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Events and News from Borderlands Books

August, 2007

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present a Miyazaki double feature! "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Gedo Senki" at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Thursday, August 9th at 7:00 pm

Jeff Carlson, PLAGUE YEAR, (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, August 11th at 1:00 pm

M. Christian, THE VERY BLOODY MARYS, (Haworth Press, Trade Paperback, $12.95) Saturday, August 11th at 3:00 pm

Richard Kadrey, BUTCHER BIRD, (Night Shade, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Sunday, August 12th at 3:00 pm

Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, SANDWORMS OF DUNE, (St. Martin's , Hardcover, $27.95), Tuesday, August 14th at 7:00 pm

Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Herbert, and Richard Kadrey are guests of SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, August 15th at 7:00 pm

Steve Berman, VINTAGE: A GHOST STORY (Haworth Press, Trade Paperback, $12.95) and Kat Richardson, POLTERGEIST (New American Library, Trade Paperback, $14.00), Sunday, August 19th at 3:00 pm

Michael Cadnum, Ellen Klages and Pat Murphy, COYOTE ROAD: TRICKSTER TALES (Viking, Hardcover, $19.99), Saturday, September 15th at 3:00 pm

Tachyon Publications 12th Anniversary Party and presentation of the annual Emperor Norton awards, Sunday, September 16th, time and guests TBA.

Robert Balmanno, SEPTEMBER SNOW, (Regent Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95), Thursday, September 27th from 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Litquake Litcrawl guests to be announced, Saturday, October 13th.

F. Paul Wilson, BLOODLINE (St. Martin's, Hardcover, $25.95), Sunday, October 28th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this section)


* Thanks to all of you who turned up for our Harry Potter bash, which was bigger than we anticipated (by, um, a lot)!  Special thanks to Ava, who made the chocolate frogs, Eric, who brought delightful orange cake, Hilary, who bestowed brownies upon us, and Kip, who serenaded the crowd with Harry Potter-ish accordian and melodica music!  Click this link to see Kip's story: <>

* Unfortunately, Sarob Press is closing.  The following comes from Robert at Sarob: "MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL will be our very last title.  Robert & Sara are retiring (very early) to a smallholding (small farm) in northern France.  Robert thought long and hard about continuing the press from France but, after some discussion and all things considered, we felt closing down the press was the best option.  We'd like to extend a huge thank you to all our customers (private and dealer), authors, artists, editors and friends.  You've all helped make ten years of publishing very enjoyable."  Sarob has published many beautiful and worthy titles over the years; you'll be sorely missed, guys.

* In the random-stuff-to-give-away department, we have a whole bunch of cat food to donate to any customer who wants it for their cat(s).  This is high-quality stuff; Nature's Variety Salmon and Brown Rice Cat Food mixed with Wysong Vitality Cat Food.   Ripley and Sly loved it, but it didn't agree with them.  Perhaps it will work better for your cat?  First email gets all 24 pounds of it.  (And, no, the San Francisco SPCA won't accept it, because it is not in a sealed package.)

* In the random-stuff-to-sell department (which is right next to the give-away department and behind ladies shoes), we're getting rid of some accumulated stuff and leftovers.  Most significantly a number of commercial clothing racks and a bunch of hangers left over from the used clothing store that used to be where the shop is now.  They'll be going up on Craig's List soon but we thought we'd give our customers first shot at them.  Also there are a few commercial sewing machines (in questionable condition), a Canon multi-purpose printer/fax/scanner/copy machine in great shape (Model MP730), and a clothes steamer (gets out wrinkles - great for bachelors).  Call Alan at the store if you're interested -- the prices are going to be _very_ reasonable.

*One of Borderlands' customers is starting a Science Fiction Writers and/Or Readers Discussion Group (aka SFWORD Group).  Here is the information that she provided:
Attention all science fiction writers or readers! Are you interested in publishing or viewing never before released science fiction? Join the Science Fiction Writers and/Or Readers Discussion Group to meet regularly for discussion of your or others' work and possible publishing outlets.  Help burgeoning SF writers create masterpieces!  Possible annual magazine published!  Website forum in progress at www.sfwordgroup.  Hurry, so we can make this community come to life!  Contact: LaurenAddress<at>"  She adds that "the group is going to be strictly genre bound: only SF, and not fantasy."

