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Events and News from Borderlands Books

OCTOBER, 2004 

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Feature

Tuesday, October 19th at 7 PM

Glen Hirshberg, Dennis Etchison, Peter Atkins
Thursday, October 21st at 8 PM

Aqueduct Press/Tachyon Publications Reading and Signing
Gwyneth Jones, LIFE
Saturday, October 23rd, at 2 PM

DUSK 'TIL DAWN Borderlands Books' Annual Halloween Reading Marathon
Begins Saturday, October 23rd at 6:21 PM and ends Sunday,
October 24th at 7:27 AM

Tuesday, November 2nd at 1 PM

Graham Joyce
Saturday, November 6th at 4 PM

Borderlands 7th Anniversary Sale
Saturday, November 27th, 12 PM to 8PM
(for more information check the end of this section)


Borderlands Books has just received a new shipment of Cat Grey's (founder and creator of the Bunny-of-the-Month Club) truly twisted stuffed animals.  They are very, very wrong, yet so cute!  Just in time for Halloween!

Ed Bryant, Stefan  R. Dziemianowicz, Ann Kennedy, and Hank Wagner have been named judges for the 2005 International Horror Guild Awards which will honor outstanding works in the field of Horror and Dark Fantasy released in 2004.  Kennedy, the newest adjudicator, has been a publisher and editor for over 15 years with her award-winning Buzzcity Press.  Paula Guran serves as the awards' administrator.  The judges are now seeking recommendations for the awards.  Information about the awards and addresses where copies of recommended works may be sent can be found on the IHG Web site ( ).

The 2004 British Fantasy Awards were passed out at Fantasycon Sunday, September 26, 2004. Here are the winners:
+ BEST NOVEL (The August Derleth Fantasy Award): Christopher Fowler, FULL DARK HOUSE (Doubleday)
+ BEST SHORT FICTION: Christopher Fowler, "American Waitress" (Crimewave 7: The Last Sunset, TTA Press)
+ BEST ANTHOLOGY: Stephen Jones, editor, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR: Volume 14 (Robinson/Carroll & Graf)
+ BEST COLLECTION: Ramsey Campbell, TOLD BY THE DEAD (PS Publishing)
+ BEST ARTIST: Les Edwards
+ SPECIAL AWARD (Karl Edward Wagner Award): Peter Jackson, for THE LORD OF THE RINGS

If you missed Ray Garton signing SCISSORS on Saturday, September 11th at Borderlands Books, go the the link below to see pictures of the event.

Subterranean Press has announced that Ray Garton's NIGHT LIFE, the sequel to Garton's vampire classic LIVE GIRLS, is set to ship around Halloween.  Onboard with art are Bob Eggleton (cover) and Glenn Chadbourne (endsheets and interiors).  In other news from SubPress . . . David Morrell's NIGHTSCAPE is being shipped.


March 4, 2004 - St. Louis.  On Demand Machine Corporation, a St. Louis based, development stage company, announced today that it has received a patent infringement jury verdict in its favor against Ingram Industries, Inc., Lightning Source, Inc. and in Federal District court in St. Louis.  "It has taken a very long time, but we are very gratified by this action," said Bruce Baebler, president of ODMC. Mr. Baebler continued, "The company has steadfastly maintained since Ingram commenced Lightning Source's operation in 1998, that they infringed ODMC's patent and were in need of a license.  After all efforts to convince Lightning to take a license failed, we had no choice but to serve the suit to protect our intellectual property. This unanimous verdict by the eight jurors is a validation for our patent, the legal process and ODMC's pioneering technology." The patent was invented by Harvey Ross, the founder of ODMC. Mr. Ross started work on his invention in 1990 at the age of 69. His patent was granted in 1995. In 2001, the Patent Office, in an reexamination, confirmed the validity of the claims upon which the suit was based. Mr. Ross died in January 2002, shortly after the lawsuit was filed. Mr. Ross first approached Ingram for participation in his POD book concept in 1993. Two years later, Mr. Ross and Ingram executed a confidentiality agreement and Mr. Ross shared his business plans and pending patent application details with Ingram.  In September 1996 Ingram told Mr. Ross they were not interested in participating with Mr. Ross. Ingram announced the formation of Lightning Source in the fall of 1997. Within weeks, Mr. Ross notified Lightning that they needed a license.  The lawsuit was filed in October 2001 and went to trial on February 9th. The case went to the jury on the afternoon of March 2, after sixteen days of testimony and proceedings. The jury found that the patent was valid, that the defendants infringed ODMC's '213 patent, and induced others to infringe. The jury awarded ODMC damages of $15,000,000 for past infringement up to the period ending December 2003. The jury also found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Ingram's, Lightning's and Amazon's infringement was willful.  The court could increase the damage up to $45,000,000, plus interest and award ODMC its attorney fees. Additionally, ODMC has asked the court to issue an injunction to prevent future infringement. Representing ODMC in the suit were William Cunningham and McPherson Moore of Polster, Lieder, Woodruff & Lucchessi, l.c. and David B. B. Helfrey and Michael Musich of Helfrey, Simon & Jones, p.c. Both firms are based in St. Louis.

