Monday, August 17, 2015

Dispatches from the Border: August 2015

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

John Scalzi, THE END OF ALL THINGS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) Monday, August 24th at 12:00 pm

Seanan McGuire, A RED-ROSE CHAIN (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 5th at 5:00 pm

Mark Coggins, NO HARD FEELINGS (Down & Out Books, Hardcover, $30.00) Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 pm

Tacos and Tecate with Seanan McGuire, THE DOLL COLLECTION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99), Greg van Eekout, DRAGON COAST (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) and Fran Wilde, UPDRAFT (Tor Books, Hardcover, $25.99) Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm

Russian Avant Garde Art Event with artist Evgeny Avilov and art critic Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph. D., Saturday, September 19th at 6:30 pm

Ian McDonald, LUNA: NEW MOON (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, September 26th at 3:00 pm

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

And coming up in the Fall, we'll host Greg Bear and Ann Leckie (yes, together!), the fabulous Litquake LitCrawl,  Mira Grant, and many, many others!


* Overheard in the store:
"Your capacity for academia and smut exceeds my own."
"Did you ever get in a Facebook war with Anne Rice?"

*New writer's group starts at Borderlands Cafe.  From the orginizers, "The San Francisco Writers Coffeehouse is a bunch of writers sitting around talking about writing . . . with coffee. No agenda. Just chat about the latest trends in the industry, about the craft of writing, about markets, about pitching and selling, about conquering frustration and defeating writers block, and about all of the good things that come from the community of writers. No previous publishing experience necessary. The Writers Coffeehouse invites everyone from absolute beginner to award-winners and bestsellers. We're all writers.  We'll be meeting the 4th Sunday of every month from 5pm-8pm at Borderlands Cafe, 870 Valencia Street, in San Francisco. Our first meeting will be Sunday, August 23."  You can find more info at their facebook page -

* We're very sorry to hear that wonderful author (and dear man) Tom Piccirilli has passed away.  A winner of multiple Stoker Awards and finalist for both the Edgar Award & The World Fantasy Award, he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012.

* Michael Moorcock gives a hilarious and illuminating interview in The Guardian.

* After decades of rumors and attempted adaptations, Philip K. Dick's alternate history novel THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE is finally getting a visual treatment, with the series set to premiere this fall.  Check out the trailer here:

* John Kenn Mortensen draws Lovecraftian horrors by way of Edward Gorey -- most of his prints are now sold out but you can check out his gallery here:

* Ursula LeGuin opens an informal writing Q&A over at Book View Cafe.  The submission form for questions has since been taken down, but she intends to post an answer to the questions already received every other week until she's gotten through them all, and once she's gotten through them, they will be open for more questions.  Keep an eye out for her wonderful replies and for the opportunity to submit your own question.

* Spielberg's adaptation of READY PLAYER ONE now has a release date of December 15, 2017.  Not quite time to start popping the popcorn, but at least you can put it on your calendars.

* Speaking of adaptations and release dates, Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER, which has bounced from studio to studio and director to director, finally has a release date as well: January 13, 2017.  They are ambitiously talking about a movie franchise and a TV series and although they have a writer & director set up -- Nikolaj Arcel -- there is still no cast at all, so keep your fingers crossed this actually happens.

* The 2015 Mythopoeic Awards were announced at MythCon 46; congratulations to the winners!

* The Science Fiction Poetry Association has named two new Grand Masters: Marge Simon and Steve Sneyd. For more information and list of other SFPA Grand Masters check here:

* The British Fantasy Award Nominees have been announced and the full list is available here:

* The 2015 Manly Wade Wellman Award for a Science Fiction or Fantasy writer living in North Carolina has been given to Mur Lafferty for her novel GHOST TRAIN TO NEW ORLEANS.

* Though a lot of us have lost faith in J.J. Abrams' directing ability since "Star Trek: Into Darkness", he at least has one thing right in the new "Star Wars" film: there will be no midichlorians at all!

* The Sidewise Awards for Alternate History have announced their shortlist for this month's awards.  Some of the short-form nominees are available online; check them all out here:

* The Second Annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award has announced their list of finalists.  The winner will be published on the Baen Books website along with receiving an engraved award and $500 worth of Baen Books.  Check out the list of finalists and rules here:

* The 2015 Will Eisner Awards were announced, and many of the winners and nominees had sf/f elements.  Winners include the titles "Saga," "Lumberjanes," "Through The Woods," and more.  The full list of winners and nominees is here:

* Remember when TV shows had crossover events all the time?  It has gone out of fashion in the last few years, but some unlikely shows are looking to bring it back.  The procedural "Bones" and the pre-apocalyptic genre show "Sleepy Hollow" are planning a number of crossover episodes this coming season.

