Read Welcome to Bordertown by Ellen Kushner Terri Windling Holly Black Emma Bull Cassandra Clare Charles de Lint Neil Gaiman Patricia A. McKillip Online


Bordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure, to find themselves. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists' studios of Soho. Terri Windling's original Bordertown series wBordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure, to find themselves. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists' studios of Soho. Terri Windling's original Bordertown series was the forerunner of today's urban fantasy, introducing authors that included Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner. In this volume of all-new work (including a 15-page graphic story), the original writers are now joined by the generation that grew up dreaming of Bordertown, including acclaimed authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more. They all meet here on the streets of Bordertown in more than twenty new interconnected songs, poems, and stories.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Welcome to Bordertown
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11452509
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 546 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Welcome to Bordertown Reviews

  • Sherwood Smith
    2019-01-30 09:59

    I had sort of a love-hate deal going with the original Bordertown stories; though I liked the idea of them, there was this rich privileged kids patina to the stories. The Bordertown runaways were special, they dressed in leather, they found magic, and no one ever seemed to have to get a down and dirty job in order to survive--they live on air and music, or if they work at the inn, it seemed no one ever has brutal hours or hurting feet like waitressing in this world. Enough of that. I think it's safe to say that if you loved Bordertown in the eighties, you're probably going to like these stories. The central idea is very clever--thirteen days passed there, while thirteen years passed here. (I would have loved to have seen more done with that, actually, but it largely seems to be a convenience.) I was disappointed with a lot of the poetry--wished that some of the writers had done stories instead.Stories that appealed most to me were by Black & Clare, Bull, Simner, and Krause, in that order. Others were okay, and some didn't work for me at all, but I see by glancing through the reviews that there really is a wide range of reactions. Which overall is testament to the anthology's variety.

  • Kris
    2019-01-28 10:46

    Whew, this is going to be a long review as each entry gets its own blurb. *deep breath* Well, here goes...Ellen Kushner & Terri Windling – Welcome to BordertownThis was a sweet story about a girl who left for Bordertown and thirteen days later for her – but 13 years later for the human world – her younger brother gets a postcard she sent home and starts on a journey to find her. It is a story not only of his journey to find his older sister but to also find his place in the world. I quite liked this story. It gave a good representation of what Bordertown is – the crazy music, the art scene, the buildings, the good, the bad, and everything else in between. This was a great story to start off this anthology with!Cory Doctorow – Shannon’s LawI admit, I cheated and read this story early. I can’t remember where now – off the Bordertown website? Or perhaps bOINGbOING. I’m not sure. But it was nice re-reading it and I loved the world the Cory created. This more so than any other story is the story of 13 years zooming past in mere days. This is the next journey for all Bordertown residents – how to incorporate this newfangled technology with good ol’ fae magic. And Cory captures it brilliantly! This is creative and fun and not-too-techy for all of us tech-dunces out there. I loved reading about Shannon, his crew, the amazing mix of coffee and work ethic, Wikipedia in book form, and the crazy wonderful Jetfuel. A fun romp into the magics of cyperspace.Patricia A. McKillip – Cruel SisterA pretty poem (song?) from a fantastic fantasy author about the differences of two sisters. I definitely liked this but I really love the lush descriptive prose of her books and was hoping more for a short story rather than a poem. Still, it was eminently likeable so I have nothing to complain about.Cathreynne M. Valente – A Voice Like A HoleI just finished Deathless earlier this month which was my first foray into her particular world so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this story. But it was a quaint little story about a shy girl named Fig as she found herself and her own voice. It was a bit wordy and I almost felt that there was a bit too much information but it was an overall nice – if a bit forgettable – story.Amal El-Motar – Stairs in Her HairA fun ditty that I could find myself singing along to. Not sure if there is much else to say about this, really. I’ve never heard of this author before but I’d be happy to pick something up by her now, so I guess there’s that.Emma Bull – IncunabulumWe find ourselves following the life of a Trueblood as he enters Bordertown – the only problem is that he can’t remember a single thing about himself before the first word on the page. He is a blank slate – or rather a blank Page – that gets filled up as the story rambles along as he gathers bits and pieces of himself – or creates new pieces – along the way. I loved the characterization of this. I loved reading about Page and his witch and the various people that he meets along the way who helped him fill up his blankness with new words and experiences until he finds himself as a completely new person. Great story!Steven Brust – Run Back Across the BorderA fun little song that could easily get stuck in your head telling you the reasons why you should run back across the border and out of Bordertown.If you do not like my songRun back across the BorderIt just proves you don’t belongRun back across the Border.See, it gets stuck in your head, doesn’t it??Alaya Dawn Johnson – A Prince of Thirteen DaysAn interesting take on a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ type story where a young girl of Bordertown buys a cheap charm from a store and finds out that she can communicate with the dark and gorgeous statue in the park. Her first question: “Will you have sex with me?” Thus begins the thirteen days until she finds her true love. But could it possibly be a statue? Could that statue be made into real flesh? In under thirteen days? Not one of my favorite stories but the stories here are all so high caliber that it is hard to say what the best story here is. I can say that I liked it. It was fun, if a bit long for this collection. And ultimately not one that remains fixated in my mind.Will Shetterly – The Sages of ElsewhereAwww, the return of the infamous Wolfboy. I really loved the first story I read of Wolfboy and Orient so I was excited to revisit his life and I was happy to see that he was happy. His story starts with a magic book called The Secrets of Seven Sages that Milo sold to him for his bookstore. However, it is a very valuable book and one that many people want! Good fun and a great return to an old friend’s life.Jane Yolen – Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line RapA very modern short rap that seems to take its roots from Tam Lin.Janni Lee Simner – CrossingsTwo best friends make their way into Bordertown – one intent on finding a true love vampire and the other keen on a werewolf boyfriend. After asking around they find out that their search starts with Lankin who is apparently a vampire – or is he? A saddening story of friendship, though again one of the lesser interesting pieces in my opinion. It was a bit wordy and I felt my interest waning throughout.Sara Ryan (writer) & Dylan Meconis (illustrator)The only comic of this book and one that was bloody hard to read on my ebook reader. I quite liked the story of a girl going to Bordertown looking for her mom while her dad is in prison. The drawing was crisp and clean and I liked the variety of characters flitting across the pages. I would love to see more stories like this fleshed out in a comic anthology by DC’s Vertigo, home of the infamous Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman.Jane Yolen – Night Song for a HalfieSo glad Jane Yolen popped up again. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Soulja Grrrl and I was really hoping for something more from her. This time it is a lullaby to sing to an elfin child with a warning at the end. Be careful and don’t piss off your mommy!Tim Pratt – Our Stars, Our SelvesWe follow a short span in the life of Allie Land, newly come to Bordertown. She gets lost, hit on by a ridiculously persistent elf boy (even though she tells him she doesn't swing that way), meets an astrologer/astronomer who brings her back home and shows her the stars, and finds out that she has her own star to wish on. But what would she wish for? And what does that have to do with that annoying elf? Read it and find out. It was an interesting take on the elf mythos and wishing on stars. Not my favorite but a good solid read.Annette Curtis Klause - Elf BloodI've never read a Klause story before though I do know she deals in vampires so it was fun to hear of her take of vampires in Bordertown. We follow a pale girl seen to be as a 'halfie' except that she's not. That paleness stems from some bad blood magic that she's been running away from and the taste of blood that she's acquired. This story drops us following her after she finds herself enthralled with a beautiful elf boy from a band called Lambton Wyrm at the Ferret. Much as she wants to meet beautiful Sky she ends up conversing with the brother instead, who is not nearly as sexy but someone who could be a friend. I quite liked this story. It had all the Bordertown elements that I've come to love with an interesting take on the vampire theme in a Elvin-bordered world. Nalo Hopkinson - Ours is the PrettiestJuju-weather is coming for true and the carnival atmosphere of Jou'vert, a daylong free-for-all Mardi Gras-style parade, is happening as we follow a brief glimpse into the life of Beti and Gladstone told by Gladstone's former lover and current friend. This was a really odd story for me. I didn't know what to make of it and I didn't really like it. This was not Bordertown for me. Not at all. It took place in an alternate Bordertown, mayhap? And by that I mean this story just didn't resonate with me at all. Pass.Delia Sherman - The WallI love Delia Sherman so I was looking forward to a story from her. Alas, no story but small non-rhyming poem about how everyone view the Border and recorded down because 'Recording is what I do.' It was a great little Bordertown poem that flowed quickly.Christopher Barzak - We Do Not Come in PeaceAnother odd Bordertown story that didn't resonate with me - though at least this one truly felt like a Bordertown story unlike the Nalo Hopkinson one. Marius used to be a famous musician but little by little around the time the Way to Bordertown reopened he found himself losing that music. It fled. And Marius had to find a way to cope, a way to move on, and he did by opening a new store. He also picked up a noob named Alek and tried to teach him the ropes of Bordertown so that way at least Alek won't make the same mistakes that Marius did. But Alek is not Marius and his mistakes are of a different calibre as the reader finds out later on in the story.Jane Yolen - A Bordertown Jump-rope RhymeAnother fun little ditty by Jane Yolen. If I had a jumprope I'd certainly want to give this rhyme a shot.Holly Black and Cassandra Clare - The Rowan GentlemanAshly is an actor for The Magic Lantern where she learns parts for such movies as Thelma and Louise and Pulp Fiction and Pirates of the Carribbean in case the electricity fails the theatre and the actors have to step in and take over. Her boyfriend is the lazy Alain who is a Trueblood but a rather fatuous one at that. One night a halfie girl stumbles into the theatre and dies mysteriously after whispering, "Robert said to wait for the Rowan Gentleman, but I was too scared. I--" and was suddenly cut off in the throes of death. I loved this story!! So much fun. It felt like a mishmash of The Scarlet Pimpernel meets V for Vendetta. A great story and definitely high on my list for this book.Neil Gaiman - The Song of the SongA pretty rhymed poetic story about how life is not always fair and the world moves on without you. I love Neil Gaiman so I was so excited to see him as part of this anthology and I loved his 'ditty' but I only wish I could get a short story, as well. Ah well, can't have everything...Charles de Lint - A Tangle of Green MenThis was an absolutely fantastic way to end this anthology. I love Charles de Lint and his urban fantasy tales so I was very much looking forward to this and this story does not disappoint. It drops us into the life of Joey, a seventeen year-old reprobate who just got out of juvie and needs to make a new life of it before he ends up in jail. He gets sent to his uncle's and helps his uncle set up conventions when one convention and one particular girl garner his attention. She's working at a fae booth at a fairy convention where her father is one of many Green Men. Joey finds himself coming back to her booth the next day as they get closer. This story was just fantastic and I felt prickles of tears near the end of it - both for the bittersweet nature of this story and for the fact that this anthology has come to a close.So there's my full review. It was a rollercoaster ride with ups, downs, unforseen spills and twists, and mischief around every bend. I loved it! I absolutely loved it! I have this as an ebook but I can tell you that I'm definitely going to hunt up a paperback copy as well when it comes out. Well worth it! BORDERTOWN LIVES!!

