Gaiman revealed the cover and the publication date for his next book — Norse Mythology, featuring Thor’s hammer Mjollnir front and center.
While the new book, out February 7, 2017, won’t connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Thor, it will feature Gaiman’s own unique retellings of the ancient Norse Myths from which Thor derives.
Putting Thor’s hammer on the cover is a smart move by Gaiman, as it allows his dive into myths to potentially crossover into mainstream culture. People who are only familiar with Thor through the Marvel Cinematic Universe probably describes a vast majority of potential readers. This high/low combination on Gaiman’s part isn’t exactly a new move for him — he’s adapted Norse Myths before.
While hardcore fans of Gaiman will doubtlessly gobble this book up, it could also serve as a pretty exciting introduction for people more interested in mythology than in Gaiman. This is impressive, because a book that could have come across as fussy and academic now has the all markings of being a win-win-win across all sorts of demographics.
Fantasy authors doing retellings of fairytales or myths happens all the time. Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass — put out his own version of Grimm Tales in 2013 while J. R. R. Tolkien wrote a highly influential collection of essays called On Fairy-Stories in 1947.
Gaiman’s background with retelling and/or appropriating beloved tales is unparalleled, meaning hopes are high that Norse Mythology will deliver his unique, macabre narrative style infused with the goods of classic myth.
Norse Mythology will be published on February 7, 2017.