Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dispatches from the Border, February 2019

In Memoriam
Cary Heater

Cary Heater passed away at San Francisco General Hospital in the early morning of Thursday, January 31st as a result of complications following a fall and severe head injury on the night of Wednesday, January 16th.

Cary was a Bay Area native, born and raised in San Jose.  She moved to San Francisco in the 80's, in part to escape the South Bay's heat (which she despised). Throughout much of her time in SF she worked as an accountant, ultimately heading the accounting department of a major downtown firm.  In the early 2000's she left that field and went looking for something else.  She found bookselling and never looked back.

She started working with us at Borderlands in 2002.  Initially she was very worried that she wouldn't be a good bookseller because she didn't read widely enough in the field to make good recommendations.  But, with a little encouragement, she quickly grew into the role.  Over time, Cary took over many of the administrative duties at the store and was an absolutely vital part of Borderlands' success.

On a personal level, Cary and I were friends for 27 years.  We meet dancing in nightclubs around town and became close friends.  Our friendship persisted and grew through multiple career changes, life crises, triumphs and defeats.  She was my oldest friend.

She also counted among her friends many fellow booksellers, authors, artists and, above all, customers.  We will be gathering to celebrate her life on Friday, February 8th, from 7 pm to 11 pm at Borderlands Books.  We hope that you will be able to join us.

It was her wish that she be cremated and there will be no service.  If you wish to make a donation to charity in Cary's name, I'd like to suggest the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (https://www.bincfoundation.org/donate/).  Had Cary survived her injury, that organization's support would have been crucial to helping her manage the financial consequences.

Cary had no surviving family but I don't think she ever felt alone in the world.  She had a family that she chose in the staff and customers of Borderlands.  There had never been anything in her life that she loved more than bookselling.  We are all grateful that she chose us.

- Alan Beatts

Upcoming Events

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

Canceled - Ann Leckie, THE RAVEN TOWER (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) Thursday, February 28th at 6:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco), Saturday, March 9th at 7:30 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

* Overheard in the Store:
"Who, exactly, decided that this image of empowered femininity would be a completely naked woman chasing a playful mini T-Rex around a tree with a kitchen knife?"

"This seems like a good plan; I'll just pose in this hoodie on an emu!"

"I believe in role-playing games, & I believe in cosplay.  I just don't believe they go great together."

"In my experience, LARP-ing is just sitting in 30 pounds of dress while my friends argue for hours."

"We never said it would be easy. We just said it'd be worth it."

"They may be coming here to leave their hearts in San Francisco, but they clearly left their brains in Dayton or Poughkeepsie or wherever it is they're from!"

* A 100 year-old Holocaust survivor talks about the importance of books.  Her letter is included in an anthology of essays on books and reading. https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/12/18/a-velocity-of-being-helen-fagin/

* In extremely sad local news, Aardvark Books has closed after 40 years in San Francisco.  https://hoodline.com/2019/01/final-chapter-aardvark-books-to-close-this-friday-after-40-years-in-business

* A exploration on how women were not excluded from early science fiction circles, but in fact made vital contributions that were erased over time. https://www.wired.com/2019/02/geeks-guide-history-women-sci-fi/

* io9.com gives you a list of 37 speculative books releasing in February that you can purchase and curl up with just in case you're in the middle of the Polar Vortex. https://io9.gizmodo.com/37-new-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books-to-keep-you-wa-1831879973

* A list of eight SF/F books with queer, poly relationships, which we would have loved to have as young adults. https://www.autostraddle.com/8-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books-with-queer-poly-relationships-445053/

* A reexamination of "The Matrix", and whether it had some part to play in our current reality where people feel free to blissfully ignore facts. https://www.vulture.com/2019/02/the-matrix-built-our-reality-denying-world.html

* The creators of RWBY have a new anime series to launch with an all-star cast including David Tennant, Michael B. Jordan and Maisie Williams.  Introducing "gen:LOCK": https://www.inverse.com/article/52550-rooster-teeth-genlock-explained-trailer-premiere-date

* While the conversation on the diversity of authors and worlds has taken steps forward in the last few years, diversity in the industry itself is still worth consideration.  Bustle interviewed 10 women of color who work in publishing about their experiences.  https://www.bustle.com/p/how-10-women-of-color-actually-feel-about-working-in-book-publishing-15867283

