April 10, 2015

April Featured Title

by Jude Feldman

A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) comes out April 14th.  This is my favorite new fantasy - a throughly enjoyable, entertainingly complex story that falls somewhere in between Patrick Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie.  Fabulous characters, ethical ambiguity, and an author who trusts in his readers' ability to "get it" without being smacked over the head.

This book is noteworthy for several reasons, but two aspects I especially appreciated were the kick-ass middle-aged female protagonist and the casual lack of heteronormativity, both extremely unusual in fantasy novels.  The pacing, dry humor, and logical but unexpected plot twists are also reasons to love it.

This is going to be my next go-to novel for fans of George R.R. Martin, Scott Lynch, and of course Abercrombie and Rothfuss.  Alan and everyone else here who has read it recommend it, too.

Upcoming Events

Rick Wilbur (editor) and Jacob Weisman and Kim Stanley Robinson (contributors), FIELD OF FANTASIES (Night Shade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, April 18th at 3:00 pm

Mission Local Neighborhood Discussion, Tuesday, April 21st at 7:00 pm

SF in SF and the Locus Science Fiction Foundation present authors Peter Straub and Michael Marshall Smith at the Book Club of California, 312 Sutter Street, 5th Floor, Friday, May 1st.  Doors at 5:30 pm, event starts at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $20.

Betsy Streeter, SILVERWOOD (Light Messages, Trade Paperback, $18.95) Sunday, May 3rd at 3:00 pm

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

Coming up later in the year, look for events with Paolo Bacigalupi, Peter Clines, Alec Helms, a Tiptree Winners' Celebration with Jo Walton, and much, much more!

From the Office

by Alan Beatts

Hi Everyone,

I am, sadly, still playing catchup, still behind on my email (sorry to all of your who have been waiting for replies), and still over-the-moon happy that we're not closing.  I'm also really looking forward to our first Sponsors' Social, which is going to be on April 16th (in less than a week).

Speaking of our sponsors: if you were a sponsor as of the 19th of last month, you should have received an email from us.  If you didn't get that email, please let us know so that we can get whatever is wrong sorted out.  Much of the communication that we're going to have with sponsors will be via email and so we're working very hard to make sure we have correct addresses and that our emails are getting through.  If you got your sponsorship after March 19th, don't worry, we'll be sending out a note to you shortly.

Due to the work load right now, I don't have much clever or interesting to say this month except for one thing.  Our friends at Comix Experience < http://www.comixexperience.com > are running into some of the same challenges regarding the San Francisco Minimum Wage that we faced (i.e. the prices for their goods are set by the publisher and they will have a hard time meeting the minimum wage as it goes up).  However, they aren't planning on closing.  Instead they're offering a graphic novel subscription service that, with sufficient support, will allow them to continue operations and meet the increasing minimum wage.  You can find all the information about it here < http://www.graphicnovelclub.com > but the thumbnail sketch is that, for a flat monthly fee of $25, you will receive a copy of the graphic novel of the month.  There is also a price break if you want a year-long subscription -- that's just $240.  Those are the in-person pickup prices but shipping (for those of you outside SF or those of you who just work too damn much), by Priority Mail no less, only adds $6 a month.

April News Roundup

"Sometimes I'm on the internet and it's exactly like reading a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Soap - the gallon size."
"There are only two kinds of bookstores in Vallejo: those for Bibles, and those for porn."
"Just try it.  How can you _not_ smile when you say 'dachshund Easter egg hunt'?!"
"Sex comes and goes; chocolate is forever!"

* We're currently hiring counter help at the Cafe (not the bookstore, sorry!).   No experience is necessary, and high school students are welcome.  Fluency in English is a must, and a love of reading is a plus.  Afternoon and evening shifts to start; pay is $12.25/hour plus tips.  Drop off a resume at the Cafe or email it to abeatts@borderlands-books.com .

March Bestsellers

1. PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger
2. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman
3. THE THREE BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu
4. HALF THE WORLD by Joe Abercrombie
5. THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro
6. THE PERIPHERAL by William Gibson
7. SYMBIONT by Mira Grant
8. THE CALLING by James Frey and Nils Johnson
9. KAREN MEMORY by Elizabeth Bear

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. POCKET APOCALYPSE by Seanan McGuire
2. FLEX by Ferrett Steinmetz
3. HALF-OFF RAGNAROK by Seanan McGuire
4. FOXGLOVE SUMMER by Ben Aaronovitch
5. WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
6. SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher
7. THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire
8. THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison
9. 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
10. EMPEROR OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence

Trade Paperbacks
2. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
3. SOULLESS by Gail Carriger
4. ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie
5. HALF A KING by Joe Abercrombie

March 19, 2015

Our Sponsors for 2015

On February 19th, 2015, Borderlands started a sponsorship program to allow our continued financial viability.  We asked that a minimum of 300 people purchase sponsorships for $100 each by the end of March.  If we reached that goal, we would stay open for one year and, each following year, we would again ask for at least 300 sponsors.  Below you will find the list of the sponsors thus far in the order that they signed up.

