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|Sound Cue: County Hell Fairgrounds, Please...
| It's interesting to see what a unique talent can
do with characters and material originally created for one of the "shared
universe" anthology series that no longer plague us quite so much as was
the case a few years back. (Though "Borderlands", along with the "Liavek"
books -- featuring pretty much the same crew of authors -- were among
the Very Best of the breed...)
All of the important elements of Bordertown are here -- the "Cat Street Crier",
the Dancing Ferret, the Mad River, Ho Street, and so on -- but it is still
uniquely Bull's imagination and her story, and hers alone.
Other reviewers have gone into the What Happens Next aspects -- i'd like
to touch on some of the Why It's Interesting When It Happens.
Orient, Tick Tick and Sonny Rico and all of the other characters who get
mixed into this wind up *changed*. I mean *really* changed -- some die, some
have to live with those deaths and some never really understand what the
hell is going on.
One of Johnny Cash's recent songs refers to "a long walk in a cold rain"
-- and that's what Orient and company set out on -- this is an almost classic
trip " ... down these mean streets ... [by] ... a man who is not himself
You will not be indifferent to the fates of Orient and friends, as we all
too often find ourselves indifferent to those of the "heroes" in all too
many recent works of boilerplate conanistic "heroic fantasy". As a matter
of fact, if you are not careful, you may care just a bit too much and could
suffer for it... but even that is worth it and part of a truly memorable
"How does he make his hands do that?" "Too much Fairport Convention in his