Neil Gaiman

Author of American Gods and 90+ Books

Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman

1432 Quotes

Neil Gaiman used to be a journalist, but gave it all up to writing comics, which he claims to be a totally valid art form of the late twentieth century, and he has even won awards for them, so that's okay. He's 5'11" tall, owns a number of black T-shirts, and although he's not overly fond of banana daiquiris, he's always very flattered when appreciative fans send him money (he's read the biography of Terry Pratchett, and though he doubts this wil... l have any effect, he figures out what the hell is).READ MORE

Join author’s readershook community

Join author’s readershook community

When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning.

Only the phoenix rises and does not descend. And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost.

And if there's a moral there, I don't know what it is, save maybe that we should take our goodbyes whenever we can.

I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not.
I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.
I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.
I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.
I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.
I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.
I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.
I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.
I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too.
I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.
I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.

Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.

What are these fundamental principles, if they are not atoms?"
"Stories. And they give me hope.

Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.

Humor   Men   Witchcraft   Witches   Women

Nothin’ wrong with witchfinding. I’d like to be a witchfinder. It’s just, well, you’ve got to take it in turns. Today we’ll go out witchfinding, an’ tomorrow we could hide, an’ it’d be the witches’ turn to find US.

He couldn’t see why people made such a fuss about people eating their silly old fruit anyway, but life would be a lot less fun if they didn’t. And there was never an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.

She decides to make a list of the things that make her happy. She writes 'plum-blossom' at the top of a piece of paper. Then she stares at the paper, unable to think of anything else. Eventually it begins to get dark.

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

You know the best thing about aeroplanes? Apart from the peanuts in the little silver bags, I mean.
It's looking out of the windows at the clouds, and thinking, maybe I could go walking in there. Maybe it's a special place where everything's okay.
Sometimes I do go walking in the clouds, but it's just cold and wet and empty. But when you look out of a plane it's a special world... and I like that.

What need," Dunstan wondered, "could someone have of the storm-filled eggshells?

There are only two worlds - your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of the human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. these worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power; provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters.

I'll be your puppy. What do you want me to do? Chew your slippers? Piss on the kitchen floor? Lick your nose? Sniff your crotch? I bet there's nothing a puppy can do that I can't do!

Scissors! Scissors! Have ye got yer ane scissors?? Are ye deaf??

I have always felt that violence was the last refuge of the incompetent, and empty threats the last sanctuary of the terminally inept.

Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield. And Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People travelled with them.

You're Hell's Angels, then? What chapter are you from?'
'REVELATIONS. CHAPTER SIX.

If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boy and his dog and his friends. And a summer that never ends.

An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards.

Coraline shivered. She preferred her other mother to have a location: if she were nowhere, then she could be anywhere. And, after all, it is always easier to be afraid of something you cannot see.

All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.

Liberty," boomed Wednesday, as they walked to the car, "is a bitch who must be bedded on a mattress of corpses.

Where does contagion end and art begin?

[D]on't ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that's what they're there for.
Use
your library). Don't apologise to
this
author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend's copy. What's important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people
read
...

25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying 'Where is the flaming sword that was given unto thee?'
26 And the Angel said, 'I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.'
27 And the Lord did not ask him again.

Angel   God   Heaven   Humor

It begins, as most things begin, with a song.

CHORONZON: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.
MORPHEUS: I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.
CHORONZON: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter-throwing.
MORPHEUS: I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight legged.
CHORONZON: I am a snake, spider-devouring, posion-toothed.
MORPHEUS: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy-footed.
CHORONZON: I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm-life destroying.
MORPHEUS: I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing.
CHORONZON: I am a nova, all-exploding... planet-cremating.
MORPHEUS: I am the Universe -- all things encompassing, all life embracing.
CHORONZON: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... of everything. Sss. And what will
you
be
then
, Dreamlord?
MORPHEUS: I am hope.

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

Lucifer protests he was never to blame for inducing anyone to sin, and that he’s never had an interest in owning souls: 'They die, and they come here – having transgressed against what they believed to be right – and expect us to fulfill their desire for pain and retribution. I don’t make them come here… I need no souls. And how can anyone own a soul? No, they belong to themselves. They just hate to have to face up to it.

Richard did not believe in angels, he never had. He was damned if he was going to start now. Still, it was much easier not to believe in something when it was not actually looking directly at you and saying your name.

Name the different kinds of people,’ said Miss Lupescu. ‘Now.’
Bod thought for a moment. ‘The living,’ he said. ‘Er. The dead.’ He stopped. Then, ‘... Cats?’ he offered, uncertainly.

Cats   Challenge   Dead   Guess   Humor   Kinds   Kinds of people   Living   People

But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart's desire, their dream... But the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted.

Laura looked up at him with dead blue eyes.
I want to be alive again," she said. "Not in this half-life. I want to be
really
alive. I want to feel my heart pumping in my chest again. I want to feel blood moving through me — hot, and salty, and real. It's weird, you don't think you can feel it, the blood, but believe me, when it stops flowing, you'll know."
She rubbed her eyes, smudging her face with red from the mess on her hands.
Look, it's hard. You know why dead people only go out at night, puppy? Because it's easier to pass for real, in the dark. And I don't want to have to pass. I want to be alive.

I think I've got Fear down, but how do I take it all the way up to Terror?

You're alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you're dead, it's gone. Over. You've made what you've made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.

STILL WATER RUNS DEEP

You are obvious, boy. You are difficult to miss. If you came to me in company with a purple lion, a green elephant, and a scarlet unicorn astride which was the King of England in his Royal Robes, I do believe that it is you and you alone that people would stare at, dismissing the others as minor irrelevancies.

There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.

I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn't mean anything? What then?

Desires   Fun   Want

Normally, in anything I do, I'm fairly miserable. I do it, and I get grumpy because there is a huge, vast gulf, this aching disparity, between the platonic ideal of the project that was living in my head, and the small, sad, wizened, shaking, squeaking thing that I actually produce.

Truly, life is wasted on the living, Nobody Owens. For one of us is too foolish to live, and it is not I.

If you want to call it that. But it is a very specific sort of magic. There's a magic you take from death. Something leaves the world, something else comes into it.

Because there are mysteries. Because there are things that people are forbidden to speak about. Because there are things they do not remember.

In a perfect world, you could fuck people without giving them a piece of your heart. And every glittering kiss and every touch of flesh is another shard of heart you’ll never see again.

Love   Sex

The view changes from where you are standing.
Words can wound, and wounds can heal.
All of these things are true.

I think I fell in love with her, a little bit. Isn't that dumb? But it was like I knew her. Like she was my oldest, dearest friend. The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they'll still love you, because they know you. I wanted to go with her. I wanted her to notice me. And then she stopped walking. Under the moon, she stopped. And looked at us. She looked at me. Maybe she was trying to tell me something; I don't know. She probably didn't even know I was there. But I'll always love her. All my life.

I like the stars. It's the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they're always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend...I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don't last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend...

Soon enough his head would be swimming with tales of derring-do and high adventure, tales of beautiful maidens kissed, of evildoers shot with pistols or fought with swords, of bags of gold, of diamonds as big as the tip of your thumb, of lost cities and of vast mountains, of steam-trains and clipper ships, of pampas, oceans, deserts, tundra.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Get Free Bookmarks Set With Popular Quotes

Or Login With

Successfully Saved