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Events and News from Borderlands Books

September, 2007

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present an apocalyptic double feature: "Miracle Mile" and "12 Monkeys" at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm

Michael Cadnum, Ellen Klages and Pat Murphy, THE 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 with special guests Peter Beagle, Terry Bisson, Dick Lupoff, Grania Davis and many others, Sunday, September 16th from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Howard Hendrix and Scott Sigler are guests of SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, September 19th at 7:00 pm

Robert Balmanno, SEPTEMBER SNOW (Regent Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Thursday, September 27th from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Whitley Strieber, 2012 (Tor, Hardcover, $24.95) Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 pm

Tim Pratt, BLOOD ENGINES, (Bantam, Mass Market, $6.99) Saturday, October 13th at 1:00 pm

LitQuake Litcrawl with special guests Marcus Ewert, Austin Grossman, Tim Pratt, and Scott Sigler, Saturday, October 13th at time TBA

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

(for more information check the end of this section)


* Beloved author Madeline L'Engle, best known for her WRINKLE IN TIME series, passed away Thursday, September 6th, at the age of 88.   L'Engle once said, "A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."  Ms. L'Engle will be missed, but her work will live on.

* Click here for a thought-and-argument provoking statistical survey of the "All Time Top 100 Sci-Fi Books": <>

* A funny story comes to us via Shelf Awareness, a bookselling industry newsletter: "Traveling unannounced in Alice Springs, Australia, Stephen King quietly signed six copies of his books in a Dymocks store on Tuesday and was reported to the staff by a customer for "defacing" books. . ."  The full text of the artivle from the Australian newspaper that first reported it is here: <>

* The winners of the Hugo Awards were announced at the 65 Annual World Science Fiction Convention in Yokohama, Japan.  RAINBOW'S END by Vernor Vinge garnered the award for Best Novel.  For a complete list of the winners, see <>

* Rick Kleffel recently interviewed Borderlands' owner, Alan Beatts, for the Agony Column podcast.  Hear the interview here: <>

* Edward Gorey's DRACULA at the Cartoon Art Museum, August 11, 2007 - January 20th, 2008!  From the CAM:"The Cartoon Art Museum is proud to present Edward Gorey's DRACULA, a unique exhibition of the master artist and illustrator's original set and costume designs, rare production photographs and memorabilia from the Tony Award-winning Broadway Production."  The Cartoon Art Museum is located at 655 Mission Street in San Francisco.  For more information, call 415 CAR-TOON or see <>.  In somewhat related Gorey news, did you know Edward Gorey was a "Star Trek" fan?  Thanks to Rina Elson for pointing us to this enlightening and very funny LiveJournal page, belonging to Shaenon K. Garrity, local author/artist and creator of the legendary comic "Narbonic": <>

* Local news: We don't normally put local news in this newsletter but every once in a while something happens in the Mission that is worth mentioning.  Just a few weeks ago one of our local merchants, Sam Malak, opened a new business.  Sam has run the corner store by Borderlands for years and now he's opened another one, right on the corner of Guerrero and 19th.  But unlike his other store, the Gold Eagle Market, the Guerrero Market has a full deli run by Sam's sister-in-law, Mary, and her husband Eugene.  The staff at Borderlands has been there several times for sandwiches and we've been really pleased with the quality of the food -- especially the tri-tip sandwich and the vegetarian wraps.  In fact, the wraps are so good that Alan, who's a pretty committed carnivore, even liked them.  So, if you live in the neighborhood or are visiting the store sometime and you're craving a quick, reasonably priced sandwich or salad, give the Guerrero Market & Deli a try.

From The Office

It has been a good summer for my reading, so this month I thought I'd talk a little about books that I've read recently that really impressed me.  It's a truism that booksellers are either reading something old or something that hasn't come out yet.  I think it's because we're either working on our stacks (and we all have piles of books to read) of brand news stuff or we're "finally getting to that", fill in the blank, "that I've been meaning to read for months".  Whatever the reason, booksellers are almost always either behind our customers' reading or ahead of them. 

Having said that, the first book I'm going to mention is an exception to that rule.  HILLDIGGERS by Neal Asher arrived at the store very recently and I grabbed it.  I've been a fan of Asher's since 1998 or so when I read THE ENGINEER, his first collection of short work that was published by Tanjen (a now sadly defunct UK small press).  I was crazy about that book and bought up the entire supply of copies available in the US.  And I promptly sold every single one at the then-cover price of around $15.  Now I wish I'd saved some copies since they're hard as hell to find and go for at least $100 now.

