How a George R.R. Martin rejection led to Neil Gaiman's Sandman

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Dec 17, 2012

When you're successful, you get a lot of pitches from other people who want to be successful. A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin has been selling books for decades, so it's no surprise he's been approached by lots of folks wanting to get in on the action. Apparently, one of those wannabe writers was a young Neil Gaiman.

In an interview with MTV, Martin revealed that back in the mid-to-late '80s he was approached by a "skinny British kid dressed all in black" who had an idea for a character to introduce in Martin's successful shared universe anthology Wild Cards. The kid didn't have many credits to his name, so Martin blew him off at the time.

Bad idea.

Turns out that young man was eventual author and comic guru Neil Gaiman, who pitched an idea about a character who lives in dreams ... which would eventually become his wildly successful Sandman comics.

In addition to Sandman, Gaiman would go on to write several successful sci-fi and fantasy novels, including Stardust and American Gods.

To his credit, Martin knows when to admit he's made a mistake:

"Things have changed since then and I would love to have Neil Gaiman writing for Wild Cards and I do rather regret blowing him off at that San Diego Comic Con."
Check out the brief interview below, which splices in both Gaiman and Martin on the chance encounter:

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It's crazy to think what could have been. Would you have liked to see Sandman in Martin's Wild Cards-verse?

(Via MTV)