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

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.

July Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
2. Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
3. Exhalation by Ted Chiang
4. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
5. The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
6. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
7. Atmosphaera Incognita by Neal Stephenson
8. Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
9. The Knife by Jo Nesbo
10. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu
3. Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe
4. The Power by Naomi Alderman
5. A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
6. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
7. Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
8. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
9. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
10. Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Dune by Frank Herbert
2. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
3. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
4. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
5. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
7. Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
8. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
9. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
10. Neuromancer by William Gibson

August News

* Overheard in the Bookstore:

"I'm sorry, but you need to leave RIGHT NOW, because you're not actually wearing pants."

"He looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, as possessed by the spirit of Ernest Hemingway."

"She's a library."
"She works in a library?"
"No, she IS a library."

"What is the duck for?"
"I think it's just a Breast Cancer Awareness duck."

"You _can't_ just go to the bathroom at Jurassic Park in the rain."

"Schadenfreude isn't just a river in Egypt."
"Right. [pause] Wait; what?"

"It's the best pop-culture writing of the last 30 years -- it's got a zombie ska band!"

"Tom Waits is mid-life crisis music for goths."

* A decent article about the creative things San Francisco comic stores have done to survive, with a dire headline: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/SF-comic-book-sellers-hang-on-hoping-each-laugh-14092674.php

* Speaking of doing creative things to survive. . . Probably because we had just announced that we were closing the Cafe and people were understandably distracted, a bunch of folks missed this link when we first posted it.  Freethink Media created an awesome video on Borderlands' and Mission Comics and Arts' respective sponsorship programs and our survival models for unconventional retail!  Watch it (among other excellent reasons) to see Alan looking Very Serious Indeed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=mQD1y2yORPQ

* A really lovely post by Jud Meyers (of North Hollywood's Blast Off Comics, which sadly closed at the end of July) about the rewards of being able to give the gift of books (and comic books), and secondarily about why there were never any posters obscuring Blast Off's windows: http://www.blastoffcomics.com/2019/07/four-letter-words/

* Beloved author James A. Moore could use some financial help for medical expenses, if you can assist: https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-author-james-a-moore

July 18, 2019

Welcome David Fitzgerald!

Hiring staff for Borderlands Books is something we do far less often then once in a blue moon!  So we’re happy to mark this rare occurrence and welcome our newest employee, David Fitzgerald, to the party.  David is an author, editor, animal lover and sword fighter, among other esoteric talents, and so he’s a great fit for Borderlands.  He’s written everything from nonfiction to science fiction to erotica & more under a few different pen names, so in addition to his solid “book knowledge”, is a great resource for aspiring writers.  David was a Borderlands sponsor for years, and also volunteered doing construction work at the Haight Street building (before he started working Sundays on Valencia!)  Please give him a warm hello when you’re next in the store (and ask him for a book recommendation).

Upcoming Events

Writers With Drinks (The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco) with authors Natasha Dennerstein, Sarah Gailey, Helen Phillips, Troy Jollimore, Grace Lavery, and Gabby Rivera, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, Saturday, July 13th at 7:30 pm

LitCrawl Junior with authors Kalyn Josephson, Katy Rose Pool, and Shannon Price, Sunday, July 14th at 3:30 pm

SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Vy Kaftan and Megan E. O'Keefe, moderated by Terry Bisson, Sunday, July 21st at 6:30 pm

Charlie Jane Anders, Meg Elison, Shaenon K. Garrity, and Richard Kadrey, WASTELANDS: THE NEW APOCALYPSE (Titan Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95) Saturday, August 3rd at 3:00 pm

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

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

July Building Update

by Alan Beatts

Things are going well with the construction at the new building.  At the beginning of the month, PG&E hooked up the new electrical service.  Despite all the delays and torturous steps to get there, the actual hook-up went very smoothly.  We started at nine and were done by noon.  The PG&E crew were very pleasant and professional.  We shared a couple of jokes at the expense of office and engineering staff, mostly along the lines of, "They don't get it, don't get it right, and waste time.  Thank goodness there are people like us doing the actual work who have a clue."

