Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dispatches From The Border: September 2014

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

Steven Gould, EXO (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday September 20th at 3:00pm

Maria Alexander, MR. WICKER (Raw Dog Screaming Press, Hardcover, $27.05) Saturday September 27th at 3:00pm

Terry Shames, DEAD BROKE IN JARRETT CREEK (Seventh Street Books, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Sunday, October 12th at 3:00 pm

Greg Bear, WAR DOGS (Orbit, Hardcover, $25.00) Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

Look forward to Mira Grant, F. Paul Wilson, the fabulous Litquake LitCrawl (including Cara Black and Kim Stanley Robinson), and many other wonderful authors coming up in the fall!

* Overheard in the Store:
"C'mon, you know that everything is better with more arms and legs."
"Wow, that was so much faster than Amazon! And --- better!"

* A challenge was laid at Neal Stephenson’s feet asking science fiction writers and scientists to work together and imagine an optimistic future.  This lead to Project Hieroglyph.

* The 2014 Parsec Awards, for excellence in science-fiction podcasting, announce their winners!  Bookmark these for the next time you need something to listen to while working out or on a road trip.  Congratulations!

* Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announces that he will be playing Black Adam in the Warner Bros. upcoming Shazam film.

* Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is in talks to star opposite Matt Damon in the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN, which will be directed by Ridley Scott.

* Congratulations to the 2014 Golden Duck Awards winners for excellence in children's science fiction.

* A pilot script has been commissioned for a potential Supergirl TV series.  Our only fervent hope is that original Supergirl Helen Slater makes a guest appearance.

* Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novel CHILDHOOD’S END will be turned into a six-hour miniseries by the Syfy network.

* Ra’s Al Ghul will make an appearance in Arrow Season 3.  Unfortunately the character has, once again, been whitewashed in casting.

* Film director Mike Cahill has been chosen by Syfy to direct its upcoming TV series adaptation of Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS.

* The first TV spots for the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are out, and everyone is wondering if the events of the film The Winter Soldier and the repercussions felt in the TV series are enough to bring back the viewers who left it.

* Expect the Starz TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS in 2016!

* Congratulations to the 2014 Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards!

* Over at io9 Rob Boffard explores whether the oft-used science fiction dystopian villain of the Evil Mega Corporation could actually exist.

* theorizes that the inspiration for the second season of "True Detective" could be a classic Thomas Pynchon novel.

* The Netflix original series Hemlock Grove (which has struck a chord with a large and vocal group of fans but remains a target for critical mockery) is having a good news/bad news moment. The good news being that it has been renewed for a third season, the bad news that it will be the final season for the show.

* The 2014 Hugo Awards were announced at Loncon 3.  Congratulations to all of the winners, including previous Borderlands guests Ellen Datlow, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sofia Samatar, Charles Stross, and more!

* Veteran science fiction actors from Babylon 5, Star Trek, The X-Files, Buffy, StarGate and Falling Skies team up for the Kickstarter series Space Command.  Check out the trailer revealed at Comic Con, but keep in mind all the special effects are temporary at this point.

* The Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is housed at UC Riverside, just got a bequest of $3.5 million, the largest gift ever received by the UCR library.

* Author and recipient of the 2014 Hugo for Best Fan Writer and Best Related Work Kameron Hurley talks about the limitations of genre, the difficulties in getting published when you write something genre-bending, and lessons learned after genre-bending the first time in THERE IS NO GENRE, ONLY STORY

* The 2014 winners of the Sidewise Award, for excellence in alternate history writing, include local author Vylar Kaftan!  Congratulations to Vylar and her fellow winners.

* The discovery of some intensely bizarre sea creatures has made it necessary for scientists to add to the categories of life.  io9 has all the details here:

* Margaret Atwood becomes the first author to join an art project where trees are planted, and authors are commissioned to write novels that will not be published until the trees are cut down to make the books in 100 years.  This means that the next novel she writes won’t actually see publication until 2114.

