Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Dispatches from the Border, May 2018

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

Tamora Pierce, TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Random House, Hardcover, $18.99) Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00 pm

SF in SF with authors Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Meg Elison, and Ellen Klages, moderated by Terry Bisson (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, June 10th at 6:30 pm

Jacqueline Carey, STARLESS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $25.99) Wednesday, June 13th at 6:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

Coming up in the summer: B. Catling at the bookstore, Hannu Rajaniemi at The Interval at Long Now, George R.R. Martin in conversation with WorldCon artist GOH John Picacio at The Fox Theatre, and many, many more exciting events!

* Overheard in the Store:

"It will probably be an artisanal bag shop. We're in the Artisanal Bag Shop District, you know."

"This man approached me [at a convention] & introduced himself as 'a pre-published author', meaning it, I think, in the same way that I am 'pre-dead'."

"I don't believe that! How on Earth did you get THE MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH [by Charlie Huston] from 'It had a yellow cover & it's about people who clean crime scenes.'!?"

"It was really saccharine; it said 'A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?', and I immediately thought 'Not have disrupted the space-time continuum, duh!'"

"You have not lived until you've heard Christopher Lee in the acoustics of a men's room." - Peter S. Beagle

"Nice to meet you; I need wear your bra for a sec.”

* Get ready for another book about Westeros, but not WINDS OF WINTER -- instead we are getting FIRE AND BLOOD, a history of the infighting that almost wiped out the Targaryen line. More info here:

* To be completely honest, if we had a few hundred dollars just lying around, we would probably be the proud owners of gaming dice made from whitetail antler and amber resin.  Check out this Kickstarter and see if the exotic-materials dice they're offering speak to you:

* A child confronts giant animals with glowing eyes in the wonderfully haunting art of Dawid Planeta.  Check it out:

* Long-running magazine Mythic Delirium is sadly going on indefinite hiatus.  For the full editorial go here:

* In other publishing news, Amazing Stories, which has been online-only since being relaunched in 2012, will now put out quarterly print editions:

* If you happen to be in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, June 13, there will be a tribute to the legendary Ursula K. Le Guin featuring a number of writers speaking of her legacy and influence.

* Award-winning author and friend of the store Charlie Jane Anders gets a write-up in the Daily Californian:

* Speculative fiction and fashion have always had a relationship with one another.  Here's a great write-up on how speculative fiction influenced the recent fashion week.  There are even baby dragons.

* Okay, but can we get a holographic doctor that looks like Robert Picardo in "Star Trek: Voyager?" That's the real question.

* The landscape of cities can be vitally important to a novel.  Here's what some authors have to say about their own creations, and things that want to see:

* has a list of 11 Sci-Fi shows they want to be translated, although we wouldn't mind just getting subtitled versions of most of them.

* Umm, this seems like a bad idea.  Wasn't that the whole point of Minority Report?

* LASER EYES!  Well, not really yet, but this seems like the first step.  All it's gonna take is one evil genius.

* Sony has acquired a new series from Wattpad called "Death is My BFF".

* May the Fourth Be With You: The Source gives us a list of the best Star Wars name drops in hip-hop music:

* This list does contain some obvious and possibly very entertaining crossover possibilities.  Others on the list seem like a bit of a reach.

* If you missed it, Janelle Monae's masterpiece of an album "Dirty Computer" has dropped, and along with that a 45 minute motion picture by the same name that imagines a dystopian world, blending music with afrofuturism and classic science fiction ideals.  Check it out.

* A new theme park has opened in China where every ride involves virtual reality.

* Another list of science-fiction inventions we don't have yet, although some of these aren't really that far off.

* Apparently Netflix is ready to pour more money into science-fiction and fantasy content.  Hopefully they'll lean toward actual original content and away from reboots and remakes.

* Local theatre company Dreams on the Rocks Productions (they describe themselves as " ... a Bay Area-based theatre company specializing in satirical remakes of cult classics through a modern gaze") presents "Flash Gordon - Live!" at the Exit Theatre.  The show runs May 4th - May 26th.  For details, see:

Award News
* The African Speculative Fiction Society has released the list of the 2018 Nommo Award nominees!

* Voting for the 2018 Hugo Awards is now open!

* The Arthur C. Clarke Awards have announced their shortlist for 2018!

* Vote for the 2018 Locus Awards -- the finalists have been revealed!

* The Mystery Writers of America announce the winners of 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards!

* The winners of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award have been announced:

* Clarkesworld Magazine has announced the wins in their readers' poll for Best Short Story and Best Cover.

From The Office

Haight Street Building Update

Whew.  The past couple weeks have been kind of a blur.  We've finished the west and south walls -- all patched and painted (well, primed actually).  They came out really well and it makes a huge difference to how the place looks.  We've also torn up all the horrible carpet which has made another huge improvement.  It turns out that, when the carpet was installed, they did a proper job and nailed down plywood to glue the carpet to.  That's a great thing for two reasons; first, I'm not going to have a sand off the carpet glue when I refinish the floors and, second, the plywood has probably protected the floors since the 1970s.  I'm sure that they're going to be pretty worn when I get down to them but, it's better than it would be if they hadn't been protected for forty-plus years.

