How NOT to Talk to Girls at Parties

Neil Gaiman, who is being accused of sexual assault by two women, really does not appear to be an ideal role model on the basis of his short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”. And while the title of the story is amusingly ironic in light of the current accusations, reading the story tends to be rather less ironic and rather more problematic for Mr. Gaiman.

This is the climactic excerpt of the story, in which the hapless protagonist abruptly is dragged out of a party by his best friend, Vic, who had previously disappeared into a room with a girl he had just met at the party, Stella.

 As Vic pulled open the door, I looked back one last time, over my shoulder, hoping to see Triolet in the doorway to the kitchen, but she was not there. I saw Stella, though, at the top of the stairs. She was staring down at Vic, and I saw her face.

This all happened thirty years ago. I have forgotten much, and I will forget more, and in the end I will forget everything; yet, if I have any certainty of life beyond death, it is all wrapped up not in psalms or hymns, but in this one thing alone: I cannot believe that I will ever forget that moment, or forget the expression on Stella’s face as she watched Vic hurrying away from her. Even in death I shall remember that.

Her clothes were in disarray, and there was makeup smudged across her face, and her eyes—

You wouldn’t want to make a universe angry. I bet an angry universe would look at you with eyes like that.

We ran then, me and Vic, away from the party and the tourists and the twilight, ran as if a lightning storm was on our heels, a mad helter-skelter dash down the confusion of streets, threading through the maze, and we did not look back, and we did not stop until we could not breathe; and then we stopped and panted, unable to run any longer. We were in pain. I held on to a wall, and Vic threw up, hard and long, into the gutter.

He wiped his mouth.

She wasn’t a—” He stopped.

He shook his head.

Then he said, “You know . . . I think there’s a thing. When you’ve gone as far as you dare. And if you go any further, you wouldn’t be you anymore? You’d be the person who’d done that? The places you just can’t go. . . . I think that happened to me tonight.”

It would appear that Mr. Gaiman has, at least in his imagination, contemplated what it would be like to go further with a young woman than he would dare. We already know, by his own admission, that he is the sort of 61-year-old man who would “cuddle in the bathtub” with a 22-year-old nanny that he had just met that day.

Which admission tends to raise considerably more questions about how much further Mr. Gaiman has, in fact, dared to go, and how much more inappropriately he has behaved. Given what we already know about him, the ages of some of his better-known literary subjects also tends to raise additional, and even more disconcerting, questions about the man.

One thing that we’ve known for at least a decade, however, is that Gaiman is a sketchy creep and a Gamma male. And needless to say, File 770, Whatever, and the various science fiction sites that have been slobbering all over Gaiman for more than a decade are completely silent on the subject even though the mainstream media is covering it.

UPDATE: A keen-eyed reader notes an astonishing coincidence.

The review quote on the Gaiman book cover is by Junot Díaz, accused of sexual harassment in 2018. He was eventually cleared of misconduct. What are the odds?

Creeps of a feather flock together…

UPDATE: Unlike the SJW sites, Fandom Pulse is on top of it.