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Events and News from Borderlands Books

October, 2007

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

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

David Farland and Brandon Sanderson Drop-By Signing, Monday, October 8th at 7:00 pm

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present a Satanic double feature: "The Seventh Victim" and "Rosemary's Baby" at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Thursday, October 11th 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 7:00 pm

Kage Baker and Eliot Fintushel are guests of Science Fiction in San Francisco (SF in SF) at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday, October 20th at 7:00 pm

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present a special, additional Halloween double feature TBA at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday, October 27th at 7:00 pm

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

John Levitt, DOG DAYS (Ace, Mass Market, $6.99) Saturday, November 10th at 3:00 pm

Kage Baker and Rudy Rucker read at Live Worms Gallery, 1345 Grant Street, Saturday, November 10th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this section)


* We are sorry to report the death of James Oliver Rigney, otherwise known as Robert Jordan, on September 16th.  Rigney was 58 years old.  Read an obituary by John Clute here: <>

* Borderlands has just received a shipment of beautiful greeting cards with photographs by Karen Zimmerman, who is an exceptional librarian, a friend of the store, and a talented webmaster and photographer.  Several of the images are of Brompton Cemetery in London, and we think you'll really like them.  The cards are $2.95 each.

* Borderlands has also received a selection of gorgeous hand-made journals from the Pettingell Book Bindery in Berkeley.  They may be the finest quality journals you will find for sale in the US, and each is a unique, one-of-a-kind object.  The prices are incredibly reasonable, too, so do check them out the next time you're in the store.

* We've also got calendars -- boy, do we have calendars!  Everything from unicorns to Happy Tree Friends, Giger to Arthur Rackham, Dr. Seuss to Dinotopia, Views From the Hubble Telescope to the Art of Heavy Metal, and so many more.  Somewhere in here, there is a calendar just for you.

* Thanks to Rina Weisman for the following info on the podcast of September's SF in SF event with Howard Hendrix and Scott Sigler: "SF in SF would like to thank Rick Kleffel, of The Agony Column, who was kind enough to podcast this event for SF in SF.  We would also like to thank Ellen Goodman of Variety Children's Charity, for their ongoing support of this program.

Here's the link for this debate:


That leads to an article with links to both the MP3 and the RealAudio (per)version as well.

Here's the link to subscribe to the podcast:


* Robert Morgan from Sarob provided this note: "MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL by Michael McCarty & Mark McLaughlin will not now be published by Sarob Press.  But, according to Mike & Mark, the monster still lives.  The novel will now appear, in 2008, from Corrosion Press (an imprint of Delirium Books)  <>  in both hardcover and paperback."

* So you wanna build a rocket?  Thanks to Ben Thompson for bringing this link to our attention: <>

* It was bound to happen . . . for those of you who are part of both special interest groups, (fans of H.P. Lovecraft and also fans of I Can Has Cheezburger) you must see <>.  You will be astonished (and perhaps made insane) by the eldritch and batrachian horror that is this website.  (And it is funny, too!)  Speaking of Lovecraft, the Lovecraft Film Festival is in Portland, OR, this weekend: <>

From The Office

A collection of miscellany this month.  First, and very much most importantly, I've a favor to ask.  Over the past twelve months we've been writing a series of articles about the history of Borderlands.  A few days ago I realized that there should be one more part, the 13th part in fact, and I knew what it should be about.  If you have time, would you please send me _your_ story about Borderlands?  You are the most important part of our history and I would really like to read (and share) your story.  Write anything you like about the store -- how you came to find us, the best visit you've had with us, the best book that you found here, or anything else you like, and send it to, or mail it to Store History, Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110.  I'll read all the submissions and choose the best ones to go in the next issue of this newsletter.  Even more, the chosen stories will be published in a forthcoming chapbook that collects all our store history articles.  And, as if that isn't cool enough, I'm going to give the author of each story that's chosen a $20 gift certificate!  So get writing 'cause I'm looking forward to reading your story.

Second, along with some of our fellow merchants on Valencia St. we're doing something pretty neat -- Late Night on Valencia.  One of the things that's always bothered me about SF is how the town shuts down so early and so, one night a month, we're going to try to change that.  The first Thursday every month Borderlands is going to stay open 'till ten and several other local merchants will be joining us.  Paxton Gate will be open until eight, Back to the Picture (my personal favorite framing shop and art gallery) will be open until eight, and our new friends across the street at The Curiosity Shoppe (see more below) will be open until nine.  I'm hoping that we'll have some additional late additions to the line up soon and next month it should be even bigger.  So, if you like the idea, come down this Thursday, the 4th, and visit us and our fellows.  Hell, you might even buy something.  Not only should it be a nice evening but you'll be helping to get a new, cool, neighborhood-y part of SF going.

