Fragile Things

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders is a collection of short stories and poetry by English author Neil Gaiman. It was published in the US and UK in 2006 by HarperCollins and Headline Review.

Most of the stories in this book are reprints from other sources: (magazines, anthologies, and even CD sleeves).

Gaiman says in the introduction that the original title for the collection was These People Ought to Know Who We Are and Tell That We Were Here, after a word balloon in a Little Nemo in Slumberland strip.

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
The US cover of Fragile Things
AuthorNeil Gaiman
CountryUS, UK
PublisherWilliam Morrow
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages400 pages
823/.914 22
LC ClassPR6057.A319 F73 2006


  • "The Mapmaker" – a very short story included in the book's introduction, originally written for American Gods
  • "A Study in Emerald" – a Sherlock Holmes/Cthulhu Mythos pastiche written for the anthology Shadows Over Baker Street
  • "The Fairy Reel" – a short lyric poem
  • "October in the Chair" – dry run for The Graveyard Book
  • "The Hidden Chamber" – gothic poem about Bluebeard for the anthology Outsiders
  • "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" – gothic story published in the anthology Gothic!
  • "The Flints of Memory Lane" – a real life ghost story
  • "Closing Time" – a club story / ghost story inspired by M. R. James and Robert Aickman
  • "Going Wodwo" – a poem about a wild man in the woods for the anthology The Green Man
  • "Bitter Grounds" – written for the anthology Mojo: Conjure Stories
  • "Other People" – originally titled Afterlife
  • "Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story" – began as a comic for Oscar Zarate's collection, It's Dark in London illustrated by Warren Pleece. Contains the characters Mr. Alice and Mr. Smith, a pair of dubious men who also appeared in a Gaiman novella called The Monarch of the Glen, suggesting that this tale is a part of the American Gods universe as well.
  • "Good Boys Deserve Favors" – inspired by a statue by Lisa Snellings-Clark of a man holding a double bass
  • "The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch" – inspired by a painting by Frank Frazetta of a savage woman flanked by tigers. Not present in the British paperback from Headline Review.
  • "Strange Little Girls" – twelve very short stories to accompany Tori Amos's CD Strange Little Girls
  • "Harlequin Valentine" – written for Strange Attraction, a book based on a Ferris wheel made by Lisa Snellings-Clark
  • "Locks" – a conversational poem editing the tale of Goldilocks
  • "The Problem of Susan" – written for the anthology Flights by Al Sarrantonio, written in response to the character Susan in Narnia
  • "Instructions" – a poem giving instructions about what to do when you find yourself in a fairy tale
  • "How Do You Think It Feels?" – story inspired by gargoyles, in this case protecting the heart. Not present in the British paperback from Headline Review
  • "My Life" – a monologue written to accompany a picture of a sock monkey in the photography book Sock Monkeys by Arne Svenson
  • "Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot" – not present in the British paperback from Headline Review
  • "Feeders and Eaters" – based on a nightmare of Neil Gaiman's, it first took the form of a comic and later the outline for a pornographic horror film
  • "Diseasemaker's Croup" – written for the book The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases edited by Jeff VanderMeer and Mark Roberts
  • "In the End" – imagined as the very last book of the Bible. Not present in the British paperback from Headline Review.
  • "Goliath" – set in the Matrix universe and included with The Matrix Comics Vol. 1
  • "Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky" – written for the album Scarlet's Walk, by Tori Amos
  • "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" - nominated for the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Short Story and won the Locus Award for Best Short Story
  • "The Day the Saucers Came"
  • "Sunbird" – written as a birthday present for Neil Gaiman's daughter, a story in the style of R. A. Lafferty
  • "Inventing Aladdin" – a poem depicting the invention of stories, in this case, Aladdin
  • The Monarch of the Glen – a novella-length sequel to Gaiman's novel American Gods inspired by Beowulf and set in remote areas of Scotland

The four stories not included in the British edition are included in the British edition of Smoke and Mirrors.


Fragile Things won the 2007 Locus Award for Best Collection, and "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" won for Best Short Story and was nominated for a Hugo Award.[1] Other Locus Award winners included in this collection are "Sunbird" (2006 short story), "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire" (2005 short story), "A Study in Emerald" (2004 novelette, and also winner of the 2004 Hugo Award for Best Short Story), "Closing Time" (2004 short story), and "October in the Chair" (2003 short story).[2]


  1. ^ 2007 Locus Awards Winners 16 June 2007, retrieved 19 June 2007.
  2. ^ Locus Award Nominees List Archived 5 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 19 June 2007.

