Thursday, April 12, 2018

Dispatches from the Border, April 2018

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Upcoming Events
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Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Chiwan Choi, Chelsey Johnson, Dominica Phetteplace, Shobha Rao, Lilah Sturges, and Javier Zamora, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders (at the Make Out Room, Make Out Room
3225 22nd St.) Saturday, April 14th at 7:30 pm

Birthday Celebration with Peter S. Beagle! Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 pm

Catherine Asaro, BRONZE SKIES (Been Books, Trade Paperback, $16.00) and INFINITE STARS (Titan, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm

Jason Porath, TOUGH MOTHERS: AMAZING STORIES OF HISTORY'S MIGHTIEST MATRIARCHS (Day Street Books, Oversized Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

And coming up soon, look for events with Tamora Pierce, Jacqueline Carey, B Catling, and many more!

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News
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* Overheard in the Store:
[one very stoned visitor to another]: "Star Trek; so it's non-fiction, but cats; so it's fiction."

* R.I.P. Kate Wilhelm, a prolific and talented author of science fiction and mystery, and the cofounder of the Clarion Writing Workshops, who passed away from respiratory illness.  https://boingboing.net/2018/03/11/the-sweet-birds-sang.html

* R.I.P. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik; considered the first contemporary Arab writer of science fiction and horror, he has passed away at 55.  He leaves behind over 200 novels and fans across the globe.  https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/4/4/egyptian-literary-pioneer-ahmed-khaled-tawfik-passes-away

* R.I.P. Stephen Hawking, a complex & brilliant scientist whose lifelong work impacted and inspired so many, and left a lasting mark on our understanding of the universe. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/14/stephen-hawking-professor-dies-aged-76

* Worldcon 76's Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio has teamed with authors John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ty Franck, Kate Elliott and more to create The Mexicanx Initiative. They're sponsoring Worldcon Attending Memberships for 50 Mexicanx pros and fans to attend Worldcon in San Jose this summer.  Now that they've achieved that goal, they've created The Mexicanx Initiative's Assistance Fund -- a separate, dedicated fund to provide travel and lodging assistance for those 50 Mexicanx invitees, many of whom ail be journeying across the border from Mexico.  SFSFC, the host committee for Worldcon 76, is handling the collection of all funds which will be distributed to the Recipients at Worldcon.  About $6000 has been collected so far, and the fund's goal is $15,000 before Memorial Day Weekend. If you're able to participate, donate here (see "Mexicanx Initiative Assistance Fund"): https://www.worldcon76.org/faq/donations  And here's a short article from the San Antonio Current on John's idea: https://www.sacurrent.com/ArtSlut/archives/2018/03/29/science-fiction-artist-john-picacio-gives-a-lift-to-other-mexicanx-creators

* Amazon has spent $1 billion to adapt Liu Cixin's award-winning novel THE THREE BODY PROBLEM into a three-season TV series.  https://winteriscoming.net/2018/03/30/now-amazon-spending-1-billion-science-fiction-show/

* Easter's over, but the idea of resurrection lives on.  The Mary Sue share some of their favorite resurrections from fiction.  https://www.themarysue.com/easter-resurrections-sff-shows/

* ZOMBIE CAKE TUTORIALS!  http://artisancakecompany.com/2015/10/walker-zombie-cake-tutorial/

* Netflix is bringing back "Lost in Space".  The original 60's show was a classic, (and the less said about the 90's film, the better).  Let's hope this new imagining is closer to the former than the latter. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/weekend/reboot-of-1960s-science-fiction-classic-is-simply-out-of-this-world-36771082.html

* Stephen L. Carter shares his personal 12 Science Fiction Rules for Life, each drawn from a classic quote. Not sure we agree, but they are interesting.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-science-fiction-wisdom-yoda-20180328-story.html

* We would have included Quvenzhane Wallis from "Beasts of the Southern Wild", Noah Hathaway in "The Neverending Story", and some other stunning performances, but this is a pretty good list of great child performances in F/SF: http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/debate-club-top-5-child-performances-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy

* "Black Panther" has finally been dethroned at the box office, (but by another science fiction film with a black lead actor, the gorgeous and talented John Boyega) -- "Pacific Rim: Uprising".  http://www.kcra.com/article/black-panther-dethroned-at-box-office-by-science-fiction-movie/19588092

* Last month we mentioned the stabbing of Bangladeshi science fiction author Zafar Iqbal.  While he has been recovering, there has been an in-depth investigation into the motives behind the stabbing: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/bangladesh-science-fiction-writer-zafar-iqbal-attacked-180313093958357.html

* A teaser trailer has been released for GRRM's new series "Nightflyers".  Even Na'amen, who's not a big horror fan, has found himself anxiously awaiting the release once he heard the description as "Psycho in space":  http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/03/20/george-r-r-martins-science-fiction-horror-show-nightflyers-gets-first-teaser.html

* The newest featurette from "Incredibles 2" focuses on the genius, the talent, the icon: Miss Edna Mode. http://sciencefiction.com/2018/04/06/new-incredibles-2-featurette-honors-edna-mode/

* Walmart has filed a patent for autonomous robot bees.  We've all seen this movie or read this story before, right?   Bee-pocalypse in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . https://stocknews.com/news/wmt-walmart-inc-wmt-goes-science-fiction-by-filing-a-robotic/

* If you feel like dystopias are everywhere, and you're looking for a little fun distraction, why not try one of these 20 works of upbeat science fiction?  https://culturess.com/2018/03/17/20-works-of-upbeat-science-fiction-star-trek-hitchhikers-guide-ready-player-one/

* A real life "Jurassic Park", what could POSSIBLY go wrong?  (Although it is "The Sun", so take it with at least half of a grain of salt.)  https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5995159/woolly-mammoths-clone-scientists-jurassic-park/

* A wonderful profile on the Strugatsky brothers: their writing, their politics and the way Judiasm is present in their work.  https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2018/03/the-daring-strugatsky-brothers-practitioners-of-outwardly-soviet-covertly-jewish-science-fiction/

* We can only hope the headline of SciFi taking over TV this spring is really true.  We're ready. https://nypost.com/2018/04/05/sci-fi-is-taking-over-television-this-spring/

* An in-depth look at what is likely the worst "Star Trek: Voyager" episode: "Threshold", (otherwise known as the one where Paris and Janeway turn into giant lizards and have sex). https://nerdist.com/worst-of-the-best-star-trek-voyager-threshold/

* Syfy gathers a list of the best & worst of the giant monster movies.  http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/a-history-of-hollywoods-best-and-worst-giant-monster-movies

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Award News
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* Congratulations to Victoria Bergin for winning the 2017 Tiptree Award, and also to Charlie Jane Anders, who made the honor list.  https://tiptree.org/2018/03/virginia-bergin-wins-2017-tiptree-award-honor-list-and-long-list-announced

* The 2018 Hugo Award nominees have been announced: https://www.tor.com/2018/03/31/2018-hugo-award-finalists-announced/

* The 2018 British Science Fiction Association Award winners have been announced: https://www.bsfa.co.uk/awards/

* The 2017 Aurealis Awards for Australian Speculative winners have been announced: https://aurealisawards.org/2018/03/31/757/

* BANNERLESS by Carrie Vaughn has won the 2018 Philip K. Dick Award!  More info here:
http://locusmag.com/2018/04/philip-k-dick-award-announced-2/

* The Ditmar Awards, which celebrate Australian SF, have also announced their 2018 winners:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditmar_Award_results#2018:_Swancon_2018,_Perth

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From The Office
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Slow With Email

I'm really sorry to still be saying this but, I've been having a terrible time keeping up with my email given everything that is going on (and been going on).  If you've sent me an email that deserves a reply and you haven't heard from me yet, please forgive me.  I'm trying and making some progress but the backlog is still pretty bad.  If the topic of your not-yet-replied-to email is urgent, please send it to me again.  I think I've gotten back to everyone about time-critical stuff but I could have missed something.  Thank you so much for your patience.  And now, the usual . . .

Haight Street Update

And we're off! The wave state is collapsing and things are starting to really progress visually (as opposed to progressing behind the scenes). Thanks to our amazing cadre of volunteers, the west and south walls are now closed up and if the weather would just cooperate, we'd be a lot further along on taping and mudding. Thanks to Mr. Jim Lively, we got all the seams done and a skim coat on the existing drywall, and thanks to the weather we now wait for the rest of the wall to dry completely before proceeding. And wait . . . and wait . . . and, oh, look, more rain . . . wait . . . .

(Side note: "skim coat" is a very thin layer of drywall mud spread over a large surface - in this case, filling in the dings on the existing sheetrock courtesy of 40 years of abuse and covering the truly unfortunate texture courtesy of the disastrous 1970's remodel)

The core crew of volunteers continue to refine their construction skills while learning new ones, and the drop-in folks have been a huge help as well. Everyone who has come has worked really hard, and it's been truly exciting to see people move out of their comfort zones or step into zones they don't typically have a chance to occupy.

In addition to the exciting progress on the walls, the backyard actually looks like a place you might want to sit in someday. The last of the concrete chunks will be leaving this week. The giant pile of dirt leftover from the initial cleanup has been evened out and spread over the entire footprint. We'll be starting to rebuild the fences (including the one the ivy ate) in the next week or two. And once we're done tromping power tools through it, our gardener Melinda can get started.

The next few weeks should see similar progress on all fronts. We got all the plans for the new store front and windows approved. The very nice woman from the Historic Preservation department was a treat to work with. I asked her if there were any specific things people do during a historical building review that make things hard, and her response was "not liking old things". Which, if you ask me, seems like just begging for trouble. Fortunately liking old things is not something Borderlands needs to worry about. Soon I'll enclose the front of the building and get to tear out the whole front of it.  That will eliminate almost the last vestige of the bad repair job that was done in the 70s.

I've also decided not to enclose the lightwell. There are several reasons, the two biggest being the cost (more than $500 per square foot, which is much more than it would cost to just build partway into the back yard) and the effect it would have on the layout (the supports necessary would change the place from feeling very open and continuous to being broken up into two separate-feeling spaces). Rather than enclose the lightwell, I've decided to shrink it a bit to make room for a larger, ADA-compliant bathroom.  Then we'll use the smaller light well for an indoor garden and display. Velociraptors may become involved.