Fast-forward to 2007 when Asher has more than a half-dozen novels out, is a pretty big deal in the UK and working towards that in the US.  His Polity universe, in which most (if not all, the jury is still out on whether COWL is a Polity novel or not) of his novels and many of his short stories are set, is perhaps the must interesting and fully-imagined future history since Niven's Known Space and Banks' Culture.  HILLDIGGERS is his most recent work and in some ways I liked it better than the last two (POLITY AGENT and THE VOYAGE OF THE SABLE KEECH).  Not that the last two were poor examples of his work but they both are followups to other novels (BRASS MAN and THE SKINNER, respectively).  HILLDIGGERS, however, introduces a completely new cast of characters and is set on the outskirts of the Polity (the Line, as it's called).  It's a solid piece of writing that demonstrates Asher's increasing skill at starting the reader at the beginning of the action and then filling in the back-story bit by bit throughout the course of the novel.  If you haven't tried Asher yet, HILLDIGGERS is a good place to start (though I still think that THE SKINNER is his best work to date).

Next I'm going to jump way forward and tease you a little.  John Meaney may be familiar to some of you from his Nulapeiron Sequence (PARADOX, CONTEXT, and RESOLUTION).  His newest novel, BONE SONG, is a departure from his other work and I think it's his best yet.  It's a noir-ish detective novel set in a world very different from ours where something like magic (or more accurately, Necromancy) takes the place of much of our technology.  Neither science fiction nor fantasy, BONE SONG is the book that I've been waiting years to find.  Combining the aesthetic of Hammett or Robert Parker with a setting reminiscent of China Mieville's New Crobuzon, it's a remarkable entry into the canon of supernatural investigation.  Here's the catch: although the UK edition is out already I strongly suggest that you wait to read the US edition.  There were a few editorial and textural changes to the US edition that make it a stronger novel.  The bad news -- the US edition won't be out 'til February of next year.  So, you'll just have to wait.  Don't worry though, we'll mention it in this newsletter when we get copies.

Finally, I'll jump back in time and mention that I finally got around to reading Glasshouse by Charles Stross.  I know, I know it's been out forever but the paperback just caught my eye.  If there's anyone out there who hasn't gotten to it yet either -- buy it.  I heard mixed reviews right when it came out (which was part of the reason I waited on it) but I thought it was great.  Some of the riffs he's playing have been around for a while (interstellar teleportation, artificial societies, and human/meta-human/trans-human relations) but he does his usual (and remarkable) job of extrapolating and integrating ideas so that they are a seemingly rock-solid basis for the story, instead of being the centerpiece.  And the story is a lovely paranoid thriller where the no-one-is-what-they-seem element is enhanced by technology that allows effectively instant body switching and even multiple instances of the same personality in duplicate bodies.  The damn thing hooked me completely and cost me sleep, not to mention several hours at work!

That's about all for this month.  Have a lovely fall.

- Alan Beatts

Origin of the Bookstore, Part the Eleventh

For the next two 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.

Moving Books

Anyone who collects books or who is an avid reader knows what a pain moving books can be.  But to really appreciate how bad it can get you have to work at a bookstore (or, gods help you, own one).  As I write this, Borderlands has a total of 18,937 books in the store.  When we moved here from our old location, we only had about half that number.  All of which had to be boxed up in alphabetical order and moved over to the current location.  We were clever (at least a little bit) and found boxes that were exactly the right size to fit three long rows of mass-market paperbacks (those are the small paperbacks) stacked one deep.  At least that meant that the books would stay in order as they were moved.  Then it was just a matter of packing them up.  And packing them up.  And packing them up.

I was busy working on getting the new location into shape and most of the rest of the staff were either working their other jobs or helping me at the new location, so Claud Reich packed almost all the paperbacks by himself.  When I left the bookstore that morning, there was a pile of broken down boxes in the middle of the store about five feet high.  By the time I got back there in the evening, there were three or four piles of boxes in stacks higher than Claud's head (and he's not a short guy -- taller than my six feet, in fact).  When you think of regular moving boxes, that doesn't seem very high, but remember, these boxes were only 4" high.  That is a lot of boxes.  And then there were all the boxes of hardcovers and trade paperbacks.

Of course at the other end they all had to go back on the shelves, but that wasn't too bad since there were plenty of people to do that job . . . except that the order got a little messed up and so we had to take a bunch of books off the shelves and then put them back.  Actually, that happened twice.  The second time we had to take about a quarter of the books down and put them back.  It was OK though -- no one died.  Although I think that someone did say something about throwing me down the stairs (the second mistake was my fault).

So that was a chore but not too bad.  The real pain in the fundament book moves are the "little" rearrangements.  As our long-time customers know, we switch things around at the shop pretty often.  One section will get too crowded and a reshuffle will be in order or I'll have time to make some new shelves and we'll have to move things to get them to fit.  The catch with all of that is that you can't move a full bookshelf.  At least not if you want it to remain looking like a bookshelf and not some strange, non-Euclidian geometry exercise.  So, adding one shelf sometimes means moving a bunch of others.  And that means clearing the shelves.  But where, you might ask, do you put all the books that you've taken off the shelves? 