External links

A Study in Emerald

"A Study in Emerald" is a short story written by British fantasy and graphic novel author Neil Gaiman. The story is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche transferred to the Cthulhu Mythos universe of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. It won the 2004 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The title is a reference to the Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet. "A Study in Emerald" first appeared in the anthology Shadows Over Baker Street, a collection of stories combining the worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle and H. P. Lovecraft; it has subsequently been available as part of Gaiman's short story collection Fragile Things, in the collection New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, and is available online. The online version takes the form of a Victorian periodical or newspaper, which includes various advertisements that reference characters such as Vlad Tepes, Victor Frankenstein, Spring Heeled Jack, and Dr. Jekyll.

In the introduction to Fragile Things, Gaiman cites Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton Universe, Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series (which Gaiman helped create), and Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as being the major influences of "A Study in Emerald".

Diogenes Club

The Diogenes Club is a fictional gentleman's club created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and featured in several Sherlock Holmes stories, such as "The Greek Interpreter". It seems to have been named after Diogenes the Cynic (although this is never explained in the original stories) and was co-founded by Sherlock's indolent elder brother, Mycroft Holmes.

The club is described by Sherlock Holmes in the story "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter" as follows:

There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger's Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere.

Evgeny Antufiev

Evgeny Antufiev (Russian: Евгений Антуфьев; born 1986) is a Russian artist.

Grand prix de l'Imaginaire

The grand prix de l'Imaginaire (GPI, "grand prize of the Imaginary"), until 1992 the grand prix de la science-fiction française, is a French literary award for speculative fiction, established in 1972 by the writer Jean-Pierre Fontana as part of the science fiction convention of Clermont-Ferrand.

Initially purely a science fiction award, the award's scope was widened to encompass all fields of speculative fiction in 1992. From 2000 to 2010 it was awarded as part of the Utopiales festival in Nantes. It is now part of the Étonnants Voyageurs festival of Saint-Malo.

Gyratory equipment

Gyratory equipment, used in mechanical screening and sieving is based on a circular motion of the machine. Unlike other methods, gyratory screen operates in a gentler manner and is more suited to handle fragile things, enabling it to produce finer products. This method is applicable for both wet and dry screening.

A distinct difference to other techniques is that the gyratory motion applied here depends on eccentric weights instead of vibrations, which can be varied based on individual process requirement.

Harlequin Valentine

Harlequin Valentine is a bloody and romantic short story (1999) and graphic novel (2001) based on the old Commedia dell'arte and Harlequinade pantomime.

Both the short story and the graphic novel were written by Neil Gaiman. The latter was drawn by John Bolton, and published by Dark Horse Books. The short story has been republished in Fragile Things.

Heaven's Basement

Heaven's Basement were a British rock band formed in 2008 and signed with Red Bull Records. Band members included Aaron Buchanan (vocals), Sid Glover (guitar, vocals), Rob Ellershaw (bass, backing vocals), and Chris Rivers (drums). The band split up in January 2017.

Their debut album, Filthy Empire, was released on 4 February 2013 in the UK and 5 February 2013 in the U.S. They released their first single, "Fire, Fire", in September 2012 leading up to their album release. The single peaked at #11 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

List of translations and artistic depictions of Beowulf

Beowulf is an Old English heroic epic poem of anonymous authorship. Its creation dates to between the 8th and the 11th century, the only surviving manuscript dating to circa 1010. At 3182 lines, it is notable for its length. It has risen to national epic status in England.Beowulf has been adapted a number of times in cinema, on the stage, and in books. In 2003, the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies published Marijane Osborn's annotated list of over 300 translations and adaptations.

Poet John Dryden’s categories of translation have influenced how scholars discuss variation between translations and adaptations. In the Preface to Ovid’s Epistles (1680) Dryden proposed three different types of translation: metaphrase [...] or turning an author word for word, and line by line, from one language into another’; ‘paraphrase [...] or translation with latitude, where the author is kept in view by the translator so as never to be lost, but his words are not so strictly followed as his sense, and that, too, is admitted to be amplified but not altered’; and ‘imitation [...] where the translator – if he has not lost that name – assumes the liberty not only to vary from the words and sense, but to forsake them both as he sees occasion; and taking only some general hints from the original, to run division on the ground-work, as he pleases. The works listed below may fall in to one or more of these categories.

M Is for Magic

M Is for Magic is a collection of child-friendly short fiction by Neil Gaiman.

The stories and poems were selected from previously published works, with the exception of "The Witch's Headstone", which is an excerpt from the later-published novel, The Graveyard Book. All the stories also appeared in Coraline and Other Stories (2007) published by Bloomsbury in the UK.

Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson (born September 7, 1954) is an American film and television actor who is best known for his roles as serial killer William Hinks on The Practice, Benjamin Linus on Lost, Zep Hindle in the first Saw film, and Harold Finch on the CBS series Person of Interest. Emerson has also worked extensively in theater and narration. He has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and been nominated for three others, as well as receiving other awards and nominations.

