Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dispatches from the Border: October 2015

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

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

Greg Bear, KILLING TITAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) and Ann Leckie, ANCILLARY MERCY (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, October 10th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF presents authors Laura Anne Gilman and Loren Rhoads, hosted by Terry Bisson, Monday, October 12th at 6:30 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Mysterious Borderlands" with William C. Gordon, Jim Nisbet, Terry Shames, and Kelli Stanley, Saturday, October 17th at 7:15 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "New Worlds at Borderlands Cafe" with Alyc Helms, Nancy Jane Moore, Tim Pratt, and Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, Saturday, October 17th at 8:30 pm

San Francisco in Mystery: Past, Present, and Future with Reece Hirsch, Kirk Russell, and Kelli Stanley, Sunday, October 25th at 3:00 pm

Mark Oshiro, AN INSIDIOUS THING, Sunday, November 1st at 3:00 pm

Kate Elliot, BLACK WOLVES (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, November 7th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)


* Overheard in the store:

"Do you have CAT'S CRADLE by Vonnegut?  My boyfriend has never read it.  I wish I'd known that before I committed."

"This is my two-handed bastard sword of a cat. FEAR ME!"

"Have you _touched_ this book?!"
"Yes, it's LORD OF THE RINGS. We have 4."
"But this LORD OF THE RINGS is super-pettable!"

* A scholarship in Sir Terry Pratchett's name has been announced at the University of Southern Australia.  Endowed by the late author's estate, it will provide $100,000 to a grad student every two years in perpetuity.  More information here:

* Chris Hall at The Guardian explores the dystopian themes in JG Ballard's HIGH-RISE and discusses the new feature film adaptation:

* The Spectrum Fantastic Art Live exhibition is moving next year from Kansas City, MO to our very own San Francisco's Academy of Art for 2016.  The press release is here:

* The Museum of Science Fiction has announced its intention to begin publishing a Journal of Science Fiction, free online for everyone.  The first issue will launch January 2016; more details on the SFWA website:

* Despite the mixed reception the film received, there are apparently talks to revive Alan Moore's "Watchmen," with Zach Snyder at the helm again, for a television series.  Nothing is definite yet, owing to Snyder's current work in the DC universe, but it may be a chance for the director to redeem himself in the eyes of many:

* Pop singer Morrissey will release his first novel, this year, a ghost/demon story called LIST OF THE LOST, and by all accounts it's not good: (Although maybe I'm misunderstanding when a reviewer says the publishers should be ashamed of themselves.)

* The second of Marvel's Netflix series "Jessica Jones" has finally been revealed in a number of teaser trailers.  It looks much better than "Daredevil," and we've only seen a few seconds of it.

* Huffington Post talked to a number scientists and "science enthusiasts" to find out their favorite science fiction films.  The answers are pretty standard, but there are a few surprises peppered throughout the list:

* Iskander Krayenbosch has created a hilarious animated video to illustrate what he thinks are the twelve steps of the Hero's Journey.  Using imagery from iconic stories, he makes an excellent argument:

* Author Jay Swanson has created the world's first real-time fantasy blog, INTO THE NANTEN.  In addition to Jay's unfolding story of the exiled Marceles na Tetrarch, the site features incredible original artwork from artist Nimit Malavia and the voice talents of Dennis Kleinman.  You really should check it out:

Award News

* The Copper Cylinder Award for Canadian fantastic literature has announced its fourth annual winners.  The Adult award went to Thomas King for THE BACK OF THE TURTLE and the Young Adult award to Caitlin Sweet for THE DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN.  More details on the award and winners here:

* The Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced their 2015 Dwarf Stars (for short poems 1-10 lines) and Elgin Award (for books and chapbooks of poetry) winners.  Full details here: and here:

* The National Book Award longlist has been announced, and while the adult categories have no speculative nominees, the Young Adult category boasts M.T. Anderson, Rae Carson, Noelle Stevenson and others:

* The Parsec Awards for speculative podcasting have announced their winners.

* Stephen King was one of those awarded a National Medal of Arts this past month.

From The Office

Media Matters

by Alan Beatts

As much as I love books, SF, horror, fantasy and mystery as a whole are still my first and greatest love.  Which means that movies, TV shows, and even video games within our field have a place very close to my heart.  The last few months have included some good news and neat discoveries that I thought I'd share with you.

