Independent Bookseller Picks

October Recommendations from Borderlands Books

Borderlands Books is San Francisco’s home for science fiction, fantasy and horror books. We carry used and new titles, host about fifty author events a year, and have a lovely cafe next to the store where you can relax with your new book. If you’re unable to visit us in person, you can order online and we’ll ship almost anywhere in the world.

We feel passionately about our books and our community and we’re delighted to make recommendations, both in person and virtually. We’ve been around since 1997 and we’re still going strong.

Here are some books we’re excited about selling this October.


The Departure by Neal Asher

The beginning of a trilogy that is not set in Asher’s Polity universe, this one-man-against-the-government tale takes place in a world that combines the worst parts of 1984 and Soylent Green.




The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

A lovely, melancholy, haunting classic in which eight boys set out on Halloween night and ride the black wind to autumns past and elsewhere.





The Devil You Know by Mike Carey

If you like Jim Butcher’s Dresden books, I bet you’ll be blown away by Mike Carey’s sardonic freelance exorcist, Felix Castor. Deadpan humor coexists perfectly with deeper ethical issues as Castor grapples with his many mistakes, past and current.




Crack’d Pot Trail by Steven Erikson

This humorous standalone novella set in Erikson’s world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen explores what happens when a group of travelers in the desert find themselves quite short on food, but endowed with an excess of poets.




The January Dancer by Michael Flynn

An epic tale of spaceship adventure, this one has space pirates and a precious shape-changing artifact. Reminds me of rollicking Golden Age science fiction, without the goofy outdated science and misogyny.




The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

Despite having been nominated for both the Nebula (2010) and Hugo (2011) Awards, this complex and impressive “non-conciliatory” fantasy still isn’t getting the attention I feel it deserves.




Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin

Now nearly everyone on the planet has heard of A Game of Thrones, but hardly anyone knows about Martin’s under-appreciated, glorious, gritty, Mississippi riverboat vampire novel.




One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

If you haven’t checked out McGuire’s atypical take on urban fantasy (not paranormal romance), start with Rosemary and Rue. Smart, sarcastic and internally consistent, One Salt Sea, the fifth volume, is the strongest installment yet in this already strong series. Also check out Feed & Deadline, awesome science fiction/blogger/virology novels written by McGuire under the pseudonym Mira Grant.


The Cold Commands by Richard Morgan

In my opinion any new Richard Morgan book is cause for celebration, but I’ve been especially eagerly awaiting this follow-up to the brilliant and brutal The Steel Remains.





Ganymede by Cherie Priest

This third volume in Priest’s Clockwork Century books, like Boneshaker and Dreadnought, stands just fine on its own. Set in an alternate- history Civil War-era New Orleans which is occupied by the Texas Republic, this is a fantastic steampunk novel with a kick-ass heroine, a believable and sympathetic hero, a moody setting, pirates, the undead-ish, submarines and Marie Leveau.


The Panama Laugh by Thomas Roche

Ex-mercenary Dante Bogart accidently hands his shady employers a devastating biological weapon that makes the dead rise to devour the living while laughing hysterically. After being whisked off to a secret interrogation site and awakening 5 years later with his memory missing, Dante’s got to do what he can to cure the sickness that’s killing the world.



Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Stephenson’s latest is a fast-paced straight-ahead thriller — less cerebral but even more fun than his his last handful of books.





Sign up for the Borderlands newsletter on our website, or follow us on Twitter @borderlands_sf (for store news and event updates) and @borderlands_new (for new arrivals).

Alan Beatts decided to open a bookstore after working, variously as a bodyguard, nightclub promoter, firearms instructor, and motorcycle shop manager. He much prefers bookselling to any of those things.  


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