Sunday, June 12, 2011

Revisiting Bordertown; Returning to the Shire

The Way from the fields we know to the Border has re-opened: Holly Black and Ellen Kushner have edited a new volume of tales, poems and art from the Borderlands, Welcome to Bordertown (released last month by Random House).

Lobster & Canary was delighted this past Thursday evening to attend the NYC debut of the new collection, at Books of Wonder (an exceptionally appropriate venue; if you ever have a spare hour or three in the city, find your way to this Chelsea/Flatiron bookstore, which Lobster & Canary has known since its original site near Barrow & Hudson in the West Village). Kushner, Black, and co-authors Delia Sherman, Cory Doctorow, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Annette Curtis Klause read to a large and appreciate audience, answered questions, and signed copies of the book. There was even a brilliant fiddler on hand-- Joe Kessler, a friend of Ellen's, a jack o' the green-- playing klezmer, bluegrass and other faerie reels, hints of the music along the Border.

We look forward to delving into the tome (a very generous 500-plus pages, all for just $20), whose authors are a Who's Who of speculative fiction, from bright new stars like Johnson, Cassandra Clare and Amal El-Mohtar (who presumably grew up with the original Bordertown stories) to established talents such as Kushner, Sherman, Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson, Jane Yolen, Patricia McKillip, Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and Steven Brust. Christopher Barzak is here, Cat Valente, and Tim Pratt...and Terri Windling.

This is a reunion of Diana's tribe, Titania's court, our best modern-day druids...with wine in humble containers at Tompkins Square Park, over coffee at a diner on Queens Boulevard, in a tagged doorway on the Bowery. Somewhere Lord Dunsany and Hope Mirrlees are smiling.

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Meanwhile, in other news:

Unless you've been waylaid by goblins ("of the worst possible description") or trapped in conversation with Smaug ("it does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him"), you know that two weeks ago Warner Bros., New Line and MGM announced the release dates for the two Peter Jackson-directed films of The Hobbit: December, 2012 and December, 2013. Most of the cast from LOTR will be back, and shooting has begun on the WETA-designed sets in New Zealand.

Here is Jackson's first vlog of production on The Hobbit:

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