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ABOUT THE STORE : NEWSLETTER
DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News from Borderlands Books
Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features
Joy Fowler and Molly Gloss are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Saturday, November 17th at 7:00 pm
Grania Davis, SPECULATIVE JAPAN, (Kurodahan, Trade Paperback, $20.00), Sunday, November 18th at 3:00 pm
(for more information check the end of this section)
*Holiday Hours: Borderlands will be open late for the
holidays starting on Friday, November 23rd and continuing to December
24th. We'll be open from noon to ten pm on Fridays and
Saturdays. From Monday, December 17th to Sunday, December 23rd
we'll be open from noon to ten pm everyday. And, while your
getting your shopping done, remember that we're open by appointment
anytime, day or night, as well. Just give us a call or drop us an
email and we'll take care of you.
*Thanks to everyone who made our 10th Anniversary Sale so much
fun. It was a pleasure to see so many old friends and familiar
faces. We hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did!
* World Fantasy Award Winners: Many congratulations to the winners of
the World Fantasy Awards, which were presented Sunday, November 4th in
Saratoga Springs, NY. The winner for best novel was SOLDIER OF
SIDON by Gene Wolfe. For a complete list of nominees and winners,
*The American Independent Business Alliance is sponsoring America
Unchained! on Saturday, November 17th, 2007. "We’re urging
citizens in communities nationwide to shun chains the Saturday before
Thanksgiving -- to do business only locally-owned -- and generate over
three times the economic activity that day for their home towns as they
would by spending money at chains. It means potentially millions
of added dollars injected into the local economy on just one day! . . .
Sometimes seemingly small acts have an impact bigger than you ever
imagined. Take family spending. You may think you’re just fulfilling
your family’s wants or needs when you shop or dine out. Think
again. The choice of where you spend your money makes a big
difference to your community. Spending your money with locally-owned
independent businesses puts it to work directly helping your
community’s economy—just one way your community benefits from its home
town businesses. They use goods and services of other locally-owned
independent businesses--re-circulating your money about 3.5 times
longer locally than if you spend it at a chain. This creates
greater community health and prosperity.
Now imagine the impact on your community if everyone shopped locally-owned. You can stop imagining and help make it a reality.
On November 17, communities around the country will be urged to
“unchain” for just that one day—to maximize the impact of their dollars
and inject potentially millions more into the local economy through
doing their shopping, dining out and other business only with
locally-owned independent businesses." More information about America
Unchained! here: <http://www.amiba.net/Unchained.html>
*Genre booksellers on the air! Click here to hear interviews with
Del Howison, from Dark Delicacies Bookstore in Los Angeles:
Jack Rems, from Dark Carnival in Berkeley:
And Dave Nee from Other Change of Hobbit in Berkeley:
*From the amusingly named Philip K. Dick blog "Total Dickhead," we find
out that production has wrapped on a cinematic adaptation of Dick's
RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH (with Alanis Morissette!): <http://totaldickhead.blogspot.com/2007/10/production-wraps-on-radio-free-albemuth.html>
*Congrats to local author Simon Wood, who recently won the Anthony
Award for Best Short Story. More news about Simon can be found
*Great author, free book - Solaris Books (an imprint of Black Library)
plans to serialize Chris Roberson's next novel! "BL Publishing is very
excited to announce an exciting new project with Chris Roberson, author
of SET THE SEAS ON FIRE and [the forthcoming] THE DRAGON'S NINE
SONS. THREE UNBROKEN is the next epic novel in the Celestial
Empire sequence and details the explosive war between the Chinese and
Aztec empires as they battle for control of the red planet, Fire
Star. Based on the sixty-four elements of the I-Ching, THREE
UNBROKEN follows the lives of three soldiers from their induction into
the armed forces to their eventual fight for survival on the frontline.
The events of the novel are contemporaneous with those of THE DRAGON'S
NINE SONS, the first novel in the sequence, set to be published by
Solaris in February 2008. In a bold move, Solaris Books plans to
serialise the entirety of THREE UNBROKEN on their website for free, at
a rate of two chapters per week. The project will start in late
November 2007, with details to be confirmed on the Solaris website
nearer the time. The novel will then be published in book form in
2009. Watch the Solaris website at <http://www.solarisbooks.com> for more information."
From The Office
big ten year anniversary has passed. Our sale last weekend was
very well attended and people seemed quite happy with the deals they
found. But the best part was being able to see so many of my
customers from over the years. It really was like old-home
week. Too many things to count made me really happy but here are
some of the high points -
* Having my niece and nephew help with the set-up, and then stick
around to hand out baskets to customers who were having trouble
carrying all the books they picked out.
* Great food catered by my friend Sam, the owner of the
Guerrero Market. Plus a lovely cake from the Noe Valley
Bakery that didn't last anywhere as long as either I expected or the
rest of the staff hoped.
