April 27, 2019

Borderlands Cafe to Close

by Alan Beatts

Most of the time I think that it's better to explain a thought process first and put the conclusion at the end.  But sometimes it seems better to do it the other way around. This is one of those times.

We're shutting down the cafe element of Borderlands this Tuesday, April 30th.  It's not a wonderful thing, but it's not a terrible thing either.

We opened the cafe in 2009, right in time for the recession to really start to bite (at least in the Bay Area).  Keeping the cafe going took a lot of very hard work, not just from me and Jude, but from all the original crew.  But we did it and the cafe became a modest success.  Certainly we found a group of great regular customers who liked the place we made and what we did.

All of us at the cafe also had a chance to work with a wonderful group of people.  Numerous friendships were made, many of which exist to this day.  Relationships were started (some of which I probably still don't know about) and roommates were found.  It was, and still is, a great community.

But, over the past two years, it has become very hard to find and retain staff.  Food service jobs always have high turnover and Borderlands was better than average (our first employee still works with us and many of the staff have been with us for multiple years).  But, in the last two years and despite hiring almost constantly, we have almost always been short by one person.  At times we've been short by two or even three.  For a business that at full staff only employs nine or ten people, that's been very difficult for all of us -- especially Z'ev (the cafe manager) and me.

April 12, 2019

Upcoming Events

Mike Chen, HERE AND NOW AND THEN (MIRA, Hardcover, $26.99), and Peng Shepherd, THE BOOK OF M (William Morrow, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 13th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Susannah Breslin, Mike Chen, Michelle Cruz Gonzales, Arkady Martine, Peng Shepherd, and Saskia Vogel, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders! (at The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) Saturday, April 13th at 7:30 pm

Alex White, A BAD DEAL FOR THE WHOLE GALAXY (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $15.99) Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:00 pm

FAULT LINES Launch Party, Sunday, April 28th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF with authors Peter S. Beagle and Jaymee Goh (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, April 28th at 6:30 pm

(for more information check the end of this newsletter)

Coming up Saturday, May 18th, look for a very special reading and signing with Guy Gavriel Kay!

April Building Update

by Alan Beatts

Firstly, and probably most importantly, we reached our goal of 300 sponsors by March 31st.  In fact, on the 31st, we were at exactly 500 sponsors.  That's a slight drop from the same time last year, when we were at 532, but that's still way over the minimum and I'm pleased as punch about it.

But, just because we've met our goal, that doesn't meant that we're not happy to accept more sponsors.  So, if you'd like to help us get our move completed and continue to do all that we do (not to mention enjoy the social camaraderie and other benefits of being a sponsor), feel free to sign up online at https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship.html, over the telephone anytime between noon and eight pm PST, or in person by stopping by the shop.

Now, on to the building update.  Last month I mentioned that we were just about to put up the really big beam that's a requirement for building the new restroom.  I'm very pleased to say that it's done and, moreso, the horrible pit of a restroom that we had is nothing but a memory (and, a big hole in the floor).  Tearing out the old one was a one-day job and a hell of a lot of fun.  We filled an entire debris box with the result and, by end of day, we were dirty, tired, and happy.

March Bestsellers

1. Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey
2. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
3. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
4.  In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
5. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
6. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
7. Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor
8. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
9. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
10. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Trade Paperbacks
1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2. A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
3. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu
4. The Power by Naomi Alderman
5. New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl
6. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
7. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
8. The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
9. Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
10. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. That Ain't Witchcraft by Seanan McGuire
2. Dune by Frank Herbert
3. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
4. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
5. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
6. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
8. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
9. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
10. Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

April News

* Overheard in the Store:
"I have done things with ladders that make bystanders shriek with horror."
"The last person not bleeding wins."
<shouting at repetitive busker outside> "Hey Joey Ramone! Pretty PLEASE learn another chord!"
"In general, I try not to microwave sour cream."
"Sometimes we bear seemingly unbearable things, because the alternative is so much worse."
"Does anything ever get described as a 'low-octane thriller'?"
"The fact that it's tactless doesn't make it untrue."
"I'd be a really Casual Assassin, like 'You're gonna die, no doubt about that, but meantime would you like a coffee or a soda?'"
"Someone had an Emotional Support chicken on the bus today."
"What I really thought was that I had ordered a goat when I was drunk and forgot."
“Trust me, absolutely nothing good starts with burned garlic.”
"Thanks, Car Insurance Company. There couldn't possibly be more perfect hold music than an endless instrumental loop of 'Danger Zone'."
"I don’t remember what I ate for lunch, but I remember the plot to every one of these books."

* R.I.P. to Vonda N. McIntyre, who passed away on April 1st from pancreatic cancer.  McIntyre was a multiple award winner, brilliant author, one of the founders of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, founder of Book View Cafe, and the person who gave Hikaru Sulu his first name, among many other accomplishments. She managed to finish her final novel a few weeks before her death. https://www.geekwire.com/2019/vonda-n-mcintyre-1948-2019-seattle-science-fiction-star-dies-cancer/

* Freethink Media created an awesome video on Borderlands' and Mission Comics and Arts' respective sponsorship programs and our survival models for unconventional retail! https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=mQD1y2yORPQ