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Events and News from Borderlands Books

August, 2013

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Editor's Note - You may be aware that we have a blog where this newsletter also appears <>.  At the end of major features in this newsletter you'll find permanent links to the same item on our blog.  These links can be convenient if you want to send just a single article or if you'd like to link to it from your website.

Upcoming Author Events

Seth Harwood, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT (Thomas & Mercer, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, August 17th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF (at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street) with authors Chaz Brenchley and Laura Anne Gilman - Saturday, August 17th at 7:00 pm

Richard Kadrey, KILL CITY BLUES (Harper Voyager, Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday, August 18th at 3:00 pm

Lara Parker, DARK SHADOWS: WOLF MOON RISING (Tor Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Friday, August 23rd at 7:00 pm

Rhys Bowen, HEIRS AND GRACES (Berkley, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, August 24th at 3:00 pm

Kim Stanley Robinson, SHAMAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, September 7th at 2:00 pm (Please note this event starts an hour EARLIER than our usual events, at 2:00 pm.)

Seanan McGuire, CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Roc, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 14th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm

Janet Dawson, DEATH RIDES THE ZEPYHR (Perseverence Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Sunday, September 15th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this section)

Coming up in the next few months, we're delighted to host L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Cat Valente, Steven Brust, and many, many more!

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* LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow is the One City / One Book title for 2013!  In addition to a blur of other wonderful events, there's a LITTLE BROTHER scavenger hunt, starting at the San Francisco Main Library and continuing through Civic Center to the Mission.  It's free to sign up, but you must register your team by September 13th.  More details here: <>

* Charming bit of lit-geek humor.  Thanks, Mikael, for the link: <>

* Overheard in the Cafe:
Q: "Well, what do normal people think about, anyway?"
A: "How the heck should _I_ know?!"

* An asteroid has been renamed in honor of the late Iain M. Banks: <>

* David Gerrold responds to Orson Scott Card.  Orson Scott Card supplied the quote below to Entertainment Weekly magazine <>, following much media attention focused on an intended boycott of the movie "Ender's Game" because of Scott's well-publicized homophobic views.  Below Scott's quote is author David Gerrold's reply, from Gerrold's Facebook page.  (I have quoted them here so readers don't have to sign in to Facebook to read it.)

"Enderís Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state. Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute." -- Orson Scott Card.


After twenty years of despicably virulent homophobia ... no. This is just another detestable characterization of LGBT people -- that we are intolerant.

Intolerant? Of people who want to lock us up, put us in concentration camps, deny us our civil rights? Intolerant? Are you fucking kidding me?

You want me to be tolerant, Scott? First be one of those people who understands. Or to put it bluntly -- get your fucking foot off my neck, then we'll talk tolerance.

See, Scott -- I don't dislike you. I honestly don't. I think you're a very interesting author and you've turned out some works I admire. But you've made PR Mistake Number One. You've sided with hate-mongers. You've targeted a minority and you've characterized yourself as the righteous warrior. That gives you a short-term gain and a long-term loss. Look up  Father Coughlin and Anita Bryant and Kirk Cameron.

Now you've made PR Mistake Number Two -- instead of honestly and sincerely apologizing for the hurt you have caused others, you have doubled down. You have played the martyr card, arguing that you are the victim.

What this demonstrates is that you have no idea of what the issue really is. It's about the 1138 rights, privileges, benefits, and obligations attendant to the civil contract of marriage. It's about social security benefits and inheritance and child custody and joint taxation and deathbed decisions and hospital visitation and adoption and community property and all the other things that you and your wife take for granted. It's about equality in the eyes of the law.

This is the goal that women set out to achieve when they first demanded the right to vote. This is the goal that Dr. Martin Luther King set out to achieve for African-Americans and other minorities when he started the Montgomery bus boycott. This is the goal that Harvey Milk set out to achieve when he opposed CA's Prop 6 and when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Our nation was founded on the idea that "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (people) are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights -- and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Your public statements, Orson Scott Card, put you on the wrong side of that declaration. Until you recognize that your public utterances have been at the service of bigotry and prejudice, there can be no redemption for you in the eyes of the LGBT community. Or anyone else, for that matter.  - David Gerrold

* During a recent email exchange, author Richard A. Lupoff and I were discussing his fifteen years as the in-house book reviewer for Algol/Starship Magazine.  I asked if he remembered many of the books he reviewed, and he cracked me up with the following anecdote, which he kindly gave me permission to quote here:
"As for the reviews in that huge stack of paper, the only one that I remember was a review of Avram Davidson's fur-jockstrap novel, URSUS OF ULTIMA THULE.  I described it as 'a very, very bad book.'  The next time I saw Avram was at a science fiction convention.  Avram drew me aside and in a quiet voice said, 'One "very" would have sufficed.'"

