This piece accompanied the debut of Anansi Boys onto the New York Times bestseller charts this Sunday:
In the 1990’s the British novelist Neil Gaiman was among the best comic book writers alive. (Norman Mailer said of his Sandman series, “Along with all else, ‘Sandman’ is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I can say it’s about time.”) Gaiman branched out into children’s books — his Wolves in the Walls, illustrated by Dave McKean, is one of the best scary kids’ stories I know — and published a handful of novels. But he always felt like an undergroung enthusiasm. Until now. Gaiman’s new novel, Anansi Boys enters the hardcover fiction list this week at No. 1. Gaiman, who lives near Minneapolis, is poised to make plenty more cultural noise. For years he’s been thought of, as The Hollywood Reporter put it, as “the most-optioned author in Hollywood who has yet to have any of his work translated to the big screen.” But now Mirrormask, for which he wrote the script, has opened; he’s completed, with Roger Avary, a script for Robert Zemeckis’s forthcoming Beowulf; and his children’s novel Coraline is being made into a film.
He plans to stick with fiction, though. As he told The Hollywood Reporter: “Comics and books have always had the amazing advantage of having an unlimited special effects budget.”
Anansi Boys was also reviewed in this Sunday’s New York Times; the same review is carried in the Calgary Herald
Regarding the Salon piece with Neil and Susanna Clarke, it looks like Making Light has nailed it. Providing a public service, as they often do, they have thoughtfully supplied actual photos so one can make comparisons with the sketches.
A note: the Mirrormask list of theaters available on the Sony site may not be complete: for example, while it is only listing that the film is at the Landmark Sunshine Cinemas in New York City, it is also playing at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, NY. So keep any eye on your local papers’ capsule reviews and schedules; you may be pleasantly surprised to find that it has opened in a small movie house closer to home.
And Reg informs me that there is a CD recording available of interviews and panel highlights by Neil, Poppy Z. Brite, Robin Hobb, and the rest of the guests who attended the Continuum 3 convention in Melbourne, Australia this year. Just fill out the following order form and send your check or money order to:
Spectrum FM Radio
PO Box 642
Belgrave VIC 3160
No mention is made regarding shipping and handling outside Australia, although there should be fees above and beyond the $25.00AU listed.
Alternatively, you can just pick up the CD of the Great Debate: Humans are Unnatural Creatures panel, which you all want – you just don’t realize it yet.
And as this is nominally a family forum, it’s probably not appropriate to mention the part of the body they discuss bleaching in order to prove the they are unnatural case. But the story is infamous by now.
No really. Not suitable for prime time, but very funny indeed.
More details about the CDs are available at