Monarch of the Glen

Monarch of the Glen or The Monarch of the Glen may refer to:

The Monarch of the Glen (painting), a painting by Sir Edwin Landseer

Monarch of the Glen (TV series), a British television drama based in the Highlands

The Monarch of the Glen (novel), a 1941 novel by Compton Mackenzie

The Monarch of the Glen (novella), a novella by Neil Gaiman in his 2006 anthology Fragile Things

Neil Gaiman bibliography

This is a list of works by Neil Gaiman.


October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, October retained its name (from the Latin ôctō meaning "eight") after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans. In Ancient Rome, one of three Mundus patet would take place on October 5, Meditrinalia October 11, Augustalia on October 12, October Horse on October 15, and Armilustrium on October 19. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar. Among the Anglo-Saxons, it was known as Ƿinterfylleþ, because at this full moon (fylleþ) winter was supposed to begin.October is commonly associated with the season of autumn in the Northern hemisphere and with spring in the Southern hemisphere.

R. A. Lafferty

Raphael Aloysius Lafferty (November 7, 1914 – March 18, 2002) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer known for his original use of language, metaphor, and narrative structure, as well as for his etymological wit. He also wrote a set of four autobiographical novels, In a Green Tree; a history book, The Fall of Rome; and several novels of historical fiction.

In March 2011, it was announced in Locus that the copyrights to 29 Lafferty novels and 225 short stories were up for sale. The literary estate was soon thereafter purchased by the magazine's nonprofit foundation, under the auspices of board member Neil Gaiman.


Roadstar was a British rock band formed in 2002. The group originally went under the name Hurricane Party and disbanded in April 2007. A year later several of the members, together with Sid Glover, formed Heaven's Basement. In 2016, former band member Richie Hevanz became frontman of Fragile Things, following a short stint in a band called Endless Mile.

Strange Little Girls

Strange Little Girls is a concept album released by singer-songwriter Tori Amos in 2001. The album's 12 tracks are covers of songs written and originally performed by men, reinterpreted by Amos from a female's point of view. Amos created female personae for each track (one song featured twins) and was photographed as each, with makeup done by Kevyn Aucoin. In the United States the album was issued with four alternative covers depicting Amos as the characters singing "Happiness Is a Warm Gun", "Strange Little Girl", "Time," and "Raining Blood". A fifth cover of the "I Don't Like Mondays" character was also issued in the UK and other territories. Text accompanying the photos and songs was written by novelist Neil Gaiman. The complete short stories in which this text appears can be found in Gaiman's 2006 collection Fragile Things.

As with Amos's previous two studio albums, the cover album was recorded at her Cornwall studio. The album received mixed reviews upon its release in September 2001 with critics largely seeing the album as a mixed bag, praising the unlikely re-workings of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" and Slayer's "Raining Blood", while panning the versions of the Beatles' "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". Amos also tackled songs by artists such as Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, and The Stranglers.

The album's greatest attention was garnered from Amos's cover of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie and Clyde", a rap song. The album's cover of "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" was translated into a discussion on the right to bear arms, and included sound bites from both George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush, as well as from Amos's own minister father. The album entered the charts at US #4, selling 111,000 copies, making it her third album to debut in the US Top 10, her second-highest debut in terms of sales, and her best position in the US for almost six years.

A planned commercial single, "Strange Little Girl" (The Stranglers), including "After All" (David Bowie) and "Only Women Bleed" (originally by Alice Cooper), was pulled from shelves soon after being shipped to stores in Europe. Despite being recalled from the shelves, limited copies of the single were sold and a promotional video was made.Additionally, Amos later acknowledged that she had attempted to reinterpret four other songs that she "couldn't find her way into." They were "Fear of a Black Planet" by Public Enemy, "Hoover Factory" by Elvis Costello, "I'm Sick of You" by Iggy Pop and "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem" by Peter Murphy. These tracks have not been released.Amos received two 2002 Grammy nominations: Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Strange Little Girl", and Alternative Music Performance for the album.

The Ambience Affair

The Ambience Affair are a band from Dublin, Ireland who formed in 2009. The band consists of vocalist and lead guitarist Jamie Clarke, drummer Marc Gallagher and bass player Yvonne Ryan.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a comic book series co-created by writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill which began in 1999. The series spans two six-issue limited series, Volume I, Volume II, and an original graphic novel Black Dossier from the America's Best Comics imprint of DC Comics, as well as a third volume and spin-off trilogy Nemo published by Top Shelf and Knockabout Comics. According to Moore, the concept behind the series was initially a "Justice League of Victorian England" but he quickly developed it as an opportunity to merge elements from many works of fiction into one world.

Elements of Volume I were used in a loosely adapted feature film of the same name, released in 2003 and starring Sean Connery. A reboot was announced in May 2015.

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