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Events and News from Borderlands Books

May, 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.

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 - Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th from Noon to 8:00 pm.

Andrew Dugas, Steven Meloan, Ransom Stephens - Techno-Spirituality Triple Author Event - May 19th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Buildng, 582 Market Strret, with authors Marie Brennan, Erin Hoffman and Ysabeau Wilce - Saturday, May 19th at 7:00 pm

Mary Robinette Kowal, GLAMOUR IN GLASS (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) - Saturday, June 2nd at 3:00 pm

Cassie Alexander, NIGHTSHIFTED (St. Martin's, Mass Market, $7.99) - Saturday, June 9th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this section)


*  Borderlands finally has a blog.  I know, it's taken long enough but it's set up.  And it's chock filled with past stories and articles from nine years of our newsletters.  Moving forward you can expect to find our entire newsletter posted there as well as on our website.  Plus, you can subscribe to our posts and have them delivered right to you email box.  But there will be even more stuff appearing there over the course of the month.  Like weekly reports on what we're reading, news from our field as it happens, and perhaps even special offers.  So go check it out at <>

* Tor / Forge e-book titles will go DRM-free in July, 2012.  Which means that you can make as many copies as you like and read the books on any device:

* As a science fiction and fantasy fan and bookseller, I am the first to admit that I am enormous geek, and I love geeks, and am delighted to be surrounded by them all the time.  But this level of geekery makes me simply gasp in awe:

* Borderlands has some signed copies of Paolo Bacigalupi's new novel THE DROWNED CITIES available.  Reserve one now, they're going fast!

* The Locus Awards are being held June 15th - 16th, 2012 in Seattle.  "Tickets for the SF Awards Weekend are $40 and include all Locus events -- including readings, a kickoff meet-and-greet, panels with leading authors, an autograph session, the lunch banquet, and the annual Hawai'ian shirt contest judged by the fabulous Connie Willis, who will MC the ceremony and present the Locus Awards -- all followed by the Clarion West Party on Saturday night honoring Clarion West supporters, awards weekend ticket holders, and special guests. The events are held across the street from the Seattle Center, home to the SF Hall of Fame and the Experience Music Project, with excellent access to the light rail and trolley systems.  In addition, non-profit literary organization NW Media Arts is sponsoring special Awards Weekend writers workshops with James Patrick Kelly and Connie Willis at the nearby Richard Hugo House. Additional fees apply."  Find detailed information here:

* Oh, wow.  Microsoft is teaming up with Barnes and Noble to compete with Amazon and Apple in the ebook market wars.  Things are bound to get even more interesting:

* Baen Books is looking for beta testers.  From editor Jim Minz: "Beta testers for what, you may ask? For PLANET BAEN, of course. This is a web-based, Facebook-integrated game that not only is a fun way to waste time, but actually earns you FREE EBOOKS simply by playing. (Note: you do NOT have to be signed up on Facebook to play, but if you are, it's easier for folks to give you gifts, etc). It's actually pretty simple, sort of like a very basic cross between Farmville and Civilization (but waaaay more basic), where you create a colony and then guide that colony to grow and succeed. The better the colony does, the more free ebooks you'll earn.  We're giving away a free ebook to anyone who just signs up to beta test, and the more you help with testing, the more ebooks you'll earn.  <>  or <>
(this second link will change to <> once we launch on June 15)."

* We're sorry to report the death of actor Johnathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins on the original "Dark Shadows".  I wonder if he got to see an advance of the new movie, and, if so, what he thought? <,0,5560319.story>

* We're quite saddened to hear about the untimely death of author and editor K.D. Wentworth. <>

From the Office

Three Observations Concerning the DOJ Suit Against Apple
by Alan Beatts

At the beginning of last month the United States Department of Justice announced that it was bringing suit against five of the six major U.S. publishers as well as Apple for violating anti-trust regulations, specifically prohibitions on collusion and price-fixing as described in Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  The complaint brought by the DOJ in essence says that Apple and five publishers (Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster) conspired to force adoption of the agency model for sales of ebooks on the retail industry with the aim and effect of raising prices for consumers and reducing competition.  Under the agency model, which was adopted by all five of these publishers over a period of six weeks in early 2010, the publishers set prices and the retailers (Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, et al) cannot offer the book at a lower price.

I've been following the discussion about the suit since the news broke and it is interesting that the general tenor of the response has not been particularly in favor of the suit.  Specifically, there are a few things that seem to be generally acknowledged by most of the commentators, regardless of industry affiliation or political stripe.

1)  It seems very unlikely that the suit will be successful against Apple.  Since representatives from Apple were not present at the meetings between publishers where the collusion allegedly took place, and Apple is neither in the same business as the publishers nor does it dominate the ebook market, in the view of a number of legal scholars it seems unlikely that the court will find against Apple.
More here <>

2)  The suit is probably not consistent with the spirit of the law, even if it is within the letter of it.  In the simplest terms, the Sherman Act, along with subsequent anti-trust and antimonopoly laws, was put in place to encourage competition by stopping groups of companies in the same industry from conspiring to either fix prices at an inflated level or to prevent competitors from entering the field.  The actions of the publishers and Apple were designed to accomplish two things --

A)  To allow the publishers to individually resist Amazon's potential ability to set an industry-wide price for ebooks.

