Friday, December 09, 2005

sleep now maybe?

I'm writing this in a hotel in London after spending most of the last 24 hours travelling (fog at London Heathrow added about four hours to an already long trip, all of it spent on an uncomfortable little KLM plane from Amsterdam and I cannot tell you how much I miss the direct flights from Minneapolis to the UK). Went to Pinewood after getting off the plane and saw some of the production design stuff for STARDUST and I was SO cool and blase and sort of "Er, actually I think perhaps the flying ship should have portholes rather than windows" that nobody could tell that inside my head I was going "OHMYGODIMADEALLTHISSTUFFUP-ANDNOWTHEY'REACTUALLYMAKINGIT-OHGODOHMYGODOHGODOHMYGODULP", so nobody knows that was what I was thinking and you won't tell anyone, will you?

And some of the Stardust casting discussions have that same level of unreality that the Beowulf Casting Discussions had, back in March when Roger Avary and Bob Zemeckis and I were chatting about whether we thought Hrothgar was more an Anthony Hopkins or an Albert Finney and why it might be more fun to go for an Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother instead of a Meryl Streep and it felt just like sitting around with friends bullshitting about casting a movie, only with Beowulf we actually got everyone we wanted, and it would not surprise me if Matthew got all the people he wants for this.


Hi Neil:

I have one quick question, with you in England, your wife in Italy with Holly, your son on his own, Lorraine wrote in her Blog that she will be going to Los Angeles this weekend, who is taking care of Maddy?

Don't want to sound like I'm from Child Services but I'm just a little concerned!

Late - Jeanette

Not to worry. Mary arrived home a couple of hours before I had to leave for the airport. And Maddy, being Maddy, takes it all in her stride, and pointed out, as I was leaving, that the biggest advantage to me being gone is it means we still have two more episodes of Dr Who to watch, so there's an additional week before we run out of DVD....

Not sure if you saw this:

That's really good news. Ottakars and Waterstones are very different bookselling chains with different selling philosophies. I'm glad we'll keep having them both around independently for a while longer.

... has launched its "grownup school" at with lots of top ten lists on it (mine was Mythic Fantasy, although truth to tell I listed ten books I like and then figured out what they had in common) along with discussion groups for books -- Anansi Boys has its own group and nobody's posted there yet.


I was about to post this and go to bed, when the email went Ding and I got an email from my friend Alisa Kwitney telling me that her father, Robert Sheckley, had died. It wasn't unexpected, and mostly I'm glad I heard from Alisa rather than reading it at Locus Online. Here's the SFWA obituary.

If you want to know why this matters, why Bob Sheckley mattered, not just as someone I knew and liked and will miss, or as my friend's dad, go and read his best SF novels, collected as Dimensions of Sheckley -- or better still, a selection of the short stories, collected as The Masque of Ma�ana, Go on. One day you'll thank me.