Another milestone is that the major electrical work started yesterday.  One of the goals this month is to complete that while figuring out a way to get it done without inconveniencing the folks upstairs too much. Once it's done, we'll be able to move the giant pillar out of the middle of the floor and remove the spiderweb of conduit that feeds out of it. And that would be a very, very fine thing.

If you're interested in volunteering or would like to see the place, please let me know. And again, thank you so much to all the people who've volunteered. We've made so much progress already -- it would have been much slower and much, much less fun without you all.

All Best,
Alan

PS  I've been trying to have Haight Street open for visits once a month but this month, due to various events and such, there just isn't a Saturday that will work.  But, I'll do it next month.

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Best Sellers
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Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for March, 2018

Hardcovers

1) The Power by Naomi Alderman
2) If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress
3) Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
4) The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer
5) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6) Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
7) Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
8) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
9) The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
10) Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker

Trade Paperbacks

1) The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers
2) The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, trans. by Ken Liu
3) Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
4) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
5) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
6) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
7) Strange Bird by Jeff Vandermeer
8) New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
9) Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
10) The Atheist in the Attic by Samuel R. Delany

Mass Market Paperbacks

1) Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
2) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
4) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
5) Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin
6) The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
9) Red Sister by Mark Lawerence
10) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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Book Club Information
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The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 13th, at 5:00 pm to discuss PLANET OF THE APES by Pierre Boulle.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at cobalt555@earthlink.net, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, April 15th, at 6:00 pm to discuss PASSING STRANGE by Ellen Klages.  The book for the following month will be CHILDREN OF TIME by Adrian Tchaikovsky.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

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Upcoming Event Details
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Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Ilana C. Myer as she returns with a standalone novel set in the same extraordinary world as her debut novel LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT!  From the publisher: "Espionage, diplomacy, conspiracy, passion, and power are the sensuously choreographed steps of the soaring new high fantasy novel by Ilana C. Myer, one woman's epic mission to stop a magical conflagration.  Lin, newly initiated in the art of otherwordly enchantments, is sent to aid her homeland's allies against savage attacks from the Fire Dancers: mysterious practitioners of strange and deadly magic.  Forced to step into a dangerous waltz of tradition, treachery, and palace secrets, Lin must also race the ticking clock of her own rapidly dwindling life to learn the truth of the Fire Dancers' war, and how she might prevent death on a scale too terrifying to contemplate.  Myer's novel is a symphony of secret towers, desert winds, burning sands, blood and dust.  Her prose soars, and fluid movements of the politically charged plot carry the reader toward a shocking crescendo."  We hope you'll join us to meet this up-and-coming fantasy novelist!  Read the excellent Publishers Weekly review of FIRE DANCE here: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7653-7832-3

Writers With Drinks with authors Chiwan Choi, Chelsey Johnson, Dominica Phetteplace, Shobha Rao, Lilah Sturges, and Javier Zamora, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders (at the Make Out Room, Make Out Room 3225 22nd St.) Saturday, April 14th at 7:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, and we're always happy to participate!  The amazing lineup this month includes authors Chiwan Choi, Chelsey Johnson, Dominica Phetteplace, Shobha Rao, Lilah Sturges, and Javier Zamora.  Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits.  Doors open at 6:30 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.

Birthday Celebration with Peter S. Beagle! Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 pm - Someone special is having a birthday and you are personally invited!  Peter S. Beagle, author of the fantasy classic THE LAST UNICORN among many, many others, is celebrating his birthday with us at Borderlands Books, so cake is on the menu and he is happy to chat and sign books.  You may certainly bring your own, but Borderlands will also have his books on hand for purchase. This is not a traditional reading and signing, but a great way to meet a very special author while enjoying sugary confection.  We'll also be celebrating Peter's being named a SFWA Grandmaster, <http://www.sfwa.org/2018/01/sfwa-announces-newest-grand-master-peter-s-beagle/> so come on down and join us!

Catherine Asaro, BRONZE SKIES (Been Books, Trade Paperback, $16.00) and INFINITE STARS (Titan, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm - Borderlands welcomes author, physicist, and Oakland native Catherine Asaro to share volume two in the life of Major Bhaajan in BRONZE SKIES; the newest cycle in the Skolian Universe.  Asaro will also be sharing the story published in the SF anthology INFINITE STARS, both of which will be available for the reading and signing.  From the publisher's website on BRONZE SKIES: "Major Bhaajan achieved the impossible.  Born to the Undercity, the slums below the City of Cries on the planet Raylicon, she broke free from crushing poverty and crime to become a military officer with Imperial Space Command.  Now retired from military duty, she walks the mean streets of Undercity as a private investigator.  And she is about to embark on her most challenging case yet."  Join us to meet this fabulous author!

Jason Porath, TOUGH MOTHERS: AMAZING STORIES OF HISTORY'S MIGHTIEST MATRIARCHS (Day Street Books, Oversized Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 pm - 2016's release of REJECTED PRINCESSES was a runaway success for Borderlands Books, lasting for months on our Bestseller list.  Now Jason Porath is back, this time sharing his new, unique and gorgeous work titled, TOUGH MOTHERS: AMAZING STORIES OF HISTORY'S MIGHTIEST MATRIARCHS.  We hope you'll join us to meet Jason and hear about fifty fascinating, kick-ass women; some famous and some lesser-known.  RSVP here if you do the FB thing:  https://www.facebook.com/events/417490535364585/?notif_t=plan_user_associated&notif_id=1523298911493916

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 the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Dispatches from the Border, March 2018

DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News From Borderlands Books
March 2018

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Upcoming Events
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Loteria Game Night and Poster Signing with artist John Picacio! Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 pm

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, March 17th at 6:00 pm

Come Visit Borderlands West, Saturday, March 24th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm - Alan will be showing off our favorite construction site at 1377 Haight St. (at Masonic Ave.)

SF in SF with authors Nancy Kress, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Jack Skillingstead (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, March 25th at 6:30 pm

Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

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News
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* Overheard in the Store:
"I told them, 'Several people this morning are really lucky that it's impossible to get punched in the face through a telephone.'"

* As much as spending a stupid amount of money to make a TV series based on The Lord Of The Rings was, well . . . stupid (http://deadline.com/2017/11/amazon-the-lord-of-the-rings-tv-series-multi-season-commitment-1202207065/), Amazon's most recent move is brilliant.  They're making a TV series based on Iain M. Bank's Culture novels, starting with Consider Phlebas.  We cannot wait.  https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/21/17035618/amazon-culture-series-iain-m-banks-television-show

* R.I.P prolific speculative author Victor Milan.  To read more about the series he contributed to, the writers he helped and the impact he had, read this wonderful obituary in Albuquerque Journal.  https://www.abqjournal.com/1141374/prolific-author-victor-milaacuten-leaves-science-fiction-legacy.html

* Popular Bangladeshi science fiction Muhammad Zafar Iqbal was recently stabbed in the head.  He survived, and is currently undergoing treatment, but please keep him in your thoughts.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/popular-science-fiction-writer-zafar-iqbal-stabbed-in-bangladesh/article22920210.ece

* Fionce Siow gives her opinion on how most recent science fiction visual media has let us down when it comes to pushing forward instead of reinvestigating the same questions over and over.  http://www.dailycal.org/2018/03/04/mainstream-science-fiction-fails-to-live-up-to-its-full-potential/

* For anyone in Southern California (or anyone planning a trip there soon), be sure to swing by the Pasadena Museum of History and check out their new exhibit "Dreaming the Universe: The Intersection of Science, Fiction, & Southern California."  https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2018/02/27/see-southern-californias-history-of-science-fiction-and-fact-at-pasadena-museum-of-history/

* A fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal about the rise of digital dictatorships, using science fiction as a jumping off point to talk about the Chinese government and technology.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/stranger-than-science-fiction-the-future-for-digital-dictatorships-1519900866

* Peter S. Beagle is to be honored as the next SFWA Grand Master!  Read all about it over at GeekWire:  https://www.geekwire.com/2018/seattle-pittsburghs-fantastic-connection-new-grand-master-science-fiction-fantasy/

* The Verge has pointed us in the direction of an interesting podcast we can't wait to check out.  Read their write-up on Imaginary Worlds, a podcast that goes deep into different aspects of the science-fiction & fantasy community: https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/18/16392224/eric-molinsky-imaginary-worlds-science-fiction-fantasy-podcast

* Looking for something new to read?  Gizmodo gives us 27 novels coming out in March; at least one or two are sure to tickle your fancy. https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/03/27-new-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books-well-worth-checking-out-in-march/

* "Annihilation" is the latest in a string of visual science-fiction that has done a better job at putting more complex female characters in the forefront. https://slate.com/culture/2018/02/annihilation-leads-a-new-wave-of-sci-fi-movies-about-women.html

* LAB GROWN MEAT!  It's actually a pretty awesome thing (and we can't wait to try some), but it just feels like it has to be said in capital letters, old-school horror-movie-poster style.  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-shapiro-meat-commentary/commentary-science-fiction-no-more-can-lab-grown-meat-feed-and-save-the-world-idUSKCN1GA25H

* Genre picked up a lot of awards this Oscar season; hopefully this means we'll see a broader collections of stories being adapted for visual media in the near future. http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/genre-fare-picks-up-big-at-the-oscars

* We had hoped that when they announced a Dune Park it would be about ingesting spice and avoiding sandworms, but an actual park is good too.
https://www.geekwire.com/2018/science-fiction-author-frank-herberts-legacy-honored-new-dune-park-tacoma/

* An essay on the ideas in PKD's MINORITY REPORT, and what they could mean for real-world legal rules and ramifications.  If you're interested, it's the beginning of a series. https://patentlyo.com/patent/2018/02/science-fiction-minority.html

* Netflix continues to purchase big-budget science fiction films that other studios are nervous about attempting.  https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/netflix-cloverfield-paradox-watch-extinction-release-date-trailer-bright-a8203256.html

