[[caption-width-right:300:Neil "Scary Trousers" Gaiman, master of modern horror.[[note]]Nickname bestowed by Creator/AlanMoore[[/note]]]]

->''"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."''
-->-- '''''ComicBook/TheSandman'''''

Neil Richard [[Music/AmandaPalmer MacKinnon]] Gaiman (born 10 November 1960) is a contemporary British writer of stories. Of all known kinds.

He's especially famous for his UrbanFantasy works, including the renowned ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' comic series, which was the only work in its medium to win a UsefulNotes/WorldFantasyAward for Best Short Story [[note]]To prevent it happening again, they changed the rules so that comic books had to be relegated to their own special category, and couldn't be judged alongside prose works[[/note]]. Two of his novels, ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'' and ''Literature/{{Coraline}},'' have been made into movies. He's also written scripts for other projects, such as ''Film/MirrorMask'' by Creator/DaveMcKean and the ''Series/{{Neverwhere}}'' TV series. In addition, he worked on the translated script of ''Anime/PrincessMononoke''. His young adult work ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'' became the first book to win both the UsefulNotes/NewberyMedal and the UsefulNotes/CarnegieMedal. When they started running out of awards to give him, they began making up new awards specially for him. He also wrote two episodes for ''Series/DoctorWho'', "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E4TheDoctorsWife The Doctor's Wife]]" in Series 6 and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E12NightmareInSilver Nightmare in Silver]]" in Series 7.

A masterful storyteller, he excels at building fantastic, yet believable settings for his stories. His works are marked by extensive use of mythological references and symbolism, often times in "modern" settings. Also a notable OneOfUs, 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 [[http://media.whosay.com/6734/6734_la.jpg highly respectable marsh-wiggle]] with a ''very'' NiceHat. Or, if you prefer, a [[Creator/TomBaker Time Lord]] with a fondness for [[http://lostmymusic.tumblr.com/post/375850584/and-here-is-a-picture-of-neil-gaiman-in-the-fourth improbably long scarfs]]. {{Adorkable}}? Very.

Gaiman has some affection for CanonDefilement — and is living proof that this particularly negative trope [[TropesAreTools isn't bad]]. He described ''[[https://thedreaming.moteofdust.com/1999/10/10/snow-glass-apples/ Snow, Glass, Apples]],'' a PerspectiveFlip of "Literature/SnowWhite", as a mindvirus that he hoped would prevent the reader from ever experiencing the original innocently again. His ExternalRetcon of ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'' pulls a similar trick. ''Literature/TheProblemOfSusan'' is something of a meta-twist on the concept, riffing off of Susan's exile from [[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia Narnia]]: her embrace of adolescence means that, ''retroactively'', she experienced the original adventure as a DarkerAndEdgier pagan allegory. He is also fairly preoccupied with, though not necessarily an apologist for, MuseAbuse.

Creator/StephenKing thinks Neil may well be the greatest storyteller alive today, and has said so publicly. Considering that's ''Creator/StephenKing'' talking, that's saying something.

He's married to Music/AmandaPalmer of The Dresden Dolls. He has a [[http://twitter.com/#!/neilhimself Twitter account]] and a [[http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/ Tumblr blog]], as well as a [[http://journal.neilgaiman.com/ more traditional blog]], one of the first blogs on the internet (it was originally created to document his promotion tour for Literature/AmericanGods back in 2001, and it took off from there). He's also been known to dispense writing advice to fans (often via Website/{{Tumblr}}), which usually boils down to "[[HardWorkMontage Write something, and keep on writing.]]"

Sang a song about Jeanne d'Arc with Music/BenFolds on piano. [[http://amandapalmer.bandcamp.com/track/the-problem-with-saints It is magnificent.]] Also sang the theme song from ''Series/FireballXL5'' (in honor of Creator/GerryAnderson's passing days earlier) onstage with Palmer during New Year's Eve 2012. It was... [[http://youtu.be/6SV1yX-Kp5c quirky]].

He's a part-time professor at Bard College. He played a parody of his good friend Creator/AlanMoore in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFGHLC1XnH4 a student project]] (he appears around 24 minutes in).

