Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prince of Stories

I had a pleasant surprise this morning. I received copies of Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, compiled by Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden and Stephen Bisette (published by St Martin's Press). This is a great-looking book covering the career of Neil Gaiman, from the earliest of days to now. I haven't had time to investigate it fully, but I did read the chapter 'Fantasytime at the New Imperial' over breakfast.

The New Imperial. How many people remember that hotel? It was the home of the first Fantasycon, and remained so for many years -- until it was closed down to mutate into offices or shops or something. It was the type of hotel where, to paraphrase Karl Wagner, the johns were down the corridor. But it had a strangeness and charm that modern hotels simply lack.

Anyway, back to this book and Gaiman's chapter. It is a wonderfully funny report of his adventures at his first ever convention -- Fantasycon VIII in 1984. His anecdote on the Lovecraft panel, where a certain artist said that he liked to draw tentacles, is priceless.

The book also includes several photographs I took of Neil Gaiman over the years, and it's great to see them included, some in full colour. Others acknowledged in the credits include Stephen Jones and Peter Crowther.

The cover art is by Dave McKean.

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