Neil Gaiman announces Neverwhere sequel, The Seven Sisters
Author says the new fantasy novel has been inspired by his work with UN refugee agency and ‘the shape London is in now’
Neil Gaiman, whose latest book Norse Mythology is set to top the bestseller lists this weekend, has announced his next project: the sequel to another hit, Neverwhere, more than 20 years after it was first published.
Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew, an ordinary young man drawn into the fantastical landscape of London Below, an otherworldly city populated by real landmarks and legends personified, including the Old Bailey, the Black Friars and the Angel, Islington – among which the lost, homeless and dispossessed of London move. The idea came from a chat with Gaiman’s friend, the comedian and actor Lenny Henry, who suggested the concept of tribes of homeless people living beyond the notice of “ordinary” people in London.
The Neverwhere story is perhaps Gaiman’s most various work. Beginning life as a BBC TV series in 1996, Gaiman released a novelisation of his own script later that same year. In 2005, it was turned into a comic book by writer Mike Carey and artist Glenn Fabry and in 2013, a BBC radio adaptation with Dirk Maggs at the tiller was broadcast. The story has also been adapted for the stage several times.
Gaiman has hinted previously that he would write a sequel and the FAQs on his website already indicate a title: The Seven Sisters.
But at an event at London’s Southbank Centre this week, Gaiman closed the show by announcing – to rapturous applause – that he’s “a solid three chapters” into the novel and confirmed: “So that will be the next book.”
Gaiman said that he had been prompted to write the sequel both by the changes in the world over the past 20 years and his work with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). Under the latter’s auspices, he has visited refugee camps in the Middle East and spoken to people displaced by the conflict in Syria…