Neil Gaiman is writing a sequel to Neverwhere, 20 years after it first published, called The Seven Sisters, for publication with Headline.
Gaiman shared news of the upcoming sequel while speaking at the Southbank Centre in London on Wednesday (15th February), confirming he had “a solid three chapters” of the novel written and that it would be "the next book" for him. The author had previously hinted a follow-up was in the pipeline on the FAQs area of his website.
The book will continue the story of young businessman Richard Mayhew, who in Neverwhere was catapulted into an "other" London, where there is a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, and a Beast in a labyrinth, among the homeless and other dispossessed members of society.
The story began first as a BBC TV series in 1996, accompanied by a novelisation in the same year, before a comic book by Mike Carey and artist Glenn Fabry followed in 2005 and a radio adaptation in 2013.
Gaiman, during his appearance at London's Southbank, said his work for United Nations High Court for Refugees (UNHCR), and the way London had changed over the course of 20 years, had prompted him to begin writing the sequel, because he now had things he was angry about and cared about and wanted to include.
"When Lenny Henry and I came up with the original idea for Neverwhere almost 25 years ago, what attracted us was the idea that we could talk about the homeless, talk about the dispossessed, talk about the people who fall through the cracks, and do it in a way that was exciting and fun and interesting and also relevant and might change people’s heads," he said reported the Guardian.
“Neverwhere for me was this glorious vehicle where I could talk about huge serious things and have a ridiculous amount of fun on the way. The giant wheel has turned over the last few years and looking around the work I have been doing for UNHCR for refugees, the kind of shape … London is in now, the kind of ways [it] is different to how it was 20 years ago, meant that I decided that it actually was time to do something.
“Now I had things I was angry about. I cared about things I wanted to put in and I’m now a solid three chapters in to a book called The Seven Sisters.”
Headline, the publisher of Neverwhere, told The Bookseller it would be publishing the sequel.
The announcement follows news that Gaiman's TV adaptation of Good Omens (Transworld), written with Sir Terry Pratchett, has been picked up by Amazon Studios for release in 2018, with the adaptation of American Gods (Transworld) also launching with Amazon Prime in 2017. His retelling of the Norse myths, Norse Mythology (Bloomsbury) published last week on 7th February.