* This movement of western science fiction as it (too) slowly starts to reach out, and we get more and more translated works from other countries and perspectives is fantastic. A new volume examining the Russian fantastic is out now!  http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/02/new-edited-volume-examines-russian-science-fiction

* Stephen R. Donaldson begins a new fantasy series in a different world.  http://newsok.com/seventh-decimate-launches-series-for-veteran-fantasy-writer/article/5585271

* Five fantasy books by women that you should read in 2018, according to Newsweek.  http://www.newsweek.com/2018/03/09/female-fantasy-books-written-women-2018-820278.html

* An article that explores why "Black Panther" is so important to black science fiction and fantasy fans, and also why it is an important step in correcting longstanding media imbalance:  https://www.destructoid.com/black-panther-is-black-fantasy-sci-fi-490817.phtml

* Oscar Award-winning "The Shape of Water" has faced a lot of analysis and scrutiny in the past few months, but not enough has been made of its use of religion. This article breaks down a lot of the important parallels and metaphors it uses.  http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article203415989.html

* An article about the fact that time travel might actually be possible.  https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/686557/how-to-time-travel-is-time-travel-possible-proof-science-evidence-how

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Award News
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* The 2017 Nebula nominees have been announced.  Congratulations to all the nominees, but especially to local friends of the store Daryl Gregory, Ellen Klages, and Annalee Newitz!  https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/20/17032222/2018-nebula-awards-nominations-best-science-fiction-fantasy-books-movies-read-online

* Congratulations to Carmen Maria Machado, who has received the Crawford Award for her collection HER BODY & OTHER PARTIES!  Check out the rest of the short list at Locus: https://locusmag.com/2018/02/machado-wins-crawford-award/

* The 2017 finalists for Aurealis Awards for excellence in Australian SF/F have been announced.  https://aurealisawards.org/2018/02/15/2017-aurealis-awards-shortlist-announcement/

*The shortlist for the 2017 British Science Fiction Awards has been announced.  Go here to check it out and vote if you're a member of BSFA.  https://www.bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-2017-awards-voting-form/

* The Sir Julius Vogel Award finalists from New Zealand have been announced: http://www.sffanz.org.nz/sjv/sjvFinalists-2018.html

* Ursula K. Le Guin has been posthumously award a PEN Award for her collection of essays, NO TIME TO SPARE: THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS. Check out all the winners here: https://pen.org/2018-winners/

* Kenesha Williams has been awarded the 2018 Scholarship From Hell by the HWA, which will allow her to attend the intensive Horror University at this year's StokerCon.  For more details on the awards and on Williams, check out the StokerCon website: http://stokercon2018.org/2018/02/the-2018-winner-of-the-scholarship-from-hell/

* The 2018 Compton Crook Award nominees have been announced.  (As a side bonus, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's website is sure to provide a flashback to anyone old enough to remember Angelfire or Geocities.)  http://www.bsfs.org/CCA/bsfsccnu2014.htm

--------------------
From The Office
--------------------

Haight Street Building Update -

Frustratingly, I don't have very much news this month.  We're in that miserable stage of construction wherein we mostly wait.  We wait for the engineer to get drawings back to us and we wait for PG&E to answer basic questions.  Until those things happen, I've been keeping busy closing up the wall that we can close (i.e. putting up sheetrock and patching),  but even that process has had some waiting because the next step, "Tape and Mud", has to wait 'til it gets a bit warmer, since there's no heat hooked up yet.

(An aside: "tape and mud" is the process in which we use paper tape to close the seams where pieces of sheetrock meet.  That tape in held in place and covered by joint compound, ("mud"), which is mostly gypsum dust mixed with water.  Since water is the solvent, it takes time to dry and contracts when it does.  If the temperature is too low, it takes forever to dry and, worse, cracks more.  So, we need some days that are mostly over 55 degrees, and we haven't had many of those.  There are other compounds that I could use, but they are a pain in the butt to work with compared to regular mud.)

On the bright side, the volunteers that I'm working with are great, and they've been learning a lot.  Last Sunday I realized that I'm basically training a framing crew from the ground up.  It's taking a little time (and some mis-cut lumber),  but they're smart folks, willing to work hard, and are learning really fast.  I expect that, by the time we're building walls in earnest, they'll be pretty darn good.  So it's a great investment for the future.  Most of the hard-core are already getting up to speed with nailguns and compound miter saws.  All that aside, everyone who's come to help has been lovely and has worked their asses off.  It's been heartwarming to see that kind of support and I'm grateful to every one of them.

If the current weather holds, I hope to start the tape and mud this weekend along with doing the framing for the supply closet.  And, based on some email exchanges today, we might have the engineering drawings by the end of this week.  Which would be a very, very fine thing.

If you're curious about how the place looks, you'll have a chance this month to come check it out.  I'll be holding the place open for visits on Saturday, the 24th, from noon until six pm.  Feel free to stop by anytime in that window and I'll give you the ten-cent tour.
All Best,
Alan

----------------
Best Sellers
----------------
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for February, 2018

Hardcovers
1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
2. Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
3. The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer
4. Provenance by Ann Leckie
5. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
7. Artemis by Andy Weir
8. Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer
9.  Dark State by Charles Stross
10.  Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, edited by Ken Liu
2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
4. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
5. Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
6. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
7. Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
8. Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
9. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
10. Amberlough by Lara Ellen Donnelly

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
2. Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
3. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
4. Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin
5. Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rotthfuss
7. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
8. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
9. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
10. The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt


------------------------------
Book Club Information
------------------------------

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 11th, at 5 pm to discuss AFTER ON by Rob Reid.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at cobalt555@earthlink.net, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 18th, at 6 pm to discuss MORE THAN HUMAN by Theodore Sturgeon. The book for the following month will be PASSING STRANGE by Ellen Klages.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

------------------------------
Upcoming Event Details
------------------------------

Loteria Night with artist John Picacio!  Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 pm - LOTERIA NIGHT! WIN PRIZES! Join Hugo Award-winning artist John Picacio for a fast, fun evening playing the classic Mexican game of chance, Loteria (AKA 'Mexican Bingo'). John has produced gorgeous book and product art for works by George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, James Tiptree, Jr., Dan Simmons, Brenda Cooper, Robert Silverberg, Sheri S. Tepper, among many others (http://www.johnpicacio.com).  He's producing an ongoing, stunningly-illustrated set of Loteria Cards, and he'll be signing some of those limited-run collectibles.  We'll play up to 10 rounds of Loteria with the classic Mexican bingo deck and winners will go home with terrific prizes.  We'll also have some of John's limited-run Loteria Posters available and the artist will be signing those as well!  We hope you'll join us for an incredibly entertaining night."

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, March 17th at 6:00 pm - It's always a treat to welcome author Seanan McGuire to Borderlands!  This round, she'll be joined again by the awesome Mishell Baker, and we know you're going to love this urban fantasy duo!  Mishell will be showing off her novel IMPOSTER SYNDROME, third of the Arcadia Project novels: "Three months ago, Los Angeles and New Orleans seceded from the Arcadia Project over an atrocity committed by its London leader, Dame Belinda Barker.  Now, as the two U.S. cities scramble to keep their offices running, Barker fires the devastating first shot of an arcane civil war.  And Millie's partner is the target."  Seanan will be showing off TRICKS FOR FREE, the newest InCryptid book. With this seventh book of the series, "Antimony Price is on the run. With the Covenant on her tail and her family still in danger, she needs to get far, far away from anyone who might recognize her--including her own mice.  For the first time in a long time, a Price is flying without a safety net.  Where do you go when you need to disappear into a crowd without worrying about attracting attention?  An amusement park, of course".  Get your questions answered, bring your books to be signed, and prepare for a high-energy, incredibly fun event!

Come Visit Borderlands West, Saturday, March 24th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm - Alan will be showing off our favorite construction site at 1377 Haight St. (at Masonic Ave.).  See the Forest of Basement Posts!  Thrill at the Dirt Carpeted Back Yard!  Marvel at the Extensive Fire Damage!  And get a chance to see it now so you can impress you friends in just a few months by telling them how you never imagined that it would ever look so nice.  Stop by anytime between noon and six and Alan will give you the 10 cent tour.

SF in SF with authors Nancy Kress, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Jack Skillingstead (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, March 25th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10.)  Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series! The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson.  Authors will schmooze & sign books after.  Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Questions? Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Ilana C. Myer as she returns with a standlaone novel set in the same extraordinary world as her debut novel LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT!  From the publihser: "Espionage, diplomacy, conspiracy, passion, and power are the sensuously choreographed steps of the soaring new high fantasy novel by Ilana C. Myer, one woman's epic mission to stop a magical conflagration.  Lin, newly initiated in the art of otherwordly enchantments, is sent to aid her homeland's allies against savage attacks from the Fire Dancers: mysterious practitioners of strange and deadly magic.  Forced to step into a dangerous waltz of tradition, treachery, and palace secrets, Lin must also race the ticking clock of her own rapidly dwindling life to learn the truth of the Fire Dancers' war, and how she might prevent death on a scale too terrifying to contemplate.  Myer's novel is a symphony of secret towers, desert winds, burning sands, blood and dust.  Her prose soars, and fluid movements of the politically charged plot carry the reader toward a shocking crescendo."  We hope you'll join us to meet this up-and-coming fantasy novelist!  Read the excellent Publishers Weekly review of FIRE DANCE here: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7653-7832-3

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 the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

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 - Na'amen Gobert Tilahun
Assistant Editor - Jude Feldman

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110
415 824-8203
http://www.borderlands-books.com
Comments and suggestions should be directed to editor@borderlands-books.com

* * * * * * *

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dispatches from the Border, February 2018

DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News From Borderlands Books
February 2018

----------------------
Upcoming Events
----------------------



NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED (Book View Cafe, Trade Paperback, $19.99) with authors Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Marie Brennan, Nancy Jane Moore, Deborah Ross and Dave Smeds Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Stephanie Burt, Jasmine Guillory, Ellen Klages, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter  (at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco, CA) Saturday, February 10th at 7:30 pm

SF in SF with authors Nancy Jane Moore and Trina Robbins (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St, San Francisco) Sunday, February 11th at 6:30 pm

Patricia Bossano, NAHIA (Waterbearer Press, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Thursday, February 22nd at 6:00 pm

Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE (Tor Books, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, February 24th at 3:00 pm

Tina LeCount Myers, THE SONG OF ALL (Night Shade Books, Hardcover $25.99 and Trade Paperback $14.99) Saturday, March 3rd at 3:00 pm

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99)

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

-------
News
-------

* Overheard in the Store:

"I'm going to make glitter prints with it.  How often do you get to make art with your internal organs?"