March 03, 2015

Upcoming Events

Seanan McGuire, POCKET APOCALYPSE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Friday, March 13th at 6:00 pm

Drop-by signing with Joanne Harris and Ken Liu, Saturday, March 14th at 5:00 pm

Gail Carriger, PRUDENCE (Orbit, Hardcover, $20.00) Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00 pm

Ferrett Steinmetz, FLEX (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, April 4th at 3:00 pm

Sponsorship Update

by Alan Beatts

First and foremost, thank you to all the people who purchased sponsorships over the last few days and a special thanks to the First 300 who are responsible for Borderlands remaining open.  The speed and enthusiasm of the response was completely unexpected and heartwarming.  A process that I expected to take weeks was completed in less than 48 hours!  As I've mentioned elsewhere, though we've reached our requirement of 300 to remain open until the end of March, 2016, we are continuing to offer sponsorships to anyone who is interested.  At this point the count is over 600 and will probably continue to climb.

However, the speed of the response and the number of people who are interested does have a downside.  I had been planning on a much slower and more orderly process, which would have given me time to make changes to our customer database, set up mailing lists, and generally get all our ducks in order.  Initially we were telling sponsors that they would be hearing from us in a week or so . . . that was a week and a half ago and we still haven't had time to get all the information in order.  I plan to be making the changes to our database later today but, once that is done, then the data-entry process starts.  So, it may be a little while until you hear anything from us directed specifically to sponsors.

From the Office

by Jude Feldman

Thank you, everyone, for your sponsorships, your kind words, and for your absolute conviction that we should remain open!  We've been totally overwhelmed at the amazing response from all of you.  I'm thrilled and excited and so, so grateful!

If you know us, you know that normally, we plan things carefully.  This whole sponsorship thing, not so much.  It all happened so quickly, and we've gone from closing to not closing in such a short time that we're way, way behind on everything.  We want to reply thoughtfully to your emails, and we are working on it, but my current count stands at 300+ behind, and I expect Alan's is about the same.  We are making slow progress towards getting everything answered.

The flood of reporters has thankfully abated, so we can hopefully get back to something resembling normal pretty fast.

So! here's what we're doing now: a bit of reorganizing and moving shelves while we have the opportunity.  The store hasn't been this empty since we moved to this location in 2001, so we're taking the chance to move some stuff around, get rid of the blind corner, and make a few other subtle moves prior to re-ordering books and getting sections re-filled.  I'll be meeting with all of our publishers' reps to order the forthcoming titles for the current season, and also the titles we missed while we weren't ordering things over the past few months.  If you notice that we're missing something we should have, please do bring it to my attention.

Getting the sponsor database set up & figuring out the sponsorship benefits is also high on our list of priorities.  There is an incredible list of possibilities already, and we're still thinking of ideas and getting great suggestions.  We will need to do all the sponsor data entry, and then we'll get an update email out to all of our awesome sponsors shortly.

The other things we're doing are putting back together all of the elements we had begun to disassemble, like scheduling author events.  We have some fantastic events coming up that I cannot mention yet since they're not specifically confirmed, but I certainly hope you'll be as excited as we are about them.  We're basically just trying to get caught up as fast as possible after this complete 180 degree turnaround.  We had the plan all in place to close, but now we have to make a brand-new plan to stay open!  Please be patient with us while we deal with this very sudden and completely wonderful turn of events.

March News Roundup

* The legendary Leonard Nimoy has passed away.  He was the captain of many of our hearts, if not the Enterprise.  Do yourself a favor tonight and listen to "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" and remember Mr. Nimoy's greatness. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/television/leonard-nimoy-spock-of-star-trek-dies-at-83.html?_r=0

* TOR is going to start publishing The PathFinder Tales novels, based on The Pathfinder RPG, in 2015: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2015/02/tor-books-pathfinder-tales-novels-paizo

* The final ballot for the Bram Stoker awards has been announced.  Congratulations to all of the nominees!  http://horror.org/final-ballot-bram-stoker-awards/

* The first ever http://twitterfictionfestival.com/ is coming soon and Margaret Atwood, Lemony Snicket, Chuck Wendig, Lauren Beukes, Beth Cato, and more will be there!

* SFWA has announced the Nebula Award nominees.  Congratulations!  http://www.sfwa.org/2015/02/2014-nebula-awards-nominees-announced/

* Speaking of SFWA, they have decided to alter their guidelines to allow self-published authors and small presses to join under certain circumstances.  Check here for more details: http://www.sfwa.org/2015/02/sfwa-welcomes-self-published-small-press-authors/

* Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire announces the nominees for the best French SF/F, included best foreign work translated into French.  http://gpi.noosfere.org/2015.php

* RIP Melanie Tem.  The beloved author passed after a long battle with cancer, and we will miss her.  http://www.locusmag.com/News/2015/02/melanie-tem-1949-2015/

* The British Science Fiction Award has announced their nominee list, congratulations to the authors listed!  http://www.bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-awards-2014-shortlist-announced/

* One of our very favorite comic book characters, Catwoman, has recently come out as bisexual.  Somewhere in the multiverse, our 14-year-old selves are jumping up and down and shrieking in excitement!  http://sciencefiction.com/2015/02/27/catwoman-bisexual-says-dc/