I cannot be objective about this book. I cannot be objective about anything to do with Bordertown.
The thing is, I don’t know if I should be.
If you enjoy urban fantasy, you owe a debt to Bordertown, to Terry Windling and to all of the authors who breathed life into this amazing, heartbreaking, dirty, beautiful, terrible, dream-soaked town. When the first books, Borderland and Bordertown, were printed in 1986, they were unique. These weren’t once upon a time, far, far away. No, in the 80’s, what the humans knew as elfland (don’t call it that to the elves’ faces) reappeared. A regular American city got caught right on the border. Which city isn’t known–maybe it’s a little bit of every city. It became this place that doesn’t belong anywhere, where the magic and the tech work only sporadically, and it didn’t take long before it filled up with kids from both sides of the border, all either running from or running to something.
I came to Bordertown a little backwards, which is guess is the only way to find it. While looking at filk, I discovered Banshee Blues, by Maureen S. O’Brien. I went looking for that book, Life on the Border. Funny enough, it was the last one I found.
It was the 90s, and I was in high school. I was this lost, stupid kid, just like the kids in the stories. I always felt a little lonely, even when I was with my friends, and I had felt like I didn’t belong as long as I could remember. When I went to summer camp, we were shown the ‘wishing tree’ on the grounds, and I snuck away from my camp and to the wishing tree to ask it to send me home. I didn’t know where home was, I just didn’t know it was here.
Bordertown gave me a home.
I’ve got all of the anthologies. First editions. I consider them the crown of my collection, and even though I would desperately love to know someone else who has read these books and who has loved them, I can’t bring myself to lend them out. I can’t risk them not finding their way home.
What I hadn’t read was the associated novels. I don’t yet have copies of them, either. But they were released on kindle not long after the most recent anthology, Welcome to Bordertown, was released. The very last was Finder, by Emma Bull.
Read the rest of the review at The Everyday Alchemy Lab.