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 31st anniversary, we're having a big sale. Come into either Uncle Hugo's or Uncle Edgar's and get an extra 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% sale from the discount card. (Sales prices apply to in-store purchases, but not to mail orders.)
The 31st Anniversary Sale lasts Friday, February 25 through Sunday, March 6-giving you two weekends to take advantage of the sale.
The Preliminary Nebula Award Ballot for Novels consists of Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold ($24.95, signed first editions), Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow ($12.95), Omega by Jack McDevitt ($7.99), Perfect Circle by Sean Stewart ($15.00), Conquistador by S. M. Stirling ($7.99), and The Knight by Gene Wolfe ($14.95).
The nominees for the Philip K. Dick Award (for best paperback original science fiction) are The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust ($14.95), Stable Strategies and Others by Eileen Gunn ($14.95), Life by Gwyneth Jones, Apocalypse Array by Lyda Morehouse ($6.99, signed copies), Air by Geoff Ryman ($14.95), City of Pearl by Karen Traviss ($6.99), and Banner of Souls by Liz Williams ($6.99).
The shortlist for the 2005 Arthur C. Clarke Award (British) consists of River of Gods by Ian McDonald, Iron Council by China Mieville ($24.95), Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell ($14.95), Market Forces by Richard Morgan ($14.95, early March), The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ($14.00), and The System of the World by Neal Stephenson ($27.95).
The Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Awards. The nominees for Best Novel are Evan's Gate by Rhys Bowen ($23.95, $6.99 pb due early April), By a Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman ($24.95, signed copies available), Remembering Sarah by Chris Mooney ($25.00, $7.99 pb due early April), California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker ($24.95), and Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming ($23.95, signed copies available).
The nominees for Best First Novel by an American Author are Little Girl Lost by Richard Aleas ($6.99), Relative Danger by Charles Benoit ($24.95), Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan ($13.00), Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta ($21.95), Country of Origin by Don Lee ($24.95), and Bahamarama by Bob Morris ($21.95).
The nominees for Best Paperback Original are The Librarian by Larry Beinhart ($15.95), Into the Web by Thomas H. Cook ($6.99), Dead Men Rise Up Never by Ron Faust ($6.99), Twelve-Step Fandango by Chris Haslam ($13.95), and The Confession by Domenic Stansberry ($6.99).
The nominees for Best Critical/Biographical are The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories edited by Leslie S. Klinger ($75.00), Latin American Mystery Writers: An A-to-Z Guide by Daniel B. Lockhart, Booze and the Private Eye: Alcohol in the Hard-Boiled Novel by Rita Elizabeth Rippetoe, and The Life of Graham Greene, Vol. 3: 1956-1991 by Norman Sherry.
The Lefty Award is given at Left Coast Crime for the best humorous mystery novel published in 2004. The nominees are Blue Blood by Susan McBride ($6.50), Carnage on the Committee by Ruth Dudley Edwards ($24.95), Holy Guacamole by Nancy Fairbanks ($5.99), Perfect Sax by Jerrilyn Farmer ($6.99), and We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews ($6.99).
The Bruce Alexander History Mystery Award, also given at Left Coast Crime, is for the best historical mystery (set anywhere and in any time period up to the end of World War II) published in 2004. The nominees are Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear ($25.00, signed copies), Five for Silver by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer ($24.95), Murder on Marble Row by Victoria Thompson ($21.95), Tyrant of the Mind by Priscilla Royal ($24.95), and Witch in the Well by Sharan Newman ($24.95).
The Calavera Award, also given at Left Coast Crime, is for the 2004 mystery set in the geographical area covered by Left Coast Crime, and the nominees are Family Claims by Twist Phelan ($6.99), Grave Endings by Rochelle Krich ($24.95), Shadow Play by David Cole ($6.99), Snap Shot by Meg Chittenden ($5.99), and What Others Know by L. C. Hayden ($14.95).
The Dilys Award is also given at Left Coast Crime for the book the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association most enjoyed selling during the past year. The nominees are The Enemy by Lee Child ($25.00, $7.99 pb due early April), Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde ($24.95), Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay ($22.95), The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert ($24.00, $14.00 trade pb due early March), Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear ($25.00, signed copies), and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ($15.00).
The 2002 Nero Wolfe Award went to Fear Itself by Walter Mosley ($7.50).
A Stoke of Midnight by Laurrell K. Hamilton was announced for early February, but has been reschedule for mid-April. A Feast of Crows by George R. R. Martin is supposedly still going to be in the fall, but we haven't seen a release date yet. But the publisher is claiming that the unabridged audio book of A Feast of Crows will be out at the end of July (36 hours, 20 cassettes, $54.95), so you might have a chance to listen to it before you have a chance to read it.
by Don Blyly
The former Sears building has been swarming with workers for many months. It was very interesting watching the building over the former railroad tracks come down (months later than originally announced, but it is completely down now). First, we saw some little bobcat-like machines scraping up the roofing material and a small bulldozer pushing around the roofing material after it had been torn up. (I know they build roofs strong in Minnesota to handle all the snow, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to operate a bulldozer on top of a fifth floor roof.) It seems that they had punched a hole through every floor, so that they could push all the debris through the series of hole down to the railroad level. Then all of the bobcat-like machines had jack-hammer devices attached, and they started breaking the roof away from the walls on all 4 sides, after which they broke the roof into pieces and let the pieces fall to the floor below, where the pieces were eventually pushed down the hole to the railroad level. Then 3 of the 4 walls were pulled down, the concrete was busted off the pillars, the I-beams were cut into smaller pieces and pushed through the hole, and then the whole process began again.
The hotel construction was also supposed to have started in the fall, before the ground froze, but it didn't get started until January. As I'm writing this, I suspect the foundation is about half finished, but I can't tell which of the three designs I've seen for the hotel is actually going to be used. One showed the hotel facing west, towards the Uncles, one facing east towards the former Sears build, and one facing south toward the parking lot.
In December, the construction workers started taking all of the parking spaces on the east side of Chicago Ave. from early morning until about 3:30 in the afternoon. We discussed this at the local business association meeting, and it didn't seem to cause any problems for any of the businesses. Around the beginning of January, the construction workers started taking every parking place on both sides of Chicago Ave. until about 3:30 in the afternoon, and all the businesses were badly hurt by the lack of parking for customers. We tried for 3 weeks to get the developer to do something about the problem, but they claimed there wasn't anyplace else the construction workers could park. Then the business association went to the city and asked that 2-hour parking limit signs be posted in front of all the businesses. In less than a week the signs were posted, all the construction workers suddenly found somewhere else to park, and our customers once again could find parking in front of the store. Our sales are back to normal, but we're still down several thousand dollars in sales from the 3 week period when customers could not find parking during the week.
Sometime this spring, probably around the end of March or beginning of April, the Chicago Ave. bridge will be torn down. From then until perhaps October or early November when the new bridge is finished, you'll have to reach the Uncles from the south. (Starting mid-May, there will also be roadwork on Lake St., beginning about 6 blocks east of the Uncles and headed west.) After the new bridge is opened, things will go back to normal, unless our building is accidentally destroyed during construction-our foundation is right up against the foundation for the old bridge, and the old bridge foundation has to be removed and a new foundation put in place. The city promises that the contractors will carry plenty of insurance to protect our interests, but the city also promised that they would send somebody with a video camera to record the condition of our basement walls before construction started. The city then changed the construction schedule and started tearing out and rebuilding Chicago Ave. last summer, without sending a video camera to my basement, and I now have a significant crack in the front basement wall that was not there before the road work began.