Neil Gaiman
Journal Neil"s Work Cool Stuff & Things About Neil Message Boards Where"s Neil Search MouseCircus.Com FAQs
You are here: Home » Journal
Archives  |  RSS  |  Translations  |  Labels  |  Tumblr

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This year's Book Festival is going to be LEGEN-(wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose-intolerant because the second half of this word is)-DARY

Leila writes:
Dan posted that the signing in DC will take place at 1pm - I know that the LoC event itself is free, but do those of us who want something signed have to bring or have anything besides a book (or stack of them)?


To which Mr. G waxes:
This is so mysterious. What kind of thing could people have or bring apart from books? Perhaps owl feathers in their hatbands, or black orchids in their buttonholes?

Anyway. No, they should just come. And by special permission of Harper Collins there will be copies of The Graveyard Book available that day only.


And to which I will only add: You do realize that you all need to show up with owl feathers in your hatbands or black orchids in your buttonholes now, right?

UPDATE: In fact, thanks to the generosity of a fan, the first twenty-odd of you that she sees so attired will receive a free copy of the UK edition of ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS, not yet published in the US.

FURTHER UPDATE: As I tapped the above last night, I thought to myself, Wait, it's illegal to possess the parts of most migratory and predatory birds, unless you are a member of a recognized Native American tribe using them for religious ritual, isn't it? I should confirm that before Birdchick has to school me...

And then I promptly forgot about it until this morning, at which point I did look it up and confirmed that: "The Federal Migratory Bird Act states that most birds and their parts (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.) are protected by federal law from being killed, taken, transports, possessed, bought, sold, imported or exported without a valid federal permit."

So all of you non-Native Americans need to stick to black orchids in your bottonholes or, at the very most, faux owl feathers in your hatbands, okay? Or just pick up the first pigeon feather you find on the ground and stick it in your hat -- the Mall is full of them. Mr. G will probably know the difference, but I bet he's too nice to call anyone out on it.



  • Mr. G will be appearing at a fundraiser for the Open Rights Group on 24th October. The details are all on their site. They're charging 5 pounds to existing members, 10 pounds to the general public, and it's completely free to anyone who signs up to become a regular supporter of ORG between now and the event's date. Sounds like a good reason to support a good cause!

  • Lucy helpfully writes to point out that details for the Manchester stop of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK UK Tour have now been posted.

  • Details about the Scotland stop on THE GRAVEYARD BOOK UK Tour have been posted.

  • UltimateDisney.com has up a nice interview with Henry Selick about NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and CORALINE.




The RoboPanda was delivered at last, though its arrival was not without incident. Without further ado, I give you:


The Arrival of the RoboPanda

or, good fences make good neighbors
but good umbrellas make better bludgeons


When I arrived home this evening, I discovered two ragamuffins, of the sort increasingly infesting this once-fine borough, loitering by a large package on my stoop.


this is what happens when your HOA votes against your moat proposal

As I drew closer, their eyes seemed to alight with a sort of nervous hope.
"I always wanted a panda," whispered the little matchstick girl.


no education to speak of, or shoes, but she knows what a panda is?!

I recoiled; for a moment my confusion overwhelmed my revulsion. How could she know what was within?

The answer was quickly revealed, and did not please me. Of all the meddlesome knavery!


note the knife. silver. no doubt stolen, I wager.

I brandished my umbrella and shook it vigorously at them in chastisement. Choice words were uttered then, you have my word on that!


Though I am not a licensed tanner or taxidermist, I was fully prepared to dispense some hide-tanning justice.

They fled, and I briefly pursued them.


Children are surprisingly spry and nimble.  All the more reason to pack them into the pocket watch factories, that they and their tiny hands might be of some use to the greater society.

Having chased them off, I retired to my study to survey the damage.


Like the Christmas mornings of my youth, but without the acrid smoke and the requirement to wrestle bears.

Thankfully, the shipment within was unmarred by their grubby little trespasses.

How fortunate that I happened to have with me an acquaintance who is a professional photographer to capture the entire saga!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 25, 2008

I believe Mr. G calls this "closing some tabs".

Updates for two events on Mr. G's upcoming US tour for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK:

  • National Book Festival on 9/27:

    Event: 11:45am - 12:45pm
    Signing: 1pm - 2pm (This signing will almost certainly go on longer.)


  • NYC on 9/30:

    Teachers College at Columbia University
    Horace Mann Auditorium
    525 W. 120th Street
    New York, NY 10027
    908-991-2153

    Hosted by Barnes & Noble College. Event is free and open to the public, no tickets needed. Pre-signed books will be available for purchase.



The LA Times has posted a photogallery of the Rogue Artists Ensemble of 'Mr Punch'.



For those few heathens who prefer their Journal feed to be 100% Neil, I have created an Exclusively Neil RSS feed. Mostly I wanted an excuse to play with Yahoo! Pipes.



The response to my request for help with an Inform 7 has been an embarrassment of riches. I have received responses from professional IF7 developers and award winners, among others. I am, honestly, a little intimidated. If you don't hear back from me, please accept my heartfelt thanks for volunteering your time.



The new Knight Rider show has a character named Charles Graiman? (What's next? Neil Vress?)

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Please stop consoling Pappa G on the loss of his house...

Dear All Concerned Readers,


Maddy and Holly Gaiman would like to officially state that they did NOT, actually, burn their house down. Or really any pillows, for that matter. They were merely using their artistic license to devise a somewhat interesting journal entry. The Midwest can be pretty slow in August.

Have a nice day.

Holly and Maddy

P.S. OMG MADDY’S BIRTHDAY IS IN FOUR DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

☺☺☺☺


P.P.S. Aren't we cute!?!?!?!


Holly and Maddy

Saturday, August 23, 2008

lately when my fingers move, Mr. G's words come out

Mr. G sends word that I should post the following:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Anticipation: Press Release #11, August 2008
Anticipation to present Special Category Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story

Anticipation is delighted to announce that a special category Hugo Award will be given at the 67th World Science Fiction Convention to honour works in which illustrations are integral to the movement of the plot, whether or not text is present. This Special Category Hugo, to be called "Best Graphic Story", will cover any science fiction or fantasy narrative in graphic form appearing for the first time in 2008. It may potentially be ratified as an annual award in the WSFS Business Meeting at the convention in August of 2009.

A Worldcon may choose to designate a Special Hugo to recognize a category of work for which there is no existing award, and in some cases special categories have gone on to become annual awards. Voting and administrative details will be handled the same way for both special and established categories. Recent special categories have included Best Website and Interactive Video Games.
The World Science Fiction Convention has presented the Hugo Awards for achievement in science fiction for 55 years. They are named after author and editor Hugo Gernsback.