* Visiting with a customer who first came to my shop ten years
ago when she was 13 and who had moved away for years only to discover
Borderlands again only a week previously.
* At one point having four children wandering around the shop who
were all under ten years old and had first visited when they were
literally babes in arms.
* Having our first customer of the day show up at nine-thirty, go get coffee and then hang out while we set up.
It really was a great day and the best possible way to celebrate.
Thanks to everyone who came and here's to the next ten years.
Origin of the Bookstore, Part the Twelfth
the last year, 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
special features, showcasing stories from customers about how they
discovered the store.
I moved to San Francisco on November 10th, 1997 -- 3 days before my
22nd birthday, and apparently, just after Borderlands opened. I don't
remember how I learned about the store, but it must have been a only
few days after I arrived. I had an apartment, a small amount of money,
no job, and a lot of time to wander around this new city I was already
falling in love with. Somehow I found the store, and it's charming
owner, and it's wonderful (if smallish, then) selection. It already
felt like a great place, and I was impressed with the combination of
polish and homeyness -- as much as I appreciate the "scary cave" school
of used bookstores, my eyes and sinuses prefer the Borderlands
approach. Alan told me to come back for the 'official' grand opening. I
did. Books started their inevitable flow from Hayes Valley to the pile
next to my bed (and, occasionally, the other way).
Borderlands became a regular haunt, and I proudly introduced others to
it when I could -- new friends, old friends, my family when they
visited, a charming & lovely woman from the east coast when she did.
10 years have passed. Borderlands has moved, expanded, changed,
acquired new folks (Jude, Ripley, Jeremy, and the others). There've
been amazing events: John Shirley getting flustered while reading an
over-the-top story in front of a grade-school fan, David Brin heckling
the audience, being introduced to Sean Stewart and Karen Joy Fowler at
I've moved (SOMA to the mission, out to Mountain View, back to San
Francisco and the sunset). The charming & lovely woman from the
east coast moved west (and reader, I married her). We have a daughter.
All along the way, this funny little bookstore with the Staff of
Impeccable Taste, cozy feel, and hairless cat have been a part of it.
A decade later, I'm still in love with San Francisco. I stop by
Borderlands whenever I can. It's been a good 10 years. I look forward
to the next ten.
-- James Reffell
I've known Borderlands almost its whole life. I worked in a café
around the corner in Hayes Valley when it first opened, and then was
delighted when it moved over to the Valencia. I've found it to be one
of the most welcoming, clean and well-designed bookstores I've ever
met, with some of the loveliest people. I'm always made welcome and
never made to feel rushed or uneasy about my literary choices (or
anything else, for that matter).
Borderlands embodies something I had sought for quite some time in my
life: the bookstore in the possessive sense. Don't get me wrong, this
is Alan's shop, and we're all clear on (and quite happy about) that.
The thing that's extra wonderful is that it's my bookstore too, and it
belongs to every one of its regulars.
"Where you headed?"
"Oh, thought I‚d head on down to my bookstore."
"Yeah? Which is that?"
"Borderlands, the best sci-fi / fantasy / horror (or supernatural,
depending on your particular bendy-bits) bookstore in the entire Bay
"Killer! Mind if I come along?"
"Heck, no. They sure won't."
Thanks Alan, Jude, Jeremy, Carrie, Heather, Francis, Claude, Ben, and all the evil-elves, for a shop that I can call home.
-- Ian Carruthers
I met my husband at Borderlands! I had bought books from
Tachyon via the old SF Book Festivals, and ebay, so I decided to
attend the 2003 Tachyon Anniversary Party at Borderlands. I asked
Alan to introduce me to Jacob Weisman, publisher, because a.)
I wanted to buy a first edition of The Rhinoceros Who Quoted
Nietzsche from him; b.) I thought
hey, Jacob's cute! and c.) I thought, maybe he reads the
same books I do!
Fast forward...like calls to like, and we were married this
past June. We couldn't have done it without Borderlands, as
not only did they provide friendship (and advice!) BEFORE the wedding,
but we registered at the store, Alan volunteered his services as DJ,
and Jude and Carey were our fantastic bartenders, making sure
all our guests were kept happy. We love you guys!
-- Rina Wiseman
"Finding the Perfect Fix"
One of the ways that I know I'm upset is when I walk into a bookstore
and nothing appeals to me. I'll walk in, look blankly at the shelves of
books, and maybe even look at one or two. But none of them break
through the impenetrable cloud of gray that is me being upset.
When I first walked into Borderlands in January, I had plenty of reason
to be upset. I had left my job in what amounted to the emotional
equivalent of a very-bad-horrible-no-good breakup. And I was two
weeks into what was my first real downtime since the insanity of my
college career knocked me on my arse 7 years ago. And to top it
off, I had read pretty much everything by every author that I already
With the warm, dark wooden floor and the obviously loved rugs,
Borderlands promised me something more than my grayness. See,
generally these bookstores that I walk into when I'm looking for my
literary fix are institutional chains. And trust me. I need
that literary fix. I'm a book addict in the devouring books
sense. In the generally reading at least one if not more books a
week sense. In the horribly inconvenient, "tell me what author to
read next because I've read everything already" sense.
