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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three Quarters of The Way Around the World...

I didn't expect to have time to blog until tomorrow, but I'm awake early.

So, let's see. I'm in the UK. Arrived friday night, saw my daughter Holly and my scary goddaughter Hayley, who now share a flat. Holly and I ate at Kikuchi in Hanway Street. She told me about the voluntary closing of The Hump, and suggested that Michael Sheen and I may have precipitated the raid.

Up early on Saturday and I took the train to Brighton, where I was a surprise guest at the World Horror Con. James Herbert was the Special Guest of Honour, and I was there to interview him in front of an audience. I'd first interviewed Jim back in 1984, when I was a young journalist. Seeing him and his wife Eileen, and meeting his family, made me really happy. Later in the day, Ingrid Pitt was not up to being interviewed for the full hour of her programme item, and so Kim Newman interviewed me for about 35 minutes. I signed for Stanza Press's Off The Coastal Path, which has my poem "My Last Landlady" in it

A few people complained that if they'd known I was going to be there they would have brought suitcases filled with my books, which I think might be very good reason for not telling people I was going to be there. I had a great time and actually met people I didn't know before the con, and caught up with old friends, neither of which normally happen at conventions. Hmm...

Yesterday was really fun. There's a project I started in 1996 that is now coming to fruition. We'll call it Mystery Project X for now. It's making me happy. And I'm getting to work with producer Hilary Bevan Jones, who produced "Statuesque", which also makes me happy, while possibly dragging Paul Cornell into my madness, ditto.

The hard part of yesterday was learning about the Moscow suicide bombers. Five days ago I was riding the Moscow tube, was at one of those stations, was discovering just how much I liked the Russians. A week ago it would have been another sad news item, now it was horribly personal: these were my friends.

(Here's a journal filled with photos of me and Russian readers: http://satu-san.livejournal.com/49214.html)

And my favourite me in Moscow photograph:





Today belongs, for the next 13 hours (beginning as soon as I get out of this hotel bed and go and have a cup of tea and walk up to to Soho) to the Graveyard Book movie.

Tomorrow morning belongs to Doctor Who, when I will see Mr Moffat and learn what I'll need to do to rewrite my episode from being a Season 5 to being a Season 6 one. Then I fly home, having gone, very literally, around the world.

After that, in a couple of weeks it's National Library Week, for which I am honorary Chairman, and a couple of events I'm doing to go along with it: Indianapolis on the 16th, where I will be delivering the McFadden Memorial Lecture (a free, first-come-first-seated event), Chicago for the CBLDF on the 17th (Prime Seats now gone, General seats still available,buy tickets now http://c2e2.com/en/Events/Neil-Gaiman), and a talk at Minnesota's Washington County Library on April the 18th...

(Here's a competition that my friend Laurie King is running as part of National Library Week. Go and take part: http://www.laurierking.com/events/twenty-weeks-of-buzz/fantasy-library-contest)

And then, the fourteen months of madness that started with Coraline's release at the same time as the Graveyard Book was awarded the Newbery Medal will be over with and done, and I will go back to being a quiet sort of writer who makes stuff up. And about time, too.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Another Post From The Eternal Transit Lounge of the Soul

I loved Moscow, except for the traffic. The people were wonderful, my publisher was bemused and delighted that hundreds of people showed up for every signing, talk and event. I want to come back.

I'm writing this in the Aeroflot First Class lounge. It has luxurious seats and fast wifi and absolutely bugger all else in the way of nice things for international passengers. This has cheered me up immensely: I'd asked to fly Aeroflot because I'd heard so many horror stories from people who had flown it, and always felt vaguely left out. And even though I am doing this leg on my publisher's dime and am thus doing international business class, which probably spoils the point of it, I thought I should definitely go Aeroflot.

I wrote about going to the Oscars in today's Guardian. It's up at http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/25/neil-gaiman-oscars-coraline
and the lovely photograph I mention at the end is at
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-oscar-red-carpet-mcadams-theron-pano,0,7005862.htmlstory although I was touched, amused, and just a tiny bit disappointed to see that I now am actually named in the caption of the LA Times photo. It was funnier when I wasn't.

