Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dispatches from the Border, September 2018

Events and News From Borderlands Books
September 2018

Upcoming Events

SANTA CRUZ NOIR (Akashic Books, Trade Paperback, $15.95) event with with editor Susie Bright, associate editor Willow Pennell, and contributors Jon Bailiff, Seana Graham, Vinnie Hansen, Dillon Kaiser, Liza Monroy, Micah Perks, & Jill Wolfson, Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 pm

SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina) with authors Sheila Finch, David D. Levine, moderated by Terry Bisson, Sunday, September 16th at 6:30 pm

Gail Carriger, SOULLESS, THE ILLUSTRATED EDITION (Orbit, Hardcover, $20.00) Sunday, September 23rd at 3:00 pm

Lisa Brackmann, BLACK SWAN RISING (Midnight Ink, Hardcover, $24.99) Saturday, September 29th at 1:00 pm

Caitlin Seal, TWICE DEAD, (Charlesbridge, Hardcover, $17.99) Saturday, September 29th at 3:00 pm

Meet and Greet signing with Peter Moreira, THE HAIGHT (Pike and Powder, Hardcover, $24.95)  Thursday, October 4th at 6:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at the Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St. San Francisco) with authors Indira Allegra, Cassandra Dallett, Rose Eveleth, Christine No, Anita Sarkeesian, and Sam Sax, plus guest host Elena Rose! Saturday, October 13th at 7:30 pm

John Scalzi, THE CONSUMING FIRE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Friday, October 19th at 6:00 pm

Litquake Litcrawl Phase 3 (in the Cafe) with authors Charlie Jane Anders, Marie Brennan, Megan E. O'Keefe, and Nancy Tingley, Saturday, October 20th at 8:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)


This is a feature that appears periodically, usually (but not always) as we attend conventions and overhear things.  The tradition of keeping track of anonymous overheard bits and bobs started for us at the 2002 ConJose, where trying (or trying not to) fill in the blanks on overheard conversations made us laugh so much that we made it a tradition.  (For those keeping track, the one that started it all was "Shelby, it's not okay to touch your sister's breast with the back of your hand, either!".)

This issue we share some highlights from the store, Writers With Drinks, and this year's World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose:

* Overheard in the Store:

"I'm super-excited about rugs. I guess that means I'm a grown-up, huh?"

"Could you PLEASE stop staring at me like you're thinking 'The quickest way to a man's heart is through his sternum.'?"

"That job just wasn't for me. I really need to work with beings who understand object permanence."

"I would never, ever have pegged her for an 'Interview With the Vampire' person."

"Have you _been_ to Worcester? Have you _seen_ Turtle Boy?"

* Overheard at Writers With Drinks:

"... and that's how I snuck an incredibly tasteful orgy into my young adult novel."

* Overheard at WorldCon:

"It's like rolling your tongue over a minefield."

"The place is _exceptionally_ slick and chrome.  It's like pooping in the future."

"Just say the word if you want 'Weird Japanese Snacks' on your name badge."

"I WASN'T lying.  I was just making sh*t up."

"I'm pretty sure no one's going to come up and say 'Please fix my Patrick Stewart!"

"I have baser instincts but very high restraint."

"That's why there's so much on the line; because it's entirely about ego."

"Aliens, robots, & monsters -- that's my kink!"

"My mom is like, 500 times hipper than I am."

"You had me at 'Murder Bunny'."

"It's Nerd Burning Man, that's what it is."

"I'M your conscience?! You're really screwed."

"I was the goth-est Deadhead EVER."

"Do you want the dragon or the gargoyle?"
"That sounds like my dating scene."

"It's as upcoming as you can get without actually having come."

"It's reminiscent of seaweed, old ashtrays, used bandaids, and a head-butt. . . . Y'know, subtle."

"I am SURE that cheese should not be flammable."

"I've become that guy who buys his underwear on EBay."
"You haven't hit rock bottom until you buy it on Craigslist."

"It CAN'T be blackmail if he's not ashamed of it."