The Hugo Awards nomination ballots will be released after January 1, 2009. In order to nominate for the 2009 Hugo Awards, you must have been an attending or supporting member of Denvention, the 66th Worldcon, or you must be an attending or supporting member of Anticipation. The Hugo Awards voting ballots will be released in the Spring of 2009. In order to vote for the 2009 Hugo Awards, or you must be an attending or supporting member of Anticipation.

The 67th World Science Fiction Convention, known as Anticipation, will take place in Montréal, Québec, Canada from Thursday, August 6th through Monday, August 10th, 200. More information about Anticipation, including current membership rates, is available on our web site (http://www.anticipationsf.ca); you can also write to us for more information.


He also sent a pointer to this article about a Craiglist job posting looking for people to ghost-autograph books for two lazy co-authors. The Boss states: Given the Guardian's suggestion that 50,000 signatures are required, and the money they're paying, I think we just have to look around for a signed edition of 50,000 somethings this autumn.

Mr. G ends with a question: And.. house burned down? (He can't get to the Journal, only his email. Poor Boss.)



SECRET PLANS UPDATE: I have two new secret plans for the site in progress at the moment, and I'm realizing that if I am going to finish them in time I am going to need a little help. If any of you have experience with AIML or Inform 7 programming, please drop me a line with pointers to past work in either area.



Lastly, a few short bits:

Labels: , , ,

Friday, August 22, 2008

We do what we must because we can.

A few short notes from your humble codemonkey webgoblin.


Dave McKean was at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the world's biggest literary fest, this past week. Forbidden Planet has posted an excellent report which, in its thoroughness, makes one feel that one was there.

Speaking of Mr. McK, Keanoshow, his collection of seventeen short works, is now available on DVD from Amazon.



Amanda Palmer misplaced her favourite jacket in Hamburg on Tuesday, August 19th. Her amazing assistant, Beth, is attempting to replace it, presently without success.

Elyse Sewell's fans managed to find her coat in Hong Kong once based only on a short description, so I don't see why we shouldn't be able to find Ms. Palmer's lost jacket. Please do keep your eyes peeled.

(Or, if anyone knows where a replacement can me found, please contact Beth.)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maddy and Holly Gaiman are babes!

Hey there everyone!

Maddy and Holly Gaiman here. The coolest sisters ever. Our father is in China… how sad is that!?! ?!?!?!?!! (Maddy just felt the need to add more punctuation marks to ‘Give it the Maddy Gaiman touch.’)

Since he’s been gone we’ve had crazzzzy parties and practically burned the house down. But it all turned out okay, never fear! You see, it was a dark and stormy night and we were all alone and we thought, “Hey! Let’s have a little fun!” So we invited over the whole neighborhood and built a huge bonfire which wouldn’t light because of course it was a dark and stormy night. Note the stormy part. So we though, hey, we can just have a bonfire in the house! So we did. Luckily the part of the house that we burned down isn’t very important… I mean, Dad might miss having a bedroom, but we don’t mind it too much!

Yep yep yep… so that’s what’s going on here….

Ok so maybe we don’t really have any news for ya’ll…

Just that we’re SUPER COOOOOL and pretty much the BEST PEOPLE YALL WILL EVER READ A BLOG BY! Sooooooooooooooooo have a great day☺

Oh and we were just kidding about the whole little burning down the house thing. If you’re reading this dad, don’t panic. Your room is fine. We just set a couple of pillows on fire.

Labels: ,

Concentrate on liberating pizza from evil pizzerias.

Webgoblin here, with another entry from the mailbag. Mr. G writes:
Here are a few photographs from yesterday. I persuaded someone to let me in to an old amusement park type thing closed for five years (thus the thick layer of dust) and walk around with a little LED flashlight... and I took a few photos.






I took a picture too. I went to get the lawnmower out of the garage (edited to add: my garage at my house) and discovered this on the floor:


I'm not sure what it is. It appears to have fur and/or possibly feathers, and these things that are either bones, paws, or four beaks. (Which is, granted, unlikely, but, I mean, look at it -- why shouldn't it be a dead, mutant four-beaked thing?) Basically I have no clue what it is; I bet Sharon the Birdchick would know. It was really stuck to the floor. I had to bear down hard with the snow shovel to scrape it up.

edited to add: Dear wonderful, helpful fans -- Please stop emailing Mr. G about what this is. I think we've covered all of the bases now. Yes, it's probably owl vomit or a decomposed shrew. My money is on shrew, though not literally, which it really should be because then you'd get a sense of scale. The owl vomit hypothesis is very cool, but that would have to be one seriously sneaky owl to get in, purge, and out in the short window* when I usually have the garage door open. I mean, we're talking about the Ethan Hunt of owls here, rappelling down from above disguised as a shrew. Either that or I'm going to find a dead owl in there next.

* = Not an actual window; the garage has none.



Barnes & Nobles is collecting reviews of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. The Kirkus Review ends: Closer in tone to American Gods than to Coraline, but permeated with Bod's innocence, this needs to be read by anyone who is or has ever been a child.



Lastly, for those who wrote to ask what the "slash" in yesterday's entry meant -- and, honestly, I suspect that questions like that are just trying to egg me on -- I give you Mr. G writing on April 10, 2002:
.....slash fiction is basically erotic fan fiction, normally TV series based, pairing off two (er or more I suppose) members of the same sex who don't normally couple for the cameras. From the "/" mark in the middle of "Kirk/Spock" or "K/S" fiction, which is where it all started. ("But Spock," said Kirk, huskily, realising, finally, irrevocably, what his true self had been trying to tell him ever since the beginning of season one, "it's so huge. And it's green." "And it would be logical for you to... touch it, Captain," said Spock. And so on. It's normally written by extremely nice ladies. I have several very sane, respected, and respectable friends who write slash fiction, and do not try to make me read it.)

Labels: , ,

Wee Hayley Campbell Needs A Beard Or Two

A plea from Neil's scary godcreature, Ms Hayley Campbell:

Hello all. This may sound like an odd request, but Neil has made odder ones in the past and he seems to get away with it...

I have been asked to supply big beardy warrior types for a music video that promises to be a grand showcase of daftness - a 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' extravaganza of nuttiness! It's for Justin Hawkins of The Darkness and his new band, Hot Leg.

Would you like to charge around in a big field by a castle wielding swords and whatnot? We're after medieval re-enactment types with their own costumes, weapons, vague sense of how to wield stabbing implements etc.

The shoot will be in striking distance of London. You'll have to find your own way there but madness and MTV fame lie at the end of your journey, honest. We need as big an army as possible for one day and a select few for the other, when we'll be shooting the big fight scene with the band.

I'll be there to a) stand around being cold, and b) tell you where you need to be.

So here's what we need from you in an email to hawkins.video@gmail.com:
- Your availability from Saturday 30th August to Tuesday 2nd September
- A photo of yourself
- A list of any weapons you're bringing along.