* Now the only question is: resistance, or do we bow and welcome our future Skynet overlords? https://www.techspot.com/news/78519-self-aware-machines-wont-science-fiction-much-longer.html

* There's a college that focuses on Fantasy and History.  Unfortunately if your interests stray anywhere outside of Europe, this is not the school for you -- but maybe someone else will start a more diverse version soon.  (Also, it has no accreditation.)  https://www.concordmonitor.com/signum-university-tolkein-nashua-nh-22924145

* "Paradise Hills" sounds like a weird, over-the-top, lush prison film where hyper-femininity is enforced, confining and deconstructed.  "Lord of the Flies" by way of a dystopian finishing school.  We're already interested.  https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/4/18201719/paradise-hills-review-awkwafina-milla-jovovich-alice-waddington-sundance-2019

* Whenever we think about living spaceships, it's generally more squishy and "Farscape"-like, but this article points out there's any number of ways scientists are working on living spaceships.  https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/think-living-spaceships-are-science-fiction-think-again/90873

* Where was this cutting-edge research when we were in school struggling with French or Spanish?  All the things science fiction promised us, it's delivering to the next generation -- not fair.  https://www.inverse.com/article/52901-can-you-learn-new-information-or-languages-during-sleep

* An interview with author Karin Lowachee about her short story "A Sun Will Always Sing" and a future in which humanity and AI coexist in harmony rather than competition. https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/4/18207357/karin-lowachee-interview-sci-fi-artificial-intelligence-better-worlds

* A list of 20 black speculative fiction authors that you should know.  https://culturess.com/2019/02/03/20-legendary-black-science-fiction-authors/

* A Harvard astronomer talks about the the possibilities of aliens: why they are no less speculative than other space theories, and why astronomy should open its mind to the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence.  https://www.wbur.org/endlessthread/2019/01/30/oumuamua-alien-probe-avi-loeb

* The assumption that women writers of speculative fiction are automatically writing for a younger audience is one that many of us who work in bookstores have noticed, but where does that idea come from?  https://bookriot.com/2019/01/21/sexist-problem-in-fantasy/

* A man taught himself how to animate the story he wanted to tell all on his own.  Check out his story here and then go watch all the nine episodes of the first season of "Esluna: The First Monolith" on youtube.  https://io9.gizmodo.com/meet-a-guy-who-taught-himself-to-animate-his-own-sci-fi-1832155351

* Bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon has accused her husband of a plot to poison her and steal her financial resources while being emotionally abusive and manipulative.  More details here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/01/17/best-selling-paranormal-romance-writer-accuses-her-husband-shakespearean-plot-poison-her/

* If you happened to miss Appreciate a Dragon Day this year, no worries -- here is a list of 10 iconic dragons of film & TV to remind you why you loved them in the first place! (Also a good reminder of things to re-watch or perhaps watch for the first time.)  https://parade.com/731743/solanahawkenson/the-top-10-dragons-from-film-tv-for-appreciate-a-dragon-day/

* Author Garth Nix has made a deal to publish his first books aimed squarely at an adult audience with Gollancz.  Details for the upcoming two novels are here: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/gollancz-snaps-nixs-two-novels-935501

* "CBS All Access" seems to be aiming directly for the science fiction market, with not only the second season of "Star Trek: Discovery" premiering, but also announcements of a "Star Trek" spin-off series, "The Twilight Zone" reboot, and a new adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand."  https://qz.com/quartzy/1539178/with-star-trek-the-twilight-zone-and-the-stand-cbs-all-access-is-a-necessity-for-sci-fi-nerds/

* Rick Riordan's new imprint has been putting out acclaimed science fiction.  Check out its newest offering from acclaimed science-fiction writer Yoon Ha Lee, DRAGON PEARL. https://culturess.com/2019/01/15/dragon-pearl-yoon-ha-lee-rick-riordan-presents/

* Apparently the government is researching travel via wormhole.  This will either advance us hundreds of years or blow us back to the stone age.  (Honestly the way things are going, either sounds pretty good.) https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/traversable-wormholes-super-fast-travel-usa-defense-intelligence-agency

