Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dispatches from the Border, December 2017

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Help with Our New Building

As you're probably aware, we've just bought a 1902 building on Haight Street that will be the permanent home for Borderlands.  The place needs a fair amount of work and we're happy to accept help doing the work, if you'd like to give it.  You'll be working with a pretty fine group of people and you'll have a chance to learn a bunch about how buildings are put together and restored.  If that sounds interesting, please drop Alan a line at abeatts@borderlands-books.com or you can just reply to this email.

There's another sort of help we're looking for as well.  And, if you're a long-time SF resident, you might have what we need.  Alan and Zach (our historian) are looking for pictures of the south side of Haight Street between Masonic and Central.  The older the better but even shots from as short a time as five years ago would be very welcome.  We're putting together a history of the building and finding photographs has been surprisingly difficult.  If you've got something, please let Alan know.

Limited Edition 20th
Anniversary Hoodie

We unveiled the special Borderlands Books 20th anniversary hoodie last month at our party, and we still have some left for sale.  They feature a lovely silk-screened design courtesy of sponsor Michelle Rapp, and will only be available for a limited time.  We're happy to ship them world-wide or you can stop by the shop to pick one up.  If you'd like one shipped, please call the shop during business hours toll-free at 888 893-4008 or you can email us to make arrangements.  The hoodies are $55 each, plus any shipping charges, and they are sized from small to XXXL.  One note about sizing -- they are quite a trim fit, and so you might want to go a size larger than usual unless you like your clothing snug.

Check out Alan modeling one here - https://borderlands-books.blogspot.com/2017/12/20th-anniversary-hoodie.html (There's also a bonus picture of a Sponsor wearing one of the first ones sold, positioned to dominate our fair city).

Upcoming Events

Sisters in Crime / Mystery Writers of America Northern California Holiday Party, Saturday, December 9th at 2:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco) with authors Becky Chambers, Alyssa Cole, David D. Levine, Dean Rader, Lauren Sanders and Danna Staaf, Saturday, December 9th at 6:30 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Ben Loory and Ken Scholes, Sunday, December 10th at 6:30 pm

Steve Ryfle, ISHIRO HONDA: A LIFE IN FILM, FROM GODZILLA TO KUROSAWA (Wesleyan, Hardcover, $32.95) Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Seanan McGuire, BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY (Tor.com, Hardcover, $17.99)  Thursday, January 11th at 6:00 pm

Kate Elliott presents "Do Not Be Satisfied With Stories: Narrative Structure and Expectations" Friday, January 12th at 6:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

Borderlands Opinionated Holiday Gift Guide

I was delighted to see that most retailers this year actually waited until Thanksgiving was over before putting out their holiday decorations (or worse, turning up the holiday music)!  Last year, I swear, it seemed like a bunch of stores were moving in Christmas lights, menorahs, and New Year's noisemakers on July 5th, so I appreciate the restraint this time 'round.  However, winter is well and truly here now, and I'm personally thrilled that the gift-giving season has arrived, because there are just so many absolutely wonderful books to brighten the days of your friends and family.

We here present our usual Opinionated (and Digression-Filled) Gift Guide to help you out.  However, if you don't see something appropriate here, we're always happy to make custom suggestions for you or anyone in your life.  We'll even wrap 'em for you!  (A special note to those of you purchasing presents: we're glad to gift wrap upon request, although our typical caveats apply: first, if we're busy, you may have to wait a bit to have things wrapped, and, second, some staff members are MUCH better than others at it.  It is possible that your package may resemble a brightly wrapped Lovecraft-ian, batrachian, rugose, Thing of No Human Shape.  For some customers, this is not a problem . . ."better than I can do!," they say.  However, if you are concerned about our, ahem, abilities, we're also happy to just hand you the gift wrap, scissors and tape.)

Now, onward!

