April 12, 2018

Upcoming Events

Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Chiwan Choi, Chelsey Johnson, Dominica Phetteplace, Shobha Rao, Lilah Sturges, and Javier Zamora, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders (at the Make Out Room, Make Out Room
3225 22nd St.) Saturday, April 14th at 7:30 pm

Birthday Celebration with Peter S. Beagle! Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 pm

Catherine Asaro, BRONZE SKIES (Been Books, Trade Paperback, $16.00) and INFINITE STARS (Titan, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm

Jason Porath, TOUGH MOTHERS: AMAZING STORIES OF HISTORY'S MIGHTIEST MATRIARCHS (Day Street Books, Oversized Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 pm

April Building News

by Alan Beatts

But first . . . Slow With Email

I'm really sorry to still be saying this but, I've been having a terrible time keeping up with my email given everything that is going on (and been going on).  If you've sent me an email that deserves a reply and you haven't heard from me yet, please forgive me.  I'm trying and making some progress but the backlog is still pretty bad.  If the topic of your not-yet-replied-to email is urgent, please send it to me again.  I think I've gotten back to everyone about time-critical stuff but I could have missed something.  Thank you so much for your patience.  And now, the usual . . .

Haight Street Update

And we're off! The wave state is collapsing and things are starting to really progress visually (as opposed to progressing behind the scenes). Thanks to our amazing cadre of volunteers, the west and south walls are now closed up and if the weather would just cooperate, we'd be a lot further along on taping and mudding. Thanks to Mr. Jim Lively, we got all the seams done and a skim coat on the existing drywall, and thanks to the weather we now wait for the rest of the wall to dry completely before proceeding. And wait . . . and wait . . . and, oh, look, more rain . . . wait . . . .

(Side note: "skim coat" is a very thin layer of drywall mud spread over a large surface - in this case, filling in the dings on the existing sheetrock courtesy of 40 years of abuse and covering the truly unfortunate texture courtesy of the disastrous 1970's remodel)

March Bestsellers


1) The Power by Naomi Alderman
2) If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress
3) Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
4) The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer
5) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6) Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
7) Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
8) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
9) The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
10) Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker

Trade Paperbacks

1) The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers
2) The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, trans. by Ken Liu
3) Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
4) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
5) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
6) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
7) Strange Bird by Jeff Vandermeer
8) New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
9) Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
10) The Atheist in the Attic by Samuel R. Delany

Mass Market Paperbacks

1) Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
2) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
4) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
5) Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin
6) The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
9) Red Sister by Mark Lawerence
10) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

April News

* Overheard in the Store:
[one very stoned visitor to another]: "Star Trek; so it's non-fiction, but cats; so it's fiction."

* R.I.P. Kate Wilhelm, a prolific and talented author of science fiction and mystery, and the cofounder of the Clarion Writing Workshops, who passed away from respiratory illness.  https://boingboing.net/2018/03/11/the-sweet-birds-sang.html

* R.I.P. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik; considered the first contemporary Arab writer of science fiction and horror, he has passed away at 55.  He leaves behind over 200 novels and fans across the globe.  https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/4/4/egyptian-literary-pioneer-ahmed-khaled-tawfik-passes-away

* R.I.P. Stephen Hawking, a complex & brilliant scientist whose lifelong work impacted and inspired so many, and left a lasting mark on our understanding of the universe. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/14/stephen-hawking-professor-dies-aged-76

* Worldcon 76's Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio has teamed with authors John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ty Franck, Kate Elliott and more to create The Mexicanx Initiative. They're sponsoring Worldcon Attending Memberships for 50 Mexicanx pros and fans to attend Worldcon in San Jose this summer.  Now that they've achieved that goal, they've created The Mexicanx Initiative's Assistance Fund -- a separate, dedicated fund to provide travel and lodging assistance for those 50 Mexicanx invitees, many of whom ail be journeying across the border from Mexico.  SFSFC, the host committee for Worldcon 76, is handling the collection of all funds which will be distributed to the Recipients at Worldcon.  About $6000 has been collected so far, and the fund's goal is $15,000 before Memorial Day Weekend. If you're able to participate, donate here (see "Mexicanx Initiative Assistance Fund"): https://www.worldcon76.org/faq/donations  And here's a short article from the San Antonio Current on John's idea: https://www.sacurrent.com/ArtSlut/archives/2018/03/29/science-fiction-artist-john-picacio-gives-a-lift-to-other-mexicanx-creators

March 07, 2018

Upcoming Events

Loteria Game Night and Poster Signing with artist John Picacio! Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 pm

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, March 17th at 6:00 pm

Come Visit Borderlands West, Saturday, March 24th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm - Alan will be showing off our favorite construction site at 1377 Haight St. (at Masonic Ave.)

SF in SF with authors Nancy Kress, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Jack Skillingstead (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, March 25th at 6:30 pm

Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm

March 06, 2018

March Building News

by Alan Beatts

Frustratingly, I don't have very much news this month.  We're in that miserable stage of construction wherein we mostly wait.  We wait for the engineer to get drawings back to us and we wait for PG&E to answer basic questions.  Until those things happen, I've been keeping busy closing up the wall that we can close (i.e. putting up sheetrock and patching),  but even that process has had some waiting because the next step, "Tape and Mud", has to wait 'til it gets a bit warmer, since there's no heat hooked up yet.

(An aside: "tape and mud" is the process in which we use paper tape to close the seams where pieces of sheetrock meet.  That tape in held in place and covered by joint compound, ("mud"), which is mostly gypsum dust mixed with water.  Since water is the solvent, it takes time to dry and contracts when it does.  If the temperature is too low, it takes forever to dry and, worse, cracks more.  So, we need some days that are mostly over 55 degrees, and we haven't had many of those.  There are other compounds that I could use, but they are a pain in the butt to work with compared to regular mud.)

On the bright side, the volunteers that I'm working with are great, and they've been learning a lot.  Last Sunday I realized that I'm basically training a framing crew from the ground up.  It's taking a little time (and some mis-cut lumber),  but they're smart folks, willing to work hard, and are learning really fast.  I expect that, by the time we're building walls in earnest, they'll be pretty darn good.  So it's a great investment for the future.  Most of the hard-core are already getting up to speed with nailguns and compound miter saws.  All that aside, everyone who's come to help has been lovely and has worked their asses off.  It's been heartwarming to see that kind of support and I'm grateful to every one of them.

If the current weather holds, I hope to start the tape and mud this weekend along with doing the framing for the supply closet.  And, based on some email exchanges today, we might have the engineering drawings by the end of this week.  Which would be a very, very fine thing.

If you're curious about how the place looks, you'll have a chance this month to come check it out.  I'll be holding the place open for visits on Saturday, the 24th, from noon until six pm.  Feel free to stop by anytime in that window and I'll give you the ten-cent tour.

February Bestsellers

1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
2. Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
3. The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer
4. Provenance by Ann Leckie
5. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
7. Artemis by Andy Weir
8. Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer
9.  Dark State by Charles Stross
10.  Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, edited by Ken Liu
2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
4. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
5. Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
6. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
7. Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
8. Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
9. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
10. Amberlough by Lara Ellen Donnelly

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
2. Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
3. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
4. Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin
5. Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rotthfuss
7. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
8. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
9. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
10. The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt

March News

* Overheard in the Store:
"I told them, 'Several people this morning are really lucky that it's impossible to get punched in the face through a telephone.'"

* As much as spending a stupid amount of money to make a TV series based on The Lord Of The Rings was, well . . . stupid (http://deadline.com/2017/11/amazon-the-lord-of-the-rings-tv-series-multi-season-commitment-1202207065/), Amazon's most recent move is brilliant.  They're making a TV series based on Iain M. Bank's Culture novels, starting with Consider Phlebas.  We cannot wait.  https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/21/17035618/amazon-culture-series-iain-m-banks-television-show

* R.I.P prolific speculative author Victor Milan.  To read more about the series he contributed to, the writers he helped and the impact he had, read this wonderful obituary in Albuquerque Journal.  https://www.abqjournal.com/1141374/prolific-author-victor-milaacuten-leaves-science-fiction-legacy.html

* Popular Bangladeshi science fiction Muhammad Zafar Iqbal was recently stabbed in the head.  He survived, and is currently undergoing treatment, but please keep him in your thoughts.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/popular-science-fiction-writer-zafar-iqbal-stabbed-in-bangladesh/article22920210.ece

February 07, 2018

Upcoming Events

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED (Book View Cafe, Trade Paperback, $19.99) with authors Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Marie Brennan, Nancy Jane Moore, Deborah Ross and Dave Smeds Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Steph Burt, Jasmine Guillory, Ellen Klages, Angela Pneuman, and Molly Sauter  (at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco, CA) Saturday, February 10th at 7:30 pm

SF in SF with authors Nancy Jane Moore and Trina Robbins (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St, San Francisco) Sunday, February 11th at 6:30 pm

Patricia Bossano, NAHIA (Waterbearer Press, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Thursday, February 22nd at 6:00 pm

Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE (Tor Books, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, February 24th at 3:00 pm

Tina LeCount Myers, THE SONG OF ALL (Night Shade Books, Hardcover $25.99 and Trade Paperback $14.99) Saturday, March 3rd at 3:00 pm

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99)

February Building News

by Alan Beatts

Last month I told you all the things that were up in the air about the construction work on our new building on Haight Street.  In the past few weeks they've all been resolved and, in every case, the news is quite good.  Here's the current run-down:

Moving the Electrical Service
Great news on this front.  Last month I said that I was thinking that we'd just have to live with the odd little wall right in front of the door as you enter the place that houses the electrical meters, because PG&E was going to take forever and a day to approve moving them.  But, great news -- it turns out that the city building department trumps PG&E.  If we get the city permits to move the meters, then we can do the work regardless of whether PG&E gives us their blessing or not.  So, it's full steam ahead on that job.  Antonius Dintcho, our electrician, has already arranged for a pre-permit meeting with the inspector.  He suggested it and I think it's a great idea.  It costs a couple hundred bucks but the inspector comes down before we get the permits and start work.  We can discuss with him what we want to do and he'll give us pointers on how he'd like us to do it.

Without this step, we'd need to get the permits, do all the rough work, and then have it inspected.  For something simple, like putting in some outlets or new lights, that's fine, but for something as complicated (and expensive) as relocating meters and panels, there is rooms for interpretation about what the electrical code requires.  By having a pre-inspection we reduce the chances that, after doing a ton of work, the inspector ends up being dissatisfied with our interpretation of the code, and makes us tear a bunch of it out.

The one thing that we will need to wait for PG&E to do is increase the amount of electrical service coming into the building.  But, that's not a problem since we can put in all the gear for 400 amp service, but use smaller main breakers so that it'll be correct for the existing 200 amp service.  Then, in the fullness of time, when PG&E gets around to us -- they upgrade the service, we swap the main breakers out and we're all set.  And, swapping the breakers is only a ten minute job (granted, a sweaty, nervous ten minute job -- at least if you're me; 400 amps at 240 volts will kill a person very, very, extra-crispy dead).