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ABOUT THE STORE : NEWSLETTER
DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER
Events and News from Borderlands Books
Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features
in SF presents the return of the Free Movie Night! "Time Bandits" and
"Sleeper," at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582
Market Street, Wednesday, March 12th, starting at 7:00 pm
Jeffrey Ford, THE SHADOW YEAR (Morrow, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday, March 15th at 3:00 pm
Jeffrey Ford and Tim Pratt are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Sunday, March
16th at 6:00 pm
Scott Sigler, INFECTED (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 5th at 3:00 pm
SF in SF presents free movies "Dark Star" and "Tron," in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, April 9th at 7:00 pm
Peter F. Hamilton, THE DREAMING VOID, (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.95), Saturday, April 12th at 4:00 pm
Elliot Fintushel and Peter F. Hamilton are guests of Writers With
Drinks at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, Saturday, April 12th at
Ray Garton, RAVENOUS, (Leisure, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, April 19th at 3:00 pm
David Lunde and Patricia McKillip are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Sunday, April
20th at 6:00 pm
And stay tuned for more great upcoming events including a REALLY cool one with Cory Doctorow in May!
(for more information check the end of this section)
Overheard in the Store
This is a feature that appears
periodically, usually 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 in San Jose, where trying (or trying not to)
fill in the blanks on overheard conversations made us laugh so much
that we made it a tradition. We haven't been to any conventions lately,
but there are plenty of funny things to overhear here at the store:
*Customer: "It's like the Internet in here -- I come in to
look at one thing and suddenly it's three hours later and I've
forgotten what I was looking for originally!"
*(Alan to Cary, delivering her paycheck) "Here's your pittance, dear."
*Customer (discussing a mutually disliked movie):"It just proves that you can't save bad content with good presentation."
*Jude: "But it's really serious, gripping, compelling, heartbreaking literature. With zombies."
*Customer: "I'm looking for the fantasy book with all of the
fantasy characters in it, but I can't remember the title or the
Jeremy: "You must mean SILVERLOCK, by John Myers Myers."
Customer: "That's it! You're a genius!"
* Signed books: thanks to the three awesome
authors who have dropped by recently, we have newly-signed copies of
Paolo Bacigalupi's PUMP SIX, Tobias Buckell's RAGAMUFFIN, and Kim
Harrison's THE OUTLAW DEMON WAILS. Get 'em quick, they're going
* We are sorry to hear of the death of the man who is regarded as the
father of the role-playing game, Gary Gygax. He passed away March
4th, 2008, at the age of 69. <http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/03/04/obit.gygax.ap/index.html>
* The World Horror Convention is taking place March 27th - 30th in Salt
Lake City, Utah. That's a cheap plane ticket, there are still rooms at
the hotel (but not for long,) and World Horror is always fun.
What more impetus do you need? Oh, yes. . . if you go, you'll get
the chance to rub elbows with the likes of Maria Alexander, Dennis
Etchison, Deborah Leblanc, John Jude Palencar, Loren Rhoads, John
Skipp, Steve Rasnic & Melanie Tem, F. Paul Wilson, and many many
others! For info: <http://www.whc2008.org/>
* Hearty congratulations to Michael Moorcock, who has been named SFWA's
newest Grand Master. SFWA President Michael Capobianco
announced: "The Board of Directors of Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writers of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that writer and editor
Michael Moorcock has been named Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master for
2008. The Grand Master represents SFWA's highest accolade and
recognizes excellence for a lifetime of contributions to the genres of
science fiction and fantasy." (Read the whole press release here: <http://www.sfwa.org/news/2008/grandmaster.htm>)
And conveniently, if you want to read some Michael Moorcock fiction, we
can help. We have about 35 Moorcock titles for you to choose
from, including the newly-released ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS -
CHRONICLES OF THE LAST EMPEROR OF MELNIBONE VOL. 1 (Del Rey, Trade
Paperback, $15.00) with stunning cover and interior art by John
Picacio, (this is the first of a projected five-volume set that
will be sort of a "director's cut" of the Elric books,) and also THE
METATEMPORAL DETECTIVE (Pyr, Hardcover, $25.00,) which collects, for
the first time, eleven tales of Sir Seaton Begg vs. Count Zenith,
including the never-before-seen “The Flaneur of the Arcades d’ Opera”.
AND, in even more Moorcock news, John Picacio has some great pictures
of the signing he and Mr. Moorcock did at Austin Books recently <http://www.johnpicacio.com/2008/02/thank-you-austin.html>.
* Since the congratulations are flowing, here's some more to local
author Pat Murphy, whose great novel THE WILD GIRLS has just won a
Christopher Award. "And what is that?" you ask. According
to their website, "First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were
established by Christopher founder Father James Keller to salute media
that 'affirm the highest values of the human spirit.' Their goal
is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in
creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience
positively. Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of
human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their
best instincts on behalf of others." Now that is an award to be proud
of, and Pat deserves it. Something that I've always loved about
her fiction (especially THE CITY, NOT LONG AFTER and A FLOCK OF LAWN
FLAMINGOES) is its uplifting, playful, optimistic, and inspirational
* Lots of thanks to Cheryl Morgan for turning us on to the SF Awards Watch page <http://www.sfawardswatch.com/> and the SF Editor's Wiki <http://www.sfeditorwatch.com/>.
