June 19, 2012

A Feast of Altered Pirate Etiquette Turned Upside Down

What the staff is reading this week,

Alan:  "Right now I'm reading THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN, edited by David Drake, Jim Baen, and Eric Flint.  It's a very idiosyncratic collection of early science fiction stories chosen on the basis of what, for the editors, changed how they looked at SF and the world in general.  It's completely filled with gems, many of which haven't been reprinted since they first appeared in magazines in the 50s and 60s."

Cary:  "Was reading, but gave up on MABINGONIAN TETRALOGY by Evangeline Walton.  Am reading ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger, and (on & off) GOD SAVE THE QUEEN by Kate Locke."

Claud:  "ALTERED CARBON, Richard Morgan, and SORCERY AND CECILIA, Patricia Wrede."

Heather:  "Finally started A FEAST FOR CROWS."

Jude:  "I'm reading an advance copy of PIRATE CINEMA by Cory Doctorow, which so far seems like an older, grittier version of LITTLE BROTHER. I'm also reading MY HORIZONTAL LIFE: A COLLECTION OF ONE-NIGHT STANDS by Chelsea Handler, which is hilarious."

June 15, 2012

May Bestsellers

1. The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin by Walter Mosley
2.  Railsea by China Mieville
3. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
6. Any Day Now by Terry Bisson
7. Invincible: The Lost Fleet - Beyond the Frontier by Jack Campbell
8. Flora's Fury by Ysabeau Wilce
9. The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
10. Stonemouth by Iain Banks

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. Blackout by Mira Grant
2. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
3. Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
4. Feed by Mira Grant
5. Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge
6. Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
7. Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey
8. Kingdom of the Gods by N.K. Jemisin
9. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
10. Crippled God by Steven Erikson tie with
       Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

Trade Paperbacks
1. Departure by Neal Asher
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
4. Reamde by Neal Stephenson
5. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce

May News Roundup

* Would you like to be an artist?  Precita Eyes <http://www.precitaeyes.org/index.html> is hosting a Community Mural Painting Intensive Workshop this July; they'll be painting a brand new mural in the Mission Playground on the side of Borderlands' building in August!  If you want to participate, the workshop is a bit pricey - $450 - but you'll have the opportunity to learn the principals of a community-based mural process from an experienced muralist, and have your work immortalized in the park!  (And maybe even put Ripley back in the mural.) The workshop is open to all skill levels.  Call (415) 285-2287 for more information.

* Fascinating three-part piece on Philip K. Dick and philosophy from the New York Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/philip-k-dick-sci-fi-philosopher-part-1/?hp

* Our friends at Other Change of Hobbit were featured in this Oakland Local article! http://oaklandlocal.com/article/other-change-hobbit-owners-continue-success-science-fiction-focus-qa

* Slate.com absolutely raves about Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel 2312: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2012/06/science_fiction_review_kim_stanley_robinson_s_2312_.single.html . Also, you can build an asteroid terrarium in honor of the book! http://www.orbitbooks.net/2312/

* UK newspaper The Independent mentioned Borderlands Books as one of the "select" things to do in 48 hours in San Francisco! http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/48-hours-in/48-hours-in-san-francisco-7764058.html

* If you can't make the SF in SF event on June 16th, you'll have a second chance to see Lev Grossman at the Commonwealth Club on Monday, June 18th.   That event takes place at the Cubberley Theatre in Palo Alto, and costs $20 for non-members.  For tickets call 1-800-847-7730 or register online at http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2012-06-18/lev-grossman-master-magician.

* Congratulations to this year's Nebula Award Winners, including Best Novel winner Jo Walton (AMONG OTHERS)! http://www.sfwa.org/2012/05/2011-nebula-awards-announced/

* For all you Lovecraft fans, a bizarre and creepy deep-sea creature caught by a robotic camera: http://www.wimp.com/creaturecaught/

* Everyone likes cake -- like this extraordinary Tim Burton zoetrope cake!  http://io9.com/5913308/this-tim-burton-zoetrope-cake-is-way-too-nifty-to-eat.  And these J.K. Potter-esque nightmare cakes might be an exception to the "everyone likes cake" rule.  Thanks, io9.com: I'll never look at dessert exactly the same way: http://io9.com/5913815/if-hr-giger-were-a-pastry-chef-his-cakes-might-look-something-like-this

* Although they are the government agency that I trust the most, it may indeed be time to worry when the CDC begins officially denying rumors of a zombie apocalypse: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/cdc-denies-zombies-existence_n_1562141.html .  In related news, we have signed copies of all three of Mira Grant's "Newsflesh" trilogy available.  Annnnnd, now ammunition makers are manufacturing zombie-specific bullets. And it's being reported by CNBC. http://www.cnbc.com/id/47737718

* Forget zombies, says ROBOPOCALYPSE author Daniel H. Wilson: beware the robot uprising. Survival tips here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G3RoBHMu-o&noredirect=1

* Taking a cue from the founders of the James Tiptree, Jr. Memorial Award, NASA held a bake sale June 8th. http://news.yahoo.com/scientists-hold-bake-sale-nasa-saturday-221048232.html .  As author Pat Murphy says, "If you can't change the world with chocolate chip cookies, how can you change the world?"

* Huge thanks (and a bit of awe) to local artist (and customer) Kiri Moth, who created this gorgeous Ripley poster: http://kirimoth.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kirimoth_ripley.jpg . For more of her amazing work, see http://kirimoth.com/blog/ .

