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Events and News from Borderlands Books

May, 2009

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Free Movies from SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street: "Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth", Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 pm

Author John Levitt's band The Procrastinistas at the Hotel Utah (500 4th Street at Bryant,) Friday, May 15th at 9:00 pm

Jeff Prucher, BRAVE NEW WORDS: THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE FICTION (Oxford, Trade Paperback, $17.95), Saturday, May 16th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF presents authors Richard Kadrey and Heather Shaw at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday, May 16th at 7:00 pm

BayCon at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, with guests of honor Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, May 22nd - 25th

Seth Harwood, JACK WAKES UP (Three Rivers Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95), Saturday, May 30th at 3:00 pm

The Cats' Birthdays' Sale, Sunday, May 31st from 12:00 - 8:00 pm

Rudy Rucker, HYLOZOIC (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 pm

Seth Grahame-Smith, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (Quirk Books, Trade Paperback, $12.95), Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm

Marie Brennan, IN ASHES LIE (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $14.99), Saturday, June 13th at 1:00 pm

David J. WIlliams, BURNING SKIES (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback, $13.00), Saturday, June 13th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this section)

We've heard rumors of a China Mieville signing sometime in June, so we'll keep you posted on that!  And coming up this later this year, Jacqueline Carey, Ray Garton, Jay Lake, LitQuake, MORBID CURIOSITY CURES THE BLUES, and much, much more.


* Sadly, we report the death of science fiction icon and legend J.G. Ballard at the age of 78.  A wonderful obituary and appreciation from Michael Moorcock follows: <>

* Borderlands Twits (uh, Tweets)!  Borderlands has joined the 21st century.  Follow us on Twitter: <> for general store news and events, and <> for notable new arrivals as they show up.  Thanks to all the followers who have already found us, essentially by accident.

* Two super cool in-store videos from customer Professor0fate: five minutes of the incredible PALIMPSEST performance with Cat Valente and S.J. Tucker from April 23rd: <> and Jay Lake and Ken Scholes writing in-store last month: <>.

* Congratulations to this year's Nebula Award winners!  Ursula K. LeGuin's POWERS won the Best Novel award.  A complete list of the winners, as well as details on the new Solstice Award, can be found here: <>

* In additional award news, thanks to the terrific Pat Murphy for the following news: "The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council  is pleased to announce that the 2008 Tiptree Award has two winners: Patrick Ness’s young adult novel, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO (Walker 2008) and Nisi Shawl’s short story collection, FILTER HOUSE (Aqueduct Press, 2008)."  For more info on the Tiptree's, see <>.

* Psst! Hey, kid, wanna buy a spaceship? Buy a Raptor ship from Battlestar Galactica: <>

* Heliotrope Magazine #5 is available for free!  Be sure to check out this issue, which features some of our favorite folks, like Lou Anders, Neil Gaiman, Chris Roberson, and Cat Valente: <>

* Eternal Pleasures: A special deal on wine, chocolate, and ETERNAL VIGILANCE from Gabrielle Faust: <>

* Real-life superhero patrols Cincinnati: <>

* We know you love cat news.  One of our intrepid customers, Dale Hoyt, created this artistic and weird video starring his Sphynx cat: <>.

* An interesting article on the recent Amazon ranking kerfluffle.  What, you hadn't heard about it?  Oh, it's rich: <>

* Bruce Sterling on the Kindle: <>

* Lovely article about legend Robert Silverberg.  It unfortunately reads a bit like an obituary, but Silverberg is fortunately very much alive: <,0,7551767.story?page=2>

* More congratulations are in order for local favorite Ellen Klages, whose WHITE SANDS, RED MENACE, we understand, has just won the California Book Award in the Young Adult category. <>

* Do you have library books that you're afraid to return because they're so overdue you'll have to mortgage your house or sell your kids to pay the fines?  NOW is the time to return them, with no penalty!  The San Francisco Public Library Fine Amnesty runs from May 3rd - 16th.  Don't miss your chance to return those books and soothe your conscience! <>

Cafe News

There's been some good progress in the last month.  We're still a bit away from setting an opening date.  That's something that I'm probably not going to do 'til all the inspections are done, since final inspections can produce surprises.  In essence that is when you get to find out if you made any big mistakes.  Which I don't _think_ I've done but . . .  <crossing fingers and muttering prayers to nameless elder gods>. 

As it stands, the final electrical work is done other than putting up the ceiling fixtures (which are on order).  The plumber will be coming in to install the sinks, toilet, and other fixtures next week and once he's done the plumbing will be almost finished.  The only step left will be to get the hot water hooked up, which can't happen until my landlord gets off the stick and decides what he wants to do about the water heaters (which need to be replaced).  He'll start getting daily phone calls from me on Monday.

Last week I wrote a truly butt-puckering check to Economy Restaurant Fixtures <> for all the refrigerators.  And I mean a _big_ check.  At this point it's the record holder for biggest check on this project.  Not to say that the prices weren't fair.  The folks there, especially Linda Pierce, are great to work with and took very good care of me.  But damn, commercial refers are _not_ cheap.  And by the way, if you're in SF and want some cool stuff for your kitchen, that is the place to go.  They're open to the public and sell everything from pint glasses to the biggest damn bread mixer I've ever seen.  It's not cheap but for professional quality gear like pans and knives they're way better than shops like Williams Sonoma and the like.