It's 10:06 am and the men next to me are doing vodka shots.

I did more Vodka shots in the last three days than in the previous lifetime. Mostly because my Russian hosts were convinced that it was the cure for the flu-cold-thing I arrived with from Poland. I suspect that they would also have pitched Vodka as a cure for anything else I had arrived with, including broken limbs, heartbreak or psoriasis.

(Last night was Horseradish Vodka at a Russian Restaurant, which was guaranteed to clear my chest and sinuses. And it may well have done.)

For the record, the very best potato latkes I've ever had were in Poland.


There's a great blog (in Polish, but with many photos) by the beautiful, talented, intelligent and sweet people who translate this blog into Polish, of photos and background on my Polish trip with Amanda last week: http://neilgaiman-pl.blogspot.com/ with their entries at http://neilgaiman-pl.blogspot.com/2010/03/neil-i-amanda-w-polsce-dzien-drugi-neil.html,


I'm putting up the blog-translators photos here (one of me, one of me and them) to say thanks. This blog is intermittently translated into lots of different languages, always by volunteers, and I'm always grateful.






Let's see.... Michael Swanwick has received his advanced copy of STORIES. And they've just announced boarding.

I go. More later, when I come to land.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Quick One From Moscow

I was in Poland. First to see Amanda open a music festival in Wroclaw (which, by the time I left Poland, I had decided is pronounced something fairly closed to Vrotswaf) and then we went to Warsaw, where I did lots of interviews, and we filmed a segment for Polish Breakfast TV ("It is about people coming to Warsaw as romantic destination"*) and I did a signing while Amanda did a ninja gig in a nightclub basement.

My publishers kept me fed.

And then there was a half day that was meant to be sightseeing, but I spent it having a bad cold or something and sort of trying to sleep it off. In the morning Amanda flew home, and in the afternoon I flew to Moscow. I am writing this in my extremely fancy hotel.

Today there is a signing at 6 pm at BiblioGlobus (st. Myasnitskaya, 6 / 3, p.1), followed at 8 pm by a reception in a literary club bar Literary Club "Comma" (bar "Friday", ul. Pyatnitskaya, 3 / 4, building 1, entrance free) http://ast.ru/onews/2453/.

Tomorrow there are two signings: at 5 pm I am signing at Moscow House of Books on the Arbat (Novy Arbat, 8) http://ast.ru/onews/2453/ . Then at 7 pm (not currently listed in Where's Neil) I'm signing at DodoSpace (http://www.dodospace.ru/).

I'm not really sure how the word gets around on things in Moscow, so if you're reading this and you're in this part of the world, please tell people.

...

And you should go and look at CRAFTS FOR A CAUSE -- lots of cool musician/actor types making magical things to benefit Haiti. I was in a hotel in Hollywood without anything much to make art with, so Cat Mihos donated two tee shirts and two uncut four-panel postcards from Neverwear.net, and I made art all over them. You can see them (and me doing it) at this auction link.

....

* this just came in.

Dear Mr Gaiman,

"A Date in Warsaw" is now available at

http://www.tvp.pl/styl-zycia/magazyny-sniadaniowe/pytanie-na-sniadanie/wideo/neil-gaiman-w-polsce/

or direct link to the video stream, if you prefer not to watch it on Windows:

mms://
212.191.235.6/31UJqecc0WGnBnPlwCvQTvR77DqNYJuQRFutG9UpWT%2bZLrP%2b1ArT9eopMrOmNw6vWLApXRiHNuk8LEN40KjGlk9xyESb24t5epiy3yG18CnWXAa6QUyZ61h%2fC954NePWgjXETiM0oCqlBraDUb98lQFFlUBuDCGwq6OUBSb7cayF4%3d/1.wmv

I get some strange demon-like voice interjection in the middle. Hope it's due to my slow Internet connection and not an actual evil spirit trying to spoil your stay in Warsaw.