* The full Red Band trailer for The Deadpool movie has finally been released and it looks amazing.  Ryan Reynolds wanted to make up for the awful portrayal of Deadpool in that Wolverine film and he is definitely doing it.  (Although it has been controversial that they've decided to delete his schizophrenia from the film, many advocates are pointing to him as a high profile character who is canonically schizophrenic.)

* The 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced, and winners include Jeff VanderMeer, Daryl Gregory, Ellen Datlow and Allison Littlewood.  For the full list go here:

* The knives have been out for the Fantastic Four remake almost since its announcement,  and everything from the plot to the casting to the effects has been dragged through the mud on the internet.  Director John Trank has basically disowned it, saying it was not the version he wanted to show and now his former collaborator for the film Chronicle is defending his friend on twitter.

* Friend of the store and wonderful author, N.K. Jemisin, (whose new book THE FIFTH SEASON is out now,) was interviewed/profiled in The Guardian.  Read her thoughts about fantasy, race, society, gender, and writing, and the ways they all inform each other here:

From The Office
by Alan Beatts

1.  "Bright Light, Big City"

I love New Orleans.  It is one of my favorite cities in the world and the only one, other than San Francisco, in which I feel at home.  I had a chance recently to spend a week there and it was just as lovely as always.  But, while I was there, I was struck by how that city is facing some of the same problems that we have in San Francisco, despite it being almost, but not completely, unlike San Francisco.

That led to ruminating on a change that I've noticed over the past thirty years or so.  It used to be that big cities were not the preferred choice of residence for most of the population of the US.  The growth of the suburbs, starting in the 1950s and driven by the post-war boom, ubiquitous automobiles, and the expansion of freeways, began the process of moving people out of cities.  Following that, rising crime levels in cities prompted more people to move out, which drained revenue from cities, which further aggravated crime and a general decay of basic infrastructure.

Between 1970 and 1980 the population of New York dropped by more than 10%.  In fact, eight of the ten cites in the US that were the largest in 1950 showed huge drops in population between 1970 and 1980 (the two exceptions were Los Angeles, which has had a constantly growing population throughout, and Boston, which had a population drop of 19% the decade previous).  The population decrease in those cites through that decade ranges mostly between 10 and 20% despite the US population as a whole increasing by 10% in the same decade.

So, between 1970 and 1980 people were leaving major cities in the US in droves.  Even a decade later, 1990, most of those cities were below the population level of 1970.  In a number of cases, the drop was continuing through the '90s and even into the new century.

On a larger scale, movement into "urban" areas, (as defined by the US Census) came to a complete halt between 1980 and 1985.  For each of those years the "urban" population of the US stayed at 74% despite a previously constant upward trend for the prior 100 years.  Since the census definition of "urban" includes large suburban areas the are close to major cities, the drop in population evidenced by the largest cites is not as obvious here but the percentages are indicative of the same flight out of cities.  Even by 1990, the urban population had only increased by one percentage point to 76%.

That trend of shrinking populations in big cites started to reverse in 1990 and that reversal has continued.  Of the ten cities I tracked from 1950 onwards, six of them show a upward population trend starting by the the end of the last decade.  Some started early in 1990 (New York), the trend continued in 2000 (Chicago and Boston), and the laggards turned up in 2010 (Philadelphia and Washington).  By 2014, based on US Census projections, even Baltimore will be gaining.  The three cities that are still losing citizens are not much of a surprise: Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis.  But even in those cities, the downward trend has leveled off sharply and it wouldn't surprise me if it had reversed by the 2020 census.

In fact, the trend of people moving into cities seems to be accelerating rapidly.  An article from the Brookings Institute in 2013 discusses that phenomena at length ( and, associated with it, there is this useful table surveying the growth of the 20 largest cites in the US (  Only one shows negative growth between 2010 and 2012 (poor old Detroit) but even in that case the negative change is much, much slower than the average of the past decade.  Every single other city is not just showing growth, but at a much higher rate than the average of the past decade.  Moreso, in 16 out of 20 cases, the growth between 2011 and 2012 is greater than the period between 2010 and 2011.

By any set of figures that I can find, we're in the middle of a huge population shift back into big cities.  One that is probably as big or bigger than the shift out of cities that happened near the end of the last century.

