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Neil Gaiman crowned the Waterstones Ultimate Writer 2014

Stephen King proved no match for Neil Gaiman in the thrilling final of our Ultimate Writer tournament.

Posted on 8th July 2014 by Waterstones



Mr Gaiman, victorious. Mr King is presumably lying in a heap at his feet.

For five weeks, some of the world’s greatest weavers of fiction have been duking it out in a gruelling knock-out tournament that pits one author against another in a public vote. Today, we can reveal that Neil Gaiman is the winner of the Waterstones Ultimate Writer 2014, in spite of some very stiff competition from fellow finalist Stephen King.

Debates were fierce and loyalties were divided: as supreme practitioners of their craft, both authors have fans numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Just as both finalists have voiced their respect for one another’s work in the past, many fans found it hard to choose a favourite, setting the stage for an extremely tense finale: in the end, barely a thousand votes separated the winner from the runner-up.

To reach the final, each author has had to survive the public vote four times. Gaiman saw off Waterstones Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Hunger Games novelist Suzanne Collins and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the world’s greatest detective, in his journey to the final. Meanwhile, King emerged victorious over John Grisham, Frank Herbert and Mary Shelley, making this an extremely impressive performance for both authors.

For each round, we’ve also presented an imaginative prediction of how we think a confrontation between each author would go. Along the way this saw H.P. Lovecraft wrestle with Mary Shelley’s monster; George R.R. Martin sic his daemon on Philip Pullman and Octavia Butler deliver a mean headbutt to Nicholas Sparks. It’s been a long, action-packed road to the final round, and the fans have been voting in their thousands every step of the way.

In the end there could only be one winner, and you, the fans, chose Neil Gaiman. Perhaps best known for Sandman, a multi-Eisner Award-winning series of graphic novels, Gaiman is one of the world’s most celebrated writers of fantasy and imaginative fiction. A selection of his best-loved novels includes Good Omens, co-written with Terry Pratchett; Stardust and Coraline, both of which were adapted into hugely successful feature films, American Gods, which is currently being developed into a TV series by Bryan Fuller and most recently the Specsavers National Book Award winningThe Ocean at the End of the Lane. He had also written numerous screenplays, short stories, and books for young adults.