Really impressive. The author obviously really knows this time period and nautical history, and you can truly feel the difference in the quality of thReally impressive. The author obviously really knows this time period and nautical history, and you can truly feel the difference in the quality of the historical details. One of my pet peeves with historical fiction - especially YA historical fiction - is that there's a tendency to make all the characters sound and act very modern, with a few Masterpiece Theater sort of colloquialisms thrown in for color. Lack of familiarity with the time period or a fear that too much strangeness will lose their audience? At any rate, Meyer totally goes for it, moving smoothly between gutter-urchin slang to sailor talk to the polished speech of high society, and the result is a book that feels more layered and believable. Jacky is a great creation in her own right - Meyer gets her teenage high spirits and melancholy lows exactly right. ...more
Here's the thing about Bordertown: it's more than it appears on the surface. As a shared world project, it's a solid one - the premise is interestingHere's the thing about Bordertown: it's more than it appears on the surface. As a shared world project, it's a solid one - the premise is interesting (for new arrivals: Fairyland has returned, causing various calamities and upheavals, and creating a 'border' region between the two worlds, where neither human machines nor elven magic work reliably), the writers work well together, and the voices were fresh and compelling at the time. They still are, more or less, but that's not why we love it so much.
When I was young, we didn't have Youtube, much less anything like the "It gets better" project. Yeah, ok, we had zines and we had records, and sometimes you could travel to a bigger town and mingle with a larger group of freaks, but we didn't have a lot of older freaks to tell us the things we desperately needed to hear. In the Bordertown anthologies, the original writers - a mix of queer folk and musicians and former street kids and other assorted weirdos - found a way to reach us. They told us that sometimes running away is ok, depending, but that you still have to make a home out of wherever you end up - it's not enough to just survive, though survival comes first. They told us that it was great to be strange, and that we didn't have to outgrow it if we didn't want to, that we could go on to be weird adults and be proud and happy, if maybe totally broke as well. They told us that we had to take care of each other, and that the families we chose were as real and important as the ones we were born with. Most importantly, they told us that the million small acts of creativity and self-sufficiency that we practiced every day - making our own clothes, baking bread, growing food, making music, telling stories - were as vital and as magical as anything any Elfland could ever produce.
Bohemia is always changing and always the same, but like any other culture, it needs a certain amount of continuity. The Bordertown books gave us that sense of solidarity, and they still seem to - which is why you find them creased and bent all to hell, passed around from person to person to person, and why people will shell out as much as fifty bucks for an old paperback copy. They're a lifeline and a beacon and a map. Like the best books for young people, they show us how to navigate the route between childhood and adulthood and arrive in one piece. I hope they bring comfort to the strange - young and old - for many more years to come....more
My coworker dubbed this "Victorian Dildos for Dummies" and now it's all I can think of when I look at the cover.
Nice details and lovely descriptionsMy coworker dubbed this "Victorian Dildos for Dummies" and now it's all I can think of when I look at the cover.
Nice details and lovely descriptions provide a slightly hollow framework for the book's bland protagonist as she explores the various lesbian subcultures of Victorian London. Given the book's sensational characteristics - cross dressing stage performers! jaded lesbian orgies! socialists! male prostitutes! - it's surprisingly boring. I admired the research but couldn't give a shit about the actual story. I hear her other books are better....more
I just re-read this whole saga, in one gluttonous binge. The Fool has to be one of the most intriguing and delightful creations in modern fantasy, andI just re-read this whole saga, in one gluttonous binge. The Fool has to be one of the most intriguing and delightful creations in modern fantasy, and this series puts him (her? it?) directly in the spotlight, and brings a complex debate about sexuality, gender, and identity right into the heart of the boy's club that is high fantasy.