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Monday, December 17, 2007

A story for which the world is not yet ready

The Baker Street Irregular in me took great pleasure in learning about the Giant Rat of Papua, Indonesia. All right, it's not Sumatra. But it's still in Indonesia. Yes, Indonesia is a really big place, and Papua is a long way from Sumatra, especially for a rat.

But still.

A Giant Rat! Near Sumatra!


Ahhhh.

...


The cough is no better, although I am industriously trying every remedy people have suggested and am now awash in honey, lemon juice, cider vinegar, chocolate, cayenne, and Guaifenesin-based cough syrup. Also sundry waters and teas and suchlike.


And I'm trying to use a wireless keyboard that randomly forgets to send characters to the computer. This is dead irritating.

...





Hi Mr. Neil,


All of the vlogging nerdfighters from Brotherhood 2.0 (www.brotherhood2.com) are taking part in an attempt to seize all of YouTube today with videos designed to get people to donate to various charitable organizations. I chose the C.B.L.D.F. and I would appreciate it if you'd link to me on your blog. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRpmypcOv9E


Happy Monday,


Jane





Consider it linked.





...





Dear Neil,


Pending the upcoming release of Stardust on dvd (which I'm most assuredly buying on release day and forcing my family to watch Christmas day), I'm reminded of the videos you posted a bit back about the writer's strike and how you're all lobbying to get a pay increase from dvd and tv sales. That being said, since your name is well-marked all over Stardust, book to movie and all that, do you still only get a miserable $0.02 from each dvd we buy? (and if so, would it be possible for the company to just buy a bunch of wholesale copies, maybe slap a signature - or not!- on them and resell for a higher price off the website, thus making a little closer to the amount you deserve and also happier fans?)


- Dani





That's really kind of you to be concerned. The truth is, if lots of you buy the Stardust DVD it will be regarded as a good thing and success, and probably make my life easier, but Charles Vess and I really got our share of Stardust back when we sold the film rights; and while it might be a really good idea to sell signed DVDs, I'm happier in the authoring business than I would ever be in the selling signed DVDs business. (Having said that, it's really not a bad idea -- and it's one that Peter Beagle did for The Last Unicorn DVD. Which, if you want a copy, you should order from http://www.conlanpress.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc where you will get it signed, and Peter Beagle will get half of what you pay. Such a bargain.)


I'll happily point people at DreamHaven Books' NEILGAIMAN.NET website, which they created because I got tired of answering the question of "Where can I get this thing that you did..." with "From DreamHaven". It's the best selection of stuff by me (and connected to me, and by people who worked with me, and so on) out there, and they are nice people and it's a good shop. (And no, I don't get a cut. I'm just happy that the stuff is out there and I have somewhere to send anyone who asks.)


The thing I'm proudest of that I made this year is probably this:







because I love audiobooks, and it's nice that the first version of the complete text edition to come out in the US is in audio format. The abridged version of Neverwhere that Gary Bakewell read was the reason I've never again said yes to permitting abridged audio books (it started out really well, then you could feel the abridger's desperation in the last half as huge chunks of plot were tossed overboard), but it took a long time until the rights were free and we were able to do this as a complete and unabridged audiobook, with me doing the voices the way I hear them in my head, chewing the scenery as Croup and Vandemar.


...



And finally, Happy 90th Birthday to Arthur C. Clarke!


The only time I ever met Arthur C. Clarke was about 22 years ago, in Brown's Hotel, when he was in the UK to help promote the film of 2010. I'd been reading him since I was a nipper, and some of his stories -- "The Nine Billion Names of God", for one -- were the essence of pure SF for me. It was a story that, even as I read it when I was nine or ten, I wanted to have written. Sense of Wonder, from someone who really is a world treasure.


(And it makes me very happy to see a new edition of one of the books I loved when I was 12 has just been updated and reissued -- Brian Aldiss's A Science Fiction Omnibus is now out from Penguin Classics. It may not be Brian Aldiss's 90th birthday -- he's only 82 -- but he's still writing, and is a treasure too.)

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