Ultimate Writer: The rise to glory

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.

Ultimate Writer header 2


Neil Gaiman

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.


Stephen King

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.

18 thoughts on “Ultimate Writer: The rise to glory

  1. I’ve never read Steven King, maybe I should. But I have read Neil Gaiman and even though I have read many of his books (often picked up by accident) I am always let down by the simplicity of plot (always obvious especially the character names, which give it away – American Gods, Anansi boys etc). And the stories are usually very poor copies of other well known stories with not so much as a plot twist than a plot turn.

    My vote is Steven King. He has to be better (Neil Gaiman ruined Dr Who with a female tardis chartater after all, a crime punishable by……….being painted red and left in a monkey cage to see what happens next :) )

  2. More like Stephan King Hands Down. Neil Gaiman? Are you nuts? All because you probably love the Hunger Games movies and it’s the latest thing. I suppose you loved Twilight a couple of years back as well didn’t you? Lol.

  3. Stephen King is THE KING
    The Stand is the greatest story of all time with beliveable characters in whom you invest emotionally.
    Neil is good …. but he ain’t the king!

  4. Though I’ve read and enjoyed ‘The Sandman’ graphic novels I’ve read more of Stephen King, so I would vote for King.

    • Read Ocean at the End of the Lane , not his best but still very very good of course this is only my opinion.

  5. What a difficult choice – Gaiman writes stories that are primal and drive us back to our childhoods, while King reminds us that the world is a place full if contradictions. Both are awesome, and I am certain would probably vote for each other :)

What do you think?