Night Shade Books is bringing Terry Lamsley's  CONFERENCE WITH THE DEAD back in print.  Originally published by Ash-Tree Press in 1996, this collection will see release in 2005.  Meanwhile, shipping are THE BANQUET OF THE LORDS OF NIGHT by Liz Williams (which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly) and SWIFTLY by Adam Roberts.

On October 28th-31st 2004, The World Fantasy Convention comes to Tempe, Arizona. Scheduled guests include Gwyneth Jones, Ellen Datlow, Janny Wurts and many others.  For information, look at their website, or write to World Fantasy 2004, c/o LepreCon, Inc. PO Box 26665, Tempe AZ 85285.

The 2004 World Fantasy Award Nominations are in! The awards will be presented at the 2004 World Fantasy Convention in October (for more information, see above).

Among the nominees are:
For Novel:
K.J.Bishop, THE ETCHED CITY (Prime)
Kij Johnson, FUDOKI (Tor)
Ian R. MacLeod, THE LIGHT AGES (Ace)
Jeff VanderMeer, VENISS UNDERGROUND (Prime)
Jo Walton, TOOTH AND CLAW (Tor)
For Short Fiction:
Charles de Lint, "Circle Of Cats" (Viking)
Maureen F. McHugh, "Ancestor Money" (Scifiction,10/1/03)
Alex Irvine "Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman" (Small Beer Press)
Chris Roberson, "O One" (Roc)
Bruce Holland Rogers, "Don Ysidro" (Wheatland)

For a full listing of all of the nominees, visit the World Fantasy Convention's website at .

The 15th Annual World Horror Convention will arrive in New York City April 7-10, 2005.  Registration is now open with memberships set at $140.  In addition, "Shocklines owner Matt Schwartz is now accepting donations for the Charity Auction that will happen during WHC2005 to benefit PROJECT.ORG, a national pro-child, anti-crime membership association."  For more information visit WHC's website at .

The American Library Association has announced that the week of October 17-23 is "Teen Read Week".  This year's theme is "It's Alive at Your Library!"  "The event is an initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association. YALSA has been helping libraries plan the week-long event which is aimed at encouraging young adults to read. YALSA suggested that "Horror is a favorite genre with teens, and can be used even in the most conservative of communities and schools by focusing on mystery and fantasy elements, or mad science".

From the Office - Print on Demand or
Why Does This Book Cost So Much and Have Such a Bad Cover?

Several years ago a company called Lightning Source started printing books.  A new printing company wouldn't normally be worth much comment but Lightning Source (which was originally called Lightning Print) isn't a normal printer.  They're in the business of what's called Print on Demand publishing, (or POD) and that's not anything like normal printing.

Unlike traditional printing, POD works like this -- a publisher produces an electronic file that is a representation of a complete book; cover, table of contents, layout, the whole deal.  This file is sent to Lightning Source where, for a modest fee (as low as $300 in the early days), they store it and make it ready for the next stage.

The book is announced as being "in print" (despite the fact the no copies exist at this point) and title and price information is then sent to Books In Print and the various book distributors and wholesalers.  Eventually someone will order a copy of the book, either the publisher or a bookstore.  In most cases they will be told that the book is "back ordered" but that it will be available in a week or two.

Then the final stage of POD publishing kicks in.  An order is sent to Lightning Source by the publisher or distributor and the electronic file is sent to a machine that looks a little like a copy machine back at the dawn of time when, instead of fitting on a desktop, they took up a small room of their own.  This machine incorporates, among other things, a really fast laser printer, a big roll of paper, a color laser printer (for the cover) and an automatic fold, glue, and trim unit.  I think you can see where this is going -- electronic file in one end and a finished softcover book spits out the other end.  Needless to say, this is a very simplified explanation of how the whole thing works but it will do to convey the idea.  In short, no copy of the book is printed until and unless there is an order for it.