Right now I'm in a bit of a holding pattern since I'm waiting for the first coat of floor finish to dry.  The stuff I use takes forever to dry (i.e. many days when you put it on thick) but it lasts better than anything else I've found, as the nearly nine year old coat on the floor of the bookstore will attest.  So, while I'm waiting for that, I'm doing some clean up, window repairs, and planning work (getting the menu set, finding suppliers and so forth).

Which brings me to the next thing -- I need your advice . . . .

As I've been (with Jude Feldman's priceless help) working out details of the operation and menu at the cafe, a few questions have come up and I'm hoping you can give me some guidance.  If you've got an opinion about any of the following, please drop me a line at or just reply to this newsletter.  They way I figure it, Borderlands customers are going to the majority of the early customers at the cafe and you'll always be the most important ones, so I'd like to give a lot of consideration to what you think about how we're going to do things.

Organic Dairy - Is it worth 25 cents extra to have organic dairy products?

We can get all organic dairy products if we like but they cost more.  If we do, we'll have to pass the cost along to the customer which in real world terms mean an average of 25 cents extra per coffee beverage.

Soy Milk - Should we offer soy milk for drinks like lattes and so forth?

I'm of two minds about this.  On one hand, I don't want to offer sub-standard stuff at the cafe and I have a deep aversion to "faux" anything.  It's my understanding that soy milk makes really terrible lattes (since it lacks fat, you can't really steam it very well and it doesn't foam nicely).  So, my first thought is to not offer it and suggest that, if one is lactose intolerant you get something else to drink.  One the other hand, I want to serve our customers to the best of my ability and omitting something that people not only want but on some level actually _need_ doesn't seem consistent with that.

Artificial Sweetener - Should we offer things like Splenda and Nutrisweet or just have more "natural" sweeteners (like processed sugar, raw sugar, and honey)?

The reasons for this question are similar to the last one but there's the added consideration that most artificial sweeteners are, to one degree or another, kind of bad for you (though one can argue that they're not as bad as sugar).

Internet Access - What do you think of having a limited (i.e. 5-10) number of wired internet connections and no wifi (with loaner ethernet cables, of course)?

This is something I've gone back and forth about so much that I'm dizzy.  On the one hand, I know (from personal experience) how important it can be to get internet access when you're traveling and also what an important part of a cafe environment it is to be able to get some work done while you're there.  Hell, I know at least two writers who do all their work in cafes and really need internet access to do things like fact checking and so forth.  And on top of that, Borderlands is all about giving people good service, whether it's books or coffee, and omitting an important service goes against the grain.

On the other hand there are two problems that I see with providing wireless access.  The biggest concern is that it can kill the social element of being in a cafe.  Something that I have really enjoyed are the random people I've met and conversations that I've enjoyed in cafes all over the world.  But when too many people in a cafe are focused on their computers the social interaction stops almost completely.  As a friend of mine described it, "You end up with a wall of laptops".  That's not what Borderlands is about and that's not the sort of place I want to work.  A much smaller consideration is that several of my friends who run cafes have pointed out that a percentage of wifi users will stay for hours and hours, taking up customer space, while only buying a single cup of coffee.  While I don't like to chisel people for every dime of profit possible, I do have to be aware that I have to make the rent each month and someone sitting in the cafe is taking up space that must be paid for, somehow.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and comment on it,

From The Office

This is going to be short since I don't want to fill up the whole newsletter.  Despite all the cafe stuff that I've been working on, I have had time to drag the store further into the Web 2.0 world (how's that for buzz-word speak?).  Borderlands is now on Twitter <>.  We've set up two accounts that might be interesting to our customers.  If you don't use Twitter, you might want to think about it.  I'm not big on social network sites but it's not too bad and it's really easy to sign up (no big profile to set or any of that stuff).

The first is @borderlands_sf <>.  We're posting all sorts of stuff there including information about author events as we book them, major books when we get a release date for 'em, store news, and general news about the SF/fantasy/horror world.  We'll also be posting a notice when each issue of this newsletter appears on our web site, for those of you who have trouble getting the email version (thank you, hotmail and yahoo).  We're only posting a few times a day at most and, for myself, I think it's pretty cool.

The second one is @borderlands_new <>.  This is specifically for info on books that we receive in stock.  So if you want to know _exactly_ when the new Richard Morgan, Steve Erikson or Cory Doctorow arrive at the store, check this one out.  We're not going to list every single new title we get in, but we will be listing all the ones that seem especially interesting, cool, or important.  Again, not more than one or two posts per day max.

Last thing about Twitter.  Due to time contraints, we're using it as pretty much a one-way communication channel, so we're not going to be "following" anyone.  It's nothing personal, we just like to have back and forth interactions with our customers in more traditional ways, so give us a call anytime or drop us an email.

