Wednesday, March 12, 2003
This in from Rick Mueller, about the film on Douglas Adams, which he made and I narrated:

The inaugural Garden State Film Festival has selected LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND
DOUGLAS ADAMS as a finalist in their Documentary Film competition category.
The film will be screened on April 12th at the historic Paramount Theater on
the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Tickets and showtimes are available at the festival's website and more information about the film is available on
my website

I hope you can join us on the boardwalk in Asbury Park for an afternoon of
film and fun on April 12th.

Rick also tells me that the greenmanreview site awarded him one of their prestigious but unfortunately-named Greenies for it, along with ones for this website and Coraline.

Two boxes of books arrived today: the Hungarian edition of American Gods, a lovely-looking book, with an extensive (17 page) glossary at the back, defining and informing on everything from Odin to Laphroig to Louise Brooks. It was something I kept thinking about doing while I wrote the book, so was glad that someone had...

The other book was the UK schools edition of Coraline -- a thin hardback with a laminated cover that looked exactly like the books we'd get when I was a school -- sturdy little books, but cheaply enough produced that you could buy enough for a class, rather than one for the school library, and I felt bizarrely proud, and blinked, realising I was going to be taught in schools, and that unwary children are soon going to be picking it up and reading it...

Which reminds me:

Hi Neil,

I was wondering if you had seen this article ( about how British-made books (the physical books, that is, not the writing) don't hold up compared to their American counterparts. Do you agree and do you have any prime examples? Also, there's quite a suggestive misspelling on the where's Neil page:

Where's Neil:

Friday, March 7 Author Neil Gaiman
and Saturday March 8 Free to the pubic

Hehe! Thanks,

Ah yes, but it was a typo from the website it was cut and pasted from. My favourite typo like that was in a Jeff Rovin biography of Joan Collins I had to review as a very young man. It told us at one point that "Joan was in New York at this time for some pubicity".

Yes, it's broadly true about the books. Not entirely, though, and not always. American mass market paperbacks seem to yellow and fall apart at pretty much the same rate that most UK mass market paperbacks do. But US trade paperbacks always seem to be printed on better paper (it tends to be whites, and possibly to have a higher fabric content in the pulp). UK hardbacks tend to be, but are not always, the paperback insides put between hardcovers, so you have the same paper quality as a paperback. This is because hardbacks are widely considered to be a dead market in the UK. I don't know why this is -- for lots of my books, Neverwhere for example, the publisher would explain that no-one bought hardbacks, and then grudgingly bring out 1500, which would be sold out within a week. Even Coraline was originally going to be a paperback original in the UK ... then it made it to hardback and paperback, then, when the sales reps came back with feedback, into hardback, and then it just kept selling in hardback. But that's not common, so publishers' economics tend to be centred around paperbacks.