On any flat surface you can find. 

I can tell you from experience that the floor at the front of the store and the open area in the middle of the shop will accommodate about half of all the hardcovers in the science fiction and fantasy section of the store, if you allow a narrow walkway all around the edge.  After that it gets interesting.

Moving paperbacks has its own special qualities.  There's almost never a problem with where to put them after they come off the shelves (they're small, don't 'cha know) but moving them . . . most people can comfortably hold two hardcovers in each hand.  That's not much of a strain and you really can't carry much more than that effectively.  But paperbacks on the other hand . . .  An average person can carry about 15 inches of paperbacks at once and they can do it fast.  Here's how it works -- you stick one hand into the end of the shelf and then you stick the other hand in part way down.  Now squeeze your hands together, hard.  If you've done it right you can slide the books out of the shelf and they'll stay between your hands long enough to tilt the whole stack so it's vertical.  Then you walk wherever you're going and tilt it back.  The books hit the table or whatever with a "thump" and you're off for more.

The problem is that you have to squeeze _hard_ to do it and it gets tiring for your arms.  After a while you'll slip.  Best case the books just fall to the floor in random order.  You curse, re-sort them, and pick them back up.  But worse case you try to squeeze harder.  This will cause what we booksellers call a book-fountain.  The extra squeeze just as the books are slipping gives them an added push and they'll tend to go up . . . and all over the place.  It's sort of like 52 pickup with paperbacks.  Or throwing the paperback I Ching.

The last piece of icing on the book-moving cake is that Borderlands is open seven days a week year 'round (with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Gay Pride Day).  That means that moving the books around has to happen after closing time and must be finished by noon the next day.  And I'm here to tell you, it's been a close call a couple of times.

- Alan Beatts

Top Sellers At Borderlands

1. Spook Country by William Gibson
2. Sandworms of Dune by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert
3. Hilldiggers by Neal Asher
4. Thirteen by Richard Morgan
5. Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
6. Coyote Road: Trickster Tales edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
7. Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
8. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
9. The Devil You Know by Mike Carey
10. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Plague Year by Jeff Carlson
2. Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
3. Undertow by Elizabeth Bear
4. Sea of Suns by Karl Schroeder
5. Thin Air by Rachel Caine
6. Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
7. Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
8. In Fury Born by David Weber
9. Polity Agent by Neal Asher
10. The Machine's Child by Kage Baker tie with
Clan Corporate by Charles Stross

Trade Paperbacks
1. Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
2. The Very Bloody Marys by M. Christian
3. Grey by Jon Armstrong
4. Poltergeist by Kat Richardson
5. The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks tie with
Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson

Notes From a DVD Geek

Hello everyone. I recently got back from the San Diego Comicon, where I saw all kinds of crazy stuff, including amputee booth models, and way too much CosPlay to contemplate.  Because of this recent over-exposure to all things anime, I feel compelled to tell you about some anime that has made its way to the Borderlands DVD shelves.

First up is "Burst Angel".  This just-released genre-bender mixes sci-fi, action, comedy, and a touch of spaghetti Western into an over-the-top girls-with-guns confection.  The first two volumes/8 episodes of this one are on DVD now.

Another strange anime series that has been getting talked up is the noir/sf series “The Big O”;  (no, the title is not referring to what you think its referring to).  It’s about a futuristic city with 40’s retro styling, whose entire population has lost their memories.  The city is ruled by the police force, and there are giant robots that kind of sit around and don’t really do much.  The title refers to said giant robots.  Think of this as a weird mix of "Dark City" and "Batman The Animated Series," without Batman.  It’s interesting stuff that was apparently shown on the Cartoon Network.  But who has time for cable?  There are now two giant 4-dvd sets available, each containing a 13-episode season.  This is exactly the kind of weird mix of styles and genres that anime does really well.

Moving away from anime, but still speaking of retro;  Media Blasters just released a triple feature box set of Toho Studios movies . . . it’s a nice mix of Giant Monster ("Varan the Unbelievable"), alien invasion ("The Mysterians") and SF/horror ("Matango!"), all from the studio that created "Godzilla".  I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating -- "Matango!, or Attack of the Mushroom People" is a really chilling movie based on a William Hope Hodgson story.  Be sure to check it out.

Another retro cult classic (1969) from Japan that’s just hit DVD is a movie that has the greatest title ever: "The Horrors of Malformed Men".  This one is directed by Teruo Ishii, and follows a man who escapes from an asylum, seeking his doppelganger.  He eventually ends up on an island filled with mad scientists and monstrous things.  

