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The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij…
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The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

by Kij Johnson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3733048,075 (4.09)35
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.… (more)
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English (28)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This novella is a real delight! I love all things Lovecraftian, with or without the inherent racism of the original, but fortunately, almost EVERY hand put to the task of building upon the mythos has recreated it into something egalitarian and deep while still retaining the rich, rich imaginings.

This continues the quest within the Dreamland but from the point of view of a middle-aged teacher of mathematics from *within* this other world, helping out a student from our world who had fallen in love with a man in the Dreamland who, if allowed to continue, would set all the gods of creation on a tear to destroy everything because the two SHALL NOT mix.

My favorite bits are the fact that this woman doesn't have any special skills. She settled down from her wandering days to become a prof but still dropped it all to go on a long and wonderful quest filled with monsters and demons and whatnot with nothing more than her perseverance. :)

Imaginative. So imaginative. This continues Lovecraft's original, sure, but Kij Johnson flows deep within these rivers that are at once familiar and very unfamiliar, evoking a blase attitude to things that are richly disturbing and strange, evoking awe with simple concepts like the number Pi that *doesn't* change its value, and so many other cool bits with Ghasts and Gouls and Gaunts.

After reading this I'm thrilled and pretty well amazed and totally on-board with reading anything else this woman has ever written. Anything that can evoke awe in this old reader has got to be cherished.

This one might make my top pick for the Hugo Novella category for this year. It's either that or [b:Every Heart a Doorway|25526296|Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)|Seanan McGuire|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1431438555s/25526296.jpg|45313140] ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
3.5

Not one of my favorite Tor.com novellas but still very enjoyable! ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
Enjoyable little story. ( )
  CiaraCat | Jan 9, 2020 |
Masterful. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Oct 3, 2019 |
Man, this book took me ages to read!

A student goes missing from dream-land, they suspect into the world of the waking (humans on earth), and Professor Vellitt Boe, goes searching for the student. It seems the gods will be angered if they wake up and the student is gone, a relative or something.

Also, a cat shows up, for some reason.

I'm not sure why, aside from there was just, something very drawn out, and unknown about the whole story--and maybe because there was almost no humor? I just didn't feel drawn to pick it up very often. I did wind up enjoying the end, and I liked some of the interactions. Maybe it would have helped if I had read the H.P. Lovecraft story it was drawing from. ( )
  Pepperwings | Sep 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Johnson, KijAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ngai, VictoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For everyone who had to find her own way in
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Vellitt Boe was dreaming of a highway and ten million birds in an empty sky of featureless blue.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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