Monday, June 29, 2020

Sponsor Letter, June 29th 2020

Hi Folks,

Honestly, I'm a bit at sea about what to write this month.  The last few weeks have been kind of a blur.  But, I do have something kind of neat that might interest some of you and I figure that an update on what's going on at the shop might be nice.  So, here we go . . . .

Something Neat
As you'll see in the regular newsletter this month (which will be out shortly), Borderlands is partnering with a writing program called Anam Cara <https://writewithfriends.com>.  Rather than go into it here, I'll just point out that sponsors are eligible for a bigger discount than "regular" folks.  If you use promo code "borderlandsfriends", you'll get $30 off (rather than the usual $20).

Full disclosure: Anam Cara's side of the promotional deal is that Borderlands will get 15% of any signups that come in through our promotion codes.  I'm not really concerned about the income (especially not with you-all) but, if the program is good and legit, it might be a nice little bit of extra income for the shop.  The most important thing to me, however, is that it is, in fact, good and legit.  So, if you do decide to try it out, please let me know what you thought about it.  There is an option for a full refund, if you decide you're unhappy with the program.

How Are Things Going?
There are two answers to that question.  There's the "considering current events" answer and the "compared to what was normal" answer.

Considering current events things are going pretty well.  The shop is open, our systems to deal with the risk of Covid-19 seem to be working well (but <crosses fingers>, check with me in a bit less than two weeks about that), and the staff and customers are all happy with what we're doing.  Sales, all combined, are looking like they're going to be around 65-75% of what we did this time last year.  That is damn, very good and we're grateful.

Combined with the PPP loan, a bunch of new sponsors, and the other fund-raising events that people have put together for us (thank you, Annalee and Charlie Jane!) things are looking alright financially speaking.

Compared to what was normal, things are completely up in the air and probably going to stay that way.  I don't think that I'm going to have any clear idea of how the rest of the year is going to go until the end of July.  That will be the first complete month of having the store open and, by then, I think that the initial rush of people who are clamoring for new books will have subsided.  I'll look at those sales and use them for a baseline moving forward.

Of course, that's making a bunch of assumptions.  First, that the infection rate in the area doesn't get bad enough that we need to regress to curb-side pickups or even mail order only again.  Second, that what we're doing to manage infection risks works and no-one at the shop gets sick.  If someone does get sick, then we'll have to reassess and, most likely, close for two weeks or more. Despite maintaining social distancing as a staff, we all cross each other's paths enough that we'd all need to quarantine.  Third, that . . . well, given this year so far, I'm allowing for more surprises.  I think that a meteor is pretty unlikely but we are due for a big earthquake so; let's say I'm being a tiny bit pessimistic.

The last thing is what I think is going to happen with our move and the work at the new building.  I don't have much to say there. The priority has been getting the Valencia Street store back open and operating safely, so the new building has been on hold.  I hope to get back to working on that in July but . . . well, see the previous paragraph.  However, I do still plan on moving and finances for the new building are stable for now.  I told both of the tenants in the apartments that they should get in touch with me if they're going to have trouble paying rent and both have assured me that they're doing alright.  I believe we'll get there, I just have no idea whatsoever what the time-line is going to be.

When it all comes down to it, just like everyone else, we're hanging in there, playing the hand we're dealt, and continuing to make the best choices possible.  I hope that all of you are doing well and staying safe.

All Best,
Alan

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Sponsor Letter, June 5th 2020

Hi All,

So, when I went to write this note, I went looking for the one that I sent out in May.  And . . . couldn't find it because I didn't send one.  This really has been a weird time (I'm sure for all of you as much as for me).  Anyway, sorry for the silence.

Though there is a note this month, it's going to be a short one.  I'm still juggling quite a bit of stuff despite having gotten everything in place for the whole curbside pickup thing.  I swear, the sheer amount of paperwork that I needed to get ready, not to mention all the signs I had to put up . . . it all seems like a bit much.  And, there's more paperwork coming now that we're heading into actually being open for customers.  Plus, as you've seen in the store newsletter, I'm trying to get things moving along at the new shop after too long with no progress.

But, I do have some news.  First off, assuming that the city continues along its current course, we'll be able to open for customers on the 15th.  As I said in the newsletter, we're going to go a little slow and wait 'til the 17th to do that.  But, you all are special and so, if you'd like to come to the store to shop, we'll be open just for sponsors on June 15th and 16th.  I'll send out complete details next week but I wanted to toss that in your minds now.

The second open-for-business thing is that we'll be open by appointment for sponsors outside of normal business hours.  If you're in an at-risk group, live with someone who is, or if you just want to be extra cautious -- we've got you covered.  If you set up an appointment, you'll be the only person in the shop (other than maybe a couple of staff).  For that matter, if you're really concerned, we can keep staff down and just have one person here to let you in and ring you up.  We'd prefer to do appointments Monday to Friday either between 9 am and noon or 8 pm and 10 pm but . . . hell, you're a sponsor -- I'll come down here, bloodshot eyeballs and all, at five am if that's what you want.  If you're interested, just email sponsors@borderlands-books.com and we'll set it up.

And that is about it for this month.  In closing, we're all doing fine around here.  Having the staff back has been so very, very nice and they are all happy to be out in the world and interacting with real people in real life.  Business was a bit slack in May but nothing too dire.  Really, comparing year over year numbers on a monthly basis is pretty much a fool's game. Once we're through the 2nd quarter of this year I'll have something meaningful to mention but, for now, it's just day by day, all the way.

Warm Regards to You and Yours,
Alan

Monday, March 9, 2020

Sponsor Letter, March 9th 2020

Dear Sponsors,

This will be a short note because . . . oh my . . . is work busy right now.  But, mostly in a good way.  I'm rushing to get ready for the sheetrock at the new building, as well as getting the plans in place for our big event with N. K. Jemisin next month.  Speaking of that event, I've got some information and a question for you.

