Reviews by Evelyn C. Leeper

Reviews by Evelyn C. Leeper

All reviews copyright 1984-2010 Evelyn C. Leeper.


FRAGILE THINGS by Neil Gaiman:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 12/15/2006]

FRAGILE THINGS is a collection of thirty-one stories and poems by Neil Gaiman (ISBN 0-06-051522-8). Among them is a Hugo winner ("A Study in Emerald" and three Locus poll winners, along with one story never before published. Of course I recommend this. Even the physical book is well done--the cover is a translucent paper that goes well with the title "Fragile Things". (No, it is not really fragile, but it has a delicate look.) My one complaint is that the page headings are all "Fragile Things", rather than the individual story titles. This makes it hard to flip through the book to find a story.

To order Fragile Things from amazon.com, click here.


M IS FOR MAGIC by Neil Gaiman:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 03/07/2008]

M IS FOR MAGIC by Neil Gaiman (ISBN-13 978-0-06-118642-4, ISBN-10 0-06-118642-2) is the latest collection of Gaiman's short fiction. It includes the Hugo-nominated "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" as well as many other excellent stories from various regular sources, and some deal with fairly adult issues of aging and so on, yet is marketed as "Young Adult" (and is catalogued this way in my library). All of which means that if you are looking for Neil Gaiman books, you have to check several locations in your bookstore or library. This may be another way that amazon.com is an improvement over a brick-and-mortar bookstore: you type in "Nail Gaiman" and it shows you all his books, not just a fraction of them.

To order M Is for Magic from amazon.com, click here.


NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 08/20/2004]

Somehow Neil Gaiman managed to stay off my radar until he was nominated for a Hugo for AMERICAN GODS. As soon as I read that I started looking for other works by him. The latest I've read is NEVERWHERE (ISBN 0-380-78901-9) from 1996. Richard Mayhew is just an average guy in London until one day he helps the wrong person and finds himself in the London Underground. Not the "subway", though that figures into it, but a shadowy world that exists below London in the same way that Faerie exists next to our world. This Underworld, however, is connected to the "real" Underground: Knightsbridge is "Night's Bridge" and there is an Earl holding court at Earl's Court, for example. NEVERWHERE may not as mythic or encompassing as his AMERICAN GODS, but the latter is a classic. NEVERWHERE is still highly recommended.

To order Neverwhere from amazon.com, click here.


SMOKE AND MIRRORS by Neil Gaiman:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 01/02/2004]

I'm catching up on Neil Gaiman's writing with his collection of a few years ago, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, and can say that his Hugo- winning AMERICAN GODS was not a fluke. (Well, since he won another Hugo the next year for CORALINE, I guess that's obvious.) Somehow, though, he seems to have burst upon the traditional fiction scene with it. Previously I knew him best for his work in graphic novels, and for co-authoring GOOD OMENS with Terry Pratchett. Yes, I knew he had other books out there, but he seemed to be below a lot of poeple's radar.

To order Smoke and Mirrors from amazon.com, click here.


STARDUST by Neil Gaiman:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 11/05/2004]

Neil Gaiman's STARDUST (ISBN 0-060-93471-9) is yet another great fantasy novel from Gaiman, this one about a farm boy's experiences in Faerie when he goes there to retrieve a fallen star for the girl he loves. In addition to the usual fantasy tropes, Gaiman does a wonderful job of incorporating the concept of the importance of words, and precision is using and interpreting them. Time and again, readers will discover that what they thought one character had said was really only the interpretation that they put on it, and that the character had actually said something else entirely.

To order Stardust from amazon.com, click here.


"A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman:

[From "This Week's Reading", MT VOID, 07/09/2004]

With "A Study in Emerald", Neil Gaiman looks likely to make it three years in a row as a Hugo winner. Yes, I like Sherlock Holmes, but most Holmes stories these days are pale imitations of the Doyle. Gaiman's is new and fresh and different, and not just because it includes Lovecraft's "Old Ones" (though of course that helps). And this is an alternate history as well, in which the Old Ones rule England (shades of Kim Newman!). This story is so far ahead of the others that I recommend it even more strongly than usual.


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