* We're tremendously sorry to report the death of author, musician, activist and counterculture legend Mick Farren.  Farren died after collapsing onstage on Saturday, August 27th. <>

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From The Office

Stability In Bookselling?
by Alan Beatts

The last few years have seen some pretty big shakeups in the bookselling industry.  Probably the biggest shakeup has been ebooks' rise in adoption, driven by Amazon's commitment to the market and the popularity of tablet computers.  Added to that, the closure of Borders Books, the increased success of self-publishing and the contraction of the whole publishing business in the wake of the Great Recession have made for a bumpy time for everyone in the business of books.

However, I think that we're heading into a much more stable time for the business.  I don't foresee anything on the horizon in the near term that will cause any significant changes.  Of course, it's very difficult to predict innovations and so it's certainly possible that something will appear next week that will knock the whole business on its ear again.  But I'd be happy to bet that we'll have a few years, perhaps as many as five, before something truly notable happens.  Here's why --

Although sales will continue to move from physical books to ebooks, we're not going to see the huge shift that happened in the past three years.  Most people who want to use ebooks rather than physical books have already changed their buying habits.  The cost of ebook readers really isn't a barrier anymore (a new Kindle costs $69 and you can find older ones on eBay for as little as $10), you can get almost any book as an ebook, and the various ebook stores are well developed.  Ebooks will continue to gain popularity as people who were on the fence switch, but that may be counteracted by a similar number of people who switch back to physical books after trying ebooks.  I think that the main growth will happen as older readers pass away and younger readers, who have been using tablets most of their lives (many schools are getting tablets for _all_ their students, not the least of which is the Los Angles school district), start to represent more of the book-buying market.  But that is going to be a slow, steady process and not a sudden shift.

If the technology of ebook readers were to get tremendously cheaper - for example, if it was cost-effective to give them away with a minimal purchase of ebooks - that would change the rate that people are switching over.  Since the technology for dedicated ebook readers is all pretty mature, it isn't likely that the component costs will drop sharply, so hugely cheaper readers aren't going to appear soon.  Right now in fact, the main attention is on improving the performance of tablet computers with better displays and improved processor speeds.

Chain Bookstores
Although Barnes and Noble is showing consistently increasing losses and has abandoned the ebook reader market, it's unlikely that it will go the same route as Borders.  Unlike Borders, B&N is carrying relatively little debt but, much more importantly, the Riggio family has effectively complete control over the company.

Len Riggio, the founder, is already in talks to buy the retail side of B&N.  If he does so, it is his express intention to make the company privately held, which means that there will no longer be stock market expectations to satisfy nor share-holders to worry about.  That will mean he can run it as suits him, including ruthlessly closing stores that are performing poorly.  Mr. Riggio is a very capable manager and bookseller.  If he has a free hand, I think that B&N will last as long as he's at the helm.

The low level of debt, Len Riggio's control of the company, and his desire to take the retail stores private in combination mean that Barnes and Noble will not collapse the way that Borders did.

On-Line Bookselling
Like ebooks, the customer shift from brick-and-mortar to on-line has already happened.  There will continue to be a slow shift towards on-line purchasing (especially if Barnes and Noble shrinks its number of stores) but it won't be a sudden shift.  In fact, it may even be balanced out by people moving the other direction as the importance of supporting local businesses continues to penetrate consumer awareness (as it has been for the past decade or so).

Major Publishers
The big New York publishers are in a pretty stable position right now.  The economy has improved to the point that sales are pretty much in line with business as usual.  The big merger of Penguin and Random House has reduced the ranks of publishers by one, but the remaining publishers seem to be stable.  Amazon continues to try to attract authors away from existing publishers but the early "land grab" quality of their efforts has slowed significantly and they are being much more cautious.  Like much else in the business, there will be slow, steady change there but I don't see any sign of sudden shifts.

Despite some notable forays into self-publishing (including Terry Goodkind), it seems that successful, popular authors would prefer to concentrate on writing and leave the rest of the business to publishers, even if it means giving up some control and some money.  There are some exceptions but that seems to be the trend.  Meanwhile, self-publishing has been an excellent way for authors in the mid-list and below to make some money from their backlist, much of which has been out of print.  That means they can spend more time writing and less time chasing a buck, which is probably good for everyone.

Overall, I'm quite optimistic about the next few years.  I'm looking forward to booksellers having a bit of a respite and the opportunity to improve their positions in preparation for the next set of shocks to the business.  I know that I am very much looking forward to a couple of years of "business-as-usual".  Let's hope I get it.

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Top Sellers At Borderlands

1) Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross
2) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
3) Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson
4) Quarry by Iain Banks
5) The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
6) Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine Robins
7) The Long War by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett
8) The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington
9) Storm Surge by Taylor Anderson
10) Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card

1) A Game of Thrones by George R,R, Martin
2) The Long Earth by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett
3) Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
4) Slow Apocalypse by John Varley
5) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
6) Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams
7) Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
8) 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson tie with Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross
9) Wicked Bronze Ambition by Glen Cook
10) A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
Trade Paperbacks

1) Tree of Life, Book of Death: The Treasures of Grania Davis by Grania Davis
2) World War Z by Max Brooks
3) The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente
4) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
5) Deadman's Road by Joe R. Lansdale

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Book Club Info

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 8th, at 5 pm to discuss 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 18th, at 6 pm to discuss THE LONG EARTH by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett.  The book for September 15th is 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Seth Harwood, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT (Thomas & Mercer, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, August 17th at 3:00 pm - We are excited to welcome local author Seth Harwood back to Borderlands!  This time he brings us a taut psychological thriller set in the endless daylight of summer in Alaska.  From the book description: "FBI agent Jess Harding treks back to Anchorage to hunt down a sadistic killer who's reemerged from a five-year hiatus -- a killer who has already slipped her grasp once before. The endless days of an Alaskan summer can't thwart the fiend's plans as he slashes his way through the rural community, where everyone knows your name and always distrusts the outside. With the help of Oscar Linstrom, an old colleague who wants to be more than friends, Jess attempts to immerse herself in the area's culture, leading her to a strange rural village inhabited by Russian Old Believers hell-bent on protecting their way of life. Even the locals are outsiders to the Old Believers, and Jess needs a safe haven in the glare of daylight because a blood-stained message left at the scene of the most recent murder says Jess is no longer the hunter -- but the hunted."

SF in SF (at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street) with authors Chaz Brenchley and Laura Anne Gilman - Saturday, August 17th 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 (night of event) 415-572-1015.  Questions? Email

Richard Kadrey, KILL CITY BLUES (Harper Voyager, Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday, August 18th at 3:00 pm - We're pleased to have Richard back at Borderlands showing off the next installment in the noir-as-Hell Sandman Slim series!  This time James Stark, aka Sandman Slim has managed to misplace a weapon belonging to the banished older gods -- and they are not amused.  As the book jacket puts it, "Somewhere in the kill zone of the former mall is a dead man with the answers Stark needs.  All Stark has to do is find the dead man, get back out alive, and outrun some angry old gods -- and a few killers -- on his tail".  You won't want to miss the next thrilling installment, or the chance to meet Richard Kadrey!

Lara Parker, DARK SHADOWS: WOLF MOON RISING (Tor Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Friday, August 23rd at 7:00 pm - Please join us for an evening with Lara Parker,  one of the stars of the cult classic TV show Dark Shadows!  Lara has written 3 original books set in the world of the series so far, of which this is the third.  From the book jacket:  "When a portrait is lost that has maintained Quentin Collins's youthful appearance for over a century (and has also kept his werewolf curse at bay) Quentin begins to dread the full moon.  Meanwhile, David, the sixteen-year-old heir to the Collins fortune, has fallen in love with Jacqueline, a young girl living at the Old House who is the reincarnation of Angelique.  David and Jacqueline are swept back in time to the prohibition era of the Twenties, where David uncovers the dark secrets of the Collins family history.  Most threatening of all, Dr. Nathanial Blair, an expert in the paranormal, has come to Collinwood because he suspects they are harboring a vampire.  Fortunately, Barnabas Collins has returned to his coffin after a disastrous flirtation with life as a human. Nevertheless, what Blair discovers places the entire Collins family in jeopardy." Lara will read, sign books and answer questions.  Don't miss this very special event!

