The Essential Bordertown

The Essential Bordertown - Terri Windling, Delia Sherman, Charles de Lint, Steven Brust, Patricia A. McKillip, Ellen Kushner

This is a fun and satisfying collection of stories about runaways. Some are running to something or away from something. Some are human, some halfie, and others are elves, or True Bloods, as they call themselves.


Bordertown is a city between the Human World and The True and Only Realm that is inhabited by the Fae folk. Elvin magic does not work in the World and technology does not work in the Realm. Both work in Bordertown inconsistently and with interesting effects.


Between each story is a little guide to language, people, hospitality, elvin etiquette, food, nightlife, and the peculiarities of humans.


The stories were sad, humorous, engaging and made me want to run away from home.


I especially loved the touching “Argentine” by Ellen Steiber, set in Bordertown’s El Barrio and told from the perspective of a young Elvin thief. This beautifully written story explores love, death, grief, and redemption. I loved its vibrant colors, its soul, and its distinctly Latin feel.