"After multiple accidental Dr. Pepper/tequila shooters, I literally began speaking in tongues when the breakfast buffet opened at 5 am."

"And then we almost fell into an accidental grenade sump.  So we've come full circle."

"I've really never seen anyone be SO sincere in the face of stripper tits."

"It was like a THC enema, and then, oh boy!"


* Podcaster Matthew Felix interviewed Borderlands owner Alan Beatts on his show!  Matthew says: "On my last episode, I had a wide-ranging talk with Borderlands Books' owner and founder Alan Beatts. We discussed Borderlands' history -- including the controversy that garnered it unexpected national attention in 2015, landing Alan everywhere, from the pages of the New Yorker to on camera with Fox and other news outlets. We also talked about what the climate is like today for indie bookstores, both how they've dealt with Amazon and some of the innovative ways they continue to adapt to the future."  You can watch the show on YouTube: https://youtu.be/1NA3DNB8ZXM or Facebook: https://buff.ly/2LWIokz, or you can listen on iTunes: https://apple.co/2N9OC5p or Google Play: https://buff.ly/2Q4jjYo .

* Celebrated actor Burt Reynolds died recently, and while he didn't act in many science fiction films (famously turning down the role of Han Solo!) here are four movies & TV episodes where Mr. Reynolds experimented with genre.  https://www.inverse.com/article/48749-burt-reynolds-best-roles-in-science-fiction-tv-or-movies

* If you happen to be in the UK in November, why not stop by SFX BookCon 2?  Plenty of amazing authors will be there including Pat Cadigan, MR Carey, Rebecca Kuang, Tade Thompson, Sarah Lotz, Richard Morgan and more!  Check out all the details here: http://www.foyles.co.uk/SFX-Book-Con-2?aCode=AFW&awc=1414_1536332121_5a259d21238595760a04c3abfefd50f2

* So you've read N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy all the way a dozen times . . . what now?  Well, Bustle has come up with a list of amazing books for you to check out next! https://www.bustle.com/p/15-science-fiction-fantasy-books-for-fans-of-nk-jemisin-because-you-can-only-re-read-the-fifth-season-so-many-times-9975346

* If you're a Robert E. Howard fan, why not take a cool roadtrip down to Texas and check out the house he grew up and died in?  It been transformed into a museum in his honor. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/robert-e-howard-museum

* The fantasy juggernaut that is "Game of Thrones" is set to air its final season next year, but worry not!  Here are FORTY-THREE upcoming fantasy & sci-fi shows -- some that might make it to air. . . and some that might not.  https://tv.avclub.com/game-of-game-of-thrones-thrones-43-big-upcoming-fantas-1828746565

* An interview with bestselling author Roshani Chokshi as she tours book festivals to promote her numerous books.  https://triad-city-beat.com/roshani-chokshi-science-fiction/

* And every nerd out there sighed and rolled their eyes, because we have known this forever.  https://www.indy100.com/article/scifi-fantasy-literature-study-harry-potter-romance-relationships-8495681

* Check out this podcast on building worlds with N.K. Jemisin, where she also recommends some of her favorite groundbreaking sci-fi.  https://www.vox.com/2018/8/27/17779026/ezra-klein-show-book-recommendations-n-k-jemisin-broken-earth-hugo-award

* A lot of fantasy fans aren't exactly raving about "Disenchantment", the new series from Matt Groening and Netflix.  Check out a few of the critiques here: https://www.wired.com/2018/09/geeks-guide-robert-repino/

* The (obvious) problems with the creation of fantasy and sci-fi cultures that are just an amalgam of anti-Semitic stereotypes.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/08/14/science-fictions-anti-semitism-problem/?utm_term=.85a892084bbd

* An article on the importance of world-building in the genres of fantasy/sci-fi romance, with some recommendations to try out.  https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-importance-of-worldbuilding-in-sci-fi-and-fantasy-romance

* An article about the hit Boots Riley film "Sorry To Bother You": why it's not being hailed as a science fiction film, and the other works it's in conversation with. https://www.wired.com/2018/08/geeks-guide-tanarive-due/

