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Publisher Description

One of NPR's Best Books of 2016 and a Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell, and Locus Award finalist for Best Novella

Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.

"Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. 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. 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. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading." —Pamela Sargent, winner of the Nebula Award

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
August 16
Tom Doherty Associates

Customer Reviews

Prairie_Dog ,

Amazing Adventure in the Dreamlands

Kij Johnson takes the setting of HP Lovecraft’s Dreamlands and uses it to tell a very different sort of story. Vellitt Boe is a formidable woman of middle years. She is a citizen of the Dreamlands, where Leng lies in the cold waste. She was a far traveler in her youth, having adventures all over her strange world, and even in the underworld below it! But she settled down in Ulthar, where she has become a professor of mathematics. Her life has become calm and comfortable.

However, she is called on to perform a quest. One of her best students has fallen in love with a dreamer from the waking world, and has run off with him. She must retrieve this girl before her powerful relatives cause havoc for Ulthar. So with the companionship of a small black cat, she sets out on her mission. It will take her to many fabled places, where some old friends will provide her some assistance. In the end, she travels farther than she ever expected, to places weirder than she ever imagined.

This book is a very modern sort of Lovecraftian tale, where women are the primary characters, and are powerful protagonists indeed. The Dreamlands aren’t the destination in this story, they are where the journey begins. We get to see what the residents of Lovecraft’s worlds lives are like. Kindness and loyalty are repaid and the story ends well for the characters, unlike many of Lovecraft’s tales. This story is almost a mirror image of the typical Lovecraft story, and therefore should be very interesting and satisfying for the readers of today.

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