So I've been all over the place in the last few days, including Ohio, where I'd been invited speak to the R&D department of Honda about Imagination and Creativity (something arranged by the Greater Talent Network), and then onto Phoenix where I was honoured to be able to present Harlan Ellison with the SFWA's Grand Master award. I made a shorter speech than I'd originally planned to, leaving out all the fun Harlan anecdotes, because I felt that I wanted to make sure that people remembered the reason that Harlan was getting the award was not because of Harlan the legend, Harlan the gadfly or the persona, but because of the stories -- not the ones about him, but the ones he's written. (And if you've never read any Harlan Ellison stories, or if you have and you'd like to read more, I highly recommend The Essential Ellison as a good place to start. Treat yourself.)
I got home A couple of days ago Fred got into the part of the house where the dry food was, and ate some, and is now at the vet again. Lots of you have sent helpful suggestions, many of which have already been tried, and some of which I shall try this week. Sigh. (The complete saga of Fred in the blog can be found at http://quotableneil.blogspot.com/2006/05/lets-hope-he-doesnt-drop-dead-fred.html although it misses out this one.)
Because I was doing a peripatetic bounce around America, I wasn't in London, and I missed the Elephant (an article about it at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4981728.stm and footage at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm) which seems like something from a M. John Harrison story.
One of my favourite short stories from last year was called "Best New Horror" by an author I'd not previously heard of named Joe Hill, in PS publishing"s Postscripts #3. His website's http://www.joehillfiction.com/index.htm , and I just noticed that he has a collection out, 20th Century Ghosts. I don't have much time for reading currently, but I'm going to order a copy.
Waiting for me at home were the lovely UK Headline paperbacks of Anansi Boys, and the just as lovely, albeit in a much more French sort of way, electric-spider-covered French edition (there's a picture of it here). Not to mention a table-full of waiting mail...
Right. Longer post when I get caught up.