December 13, 2014

Dispatches From the Border: December 2014

Events and News From Borderlands Books

Upcoming Events

Amber Benson, THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK (Ace, Trade Paperback, $15.00) Friday, January 9th at 7:00 pm

Shannon Page, OUR LADY OF THE ISLANDS (Per Aspera Press, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, January 17th at 3:00 pm

The triumphant return of SF in SF with authors Cecilia Holland and Kim Stanley Robinson, at The Book Club of California, 312 Sutter Street Suite 500, Thursday, January 22nd

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)


* Whatever Comics in the Castro could use some support to recover from sales lost during the street "improvements" over the summer.  Like many businesses, their sales suffered considerably during the six months that the street and sidewalks were torn up and they could really use a boost this holiday season.  It's a great shop with lovely owners and well worth our help.

* Overheard in the Store:
"How San Francisco! Don't get a stripper to show up; you get a nude unicyclist to ride around the living room. 'Glad yer gettin' hitched Amy!'"

* Spider Robinson, who lost his beloved wife Jeanne to cancer in 2010, is now on the verge of losing his daughter to the same disease.  If you can spare anything to help with the medical costs, please donate:

* LunaCon, New York's longest running science fiction and fantasy convention, has been canceled for 2015.  They plan to return in 2016.

* io9 reports that J.K. Rowling will be releasing twelve Harry Potter short stories during the month of December.  Not much is known of the stories except that one is supposed to center on Draco Malfoy.

* The 2014 World Fantasy Awards were announced at the World Fantasy Convention, and store friends Sofia Samatar and Ellen Klages were among the winners.  Congratulations to them and to all the winners!

* Ursula LeGuin was awarded a medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Awards.  Watch her lovely speech here.

* Congratulations to science fiction writer and critic John Clute, who was named an Honorary Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University.

* Noted popular mystery writer and author of the science fiction novel CHILDREN OF MEN, PD James passed away recently at the age of 94.  Here are five of her novels to check out:

* Vice has launched a weekly online science fiction magazine, Terraform, which has already published pieces by Bruce Sterling, Claire L. Evans, Cory Doctorow, Alison Wilgus, Paul Ford and others.

* Ryan Reynolds has closed a deal for a "Deadpool" film.  We can only hope it will be a better representation of the "Merc with a Mouth" than the first time Reynolds played Deadpool.

* Hachette has finally won its battle with Amazon and are going to set their own prices for their e-books.

* Yahoo reports that Ridley Scott may actually return to direct "Blade Runner 2," mostly because he thinks the script is that good.  We can only hope he didn't think the same about the "Prometheus" script . . . .

* Check out a sneak peek of the newest Avenger to get a solo book, the fantastic Squirrel Girl!  The first issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will be out next month.    

* That season is almost upon us when Netflix offloads a bunch of its titles and picks up some new ones, and Slice of SciFi gave us a list of the titles we'll be gaining and losing.

* Veronique Greenwood publishes a piece in the NY Times about her Great-Great-Aunt who worked with the Curies and discovered Francium.

* Peter Jackson explains why, without some sort of deal with the Tolkien estate, the third "Hobbit" movie will be the final film in Tolkien's world.

* Congratulations to Madhvi Ramani, who won both the inaugural Diverse Writers and the inaugural Diverse Worlds grants from the Speculative Literature Foundation.

* The Guardian has listed some of the Science Fiction and Fantasy books they consider to be the best of 2014.

* We may finally have a Jessica Jones for Marvel's Netflix original series.  Apparently the role has been offered to Krysten Ritter.  As long-time Jessica Jones fans, we're nervous about the choice, having never seen Ritter in a non-party-girl, high-fashion role, which is the polar opposite of the gritty, practical and street-smart Jones.  However, Marvel has done well with its casting so far, so Ritter could end up being awesome, if she takes the role.

* Flavorwire has a list of 25 genre novels that they believe should be classics:

* "Star Trek 3" is again without a director.  Robert Orci, who stepped in after J.J. Abrams left to work on the new "Star Wars" film, is now out and no one seems to know why yet.

* Two online petitions are floating about to rename the bay bridge after Emperor Norton, though neither seems to have much momentum:

* Dean Devlin explains why his plans to film "Independence Day" 2 and 3 simultaneously have now changed and what sort of delay this puts on the reboot of the "Stargate" film franchise in a new interview.

* With as much as we think we know about the Marquis de Sade, Jonathon Sturgeon points out that we don't actually know that much.

* Cheryl Eddy over at io9 explores the history and the myths of the famous ghost ship the Mary Celeste:

* Kickstarter to fund a full-length documentary about San Francisco's own beloved Emperor Norton!  Some of the interviews were filmed here at Borderlands; kick in a few dollars if you can:

* Lastly, Patrick Rothfuss' charity Worldbuilders can use your support.  Pat says he'll probably kiss a llama for the charity:

Holiday Gift Guide

It's December again!  The perfect time for curling up with hot cocoa and a good book, and for picking up some great books for holiday gifts.  Here as usual is our Opinionated Gift Guide to help you out.  However, we're always happy to make custom suggestions for you or anyone in your life.   We'll even wrap 'em for you!  (A special note to those of you purchasing presents: we're happy to gift wrap upon request, although our typical caveats apply: first, if we're busy, you may have to wait a bit to have things wrapped, and, second, some staff members are much better than others at it.  It is possible that your package may resemble a brightly wrapped Lovecraft-ian, batrachian, rugose, Thing of No Human Shape.  For some customers, this is not a problem . . ."better than I can do!," they say.  However, if you are concerned about our, ahem, abilities, we're also happy to just hand you the gift wrap, scissors and tape.)

All of us at Borderlands wish you a peaceful and comfortable holiday season, and an absolutely brilliant new year in 2015.

- Jude Feldman

Lots of Recommendations:

Two brand-new things - we have fun key tags from Cursed Clothes for $5 each.  They are perfect for stocking stuffers, and we have Bates Motel ("With a mother's touch!"), The Overlook Hotel, Ghostbusters, the research station from "The Thing", and a few other fun options.  We're also VERY excited to present unique Steampunk-inspired jewelry from Fire Selkie Creations <>.  We have over a dozen different necklaces created by this Oakland artist, ranging from $40 - $95.  You MUST check them out.

Some great gifts for big fans - THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson (Bantam, Oversized Hardcover, $50.00) This is a stunning coffee-table book with history, backstories, snippets, awe-inspiring artwork, and so much more.  It's like THE SILMARILLION for Westeros, except it didn't lull me to sleep!  If your friends haven't read it yet, THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS by Patrick Rothfuss (DAW, Hardcover, $18.95) is a beautiful, strange little novella that follows Auri  and takes place in the Kingkiller world, under the University.  PRINCE LESTAT by Anne Rice (Knopf, Hardcover, $28.95) finds the author returning to her roots.  Even the gloriously snarky New York Times Review ("Although the style, mixing celebrity-worshiping gush with Gothic portentousness, is, not to put too fine a point on it, nutty, Rice wielded it with amazing self-assurance, as if it were inevitable, something that had been waiting to be discovered. That’s what all pop-culture geniuses do, in their different ways.  And over nearly four decades and many, many books, she has seen no reason to change it. In "Prince Lestat," the first Vampire Chronicles novel in a decade, Rice’s queenly prose is unaltered.") admits that fans will love this book.  THE PERIPHERAL by William Gibson (Putnam, Hardcover, $28.95) is another mind-blowing adventure from this science fiction master.  Sandman fans will swoon over the new DUST COVERS: THE SELECTED SANDMAN COVERS by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (Vertigo, Hardcover, $49.99).

Signed books - We've still got a few signed copies of John Scalzi's LOCK IN (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) a wonderful sort-of mystery novel set in a future where a terrible disease has pushed VR tech to an incredible new level.  We've also got lots of signed books from Seanan McGuire, aka Mira Grant, including the new Parasitology novel SYMBIONT (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00).  Here are just a few of the authors who have been kind enough to stop in and sign things for us recently -- just let us know if you want us to reserve a book: Juliet Blackwell, Gail Carriger, Steven Erikson, Richard Kadrey, Laurie R. King, Nick Mamatas, Michael J. Martinez, F. Paul Wilson. . .many, many others!

For the Lovecraft fan in your life, may I recommend the fantabulous (and huge, and heavy) NEW ANNOTATED H.P. LOVECRAFT, edited by Leslie Klinger, with an introduction by Alan Moore (Liveright, Oversize Hardcover, $39.95). You could also pick up THE NICKRONOMICON, by Nick Mamatas (Innsmouth Free Press, Trade Paperback, $13.00)  - 13 twisted new stories!

For a change of pace, try noir for the holidays.  THE LAST GOOD KISS by James Crumley (Vintage, Trade Paperback, $14.95) is one of my favorites.  F. Paul Wilson called it "roadside noir - as dark as it gets"!  You could also pick up Kelli Stanley's CITY OF DRAGONS, (Minotaur, Hardcover, $24.99 and Trade Paperback, $17.99) set in San Francisco's Chinatown, 1940.  BLACKMAIL, MY LOVE by Katie Gilmartin (Cleis, Trade Paperback, $16.95) is a wonderful neo-noir murder mystery set in 1951 San Francisco, a dark age in queer history.  And Katie wrote part of the book at Borderlands Cafe!

For a fluffier mystery, try Kerry Greenwood's adorable Phryne Fisher series, set in 1920's Melbourne and starring a plucky, rich, beautiful, and intelligent flapper.  The first book is COCAINE BLUES (Poisoned Pen Press, Trade Paperback, $14.95) . Slightly more serious, but also featuring a wonderful heroine,  I enjoyed the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, set in mid-30's London.  The first book is MAISIE DOBBS (Soho Crime, Trade Paperback, $14.95).

