Monday, December 7, 2015

Dispatches from the Border: December 2015

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

Sisters in Crime / Mystery Writers of America Northern California Holiday Party, Saturday, December 12th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Megan E. O'Keefe, STEAL THE SKY (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, January 9th, 2016 at 3:00pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

Coming up in 2016, we're delighted to announce we'll be welcoming Lisa Goldstein, Charlie Jane Anders, V.E. Schwab, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and many other fantastic authors!

Yearly Holiday Gift Guide

Happy holidays, everyone!  The gift-giving season is quickly swooping down upon us with its great shadowy black wings, and Borderlands is here to help you find the perfect gift for every elf, shoggoth, and wizard on your list.  (And the plain-old human readers on that list will probably be happy, too.)

Let's start with some signed books.  We have signed copies of SHADOWS OF SELF and ELANTRIS, THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION by Brandon Sanderson, CHIMERA by Mira Grant, pretty much everything including the VELVETEEN books by Seanan McGuire, THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi, MANNERS & MUTINY by Gail Carriger, most of the Sandman Slim books by Richard Kadrey, BLACK WOLVES (first of a new series) by Kate Elliott, SILVER ON THE ROAD by Laura Anne Gilman, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman, and lots more!

If your gift-ee just has to have the newest and the latest, check out the anthology THE GODS OF H.P. LOVECRAFT edited by Aaron J. French, WARHEART by Terry Goodkind, THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS by Stephen King, FUTURISTIC VIOLENCE & FANCY SUITS by David Wong, WORD PUPPETS by Mary Robinette Kowal, DREAMSEEKER by C.S. Friedman,  THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD by Tom Toner, or LATE IN THE DAY (a new collection of poems) by Ursula K. LeGuin.

Some other excellent new books we're recommending are CARTER & LOVECRAFT by Jonathan L. Howard, THE FIFTH HOUSE OF THE HEART by Ben Tripp (my favorite new novel of this week), FLUX (sequel to FLEX) by Ferrett Steinmetz, AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson, THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by Natasha Pulley, THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi, AFTERPARTY by Daryl Gregory, and my favorite fantasy of the year, A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall.

For the George R.R. Martin fan in your life, we've got a gorgeous SONG OF ICE AND FIRE COLORING BOOK, A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS (which collects the Dunk and Egg stories that have been so hard to find for years), and the GOT parody (but actual, real-life cookbook) A GAME OF SCONES: ALL MEN MUST DINE by Jammy Lannister.

For the kids in your life, may we suggest the empowering princess coloring/storybook HER HIGHNESS BUILDS ROBOTS by Laura Winters and Beth Winters?  (Sample pages: "Getting married was the happiest day of Princess Priya's life. . . Second only to getting her Ph.D. in chemical engineering!".)

We have 2016 calendars galore, with something for everyone, including Hyperbole and a Half, Views From the Hubble Telescope, Fractals, Dr. Suess,  Art of Luis Royo, and dozens of others!

As usual, we wish you a Gorey Christmas with a plethora of Edward Gorey-themed items.  From the classic Gashlycrumb Tinies to the Bibliophile With Cats Puzzle, to the massive collection AMPHIGOREY, we have a little bit of Gorey to suit anyone.  My personal favorite is the "Fruitcake" holiday card that shows the solemn ritual of everyone gathering after dark to throw their fruitcakes into a hole in the ice!

Classics that never go out of style are hardcovers of DUNE, GOOD OMENS, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, and THE HOBBIT.  Less traditional, but just as classic -- SLEIGHT OF HAND (short stories from Peter S. Beagle), MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey, and LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S.A. Corey, (which has just been made into a tv series).

Two local artists have graced us with one-of-a-kind gifts: we've got lovely steampunk-influenced jewelry from Oakland's Fire Selkie creations, and gift boxes, hair clips, pins, and hand-made cards from San Francisco's Fly By Night Gifts!

As always, we're happy to make personalized recommendations and practice our Psychic Bookseller Skills when you're stumped.  If you just can't decide, we also offer gift certificates in any amount.

Happy holidays to all!  We wish you a safe, peaceful, and bright 2016.

- Jude Feldman


* Overheard in the store:

"If being a woman means getting lipstick on everything, I'm going back to being non-binary."

"No, I won't be fine. . . I'm going to die."
 "Ok, good."
"Yeah, great.  I love the afterlife."

"Thanks so much, you're an angel!  Well, the kind that kills people with a fiery gaze and sword."

[singing, to the tune of the song from "Annie"]:"The sun will go out/ to-mor-row/ eight minutes later/ we'll all diiiiiiieee/."

"By that logic, dear, groundhogs are a vegetable."

"I don't know if it's maturity or surrender."

* Over at Atlas Obscura, Jess Zimmerman dissects C.S. Lewis’ sneakiest trick; convincing American kids that Turkish Delight is amazing: .  (We actually like Turkish Delight, but your mileage may vary -- one of our customers commented, "I sure didn't think it would taste like roses!".)

* Neal Shusterman, longtime YA SF/F author, has won the National Book Award for his novel CHALLENGER DEEP, which includes illustrations from his son Brendan Shusterman.  The novel is about a young boy navigating his schizophrenia at school and also about a journey to the bottom of the sea and a mutiny.  Check out more info on the book here:

* The design of the World Fantasy Award is changing, and the new design could be yours!  Any artist is welcome to submit a new design for the trophy.  The World Fantasy Awards Administration asks that it represent both fantasy and horror, and bear no resemblance to anyone, living or dead.  Check out the full rules here:

* In other Awards design competition news, the competition for the next Hugo Award base is open now.  Check out rules and deadlines here:

* So you can watch the first episode of The Expanse  -- Syfy’s new series based on James S.A. Corey’s best-selling book series -- on youtube for free.  Initial reviews have been very positive.  Here it is:

* In science news, researchers in the U.K. have created some prototype bandages that will glow when they come in contact with bacteria.  Besides being useful if you cut yourself on a rusty pipe before a rave, earlier detection of pathogens leads to earlier, more effective treatment.

* The screenwriters of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy have weighed in on the Turkish case where a doctor is on trial for posting photos that juxtapose the Turkish president with Smeagol/Gollum.  Though it may sound ridiculous to some, the man faces up to two years in prison.

* Now that the "Jessica Jones" series has arrived in full and gotten mostly positive reviews, we turn our sights to the next Marvel Netflix series in the line-up -- "Luke Cage".  Here are the first photos from the set:  Here’s hoping it’s a little more "Jessica Jones" and a little less "Daredevil".

* In other Marvel news, with the release of the Marvel Phase 2 box set, more and more unseen gems are becoming available online.  This time it’s Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista either auditioning or screen-testing for their roles as Star-Lord and Drax.

* Hachette is expanding their SF/F imprint Orbit by 50%, which means they will now be publishing 90 titles a year.  The reason for this expansion is a growing diverse audience for SF/F and the number of successes Orbit has been having lately.  The full announcement in on their website here:

* We mentioned last month that publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has announced a new SF/F line as well,  with well-known science fiction and fantasy editor John Joseph Adams at the helm.  The growing audience for SF/F is cited in their announcement as well.

* There’s a new featurette for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" online.  It looks great, as has most of the stuff coming out of the set.  Hopefully this can start to replace our memories of Episodes 1, 2 & 3!

* Carrie Fisher is absolutely hilarious on "Good Morning, America":

* Outspoken Carrie Fisher also had some choice remarks for the father who complained about the gold-bikini Leia costume and as a side effect provided us with our new favorite nickname for Jabba the Hutt.  Check it out over at io9:

Also over at io9, Charlie Jane Anders posts about the lost 1929 science-fiction film that predicted WWII (or an alternate version) that was just found.  It sounds campy and interesting but with some gender stereotypes, so just like "Guardians of the Galaxy", then?

* We are one step closer to medical 3D printing, with the creation of functional blood vessels.  (Soon I will be able to build my army of cat-monsters from home, excellent!)