If you want to help even more, tell your favorite merchants on Valencia Street that they should get on board.  Truly, the more the merrier!  If you want more info, just drop me a line.

Last but not least, we have a new neighbor.  The Curiosity Shoppe is opening right across the street at 855 Valencia.  And their grand opening is this Thursday from six to nine.  I haven't been in yet (they wouldn't let me since it wasn't "ready" when I stopped by) but, based on their web site <>, they're our kind of people.  Here's what they say about themselves, "The Curiosity Shoppe is owned and operated by Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom. We left our super fun, kinda crazy lives in New York City and came home to the San Francisco Bay Area to start up the Shoppe for the simple reason that we are obsessed with beautiful things. We're thrilled to be sharing the objects and ideas that delight and inspire us with as many people as possible. Whether it's a favorite art book, a vintage find, a carefully hand-crafted piece of jewelry or a one-of-a-kind painting, we guarantee everything you'll find in the Shoppe is special. The person who dreamed it up gave it their creative all, and we love them for it.  We hope the Curiosity Shoppe will provide you not only with beautiful, hand-crafted items, but will inspire you to embark on a creative adventure of your own. Check out the Craft Room for some of our favorite arts and crafts kits designed to get you on your merry way. "

So, come by for Late Night Valencia, check out our event with Whitley Streiber, and drop by the The Curiosity Shoppe.  Sounds like a fun night to me.

- Alan Beatts

Origin of the Bookstore, Part the Twelfth

For the last eleven months, we've been doing a special feature each month about what Borderlands is and how it got that way.  This is the last of the regular features, but we'll be doing a special, final "Origin" next month highlighting customers' stories.

The Real Story

For reasons only dimly understood even now and too complex to get into here, I decided at 17 that I was best suited to some type of work that involved carrying a gun and dealing with violence.  Many people might have been worried about such a choice for reasons of their safety or health but at the time I was pretty firmly convinced that I wouldn't live to see 30.  I considered the military (too structured and they would make me cut my hair, which has been long for most of my life), the intelligence field (they wanted too much college and I was really sick of going to school), and several other, less respectable, options.  In the end I decided to go to college and study what was called either Administration of Justice (community college) or Criminology (UC and Cal State).  Through a bunch of twists and turns, I ended up doing what I planned and working all over while doing all kind of jobs -- jobs that ranged from interesting to deadly boring, safe to madly dangerous, useful to utterly pointless.  I learned a great deal, met some wonderful people, and I don't regret it for an instant.

And then I hit a wall.

As I was getting better and better at what I did and taking on more and more responsibilities, an essential conflict between my job and my personality become worse and worse.  I've always been a bit unconventional and politically liberal -- though my "liberalism" was only on about half the issues, on the other half I've always been "conservative" (i.e. if they want, I'd like my friends to be able to take their concealed handgun to their same-sex wedding) -- but I was in a field that is conservative to an astonishing degree.  The two things didn't mix well.  A case in point - I went to ridiculous lengths to conceal my real name from my drug-running, motorcycle riding, club-hopping lover of the time because I was (rightly) worried that it could make problems with my security clearance if anyone found out (by the way, my nickname from back then still sticks, to the confusion of many).  Living a double life like that is a strain, even for someone who had done their share of undercover work.

And then there was the job stress.  I was carrying two pagers, from two different companies, because it was so critical that I be reachable 24 hours a day.  At one point, I worked for over a month without a day off.  I've always been able to work pretty hard but that was too much.  I was falling apart physically and emotionally.

So I quit.  Completely.  And radically simplified my life.

A few months later the sum total of my possessions (that weren't in long term storage) fit into one mid-sized duffle bag and two motorcycle saddle bags.  I was sleeping in a different place pretty much every night and I never slept the same place three nights in a row.  I didn't have a job, a mailing address, or a home.  Hell, my life was so simple that I only had _one_ key.  I spent most of my time in San Francisco.  During the days I'd read in cafes, hang out wherever I'd spent the last night, or, if I was tired, I'd go to Golden Gate Park and take a nap.  At night, I'd be at some nightclub either dancing or seeing a band.  I picked up odd jobs, mostly as a roustabout in clubs.  After a while I started working as a DJ and later did some nightclub promoting.  Back then I drank a _lot_ and there were plenty of mornings when I'd wake up not knowing exactly where I was or how I got there.  That I didn't die in a motorcycle crash can only be marked up to a long run of very good luck (near the end I did crash, but I got away easy with just a few torn muscles in my back, a DUI charge, and a busted-up motorcycle).

