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Welcome to Bordertown: New Stories and Poems of the Borderlands Hardcover – May 24, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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."

About 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'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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867057
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,484,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Bordertown has been missing from the mortal world for thirteen years, but Ellen Kushner and Holly Black have managed to bring it back to us. "Welcome to Bordertown" picks up exactly where the last collection left off, bringing back a magical array of authors who have explored the Borderlands before (Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, Patricia McKillip) as well as new arrivals (Tim Pratt, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman).

Thirteen years ago, Bordertown vanished from the mortal world. No one knows how or why, but when it reappeared, only thirteen days had passed for those inside.

In Terri Windling and Ellen Kushner's opening novella, teenage "fixer" Jim arrives there to find his sister Trish, who ran away to live in Bordertown. But Trish has learned that even magical places have their hardships, even as she befriends a grad student named Anush, whose studies went horribly awry when he was cursed by a cruel elf lady.

Some of these stories are by longtime Borderland contributers. Emma Bull's "Incunabulum" is the tale of a young Blood who lost his memory, and must now forge a new one, and Will Shetterly's "The Seven Sages of Elsewhere" is a feud between two bookstores over a rare, magical tome.

But many of these authors are new to Bordertown anthologies -- Cory Doctorow, Catherynne Valente, Janni Lee Simner, Christopher Barzak, Annette Curtis Klause, Tim Pratt, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
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Featuring stories by Charles de Lint, Ellen Kushner, Stephen R Boyett and Terri Windling (writing as Bellamy Bach), Borderland introduced me not only to a world where Faerie had returned and both human and fey runaways flocked to a crumbling human city where technology and magic were equally wonderful, unpredictable and dangerous (much like the B-town residents themselves), but to the nascent genre of urban fantasy which I had only sampled up to that point.

I had done a complete Bordertown series re-read in 2004, but since then the books sat on a shelf, drawing comments, and occasionally being loaned out (don't worry; I have loaner copies of nearly all of them) to visitors. They were constantly referenced, praised, geeked about and like most urban fantasy fans of a certain age, I imagined the stories I would have liked to have told, set in the Borderlands. As Emma Bull and Will Shetterly's B-town novels Finder, Elsewhere, and Nevernever were reprinted for the YA market, I continued touching wood and crossing digits that the original anthologies would be reprinted as well; or at the very least that a "Best Of" collection might emerge. But new stories? I never even dared to dream.

Then my dreams came true in February 2009, when editors Ellen Kushner and Holly Black announced they would be returning to Borderlands in a new anthology, Welcome to Bordertown, 13 years after the last anthology was published. Needless to say, I was beyond overjoyed. Because the Borderlands anthologies shaped my tastes as a reader, and influenced my life in so many ways since I first picked up the TOR edition of Borderlands in paperback from a university bookstore in 1992.
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I just started reading Welcome to Bordertown, and now I want the rest of the books. So far, most are out of print not to mention not yet in e-book form, but I want them, every last one. I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I hear that the older books are coming to Kindle so I wait patiently, or not so patiently. Did I mention I want them now?
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It may be, as one reviewer said, that this collection of stories can't be fully appreciated without reading one or more of the earlier collections or novels so that the setting can be understood. I wouldn't know because I read _all_ of the Bordertown stories and all of the relatd novels and loved them. So this was sort of a homecoming.
The solution, I think, would be to find at least one of the earlier collections. That might be a bit of a problem but reading one of them, if not all of them, would be a great experience.
That rating up there is a strong four stars. There are five-star stories mixed in with the others and the last story in the book is one of the best ever. The mood is a bit darker than in the earlier collections but there was darkness in those books also and there is light and zaniness in this one. It's just the balance is a bit different.
And it was worth much more than the price of admission to walk into the Dancing Ferret again, order a drink from the proprietor and check out the band.
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Format: Hardcover
Bordertown is a place for outsiders, for anyone who has ever felt ostracized. That applies to both its human inhabitants and its magical ones. We humans would call them elves, but they prefer to think of themselves as Truebloods. Runaway teenagers, artsy outsiders, hipster musicians, Harvard students, and anyone else who has ever wanted to get away usually find themselves in B-town, a city on the edge of the World and the Realm, in a place sometimes refered to as the Borderland and at other times just called the Nevernever. It's a place where neither science nor magic can be completely trusted.

Jumpstarting a series that began in 1986, WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN is a collection of writings from original Borderland authors, like Charles de Lint and Emma Bull, as well as newer writers who grew up as Borderland readers. Each story and poem here might be written by a different person, but the characters in them inhabit one world and frequent the same bars and bookstores. After 13 days in Bordertown, the Way has opened up again, and newcomers are arriving at full-speed. But, as these newcomers inform those already living in B-town, it's been 13 long years in the World since anyone has been able to find the Way back into Bordertown.

Newbies get drinks at the Dancing Ferret and look for their lost siblings, or they try to start new bands, or they go searching high and low to meet real-live vampires. Those who have been in Bordertown for a while go about their daily lives --- which can consist of being held captive by elf nymphomaniac seductresses, fighting with rival business owners, or arguing with their boyfriends and girlfriends.

Bordertown is a hub for fantasy lovers, and that applies to the characters in the stories as much as it does the people who will read this book.
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