* We were saddened to hear of the death of glorious curmudgeon Maurice Sendak, who passed away in May at age 83. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/books/maurice-sendak-childrens-author-dies-at-83.html?pagewanted=all

* We're very sorry to report the death of versatile and brilliant artist Leo Dillon.  http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/05/leo-dillon-1933-2012

Overheard at the Store in May

This is a feature that appears periodically, usually as we attend conventions and overhear things.  However, sometimes we overhear amusing tidbits even when we're not attending a convention:

"He's like Vanilla Ice, but not even that cool!"

"You know it's a bad idea to get drunk with people you don't trust. It can lead to terrible things, like pregnancy, or karaoke."

"'I read FIFTY SHADES. . .Now what?' and 'Where can I get more mommy porn?'"

"Do you think our staff can take [---] Books' staff?"
"I dunno, I've never seen them. But I do fight dirty."

"How are you today?"
"Well, my bank gave me a hot dog."

"The wind is awful. I feel like I'm going to end up in Oz whenever I walk to the BART station."

"Oh, yeah. . . last time with the unipod was bad."

"I am an elephant of chaos!"
"Don't you mean _element_?"
"No, I like 'elephant' better."

"I'd rather watch an X-rated version of 'Harold and Maude' than watch Hayden Christensen in that movie!"

"Everything in life is about sex and death.  And THAT'S why we always end up at 'Harold and Maude'!"

June Upcoming Events

SF in SF presents authors S.G. Browne and Lev Grossman (at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street) Saturday, June 16th at 7:00 pm

SF in SF presents authors Robert J. Sawyer and Rachel Swirsky (at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street) Thursday, June 21st at 7:00 pm

David Brin, EXISTENCE (Tor, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, June 23rd at 1:00 pm

A.M. Dellamonica, BLUE MAGIC (Tor, Trade Paperback, $14.99) and J.A. Pitts, FORGED IN FIRE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, June 23rd at 3:00 pm

SF in SF presents authors Richard Kadrey and John Shirley (at the Variety Preview Room in the Hobart Building, 582 Market Street) Saturday, July 7th at 7:00 pm

Full details after the break

Print On Demand Might Come to a Store Near You

by Alan Beatts

A few weeks ago I posted something about in-store print-on-demand machines that got a fair amount of attention and interest (Print-On-Demand Not Coming to a Store Near You).  The problem was that the only hard figures I could find for that post were based on two rather old articles.  In the interest of accuracy, I contacted On Demand Books, the manufacturer of the Espresso Book Machine, to get up-to-date information.  The result was a long and very pleasant phone chat with Jason Beatty, the company's Sales VP,  that clarified a number of things.

First off, I was wrong.  There does seem to be a financially viable way for large and mid-sized stores to have an Espresso Book Machine on site.  However, it is not based on the business model that I expected.

A Tribute to Ripley from artist Kiri Moth

©2012 Kiri Moth, All Rights Reserved
Kiri Moth is a talented San Francisco artist (and customer!) inspired by Alphonse Mucha, Michael Whelan, John Jude Palencar, Thomas Canty, and Michael Parkes, among others.  She has dabbled in just about every method and medium, but currently works almost exclusively in ink with digital color.

For the few who don't know, Ripley was Borderlands' beloved original hairless bookstore cat, who died in May of 2010, just shy of her 8th birthday.

We are thankful to Kiri, who created this gorgeous Ripley poster in 2010 and just finished the color.

You can see more of Kiri's amazing work at her website .

June 11, 2012

The Hot Tinderbox's Storm of 1493 Etiquette

What the staff is reading this week, (and caution about Heather's post to those who are hyper-spoiler-sensitive, although it's hardly a spoiler. . .):

Alan: "Just finished burning through John Ringo's sequels to LIVE FREE OR DIE -- CITADEL and THE HOT GATE.  Space battles!  Wealthy industrialists!  Young men and women growing up and defending their species!  Hey, did Robert Heinlein write that novel?  Anyway, good escapist fun and now I'm not sure what I'm reading next.  Any suggestions?"

Cary: "An advance copy of THE LONG EARTH by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett."

Claud: "RAILSEA by China Mieville -- great book, though I'm still not convinced that the world needed MOBY DICK as a weird fiction YA
1493: UNCOVERING THE NEW WORLD COLUMBUS CREATED by Charles C. Mann -- wonderful, espc. the samurai in Conquistador-era Mexico
TINDERBOX: HOW THE WEST SPARKED THE AIDS EPIDEMIC AND HOW THE WORLD CAN FINALLY OVERCOME IT, Craig Timberg and David Halperin -- good, espc. the forensic history at the beginning."

Heather: "Almost at the end of STORM OF SWORDS.  You know, the part right after George R. R. Martin #*%$^&! KILLS EVERYBODY."

Jude: "I'm almost finished with an advance copy of ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger.  This is the start of her young adult series that takes place about 20 years (?) before the events of SOULLESS."

June 04, 2012

The Long Rapture of Pirates, Angels and Dolls

This week's reading list from the staff:

Alan: "Reading an advance copy of the novel-length version of THE RAPTURE OF THE NERDS by Charlies Stross and Cory Doctorow.  It reminds me of Rudy Rucker's 'WARE books, which is both a good and bad thing."

Cary: "An advance copy of PIRATE CINEMA by Cory Doctorow.  It's due out October, 2012."


Jude: "I just picked up an advance copy of THE LONG EARTH by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett, and ANY DAY NOW by Terry Bisson."