Tuesday, September 25, 2001


I’ll be doing an on-line chat tonight, Tuesday the 25th, at at 9.00pm US Eastern Time. So if there are questions I’ve not yet answered, you could certainly try asking them there.

Last night was first frost, and a pretty serious frost it was. Now I have to start harvesting the pumpkins (if I hadn’t been travelling back from Italy I might have covered the the plants in black plastic, and staved off the inevitable for a little).

Lots of questions waiting -- a few people want to know whether American Gods was inspired by Diana Wynne Jones’s novel “8 Days of Luke”. Not exactly, although they bear an odd relationship, like second cousins once removed or something. About six or seven years ago, I had an idea for a structure for a story, all about the gods and the days of the week. I chewed it and played with it and was terribly happy with it.. And then the penny dropped, and I realised, gloomily, that I’d managed, working back from first principles, to come up with a wonderful structure for a story -- but one that Diana had already used, in her brilliant “8 Days of Luke.” So I put it down as one of those places where our heads went to the same sort of place (it happened with the nursery rhyme How Many Miles To Babylon, and in several other times and places) and, with regret, I abandoned it. Or almost. I kept Mr Wednesday, and the day of his meeting, in the back of my head, and when I came to put American Gods together, he was there, ready and waiting.

The first review of CORALINE came in today, from The Bookseller (which is the UK Publisher’s Weekly). It finishes, “With absurd humour reminiscent of Lewis Carroll, and a sense of comic spookiness to rival Edward Gorey, this is a delicious literary treat with strong appeal for both boys and girls across a broad age range.” Which is very nice indeed.

I’ll try and get an updated list of appearances up ASAP, but in brief, to the end of the year, it’s

BOSTON (MIT) With Harlan Ellison, Peter David, Oct 6th
MAD MEDIA Convention in Madison, Wi, Harlan Ellison et al, Oct 26-28th
CHICAGO HUMANITIES FESTIVAL Nov 9-11 - check their website for details. I get to give a talk, interview Will Eisner, and be on a round table panel chaired by Michael Chabon. Buy your tickets early -- BUT if they're sold out and you're there, it's worth coming anyway and getting a ticket at the door: the festival sets aside tickets for students, who then too often don't use them. (My talk last year was sold out, but the room was only 3/4 full.)
EXOTICON New Orleans where I am going chiefly to confer, consort and otehrwise hobnob with the other G of H, Steve Brust, who I never see now he's moved to Las Vegas. Nov 16-19.