I have a new ambition: to write a Bordertown story. I would love to be published in a Bordertown anthology someday. I’m not sure that’s likely, but who knows?
Somehow, I missed the older Bordertown stories, so this was my first trip to the fabled city between our world and The Realm (Faerie, home of the Truebloods we call Elves). Now, I want to go back and read the original Bordertown books.
Bordertown is a wild, ruinous place where our world’s technologies and trends meet magic and glamour. Many of the residents are runaways; quite of a few of them are young and abused. The stories in Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner, takes place thirteen years (thirteen Bordertown days) after the last Bordetown anthology. The authors explain that the way to Bordertown has been closed for thirteen World years, though the reason is never explained. Therefore, there are two generations of Bordertown teens: today’s youth and those from my generation, the ones who listened to Nirvana and didn’t own cell phones. Several of the stories explore the interactions between the two generations, resulting in works that show how much or little has changed in the last decade and a half. The reader is left with the question: How have our dreams transformed? Clever.
My favorite stories in the collection were “A Tangle of Green Men” by Charles de Lint, “Elf Blood” by Annette Kurtis Clause, and “Welcome to Bordertown” by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling. I was actually surprised that I liked “Elf Blood” so much, because it is a vampire story, and honestly I’m a little tired of vampires. The main character, Lizzie, made this story for me. She’s such an interesting mix of fragility and strength, and she reminds me of a friend of mine who shares the same name (though my friend is more beautiful, among other differences). After reading “Elf Blood,” I decided to pick up Klause’s novel Blood and Chocolate which is supposed to be pretty amazing.
I do wish Neil Gaiman had written a short story instead of a poem for this collection. I just love his writing, and I wanted more.
I hope to see more Bordertown books in the next few years. I’m guessing today’s teens will love them as much as the past generation.
So, have you been to Bordertown?