Information first.  The seating at the event is not going to be assigned, so it'll be first-come, first-seated.  In light of that, we'll be letting sponsors and their guests in a half-hour early at 5:30 pm.  That'll give you plenty of time to get good seats and such.  But -- because of the size and complexity of the event, we won't be able to check names against a list of sponsors.  So, make sure you have your sponsor card.  You can just flash that at the door and we'll whisk you right in (along with however many friends you brought with you).  If you don't have your card (or, can't find it), no problem.  You can stop by the store anytime to get a replacement _or_ you can drop me a line (by replying to this email) and we'll mail a copy out to you.

And now, the question.  Despite talking with some expert friends of mine, I've been having a hard time figuring out just how serious and bad Coronavirus (COVID-19) is going to be.  It seems that it might be more contagious than the usual flu and the case-mortality rate certainly seems to be higher as well.

Actually, it's more accurate that I'm trying to figure out how seriously _I_ should take it since it's obviously not possible for anyone to know how serious it's going to be.  So, here's what I'm wondering -- relative to that, what steps should I take with Borderlands and when should I take them?  The biggest question is, at what point (if any) should I cancel the event with N. K. Jemisin?  The lesser question is when (and if) should I close up the shop; at some point; for some period of time?

As sponsors, you've a vested interest in Borderlands, which is why I'm asking for your opinions.  Further, based on my personal knowledge and relationships with many of you, our sponsors are a very smart and broadly educated group.  All the other times I've asked you all for advice, I've gotten some truly valuable information so I'd be a fool not to ask you about this.  So, let me know what you think.  You can reply to this email or you can email me directly at abeatts@borderlands-books.com.

Warmest Regards,
Alan

Upcoming Events -

The Arroyo Abrilongo <https://www.portugalist.com/smallest-international-bridge/> bridge version:

(1) Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00 pm -- Chana Porter reading from and signing THE SEEP

(2) Sunday, March 29th at 6:30 pm  -- SF in SF with author Dominica Phetteplace at American Bookbinders Museum

(3) Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsors' General Meeting [Sponsors and Guests only]

(4) Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00 pm (Doors at 5:30 pm for sponsors, 6:00 pm for the public), Castro Theatre -- N.K. Jemisin, reading from and signing THE CITY WE BECAME

(5) Saturday, April 4th at 3:00 pm -- Max Barry reading and signing PROVIDENCE

(6) Saturday, May 9th at 3:00 pm -- Maggie Tokuda-Hall signing for THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA, in conversation with Annalee Newitz.


The King Fahd Causeway <http://www.bahraincustoms.gov.bh/king_causeway.php> version:

(1) Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00 pm -- Chana Porter reading from and signing THE SEEP.  We are delighted to welcome Chana Porter to Borderlands Books for their debut novel, THE SEEP.  This new utopian novel eschews sci-fi tropes and will keep you glued to every twist and turn.  From the publishers' website: "Chana Porter is a playwright, teacher, MacDowell Colony fellow, and co-founder of The Octavia Project, a STEM and fiction-writing program for girls and gender non-conforming youth from underserved communities.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently at work on her next novel."

(2) Sunday, March 29th, 6:30 pm -- SF in SF with author Dominica Phetteplace at American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St, San Francisco, CA  -- (Suggested donation $10.)  Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series!  This month we're joined by the fabulous Dominica Phetteplace!  The author will read a selection from her work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by Terry Bisson.  The author will schmooze & sign books after.  Books will be available for sale.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.  Questions? Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

(3) Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsors' General Meeting [Sponsors and Guests only].  Join us for a recap of the prior year and our goals for the upcoming year, including the status of our move to Haight Street.

(4) Thursday, April 2nd, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre (Doors at 5:30 pm for sponsors, 6:00 pm for the public) -- Borderlands Books is pleased and excited to host N.K. Jemisin, the three-time Hugo Award winning and NYT Bestselling author of The Broken Earth Trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky), at the historic Castro Theater!

TICKETS <https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4526884>
Her most recent novel is The City We Became; "Five New Yorkers must come together to defend their city from an ancient evil in this stunning new novel. Every great city has a soul.  Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children.  New York City?  She's got six.  But every city also has a dark side.  A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all."
Ms. Jemisin will present a reading from her new novel and then answer questions from the audience.  Afterwards, she will be available to sign a limited number of copies of her work, which will be available for sale at the event.
A Note About Ticket Prices
Due to the number of people who would like to attend this event, Borderlands has chosen to rent a larger venue than the bookstore.  As a result, we are asking for a suggested donation of $20 to help cover the associated costs.  However, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  If $20 is beyond your budget, please choose one of the lower ticket prices.  Or, if even $10 is too much, please arrive at the event and donate what you can.  As long as there are available seats, everyone is welcome.  After our costs have been recovered, the excess funds will be retained to allow Borderlands to host events of this size in the future.

(5) Saturday, April 4 at 3:00 pm -- Max Barry reading and signing PROVIDENCE -- We are happy to welcome Max Barry to Borderlands!  Max is the author of LEXICON, MACHINE MAN, and many other novels, but this current one may be his most inventive yet.  From the publisher: "Seven years after first contact, Providence Five launches.  It is an enormous and deadly warship, built to protect humanity from its greatest ever threat.  On board is a crew of just four -- tasked with monitoring the ship and reporting the war's progress to a mesmerized global audience by way of social media.  But while pursuing the enemy across space, Gilly, Talia, Anders, and Jackson confront the unthinkable: their communications are cut, their ship decreasingly trustworthy and effective.  To survive, they must win a fight that is suddenly and terrifyingly real."

