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Events and News from Borderlands Books

April, 2012

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Upcoming Author Events

We're pleased to announce that we've moved all of our author events to Borderlands Cafe, right next door at 870 Valencia Street! Now you can enjoy a snack or beverage while you listen to your favorite author.

SF in SF Urban Fantasy Panel with Steve Boyett and Bruce McAllister - Saturday, April 21st at 7:00 pm

Dana Fredsti, PLAGUE TOWN (Titan Books, Mass Market, $7.99) - Sunday, April 22nd at 3:00 pm

Christopher Farnsworth, RED, WHITE AND BLOOD (Putnam, Hardcover, $25.95) - Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm

Jack Campbell, THE LOST FLEET: BEYOND THE FRONTIER: INVINCIBLE (Ace, Hardcover, $26.95) - Friday, May 4th at 7:00 pm

Terry Bisson, ANY DAY NOW (Overlook, Hardcover, $24.95)  - Saturday, May 5th at 5:00 pm

Walter Mosley, THE GIFT OF FIRE / ON THE HEAD OF A PIN (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) - Thursday, May 10th at 7:00 pm

Borderlands Books and Cafe Rummage Sale - May 12th and 13th from Noon to 8:00 pm.

(for more information check the end of this section)


* The Locus Science Fiction Foundation is running a Kickstarter donation campaign to fund the storage, archiving, and digitization of their huge collection of over 60 years of science fiction and fantasy ephemera, including photographs of everyone who is (or was) anyone in the field over the past five decades.  Their goal is to make the contents of the entire collection searchable and viewable online.  This is a very worthy cause that deserves the support of anyone who cares about the history of our field.  You can make a donation at .

* Borderlands gets a mention in this charming Globe and Mail article called "Bookworming By the Bay": .

* Jack Vance is Alive and Well and ONLINE!!!
John Vance, Jack's son, would like you all to know about the fabulous website Spatterlight Press is up and live, and filled with photos, information and news about Grandmaster Jack Vance and his wonderful worlds of science fiction and fantasy.  Not only can you learn all about this wonderful science fiction writer, but Jack's books are available as ebooks, downloadable from the site, directly benefiting the author!  With photo albums of Jack, Norma, and the family, Jack in his prime, and commentary from family and friends, this is a wonderful resource for fans of Jack and his books alike.  More is being added - it launched in mid-March - so bookmark the site to visit and see what gets added to the shop and photo albums. You can also "like" Spatterlight Press on Facebook, and keep up to date with ebook releases via Twitter, at!/SpatterlightPrs

* Thanks to Rina Weisman from SF in SF, who pointed out another Borderlands name-check (in an article about the unfortunately for-sale Balderdash Books,) from Seattle's free weekly paper "The Stranger".  They called us "superb":

* I don't know how we missed this over a year ago: "Mental Floss" Magazine presents 12 great bookstore cats including our own late, beloved Ripley:

* Congratulations to Andrea Hairston, whose novel REDWOOD AND WILDFIRE won the 2011 James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Complete details at

* For those of you who collect Philip K. Dick books, the titles published by Vintage will be going out of print, and there will be new editions with an entirely new cover design being published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  We still have most of the Vintage editions if you want to complete that collection now.

* offers "10 Great Fantasy Series to Read While You're Waiting for the Next George R.R. Martin Book" .  We're happy to make additional suggestions once you need 'em.

* The nominees for the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award have been announced: .   And then author Christopher Priest called the list "dreadful" in The Guardian, and called for the judges to resign: .  (My favorite part is where Priest says that Charles Stross writes like "an internet puppy," and now Stross wants that blurb on his next novel, _and_ you can also buy the t-shirt! )

* Entertainment Weekly is running a "Game of Thrones" contest.  Entrants can win a trip to Comic-Con 2012 with admission the panel, "Game of Thrones" DVDs, or copies of the books . gameofthrones_ultimate_experience/

* I think it's pretty cool that THE HUNGER GAMES books (and movie) are inspiring teens to try archery:

* FREE magazines: One of our long-time customers, Roger Miller, has 40 complete, consecutive years (1968 - 2008, plus random issues from the last 4 years,) of Analog Science Fiction Magazine to give away to someone local (San Francisco / Bay Area).  He just wants them to go to a good home, and you must pick them up.  If you're interested, email Jude at and I'll put you in touch with Roger.

