Neil Richard Gaiman, an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films, was born on November 10, 1960. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might recognize his name. I have mentioned him in various ways in multiple entries.
Neil Gaiman writes mostly in the fantasy field, but his style is wide ranging, from the sweetest fantasy to horror, and from preschool to adult. He began his fiction career with the graphic novel series, The Sandman. It tells the tale of the ageless, anthropomorphic personification of Dream. It is full of the mythology of many races, as well as literary allusions.
Along with Terry Pratchett, he wrote Good Omens, which is a story about an angel and a demon and the ending of the world, which doesn’t sound amusing but manages to be.
Myself and others were first introduced to his work from the miniseries Neverwhere about a world underneath London, peopled by all sorts of interesting beings.
But my favorites of his works are The Graveyeard Book for middle readers about a boy brought up by ghosts in a cemetery. Also, Anansi Boys about an ordinary young man who finds out he is the son of a god. American Gods asks the question “What happened to the gods that came to the new world with the settlers?” He also wrote arguably the best Doctor Who story of the new era “The Doctor’s Wife.”
There are so many more. He has won the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. His books and stories have also been honoured with 4 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, 1 World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, 6 Locus Awards, 2 British SF Awards, 1 British Fantasy Award, 3 Geffens, 1 International Horror Guild Award and 2 Mythopoeic Awards.
Do check him out. He is worth your time.
Quotes by Neil Gaiman
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.
You’re alive. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything.
THE MAGIC AND THE DANGER OF FICTION IS THIS: it allows us to see through other eyes. It takes us to places we have never been, allows us to care about, worry about, laugh with, and cry for people who do not, outside of the story, exist. There are people who think that things that happen in fiction do not really happen. These people are wrong.
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.
The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.
Read. Read anything. Read the things they say are good for you, and the things they claim are junk. You’ll find what you need to find. Just read.
A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams and a world in which there is hope.
Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.
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