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What Neil Gaiman REALLY Said About Vampires

Countless websites on the interwebs are all aflutter over Neil Gaiman talking trash about new vampire authors and their weak, emo vampires. But as it turns out, those sites got it all wrong, they took his words and twisted them into something completely different. Lucky for us, Gaiman cleared things up in his blog.

“(Small, quizzical note: when Terry Pratchett won the Carnegie Medal, newspapers went out of their way to pretend that his speech had been an attack on Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. I was puzzled why journalists kept asking me about what I thought of Vampire Romance as a genre, given that I hadn’t said anything about Vampires or gothics in my speech, and wanted to talk about local authorities in the UK cutting back on funding to libraries, but I gave the same answer I’d given to Entertainment Weekly — at length — here over at http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20301186,00.html — and watched it turn into things like http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/todays-vampire-ndash-a-needy-neurotic-wimp-2010057.html)”

See?! So can websites please stop hollering about how Neil Gaiman hates this vampire book and that vampire series and that vampire movie and this show and that other vampire book. It’s ridiculous.

There’s one book in particular that sites are saying he is giving hell, and that’s Twilight. But as far as I saw he only mentioned it once in this interview and it wasn’t in any kind of negative way:

“The glorious thing about being a vampire is that you don’t die. And whether you’re talking sparkly magic vampires or the intelligent, sympathetic Dracula — Fred Saberhagen’s Dracula Tape series for example, or the Saint Germain Chronicles by um, oh God, what’s her name? Chelsea Quinn Yarbro — all of that stuff essentially gives you, ”You’re conquering death.” You have limitations, and it depends on how crippling you think those limitations are. The very best piece of vampire fiction, I think, is incredibly short, and it was written by Charles Beaumont [in 1961]. It was just a vampire talking to a psychoanalyst. And it’s just a glorious, very, very short story. It’s called ”Blood Brother.” It’s the guy bitching about not being able to shave properly. And not being able to cross running water, and what that actually means in a city, and turning in and out of a bat. It’s a wonderful sort of grumpy vampire shtick. And a kind that nobody’s really done. Then of course there’s Sesame Street, which I think may well have really created the sympathetic vampire for the world.”

Neil Gaiman’s interview with EW was well-spoken, intelligent and in no way insulting. So to those other websites out there that are twisting his words out of context in order to get some more readers – fuck off!

– Moonlight

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Moonlight • July 6, 2010


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