July 13, 2015

Upcoming Events

Wesley Chu, TIME SALVAGER (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) and Helene Wecker THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI (Harper, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, July 18th at 3:00 pm

Robert Brockway, THE UNNOTICEABLES (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) and Loren Rhoads, THE DANGEROUS TYPE (Nightshade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Sunday, July 19th at 3:00 pm

Hugh Howey, WOOL (Simon & Schuster, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Monday, July 27th at 7:00 pm

Richard Kadrey, KILLING PRETTY (Harper Voyager, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday, August 1st at 3:00 pm

Katie Gilmartin, BLACKMAIL, MY LOVE (Cleis Press, Trade Paperback, $16.95) Sunday, August 2nd at 3:00 pm

Tiptree Award Celebration with Jo Walton, Ellen Klages, and other Tiptree luminaries! Sunday, August 9th at 3:00 pm

Bucky Sinister, BLACK HOLE (Soft Skull Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Saturday, August 15th at 3:00 pm

Taiyo Fujii, GENE MAPPER (Haikasoru, Trade Paperback, $14.99) and Michael J. Martinez, THE VENUSIAN GAMBIT (Nightshade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Sunday, August 16th at 3:00 pm

John Scalzi, THE END OF ALL THINGS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) Monday, August 24th at 12:00 pm

June Bestsellers

1. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman
2. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
3. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
4. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
5. NEMESIS GAMES by James S.A. Corey
6. THE FOLD by Peter Clines
7. COLLECTED FICTION by Hannu Rajaniemi
8. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
9. A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall
10. LONG BLACK CURL by Alex Bledsoe

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. ON THE STEEL BREEZE by Alastair Reynolds
2. THE WAKING ENGINE by David Edison
3. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
4. THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross
5. THE THREE by Sarah Lotz
6. WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
7. THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire
8. FOXGLOVE SUMMER by Ben Aaronovitch
9. THE FIFTH ELEPHANT by Terry Pratchett
10. FLEX by Ferrett Steinmetz

Trade Paperbacks
2. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
5. CIBOLA BURN by James S.A. Corey

July News Roundup

* Overheard in the store:
"For me, 'all dolled up' means lipstick and the good black jeans."
"When 'Get Stoned' is an item on your To-Do List, you know you must be a grown up."

* We're very sorry to hear and report this, but what an incredible life!  Sir Christopher Lee, best known for his horror & fantasy acting roles, has died at age 93: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11666316/christopher-lee-dies-live.html

* The 2015 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Awards have been announced, and the winners are Ramsey Campbell and Sheri S. Tepper.  To find out more about the authors' lives and careers, check out the write-ups at the World Fantasy website: http://www.wfc2015.org/wf-lifetimeawards01.html

* Russia is building a new spaceport (or Cosmodrome) and the images are pretty epic: http://gizmodo.com/check-out-russias-new-spaceport-being-built-1715445543. . . As are the hunger strikes now being carried out there because of all the broken promises: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/11555574/Russian-space-centre-workers-launch-hunger-strike-after-Vladimir-Putin-promises-fail.html

* Well, it looks like there might ONE reason to see the new "Ant-Man" film, and he is called The Falcon!  http://io9.com/in-a-new-international-ant-man-spot-redacted-shows-u-1715797466

* Speaking of Marvel news, Peggy will be hitting Hollywood for the second season of Agent Carter. We can hope that with this scenery change, we'll get more diversity in this otherwise great show. http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/01/agent-carter-hollywood-season-2-comic-con-poster

* Congratulations to Claire North and Cory Doctorow, winners of the John W. Campbell and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards respectively: http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/news.htm

* The Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the Rhysling Award winners for this year: http://sfpoetry.com/ra/pages/15rhysling.html

* The New Horizons spacecraft on its way to Pluto experienced some trouble, and although everything seems to be cleared up, we still don't know what happened.  Mika McKinnon over at i09.com breaks it down: http://space.io9.com/the-pluto-probe-went-into-safe-mode-and-we-dont-know-w-1715824423

* The Locus Award winners for 2015 were announced, and the winners included Ann Leckie for Science Fiction Novel, Joe Abercrombie for Young Adult Book & Novelette, Amal El-Mohtar for Short Story, Tor for Publisher and more!  Check out the full list of winners here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2015/06/2015-locus-awards-winners/