2.  "Knock Yourself Out"

These days, I hear often that "growth is good", and there are certainly good things about people flooding back into our cities.  Property values go up, which means more tax revenue for the city, which should lead to better infrastructure.  Generally speaking, people living in a city have a lower energy footprint, due to public transit, shorter home-to-work commuting, and so on.  That's better for the environment.  And those are just a few upsides.

But the rapid increase in population causes a host of problems as well.  Rents, both residential and commercial, increase because of demand, which leads to displacement of small businesses and lower income citizens.  The population increase places greater demands on infrastructure, everything from emergency services to water supply and treatment.  Those sort of problems can be difficult to solve because the population can jump very rapidly but addressing shortfalls in services or housing cannot be done quickly.  It takes time to build housing, water treatment plants, and to train police officers.  Additionally it takes political will and money to address those things.  Both can be in short supply, especially after years of making do with a small tax base and sharply limited income.

And, finally, there isn't much financial motivation to build low income housing or hire and train fire department personnel.  But there is, of course, a great deal of financial motivation to build luxury housing and raise rents.

In the long term, many of those problems will get solved.  Once people move into a city and stay for a while, they start to get concerned about things like reliable public transit and emergency services.  While developers are making piles of money building things, the city administration starts to find ways to get some of that cash to repair and upgrade the infrastructure that the new development is using.

Large cites are hugely dynamic systems.  Like all such systems they adapt and adjust remarkably well.  The population shift is also a dynamic process.  People want to live in dense, urban areas but they are perhaps not too picky about which one they choose.  If a specific city gets too expensive or the infrastructure is stretched too thin, then people will move to another city instead, thereby reducing the strain.  We see this in San Francisco every time a family with children choose to move out when their kids are old enough to start school (because the public schools here are overloaded and the private ones are crazy expensive).

But, we do risk a serious cultural loss as a result of the population shift into cities.  That loss is not something that can by dynamically addressed.  Once cultural institutions and the individuals who drive them are lost, they are often gone forever.

3.  "You Don't Know What It's All About"

Big cities, both true metropolises and smaller ones, are a crucial part of our society's artistic, intellectual, and social existence.  By putting a large number of diverse people together in close proximity, cities allow for the accidental creation of a "critical mass" of ideas and enthusiasm that jumpstarts artistic and intellectual movements.  From the Algonquin Round Table to the musicians at CBGB, from Kerouac and the Beats at Vesusivio to the gutter punks at The Farm, from The Hotel Monteleone to Storyville -- the history of our literature, music and art is, in part, also a history of our cities and their inhabitants.

Alongside that quality, and supporting it, has been the general tolerance of city dwellers for the unusual, outlandish, and extraordinary.  Just to preserve one's sanity in such a densely populated environment, city dwellers tend to take a live-and-let-live attitude in regards to each other, which is amplified by the enormous diversity of cultures jammed side-by-side.

Also, the dense population makes for an economic environment that can support businesses that couldn't survive in a small town.  Consider Borderlands for example -- there simply are not enough readers of what we sell to keep us open in a small town.  But in a city, places like Borderlands can find enough customers to be viable.  Consequently cities support businesses (and the people and ideas associated with them) that wouldn't exist otherwise, and who add details and flair to the economic landscape.

Of course, most of the small businesses and artists that inhabit cities don't ever make a mark on the larger fabric of our culture.  But some of them do and, without the rich incubator that cites provide, many of them would not achieve their potential.

The risk is that the suddenly rising cost of living and working in cities will drive the small businesses, artists, musicians, writers and other assorted oddballs out, depriving them of the environment that helps them grow.  And, incidentally, depriving our culture of their potential gifts.

Also at risk is the eccentric physical structure of cities.  The Mission District in San Francisco is unique in that, within it, there are examples of virtually every style of West Coast architecture going all the way back to at least 1870 (and further, if you count the original Mission Dolores, the facade of which was constructed in 1791).  Simple economics demand that a sudden large demand for housing will prompt a rush to build new housing.  Since the central and oldest areas of cities are typically almost completely built-up, the only way to build new structures is to demolish the existing ones.  Not a bad thing on its own (as long as some care is given to consider the historic value of older buildings) but, since the construction is happening all at once, there is a risk that all the new construction will have much the same character.  If that happens, the preponderance of that style eliminates the hodgepodge mix of buildings, which in turn makes the city a more bland and homogeneous place.

