Welcome to Bordertown: the first Borderlands book in decades!

Growing up, some of my absolute favorite books were the Borderlands anthologies -- shared-world stories set in a ficton in which the realm of faerie has returned to Earth, in a city called Bordertown where elves and humans mixed freely and magic and technology worked erratically. These were the precursor of today's urban fantasy, and they were brilliant, bohemian escapist literature that has stood up to many re-readings over the years.

So I was incredibly excited when Holly Black and Ellen Kushner invited me to contribute a story to Welcome to Bordertown, the first Borderlands book in decades. This is a young adult volume, and I wrote a story for it called "Shannon's Law," about Bordertown's first hacker, who decides to use TCP over Carrier Pigeon to route a packet through the Border and break the information singularity that divides the two realities.

Now Holly and Ellen have published the full table of contents to Welcome, which will be out next May 24, from Random House. I've read most of these stories, and let me tell you, you're in for a treat.

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


  1. For some reason I thought that series (which was indeed awesome) was called Bordertown, so I didn’t have any confusion with the game by Gearbox until now.

    Which is kind of an amusing thought. A cross between Borderlands and Borderlands might be… like Hellgate but actually good.

  2. omg! omg! *hops happily from foot to foot*
    I was just wondering the status of this new B-Town book. Coincidentally, I’m just wrapping up re-reading the series before handing the books off to my niece, who just reached 16. One of my all time favorite YA universes and I’m pleased as punch to see some B-Town veterans (Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Terri, and Charles De Lint) on the list and excited to read stuff from cool newbies to the ‘Town (Neil AND Cory?!)

    1. I second everything that Arys said. Bull, Shetterly, De Lint and now Gaiman and Doctorow oh my…I can barely contain myself.. and me a 50 year old woman…

  3. I will be eagerly looking forward to this.

    Love the books, and can’t believe how long they’ve been out of print.

    I’ve never found most of them as ebooks.

  4. I’ll have to go dust off my copies of these that I read back around high school. I remember being attracted to the cool Phil Hale covers. He went to the same high school as me.

    1. This is wonderful news! Just a great series of books based on a fantastic concept. Glad to see they are coming back.

  5. Hey, just one decade: a lot of people missed the unhappily-titled THE ESSENTIAL BORDERTOWN in 1999, thinking it was a collection of previous stories, instead of a big fat anthology of original new ones that also included excerpts from the legendary “The Tough Guide to Bordertown” on how to get by on the streets there, and what not to say to elves and where to find good tacos and better used clothes….

    It’s also the only B’town antho still in print:

    And we really love your new story, Cory – thanks again for writing it for us – I can’t wait for everyone to get to read it.

  6. WOW.

    Holycrap, I have wanted to do a Borderlands comic for almost 20 years! The milieu begs for visuals.
    I even did character designs of Leda and Wolfboy from Shetterly’s Elsewhere. (I fell in love with his description of Leda’s dandelion hair!)

    Lea Hernandez

  7. About friggin time! I’d about lost all hope for a new B-Town book to come out!! Please don’t make it the last!!

  8. I can’t believe this is actually being published. I have the original paperbacks, looking a little dog-eared after all these years, and I’ve often wondered what happened to the series. Thanks to the Amazon link for ‘The Essential Bordertown’, which I didn’t even know existed, I’ve just ordered an unread library back-up copy for less than $5! I’m thrilled to bits about this, and the upcoming book is a must buy, the fact that Cory and Neil Gaiman both have stories in it would have guaranteed a sale regardless of subject. Fantastic news.

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