Also retro, but completely different . . . the original gothic/vampire soap opera, "Dark Shadows," is being released in a sequential manner . . . "Dark Shadows - The Beginning Episodes" collects up the first 35 episodes of this classic vampire series.   Remember . . .  without "Dark Shadows," there could be no "Buffy"!

Another box set worth mentioning is only worth mentioning because it’s a box set.  These aren’t good movies by any stretch of the imagination.  But if you put two bad movies in a box set and slap a cheap price on them, suddenly it’s a bargain.  Plus . . . you know . . . these bad movies have zombies, mad scientists and girls with guns.  "Resident Evil," and "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" are now available in one box set, at one low price, making it an irresistible bargain -- just in time for the theatrical release of  yet another bad movie:  "Resident Evil: Extinction".

And finally . . . the ultimate in Sci-Fi cheese.  100 Sci-Fi movies, all in one box set!  That’s right!  100 movies for 1 low price.  You may think that these are probably going to be silly low-budget garbage movies, and you’d be right!  Except there are 100 of them!  You may have seen earlier box sets with similar titles. . . "Sci-Fi Classics: 8 Movie Pack" or "Sci-Fi classics: 50 Movie Pack".  But now, Mil Creek Entertainment has packaged up 100!!! Movies!  All in one box!!  (Shhhh, Jeremy, stop yelling. - ed.) The list of movies includes such "classics" as "Frozen Alive," "Alien Contamination," "The Return of Dr. Mabuse," "They," "She Gods Of Shark Reef," and many others.  Get it while you can, because I can’t image this box set will be available for long.

-Jeremy Lassen

Book Club Info

The Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, October 14th, at 5 pm to discuss SABRIEL by Garth Nix.  The book for November is THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Priest.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 23rd, at 6 pm to discuss SOLARIS by Stanislaw Lem.  Please note that the date of this book club meeting only has been changed.  The book for October is DRACULA by Bram Stoker.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present an apocalyptic double feature: "Miracle Mile" and "12 Monkeys" at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm - MIRACLE MILE  (1989 , 87 minutes, directed by Steve De Jarnett).  Check out the full description on the Internet Movie Database, at this site
 12 MONKEYS (1995, 129 minutes, directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Brad Pitt in his last good movie). Check out the full description on the Internet Movie Database, at this site
Trivia - the novelization was written by Elizabeth Hand.  Get your hands on THAT paperback! 
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

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 with special guests Peter Beagle, Terry Bisson, Dick Lupoff, Grania Davis and many others, Sunday, September 16th from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Please join us for the annual Tachyon Publications Anniversary Party celebrating 12 years of saving the world . . . one good book at a time.
 Authors Peter S. Beagle, Richard Lupoff, Terry Bisson and other special guests!  Giveaways!  Books for sale!  Bring your books to be signed!  Rubber duckies!  Cake!  Food!  Cake!  The fabulous Annual Emperor Norton Awards!  You don't want to miss this always-entertaining party.
Howard Hendrix and Scott Sigler are guests of SF in SF at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, September 19th 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.  There is a cash bar and books will be available for sale from Borderlands.  September's event promises to be a fascinating debate: authors Howard Hendrix and Scott Sigler in conversation; discussing  podcasting, Creative Commons, their respective novels and much, much more.  Check out Cory Doctorow's take on it at  <>  For more info on SF in SF, see <>

Robert Balmanno, SEPTEMBER SNOW (Regent Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Thursday, September 27th from 12:00 pm - 2:00 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.

Whitley Strieber, 2012 (Tor, Hardcover, $24.95) Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 pm - Borderlands is glad to welcome Whitley Strieber for a just-added event!  From Publishers Weekly: "Strieber's epic sequel to 2006's THE GRAYS blends equal parts science fiction thriller, supernatural horror and provocative spiritual speculation.  As struggling author Wylie Dale works on his latest novel, which revolves around an upcoming date when the earth crosses both the galactic equator and the solar ecliptic - a time that the Maya predicted would mark the cataclysmic end of this age - he begins to uncover evidence that what he's writing about is actually happening on a parallel earth.  If nothing is done, on December 21, 2012, gateways will open into this world and reptilian invaders will not only enslave humanity but feast on their succulent souls as well."  Join us for this unusual opportunity to meet Whitley Strieber!

