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The Essential Bordertown (Borderlands) Paperback – July 8, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Borderlands (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (July 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312867034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312867034
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bordertown is the place where our world and the world of elves meet... but not just any kind of elves. These are hard-rocking, magic-flinging, motorcycle-riding elves who aren't entirely thrilled to be back in contact with lowly humans. Nevertheless, certain types of both elf and human are drawn to Bordertown, a place where magic and science coexist, and where neither works quite the way it's supposed to. Not everyone can find Bordertown, but those who do find it discover that it's a place where anything can happen, and where they can be anything they want to be. This collection of 13 stories continues the grand tradition of one of the most popular shared-world fantasy series of all time, and it also serves as an excellent introduction for anyone new to the border. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Windling's fecund premise for the series of short-story collections and novels devoted to Bordertown (beginning with Bordertown and Borderland, both co-edited with Mark Alan Arnold, both published in 1986) involves the mingling of the mundane and the freakish that is the earmark of contemporary fantasy writing. These 13 stories share the same setting, place names and ambience. In Bordertown, teeming with runaways from both the human world and "The Realm," magic and science mitigate one another in strange ways. Here, spells are no more exotic than Kleenex. A guidebook written by editors Windling and Sherman is interspersed throughout the current text and is a perfect, hilarious counterfeit of the genuine item, with sly tips to the tourist for saving money and avoiding untoward enchantments. Stylistically, the stories range from Steven Brust's highly literate and exquisitely turned riverboat saga, "When the Bow Breaks," to Midori Snyder's straightforwardly sentimental coming-of-age story, "Dragon Child." More than a few shoot precipitously into undeserved conclusions, relying on sudden dramatic invention or some archetypal subtext insufficiently articulated, as if the authors had become habituated to Bordertown's facile spells. In Michael Korolenko's "Arcadia," a magical videographer's tale, the plot is heavy-handed and the resolution platitudinously tacked on. This is the exception, however; most of these pieces, even those that are more fantastic vignette than story, satisfy.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Terri Windling is a writer, artist, and book editor interested in myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the ways they are used in contemporary arts. She has published over 40 books (novels, children's books, and anthologies), winning nine World Fantasy Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFWA Solstice Award for "outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field as writer, editor, artist, educator, and mentor." Her adult novel "The Wood Wife" won the Mythopoeic Award for Novel of the Year, and her collection "The Armless Maiden" was shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr. Award. She has also published numerous essays on myth, fairy tales, mythic arts, and fantasy literature.

"If there is a single person at the nexus of fantasy literature, it is Terri Windling -- as writer, as painter, as editor, as muse." - Jane Yolen

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cabell H. Gathman on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Going by other reader reviews of this book, some fans of the series were disappointed by The Essential Bordertown--they felt the stories "just weren't the same" or something. Of course they weren't the same! It has a different character than other books in the series, but that's only to be expected from an anthology, and I enjoyed it immensely. One of its best features, to my mind, is the way "guidebook" excerpts are placed between the stories--for those unfamiliar with Bordertown, they provide excellent background material, and for fans, they're full of little jokes and references to familiar locations/people/events. They also make good transitions from one story to the next. The book contains 13 stories (how apropos) by Patricia A. McKillip, Midori Snyder, Delia Sherman, Donnard Sturgis, Ellen Kushner, Michael Korolenko, Elisabeth Kushner, Charles de Lint, Caroline Stevermer, Steven Brust, Ellen Steiber, Micole Sudberg, and Felicity Savage, of which four particularly struck me.
I loved Patricia A. McKillip's "Oak Hill" for many reasons, but one of them is that its protagonist reminded me of myself in junior high--a lonely girl with bad skin looking for magick. I particularly liked the fact that the girl has no terrible reason to come to Bordertown; she just wants something better--something more--than what she has. McKillip's prose is beautiful as ever, and the ending, though of course I won't give it away, is simple and powerful. "Dragon Child" by Midori Snyder is largely set in Dragontown, which has always been one of my favorite areas of Bordertown.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Well I read the two reviews below and then I read the book itself. I gotta vote along with Flagstaff Reader, not Chicago Reader, that this book is awesom and the best Border book yet. I think since Chicago Reader picked "Bordertown" and "Finder" as his/her personal favs of all the Borderland books then he/she is probably a big fan of Will Shetterly and Emma Bull's Borderland stories. Well, thats cool but Chicago Reader should realize that not all of us are. The Shetterly & Bull version of Bordertown is fine and fun but personally its a bit too "Miami Vice" for me (altho I thought "Elsewhere" was different and pretty cool) and its really nice to see the series move on past the 1980s and into the 1990s. I for one was really glad to see stories by Patricia McKillip, Midori Snyder and Ellen Kushner instead. Chicago Reader is mistaken if he/she thinks that "Bordertown" and "Finder" were the original Borderland books. Look at the older books in the series you'll see that the first book was called "Borderland" and Terri Windling, Mark Alan Arnold, Charles de Lint, Midori Snyder, Stephen Boyett and Ellen Kushner were the people who created the world of Bordertown. And then in the next book, called "Bordertown" ,Shetterly & Bull came into a world that had been created by other people and added some places and characters to it, and in the next book, "Life on the Border" Michael Koralenko, Craig Shaw Gardner, Cara Dalky joined up and all added their own nieghborhoods and characters to the town- which is what makes it so cool, there's plenty of room for everybody here!Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Chicago Reader(review below), I challenge you to a duel by pistols (no make that Border-magic) at dawn! You are wrong, wrong, wrong! This book is still the Borderland we know and love. (Gentrification? Phooey!) B-town is still gritty/still fey/still full of mean streets and rock-n-roll but also full of color/magic/the angst of young human- and elven-beings living life on the edge. The stories make it clear that a few years have passed since the earlier books and the 'town has changed, but Soho is still Soho. And a bit o' change is good, it would be awful if the books stayed stuck in a 1980s vibe. The new book is less "Adam Ant" and "Thompson Twins" than earlier books like Bordertown, Finder, etc.--more "AfroCeltic Sound System" or "Dead Can Dance", more worldbeat and world culture in them which is a great thing as far as I'm concerned, a personal opinion sure but one shared by my circle of Border fans here.
The Delia Sherman story was my personal fav (welcome to Bordertown, Ms. Sherman!) but there was plenty o' other good tunes here too. Patricia A. McKillip's story broke my heart, Ellen Kushner's story made me laugh, Midori Snyder is back in fine form and I liked the less polished but raw and dynamic stories by newcomers like Jenna Felice and Donnard Sturgis too. Special nod to Felicity Savage for her cool and snarky tale at the end o' the book. There's one thing me and Chicago Reader can agree on though: Ms. Windling's "guide" pieces are the absolute best.
To the writers and editors of this volume: thanx from all us Border Rats here in Flagstaff. Borderland just keeps getting better and better. Those of you readers who may be new to the Border, the other books in the series are great, but start with this one. Start with the best.
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