Thursday, January 09, 2003

Directed to the webmistress: any chance of inserting permalinks into the blog? I think there is a way to do it in Blogger--for example, Caitlin R Kiernan's blog has them. It would make it easier to point out interesting posts, if one didn't have to say, "Okay, go this URL and scroll down till you see this date. Oh, wait, it scrolled off the main page. You'll have to go digging in the archive then."

It's one of the things that's meant to be happening on the next iteration of the site, along with making it easier to find the FAQs and making it easier to find the FAQ blog. But I sent your message on to Julia-the-webmistress to remind her.

Hi, I just got the paperback DC illustrated edition of Stardust, and I'm looking (literally sitting in front of the computer staring at) the two page spread of the Faerie Market (it's on pages 20 & 21, if that helps). In the lower-left-hand corner there is a man wearing a trenchcoat and sunglasses. He has shaggy-ish black hair. He certainly doesn't look like he "belongs" in the scene; his dress is too modern. He appears to be perusing a bookshelf. Is this supposed to be you? He looks an awful lot like your pictures ... from a high school student looking for something interesting and quirky to put into her presentation on Sandman-in-particular, Neil-Gaiman-in-general

Oh. Yes, that's me. Charles Vess is in there as well, as is the young Richard Dadd.

how would i contact dave mckean?

I'd go via Allen Spiegel Fine Arts, if I were you. Info at

Allo, Mr. Gaiman.

So as to make this as short as possible:
You recently posted in your blog that you would be attending a signing in Paris on Wednesday the 21rst. I'm very excited about this and would love to attend-- just read Good Omens this week and cried all night at the end-- but I'm confused because the 21rst appears to be a Tuesday, not a Wednesday.

Could you please clarify which of these days it is?

Many thanks for the tears,
with love,

I checked the first e-mail they sent about the signings (still up at WHERE'S NEIL), and it's Wednesday the 22nd.

Is the "other mother" from Coraline something from folk lore or is it just something from the author's imagination?

Author's imagination.

Dear Neil,

On the subject of licensing of an Author's work, I happened across this today. I thought you might find it interesting. I have not read the book in question, but I suspect that giving away his work for free is either going to be a brilliant move or his downfall. Which do you think?


PS Am about to start a borrowed copy of "American Gods". Lack of funds precludes me buying my own right now. Horray for friends who can read!

I think it's a brilliant move by Cory Doctorow and by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, his editor. Cory does the wonderful, and Patrick's excellent blog is at (and is, in a lot of ways, the nearest thing out there to the feel and texture of the long lost Genie SFRA online community, or at least Patrick's bit of it). Cory has a wide online presence, boingboing exists at the centre of a lot of nexii (oh all right, nexuses), and getting the novel out in electronic form is fundamentally a promotional action, and a good one, for Cory as a novelist. It's a taster. People can read it, send it to each other, try it out. If they like it, word of mouth should spur sales of the paper copies. It's a story for the newspapers and the magazines and the online journals and the bloggers.

I'm as impressed with Patrick making it happen it as I am with Cory coming up with it. It's relatively easy to explain to your editor why you want to put your book up on the web in all formats as it's published, free. It's much harder, I suspect, as an editor, to explain to the publishing house you work for why they should allow the author to give away what he's given you the rights exclusively to sell.


Not so much a question here as a note of thanks. I'd been interested in Greek mythology as a child - Roger Lancelyn Green books being typically responsible - which tied in with an interest in history, especially Greek and Roman. My interest waxed and waned as time went by, and was close to being gone by my time in secondary school.

The 'August' issue of 'Sandman' changed that. It was the first issue I bought for whatever reason, and I went on to buy the whole series, and even a page from that issue from Bryan Talbot.

More relevantly here, it renewed my interest in the Greek and Roman world. I wound up studying Greek and Roman Civilization in Dublin, and did a master's in Ancient History there; I'm now doing a PhD on ancient warfare in Manchester.

My master's thesis was published by Routledge in February, and last week was reviewed, favourably, I'm told, in the TLS. The following passage was e-mailed to me from a lecturer in Dublin:

'Though it started life as a doctoral thesis, Cannae is much more than another addition to the depressing and ever growing genre of what we all know are theses roughly turned into books to further the career of the author. It has appeal for both general reader and specialist in Roman history. The former will find lucid narrative and analysis well informed by ancient and modern works, with judicious use of comparative material. For the specialist, it has two main hooks. It will fuel further debate on how ancient battles were understood by all levels of those involved, which raises fascinating methodological questions. It also provides the first extended scholarly study of the Carthaginian army since that of S. Gsell in 1928. As the evolution of this army is traced only up to the Hannibalic War, further work remains to be done.'

So, whatever happens, thanks are due in small part to you, for helping bring me back to the Ancient World, and as a separate issue, for introducing me to the works of G.K. Chesterton.

Thanks ever so much,
Greg Daly.

You're very welcome. And I think you just made my day.