* "Glass", whatever you think of the ending, gave us a glimpse into a very real condition: people who think they are superheroes.  https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/science-behind-the-fiction-glass

Award News
* R.F. Kuang has won the Crawford Award for the amazing debut fantasy novel THE POPPY WAR: https://locusmag.com/2019/02/kuang-wins-crawford-award/

* The nominees for the 2019 Philip K. Dick Awards have been announced!  https://www.philipkdickaward.org/2019/01/2019-philip-k-dick-award-nominees-announced.html

* SFWA has announced the recipients for the 2019 Kate Wilheim Solstice Award for distinguished contributions to the science fiction & fantasy community: Nisis Shawl & Neil Clarke!  https://nebulas.sfwa.org/sfwa-announces-the-2019-kate-wilhelm-solstice-award-recipients/

From The Office

When visiting someone's home for the first time, it's a habit among book people to take a careful look at what is on the shelves.  It always gives a remarkably detailed insight to their personality and character.  I can't show you Cary's bookself but I can do something close.  Below you'll find a list of the books that Cary loved and reccomended over the years.  Jude compiled it and I've sorted them by author.  In the case of series, I've only listed the first novel but, generally, Cary tended to only suggest series titles that held up through their run.  I hope that you enjoy this peek into Cary's personality.

All Best,

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie

In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
Gaudeamus by John Barnes
Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle
Tithe by Holly Black
Necklace of Kisses by Francesca Lia Block
I Was a Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
World War Z by Max Brooks
Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley
Territory by Emma Bull

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger
The Devil You Know by Mike Carey
Fellside by M.R. Carey
Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette

The Circle by Dave Eggers

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith

Fated by Benedict Jake
How to Make Friends With Demons (originally published as Memoirs of a Master Forger) by Graham Joyce
Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
Curioddity by Paul Jenkins

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
Passing Strange by Ellen Klages
Portable Childhoods by Ellen Klages
Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages
Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Tremontaine edited by Ellen Kushner

Savage Season by Joe R. Lansdale
How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier
The Gentleman by Forrest Leo
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall
Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Fool by Christopher Moore
Lamb, or, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

Stiff by Mary Roach
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

Old Man's War by John Scalzi
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The Martian by Andy Weir
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld
Bellwether by Connie Willis
Crosstalk by Connie Willis
Black Out & All Clear by Connie Willis
Miracle by Connie Willis
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja

Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
Rogues edited by GRRM and Gardner Dozois
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Cool Grey City of Love by Gary Kamiya
Heresy by Melissa Lenhardt
Tales of the City by Armisted Maupin
Altamont by Joel Selvin
The Season of the Witch by David Talbot

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for January, 2018

1. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
2. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
3. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
4. Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
5. Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin
6. Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart by Steven Erickson
7. Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
8. Though Fiery Trials by David Weber
9. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
10. Thin Air by Richard Morgan

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

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
2. Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
3. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
4. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
5. Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
6. Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
7. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
8. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
9. Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
10. The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire

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.  The book for the following month will be ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells.  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, February 17th at 6 pm to discuss THE CLOCKWORK DYNASTY by Daniel H. Wilson. The book for the following month will also be ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells.  Please contact bookclub@borderlands-books.com for more information

Upcoming Event Details

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 sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

Ann Leckie, THE RAVEN TOWER (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) Thursday, February 28th at 6:00 pm - Ann Leckie, author of the award-winning & highly acclaimed Ancillary Trilogy, turns her sites to epic fantasy with exciting results.  We're delighted to welcome Ann back to Borderlands to show off this new novel, THE RAVEN TOWER!  Publisher's Weekly says: "In this complex novel, the first epic fantasy from SF author Leckie (PROVENANCE), the best-laid plans of gods and mortals collide, throwing a nation into turmoil and setting the stage for a divine conflict that’s been brewing for centuries. The tale spins out in past and present, narrated by the rockbound god known as the Strength and Patience of the Hill."  We don't want to give too much away, but Leckie's strength and cretivity as a writer and keen intelligence are all on display in this amazing new work. We don hope you'll join us to meet her!  Read the starred review from Kirkus here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ann-leckie/the-raven-tower/

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco), Saturday, March 9th at 7:30 pm - Details to come!

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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