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Archived Newsletter Content


Newsletter #78 June August, 2007

Award News

        The nominees for the Hugo Award for Best Novel are Eifelheim by Michael Flynn ($25.95), His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik ($7.50), Glasshouse by Charles Stross ($24.95 or $7.99 pb due early July), Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge ($7.99) and Blindsight by Peter Watts ($25.95).

        The winner of the Nebula Award for Novel was Seeker by Jack McDevitt ($7.99) and the other finalists were From the Files of the Time Rangers by Richard Bowes ($24.95), The Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford ($13.95), The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner ($14.00), To Crush the Moon by Wil McCarthy ($6.99), and Farthing by Jo Walton ($25.95).

        James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips ($27.95 hc, $18.00 tr pb due late May) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for best biography.

        Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century by Justine Larbalestier ($24.95) won the Popular Cultural Association’s Susan Koppelman Award for best edited book in feminist studies.

        The finalists for the Sidewise Awards for Alternate History for long-form are 1862 by Robert Conroy ($6.99); The Tourmaline by Paul Park ($24.95); Charles Stross’s series The Family Trade ($6.99), The Hidden Family ($7.99), and The Clan Corporate ($24.95); The Disunited States of America by Harry Turtledove ($24.95); and Farthing by Jo Walton ($25.95).

        The Locus Award finalists include for Best Science Fiction Novel: Blindsight by Peter Watts ($25.95), Carnival by Elizabeth Bear ($6.99), Farthing by Jo Walton ($24.95), Glasshouse by Charles Stross ($24.95 or $7.99 pb due early July), and Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge ($7.99).
        For Best Fantasy Novel: The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross ($25.95), The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow ($15.95), The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner ($14.00 or $6.99 pb due early July), Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe ($24.95), and Three Days to Never by Tim Powers ($25.95).
        For Best First Novel: Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell ($24.95 or $7.99 pb due early June), The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist ($26.00), The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages ($16.99), The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch ($23.00 or $6.99 pb due early July), and Naomi Novik’s series His Majesty’s Dragon ($7.50), Throne of Jade ($7.99), and Black Powder War ($7.50).

        The Edgar Award winners included:
        Best Novel to The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin ($14.00 tr pb);
        Best First Novel to The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson ($24.95);
        Best Paperback Original to Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara ($12.00);
        Best Critical/Biographical to The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear by E. J. Wagner ($16.95).
        Best True Crime to Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson ($15.95).

Sherlock Holmes Play

        The U of M Showboat Players invite you and your group to experience Sherlock Holmes; climb aboard the Minnesota Centennial Showboat in

Sherlock’s Last Case
WHAT: Sherlock’s Last Case, a
witty, suspenseful interpretation of Sherlock Holmes written by Charles Marowitz
WHEN: June 15-August 25, 2007
WHO: The University of Minnesota Showboat Players under the direction of Stephen Kanee and Olio coach Vern Sutton
WHERE: Minnesota Centennial Showboat, Harriet Island, St. Paul MN
TICKETS: $17-$22, 651.227.1100 or

        The Showboat Players are continuing the University of Minnesota’s tradition of bringing professional theater to the riverfront with Sherlock’s Last Case, running June 15th – August 25th. This campy interpretation is directed by University professor Stephen Kanee and complimented by the Showboat’s signature olios, hand-picked by veteran Showboat director Vern Sutton.
        Marowitz’s versions of Sherlock and Watson shine amidst the many paltry reincarnations of the classic detective team. The playwright uses Doyle’s language to parody both Victorian England and the main characters—Holmes appears as an arrogant, narcissistic fellow who insults his housekeeper and bullies his associate—without damaging the genre. This show, perfect for mystery book lovers, offers a new and amusing take on the first great sleuth, whose adventures gave rise to the exciting world of detective fiction. For more information, please contact Justin Christy, communications manager, 612.625.5380,

Postage Rates Changes

        Last fall the U.S. Post Office decided to make some changes in services offered and the rates charged. One of the more controversial changes they wanted was to wipe our surface class (economy) shipping for international mail, forcing everybody to pay for air mail service. They had the comment period on this change last December, hoping that everybody would be too busy with the holidays to notice. Lots of book dealers noticed and complained enough that the post office extended the comment period. The book dealers pointed out that one of the few things the U.S. still manages to export is books, and forcing overseas customers to pay for air mail would significantly cut down on the number of books exported from the U.S. After an extended period of receiving protests over wiping out surface class mail, the Post Office did it anyway, effective May 14. The Post Office claimed that the change would only result in an average 13% increase in the cost of shipping packages overseas, but nobody believed them, and they made it very difficult to find out very far in advance what things were really going to cost after May 14.         We tried to warn overseas customers who frequently sent want lists for used books to us about the coming change, and many customers rushed updated want lists to us. We sent one large package to Australia by surface class M-bag a few days before the rates changed for $28.35, and then found a listing for the new rates that showed that the same box would have cost $135.00 in postage as of May 14. The next day we sent a surface class M-bag to London for $13.35, and then calculated that it would have cost $39.90 as of May 14. How’s that for a 13% increase in shipping costs?
        Here’s a quote from the new rate chart we received in the mail:
        “Why are changes being made to international mail?
        We are restructuring our products to better meet customer needs.”
        Rates aren’t changing that much within the U.S., but the farther an export package is going, the more extreme the rate increase, with a huge increase for shipments to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

        All of the discussion of the elimination of surface class postage that we’ve been following for the last several months has indicated that it would be totally eliminated. But the May, 2007, issue of Locus claims that it’s only being eliminated for small businesses, but that large shippers with bulk permits like will still be able to use surface class for overseas shipments. If true, this is even more disturbing. There’s nothing mentioned about this in the new rate chart, but there are mentions of other services that will no longer be available at the retail counter for small shippers but will still be available for large shippers.
        Like every other small bookseller that ships overseas, we’ll be looking for less expensive ways to get books to our international customers.

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