Neil Gaiman, an award winner author of more novels, short fiction, comic books and graphic novels than this article can list, graced Vancouver with his presence at the Vogue theatre this past Thursday, August 8th. It was a sold-out show presented by the Vancouver Writer’s festival and Gaiman did not disappoint. The crowd at the Vogue was tittering with excitement, so much so that every time Gaiman said anything about a new book, old book or Dr. Who to name but a few, the audience would break into applause. Gaiman while appreciative eventually laughed and said that we didn’t have to applaud everything he said.
The night started out in the typical self-deprecating fashion that only a Brit and writer could carry off so easily. Gaiman discussed the program for the evening as starting with a reading from his latest book The Ocean at the End of the Lane, some audience questions and then a reading from something new that no one had ever heard before. For those that haven’t yet read The Ocean at the End of the Lane and are lovers of Neil Gaiman, get out there and buy the book because his latest won’t disappoint.
Gaiman described the process by which he arrived at writing what he called an “accidental novel.” Initially it was to be a short story for his wife Amanda Palmer, whom he missed so very much while she was away recording her latest album in Australia. Eventually this short story that started “with a sliver of truth” progressed into a novelette, then novella, when it was finally time to word count he discovered that it was in fact a novel. Much to the enjoyment of his fan base, this “accidental novel” does not come across like an accident at all and is filled with all of the magical delights that Gaiman weaves into his stories.
Beyond the audience questions, which Gaiman stated “were much better than Montreal’s”, we were delighted with little bits of insight into Gaiman’s personal world. Questions delving into whether there would be sequels to books like American Gods and Neverwhere were answered with news that there would in fact be a sequel to American Gods and that it was currently being researched and would be written one day. Whereas this fall we will see a novelette about Neverwhere called “How the Marquis Got his Coat Back” that is featured in an anthology titled Rogues and is edited by George R. R. Martin (who is for those that are not aware, the author of the series A Song of Ice and Fire, also known as a Game of Thrones).
To wrap up the evening, Gaiman read to us a wonderful except from a book for all ages out this September called “Fortunately the Milk.” A charming story that is sure to please all members of the family. Vancouver Weekly thanks Neil Gaiman for making this his last stop on his North American tour and for leaving us inspired and happy.