I'm also going to be setting up a blog for the store.  At this point I'm not making any promises about how often I'll be posting there but one thing I'm sure of is that I'll be posting this newsletter in small chunks over the course of the month.  It's another way that I'm trying to get past some of the email filtering problems that have been stopping people from getting this newsletter.  An added plus is that the material there will be searchable so, if you want to find that article from a year ago where Jeremy raved about the most recent dead-Japanese-school-girls-meet-Chinese-wizards-and-fight-nameless-elder-gods DVD, you'll be able to do it there.

And, on the blog topic, is there anyone out there who could give me some advice on how to go about integrating a account with our website, both in terms of links / embedding and matching the look-and-feel?  I'll be very grateful and buy you dinner or something.

That's it for now but I hope to have more interesting news about Borderlands on the internet soon.


Top Sellers At Borderlands

1) WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
2) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
3) Imager by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
4) Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
5) Revolution Business by Charles Stross
6) Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint
7) Storm From the Shadows by David Weber
8) Coyote Horizon by Allen Steele
9) Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton
10) Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
2) Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb
3) Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
4) Spook Country by William Gibson
5) Spell Games by T.A. Pratt
6) Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
7) From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
8) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
9) Deathwish by Rob Thurman
10) Kethani by Eric Brown

Trade Paperbacks
1) Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
2) We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle
3) Matter by Iain M. Banks
4) The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
5) Ravens in the Library edited by Phil Brucato & Sandra Buskirk tie with
    You Might Sleep by Nick Mamatas tie with
    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Notes From a DVD Geek

Hey everyone.  Got some new release info for you this month, and some rambling about "Star Trek".

First up: "The Uninvited" hits DVD this week.  It's a US remake of the Korean horror classic "A Tale Of Two Sisters".  It’s fairly decent, (if a little bit dumbed down,) but given how convoluted and obtuse the original was, this isn’t really a terrible problem.  I enjoyed this one.

"S. Darko" proves the Joe Bob Briggs rule of sequels: just do the same damn thing over again.  This beat-for-beat sequel to "Donnie Darko" is by the production company of "Donnie Darko," but original "Darko" director Richard Kelly had nothing to do with it.  In fact he's pretty vocally disavowed it.  But. . . it occurs to me that if Kelly had turned in this movie instead of "Southland Tales," he might still have a career in Hollywood.  If you just want to experience the frission of "Donnie Darko" again, check out "S. Darko".  It does exactly what a sequel is supposed to do - give you precisely the same experience all over again.

Coming out this month is the mainstream science-fictional movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".  This one comes from David ("Seven," "Alien3") Fincher, and is based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It uses the very science-fictional conceit of a man aging backwards, to tell a star-crossed love story.  Don’t miss Brad Pit hamming it up in this one.  Fincher’s last movie was also just barely on the margins of genre, being a bio-pic of the San Francisco reporter who literally wrote the book on one of the country's most infamous serial killers, the Zodiac Killer.  Both these movies are only peripherally genre, and Fincher, like Ridley Scott before him, seems to be moving away from the genre excesses of his earlier films, aiming for more respectable territory.  But there’s still some really nice bits that a genre fan can enjoy in "Zodiac," and "Benjamin Button".

On the anime side of the house, there is a very interesting series, "FLAG," which is getting the “complete series in one package” treatment.  It follows the exploits of a peace-keeping force in south-east Asia; the story told through the eyes of a photojournalist whose photo inspired his nation to believe in peace.  This emblematic photo is stolen by guerrillas, and the narrative follows the escapades to get it back.  This is a unique anime series exploring issues of revenge, nationalism, and civil war.  Oh, and because it's anime, the peace-keeping force has a transforming bipedal exoskeleton.  Don’t miss this one.

Another quirky anime title this month is "Karin". This series follows a little girl who is the middle child of a family of vampire immigrants in Japan.  However she has a problem that makes her different from her family.  She produces too much blood. So, instead of draining poor souls of their plasma, she must inject the red stuff into others via her vampire bites.  "Quirky" is exactly what this 24-episode series is.  I enjoyed the hell of out it.

Another quirky anime series that kicks ass is "Last Exile".  It is a TV series that combines the best elements of "Porco Rosso" and "Steamboy".  It drips with steampunk imagery, and takes place in a futuristic world where the skies are populated by technologically advanced 1940s-style fighter planes. "Last Exile" is the production of the esteemed Gonzo anime studio, and directed by Koichi ("Full Metal Panic") Chigira.

Moving away from the new releases, I wanted to mention that, in the wake of the new "Star Trek" movie, now’s a perfect time to add all of the "Star Trek" movies to your collection.  Each movie has received the 2-disk Special Edition treatment, and is jam-packed with bonus material.  High points for me are, (of course) "ST II: The Wrath of Kahn," and "STIV:  Save the Whales".  Even the recently released special edition of "ST: The Motion Picture" has its charms, and includes a re-edited version featuring special effects shots they wanted to do at the time but couldn’t afford.  Frankly (and I know most people won’t like me for saying this) the Next Generation movies mostly left me cold.  They suffered from the thing that hobbled the entire Next Generation series – terrible writing.  NG may have super Shakespearian acting talent, but I’ll take the slick writing of the 2 and 4, or the original TV series any day.  Because every time Jordie rewires something in the last five minutes and saves the day, somewhere, a baby cries, and a piece of Gene Roddenberry’s soul dies.

