Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Dispatches from the Border, March 2019

Events and News From Borderlands Books
March 2019

Upcoming Events

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Josiah Luis Alderete, SevanKeelee Boult, Isaac R. Fellman, Leslie Miley, Kyle Thomas Smith, and Maurisa Thompson, with guest host Elena Rose, Saturday, March 9th at 7:30 pm

Seanan McGuire, THAT AIN'T WITCHCRAFT (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, March 23rd at 5:00 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Nancy Kress and Jack Skillingstead, moderated by Jacob Weisman, Sunday, March 31st at 6:30 pm

Dana Fredsti, BLOOD INK (Titan, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Sunday, April 7th at 3:00 pm

Mike Chen, HERE AND NOW AND THEN (MIRA, Hardcover, $26.99), and Peng Shepherd, THE BOOK OF M (William Morrow, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 13th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) Saturday, April 13th at 7:30 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

* Overheard in the Store:

"I had a REALLY long week yesterday."

"My toast was 'To 2019 - may it be a great year for schadenfreude!'"

"I like your name!"
"Thanks, I got it for my birthday."

"It's one of those fundamental rules: if you're lit, don't light things."

* Overheard at Mission Police Station:
"I'm here to get my sh*t back."
"What sh*t is that, Sir?"
"My sh*t that got taken away from me."
"Under what circumstances was your sh*t taken away, Sir?"
"When I was arrested."
"Oh. Hang on for a minute."

* Octavia Butler's groundbreaking classic Parable duology is set to be reprinted with gorgeous new covers and a foreword from N.K. Jemisin, which you can read at the link below. Feel free to preorder by emailing!

* N.K. Jemisin also sat down with Studio 360, where she spoke about her new collection of short stories and her own approach to writing. Listen here:

* Well it's only going to be 25 years until we get to start messing up the Moon the way we did the Earth.  Yay?

* There are rumors that the 2019 CW Arrowverse crossover will lead to the cancellation of "Arrow" (meh) and "Legends of Tomorrow" (WHAT?! How. Dare. You.)  They are only rumors for now, though.

* When you name things in space, there are a whole list of rules about what things have to be named after.  Like the fact that everything on Io is named after something associated with fire, volcano or Dante's Inferno.  Who makes up these rules?  The International Astronomical Union.  Check out more here!

* Lillian Li is publishing her first book, but her first writing experience? Well, Harry Potter fanfiction of course!

* WiFi brain hacking!

* If you've read DUNE you probably already know the answer to the question "Why is this novel so hard to film?!", but it's always fun to see people run through it.

* On the Rick Owens runway, aliens ("Star Trek" rubber-face aliens, but aliens) met fashion, and it was great!

* Unfortunately if you weren't in Arizona, you probably missed the Afrofuturism festival they held this month.  However, there's a Q&A with some of the basics if you've always wondered what Afrofuturism was.

* Rumors are that "Aquaman 2" will feature the team that Aquaman was a part of previous to The Justice League -- The Others who each wield an Atlantean object.

* There are some movies that should never be touched or rebooted, and then there are the campy classics that just beg to be driven into the ground.  "Critters" is of the latter category.

* Almost as a companion to the Karin Lowachee story about human/AI interaction <>, here is an article telling us to ignore science-fiction: that AI isn't out to get us.  Which first means they haven't read as broadly as they thought, and second that Lowachee is a visionary!

"History is 'the closest thing we have to science fiction,' says historian Jose Raymund Canoy."  If that first line didn't make you want to read this whole article then. . . . you're probably not that interested in history.  But for those who are check out this article:

* There has been a lot of talk about how Chinese speculative fiction has been growing and has a new perspective on genre fiction. Here's an article on how Chinese science fiction is exploring dystopias.

* The Mad Scientist Initiative, which is something that would inspire less terror and more joy if they weren't part of the military, is holding a short story contest about war in the year 2030.  Check out details here:

* Mahershala Ali, who just took home an Academy Award, has signed on to play the lead in a science-fiction movie written by the co-writers of "A Quiet Place".

* Creating a suggestion matrix based on 100 years of of science-fiction which can analyze trends and suggest things you would not normally consider sounds amazing!

* If you have not watched Netflix's adaptation of the comic book series "The Umbrella Academy", get on it!  Then check out this article on the six questions the first season left us with.

* SYFY FANGRRLS is doing a special limited podcast called Forgotten Women of Genre to explore women's contributions to genre.  Their first subject is Melissa Mathison, the woman who wrote the "ET" screenplay.  There will be a new subject every day for the month, so check it out.

Award News

*The Tiptree Fellows for 2018 have been announced as Vida Cruz and Ana Hurtado.  Congratulations!

