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Newsletter #101 March May, 2013

39th 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 39th 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 39h Anniversary sale lasts Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 10. 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 Blueprints of the Afterlife by Ryan Boudinot ($14.00), Harmony by Keith Brooks ($8.99), Helix War by Eric Brown ($8.99), The Not Yet by Moira Crone, Fountain of Age by Nancy Kress ($16.00), Lovestar by Andri Snaer Magnuson ($16.95), and Lost Everything by Brian Francis Slattery ($14.99).

        The Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Awards. The winners will be announced May 2.
        The nominees for Best Novel are The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins ($25.95 hc or $16.00 tr pb), The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye ($25.95, $16.00 tr pb due early March), Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ($25.00), Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman ($25.95, $9.99 paperback due early March), Sunset by Al Lamanda, Live by Night by Dennis Lehane ($27.99, $16.99 tr pb due in May), and All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley ($26.95 signed hc or $15.00 tr pb).
        The nominees for Best First Novel by an American Author are The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay ($26.00), Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman ($24.99, $14.99 tr pb early May), Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal ($15.00), The Expats by Chris Pavone ($15.00), The 500 by Matthew Quirk ($15.99), and Black Fridays by Michael Sears ($25.95).
        The nominees for Best Paperback Original are Complication by Isaac Adamson ($15.95), Whiplash River by Lou Berney ($14.99), Bloodland by Alan Glynn ($16.00), Blessed are the Dead by Malla Nunn ($14.00), The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters ($14.95).
        The nominees for the Simon & Schuster–Mary Higgins Clark Award (presented at the same ceremony as the Edgars, for the novel in the style of Mary Higgins Clark) are Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton ($15.99), A City of Broken Glass by Rebecca Cantrell ($25.99), The Reckoning by Jane Casey ($24.99), The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan ($24.99), Sleepwalker by Wendy Corsi Staub ($7.99).

        Many mystery awards are presented at the Left Coast Crime Convention. The nominees for the Lefty Award, for the most humorous mystery, are Cruising in Your Eighties is Murder by Mike Befeler, Swift Run by Laura DiSilverio ($25.99), December Dread by Jess Lourey ($14.99), Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz ($25.00), The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks ($15.99), and Fit to Be Dead by Nancy Glass West.
        The nominees for the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award (novels that occur before 1960) are The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen ($24.95), A City of Broken Glass by Rebecca Cantrell ($25.99), Live by Night by Dennis Lehane ($27.99), Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder by Catriona McPherson ($24.99), and Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear ($25.99 signed hc or $15.99 trade pb).
        The nominees for the Rocky (mysteries set in the west) are Buffalo Bill’s Dead Now by Margaret Coel ($25.95), Hush Money by Chuck Greaves ($24.99), Wicked Eddies by Beth Groundwater ($14.95), Sonora Crossing by Darrell James ($14.95), and As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson ($25.95).
        The nominees for the Watson (for mystery novel with the best sidekick) are In a Witch’s Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell ($7.99), Taken by Robert Crais ($26.95 signed hc or $9.99 pb), Fun House by Chris Grabenstein ($25.00, $14.95 tr pb early May), When the Past Haunts You by L. C. Hayden, and Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab ($7.99).

How’s Business
by Don Blyly

        The last time I ordered some books from The Rue Morgue, Tom e-mailed back to say that so many mystery bookstores have been out of business lately. I assured him that we planned to be around for at least a few more years.
        I just received an e-mail from a customer in Madison, Wisconsin, that Booked For Murder is for sale and if a purchaser cannot be found the store will be closing by the end of March. In this case, it’s not bad business but health problems of the owner’s parents forcing her to move to another state to care for them. If you’re interested, contact Sara@bookedformurder.com.
        The Madison customer also mentioned that Barnes & Noble is planning to close their Madison store. Barnes & Noble is reported to be planning to close 15 to 20 stores per year over the next 10 years until they are down to just the most profitable stores. Many mid-size towns around the U.S. had all of their independent bookstores driven out of business by Borders and Barnes & Noble, and many of those town will find themselves without any bookstore.
        We recently took part in an interesting experiment. HarperCollins Publishers had selected a number of cities for Kim Harrison events for the release of Ever After. Somebody came up with the idea of letting the fans vote for one additional city to have a Kim Harrison event. In the first phase of the voting, the top two cities were Minneapolis and Atlanta. Uncle Hugo’s agreed to be the prospective site for a Kim Harrison event and an Atlanta-area bookstore agreed to be the prospective site for Atlanta, and the voting went into a second round. Whichever city reached 150 “votes” first would win. (To “vote”, a fan had to provide credit card information to Togather.com to pre-purchase a copy of the book if their city won, with the assurance that their credit card would only be charged if their city won.) At the end of the contest, Minneapolis had 53 “votes” and I think Atlanta had 39, so neither store got an event. But HarperCollins agreed to send enough signed copies of Ever After to each store that all the voters would be able to buy a signed copy of the book at the store they voted for. A total of 8 people, 6 for Minneapolis and 2 for Atlanta, said they didn’t really care about the event, they just wanted signed books. So Togather.com took their money and passed along to Uncle Hugo’s the payments and names and addresses for the 6 who voted for Minneapolis, and I shipped out the books. That left 47 people who had voted for Minneapolis to try to match up with signed books, but Togather.com was not willing to provide names, addresses, or e-mail addresses for those 47 people. Instead, Togather.com sent them all an e-mail explaining what was going on and telling them to contact Uncle Hugo’s. Three customers e-mailed to say they would pick up their copies at the store, and two of them actually did so. Two customers e-mailed to asked how to order their signed copies by mail, and I sent back e-mails explaining how to do it–but neither ever placed an order. One employee had “voted” for 2 copies and he picked up his 2 copies (one for himself and one for a family member). We never heard from the other 40 people, leaving us with lots of extra signed copies of Ever After.
        As usual, lots of stuff had to be cut from the paper version of the newsletter, but it all is at the website.
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