Click me to see what SinisterVisions can do for you!



Events and News from Borderlands Books

MAY, 2004

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Howard V. Hendrix, THE LABYRINTH KEY, Saturday, May 1st at 2 PM

JUST ADDED!  Christa Faust, HOODTOWN, Tuesday, May 4th at 7 PM

MORBID CURIOSITY, Saturday, May 15th from 3-6 PM

Patrick Califia, MORTAL COMPANION, Sunday, May 16th at 2 PM

Cody Goodfellow, RADIANT DAWN/RAVENOUS DUSK,  Mark Levinthal, THE EMERALD BURRITO OF OZ, and John Skipp, CONSCIENCE, Saturday, June 5th at 7 PM

Kage Baker, MOTHER AEGYPT AND OTHER STORIES, and John Varley, RED THUNDER, Saturday, June 26th at 2PM

(for more information check the end of this section)


A fund-raiser for the Fountain Award (a prize for short speculative fiction being sponsored by the new Speculative Literature Foundation), will be held on May 20th at Valencia Street Books, at 569 Valencia Street between 16th and 17th Streets.  The event starts at 7pm, and Michael Chabon is confirmed as the featured reader. The fund-raiser will also feature a mix of literary and genre writers who will be announced shortly.  The event will be structured like a panel, with each author reading from their work, followed by a facilitated discussion. The cost will be $5- $10 at the door, with a wine and cheese reception after the panel. 
The Speculative Literature Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literary quality in speculative fiction. 'Speculative literature' is a catch-all term meant to inclusively span the breadth of fantastic literature, encompassing fiction ranging from science fiction to ghost stories to folk and fairy tales to magical realism to modern myth-making -- any literature containing a fabulist or speculative element.  With the Fountain Award, the organization hopes to encourage the thriving tradition of speculative literature. The award does not simply apply to writers publishing in genre publications, but to those appearing in literary magazines across the publishing spectrum.

Fearless Tales Genre Fest Announces Winners Of First Annual Film Fest --

Fearless Tales Genre Fest, the San Francisco Bay Area's only open submission, genre-based film festival, which exhibited more than 19 feature films and 25 short films and included several U.S. and world premieres, was presented on March 11-14, 2004 at the Victoria Theater. The festival highlighted the best in independent horror, sci-fi, fantasy and noir.  Borderlands was pleased to be a sponsor of this festival.
The (first annual) Fearless Vision Award was presented to horror legend Tobe Hooper (Director of Poltergeist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre) in a ceremony held during the festival's opening night gala. The Fearless Tales Vision Award honors filmmakers who have repeatedly shown a "fearless" approach to filmmaking by making bold and daring choices in their work.  The Victoria Theater will present a month of Fearless Tales Genre Fest favorites from May 5-30, 2004.
For more news and a complete list of the winning films and filmmakers, see

From the Office

Though they are terribly tiring, one of my favorite things about the genre book business are the yearly conventions that I get to attend.  At the least, each year I go to the three "world" conventions.  Each convention is different, from the casual and enthusiastic World Horror Convention in the spring to the huge and bustling World Science Fiction Convention in the summer to the World Fantasy Convention in fall with its consummate professionalism, but they all have one strong common quality -- it's a chance to visit and catch up with many, many old friends and a chance to meet new ones.  Oh, yes, and along the way we'll sell a few books, too.

This year's World Horror Convention in Phoenix, Arizona was no exception.  Though smaller than usual this year (perhaps due to being over Easter weekend), WHC was as pleasant as always and convention chairman Mike Wilmoth did a wonderful job.  Surprisingly, given the smaller attendance, sales in the dealer's room were very brisk and, at least for Borderlands, new sales records were set.

Personally the high points of the convention are too many to mention here but there are two or three standout incidents that bare mentioning.  The first actually started before the convention proper with a visit to our store from editor Stephen Jones.  He stopped by SF on his way from England to Phoenix to sign copies of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRES (NEW EDITION).  I've known Steve for years, but our dealings have always been of the five-minute-chat variety or have taken place very late at night when we were both a bit worse for wear.  It was great to have some more relaxed time to talk with him while he was in SF and that continued over the weekend.  I also met for the first time an author by the name of Tony Richards.  Tony was attending WHC for the first time and, based on his comments, will be back again.  During our first conversation he was kind enough to give me a copy of his current book, POSTCARDS FROM TERRI (Sarob Press, Hardcover, $32.50).  I didn't have a chance to read it until after the convention but once I did, let's just say that I'll be looking out for anything else that Tony writes.  POSTCARDS is a ghost story with a really original twist and, despite its modern setting (which can really damp a ghost story for me), it's really creepy as hell.