At first look this seems like a huge boon to independent publishers everywhere.  Instead of having to pay a large printer's bill up front, ship the books somewhere, store them, and then ship them out to your buyers, the POD publisher invests a small sum for the set-up costs (plus, of course, an advance for the author, payment for cover art, and typesetting, proofreading, and layout fees) and then never has to think about the book again.  This publisher doesn't even need to worry about collecting payment for the books sold.  Lightning Source will do that for them and then send them their share of the payment after the production costs have been subtracted.  In all honesty, there are almost no down sides for the publisher other than the cost of the books.

Cost of the books, you ask?  Yup.  Printing using this method is much more expensive on a per copy basis than traditional printing.  As a result POD titles are usually much more expensive than a "normal" book (i.e. $18-$22 instead of $12-$16).  This price difference tends to reduce sales, especially when the price climbs over the magic $20 mark.  Though this is a problem, the typical POD publisher seems to feel that the other benefits outweigh this one down side.

However, when one changes viewpoints to consider the author and the reader, the downsides of POD are much more extensive.  For a first time or relatively new author any book contract may seem like a good deal.  And it's interesting to note that the vast majority of titles published in POD are by relatively new authors or are works in the public domain (which means that the copyright has expired and anyone can publish them without needing the author's permission).  But the problem with a POD contract is that a POD title never goes out of print.  Though this is often touted as a positive quality of POD, it means that it may be difficult or even impossible for an author to get the rights to their book back in their control.  The POD publisher can keep supplying copies of the book for years and years without changing the royalty structure and without ever paying another advance.  Imagine if Stephen King had sold his first book to a POD publisher.  To this day and despite King's success in the field, some small publisher could still be printing copies of CARRIE, sending Mr. King a tiny royalty, and laughing all the way to the bank.

The other problem for an author is the quality of the book's presentation.  "Presentation" is bookseller-speak for things like proofreading, layout, design, and most importantly, the cover.  We all know that we're not supposed to judge books by their covers and we all do it anyway.  Covers are important.  Frequently it's the cover that makes someone pick a book out of all the other books on a shelf and no one buys a books that they don't pick up.  For a new author the cover is even more important since they have no chance of someone picking up their book because they've read the author in the past.  Of secondary importance is the proofreading and layout.  A good layout make a book that is easy to read and bad layout can make an otherwise good book almost unreadable.  Proofreading reflects directly on the author because the average reader doesn't realize that it's primarily the publisher's job to make sure that things like spelling and punctuation are correct.  So, when something is msispelled, the reader thinks that the author didn't know how to spell.  This is not something that convinces a reader that they're reading a quality piece of writing.

But why would the presentation of a POD title not be as appealing as any other book?  Remember my list of the publisher's expenses for a POD title?  Most of those items affect the quality of the presentation.  It's unfortunate, but POD publishers don't seem to think that since they're reducing their outlay for printing from $10,000 to $300 it means that they have $9,700 extra dollars to spend on cover art and top quality proofreading and layout.  Instead, the POD publisher often chooses to keep all the costs as low as possible.  End result?  Proofreading by the publisher's roommate, who has "always been a real good speller" and cover art by the lowest bidder.  Of course there are exceptions -- POD publishers who employ exacting proofreaders and outstanding artists -- but they seem to be a rare breed.

But what does all this matter to readers?  Consider -- POD titles are expensive, often poorly designed and proofread with poor cover art.  More importantly, the authors whose works are published this way are often relatively new and as a result, inexperienced. 

But the real crux of the matter is this -- because of the financial risk, a publisher who invests thousands of dollars on a conventionally printed book is very careful about what they publish.  The thing that they are most careful about is the quality of the stories that they publish because, if the book is bad, they stand a chance of sitting on thousands of copies for years and never making their money back.  The POD publisher doesn't have this worry.  The initial investment is so cheap they can take a risk on almost anything and have a good chance of breaking even in a year at the outside.  So, the most astonishingly poor writing is good enough for POD.  This phenomena is further aggravated by the way that POD is often used by authors to publish their own work.  Once again, there are exceptions to this rule, but in general, if you can't convince someone else that your book is good enough to publish, it probably shouldn't see print.

