For fans of the author Neil Gaiman, the idea of needing a beginner’s guide may sound ridiculous: he’s been a cult hero for decades. His novels, short stories, and comic books have won all kinds of awards and prizes. But, in the manner of other genre icons who amassed a specific group of fans prior to mainstream success, his omnipresence might seem sudden to many others.
“Omnipresent” is pretty accurate: He has several books coming out over the next few weeks — Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman (which came out earlier this week, on April 23), Make Good Art (May 14), How to Talk to Girls at Parties (May 18) and The Ocean at the End of the Lane (June 18). A BBC radio-play adaptation of his novel Neverwhere premiered in March. And there’s more coming.
So, to clear up any confusion, let’s start with the basics:
So, who is this Neil Gaiman? And what does he do?
He’s a British-born writer who now lives in the U.S., in a town outside of Minneapolis. He started out as a journalist and wrote his first book, about the band Duran Duran, in 1984, but he’s best known for his genre work.
His break-out text was the comic book The Sandman, a 75-issue series that ran from 1989 through 1996. The epic — which takes place in the world of dreams — was among a handful of titles (along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns)that elevated comic books into the realm of real literature.
His other major works, for children and adults, include 2008′s The Graveyard Book, 2003′s Coraline, and 2002′s American Gods — all of which have won multiple awards and prizes.
(MORE: Neil Gaiman, Geek God)
Why is Neil Gaiman mainstream-famous now? And when did this happen?
Even if you know everything there is to know about Neil Gaiman, it’s still a nice read. (btw, so is his Tumblr.)
I painted a TARDIS on my cast, and Neil Gaiman signed it, because he’s awesome.
Karen Gillan = Moon Face
Speaking at the Radio Times covers’ party, Moffat teased: “We’ll be up in the air, we’re under the water, we’re on a fantastic alien planet, we’re back in time, we’re forward in time, and the Doctor’s greatest secret is in jeopardy.”
The upcoming eight episodes - which see Matt Smith teaming up with new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman - will include instalments written by Moffat, as well as Luther creator Neil Cross, Neil Gaiman and Mark Gatiss.
‘Willow’ and ‘Star Wars’ actor Warwick Davis admitted that the Cybermen “were always scary to me. I was one of those kids who hid behind the sofa, so I know they are scary. But the Cybermen that I saw were awesome and yeah I think it’ll be scary.
“I mean, it was an exciting moment to come face-to-face with one of those dudes. Seriously, it was a great thrill. I mean, it was a great thrill to be in Doctor Who. A career ambition. But to be in an episode written by Neil and to have Cybermen in it, was for me the jackpot.
Davis will appear in an upcoming episode of Doctor Who Series 7.
We’re about ten days away from the Doctor Who table reading. I spoke to the Director for the first time yesterday. And the script is pretty much the script. (ie, I’m about to send off a script to the Script Editor that I hope will be, if not the last draft, then the one that we go into the table read with). Technically it’s probably the tenth draft, but I’m not really counting any more. (The “Cut ten pages” draft of the trip to Australia was the last one that felt like major surgery.) Steven Moffat came to my rescue when I felt like I couldn’t even pick it up again, and for that, he is a hero.It hasn’t really changed that much. It just gets tighter and, I hope, more like itself. Slowly, draft by draft, it’s being turned up to eleven.
Anything that wasn’t moving the plot forward has gone. Lots of interesting chatty background conversations in the TARDIS, gone. Lines of dialogue that were fun in themselves but weren’t really needed? Gone. And the food scene? Very gone indeed. It’s been gone since draft six. Given that it’s not there any longer, and that that tells you absolutely nothing about the story except that it now doesn’t have a scene with a bowl of food in it, I thought I’d borrow it back from Lucien’s library.The Doctor has just been given a bowl of something to eat. Something…possibly…alien…AMYIs it something people can eat?(to Doctor)Shouldn’t you scan it with your screwdriver or something?THE DOCTORWhy would I scan food with my screwdriver?AMYSee if it’s safe?The Doctor leans over, dips his finger into his bowl, tastes it.THE DOCTORSome unusual trace elements, smidge too much background radiation, but, yeah, very yummy.Amy is about to try some of his food… he stops her.THE DOCTOR (cont’d)No. Don’t put it in your mouth.AMYNot for humans?THE DOCTORNot for you. Tastes like Marmite on socks.
