© Neil Gaiman & Gene Wolfe.
I believe this small 56-page faux guidebook was originally produced for a science fiction convention in the Chicago area. The copyright date is 2002. Sporting a great cover by Gahan Wilson, there are also numerous interior illustrations by Randy Broecker and Earl Geier. Neil has long expressed his admiration for the work of science fiction writer Gene Wolfe, and this collaboration strikes me as a project they both had a lot of fun with. Purporting to be a guide to a very unusual area of downtown Chicago, it’s full of humorous horrors of every kind, and the subtext is one of pointing out the sheer folly of touring the area at all. Though I can’t see any seams in the collaboration, my guess is that Gene supplied most of the Chicago area relevance, while Neil contributed a good deal of the ironic and funny bits, with a few genuine chills for good measure. This sort of thing is fun for a while, but gets tiresome before long, so the authors were wise to keep it short. As it stands, it’s a hoot, and recommended.