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Friday, December 30, 2011

On New Year's Eve Where I Am.

How on earth did that happen? I promised a blog tomorrow, and that was over a week ago. I wrote an essay, and I wrote a short story, and I went to Sydney and did a reading with a string quartet, but I didn't blog. And now I'm sitting backstage at Revolt in Melbourne preparing for a New Year's Eve Party- Masquerade-thing and I missed my blog. So while there is wireless, there is hope, and I am writing this.

Many exciting and wonderful things have happened in the time that I have been not-blogging. For example, I was quoted by Tom Stoppard.

My story "A Case of Death and Honey" from A Study in Sherlock and the upcoming Jonathan Strahan edited anthology Best SF and Fantasy of the Year Volume 6 was written about on the Tor.com website in a way that made me happy. Short story writing is a lot like Don Marquis's description of poetry writing as flinging rose petals into the Grand Canyon and listening for the boom. Normally there is silence, so even a little response to a short story is a good thing for an author. You can read the Tor.com piece, by Niall Alexander, at http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/12/the-adventure-of-the-devils-foot-neil-gaiman-and-the-great-detective.

The first volume of Les Klinger's remarkable four volume Annotated Sandman comes out in a couple of weeks: reserve your copies from your local comic store or bookshop now.



Here's a great article about Allegra Rosenberg, who makes Time Lord Rock in Chicago. She's sixteen, although I said she was fifteen when I introduced her from the stage when I was doing the Not My Job quiz on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me".

And you can listen to the Wait Wait interview at http://www.npr.org/2011/12/24/144146842/author-neil-gaiman-plays-not-my-job. (You can read it there, too. But listen to it, don't read it.) I can't embed it.

However, the recent Symphony Space SELECTED SHORTS is embeddable, and I have embedded it. It has me reading "Troll Bridge" along with one of my favourite Jorge Luis Borges stories, "The Circular Ruins".




...

I was about to tell you about M. John Harrison's Viriconium sequence being available on Neil Gaiman Presents as a beautiful audiobook. I want to do a whole post about that in the next couple of days, though. So for now, go and investigate if you wish to get ahead: www.audible.com/pd?asin=B006L88VMY&source_code=NGAOR0002WS101911
...

I had a marvellous time with the FourPlay String Quartet in Sydney a few days ago. Flew home and went straight to the Melbourne City Library where Amanda and I read (me) and sang (her). We'd announced that we'd be there on Twitter just before my plane took off, and about four hundred people showed up.

Melbourne City Library is amazing. It has a piano, and librarians so nice and creative I wanted to take them on the road with me. We'd be Neil Gaiman and his posse of travelling librarians.


I love this photo of me, eyes closed, listening to Amanda play:

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Talking about good photographs...


It's from photographer  Rasmus Rasmussen's website at http://rasmusrasmussen.com/2011/12/29/webley-palmer-and-gaiman-aka-favorite-photo-of-2011/ 

He says,

Throughout any given year I shoot thousands of photos, so when I was recently asked which one was my personal favorite of 2011, I had a difficult time answering. However, when thinking about it over a couple of days, the one above kept jumping out at me.
On 11-11-11 I documented Jason Webley‘s concert at The Moore in Seattle. That was where I caught this moment in time. Webley is talking about the virtues of love, while Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer sit together behind him, listening. 
There is a love story there, and it starts with a look of genuine happiness on Jason Webley’s face, as he looks up into the light, sharing his joy with (and for) the audience. Amanda Palmer represents that audience to me, relaxed, attentive and having a good time, and Neil Gaiman ties the story together, looking down at his wife with complete adoration and a smile that says simply: “I Love You.” 
There is enough intimacy in this photo, that I felt a little like a peeping tom as I put it through post processing, like I was crashing a private party. I actually had to remind myself that it was taken at a public event. That is why this is my favorite photo of 2011. It makes me feel like giving my wife a kiss, putting on some good music and take pleasure in the little things in life.

...

And for New Year's Messages... I have to write one for tonight in Melbourne as soon as I finish this.

It has to be as good as the ones I've written for this blog, over the years. Normally I don't stop and think. I just write what I'd want in the coming year, and hope that other people would want that too.

Someone just turned one of them into a poster:

And here's a mash-up of a couple of them, delivered from the stage in Boston, two years ago today...




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