4.  Urban Conservationism

A useful way to look at our environment is as a spectrum with untouched and unaltered nature at one end, extending through parks, farmland, small towns, suburbs, smaller cites and concluding with metropolises.  The critical quality of this spectrum is the degree and extent of human alteration to the original environment.

Another way to look at our environment produces a very different perspective.  What if instead we consider the degree to which the environment is organic and unplanned?  In other words, a large farm or a gated suburban community is at one end of the spectrum and wild and untamed nature is at the other end.  If one takes that view it suggests that a national park like Yosemite and a city like New York both exist at a point near to each other, rather than at opposite ends of the spectrum, and that they are both distant from a farm or suburb.

Both are hugely complex and chaotic systems that no-one completely understands or controls.  They both are the result of organic growth that has been guided, to varying degrees at various times, by humans.  Granted one could argue that Yosemite has been subject to far less guidance, but I think that you can make an argument to the contrary as well; consider the far-reaching effect that fire fighting has had on Yosemite over the past 100 years -- to my knowledge, nothing in New York has ever been subject to that kind of consistent and constant effort.  Further, the shape and character of even newish cities like New York or San Francisco, is not something that was planned in any organized fashion.  And, if you consider truly old cities like London or Istanbul, the idea that what we now see is the product of organized planning is laughable.

I suggest that, like national parks, our great cities are complicated, sometimes delicate, environments that are a valuable and vital part of our history, culture and future.  And, as a result we should treat them with respect and view ourselves as their custodians rather than their owners.

Despite the foregoing, I'm not suggesting that the approach to conservation that is applied to national parks would make any sort of sense for a city.  Unlike a park, one of the intrinsic qualities of cities is rapid change.  More than being intrinsic, change is part of what gives cites their vibrancy and unique quality.  But what I am suggesting is a change in attitude towards our cities.

San Francisco existed long before I was born and I expect it will be here long after I'm gone.  Likewise, both the building that houses Borderlands and the building that I live in are much older than me and, with luck, they can also be here long after I'm gone.  In essence, I'm just passing through and I think it behooves me to act that way.  So, rather than blithely remodel the bookstore to suit Borderlands, we have tried to preserve the existing building and materials while fitting Borderlands in around them.  It has been a give and take process and will continue to be.  But it has never crossed my mind that it would be better to tear out the old windows rather than repairing them as needed.  On the other hand, when the front windows needed replacement, I was happy to put in new, safer framing to hold them, rather than preserving the old, weak (i.e. not earthquake safe) construction.

I suggest the following principles, both for individuals, businesses, and city government -

1)  Tread softly and go slow
The city has been here much longer than you and will probably be here once you're gone.  If you've just arrived, try out things for a while before you decide that you want to change them.  If you buy a house, live it in a little bit before you start tearing out walls and remodeling the kitchen.  If you think that a stop light at your corner would be better than a stop sign, drive, bike and walk in the neighborhood for a while before you write the city.  Even if you've been here for a while, all that is still good advice.

If, after going slow, you think that a change makes sense, try not to change things more than absolutely necessary.  When you decide to cause change, think carefully about what the effects will be, whether they are going to be positive or negative, and whether they are consistent with the city you came to.  Finally, when you start changing things, do it in small steps and look at the consequences before moving forward with more change.

2)  Conform to the city while finding a place that suits you
Instead of assuming that the way you're used to living is going to work in a city, put aside your expectations of how things will work and instead look at how things are.  Watch how people who have lived here a while navigate the seeming obstacles and headaches.  Be willing to make trade-offs between your habits and the habits that the city encourages.  Perhaps you don't really need a car, which means that parking doesn't matter to you at all.

At the same time however, don't drive yourself crazy turning into a pretzel to fit the place you live.  There are a bunch of different neighborhoods in any city.  Some go to bed early and some rock 'til sunup.  Some of them have easier parking and some have pretty much no parking.  If you like to go to bed early, don't move in near a nightclub.  If you like nature, live near a park.  If you want your children to grow up somewhere quiet and conservative, find that neighborhood.  If you want to play music all night and dance around, live on the ground floor, not the top one.  But don't expect to make the place you decided to settle change to suit you -- best case, you'll be unhappy; worst case, you'll succeed.

3)  Support what is unique and respect history
As much as familiar things are comforting, it's the unfamiliar that gives cities their character and charm.  Go to the tiny, local restaurant, and shop at smaller, local shops.  Help maintain the businesses that make the city unlike others.  Most of all learn and respect the history of the city.  San Francisco's Cable Car system is (mostly) a lousy way to get around but it's also a part of the city's history; so don't complain about the high fares and limited routes.  Ride it or don't, but respect the history it represents.  Seek out the oldest places in town (the longest operating restaurant, the place that invented a signature drink, the oldest bar).  Talk to the old timers who have lived through the history of your town. And remember, that some of the oldest, crappiest buildings and neighborhoods are the heart of the place you live.

4)  Be reasonable
In the flood of people returning to our cities, you are not a unique snowflake unlike all the others.  You are actually one invisible fragment of a blizzard, and you are no more important than anyone else.  Accept that living side by side with a large number and wide variety of people means you're not going to agree with all or even most of them.  Accept that they're going to randomly double-park every once in a while, meaning you have to go around them on your bike.  Perhaps you cannot get into your favorite restaurant during your half-hour lunch break; fine, try a new place that you've never been.  Know that sometimes, the bus is just going to stop for no apparent reason at all and you'll need to walk nine blocks to get to work.  Patience and a willingness to make accommodations for circumstances and other people will make living in a city much more comfortable for you . . . and the people around you.

5)  Accept change
The one constant in life, right?  Some change is great and some change is horrible, but the one thing we know for sure is that it's going to keep happening.  Make peace with it.  Don't think that things were better when you were in high school or in some other, far-off time.  In the first place, things probably weren't better but even if they were, you're not accomplishing anything by dwelling on it -- other than interfering with you enjoyment of the time you're living in right now.  Fight against the changes you really think are negative, fight for those you really think will make things better, and roll with those that are beyond your control.

A custodial attitude to living in a city, incorporating the principles above, could seriously mitigate the problems that we're facing all over the world.   The Nature of Cities, (a website with the stated goal to "promote worldwide dialog and action to create green cities that are sustainable, resilient, and livable": has as their slogan the phrase "cities are ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure".  We are just one part of the ecosystem of our city and, on an individual basis, the most replaceable.  But our attitudes and choices, as a group, can make a city thrive or stagnate.  The choice of what sort of place we want help grow is almost entirely in our hands.

Bright Light, Big City by Jimmy Reed

Bright light, big city, gone to my baby's head
Whoa, bright light, an' big city, gone to my baby's head
I tried to tell the woman, but she don't believe a word I said

It's all right, pretty baby, (gonna) need my help someday
Whoa, it's all right, pretty baby, gonna need my help someday
Ya' gonna wish you had a-listened, to some a-those things I said

Go ahead, pretty baby, a-honey, knock yourself out
Oh go ahead, pretty baby, honey, knock yourself out
I still love ya baby, 'cause you don't know what it's all about

Bright light, a big city, they went to my baby's head
Oh, the bright light, the big city, they went to my baby's head
I hope you remember, a-some of those things I said

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for July, 2015

1. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
3. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
4. TIME SALVAGER by Wesley Chu
5. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
6. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman
7. LAST FIRST SNOW by Max Gladstone
8. THE UNNOTICEABLES by Robert Brockway
9. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
10. TO HOLD THE BRIDGE by Garth Nix

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. DRAGONS OF HEAVEN by Alyc Helms
2. THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross
3. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
4. SPELLCASTING IN SILK by Juliet Blackwell
5. NEXUS by Ramez Naam
7. REBIRTHS OF TAO by Wesley Chu
8. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
9. THE WAKING ENGINE by David Edison
10. ARTEMIS AWAKENING by Jane Lindskold

Trade Paperbacks
1. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
2. THE DANGEROUS TYPE by Loren Rhoads
3. THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker
5. ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 9th, at 5 pm to discuss ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer.  The book for the next month will be EXCESSION by Iain M. Banks.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 16th, at 6 pm to discuss HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE by Charles Yu.  The book for September will be LEXICON by Max Barry.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

John Scalzi, THE END OF ALL THINGS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) Monday, August 24th at 12:00 pm - Spend your Monday lunch break with JOHN SCALZI!  We're always ecstatic to welcome John and revel in his wit, intelligence, charm, and good humor.  In THE END OF ALL THINGS, John returns to the OLD MAN'S WAR universe in a direct sequel to THE HUMAN DIVISION.  John will read a bit, answer as many of your questions as he can, and sign books.  We think you should take a long lunch, skip school, or just "call in Scalzi," but don't miss this one!  More info about the book, including an excerpt, can be found here:

Seanan McGuire, A RED-ROSE CHAIN (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 5th at 5:00 pm - Join us to celebrate the newest Toby Daye book with Seanan McGuire and the whole crazy caboodle!  In RED-ROSE CHAIN, October Daye finds herself in the unlikely position of diplomat, trying to avert a war and save herself and her friends in a hostile kingdom where nothing is what it seems.  If you've attended one of Seanan's events before, you know that they are a high-energy, music-filled delight.  If you've never attended one before, now is the perfect time to start!  There will be reading, raffle prizes, and silliness guaranteed.  Get your questions answered, bring your books to be signed, and prepare to sing along!  In addition to her many, many books, we'll also have some of Seanan's super-cool t-shirts available for sale at this event.