Tim Pratt, BLOOD ENGINES, (Bantam, Mass Market, $6.99) Saturday, October 13th at 1:00 pm - Borderlands is always happy to welcome fairly-local (and now Hugo-Award winning!) author Tim Pratt.  Tim will share his newest novel, an urban fantasy called BLOOD ENGINES.  According to the book's copy: "Sorcerer Marla Mason, small-time guardian of the city of Felport, has a big problem. A rival is preparing a powerful spell that could end Marla’s life–and, even worse, wreck her city. Marla’s only chance of survival is to boost her powers with the Cornerstone, a magical artifact hidden somewhere in San Francisco.  But when she arrives there, Marla finds that the quest isn’t going to be quite as cut-and-dried as she expected…and that some of the people she needs to talk to are dead. It seems that San Francisco’s top sorcerers are having troubles of their own -- a mysterious assailant has the city’s magical community in a panic, and the local talent is being (gruesomely) picked off one by one.
With her partner-in-crime, Rondeau, Marla is soon racing against time through San Francisco’s alien streets, dodging poisonous frogs, murderous hummingbirds, cannibals, and a nasty vibe from the local witchery, who suspect that Marla herself may be behind the recent murders.  And if Marla doesn’t figure out who is killing the city’s finest in time, she’ll be in danger of becoming a magical statistic herself. . ."

LitQuake Litcrawl with special guests Marcus Ewert, Austin Grossman, Tim Pratt, and Scott Sigler, Saturday October 13th at time TBA - "For eight days, from October 6 to 13, Litquake will have everyone talking about books.  Events will feature hundreds of authors from the Bay Area and around the world, from top best-selling writers to rising stars. . .and even a Nobel Prize winner. . .[the] days of programming will feature 22 events and more authors than you can shake (or throw) a drink at in venues ranging from the swank to the rank- plush theaters, nice bars, dive bars, galleries, retail outlets, libraries, laundromats … and even bookstores."  Borderlands is happy to contibute to this year's festival by being a part of the LitQuake LitCrawl, a pub-crawl style series of events that packs a variety of venues on Valencia Street.  We are excited to welcome local authors Marcus Ewert ("Piki & Poko"), Austin Grossman (SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE), Tim Pratt (BLOOD ENGINES) and Scott Sigler (ANCESTOR) to the store for this evening.  Our author guests will do a rapid-fire reading and then stick around to sign books if you wish.  This event is always crowded, high energy, and a whole lot of fun.  For more information about the LitQuake Festival and the LitCrawl, please see <>

F. Paul Wilson, BLOODLINE (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95) Sunday, October 28th at 3:00 pm -  F. Paul Wilson has visited us before, as part of a huge multi-author event, and now we're very pleased to welcome him back for his first Borderlands solo event!   From Publishers Weekly: "A monstrous scheme to create an evil superman through crude efforts at gene jiggering bedevils urban mercenary Repairman Jack in his 11th outing (after 2006's HARBINGERS).  When Jack, a New York City paranormal fixer, agrees to help Christy Pickering break up a relationship between her 18-year-old daughter and an older man, Jerry Bethlehem, he discovers Bethlehem is a violent criminal whose past includes abortion clinic bombings and a stay at a government-funded clinic conducting DNA research.  Pickering is circumspect about her own background and her daughter's paternity.  When Jack probes unspoken links between Pickering and Bethlehem, his investigation intrudes inexplicably upon a shady self-help guru.  Sinuous plot twists and shocking revelations abound, but Wilson manages to pull these wildly disparate plot threads together, and tie them dexterously to the series' overarching chronicle of a battle between occult forces in which Jack serves as a reluctant but responsible warrior.  Like its predecessors, this novel shows why Jack's saga has become the most entertaining and dependable modern horror-thriller series."

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

PROMISES TO KEEP by Charles de Lint (Subterranean Press, Hardcover, $35.00) - From Charles de Lint, posted on Subterranean Press' website: "After Widdershins, I thought I wouldn’t write at length about Jilly again.  I’d promised one more short story about her for Bill at Subterranean Press, but that would be it.  Having left her in a good place at the end of WIDDERSHINS, I didn’t want to complicate her life yet again, so I planned to set the story earlier in her life, during her first year as a student at Butler University.
Except the story grew.  I was having too much fun visiting with this younger Jilly, so I asked Bill if I could expand it and swap it for the “best of Newford” collection that he’d contracted with me.  He agreed, so now I’m busily working away on this as-yet-untitled novella.  It takes place in 1972 and begins with Jilly getting a surprise visit from an old friend--her only friend--from her runaway days.  Interspersed with the main story that leads off from that meeting are flashbacks to pivotal moments in her life: time spent in the Home for Wayward Girls, her life on the street, meeting and working with the Grasso Street Angel, the first time she meets various familiar faces (Geordie, Sophie, etc.), and chronicles how the messed-up street kid she was grew a social conscience, and became the cheerful character we know from later stories.  Although the book does deal with some serious subjects, the tone isn’t all doom and gloom.  And while I hope that those of you familiar with these characters will enjoy this visit with their younger selves, I’m also trying to make it a friendly entry into Newford for new readers.  Lastly, I’m delighted to say that Mike Dringenberg--an artist I’ve wanted to work with for ages--will be doing the cover.  - Charles de Lint"

