On the Ambiguity of Gods and The Dangers of Stew

So a while back Tor.com posted up a poll asking readers to vote on what they considered the best Sci-fi and Fantasy novels of the last decade.

Imagine my delight when The Name of the Wind came in #3 in the top 10, right behind Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Gaiman’s American Gods.

Imagine my further delight when I found out they were asking authors to do little write ups about each of the books that made the top 10.

“Would you like, to do a write up for American Gods?” they asked me. “We know you’re a bit of a Gaiman fan….”

“Yes,” I said. “Yes I am.”

So I wrote a little piece about American Gods.

As part of the same poll, John Scalzi wrote piece about how he first encountered The Name of the Wind. It’s a shameful tale that includes the details of how I stalked him like some sort of stealthy, cowardly… something. Perhaps a tree lizard of some kind. Or an ocelot. Or maybe one of those deep-sea fangly fish.

Here’s a link to his post, which is much more entertaining than mine.

I’m still sorting through the photos from the contest. There were more than a thousand of them in all, with very little chaff, so it’s taking some time. But don’t worry, you’ll be seeing them soon…


This entry was posted in accolades, Neil GaimanBy Pat41 Responses


  1. Chris Vasko
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Pat you can stalk me like an ocelot any day! Thanks again for the amazing Houston signing!

    • Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

      I love both blubs Pat, yours is good, it is hard explain why you love something, you just do… if you can put it into words chances are its not love!

  2. katelyn
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    I loved his story! Not shameful at all…

    Can’t wait to see the photos you pick, thanks Pat!

  3. Blarghedy
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Pat, how many did you have for the first contest?

    • Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

      For the first contest we had a couple hundred.

      • Blarghedy
        Posted June 2, 2011 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

        Haha, wow. I thought it was pretty close to a thousand. Now I’m even more excited, because even out of those couple hundred there were a bunch that were just awesome.

  4. makeesta45
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    I love Strongbad, and I loved Scalzi’s post. It was all pretty awesome :)

  5. Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Well there is nothing better than praise from your peers. That being said, I think he graciously overlooked more than one cliche. (Trilogy – seriously?) Also my jury is still out on if you can pull all the loose ends together short of 1000 pages. =)

  6. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Fucking stew.

  7. Liz
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    “Stupid Patrick Rothfuss. He could have given just one more obvious cliche and I wouldn’t have had to get sucked in. But he didn’t, the rotten bastard.”

    HA! I feel like I owe you an apology, actually. I cursed you out thoroughly when I finished NotW and realized it was the first book of a trilogy.

    Sorry about that.

  8. jknick
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    I remember walking with you in Point one day, and you said you wanted to write a trilogy. You had the story in your head, and just needed to write it down. Boy, did you ever!

    I, too, cursed you when I came to the end of NOTW and didn’t have book 2 already in hand…….

    Congratulations! BTW, hope it’s not cabbage stew ;-)

  9. two_by_two
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    Brilliant. I personally love Neil Gaiman, although I honestly think I like Neverwhere better than American Gods. The Name of the Wind is my favorite fantasy book of all time, and that comes from someone who reads an awful lot of fantasy books.

  10. Hxlgg
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    Wonderful write-ups from everybody! I love stew.

    Personally, Good Omens is a favorite from Gaiman (and Pratchett). And yes… I am ashamed to admit that I have not ready American Gods, yet. It has been staring me down from my bookshelf for years now.

    Looking forward to seeing the photos! I hope sifting through the mass is as enjoyable as it was to participate! Thank you!

  11. Posted June 1, 2011 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

    I love both reviews. And the image of you stalking John Scalzi like an ocelot!

  12. Nicham
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    Mmmmmm… Stew. Now I’m hungry. Thanks a lot.

  13. ccomer38
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    Okay this is kind of off topic (although I loved Scalzi’s review..)

    so I live in Philadelphia and I noticed that there is a comic con coming up in June and I’ve never been to one… is it worth going to??

  14. katiebucks
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    You described Gaiman’s writing so perfectly.

    Did you see his episode of Doctor Who? Genius. No one else could have written the TARDIS as a human being so perfectly. And he gave us the best quotes ever! I mean, who can beat, “I like biting: it’s like kissing, but with a winner.”

  15. Cloudgazer
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Hmm, for the second day of reading Wise Man’s Fear I dined on apple pie, in honor of Kvothe, but I guess for the next book I’ll be sure to eat stew.

  16. Constance
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    There is nothing wrong with stew served at an inn. You throw stuff in a pot, set it to cook for a few hours, and go do other things! You stir it now and again as you pass by and then GO DO OTHER THINGS. You can put just about anything you have lying around in there – meat from a dubious source, tuber-sprouting potatoes, greying mushrooms, soggy carrots… and after a while it will smell good and nobody will CARE what’s inside. And while it’s simmering, you GO DO OTHER THINGS.

    Argh. Sorry. Rant rant rant. I’ve ran larp inns where stew is a much welcomed and beloved part of the experience. One of my guests was sad the one time we DID NOT serve stew.

    F you, Scalzi. You must have been beat up by a stewpot when you were a child.

    • Erzberger
      Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      Too harsh. You take him too seriously.

      • Constance
        Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

        I think you take me too seriously.

        • Erzberger
          Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

          Very possible. :) Sorry about that.

    • Mickey
      Posted June 3, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

      If the stew is no good then get someone who can cook better ! Like me, I can cook a stew that will make your mouth water and tastebuds have multiple orgasms.

      Anybody who hates on the stew just can go and get a cardboard burger instead.

      Did I take you the right amount of serious ?

  17. PostaKiwi
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    I also have one beatiful story about how I meet NOTW, when I have it in decent english I will send it to you n_n

  18. spencer
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    So I assume that book three will contain some humorous stew scene in response? Maybe Kvothe calls the Name of Stew to vanquish the Chandrian? Or perhaps he gets so tired of cooking stew that he renounces his position as innkeeper and goes back to being a badass?

    • Cloudgazer
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

      Or he could use the name of stew to make his stew even more delicious, and then realize he’d used it and that he’d recovered his power.

  19. rookedwithElodin
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    My favorite part is at the end of your thingy about American Gods it has a little description of you that happens to be rather hilarious. Here it is for those that skipped it over:

    Patrick Rothfuss always wanted to be fantasy author when he grew up. Now that his first (and now second) novel is published it’s generally agreed that he has achieved his dream. However, there is some debate as to whether or not he has, in fact, grown up.

  20. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    I’m not fully familiar with Neil Gaiman’s novels. What are some of his better ones that I should look out for, Pat? The only one of his works that I’ve read is Good Omens, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    • ausra
      Posted June 1, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

      My favorite is Stardust.

      • QWOPtain Crunch
        Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

        Wait, hold the fun train, Gaiman wrote Stardust??

        • Constance
          Posted June 2, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

          I like Neverwhere. Not the TV serial, but the ‘Dammit, this is what it’s supposed to be’ book he wrote based off his script. Although Croup and Vandemar are fabulous in the serial…

          Also – Doctor Who ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ for the win!

      • AO_22
        Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

        Technically, Stardust is a comic book (1997) that was collected into a GN and then subsequently adapted into a novel. Written by Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess.

      • Mickey
        Posted June 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

        The Graveyard Book is also very cool.

      • QWOPtain Crunch
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

        Thank you all. I’m going to add these to my list

  21. laurafromNY
    Posted June 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    um…I was hoping to see a picture of a “deep-sea fangly fish” but the link took me to some weird cartoon guy with a laptop…weird much?

  22. Baldsilver
    Posted June 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Hahaha, “cracked the book open to a random page, and what were they doing? Serving out bowls of stew. I swear to God.”

  23. lamvicki
    Posted June 5, 2011 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    I am a reader in Hong Kong, the translation of the Taiwanese is quite poor, compare with the original. T_T

    • lamvicki
      Posted June 5, 2011 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

      sorry posted in the wrong page

  24. Fluffybunnywant2kill
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    Congrats on making the top 3!

  25. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

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