The Awards Watch page is jam-packed with fascinating tidbits, info,
polls, and alerts, and the wiki was created "to "keep track of what
works (novels, magazines, anthologies, etc.) that science fiction
editors are working on. It is intended to help people nominate
and vote for the Best Editor Hugo as well as other awards (such as the
World Fantasy special awards for professional and non-professional). .
. ." You should really check out both of them. I hope you
didn't have anything else to do this afternoon.
* The always-entertaining Tom Piccirilli alerted us to the following:
"Here's a new interview with me, done by the very hip Scotsman Allan
Guthrie, author of such brilliant crime novels as HARD MAN and KISS HER
GOODBYE for his uber-cool website NOIR ORIGINALS <http://www.allanguthrie.co.uk/Feb08/Tom%20Piccirilli.htm>
* Speaking of authors being interviewed, here's an interview with Loren
Rhoads, fabulous local author and the former editor of Morbid Curiosity
Magazine. (Thanks, Loren!): <http://macabreink.com/author-interviews/loren-rhoads>
* A brief but amusing interview with Iain (M.) Banks from "The Australian": <http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23239702-5001986,00.html>
* An interesting interview at FantasyBookSpot with Charles Stross: <http://www.fantasybookspot.com/node/2379>
* And keeping the trend, "NY Metro" interviews Lou Anders and Jon Armstrong: <http://www.readmetro.com/show/en/NewYork/20080226/1/12/>
* If you find yourself down Los Angeles way, Dark Delicacies <http://www.darkdel.com>
has a bunch of exciting events coming up, including signings with Mario
Acevedo, William F. Nolan and Harry Shannon, among others.
From The Office
Something that I love about working in my field is being part of a
history that goes back hundreds of years (actually, thousands of years
-- the first booksellers were in Egypt before the common era and their
original stock was copies of The Book of The Dead). Bookselling
in general has been around for a very long time and is full of some of
the oddest traditions, characters and incidents. But more than
that, the science fiction, fantasy and horror field has been around for
quite a long time as well. And it has its own odd traditions,
strange history and remarkable persons.
It would be a foolish game to try to spot when science fiction, fantasy
or horror first started. One can make a solid argument that
science fiction started with Jules Verne in the middle of the 19th
century but there are other arguments to be made. However horror
has been around much longer. Varney the Vampire also dates from
around the same time as Verne's work but there were ghost stories, both
written and oral, many, many years earlier. And, if you're
willing to call mythology the father of the fantasy novel, you can
easily go all the way back to the ancient Greeks (and yes, much of
those stories were religious in nature but many of them were simply
entertainment with only a hint of religion).
But, there is a point where I'm pretty comfortable saying that original
SF and fantasy in novel form as we know it first sent down roots in the
US. And there are some remarkable people who did it.
Before I go on there's one basic premise to mention -- SF and fantasy
at novel length in the US is a product of small size, softcover books;
what you probably think of as "paperbacks" and what we in the book
trade call "mass market paperbacks" (as distinguished from the larger
"trade" paperback which is essentially a hardcover book without the
hardcovers). SF, fantasy, and horror in the 20th century has
always been light entertainment. That's not to say that there
haven't been some important books written within those fields but the
genres in general are entertainment. Much like television and
movies before television, popular entertainment needs to be cheap and
accessible. The flood of novels that started appearing in the
1950s and continue today were a function of the low price, easy
distribution, and accessibility of mass market paperbacks. SF,
fantasy and horror were not the only beneficiaries of mass market
paperbacks -- the growth of romance, westerns, crime, mystery . . .
virtually all the forms of "genre" fiction can be traced to paperbacks.
The paperback as we know it was first tried by a German publisher,
Albatross Books, in 1931 but it was not a success until the idea was
picked up by Penguin Books in England. Allen Lane launched
Penguin in 1935 and was shortly imitated by Robert de Graaf in the US
in 1939. De Graaf's imprint, Pocket Books, was part of Simon
& Schuster and was the first to include illustrations on the covers
of their "pocket" books. His other innovation was to distribute
the books to newsstands and other mass market outlets instead of only
focusing on bookstores. Shortly thereafter other US publishers
including Ace, Dell, Bantam and Avon started their own paperback lines.
But, paperbacks were always reprints. A work would be published
as a hardcover and, if it seemed that there was a market for it, it
could later come out in a cheap paperback edition either from the
original publisher or from another publisher who had "bought the
paperback rights" (i.e. paid the original publisher a lump sum or a
commission for the opportunity to print the paperback). As a
result, no book ended up in paperback if a publisher had not already
decided that it was worth the financial risk to publish in hardcover
and therefor the paperback market was merely a subset of the larger
book market without any identity or character of its own.
