May 09, 2018

Upcoming Events

Tamora Pierce, TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Random House, Hardcover, $18.99) Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00 pm

SF in SF with authors Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Meg Elison, and Ellen Klages, moderated by Terry Bisson (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, June 10th at 6:30 pm

Jacqueline Carey, STARLESS (Tor Books, Hardcover, $25.99) Wednesday, June 13th at 6:00 pm

Coming up in the summer: B. Catling at the bookstore, Hannu Rajaniemi at The Interval at Long Now, George R.R. Martin in conversation with WorldCon artist GOH John Picacio at The Fox Theatre, and many, many more exciting events!

May Building News

by Alan Beatts

Whew.  The past couple weeks have been kind of a blur.  We've finished the west and south walls -- all patched and painted (well, primed actually).  They came out really well and it makes a huge difference to how the place looks.  We've also torn up all the horrible carpet which has made another huge improvement.  It turns out that, when the carpet was installed, they did a proper job and nailed down plywood to glue the carpet to.  That's a great thing for two reasons; first, I'm not going to have a sand off the carpet glue when I refinish the floors and, second, the plywood has probably protected the floors since the 1970s.  I'm sure that they're going to be pretty worn when I get down to them but, it's better than it would be if they hadn't been protected for forty-plus years.

Along with working on the electrical (more about that in a moment), I've been working on the fences in the back yard (with a lot of help from the volunteer crew).  Today I just did the final work on the south fence.  It was the trickiest because it's (mostly) straight, so getting it level along a 25' run was a challenge. But, it all worked out and it looks wonderful.  The east fence is about half-finished and the west has yet to be started.  Big thanks go out to everyone who helped with that -- Jim, Z'ev, Maddy, Salem, Aliza, Carl, David, Melinda, Russ and Zach.  Despite my sudden inability to measure anything accurately (or do fractional arithmetic in my head), Zach, Russ and David were very patient with me (thanks and sorry, guys.)

April Bestsellers

Hardcovers
1) Tough Mothers by Jason Porath
2) Noir by Christopher Moore
3) Head On by John Scalzi
4) Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath
5) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6) The Power by Naomi Alderman
7) Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
8) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
9) In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle
10) Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans. by Ken Liu
2) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
3) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
4) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
5) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
6) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
7) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
8) Overneath by Peter S. Beagle
9) Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
10) Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 12 edited by Jonathan Strahan

Mass Market Paperbacks
1) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
2) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
3) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
4) Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
5) Vanguard by Jack Campbell
6) Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
9) The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
10) Besieged by Kevin Hearne

May News

* Overheard in the Store:

"It will probably be an artisanal bag shop. We're in the Artisanal Bag Shop District, you know."

"This man approached me [at a convention] & introduced himself as 'a pre-published author', meaning it, I think, in the same way that I am 'pre-dead'."

"I don't believe that! How on Earth did you get THE MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH [by Charlie Huston] from 'It had a yellow cover & it's about people who clean crime scenes.'!?"

"It was really saccharine; it said 'A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?', and I immediately thought 'Not have disrupted the space-time continuum, duh!'"

"You have not lived until you've heard Christopher Lee in the acoustics of a men's room." - Peter S. Beagle

"Nice to meet you; I need wear your bra for a sec.”

* Get ready for another book about Westeros, but not WINDS OF WINTER -- instead we are getting FIRE AND BLOOD, a history of the infighting that almost wiped out the Targaryen line. More info here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/25/george-rr-martin-winds-winter-not-coming-2018-sixth-volume-game-thrones-targaryen

April 12, 2018

Upcoming Events

Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm

Writers With Drinks with authors Chiwan Choi, Chelsey Johnson, Dominica Phetteplace, Shobha Rao, Lilah Sturges, and Javier Zamora, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders (at the Make Out Room, Make Out Room
3225 22nd St.) Saturday, April 14th at 7:30 pm

Birthday Celebration with Peter S. Beagle! Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 pm

Catherine Asaro, BRONZE SKIES (Been Books, Trade Paperback, $16.00) and INFINITE STARS (Titan, Hardcover, $24.95) Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm

Jason Porath, TOUGH MOTHERS: AMAZING STORIES OF HISTORY'S MIGHTIEST MATRIARCHS (Day Street Books, Oversized Hardcover, $24.99) Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 pm

April Building News

by Alan Beatts

But first . . . Slow With Email

I'm really sorry to still be saying this but, I've been having a terrible time keeping up with my email given everything that is going on (and been going on).  If you've sent me an email that deserves a reply and you haven't heard from me yet, please forgive me.  I'm trying and making some progress but the backlog is still pretty bad.  If the topic of your not-yet-replied-to email is urgent, please send it to me again.  I think I've gotten back to everyone about time-critical stuff but I could have missed something.  Thank you so much for your patience.  And now, the usual . . .

Haight Street Update

And we're off! The wave state is collapsing and things are starting to really progress visually (as opposed to progressing behind the scenes). Thanks to our amazing cadre of volunteers, the west and south walls are now closed up and if the weather would just cooperate, we'd be a lot further along on taping and mudding. Thanks to Mr. Jim Lively, we got all the seams done and a skim coat on the existing drywall, and thanks to the weather we now wait for the rest of the wall to dry completely before proceeding. And wait . . . and wait . . . and, oh, look, more rain . . . wait . . . .

