Wednesday, November 23, 2005

You can zap them (with your zapper)

I leave Glasgow tomorrow morning, and will, I hope, land in Minneapolis in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Had a mostly good day, slightly complicated by the fact my UK cell phone decided that it can no longer top itself up, so people all over the world probably think I'm not calling them or returning their texts on purpose.

I would post some amazing wolf pictures here but a) I don't have the right cable to get them off my camera and b) Julian Crouch said "Now, Neil, you won't post any of these pictures on your blog, will you?" while we watched our first wolf do his thing, so I won't, no. But I wish I could.

Lucy's brother's video game song is really funny, by the way.

I visited Rothesay today, briefly, for the first time since I was a boy, and was astonished to see that it's barely changed. Everywhere else has changed, after all. How odd.


Lots of questions I don't know how to answer. For example...

I've recently become quite interested in what I would term "fabulist fiction," a movement that appears to have no conclusive definition, but stems from magic realism and currently includes such greats as Kelly Link and, to an extent, Michael Chabon. My question for you is this: do you consider yourself as falling under the category of fabulist fiction, and if so (or really, even if not) why have you chosen to work with this particular category? All of your work has some element of the fantastic, the supernatural, or the mythological, and I'm wondering if this was a conscious choice on your part, to write only in this certain genre, or if your stories just seem to take that turn naturally. What, for you, is the allure and advantage of writing in this fabulist form, and what, if any, are its pitfalls?

I think you have to define it before you ask me if I'm part of it or not. If it doesn't have a "conclusive definition" and is a sort of "I'll know if when I see it" thing, then either I definitely am or I'm probably not. Most of my work has something fantastic, supernatural or mythical in it, yes, but that covers an awful lot of ground, and leaves out things like Signal to Noise or The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish and the other things that aren't fantastic, supernatural or mythological...

Er. But if I am a fabulist, I have no idea why I am. (As I said to someone who asked a similar question at a Q&A recently, It's because I'm me and it's what I like to write. I don't think I have a convenient origin story, such as "When I was five years old I was bitten by a radioactive myth".)

It makes me long for one I can answer easily. Like hi neil, i'm just wondering why you spelled 'Yvaine' as 'Evaine' :D ~ cancan, manila (A: Because that's how it's spelled in the script, which is how it's pronounced anyway.)

Lots of you have written to let me know about the Scottish fairies...

This story may be of interest to you. Apparently some local fairies caused this property company to scrap their demolition/building plans and start all over again.,,2-1881612,00.html

Nicole Lee

It's probably worth pointing out that it's not just niceness that makes people not want to disturb "fairy things". There's fear there too. I remember being shown a large boulder in the middle of a field in Schull in Ireland which was, I was told by the lady who lived just over the road, hauled over to the side of the field by the farmer, who wanted to use his combine harvester, against the advice of several people who remembered it as a "fairy place"; the farmer had a stroke the following day (and strokes were once known as "elf-strokes") and the next morning his sons, I was told, hauled the boulder back to the middle of the field.


is an interview with Henry Selick about lots of things, including the CORALINE film.