September 09, 2015

Upcoming Events

Mark Coggins, NO HARD FEELINGS (Down & Out Books, Signed & Limited Edition (Hardcover, 225 copies) $30.00) Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 pm

Tacos and Tecate with Seanan McGuire, Greg van Eekout, and Fran Wilde, Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm

Russian Avant Garde Art Event with artist Evgeny Avilov and art critic Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ph. D., Saturday, September 19th at 5:30 pm

Borderlands Sponsors' Open Mic Night, Friday, September 25th at 7:00 pm

Ian McDonald, LUNA: NEW MOON (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Saturday, September 26th at 3:00 pm

QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION (Lightspeed, Trade Paperback, $29.99) event with Chaz Brenchley, Tim Susman, Rachel Swirsky, and Jessica Yang, Sunday, October 4th at 3:00 pm

Brandon Sanderson, SHADOWS OF SELF (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) Friday, October 9th at 12:00 pm

Greg Bear, KILLING TITAN (Orbit, Hardcover, $26.00) and Ann Leckie, ANCILLARY MERCY (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Saturday, October 10th at 3:00 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Mysterious Borderlands" with William C. Gordon, Jim Nisbet, Terry Shames, and Kelli Stanley, Saturday, October 17th at 7:15 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "New Worlds at Borderlands Cafe" with Alyc Helms, Nancy Jane Moore, Tim Pratt, and Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, Saturday, October 17th at 8:30 pm

From the Office

bp Alan Beatts

It's been about six months since we almost closed the shop.  It seems like a good time to update everyone on where the business stands, how things are going generally, and where we are relative to our long-term goals.

If you're not familiar with the whole story about what happened in February, you can read all about this blog.  But, you might enjoy an article that recently appeared in Guernica Magazine that gives a nice overview and a different perspective <>.

In general, business has been going quite well.  Sales have been solid and are modestly up compared to last year (thank you all for that).  We've done several quite large author events (Paolo Bacigalupi, Richard Kadrey, Seanan McGuire, John Scalzi, and Jo Walton, among others) along with a whole slew of smaller but fun and well-attended events with other authors.

Our two newest employees, Scott Cox and Maddy Hubbert, are both settling in well, though they're still in the process of learning "all the things".  It's surprising when I think about it but it usually takes around a year for someone to truly learn how to do all the aspects of the job.  But, that's the consequence of having everyone learn all the jobs around the store (aside from the back-office financial work, that is).

Of course, we are all learning constantly even after a decade and a half on the job.  Our field is constantly expanding and the history of it is so deep that I don't think it's possible to know in its entirety.  It is a source of constant pleasure to all of us to be part of a tradition that has such a long and rich history.

Personally, I'm doing quite well, though still working a bit more than I like.  Setting up the sponsorship program was more work than I anticipated but it has mostly been the fiddly bits of putting systems in place and getting it all running smoothly.  However, all that is close to done and Scott has taken over much of the day-to-day work from me.  I expect that next year will give me the chance to start really digging into other projects.

Speaking of the future and other projects, back in May I talked a bit about long-term plans, specifically getting some improvements in place at the store and, much more importantly, starting a long-term plan to purchase a building to house the business.

August Bestsellers

1. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi  
2. KILLING PRETTY by Richard Kadrey
4. HALF A WAR by Joe Abercrombie
5. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
6. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
8. DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu
9. FOOL’S QUEST by Robin Hobb

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. LOCK IN by John Scalzi
2. KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY by Keiran Shea  
3. EXO by Steven Gould
4. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
5. NEXUS by Ramez Naam
6. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
7. RED: FIRST LIGHT VOL. 1 by Linda Nagata
8. DRAGONS OF HEAVEN by Alyc Helms
9. SPELLCASTING IN SILK by Juliet Blackwell
10. THE THOUSAND NAMES by Django Wexler

Trade Paperbacks
1. THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin
3. BLACK HOLE by Bucky Sinister
5. GENE MAPPER by Taiyo Fujii

September News Roundup

* Because we'll soon be losing two beloved Cafe employees who are moving on to further awesome life adventures, we're looking to hire an additional employee for the Cafe, ideally for weekday afternoons and mornings.  We're asking you because we always prefer to "keep it in the family," and hire our customers and associates with whom we already have a rapport.  If you're interested or know someone who is, please send a resume to

* Master of Horror Wes Craven has sadly passed away after a battle with brain cancer.  There is hardly a person in Western society who can say they haven’t been affected by Craven’s work.  From the 80’s horror classic "Nightmare on Elm Street" to his "Scream" series (a deconstruction of the horror genre from the inside out,) his impact on genre is undeniable.  We at Borderlands mourn his passing, as do millions of others.