Best regards,
Marcin

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hugged to death

Aching, tired and really happy: leaving Manila after two days, having signed books for hundreds of people (and, the way of this place, having not signed books for thousands of people). I was there for the third Philippine Graphic/Fiction award. I started the award back in 2005, with Jaime Daez from Fully Booked (they do all the hard work and heavy lifting. I just put up the prize money). I'm just thrilled to see the quality of SF/horror/fantastic fiction coming out of the Philippines.

Two boxes of gifts are being sent home. In my luggage, just one box of chocnut, a package of dried mangoes, a book and a bottle of local rum (because posting alcohol is sometimes problematic).

Now in an airport lounge. I fly to Amsterdam, where I change planes and go to Warsaw. Tomorrow (Saturday) I accompany Amanda to Wroclaw, where she's playing a festival. Then she comes with me to Warsaw, where I'm doing interviews and a signing.

It's at Empik Junior Marszalkowska Str, where I do a Q&A at 5 pm and a signing at 6 on Monday the 22nd.

And from Poland I go to Moscow, where I talk and sign on the 24th and 25th. (Details over at Where's Neil - http://www.neilgaiman.com/where/.) Come and say hello, and spread the word on Russian blogs and LJs - I've never been to Russia before and have no idea what to expect, or if anyone will turn up or not...

Before I fly away I want to say thank you to the people here in Manila. I've never felt so loved. And never been so hugged. Thank you all, so much. (Lots of coverage of the Award and photos of the Award Ceremony at http://azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com/search/label/neil gaiman in manila 2010)

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fully Booked - Me In Manila - More Information - Free!

Just to remind everyone (because the Fully Booked website at http://www.fullybookedonline.com/revelations is a little unclear) tonight's Prize Giving event at the Rockwell Tent at 7 pm is Free. Fully Booked is also giving away tonight the 100 tickets for tonight's signing. They will be raffled off to everyone who turns up, using a computer randomizer to pick people.

Tomorrow's signing event is at 4 pm at North Court, Power Plant Mall. It's for about 500 people. That's the one that you had to buy 2K of books to get your books signed.

Tonight at Rockwell, Fully Booked will also be giving away 50 free signing passes for the signing tomorrow. These are again going to be drawn at random by the magic of computer.

As a last thing, I was handed late last night the two books of award winners in comics and in prose from the Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards that Fully Booked and I have been sponsoring for the last 5 years. They are really solid, good-looking books I'm proud to have been a part of helping to bring into existence. They'll be on sale tonight -- but only after the award winners are announced (because the winners are in there and we don't want to give it away).

I'll pre-sign a bunch of them today that Fully Booked will have on sale tonight.

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From the Eternal Transit Lounge Of My Soul etc

In Changi Airport, changing planes. Tomorrow and Wednesday are my events in Manila (hurrah!). Then Poland and seeing Amanda again (I miss her already).

Just nipping on to mention a little more information that came in on MOSCOW events.

Greetings from Russia, Neil,

You've asked in your post from 14/03 to tell you about the details of your Russian signings. Now that I've come across your post, I feel it my duty to inform you that at 6 p.m. on March, 24th you have a signing at Biblio-Globus Bookstore (http://www.biblio-globus.ru/history.aspx?controlId=5&recordNo=3919). And before that - yet another one at a literary Cafe (I suppose, it's going to be more of an informal interview) at the Pyatnitsa (Friday) Bar - 8 p.m., March, 23rd. (NOTE: According to the publisher's website, this event is on the 24th, not the 23rd. -- web goblin)

Excuse me my English - I could've written everything in Russian, and it would certainly sound better, but I fear, you would've not been able to understand a word of it.

Anyway, hope this info will come in handy.

And - your Russian readers will be waiting for you (it's in no way a threat, just expressing my joy)


Someone wrote to say

Dude... has no one ever handed you a list of exactly what's planned for your own tour dates and whatnot? Kind of wierd to go on your blog and ask people for information you of all people ought to have. Not being snarky, just very confused.


And the answer is, normally, yes, I get that information. I post it here when I do.