(6) Saturday, May 9th at 3:00 pm -- Maggie Tokuda-Hall signing THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA, in conversation with Annalee Newitz.  Please join us for another entertaining adventure with local favorite Maggie Tokuda-Hall, who will be thrilling us with her latest work (and first novel)!  From the publisher: "The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive -- including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse.  Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well --accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn's one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers.  Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands --no matter the cost.  Maggie Tokuda-Hall's sweeping fantasy, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid's blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures, conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies." Maggie will be in conversation with local author, journalist, and podcaster Annalee Newitz!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Sponsor Letter, February 3rd 2020

Dear Sponsors,

I've got some great news -- though it's taken a bit longer than it did last year, we hit 300 sponsors for 2020 exactly one week ago!  So, we're certainly going to be open for the rest of this year.  Right now the sponsor count is at 310 and I do hope that it will continue to rise.  By way of comparison, we had 547 sponsors last year and 639 the year before.  My sincere thanks to all of you who have renewed.  As I've said at least five times before -- without you we wouldn't be here.

Last month I wrote that the sponsor program (and the trust you've placed in me) is something that I really appreciate.  I didn't have space or time last month to explain in detail but I'll try to do it now.

Five years ago, the idea of sponsorships allowed us to keep Borderlands open.  That, all alone, was truly remarkable.  Over the years you've heard from me and from others on the staff what that meant to us personally.  And I hope that you've read some of the news articles about what we accomplished and how it's been an inspiration for other small businesses.

But, in all that time, I haven't described the series of effects that have rippled out from that original accomplishment.  Perhaps "rippled" isn't the right term. It's been more like dominos falling.

The first domino was the way sponsorships made me think about the business differently.  Instead of being my private domain, that I could do with what I wished, I came to see it as something more like a public trust.  Something that you had given me control over; for the benefit of not just me, or the staff, but for all of you.  And, further, for all of our customers and our customers-to-be.

That meant that I had an obligation to figure out how to keep Borderlands operating for as long as possible.  Which caused the next domino to fall when I realized that the only way to have a fighting chance of staying open for decades was to buy a building to house the shop.

But that realization wouldn't have meant much were it not for your continuing support.  All together, you have given more than just the minimum that was necessary to keep the store open. That minimum has always been 300 sponsors.  Yet, every year, many more people than that have chosen to support us.  I'll not list all the numbers here but we have never had less than 500 sponsors and most years it's been over 600.

That greater-than-required support allowed me to save enough money that the idea of making a down-payment for a building wasn't utterly impossible . . . it was just mostly improbable. And so I went looking.  For almost two years.  I made several offers on buildings but none of them worked out.  Until I ran across our building on Haight St.

And then the next domino fell.  As it turned out, the down payment I had put aside wasn't really enough and, further, getting a mortgage was (pretty much) out of the question.  Inspired by, once again, the support you had given me, I decided to try borrowing the money from our customers.  Starting with you, our sponsors.

As you know, it worked.

And that's when the most recent domino fell.  I realized that, with a building secured, it would be possible for Borderlands to not just continue for decades but continue long after I'm gone. Hence my plan to create a non-profit, the purpose of which will be to take over the operations (and assets) of Borderlands -- either when I just can't manage the store anymore or when I'm not around to do the job.  (I'll go into detail about that plan in the regular store newsletter this month, if you're interested in details).

So, there it is.  From "What the hell! Maybe we can stay open," to "We're going to make a bookstore that will last for 100 years".  It's been a long, weird trip and I'm very happy you've come along for the ride.  This year is going to a notable one -- I hope you'll continue to support us as we swing into the home stretch.

Warmest Regards,
Alan

PS If you haven't renewed your sponsorship yet, I'd sure appreciate it if you would.  This is going to be a damn expensive year and we can use the help.  You can renew on-line at https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship.html  Or feel free to stop by the store, or give us a call to renew in person.

On the other hand, if money is tight, please let me know.  This year, just like every year, we have some "scholarships" that were paid for by your fellow sponsors.  One of the reasons for them is to allow sponsors to keep participating, even when cash is in short supply.

- Upcoming Events -

The Silica House Version <https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-have-built-worlds-smallest-house-180969149/> :

Saturday, February 8th at 3:00 pm -- Juliette Wade, signing for MAZES OF POWER with Deborah J. Ross

Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 pm -- Writers With Drinks (at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Tracy Clark Flory, Aaron Glantz, Meng Jin, Barbara Tomash, Juliette Wade, and Charles Yu, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders

Tuesday, February 11th at 6:00 pm -- Sarah Gailey, signing for UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED, in conversation with Meg Elison

Saturday, February 22nd at 5:00 pm -- Katharine Kerr, signing for SWORD OF FIRE

Saturday, February 22 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books [Sponsors and Guests only]

Sunday, February 23rd at 6:00 pm -- SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with Mike Chen, Tiffany Trent, and Juliette Wade, moderated by Terry Bisson

Saturday, February 29th at 6:00 pm -- Seanan McGuire, signing for COME TUMBLING DOWN and IMAGINARY NUMBERS

Friday, March 6th -8th -- FOGCon in Walnut Creek

Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsors' General Meeting [Sponsors and Guests only]

Thursday, April 2nd, time TBA -- N.K. Jemisin, reading and signing THE CITY WE BECAME.

Saturday, May 9th -- Maggie Tokuda-Hall signing for THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA, in conversation with Annalee Newitz.