Let's start with a huge selection of signed books.  We're quite spoiled with all the marvelous local authors who have dropped by to sign their work recently, and we currently have signed books from Charlie Jane Anders, S.G. Browne, Gail Carriger, Richard Kadrey, Ellen Klages, Nick Mamatas, Seanan McGuire (no longer local, but still in our hearts and willing to sign books on the tailgate of the store's truck in a random parking lot in San Lorenzo in a giant rush, which surely looked like the world's strangest drug deal),  Christopher Moore,  Annalee Newitz, and many, many more!   Also, Marie Brennan and Becky Chambers be around in the next week or so, so feel free to request personalized copies -- we'll make it happen if we possibly can.

One of my favorite new titles is MIXED UP: Cocktail Recipes (and Flash Fiction) for the Discerning Drinker (and Reader) edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer.  This is a collection of more than two dozen classic recipes, hot tips on ingredients and preparations, and also new cocktail-themed short stories.  It's just great fun.  Another fun option is KILLER FASHION: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History by Jennifer Wright, which might appeal to the Edward Gorey fan in your life.  Stunning and unusual is ABOVE THE TREELINE by artist and author Gregory Manchess, and you just have to see this one!

Two beautiful anniversary editions you might want to consider: NAME OF THE WIND TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (with incredible illustrations by Dan dos Santos, and more than 50 pages of new material!) and THE PRINCESS BRIDE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION: this stunning new release features foil and embossing on the cover, an interior printed on elegant uncoated cream stock with rough-cut edges, fifty (!) full-page color illustrations by Michael Manomivibul, full-color chapter openers, and a gorgeous color map printed on the endpapers.  It really is "inconceivably" lovely.

New science fiction releases -- INFINITE STARS edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt shouldn't be missed; it's a collection of some of today's most prestigious and talented science fiction authors writing original short fiction in their most famous worlds.  It contains new stories by Catherine Asaro, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jack Campbell, David Weber and many, many others.  ARETMIS by Andy Weir just came out, and although it is getting mixed reviews, it seems to be one of those "black licorice books" that people either love or hate, but no in-between.  Great news for The Expanse fans among you -- book six, PERSOPOLIS RISING -- comes out December 5th!  AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz is deservedly getting almost universally positive reviews, and we've got signed copies for that special someone.  There're also two super-cool little pocket-sized hardcovers; a gift edition of OLD MAN'S WAR by John Scalzi, and the SIX MONTHS, THREE DAYS, FIVE OTHERS, expanded from a Tachyon chapbook, by Charlie Jane Anders.

If fantasy is more to your taste, we've definitely got you covered.  CREATURES OF WILL AND TEMPER by Molly Tanzer just came out, and it's a delightful feminist DORIAN GREY while simultaneously incorporating comedy of manners elements from SWORDSPOINT and Victorian theatre a la Forest Leo's THE GENTLEMAN (also recommended).  I'm doing a poor job of explaining this one because it is hard to categorize, but that's all the more reason to read it!  Speaking of hard to categorize, also just released is a wonderful new short story collection from Peter S. Beagle, beloved author of THE LAST UNICORN, called THE OVERNEATH.  I personally think Beagle is at his very strongest in the short-story form, and you really shouldn't miss this one.  LA BELLE SAUVAGE by Philip Pullman returns to the world of THE GOLDEN COMPASS to tell more of Lyra's story.  IN OTHER LANDS by Sarah Rees Brennan didn't get the attention that it should have, and I hope to at least partially remedy that here.  Snarky, self-aware, smart, funny, and tremendously sweet, IN OTHER LANDS works equally well for adults and genre-versed young adults.  A fantasy that came out almost a year ago but deserves tons of attention is Ellen Klages' PASSING STRANGE, which is a love-note to the complicated 1940's queer culture in San Francisco, as well as a sweet story with just a hint of magic.  DOWN AND OUT IN PURGATORY shows off the short fiction of stylist Tim Powers, and it's very worth checking out.

Bestsellers -- books that have been flying off the shelves around here include all three books of N.K. Jemisin's Hugo-winning Broken Earth Trilogy; Cixin Liu's THREE-BODY PROBLEM (translated by Ken Liu); Charlie Jane Anders' ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY; Brandon Sanderson's OATHBRINGER (the third book of The Stormlight Archive); THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS and its (relatively) new prequel THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE by M.R. Carey.

