Neil Gaiman

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Name: Neil Gaiman
Also Known As:
Occupation: author, comics writer, screenwriter
Medium: books, film, comics
Works: American Gods, Anansi Boys, Beowulf, The Books of Magic, Coraline, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere (TV series and novelization), Norse Mythology (book), The Problem of Susan, Sandman, Stardust, A Study in Emerald
Official Website(s):
neilgaiman at Facebook
neilhimself at Instagram
neilhimself at Mastodon
neilhimself at Twitter
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

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Neil Gaiman is a very successful writer in the genres of science fiction and horror. He is notable for being a fairly fannishly accessible author, as he tours, signs books, tweets, blogs, and is generally extremely gracious to his fan-base.

Gaiman also understands fanfiction and wrote on his blog:

"For the record, if I don't get around to writing a sequel to something while I'm alive, I'd very much rather that nobody else does it once I'm dead. It should exist in your head or in Lucien's library, or in fanfic. But that's me, and not every author feels the same way."[1]

In a 2015 interview with Kazuo Ishiguro, he said about fanfiction:

It’s not a new phenomenon. I love the fact that, you know, in the early versions of King Lear, the story had a happy ending. Shakespeare turned it into a tragedy, and through the 18th and 19th centuries they kept trying to give it a happy ending again. But people kept going back to the one that Shakespeare created. You could definitely view Shakespeare as fan fiction, in his own way. I’ve only ever written, as far as I know, one book that did the thing that happens when people online get hold of it and start writing their own fiction, which was Good Omens, which I did with Terry Pratchett. It’s a 100,000-word book; there’s probably a million words of fiction out there by now, written by people who were inspired by characters in the book.

What do you feel about that?

Mostly I feel happy about it.[2]

In November 2018, he answered a tweet denigrating fanfiction:

"I won the Hugo Award for a piece of Sherlock Holmes/H. P. Lovecraft fanfiction, so I'm in favour." [3]

He wrote The Problem of Susan,[4] a Chronicles of Narnia fanfic focused on Susan Pevensie.

The members of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society awarded Gaiman the 2020 Forrest J Ackerman Award for Lifetime Achievement at their October 22 meeting of the same year.[5]

Fannish Engagement

Although Gaiman has written widely, most fannish engagement seems to be with his character Death, one of the Endless introduced by him while writing Sandman for DC Comics. Since Death can appear to any character when they die or approach death, she is a fannish Little Black Dress, and well suited for crossovers.

Good Omens (1990), a novel co-written with Terry Pratchett, has a small but active fandom which increased significally after the release of the television series of the same name in 2019. Gaiman's works Neverwhere, American Gods, and A Study in Emerald (the story that he referred to as "Sherlock Holmes/H.P. Lovecraft fanfiction") are perennial requests at Yuletide, and fanfiction for his other novels turns up there from time to time.

Interaction on social networks

The Official Neil Gaiman Tumblr is a blog where Neil Gaiman frequently answers asks and interacts with fans. As time has gone on, his interactions on Tumblr have become more and more in line with the typical culture of the site, such as utilising memes and similiar Tumblr vernacular.

In 2022 with the Twitterpocalypse taking place after the platform was sold to Elon Musk, many users decided to migrate to Mastodon, but some servers are overloaded and as one of the few ways to enter the site is by having an invitation Gaiman decided to offer all his fans a link so that they could ascend to the platform.[6]

Meta & Further Reading

Links and Resources