July 07, 2016

Upcoming Events

Sarah Kuhn, HEROINE COMPLEX (DAW, Trade Paperback, $15.00); Mira Grant, RISE (ORBIT, Hardcover, $25.00); and Amber Benson, THE LAST DREAM KEEPER (ACE, Trade Paperback, $15.00) on Saturday, July 9th at 6:00 pm

Writers With Drinks at the Make Out Room (3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with Sarah Kuhn, Allison Mick, Anne Lesley Selcer, Charles Stross, Shruti Swamy, and Abigail Ulman on Saturday, July 9th at 7:30 pm

Charles Stross, THE NIGHTMARE STACKS (ACE, Hardcover, $27.00) on Sunday, July 10th at 3:00 pm

Donald Sidney-Fryer, HOBGOBLIN APOLLO: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF DONALD SIDNEY-FRYER (Hippocampus Press, Trade Paperback, $25.00) on Saturday, July 16th at 1:00 pm (please note the unusually early start time for this event)

Early Closing - Borderlands Books and Cafe will both be closing at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 16th for a private event

SF in SF with authors Richard Kadrey and Thomas Olde Heuvelt (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco, CA) on Sunday, July 17th at 6:30 pm

Daniel O'Malley, STILETTO (Little, Brown & Company, Hardcover, $26.00) on Saturday, July 23rd at 3:00 pm

Seth Harwood, EVERYONE PAYS (Thomas & Mercer, Trade Paperback, $15.95) on Sunday, July 24th at 3:00 pm

Todd Lockwood, THE SUMMER DRAGON (DAW, Hardcover, $26.00) on Wednesday, July 27th at 6:00 pm

Eliot Fintushel, ZEN CITY, (Zero Books, Trade Paperback, $11.95) on Saturday, July 30th at 3:00 pm

A celebration of Avram Davidson with Grania Davis and Ethan Davidson, reading from the new collection DAVID & SON, plus special guest Trina Robbins! (Surinam Turtle Press, Trade Paperback, $15.00) on Sunday, July 31st at 6:00 pm

Richard Kadrey, THE PERDITION SCORE (HarperVoyager, Hardcover, $25.99) on Saturday, August 6th at 3:00 pm

Sonia Orin Lyris, THE SEER (Baen, Trade Paperback, $15.00) Saturday, August 13th at 3:00 pm

SF in SF with authors Cecil Castellucci, David D. Levine, and Ben Loory (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco, CA) on Sunday, August 14th at 6:30 pm

Drop-by signing with Becky Chambers, A LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET (Harper, Trade Paperback, $15.99) on Monday, August 15th

London, the Heart of the Urban Fantasy Empire

by Miranda Phaal

Modern London has become the capital of the new urban fantasy empire.  Although a contemporary setting is not a requirement of urban fantasy, what makes the subgenre so appealing is its blend of the old and the new.  The ancient historical and literary -- and, most importantly, rural -- tradition of magic is adapted to a new setting: the city.  The supernatural is thus made less fantastic, and more familiar.  With urban fantasy, the reader need not conjure up an unreachable realm long ago and far away to immerse herself in the world of the novel and experience its magic.  All that is required, at least for the city-dweller, is to step out the front door.

Urban fantasy makes the impossible credible in our own world. Typically, it does this by taking tenets of traditional or high fantasy, placing them some distance back in the history of the imagined world, and deducing how they would have evolved over time to function in a contemporary urban environment.  Something old becomes something new.

It is no coincidence that about half of all urban fantasy novels since the subgenre's inception have been set in London.  Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and a handful of other subsequent seminal works in the subgenre have no doubt influenced other authors to write about London's magic, but that magic was already there.

June Bestsellers

1. THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill
2. THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin
4. THE LONG COSMOS by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
5. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
7. WAR FACTORY by Neal Asher
8. LEAGUE OF DRAGONS by Naomi Novik
9. THE NIGHTMARE STACKS by Charles Stross
10. THE EVERYTHING BOX by Richard Kadrey

Trade Paperbacks
1. THE ROOT by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun
2. UNITED STATES OF JAPAN by Peter Tieryas
3. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
5. THE THREE BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
6. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
7. GUNSLINGER by Stephen King
9. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
10. NEMESIS GAMES by James S.A. Corey

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
2. THE END OF ALL THINGS by John Scalzi
3. SILENT HILL by N.S. Dolkart
4. VICKY PETERWALD: REBEL by Mike Shepherd
5. THE PRICE OF VALOR by Django Wexler
6. FROM A HIGH TOWER by Mercedes Lackey
7. THE DINOSAUR LORDS by Victor Milan
8. ARTEFACT by Jamie Sawyer
10. ASSASSIN QUEEN by Anna Kashina

July News

* A warm welcome to Borderlands' publicity and marketing intern, Miranda Phaal!  Miranda is a Borderlands sponsor and a student at Tufts University.  She'll be helping us out with events, hopefully helping with our elusive YouTube channel, and writing some promotional material and other items for the store, including this month's From the Office piece.  You'll mostly see Miranda at events or in the office, so feel free to say hi when you do!

* Overheard in the store:
[Author]: "I'm not really very collectible. My audience is primarily composed of people who shoplift books."
"I _really_ need to finish what I'm reading right now.  But this one just looks so cool. . . AND this one. . . ."

* PLEASE NOTE: Because of a sponsor rental, we'll be closing both the bookstore and cafe early, at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 16th.

