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Neil Gaiman Talks To John Dvorak 65 65

writes "John Dvorak managed to get Neil Gaiman to come onto his video podcast and discuss writing technique and such. I'm not a huge Dvorak fan, but Gaiman will get my attention pretty much any time." Well, it is worth noting that there are other folks before Gaiman, but Gaiman's piece is excellent. As regular readers know, I've been a huge fan/proponent of Neil's work and having meet him a couple years back and exchanged some e-mail over the years it's good to see him getting the recognition he deserves. Watching this video also made me think of some other unusual pairings; I'm thinking Katie Couric doing an interview with Stephen Hawking should happen.
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Neil Gaiman Talks To John Dvorak

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  • Head Crank? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by eldavojohn (898314) *
    This "CrankyGeeks" club sounds right down my alley, how do I join?

    I noticed that John Dvorak's title is "Head Crank," how do I pledge to become an "Associate Crank?" Is there any hazing involved? How many rants about technology and politics do I have to go on to become inducted? How many outlandish statements do I have to make? Oh, at this rate, I'll never become "Head Crank!"
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday October 13, 2006 @10:27AM (#16423027)
    "John Dvorak managed to get Neil Gaiman to come onto his video podcast and discuss writing technique and such. I'm not a huge Dvorak fan, but Gaiman will get my attention pretty much any time."
    Well, it is worth noting that there are other folks before Gaiman, but Gaiman's piece is excellent. As regular readers know, I've been a huge fan/proponent of Neil's work and having meet him a couple years back and exchanged some e-mail over the years it's good to see him getting the recognition he deserves. Watching this video also made me think of some other unusual pairings; I'm thinking Katie Couric doing an interview with Stephen Hawking should happen.



    There, fixed that for you.
  • "Good Omens" (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hemogoblin (982564) on Friday October 13, 2006 @10:27AM (#16423033)
    If you enjoy reading books by either Neil Gaiman or Terry Prachett, pick up a copy of "Good Omens." Its one of the most enjoyable, humourous and wimsical books I've ever read. By the way, I'm not affilated with either of the authors. I'm just a fan.
    • by CRCulver (715279)
      Gaiman's individual efforts for me have been fairly weak, but I loved his collaboration with Gene Wolfe, A Walking Tour of the Shambles [amazon.com] . Might be a good place to start for Wolfe fans who know that Gaiman looks up to the old man, but want to get acclimated to his style slowly.
    • by Doctor Memory (6336) on Friday October 13, 2006 @10:45AM (#16423275)
      Is it just me, or is Gaiman just OK since he started writing novels? His stuff is interesting, but (IMHO) nowhere near as good as his work on the Sandman series. I've read Stardust and more recently American Gods (which I was really looking forward to), but neither of them were something I'd rush to recommend to anyone. He has interesting characters and good plot devices, but the writing itself just kind of lays there.

      Maybe it's just me, American Gods did take home the Hugo...
      • by benwb (96829)
        I liked Neverwhere much more than any of his other novels, but ymmv.
      • by alcmaeon (684971)

        It's not just you. I have read Neverwhere and Angels and Visitations, a collection of short stories and poetry, and, while I thought Neverwhere was pretty good, it had a lot of plot holes in it and, at some points became tedious. (What ever happened to the Rat Girl? Oh, maybe he just forgot her.) Angels and Visitations was pretty early work, and it showed. Most if it was boring but the stroy about the murder of an angel somewhat foreshadowed some of the themes he worked on in the comics.

        • by Zerth (26112)
          Didn't the rat girl get eaten by the bridge crossing?
          • by Sinbios (852437)
            She did, IIRC. Actually, I find Gaiman to pay immense attention to detail, most notably in American Gods. Every deity was carefully researched and sometimes cleverly hidden, and only the subtle details, down to their mannerisms, give out who they really are. Anyway, I actually enjoy his laid back, almost detached writing style, which for me do so much more to bring out the flavour of each character. I've always been a big fantasy/sci-fic fan, but since reading every Gaiman novel published, I've been finding
          • by Acer500 (846698)
            Would you mind not giving plot spoilers?
      • Well, I disagree (I've really enjoyed his books), but you should definitely check out Smoke and Mirrors. It's a collection of Gaiman's short stories. Highly recommended.

        I think someone else in this discussion mentioned Good Omens, the book he wrote with Terry Pratchett. That one's been one of my favourites for a long time.

      • I agree. I was a huge fan of the Sandman when it came out, and his other works (mostly his collaborations with Dave McKean), but since the end of Sandman, I've not read anything of his I liked. I thought American Gods was interesting, but just not compelling. I thought 1602 was horribly horribly boring. Eternals is better than 1602, but I'm not sold on it yet.
        It is a horrible feeling when you start to think that maybe the writer, show, or team that you thought was really really good just might turn out
      • by mjm1231 (751545)
        It's not just you. I was pretty much disappointed with both of the novels by him that I've read (American Gods, Neverwhere). I'm not sure if this is because Sandman is actually that much deeper and more satisfying than those novels, or if it's because there are a lot more great novels to choose from than there are great graphic novels and comics. Personally, I think it is more the former.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by edis (266347)
        By coincidence, I came over Gaiman books just a month ago, and picked both of those available at shop: "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys". This does not happen often at all, but poking into text led to it. IMHO those are of finest quality popular contemporary texts. Heck, he even plays with russian characters' naming as he would well know what he is doing - amazingly correct there and imaginative at full.

        By now, intrigued, I saw and was impressed by "Mirror Mask" film - it is very successful visual represent
        • Anasi Boys is th eonly one I've read. I had a *very* hard time finishing it. his writing leaves so much to be desired. Good basic outline of a story filled with hackneed expresions akward transitions and a prose as smooth as the Andes mountains. The guy can't write. I've read better prose on a milk carton. I really think he shoud, go the way of James patterson and just outline the stories and let someone more qualified write them. I would agree with earlier posters that he's best suited to writting books th
      • Good Omens really is a classic, but you're right..most of the others are "just" "good reads".

