Posts Tagged ‘neil gaiman’

It’s once again time for that new Hallowe’en tradition of All Hallow’s Read. On 31 October, or the days preceding, give away a scary book or three rather than handing over tricks or treats.

More information on All Hallow’s Read can be found here. Use the hashtag #AllHallowsRead on social media.

And once again Introverted Wife has done splendid posters for All Hallow’s Read. Posters for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 can be found at the blog too.

All Hallow's Read 2014 1 How is a Raven like a Library?
All Hallow's Read 2014 2 The Pool of ReflectionsAll Hallow's Read 2014 3 Some BookAll Hallow's Read 2014 4 Light Grave Reading



Neil Gaiman has confirmed on his website that both American Gods and Anansi Boys are coming to television.

American Gods 10 years

American Gods is being developed as a series by FremantleMedia, after being stuck in development hell at HBO for several years. Anansi Boys will be shown as a miniseries on the BBC with production being handled by RED (who previously produced Russell T Davies’ Queer As Folk for Channel 4).

Gaiman said about American Gods:

A few people have asked for more background on this: HBO had an option on American Gods for several years. It went through three different pilot scripts. HBO has a limited number of slots and, after a while, passed it to Cinemax, who are in the HBO family, who decided eventually they didn’t want to do it, and the option expired, which unfortunately meant we couldn’t work with Tom Hanks’ production company Playtone any longer, as they are exclusive to HBO. However, Stefanie Berk, who had been one of the brightest stars at Playtone, had recently moved to Freemantle, and was as determined as she had been when she was at Playtone to bring American Gods to the screen. And I was impressed by her determination.

FremantleMedia’s press release about American Gods can be read here.

Writer's BlockUndoubtedly there’s irony inherent in writing about writer’s block…

Once upon a time writing flowed easily from the brain and onto this blog. The Musings on Bond at 50 series, the Doctor Who and Sherlock reviews. Scribbled my notes in my notepad, collate them and craft hundreds and thousands of words around them. People liked my “musings”. My Musings got my noticed by HI! Magazine (now regenerated into The Geek Agenda) and I was invited to ramble on about Doctor Who and other geeky issues on their website.

Now it’s all a bit of a mess…

For the last few months it’s become increasingly difficult to craft the thoughts into appealing, informative and knowledgeable articles. I’ve just about gotten away with it but it’s become more and more difficult. The moment of realisation that I’m having serious trouble came during this last week when I tried to write about The Empty Hearse, the first episode of Sherlock‘s third series. I had notes and thoughts. I started writing. It looked ok. I compared the nascent work to the previous reviews of Sherlock that I’d written. The few hundred words that I’d crafted about The Empty Hearse were complete shit. Disorganised tirade of rubbish. Directionless nonsense infected with poor grammar. Deleted for all eternity. I want to write about the return of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in their three new adventures but it’s not going to happen for a while. Hopefully there will be disappointment that my views won’t be heard.

(For the record The Empty Hearse is basically Sherlock Holmes meets V For Vendetta with a hint of the London Underground scenes from Skyfall. And it cheated the audience by not revealing a definitive explanation for Sherlock’s survival).

The drop in quality has coincided with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder II and the prescribing of medication for the illness. The quetiapine leaves me excessively fatigued at times and all too often my creative process is completely fogged. Part of me really wants to dump the medication and get the writing mojo back. But I have a medical condition that requires treatment and I’d be a complete idiot to ignore the advice of my psychiatrist. All the same the temptation of getting creative juices flowing fully once again is hugely tempting.

At present I’ve also got musings on An Adventure in Space and Time and The Time of the Doctor (“brilliantly nostalgic” and “incoherently shit” respectively) to get done. I managed to do reviews of those for The Geek Agenda so hopefully I can get something comprehensible done in the near future by building and adapting. There’s load of information and knowledge trapped in my little grey cells. Ask me for data and I’d be able to pour it out. I just can’t be creative with it.

I’m not reading enough at present (hardly anything in fact) so perhaps a key element in getting the brain flowing effectively is to get the creativity of others inside my head. There’s Neil Gaiman’s complete Sandman (10 weighty “re-mastered” volumes in a shiny slipcase) awaiting my attention. There’s also several instalments of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games trilogy demanding my attention.

I love writing. Writing is a release I need.

Multi-award winning author Neil Gaiman returns to the universe of Doctor Who on a partially successful mission to make the Cybermen scary again with a Nightmare in Silver.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Neil Gaiman’s previous contribution to Doctor Who was The Doctor’s Wife, which garnered widespread acclaim for its inventive plot, oddball characters and grungy setting. Unfortunately his follow-up of Nightmare in Silver was a far different and poorer affair. Granted the special effects were more than up to par with rampaging hoards of Cybermen, an entire amusement world depicted and an ever-fluctuating environment representing the interior of the Doctor’s mind, but the script continually felt as though it needed two or three more drafts to draw together disparate concepts, fill in the plot and generate rounded characters.

Inspired by fears of increasing spare part surgery potentially robbing people of their humanity, the Cybermen first appeared in William Hartnell’s final story The Tenth Planet and came to prominence during four adventures in the Patrick Troughton era. Traditionally the second most popular monster in Doctor Who that accolade has been passed onto the Weeping Angels in recent years.


Fortunately the Milk UK hardbackAfter reading Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk a friend of mine declared that she would be reading this to her children. She currently doesn’t have children. She yearns for children. The desire to read Fortunately, the Milk to her offspring has increased her broodiness. In years to come Neil Gaiman may be responsible for a spike in births as couples become desperate to read his tome to their offspring.

The premise of Fortunately, the Milk is simple. A father has to go to the corner shop for milk so that his two children can have their cereal and, more importantly, so he can have his morning cup of tea. British readers will be appreciative of how important it is to get their morning cup of tea.

It takes an awfully long time for the father, who looks remarkably like Mr Gaiman in the glorious illustrations from Chris Riddell (for the UK edition anyway), to return with the milk. The children assume that he’s got stuck talking to someone he knows on the journey to and from the shop – as is often the case with parents.

When the father eventually returns he confesses to stopping to talk. But that wasn’t the main reason for his delay. His tardiness came from encounters with globby space aliens who wanted him to sign over owenership of the Earth to them, pirates who’d never heard of walking the plank, and primitive tribesmen wanting to sacrifice him to their volcano god.

Twitter - Neil Gaiman 2013-10-04Gaiman’s love of Doctor Who shines through with echoes of adventures such as The Aztecs, The Curse of the Black Spot and State of Decay. In a Twitter exchange with yours truly he declared that he wrote Fortunately, the Milk before the episode Dinosaurs On a Spaceship aired. Read the book and you’ll understand.

There’s also a hint of Douglas Adams, the Twilight saga, and the unreliable narrative of Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects.

For the majority of his escapades the father (always keeping a firm grip on the milk) accompanies the brilliant Professor Steg, a Stegosaurus travelling through time in a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier who firmly stakes a claim to be the Thirteenth Doctor by the end of the book.

Fortunately, the Milk is a concise enjoyable romp through space and time for children and sophisticated adults. And if the grown ups don’t quite understand the intricacies of the time paradoxes surrounding the milk then a child will easily explain it to them.

Fortunately, the Milk by “Ridiculously Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman™” is published by Bloomsbury, RRP £10.99. 

All Hallows’ Read is a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week of Hallowe’en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book.

The origins of All Hallow’s Read lie in a proposal by that British fellow who writes rather entertainingly Mr Neil Gaiman.

More information on All Hallow’s Read here.

And below are some splendid posters from Introverted Wife for All Hallow’s Read 2013.

Use the hashtag #AllHallowsRead over at Twitter.

All Hallow's Read 2013 Fairy Witch All Hallow's Read 2013 Poe's Pumpkin All Hallow's Read 2013 Graveyard All Hallow's Read 2013 From Beneath

When the time comes for the awarding of the next round of BBC Audio Drama Awards simply bestow everything upon the superbly atmospheric adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Across the course of a week Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra listeners were treated to a movie-of-the-mind rendering of Gaiman’s acclaimed dark fantasy about the people who fall through the cracks in society and end up in London Below, a mysterious subterranean realm that coexists with the more familiar London, known as London Above…

Read the rest of my review of the audio interpretation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere over at HI! Magazine

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

Neil Gaiman has now announced around 2/3 of the cast for the Neverwhere 6 part Radio 4 audio adaptation. A truly epic cast under the guidance of the talented Dirk Maggs…

James McAvoy (Richard)
Natalie Dormer (Door)
David Harewood (Marquis)
Sophie Okonedo (Hunter)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Islington)
Anthony Head (Croup)
David Schofield (Vandemar)
Bernard Cribbins (Old Bailey)
Romola Garai (Jessica)
Sir Christopher Lee (Earl of Earl’s Court)
Andrew Sachs (Tooley)
George Harris (Abbot)
Don Gilet (Fulingous, Ruislip, Blackfriar)
Abdul Salis (Sable, Sump, Clarence, Homeless Man)
Paul Chequer (Gary, Guard 2)
Lucy Cohu (Lamia)
Yasmin Paige (Anaesthesia, Tenant 2 – female, Match girl)
Johnny Vegas (Lord Ratspeaker)
Stephen Marcus (Varney, Homeless man, Letting agent, Guard 1)
Karen Archer (Sylvia, Old Woman, Dream Hawker, Mother…)

Neverwhere - Hello Neil

To date Neil Gaiman has confirmed several actors and the characters they are portraying in the audio adaptation of Neverwhere.

James McAvoy (Richard Mayhew)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Angel Islington)
Natalie Dormer (Door)
David Harewood (The Marquis de Carabas)
Anthony Head (Mr Croup)
David Shofield (Mr Vandemar)
Bernard Cribbins (Old Bailey)

Actors with unconfirmed roles.
Romola Garai (Jessica?)
Sophie Okonedo (Hunter?)
Andrew Scott (?)
Maureen Lipman (Lamia?)
Sir Christopher Lee (The Earl?)

NeverwhereComing in 2013 on BBC Radio 4 is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere with one of the most astonishing casts ever assembled for such a project, including…
James McAvoy (Richard Mayhew?)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Angel Islington, confirmed by Neil Gaiman)
Romola Garai (Door?)
David Harewood (The Marquis de Carabas, confirmed by Neil Gaiman)
Sophie Okonedo (Hunter?)
Andrew Scott (Mr Croup?)
Anthony Head (Mr Vandemar?)
Bernard Cribbins (Old Bailey?)
Maureen Lipman
Sir Christopher Lee

Neverwhere - Radio 4 - Benedict Cumberbatch

Neverwhere - Radio 4 - Sir Christopher Lee