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Talk: Neil Gaiman at SJSU

Neil Gaiman at SJSU by mhuang

photo by mhuang

Last night a crowd of us went to see Neil Gaiman at SJSU, which makes for twice in two months as we saw Gaiman speak at Keplers for Fragile Things in October. Gaiman had quite the endurance this time around: 20 minutes for the humorous/questionnaire/sci-fi "Orange" and over an hour reading the Jungle-Book-with-a-twist "Witch's Gravestone." Then there was also the Q&A, the signing, and the earlier noon event he did, and it's clear that he was quite generous with his time towards SJSU.

"Witch's Gravestone" is from the upcoming M is for Magic short story collection that is being targetted at kids -- apparently school librarians have been buying his previous short story collections and Gaiman and his publisher wanted to release a collection that didn't feature hardcore sex scenes that would get him sued. Gaiman alternately described "Witch's Gravestone" as The Graveyard Book Chapter 4, which is both a reference to The Jungle Book as well as to imply the non-existence of chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8... Gaiman got the idea for the story during one of his frequent trips to the graveyard with his then two-year-old son Michael (~1985). Putting aside the fact that the anecdote may explain a lot about Gaiman's stories, the idea came about that the story would feature a child raised by dead people instead of jungle animals.

The Q&A featured the typical questions that you hear at a Gaiman talk: when is X going to be made into a movie, when is Y going to be made into a movie, when is Z going to be made into a movie. I find myself impatient hearing these questions for the third time; I'm impressed that I am entertained by Gaiman's answers, and I'm impressed that Gaiman still answers these questions.

Videos of the event in the extended (quality much improved over last time)

Intro (including background info on "Orange") 4:54

"Orange" 18:31

"Witch's Gravestone" introduction 5:56

"Witch's Gravestone" (aka Graveyard Book, Chapter 4 or 5)

Q&A: "Witch's Gravestone" 1:02:54

Q&A: Neverwhere movie 2:52

Q&A: Good Omens movie (clipped at end) 3:21

Comments (3)

oh.... i thought it was "witch's gravestone".

it made me want the book now. too bad he has to still write chapters 1, 2, 5 and so forth. :)


Oh, you're definitely right. Possessives and I don't get along well sometimes ;).



I was there as well and I was wondering if there was any way that you could send me the videos you took or if there's somewhere I could download them, if it's not too much to ask.


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