* Two Indian Hugo nominees have a far-ranging conversation about life in the world of genre.  https://scroll.in/article/890816/a-conversation-on-science-fiction-and-fantasy-between-the-two-indian-nominees-for-the-hugo-awards

* Planning to attend DragonCon next year?  Check out this handy-dandy survival guide.  https://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/entertainment/how-survive-dragon-con-2018/k3WHsBn8iGIekitbCXIrwM/

* The new season of "Doctor Who" is going to be the first season starring a woman as the titular Doctor, but it will also be inspired by Spielberg's 80s films.  We can't wait! https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/doctor-who-director-talks-spielbergs-influence-on-the-upcoming-season

* "Adventure Time" has finally ended after eight year and hundreds of episodes, and unlike many long-running series, the finale did not disappoint. https://ew.com/tv/2018/09/04/adventure-time-finale-review/

* Here are 15 tips for world-building!  https://www.bustle.com/p/15-tips-for-creating-a-fictional-world-that-actually-makes-sense-to-the-reader-9258495

* The highly-anticipated Netflix original "The Dragon Prince", from an illustrious creative team that has been involved in "Avatar: The Last Airbender", "Uncharted", "Star Wars" & "Justice League", had a sneak preview of the first episode and it seems like it actually lives up to the hype.  https://www.polygon.com/2018/9/5/17819324/the-dragon-prince-netflix-characters-plot-reaction-interview

* As some of the few fans of the rebooted "Ghostbusters" film, knowing what the sequel would have done just makes us more angry that we'll never get it. http://sciencefiction.com/2018/09/07/ghostbusters-sequel-gone-international/

* Here are the 69 worst science-fiction films of all time according to critics.  We're not gonna lie; there are a handful of titles on this list we actually love, like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes". Check out the whole list here: https://www.businessinsider.com/worst-science-fiction-movies-all-time-critics-2018-8#1-baby-geniuses-1999-69

* A list of 26 underrated science-fiction books: https://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/the-most-underrated-science-fiction-books/

Award News

* The 2018 Hugo Award winners were announced at WorldCon in San Jose.  Congratulations to all of them, and particularly to N.K. Jemisin, who became the first author in history to win the Best Novel award for all three books in a trilogy, and also the first to win three Hugos for Best Novel in a row.  https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/20/17698208/2018-hugo-awards-n-k-jemisin-martha-wells-science-fiction-fantasy-books . (Also check out seven facts about N.K. Jemisin, with a link to a video of her Hugo acceptance speech. https://www.blackenterprise.com/nk-jemison-hugo-awards/ )

* Fran Wilde's "Clearly Lettered in a Most Steady Hand" won this year's Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction.  For a full list of nominees with links to the stories go here: http://www.eugiefoster.com/eugieaward

* The 2017 Sidewise Award for Alternate History announced their winner at WorldCon as well.  https://locusmag.com/2018/08/2017-sidewise-awards-winners/

* The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists have announced the 2018 Chesley Award winners: http://www.asfa-art.org/?page=chesley

From The Office

So, Why So Slow?
An interview by Alan Beatts with Alan Beatts

Hi Folks.  Alan Beatts, freelance interview guy, here and today I'm going to be interviewing Alan Beatts, the owner of Borderlands Books.  Since he and I are both Geminis and, as a result, suffer from an inherent (though quite mild) split personality, this should be a fun interview.  We're going to be talking about his new bookstore location -- specifically I'm going to be asking him why it's taking so very goddamn long for him to finish up the construction work and move the darn store.

Interviewer:  Nice to see you, Alan.  It's been a while.  I think the last time was about six hours ago when I was shaving.  How have you been?

Bookseller:  I've been alright.  A little overworked so far this year, but overall good.  And, the construction work has gotten me into great shape so physically I'm feeling very well.

I:  Since you brought up the construction work, we might as well get right to it.  You're working on the building that you purchased in November last year, right?  The place that you're going to move the bookstore to?