Mark Coggins, NO HARD FEELINGS (Down & Out Books, Hardcover, $30.00) Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 pm - Mark Coggins continues the cult classic August Riordin series with this latest thrilling installment!  From the publisher:"Winnie doesn’t remember the last time she felt anything below her neck.  Her spine is severed at the seventh vertebrae, but thanks to implants from a sabotaged biomedical start-up, she has regained mobility.  She is a prototype: a living, breathing -- walking -- demonstration of revolutionary technology that never made it to market.  Her disability has become her armor.  Because she doesn’t register fatigue, she has trained relentlessly.  Her hand, arm, and leg strength are off the scales. . . and she has honed self-defense techniques to channel that strength. . . . When the sociopath who torpedoed the start-up sends killers to harvest the implants from her body, Winnie must team up with broken-down private investigator August Riordan to save both their lives -- and derail sinister plans for perverse military applications of the technology."  We hope you'll come by to meet Mark and check out his awesome new novel.

Tacos and Tecate with Seanan McGuire, THE DOLL COLLECTION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99), Greg van Eekout, DRAGON COAST (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) and Fran Wilde, UPDRAFT (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm - A special treat from Tor Books: a tremendous Tuesday of tacos, Tecate, and three terrific tellers of tales!  We do hope you'll come to check out Seanan's creepy story in the Ellen Datlow-edited anthology THE DOLL COLLECTION, Greg's newest release in the California Bones series, and Fran's exciting debut novel, UPDRAFT.  The authors will discuss and sign their works, hopefully not while holding tacos.  More details to come soon!

Russian Avant Garde Art Event with artist Evgeny Avilov and art critic Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph. D., Saturday, September 19th at 6:30 pm - We hope you can join us for an unusual Modern Russian Avant-Garde event at Borderlands Cafe: "The Arts Resistance is proud to present the watercolor and oil paintings by Evgeny Avilov, the Russian artist behind the infamous "Exorcism at the Mausoleum" and other extreme activism actions of the art collective "Blue Rider."  Based in Moscow, Avilov represents the open opposition, a small number of artists and activists still protesting the authoritarian power at risk of their freedom and life.  Avilov will talk about the lack of freedom of expression, human rights, and rising militarism in Russia.  The Arts Resistance will give a brief presentation on the arts protest movement, reviewing art collectives Pussy Riot, Voina and Blue Rider.  San Francisco-based writers will read their work exploring the theme "Home, Patriotism, and War," and Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph.D., an internationally acclaimed art critic, will make a presentation on Kandinsky, his "Blue Rider" art group and European avant-garde before World War I."  Mr. Avilov's work will be on display in the Cafe until September 30th.  If you are of the Facebook persuasion, RSVP here:

Ian McDonald, LUNA: NEW MOON (Tor, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, September 26th at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Ian McDonald to Borderlands!  Mr. McDonald is best known for his extremely successful, cerebral science fiction, but he also writes smart, incredibly entertaining space adventure.  Here's the publisher's info for his newest novel: "The Moon wants to kill you.  Whether it’s being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon’s ruling corporations, the Five Dragons.  You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon’s near feudal society.  And that is just what Adriana Corta did.  As the leader of the Moon’s newest 'dragon,' Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium­3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status.  Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise.  If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies. . . and each other."

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm - We're always happy to see the charming Brandon Sanderson back at Borderlands! (Do you know we hosted a signing for his very first novel, ELANTRIS, when it first came out?  I think there were only about a dozen people in the audience!)  This time Brandon will be showing off the new novel in the Mistborn world, SHADOWS OF SELF.  This one's a sequel to ALLOY OF LAW, and takes place about 300 years after the conclusion of the original trilogy.  The author will read, answer questions, and sign, so take a long lunch and come hang out with us and Brandon!  Excerpts from the new novel can be found here:

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Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Na'amen Tilahun
Assistant Editor - Jude Feldman

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