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Newsletter #42 June - August, 1998

Award News

        The 1998 Edgar Allan Poe Awards were presented by the Mystery Writers of America on April 30. The winners include: Grand Master to Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels), Best Novel to Cimarron Rose by James Lee Burke ($7.99), Best First Novel by an American Author to Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon ($7.50), Best Paperback Original to Charm City by Laura Lippman ($5.99), Best Critical/ Biographical to "G" is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone by Natalie Hevener Kaufman and Carol McGinnis Kay ($25.00), Best Fact Crime to The Death of Innocents by Richard Firstman and Jamie Talari ($24.95), and Best Young Adult to Ghost Canoe by Will Hobbs ($15.00, $4.50 paperback due mid-June).

        The 1998 Agatha Awards were presented May 2 at the annual Malice Domestic mystery convention. The winners include Best Novel to The Devil in Music by Kate Ross ($24.95), Best First Mystery to The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata Massey ($5.99), and Best Nonfiction to Detecting Men Pocket Guide by Willetta Heising ($16.95).

        The 1998 Minnesota Book Awards (for best books published in 1997 by Minnesota authors in many, many catagories) were presented April 17, and the winners included Practice to Deceive by David Housewright ($22.00, signed 1st editions available) in the Mystery & Detective catagory and From the End of the Twentieth Century by John M. Ford ($21.00) in the Fantasy & Science Fiction catagory.

        The 1998 Hugo Awards will be presented at the World Science Fiction Convention in August. The nominees for Best Novel are Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman ($21.95), Frameshift by Robert J. Sawyer ($23.95), The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons ($23.95, $6.50 paperback due early July), Jack Faust by Michael Swanwick ($23.00, $12.50 tr pb due early August), and City on Fire by Walter Jon Williams ($6.99).

        The Bram Stoker Awards are given by the Horror Writers of America, and the nominees include Best Novel: Children of the Dusk by Janet Berliner & George Guthridge ($5.99), The Church of the Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns ($23.00), My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due ($14.00), and Earthquake Weather by Tim Powers ($24.95); and Best First Novel: Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis ($12.99), The Art of Arrow Cutting by Stephen Dedman ($22.95), Hungry Eyes by Barry Hoffma, Drawn to the Grave by Mary Ann Mitchell, and The Inquisitor by Mary Murrey.

        The Nebula Award for Best Novel went to The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre ($23.00).

Another Used Book Change

        We've encountered another problem regarding used books, so we're giving notice here of a change in policy. Most people who bring in used books to sell to us will wait around while we check the books and figure out how much credit they have coming. Sometimes people have such a large number of books to sell that they drop off many boxes of books for us to go through whenever we have the time, which works out fine for both them and us--except when they don't come back within a reasonable amount of time to haul away the books that we aren't interested in buying.
        On too many occasions over the last few months, we've had so many bags and boxes of rejects piled up for long periods of time in the front hallway that it was difficult for customers (especially customers in wheelchairs) to get through the hallway into the stores. From now on, any rejects that are not picked up within one week will be considered abandoned, and we will deal with them as we see fit to get them out of our way. This usually means that the moldy ones will go into the garbage, the coverless ones will go into the recycling bin, the science fiction and mystery books will go into our overstock until we can use them on the shelves, and most of the rest will go to our basement until the next time a school or church wants donations for their next rummage sale.

Help Wanted

        The position might be filled by the time you read this, but we've been looking for a few weeks for somebody who knows mysteries to work at Uncle Edgar's three evenings per week from 5 to 8 pm, plus perhaps occasional weekend hours. The pay isn't great, but an employee discount on books is included. If you're interested, check with Don to see if the position is still open. Also, if you're interested in working part time on the newsletter, such as entering address corrections on the computer or writing mystery reviews, talk to Don.

Medical Benefit Sale

        Local author John M. "Mike" Ford (winner of the Minnesota Book Award for best sf/fantasy book of last year) has been dealing with diabetes and its complications for much of his life, often without aid of insurance. He's now enrolled in a special insurance program set up by the State of Minnesota for those who can't get a regular insurance policy, but this still only covers 80% of his medical costs (after he pays the first $1000 on his own). He is currently in the intake process for dialysis and is going through the process of seeing if he will get a place on the kidney transplant waiting list.
        A group of his friends have set up the S. P. M., the Society for the Preservation of Mike, to help him with his medical bills, and have set up a trust fund called the John M. Ford Trust for this purpose.
        The Uncles will join the effort with a Medical Benefit Sale on Saturday, June 27. Nothing will really be on sale, but 20% of all sales (at both Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's) on that day will be donated to the John M. Ford Trust. Come in, buy lots of stuff, and help pay his medical bills. (Anybody who simply wants to contribute directly to the cause can just make out a check to the John M. Ford Trust and mail the check to Uncle Hugo's and we'll get your check to the appropriate people.)