If your gift-ee just has to have the newest and the latest, check out STRANGE WEATHER by Joe Hill, a brilliant collection of four short novels that's NOT AT ALL like his dad Stephen King's DIFFERENT SEASONS.  We've also just got A WAR IN CRIMSON EMBERS, number 3 in Alex Marshall's Crimson Empire books, which is one of my very favorite recent fantasy series.  It's like Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, and George R.R. Martin all collaborated on this work, and it's hugely fun.  Brand new from Gail Carriger is ROMANCING THE WEREWOLF, a holiday romance novella set in the SOULLESS world.  Just out from Mira Grant is INTO THE DROWNING DEEP, a terrifying tale of very dangerous mermaids, and SOURDOUGH by Robin Sloan, author of MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSHOP.

Classics: we have beautiful, gift-worthy editions of THE HOBBIT,  ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, DUNE, NEUROMANCER, LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, oversized illustrated editions of the Harry Potter books, and many, many more familiar favorites!

Recently in media: Many great options!  We have Stephen King's wonderful Dark Tower series, and the books are easily a million times better than the movie, despite the excellent acting of Idris Elba and others (frankly, I'd watch Idris Elba read a phone book, but even he, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor, the terrific young actor who played Jake, couldn't fix a movie that tried to cram seven books and a prequel into 90 minutes of screen time).  Much better movies include "The Arrival", based on the story of the same name in Ted Chiang's STORIES OF YOUR LIFE AND OTHERS.  Coming in February 2018 will be Netflix's version of Richard Morgan's ALTERED CARBON, and I have to say I am cautiously optimistic about it.  I'm more enthusiastic about the movie based on A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle, since the preview looks AMAZING.  Also great is CHANCE by Kem Nunn, recently made into a TV series that features the noir-est San Francisco ever, with Hugh Laurie.  The opposite of noir is Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries, also now a TV series with droll dialogue and fabulous clothes in 1920's Australia.

Oddities are always an entertaining choice.  You might choose THING EXPLAINER: COMPLICATED STUFF IN SIMPLE WORDS by Randall Munroe; 199 CEMETERIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE by Loren Rhoads, a gorgeous coffee-table style book at a regular hardcover price; LITERARY WONDERLANDS: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE GREATEST FICTIONAL WORLDS EVER CREATED, edited by Laura Miller; or PAPERBACKS FROM HELL: THE TWISTED HISTORY OF 70's AND 80'S HORROR FICTION by Grady Hendrix.  We've also got signed copies of the perennial Christmas favorites LAMB, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BIFF, CHRIST'S CHILDHOOD PAL, and THE STUPIDEST ANGEL, A HEARTWARMING TALE OF CHRISTMAS TERROR, both by Christopher Moore.

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.

We wish everyone a very peaceful, hopeful, and happy holiday season.  As the Counting Crows say, "A long December/ and there's reason to believe/ maybe this year will be better than the last."  Here's hoping that each one continues to get better.

- Jude Feldman


*Overheard in the Store:
"If I never hear the phrase 'Cyber Monday' again, it will be way too soon."

"I have body piercings older than most of the cafe employees!"

"Okay, gluten-free, artisanal strippers, then."

*Overheard at Writers With Drinks:

"Our motto for 2018 is going to be 'Aftercare, Hydration, and Lots of Cuddles!'"

"I don't know which version of the Bible you prefer-- I like the Queen James version."

* We're sorry to hear of the death of wonderful author Julian May, who wrote well over 200 books.  She's best known among SF/F fans for her two series "Saga of the Plioscene Era" and "Galatic Milieu", as well as co-writing the first Trillium novel with authors Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton.  https://chicago.suntimes.com/entertainment/julian-may-who-weaved-worlds-in-sci-fi-fantasy-novels-dead-at-86/

* This article about the idea of robot rights is great.  There's no real conclusion, but there is a lot of food for thought about human rights and the potential abuse of created beings.  https://daily.jstor.org/do-we-have-moral-obligations-to-robots/

* Over at The Verge, Devon Maloney uses the new "Star Trek" series as a window to explore the troubling trend of visual science fiction not straying too far from the near future and/or recycled plots.  The article explores the variety of reasons this might be the case.  https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/6/16604190/star-trek-discovery-science-fiction-stories-afraid-of-the-future

* In related news: the Reboot Apocalypse is near.  Den of Geek lists over 100 reboots in the works and at least 90% of them seem completely unnecessary. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/reboots/248590/126-movie-remakes-and-reboots-currently-in-the-works

* The Root has provided a Guide to Fantasy and Science Fiction Made for Black People, by Black People with many excellent short film, book, graphic novel, webseries, and even convention recommendations.  http://www.theroot.com/a-guide-to-fantasy-and-science-fiction-made-for-black-p-1820396166

* Hedy Lamarr was a famous Golden Age Hollywood actress whose inventions have affected both warfare and personal technology.  http://bust.com/feminism/15055-how-hedy-lamarr-gave-us-the-cell-phone.html

* Enjoy N.K. Jemisin's latest round of reviews about what's new in SF/F!  As always she is honest and thoughtful while acknowledging books' triumphs and failures.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/books/review/seventh-decimate-stephen-donaldson-new-science-fiction.html

* Jo Walton has fully funded a series of intimate science fiction conventions in Montreal called Scintillation.  Check out the (now-finished) Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2027413000/scintillation

* Floating cities may no longer be science fiction, and from the way the article frames "seasteading", it seems like only a matter of years before warring island nations  become science fact too!  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/business/dealbook/seasteading-floating-cities.html

* If you’re jonesing for an AI POV like we are, then here are four books for you to check out: http://beta.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-robot-sci-fi-20171122-story.html

* Listen to creators Drew Hayden Taylor, Minister Faust and Danis Goulet talk about the way African and Native voices are limited in mainstream science fiction, and what they are doing to change that: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-november-14-2017-1.4400378/how-indigenous-and-black-artists-are-using-science-fiction-to-imagine-a-better-future-1.4400425

* GRRM's new space-opera-meets-slasher TV series "Nightflyers" should premiere this July on Syfy.  Check out more info here: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/george-rr-martins-nightflyers-wont-be-set-in-westeros-but-youll-still-want-to-watch-6738517

* JY Yang’s Tensorate series is getting praise all over.  Here's another glowing review of the series which comprises two novellas from Tor.com so far. https://blackgirlnerds.com/tensorate-series/

* "Shada", the famous Doctor Who story arc that was written by Douglas Adams and partially filmed but never completed is now being released!  Because animation!  Tom Baker recorded vocals and it's dropping soon!  http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15694907.How_a_North_East_Dr_Who_fan_helped_to_finish____lost____episode/

* Seven animated cartoon movies for adults.  We personally believe that all cartoons are for adults if they want them to be, but these are definitely intended for adults and span 70's surreal film Fantastic Planet to early 2000 anime Paprika to recent release Anomalisa.  Check out the whole list here: http://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/movies/2017/11/29/not-just-kiddie-cartoons-7-animated-movies-made-for-adults/

* Bustle has compiled the nine best SF/F books by women in 2017 according to Amazon: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-9-best-sci-fi-fantasy-books-written-by-women-in-2017-according-to-amazon-3255319

*A discussion of N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy and the similarities to current weather patterns.  https://www.thedailybeast.com/have-we-goaded-mother-earth-into-becoming-an-angry-parent

* Book your tickets now! A virtual reality theme park is opening next month in China and we want to go so badly! https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2017/11/06/china-virtual-reality-theme-park/

* Tansy Rayner Roberts on her new novella about a "post-modern millennial bisexual vlogger" saving her mother from a "terrifying extra-dimensional space tyrant".  (You can't tell us you're not super-interested right now.)  https://www.themarysue.com/girl-reporter-cover/

* Amazon has announced a new "Lord of the Rings" TV Series, which just seems like a terrible idea.
- The Verge wrote a post on why TV studios should stop playing it safe when it comes to fantasy.  https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/16/16649934/amazon-studios-fantasy-genre-tv-adaptation
- Entertainment Weekly chimes in with three book series that would make better TV http://ew.com/books/2017/11/13/lord-of-the-rings-three-fantasy-novels-better-tv/
- The Mary Sue also has a list of 8 fantasy novels that would be better ideas. https://www.themarysue.com/8-other-fantasy-series/

