I know I was pretty slack about this last time. Harper Collins, way back in the mists of earlier this year (or was it last year? I can’t be bothered to check) released Gaiman’s novel American Gods for free online for a limited time. I happened to mention it here when it had about a week to go. Better than nothing, but no help to the slow readers among you.

Well, this time I’m on the case like a rash on a mangy dog. Gaiman has just announced on his Live Journal that his novel Neverwhere is now available to read for free. This time you can read it online like before or download it. It’s a time bomb download and will only last thirty days before it self-destructs, but, as Gaiman says, free is free. In fact, what he said was:

For those people who grumbled about reading American Gods online, here’s Neverwhere. You can read it online, and it’s also downloadable. That’s the good news.

The bad news is you don’t get to keep it forever. It’s yours for thirty days from download, and then the pdf file returns to its electrons. But if you’ve ever wondered about Neverwhere or wanted to read it for free, now is your chance. And free is free…

You can get the free book here. Bear in mind that when I tried it, the Read Online link worked, but the Download link needs fixing. Apparently they’re on the case. According to Gaiman’s people:

If, when you try to download it, it gives you an “ebx.edt” file then you may either (A) save the file as “neverwear.txt”, open it, find the “bookfileurl” line, paste that URL into your browser, and save that file as “Neverwear.pdf” OR (B) wait for HarperCollins to fix the problem.

I must say, I found the typo in that above quote quite amusing. Gaiman, not happy with being the most popular author on the planet, has started his own clothing line, perhaps? Enjoy.

EDIT – Check the comments for a very kind correction from Mr Gaiman’s Web Goblin (and also to see that I’m not nearly as funny as I think I am.) I’ve corrected the link above too, so that should work for everyone now.