December 13, 2014

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!

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