It took a real character (with a desire to slip through a contract
loophole) followed by two visionary publishers to change that.
If publishers like Lane and de Graaf came to paperbacks from the lofty
castles of publishing, then Roscoe Fawcett come to them from the
basement. Fawcett got his start in the business of words during
World War I working on "The Stars and Stripes", the official newspaper
of the US armed forces. After the war in 1919 he started
publishing Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, a magazine of sorts filled with
racy poetry, dirty jokes and tasteless puns.
It was hugely successful and by 1923 the magazine had a circulation
that almost matched its profits, which were in excess of a half a
million dollars. More magazines followed and as part of that,
Fawcett moved into distribution and thereby crossed the path of the
growing paperback boom. In 1949 Fawcett contracted with New
American Library to distribute their paperback lines (Mentor and
Signet) to newsstands. As part of the contract Fawcett was
prohibited from competing by publishing his own paperbacks.
However, Fawcett, seeing that there was money to be made in publishing
paperbacks, wanted to get into the market. Though the contract
clearly prohibited Fawcett from publishing paperback _reprints_, no one
at New American Library had imagined that anyone would consider
publishing _original_ novels in paperback. Fawcett considered it,
did it, and got away with it -- Gold Medal books was born and both
opened the paperback market to original novels as well as adding even
more inertia to that growing format.
The stage was set. Paperbacks had a huge presence in newsstands
all over the country. You could find them in every train station,
airport, drug store, department store -- they were everywhere (even in
bookstores, which had originally resisted them fiercely since they
weren't "real" books). Paperbacks were so popular that, in a six
month period in 1952, Gold Medal alone sold 9,020,645 books.
Ian and Betty Ballantine had been involved with paperback publishing
since 1939 when Ian started distributing Penguin Books in the US.
In 1945 they started Bantam Books (with Walter Pitkin, Jr. and Sidney
B. Kramer) but they made their most enduring mark in 1952 when they
founded Ballantine Books. The original basis for Ballantine Books
was to "offer trade publishers a plan for simultaneous publishing of
original titles in two editions, a hardcover 'regular' edition for
bookstore sale, and a paper-cover, 'newsstand' size, low-priced edition
for mass market sale." It was a radical idea and more importantly
it allowed Ballantine to dodge the furor surrounding the "damage" that
paperback originals could do (as an example, LeBaron R. Barker of
Doubleday was quoted as saying that original paperbacks could
"undermine the whole structure of publishing.").
Acting as a bridge between paperback and "traditional" publishing
worked very well for the Ballantines. Their first book, Executive
Suite by Cameron Hawley sold over 475,000 copies in paperback in less
than a year _as well as_ 20,500 copies in hardcover, proving that
paperback sales gave a book more publicity and helped hardcover sales
instead of hurting them (does anyone notice echos of the current debate
about eBooks and their effect on physical book sales?).
And now we finally get to what this all has to do with SF and
fantasy. Ballantine's 21st book was The Space Merchants by
Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. In 1954 they started publishing
Star Science Fiction Stories, which collected original short fiction by
authors who would become some of the giants of the 20th century (for
example, the third collection featured stories by Asimov, Clarke,
Bradbury, del Rey, Dick, Matheson, Vance, and Williamson) and wrapped
them in covers by the legendary Richard Powers. Throughout the
1950s Ballantine published editions (many of them original) of works by
authors like Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Arthur C. Clarke, Theodore
Sturgeon, Jack Vance, John Wyndham, Fritz Leiber, Philip K. Dick,
Richard Matheson and Manly Wade Wellman.
In the 60s, they continued to publish the best authors that the field
had to offer as well as gaining quite a bit of attention due to their
rivalry with Ace books for the right to reprint Edgar Rice Burroughs
and J.R.R. Tolkien in paperback (in both cases they prevailed, though
in the case of Tolkien, Ace did print an edition which prompted a
notice from Tolkien himself in the back of the Ballantine editions
urging people to buy that edition and to boycott "unauthorized
Then in 1969 they launched the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, edited
by Lin Carter, which brought back into print a number of classic,
pre-Tolkien works of fantasy including Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton
Smith, and most importantly, H.P. Lovecraft (who had been almost
forgotten at that point). And in 1977 they created one of the
first dedicated science fiction and fantasy imprint edited by (and
taking a name from) Lester del Rey and his wife, Judy-Lynn. Del Rey
continues to be one of the major imprints in the field to this day.
History is, I believe, often just a combination of factors that
interact and create a result. The actions of individuals may
shift the outcome slightly but most of the time, individual action
makes very little difference. But sometimes, especially in
business and even more so in creative businesses, one person (or one
couple) can have profound, long reaching and dramatic effects.
They can shape a medium or a field for decades to come. The
secondary and further effects of their presence can be incalculable and
unimaginable. Ian Ballantine passed away in 1995. But it's
been my great honor and pleasure to meet Betty Ballantine twice over
the past few years. And I'm hoping that the next time I see her
I'll be able to suppress my tongue-tied awe long enough to say one
fraction of what I've said here.
Top Sellers At Borderlands
1) Matter by Iain M. Banks
2) Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi
3) The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
4) One Beastly Beast by Garth Nix
5) The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
6) Manxome Foe by John Ringo
7) Duma Key by Stephen King
8) Singularity's Ring by Paul Menko
9) The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
10) Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb
1) Snake Agent by Liz Williams
2) Jumper by Stephen Gould
3) Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters
4) Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman
5) Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon
6) White Night by Jim Butcher
7) Unquiet Dreams by Mark Del Franco
8) Griffin's Story by Stephen Gould
9) X-Rated Bloodsuckers by Mario Acevedo
10) The Dragon's Nine Sons by Chris Roberson
A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham
1) Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
2) Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams
Sins of the Sirens edited by John Everson
3) The New Weird edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer
4) The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook
5) The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Fangland by John Marks
Notes From a DVD Geek
Who’s the most exciting genre director to come out of England in the
last 20 years? If you said Neil Marshal, you’d be right. I
mention this because his third feature film is hitting theaters next
week. "Doomsday" looks from the trailer to be a "28 Days Later"
meets "The Road Warrior"-esque thing, but . . . well. . . US
distributors have done a really bad job of promoting his films in the
past. The smartness and freshness, and just plain competence has
never really been discernible in any of the promotional material for
his first two films. So I’m cautiously optimistic that the film
that hits the streets March 14th will be fun, and at the very least,
competent (but I’m secretly hoping for a ground breaking genre
classic). We’ll see.
What was so awesome about his first two movies? Let's start with
"Dog Soldiers," which took werewolves, and put them up against British
Special Forces types. Said military types are cut off from their
superiors, on a supposed training mission in Scotland. These
tough-as-nails guys get chewed up and spit out, sent on the run by a
werewolf or two, and are led into a seemingly deserted farm
house. The siege-like third act is highly reminiscent of "The
Night of the Living Dead," and the performances throughout the film are
Marshal’s second film was the standout horror film of the last five
years, "The Descent," a feminist manifesto which followed five strong
independent women spelunkers into a cave in North Carolina. The
first third of the movie is brutally intense, and conveys a feeling of
claustrophobia that is amazing. Just as we get to know each of
the individuals from this tight-knit group of friends, and see how they
start to crack under the pressure of a cave-in, and being lost, the
Cave Ghouls show up. That’s right. Cave Ghouls. Sounds
stupid. But it's not. Really well done. Awesome does
not begin to describe how intense, and emotionally grueling this movie
is. Again, Neil got top notch, nuanced performances out of his
cast of relatively unknown actors.
Also available on DVD for the first time this month are two. . . well.
. . lesser genre efforts. The Neil-Gaiman-scripted "Beowulf"
comes out this month, as does the comic book-inspired "30 Days of
Night". I’m not really sure what I can say about these films,
other then you’ve probably heard of them already.
As a proper follow-up to these two cinematic efforts, I want to draw
your attention to the long-unavailable 1984 genre movie "C.H.U.D,"
which is finally making its way to home video, via the film archivists
known as Anchor Bay. Carnivorous Humanoid Underground
Dwellers! Need I say more? Yes, I do. It’s like "The
Descent," in that it has carnivorous humanoid underground dwellers. . .
but it's not like "The Descent," in that it's not unbelievably
awesome. Oh well.
Finally, I wanted to point out that The British TV production of Terry
Pratchett’s "Hogfather" is coming to the US! That’s right!
"Hogfather"! On DVD! Wooo! Hooo! Discworld fans
gather and be ready to celebrate Hogswatch early!
Until the great Hogfather shows up, I’ll be watching movies in my
darkened cave-like apartment. . . Or at least until next month, when I
have to write another one of these.
- Jeremy Lassen
Book Club Info
Gay Men's Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 9th, at 5 pm to discuss
DEADSTOCK by Jeffrey Thomas. The book for April 13th is GREY by
Jon Armstrong. Please contact the group leader, Christopher
Rodriguez, at email@example.com, for more information.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, March
16th, at 6 pm to discuss THE CALL OF CTHULHU by H.P. Lovecraft.
The book for April 27th is HARROWING THE DRAGON by Patricia
McKillip. (Please note that the date of this bookclub has been
changed so as not to conflict with Ms. McKillip's appearance at SF in
SF on April 20th.) Please contact Jude at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Upcoming Event Details
SF in SF presents the return of the Free Movie Night! "Time
Bandits" and "Sleeper", Wednesday, March 12th -
7:00 pm "Time Bandits"
directed by Terry Gilliam, 9:00 pm "Sleeper" directed by Woody Allen.
Free movies! Free popcorn! Cash bar! The screenings will take
place at Variety's Preview Room, located in The Hobart Building, 582
Market Street @ Montgomery, San Francisco. Doors open at 6:30 pm
and the first movie starts at 7:00 pm. There will be one
thirty-minute intermission between the two films. Seating is limited
and seats are available on a first-come, first seated basis, so arrive
early! Refreshments will be available for purchase, and your
purchase benefits Variety Children's Charity of Northern California, a
non-profit organization that supports children in local communities who
are dealing with poverty, neglect, violence, and physical
disabilities. For more information about upcoming movies, write
email@example.com. For more information on Variety
Children's Charity, see their web site at ( http://www.varietync.org/ )
or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeffrey Ford, THE SHADOW YEAR (Morrow, Hardcover, $25.95), Saturday,
March 15th at 3:00 pm - From Harper Collins: "In New York's Long
Island, in the unpredictable decade of the 1960s, a young boy laments
the approaching close of summer and the advent of sixth grade.
Growing up in a household with an overworked father whom he rarely
sees, an alcoholic mother who paints wonderful canvases that are never
displayed, an older brother who serves as both tormentor and protector,
and a younger sister who inhabits her own secret world, the boy takes
his amusements where he can find them. Some of his free time is
spent in the basement of the family's modest home, where he and his
brother, Jim, have created Botch Town, a detailed cardboard replica of
their community, complete with clay figurines representing friends and
neighbors. And so the time passes with a not-always-reassuring
sameness—until the night a prowler is reported stalking the
neighborhood. Appointing themselves ad hoc investigators, the
brothers set out to aid the police—while their little sister, Mary,
smokes cigarettes, speaks in other voices, inhabits alternate personas,
and, unbeknownst to her older siblings, moves around the inanimate
residents of Botch Town. But ensuing events add a shadowy cast to
the boys' night games: disappearances, deaths, and spectral sightings
capped off by the arrival of a sinister man in a long white car
trawling the neighborhood after dark. Strangest of all is the
inescapable fact that every one of these troubling occurrences seems to
correspond directly to the changes little Mary has made to the
miniature town in the basement." Join us to meet the fantastically
creative author of THE PORTRAIT OF MRS. CHARBUQUE and THE GIRL IN THE
Jeffrey Ford and Tim Pratt are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room, 582 Market Street, Sunday, March 16th at 6:00 pm - SF in
SF is an ongoing monthly reading and discussion series sponsored by
Tacyhon Publications and moderated by author Terry Bisson. There
is a cash bar and books will be available for sale from
Borderlands. This month you get a second chance to meet author
Jeffrey Ford, as well as the fantabulous Tim Pratt!
Scott Sigler, INFECTED (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 5th
at 3:00 pm - We are very pleased to again host podcast sensation Scott
Sigler, who will be presenting his large-press debut novel
INFECTED. Originally podcast as "Infection," this new novel takes
Scott's edge-of-your-seat suspense to a brand new level. Scott's
synopsis: "Perry Daswey is 6-foot-5, 265 pounds of angry
ex-linebacker. He knows all too well that if he doesn't control
his quick temper, people get hurt. Through constant focus, he has
locked his violent past away in the deep dungeons of his mind.
The infection changes everything. Strange microscopic parasites
tap into Perry's bloodstream like tiny little vampires. They
start as bright orange blisters, but soon take the shape of triangular
growths just beneath his skin. The "Triangles," as Perry calls
them, try to control their host by manipulating hormone levels and
flooding his body with neurotransmitters -- imbalances of which cause
paranoia, schizophrenia and excessive aggression. As Perry begins
a desperate battle to cut the Triangles out of his body before it's too
late, his self-control dissolves into raging, murderous madness." If
you can't wait until April, catch up on the podcasts of Scott's current
novel NOCTURNAL here:
SF in SF presents free movies "Dark Star" and "Tron," in the Hobart
Building, 582 Market Street, Wednesday, April 9th - 7:00 pm "Dark Star"
directed by John Carpenter, 9:00 pm "Tron" directed by Steven
Lisberger. Free movies! Free popcorn! Cash bar! The
screenings will take place at Variety's Preview Room, located in The
Hobart Building, 582 Market Street @ Montgomery, San Francisco.
Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first movie starts at 7:00 pm.
There will be one thirty-minute intermission between the two films.
Seating is limited and seats are available on a first-come, first
seated basis, so arrive early! Refreshments will be available for
purchase, and your purchase benefits Variety Children's Charity of
Northern California, a non-profit organization that supports children
in local communities who are dealing with poverty, neglect, violence,
and physical disabilities. For more information about upcoming
movies, write email@example.com. For more information
on Variety Children's Charity, see their web site at (
http://www.varietync.org/ ) or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter F. Hamilton, THE DREAMING VOID, (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.95),
Saturday, April 12th at 4:00 pm - From Peter F. Hamilton's website: "At
the center of the Intersolar Commonwealth universe is a massive black
hole. Inside there is a strange universe where the laws of
physics are very different from those we know. It is slowly
consuming the other stars of the galactic core - one day it will have
devoured the entire galaxy. It's AD 4000, and a human has started
to dream of the wonderful existence of the Void. He has a following of
millions of believers, who now wish to pilgrimage to the Void to live
the life they have been shown. Other starfaring species fear
their migration will cause the Void to expand again. They are prepared
to stop the pilgrimage fleet, no matter what the cost." Don't
miss the opportunity to meet this hugely popular author who rarely
visits the States!
