Who wouldn't want to visit Bordertown? It's like Oz, except a lot grungier, much more dangerous, and with much better music. -- From Michael Jones' review of the Bordetown series.

For my summer reading pleasure, I've decided to do a re-reading of all of the Bordertown short stories, novels, and travel guide material in the order that they were published. Now understand that it'll a costly undertaking if you decide now to collect all of them as the first three anthologies, Borderland, Bordertown, and particularly Life On The Border, are increasingly difficult to find at a reasonable cost. A one volume collection of all the short fiction would be a lovely thing indeed!

In case you are not familiar with this stellar series, here is Michael's lead-off to the Michael Jones' review:

Once upon a time, in a far off land much like our own, there was magic. Then, one day, it was gone, and the world was a much drearier place for it. But we coped.

Then the magic returned, and the world was changed forever. Once again, the lands of Faerie bordered the lands of Man, and in the middle, there arose Bordertown, from the ashes of an unnamed mortal city. It was a place of magic, music, excitement, hope, dreams, energy, death, despair, hopelessness, nightmares, heroes and villains, men and monsters, and above all, people. A living, thriving town full of unpredictable wonders and untamable shadows. The bastard child of Haight-Ashbury and SoHo and Hollywood, the black sheep cousin of Underhill and Arcadia and Tir Na'Nog, the seductive and disreputable and scandalous older cousin your parents always told you to stay away from.

It was the very first of the true urban fantasy series, and arguably it is still the best of the many that now exist that are a shared universe. I have re-read parts of the series, particularly Finder and the Life on The Border anthology, many, many times, and after all these years, I remain impressed as to how talented each and every writer was at playing in this universe.

Of course, the Green Man Library has copies of them though even those are more than a bit tattered due to being read over and over again by staff and visitors here alike, so I'm reading my personal copies and no, you can't borrow them!

If you don't have the time or inclination to read the whole series, you still should read Emma Bull's Finder novel as it really is a great fantasy novel that sums up the series nicely in all its richness, and even the hardcover edition is still quite affordable. For anthologies, the last anthology, The Essential Bordertown serves as an excellent introduction for anyone new to this series and is also quite reasonably priced. Together, they will give you a good look at the series.

Finder which is, in my opinion, one of the best novels in any genre ever written has some very nice bits such as this one -- 'I sliced strawberries with all my attention. They were particularly fine ones, large and white clear through without a hint of pink. (Wild Borderland strawberries are one of the Border's little jokes. They form bright red, and fade as they ripen. No strawberry has ever been so sweet.)' And The Essential Bordertown has, along with a number of superb short stories, a rough guide style look for newcomers to B-Town that's highly amusing with articles such as 'What to Eat -- A Tasteful Guide to Border Cuisine' and 'Culture Clash #1 -- A Human Guide to Elvin Etiquette'.

For a lot more information on this series, do visit The official Bordertown series site.

Yes, there will be a new Bordertown anthology, tentatively titled Welcome To Bordertown, as Ellen Kushner (who will be co-editing it with Holly Black) announces here!


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