If nothing else you'll be able to report back to Mr Gaiman that I'm not yet dead, and am still eating my greens. He might send you a fish or something as a thank you.

I have it on good personal authority that Hayley is worth dressing up in chain mail for.

Regards,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Ex-Web Elf

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I've wiped the file? .... I've wiped all the files? .... I've wiped the INTERNET? I don't even have a modem!

The official feed now includes the byline at the top, as requested by several people using feed readers that don't display the author properly.


For those who, like me, had trouble making out the words, here are the lyrics to "I Google You", posted by Mr. G in the comment thread to a blog post. The whole discussion there is interesting.


Many people wrote in to offer suggestions for a collective noun for Johns, most of them thinking along similar lines. Among the most intuitive were: a flushing, a trick, and a gospel.


Interesting search queries by which people arrived at neilgaiman.com over the past month: [oops nudity] - 51 hits, [community suffering] - 27, and [good omens slash] - 6. And now many more people will be ending up here for each of those.


Lastly, let's go to the mailbag!


From: John Lorentz
Subject: Sometimes Real Life Is Too Strange

Neil,

A few nights ago, some crooks took advantage of some gullible people here in Portland by posing as Wells Fargo security guards and met people coming to make use of the night deposit slot at a local bank.

"The night deposit slot here is out of order. But if you'll put your deposit in this bag, we'll deliver it to another branch in the morning."

On the news tonight, our local NBC affiliate (KGW) pointed out that this is exactly like a scheme described in AMERICAN GODS, giving the page number in the trade edition of the book and holding that page up to the camera. (They don't have the video up of the version of the story with the reference to your book--if they post it, I'll send you the link for when you finally return to good Internet service.)

So if there's a sudden surge in sales of American Gods here in Portland, that's probably why.:)

John


This is actually not the first time such news was reported here.

Labels:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Apparently the RoboPanda comes with its own toy panda. I just fell down the meta-wormhole.

Mr. G asks that I plug the following:

CBLDF benefit
Thursday, August 21 at 7:30 PM at the Helen Mills Theater on 137-139 West 26th Street NYC 10001

New York, NY -- On August 21, Cory Doctorow, award-winning author and co-editor of the popular blog Boing Boing and experimental writer / artist / musician Paul Miller, a.k.a. D.J. Spooky That Subliminal Kid team up for a multimedia speaking event benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Following their respective presentations, Doctorow and DJ Spooky will take the stage together for an open forum discussion about their work and the futurepresent each eloquently addresses across different media.



Loose bits:

Item 1 :: Today I ordered the RoboPanda.

Item 2 :: One of my Secret Plans currently in gestation requires some medical supplies. If you work in a hospital, drop me a line. Medical supplies are go! Thank you all for your interest and help. (Side note: I had no idea Mr. G had so many veterinarian fans.)

Item 3 :: I have received word that Maddy has agreed to do some blogging during this hiatus. All the world rejoices!

Item 4 :: How cool was the fourth Coraline featurette? It featured the Other Father (voiced by John Hodgman) singing a song by They Might Be Giants (aka John Flansburgh and John Linnell). Three! Three Johns in one!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How well do we use our freedom to choose the illusions we create?

Hi, Web Goblin here. I will be guest-blogging for Mr. G as needed over the next four weeks while he's in China.

I just wanted to get that out of the way at the start, as there's been some confusion. The following email touches on this and related matters, deserving an interstitial reply:

I presume this will be intercepted and read by the guest bloggers, as Neil is apparently going to China to achieve (more) enlightenment at the Shau-lin monestary, or something. I may have missed a point or two.

"Ask Neil" still goes to Neil and Neil alone. If you want to contact me (the web goblin) you have to use the Site Inquiry form.


Suggestions for the blog:

Make the "post by" title at the TOP of the entry rather than at the bottom, and make it a bit higher contrast. That way, at the beginning of the post, we know who's talking. This isn't a problem when 98% of the posts are by Neil, but now that there's going to be a smorgasbord of posters, I'd probably help a lot to know at the beginning to know who was posting. So if Lorraine posted, for instance, talking about "her Dad" we'd know that it was someone other than Neil that was the subject.

Done. Good call.


The other thing is it would be cool to get a brief introduction to the players by name. Obviously you shouldn't post your name and address, or even real names. And Maddy, Holly, and Lorraine wouldn't need intros. But who's "Dan Guy"? Is he the same as "Web Goblin"? Just a single sentence, as deep as a playbook character introduction. Such as "I'm Jane, the person at Blogger who's responsible for rooting out all the annoying single-instance tags that Neil puts in his posts, bless him".

As you wish.


Dramatis Personae.


in which a blog census is taken

Neil :: The man, the myth, the legend. The man needs no introduction, obviously, but what about the latter two? I have some theories.

To the left, Neil Gaiman. Neil sang and played bass in a punk band in 1977. He is suspected of having an army of clones.

To the right, Gary Lightbody. Gary is the lead singer/lyricist of Snow Patrol. He was "born" in 1977.

Warren Ellis hates Snow Patrol. [citation needed]  Warren Ellis hates clones.

Is Gary Lightbody one of Neil's clones? The evidence seems incontrovertible.


Lorraine :: The Fabulous Lorraine is Neil's assistant. Her past is shrouded in mystery.

Some histories claim that she was born among a roving band of fiddling Roma-Australian (or Romaustralian) pirates and then left them to wander the Songshan mountains in search of the legendary Shaolin Warrior Assistant monks. Upon finding them she survived the Ten Trials of the Personal Assistant, the very least of which is opening a box full of sand without spilling a single grain on the carpet, and so was granted entry. After a decade spent training in seclusion she re-emerged, appearing no older than the day she had entered, and voyaged to America in search of a master worthy of her skills.

Other histories claim that the newborn Lorraine was left at the gates of those Shaolin Warrior Assistant monks and was taken in by them and raised in their ways, learning to decipher a travel itinerary before she could talk and mastering the secret art of meat explosion before she could walk. On the day when she turned eighteen, having attained the level of "Fabulous" through her training, she departed the monastery in search of further challenges. Travelling West, she allowed herself to be captured by wandering Romaustralian fiddler pirates in order to learn their fiddling ways. Within a month she challenged their leader for supremacy, killed him with an explosive Chicken Cordon Bleu, and was crowned their Queen. Sadly, her fiddling prowess was soon so exemplary that word spread far and wide and other Romaustralian fiddler pirate Queens began arriving to challenge her, each invoking their right to Suzuki-at-Sunrise, a duel to the death. Rather than be forced to bloody her bow, the Fabulous Lorraine abdicated her crown and sailed to the new world in search of a master worthy of her varied talents.

