konfusedfae asked: I've read a lot of your books & have loved some more than others. American Gods fell somewhere in the middle. I read it at a bad time & do think that played a factor, but also just don't think it was meant to be my favorite. I get SO MUCH criticism for this opinion, most of it fairly condescending as it's such an intelligent book. I read everything from Lemony Snicket to Shakespeare, so I find this offensive. Do you have any thoughts on how to handle this without just telling these people off?
You like what you like. Nobody can tell you to like something that you don’t, or not to like something you do — or if they do, it’s not going to change anything in your head, no more than they can be made to like or dislike garlic or lobster or chocolate or olives or natto by you telling them to change their minds.
I don’t expect everyone to love everything I write. I don’t think that if you like something I write you’ll like the next thing, any more than I love everything that the people whose work I enjoy do.
There are Dickens novels I think as good as anything anyone’s ever done, and Dickens books I will be very happy never to read again or think of again. I’m happy to know that my judgment is subjective, but then, that’s the whole point of having a point of view.
I published AMERICAN GODS after STARDUST, and most of the people who loved STARDUST did not love AMERICAN GODS, and the people who loved AMERICAN GODS and picked up STARDUST next were often very disappointed indeed. And I am proud of both of them, as I am of all my art-children…
hat778 asked: What are your thoughts on Scottish independence?
Messy. I worry that for the Scots, the YES vote has become essentially a gigantic Vote of No Confidence in Westminster and the Westminster Party system, which I share. As someone who has a house in Scotland, lives in Scotland when he can, and adopted his wife’s clan name as his middle name when we married, I hope that, in the case of a YES vote, life in Scotland continues to be as good or better than it is right now; and that in the case of a NO vote, the fractures between people of different opinions heal rapidly and that Westminster’s recent offers of concessions to Scotland are real.
I don’t get a vote, which is a good thing, as I’d probably be a Don’t Know until I got to the ballot box, and would then choose based on a hundred different reasons, including how much I disliked any particular politicians and whether the sun was shining that day and whether I was particularly missing Iain Banks.
birdrhetorics asked: So, can you talk about your process for making movies while being blind? What kind of a camera do you use?
I try to create films from my perspective. I like to do most of the work, I write my own stuff, direct, film and edit. I’m interested in films that are from my perspective specifically since it’s different than so many peoples. I’m interested mostly in independent work, I can work with other people but my visions are always very clear and I want to create them within my own means. I do have trouble getting things in focus on a camera to be perfectly honest but as long as I’m creating something that is beautiful to me then I’m sure someone else can find it beautiful. I love composing shots and I tend to put the camera in a place where sighted people wouldn’t necessarily put it.
I could go on for days about the content of my films but mostly I like making films that feature the less featured people of this world. I’m less interested in the average and overdone heroes, I like complicated stories about people who are more realistic and less represented. I want everyone to see themselves in my films but especially people who never get to see themselves so blatantly. I know I never saw a young blind girl in film, I want everyone to have a chance to see someone with their unique struggles.
As for cameras, I tend to use the different cameras provided for different classes at my University. Each class has a different camera available to students, so I’ve gotten to use a Sony EA50, NEX-FS100, PMW-EX1 and a Panasonic HMC150. When I’m not making something for a course I just use a Canon T3i since it’s a lot cheaper.
My fairy goddaughter Sky. So proud of her.
franalbini asked: Hello! It was nice to find your tumblr. Since the start of this year I'm gradually losing my vision, but no doctor knows the reason yet. Well, I know you must have been asked about this tons of times, but what caused your impairment? And what course are you taking on university?
No doctor was able to diagnose me for ten years of my life. I have a disease called Stargardt’s disease. It’s pretty uncommon (1 in 10,000 Americans have it) and hard to diagnose. It’s a form of macular degeneration that appears in young children which is quite rare.
There is so little help for people without a diagnosis and that can be extremely difficult when young. I had to live like a sighted person for so many years and was expected to do so much that I couldn’t do.
If you (or anyone on here) ever have any worries about going blind with or without a diagnosis please message me and I can privately or publicly answer any questions you have. It’s a difficult thing to live through and I wish that I had more support even now.
Also I study Film at UC Santa Cruz. So there you go, I’m loosing my eyesight and I’m still getting A’s in all of my film production classes (making movies is my concentration in my major and also my favorite thing in the world). I love making films so much and though people have told me it’s not the best choice for me, all the support and respect for my art was what really stuck.
Just because we can’t see doesn’t mean we can’t thrive. I’d love to hear more of your accounts of going blind. If you send me stories I’ll post them here on the blog.
My fairy goddaughter Sky. Who is amazing.
khaizarin asked: Dear Mr. Gaiman. I'm an aspiring writer looking to be the best author I can be, and because of that, I try to research the things I write about so I know everything there is to know about it. However, the current project I'm writing is proving to be challenging. In fact, I need to talk to a coroner, to research the decaying of a human body and any means of which to slow it down. Do you have a suggestion as to how I can contact someone willing to talk to me, despite me sounding totally insane?
All research enquiries sound insane. Sometimes, as when you are squodging through a sewage tunnel researching Neverwhere, they seem insane to you too.
When I needed to write an autopsy in AMERICAN GODS I called my family doctor, and he turned out to have been the county prosector, and we spent a couple of hours on the phone with him answering all my questions, even the stupid ones. (“Why do you have to put the organs back in the same order you took them out?” “Because otherwise they won’t fit.” “Oh.”)
There are a LOT of books about death, dying and what happens to bodies post mortem, that you could use too. Check your library. Talk to your librarians. In my experience, they like the weird requests.*
*do not stare at them in an unsettling way while you ask, though. Try to smile, unless you have an unsettling smile.
vasilis-p asked: How do you handle exposition in a radio play (without including a narrator)? And love your stuff!
Mostly, you try and avoid the phrase “as you know…”. Which means that you have someone who knows something explain stuff to someone who knows less.