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The Border

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Injured in a war that has stretched on for years, Sergeant John Peterson guards a lonely border. Aside from passing contact with railship captains, the only person he sees is the enemy: the man who guards the other side of the border. A bad fall places John’s life in the other soldier’s hands. He’s wary of his rescuer, First Lieutenant Thomas Fellowes, but over time he fin ...more
ebook, 52 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 31st 2014)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
4.5 call-it-home stars

And this is how you write a novella, ladies and gentleman. This story had more depth and character development than some books four times its length.

Kim Fielding's The Border is about war. Love. And hope.

Set in an unspecified future during yet another vague, ravaging war (is there any other kind?), The Border packs an emotional punch.

John and Tom are on opposite sides of the war, opposite sides of the border. They are enemies. Until Tom plants a garden, and saves John's
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Part of the Mended anthology and my favourite read of it so far.

Set in a different world in a country ravaged by what seems like a civil war. East vs West. The story centers around two opposing border guards who are separated only by a strip of dirt they call no man's land. There's an accident and one guard crosses over to help the other and so begins a tentative friendship between enemies. Like all of the stories in this anthology this is short but damn this is a good read. I finished it and i
Dear Ms. Fielding,

I would like to request a sequel. I am willing to compromise on the length.

That is all.


P.S. very well done.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Set in an alternate universe where a country is separated due to a civil war (?) between East vs. West, Sergeant John Peterson guards an isolated border. He's lonely -- his only 'friend' is when railship comes to ask for his stamps in the logbooks. The only other person he sees is the 'enemy', who guards the other side of the border.

Until one day, John has a terrible accident when he falls under the ladder. And the enemy, First Lieutenant Thomas Fellowes, is the one helping him.

This was such a
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Good, but not great.

Being a short story, the sparse world building made it difficult for me construct a suitable environment in my head. At the same time, readers are then forced to focus attention on characters John and Tom as they become acquainted with one another through an accident. It was short, sweat, and a good choice after reading something emotionally heavy.
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
The Border is a sweet, feel-good, quick read from Ms. Fielding about two guys stuck in a war they don’t even know why they’re fighting anymore who form their own personal truce while guarding the border between East and West.

John should’ve been a builder and Tom should’ve been a farmer and would’ve been were it not for this incessant, godforsaken war. Both have experienced the horrors of war and have the internal and external scars to verify as much. Both are just trying to survive under miserab
A perfect little gem of a short story.
Distilled, beautiful writing, awesome world-building and more character depth in 52 pages than I have read in quite a while.

Highly recommended.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After reading the author's story in Stitch I knew I would like this one. She writes the moody atmosphere so well, it becomes another character in the book. This particular story had so few characters in it, so the setting and the feel were just as important as John and Tom.

My favorite line:
"The explosion that wracked his body this time was every bit as strong as the one that ruined him - but this one put a few of the pieces back together."
John The Cosmic Wanderer
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, favorites
Love it! Short but full of emotions. I did not want the story to end. Kim Fielding just amazes me!
Serena Yates
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay
There have been a lot of senseless wars in our planet's history, and this story looks at the consequences of one such conflict on two men who used to fight on opposing sides. All we know is that John is a Westerner, and Tom is an Easterner. And that is all we need to know, other than the fact there is currently a truce, and they are still guarding their respective sides of the border as if the war were still going on. Sound familiar?

John has been at his post for so many years he can hardly remem
2.5 stars My rating isn't because I think this was bad. In fact it was good. A very good first chapter, and a good HFN ending... but where is my middle? I'm all for short stories, and this had the appropriate bare bones essentials of set-up. Specific enough that we understand the world/war that's going on, but vague enough that it could be anyone/anywhere.

I liked how Tom was building a garden in no-mans land so they could both harvest and enjoy it. I liked how they were both so lonely and isolat
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-archive, mm
A really sweet, and lovely romance. I liked seeing how the characters grew closer, and learned to trust each other. I thought the garden was a nice metaphor, and really worked well for the setting.
What's the saying about war making strange bedfellows? In 'The Border', Kim Fielding's short story, that's exactly what the author has crafted. Two men guarding their sides of the border, with barbed wire and a small patch of no man's land is all that separates them. The war that changed their nation into two, the Eastern and the Western halves, has left everything decimated.

John, a sergeant for the West, has been posted at this tiny way station hut in the middle of nowhere to monitor the rail s
Adrienne -kocham czytać-
First off: absolutely adorable cover!

And good little story too; it was sweet and gave a glance into a world in the midst of war, and especially into the world of two "enemy" soldiers who have scars for each other to heal.

I didn't get too emotionally involved because it seemed a bit short and John's narration felt distant to me, but I liked reading it and recommend it. It goes by quickly and is worth it :)
4.5 stars... I want more!
A quiet, gentle read, but also powerful. I'll remember this one for a long time.
4.1 Stars

Okay, so I know it's not the point of this story...but OMFG you can't just gloss over the whys and whatfors of a schism that splits a country and starts a war! There are those of us that need context, and when there isn't any it starts to detract from the rest of a very lovely, poignant tale.

Also, I've never lived near a militarized/closed border, but something tells me that "aircars" (or trains or whathaveyou) can't just come numerous times a day, several times a week back and forth a
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Above average sweet short story about two lonely veterans, posted at the border between two countries who have been at war for a long time. Now there are some hopes of a truce, but John, the narrator, doesn't want to see his hopes crushed, so he doesn't hope. Tom, the enemy, does, and slowly persuades John, till the HE ;-).
4.5, rounded off to 5⭐
A truly amazing short novella about two hurt and broken men, on the opposite sides of war and the border between their respective countries. The fact that it is only about 40 pages or so, does not take away the poignancy and beauty of the story. It is so complete in itself that it does not leave the reader dissatisfied...just wistfully wishing for a little bit more.
Joyfully Jay
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Short stories are so difficult to write. Often they are lacking in something, or not fully fleshed out enough to give you any sense of whom the characters are and what makes them tick. Most times, these kinds of stories are a slapdash affair strung together with one or two very hot sex scenes and are as quickly forgotten as they are read.

Not so with The Border by Kim Fielding—not by a long shot. Here was a story so complete, and yet it just scratched the surface of
Skye Kilaen
Thoughtful romantic short story about learning to hope again after war and loss. Sergeant John Peterson was disabled due to injury in a years-long civil war that's currently on hiatus during peace negotiations. Now he guards one side of an isolated railship border crossing between the opposing territories, isolated and depressed. He's crankily mystified by the actions of his counterpart on the other side. Is that guy really starting a garden in the fenced-off strip that buffers the two territori ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There's only three more days to the month of Daily dose for this year and I seriously thought I wouldn't het to give a 5 stars at all, but I'm happy to have been proven wrong.

I loved the story of John and Tom, two soldiers on the different sides of a border. Tom, a former medic, rescues John when the latter has a bad fall. I liked the slow building of the friendship, even though it was a short story it didn't feel rushed. We know enough of the characters' past to feel like we understand them wit
“The Border” is a story about war veterans and the scars, both internal and external, they carry. Set in a steampunk world, it is a gentle story of acceptance and healing.

I think I liked Thomas’ persistence the best. I can’t say much for fear of spoiling the story, so I won’t.

I’d recommend this story for anyone who likes stories about veterans, learning to cope with the past war and current peace, and sweet stories. It’s a lovely short about two men trying to move on from their pasts.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Two enemy soldiers--each manning a sentry post on opposite sides of a border crossing--find a sense of humanity during wartime. Without ignoring the horrors of war, this story celebrates the healing power of rebuilding after destruction and of forging emotional bonds within an unlikely situation. As always, Kim Fielding's usual deft hand with plot, characterization, and setting.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pdf, mm, dystopian, military
I just love Kim Fielding's writing. This is a really well done short story of two men guarding a border in a long war. When one is injured, the other steps in. They realize how far they are from the conflict and how much they've lost over the years. Really excellent and compelling story in just a few pages. Well done!
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
I liked this one, it started out a bit depressing but ended on a very sweet note, without being sugary
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
HEA feel good books so skillfully and excellently written by Kim F. is one of the reasons why I'm still sane. :)

Secretly Reading
Excellent short story. The setting is wonderful, the relationship progression delicious and best of all it didn't feel rushed. This is the perfect short read. Shoo-shoo, go read.
Dee Wy
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - Sweet enemies to lovers story.
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Dreamspinner Press: The Border by Kim Fielding 1 9 Jun 30, 2014 08:43PM  

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Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage. A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phone booth to change into her author costume (which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape). Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out assistance to her family. Her favorite word to descri ...more

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