  • Moira Russell
    2019-02-15 09:42

    I'm not sure this book works. The introduction of new computer technology to Bordertown seems off (did they really have to have a typical Cory Doctorow "teenage hero invents the internet and gets laid at the same time" story? Really truly?), and the "it's been thirteen days in Bordertown but thirteen years for the World" conceit seems invented to cover up the gap in books more than anything else, altho some of the writers use it very well. Most of the poetry reads like song lyrics without music, which doesn't really work. The Jane Yolen rap is especially, embarrassingly bad. (Also, dammit, don't put "NEIL GAIMAN" on the cover in giant type unless he writes something besides a page-long poem.) What's more, a lot of the stories are "meta" as much about the experience of reading Bordertown stories while growing up as the actual Bordertown itself, and that gets tiresome after a while. Yesyes, Bordertown is fantasy/scifi and the runaways are the readers disappointed in the "real world," but what about the place itself, without all the romantic expectations and crushing disappointments? Or maybe that's the actual point after all, that such a place doesn't really exist, just as books aren't actual reality, and the romantic expectations and crushing disappointments are all that's there -- but as I said, that gets tiresome after a while, and too besides (as one character says), that turns us all into Mme Bovary. The journey to Bordertown itself is the tale told too often. Many of the stories remind me a bit like early-middle Pratchett (with obvious stylistic differences), in which he was having fun playing around with tropes and ideas about storytelling and narrative's effect on people, before he got interested in the nuts-and-bolts worldbuilding of how his creation actually worked. (The origin of the Bordertown "police," for example -- how do you become a cop? Aren't there courts? Who gives the cops their authority? Where do they all get those shiny silver suits? How did they get started in the first place? I always annoy people with questions like these. "Shut up and watch the movie and don't ruin it for the rest of us, Moi," is the usual response.)I didn't read the original Bordertown anthologies growing up (not sure why, I was a real genre hound in my teens, and devoured most of the science fiction and fantasy anthologies the Santa Fe Public library had), which might be part of the problem. This book inspired me to pick up some earlier volumes, Bordertown and The Essential Bordertown, which struck me as much stronger books, as well as Emma Bull's Finder, which is fantastic. Bull has written all my favourite stories in all the Border anthologies I've read so far, and I'd love to see another novel (or three) about it from her. Maybe the earlier books work better for me because there isn't that thick gloss of nostalgia slicked over them. There's the real joy of discovery and freedom in a lot of them; it feels a little bit like receiving actual dispatches from the sixties and seventies, rather than the decades-later reminiscences about them. Maybe somewhere there is a book about the actual emotional impact of "you had to be there" on people who actually couldn't ever be there (whether because of the inexorable flow of time, the nature of fiction itself, or whatever), but this isn't it.Obligatory GoodReads musical accompaniment provided by YouTube for this review:

  • ambyr
    2019-02-01 17:01

    I am too old for Bordertown. I don't mean that in some "put away childish things" sense. I still find the aesthetic as fun as ever--hell, I've got purple hair and a closet half-full of leather and lace as I type. But I've internalized Cavafy too much. I no longer believe problems can be solved by flight to another city; I no longer find the narrative of people trying an interesting one. I want to read about people who build a better life where they are, people who find the magic in the every day. Or, if they must run--there's a line in one of the stories where one of the characters muses, "No one comes to Soho to become a plumber, though I suspect that there are many who move uptown eventually and find a trade." And I thought, yes, that. I want to read that story, where people run to another city and find and face the fact that all their fears (and the basic principles of economics) have followed them, and build a cool life anyway. As a plumber.But that story isn't here. Oh, that's not to say Bordertown is portrayed as a utopia. It has gang violence and drugs and prostitution and all the rest of the grit. But still, ultimately--it is the happy ending. It's better than the real world. More colorful, more magical, more special.And I sit in the corner, wondering where all the food comes from, wondering how the electricity is supplied, wondering who, really, is doing the plumbing.Partly the problem is the collection's theme: "Welcome to Bordertown." There's a couple stories about old hands, but for the most part it's origin stories, over and over again. I can enjoy a good origin story. Almost any of the stories, if I'd read it alone, would have provided a pleasant and enjoyable shot of nostalgia. But the repetition weakens them. How special can getting to Bordertown be, really, if everyone's doing it? And the whole allure of Bordertown is its specialness.My favorites were "A Prince of Thirteen Days" (which had the distinction of being one of the few stories about a native, and I loved it for that--for portraying magic not as exotic but as a normal part of life, just a backdrop for regular adolescent angst), "Crossings" (because I do love a good female friendship story), and "Our Stars, Our Selves" (because the astrologer's backstory was the closest to the sort of story I wanted). Of the poetry, I thought "Stairs in Her Hair" and "The Song of the Song" had the best rhythm and language, but I probably would have preferred a poetry-less collection, or at least one where the poetry was imbedded in the stories. But really, it was a fairly even collection. Any story picked at random should provide the needed shot of nostalgia. Then set the book down for a few months. It's better read in pieces than as a whole.Is that an indictment, for a shared-world collection? Maybe. Or maybe, as I said, I'm just too old.