In a nutshell, POD titles are frequently a comprehensively shoddy product at an inflated price.  So, how can one avoid them?  There are a number of POD operations out there but the biggest, Lightning Source, makes it easy by putting an unusual piece of barcode on all of their products.  If you look at the back side of the last page of a book (not the back cover) and see a barcode at the lower right corner, that's the sign that you're holding a Lightning Source product.  You might be well advised to put it right back on the shelf.  On the other hand, there are some excellent publishers who use POD and there are some great books from otherwise poor POD publishers.  Thankfully, if you're getting this newsletter, you know an independent bookseller who can help you find the jewels amid all the junk.

- Alan Beatts

Book Club Info

The Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, November 14th, at 5 pm to discuss MANY-COLORED LAND by Julian May. The book for December is SINGULARITY SKY by Charles Stross.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, November 21st at 6 pm to discuss ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES by William Gibson. The book for December is FUTURES PAST by A.E. van Vogt.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Tuesday, October 19th at 7 PM, Deborah LeBlanc reading and signing FAMILY INHERITANCE. 

Borderlands is happy to be hosting Deborah LeBlanc as she reads from and signs her debut novel, FAMILY INHERITANCE, which includes some of this Louisiana native's experiences during her training as a Cajun healer.  You can find out more about Deborah at her website, .  Read the first chapter of her novel at .

Thursday, October 21st at 8 PM THE ROLLING DARKNESS REVIEW featuring Glen Hirshberg, Dennis Etchison, and Peter Atkins.

Borderlands Books is thrilled to host THE ROLLING DARKNESS REVIEW, an event which teams up three amazing writers - Glen Hirshberg (nominee for the 2004 World Fantasy Award in both the short story category and for his collection THE TWO SAMS), Dennis Etchison (winner of five British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards) and  author/screenwriter, Peter Atkins (creator of the Hellraiser series).  Please join us at Borderlands as these three acclaimed authors talk about their work and sign copies of their books and collections.  For more details on this event, please look to next month's newsletter.

Saturday, October 23rd at 2 PM AQUEDUCT PRESS/TACHYON PUBLICATIONS reading and signing featuring Gwyneth Jones, Eileen Gunn and L. Timmel Duchamp.

Please join us at Borderlands Books in welcoming authors Gwyneth Jones, Eileen Gunn and L. Timmel Duchamp at our AQUEDUCT PRESS/TACHYON PUBLISHERS reading and signing.  Gwyneth Jones is the winner of the Tiptree Memorial Award and two World Fantasy Awards and creator of the immensely popular BOLD AS LOVE series.  Eileen Gunn is author of the collection, STABLE STRATEGIES AND OTHERS which completely sold out at the recent World Science Fiction Convention.  L.Timmel Duchamp is the author of the acclaimed LOVE'S BODY DANCING IN TIME.  For more details on this event, please check our October newsletter.

Saturday, October 23rd at 6:21 PM to Sunday, October 24th at 7:27 AM

It's become a Halloween tradition here at Borderlands Books to gather everyone together and try to scare the pants off of each other.  With ghost stories to be exact - no jumping out of closets please!  The festivities begin at dusk (Saturday, October 23rd at 6:21 PM) and end at dawn the next day (Sunday, October 24th at 7:27 AM).  Anyone can volunteer to read from one of their favorite (published) ghost or horror stories or opt to just sit back and enjoy the show as others share from their own selections.  Sign-ups begin at dusk. Snacks and beverages will be provided by Borderlands Books.  For more details and information, check the October newsletter, and in the meantime start sifting through your favorite horror stories and prepare for a great night

Tuesday, October 28th to Sunday, October 31st - Table at the World Fantasy Convention

Borderlands, in the form of Alan, Cary, Jude and Lisa, will have a table in the dealers' room at the World Fantasy Convention.  If you're going to be attending, please drop by and say hello.

JUST ADDED! Tuesday, November 2nd at 1 PM, Brian Froud signing GOBLINS! and CHELSEA MORNING

We are so excited that acclaimed artist Brian Froud will be able to drop in and sign some books!  Mr. Froud has illustrated dozens of books including the fantastic GOOD FAERIES, BAD FAERIES.  This is not a formal event, but you are welcome to come by and meet Brian if you have the chance, and of course you can drop books off at the store to be signed or personalized if you won't be able to visit.