And the Russians have been amazingly helpful about getting me Visa information, hotel and travel details, all that, when we needed it. But they hadn't sent actual signing and event information, although we'd asked. I don't think asking the world was weird. It worked, after all - the information came in from the world before it came in from the publishers. (Who might not even know that there are Russian readers reading this blog.)

oops. I have a plane to catch. I land at 11:10 in Manila. Then, I sleep.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not a proper blog

Not a proper blog -- just a wave. The NZ arts festival was great, everyone was so nice (I saw Guillermo Del Toro and I was shown around the amazingness of WETA and they gave me a Dalek! -- it's this one -- and I spent time with Audrey Niffenegger and with Margo Lanagan and Margo's partner Stephen and did a talk with Margo during a tornado and read a new poem at the Town Hall and signed and signed and signed and signed) and now I'm taking a day off now with Amanda: Hera is looking after us. Tomorrow I head off to Manila for two days, while she plays gigs in Christchurch and Auckland and flies to Melbourne to do a TV thing. Then we meet on Friday at midnight in Poland, spend a couple of days together there while she plays a festival in Wroclaw and I sign in Warsaw, and then she flies to the US to begin Evelyn Evelyn rehearsals and I fly to Moscow. (Still waiting on the details of the Moscow signings or events. If you know them, send them in to the FAQ line.)

(Edit to add: Aha! Moscow information creeping out. http://www.mdk-arbat.ru/anons/1209 says I'm doing an event at 5 pm on March 25th in the House of Books on Novy Arbat. Translation here.)

Right now getting together with Amanda feels less like spending time together and more like two planes matching speed for a little while. But today is a real day off. She's asleep and I'm meant to be typing introductions, and when she wakes up I'll make her some food and we'll walk on the beach.

(When she's finished with the European leg of the Evelyn Evelyn tour, in mid-May, she has about a week off. I'll be in the UK writing. If anyone has any suggestions for places we could go to take a week together, anywhere in Europe (or even North Africa I suppose) that would be quiet and warm, where she could do some yoga, I would love to hear them. Neither of us have ever really done holidays before, and we're very aware that we don't even know where to start looking.)

Right. Back to introductions.

Also, do not ever ask me to write introductions. This morning's email brought three You Said You Would Maybe Introduce This A Long Time Ago emails. The last four things I wrote were introductions. The next four things I will write will be introductions. Whatever happened to making things up?

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Zoom. Mysteries solved.

In a hotel lobby waiting for a car to pick me up and take me to a brief meeting and then on to the airport to fly to New Zealand where I will see my fiancee whom I miss, and Margo Lanagan and Audrey Niffenegger both of whom I will be amazingly happy to see.

Saturday Morning Radio in New Zealand is me and the Archbishop of York and Amanda Palmer and Zandra Rhodes. Spot the odd one out.

The Hump Michael Sheen Dinner Raid Mystery solved: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/us/09sushi.html. No, we were not served or offered whale.

My red carpet official Oscar wearing Kambriel jacket and waistcoat shot: http://oscar.go.com/red-carpet/82nd-red-carpet/4294/4696

Anne Thompson waved a flip-camera at me on the Oscar red carpet: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2010/03/08/oscar_red_carpet_video_weinstein_villaraigosa_gaiman_banderas/

The LA Times took a panoramic photo which includes me on the Red Carpet staring intently at Rachel McAdams' dress. Which my red-carpet handler had just trodden on, and which I had only just avoided treading on. Was I enraptured by the beauty or wondering if we had left footprints? http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-oscar-red-carpet-mcadams-theron-pano,0,7005862.htmlstory You be the judge....

Jesus has appeared in the Marmite. The End times are nigh. Although some people are seeing Alan Moore, Lemmy From Motorhead, Frank Zappa or Predator. In which case End Times Are Probably Not Nigh. You be the judge: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/8071865.stm

Okay. Car here. Zoom now. Maybe more from the airport...

