Welcome to Bordertown trpb


Welcome to Bordertown is out in paperback today, with a spiffy new cover, and a spiffy new website. Please check out the site, and the Bordertown video below (if you haven't seen it already), and enter the "Bring a Friend to Bordertown" contest for a signed copy of the book and other cool swag from the Elflands. Ellen, Holly, and team have done a fabulous job with it all. I hope you'll join us on the Border.

And okay, we're talking elves on motorcycles here...but here's why the Bordertown series is so important to all of us who have worked on it over the years (as well as being a whole lot of fun): These are stories about kids who find their way through the dark with the help of art, music, and the "magic" of community and friendship. And there are kids out there who need these kind of tales. Please help us to get the book into their hands by spreading the word.


The Stare

The Stare

I've got competing deadlines staring me in the face right now, including a book due in to its publisher next week (an anthology of YA dystopian fiction called After, co-edited with my partner-in-crime, Ellen Datlow). I've also got a dog who is missing her papa and needing good long walks to distract her from pining. Since I can't clone myself to make time for everything, this blog will take a back seat until the deadline crunch is past. I'll pop in if I can, but I won't be posting regularly again until after June 1st. And speaking of books:

Btown-clipart-firstbeer Today is the Official Publication Day for Welcome to Bordertown!!! Which means not only are the books now in the shops, but also that ebook editions are merrily zipping to Kindles and Nooks and Sony Readers even as I type this.

I hereby raise a glass of Farrel Din's finest to the amazing Ellen Kushner & Holly Black, to all the writers and artists who contributed to the book, to our excellent editor Mallory Loehr and the good folks at Random House (including Jessica Shoffel, Ellice Lee, and Chelsea Eberly), to agents extraordinaire Barry Goldblatt & Christopher Schelling, to web designer Theo Black and web-art-creator Tara O'Shea, to Delia Sherman and Midori Snyder and Tor Books (for generous assistance behind the scenes), to Howard (who convinced me to return to the Border), to the kind souls who donated art, crafts, and books to the Bordertown Sweepstakes [open until May 31, if you haven't entered it already], to the film crew and kids who made the video, and to everyone else who helped to re-open the Way to Bordertown.  (You know who you are.)

There will be Bordertown stories, poems, articles, interviews, and other fun things popping up all over the web this week, and in the weeks ahead. So keep an eye on the Bordertown blog, where Ellen, Holly, and I are doing our best to keep track of it all (despite the fact that Ellen is off doing literary things in France, and Holly is off doing literary things in Sweden, and I'm here in England with a moping dog, while my husband's off doing theatrical things in Portugal. When did life get so...international?)


And please, everyone, we could use your help to pass the word about the Bordertown book trailer video, which is now up on YouTube. We want to get as many hits and comments as we can, with the goal of getting the book itself into the hands of every kid out there who needs stories like these...but might not know it yet....

By the way, if you purchase Welcome to Bordertown from Amazon.com by following this link, the Endicott Studio gets a small percentage of the sale -- and that money is donated to a charity for homeless, abused, and at-risk children. You'll find more information here.

The art above, from Welcome to Bordertown, is by Dylan Meconis.

Saturday Morning

I'm popping in on a Saturday morning to pass the word that Erin Underwood has posted a terrific "shared world interview" with Bordertown writers Chris Barzak, Holly Black, Charles de Lint, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Tim Pratt, Sara Ryan, Janni Lee Simner, and Jane Yolen, over at Underwoods: Life Literature, & Everything in Between.  She's also giving away a copy of the Welcome to Bordertown ARC via Book Club on Facebook today.

I must post this link quickly because I'm not really meant to be in the office on weekends. After a lifetime of working basically 24/7 (as so many self-employed writers, freelance editors, and artists do), I've been persuaded to actually take weekends off during my months of convalescence...and I'm finding the weekly break so helpful, bringing fresh energy and clarity to the rest of my work week, that I plan to carry it on when convalesence is finally done. If you, too, are an over-worked, overstressed 24/7 type, I recommend giving it a try. You'll be amazed. (I also recommend having one day a week when computers remain entirely switched off, which we do in my household on Sundays.) 

