July 09, 2014

How Sharing Becomes Exclusionary

by Alan Beatts

A common idea in science fiction is the post-scarcity society; one in which energy is so cheap and manufacturing involves so little effort that, for all intents, physical property and goods are no longer in limited supply and, as a result, have little or no cost (and, by extension, no value).  Voyage To Yesteryear by James Hogan is one of my favorites but you'll find examples in the works of Ken MacLeod, Iain M. Banks, Robert Heinlein (as is often the case, ahead of his time), and many other authors.  A feature of many of these societies is a real sharing economy in which, once a person no longer needs an item, it is passed along to another or just abandoned in a public place for the next person who needs it.  Another feature of some of these societies is a sort of curious disdain for people who want to collect possessions regardless of their need for them.

People often comment that we are living in the world of science fiction.  Day-to-day features of our lives were elements of SF only a decade ago (smart phones, self-driving cars, and facial recognition software are all fine examples).  I suppose that the current rise in the "sharing economy" as exemplified by companies like Uber and Airbnb could be mistaken as the early days of the science fictional post-scarcity shared property society.  But it's not.  In fact, it's more like a horrible dystopian novel by someone like Richard Morgan, Philip K. Dick or even George Orwell.

June Bestsellers

1. MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton
2. CIBOLA BURN by James S. A. Corey
3. SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher
4. CALIFORNIA BONES by Greg Van Eekhout
5. THE THREE by Sarah Lotz
6. ROGUES edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois
7. ARTEMIS AWAKENING by Jane Lindskold
8. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
10. AFTERPARTY by Daryl Gregory

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George RR Martin
2. NEPTUNE'S BROOD by Charles Stross
3. WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss
4. DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
5. APOCALYPSE CODEX by Charles Stross
6. DEADSHIFTED by Cassie Alexander
7. HALF-OFF RAGNAROK by Seanan McGuire
8. LONDON FALLING by Paul Cornell
9. IMPULSE by Steven Gould
10. MEMORY OF LIGHT by Brandon Sanderson

Trade Paperbacks
2. HOMELAND by Cory Doctorow
4. RITHMATIST by Brandon Sanderson
5. TIME TRAVELER'S ALMANAC edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer tie with ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer

July News Roundup

*Overheard in the Store:
"Have you been watching 'Game of Thrones'?" "I gave up 'cause I'm tired of their bullsh*t."
"I feel kinda weird. I feel the way something strangely compelling tastes."
"Teach me the ways of love, squishy poet from beyond the stars."
5 year-old: "Mom, I basically have memories from 50 years ago." Mom: "You weren't born yet." 5 year-old: "THIS me wasn't, but I remember."
"You get a bunch of artists together in a room for a board meeting…Now THAT'S a stupid idea."

Do you remember Borderlands Press' wonderful Little Books series?  They've just announced a second series of Little Books, and according to the announcement, they "are contracting with 15 popular writers to do Little Books Series II, and currently have the following writers on board: David J. Schow, Ed Gorman, Jack Ketchum, Dennis Etchison, Rick Hautala, David Morrell, Ray Garton, Ed Lee, Karl Wagner, Chet Williamson, Laird Barron, Poppy Z. Brite, and Joe Hill. (several more writers to follow). All volumes in the series will be signed and numbered and limited to 500 copies. If you have buyers who want the same number throughout, we can accommodate."  The books retail for $30 each.  Please call us or email us if you'd like to subscribe and purchase all of the volumes of this very collectible and fun series.  More info about the series here: http://borderlandspress.com/coming-soon-series-ii-of-our-little-books/

July Upcoming Events

Juliet Blackwell, A VISION IN VELVET (Signet, Mass Market, $7.99), Kate Carlisle, THE BOOK STOPS HERE (Obsidian, 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, $10.95) Sunday July 13th at 3:00 pm

Richard Lupoff, WRITER VOL. 1 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $18.00 and Hardcover, $32.00), WRITER VOL. 2 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $20.00 and Hardcover, $32.00) & WHAT IF? VOL. 3 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $18.00 and Hardcover, $32.00), Saturday July 19th at 3:00 pm

EVENT CANCELLED: Michael J. Martinez, THE ENCELADUS CRISIS (Night Shade Books, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday July 26th at 3:00 pm 

Serena Valentino, THE BEAST WITHIN (Disney Press, Hardcover, $16.99) Saturday July 26th at 5:00 pm

Tobias S. Buckell, HURRICANE FEVER (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday July 27th at 3:00 pm

Joe Abercrombie, HALF A KING (Del Rey, Hardcover, $26.00) Monday July 28th at 7:00 pm

Glen Hirshberg, MOTHERLESS CHILD (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Saturday August 2nd at 3:00 pm

Katharine Kerr, SORCERER'S FEUD (Osel Books, Trade Paperback, $14.50) Saturday August 23rd at 3:00 pm

Kelli Stanley, CITY OF GHOSTS (Minotaur, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday August 23rd at 5:00 pm

Brent Weeks, THE BROKEN EYE (Orbit, Hardcover, $28.00) Thursday August 28th at 7:00 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

And stay tuned for more exciting readings and signings, including Dana Fredsti, Ray Garton, and John Scalzi in September!

Dispatches From The Border: July 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/>.

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