Friday, January 30, 2015

The Essential Bordertown

Edited by Terri Windling and Delia Sherman
Tor Books
Reviewed by Nancy
4 out of 5 stars


Bordertown. Once a normal American city, now a perilous nexus between the World and returned Elfland. From the banks of the addictive Mad River to the all-night clublands where young elves and humans fight and play, all the way up to glittering dragon's Tooth Hill, where high society seals itself away from the street--this is no city to trifle with.

Bordertown. A place of hidden magic, flamboyant artists, runaway teenagers, and pagan motorcycle gangs. The city you always knew was there.

Bordertown was created by Terri Windling, multiple World fantasy Award-winning editor, artist, and writer. Now thirteen of modern fantasy's finest writers return to Bordertown once again, to tell a new cycle of tales of the city. Here are Charles de Lint, Ellen Kushner, Patricia A. McKillip, Felicity Savage, Delia Sherman, Midori Snyder, Caroline Stevermer--and here is bestselling author Steven Brust with "When the Bow Breaks," chosen as a finalist for the Nebula Ward after the hardcover publication of this volume.

Bordertown. It's an attitude and a state of mind. It's elfin light and human sweat. It will never let you go.

My Review

This is a fun and satisfying collection of stories about runaways. Some are running to something or away from something. Some are human, some halfie, and others are elves, or True Bloods, as they call themselves.

Bordertown is a city between the Human World and The True and Only Realm that is inhabited by the Fae folk. Elvin magic does not work in the World and technology does not work in the Realm. Both work in Bordertown inconsistently and with interesting effects.

Between each story is a little guide to language, people, hospitality, elvin etiquette, food, nightlife, and the peculiarities of humans.

The stories were sad, humorous, engaging and made me want to run away from home.

I especially loved the touching “Argentine” by Ellen Steiber, set in Bordertown’s El Barrio and told from the perspective of a young Elvin thief. This beautifully written story explores love, death, grief, and redemption. I loved its vibrant colors, its soul, and its distinctly Latin feel.

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