Saturday, August 02, 2003

Mostly pondering about poetry and awards

There's a review of Swan Sister, the new Datlow/Windling collection of retold fairy tales, up at Greenman review. I've got a poem in the book called "Inventing Aladdin".

Which reminds me....

It seems to me that about half the people who read Smoke and Mirrors, my short stories-and-stuff collection, liked, or at least were willing to put up with, the story-poems I put in there, along with the more normal short stories. And half the people shrugged, or sighed, and flipped the pages until the next story started. We're probably a couple of years away from a new story collection (because Morrow want to publish a novel next, then another story collection) so I've a while to decide what goes into the next book (which has, readers of this journal, may remember, two titles, depending on my mood: either "These People Must Know Who We Are And Tell That We Were Here" -- it's a quote from a Little Nemo comic -- or the shorter "Fragile Things". Then again, it's two years away, so who knows. By the time it's published It'll probably be called "Cornflakes.").

Anyway, I've still not decided whether to put the story poems written since "Smoke and Mirrors" into the next collection. I may. Or I might keep it prose only, and do a separate poetry collection. Not sure. (One reason for putting the poems in is that people who would never, not in several million years if stranded somewhere with nothing else to read, pick up a poetry collection, might find their eyes straying across the page in a story collection, and find themselves reading something they enjoyed, but didn't think they would.)

Hill House Press, who are in the process of doing lovely leather-bound collectible cool definitive editions of my prose, suggested that instead of doing "Smoke and Mirrors" they might do "The Complete Short Stories of Neil Gaiman Volume I" and so on -- something I said no to, in the end because a) I'm not dead yet, b) I'm picky. There are a handful of early short stories that aren't collected because I don't think they're very good. If we did a "complete short stories" I'd be under obligation to put them in; and c) it's hard enough for collectors and readers already without sending them out to buy masses of alternate editions of books they already have...

Anyway. We'll see. They're doing American Gods first, so we've got a while.

(And yes, it'll be an alternate, rather longer, version of American Gods, with lots of bits cut for space reasons restored. And given the end of the paragraph before last I know I'm already contradicting myself -- but I sort of felt that if I was going to beam down at a leather-bound edition, I wanted it to be as close to the book I had in my head as possible.)


I've been asked if I can go to Toronto in August to sign WOLVES IN THE WALLS, especially because I didn't get to Canada at all for CORALINE.

Meanwhile, Coraline herself is up for a Hugo award for best Novella.

(Yes, Coraline is probably the front runner, judging by the straw poll over at SF Weekly -- But that doesn't mean it will win: "Australian Rules Voting" is what counts here, which at first look can be counterintuitive -- and if you have any questions, why don't you go and look here, where the whole thing is explained, using unauthorised Muppets.)

It would be nice to be there for it; and I'll even write a speech this time. I wonder if I can make the two things happen together...? A signing and turning up for the awards. It'll probably depend mostly on HarperCanada...


Neil, will you be reading the audio version of The Wolves in the Walls as you did for Coraline? That was fabulous reading and I'd love to get my hands on an audio version of wolves.


The plan is to do a CD with WOLVES IN THE WALLS and THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH, and probably CINNAMON on it. I should ring Carrie Kania and HarperAudio and find out when I'm recording it, and when she's releasing it. I hope that Stephin Merritt can do the music.


Not sure if I mentioned this before, but if you preorder the NEVERWHERE DVD from the A&E site, you get a rather cool Dave McKean poster (and get the DVD a month before everyone else).


Interesting article by Suzette Chan over at Sequential Tart, about the GLAAD awards. Normally when I link to an article because I think it's interesting, I'll assume that unless I say something like "And I agree with every word of it!" most of the people reading will not assume that Opinions Expressed In Links Are Automatically the Viewpoint of the Management.

On this one, it's probably worth my pointing out that, firstly, I've already got a GLAAD award for best comic (for DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE -- it was the only time I've ever seen a roomful of people applaud the correct pronunciation of my name), and that, secondly, all the reasons Suzette cites for Murder Mysteries to have got the award and Judd not to have got it swing the other way as well: part of the point of the angels is that, while I refer to them all as he, and Craig draws them all male, that's fundamentally irrelevant to sexuality -- it's about emotion and love and lust and death, and that, well, Green Lantern got Judd onto Larry King to talk about gay-bashing; while Murder Mysteries probably wouldn't have got P. Craig Russell (whose comic it was 100% -- he took my story and radio play, and turned it into pictures and made it sing) on to talk about angels and opera. So I can see why their judges went the way they did.

(I wanted to go to the GLAAD reception at Comic-Con -- and was looking forward to chatting to them about their new rule restricting their awards to the "Big Four" of Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image -- but wound up missing that, along with a dinner and a Dark Horse event, in favour of grabbing a couple of hours of desperately needed sleep before the CBLDF Reading on Saturday Night.)