This publisher's first novel is a gay, demented eschatological farce in which the Antichrist doesn't really have his heart in it. Eleven years before the end of the world foretold by accurate but obscure Agnes Nutter's prophecies, Sister Mary Loquacious--the Satanist charged with switching the infant Antichrist with another infant--flubs the job when a third infant is introduced into the scenario, and the Lord of Darkness gets shunted aside in favor of Adam Young, who grows into boyhood with an uncomfortable sense of mission. Awaited with fear by angelic Aziraphale and demonic Crowley--friendly rivals who don't want their worldly tug-of-war to end--with zealous hatred by Witchfinder Sgt. Shadwell and harlot-masseuse-medium Madame Tracy, and with ecstatic anticipation by latter-day Nutterite Anathema Device and Newton Pulsifer, who bounces from Shadwell's employ into Anathema's bed, the apocalypse looms--dripping with throwaway allusions, giggly footnotes, and broad swipes at the decline of the West. It's the ultimate Saturday night bummer, fueled by a miraculous thousand-ton theft of nuclear fuel and the determination of Adam's gang Them to follow the trail of the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse. Hilariously naughty, and just what you'd expect from a collaboration between comics-veteran Gaiman and fantasist Pratchett (Strata, 1981; The Light Fantastic, 1983). A best-seller in England, and a book to watch here. It could catch on with the Douglas Adams crowd.