  • else fine
    2019-02-07 12:59

    Like any collection, this one is uneven. Please don't throw things at me, Border fanatics. I assure you that I love Bordertown as much as anyone. The unevenness can be divided roughly into two groups: good and bad. For a change of pace, I'm going to start with what was so very good about this anthology, in a disjointedly listing sort of way. Like so:Nalo Hopkinson and Catherynne Valente, turning out two ass-kickingly awesome stories, of the type which manage to feel epic and mythic despite their short size. Deep. Scary and beautiful. Poetry can be an iffy thing in an anthology - it's likely to be too precious, or pretentious, or boring, or just sucky. The poetry selections in this book were great, and more importantly, helped add depth and backstory. Neil Gaiman, with his creepy little song, furthered my theory that he's at his best when most concise. The old guard of Emma Bull, Terry Windling, and the rest: so good, and always so consistently good. It reminded me of this 'outlaw country' show I went to a couple of years ago. The night was largely young, exuberant people into old-timey music - lots of stomping, and drinking, and the happy sort of bellowing. We were all dancing and sweating and singing. It was great. Then these old guys who had been sitting towards the back, listening, came up for their set, and very politely and thoroughly handed all the young musicians their asses. I mean, these guys could really fucking play. It was sort of humbling and inspiring at the same time. The younger writers in this collection suffer a bit in the same way and for the same reasons - they just don't have the same mastery of the craft. But the most beautiful thing about Bordertown is its generosity. The kids will get there, eventually. The bad:I know I put the poetry in the 'good' column, but Jane Yolen shouldn't try hip hop. Well, what the hell. She's Jane Yolen, and I guess she's earned the right to do whatever she wants, even if it turns out sort of awkward and weird. Annette Curtis Klause. This pains me, because I loved "Blood and Chocolate" so much, and her story here is just not at all good. I can see it might be irresistible to try to get vampires into Bordertown somehow, but this story had too many unconvincing gaps and loose ends to work. I kept thinking that maybe if it was scrapped as a short story and turned into a novel, it might turn out better.Holly Black sits solidly in the bad category, and Cassandra Clare can join her, for the astonishingly crappy short story they jointly contributed. Yes, you're saying, but Sarah, we already know how you feel about Holly Black, and it seems neither fair nor surprising that you're bashing her contribution now. But I actually had high hopes for this story. True! Holly Black utterly won me over with her charming introduction. Oh Holly Black, I thought, I've maligned you without cause. I felt a warm sense of solidarity with her. And I remembered how good the story 'Poison Eaters' was. Clare has been talked up to me a lot at work, and so, all in all, I was really looking forward to this story. Really. You may be thinking that my change of heart is implausible and untrustworthy, but it actually happened. I was ready to start a new, more charitable chapter with Black. So imagine my sense of betrayal. This story, Rowan something, is about nothing. Noting happens. Things almost happen. We almost learn things about the characters. There's almost an adventure. It starts out promisingly, with a gruesome murder! But then nothing comes of it. The lead characters get into almost trouble and then everyone is saved at once and the plot, which never did get very far, is forgotten in favor of some crude jokes and a romantic jaunt into the sunset. Lord. For further emphasis, I'd just like to point out that my fiance's teenage daughter, who is a HUGE Holly Black fan, totally hated this story. This is extra maddening, because she started out with this one, being excited about Holly Black and all, and hated it so much that she wouldn't even try any of the rest of it, or any other Border related story, for that matter. THANKS A LOT. No Midori Snyder. This made me sad. I'm going to put Cory Doctorow right in the middle. He's like that friend we all have, who wants to chew your ear off all the time about the boring thing he's obsessed with, and will use any sort of excuse to work it into any conversation. Borderlands? Let's talk internet!! I'm not one to judge. I drove a very attractive young man clean away once, when, on our first and only date, I got started on medieval papermaking techniques. I think it's a common nerd affliction. The plus side about Doctorow is that he's a) fairly charming, even while preaching, and b) you really should know the shit he's trying to explain to you, because it's important. So, all in all, there was more good than bad. But it still felt strangely bittersweet. It feels important for Bordertown to get handed over to a younger generation, and it also feels important that it keeps going. I think no other series speaks so strongly and so hopefully to the young, the fucked up, the irredeemably weird, the desperate, and the wounded. Is this the book that will win a whole new crop of fans? I hope so. I just wish it felt more solid.

  • Chris
    2019-02-14 12:53

    For me, urban fantasy is fantasy set in, duh, urban areas, in cities. Frequently the location is as much a character as it a setting. The stories are infused with hints of faerie and myth, both European and Native American, and when you finish reading, you can almost glimpse the fantastical out of the corner of your eye.The Borderland anthologies were among the earliest urban fantasy, about the mythical Bordertown that existed on the cusp of this world and the Faerie Realm. Revisiting Bordertown in this anthology after so much time (the most recent anthology was published in 1998) was a delightful trip, the chance to check in on old friends and make new ones. The list of contributors is impressive and includes Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Patricia A. McKillip, Emma Bull, and Cory Doctorow. (You can see the full list of contributors and read a few of the stories here.) Highly recommended.

