July 09, 2014

How Sharing Becomes Exclusionary

by Alan Beatts

A common idea in science fiction is the post-scarcity society; one in which energy is so cheap and manufacturing involves so little effort that, for all intents, physical property and goods are no longer in limited supply and, as a result, have little or no cost (and, by extension, no value).  Voyage To Yesteryear by James Hogan is one of my favorites but you'll find examples in the works of Ken MacLeod, Iain M. Banks, Robert Heinlein (as is often the case, ahead of his time), and many other authors.  A feature of many of these societies is a real sharing economy in which, once a person no longer needs an item, it is passed along to another or just abandoned in a public place for the next person who needs it.  Another feature of some of these societies is a sort of curious disdain for people who want to collect possessions regardless of their need for them.

People often comment that we are living in the world of science fiction.  Day-to-day features of our lives were elements of SF only a decade ago (smart phones, self-driving cars, and facial recognition software are all fine examples).  I suppose that the current rise in the "sharing economy" as exemplified by companies like Uber and Airbnb could be mistaken as the early days of the science fictional post-scarcity shared property society.  But it's not.  In fact, it's more like a horrible dystopian novel by someone like Richard Morgan, Philip K. Dick or even George Orwell.

June Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton
2. CIBOLA BURN by James S. A. Corey
3. SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher
4. CALIFORNIA BONES by Greg Van Eekhout
5. THE THREE by Sarah Lotz
6. ROGUES edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois
7. ARTEMIS AWAKENING by Jane Lindskold
8. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
9. WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT by Jo Walton
10. AFTERPARTY by Daryl Gregory

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George RR Martin
2. NEPTUNE'S BROOD by Charles Stross
3. WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss
4. DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
5. APOCALYPSE CODEX by Charles Stross
6. DEADSHIFTED by Cassie Alexander
7. HALF-OFF RAGNAROK by Seanan McGuire
8. LONDON FALLING by Paul Cornell
9. IMPULSE by Steven Gould
10. MEMORY OF LIGHT by Brandon Sanderson

Trade Paperbacks
1. OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman
2. HOMELAND by Cory Doctorow
3. ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie
4. RITHMATIST by Brandon Sanderson
5. TIME TRAVELER'S ALMANAC edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer tie with ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer

July News Roundup

*Overheard in the Store:
"Have you been watching 'Game of Thrones'?" "I gave up 'cause I'm tired of their bullsh*t."
"I feel kinda weird. I feel the way something strangely compelling tastes."
"Teach me the ways of love, squishy poet from beyond the stars."
5 year-old: "Mom, I basically have memories from 50 years ago." Mom: "You weren't born yet." 5 year-old: "THIS me wasn't, but I remember."
"You get a bunch of artists together in a room for a board meeting…Now THAT'S a stupid idea."

Do you remember Borderlands Press' wonderful Little Books series?  They've just announced a second series of Little Books, and according to the announcement, they "are contracting with 15 popular writers to do Little Books Series II, and currently have the following writers on board: David J. Schow, Ed Gorman, Jack Ketchum, Dennis Etchison, Rick Hautala, David Morrell, Ray Garton, Ed Lee, Karl Wagner, Chet Williamson, Laird Barron, Poppy Z. Brite, and Joe Hill. (several more writers to follow). All volumes in the series will be signed and numbered and limited to 500 copies. If you have buyers who want the same number throughout, we can accommodate."  The books retail for $30 each.  Please call us or email us if you'd like to subscribe and purchase all of the volumes of this very collectible and fun series.  More info about the series here: http://borderlandspress.com/coming-soon-series-ii-of-our-little-books/

July Upcoming Events

Juliet Blackwell, A VISION IN VELVET (Signet, Mass Market, $7.99), Kate Carlisle, THE BOOK STOPS HERE (Obsidian, Hardcover, $24.95), and Gigi Pandian, PIRATE VISHNU (Henery Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Saturday July 12th at 3:00 pm