* "Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf" is an actual movie, with an actual trailer, and we find ourselves intrigued despite our common sense: http://io9.com/sharktopus-vs-whalewolf-is-a-thing-and-it-has-a-trail-1715751744

* We've still got a while to wait until the newest "Star Wars" film hits theaters in December, but a few months before the film we'll get to see how we got from Episode 6 to Episode 7 in the new "Star Wars" comic Shattered Empire this September. http://www.previewsworld.com/Home/1/1/71/977?articleID=165600

* Check out the first images of Bruce Campbell as he returns to play the iconic character Ash in the new Starz series "Ash vs. Evil Dead"!  http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/26/ash-vs-evil-dead-exclusive-first-image-bruce-campbell-back-ash

* And speaking of triumphant returns:  by now most people are aware that "X-Files" will be returning to our television screens.  While some of us might have hoped to have some of the old convoluted conspiracies cleared up, they've taken what is probably the smarter tack and will just give us all new stories.  http://www.cinemablend.com/television/X-Files-Going-Reboot-Favorite-Plots-All-72766.html

* And in more awards news, the 2015 Nebula winners were announced.  Winners included Jeff VanderMeer for Novel, Nancy Kress for Novella, and Alaya Dawn Johnson for Novelette, along with the Norton and Ursula Vernon for Short Story.  Check out the full list of winners here: http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/

* And speaking of the Nebulas, SFWA has released all new book medal designs to celebrate the Awards' 50th anniversary: https://www.sfwa.org/2015/06/sfwa-introduces-new-book-medal-designs/

* We've gotten our first look at the concept art for the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow show and it looks pretty awesome.  Set in the same world as "The Arrow" and "The Flash", it looks like DC is building a shared world on television and doing pretty well! http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/03/legends-of-tomorrow-first-look-phil-klemmer-concept-art

* A new meme is sweeping the internet.  Prepare yourself for Cage of THRONES! http://imgur.com/a/tum01

* Check out this lovely essay in the Herald where Usman T. Malik talks about Pakistan's history and future, speculative fiction and imagination, "Rockets, Robots and Reckless Imagination": http://herald.dawn.com/news/1153167/rockets-robots-and-reckless-imagination

* Jo Walton's RUSA acceptance speech for MY REAL CHILDREN raises interesting points about genre and women's fiction: http://papersky.livejournal.com/659500.html

June 09, 2015

Upcoming Events

Rudy Rucker, JOURNALS 1990-2014 (Transreal Books, Trade Paperback, $24.95) Saturday, June 13th at 3:00 pm

Alex Bledsoe, LONG BLACK CURL (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Sunday, June 14th at 3:00 pm

Alyc Helms, THE DRAGONS OF HEAVEN (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, July 11th at 3:00 pm

Wesley Chu, TIME SALVAGER (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) and Helene Wecker THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI (Harper, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, July 18th at 3:00 pm

Robert Brockway, THE UNNOTICEABLES (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99, and Loren Rhoads, THE DANGEROUS TYPE (Nightshade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Sunday, July 19th at 3:00 pm

Richard Kadrey, KILLING PRETTY (Harper Voyager, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday, August 1st at 3:00 pm

Suspending Disbelief in Video Games

by Alan Beatts

I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, an avid player of video games.  However, I do enjoy some of them quite a lot.  They serve the dual purpose of entertaining me while also engaging me enough that I forget about the external world for a bit.  About five years ago, a friend gave me a game console for Christmas and, since then, I've played several quite good games from beginning to end.  I've also tried out a number that I started, got a bit of the way in, and then put aside because they didn't suit me.  That's a process that I do with novels as well. However, it's interesting that in video games the split between "this is fun, I'm going to finish it" and "nope, this isn't for me" is close to 50/50, whereas novels run closer to 85/15.

Perhaps part of the reason for that difference is that I have pretty specific tastes in video games.  Playing virtual football or golf has even less appeal to me than playing the actual sports (for which the appeal to me is already close enough to zero that you'll need several decimal places to make the distinction).  Likewise virtual dating games or other games that simulate social interactions don't interest me.  And, while games that simulate pseudo-natural processes in accelerated time (for example Civilization or SimCity) interest me in an ant-farm sort of way, I don't really like playing god.