The Antilia Version <https://www.architecturaldigest.in/content/mukesh-ambani-antilia-home-mumbai/#s-cust0> :

Saturday, February 8th at 3:00 pm -- Juliette Wade, MAZES OF POWER - We're delighted to welcome local author Juliette Wade, showing off her debut novel MAZES OF POWER! From the book description: "The cavern city of Pelismara has stood for a thousand years. The Great Families of the nobility cling to the myths of their golden age while the city's technology wanes.  When a fever strikes, and the Eminence dies, seventeen-year-old Tagaret is pushed to represent his Family in the competition for Heir to the Throne. To win would give him the power to rescue his mother from his abusive father, and marry the girl he loves. But the struggle for power distorts everything in this highly stratified society, and the fever is still loose among the inbred, susceptible nobles. Tagaret's sociopathic younger brother, Nekantor, is obsessed with their family's success.  Nekantor is willing to exploit Tagaret, his mother, and her new servant Aloran to defeat their opponents.  Can he be stopped?  Should he be stopped?  And will they recognize themselves after the struggle has changed them?"  Join us to meet this up-and-coming author who is soon to be a superstar!  Juliette will be in conversation with author Deborah J. Ross.

Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 pm -- Writers With Drinks (at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Tracy Clark Flory, Aaron Glantz, Meng Jin, Barbara Tomash, Juliette Wade, and Charles Yu, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by the incredible Charlie Jane Anders, and we're always happy to participate!  The amazing lineup this month includes Tracy Clark Flory, Aaron Glantz, Meng Jin, Barbara Tomash, Juliette Wade, and Charles Yu! Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits.  Doors open at 7:00 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books. http://www.writerswithdrinks.com/

Tuesday, February 11th at 6:00 pm -- Sarah Gailey, signing for UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED,  in conversation with Meg Elison - We couldn't be more excited to welcome Sarah Gailey, who will be showing off their brand-new novella UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED!  Jude can't stop raving about this book and we're convinced you'll love it, too.  Here's the description from the publisher: "Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her -- a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend.  Her best friend who she was in love with.  Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.  The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing."  Join us to meet Sarah and hear all about your next favorite book!  Sarah will be in conversation with local author (and Philip K. Dick Award winner) Meg Elison.

Saturday, February 22nd at 5:00 pm -- Katharine Kerr, SWORD OF FIRE - We're always happy to welcome the beloved Katharine Kerr to Borderlands! She's back with the first a new trilogy that will re-introduce readers to Deverry!  From the book description: "The bards are the people's voice -- and their sword.  All over the kingdom of Deverry, the common people are demanding reform of the corrupt law courts.  In Aberwyn, the situation catches fire when Gwerbret Ladoic, second in authority only to the High King, allows a bard to starve to death rather than hear their grievances.  Guildwoman Alyssa, a student at the local scholars' collegium, and Lady Dovina, the gwerbret's own daughter, know that evidence exists to overthrow the so-called traditional legal system, if they can only get it into the right hands. The powerful lords will kill anyone who threatens their privileges.  To retrieve the proof, Alyssa must make a dangerous journey that will either change her life forever -- or end it."  Don't miss this near-legendary author who is at the height of her creative powers right now!

Saturday, February 22 at 7:00 pm --  Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books.  [Sponsors and Guests only] Join us for food, drink, and merriment as we talk about books, buy books, and maybe even win some free books in the raffle!  This is our first sponsor social of 2020, and we hope you'll come by to meet fellow sponsors and toast the absolutely incredible fact that YOU made it possible for the store to survive.  We've got some great advance reading copies to give away and we're going to have a good time!  Bring your favorite treat or drink to share, be super-social, or simply find a book and a quiet corner to commune -- we're just delighted to have you.

Sunday, February 23rd at 6:00 pm -- SF in SF (at The American Bookbinders' Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) with Mike Chen, Tiffany Trent, and Juliette Wade, moderated by Terry Bisson --  (Suggested donation $10.)  Doors and bar at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series!  This month we're joined by the fabulous Mike Chen, Tiffany Trent, and Juliette Wade.  The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by Terry Bisson.  Authors will schmooze & sign books after. Books will be available for sale.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Questions?  Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.  More info at www.sfinsf.org

Saturday, February 29th at 6:00 pm -- Seanan McGuire, COME TUMBLING DOWN and IMAGINARY NUMBERS  - One of the hardest working authors in genre fiction today, Seanan McGuire is back with not one but two new books!  From the publisher: "The fifth installment in New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire's award-winning Wayward Children series, COME TUMBLING DOWN picks up the threads left dangling by EVERY HEART A DOORWAY and DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES.  When Jack left Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister -- whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice -- back to their home on the Moors. But death in their adopted world isn't always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her.   Something terrible.  Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive.  Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.  Eleanor West's "No Quests" rule is about to be broken. Again."  From the publisher of IMAGINARY NUMBERS: "The ninth book in the fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy series returns to the mishaps of the Price family, eccentric cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans.  Sarah Zellaby has always been in an interesting position.  Adopted into the Price family at a young age, she's never been able to escape the biological reality of her origins: she's a cuckoo, a telepathic ambush predator closer akin to a parasitic wasp than a human being. Friend, cousin, mathematician; it's never been enough to dispel the fear that one day, nature will win out over nurture, and everything will change.  Maybe that time has finally come."  We're always delighted to welcome Seanan and we sincerely hope you'll join us!

Friday, March 6-8 -- FOGCon in Walnut Creek.  Once again we will be setting up shop at the Walnut Creek Marriott for the 10th (!) FOGCon.  This year's featured guests include Mary Anne Mohanraj and Nisi Shawl.  Find more details and register here: https://fogcon.org/

Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor General Meeting [Sponsors and Guests only].  Join us for a recap of the prior year and our goals for the upcoming year, including the status of our move to Haight Street.