  • Valyssia Leigh
    2019-02-07 16:40

    3.5 stars

  • Mike
    2019-01-29 12:49

    You know your anthology sucks when the best story in it gets 4 stars.Yes, that's right. Not a single story in the anthology got 5 stars. A couple came close, but non achieved the rating. And I'm not one of those people who only saves 5 stars for the very best books in existence; I give it out fairly often. So to say that not a single story in here got the rating is a really shitty reflection of the editing and writing. It's not the worst anthology I've read (21 Proms actually had a higher rating average, but there were several stories I hated intensely in that one, and that wasn't the case here), but it was still really horrible.Part of the problem might've been that I never really liked Bordertown as a setting; other than the names of a few places, I never really felt like I had a good idea of what it would be like to live here on a regular basis. Particularly cloudy were the elves; I never knew exactly what made them different from humans and why exactly they would want to live in Bordertown instead of Faerieland. And I got the impression that a lot of the writers didn't know much more about the setting than I did, making the anthology a bizarre reading experience indeed.Welcome to Bordertown by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling: 3/5When coming up with my opinion on this story, I had a hard time getting around how unnecessarily long it was. I read the book on an e-reader, so this is only an approximation, but I think the story took up 75 pages. Which, really, that means it's a novella, not a short story. But anyway. Most of the pages could've been removed by tightening the plot to its bear essentials; a good portion of the story was filler, and there were a few plot threads that didn't connect to the main plot until the very end. But, other than that, the story wasn't that bad. The main characters were relatively engaging, it was well-written, and it made a nice introduction to Bordertown. If only it were shorter, it would've been great.Shannon's Law by Cory Doctrow: 2/5This was one of several stories that I didn't finish. I wanted to like it, I really did, because the narrator was engaging, but nothing else really worked. The entire thing read like one big expository intro, one that never really made me care about it. Because of this, there wasn't really a plot, just an extended beginning of one. And the prose was obscured by unnecessarily big words, and it was really choppy. This one didn't work for me.Cruel Sister by Patricia A. McKillip: 2/5This is the first of several poems in the anthology. A lot of them didn't work for me, and while this wasn't one of the worst offenders, it wasn't exactly good. The length of the lines was inconsistent, making the rhythm awkward and the editing seem nonexistent. The story was also kind of pointless and uninteresting. And it didn't take place in Bordertown (as far as I could tell), so it sort of made me wonder what it was doing here. Other than some nice flourishes, there's not much to like or even take note of in this one.A Voice Like a Hole by Catherynne M. Valente: 4/5This was probably the best story in the anthology. I mean, yes, there wasn't much plot, and like Shannon's Law, the intro lasted for too long. But it was a really nice look at the life of a runaway before they came to Bordertown, which wasn't something many of the authors really looked at. Fig's voice was very believable, and she was an interesting character to see the world from. This was one of the few standouts in a mostly boring anthology.Stairs in her Hair by Amal El-Mothar: 2/5This was another poem, and like the first one, it shouldn't have been here; Bordertown made no appearance. Also as with Cruel Sister, the language was nice, but not much else was; the meaning of some lines were obscured by metaphors, and there really wasn't much to it. Honestly, I can hardly remember it at all; I'm just going off the notes I took.Incunabulum by Emma Bull: 2/5This was another DNF. The prose was pretty good, but the protagonist was uninteresting, everything was somewhat confusing and contradictory, and there was no real plot; of all of it I read, we never left the same scene. This is another one that didn't make a big impression on me; to be honest, I can't remember a word of it.Run Back Across the Border by Steven Brust: 2/5This truly was a song, and by that I mean it sounded stupid without music. I rather liked some of it when I made up a tune in my head, but when I read it the way it was meant to be read, it sounded laughably ridiculous. It was also really repetitive; there was one line ("You better run, run, run, back across the Border") that was used as the second and fourth lines of every stanza. Needless to say, I got sick of it after a while. Also, the length of the lines was uneven, which was what made me realize this shouldn't have been a song in the first place. The one thing that I liked about it was that it was a nice twist on a typical song, although it apparently wasn't nice enough for me to remember it beyond something I wrote in my notes. This really was an unmemorable song, one that I didn't really enjoy.A Prince of Thirteen Days by Alaya Dawn Johnson: 2/5This was another DNF; I promise you, it won't be the last. The writing was pretty good, but nothing else was. The story was a bit odd in how it switched between what was happening to the main character in present day and things that the prince did in the past. The transitions were really jarring, and it was hard to see how one scene related to another. This also prevented any real plot development; as far as I could tell, the story was going nowhere. It was also bizarre. There didn't seem to be much of a point, and it was about a girl falling in love with a statue. True, there was a living person trapped in the statue, but she doesn't know that, and she falls in love with it anyway. I'll say it again: it was bizarre. The characters behind the story were also only somewhat interesting; if a story's going to be odd like this, it has to have interesting characters that make you not care. Sadly, this story doesn't have that element, and that's ultimately why it didn't work for me.The Stages of Elsewhere by Will Shetterly: 2/5Yet another DNF. I really did try to finish this one (unlike some of the others, where I gave up as soon as I hit the 1/3 mark), because the main character was really interesting, but eventually, I couldn't stand it anymore. The plot was existent, and the pacing was fine, I was just never inclined to care about what was happening; it got really boring after a while. Also, the structure was odd. Don't ask me why it was odd, because I never wrote down why in my notes. All I know is that it was odd. But anyway. The prose was also sort of confusing and contradictory, making it hard to get a good idea of what was going on. Everyone seems to like the wolf-boy character, which makes sense; he was easily the best part of the story. But other than him, nothing really worked for me.Soulja Grrrl by Jane Yolen: 1/5(No, that is not a typo; there really are three r's in the word 'girl'. Yes, I think it's just as stupid as you do.)This is a rap, and one of three of Jane Yolen's contributions to the anthology; I didn't like a single one. This one was the worst out of all of them, and probably the worst piece here. Basically, it's exactly what you'd expect from the title; a massively stupid rap. Seriously, it's laughably stupid, and I have no idea how anyone could not find it stupid, but Yolen still seems to think that we should take it seriously. There's sort of a plot to it, but it's just as stupid as the painful slang. And, finally, the lines weren't even a consistent length, ruining whatever pretenses there might've been that this was a real rap. Overall, this couldn't be worse. It's not possible.Crossings by Janni Lee Simner: 4/5This is probably the third best story in the anthology. I mean, sure, the characters read about eight years younger than they should've, but other than that, they were very authentic and well developed. Plus, Simner's prose is very controlled, if not particularly special, and her plotting was pretty good, if not particularly interesting. Other than a few painful moments when the characters seemed to forget that they were teenagers, there wasn't much to dislike about this one.Fair Trade: Written by Sara Ryan, Illustrated by Dylan Meconis: 4/5This is actually a short comic rather than a short story, and I gotta say, the change of pace was pretty refreshing. (Although it was exceedingly hard to read on my Kindle. Potential readers: get the physical version.) It helped that Meconis's artwork was really good; occasionally dull, but very controlled and well composed. (I know nothing about visual art, if you couldn't figure it out.) The prevailing problem, however, was that the whole thing was too short. The length prevented any sort of plotting, and it didn't give Ryan a whole lot of time to develop her narrator; a shame, because the protagonist had potential to be really interesting. It was helped by Ryan's great, funny dialogue. This was more of a 3.5 than a 4; a definite highlight, but still not great.Night Song for a Halfie by Jane Yolen: 1/5Another pitiful attempt by Jane Yolen; this one was a sort of a lullaby for a halfie. As with Soulja Grrrl, the lines were uneven, which really interrupted the flow of the poem. Also as with Soulja Grrrl, I didn't find the story nearly as funny as I suspect I was supposed to; the humor just seemed stupid. It also wasn't creative - as far as I can remember, there was nothing in the poem that makes it at all exclusive to a Halfie, nothing that wouldn't sound out of place to sing to a human child. All this made the whole thing really pointless, really annoying, and not at all entertaining.Our Stars, Our Selves by Tim Pratt: 4/5This earns the title of second best story. It's all downhill from here, folks! Anyway, the best part was the narrator; she was really funny and relatable to read about. Actually, the entire story was funny - not constant, Modern-Family-level funny (first two seasons only), but pleasantly funny, the kind that you appreciate without thinking, "This is hilarious!" I also liked the mood that Pratt created; this was one of the few times that Bordertown really came alive in my mind. The humor helped; it reminded me, oddly enough, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that everything was serious, but also fun. Also, Pratt's writing is really good. The one problem was that there wasn't much plot, and what little plot there was wasn't very interesting. Still, it's a worthwhile, well-written story, and it's one of the few in this anthology that I can say that about.Elf Blood by Annette Curtis Klause: 2/5Yet another DNF. I really liked the protagonist; she felt realistic to me. But other than that... there wasn't much that was memorable. Apparently, I thought that the character's voice wasn't very realistic, although I don't remember how. (This was a really unmemorable anthology. Also, I'm writing this like three weeks after I read the story.) There was also a bad handling of issues; I remember that the heroine used to be fat and nobody liked her, but I don't remember why I took issue with Klause's handling of it. Maybe it didn't show up enough in the protagonist's real life? Who knows? Anyway, there wasn't much plot, and there was hardly a single thing I remember about the story.Ours is the Prettiest by Nalo Hopkinson: 1/5Bleah. This is probably the worst story here. (Jane Yolen's works will always get the best non-stories.) There was no plot whatsoever, just a bunch of flashbacks that didn't really amount to anything. The prose also avoided the dialect that the characters would've spoken in; I believe the protagonist was either a halfie or an elf, but she spoke just like a regular human. And the protagonist really felt more like an undeveloped side character than a protagonist. As with most of the stories here, I'm finding it hard to remember the story enough to find something to say about it.I will finish this review later.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-02-15 14:54

