The final battle is drawing ever closer now, and as our two survivors Neil Gaiman and Stephen King make their way towards each other though the literary universe to meet in a cosmic and terrifying clash of words, we take a look at just how they got here.
Gaiman’s journey in this fight began with a chance meeting with children’s favourite Malorie Blackman, in a school library. Gaiman was assisted by long-time friend and collaborator Tori Amos for this round, and walked away triumphant (and with a free Usborne Puzzle Book, which kept him happy for the rest of the afternoon). His next encounter wouldn’t be for several days, when he was accosted in a nearby forest by none other than Suzanne Collins, esteemed writer of the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy. Narrowly avoiding Suzanne’s arrows, he was able to use the distraction of Dream, everybody’s favourite lovesick Endless being, to render Collins unconscious and leave her to her own tracker jackers.
Gaiman returned to the forest for a different kind of battle later in the week; he and famous detective novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were tasked with learning the identity of a killer in the woods – but Gaiman employed Dream’s talents again to escape the forest unharmed. Taking to the skies with faeries in tow, he landed in front of the impressive stately home owned by one Agatha Christie. Navigating his way through the traps with Death at his side, Gaiman looked set to lose this round, but after dodging the Tunisian dagger held by his adversary he was able to deliver a swift blow and hot-foot his way out of the manor.
While Gaiman was scrabbling among the bookshelves, Stephen King was facing a very different enemy in his own library. Almost destroyed by the legalese and paperwork of one Mr. John Grisham, he pulled himself back to safety by burying the man in fiction books, before vowing to complete the battle unscathed. His next stop was at the home of sci-fi author Frank Herbert where a small scuffle ensued and, rather than defeating the man himself, he managed to summon the sandworm Shai-Hulud from the dunes.
King, rattled but not put off, made his way to his next opponent Mary Shelley, sci-fi’s First Lady. Here he acquired a new ally, grafting Frank Herbert’s beard onto her hideous creation and forcing her to forfeit, before moving on to his latest battle – the legendary JRR Tolkien. They met in a collision of worlds, battling with the one true ring and two impressive literary achievements, but King emerged victorious yet again.
These two giants finally clash later this week. Don’t miss the carnage – and don’t forget to vote for your Ultimate Writer!
Who do you think deserves to take the crown?
And so, it’s Stephen King and Neil Gaiman in our grand final - but they need your help to become the #UltimateWriter! Voting starts tomorrow, and you can keep up with the action using the #UltimateWriter hashtag on Twitter. Visit our league table to find out more.