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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Anansi Boys Question of the day

The weird thing about this blog is the way that questions come in about things I keep meaning to talk about. It's been happening for four years, so you'd think I'd get used to it, but I never do. For example, this morning I wound up having a long conversation with my agent and then with my editor about making sure that people didn't think that ANANSI BOYS was a sequel to AMERICAN GODS. And this evening...

Obvious question, I suppose, but just to keep things straight, is Anansi Boys a sequel to American Gods?

So, a good and timely question. No, ANANSI BOYS isn't a sequel to AMERICAN GODS. I actually came up with the idea for ANANSI BOYS a couple of years before I started to write AMERICAN GODS, and borrowed Mr Nancy from ANANSI BOYS (which hadn't yet been written) for AMERICAN GODS. (Oddly enough, while looking at my hard drive today I found an early outline for ANANSI BOYS, and oddly, a four or five page opening couple of scenes from a ANANSI BOYS screenplay I wrote before I decided that the story would be happier in prose.) Which means that there are things you may know about Mr Nancy if you've met him already (his fondness for Karaoke, for example, or his love of Carrie) that might resonate for you in a different way in ANANSI BOYS.

I imagine it's set in the same world as AMERICAN GODS. (But then, several careful readers have pointed out that AMERICAN GODS is set in the same world as STARDUST, and the two stories don't taste anything like the same.)

The only true sequel to AMERICAN GODS so far is a novella about what Shadow did next called "The Monarch of the Glen", published in Bob Silverberg's LEGENDS II.

This is how I described ANANSI BOYS in a cover letter to the proof copies that are going out to booksellers and people:

My new novel is a scary, funny sort of story, which isn�t exactly a thriller, and isn�t really horror, and doesn�t quite qualify as a ghost story (although it has at least one ghost in it), or a romantic comedy (although there are several romances in there, and it�s certainly a comedy, except for the scary bits). If you have to classify it, it�s probably a magical-horror-thriller-ghost-romantic-comedy-family-epic, although that leaves out the detective bits and much of the food.

And I got an e-mail today to say that Mr Lenny Henry will be reading the unabridged audio book version, and that it'll be available in the US and the UK. This is a happy thing, and a good thing. (Lots of Lenny goodies are now up at http://www.lennyhenry.com/home/funny_bits_video.asp?pID=5 incidentally.) The Audio ANANSI BOYS will be out when the novel is (September 20th) and will be downloadable, will be out on CD, and will also be available as an MP3 CD.

...

Those of you who wonder what it must be like to live with a writer, wonder no more. All is explained (robotically) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/scott_lynch/127371.html

...

ANother review of the STARDUST play at http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=8324

and from The Dreaming I found that the Green Man Review had done a review of The MirrorMask Script Book -- http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_gaimanandmckean_mirrormask.html

...

You're talked about in the Eric Rice interview with Kevin Smockler as part of his virtual book tour. It's the quicktime movie at http://blog.ericrice.com/blog/_archives/2005/5/24/883053.html#attachments). Do you think you could have had the career you've had (eg in all the different media) if you haven't been in Science Fiction and/or Fantasy?

Interesting. (One minor correction -- although I've worked on a couple of video games over the years, it was in each case immediately followed by the games company going under, and none of the games ever got as far as being made. But I have written radio plays, so it evens out.) I think he's right up to a point -- the fact that I enjoy working in so many areas is made easier by the way that speculative fiction is now a language spoken by so many media. But it's also because I really like working in different fields, and I'm always interested in trying to make new mistakes in new areas. I do think there have always been people like me, who wanted to try as many media as they could, but it's easier to see now because there are more media and because these days people notice.

...

Jason Erik Lundberg's article on my short stories and identity is now up in polished form at http://www.strangehorizons.com/2005/20050523/switcheroo-a.shtml. It's probably worth warning you that it contains spoilers for the four stories discussed ("Troll Bridge", "Other People", "Foreign Parts" and "Harlequin Valentine") -- and, I suspect, contains a thesis that probably spreads into several longer works.

Lots of people have written in to let me know that I'm officially a blogebrity.

And I keep forgetting to mention that I read an advance copy of Seth's WIMBLEDON GREEN and loved it. A funny, paranoid, charming, comics-obsessed graphic novel (it's at the bottom of this page). Definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

And a final lovely link from a Jasmine...

H'lo, A little while back you mentioned you'd be doing a graveyards book. I thought you might like: derelictlondon.com, and in particular http://www.derelictlondon.com/cemetery.htm. There's a mention of a West Norwood Cemetery with catacombs, and I wonder if this was the place to which that door in your basement lead once upon a time?

No, that was a much tidier graveyard. But I love all the ones on that page. (Incidentally, I filmed A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON in Stoke Newington, and the Good Omens author photo of Terry Pratchett and me was taken in Kensal Green Cemetary, which is where G.K. Chesterton hoped to go to Paradise by way of.)

And finally...

Neil:> From reading your journal over the last few years, I know you don't mind being put right on teeny-tiny things like this, so here goes: What Maddy does with the chopsticks isn't, strictly speaking, a rimshot. A rimshot is when you hit the drumskin and the metal or wood bit round the outside (the rim) at the same time, with the same stick. It produces a loud 'crack' sound, and is a useful way to put in an accent, or compete against guitarists with their amps turned up to 11.
What Maddy does (ba-dum, tish!) is probably best referred to as a sting.
Trust me, I'm a drummer (I've waited decades to be able to say that!). Cheers, Peter Flint Buckinghamshire, England
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