There is a little tradition that we have at WHC.  I'm not quite sure how it started but, late Saturday night (or, more likely, very early Sunday morning) some mismatched group will get together and start a debate.  The subjects have varied over the years but it's never something simple.  Past topics have been things like -- the effect that language has on thought -- the existence of god -- the possibility of a "just" war -- anyway, you get the idea.  This year the topic was even more abstract than usual.  Years ago, it seems, author and editor John Skipp (THE BOOK OF THE DEAD and THE LIGHT AT THE END) coined the term "Stupography".  It's a delightful word.  The world needs more words like that.  Ah, what does it mean, you may ask?  Certainly we (myself, Jude Feldman (Borderlands General Manager), Peter Atkins, Eric Cherry, and a number of other folks) asked just that question and from that sprang an hours-long discussion of its exact nature, whether it's avoidable, where it came from and whether it should be a capital crime.

"Stupography" has as its roots the words "stupid" and "pornography".  In short it is the production and delivery of material that is blatantly incorrect, misleading, or just plain wrong.  Though it is an extension of both propaganda and advertising, it is distinct from either of these in that everyone know that is untrue and yet everyone swallows it whole.  I can't truly do justice to the conversation or the concept but if you're curious about it, check out John's site at in a few weeks.  He's promised to put up his original rant on the subject.

As much fun as WHC is and has been, I fear that it's having a bit of trouble right now.  Conventions in the genre are almost all labors of love.  The people who put them on do not get paid and in fact stand to lose a considerable sum of money if the convention is poorly attended (this was not the case at WHC this year).  For local conventions, this is less of a problem, since the same group puts on the convention every year and benefits from experience and builds a solid following.  But the "world" cons move around each year and so they are in constant need of new groups who are willing to step up to the plate and put on the convention.  Normally a convention will work two to three years in advance so at any given time there is one convention about to happen, one ready for the next year and one that is in the planning stages. 

For the last two years, the World Horror Convention has not been able to work more than one year in advance.  In fact, as of this moment the location for next year has not been decided.  The reason for this has been a shortage of people offering (or "bidding" as it's called) to put on the convention.  However, also as of this moment, there are several very attractive bids being considered by the convention board of directors and I have high hopes that next year will be an outstanding convention.  And that brings me to the public service portion of this column.  Next year's World Horror Convention will need to be put together in record time and one of the obstacles that the organizers will have to overcome will be a lack of funding.  They will have to start working on the convention very quickly and they'll have to do this without the usual two years to sell memberships (which is the only source of funding that the convention has).  So, if you are thinking of attending the World Horror Convention next year, please be ready to purchase your membership as soon as the location is announced.  Not only will you be supporting the convention and, by extension, the whole field but you will, in all likelihood, be able to get a discounted membership if you act quickly.  The final decision about the location should be made by the middle of this month and we'll put that information in the next issue of this newsletter.  Or, you can check at the convention's web site at .

One other thing that some of the readers of this newsletter might want to consider -- WHC still needs bids for 2006 and 2007.  Chairing a convention can be a great opportunity to get to know all kinds of people in the field.  It's a hell of a lot of fun too.  Information about making a bid can be found at the convention's web site.  And WHC isn't the only convention that needs bids.  The World Fantasy Convention has been a bit short on bids lately as well (thought not as short as WHC).  Information about that convention can be found at

- Alan Beatts

Book Club Info

The Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 9th at 5 PM to discuss THE SUBSTANCE OF GOD by Perry Brass.  The book for June will be THE SPARROW by Mary Doria Russell.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 16th at 6 PM to discuss USE OF WEAPONS by Iain M. Banks.  The book for June is THE FIREBIRDS ANTHOLOGY, edited by Sharyn November.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Saturday, May 1st at 2 PM, Howard V. Hendrix reading from and signing THE LABYRINTH KEY:
In his latest science fiction thriller, the year is 2015, and an informational arms race between the U.S. and China is prompting the development of a quantum computer with the capabilities to crack any enemy's codes, yet keep its own secrets secure.  The government that achieves this goal will win absolute dominance in world affairs, as no other computer system will be safe from the reach of this master machine.  The story ranges from China to America to Italy and Israel, from Kabbalah and alchemy and sixteenth-century memory palace systems to twenty-first century work in quantum mechanics, cryptology, and information theory.
Mr. Hendrix is the author of five novels including LIGHTPATHS and BETTER ANGELS.  Don't miss this chance to meet him and check out THE LABYRINTH KEY!

