Monday, July 14, 2014

Dispatches From the Border: June 2014

Events and News from Borderlands Books

Editor's Note - We have started changing the way we reproduce and distribute this newsletter. The entire newsletter is posted and archived at our blog <>. At the end of major features in this newsletter you'll find permanent links to those individual items.  These links can be convenient if you want to send just a single article or if you'd like to link to it from your website.

The current newsletter is also reproduced in full at our website, and is distributed via email. You can view the current newsletter, and subscribe to the email version of at  <http:///>.

Upcoming Author Events

Jane Lindskold, ARTEMIS AWAKENING, (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Saturday, June 7th at 3:00 pm

Greg van Eekhout, CALIFORNIA BONES, (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Wednesday, June 11th at 7:00 pm

Jo Walton, MY REAL CHILDREN, (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday, June 14th at 3:00 pm

James S.A. Corey, CIBOLA BURN (Orbit, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday, June 21st at 3:00 pm

Juliet Blackwell, A VISION IN VELVET (Signet, Mass Market, $7.99) Kate Carlisle, THE BOOK STOPS HERE (New American Library, Hardcover, $24.95), and Gigi Pandian, PIRATE VISHNU (Henery Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Saturday, July 12th at 3:00 pm

MP Johnson, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS (Eraserhead Press, Trade Paperback) Sunday, July 13th at 3:00 pm

Richard Lupoff, WRITER VOL. 1 (Ramble House, Hardcover, $32.00, and Trade Paperback, $18.00), WRITER VOL. 2 (Ramble House, Hardcover, $32.00, and Trade Paperback, $20.00) & WHAT IF? VOL. 3 (Ramble House, Hardcover, $32.00, and Trade Paperback, $18.00) Saturday, July 19th at 3:00 pm
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*  Overheard in the Store:
"The moral of the story is pretty much 'Gravity wins'."
"It's worse . . . they don't show up and break your kneecaps, they come to your house and repossess your cat."

 *  Overheard at the Nebulas
"I don't think I trust squid from a truck."
"But he was seated next to [famous & famously grumpy author], so anyone looks like Santa Claus that way."
"Yay, San Jose. The Gateway to Gilroy."
"Oooh -- robot curtains!"
"I just want to make it perfectly clear that I don't know f**k about s** t."

Lots and lots of award news:

 *  Congratulations to Ann Leckie for winning both the Clarke Award AND the Nebula Award for Best Novel, ANCILLARY JUSTICE.

 *  Congratulations to the other Nebula winners as well, Vylar Kaftan, Aliette de Boddard and Rachel Swirsky! And to Nalo Hopkinson who won the Andre Norton Award for YA.

 *  Finalists for the 2014 Sturgeon Memorial Award announced.

 *  Finalists for the 2014 Locus Awards announced.

 *  Nominees for the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award announced.

 *  Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards!

 *  Finalists for the 2013 John W. Campbell Award announced.

And lots of other news!

 *  Harper Collins to buy Harlequin.

 * tells us why the livestock of the future will be insects!

 *  International trailer for the highly anticipated Wachowski siblings new sci-fi epic JUPITER ASCENDING has been released and it looks like it could be awesome.

 *  Scientists think that wormholes could be used to send messages through time.

 *  Joe Hanson, in his ongoing series 'It's Okay To Be Smart', tries to scientifically explain Westeros and Game of Thrones.  It works . . .  somewhat.

 *  Echidnas are the only mammals (along with the platypus) to hatch from eggs. Watch it happen here.

 *  io9's animation blog gives us a list of the Most Bad-Ass Women in All Animation and some of the choices are quite surprising at first, but right on target.

 *  Alfonso Cuaron, (whose most recent film GRAVITY is amazing) is now rumored to have been offered first refusal rights to direct OVERLOOK HOTEL, the prequel to Stephen King's THE SHINING.  Cuaron is one of the few directors who could probably make this watchable -- let's hope he takes it.

 *  The newest international trailer (Russian) for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY continues to hit the perfect blend of camp and sci-fi awesome. When "Spirit in the Sky" started to play I almost snorted my drink out of my nose.

 *  Sincerely epic geek tattoos:

 *  Borderlands is saddened to announce the death of beloved author Mary Stewart at age 97.

 *  The full trailer for DARK DUNGEONS, the Jack Chick tract about playing D&D and Satanism, is out now!

 *  Happen to have $1.5 million sitting around? You can own the house where Ray Bradbury lived & wrote for 50 years:

 *  We're very sorry to report the death of artist H.R. Giger at age 74. Giger died from injuries sustained in a fall.

 *  Tyrion Lannister & Jon Snow get Disney Prince-ified: (caution, spoiler in the text!)

 *  Looks like Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society Book Club's really taking off  We likely won't have one here --  it's too cold!

 *  You may have heard about the recent Amazon / Hachette kerfluffle.  We're following the whole thing closely, but if you'd like an educated overview, here's the place to start:

For interesting commentary on what the current conflict could mean for books, ideas and readers in the future, read this: 

If you'd like an extended look at Amazon's history and business practices (written before the current troubles), here is a really excellent and in-depth article from The New Yorker:

Lastly, a profoundly less even-handed, but much more profane and entertaining look: (Thank you to customer Keith B. for the link.)

* We regret to report the death of author Jay Lake on June 1st.  Jay used to come and write in-store in front of an audience, collaborating with artists Alan Clark and Paul Groendes to produce almost-instant books.

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From The Office

What Sword and Sorcery Is To Me
by Jeremy Lassen

For a long time I've heard various fantasy labels used interchangeably.  High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery . . . with newer bastardizations thrown in like Low Fantasy and Dark Fantasy, and, absurdly, Grim-Dark Fantasy.  Oftentimes, a favorite label is just a shorthand for "stuff I like" with a hodge-podge of disparate works crammed into a poorly-fitting box.

The only truly useful and pretty clearly delineated labels I know of for the fantasy genre are Portal Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy, and Historical Fantasy.  A good example of Portal Fantasy is The Chronicles of Narnia.  There is OUR world and there is a world where fantastic stuff takes place that is categorically NOT our world, and there is some artifact, or device, or doorway (a portal of sorts) that connects the two.

Secondary World Fantasy is what most people think of when they think of fantasy fiction.  It's Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series: a world that is a close analog to ours, but it is NOT ours, and doesn't pretend to be.

Historical Fantasy is the fantasy that purports to take place in our world but has elements of the fantastic intruding into it.  Arthurian fiction of all stripes fall into this category.

For me Sword and Sorcery is the bastard child both historical fiction, and secondary world fantasy -- both in terms of its literary roots, and, in some cases, in terms of its setting. Though not known by a large audience, Harold Lamb's Khlit the Cossack fiction ( is often cited by scholars and authors as being proto-sword and sorcery.  It influenced Robert. E. Howard and his Conan tales, with Howard himself citing Lamb as a favorite.

The Encyclopedia of Fantasy ( provides the etymology of the term sword and sorcery (Fritz Leiber coined it, at the prompting of Michael Moorcock), and also suggests another link between historical adventure fiction and sword and sorcery: Alexander Dumas as literary antecedent to sword and sorcery fiction.  I find these two points very interesting.

First, the Dumas connection, and the link to adventure fiction: The Conan stories are considered to be a foundation of the sword and sorcery genre, and its author still felt the need to articulate a relationship between our world and the fantastic world of Conan.  Howard's essay, The Hyborian Age (, details how the Conan stories (and indeed several other of Howard's creations) are temporally and geographically linked to our world.

This impulse on Howard's part, to my mind further cements the cross-fertilization between the fantasy genre and the historical adventure genre.  Howard's contemporary readers -- the readers of Weird Tales -- were quite likely readers of Adventure magazine, where Lamb's Cossack tales were published.  Howard was writing for the same audience, and knew what their expectations where.  Indeed Howard himself wrote many non-fantastic historical adventure stories and several unsold mundane adventure stories were revised into Conan stories, as the demand for his fantasy work outpaced the demand for mundane adventures.

