The Collective Works of Neil Gaiman

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby KOSMOSX7 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:53 pm UTC

I can rant about Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, but I'm a bit busy this week, so I'll just say that I think whoever walked away from that book's ending w/o cringing in horror at his audacity as a children's author must be a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Oh, and the man thinks, perhaps unbeknownst to him, that all angels are ASSHOLES. And I am completely, grimly serious about this. Has anyone else noticed? (Not about the part where I'm serious, but over that bit about the angels.)

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby Jorpho » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:02 pm UTC

Aziraphale wasn't that bad. But then, one might argue that his characterization was mitigated by Pratchett.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby KOSMOSX7 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:19 pm UTC

I would totally argue that.

And I'd say Neverwhere lies my strongest case. Followed by Sandman and then Murder Mysteries, the latter of which, no one ever seems to remember, or had read to begin with.

Actually, let me amend my argument to: Neil Gaiman thinks all angels are SERIOUSLY MESSED UP, DUDE.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

Murder Mysteries being the one where the Angel is tasked with figuring out who murdered who and it turns out John was the demons?
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby KOSMOSX7 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

I don't know what the hell "John was the demons" MEANS, but...

Spoiler:
...if it means the Almighty Himself, then absofragginlutely dammit.


Now can someone please explain to me why this here gorram frelling frak of a forum's got over a dozen text gremlins changing my words around and trying to make me doubt my ocular senses and overall sanity?!

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby KOSMOSX7 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

Belay the question in my previous post.

A talking cow in another thread just informed me that the xkcd mods have been given carte blanche to play Loki this month: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=34697

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:17 pm UTC

Double-posting is bad and you should feel bad.

John Stalvern waited. The lights above him blinked and sparked out of the air. There were demons in the base. He didn't see them, but had expected them now for years. His warnings to Cernel Joson were not listenend to and now it was too late. Far too late for now, anyway. John was a space marine for fourteen years. When he was young he watched the spaceships and he said to dad "I want to be on the ships daddy." Dad said "No! You will BE KILL BY DEMONS" There was a time when he believed him. Then as he got oldered he stopped. But now in the space station base of the UAC he knew there were demons. "This is Joson" the radio crackered. "You must fight the demons!" So John gotted his palsma rifle and blew up the wall. "HE GOING TO KILL US" said the demons "I will shoot at him" said the cyberdemon and he fired the rocket missiles. John plasmaed at him and tried to blew him up. But then the ceiling fell and they were trapped and not able to kill. "No! I must kill the demons" he shouted The radio said "No, John. You are the demons" And then John was a zombie.

See, your spoiler is what I was getting at, just without a need for a spoiler. And in such an obtuse way that even someone familiar with this particularly spectacular piece of Doom fanfic still wouldn't quite get.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaiman

Postby Jessica » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:07 am UTC

I should re-read some Gaiman... or get one of the two newer books (interworld, graveyard book) and give them a spin. I remember really enjoying anansi boys, finding american gods to be... slow but good I guess? Neverwhere was fun... coraline and stardust were also great reads... And I really loved his short stories (smoke and mirrors, Fragile things). Though they both were really well done. Liked sandman, marvel 1602... and think that good omens is probably my favourite book of all time...

But, I know a lot of people don't like Gaiman. Some of my friends will say that all of his work is exactly the same. Not sure. I've read a few other things since I last read gaiman (other than good omens, but again, that's... suspect on how much is gaiman and how much is pratchett...) Maybe a good re-read is in order...

Of course, that means I'll have to find all my Gaiman books... as I don't think I have any of them in my current collection except smoke and mirrors...
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby Jesse » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:49 am UTC

What's wrong with thinking that all angels are assholes?

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby natraj » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:03 am UTC

Jesse wrote:What's wrong with thinking that all angels are assholes?


Stereotyping! We don't like that kind of bigotry round here. :D

I'm sure he's not a bigot, though. I mean, maybe he's even got friends who are angels.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:36 pm UTC

He married one too, so he totally knows what he's talking about.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby KOSMOSX7 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:15 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Double-posting is bad and you should feel bad.

I feel so bad it's goooooooooooood.