"Seriously surreal.  I'm inadvertently eavesdropping on these 4 Well-Heeled White Women of a Certain Age, & they're discussing their preferred CBD concentrations."

"I'm going to chop your head off! I love you!"

"If you're equally terrified of everything, you're kind of fearless."


* The world has lost of the best writers of the last century.  Acclaimed poet, essayist, translator and author Ursula K. Le Guin passed on January 22nd 2018 at the age of 88.

--An obituary from space.com: https://www.space.com/39470-ursula-k-le-guin-obituary.html

--5 Canadian speculative writers talk about their favorite Ursula K. Le Guin novel: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/23/580109007/ursula-le-guin-whose-novels-plucked-truth-from-high-fantasy-dies-at-88

-- Author Nisis Shawl remembers Ursula K. Le Guin: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/author-nisi-shawl-remembers-a-literary-hero-ursula-k-le-guin/

* Locus Magazine has released their annual recommended reading list.  Check out the whole thing here and see if you missed any gems in the past year: http://locusmag.com/2018/02/2017-locus-recommended-reading-list/

* Some people think science fiction is really taking over television. We would argue that we're finally getting the attention we deserve.  Either way, here's a essay asking what the new mainstream popularity will do to the genre: https://www.theringer.com/tv/2018/1/30/16950634/science-fiction-peak-tv-altered-carbon-star-trek-discovery

* Even the Oscars are finally seeing the worth of speculative fiction, but will the genre take home the big prize for the first time? http://www.newsweek.com/oscars-2018-star-wars-guardians-blade-runner-science-fiction-788433

* WhatCulture gives us a list of ten underrated science fiction movies you might not have seen yet.  The list covers both recent and older films, everything from "Zardoz" to "Colossal". http://whatculture.com/film/10-underrated-science-fiction-movies-you-must-see

* Den of Geek has its own movie list - The 12 Best Science Fiction movies on Hulu. Between this list and the one above you should be able to find _something_ to watch this weekend. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/hulu/270219/best-science-fiction-movies-hulu-recommendation

* Netflix's new series "Altered Carbon", based on the first book in the Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan, is now out.  The showrunner talks about how women in science fiction shaped her life and career.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/how-women-shaped-the-career-of-altered-carbon-showrunner-laeta-kalogridis/article37825627/

* Science fiction has always taken its inspiration from any number of places, but one constant source is real-life conflict; like the graphic novel "The Solar Grid" which was inspired by the Egyptian revolution. 
https://slate.com/culture/2018/01/the-solar-grid-turns-the-egyptian-revolution-into-science-fiction.html

* Having read quite a few articles about Boots Riley's new film Sorry To Bother You, we still have no idea what the movie is about, but we're really desperate to see it! https://www.theroot.com/ambitious-thought-provoking-and-utterly-bizarre-boots-1822654591

* If you are anywhere near Massachusetts and are a fan of fantasy and science fiction, we assume you are already planning a trip to Harvard to check out their exhibition of over sixty maps from novels of speculative fiction: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-maps-from-your-favorite-fantasy-novels-are-on-display-now-at-this-special-exhibition-at-harvard-8098752

* A great article on the shift in "Black Mirror" between seasons 2 and 3, why it had to happen, and why it's been so polarizing to the fans. https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/31/16955308/black-mirror-happy-endings-debate-the-purpose-of-dystopian-fiction-charlie-booker-season-4

* "Does Science Fiction Create the Intellectual Space for Inventions?"  The answer seems like an obvious yes to us, but if you're on the fence or simply want to hear someone break it down you can listen to children's author Bruce Grant talk about it here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_brave_new_world/201801061060555121-does-science-fiction-create-the-intellectual-space-for-inventions/

* The Mary Sue points out that according to Rotten Tomatoes, "The Last Jedi" was the best reviewed science fiction & fantasy film of the year.  (We'd personally consider "Wonder Woman", "Coco", "Get Out" & "Logan" to be genre as well, but Rotten Tomatoes categorizes them differently.) https://www.themarysue.com/last-jedi-best-reviewed-sci-fi-2017/

* A list of the most important pets in science fiction & fantasy leaves us with one question: why do the wolves all end up dying? http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/space-the-nation-the-most-important-pets-of-fantasy-and-sci-fi

* JJ Abrams has sold another show to HBO, this one involving a scientist whose husband and daughter cross over into a world under attack when going through her research. http://www.firstpost.com/india/jj-abrams-science-fiction-drama-demimonde-picked-up-by-hbo-will-be-turned-into-a-series-4332525.html

* "Krypton" is a series that's set before Superman but -- it's not a prequel, it has time travel and sets up the science fiction universe, but seems unconnected to their popular Arrowverse or Supergirl.  Honestly it sounds like a bit of a mess but they're projecting a 7-8 year future, so only time will tell.  http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/syfys-krypton-a-gateway-into-the-dc-science-fiction-universe

* THE FEMME MAGNIFIQUE anthology is finally getting a softcover release in November of 2018. The comics anthology tells stories of women role models including the recently passed Ursula K. Le Guin. Check out more information here: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/02/shelly-bonds-femme-magnifique-anthology-gets-a-sof.html

* Syfy lists some great books to read in February. We're most excited by the Vandana Singh short story collection, but there are a number of great books on the list. http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/9-sci-fi-and-fantasy-novels-to-read-in-february

* This article touching on time loops and time travel in fiction is interesting, but left out the classic MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF by David Gerrold -- one of the most underrated novels on the subject of time travel consequences. http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/movies/from-groundhog-day-to-looper-a-brief-history-of-cinematic-time-loops

* An interesting addition to any library of science fiction, "A Conversation Larger Than the Universe" is one expert's opinion on the history of fantastic literature and some its ignored gems. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/this-essential-book-for-science-fiction-aficionados-takes-you-everywhere/2018/01/23/06d11c14-ffb9-11e7-9d31-d72cf78dbeee_story.html

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Award News
------------------

* The nominees for the Philip K. Dick Award have been announced.  Congratulations to all the nominees and especially local author Meg Elison! http://www.philipkdickaward.org/

* Stephen King will receive the Pen America Literary Service Award this year.  His latest book will be released on the day of the award ceremony, May 22nd.  https://pen.org/2018-pen-america-literary-service-award-stephen-king/

* The two James Tiptree fellows for the coming year have been announced.  Congratulations to authors H. Pueyo and Ineke Chen-Meyer! https://tiptree.org/2018/01/fellowship-recipients-announced

* The Romantic Times Awards have announced their nominees, including many categories of interest to speculative readers: Fantasy Novel, Sci-Fi Novel, Fantasy Romance, Fantasy Adventure, Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding and more. Check out the full list here: https://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-awards/nominees-and-winners?year=2017

* George R.R. Martin is starting a scholarship for the Clarion West Writing Workshop focused on worldbuilding. https://www.clarionwest.org/2018/01/27/george-r-r-martin-announces-new-worldbuilder-scholarship-for-clarion-west/

* The Darrell Awards, which celebrate speculative fiction written by those living in, or set in, the greater Memphis area, have announced their nominees and their Coger Hall of Fame inductee for this year. https://darrellawards.wordpress.com/


--------------------
From The Office
--------------------

Haight Street Update

Last month I told you all the things that were up in the air about the construction work on our new building on Haight Street.  In the past few weeks they've all been resolved and, in every case, the news is quite good.  Here's the current run-down:

Moving the Electrical Service
Great news on this front.  Last month I said that I was thinking that we'd just have to live with the odd little wall right in front of the door as you enter the place that houses the electrical meters, because PG&E was going to take forever and a day to approve moving them.  But, great news -- it turns out that the city building department trumps PG&E.  If we get the city permits to move the meters, then we can do the work regardless of whether PG&E gives us their blessing or not.  So, it's full steam ahead on that job.  Antonius Dintcho, our electrician, has already arranged for a pre-permit meeting with the inspector.  He suggested it and I think it's a great idea.  It costs a couple hundred bucks but the inspector comes down before we get the permits and start work.  We can discuss with him what we want to do and he'll give us pointers on how he'd like us to do it.

Without this step, we'd need to get the permits, do all the rough work, and then have it inspected.  For something simple, like putting in some outlets or new lights, that's fine, but for something as complicated (and expensive) as relocating meters and panels, there is rooms for interpretation about what the electrical code requires.  By having a pre-inspection we reduce the chances that, after doing a ton of work, the inspector ends up being dissatisfied with our interpretation of the code, and makes us tear a bunch of it out.

The one thing that we will need to wait for PG&E to do is increase the amount of electrical service coming into the building.  But, that's not a problem since we can put in all the gear for 400 amp service, but use smaller main breakers so that it'll be correct for the existing 200 amp service.  Then, in the fullness of time, when PG&E gets around to us -- they upgrade the service, we swap the main breakers out and we're all set.  And, swapping the breakers is only a ten minute job (granted, a sweaty, nervous ten minute job -- at least if you're me; 400 amps at 240 volts will kill a person very, very, extra-crispy dead).

Remodeling the Storefront
Our building is lovely in part because it was built in 1902.  But that also means it is an historic building and is subject to special rules that require that any exterior changes must be reviewed by a city planning department specialist to make sure that they're consistent with the age of the building.  The current front door, display windows, and front of the shop are a 1970s mess that I'd love to fix (you can check out the last newsletter for all the details about that - http://borderlands-books.blogspot.com/2018/01/january-building-news.html ).  But, Kevin (the architect) and I were concerned about what sort of hoops we'd have to jump through to do that work.