The very lived in, loved in quality here pretty much turns to the gray
shapelessness and says, 'pshaw, I've seen your like before. I've
owned you before and I'll own you again now. Kneel or be vanquished.'
At which point the shapeless mass rolls in on itself, kneels and backs
quickly in the direction of the exit.
So, back to January. I've been told by people that clearly since
my fix of choice is sci-fi and fantasy, that I need to come check this
place out. Clearly. So I finally get off my arse and get it
down to the mission. I walk in, and wander around a bit. I
think I actually picked up one book. Eventually I got up the
nerve to bother the people in the office for a recommendation.
Alan cheerfully came out and helped me. By helped, I mean spent
5-10 minutes walking around the store with me discussing which authors
I liked and then free-associating books and authors he thought I might
enjoy. And generally, he was on point. Especially for
talking with me for all of ten minutes. He got me hooked on one
series to the point where I preordered the latest in the series from
england because it would take too long to come out in the US. Did
I mention that I'm addicted to books?
From that first time, Borderlands has cemented itself in the list of my
favorite places to go visit, to talk about and to recommend to
others. Hell, I've even dragged several of my friends here, for
author talks, or just generally to impress upon them the coolness of
Because deep down, its people doing what they love even when its
aggravating or otherwise not entirely perfect. And its that core
of actual passion for the craft of the written fantastic that imbues
the wooden floor with its warmth, the older rugs with their
'well-loved' look, and the air with the gray-defeating
ninja-attitude. Its the atmosphere that I was looking for and
never found at the previous job, and that one day I still hope I'll
find for myself. In the meanwhile, when I need my fix, I know
where to find it.
-- Hilary Karls
Thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute to this final
article about the history of the store. Each of these stores has
given the whole staff a smile and brightened our days. Thanks for
the support and for the stories. I'm looking forward to the next
ten years of them.
-- Alan Beatts
Top Sellers At Borderlands
1) Halting State by Charles Stross
2) 2012 by Whitley Strieber
3) Bloodline by F. Paul Wilson
4) Making Money by Terry Pratchett
5) Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
6) Fatal Revenant by Stephen Donaldson
7) Spook Country by William Gibson
tie with A Lick of Frost by Laurell Hamilton
8) Ice, Iron and Gold by S.M. Stirling
9) The Merchant's War by Charles Stross
10) The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy tie with Postsingular by Rudy Rucker
Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt
2) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
3) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
4) Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine
5) Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
6) Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
7) Harbingers by F. Paul Wilson
8) Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot
9) Spellbinder by Melanie Rawn
10) Sky People by S.M. Stirling
1) End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
2) Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
3) Rewired: The Post Cyberpunk Anthology edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
4) Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
5) Grey by Jon Armstrong
Notes From a DVD Geek
Hey everyone . . . I’m going to focus on
“Special Edition” re-releases galore this month. That’s right . .
. re-releases of your favorite films and TV shows. Is it really
worth paying for twice? Or should you hang onto your previous
edition, and not bother with the upgrades? These are tough
questions that every cinemaphile faces, and I’m here to
First up is "The Return of the Living Dead". I know I promised to
not talk about horror films, but this is "The Return of the Living
Dead" -- you know, the Greatest. Zombie. Movie. Ever! Now
it's available as a two-disk special edition: everyone’s favorite punk
rock zombie movie gets a slightly better treatment then it had
previously. There is a new commentary track featuring cast
members that is excellent, although occasionally silly, and there is a
really good feature-ette covering the making of this film.
There’s also a generic and not terribly exciting mini-documentary on
80’s horror, which is mostly forgettable. The picture quality is
the same as the previous version, and there is no new cut, or version
of the film. It’s the same one from the first DVD, and it
features some of the same minor problems regarding dialogue replacement
and some song synching issues that were different in the VHS/laser disk
edition. Not perfect, but slightly better. If you don’t own
the earlier DVD version, well, you’re a bad person, but you can make up
for it by buying the special edition DVD right now. If you
do own it, you're probably a total fan of this movie, and it's worth
getting, even if it doesn’t include some of the “holy grail” work print
material, or some of the “fixes” that zombie fan purists demand.
“Send more DVDs!”
Next up, "A Clockwork Orange" is finally getting a non-barebones
release. This two-disk special edition features two "making of"
documentaries, a documentary on the career of Malcolm McDowell, and
commentary track featuring Malcolm McDowell and historian Nick Redman
that will ensure you will know way too much about Kubrick and Burgess
and "A Clockwork Orange". It also features a re-mastered print,
presented in anamorphic aspect ratio, which is a notable improvement
over the previous non-anomorphic disks. This one is a no-brainer,
and should be picked up immediately.
