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The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on May 16, 2017
Buy on Book Depository
I’m sure that with any collection of works there is no expectation you’ll like it all.
I’m on my second Neil Gaiman book from the Amazing Gift from Laurie collection. These are the ones she gifted me, literally, as the plane lifted off from SeaTac in February. Check my kind of review of Good Omens for the other that I reviewed.
The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of Neil Gaiman’s speeches and writings. None of it is unique to this collection, and I found some more interesting than others. Neil has given a LOT of speeches and written many book introductions, as well as editorial stories. It appears he’s asked to write a reflection whenever a significant fantasy writer passes and speak at every comic convention. I don’t say that to be mean, just to say I could relate to some stories in The View from the Cheap Seats than others. Now I’m looking over the pages I did screen grabs of. There’s the anecdote of speaking at a state-sponsored science fiction convention in China and the Chinese government organizers saying they endorsed science fiction because they learned all the big ideas people in America (at Apple, Google, etc) read science fiction as teenagers, so they decided it’s the key to creativity. Personally, I’m curious how that turned out for China.
Through the writings, Neil shares a lot about his writing process, which is both fascinating and helpful. I also enjoyed the tidbits of his life, including when he met his wife, Amanda Palmer and a few stories of their children.
There are so many elements to The View from the Cheap Seats and it’s a long book at more than 500 pages, that I recommend you read it for yourself. If you’re a big Neil Gaiman fan then a lot of it won’t be new, but there will be parts you’ll enjoy. I know I did.