Many reviews of Vellitt Boe start with something like I hate Lovecraft but I love this book but as a fan of Lovecraft and specifically The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath I rew a comic based on it after all I m here to say that I too loved this novelIt s interesting that out of all Lovecraft s books Kadath which Lovecraft His Substitute Bride (Seavers Brides, didn t even try to get published and which many Lovecraft fansislike because it s too fantasy and not horror enough has inspired no less than two critical re envisionings Charles Cutting s graphic novel The Dream uest of Randolph Carter and this Kij Johnson s Kadath seuelretelling That s the weird thing there s no subaltern subversive rewrite of The Call of Cthulhu or At the Mountains of Madness AFAIK but there s something about the lesser known Kadath that inspires critics of Lovecraft to revisit wrestle with it perhaps because it s just a really good fairytale uest story oddly it shares a lot with The Wizard of Oz and even with Dr Seuss s I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew or perhaps because the protagonist is so obviously a self insert of Lovecraft criticizing Kadath is like criticizing Lovecraft himself Thus in Cutting s version Randolph Carter is a complete asshole a racist snob and the whole story is about waiting for him to get his comeuppance But if there s one flaw in Cutting s beautifully illustrated adaptation which you really should read it s that reading a 108 page story about an irredeemable clueless jerk is kind of a Tu Alma ¿La Conoces? drag In contrast Kij Johnson upends the story in a much hopeful manner by entering it herself or at least by making the protagonist a 50something female professor This is Vellitt Boe professor at Ulthar Women s College who goes in search of a lost student a journey which takes her all around the world ofreamsFor those who haven t read the 1926 book the Dreamlands of Johnson and Lovecraft are a surreal fantasy world of weird beauty accessible to a fortunate few in their J.M. Coetzee dreams and ruled by unseen vengeful frankly evil gods Worship them We placate them Boe is told by aisillusioned priest There s none of the now familiar Tolkienisms like elves orcs Feminization and Chastity Training for the Sissy Husband (The League of Dominant Women dwarves etc the natives of the Dreamlands are people strange people but still people and the monsters on the borderlands are inscrutable inhuman creatures with names like gugs ghasts ghouls zoogs Or maybe not entirely inscrutable for Boe musteal with and negotiate with such monsters as she goes beyond the peaceful garden lands by the River Skai into underground worlds and ruined wastelands where the wrath of the gods has left The Club of Angels dead cities smouldering in flame or encased in glassAll this is just like Lovecraft s Kadath but Boe reveals other peculiarities Lovecraft never would have written about Dreamland s sky has a vaulted ceiling with only 97 stars and there are very few women there we never find out exactly how few but Boe is amazed at the idea of a world with eual numbers of men and women and malereamers like Randolph Carter only men seem to be Blue Skies and Gunfire dreamers often visit thereamworld and make it a canvas for their fantasies As a middle aged woman traveller Boe endures subtle and unsubtle reminders that she is an unwelcome outsider even in her own world and as she eventually iscovers the real world isn t that much better for women Boe knows how good reamers have it because she herself was once The Lover And Fellow Traveller Of Randolph Carter Now The lover and fellow traveller of Randolph Carter now the of the 새로 만든 먼나라 이웃나라 12 - 미국 3 dream city of Ilek Vad Memories of their failed relationship occasionally come back to her and their paths cross again on the course of her journey not a journey of a Waking World Man going into Dreamland for conuest andiscovery but a Dreamland Woman going into the Waking World to save the ones she lovesThere s much here about sexism and the reasons for men women s failed relationships and the Orientalist narrative tradition to which Kadath belongs stories of privileged adventurers acting out in Ossos Perdidos (Temperance Brennan, distant realms But notably unlike all the reviews which again focus entirely on this aspect and make the book sound like some manifesto Johnson makes this all actually SUBTLE Like Kadath this is a personal journey ofiscovery not a heavy message story One theme made explicit in Johnson s afterword is the almost total absence of women from the Kadath and Lovecraft s fiction in general Whether
