Back when I lived in San Francisco, the nice people at Borderlands Books did this super-cool thing where they'd take orders for my books, along with details for personal inscriptions, then get me to sign them when I dropped round the store, and ship them for free within the US (and for a modest fee elsewhere).
Of course, that became a lot less practical last winter, when I moved to London. But you've got another chance to get a signed, inscribed book shipped right to your door: I'm swinging briefly through SF in June (and I do mean *briefly* -- sorry, no time to socialize) and I'm gonna stop by Borderlands and sign any stock that they have. If you get your order in before June 15, I'll sign your copy that week and you'll have it before July 1 -- pretty cool!
Borderlands' contact info is
866 Valencia St.
Call or email them with your order and payment details and they'll get you sorted out.
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Compare Down and Out with We Can Build You, not only because both deal with animatronic presidents, but also because both provoke questions about what makes feelings “real,” about manipulation and coercion of assent, about what makes a life meaningful. You will see, I think, that Dick’s brooding brilliance does not overshadow Doctorow’s truer gift for narrative and composition; where Dick got there first, Doctorow makes more of the elements, more satisfactorily.
Paperback ISBN: 076530953X