So I'm out of here now, and leave you with the video above, recommended by my friend Bożena Małek in Poland. It's Bruno Mars in a studio session performing "The Lazy Song." Perfect.

Below: The pup in lazy mode (which dogs are so effortlessly good at), chilling on a bench in the front garden.

Tilly's office 2

And here's what has made my day...

B5 black coat elf 1.1MB ...the book trailer video for our new Bordertown anthology! (It's running exclusively on io9.com this week, so I can't embed it here; just follow the link.) Go watch it before you read the "making of" information below, as it's more fun to stumble upon it fresh....

Okay, you're back?

Ellen Kushner, Holly Black, and I cooked up the initial idea for video...but then Ellen ran with it, wrote the script, and, with our publisher's support, made the leap from Cool Idea to Finished Project. (See that deep, dark chasm between the two? Alas, that's where too many Cool Ideas end up unless there's a person, like Ellen, with both vision and tenacity behind them.)

Ellen got Vital Theatre on board (the company that produced her fabulous "Klezmer Nutcracker" in New York), and they, in turn, brought in some terrific young actors from the New York City school system. Bravo to everyone -- especially Ellen, who has been involved with every step of the project, but also to the kids, New York radio host Jim Freund (the grumpy old-timer in the video), the video crew, the support team at Vital Theatre, and the good folks at Random House Publishers (including the book's fine editor, Mallory Loehr), who all helped to make it happen.

The picture on the left above, by the way, is a Bordertown sketch created by Brian Froud back in 1991 (for a film project that didn't make the leap across the chasm). You'll find more sketches by Brian on the Bordertown website, on the Characters page.

And one last thing: Christopher Barzak is running a new Bordertown contest over on his blog. (Chris has a terrific story in the new book.) The prize is a one-of-a-kind Bordertown pendant by Mia Nutick of Chimera Fancies.  All the info is here.

We have a winner!


This morning I put the names of everyone who entered my Welcome to Bordertown ARC contest into a hat, and picked one slip of paper with the winning name: Evan. Congratulations, Evan! The ARC will soon be on its way to you.

For those of you who didn't win, don't despair: we have more contests coming up between now and the book's publication date (May 24). At the moment Holly Black is running one, which finishes on May 8th. All you have to do to enter is to go to her blog and leave a comment about your favorite magical place. " It can be a place you've been to in our world which has always seemed special," says Holly, "or a magical land that you have only visited in a book." And while you're over at Holly's blog, have a look at the comments that have been left so far, some of which are very touching. 

Also, Janni Simner is running an ARC tour here; I don't know if there are any places left on it, but it's worth asking if you're interested. And go here to read the first review to come in as a result of Janni's ARC tour.

Photo above by Midori Snyder.

Another Bordertown Contest!

Borderland elf by Iain McCaig  If you act fast, you have a third opportunity for winning an Advance Reading Copy of Welcome to Bordertown (in addition to the two contests I posted yesterday), over on Dark Roast, Emma Bull's LJ page.

"All you have to do to win," Emma says, "is tell me, in the comments to this post [on the Dark Roast blog], how you would find your way to Bordertown, if you decided to run away, too. Points for originality (of course!), humor (though I'm fussy), and an overall sense of "I'm having fun!". I'll judge the entries, because I'm like that. "

I recommend reading the answers that have been left on the post so far, which are wonderful. The contest ends tomorrow, Thurday April 21.

Bordertown ARC Contest!

