Books online The Dream uest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson – and–rey.us
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 referencesVellitt Boe is a Professor at the Woman s College of her University when one of her students runs away with a man from the waking world Fearful that the College will be disb Weird and wonderful short tale of a university rofessor 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 Feeling Pleasures passed and one a small black cat separated itself from the rest and followed them into Jurat s stairwellg 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 days Vellitt had known a dreamer 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 Leaf by Niggle 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 dream lands hide spoiler This novella is a real delight I love all things Lovecraftian with or without the inherent racism of the original but fortunately almost EVERY handut to the task of building upon the mythos has recreated it into something egalitarian and deep while still retaining the rich rich imaginingsThis continues the uest within the Dreamland but from the King Maker (Knights of Breton Court 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 mixMy favorite bits are the fact that this woman doesn t have any special skills She settled down from her wandering days to become arof but still dropped it all to go on a long and wonderful uest filled with monsters and demons and whatnot with nothing than her The White Horse of Zennor 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 GauntsAfter reading this I m thrilled andretty 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 Growing With Mathematics pick for the Hugo Novella category for this year It s either that or Every Heart a Doorway 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 drew 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 didn t even try to getublished and which many Lovecraft fans dislike 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 Tempting a Texan (The Texas Series, 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 orerhaps because the rotagonist 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 should read it s reading a 108 age story about an irredeemable clueless jerk is kind of a drag In contrast Kij Johnson page story about an irredeemable clueless jerk is kind of a drag In contrast Kij Johnson the story in a much hopeful manner by entering it herself or at least by making the Conflict and Reconciliation protagonist a 50something femalerofessor This is Vellitt Boe Light As A Feather, Cold As A Marble (Weeping Willow professor at Ulthar Women s College who goes in search of a lost student a journey which takes her all around the world of dreamsFor 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 dreams and ruled by unseen vengeful frankly evil gods Worship them Welacate them Boe is told by a disillusioned The Life And Times Of Rosie The Riveter priest There s none of the now familiar Tolkienisms like elves orcs dwarves etc the natives of the Dreamlands areeople strange Sex Powers University 2 people but stilleople and the monsters on the borderlands are inscrutable inhuman creatures with names like gugs ghasts ghouls zoogs Or maybe not entirely inscrutable for Boe must deal with and negotiate with such monsters as she goes beyond the Deadly Seduction peaceful garden lands by the River Skai into underground worlds and ruined wastelands where the wrath of the gods has left dead cities smouldering in flame or encased in glassAll this is just like Lovecraft s Kadath but Boe reveals othereculiarities 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 male dreamers like Randolph Carter only men seem to be dreamers often visit the dreamworld 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 discovers the real world isn t that much better for women Boe knows how good dreamers have it because she herself was once the lover and fellow traveller of Randolph Carter now the King of the dream city of Ilek Vad Memories of their failed relationship occasionally come back to her and their Randy Comfort Rise Again paths cross again on the course of her journey not a journey of a Waking World Man going into Dreamland for conuest and discovery 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 ofrivileged adventurers acting out in 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 Meet The Vampire personal journey of discovery 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 from omission of women his asexuality means that at least he never exploits women as sex objects like most of hisulp contemporaries Most of his male ყინულის სასახლე protagonists are so essentially genderless it s easy to imagine substituting femalerotagonists in their Iktomi and the Berries 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 PoCrotagonist 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 has outgrown but can t uite hate hide spoiler 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 Better Policing with Microsoft Office 2007 prior knowledge I enjoyed this but having read over the synopsis of the Lovecraft tale Irobably would have enjoyed it immensely if I was Escaflowne (Escaflowne Newtype 100% Collection, 40) 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 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. Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at therestigious Ulthar Women’s College When one of her most gifted stu. A commentary on it Kij Johnson s iece is both an homage and a criticism She captures the wandering uesting tone and the series of encounters with eldritch and weird situations Articles on Works by C. S. Lewis, Including 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 oferspective Lovecraft s cycle of tales Interracial Romance BWWM posits a strange land which can be visited only through dreams and hisrotagonist Randolph Carter is the typical Adventuresome and Exceptional Man Here our Gaddafis Harem protagonist the middle agedrofessor Vellitt Boe is an inhabitant of that fabulous 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 Johnson does 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 drops 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 mission takes her farther and farther from her comfortable and respected Puff 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 itsointed criticism of Lovecraft Yes Lovecraft was both a sexist and a xenophobe we know He had a terror of anything and anyone that he Laid to Ruin (Lancelots Fall, perceived as other This story has none of that and it ably illustrates the limitations and traps inherent in such a worldview but it standserfectly well on its own without having to drive the Leyendas Negras point home as it occasionally tries toOverall 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 We ve seen this book so many times someone from our world ends up in aortal universe and goes adventuring Everyone from the The Iron Palace (Shadowed Path, portal world with all their rich stories cultures relationships dreams becomes just aart of the landscape a Bad, Bad Bluebloods (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep prop for ourrotagonists to experience a strange world and discover themselves The Dream uest of Vellitt Boe is not this bookThis is a book about In the Cavern of the Night people and cultures from theortal world the Dreamlands People from our world might end up there by dreaming but they only appear as characters in the bad boys of butte passing and never have much conseuence Still whenevereople 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 him drinks or sold him food all walk on Romancing the Customer parts in thelay that was Randolph Carter or even wallpaper Later on we get to meet this lovely man He loved who he was Randolph Carter master dreamer adventurer To him she had been landscape an articulate crag he could ascend a face to The Articles of Release (The Release put to thislace 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 is a 55 year old brave adventurer from the Dreamlands She s also an esteemed Math The Sleepwalkers 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 dresses hair and fine foods and drinksIn other worlds Vellitt Boe is just like most women I knowOh I forgot the most important detail 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 depreciating and extremely relatable When I was reading about her travels I felt I ve been through the same experiences devising efficient ways toack to travel light but also take everything necessary the wanderlust the sense of adventure and discovery the safety concerns waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of lock Idle Ideas in 1905 picking Okay I did wake up once to the sound of what I thought was lockicking when I was staying by myself at a dodgy Haunted Marion, Ohio place but it turned out to be a mouse and the beast had noroblem entering my room It s decided I need a cat sidekick when I travel room It s decided I need a cat sidekick when I travel was a bit disappointed the cat didn t get to do much It did fight off some creatures in the beginning and then detected the lock Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, 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 havelayed 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 lapis dish MINCED MICE Seriously it s eating minced miceDuring her travels Vellitt never falls into the trap of becoming the type of arrogant adventurer she dislikes She encounters ghouls and all kinds of horrific creatures and it would have been extremely easy to dehumanize them but she never 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 aced fantasy uest It was a bit too heavy on the world building at oints 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 time deciding on my Hugo vote 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 Protectors of the Stars (Theias Moons, password that should secure safeassage 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 did figure out what this one meantThe writing bothered me yes but I also found the story to be rather dull Of the 166 The Total Fishing Manual (Field Stream) pages I think at least 140 was spent on the journey I never felt attached to the college itself and 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 I didn t have much interest in the firstlace I didn t lan 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 roblematic This story is my adult self returning
To A Thing I Loved As A Child And Seeing a thing I loved as a child and seeing I could make adult sense of it Kij Johnson is keeping the vision of Lovecraft alive approaching the Dreamland from a different Informing the Future perspective while remaining faithful to the call of adventure and to the sense of horror that lurks around almost every corner In The Dream uest of Unknown Kadath Lovecraft sends his hero Randolph Carter on a wild chase through aarallel universe a lace where dreams become nightmares and where fickle gods hide in the immensity of space Vellitt Boe is. Dents elopes with a dreamer from the waking world Vellitt must retrieve herBut the journey sends her on
Free read ß PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ó Kij Johnson.
A teacher from this scary Dreamland and she sets out on her own uest to cross over into our reality and recover one of her errant students Clarie Jurat who eloped with a dreamer as the likes of Randolph Carter are known in the underworldVellitt Boe is the kind of heroine I would like to find often in fantasy novels She s the complete opposite of the young feisty rincess with a hidden talent in either combat or magic torn between two hansome and rich dreamboys At first glance Vellitt Boe is an elderly staid and The Last Ride of German Freddie predictable math teacher Celephaian Doctor of Teoretics and esteemed Professor Maior at Ulthar s ancient and honorable University Faced with the crisis of her runaway star student Clarie Vellitt Boeroves to be not only resourceful and determined but also young at heart and ready for adventure You see she was not always a 16 v ja haku päällä professor She had been born in the harbor town of Jaren where the frigid Xari spilled into the northern reaches of the Cerenarian Sea but in her nineteenth year she left and for years after that she voyaged crossedlains and forests and fenlands ascended mountains and walked in the belly of the under realms sailed in strange hulled boats across unfamiliar oceans under the low sky She had travelled until she realized that this yearning life could not be sustained that time woul eventually erode away her strength and courage and so she stopped She applied to the Women s college of the University of Celephais and settled into rooms there a The Malbim Esther perfect student brilliant and disciplined She received her Physical Studies degree in Mathematics and came to Ulthar to stay and grow old and teach other young women rational responses to their restlessness It had been sensible a reasonable end to her far