Borderlands Books Looks To the Future

Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

Alan Beatts of Borderlands Books has more good news. He told customers on May 11:

I’m delighted to announce that as of this week we’ve hit 800 sponsors for 2015, a full 500 over the number that we needed to remain open.

When the San Francisco bookstore announced it could not survive after the city passed a new minimum wage law, a meeting of customers came up with a plan that assured the store would stay in business if 300 people bought sponsorships for $100 apiece. Within 48 hours they had the minimum. Many more have signed up since.

What will be done with the additional funds? Borderlands Books has already given the employees a bonus and a pay raise based on the minimum wage increase. Repairs and infrastructure improvements will be made.

And the outpouring of support has inspired a dream of creating a nonprofit organization in order to buy a building that will provide the business with a permanent home and guarantee it will be around for a very long time.

Regardless of the geographic area, lease expirations and increased rents are one of the most common reasons for the closure of established, stable businesses.  In a city like San Francisco, with its constant cycle between boom-town and bust, that is even more true.  Right now our leases are in good shape and we have excellent relations with our landlord. But that is not something to count on ten, twenty or fifty years from now.  With the success of the sponsorship program, that is the time-scale I’m looking at — 50 years.

SFWA Election Result

Science Fiction Writers of America, having tallied and certified the ballots, has announced its officers for the next term starting July 1.

  • President: Cat Rambo
  • Vice President: M.C.A. Hogarth
  • Secretary: Susan Forest
  • Chief Financial Officer: Bud Sparhawk
  • Directors-at-Large: Jennifer Brozek, Matthew Johnson*, Lee Martindale*, Sarah Pinsker*, Tansy Rayner Roberts*  (*midterm incumbents not up for election this time)

Elected to two-year terms are incoming President Cat Rambo, Secretary Susan Forest and newly-elected Director-at-Large Jennifer Brozek.

Elected to one-year terms are CFO Bud Sparhawk, and Vice President M.C.A. Hogarth.

Next year SFWA will start alternating elections where the vice president, CFO, and a subset of directors-at-large will run in even years, with remaining board members running in odd years, with all terms of office lasting two years.

Current President Steven Gould and Director-at-Large Jim Fiscus serve through June 30.

Bone Music Available Again

Alan Rodgers in 1987. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Alan Rodgers in 1987 with his Bram Stoker Award for “The Boy Who Came Back From the Dead.” Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Alan Rodgers’ Bone Music, out of print for almost 15 years, has returned as an ebook from Chameleon Publishers. Chameleon will be releasing Rodgers’ work monthly now. Coming next is a new edition of Fire, his apocalyptic novel that has been compared to The Stand.

Bone Music is an author’s edition, edited by Alan’s brother Scott Rodgers. The novel was widely admired when first published in 1995 — George Alec Effinger endorsed it saying, “The highest praise one writer can give another is to say ‘I wish I’d written that book…’”

A long time ago at the Crossroads, the great bluesman Robert Johnson sang “Judgment Day” and judgment did rain down upon the world. Now, a little girl named Lisa is the only hope for humanity’s redemption, but she and her mother Emma must face what happens when Lisa dies and comes back to life … again. Little Lisa and the greatest bluesmen of all time, from Leadbelly to Stevie Ray Vaughan, and even Dead Elvis, confront angels, demons, and voodoo powers before the ultimate showdown in the ultimate city of music, heaven and hell: New Orleans.

Bone Music is available via all ebook sellers for $4.99 — Kindle, Nook, iTunes/iBooks (Apple devices), Kobo, and Google Play.

Rodgers won a Bram Stoker Award for his novelette “The Boy Who Came Back From the Dead” (1987), which was also a World Fantasy Award nominee. His Blood of the Children was a nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel (1990).

Rodgers also was known for works such as Pandora, Fire, Night, The Bear Who Found Christmas, Her Misbegotten Son, Alien Love, The River of Our Destiny, Angel of Our Mercy, and Light.

He worked as Associate Editor of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, and edited the spinoff Night Cry from 1985-1987.

Two Roads Diverged in a Scarlet Wood

Developments in HBO’s latest episode of Game of Thrones (see Game of Thrones Recap: Poor Sansa” – spoiler warning) resulted in fan site The Mary Sue announcing it will restrict coverage of the show going forward.

A lengthy post explains the decision and what The Mary Sue means by promotion:

So, from this point forth there will no longer be recaps, photo galleries, trailers, or otherwise promotional items about Game of Thrones on The Mary Sue. The newsworthiness of other items will be discussed by the editorial team on a case by case basis.

A Song of Ice and Fire series author George R.R. Martin found his blog besieged by commenters following the episode, however, it has always been his policy to refer discussion of the HBO series to other sites. He removed the comments and posted a response which says in part:

There has seldom been any TV series as faithful to its source material, by and large (if you doubt that, talk to the Harry Dresden fans, or readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, or the fans of the original WALKING DEAD comic books)… but the longer the show goes on, the bigger the butterflies become. And now we have reached the point where the beat of butterfly wings is stirring up storms, like the one presently engulfing my email.

Prose and television have different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements.

David and Dan and Bryan and HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can.

And over here I am trying to write the best novels that I can.

And yes, more and more, they differ. Two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, I suppose… but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place.

In the meantime, we hope that the readers and viewers both enjoy the journey. Or journeys, as the case may be. Sometimes butterflies grow into dragons.

Trailer Overkill

New trailers for a pair of TV series, Minority Report on Fox, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on The CW, and the movie Minions, have been released this week.

In Minority Report, based on the Steven Spielberg film, “a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen.”

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow requires “Time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter [to] assemble a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat to the planet…and to time itself.”

Minions trailer #3 shows the minions from the dawn of history.

First Look at Rachel Bloom’s New Series

A clip has been released from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend starring Rachel Bloom in which she plays —

Rebecca Bunch, a successful driven, and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness…in suburban West Covina, CA.

Bloom is known to fans for her Hugo-nominated music video “F*** Me, Ray Bradbury.”

Coneheads Come Out of Retirement for Commercial

Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin are back in character for a Conehead version of the “Jake from State Farm” commercial.

AdWeek explains this is the latest of several ads for the insurance company based on Saturday Night Live skits:

State Farm has a deal with Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video Entertainment and its SNL properties—and the company previously cooked up spots with Rob Schneider’s Richmeister and Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon’s Hans and Franz characters.


There’s also a “behind the scenes” video.