The Expanse TV Series
James S. A. Corey's excellent Expanse novels, which begin with LEVIATHAN WAKES, is one of my favorite SF series in recent years.  So I was concerned and pleased in equal parts when I heard that Syfy was going to be producing a series based on the books.  But, I've seen both the regular trailer < > and the background trailer, which includes interviews with the cast, < >.  I've got to say that it looks pretty darn good and the casting also seems impressive.  Of course, it's hard to tell from such limited information, but I'm hopeful that we'll be getting a big treat this December.

And, regardless of whether the series is any good, we fans of the books win at least a little bit because there's an original prequel story, Drive, available on line as part of the promotion for the show < >.

Kingkiller Movie, TV Show, and . . . Game?
A bit further out than the Expanse series, we can also look forward (probably) to a combined package of movie(s), a TV series, and even video games based on Patrick Rothfuss' renowned Kingkiller novels (THE NAME OF THE WIND, THE WISE MAN'S FEAR and, the forthcoming THE DOORS OF STONE) < >. Like the preceding project, there's a little bit of "oh, I hope they don't blow it" fear, but Pat's blog post < > makes it clear that he's being very careful, and will be in a position to exercise some control over how it is all developed.

(Of course, the possible downside of his involvement is that it may further delay subsequent books, though hopefully not THE DOORS OF STONE.)

Ultraviolet, for Free
Looking back rather than forward, I found something damn neat on last week.  Hulu, if you aren't familiar with it, is a site that is primarily geared to letting you watch recent episodes of TV shows (with commercials, of course).  They also have a limited selection of movies available.  And, if you want to pay, you get access to a bunch more stuff.  But, one of the things that I like best about Hulu is that they also host full seasons of a lot of older TV show for free viewing (like all the episodes of The Twilight Zone, for example).

In 1998 there was a short-run British TV series called Ultraviolet (no relation to the pretty terrible 2006 movie).  It's always been pretty hard to find, so I was excited to discover that all six episodes are available on Hulu . . . for free < >. That show is the most intelligent modern treatment of vampires that I've ever run across.  If you've never seen it, I really suggest that you check it out.  As an added bonus, it is one of Idris Elba's early gigs, long before he worked on The Wire, Prometheus, or Pacific Rim.

Here's hoping that both the Expanse and Kingkiller projects work out well.  Given the quality of shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, I have much more hope for books being turned into series than I used to have.  I think that viewers, producers, writers and directors have gotten much more sophisticated over the past decade.  For example, I'll bet that, if Firefly were to be aired now, it would be a huge success.  So, let's cross our little digits and see what December and 2016 bring us.

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for September, 2015

1. NO HARD FEELINGS by Mark Coggins
2. UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde
3. THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN by Terry Pratchett
4. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
5. LUNA: NEW MOON by Ian McDonald
6. SECONDHAND SOULS by Christopher Moore
7. DRAGON COAST by Greg Van Eekhout
8. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
10. KILLING PRETTY by Richard Kadrey

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. RED-ROSE CHAIN by Seanan McGuire
2. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
3. THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire
4. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
5. LOCK IN by John Scalzi
6. KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY by Kieran Shea
7. POCKET APOCALYPSE by Seanan McGuire
9. DRAGONS OF HEAVEN by Alyc Helms
10. THE SHADOW THRONE by Django Wexler

Trade Paperbacks
2. BLACK HOLE by Bucky Sinister
3. ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie
5. THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, October 11th, at 5 pm to discuss MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton.  The book for the next month will be RED RISING by Pierce Brown. Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, October 18th, at 6 pm to discuss NIGHT WATCH by Sergei Lukyanenko.  The book for the following month will be RED PLANET BLUES by Robert Sawyer.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

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: .  We'll be handing out (free) tickets to mark attendees' place in line as they arrive, and once the signing starts, we'll call folks up in groups of 10 using those ticket numbers. You are welcome to bring books from home to be signed, but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while you're in the store.  Also, Brandon will sign any number of books for attendees, (assuming he's written them!)  but he reserves the right to limit personalizations to three per trip through the line if it is extremely crowded.  Borderlands will be open early, at 11:00 am, to prepare for this event.

Greg Bear, KILLING TITAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) and Ann Leckie, ANCILLARY MERCY (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, October 10th at 3:00 pm - Borderlands is thrilled to welcome these two incredible authors to the store.  We're happy to host Greg Bear, the author of more than 44 books including the Nebula-Award-winning DARWIN'S RADIO, who will be showing off the second book in his exciting War Dogs trilogy, KILLING TITAN!  We're also delighted to welcome Ann Leckie, who will be presenting the third ANCILLARY book, ANCILLARY MERCY -- the first of the series swept the awards last year, winning the Arthur C. Clarke, British Science Fiction, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. Two fabulous authors, one event!  You don't want to miss this one.

