by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is the best-selling author of American Gods, Coraline , and Anansi Boys , among many other novels. He's also the writer of the popular Sandman comic book series, and has done work in television and film. His television projects include the BBC miniseries Neverwhere , which he later adapted into a novel, and a script for Babylon 5 ; in the realm of film, he co-wrote the screenplays for the films MirrorMask and Beowulf , and wrote the English-language screenplay of Hayao Miyazaki's anime film Princess Mononoke . His novel Stardust was made into a film in 2007.
Gaiman has won most if not all of the major awards the SF, fantasy, and horror genres have to offer, including 3 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, the World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, and 11 Locus Awards.
«Bitter Grounds» originally appeared in the Caribbean fantasy anthology Mojo: Conjure Stories . On his blog, which can be found at journal.neilgaiman.com, Gaiman says that he suspects that the ideal reader of this story «reads it once, goes 'hmph . . .' and then, a week or so later, with the story sort of itching in the back of her head, goes back to read it again, and finds that it's topographically reconfigured into a completely different story.»