Neil Gaiman is one of the most accomplished writers of fantasy and science fiction. He's comfortable in almost any form: He created the Sandman comic book series, the YA book-turned-film "Coraline," an award-winning episode of the television series "Doctor Who," children's books about a panda named Chu and novels for adults such as "American Gods," "Anansi Boys" and "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," just to name a few.
But a book about Duran Duran?
Yes. The rare 1984 book about the pop group was Gaiman's debut. Titled "Duran Duran," it tells the story of "the first four years of the Fab Five" and was written when Gaiman was a journalist.
Collectors are said to have paid as much as $4,500 for a copy. Now the rarity is available as an e-book, for charity, via Humble Bundle.
The Humble Bundle provides electronic goodies to contributors for a limited time. From now until Sept. 22, the Humble Books Bundle is offering a set of Neil Gaiman's writing -- his essays, speeches, comics, a screenplay, short stories and books -- including the book about Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor (that's Duran Duran, for those of you who aren't familiar with the 1980s).
Donations will benefit the Comic Book Defense Fund, which helps comic creators and publishers when they come under fire, usually over free speech issues, and The Moth.
Different levels of giving unlock different sets of e-books -- in this case, different Gaiman writing projects -- but contributions are totally up to the donor.
Give up to or less than the average -- currently around $16 -- and get "Adventures in the Dream Trade," the 1993 speech "Gods & Tulips," "Free Speeches" (includes a speech by Frank Miller), "Being an Account of the Life and Death of the Emperor Heliogabolous" and "Angels & Visitations."
Those who pay more than the average will get "Ghastly Beyond Belief," the annotated "Babylon 5" script "Day of the Dead," a collaboration with Bryan Talbot and Dave McKean titled "An Honest Answer & Other Stories," works with Mark Buckingham titled "Feeders & Eaters & Other Stories," "Neil Dreams," the anthologies "Outrageous Tales from the Old Testament" and "Seven Deadly Sins," and the lost, unfinished graphic novel made with Michael Zulli, "Sweeney Todd & Other Stories."
Those giving $15 or more will also get the top level, including the Duran Duran book. Also in that package are a never-reprinted short story, "Manuscript Found in a Milk Bottle," a limited-to-100 edition of poems by Gaiman and daughter Maddy, "Love, Fishie," and the out-of-print "A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff."
FOR THE RECORD
4:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that the top level Neil Gaiman Humble Bundle would be unlocked with donations of $15 above the average. It will be unlocked for all donations of $15 or more.
"About $5000 worth of collectible, rare, out of print & pretty unlikely books by me, DRM free for pay what you want," Gaiman tweeted. Noting that he was scheduling out some future tweets about the offerings, he added, "My biggest concern with scheduled tweets is that alien spaceships will land & people will go 'Why is Neil talking about the Humble Bundle?'"