Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" Wins the Hugo Award
Neil Gaiman's Newbery Medal-winning novel "The Graveyard Book" won the Hugo Award this weekend, the award for the previous year's most outstanding achievement in science fiction or fantasy. No novel has ever won both the Hugo and the Newbery before. Gaiman has described his novel as "'The Jungle Book,' but with ghosts."

Once upon a time, the British Empire stretched from the sea to the stars and influenced every aspect of global civilization, cross-pollinating disparate cultures and making London the world's "Big House": the inviolable "whip-hand" center of the human universe. The minds of British children were filled with stories of adventure in far off places like India, Africa, Japan, and the Americas, manifested most memorably in the work of Rudyard Kipling, who insisted that "the first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it."

But now England's empire is dead. And England's writers would rather curate the giant, moldering houses filled with treasure than stab out into the world looking for more pirate loot. So now England's children must learn their valuable lessons about human power and heartbreak from ghosts and ghouls instead of from the vibrant wild animals of colonized lands.

Irish director Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game," "Interview with the Vampire") is already working on a film adaptation of Gaiman's story. We recommend that you hurry up and read it before whatever considerable magic it contains is murdered by cinema, and all we have left is a pale shade, doomed to meander through the headstones on moonless nights, caressing the chiseled names and dates and murmuring for God to save the Queen.

Posted by miracle on Mon, 10 Aug 2009 16:07:13 -0400 -- permanent link

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