SecondTalon wrote:See, your spoiler is what I was getting at, just without a need for a spoiler. And in such an obtuse way that even someone familiar with this particularly spectacular piece of Doom fanfic still wouldn't quite get.

Dude, now I must subject you to THIS spectacular piece of *Half-Life* fanfic in full CG!

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby MightyMouse » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:57 am UTC

You could try reading Roger Zelazny, Gaimen was heavily influenced by him in terms of style.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby Jorpho » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:32 am UTC

MightyMouse wrote:You could try reading Roger Zelazny, Gaimen was heavily influenced by him in terms of style.
Between Amber and Lord of Light, I can't say I really noticed. But then, Zelazny had quite a range and there is much of his work that I have yet to read.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby Sprocket » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:22 pm UTC

Coraline the musical :-D is playing in teh New Yo'k Citeh May 7th - June 20th.
Music and lyrics by Stevin Merrit of The Magnetic Fields :-D

http://www.mcctheater.org/shows/08-09_s ... index.html
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Neil Gaiman

Postby MHD » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:13 am UTC

Do you like him? Do you hate him? Why? What?

I really like the Sandman graphic novels and after posting this I'm off to the libary to get my hands on American Gods.

Also, do I need to mention Kumpunaphobia?
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby el_loco_avs » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:14 pm UTC

Sooo. I was thinking of giving a Gaiman book to a friend for a birthday. She mentioned only liking fantasy books (as in. i think she's only read HP books or the like). I'm kinda undecided on which book to give her. Any idea which would be a good one for a pregnant birthday-lady? :mrgreen:
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby |Erasmus| » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:19 pm UTC

Almost finished reading American Gods. Excellent book, and almost no one I've shown it to has even heard of Gaiman before. He's not very popular in this part of the world.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:28 pm UTC

No need to rehash the thread again. To be brief, I'd play it safe and go with Stardust.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby el_loco_avs » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:18 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:No need to rehash the thread again. To be brief, I'd play it safe and go with Stardust.


Thanks man. I was considering the same. :)
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby Narsil » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:21 pm UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:Sooo. I was thinking of giving a Gaiman book to a friend for a birthday. She mentioned only liking fantasy books (as in. i think she's only read HP books or the like). I'm kinda undecided on which book to give her. Any idea which would be a good one for a pregnant birthday-lady? :mrgreen:

I believe he wrote a book for a friend of his that was expecting a child. The book is called "Blueberry Girl". Just FYI.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby sparks » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:38 pm UTC

If you want to write like Neil Gaiman, you could start by spelling his name correctly.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby Various Varieties » Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:26 am UTC

sparks wrote:If you want to write like Neil Gaiman, you could start by spelling his name correctly.

Yes, that was noted in this thread some time ago. I assume it's become some sort of unofficial tradition to not correct the misspellings in the title (and recently a second has appeared!)

Gaimen. Gaimen, Gaimen, Gaimen GaimenGaimen.

(Malkovich?)

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen (The Neil Gaimen Thread)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:57 am UTC

Nah, it's more fun to blindly post in a 4 page thread addressing the very first post without even quoting it.

It's even more fun in a 400 page thread, because everyone needs a good ten minutes to figure out what the hell you're talking about.

It's also more fun to dick around with thread titles for no good reason, only to fuck'em up even worse.
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thread)

Postby Zohar » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:53 am UTC

Kneel Guymehn ?
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thread)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:48 pm UTC

John Haberdasher!
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thread)

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:32 am UTC

But, I know a lot of people don't like Gaiman. Some of my friends will say that all of his work is exactly the same.


I think a lot of his work contains the same sort of themes and motifs, like reality vs. dreams and the dual nature of the world, but I don't think that it's a problem. He just writes what he knows and makes each work different enough to interest me.

I loved American Gods. I thought that the interludes were really very interesting because the whole point of the novel was how quickly things are forgotten in the "real world"

Spoiler:
Remember the bit about the god of the iron roads?


And the placing ancient concepts in the modern world calls back Jackson's Lottery.

Spoiler:
Czernobog (sp?) and the hammer, using the spear from the World tree, and intersections of the world (that would be ley lines).


Hell, I even loved that the coin tricks ran through the whole thing (that's a pretty genius bit of writing in my opinion).