JUST ADDED! Saturday, November 6th at 4 PM, Reading and book signing with Graham Joyce

"Graham Joyce writes the kind of novels we keep hoping to find, but rarely do." -Jonathan Carrol
Don't miss this rare opportunity to meet esteemed British author Graham Joyce!  Mr. Joyce is the author of REQUIEM, DARK SISTER, STORMWATCHER, THE TOOTH FAIRY, and the World Fantasy Award winning THE FACTS OF LIFE, as well as several other novels.  He writes in spare, beautiful prose that defies classification and borders on the hallucinatory, and he is incredibly friendly and personable as well.  We're very happy that Graham is going to be stopping by for a visit on his way home from the World Fantasy Convention.

Saturday, November 27th 12 PM to 8 PM, Borderlands 7th Anniversary Sale

Borderlands will be celebrating our 7th anniversary on Saturday, November 27th by having a big one-day sale.  Buy any two used books and get a third one of equal or lesser value for free!  Collectable books are not included in this deal but they will be 10% off all day long, and finally, everything else in the store will be 20% off (artwork excluded).  We'll be giving out door prizes until they run out.  The sale will only run for one day, and this sale only happens once a year, so mark your calendars for Saturday, November 27th.  THANK YOU all for your support.

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), except for some special events.  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 the author's book 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

SHADOWS IN THE DARKNESS by Elaine Cunningham (Tor, First Edition Hardcover, $23.95) - Jude can't wait to read this one, based on the Publisher's Weekly review -- it sounds like a cross between Kim Harrison's DEAD WITCH WALKING and Christa Faust's CONTROL FREAK: "An elf packing heat who enjoys looking like jail bait when necessary is the latest twist on the New Weird—fantasy fused with contemporary mystery tropes laced with erotic undertones. . . In the first of the Changeling trilogy, Cunningham (Windwalker) delivers urban fantasy with a straight face (C.S.I. via Tolkien?), employing the quicksilver pacing typical of such suspense authors as Vachss, Gardner and Koontz.  Gwen "GiGi" Gellman, however, is not a vampire slayer; she's a freelance PI based in Providence on the brink of discovering her DNA is not human.  Cunningham's fey orphan has spent 10 years in law enforcement when an undercover assignment ends with her reputation blown to bits along with two cops.  At 34, Gwen must deal with her growing psychic powers and a second case involving a missing 14-year-old (the first turns up a corpse, unsavory memories and readers asking "Did I miss something?").  Gwen goes undercover into the world of underage erotic dancers at Underhill, a "gentleman's club," and meets the mysterious owner, Ian Forest, whose assistance creates more puzzles.  This is an auspicious debut for a cool crime-solver who could teach Anita [Blake] a thing or two."

THE DARK TOWER - THE DARK TOWER VOL. 7 by Stephen King (Grant/Viking, Hardcover, $35.00) The long-awaited final installment in King's magnum opus!  Gorgeous cover and interior art by Michael Whelan.

GOING POSTAL - A NOVEL OF DISCWORLD by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, Signed First Edition Hardcover, $24.95) - We have just a few copies of the publisher's special signed edition left, so get yours right away!

THE HAUNTING OF ALAIZABEL CRAY by Chris Wooding (Orchard Books, Hardcover, $16.95) - Highly recommended by our Australian bookseller friend Justin Ackroyd of Slow Glass Books.

JOHNATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, Hardcover, $27.95)

PREDATOR'S GOLD - HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES, VOL. 2 by Philip Reeve (Eos, First Edition Hardcover, $16.99)

PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Hyperion, First Edition Hardcover, $17.99)

SO YESTERDAY by Scott Westerfeld (Razorbill, First Edition Hardcover, $16.99)

GLORY ROAD by Robert A. Heinlein (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99)

DAYS OF MAGIC, NIGHTS OF WAR - ABARAT VOL.2 by Clive Barker (Joanna Cotler, First Edition Hardcover, $24.99)

THE GRIM GROTTO - A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS VOL.11 by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, First Edition Hardcover, w/o dust jacket as issued, $11.99)

THE SYSTEM OF THE WORLD - BAROQUE CYCLE VOL.3 by Neal Stephenson (Morrow, First Edition Hardcover, $27.95)

