Monday, November 23, 2009


Bucharest day 1 - No Neil Gaiman :-(

The day started well with some surprise news - according to "Nine O'Clock", the free English-language newspaper placed in my room, Neil Gaiman is in Bucharest this week.

Bestselling author Neil Gaiman to meet Romanian fans

The writer is a guest at the Gaudeamus Book Fair, taking place in Bucharest from November 25 to 29.

His books have the substance that Hollywood movies are made of, while his vision and unique sense of humour make him a favourite of both grown-ups and children. Neil Gaiman is the author of “American Gods”, one of the best novels written over the past decades, and the creator of “Coraline”, which we could recently seen adapted for the big screen.

Born in November 1960 in England, Gaiman has put his signature on science fiction and fantasy short stories, novels, graphic novels, comics, audio theatre, and films. His notable works include “The Sandman” graphic novel series, “Stardust,” “American Gods, “Coraline,” and “The Graveyard Book,” his latest fantasy book which he will promote in Romania next week. Gaiman’s writing has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker, as well as the 2009 Newbery Medal. The extreme enthusiasm of his fans has led some to call him a “rock star” of the literary world.

After forming a friendship with graphic novel writer Alan Moore, Gaiman started writing graphic novels, picking up Marvelman after Moore finished his run on the series. He has written numerous comics for several publishers. His award-winning series The Sandman tells the tale of Morpheus, the anthropomorphic personification of Dream. The series began in 1989 and concluded in 1996.

Asked why he likes comics more than other forms of storytelling Gaiman said “One of the joys of comics has always been the knowledge that it was, in many ways, untouched ground. It was virgin territory. When I was working on Sandman, I felt a lot of the time that I was actually picking up a machete and heading out into the jungle. I got to write in places and do things that nobody had ever done before. When I’m writing novels I’m painfully aware that I’m working in a medium that people have been writing absolutely jaw-droppingly brilliant things for, you know, three-four thousand years now. “ In collaboration with author Terry Pratchett , Neil Gaiman’s first novel “Good Omens” was published in 1990. The 1996 novelization of Neil Gaiman’s teleplay for the BBC mini-series “Neverwhere” was his first solo novel. In 1999 first printings of his fantasy novel Stardust were released. “American Gods” became one of Gaiman’s best-selling and multi-award winning novels upon its release in 2001. In 2005, his novel “Anansi Boys” was released worldwide. In late 2008, Gaiman released a new children’s book, The Graveyard Book. It follows the adventures of a boy named Bod after his family is murdered and he is left to be brought up by a graveyard. It is heavily influenced by Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. As of late January 2009, it has been on the New York Times Bestseller children’s list for fifteen weeks.

Neil’s 2009 Newbery-Medal winning book The Graveyard Book will be turned into a movie, with Neil Jordan as the director.

This sounded like a great opportunity, training schedule notwithstanding, to see the famous writer. The Gaudeamus website was short on detail so I emailed the author of the article and my hopes were dashed.

From: Ana-Maria Iancu
Sent: 23 November 2009 16:22
To: John Breakwell
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Gaudeamus and Neil Gaiman]

Dear Sir,

I am sorry to have misinformed you, it is the first time in my journalistic career when I have to publish a correction. We were informed by the news agency that has a contract with us about Neil Gaiman,and the news agencies are rarely so wrong. But today I attended the Gaudeamus press event and they knew nothing about it (for them Neil Gaiman is still an alien, anyway) so I called the publishing company that works with his books and they said no, he is not coming, he was in talks with them, he is
not coming anymore.
Sorry to have misinformed you, especially that I am a Neil Gaiman fan myself, and it makes me even sadder.

Thank you however, for your interest in our paper and have a nice day

Ana-Maria Iancu
Culture editor

Neil himself confirmed through Twitter that he would not be here.

neilhimself @JohnBrea no, definitely not there.

Some other time, then.


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