Thursday, June 19, 2003

The Mysteries of Amazon. Nothing about Piccolos.

I pre-ordered endless nights from and today they sent me the following e-mail::::::

"We are sorry to report that the release of the following
item has been cancelled:

Neil Gaiman "Sandman: Endless Nights"

Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we've
since found that it will not be released after all. Please accept
our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience we have caused you.

We have cancelled this item from your order."

any comment?

Well, they've sensibly replaced the Endless Nights paperback they had erroneously listed as coming out in May 2003 with the Endless Nights hardback that will be coming out in October 2003 (which is the correct information). Seeing that the two books are the same price, and the error was theirs, I would have assumed they could do it without cancelling everyone's orders, but sometimes it's not that simple. Anyway, for those of you who had orderd it from Amazon and need to reorder it, is the corrected page. And if I'm posting an Amazon link I should be even-handed, so here's a booksense link (so you can order the book from your favourite independent book shop), and I'd put up a Barnes and Noble link, except it seems to have vanished entirely from the B&N database. I expect it will come back soon.

You can also check with your local comic shop (online or solid) and the odds are very good that DreamHaven Books's site at will have signed copies of Endless Nights, especially if you get your order in early. (On the other hand, you may well get your copy a week or so after everyone else, because they will have to wait in DreamHaven for me to come in and sign them.)

This is from Patrick Nielsen Hayden, whose Electrolite journal is one of the few places I try and check every day. Patrick is an editor at Tor Books ("One of the most literate and historically aware editors in science fiction" - The Washington Post) and a very fine guitar player (I have no quotes about his guitar playing). He noticed that the subject of writing workshops had come up here, and wanted to let everyone know that:

Viable Paradise is a small, intense, one-week workshop for aspiring SF and
fantasy writers that Teresa and I have been helping teach for several
years. Other instructors this year include Steven Gould, Laura Mixon, Jim
Macdonald, and Debra Doyle. It's held at the end of September/beginning
of October on Martha's Vineyard, a spectacularly beautiful island off
the shore of Massachusetts.

We have a few slots still open this year, so we've extended the
application deadline to July 1. More information can be found at the
worshop web page, at

(And any site with such wonders as the Girl Cooties Theory of Literature on it should be visited even if you don't want to do a writers workshop.)

(Always read the comments on Patrick and Teresa's journals -- they're often the best bits. Even Patrick posting my paragraph about Ken Macleod and politics the other day generated several entries on pie-throwing, followed by Ken Macleod himself coming in and saying some fascinating things about politics. And pubs.)

And having already got two queries this morning from friends and family about whether the e-mail they'd got apparently from Best Buy about a credit card fraud was actually a little spammy attempt at fraud itself -- it was -- I thought I'd post the snopes link so that you can find it quickly when someone asks you.


Spoke to Lisa Henson on the phone last night. "Is it Mirror Mask? or Mirror-Mask? or Mirrormask?" she wanted to know. It's been written every different way, in every place, including the film script and the pages of this journal. We chewed it over for a bit, checked Dave McKean's design for the logo (all one word, but with the third R reversed, which I'm not going to attempt here) and then decided that if people can capitalise all over the place these days, we'd both vote for MirrorMask.

and finally...

I read that thingy about authors being crazy/stupid for wanting to write, and it said that writing is no fun, like building a house, and I thought, well, I built a house and I thought it was very fun. Lots of hard work! Many times I hated it! But all the time, even when I hated it completely, I was having the time of my life. And I thought, maybe, for creative people, it's the same way. It's the hardest most aggravating boring exhausting thing, and it's so fun you never want to stop. Is it thus for you? I rather hope so.

Absolutely spot on. Writing American Gods was like that: even when I hated it completely I was having the time of my life.