Which is the true story? It hardly seems to matter.


Web Elf :: The Web Elf was once the webmistress of Mr. G's site, before her retirement. She was eventually outed as Olga Nunes. You can see pictures of her and everything. This is sad on one hand, because the Web Elf and the Web Goblin had all of these plans involving wearing masks and going incognito, but on the other hand what musician doesn't need a little free publicity? The Web Elf is brave and kind and did we mention brave? She is currently traveling the world, either following her muse or bringing her own muse to others.


Web Goblin :: Hi. I'm the Web Goblin, aka Dan Guy. I took over when the Web Elf retired over a year ago. I wrote a bio over at the Neverwear store that pretty much covers it, I think.



Mr. G sends the following from his cellphone:

In Taipei airport there were toilets for men, women, enormous telephones, daleks and people feeding giant venus flytraps.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Clark Kent reached the highest height with the help of Perry White

The fifth and final Coraline featurette is now available.

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK leads off the ABA Fall 2008 Children's Indie Next List. Looking at the rest of the list, it appears that if you want to target ages 4-8 then you're best bet is to have a naughty protagonist, especially if its an animal, whereas if you are writing for ages 9-12 then you should have "dragon" or "magician" in the title. Look for my new children's book, The Very Naughty Dragon Magician, this spring.

just asking to be a LOLgaiman!
Mr. G emailed me this picture of himself on the plane late last night. I assume he intended it to be posted, since he's never sent me pictures of himself before. Maybe he heard that the commenters on the LJ feed doubted that he needs a haircut and is offering evidence to back his claim? His plane didn't take off until the wee hours of the morning; hopefully he was able to get some sleep.



A few people have written to ask how we are going to keep the RoboPanda a surprise. I thought I'd put it to a vote. Click on the option below that you wish to vote for; voting ends Monday at 11:59 PM.See results.

Many thanks to all who contributed: Andrew G., Claire W., Eden of ComicsGirl, Shield of NeilGaimanBibliography.com, Gina T., Sandra S., Andrea McW., Jenna P., Crystal H., Shannon A., Catherine B., and Maria H.

Anyone who is disappointed over missing out on the chance to contribute is encouraged to donate to the CBLDF.

Labels: , , , ,

Amanda Palmer Needs A House In London

Neil waved from China to pass on this request, on behalf of the stunningly talented Miss Amanda Palmer:


AMANDA & DANGER ENSEMBLE SEEKING LONDON CRASH SPACE/REHEARSAL SPACE
15-26th SEPTEMBER


we (me and 5 crazy Australians, AKA the danger ensemble, who will be with me all year performing on stage) are coming to London to prepare for our European tour and are looking for somewhere to crash close to central London!
ideally you live in an amazing place with several vacant boudoirs atop a rehearsal studio (or a big garage) that you would like to give over to us from the 15th - 26th of September.

we need a relatively comfy space - sharing beds is fine but we do need them.

wireless internet is pretty essential. heating and being close to the tube would be a huge plus. it doesn't have to be a palace - we can improvise - if you know anyone on summer vacation or that has a space that can be made livable for a couple of weeks LET US KNOW!

if you JUST have a rehearsal space idea or JUST a place to stay, indicate that. we may end up commuting if we don't find both in one place.

in addition, if you can recommend/know of any cheap rehearsal studios please let us know, anything big enough to accommodate 7 people and a few string players moving around. bigger than a bedroom, smaller than a train station.

in exchange?

um. we'll make you dinner. buy you drinks, love you, we can hook you up with tix for the ICA show, any other european shows, free merch, and if you're into it, the whole ensemble will possibly also make out with you.

steven from The Danger Ensemble is salivating in anticipation of your email so hit him up: tour@dangerensemble.com

(From Amanda Palmer)


They're urgently in need of last minute housing arrangements, so if you know of a spot let them know ASAP. (The sooner you email them, the sooner you can redeem your giant group hug.) Pass it on.

Regards,
The Artist Formerly Known As The Quite Official Web Elf

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 15, 2008

a sophisticated desire for chaos

FOUR WEEKS?!? Mr. G is going to be gone for four weeks?? I am as dismayed by this news as you. This is terrible. This is calamitous. This is... unexpectedly exciting?

He has no idea how much trouble I can get into in four weeks.

I have already begun formulating Secret Plans. This is the month. Tell your friends.



The fourth Coraline featurette has been posted. This one is my favorite of the five, because of a certain cosmic alignment of talents hinted at by the title up there.



I decided that none of you should be spared my attempts at humour in the labels, so I have gone back to work under the hood and the feed now includes them at the bottom! (Secret Plan #1: CHECK)

Only the official feed includes the labels; all of the deprecated feeds, and the one straight from blogger, still lack them. (This means that if you are not seeing the labels at the bottom of each entry in your feed reader then you should resubscribe to the feed via the previous link. If you experience any issues, please contact me.)



Because I was feeling silly, I created a page on Fundable.com to raise money to buy Mr. G a RoboPanda. Fundable is cool because it only takes the money if the goal is reached. I thought maybe people could throw in $0.50 or a dollar, and I would post pictures of the look on his face when he got it -- but when I got to the end of the sign-up I learned that the minimum pledge was $10. And, I mean, $10 is a little much for a gag gift that's going to collect dust in the attic, likely scaring the fur off of Zoe the blind cat. I link to it now only because I spent so long photoshopping that image and hate to waste it.

Edit: Two of you have already pledged $10! I.... I don't know what to say to that.

Edit: Three! (Breaks into song: I cannot believe my eyes. / Are the fans collaboratively making buys? / Because it seems to me / some kind of insanity / is on the rise!)

Eight Nine more nutjobs generous benefactors and this will actually happen.

The question now becomes, do I give it to him in the box or do I take it out and put batteries in it and video his reaction when I place it on the signing table and it starts to dance?

Edit: Well. That took just under two hours. You people are incredible. Look for video footage here at the end of September!



New information for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK US Tour:

Info for the NYC event:
Teachers College at Columbia University - hosted by Barnes & Noble College
525 W. 120th Street
New York, NY 10027
7pm
Phone: 908-991-2153

Info for the Minneapolis event:
Saint Paul's United Church of Christ Red Balloon
900 Summit Avenue
St Paul, MN 55105
7pm
Phone: 651-224-8320


For more, check Where's Neil?.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I want my stretchy time

There is a packing frenzy going on. Everything that should have been done a week ago is getting done as I type this.

I wish I wasn't a last-minute sort of person sometimes. I know my belief that time is stretchy can drive my friends, family, and even me, sometimes, a bit mad. But it's a bit too late to start worrying about that now.

Also, I need a haircut.

...

