!Ebook ☲ Bordertown: Where Magic Meets Rock & Roll ☪ PDF or E-pub free
!Ebook ⚖ Bordertown: Where Magic Meets Rock & Roll ⚇ On The Border Between The World And Elfland Sits Bordertown, A Place Of Half Lit Neighborhoods Of Hidden Magic, Of Flamboyant Artists And Pagan Motorcycle Gangs Bordertown Is A Hothouse Laboratory For The Return Of Magic To The Life Of The World And The Return Of Life To Magic It S An Attitude And A State Of Mind It S Where Magic Meets Rock RollTE All The Bellamy Bach Stories In The Borderland Series Were Written By The Editor Borderland Founder, Terri Windling
Review to come This book had a seriously formative impact on me 3 You knew, knew, that if you could just run away to one of those places, you d become someone else, someone wonderful, and wonderful things would happen to you. A group of fantasy writers created the shared universe in which elves and humans met, and thus Bordertown was born The city right off of the literal border of Fairy, it s home to misfits, outcasts, weirdos and poseurs of all types The writing itself is uneven and often subpar, but the idea is one close to my heart, so I love this series anyway. Danceland Emma Bull and Will Shetterly is a pretty fun urban fantasy murder mystery story The other three stories are skippable of course I read them anyway , I found the writing pretty childish describing outfits, gratuitous edgy curse words, wish fulfillment and the content not really original enough for me to look past the writing Danceland works though because it has a lot of odd and cool characters and sweeps you into flashy seedy 80s club world. My very favorite shared universe, about a city on the blurred edge of earth and faerie, and the people who find their way there One of many anthologies and stand alone novels. Bordertown, an anthology of short stories edited by Terri Windling, has the distinction of being both a sparkling example of a shared world concept and was a hugely influential excursion into the genre that would become urban fantasy Written in the 1980s, this collection of short fiction marries high fantasy constructs elves, magic, etc with punk rock sensibilities The conceit is as follows a long, long time ago magic was part of our world For reasons no one now remembers, the Elflands departed and took magic with them The two worlds existed in parallel until, with no explanation, the Elflands returned A city Bordertown sits on the weird boundary between our world and the world of faery, existing in a liminal stretch where neither human technology or elvin magic works with anything like consistency Bordertown, like all other fascinating cities before it, attracts runaways from both sides of the border The collection includes four short stories, each set in a different part of Bordertown and each written by a different author I ve read Bordertown and most of its companion collections several times each I read them a few times through as an adolescent who was distinctly an outsider in my home town I read them again in graduate school when I began to write my own fiction in earnest I am one of the many genre addicted misfit kids deeply influenced by this collection Were I reviewing Bordertown on reach or downstream influence alone, five stars would not be adequate I say all that by way of caveat, because I m going to review the book, instead, on the text itself Bordertown is composed of four stories Danceland, a murder mystery set in a punk night club Demon , a story which explores the intersections of elvin and East Asian forms of magic Exile, a quiet little thing about a very peculiar elvin girl and Mockery, a love story set that reads like a La Boheme homage Together, the four stories provide distinct snapshots into the lives of the youth of Bordertown There s no direct connection between the characters, no overarching plot It s a survey of what it s like to live in Bordertown in a particular moment in time, a survey with a particular focus on the runaways and the kids just scraping by But, as a glimpse into those people s lives, it s strangely romantic I made a similar critique of Patti Smith s autobiography, Just Kids having known kids living these kinds of lives I can say with some certainty than not everyone makes it out in one piece There are cursory nods to drugs and addiction, most explicitly in Danceland , but the most common and terrible outcomes of that kind of life, as well as the reasons substance abuse happens in those circumstances, are brushed neatly under the rug Bordertown, for the people followed in these four stories, should be a much, much grittier place than it appears on the page This is highlighted by the fact that a number of the protagonists we follow with the notable exception of Michelle in Demon who inhabits a distinctly gritty and working class life actually come from intact middle class families either in the human suburbs on the edges of Bordertown or in the well to do elvin neighborhood uptown These are kids, essentially, playing pauper That s a whole different ballgame than actually being a pauper As such, the book dazzles us with its inherent coolness, a coolness I would like to point out still oozes from the pages, which is somehow not anachronistic in spite of how tied the book is to the decade which spawned it Bordertown is escapist in nature It s exactly, precisely what I wanted to read when I was fifteen Now I prefer a bit nuance and realism in my fictional discussions of class in secondary universes, but this is pitch perfect for the misfit teenager I used to be.Taken separately, the stories are hit and miss Danceland reads very much as the strong first chapter of a novel and less as a strong short story And, indeed, the characters in Danceland appear down the road as protagonists in a couple of full length Bordertown novels Demon is an interesting conceit, but the writing left me flat the author has a noticeable habit of head hopping, or flitting between POV characters in a hard to follow and distracting way Exile , I think, is the strongest of the bunch it is the most grounded in simple emotional truths, it does a lot to explain and explore the foreignness of elvin culture through just a little insight into a elf girl cast out from her world, and it reads as a complete story populated by real people Mockery I found overly long and overly romantic, but, my god, it influenced the hell out of me as a kid Some years ago I wrote a novel which will never see the light of day, and that novel or less completely ripped this particular story off wholesale Yeah, my characters were musicians not painters except one of them, extra oops but the whole idea of very young and very talented and very wild kids living together and raising hell