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Welcome to Bordertown

(Borderland #8)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,363 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Bordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure, to find themselves. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists' studios of Soho.

Terri Windling's original Bordertown series w
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Ally No. Not at all. I think all of them are just a collection of short stories that are centered around Bordertown. I actually haven't read any of the Bor…moreNo. Not at all. I think all of them are just a collection of short stories that are centered around Bordertown. I actually haven't read any of the Borderland series except this one.(less)

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Sherwood Smith
Jun 04, 2011 added it
Shelves: fantasy
I had sort of a love-hate deal going with the original Bordertown stories; though I liked the idea of them, there was this rich privileged kids patina to the stories. The Bordertown runaways were special, they dressed in leather, they found magic, and no one ever seemed to have to get a down and dirty job in order to survive--they live on air and music, or if they work at the inn, it seemed no one ever has brutal hours or hurting feet like waitressing in this world.

Enough of that. I think it's
Whew, this is going to be a long review as each entry gets its own blurb. *deep breath* Well, here goes...

Ellen Kushner & Terri Windling – Welcome to Bordertown

This was a sweet story about a girl who left for Bordertown and thirteen days later for her – but 13 years later for the human world – her younger brother gets a postcard she sent home and starts on a journey to find her. It is a story not only of his journey to find his older sister but to also find his place in the world. I quite liked
Moira Russell
I'm not sure this book works. The introduction of new computer technology to Bordertown seems off (did they really have to have a typical Cory Doctorow "teenage hero invents the internet and gets laid at the same time" story? Really truly?), and the "it's been thirteen days in Bordertown but thirteen years for the World" conceit seems invented to cover up the gap in books more than anything else, altho some of the writers use it very well. Most of the poetry reads like song lyrics without music, ...more
I am too old for Bordertown. I don't mean that in some "put away childish things" sense. I still find the aesthetic as fun as ever--hell, I've got purple hair and a closet half-full of leather and lace as I type. But I've internalized Cavafy too much. I no longer believe problems can be solved by flight to another city; I no longer find the narrative of people trying an interesting one. I want to read about people who build a better life where they are, people who find the magic in the every day ...more
else fine
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Like any collection, this one is uneven. Please don't throw things at me, Border fanatics. I assure you that I love Bordertown as much as anyone. The unevenness can be divided roughly into two groups: good and bad. For a change of pace, I'm going to start with what was so very good about this anthology, in a disjointedly listing sort of way. Like so:

Nalo Hopkinson and Catherynne Valente, turning out two ass-kickingly awesome stories, of the type which manage to feel epic and mythic despite their
For me, urban fantasy is fantasy set in, duh, urban areas, in cities. Frequently the location is as much a character as it a setting. The stories are infused with hints of faerie and myth, both European and Native American, and when you finish reading, you can almost glimpse the fantastical out of the corner of your eye.

The Borderland anthologies were among the earliest urban fantasy, about the mythical Bordertown that existed on the cusp of this world and the Faerie Realm. Revisiting Bordertown
You know your anthology sucks when the best story in it gets 4 stars.

Yes, that's right. Not a single story in the anthology got 5 stars. A couple came close, but non achieved the rating. And I'm not one of those people who only saves 5 stars for the very best books in existence; I give it out fairly often. So to say that not a single story in here got the rating is a really shitty reflection of the editing and writing. It's not the worst anthology I've read (21 Proms actually had a higher rating
Bordertown was one of my favorite set of stories back when I was a teen. The writing was often a little clunky, and once I started going to night clubs and having adventures of my own the stories became much less exciting. I wouldn't really recommend the majority of it anymore--it's just too self-consciously trying to be hip. But I still have a soft spot for the concept of Bordertown, and a few of the stories have stuck with me.

"Welcome to Bordertown" by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling. These t
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I'm going to get this out of the way: there was a part of me that worried that this volume would be terrible or disappointing, but I feel like it's a worthy successor to the Bordertown stories I particularly loved, like "Danceland" and Finder. The gimmick — that the way to the Border has been closed for 13 years, from the perspective of the world we know, while a mere 13 days passed on the Border — is played with just enough for humor and drama, not to the point of being cheesy.

I'll be posting r
Debbie Notkin
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a pandemic Little Free Library find, and just the kind of light fiction I was in the mood for. Bordertown is a fictional community situated between the Fae Realm and "the World." This volume is stories published about 13 years after the first wave of Bordertown books, and the premise is that the Way between Bordertown and the World closed inexplicably for 13 years and re-opened just as inexplicably. The first story, by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling, sets the scene, the 13-year hiatus ...more
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, urban-fantasy
I was a teenager during the '80s heyday of shared world anthologies (hey, whatever happened to those?). I read most of them voraciously (Thieves' World, it's your turn to come back next), but one of my favorites was definitely the Borderland series. Not only were many of my favorite authors involved (Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Steven Brust), but the concept itself was fascinating. Elves. Rock and Roll. Unreliable magic. And the pairing of modern society with some of the oldest beliefs in f ...more
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
*This review pertains most specifically to the audiobook verstion of Welcome to Bordertown*

I came late to the Bordertown books, discovering them as an adult, but once I did I collected them assiduously on Amazon and eBay and devoured them greedily. I was delighted when I learned that there would a new collection, and that Ellen Kushner, my favorite writer, would be one of the editors.