Elliot Fintushel and Peter F. Hamilton are guests of Writers With
Drinks at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, Saturday, April 12th at
7:00 pm - Writers With Drinks is a monthly reading series that
"combines erotica with literature, stand-up comedy with science fiction
and poetry with essays. Plus mystery, romance, memoir, rants and
"other." $3-$5 sliding scale, all proceeds benefit Other
Magazine." This month WWD features theremin-playing author Eliot
Fintushel and science fiction sensation Peter Hamilton. Books
will be for sale courtesy of Borderlands. A Note From Alan - I'd
never seen the theremin played until I saw Elliot perform at SF in
SF. It's so terribly cool to watch that I really can't describe
it. Combined with a very rare apperance of Peter F. Hamilton,
this is going to be an evening not to be missed.
Ray Garton, RAVENOUS, (Leisure, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, April
19th at 3:00 pm - Lycanthropy is posited as a sexually transmitted
disease in the newest novel from cult favorite, author of LIVE GIRLS,
and really nice guy, Ray Garton. We're happy to welcome him back
to the store. Here's the synopsis of his newest, RAVENOUS, from
Dorchester's web site: "A corpse gets up and walks out of the hospital
morgue. Minutes later, a policeman is killed outside the same
hospital. . . and partially eaten. Something deadly has come to the
coastal California town of Big Rock—something that’s leaving mangled
and devoured bodies in its wake. Sheriff Arlin Hurley refused to
believe the wild talk of werewolves. Then a tuft of wolf’s fur was
found on one of the victims. But there’s more than one werewolf
on the prowl. It’s quickly becoming an epidemic, the curse passed
on not through blood but through sex. As the sheriff and his men
set out to stop the spreading terror, they’ll learn that many of the
old werewolf legends are just myths. The reality is far worse."
David Lunde and Patricia McKillip are guests of SF in SF at the Variety
Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, Sunday, April
20th at 6:00 pm - More info to come.
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 it until you can come in to pick it up or we can ship
it 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.
Call or email for details.
Chapter Two - Book Listings
Small Press Features
SIX by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books, Signed, Limited Edition
(100 copies) Hardcover, $49.00, and Trade Hardcover, $24.95) - Do
yourself a favor. If you have a spare hour some day, come in to
Borderlands and sit on the couch with the cat and read "The People of
Sand and Slag" from PUMP SIX. It just _works_. Bacigalupi
is a master of extrapolation. This story is environmental, it is
moving, it is logical, (given humanity's current conviction that
technology is inherently good, can be trusted, and will fix all ills)
and it messes with your head, in the very best way possible. The
rest of the collection is just as good. You could also read "The
Calorie Man" or "The Fluted Girl" to introduce you to Bacigalupi's
genius. This collection just received a starred review in
Publishers Weekly. but the stories in it have been racking up accolades
and award nominations for quite a while. Recommended by Jeremy
LYE STREET by Alan Campbell (Subterranean Press, Signed and Numbered
Limited Edition (2000 copies) Hardcover, $25.00) - A prequel novella to
SCAR NIGHT; dust jacket illustrated by Dave McKean.
THE VOYAGE OF THE PROTEUS: AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE END OF THE
WORLD by Thomas M. Disch (Subterranean Press, Signed and Numbered
Limited Edition (500 copies) Hardcover, $35.00)
FAUST BOOK AND CD by Count Stenbock and Current 93 (Durtro Press,
Hardcover w/CD, $96.00) - From Durtro: “A beautiful hardback
edition of this horrifying short story by Count Stenbock, published for
the first time in book form. Bound in black cloth with metallic
pictorial and text blocking on front and back boards, full colour
printed endpapers, book ribbon, head- and tail-bands, frontispiece
photograph of Count Stenbock, all page edges gilt, and the 48 page text
printed in black and red throughout. Accompanied by the CD album
'FAUST' by Current 93 in a newly designed full colour sleeve.” I
know this is a pricey book (dreadful exchange rate and all that,) but
it is truly lovely, and everything Durtro has published in the past has
appreciated dramatically in price. You can tell yourself it is
THE NEW WEIRD edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer (Tachyon, Trade
Paperback, $14.95) - From Tachyon: "Descend into shadowy cities,
grotesque rituals, chaotic festivals, and deadly cults. Plunge into
terrifying domains, where bodies are remade into surreal monstrosities,
where the desperate rage against brutal tyrants. Where everything
is lethal and no one is innocent, where Peake began and Lovecraft left
off - this is where you will find the New Weird. Edgy, urban
fiction with a visceral immediacy, the New Weird has descended from
classic fantasy and dime-store pulp novels, from horror and detective
comics, from thrillers and noir. All grown-up, it emerges from
the chrysalis of nostalgia as newly literate, shocking, and utterly
innovative. Here is the very best of the New Weird from some of
its greatest practitioners. This canonic anthology collects the
original online debates first defining the New Weird and critical
writings from international editors, culminating in a groundbreaking
round-robin piece, 'Festival Lives,' which features some of the hottest
new names in New Weird fiction."
THE TRIUMPH OF NIGHT AND OTHER TALES by Edith Wharton (Tartarus Press Hardcover, $60.00) One of 300 limited edition copies.
THE DEMON AND THE CITY by Liz Williams (Night Shade Books, Mass Market,
$7.99) - The second Inspector Chen novel in an affordable mass market
New and Notable
THEY ARE HANGED by Joe Abercrombie (Pyr, Trade Paperback, $15.00) - Ben
says "The second book in the series, the story starts off running and
then breaks into a sprint. I'm NOT a fantasy reader, and this
series had me chomping at the bit for each new chapter! A MUST read!!"
(Obviously) recommended by Ben.
MATTER by Iain M. Banks (Orbit, Hardcover, $25.99) - I like Iain M.
Banks' (and Iain-no-"M"- Banks') fiction so much that I am nothing
resembling objective anymore. MATTER is a Culture novel in the classic
style of INVERSIONS and USE OF WEAPONS, full of fascinating ideas, wry
black humor, quiet observations about the nature of humanity, and
explorations of what happens when a "more advanced" culture interacts
with one "less advanced," even when trying their best to do no harm --
explorations which are scarily (and certainly purposefully) well suited
to our own political times. I've tried and failed utterly to write a
plot summary that didn't give too much away three times, and now I'm
giving up the summarizing as a bad job. Highly recommended by
THE SOMNAMBULIST by Jonathan Barnes (Morrow, Hardcover, $24.95) - Take
THE PRESTIGE, throw in a dash of China Mieville, Jeffrey Ford, Paul Di
Filippo and Tim Powers, and you have THE SOMNAMBULIST. Sort
of. Lisa, the blogger who resides at <http://7footshelves.blogspot.com/>
called it a "post-VictorianSteampunkMagicalHorrorTrue-crime mashup,"
and that's about the most accurate description I have seen.
Recommended by Jude.
IN A TIME OF TREASON by David Keck (Tor, Hardcover, $25.95) - "Gritty"
is the word repeatedly applied to both this novel and its predecessor,
IN THE EYE OF HEAVEN. From Tor: "Now, [Keck] continues the
gripping story of Durand Col, a man at the heart of a nation
divided. Fighting under the banner of Lord Lamoric, Durand and
his companions thwarted a mad duke’s ambition and saved the crown. They
have spent the winter counting their last pennies in their master’s
gloomy hall and wondering what the coming season will bring. One
thing seems certain: the peace they forged cannot hold. Too many barons
have plotted against the king, too many strongrooms are empty, and no
one truly believes that a simple vote will long deter the brooding Duke
of Yrlac. With the advent of spring, the king rails against
traitors and flings mad edicts across the land. There is open rebellion
in the North. And, the Duke of Yrlac steps over the border of Lamoric’s
homeland. Even as Durand fights at Lamoric’s side, his loyalties
are increasingly torn. As a knight of Lamoric’s household, he cannot
stray far from his master’s wife—the one woman he can neither have nor
forget—while siege and sorcery conspire to bring him closer to
treason. Can his loyalties survive his divided heart? Can the
land of his birth survive the forces that tear it asunder? Can love and
loyalty endure in a time of treason?" I haven't had time to read
this second book in the series but the first one really impressed
me. One of the really notable things about Keck's work is the way
he has managed to create a world much like the middle ages and include
a code of conduct as rigid as chivalry but without the Christian
religious context. A truly outstanding piece of work.
Recommended by Alan.
THE SOLARIS BOOK OF NEW SCIENCE FICTION VOL. 2 edited by George Mann
(Solaris, Mass Market, $7.99) - Solaris says "An eclectic collection of
all-original science fiction stories from some of the foremost
luminaries in the genre. Featuring new tales of far future murder,
first contact, love and war. . ." from authors such as Chris Roberson,
Karl Schroeder, Peter Watts, and many others.
BONE SONG by John Meaney (Bantam Spectra, Hardcover, $24.00) - BONE
SONG is a noir/detective/science fiction/fantasy story set in the
"noirest" world you've ever seen, Tristopolis. This is a necropolis --
it is inhabited by the living, but powered not only by the bones of the
dead, but actually by their essence. Ghosts and wraiths operate
elevators and household appliances, someone is trying to kill an opera
star, and in the tradition of the very best crime writers, nothing is
what it seems to be. A very unusual (and totally different) novel from
the author of PARADOX. Alan loved it and commented that it was
the noir-influenced supernatural mystery that he's been waiting for
forever. Highly Recommended by Alan and Jude.