Tuesday, May 4th at 7 PM, Christa Faust reading from and signing HOODTOWN:
We're pleased to announce this just-added event presenting the new novel from acclaimed erotic horror author Christa Faust.  HOODTOWN fuses the 70-year-old entertainment phenom of lucha libre (Mexican masked professional wrestling) with classic gritty film noir and pulp mystery sensibilities in. . . "Hoodtown... ghetto of masked wrestlers, inner-city sanctuary of hooded culture. Evolved from lucha libre, the family gimmick is sacred, and THE MASK is the sole expression of one's identity.
Now, Hood prostitutes are turning up murdered, and worse, unmasked, and the 'Skin' establishment is as much help as a paid-off ref. Enter X, former luchadora with a bruised past, a bum knee, and no time to play Santo. She's no hero, but there's nobody else to tag-in, as her hunt for a killer uncovers a conspiracy that could take down all of maskedkind."
Christa Faust is the author of the novel CONTROL FREAK as well as over a dozen pieces of short fiction.  Join us to meet Christa and indulge in some hard-boiled masked wrestler pulp!

Saturday, May 15th from 3-6 PM, MORBID CURIOSITY #8 Reading:
It's that time again!  In one of our most popular and fun annual events, Automatism Press presents the latest edition of MORBID CURIOSITY (#8).  Morbid Curiosity focuses on TRUE first-person encounters with the unsavory, unwise, unorthodox, and unusual.  The stories are sometimes cool, sometimes creepy, always interesting.  The event is hosted by the fabulous Loren Rhoads, MORBID CURIOSITY's editor and publisher; readers will include Uncle Anne, Aldyth Beltane, Justin Hall, Katrina James, M. Parfitt, William Selby, Jill Tracy, Beth Touchette-Laughlin, Geoff Walker, and Simon Wood.  Please join us for this curious event.

Sunday, May 16th at 2 PM, Patrick Califia reading from and signing MORTAL COMPANION:
MORTAL COMPANION is the erotic story of Ulric, a desperately lonely 600-year-old vampire who has finally found his soulmate in Lilith, a mortal woman.  Unfortunately, Adulfa, Ulric's half-sister, has spent centuries seeking vengeance against him for making her a vampire.  When brother and sister clash over possession of Lilith, neither will emerge unscathed.  And for Liltih, there are far worse fates than death.
Among many other things, Patrick Califia is a licensed marriage and family therapist and prolific author of essays, fiction, and poetry, including MACHO SLUTS, NO MERCY, PUBLIC SEX, and DOC AND FLUFF.

Saturday, June 5th at 7 pm, Reading and Signing with Cody Goodfellow, author of RAVENOUS DUSK, Marc Levinthal, author of THE EMERALD BURRITO OF OZ, and John Skipp, author of CONSCIENCE:

Come meet authors Cody Goodfellow, Marc Levinthal, and John Skipp in a triple threat event.

Cody Goodfellow’s stories, articles and reviews have appeared in Terror Tales, Cinescape Online, and The Eldritch Dark, and he is the author of SAN FRANCISCO GUIDEBOOK, a resource guide for the Call Of Cthulhu role playing game.  Cody will be reading from his two-part epic, RADIANT DAWN/RAVENOUS DUSK, a weird tale of covert warfare and applied evolution that delves into the murky heart of the Lovecraftian origin of life on earth, and offers a chilling glimpse of what is coming to take our place.