Another way to look at this "pre-history" conceit is to see it as a narrative tool akin to the portal fantasy trope (secondary world fantasy was not a clearly developed genre when Howard was writing).  In a post-Tolkien world, many readers are conversant with the narrative conventions of a world that is "like ours, but not really ours."  Prior to the widespread popularity of this form, readers would find themselves asking "How did we get from here to there . . . ?"  Howard's construction of the Hyborian Age tried to answer that question.  Oral histories, found manuscripts, and mythology lie under the foundations of fantasy fiction.  And sword and sorcery, in its infancy, often pulled out the "pre-history" card.  Later, this trope was used as an homage to this pre-history tradition.  (One could even argue that one of the bastard offspring of this "pre-history" fantasy form is the "Dying Earth" or Post-History narratives, many of which are considered to be firmly in the sword and sorcery stable.)

The other reason I find the Fantasy Encyclopedia entry interesting is because the etymology of the term clearly shows that is a term used by authors and editors, trying to define and come up with labels to describe the things they were doing.  Writers, critics and editors in most fields engage in "long conversations" in which topics that are first discussed in small groups spread across the whole field over a period of months or years because of the essential nature of the topic to the field.  Topics like that mature over time and often reach a consensus conclusion without any real guidance or agenda.  And, throughout, that sort of conversation shapes the stories that are written.  I find the organic nature of these "long conversation" terms to be very alluring (as opposed to literary terms that come from outside the genre, or are applied retroactively to a group of writers and their works).  They might be filled with contradictions and littered with fine lines that are only discernible to fellow travelers, but they are not bounded by arbitrary rules and categories.  They are not terms meant to keep stories in separate boxes but instead these terms allow for and promote literary miscegenation and the cross-pollination of ideas.  And that's exactly what Sword and Sorcery is -- a confluence of specific fantasy archetypes.  With each generation, some part of the form is changed and altered, but the works preserve a similar-but-evolving aesthetic purpose, from generation to generation.

And what is that purpose?  That gets to the title of this little essay.  I can't speak for others, but for me, when I first discovered them, Sword and Sorcery stories were tales of agency.  They served a similar purpose to superhero fiction; the archetype of the "hyper-competent loner" is often at the center of Sword and Sorcery and it serves a very specific pre-adolescent and adolescent need.  Which is why, like many "empowerment fantasies", it is often enthusiastically consumed by younger readers.  And if you never discovered the soulful allure of "blood and thunder" as a young reader, you may not ever come to appreciate its subtle nuance as an adult.

The other essential component of Sword and Sorcery is that it is character driven.  When describing heroic fantasy, people often cite the works by character name, rather than by setting or by title.  That naming convention is not a constant but its frequency does emphasize the character focus of these types of stories.  There can be world building and exotic locales, but the focus is always on the protagonists.

Much like the superhero genre, Sword and Sorcery has been reexamined and remixed and expanded beyond its archetypal form.  Siegal and Shuster's Superman gave birth to Frank Miller and Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, the same way that Howard's Conan gave birth to Michael Moorcock and Karl Edward Wagner and Richard Morgan.

Did you like the way I threw that last name in there?  Morgan (though often thought of as a writer of science fiction first) is doing an amazing job of keeping the Sword and Sorcery flame alive, via his series of novels A Land Fit for Heroes. I was lucky enough to read the first incarnation of Morgan's novel, The Steel Remains.  It was originally a short story written for The Magazine and Fantasy and Science Fiction.  This rejected story was more of a vignette, and was essentially the first chapter of The Steel Remains.  In my mind, Morgan stands shoulder to shoulder with Moorcock and Leiber, participating in and perpetuating a long conversation.  The impulse to use the furniture of Sword and Sorcery to say something unique and different about the nature of power and violence and agency is a big part of what that sub-genre is about.

