When an idea is is startling and original, we say “it comes out of nowhere”.  But the best of those ideas feel like they did in fact come from somewhere, someplace that had been previously hidden.  It’s a thrill not so much of innovation as it is of discovery; you stare with Keats’s wild surmise, and say “of course it is”, and feel like the world is both wider and a little more complete.

That’s how I felt when I picked up the first Borderland book in 1986.  The blending of punk and faery, the idea that the border with the fée might cut through through our modern cities as easily as it does through the countryside distant in place and time, the grimy half-starved reality of faery’s traditional peril, it all was manifestly, essentially right.

I bought every book that followed, the shared world anthologies and the novels from Emma Bull and Will Shetterly.  And those two and their Scribblies colleagues, and folks like Charles de Lint Ellen Kushner and the group Boiled in Lead and all the fantastic anthologies from Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow continued the discovery, which led to places as far ranged as Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and the current boom of urban fantasy.

The thing about these sorts of ideas, the ones that seem not fabricated but rather revealed, is that they they are impervious to trends and times.  And that’s why I feel that first thrill again at the anticipation of the new “Welcome to Bordertown” from Holly Black and Ellen Kushner.  It features an amazing set of authors, some of whom worked on the original books, some of whom might just have been born when the first book came out (and no doubt felt the Border open in their cribs, and cooed in wonder…)

Borderland has always vibrated to a wild whirling beat, and shimmered with images of things glimpsed through the boundaries, so it’s great to see that the fantastic new website includes art from folks like Iain McCaig (who once dared me over pizza and beer to write something, and so I did, and since have done) and music from groups like Garmarna, who I am pretty sure actually do gigs somewhere just over the Border.

So, don’t just order the book and peruse the website from one end to the other, for goodness sakes, pack your bags and hit the road; I think the Border is just round this corner here…

One Response to “Borderland Lives”

  1. Thanks, Greg – and welcome back!

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