Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dispatches From the Border: September 2016

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

Ferrett Steinmetz, FIX (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) on Saturday, September 17th at 3:00 pm

J. Patrick Black, NINTH CITY BURNING (Ace, Hardcover, $27.00) on Saturday, September 24th at 1:00 pm

Reading Along the Aqueduct, with Susan diRende, Liz Henry, Ellen Klages, Claire Light, Nancy Jane Moore, and Lori Selke on Sunday, September 25th at 3:00 pm

Blake Charlton, SPELLBREAKER (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) on Saturday, October 1st at 3:00 pm

Nisi Shawl, EVERFAIR (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) on Sunday, October 2nd at 2:00 pm

Colin Dickey, GHOSTLAND: AN AMERICAN HISTORY OF HAUNTED PLACES (Viking, Hardcover, $27.00) with guest Annalee Newitz on Saturday, October 8th at 3:00 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Thrills, Chills, Zen, and Trains" with Alex Dolan, Janet Dawson, Daryl Gregory and Eliot Fintushel, Saturday, October 15th at 7:15 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "From Inside Your Head, to Under the Sea, to Beyond the Stars" with Skye Allen, Chaz Brenchley, Becky Chambers, and Serena Valentino, Saturday, October 15th at 8:30 pm

Jewelle Gomez, THE GILDA STORIES 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (City Lights Books, Trade Paperback, $16.95) on Saturday, October 30th at 3:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

And, coming up in the Fall, we're thrilled to welcome even more wonderful authors including Dan Wells and Brent Weeks, among many others!


* Our friends at the Internet Archive <https://archive.org/index.php> are looking for volunteers to help with their 20th Anniversary party, and with other projects as well!  Here's some info from the Archive: "The Internet Archive is turning 20!  Help us kick off the night in style on October 26th from 4pm to 10pm.  Volunteer shifts are 4 hours long (4pm to 8pm and 6pm to 10pm).  Volunteers who complete a shift at the Anniversary Party get full access to the party, demos, food, drinks (please consume any adult beverages after your shift), and a t-shirt to say thank you. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Archives doing other events or even core mission work, preference will be given to anyone who helped out with the Anniversary events."  Use this link for more information and to sign up to volunteer: https://goo.gl/forms/vQm98P2IJwGOptyE3

* Compass Books in Terminal 3 at SFO is looking for a full-time, general interest bookseller.  Is is you?  http://www.indeed.com/m/viewjob?jk=8142c13f55aee482&from=tellafriend

* The Locus Writers Workshop is hosting a single-day intensive workshop taught by award-winning author Daryl Gregory on Saturday, September 24th.  There are still a few slots left if you'd like to sign up, and tuition even includes a tour of the Locus Magazine offices!  Full details are here: http://lsff.net/awards/bay-area-locus-writers-workshop-2016-with-daryl-gregory/

* Actor Ian McKellen turned down $1.5 million to officiate a billionaire's wedding costumed as Gandalf.  "Gandalf doesn't do weddings.":  https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/23/ian-mckellen-turned-down-15m-to-officiate-as-gandalf-at-sean-parkers-wedding

* A rumination on Dune, 50 years on.  What it meant, what it still means, and why it's so important:

* Tor.com reports on the many, many genre film and television adaptations coming soon: http://www.tor.com/2016/09/05/sci-fi-fantasy-adaptations-movies-tv/

* Brian Keene writes a lovely column on community and connection for new writers with a nice shout out to Borderlands own Alan Beatts and Jude Feldman.  http://cemeterydanceonline.com/2016/08/a-message-to-the-next-generation/

* Check out this beautiful short art film that uses many different techniques to show the beginning of the universe.  http://boingboing.net/2016/09/01/take-a-trippy-animated-ride-th.html

* Seth Grahame-Smith, author of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES and ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, among other works, is being sued for $500,000 by publisher Hachette for breach of contract.  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/31/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-author-sued-by-publisher-hachette-seth-grahame-smith

* It's a little late for it this year, but check out the LeGuin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship, which offers $3000 for travel to research and work with the papers of several feminist science fiction writers.  All of the details are here: http://csws.uoregon.edu/application-period-now-open-for-2016-17-le-guin-feminist-science-fiction-fellowship/