B:  Yup.  Since contractors are scarce right now because of the building boom and, if you can get one, they're pretty expensive, I've been doing most of the construction work myself with help from volunteers.  It's saving us a boat-load of money and I'm having a lot of fun.

I:  But, it's going kind of slowly, isn't it?  When you first bought the building you were hoping to move by July.  That was _two_ months ago.

B:  Ouch.  Yes, it is going quite slowly, thanks for reminding me.  I had forgotten that.

I:  Really?

B:  No.  I think about it every single day -- I've just been trying not to because it really stresses me out.  Sometimes I go for as long and two or three hours without it crossing my mind.

I:  Well, if it's bugging you so much, why not just hire a bunch of contractors and have them get it done?  It might be expensive, but taking so long to move must be costing you money too, right?

B:  As I mentioned, contractors are very busy right now and the rates are quite high.  Let me give you an example; a while ago we did a single, well-defined job at the building.  It took me about a week to complete, with help from some folks, and the materials cost was about $2000.  I talked with a couple of contractors and they both said that the same job would have taken them a while to schedule, taken about a week to complete, and cost, in one case, $15,000, and in the other, $20,000.  That's a pretty huge price difference and no advantage in terms of the time it took.

Granted, I think that it's taking me much longer for most of these jobs than it would take a contractor (if nothing else, I do a lot of work by myself and a contractor would throw a bunch of people at the same project).  But when the price difference is 7 to 10 to one, I think that I'm making the right call by taking more time but saving a hell of a lot of money.

I:  But, there's still a price tag on the delay.  What if you run out of money before the job is done?

B:  Yeah, that's the thing that really is worrying me.  But, as it stands, I've got three big expenses coming up.  In November, the first big set of interest payments will be due on the loans for the building.  Shortly, the property tax bill will arrive for 2019.  And, there will be an additional property tax bill coming for 2018 to make up the difference between what the previous owner paid (based on his purchase price) and what we owe (based on our purchase price).  [Regarding that last, if you don't live in California, it might seem a really strange way to do property taxes - look here for an explanation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_13_(1978)]

I have enough put aside to cover all those expenses plus the amount that I think the construction will cost.  Now, if we don't get moved by next year (or if the construction costs are a lot higher than my estimate), then I'll have a problem.  But, for now, I think we're doing alright.

I:  Still, couldn't you get the job done faster and / or cheaper?  You've been spending a lot of time and, I assume, buying a lot of materials for the work you're doing in the garden.  That's not something that is really critical in terms of moving the store, right?

B:  You're right.  But, here's what it gets down to: right now is our one chance to get everything right and to fix things for the future.  With the place empty and the walls torn open, I can get all sorts of work done that will _never_ be easy (or, in some cases, possible) to do again.  Originally I planned to move fast and get the job done but, as I began to understand the building better and get a clearer idea of what it could be like when we're finished, I started moving more slowly.

We're going to be in this building for a very long time.  Although we could move fast and only do the work that's absolutely necessary, I know something for sure from the many other jobs like this that I've done: we would end up regretting it.  A time would come when I would kick myself for not taking the time to deal with a small problem or take an extra step when it was easy to do, before it ever gets to be a big problem.

I:  Well, I hope you know what you're doing.

B:  Yeah, I hope so too.  But I've done a fair amount of this kind of work, I've got access to great advice, and I've got some absolutely wonderful people who are helping me get it done.  I think we're going to be alright.

I:  OK.  I hear what you're saying but; when is the store finally going to move?  When are you going to be done?

B:  We're going to move when the work is done.  And the work is going to take as long as it's going to take for me to make the place, within reason, the best bookstore it could be.

I:  Well,  good luck.  I hope it goes well and as quickly as possible.  I don't know about you, but I'd sort of like to get a whole weekend off sometime this year.

Folks, thanks for reading, and both of my personalities are looking forward to seeing you at the shop sometime soon.