MP Johnson, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS (Eraserhead Press, Trade Paperback, $10.95) Sunday July 13th at 3:00 pm

Richard Lupoff, WRITER VOL. 1 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $18.00 and Hardcover, $32.00), WRITER VOL. 2 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $20.00 and Hardcover, $32.00) & WHAT IF? VOL. 3 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $18.00 and Hardcover, $32.00), Saturday July 19th at 3:00 pm

EVENT CANCELLED: Michael J. Martinez, THE ENCELADUS CRISIS (Night Shade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday July 26th at 3:00 pm 

Serena Valentino, THE BEAST WITHIN (Disney Press, Hardcover, $16.99) Saturday July 26th at 5:00 pm

Tobias S. Buckell, HURRICANE FEVER (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday July 27th at 3:00 pm

Joe Abercrombie, HALF A KING (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.00) Monday July 28th at 7:00 pm

Glen Hirshberg, MOTHERLESS CHILD (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Saturday August 2nd at 3:00 pm

Katharine Kerr, SORCERER'S FEUD (Osel Books, Trade Paperback, $14.50) Saturday August 23rd at 3:00 pm

Kelli Stanley, CITY OF GHOSTS (Minotaur, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday August 23rd at 5:00 pm

Brent Weeks, THE BROKEN EYE (Orbit, Hardcover, $28.00) Thursday August 28th at 7:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

And stay tuned for more exciting readings and signings, including Dana Fredsti, Ray Garton, and John Scalzi in September!

Dispatches From The Border: July 2014

Events and News from Borderlands Books

Editor's Note - We have started changing the way we reproduce and distribute this newsletter. The entire newsletter is posted and archived at our blog <http://borderlands-books.blogspot.com/>.

The current newsletter is also reproduced in full at our website, and is distributed via email. You can view the current newsletter, and subscribe to the email version of at  <http:///www.borderlands-books.com/>.

June 13, 2014

Initimtable Small Trouble Must Die Past Midnight

What the staff is reading this week:

Alan: "PETER PAN MUST DIE by John Verdon."

Cary: "THE BEST OF CONNIE WILLIS, and THE INIMITABLE JEEVES by P.G. Wodehouse."

Claud:"TROUBLE AND HER FRIENDS and SHADOW MAN, by Melissa Scott (rereads); THE DAYS OF ANNA MADRIGAL, by Armistead Maupin; MOTHER CAMP: Female Impersonators In America, by Esther Newton (*wonderful*); TOKYO VICE: An American Reporter On The Police Beat In Japan, by Jake Adelstein; LIFE AFTER LIFE, by Kate Atkinson; COMPLICATED WOMEN, by Mick LaSalle; KARMA, AS A FAVOR, NOT EXACTLY A BRAHMIN, TOO CLOSE TO THE EDGE, A DINNER TO DIE FOR, DIAMOND IN THE BUFF, and DEATH AND TAXES, by Susan Dunlap (rereads); SEDUCTIVE CINEMA: The Art Of Silent Film, by James Card."

Devany: THE THREE by Sarah Lotz, IT; NIGHT SHIFT; THE LONG WALK; and FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT by Stephen King.

Jude: "BANGKOK 8 by John Burdett, THIN AIR; CHANCE; and SMALL VICES by Robert Parker. Just finished an advance copy of LOCK IN by John Scalzi, (EXCELLENT!) and I'm currently reading BROKEN MONSTERS by Lauren Beukes (creepy and marvelous)."

June 07, 2014

What Sword and Sorcery Is To Me

by Jeremy Lassen

For a long time I've heard various fantasy labels used interchangeably.  High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery . . . with newer bastardizations thrown in like Low Fantasy and Dark Fantasy, and, absurdly, Grim-Dark Fantasy.  Oftentimes, a favorite label is just a shorthand for "stuff I like" with a hodge-podge of disparate works crammed into a poorly-fitting box.

