Monday, April 28, 2003

"Where d'you think you're going with that bonfire, son? We don't hold with book burnin' in these parts. New York is Book Country."


Not sure if you know about this, but Apple is announcing (finally) their
download-based music service. Jobs said that they're not just having music,
but spoken-word stuff as well.

Given that the artists are being paid for this, and that they've got some
sort of Digital Rights Management built in, do you think that the unabridged
reading of American Gods might be released this way?

Hope you're having fun in Europa,

You know, that's a really good idea. I've passed it on to the powers that be at Harper Collins. I love the idea of being able to download the American Gods Audio for the iPod -- spoken word audio is great on the iPod, and it doesn't need to take up a lot of room. Listened to several old Jack Benny shows (well, they can't exactly make any new ones, and these were 1947, which is on the late side for Benny) on the iPod on the way from Amsterdam to Lisbon. (I keep meaning to write something for this journal on why I like Jack Benny radio shows, but the things that people are screaming for come first, and it keeps getting put off.)

I was very excited to hear you were coming the to New York is Book Country thing (where, last year, I met Bret Easton Ellis). OK, so here's the problem, I just looked up the schedule and I found out the event is taking place on Saturday. Pain of Pain, agony of agonies! I am an Orthodox Jew, and therefore (as I think you know) cannot attend any event on the sabbath, now i'm not sure how many of your fans have this problem, but i can think of at least 3 others (my Girlfriend and two big friends, all Neil-Converts of mine) so i must ask (finally he gets to the point!) is there any other event you will be doing in NY that will not interfere with my religous observance and if the answer is no (here comes the impossible) is there a chance that the 4 of us could arrange a special meeting (maybe that Sat. night) with your esteemed Writenerness?
much thanks, tinged with sadness,
Menachem Luchins

Well, the good news is that I'm talking with Harper Collins about doing a signing for The Wolves in the Walls, possibly an event for Little Lit 3 as well (here's the website for Little Lit 2), in August of this year, so "NEW YORK IS BOOK COUNTRY" won't be my only New York event this year (details at -- which seems to be the first place where you can see the front cover of SANDMAN:ENDLESS NIGHTS, very small).

(Incidentally, tickets to the NYIBC event are $20 each, and are already on sale at their website, so if you want to be there you should probably order your ticket early.) (And I note with amusement that tickets to see me are $10 cheaper than tickets to see "To Be Determined" who will be speaking at 1:30. It's always humbling when an anonymous person who hasn't even been picked yet is more expensive to see than you are.)

The bad news for Menachem is we've been toying with having the Wolves signing on a Saturday, because the last New York Signing was a complete Barnes and Noble shambles and they sent about 400 very upset people away when they closed, and Saturday seemed like a really good day to do everyone so no-one has to be sent away. And everyone will be happy. (Except, of course, shabbes-observing Jews, who won't be there.) I'll talk to the Harper Collins people and see what we come up with. You almost definitely won't get a special meeting with just the four of you, because when I get to New York my time is spoken for by the minute, and even my friends get rumpled and grumpy because I didn't manage to spend any time with them either, but I'll look into the possibility of doing a Saturday-after-sunset event of some kind (or an event on another day entirely). You may be disappointed, you may not, but I can assure you that we'll certainly explore all alternatives before committing ourselves. (Argh. I've started sounding like a politician and talking about myself in the plural. The end is nigh.)