* Since the 2017 World Science Fiction will be held in Helsinki, the North American Science Fiction Convention is back and will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  So get ready for a good time at either convention!  http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/08/worldcon-and-nasfic-site-selections/

* The Verge has created its list of 24 upcoming novels of science fiction/fantasy/horror/thrillers to look forward to this month.  This includes the American Library Edition of LeGuin’s Orsinian stories, and Nisi Shawl’s EVERFAIR, which we've been looking forward to for over a year. (And Nisi will be joining us at Borderlands for an EVERFAIR reading and signing October 2nd!)  http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/1/12533088/new-science-fiction-fantasy-books-novels-fall-preview

* Another list of science fiction, fantasy and horror to look forward to, but this time on your television (or computer) screens.  After how amazing Jessica Jones was?  We can’t wait for Luke Cage to premiere.  Full list here: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2016/09/02/fall-tvs-most-intriguing-new-science-fiction-horror-and-fantasy-shows/

* All arts inform and influence one another, and the results can be fascinating.  Which is why Gwenno, the Welsh musician who gains her inspiration from science fiction -- specifically dystopias full of robots and cloning -- is so interesting.  Read all about her here: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/gwenno-saunders-music-science-fiction

* The reviews for the movie Arrival, adapted from a Ted Chiang story, have started to come in and they all say it's beautiful.  We can’t wait.  Full review from Telegraph here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/09/01/arrival-is-science-fiction-at-is-most-beautiful-and-provocative/

* How well do you know your exotic foods?  How well do you know Science Fiction?  Can you tell them apart?  Take this handy-dandy quiz and see the truth of it.  https://consumerist.com/2016/08/31/can-you-tell-your-exotic-foods-from-your-science-fiction-characters/

* For a little science in your life that you can use to write some fiction, or just to win a pub trivia contest, read this article on the reproduction of Sea Urchins.  (The world is a fascinating place!)  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/weirder-than-science-fiction-how-sea-urchins-reproduce/

* N.K. Jemisin, who just won the Hugo Award for her novel THE FIFTH SEASON, gives an excellent interview with the NY Times about writing, race, awards, and more.

* Do you need a good cry?  Or maybe you like to laugh at others' suffering?  Either way, this list of the saddest pets in Science Fiction is sure to touch you in some kind of way.  Just the mention of The Plague Dogs was enough to get us to tear up.  http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-23-most-tragic-pets-in-science-fiction-fantasy-an-1785577574

* The Massive Multiplayer Online game Eve Online is about to become free and I am excited. Controlling a ship in space, fighting and trading?  Since it seems the Firefly MMO will most likely never arrive, this could be the next best thing.

* A dissection of Margaret Atwood's latest book, a rumination on whether there is actually any difference between speculative fiction and science fiction, and Ursula LeGuin being wonderfully snarky.  This article in The Guardian brought a light to our lives: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/10/speculative-or-science-fiction-as-margaret-atwood-shows-there-isnt-much-distinction

* Computer brain chips are on their way!  Yes, for now it's about helping people and that's fantastic. . . but it's only a matter of time before they're turned to other uses.  (We know a few people who can't wait until Netflix is in their brain, for example.)  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/08/15/putting-a-computer-in-your-brain-is-no-longer-science-fiction/

* With the GIANT caveat that Amazon.com very frequently posts dates for forthcoming books that have no relation to reality and are seemingly at random, the Internet is currently freaking out because maybe, possibly, perhaps, probably not, a date has been listed for George R.R. Martin's WINDS OF WINTER at Amazon France.  We're calling nonsense until we hear it from Random House, but here you go: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/09/06/george-rr-martin-winds-winter-date-rumor

Award News

* The African Speculative Fiction Society has announced a new award for African writers, The Nommo - named after twins from Dogon cosmology.  Get details on it here: http://www.africansfs.com/nommos

* The Hugo Awards have been announced, and winners include N.K. Jemisin, Hao Jingfang, and Naomi Kritzer.  The full list of the winners is here: https://midamericon2.org/home/hugo-awards-and-wsfs/2016-hugo-award-winners/  For the full statistics on how the voting went, go here: https://midamericon2.org/home/hugo-awards-and-wsfs/2016-hugo-award-winners/