Well, it's good news on that front as well.  We met with the planner this morning; she was pleasant, helpful, and very much on our side.  The permitting process is going to be very easy and the design we have in mind is totally prefect from an historical standpoint.  And, as a bonus, since we're not going to be keeping anything at all of the existing front, we're going to be able to move the door to the center of the wall as opposed to its current off-set position.  It's going to look so lovely when we're done -- as well as letting in twice as much light through the front windows.

Other News
I'm expecting the written report from Matthew, our structural engineer, later this week.  The drawings should follow next week.  Since Kevin has already completed the bathroom design, it'll just be a matter of combining the two sets of drawings and then we'll be able to submit them for permits.  That should take a day or so and then, contractors willing, we can get started on the job of redoing the bathroom and expanding the sales floor into the lightwell area.

Matthew has also weighed in on the project of removing the posts and beams from the basement.  It's looking like we're going to be able to eliminate all of the posts in the office area and replace them (and their associated beams) with a single heavy beam supported by a single post at each end.  That is great news.  And, one of the best parts is that, since that new beam will run beside the existing ones, we won't have to put up a bunch of temporary shoring to support the upper floor while we remove the old post and beams. The new one will go in, support the floor, and then we take the old ones out.

And, last but not least, last Sunday we broke up all 250 square feet of concrete in the backyard to get it ready for the garden.  We took two truckloads to the dump (3300lbs), and there's another 3500-4000lbs left to go.  It was one big, hard sweaty job but, thanks to a remarkable crew of folks, we managed to get it done.  On top of that, the garden design is getting close to set.  We're going to use raised planting beds to define the space and I'm very excited about it.

That's about it for now.  As I did last month, I'll be holding the place open one day in February.  I'll be there from noon until six pm on Saturday, February 24th.  If you're interested in seeing the space, please stop by and I'll give you the tour -- 1377 Haight St. at Masonic Ave.  I'll hope to see you there.

All Best,
Alan

----------------
Best Sellers
----------------

Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for January, 2018

Hardcovers
1) Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
2) Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
3) Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
4) Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
5) Dark State by Charles Stross
6) La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
7) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
8) The Power by Naomi Alderman
9) Artemis by Andy Weir
10) Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Trade Paperbacks
1) Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
3) Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
4) Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
5) Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
6) Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
7) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
8) The Tree by Na'amen Gobert Tilahun
9) Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
10) The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
2) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
3) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
4) Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
5) Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
6) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
9) The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
10) The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

------------------------------
Book Club Information
------------------------------

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 11th, at 5 pm to discuss NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at cobalt555@earthlink.net, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 18th at 6 pm to discuss DIASPORA by Greg Egan. The book for the following month will be.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

------------------------------
Upcoming Event Details
------------------------------


NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED (Book View Cafe, Trade Paperback, $19.99) with authors Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Marie Brennan, Nancy Jane Moore, Deborah Ross and Dave Smeds Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 pm - We are delighted to welcome 5 local authors, all contributors to the anthology NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED.  Their stories celebrate women "who persist through tales of triumph --in the past, present, future, and other worlds. . . From the halls of Ancient Greece to the vast space between stars, each story illustrates tenacity as women overcome challenges -- from society, from beloved family and friends, and even from their own fears.  These strong heroines explore the humor and tragedy of persistence in stories that range from romance to historical fiction, from fantasy to science fiction.  From tale to tale, every woman stands firm: a light against the darkness."  We hope you'll join us for an inspiring reading and signing!

Writers With Drinks with authors authors Stephanie Burt, Jasmine Guillory, Ellen Klages, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter  (at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco, CA) Saturday, February 10th at 7:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, and we're always happy to participate! The amazing lineup this month includes authors Stephanie Burt, Jasmine Guillory, Ellen Klages, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter.  Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits. Doors open at 6:30 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.

SF in SF with authors Nancy Jane Moore and Trina Robbins (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St, San Francisco) Sunday, February 11th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10.)  Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series! The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson.  Authors will schmooze & sign books after.  Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Questions? Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

Patricia Bossano, NAHIA (Waterbearer Press, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Thursday, February 22nd at 6:00 pm - Please join us for an informal signing in the bookstore with author Patricia Bossano!  She'll be showing off the third installment in her Fairie: Legacy series entitled NAHIA.  "The faery sphere and the human world collide in [Nahia] this third installment of a series . . . Bossano's writing is beautiful and rich with detail . . . the overarching themes of loyalty, family, and weighing one's own desires versus the greater good remain throughout . . . A vivid and intricate fantasy tale about the ties that bind and the conflicts between two realms." --Kirkus Reviews

Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE (Tor Books, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, February 24th at 3:00 pm - We're thrilled to be hosting author, historian and composer Ada Palmer!  The first two books of the series, TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING and SEVEN SURRENDERS, dove deep into the near-utopian world of 2454.  The third installment, THE WILL TO BATTLE looks every bit as engrossing, and we look forward to hearing Palmer's personal vision for the future -- as only a historian could envision.  From the author's website: "Science fiction often has asked contemporary questions of an imagined future.  In the four-volume Terra Ignota novel series, author Ada Palmer has reflected this tradition back upon itself, exploring the questions the brilliant world of 2454 might ask when faced with its own unknowable future.  After citizenship and religion, family and language, law and freedom have been utterly reformed over half a century of war and three centuries of peace, where do the denizens of a near-Utopia turn for answers when their world order faces upheaval?  A notorious criminal genius is the historian of the world’s remaking; a mysterious spiritual counselor seeks truth in a world that has atomized religion; carnality and high politics join to preserve the old order as a rumored god, an omnipotent child, a celebrity assassin and a living myth struggle to shape the future as a rediscovered orator calls for inevitable war."

Tina LeCount Myers, THE SONG OF ALL (Night Shade Books, Hardcover $25.99 and Trade Paperback $14.99) Saturday, March 3rd at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Tina LeCount Myers, who will be presenting her new fantasy epic THE SONG OF ALL!  Just listen to this awesome description from the author's website: "In an icy and unforgiving world, Irjan's life is at a crossroads, and he must decide whether to follow the course of fate, or find his own direction.  Irjan believes his past is behind him.  He is building a new life based on hope rather than bloodshed.  He is a farmer now -- a husband, a father.  But in Davvieana, where days are marked by the struggle between light and dark, the past is not easily left behind.  Caught between the regrets of his former life and his perilous future, Irjan, guided by love for his son, goes beyond the mortal veil of his people, the Olmmoš, into the Immortal's world of the Jápmemeahttun and their Song of All.  As the Jápmemeahttun endeavor to exist in peace with their sworn enemies, the Olmmoš, Irjan must make a choice -- one that will forever alter his life and the lives of all around him."  We sincerely hope you'll join us; don't miss the start of something grand!

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) - How amazing is it that we're hosting these two authors together again?  More details to come next month, but you know you'll want to be here!

Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge unless otherwise stated.  You are welcome to bring copies of an author's books purchased elsewhere to be autographed (but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while at the event).  For most events you are welcome to bring as many books as you wish for autographs.  If you are unable to attend the event we will be happy to have a copy of any of the author's available books signed or inscribed for you.  We can then either hold the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

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 - Na'amen Gobert Tilahun
Assistant Editor - Jude Feldman

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110
415 824-8203
http://www.borderlands-books.com
Comments and suggestions should be directed to editor@borderlands-books.com

* * * * * * *

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dispatches from the Border, January 2018

DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News From Borderlands Books
January 2018

Borderlands 2018 Sponsorships are Available

At the beginning of 2015 Borderlands was getting ready to close.  San Francisco voters had passed an increase in the minimum wage that was going to end the financial viability of the store, probably by the middle of July that year.  If not at that point, then the second increase scheduled for July of this year was certainly going to do the job.  Although I and the rest of the staff strongly support minimum wage laws in general and we suspected that San Francisco's local increase would be generally positive for the city as a whole, we were trapped by the idiosyncrasy of the book business.  Unlike most products, books have a price printed on them. That makes the usual business solution of increasing prices to cover higher expenses impossible for us.  Rather than ride the business down into the grave, I and the rest of the staff decided it was better to close quickly, at the time of our choosing and at the top of our game.

Our customers were very much opposed to this and, out of their comments & suggestions and in consultation with the staff, we decided to try an experiment.  We would ask that a minimum of 300 people sponsor the store for $100 each.  If that many people were willing, it would offset the added expense of the wage increases that were scheduled to raise the wage to $15 per hour by the middle of the following year.  Since that increased expense would be on-going, a basic assumption was that the sponsorship would need to recur each year.

2018 will be our fourth year operating as a sponsored business.  Thus far, it has been a huge success.  Not only have more than double the required number of people sponsored us for the past two years but, with the support of our sponsors, customers, and fellow professionals in our field, we were able to raise the funds to purchase a building on Haight Street to be our permanent location.  2018, our 20th year in business, is going to be a momentous one marked by our relocation to our new home.  We will no longer be subject to the greatest threat to the survival of any small business -- a massive and unmanageable increase in rent.

As exciting as this year will be, it's not going to be easy.  We are still under the wage pressure that caused us to start the sponsorship program in the first place.  In time, our new building will ease some of that pressure, once the costs of moving and the finances stabilize, but for now the finances of the building are only self-supporting and they do not benefit the bookstore.  In fact, the building finances are only self-supporting once the bookstore is paying the rent that currently goes to our landlord into the building's coffers instead.  Added to that pressure, Alan will be doing a great deal of work to get the building is shape to house the store, which means that there will be even more work than usual for the rest of the bookstore and cafe staff.

If you have never been a sponsor or if you were in the past but stopped, this year will be a watershed moment for your support.  If you'd like to sign up, you can do so on-line at https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship.html, or you can call 888 893-4008, email office@borderlands-books.com or come into the store in person.  Though there are quite a few benefits to sponsorship (you'll find a full list here - http://borderlands-sponsors.blogspot.com/p/sponsor-benefits-and-privilidges.html) the greatest thing that your sponsorship will accomplish is helping us move forward and make our transition to our new space.

If you're interested in more details about how the sponsorship program came to be, you'll find the story here http://borderlands-sponsors.blogspot.com/p/why-sponsorships.html.

