Someone was very funny on the internet today, and it was either Neil Gaiman, or it wasn’t. It’s like this: A few hours ago, screenshots began circulating on Twitter of a purported entry on Gaiman’s Goodreads account—i.e., the place where books go to have online drama with each other. The post purported to show that Gaiman was reading Randi Kreger and Bill Eddy’s Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone With Borderline Or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is, obviously, just about the funniest-in-an-awful-sort-of-way thing a person could seen to be reading a week after Amanda Palmer announced that they were splitting up. (It’s also, for what it’s worth, apparently pretty helpful as a book; a 4.28 rating on Goodreads, with 481 people weighing in.)
Given that Gaiman was apparently blindsided by Palmer’s decision to make their separation public—through her Patreon—it wasn’t hard to see this as some expertly hurled retaliatory shade. Sure, it seemed a little mean for the American Gods writer’s brand, but hey: Divorce does stuff to people’s brains.
Sadly (or whatever), the illusion of un-amicability has now been shattered: Gaiman has updated his Goodreads blog to declare that, wouldn’t you know it, some ding-dang hackers decided to infiltrate his book review social media account, solely to make an extremely cutting joke about his divorce. “Whoa,” he wrote, “Someone with a dark sense of humour just hacked this account. (I suppose that’s what I get for leaving it here and not doing anything for a long time.)”
Now, this is very clearly one of two things. Either true, in which case: Well-played, hyper-specific Goodreads hackers. Or false, in which case, Gaiman is covering his ass. Happily, either option is kind of spectacular, although we do hope—for the sake of the pair’s child, if nobody else—that this is as far as the internet shenanigans go. Once a Goodreads account has been violated, we can only imagine what’s next. A Letterboxd hit on Coraline? Accusations of NextDoor chicanery? A challenged to someone’s LinkedIn credentials?
Please, everyone. Let the madness stop here, with only one (really excellent) burn having been dispensed.