Bordertown art by Steve Stone Advance Reading Copies of the new Bordertown book, Welcome to Bordertown, are as rare as hens' teeth if you aren't on the Random House review list -- but they've made a few copies available for contests, and I'm running one of them this week. Here's how it works:

Leave a comment (long or short, though we love the long ones!) on the Guest Book page of the new Bordertown Series website any time this week, ending midnight Sunday April 24. (If you haven't yet read any Bordertown books, have a look around the website while you're there as it provides a good introduction -- and there are three free stories reprinted on the site as well.)  

Make sure the email address you use for making your comment is one I can contact you on if you win. (Your email address will not be made public, don't worry.) I'll put the names of all the Commenters in a hat on Monday morning and pick one. Then I'll write to the winner to obtain a mailing address, and Random House will mail the ARC out from their New York offices next week. If you're the winner, you could have an ARC of the book (in the olden days we called them "bound galleys") a full month before it hits the bookstore shelves. The ARC can be mailed to anywhere in the world, so international readers are welcome to enter the contest too.

Please only one entry to this particular contest per person -- but if you want to double your chances of winning an ARC, Charles de Lint is also running a contest this week.

Good luck!

Recommended Reading:

Study by David Wyatt

I'm hoping to be back on my feet and back on this blog next week. In the meantime, here's some recommended reading for you:

* Howard (my husband) has posted a fascinating look at medieval and Renaissance magic over on the John Barleycorn blog.

Howard studied the history of Western Esotericism as an MA student, so this is a particular interest of his  -- and in today's post, he gives John Barleycorn readers a glimpse into some of the esoteric ideas behind the "magician sleuth" hero of the graphic novel he is creating with Rex Van Ryn.  (Howard and Rex also posted more pages from the graphic novel last week, with more to come.)

The picture of a magician in his study (above) is from our friend and village neighbor, book illustrator Dave Wyatt.

* The lovely Colleen Mondor over at Chasing Ray has a post up right now about her first encounter with the Borderland series. Damn near made me cry. Review copies of the new Borderland book (Welcome to Bordertown) are starting to go out now, by the way, and the book itself will hit bookstores in May.

Drawing by allie brosh
* Judging by the fact the my blog readership numbers spike whenever there's a picture of Tilly, I think I can safely assume that many of you are fellow dog-lovers -- so I want to share a post which also made me cry, but this time with laughter: "Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving," a comic from Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half blog. Not, I hasten to add, that our Tilly is like Simple Dog (pictured above)...but I've sure known a few who are.

Speaking of Tilly,  here's the girl (below), in her beloved woods recently. She's a year and half old now, and sweeter than ever. How time flies....

Tilly in the woods

Tilly in the bracken

Above: Tilly in the bracken, March 2011. Below: Tilly in the bracken at 11 weeks old.

Tilly in the bracken 2

More news from the Border

Btown highway sign The new Bordertown book (discussed in my last post) contains a mix of writers old and new. Half of them (like co-editor Ellen Kushner) are writers who first created the series with me, back in our wayward youth -- while the other half (like co-editor Holly Black) are younger writers who grew up with the Bordertown books, and whose work was influenced by the urban fantasy genre that they helped to pioneer.

Janni Lee Simner, one of the latter, has just written a lovely little piece, "Running Away to Bordertown," about the magic of writing and reading urban fantasy. 

Annette Curtis Klause, also one of the latter, writes about her own journey to the Border on her blog, Human Oddity.

Snow maiden A Vedernikov, 2000 And speaking of good blog posts, are you all keeping up with the "Fairytale Reflections" over on Katherine Langrish's blog? The latest entry in this fabulous series is by Delia Sherman, discussing The Snow Child.

News from Bordertown

Bordertown art by Steve StoneHere is the cover art for the new Bordertown anthology, a fat collection of brand new Bordertown stories to be published by Random House in May, 2011. (Click on the art to see a larger version.) The cover painting is by Steve Stone, and the design by Ellice Lee. Our Random House editor is the valiant Mallory Loehr, assisted by Chelsea Eberly.