* The fantastic cult film "Galaxy Quest" is getting a second life as a TV show: https://www.cinemablend.com/television/1726920/how-the-galaxy-quest-tv-show-will-tie-into-the-movie

* If you’ve already mainlined "Stranger Things" Season 2 and are wondering what to watch now, The Insider has ten suggestions here: http://www.thisisinsider.com/stranger-things-shows-to-watch-next-2017-11

Award News

The African Speculative Fiction Society has announced the winners of the 2017 Nommo Awards!  Check out the full list, with a video of the awards ceremony here: http://www.africansfs.com/home

From The Office

Well, there's a lot in this month's newsletter, so I'm going to keep this short.  Don't worry though, I'll have much more news and information about our new building in the next newsletter.  But, here's the quick version.  The previous owner and occupant of the retail space has packed all his stuff and is out.  I've met both of the residential tenants, and they both seem like lovely people.  I've also met most of the neighbors, and they're equally nice.

So now we're really digging into getting the work done.  Weekend before last we removed the decades of ivy from the backyard and cleaned it up.  Turns out that, under a foot of leaves, mulch and dirt, there's a concrete pad that covers most of the yard.  One of our next outside jobs is going to be breaking that out and hauling it away.  Once that's done, we can start the hardscape (probably dry-laid brick), and then get working on the planters and plantings.  Our gardener and designer, Melinda Rose <http://botanikagardens.com/index.html>, and I will be working on the layout over the next few weeks.

Inside, it's demolition time.  Last weekend we took out the ill-advised acoustical ceiling and much of the drop ceiling as well.  There's still a bit more to go, but most of the "bones" of the building are visible,   and they look pretty good.  Beams are oversized by current standards, a full 2" thick, and old-growth, clear fir.  There don't seem to be any notable problems other than some fire damage in the stairway area (probably dating to 1973).  I still need to open up the walls in a couple of places to see what's there, but the building looks to be as solid as I thought it was.

I met with our architect, Kevin Short <https://kjs-arch.com>, today and he agrees with me that the place looks really good.  I'm still "learning" the building -- figuring out what was done, why and when (with a great deal of help from our historian, Zachary Harper).  I'm sure that there'll be some surprises as we go along (because there always are) but I don't think that there are going to be any bad ones.

The question that I'm asked the most is when we'll be moving.  Obviously we're not doing that until we've got all the work done at the place.  Since some of my plans include things like an ADA accessible restroom, refinishing the floors, and building all new bookshelves, the construction isn't going to be a fast process.  So, at this point, there are too many variables to make even an educated guess at how long the process will take.  That said, I'm hoping for a May opening but, please, don't hold me to that.

In closing, I want to thank all the people who have helped out with the work so far.  They are, in no particular order: Melinda, Eloise, Garrett, Jane, Laura, Claud, Russ, Colleen, Marie, Jay, Carl, April, Kestrel, Starling, Zach, Dave, Elizabeth, Emily, Ramon and, last but far from least, Salem and Jude.  Without their generous, cheerful, and profoundly aggressive help, I would still be standing in the middle of the backyard, knee deep in ivy, and cursing nature.

-- Alan Beatts

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for November, 2017

1. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
2. Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson
3. Artemis by Andy Weir
4. Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
5. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
6. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
7. Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders
8. Name of the Wind Tenth Anniversary Edition by Patrick Rothfuss
9. Provenance by Ann Leckie
10. Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
3. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
4. Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger
5. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
6. The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle
7. Tales of Falling and Flying by Ben Loory
8. Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
9. Passing Strange by Ellen Klages
10. An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
3. Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
4. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
5. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
6. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
8. Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
9. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
10. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 10th, at 5 pm to discuss WHO FEARS DEATH by Nnedi Okorafor.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at cobalt555@earthlink.net, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 17th, at 6 pm to discuss HYPERION by Dan Simmons. The book for the following month will be.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Sisters in Crime / Mystery Writers of America Northern California Holiday Party, Saturday, December 9th at 2:00 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 writers all at the same time, and enjoy a rousing kick-off to the party season -- we'll be joined by Dale Berry, Mysti Berry, Susan Bickford, John Billheimer, Thomas Burchfield, Jen Dornan-Fish (Ellison Cooper), Ted Haynes, Wendy Hornsby, Jerry Kennealy, Laurie R. King, Bette Lamb, JJ Lamb, S. S. Mausoof, Catriona McPherson, Beth McMullen, Gigi Pandian, Eileen Rendahl (Kristi Abbott), Kirk Russell, Terry Shames, and Nancy Tingley, and many, many more!  This event is open to the public, and we do hope you'll be able to attend!