* And finally, a trio of lists for your enjoyment!
From The Guardian: their list of the best SF/F books of 2015:
Bustle gives us their list of the 8 most badass women in SF/F, including classic characters like Lauren Olamina and Meg Murray and newer ones like Katniss Everdeen:
And finally, io9 talks about the deadliest kisses in SF/F history:

Awards News

* The winners of of the GoodReads Choice Awards have been announced.  Some of the sf/f winners include Neil Gaiman, Victoria Aveyard, Pierce Brown, and more.  Check out the full list here:

* The Ignotus Awards for SF/F published in Spain were announced at HispaCon.  For more information check it out here: (website in Spanish)

* Continuing with our outside-the- U.S. awards theme, the Aurora Awards, which celebrate excellence by Canadians in SF/F were also announced this last month.  Winners include the great Julie E. Czerneda, Charles de Lint and Karl Schroeder.  Check out the full list here:

* And finally the winners of the Prix Utopiales -- which are for works produced by Europeans and published in French -- were honored at the Nantes Utopiales Festival International de Science-Fiction.  For the list of winners check out the website here: (website in French)

* And finally the World Fantasy Award winners were announced in Saratoga, NY.  Congratulations to all the winners!  For the full list of winners and nominees check out the website:

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for November, 2015

1. WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
2. MYSTIC by Jason Denzel
3. WHEEL OF TIME COMPANION by Robert Jordan, Heather McDougal, Alan Romanczuk & Maria Simons
4. SHADOWS OF SELF by  Brandon Sanderson
5. CARTER AND LOVECRAFT by Jonathan L. Howard
6. MANNERS AND MUTINY by Gail Carriger
7. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
8. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
9. SLADE HOUSE by David Mitchell
10. AFTER ALICE by Gregory Maguire

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
2. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
3. INFLUX by Daniel Suarez
5. A RED-ROSE CHAIN by Seanan McGuire
6. CLOSER TO HOME by Mercedes Lackey
7. THE FLUX by Ferrett Steinmetz
8. THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross
9. POSI+IVE by David Wellington
10. GOING DARK by Linda Nagata

Trade Paperbacks
1. BLACK WOLVES by Kate Elliott
3. GYPSY, PLUS. . .  by Carter Scholz
4. ANCILLARY MERCY by Ann Leckie
5. CIBOLA BURN by James S.A. Corey

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 13th, at 5 pm to discuss LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S.A. Corey.  The book for the next month will be THE EINSTEIN PROPHECY by Robert Masello.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 20th, at 6 pm to discuss STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel.  The book for the following month will be GENE MAPPER by Taiyo Fujii. Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Sisters in Crime / Mystery Writers of America Northern California Holiday Party, Saturday, December 12th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm - Join us and more than two dozen fabulous local mystery writers for a fun holiday party!  There will be light refreshments and the chance to mingle with, and get books signed by, fantastic authors!  Don't miss this chance to meet so many authors all at the same time, and enjoy a rousing kick-off to the party season -- we'll be joined by Elin Barnes, Cara Black, Rhys Bowen, Emily Brightwell, Diana Chambers, Martha Cooley, Patricia Dusenbury, Janet Finsilver, Jean Flowers, Dana Fredsti, Vinnie Hansen, Ellen Kirschman, Rita Lakin,  Bette and JJ Lamb, Margaret Lucke, Andrew MacRae, Eileen Magill, Nick Mamatas, Pat Morin, Terry Shames, Susan Shea, Kelli Stanley, CJ Verburg, and many more!

Megan E. O'Keefe, STEAL THE SKY (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, January 9th at 3:00pm - We're delighted to welcome local author and Borderlands sponsor Megan E. O'Keefe to the store!  Her upcoming novel sounds hugely exciting; here's the description: "Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet  --  the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.  But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government.  The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder.  And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire.  But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions.  Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade?  He has to be careful  -- there’s a reason most people think he’s dead.  And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship."  We've even got samplers in the store so you can check out an excerpt from the book in advance!

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