From The Office

Writing my piece about the store history this issue made me start thinking about recycling and "green-thinking" in general.  Despite my Bay Area upbringing, I've never been much of a "tree hugger" (as we used to call environmentally-minded people when I was in High School).  In fact, when I was younger, I pretty much didn't give a damn about environmental issues.  But as I got older, I got smarter (at least _I_ think so) and I started to think about those issues.

Now my attitude is much more thoughtful, if not 100% hippy-certified, organically grown, and environmentally conscious (I mean really . . . I do drive a damn big, gas-guzzling truck . . . when I'm not walking or riding a motorcycle).  It's based on two key things --

A) I really, REALLY hate waste.  Perhaps it comes from being dirt poor and living hand-to-mouth for a while (not to mention being homeless, but that's another story) or maybe it's my father's Scottish frugality coming to the fore late in life but whatever the reason I don't like to see something that could be valuable to someone (other than its owner) getting thrown away.  It strikes me as both foolish and inconsiderate.  Foolish since one is wasting something that has value and inconsiderate because one is denying someone else something that might be quite valuable to them.  I think it's simple self-centeredness that makes a person conclude that something is valueless in an absolute sense and therefore trash simply because that object no longer has (subjective) value to that person.  By definition, that's inconsiderate.

B)  I love efficiency and good design.  It just makes me happy on a very basic level.  Up to a point, reusing objects is efficient in that it makes the best use of the raw materials, the energy and the labor that went into creating the object in the first place.  Good design is (in many cases if not always) based on creating something that achieves its purpose effectively with the minimum amount of effort or energy.

The way I run Borderlands is based on those two things.  Not only does working that way save me money but it makes me happy by avoiding something I hate and building something I love.

On reflection it's surprising to me that often, when people talk about recycling and environmentally sustainability, something that seems to me to be an important piece of the picture is given scant attention or even overlooked.  Buying used goods is a great way to recycle as well as saving energy.  In fact, in light of the current interest in "green" business, it seems that any business that sells used goods is a de-facto green business.  Unlike new goods, used goods use no additional raw materials, no additional energy to create plus typically little or no fuel is used to transport them, which reduces energy use as well as decreasing pollution and green house gasses.  At Borderlands we're proud to buy and sell used books.  Furthermore, where possible, we buy used furnishings and office equipment. 

And on a final note, there's another big plus to buying used instead of new -- the money you spend almost always goes directly into your community where it circulates and produces the associated with Local First economics <>.

- Alan Beatts

Origin of the Bookstore, Part the Tenth

For the next three months we'll be doing a special feature each month in honor of Borderlands' upcoming 10th Anniversary (November 3rd, 2007).  We'll share some stories about what Borderlands is and how it got that way.

Second-Hand Things

Much of the furniture and equipment at Borderlands has a curious and checkered past.  Almost everything in the store that wasn't purpose-built by me (often with the very patient help of staff and friends) was either A) bought used, B) a hand-me-down, C) a gift or D) scrounged in some other fashion.  Here's a little list of some of the notable and interesting items -

The glass cases behind the counter were bought from the science department at the College of San Mateo where they were used as microscope cases 'till I got a hold of them.  The cabinets on the back counter came from the same place where they were used for chemical storage (and my, weren't they fun to clean!).  The display case at the front counter displayed cigars and fine liquor in a shop in Noe Valley.  The laser printer at the counter came from the motorcycle shop I used to manage -- applause to Hewlett Packard since it's eleven years old and still going strong.

The two (large, stuffed) cockroach puppets that decorate the cash register came from Community Thrift courtesy of long-time store volunteer Mikael.   They are Saints Gulik, messengers of the Discordian goddess Eris, of whom several prominent store employees are adherents.  If that last sentence looked like gibberish to you, read THE PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA, conveniently for sale at Borderlands, or click here: <>

The light colored bookshelves near the front door were hand-me-downs from my brother when he and his family moved to Japan.  The tall one came from his office and the two shorter ones were my niece and nephew's first real bookshelves.  I bought the display case in front of the office window from my friend Kelleigh, who was the owner of the Ebb-Tide cafe.  She bought it used herself but it never worked in her shop (it was meant to be a pastry case).

Most of the rugs throughout the store have been in my family for generations (my parents and my maternal grandparents were all very fond of Oriental rugs).  I remember crawling around on them as a child and tracing the patterns with my finger.  The blue rug in the office was a gift from a longtime customer, Guy Johnson.  The couch at the rear of the shop (and its larger mate in the back room) were bought via a classified ad in the SF Weekly three days before the store opened in Hayes Valley.  I was in a panic because I concluded that there weren't enough places to sit, so I rushed out and bought those couches.  I think I spent $75 on the both of them.  I still remember the expression on my mother's face when I brought them to the store, where she was helping shelve books.  I said, "Look!  I got 'em for 75 bucks."

And she said, "Really . . . ." while her expression said, "Holy Christ!  What the hell were you thinking?"

I have to admit that they are the least attractive pieces of furniture in the shop but they've grown on me over the past ten years.  The cats, like several generations of unknown cats before them, occasionally use them as scratching posts.  The chairs at the back of the shop, as well as the sideboard (and the oak file cabinets in the office) all came from Cottrell's Moving and Storage.  Now closed, Cottrell's was on Valencia near Duboce and it was _the_ place to get decent furniture for cheap.  If people didn't pay their storage bill for too long, their furniture ended up for sale.  Based on the age of some of the furniture, Cottrell's had been in the storage business for a long, long time.

In the office, my desk is an old WWII vintage receptionist's desk that my mother bought used and then gave to me when I was in high school.  Jude's desk was the one good desk that was left here by the owner of Captain Jacks when I bought him out, prior to moving to the current location. 

All the computers and associated bits were either hand-me-downs from my brother, Joe (it's nice to have a computer programer in the family) or were bought used from various sources, notably the nice folks at PowerMax <> or my friend and computer consultant par excellence, Bill Melcher.

- Alan Beatts

Top Sellers At Borderlands

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
2) Sons of Heaven by Kage Baker
3) Territory by Emma Bull
4) Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
5) Thirteen by Richard Morgan
6) The Gospel of the Knife by Will Shetterly
7) Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey
8) The Devil You Know by Mike Carey
9) Fortress in Shadow: A Chronicle of the Dread Empire by Glen Cook
10) Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis

1) Glasshouse by Charles Stross
2) Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey
3) The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
4) Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
5) The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
6) Year's Best SF 12  edited by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
7) Fugitives of Chaos by John C. Wright
8) Blue Moon by Scott Westerfeld
9) Plague Year by Jeff Carlson
10) Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Trade Paperbacks
1) Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson
2) Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
3) The Year's Best Science Fcition vol. 24 edited by Gardner Dozois
4) Whisky and Water by Elizabeth Bear
5) Snake Agent by Liz Williams

Notes From a DVD Geek

This month I’m psyched.  There’s a truly awesome movie arriving on DVD and chances are most of you were unable to catch it in the theaters.  Now’s your chance to rectify this horrible mistake: run out and watch "The Host".  For those of you who came out to the Variety Screening Room this spring to watch "The Host," you know it’s a truly fabulous giant monster movie that transcends the genre. Great effects, gripping characterizations, and superb performances by the entire cast.  This Korean-made extravaganza comes to the US with a 2 disk special edition that should not be missed.

Speaking of splendidly over the top films we’ve shown at the Variety Screening Room, I’ll bet some of you remember our screening of the long-out-of-print "Flash Gordon" movie, featuring music by Queen, and the greatest performance of Max Von Sydow’s career, as Ming the Merciless.  The new “Savior of the Universe” DVD release features a restored anamorphic disk (for those non-techno-dorks, this means it looks better on your widescreen TV, if you’ve got one of those) and 5.1 surround sound, so as to better hear Brian May’s guitar and Freddy Mercury’s vocals.  Get it!

Speaking of cheesy fun:  "Friday the 13th," and "Friday the 13th Part 2" have just been released as a double feature disk.  I mention this because I have a soft spot for hockey masks and axes (once, in high school, I dressed as Jason for Halloween, and had my axe confiscated, because they felt it was a weapon – I assured them it was a common household object no more dangerous then a baseball bat but they weren’t buying it,) not because they are good movies.  But you may as well see the original movies once more, before the inevitable remakes come around.

