October 10, 2019

Upcoming Events

Writers With Drinks with authors Marta Acosta, Imani Gandy, Dr. Jen Gunter, Vivian Ho, Nazelah Jamison, and Michelle Ruiz Keil (at the Make Out Room, The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco), Saturday, October 12th at 7:30 pm

Litquake Litcrawl Phase 2, SF in SF Presents: Women Imagine Different Worlds with authors Lisa Goldstein, M. Luke McDonell, Pat Murphy, Madeleine Robins, and Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Saturday, October 19th at 6:30 pm

Litquake Litcrawl Phase 3, Adventures in Crime and Time with authors Mark Coggins, Paul Drexler, Richard Kadrey, and Annalee Newitz Saturday, October 19th at 8:00 pm

Brent Weeks, THE BURNING WHITE (Orbit, Hardcover, $30.00) Thursday, October 24th at 6:00 pm

Rudy Rucker, THE MILLION MILE ROAD TRIP (Nightshade Books, Trade Paperback, $14.99) Saturday, October 26th at 3:00 pm

JUST ADDED!  An Afternoon with N.K. Jemisin, Sunday, November 3rd at 3:00 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz, Sunday, November 10th at 6:30 pm

An Evening with Seanan McGuire, Saturday, November 16th at 6:00 pm

Tori Eldridge, NINJA DAUGHTER (Agora Books, Trade Paperback, $16.95) Sunday, November 24th at 3:00  pm

October Building Update

by Alan Beatts

It's been a very busy month at the new building on Haight St.  I'll get to all the details in a second but I've got a bigger piece of news.  I finally decided when (roughly) we're going to move.

I'm aiming to have us up and running at the new building by Spring of next year.  Specifically, by May.  That is, granted, a long way off from now but at least there's a date.  Or, at least a month.

Why so long?  Well, here's the thing -- we need to get the two big jobs finished (the bathroom and the new front wall).  Both are pretty far along but, once that's done, there's still quite a lot to do.  I'd like to get the basement office in reasonable shape because trying to do that after we've moved would just be a whole lot of not-fun.  Also, there are some bits and pieces of work that will also need doing (reworking the stairway to the basement, getting the final electrical in place, and so on).  But the big one is building the shelves.  There are quite a lot of them to build and, speaking from experience, that's a time-consuming process.  Plus, there are bound to be delays as we go.  So yeah, I think that May is about right.  We'll see if that lasts, eh?

September Bestsellers

Hardcovers

1. The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz
2. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
3. The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire
4. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
5. A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
6. Jade War by Fonda Lee
7. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
8.  The Institute by Stephen King
9. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
10. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Trade Paperbacks

1. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
3. Time Shards: Shatter War by Dana Fredsti and David Fitzgerald
4. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu
5. Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe
6. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
7. A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
8. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
9. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
10. The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin, translated by Joel Martinsen

Mass Market Paperbacks

1. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
2. Dune by Frank Herbert
3. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
4. Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio
5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
6. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
7. Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
8. Neuromancer by William Gibson
9. Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
10. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

October News

* Overheard in the Store:

"At one point in history you could certainly read every science fiction & fantasy title that came out that year. Now you can't even read all the Seanan McGuire titles that come out in a year!"

"What house are you in?  Gryffindor?  Like everybody.  I'm in Slytherin, obviously."

"It's low-level and hilarious vegan propaganda, TBH."

"I just need to find an ancient Babylonian oatmeal recipe RIGHT NOW!"

"I think it's really creative what this guy did with dried noodles."

"Please don't kill people.  It would be rude."

"Tentacles are coming.  Paint is drying."

"As a friend of mine once sniffed, 'Suburban bondage'."

"That's the name of my new punk band --'Stalin's Unicorns'."

"This is the sort of book you put on your coffee table to find out who your real friends are."

* Huge congratulations to Alex and JoAnne!  Alex proposed to JoAnne at Borderlands on Tuesday, October 1st with a custom-made book that celebrates their story.  We wish them a lifetime of happiness!  You can see pictures of the happy couple (and that adorable book) on our Twitter feed, @borderlands_sf.