In closing we'd like to thank everyone who has been a sponsor in the past.  Without you, we wouldn't be here.  

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Upcoming Events
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Chad Stroup, SECRETS OF THE WEIRD (Grey Matter Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95) Sunday, January 21st at 3:00 pm

Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, THE TREE (NightShade Books, Trade Paperback, $14.99) Sunday, January 28th at 2:00 pm 

SF in SF with authors Cecelia Holland and Kim Stanley Robinson (at the American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) Sunday, January 28th at 6:30 pm

David Fitzgerald and Dana Fredsti, TIME SHARDS (Titan Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, February 3rd at 3:00 pm

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED (Book View Cafe, Trade Paperback, $19.99) with authors Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Marie Brennan, Nancy Jane Moore, Deborah Ross and Dave Smeds Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Steph Burt, Ellen Klages, C.B. Lee, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter  (at the Make-Out Room, Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco, CA) Saturday, February 10th at 7:30 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

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News
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* Overheard in the Store:

"My astrological chart makes it really difficult. . . I desperately want to save the world, but I can't find my keys."

"There's a 'Game of Thrones' coloring book?  Does it only come with red crayons?"

"Frequently when I'm traveling it ends up being 'Hm, books or pants?'"

"She's so beautiful. . . it's like if Disney had made a Goth princess."

"Well, yeah -- [Book Title] is totally atrocious trash, but it's SO MUCH fun to read!"

"You've got to grab life by the cookies."

"My brain is like, 'I know it's 3 am & you were just about to doze off, but you don't actually know what "emulsify" means! You should look it up IMMEDIATELY!'"

"I may have reached 'peak San Francisco'.  Girlfriend has 'Instant pot' on her Christmas list, and I have no idea whether that is a cooking thing, or a medical marijuana delivery service, like InstaCart for joints."

* Overheard at Writers With Drinks:

"Alyssa Cole understands that the most heroic thing an intergalactic hero can do is fall in love."

"I don't know what a BitCoin is, but it seems like the kind of thing you'd get when you sell your soul."

"Bookstores are like a magical petting zoo for stories!"

"It's not like 'Oh, I can't watch that anymore because. . . hyperspace."

* Our friends at Comix Experience <https://www.comixexperience.com/> will be hosting a signing with the fabulous Saladin Ahmed on January 19th at 6:00 pm!  He'll be signing BLACK BOLT.  For more information, see https://www.comixexperience.com/events/

* Distinguished local author Nick Mamatas is teaching another Fabulist Fiction course at WeWork Golden Gate (25 Taylor St., San Francisco).  The class will run for six sessions (Saturday, 2:00 - 5:00 pm), February 10th - March 17, 2018.  For more information, and to sign up, see: https://sfwriting.institute/portfolio/fabulist_fiction/

* R.I.P. Susan Grafton, celebrated author of the popular Kinsey Millhone mystery series.  Her daughter has stated that there will be no ghostwriter to finish off the series and it will stay lettered from A to Y. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/Mystery-Writer-Sue-Grafton-Dies-in-California-467174743.html

* We're sorry to hear of the death of Bruce McCandless, the first astronaut to fly untethered in space. 

* Katherine Cross writes about when fans and fandom cross the line into abusive behavior, and why we have to take such things seriously (particularly in regards to the recent "Call of Duty" swatting death).  Find it at The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/2/16840170/swatting-death-call-duty-toxic-fandom

* Tor.com has republished Seanan McGuire's excellent piece on learning from "My Little Pony" to make her violence fluffy and covered with glitter to make it fly under the radar.   If you haven't read it already you should read it now: https://www.tor.com/2017/12/20/learning-to-write-fluffy-glittery-violence-from-my-little-pony/

* Ada Palmer talks about the places that science fiction meets social science, and why those are the points on which her fiction focuses.  https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/when-science-fiction-meets-social-science/

* The Verge recommends an interesting short science fiction film, "SENTiNEL," in which a man is being hunted down by a drone.  Although short, it hints at a larger world that begs for a longer film to explore it.  https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/24/16814968/sentinel-film-riot-drones-short-scifi-film-watch

* Though the webseries "Miss 2059" has been going for two years, it was just brought to our attention.  A beauty queen from the future is accidentally transported to a deadly intergalactic tournament instead of her more militaristic sister.  https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/anna-akana-miss-2059-go90/

* Tor gives us a list of all the new fantasy coming out in January -- prepare to open & empty your wallets!https://www.tor.com/2018/01/02/new-fantasy-books-january-2018/

* We love when non-science-fiction-focused publications write articles exploring science fiction from their perspective.  So in that tradition, here's "Food & Wine" talking about the prevalence of spice in science fiction works and their cultural relevance: http://www.foodandwine.com/news/spice-science-fiction

* About half of the movies on this "Great sci-fi movies you might have missed in 2017" list are actually great, and the other half. . .  well, why don't you decide?  https://io9.gizmodo.com/20-great-scifi-movies-you-may-have-missed-in-2017-but-1821021794

* Meanwhile, here are some science fiction films coming in 2018 that have not yet proved themselves one way or another, so there's still hope: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/03/cutting-edge-sci-fi-movies-2018-steven-spielberg-alex-garland

* Syfy announces series pickup for "Nightflyers," based on the George R.R. Martin novella: https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwtv/article/Syfy-Announces-Series-Pickup-for-NIGHTFLYERS-Based-on-George-RR-Martin-Novella-20180104

* They will be genetically modifying horses by 2019.  Please tell us we're going for unicorns!  https://www.paulickreport.com/horse-care-category/sounds-like-science-fiction-genetically-modified-horses-hit-ground-2019/

* We have a love/hate relationship with the classic "Twilight Zone", because those stories were GREAT, but are also the root of several neuroses we deal with to this day.  All the same it's terrific to see Jordan Peele taking the helm to traumatize a brand new generation: https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/6/16742398/jordan-peele-the-twilight-zone-cbs-all-access-tv

* An interview with action-adventure novelist James Rollins, who also writes fantasy under the name James Clemens: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/books/review/james-rollins-by-the-book.html

* Over at SyfyWire, there's an interesting article about genre parodies and how they helped us become more genre aware: http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/firsts-sci-fi-parodies-and-how-genre-became-self-aware

* There have been a lot of critical reviews of the Netflix "blockbuster" "Bright," and many are hilarious -- but IndieWire hits the perfect balance of legitimate criticisms and side-swipes at the film that are usual commentary as well as funny: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/bright-review-netflix-will-smith-max-landis-david-ayer-worst-movie-2017-1201909960/

* This review from Birth Movies Death, however, takes a long view and talks about "Bright" as the culmination of an unfortunate undercurrent that's been in fantasy literature all along: http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/12/29/bright-and-the-history-of-racialized-high-fantasy

* This article gives advice and goes through the options for those who are thinking of going the self-publishing route: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/how-to-pick-the-right-self-publishing-optioin/Content?oid=11230042

* A wonderful article about how the stories that we tell about the future are how we survive the current reality: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/vby7b3/best-science-fiction-best-speculative-fiction-2017

* The editor doesn't need any convincing that "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" was ahead of its time and is still one of the best Star Trek series, but if you do need convincing, check out this piece:

* Was it a big bang?  Or a big suck?  A new theory put forth is that a black hole from a previous universe is what gave birth to our universe: http://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/17436-no-big-bang-black-hole-created-universe
 
* Cultress gives us a list of 20 women who are masters of science fiction, whom you should read if you haven't already: https://culturess.com/2017/12/12/20-female-masters-science-fiction/

* Finding yourself in fiction, fantasy or not, is very important.  A woman talks about how Black speculative fiction changed her life: https://wearyourvoicemag.com/more/culture/black-speculative-fiction-brought-magical-self

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Award News
------------------

* The judges for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards have been announced.  See here for the list of names, as well as addresses to send materials: https://locusmag.com/2017/12/2018-world-fantasy-awards-judges-announced/

* The winners of the 2017 Parsec Awards were announced, many of which could be of interest to fans of speculative fiction: http://www.parsecawards.com/2017-parsec-awards/2017-finalists/

* E. Lily Yu has won the 2017 LaSalle Artist Trust Storyteller Award, which comes with a $10,000 grant. Listen to an interview with her here: https://www.garlasalle.com/2017/12/interview-e-lily-yu/

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Editor's Note
-----------------

Because the "From the Office" section of this newsletter is likely to be substantially longer than usual for the next few months as we deluge you with building news, we have moved it to the end of the newsletter.  

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Best Sellers
----------------
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for December, 2017

Hardcovers

1) Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
2) La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
3) Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
4) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
5) Artemis by Andy Weir
6) Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders
7) Well of Ascension Special Leatherbound Edition by Brandon Sanderson
8) A War in Crimson Embers by Alex Marshall
9) The Power by Naomi Alderman
10) The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer

Trade Paperbacks

1) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans by Ken Liu
2) Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
3) The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
4) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
5) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
6) The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
7) The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
8) A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
9) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
10) A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall

Mass Market Paperbacks

1) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
2) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
4) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
5) Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
6) Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
7) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
8) The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
9) American Gods by Neil Gaiman
10) Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

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Book Club Information
------------------------------

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 14th, at 5 pm to discuss ABADDON'S GATE by James S.A. Corey.  The book for the following month will be NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at cobalt555@earthlink.net, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 21st, at 6 pm to discuss THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE by Meg Elison.  The author will be present to participate in the discussion.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

------------------------------
Upcoming Event Details 
------------------------------

