content by

Neil Gaiman

Fiction and Excerpts [6]

Fiction and Excerpts [6]


In honor of National Poetry Month, we are pleased to present “House,” an original poem by Neil Gaiman acquired for by consulting editor Ellen Datlow—originally published on the site on April 2, 2013. is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions over at the Poetry Month index.

[“House” by Neil Gaiman]

Series: Poetry Month

Neil Gaiman and F. Paul Wilson Discuss Why They’re Reviving Henry Kuttner’s Stories

Some years ago, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, and many more had a very special dream.

You see, there was this science fiction/fantasy writer named Henry Kuttner—he was a secret superstar. He wrote so many popular and successful stories . . . every reader of fantasy and science fiction knew who Henry Kuttner was. In this dream, five of Henry Kuttner’s most admired stories will be yours, collected, together, all in one place for the first time. This collection is called The Hogben Chronicles and it is being funded right now via Kickstarter.

Below, Wilson and Gaiman talk about Kuttner’s influence on their work and why a new generation of science fiction/fantasy writers should experience the strange worlds of Henry Kuttner.

[Hogbens and Such: A Conversation Between Neil Gaiman and F. Paul Wilson]

Ghosts in the Machines

We are gathered here at the final end of what Bradbury called the October Country: a state of mind as much as it is a time. All the harvests are in, the frost is on the ground, there’s mist in the crisp night air and it’s time to tell ghost stories.

When I was growing up in England, Halloween was no time for celebration. It was the night when, we were assured, the dead walked, when all the things of night were loosed, and, sensibly, believing this, we children stayed at home, closed our windows, barred our doors, listened to the twigs rake and patter at the window-glass, shivered, and were content.

[Read more]

Series: Ghost Week on

American Gods: Tenth Anniversary Edition: Chapter 1 and 2 (Excerpt)

Magic & Good Madness: A Neil Gaiman Reread on kicks off today and begins in earnest tomorrow with a reread of American Gods, Neil Gaiman’s breathtaking tale of gods old and new as they struggle for relevancy in our world.

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow has done his time and is quietly waiting for the magic day when he can return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wants is to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loves, and to start a new life….

Revisit now the beginning of American Gods, along with the new introduction that Gaiman crafted for its extended, 10th anniversary edition.

[Read more]

Series: Magic & Good Madness: A Neil Gaiman Reread

The Annotated Sandman, Vol. 1 (Excerpt)

Take a peek at this excerpt from the forthcoming first volume in the Annotated Sandman series, out January 10 from Vertigo Comics. You can pre-order the volume here.

Edited by and with an introduction and notes by Leslie S. Klinger, the expert researcher and editor behind the Edgar®-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and the critically acclaimed New Annotated Dracula, The Annotated Sandman is a panel-by-panel journey through every issue of The Sandman.

Beginning with issues #1-#20, this volume provides commentary, historical and contemporary references, hidden meanings and more, presented side-by-side with the series’ art and text. Using scripts and hours of conversation with Gaiman, Klinger reveals fascinating details of The Sandman’s hundreds of unforgettable characters and its place in literary history.

[Read an excerpt from The Annotated Sandman]

Bitter Grounds

We hope you enjoy this reprint, which first appeared in the Mojo: Conjure Stories anthology and subsequently in the collection Fragile Things.

1. “Come back early or never come”

In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the face and lips and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smiled and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door, I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence.

Sometimes I telephoned her. I let the phone ring once, maybe even twice, before I hung up.

[The me who was screaming]

Series: Zombie Week

I’m mostly your fault, Michael Moorcock

Dear Mike,

I started reading your work thirty years ago. I was nine, and the book was Stormbringer.

At the time it was a little like having the top of my head ripped off and magnificent multicoloured ideas poured in.

I read everything I could find you’d written as it was published—several feet of books rapidly appearing on my bookshelves over the next couple of years. I even read everything I could find by people you mentioned, discovering authors like Mervyn Peake in the process.

I took it for granted that a good author could and should be able to write anything and write anything well in any genre or way, and bend and break genres and rules at will—after all, you did it.

Looking back now, the things that stick are the strange ones that don’t fit, from the Sex Pistols’ novel-newspaper (Irene Handl as Mrs Cornelius?) to the mysterious newspaper-wrapped packages of The Chinese Agent

You’ve been an inspiration. Or to put it another way, I’m probably mostly your fault.

It’s good finally to have someone to blame—

Neil Gaiman

Series: Celebrating Michael Moorcock

I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9′ S, Longitude 126° 43′ W)?


Cthulhu, they call me. Great Cthulhu.

Nobody can pronounce it right.

Are you writing this down? Every word? Good. Where shall I start—mm?

Very well, then. The beginning. Write this down, Whateley.

I was spawned uncounted aeons ago, in the dark mists of Khhaa’yngnaiih (no, of course I don’t know how to spell it. Write it as it sounds), of nameless nightmare parents, under a gibbous moon. It wasn’t the moon of this planet, of course, it was a real moon. On some nights it filled over half the sky and as it rose you could watch the crimson blood drip and trickle down its bloated face, staining it red, until at its height it bathed the swamps and towers in a gory dead red light.

Those were the days.

Or rather the nights, on the whole. Our place had a sun of sorts, but it was old, even back then. I remember that on the night it finally exploded we all slithered down to the beach to watch. But I get ahead of myself.

I never knew my parents.

My father was consumed by my mother as soon as he had fertilized her and she, in her turn, was eaten by myself at my birth. That is my first memory, as it happens. Squirming my way out of my mother, the gamy taste of her still in my tentacles.

Don’t look so shocked, Whateley. I find you humans just as revolting.

[Read More]

Series: December Belongs To Cthulhu