More Signed Books

        Last issue we announced that Lois McMaster Bujold would be signing her new book, Komarr ($22.00), on Saturday, May 23rd. After we had mailed out 11,000 copies of that announcement, Lois noticed that she was Guest of Honor at a convention about 1000 miles away at the same time she had agreed to sign at Uncle Hugo's. So, she dropped by early in May and signed about 80 copies, and we rescheduled for June 20th for those who want to meet her in person or get a book personalized. Uncle Hugo's also now has signed first editions of L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s The Chaos Balance ($25.95), The Spellsong War (25.95) and The White Order ($24.95) and R. A. Salvatore's The Demon Spirit ($25.95).
        Uncle Edgar's now has signed first editions of Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity Digs In ($21.95), Nevada Barr's Blind Descent ($22.95), Jan Burke's Liar ($23.00), Dorothy Cannell's The Spring Cleaning Murders ($21.95), Carolyn Hart's Death in Paradise ($20.00), Philip Morgolin's The Undertaker's Widow ($24.95), Michael McGarrity's Serpent Gate ($23.00), Barbara Neely's Blanche Cleans Up ($19.95), and John Sandford's Secret Prey ($24.95) and Night Crew ($23.95). During the first week of June we expect to have quick stock signings by Richard Barre for The Ghosts of Morning ($21.95), Harlen Coben for One False Move ($21.95), and Steven Hunter for Time to Hunt ($23.95). If you'd like to reserve a personalized copy, let us know as soon as possible. Lee Childs is also supposed to drop by briefly late in July to sign Die Trying ($23.95).

Misc. News

        One of Don's favorite recent space opera series is the Sten series by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch. A newsletter recently arrived from Allan Cole with the news that the Sten series has sold over five million copies in Russia, and that Sten is going Hollywood--the series has been optioned for a Movie of the Week, followed by a television series. The books are Sten ($5.99), Wolf Worlds ($5.99), Court of a Thousand Suns, Fleet of the Damned ($4.99), Revenge of the Damned ($5.99), Return of the Emperor ($5.99), Vortex ($4.99), and Empire's End ($4.99).
        Around the beginning of the year we received Lucasfilm's Alien Chronicles: The Golden One by Deborah Chester ($5.99), and everybody stood around the store and scratched their heads and wondered why Lucas's name was on this book. Ken read the book and enjoyed it, saying that it had a flavor like a lot of early Andre Norton space operas, but he didn't see any connection to the Star Wars universe. Recently, the salesman was around to take the order for the second book of the series and was unhappy when Don ordered a moderate number of copies. "You do realize that this series ties in to the Star Wars universe, don't you?" he asked. No, we had no idea. "Yes, it does," he assured us, "and by the end of this series of books, the source of the Force will be revealed." Don increase the number of copies he ordered.

Neighborhood Update
by Don Blyly

        The partnership led by Ray Harris finally managed to buy the Sears complex, although the newspaper report indicated that it took a personal call from the mayor to Carl Pohlad, the owner of Marquette Bank, to get the financing package hurried along to meet the deadline. Under the purchase agreement, the name Sears cannot be used in association with the development, leading some people to refer to the complex as "the tower that used to be known as Sears."
        Hazardous material removal will begin soon, but rental of space will be slower than originally hoped. Sears had all those parking spaces setting empty for years, so they aggressively leased those parking spaces to bring in some cash, and Ray Harris' group inherited those leases. When construction starts on the new parking ramp on the east side of the site, there will be only slightly more spaces available than are required to satisfy the leases. Thus, Harris cannot rent a significant amount of space in the complex until the parking ramp is completed. Financing is not yet in place for the parking ramp, so Harris suspects that construction of the ramp will not start until Spring, 1999, and then will take 6-8 months. So, it will probably be Fall, 1999 before he can do significant renting of office space in the complex. Retail development will probably wait until a significant amount of office space is occupied, so it will probably be Spring, 2000 at the earliest before the parking lot across the street from the Uncles gets torn up for construction of the new multi-screen theater complex and other new projects that will eventually take the place of that parking lot.
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