The Bordertown series was the first of the "Urban Fantasy" genre, set in a world very close to our own contempor
Maybe I would have liked this book more if ...

... I'd read the original Bordertown anthologies way back when and had nostalgia on my side for this one.
... I wasn't so fed up with urban fantasy.
... most of the authors I was looking forward to reading had written actual stories instead of poems.
... there were more consensus between the authors on what Bordertown is like.
... the stories from the authors I like weren't so obviously just their standard fare with Borderland bits tacked on to fit the r
If you have loved the Borderlands series since the beginning, then you know what I think.

If you haven't, and this is your first time across the border?

Then you're lucky. You'll get to meet Wolfboy, Orient, and Farrel Din, and Screaming Lord Neville. And you'll get to meet the new faces who made their way to the crazy town between the Human world and the Realm where the Truebloods come from.

The stories vary from whimsical: Welcome to Bordertown to the romantic and heartbreaking A Tangle of Green
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice to see some utopian visions among all the dystopian ones that are filling up the bookshelves now. The poetry here didn't knock my socks off, but the stories are all at least Good, and of particular note are:

Cory Doctorow's, for explaining so credibly why Faerie should be so decisively off limits to humans;
Will Shetterly's, for being such a feelgood tale (Charles de Lint's closer for the same reason);
Janni Lee Simner's, for giving the "Twilight" series such a chilly little...tweak;
The "Fairy
Michelle Morrell
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faerie, x-read-2011
A new tome in my favorite shared universe, ever! Woo! Bordertown is the same but the rest of the world sure isn't. The thirteen days that passed in town were really thirteen years to the rest of the world. But now the border is open again, and the people that considered themselves on the cutting edge of everything are forced to deal with a world that has moved on without them. But if there's anything they can do, it's adapt. Love the new life that was breathed into the series. ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was really excited to read this collection, because I wanted to see how Bordertown had changed with the introduction of texting and tweeting and Instagram and Google and Wikipedia. And in that sense, Welcome to Bordertown was a bit disappointing, but not really surprising. Of course you can't get a reliable internet connection on the Border. Of course a text might come through as snatches of poetry or in a language you don't speak. That's how tech works next to the Realm, after all. I should h ...more
Carolyn F.
Anthology. 3.43 stars average

1. Welcome to Bordertown by Ellen Kushner and Terri Windling. I loved this story about a sister and brother who lose and find each other. So good! 5 stars.

2. Shannon's Law by Cory Doctrow. Entrepreneurs try to get a connection between the Bordertown and Faery. I liked the story. 4 stars.

3. Cruel Sister by Patricia A. McKillip. I kind of got mixed up on which sister did what. 2 stars.

4. A Voice Like a Hole by Catherynne M. Valente - I can't get what a voice like a ho
“Anyone writing urban fantasy owes a debt to Terri Windling.” (p.1)

“We’re all misfits here. That’s why I started this squat. For people like us who don’t fit anywhere else. Halfies and homos and hopeless romantics, the outcast and outrageous and terminally weird.” (p.69)

“Youth is half of what anyone who comes to this city needs in order to make a way. The rest is a blend of luck, skill, and a friendly disposition.”(p.399)

“Welcome to Bordertown” by Ellen Kushner & Terri Windling sets up the pr
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of urban fantasy
I love reading anthologies of short stories, it is one of the best ways to find new authors and catch up with old ones. Welcome to Bordertown was no exception. I found I knew most of the authors and I enjoyed visiting with them - Holly Black, Terri Windling, Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare and Jane Yolen, just to name a few!

Although I have read a lot of anthologies, this was my first time experiencing Bordertown, where all the stories are connected by a place and where urban fantas
Tim Hicks
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
There's a good framework here, with the existing word of Bordertown and the useful idea of a time-slip to give the authors some room. Several stories were creative and engaging.

But as I neared the end of the book. it got to be too much of a muchness. I'm finding Bordertown boring. Coffee, music, motorcycles, drugs, sex, elves, like wow man. And yes, I *was* there for the sixties and I'm on my fifth motorcycle and I make vicious coffee, so it's not as if I don't get it.

