More than 15 years after he first created it, Neil Gaiman is in the process of expanding the Neverwhere universe with a new novella, How the Marquis Got His Coat Back.
The short story, about Gaiman’s creation the Marquis de Carabas, was first promised by the author in a commentary in his 2006 anthology Fragile Things, in which he referred to it as “half-finished”. Now, almost seven years later, fans will be pleased to hear he’s finally getting around to completing it.
“I’m writing my first ever Neverwhere short story and my first return to Neverwhere since I wrote it – a novella called How the Marquis Got His Coat Back,” revealed Gaiman, at the launch of the Radio 4 adaptation of Neverwhere, his 1996 fantasy novel and TV series.
“I’ve promised [it] for a long time and am now finally doing it.”
Ironically, Gaiman preceded the announcement by explaining how, after long years working on various versions of the original story, he had made the decision to leave it behind.
“There comes a point when you have to stop writing Neverwhere otherwise you might turn into your own word processor,” joked Gaiman. “[I’d] done it as a BBC TV series, as three different versions of the novel… and then I spent several years writing movie versions of it for Hollywood. And then one day I said ‘I’m done’. I stopped writing Neverwhere. And it was fun.”
Neverwhere is the tale of London Below, a fantasy realm beneath the capital inhabited by characters based on some of the city’s famous landmarks. The Radio 4/4 Extra adaptation of the novel boasts a star-studded cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, Sophie Okonedo, Christopher Lee, Bernard Cribbins, Johnny Vegas and Anthony Head.
Neverwhere begins with an hour-long episode at 2:30pm on Saturday 16 March on Radio 4 and continues with five 30-minute instalments ay 6pm across the week from Monday 18 March on Radio 4 Extra.