* Along with the Hugos, we now have the Alfies.  Created by George R. R. Martin, the Alfies present awards to the runner-ups that were pushed off the Hugo ballot by the Rapid Puppy slate.  (Brief background on the Rabid Puppies here, in case you've missed the hoopla: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sad_Puppies).  The full Alfie list is here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/08/2016-alfie-awards/

* The Chesley Awards, presented by the Association of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Artists, have just been announced.  List of winners is here: http://www.asfa-art.org/

* The Mythopoeic Awards have also been announced, and the winners include Naomi Novik, Ursula Vernon, and more.  Check out the full list here: http://www.mythsoc.org/news/news-2016-08-07.htm

* In the last of our award news, The Sidewise Awards for alternate history have also announced their winners from 2015: http://www.uchronia.net/sidewise/

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for August, 2016

1. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS 1 & 2 by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, & J.K. Rowling
2. THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS by China Mieville
3. POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL by Serena Valentino
4. THE PERDITION SCORE by Richard Kadrey
5. THE NIGHTMARE STACKS by Charles Stross
7. FOUR ROADS CROSS by Max Gladstone
8. INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older
9. THE PALE BROWN THING by Fritz Leiber

Trade Paperbacks
3. THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman
4. THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin
5. HEROINE COMPLEX by Sarah Kuhn
6. THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu
7. I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas
8. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
9. THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor Lavelle
10. NINEFOX GAMBIT by Yoon Ha Lee

Mass Market Paperbacks
2. NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
3. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
5. THUNDERBIRD by Jack McDevitt
6. ZEROES by Chuck Wendig
7. HOT LEAD, COLD IRON by Ari Marmell
8. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
9. KOJIKI by Keith Yatshuashi
10. KOKO THE MIGHTY by Kieran Shea

Book Club Information

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 18th, at 6 pm to discuss LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. LeGuin. The book for the following month will be BLINDSIGHT by Peter Watts. Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Ferrett Steinmetz, FIX (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 17th at 3:00 pm - We are thrilled to host Ferrett Steinmetz with the third and final installment of his popular 'Mancer series, FIX.  Featuring a cast of unusual magicians -- chief among them Paul Tsabo, a bureaucromancer, and his daughter Aliyah Tsabo-Dawson, a videogamemancer -- FIX follows fugitive Paul and his family across the globe as they are hunted by the terrifying and hive-minded Unimancers, agents of the government's anti-'mancer squad.  Author Ken Liu praises the series: "With the ‘Mancer series, Ferrett Steinmetz has achieved something rare in contemporary fantasy: a world that feels both truer and more magical than our own." Don't miss Ferrett and the conclusion of his electrifying and inventive series, and as always there will be donuts.

J. Patrick Black, NINTH CITY BURNING (Ace, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, September 24th at 1:00 pm - We are very excited to host J. Patrick Black with his debut science fiction novel NINTH CITY BURNING.  Here's the official synopsis: "We never saw them coming.  Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble.  When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity.  It seemed nothing could stop it--until we discovered we could wield the power too.  Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition.  The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines.  Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.  But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun.  As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back." You can read an excerpt from the book here: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/02/19/ninth-city-burning-cover-excerpt?xid=IFT-Section.  We hope you'll join us for a memorable afternoon with this talented new author!

Reading Along the Aqueduct, with Susan diRende, Liz Henry, Ellen Klages, Claire Light, Nancy Jane Moore, and Lori Selke on Sunday, September 25th at 3:00 pm - Aqueduct Press promises "to bring our readers work that will stretch the imagination and stimulate thought." In this group reading by Aqueduct Press authors and friends, readers Susan diRende, Liz Henry, Ellen Klages, Claire Light, Nancy Jane Moore, and Lori Selke also promise to bring the funny, the unexpected, and the exciting.  No two audience members will agree about whose work they liked best!  Debbie Notkin will emcee this event.