On the Star Trek “send up” side of the house, if you haven’t seen "Galaxy Quest," run out and do so.  It is very funny, and relatively savvy, despite the easy targets that its humor skewers.  And it's probably Tim Allen’s best big screen performance.

No geek film library would be complete without the 1997 documentary, "Trekkies".  This one is actually a really nice time capsule, and it's interesting to see how fandom has changed (or not) in the 10-odd years since this one came out.

Another loving send-up of geek life is "Free Enterprise".  I know I’ve mentioned this movie before, but let me do so again.  It features William Shattner as himself, and enough references to "Star Trek," "Star Wars," "Logan's Run," and a host of other geek pleasures to fill two or three of my DVD columns.  It is awesome.  And at its heart, it’s a romantic comedy about a guy with Peter Pan Syndrome.  He just doesn’t want to grow up. . . and hell, maybe he doesn’t have to after all.  And maybe Shattner will do a hip-hop musical version of Julius Ceaser!

That’s all I got this month.  Enjoy.

- Jeremy Lassen

Book Club Info

The Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 10th, at 5 pm to discuss THE CITY, NOT LONG AFTER by Pat Murphy.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 17th, at 6 pm to discuss STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert A. Heinlein.  The book for June is BAD MONKEYS by Matt Ruff.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Free Movies from SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street: "Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth", Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 pm - Free movies! Free popcorn! Cash bar!  Bar proceeds and tips benefits Variety Children's Charity.  Doors at 6:30, first movie starts at 7:00 pm.  You don't want to miss this double feature. . . how can you resist David Bowie as the Goblin King?

Author John Levitt's band The Procrastinistas at the Hotel Utah (500 4th Street at Bryant,) Friday, May 15th at 9:00 pm - Local author John Levitt (of DOGS DAYS and NEW TRICKS fame) is multi-talented.  He even has a band, The Procrastinistas, and they're playing at the Hotel Utah on Friday, May 15th at 9:00 pm.  Be there and say hi to some of the Borderlands staff! <> Tickets are only $8.

Jeff Prucher, BRAVE NEW WORDS: THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE FICTION (Oxford, Trade Paperback, $17.95), Saturday, May 16th at 3:00 pm - Join us for a discussion with local freelance lexicographer and editor Jeff Prucher, who has assembled the first historical dictionary devoted to science fiction.  BRAVE NEW WORDS won the Hugo for Best Related Book last year.  "It's a window on a whole genre of literatue through the words invented and passed along by the genre's most talented writers.  In addition, it shows how many words we consider everyday vocabulary -- words like "space shuttle," "blast off," and "robot" -- had their roots in imaginative literature, and not in hard science."  This is a fascinating book to browse -- each entry you read reminds you of more that you'd like to read.  You'll find yourself captivated for hours!

SF in SF presents authors Richard Kadrey and Heather Shaw at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday, May 16th at 7:00 pm - We are very excited to help SF in SF welcome these awesome local authors!  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 <>.  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

BayCon at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, with guests of honor Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, May 22nd - 25th - BayCon is the San Francisco Bay Area science fiction and fantasy convention.  As usual, all kinds of cool stuff will be going on, and Borderlands will have tables in the Dealers' Room.  Support your local science fiction convention!

Seth Harwood, JACK WAKES UP (Three Rivers Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95), Saturday, May 30th at 3:00 pm - Join us in welcoming local author and podcaster Seth Harwood!  From Seth's website: "In the three years since Jack Palms went clean (no drugs, no drinking, no life,) he's added fourteen pounds of muscle, read 83 books, and played it as straight as anyone can ask him. Now, when an old friend from L.A. calls, he hits the streets of San Francisco to help a group of Czech drug buyers make one big score -- a single drug deal that he hopes will set him up for life.  But when people start turning up dead, and an old nemesis on the police force calls, Jack finds himself with just 24 hours to track down San Francisco's biggest drug supplier or face charges that will put him behind bars. Only an Oscar-caliber performance will get him through this alive."  Seth's going to be a big star, and we hope you take this opportunity to meet him now!

The Cats' Birthdays' Sale, Sunday, May 31st from 12:00 - 8:00 pm - Come celebrate with two indifferent felines; two cats, two birthdays!  Ash will be a year old May 8th, and Ripley will be seven years old June 10th, so we're splitting the difference with an end-of-May sale!  Buy two used paperbacks and get a third of equal or lesser value free, and all non-book items in the store (excluding staff and cats, sorry) are 10% off!  The cats will of course be on hand to greet admirers and be spoiled (unless they decide to hide in the stock room,) and there will be cake and cat treats (but not together).  Additionally, you can participate in the party game of helping to keep the cats out of the cake's whipped-cream frosting.  Ripley says "I already have everything I need, so instead of bringing me gifts, please donate some money or volunteer time to the San Francisco SPCA <> or to Wildcare <>.  You'd better come and adore me, though."  Ash says "Am I that old already?  Where's the whipped cream?  Did the cake come in a box I can climb in? Oh, look, dust!"  (Ahem.  We won't be quoting Ash anymore.)