At the time, I knew exactly what was wrong with me -- I didn't have any idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life; there was nothing that I was striving for or even trying to accomplish (other than getting enough money to keep me in food, booze and smokes).

In retrospect I've come to believe that along with that, I also was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It seems very strange and self-indulgent to be saying that.  After  all, I wasn't in a war and, though there was plenty of stress in my previous career, nothing happened to me that was a fraction as bad as what is happening daily in Iraq.  But, in a large part as a result of talking with a friend who was in Vietnam and who suffered a pretty severe case of PTSD, over the past two years I've started to think that, despite there being (as it seems to me) no good reason for it, that was part of what I was experiencing back then.  (As a side note, it is interesting that my friend will tell anyone who asks that _nothing_ terribly bad happened to him either.)  Whether it is reasonable or justified, I see now that I had all the symptoms associated with PTSD.

Regardless of the details, my state of mind and lifestyle was not one that would have been survivable in the long term.  Thankfully I got tired of the nightclub business about the same time that an old employee of mine got in touch because he was opening a motorcycle repair shop.  He was a good mechanic but he knew that he wasn't well suited to run the office and customer service side of a business.  So he asked me to take over that part.  As he put it, "I saw how you used to deal with people when you carried a gun.  If you could put up with them, you'll be able to put up with customers.  And the best part is . . . no one dies if you make a mistake."  For two years I managed the shop and discovered that I really loved running a small business and helping customers.  But, I also discovered that I worked harder than the owner and started to resent it.  Also, all the same problems were still bugging me.  I didn't feel like I was doing anything with my life and I was very depressed most of the time.  In fact, the depression was getting progressively worse as relations between me and the owner of the shop were going downhill.

Finally I decided that, if I was going to keep on walking around, I had to do something that I cared about.  Opening my own business seemed one of the best choices -- though heading out to Prague and DJ-ing was also a strong contender.  At the very least, if I owned my own business I'd have somewhere to sleep every night (after three years, homelessness was wearing on me and it didn't help with the depression).  So I thought about it for a long time and decided that there was room in SF for a used bookstore that specialized in science fiction, fantasy and horror.  I figured that I could run it by myself, stock it initially with my own books, and make ends meet (significantly aided by my rent-free, motorcycle-riding, Top Ramen-eating lifestyle).

Well, it didn't quite work out that way but it came close.  The space was bigger than I had planned (with equally higher rent), I didn't have enough books to fill it so I bought quite a few from another bookseller who had too many, and it was very quickly obvious that I wouldn't be able to make it work with only used books so I added selected new books as well.  But over all it worked out well.  The space was great.  My landlord never asked if I was living there and I didn't tell him.

For those of you who remember the old store at 534 Laguna Street, it was a warren of small rooms -- three total.  But what most people never saw were the other three rooms.  One was my office by day and at night the couch folded out, the back room concealed a relatively complete kitchen, and there was a full bath in the final room (I still miss the tub there -- it was a huge claw foot and had probably been installed when the building was built in the 19th century).  I had blinds in the front windows and at the end of the day I'd close them.  Well-meaning customers would always point out that I should leave them open so people could see the window displays when the shop was closed.  I just used to smile and think how window shoppers would react to see me wandering around the shop in my bathrobe!

Everything went well for three years.  Business grew steadily and after a year or so I was able to hire Jeremy Lassen to help out around the shop.  That was a huge relief.  From the day that I opened until I hired Jeremy I had worked six days a week, every week except for a few extra days off around Christmas (but it evened out -- the month before Christmas I stayed open seven days a week.  I'd been working 28 days straight by the time the holiday rolled around).

Then three things happened all at the same time - my lease ran out, the dot-com boom got going, and I found out what a bastard my landlord was.  See, I had a second option on my lease for another three years at the same rent.  In December I told my landlord that I wanted to take the option.  He said fine and I forgot about it.  Then the lease ran out in April and he raised the rent.  I mentioned the option and he pointed out that the lease said that I had to ask for it in writing and I had to do so before the first lease ran out.  I told him that I'd talked to him about it in December.  He shrugged.

I wanted to kill him.  Instead I panicked and told all my friends that I was looking for a new space.  And shortly thereafter my mom, bless her, found an ad for the business that was selling-out in our current location at 866 Valencia.

The saga of moving the store has been discussed elsewhere and I'll not repeat it here.  One epilogue that bears mentioning though -- my old landlord did very well during the dot-com boom.  At his height he owned over 20 buildings in San Francisco.  But . . . so far as I've been able to find out, when the crash hit he lost everything.

I should feel bad for him but I don't.

