Thursday, September 11, 2008

riding out the aftershocks

Mr. G writes from China:
I spent 9/11 taking stationery supplies to a school in the centre of the Earthquake Zone, along with some of the people from SF World, the Chinese SF magazine. I went to a temporary school, and met a little over a hundred kids: almost 300 of their friends were killed in May, by the Earthquake, and many of them had lost family members. They were the sweetest kids in the universe and I may try and do something barking mad, like seeing if this blog can adopt the school. Seeing the devastation from the Earthquake, and the incredible resilience of the people there made me marvel, and I was as sad as I've been today, and, surrounded by the kids, as happy as I've ever been.

In a previous post, the boss mentioned the earthquake and linked to some comic strips by Coco Wang. The strips are hosted on their own site now. (One of the most recent entries features the Panda Research Center, in a bit of bitter-sweet timeliness.)

As a resident of the Washington D.C. metro region, today is largely preoccupied with mournful remembrance. Flags are flying at half mast everywhere, and it's impossible to escape the constant reminders.

As the years pass, new meanings are layered on top of it, and it can be hard to try to maintain perspective. I don't know how other people deal, but I find that, on this day every year, watching this Jon Stewart clip really helps:

I hope it helped you too.

(UPDATE: Canadians, and others for whom the above clip is blocked, should try this one.)

Bill Schafer, of Subterranean Press, (whose frequent acts of generosity and honourable dealing make me want to spend all my book money on his site) writes to remind us of a limited time offer:
As many of you may know by now, Bod, the hero of Neil Gaiman's new novel, The Graveyard Book, is protected by the souls who inhabit his graveyard. We (and Neil) have offered to allow those who buy the limited edition to join Bod's protectors by having their names listed in the back of our edition. We're about to head to press with the book, so this offer must end soon. If you'd like to be one of Bod's protectors, and have your name appear in Neil's book, you must order no later than Wednesday, September 17. After that, the registry will close, and Bod's list of protectors will be complete.

Also, Dave McKean has finished setting pen to the signature pages, and completed the original sketches for the lettered edition as well. The Graveyard Book will be sent to the printer as soon as Neil can fit the signature sheets into his schedule.

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