Good Omens (book)
This article is about the 1990 Pratchett and Gaiman novel. For the streaming series based on that novel, see Good Omens (TV).
|Name:||Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch|
|Creator:||Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman|
|Date(s):||10 May 1990|
|Country of Origin:||United Kingdom|
|External Links:||Good Omens at Goodreads|
Good Omens at Wikipedia
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Good Omens is a popular fantasy novel about the apocalypse by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It has an active online fandom, especially after the 2019 Amazon Prime miniseries.
In 2014, the novel was adapted into a six-episode radio drama by BBC Radio 4.
To differentiate between the multiple performances of the work, many fans use unique names to indicate which universe is being represented or cited; as an example, there is the term Radio Omens for BBC Radio 4's reading of the work. The Good Omens fandom also has various Alternate Universe terms, such as Reverse Omens where the roles are exchanged, with Crowley the angel and Aziraphale the demon.
Good Omens is the story of how the world didn't quite end. As Neil Gaiman's website puts it:
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded in 1655, just before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants – they’d gathered to watch her burn and got more of a show than expected) the world will end on a Saturday – next Saturday, as it happens. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their hogs, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.
However, the somewhat fussy Aziraphale and the fast-living Crowley – each of whom rather favors the lifestyle of Earth’s mortals – are not especially looking forward to Rapture. Thing is, if they’re going to prevent that from happening, they’ve got to find and kill the Antichrist, and, er, someone seems to have misplaced him...
The main characters of Good Omens are:
- Aziraphale - Heaven's representative on Earth. "Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide."
- Crowley - Hell's representative on Earth. "An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards."
- Adam Young - The eleven-year-old Antichrist.
- Agnes Nutter - The witch mentioned earlier, whose prophecies are astonishingly accurate.
- Anathema Device - A descendant of Agnes, who has the last copy of her book of prophecies, and wishes the world wouldn't end quite so soon.
- Newton Pulsifer - A young man with a talent for electrocution and a love of machines.
- The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse - You can figure this one out.
- Various and Sundry Supporting Cast - Including inefficient witch-hunters, lascivious old women, pragmatic pre-teens, and assorted supernatural entities.
As with many older fandoms, the GO fandom was very active on Livejournal before moving to Tumblr. However some communities and events are still active on Livejournal. The main community for Good Omens fandom is lower_tadfield, and the annual holiday fanwork exchange is hosted at go-exchange. Good Omens was one of the few literary fandoms prolific enough to be ineligible for participation in the Yuletide fic exchange.
Well-known fan writers include afrai, Aja, Argyle, Daegaer, irisbleufic, Louise Lux, Sam Starbucks aka. Sam Vines, Vulgarweed, and others.
Reccers include Arduinna, Beth H, Carmarthen, Knacc, Espresso Addict, Polyamorous Recommendations, and others.
In the mid 2000s, Good Omens fans were well known for their tendency to actively engage with Gaiman and Pratchett. It is a tendency that has continued in more recent times, with Gaiman's active engagement with fans on Tumblr and Twitter.
Fanart is very popular in the GO fandom, with much discussion related to the appearance of angel and demon wings. There has also been considerable discussion about the depiction of characters with no specified race, as predominantly white, in fanart and fancasts.
i can recognize that yeah, most headcanons do come from old texts and paintings, and thats perfectly fine. what’s problematic, though, is that we ALL turned to that headcanon, or just about everyone, so that the overall image of AZ that we have is a chubby blonde haired white guy. meanwhile, we have so much variety in the fandom itself. its pretty harmful to the majority of us that we have almost no representation at all, in a media where we could just add the representation ourselves and have it fit perfectly with the book. im not just talking about AZ, either!
Further Fanon Resources
- Good Omens Starter Kit by Tumblr user futureevilscientist
- Good Omens Links compiled by Tumblr user not-a-space-alien, originally posted 2016, updated since then.
- Good Omens Fandom Welcome Pack, Archived version by Tumblr user Fish Support Group, (March 2017)
Gaiman has also said several times in his blog that he is not opposed to fanfiction (of his work and in general) but really doesn't want to be exposed to it himself:
And this has less to do with prudery than with my own comfort levels. I can just about get my head around the concept of Crowley-Aziraphale slash, and would rather not read it thanks. Out beyond that, I don't actually want to know...
The extremely popular, and juggernaut, pairing in Good Omens fandom is Aziraphale/Crowley. Many stories take advantage of the fact that the two have been around throughout the entirety of human history and feature historical settings or appearances by historical or Biblical figures. Good Omens fanfic sometimes includes detailed and humorous footnotes, similar to those included in the original novel.
