Neil Gaiman (OT) (was Margaret Mahy)

Jenwa Hsung jenwahsung at yahoo.com
Mon May 14 17:14:04 EDT 2001


--- Anna Skarzynska <theania at freeuk.com> wrote:
> Neil:
> > Can anyone comment on Neil Gaiman's books?  I've
> heard that he's good and
> he
> > gets name-checked by many rated fantasy authors,
> but I haven't looked into
> > his work at all.  I noticed that Hexwood is
> dedicated to him.
> 
> Neil Gaiman writes all sorts of stuff - novels
> (Stardust and, with Terry
> Pratchett, Good Omens), short stories and poems (one
> collection is Smoke and
> Mirrors), but he's most famous for his comic book
> scripts. 
> Preacher is not set in the same universe as the
> above and is not written by
> Gaiman, but it's also DC Vertigo and possibly even
> (dare I say it) better
> than Sandman. But I don't know. It's too difficult
> to choose...

oh my.  I really like Preacher very much, but it
doesn't compare to Sandman, in my mind.
for the record, there were 75 issues of Sandman, which
are collected into 10 graphic novels.  plus, 6 issues
starring Dream's sister Death, collected into 2
shorter graphic novels.
they are nothing short of brilliant.
as has been mentioned previously on this list, one of
the issues, A Midsummer Night's Dream, won the World
Fantasy Award [and will be the only comic to, as i
believe they changed the requirements afterwards to
disallow comics].  but the strength of the series is
not just the quality of the individual issues -- it's
the overarching plotline and themes and world.
so if you can, borrow Sandman from someone [because
it's rather pricey to buy before reading] and start at
the beginning.  and allow a good chunk of time once
you reach the last two graphic novels, because the
momentum does not let you stop.

> Anyway, I rate NG's comics higher than his other
> work. The best place to
> start is Sandman, I think.Collected editions are
> available.

i agree that Sandman is probably Gaiman's best work
overall [it practically has to be, it's so amazing].
but i find that Good Omens, the novel he wrote with
Terry Pratchett about the apocalypse, comes in a very
very close second, for me.  it's truly hilarious and
wonderful. 
for Stardust, there is a novel version, but if you
can, acquire the version in comic book shops with the
illustrations by Charles Vess, because they're
gorgeous, and add alot to the feel of the narrative.
i very much enjoyed Neverwhere, the novelisation of
his BBC television series.  i'd like to see the series
someday...
_Angels and Vistations_ and _Smoke and Mirrors_ are
short story collections by him.  if i'm remembering
correctly, one of them, i forget which, includes the
thank-you-for-Hexwood poem.
there's a CD, i forget the title, where he reads some
of his stories, which is excellent.  it also includes
the song "Banshee", which he wrote for the Flash Girls
[of which Emma Bull is a part].  he wrote a few other
songs for them as well, i believe.
some other stuff he's done: he did the English
translation for Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, and he
wrote _Don't Panic_, as a companion for the
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  he also wrote a
cute children's picture book called The Day I Swapped
My Dad for Two Goldfish.

and for everyone in the Boston area, he's the guest of
honor for next year's Boskone.  whee!

--jenwa.


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