One catch about the new location was that it really wasn't very well set up as a place to live.  But I'm nothing if not flexible and (on good days) imaginative.  Nowadays people sometimes comment on what a nice stock room we have.  It used to be a bit more than that.  In the back room at Borderlands is a closet. If you move the brooms and ladder you might notice the shower head, the fiberglass walls and the drain in the floor  . . . the loft where we now store boxes of used books is almost the exact dimensions of a queen size bed . . . and a bookstore doesn't really need a two-compartment sink in the back room . . . I think you get the picture.  It's been a long time since I've lived at the shop but if, years ago, you ever saw a grey shape flitting around in the back of the store late at night -- it wasn't a ghost.

I had never figured out a good way to install a toilet in the back room.

It's about time to end this tell-all account.  It's ten years later and I'm not the person who opened Borderlands.  I'm hardly ever depressed now and when I am, there's a reason and it passes very quickly.  I don't have nightmares anymore and my drinking is very reasonable (hell, I don't have _time_ for hangovers).  I wouldn't say that book-selling and Borderlands saved my life -- how could I know that?  But I know that I'm happier than I've ever been in my life and I'm very, very proud of what I've been able to build with the kindness and support of my friends (Jet, Bill, Valorie, Jhene, Rain, Hannah, AC, Molly, Tia, Jeremy, Liza, Jason, Loren, Claud, Mikael, Scott, Amanda, Thorn, Cary, Lisa, Heather, Francis, Maddy, Scott, and Ben), my family (Joe, Alexandra, Darran, Steven, Jim, James, Devany and most of all, Valerie and Jude, the two pillars that hold up my world), and you -- my customers.  Thank you all.

- Alan Beatts

Top Sellers At Borderlands

1. Making Money by Terry Pratchett
2. Hilldiggers by Neal Asher
3. Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint
4. Little (Grrrl) Lost by Charles de Lint 
5. The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
6. World War Z by Max Brooks
7. 1634: The Bavarian Crisis by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce
8. Many Bloody Returns: Tales of Birthdays with Bite edited by Charlaine Harris
9.  The Nail and the Oracle by Theodore Sturgeon
10. Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis tie with
      Spook Country by William Gibson

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
2. Princes of the Golden Cage by Nathalie Mallet
3. The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross
4. A Meeting at Corvalis by S.M. Stirling
5. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
6. Undertow by Elizabeth Bear
7. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
8. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman tie with
   A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
9. Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
10. Hounding the Moon by P.R. Frost

Trade Paperbacks
1. Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
2. Grey by Jon Armstrong
3. Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson
4. The Dog Said Bow-Wow by Michael Swanwick tie with
    River of Gods by Ian McDonald
5.  Nova Swing by M. John Harrison

Notes From a DVD Geek

Welcome to the October edition of my DVD column.  This month, there will be a ton of really bad horror movies released on DVD.  I mean . . . just a lot of bad movies.  Because . . . well, it’s October.  And sadly, it's not a terribly good year for horror releases.  I’m going to skip most of the trash, but one piece of trash is notable, because it is the first Dark Castle production to go straight to home video (which is a bad thing) and it features Jeffrey Combs (which is a good thing).  "Return to the House on Haunted Hill".  This movie has none of the cast of the “original remake.” It’s a different director.  And as I said, it is direct-to-video.  But it has Jeffrey Combs eating the scenery, so if you’re a Jeffery Combs fan, pick it up.  Otherwise . . . well, let's move on.

"Twilight Zone, the Movie" is finally being released on DVD.  This was actually a pretty decent anthology film from 1983, wherein some of the best episodes from the original series were re-written.  You could watch this, or you could watch the original episodes.  It's your call, but I’ve got a soft spot for this movie.  I saw it in the theater, and it scared the crap out of me when I was a wee lad.

Still weaving through Sequel Land, we have "28 Weeks Later," the sequel to "28 Days Later".  Not as good or as fresh as the original, but it does have bio-zombies, and rabid anti-American sentiment as subtle as a George Romero movie, so it seems comfortingly familiar in its mediocrity.  

Speaking of mediocrity . . . Michael Bay’s sprawling tribute to everybody's favorite transforming 80’s robot toys hits DVD this month.  It's not horror, but it's strangely horrific.  Kind of like a car wreck . . . if the wrecked car was a giant transforming robot.  Get the special edition of this one because all the fun is in the behind-the-scenes features where we get to see how our childhood dreams get 'transformed' onto the big screen.

Speaking of the big screen, and our childhood . . . Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez turned in one of the freshest concepts last year with "GrindHouse," and this year, each film is being released on DVD separately, with an extended cut.  While some of you may be groaning that "Death Proof" was already too long, with too much oh-so-hip-and-sultry dialogue . . . But I say nay!  You can never have too much oh-so-hip-and-sultry Tarantino dialogue.  Give me the extended cut of "Death Proof".  Give me more Kurt Russel!  Because The Kurt makes everything better.  All hyperbole aside, I really liked "Death Proof," and think that this extended cut plays to Tarantino’s strengths.  (In case you were wondering. . . I know the segue about our childhood has nothing to do with Tarantino, or Rodrieguez, or "GrindHouse" . . . I was just teasing you.)