by accident or intent Johnson s afterword never uses the term misogyny while Lovecraft s stories suffer accident or intent Johnson s afterword never uses the term misogyny while Lovecraft s stories suffer omission of women his asexuality means that at least he never exploits women as sex objects like most of his pulp contemporaries Most of his male protagonists are so essentially genderless it s easy to imagine substituting female protagonists in their places turning Victorian adventurer Randolph Carter into a Victorian adventuress like Gertrude Bell or Alexandra David Neel or Vellitt Boe Easier anyway than substituting a PoC protagonist into Lovecraft s overwhelmingly white racist civilization vs barbarism worldview When we eventually meet Carter himself in a short scene view spoilerhe s not an antagonist but a flawed but well intentioned man someone Boe has outgrown but can t uite hate hide spoiler I m not familiar with the HP Lovecraft short story that this is a reply to The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath but Lovecraftian themes abound and I recognize a lot of the refe The writing in this book was odd from the beginning Very stilted And then there were some seriously confusing sentences Here are two examples He offered her two additional gifts of great value a password that should secure safe passage and the aid of any ghouls she encountered and a carved red opal suspended from a fine black iron chain which would allow her to see in the lightless under realmsI had to reread that three or four times because I kept counting that as three gifts rather than two She took this to mean she should climb its back and it was thus they crossed her face inches above the gaping vertical mouth that split its head in halfAgain I had to reread because I thought the creature she was riding had its head split in half I never id figure out what this one meantThe. Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College When one of her most gifted stu. Nd GauntsAfter 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 Every Heart a Doorway When a student from the Ulthar Women s College goes missing with her reaming lover Vellitt Boe journeys across the Dr. Simon Forman dreamlands to find a way to the waking world to bring her back With a cat in tow will Vellitt be able to find Clarie JuratGhouls ghasts and gugs oh my The Dream uest of Vellitt Boe is a new spin on HP Lovecraft s The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath with less racism and women It was already on my wish list when it popped up on NetgalleyThe Dream uest of Vellitt Boe is Vellitt Boe s uest across thereamlands to bring home Clarie Jurat a student at her college Clarie fell in love with a man from the waking world and Vellitt must bring her back before things go pear shaped Her odyssey takes her from one end of the Serving Up Secrecy (Ladies of Westside dreamlands to the other and eventually to the waking worldI have to say I like what Kij Johnson hadone with HP Lovecraft s Dreamlands While the setting is still what Lovecraft created complete with Randolph Carter and assorted horrid creatures she puts her own stamp on the tale by having a middle aged woman take center stage The writing is way accessible than HP Lovecraft s and reads like Neil Gaiman s Stardust She treats the mythos with respect while expanding upon it and telling her own storyThe only thing I can really complain about is that it wasn t longer and Kij wasn t able to work all of the Dreamlands staples into it 35 out of 5 stars We ve seen this book so many times someone from our world ends up in a portal universe and goes adventuring Everyone from the portal world with all their rich stories cultures relationships A Wartime Nurse dreams becomes just a part of the landscape a prop for our protagonists to experience a strange world andiscover themselves The Dream uest of Vellitt Boe is not this bookThis is a book about people and cultures from the