We've still got two long days ahead switching out the panels for each of the apartments upstairs but, once that's done, the big electrical work is finished. We'll still need to do the wiring for the bookstore but that's a quite simple job.  This week I put in four extra temporary circuits (so we can run a saw and the compressor at the same time without tripping a breaker) and it took me all of about two hours to do.  The final wiring will be a bit more time-consuming but not by much.

Since that work was done, last Sunday we were able to finally tear out the big post in the middle of the store that used to hold the old service.  Having that gone really opened up the space a lot and now I can actually see what it's going to look like.  It's going to be awfully good.  Despite being a tiny bit smaller than our current space, I think it's going to _look_ bigger.

I've got several meetings next week that will move us even further forward.  First I'm meeting on Monday with an asbestos abatement specialist.  I'll get a quote from him to pull all the old floor and tiles that are a problem.  I'm hopeful that the price will be within reach because, after looking over the place, really the best solution is to remove the entire floor and replace it.  With the asbestos out of the way, that's not actually a very hard job and it'll give us a beautiful, strong floor that will last for decades to come.

I'm also meeting with our plumber, Brian Fusco, to get the bathroom work scheduled.  He's a referral from my buddy Bruno, a general contractor here in town who has never steered me wrong.  I'm looking forward to meeting Brian.  Based on our email conversations, he's definitely our sort of people.

The rest of this month will be mostly filled up with completing the framing for the bathroom and, if all goes well, getting a start on framing the new front of the building.

June Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson
2. Exhalation by Ted Chiang
3. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
4. The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
5. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
6. Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey
7. Lent by Jo Walton
8. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
9. Stealing Worlds by Karl Schroeder
10. A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu
3. The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz
4. A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
5. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
6. The Power by Naomi Alderman
7. Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone
8. Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
9. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
10. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
2. Dune by Frank Herbert
3. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
5. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
6. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
7. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
8. Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
9. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
10. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

July News

* Overheard in the store:

"I love the smell of books. It smells so good in here! I want to bottle it and wear it as a perfume."

"I've only met one person ever who didn't like GOOD OMENS, and I didn't trust them."
"It's like people who never say the f-word, or who dislike dogs!"

"She said that worrying was like praying for something you don't want."

"She sold her soul for a toaster oven."
"So... what I'm hearing is that Wiccans shouldn't drink."

"Repeatedly forgetting your PIN is an excellent way to save money."

"I'm turning my life in a new direction: Horizontal."

"You can't discriminate against someone based on their Hogwarts' House!"

* Locus Magazine is hosting a Writing Master Class with author Andy Duncan!  July 21, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Locus Magazine HQ in downtown Oakland.  The cost is $150.00.  Details and sign up here: https://locusmag.com/locus-bay-area-writers-workshop-writing-master-class-with-andy-duncan-july-2019/

* Local author (and Borderlands sponsor) Charlie Jane Anders did a marvelous interview with the Huffington Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/charlie-jane-anders-crosses-the-divide_n_5cdc281ae4b0437438c5290e

* Congratulations to Irene Gallo, who has been promoted to Vice President, Publisher of Tor.com! https://www.tor.com/2019/06/20/irene-gallo-promoted-to-vice-president-publisher-of-tor-com/

Upcoming Events

Ferrett Steinmetz, THE SOL MAJESTIC (Tor, Trade Paperback, $16.99) Saturday, June 22nd at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at the Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco) with authors Natasha Dennerstein, Sarah Gailey, Helen Phillips, Troy Jollimore, Grace Lavery, and Gabby Rivera, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, Saturday, July 13th at 7:30 pm

SF in SF with authors Vylar Kaftan and Megan E. O'Keefe (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) Sunday, July 21st at 6:30 pm

Charlie Jane Anders, Meg Elison, Shaenon K. Garrity, and Richard Kadrey, WASTELANDS: THE NEW APOCALYPSE (Titan Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95 ) Saturday, August 3rd at 3:00 pm

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, $14.99) Saturday, August 10th at 3:00 pm