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.