August 17, 2015

Upcoming Events

John Scalzi, THE END OF ALL THINGS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) Monday, August 24th at 12:00 pm

Seanan McGuire, A RED-ROSE CHAIN (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 5th at 5:00 pm

Mark Coggins, NO HARD FEELINGS (Down & Out Books, Hardcover, $30.00) Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 pm

Tacos and Tecate with Seanan McGuire, THE DOLL COLLECTION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99), Greg van Eekout, DRAGON COAST (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) and Fran Wilde, UPDRAFT (Tor Books, Hardcover, $25.99) Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm

Russian Avant Garde Art Event with artist Evgeny Avilov and art critic Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph. D., Saturday, September 19th at 6:30 pm

Ian McDonald, LUNA: NEW MOON (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, September 26th at 3:00 pm

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm

And coming up in the Fall, we'll host Greg Bear and Ann Leckie (yes, together!), the fabulous Litquake LitCrawl,  Mira Grant, and many, many others!

John Scalzi, THE END OF ALL THINGS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) Monday, August 24th at 12:00 pm - Spend your Monday lunch break with JOHN SCALZI!  We're always ecstatic to welcome John and revel in his wit, intelligence, charm, and good humor.  In THE END OF ALL THINGS, John returns to the OLD MAN'S WAR universe in a direct sequel to THE HUMAN DIVISION.  John will read a bit, answer as many of your questions as he can, and sign books.  We think you should take a long lunch, skip school, or just "call in Scalzi," but don't miss this one!  More info about the book, including an excerpt, can be found here:

Seanan McGuire, A RED-ROSE CHAIN (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, September 5th at 5:00 pm - Join us to celebrate the newest Toby Daye book with Seanan McGuire and the whole crazy caboodle!  In RED-ROSE CHAIN, October Daye finds herself in the unlikely position of diplomat, trying to avert a war and save herself and her friends in a hostile kingdom where nothing is what it seems.  If you've attended one of Seanan's events before, you know that they are a high-energy, music-filled delight.  If you've never attended one before, now is the perfect time to start!  There will be reading, raffle prizes, and silliness guaranteed.  Get your questions answered, bring your books to be signed, and prepare to sing along!  In addition to her many, many books, we'll also have some of Seanan's super-cool t-shirts available for sale at this event.

Mark Coggins, NO HARD FEELINGS (Down & Out Books, Hardcover, $30.00) Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 pm - Mark Coggins continues the cult classic August Riordin series with this latest thrilling installment!  From the publisher:"Winnie doesn’t remember the last time she felt anything below her neck.  Her spine is severed at the seventh vertebrae, but thanks to implants from a sabotaged biomedical start-up, she has regained mobility.  She is a prototype: a living, breathing -- walking -- demonstration of revolutionary technology that never made it to market.  Her disability has become her armor.  Because she doesn’t register fatigue, she has trained relentlessly.  Her hand, arm, and leg strength are off the scales. . . and she has honed self-defense techniques to channel that strength. . . . When the sociopath who torpedoed the start-up sends killers to harvest the implants from her body, Winnie must team up with broken-down private investigator August Riordan to save both their lives -- and derail sinister plans for perverse military applications of the technology."  We hope you'll come by to meet Mark and check out his awesome new novel.

Tacos and Tecate with Seanan McGuire, THE DOLL COLLECTION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99), Greg van Eekout, DRAGON COAST (Tor Books, Hardcover, $24.99) and Fran Wilde, UPDRAFT (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm - A special treat from Tor Books: a tremendous Tuesday of tacos, Tecate, and three terrific tellers of tales!  We do hope you'll come to check out Seanan's creepy story in the Ellen Datlow-edited anthology THE DOLL COLLECTION, Greg's newest release in the California Bones series, and Fran's exciting debut novel, UPDRAFT.  The authors will discuss and sign their works, hopefully not while holding tacos.  More details to come soon!