Since we seem to be stuck in the 80’s, it behooves me to mention that the classic Jim Henson production "The Dark Crystal" is getting a 2 disk 25th Anniversary DVD release.  Yes, kids, it's been 25 years since "The Dark Crystal" proved Muppets could be creepy and scary and incredibly emotive.  I feel old, now, as I remember seeing this one in the theater.

Okay, so jumping out of the 80's, and back to the present, I want to point out this month's “Masters of Horror” release, "Valerie on the Stairs".  It is based on an original Clive Barker story treatment, and directed by long-time King/Barker adaptor Mick Garris.  The second release is Tom Holland’s "We All Scream for Ice Cream," in which William ("The Devil's Rejects") Forsythe plays “Buster the Clown”.  The mind boggles with wonder and anticipation!

Finally, rounding out this month's DVD releases is a classic Hong Kong film featuring Jet Li:  "The Legend of the Swordsman (AKA The Swordsman 2)".  This period fantasia piece demonstrates why Jet Li rules. . .why Brigitte Lin is hot and why there was cinematic magic in Hong Kong long before "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".  If you’ve never sampled the joys of pre-Crouching-Tiger-Hong-Kong, or wonder why Jet Li is a big deal, give this one a try.

Until next month . . . .

-Jeremy Lassen

Book Club Info

The Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 12th, at 5 pm to discuss FOUNDATION by Isaac Asimov.  The book for September 9th is PUSHING ICE by Alastair Reynolds.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 19th, at 6 pm to discuss THE ISlAND OF DR. DEATH AND OTHER STORIES by Gene Wolfe.  PLEASE NOTE: Due to an in-store event, September's book club will meet on September 23rd instead of September 16th.  The book for September 23rd is SOLARIS by Stanislaw Lem.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present a Miyazaki double feature! "Howl's Moving Castle" (Miyazaki, 2004, 119 minutes) and "Gedo Senki" (Miyazaki, 2006, 115 minutes) at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Thursday, August 9th at 7:00 pm - For more information on "Howl's Moving Castle," click this link, or for more information on "Gedo Senki,", click here.  Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first movie starts at 7:00 pm.  There will be short intermissions between the films.  Seating is limited and seats are available on a first-come, first seated basis, so arrive early!  Refreshments will be available for purchase, and your purchase benefits Variety Children's Charity of Northern California, a non-profit organization that supports children in local communities who are dealing with poverty, neglect, violence, and physical disabilities.  For more information about upcoming movies, write  For more information on Variety Children's Charity, see their web site at  <> or write

Jeff Carlson, PLAGUE YEAR, (Ace, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, August 11th at 1:00 pm - Meet Jeff Carlson and hear about his debut novel PLAGUE YEAR, which is set in post-apocalyptic California.  From the book description: " The nanotechnology was designed to fight cancer. Instead, it evolved into the Machine Plague, killing nearly five billion people and changing life on Earth forever.  The nanotech has one weakness: it self-destructs at altitudes above ten thousand feet.  Those few who've managed to escape the plague struggle to stay alive on the highest mountains, but time is running out -- there is famine and war, and the environment is crashing worldwide.  Humanity's last hope lies with a top nanotech researcher aboard the International Space Station -- and with a small group of survivors in California who risk a daring journey below the death line. . ."  Check out Jeff Carlson's brand-new website here: <>

M. Christian, THE VERY BLOODY MARYS (Haworth Press, Trade Paperback, $12.95), Saturday, August 11th at 3:00 pm - Borderlands is pleased to welcome M. Christian back to the store for a funny, bloody new novel!  From the publisher's site: "He's the only vampire cop around—and a gang of Vespa-riding vampires threaten to drain San Francisco dry!
Big trouble at night in the city.  A gang of Vespa-riding vampires are killing San Franciscans so indiscriminately they threaten to not only drain the city dry—but risk the discovery of vampires everywhere.  Gay vampire cop Valentino is called upon to stop the group calling themselves The Very Bloody Marys before the situation gets worse. Unfortunately, it already has.  You see, Valentino is still only a trainee who is in way over his head now that Pogue, his mentor, is missing.  And this brutal gang is tough, smart, and very, very bloodthirsty.  To do his job, Valentino must move quickly—and carefully—otherwise he may just get himself killed.  What can a creature of the night do?  The only thing he can, track the gang through the haunts of some very odd characters, unravel the mystery, and try to stay out of the sun.
THE VERY BLOODY MARYS is a comic horror novel about vampires, ghouls, faeries, and the undead that move around after dark.  Part chase, part gallows humor, part shivery excitement, this new story from the wildly imaginative M. Christian is funny, frightening, and very entertaining."  You can read a brief excerpt here: <>

Richard Kadrey, BUTCHER BIRD, (Night Shade, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Sunday, August 12th at 3:00 pm - Don't miss the triumphant return of Richard Kadrey!  'If this novel had been rendered in oil or acrylic, it would be kicking world class Lowbrow ass in multi-page spreads in Juxatapose or on the walls of La Luz de Jesus.  Go for it.  The man is mad, in every best way.' — William Gibson

Spyder Lee is a happy man who lives in San Francisco and owns a tattoo shop.  One night an angry demon tries to bite his head off before he's saved by a stranger.  The demon infected Spyder with something awful - the truth.  He can suddenly see the world as it really is: full of angels and demons and monsters and monster-hunters.  A world full of black magic and mysteries.  These are the Dominions, parallel worlds full of wonder, beauty and horror.  The Black Clerks, infinitely old and infinitely powerful beings whose job it is to keep the Dominions in balance, seem to have new interests and a whole new agenda.  Dropped into the middle of a conflict between the Black Clerks and other forces he doesn't fully understand, Spyder finds himself looking for a magic book with the blind swordswoman who saved him.  Their journey will take them from deserts to lush palaces, to underground caverns, to the heart of Hell itself."  We know Richard is awesome, but don't take our word for it. . . Cory Doctorow is raving about him, too: <>

Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, SANDWORMS OF DUNE, (St. Martin's , Hardcover, $27.95), Tuesday, August 14th at 7:00 pm - Join us to meet the charming and personable Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert as they present the long-awaited SANDWORMS!  From Publishers Weekly: ". . .in this much anticipated wrapup of the original Dune cycle (after 2006's HUNTERS OF DUNE).  A large cast scattered across the cosmos must be brought together so that the final, all-powerful Kwisatz Haderach may be revealed in the ultimate face-off between humankind and the machine empire ruled by the implacable Omnius. . ."  Don't miss this chance with these talented authors!

Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Herbert, and Richard Kadrey are guests of SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, August 15th at 7:00 pm - SF in SF is an ongoing monthly reading and discussion series sponsered by Tacyhon Publications and moderated by author Terry Bisson.  For more info see <>.  If you missed Richard  or Kevin and Brian at their solo events, you can catch them here!  Free admission, cash bar, and books for sale by Borderlands.

Steve Berman, VINTAGE: A GHOST STORY (Haworth Press, Trade Paperback, $12.95) and Kat Richardson, POLTERGEIST (New American Library, Trade Paperback, $14.00), Sunday, August 19th at 3:00 pm - Join us for a haunting double author event!  In Steve Berman's novel VINTAGE, the Haworth Press tells us "A lonely gay teen bides his time with trips to strangers' funerals and Ouija board sessions, desperately searching for someone to love—and a reason to live following a suicide attempt.  Walking an empty stretch of highway on an autumn night, he meets a strange and beautiful boy who looks like he stepped out of a dream.  But the vision becomes a nightmare when the boy turns out to be the local urban legend, the ghost of a star athlete killed in 1957—a ghost with a deadly secret and a dangerous obsession. . ."
Joining Mr. Berman will be Kat Richardson, who presents her excellent follow up to GREYWALKER.  In her new novel POLTERGEIST, "A Greywalker capable of negotiating the shadowy realm between the living world and the paranormal, private detective Harper Blaine is hired by a university research group attempting to create an artificial poltergeist, a project that succeeds all too well when one of the group is killed in a brutal and inexplicable manner."  You'll be glad this event takes place during the daytime.

Michael Cadnum, Ellen Klages and Pat Murphy, THE COYOTE ROAD: TRICKSTER TALES (Viking, Hardcover, $19.99), Saturday, September 15th at 3:00 pm -  From the book description: " Coyote.  Anansi.  Brer Rabbit.  Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature—and are a natural choice for the overarching subject of acclaimed editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology.  THE COYOTE ROAD features a remarkable range of authors, each with his or her fictional look at a trickster character. . . Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess.  THE COYOTE ROAD is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction."  And to this we add that Borderlands is delighted to welcome three of our very favorite trickster authors -- Michael, Ellen, and Pat -- as they share their stories from this remarkable anthology. 

Tachyon Publications 12th Anniversary Party and presentation of the annual Emperor Norton awards, Sunday, September 16th - time and guests TBA.

Robert Balmanno, SEPTEMBER SNOW, (Regent Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95), Thursday, September 27th from 12:00 - 4:00 pm - Robert Balmanno joins us in the store for an informal signing.  Meet Mr. Balmanno and hear about his first novel -- a post eco-caust world in which a brave woman leads a rebellion against the corrupt religion that controls everything, even the weather.

Litquake Litcrawl guests to be announced, Saturday, October 13th - More info coming soon.

F. Paul Wilson, BLOODLINE (St. Martin's, Hardcover, $25.95), Sunday, October 28th at 3:00 pm - More info coming soon.

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

This  month we're doing something different with our New Arrivals section.  Instead of a comprehensive list of everything that arrived in July, we're presenting a shorter but more detailed list of ten titles from the big New York publishers and ten from the Indi press.  If you like it (or hate it) please let us know what you think at

Small Press Features

The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron (Hardcover and Signed, Limited Edition (100 copies) Hardcover, Night Shade, $24.95 and $49.00) - This collection of nine terrifying tales of cosmic horror includes the World Fantasy Award-nominated novella "The Imago Sequence," the International Horror Guild Award-nominated "Proboscis,” and the never-before published "Procession of the Black Sloth." Together, these stories, each a masterstroke of craft and imaginative irony, form a shocking cycle of distorted evolution, encroaching chaos, and ravenous insectoid hive-minds hidden just beneath the seemingly benign surface of the Earth.

Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman (Trade Paperback, Haworth Press, $12.95) - See event description above.

In Smog and Thunder:  Historical Works from the Great War of the Californias by Sandow Birk (Last Gasp, Other Softcover, $24.95) - I don't even know where to begin praising this amazing book that showcases an artist's views of the Great War between Northern and Southern California, or The War Between Fog and Smog.  The propaganda posters are especially awesome.  - Recommended by Alan, Ben and Jude.

Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (Trade Paperback, Humdrumming Press, $13.95) - When most of the inhabitants of the City of the dead vanish in the aftermath of a terrible plague on Earth, a (dead) reporter must rally the remaining dead to try to save the life of one woman.  Laura Byrd is trapped in an Antarctic research station and it seems that her memories of the dead are the only thing allowing the few remaining in the City to continue to exist.

The Translation of Father Tarturo by Brendan Connell (Trade Paperback, Wildside Press, $17.95) - Signed copies are available.

World Wide Web and Other Lovecraftian Upgrades by Gary Fry (Trade Paperback, Humdrumming Press, $16.99) - From the publisher, "H.P. Lovecraft isn't dead. He survives. From parody to pastiche, from homage to quite deliberate attempts to deny his influence, modern horror writers have wrestled unspeakably with the master for years.  In this collection of Lovecraftian tales, Gary Fry takes the un-dead writer to task in a sequence of pieces which explores everything that can be done with his fiction.  Here you'll see how the Mythos can be used to inform contemporary concerns, to provoke laughter, to make you think, to employ alternative narrative devices, to be experimental, and more.  One novella and six short stories, including an introduction by Mark Morris and an afterword from the author.

M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman (Hardcover, Subterranean, $60.00) - One of 1000 signed and numbered limited edition copies.  Signed by Neil Gaiman and Gahan Wilson.

Travelers in Darkness edited by Stephen Jones (Hardcover, World Horror Convention 2007/Stephen Jones, $35.00) - One of 600 limited edition copies.  This is the commerative book for this year's World Horror Convention.  Contributors include Michael Marshall Smith, Nancy Kilpatrick, Peter Crowther, Peter Atkins, Joe R. Lansdale, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, David Morrell, Robert J. Sawyer, F. Paul Wilson, Mike Ashley, Dennis Etchison, Neil Gaiman, Nancy Holder, Kim Newman, Norman Partridge, Michael Rowe And Nicholas Royle.  It is profusely illustrated by some of the genre’s major artists - Randy Broecker, Les Edwards, Bob Eggleton, Gary Gianni, Allen Koszowski, and Gahan Wilson.  It also includes a colour portfolio of the work of John Picacio, the artist guest of honor.

Voice of the Whirlwind by Walter John Williams (Trade Paperback, Night Shade, $14.95) - The cyberpunk classic, finally back in print!  Though not quite as strong as HARDWIRED (which has also been reprinted by Nightshade), this is an outstanding novel by one of the best and most versitile authors to come out of the 1980s.  Recommended by Alan and Jeremy.

D.A. by Connie Willis (Hardcover and Signed, Limited Edition (300 copies) Hardcover, Subterranean, $20.00 and $45.00) - Connie Willis’ brews a potent mix of her hallmark, screwball comedy, with Robert A. Heinlein’s beloved juveniles in this novella. Follow plucky heroine Theodora Baumgarten as she attempts to stop herself from being shanghaied in a work Publishers Weekly says “turns a cherished SF theme completely inside out.

New and Notable

A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham (Mass Market, Tor, $7.99) - I'm so pleased that this novel is finally available in mass market.  It starts very slowly, but its fascinating society and three-dimensional characters will endear it to fans of George R.R. Martin.  Recommended by Jude.

Till Human Voices Wake Us by Mark Budz (Mass Market, Bantam, $6.99) - The new novel from the Norton Award winning author of CLADE.  Unlike his other, gritty near future novels, TILL HUMAN VOICES WAKE US follows three characters in different times (the 1930s, the near future and the far, post-human future) as they are pulled together in an attempt to correct a dreadful accident . . . one that may end all the possible futures.

Year’s Best Science Fiction, The - vol. 24 edited by Gardner Dozois (Hardcover and Trade Paperback, St. Martin's, $35.00 and $21.95) - The essential year's best collection now in it's 24th year.  Nothing more really needs to be said.

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis (Hardcover, Morrow, $21.95) - We're very excited about Warren Ellis's novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN.  This book is FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS with a mystery at its heart and perversities instead of drugs as its centerpieces.  A road novel with nothing less than the soul of America at stake.  Not for the faint of stomach, but great nonetheless.  Recommended by Alan and Jude.  Ellis has posted the first chapter here for your edification, but don't say I didn't warn you about the tantric ostrich sex. <>

Spook Country by William Gibson (Hardcover, Penguin Putnam, $25.95) - We have just a few signed copies of Gibson's new novel.

Kop by Warren Hammond (Hardcover, St. Martin's, $24.95) -  (Customer Jim Lively provided us with this review.  Thanks, Jim!) "[Kop] is a gritty first novel in the noir crime/science fiction sub-genre. Detective Juno Mozambe is a dirty cop, ostensibly working on the vice squad, but in reality working as a bag man and former enforcer for the corrupt Chief of Police.  After 25 years on the force, Juno is burnt out, and the Police Chief's control of organized crime and departmental corruption is being seriously challenged.  Hammond creates the main characters well.  Believable dialog and actions give substance to both protagonists and antagonists, and are well supported using extensive flashbacks.  Science  and technology elements are used more to set the mood (humid and reptilian) than to drive the plot.  These devices are so sparse, the story could have taken place in almost any third world country in the past 50 years.  I enjoyed the book, although it is a first novel and has some structural problems, and look forward to more from this author."

Demons Are Forever: Confessions of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner (Trade Paperback, Berkley, $14.00) - Certainly not life-changing literature, but just the thing for Buffy fans seeking a fast, funny read.

Red Seas Under Red Skies - Locke Lamora vol. 2 by Scott Lynch (Hardcover, Bantam, $23.00) - I haven't finished it yet, but so far this looks to be a very worthy successor to the lovable LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA.  Recommended by Jude.

Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder (Mass Market, Tor, $7.99) - From the author's web site, "Young, fit, bitter, and friendless, Hayden Griffin is a very dangerous man.  He’s come to the city of Rush in the nation of Slipstream with one thing in mind: to take murderous revenge for the deaths of his parents six years before.  His target is Admiral Chaison Fanning, head of the fleet of Slipstream, which conquered Hayden’s nation of Aerie years ago.  And the fact that Hayden’s spent his adolescence living with pirates doesn’t bode well for Fanning’s chances . . . .  Standard thriller?  Nautical adventure?  Sun of Suns could be these things, but for the fact that the novel takes place in a world without gravity.  To be exact, the world known as Virga is a balloon three thousand kilometers in diameter, orbiting a distant star. This vast sphere contains only air, water and aimlessly floating chunks of rock.  The humans who live in this bizarre environment build their own fusion suns and “towns” that are basically big wood-and-rope wheels which they spin for centripetal gravity.  They fly home-built fanjets that use bicycle-level technology, and fight wars with jet-powered cylindrical ships that fire broadsides of rockets at one another."  Called by some, "Schroeder's pirate novel" this well reviewed novel is now available in paperback.

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace (Hardcover, Doubleday, $21.95) -  A very mainstream novel about a special magician and his unintentional deal with the devil.  This book will appeal to fans of Wallace's BIG FISH, and also those who liked CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL.  The variety of (literal) freak-show narrators and the small-town ambiance (with its subtle but vicious undercurrent of racism and intolerance) makes this a moving, complicated and bittersweet read.

Featured Upcoming Titles

(These titles have not arrived yet.  You may pre-order any of these books by calling or emailing us.  Prices may be subject to change.  Of course, we have many more titles arriving each week . . . call or email us if you're curious about a particular upcoming title not listed here.)

THE BLADE ITSELF by Joe Abercrombie (Pyr, Trade Paperback, $15.00)

THE ELVES OF CINTRA by Terry Brooks (Ballantine, Hardcover, $26.95)

REAP THE WILD WIND by Julie Czerneda (DAW, Hardcover, $24.95)

THE BONEHUNTERS by Steven Erikson (Tor, Hardcover, $27.95 and Trade Paperback $16.95) - First US editions.

THE GUILD OF XENOLINGUISTS by Sheila Finch (Golden Gryphon Press, Hardcover, $24.95)

A LICK OF FROST - MERRY GENTRY VOL. 6 by Laurell K. Hamilton (Ballantine, Hardcover, $23.95)

MISTRAL'S KISS - MERRY GENTRY VOL. 5 by Laurell K. Hamilton (Ballantine, Mass Market, $7.99)

THE BEST OF LADY CHURCHILL'S ROSEBUD WRISTLET edited by Kelly Link & Gavin Grant (Del Rey, Trade Paperback, $14.95)

MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL by Michael Mccarty & Mark Mclaughlin (Sarob Press Limited Edition $50.00, Deluxe Signed Slipcased Edition $115.00) - The final title from Sarob Press.

MOON FLIGHTS by Elizabeth Moon (Night Shade Books, Hardcover, $24.95, and Signed Limited Edition (125 copies) Hardcover, $49.00)

SPLINTER by Adam Roberts (Solaris, Trade Paperback, $15.00)

RECOVERY MAN by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Roc, Mass Market, $6.99)

THE QUEEN OF CANDESCE by Karl Schroeder (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95

HALTING STATE by Charles Stross (Ace, Hardcover, $24.95)

THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW by Michael Swanwick (Tachyon Publications, Trade Paper, $14.95)

DRAWING DOWN THE MOON: THE ART OF CHARLES VESS by Charles Vess (Dark Horse Comics, Hardcover, $39.95)

EXTRAS by Scott Westerfeld (Razor Bill, Hardcover, $16.99)

THE WINDS OF MARBLE ARCH AND OTHER STORIES by Connie Willis (Subterranean Press, Hardcover, $40.00 and Signed, Limited Edition (200 copies) Hardcover with additional material, $125)

AXIS by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95)

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
Contributor - Jeremy M. Lassen, Jim Lively

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


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