The ''Bordertown'' series (also known as the ''Borderland'' series) is a SharedUniverse created by Terri Windling. The series was aimed at teenagers and thus focused heavily on [[{{Anvilicious}} Teen Issues]] like runaways, drugs and gangs. It featured contributions from the likes of Creator/CharlesDeLint, Creator/EmmaBull, and Will Shetterly.

At some point in the near future {{Faerie}} returns to earth, landing on Los Angeles and the vicinity (Wolfboy encounters a sign in the ruined Nevernever). There is a brief, abortive war between the Fey and the governments of the "real world" which tails out when both sides realize that [[MagicVersusScience their weapons won't work on the other side of the Border]]. After this formal diplomacy opens up, and meanwhile teenage runaways from both sides of [[TheWallAroundTheWorld The Wall]] populate the (now mostly empty) town on the edge and christen it Bordertown.

''Bordertown'' is a semi-dystopian UrbanFantasy setting where [[MagicVersusScience technology and magic each work half the time in an unpredictable fashion]]. Outside the city, there is the magical wasteland called the Nevernever, and through it runs the Mad River, the water of which is an [[FantasticDrug addictive drug]] to humans.

The series consists of five multi-author anthologies--''Borderland'', ''Bordertown'', ''Life on the Border'', ''The Essential Bordertown: A Traveller's Guide to the Edge of Faerie'', and ''Welcome to Bordertown''--and three novels--''Elsewhere'' and ''Nevernever'' by Will Shetterly, and ''Finder'' by Creator/EmmaBull.

Not to be confused with the short-lived [[WesternAnimation/{{Bordertown}} TV cartoon]].

[[folder:General tropes]]
!!The series as a whole contains examples of:
* {{Animorphism}}:
** Wolfboy is turned into a wolf-man hybrid by an elf he insulted; she was meaning to turn him into a dog, but magic gets screwed up on the Border.
** Gray becomes a were-cat due to a curse laid on her family by an elf her parents betrayed. The curse is only active while she's in Bordertown, but she kind of likes having some magic, especially once [[spoiler: she's blinded and can only see in her cat form]].
* FairCop: Sunny Rico.
* FantasticDrug: Mad River water for humans, Dragon's Milk for elves.
** Mooner in ''Elsewhere'' [[spoiler:drinks a 50/50 mix of both because he's a halfie]].
** Fairie dust works for both. It makes humans act stoned, and elves act hyper.
* FantasticRacism: All over the place, usually between humans and elves (and halfies, [[HalfBreedDiscrimination who get it from both sides]]).
* HalfHumanHybrid: Half-elves, or halfies.
* LandOfFaerie
* MagicMusic: In the Borderlands, ordinary music can get this way.
** F'rexample, there's a self-perpetuating Endless Rave at the edge of town which is constantly replenished with new dancers and musicians as people get tired and leave.
* MagicVersusScience
* NarniaTime: Time does not flow the same in Bordertown as it does in either the world or Faerie, though there's no consistency to it.
** This is worse in the Nevernever.
** "Welcome To Bordertown" has the time differences between Bordertown and the World get more pronounced, as the way between closes for 13 days on the Bordertown side, and ''13 years'' on the World side.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: At least half the cast; runaway characters are particularly prone to it. This is partially because of the belief that if an elf has your whole name, they can control you
** Wolfboy, on the way to becoming Wolfboy, is known as "[=RonJustRon=]" and "Gone" [[spoiler:during his just-fresh-out-of-the-World and Mad River-addict phases respectively]].
* OurElvesAreDifferent: They prefer to refer to themselves as "Truebloods."
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They're called Lankins and are elves who want to live forever (as opposed to the naturally long lives they already have) and who use blood magic to do it.
* PimpedOutDress: Everything in Screaming Lord Neville's wardrobe.
* {{Retcon}}: Certain events in the short stories happened differently when they were expanded into novels.
* ScrewYouElves: Quite often.
* SharedUniverse
* TongueTied: Elves are magically prevented from discussing Faerie in much detail.
* TruceZone: Anyone who causes trouble at the Hard Luck Cafe is not welcome anywhere in Bordertown.
* {{Tuckerization}}: Milo Chevrolet, who has cameos in several stories, is [[Creator/JohnMFord John Milo Ford]].
* UrbanFantasy
* TheWallAroundTheWorld
* WishFulfillment / BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Comes up a lot.
* WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent: Comes up several times; Orient in particular got this one pretty hard.

!!The stories in ''Borderland'' contain examples of:
* CrypticConversation: The protagonist of "Prodigy" points out that "what you make belongs to you" is a vastly unhelpful way to warn someone that they can accidentally create magical monsters.

!!The stories in ''Bordertown'' contain examples of:

[[folder:Life on the Border]]
!!The stories in ''Life on the Border'' contain examples of:
* BigBrotherInstinct: The standoffish Stick becomes this for Manda Woodsdatter.
* [[EpistolaryNovel Epistolary Story]]: "Lost in the Mail" is told via a runaway's (mostly unmailed) letters.
* OurBansheesAreLouder: In "Nightwail", a dead elven girl becomes one. [[spoiler:And then so does the protagonist.]]
* RefugeeFromTVLand: In "Light and Shadow", magic gone awry sets several characters from ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'' loose in Bordertown.

[[folder:The Essential Bordertown]]
!!The stories in ''The Essential Bordertown'' contain examples of:
* MakeAWish: the ending of [[spoiler:"Hot Water"]] reveals that the magical events in the story have been a result of this.

[[folder:Welcome to Bordertown]]
!!The stories in ''Welcome to Bordertown'' contain examples of:
* CuteMonsterGirl: Lizzie in "Elf Blood" is a [[spoiler: vampire, the victim of the predations of a rogue Lankin in the World]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Joey Green remarks that the term "Trueblood" sounds somewhat white supremacist-y.

[[folder:Elsewhere / Nevernever]]
!!''Elsewhere'' and ''Nevernever'' contain examples of:
* AmbiguousGender: Florida, due to being prepubescent.
* BirthmarkOfDestiny: [[spoiler:Florida]] has a birthmark which identifies her as [[spoiler:the missing heir to the throne of Elfland.]]
* CuteMute: Florida, [[spoiler:although Ron eventually gets her to speak]].
* MysteriousWaif: Florida.

!!''Finder'' contains examples of:
* FatalAttractor: It's implied that Orient is one of these:
-->'''Tick-Tick''': Didn't I say, not so long ago, that your preference was for women that any reasonable man would ward off with garlic and crucifixes?
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Invoked and lampshaded at the end of ''Finder''.
* ThePlague: Much of the plot of ''Finder''.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Orient and Tick-Tick.
* TooDumbToLive: Orient, very nearly literally. His tendency to wander into dangerous situations without backup is lampshaded several times.
-->'''Orient''': I know, I know. Any reasonable person (and even I, now) will look at the decision to go find the bike and think, "Hey, what was that funny noise? Guess I'll go down into the dark basement alone and check it out." And that's not the only decision I've ever made that would cause one to think that.
* WrenchWench: Tick-Tick