Neil Gaiman writes: The strangest recent FAQ submission let me know that it had been “proved on usenet” that Caitlin Kiernan had ghost-written Stardust for me, and did I have any comments? Denying it, I was told, would only demonstrate that I was intent on covering it up. Could I prove they were wrong? A puzzler, that, like being asked to prove that you are not an identical clonal double impersonating yourself….But I’d rather admit that Cait wrote Stardust while I was busy fighting crime off-planet. When you’re battling Denebian slime-worms, who has time to write? Thank heavens for the Legion of Substitute Neils. Gene Wolfe wrote Neverwhere for me, while the late Ian Fleming wrote American Gods via planchette.

Now, I like Caitlin R. Kiernan, don’t get me wrong. Her work on The Dreaming is what origianlly brought me back to the series. (Well, that and this cover.) And I stayed with her until the very end, even after she killed off a favorite character of mine, Matthew the raven. (Actually, I thought that took courage as a writer.) But still, I just don’t see how you can confuse her writing with Neil Gaiman’s. Yes, she inherited the mythos of The Sandman when she began writing its spin-off series, and she will likely be forever linked to Gaiman for that reason, but have these people on usenet actually read their work? They’re very different writers.

But I’ll agree with this much: the Denebian slime-worm story has its appeal.