November 10, 2015

Upcoming Events

Carter Scholz, GYPSY (PM Press, Trade Paperback, $13.00) Saturday, November 14th at 6:00pm -  with special guest Kim Stanley Robinson!

Small Business Saturday with guest bookseller Richard Kadrey, Saturday, November 28th from 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Mira Grant, CHIMERA (Orbit, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, December 5th at 3:00pm

Sisters in Crime / Mystery Writers of America Northern California Holiday Party, Saturday, December 12th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm

A Great Idea

by Jude Feldman

Customers frequently ask us how they can buy e-books, and still support Borderlands.  Now there's a way.  It's not precisely the way we would choose -- we'd rather you could purchase e-books directly from us -- but it's the best solution we've found so far, and it's really pretty smart.  There's an additional benefit, too: you can also get free or inexpensive digital versions of the paper books you already own!  BitLit <> is the company working on making this possible. 

Brandon Sanderson (many of whose books are available through the BitLit app) was the one who told us about this.  The basic idea is that you get the app, which is free for iOS and Android.  You snap a well-lighted picture of your bookshelf (cleverly called -- what else? -- a "Shelfie",) and the app will let you know which of your books are available for free (or pretty cheap) download.  Select the book(s) you want.  Sign & photograph the copyright page(s) (or take a pic of your bookplate) to easily prove it's actually your book.  Send BitLit the photos, and they'll email you the e-book, which you can read on your existing e-Reader: Kobo, Nook, Kindle, or just in .pdf on your computer or phone.  It doesn't matter where your purchased your books, how long you've owned them.

October Bestsellers

1. SHADOWS OF SELF by  Brandon Sanderson
2. WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
4. KILLING TITAN by Greg Bear
5. THE CINDER SPIRES by Jim Butcher
6. SILVER ON THE ROAD by Laura Anne Gilman
7. LUNA: NEW MOON by Ian McDonald
8. ELANTRIS: 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION by Brandon Sanderson
10. THE THREE BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu; translated by Ken Liu

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
2. THE FLUX by Ferrett Steinmetz
3. THE MIRROR EMPIRE by Kameron Hurley
4. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
5. A RED-ROSE CHAIN by Seanan McGuire
6. THE ABYSS BEYOND DREAMS by Peter F. Hamilton
7. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
8. ON THE STEEL BREEZE by Alastair Reynolds
9. DRAGONS OF HEAVEN by Alyc Helms
10. THE TERRANS by Jean Johnson

Trade Paperbacks
1. ANCILLARY MERCY by Ann Leckie
3. WOMEN UP TO NO GOOD by Pat Murphy
5. EMPIRE ASCENDANT by Kameron Hurley tie with SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER AND GRIMSCRIBE by Thomas Ligotti

November News Roundup

* Overheard in the store:
"Why didn't anyone tell me that the 'True Blood' tv show was just an R-rated 'Buffy'?!"

* Someone sent us an absolutely lovely bottle of Scotch from New York.  We think it might be an Anniversary present, but we're not sure, since there was no note included with the bottle.  If you were kind enough to send us this present, could you please let us know so we can thank you?

* Sadly, Crossed Genres Magazine is going to be closing their doors at the end of this year.  Crossed Genres will continue to publish novels.

* The newest Marvel Netflix series "Jessica Jones," will premiere in November.  As old-school Jessica Jones fans, after seeing the full trailer,  we find ourselves really looking forward to it.

* Borderlands' owner Alan Beatts was on the Publishers Weekly podcast talking about the way the sponsors helped keep the store alive.  Listen here; Alan's segment starts around 9:40:

* A map of Middle Earth annotated by JRR Tolkien himself is up for auction after having been discovered in a copy of LORD OF THE RINGS owned by late acclaimed illustrator Pauline Baynes.  It is on display and on sale for 60,000 GBP.

* The trailer for the "Warcraft" film has been released, and if nothing else it looks like some good pulpy adventure fun.

* For those who haven't discovered the joy of Secure, Contain, Protect -- it is a wiki with each entry a supposed item/artifact/person that is supernatural, inter-dimensional, or just plain weird.  Some entries are sad, some fascinating, and others not to be read alone at night. .  (One of our personal favorites is SCP-1000, Bigfoot.)

* Charlie Jane Anders over at io9 posted a great infographic from Orbit of the compliment of the ships in Ann Leckie's amazing Ancillary trilogy, which was completed last month:

* SETI has been listening to star KIC8462852, (the one with the strange light patterns that people think might be aliens,) for two weeks and have heard nothing, but they're not giving up yet.  The Mary Sue has a full post on it:

* "Supergirl" premiered, and as a treat for superhero movie adaptation fans, this iteration's parents are played by Lois & Clark's Dean Cain and "Supergirl" film's Helen Slater.

* Ann Leckie gave Publisher's Weekly her list of Top Ten Science Fiction Novels and there are some great, usually ignored gems on her list.