Another Kubrick film that is getting re-released is "2001: A Space
Odyssey". This two-disk special edition has a ton of supplemental
materials, (including several documentaries and commentary by Keir
Dullea and Gary Lockwood which is heavy on the technical information).
This disk has a slightly wider framing then the last “digitally
restored” single disk edition, but the picture difference isn’t nearly
as dramatic as the previous restored disk which was already anamorphic
-- it isn’t quite as noticeable as it was on "A Clockwork
Orange". If you don’t have it already, this is the one to
get. If you’ve already got it, and don’t care about the extras,
you can safely stick with your “remastered” edition of "2001," from
Next up on the Kubrick-palooza is "The Shining". This is one of
the big annoying disks of DVD yore. The digitally remastered disk was
okay, and Kubrick approved . . . However, it featured the entire
film negative with a 1:33 (TV) aspect ratio. Film snobs were
horrified, as this did not match the film's original projected aspect
ratio, but the ornery Kubrick snarled “my full negative is just as well
framed as any damned matted print that you kids saw in the
theater. And if you're sitting in your living room, watching a
TV, you're not getting the original theatrical experience anyway, so
you can all sod off!” or something to that effect. Since the last
release was full-framed, it was not anamorphic. The new two-disk
edition is slightly cropped to a 1:78 aspect ratio, and is
anamorphic. To see a great example of the difference in
framing….. check out the full frame from the negative here:
and the new, matted aspect ratio in the special edition here:
[Big shout out to dvdbeaver.com <http://www.dvdbeaver.com/> for
their continuously exhaustive comparisons of various releases, btw].
The overall bit rate and picture quality of the new release is
significantly better then the previous “remastered” disks.
Finally, a note on the 3 different “lengths” of this movie. After
initial reviews of the 144 minute US theatrical cut were unkind,
Kubrick re-edited a shorter 119 minute “international” version of the
film. Kubrick was said to have preferred this version. The
original UK Pal disk was 114 minutes . . . after the 4% NTSC to PAL
speed up, this matches the international 119 minute cut exactly.
So if you want to see this version, you have to track down an older
British import. In its initial limited theatrical run, there was
a 146 minute version that featured a snippet between the final “Jack in
the snow,” and “Jack on the wall” shots. This showed Danny and
Wendy in a hospital bed in Colorado, clearly having survived the mess
at the Overlook. This scene is nowhere to be found on any
supplemental materials, or alternate versions of the film, and is
probably lost. Despite this rather large omission, the extras on
the new special edition are extensive, and contain all the extras from
earlier editions, pus more, and include an excellent commentary
track. One can argue all day about the framing of this print, but
I’ll take this one over the open matte version any day of the
week. But if you do want the open matte edition, I’d suggest
getting it now, (yes, we do have copies of this version at
Borderlands,) before it disappears.
In some alternate universe, there is a 5 disk version of this film that
features an un-sped-up NTSC, 119 minute version of the
international cut, the full frame cut, and the new 1:78 matted
version and the option to insert the 2 minute hospital sequence at the
end. This is the same alternate universe that features Samuel Jackson
as the voice of the giant purple-helmeted planet-eater Galactus, who is
more then a cloud of dust in the second Fantastic Four movie. But
that’s a different story.
It’s not science fiction, but I thought I’d fill you in on another bit
of Kubrick DVD trivia. The new two-disk special edition of "Eyes
Wide Shut" is indeed (despite some package mislabeling on some
editions) the international, unrated version of the film. There
is only one version of the film on this special edition DVD, and it IS
the unrated international cut. It does NOT contain the R-rated
cut You may recall that there was a big dust-up here in the
States a a few years back, over the fact that, in order to get an R
rating, some robed figures were digitally added between the camera and
naked folks, during the big orgy scene, because . . . you know,
if Americans saw Tom Cruises’ dangly bits, they might all become
Scientologists or something. Thank goodness Jack Valenti and the
prudes at the MPAA saved us from that fate. At the time,
Kubrick was still ornery as hell, and said “I agreed to turn in an
R-rated movie, and I did . . . it's my movie . . . there’s nothing
wrong with the R-rated cut, so there’s no reason to having something
different on DVD.” Or at least those are the words that Warner
Brothers put in his mouth, or order to justify the R-rated cut.
The same full-frame 1:33 aspect ratio issues plagued the previous
releases as well. For comparison shots, be sure to check out
A couple of other “re-releases” of a different sort should be
considered as well. A year or so ago, the good folks at Warner
Brothers released “The Ultimate Slayer Box Set” that had all seven
seasons of Buffy, in one box. Now you can get all six seasons of
Angel in one box. This is definitely a good deal if you don’t
have the season sets already. And while some of you may not be
big Angel fans, as opposed to Buffy fans, I gotta say the
Angel-as-a-Muppet episode makes the entire series worthwhile.
