Hello, everybody! I've been preparing this feature for quite some time and today it's finally the day for the first post. In Weeckies, which is a mixture of weekly and quickies, I'll be talking about short stories. For the first week of Weeckies, I have chosen a story by one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. It's called How The Marquis Got His Coat Back and you can find in the short story collection Rogues which was co-edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
If you're a Neil Gaiman fan, then the title of this short story alone lets you know that we have the return of a character previously known to us. The Marquis refers, of course, to Marquis de Carabas, a character that first appeared in Neverwhere. I was more than happy to read more of his adventures, as Marquis is one of the characters I instantly liked from the novel. Plus, returning to London Below was more than appealing to me. It's a totally different world located below London simultaneously to our own and has its own rules. The paths of London Below are not the paths of London Above: they rely to no little extent on things like belief and opinion and tradition as much as they rely upon the realities of maps.
But don't worry if you haven't read Neverwhere. This short story takes place after the novel and it just borrows the fact that the Marquis lost his coat (I'm not going to reveal anything more, as I'm urging you to pick up Neverwhere). What is so special about this coat anyway? It's what gives Marquis the confidence to be the person who has become. Someone that reminds a picture of a cat wearing two boots. Indeed, without it Marquis de Carabas seems a little lost. He has at times his usual wit, but going in the dangerous territory of Shepherd's Bush with even an obvious plan? That's unheard! Marquis was always the one that out planned everybody, he could get to places and obtain things that were impossible. In this short story, though, he has an unlikely ally: his brother Peregrine. From the little we encounter him, he picked my interest and I'd gladly find out more about him.
All in all, this was an excellent short story, about 30 pages long. Despite its length, it managed to suck me into this unique world of London Below. The truth is that it made me want to re-read Neverwhere. It also made me realize that I'd love to read more stories about the adventures of Marquis de Carabas, he is a favourite of mine after all.