Neil Gaiman at the Chicago World Con

I was kind of bummed out because I had to leave the Chicago World Con a little early. My flight was at 6:00 PM, so I’d be flying out about two hours before the Hugo Awards even started.

I’d already checked out and left my suitcase in storage with the bellhops while I went to a few final sessions. Now I was back collecting my suitcase. This was it. The end of the convention for me. In just a minute, I’d be leaving the Hyatt Regency, the convention hotel, for good.

I turned around and Neil Gaiman was right behind me. He was storing a bag. I was pretty sure he wasn’t leaving since he was up for a Hugo Award for writing the screenplay for a well-regarded Doctor Who episode.

I probably sounded like the usual star-struck fan, but I quickly asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking his picture with me. He graciously agreed, shook my hand and asked my name. Quite frankly, he was very nice about it all.

I snagged the first passer-by I saw to take the picture, which turned out to be a middle-aged woman walking with her husband and two teenagers.

Her husband was clearly a science fiction fan and quipped about us being “old friends.” The woman had no idea who Neil Gaiman was, but she snapped the picture quite competently anyway. I thanked Neil Gaiman for the photo opportunity and he shook my hand again before he walked away.

After he was sufficiently far away, my photographer asked me who the man was, while her husband chortled at her.

I explained: “That was Neil Gaiman. New York Times bestselling writer. Hugo winner for his novel American Gods, which is like the Oscars for the science fiction field. Author of the Sandman series of graphic novels, probably the most celebrated graphic novels of all time. He’s also the screenwriter for successful movies like Stardust, etc. He’s probably one of the most prominent writers at this entire convention.”

Strangely, even though I was leaving the convention, I wasn’t bummed out anymore.

Thanks, Neil.

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2 Comments

  1. Phillip
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:31 AM | Permalink

    Great post, really enjoyed it!

    — Phillip

  2. Tawanda
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Really liked what you had to say in your post, David Keener » Neil Gaiman at the Chicago World Con, thanks for the good read!

    — Tawanda

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