A THOUSAND DEATHS by George Alec Effinger (Golden Gryphon, Hardcover, $24.95) -  Publishers Weekly praises the collection:"A heartfelt homage to the late (and largely underappreciated) SF author Effinger (1947–2002), this intimate collection of stories revolving around his literary alter ego, hapless genre writer and editor Sandor Courane, offers a poignant glimpse into the author’s psyche . . .  A touching afterword by Andrew Fox as well as visually stunning cover art by John Picacio make this bittersweet collection one to be cherished."  I wasn't even aware that Effinger had written more stories, so this is on the top of my (towering, wobbly) To-Be-Read Pile. - Jude

IN MEMORY OF WONDER'S CHILD: JACK WILLIAMSON APRIL 29, 1908 - NOVEMBER 10, 2006 edited by Stephen Haffner (Haffner Press, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - Appreciations by Joe Haldeman, Frank M. Robinson, Connie Willis and others.  All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Jack and Blanche Williamson Scholarship Fund.

THE ATTIC EXPRESS AND OTHER MACABRE STORIES by Alex Hamilton - (Ash-Tree Press, Hardcover, limited to 500 copies, $47.50) -  From Ash-Tree: "Alex Hamilton first turned his hand to writing macabre stories when it was suggested that he should contribute to Herbert Van Thal's Pan Horror series.  He soon had enough material for a first collection, BEAM OF MALICE, which was published in 1966, and this was followed in 1972 by FLIES ON THE WALL, a volume which is now extremely difficult to come by.  These two collections form the basis of THE ATTIC EXPRESS AND OTHER MACABRE STORIES, but also included here are two stories from a third collection, THE CHRISTMAS PUDDING THAT SHOOK THE WORLD.  In addition, Mr Hamilton has contributed a new tale, 'Night Mare', just to show that he has lost none of the edge demonstrated in his earlier stories.  Settle back with a copy of THE ATTIC EXPRESS and devour the many and varied unpleasant chills from this master of the macabre."

PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE by Nathalie Mallet (Night Shade Books, Mass Market, $7.99) - A mass market from Night Shade?  You read it correctly.  The biggest name in small press publishing is venturing into pocket-sized paperbacks with the release of PRINCES, which is also their 100th title.  Night Shade calls it "a debut novel of mystery, romance, and the occult, in an Arabian Nights-esque setting".  

MOON FLIGHTS by Elizabeth Moon (Night Shade Books, Trade Hardcover, $27.00, and signed, limited edition (125 copies), $49.00) - Introduction by Anne McCaffrey.  Night Shade boasts: "Over the past two decades, few authors have garnered the critical acclaim and fan following of Elizabeth Moon, Nebula Award-winning author of THE SPEED OF DARK, THE DEED OF PAKSENARRION, and REMNANT POPULATION.  MOON FLIGHTS, the definitive Elizabeth Moon short story collection, represents the highlights of an impressive career. Gathering together fifteen tales of fantasy, alternative history, and science fiction, MOON FLIGHTS features an original story, “Say Cheese,” set in the Vatta’s War cosmology, and an all-new introduction by Anne McCaffrey, legendary creator of the Dragonriders of Pern series.  Ranging from humorous high fantasy tales of “The Ladies’ Aid & Armor Society” to gritty, realistic chronicles of far-flung militaristic space opera, former marine Elizabeth Moon’s storytelling mastery and eye for painstaking detail is evidenced in each of the tales contained herein.  When honor, politics, and personal relationships clash against backdrops of explosive battles and larger-than-life action, the result is the breathtaking and astounding fiction found in MOON FLIGHTS. "

THE MIDNIGHT PREMIERE edited by Tom Piccirilli (Cemetery Dance Publications, Hardcover, limited to 1500 signed copies, $40.00) -  From Cemetery Dance: "Featuring Jack Ketchum, Gary Braunbeck, Thomas F. Monteleone, Ray Garton, Brian Hodge, Ed Gorman, Al Sarrantonio, Mick Garris, and many others, these eighteen original tales celebrate Hollywood and the horror movie-going experience with affection, devotion, and fear.  In MIDNIGHT PREMIERE you'll discover how many of these authors have worked in film—as screenwriters, actors, and directors—and put their particular experiences to use in showing you the dark underside of the Hollyweird dream and the LaLa Land facade."