Chad Stroup, SECRETS OF THE WEIRD (Grey Matter Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95) Sunday, January 21st at 3:00 pm - From the book description: "The fulfillment of your every desire . . . . That's the enticing yet dangerous promise of Sweet Candy, the new designer drug making the rounds through the community of club kids, neo-Nazis, drag queens, prostitutes and punks who populate the mean streets of Sweetville.  With its chewable hearts and candied lips threatening to forever transform the delicate social balance and the very lives of each and every member of the city's underground, Sweet Candy is poised to ignite the tenuous powder keg that is life, love and lust in Sweetville.  But could the enigmatic back-alley surgeon Julius Kast and his partnership with a peculiar cult be the spark that lights the fuse once and for all?  And how will their actions affect the life of a young woman named Trixie who is seeking salvation through transformation?  Take a remarkable journey that's equal parts irreverent social commentary, revisionist dystopia, dark fantasy and horrifying reality when you travel to the unforgettable world of Sweetville's counterculture where a host of sometimes dangerous, often deviant and always dark secrets are waiting to be revealed.  Such secrets refuse to be confined to Sweetville. But instead will come home to live with you. Changing everything. Forever." Join us to meet Chad Stroup and check out this awesome new novel! If you do the Facebook thing, RSVP here:: https://www.facebook.com/events/214188619126161/

Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, THE TREE (NightShade Books, Trade Paperback, $14.99) Sunday, January 28th at 2:00 pm - We're thrilled to welcome Na'amen Tilahun back to Borderlands! "[THE TREE is the] sequel to THE ROOT, a compelling urban fantasy series set between modern-day San Francisco and an alternate dimension filled with gods and worlds of dark magic.  In Corpiliu, an alternate dimension to our own, a darkness grows, devouring whole cities as it spreads.  Robbed of her greatest power, separated from her siblings and thrown among people she does not trust, Lil, a 'dant from the city Zebub, must find a way to turn everything around, to trust in a power she knows nothing about.  Erik travels from San Francisco to Zebub, haunted by the ghost of his ex, still coming to terms with his true identity as a descendant of the gods, and unsure how to fight what seems to have no weakness.  Pushing back against taboos meant to keep the true history of Corpiliu secret, he gains many enemies and few allies, and strange visions will make him question his own sanity.  Between Earth and Corpiliu, a war is developing on two fronts, one that might well mean the end of both dimensions. In THE TREE, the dynamic follow-up to the exciting fantasy debut THE ROOT, long-held secrets will be revealed, and long-trusted loyalties will be put to the test."

SF in SF with authors Cecelia Holland and Kim Stanley Robinson (at the American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) Sunday, January 28th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.)  Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series! The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson.  The authors will schmooze & sign books after.  Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Questions?  Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

David Fitzgerald and Dana Fredsti, TIME SHARDS (Titan Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, February 3rd at 3:00 pm - We're happy to welcome local authors and sponsors David and Dana back to Borderlands!  From the book description: "It's called 'The Event,' an unimaginable cataclysm that shatters 600 million years of the Earth's timeline.  Our world is gone, instantly replaced by a new one made of scattered remnants of the past, present, and future, dropped alongside one another in a patchwork of 'shards'.  Monsters from Jurassic prehistory, ancient armies, and high-tech robots all coexist in this deadly post-apocalyptic landscape.  A desperate group of survivors sets out to locate the source of the disaster.  They include 21st century Californian Amber Richardson, Cam, a young Celtic warrior from Roman Britannia, Alex Brice, a policewoman from 1985, and Blake, a British soldier from World War II.  With other refugees from across time, they must learn the truth behind the Event, if they are to survive."  We hope you'll join us for this very entertaining event!

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED (Book View Cafe, Trade Paperback, $19.99) with authors Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Marie Brennan, Nancy Jane Moore, Deborah Ross and Dave Smeds Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 pm - We are delighted to welcome 5 local authors, all contributors to the anthology NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED.  Their stories celebrate women "who persist through tales of triumph --in the past, present, future, and other worlds. . . From the halls of Ancient Greece to the vast space between stars, each story illustrates tenacity as women overcome challenges -- from society, from beloved family and friends, and even from their own fears.  These strong heroines explore the humor and tragedy of persistence in stories that range from romance to historical fiction, from fantasy to science fiction.  From tale to tale, every woman stands firm: a light against the darkness."  We hope you'll join us for an inspiring reading and signing!

Writers With Drinks with authors Steph Burt, Ellen Klages, C.B. Lee, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter  (at the Make-Out Room, Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco, CA) Saturday, February 10th at 7:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, and we're always happy to participate! The amazing lineup this month includes authors Steph Burt, Ellen Klages, C.B. Lee, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter. Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits. Doors open at 6:30 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.  Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits. Doors open at 6:30 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.

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 the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.


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Featured Upcoming Titles
-----------------------------
(These titles have not arrived yet.  You may pre-order any of these books by calling or emailing us.  Prices may be subject to change.  Of course, we have many more titles arriving each week . . . call or email us if you're curious about a particular upcoming title not listed here.)

Andrews, Scott K. * New World * (Hodder, tpb)
Bacigalupi, Paolo, & Tobias S. Buckell * The Tangled Lands * (Simon & Schuster/Saga Press, hc)
Blumlein, Michael * All I Ever Dreamed * (Valancourt Books, cln, hc)
Elliott, Kate * The Dead Empire * (Little, Brown UK/Orbit, tpb)
Kessel, John * Pride and Prometheus * (Simon & Schuster/Saga Press, hc)
Le Guin, Ursula K. * Dreams Must Explain Themselves and Other Essays 1972-2004 * (Orion/Gollancz, nf, tpb)
Moon, Elizabeth * Into the Fire * (Penguin Random House/Del Rey, hc)
Sagara, Michelle * Cast in Deception * (Harlequin/Mira, tpb)
Salvatore, R. A. * Child of a Mad God * (Tor, hc)
Silverberg, Robert * Living in the Future: Robert Silverberg on Science Fiction * (NESFA Press, nf, hc)
Walton, Jo * Poor Relations * (Tor, hc)
Watson, Angus * The Land You Never Leave * (Little, Brown UK/Orbit, tpb)
Wooding, Chris * The Ember Blade * (Orion/Gollancz, hc)

Abbreviations indicate --
hc=hardcover; tpb=trade paperback; otherwise mass-market pb, or we're not sure
cln=collection; om=omnibus; anth=anthology; nva=novella; otherwise novel
h=horror; nf=nonfiction; a=associational [non-sffh]; otherwise sf/fantasy
1st US editions (+) are books previously published in the UK or other countries; otherwise US and UK books listed as originals are 1st English language editions.

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From The Office
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Hi Everyone and Happy New Year,

I hope that 2018 is treating you well thus far.  For me it started with a horrible cold and it's gotten steadily better from there (not a hard trick to accomplish).  Of course, it's been crazy busy and I'm still way behind on my email, but it would be unreasonable to think that it would be any other way given the events of the past few months.

The biggest one, our purchase of the building on Haight Street (Borderlands West, if you will), has been working out mostly quite well with only a few hiccups so far.  The process of getting the building in shape for us to move is mostly what I'm going to be writing about in this newsletter over the next few months.  Those posts are liable to be pretty long (like this one), which is why we've moved them to the end of the newsletter.

Before I get into all the news and plans about the building, I wanted to let you all know that I'll be having an open-house there this month.  This Saturday, January the 20th, I'll be around from noon until six in the evening.  Feel free to stop by any time in that window and I'll give you the nickel-tour of the place as well as answering any questions you have about our plans.  If you can make it, you really should -- the place is probably just about as torn up as it'll ever be and I think it will be fun in a few years to talk about how you remember back when it was a construction site.

But, if you can't make it to the open house, I've finally got some pictures up - http://borderlands-books.blogspot.com/p/haight-st-photos.html.  It's not the best forum for pictures but it was easy to do and easy is a feature much in demand for me, right now.  I should have more pictures up in a bit.

The Building, In General
Buying a new building has a whole list of things that come up after the sale is done.  All the utilities have to be changed over, you need to get insurance (fast), and there are always little surprises that come up.  When you add residential tenants into the mix, things get more interesting.

Overall that change-over process has worked out quite well.  The existing tenants in the two apartments upstairs are very nice folks and seem to be very happy with us as the new owners.  They've been paying the rent on time (such a big relief) and I think we're going to get along really well.

The apartments are in good repair, given the givens, but there are a few things to sort out.  One surprise was a leak in one of the kitchens the first time it rained.  After talking with the tenant it turns out that this has been a recurring problem over the years.  I went up to check the roof (which we know needs to be replaced) and I found the problem pretty quickly -- a low spot that looked like it had been patched about a million times.  I tore off the layers of old, bad patch and did it again on the clean, base surface.  That seems to have sorted out the problem.  And, since it only needs to last 'til spring when we'll replace the whole roof, I think it won't be a issue.

Other than the water department getting the wrong address for the bills (and, as a result, threatening to turn off the water for non-payment) there haven't been any other surprises.  Oh, except it seems that there are some mice getting into the water heater closet in the lower apartment.  That one that will be an easy fix with some sheet metal and steel wool.

The circuit breaker panels in both apartments need to be replaced (I'll say more about that in a moment) but that's not going to be too big or complicated a job since we're doing a bunch of electrical work downstairs.

The Bookstore Build Out
There are a bunch of pieces to the job of getting the place ready for us to move in.  Thankfully (and unlike the last big job I did -- building the cafe), most of the pieces are independent of each other and just require quite straightforward permits.  That means no long review process or plan checking.  We just go up, explain what were doing (with a few plans in some cases), pay our fee, and away we go.  And, some of the work doesn't require building permits at all.

The way that the process will work is first we'll focus on the "rough-in" work followed by the "final" work and then the "finish" work.  For example, building the new (accessible) bathroom will first consist of framing the walls, putting in the plumbing pipes and electrical wiring -- that's the "rough-in" work.  Then, after inspections, we put the drywall up, tape and finish it, plus connect the toilet, sink, as well as the outlets and ceiling light.  After another inspection, that completes the "final" work.  Once that's done, we paint the place, put on outlet covers, and so on.  That's the finish work.  There may be times when one part of the job is moving ahead of another part (for example, putting drywall on one wall while still doing the rough plumbing in the bathroom) but generally all the parts of the job will move forward in step.

Before all that happens though, we need to do the demolition work.  That's the process of taking out every thing that's broken, worn out, poor quality, or undesirable so that we can start putting in the stuff that we want. Thanks to a bunch of help from a great team of volunteers, most of the demolition work was finished just before New Years.  There still some cleaning to do (my goodness but the place is dusty) and there are some semi-delicate demolition jobs that I still want to do, but the broad strokes are finished.