From the Office

Another Future for Bookstores
by Alan Beatts

If you've read this column much over the past few years, you know that my outlook for bookstores in the long term isn't very optimistic.  I think that the combination of internet sales and ebooks is going to result in most bookstores closing (although I'm not sure how soon that will happen).  I figure that a few smaller stores will stay open by gearing their business towards truly rare antiquarian material along with small press, high quality new books.

However, during a conversation with a fellow bookseller a few weeks ago, I realized that there was another possible future for some bookstores. 

What if they were non-profit businesses geared towards supporting education and literacy?  Base on some cursory reading and my admittedly limited understanding of the state and federal rules about such things, it seems to me that it would be a viable model.  One of the endeavors that a 501c3 non-profit can engage in is education, and an argument could probably be made that by merely existing a bookstore promotes literacy.  But of course, there is much more that a bookstore could do to help with literacy in specific and education in general -- author events (just like they do now), classes, internships, and so on -- all would seem possible services.

I should point out that I'm not describing the sort of situation that has happened in the past fews years, in which a store in financial trouble will solicit donations from their customers and community to get through the tough times.  I don't want to seem too critical of other businesses -- running any small business is hard and subject to unique considerations and pressures that an outsider can only guess at -- but personally, I have a problem with the idea that it is acceptable for a privately-owned business to solicit donations.  At the end of the day, the business is still a privately-owned asset and so, really, the donations are in essence a hand-out that goes right into the owner's pocket.  I wouldn't give a donation in such a circumstance and I wouldn't ask for one in that situation either.

But converting a business into a real non-profit is a very different matter.  Consider this scenario:  After years of struggling, the owner of a bookstore finally decides to throw in the towel.  But rather than closing, he or she talks to the loyal customers and finds that there is a huge amount of support for the business.  So much support, in fact, that people are willing to put their money where their mouths are.  Owner asks around and finds an attorney who is willing to help set up a new organization pro bono.  Once the ball gets rolling, the non-profit is created with a board consisting of customers, community leaders, educators and so forth.  Next the non-profit starts raising money to purchase the store from the owner at a very reasonable price.  The price is reasonable in part because the sad reality now is that a bookstore usually sells for the price of the inventory at wholesale, which is not much.

Once the money is raised, the owner sells the shop and gets a seat on the board of the non-profit.  It's possible that the owner might want to retire at that point, in which case the board selects and hires a new manager to operate the store.  In that case, the owner agrees to stick around for six months to a year to coach the new manager.  Or, if the former owner still wants to work in bookselling, perhaps they are hired by the board to run the store.

Granted, it's tragic that someone who has worked for decades building a business gives up their ownership and becomes merely a board-member or an employee.  But compared to the alternatives, it's a win for everyone.  The community retains its bookstore and gains a valuable resource that will assist the local schools and students.  The former owner doesn't see what he or she has built over the years broken up for parts and sold at clearance.  Moreso, that former owner may be able to continue being a bookseller long past the point when they would have had to stop otherwise.  Plus, they might get a regular paycheck, which to most bookstore owners is a magical and mythical thing that only other people get.

Does that model of a true non-profit bookstore solve the financial and business problems facing bookstores today?  Nope, not at all.  But it does allow a break from income tax; in some states (although not California) it makes it legal to accept the services of volunteers; it opens up the possibility of grants and other sorts of aid, and it creates a structure under which people can make donations with the confidence that they are not merely lining someone else's pockets (the tax deduction doesn't hurt either).

I suspect that the hardest thing about such a transition would be the former owner making the jump from being the final authority to being an employee.  But, for most people who are hooked on bookselling, it's the bookselling that matters, not who's running the place.