INCUBUS DREAMS - ANITA BLAKE, VOL. 12 by Laurell K. Hamilton (Berkley, First Edition Hardcover, $23.95)

FLASH by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Tor, First Edition Hardcover, $25.95)

RAW SPIRIT: IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT DRAM by Iain Banks (Arrow, UK Import Trade Paperback, $15.35) - Okay, it's not a genre novel at all, but RAW SPIRIT is a lot of fun.  One quarter travelogue, one quarter introduction to Scotch production and tasting, one quarter anti-Bush/Blair government political rant, and one quarter self-indulgent but simultaneously incredibly endearing anecdotes, this is the perfect airplane or beach read for Banks' fans.  Parts of this book, such as Banks' tales of Drunken Urban Climbing, are just snort-soda-out-of-your-nose-funny.  Oh, and if your eyes glaze over at long, loving automobile descriptions, just skip those parts. - Recommended by Jude.

FEVRE DREAM by George R.R. Martin (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - The best Mississippi-Riverboat-Vampire novel ever, now back in print!  Look for Martin's trademark brilliant characterization and careful plotting.  Scary, oppressive, and dazzling.  Recommended by Jude.

MOLVANIA, A LAND UNTOUCHED BY MODERN DENTISTRY by Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner (Overlook, Trade Paperback, $13.95) - Incredibly funny mock travel guide to a fictitious Eastern European country.  The perfect satirical gift for any world traveller in your life, this book perfectly mimics the tone of several different well-known "rah! rah!" style tourist guidebooks. - Recommended by Jude.

QUICKSILVER - BAROQUE CYCLE VOL.1 by Neal Stephenson (Perennial, Trade Paperback, $16.95) - Finally available in non-hernia-inducing trade paperback.

LIGHT by M. John Harrison (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback, $16.00)

AIR by Geoff Ryman (St. Martin's, Trade Paperback, $14.95)

MIRROR, MIRROR by Gregory Maguire (Regan, Trade Paperback, $14.95)

DARK THIRST ed. Angela C. Allen (Pocket, Trade Paperback, $13.00)

MURDER OF ANGELS by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Roc, Trade Paperback, $14.00)

MOUNTAIN MAGIC by David Drake, Eric Flint, Henry Kuttner and Ryk. E. Spoor (Baen, Mass Market, $6.99) - Ignore the inappropriate cover and pick up this collection for David Drake's OLD NATHAN stories alone.  Old Nathan, the gruff, reserved, "cunning man" of the Appalachians who can talk to animals and face down the Devil Himself, is my very favorite Drake character.  These are the sort of stories that make the world outside disappear; I cannot say enough good things about Old Nathan.  And Alan says the Kuttner stories are good, too!  Regrettably, Misters Flint and Spoor novella, which opens the book leaves a bit to be desired.  -Recommended by Jude and Alan.

STARS - ORIGINAL STORIES BASED ON THE SONGS OF JANIS IAN edited by Janis Ian and Mike Resnick (DAW, Mass Market, $7.50) - An uneven collection that nonetheless includes some amazing stories; Kage Baker's and Joe Haldeman's are special standouts. - Recommended by Jude.

METAL SKY by Jay Caselberg (Roc, Mass Market, $6.99) Sequel to WYRMHOLE.

THE CRYSTAL CITY by Orson Scott Card (Tor, Mass Market, $7.99) - The new Alvin Maker novel.

BITTEN by Kelly Armstrong (Plume, Mass Market, $6.99)

GUARDIANS OF THE KEEP - BRIDGE OF D’ARNATH VOL.2 by Carol Berg (Roc, Mass Market, $7.99)

BANNER OF SOULS by Liz Williams (Bantam, Mass Market, $6.99)

FLINX'S FOLLY by Alan Dean Foster (Ballantine, Mass Market, $6.99)

Small Press Features

THE NUTSHELL STUDIES OF UNEXPLAINED DEATH, Corinne May Botz (Monacelli Press, Oversized Hardcover, $36.00)
THE NUTSHELL STUDIES OF UNEXPLAINED DEATH offers an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a master criminal investigator.  Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy grandmother, founded the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard in 1936 and was later appointed a captain in the New Hampshire police.  In the 1940s and 1950s, she built dollhouse crime scenes based on real cases in order to train detectives to assess visual evidence.  She called these teaching tools the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, after a well-known police saying "Convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell."  Still used in forensic training, the eighteen Nutshell dioramas, on a scale of 1:12, display an astounding level of realism and precision:  pencils write, window shades move, and every detail - a newspaper headline, a bloodstain on the rug, an outdated wall calendar, a cartridge casing - becomes a potential clue to the crime. - From the jacket notes:  "The full color dioramas in this book are fantastic.  A 'must see.' " - Recommended by Cary and Jude