This is all the information I have about the US Graveyard Book reading tour dates so far. I'm putting them up right now even though there are a few that we don't have details on, because it's probably useful for all of you in planning things. The Webgoblin will keep WHERE'S NEIL updated, and I'm sure will post the information on the "TK" days as soon as he gets it from Harpers.

The plan is that I'll be reading a whole chapter at each stop (maybe I'll read some other things too), answering questions and generally having fun. And there will be signed books.

Don't write and ask questions about this. As we know more, it will get posted here and at Where's Neil. Promise.


Saturday, September 27th
Washington, DC National Book Festival, reading and signing (times TK)

Tuesday, September 30th (publication day) –
Chapter 1 New York, NY
7pm
Columbia University – hosted by Barnes & Noble College
525 W. 120th Street
New York, NY 10027
908-991-2153

Wednesday, October 1st –
Chapter 2 Philadelphia, PA Tk evening event w Borders – location TBD

Thursday, October 2nd–
Chapter 3 Chicago, IL
6pm Tivoli Theatre, hosted by Andersons Bookshop
5021 Highland Ave
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Contact: Anderson's Bookshop Naperville, 630-355-2665
Anderson's Bookshop Downer's Grove, 630-963-2665
Note: The venue is a beautifully restored 1920s movie palace with seating for 1000. This will be a ticketed event, 1 ticket = 1 book. After the reading and Q&A, ‘Stardust’ will be shown.

Friday, October 3rd –
Chapter 4 Seattle, WA
7pm University Temple United Methodist Church, sponsored by the University Bookstore
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle WA 98105
206-545-4363
Note: This venue seats 900.

Saturday, October 4th –
Chapter 5 Palo Alto
7:30 pm
Spangenberg Theatre at Gunn High School, sponsored by Keplers
780 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94306-3827
Note: This venue seats 950.

Sunday, October 5th –
Chapter 6 San Francisco

Children’s Breakfast Speaker
Northern California Independent Booksellers Assoc. Regional Tradeshow Oakland Convention Center
NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

3pm Sundance Kabuki Theatre, sponsored by Booksmith
1881 Post Street at Fillmore
San Francisco, CA 94115
415-863-8688
Note: This venue seats 500, and this will be a ticketed event where 1 ticket = 1 book.

Monday, October 6th –
Chapter 7a Los Angeles, CA Tk evening event – location TBD

Tuesday, October 7th –
Chapter 7b Boulder, CO
6:30 pm Unity of Boulder Church, sponsored by Boulder Book Store
2855 Fulsom St. Boulder, CO 80304
Contact: Mandy King Phone: 303.447.2074
Note: This venue seats 600

Wednesday, October 8th – Chapter 8 Minneapolis, MN Tk evening event with Red Balloon – location TBD


***************




Note to friends and family and people who need me to do things: I don't know how often I'm going to be able to get to my email over the next four weeks, nor the volume of email that'll be waiting when I do get to it, so if you need me urgently, call or email my assistant Lorraine, as whenever I do reach civilisation I'll check in with her first and she will tell me who needs me.

Labels: ,

You just know that "doing research...on foot in rural China" means "trying to find a panda that fits in my suitcase"

Mr. G is still "not blogging", I see.

The third of the Coraline featurettes is now available for your viewing pleasure.

I created a new GRAVEYARD BOOK countdown Google gadget months ago but I forgot to remind the Boss to post about it. Please send any bug reports to me.

(A question for my peeps commenting on the LJ feed: Am I the only one who saw the title "Elfless in Gaza" last week and worried that the web elf had stumbled into a warzone during her travels abroad?)

Inspired by the spirit of the late, great Othello Dodge, I have added my ancestral namesake to the graveyard. As a fan of the community that once sprouted up around the House of Clocks guestbook (en memoriam), I hope that you follow suit.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

bed bed bed

Right. Tonight I'm home, sitting on a sofa with my daughters who are watching the Olympics. This morning I went out and bought lots of lightweight, quick-drying clothes and other useful travel things, with my assistant Lorraine. (At one point during the clothes-buying part of things Lorraine helpfully said, "Boss, you're still wearing their pants. Why don't you go and change back into your own?" Which seemed like a sensible idea, so I grabbed my jeans and headed back to the changing room, overhearing the sales lady saying, "Is he a professor?" and Lorraine's reply of, "He's a writer. It's the same thing.")

So I now have lots of new, light, easily washed clothes, many of them grey or white, which means I will spend much of the next four weeks feeling like I am in disguise.

I don't know if I'll be able to post while on the road -- I'm going to be very much off the beaten track doing research for the next big project, and a lot of the time I'll be on foot in rural China, so I hope that Dan Guy The Webgoblin will be able to post as things happen, and news needs to go up. And then there's always Maddy (or even Holly).

I've been talking to Harpers about the follow-up to Giving Away American Gods. The next plan is Giving Away Neverwhere, which will be done in some different ways to the way American Gods was done. I'm hoping it'll happen in September. More info, from me or thewebgoblin, as we get it.

It looks like there's already a serious giveaway going on at http://fashion-piranha.livejournal.com/23000.html

And I forgot to mention that it was indeed Béla Fleck who, reading on the blog that I wanted a Banjo-based Danse Macabre, recorded a version for Banjo and cello which is positively awesome, and which will be on the audio book.

Right. Bed.

Labels: ,

"You will be visited," resumed the Ghost, "by Four Posts."

As Mr. G is busy "not blogging" this week, it falls to me to inform you that the second Coraline featurette has been posted.

Additionally, Focus Features is running a Coraline sweepstakes, by which you may enter to win a trip to the Coraline set in Portland, OR. (I encourage all of you not to enter, as I would like to win it myself.)

Is there a word for when you think you made something up and then it appears in real life? There should be. It seems to happen to the Boss a lot, sometimes before the story is even published. (Such as preserveusfromthehouseofclocks.com, sadly down at present.) And now it seems to have happened yet again: friendsofthegraveyard.com

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coraline -- backstage at the movies

I'm not blogging right now -- barely using the internet as I try and catch up -- but this deserves a mention, and it's going to going on, one short Coraline promo video a day, all this week....

Coraline promo video #1

Labels:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hugo results

Going offline for a few days to try and get stuff finished. But before I go...

http://www.locusmag.com/2008/Hugo_Campbell_Winners.html

Congratulations to everyone!

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

tabclosing



"Well... I'm just saying that I thought your race were smarter than that. You'd think you'd've known that you can use the same mirrors you used to steal those children's souls... to reflect light back into your breeding pods. Like this..."

Which is less me trying to sound like David Tennant's Doctor than it is me puzzled that all around the webses, people aren't using the Guardian Hamlet photos to illustrate their own do-it-yourself Doctor Who story. (Some of them even have Patrick Stewart in.)

...

Congratulations to Todd Klein on, well, being Todd Klein, mostly, but also for his inkpot. (I wish mine had looked like this.)