Consequently, what appeals to me are role-playing games, shooting games and, most of all, the child of the two, generally called open-world games (for example Skyrim and Mass Effect). Since reading serves the same purpose for me as video games (entertainment and an escape from the outside world - although video games have an advantage in exercising my twitch reflex), in the last few years, I've started thinking about the similarities and differences between the two art forms.  The idea that both genre novels and the sort of video games I enjoy are both art forms is not something that I think needs much defense or explanation but, just in case, please consider that: they both require creating a structured narrative with plot, settings, and characters that will engage the reader / player for a prolonged period of time. Even games outside of my particular interest qualify as art forms, albeit for a different set of reasons.

When I consider the current state of the art in video games as part of the spectrum of story-telling entertainment, including prose fiction, illustrated narratives (i.e. comic books), film, epic poetry, and so forth, it strikes me that it is far from the eventual potential of the medium. Which is not to say that the medium doesn't have considerable merits now, but only to say that, even within the limitations of current technology, the medium is perhaps at a spot in its evolution equivalent to comic books in the 1970s.  And, like comics in the 1970s, video games are great fun and the product of some very talented people who are doing excellent work.

May Bestsellers

1. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson  
2. VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK by Marie Brennan
3. OF NOBLE FAMILY by Mary Robinette Kowal
4. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
5. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
6. A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall
7. HALF THE WORLD by Joe Abercrombie
8. THE GIRL IN THE ROAD by Monica Byrne
9. PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger
10. WHAT IF? by Randall Monroe

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. NEXUS by Ramez Naam
2. CRUX by Razem Naam
3. THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison
4. THE HERCULES TEXT by Jack McDevitt
6. THE THREE by Sarah Lotz
7. POCKET APOCALYPSE by Seanan McGuire
8. MORT by Terry Pratchett
9. SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher
10. DARK HEIR by Faith Hunter

Trade Paperbacks
3. APEX by Razem Naam
4. SILVERWOOD by Betsy Streeter

June News Roundup

* Overheard in the store:
"Luckily, you're not going to be killing zombies with bowling balls."

* The location for World Fantasy Convention 2016 has been announced as Columbus, Ohio. http://www.worldfantasy.org/

* Classic kaiju creation Godzilla has finally not only been recognized as an official special resident of the city of Tokyo, but also as a Tourism Ambassador.  This apparently coincides with the filming of a new Godzilla movie this year: http://naplesherald.com/2015/04/09/godzilla-appointed-tokyo-resident-and-tourism-ambassador/

* The Mythopoeic Society has announced their finalists for the Mythopoeic Awards for 2015: http://www.mythsoc.org/news/2015mythopoeic-awards-finalists-announced/

* One of the most critically-acclaimed comics of recent years, "The Wicked + The Divine", has been optioned by Universal TV.  It is the story of twelve gods reincarnated every ninety years, only to die within two years.  http://sciencefiction.com/2015/06/01/the-wicked-the-divine-optioned-development-universal-tv/

* The Lambda Awards announced the winners for their 2015 literary awards, and we'd like to extend our congratulations to store friend (and sponsor!) Chaz Brenchley, whose short story collection BITTER WATERS won in the LGBT S/F/Horror category.  Check out the complete list of winners here: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/06/02/27th-annual-lambda-literary-award-winners/

* io9 brings us two great blendings of fan art.  One commenter takes tv and movie posters and redraws them to look like classic vinyl album covers: http://io9.com/preview/classic-movie-posters-redrawn-as-vintage-album-covers-1709277184  And Artist Ryan May imagines the Adventure Time characters in "Mad Max: Fury Road".  Princess Bubblegum as Furiosa is everything!: http://io9.com/the-ice-king-is-a-perfect-immortan-joe-in-adventure-tim-1709400094

* Classic fantasist Tanith Lee, winner of numerous awards and accolades including being the first woman to win the British Fantasy Award, has passed away after a long illness: http://heavy.com/entertainment/2015/05/tanith-lee-dead-dies-cause-of-death-funeral-esther-garber-husband-john-kaiine/

