Oct 5 2011 10:00am

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 Reminds me of rollicking Golden Age science fiction, without the goofy outdated science and misogyny.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.  

This article is part of Independent Bookseller Picks: index | next ›
Kristoff Bergenholm
2. Magentawolf
That would be 'The Panama Laugh', actually.

I need to pick up Reamde, and since I adore Neal Asher in any form, The Depature, while The January Dancer is also catching my interest.

There really needs to be a few extra hours in the day so I can catch up on my lists...
Chris Lough
3. TorChris
Thanks Magentawolf, corrected.

(And definitely agreed on the few extra hours in the day...)
4. Jim74
Some nice recommendations here. However, I have to question your judgment if you are going to recommend the Newsflesh books by Mira Grant. Some of the worst writing I've ever encountered.
Dave Thompson
5. DKT
Very cool feature! I've been to Borderlands Books once (while visiting my brother-in-law) and couldn't have stayed in there browsing the bookshelves long enough. It's a great place.
Irene Gallo
6. Irene
I’m looking forward to visiting on Halloween. (Making it a side trip after World Fantasy.) I haven’t been there since the cafe was open, I can’t wait to read a book and eat a cupcake.
7. WackyXaky
I've liked other books by Michael Flynn, but I hated January Dancer. The entire story is told in some cliche galaxy trucker cantina by a gritty old man. Literally every other chapter returns to the cantina for some gruff reparte between the story-teller and listener. Also, Flynn creates four or five different accents that are all frustratingly difficult to read. He's essentially written a decent story and made it as unreadable as possible. I had the hardest time actually losing myself in the story because of the author's diction and structure choices. It's really turned me off the author...
8. Sarah M
Thanks for the recommendations!

I am new to Neal Stephenson, where should I start?
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
@8 - Probably Snow Crash. Early (1982?), eerily prescient (it includes first popular use of term "avatar" for a personality inside of a virtual world), entertaining work computer and cyberpunk culture.
Irene Gallo
10. Irene
@8 Sarah,
Not to discourage anyone from answering you -- I’d love it if tons of people chimed in. But I’ll also point out Jo Walton’s remrkable series of posts called, “Where do I start with...” Some great stuff in there.
David Spiller
11. scifidavid
Great list. Thanks for reminding me about January Dancer, I was waitng for the paperback release and then somehow it slipped off my radar. Also, thanks for reminding me about The Devil You Know, it has been waiting patiently on one of my shelves for a long while. I picked up Rosemary and Rue after reading this feature and you have me intrigued about Reamde.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment