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.

Comments are closed.