Sunday, September 12, 2004

"remember / the way we used to fall"

Maddy has a very odd relationship with the English TV show Jonathan Creek. She likes it, but tends to avoid it because, she says, it gives her nightmares. Last night she and I agreed that we should watch some TV, and she decided that I needed to put on a Jonathan Creek for her. But, she said, not a scary one. So I carefully hunted through the DVDs for the most innocuous one I could find ("Time Waits for Norman"). We watched it together. At the end of it, she was extremely unimpressed -- no murders, no evil disappearances, nothing weird at all. She told me it was the most boring episode of Jonathan Creek she'd ever seen, and could I please put on a better one? So I did. This one ("Danse Macabre") had murderous skeletons, a shooting, an excellent disappearance and a rather gruesome posthumous beheading. Maddy loved it, and informed me when it was done that I would now need to put on something extremely reassuring and funny, and by the way she'd be making up a bed in my bedroom because she wouldn't dream of sleeping in her own room that night.

I put on 'The Con Men" episode of Sergeant Bilko for her, and then made up a bed for her on the lovesac in the corner of the bedroom, and she was perfectly happy. And didn't have any nightmares, as far as I know.

It's fascinating how much at that age consists of testing your boundaries in fiction, in figuring out what you want and what you need from what you're watching and reading, and then going a hair further.


Very late last night, having told me quite definitely that she had decided not to, and that it was just a rough mix, and it wasn't anything I ought to hear yet, Claudia Gonson had a change of heart and sent the "Unresolving" song to my gmail account. I've promised I won't play it to anyone until there's a mix she's happy with, but it's deeply wonderful. Chris Ewen (of the Future Bible Heroes) decided to make an album by and called "The Hidden Variable", with lyrics by his favourite authors -- so far he's got me, Peter Straub, China Mieville, Daniel (Lemony Snicket) Handler, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Poppy Z. Brite, Charles de Lint, Gregory Maguire, Steven Brust and Martha Soukup. He says he wants the album to be "mysterious, slightly creepy and beautiful", and I think that describes the track Claudia sent me perfectly. I have no idea when it will all be done or when it will come out, but I promise I'll mention it here when I do.

Hi Neil

I just wondered if you'd spotted this: an update on that underground cinema in Paris.,11882,1302249,00.html
Personally, this has restored my faith in the world - it can't be so bad if weird and wonderful stuff like this happens!
Keep up all the wonderful work.
Cheryl Holland

Given my encounter with the nice catacomb-exploring people in Paris, I'm not at all surprised. (Someone asked me if I could give them the details of the book of catacomb photos I mentioned -- it's on a bookshelf somewhere, but a quick Google turned up which looks like the book.)

So Locus photographer Beth Gwinn has a blog, and on the Sept. 5 entry there is a pretty nice picture of you and your new Hugo that I bet your readers would love to see:

I'll take your word for it (and Cheryl Morgan's -- and it did my heart good to see the Emerald City team of Anne, Kevin and mostly Cheryl with their own Hugo in the photo on the site. It's an enormous improvement over last year, when they did all the posing-with-a-Hugo-shots with my Hugo, wrongly convinced it was the closest they would ever get to the real thing). For some reason all I get is a blank place where a photo should be.

Hi Neil!...this is in response to Amy who just wrote asking about Mr. Nancy and the hurricane. A well built wooden house will withstand a hurricane better than those cardboard (drywall?) homes most people have in the states. Here in Puerto Rico most homes are built of concrete, but wooden houses fare well if they are well built, especially the older ones that have already survived San Felipe, San Ciriaco, Hugo and Georges. I've seen wooden homes that have been around since the 20's. Around here we lose power and running water, windows are broken, the place becomes a mess, but most of the damage is flood damage and most of the losses are strictly Darwinian (say the man who decided he to go hang on grab the satellite dish he'd forgotten to take down, the tourist who went out to the beach to take pictures and so forth.) I have a feeling Mr. Nancy would do just fine.Elizabeth in Puerto Rico(who hopes she doesn't offend anyone with her distaste for stateside construction methods)

I love having this journal. I learn so much. I even got a poem, from one of the Mysterious Three At The End of the Line, pointing out how useful a hat with an umbrella on it is during a hurricane.

You're a pretty imaginative guy. What's your view on life?

I think, on the whole, it's infinitely better than the alternatives.

Neil,Sorry that each time I send you a question it is to complain about a french translation of your texts (first time it was about American Gods'), but I've bought Smoke and Mirrors in french yesterday, in order to use some of its shortstories with my class (I am a French teacher), and I can't find In the End in it, nor read anything about it in the translation of your introduction... I'm quite puzzled : was In the End's disappearance a choice when the book was translated, or is it a publisher's mistake ? Take care,-Anne- (Lille, France)

Sorry, Anne. There are three or four stories which crept into the English edition of Smoke and Mirrors, that aren't in any of the others, and "In the End" is one of them. It's the kind of thing I hated (and hate) as a reader. Probably the next short story collection will have the extra stories in everywhere but the UK.


NEIL OH NEIL, why can't you do a Live Journal LJ CUT? It's so much more polite. I know you have hundreds of LJ friends but still.

Because, like it or not, what you are reading on Live Journal is a feed from Blogger journal up at There are over 4000 Live Journal accounts signed up to the feed over at officialgaiman. (I didn't create the feed, cannot modify it or change it or control it, cannot even add a little picture of me to it should I feel the need. ) It mostly works, except when Blogger and Livejournal rub each other the wrong way (and something as simple as an accented e in China Mieville's last name can do it). But I can't do Livejournal cuts or anything clever like that, so if I witter on, or answer a lot of questions, it'll take up space. Sorry. The last time this came up someone wrote in to say that Livejournal allows you to make special friends groups, where you can just stick this journal, if it's cluttering up the place and getting in the way of finding out about people you actually know; but I can't find the message now, and can be no more helpful than that.

If you want to add officialgaiman to your friends list, or check the statistics or anything, the details are at