Thursday, April 2nd, time TBA -- N.K. Jemisin, reading and signing THE CITY WE BECAME -  We are truly pleased to host the three-time Hugo winning author of The Broken Earth Trilogy.  This event will take place at a local theater venue and there will be a suggested donation of $20 to help offset the rental costs.  However, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.  There will be advance tickets and we will be sending out a special notice when they are available.  Sponsors will have preferred seating (details to come).  Please come join us for what may be our biggest event ever.

Saturday, May 9th at 3:00 pm -- Maggie Tokuda-Hall signing THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA, in conversation with Annalee Newitz.  Please join us for another entertaining adventure with local favorite Maggie Tokuda-Hall, who will be thrilling us with her latest work (and first novel)!  From the publisher: "The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive -- including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse.  Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well --accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn's one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers.  Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands --no matter the cost.  Maggie Tokuda-Hall's sweeping fantasy, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid's blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures, conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies." Maggie will be in conversation with local author, journalist, and podcaster Annalee Newitz!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Sponsor Letter, January 7th 2020

Hi Everyone and Happy New Year!

I hope that your holidays were good and that 2020 is treating you very well thus far.  At the shop we've all been catching our breath (and catching some sleep . . . finally).  Looking back, 2019 really was one hell of a year.  It actually had all the earmarks of being a pretty awful one (starting with Cary's death last January and continuing from there) but, surprisingly, none of us feel like it was.  Hard, sure, and tiring, without a doubt, but not awful.  I hope that you can say (at the very least) the same.  Looking forward into 2020 it's seeming like it's going to be another hard one but, I hope, in a positive way rather than in a difficult one.

As I've mentioned here before, we have a self-imposed deadline to be open at the new building and selling books there by May 25th at the very latest.  Making that deadline is going to take a lot of work but I'm (pretty) confident we'll make it.  Granted, I'm willing to accept that "open and selling books" might mean a functioning rest-room and me at a card-table piled with books on the sidewalk, but I think we can do better than that.  Check out the regular store newsletter (arriving in your mail box very soon) for more details about our moving plans and such-like.

This year we're also going to be losing a member of our staff - Dave Fitzgerald is going to be heading out of SF for Eureka.  He and his wife have found a lovely little house up there so; they've decided to stop making their landlord rich in favor of owning a home and being able to pay more attention to their writing. We're damn sad to see Dave go; he's a hell of a fine bookseller on top of fitting in well with the rest of the inmates at The Borderlands Home for Those Who Read Too Much.  It's looking like he'll be splitting at the end of February.  I've got a bit more to say about that in a moment, but first there's an expected piece of business I need to mention . . . .

With the beginning of the year, it's time for sponsorship renewals.  Things are looking good so far, in as much as we already have 186 (give or take) sponsors for 2020.  But, as always, we need to reach 300 by March 31st if we're going to stay open.  So, if you feel like continuing to support our shop and our vision of what a bookstore can be, now is a good time to renew.  You can do so online at https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship.html .  You're also welcome to renew in person at the store (and, we always love to see you when you come by).  Finally, if you'd like to renew by mail (and, in case you're wondering, yes, people do still do that!), please feel free to send a check to:  866 Valencia St.  SF  CA 94110.  Sponsorship continues to be $100 per person for the year.  I truly appreciate your trust and support over all these years.  I'll have a bit more to say about that next month but I don't want to take up too much space in this note because . . . .

(OMITTED FROM BLOG)

All Best,
Alan

Upcomming Sponsor (and other) Events

The Fairyfly Version:

Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm  --  Astronomy Lecture, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

Sunday, January 12th at 6:30 pm -- SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Cecelia Holland and Kim Stanley Robinson

Saturday, February 8th at 3:00 pm -- Juliet Wade, signing for MAZES OF POWER with Deborah J. Ross

Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 pm -- Writers With Drinks (at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Tracy Clark Flory, Barbara Tomash,  Juliette Wade, and Charles Yu

Tuesday, February 11th at 6:00 pm -- Sarah Gailey, signing for UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED

Saturday, February 22nd at 5:00 pm -- Katharine Kerr, signing for SWORD OF FIRE

Saturday, February 22 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books [Sponsors and Guests only]

Saturday, February 29th at 6:00 pm -- Seanan McGuire, signing for COME TUMBLING DOWN and IMAGINARY NUMBERS

Friday, March 6th -8th - FOGcon in Walnut Creek

Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsors' General Meeting [Sponsors and Guests only]

The Titan Beetle Version:

Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm  -- Astronomy Lecture featuring Catherine Espaillat at Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco). $15.00.  If you've not had a chance to hear a lecture at the Academy of Sciences, you are in for a treat.  This lecture in particular caught our eye and we hope you can join us.  From the website: "We know that planets are born in the protoplanetary disks that surround stars when they are young.  How these disks evolve into planetary systems is a fundamental question in Astronomy.  Observations have revealed remarkable structures in disks that may indicate the presence of newly born planets.  This talk will review these key observations and compare them to current theoretical predictions of planet formation.  To conclude,  possibilities for future progress in the field will be discussed."  Tickets are $15.00 for non-museum members, $12.00 for members and seniors.  As usual, if you'll let us know you're going, well keep an eye out for you - just reply to this email to RSVP.  For tickets: https://www.calacademy.org/events/benjamin-dean-astronomy-lectures/baby-planets-and-their-nurseries