* A new "Star Trek" television series is in the works for 2017!  We're simultaneously thrilled and terrified, and already busy creating that Dream Cast in our heads.  (Jude wants Angela Bassett to play the Captain.  And Dame Judi Dench should definitely be in there somewhere, too!)

* Congratulations to editor (and Borderlands sponsor) John Joseph Adams.  Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt just announced that they're launching a new science fiction and fantasy line called John Joseph Adams Books/HMH that will be edited by JJA.  According to Shelf Awareness, the line's "first three titles are simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions of SHIFT, DUST and BEACON 23 by Hugh Howey, which will be published in February [2016]."

* Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in 1974's iconic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," has died at age 68.

* Happy Birthday to Ms. Ursula K LeGuin, one of the greatest authors of our time!

Award News

* Congratulations to this year's World Fantasy Award Winners!

* The 2015 British Science Fiction Award Winners have been announced!

* The Inaugural 100 Year Starship (100YSS) Canopus Awards, which celebrate interstellar writing, have announced their winners.

October 07, 2015

Upcoming Events

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm

Greg Bear, KILLING TITAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) and Ann Leckie, ANCILLARY MERCY (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, October 10th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF presents authors Laura Anne Gilman and Loren Rhoads, hosted by Terry Bisson, Monday, October 12th at 6:30 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Mysterious Borderlands" with William C. Gordon, Jim Nisbet, Terry Shames, and Kelli Stanley, Saturday, October 17th at 7:15 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "New Worlds at Borderlands Cafe" with Alyc Helms, Nancy Jane Moore, Tim Pratt, and Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, Saturday, October 17th at 8:30 pm

San Francisco in Mystery: Past, Present, and Future with Reece Hirsch, Kirk Russell, and Kelli Stanley, Sunday, October 25th at 3:00 pm

Mark Oshiro, AN INSIDIOUS THING, Sunday, November 1st at 3:00 pm

Kate Elliot, BLACK WOLVES (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, November 7th at 3:00 pm

Event Details

Media Matters

by Alan Beatts

As much as I love books, SF, horror, fantasy and mystery as a whole are still my first and greatest love.  Which means that movies, TV shows, and even video games within our field have a place very close to my heart.  The last few months have included some good news and neat discoveries that I thought I'd share with you.

The Expanse TV Series
James S. A. Corey's excellent Expanse novels, which begin with LEVIATHAN WAKES, is one of my favorite SF series in recent years.  So I was concerned and pleased in equal parts when I heard that Syfy was going to be producing a series based on the books.  But, I've seen both the regular trailer < > and the background trailer, which includes interviews with the cast, < >.  I've got to say that it looks pretty darn good and the casting also seems impressive.  Of course, it's hard to tell from such limited information, but I'm hopeful that we'll be getting a big treat this December.

And, regardless of whether the series is any good, we fans of the books win at least a little bit because there's an original prequel story, Drive, available on line as part of the promotion for the show < >.

September Bestsellers

1. NO HARD FEELINGS by Mark Coggins
2. UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde
3. THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN by Terry Pratchett
4. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
5. LUNA: NEW MOON by Ian McDonald
6. SECONDHAND SOULS by Christopher Moore
7. DRAGON COAST by Greg Van Eekhout
8. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
10. KILLING PRETTY by Richard Kadrey

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. RED-ROSE CHAIN by Seanan McGuire
2. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
3. THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire
4. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
5. LOCK IN by John Scalzi
6. KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY by Kieran Shea
7. POCKET APOCALYPSE by Seanan McGuire
9. DRAGONS OF HEAVEN by Alyc Helms
10. THE SHADOW THRONE by Django Wexler

Trade Paperbacks
2. BLACK HOLE by Bucky Sinister
3. ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie
5. THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin

October News Roundup

* Overheard in the store:

"Do you have CAT'S CRADLE by Vonnegut?  My boyfriend has never read it.  I wish I'd known that before I committed."

"This is my two-handed bastard sword of a cat. FEAR ME!"

"Have you _touched_ this book?!"
"Yes, it's LORD OF THE RINGS. We have 4."
"But this LORD OF THE RINGS is super-pettable!"

* A scholarship in Sir Terry Pratchett's name has been announced at the University of Southern Australia.  Endowed by the late author's estate, it will provide $100,000 to a grad student every two years in perpetuity.  More information here:

* Chris Hall at The Guardian explores the dystopian themes in JG Ballard's HIGH-RISE and discusses the new feature film adaptation:

* The Spectrum Fantastic Art Live exhibition is moving next year from Kansas City, MO to our very own San Francisco's Academy of Art for 2016.  The press release is here:

* The Museum of Science Fiction has announced its intention to begin publishing a Journal of Science Fiction, free online for everyone.  The first issue will launch January 2016; more details on the SFWA website:

* Despite the mixed reception the film received, there are apparently talks to revive Alan Moore's "Watchmen," with Zach Snyder at the helm again, for a television series.  Nothing is definite yet, owing to Snyder's current work in the DC universe, but it may be a chance for the director to redeem himself in the eyes of many:

* Pop singer Morrissey will release his first novel, this year, a ghost/demon story called LIST OF THE LOST, and by all accounts it's not good: (Although maybe I'm misunderstanding when a reviewer says the publishers should be ashamed of themselves.)