Rudy Rucker, HYLOZOIC (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 pm - Rudy Rucker is smarter than you.  And me, and almost everyone I know.  Join us to meet him and hear him read from HYLOZOIC, the sequel to POSTSINGULAR!  Kirkus gave the book a starred review, and they say: ". . . Rucker’s yarn of a future where everything—animals, rocks, the planet Earth—is conscious, telepathic and often irrepressibly chatty.  This weird future stems from the exploits of teenager Chu, who strummed the Lost Chord on a golden harp to unfurl the eighth dimension and unleash limitless computing power. Though based on respectable extrapolations of current physics theories, Rucker’s approach takes a high-comic trajectory with a satirical edge, adding plot and imagery evidently inspired by the paintings of medieval Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. Once everything’s telepathic, there’s little or no privacy, and the Founders—Chu, friends Thuy, Jayjay and many others—do pretty much as they please. Chu strives to become more connected and less fixated. Thuy writes hypertext novels. Jayjay, addicted to the “high” afforded by deep communion with Gaia, spaces out. However, various alien species take notice of the now conscious Earth. While brain-surfing toward a (temporary) pinnacle of omniscience, Jayjay encounters a talking pitchfork, Groovy, and his girlfriend Lovva (the harp who played the Lost Chord). Groovy betrays Jayjay into the clutches of the Pekklet, an invading alien who quantum-entangles Jayjay and forces him to reprogram large blocks of matter; the objects affected lose their “gnarl,” becoming dull and predictable and allowing colonists from distant planet Peng to project themselves into Earth’s reality and take up immovable residence. Chu, meanwhile, meets big trouble of his own.  Serious, uproarious fun, with brain-teasers and brilliant ideas tossed about like confetti."

Seth Grahame-Smith, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (Quirk Books, Trade Paperback, $12.95), Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm - The classic regency romance -- now with ultra-violent zombie action!  Borderlands is delighted to host Seth Grahame-Smith, who, in cooperation with Jane Austen, presents this mash-up zombie masterpiece for your perusal.  Fiesty young Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace plaguing the quiet village of Meryton, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.  Can Elizabeth vanquish the flesh-eating undead? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry?  Find out at Borderlands on June 9th!

Marie Brennan, IN ASHES LIE (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $14.99), Saturday, June 13th at 1:00 pm - We're pleased to welcome Marie Brennan to the store for a reading!  From Marie's site:"The year is 1666. The King and Parliament vie for power, fighting one another with politics and armies alike. Below, the faerie court has enemies of its own. The old ways are breaking down, and no one knows what will rise in their place.  But now, a greater threat has come, one that could destroy everything. In the house of a sleeping baker, a spark leaps free of the oven -- and ignites a blaze that will burn London to the ground. While the humans struggle to halt the conflagration that is devouring the city street by street, the fae pit themselves against a less tangible foe: the spirit of the fire itself, powerful enough to annihilate everything in its path.  Mortal and fae will have to lay aside the differences that divide them, and fight together for the survival of London itself . . ." You can read an excerpt from the novel here: <>

David J. WIlliams, BURNING SKIES (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback, $13.00), Saturday, June 13th at 3:00 pm - David J. Williams' site offers us the following glimpse into his personality: "Descended from Australian convicts, David J. Williams nonetheless managed to be born in Hertfordshire, England, and subsequently moved to Washington D.C. just in time for Nixon’s impeachment. Graduating from Yale with a degree in history some time later, he narrowly escaped the life of a graduate student and ended up doing time in Corporate America, which drove him so crazy he started moonlighting on video games and (as he got even crazier) novels. THE MIRRORED HEAVENS was written over six years, and sold to Bantam Spectra in the summer of 2007, along with the rest of the Autumn Rain trilogy.  THE BURNING SKIES is the second book of that trilogy, but has been designed to accommodate readers who (however inexplicably) missed the prequel."  Our last event with David was great fun; you won't want to miss this one.

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

THE ADVENTURES OF MAXIMILLIAN BACCHUS AND HIS TRAVELING CIRCUS by Clive Barker (Bad Moon Books, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (300 copies) Slipcased Hardcover, $125.00 and Trade Hardcover, $50.00) - From Bad Moon Books: "Maximillian Bacchus is the ringmaster, ruler, guide and owner of what he considers the greatest show in the world. Traveling with a crocodile named Malachi, a trapeze girl named Ophelia, a strong man they call Hero (which is short for Hieronymus,) a clown named Domingo de Ybarrondo, who paints in a wagon pulled by a giant “Ibis bird,” the troupe wanders from adventure to adventure with mythic aplomb.  From the first story, in which Indigo Murphy, the best bird handler in the world leaves the show to join in matrimony with the Duke Lorenzo de Medici, to the fabled court of Kubla Khan, the magic never stops. You will meet a young apple thief named Angelo with magic eyes, and an orang-outang named Bathsheba, and a host of other amazing characters with names and personas cut like a patchwork quilt from the mythologies and dreams of the world.  Though written forty years ago, these pages are littered with the same magical side steps that have always been woven into Clive Barker’s fiction. Worlds not quit our own, and yet so real they ring with truth and leave you wishing you could step from your mundane life into that other place – into those caves of ice – if only long enough to catch Maximillian’s show."