The only truly useful and pretty clearly delineated labels I know of for the fantasy genre are Portal Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy, and Historical Fantasy.  A good example of Portal Fantasy is The Chronicles of Narnia.  There is OUR world and there is a world where fantastic stuff takes place that is categorically NOT our world, and there is some artifact, or device, or doorway (a portal of sorts) that connects the two.

Secondary World Fantasy is what most people think of when they think of fantasy fiction.  It's Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series: a world that is a close analog to ours, but it is NOT ours, and doesn't pretend to be.

Historical Fantasy is the fantasy that purports to take place in our world but has elements of the fantastic intruding into it.  Arthurian fiction of all stripes fall into this category.

May Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal
2. Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
3. Hild by Nicola Griffith
4. Velveteen vs. the Multiverse by Seanan McGuire
5. The Martian by Andy Weir
6. Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan
7. Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
8. Shipstar by Gregory Benford & Larry Niven
9. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
10. Descent by Ken MacLeod

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2. Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
3. Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
5. Snuff by Terry Pratchett
6. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
7. Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
8. The Seven-Petaled Shield by Deborah J. Ross
9. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly
10. The Long War by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

Trade Paperbacks
1. Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
3. Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
4. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samamtar
5. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

May News Roundup

 *  Overheard in the Store:
"The moral of the story is pretty much 'Gravity wins'."
"It's worse . . . they don't show up and break your kneecaps, they come to your house and repossess your cat."

 *  Overheard at the Nebulas
"I don't think I trust squid from a truck."
"But he was seated next to [famous & famously grumpy author], so anyone looks like Santa Claus that way."
"Yay, San Jose. The Gateway to Gilroy."
"Oooh -- robot curtains!"
"I just want to make it perfectly clear that I don't know f**k about s** t."

Lots and lots of award news:

 *  Congratulations to Ann Leckie for winning both the Clarke Award AND the Nebula Award for Best Novel, ANCILLARY JUSTICE. http://www.clarkeaward.com/previous-awards/2014-clarke-award/2014-winner/

 *  Congratulations to the other Nebula winners as well, Vylar Kaftan, Aliette de Boddard and Rachel Swirsky! And to Nalo Hopkinson who won the Andre Norton Award for YA. http://www.sfwa.org/2014/02/2013-nebula-nominees-announced/

 *  Finalists for the 2014 Sturgeon Memorial Award announced. http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/sturgeon-finalists.htm

 *  Finalists for the 2014 Locus Awards announced. http://www.locusmag.com/News/2014/05/2014-locus-awards-finalists/

 *  Nominees for the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award announced. http://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/nominees/

 *  Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards! http://horror.org/winners-2013-bram-stoker-awards/

 *  Finalists for the 2013 John W. Campbell Award announced. http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/campbell-finalists.htm

And lots of other news!

 *  Harper Collins to buy Harlequin. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/62097-harpercollins-to-buy-harlequin.html

 *  io9.com tells us why the livestock of the future will be insects! http://io9.com/the-livestock-of-the-future-will-be-insects-1579754501

 *  International trailer for the highly anticipated Wachowski siblings new sci-fi epic JUPITER ASCENDING has been released and it looks like it could be awesome. http://sciencefiction.com/2014/05/22/new-jupiter-ascending-international-trailer-wachowskis/

 *  Scientists think that wormholes could be used to send messages through time. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25596-skinny-wormholes-could-send-messages-through-time.html#.U36foC-f_Yd

 *  Joe Hanson, in his ongoing series 'It's Okay To Be Smart', tries to scientifically explain Westeros and Game of Thrones.  It works . . .  somewhat. http://www.itsokaytobesmart.com/post/86252471997/science-of-game-of-thrones

 *  Echidnas are the only mammals (along with the platypus) to hatch from eggs. Watch it happen here. http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/86509597537

 *  io9's animation blog gives us a list of the Most Bad-Ass Women in All Animation and some of the choices are quite surprising at first, but right on target. http://animation.io9.com/these-are-the-most-bad-ass-women-in-all-of-animation-1579248236/+katharinetrendacosta

