Childhood is terrifying for us all. But, of course, for Neil Gaiman, the monsters under the bed are always literal. The author of The Sandman series and “all-ages” hits like Coraline is launching The Ocean at the End of the Lane, his first adult-oriented novel in eight years. But just because it’s for adults doesn’t mean it’s not heavy on the magic. Here the protagonist, now pushing 50, is haunted by a supernatural act he witnessed as a seven-year-old boy, and just like that, Gaiman shapes residual childhood trauma into one of his trademark frightening, wonderful dreamworlds. Tonight, the master of horror reads, discusses, and signs copies of the novel (included in the ticket price).

Tue., June 18, 7 p.m., 2013