MARIONETTES, INC by Ray Bradbury (Subterranean Press, Limited Edition (2,000 copies) Hardcover, $35.00) - From Subterranean Press: "In MARIONETTES, INC, Ray Bradbury offers his devoted readers something both special and unexpected: a unified view of one small corner of a varied fictional universe. In five stories (one of them original to this collection, plus a rare, previously unpublished screen treatment), Bradbury explores the concept of robotics and examines its impact on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people.  Several of these tales, including “Changeling” and “Punishment Without Crime,” are set in a world in which the eponymous company, Marionettes, Inc., has successfully created incredibly detailed replicas of existing men and women. When these surrogate “people” take their place in the real, often messy realm of human relationships, the results are sometimes tragic, sometimes ironic, and always surprising.  But the true heart of this resonant collection is the classic novella, “I Sing the Body Electric.” In this quintessential Bradbury story, an “electric Grandma” enters the lives of a grieving, newly motherless family, and slowly restores their capacity for wonder and joy. Like the very best of Bradbury’s fiction, it is a magical, deeply felt account of hope, growth, survival, and change, and a moving meditation on what it really means to be human."

CHEEK BY JOWL: TALKS AND ESSAYS ON HOW AND WHY FANTASY MATTERS by Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct Press, Trade Paperback, $16.00) -  Ursula Le Guin is a well-beloved fantasist, but she's also one of the most interesting and eloquent non-fiction writers the genre can boast.  This title is simply flying off the shelves!

THE BEST OF MICHAEL MOORCOCK by Michael Moorcock, edited by John Davey with Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon Publications, Trade Paperback, $14.95) - From Tachyon Publications: "From the legendary author of the Elric sagas, a Science Fiction Grand Master, a platinum album-receiving rock star, and the controversial editor of the New Wave's NEW WORLDS, this definitive collection captures the incomparable short fiction of one of science fiction and literature's most important contemporary writers.  These exceptional stories range effortlessly from the genre tales that continue to define fantasy to the author's critically-acclaimed mainstream works. Classic offerings include the Nebula award-winning novella "Behold the Man," which introduces a time traveler and unlikely messiah that H.G. Wells never imagined, "The Visible Men," a recent tale of the ambiguous and androgynous secret agent Jerry Cornelius, the trilogy "My Experiences in the Third World War," where a Russian agent in an alternate Cambodia is powerless to prevent an inevitable march toward nuclear disaster, and "A Portrait in Ivory," a Melibone story of troubled anti-hero Elric and his soul-stealing sword, Stormbringer.  Newer work handpicked by the expert editing team includes one previously unpublished story and three uncollected stories. With all of his finest stories finally collected in one volume, this book is a long-overdue tribute to an extraordinarily gifted, versatile and much-beloved author."

THE VILLA DESIREE AND OTHER UNCANNY STORIES by May Sinclair (Ash-Tree Press, Hardcover, $49.00) - From Ash-Tree: MAY SINCLAIR (1863–1946) began writing the first of her 'uncanny stories', 'The Intercessor', in 1910, and it was published a year later, laying the way for the seventeen pieces collected in this volume. The stories are taken from three collections: Uncanny Stories (1923), Tales Told by Simpson (1930), and The Intercessor (1931).  Here you will find tales of psychological terror, ghost stories in their more familiar form, and stories which reflect Sinclair's own deep thought processes. You will be chilled by the evil Louis Carson and the Villa Désirée; touched by the need of a child in 'The Intercessor'; alarmed that the events in 'Heaven' might be real; and relieved that the murdered victim of 'The Victim' actually didn't mind being murdered at all.  THE VILLA DESIREE AND OTHER UNCANNY STORIES collects all of May Sinclair's supernatural, strange, and weird tales in one volume for the first time, and is complemented by Rebeccah Kinnamon Neff's detailed introduction.

THE BUCKROSS RING AND OTHER STORIES OF THE STRANGE AND SUPERNATURAL by L.A.G Strong (Tartarus Press, Hardcover, $50.00) - From Tartarus Press: "L.A.G. Strong may be little-known today, but in the mid twentieth century he was considered one of the most popular, versatile and acclaimed writers of his generation. The author of novels, plays, poems, criticism, biography and film scripts, he wrote short stories with 'the passion of a poet' in a closely-knit style with brilliant bursts of description.  Throughout his life Strong was a firm believer in the paranormal, experiencing many psychic phenomena, which inevitably inspired much of his supernatural fiction. He took his own strange and vivid dreams and transcribed them into enigmatic narratives and characters like the unearthly Bibi in 'The Buckross Ring'."

STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION by Rocky Wood and Justin Brooks (Cemetery Dance, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (2,000 copies) Slipcased Hardcover, $75.00) From Cemetery Dance: "STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION is the first significant review of King's non-fiction. Most fans and readers know King has written three non-fiction books and may have noticed his introductions and Author's Notes to his own works, but few know of his hundreds of columns, articles, book reviews and criticism.  In fact the authors review over 560 published works of non-fiction (more than a dozen are revealed here for the first time) and a further nine unpublished non-fiction pieces. Full details of these unpublished pieces are revealed for the first time.  Have you ever heard of "My Little Serrated Security Blanket" by Stephen King? It's a very rare essay King wrote over a decade ago, and most fans have never had a chance to read it. . . until now!
Authors Rocky Wood and Justin Brooks spent five years compiling this outstanding reference work, with the assistance of many of the leading King researchers, collectors and 'super-collectors'; and access to Restricted Non-Fiction Works in King's papers at the University of Maine, Orono.  Covering all King's published and known unpublished works from 1959 to mid-2006, STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION reveals for the first time dozens of pieces of non-fiction and their appearances that were previously unknown to King researchers.  If you've ever wanted to know more about King's amazing and often controversial non-fiction, this is the reference work you must have."

THRESHOLD: THE COMPLETE SHORT FICTION OF ROGER ZELAZNY VOL. 1 and POWER & LIGHT: THE COMPLETE SHORT FICTION OF ROGER ZELAZNY VOL. 2 both by Roger Zelazny (NESFA Press, Hardcovers, $29.00 each) - The first two volumes in a projected six-volume series collecting all of Zelazny's short fiction and poetry.  Really lovely volumes, and they're coming out quickly: the next two volumes (THIS MORTAL MOUNTAIN and LAST EXIT TO BABYLON) are due in July, 2009 and the last two (NINE BLACK DOVES and THE ROAD TO AMBER) are slated for December, 2009.  You'll probably want to reserve these in advance.

New and Notable

AWAKENING - DARKEST POWERS VOL. 2 by Kelley Armstrong (Harper, Hardcover, $17.99) - Follow up to THE SUMMONING.  I thought the first volume in this series was fast-paced and entertaining enough to overlook some plot (and logic) flaws, and so I'm anxious to read this one and see if it's gotten a little tighter.  - Jude

CONSPIRATOR - FOREIGNER VOL. 10 by C.J. Cherryh (DAW, Hardcover, $25.95) - The first in a new FOREIGNER trilogy! From the book jacket: "Cajeiri is the young son of the powerful leader of the Western Association—and he has become a target for forces bent on destroying his father’s rule. For Cajeiri is the first ateva youth to have lived in a human environment. And after hundreds of years of fragile atevi-human coexistence, he may very well be the first of his people to ever truly understand the so similar—yet so dangerously different—aliens who share his home planet and threaten the hidebound customs of his race."

HANDLING THE UNDEAD by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Quercus, Trade Paperback, $20.33) We have imported British copies of this new novel from the author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.  It is not a sequel, and it looks terrifying.  The jacket copy reads "Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm.  There's a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off.  Then the terrible news breaks.  In the city morgue, the dead are waking up. . . What do they want?  What everybody wants: to come home. . . ."

FRAGILE ETERNITY by Melissa Marr (Bowen Press, Hardcover, $16.99) - Sequel to WICKED LOVELY.

THE CARDBOARD UNIVERSE: A GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF PHOEBUS K. DANK by Christopher Miller (Harper, Trade Paperback, $14.99) - From Publishers Weekly: "Miller's follow-up to SUDDEN NOISES FROM INANIMATE OBJECTS once again experiments with narrative, exploring the life and death of prolific science fiction novelist Phoebus K. Dank through a definitive encyclopedia of the author's work; the commentators—one sycophantic, one antagonistic—devote as much space writing about themselves as they spend on their subject. Dank, based loosely on Philip K. Dick, wrote scores of novels involving secret Martians, twins and doppelgängers, enhanced or diminished senses, and near-futures in which global warming and new viruses lead mankind in drastic new directions. Unlike Dick (who features in one of Dank's alternate universe tales), Dank is an extraordinary hack (though one of his commentators would violently disagree). The book is clever and often very funny, and the murder mystery at its heart is more complex than it first appears. . . ."

THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY by Robert v. Redick (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.00) - Read the first chapter of this well-reviewed maritime fantasy adventure here: <>.

ZOE'S TALE by John Scalzi (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) - Now in paperback.

THE DRAGONS OF BABEL by Michael Swanwick (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) - Takes place in the same world as THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER,  Recommended by Alan.

THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, $26.00) - From the jacket copy: "Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the titles "The New Lay of the Volsungs" and "The New Lay of Gudrun"."  For a detailed list of frequently asked questions (and their answers!) about the book, see <>.

Special Feature

[Editor's Note: Thanks to customer and i09 reviewer Christopher Hsiang for the following review of Jay Lake's novel GREEN.  And come to Jay's reading on July 18th, 2009 at 3:00! - Jude]

"Jay Lake is an inventive and prolific author with possibly the largest collection of weaponized Hawaiian shirts in North America. His sixth novel, GREEN (Tor, Hardcover, $26.95), is a richly imagined fantasy of exotic cities, weird gods, conspiracies, stabbings, and kicks to the head.

