Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 8:29 PM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 8:33 AM
Friday, August 14, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 6:34 PM
I asked Charles what he thought, and he liked the idea, and Elise Howard, our editor, liked the idea too. We'd made, in Blueberry Girl, a picture book aimed not really at kids at all (although lots of kids seem to love it) but at mums and mothers to be, and daughters, and despite Borders initially refusing to stock or sell it, it had still made the NYT list, and, more importantly, it had made people happy. Could we do something like that aimed at everyone? And could we do it in less than the three years it took Charles to do Blueberry Girl?
I wasn't sure. I did know that the problem wasn't mine, though. It was Charles's. And Charles Vess is a remarkable man, and an amazing artist...
Over at http://greenmanpress.com/news/archives/447 Charles tells the story of how he evolved the main character (boy? girl?) and shows the evolution of some pages from pencils to finished art.
There are more pictures up at Irene Gallo's blog, http://igallo.blogspot.com/2009/08/charles-vess-at-work-on-neil-gaimans.html.
And here's one posted by me...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 5:09 PM
Here you can see them chomping through and removing another piece of white wax. I imagine that they found a use for it somewhere in the bowels of the hive.
These are from today (hot, muggy, humid, grey day). The bees have pretty much finished removing all the wax that I put in and are now building their own (yellow, not white) wax installations down the side of the belljar.
And you can see some wax foundations on the side of the belljar being put in by bees who know what they are doing. That's the nice thing about bees. After this many million years, they really do know what they're doing.
Here's my favourite bee song. It's by Mirah and the Spectratones, and it's called Community.
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 1:07 AM
Monday, August 10, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 1:49 AM
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 10:30 AM
We looked like this.
and the panel is described at http://eldritchhobbit.livejournal.com/258588.html.
There was a press conference. (Here's a description.)
I lunched with George R R Martin and Paris, and George gave me a Hugo Loser badge, for I have lost at least two Hugos now.
If you see this at Worldcon can you mention that people should pick up the Worldcon newsletter -- Voyageur -- from pickup points around the Palais or in the con suite. We *did* publish info on how people could get signing tickets (twice) and there is lots of other important info in there too. All con members should be reading it. It's also available online at http://www.anticipationsf.ca/English/Newsletter. Thanks ever so -- Alison Scott
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 11:39 PM
Then was interviewed, had lunch with Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Then I was interviewed by Jessica Langer and an audience. Met a bunch of people -- John Scalzi was the one I've been waiting the longest to meet in the flesh, and he was every bit as nice and smart as I'd expected. Then a panel on the life and work of John M Ford, after which I slipped off with Jon Singer and Beth Meacham. (Edit to add, there's a lovely photo and description of the panel here.)
I talked with Beth about the R. A. Lafferty Treasury that we want to do, where we'll assemble a big Best of Lafferty collection, with individual stories introduced by different authors, just as the Avram Davidson one was.
Then Opening Ceremonies, where I gave an off-the-cuff speech I had written 6 weeks ago, which very nearly came true (especially the hedgehogs), and I watched Charles Stross in conversation with Paul Krugman, which was fascinating from beginning to end.
Then I popped in to the TOR party, where Kyle Cassidy took photos of me and the Clarion alumni from last year who are here (in the party bathroom, with a fisheye lens camera), and gave me a book of astonishingly beautiful photos he had made for me in an edition of one. It took me by surprise and left me unspeakably happy. What a good friend.
This is a Kyle photo of me in beekeeper mode:
This is a Kyle photo of me in the green room today with Anne Murphy my minder at the con. She is amazing, and without her I would not be wherever I am meant to be whenever I am there; and she never gets flustered and she never gets bothered, and she's a joy to have around. I firmly believe that in real life she designs giant fighting robots, of the kind where you sit in their head and then they fly off to save Tokyo, even though she says that isn't quite what she does at all. Because if you did design giant fighting robots, you'd want to keep it a secret.
(They are twitpic photos, so if you click on them they will get bigger and clearer.)
I work at an independent bookstore in New Orleans and we wanted to try to get you to come in. We all wanted to enter The Graveyard Book Hallowe'en party contest, but since you announced it, all of the staff have been trying to find specific rules and guidelines on how to enter, but can't find anything more on your site, or anything at all on Harper's sites. If you have any further information or could let us know how to get a hold of it, it'd be much appreciated...
Thanks for your time!
To enter the Contest, you must be an independent bookseller; you must host an in-store Halloween Party, with The Graveyard Book as the theme, between September 30, 2009 and November 1, 2009; and you must submit event photographs or a video, along with a brief paragraph describing the Party, to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 6, 2009 (9:00 p.m. PST). Contact your HarperCollins Sales Representative to discuss using cooperative advertising funds for the Party.
Entries with photographs must include at least three (3) but no more than five (5) photographs. Photographs must be provided in .jpg format and as attachments to the entry email. Video entries may not exceed 120 seconds in length; must be provided in .mov or .flv format; and may not exceed a file size of 75 MB. Only one (1) entry per qualified bookseller is permitted.
All entries must be accompanied by a brief paragraph (100 words max) highlighting the details of the Party: Name of store, location of store, number of attendees, overview of Party, special promotions or features. Paragraph may be included within the body of the entry email or attached as a separate Word document.