He once delivered [[http://vimeo.com/42372767 an awe-inspiring (and quite funny) commencement speech]] to the 2012 graduates of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

[[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZDB4_y8Nbf0/UDkqyIVJfLI/AAAAAAAAn_c/GscZ2uuovRI/s1600/Scan10001.JPG Here]]'s a [[AwesomenessIsVolatile screen-breaking]] photo with him, Creator/NealStephenson and Neil Armstrong. [[JustForPun Kneel before the Neils!]]

His latest novel, ''The Ocean at the End of the Lane'', was released on June 18th, 2013.

!!His works include:


[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', ''Death: The High Cost of Living'', ''Death: The Time of Your Life'', ''Sandman: the Dream Hunters'' (a short story illustrated by Creator/YoshitakaAmano), ''The Sandman: Endless Nights'', and ''ComicBook/TheSandmanOverture''.
* ''Comicbook/BlackOrchid''.
* One issue of ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}''.
* ''Violent Cases''.
* ''Mr. Punch: The Tragical Comedy or the Comical Tragedy''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Marvel 1602}}'': A story of the MarvelUniverse, [[RecycledInSpace transposed to the year 1602]].
* ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic''.
* ''Creatures of the Night''.
* ''Harlequin Valentine'': Began as a short story.
* "Literature/MurderMysteries": Began as a short story.
* ''Midnight Days''.
* ''Signal to Noise''.
* ''The Case in the Departure of Miss Finch'': Began as a short story.
* ''ComicBook/TheLastTemptation'': A collaboration with Alice Cooper.
* ''Eternals''.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: ComicBook/WhateverHappenedToTheCapedCrusader''.
* ''[[ComicBook/{{Metamorpho}} Metamorpho The Element Man]]'' in ''ComicBook/WednesdayComics''.
* 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 ''Creator/CliveBarker's Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' comic series; it was republished in the short stories collection ''Hellbound Hearts''.
* Wrote the story "When is a Door?" which appears in the Batman Secret Origins Special Volume #2.
* ''Goliath'', a ''[[Film/TheMatrix Matrix]]'' comic.
* ''Comicbook/{{Miracleman}}'': Though the series status is now in limbo, he has an agreement with Marvel to finish the story arc he started with ''The Golden Age''.

* ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}''.
* ''Literature/{{Stardust}}''.
* ''Literature/GoodOmens'', in collaboration with Creator/TerryPratchett.
* ''Literature/{{Coraline}}''.
* ''Literature/AmericanGods''.
* ''Literature/AnansiBoys''.
* ''Literature/{{Interworld}}'', in collaboration with Michael Reaves.
* ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook''.
* ''Literature/OddAndTheFrostGiants''.
* ''Film/MirrorMask'' - The novelization.
* ''Literature/TheOceanAtTheEndOfTheLane''.

[[folder: Short stories & anthologies]]
* ''Ghastly Beyond Belief -- The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of Quotations'' (1985, with Creator/KimNewman).
* ''Smoke & Mirrors''.
* ''Angels & Visitations''.
* ''Fragile Things''.
* ''M is for Magic''.
* ''How to Talk to Girls at Parties''.
* ''Literature/AStudyInEmerald''.
* ''Literature/HowTheMarquisGotHisCoatBack''.
* ''Literature/TheProblemOfSusan''
* ''Trigger Warning''.
* He also co-edited a short story collection called ''Stories'' with Al Sarrantonio.
* ''Norse Mythology'', a retelling of Myth/NorseMythology.

[[folder: Picture books]]
* ''The Wolves in the Walls''.
* ''The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish''.
* ''Blueberry Girl''.
* ''The Dangerous Alphabet''.
* ''Crazy Hair''.
* ''Instructions''.
* ''Chu's Day''.
* ''Literature/FortunatelyTheMilk''.

* ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'' (he wrote the [[{{Woolseyism}} Woolseyist]] script).
* ''Film/{{Stardust}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Beowulf|2007}}'' (the 2007 film, written with friend/cult director Creator/RogerAvary).
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}''.
* ''Film/MirrorMask''.
* ''Death: The High Cost of Living''. (In "DevelopmentHell")
* ''Literature/AnansiBoys'' (upcoming, no due date, but he has at least finished and handed in a rough draft of the script.)

