No matter what the subject matter, when author Neil Gaiman puts pen to paper, something magical happens; and if it is a subject that he is interested in then the magic is magnified a thousand fold.
Neil is interested in Norse Mythology, very interested; American publishing company WW Norton wondered if Neil fancied writing something about Norse Mythology and asked him, Neil said yes and it looks like the magic has happened.
At the age of 7 Neil read The Mighty Thor, a comic by Jack Kirby, later he read Myths of the Norsemen, penned by Roger Lancelyn Green which he apparently read to the point of ruin. So you can imagine his delight when approached to write his own take on the Norse myths and legends.
In a statement released by his publisher Gaiman said “To get the opportunity to retell the myths and poems we have inherited from the Norse was almost too good to be true” he continues “I hope the scholarship is good, but much more than that, I hope that I have retold stories that read like the real thing: sometimes profound, sometimes funny, sometimes heroic, sometimes dark, and always inevitable.”
The book is to be published next February by Norton and is described as being an almost novelistic retelling of the famous myths surrounding the Gods of Asgard. With ice giants, fire demons, elves and Vanir Gods, humans, dwarves and the dead, familiar gods Odin, Thor and Loki the book covers nine Norse worlds and a particularly unnerving Domesday scenario, Ragnarok which sees the gods fighting an apocalyptic battle against a fire giant.
Those of us already familiar with Gaiman’s works will know that the Norse Gods are a huge influence in his writings with American Gods being a modern day tale of the old Gods surviving in a world that no longer believes and his children’s book Odd and the Frost Giants where the animals that the protagonist meets turn out to be Odin, Thor and Loki. Gaiman says that “Those Norse tales have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done”” They ran like a vein of silver through Sandman, they were the bedrock of American Gods.”
The announcement made in the NY Times and on Gaiman’s Social Media pages comes after he had hinted at a new book in the last few days.