I'm going to WFC2011 this year! I am so excited the fizz is coming out of my ears!
It is still months away, but it's such a big thing, and it's the industry convention for fantasy writers and publishers, so I thought I would put together some thoughts on some of the people who are Guests of Honour at a World Fantasy Convention.
Today I'd like to take a personal look at Neil Gaiman.
I first came across Neil Gaiman with the Endless series. Death as a cute little perky goth? Dream as a tall gothy emo? Hell yeah! The Sandman Series was great. It was an awesome mythology, a saga and a heart wrenching story of imprisonment and duty. From what I remember! A lot of Gaiman's stories resonate with me on themes of loyalty, love, duty, and have the feel of a fairy tale more than a modern novel. Good Omens seemed to be a light hearted romp between Pratchett and Gaiman, covering ideas common to both of them and having a very different flavour to books like American Gods.
I've also come across Coraline, Neverwhere and Stardust in my travels. Admittedly, I have come across them as movies. We also have a copy of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, and we love Dave McKean artwork. My husband has the Dave McKean tarot deck, which is both a beauty and a terror to behold. All of these stories had women I admired and respected in them, and I love putting on Coraline and Stardust for the kids. I liked American Gods, which to me read as a huge diatribe on the relationship Americans have to religion, which I thought was interesting. It seemed Gaiman had a lot to say!
The other way I have come across Gaiman is when his fiancee Amanda Palmer organized a wedding between him and herself. It was a fanciful affair, with Amanda doing one of her statue perfomances as The Bride, and it took soem work (and a thermos of tea!) but in the end she gave him a surprise wedding. And it just seemed to suit them both so well, I had tears in my eyes as I looked through the wedding album. Just perfect, and perfectly gorgeous.
I have attended a convention with Gaiman as a GoH once before - Swancon five million years ago. It was my first ever Swancon, and I was there for one day. Gosh that was a long time ago! I remember he did a reading, and how he looked like a superstar, even then.
I see Neil Gaiman as a master story teller. All of this works are a reflection back at the readers, an intricate puzzle which illuminates and explores humanity.
To finish off this little chat, I thought I would post this advice from Neil Gaiman to new writers: