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Archived Newsletter Content


Newsletter #94 June August, 2011

Award News

        The nominees for Hugo Awards for Best Novel are Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold ($25.00 signed), Feed by Mira Grant ($9.99), The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin ($7.99), The Dervish House by Ian McDonald ($26.00), and Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Blackout is currently a $16.00 trade pb and All Clear is currently a $26.00 hardcover).

        The finalists for the Nebula Award for Best Novel are The Native Star by M. K. Hobson ($7.99), The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin ($7.99), Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal ($24.99. $14.99 trade pb coming in June), Echo by Jack McDevitt ($24.95), Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorator ($24.95, $15.00 trade pb coming in June), and Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Blackout is currently a $16.00 trade pb and All Clear is currently a $26.00 hardcover).

        Zoo City by Lauren Beukes ($7.99) won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel of 2010.

        The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder ($16.00) won the Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original sf book published in the U.S. in 2010.

        The Edgar Award winners included Best Novel to The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton ($14.99); Best First Novel by an American Author to Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva ($24.99, $14.99 trade pb coming in June); Best Paperback Original to Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard ($15.00); and Best Critical/Biographical to Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang ($26.95, $16.95 trade pb coming in August).

        The Agatha Awards included Best Novel to Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny ($24.99 signed) and Best First Novel to The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames ($7.99).

        The Dilys Award went to Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny ($24.99 signed).

        Several awards were announced at the Left Coast Crime convention. The Lefty Award (for most humorous mystery of 2010) went to The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein by J. Michael Orenduff ($14.95). The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award went to The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear ($14.99). The Hillerman Sky Award (for the mystery that best captures the landscape of the Southwest) went to The Spider’s Web by Margaret Coel ($24.95). The Watson Award (for the mystery with the best sidekick) went to Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson ($25.95, $14.00 trade pb expected in June).

        The finalists for the Thriller Awards for Best Hard Cover Novel are The Reversal by Michael Connelly ($27.99), Edge: A Novel by Jeffrey Deaver ($26.99, $9.99 paperback due in August), The Burying Place by Brian Freeman ($7.99), Skin by Mo Hayder ($13.00), and Bad Blood by John Sandford ($27.95).
        The finalists for Best Paperback Original are Down Among the Dead Men by Robert Gregory Browne ($7.99), You Can’t Stop Me by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens ($6.99), The Cold Room by J. T. Ellison ($7.99), Torn Apart by Shane Gericke ($6.99), and The Venice Conspiracy by Jon Trace (apparently only available as an e-book in the U.S.).
        The finalists for Best First Novel are The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley ($15.00), The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron ($14.99), The Insider by Reece Hirsch ($7.99), Drink the Tea by Thomas Kaufman ($24.99) and Still Missing by Chevy Stevens ($24.99, $14.99 trade pb due by end of May).

