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Archived Newsletter Content


Newsletter #67 September - November, 2004

Used Book Sale

        Used books are stacked to the ceiling, and piles of used books are blocking the aisles, so we're going to have a used book sale.
        All used books will be 20% off, whether you have a discount card or not. The sale includes used paperbacks, used hardcovers, used magazines, used gaming books, and bagged books. The sale will run Friday, September 3 through Sunday, September 12, to give you two weekends to haul away bargains. We will be closed Monday, September 6 for Labor Day. The sale will only be for customers shopping in the store-it does not apply to mail orders.
        Warning: If you are coming by car, look in the Neighborhood Update section for news about road construction and the parking situation.

Award News

        The John W. Campbell Award for best SF novel of the year went to Omega by Jack McDevitt ($23.95). Second place went to Natural History by Justina Robson (no U.S. edition yet), and third place went to The X President by Philip Baruth ($11.95).

        The Locus Award Winners (voted by the subscribers to Locus Magazine) include:
        Best SF Novel: Ilium by Dan Simmons (signed hc $25.95);
        Best Fantasy Novel: Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (signed hc $24.95);
        Best First Novel: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow ($12.95);
        Best Young Adult Book: The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett ($6.99);
        Best Anthology: The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twentieth Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois ($19.95).

        The World Fantasy Award finalists include:
        Best Novel: The Etched City by K. J. Bishop (U.S. edition coming late November at $14.00); Fudoki by Kij Johnson ($25.95 signed 1st printing hc); The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeod ($14.00); Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton ($24.95); Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer.

        Sunshine by Robin McKinley ($23.95) won the Mythopoeic Award for adult fiction.

        The nominees for the Prometheus Award (presented by the Libertarian Futurist Society) for Best Novel are: Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind ($7.99); The Pixel Eye by Paul Levinson ($14.95); Spin State by Chris Moriarty ($11.95); Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling ($29.99); Sims by F. Paul Wilson ($25.95).

        The Anthony Award Nominees include the following:
        Best Novel: Blood is the Sky by Steve Hamilton ($6.99 or $21.95 signed 1st printing hc); The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt ($6.99 or $24.95 signed 1st printing hc); Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman ($24.95 signed 1st printing hc); Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane ($7.99 or $25.95signed 1st printing hc); The Summer That Never Was/Close to Home by Peter Robinson ($7.50 or $23.95 signed 1st printing hc).
        Best First Novel: Death of a Nationalist by Rebecca Pawel ($12.00); Haunted Ground by Erin Hart ($24.00); Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ($14.00 signed trade pb); Monkeewrench/Want to Play? By P. J. Tracy ($6.99 or $23.95 signed 1st printing hc); Wiley's Lament by Lono Waiwaiole ($24.95 signed 1st printing hc).
        Best Paperback Original: Deadly Legacy by Robin Burcell ($6.99); Dealing in Murder by Elaine Flinn ($6.50); Find Me Again by Sylvia Maultash Warsh ($7.99); Thicker Than Water by P. J. Parrish ($6.99); Tough Luck by Jason Starr ($12.00).
        Best Historical Mystery: Find Me Again by Sylvia Maultash Warsh ($7.99); For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen ($23.95); Let Loose the Dogs by Maureen Jennings ($24.95); Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ($14.00 signed trade pb); The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer ($13.95).

        The Shamus Award Nominees include the following:
        Best Novel: Scavenger Hunt by Robert Ferrigno ($13.00); The Guards by Ken Bruen ($12.95); Blood is the Sky by Steve Hamilton ($6.99 or $21.95 signed 1st printing hc); Fatal Flaw by William Lashner ($7.50); A Visible Darkness by Jonathon King ($6.99 or $23.95 signed 1st printing hc).
        Best First Novel: Spiked by Mark Arenault ($6.99); Black Maps by Peter Spiegelman ($22.95); Lovers Crossing by James C. Mitchell ($23.95).
        Best Paperback Original PI Novel: Cold Quarry by Andy Straka ($5.99); Thicker Than Water by P. J. Parrish ($6.99); Wet Debt by Richard Helms ($15.95); Dragonfly Bones by David Cole ($6.99).

        The Macavity Award nominees include:
        Best Mystery Novel: The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt ($6.99 or $24.95 signed 1st printing hc); For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen ($23.95); The Guards by Ken Bruen ($12.95); Done for a Dime by David Corbett ($13.95); The House Sitter by Peter Lovesey ($13.00).
        Best First Mystery Novel: Night of the Dance by James Hime ($24.95); Death of a Nationalist by Rebecca C. Pawel ($12.00); The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer ($13.95); Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ($14.00).

Neighborhood Update
by Don Blyly

        About a year ago the city told us that the Chicago Ave. bridge next to the store would be replaced, with destruction/construction starting in Spring 2004, as soon as the frost was out of the ground. Then, paperwork requirements upon the city mushroomed, and the beginning of the project was pushed back to June, then July, and then August. When it got to the point that the city wanted to close Chicago Ave. in August to tear out the bridge and then wait until next spring to start construction on the new bridge, I started complaining to various people in city government about having Chicago Ave. closed all winter long with no work being done. I suspect a lot of other people also complained. The city came up with a new plan.
        The new plan calls for one side of Chicago Ave. to be closed from just south of the bridge to Lake St. so that the street and the sidewalk can be torn out and replaced at the appropriate height for the new bridge. Once that is done, traffic will be switched to the new pavement and the other side of the street and sidewalk will be torn out and replaced. Then the city will wait until next spring to close the street completely to replace the bridge (resulting in the street being closed for about 7 months instead of 16 months under the previous plan). While this is a big improvement, it also means that all of the parking on Chicago Ave. between the bridge and Lake St. will be wiped out from sometime in August until early November. As far as we know, the parking meters north of the bridge will not be affected.
        The dental clinic next door to the Uncle has a parking lot for their patients, and they need those spaces for their patients until 5 pm Monday through Thursday, but our customers are welcome to park in the dental lot after 5 pm and all day Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. (Both the dental clinic and I are assuming that you'll be able to drive into the dental clinic parking lot during the months of construction.) If you usually come to the Uncles by bike, bus, or on foot, the construction shouldn't impact you too much. But if you come by car, you'll find it much easier to find parking if you come between 5 pm and 8 pm Monday through Thursday or if you come anytime Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Sometime around November 1 we expect construction to end and the parking spaces on Chicago Ave. to come back, and you will then be able to resume your regular shopping habits.

        At the last public hearing on the Sears redevelopment, it was repeatedly emphasized how fast they had to start construction in order to meet their deadlines. We were told that if the City Council approved things on schedule late in June, workers would be on the site immediately after July 4th to finish the asbestos removal, and that lots of other workers would be crawling all over the site very soon after that, tearing down the building over the track, repairing the parapets, replacing the roof, replacing every window in the complex, and starting construction on both the new hotel and the new parking ramp. The city council approved the deal on schedule, but there still hasn't been any sign of workers on the site. Apparently, in spite of months of work getting all the details worked out before the City Council approved the deal, the closing on the transfer of title isn't going to happen until sometime in late August, and apparently no work is going to be done until the developer actually has title to the land. Another thing that was mentioned at the last public meeting, which I certainly hadn't heard before, was that one of the major tenants (The Global Marketplace) was set up as a non-profit, and they still needed to raise millions of dollars in contributions before they could move forward with their plans.

        For the last 4 years or so there have been a huge number of meetings over the rebuilding of Lake St., with various traffic engineering consultants, local business people, local residents, county people, etc., working on the plan. They came up with a pretty good plan, given all the physical limitations, requirements from the state in order for state and federal money to be used on the project, and all the conflicting interests. For the "Middle" section of the project, which goes from 5th Ave. to 21st Ave., there would be four lanes of traffic (as there are now), plus left turn lanes at some major intersections (badly needed, especially at Chicago-Lake, Bloomington-Lake, and Cedar-Lake), and there was only a slight reduction in the number of parking spaces along this section of Lake St. (Most of the removed parking spaces are along the edge of the cemetery east of Cedar, which are never used anyway.) The plan went to the City Council for approval, and 3 City Council members and the mayor decided that they wanted to play traffic engineer and design a different plan. Under their plan, between Chicago and Portland (which is where I've most often seen bottlenecks) there would be 3 lanes of traffic (1 eastbound, 1 westbound, and a center left-turn-only lane) and 2 lanes of parking some parts of the day, and 5 lanes of traffic and no parking other parts of the day. On either side of the 3 lane/5 lane section, there would be 4 lanes of traffic. This sounded pretty dumb to me, but I went to a public hearing on the new proposal. It was worse than I expected. While the politicians were talking about how they wanted to do this to help out small businesses, it turned out that the parking would only be available when most businesses would be closed. Unlike many streets into or out of downtown, which have either a morning rush or an afternoon rush, Lake St. is busy in both directions most of the day. Parking would have been prohibited from 9 am until 8 pm in one direction, and from 9 am to 6 pm in the other direction. One business owner in the affected area pointed out that the city plan wiped out a bunch of 24-hour parking spaces near his business in order to provide a lot more parking spaces that could only be used when his business was closed. In the 2 hours that I sat through, I didn't hear anybody but the city politicians say anything good about the city's proposal. The next day, I asked another business owner if anybody had anything good to say about the plan after I left, and he said that the meeting went on for another hour after I left, and nobody liked the city's proposal. Hopefully, the city will now approve the plan developed by the project review committee over the last 4 years.

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