Every new book from Neil Gaiman is a big deal, but it’s been awhile since one of the author’s projects has been this hotly anticipated.
During an event at the London Southbank Centre earlier this week, the English author announced that he is “a solid three chapters” into completing a sequel to Neverwhere, his enormously popular companion novelization of his 1996 television serial of the same name. The new book, titled The Seven Sisters, will expand the original’s London Below—a fantastical city in which London’s dispossessed wander among famous landmarks and legends such as the Old Bailey and the Black Friars—by incorporating changes in the world that have taken place over the past 20 years, e.g. the Syrian refugee crisis.
Per The Guardian, here’s what Gaiman told the Southbank audience:
When Lenny Henry and I came up with the original idea for Neverwhere almost 25 years ago, what attracted us was the idea that we could talk about the homeless, talk about the dispossessed, talk about the people who fall through the cracks, and do it in a way that was exciting and fun and interesting and also relevant and might change people’s heads.
Neverwhere for me was this glorious vehicle where I could talk about huge serious things and have a ridiculous amount of fun on the way. The giant wheel has turned over the last few years and looking around the work I have been doing for UNHCR for refugees, the kind of shape … London is in now, the kind of ways [it] is different to how it was 20 years ago, meant that I decided that it actually was time to do something.
Now I had things I was angry about. I cared about things I wanted to put in and I’m now a solid three chapters into a book called The Seven Sisters.
Here’s hoping Gaiman writes quickly, because his new book sounds awesome. In the meantime, find Paste’s review of his latest, Norse Mythology, here.