* Science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer was just appointed to the Order of Canada for his contribution to science fiction and futurism.  Presented twice a year, it is one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.  The full list of appointments is here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/governor-general-announces-113-appointments-to-the-order-of-canada/article30686986/

* The Horror Writers' Association (HWA) has announced a new program that will fund endowments to help libraries set up and maintain teen writing programs!  The whole announcement is here: http://horrorscholarships.com/young-adults-write-now-endowment-program/

* Person of Interest started as a weekly criminal procedural with an interesting science fiction element, and through its run (which just ended after 5 seasons), became one of the best recent science fiction shows.  Io9 goes into all the details.  http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-person-of-interest-became-essential-science-fiction-1782518427

* Although Kotaku argues that Metal Gear Solid is one of the best science fiction stories in any medium, perhaps a Person of Interest/Metal Gear Solid deathmatch to settle the question? http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/07/metal-gear-solid-is-one-of-the-most-fascinating-science-fiction-stories-in-any-medium/

* With Oculus on the horizon and other gaming companies coming out with their own VR headsets, this article tracing the idea of virtual reality through science fiction is especially timely.  http://venturebeat.com/2016/07/03/how-science-fiction-writers-predicted-virtual-reality/

* This article in Women’s News states what many of us have always known: women love science fiction and read it just as often as men.  http://womensenews.org/2016/07/in-science-fiction-the-race-for-female-readers-should-be-underway/

* Two great science fiction voices, Ann VanderMeer and Annalee Newitz were interviewed and gave their picks for the best summer reads.  http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-07-02/best-science-fiction-books-your-summer-reading-list

* Many of us noticed that most of our favorite military SF writers are veterans.  This article explores the reasons behind those connections and introduces us to some newer voices in military SF: http://www.stripes.com/former-troops-building-second-careers-in-military-science-fiction-1.417224

* Blastr gives us a list of 12 female presidents in science fiction, some wonderful and some absolutely terrible: http://www.blastr.com/2016-6-30/commandresses-chief-top-12-female-presidents-science-fiction

* Great in-depth review/article on Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera novel NINEFOX GAMBIT which combines space, math, and religion into an unforgettable novel.  http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2016/06/ninefox-gambit-is-military-science-fiction-for-people-who-love-mathematics/

* The latest New York Times speculative fiction reviews by N.K. Jemisin! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/books/review/the-latest-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy.html

* And The Washington Post's monthly science fiction reviews! https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/best-science-fiction-novels-to-read-this-month/2016/06/21/6dd0f2f2-33e3-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html

* In geek fandoms/actors crossing-the-streams news, Tom Felton (DRACO MALFOY, WE LOVE YOU!) will be a series regular in Season 3 of "The Flash".

* Interesting conversation about science, fiction, and religion featuring two scientists, a science-fiction writer, and a theologian -- (it sounds like the beginning to a really bad joke, but it's a good article):

* You’ll never look at classic SF authors the same way again, once you see these ads.

* A really interesting discussion about comics targeted at girls that actually had a lot of science fiction and fantasy adventures.  Many dismissed the comics Bunty and Mandy, but there were a lot of great ideas in those pages.  http://www.denofgeek.com/books-comics/girls-comics/40252/a-girl-like-you-genre-adventures-in-girls-comics

* The New Yorker talks to the the talented Catherynne Valente about her Fairyland series, which started online and has since become a phenomenon for both kids and adults.  http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-wildly-inventive-fantasy-series-that-began-on-the-web-and-became-a-best-seller

* This article argues that Indian fantasy writers are not simply rewriting their mythological epics (as has been argued), but that there is a diversity in Indian fantasy for those who wish to look for it.  http://scroll.in/article/810251/indian-fantasy-writers-are-creating-worlds-beyond-the-epics-but-readers-must-know-where-to-look

* Wired has a great interview with author N.K. Jemisin where she talks Patreon, writing, inspiration, and choices.  Check it out! http://www.wired.com/2016/06/wired-book-club-nk-jemisin/

* In honor of Fathers' Day this past month, let's take a look at (arguably) the worst fictional fathers in SF/F: https://www.inverse.com/article/17120-the-10-worst-fictional-fathers-in-sci-fi-fantasy-stories

* The always-brilliant Ursula K. LeGuin responds to a note that "technology is studiously avoided" in her works : http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Note-Technology.html

Award News

* The inaugural Eugie Foster Award has announced its first nominees!  http://www.eugiefoster.com/eugieaward

* The Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the winners of the 2016 Rhysling Awards.  Check them out on their (very retro-1996 Geocities) webpage here:

* The Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) has announced the winner for their 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Awards, which recognize excellence in SF/F/H by New Zealanders.  Check out all the winners here: http://www.sffanz.org.nz/sjv/sjvResults-2016.html

* The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel has announced their 2016 nominees: http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/campbell-finalists.htm

* New Award Alert: Nalo Hopkinson has announced The Lemonade Award to honor five people/groups which are doing something to foster joy and positive change in the science fiction community.  More information and links on how to donate if you feel inclined are here: http://www.strangehorizons.com/blog/2016/06/announcement_the_lemonade_awar.shtml

* The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists have announced the nominees for the 2016 Chesley Awards. Full list here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/2016-chesley-awards-finalists/

* The British Fantasy Society has announced its nominees for the 2016 British Fantasy Award. Full list here: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/british-fantasy-awards/british-fantasy-awards-2016-the-nominees/

* The Lambda Awards were announced and Locus has a list of the winners of interest to SF/F/H fans.  http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/28th-annual-lambda-awards-winners/

* Locus has also announced the winners of their annual awards and have a complete list of their nominees and winners here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/2016-locus-awards-winners/