November 07, 2016

November Upcoming Events

Chris Roberson, FIREWALK (Night Shade Books, Hardcover, $24.99) on Saturday, November 12th at 2:00pm

Megan E. O'Keefe, BREAK THE CHAINS (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 1:00pm

Mary Robinette Kowal, GHOST TALKERS (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 3:00pm

SF in SF with authors Nick Mamatas and Rick Wilber (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) on Sunday, November 13th at 6:30pm

CYBER WORLD (Hex Publishers, Trade Paperback, $14.99) event with Richard Kadrey, Aaron Lovett, Josh Viola, Isabel Yap, and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro on Saturday, November 19th at 2:00pm

Dan Wells, EXTREME MAKEOVER: APOCALYPSE EDITION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99 and Trade Paperback $17.99) on Saturday, November 19th at 5:00pm

Richard Lupoff, WHERE MEMORY HIDES: A WRITER'S LIFE (Bold Venture Press, Trade Paperback (Black & White Edition), $22.95, and Trade Paperback (Collector's Color Edition), $49.95) on Sunday, November 20th at 3:00pm

Jason Denzel, MYSTIC (Tor Books, Trade Paperback, $14.99) and Brandon Sanderson, ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99) on Wednesday, November 30th at 5:00pm

Sisters in Crime / Mystery Writers of America Holiday Party on Saturday, December 10th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm

October Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. THE BLOOD MIRROR by Brent Weeks
2. GOLDENHAND by Garth Nix
3. EVERFAIR by Nisi Shawl
4. GHOSTLAND by Colin Dickey
5. FEEDBACK by Mira Grant
6. DEATH’S END by Cixin Liu
7. CROSSTALK by Connie Willis
8. REJECTED PRINCESSES by Jason Porath
9. THE WALL OF STORMS by Ken Liu
10. INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older

Trade Paperbacks
1. THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu
2. THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu
3. THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin
4. THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET by Becky Chambers
5. THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES by Ken Liu
6. THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman
7. TO HOLD THE BRIDGE by Garth Nix
8. THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin
9. THE GUNSLINGER by Stephen King
10. MANNERS AND MUTINY by Gail Carriger

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
2. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
3. ONCE BROKEN FAITH by Seanan McGuire
4. BREAK THE CHAINS by Megan E. O’Keefe
5. AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY by Kim Newman
6. SHADOWS OF SELF by Brandon Sanderson
7. POSEIDON’S WAKE by Alastair Reynolds
8. ALTERED STARSCAPE by Ian Douglas
9. ZEROES by Chuck Wendig
10. SOLAR EXPRESS by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

November News

* Overheard at WFC:
"It has been AGES since I knitted you a uterus."

* The 2017 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Contest is now open to submissions of stories focusing on manned space exploration in the near future of 50-60 years.  There’s no entry fee and you should enter!  Check out full details on themes, length and jury here: http://www.baen.com/baenmemorialaward

* The University of Maine in Orono has endowed a Stephen E. King Chair in Literature; a renewable five-year faculty position.  https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2016/10/19/umaine-created-stephen-king-chair-literature-ap-reports/

* We are sad to hear of the passing of prolific author Sheri S. Tepper.  Her books Grass and The Gate To Women’s Country are considered by many to not only be classics of general science-fiction but feminist science-fiction classics as well.  She will be missed.
http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/10/sheri-s-tepper-1929-2016/

* The Cubs won the World Series, so one of science fiction's most consistent jokes may be lost!
http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/30/13470836/chicago-cubs-science-fiction-world-series-john-scalzi

* A list of the books and movies that inform the conversation about A.I. -- although the list looks a little anemic to us; which classics do you think are missing? http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/us/robots-science-fiction-movies-books.html

* Leaked video shows that the government, or at least the Pentagon, acknowledges that our future will resemble a science-fiction dystopia.  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/10/bizarre-leaked-pentagon-video-is-a-science-fiction-story-about-the-future-of-cities/