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

From a very nice hotel room in Hollywood, with love and melancholy

A strange day. In 90 minutes the car will come to take me to the Oscars, in 30 minutes I'll get changed into Kambriel's lovely clothes. It'll be a long day. I don't think Coraline has a hope of getting an Oscar -- not in a year when UP is nominated for Best Picture. But it truly is an honour to be nominated. And it allows me to bask in Henry Selick's achievement.

I missed the CBS SUNDAY MORNING piece this morning, but got lots of emails from people who liked it (many of which said that they'd got more from it than they did from the much longer New Yorker article). Thank to to Serena and to all the CBS team.

I've had a wonderful time here in Hollywood. Last night was a marvellous Focus Films party for their Oscar nominees, A SERIOUS MAN and CORALINE, which meant that I got to make Maddy happy by sending her a photo of her father and Simon Helberg (Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory).


(The Maddy photo.)


Afterwards I got to introduce Henry Selick and Robin Williams (which made both of them happy). (Robin's daughter Zelda rescued me from feeling out of it at a party the other night, showed me her ankh tattoo and told me that when she signed up with CAA her first request was to read the DEATH The High Cost of Living film script, as a fan. She is a treasure.)

A few hours ago Amanda played a sold-out Sydney Opera House show (which included, she tells me, a cover of John Cage's 4′33″). Really proud of her.

So this ought to be a big, happy bouncy sort of day, and it's really not: in addition to being Oscar Day, March 7th is the first anniversary of my father's (unexpected, heart attack) death, and I'm feeling really melancholy. There are days that you just want to walk the dog in the woods, write a bit, and be with your loved ones, and this, it seems, is really one of those days, and I should have been smart enough to figure that out, and I wasn't.

I'm sure I'll cheer up when I put on the posh clobber and get out onto the red carpet. (No, you probably won't see any photos of me. Yes, if Amanda was standing next to me wearing a remarkable dress you probably would see pictures of me. Yes, I would probably be listed as Amanda Palmer and guest again. No, I wouldn't mind a bit.) I don't think I will go to any of the posh parties tonight after the Governor's Ball. I may go and hang with John Hodgman, who is a good person and makes me happy, or I may just go and have a relatively early night. Or I may surprise myself and bop till I drop somewhere. (Bet I don't.)

Right. Clothes on. Wish me luck.

Here's a link to Al Davidson's illustrated dream-journal: http://id-iomatics.blogspot.com. I would have posted it even without the picture he did of me. And Amanda. And cats.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Breaking news. Also, nobody move, this is a raid.

Breaking News: The CBS SUNDAY MORNING profile of me will definitely broadcast tomorrow, the 7th. The show with my segment in it starts at 9 eastern, 8 central, 7 mountain, 6 am Pacific.

Unless, of course, there is a natural disaster, a shooting, or something else of a news-altering nature.

...

I'm in Hollywood for the Oscars, to help Henry Selick celebrate Coraline, nominated for best animated picture. We will not win, which makes it somehow enormously less stressful. I'm not wondering if we'll win, or even hoping. I'm just here to enjoy the ride.

Last night I had the best dinner ever, with actor Michael Sheen. We ate at my favourite sushi restaurant in LA, The Hump at Santa Monica Airport, had an amazing meal, talked about life and art, and just as we were finishing up, the restaurant filled with uniformed officers. I assumed for a moment it was an immigration raid of some kind, but before they closed the restaurant, they identified themselves as US Fish and Wildlife officers who were going to close the restaurant to search it (for, I guess, illegal fish). It had already been a surreal evening, and that just sort of made it perfectly surreal, although it left me worried for the staff - I'll try to keep an eye on the news to see what it was about, and what happens next, and whether we were eating endangered sea-things.

...

On Monday, tickets for the Evening With Neil Gaiman I'm doing for the CBLDF in Chicago on April the 17th go on sale. (With, I hope, a special keyboard playing lady Musical Guest as an opening act. No, not Amanda Palmer, who will be touring with Jason Webley then, as themselves and as Evelyn Evelyn. No, not Tori. You'll see.)

The details are at http://www.mediumatlarge.net/2010/03/cbldf-saturday-night-at-c2e2-evening.html. This is the first of these I've done since The Last Angel Tour, ten years ago.

(If it works well and I enjoy it, I'll look at doing another actual tour in 2011.)

...

Okay. Out the door. More later.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Goldberg Robinson Continuum

This makes me ridiculously happy. If you're on the internet, you've probably seen it already. If you haven't, take three minutes and 53 seconds out of your life and click on it.



...

PS: And this is what I'm going to be wearing to the Oscars. Well, not just this, obviously. http://kambriel.livejournal.com/258458.html

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Strange Days

I was going to write a blog entry about Saints Oran and Columba. I've been reading lots of old, out-of-print books by Otta F. Swire about the legends of the Hebrides for no particular reason, other than I like her voice as an author and I like the stories she tells, and the tale of Oran and Columba got into my head. But then I was walking the dog last night and the rhythm of footsteps turned into

"When Saint Columba landed on the island of Iona..."

And I spent much of the rest of the night and this morning, when not proofreading STORIES (a collection of stories by the most amazing people, edited by me and by Al Sarrantonio, due out in June) writing a poem about Oran and Columba instead. Which nobody was waiting for. Instead of all the things they were and are waiting for.

But I felt as happy when I'd reached the end of the poem that nobody was waiting for as when I've finished something that everyone is checking their watches (or calendar) for. Small happy writer moments.

...

I don't have complete details yet on my travels in March. A lot of it's already up on Where's Neil

This one isn't, though:

http://www.nzfestival.nzpost.co.nz/writers-and-readers/once-upon-a-time
which is me and Margo Lanagan in conversation in Wellington on March 12th

I'll go from New Zealand to the Philippines:

Which reminds me.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,

I was most pleasantly surprised to find out that you're coming to the Philippines again.

As soon as I saw the poster announcing your visit, I immediately took the first opportunity to visit the nearest Fully Booked store. That 'visit' ended up just pissing me off, my apologies for the language.

See, I was informed by a salesman in Fully Booked that in order to get the opportunity to have my (a) book/s signed (I've collected your books over the years, but unfortunately, a number were destroyed by Ondoy, the storm that drowned Manila last year. Still, I consider us blessed that we're still alive.), I should purchase at least P2,000 worth of your books. I promptly retorted (poor guy, I didn't mean to be so blunt), "That sucks." To which he replied, "{gibberish, my mind was still reeling}... You can buy MORE thank P2,000, Ma'am." RIGHT. I'm a part-time instructor and a graduate student. That gives me a lot of leeway to spend for what I WANT.

This was last week, and honestly, I'm still pissed off by said requirement. However, I do understand it's a business. There are always expenses and what not such business/marketing considerations. I'm just about ready to resign myself to a 'next time.' The assumption is: I'd have a better-paying job next time, and I'm already done (or almost done) with graduate work. ;p

Still, I AM THANKFUL you come here. You're quite a popular author among Filipino readers (especially young Filipino readers {though I'm already 25, hehe}), and when you come here, inevitably, it promotes not only speculative fiction, or reading of such speculative fiction, but reading in general (which is a MIGHTY GOOD THING). I'm a big believer in reading, that's why I chose Reading Education as my major in graduate studies.

Last but not least, I AM VERY GRATEFUL that you come here because it makes us wee Filipino readers feel important. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that you'd actually come here. And yet you've already come here twice/thrice before! It's a wonderful feeling for us wee readers to be actively considered by an author of your calibre. So...long story short: For writing, for publishing your writing, for sharing your thoughts, and yourself...

THANK YOU.


Bem


I was a bit puzzled by this, as I'd heard originally that the signing spots were going to be raffled. (Last time we did an event in that tent I signed from 4 in the afternoon until past 1 in the morning, and that left about 2000 people with stuff still unsigned, so there was going to have to be a way of not signing for everyone and limiting the numbers.)