On the other side of the double bill, we have "Planet Terror," which is an unapologetic bio-zombie extravaganza!  This is the movie that “Resident Evil: The Sleepinducer” wishes it was.  I think Rodriguez has totally outdone himself with this one.  Pure fun.  Pure zombies.  Pure sexy sultry silliness.  Get it.

And, it wouldn’t be October if you didn’t put a Mario Bava movie into your DVD player at least once.  The good folks at Anchor Bay are releasing the Bava Box Set Vol. 2, which features "Four Times That Night," "Dolls for an August Moon," "Roy Cold and Winchester Jack," "Bay of Blood," "Baron Blood," and "Lisa and the Devil".  At least 3 of these are classics that should be on any horror fan's shelf.

Also out this month, after a criminally brief theatrical run, is "Day Watch," the Russian import fantasy/horror movie.  This sequel to "Night Watch" further develops the mythology and cosmology that was introduced in the first film and provides a similarly frenetic editing style that keeps one engaged even when the plot seems a bit hazy.

Finally, there are two really good Halloween pick-ups this year.  The first is the Season One box set of "Masters of Horror," which comes to you in its own mausoleum packaging.  Get all the movies from season one of this Showtime horror series in one place.  This is worth it, if you haven’t been picking them up individually.

The other "Masters of Horror" disk that you need to run out and get is the brand new Tobe Hooper episode, "Damned Thing". This installment alone makes the entire series worthwhile.  It’s the best movie Hooper has done in years, based on a script by Richard Christian Matheson, adapted from a short story by Ambrose Bierce. Great cinematography that transcends the usual low budget look and feel of this series, and an excellent set of performances cap off an outstanding production.  If you see one horror film this October, this one should be it.

Next month, I’ll focus on something besides horror.  I promise.

-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, October 21st at 6 pm to discuss DRACULA by Bram Stoker.  The book for November is FARTHING by Jo Walton.  Please contact Jude at for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

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!

David Farland and Brandon Sanderson Drop-By Signing, Monday, October 8th at 7:00 pm - We're pleased to host an informal drop-by signing with David Farland and Brandon Sanderson!  David's newest novel is WORLDBINDER (Tor, Hardcover, $24.95), volume 6 in his very popular RUNELORDS saga, and Brandon is touring for THE WELL OF ASCENSION (Tor, Hardcover, $27.95), which is book 2 of MISTBORN.  Come by and meet the authors, chat, and have your books signed!

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present a Satanic double feature: "The Seventh Victim" and "Rosemary's Baby" at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Thursday, October 11th at 7:00 pm - Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first movie starts at 7:00 pm.  There will be one thirty-minute intermission between the two 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 Borderlands and upcoming movies, write  For more information on Variety Children's Charity, see their web site at < > or write  For more information on "The Seventh Victim," (Mark Robson, 1943, 71 minutes) see <>.  For more information on "Rosemary's Baby," (Roman Polanski, 1968, 136 minutes) see <>.

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 7:00 pm - "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 <

Kage Baker and Eliot Fintushel are guests of Science Fiction in San Francisco (SF in SF) at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday, October 20th 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.  This month, meet Kage Baker, beloved author of The Company novels, and local author Eliot Fintushel, who has just published BREAKFAST WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE (Bantam, Trade Paperback, $12.00).   Mr. Fintushel will also be performing on the theremin before and after the event.   For more information on SF in SF, see <>.

Borderlands Books and Variety Children's Charity present a special, additional Halloween double feature: TBA at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Saturday, October 27th at 7:00 pm - Check our website for the movie titles soon!

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."

John Levitt, DOG DAYS (Ace, Mass Market, $6.99) Saturday, November 10th at 3:00 pm - Meet local author John Levitt and check out his excellent new urban fantasy, the first in a forthcoming series!  "Mason used to be an enforcer, ensuring that suspect magic practitioners stayed in line.  But now he scrapes out a living playing guitar.  Good thing he has Louie, his magical . . . well, let's call him a dog.  But there are some kinds of evil that even Louie can't sniff out.  And when Mason is attacked by a supernatural assailant, he'll have to fall back on the one skill he's mastered in music and magic -- improvisation."  Find more information about John at <>.