* An article on how the science-fiction genre is really growing in China (although we wonder if it’s just our awareness of it that’s growing): http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1015141.shtml

* For an example of our growing interest and awareness of Chinese science fiction, check out this review of the bestselling contemporary chinese science-fiction anthology INVISIBLE PLANETS, edited by Ken Liu. http://www.avclub.com/review/invaluable-invisible-planets-introduces-world-chin-244991

* The adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel ANNIHILATION has not even hit the screen yet, but his next book has already been optioned as well. http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/20/13344490/borne-jeff-vandermeer-movie-adaptation-paramount-annihilation

* A discussion of the TV series Torchwood: the things it did and the legacy it left behind in SF television.  http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/torchwood/259365/torchwood-at-10-what-is-its-science-fiction-legacy

* This may not be about science fiction specifically, but it is about the exclusion of genre writing and the ways in which we decide which genres are worthy of attention. http://www.themarysue.com/romance-novels-not-just-love-stories/

* Looking for something to watch?  Why not check this list of 10 underrated TV shows.  (We would add The Dresden Files to the list; the show was also more diverse, in terms of main cast, than most of the shows mentioned here:) http://whatculture.com/tv/10-hugely-underrated-fantasy-tv-shows-from-the-last-decade

* The ways in which Westworld is succeeding and where it’s failing in imagination and awareness: a review of the show in the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/24/the-meta-politics-of-westworld

* Kim Stanley Robinson rips into Elon Musk’s Mars vision.  Basically, if his Mars vision was a book?  No one would buy it.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/why-elon-musk-s-mars-vision-needs-some-real-imagination

* A profile of Yasser Bahjatt, an engineer and Tedx host, about his beliefs in the connections between science and science fiction, integrating Arabian culture and science fiction, what it’s like to have his book pulled from shelves in Saudi Arabia and what he did in response.  Great read.  http://scifiaddicts.com/yasser-bahjatt-science-fiction/

* A chatbot that helps you find lesser known science fiction movies to watch?  We're there! http://venturebeat.com/2016/10/13/how-the-and-chill-chatbot-helped-me-find-more-science-fiction-movies/

* An article about Ted Chiang and his interactions with Hollywood.  We can’t wait to see The Arrival, and can think of at least two more stories of his that we wish they would adapt. http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-story-in-sci-fi-writer-ted-chiangs-life-hollywood-1478015805

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Award News
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* The Geffen Awards, given by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy, have announced their 2016 winners which include Robin Hobb, John Scalzi and more! http://geffen.sf-f.org.il/?page_id=79

* The inaugural Imadjinn Awards, formed to celebrate small press and independently published authors, have been announced.  Check out these titles you may not have heard about! http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/2016/10/14/winners-of-film-festival-and-imadjinn-awards-posted/

* The 2016 Gaylactic Spectrum Award for novel has been awarded to Ian McDonald for LUNA: NEW MOON.  Check out the short and long list of other novel nominees, plus past winners and nominees here: http://www.spectrumawards.org/2016.htm

* The 2016 World Fantasy Awards were announced.  The award for best novel went to Anna Smaill for THE CHIMES.  Winners also included Alyssa Wong for the amazing "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers," which made her the first Filipina to win a World Fantasy Award.  Check out all the other winners and nominees here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/10/world-fantasy-awards-winners-3/

October 14, 2016

Upcoming Events

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2 with Alex Dolan, Janet Dawson, Daryl Gregory and Eliot Fintushel on Saturday, October 15th at 7:15pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3 with Skye Allen, Chaz Brenchley, and Becky Chambers on Saturday, October 15th at 8:30pm

Kristen Cast and P.C. Cast, THE SCENT OF SALT AND SAND (Diversion Publishing, Trade Paperback, $9.99) on Sunday, October 16th at 3:00pm

SF in SF with authors Garth Nix and Helene Wecker (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) on Sunday, October 16th at 6:30pm

Drop-by signing with Jeff Johnson, EVERYTHING UNDER THE MOON (Soft Skull Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) on Wednesday, October 19th at 6:00pm