        However, check out his recent "Anansi Boys" - I really enjoyed that and feels a lot less forced than American Gods (which I enjoyed more on the second reading, btw)
        • by macaddict (91085)
          However, check out his recent "Anansi Boys" - I really enjoyed that and feels a lot less forced than American Gods (which I enjoyed more on the second reading, btw)

          I enjoyed it more on the second reading, too. I can't really pinpoint why. I think I liked Shadow a little better the second time around. And maybe I was paying more attention to Anansi, because I was re-reading it before Anansi Boys (which I really enjoyed on the first read) came out.
      • by metlin (258108)
        Gaiman is unique because his stories are dark, yet he adds an element of humour to some of his works -- while there are other similar authors, Gaiman's books convey this a lot better (IMHO, YMMV and all that). The other thing I like about Gaiman are his twists, which are rather nice.

        However, if you really want to read Gaiman's dark writing, look up some of his darker works without any humour. Smoke and Mirrors [wikipedia.org] is an example - some of the stories are very different and quite dark.

        The thing is, Gaiman does no
      • Since he started writing novels, he hasn't stopped writing for comics. I especially enjoyed the 1602 miniseries.
        • I found 1602 incredibly incredibly disappointing. Sure there was a great deal of detail that was really well researched and clever, but when it came down to it there wasn't anything more to the story than "Marvel characters in 1602." While some might argue that the journey was the point, I disagree.

          However, if the money from 1602 helps get Miracleman back in print, then I won't regret buying 1602 at all.
  • by 3.5 stripes (578410) on Friday October 13, 2006 @10:29AM (#16423055)
    I've seen anonymous cowards, and astroturfers, but never a poster who didn't exist...
  • by krell (896769) on Friday October 13, 2006 @10:30AM (#16423065) Journal
    "I'm thinking Katie Couric doing an interview with Stephen Hawking should happen."

    Let me know her skirt length and maybe I'll decide then.
  • ...acting as referee between TdR and RMS, cycling through GPLv3 and OLPC.
    She'd pass out, I'm bettin'.
    • by trongey (21550)
      ...acting as referee between TdR and RMS, cycling through GPLv3 and OLPC.
      She'd pass out, I'm bettin'.

      I know I would.
  • She can't make him cry for the camera, so what's the use?

    • by w0lver (755034)
      I thought that was Barbara Walters who need them to cry... Katie like to ambush them with questions for her own agenda

      So Katie, How does it feel to be in third place? "Suck Suck Suck"
  • by Asahi Super Dry (531752) on Friday October 13, 2006 @11:03AM (#16423517)
    That was annoying. It seemed like Dvorak was just interviewing himself - he kept interrupting and answering his own damn questions.
  • Why link to PC Mag? (Score:3, Informative)

    by CPIMatt (206195) * on Friday October 13, 2006 @11:06AM (#16423549)
    Just link to Crank Geeks itself.

    http://www.crankygeeks.com/2006/10/cranky_geeks_ep isode_30_with_s_1.html [crankygeeks.com]

    -Mattt
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Get Katie Couric to interview Stephen Hawking during another one of her televised colon exams.

    Hawking: Equations are just the boring part of mathematics. I attempt to s...what the hell?

    Couric: RRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! MORE LUBE GOD DAMMIT! ...So, you're coming out with another book or something? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
  • I missed Neil's Fragile Things tour and he only gets out here every couple of years. I last caught him at Keppler's when American Gods came out. I could only manage about half the book and put it down somewhere, but Anansi Boys was sterling and I've since become a bit of a fan of his works, reading Stardust and Neverwhere and enjoying them both considerably.

    When last I met Mr. Gaiman, I was into the 10th year or so of borrowing a ragged copy of Good Omens from a friend. I'd finally read it and took it w

  • Scientologist? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AxelBoldt (1490) on Friday October 13, 2006 @11:52AM (#16424229) Homepage
    Is there any evidence for or against the claim that Neil Gaiman is a scientologist? The Wikipedia Discussion page [wikipedia.org] talks about it, but no one seems to have any definite answers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Catbeller (118204)
      Not. He isn't. Scientology would definitely let us know if he were one of them.

      His parents were, but it's not discussed. And this is from a former alt.religion.scientology poster and spreader of the word of Xenu. Since he doesn't discuss their lives, I'd think it rude to bring up his parents in his presence. I'd cringe if I ever heard someone asking him about it.

      Apparently his parents were high-level true believers. But let it go; apparently, and per his recollections, they left him alone to make up his own
      • by AxelBoldt (1490)

        Scientology would definitely let us know if he were one of them.

        Is that all the evidence you have? With the same justification, one could say that he would definitely let us know that he isn't one of them if he weren't.

        apparently, and per his recollections [...]

        What's your source for this claim?

        I'd think it rude[...] I'd cringe [...] But let it go [...] let it lie

        Hu? I'm sure you don't mean to imply that merely asking the question is impermissible?

  • writes "John Dvorak managed to get Neil Gaiman to come onto his video podcast and discuss writing technique and such. I'm not a huge Dvorak fan, but Gaiman will get my attention pretty much any time." Well, it is worth noting that there are other folks before Gaiman, but Gaiman's piece is excellent.

    As regular readers know, I've been a huge fan/proponent of Neil's work and having meet him a couple years back and exchanged some e-mail over the years it's good to see him getting the recognition he deserves. Wa

  • Dvorak + Anyone = still worthless.

"Poor man... he was like an employee to me." -- The police commisioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard

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