These little people are wonderful (I forgot who sent it to me. Sorry.) (I also forgot who sent me this.)

Paul Levitz talks about his job, and about working in comics. (Read the sidebars as well.)

Someone has re-read all of Sandman and blogs about it.

The Delachaise was easily my favorite restaurant in New Orleans, but alas, that era is over.

I am reading this book really slowly. A chapter a month. Because when it's done, there won't be any classic period Roger Zelazny novels I haven't read. (Or any Roger Zelazny novels I haven't read. But still...) The manuscript was lost in his papers for over 30 years. And from what I have read so far it is classic wonderful Roger Zelazny all the way...

...

Probably the last Amanda Palmer singing "I Google You" on Youtube that I'll link to for a while... I like this one because the sound quality seems sharper, and because you get to hear her introduction.



Right. Back to work.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, August 08, 2008

In which the author is grumbly

Long day. Everything that has to be signed is signed, every telephone interview is done. Conference calls etc all dealt with. And at the end of a long working day, I now need to start writing. It's meant to be more fun than this, but I'm up against the wall on a research trip, and time is declining to be stretchy in the way I want it to (40 hour days.... 19 day weeks....)

I failed to go with daughter Holly on her Chicago road trip as well. Which would have been fun.

It looks there will be good news for all the people who have paid for Neverwheres from Hill House (or anything overdue from Hill House). I'll have more concrete information very soon.

And anyone who is waiting for a refund on the cancelled Tulsa Event, Mammoth Comics will be making sure the refunds happen -- apologies: I think absolutely everyone who could have screwed up on this one did, in a sort of Perfect Storm of screwedupness. But things should sort now. And guilt, if nothing else, will bring me to Tulsa sooner rather than later.


I hate to be nosy, but did you take Zoe to the vet? Blindness in aged cats is most commonly caused by hypertension (high blood pressure, as I am sure you knew). This condition can be secondary to kidney failure or dysfunction or hyperthyroidism. We do not see primary hypertension in cats generally. The second most common cause would be retinal atrophy, but it is much less common. Unfortunately, with neither disease is the blindness reversible, but if Zoe has an underlying disease, her well-being could be improved by treating it.


Thanks for allowing me to give unasked for advice, but I find that often my patients owners don't realize that disease in one area can cause a more obvious sign in another.

Sorry if you knew all this stuff already.

Shera
a kitty vet (and huge fan)

I put this up because I thought it might be useful for other people as well. Yes, we took her to the vet today, who established that, yes, she is indeed blind. And is currently doing a whole set of tests on her. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her. She's an astoundingly sweet-natured cat, who we've had since she was a barn-kitten: she fell downstairs when she was younger, and had her hip screwed together -- she's never been as active since. But she likes to be loved more than any cat I've known. (Worries.)

[later]

She's back from the vet. It was indeed high blood pressure. They're trying to decide whether she needs medication. (She was hugely overweight when we got her back, and we put her on a long diet, so she's now at normal weight, which may help anyway.)


...

Words of wisdom from Sherman Alexie, writing about the Seattle Sonics trial:

52. I don't believe in magic. But I do believe in interpreting coincidence exactly the way you want to.

53. Do you know why Indian rain dances always worked? Because the Indians would keep dancing until it rained.

...

Eddie Campbell
has a new book out. This is always exciting. It looks particularly wonderful, and there are extracts at:

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/07/comics_leotard.html


...

Here's The Guardian talking about The Hugos. (I should say that, as far as I know, The Guardian is the only major newspaper that ever reports on the Hugo winners.)

Cloned Dog Owner Manacled Mormon for Sex is possibly my favourite headline ever. It's on the Guardian front page, today. (The story, although with a different lead line, is up at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/08/usa)

...

Nalo Hopkinson and Geoff Ryman are talking about their first Clarion Week (and everything else) on the latest AISF podcast: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2008/08/aisfp-58-nalo-hopkinson-and-geoff-ryman/

...

Mister Punch photo series from the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-ca-0810-puppets-pg,0,1074139.photogallery?1
to accompany this article.


This is happiness. From the BBC and Jamie Hewlett (and his Zombie Flesh Eaters team) and Damon Albarn, present: Monkey, Sandy, Pigsy journey to the Olympics... (if it doesn't work, check at http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics/monkey/7521287.stm)

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Eyeless in the Attic

I discovered tonight -- was heartbroken to realise -- that Zoe the cat who lives in the attic (my cat to begin with, but these days am really just looking after her until she can be reunited with her person, currently overseas) is totally blind: she was navigating entirely by memory and whiskers (I was writing up in the attic, in the house's Tower Room, which I've just turned into an internet-free, phone free, writing den).

I adore Zoe, but am terribly allergic to her.

Normally this is not a problem -- I simply wash my hands after stroking her... but when you realise your cat is blind you go and pick her catnip from the garden and then you put her in your lap while you write and you stroke her and let her rub herself all over you... and now I have to stop writing to have a bath, because my eyes are
swollen and red and almost too itchy to see out of. Sigh.

Hey Neil,
I was at Amanda Palmer's (fantastic & glorious) concert in San Francisco last night, and she performed "I Google You". I know you already posted a video of it, but... here's another, & of somewhat better quality. It can be seen on YouTube, if you so desire:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QEQaJXU1mA

yrs.,
Molly




That's more like it. You can see Amanda, and you can hear the song both at the same time...

Meanwhile, the remarkable Peri Lyons (for whom I actually wrote the song) (not because I was Googling her late at night, but because she asked me last December to write a song for her one-woman show) will be doing the aforementioned show in New York (The Metropolitan Room: 34 West 22nd St Betw. 5th & 6th Ave. - New York, NY 10010) later this month -- details at The Metropolitan Room Website, here.

...

The Graveyard Book is reviewed and rounded up at the School Library Journal Blog: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/1790000379/post/1970030997.html?nid=3713

I'm going to keep posting links like this. The Graveyard Book is, I think, my favourite of all the things I've done, and I'm proud of it, and it makes me happy when other people like it too.

...

Dear Neil,

I am so incredibly excited about the Vegas event in November since you always seem to bypass Nevada completely, but I was wondering if you're also doing a signing for the festival. If not, I'll have to content myself with ordering signed copies of things instead. It's vitally important for this question to be answered, you see, because if the event is a signing I am going to have to go out and buy a hardcover copy of one of your books so I'm not embarrassed by my [extremely] careworn paperbacks.

Many thanks,
Hannah St. John


I'm sure there will be a signing there, yes. But you don't have to worry: you may be embarrassed by old, well-read paperbacks, but I'll be flattered.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Elfless in Gaza

I am, for the record, having one of those days where I really wish that I could get hundreds of tiny elves to come in the night and do the mountains of overdue writing for me, and more elves to sign the pile of 2000 sheets of UK Graveyard Book limited edition papers with my signature, and maybe a couple of tallish elves who look an awful lot like me to come in and take over all of my possible personal or professional commitments that might involve traveling anywhere in the world, and frankly while we're on the subject I'd like a handful of elves to deal with the email backlog, the towering piles of things I really need to read, and even someone to blog for me. And don't even get me started on things that want blurbs or introductions. (Looks around balefully.)

I was convinced that all was doom and despair and hopeless and I would never write my way out of this and there weren't enough hours in the day or days in the week or anything when I finally got out of the house and went down to the bottom of the garden to write, and discovered, on the way, masses of late and forgotten raspberries on the raspberry canes. So I stopped and ate raspberries, and you can't be properly miserable or grumpy eating sun-warmed raspberries you're picking and eating yourself.

I'm just saying. You can't.

.....

Tor.com has gone live. This is a really good thing. Lots of excellent writers blogging. Much stuff to read. I learned that illustrator Pauline Baynes was dead from Tor.com, and I was saddened. I read Jo Walton on Eric Frank Russell and found myself posting a reply. I suspect that Tor.com will become what Patrick Nielsen Hayden said he was hoping it could be about when he first mentioned it to me at Eastercon -- a social and professional hub for SF on the interwebs. The automatic place to go if you're interested in genre, immediately after you've checked Locus online -- http://www.locusmag.com/.

....

iTunes has the latest Best of The Moth Podcast up. You can hear me telling my story of my sixteen-year old self's travel trouble, and also, from the same event, you can hear Edgar Oliver telling what happened when he returned to Savannah, which was my favourite of all the stories told that night. The open iTunes instruction (the downloads are all free) is http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=275699983. Sometimes these things do not work out of the US.

But here's some Edgar Oliver in conversation (and reading a poem) on YouTube. Yes, he really talks like that, his voice and accent musical and strange:



Hello
i went to Kyle Cassidy's live journal to see what was so objectionable with the photos (was it the t-shirt?...shrugs...they didn't look so evil to me) and i happened to see: NEIL FREAKING GAIMAN singing "i google you". Any chance of an audio clip of that being put up on your site? pretty please? i'm sure i'm not the only fan out there that would love to hear it!

Well, that was me actually singing while Kyle was blogging. Shortly after that Amanda went off and came back with a small recording device and said "Sing that again into this," so I did. And I don't think anyone will ever hear that recording except her. On the other hand, she apparently sang "I Google You" last night in LA... so I imagine that it'll be out on the internet soon enough, sung by someone who can sing much better than I can.

(Goes and looks on YouTube.)

It's up already. (Warning: It's a very dark film, more or less an audio track, and the last two words of the song are cut off.) I love what she's done with the chords...



Edit to add -- I promised Amanda I'd replace this with a better version if one shows up on YouTube.

Edit even later, try this one:


...

Okay. I'm going back to the bottom of the garden to write about Selina Kyle and Joe Chill.

Labels: , , , , ,

please stop my assistant becoming a mad cat lady

Let's see. First things first,



My assistant, the Fabulous Lorraine, is fostering two Bengal cats, and says they're really ready to go to someone who'll love them. They were sad, scared things when she got them, and they've really turned from sad cats into rather wonderful things. She says it's time for them to find a good home because she's going to get attached to them otherwise (and she already has two Bengal cats, so risks turning into a mad cat lady if nice people don't come and adopt them). Their names are Sabrina and Ginger and they come as a pair. If you're interested, head over to Lorraine's blog.


Hi Neil. This past weekend I tried to introduce my girlfriend to sushi. It didn't go so well. She did try, and put on her best game face, for this I can only appreciate her more. Unfortunately the sushi wasn't as fresh as it could be and was over-wasabied. She is willing to try one more time (did I mention my appreciation and acknowledge my luck?) We will be driving from Des Moines to Minneapolis so I thought I would see if you had any favorite area sushi bars. Thanks.

The rule for any new thing is try the best you can find. Always. There are people who have eaten supermarket sushi, and cannot understand why anyone would want to eat rubbery, fishy, possibly slightly slimy, chilled fish on dried-out cold rice-pudding for pleasure, and think that's what sushi is. Whether it's Sushi or anything new, try the best. That way, if you don't like it, you know you don't like it, rather than a sad shadow of the thing it could be.

There are lots of solid sushi places in Minneapolis -- I really like Sakura in St Paul, as much for the people who run it as for the (mostly very good) food. Origami can be nice, so can the two Fuji-Yas. Kikagawa's okay. Other people swear by (or at) some of the others. About five years ago I wrote on this journal, in reply to a similar question that,

“To be honest, Minneapolis sushi is much of a muchness. There's nothing that's outstanding, like a Nobu, and nothing I've had so far that's been dreadful (apart from Fuji Ya when they first put sushi on their menu, about eight years ago, but they soon got the hang of it). I tend to go to Sakura in St. Paul, because Miyoko and her staff treat me like family, and the food's good.”

I was about to opine that this was because we were a long way from the sea, then I remembered that Katsu in Chicago is one of the best sushi restaurants in the world, and it's just as far from the sea as Minneapolis.

Hi Neil.

I don't think I've seen you mention this before: With the renewed interest in "Watchmen" of late, I was wondering about the 'special thanks' you received in the collected edition.

What kind of contribution did you make? Or was it just for being such a nice guy? ;)

Thanks
Robin

I thought I must have answered this here, but googled it and couldn't find anything. However I did find this interview by Brian Hibbs up at the Dreaming. (Well, in The Dreaming's google cache -- it's just been redesigned and relaunched hurrah!, and I think a few links may be broken.)
I remember Alan ringing me up when he was writing Watchmen #3, and said, "Neil, you're an educated bloke. Where does the quote `Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?' come from? I think someone said it when they were dying, but I don't know when."
I went out, and found it for him, rang him back, and said, "No. It's
Genesis. God threatening to nuke Sodom and Gomorrah." He said, "Thanks", then
went off.He rang me back a few months later and said, "Neil, I haven't any
quotes for the titles of #7 and #8. This is what happens in them, go find me a
quote." So I went off and got him "Brother to dragons, and companion to owls..."
from Job for #7, and the poem for #8, Eleanor Farjeon's "Hallowe'en". "On
Hallowe'en the old ghosts come."Also, while I was researching the Old Testament
stuff, I was working my way through a huge Biblical concordance, getting various
details. It fell open to a page on obscure history, and the name Rameses jumped
out at me. I discovered this quote that said, roughly, "I've killed all these
places, and left the widows weeping there. Everything is at peace, and
everything is great in the world." So I rang up Alan, and said, "What do you
think of this?" He said "Great! I'll stick it in #12" So you've got Ozymandias
quoting Rameses in Watchmen. (ED: #12, Pg. 20)


Which is pretty much it -- I also lent Alan the bird-book from which he got the quotes on owls that Daniel Drieberg uses in the back of Watchmen 7,

(It was really interesting reading a nineteen-year-old interview with myself. Or someone a lot like me, anyway. Cocky little bugger, wasn't I?)