(Side note: "skim coat" is a very thin layer of drywall mud spread over a large surface - in this case, filling in the dings on the existing sheetrock courtesy of 40 years of abuse and covering the truly unfortunate texture courtesy of the disastrous 1970's remodel)

March Bestsellers

Hardcovers

1) The Power by Naomi Alderman
2) If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress
3) Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
4) The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer
5) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
6) Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
7) Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
8) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
9) The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
10) Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker

Trade Paperbacks

1) The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers
2) The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, trans. by Ken Liu
3) Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
4) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
5) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
6) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
7) Strange Bird by Jeff Vandermeer
8) New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
9) Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
10) The Atheist in the Attic by Samuel R. Delany

Mass Market Paperbacks

1) Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
2) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
4) Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor
5) Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin
6) The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
7) Old Man's War by John Scalzi
8) Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
9) Red Sister by Mark Lawerence
10) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

April News

* Overheard in the Store:
[one very stoned visitor to another]: "Star Trek; so it's non-fiction, but cats; so it's fiction."

* R.I.P. Kate Wilhelm, a prolific and talented author of science fiction and mystery, and the cofounder of the Clarion Writing Workshops, who passed away from respiratory illness.  https://boingboing.net/2018/03/11/the-sweet-birds-sang.html

* R.I.P. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik; considered the first contemporary Arab writer of science fiction and horror, he has passed away at 55.  He leaves behind over 200 novels and fans across the globe.  https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/4/4/egyptian-literary-pioneer-ahmed-khaled-tawfik-passes-away

* R.I.P. Stephen Hawking, a complex & brilliant scientist whose lifelong work impacted and inspired so many, and left a lasting mark on our understanding of the universe. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/14/stephen-hawking-professor-dies-aged-76

* Worldcon 76's Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio has teamed with authors John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ty Franck, Kate Elliott and more to create The Mexicanx Initiative. They're sponsoring Worldcon Attending Memberships for 50 Mexicanx pros and fans to attend Worldcon in San Jose this summer.  Now that they've achieved that goal, they've created The Mexicanx Initiative's Assistance Fund -- a separate, dedicated fund to provide travel and lodging assistance for those 50 Mexicanx invitees, many of whom ail be journeying across the border from Mexico.  SFSFC, the host committee for Worldcon 76, is handling the collection of all funds which will be distributed to the Recipients at Worldcon.  About $6000 has been collected so far, and the fund's goal is $15,000 before Memorial Day Weekend. If you're able to participate, donate here (see "Mexicanx Initiative Assistance Fund"): https://www.worldcon76.org/faq/donations  And here's a short article from the San Antonio Current on John's idea: https://www.sacurrent.com/ArtSlut/archives/2018/03/29/science-fiction-artist-john-picacio-gives-a-lift-to-other-mexicanx-creators

March 07, 2018

Upcoming Events

Loteria Game Night and Poster Signing with artist John Picacio! Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 pm

Mishell Baker, IMPOSTOR SYNDROME (Saga Press, Hardcover $29.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) and Seanan McGuire, TRICKS FOR FREE (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, March 17th at 6:00 pm

Come Visit Borderlands West, Saturday, March 24th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm - Alan will be showing off our favorite construction site at 1377 Haight St. (at Masonic Ave.)

SF in SF with authors Nancy Kress, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Jack Skillingstead (at the American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco) Sunday, March 25th at 6:30 pm

Ilana C. Myer, FIRE DANCE (Tor, Hardcover, $26.99) Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm

March 06, 2018

March Building News

by Alan Beatts

Frustratingly, I don't have very much news this month.  We're in that miserable stage of construction wherein we mostly wait.  We wait for the engineer to get drawings back to us and we wait for PG&E to answer basic questions.  Until those things happen, I've been keeping busy closing up the wall that we can close (i.e. putting up sheetrock and patching),  but even that process has had some waiting because the next step, "Tape and Mud", has to wait 'til it gets a bit warmer, since there's no heat hooked up yet.

(An aside: "tape and mud" is the process in which we use paper tape to close the seams where pieces of sheetrock meet.  That tape in held in place and covered by joint compound, ("mud"), which is mostly gypsum dust mixed with water.  Since water is the solvent, it takes time to dry and contracts when it does.  If the temperature is too low, it takes forever to dry and, worse, cracks more.  So, we need some days that are mostly over 55 degrees, and we haven't had many of those.  There are other compounds that I could use, but they are a pain in the butt to work with compared to regular mud.)

On the bright side, the volunteers that I'm working with are great, and they've been learning a lot.  Last Sunday I realized that I'm basically training a framing crew from the ground up.  It's taking a little time (and some mis-cut lumber),  but they're smart folks, willing to work hard, and are learning really fast.  I expect that, by the time we're building walls in earnest, they'll be pretty darn good.  So it's a great investment for the future.  Most of the hard-core are already getting up to speed with nailguns and compound miter saws.  All that aside, everyone who's come to help has been lovely and has worked their asses off.  It's been heartwarming to see that kind of support and I'm grateful to every one of them.

If the current weather holds, I hope to start the tape and mud this weekend along with doing the framing for the supply closet.  And, based on some email exchanges today, we might have the engineering drawings by the end of this week.  Which would be a very, very fine thing.

If you're curious about how the place looks, you'll have a chance this month to come check it out.  I'll be holding the place open for visits on Saturday, the 24th, from noon until six pm.  Feel free to stop by anytime in that window and I'll give you the ten-cent tour.