Live Blogging: An Evening With Neil Gaiman

Will be trying to live blog & tweet this event, which is happening RIGHT NOW on the Net at will be archived online at

6:06 – Neil is being introduced by the Jessamine Co PL director.

6:08 – The Net can see Neil, although we don’t have video in the libraries

6:09 – Mischief managed; tech problems over for now.  David & Juliana will now moderate.

6:12 – ILL is amazing when you’re 9 and 10. 🙂  Also, do not use your library as a child care center

6:13 – The most important thing that I possessed was my British Museum Library card.

6:16 – Neil’s parents had to frisk him for books before family events as a child.

6:20 – Neil’s favorite books as a kid: the Enid Blyton books, the Narnia books, Michael Moorcock, and Tolkein.

6:22 – The rate of graduating people who are illiterate in an area is the way that private prison companies determine how many cells to build in their prisons.  There is a ratio there; literacy in our society is probably the most important thing to let you be a functioning part of it.

6:29 – He loves being English, but there’s no guarantee of freedom of speech there.  But books coming into the UK, like R. Crumb, were seized by customs as being “dangerous”. There’s an obscene publications act, making it illegal to read or publish certain works in the UK, such as the works of the Marquis de Sade.  So he appreciates our 1st amendment.

6:35 – Censors are everywhere on the political spectrum & always feel like they’re right.  The glory of librarians is that we understand all points of view & we keep the books on the shelves.

6:44 – Alan Moore is the most important comics writer of the 20th century.  (He’s the comics author that Jessamine had a complaint about recently.)

6:45 – The two geniuses that Neil has known : Alan Moore and Douglas Adams

6:52 – Censorship is a slippery slope.  Defending free speech is always going to be about defending the indefensible.

6:56 – Why fund libraries? In a time of economic cutbacks….you need libraries.  That’s were people go.  That’s where the internet is.  The people who can help you with job searching…with putting together your CVs…to point you to places with retraining….it’s your library.  That’s who they are & what they do.  It’s one of the reasons that they’re there.

7:00 – Neil doesn’t think that printed books are going to die, but he’s fascinated by where they are dying, like encyclopedias

7:07 – The Internet giveth & the Internet taketh away.  There’s a reason he writes in a gazebo out of the range of his wi-fi!

7:11 – Onto Neil’s writing

7:12 – He’s telling the Hugo Award story! 🙂

7:13 – The Newbery Award was great because it it impressed Maddy, and his son was impressed by the subsequent Colbert Report appearance. Oh!  And he got two blue ribbons for liquid & for comb honey at the county fair this year!  W00T!

7:21 – The most cheerful, amiable, good-natured people you’ll ever meet are horror writers. 🙂

7:26 – His favorite character to write in Neverwhere was the Marquis de Carabas.  He loved Silas in The Graveyard Book.

7:27 – He’s telling the I was told to be an accountant at school by a guidance counselor story

7:35 – You leave stuff out when writing for the whole family.

7:39 – Neil is now reading, or just finished The Sorcerer’s House by Gene Wolfe, got to the end, and started again at the beginning.

7:50 – He doesn’t feel he’s really famous, but is more famous than he’d like.  He learned all he ever needed to know about writing by being a journalist.

7:55 – Questioner asked how much Long Dark Teatime of the Soul influenced American Gods.  Can’t believe I didn’t even think of those books as on a parallel, though they most clearly mine the same terrain.

7:58 – The Internet has stopped the UK police from banning the Marquis de Sade because so much worse is available all the time online.

7:58 – Closing remarks!  It’s all done.

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