gwern0 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 06:53:01 PST 2010
"Gaiman got his start as a journalist-for-hire, in England. He
didn’t go to college. His first book was a Duran Duran biography he
finished in three months, using a clip file from the BBC; next, he
wrote a biography of Douglas Adams, in the style of Douglas Adams.
Gaiman says that, especially in the early stages of his career, “I was
very, very good at taking a voice that already existed and just
parodying it.” He describes his short piece “We Can Get Them for You
Wholesale” as him doing John Collier. “A Study in Emerald” is his
version of Sherlock Holmes, by way of H. P. Lovecraft. The writer Gene
Wolfe says that “Sunbird,” Gaiman’s story about an epicurean club that
eats the mythical phoenix, “is so much in the style of R. A. Lafferty
it’s almost as if Lafferty were dictating it from Heaven.” Gaiman
still writes on demand, composing for anthologies (the living-statue
story was an assignment), birthdays, and holidays. Now that he is
widely read, he is apt to publish even the most ephemeral of these
offerings, often between hard covers and with lavish illustrations.
Last spring, he released “Blueberry Girl,” a bit of doggerel written
for his friend Tori Amos when she was expecting her first child.
(“Help her to help herself, help her to stand, / help her to lose and
to find. / Teach her we’re only as big as our dreams. / Show her that
fortune is blind.”) It spent five weeks on the best-seller list for
children’s picture books. "
I have the vague feeling that I've see that Wolfe quote before.
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