Known by his colleague, co-author and regular illustrative collaborator Chris Riddell as the ‘wise wizard’, Neil Gaiman is amongst Britain’s foremost writers of fantasy and graphic novels; blending mythologies, folklore and urban legend in a diverse portfolio that embraces the ground-breaking graphic novel series The Sandman, contemporary children’s classics, The Graveyard Book and Coraline and adult fiction including Stardust, Neverwhere and the masterpiece that is American Gods.
The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction.
Now our greatest living fantasist reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales.
Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarök and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman’s prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.
Works of Fiction
The Sandman Series
A self-confessed "feral child who was raised in libraries", Neil Gaiman’s career began in England as a journalist and biographer (his first works were biographies of Duran Duran and Douglas Adams). Discovering a talent for creative pastiche, he moved into penning graphic novels, collaborating with David McKean on the DC series Black Orchid.
Gaiman paired up with McKean again for the series which made his name. Beginning, famously, with the words "wake up", the first issue of The Sandman quickly became a cult phenomenon. Headily imaginative and visually arresting, the original comic spawned a further 75 issues, involving collaboration with artists including Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, and Michael Zulli.
The Old Gods and the New
Moving into prose fiction in the early Nineties, Gaiman’s first novel, the anarchically funny Good Omens, was written in collaboration with Terry Pratchett for his Discworld series. He followed this with his first solo novel, Neverwhere (described in one review as ‘the sort of book Terry Pratchett might produce if he spent a month locked in a cellar with Franz Kafka’). Gaiman’s lifelong love of post-modern metamorphosed mythology undoubtedly achieved full-flight in his sprawling contemporary satirical epic, American Gods. Now a major television series, the novel was praised by The Times for its ‘wit and sense of the marvellous’, imagining ancient deities forced into conflict with a host of new and powerful gods reflecting a new America entranced by media, celebrity, technology, and drugs.
Worlds within Worlds
Gaiman’s fiction has steadily encompassed ever more creative territory, with the author turning his hand to an elaborate collection of fantasy novels and short stories including Stardust, Anansi Boys, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Smoke and Mirrors as well as a recent return to gods behaving badly for his reimagining of Norse Mythology. This has come alongside popular books for children ranging from gothic delights The Graveyard Book (for which he won the prestigious Carnegie Medal) and Coraline to illustrated fairy tales Odd and the Frost Giants and The Sleeper and The Spindle.
Ever on the lookout for stories ripe for reinvention, it’s difficult to predict where Gaiman’s eye will fall next, he says: "There’s a real joy in passing these things on. It’s like being given something that belongs to humanity and polishing it and cleaning it up and putting it back out there."