Vellitt Boe is no stranger to the Call To Adventure.
Vellitt Boe might be scared, but she'll venture forth without hesitation regardless.
After all, Vellitt Boe hasa world to save, and gods be damned, she's going to do it.
Kij Johnson's newest novella, heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft (The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath in particular), stars a retired-adventurer-turned-professor who follows the Hero's Journey to save a wayward student from the waking realm and subsequentially, her world from its tempestuous gods.— From Avery
Do you ever find yourself wanting more Lovecraft in your diet, but without the misogyny and antisemitism? Johnson turns Lovecraft on his head with this fast-paced and dreamlike quest story, featuring a mature woman as the hero, and lots of strange creatures and places.
Strange, accessible, and delightful!— From Zak
Middle-aged math professor Boe thinks the adventurous days of her youth are long gone. But when her best student goes missing, she must venture out across a terrifying dreamscape, pursued by malicious gods, to retrieve her. A beautifully written, economical little masterpiece about resiliency, second chances, and the power of women's stories.— From Sarah
World Fantasy Award winner, Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell, and Locus Award finalist for Best Novella, and one of NPR's Best Books of 2016
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.
d"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
"Kij Johnson has an unrivalled gift for making the unreal real and the real unreal. 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. " —Ursula K. Le Guin
"By the time we finish this gorgeously written tale, we're about convinced that Lovecraft's wriggly gods and monsters are no match for smart women." — The Chicago Tribune
"In the world of Vellitt Boe everything has meaning, from the numbered stars to visions in flame... This book held me spellbound from start to finish." —NPR
"With 'The Dream-quest of Vellitt Boe,' Kij Johnson has deftly spun a delight and a wonder. 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. Brava!" —Caitlín R. Kiernan
"A wondrous work of fantasy and empowerment... the story draws to a close with an utterly surprising, fascinating, and, I shall say, perfect note." — Kirkus Reviews
"Superb worldbuilding and gorgeous prose will hold readers rapt....Utterly irresistible." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"A solid dose of that odd mix of visceral horror and mythic vision that was the source of Lovecraft’s power... the story’s brilliant denouement may be its most subversive aspect of all." — Locus