* The 2018 Aurealis Awards, which celebrate Australian speculative fiction, have released their shortlist.

* The Horror Writers Association has revealed the final ballot for the 2018 Bram Stoker Awards. The graphic novel category looks especially good this year.

* The finalists for the Nebula Awards have been announced, and they include the marvelous Mary Robinette Kowal, as well as Sam J. Miller, P. Djèlí Clark, and others.  Check out the full list here:

* NESFA, The New England Science Fiction Association, has announced that the Skylark Award (presented to someone, who, in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction) has been awarded to Melissa Snodgrass.  They have also presented the Gaughan (for emerging artist) to Nicolas Delort. and

* The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has listed the finalists for the 2019 Compton Crook Award!  Nominees include S.A. Chakraborty, R. F. Kuang, Rebecca Roanhorse and more.

* The British Science Fiction Association has listed the finalists for this year's BSFA Awards.

* Head over and check out the amazing art that's been nominated for the Spectrum Awards! They run the gamut in tone and material but are all interesting.

From The Office

March Building Update

Looking back, I realize that it's been quite a while since I've given an update on how the construction is going at the new building.  Sorry for that but . . . the holidays, catchup after them, and then Cary's passing all made for a few months when extensive writing wasn't going to happen. However, time to correct that now.

There are four big jobs that we've been working on since late last year and they've all moved forward quite a bit since November.  They are, in no particular order; rebuilding the front of the store, expanding the bathroom to make it ADA compliant, creating the garden in the backyard, and getting the new electrical service installed.  There was one other job, the structural work in the basement, but the final touches were completed in January.  Here's where we stand on the other jobs:

Rebuilding the storefront ran into a hiccup in January and it took 'til the middle of last month to get past it.  The storefront that existed was, to be blunt, crap.  It had been built in the 70s at low cost, and it showed.  It also was not ADA accessible.  So, in consultation with the Historic Preservation department of the planning commission, we designed a completely new storefront that was correct for the building while also being accessible.  The new design included some big posts and beams that increased the seismic strength of that portion of the place (important because, right now, it's the weakest point in the structure).

Tearing out the old construction was easy (and a pleasure) but then the process of getting the material delivered involved a few delays.  Beams that are 19 feet long and measure 9 1/12" by 7 1/2" are not, at all, something you throw in the backseat of your car.  Once the material was delivered, fitting it all was a complicated and (very) careful job but not too hard.  But then . . . due to the method of attachment, I had to drill six precisely-located holes the long way through some 4" by 8" posts.  And they had be be dead-straight so that they would all line up correctly on the far side.  I blew through four 12' long posts before I figured out how to get the holes to line up correctly (BTW, it took a full-size drill press to do the job).

Now that those are done, it'll just take a little bit more work to get both posts and both beams in place.  Once that is finished, the job is a mostly straightforward piece of framing work with some fine details like the front tile and the windows.  I'm guessing that it'll take another month or two for completion because I'm also going to be working on . . .

The bathroom expansion also involves some big beams and posts.  Actually, one huge beam and a couple smaller ones.  The big beam is 18 feet and measures 5 1/4" by 16". The sucker weighs about 432lbs and has to go all the way up to the ceiling.  The tricky part of that job is where the smaller beam meets both the supports for the stairs going up to the apartments and the big beam.  We've been working on fitting that for two weeks and we're very close to having a pattern that we can transfer over to the actual beam so we can cut it to shape.  Once that's done, we put up the big beam, the posts to support it and then we can demolish the old bathroom.  With the old bathroom gone, like the previous job, it's a simple matter of framing the walls and then getting the plumbing and electrical installed.  I'm going to guess a month or two from now to complete that job as well, then we'll need to see how fast the plumber and electrician can get their work done.

The garden is going very well.  All the plants aren't in yet but we're at about 50%.  Over the last couple of weeks we got the first section of brick layed and that allowed us to move the rest of the brick out there, rather than having it take up a bunch of space inside the shop.  We'll be working along on that as time and weather allows but, it doesn't need to be finished before we open so it's less of a priority than the other jobs.  Regardless of how far we get on it before we open, it's going to be a work in progress for a long time because that's how gardens "do".

Finally, the new electrical service has been taking much longer that expected, mostly because Pacific Gas and Electric does everything on their own time (except when it comes to blowing up or burning down whole towns, it seems).  But, we're finally under contract for the service, the trenching plans are set, and we just need to have a pre-construction meeting to make sure all the ducks are in a row.  After that we can get the trench in the sidewalk cut, the new conduit in place, and then we can wait for a couple of weeks 'til they put in the new wires.  With that done, our electrician, Antonius Dintcho, should be able to get the rest of the work finished pretty quickly.  Because of the PG&E factor, I'm not going to make any prediction when that will be finished.

