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Archived Newsletter Content


Newsletter #105 March May, 2014

40th Anniversary Sale

        Uncle Hugo’s is the oldest surviving science fiction bookstore in the United States. We opened for business on March 2, 1974. To encourage you to help us celebrate Uncle Hugo’s 40th Anniversary, we’re having a sale. Come into either Uncle Hugo’s or Uncle Edgar’s and get 10% off everything except gift certificates. A discount card will save you even more–you’ll get both the 10% savings from the sale and the 10% savings from the discount card. (Sale prices apply to in-store sales, but not to mail orders.)
        The 40th Anniversary sale lasts Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 9. This gives you two weekends to take advantage of the sale.

Award News

        The finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award (for best sf published as a paperback original in the U.S.) are A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock ($14.95), The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke ($14.99), Self-Reference Engine by Toh EnJoe, trans. by Terry Gallagher ($14.99), Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie ($15.00), Life on the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead ($7.99), Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction edited by Ian Whates ($8.99), and Countdown City by Ben. H. Winters ($14.95).

        The Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards. The winners will be announced May 1.
        The nominees for Best Novel are Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook ($24.00), The Humans by Matt Haig ($25.00), Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger ($24.99 signed hc, $16.00 tr pb due in March), How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny ($25.99), Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin ($25.99 hc, $15.00 tr pb), and Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy ($26.95).
        The nominees for Best First Novel by an American Author are The Resurrectionist by Matthew Guinn ($25.95), Ghostman by Roger Hobbs ($14.95), Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman ($24.99), Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews ($26.99, $9.99 pb due in April), and Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight ($15.99).
        The nominees for Best Paperback Original are The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne ($14.99), Almost Criminal by E. R. Brown ($17.99), Joe Victim by Paul Cleave ($16.00). Joyland by Stephen King ($12.95, $7.99 pb due in April), The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood ($16.00), and Brilliance by Marcus Sakey ($14.95).

        Many mystery awards are presented at the Left Coast Crime Convention. The nominees for the Lefty Award, for the most humorous mystery, are The Hen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews ($24.99, $7.99 pb due in March), The Fame Thief by Timothy Hallinan ($25.00, $14.95 tr pb due in March), The Last Word by Lisa Lutz ($15.00 tr pb due March, retitled The Next Generation). The Good Cop by Brad Parks ($24.99), and Dying for a Daiquiri by Cindy Sample.
        The nominees for the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award are Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen ($24.95), His Majesty’s Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal ($15.00), Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses by Catriona McPherson ($25.99), Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell ($25.99), Covenant with Hell by Priscilla Royal ($14.95), and Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear ($26.99, $15.99 tr pb due in April).
        The nominees for The Squid (best mystery set in the U.S.) are W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton ($28.95), Purgatory Key by Darrell James ($14.99), Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger ($24.99 signed hc, $16.00 tr pb due in March), The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan ($24.99), and A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames ($15.95).
        The nominees for The Calamari (best mystery set anywhere else in the world) are Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black ($25.95), Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann ($25.95), As She Left It by Catriona McPherson ($14.99), How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny ($25.99), and Mykonos After Midnight by Jeffrey Siger ($14.95).

        The nominees for the Agatha Award include for Best Historical Novel: Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen ($24.95), Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George, A Friendly Game of Murder by J. J. Murphy ($7.99), Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson ($25.95, $7.99 pb due in May), and A Question of Honor by Charles Todd ($25.99).
        For Best Contemporary Novel:
Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming ($25.99), Pagan Spring by G. M. Malliet ($24.99), How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny ($25.99), Clammed Up by Barbara Ross ($7.99), and The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan ($24.99).
        For Best First Novel: Death al Dente by Leslie Budewitz ($7.99), You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa ($7.99), Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn ($15.95), Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero ($7.99), and Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker ($15.95).

        The Minnesota Book Awards nominees in the Genre Fiction category are The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart ($26.00 signed hc, $16.00 tr pb due in March), The Cold Nowhere by Brian Freemantle (this apparently had a 2012 British edition, but the first U.S. publication will be April, 2014 at $24.95, so we’re wondering why it’s on a list for best of 2013), Tamarack County by William Kent Krueger ($24.99 signed), and Wolves by Cary J. Griffith.

How’s Business?
By Don Blyly

        This has been a really nasty winter, and that has hurt sales a lot. November in-store sales were up a little from the year before, but December was down a lot, January was down even more, and February looks like it will also be down a lot. It’s just been too difficult for many people to get around. Fortunately, mail order has been more stable than in-store sales, but it’s still been rough. And our 3 year old furnace that has been malfunctioning on subzero mornings has made things more miserable. When I come in early to work on stuff hours before opening the store, I find it challenging to use the keyboard on the computer when the temperature is 54 degrees (with the thermostat set at 70). The furnace starts functioning around opening time, and the temperature starts getting comfortable about the time UPS pulls up with 15 cases of books–which have been setting on the truck at below zero temperatures for hours before being delivered. Such a nasty winter.
        I suppose I should be happy about Uncle Hugo’s 40th Anniversary, but I’ve really been looking forward for years to Uncle Hugo’s 50th Anniversary, so that I could use the line “Bringing you the future for half a century!” I’m becoming skeptical that we’ll last that long. We should still be around for a few more years, but our sales just keep going downhill (much more rapidly this winter than usual). Fortunately, the percentage of business coming from used books keeps increasing, and the profit margin is better and the cost of carrying inventory is lower on the used books, so the bills keep getting paid. And I find myself going downhill, too. Sometimes after a 13 hour day at the store, I’m too tired to do much when I get home, which didn’t used to happen. Naturally, I’ve been trying to think of how the store could go on when I can no longer put in 70 hours a week here, but anybody who could afford to buy the store could get a much better return on their money elsewhere.
        I’ll mention a couple of things coming up after the period covered by this newsletter. Jim Butcher’s next Dresden Files book, Skin Game, is coming in early June, and we have signed copies on order. Larry Correia’s new Monster Hunter Nemesis is coming at the beginning of July, and Larry will be signing at Uncle Hugo’s on July 3. By then, we shouldn’t have to worry about snow or below zero temperatures, even in Minnesota. I’m feeling better already.

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