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Mysterious Borderlands" with William C. Gordon, Jim Nisbet, Terry Shames, and Kelli Stanley Saturday, October 17th at 7:15 pm - We are delighted to once again take part in one of the most exciting literary events in San Francisco - the LitCrawl.  This is a three-hour pub-crawl-style literary event with dozens of venues and hundreds of authors, all taking place right here in the Mission District.  This year, meet mystery authors who will thrill, confound, and delight you with their stories.  We are pleased to present: William C. Gordon, a noir novelist who began writing in his 60's using San Francisco as a character in most of his books.  He is former trial lawyer, photographer, army officer, world traveler and the author so far, of six novels including, THE CHINESE JARS, THE KING OF THE BOTTOM, THE UGLY DWARF, FRACTURED LIVES, THE HALLS OF POWER, and the soon to be released, EMMA.  Jim Nisbet has published twenty books, including LETHAL INJECTION, widely regarded as a classic roman noir; six volumes of poetry; and a single non-fiction title, LAMINATING THE CONIC FRUSTUM.  Current projects include a fourteenth novel, YOU DON'T PENCIL, and a complete translation of Charles Baudelaire's LES FLEURS DU MAL.  Terry Shames writes the best-selling Macavity award-winning  Samuel Craddock series, published by Seventh Street Books. Her most recent title, A DEADLY AFFAIR AT BOBTAIL RIDGE, was released April, 2015.  Kelli Stanley is a critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of crime fiction, including the moody San Francisco noir CITY OF DRAGONS.  She lives in San Francisco and appreciates fedoras and bourbon.  We hope you'll join us to appreciate these fabulous authors!

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "New Worlds at Borderlands Cafe" with Alyc Helms, Nancy Jane Moore, Tim Pratt, and Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, Saturday, October 17th at 8:30 pm - Join us to travel to previously unimagined worlds and explore mind-blowing new concepts, without even leaving the building!  This year our guests are: Alyc Helms, who writes fantasy short fiction and novels that explore her obsession with anthropology, liminality, gender, and foxes.  You can out more about her at .  Nancy Jane Moore is the author of THE WEAVE, a science fiction novel recently released from Aqueduct Press, and numerous short stories.  Check out her website at .  Tim Pratt is a Hugo Award-winning author of stories and novels.  His newest book is fantasy novella THE DEEP WOODS.  For more information about Tim, see .  Na'amen Gobert Tilahun co-hosts "The Adventures of Yellow Peril & Magical Negro" podcast and writes things.  Night Shade Books will release his first novel THE ROOT in Spring 2016.  Don't miss the chance to explore four strange new worlds with these speculative fiction authors!

San Francisco in Mystery: Past, Present, and Future with Reece Hirsch, Kirk Russell, and Kelli Stanley, Sunday, October 25th at 3:00 pm - We're happy to welcome a panel of three fabulous mystery authors representing "San Francisco: Past, Present and Future".  Kelli Stanley's noir novels about San Francisco in the 1940's paint a picture of the vanished city of the World War II era.  Kirk Russell's stories about SF homicide inspector Ben Raveneau and his John Marquez series about California Fish and Game's Special Operations Unit will show the present, and Reece Hirsch shows us the future with his thrillers about cybercrime, including the powerful Chris Bruen series.  There will be light refreshments provided by the Mystery Writers of America, the NorCal chapter of which arranged this great event.  So join us to chance to chat with, and get your books signed by, three extraordinary authors.

Mark Oshiro, AN INSIDIOUS THING, Sunday, November 1st at 3:00 pm - Since 2009, Mark Oshiro (aka MarkDoesStuff) has been on a journey to read as many books and watch as many TV shows as possible.  Now, Mark is turning the tables on his fans by making the transition to a "real life author".  Join him as he reads a selection from his upcoming novel AN INSIDIOUS THING, discusses the Mark Does Stuff universe, and teases everyone by NOT being the most unprepared person in the room!  We'll be taking preorders for Mark's novel, so sign yourself up.

Kate Elliot, BLACK WOLVES (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, November 7th at 3:00 pm - We're always happy to welcome Kate Elliott back to the store. This may be Kate's ONLY 2015 signing, so we're especially honored to host her this time 'round!  The new book looks amazing -- here's the description from the publisher: "An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.  Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor.  With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.  Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea -- rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate."

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 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