The other big “all in one” box set to consider is "The X-Files," which
has all the TV seasons, plus the movie, in one big-ass box. "The
X-Files" was one of the first TV shows to prove there was a market for
season box sets . . . but the individual season sets were always very
pricey, especially compared to what other season box sets go for these
days. The bonus documentaries, and mythology summations that the
network would run during the run-up to the season premiers are included
as extras in this set, as well as a bunch of documentaries and stuff .
. . And even if you only care for the first four or five seasons, this
complete set is still a bargain.
And to finish off this month's focus on re-releases, I of course have
to point out that the original cult TV series is finally available in a
definitive format. "Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Box
Edition" has ten disks, four documentaries, and all the episodes,
including both the American and the European versions of the original
pilot episode. The pilot is the big thing that was missing from
previous DVD sets. This set also features both the original
broadcast stereo audio mix, or a new 5:1 surround-sound mix. Full
details of this set can be found here:
[http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Twin-Peaks/7769]. The only
thing missing is, of course, the Twin Peaks movie, "Fire Walk With
Me". Oh well. Nothing is perfect.
I’ll talk at you next month, with a bunch of Christmas gift ideas.
- Jeremy Lassen
Book Club Info
Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, November 11th, at 5 pm to
discuss THE PRESTIEGE by Christopher Priest. The book for
December is PERDIDO STREET STATION by China Mieville. Please contact
the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at email@example.com,
for more information.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, November
18th, at 6 pm to discuss FARTHING by Jo Walton. The book for
December is A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE by Peter S. Beagle. Please
contact Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
Joy Fowler and Molly Gloss are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Saturday, November 17th 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 Karen Joy Fowler, author of the
best-selling novel THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB, and Molly Gloss, a
multiple-award-winning author from Portland, OR. For more
information on SF in SF, see <http://www.sfinsf.org/>
Grania Davis, SPECULATIVE JAPAN, (Kurodahan, Trade Paperback, $20.00), Sunday, November 18th at 3:00 pm -
From Kurodahan's website: "Japanese fiction has assumed a position of
significance in many genres of world literature as it continues to
chart its own creative course. Whereas science fiction in the
English-speaking world developed gradually over a period of
evolutionary change in style and content, SF in Japan took off from a
very different starting line. Starting in the 1950s and 1960s,
Japanese SF writers worked to combine their own thousand-year-old
literary tradition with a flood of Western SF and other fiction.
Contemporary Japanese SF thus began in a jumble of ideas and periods,
and ultimately propelled Japanese authors into a quantum leap of
development, rather than a steady process of evolution. The
result has been phenomenal. As new authors developed in this
exotic environment, they invented new ways to view SF, and used the
genre to form new images of themselves and their culture. The
time is long overdue to present the work of Japanese science fiction
and fantasy writers to the world in English. We hope this shared
world of speculative fiction produces a creative feedback relationship,
which can only encourage new and more stimulating visions of
tomorrow. The first book in a planned series, SPECULATIVE JAPAN
presents a selection of outstanding works of Japanese science fiction
and fantasy in English translation . . . and a glimpse into new worlds
of the imagination." Join us for a fascinating discussion with
editor Grania Davis in our last regular event of the year!
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
Search for Joseph Tully by William H. Hallahan (Millipede Press,
Signed, Limited Edition (300 copies) Hardcover, $60.00) - From
Millipede Press: "This superb and atmospheric novel of revenge,
alienation, genealogy, history, and the occult, set in an isolated
apartment complex targeted for destruction in a gloomy section of
Brooklyn, is one of the finest horror novels ever written, drenched
with symbolism and fear right up to its shocking finale." Copies
are signed by William H. Hallahan and T.M. Wright, who wrote the
Dead Sea by Brian Keene (Delirium Books, Signed & Numbered Limited
Edition (500 copies) Hardcover, $50.00) - Mr. Keene (author of THE
RISING and CITY OF THE DEAD among many others) returns to
zombies! From the author's website: "The streets of the city are
no longer safe. They are filled with zombies. Some of the
living have struggled to survive, but with each passing day their odds
grow worse. Others have fled, searching for a place to escape the
slaughter around them. For Lamar Reed and a handful of others,
that safe haven is an old Coast Guard ship out at sea. But their
haven will soon become a deathtrap, because isolation can also mean no
God of the Razor by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean Press, Hardcover,
$40.00) - Subterranean press says: "The Nightrunners is considered by
many to be one of the best horror/suspense novels to date. It has
had a passionate following for years. On its twentieth
anniversary, Subterranean Press will release this novel as part of its
Signature Series, in a volume that also contains stories that were
inspired by, or drawn from, the novel while Lansdale waited for it to
sell. The novel and stories have influenced numerous writers over
the years, and are now gathered for the first time (with a new,
never-before-published tale) in this unique tribute volume celebrating
one of the most influential and award-winning writers of the last two
decades. The God of the Razor will be designed as a companion
volume to the Lansdale tribute anthology, Lords of the Razor, featuring
a full color cover by Tim Truman, and twenty full page black-and-white
illustrations for the short stories and novel by Glenn Chadborne."
