There's a lot of travel coming up, some of it Stardust or Beowulf related. But I thought I should start to put some of it down here. I just realised that the stuff I've put up recently over in the Where's Neil blog hasn't posted, and I haven't been updating the Google Calendar thingie, so we need to untangle that. But for now...
I'll be at the Chengdu international conference on science fiction at the end of August. I wish I could go from there to Worldcon in Japan but it doesn't seem likely. I'll be flying from there to Budapest and from there to Italy...
(Googling the Chengdu festival, I found this fascinating article on SF in China -- parts one, two and three. We learn that In the early eighties, the Party considered Sci-fi an evil, which could lead the public astray. All sci-fi writing across China ceased. The magazine Science Fiction World was the only survivor of the crackdown. But that things change..."Sci-Fi writing is now supported by Chinese government as it is considered to be a genre that can inspire the whole nation's ability to think imaginatively and popularizes science nationwide, " Yao Haijun, the editor of Science Fiction World magazine, said.)
I'll be at the Mantova (Mantua) Literary Festival on the 7th and 8th of September (I just found some details at http://www.neilgaimania.it/html/view2.php?id=32&nomedb=articoli).
I'll be in the UK at the end of September: The Bath Children's Literary Festival. (Bath as in the beautiful town, not as in a festival dedicated to literature about bathing children. My event is http://www.bathkidslitfest.co.uk/event_J19.htm) There will be an evening reading and Q&A that may also be a signing on Tuesday the 2nd of October. Then the UK Stardust premiere in Leicester Square on the 3rd of October.
I learned this morning that there may be a trip to Sweden and one to Japan in there, but I don't have details and confirmation yet. And probably more to come. (Actually, there is definitely more to come.)
I'd promised myself I wouldn't keep linking to Stardust reviews but then I learned that " This summer, Hollywood will release a romantic fantasy adventure movie again, its likes a long time we never seen this genre made by Hollywood. " And I'm still wondering if the review was translated from another language, or if there was some awful compositing accident in which the words were dropped and jumbled, or if the person who wrote it uses English in their own way. Either way it's very charming, if rather odd.
A more normal one is http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2007/08/02/LifeArts/A.Modern.Fairy.Tale.To.Enchant.Us.All-2929151.shtml which concludes by saying, To say that "Stardust" bears some similarities to "The Princess Bride" would be fair. This movie measures very favorably against that earlier classic and is the best young adult oriented "modern" fairy tale since. It truly is "The Princess Bride" for this generation. Which is nice. I've tried to explain to interviewers that, no, I don't think it has much in common with The Princess Bride, they're at present the only two things in that genre.
James Vance, is a fine writer and an old friend who has a terrific blog over at http://www.james-vance.com/jvblog/. He's done an interview with me about Stardust at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=070804_8_H6_spanc37312 where he asks a few different questions and, as a result, gets some different answers.
And here's the San Francisco Chronicle -- http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/05/PK27RB3233.DTL&type=movies -- which begins "That disturbance in the universe you may have felt is the potentially unholy alliance between Hollywood and Neil Gaiman..."
Dear Neil ,You do sound a little grumpy.Here's one more thing that might - I hope - put a smile back on your face:
Don't miss out on it, it's wonderful. Greetings from Rome.
You know, oddly enough, I saw this a few weeks ago -- Francisco Ruiz, who made it, was one of the storyboard artists on Hellboy 2, and we shared a bus in to the studio each morning, and when he went back to the US he left me a DVD. Which proves there really are only 500 real people in the world and they all know each other. Or just that the world is a very small place indeed.