Neil Gaiman In The Intro To Stories

Stories, the collection of short fiction edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio was released today and Amazon very punctually delivered my copy! So of course, I tore that cardboard box to pieces, knowing what lay inside and dove right into the intro being immediately pleased and feeling at home in the hands of Gaiman. I can only wish that I could put my thoughts into words as well as Neil Gaiman does. There are others that I admire just as well, like Ana from Things Means A Lot and Renay at her ever changing blogs :p People who seem to have mastered this art. I can read their posts and say YES YES YES!! But somehow when I go to write my thoughts in my head, they so often come out all wrong and I end up expressing the opposite :/ So I just keep my mouth shut.

But I wanted to share with you a bit of what Gaiman writes in the intro to Stories…just a short bit, because I think you all need to go buy this collection! A collection which I have not read yet :p In fact, I haven’t read any more than the excellent intro yet, but it’s worth the price for the intro alone. This one little part talked of genre and of fantasy in particular and I absolutely loved what he had to say. In fact, when I read this, I actually thought of some of Ana’s recent Sunday Salon posts and her fantasy post she did not long ago.  It captures my thoughts on the topic perfectly and I don’t want to expand on it for fear of misrepresenting what Gaiman is saying or for fear of misrepresenting myself (because yes, I’m capable of doing that believe it or not). But here….read this….It’s wonderful:

“Talking to Al Sarrantonio I realized that I was not alone in finding myself increasingly frustrated with the boundaries of genre: the idea that categories which existed only to guide people around bookshops now seemed to be dictating the kind of stories that were being written. I love the word fantasy, for example, but I love it for the almost infinite room it gives an author to play: an infinite playroom, of a sort, in which the only boundaries are those of the imagination….

It seemed to us that the fantastic can be, can do, so much more than its detractors assume: it can illuminate the real, it can distort it, it can mask it, it can hide it. It can show you the world you know in a way that makes you realize you’ve never looked at it, not looked at it. G.K. Chesterson compared fantastic fiction to going on holiday – that the importance of your holiday is the moment you return, and you see the place you live through fresh eyes.”

Yes, yes and yes. Oh I can’t wait to dive into these stories…here I go.

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6 Responses

  1. Okay, okay already! I’m putting it on my list for books to buy with the gift card I received from parents and students. Have you heard about this?

  2. Would you believe, this is on hold at the library for me? The SAME LIBRARY I went to today to pick up my ON HOLD books? The librarian didn’t give it to me! She gave me ALL MY BOOKS, but THIS ONE. I was crushed when I got back to work and saw the oversight. Thankfully, it will be there for a week and I will get it next time. Because it sounds AWESOME.

  3. He does have a heck of a way with words. Loved reading your celebration of having received this book on Twitter yesterday. Made me giggle.

  4. I look forward to your thoughts on it once you’ve read the rest. I’ve put my name on the library hold list for it. Despite my love of Gaiman I am a bit reluctant at this point to drop money on it until I get more of an idea if the stories contained therein are good. Over the years I’ve had a roller coaster ride with books that Gaiman recommends. Some are great, others didn’t do anything for me. I figured I better read it, or at least hear about it from trusted reviewers like you, before I gave in to the temptation. That intro does sound fantastic though. May need to sneak a peek at the local BN! 🙂

  5. Gavin, Oh wow!!! I hadn’t heard about Hands Across the Sand! Thank you SO much for sharing the link with me 😀 And yes, you must read Stories :p

    Heather, Oh no!!! I’m sorry your librarian forgot to give this one to you 😦 I cannot WAIT to start reading it. It’s one of the 5 books that I have started right now…well wait! I’m down to 4 now :p

    Andi, He really does! I kinda melt when I read what he hast to say :p

    Carl, I totally get what you’re saying. So far, he hasn’t steered me wrong. Well…aside from Interworld. I wasn’t overly crazy about that, though I did like the little bubble character :p I do have a really great feeling about this one though. The list of authors that contributed stories is truly amazing and Gaiman himself has a story in it. And the intro is fantastic. As for Gaiman’s short stories, I don’t think I’ve met one yet that I didn’t like!

  6. I’m sure I’ll read it at some point…irregardless I will read the Gaiman story, even if it means I lose patience waiting for the library and go read it while sitting in the store.

    I look forward to your overall review. 🙂

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