Russian Avant Garde Art Event with artist Evgeny Avilov and art critic Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph. D., Saturday, September 19th at 6:30 pm - We hope you can join us for an unusual Modern Russian Avant-Garde event at Borderlands Cafe: "The Arts Resistance is proud to present the watercolor and oil paintings by Evgeny Avilov, the Russian artist behind the infamous "Exorcism at the Mausoleum" and other extreme activism actions of the art collective "Blue Rider."  Based in Moscow, Avilov represents the open opposition, a small number of artists and activists still protesting the authoritarian power at risk of their freedom and life.  Avilov will talk about the lack of freedom of expression, human rights, and rising militarism in Russia.  The Arts Resistance will give a brief presentation on the arts protest movement, reviewing art collectives Pussy Riot, Voina and Blue Rider.  San Francisco-based writers will read their work exploring the theme "Home, Patriotism, and War," and Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph.D., an internationally acclaimed art critic, will make a presentation on Kandinsky, his "Blue Rider" art group and European avant-garde before World War I."  Mr. Avilov's work will be on display in the Cafe until September 30th.  If you are of the Facebook persuasion, RSVP here:

Ian McDonald, LUNA: NEW MOON (Tor, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, September 26th at 3:00 pm - We're delighted to welcome Ian McDonald to Borderlands!  Mr. McDonald is best known for his extremely successful, cerebral science fiction, but he also writes smart, incredibly entertaining space adventure.  Here's the publisher's info for his newest novel: "The Moon wants to kill you.  Whether it’s being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon’s ruling corporations, the Five Dragons.  You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon’s near feudal society.  And that is just what Adriana Corta did.  As the leader of the Moon’s newest 'dragon,' Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium­3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status.  Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise.  If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies. . . and each other."

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm - We're always happy to see the charming Brandon Sanderson back at Borderlands! (Do you know we hosted a signing for his very first novel, ELANTRIS, when it first came out?  I think there were only about a dozen people in the audience!)  This time Brandon will be showing off the new novel in the Mistborn world, SHADOWS OF SELF.  This one's a sequel to ALLOY OF LAW, and takes place about 300 years after the conclusion of the original trilogy.  The author will read, answer questions, and sign, so take a long lunch and come hang out with us and Brandon!  Excerpts from the new novel can be found here:

Urban Conservation

by Alan Beatts

1.  "Bright Light, Big City"

I love New Orleans.  It is one of my favorite cities in the world and the only one, other than San Francisco, in which I feel at home.  I had a chance recently to spend a week there and it was just as lovely as always.  But, while I was there, I was struck by how that city is facing some of the same problems that we have in San Francisco, despite it being almost, but not completely, unlike San Francisco.

That led to ruminating on a change that I've noticed over the past thirty years or so.  It used to be that big cities were not the preferred choice of residence for most of the population of the US.  The growth of the suburbs, starting in the 1950s and driven by the post-war boom, ubiquitous automobiles, and the expansion of freeways, began the process of moving people out of cities.  Following that, rising crime levels in cities prompted more people to move out, which drained revenue from cities, which further aggravated crime and a general decay of basic infrastructure.

Between 1970 and 1980 the population of New York dropped by more than 10%.  In fact, eight of the ten cites in the US that were the largest in 1950 showed huge drops in population between 1970 and 1980 (the two exceptions were Los Angeles, which has had a constantly growing population throughout, and Boston, which had a population drop of 19% the decade previous).  The population decrease in those cites through that decade ranges mostly between 10 and 20% despite the US population as a whole increasing by 10% in the same decade.

So, between 1970 and 1980 people were leaving major cities in the US in droves.  Even a decade later, 1990, most of those cities were below the population level of 1970.  In a number of cases, the drop was continuing through the '90s and even into the new century.

July Bestsellers

1. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson  
2. THE ANNIHILATION SCORE by Charles Stross  
3. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
4. TIME SALVAGER by Wesley Chu
5. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
6. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman
7. LAST FIRST SNOW by Max Gladstone
8. THE UNNOTICEABLES by Robert Brockway
9. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
10. TO HOLD THE BRIDGE by Garth Nix

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. DRAGONS OF HEAVEN by Alyc Helms
2. THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross
3. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler
4. SPELLCASTING IN SILK by Juliet Blackwell
5. NEXUS by Ramez Naam
7. REBIRTHS OF TAO by Wesley Chu
8. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
9. THE WAKING ENGINE by David Edison
10. ARTEMIS AWAKENING by Jane Lindskold

Trade Paperbacks
1. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
2. THE DANGEROUS TYPE by Loren Rhoads
3. THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker
5. ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer

August News Roundup

* Overheard in the store:
"Your capacity for academia and smut exceeds my own."
"Did you ever get in a Facebook war with Anne Rice?"

