan Lethem) KAFKA AMERICANA. His
terrific short stories has been collected in THE AMOUNT TO CARRY.
When not writing, Carter composes experimental computer music, and is a
member of the Frog Peak Composers Collective. Frog Peak website
Authors will schmooze and sign books afterwards. Books available
for sale (courtesy of Borderlands Books). Seating is limited, so
first come, first seated. Come early and hang out in the
lounge! Bar proceeds benefit Variety Children’s Charity of
Northern California - learn more at <http://www.varietync.org>"
Jeffrey Ford, THE SHADOW YEAR (Morrow, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, March 15th at 3:00 pm -
From Harper Collins: "In New York's Long Island, in the unpredictable
decade of the 1960s, a young boy laments the approaching close of
summer and the advent of sixth grade. Growing up in a household
with an overworked father whom he rarely sees, an alcoholic mother who
paints wonderful canvases that are never displayed, an older brother
who serves as both tormentor and protector, and a younger sister who
inhabits her own secret world, the boy takes his amusements where he
can find them. Some of his free time is spent in the basement of
the family's modest home, where he and his brother, Jim, have created
Botch Town, a detailed cardboard replica of their community, complete
with clay figurines representing friends and neighbors. And so
the time passes with a not-always-reassuring sameness—until the night a
prowler is reported stalking the neighborhood. Appointing
themselves ad hoc investigators, the brothers set out to aid the
police—while their little sister, Mary, smokes cigarettes, speaks in
other voices, inhabits alternate personas . . . and, unbeknownst to her
older siblings, moves around the inanimate residents of Botch
Town. But ensuing events add a shadowy cast to the boys' night
games: disappearances, deaths, and spectral sightings capped off by the
arrival of a sinister man in a long white car trawling the neighborhood
after dark. Strangest of all is the inescapable fact that every
one of these troubling occurrences seems to correspond directly to the
changes little Mary has made to the miniature town in the basement."
Join us to meet the fantastically creative author of THE PORTRAIT OF
MRS. CHARBUQUE and THE GIRL IN THE GLASS.
Jeffrey Ford and a surprise author are guests of SF in SF
at the Variety Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Sunday, March 16th at
6:00 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 you get a second
chance to meet author Jeffrey Ford, as well as a mystery guest!
Scott Sigler, INFECTED (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 5th at 3:00 pm -
We are very pleased to again host podcast sensation Scott Sigler, who
will be presenting his large-press debut novel INFECTED.
Originally podcast as "Infection," this new novel takes Scott's
edge-of-your-seat suspense to a brand new level. Scott's
synopsis: "Perry Daswey is 6-foot-5, 265 pounds of angry
ex-linebacker. He knows all too well that if he doesn't control
his quick temper, people get hurt. Through constant focus, he has
locked his violent past away in the deep dungeons of his mind.
The infection changes everything. Strange microscopic parasites
tap into Perry's bloodstream like tiny little vampires. They
start as bright orange blisters, but soon take the shape of triangular
growths just beneath his skin. The "Triangles," as Perry calls
them, try to control their host by manipulating hormone levels and
flooding his body with neurotransmitters -- imbalances of which cause
paranoia, schizophrenia and excessive aggression. As Perry begins
a desperate battle to cut the Triangles out of his body before it's too
late, his self-control dissolves into raging, murderous madness." If
you can't wait until April, catch up on the podcasts of Scott's current
novel NOCTURNAL here: <http://www.scottsigler.com/taxonomy/term/40>
Peter F. Hamilton, THE DREAMING VOID, (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.95), Saturday, April 12th at 4:00 pm -
From Peter F. Hamilton's website: "At the center of the Intersolar
Commonwealth universe is a massive black hole. Inside there is a
strange universe where the laws of physics are very different from
those we know. It is slowly consuming the other stars of the
galactic core - one day it will have devoured the entire galaxy.
It's AD 4000, and a human has started to dream of the wonderful
existence of the Void. He has a following of millions of believers, who
now wish to pilgrimage to the Void to live the life they have been
shown. Other starfaring species fear their migration will cause
the Void to expand again. They are prepared to stop the pilgrimage
fleet, no matter what the cost." Don't miss the opportunity to
meet this hugely popular author who rarely visits the States!