* This Bustle article does a good job of explaining why who won the Hugos was important while also acknowledging that LGBTQ, POC and women have been writing science fiction since the beginning, from W.E.B. Du Bois to Arthur C. Clarke to Naomi Mitchison to Samuel Delany and Octavia Butler.  We’ve always been here.

* Speaking of Octavia Butler, DAWN, the first book in her Xenogenesis (or Lilith’s Brood trilogy, depending on your age,) has been optioned for a television series.  Charlie Jane Anders from io9 asked Allen Bain, who secured the rights,  a few questions about his intentions.

* Artist CarlosDanger101 has drawn the cast of "Game of Thrones" in the style of "Bob’s Burgers".  It’s fantastic, intricate and ridiculous.  Check out the post at Nerdist for the full cast:

* Webcomic XKCD perfectly captures and summarizes the draw of the novel (and the puzzling nature of THE MARTIAN becoming a big-budget film starring Matt Damon) with this comic:

* In comic book news, the longtime Hulk companion and fan favorite Amadeus Cho, (the Korean-American boy genius introduced in 2006) has been revealed as the new Hulk.  Amadeus has already challenged governments and gods with nothing but his smarts -- it’ll be great to see what he does with the power of the Hulk behind him.

* In other Hulk news, a quote from Mark Ruffalo via an Italian website has revealed that his character, The Hulk, will not be present in "Civil War", perhaps because of something big planned for him in the future.  ("World War Hulk", perhaps?)

* If you’ve ever been interested in studying the papers of feminist SFF authors Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Kate Wilhelm, Suzette Haden Elgin, Sally Miller Gearhart, Kate Elliott, Molly Gloss, Laurie Marks or Jessica Salmonson, the 2015 Le Guin Feminist Science Fellowship is now open to applications. .  Their website also reveals they are in the process of acquiring some of James Tiptree Jr.’s papers, as well.

* What about a world where you’re allowed to be single for no more than 45 days before being turned into the animal of your choice?  That’s the premise of the new film "Lobster", directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Colin Farrell, Lea Seydoux, Rachel Weisz and more.  Check out the trailer here:

* Mika McKinnon over at io9 gathered a number of images released by the Perimeter Institute about 13 science fiction visions that are already here, or right around the corner.

* Force Friday, the wonder of "Star Wars", and the realities of capitalism collided recently when all the new merchandise for the new "Star Wars" film was released.  Some toys looked amazing, some looked cheesy and some were awe-inspiring.  Check out the best things from Gizmodo:

* For those who missed it, the "Suicide Squad" trailer has been out for a while and it looks much better than "Batman V. Superman" in our opinion.  Viola Davis, Will Smith, and Jared Leto mean this superhero film has a lot of Academy Award winners on board:

* For some people, 2015 is iconic because it is one of the years that Marty McFly traveled to in the classic "Back To the Future" series.  To a younger generation, though, it’s important for being the year that Harry Potter’s first child starts Hogwarts.

* Stan Lee has a very simple explanation for why the newest reboot of "The Fantastic Four" flopped so badly.

* Charlie Jane Anders makes the new film "Dragon Blade" sound like an absolute must-see, with the Chinese army led by Jackie Chan versus a rogue Roman legion led by John Cusack on the run from his commander Adrien Brody.  Oh, also?  Trained attack birds.  Read the entire fantastic thing here:

* Great interview with Brian Hibbs from Comix Experience about their passion for comics and their graphic novel club (which was CE's answer to the rising minimum wage in San Francisco):

* A marvelous article from journalist Katrina Woznicki about Borderlands and the sponsorship program from Guernica Magazine: . Thank you, Katrina!

Awards News

(There has been so much awards news of late that we decided to give it its own heading!)

* The winners of the Hugo Awards and the Campbell were announced at this year's Worldcon, with the dark horse Noah Ward taking many trophies.  Here is the full statistical breakdown of voting:

* Speaking of the Hugos, it has been announced that Helsinki won the bid to host the World Science Fiction Convention in 2017.  Guests of Honor include: John-Henri Holmberg, Nalo Hopkinson, Johanna Sinisalo, Claire Wendling, and Walter Jon Williams.  Check out all the details here:

* The Chesley Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy Art were also announced.

* The Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire Awards for excellence in French Science Fiction and Fantasy have been announced.

* The Second Annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award has announced their winners. The winner will be published on the Baen Books website, along with receiving an engraved award and $500 worth of Baen Books.

* The Parsec Awards, which celebrate excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, have announced their full list of finalists for 2015.  Check out the full list here and pick up a few things to listen to on your commutes: