Neil Gaiman

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Neil "Scary Trousers" Gaiman, master of modern horror[1]

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.

A contemporary British writer of stories. Of all known kinds.

He's especially famous for his Urban Fantasy works, including the renowned The Sandman comic series, which was the first (and only) work in its medium to win a World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story [2]. Two of his novels, Stardust and Coraline, have been made into movies. He's also written scripts for other projects, such as Mirror Mask by Dave McKean and the Neverwhere TV series. In addition, he worked on the translated script of Princess Mononoke. Most recently, his young adult work The Graveyard Book became the first book to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal.

A masterful storyteller, he excels at building believable, yet fantastic settings for his stories. His works are marked by extensive use of mythological references and symbolism, often times in "modern" settings. Also a notable One of Us, and despite his work's breathtaking popularity, he has remained remarkably humble and personable, managing to remain faintly bemused every time he finds hundreds of people waiting for him to sign their books or whatnot. Also, he's a highly respectable marsh-wiggle with a very Nice Hat. Adorkable? Quite.

Gaiman has some affection for Canon Defilement- and is living proof that this particularly negative trope isn't bad. He described Snow, Glass, Apples, a Perspective Flip of "Snow White", as a mindvirus that he hoped would prevent the reader from ever experiencing the original innocently again. His External Retcon of Beowulf pulls a similar trick. The Problem of Susan is something of a meta-twist on the concept, riffing off of Susan's exile from Narnia: her embrace of adolescence means that, retroactively, she experienced the original adventure as a Darker and Edgier pagan allegory. He is also fairly preoccupied with, though not necessarily an apologist for, Muse Abuse.

Stephen King thinks Neil Gaiman may well be the greatest storyteller alive today, and has said so publicly. Considering this is Stephen King talking, that's saying something.

He's married to Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls. He has a Twitter account and a Tumblr blog.

Sung a song about Jeanne d'Arc with Ben Folds on piano. It is magnificent.

He once delivered an awe-inspiring (and quite hilarious) commencement speech to the 2012 graduates of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Tropes of which Neil Gaiman is an example:
  • Adam Westing:
    • Specifically, his guest appearance on The Simpsons in 2011 where he reveals the whole plot was a scam for him to become an NYT bestseller, he can't read, and he's not even British!.
    • In the Simpsons Coraline parody "Coralisa," he voices Lisa's cat Snowball. While Snowball sounds wise when talking about mysterious doors and families, he gets distracted when Lisa turns on her flashlight. "Shiiiiiiiiiiiny!"
  • Ascended Fanboy: He got a star-making gig at DC Comics because Alan Moore recommended him for the Darker and Edgier reboots of Silver Age heroes like Black Orchid and Sandman.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Neil has more than a few remarks about haters, life, and writing. He's joked that for season 2 of Good Omens, David Tennant would be replaced by several Fennec foxes.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay
  • Dogged Nice Guy: In The Art of Asking, Amanda confirms that Neil was this during their courtship. She wasn't sure how their relationship would work out given the age differences, and that in the book world he's a celebrity while at the time she was an underground musician. When he asked her to marry him, Neil agreed to all her conditions: it would be an open marriage, they didn't need kids, and she wouldn't be a wife.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation
  • Hot Dad
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: One of his short stories, "The Black Cat," was inspired by the many strays that he and his family would adopt. The namesake cat was actually real, though he did find a forever home and we hope isn't getting into more fights.
  • Messy Hair
  • Nightmare Fetishist
  • Not a Morning Person: Neil jokes that in addition to his nameless cameo in the Diana Wynne Jones novel Deep Secret, part of The Magids duology, Nick's zombielike morning state was based on his before Neil gets any caffeine.
  • One of Us
  • Refuge in Audacity: He explained in his "Make Good Art" speech that this was how he got writing gigs. When freelancing, he would lie that he wrote or so-and-so publications, then would write for them for real. That way it would be true eventually and he could claim to be "chronologically challenged". Neil advises not doing this in the day and age of the Internet, because fact-checking is more common.
  • Running the Asylum
  • Sesame Street Cred: He guest starred as himself in an episode of Arthur.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
Tropes common in his work:

His works include:

Comic Books


Short story anthologies

  • Smoke & Mirrors
  • Angels & Visitations
  • Fragile Things
  • M is for Magic
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Picture books

  • The Wolves in the Walls
  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
  • Blueberry Girl
  • The Dangerous Alphabet
  • Crazy Hair
  • Instructions


Live-Action TV

Neil Gaiman has performed in the following roles:


  1. epithet and nickname given by Alan Moore
  2. To prevent it happening again, they changed the rules so that comic books had to be relegated to their own special category, and couldn't be judged alongside prose works