B)  To let Apple enter the ebook market on an even footing with Amazon (which in early 2010 controlled 90% of all ebook sales).

Neither item would tend to reduce competition; rather they would both tend to encourage it, a contention that is supported by the current proportion of ebook sales which is now spread among Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, with Amazon still well in the lead.  On the other hand, a return to wholesale pricing would benefit Amazon more than any other business, which would seem to help Amazon exert more control over the ebook market.
More here - <>

3)  There don't seem to be many indications that there was any price-fixing per se.  The agreement reached among the publishers was what the sales model would be, not what the price of the books would be.  Given that the costs of producing a book are pretty much the same for all six of the major publishers, regardless of the author or the book, it doesn't require price-fixing for the publishers to arrive at the same general price for ebooks.  Without the element of actual price-fixing, the case is much weaker.
More here - <>

Of course, over the past weeks I've run across a number of impassioned letters decrying the DOJ's action, notably one from Macmillan's CEO, John Sargent <> and another from Scott Turow, author and president of the Author's Guild <>.  But there were some surprises as well, like Charlie Stross' nice and concise explanation of the "interesting" (read as "scary and bad") thing about Amazon's position in publishing <>.

But probably the most surprising thing to me was that I haven't run into one article or reputable blog post that is damming of either the publishers or Apple.  That isn't to say that they aren't out there (I'm sure that they are) but it's intriguing that the reaction overall seems to be pretty one-sided.  Whether the tenor of the reaction will have much effect on the outcome of the suit, I don't know, but it looks better for Macmillan and Penguin, not to mention Apple, than it did when the suit was first announced.

If you're interested in more information about the whole thing, here are a few links that are informative.

The text of The Sherman Act --

The actual complaint, courtesy of Scribd --

An excellent point-by-point analysis of the suit from The Verge --

Details of the settlement that three publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster) reached with DOJ from Wired --

Top Sellers At Borderlands

1. Nocturnal by Scott Sigler
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore
5. Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
6. The Road to Danger by David Drake
7. Angels of Vengeance by John Birmingham
8. The Croning by Laird Barron
9. The Mirage by Matt Ruff
10.  Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2. Timeless by Gail Carriger
3. Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
4. Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
5. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
6. Plague Town by Dana Fredsti
7. Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
8. Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
9. WWW: Wonder by Roget J. Sawyer
10. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Trade Paperbacks
1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Black Opera by Mary Gentle
3. Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel Delany
4. Faith by John Love tie with Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
5. Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Book Club Info

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 13th, at 5 pm to discuss LUCK IN THE SHADOWS by Lynn Flewelling.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 20th, at 6 pm to discuss GULLIVER'S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift.  The book for June 17th is THE LIMINAL PEOPLE by Ayize Jama-Everett.  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!

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 Books and Cafe Rummage Sale - Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th from Noon to 8:00 pm -  Borderlands Books has been located on Valencia Street for 11 years now, and that's a lot of time to accumulate stuff!  Come check out our rummage sale and find cheap treasures from the bowels of the store's basement and beyond!  We'll also have your choice of iced tea, lemonade & limeaid for only $1 in the cafe, special clearance deals on books, and a sale on used books (excluding collectibles): buy one, get one of equal or lesser value free!  Some of the goodies on sale are yet still more of Alan's extra tools, chairs, some bookshelves, some classic photographic equipment (including one of the last of the true professional grade 35mm film cameras, a Canon F1n with lenses), and all sorts of other stuff.

Andrew Dugas, Steven Meloan, Ransom Stephens - Techno-Spirituality Triple Author Event - May 19th at 3:00 pm - Join us to meet three great local author whose works all explore the intersections between science and spirituality.  Andrew Dugas is the author of SLEEPWALKING IN PARADISE, described as "a San Francisco novel about Old Money, the New Economy, and the Second Coming, though not necessarily in that order."  Steven Meloan, along with co-author Michael Meloan, has written THE SHROUD, about "[o]ne of the world's most controversial religious relics, an ancient spiritual order, cutting-edge genetics, the Internet, and a world torn by cultural and religious strife".  Dr. Ransom Stephens is the author of THE GOD PATENT, in which "sex, drugs and physics collide with artificial intelligence, faith and free will".  You won't want to miss this fascinating reading and discussion!

SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Buildng, 582 Market Strret, with authors Marie Brennan, Erin Hoffman and Ysabeau Wilce - Saturday, May 19th at 7:00 pm - We are happy to help SF in SF welcome these 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

Mary Robinette Kowal, GLAMOUR IN GLASS (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) - Saturday, June 2nd at 3:00 pm - Borderlands is happy to welcome Mary back to San Francisco!  Ms. Kowal is a professional puppeteer and voice actor in addition to having won the John W. Campbell and Nebula awards for her short fiction a few years back.  Her previous novel, SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY, was a Nebula nominee, and has Jane Austen fans everywhere swooning.  GLAMOUR IN GLASS is the sequel to SHADES, and here is the book description: "GLAMOUR IN GLASS continues following the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.  In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent’s concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon…to escaping it.  Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison . . . and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country's war." 

Cassie Alexander, NIGHTSHIFTED (St. Martin's, Mass Market, $7.99) - Saturday, June 9th at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome talented debut novelist Cassie Alexander!  From the book jacket: "Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine - from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond.  Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words -- "Save Anna" -- and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul. 'Grey’s Anatomy' was never like this…"

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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