    Bordertown was one of my favorite set of stories back when I was a teen. The writing was often a little clunky, and once I started going to night clubs and having adventures of my own the stories became much less exciting. I wouldn't really recommend the majority of it anymore--it's just too self-consciously trying to be hip. But I still have a soft spot for the concept of Bordertown, and a few of the stories have stuck with me."Welcome to Bordertown" by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling. These two stateswomen of the first Bordertown collections set up the overall plot for the reboot. One day, Bordertown became disconnected from the human world, and though 13 years passed for most of humanity, only 13 days passed for Bordertown. A teenage runaway arrives in Bordertown just before the disconnect. When her younger brother comes looking for her, only days have passed for her, but he has grown up. (view spoiler)[Fairy-tale lover Trish realizes that she'd rather go to college than be a runaway, while her engineering-minded brother decides to stay in Bordertown to play with the odd mixture of tech&magic. (hide spoiler)] Trish feels like a retread of all the starry-eyed runaway teenagers who read a lot of fairy tales but have little street knowledge, and for much of the story she's quite boring. But the path she chooses is a novel one. "Shannon's Law" by Cory Doctorow. Doctorow decides to bring the internet to Bordertown. Of course he does. I really liked the ways the main character tried to make magic work like technology, but mostly I was just annoyed at the smarmy, ain't-I-the-smartest feel of this story. "A Voice Like a Hole" by Catherynne M Valente. Fig runs away, but she knows she's not going to fairyland. That's for older, prettier girls. She just wants to get through each day and maybe eat bacon for breakfast. Perfect and fabulous until the last paragraph, which is pure cheese."Incunabulum" by Emma Bull. Like a fairy tale happening in a small run-down city. An elf passes through the Border not knowing his name, nor anything about himself, and decides what kind of man he's going to be. Very good."A Prince of Thirteen Days" by Alaya Dawn Johnson. This was one of most surprising stories in here. I expected human teens running away to meet elves in Bordertown, discovering that magic alone won't bring them happiness, and then realizing that their own inner strength. Instead, this is the story of Peya, who grew up in Bordertown with a magic-wielding grandmother who says "the Lord is my shepherd" like someone else might say 'Don't fuck up" and a beautiful street-busking mother who's still hung up on the man she left back in the World. Peya likes the magic all round her, but mostly just wants to have sex. I really liked this! The characters felt very real, and very unique."The Sages of Elsewhere" by Will Shetterly. Shetterly brings back his old character Wolfboy, who's running a bookstore named Elsewhere these days. He fires an elven assistant who was plotting to steal a magical book from him, and she and her nefarious confederates pretend he's racist against elves to pressure him to give up the book. Sample text: "The small print said we had fired our elfin staff and we refused to do business with stores owned by elves. I began laughing when I got to the part about Elsewhere carrying kids' books that literally belittled elves, and fantasy novels that made elves into 'noble elf' wish-fulfillment figures." A boycott starts, then a mob forms, and Wolfboy and his ladylove (who does literally nothing the entire book) are nearly killed when the mob starts a fire. But wait! The mob was just riled up by evil-doers' magic and lies, and Wolfboy quickly proves that he's not a racist after all, and is in fact much more high-minded and generous than everyone else. It's written in a very basic, kinda clunky style.Jane Yolen's "Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line Rap" is a "modern" retelling of Tamlin. Every verse is worse than the one before it. Just to give you a taste, it begins,"I am a single Soulja Grrl, I've got gold in my hair,A rose is at my boobies, and my feet are always bare.And no one else can tell me that I can't go here or there.'Cause a single Soulja Grrl goes anywhere." Jane Yolen's poems are clearly in the collection only because of her name--they're all awful (like everything else she writes nowadays). "Crossings" by Janni Lee Simner. Analise and Miranda are seventh-grade bffs who run away to find werewolves and vampires in Bordertown. Unfortunately, they find a blood-drinking elf, and Miranda has to save her friend from being overcome with glamor. Not good."Fair Trade" is a graphic short story written by Sara Ryan, drawn by Dylan Meconis. A teenager tries to find her mother, lost in Bordertown 13 years ago. I love the art, which is clear but has a style of its own, and I wish there was more to the story, because what is there is written well."Our Stars, Our Selves" by Tim Pratt. Allie comes to Bordertown to become a rockstar. There, she is given one wish, to do whatever she pleases, and decides whether to use it to become the star she dreams of being. The dialog tries too hard ("'When you put it that way, I can see your point.' 'Sure you can,'Allie said. 'My point is the pointiest.'"), the plot non-existent, and it doesn't expand Bordertown in the slightest. Forgettable."Elf Blood" by Annette Curtis Klause. Lizzie traveled to Bordertown in order to feed on an elf to cure her. She picks Sky, a beautiful musician, to be her next meal, but he's always surrounded by groupies. Instead, his bookish brother Moss befriends her. This was one of my favorites of the collection. "Ours Is the Prettiest" by Nalo Hopkinson. Damy tries to keep her ex's new girlfriend safe from her ex. But though the new girlfriend is new to Bordertown, she's not new to magic. Probably my favorite story in the collection, both because I like the main character and because it opens Bordertown up so much more. A sense of menace and imininent danger creeps into the story as a children's rhyme follows the characters around, and the magic is just barely-comprehensible. "We Do Not Come in Peace" by Christopher Barzak. A washed-up street musician helps a young runaway find his feet--but then the runaway starts a movement against the elves. I liked the inner voice of the musician, who has had to compromise a great deal to survive and, a final indignity, has lost his gift for music. But I don't get the plot. (view spoiler)[Alek leads a mob to burn down Oberon House, and as he walks there Marius plays him a song. Alek turns away from the mob to join Marius and says, "Seems like I have to go to extremes to get your attention. I knew you would come through for me, Marius." In what way has Marius come through for him? I don't get iiiiiiiiit. (hide spoiler)]"The Rowan Gentleman" by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Ashley is part of the troupe that acts out movies at the Magic Lantern, so when the movie stops playing (as it inevitably does) the actors can fill in the gaps. Her biggest problem is that her lazy elf boss is courting her, and she fears he wants more than she'll give. But then a street kid stumbles in and dies on the floor of the theatre, and Ashley is swept up in the Rowan Gentleman's story. This is like an urban fantasy retelling of the Scarlet Pimpernel. The plot is a bit thin, and the ending a little abrupt, but overall it's a fun, readable story.Neil Gaiman's "The Song of the Song" is the only poem I actually like in this collection. It's witty and a little edged but not that weighty. "A Tangle of Green Men" by Charles de Lint is the tale of an alcoholic juvenile delinquint named Joey who finds new life with a pretty blind girl who teaches him about magic. Unrealistic dialog, personalities, a nearly non-existent plot, and a terrible ending. Cheesey and pandering all round.Overall, a few great short stories and a few very enjoyable ones.

  • Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
    2019-01-20 10:51

    I'm going to get this out of the way: there was a part of me that worried that this volume would be terrible or disappointing, but I feel like it's a worthy successor to the Bordertown stories I particularly loved, like "Danceland" and Finder. The gimmick — that the way to the Border has been closed for 13 years, from the perspective of the world we know, while a mere 13 days passed on the Border — is played with just enough for humor and drama, not to the point of being cheesy.I'll be posting reviews of the individual pieces later on, but if you'd like to sample some past and present Bordertown stories, go to this page, where you'll find links to "Danceland" and (under Other Tales) pieces from this anthology, including Cory Doctorow's excellent "Shannon's Law." (Particularly recommended for people who work in IT.)

  • Kim
    2019-01-29 17:07

    I was a teenager during the '80s heyday of shared world anthologies (hey, whatever happened to those?). I read most of them voraciously (Thieves' World, it's your turn to come back next), but one of my favorites was definitely the Borderland series. Not only were many of my favorite authors involved (Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Steven Brust), but the concept itself was fascinating. Elves. Rock and Roll. Unreliable magic. And the pairing of modern society with some of the oldest beliefs in folklore still resonates in urban fantasy today. But perhaps most appealing for me was the fact that most of the characters in stories were misfits, runaways from both the human and the elven side of the Border just trying to find a place they belonged. These weren't stories for the prom queens and class presidents, but for the rest of us--the dreamers and outcasts. Anyone who longed for a taste of magic in their life could find a home in Bordertown, if only in their mind.The Bordertown series, if I'm not mistaken, spawned 4 anthologies and 3 novels during the '80s and '90s; the last installment, The Essential Bordertown came out in 1998. Then for years there were no more Borderland anthologies, and Kim was a sadder girl. But in 2010, Terri Windling announced there would be a new Borderland anthology, co-edited by Ellen Kushner, one of the founders of Borderland, and Holly Black, an excellent writer of dark faerie tales for young adults. I attended a signing of Black's last year, and we shared a bit of fangirl squealing over how excited the return of Borderland made us.So could this anthology live up to all the hype?In a word, yes. Welcome to Bordertown is all I imagined it would be and more. The contributors include those who founded Bordertown, such as Terri Windling and Ellen Kushner, Charles de Lint, and Steven Brust, as well as many of the rising stars of YA fantasy, such as Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, Christopher Barzak, and Janni Lee Simner, many of whom grew up loving the Bordertown as much as I did. And Neil Gaiman! And Jane Yolen! Honestly, you'd be hard-pressed to find as many authors of this much talent in any other anthology. The back of the book includes blurbs from the authors telling how much the series meant to them and how honored they were to be contributing--not just the newer authors, like Janni Lee Simner, but also the venerable Jane Yolen , with 300 publications under her belt! It's a nice touch, and to me exemplifies why Borderland succeeds: it's truly a labor of love.Reviewing an anthology is always difficult, particularly one with multiple authors and many stories. Instead of evaluating each contribution individually (which might keep me here till tomorrow), I'd rather approach the anthology holistically. It's an approach that works better for a shared world anthology that in one that is merely thematically linked, and works especially well for Welcome to Bordertown due to events that have transpired since the previous anthology. You see, that 13 year gap between books? It wasn't merely a gap between books, but a period during which the Borderland itself was inaccessible from the human world. For 13 years, no one from the mortal world could get to Bordertown, but in Bordertown it was only 13 days. I loved this premise, which "hangs a lampshade" on the gap between anthologies and also fits in well with traditional faerie myth. And the individual authors of the anthologies used the premise in diverse ways. For some, it was a source of humor, as the newcomers to Bordertown remark on the dated appearance of the citizens already there. For others, the changing technology between 1997 and 2010 became a problem to overcome. And still others wrought poignancy out of Bordertown's 13 year absence, as those who went there hunting for lost loved ones found their family roles changed.Although initially thrilled to hear about Borderland's return, I'll admit that I was worried that in the 13 year gap, and with new authors joining the old, the series would change with this new anthology. Of course it has changed, because our society has changed, but this isn't a bad thing. Race has always been a big theme in the Borderland series; there are Trueblood (elf) gangs and human ones fighting it out on the streets; there are halfling children who don't fit in the mortal world but can't be brought over to the Trueblood Realm either. However, Welcome to Bordertown seems to deal more with real world race relations than the previous anthologies have, with a more ethnically diverse human cast and the Border between Elfhaeme and the mortal world sometimes standing in for the border between Mexico and the US. Welcome to Bordertown also expands on its number of LGBT characters, who feature prominently in stories by Tim Pratt, Christopher Barzak, and Nalo Hopkinson, among others. I adored Pratt's protagonist, want Screaming Lord Neville to get his own story, and think that the increasingly diverse characters who populate Bordertown can only improve the series as a whole. We all want to find our place in the world, I think, and we all want to find someone to love.