* Sci-Fest LA, the Los Angeles SF Play Festival, has unveiled two new awards, The Tomorrow Prize and The Roswell Award, both with cash prizes.  Check out the inaugural winners here: http://www.sci-fest.com/

* The Spectrum Awards have been announced.  See the gorgeous Gold and Silver Award winners here: http://fleskpublications.com/blog/2015/05/23/spectrum-22-awards-winners-announced/

* Voting has opened on the shortlists for the David Gemmell Awards: http://www.gemmellawards.com/

* The SFWA elections have occurred and new officers include Cat Rambo as the new president and M.C.A. Hogarth as vice-president.  Check out the full list of new officials here: http://www.sfwa.org/2015/05/2015-sfwa-election-results/

* Leonard Nimoy's son Adam Nimoy has started a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of funding a documentary called "For The Love of Spock", which will trace the history of the iconic character.  Zachary Quinto has agreed to narrate the film.  http://www.blastr.com/2015-6-3/leonard-nimoys-son-wants-you-help-fund-his-spock-documentary

* In sadder Star Trek news, Nichelle Nichols, who played the transcendent  Lt. Uhura in the original series, along with many other film and television roles, has been hospitalized following a stroke.  There hasn't been any official news on her condition yet: http://sciencefiction.com/2015/06/04/star-trek-star-nichelle-nichols-hospitalized-stroke/

* Josh Trank, the director of the new "Fantastic Four" film, talks about the anger from fans for casting African-American actor Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm:  http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/herocomplex/la-et-hc-josh-trank-simon-kinberg-fantastic-four-casting-controversy-story.html

May 11, 2015

Upcoming Events

Marie Brennan, VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99), and Mary Robinette Kowal, OF NOBLE FAMILY (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Thursday, May 21st at 7:00 pm

Peter Orullian, TRIAL OF INTENTIONS (Tor, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, May 30th at 3:00 pm

Peter Clines, THE FOLD (Crown, Hardcover, $25.00) Thursday, June 4th at 7:00 pm

RESCHEDULED TO JULY 11th - Alyc Helms, THE DRAGONS OF HEAVEN (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 pm

Paolo Bacigalupi, THE WATER KNIFE (Knopf, Hardcover, $25.95) Sunday, June 7th at 3:00 pm

Rudy Rucker, JOURNALS 1990 - 2014 (Transreal Publications, Trade Paperback, $24.95) Saturday, June 13th at 3:00 pm

Alex Bledsoe, LONG BLACK CURL (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Sunday, June 14th at 3:00 pm

In the summer we'll be hosting Wesley Chu, Jo Walton, Helene Wecker, and many, many more great authors, so stay tuned!

April Bestsellers


1. A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall
3. VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK by Marie Brennan
4. ROLLING IN THE DEEP by Mira Grant
5. THE SKULL THRONE by Peter V. Brett
6. THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
7. THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro
8. HALF THE WORLD by Joe Abercrombie
9. PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger
10. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman

Mass Market Paperbacks

1. FLEX by Ferrett Steinmetz
2. THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison
3. WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
4. DARK LIGHTNING by John Varley
5. POCKET APOCALYPSE by Seanan McGuire
6. THE LIVES OF TAO by Wesley Chu
8. THE LONG EARTH by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
9. SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher
10. THE WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss

Trade Paperbacks

3. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

From The Office

by Alan Beatts

This month marks the first time since January that I feel like the basic operations of the business are back to normal.  Or at least our idea of normal, which I suspect is pretty strange by objective standards.  The store inventory is back up to snuff with the exception of our used paperback section.  With the addition of our newest hire in the cafe, who starts this week, staffing is up to a proper level (i.e. you shouldn't see me doing dishes at closing time).  I feel like the sponsor program is off to a good start and Scott Cox is working with me on that, allowing me to turn my attention to some other things.  Overall, I'm feeling very good about the position that Borderlands is in for 2015 -- almost entirely thanks to our sponsors.

Speaking of which, I'm delighted to announce that as of this week we've hit 800 sponsors for 2015, a full 500 over the number that we needed to remain open.  This is huge, heartwarming and amazing for a variety of reasons, which are all self-evident.

What is not so evident is the major change in my attitude and my plans for the store that have been caused by the unexpected and unbelievable amount of support we've received from our customers and our industry.