One (1) Grand Prize winner will be offered an opportunity to host an exclusive Appearance by author Neil Gaiman at the bookstore. The Appearance will most likely consist of a reading, book signing, question-and-answer session, etc. Specific details of the Appearance are to be determined, based upon the location, space limitations, and other requirements of the winning bookstore. The date, time, and duration of the Appearance depends upon the Author’s schedule. The Sponsor and Author currently project that he will be available in December 2009. If the Grand Prize winner cannot host the Appearance during that month, or if the Author cancels a scheduled Appearance, then the Sponsor and Author will endeavor to select and offer the Grand Prize winner a mutually acceptable alternate date for the Appearance.
Five (5) First Prize winners will each receive five (5) signed copies of The Graveyard Book in hardcover and a customized video greeting from the Author. The specific details (content, length, delivery date, etc.) of the customized video greetings are to be determined by the Sponsor and Author.
Five (5) Second Prize winners will each receive one (1) signed copy of The Graveyard Book in hardcover and a tagged video greeting from the Author. The specific details (content, length, delivery date, etc.) of the tagged video greetings are to be determined by the Sponsor and Author.
All prizes will be awarded, provided there are at least eleven (11) qualified entrants.
SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS
The Contest winners will be selected by the Sponsor and Author in their sole discretion based upon the following criteria:
(i) Overall creativity of the Party, as demonstrated by the invitations, signage, decorations, activities, entertainment, and refreshments.
(ii) Customer attendance and response (i.e., enthusiasm, costumes, participation).
(iii) Ability to capture and represent the spirit of The Graveyard Book.
I'm requesting a little...clarification, I guess, on the Graveyard Book Halloween party contest. We have a few local businesses who heard that we're planning on doing it and who would like to be involved (because it sounds fun). Would it be disqualifying if we allowed that? Are there any actual rules beyond "have a party; document it; send in the stuff; wait and see"?
I asked Elyse Marshall from HarperChildrens, who said,
Without knowing exactly how the local businesses would be involved (I'm guessing some kind of sponsorship or donations, i.e. bakery provides cupcakes, party store provides balloons) I think this sounds okay. However, the party must be held in-store. We included this in the rules to level the playing field a bit, so that those stores which might not be able to afford an off-site venue can still have a fair shot of winning.
If anyone has any questions they can email us directly at email@example.com.
I would really like your bell jar of bees to work, and so I'm worried that you might have made a small blunder by gluing the strips flat to the glass. Turlough's strips appear to be perpendicular to the glass.
I took the liberty of asking Turlough on the bee blog: http://turlough.blogspot.com/2007/07/will-they-or-wont-they.html
Here's the response:
"Yes, the strips should be perpendicular to the jar. They aer "glued" in place by gently heating the wax strips to make them tacky.
I'm not sure what will happen with flat strips."
Which is not to say that your flat strips won't work too. If they don't work, give perpendicular strips a shot.
Best of luck to you--and congratulations for a well-deserved Hugo nomination. I love your writing and your imagination; the world would be less enjoyable without both.
Actually, the day after I put them in, curious as to bee behaviour, I twisted about half of them so they were perpendicular to the glass, and left half of them flat against it. So we'll find out.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Posted by Neil Gaiman at 9:24 PM
Dear Neil -- Forgive me if you've addressed this already, I searched and didn't see an answer. Do you know if the Stephin Merrit's music from the Coraline musical will be recorded and made available sometime? I'd love to hear it!
Definitely. I'm not sure when, but I know they recorded it, on the stage of the Lortel theatre (as that was where the pianos were).
A recent NY Times Magazine article discussed the influence of the work of Jack Vance, and it included you as a contributor to a collection of stories based on his work "Dying Earth." I've been reading speculative fiction for decades and have made three separate attempts to read some of his writing without getting very far. Can you offer some insight into your thoughts about Vance's work--what facets of storytellign does he excel at? And where do you feel someone who wants to appreciate him should start?
I think the New York Times was astonishingly perceptive in its description of Jack Vance's writing, and why people like it (and why writers like it). Where to start? The Dying Earth stories hooked me. There's a short story called 'The Moon Moth' that's pretty much perfect. The three books that make up Lyonesse are big and delightful and have a lot for a reader to sink his or her teeth into.
I'm a huge fan, and have been for a while. Keep up the good work!
I do have a question, though, that I haven't found anywhere (yet...), and was wondering if you could enlighten me.
How do you know when your story is ready to be told?
I am currently in the editing process before publishing, and as the due date draws near, I find myself in somewhat of a panic, asking myself: What if there's eventually more to tell that I can't quite think of just yet? What if, somewhere down the line, something X in this novel doesn't make sense with something Y in a future novel? What if this novel really isn't ready? Do I write another one? Is there time for another one? What would Neil Gaiman do?
I thought you would be the best person to ask. If I'm overreacting and over-thinking for no apparent reason, too, let me know.
Thank you for your time.
I tend to know that a story is done when I find I'm more interested in the next thing.
But it will never be perfect. And...
Hang on. I've answered this before, haven't I? (Does a few second hunt, and finds longish replies at http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/03/spiders-all-way.asp and http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/01/zoinks-jinkies-jeepers.asp.) Yup. Read those over.
As a librarian I want to say thank you so much for your continuing support of libraries. You helped bring a lot of awareness to the lead testing issue earlier this year, as well as different censorship issues in libraries.
I'm writing to ask if you can help bring awareness to the fact that a month ago the Governor of Michigan signed an executive order abolishing the Department of Histories Arts and Libraries. This includes the Library of Michigan who provides electronic databases as well as the Michigan Electronic Library, without which many small local libraries around the state will barely be able to function.
this link has information about a protest of the decision being held at the capitol as well as links to the executive order that abolished the department.
Thank you for helping if you can
Consider it posted. And now I sleep.