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Wrote the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episodes "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E4TheDoctorsWife The Doctor's Wife]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E12NightmareInSilver Nightmare In Silver]]".
* Wrote an episode for ''Series/BabylonFive'': "[[Recap/BabylonFiveS05E08DayOfTheDead 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 5'', is named for him. And just to hammer the homage further, they all strongly resemble [[ComicBook/TheSandman Dream Of The Endless]].
* ''Series/{{Neverwhere}}''.
* ''Literature/AmericanGods''. Airing in 2016 on Starz and created by Creator/BryanFuller.
!!Tropes of which Neil Gaiman is an example:
* AdamWesting: Specifically, his guest appearance on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in 2011 where he claims he NeverLearnedToRead despite being a famous author. Ditto his appearance in ''WebVideo/TheGuild''.
* AsHimself: In the second ''Literature/ShadowPolice'' novel, ''The Severed Streets'', Neil--with his involvement and permission--appears as a supporting character [[ExpositionFairy who has some information regarding the magic of London]] that the protagonists find useful. [[spoiler: He also aids a villain in murdering one of the protagonists.]] He also appears in "The Original Dr Shade", a short story by Creator/KimNewman.
* {{Adorkable}}: Just in case any further proof was needed, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzDuEooXruA see this]].
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: An intentional example; when someone said to him, "I want to be a writer when I grow up. Am I insane?", Gaiman answered, "Yes. Growing up is very overrated. Just be an author."
* DeepSouth: [[http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2010/02/of-course-in-alabama-tuscaloosa-but.html On his blog]] Gaiman has actually expressed displeasure at the typical view of people in the American South, and asked why it took him 22 years not only to visit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but to visit literally ANYWHERE in the US South outside of Atlanta, GA on his book signings.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: Even after all these years of being recognized as one of Earth's greatest living writers he still seems to think of himself as a relatively normal person and is genuinely bemused at all the attention people give him.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Creator/TerryPratchett. Gaiman is visibly upset and fighting back tears in the documentary ''Back in Black'' made after Terrys death, saying "I miss him so much".
* LimitedWardrobe: He dresses all in black in all public appearances. Until a few years ago he wore a black leather jacket in public appearances too. He used to claim to own the world's largest collection of black t-shirts, too.
* MessyHair: In all his author photos, he sports an untidy dark mop. This is probably the inspiration for the looks of several characters he's written, including The Sandman, Richard Mayhew, and Tristran Thorn, not to mention the picture book ''Crazy Hair''. One of his "about the author" notes includes the sentence, "He thanks you for the offer of a comb, but doubts that it would do any good."
* OlderThanTheyLook: He's pretty youthful for a guy born in 1960.
* SesameStreetCred: He guest starred as himself in an episode of WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}.
* ShoutOut: Music/ToriAmos says Hi by the way.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: [[https://twitter.com/neilhimself/status/343422472324005888 Neil]] would like you to know he did not participate in spying on you. [[BlatantLies Especially those photos]].
!!Tropes common in his work:
* AllMythsAreTrue: This is the basic premise of ''American Gods'', but it's common in other works.
* AnimalMotifs: Used most prominently in ''Anansi Boys'', but ubiquitous throughout his work.
* ApocalypseCult: ''Shoggoths Old Peculiar'' has an (initially) UnfazedEveryman American tourist who visits the picturesque English town of Innsmouth and converses in a pub with the friendly Cthulhu-worshippers who live there. He ends up with a bad hangover and a "feeling of nameless dread" (TM).
* AuthorAppeal: AllMythsAreTrue, but the one Mr. Gaiman finds the most interesting is Myth/NorseMythology. Loki and Odin are major characters in both ''American Gods'' and ''The Sandman''.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Due to the frequent use of EldritchAbomination in his works, they usually have their own morality.
* CommediaDellArte: Especially in ''Mr. Punch'' and "Harlequin Valentine".
* ContemptibleCover: ''Ghastly Beyond Belief'' certainly has [[https://flic.kr/p/87WX8q a lurid cover]]. However, the book was something of an AffectionateParody, so this may be what the authors were hoping for.
