March 01, 2009

Notes From A DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

This month I want to talk about Kaiju . Giant monsters! Men in rubber suits! The destruction of large cities by rampaging beasties. How can one go wrong with that? And while bad Godzilla knock-offs can get old after a while, there’s enough variation to be found in the genre (giant alligators in the sewer, giant snakes in the jungle, etc. etc.) to keep things fresh.

February Bestsellers


1) Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
2) White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
3) Caryatids by Bruce Sterling
4) Contagious by Scott Sigler
5) Drood by Dan Simmons
6) Horizon: The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold
7) The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart
8) The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan
9) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
10) Chalice by Robin McKinley

Mass Market Paperbacks

1) Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams
2) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
3) Last Colony by John Scalzi
4) Duplicate Effort by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
5) Unfallen Dead by Mark Del Franco
6) Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
7) The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez
8) Halting State by Charles Stross
9) The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
10) The Queen of Candesce by Karl Schroeder

Trade Paperbacks

1) Last Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
2) Barfodder by Rain Graves
3) Revenant Road by Michael Boatman
4) World War Z by Max Brooks tie with Cyberabad Days by Ian McDonald
5) Matter by Iain M. Banks

Used Book Sales (and Sellers) are an Author's Friend

by Alan Beatts

[Editor's Note: SF Signal <>  is a science fiction blog with news, reviews and commentary.  They run an occasional feature called Mind Meld, where they ask a bunch of authors, editors, and other genre professionals to all answer the same question, and then they post the question and all the answers.  The results are usually fascinating.  This month, they've asked Alan, Borderlands' owner, among lots of others, to answer the following question: "I've seen arguments for and against the used book market.  What's your take?  Does the used book market help or hurt the publishing industry?".  I thought the discussion was interesting, so we've decided to run Alan's answer here in the From the Office column.  Check with SF Signal later in the month to read all the other responses. - Jude]

Whether used book sales hurt or help the publishing industry is a complicated question.  This is mostly because the publishing industry contains several subsections, all of which have their own discrete and sometimes mutually incompatible goals and economic pressures.  To really look at the question comprehensively one has to consider readers, authors, booksellers, and publishers separately.  Before going to to that, let me point out two assumptions - one, that the only person who receives any payment for a used book is the person who sells it (i.e. no royalty goes to the author and the publisher doesn't get a penny) and two, that used books are sold based on the current model (i.e. mostly directly to the consumer in a face-to-face transaction but with a significant and increasing number of sales happening on-line).

THUNDERER and GEARS OF THE CITY by Felix Gilman Review

by Chris Hsang

[Editor's Note: Thanks to intrepid customer/reviewer Christopher Hsiang for the following. This review was previously published by the awesome folks over at - Jude]

M. John Harrison has inspired a fantasy tradition of strange, shifting cities by authors like Neil Gaiman, China MiƩville, Steph Swainston, Jeff VanderMeer, Ian R. MacLeod, and Jay Lake. The New Weird influence of Harrison's VIRICONIUM can definitely be seen in the first two Ararat novels by Felix Gilman.