Neil Gaiman's speaking fee attacked by Star Tribune

Neil Gaiman: Worth $45,000?
Neil Gaiman: Worth $45,000?

Sandman author Neil Gaiman is under attack by the Minneapolis Star Tribune for charging $45,000 for a recent speaking engagement at a Stillwater public library.

Under the headline, "One author: $45,000 for an afternoon," the newspaper questioned the  hefty fee for the "fantasy and science fiction writer," claiming that "some tongues in the library community are wagging in astonishment."

Wait, librarians are wagging their tongues? This must be a scandal!

This isn't the first time the Star Tribune has questioned the use of Legacy Fund money. Indeed, it has become almost as much of a crusade for the daily as their Epic Series on Drunk Driving (Spoiler: they're against it). The Strib has been especially critical of money given to its competitor, Minnesota Public Radio.

Sure, $45,000 sounds like a lot of money for an author, even one as acclaimed as Gaiman. But that's pennies compared to the $791 million Vikings stadium the Star Tribune wants taxpayers to help build.

And apparently, not all the librarians are wagging their tongues. One who was in the audience that day has Gaiman's back:

Pat the Librarian commented:

I deeply apologize to Mr. Gaiman that he should be put in the position to have to defend his fee. The afternoon was magical. He stayed far longer than planned and spoke privately with a large number of people. This funding is meant to preserve our cultural and artistic heritage. Indeed it is experiences like these that create the next generation of artists and writers. No price can be put on such an experience. I have been to many a book talk that had an audience of 20 people and authors received $2,000...the per capita cost is easily comparable when you consider the large and very grateful audience.

Thank you, Mr. Gaiman, for an inspiring afternoon. It was indeed well worth it. And, again, I apologize that you have been put in this position. 

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