* Bay News Rising talked to Alan about Borderlands' new building and discussed the difficulties of small businesses purchasing them: https://baynewsrising.org/2019/08/19/small-business-survival-tactic-own-your-own-building/

September 04, 2019

Upcoming Events

Tyler Hayes, THE IMAGINARY CORPSE (Angry Robot, Trade Paperback, $12.99) Tuesday, September 10th at 6:00 pm

Informal signing with D.J. Butler (WITCHY KINGDOM, Baen, Hardcover, $25.00) Christopher Husberg (FEAR THE STARS, Titan Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95) and Christopher Ruocchio (THE HOWLING DARK, DAW, Hardcover, $27.00) Thursday, September 12th at 6:00 pm

Fonda Lee, JADE WAR (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) with Megan E. O'Keefe (VELOCITY WEAPON, Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, September 14th at 3:00 pm

Chad Stroup, SEXY LEPER (Bizarro Pulp Press, Trade Paperback, $13.95) Sunday, September 15th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) with authors Christopher Brown and Hannu Rajaniemi, Sunday, September 15th at 6:30 pm

Dana Fredsti & David Fitzgerald, TIME SHARDS: SHATTER WAR (Titan Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, September 28th at 3:00 pm

Annalee Newitz, THE FUTURE OF ANOTHER TIMELINE (Tor Books, Hardcover, $26.99) Sunday, September 29th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) with author Garth Nix, Wednesday, October 2nd at 6:30 pm

Marie Brennan, TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, October 5th at 3:00 pm

And coming up in the Fall, stay turned for more Writers With Drinks, the fabulous Litquake Lit Crawl, Rudy Rucker, Brent Weeks, and many more excellent authors!

September Building Update

Big news, in several ways, this month.  First off, not only is the framing for the bathroom completed but, yesterday, I met with our structural engineer and he signed off on his final inspection.  Which means that the whole, big, complicated structural job that we started over a year ago in the basement is completed, from an engineering standpoint.  He said that it was a very nice job and that everything looked great.

This is a big milestone not just for the obvious reasons but also because it marks the end of the section of the job that I had no experience doing.  The blessedly innocent Alan of 2018 knew nothing of I-beams, steel-reinforced foundations, engineered lumber, or how to get a 400 lb. beam 13 feet in the air.  He also never considered that he would not only be intimately familiar with the Simpson Company catalog, but that he would own his own dog-eared copy of it!

August Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. Reticence by Gail Carriger
2. Exhalation by Ted Chiang
3. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
4. Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson
5. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
6. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
7. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
8. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
9. Dark Age by Pierce Brown
10. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu
2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
3. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
4. Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe
5. A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
6. The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin, translated by Joel Martinsen
7. The Power by Naomi Alderman
8. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? By N.K. Jemisin
9. Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
10. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

 Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Dune by Frank Herbert
2. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
3. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
4. Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
5. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
6. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
7. Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
8. Neuromancer by William Gibson
9. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
10. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

September News

* Overheard in the Store:

"Don't worry, it only _looks_ haunted."

"It didn't actually end, it just ran out of chapters.”

"Like I'd let some wimpy ghost best me in a fight. I will die by the hands of Al Capone's fat ghost or I will NEVER DIE."

"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data."

"I really wish there was someone smarter than me around to deal with it."
"I understand, but sometimes being a grownup means you're all the smart you’ve got, and you just have to do your best."