*New writer's group starts at Borderlands Cafe.  From the orginizers, "The San Francisco Writers Coffeehouse is a bunch of writers sitting around talking about writing . . . with coffee. No agenda. Just chat about the latest trends in the industry, about the craft of writing, about markets, about pitching and selling, about conquering frustration and defeating writers block, and about all of the good things that come from the community of writers. No previous publishing experience necessary. The Writers Coffeehouse invites everyone from absolute beginner to award-winners and bestsellers. We're all writers.  We'll be meeting the 4th Sunday of every month from 5pm-8pm at Borderlands Cafe, 870 Valencia Street, in San Francisco. Our first meeting will be Sunday, August 23."  You can find more info at their facebook page -

* We're very sorry to hear that wonderful author (and dear man) Tom Piccirilli has passed away.  A winner of multiple Stoker Awards and finalist for both the Edgar Award & The World Fantasy Award, he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012.

* Michael Moorcock gives a hilarious and illuminating interview in The Guardian.

* After decades of rumors and attempted adaptations, Philip K. Dick's alternate history novel THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE is finally getting a visual treatment, with the series set to premiere this fall.  Check out the trailer here:

* John Kenn Mortensen draws Lovecraftian horrors by way of Edward Gorey -- most of his prints are now sold out but you can check out his gallery here:

* Ursula LeGuin opens an informal writing Q&A over at Book View Cafe.  The submission form for questions has since been taken down, but she intends to post an answer to the questions already received every other week until she's gotten through them all, and once she's gotten through them, they will be open for more questions.  Keep an eye out for her wonderful replies and for the opportunity to submit your own question.

* Spielberg's adaptation of READY PLAYER ONE now has a release date of December 15, 2017.  Not quite time to start popping the popcorn, but at least you can put it on your calendars.

* Speaking of adaptations and release dates, Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER, which has bounced from studio to studio and director to director, finally has a release date as well: January 13, 2017.  They are ambitiously talking about a movie franchise and a TV series and although they have a writer & director set up -- Nikolaj Arcel -- there is still no cast at all, so keep your fingers crossed this actually happens.

* The 2015 Mythopoeic Awards were announced at MythCon 46; congratulations to the winners!

* The Science Fiction Poetry Association has named two new Grand Masters: Marge Simon and Steve Sneyd. For more information and list of other SFPA Grand Masters check here:

* The British Fantasy Award Nominees have been announced and the full list is available here:

* The 2015 Manly Wade Wellman Award for a Science Fiction or Fantasy writer living in North Carolina has been given to Mur Lafferty for her novel GHOST TRAIN TO NEW ORLEANS.

* Though a lot of us have lost faith in J.J. Abrams' directing ability since "Star Trek: Into Darkness", he at least has one thing right in the new "Star Wars" film: there will be no midichlorians at all!

* The Sidewise Awards for Alternate History have announced their shortlist for this month's awards.  Some of the short-form nominees are available online; check them all out here:

* The Second Annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award has announced their list of finalists.  The winner will be published on the Baen Books website along with receiving an engraved award and $500 worth of Baen Books.  Check out the list of finalists and rules here:

* The 2015 Will Eisner Awards were announced, and many of the winners and nominees had sf/f elements.  Winners include the titles "Saga," "Lumberjanes," "Through The Woods," and more.  The full list of winners and nominees is here:

* Remember when TV shows had crossover events all the time?  It has gone out of fashion in the last few years, but some unlikely shows are looking to bring it back.  The procedural "Bones" and the pre-apocalyptic genre show "Sleepy Hollow" are planning a number of crossover episodes this coming season.

* The full Red Band trailer for The Deadpool movie has finally been released and it looks amazing.  Ryan Reynolds wanted to make up for the awful portrayal of Deadpool in that Wolverine film and he is definitely doing it.  (Although it has been controversial that they've decided to delete his schizophrenia from the film, many advocates are pointing to him as a high profile character who is canonically schizophrenic.)

* The 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced, and winners include Jeff VanderMeer, Daryl Gregory, Ellen Datlow and Allison Littlewood.  For the full list go here:

* The knives have been out for the Fantastic Four remake almost since its announcement,  and everything from the plot to the casting to the effects has been dragged through the mud on the internet.  Director John Trank has basically disowned it, saying it was not the version he wanted to show and now his former collaborator for the film Chronicle is defending his friend on twitter.

* Friend of the store and wonderful author, N.K. Jemisin, (whose new book THE FIFTH SEASON is out now,) was interviewed/profiled in The Guardian.  Read her thoughts about fantasy, race, society, gender, and writing, and the ways they all inform each other here: