If You Liked… Neil Gaiman

US cover

US cover

If you’re an SF&F reader, you just might have heard that Neil Gaiman has a new book out. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is being given critical acclaim, both from reviewers and from Gaiman himself.

Sadly, I haven’t read it yet. But to celebrate its release, here’s my (personalized, human-driven) version of Amazon’s “If You Liked…” algorithm.

If your favourite Neil Gaiman book is…

  • Neverwhere. Urban British fantasy featuring a parallel “pocket universe” that exists close to our own? Try China Miéville’s debut novel, King Rat. If you’ve read other Miéville novels, you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s weirder than Neverwhere, focusing on London’s rave scene, but the vibe is similar.
  • Stardust. The land of Faerie reimagined, with its dark and dangerous undercurrent intact? Try Elizabeth Bear’s Blood and Iron. It’s set in the present day, whereas Stardust is period fantasy, but it features changelings and Dark and Light faerie courts and human mages. Bonus? There are sequels.
  • American Gods and Anansi Boys. Contemporary fantasy exploring the nature of mythology and mythical beings in a North American setting? Try pretty much anything by Charles de Lint. I’ve read Mulengro (horror-ish) and Someplace to Be Flying (more urban fantasy) and recommend them both.
  • Coraline. YA portal fantasy that plays on the fear of losing one’s parents and dares to be creepy? Try Half World by Canadian author Hiromi Goto. This one has a sequel too.
  • The Graveyard Book. YA episodic fantasy about a young boy far out of his element and being raised by strange beings? Well, The Graveyard Book is an homage to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. You may have seen the Disney movie, but have you read the original?
  • Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things. Short story collections featuring a wide variety of dark and thoughtful and sometimes creepy stories? Try The Hair Wreath by Canadian author Halli Villegas.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Big disclaimer: as mentioned, I haven’t read this yet. But some of the reviews I’ve read make me think that Jo Walton’s Among Others might be a good companion book.

Your turn! Have you read, or are you planning to read, The Ocean at the End of the Lane? What books/authors do you recommend for fans of Neil Gaiman?

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy If You Liked… A Game of Thrones.


11 responses to “If You Liked… Neil Gaiman

  1. Thanks for the suggestion

  2. Sorry….I posted that comment before I got a chance to finish it!

    I was going to add that my favorite Gaiman book is Neverwhere, so I appreciate the suggestion. I’ve read China Mieville before – “Unlundon” which I think I heard was the most un-Mieville of all his novels. It was pretty interesting though…I think it would be more YA though.

  3. Excellent! I’ll be sure to check out some of your recommendations. Thanks!

    (Nothing to offer here, but I thought you should be encouraged. 🙂 )

  4. Gaiman is a favorite of mine and, yes, Ocean is on my TBR stack. Love your recommendations. China Miéville and Charles de Lint are two more to add to my mind-numbingly-high stack.

  5. I’ve read Ocean, and did a review of it on the blog. It’s a quick, easy read and full of Gaiman awesomness. His imagination never ceases to amaze me. I can’t think of a companion book exactly other than the whole thing reminded me of Roald Dahl…maybe James and the Giant Peach ish. Sorta. Except for the peach part. Hmmm.

  6. I like this kind of list. I am generally not a reader of SciFi or Fantasy, but I am trying to stretch my wings in the area. I have read two of Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson’s Crystal Doors Series (YA) and liked those. I’ll check to see if the library has some of those you suggest.

  7. themisanthropologist, Unlundun is one Mieville book I haven’t read, but from what I know of it, I agree with what you’ve heard — it’s not typical of his writing. Hope you enjoy King Rat!

    Mikkel, encouragement is always welcome! Enjoy.

    Erica, glad I could help…though I know what you mean about that stack.

    Melinda, now I am confuzzled. Never thought to compare Gaiman and Dahl before. And now I’m even more curious to read Ocean!

    Janice, that’s interesting. What made you decide to venture into these genres? Makes me wonder what I’d put on a list specifically for new SF&F readers.

  8. *cowers*

    I’ve never read Gaiman…

  9. That’s okay! There are lots of famous SF&F authors I haven’t read.

  10. I see a bit of Roald Dahl in Gaiman’s childrens books to be honest. That whole creepy, quirky but whimsical thing he has going on in things like Coraline and The Graveyard Book. If you like his creepy stuff maybe Lemony Snicket? That whole quirky and offbeat thing. I like the way he lampoons people patronizing children with his use of vocabulary and explaining certain words. Although it does take a book or two for the author to really find his feet.

  11. Good suggestions, Random. Thanks!

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