Welcome to Bordertown

( 12 )

Overview

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 was the forerunner of today's urban fantasy, introducing authors that included Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner. In...
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Overview

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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2011:
"This is punk-rock, DIY fantasy, full of harsh reality and incandescent magic...a masterful anthology."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2011:
"It’s easy to be transported by each entry’s rich details and compelling characters, but this page-turner’s biggest success is in how veteran authors simultaneously address the themes through traditional fantasy tropes and current reality."

From the Hardcover edition.

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
It is amazing the number of subcultures existing within our overarching culture. The culture of this anthology is probably well loved by "goth" kids. It's the magical region between the human World and the Realm of the faeries (Elves) who prefer to be called the Truebloods. When the Way to Bordertown is open, runaways and kids looking for affirmation of hope flock there. But be careful: the elfin magic is quirky in this region and the Truebloods can be arrogant or cruel. Also know that time slows down here—two weeks in Bordertown equate to thirteen years in the World. A number of the stories are very matter of fact about sexual encounters amongst the teen protagonists or their use of drugs. No consequences are discussed for these choices. But, for the most part, the characters are well drawn and the stories are compelling, though Cory Doctorow's "Shannon's Law" was confusing and "Fair Trade" (written by Sara Ryan and drawn by Dylan Meconis) took a second reading. And perhaps the best was saved to last: "A Tangle of Green Men," by Charles de Lint, about a young Native American who goes to Bordertown to find the way across the Realm to the land where his dead wife waits for him but instead finds a reason to live. Fantasy always opens a way to discuss life forces with kids and this collection of stories reaches out nicely to those looking for hope. The other authors are Terri Windling, considered the font of fantasy stories; Patricia A. McKillip; Catherynne M. Valente; Amal El-Mohtar; Emma Bull; Steven Brust; Alaya Dawn Johnson; Will Shetterly; Jane Yolen; Janni Lee Simner; Tim Pratt; Annette Curtis Klause; Nalo Hopkinson; Delia Sherman; Christopher Barzak, Cassandra Clare and Neil Gaiman. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After 13 years of being "closed" to the outside world (and 13 years since the publication of Terri Widling's original anthologies), Bordertown has reopened to a new generation of runaways, misfits, and dreamers. This gritty metropolis sits metaphysically at the edge of the World and Realm, populated by mostly teen and 20-something humans; high- and lowborn elves; the occasional cursed human (e.g., Wolfboy); and halfies (Elf/human progeny). Widling and Kushner's "Welcome to Bordertown," the first of 22 stories, poems, and a graphic entry, immerses readers into a fully realized urban fantasy world that runs on unreliable faerie magic and erratic human technology, and pulses with sex, drugs, music, and brutal lawlessness, as a brother seeks out his missing sister and finds a community amid cursed humans and dangerous Elves. This story also sets up the themes carried throughout the collection: identity and authenticity, race and power, and the balance between wonder and naïveté. It's easy to be transported by each entry's rich details and compelling characters, but this page-turner's biggest success is in how veteran authors simultaneously address the themes through traditional fantasy tropes and current reality. Sardonic references to modern tech fads and fantasy trends abound: in Janni Lee Simner's "Crossings," two friends learn that werewolves and vampires (or sinister, opportunistic elves) do not actually make good boyfriends. Some poems are more successful than others, and the graphic story adds perhaps the least to the anthology. Nonetheless, every contribution brings something valuable and new, and readers will leave Charles de Lint's "A Tangle of Green Men," the volume's particularly heart-wrenching and beautiful last story, richer for having had the Bordertown experience, and eager for more.—Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA
Kirkus Reviews

Bordertown: where the human and faerie worlds intersect, a place populated by runaways and the lost, powered by an unreliable mix of magic and technology.

Thirteen years ago, the way to this shared world was closed after four anthologies (The Essential Bordertown, 1998, etc.) and three novels (Elsewhere, 1991, etc.). Now, Kushner (one of the original contributors) and Black (who grew up reading the original tales) have reopened the way, and once again teens uncomfortable in the world—or just looking for excellent fantasy fiction—can escape to it. This is punk-rock, DIY fantasy, full of harsh reality and incandescent magic. "Noobs" will be quickly acclimated by the introductory "Bordertown Basics," an irreverent tour-guide's view with everything the visitor needs to know. Many of the stories echo with loss and discomfort; standouts include "Crossings" by Janni Lee Simner, a chilling look at the difference between dreams and reality, and "A Tangle of Green Men," Charles De Lint's heartbreaking examination of love, loss and life. Poems and songs (from Patricia A. McKillip, Neil Gaiman and Jane Yolen, among others) balance the fiction, and if some of the songs don't play so great to tone-deaf readers, they still bring the importance of music home. A few stories fall a little flat, but these tiny flaws don't detract from a masterful anthology.

Here's to another generation finding comfort and inspiration on the border. (introductions, author notes) (Fantasy/anthology. 13 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375866357
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 610,019
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Holly Black
HOLLY BLACK is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Modern Faerie Tale series, The Good Neighbors graphic novel trilogy, and her new Curse Workers series, which begins with White Cat. She has been a finalist for both the Mythopoeic Award and Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award.

ELLEN KUSHNER's award-winning novels include the “mannerpunk” cult classic Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, and Thomas the Rhymer. Kushner’s children’s story, The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer ‘Nutcracker’, has been produced as a CD (with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra), a chapter book, and onstage by New York’s Vital Theatre. She is known to national public radio audiences as the longtime host of public radio's weekly program Sound & Spirit. She lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A mesmerizing work

    In 1986, Terri Windling introduced to the literary world a fantastical place called The Borderlands. Here, in the Borderlands - outcasts, runaways - they all ended up in an old abandoned part of the city that was a Mecca for them called Bordertown. In this place, humans, elves, and half-breeds lived together and tried to work together through various "issues" in order to find a way to live in peace. Now, in 2011, a slew of urban fantasy authors have come together to each write a story or poem that reopens Bordertown after thirteen years of being closed to humans - and enable a completely new generation to experience the amazing world of the Borderlands. So many fantastic authors are a part of this book, that no reader will leave these pages unsatisfied. In the very first story the "Mom," Terri Windling (along with Ellen Kushner) is back, and puts together a tale titled, Welcome to Bordertown. A postcard has arrived in a small town to a family who has missed their daughter, Trish, for thirteen years. She ran away and they've always feared the worst. This correspondence has come from Bordertown and offers a message that Trish is fine and having a great time. Unfortunately, the postmark is from thirteen years ago. Trish's brother Jimmy knows in his heart that Trish is alive, and begins a journey that will, hopefully, retrieve his sister. Readers are shown the Borderlands and the amazing characters from Terri Windling's imagination that include Thelma Louise Mankiller, as well as locations like the hard Luck Café and Try Elsewhere Books. And the twist at the end, the decision that Trish and Jimmy come to for their futures, is a true surprise. There is a fabulous story about a young woman named Shannon who wants to bring new "law" to Bordertown and organize the humans and elves so that they can finally live and work together in peace; and some of this work is done from the internet café on Hell Street. Stories move all over the realm introducing wild characters at each and every turn. There is also a fantastic "graphic" story in the middle of this collection called, Fair Trade, which offers unforgettable dialogue and drawings to the reader. From poems about warring sisters to a poem about The Wall which truly brings together the theme of the Borderlands - that mortals need mysteries to survive, whereas elves are just as dependent on having mortals in their lives for survival - is pure art. In the end, each and every one of these truly artistic, creative, and talented writers have done immense justice to the Borderlands, and introduced new characters, new mysteries, and new ways to taste life. Quill Says: A mesmerizing work that will, most definitely, inspire the imaginations of this, and future generations. Well done!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Clasic

    Its a mezmerizing exsprienceto read through a defantie clasic in there own diverse ways

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    5 Stars before I even read it!!

    I've loved the Bordertown stories ever since the first and I will love all of these.

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    Posted May 19, 2012

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