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June 29th, 2011

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02:52 am - Welcome to Bordertown
I just finished the new Bordertown book Welcome to Bordertown . I really enjoyed it, and I also found it to be a fascinating microscosm of how much of SF&F fandom and SF&F writing has changed since the previous Bordertown books, which were all written from the late 80s to the late 90s.

The basic idea of all of the stories, poems, and the comic in the book was that Bordertown was cut off from the mortal world for the last 13 years, but that this only seemed like 13 days to the residents, who are suddenly faced with the arrival of modern day people with their new ideas, fashion, music, blogs, and suchlike. This worked well and also served to highlight the differences in feel between modern SF&F and work from 10 or 20 years ago. This is a Bordertown book with stories about people of color, people who were homeless or living very modern sorts of crappy dead-end lives before they left the mortal world, militant civil rights activists, computer geeks as well as an abundance of queer people. I talked about this book with teaotter, and her comment that in some ways this was a book by and about many of the sorts of people who enjoyed these books before, but who were not present in them.

While there's still no shortage of bigotry and privileged ignorance of various sorts in SF&F fandom, it's also clear that progress has been made among some subcultures within it, and this is very much where most of the book comes from. I also found the book to be a whole lot of fun, and previously I had largely lost interest in the Bordertown books by the early 90s. The story by Cory Doctorow was exactly what you would expect it to be, a story about the person who brought the internet to Bordertown, and was quite good, and the stories by Nalo Hopkinson and Catherynne Valente were both exceptionally good, as was the comic, which turns out to have been written and drawn by two Portland locals that I have met at various parties, and the stories by Tim Pratt and Christopher Barzak, two authors I had not previously encountered. Here's the Table of Contents. This is definitely a book that makes me feel hopeful about SF&F fandom, as well as being quite a lot of fun to read, as well as a source for new ideas who I'll look up more by.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool, I'm really glad it turned out well. On my list it goes.
[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
I picked up a copy last week, and am looking forwards to nibbling my way through it.

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