Other smaller pairings found in fanworks tend to be the canonical pairings of Anathema/Newt and Shadwell/Tracy, but more often than not they are side pairings in Aziraphale/Crowley works.
Good Omens also has a large gen fandom, strongly focused on Aziraphale & Crowley. However, stories about Adam and the Them are also common, as well as stories that involve Warlock.
These fanworks are based on the book and predate the TV series, except for meta comparing the book to TV characterization.
- See also Category:Good Omens Art
- crowley’s and aziraphale’s new year’s resolutions, by blue on tumblr (January 1, 2012)
- A demon can get into real trouble, doing the right thing, animated fanart by birdloaf on tumblr (15 April 2013)
- Green Fingers, by Pika-la-Cynique on deviantart (August 22, 2008)
- GO - Crowley and Aziraphale, by Eeba-ism on deviantart (January 17, 2010)
- Good Omens, by GraphiteDoll on deviantart (September 27, 2012)
- GOOD OMENS for Neil's birthday, by noxcape on deviantart (November 14, 2010)
- Good Omens - Supernaturals, by juliedillon (May 14, 2007)
- The Sacred and the Profane, by afrai, an Aziraphale/Crowley AU series (early 2000s)
- Some Strange Race and The Seconds Slim by Sam Vimes at Pretty Little Oojahs, Crowley tempts and Aziraphael falls; Aziraphael wakes and Crowley bleeds. (2004-2005)
- Crown of Thorns (The Walls, the Wainscot, and the Mouse) 'Verse, by irisbleufic. Post-canon with historical flashbacks; featuring Aziraphale/Crowley, other canon cast, OCs. (2005-2019)
- such selfish prayers, by Lvslie. Post-canon; Aziraphale/Crowley (2017-12-29)
- And Find for Herself a Place to Rest, by tomato-greens. Post-canon with flashbacks; featuring Aziraphale, Crowley, Eve (2014-01-20)
May duplicate examples on the Good Omens (TV) fandom page.
- An angel and a demon facing the greatest problem of their time: the crucial difference between Book!Omens and Miniseries!Omens, Archived version by an anon at thegoodomensdumpster
- Book Vs. TV Show Good Omens, Archived version by thecuriousreader
- good omens story structure: book vs. show, Archived version by fuckyeahisawthat
Example Art Gallery
Some examples of what fandom artists thought the characters would look like based on the books:
Good Omens: winter by Linnpuzzle (2004)
Good Omens by rhianimated (2007)
Good Omens characters by just-agu (2009)
Aziraphale and Crowley by Ememchan08 (2015)
newt and anathema by tio-trile (2015)
The Them and Horsemen (Good Omens) by Anjupear (2018)
- Crowley's Angels archive link ("Have you ever read the book Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman? And have you, in reading, found that you simply couldn't deny the chemistry between Crowley and Aziraphale? Yeah, you know what we mean! Welcome! You're definitely in the right place. This is a list dedicated to our favorite Angel and Demon, and the obvious love (or, at least, crazed-weasel-like lust) between them!Speak your mind! Tell us why you too have become addicted to Crowley and Aziraphale. Share any fanart or fanfiction you've written - we're open-minded here. This is, take note, a slash-oriented mailing list, meaning that we are discussing a male/male relationship, including the sexal aspect of such. If you are under legal age in your community to view this kind of material, please do not join this list. We will not tolerate flamers. You have been warned. But if you have an open mind, a love of sporks, and an affinity towards ineffibility, come right in! Your friendly resident list mods, Lily Rose Granger, Tomo Trillions")
- Good Omens Holiday Exchange
- Good Omens Lexicon
- TVTropes: Good Omens Fanfic Recs
- Stories on Yuletide
- Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett on AO3
- Podfic at Audiofic Archive (86 as of January 2017)
- Good Omens group at DeviantArt
Notes and References
- ^ BBC lines up adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, The Stage, September 5, 2014. (Accessed December 27, 2019).
- ^ Neil Gaiman's official website. Neil's Work > Books > Good Omens. (Accessed 09 August 2013.)
- ^ Good Omens, List of Dramatis Personae.
- ^ See also the Antichristmas (Good Omens exchange) for another example of an LJ-era exchange.
- ^ When your favourite book's fandom tumblr post by situationalystudious on Tumblr, December 2019, accessed 14 June 2019.
- ^ You guys realise post by mutececil on Tumblr, February 2014, accessed 14 June 2019. Archived from the original on April 12, 2021.
- ^ A lot of the image from Azi, tumblr discussion on depiction of Az as a white male, 2014, accessed 14 June 2019.
- ^ 3.9.2003, In which it is decided there are Some Things That Man Was Not Meant To Know by Neil Gaiman, accessed 13.10.2011