After we get all those jobs done, it's going to be a matter of final inspections for the storefront and the bathroom.  Once we pass those, then it's all small jobs and finish work -- additional electrical, new ceiling, lights, new floor (or, ugh, carpet), building dividing walls in the basement, getting the shelving in and so forth.  It'll still be a long way to go but, once we get the three big jobs above completed, we'll have made moved from the big-complicated part of the job to the smaller-simple part.  Which will be very, very nice.

In closing, I still don't have a date in mind.  I'm still sticking with "this year" but when this year is still anyone's guess.

All Best,

PS  I'll try to have some pictures posted in time for the next newsletter.

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for February, 2019

1. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
2. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
3. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
4. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
5. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
6. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
7. Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
8. Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant
9. Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor
10. Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
2. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
3. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
4. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
5. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, trans. by Ken Liu
6. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
7. Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
8. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
9. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
10. A People's Future of the United States ed. by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
2. Dune by Frank Herbert
3. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
4. Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
5. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
6. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
8. The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt
9. Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
10. Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Book Club Information
The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 10th at 5 pm to discuss ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells. Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 17th at 6 pm to discuss ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells. The book for the following month will be NEW YORK 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Please contact for more information

Upcoming Event Details

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Josiah Luis Alderete, SevanKeelee Boult, Isaac R. Fellman, Leslie Miley, Kyle Thomas Smith, and Maurisa Thompson, with guest host Elena Rose, Saturday, March 9th at 7:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, and we're always happy to participate! The amazing lineup this month includes authors Josiah Luis Alderete (The Spanglish Power Hour), SevanKeelee Boult (Chile! Hood Stories: A Fairy's Tale), Isaac R. Fellman (The Breath of the Sun), Leslie Miley (The Musings of a Black Man in Tech), Kyle Thomas Smith (Cockloft: Scenes From a Gay Marriage), and Maurisa Thompson (Fat Man and Little Boy Take a Selfie in San Francisco), with fabulous guest host Elena Rose! Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits.  Doors open at 7:00, show begins at 7:30 pm and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.

Seanan McGuire, THAT AIN'T WITCHCRAFT (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, March 23rd at 5:00 pm - We're always delighted to welcome Seanan McGuire back to Borderlands!  This time we're celebrating InCryptid volume 8(!) which again features Antimony Price.  Still fleeing the Covenant, Annie and her not-at-all human friends have hopefully found a safe spot to lay low and catch their breath in a rambling, isolated old farmhouse in seemingly-idyllic New Gravesend, Maine.  Unfortunately, The Crossroads are trying to call in their bargain, and more than one person seems to want Annie and her friends dead (or worse).  Without her family and the Mice, will Annie make it out of this one?  Join us to find out!

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Nancy Kress and Jack Skillingstead, moderated by Terry Bisson, Sunday, March 31st 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 publisher Jacob Weisman.  Authors will schmooze & sign books after.  Books will be available for sale.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.  Questions?  Email

Dana Fredsti, BLOOD INK (Titan, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Sunday, April 7th at 3:00 pm -  Join us to meet local author Dana Fredsti and check out the thrilling sequel to SPAWN OF LILITH!  Here's the synopsis of the new title: "Having killed her last producer (SO not her fault, though), stuntwoman Lee Striga's next film shoot takes her to the voodoo-soaked bayous and haunted back alleys of New Orleans, where sinister supernatural figures stalk the streets.  In a dark corner of the French Quarter, an arcane tattoo artist is using his clients in rituals that will open an inter-dimensional gateway for a demon god from beyond the stars."  Don't miss this chance to get a signed copy & enjoy the next book in this atypical urban fantasy series.

Mike Chen, HERE AND NOW AND THEN (MIRA, Hardcover, $26.99), and Peng Shepherd, THE BOOK OF M (William Morrow, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 13th at 3:00 pm - We are very happy to welcome these two excellent, up-and-coming authors to the store!  Publishers Weekly liked both of their novels, and gave HERE AND NOW AND THEN, Mike Chen's debut, a starred reivew and called it "heartfelt", "thrilling" and "unforgetable".  Peng Shepherd's debut, THE BOOK OF M, about a post-apocalyptic world full of danger and magic was called "graceful and riveting". We sincerely hope you'll join us to meet Mike and Peng and check out their books -- you'll be able to say you "knew them when"!

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) Saturday, April 13th at 7:30 pm - More details to come!