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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thread)

Postby Jorpho » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:43 pm UTC

Seems The Graveyard Book has now won both the Newberry and the Hugo, if you've not been keeping track.

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Re: I want to read like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thread)

Postby annals » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:47 pm UTC

Sweet. I didn't see it posted anywhere else in the thread, so I wanted to point to Gaiman's young readers website where you can listen to the entirety of The Graveyard Book for free. I never would have bought it otherwise, but this really got me hooked.

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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thread)

Postby Jorpho » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:18 am UTC

Well, I just finished reading Interworld.

At the start I was thinking, "Hey, this is kind of like Stardust."

Soon I was thinking, "This is rather reminiscent of Bruce Coville's work."

And by the end I was thinking, "This is about on the same level as Saturday morning cartoon fanfiction, or maybe Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at best."

It's definitely a minor work. But it's also very easy, quick, and hardly unenjoyable read. (I like how by the end of Michael Reaves' back-flap bio the only interesting thing they can think of to say about him is "he's also written background dialogue for a Megadeth video.")

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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thr

Postby Jorpho » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:34 am UTC

I've been meaning to ask: As I recall, Gaiman states that the hotel in the center of America was real. What's up with that? Did someone really take a model of the US and find the point on which it balanced? The physics involved intrigues.

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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby El Spark » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:13 pm UTC

Actaeus wrote:I've been meaning to read more Gaiman, but I heard the Graveyard Whatever was boring.

I heard that from a librarian.


And you're hearing it from another one now.

It's really not so much that it's boring, as I feel that it could have been tightened up four or five notches. This is a story wearing sweatpants when I think the publisher was really going for a three-piece suit. I'm sort of baffled as to WHY it won the Newbery award that year (the Newbery award is given, theoretically, to the best children's chapter book of the year, at least here in America). Again, not becase it was bad, so much as it was...kinda blah.

That said, I really enjoyed American Gods, more when I went through it last year than I did ten years ago or whenever it was I read it the first time. Neil's really good at images, but I think he has a hard time stringing them together in a coherent story. I can dig it; I'm pretty much the same way.
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thr

Postby Zohar » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:38 pm UTC

I loved The Graveyard Book. It was interesting reading it right after The Jungle Book... And it also sort of explains why it seems slow-paced, if that's what you're talking about - it's supposed to emulate a pretty old book.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby Jorpho » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:22 pm UTC

El Spark wrote:I'm sort of baffled as to WHY it won the Newbery award that year (the Newbery award is given, theoretically, to the best children's chapter book of the year, at least here in America).
And the Hugo, don't forget. (But considering Cyteen won the bloody Hugo, it doesn't mean too much to me anymore.)

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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thr

Postby Apteryx » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:43 am UTC

Opps, now you are for it mate!.

lol.
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thr

Postby El Spark » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:55 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I loved The Graveyard Book. It was interesting reading it right after The Jungle Book... And it also sort of explains why it seems slow-paced, if that's what you're talking about - it's supposed to emulate a pretty old book.


Well, fair enough. Rick Yancey's recent book The Monstrumologist was like that: written in an older style, so it felt slow to me. I can see why some authors might want to do that with older readers who can appreciate it more often, but most (MOST, I said most, everyone see me say most here?) teens wouldn't appreciate that older style. It seems an odd choice to make in a book that's supposed to be in the teen/older children section.

Of course, look at the wild success of the Series of Unfortunate Events. I'm no prophet.
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thr

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:13 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I've been meaning to ask: As I recall, Gaiman states that the hotel in the center of America was real. What's up with that? Did someone really take a model of the US and find the point on which it balanced? The physics involved intrigues.
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Re: I want to write like Niel Gaimen (The Niel Patterson Thr

Postby Dave_Wise » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:41 am UTC

Pretty keen on Neil Gaiman generally, but you know how there's always some kind of 'twist', you know, like death being a woman or the gods being in America, etc.? After a while, you start being able to predict what that twist will be, and it's a fun game to play. But, sarcasm and whingeing aside, I'm hooked. I've even got his short story collections.
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Re: I want to write like Neil Gaimen

Postby danielnairn » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

tiny wrote:But perhaps Mr. Gaiman's focus lies more on the concept and atmosphere of a story, and not so much on plot and details. There are as many approaches to writing as there are authors.