Kage Baker and Rudy Rucker read at Live Worms Gallery, 1345 Grant Street, Saturday, November 10th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm -  From Rudy's blog: "As part of the launch for his new book, POSTSINGULAR, Tor Books is helping Rudy Rucker stage a three-day exhibition and sale of his paintings at the Live Worms Gallery in San Francisco.  The show will run November 9 - 11, Friday through Sunday.  Stop by anytime on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to talk to Rudy, who will be manning the gallery himself."  The opening night party is Friday night, November 9th, from 7 pm - 11 pm.  Rudy will be reading Saturday afternoon 4 pm - 6 pm with Kage Baker, awesome person and prolific author The Company novels.  Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.  Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet these two entertaining authors in an unnatural habitat!  Find a bit more info here: <>

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

AudioVile by Michael Arnzen (Raw Dog Screaming Press, CD, $12.97) - From RDSP's site: "Audiovile is Michael Arnzen at his weirdest and, well, most vile.  Known for his entertaining and over-the-top readings he now takes it one step further with the addition of some musical madness.  This is not so much an audiobook as it is an album of flash fiction, a truly unique experience.  Most of the 16 tracks are taken from the ground-breaking short story collection 100 Jolts but the CD also includes some new material."  You can hear sample tracks here: <>

Sky Horizon by David Brin (Subterranean Press, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (1500 copies) Hardcover, $35.00) - From Sub Press: "'Some of the Math Club nerds have got a real live alien! They're hiding it in a basement rec room.'
High School junior Mark Bamford didn't believe the silly rumor. For one thing, California homes don't have basements.  Besides. A stranded alien?  Such a cliche. A movie rip-off. Couldn't the math geeks think up a better hoax?  Only . . . was it a hoax? What about all those black vans from the super-secret Cirrocco Corp cruising all over town, as if searching for something?  Time to do some investigating of his own.  Only, who could he turn to for help? The skateboarding "X" crowd? The varsity climbing team? When it it came right down to it, should he turn to the least likely ally of them all?  Sky Horizon explores a possibility that has always fascinated, since the days of Homer -- that of strangers from beyond -- and gives it new shape under the deft hand of one of science fiction's modern masters."

Darker by Simon Clark (Cemetery Dance, Signed Limited (1000 copies) Hardcover, $40.00) - Creepy, comic-y cover art by Chad Savage.  From CD: "Writer Richard Young is looking forward to a week at home with his wife and their little daughter.  He thinks it's going to be a pleasant time of barbecues and lazy summer days.  It isn't.  Because the stranger who arrives at their home, begging to be driven to the nearest police station, is being hunted. Hunted by something that cannot be seen, cannot be heard -- yet which has the power to move across the land and crushing flat everything in its path. Stalking -- and killing -- remorselessly.  Within minutes, Richard Young, his family, and the stranger are being pursued relentlessly -- and running for their lives . . ."

W. Paul Cook: The Wandering Life of a Yankee Printer edited by Sean Donnelly (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - From Hippocampus' Website: "W. Paul Cook (1880-1948) is best known as a friend and publisher of H. P. Lovecraft. But there was much more to Cook’s life and work than his relationship with a famous man. . .  The first part of this book is about Cook, with a 70-page biography by the editor, memoirs of Cook by his friends Arthur H. Goodenough, Edward H. Cole, and Walter John Coates, and a bibliography of Cook’s publications (including items published under his "Willis T. Crossman" pen name, the books issued by his short-lived Recluse Press, and his numerous amateur journals) . . . The second part features a generous selection of Cook’s own writings.  In works on subjects ranging from his abhorrence of cruelty to animals, and his opinions of H. P. Lovecraft the writer and the man, to works of social protest written during the depths of the Great Depression, the reader can sample the variety of Cook’s interests and the quality of his writing."

The Spiral Labyrinth - Henghis Hapthorn vol. 2 by Matthew Hughes (Night Shade Books, Trade Hardcover, $24.95 and Signed, Limited Edition (125 copies) Hardcover, $49.00) - Night Shade Books says: "It was bad enough when Henghis Hapthorn, Old Earth's foremost discriminator and die-hard empiricist, had to accept that the cosmos was shortly to rewrite its basic operating system, replacing rational cause-and-effect with detestable magic.  Now he finds himself cast forward several centuries, stranded in a primitive world of contending wizards and hungry dragons, and without his magic-savvy alter ego.  Worse, some entity with a will powerful enough to bend space and time is searching for him through the Nine Planes, bellowing 'Bring me Apthorn!' in a voice loud enough to frighten demons.  This is the follow-up to Majestrum, and the second in a loose trilogy featuring Henghis Hapthorn.  The limited edition will be signed by Matt, and will contain an additional story."

High Seas Cthulhu edited by William Jones (Elder Signs Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) - Stories by Alan Dean Foster, John Shirley, Chris Donahue and others.  How can you not love this book?!  From ESP's website: "Hoist the anchor and set sail for the High Seas!  Discover a time when tall ships ranged the oceans and creatures lurked in the dark depths.  Journey across the world from the reign of pirates to the Age of Napoleon, and learn what fears dwelled in sailors' hearts.  All hands on deck, ready the cannon, and prepare to engage terrors unknown!  Swashbuckling adventure meets the Mythos in this exciting original anthology of Lovecraftian tales."

The Girl Who Loved Animals and Other Stories by Bruce McAllister (Golden Gryphon, Hardcover, $24.95) - From Publishers Weekly: "How far would a person go to protect a loved one? That question is at the heart of many of the 17 stories in McAllister's career-spanning collection. The Vietnam-era novelette Dream Baby (later expanded into a novel) is a powerful story of a combat nurse suffering from prophetic dreams. In The Faces Outside and the title story, young women offer their bodies to save endangered species. The Ark and Kin find people desperate to save their family members, while Assassin and Moving On explore the limits of family ties, and Angels portrays an elderly woman's effort to create a perfect son, no matter the cost. The Boy in Zaquitos pits a near-future Typhoid Mary analogue against his creators. Twilight Zone-style twists drive Southpaw, an alternate history story about star baseball player Fidel Castro; World of the Wars, the story of a Mars colony gone wrong; and Benji's Pencil, about a man awakened from cryosleep who finds the future isn't what he expected. McAllister's haunting work will enthrall any reader who appreciates thoughtful, evocative science fiction."  Lovely cover art by John Picacio.

5 Stories by Peter Straub (Borderlands Press, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition (350 copies) Hardcover, $40) - From Borderlands Press: "A wonderful collection of tales by the horror genre’s most literate and endlessly inventive writers.  'Little Red’s Tango' incorporates a vampire story, miracle legends, a saint’s legend, an epistle, beatitudes, and jazz minutiae within a contemporary faux-gospel.  'Lapland, or Film Noir' is a journey to place of the dark, paranoid crime movies made in Los Angeles between 1948 and 1956, which Straub calls 'one of the most compelling periods in American film history.'   'The Geezers' is a fascinating exercise in withholding everything that might explain what the protagonists and their friends were up to, and describing instead their reactions to the consequences of the unstated actions. It is Straub at his best. 'Donald Duck' is a surreal study of how a family can be changed irrevocably by the decisions of one reckless member.  The final tale, 'Mr. Aickman’s Air Rifle' reveals itself in clever homage as Straub deliberately assumes the mantle of 'a great and respected elder, with felonious intentions.' This is the first time these stories have been collected, and represent a welcome addition to the Straub’s body of work."

New and Notable

The Blade Itself - The First Law, vol. 1 by Joe Abercrombie (Pyr, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - Ben and several customers are raving about this grim heroic fantasy debut.  Ben says "A fantasy novel that combines a famous barbarian who is sick of 'the lifestyle,' an up-and-coming nobleman who is so selfish you just want to slap him, a state-sanctioned torturer who is trying to see every angle in a twisted political labyrinth, and a curmudgeonly ancient wizard whom no one belives.  Throw them all together, have them embark on a tale only hinted at in this fist novel, and you have the beginning of a truly unusual and wonderfully captivating series.  Buy this book -- and this is from someone who doesn't read fantasy!"

Humpty Dumpty in Oakland by Philip K. Dick (Tor, Hardcover, $24.95) - Is it too glib to say "yet another Philip K. Dick novel about luckless people spiraling into madness in Oakland"?  This "non-genre" novel was completed in 1960, but initially rejected by Dick's publishers.  It was published in the UK in 1986, but this is the first US publication.

End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Bantam, Trade Paperback, $12.00) - I'm so pleased that this novel is finally easily available in the US!  I think this is Grimwood's most accessible book to date, and it is wonderful; gritty, grim, noir-ish science fiction that's just weird enough.  Typically for Grimwood, the narrative involves two interlocking stories.  In this case they are linked only by a teenage Cos-Play runaway named Nijie who has stolen a suitcase full of money in near-future Tokyo, saved the life of our AWOL, bar-owning protagonist Kit, and who may or may not be Lady Neku, a fugitive from a depressing and disintegrating clan-war far-future. This is not a happy novel, but it is in its own way about redemption and forgiveness, and reads like a screenplay for a thriller.  Highly recommended by Jude.

The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton (Tor UK, Hardcover, $37.91) - This is the British edition of the first in Hamilton's new Void Trilogy.  The US edition will follow in March of next year.

