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."


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

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

Dispatches From the Border: June 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/>. At the end of major features in this newsletter you'll find permanent links to those individual items.  These links can be convenient if you want to send just a single article or if you'd like to link to it from your website.

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