Top Sellers At Borderlands

1. A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. The Mirage by Matt Ruff
4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
5. Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell
6. Rising Thunder by David Weber
7.  Intruder by C.J. Cherryh
8. Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson
9. Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
10. Intrusion by Ken Macleod

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Timeless by Gail Carriger
2. Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
3. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
4. Westward Weird edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes 
5. A Clash of KIngs by George R.R. Martin
6. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
7. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
8. Feed by Mira Grant
9. Soulless by Gail Carriger
10. Doubletake by Rob Thurman

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. The Pillars of Hercules by David Constantine
3. Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
4. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
5. The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Book Club Info

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, April 8th, at 5 pm to discuss SPIN STATE by Chris Moriarty.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, April 15th, at 6 pm to discuss RAINBOWS END by Vernor Vinge.  The book for May 20th is GULLIVER'S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Note: We have moved all of our author events to Borderlands Cafe, directly next door to the bookstore at 870 Valencia Street.  We now have more room, and you can enjoy your hot cocoa while listening to your favorite author!

SF in SF Urban Fantasy Panel with Steve Boyett and Bruce McAllister - Saturday, April 21st at 7:00 pm - We are happy to help SF in SF welcome these authors!  Mr. Boyett and Mr. McAllister will discuss urban fantasy and probably read a bit, 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 <>.  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

Dana Fredsti, PLAGUE TOWN (Titan Books, Mass Market, $7.99) - Sunday, April 22nd at 3:00 pm - From the publisher: "In the small university town of Redwood Grove, people are succumbing to a lethal strain of flu. They are dying -- but not for long.  Ashley Parker and her boyfriend are attacked by these shambling, rotting creatures that crave human flesh. Their lives will never be the same again.  When she awakes Ashley discovers that she is a “wild card” --immune to the virus -- and is recruited by a shadowy paramilitary organization that offers her the chance to fight back. Fatally attracted to her gorgeous instructor, and bonding with her fellow wild cards, Ashley begins to discover skills she never knew she had.  As the town falls to ever-growing numbers of the infected, Ashley and her team fight to contain the outbreak -- but will they be enough?"  Dana Fredsti has been a guest at Borderlands when she was a contributor to "Morbid Curiosity" magazine, and we're glad to have her back with this novel!

Christopher Farnsworth, RED, WHITE AND BLOOD (Putnam, Hardcover, $25.95) - Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm - From the book jacket: "The Presidential Campaign Trail, 2012:  A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while caught in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK.  And with that, a centuries-old horror known only as the Boogeyman returns to taunt Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. Against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential race, with the threat of constant exposure by the media, Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself."

Jack Campbell, THE LOST FLEET: BEYOND THE FRONTIER: INVINCIBLE (Ace, Hardcover, $26.95) - Friday, May 4th at 7:00 pm - We're excited to welcome John G. Hemry, (retired Naval officer and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis), writing the incredible "Lost Fleet" series of space adventures as Jack Campbell!   You can read an except from the new book here: .

Terry Bisson, ANY DAY NOW (Overlook, Hardcover, $24.95)  - Saturday, May 5th at 5:00 pm - Terry Bisson has written seven novels and a lot of brilliant short fiction, but ANY DAY NOW hearkens back to Terry's real-life activist roots.  From the publisher: "ANY DAY NOW is truly a literary tour de force.  It is a poignant excursion into the last days of the Beats and the emerging radicalized culture of the sixties from Kentucky to New York City and daringly unique.  This road movie of a novel, which begins as a fifties coming-of-age story and ends in an isolated hippy commune under threat of revolution, provides a transcendent commentary on America then and now."  We're delighted to welcome Terry back to Borderlands and hope you'll join us!

Walter Mosley, THE GIFT OF FIRE / ON THE HEAD OF A PIN (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) - Thursday, May 10th at 7:00 pm  - We're very excited to welcome esteemed author Walter Moseley to Borderlands!  Mosley's newest book is a double novel; two speculative tales in one volume, about everyday people exposed to life-altering truths.  THE GIFT OF FIRE shows us the Prometheus of legend walking into present-day South Central Los Angeles, and ON THE HEAD OF A PIN gives us advanced animatronics that allow long-dead movie stars to share the screen with today's A-list.

Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge.  You are welcome to bring copies of an author's books purchased elsewhere to be autographed (but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while at the event).  For most events you are welcome to bring as many books as you wish for autographs.  If you are unable to attend the event we will be happy to have a copy of any of the author's available books signed or inscribed for you.  We can then either hold the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of

Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA  94110

Note - Guest article, "Creating Timelines" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro copyright Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, 2012.

Comments and suggestions should be directed to


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