The Last Mimzy: Stories by Henry Kuttner (Del Rey, Trade Paperback, $13.95) - Glad to see a collection of Kuttner's work back in print.  My only complaint is that C.L. Moore, Kuttner's wife and almost constant co-author, is nowhere credited in the collection.  Otherwise recommended by Jude. (Note: This collection was originally published as The Best of Henry Kuttner.)

Making Money by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, Signed Hardcover, $25.95) - We still have some special signed editions of the newest Discworld book available, but they are going fast!  (These copies are signed on a publisher's tipped-in signature sheet.  They are limited to approximately 1500 copies, but not numbered.)

Splinter by Adam Roberts (Solaris, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - From the cover copy: "When Hector discovers his estranged father has channelled the family fortune into a bizarre survivalist sect who await the imminent destruction of the Earth, he is wracked by feelings of betrayal and doubt. Things change, however, the night an asteroid plummets from space and destroys the planet, leaving Hector and a handful of survivors struggling for survival on a splinter of the Earth."    This book was inspired by the Jules Verne novel OFF ON A COMET, which you can read online here for free, if you like: <>.

Postsingular by Rudy Rucker (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95) - I adore the Publishers Weekly review of Postsingular, so here it is: "Alt-cultural folk strive to save Earth from digitized doom in this novel from the prince of gonzo SF.  A computer mogul's threat to replace messy reality with clean virtuality and by a memory-hungry artificial intelligence called the Big Pig propels nanotechnologist Ond Lutter, his autistic son, Chu, and their allies on an interdimensional quest for a golden harp, the Lost Chord, strung with hypertubes that can unroll the eighth dimension and unleash limitless computing power.  Though he tries to unite the hard and the fuzzy sides of physics, Rucker (Mathematicians in Love) favors the flower power of San Francisco over the number crunching of Silicon Valley.  His novel vibrates with the warm rhythms of dream and imagination, not the cold logic of programming (or, for that matter, plotting).  Playing with the math of quantum computing, encryption and virtual reality, Rucker places his faith in people who find true reality gnarly enough to love."

Halting State by Charles Stross (Ace, Hardcover, $24.95) - Stross fans, rejoice, for this month brings not one but two new books by Charlie.  Here's what Publishers Weekly has to say about HALTING STATE, which is next on my to-be-read pile: "This brilliantly conceived techno-crime thriller spreads a black humor frosting over the grim prospect of the year 2012, when China, India and the European System are struggling for world economic domination in an infowar, and the U.S. faces bankruptcy over its failing infrastructure.  Sgt. Sue Smith of Edinburgh's finest, London insurance accountant Elaine Barnaby and hapless secret-ridden programmer Jack Reed peel back layer after layer of a scheme to siphon vast assets from Hayek Associates, a firm whose tentacles spread into international economies.  The theft is routed through Avalon Four, a virtual reality world complete with supposedly robbery-proof banks.  As an electronic intelligence agency trains innocent gamers to do its dirty work, Elaine sets Jack to catch the poacher.  Hugo-winner Stross (Glasshouse) creates a deeply immersive story, writing all three perspectives in the authoritative second-person style of video game instructions and gleefully spiking the intrigue with virtual Orcs, dragons and swordplay.  The effortless transformation of today's technological frustrations into tomorrow's nightmare realities is all too real for comfort."    And if that's not enough, THE MERCHANT'S WAR, volume four of the Merchant Princes series, will be out October 16th!

Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse, Hardcover, $16.99) - I can't really call it "the fourth novel in the UGLIES trilogy," so let's say it is a "companion volume".  Scott  writes some of the very best (and most popular) young adult fiction going, and has the New York Times bestseller listings to prove it.  EXTRAS takes place in the UGLIES world several years after Tally and the New Smoke have brought down the old regime, and the world is in the best kind of creative chaos.  I can't say more for fear of spoilers, but I recommend the whole series.  - Jude

DVD New Arrivals

Dark Shadows: The Beginning directed by Dan Curtis  (MPI, $59.98, DVD) - Episodes 1-35; June27 - August 12

Toho Pack: The Mysterians, Varan, and Matango directed by Ishiro Toho  (Tokyo Shock, $29.95, DVD)

Swordsman II, (AKA Legend of the Swordsman directed by Ching Siu Tung  (Tai Seng, $14.95, DVD)

God Told Me to Kill directed by Larry Cohen  (Blue Underground, $14.95, DVD)

Zombie directed by Lucio Fulci  (Blue Underground, $19.95, DVD)

Burst Angel 1: Death’s Angel directed by Koichi Ohata  (Funimation, $19.98, DVD) - Anime

Burst Angel 2: A New Tokyo directed by Koichi Ohata  (Funimation, $19.98, DVD) - Anime

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

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