How’s Business
by Don Blyly

        The first quarter of 2011 was very bad for us, and we blame it on the weather. In April we started seeing a lot of regular customers who commented about not having been able to shop at the store since Fall because of the mountains of snow and generally awful weather. Sales for April and the first half of May have been about the same as last year, but not enough to make up for 5 months of terrible sales.
        Everybody else in the book industry also had a very bad first quarter, and none of them are blaming it on the weather, and none of them are taking into account the impact of Borders’ bankruptcy and going-out-of-business sales. Instead, everybody is blaming e-books. It’s true that lots of people received e-book readers for presents over the holidays, and most of those people bought some e-books to try out their new devices (especially when the weather made it so difficult to get to a bricks-and-mortar store). But I’ve still heard very few positive comments about the reading experience of an e-book versus a paper book. The publishers are scared (with good reason) by the current economic conditions. But I think some of them are starting to panic, which can lead to bad news for readers, bookstores, and especially mid-list authors.
        All of the small business people I talk to are also suffering from the bad economy, and many of them have declines in sales volume much worse than bookstores are reporting. The dentist next to the Uncles says his business is way down because most people are only coming to see him if they have pain in their teeth instead of coming in for regular cleanings and check-ups. Most of the small local restaurants report their sales are down. Even the local hospital reports that their business is down significantly as people postpone operations–they even report that business in their emergency room is down. But none of these businesses blame their drop in sales to e-books, which is why I think that e-books are being over-blamed for the drop in bookstore sales.
        In addition to the Borders bankrupcy, there are lots of other bookstores closing down. I recently read that Fort Wayne, Indiana lost its Borders bookstore and 2 independent bookstores, all closing within less than 2 months. In San Francisco, the city’s last LGBT bookstore closed in April and the San Francisco Mystery Book Store closed in May after over 30 years in business. The Uncles are still surviving, but we’ve become more conservative in our ordering of new titles and rely on more frequent re-orders on titles that surprise us with how strongly they sell.
        Once again we had lots more new titles than we had space for in the paper newsletter. We had to cut about half the listings. Most paranormal romances, gaming related items, action adventure series titles, kids and young adult novels, and non-fiction books were either eliminated or had their descriptions drastically shortened for the paper newsletter, but full information is on our website. There are also book reviews at our website. If you are still receiving the paper newsletter and can switch to the electronic version, you’ll get more information, more quickly, and save us about $4 per year in printing and postage expenses. If you are still receiving the paper newsletter and don’t make use of it, please let us know so that we can drop you from the mailing list and save about $4 per year.

Upcoming Signings

        Local authors David Housewright and Larry Millett will be signing at Uncle Edgar’s on Saturday, June 11, 1-2 pm. David’s new novel, Highway 61 ($25.99), is the eighth featuring St. Paul private investigator Mac McKenzie. Larry’s new novel, The Magic Bullet ($24.95), is the sixth featuring St. Paul’s Shadwell Rafferty sleuthing around a century ago with the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
        Once-again-local author Steven Brust will be signing Tiassa ($24.99) at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday, June 18, 2-3 pm. Tiassa seems to be the thirteenth Vlad Taltos, which seems to make it the twentieth Dragaeran novel. The trade paperback of Iorich ($14.99), the previous Vlad Taltos novel, also came out recently.
        British author Peter Lovesey will be signing stock at Uncle Edgar’s on June 29, so let us know in advance if you’d like to get something personalized.
        Local author MaryJanice Davidson will be signing Undead and Undermined ($25.95) at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday, July 9, 1-2 pm. Undead and Undermined is the eleventh humorous novel about Betsy Taylor, local vampire queen who frequently shops for shoes at the Mall of America.
        Finnish author Jarkko Sipila will be signing at Uncle Edgar’s on Wednesday, July 27. Three of his mysteries have been translated into English, with Helsinki Homicide: Nothing But the Truth ($13.95) being the most recent (due mid-June).
        Local author Kelly Barnhill will be signing The Mostly True Story of Jack ($16.99, kids fantasy) at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday, August 20, 1-2 pm.
        Local author Patricia C. Wrede will be signing Across the Great Barrier ($16.99, Frontier Magic #2, kids fantasy) at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday, August 27, 1-2 pm.
        Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be signing Ghost Ship ($25.00) at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday, August 27, 2:30 to 4:00 pm. Around 500 people have pre-ordered Ghost Ship with tipped-in signatures. Those copies will arrive at the store about a month before the signing. If you pre-ordered and want us to ship the book as soon as possible, you don’t have to do anything. If you pre-ordered and want us to hold the book until the end of August to be personalized, you must let us know by July 15 that you want the book personalized (and how you want it personalized if you want a special inscription or a special nickname to be used). You don’t have to provide your original order number–the orders are now arranged alphabetically by the last names of the people who placed the orders. If we don’t hear from you (preferably by e-mail) by July 15, we’ll assume we should ship your books as soon as possible.

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