As usual we have absolutely everything Edward Gorey for your holiday.  Pick up an adorable "Bibliophile with Cats" puzzle, or stick with the classically morbid GASHLYCRUMB TINIES.  We also have just a few of the prized Gorey "Fruitcake" cards, which are out of print, left!

Favorite geeks on your list might enjoy Randall Munroe's (of XKCD fame) new book WHAT IF?  SERIOUS SCIENTIFIC ANSWERS TO ABSURD HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS (Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, $24.95), which has actually hit the New York Times' Bestseller List.   And if you're looking for a sampler, pick up either (or both!) ROGUES (Tor, Hardcover, $30.00) and DANGEROUS WOMEN (Tor, Hardcover, $32.50), both edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.  There are many outstanding stories in both anthologies, and at least one story in each collection just blew me away.  If you want something unusual and heart-wrenching that you know they won't have read, pick up BEING SMALL by Chaz Brenchley (Per Aspera, Trade Paperback, $12.99).  This is a self-proclaimed "ghost story without a ghost" and it is both lovely and difficult to describe.  I also loved AFTERPARTY by Daryl Gregory (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99), a quirky road novel about designer drugs, crime, more drugs, and (very peripherally) miniature bison.

Forever classics that are good for almost anyone: GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Harper, Mass Market, $7.99) and THE PRINCESS BRIDE by William Goldman (Harvest, Mass Market, $8.95 or Harcourt, Hardcover, $25.00).

If you're having difficulty deciding, ask us for help with recommendations, or you could pick up a gift certificate and let them choose for themselves!

Best Sellers
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for November, 2014

2. THE PERIPHERAL by William Gibson
3. SYMBIONT by Mira Grant
4. HARVEST SEASON edited by Bill Roper
6. WILLFUL CHILD by Steven Erikson
7. FEAR CITY by F. Paul Wilson
8. CLARIEL by Garth Nix
9. REVIVAL by Stephen King
10. PRINCE LESTAT by Anne Rice

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. THE WINTER LONG by Seanan McGuire
2. DANGEROUS WOMEN VOL. 1 edited by Geroge R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
4. DANGEROUS WOMEN VOL. 2 edited by Geroge R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
6. EMPIRE OF DUST by Jacey Bedford
7. DARK CITY by F. Paul Wilson
8. HUMAN DIVISION by John Scalzi
9. HEIRS AND GRACES by Rhys Bowen
10. STARHAWK by Jack McDevitt

Trade Paperbacks
2. THE DARK DEFILES by Richard K. Morgan
3. ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie
4. HILD by Nicola Griffith
5. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

Book Club Information

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 14th, at 5 pm to discuss WOOL by Hugh Howey. Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 21st, at 6 pm to discuss WOMAN ON THE EDGE OF TIME by Marge Piercy. Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Amber Benson, THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK (Ace, Trade Paperback, $15.00) Friday, January 9th at 7:00 pm - We are thrilled to welcome the lovely and talented Amber Benson back to Borderlands!  Here's the info on her newest title from the publisher: "When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles.  And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets -- extraordinary secrets -- from her.  Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril -- for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last. . ."  Don't miss this great chance to meet Amber and enjoy the new novel!

Shannon Page, OUR LADY OF THE ISLANDS (Per Aspera Press, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, January 17th at 3:00 pm - We are happy to welcome Shannon Page, co-author (with Jay Lake) of OUR LADY OF THE ISLANDS to Borderlands! Sadly, Jay died of cancer in 2014, but the publisher believes he would be very proud of the presentation of this book. "It is a powerful tale of political intrigue, divine mystery, and swashbuckling naval battles. Graced with splashes of humor, this novel is full of cliffhangers that will keep you turning pages.  Sian Kattë is a successful middle-aged businesswoman in the tropical island nation of Alizar.  Her life seems comfortable and well-arranged. . . until a violent encounter one evening leaves her with an unwanted magical power.  Arian des Chances is the wife of Alizar’s ruler, with vast wealth and political influence.  Yet for all her resources, she can only watch helplessly as her son draws nearer to death.  When crisis thrusts these two women together, they learn some surprising truths: about themselves, their loved ones, and Alizar itself. Because beneath a seemingly calm façade, Alizar’s people -- and a dead god --are stirring. . . ."  Join us to meet Shannon and check out the novel that Publishers Weekly called one of the Best Books of 2014!

The triumphant return of SF in SF with authors Cecilia Holland and Kim Stanley Robinson, at The Book Club of California, 312 Sutter Street Suite 500, Thursday, January 22nd - Time and details to come!

Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge.  You are welcome to bring copies of an author's books purchased elsewhere to be autographed (but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while at the event).  For most events you are welcome to bring as many books as you wish for autographs.  If you are unable to attend the event we will be happy to have a copy of any of the author's available books signed or inscribed for you.  We can then either hold the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

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