Rhys Bowen, HEIRS AND GRACES (Berkley, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, August 24th at 3:00 pm - Borderlands is pleased to host Rhys Bowen, reading from her latest Royal Spyness mystery novel!  From the book jacket: "As thirty-fifth in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right -- not in His Majesty's back.  'Here I am thinking the education I received at my posh Swiss finishing school would never come in handy. And while it hasn't landed me a job, or a husband, it has convinced Her Majesty the Queen and the Dowager Duchess to enlist my help.  I have been entrusted with grooming Jack Altringham -- the Duke's newly discovered heir fresh from the Outback of Australia -- for high society.  The upside is I am to live in luxury at one of England's most gorgeous stately homes.  But upon arrival at Kingsdowne Place, my dearest Darcy has been sent to fetch Jack, leaving me stuck in a manor full of miscreants -- none of whom are too pleased with the discovery of my new ward.  And no sooner has the lad been retrieved than the Duke announces he wants to choose his own heir.  With the house in a hubbub over the news, Jack's hunting knife somehow finds its way into the Duke's back.  Eyes fall, backs turn, and fingers point to the young heir.  As if the rascal wasn't enough of a handful, now he's suspected of murder.  Jack may be wild, but I'd bet the crown jewels it wasn't he who killed the Duke.'"  We do hope you'll join us in welcoming the talented and prolific Ms. Bowen to the store!

Kim Stanley Robinson, SHAMAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, September 7th at 2:00 pm - (Please note this event starts an hour earlier than our usual events, at 2:00 pm.) We are very excited to welcome Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy, 2312, and many, many others!  In his latest novel, SHAMAN, (from the book jacket) "he brings our past to life as never before. There is Thorn, a shaman himself. He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories -- to teach those who would follow in his footsteps. There is Heather, the healer who, in many ways, holds the clan together. There is Elga, an outsider and the bringer of change. And then there is Loon, the next shaman, who is determined to find his own path. But in a world so treacherous, that journey is never simple -- and where it may lead is never certain.  SHAMAN is a powerful, thrilling and heart-breaking story of one young man's journey into adulthood -- and an awe-inspiring vision of how we lived thirty thousand years ago."  A new novel from Kim Stanley Robinson is always cause for celebration.  We hope you'll join us!

Seanan McGuire, CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Roc, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 14th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm - We are just delighted to welcome Seanan and the whole circus back to the store!  This will be an extra special event, because (not really a spoiler) CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, the seventh Toby Daye book, is partially set in Borderlands! It is possible we will create a bizarre self-referential fiction loop by celebrating the book in the store with the book that's set in the store, but if so, you won't want to miss the event for sure! Raffles, cupcakes and craziness are guaranteed.

Janet Dawson, DEATH RIDES THE ZEPYHR (Perseverence Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Sunday, September 15th at 3:00 pm - Borderlands is pleased to welcome Janet Dawson (author of the Jeri Howard mystery books) who will be showing off her new stand-alone novel, DEATH RIDES THE ZEPHYR.  This one sounds awesome: "December 23, 1952.  A transcontinental train is stopped cold by an avalanche in a remote Colorado canyon.  There's a murderer aboard, one who has already killed, and will kill again unless stopped. The California Zephyr, with its run from Oakland to Chicago and back, was famous for 21 years for its Vista-Domes, providing a 360-degree view of the spectacular Western scenery.  It is a veritable small city on tracks, populated by passengers from all walks of life and a large crew whose duty it is to keep them safe.  Zephyrette Jill McLeod is the passengers' primary point of contact. She's armed for any emergency -- with a first-aid kit, a screwdriver, and her knowledge of human nature.  But can she figure out a clever plot and stop a ruthless killer?"

Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge unless otherwise stated.  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

Comments and suggestions should be directed to


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