Last Thursday I met with our architect, Kevin, and the structural engineer that we're going to be working with (Matthew Tropp of Ashley & Vance Engineering: https://ashleyvance.com).  It was a really great meeting and I feel very confident and happy with Matthew.  His job is, in essence, to tell Kevin and I the requirements, from a strength and safety standpoint, of the work that we want to do.  For example, I want to remove some of the posts in the basement that support the floor of the store.  Matthew will tell us which posts can be removed and which ones need to stay (short answer to that -- we don't need all of them but we do need more of them than I thought).  He's also giving us some excellent advice about simple things that we can do to improve the seismic stability of the whole building.  For some parts of the job he'll be doing extensive plans and drawings (like the work on the lightwell; more about that in a bit) while on some others he'll just be giving written guidance.

Overall where the job stands right now is that there are still big-picture questions that I need to get answers to before I can really start planning a specific schedule of work (and, perhaps, come up with a move-in date that isn't complete fantasy).  Most big projects start like that.  I start with a goal and a set of general ideas and then I get specifics about whether the ideas are possible and affordable (both in terms of time and money).  The remaining "big-picture" items are what we're doing about the electrical service and the front exterior / entry.

The Electrical Service -- Right now the electrical meters and main shut-off switches are located in a closet on the ground floor, pretty much right in front of the entry door.  The breaker panel for the store is in the same spot. It's a really awkward set up and I'd like to move all the electrical down into the basement.  Once we do that, the whole weird little wall can go away, which'll open up the entry area a bunch.

In addition, the whole building uses circuit breakers made by a company called Federal Pacific Electric.  That company (now long defunct) is legendary in the business for making really shoddy products.  So much so that people joke that "FPE" actually stands for "fire protection is extra".  Given that circuit breakers exist to prevent fires, that's not . . . good.  So, I want to replace all that crappy gear with good stuff.  While doing all that work, it would be the best time to upgrade the total amount of electrical service that comes into the building.  In the 1970s, when the work was done, the amount of service was fine but, by current standards, it's about half what it should be (currently 200 amps versus the 400 amps that is current standard).

But there's a catch.  Moving electrical meters and increasing service can only be done by our utility company, PG&E.  And they do it on their own time.  This week I heard back from them about my request for a site-survey to see how much work would be needed.  They said it would take 18 to 20 . . . weeks!  And that's just to get someone to take a look at what needs to be done.

So, we're going to find another solution.  It's possible that we might be able to find an expediter who can speed the process up.  But, if that doesn't work, I'm going to have the main switches and breaker panel moved to the basement and trim down the weird little wall so that it'll just hold the meters.  It'll be odd but I'm pretty sure we can put some plants on top of it, some display shelves on the sides, and make into a feature instead of a bug.  We can get the meters moved later, if that seems necessary.

The Front Entry -- The exterior of the building isn't very well designed.  I know why (it's part of the same reason that the electrical service is right in the middle of the floor - however that's another story) but it would be really nice to improve it.  The windows that used to run across the top of the whole ground floor have been covered up, the door is crappy (and the frame around it is so far out of square that it makes me dizzy to look at it), and the brick work below the display windows is prime 1970s (i.e. ugly).  Also, we could change it up a bit and get about 60 square feet of extra floor space.

But, the building is historic and that means changing the exterior opens up a whole can of worms (despite there being nothing left on the ground floor in front that is original).  The problem isn't the possible cost (which is not bad) or the design requirements (which would probably be pretty nice).  The problem is that it would have to be reviewed by the historical commission and that takes time.  Possibly more time that we want to spend waiting around.

Kevin is looking into what changing the exterior will entail and we hope to know something in a week or so.  Until then, I'm not sure what we're going to do about the front.  It's serviceable now and I'm sure we can sneak a new door in without anyone flipping out so, if we need to leave it as is, we can.  But, it'll be a big pain to do the work later so if we're going to change it, the time is now.

The remaining work is all pretty clear, in a general sense.  It includes the rear wall, the garden, the new bathroom/lightwell, the basement, and changes to the stairway into the basement along with some repair / reinforcement work due to old fire damage.  I'll give you a quick idea of what's involved with each of those.

The rear wall of the building currently has two six-foot-wide sliding glass doors along with a window above one of the doors.  Since we don't really need two doors into the garden, I'm going to close one of them up.  There'll be several advantages to that.  First off, it'll give us someplace to put the gas fireplace that will be both decorative (who doesn't love a fireplace?) and also provide heating for the place.  Second, we'll be able to turn that section of wall into what's called a "sheer wall".  In essence, we'll cover half the wall with plywood 3/4" thick and nail it like a sombitch.  The plywood stretching across the lumber that frames the wall will create a box that won't move in an earthquake.  The result will make the whole building much more resilient when we get a big shake.  When we're done it will be invisible because the plywood will then be covered with drywall.  We'll take the glass doors on the other side out, make the doorway a bit smaller, and put in french doors instead.  The window above will probably be relocated upwards to make room for bookshelves above the doorway.

The backyard will be turned into a garden area with seating as well as room for authors to do public events (when the weather allows).  We're planning to visually divide the space up so that it will feel cosy and intimate. We're also planning a fountain and space for a BBQ.  All the ivy and built up soil has been removed and, while doing that, we discovered to our surprise that the whole rear yard is covered with concrete.  Tearing that out is one of the jobs that's coming up soon so that the soil can breathe and start getting back to something that plants will grow in.  We are also going to be replacing the fence all the way around the perimeter.  Since the ground level is much lower than the adjacent properties, that fence is a matter of safety as well as privacy.  I've already talked it over with two out of the three neighbors, and they're very pleased with the idea.

Since the existing bathroom is tiny in addition to being pretty squalid, we'll be completely tearing it out and building a larger one that conforms to ADA standards.  The bathroom is right next to a lightwell that, honestly, isn't really necessary.  Since the new bathroom will be bigger, it will intrude into the lightwell and that will require some pretty major reframing to support the upper floors of the building.  Since we need to do that work anyway, we'll be taking the opportunity to completely eliminate the lightwell and convert that space into some extra indoor store area.  That will be one of the biggest jobs and was one of the biggest things we needed to consult with Matthew, the engineer, about.  To do the job, we'll be putting in two big beams -- one to replace the support that the lightwell wall used to provide, and one to support the end of that first beam so we don't need to put a post down right in the middle of the store.

That job is one of the only ones I don't plan to be working on.  When I say "big beams" I mean it -- think 20 feet long, 8 inches wide, and 14 inches thick.  I have a rule that I don't do things that require me plan how to lift things 13 feet in the air that will swat me like a bug if something goes wrong.  That's a job I'm going to leave to the full-time professionals, thank you very much!

While we're doing that, we'll extend the beam six or seven feet and use it to support the stairs that go up to the apartments.  That stairway was damaged in a fire, probably in the 70s, and though it's currently safe, it wouldn't hurt to give it some extra support.

Once the big beams are in place, then it's a relatively straightforward job of framing the new bathroom walls and building the new exterior wall.  That's all work I feel quite comfortable doing (with a bit of advice from my contractor friends).  There will also be some gas and water lines that will need to be relocated since the wall that they currently run in is going away.  Also easy work but it'll have to be done by a licensed plumber because that's what the city requires.  The plumber will be working on the job anyway since they'll need to do all the new plumbing for the bathroom.

As I've mentioned, we're going to move the office to the basement to conserve space for the actual bookstore.  Right now the basement is an absolute forest of posts, more than I've ever seen for a building like this (33 posts all together -- our current building, which is just as wide and 35% longer, has 10).  We'll be removing as many as we can, which may require reinforcing the beams they support as well as the joists that rest on those beams and support the actual floor.  It's all pretty straightforward work -- as long as you've got someone like Kevin and Matthew to make sure you don't take out the wrong post and drop something on your head.  (Something like part of the building.)  Once that work is done (along with whatever we're doing with the electrical), we'll cover the ceiling with drywall, put in some sort of floor treatment (wood or paint since the current concrete surface is in pretty good shape), and probably drywall on the walls to put a layer of "homey" over the current dungeon look.

The stairway down into the basement is a bit steep and a bit narrow.  It also doesn't have enough headroom where it passes through the floor to avoid me giving myself a concussion if I'm not paying attention.  So, we'll be making a few changes to the layout correcting those problems.  Specifically we'll take out a couple of joists and re-frame the opening which allows us to make the stairway longer and therefore less steep. 

The last bit of rough work is going to be putting some reinforcement at the very top, front of the place.  The big beam up there has some fire damage.  It was stabilized and braced pretty well but could use some help.  Also, as a result of time, the beam is also bowing so some overall support would be good too.  Gravity really is a killer, even for lovely old buildings.

Once all that's done, it's just a matter of putting in insulation and new drywall on the ceiling, repairing holes and damaged to the walls, painting and refinishing / repairing the floors.  And taking care of the thousands of things that will come up over the course of all this.

Whew, having written all that out I feel like a whisky and a nap.  Seriously, I'm reminded of something a friend told me a long time ago, "A clear path does not mean a short journey".  This is going to be a very big job and it's going to be really hard at times.  But I'm cheered by several things.  First, this is not the biggest or hardest construction job I've ever done.  That honor goes to Borderlands Cafe.  Second, unlike all the other big, hard jobs I've done in my life, this time I know that I have the support of hundreds of people all over the world who are cheering me on.  Third, I have the assistance of dozens of people here in San Francisco who have already showed up to tear out ivy, pull off old plaster, and haul literally tons of debris to the dump.

And, finally, this is my last big construction job for Borderlands.  After this, I won't need to do it again.  That makes me so happy I could do a little dance, right here and right now.

Warm Regards,
Alan

PS  In case you haven't gathered from the foregoing -- nope, I do not have a date for when we're going to move.  Ask me in a month or two and I'll have a much better idea.

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 - Na'amen Gobert Tilahun
Assistant Editor - Jude Feldman

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110
415 824-8203
http://www.borderlands-books.com
Comments and suggestions should be directed to editor@borderlands-books.com

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