* Dell Magazines has elected to change the name of the John W. Campbell Award to The Astounding Award for Best New Writer, following Jeannette Ng's award acceptance speech at the Hugos, and much discussion in the field: https://theastoundinganalogcompanion.com/2019/08/27/a-statement-from-the-editor/ .  (The full text of Ms. Ng's speech is here, if you missed it: https://medium.com/@nettlefish/john-w-campbell-for-whom-this-award-was-named-was-a-fascist-f693323d3293)

* Congratulations to all of the Hugo Award nominees and winners! http://www.thehugoawards.org/

* A crashed Israeli lunar lander accidentally scattered microscopic "water bears" on the moon: https://www.wired.com/story/a-crashed-israeli-lunar-lander-spilled-tardigrades-on-the-moon/

August 07, 2019

Upcoming Events

Gail Carriger, RETICENCE (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) Tuesday, August 6th at 6:00 pm

Michael Blumlein, LONGER (Tor.com, Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Paul Park, A CITY MADE OF WORDS (PM Press, Trade Paperback, $14.00) Saturday, August 10th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Lynn Breedlove,  Sarah Rose Etter, Vanessa Hua, Seth Katz, Brandon Melendez, and Namwali Serpell, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders! Saturday, August 10th at 7:30 pm

CANCELLED - Seanan McGuire, THE UNKINDEST TIDE (DAW, Hardcover, $26.00) Saturday, September 7th at 5:00 pm

Fonda Lee, JADE WAR (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) in conversation with Megan E. O'Keefe, VELOCITY WEAPON (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, September 14th at 3:00 pm

Chad Stroup, SEXY LEPER (Bizarro Pulp Press, Trade Paperback, $13.99) Sunday, September 15th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with authors Mike Chen and Hannu Rajaniemi, hosted by Terry Bisson, Sunday, September 15th at 6:30 pm

Dana Fredsti and David Fitzgerald, SHATTER WAR (Titan, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, September 28th at 3:00 pm

Annalee Newitz, THE FUTURE OF ANOTHER TIMELINE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Sunday, September 29th at 3:00 pm

August Building Update

by Alan Beatts

Last month I mentioned that I was going to be meeting with a specialist contractor about removing the flooring in the new store.  The flooring itself isn't a problem, but the tile and adhesive on it is.  Both contain asbestos, as is pretty typical for old tile.  Though one solution would be to simply cover it up with a new floor, I don't really want to go that route for a couple of reasons.  First off, adding a layer to the existing floor will (obviously) raise the height.  That increased height becomes a problem because we need to meet the sidewalk outside the shop without too much of a slope because of accessibility requirements.  At the current floor height we can just make it without having to build a ramp and add a handrail.  If we add even 3/4", I don't think we can manage it.

Secondly, asbestos is not very nice stuff.  There aren't a whole lot of construction materials that give me the creeps but asbestos is one of them.  If we don't take the floor out now, there's never going to be a good time to do it.  On top of that, any time we need to work on the floor in the future (like drill a hole through it for an electrical line or some speaker wiring) we'll have to deal with the asbestos risk.

The estimate to remove the floor is around $9000.  Adding the cost of a new, lovely fir floor (much like what we have in the current store), the total is probably going to be around $20,000.  That's a steep price-tag but I think I'm going to do it.  The floor is probably the absolutely hardest thing to replace after we open and so I feel like getting a truly permanent job done is in our best interests.  The schedule for that job is a bit up in the air since I need to figure out how it'll fit with the other work we're doing.  I expect that it will happen after we have the bathroom framed and the light well closed up.  Having those two jobs done will make the asbestos removal easier and it will also make it much simpler to clear everything out of the place (because we can store a bunch of the stuff inside the bathroom rather than moving it to the back yard).

Speaking of the bathroom, last weekend we got a huge amount of work done on the framing.  Almost all the walls are in place (and they all fit properly, thank goodness) and I'll be working on the final touches all this week.

Also on the bathroom topic, my meeting with our plumber, Brian Fusco, went really well.  He's a total pro and I'm looking forward to working with him.  He also gets our goal of really making sure that everything is in solid shape from the outset, even if it'll cost a little more.  So, it's looking like we'll have, for the first time ever, a shop with a completely top-notch electrical and plumbing system.  Oh, and a roof that doesn't leak.  I'm not sure that, after the past 20 years, I'll know what to make of that.

Before you ask, sorry, but still no opening date.  There are still too many moving parts for anything I say to be better than a wild-ass-guess.