Neil Gaiman at the National Press Club.

Sep 14, 2011

Back in June of 2011 Neil Gaiman went on a hastily assembled book signing tour to promote the release of the tenth anniversary edition of American Gods, one of his most famous novels. Neil's book signings (just ask anyone who's met him, you always find yourself calling him 'Neil' forever afterward) are always a good time, though this on was held at the National Press Club so it was a little more understated than most. After being introduced Neil talked a little about the circumstances surrounding the book's publication, namely, that it had originally been a great deal longer but was edited to size, and that many of the edits that were supposed to go back into the "author's preferred edition" actually had to be recreated because they'd been lost over the years. He also spoke a little about some of the things that have happened surrounding American Gods, such as the mysterious appearance in the literature of a fourth Slavic deity... "that is how a god is born," indeed.

It's been long enough that I simply don't recall most of the details of the book signing, largely because the line was so long that it took the better part of two hours just to get out of the conference room. Not a few of us were standing there absorbed in our reading, in part to keep from generating too much body heat and helping add to the risk of heat stroke. I do recall rather vividly thanking Neil for some of his more recent work, one which never fails to reduce me to tears by the end of the story. I also recall walking past someone on my way out who was the spitting image of Wednesday, and thinking to myself that I really did, in fact, like my job. When questions from the audience were passed to the podium, my question about HBO turning American Gods into a television series was answered (much to my delight).

The pictures are a little dodgy because I took them with my smartphone from a distance, but I chose the clearest of the pictures that were taken. I hope you enjoy them.