Sunday, January 12th at 6:30 pm -- SF in SF (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina St. San Francisco) with authors Cecelia Holland and Kim Stanley Robinson - (Suggested donation $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.)  Doors at 6:00 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm.  We're so happy to participate in the Science Fiction in San Francisco reading series! The authors will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson.  The authors will schmooze & sign books after.  Books available for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books.  Seating is limited, so first come, first seated.  Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.  Questions? Email sfinsfevents@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 8th at 3:00 pm -- Juliet Wade, MAZES OF POWER - We're delighted to welcome local author Juliette Wade, showing off her debut novel MAZES OF POWER! From the book description: "The cavern city of Pelismara has stood for a thousand years. The Great Families of the nobility cling to the myths of their golden age while the city's technology wanes.  When a fever strikes, and the Eminence dies, seventeen-year-old Tagaret is pushed to represent his Family in the competition for Heir to the Throne. To win would give him the power to rescue his mother from his abusive father, and marry the girl he loves. But the struggle for power distorts everything in this highly stratified society, and the fever is still loose among the inbred, susceptible nobles. Tagaret's sociopathic younger brother, Nekantor, is obsessed with their family's success. Nekantor is willing to exploit Tagaret, his mother, and her new servant Aloran to defeat their opponents.  Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped? And will they recognize themselves after the struggle has changed them?"  Join us to meet this up-and-coming author who is soon to be a superstar! Juliette will be in conversation with author Deborah J. Ross.

Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 pm -- Writers With Drinks (at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, San Francisco) with authors Tracy Clark Flory, Barbara Tomash,  Juliette Wade, and Charles Yu - Writers With Drinks is the most awesome spoken-word variety show in the world, hosted by the incredible Charlie Jane Anders, and we're always happy to participate!  The amazing lineup this month includes Tracy Clark Flory, Barbara Tomash, Juliette Wade, and Charles Yu! Cost: $5 to $20, no-one turned away for lack of funds.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits.  Doors open at 7:00 and Borderlands will be on hand to sell books. http://www.writerswithdrinks.com/

Tuesday, February 11th at 6:00 pm -- Sarah Gailey, UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED - We couldn't be more excited to welcome Sarah Gailey, who will be showing off their brand-new novella UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED!  Jude can't stop raving about this book and we're convinced you'll love it, too.  Here's the description from the publisher: "Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her -- a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend.  Her best friend who she was in love with.  Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.  The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing."  Join us to meet Sarah and hear all about your next favorite book!

Saturday, February 22nd at 5:00 pm -- Katharine Kerr, SWORD OF FIRE - We're always happy to welcome the beloved Katharine Kerr to Borderlands! She's back with the first a new trilogy that will re-introduce readers to Deverry!  From the book description: "The bards are the people’s voice -- and their sword.  All over the kingdom of Deverry, the common people are demanding reform of the corrupt law courts.  In Aberwyn, the situation catches fire when Gwerbret Ladoic, second in authority only to the High King, allows a bard to starve to death rather than hear their grievances.  Guildwoman Alyssa, a student at the local scholars' collegium, and Lady Dovina, the gwerbret's own daughter, know that evidence exists to overthrow the so-called traditional legal system, if they can only get it into the right hands. The powerful lords will kill anyone who threatens their privileges.  To retrieve the proof, Alyssa must make a dangerous journey that will either change her life forever -- or end it."  Don't miss this near-legendary author who is at the height of her creative powers right now!

Saturday, February 22 at 7:00 pm --  Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books.  [Sponsors and Guests only] Join us for food, drink, and merriment as we talk about books, buy books, and maybe even win some free books in the raffle!  This is our first sponsor social of the year, and we hope you'll come by to meet fellow sponsors and toast the absolutely incredible fact that YOU made it possible for the store to survive.  Bring your favorite treat or drink to share, be super-social, or simply find a book and a quiet corner to commune -- we're just delighted to have you.

Saturday, February 29th at 6:00 pm -- Seanan McGuire, COME TUMBLING DOWN and IMAGINARY NUMBERS  - Details to come!

Friday, March 6-8 -- FOGcon in Walnut Creek.  Once again we will be setting up shop at the Walnut Creek Marriott for the 10th (!) FOGcon.  This year's featured guests include Mary Anne Mohanraj and Nisi Shawl.  Find more details and register here: https://fogcon.org/

Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm — Sponsor General Meeting [Sponsors only].  Join us for a recap of the prior year and our goals for the upcoming year, including the status of our move to Haight Street.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Sponsor Letter, December 5th 2019

Hi Everyone,

Due to a few things coming up and the time it took me to write the piece for the main store newsletter, this note is going to be short.  But, at the end of this email you'll find a story that might entertain.  It's something I wrote back in 2007 for a series we were doing for the store's ten-year anniversary.  It's particularly appropriate now since I'm starting the pre-planning for the design and construction of the new shelves for Haight St.

Speaking of Haight St, we passed the last inspection for the new electrical service (that's the one for the new panels we put in the apartments upstairs) so that permit is finally closed.  It was the first one we pulled and so having it done is a nice little mile-stone for the end of the year.  Other than that, it's just been little bits of work since I last wrote.  But, I have high hopes for this month, despite the holidays.

One last thing -- if you're planning on joining us at the Dickens Christmas Fair this Sunday, I'm sad to say that I won't be there.  Given all the work at Haight St. I missed last month, I decided to work there this Sunday, December 8th.  But Jude will be there (along with Jeremy, who will be sporting a fancy new hat).  They'll be hanging around the tables near the Green Man Inn from noon until 4:00 pm, if you want to find them.  It would also be great if you'd let us know if you're coming -- just reply to this email if you are.

You have my sincere best wishes for a calm and happy holiday followed by a lovely New Year.

All Best,
Alan

PS: If you'd like to pre-order a 2020 Borderlands Sponsorship online, starting on the 15th you can at https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship.html  Once that goes live, I'll be sending out a quick reminder note to you all.