Elliot Fintushel and Peter F. Hamilton are guests of Writers With Drinks at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street -
Writers With Drinks is a monthly reading series that "combines erotica
with literature, stand-up comedy with science fiction and poetry with
essays. Plus mystery, romance, memoir, rants and "other." $3-$5
sliding scale, all proceeds benefit Other Magazine." This month
WWD features theremin-playing author Eliot Fintushel and science
fiction sensation Peter Hamilton. Books will be for sale courtesy
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
OF THE SIRENS by Maria Alexander, Christa Faust, Loren Rhoads, and
Mehitobel Wilson (Dark Arts Books, Trade Paperback, $17.95) - See event
THE DRAGON NEVER SLEEPS by Glen Cook (Night Shade Books, Trade
Paperback, $14.95) - Night Shade has brought back this
long-out-of-print space opera. From Night Shade: " . . . For four
thousand years, the Guardships ruled Canon Space with an iron
fist. But now the House Tregesser believes they have an edge; a
force from outside Canon Space offers them the resources to throw off
Guardship rule. Their gambits precipitate an avalanche of
unexpected outcomes, the most unpredicted of which is the emergence of
Kez Maefele, one of the few remaining generals of the Ku Warrior race -
the only race to ever seriously threaten Guardship hegemony.
Maefele must chose which side he will support; the Guardships, who
defeated and destroyed his race, or the unknown forces from outside
Canon Space that promise more death and destruction." Recommended by
THE COMPLETE HAMMER'S SLAMMERS VOL. 3 by David Drake (Night Shade
Books, Signed, Limited Edition (250 copies) Hardcover, $60.00 and Trade
Hardcover, $35.00) - The third and final volume collecting Drake's
genre-defining military SF series. This volume has an introduction by
Barry Malzberg and contains THE SHARP END, PAYING THE PIPER, and a new
Slammers story, "The Darkness". Recommended by Jude.
New and Notable
edited by Mark L. Van Name and T.K.F. Weisskopf (Baen, Hardcover,
$22.00) - Stories of nanotech and the singularity from Esther M.
Friesner, James P. Hogan, Wil McCarthy, Wen Spencer, Mark L. Van Name
THE DRAGONS OF BABEL by Michael Swanwick (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95) -
Swanwick returns to the world of his most famous fantasy novel, THE
IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER. "A steam-punk fantasy novel. Funny, dark,
and breathtaking by turns. China Meivile with a lighter
touch. Or perhaps Tolkien filtered through a gritty, post-moden
filter with a dash of Dickens to finish." Recommended by Alan.
INSIDE STRAIGHT: A NEW WILDCARDS NOVEL edited by George R.R. Martin
(Tor, Hardcover, $24.95) - A whole new generation of WildCards
characters and happenings, with new stories from Daniel Abraham,
Michael Cassutt, George R.R. Martin, Stephen Leigh and others.
TRACING THE SHADOW - ALCHYMIST'S LEGACY VOL. 1 by Sarah Ash (Bantam,
Hardcover, $24.00) - From the book: "The kingdom of Francia has purged
its magi. But when a young Guerrier rescues an orphaned street
waif, little does he know that she is the daughter of a magus who met
his end on their pyres—or that she is guarded by an aethyric spirit and
driven by the name of the traitor who condemned her father to
flames. With the gift of song infused within her, the child’s
voice will bring her before the most powerful heads of state. And she
will craft herself into a weapon . . . aimed at the heart of the man
she despises. From the alchymist’s apprentice whose discovery leads him
into a dark partnership to a girl who will become the toast of three
nations, a new magic will grant powers and ignite dangers beyond all
reckoning. A timeless tale of adventure, battle, and beauty, this
dazzling story spans the realms of the human and the immortal, the
schemes of the power hungry, the dreams of lovers, and the resurrection
of the fallen in one magnificent epic fantasy."
HUNTER'S RUN by Daniel Abraham, Gardner Dozois, and George R.R. Martin
(Eos, Hardcover, $25.95) - From the book: " Like so many others,
Ramón Espejo ran from the poverty and hopelessness of the Third
World to the promise of a new world—joining a host of like-minded
workers and dreamers aboard one of the great starships of the
mysterious, repulsive Enye. But the life he found on the far-off planet
of São Paulo was no better than the one he had abandoned.
Tough, volatile, and angry—a luckless prospector hoping for that one
rich strike that will make him wealthy—Ramón is content only
when on his own out in the bush, far from the dirty, loud, bustling
hive of humanity that he detests with sociopathic fervor. Then one
night his rage and too much alcohol get the better of him, resulting in
sudden bloodshed and a high-profile murder. Ramón is forced to
flee into the wilderness for however long it will take for the furor to
die down. Here, mercifully, almost happily alone, Ramón is
once again free. But while searching for his long-elusive lode, he
stumbles upon something completely unexpected: a highly advanced alien
race in hiding; fugitives like himself on a world not their own.
Suddenly in possession of a powerful, dangerous secret, Ramón
must battle for his freedom from alien captors and also against the
hostile and unpredictable planet. And so the chase begins.
Police, fugitive aliens, and a human murderer weave a web of shifting
alliances as Ramón enters the greatest manhunt the alien world
of São Paulo has ever known. If he is to survive, Ramón
must overcome inscrutable aliens and deadly predators, but his greatest
enemy is himself. With every move in the desperate game, he struggles
to outwit his enemies and solve the mystery of a murder he himself
committed. A rip-roaring adventure tale and character study of a
fascinating and twisted mind, Hunter's Run showcases three masters of
the form at their best."
SHARP TEETH by Toby Barlow (HarperCollins, Hardcover, $22.95)
- From the book: "An ancient race of lycanthropes has
survived to the present day, and its numbers are growing as the
initiated convince L.A.'s down-and-out to join their pack. Paying
no heed to moons, full or otherwise, they change from human to canine
at will - and they're bent on domination at any cost. Caught in
the middle are Anthony, a kindhearted, besotted dogcatcher, and the
girl he loves, a female werewolf who has abandoned her pack.
Anthony has no idea that she's more than she seems, and she wants to
keep it that way. But her efforts to protect her secret lead to
murderous results. . . ."
GODS AND PAWNS - STORIES OF THE COMPANY by Kage Baker (Tor, Trade
Paperback, $14.95) - While I love the Company novels, I am even
more partial to the Company short stories. This collection
contains seven stories including the devastating "The Angel in the
Darkness," previously only available in a limited edition with a quite
small print run. It also contains "Welcome to Olympus, Mr.
Hearst," one of my all-time favorites, as well as "Hellfire at
Twilight," in which Lewis infiltrates the secret (and really rather
funny) rites of the (in)famous Hellfire Club in eighteenth century
England. Recommended by Jude.
UN LUN DUN by China Mieville (Del Rey, Trade Paperback, $9.00) -
I thoroughly enjoyed Mieville's first book for young adults.
You'll recognize fragments of famous (and classic) children's stories
ranging from The Wizard of Oz all the way to Coraline, all filtered
lovingly and eccentricly through Mieville's most excellently twisted
imagination. There is also political and social commentary
aplenty here, but not enough to overwhelm or undermine the rousing
story. Certainly my favorite thing about this book is the way it
turns story clichés upside down (you should see Deeba, our
protagonist, throw a fit when she finds out that she was "fated" to be
the funny sidekick!) but there is also more to love, including
half-ghosts, kick-ass librarians, roaming herds of killer giraffes, and
all of the fabulous grotesqueries you'd expect from a Mieville novel,
but scaled back a bit . . . not to mention a multitude of funny and
genuinely hideous puns. Recommended by Jude.
OFF ARMAGEDDON REEF by David Weber (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) - From
Publishers Weekly: "Weber's latest opus is a complex tale of action and
intrigue set early in the 25th century, hundreds of years after the
near total annihilation of humanity by the Gbaba, an alien race
hell-bent on eradicating humans from the universe. After decades
of war and facing certain defeat, the last remnants of the human race
escape and settle on a distant planet, appropriately named
Safehold. To ensure they remain undetected by their enemies, the
leaders of the survivors ban technology, and genetically adjust the
populace to remain in a perpetual pre-industrial state. However,
800 years later, an android of the old world awakens, charged with the
task of guiding humanity back onto the path of science, technology and,
eventually, the stars."