It begins as a girl child, born into poverty and ignorance, is sold into slavery by her own father. She is stolen away from the warm land of rice paddies and the timeless rhythms of peasant life that are all she has known, and put on a steamboat bound for distant Copper Downs, capital city of the Stone Coast. Copper Downs is a cold, bustling metropolis of commerce and power at the dawn of an Industrial Revolution, populated by even colder people, pale as corpses.
Her culture, her language, her very name is stripped away. The girl is imprisoned in the Pomegranate Court at the House of the Factor with only the Teaching Mistresses for company.  They teach her all manner of domestic skills as well as a plethora of academic subjects, the arts, and the social graces expected of an aristocratic lady. Enduring abuse and humiliation, she must excel at her lessons in order to survive.  Some of her tutors show a modicum of kindness and compassion, especially the Dancing Mistress, a member of a feline race of humanoids called the pardines.  The Dancing Mistress supplements lessons in courtly dance and poise with secret nocturnal classes in martial arts and stealth.  It seems that in addition to her training as a courtesan, she is being groomed for a more nefarious task, perhaps an an assassin or spy--but for who? Her education includes nothing of this city's current events or gods. She hears only rumors of the Duke who has ruled Copper Downs, possibly for centuries.
A decade passes and the girl approaches womanhood. Her master, the Factor, has deemed her suitable to be sold as a pretty bauble of some powerful lord, perhaps the Undying Duke himself.  She is meant to be a "prettypet" to charm the aristocracy at gala balls and in the most exclusive parlors with her exotic beauty and witty conversation--no politics or religion, mind you, nothing dangerous. The Factor dubs her "Emerald" and deems her worthy of sale. She rejects this name, calls herself "Green" instead, and swears to be no one's tool.  She will be free, she will battle the unjust system that stole her from her native land. Green is twelve years old, pissed off, and has other plans, but so has Fate.
Eventually Green makes her way back to the land of her birth, Selistan (perhaps a pun on "Celestial Kingdom") only to find herself now a foreigner mistrusted by her own people. Impoverished in a society that treats women as chattel, she reluctantly finds sanctuary at the Temple of the Lily Goddess in the city of Kalimpura.  This religious order takes inconvenient girl children or women too independent to fit into their assigned roles.  At the Temple women can take roles generally reserved for men: law, accountancy, and Martial arts.  The most promising fighters are chosen to join the Blades of the Lily.  The Blades are the only law enforcement in the city of Kalimpura, charged with keeping the peace by means that usually involve stabbing and kicks to the head.  Free to be themselves, these women rely on each other for strength, understanding, and love.  Yes, there are sex scenes involving teenage lesbian warrior nuns that will raise eyebrows among some squeamish readers (like this reviewer).  But like his infamous snuff-porn Dwarf Pits in TRIAL OF FLOWERS (Night Shade Books, 2006,) Lake uses these brief, vivid passages to good effect serving the plot or developing a character; not to shock or titillate. So get your mind out of the gutter, sheesh.
Although the very believable societies Lake imagines here are loosely based on the China and England of the 19th Century, this world is definitely in the realm of fantasy.  Like TRIAL OF FLOWERS, GREEN is set on a flat (possibly endless) plain, with a procession of suns drifting across the sky.  We already know Jay has a fondness for impossible cosmologies after visiting the 1:1 scale clockwork orrery Earth in MAINSPRING and ESCAPEMENT (Tor, 2007 and 2008 respectively) or the infinite vertical cylinder in his short story "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident" (from EXTRAORDINARY ENGINES, Nick Gevers ed., Solaris, 2008). Another similarity to TRIAL OF FLOWERS is Lake's treatment of the very real gods in Green's world. These deities are weird and powerful but usually treat with mortal concerns in subtle and inscrutable means.  When the powerful try to use the gods to further their own goals, entire populations suffer.  The lesson here: let sleeping gods lie; magic may seem like an easy solution, but people are better off relying on themselves.
Green has a mind as quick and sharp as a dagger and possesses an amazing arsenal of skills (she's a great cook, too).  Given all these abilities she is still very much a child, alone in an unforgiving world.  For all her rigorous education, she has negligible people skills. She feels driven to stop the oppression of women and children, but she has only vague plans involving stabbing and kicks to the head.  Green must grow into the role she has chosen for herself.  To survive, she must find the strength to endure the crap around her.  To succeed, she must develop patience and wisdom to match her passion and intellect.
Jay Lake writes beautifully. His language hearkens back to a more formal age, without disguising the brutal truths of the world he has created.  GREEN is split into three distinct acts with the action, pacing, and fantastical elements ever-increasing to an exciting climax of mythic proportion. Personally, I would have enjoyed more detail about the steam-driven and flywheel technology (of which there are only a few tantalizing references,) but that's how I roll. At times unsettling but always compelling, GREEN abounds with intrigue and adventure. A feminist fable lovingly written with a father's hope and concern for his daughter's future, GREEN is the story of a strong-willed young woman trying to find her place in a world that would rather ignore her. GREEN will not be ignored."

- Christopher Hsiang

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, Christopher Hsiang

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of

Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA  94110

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