THE TRACER OF EGOS by Victor Rousseau (Spectre Library, Hardcover, limited to 200 numbered copies, $40.00) - THE TRACER OF EGOS is a series of weird-reincarnation tales.  The jacket copy: "Dr. Phileas Immanuel advocated that problems of the abnormal psychic state could be remedied with treatment upon the basic theory of reincarnation. . .But how should the great Greek neurological physician deal with these discarnate -- thieves, murderers, religious madmen, combatants -- souls manifesting themselves in modern-day living persons?"

THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW by Michael Swanwick (Tachyon Publications, Trade Paperback, $14.95) - From Tacyhon's website: "Everything old is new again.  The classics have never been like this before.  Science fiction and fantasy's master of short fiction defies tradition in a new collection that includes time-traveling dinosaurs, a locked-room mystery set in Faerie, the ever-mischievous Coyote, the Tower of Babel, a peculiar bordello, and more.  THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW contains all of the adventures to date of those strangely likeable Post-Utopian scoundrels and con men, Darger and Surplus, plus three Hugo Award-winning stories, and an original novelette of swashbuckling adventure, "The Skysailor's Tale.”  Irresistibly innovative, THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW merges science with literature and fantasy with art, offering stories that are as amusing and enlightening as only Michael Swanwick can be. "

BLACK WIND by F. Paul Wilson (Borderlands Press, Hardcover, limited to 350 signed and numbered copies, $100.00) - From the Borderlands Press website: "After finishing the first three novels of what would become the Adversary Cycle, F. Paul Wilson began work on BLACK WIND, the longest, most intricately plotted and intensely researched novel of his career.  To his dismay, BLACK WIND came to be known as his “lost novel.”  Wilson has never feared mixing genres, but with BLACK WIND, perhaps he went too far.  No one knew how to position a novel that was at once a historical family saga spanning the Roaring Twenties to the final days of World War Two, and yet a conspiracy thriller as well, involving alternate history, cultural fanaticism, and wrenchingly dark supernatural horror. "  This collectible edition is going fast, so reserve your copy now if you want one.  Recommended by Alan.

New and Notable

THE DEVIL'S ROSE by Brom (Harry Abrams, Oversized Hardcover, $22.95) - This new illustrated novel by Brom is, in his words, "basically a tragic Western set in Hell".  It is GORGEOUS, and Ben says it is full of inspirational illustrations for tattoos.  Recommended by Ben and Jude.

THE ELVES OF CINTRA: GENESIS OF SHANNARA vol. 2 by Terry Brooks - From Publisher's Weekly: "Extinction or survival? Brooks keeps readers hanging with the hair-raising second installment (after 2006's ARMAGEDDON'S CHILDREN) of a trilogy blending his bestselling Shannara and Void series . . ."

LITTLE (GRRL) LOST by Charles de Lint (Viking, Hardcover, $17.99) - When T.J. and her family have to move from their farm to the suburbs, T.J. has to give up her beloved horse.  She's depressed and angry until she makes friends with a punky and prickly teen runaway with a much worse attitude than hers.  The twist is that this blue-haired, angst-y grrl is only six inches tall;  much adventure ensues.  A really charming story that will add to de Lint's gaggle of fans. Recommended by Jude.

MANY BLOODY RETURNS: TALES OF BIRTHDAYS WITH BITE edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner (Ace, Hardcover, $24.95) - It doesn't get much more specialized than a vampire/birthday anthology!  Stories by Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Christopher Golden, Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff, and others.

HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE by Lian Hearn (Riverhead, Hardcover, $24.95) - The new first volume of the now-complete Tales of the Otori prequel.

BALTIMORE, OR, THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER AND THE VAMPIRE by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden (Bantam, Hardcover, $25.00) - From Publishers Weekly: "Mignola ("HellBoy") and Golden (THE MYTH HUNTERS) create a haunting allegory on the nature of war, fusing the poignancy of Hans Christian Anderson's THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER, the supernatural chills of DRACULA and the horrors of WWI and the subsequent influenza epidemic.  Years after Capt. (and Lord) Henry Baltimore is infected by a demonic vampire bat while wounded near the Ardennes forest, he summons three friends to a mysterious meeting.  Demetrius Aischros is the merchant sea captain who had taken Baltimore home to Trevelyan Isle, where they found Baltimore's family dead and his wife resurrected as a vampire.  Thomas Childress Jr. is a nobleman and deserter who learns about the vampire infestation from Baltimore, his childhood friend.  Dr. Lemuel Rose is the surgeon who treated Baltimore's war injuries.  Together they help Baltimore face a final showdown with the terrible Red King. Stark monochrome illustrations from Mignola enhance this dramatic tale of war and fear."