COMMAND DECISION - VATTA'S WAR VOL. 4 by Elizabeth Moon (Ballantine,
Mass Market, $7.99) - From Publishers Weekly: "Fourth in Moon's Vatta's
War space-going family and military saga (after 2006's ENGAGING THE
ENEMY), this jaunty far-future romp follows the scions of two powerful
but threatened families: woman space warrior Kylara Vatta and
undercover operator Rafe Dunbarger. While Ky, who earlier saw
much of her family murdered, builds an antipirate fleet from former
privateers, Rafe works to preserve his family's giant interstellar
communications corporation after a hostile takeover. Aunt Grace
Lane Vatta sheds her dotty old woman cover to direct security on
Slotter's Key, the Vatta home base, and Cousin Stella settles in as
Vatta's CEO, assisted by young Toby, a precocious techie. Though
lacking the breathless hyperdrive of Moon's earlier splendid derring-do
in MARQUE AND REPRISAL, the frequent FTL jumps between Ky's deep-space
engagements, Rafe's reluctant boardroom battles, Grace's wily
machinations and Stella's expert financial calculations keep the
excitement level high."
DVD New Arrivals
Apartment 1303 directed by Ataru Oikawa (Tartan Asia Extreme, $19.95, DVD)
Bad Blood directed by Paulo Branco (Tartan, $22.95, DVD) - Portugese horror.
Bava: The Mario Bava Collection Vol. 1 directed by Mario Bava (Anchor Bay, $49.97, DVD) - 8 films by Mario Bava
Black Kiss directed by Macoto Tezka (Tokyo Shock, $29.95, DVD) - Japanse Horror.
Black Sheep directed by Jonathan King (Dimension Home Video, $24.95, DVD)
Carnival of Souls - two disk set directed by Herk Harvey (Criterion, $39.95, DVD)
Carved: The Slit Mouth Woman directed by Kakesu Shuichi (Tartan Asia Extreme, $19.95, DVD) - Japanese Horror.
Case of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, The directed by Patrick Mario Bernard (Facets, $29.95, DVD)
Cinderella directed by Bong Man-Dae (Tartan Asia Extreme, $19.95, DVD)
Daywatch directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Twentieth Century Fox, $27.98, DVD)
Death Proof directed by Quentin Tarantino (Dimension Home Video, $29.95, DVD)
Demons: The Other Hell, Demons III: The Ogre, and Black Demons directed
by Bruno Mattei (Shriek Show, $19.95, DVD) - Slipcase with 3
Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava (Anchor Bay, $14.98, DVD)
Fido directed by Andrew Currie (Lions Gate, $28.98, DVD)
Ghost School Trilogy directed by Park Ki-Hyung (Tartan Asia
Extreme, $39.95, DVD) - Korean Horror. Contains Whispering Corridors,
Memento Mori, and Wishing Stairs.
Girl Next Door, The directed by Gregory M. Wilson (Anchor Bay, $26.97, DVD) - Based on the novel by Jack Ketchum.
Horrors of Malformed Men directed by Teruo Ishii (Synapse Films, $24.95, DVD)
Hostel Part II directed by Eli Roth (Sony, $28.95, DVD)
MPD Psycho: Multiple Personality Detective directed by Takashi
Miike (BCI, $24.98, DVD) - Complete six-part miniseries basd on
the Manga of the same name.
Return of the Living Dead Collector's Edition, The directed by Dan O’Bannon (Twentieth Century Fox, $19.98, DVD)
Six String Samurai directed by Lance Mungia (PALM, $14.99, DVD)
Sounds Like directed by Brad Anderson (Anchor Bay, $14.98, DVD)
The Big O II: The Complete Collection directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama (Bandai, $39.98, DVD) - Anime.
The Big O: The Complete Collection directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama (Bandai, $39.98, DVD) - Anime.
Twilight Zone: The Movie directed by George Miller (Warner, $19.97, DVD)
Village of the Damned directed by John Carpenter (Universal Pictures, $9.99, DVD)
Washingtonians, The directed by Peter Medak (Anchor Bay, $14.98, DVD)
Who Can Kill A Child directed by Narciso Ibanez Serrador (Darksky Films, $19.98, DVD)
This newsletter is distributed monthly free
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Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Jeremy Lassen
All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of
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San Francisco, CA 94110
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