Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland) by Ellen Kushner, Holly Black, Terri Windling, Cory Doctorow, Cassandra Clare, Emma Bull, Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Amal El-Mohtar,Steven Brust, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jane Yolen, Janni Lee Simner,Sara Ryan, Dylan Meconis, Tim Prat, Annette Curtis Klause, Delia Sherman, Nalo Hopkinson, Christopher Barzak, Neil Gaiman, Patricia A. McKillip, and Catherynne M. Valente
Published May 24, 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Hardcover: 544 pages
Bordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure, to find themselves. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists' studios of Soho. Terri Windling's original Bordertown series was the forerunner of today's urban fantasy, introducing authors that included Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner. In this volume of all-new work (including a 15-page graphic story), the original writers are now joined by the generation that grew up dreaming of Bordertown, including acclaimed authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more. They all meet here on the streets of Bordertown in more than twenty new interconnected songs, poems, and stories.
Welcome to Bordertown was a good book, but it took me eternity to read.
Since every chapter was written by a different author (by the way, listing all of the authors and removing all those links took forever so you're welcome) I figured that I would just talk about some of the chapters that I really didn't like, or really did like, or just feel like talking about. Obviously, this is going to be a lengthy review, so prepare yourself. (OHMYGOD I DROPPED MY LAPTOP!!! THANK THE HEAVENS THAT IT'S ALIVE!!!!)
Welcome to Bordertown by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling was a good chapter, but by the time I got to the middle of it, I was ready for another story. I wasn't too keen on the fact that the first chapter was so long. The actual story part of it was interesting, but I feel like they could have picked something a little better for the beginning.
Crossings by Janni Lee Simner was fun to read. The two girls in the story were really annoying, though. I mean, please stop being so fangirly annoying about vampires and werewolves and come back to reality. I'm not sure that it was the smartest thing to just run away from home in search of creatures that may or may not exist. Also, I was surprised by their stupidity when they went into that elf's house. My favorite part was that they were from Tucson. I enjoyed that a lot. Really.
Fair Trade by Sara Ryan (drawn by Dylan Meconis) was good. The story wasn't AWESOME, but I liked it. Of course, the thing I enjoyed most was that it was a comic. I love comics. I'm such a nerd, I know, but it's true! (Speaking of which, Umbrella Academy still hasn't come yet...)
Elf Blood by Annette Curtis Klause was a little confusing, but it was one of my favorite chapters. At first, I was like "Wait, wait, wait. Is this girl really a vampire, or is she just deranged?" but then I got it. Her plan to drink elf blood so she could live normally or whatever seemed a little crazy to me, but hey, I ain't a vampire. I liked Moss! And you can tell that I liked him a lot because I bothered to remember his name.
A Borderland Jump-Rope Rhyme by Jane Yolen was creepy. Like, psycho-future-serial-killer-elf-children creepy. I don't care if you're an elf, or a halfie, or pure human; who on earth would let their kids sing this? I know that Ring Around the Rosy is also an awful song, but at least the scary was hidden by metaphor! You don't actually say, "She is not dead, dead, dead, Just dressed in red, red, red, With thirteen rounds, rounds, rounds Inside her head, head ,head" Even though it was some creepy-ass craziness, I liked it...
The Rowan Gentleman by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare was one of my favorites. The story was complete, and yet it wasn't. I understand that they had a limited amount of space to create a story, but I would have liked to know why that girl was waiting for Robert and who exactly stabbed her. The plot felt complete though, and because I'm a big fat mush, I loved how that elf guy turned out to be really sweet.
A Tangle of Green Men by Charles de Lint was my FAVORITE chapter. It made me really super happy, and then it grinded my heart to a pulp. I nearly cried when that certain event happened, and that's pretty impressive considering it was only a chapter. The part with the talking dog was... strange, but it fit. *sigh* I just can't... By the end of this chapter, I like to believe that he made Bordertown a better place and then rejoined her. I needed a good ending to this book.