* Very cool interview with John Scalzi, who was kind enough to visit us in early September and sign about a million books:

* Speaking of signed books, if you missed any of our recent signings, we still have some autographed copies of works by Joe Abercrombie, Dana Fredsti, Ray Garton, Brian Herbert, Glen Hirshberg, Richard Kadrey, Katharine Kerr, Richard A. Lupoff, Kelli Stanley, John Scalzi, and Brent Weeks!  Call or email us for details.

* I don't know what to say about this at all, except it's very, very weird.  Epic Rap Battles of History: Edgar Allen Poe vs. Stephen King.

* We're extremely sorry to report the death of author Graham Joyce, who passed away September 9th at the age of 59.  Graham was a brilliant writer, a true gentleman, and a dear friend.  We will miss him terribly.

From The Office
by Alan Beatts

Graham Joyce passed away recently.  He was a friend of mine.

I thought about writing a heartfelt memorial piece about him but I'm not going to.  The way I feel about it, and the way I feel about Graham, is personal and I'm not going to share it widely.  I met him at the World Fantasy Convention in 2000.  That same weekend I met (and became friends with) Lou Anders, Allison Baker, John Picacio, and Chris Roberson.  It was a very good weekend.  In the years since, Graham came to Borderlands many times for readings.  Often he would stay at my house when he was in town.

Like I said, he was a friend.

Also, like I said, I'm not going to talk how I feel about him being gone.  But I will share three things ---

I once saw Graham tell a very long joke that involved him sticking his index finger into his publisher's ear and making a horrible screeching sound.  The punchline involved how Martians have sex.

There is an editor who for many years (and perhaps to this day) insisted that Graham saved his life one night.  The editor in question was quite drunk and fell, face first, at the top of a down escalator.  Graham grabbed him and pulled him to his feet just before the editor's beard became caught in the mechanism.  The result was that neither the escalator nor the editor was harmed and, for years, Graham insisted that it had been no big deal.

He had the awful judgement to prefer Captain Beefheart over Dire Straights and insisted that his carefree, bucolic and innocent upbringing in Coventry was ruined by the Summer of Love -- the mere news of which drove him to drink, drugs, and ill-advised social associations.

A habit of association that continued long enough to include a store full of booksellers in San Francisco.

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for August, 2014


1. THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks
2. THE GETAWAY GOD by Richard Kadrey
3. MAGICIAN’S LAND by Lev Grossman
4. HALF A KING by Joe Abercrombie
5. FOOL’S ASSASSIN by Robin Hobb
6. THE ULTRA THIN MAN by Patrick Swenson
7. LOCK IN by John Scalzi
9. MOTHERLESS CHILD by Glen Hirshberg
10. THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross

Mass Market Paperbacks

2. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
3. NEPTUNE'S BROOD by Charles Stross
4. WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss
5. DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R.R. Martin
6. BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH by Alastair Reynolds
7. THE DAYLIGHT WAR by Peter V. Brett
8. THE HUMAN DIVISION by John Scalzi
9. SHARDS OF TIME by Lynn Flewelling
10. KING OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence

Trade Paperbacks

2. BLACK PRISM by Brent Weeks
3. ASSAIL by Ian C. Esslemont
4. SORCERER'S FEUD by Katherine Kerr

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 14th, at 5 pm to discuss LOCKSTEP by Karl Schroeder.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 21st, at 6 pm to discuss IMPLIED SPACES by Walter Jon Williams.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Steven Gould, EXO (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday September 20th at 3:00pm - This sequel to IMPULSE returns us to Steven Gould's beloved world of JUMPER!  From the publisher: "Cent can teleport.  So can her parents, but they are the only people in the world who can.  This is not as great as you might think it would be -- sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it’s hard to keep a secret like that.  And there are people, dangerous people, who work for governments and have guns, who want to make you do just this one thing for them.  And when you’re a teenage girl things get even more complicated.  High school.  Boys.  Global climate change, refugees, and genocide.  Orbital mechanics.  But Cent isn’t easily daunted, and neither are Davy and Millie, her parents.  She’s going to make some changes in the world." Join us to meet author Steven Gould and get your books signed!

Maria Alexander, MR. WICKER (Raw Dog Screaming Press, Hardcover, $27.05) Saturday September 27th at 3:00pm - From the publisher: "Located beyond life, The Library of Lost Childhood Memories holds the answer.  The Librarian is Mr. Wicker -- a seductive yet sinister creature with an unthinkable past and an agenda just as lethal.  After committing suicide, Alicia finds herself before the Librarian, who informs her that her lost memory is not only the reason she took her life, but the cause of every bad thing that has happened to her.  Alicia spurns Mr. Wicker and attempts to enter the hereafter without the Book that would make her spirit whole.  But instead of the oblivion she craves, she finds herself in a psychiatric hold at Bayford Hospital, where the staff is more pernicious than its patients.  Child psychiatrist Dr. James Farron is researching an unusual phenomenon: traumatized children whisper to a mysterious figure in their sleep.  When they awaken, they forget both the traumatic event and the character that kept them company in their dreams -- someone they call "Mr. Wicker."  During an emergency room shift, Dr. Farron hears an unconscious woman talking to Mr. Wicker -- the first time he’s heard of an adult speaking to the presence.  Drawn to the mystery, and then to each other, the doctor and Alicia team up to find the memory before it annihilates Alicia for good.  To do so they must struggle not only against Mr. Wicker’s passions, but also a powerful attraction that threatens to derail her search, ruin Dr. Farron’s career, and inflame the Librarian’s fury.  After all, Mr. Wicker wants Alicia to himself, and will destroy anyone to get what he wants.  Even Alicia herself."

Terry Shames, DEAD BROKE IN JARRETT CREEK (Seventh Street Books, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Sunday, October 12th at 3:00 pm - We are delighted to welcome local author Terry Shames for the DEAD BROKE IN JARRETT CREEK launch party!  Terry serves on the boards of the Northern California chapters of both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and her first two novels have gotten a fantastic reception.  In the third novel in the series, her protagonist Samuel Craddock may well be in over his head -- "With the Jarrett Creek bankrupt and the police department in disarray, Samuel Craddock takes on a murder investigation.  He discovers that the town's financial woes had nothing to do with incompetence and that murder is only one of the crimes he must solve."  We do hope you'll join us to meet Terry and discover Craddock's world.

Greg Bear, WAR DOGS (Orbit, Hardcover, $25.00) Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00 pm - Join us to meet the near-legendary Greg Bear and check out his newest novel! From the jacket: "An epic interstellar tale of war from a master of science fiction.  The Gurus came in peace, bearing gifts.  They were a highly advanced, interstellar species who brought amazingly useful and sophisticated technology to the human race. There was, of course, a catch.  The Gurus warned of a far more malevolent life form, beings who have hounded the Gurus from sun to sun, planet to planet, across the cosmos.  Pundits have taken to calling them the Antagonists -- or Antags -- and they have already established a beachhead on Mars.  For all they've done for us, the Gurus would now like our help.  Enter Master Sergeant Michael Venn, a veteran Skyrine (a Marine who is specially trained for off-world combat) who is dropped onto the Red Planet with his band of brothers on a mission to take down as many Antags as possible.  But from the moment they're dropped through the thin Martian atmosphere, their mission goes horribly, terribly wrong.  From a group of female special ops Skyrines with secret orders, to mysterious humans who've settled on Mars, to the overwhelming and highly-reinforced Antags themselves, Venn and his brothers will face impossible odds just to survive-let alone make it home alive."  (Please note, the publisher has informed us that Mr. Bear will sign five additional books for each copy of WAR DOGS purchased at the event.)

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.