Friday, January 8, 2021

Sponsor Letter, January 8th 2021

 Happy New Year!

Given that I'm writing on the evening of Wednesday, January 6th, I've got to say that 2021 is starting off in a way that is, shall we say, "In tune"?, with 2020.  But, I'm cautiously hopeful that this year will be better than the last.  At other times, I might say, "Hey, it can't be any worse," but after the past two years it would seem too much like tempting fate, so I shan't.  So, on to the business at hand.

First things first.  Welcome to our new sponsors!  Folks who have been around for a while are probably sick of hearing me say this but; Thank you so much for your support.  I (and the rest of the staff) cannot properly express how much it means to us.  That would be true under any circumstances but, after a year like the last one, it goes double (or, perhaps, triple).  I'm afraid that the first part of this year is going to be a bit staid compared to usual.  The quarterly sponsor social is, of course, on hiatus until it's safe to gather and, likewise, our monthly events are also on hold.  But, I hope that by the end of this year, we'll be able to wrap up with quite the party for you all.  All that notwithstanding, if there is anything that we at the shop can do for you, just drop me a line and I'll see what I can come up with.

Further (and equally huge) thanks to all you sponsors who have already renewed.  As always, I appreciate your decision to come along for the ride, another year in a row.  Here's a fun fact - of the 86 sponsors who have renewed so far, 58 of you have been supporting us since the first year in 2015.

On the topic of renewals, if you haven't yet and would like to . . . well, please go on ahead.  You can renew on-line at https://borderlands-books.com/v2/become-sponsor/ or you're welcome to stop by the shop.  You can even send us a check, if you'd prefer to do the old-school snail-mail thing (btw, do we even call it that anymore?).

But, if you're short on money right now, I've got another idea for you.  Goodness knows, this year has been crazy hard for a lot of people.  At the same time, social contact and a sense of connection with other people has been really important while, at the same time, it's been really difficult. I don't want to do anything to make either the tight money or the sense of isolation worse.

So, if you don't feel like you can afford the cost of a sponsorship this year but you'd still like to be part of this -- just send me a note saying so and your sponsorship will be renewed.  As a sponsor, you've been though a lot with us; if you wanna stick around, I wouldn't want to see you go over something trivial like $100.

Don't get me wrong though - oh my, we can use the support if you can spare it.  I don't want to repeat what I wrote in the store newsletter (which you all should be getting; let me know if you're not), but this year is going to be damn challenging for us.

Before I close this note, I do have one neat thing that will be coming up.  I'm leaving for Seattle on Friday in a Big Honking Truck to pick up an awful lot of books.  I'm guessing it'll be around 200 boxes or, if you're the poor sucker moving them, around 5000lbs.  It's the purchase of a complete library belonging to a collector of (mostly) 21st century hardcover first editions.  As is our practice, we'll be doing a preview sale, just for sponsors, once we've had time to organize the books.  At this point, I'm guessing that it will happen sometime in February but it might be in March.

I'm still thinking through the details of how to do such a thing, safely, in the Time Of COVID but, once I have it worked out, I'll let you all know.  You can help me out with planning that, assuming you've got time.  If you're interested in the sale, drop me a note and let me know if you'd be able and willing to come to the shop in person to look at the books.  That is assuming, of course, that we have procedures in place such that coming into the shop was safe per CDC and Heath Department recommendations.  You can reply to this email if you wish, or you can write me at abeatts@borderlands-books.com.

That's about all I've got for today.  I hope that your New Year thus far has been as happy and peaceful as possible.

All Best,
Alan

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sponsor Letter, December 1st 2020

 Dear Sponsors,

I hope that the beginning of the holiday season has been happy and peaceful for you all.  I hope that you'll forgive the lack of a sponsor note last month but, as I mentioned in the store newsletter, though the year has been pretty crazy, the day-to-day at the shop is pretty boring so I didn't have much to tell you about.  However, this month I do have a few things to mention.

