Wednesday, August 08, 2007

As Dr Johnson said...

I was meant to be on NPR's TALK OF THE NATION tomorrow. But their schedules have shifted and I'll be on the radio this afternoon -- Wednesday the 8th of August. I think that
is their website. I'll be on towards the end of the second hour (the hour that some stations don't get).

John Scalzi writes wisely, as usual, over at his blog about Stardust and how he thinks it'll do:
and I couldn't see anything there to disagree with.

I have no doubt at all that Stardust will do brilliantly around the world, rock out on DVD, and become one of those films that is beloved. But how it will do this weekend... ah, that's a mystery. I was fascinated by this article about success and failure -- and, more importantly, the perception of success and failure -- in movie box office:
(link via.)

I remember the first time I went to Hollywood, with Terry Pratchett, in 1992 I learned that you could frame any conversation about something you wanted to do in a plot that Hollywood Execs didn't understand or had a problem with if you referred to another movie that they'd seen. ("So why don't they...?" "Because they forget about it, um -- just like at the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK." "Oh. Got it.") And it was useful for talking about the feel of things -- you simply positioned what you were talking about against or with other films.

By 1996, when I went back to Hollywood, something had changed. I remember naming a movie in one of those conversations -- talking about look and feel or about lighting or about something like that -- and having the Exec look at me as if I had something unpleasant on my shoe, and he said, simply, "But that film didn't make any money." He couldn't understand why I would even have brought it up.


Over on Charles Vess's blog you can see a photo of us at the end of the premiere, me in a tuxedo and him not, because he forgot his shirt studs.

The birdchick does a honey from our hives taste test over at

Hi Neil, I was wondering if you knew what's up with Rich Horton's Fantasy: Best of the Year 2007 Edition. There are three authors touted prominently on the cover of the mass market paperback: you, Gene Wolfe, and Peter S. Beagle. Of the three of you, Beagle is the only one who actually has a story inside. What happened? Was there a story of yours that was supposed to be in it? And what about Gene Wolfe?

It was a screw-up - the publisher reused the names from the previous year, by accident. They wrote to me and apologised, and I told them that somewhere in my basement I have a handful of copies of the UK edition of THE SANDMAN BOOK OF DREAMS in paperback, which proudly lists Stephen King on the cover as having written a story, for reasons no-one was ever able to explain. That time we were lucky, and we caught it in time to pulp the print-run. But sometimes you can't.

Hi Mr G,
Can I download the clip of Maddy's interview of you? I want to hear it over and over again to boost myself. It's just inspiring to listen to a daughter interviewing her dad. It makes me want to write more too, just like you; and just like you, you write for the people important to you.
PS. Please say HI to Maddy for me. :)

Easy (well, easy after a quick Google anyway). It's at the Harper Collins Digital Media cafe -- -- and the direct link to the free download is

As you'll ultimately be getting one of the Coraline puppets, I thought you might like to see how they're being made:

That would be cool even if I wasn't getting one...

Wow. Hey! Why have you stopped putting a "stardust"/"stardust movie" label on posts that involve Stardust? (Of course the choice of labels is completely your prerogative, but it would make it a lot easier to find certain posts, and it seems like this would be an ideal time to make use of the label function - is there a particular reason you have stopped using the labels in this case?)

Ignorance, madam. Pure ignorance. Or at least, ineptitude when it comes to labelling.

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