Alan Beatts

PS  There's been some major progress at the building these last few weeks.  I finished all the work for the I-beam in the basement, including setting the posts, and the structural engineer has signed off on it.  I need to get the city inspector to do the same, and then we can pour the concrete.  We also have completely finished the planters in the back yard.  This week we'll be ordering the plants and putting in the irrigation system.  When the plants arrive in a week or two, then we'll get starting really making it happen.  This is going to be a good month for the construction work!

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for August, 2018

1) Competence by Gail Carrgier
2) Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
3) Hollywood Dead by Richard Kadrey
4) Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu trans. by Joel Martinsen
5) Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
6) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
7) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
8) Alternate Routes by Tim Powers
9) Summerland by Hannu Ranjaniemi
10) Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2) The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
3) Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans by Ken Liu
4) Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
5) Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
6) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
7) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
8) The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
9) Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
10) The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
2) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
3) Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
4) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
5) The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
6) Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) American Gods by Neil Gaiman
9) Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
10) Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, October 14th, at 5 pm to discuss HEROINE COMPLEX by Sarah Kuhn.  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, September 16th, at 6 pm to discuss THE LATHE OF HEAVEN by Ursula K. Le Guin. The book for the following month will be THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

SANTA CRUZ NOIR (Akashic Books, Trade Paperback, $15.95) event with editor Susie Bright, associate editor Willow Pennell, and contributors Jon Bailiff, Seana Graham, Vinnie Hansen, Dillon Kaiser, Liza Monroy, Micah Perks, & Jill Wolfson, Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 pm - From the publisher's website: "Following in the footsteps of LOS ANGELES NOIR. . . [and] SAN FRANCISCO NOIR, this new volume further reveals the seedy underbelly of the Left Coast."  What darkness lurks behind the sunshiney facade of paradise just a bit over an hour south of here?  Check out this volume of brand-new stories from acclaimed writers, many of whom are local -- we're delighted to welcome editor Susie Bright and the most contributors to one anthology that we've ever had appear here together!  Susie will be preparing a "script" of short excerpts for the authors to read, followed by a Q&A and signing.  Check out an interview with the editor here: http://www.kazu.org/post/short-fiction-stories-explore-santa-cruzs-seedier-side#stream/0

SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina) with authors Sheila Finch, David D. Levine, moderated by Terry Bisson, Sunday, September 16th 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 sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

Gail Carriger, SOULLESS, THE ILLUSTRATED EDITION (Orbit, Hardcover, $20.00) Sunday, September 23rd at 3:00 pm - Join us for the book launch of SOULLESS, the Illustrated Edition; celebrating where it all began with Alexia Tarabotti!  This time our parasol-carrying heroine is presented in a new, gorgeously illustrated edition inked by the talented Jensine Eckwall. Eckwall's Edward Gorey-like style is sure to please both those fans who have been following the series from the beginning, and those just now discovering the world of SOULLESS.  Gail Carriger will be on hand sharing her wit and wisdom and will be available to personalize your very own copy of Soulless, the Illustrated Edition, or any of her other titles!

Lisa Brackmann, BLACK SWAN RISING (Midnight Ink, Hardcover, $24.99) Saturday, September 29th at 1:00 pm - We're delighted to host the talented Lisa Brackmann!  From the book jacket of her thrilling, frighteningly-timely new novel: "Sarah Price wants a career in politics.  But she has a secret past that won't stay past, threatening her job on a San Diego congressman's reelection campaign.  Casey Cheng wants a story.  An ambitious local television reporter, Casey needs to get her career back on track after being seriously injured in a mass shooting.  When she investigates the man who nearly killed her, she finds a connection to a group of online harassers called #TrueMen -- and realizes her shooter may not be the only killer they have inspired. Casey's investigation and Sarah's secret put them both in the crosshairs of a hate group that targets anyone they've deemed to be against their cause, including Sarah's boss, the congressman.  Now Sarah and Casey have a choice to make -- do they hide? Or do they fight back?"