SET THE SEAS ON FIRE by Chris Roberson (Solaris, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - From Publishers Weekly: "Roberson adds a pulpy twist to Napoleonic-era naval adventure as the crew of a damaged English frigate finds both paradise and hell on a pair of uncharted Pacific islands.  First Lt. Hieronymus Bonaventure, last seen in PARAGAEA (2006), serves gamely aboard the HMS Fortitude, but longs for something more exciting than harrying galleons across the South Pacific for an aging captain dreaming of padding his retirement stash.  When the Fortitude is badly damaged and blown into mare incognita, the unknown sea, the crew manages to reach a tropical island where the natives are friendly and the ship can be repaired.  An attack by bat-winged creatures foreshadows the danger awaiting on the forbidden island of first volcano, where Bonaventure leads his men when his native lover, Pelani, is kidnapped.  Roberson delivers . . . a well-crafted adventure story for most of the book before delving into the supernatural.  The novel is a good bet for adventure fans who want more than your average Horatio Hornblower clone."  SET THE SEAS ON FIRE was originally published by the small press Clockwork Storybook several years ago, and it is great to see this novel published in a format that will reach a wider audience.  Read a brief interview with Chris here.

BAD MONKEYS by Matt Ruff - Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder, and she's telling the prison psychologist that she's a member of a secret organization dedicated to fighting evil -- not CRIME, you understand, but evil -- and she's part of “The Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons" (that's "Bad Monkeys" for short).  She even has an NC (that's Natural Causes) ray gun that shoots heart attacks!  Is Jane crazy, is she telling the truth, or is something entirely other going on?  A little bit of Philip K. Dick, and a huge dollop of Matt Ruff's crazy humor make this a book you will want to read in one sitting.  Ruff is a writer a bit like Johnathan Lethem, in that I've liked everything I've read by him, but each of his books has a personality entirely its own.  Highly recommended by Jude.

THE SUNRISE LANDS by S.M. Stirling (Roc, Hardcover, $24.95) - First of a new trilogy following DIES THE FIRE, THE PROTECTOR’S WAR and A MEETING AT CORVALIS.

THE NAIL AND THE ORACLE - COMPLETE THEODORE STURGEON, VOL. 11 by Theodore Sturgeon (North Atlantic, Hardcover, $35.00) - Book description: "This book contains ten major stories by the master of science fiction, fantasy, and horror written during the 1960s.  The controversial “If All Men We re Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?” shows the author’s technique of “ask the next question” used in a way that shatters social conventions.  “When You Care, When You Love” offers a prescient vision of the marriage of deep obsessive love and genetic manipulation, written long before actual cloning techniques existed.  “Runesmith” constitutes a rare example of Sturgeon collaborating with a legendary colleague, Harlan Ellison.  Included also are two other rarities: two detective stories and a Western that showcase Sturgeon’s knack for characterization and action outside his usual genre.  “Take Care of Joey” has been read as an allusion to the complex personal relationship between Sturgeon and Ellison, while “It Was Nothing, Really!” hilariously skewers the mores of the military-industrial complex.  As always, these stories demonstrate not only Sturgeon’s brilliant wordplay but also his timeliness, with “Brown-shoes” and “The Nail and the Oracle” standing out as powerful commentaries on the use and abuse of power that might have been written yesterday."  Recommended by Jude and Alan.

DVD New Arrivals

Village of the Damned / Children of the Damned directed by Wolf Rlla and Anton M. Leader (Warner, $14.97, DVD)

Man and the Monster, The directed by Rafael Baledon  (Casa Negra, $19.95, DVD)

Larry Cohen Collection, The: Q the Winged Serpent, God Told Me to Kill, and Bone directed by Larry Cohen  (Blue Underground, $39.95, DVD)

Masters of Horror: Pick Me Up directed by Larry Cohen  (Anchor Bay, $19.98, DVD)

It Lives Again / Island of the Alive directed by Larry Cohen  (Warner, $12.97, DVD) - Double feature of the second and third “It’s Alive” movies.

It’s Alive directed by Larry Cohen  (Warner, $12.97, DVD)

Friday the 13th / Friday the 13th Part 2 directed by Sean Cunningham and Steve Miner (Paramount, $14.99, DVD)

Masters of Horror: Valerie on the Stairs directed by Mick Garris  (Anchor Bay, $14.98, DVD)

Behind the Mask directed by Scott Glosserman  (Anchor Bay, $26.98, DVD)

Masters of Horror: The Black Cat directed by Stuart Gordon  (Anchor Bay, $14.98, DVD)

Masters of Horror: We All Scream for Ice Cream directed by Tom Holland  (Anchor Bay, $14.98, DVD)

Living Coffin, The directed by Fernando Mendez  (Casa Negra, $19.95, DVD)

Fountain, The directed by Darren Aronofsky  (Warner, $27.95, DVD)

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

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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