FYI: If Charles Schultz drew Sandman
http://docshaner.deviantart.com/art/Charles-Schulz-s-Sandman-93543466

Hope you're well.

Cheers,
jon

Good grief!

I was recently reading a recent Fantagraphics Peanuts collection, and slowly realised that I'd read (and re-read and puzzled over) all of the Sunday strips as a very small boy. I had a book called Sunday's Fun Day Charlie Brown and never understood the title until a few weeks ago.



And finally, a lovely video interview with Tori about the Comic Book Tattoo project, and her own history with comics and plans for the future.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/08/tori-amos-on-he.html

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 04, 2008

Winter's Day

(This is a photo from Clarion, where Scott came and gave a talk, accompanied by the entire extended McCloud clan.)

I find it really hard to believe that it's a full thirteen years and a couple of days since I found myself, entirely accidentally and rather unexpectedly, in a birthing centre, in which Scott and Ivy's friend Krystal and I suddenly found ourselves looking after Sky McCloud (while Kurt Busiek was driving around looking for ginger ale, for reasons that are now swallowed by time). Krystal and I discovered we had a very limited repertoire of songs we both knew, so sang The Ballad of Sweeney Todd to the two year old to keep her entertained while Ivy did all the hard work further down the hall. And Scott either helped, or just came up with magnificent baby birthing theories. Or both.

And then there was Winter. Whose birthday was last Friday. Happy Birthday, Winter.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Leaving the cloud club

I'm home.

My dog is happy, and I have not one but two happy daughters.

What I like best in the picture below is that Amanda Palmer is the kind of person who would run out for dinner with a bullet hole in the side of her head, and not worry about taking it off first.

Kyle Cassidy
has always got his camera ready. So he catches things like this...




And then he catches something like the one below -- me reading a story I'd just written to Amanda's assistant Beth. A story that was inspired by a photo she took...

I never got to see the expression on her face, 'cos I was reading, which is why I love the picture so much.



(Amanda (and Beth) are heading out on tour tomorrow, across the US and Europe: http://www.dresdendolls.com/calendar/ for details.)

...

Also, am I the only who saw Dark Knight and slowly became convinced that Michael Caine was finally playing Willie Garvin?

Labels: ,

Friday, August 01, 2008

Killing Amanda for fun and profit

Three stories written today, and I'll try and make it five before I sleep. Upstairs they're about to murder Amanda at the piano. Later they'll see if the feral cats outside the front door will eat her. Beth, Amanda's assistant, tells the story of our journey this afternoon.

In the meantime, here's the Clarion Podcast interview with me: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2008/07/aisfp-57-neil-gaiman/. (If I sound a bit tired, it's probably because it was Friday night, and I was exhausted.) Next week's podcast will interview Geoff Ryman and Nalo Hopkinson, and also interview the Clarion students: that's the one I want to hear.

This is from yesterday: me in a mirror, caught by Kyle. I'm sweaty and have hair like a bird's nest, and I still think it would make a great author photo.


got to run...

Labels: ,

on the concept of fiction

Let's see...

Mr. Gaiman,
I recently read your journal and the response you made to someone attacking your previous and future work on Batman. I saw this person as an average flamer who, for some reason, needed you to know that he didn't like your work. What surprised me was that you responded to his criticism in such an open forum. I figured it was a way to bring up the argument that all popular creators must bring up from time to time, "It's doesn't bother me that some people don't like my work." On the other hand, it could just as easily have been a way for you to point out this person's ignorance to your fans so that we could send bad thought his way. So I've decided to ask: Why did you post such a venomous remark and your response on your journal?

Feel free to edit this post in any way for your purposes.

Normally I pick emails to put up based on a unique and complex algorithm built around 1) How many people are asking similar things, 2) how interesting I think it is, 3) whether I get around to putting it up or whether it's swept away by the flood the following hour, day or week, 4) whim. In that case I'd got lots of people writing in to say that the news that I was writing Batman made them happy, which was nice but not really something I'd put up here, and a few people who seemed deeply hurt that I was writing Batman, which I found odd and a bit interesting. That was the best written of the lot. I probably should have edited it for language, but was worried that if I left F blanks it would look like I was messing with his words to make him look stupid, so didn't.

This next one I chose because of the four letters that came in objecting to yesterday's photos, one, from someone who wanted to let me know she would now never buy anything by me ever again, seemed to be a bit mad, and one was crass, and one was funny but I thought this was the most interesting:



Hi Neil, is that lady wearing a slip? It looks nasty. What does Maddy think about that picture? My mom says it's in bad taste. LOL Patti


I think Maddy's been around film sets and photo sets enough to know that film and photo sets are fictional. That was Amanda's costume for the photo shoot on the roof that preceded the photos you saw. (Below you can see three out of six of today's costumes in pictures that, I hope, will be more reassuring and family friendly. Except possibly for the first, now I come to think of it.) Kyle is shooting a book of photographs called "Who Killed Amanda Palmer". Amanda is in all the pictures -- which are a lot like scenes from movies -- and I'm writing very short stories to accompany them. I'm trying to do the majority of them while I'm here, as my plate is scarily full right now, and it seemed easier and faster just to come out while many of the photos were being taken and see what was going on and write.

The photos yesterday, and the ones below, were all taken by Kyle between actual shots, because the man does not put down his camera.





They are very long days -- we were still shooting stuff way past midnight, and I'm typing this at 3:30 am, but it's good work, and Kyle is producing some extraordinary images. (Except for the Oboe-and-Dirndl shots. Those are just wrong.) (And he's blogging in the other corner of the room.)

You can hear some of the WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER songs on YouTube: four videos have been put up so far at http://www.youtube.com/user/amandapalmer . Although my favourite, which is called OASIS, doesn't yet have a video.

...

Back in March The New Yorker ran a wonderful article on magic, magicians, and Jamy Ian Swiss (who, in addition to being all the cool things that they say he is in the article, read the manuscript of American Gods for me and told me when my coin magic was off). It's now available to read online at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/17/080317fa_fact_gopnik?currentPage=all.

...

That was it for blogging tonight. If I owe you a letter, sorry...

Labels: , ,

<< Previous [Home] Next >>
Archives  |  RSS  |  Translations  |  Labels  |  Tumblr

Upcoming Release


Soon in Paperback


My current crusade is to make sure creative people have wills. Read the blog post about it, and see a sample will.