Dreads and Drolls by Arthur Machen (Tartarus Press, Limited Edition
(300 copies) Hardcover, $71.50) - Tartarus Press says: "This volume
contains sixty studies, mostly from real life, each of which, by its
capacity for inspiring terror or causing amused wonder, qualifies as
the 'Dread' or 'Droll' of Arthur Machen's general heading. 'To be
able so to tell the bare truth that it seems a magnificent lie' is the
qualification which has attracted Machen to the most outstanding of his
narrations. When Dreads and Drolls was first published in 1926 it
contained twenty-nine articles reprinted from London's The
Graphic. We have great pleasure in more than doubling that number
by including all of his contributions from that magazine. To 'The
Euston Square Mystery', 'The Adventure of the Long-Lost Brother' and
others we have been able to add 'A Castle in Celtic Myths', 'A Pretty
Parricide', 'One Night When I Was Frightened' and many more."
Murder Can Be Fun #20: Waiting in Line to Die edited by John Marr (John
Marr, Chapbook, $2.00) - "Murder Can Be Fun" is a San Francisco based
‘zine that features offbeat and bizzare stories of murder and
mayhem. Cheap thrills for two bills! “Waiting in Line to
Die” originally appeared in MCBF #13: Death At Disneyland.
Stitch by Mark Morris (Humdrumming, Hardcover, $33.99) - In addition to
the original dark and frightening novel of a neo-religious cult on a
college campus, Humdrumming boasts, "[t]his special edition also
includes the following bonus material, making this the definitive
edition of Mark’s second novel!: A brand new introduction by the
author, an interview conducted at the time of the book’s original
release, and a bonus short story, “Warts and All” written the same
The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman (MonkeyBrain Books,
Trade Paperback, $15.95) - From MonkeyBrain Books: "From the 1860s to
the present day, the Diogenes Club has been the least-known of Great
Britain's intelligence and law enforcement services. Founded by
Sherlock Holmes's cleverer brother Mycroft, the Club protects the
realm—and this entire plane of existence—from occult menaces, threats
born in other dimensions, magical perfidy and the Deep Dark Deadly
Ones. In this collection, covering uncanny events from the late
19th Century to the 1970s, the files are opened, and select exploits of
the Club's greatest Assets are made available to the public, revealing
the truth about fairies and fish-folk, national heroes and national
horrors, diabolical masterminds and the Weather. Kim Newman
continues the series began in The Man From the Diogenes Club, revealing
more of the secrets of the British Empire's most secret service."
Frayed by Tom Piccirilli (Creeping Hemlock, Signed & Numbered
Limited Edition (450 copies) Hardcover, $35.00) - From the author's
website: "Are you the one who helped him kill the angel?" Twenty
years of repressed anger and memories. A bitter knot of hatred
that binds and divides two friends. The dark secret that fuels
and devastates them both. "He killed it. I only helped him to
bury it." Eddie's doing his best to get by, but every day the
good fight just gets harder. And now there's a new burden to
shoulder. Gray - his best friend and nemesis in literature,
romance, and life - has landed in a bizarre mental hospital, known for
its radical treatments, because Gray couldn't bear the weight of an
unspeakable trauma. The last time they met, Gray almost killed
Eddie, but it seems that all is finally forgiven. Tonight, there's a
wild hootenanny up at Gray's house. The nuthouse. And
Ice, Iron and Gold by S.M. Stirling (Night Shade Books, Signed, Limited
Edition (150 copies) Hardcover, $49.00, and Trade Hardcover, $26.95) -
Night Shade says: "New York Times best-selling Author S. M. Stirling’s
first collection gathers his most interesting and evocative short
stories, drawn from the length of his professional career. More than
100,000 words of fiction, including an original story, make this book a
must for fans of Stirling's work. Whether Stirling is exploring
alternate histories, chronicling military sf exploits, or off-kilter
contemporary settings, his insightful characterizations and compelling
plots are distinct and memorable. " It's a very nice collection
that covers the high points of his work. Recommended by Alan and
The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories by Connie Willis
(Subterranean Press, Hardcover, $40.00) - Subterranean Press says:
"We've collected stories from throughout Willis's career, from early
ones like 'Cash Crop' and 'Daisy, in the Sun,' right up to her newest
stories, including the wonderful 'The Winds of Marble Arch.'
There's literally something for everyone here. If you're a
diehard Willis fan, you'll be delighted with hard-to-find treasures
like the until-now uncollected, 'The Soul Selects Her Own Society . . .
