Sunday, October 26, 2008

London on Sunday...

Tonight's event was lovely, and fairly small -- about 75 people, so the signing after was really pleasant and stress-free. A really interesting interview by Naomi Alderman, about comics and books and Jewishness and Will Eisner and such.


I think there are strange social conventions growing up about the nature of privacy. I'm sitting working quietly in the drawing room of my London hotel. Five feet behind me four Americans are talking and drinking coffee. They are rich and elderly, and are, at least according to their conversation, Republican bigwigs (or at least big donors and somehow influential), and are doing something that sounds perilously close to an early post-mortem on the upcoming election. I should be typing Batman, and keep finding myself listening to conversations about what one of them said to the Governor of New York ("I said to him, you govern like a Republican,"), Cindy McCain's successful stock dealing and medical history, a lot about why John McCain should have listened to them and gone with Joe Lieberman as vice presidential candidate, how the gentleman doing much of the talking's delay in selling (of all things) Marvel stock just lost him $160,000 in the stock market plunge... it's not the sort of conversation that I would expect people to be having in a public place -- or rather, if I put a conversation like this in a public place in a novel, I would pop the balloon of credibility for many of the readers. They seem convinced that they are unheard. It's like listening to someone being broken up with by a loved one over a cell-phone on a train. I wonder if the public space and the private space are just changing.

I was fascinated by the story of the lady who carved a Backwards B into her face, and claimed it had been done by a big bad black Obama supporter. Or at least, by one line in the report I read, "She was upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm." You know, the media gets an awful lot of stick, but I can't help thinking that it's not their fault (nor would the media reaction have been much changed if a black Obama supporter had claimed that a man in a KKK hood had carved a backwards J into her face). What on earth did she expect would happen? Ah well. The personal is political, and I suppose these days the lunatic is political too.

Dear Neil,
I was wondering if you read your fan page on facebook, (because most people seem to think that you do) but I couldn't find an answer on your site.

Toronto, Canada

I'm afraid not. And Neil Gaiman Not the real Gaiman. An unofficial fan page. at Myspace... that's not me either. (Every now and again I grumpy messages from friends and relatives who are convinced that it is.)

I'm me here at I'm me at -- I'm me at Goodreads. Sooner or later I'll be me at librarything.

Hi Neil, I attended your talk on piracy vs. obscurity on friday and I wanted to ask you a question but was too nervous and then spent the whole weekend wishing I had asked you. I was wondering, in relation to the case of Stephanie Meyer's partial draft of Midnight Sun getting posted on the internet before completion, how would you feel and how do you think you would react if something you were working on got posted online before you had completed it? Also thakyou for a very interesting talk, it made me look at the issue in a very different way from the way I did before.

I'd feel astonishingly grumpy. World class grumpy. Grumpy beyond belief. Part of making art is that you don't want people to see it until it's done. Sometimes you don't even want them to know what it is until it's done.

When The Graveyard Book was finished in first draft, I got a strange message on the FAQ line from someone someone who'd got hold of a pirated version from within Harper Collins, complaining about a bit of it. It was, I discovered when I replied, from a false email address, and was actually useful, in that the person had misread something completely and realising how they'd misread it meant that I could fix something in Chapter 7 so no-one else would have that trouble. But it also left me resolved that the next time something goes into a publisher in first draft, it won't go beyond my publisher and my editor.

Hi Neil. Is "Dream Hunters," with Anano going to be in Volume 4 of Absolute Sandman? Or am I going to have four giant books with one little one next to them to have the complete Dream collection?

Originally the plan was for just the original four volumes of Absolute Sandman. Now there's talk of a fifth, which would have Dream Hunters and Endless Nights and possibly more in it, partly because of the requests that have been coming in here from people. I don't think DC Comics have made any decision yet.

Hi Neil,

on August 8, you wrote that you might have concrete information regarding the Hill House NEVERWHERE very soon. Has anything new come up since then?


A rescue plan was put together that would get the Hill House Neverwhere published within all our lifetimes. I believe right now we're still waiting for Pete Schneider to reply to the email. I hope he does soon.


When I was interviewed by MTV the other week, they asked what I thought of Louis Laterriere saying he'd like to make a 1602 movie, and I said I thought it would be a fun idea and I'd love to see it. That then, oddly, became a news story (Gaiman Says 1602 Movie a Good Idea). On the latest SPACE podcast, it's mentioned that I was interested in writing this... which, seeing it's all a game of hypotheticals, I don't really mind, but no, no-one's ever asked, and I don't think I'd have any interest in writing a 1602 movie. But you can hear me on the podcast interviewed in a bar about 1602...

Henry Selick and Travis Knight are interviewed by Silas Lesnick ( a man who has written to me to thank me for upping the number of cool literary Silases in the world) at -- he also talks about seeing the first half an hour of Coraline at an LA screening.

Here's a lovely review of The Graveyard Book audio book.

A terrific Locus interview with Ursula K LeGuin is extracted in Locus Online, at “I think both science fiction and fantasy are now becoming part of the mainstream. I wanted them to be respected as part of the mainstream -- I didn't want genre snobbishness to prevail. But there is a difference between how you write science fiction and how you write a realistic novel and how you write a western, even if they always have miscegenated (as we used to say). I think it's improving the mainstream, but I'm not sure it's improving science fiction.”

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