Caitlin Seal, TWICE DEAD, (Charlesbridge, Hardcover, $17.99) Saturday, September 29th at 3:00 pm - We are honored to be the first on stop on Caitlin Seal's book tour with the release of her debut hardcover, TWICE DEAD!  Caitlin will be reading from the book, answering any questions you may have, and personalizing copies of the book for your collection.  From the Publisher's website: "In this imaginative debut perfect for fans of character-driven fantasies like GRACELING and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, seventeen-year-old Naya Garth becomes one of the undead and an unlikely spy for her country.  Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir.  Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting.  She's struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.  But death is not the end for Naya.  She awakens to realize she's become an abomination -- a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse.  She's been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country.  Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.  She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder.  Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray."

Meet and Greet signing with Peter Moreira, THE HAIGHT (Pike and Powder, Hardcover, $24.95)  Thursday, October 4th at 6:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Peter Moreira to the store for an informal meet-and-greet signing.  Given our new location-to-be in the Haight, this murder mystery couldn't possibly be a more appropriate book for us!  From the publisher's website: "Jimmy Spracklin thinks he knows Haight-Ashbury when he's called out to the neighborhood to investigate the murder of artist John Blakely in the spring of 1968.  Marie, Spracklin's beloved step-daughter, ran away to the birthplace of acid rock during the Summer of Love the previous year.  What Spracklin learns quickly is that heroin is now replacing acid as the most popular drug in Haight-Ashbury.  Gangs are taking over.  The scene is getting violent.  Now Spracklin, the head of the San Francisco Police Department's famed Bureau of Inspectors, must catch Blakely's killer while he struggles to bring his daughter home."

Writers With Drinks (at the Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St. San Francisco) with authors Indira Allegra, Cassandra Dallett, Rose Eveleth, Christine No, Anita Sarkeesian, and Sam Sax, plus guest host Elena Rose! Saturday, October 13th at 7:30 pm - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, and we're always happy to participate! The amazing lineup this month includes authors Indira Allegra (Blackout), Cassandra Dallett (Collapse), Rose Eveleth (Flash Forward), Christine No (The Rumpus, Story Magazine), Anita Sarkeesian (History vs. Women), and Sam Sax (bury it, madness).  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.

John Scalzi, THE CONSUMING FIRE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Friday, October 19th at 6:00 pm - We are absolutely thrilled to welcome John Scalzi back to Borderlands, where he'll show off the sequel to the Hugo-nominated COLLAPSING EMPIRE!  From the publisher: "The new novel will continue Scalzi's Interdependency Series, picking up the story as humanity's interstellar empire, teeters on the verge of collapse.  The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded.  When it goes, human civilization may go with it -- unless desperate measures can be taken.  Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions.  But nothing is ever that easy.  Arrayed before her are those who believe the collapse of the Flow is a myth -- or at the very least, an opportunity that can allow them to ascend to power.  While Grayland prepares for disaster, others are preparing for a civil war, a war that will take place in the halls of power, the markets of business, and the altars of worship as much as it will take place between spaceships and battlefields.  The Emperox and her allies are smart and resourceful, but then so are her enemies.  Nothing about this power struggle will be simple or easy… and all of humanity will be caught in its widening gyre." Check out this interview with John Scalzi at The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/12/16992910/john-scalzi-the-consuming-fire-collapsing-empire-cover-reveal-q-and-a

Litquake Litcrawl Phase 3 (in the Cafe) with authors Charlie Jane Anders, Marie Brennan, Megan E. O'Keefe, and Nancy Tingley, Saturday, October 20th at 8:00 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.  Phase 3 will take place in the Cafe and will feature Charlie Jane Anders, the author of THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and host of the Writers With Drinks reading series; Marie Brennan, the World Fantasy and Hugo Award-nominated author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent; Megan E. O'Keefe, who won the David Gemmell Mornigstar Award for her debut novel STEAL THE SKY; and Nancy Tingley, who, like the curator protagonist in her Jenna Murphy mystery series (A DEATH IN BALI), is a specialist in Southeast Asian art.  We hope you'll join us for this fast-paced and fun reading!