Along with working on the electrical (more about that in a moment), I've been working on the fences in the back yard (with a lot of help from the volunteer crew).  Today I just did the final work on the south fence.  It was the trickiest because it's (mostly) straight, so getting it level along a 25' run was a challenge. But, it all worked out and it looks wonderful.  The east fence is about half-finished and the west has yet to be started.  Big thanks go out to everyone who helped with that -- Jim, Z'ev, Maddy, Salem, Aliza, Carl, David, Melinda, Russ and Zach.  Despite my sudden inability to measure anything accurately (or do fractional arithmetic in my head), Zach, Russ and David were very patient with me (thanks and sorry, guys.)

One very exciting thing about getting the fences finished is that we can start on the garden almost immediately.  We'll be putting in hanging pots ASAP along with planters along the top of the retaining walls.  That will get the garden started growing down while we get the ground-level planters built.  It's looking like the garden will be pretty nice by the time we open.

The inside work has been progressing, if a bit slowly.  We've gotten all the electrical work done that we can do, pending PG&E getting the engineering finished.  That's going to be slow (their promised date is around the middle of August) but, after a lot of thought, waiting is smarter than trying to rush the process.  But, about half of the challenging work is done and we're only looking at a week or so of work, once PG&E comes through.

Other big news for the inside work is that all the plans and engineering drawings for the bathroom are completed and approved.  All that's left is going down and paying for the permit.  Once that's done, we've got two things that have to get sorted before we start on that job.  The first is getting the steel beam for the basement fabricated and delivered.  That will allow us to remove a bunch of the absolute forest of posts that are down there now.  Since there are foundations that need to be built to support it, the wise move is to have it on-site and placed before digging holes and filling them with steel and concrete.  One those foundations are poured it's kind of hard to move them (read that as, "impossible").  So, we'll get the beams, shore them up into place, and then dig the foundations.

The other thing we need to work out is sort of ridiculous.  To know where to put the foundation for the big beam that goes upstairs we have to decide on . . . what sink we're putting in the bathroom.  Really.

Here's how it works; the position of the foundation is determined by the beam.  The position of the beam is determined by the wall.  And, the position of the wall is determined by . . . you guessed it, the width of the sink.  You see, ADA requirements are very specific (as they should be) -- the center of the sink must be not less than 18" from the near wall and the edge of the sink must be not less than 60" from the other wall.  So, the total minimum length of the wall is 18" plus 60" plus . . . one half of the width of the sink.  Obviously I'm going to allow for a couple extra inches just in case but I can't do much 'til I pick the sink.  It's surprisingly hard to find an ADA sink that doesn't look like it came right out of a hospital room but I'm working on it.

The upshot of how things are going with both the electrical and structural work is that I don't think that we'll be moved by the beginning of August.  Since the World Science Fiction convention is going to be in San Jose this year and we'll be having quite a significant presence in the Dealers' Room (as well as doing a bunch of other stuff around the con), August will be pretty much completely taken up with getting ready for the con, doing the con, and catching up after the con.  So, it's starting to look like moving will be post-August but, by how much is unknown right now.

All Best,

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for April, 2018

1) Tough Mothers by Jason Porath
2) Noir by Christopher Moore
3) Head On by John Scalzi
4) Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath
5) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6) The Power by Naomi Alderman
7) Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
8) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
9) In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle
10) Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans. by Ken Liu
2) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
3) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
4) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
5) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
6) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
7) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
8) Overneath by Peter S. Beagle
9) Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
10) Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 12 edited by Jonathan Strahan

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
2) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
3) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
4) Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
5) Vanguard by Jack Campbell
6) Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
9) The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
10) Besieged by Kevin Hearne

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 13th, at 5 pm to discuss PLANET OF THE APES by Pierre Boulle.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 20th, at 6 pm to discuss CHILDREN OF TIME by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The book for the following month will be.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Tamora Pierce, TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Random House, Hardcover, $18.99) Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00 pm - Please join us for an extremely special evening celebrating the release of a new series from bestselling & beloved author Tamora Pierce, who will be on hand for a reading and signing!  Titled TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER, fans of Pierce's world of Tortall will be enthralled with this new prequel.  From the author's website: "In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair SalmalĂ­n came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom's future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies."  We are just thrilled to welcome Ms. Pierce to the store!  This event will be first-come, first seated, and the author reserves the right to limit the number of books attendees can have inscribed, based on crowd size.

SF in SF with authors Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Meg Elison, and Ellen Klages, moderated by Terry Bisson (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, June 10th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10.)  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.  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.  Questions? Email

Jacqueline Carey, STARLESS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $25.99) Wednesday, June 13th at 6:00 pm - New York Times bestselling author and Borderlands favorite, Jacqueline Carey will spend the evening with her fans old and new to celebrate the release of her latest stand-alone fantasy novel, THE STARLESS!  Carey came upon the scene in glorious fashion with the release of her spellbinding Kushiel's series.  Not one to rest on her laurels, Carey has given fans of genre fictions many delicious choices; from the gritty sci-fi action of SANTA OLIVIA to stand-alone novels taking on iconic characters from Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST with her novel MIRANDA AND CALIBAN.  With many trilogies, duologies and novels to her name, Jacqueline Carey is firmly placed among the leaders in genre fiction, and we couldn't be happier than to have her in the store the week of her new release.  If you would like to have a copy of any of her in-print books reserved, please call the store before the event between the hours of 12:00 pm and 8:00pm.

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.