Photo Contest: Prelude

So for a while now, I’ve been sifting through all the photos that people submitted to the contest. More than a thousand photos in all.

Needless to say, it’s been taking a lot longer than I expected.

It’s not just that life seems determined to get in the way. Neither is it the fact that there are more photos than I expected, or that so many of them are clever. It’s not even that so many of them were so obviously taken as an act of love. (And I mean that literally in some cases.)

The real problem is that so many of the pictures are really good.

While I’ve been sifting through them, organizing them into categories, and trying to winnow some of them out. I keep thinking of what happened last year when I went to Neil Gaiman’s House on the Rock shindig on Halloween.

He had a costume contest there, American Gods themed. And the winners were going to get to ride the carousel. Yeah. The carousel that nobody gets to ride.

Needless to say, the competition was fierce. Of the thousand or so people that attended, I’m guessing almost half dressed up.

(One of these days I’ll get around to telling the whole story of that day, the story of how I got to ride the carousel with Gaiman, but for now I’m just going to tell a tiny piece of the story.)

Anyway, the vast array of costumes paraded in front of Gaiman. The line went on and on. The outfits were clever and funny and elaborate.

And, more than anything, they were acts of love.

It goes on for hours. Sexy costumes, smart costumes, detailed costumes. Then, eventually, after everyone has had their turn in the spotlight, Gaiman goes up to the microphone, shaking his head.

“I hate you all,” he said.

He gets a big laugh, because he has enough charisma to pull off a line line that and make it charming.

He explains that he was expecting maybe a hundred costumes. He said he thought it would be fairly simple to weed out the rubbish ones, and pick the good ones as winners. (I specifically remember that he said “rubbish,” because that’s a word you can only really get away with if you’re British.)

There were too many good costumes, he complained, and he only got to let 8 people on the carousel. There could only be 8 winners.

Then he settled down to the hard job of picking the winners.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot these last couple weeks as I look through all the photos that were sent in for the contest. Honestly, I’m amazed at the lengths people went to for some of their pictures.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you’ll start seeing the results of the contest soon.



This entry was posted in contests, fan coolness, Neil Gaiman, Photo Contest 2011By Pat31 Responses


  1. glo7
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    Sweeeet Dude. Happy 4th!

  2. CapitanaCanija
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 3:40 AM | Permalink

    I can’t wait! I want to hear the whole story, sure it is a great story! And I am sure there are a lot of wonderful photos. How many of them will you publish here? Just the winners? Some categories, as in the last contest?

    • Posted July 4, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

      I’ll be doing them the same way I did the last contest. A bunch of honorable mentions, and the winners, in a bunch of categories….

  3. MouetteSheridan
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    *peers through the books visible in the Awesome Hand photo, looking for more things to read until Dance with Dragons and Ghost Story come out*

    • barnacle
      Posted July 4, 2011 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

      I’d like to recommend the 1,2,3 counting book on the bottom shelf. Real page turner.

    • Gabza
      Posted July 4, 2011 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

      Teehee. …Notice Death Note on the bottom shelf? Just snuck those right in there… This person is epic :)

  4. Tungil
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Pleease tell us/me the story^^ You made me really curious right now… Almost as bad as The Wise Mans Fear made me curious how you want to the end the whole story in just one more book! ;)

  5. Nicham
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    Taking Pictures with a baby should be cheating. Too bad you couldn’t just post ALL the pictures online somewhere for all of us to sort through for you *hint hint*

    • Posted July 4, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

      I’ll see what I can do. Unfortunately, uploading a thousand pictures to some website might not be very practical….

      • Looknan
        Posted July 5, 2011 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

        If the picture sizes prove to be too big a problem:
        This is a really handy and easy tool for resizing those pictures.
        Takes approximately 30 seconds and makes a 1000 pictures
        uploadable in a few minutes. Quality of cours decreases but
        the difference is hardly noticeable – especially on viewing platforms
        like Facebook.
        It’d be fun to see all of them, but don’t stress yourself if it is
        too much of a hassle. Thanks for doing this whole thing anyhow,
        those pictures are really entertaining!

  6. Warhound Ulrik Ezickial
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    I saw you riding on a carousel on youtube a while back, heaps of people looking old timey were standing around watching, thanks for the context =)

    • Warhound Ulrik Ezickial
      Posted July 4, 2011 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

      Its called “Neil and Pat ride the Carousel” only 290 views in 8 months not many people must know about it. it bloody funny

      • Warhound Ulrik Ezickial
        Posted July 4, 2011 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

        Holly hell there is heaps of them, diffrent angles everything, ha must have missed them all last time

  7. vonnaveel
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    Pat, I swear the person in the top picture stole my old bookshelf (deploying, so I sold my cherished collection and bought a Nook, it hurt but nook is a lot easier to carry to kuwait then 3 bookshelves, and my babies were better off entertaining others than collecting dust in my dads attic.) Only ones missing are Brandon Sanderson and Terry Goodkind. I’ll have to attempt to steal them back at some point. Enjoy your 4th!

  8. Rhia
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    The first picture is seriously great! I don’t even want to imagine how long it must’ve taken to get that done!

  9. tudorwench
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    What truly makes that first picture for me is the detailed hand, the awesome selection of books and manga and there at the bottom, the “1-2-3 Duckie” board book stuck there by a tiny, wandering hand. Like saying, “My awesome books belong here with mommy’s awesome books. Because books are cool.”

  10. lykashii
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    I would just like to say I own all the books on the first shelf with the WMF. And a lot of the others :D I like this person :D

  11. angledge
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    I like the well-aged copy of The Name of the Wind sitting next to The Wise Man’s Fear. Also, the writing on the hand seems to be a description of Tarbean.

  12. Swamifred
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    I pity you. There must be some really cool ones, judging from the collection you had last time.

    I look forward to your telling of the House on the Rock Carousel story, too! You should get that on the blog by this Halloween. From what I experienced, it was one of the trippiest weekends of my life. And there were no drugs involved.

  13. Posted July 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    cant wait to see more!

  14. Tager
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the update Pat! Hopefully some of these pictures will get your creative/inspiration juices flowing for book 3!

    Hope you’re having fun :).

  15. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Good luck with these. I’m expecting pure awesome :)

    I didn’t submit a picture this year – we had some pictures of Oot with a book from one of your signings, but that felt like cheating.

  16. Posted July 4, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Awesome hand is awesome!
    Also, I would love to read your description of all the shenanigans at HoTR. I have heard about it from a few friends who were there (and wished so hard I could have afforded to go to the USA two years running..)
    And I loved seeing the photos of you, and Neil, and Lorraine, and all the winners riding the carousel.

  17. Klaxon
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Some of us might recognize the person in picture 21 of 41…

  18. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

    :O I approve of the hand picture… It has Peter Brett and Brent Weeks.

  19. Constance
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    I was going to submit a photo of WMF surrounded by ‘period dressed’ musicians & tankards in a small cozy tavern… then I realized I had no camera nor the time to break away from our music sessions to take said photo. Alas.

  20. orthochick111
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    Great shots! Thanks for the reading list. It’s clear Bradbury has influenced you; one of my favorite writers, too! Say, when will the Kingkiller Day 3 be on our reading lists??

  21. court88
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

    The Guardians of Time trilogy is in that photo!!! Brilliant :) (The Named, The Dark and The Key).

  22. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

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  23. Willow17
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Being British, I don’t quite understand why only Brits can get away with the word ‘rubbish’. Can anyone enlighten me?

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