Did you know that on a mystical day far in the past, far back through the swirling mists of time, a 24-year-old Neil Gaiman wrote a biography of 1980s Barbarella-enthusiasts Duran Duran? He did! And it’s both hilarious, and a pretty solid work of pop biography. John Scalzi has been on a quest to read this book ever since becoming a Gaiman fan, and now, thanks to its inclusion in Gaiman’s Humble Bundle, he’s finally gotten to read it. Plus, he’s written a touching review of the book over on his blog!
Rather than just being content to point and giggle at a neophyte writer’s work, Scalzi uses this as an opportunity to talk about the fact that every successful writer (or pop star) you’ve ever heard of, was once a baby artist, struggling to find a voice and a purpose in their work.
What could have been an easy stroll through nostalgia takes a turn for the truly sweet when Scalzi looks back at that time:
“I wish I could get back in that time machine to 1984 and tell 24-year-old Neil about this. “Neil!” I would say. “In 2015 you will have 16 times as many Twitter followers as Simon Le Bon!” And he would say “Those words all make sense individually but not as a sentence,” as politely as possible and then he would back away quickly from the very odd American blathering nonsensical terms like “blog” and “Internet”…”
And it really does turn into a great call-to-pens for any young writer, toiling away at projects for rent money, trying to drum up enthusiasm for whatever is assigned to you, even when you’re asked to write about the well-coiffed young gentlemen behind “Girls on Film” and “Union of the Snake”.
Head over to the Whatever blog to read the full review, possibly be inspired to keep plugging away at your own writing, and to see some hilarious pictures of young Scalzi and Gaiman! And if you’d like your own crack at a Neil Gaiman rarity, you still have a tiny window of time left for that Humble Bundle!