Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Catching up. No mention of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head.

Lots of people sending messages like this one: Where's 1602 #8? I can't find it anywhere. :/ Is it on a different release schedule since it's the last issue, or am I just not looking hard enough?

And the answer is, it's on a different release schedule -- it was always solicited for the last Wednesday in March. (Mostly because it's 13 pages longer than a normal issue, and we knew that Andy Kubert would need the extra time to finish drawing it.) The good news is, it will actually ship on time: I got the last of the coloured pages from Marvel's FTP site this morning, e-mailed the final lettering draft of the script to Todd Klein this afternoon, and should be proofreading it on Thursday. (I'd suggested that we ship them at 5 week intervals, and that way no-one would notice, but there were reasons it couldn't happen like that, although I forget what they were.)

Is the stuff you wrote for Tori Amos's Strange Little Girls available anywhere? It was up on for an unforgivably short period of time - by the time I knew it was there it was gone. I'd like to read it.

Sure. It's up -- with my permission -- at


I learned from Lucy Anne at The Dreaming that WOLVES IN THE WALLS is nominated for an ABA Booksense award for best children's book. (I can mention this with a clear conscience as the votes had to be in a week ago.)

Hey Neil

I noticed yesterday that along with Plato, Ghandi, and Douglas Adams, you've been included in my "quotes of the day e-mail".

Rock on, boy.

Also. Thank-you for being a writer. I'm glad that you decided to go that route.

-Laura who bears a slight resemblance to Laura Fraser, though she has a last name that isn't Fraser, but takes great pride in her Door connection anyway.

I'm glad I wound up a writer too. I would have been a crap brain surgeon.

According to an article at,12243,1164894,00.html Dr Stephen Unwin has used a 200-year-old formula to calculate the probability of the existence of an omnipotent being. Bayes' Theory is usually used to work out the likelihood of events, such as nuclear power failure, by balancing the various factors that could affect a situation.

He estimates that there is a 67% chance that God exists.

That's not what fascinates me about the article though. What I loved was learning at the end of the article that, while the William Hill betting agency will not take bets on the existence or non-existence of God...

Mr Sharp said William Hill does take bets on the Second Coming, which currently stand at 1,000/1. For this confirmation is needed from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

When asked about the Disney purchase of the Muppets from Hensons a few weeks ago, I mentioned that, if it meant that classic Muppet Show episodes would be out on DVD then I would be happy. "Actually," someone at Hensons told me, "They are available on DVD." I got home from holiday to find a box of 45 Muppet Shows waiting for me, so last night Maddy and Mike and I watched the Vincent Price episode and the John Cleese episode (the Price was okay, the Cleese was as good as I remembered).

Jerry Juhl once told me that the Muppet Shows contained extra material that we only saw in the UK, because a UK TV half hour was longer than a US TV half hour, and they tended to do UK material. The Cleese show has Miss Piggy and Kermit duetting on the English music hall number "Waiting at the Church", with a pregnant Miss Piggy adding, er, pathos.


Over at the always-fine Mumpsimus, I learned about Greg Beatty's "Aliens Enter the Conversation", and was delighted to find on reading it (at that it's every bit as good and as odd as I had hoped.

If I mention the Badmash Indian Simpsons parody at I can close that Firefox tab with a clear conscience.

Life became more uncertain when I learned that SOME BUTTONS do not work. Elevator door-closing buttons. Pedestrian-crossing WALK buttons. Some work. Some merely give you something to do while waiting for things that would happen anyway. My faith in the honesty of simple machines is shattered.

Not a question really... I just used my local library's new "e-book" option to download and read Coraline (then return it, even, through Adobe!). It's got to be the oddest way I've ever read a book like that, and I'm never, ever going to do it again at 10 at night when I need to go to sleep, especially with a book like Coraline (as it's now 2 am and there's NO WAY I'm going to try to sleep with that in my head). Anyway, thank you for the ... um... nightmares. It really is an excellent book, and I'll definitely be getting myself a real copy as soon as I'm able. In the unlikely event you're interested, I put up a little review on my blog (, though part of me wants to write a long essay comparing and contrasting themes in Coraline to the Wizard of Oz. Right, I'll shut up now. Thanks...

-Laura Gjovaag

I thought the line about 'instant gratification" in Laura's blog entry was right on the money. That does seem to be one of the main attractions of e-fiction: it's for when you want to read it now...

Welcome back Neil! Missed you terribly while you gone, but I am very happy to hear that you had a good time on your well-deserved holiday.
Anyway, less of a FAQ and more of information that I thought you should have: I watched "Pieces of April" tonight, which was a great little indie film, very simple and sweet. I kept getting really caught up by the amazing music that was playing in the background in several scenes, and I was pleasantly surprised at the end to find out the soundtrack was by Stephen Merritt, the 6ths & The Magnetic Fields! I know you've mentioned Stephen's many bands on your site before so I thought you would like a heads-up, in case you weren't already aware.

I was indeed aware -- interestingly the Pieces of April soundtrack has several Magnetic Fields songs on it that aren't on the movie, and aren't on any other Magnetic Fields CDs (including the upcoming masterpiece "i").


And as a final comment, I want to make it clear that spitting at book reviewers is not nice. It doesn't matter what they said about your book. It's not clever, it's not funny, and nobody's the slightest bit impressed... (Water pistols are sometimes okay, though.)