  • Just_ann_now
    2019-01-19 15:57

    *This review pertains most specifically to the audiobook verstion of Welcome to Bordertown*I came late to the Bordertown books, discovering them as an adult, but once I did I collected them assiduously on Amazon and eBay and devoured them greedily. I was delighted when I learned that there would a new collection, and that Ellen Kushner, my favorite writer, would be one of the editors. The Bordertown series was the first of the "Urban Fantasy" genre, set in a world very close to our own contemporary world, rather than faux-medieval-Earth or some other planet entirely. So the issues of gang violence, racism, and political and economic inequalities, are just as real in this world as they are in ours, and present in a way that are very relevant to young readers (as well as older ones). The premise is that Bordertown has been closed off from the world, for thirteen years in world time, but only thirteen days in Bordertown. This plays into a number of stories, most significantly the opening, "Welcome to Bordertown", by Ellen Kushner and Teri Windling. In this story, a little boy waits thirteen years to grow up and journey to Bordertown in search of his sister. When he is reunited with her, they have both made surprising discoveries about themselves. I liked most everything in this anthology, but I loved "A Tangle of Green Men" by Charles de Lint, "Incunabulum", by Emma Bull, and particularly "We Do Not Come in Peace" by Christopher Barzak.The performances of the narrators Cassandra Campbell, MacLeod Andrews, and Ellen Kushner, are particularly noteworthy. Kushner's reading of "Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line Rap" by Jane Yolen made me howl with laughter. Andrews' interpretation of the narrator, Marius of "We Do Not Come in Peace" was a perfect portrayal of a disillusioned young man who considered himself beaten down by life in Bordertown. Campbell's multiple dialects in Nalo Hopkinson's "Ours is the Prettiest" were loads of fun. If you are planning a summer trip with kids in the YA age group, this would be a great and thoughtful introduction to the genre of "Urban Fantasy", and something the whole family could enjoy.

  • Melanti
    2019-01-23 10:02

    Maybe I would have liked this book more if ...... I'd read the original Bordertown anthologies way back when and had nostalgia on my side for this one.... I wasn't so fed up with urban fantasy.... most of the authors I was looking forward to reading had written actual stories instead of poems.... there were more consensus between the authors on what Bordertown is like.... the stories from the authors I like weren't so obviously just their standard fare with Borderland bits tacked on to fit the required theme.... I owned the book and could read it over a period of several months instead of borrowing it from the library so that I had to read it over several days.I did like Catherynne Valente's story quite a bit, and I think I'll like Charles de Lint's story more in retrospect than I did while reading it.

  • Indigo
    2019-01-19 10:42

    If you have loved the Borderlands series since the beginning, then you know what I think.If you haven't, and this is your first time across the border?Then you're lucky. You'll get to meet Wolfboy, Orient, and Farrel Din, and Screaming Lord Neville. And you'll get to meet the new faces who made their way to the crazy town between the Human world and the Realm where the Truebloods come from.The stories vary from whimsical: Welcome to Bordertown to the romantic and heartbreaking A Tangle of Green Men, to silly yet still powerful vignettes like the songs from Steven Brust and Neil Gaiman.The characters are so well written that one can identify with them even when one's experiences and orientation vary from that of the characters.So yes, worth the read.

  • John
    2019-02-05 13:59

    Nice to see some utopian visions among all the dystopian ones that are filling up the bookshelves now. The poetry here didn't knock my socks off, but the stories are all at least Good, and of particular note are:Cory Doctorow's, for explaining so credibly why Faerie should be so decisively off limits to humans;Will Shetterly's, for being such a feelgood tale (Charles de Lint's closer for the same reason);Janni Lee Simner's, for giving the "Twilight" series such a chilly little...tweak;The "Fairy Trade" story, presented in graphic format, for giving Border Town some right-on visuals;Tim Pratt's, for being particularly well told and also for dropping in the literary term "abstinence porn." Wow!

  • Michelle Morrell
    2019-01-22 09:09

    A new tome in my favorite shared universe, ever! Woo! Bordertown is the same but the rest of the world sure isn't. The thirteen days that passed in town were really thirteen years to the rest of the world. But now the border is open again, and the people that considered themselves on the cutting edge of everything are forced to deal with a world that has moved on without them. But if there's anything they can do, it's adapt. Love the new life that was breathed into the series.

