Bordertown Lives! (again)

Robert Lynn Asprin is partly to blame. Bob Asprin, who as Yang the Nauseating founded the Great Dark Horde as an institution in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Bob Asprin. who founded the Klingon Diplomatic Corps to provide security (and a means for people to dress up as Klingons) at the early Star Trek conventions. Bob Asprin, who was an early member of the Dorsai Irregulars.

Bob Asprin, who helped create what is now referred as the “shared worlds” concept.

He and then-wife Lynn Abbey managed to convince several other prominent authors, including Poul Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, John Brunner, C. J. Cherryh and Andrew J. Offutt, into contributing to a series of short story collections under the common title of “Thieve’s World”, whose success begat a number of other “shared worlds” collaborations. The most famous is probably the “Wild Cards” series, in which an alien retro-virus released by accident on Earth grants the fortunate few infected with it super abilities while the vast majority died in varied and horrifying ways.

There were a few others, but the one I am referring to in the title, is “Borderlands”. “Borderlands” is set in a world where the Mundane and Faerie have crossed paths, resulting the natural extension of the term “urban fantasy”. Vast areas in the middle of the greatest cities are now on the border between the two worlds, where the good and the bad of both worlds mix and plot and scheme, where both magic and science work unpredictably, where rock&roll battles with Fae melodies and Faerie steeds race motorcycles, where aristocratic and unpredictable Faerie go slumming and bewildered and bewitched mortals come to make their living. Created by editor Terri Windling (and how can I not appreciate something by someone who shares my first name), the “Borderlands” shared world produced two story collections in 1986 and another in 1991, then another in 1998. Now, in 2011, another “Borderlands” collection is to be published, and I am looking forward to it.

Stories that might contain fae enchantments and glamouries on unsuspecting mortals? You bet I’m looking forward to it.

For more information, see the Bordertown Blog.

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