Moorcock famously cast his Elric narratives "against type". That is, while Conan was a muscular barbarian who hated civilization, Elric was physically weak and frail member of the royal family from a decadent empire.  Morgan did the same with his character Ringil, taking the assumed heterosexuality of fantasy protagonists and turning it on its head.  Even more fitting, the homo-erotic subtext of a lot of Sword and Sorcery fiction is elevated to an over-text, with an unflinching narrative eye.

So how did we get from there to her, and what else is here now?  I've already pointed out Harold Lamb's Khlit the Cossack.  He clearly begat Robert E. Howard's Conan.  And a direct descendent of Conan was Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser story cycle.  It is fitting that this duo begot two new-wave Sword and Sorcery giants -- Karl Edward Wagner's Kane, an Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone.  From these two characters, one can see the line that goes to Charles Saunder's Imaro, straight (sorry for the anti-pun) on to Morgan's Ringil.  Saunders and Morgan both reflect each other quite clearly, featuring as they do, heroic fantasy protagonists that embody a cultural other, (in the sense of the world the characters inhabit,) as well as "other" when measured against the often-presumed straight/white readership of fantasy fiction.

One great novel of relatively recent vintage that clearly draws the connections between Sword and Sorcery and the historical adventure fiction of Alexander Dumas is Ellen Kushner's Riverside series, beginning with Swordspoint. Though this novel fails to provide the "sorcery" part of the equation, it is a clearly secondary world fantasy, and it is very much character driven.  And it features Kushner blowing up fantasy fiction's assumed-sexuality norms long before Morgan got there.

Another recent novel that revels in its "Dumas-ness" is Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora, which quite literally embraces the character-name-as-title trope I referred to earlier.

Steven Erickson has his sprawling epic fantasy Malazan series, but within that world he has the story cycle of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach.  The black humor and story structure of these works is clearly an homage to the classic Sword and Sorcery form in general, and to Fritz Leiber specifically.

Others who are playing around with Sword and Sorcery tropes who should not be missed include K. J. Parker, Courtney Schaffer, Joe Abercrombie, and Jeff Salyards.

Obviously there are many other characters and works that exist in the lineage of the authors I've mentioned. From C. L. Moore to Manly Wade Wellman, L. Sprague de camp, Lin Carter and on and on . . . there are far too many to list here.  But one very good way to explore these gaps is via short fiction.  Sword and Sorcery anthologies have been a staple of the publishing industry for many decades now, and they are an amazing resource that can convey the very broad spectrum of the Sword and Sorcery sub-genre.

First up I'd point to the recent Hartwell and Weisman anthology, "The Sword and Sorcery Anthology."  I'm a fan the functional minimalism of this title, and I'm also a big fan of the overview provided by David Drake's introduction.  His combination of first hand accounts of authors and editors, and his clear, concise scholarship is a treasure.  That, and the broad, representative range of stories makes this book essential reading, IMO.

Another good historical overview is In Lands That Never Were: Tales of Swords and Sorcery from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which collects the best S&S from The Magazine of F&SF.

An original anthology of recent vintage is Jonathan Strahan and Lou Ander's Swords and Dark Magic.  This is a great example of contemporary authors being cognizant of the long genre conversation that they are a part of.

Going further back, one can find the five volume Flashing Swords series (1973-1981) of anthologies edited by Lin Carter, which featured then-original fiction by then-contemporary writers, like Leiber, Vance, Moorcock and many others.  Older reprint anthologies include L. Sprague de Camp's The Spell of Seven and Karl Wagner's Echoes of Valor series.  Jessica Amanda Salmonson had a series of "Amazon" anthologies that are also noteworthy.

Finally, I urge all of you to contact Mary Robinette Kowal, and ask her to write the novel she threatened to unleash upon the world with this April Fools spoof: "Sword and Sensibility" (  When she announced the title of her recent novel, Valour and Vanity, I was convinced she had taken a suggestion of mine seriously.  You see, we had spent a long car ride together, where she picked my brain about Conan and Robert E. Howard.  I told her the Conan story "Queen of the Black Coast" would make the best Jane Austen/Robert E. Howard literary mash up ever.  When I found out Valour and Vanity WASN'T a Conan-novel-as-written-by-Jane-Austen, I was devastated.