Featured Upcoming Titles
(These titles have not arrived yet.  You may pre-order most 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. This list is tentative and subject to change by publishers.  Unless otherwise noted, books are originals.)

KELLEY ARMSTRONG * Cruel Fate * Subterranean Press, Apr 2019 (na, hc, eb)
MIKE ASHLEY, ed. * The Menace of the Machine * British Library Publishing, Apr 2019 (tp)
NATHAN BALLINGRUD * Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell * Simon & Schuster/Saga Press, Apr 2019 (c, hc, tp, eb)
ASHOK K. BANKER * Upon a Burning Throne * Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/John Joseph Adams, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
PETER S. BEAGLE & JACOB WEISMAN, EDS. * The Unicorn Anthology * Tachyon Publications, Apr 2019 (an, tp, eb)
JOHN CONNOLLY * A Book of Bones * Hodder & Stoughton, Apr 2019 (hc)
DELILAH S. DAWSON & KEVIN HEARNE * No Country for Old Gnomes * Penguin Random House/Del Rey, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
STEPHEN R. DONALDSON * The War Within * Penguin Random House/Berkley, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
TERRY DOWLING * The Complete Rynosseros * PS Australia, Apr 2019 (c, hc)
GREG EGAN * Perihelion Summer * Publishing, Apr 2019 (na, tp, eb)
MEG ELISON * The Book of Flora * Amazon/47 North, Apr 2019 (tp, eb)
DAVID FARLAND, ED. * L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35 * Galaxy, Apr 2019 (oa, tp, eb)
JAINE FENN * Broken Shadow * Angry Robot US, Apr 2019 (tp, eb)
PAUL DI FILIPPO * The Deadly Kiss-Off * Blackstone Publishing, Apr 2019 (a, hc, eb)
NEIL GAIMAN * The Nice and Accurate Good Omens Companion * Headline, Apr 2019 (nf, hc)
NEIL GAIMAN * The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book * Headline, Apr 2019 (hc)
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN * The Pandora Room * St. Martin’s, Apr 2019 (h, hc, eb)
TERRY GOODKIND * The Scribbly Man * Head of Zeus, Apr 2019 (hc)
GWYNETH JONES * Big Cat and Other Stories * NewCon Press, Apr 2019 (c, hc, eb, tp)
STEPHEN JONES, ed. * Best New Horror #29 * PS Publishing, Apr 2019 (hc)
KAY KENYON * Nest of the Monarch * Simon & Schuster/Saga Press, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
MARK LAWRENCE * Holy Sister * Ace, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA, ED. * Nebula Awards Showcase 2019 * Start/Pyr, Apr 2019 (an, tp, eb)
EMMA NEWMAN * Atlas Alone * Ace, Apr 2019 (tp, eb)
SUZANNE PALMER * Finder * DAW, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
K.J. PARKER * Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City * Orbit US, Apr 2019 (tp, eb)
MIKE RESNICK * The Master of Dreams * DAW, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
REBECCA ROANHORSE * Storm of Locusts * Simon & Schuster/Saga Press, Apr 2019 (hc, tp, eb)
ANGELA SLATTER * The Heart Is a Mirror for Sinners and Other Stories * PS Publishing, Apr 2019 (c, hc)
JONATHAN STRAHAN, ED. * The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 13 * Rebellion/Solaris US, Apr 2019 (an, tp, eb)
JONATHAN STRAHAN, ED. * Publishing Editorial Spotlight #5 * Publishing, Apr 2019 (an, eb)
SAM SYKES * Seven Blades in Black * Orbit US, Apr 2019 (tp, eb)
ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY * Cage of Souls * Head of Zeus, Apr 2019 (hc)
ANN VANDERMEER, ED. * Publishing Editorial Spotlight #4 * Publishing, Apr 2019 (an, eb)
FRAN WILDE * Riverland * Abrams/Amulet, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)
T.M. WRIGHT * The Best of T.M. Wright * PS Publishing, Apr 2019 (c, hc)
TIMOTHY ZAHN * Knight * Tor, Apr 2019 (hc, eb)

Abbreviations indicate: (r) reprint, (h) horror, (ya) young adult, (nf) non-fiction, (c) collection, (oc) original collection, (na) novella, (a) associational, (om) omnibus, (eb) e-book, (an) anthology, (pi) pictoral and other, (art) art and others, (gn) graphic novel, (x) media tie-in, (nv) novelette, (ss) short story, (hc) hardcover, (tp) trade paperback, (ph) pamphlet, (pb) paperback, (oa) original anthology, (b) biography, (v) paranormal romance, (pm) poetry.

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
Comments and suggestions should be directed to

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