LOVE'S BODY, DANCING IN TIME by L. Timmel Duchamp (Aqueduct Press, Trade Paper, $16.00)
"This handful of S.F. tales demonstrates superbly what the genre can really do. Rich with social resonance, these stores elicit the thrill of ideas struggling to manifest as pure drama. Duchamp writes some if the most rewarding science fiction stories you can read today; she is simply and unarguably among the best."
-Samuel R. Delany, author of DHALGREN and NOVA  I don't have much more to add to this very accurate review, except to say that LOVE'S BODY, DANCING IN TIME turned out to be a collection that surprised me, pleasantly, with the sheer beauty of its prose. I can't wait to hear L. Timmel Duchamp talk about it on October 23rd. - Recommended by Madeline

STABLE STRATEGIES AND OTHERS by Eileen Gunn (Tachyon Press, Trade Paperback, $14.95)
STABLE STRATEGIES AND OTHERS is an eclectic collection of short stories told in a completely unique voice.  In "My Fellow Americans," contestants on the Tricky Dick Show in an alternate America try to determine whether show host Richard Nixon is answering the questions truthfully.  "Coming to Terms" is a gorgeous and deeply affecting piece about dealing with the remnants of a parent's death.  Other stories include a weird fruit crisp recipe, and the 'title track' story, Hugo-nominated "Stable Strategies for Middle Management," which will resonate creepily with anyone who has ever had (or has) a corporate job.  All of Gunn's tales are wonderfully odd and appealing. - Recommended by Cary and Jude

OLYMPIC GAMES by Leslie What (Tachyon Press, Trade Paperback, $14.95)
OLYMPIC GAMES features everyone's favorite "on again, off again" couple, Zeus and Hera- alive, fairly well and happily duking it out in present day New York City. Of course, their marital "bliss" ends up messing with the lives of any oracles, naiads, and mortals that get in their way, but what else is new? Leslie What's novel is funny, smart and truly enjoyable thanks to her genuinely engaging characters. - Recommended by Cary

PERFECT CIRCLE by Sean Stewart (Small Beer Press, Hardcover, $24.00 and Trade Paperback, $15.00)
William "Dead" Kennedy has lost his family, his jobs, and most of the fights he's been picking lately.  Worse yet, he sees dead people, and they're not cutting him much slack either.  This is a really cool, different kind of ghost story. - Recommended by Cary

NEW DARK VOICES ed. Shane Ryan Staley (Delirium Books, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover (300 copies), $50.00)

NO TRAVELLER RETURNS by Paul Park (PS, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover (300 copies), $40.00, and Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Trade Paperback (500 copies), $16.00)

MAYFLOWER II by Stephen Baxter (PS, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover (300 copies), $40.00, and Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Trade Paperback (500 copies), $16.00)

TRUJILLO - STORIES BY LUCIUS SHEPARD by Lucius Shepard (PS, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover (500 copies), $50.00, and Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover with slipcase (200 copies), $90.00)

OUT OF HIS MIND by Stephen Gallagher (PS, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Hardcover, (500 copies) $50.00)

WAY STATION by Clifford D. Simak (Old Earth Books, Hardcover, $27.00)

CITY by Clifford D. Simak (Old Earth Books, Hardcover, $27.00)

MAD DOG SUMMER by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean, Signed First Edition Hardcover, $40.00)

A LITTLE BROWN BOOK OF BIZARRE STORIES by Thomas F. Monteleone (Borderlands Press, Signed and Numbered First Edition Hardcover (500 copies), $20.00)

NIGHTSCAPE by David Morrell (Subterranean, Signed Limited Edition Hardcover (1500 copies), $35.00)

THE WHITE HANDS AND OTHER WEIRD TALES by Mark Samuels (Tartarus, Trade Paperback, $17.94)

This newsletter is distributed monthly free of charge and may be redistributed without charge so long all the following information is included.

Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Madeline Ruegg
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Jude Feldman, 

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