Writers With Drinks (at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco) with authors Becky Chambers, Alyssa Cole, David D. Levine, Dean Rader, Lauren Sanders and Danna Staaf, Saturday, December 9th at 6:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, and we're always happy to participate!  The amazing lineup this month includes authors Becky Chambers (A Closed and Common Orbit), Alyssa Cole (An Extraordinary Union), David D. Levine (Arabella and the Battle of Venus), Dean Rader (Self Portrait as Wikipedia Entry), Lauren Sanders (The Book of Love and Hate), and Danna Staaf (Squid Empire: Rise and Fall of the Cephaolpods).  Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits. Doors open at 6:30 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books.

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Ben Loory and Ken Scholes, Sunday, December 10th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.)  Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series!  The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson.  The authors will schmooze & sign books after.  Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.   Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015.  Questions? Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

Steve Ryfle, ISHIRO HONDA: A LIFE IN FILM, FROM GODZILLA TO KUROSAWA (Wesleyan, Hardcover, $32.95) Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at 3:00 pm - From the book description: "Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide.  From the atomic allegory of Godzilla and the beguiling charms of Mothra to the tragic mystery of Matango and the disaster and spectacle of Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda’s films reflected postwar Japan's real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations. Now, in the first full account of this long overlooked director's life and career, authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda’s work and the experiences that shaped it -- including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with Akira Kurosawa. ISHIRO HONDA: A LIFE IN FILM FROM GODZILLA TO KUROSAWA, features close analysis of Honda's films (including, for the first time, his rarely seen dramas, comedies, and war films) and draws on previously untapped documents and interviews to explore how creative, economic, and industrial factors impacted his career. The authors cover Honda's non-science fiction films for the first time in any language. Fans of Honda, Godzilla, and tokusatsu (special effects) film, and of Japanese film in general, will welcome this in-depth study of a highly influential director who occupies a uniquely important position in science fiction and fantasy cinema, as well as in world cinema."  We certainly hope you'll join us to meet author Steve Ryfle -- bring your questions!

Seanan McGuire, BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY (Tor.com, Hardcover, $17.99)  Thursday, January 11th at 6:00 pm - We're just thrilled to welcome Seanan McGuire back to Borderlands!  This time Seanan's showing off the sweet, third entry in the Wayward Children series (sequel to EVERY HEART A DOORWAY and DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES).  The tone of this volume is very different, but just as brilliant.  From the book description: "When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived.  But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest -- not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)  If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place.  And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests. . .  A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.  Warning: May contain nuts."  We do hope you'll join us!

Kate Elliott presents "Do Not Be Satisfied With Stories: Narrative Structure and Expectations" Friday, January 12th at 6:00 pm - We're thrilled to welcome author and sponsor Kate Elliott, who will be doing a (rescheduled) fascinating powerpoint lecture (all images or short clips! no boring text slides!) on how the expectations we bring to a story influence how we engage with the story, with a particular emphasis on how opening paragraphs (and opening sequences in films) often rely on familiarity and cultural knowledge to draw us in.  Kate will focus on science fiction and fantasy stories, most of which will be familiar to Borderlands Books' customers.  Kate has given versions of this presentation to acclaim at Sasquan/Worldcon 2015 and at the Sirens Conference 2015.  She will be happy to answer questions and sign books after the lecture.  We hope you'll join us for this interesting and practical 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.

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 Gobert 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 editor@borderlands-books.com

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