* ContinuityPorn: He can reach ''Creator/DonRosa'' levels of this, especially when he's writing for DC. ''The Books of Magic'' ties together almost ''every'' magic-based character in the DCU circa 1991[[note]]A notable exception being ComicBook/WonderWoman, who was undergoing a rather messy CrisisCrossover at the time[[/note]], with the last Book even cameoing sci-fi characters like Tommy Tomorrow, ComicBook/TheLegionOfSuperHeroes, and ComicBook/{{Flash}} villain Abra Kadabra.
* CreatorThumbprint: His novel protagonists follow a specific pattern: young-ish males who are pretty much completely unfamiliar with the fantasy realm in which they find themselves, who survive and triumph by a combination of luck, compassion, and a lot of help from a more knowledgeable, often female character.
* DarkFic: Has written a few in his time:
** Literature/TheProblemOfSusan is a harsh account of what happened to Susan after the Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia books took place.
** ''[[https://thedreaming.moteofdust.com/1999/10/10/snow-glass-apples/ Snow, Glass, Apples]],'' is a retelling of Snow White, with Snow White as a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampiric]] HumanoidAbomination.
** Literature/AStudyInEmerald takes Franchise/SherlockHolmes and crosses it over with Franchise/CthulhuMythos.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: It's entirely possible for main characters to meet with a HumanoidAbomination and have a perfectly pleasant time, not even realizing exactly what they were dealing with.
* TheEveryman: The hero of his works is often this. Notably, the AntiAntiChrist in ''Good Omens'' winds up being [[spoiler: described as "human incarnate" rather than "demon incarnate" as expected.]]
* EyeScream: A recurrent theme.
* FracturedFairyTale: Several of his stories and novels play with fairy tales and tropes and fracture them to pieces. "Snow, Glass, Apples" is a dark take on Snow White in which Snow White is a vampire. Meanwhile "The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds" mashes up several nursery rhymes into a PrivateEyeMonologue as HardboiledDetective Jack Horner tries to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty.
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed: Used in the novels ''Stardust'' and ''Anansi Boys'', the ''Sandman'' story arcs ''Season of Mists'' and ''Brief Lives''. even [[https://mobile.twitter.com/neilhimself/status/605802715722084352?lang=en the occasional Tweet]].
* LightIsNotGood: Several works have villainous angels, and other similar subverted tropes.
* OldShame: Invoked in promotions for the ''[[http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2015/09/do-you-want-save-thousands-of-dollars.html Humble Bundle]]'', a collection of rare stories and books rereleased to raise funds for charity. These include his infamous debut book — a biography of Music/DuranDuran — and a short story, “Manuscript Found in a Milk Bottle", which Gaiman claims "is so bad I've never let it be reprinted. Not even to give young writers hope that if I was that awful once, there is hope for all of them."
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: {{Deconstructed}} in a [[http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/43087620460/i-was-reading-a-book-about-interjections-oddly blog post]] in which he proposed replacing the polarizing term "Politically Correct" with the more accurate "Treating Other People With Respect."
** He is however against the [[MoralGuardians desire for censorship]] sometimes implicit in the PC movement, as discussed [[http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html here]]
* ReferenceOverdosed: For more information click [[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Neil_Gaiman&oldid=621010575#Literary_allusions here]].
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: His work usually differentiates about where it lands closer to. However, there are elements of both in all his stories.
* SurrealHorror: This can't be stressed enough. The guy made ''buttons'' scary, for crying out loud. And, that's among the ''least'' of the [[MindScrew screwy]], nightmare, weirdly juxtapositioned tomfoolery he pulls on you. It's almost a relief when you get to see it upfront and in-your-face in such places as Delirium's realm, rather than sneaking up to randomly grab you from "normal" environments... like say, in ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}''. Or ''Literature/AmericanGods''. Or anything else.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Many of his works have a pair of bad guys with little characterization outside of being an inseparable antagonistic pair. Examples include Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar; Hastur and Ligur; and Mr. World and Mr. Stone.