A limited number of Advanced Reading Copies of the book were handed out to reviewers at the World Fantasy Convention, and more will be sent out closer to the publication date. There's also a new Bordertown website in the works, and I'll link to it here when it's ready to debut.

Our first “unofficial review” comes from One Minute Monkey, the LJ page of Michael M. Jones (book reviewer for The Green Man Review and other publications):

This is over 500 pages of fiction and poetry, revisiting the Bordertown setting which helped lay the groundwork for today’s urban fantasy bonanza. Not only have many of the original contributors showed up for another go-around, but they’re joined by a fair number of today’s hottest writers, those who pretty much GREW UP with Bordertown. This isn’t a rehashing of the old days, this is a love-fueled rock n’ roll continuation and updating where a new generation meets the old gang. (And in my opinion, they came up with a perfectly appropriate way to make those intervening 13 years between installments seem like 13 days… heheheheh.)

Updated to add: Here's Michael M. Jones' full review, which is our very first!

And f.y.i., here's the volume's complete Table of Contents:

edited by Holly Black & Ellen Kushner

Introduction – Terri Windling
Introduction – Holly Black
Bordertown Basics (Letter from the Diggers)
Welcome to Bordertown – Terri Windling & Ellen Kushner
Shannon’s Law – Cory Doctorow
Cruel Sister (poem) – Patricia A. McKillip
Voice Like a Hole – Catherynne M. Valente
Stairs in Her Hair (song) – Amal El-Mohtar
Incunabulum – Emma Bull
Run Back to the Border (song) – Steven Brust
Prince of Thirteen Days – Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Sages of Elsewhere – Will Shetterly
Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line Rap (song) – Jane Yolen
Crossings – Janni Lee Simner
Fair Trade (Comic) – Sara Ryan & Dylan Meconis
Lullabye: Night Song for a Halfie (song) – Jane Yolen
Our Stars, Our Selves – Tim Pratt
Elf Blood – Annette Curtis Klause
The Wall (poem) – Delia Sherman
Ours is the Prettiest – Nalo Hopkinson
We Do Not Come in Peace – Christopher Barzak
A Borderland Jump-Rope Rhyme (poem) – Jane Yolen
The Rowan Gentleman – Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
The Song of the Song (song) – Neil Gaiman
A Tangle of Green Men – Charles de Lint

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Annette Curtis Klause has written a good description of its premise:

Bordertown elf by Iain McCaig

"The gate to Elfland has reappeared in our world," she explains, "and around it stretches a border where neither magic or technology works quite right. Bordertown is a place unlike any city but also like a bit of them all. Runaways come from both sides of the border to find adventure. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorcycles. Humans have the freedom to recreate themselves but have to cobble together ways of doing what was once for granted with a combination of iffy magic and ingenuity. But all isn’t fun and happy-ever-after in the clubs and squats of the bohemian Soho neighborhood or even in the high-priced elvin homes on Dragon Hill. Borderland elf by Iain McCaig Prejudice, addiction, and revenge walk hand in hand with the artists, poets, and musicians of the city, gangs of elves and humans are constantly at war or in uneasy truce, and surviving sometimes depends on discovering skills you didn’t know you had."

 Bordertown, says Holly Black (in her Introduction to the new volume) is "a city where the capricious and dangerous elves of folklore (even if they called themselves something else) walk around in leather jackets, drink alongside human artists and poets at bars, and, most of all, exist in a world that isn’t long ago and far away. Bordertown is always close by, just around a corner, the place you can run away to if you dare...."

 In the photo below, Holly and Ellen sign ARCs, hot off the press, at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio (October, 2010): 

Until the new Bordertown website is up, you'll find a bit more information on the series here -- and there's information on the creation of the new anthology on Ellen Kushner's blog. Two good Bordertown fan sites are The Hard Luck Cafe and The Yellow Brick Road -- and go here for a charming little ditty called the "Bordertown Waltz" by reader Gina Donahue. The little Bordertown sketches above are by my friend Iain McCaig, who knows the back streets of B-town well.