Saturday, April 12, 2003
Dear Neil:

National Geographic also has an article on cannibalism.

PS - Our kitten, has Grown Up. He ate the fish out of my fish tank. I'm inexplicably proud, and am considering putting bigger fish in for him to eat.

You know, someone sent in a marvellous odd and funny obituary for their goldfish recently, which, like so many things that come in, didn't get posted because there isn't really the space to post everything, or the time. (It did get read though: everything gets read.) Ah well...

The National Geographic article sums up some of the pros and cons of the cannibalism case, but I found my interest yanked by this article which claims that Neanderthals looked too weird to interbreed with homo sapiens. It seemed a dodgy argument to me: I've seen much weirder-looking men than the photo reconstruction of a Neanderthal sitting opposite me on trains over the years. R. A. Lafferty would have gone for the "They didn't die out. They just shaved," theory, so I shall as well.

I think I may actually have a tan. It's been a very long time since I had a tan. Currently it's at no-longer-fish-belly-pale-but-not-actually-dark-enough-to-get-the-extra-frisking-at-airport-security level. I head back home in less than a week, so we'll see what colour I am by then.

Now reading Alan Moore's VOICE OF THE FIRE, which I've not read since 1996, to write an introduction. I'd forgotten how good it is. (I'd also forgotten Alan had sent me my copy -- I opened the book and laughed out loud, to discover that Alan had written "To Neil -- a friend, a massive talent and a classic beauty -- love Alan". With luck people will find the book and inscription after I'm dead, and fail to see the humour in it.

And while I'm away, Maddy and I have reversed roles: she's reading to me every night. Currently, Louis Sachar's SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL, which are made to be read aloud, and are truly funny, especially read by an 8 year old.


Greetings and Salutations!

Regarding your short story in McSweeny's Thrilling Tales:

Diogenes Club? As in "The Greek Interpreter" and our introduction to Mycroft Holmes?

Or is it a reference to some place or piece of knowledge which you and Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle share, in which case would you tell us? Please?

I was startled to notice the name when I read the story, and was hoping someone else would ask about it, and that you'd mention it in your journal, but I haven't seen it, so I guess I have to ask, else it will gnaw at the back of my mind as only unfulfilled curiousity can.

Thank you!

P.S. Your journal is a delight, thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort, it is truly appreciated.

You're welcome. I'm pleased people enjoy it.

While the club in "Closing Time" shares a name with Mycroft's club (which was just there for people who noticed, but not as any key to the story) both clubs are named after Diogenes of Sinope -- there's a mini biography of him here although it omits the most commonly told story about him, that he went around with a lantern, "looking for an honest man". Hence Nora's comment, in the story.