Tom Disch killed himself while I was in Brazil. I wanted to love his novels, and mostly failed -- they were astonishingly smart, brilliant but also cold. (I thought I'd read all Disch's novels, and only realised I'd never read On Wings of Song when I started reading the reviews of it in the obituaries. Sigh.) But when I met him, at ICFA, I got to tell him that his story, "Descending" was perfect, which it is, and that his novel "Echo Round His Bones" was the first adult SF book I bought with my own money, which it was. Few authors resemble their work, but I had imagined Tom Disch would be an icy, intelligently scary, tall sort of person, smart like a cyborg, and was pleasantly surprised to find my mental picture replaced by the reality of a big, ambling, gentleman with a high voice and an endearing awkwardness around other people.
His friend John Clute writes his obituary for him in the Independent, while Liz Hand writes about him at Salon (I'm pretty sure that it's an escalator, not an elevator, in "Descending").
I'm sending you a link with your interview in the most viewed late night's newscast here in Brazil.
The story is more in the likes of "who is this Gaiman guy" than something like "the hows and whys of Neil Gaiman prose", but, you know, not everyone here in Brazil knows who Neil Gaiman is (shamefully, I must say).
Good luck in your panel and signing session today.
Greetings from Rio de Janeiro,
I like the little shots of me talking to a sunbathing Maddy, where I obviously didn't know I was still being filmed.
Just want to say I loved THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS and most recently, THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET. I was wondering if you have plans to write a picture book more catered to younger children like, say, 5-10 years old, which are less sinister?
Thanks for reading.
Jeremy Cai (from Singapore)
Crazy Hair will be out in 2009. It's a poem, illustrated by Dave McKean, and I think that young children will like it. It's not even slightly sinister, anyway. Well, maybe a bit.
I can see that The Complete Death is available for pre-order on amazon.com (and other places) but I cannot discern whether this is an "Absolute Death" style/quality product or whether that is being saved for the future. Can you clarify?
It's not an "Absolute Death" - it won't be in a slipcase, and while it will be oversized it won't be Absolute sized. But it will be a beautiful book. (The cover up on Amazon is, I am assured, just a placeholder.)
There's an "agent" named Barbara Bauer -- she's on the SFWA 20 Worst Agents list -- who has sued people who have pointed out that she's not really an agent-who-sells-books, but is instead an agent-who-makes-her-money-from-ripping-off-would-be-writers. Her suit against Wikipedia has been dismissed Her suit against a number of places and organisations that have warned against her (including the SFWA and the Neilsen Haydens, but not against me) continues.
If you want to donate to the legal fees of the people she's trying to gag:
Hello Neil...I know this is rather random but I just found a copy of Enchanter from Eclipse Comics and I was curious if you would know...What ever happened to Mike Dringenberg? He is still my fav Sandman artist...And his work in Enchanter is amazing...Do you know if he still draws or has a website or...? All I can seem to find is a wikipedia stub...The two of you should definately work on a book together again one day...Thanks...Joe
Mike's still drawing and painting. He has a story in the upcoming Tori Amos Comic Book Tattoo comic, for example, and he did Death on the Sandman 20th Anniversary poster.
If you're at Comic-Con this year, on the Thursday night, The San Diego Symphony are doing Video Games Live.
Tickets are available at: http://www.sandiegosymphony.com/summerpops/event.php?id=7
There's a new Harvey Pekar comic drawn by Rick Veitch at http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/07/comics_ndn.html
And finally, a small mystery -- according to http://wiedemerwords.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-news-on-age-banding-conflict.html Phillip Pullman and Celia Rees (among others) had a meeting with the UK publishers who want to impose age-banding on books, led by Philippa Dickinson from Random House:
The discussion continued with the publishers' saying that they had had a very supportive response from "most" of their authors, with no problems being expressed. In support of that claim they produced a pile of books with age-banding figures on the covers. We didn't examine them closely, but one of them, as Celia Rees and I agreed afterwards when we were talking about it, was a copy of Neil Gaiman's 'Coraline'. This was a surprise to us, because Neil Gaiman is a signatory to this statement. Philippa Dickinson has since admitted to me that they were American editions, "which all carry age-guidance information".
And I think, they have to be desperate, to try to claim I'm on their side in the UK by finding editions from around the world with age-guidance information on. http://www.notoagebanding.org/