January 25, 2019

Sponsorships and Building News

by Alan Beatts

Welcome to 2019 Everyone!

As you can tell, this newsletter is _horribly_ late.  And it's all my fault.  January is usually a bit busy and crazy but this one has been a record-breaker.  I've been trying to write something articulate for the past two weeks and all that has come out was "mumble, sponsorships, mumble, new roof, mumble, mumble, mumble".  So, I'm not going to be articulate very much at all (I'll try that next month, which will be here in . . . six days!?!!).

It's a new year and so, once again, we're soliciting sponsorships for 2019.  We do this every year so we can stay open.  We need to have 300 sponsors (at $100 each) by March 31st or we'll close.  Full story here - http://borderlands-sponsors.blogspot.com/p/why-sponsorships.html .  Benefits here - http://borderlands-sponsors.blogspot.com/p/sponsor-benefits-and-privilidges.html .  On-line signup here - https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship19.html .  Or you can sign up by mail, or in person at the shop.

We've been working on the building at Haight Street a lot.  We've got a new roof, some big structural work almost complete (last bits to do in the basement and ground floor structural work 50% done), the garden is looking great (pictures up at the blog soon), and we're just about to start the new electrical service installation.  It continues to go slow but very well.

And that's all I've got right now.  I hope that 2019 is treating you better than it's treating me (insert wry smile here) and I hope to see you around the shop sometime soon.

Upcoming Events

Rudy Rucker, RETURN TO THE HOLLOW EARTH (Transreal Books, Trade Paperback, $13.95 and Hardcover, $22.95) and others, and art show premiere! Saturday, January 26th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Charlie Jane Anders, Gayle Brandeis, Chris Denson, Laleh Khadivi, and Lisa Margonelli, Saturday, February 9th at 7:30 pm

SF in SF (at The American Bookbinder's Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with authors Nick Mamatas and Anya Martin, hosted by Terry Bisson, Sunday, February 24th at 6:30 pm

CANCELLED - Ann Leckie, THE RAVEN TOWER (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00)  - CANCELLED

December Bestsellers

Hard Cover
1) Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin
2) How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
3) The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
4) Rejoice, a Knife to the Heart by Steven Erikson
5) Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
6) Thin Air by Richard Morgan
7) Worlds Seen in Passing edited by Irene Gallo
8) Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
9) Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
10) So Far, So Good: Final Poems by Ursula K. Le Guin

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2) The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
3) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans by Ken Liu
4)  Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
5) All Systems Red by Martha Wells
6) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
7) The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
8) Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
9) Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence by Michael Marshall Smith
10) Space Opera by Cat Valente

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
2) The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
3) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
4) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
5) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
6) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
7) Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
8) Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire
9) The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
10) Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

January News

* Overheard in the Store:
"The Pope's never seen _my_ meat!"

* Local author Nick Mamatas is teaching a Fabulist Fiction course at WeWork Golden Gate, 25 Taylor St., San Francisco.  There are six sessions and it starts THIS Saturday, January 12th.  The cost is $395.  Details and sign up here: https://sfwriting.institute/portfolio/fabulist_fiction/

* A very interesting article on the way young Muslims are finding a sense of belonging in science fiction. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/28/young-muslims-find-meaning-and-inspiration-science-fiction-novels/2413653002/

* io9 has gotten together a list of the fictional people, shows and comics that we lost in 2018. R.I.P. https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-fictional-people-and-things-we-lost-in-2018-1831260333

* How many science fiction predictions for 2019 came true?  How many didn't?  (We will probably always be mad at the absence of flying cars and teleportation devices.) https://triblive.com/business/technology/14448704-74/science-fiction-predictions-right-and-wrong-about-2019

* A new science-fiction magazine, "Dreamforge", with a theme of optimism, survival and hope, will be coming out of Pittsburgh in 2019. https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2018/12/27/science-fiction-magazine-takes-off-in-pittsburgh.html

December 12, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide

by Jude Feldman

Hello All and Sundry!

This year seems to have flown by.  The explanation I've heard for the seeming acceleration of time I'm experiencing is that as we age, time seems to go by faster, because any given amount of time is a smaller fraction than it used to be of your life overall (i.e. when you're five years old, one year is one-fifth of your life, but when you're thirty-five, one year is a thirty-fifth of your life, so it is comparatively a much shorter time).  Regardless of why it happens, recognizing this disconcerting speeding up is a reminder to me to enjoy all the time we've got as best we can.  I'm working on it, and in that spirit -- I wish you all the very best, and hope that this season and next year both treat you all very well, and that you have much to celebrate both now and in the future!

As we hurtle seemingly increasingly quickly toward this gift-giving season, we here present our usual Opinionated (and Digression-Filled) Gift Guide to help you out.  However, if you don't see something appropriate here, we're always happy to make custom suggestions for you or anyone in your life.  We'll even wrap 'em for you!  (A special note to those of you purchasing presents: we're glad to gift wrap upon request, although our typical caveats apply: first, if we're busy, you may have to wait a bit to have things wrapped, and, second, some staff members are MUCH better than others at it.  It is possible that your package may resemble a brightly wrapped Lovecraft-ian, batrachian, rugose, Thing of No Human Shape.  For some customers, this is not a problem . . ."better than I can do!," they say.  However, if you are concerned about our, ahem, abilities, we're also happy to just hand you the gift wrap, scissors and tape.)