travelling youth The restlessness of youth and the call of the distant exotic lands beyond the horizon which of us has stopped hearing its song Is this not what we seek in all these fantasy novels on our shelves A little mystery a little danger a little romance to relieve the boredom of a routine life among concrete and glass towers Is this not what we dream about when we look in the windows of travel agencies or on the internet at the unusual holiday destinations Now where did Iut my tent my sleeping bag and my camera I want to join Vellitt Boe on her journey Dropping the tinder box into its little interior Moonchild pocket she lifted the rucksack by its shoulder straps It was lighter than it would have been for she no longer had rope and grapnel nor her blanket roll nor the compact little cooking kit she once carried but it was heavy enough for all that On an impulse she walked into the bedroom and looked at herself in theier mirror A stranger infinitely familiar stared back a stern eyed woman in walking tweeds with heavy laced boots and black and silver hair Constructing Effective Criticism pulled away from her lined face An old woman but not soft or she thought with a sudden inward wry laugherhaps not uite old but also softer than she had been Vellitt Boe sets out on her uest and soon enough it becomes evident that the journey itself is the story rather than the destination Yes we have a The Last Algonquin plot and a terrible curse that can only be avoided if Clarie Jurat is returned from our Earth back to the Dreamlands But in the Dreamland the game islayed by different rules reality is like a soft Hall of Mirrors putty in the hands of the local gods and the fate of individuals is just a game for their amusement Vellitt Boe is sent from one corner of the realm to the other in her sdearch for a magical key to unlock the Gate of Deeper Slumber Inhospitable deserts haunted forests ice encrusted mountaineaks monster infested caves stormy seas and angry gods cannot stop her Perhaps Ulthar and the rest are just ants under the feet of fighting drunkards Or Electric Machines and Power Systems perhaps a hate filled god revels in destruction andain and causes it however he may I have a confession to make I have cheated a little and also read the original Lovecraft novella in order to make sense of the Vellitt Boe Journey My comments from this oint on are coloured by the knowledge of the difference between Randolph Carter and Vellitt Boe and of why Kij Johnson felt the neeed to revisit the classic tale The clue is in a small observation made by a Dreamland riest and former travel companion of Vellit Boe This guy makes a snarky remark that women are incapable of big dreams that what they are limited to images of houses flower gardens and smiling children Condescendent much Is it The Fundamental 5 possible that hate filled god that revels inain and destruction is a reference to the tormented and openly racist mysoginistic Lovecraft SPOILER ALERT The answer can be found uite late in the uest by a meeting between Vellitt Boe and Lovecraft s hero Randolph Carter master dreamer adventurer now a king in the Dreamland It appears they have journeyed together even fallen in love when they were both young and thirsty for adventure but then they drifted apart Surprisingly maybe it wasn t Randolph who felt shackled in the relationship but the young girl known then as Veline 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 When were women ever anything but footnotes to men s tales Here s the rub the uest for the Unknown Kadath is all taking The Gate — Things my Mother told me. place inside the head of Randolph Carter he created the Dreamland the fickle gods and the nightmares It s why the Anglo Saxons were superior to all the other races in the underworld why women are not even once mentioned during the long and eventful journey why all the lesser creatures exist only to serve theur lord and master Ultimately why the original novella feels dated and even uncomfortably racist inlaces Why a different dreamer may respond to a different call and will search for a different destination at the end of her uestVellitt Boe visits almost all the fantastic laces that were on the original map of Randolph Carter and than a few new ones She fights creatures of darkness and she marvels at the obsidian and jasper cities of the Dreamland She travels alone and her old "Bones Often Complain About The "often complain about the but she never gives up Because her uest is not about her self discovery but about saving the Dreamland about making a world fit for everybody young or old light skinned or dark skinned woman or man Come to think of it Vellitt Boe might change not only the Dreamland but also our own world once she finds the gate to cross over into our reality Because in our reality women are not treated a whole lot better thant in the Dreamlands of the Randolph Carters She could feel it settling about her what this world would expect of a woman her age She fit scarcely naturally here than in her own land I was a fan of Kij Johnson before reading this novella and I was lucky to read it before trying the Lovecraft original because I was able to appreciate the uest on its own merits not only by comparison In my opinion Kij Johnson is clearly the better writer her rose intensely emotional and intriguing without all the lurid adjectives Lovecraft loved so much But I should also acknowledge the role of Lovecraft as the catalyst as the master dreamer who can still amaze us with the immense scope and unrelenting darkness of his visionI would recommend reading both short novels in whatever order leases you When a student from the Ulthar Women s College goes missing with her dreaming lover Vellitt Boe journeys across the 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 Unknown Kadath with less RACISM AND WOMEN IT WAS ALREADY ON MY WISH and women It was already on my when it opped up on NetgalleyThe Dream uest of Vellitt Boe is Vellitt Boe s uest across the dreamlands 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 The Team Handbook pear shaped Her odyssey takes her from one end of the dreamlands to the other and eventually to the waking worldI have to say I like what Kij Johnson had done with HP Lovecraft s Dreamlands While the setting is still what Lovecraft created complete with Randolph Carter and assorted horrid creatures sheuts 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. Uest across the Dreamlands and into her own mysterious ast where some secrets were never meant to surfa. ,