  • Brian
    2019-01-19 14:46

    I was really excited to read this collection, because I wanted to see how Bordertown had changed with the introduction of texting and tweeting and Instagram and Google and Wikipedia. And in that sense, Welcome to Bordertown was a bit disappointing, but not really surprising. Of course you can't get a reliable internet connection on the Border. Of course a text might come through as snatches of poetry or in a language you don't speak. That's how tech works next to the Realm, after all. I should have known.I think there was still a bit of a change in the way that the stories are told. Older Bordertown stories are often about finding a place to belong, a place where the people understand you and you don't need to hide who you are. In many ways, the internet has now become that place, with communities catering to every possible expression of human diversity. Belonging is just one Tumblr logon away. As such, a lot of stories here are more about finding something the protagonist was missing, or the protagonist realizing that they don't actually want what they thought they want. And that's fine--that fits in just fine with faerie tales.As does the Gap, the in-universe explanation for the thirteen years between this book and The Essential Bordertown. Bordertown drifted away from the World and was inaccessible for thirteen years, which was only thirteen days on the inside, so not much as changed in Bordertown, letting authors use all the old characters, but on the outside? Well. Don't eat faerie food or drink faerie wine. Who knows how much time will have passed after you awaken. The story that does deal with new technology the best is probably "Shannon's Law," about a man who moves to Bordertown after the Gap ends. It's his mission to wire up Bordertown for internet access. Technology barely works, and the more complicated it is the less it does, but the internet is just packets and packets are just bits, so he has wiring as well as semaphore, people counting pigeons, runners carrying paper, and anything else he needs to keep the data flowing all in the service of his true goal of sending a packet across the border into Faerie and getting a ping response.It doesn't really work--of course not, Faerie is and always has been mostly unexplored in Bordertown stories--but my favorite part was the exploration of why Faerie is so hard to describe. Other stories play it off as some kind of geas, the limits and even existence of which are also covered by the geas, but "Shannon's Law" also attributes it to different laws of physics. On Earth, gravity makes things fall. In Faerie, beauty or passion means a task is more likely to succeed, and that's just as strong as the law of gravity is on Earth, and just like most people can throw something and judge how far it will go pretty well, elves can judge how much poem-worthy tragedy is necessary to make something succeed. Until they cross the Border, their brains adjust to local physics, and they lose that sense. I love this because it makes Faerie different in a way that can be described but not really understood, and it leads to Shannon and his partner trying to embroider a packet into the edges of a painting and send it back across the border. There's a lot of poetry in here and most of it was a miss for me, but I really liked "Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line Rap." Surprisingly, because I'm usually not a fan of rap--I tend to prefer much more melody-focused pieces, hence why I listen to a lot of old video game music--but this was written out. Also, it was a retelling of "Tam Lin," which is an amazing story and amazing in this format. You can read it here."Incunabulum" (a printed book, especially one printed just after the printing press was invented) is about an elf who goes through the Border and loses his entire memory, including his name. The story is about him discovering himself and deciding he likes his self-chosen identity better, but what I took out of it is that nowadays this is much easier in Bordertown than in the real world. With the Internet, your deeds follow you much further than they used to, and the servants who find Page could have shown him his Facebook and email exchanges had he been the child of a rich human family. As a scion of Faerie, though, he is safe from the ubiquitous tracking we've all signed ourselves up for, and so is free to create himself ex nihilo. Were we all so lucky."Crossings" is a classic story about being careful what you wish for. Two teenagers, having read a lot of paranormal romance books, come to Bordertown seeking their princes. And one finds Wolfboy, but he's cursed and can't change shape, and also has a girlfriend; and the other finds a vampire in the form of an elf, but of course, vampire are predators. The streets are just as dirty in Bordertown as they are in any city of the World, and while dreams come true, so do nightmares.The counterpoint to that story is "Our Stars, Our Selves," about a woman born in liminal times who the stars of the Border grant a wish. And for a time she thinks about wishing to be a famous rock star, but the example of another person granted a similar wish who got everything he wanted only to realize that it wasn't nearly as great as he thought it would be convinces her otherwise. After all, if she wishes to be a great rock star, where's the place for talent? She would never know if she deserved it or not if it's all just the wish propelling her up the ladder. Is it worth it?I mean, I would say yes. It's a good thing I'm not being offered the wishes.This is my favorite Bordertown book yet, probably because it's the most relevant to my life. I loved the earlier books when I read them, but that was when I was a teenager and I was still looking for the people who really understood me. Well, I've found those people. Now stories about being careful what you wish for and making sure that you aren't chasing the wrong dream are the stories that resonate with me, and that's most of what's in here. Just excellent all around.

  • Julia
    2019-01-29 09:51

    “Anyone writing urban fantasy owes a debt to Terri Windling.” (p.1) “We’re all misfits here. That’s why I started this squat. For people like us who don’t fit anywhere else. Halfies and homos and hopeless romantics, the outcast and outrageous and terminally weird.” (p.69) “Youth is half of what anyone who comes to this city needs in order to make a way. The rest is a blend of luck, skill, and a friendly disposition.”(p.399) “Welcome to Bordertown” by Ellen Kushner & Terri Windling sets up the premise for the anthology. Bordertown has been inaccessible to the World for thirteen years, but in Bordertown it’s been thirteen days. “The Sages of Elsewhere” by Will Shetterly is about Wolfboy, the bookstore he and Sparks now own, and why he remakes it into a lending library. “Crossings” by Janni Lee Simner is about two best friends who go to Bordertown to find a vampire and werewolf to fall in love with. Allie Land comes to B-town to become a famous musician and meets an astronomer who’s become an astrologer and an unnoticed boy who has become an elf in “Our Stars, Our Selves” by Tim Pratt. I hope Annette Curtis Klause will write more about the unwilling vampire Lizzie and her elf friend Moss in “Elf Blood.” “We Do Not Come in Peace” by Christopher Barzak is about Marius who came to B-town aways back, had a successful music career but the Music left him when the Way closed. “The Rowan Gentleman” by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is about 20 masked men and women who operate out of the Magic Lantern theater which depending on how the magic is flowing is either a movie theater or live theater—and who help out humans and halfies in trouble. “A Tangle of Green Men” by Charles de Lint isn’t about any recurring characters I remember and most of it takes place outside of Bordertown. And that’s fine, because some adventures are about the journey. Upon getting out of juvie, Tia Luba sends Joey from the rez to his uncle in Baltimore who works on a crew setting up conventions. He’s setting up Faerie Con when he meets and falls in love with Juliana – and gets involved with her family. Eventually, Joey winds up in Bordertown. I would love to read more of his story. And Bordertown, I don’t want it going away from the World again! I loved this book, I’ve been away too long!

  • Jenne
    2019-02-04 17:09

    I love reading anthologies of short stories, it is one of the best ways to find new authors and catch up with old ones. Welcome to Bordertown was no exception. I found I knew most of the authors and I enjoyed visiting with them - Holly Black, Terri Windling, Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare and Jane Yolen, just to name a few!Although I have read a lot of anthologies, this was my first time experiencing Bordertown, where all the stories are connected by a place and where urban fantasy really started. Charles de Lint does something similar with his Newford books, but it is quite an experience to read stories by multiple different authors, with so many different styles and ideas all writing about the same place and some of the same people. You really feel like you have stepped into a diverse community of friends each with telling their own stories and adventures in turn, and by doing so you learn what life Bordertown is all about. Bordertown is a magical place on the edge of the technological world and the realm of faery where neither the tech nor the magic works quite right. In this set of stories, the way to Bordertown has been lost for 13 years. Time that has passed in the world only 13 days in Bordertown, an unusually phenomenon creating some unique adventures when people finally find their way there again.Bordertown has influenced so many of my favourite authors that I find myself wondering how I missed out on the original books began back in the 80s. (I blame the smallness of my local library!) I see elements that play huge roles in Neil Gaiman's Stardust, Patricia Briggs' and Ilona Andrews worlds played out here. I'm sure going to be looking out for the other Bordertown books new and old!

  • Tim Hicks
    2019-01-27 17:01

    There's a good framework here, with the existing word of Bordertown and the useful idea of a time-slip to give the authors some room. Several stories were creative and engaging. But as I neared the end of the book. it got to be too much of a muchness. I'm finding Bordertown boring. Coffee, music, motorcycles, drugs, sex, elves, like wow man. And yes, I *was* there for the sixties and I'm on my fifth motorcycle and I make vicious coffee, so it's not as if I don't get it. And it's implausible. The cumulative effect is that Bordertown is one of those places that moves when you try to look at it so you can't see the lack of detail. There seems to have been plenty of construction, and one story suggests huge houses. There are police, sort of, although unexplained. Plumbers, electricians, doctors, nurses, teachers, carpet layers .. nah. Just the occasional dude who's kinda handy and can, like, fix stuff. The economy is ludicrous - a backpack full of brownies seems to be the B'town equivalent of gold bullion. There are, of course, no bad musicians, or for that matter bad drugs. There are gangs, vampires, nasty nasty elves, and everyone's like, hey, man, like keep your head up eh there's some weird shit out there dude.For one interesting story we can overlook all that. But not for a whole bunch at once. And I must admit I was soured by Cory Doctorow, writing the same story he always writes, in which an uber-geek makes coffee, builds (whatever) out of a shoelace and a spoon, makes coffee, then mobilizes hundreds of followers, makes coffee, and changes the world. It's just so smug and self-satisfied.

  • C.J.
    2019-02-17 13:08

    I did not, in fact, take the time to read cover to cover, as only brief peridots of prose and story struck out of the noxious fog of self-stroking stupidity. One might consider that slightly harsh. Hyperbole. But no apology: the bordertown stories compiled seem to live in their own little world, beyond reason, fairy tale reason, or even simple story common sense. Their characters are more than fairly un-likeable, unpleasant, and self-pitying. Their world is wracked by a peculiar but pricking ugliness that, though it seems as if it might be trying to portray a mirror of our own, absolutely leaves out wonder, grace, or even surprise. In fact, the most surprising thing about the stories is how very little there is to be surprised about amongst what are meant to be other-worldly fae, monsters and magic. Whereas there may be tradition that calls elves perilous, and their love cruel, Bordertown seems to take that tack to the extreme that elves are not elves, not lovely outside of a video-game like aesthetic of dispoportionate sexual proportion and power, but that they are ugly and dangerous and exploitive of anything more vulnerable. This leaves a very drab trail to trod for any self-motivated reader looking for a story. It is predictable, self-congratulatory, pasteboard presentation with all the modern day politics to boot. The one exception is a story of two girls who save each other by their friendship, and the power of story telling. It, disappointingly, ends on bleakness. But this is one faux-fairy tale that quite utterly forgot its wonder.

  • Tarja
    2019-02-15 09:49

    I read the first Bordertown books when they came out in the 80's, 90's and liked the mix of normal world & elf runaways, the music, the gangs, and the atmosphere created in the Bordertown anthologies and novels. When I found out there was going to be a new book telling more stories about that fascinating town and it's inhabitants I was extremely excited.I just finished Welcome to Bordertown, the new addition to the Bordertown lore and was not disappointed. For a while, Bordertown was inaccessible from our world. Here, that period was thirteen years. In Bordertown, only 13 days.Several stories deal with the disconnect and changes forced by the gap that was only days for some, but years for others. Apart from that, quite a few of the Bordertown stories have always centred around young people looking for something better, something magical, something more. Sometimes they find it, but sometimes it only leads to tragedy. Considering how many of the people who do enter Bordertown are runaways or idealistic teenagers looking for that magical sparkly vampire who is their true love, it's quite easy to realize that not everyone can find what they were looking for. Or they do, but then realize it wasn't what they really wanted.Several familiar characters make their appearance, and the anthology is a mix of the original writers and younger talent who grew up on the stories. I really enjoyed it and was happy to go back to the streets of Bordertown, to dance again in The Dancing Ferret and to see the humans, halfies, and Truebloods mingling together again.

  • Deirdre
    2019-02-04 11:40

    I'm still enjoying my forays into Bordertown. This newer collection posits that the way to the Borderlands has been closed for the past 13 years, during which time only 13 days passed within the Borderlands (kind of a Rip Van Winkle thing). As with any collection, I found some of the stories more absorbing than others, but I genuinely enjoyed all of them. "Shannon's Law" by Cory Doctorow is very clever--it goes into great detail about an elaborate scheme to get the Elflands online (put simply), without any human being able to cross that border. "The Rowan Gentlemen" by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is a short, fast-paced mystery whose main action takes place in a theatre. "A Tangle of Green Men" by Charles de Lint is a beautifully put together story about love and grief. These stories are my personal favorites, but the anthology as a whole was a well-balanced collection with an intriguing cast of intertwining characters--some of whom are familiar from other stories of the Borderlands, and many of whom are people I'd really like to know.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-03 16:08

    For me this was "Welcome BACK to Bordertown." I can't count the number of times I've read Will Shetterly's ELSEWHERE and NEVERNEVER, which in my opinion are two of the best urban fantasy booka for teens ever written. (I love you, Wolfboy!) Bordertown is a "shared world" with books and stories written by a number of authors over the years, though no one has done anything new in several years, until now. And that's the premise that these stories hang on: the border was closed for thirteen years, though it only felt like thirteen days if you were already in Bordertown. So now we've got new technology like iPhones and laptops being introduced into the unstable techno-magic mix of the border.But that hardly matters. What matters is that these are some extremely wonderful stories and poems, written by some of today's best writers, like Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Will Shetterly. What matters is that there are stories by fans of Bordertown who have never written about it before, like Cory Doctorow, but also stories by old friends of Bordertown like Shetterly, who brings us a new Wolfboy adventure. (No, I'm not ashamed of how much I love Wolfboy. Shuddup.)So if you're a noob or if you've been to Bordertown many times before, trust me when I say you will find something to love in this anthology.

  • Dawn
    2019-02-14 15:00

    Dawn States Short Stories Bordertown is an unusual short story collection. It is not just a book of short stories, it is a book of short stories, poems, and graphic novel that all connect to each other. This book is its own unique mix, just like Bordertown, the place the stories are all written about. The common theme in the book is finding magic in life, runaways, discovering the place you belong, and believing that something better is possible. Any teen who feels as if the world does not have a place for them will connect with this book and find that just maybe there is after all.The characters are as many and various as the town itself. The town is part this world and parts the world of Fairie and absolutely all its own. From Trish, the accidental runaway to Shannon computer genius and intentional runaway, the characters have depth and purpose in the world they occupy. Each character has a different story, just like people do in this world making it easy to connect with them and appreciate their stories. The magic and charm of Bordertown weaves its way through all the stories and all the characters and in the end works its spell on the reader.

  • Logan
    2019-02-15 08:41

    3.5 stars, really.I really love all the Bordertown books. I started reading them when I was much younger, and at the time was often on the road, traveling. I ran away from home, traveled the US and beyond for many years, and had a book with me every step of the way. These were the only books that I read (at that time) that had characters with lives like mine, and *also* included all my favorite things like elves and magic and fighting, etc. So they hold a special place in my heart, and I was psyched to see Holly Black pick up Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's anthology series.I enjoyed this book, but maybe what I was really enjoying was the nostalgia in this book. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that made feel somewhat detached through the entire reading experience, and then I got to a line in one story where the main character is describing how in Bordertown, by the time you hit 30 your experience is so different from what it was when you arrived at 16 or 17, it just isn't the same, and you just don't get it anymore. And that pretty much nailed it, I think.

  • glitrbug
    2019-02-11 13:43

    544 pages of wonderful stories, a novella, a graphic short, and a couple poems about a city between the Realm (fairie) and the World populated by runaways of all kinds; humans, halfies, Truebloods, a Wolfboy, some goblins, they are all here bumping up against each other. Magic works some of the time but not always they way you'd expect it to. You can't always tell the good guys from the bad. It's a collection of good old fashioned fairy tales in an urban setting. Simply wonderful. Couldn't have been more pleased. Some of the authors who invented Urban Fantasy are here again; Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner. There are also authors who read the earlier books and grew up dreaming of Bordertown such as Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Catherynne M. Valente.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-13 08:52

    Eh. Possibly should not have read in less than three days, as everything started to blend together. Bordertown: awesome on its own terms, not yours! I get it.The best of the lot, for me, was the Kushner-Windling piece -- mostly because it was delightful happymaking story-I-would-like-to-tell -- Emma Bull's "Incunabulum," and Tim Pratt's "Or Stars, Our Selves" (although holy wow, worst title ever). Okay, so there were some good parts, including Charles de Lint's finale, which isn't really about Bordertown at all. Nalo Hopkinsen's Mardi-Gras-inspired piece was interesting and bewildering in roughly equal measure. Cory Doctorow, as always, has Ideas, and then his writing fails them. (I am not what you'd call a fan of Cory D.) That said, he does come the closest to writing truly modern urban fantasy, to capturing the ~*magic*~ of the twenty-first century.

  • Catherine
    2019-02-03 15:59

    Had a mixed response to this book. I read and enjoyed the original Btown books when they came out but they didn't quite hold up as well for me as say, Liavek, which included many of the same authors.None of the poetry in tuis anthology worked for me, unfortunately, though I think it was an interesting notion to include it. I really enjoyed some stories - the first novella by Black and Kushner, " The Rowan Gentlemen", and several others. Other stories elicited a "so what?" reaction and one, Hopkinson's, had some serious issues with how same sex domestic violence was portrayed. I normally love her work so this was disappointing, to say the least.Was it worth reading? Yes, though I wonder what it would be like to read this without having read the original books when they first came out.

  • Teresa
    2019-01-20 15:10

    It's been 13 years since the last Bordertown collection was published. The authors chose to address that in these new stories, acknowledging the years that had passed in the World. In Bordertown itself, only 13 days have passed. Old friends show up (hello, Ron story! Farrel Din makes an appearance, as do many others) and we're introduced to new friends. And there are vampires! Okay Lankins but yes, Bordertown vampires. Excellently done. I didn't realize how much I'd missed life on the Border until I heard that this was coming out. I've read it pretty much straight through, unusual for me with an anthology. Great stories, some by authors I've never heard of, and a lot by old friends. And hey, I even like the poetry.