Sunday, September 19, 2004

Bearded, in my lair

Took Maddy and her best friend to the Minnesota RenFair today, and am now thoroughly exhausted. Yesterday was the DreamHaven signing, and it was enormously enjoyable.

You'll excuse me if I mainly do a handful of interesting links... -- finally a pillow for Godfather fans (coincidentally, my son Mike's favourite film. Which may take care of that bit of present shopping, if I can actually find one...)

Several interesting Scottish Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell reviews:

While Claude Lalumiere reviews it in the Montreal Gazette, at

One of the four-month-old tabs that reopened with the new install of Firefox was -- it's the collaboration between SF fans and the Oxford English Dictionary (details on how it started at and might be of interest for those of you with extensive SF collections. Or just those of you who like dictionaries.

Hi Neil!

By the way, the beard looks really good!
I have two questions to ask.
First, how do you find time to write on this journal? I mean, from what I read here, you do a lot of reading, websurfing, you go out, you spend time with your family, you keep in touch with lot of people, you take the time to answer peoples questions, and on top of that, you write your stuff. Where do you find time to write the journal? Is this some kind of pact-with-the-devil thing?
I have a much less active life, and I can`t keep up with my blog, or read all the stuff I want to read... Just wondering if you could share your secret with us fans.

Second: Do you plan on ever writing an autobiography (is that spelling correct?) or have someone to write it for you? Do you even like biographies?

Best wishes
Leila (from Argentina, where your books are very hard to find, sob)

The beard from the photos is from May, although I've started growing one like it again, realising that I'll have to do some media for the "13 Nights of Fright" thing, and I might as well look sort of similar.

As for how I do this journal... well, before the blog I was a much better email correspondent, so it's stolen time from that, and I was better at replying to paper mail, so it's a good bet that it's stolen time from that as well. Apart from that, the knowledge that people are reading it is half of what keeps it going, and having immediate access to so many people and so much knowledge is the other half. And it's still fun. It doesn't feel like work. And on those nights where I'm really tired, you lot do most of the work (like tonight), or I skip it.

I have an idea for a bunch of biographical essays, that would also be a travel book. I don't know if I'll ever get the time to do the travelling that I'd need to do to write the essays, but I hope I will. In the meantime, Mr Punch and Violent Cases contain a fair amount of biographical wossname, as do such stories as "One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock". They contain stuff I made up as well, though.

Neil, please shave. You're looking an awful lot like Tom Green.

I am? Ah well, if it's the photo at the top of yesterday's post you're thinking of, that beard was history as soon as the filming was done. I just liked the idea of doing that Cain-and-Abel Horror Host beard and glasses sort of thing (I couldn't quite bring myself to wear a brown safari suit, though).

The current beard started last week and will probably last until Hallowe'en, unless I get rid of it.

if i live in england can i still get neverwhere on DVD before christmas without importing it?

It depends on what you mean by "importing it". The only DVD edition that I know of is the New Video edition. Now, this is a US DVD, but does not have any Region coding, so you can play it in UK DVD players. (I know it says "Region 1" but it's not.)

It's available from and I would expect you can probably also find it in Forbidden Planet and suchlike stores. No idea why it's not available from the BBC (and it looks like the BBC video is now out of print). But if you order from, they'll simply be importing it from the US. (So you might as well buy it directly from the US, from somewhere like who have it for $23.97 or from who have it for $26.59. )

Hi Neil. I'm a liberal homeschooling mom and I'm about to start a month of Edgar Allan Poe with my two teenage sons. I want to make this fun! While searching materials to use, I came across GRAPHIC CLASSICS VOL. 1: EDGAR ALLAN POE - NEW EDITION 3/2004. I was wondering if you've seen it and have any thoughts about it? Also discovered CLOSED ON ACCOUNT OF RABIES: POEMS AND TALES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE. Since you are a multimedia kind of guy, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on presenting Poe in this format. Thanks. P.S. You are on my list for a homeschool study as well!

I've not run across the Poe Graphic Classics before, but the line-up of authors and artists looks wonderful. I do have "Closed on Account of Rabies" but was rather disappointed with it -- I think I like the idea of Iggy Pop reading "The Telltale Heart" much better than I like the reality. On the other hand, I love "The Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection", which consists of Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price reading Poe stories, and there have been a number of long drives where I've been accompanied by the CDs.

I wrote an essay about Poe's life and work for a recently-published collection of Poe's stories and poems, called Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Stories and Tales, illustrated by Mark Summers, (it was published by Barnes and Noble Books, and you can read about it here) (actually, I say it was published -- I've not actually seen a copy, so it may not have come out yet)and I mention in the introduction how listening to Vincent Price's reading of Ligeia caused me to miss my exit, late at night, driving through the mountains of Virginia.

Mr. Neil,Considering your blog is read by a wide array of people situated all over the world, I was hoping you might post a link for those U.S. citizens currently overseas who would like to make sure their voice is heard in the upcoming election:
Thanks.Jen who gives people ducks

No sooner said than done.

And finally, I promised JaNell I would plug her "cool stuff for sale at" And now I have. Goodnight.