Welcome to Bordertown

Welcome to Bordertown

4.8 13
by Holly Black
     
 

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In the 1980s, author Terri Windling wanted to bring more writers into fantasy, so she invented a world, and invited young authors to build and contribute to it. That world was Bordertown, a city on the edge of contemporary human civilization and the Elven world—a place where magic and science both only work half the time as they influence each other—and a

Overview

In the 1980s, author Terri Windling wanted to bring more writers into fantasy, so she invented a world, and invited young authors to build and contribute to it. That world was Bordertown, a city on the edge of contemporary human civilization and the Elven world—a place where magic and science both only work half the time as they influence each other—and a place that dreaming teenagers run to.  One of the forerunners to today's urban fantasy, a total of three anthologies and three novels were published by several publishers (one of the anthologies and all the novels are still in print). Flash forward to 2010. Acclaimed authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctrow, Neil Gaiman, Janni Simner, Sara Ryan, and more are now adding to the Bordertown world—to honor its inspiration to them in their own writing. They are joined by many of the original writers: Charles de Lint, Ellen Kushner, Jane Yolen, Patricia McKillip, Will Shetterly, and Emma Bull.

Editorial Reviews

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
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)

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."

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375867057
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
05/24/2011
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Meet the Author

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 lives in Manhattan and travels a lot. Her most recent novel, The Privilege of the Sword, was nominated for a wildly diverse array of awards, including a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award (for work that best expands or explores our understanding of gender).

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Welcome to Bordertown 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a brilliant book. I only feel like it's a classic. I didn't think I would like it because there were so many authors and too many stories. But I would recommend this to any one! I'm hoping one day I can write my own Bordertown story!
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I've loved the Bordertown stories ever since the first and I will love all of these.
Kofi Williams More than 1 year ago
Its a mezmerizing exsprienceto read through a defantie clasic in there own diverse ways