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 . 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.
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
- Ascended Fanboy
- Deadpan Snarker
- Heroic Self-Deprecation
- Hot Dad
- Kindhearted Cat Lover
- Messy Hair
- Nightmare Fetishist
- One of Us
- 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:
- All Myths Are True
- Back From the Dead
- Blue and Orange Morality
- Cats Are Magic
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe
- Cosmic Horror Story
- Continuity Porn
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deconstruction Crossover
- Deliberate Values Dissonance
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?
- Dreaming of Things to Come
- Fairy Tale
- Genre Savvy
- Light Is Not Good
- Meta Fiction
- Trope Overdosed
His works include:
- The Sandman, Death: The High Cost of Living, Death: The Time of Your Life, Sandman: the Dream Hunters (a short story illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano), and The Sandman: Endless Nights.
- Black Orchid
- One issue of Hellblazer
- Violent Cases
- Mr. Punch: The Tragical Comedy or the Comical Tragedy
- 1602: A story of the Marvel Universe, transposed to the year 1602.
- The Books Of Magic
- Creatures of the Night
- Harlequin Valentine: Began as a short story.
- Murder Mysteries
- Midnight Days
- Signal to Noise
- The Case in the Departure of Miss Finch: Began as a short story.
- The Last Temptation: A collaboration with Alice Cooper.
- Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader??
- Metamorpho The Element Man in Wednesday Comics
- Gaiman also came up with the concept that Tekno Comix eventually turned into a small line of inter-linked titles. The original pitch differed from the end result in a number of respects, to Gaiman's displeasure.
- Wrote the story "Wordsworth" for the Clive Barker's Hellraiser comic series; it was recently republished in the short stories collection Hellbound Hearts.
- Goliath, a Matrix comic.
- Good Omens, in collaboration with Terry Pratchett
- American Gods
- Anansi Boys
- Interworld, in collaboration with Michael Reaves
- The Graveyard Book
- Odd And The Frost Giants
- Mirror Mask - the novelization
Short story anthologies
- Smoke & Mirrors
- Angels & Visitations
- Fragile Things
- M is for Magic
- How to Talk to Girls at Parties
- The Wolves in the Walls
- The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
- Blueberry Girl
- The Dangerous Alphabet
- Crazy Hair
- Princess Mononoke (he wrote the Woolseyist script)
- Beowulf (the 2007 film)
- Mirror Mask
- Death: The High Cost of Living. (In "development", but IMDb puts its release in 2013.
- Anansi Boys (upcoming, no due date, but he has at least finished and handed in a rough draft of the script)
Live Action TV
- He has written an episode for the 2011 series of Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife".
- Wrote an episode for Babylon 5: "Day of the Dead".
- Especially notable as the only episode of the show not written by J. Michael Straczynski after season two.
- The Gaim, one of the alien races in Babylon Five, is named for him. And just to hammer the homage further, they all strongly resemble Dream Of The Endless.
- American Gods upcoming in 2013 from HBO as a miniseries.