Sponsorship Renewals
We're ready to start accepting pre-orders for your 2021 sponsorship on-line.  The link is here - https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship . We've made one change this year; after many years of requests, there is now an option to have your sponsorship automatically renew each year. When you get to the second page, you'll have the option to make your sponsorship an "Automatic Renewal".  

You'll also notice that the option of making an extra donation to the "Moving and New Building Fund" is still present. I had hoped to be able to omit that this year.  But, I also hoped that we would have gotten moved this year.  But, 2020 (and COVID-19) had other plans.  If you feel like you can give a little extra help this year, it would be welcome.

I'm confident that we'll manage to navigate next year and get moved successfully.  But, I am concerned that the state of our funds may mean that the new shop will not, initially, be all that I hoped for.  2020 has been an expensive year for all the reasons that you can imagine and the funds that I had set aside to cover build-out and moving cost have been depleted by about 50%.  That doesn't mean we won't be able to move but it could mean that, once we're done, the floors will be industrial carpet, rather than wood, and the bookshelves may be the same as we have now, rather than the built-ins that I was planning.

How that shakes out (and, on a more fundamental level, how we continue to operate) is going to be, at least partially, dependent on the support that you can show us this year.  So, as always, I would love to have your support in 2021 but, if you decide that this is the year you need to direct your money elsewhere -- thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support you've given us.  It changed Borderlands for the better in more ways than I think anyone could have imagined and I appreciate it more than I can say.

Private Shopping
In addition to offering the curb-side pickup that I mentioned in the Newsletter, we're also offering another service for sponsors to help you stay safe this winter.  If you're concerned about the exposure risks in being out in public, we are offering private shopping by appointment.  You can arrange with us to come in outside of normal business hours and you'll be the only person in the shop other than the person working the counter.  We have appointments available every day at 6:15 and 6:30 pm but we're also happy to accommodate other times, either before 11 am or later than 6:30.

If you're interested, just drop me an email at sponsors@borderlands-books.com or call the shop and let me know what time you'd like to come in. You're welcome to come alone or you can bring guests with you if you like.  We'd prefer that you limit your visit to 30 minutes but, if you'd like to have more time, let me know and we'll work it out. Before you arrive, we'll have the air filters on full and the rear window open to clear the air in the shop and we'll also sanitize the counter and bathroom areas.

Of course, the safest option will still be to order by mail but, sometimes, it's just not the same.  Also, as we get closer to the end of the month, I expect that the postage system will start to have delays and problems due to the sheer volume of shipping.

Upcoming Preview Sale
Finally, I've confirmed that I will be buying the collection that I mentioned in the last newsletter.  I will be getting it in mid-January and my plan is to offer our sponsors a preview sale before any of the books are offered to the public.  To refresh your memory, this is a 2000-3000 volume collection of almost exclusively 21st century works in very nice condition and some small presses (Subterranean and Centipede) are well represented so I think there will be some very interesting titles.  I do and will not have an inventory until after the sale but, as we did in the past, I will post high-quality pictures of the books on the shelves just prior to the event.  If you can't make it in person, you can refer to the pictures and place orders by phone.

I'll have more details for you in January or, perhaps, February.  And yes, I'm thinking about how to manage the sale while maintaining a safe environment for people who attend in person.  I haven't come to any conclusions yet and I'm definitely considering the possibility of doing the entire sale "virtually".

And that's about all the news I have for now.  When you next hear from me, we'll have seen the back of 2020 and I'm really looking forward to this awful, awful year being over.  Please have a safe, happy and calm holiday along with a joyous New Year.  

I'll leave you with a quote that I think, though appropriate all the time, is especially appropriate in December.  "It's a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other." - Aldous Huxley

The end of this year, more than most (or, perhaps, any) in my memory, will benefit from as much kindness as we can spare.

Warmest Wishes,
Alan

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.