I checked with Jaime Diaz, from Fully Booked, who said,

I discussed the logistics behind the book signing with my management team and looked at all possible options, to see what was the best way to go about this. As you will only be signing for one session (in which we allocated 500 book signing passes as a limit), we felt that the best way to manage this is by giving a book signing pass for a minimum purchase worth of your books. At least this way, anyone who buys your books is guaranteed a book signing pass. Ideally, the best way to go about it would be to let anyone line up for free, but we all know that there would be literally thousands who'd get in line if we do it this way, and more people would be frustrated in the end if we go this route, as many would not get their books signed. On the awards night on March 17 in the Rockwell Tent, Fully Booked will be raffling off 100 signing passes among those who attend, and entrance to the event is free.


Which is his call. It's his event.

I'm going from the Philippines to Poland, where I will be doing a signing

On Monday March 22nd
17-17.40 Warsaw, Q&A sesion Empik Junior Marszalkowska Str.
18.00 Signing books, Empik Junior Marszalkowska Str


And I'll be going from there to Moscow. Assuming that I successfully get my Russian visa, anyway. It's my first ever trip to Russia, and I will be signing somewhere in Moscow on the 24th or 25th -- and as soon as I get details I will report them here.

And the details on this will be released as soon as we have them, but for now, if you are in the Chicago Area on April 17th, there will be an Evening With Neil Gaiman, the first since I did the Last Angel Tour a decade ago for the CBLDF.

Dear Mr. Gaiman.

Just wanted to write to say, I received my copy of the
Neverwhere Limited Edition today. Harper Collins did a beautiful job on the book. Wanted to thank you and
Harper Collins for finally making this edition a reality.
It will sit proudly with my other Gaiman penned limited editions.
Thanks again.
Sean


Hi, Neil. I just wanted to praise your editor. Jennifer Brehl went above and beyond the call of duty when I contacted her to make sure that I was getting my copy of the Neverwhere Limited Edition. My address had changed since I had initially ordered it through Hill House (I sent an email with the new address to Harper Collins a year ago, but my spider sense told me that it might not have made it into the proper database. Sure enough, it hadn't). Jennifer got in touch with me quickly after I called yesterday and is making sure that the book reaches me safe and sound. You surround yourself with absolutely terrific people, sir.

PS: I can't wait to read Neverwhere again!


I'm SO pleased. Jennifer Brehl, my editor at Harper Collins, did miracles to make the books happen and to make the people happy who had ordered the book over the years from the late Hill House Publishers. I don't know that she's managed to make everyone happy, but she did the impossible many times over.

Neil,
I don't know if you are aware of Wil Wheaton--although I highly suspect that you are--or the television program The Big Bang Theory. Either way, I ran across a post on Wil's blog (please find it below) that prominently features a paperback volume of The Sandman. It made me smile and I hope it brought you a smile as well.

Josh

http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2010/02/the-cooperhofstadter-coffee-table-proof.html


I saw. Maddy and I love The Big Bang Theory, and I'd already spotted Sandman paperbacks (and copies of the Absolute Sandman in Leonard's bedroom, which means that Johnny Galecki has been playing Sandman-reading characters since, I think, 1992. Which, if I could think of any actors who have played Sandman readers, would be some kind of record).

I was looking at bakerella (another favorite website) and she made Coraline cookies! They are very cute. I don't have the patience to make them, but she does.

http://www.bakerella.com/coraline-cookies/


They look wonderful.

Hello.

As a follower of yours on twitter I got to wondering the other day if you find that Twitter and all the other pointless internet distractions make you less productive as a writer. Do you think that back in the 80's and early 90's before the internet was even heard of you were more productive? Or does having the internet make you more productive, with the ease of research and stuff like that?

Just curious,
Ryan Long


I'm not sure. It's harder to get the time to do anything, but that has less to do with things like Twitter (which tends mostly to occur in the interstices between things) and more to do with, for example, the amount of email I get. I used to be able to reply to a day's email in 45 minutes in the morning, then blog for 45 minutes, and then start my day. Now I can get up, start doing email, and look around and find half a day has been eaten and I'm still not at the end. I miss the days when friends would send me novels to read and I would settle down and read them. Now they arrive as email attachments and I get a hunted look and mean well, and fail.