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Top Sellers At Borderlands

1. Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal
2. Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
3. Hild by Nicola Griffith
4. Velveteen vs. the Multiverse by Seanan McGuire
5. The Martian by Andy Weir
6. Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan
7. Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
8. Shipstar by Gregory Benford & Larry Niven
9. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
10. Descent by Ken MacLeod

Mass Market Paperbacks
1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2. Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
3. Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
5. Snuff by Terry Pratchett
6. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
7. Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
8. The Seven-Petaled Shield by Deborah J. Ross
9. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly
10. The Long War by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

Trade Paperbacks
1. Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
3. Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
4. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samamtar
5. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

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Book Club Info

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, June 8th, at 5 pm to discuss HORNS by Joe Hill.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, June 15th, at 6 pm to discuss WOOL by Hugh Howey.  The book for July is MAKERS by Cory Doctorow.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Jane Lindskold, ARTEMIS AWAKENING, (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Saturday, June 7th at 3:00 pm - Celebrated author Jane Lindskold launches an entirely new series with ARTEMIS AWAKENING.  Publishers Weekly described it as: ". . . paying homage to golden-age SF by authors like Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett, and C.L. Moore. . .", which invokes fallen interstellar empires, genetically altered animals (and humans), and a race to rediscover everything humanity has lost.  From the publisher's website: "The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay. . . but there was always the possibility of danger so that visitors could brag that they had “bested” the environment.  The Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later humanity has lost much of the advanced technology and Artemis is a fable told to children.  Until young archeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. Their journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet’s secrets. . . and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind."

Greg van Eekhout, CALIFORNIA BONES, (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) Wednesday, June 11th at 7:00 pm - Greg van Eekhout lives in Los Angeles and is the author of many short stories and several novels including NORSE CODE and the charmingly titled middle-grade adventure KID VS. SQUID.  However, I have to admit I'm most excited about his new novel CALIFORNIA BONES.  Here's the publisher's description: "When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian. Then, when Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.  Now thirty, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles -- the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California -- he is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist for Daniel to undertake: break into the the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian’s sword, an object of untold power.  Daniel assembles a trustworthy team of his closest friends from the criminal world. Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Morales, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.  Extravagant, inventive, and shot through with moments of intensity as bright as the California sun, Daniel’s story is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality -- different from the world we know, and yet also familiar and true."  We're looking forward to hosting Greg and checking out this incredible book; we certainly hope you'll join us!

Jo Walton, MY REAL CHILDREN, (Tor, Hardcover, $25.99) Saturday June 14th at 3:00 pm - In MY REAL CHILDREN, her first new novel since 2011's AMONG OTHERS (which won both the Nebula Award and Hugo Award for Best Novel) Jo Walton explores two different worlds and a woman who can't be sure which is real.  From the publisher's website: "It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. 'Confused today,' read the notes clipped to the end of her bed.  She forgets things she should know -- what year it is, major events in the lives of her children.  But she remembers things that don't seem possible.  She remembers marrying Mark and having four children.  And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead.  She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.  Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War -- those were solid things.  But after that, did she marry Mark or not?  Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat?  Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy?  And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?  Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs."

James S.A. Corey, CIBOLA BURN (Orbit, Hardcover, $27.00) Saturday June 21st at 3:00 pm - Come join Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck (collectively known as James S.A. Corey) as they celebrate the release of CIBOLA BURN with a Q&A and signing at Borderlands! CIBOLA BURN is the fourth book in their series The Expanse, which has been nominated for various awards and was recently optioned as a TV series for Syfy.  Fun, exciting space opera with mysterious galactic history and complex characters awaits.  From the publisher's website: "The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds and the rush to colonize has begun.  Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity’s home planets.  Illus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.  Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage and the skills learned in the long wars of home.  Innocent scientists are slaughtered as they try to survey a new and alien world.  James Holden and the crew of his one small ship are sent to make peace in the midst of war and sense in the heart of chaos.  But the more he looks at it, the more Holden thinks the mission was meant to fail.  And the whispers of a dead man remind him that the great galactic civilization which once stood on this land is gone.  And that something killed them."