And it's implausible. Th
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read the first Bordertown books when they came out in the 80's, 90's and liked the mix of normal world & elf runaways, the music, the gangs, and the atmosphere created in the Bordertown anthologies and novels. When I found out there was going to be a new book telling more stories about that fascinating town and it's inhabitants I was extremely excited.

I just finished Welcome to Bordertown, the new addition to the Bordertown lore and was not disappointed. For a while, Bordertown was inaccessibl
Jul 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
I did not, in fact, take the time to read cover to cover, as only brief peridots of prose and story struck out of the noxious fog of self-stroking stupidity. One might consider that slightly harsh. Hyperbole. But no apology: the bordertown stories compiled seem to live in their own little world, beyond reason, fairy tale reason, or even simple story common sense. Their characters are more than fairly un-likeable, unpleasant, and self-pitying. Their world is wracked by a peculiar but pricking ugl ...more
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
For me this was "Welcome BACK to Bordertown." I can't count the number of times I've read Will Shetterly's ELSEWHERE and NEVERNEVER, which in my opinion are two of the best urban fantasy booka for teens ever written. (I love you, Wolfboy!)

Bordertown is a "shared world" with books and stories written by a number of authors over the years, though no one has done anything new in several years, until now. And that's the premise that these stories hang on: the border was closed for thirteen years, t
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm still enjoying my forays into Bordertown. This newer collection posits that the way to the Borderlands has been closed for the past 13 years, during which time only 13 days passed within the Borderlands (kind of a Rip Van Winkle thing). As with any collection, I found some of the stories more absorbing than others, but I genuinely enjoyed all of them. "Shannon's Law" by Cory Doctorow is very clever--it goes into great detail about an elaborate scheme to get the Elflands online (put simply), ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthologies
3.5 stars, really.
I really love all the Bordertown books. I started reading them when I was much younger, and at the time was often on the road, traveling. I ran away from home, traveled the US and beyond for many years, and had a book with me every step of the way. These were the only books that I read (at that time) that had characters with lives like mine, and *also* included all my favorite things like elves and magic and fighting, etc. So they hold a special place in my heart, and I was p
Apr 26, 2012 added it
Dawn States
Short Stories
Bordertown is an unusual short story collection. It is not just a book of short stories, it is a book of short stories, poems, and graphic novel that all connect to each other. This book is its own unique mix, just like Bordertown, the place the stories are all written about. The common theme in the book is finding magic in life, runaways, discovering the place you belong, and believing that something better is possible. Any teen who feels as if the world does not have
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
544 pages of wonderful stories, a novella, a graphic short, and a couple poems about a city between the Realm (fairie) and the World populated by runaways of all kinds; humans, halfies, Truebloods, a Wolfboy, some goblins, they are all here bumping up against each other. Magic works some of the time but not always they way you'd expect it to. You can't always tell the good guys from the bad. It's a collection of good old fashioned fairy tales in an urban setting. Simply wonderful. Couldn't have ...more
Eh. Possibly should not have read in less than three days, as everything started to blend together. Bordertown: awesome on its own terms, not yours! I get it.

The best of the lot, for me, was the Kushner-Windling piece -- mostly because it was delightful happymaking story-I-would-like-to-tell -- Emma Bull's "Incunabulum," and Tim Pratt's "Or Stars, Our Selves" (although holy wow, worst title ever). Okay, so there were some good parts, including Charles de Lint's finale, which isn't really about B
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Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house ...more

Other books in the series

Borderland (8 books)
  • Borderland (Borderland, #1)
  • Bordertown (Borderland, #2)
  • Life on the Border  (Borderland, #3)
  • Elsewhere (Borderlands, #4)
  • Nevernever (Borderland, #5)
  • Finder (Borderland, #6)
  • The Essential Bordertown (Borderland, #7)

Articles featuring this book

Holly Black is one of the YA world's premier experts on faeries (she also has the pointy ears to prove it). Her enchanting books include The...
188 likes · 35 comments
“We''re all misfits here,” he says, almost proudly. “That's why I started this squat, after all.  For people like us, who don't fit in anywhere else.  Halfies and homos and hopeless romantics, the outcast and outrageous and terminally weird.  That's where art comes from, Jimmy, my friend.  From our weirdnesses and our differences, from our manic fixations, our obsessions, our passions.  From all those wild and wacky things that make each of us unique.” 100 likes
“Back in the "leather and lace" eighties, I was the fantasy editor for a publishing company in New York City. It was a great time to be young and footloose on the streets of Manhattan—punk rock and folk music were everywhere; Blondie, the Eurythmics, Cyndi Lauper, and Prince were all strutting their stuff on the newly created MTV; and the eighties' sense of style meant I could wear my scruffy black leather into the office without turning too many heads. The fantasy field was growing by leaps and bounds, and I was right in the middle of it, working with authors I'd worshiped as a teen, and finding new ones to encourage and publish.” 5 likes
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