* The second of Marvel's Netflix series "Jessica Jones" has finally been revealed in a number of teaser trailers.  It looks much better than "Daredevil," and we've only seen a few seconds of it.

* Huffington Post talked to a number scientists and "science enthusiasts" to find out their favorite science fiction films.  The answers are pretty standard, but there are a few surprises peppered throughout the list:

* Iskander Krayenbosch has created a hilarious animated video to illustrate what he thinks are the twelve steps of the Hero's Journey.  Using imagery from iconic stories, he makes an excellent argument:

* Author Jay Swanson has created the world's first real-time fantasy blog, INTO THE NANTEN.  In addition to Jay's unfolding story of the exiled Marceles na Tetrarch, the site features incredible original artwork from artist Nimit Malavia and the voice talents of Dennis Kleinman.  You really should check it out:

Award News

* The Copper Cylinder Award for Canadian fantastic literature has announced its fourth annual winners.  The Adult award went to Thomas King for THE BACK OF THE TURTLE and the Young Adult award to Caitlin Sweet for THE DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN.  More details on the award and winners here:

* The Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced their 2015 Dwarf Stars (for short poems 1-10 lines) and Elgin Award (for books and chapbooks of poetry) winners.  Full details here: and here:

* The National Book Award longlist has been announced, and while the adult categories have no speculative nominees, the Young Adult category boasts M.T. Anderson, Rae Carson, Noelle Stevenson and others:

* The Parsec Awards for speculative podcasting have announced their winners.

* Stephen King was one of those awarded a National Medal of Arts this past month.

September 09, 2015

Upcoming Events

Mark Coggins, NO HARD FEELINGS (Down & Out Books, Signed & Limited Edition (Hardcover, 225 copies) $30.00) Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 pm

Tacos and Tecate with Seanan McGuire, Greg van Eekout, and Fran Wilde, Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm

Russian Avant Garde Art Event with artist Evgeny Avilov and art critic Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph. D., Saturday, September 19th at 5:30 pm

Borderlands Sponsors' Open Mic Night, Friday, September 25th at 7:00 pm

Ian McDonald, LUNA: NEW MOON (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, September 26th at 3:00 pm

QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION (Lightspeed, Trade Paperback, $29.99) event with Chaz Brenchley, Tim Susman, Rachel Swirsky, and Jessica Yang, Sunday, October 4th at 3:00 pm

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm

Greg Bear, KILLING TITAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) and Ann Leckie, ANCILLARY MERCY (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, October 10th at 3:00 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Mysterious Borderlands" with William C. Gordon, Jim Nisbet, Terry Shames, and Kelli Stanley, Saturday, October 17th at 7:15 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "New Worlds at Borderlands Cafe" with Alyc Helms, Nancy Jane Moore, Tim Pratt, and Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, Saturday, October 17th at 8:30 pm

From the Office

bp Alan Beatts

It's been about six months since we almost closed the shop.  It seems like a good time to update everyone on where the business stands, how things are going generally, and where we are relative to our long-term goals.

If you're not familiar with the whole story about what happened in February, you can read all about this blog.  But, you might enjoy an article that recently appeared in Guernica Magazine that gives a nice overview and a different perspective <>.

In general, business has been going quite well.  Sales have been solid and are modestly up compared to last year (thank you all for that).  We've done several quite large author events (Paolo Bacigalupi, Richard Kadrey, Seanan McGuire, John Scalzi, and Jo Walton, among others) along with a whole slew of smaller but fun and well-attended events with other authors.

Our two newest employees, Scott Cox and Maddy Hubbert, are both settling in well, though they're still in the process of learning "all the things".  It's surprising when I think about it but it usually takes around a year for someone to truly learn how to do all the aspects of the job.  But, that's the consequence of having everyone learn all the jobs around the store (aside from the back-office financial work, that is).

Of course, we are all learning constantly even after a decade and a half on the job.  Our field is constantly expanding and the history of it is so deep that I don't think it's possible to know in its entirety.  It is a source of constant pleasure to all of us to be part of a tradition that has such a long and rich history.

Personally, I'm doing quite well, though still working a bit more than I like.  Setting up the sponsorship program was more work than I anticipated but it has mostly been the fiddly bits of putting systems in place and getting it all running smoothly.  However, all that is close to done and Scott has taken over much of the day-to-day work from me.  I expect that next year will give me the chance to start really digging into other projects.

Speaking of the future and other projects, back in May I talked a bit about long-term plans, specifically getting some improvements in place at the store and, much more importantly, starting a long-term plan to purchase a building to house the business.