Marc Levinthal has co-authored several short stories with John Skipp, which have appeared in IN THE SHADOW OF THE GARGOYLE, DARK DESTINY III and other anthologies.  They received a Bram Stoker nomination for their story “The Punchline.”  Marc will be presenting their co-authored novel, THE EMERALD BURRITO OF OZ.
“This is an authentic Oz novel, but it starts and ends in very strange places, and the middle is pretty weird as well.  The story sets its claws in your imagination early on, and never lets go through a series of adventures, confrontations, and revelations.  For the weird little kid in you.” - Don D'Ammassa

John Skipp’s previous works include THE SCREAM, THE LIGHT OF DAY, the BOOK OF THE DEAD anthology and many others co-authored or co-edited with Craig Spector.  John will be presenting his solo novel CONSCIENCE, a dangerous story, for our dangerous times:  violent, funny, thoughtful, tragic, loving, and wise to the ways of the world.

After the event, everyone is invited to join the authors for drinks and food at The Phoenix pub (which is right across Valencia St. from Borderlands).

Saturday, June 26th at 2 pm, Reading and Signing with Kage Baker, author of MOTHER AEGYPT, and John Varley, author of RED THUNDER:

Emperor Norton Award winning author Kage Baker returns to Borderlands to read from MOTHER AEGYPT, a collection of tales fantastic and dark.  Three worlds are presented here, and reading the stories in sequence will take you straight across their intersecting planes.  The collection includes “Mother Aegypt”: An original novella, written especially for this collection.  A confidence man, working his way across Transylvania, forms an unlikely partnership with a gypsy and her slave.  Possible vampires.  Immortals, definitely.  Aliens?  Well, I wouldn't go that far . . .

John Varley is a multiple Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award winning author whose prior novels include THE OPHIUCHI HOTLINE, TITAN, and STEEL BEACH.  Please join us as he reads from RED THUNDER, the story of “seven suburban misfits constructing a spaceship out of old tanker cars."  The plan is to beat the Chinese to Mars--in under four days at three million miles an hour.  It would be history in the making if it didn't sound so insane.

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 the author's 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

THE THACKERY T. LAMBSHEAD POCKET GUIDE TO ECCENTRIC & DISCREDITED DISEASES edited by Dr. Jeff Vandermeer and Dr. Mark Roberts (Night Shade Books, Limited Edition Hardcover (650 copies signed by ALL contributors)

POSTCARDS FROM TERRI by Tony Richards (Sarob, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover (40 copies, slipcased and signed by Tony Richards, Ramsey Campbell, and Paul Lowe) $85.00 and Limited Edition Hardcover (210 copies) $37.50)

THE KING’S BASTARD, OR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL by Stanislaus Eric Stenbock (Durtro Press, Limited Edition Oversized Softcover, $45.75) Limited to 200 hand-numbered copies. Softcover with paper dust jacket.

FEARS UNNAMED by Tim Lebbon (Borderlands Press, Limited Edition Hardcover (350 copies), $40.00) - Contains the 4 novellas White, Naming Of Parts, The Unfortunate and Remnants.

THE ATTRACTION by Douglas Clegg (Delirium Books, Limited Edition Hardcover (500 copies), $39.95) - Signed by Douglas Clegg and cover artist Alan M. Clark.

DAMNED - AN ANTHOLOGY OF THE LOST edited by David G. Barnett (Necro Publications, Limited Edition Hardcover (400 copies signed by all contributors)

FEAR OF GRAVITY by Brian Keene (Delirium Books, Limited Edition Hardcover (400 signed and numbered copies) $45.000

THE FEAR REPORT by Elizabeth Massie (Bloodletting Press, Limited Edition Hardcover (300 signed and numbered copies) $45)

MESSENGER by Edward Lee (Necro Publications, Limited Edition Hardcover (450 signed and numbered copies) $45.00)

LOST BOY, LOST GIRL by Peter Straub (Borderlands Press, Limited Edition Hardcover (350 copies) $50.00)

BUMPER CROP by Joe R. Lansdale (Golden Gryphon, Hardcover, $24.94) - Fabulous creepy cover art by John Picacio.