@neilhimself I saw Doctor Who Xmas episode. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll move somewhere warm where it never snows & you’ll hide under the bed there.
Will Merrick - best known for playing Alo Creevey in the fifth and sixth series of E4 teenage drama Skins - is to appear in a 2013 episode of Doctor Who. The actor will play a character in an episode of the popular sci-fi show’s forthcoming seventh series, according to his United Agents profile.
The episode in question has been written by Neil Gaiman and will see the Doctor (Matt Smith) and his latest companion (Jenna-Louise Coleman) come face-to-face with old foes the Cybermen as well as a band of misfits - played by Warwick Davis, Jason Watkins and Tamzin Outhwaite.
Doctor Who’s executive producer Steven Moffat has previously stated, “With one of the all-time classic monsters returning, and a script from one of our finest novelists, it’s no surprise we have attracted such stellar names as Tamzin, Jason and Warwick.”
In addition to his work on Skins, Merrick has also appeared in BBC1’s sitcom In with the Flynns and has filmed a role in Richard Curtis’s 2013 romcom About Time, starring Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy.
About to watch the Doctor Who Xmas special. Just bumped into two nice people…
The Doctor will come face-to-face with some old enemies…
We can confirm that the Cybermen will be menacing the universe once again when Doctor Who returns for a run of eight epic episodes in spring, 2013.The iconic enemies will feature in an adventure directed by Stephen Woolfenden and written by the acclaimed Neil Gaiman whose previous episode was the Hugo Award-winning, The Doctor’s Wife.
Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new companion, the episode co-stars Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short and Harry Potter), Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders and Hotel Babylon) and Jason Watkins (Being Human and Lark Rise to Candleford) as a band of misfits on a mysterious planet…
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, told us, ‘Cybermen were always the monsters that scared me the most! Not just because they were an awesome military force, but because sometimes they could be sleek and silver and right behind you without you even knowing. ’ He added, ‘And with one of the all-time classic monsters returning, and a script from one of our finest novelists, it’s no surprise we have attracted such stellar names as Tamzin, Jason and Warwick.’
I just wanna crack open his brain and dig out the spoilers
Doctor Who episode line-up for 2013 (Look who’s writing Ep. 12).
It is true.
Ok. Neil has reblogged it. NOW it’s officially official.
According to Doctor Who Magazine, he has a new Who story to tell, and it’s going to appear in the second half of Season 7.
The existence of a second Gaiman script has been the subject of feverish internet conjecture for weeks, since Neil himself (who tweets under the name @neilhimself) mentioned that he was writing something Whoish back in September. And now it’s confirmed.
Other writers for the last eight stories of Season 7 include Neil Cross (the creator of Luther), Mark Gatiss (Steven Moffat’s Sherlock co-creator), Stephen Thompson (another Sherlocker, who also wrote The Curse of the Black Spot), and of course Steven Moffat.
Doctor Who is listed at #9
But no mention of Whovians on Tumblr?
POPULARITY: Holds Guinness World Record as world’s longest-running science-fiction television show, having debuted in 1963; currently broadcast in about 50 countries; current run launched in 2005, has won 30 BAFTAs, and six Hugo Awards; most downloaded series in the U.S. on iTunes in 2011.
FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS: 2.7 million
TWITTER FOLLOWERS: 263,000
FAN NICKNAME: The term “Whovian” has been in use since the eighties.
MAIN HANGOUTS: It can take an hour to sift through just one labyrinthine, 30-page thread on the message boards of Gallifrey Base. For more daily updates, there’s the Base’s sister site, the Doctor Who News Page.
AVERAGE DEMOGRAPHIC: In the U.K., Doctor Who was always a family program. However, in the U.S., the show’s earlier incarnations were mostly embraced by sci-fi-loving men who discovered it on PBS in the eighties. But since its 2005 revival, it has steadily continued finding a wider and larger audience; it now has a notably large female following, compared to other long-running sci-fi properties.
DEVOTIONAL PROFILE: From fan-run conventions (Gallifrey One in Los Angeles has staged an event yearly since 1990), to myriad fanzines (the Doctor Who Club of Australia has published more than 200 issues of Data Extract since 1980), and the stylish production of numerous fan films (the third and final part of a reimagining of the lost 1966 serial “The Power of the Daleks” was recently released online), the Doctor Who fan appears to be as resourceful as the series’ time-traveling protagonist.
Of note, Neil Gaiman is #18 (woohoo!)