Borderlands Sponsors' Open Mic on Friday, October 21st at 7:00pm

Brent Weeks, THE BLOOD MIRROR (Orbit, Hardcover, $28.00) on Tuesday, October 25th at 6:00pm

Jewelle Gomez, THE GILDA STORIES 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (City Lights Publisher, Trade Paperback, $16.95) on Sunday, October 30th at 3:00pm

Maria Alexander, SNOWED (Raw Dog Screaming Press, Trade Paperback, $14.95) on Sunday, November 6th at 3:00pm

Chris Roberson, FIREWALK (Night Shade Books, Hardcover, $24.99) on Saturday, November 12th at 2:00pm

Megan E. O'Keefe, BREAK THE CHAINS (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 1:00pm

Mary Robinette Kowal, GHOST TALKERS (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 3:00pm

SF in SF with authors Nick Mamatas and Rick Wilber (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) on Sunday, November 13th at 6:30pm

CYBER WORLD (Hex Publishers, Trade Paperback, $14.99) event with Richard Kadrey, Aaron Lovett, Josh Viola, Isabel Yap, and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro on Saturday, November 19th at 2:00pm

Dan Wells, EXTREME MAKEOVER: APOCALYPSE EDITION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99 and Trade Paperback $17.99) on Saturday, November 19th at 5:00pm

Richard Lupoff, WHERE MEMORY HIDES: A WRITER'S LIFE (Bold Venture Press, Trade Paperback (Black & White Edition), $22.95, and Trade Paperback (Collector's Color Edition), $49.95) on Sunday, November 20th at 3:00pm

And stay tuned for more amazing authors including Brandon Sanderson in November before we take our holiday event hiatus!

From The Office

by Alan Beatts

It's been a while since I wrote something for this newsletter (just been too damn busy of late -- mostly in a good way) and I hope that the following won't be a disappointment to you.  Because it's got nothing to do with our field, or books at all.  In fact, it treads very close to my self-imposed restriction about not talking about politics.

But, all that aside, I've got some information that it is important to me to get spread around and, for reasons that you'll hear about in a moment, it's been surprisingly hard to get people to listen.  Curious?  Then please read on.

I've never served in the armed forces, either in the US or elsewhere, but I've worked with and for a lot of veterans.  On top of that, I've numbered many of them among my friends.  Something that has been a huge source of frustration and disgust for me over the years is how damn hard it can be for veterans to get access to the benefits that they deserve, especially health care.  When I was in my teens and 20s I used to go with my friend Maureen to wait at the VA in Palo Alto for her doctors appointments.  She had been discharged from the Marine Corps (she was one of the very first women to work in Marine Intelligence, which we always joked was one of the biggest oxymorons in history) after a catastrophic car accident while on-duty.  The resulting injuries left her with chronic pain and memory problems for the rest of her life.  One of the reasons that I'd go with her was that when the pain was especially bad she couldn't drive.  We used to wait for hours and hours at a stretch to see a doctor.  On top of that there were constant problems with her eligibility for health care.  To be fair, the doctors and other staff did their best but the whole system was inefficient and over-loaded.  It is, to this day, one of the worst health-care systems I've seen in the US.

I've heard about that sort of experience from many other vets that I've known.  But, if the process of getting care was difficult, then the process of signing up in the first place was unbelievable.  As of a few years ago, that signup process involved a very long paper form that had to be filled out completely and accurately.  Then that form was sent off to a single office, in Atlanta, where an understaffed office manually reviewed the forms, manually checked them against an ancient database and then, if everything was correct and worked properly, then manually entered information into yet another, ancient database.

In short, it was exactly the sort of Kafka-esque process that arises when the paper-pushing side of the US Military and the paper-pushing side of the Federal government spend one drunken night together and then have a really ugly baby.  Delays of over a year were not uncommon and, if the forms weren't filled out properly, it could be over a year before the applicant ever heard about it.

However, that whole process has changed recently due to a project that my friend John worked on.  John is one of our sponsors and he's working with the United States Digital Service <https://www.usds.gov>.  Until John mentioned it, I'd never heard of the USDS but it's pretty neat.  Basically it is an organization put together by the current administration designed to attract top level technical experts from the private sector, pair them with government administrators and then ask them to sort out some of the technical and IT problems that interfere with the government providing services to the public.  They've done some great work since 2014 when they started and it makes me feel pretty proud that at least four of our sponsors are working with them right now.

September Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. NINTH CITY BURNING by J. Patrick Black
2. THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS by China Mieville
3. DEATH’S END by Cixin Liu
4. WAYPOINT KANGAROO by Curtis C. Chen
5. EVERFAIR by Nisi Shawl
6. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
7. VELVETEEN VS. THE SEASONS by Seanan McGuire
8. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS 1 & 2 by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany
9. TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING by Ada Palmer
10. INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older

Trade Paperbacks
1.  TRAVELER OF WORLDS: CONVERSATIONS WITH ROBERT SILVERBERG by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
2. WHEN THE BLUE SHIFT COMES by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
3. THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin
4.  THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu
5. THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman
6. THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET by Becky Chambers
7. MECHANICAL FAILURE by Joe Zieja
8. THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu
9. HEROINE COMPLEX by Sarah Kuhn
10. THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor Lavelle tie with PEOPLE OF COLO(U)R DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Kristine Ong Muslim

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. ONCE BROKEN FAITH by Seanan McGuire
2. FIX by Ferrett Steinmetz
3. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
4. FLEX by Ferrett Steinmetz
5. ZEROES by Chuck Wendig
6. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
7. THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
8. POSEIDON’S WAKE by Alastair Reynolds
9. THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS by Jim Butcher
10. ROSEMARY AND RUE by Seanan McGuire

October News

* Overheard in the store (and elsewhere):
"What surprises you the most about the way the future has turned out?"
Robert Silverberg: "That I am still here!"

"Twitter: it helps us badger people into hiring our friends."

* You'll probably be hearing a lot more about an ill-conceived, poorly-written, and thoroughly over-reaching California law, AB 1570 (signed in early September and supposed to go into effect in January of 2017) that would require dealers to provide insanely detailed "Certificates of Authenticity" for ANY autographed item over $5 that they sell.  The item doesn't even have to be autographed by a celebrity or person of note, just "autographed".  So that means this would apply not only to any $7.99 mass market paperback signed by Seanan McGuire, Neil Gaiman, or Brent Weeks that we sell when the authors are not on the premises, for example, but the law is so poorly written that it would also apply to Green Apple Books selling textbooks with the student's signature in them, or a grandmother's collection of hand-written recipes, if she happened to sign them.  The bookseller would need to provide a customized Certificate of Authenticity for these items, or expose themselves to the possibility of extremely expensive litigation.

Obviously independent booksellers are watching this carefully.  Eureka Books posted a long and passionate statement detailing  just some of the myriad potential problems with the law: http://eurekabooksellers.com/california-just-made-it-harder-to-sell-your-signed-books-and-art/  We urge you to contact your local California representative (you can find them here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/) and ask them to demand the rewriting, or better, the repeal of this law, which DOES NOT APPLY to the very worst offenders of the type of fraud it seeks to combat (Ebay and Amazon, among others), and could have a severe impact on independent bookstores, including Borderlands.

