My hair is now shorter, and despite the fact it's no longer just a couple of blocks from Hair Police, I popped in to DreamHaven and signed many, many, many books (http://neilgaiman.net/ship-sign.php). If you want signed books as presents, Greg should have lots (including The Graveyard Book first printings, which are getting a bit scarce on the ground now.)
I'm home. I'm catching up on DVDs while working -- ones that have come in from the various awards things, and others. Shortbus is on right now, and it's impressive on a number of levels. (Also has Sook-Yin Lee in it, who is marvellous, and left me puzzling over where I knew her from until my comics-trivia brain finally pointed out that she was in some of Chester Brown's autobiographical comics about 15 years ago. Also it has Justin Bond in it, who I eventually realised was Kiki, from Kiki and Herb.) Frost/Nixon on DVD tonight. (No real interest in the subject matter, but I thought Michael Sheen is an astonishing actor and was amazing in The Queen, and I had no interest in the subject matter of that film until I watched it. So I'm rather looking forward to it.)
Author (good author) Pat Rothfuss wrote to say:
I started a fundraiser for Hiefer International a couple weeks ago and have been delightedly watching it spiral out of control ever since. I'm matching donations and offering signed books as lottery-style prizes for people who participate. So far, I've been surprised at how eager people have been to help spread the word and donate to the cause.
Two days ago, I heard through the grapevine that you've been a supporter of Heifer International in the past. So I thought I'd drop you a line and see if you might be interested in throwing up a link on your blog to let more folks know about it.
If you'd rather not, I understand completely. I imagine everyone must be constantly clawing at you with a thousand small requests like this, and I hate the thought of adding to that.
But for Hiefer, I figured I'd risk it.
Pat's fundraiser is being detailed on his blog. Lots of people have donated lots of cool things. I'll see if I can find some long-forgotten ARCs for him. Go take part.
(Incidentally, you can win a copy of The Graveyard Book Limited Edition at http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2008/12/win-copy-of-limited-edition-of-neil.html)
Peter Murphy is one of those people around the world that it feels like I have one long conversation with in dribs and drabs, spread out over the years. When I get to Dublin he interviews me, always in the sitting room in the Clarence, and we chat, and I'm never sure how he's going to turn us talking into a printable interview, but he always does.
He's made a commercial for his first book, and it's lovely:
About 25 years ago, a rather nervous, very young journalist found himself, along with the almost-a-year-older and much more assured Kim Newman, with a contract to write a book of SF and Fantasy Quotations, (which would end up as Ghastly Beyond Belief). He (oh all right, it was me) wrote letters to people asking for suggestions. Only two people replied -- Isaac Asimov wrote a postcard saying I could use anything of his I wanted to, and he had no idea what was good or bad. The other person who replied was Forrest J Ackerman. Who replied more or less daily for a year -- every day the mail would bring a letter or a postcard from Forrie with a handful of quotes on them. There weren't a lot that I could use, mind, but it was a wonderful thing for a 23 year old journalist to get: letters and cards from Forrest J Ackerman, normally signed "4E", which treated me like an adult and part of the community. Some years later, at the 1987 Worldcon in Brighton, Kim Newman and I met Forrie on the stairs at the Metropole Hotel and thanked him, and he showed us his Dracula ring that Bela Lugosi gave him (or left him, I forget).
Thank you Forrie.
Yes, I know that the Hill House website is dark. A Neverwhere Limited Edition Bail Out is still being organised and is being put into effect in back rooms currently. It's taken a lot longer than I expected to get to the point where we're able publically to announce the details. Soon. Very soon. Thank you for your Job-like patience.
And, on a lighter note, should writers get a federal bail out?