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Events and News from Borderlands Books

March, 2008

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

SF 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 7:00 pm

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 author." 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 fast.

* 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. <>

* 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: <>

* 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: <>)  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 <>.

* 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 qualities.

* Lots of thanks to Cheryl Morgan for turning us on to the SF Awards Watch page <> and the SF Editor's Wiki <>.  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  <>

* 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!): <>

* A brief but amusing interview with Iain (M.) Banks from "The Australian": <,25197,23239702-5001986,00.html>

* An interesting interview at FantasyBookSpot with Charles Stross: <>

* And keeping the trend, "NY Metro" interviews Lou Anders and Jon Armstrong: <>

* If you find yourself down Los Angeles way, Dark Delicacies <> 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 editions").

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
       tie with
       A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham

Trade Paperbacks
1) Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
2) Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams
     tie with
     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
    tie with
    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 spectacular. 

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

The 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, 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 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  For more information on Variety Children's Charity, see their web site at ( ) or write  

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 GLASS.

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  For more information on Variety Children's Charity, see their web site at ( ) or write  

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

PUMP 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 and Jude.

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 "an investment".

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 format.

New and Notable

BEFORE 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 Jude.

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 <> 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: <>  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: <>.  At Borderlands we've been watching Chris' work with great interest for years now and this novel is his best work yet.  Recommended by Alan.

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 information is included.

Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributors - Jeremy Lassen

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Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA  94110

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