September 13, 2016

Upcoming Events

Ferrett Steinmetz, FIX (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) on Saturday, September 17th at 3:00 pm

J. Patrick Black, NINTH CITY BURNING (Ace, Hardcover, $27.00) on Saturday, September 24th at 1:00 pm

Reading Along the Aqueduct, with Susan diRende, Liz Henry, Ellen Klages, Claire Light, Nancy Jane Moore, and Lori Selke on Sunday, September 25th at 3:00 pm

Blake Charlton, SPELLBREAKER (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) on Saturday, October 1st at 3:00 pm

Nisi Shawl, EVERFAIR (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) on Sunday, October 2nd at 2:00 pm

Colin Dickey, GHOSTLAND: AN AMERICAN HISTORY OF HAUNTED PLACES (Viking, Hardcover, $27.00) with guest Annalee Newitz on Saturday, October 8th at 3:00 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 2, "Thrills, Chills, Zen, and Trains" with Alex Dolan, Janet Dawson, Daryl Gregory and Eliot Fintushel, Saturday, October 15th at 7:15 pm

Litquake LitCrawl, Phase 3, "From Inside Your Head, to Under the Sea, to Beyond the Stars" with Skye Allen, Chaz Brenchley, Becky Chambers, and Serena Valentino, Saturday, October 15th at 8:30 pm

Jewelle Gomez, THE GILDA STORIES 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (City Lights Books, Trade Paperback, $16.95) on Saturday, October 30th at 3:00 pm

And, coming up in the Fall, we're thrilled to welcome even more wonderful authors including Dan Wells and Brent Weeks, among many others!

August Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS 1 & 2 by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, & J.K. Rowling
2. THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS by China Mieville
3. POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL by Serena Valentino
4. THE PERDITION SCORE by Richard Kadrey
5. THE NIGHTMARE STACKS by Charles Stross
6. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead
7. FOUR ROADS CROSS by Max Gladstone
8. INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older
9. THE PALE BROWN THING by Fritz Leiber
10. TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING by Ada Palmer

Trade Paperbacks
1. THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET by Becky Chambers
2. MECHANICAL FAILURE by Joe Zieja
3. THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman
4. THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin
5. HEROINE COMPLEX by Sarah Kuhn
6. THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu
7. I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas
8. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
9. THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor Lavelle
10. NINEFOX GAMBIT by Yoon Ha Lee

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. THE CONCLAVE OF SHADOW by Alyc Helms
2. NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
3. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
4. THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS by Jim Butcher
5. THUNDERBIRD by Jack McDevitt
6. ZEROES by Chuck Wendig
7. HOT LEAD, COLD IRON by Ari Marmell
8. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
9. KOJIKI by Keith Yatshuashi
10. KOKO THE MIGHTY by Kieran Shea

September News

* Our friends at the Internet Archive <https://archive.org/index.php> are looking for volunteers to help with their 20th Anniversary party, and with other projects as well!  Here's some info from the Archive: "The Internet Archive is turning 20!  Help us kick off the night in style on October 26th from 4pm to 10pm.  Volunteer shifts are 4 hours long (4pm to 8pm and 6pm to 10pm).  Volunteers who complete a shift at the Anniversary Party get full access to the party, demos, food, drinks (please consume any adult beverages after your shift), and a t-shirt to say thank you. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Archives doing other events or even core mission work, preference will be given to anyone who helped out with the Anniversary events."  Use this link for more information and to sign up to volunteer: https://goo.gl/forms/vQm98P2IJwGOptyE3

* Compass Books in Terminal 3 at SFO is looking for a full-time, general interest bookseller.  Is is you?  http://www.indeed.com/m/viewjob?jk=8142c13f55aee482&from=tellafriend

* The Locus Writers Workshop is hosting a single-day intensive workshop taught by award-winning author Daryl Gregory on Saturday, September 24th.  There are still a few slots left if you'd like to sign up, and tuition even includes a tour of the Locus Magazine offices!  Full details are here: http://lsff.net/awards/bay-area-locus-writers-workshop-2016-with-daryl-gregory/

* Actor Ian McKellen turned down $1.5 million to officiate a billionaire's wedding costumed as Gandalf.  "Gandalf doesn't do weddings.":  https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/23/ian-mckellen-turned-down-15m-to-officiate-as-gandalf-at-sean-parkers-wedding

* A rumination on Dune, 50 years on.  What it meant, what it still means, and why it's so important:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/03/dune-50-years-on-science-fiction-novel-world