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The Essential Bordertown (Borderland #4)

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4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  705 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Bordertown is the place where our world and the world of elves meet... but not just any kind of elves. These are hard-rocking, magic-flinging, motorcycle-riding elves who aren't entirely thrilled to be back in contact with lowly humans. Nevertheless, certain types of both elf and human are drawn to Bordertown, a place where magic and science coexist, and where neither work ...more
Kindle Edition
Published 1999 by New York : Tor, (first published 1998)
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Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

This is a fun and satisfying collection of stories about runaways. Some are running to something or away from something. Some are human, some halfie, and others are elves, or True Bloods, as they call themselves.

Bordertown is a city between the Human World and The True and Only Realm that is inhabited by the Fae folk. Elvin magic does not work in the World and technology does not work in the Realm. Both work in Bordertown inconsistently and with interesting effects.

Bet
...more
R. C.
I like it. I will wish I had it next time I am on an airplane or a beach. I will perpetually wish I had it when I was twelve. But I am not in any of those places. And I need to read more important things.
Nicky
Having just finished this book, I feel as though I’ve come home from a week spent walking the wild, gritty streets of Bordertown. The memories of madness, desperation, beauty, grime, and magic still cling to me, and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to easily shake them off. Thirteen authors take the reader’s hand in this urban fantasy collection, lead the reader to the city limits and thrust them into a world of street kids, rock and roll, elves, enchantment, dreams and disappointments. The ...more
Savannah
I just love Bordertown, both the concept of the writing in a shared universe and the place and its stories themselves. While it may not appeal to fans of classic sword-and-sorcery fantasy epics, I think the whole runaways/punk/unreliable-magic is both ingenious and endlessly entertaining, albeit somewhat in the charcoal grey part of the emotional spectrum.

This one, which provides a nice guide that will elucidate only enough to tease if you're not already familiar with Bordertown conventions, nic
...more
Jason
An interesting anthology of short stories based on Terri Windling's Bordertown. To sum up, Faerie/Arcadia/whathaveyou pops back into the real world. That doesn't work so well, so instead a magic Berlin Wall of sorts is put up, so ne'er will Earth and Faerie meet again. Except for Bordertown, which is basically stuck in the middle where humans and faeries, technology and magic, mix up, sometimes well, oftentimes not. This was my first foray into Bordertown, and I liked the setting; Bordertown has ...more
Debbie
I felt that this book started out much stronger than it ended. It was a very neat idea; a guidebook to the Bordertown between the human world and the elven world, interspersed with short stories about various aspects of life in this mythical town. The concept itself is fascinating and there is some pretty impressive world building, just because there were so many authors involved. The stories started off very well, and I sped through most of the book in a day. The last few stories stopped holdin ...more
Owen
This collection is right up there with Lost Souls at the top of my guilty pleasures list. Unrelentingly "twee" tales of adventurous kids running away to the glittery 24/7 RenFair that is Bordertown with dreams of being rock stars and hanging out with elves, only to find themselves stumbling around like clueless noobs while struggling to find a place to fit in in a town full of misfits. Taking the same "shared world" approach as the Thieve's World series, the Bordertown stories are more fun and ...more
Kirsten
This is an anthology of stories set in Bordertown, a gritty city perched between the modern human world and the Realms of Faerie. Interspersed with short stories by such favorites as Charles de Lint, Midori Snyder, and Ellen Kushner are exerpts from a "traveller's guide" to Bordertown, detailing where to find good eats and how to avoid offending the Truebloods (elves to you and me). Like all anthologies, there are stories that are better than others, but overall it's a real gem and a hell of a l ...more
Laurel
The Essential Bordertown, as with all the Bordertown anthologies, is an incredible new kind of teen urban fantasy. It deals with all the well-known “teenage problems” – particularly cultural identity – in a magical, energetic way by turning them into wonderfully plotted metaphors that are both entertaining and insightful. That said, Bordertown is more than a series of self-help essays in fantasy short-story format. Bordertown, in its own way, represents a bit of a movement in teen fantasy, which ...more
Andree
I liked the concept surrounding this book. Basically the Fairyland has returned, and with it the elves. And the book is stories about the border between elves and humans. It leads to some interesting stuff about racism, and both magic and technology only work about half the time, which can also lead to fun. But mostly these are all character stories. None of them are bad, but I also wouldn't say they're particularly amazing either, as a group. Entertaining, but not amazing.
Ivy
I love all the Bordertown stories, but this is an exceptionally well-done collection. I like the layout of the book as a guidebook and the connection between the introduction segments and the short stories. All of the characters are interesting and the stories layer on top of each other well. Despite some of the hardships and tragedies that the book highlights as part of Bordertown, you can still feel the romance and wonder that are part of this world, too.
Jenny
I thought this was a fabulous collection. It reads like a travel guide for a place called Borderland. Chapters about where to stay, where to see live music, and how to get to Borderland are followed by stories that match up with the previous chapter. I especially love the part that this is a land that was made up by someone, but that has inspired so many author's to write their own stories from the perspective of any they can think of in this city of characters.
Bree
I love this world, and the way this anthology is put together (the guidebook sections are, I think, a stroke of genius), and the way everything dovetails. It's just fabulous. I've actually owned two copies, because after spending years in my backpack the paperback copy eventually looked too miserable for me to subject it to further indignities. I managed to lay hands on a hardback, which I've been kinder to (not needing to tote a backpack around helps).
Bobby
Forget where I heard about this but the idea of elves meet the real world sounded more interesting than the execution. The setting is a somewhat derelict town of drifters and gangs that borders the human technology world and the elven magical world, where neither magic nor technology work reliably. The theme that was repeated too much was about outcasts running here to fit in with all the others, the message obviously being about runaways and the homeless.
Miss_otis
I love the Bordertown books, but this is my least favourite. I could never quite put my finger on why - I like the travel-guide sections between the stories, the stories themselves are hit or miss, but that's normal for anthologies, and there are some interesting characters.

Then I read an Amazon review (I think) that referred to this volume as "gentrified", and realized, by Jove, that's it exactly. It somehow feels gentrified.

Joy
A wonderful collection of fantasy authors who all work off the same premise. The world of the Fae has bumped up against our own world and created a no-man's (or elf's) land where magic and technology only sometimes works and often goes wrong. Also the two races only sometime get along. Great stories about run-away teens and bad ass Fae with attitudes. Not your high minded Tolkien elves in this town and half breeds better hide.
Greg
Collections of short stories generally aren't my thing, but this book has been on my radar for a long time, so it was time to read it. I really enjoyed the different stories being tied together by location. Most of the shorter stories I wanted to be longer, and most of the longer stories I thought dragged on a little too long. Over all I am glad I read this book, but it was a bit of a disappointment.
extrapulp
A fairly even collection - and some new authors to explore. The punctuating definitions and explanations of Bordertown grew thin as the book progressed and became completely unnecessary by the close of the book - but just skip over those and delve into the stories. They give you a better definition of Bordertown through your own imagination without beating you over the head.
Estara
The short stories are always a fun mix - reminding me of nothing so much as War for the Oaks but obviously not novel length. They're rarely totally sad, which I heartily approve of and Bordertown is at least as well developed as Lint's Newford - considering the anthologies always have multiple authors that's saying something.

Good author selection, too!
Dana
I'm so sad I didn't discover Bordertown when it first came out. I love it so much now, I can only imagine how much I would have adored it then. (And I find it really frustrating that I can't get the ones that came before this one because they're out of print.)
Mary
Collection of short stories regarding bordertown, on the edge of the real world and fairy. Love the different tales of the misfits that inhabit this town. If you like the original bordertown, you will definitely like this one too. Multiple authors.
Vivienne
Love the setting of these short stories and appreciate the anarchic mature of Bordertown. Some appeal more than others which makes the book hard to rate but would gladly continue reading any more anthologies set here.
Katya
This is my perfect escapism book. A city where humans live alongside elves and magic runs rampant through the strains of rock 'n roll. Urban fantasy doesn't get much better than this.
Vendela
i want to run away to bordertown. that's it, that's my entire review.

(not really, but that's as coherent as i can manage to be right now. fuck, this world-building is amazing.)
Sara
Meh. Depressing. Short shorts about a gritty fantasy world with too much 'real' world drama, underdeveloped characters and too many quirks and costumes for my taste.
becca sporky
I'm not really done yet, but this book is great! I will definitely be re-reading it again in the future. I claim it as one of my favorites.
D.J.
One or two duds among the stories, but for the most part it fleshes out the whole world of the Borderlands in some wonderful ways.
Lillian Butler
BORDERTOWN LIVES!

All the fun and angst I remember from the original books. Loved it!
Relaynie
Bordertown,magic,elves,Borderlands,short stories
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Give back to an author you love -- help Terri Windling! 1 5 Nov 27, 2011 11:44PM  
  • Nevernever
  • Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland, #5)
  • Finder (Borderlands)
  • The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales
  • Waifs and Strays
  • The Last Hot Time
  • The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity
  • The Urban Fantasy Anthology
  • The Fair Folk
46137
Terri Windling is an American editor, artist, essayist, and the author of books for both children and adults. Windling has won nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and her collection The Armless Maiden appeared on the short-list for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. She was also honored with SFWA's Soltice Award in 2010, a life achievement award for "significant cont ...more
More about Terri Windling...

Other Books in the Series

Borderland (8 books)
  • Borderland (Borderland, #1)
  • Bordertown (Borderland, #2)
  • Life on the Border  (Borderland, #3)
  • Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland, #5)
  • Elsewhere (Borderlands, #1)
  • Nevernever
  • Finder (Borderlands)
The Wood Wife The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale Bordertown (Borderland, #2) Borderland (Borderland, #1)

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