The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe. The Dream 2019-02-09

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe Rating: 8,5/10 879 reviews

The Dream

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

World Fantasy Award winner, Hugo, Nebula, John W. I would read thousands of books about brave women and foolish women and fierce women and older women and reluctant women who moved through worlds without the burden of love or men or anything but themselves. But as the story developed, as the titular protagonist traveled across the lands of her world, I was pulled further and further into the beauty of the writing, the rightness with which each component followed the other. And that will keep me moving. The writing is really fantastic much less muddy and confounding than Lovecraft himself , and the female characters are inspiring. This book held me spellbound from start to finish.

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The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe Review: My God, It’s Full of Stars!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Lovecraft, his genius and his deficiencies--in this case, his erasure of women from his work. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading.

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The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe Review: My God, It’s Full of Stars!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Truly, this is one of my favorite weird tales of the last several years, weaving beauty, terror, and bittersweet triumph from a corner of Lovecraft's mythos that all too few dreamers dare to explore. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest. So I figured my lack of knowledge wouldn't hamper my reading of this novella. She is older, a welcome change from all the teen saviors so popular these days, and full of experience both of the world and her own heart. It makes the world so much bigger, knowing that not everything revolves around this single story.

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The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe Review: My God, It’s Full of Stars!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her. So many books with a woman as a main character, with a charming and dangerous assassin, with a princess or a commoner or a warrior and yet still they were never the center of the story, never the pivot. This book held me spellbound from start to finish. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her. Life very much goes on, but lucky us, we get to be part of it. And I won't discuss it here, although I note that other reviews take it as assumed that the reader knows what it is based on. That's a fine new trend that I hope continues for a good long time.

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The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe Review: My God, It’s Full of Stars!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest. Neither was the extremely convenient friendly gug that transforms into a Buick, or the mysterious black box that ends up being a cell phone linked to Clarie's location. In this spellbinding story, the intense reality of a quest through dreamland finds its goal in a here-and-now America that seems even stranger than the mountains and caverns of the dream. While I appreciated Johnson's prose, and was intrigued by the main character and the world, the last third was a slog for me - much like Boe's journey turning more and more gruesome as she continues. We do encounter Randolph Carter at one point, and he is still under the impression that the dream-world revolves around him.

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The Dream

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

. Instead they existed surrounded by men and love and what man they would choose and what man they should choose and the endless debates and for once, here, a woman and a story that dispelled immediately with love and the need for love-- I would read hundreds of books set in this place. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. She is also an associate director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.

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The Dream

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

One should mention I think the other key influence: Lord Dunsany. She is also an associate director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. I loved this and I want more of it which I guess is the best compliment I can construct right now. I have not read the Lovecraft novella that inspired this work, but I didn't feel it was necessary. This is part of the point Kij Johnson is trying to make about Lovecraft and Lovecraftian heroes as well. Johnson tells a wonderful quest story about an independent, older woman who must travel through the Dreamlands in pursuit her student, the granddaughter of one of the Old Ones, who has absconded to the Waking World.


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The Dream

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Traveling with Vellitt is a wonderful reminder of the classic quest-books, in which heroes like Belgarion and Frodo traveled all around their mythic globes with some bauble to provide the excuse for a tour. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her. The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe comes out August 16. In this sense, Vellitt is the antithesis of all those quest narratives, in which the heroes usually end up as kings and legends. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading.


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The Dream

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

The ending was bittersweet, but probably not surprising -- the point of a quest is to find a new you, a different place to be. Mad gods and old ones are watching her and Vellitt both, stirring in their hallucinogenic sleep. In some novels, everything comes together and ties up the narrative in a pretty bow. While I certainly picked up on some of the names and the general atmosphere, and I certainly could see places where I thought Johnson was subverting a typical Lovecraftian trope, for me the story really fell flat. The title felt wrong, too amateur, to simplistic.


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The Dream

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

But this is a world scaffolded by Lovecraft, and the reputation and potential disgrace of a college is hardly the worst the world has to offer. I haven't read a lot of Lovecraft, but I have basic familiarity; I've also read more recent works riffing on Lovecraft and the Elder Gods, etc. In this spellbinding story, the intense reality of a quest through dreamland finds its goal in a here-and-now America that seems even stranger than the mountains and caverns of the dream. Like The Ballad of Black Tom, this novella is a response to H. It took me a long time to work out which work this is riffing off; from whence the transformative work started.

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