SINGULARITY'S RING by Paul Menko (Tor, Hardcover, $24.95) - This first
novel has been getting a lot of attention from the likes of Charles
Stross and John Barnes. From Publishers Weekly: "This superior
debut initially resembles a straightforward YA adventure but abruptly
veers into much stranger territory. Various factions struggle for
control of the Ring, a colossal space station built around Earth by
engineers who turned most of humankind into a group mind called the
Community, which promptly figured out how to access other realities and
vanished from this one. The few remaining humans genetically
engineer their children to form pods of individuals so closely bonded
that they function as one person. After stumbling on secret
research during a training exercise, the teenage pod called Apollo
Papadopulos soon find themselves on the run from shadowy forces who
want to seduce or kill them. The setting extends from Earth orbit
to the Amazon jungle, and the action ranges from a tense space rescue
to an almost idyllic trek through the Rockies with a family of
genetically altered bears. Though some loose plot ends dangle a
bit, the ingenious character development and startling images and ideas
are deeply satisfying." Read an excerpt here: <http://www.tor-forge.com/Excerpt.aspx?isbn=9780765317773#Excerpt> Recommended by Alan.
VICTORY CONDITIONS - VATTA'S WAR VOL. 8 by Elizabeth Moon (Del Rey,
Hardcover, $26.00) - From Publishers Weekly: "Rip-roaring action and
intriguing science and tactics distinguish Nebula-winner Moon's fifth
and final Vatta's War installment. Now combat-blooded and well on
her way to the admiralty, young Kylara Vatta commands 40 far-future
spacecraft against ferocious Gammis Turek, a criminal mastermind who
has threatened Ky's home world of Slotter Key, her relatives and the
far-flung Vatta economic empire. Ky has the rank she always hoped
she'd achieve and now must accept the fearful responsibilities it
entails. Weighed down by thoughts of the deaths she has caused -
both friend and foe - and the need to protect the people in her
command, Ky finds herself making some dangerous decisions. She's
surrounded by a convincing supporting cast, from feisty
fruitcake-baking Aunt Grace, who runs Slotter Key's defenses, to
dashing Rafe Dunbarger, acting CEO of InterStellar Communications, who
has lost his heart to Ky despite his best efforts at stoicism. This
epic volume is a fine and fitting conclusion to Moon's grand space
opera tour de force."
ROLLBACK by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor, Mass Market, $6.99) - Here is the
starred review from Publishers Weekly for ROLLBACK: "Canadian author
Sawyer (Mindscan) once again presents likable characters facing big
ethical dilemmas in this smoothly readable near-future SF novel.
Astronomer Sarah Halifax, who translated the first message from aliens
and helped prepare humanity's response, is 87 when the second,
encrypted message arrives 38 years later. To aid the decoding, a
tycoon buys rejuvenation treatment for Sarah and Don, her husband of 60
years; however, only Don becomes young again. While coping with
the physical indignities of old age, Sarah tries to figure out the
puzzle of the second message. The bond between Don and Sarah continues,
even while Don is joyfully and guiltily discovering the pleasures of
living in a young body again. They want to do what's right for
each other and the rest of humanity -for the aliens, too - if they can
figure out what "right" could be. By its nature, a story about
moral choices tends to get talky, but the talk is intelligent and
performed by sympathetic and believable people. Sawyer, who has
won Hugo and Nebula awards, may well win another major SF award with
this superior effort."
THE DRAGON'S NINE SONS - CELESTIAL EMPIRE VOL. 1 by Chris Roberson
(Solaris, Mass Market, $7.99) - From Solaris: "It is the age of the
Celestial Empire, and the epic civilisations of Imperial China and
Mexica have taken their ancient war into space. A disgraced
Chinese naval captain and a commando who knows secrets he should never
have learned, are picked to lead a suicide mission. They must
pilot a salvaged Mexica spacecraft to Xolotl, the asteroid stronghold
of their enemies, armed with enough explosive to reduce the Mexica base
to dust. But when they arrive to find dozens of Chinese prisoners
destined to be used as human sacrifices, their suicide mission suddenly
turns into a rescue operation. THE DRAGON'S NINE SONS marks the
start of the epic Celestial Empire sequence, one of the most original
and exciting series in modern science fiction." You can also read THREE
UNBROKEN, another novel by Chris, online for free here: <http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/three-unbroken/free/index.asp>.
At Borderlands we've been watching Chris' work with great interest for
years now and this novel is his best work yet. Recommended by
DVD New Arrivals
Will return next month.
This newsletter is distributed monthly free
of charge and may be distributed without charge so long all the following
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Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Jeremy Lassen
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