portal world the Dreamlands People from our world might end up there by Split dreaming but they only appear as characters in passing and never have much conseuence Still whenever people from the waking world reach the Dreamlands they are just as arrogant as any characters we ve seen in other works He had been a man like many so wrapped and rapt in his own story that there was no room for the world around him except as it served his own tale the black men of Parg and Kled and Sona Nyl the gold men of Thorabon and Ophir and Rinar and all the women invisible everywhere except when they brought himrinks or sold him food all walk on parts in the play that was Randolph Carter or even wallpaper Later on we get to meet this lovely man He loved who he was Randolph Carter master reamer adventurer To him she had been landscape an articulate crag he could ascend a face to put to this place When were women ever anything but footnotes to men s tales But this book is not about Randolph Carter This book is about Vellitt BoeMeet Vellitt Boe She
a 55 year old adventurer from the Dreamlands She s also an esteemed Math professor And in between teaching at the university climbing mountains fighting off scary creatures sailing the open seas adventuring in various underworlds verbally sparring with messengers of the gods and going on epic uests that can change the world she finds the time for resses hair and fine foods and Sword of Honour Second To None drinksIn other worlds Vellitt Boe is just like most women I knowOh I forgot the most importantetail She has a cat sidekickBut before I go on let s take a step back and give some background The Dream uest of Vellitt Boe is a retelling of Lovecraft s The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath As I mentioned in my review of another Hugo finalist The Ballad of Black Tom I haven t read Lovecraft s works Perhaps I would have understood and appreciated this novella better if I had but I still loved it and so can youVellitt is smart resourceful self The Extra Cadaver Murder depreciating and extremely relatable When I was reading about her travels I felt I ve been through the same experiencesevising efficient ways to pack to travel light but also take everything necessary the wanderlust the sense of adventure and Perfect Girl Evolution Vol. 6 discovery the safety concerns waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of lock picking Okay Iid wake up once to the sound of what I thought was lock picking when I was staying by myself at a odgy place but it turned out to be a mouse and the beast had no problem entering my room It s ecided I need a cat sidekick when I travel tooI was a bit Dark Ties (Broken Saints Society disappointed the catidn t get to oIs A 55 Year Old
Much It Did Fight OffIt id fight off creatures in the beginning and then Lawn Boy Returns detected the lock picking but most of the time it seemed to be there to be cool or as a nod to the original Lovecraft story as far as I understand there was a cat there as well I felt it could have played a much bigger role At least it gets respect The small black cat in its blue collar had accompanied Vellitt to her audience and been well rewarded Carter had saluted it with honor as a noble of its species and it had been served with its own fine foods mountain clear water minced mice and a tiny fish still flipping its tail in a lapisish MINCED MICE Seriously it s eating minced miceDuring her travels Vellitt never falls into the trap of becoming the type of arrogant adventurer she Yolandas Genius dislikes She encounters ghouls and all kinds of horrific creatures and it would have been extremely easy toehumanize them but she never The Fairytale Hairdresser and Sleeping Beauty does My only complain with the book is that it raises a major uestion which remains unanswered and I was looking forward to a satisfying reveal Hopefully it will be addressed in future booksOverall a stunning epic fast paced fantasy uest It was a bit too heavy on the world building at points which might not be everyone s cup of tea but the story and characters are still strong and compelling With so many great novellas I ll have a really hard timeeciding on my Hugo vote. Uest across the Dreamlands and into her own mysterious past where some secrets were never meant to surfa.