and changing things goddammit is stolen directly from this story So, while I was less impressed by it this time around I will say that Mockery has a power to it Again, the influence of this collection can t be overstated Taken just on its own merits, though, I give Bordertown three stars out of five it s a book with a lot of heart, a lot of fearless gusto, but a book of short stories that could have used a couple drafts I own but have not yet read the most recent collection, Welcome to Bordertown. I felt like I should reread the past collections before diving into the new one, hence this reread. For some reason I was thinking about this book recently, and felt the need to get some comments out there.Four stories, one setting Bordertown, the mixing pot between our world and faerie, where elves, humans and halfbloods have created a world of their own.I was so in love with the story Mockery when I first read it, both in love and disapointed because it does some beautiful things but also feels like the authors didn t want to spend too much time rethinking and perfecting this little gem A small issue that has always bothered me the protagonist, Hale Hale is his last name, as is evidenced by the fact that when he carves his initials H is last, but when he hears his mother s voice in his head scolding him she calls him Hale Huh The characters are all interesting and romantic and complex and tortured in their own ways, but the whole thing begs to be a novel None of em, not even Hale and Linnea, get enough page time And the final crisis when Linnea can t get past her double heritage as elf and human, feels really forced, blown out of proportion. I picked up my first Borderland book as a pre teen, scouring the shelves of the library in my grandparents town on the Oregon coast I don t remember which one it was probably Borderland that cover looks familiar and I loved it The world of Bordertown, halfway between the World and Faerie, where spellboxes power motorcycles and elves run in gangs down the abandoned streets of Soho, utterly captivated me It was everything that I thought I wanted to grow up to be Staying up until dawn, loud music and cold drinks, sweat glistening under neon lights, art and late night conversations, all the parts of adulthood that captured me with their glamour And in the end, it s not like that, or least it s mostly not like that Bills and responsibilities that aren t to your friends aren t exciting But a man can dream.That s just the surface aesthetic, though Borderland is about fast cars and loud music, but it s also about belonging It s okay to be strange It s okay to be different Things can get better, and if you look hard enough, in the right places, you will find your people All things considered, I had a pretty good childhood, but I was different enough that I never felt that I fit in with my family and Borderland was a glimpse of the way it could be The way that, eventually, it was.That in mind, now that I m older, with those bills and those responsibilities and with the urge to stay out until dawn and dance under neon lights not quite as strong as it was decades ago, I thought I d come back to Borderland and see how well it held up And the answer is pretty damn well Danceland is about how appearances are deceiving, mixed with plenty of motorcycles and rock and roll I liked it well enough, especially after the twist, but while it was fun to read it didn t stick with me The only part I really remember is the line The old magic is made with loud music and sweat and colored light.which speaks to Borderland s aesthetics if not really its messages The interactions between Orient as in to determine true north and Caramel were touching, but they come in during the latter part and the perspective switching during the beginning, even in epistolary format, wasn t as interesting to me Maybe it s because I remember being Caramel, before I learned the lingo, forgot the lingo, and then stopped caring about whether I knew it or not.I liked the message in Demon, about the necessity of dealing with all of yourself, even the parts that you find unpleasant, but I thought that the story went a bit too far afield One of the things I like about Borderland is that it doesn t have the scope creep that a lot of urban fantasy developed There are humans, and there are elves, and there is Faerie, and there is the World, and Bordertown between them There s none of this bringing in wizards and vampires and werewolves and golems and djinn and bigfoots and everything else, and so while I understand the desire to draw on Japanese mythology to flesh out the world, I didn t really think that it fit here and that s most of what I took away from the story Exile is a good look into the politics of Elfland, even if obliquely, with the note that you, all of you, matter even if you re born different Whether it s a talent you lack, a trait that you have, or something else that sets you apart, that s okay Dez is born without magic and cast out by her family, but she s the one who befriends the monsters who roam the Borderland Elves love perfection, the story says, and I know a few people who could say the same about their families and have gotten burned because of it Unfortunately, I didn t actually care that much for the writing, so while it s a good story as a whole the actual telling of it didn t resonate with me.My favorite story was probably Mockery, and while I m sure that part of it is that like Hale, I m older now and looking back on the days when I raised hell and thought the future would never come, but part of it is the essential optimism Hale and the Mock Street art group want to change the culture of Bordertown and they succeed, and sure, it ends up tearing them apart and they all move on to fame and fortune or self destruction in their own ways, but there s a magic in that moment when the future s path is set but it has yet to unfold Before you get old and bitter and look in front of you and see nothing but closed doors.I m not even that old, I swear But Hale is, and that s his attitude in the framing tale Until the end, when he realizes that maybe hiding isn t going to make things right And he s right it won t It never does Mockery is a bit too unpolished to be great, and the ending confrontation between Hale and Linnea comes out of nowhere and could have used buildup, but the mood throughout the story is fantastic You can change the world if you try, or least, you can change part of it Just make sure you pick the right part Five stars for message and mood, and three stars for the actual content of the stories It has than enough of what I remember that I ve already put in at the library for a couple of the other books I read long ago.