Friday, January 25, 2019

Dispatches from the Border, January 2019

Events and News From Borderlands Books
January 2019

Upcoming Events

TOMORROW! Rudy Rucker, RETURN TO THE HOLLOW EARTH (Transreal Books, Trade Paperback, $13.95 and Hardcover, $22.95) and others, and art show premiere! Saturday, January 26th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Charlie Jane Anders, Gayle Brandeis, Chris Denson, Laleh Khadivi, and Lisa Margonelli, Saturday, February 9th at 7:30 pm

SF in SF (at The American Bookbinder's Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with authors Nick Mamatas and Anya Martin, hosted by Terry Bisson, Sunday, February 24th at 6:30 pm

CANCELLED - Ann Leckie, THE RAVEN TOWER (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) - CANCELLED

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

* Overheard in the Store:
"The Pope's never seen _my_ meat!"

* Local author Nick Mamatas is teaching a Fabulist Fiction course at WeWork Golden Gate, 25 Taylor St., San Francisco.  There are six sessions and it starts THIS Saturday, January 12th.  The cost is $395.  Details and sign up here:

* A very interesting article on the way young Muslims are finding a sense of belonging in science fiction.

* io9 has gotten together a list of the fictional people, shows and comics that we lost in 2018. R.I.P.

* How many science fiction predictions for 2019 came true?  How many didn't?  (We will probably always be mad at the absence of flying cars and teleportation devices.)

* A new science-fiction magazine, "Dreamforge", with a theme of optimism, survival and hope, will be coming out of Pittsburgh in 2019.

* Speaking of optimistic science fiction, check out the short story series "Better Worlds," -- ten stories, half turned into animation and the other half into audio stories.  The series will premiere on January 14th on The Verge.

* The Biology of Science Fiction is a class we wish we could have taken in college.  (Na'amen always complained that they weren't teaching him how to make mutants to obey his every whim, but Duke's class is a step in the right direction.)

* British science fiction author Robert Storey has been missing since the day after Xmas.  Anyone with any information is being asked to contact the police.

* io9 gives us a list of the ten best and the four worst TV shows of 2018. We feel vindicated about our reaction to the "Nightflyers" adaptation.

* A list of the best future-focused science-fiction TV and film being released in 2019.

* For those who watched all of the DC series "The Titans", but missed the after-credits scene.  Two new characters were teased as joining in season 2.  One we expected, the other. . . .

* Did you enjoy "The Titans" and wonder about all the shifts from the announcements of titles to the cut episode count?  Here are your answers:

* NASA has released a study on the best way to go about possibly locating other intelligent species in the universe.  It even theorizes that Earth may hold some artifacts of non-human origin.

* Coming after the tremendous success of "Get Out", the trailer for Jordan Peele's newest horror film, "Us" has been released -- and it definitely looks terrifying.

* Na'amen only cares about science that asks the really important questions, the ones that seem relevant to his life and interests, like when we will be able to speak to marine life.

* Fans of comic book adaptations know that not all adaptations of Marvel works exist within the same universe.  In fact there are currently four worlds - the main MCU, the X-men films, the Netflix Marvel series & the "Deadpool" movie universe.  Here are the odds on some of the characters from the latter three transferring into the big leagues of the main MCU.

* Former President Barack Obama has released his best-of lists for 2018, and two genre films made the list - "Annihilation" & "Black Panther".  For more detail go here:

* The links between science fiction and philosophy, and how each can be used to illustrate and illuminate the other:

* Do you like whiskey?  Do you like science fiction?  Then it seems like there's a company you should be checking out:

* Vulture gives the list of their top ten science fiction and fantasy books, which we're glad we checked out, because there are a couple on this list we hadn't heard of, and sound great!

* A gentleman has managed to create and patent a quiet ion powered aircraft.  For now the focus is on using it for drones, but eventually the plan is to create one that can carry passengers.

* Wired got eight speculative fiction authors to contribute stories about the future of work - including Charlie Jane Anders, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu and Martha Wells.  Check them out here:

* Dyson Sphere!

* Did a transformer actually explode in Queens?  Or is it an MIB-style cover-up for an alien showdown in our backyard?

* Speaking of MIB: the trailer for the new film "MIB International" is out, starring Chris Hemsworth & Tessa Thompson.  Thor & Valkyrie fighting aliens side by side?  We're there.

* Is it just a hunk of rock, or a derelict sun-powered alien craft?  (Let's be honest; it's most likely the former, but the latter sounds way cooler.)

* What is the connection between space and dead children: why are they so often paired together in science fiction tales?

* Meet Rose Macaulay, a contemporary of Aldous Huxley, whose dystopian novel WHAT NOT has been out of print since it first appeared in 1919 and seems to have had considerable influence on BRAVE NEW WORLD.  It will reappear in print this coming March.

Award News

* The 2018 GoodReads Choice Winners have been announced after millions of votes.

* The 2018 Parsec Awards, celebrating speculative podcasting, have been announced.

* The inaugural award for books focusing on STEAM have announced their shortlist.

* The judges for the 2019 World Fantasy Award have been announced.

From The Office

Welcome to 2019 Everyone!

As you can tell, this newsletter is _horribly_ late.  And it's all my fault.  January is usually a bit busy and crazy but this one has been a record-breaker.  I've been trying to write something articulate for the past two weeks and all that has come out was "mumble, sponsorships, mumble, new roof, mumble, mumble, mumble".  So, I'm not going to be articulate very much at all (I'll try that next month, which will be here in . . . six days!?!!).

It's a new year and so, once again, we're soliciting sponsorships for 2019.  We do this every year so we can stay open.  We need to have 300 sponsors (at $100 each) by March 31st or we'll close.  Full story here - .  Benefits here - .  On-line signup here - .  Or you can sign up by mail, or in person at the shop.

We've been working on the building at Haight Street a lot.  We've got a new roof, some big structural work almost complete (last bits to do in the basement and ground floor structural work 50% done), the garden is looking great (pictures up at the blog soon), and we're just about to start the new electrical service installation.  It continues to go slow but very well.

And that's all I've got right now.  I hope that 2019 is treating you better than it's treating me (insert wry smile here) and I hope to see you around the shop sometime soon.

All Best,

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for December, 2018

1) Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin
2) How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
3) The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
4) Rejoice, a Knife to the Heart by Steven Erikson
5) Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
6) Thin Air by Richard Morgan
7) Worlds Seen in Passing edited by Irene Gallo
8) Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
9) Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
10) So Far, So Good: Final Poems by Ursula K. Le Guin

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2) The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
3) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans by Ken Liu
4)  Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
5) All Systems Red by Martha Wells
6) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
7) The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
8) Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
9) Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence by Michael Marshall Smith
10) Space Opera by Cat Valente

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
2) The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
3) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
4) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
5) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
6) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
7) Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
8) Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire
9) The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
10) Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Book Club Information
The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 10th, at 5 pm to discuss TOMORROW'S KIN by Nancy Kress.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 20th at 6 pm to discuss THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal. The book for the following month will be THE CLOCKWORK DYNASTY by Daniel H. Wilson.  Please contact for more information

Upcoming Event Details

TOMORROW! Rudy Rucker, RETURN TO THE HOLLOW EARTH (Transreal Books, Trade Paperback, $13.95 and Hardcover, $22.95) and others, and art show premiere! Saturday, January 26th at 3:00 pm - It's always a treat to welcome the quirky and irrepressible genius Rudy Rucker to the store!  Rudy is an author, artist, mathematician and one of the godfathers of Cyberpunk.  Join us to check out his newest book, RETURN TO THE HOLLOW EARTH, and celebrate the reprints of two other titles.  Rudy will also lead a "guided tour" of his current art show at Borderlands Cafe.

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Charlie Jane Anders, Gayle Brandeis, Chris Denson, Laleh Khadivi, and Lisa Margonelli, Saturday, February 9th at 7:30 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 Charlie Jane Anders (yes, she's reading as well as hosting! (The City in the Middle of the Night), Gayle Brandeis (The Book of Dead Birds), Chris Denson (Crushing the Box), Laleh Khadivi (The Age of Orphans) and Lisa Margonelli (Underbug).  This one will be extra special, since we've got permission from the publisher to sell Charlie Jane's new book 3 days early!  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 Bookbinder's Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with authors Nick Mamatas and Anya Martin, hosted by Terry Bisson, Sunday, February 24th at 6:30 pm - (Suggested donation $10.)  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.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Doors and bar open at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  Donations benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.  Questions? Email

CANCELLED - Ann Leckie, THE RAVEN TOWER (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) - CANCELLED - Very unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Ann Leckie has had to cancel the RAVEN TOWER tour.  We hope to see her back in the store later on this year.  You can read her announcement here:

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

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