Tuesday, September 14, 2004

One Hundred and Ten Stories (and one convention)

John M. Ford -- Mike Ford to his friends -- wrote a poem shortly after the events of 9/11, which has been mentioned (and linked to) a few times on this blog. It's called "110 Stories". You can read it at Now Glenn Hauman has made it into a film (just click on the link at the top of the 110 Stories page, or watch it directly at It's very cool and very moving. I wished, though, that some of the people reading the lines hadn't known it was poetry -- several of them do that odd sing-song thing that some Americans adopt when faced with iambics [I'm quite sure that other nationalities do this as well, but I've only noticed it from American readers], and they sound dreadfully like English teachers rather than like human beings; it works brilliantly whenever people simply say the words as if they're saying them for the first time, or just as if they're saying them, and then the rhythms of the poem carry you through.

(Mike wrote my favourite out-of-print-in-the-USA novel, THE DRAGON WAITING, which is, despite the title, a dragonless alternate history novel, set in and around the events in Richard III, with vampires in it. Here's a review. In the UK it's available in Jo Fletcher's excellent "Fantasy Masterworks" series, which means if you don't live in the UK you can order it from, or any of the other UK booksellers. If you do live in the UK you can get it from your book shop. Mike also put me into a Star Trek novel, called HOW MUCH FOR JUST THE PLANET? and I wrote the introduction to his NESFA Press collection, FROM THE END OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. And I am currently reading his new short story collection, HEAT OF FUSION, doling myself out a story every couple of weeks, like chocolates. And I just googled Mike and found this interview.)

Mike's going to be at Fiddler's Green, BTW, the CBLDF-benefitting Sandman-and-things-related convention in Minneapolis on the 12th to 14th of November this year (details at

Several people have written to ask how available I'm going to be at the con, whether I'll be a quickly-moving figure spied zooming to panels and then ducking back into my hole, or whether I'll be hanging around for the whole thing, chatting in the con suite, or sitting in the bar having a single malt with Charles Vess and aimiably talking and signing things and so forth, and I've told them it'll be the latter -- lots of hanging around and chatting and answering questions and doodling on people's books and all that sort of thing.

No, you don't have to specifically be a Sandman fan to come to Fiddler's Green. There will be some amazing Sandman-related stuff there, but we're trying to make sure there will also be a Mirrormask Preview there, Anansi Boys related stuff, and so on. And the auction should be pretty mindboggling on its own.

There will also be cool swag for con members (a $50 supporting membership will get you the cool swag). (But you'll have more fun if you turn up.)

Currently, the guests include me, Vertigo editor-in-chief Karen Berger, letterer Todd Klein, artist/writers Charles Vess, Jill Thompson, and author Caitlin R. Kiernan.

Davey Snyder, the Fiddler's GreenQueen just dropped me an e-mail filled with useful details. She says:

..The convention is 12-14 November at the Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis -- this is the web page that describes it -- (the links from the con web pages all work, too). The hotel is connected to the Minneapolis skyways system so it's possible to walk from there over (or through) more than half of Mpls downtown without actually setting foot onto a cold sidewalk, even in November.

The hotel's sleeping room rate for FG members is $115/night (plus tax) for 1-4 people sharing a room, but rooms may only be booked at that rate via the convention, so everyone planning to have a hotel room should certainly become a convention member sooner rather than later. Also, we must receive hotel reservations forms by *October 6* to be sure of getting that special rate for every member who requests it. (The group rate is only available until October 11.)

The convention registration form is at

The FG hotel room reservation form is at

The hotel's parking garage rate is $13/day for guests, with unlimited in-and-out privileges. From and to the airport (MSP) the Mpls SuperShuttle charges $14 one-way (there's a small discount for buying a round-trip ticket), or a taxi is ~$30.

The M has several spaces for comfy socializing, as well as all the space we're using for program and exhibits, and a great top-floor space where we'll be hosting the con (hospitality) suite. We're also currently holding first option on all of the suites in the hotel, so anyone interested in hosting their own party should please contact

By the way, we'll have this on the web site shortly but since people are asking: We expect to open the convention's registration desk and con suite at ~3:00pm Friday, with a few program activities also starting about then. Main program won't start until Friday evening, and will run all day Saturday and continue through early afternoon Sunday, probably ending at ~2:00pm.

More at the web site as we develop it -- -- and on our announcements email list (it's a yahoo!-group list, announcements only; there's a clickthrough link on the convention's front page to join).

(I've also heard from a few people that they've had problems getting replies to queries about Fiddler's Green; those communication problems should be solved now, so if you've been waiting for a reply to something, ask them again.)

(And a couple of people have old me that they'd like to come to this one, but they're too busy or too broke, and plan on coming to the next Fiddler's Green; and I've had to explain that there really aren't any plans for a next one. This is it. It's special.)


Several people have written to me with instructions about ways to insert LJ cuts into Blogger. For me, though, the most significant sentence, following a set of very detailed instructions on how to do it from a Jennifer in the rainy UK, was However, if you mistype that, it causes all sorts of hassle to Livejournal users and takes ages to re-sync with Blogger if you correct it. (Guess who's been shouted at for it, many a time...)Hope that's of some use to you; I'm also working on other ways of making Blogger and Livejournal play nicely :) which sent the cold chills down my spine that brought back evenings spent trying to find some oddment of code or some unfortunate extended ascii character that had caused everything to break, or trying to figure out why the LJ feed had decided to randomly excavate a week's worth of ancient posts and send them to everyone's LJ friends list. LJ and blogger do not play well with each other at the best of times. So I suspect that, for now, for everyone's peace of mind, I'm most likely to leave things as they are.