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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.
But the journey sends her on a quest across the Dreamlands and into her own mysterious past, where some secrets were never meant to surface.
"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
"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!"—Caitlin R. Kiernan
"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