The postcard version:

(1) Sunday, December 8th at noon -- Dickens Christmas Fair, Cow Palace, Daly City

(2) <private>

(3) Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm  --  Astronomy lecture, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

(4) Saturday, February 22 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books

(5) Friday, March 6-8 - FOGCon in Walnut Creek

(6) Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm -- Sponsors' General Meeting

The care-package version:

(1) Sunday, December 8th at noon -- Dickens Christmas Fair, Cow Palace, Daly City.  It's quickly becoming a tradition for us at Borderlands Books, and we couldn't resist another trip back in time at the Dickens Christmas Fair.  Feel free to join up with us anytime after noon-- we'll be the ones holding the tankard of ale in honor of Queen Victoria's 200th Birthday.  Look for us at the tables near the Green Man Inn on Bell Ringers Alley.  Tickets can be purchased directly through their website at https://dickensfair.com/.

(2)  <private>

(3) Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm  -- Astronomy lecture featuring Catherine Espaillat at Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco). $15.00.  If you've not had a chance to hear a lecture at the Academy of Sciences, you are in for a treat.  This lecture in particular caught our eye and we hope you can join us.  From the website: "We know that planets are born in the protoplanetary disks that surround stars when they are young.  How these disks evolve into planetary systems is a fundamental question in Astronomy.  Observations have revealed remarkable structures in disks that may indicate the presence of newly born planets.  This talk will review these key observations and compare them to current theoretical predictions of planet formation.  To conclude,  possibilities for future progress in the field will be discussed."  Tickets are $15.00 for non-museum members, $12.00 for members and seniors.  As usual, if you'll let us know you're going, well keep an eye out for you - just reply to this email to RSVP.  For tickets: https://www.calacademy.org/events/benjamin-dean-astronomy-lectures/baby-planets-and-their-nurseries

(4) Saturday, February 22 at 7:00 pm --  Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books.  [Sponsors and Guests only] Join us for food, drink, and merriment as we talk about books, buy books, and maybe even win some free books in the raffle!  This is our first sponsor social of the year, and we hope you'll come by to meet fellow sponsors and toast the absolutely incredible fact that YOU made it possible for the store to survive.  Bring your favorite treat or drink to share, be super-social, or simply find a book and a quiet corner to commune -- we're just delighted to have you.

(5) Friday, March 6-8 -- FOGCon in Walnut Creek.  Once again we will be setting up shop at the Walnut Creek Marriott for the 10th (!) FOGCon.  This year's featured guests include Mary Anne Mohanraj and Nisi Shawl.

(6) Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm — Sponsor General Meeting [Sponsors only].  Join us for a recap of the prior year and our goals for the upcoming year including the status for moving to Haight Street.


The Tale of Minwax Golden Oak and Diamond Finish

Many years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Alan Beatts decided to open a book store.  The Alan Beatts then was not like the Alan Beatts you see now.  He was younger.  He had darker hair, more energy, and a deep-seated aversion to sleeves.  He also didn't know much at all about woodworking.

But he needed shelves if he was going to have a bookstore.  Lots of shelves.

In the course of a month, he managed to get shelves.  About twenty-five of them.  All tall and all unfinished.  And that's where the problem began.

Anyone who has refinished a coffee table knows how it goes.  You sand, then you might put on some kind of stain, and then you add a few coats of some sort of sealer. Wait for it to dry and you're done.  It's a nice little bit of handyman work that'll take up a few hours some weekend.  But, a good sized coffee table has perhaps 3 or 4 square feet of surface.  Twenty-five tall bookshelves have a bit more surface.

A lot more surface, actually.  Like ten times more surface.  Per shelf.  Times twenty-five shelves.

Alan did a little math and realized he was in hell.

So he went looking for some expert advice.  Looking through the phone book (remember, back then the internet wasn't quite as useful as it is now), he found a company in town that advertised, "Everything for professional wood finishing".  When he chatted with the owner (who didn't seem very friendly or terribly helpful but he was a professional -- the sign outside said so) and explained the situation, the solution was clear: "gel stain and wax," said the professional.  A large check was written, warnings about "no returns" were stated, and less than an hour later the finishing began.  And then stopped almost immediately.

Gel stain is great stuff.  It doesn't splash, dries quickly, and goes on evenly.  But (and this is a big but), it's a goo.  It has to be rubbed on.  And it's a really big pain to get into inside corners (of which a tall bookshelf has 34).  Call professional.

"It's really hard to get the stain into the corners."

"Yeah."

"What do I do?"

"Try using a Q-Tip."

" . . . . "

"So long."

Much brooding ensued.  "There is no way that I'm going to finish twenty-five blankity-blank bookshelves with a blanking Q-Tip," thought Alan to himself.  By way of distraction while thinking about the problem, he read the instructions for the wax which was meant to follow the stain -

"Rub on"

"Buff vigorously when dry"

"Re-coat every six months to a year . . . RE-COAT every SIX MONTHS to a YEAR!!!!"

"@&%##&@!  &%$#@& professional!  I'll $@#&%$&* him in front of his family and then &&%@#^&^!"

More brooding.  And then Alan called his bank.  Then he called the professional and told him that the stain and wax would be returned tomorrow.

"We don't take returns.  I told you that."

"I know.  You're going to this time.  I stopped the check.  Don't bother trying to deposit it."

" . . . . "

"So long."

The next day, materials returned, Alan went looking for another solution.  He remembered one of the people who he had talked with when he was first looking for shelves.  This guy had run a bookstore until he realized that selling bookshelves was more profitable (what this means about the book business is an exercise best left to the reader).  A quick phone call revealed that there was a product that went on quickly and dried very fast.  And, as a matter of fact, the bookshelf guy had a bunch on hand that he'd be happy to sell for a reasonable price.  He gotten it for a big project but later decided that lacquer wasn't the right finish to use.  Arrangements were made to pick up several gallons the next day.

That evening while chatting over a beer with friends, the story of the wood finishing was told.  When the new finish, this "lacquer" stuff was mentioned, one of the people around the table, a motorcyclist named Johnny, blanched and asked if Alan had ever used this stuff.

"No, but it seems pretty simple.  And the best part is how fast it dries."

"Yeah, that's one of the reasons they sometimes call it 'flash'.  I don't think you should use that stuff."

"Why?"

"It's too dangerous.  You'll blow yourself up."

"WHAT!?"

"That stuff is really, really, flammable.  Pretty much one spark when you've been working with it for a while and the fumes'll send you to Jesus.  In pieces.  That's the other reason they call it 'flash'.  I'm surprised you could find any.  The state is trying to ban it."

"Oh."

Risk is sometimes a subjective thing.  One person's "too dangerous" isn't always the same as someone else's.  But, Johnny had an interesting relationship with the concept of "dangerous". For example he is perhaps the only person on the planet to have accidentally cut a Nissan pickup truck in half.  With a motorcycle.  It seems that at 80 miles per hour a Suzuki GS1100 is capable of actually severing the frame of a light pickup truck when it impacts at 90 degrees right behind the cab.  Johnny commented later that it didn't seem too dangerous to be going that fast.  After all it was a side road and there wasn't any traffic.

The next day Alan just didn't bother to show up to get the lacquer.

Time for plan C.  Discount Builders' Supply is an example of a vanishing breed.  It's a huge independent hardware store right near highway 101 in the middle of San Francisco.  That's hard enough to find these days but even more unusual, 'Da Builders (as we call it) pays a good wage and has an older staff who pretty much know everything about their specialty.  There is no telling how many people they have educated over the years, but that day Alan became one of them.

The lady in the paint department listened to the whole story, asked a few questions and said, "Try a Minwax stain.  You can brush it on and it dries overnight.  Then use a water-based sealer. They dry in about six hours and there aren't any fumes to worry about.  You'll have to use a few coats but that's the best way to go."

And that's how it worked.  It took just over a week of working 12 to 14 hours a day but at the end all the shelves were done.  With encouragement from Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits it wasn't even hell.  A long job, sure, but not hell.

The shelves looked really good.

And they still do.  The original shelves are still in use nine years later.  After a move and several different layouts, they make up the large rolling shelves in the middle of the store.  And they've never been refinished.

*****

PS  Today, in 2019, those shelves are still in the shop.  They look a tiny bit more worn now but still looking good.  And they've yet to be refinished.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Sponsor Letter, November 19th 2019

Hi You All,

Please forgive a very, very short note this month but I've been quite busy with some family matters and I am.  So.  Behind.  On.  Everything.  But, I'll have a nice year-end piece for you next month and I'll hope to see you around the shop sometime soon.

All Best,
Alan

The winter solstice version:

(1) TOMORROW! Wednesday, November 20th at 6:00 pm -- A Fundraiser for Reading Partners!, Borderlands Books

(2) Sunday, November 24th at 3:00 pm -- Reading and signing for NINJA DAUGHTER by Tori Eldridge

(3) Sunday, December 8th at noon -- Dickens Christmas Fair, Cow Palace, Daly City.

(4) Omitted

(5) Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm  --  Astronomy lecture, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

The summer solstice version:

(1) TOMORROW! Wednesday, November 20th at 6:00 pm  -- A Fundraiser for Reading Partners! Join Reading Parters for Books & Brews: Thanksgiving Edition at Borderlands Books!  Get in the spirit of the giving season while enjoying light bites and drinks full of fall flavors and connecting with your local community. All ticket sales go directly to Reading Partners' impactful literacy programs that serve over 1500 students in the Bay Area.  Tickets are $10; see the link below. This event is hosted by Reading Partners Young Professionals, a community of emerging leaders who are paving the way for a brighter future for students across the Bay Area.  https://donations.readingpartners.org/event/books-and-brews-thanksgiving-edition/e255020

(2) Sunday, November 24th at 3:00 pm  -- Reading and signing for NINJA DAUGHTER by Tori Eldridge. We're happy to welcome author Tori Eldridge to Borderlands for her debut novel!  "THE NINJA DAUGHTER is an action-packed thriller about a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja with Joy Luck Club family issues who fights the Los Angeles Ukrainian mob, sex traffickers, and her own family to save two desperate women and an innocent child."  Tori's own history is fascinating. . . from her bio, she is "a Honolulu-born thriller writer who challenges perspective and empowers the spirit. She holds a fifth-degree black belt in To-Shin Do Ninjutsu and has traveled the USA teaching seminars on the ninja arts, weapons, and women’s self-protection."  We hope you'll join us to meet Tori and check out this new thriller!

(3) Sunday, December 8th at noon -- Dickens Christmas Fair, Cow Palace, Daly City.  It's quickly becoming a tradition for us at Borderlands Books, and we couldn't resist another trip back in time at the Dickens Christmas Fair.  Feel free to join up with us anytime after noon-- we'll be the ones holding the tankard of ale in honor of Queen Victoria's 200th Birthday.  Tickets can be purchased directly through their website at https://dickensfair.com/.

(4) Omitted

(5) Monday, January 13th at 7:30 pm  -- Astronomy lecture featuring Catherine Espaillat at Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences.  $15.00.  If you've not had a chance to explore the Academy of Sciences, you are in for a treat.  This lecture in particular caught our eye and we hope you can join us.  From the website: "We know that planets are born in the protoplanetary disks that surround stars when they are young.  How these disks evolve into planetary systems is a fundamental question in Astronomy. Observations have revealed remarkable structures in disks that may indicate the presence of newly born planets.  This talk will review these key observations and compare them to current theoretical predictions of planet formation. To conclude,  possibilities for future progress in the field will be discussed."  Tickets are $15.00 for non-museum members, $12.00 for members and seniors. For tickets: https://www.calacademy.org/events/benjamin-dean-astronomy-lectures/baby-planets-and-their-nurseries