' If you've never read Connie Willis, this is your chance to
discover 'A Letter from the Clearys' and, well, 'Chance.' To say
nothing of 'At the Rialto,' the funniest story ever written about
quantum physicists. And Willis's chilling, 'All My Darling
Daughters.' " Also, I've just noticed that Publishers Weekly has
named The Winds of Marble Arch one of the year's most outstanding
titles. Recommended by Jude.
Cold Harbour by Francis Brett Young (Ash-Tree, Limited Edition (400
copies) Hardcover, $47.50) - From Ash-Tree's website: "A balmy
Meditteranean evening is not the time when conversation may be expected
to turn to the grim landscape of the Black Country of the Midlands of
England. But the arrival of Ronald and Evelyn Wake brings with it
a chilling story set in that unlikely location. The Wakes had
been returning from a holiday in Wales, when a puncture forced them to
seek accommodation for the night. They found it at the remote Fox Inn,
a near neighbour to the house of Cold Harbour and the estate of Mr
Humphrey Furnival, a man whose mocking laugh belies his guile and
cleverness. Using paranormal powers, Furnival attracts Evelyn Wake's
interest, and the couple are invited to visit Cold Harbour, to view the
manuscripts of a minor poet in whom Evelyn is interested.
Furnival engages Ronald Wake in lengthy conversation and argument,
while Evelyn has to suffer the fate of being cornered by Mrs Furnival,
the downtrodden, seemingly dominated wife, who has sought refuge in her
religion to help her cope with the hauntings at Cold Harbour. Furnival
refuses to acknowledge the existence of the hauntings, but puts forward
his own elaborate theory as to why the house might possess an
'atmosphere'. Does the evil of Cold Harbour originate in Furnival
himself, or has Cold Harbour infected him with its malign presence? And
can the Wakes find some way of saving Mrs Furnival before she, too, is
ensnared by the house? Francis Brett Young (1884–1954) is one of
Britain's underrated and neglected regional novelists, and, in his
introduction to this volume, John Howard discusses his life and the
themes that dominate his novels. Ash-Tree Press is pleased to make this
long overdue new edition of Cold Harbour available to a new generaton
of readers of the ghostly."
New and Notable
Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks (Little, Brown UK, Trade
Paperback, $25.94) - I'm 80 pages into this non-genre novel about the
Wopuld family, wealthy developers of the uber-famous board game (and
now computer game) EMPIRE!, who have invited the Prodigal Son (Alban)
back for a business meeting to determine the future of the
company/birthday celebration for the family's matriarch. So
far it shows all of Banks' characteristic humor and excellent character
development -- great so far. - Jude
Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker (Harper Collins, Hardcover, $24.95) -
From the book jacket: "Mister B. Gone marks the long-awaited return of
Clive Barker, the great master of the macabre, to the classic horror
story. This bone-chilling novel, in which a medieval devil speaks
directly to his reader—his tone murderous one moment, seductive the
next—is a never-before-published memoir allegedly penned in the year
1438. The demon has embedded himself in the very words of this
tale of terror, turning the book itself into a dangerous object, laced
with menace only too ready to break free and exert its power." I
liked COLD HEART CANYON (ghosts, old Hollywood, crazy S/M -- how can
you go wrong?) but felt it would have benefitted from a bit more
editing, so I am pleased to see Barker back with a slimmer (256 page)
volume. - Jude
A War of Gifts by Orson Scott Card (Tor, Other Hardcover, $12.95) A
novella about compassion and tolerance set in the Ender-verse. We
have just a few signed copies of this cute, gift-y, undersized
hardcover remaining. (No, Card didn't come here -- they arrived
signed on a tipped-in page from the publisher!)
Spectrum 14: The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art edited by Arnie and
Cathy Fenner (Underwood, Oversized Hardcover, $39.95 and Oversized
Trade Paperback, $29.95) - Overwhelming and stunning, as usual.
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (William Morrow, Hardcover, $24.95) - I
am thrilled to see this collection finally generally
available. (It was originally released in three different
limited edition formats by PS Publishing, but went quickly out of
print.) It's a little uneven, but the high points are oh, so
high! The title story "20th Century Ghosts," is so good that it
made me cry; it may be the best ghost story I've ever read. "The
Black Phone" will make your skin crawl, and "Pop Art" is just plain
bizarre and surreal. Really an outstanding collection.
Recommended by Jude.