 *  Alfonso Cuaron, (whose most recent film GRAVITY is amazing) is now rumored to have been offered first refusal rights to direct OVERLOOK HOTEL, the prequel to Stephen King's THE SHINING.  Cuaron is one of the few directors who could probably make this watchable -- let's hope he takes it. http://schmoesknow.com/hot-scoop-will-alfonso-cuaron-book-a-room-at-the-overlook-hotel/23609/

 *  The newest international trailer (Russian) for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY continues to hit the perfect blend of camp and sci-fi awesome. When "Spirit in the Sky" started to play I almost snorted my drink out of my nose. http://sciencefiction.com/2014/05/22/new-guardians-of-the-galaxy-international-trailer-released/

 *  Sincerely epic geek tattoos: http://diply.com/trendyjoe/25-most-epic-geek-tattoos/34484

 *  Borderlands is saddened to announce the death of beloved author Mary Stewart at age 97.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/books/mary-stewart-british-writer-who-spanned-genres-dies-at-97.html?_r=0

 *  The full trailer for DARK DUNGEONS, the Jack Chick tract about playing D&D and Satanism, is out now! http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/86310385726/its-here-the-full-trailer-for-dark-dungeons-the

 *  Happen to have $1.5 million sitting around? You can own the house where Ray Bradbury lived & wrote for 50 years: http://laist.com/2014/05/17/photos_ray_bradburys_cheviot_hills.php#photo-1

 *  We're very sorry to report the death of artist H.R. Giger at age 74. Giger died from injuries sustained in a fall. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/13/hr-giger-dead-alien-artist_n_5314408.html

 *  Tyrion Lannister & Jon Snow get Disney Prince-ified: (caution, spoiler in the text!) http://www.nerdist.com/2014/05/game-of-thrones-tyrion-lannister-and-jon-snow-get-disney-prince-ified/

 *  Looks like Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society Book Club's really taking off http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/may/08/topless-pulp-fiction-appreciation-society-book-club.  We likely won't have one here --  it's too cold!

 *  You may have heard about the recent Amazon / Hachette kerfluffle.  We're following the whole thing closely, but if you'd like an educated overview, here's the place to start:  http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-and-hachette-explained-20140602-story.html

For interesting commentary on what the current conflict could mean for books, ideas and readers in the future, read this:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/how-the-amazon-hachette-fight-could-shape-the-future-of-ideas/371756/

If you'd like an extended look at Amazon's history and business practices (written before the current troubles), here is a really excellent and in-depth article from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_packer?currentPage=all

Lastly, a profoundly less even-handed, but much more profane and entertaining look: http://misterkristoff.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/amazon-hachette-and-flaming-bullshit/ (Thank you to customer Keith B. for the link.)

* We regret to report the death of author Jay Lake on June 1st.  Jay used to come and write in-store in front of an audience, collaborating with artists Alan Clark and Paul Groendes to produce almost-instant books.

June Upcoming Events

Greg van Eekhout, CALIFORNIA BONES, (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Wednesday, June 11th at 7:00 pm

Jo Walton, MY REAL CHILDREN, (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday, June 14th at 3:00 pm

James S.A. Corey, CIBOLA BURN (Orbit, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, June 21st at 3:00 pm

Juliet Blackwell, A VISION IN VELVET (Signet, Mass Market, $7.99) Kate Carlisle, THE BOOK STOPS HERE (New American Library, Hardcover, $24.95), and Gigi Pandian, PIRATE VISHNU (Henery Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Saturday, July 12th at 3:00 pm

MP Johnson, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS (Eraserhead Press, Trade Paperback) Sunday, July 13th at 3:00 pm

Richard Lupoff, WRITER VOL. 1 (Ramble House, Hardcover, $32.00, and Trade Paperback, $18.00), WRITER VOL. 2 (Ramble House, Hardcover, $32.00, and Trade Paperback, $20.00) & WHAT IF? VOL. 3 (Ramble House, Hardcover, $32.00, and Trade Paperback, $18.00) Saturday, July 19th at 3:00 pm