Blake Charlton, SPELLBREAKER (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) on Saturday, October 1st at 3:00 pm - We're happy to welcome author (and doctor) Blake Charlton back to Borderlands!  Blake will be showing off the third book in his SPELLWRIGHT trilogy, SPELLBREAKER!  Here's the book description from the author's website: "Leandra Weal has a bad habit of getting herself in dangerous situations.  For one thing, she has to solve the mystery behind a very usual murder.  While hunting neodemons in her role as Warden of Ixos, Leandra obtains a prophetic spell that provides a glimpse one day into her future.  She discovers that in a day’s time she will either murder someone she loves or die herself.  Problem is, she doesn’t know whom she might murder.  That’s a pretty big problem for a woman who has a shark god for a lover, a hostile empress for an aunt, a rogue misspelling wizard for a father, and a mother who -- especially when arguing with her daughter -- can be a real dragon.  Leandra’s quest to unravel the mystery of the murder-she-will-commit becomes more urgent when her chronic disease flares up and the Ixonian Archipelago is plagued by natural disasters, demon worshiping cults, and fierce political infighting.  Everywhere she turns, Leandra finds herself amid intrigue and conflict.  It seems her bad habit for getting into dangerous situations is turning into a full blown addiction."  You can check out the gorgeous cover art here: http://www.blakecharlton.com/2015/11/spellbreakers-cover-art-blurb/

Nisi Shawl, EVERFAIR (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) on Sunday, October 2nd at 2:00 pm - We are thrilled to welcome award-winning author Nisi Shawl to Borderlands!  Her new novel EVERFAIR is the steampunk alternate history we've been waiting for.  Check out the exciting description from the publisher's website: "EVERFAIR is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier.  Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II.  This land, named EVERFAIR, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.  Nisi Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history.  EVERFAIR is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced.  EVERFAIR is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history."  Do not miss the opportunity to meet this fascinating author!

Colin Dickey, GHOSTLAND: AN AMERICAN HISTORY OF HAUNTED PLACES (Viking, Hardcover, $27.00)  with guest Annalee Newitz on Saturday, October 8th at 3:00 pm - We are so excited about author and cultural historian Colin Dickey's new book GHOSTLAND: AN AMERICAN HISTORY IN HAUNTED PLACES that we just had to have him come talk about it, despite it not falling strictly within our genres.  AND, Annalee Newitz will be joining in the fun, interviewing Colin at the event!  Here's the book description from the publisher's website: "Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as 'the most haunted mansion in America,' or 'the most haunted prison'; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living--how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted?  Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made -- and why those changes are made -- Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, GHOSTLAND discovers the past we’re most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark." Come join us for some real-life ghost stories with Colin Dickey!

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Thrills, Chills, Zen, and Trains" with Alex Dolan, Janet Dawson, Daryl Gregory and Eliot Fintushel, Saturday, October 15th 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 our readers are Alex Dolan, Janet Dawson, Daryl Gregory and Eliot Fintushel!

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "From Inside Your Head, to Under the Sea, to Beyond the Stars" with Skye Allen, Chaz Brenchley, Becky Chambers, and Serena Valentino, Saturday, October 15th 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 Skye Allen, Chaz Brenchley, Becky Chambers, and Serena Valentino!

Jewelle Gomez, THE GILDA STORIES 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (City Lights Books, Trade Paperback, $16.95) on Saturday, October 30th at 3:00 pm  - We're thrilled to welcome author, activist, and playwright Jewelle Gomez!  From her website: Jewelle's "fiction, essays, criticism and poetry have appeared in numerous periodicals.  Among them: The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Village Voice; Ms Magazine, ESSENCE Magazine, The Advocate, Callaloo and Black Scholar.  Her work has appeared in such anthologies as HOME GIRLS, READING BLACK READING FEMINIST, DARK MATTER and the OXFORD WORLD TREASURY OF LOVE STORIES.  She has served on literature panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the California Arts Council."  However, Jewelle is probably best known for her unforgettable, immortal vampyr character Gilda, and we're absolutely delighted to be showcasing the 25th Anniversary edition of THE GILDA STORIES!  You can read an excerpt from one of the newer Gilda stories here: http://www.jewellegomez.com/new_gilda.html

Since we're so close to Halloween, you are welcome and encouraged to wear costumes to this event.  We really hope you'll join us!