Counting Heads by David Marusek (Tor, Trade Paperback, $14.95) - From
Publishers Weekly: "This extraordinary debut novel puts Marusek in the
first rank of SF writers. Life on Earth in 2134 ought to be
perfect: nanotechnology can manufacture anything humans need; medical
science can control the human body's shape or age; and AIs, robots and
contented clones do most of the work. If only there were a way to
get rid of the surplus people. When Eleanor Starke, one of the major
power brokers, is assassinated, her daughter's cryogenically frozen
head becomes the object of a quest by representatives of several
factions, including Eleanor's aged and outcast husband, a dense zealot
for interstellar colonization, a decades-old little boy and husband and
wife clones who are straining at the limitations of their
natures. Marusek's writing is ferociously smart, simultaneously
horrific and funny, as he forces readers to stretch their imaginations
and sympathies. Much of the fun in the story is in the telling
rather than its destination—which is just as well, since it doesn't so
much come to a conclusion as crash headlong into the last page.
But the trip has been exciting and wonderful." How can you resist
a review like that? This is currently second on my to-be-read pile,
just under NOVA SWING by M. John Harrison. - Jude
A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (Tor,
Hardcover, $24.95) - From Publishers Weekly: "Rising fantasy stars
Monette (Mélusine) and Bear (Whiskey & Water) subvert the
telepathic animal companion subgenre so thoroughly that it may never be
the same. The inhabitants of a cold and perilous world grounded in
Norse/Germanic mythology depend upon the brutally violent wolfcarls,
men who bond telepathically with huge fighting trellwolves, to protect
them from monstrous trolls and wyverns from further north. When the
northern threat suddenly intensifies, Isolfr, a young wolfcarl, and his
wolf-sister, Viradechtis, a Queen wolf destined to rule her own pack,
are thrust into key roles in their civilization's desperate fight to
survive. The meticulously crafted setting and powerful, often moving
rendition of characters and relationships—human and nonhuman
alike—result in a brutal and beautiful novel about the meaning of
honor. Never blushing as they consider the ultimate sociological,
sexual and moral underpinnings of a what-if often treated as coy
wish-fulfillment fantasy, the authors have boldly created a fascinating
world that begs further exploration."
The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy (Viking, Hardcover, $16.99) Pat Murphy
fans, rejoice, and those of you who are not yet fans, rejoice anyway,
for ye soon will be! So, first you need to read the chapbook A
Flock of Lawn Flamingos, published by Tachyon. Then you'll know
about Joan Egypt, the chapbook's whimsical and wry heroine. Then
you can read about her as a 12-year-old in WILD GIRLS. Although
it is not genre, I think almost everyone will appreciate this
coming-of-age story. Set in the early 1970's, Joan's life changes
dramatically after she moves from Connecticut to California.
She's sure she'll hate it, and hate it she does until she meets Fox, a
"wild girl," who lives with her science-fiction writer father in a
house in the woods and believes that her mother turned into a fox one
day long ago. The Wild Girls is partially about the power of
story -- how it helps us invent ourselves -- but it is also about the
kind of healthy rebellion that creates original thinkers and makes San
Franciscans want to cheer. Recommended by Jude and Cary.
Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson (Bantam, Mass Market,
$7.99) - From Publishers Weekly: "Inside-the-Beltway policy wonks and
government scientists strive to save the world from environmental
collapse in the well-written third installment (after 2005's Fifty
Degrees Below) of this hyperrealistic, near-future SF series. The Gulf
Stream—slowed by global warming—has been restarted and nuclear-powered
naval ships stand by to generate electricity for frigid coastal
cities. Phil Chase, an ecologically minded Democrat from
California in the Al Gore mold, has won the presidency, due in part to
the efforts of NSA scientist Frank Vanderwal and his spook girlfriend,
Caroline Barr, who helped foil a right-wing attempt to fix the
election. But only time will tell if the world has both the
scientific know-how and the political will to reverse the ongoing rush
toward an ecological precipice. Combining surprisingly
interesting discussions of environmental science with Robinson's
trademark tramps through nature and an exciting espionage subplot, this
novel should appeal to both the author's regular SF audience and anyone
concerned with the ecological health of our planet."
The Electric Church by Jeff Somers (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $12.99) -
"Take a partially destroyed New York City, an oppressive police force,
a scary cyborg-run church, and more bullets than the war on terror, and
you have an idea of what's in store in Jeff Somers's debut novel, The
Electric Church. The story centers around Avery Cates, a "Gunner"
who through misfortune and survival instinct, is hired to assasinate
the head of a powerful church that threatens to take over, you guessed
it, The World!! Although the story idea isn't terribly original,
this is a fun first novel. Cates is a hired gun that tries to
stick to a code of honor in a world of desperation, greed and
misery. I like the fact that this is evident throughout the
story, yet the reader isn't beaten over the head with it.
Sommers's detailed, burned-out world is almost a character itself,
lending motivation to many of the other characters actions. Lots
of action, and a cast of characters that really work well together to
give the right ammount of drama, humor, desperation and surprise in a
novel." Recommended by Ben.
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Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Jeremy Lassen, Ben Thompson, James Reffell, Ian Carruthers, Rina Wiseman, Hilary Karls
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