Onward!

Upcoming Events

Adam Plantinga, POLICE CRAFT (Quill Driver Books, Trade Paperback, $16.95) Thursday, January 10th at 6:00 pm

Writers With Drinks (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors John Briscoe, Izzy Oneiric, Simon Sheppard, and Colin Winnette, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders! Saturday, January 12th at 7:30 pm

BCAF (Black and Brown Comix Arts Festival), at the San Francisco Public Library and City View at Metreon, Sunday, January 20th from 1:00 - 5:00 pm, and Monday, January 21st from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

SF in SF (at The American Bookbinder's Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with authors Howard Hendrix, Cecelia Holland, and Kim Stanley Robinson, hosted by Terry Bisson, Sunday, January 20th at 6:00 pm

Rudy Rucker, RETURN TO THE HOLLOW EARTH (Transreal Books, Trade Paperback, $13.95 and Hardcover, $22.95) and others, and art show premiere! Saturday, January 26th at 3:00 pm

December Building Update

by Alan Beatts

Here we are at the end of another year.  It's been an interesting one for Borderlands, in the good, bad, and ugly(-ish) ways.  Mostly good, however.

Obviously, the biggest thing going on for us is the slow process of moving.  As regular readers know, I had expected the process to move faster, but the logic of doing the work ourselves versus hiring contractors has made the process slower but much, much cheaper.  All in all, it's to our advantage, but it has made for a substantially longer process that I expected going into it.  

Last month was the one year anniversary of starting work and it's kind of fun to look back on all that we've done.  Some of the highlights have been:

Taking a mass of ivy and concrete in the backyard and turning it into a set of lovely planters with actual plants growing in them.

Replacing the falling-down plywood and scrap around the yard with new redwood fences.

Building a shearwall across the back of the building so that it will withstand earthquakes much better than before.

Nailing reinforcing clips on to the ceiling joists to further improve the seismic resistance of the building.  Forty-five joists, four clips per joist, eight nails per clip, for a total of 1440 nails.  That is, in contractor terms, a s**t-ton of nails.

November Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1) Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
2) The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
3) Soulless: Illustrated Edition by Gail Carriger
4) Rejoice, a Knife to the Heart by Steven Erikson
5) Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin
6) Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross
7) How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
8) Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey
9) The Monster Baru Comorant by Seth Dickinson
10) Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans by Ken Liu
3) The Omega Objection by Gail Carriger
4) The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
5) All Systems Red by Martha Wells
6) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
7) Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence by Michael Marshall Smith
8) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
9) Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
10) The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
2) Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
3) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
4) The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
5) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
6) Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
7) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
8) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
9) Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
10) The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

December News

* R.I.P. to Stan Lee, the creator of so many famous superheroes and a man who inspired many people: https://www.tor.com/2018/11/12/stan-lee-1922-2018/

* We're sorry to report the death of William Goldman, Oscar-winning screenwriter and more importantly, author of THE PRINCESS BRIDE. https://variety.com/2018/film/news/william-goldman-dead-dies-butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid-1203030474/

* We're extremely sorry to hear that Endgame in Oakland will be closing at the end of January.  Please drop by and give them some support this month to assist with their closing expenses -- pick up a board or card game or a miniature, and also let them know they'll be sorely missed. http://www.endgameoakland.com/

* The classic vampire book THE GILDA STORIES by Jewelle Gomez is being adapted for TV by Cheryl Dunye and we are so excited.  Pick up the collection now while you can. https://shadowandact.com/afrofuturistic-novel-on-bisexual-vampire-the-gilda-stories-is-being-developed-for-tv-by-cheryl-dunye

December 10, 2018

The Tale of The Beam: A Cautionary and Epistolary Discourse for the Burgeoning Contractor

by Alan Beatts

May XXth, 2018

Dear Mr. Welder,

It was a pleasure meeting you today and having the chance to check the rough set-up for the I-beam you are fabricating for me.  I was doubly glad to visit so that I could draw your attention to the following:

The three pairs of tabs for the posts were all something other than the specified 5 1/2" apart.  Since this dimension is critical if the posts are going to fit properly, I appreciate your attention to their correct spacing.  Though I respect the artistic "organic" quality of spacing each pair at a unique distance, I would prefer a more "mechanical" or even "precise" interpretation of the work.

The holes in those tabs were located a very precise inch lower than specified.  Though I'm sure that you, as a welder, and I, as a bookseller, are both correct that it's not an important consideration; Matthew, as a structural engineer, does not seem to agree and so I think we should subjugate our shared opinion to his.

There was also the pesky matter that the tabs for the middle post (along with the associated reinforcements) were located more than the indicated distance from the joint between the two sections of beam.  Though I'm sure that the planned connection of that joint by three 7/8" bolts will perfectly match the strength of the rest of the beam (the full height and 18-lbs-per-foot of hot-rolled steel), it seems that Matthew, spoil sport that he is, thinks that it would be wise for the joint to be supported by a post that is located _close_ to the joint.

I'm very glad that the final welding had not been completed and so it will be "easy", as you assured me, to correct these oversights.  Though you have informed me that there is, currently, in your possession, the full set of engineering drawings that I provided at the beginning of the job, please don't hesitate to ask for another copy if needed.

Warmly,
Alan Beatts