read & ownload ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB Û Kij JohnsonWriting bothered me yes but I also found the story to be rather ull Of the 166 pages I think at least 140 was spent on the journey I never felt attached to the college itself and The First Mistake didn t entirely buy the whole reason for the journeyI wish I knew about the Lovecraft story that inspired this I m guessing it was something about the gods themselves Anyway any interest I might have had in the story was killed by the writing and Iidn t have much interest in the first place 35 stars I read this not originally knowing that it is a kind of response to Lovecraft s The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath Even without that prior knowledge I enjoyed this but having read over the synopsis of the Lovecraft tale I probably would have enjoyed it immensely if I was previously familiar with that story This would be good for fans of Lovecraft who are not fans of the blatant racism and sexism of that time Weird and wonderful short tale of a university professor who is looking for a missing student I hadn t read any of Lovecraft s stories but I still enjoyed this very muchFirst of all I learned what a group of cats is called A clowder had congregated with the uad as well they ceased whatever was their business and watched as Vellitt and Oure passed and one a small black cat separated itself from the rest and followed them into Jurat s stairwell pg 15 A clowder how cool is that I nearly have a clowder of cats at my house Also this story has a bit about talking to cats In her far travelling Jewelry Making For Beginners days Vellitt had known areamer who claimed to understand the speech of cats but of all the cats she had ever met in Ulthar a town crammed with them none had ever spoken to her nor anyone else none that she knew anyway pg 43 ebookBesides all of the cat things there is an awesome twist to this story view spoilerWhen Vellitt Bow was young she had been a far traveller a great walker of the Six Kingdoms which waking world men called the ream lands hide spoiler I idn t plan for it but this is my second in a row fan fic story The title should have been familiar from a highschool short foray into Lovecraftian horror but the source of inspiration only became clear to me when reading the afterword acknowledgements I first read it at ten thrilled and terrified and uncomfortable with the racism but not yet aware that the total absence of women was also problematic This story is my adult self returning to a thing I loved as a child and seeing whether I could make adult sense of it Kij Johnson is keeping the vision of Lovecraft alive approaching the Dreamland from a The Penguin Book of English Verse different perspec Before reading this story I highly recommend reading Lovecraft s Dream Cycle or at the very least The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath as this is a commentary on it Kij Johnson s piece is both an homage and a criticism She captures the wandering uesting tone and the series of encounters with eldritch and weird situations perfectly I would venture to say that her writing even improves on the originalsBut what convinced me to up this to four stars was how much I enjoyed the reversal of perspective Lovecraft s cycle of tales posits a strange land which can be visited only throughreams and his protagonist Randolph Carter is the typical Adventuresome and Exceptional Man Here our protagonist the middle aged professor Vellitt Boe is an inhabitant of that fabulous Seven Secrets of Happiness dream world Of course to her it s just where she lives Indeed to her the waking world is the land of fable and mystery Johnsonoes this extremely well showing a world which to Boe is uotidian but without losing its exotic tinge for the readerProfessor Boe teaches at a women s college When one of her young students elopes with a man from the waking world she rops everything on a uest to find the student and fetch her back before the inevitable scandal gets out The incident would very likely result in the whole school one of the few opportunities available to inuisitive and intelligent women in This World To Be Shut Down In Disgrace As Her world to be shut own in The Force of Destiny disgrace As her takes her farther and farther from her comfortable and respected position Vellitt Boe recalls her youth as a far traveling adventurer and her own affair with a man of the waking worldIt s a great story evocatively told Its only weakness was that at times it gets a bit message y in its pointed criticism of Lovecraft Yes Lovecraft was both a sexist and a xenophobe we know He had a terror of anything and anyone that he perceived as other This story has none of that and it ably illustrates the limitations and traps inherent in such a worldview but it stands perfectly well on its own without having torive the point home as it occasionally tries toOverall The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (Chapter 9 Provocateur) definitely recommended for both Lovecraft s fans and foesMany thanks to Tor and NetGalley for the opportunity to read As always my opinions are solely my own This novella is a realelight 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 eep #while still retaining the rich rich imaginingsThis continues the uest within #still retaining the rich rich imaginingsThis continues the uest within 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 estroy everything because the two SHALL NOT mixMy favorite bits are the fact that this
WOMAN DOESN T HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS SHE SETTLEDdoesn t have any special skills She settled from her wandering The Rose Tattoo and Other Plays days to become a prof but stillropped it all to go on a long and wonderful uest filled with monsters and The Undoing Project demons and whatnot with nothing than her perseverance Imaginative So imaginative This continues Lovecraft s original sure but Kij Johnson flowseep within these rivers that are at once familiar and very unfamiliar evoking a blase attitude to things that are richly First Flight (Dragon School disturbing and strange evoking awe with simple concepts like the number Pi thatoesn t change its value and so many other cool bits with Ghasts and Gouls Dents elopes with a The Lone Man dreamer from the waking world Vellitt must retrieve herBut the journey sends her on