COLLECTED ESSAYS - VOLUME 1: AMATEUR JOURNALISM by H.P. Lovecraft, edited by S.T. Joshi. (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback, $20.00)

COLLECTED ESSAYS - VOLUME 2: LITERARY CRITICISM by H.P. Lovecraft, edited by S.T. Joshi (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback, $20.00)

AN H.P. LOVECRAFT ENCYCLOPEDIA by S.T. Joshi (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback $20.00)

GREEN GROW THE RUSHES-OH by Jay Lake (Fairwood Press, Chapbook, $6.99)

New and Notable

MAUL by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit UK, Trade Paperback $21.64) - This "science fiction novel of sex, shopping, and terrorbugs" is really great, gritty and unusual.  The novel alternates between two seemingly unrelated plots: the first involving two gangs of girls and an orgy of shopping and shooting in a normal mall, and the second involving an autistic, experimental virus-infected clone and his unlikely, macho, bicycle-building partner-in-crime in a woman-dominated far-future where Y-plagues have wiped out most of the men and created fierce competition for certified designer sperm.  Seem like a lot to understand? There's even more -- the battle the girls are waging in Lord and Taylor and Layne Bryant is tied in the clone's war against a brand-new virus and the scientists who developed it.  What is "When Pigs Fly"? Who are10Esha and KraZglu? What is the significance of one wild wolf evading capture and roaming the hills and CosCo parking lots? (Not to mention the really head-smackingly incongruous situations that occur when you give label-and-lipstick-obsessed teen girls multiple firearms.)  This book has reached the 2004 six book shortlist of the prestigious Arthur C Clarke award. Not only that, but MAUL is also on the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) awards shortlist for Best Novel.  Recommended by Jude.

CITIES edited by Peter Crowther (Four Walls Eight Windows, Trade Paperback $17.00) -- A YEAR IN THE LINEAR CITY by Paul di Filippo, THE TAIN by China Mieville, FIRING THE CATHEDRAL by Michael Moorcock, and V.A.O. by Geoff Ryman in one beautiful omnibus edition.  Originally published individually as limited edition novellas by PS Publishing.

THE ZENITH ANGLE by Bruce Sterling (Del Rey, Hardcover, $24.95) - A satiric look at high-tech computer security in these post 9/11 days.  

CARTOMANCY by Mary Gentle (Gollancz UK, Trade Paperback $14.40) - Contains many unpublished and uncollected stories and novellas.  Includes the stories "The Logistics Of Carthage", "The Tarot Dice", "Cast a Long Shadow" and more.

THE FUTURE IS WILD - A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by Dougal Dixon (Firefly, Oversized Softcover $24.95) - More from the author who brought you AFTER MAN.

WIND RIDER’S OATH by David Weber (Baen Hardcover, $26.00) -  Includes a CD
ROM with over 40 full-length novels.

COWL by Neal Asher (Tor UK, Hardcover, $34.31)

SMOKE AND SHADOWS by Tanya Huff (DAW, Hardcover, $23.95)

SUNSET AND SAWDUST by Joe R. Lansdale (Knopf, Hardcover, $22.00)

MEDALION by Jennifer Fallon (Tor, Hardcover, $24.95)

THE MANY FACES OF VAN HELSING edited by Jeanne Cavelos (Ace, Trade Paperback $14.95) 

New in Mass Market

SCIENCE FICTION - THE BEST OF 2003 edited by Karen Haber and Jonathan Strahan (ibooks, Mass Market $7.99) -  Contains stories by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Baxter and more.

THE CAVES OF BUDA by Leah R. Cutter (Roc, Mass Market, $6.50)

THE SILKEN SHROUD- SILKEN MAGIC, VOL. 2 by ElizaBeth Gilligan (DAW, Mass Market $6.99)

NATURAL HISTORY by Justina Robson (Pan UK, Mass Market, $14.40)

UNDEAD AND UNWED by Mary Janice Davidson (Berkley, Mass Market $5.99)

NIGHTINGALE’S LAMENT - A NOVEL OF THE NIGHTSIDE by Simon R. Green (Ace, Mass Market $6.50)

THE ULTIMATE CYBERPUNK edited by Pat Cadigan (ibooks, Mass Market $7.99) - Includes stories by Rudy Rucker, Alfred Bester, Greg Bear and others.

RED THUNDER by John Varley (Ace, Mass Market $7.99)

THE VICTORIOUS OPPOSITION: AMERICAN EMPIRE, VOL. 3 by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey, Mass Market $7.99)

NIGHTMARE HOUSE by Douglas Clegg (Leisure, Mass Market $6.99)
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 - Cary Heater
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Francis Carr, Jude Feldman

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of

Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA  94110

Comments and suggestions should be directed to