I want to translate/adapt your Neverwhere into Russian, transplanting it to the world of Moscow metro. I tried to contact both your agent and your assistant, but had no answer yet. What are the rules for an adaptation in a foreign language? Can I go ahead?
Thank you in advance.
Cheers.


I'm afraid that Neverwhere is already published in Russia, and people have already bought the rights to translate it and to publish it. http://www.neilgaiman.com/works/Books/Neverwhere/ed/313/ is the latest Russian edition.

Seeing that it looks like you want to do something creative, perhaps you should write an original book, and set it in Moscow, instead. Yes?

Hi,

I kind of stumbled upon your blog the other day and notied the pictures of your dog.
I'm always kind of touched by seeing such pictures because he looks al ot like mine.
Although I was pretty much annoyed by the fact that you called him a white 'german' shepherd. Your dog is actually a swiss white shepherd.
besides the fact that they are white, they are also build differently (compare hind legs/stance).
Futhermore I have to admit that I'm not really a 'fan' but that's just because I haven't read a book for the sole purpose of entertainment for about 20 years.
Do respect your craftmanship though, the fact that a certain 'Kate' puts a special interest in you is meaningful to me, so eh keep up the good work!

Regards,

Ydo


Um, right. (Casual readers: Skip the following dog breed neepery if there is any possibility you won't be interested. Trust me.)


According to everything I've read (which was on-line, and thus needs to be taken with a pinch of salt) the Swiss White Shepherd/ Berger Blanc (a breed named in 1992) is fundamentally the same as the American White Shepherd, White Alsatian, the White German Shepherd, Weisse Schäferhund and any other variants on German Shepherd Dogs that carry the gene for white coats.

Originally, some German Shepherds were white. It's a gene. It's in the bloodline. And then, per the Wikipedia entry:

White coats were made a disqualification in the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany breed standard in 1933 after the breed club came under the control of the German Nazi party that took over all aspects of German society in February 1933 when Hitler declared a state of emergency. The German breed standard remained unchanged as German breeders repopulated the breed in the years after the conclusion of WWII.

It's not exactly graceful prose, but the facts are right. (Another article here.) And the German rules the Nazis put in gradually spread around the world, disqualifying white German Shepherds as being proper German Shepherds, which meant that they had to be something, and in 1992, the Swiss declared them a breed. Here's the official Berger Blanc Suisse history and standards: http://www.berger-blanc-international.com/english/standard347.htm And as we learn from http://www.wgsdca.org/thebreed/wgsdvsws.asp, you can elect in some dog shows to show your dog as a white shepherd or a white german shepherd. (I think. I've never done dog shows.)

Given that all that I can find out about Cabal's ancestry (not a lot) has him being an American White German Shepherd Dog from a long line of white German Shepherd dogs, none of which were bought in from Switzerland or from Berger Blanc breeders after 1992, I can't see how he could make claims to be a "Swiss" White Shepherd.

Personally, I think it very odd, defining a breed by coat colour anyway. It's as if someone decided that brown poodles weren't the same kind of dog as black poodles, but were actually Brown Poodles.

And with that, a plug for http://www.echodogs.org/dogs.htm which helps find homes for White (Something) Shepherd Dogs and http://www.petfinder.com which finds homes for pets and lets you know what kind of pets need adopting near you. And a suggestion that if any of you reading this are in need of a pet, you check with your local animal shelter first. There might be something living very close to you that needs a home.

Mr Neil?

If you did find you had to stop writing your blog for some unknown and terrible reason, could you publish it from the beginning as a paperback, so I could use it for bedtime reading?

I know the links and stuff would be no good but I've been meaning to read it right from the beginning and just don't get time to read it on the computer.

Just a thought.

Lots of love
Maggie (MotleyHippie)
x


Of course. Although it's worth pointing out that the first 50,000 words of the blog -- the American Gods blog -- is available in paperback in Adventures in the Dream Trade, along with a clutch of introductions and such: http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/Gaiman.html

...

And finally, the really rather beautiful mainland Chinese cover to their forthcoming edition of The Graveyard Book.


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