THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS

Dream col­lec­tion

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Rhian Drinkwa­ter

re­leased OUT NOW! 532 pages | Hard­back/ebook Au­thor Neil Gaiman Pub­lisher Head­line

Neil Gaiman has never been just one type of writer. From his early jour­nal­ism ca­reer, to the comics that made his name, to nov­els and short sto­ries and screen­plays and pic­ture books, to the all-pop­u­lar blog and Tum­blr and Twit­ter ac­counts, there are many ways to read his words. And this is for the best, for words are some­thing he is very good at.

The View From The Cheap Seats is a col­lec­tion of more than 80 non-fic­tion writ­ings from the last 30 years. It’s a broad church: there are book in­tro­duc­tions, speeches, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles and liner notes, dis­cussing ev­ery­thing from the state of the comics in­dus­try to his favourite mu­si­cians and child­hood

You’re in for a real treat

love of a trav­el­ling book­shop. If you’re a Gaiman fan, you will al­most cer­tainly have read a lot of them be­fore, but the joy of such a large col­lec­tion is that there will just as cer­tainly be new treats here to en­joy.

High­lights in­clude a lec­ture on the bound­aries be­tween chil­dren’s and adult fic­tion, as well as a 1993 speech com­par­ing the then cur­rent boom in the comics in­dus­try to 17th cen­tury tulips­ma­nia in Hol­land. There’s also a great in­tro­duc­tion to a 2003 Doc­tor Who novella (Eye Of The Tyger by Paul McCauley), writ­ten be­fore the series came back, where he talks about the ef­fect the show had on his per­cep­tion of re­al­ity.

With a se­lec­tion as var­ied as this it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter if you’re a genre, mu­sic or lit­er­a­ture fan – the con­stant here is Gaiman’s dis­tinc­tive au­tho­rial voice, filled with love and wis­dom and un­der­stand­ing. If you’ve read it be­fore you’ll recog­nise it in­stantly; if not, then get read­ing, you’re in for a treat.

The col­lec­tion takes its name from an es­say on at­tend­ing the Os­cars – where Gaiman wasn’t al­lowed near the Im­por­tant Peo­ple.

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