I think this is generally true with Gaiman. I mean, I love his plots, but I think a lot of his ending are weak. But it's really all about becoming enveloped in the world he has created. That's what makes him my hero, really. And I disagree with...erm...someone else on the forum when they said that he's not a good writer. His writing skills are better than most.
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Neil Gaiman. I just don't know.

Postby King Author » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:44 am UTC

So a couple years back, I read Sandman, and I loved it. I was aware that Neil Gaiman had written prose in the intervening twenty years, but I'd never gone out of my way to read anything he's written. I always had, in the back of my mind, though, the expectation that I'd love anything he wrote. He sort of thinks the same way I do (well, so far as I can tell from quotes and interviews and never having met the chap personally). He's got all these fantastic quotes; he's clearly a very intelligent, highly creative person who is not merely creative, but actively creative, plumbing the depths of his own mind as few ever bother to.

Then I found out he and Gene Wolfe (my absolute favorite author in the multiverse) are friends. Well, that sealed the deal; I had to read one of Gaiman's books. So I picked up American Gods. Liked the quotes. The "travellers beware" was a bit cheesy, but whatever. The first chapter didn't thrill me, but hey, the entire first book of Wolfe's New Sun didn't thrill me the first time I read it. On I plunged.

Second chapter. Hmm.

Third chapter. ...

Fourth chapter. Alright...come on, now.

And so on. I kept waiting for it to get good, and suddenly five hundred pages had gone by and it never did. I'll explain myself. First off, the style was a bit...Chuck Palahniuk. And I don't mean that as a compliment by any stretch of the imagination; rather, I mean it seemed to have a gradeschool boy's over-fondness of swear words and sex/genitalia references. I don't mean I took offense, it just seemed juvenile; put in for the sake of it, or probably to try and set a gritty, realistic theme, which didn't work for me.

Second, the book was way too long. I love a good, long book as much as the next guy, but only when each page itself is concise. It just seemed like it took a thousand words to say what could've been said better in a hundred. The book only had about a hundred fifty pages worth of story, if you ask me. I got the sense that Gaiman, being so established and beloved, sort of brushed aside his editor for this one, because with every editor I've ever dealt with, the first thing they do is take whatever I've come up with and cut it in half by omitting unnecessary words and descriptions and even whole paragraphs. If Gaiman's editor did that, the original draft must've been 1,000 pages.

Third...see, here's the thing. Like I said, I loved Sandman, but I've gone back and began reading it again recently, looking at it critically (as opposed to merely enjoying the ride), and I hate to use the stereotype, and I never noticed it the first time, but Gaiman's narration (as opposed to his dialogue) throughout Sandman seemed a bit "angsty teenage girl" -ish. Very melodramatic, very floral, very artsy at the expense of substance. It has this "MySpace poetry" quality to it. I mean, it's all very fanciful and the substance itself wasn't problematic, just the way Gaiman chose to present that substance.

I always distinguish the two, by the way - the story unto itself, and the manner in which the author presents it. I think I loved Sandman for the story, and of course Dream is unintentionally hilarious because he's so over-the-top melodramatic and dour amidst a world full of mostly regular people (including and perhaps most especially all the crazy non-human creatures). The story itself - what happens, the characters and so forth - were enjoyable, but Gaiman's own talents, while certainly not detracting whatsoever, didn't really add anything.

I'm torn. I think what it is is that Gaiman is really creative and has all these really good ideas, but isn't all that good at getting them out. Nor do I think the novel is a good medium for him. I kept thinking, while I was reading it, that American Gods would've been much, much better as a graphic novel or a comic book series. His mountains upon mountains of wasted words seemed to be trying and failing to evoke the same kind of imagery that the comic format so effortlessly does (since images are part of its nature).

I'm torn because I like Neil Gaiman, but I'm starting to feel that either he's not really very talented, or his talents are incredibly narrow in scope (a scope which doesn't include the novel). Which would be okay; I don't pretend that everything I like is "good" and everything I dislike is "bad." I like tons of "bad" stuff, and I don't like everything that's "good." But still. It's a confusing feeling.

Anyone else have this same ambivalence towards Neil Gaiman?
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