Juliet Blackwell, A VISION IN VELVET (Signet, Mass Market, $7.99) Kate Carlisle, THE BOOK STOPS HERE (New American Library, Hardcover, $24.95), and Gigi Pandian, PIRATE VISHNU (Henery Press, Trade Paperback, $15.95) Saturday, July 12th at 3:00 pm -  Do you like witches or pirates?  (We know you like books!)  Why choose when you can enjoy all three at this event?  Juliet Blackwell, Kate Carlisle, and Gigi Pandian return to their respective series, with even more mystery, magic and pirates.   Come celebrate the release of three books!  In A VISION IN VELVET, the sixth in Blackwell's Witchcraft Mystery series, Lily must save someone very important to her, her pot-bellied pig familiar Oscar.  A witch is reaching out from the past, through her velvet cloak, and it's up to Lily to decide whether she is friend or foe and to prepare to fight if she must.  In THE BOOK STOPS HERE, rare-book expert and appraiser Brooklyn Wainwright is thrilled to be appearing on the San Francisco edition of the hit TV show This Old Attic.  Her first subject is a very valuable (and likely very dangerous) first-edition copy of The Secret Garden.  Then the show's host, Randolph, is accosted by an angry man who says the book was purchased on the cheap at his garage sale, and he wants it back, or else.  Can she protect Randolph and herself?  The past also reaches out in PIRATE VISHNU, Pandian's second Jaya Jones mystery.  Historian Jones is stuck not only dealing with her complicated love life but also trying to solve two murders a century apart and decipher a treasure map left by one of her ancestors, the Pirate Vishnu of the title.  If she succeeds she could very well rediscover sacred jewels thought lost forever . . .  and if she fails she could end up being the next one to walk the plank.

MP Johnson, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS (Eraserhead Press, Trade Paperback) Sunday July 13th at 3:00 pm - Borderlands is proud and tickled as pink as Ms. LaRuse's wig to welcome MP Johnson for the release for his latest work, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS.  It is quite simply everything you've always wanted in a fantasy novel and didn't know how to ask for.  Drag Queens! Wizards! Monsters! Fabulous Wigs! And more! When Sleazella LaRuse, the reigning queen-of-queens of Green Bay, ends up in a completely different world as the intended bride of the serpent god Houmak, she must use all of her guile, skills, and lip-synching prowess to make her way, survive and maybe find love along the way. A delicious mix of irreverent humor, sword-and-sorcery and Drag-attude.  Even if you've never been into drag you'll be into this simply because it's a great adventure story that never goes where you expect.

Richard Lupoff, WRITER VOL. 1 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $18.00), WRITER VOL. 2 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $20.00) & WHAT IF? VOL. 3 (Ramble House, Trade Paperback, $18.00) Saturday July 19th at 3:00 pm - Celebrated author Dick Lupoff comes to Borderlands for the release of three books.  Read behind-the-scenes stories of triumphs and hardships in WRITER VOL. 1 & 2.  Memoir, criticism, analysis and anecdotes combine and inform each other and give the reader a real idea of what it means to be a working writer for 60 years.  If you've enjoyed Richard Lupoff's work in the past, dig into these books to see what was happening behind the stories.  Lupoff is also presenting the long awaited WHAT IF? VOL. 3, decades after VOL. 1 & 2.  Lupoff returns to collect stories that were eligible for the Hugo, and in Lupoff's opinion should have won.  Collecting stories from 1966-1973, it includes works by Joanna Russ, Samuel Delany, Gene Wolfe, Ursula LeGuin, and more!

Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge unless otherwise stated.  You are welcome to bring copies of an author's books purchased elsewhere to be autographed (but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while at the event).  For most events you are welcome to bring as many books as you wish for autographs.  If you are unable to attend the event we will be happy to have a copy of any of the author's available books signed or inscribed for you.  We can then either hold the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts
Contributor - Jeremy Lassen

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of
Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA  94110

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