Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A sky full of leaves

Let's see -- some of you have kindly written in to let me know that Grant Morrison and Alan Moore and I are now Lego. is the link. Fame at last.

Autumn has started out here: leaves are flurrying down, or quite frequently, across (and as I type this, many of the leaves are falling, slightly worryingly, up), it's chilly and sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy and always astoundingly blustery.

Yesterday we picked tomatoes and peppers and onions (we'd already harvested the garlic) and I started making salsa. After making several gallons of salsa, in different kinds and colours and hotnesses, it became apparent that I hadn't even made a small dent in the tomato crop. Ah well, this is the time of year that people in this part of the world start locking their cars, because if they don't someone will leave bags of vegetables on the front seat. I'll think of something.

(As an experiment this year we grew heirloom tomatoes from seeds, doing one of the "13 varieties for $12.99" things from Overall it worked -- the Green Zebras were amazing, and most of the others either looked or tasted impressive. On the other hand half of the "White Wonders" rotted, because we kept waiting for them to ripen, before we figured out that they were meant to look like that.)

"Mike also put me into a Star Trek novel, called HOW MUCH FOR JUST THE PLANET?" Speaking as somebody who adores that book... where are you in it?Thanks, Shmuel

I'm not hard to find; look for the anagram.

Hello again Neil. I just have a favor to ask of you. My old english teacher is a huge fan of yours. Could you call him at school and tell him that your good friend Jen thinks he looks like Sonic the Hedgehog? I don't think he will believe this unless he hears it from the Sandman himself. Thanks Neil. Call David Surlak at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks!Jen

No, Jen.

Hello Neil,I noticed you mentioning reading bits and pieces of Anansi Boys at various conventions and such...unfortunately going to school and living in NJ prevented me from going to any of these conventions (or to Fiddler's Green) So i would love it if i could see some of these bits and pieces or a preview of Anansi Boys up here (I can't wait to read it personally)

And, for the time being, that's a no too. (I'm happy to try out bits of Anansi in front of a real audience while I'm writing it, because I learn things about it and how it works as I read. I'm not really comfortable with putting any of it up for people to read until the whole thing is done, and I've decided it isn't all some kind of horrible mistake.)

Have you ever thought about the trace you're leaving on the internet for future scholoars of your work and how what is you will be determined by what you write on your blog, message boards or forums?

No, I haven't. Occasionally I've regretted that the old Genie RTs have vanished as far as I can tell without trace, because there was an awful lot of interesting stuff posted on there. But if future scholars of my work want to write monographs examining my manifold reasons for not phoning up Jen's old English teacher and telling him he looks like Sonic the Hedgehog, I suppose they're welcome to it.

hi neil. i just wanted to ask, how old is coraline cause her story about the girl called "apple" was well weird

She's the same age Alice was, in Through the Looking Glass.

Hi Neil, you did a great job as Hugo MC and congrats on the new Hugo! Do you have any insights into the way that Susannah Clarke's book is being promoted? Jim found it at Borders the other day, was intrigued by the premise (we're both major fans of British history) and bought it immediately. What puzzles us is that we saw no mention of the book at Worldcon. Given that the book was published in September 2004, and that the publisher is sending the author on months of world-wide book touring, it's surprising the book wasn't given some kind of launch at Worldcon.Laurie MannAwardWeb -

Probably because (a) it didn't occur to them -- Bloomsbury do very little SF or Fantasy, don't have editors who normally go to conventions, and they probably have no real idea, as a publisher, what Worldcon is, and (b) if I were Susanna and someone had suggested to me that I'd want to start a long and arduous signing and media tour with a six day WorldCon, I'd decline gracefully (and if they'd asked me, I would have advised against it). (They didn't.) At the end of Worldcon, most people go home to recover. She'd get no recovery time at all before heading out onto the road.

Yes, Bloomsbury probably should have promoted Strange and Norrell at Worldcon -- although as the latest Locus list shows, it's doing amazingly well, despite that oversight:

I love the image of the deconstructed Hugo on your site, by the way.

(Which reminds me, Anne Murphy, who was my minder at Worldcon, writes a very funny and accurate account of the backstageness of me preparing to MCing the Hugos at

I've updated WHERE'S NEIL. The only major thing it's missing is the Pittsburgh signing on October the 11th, the details of which I should have in the next day or so. (And a reminder for anyone in the Minneapolis Area, that there will be a reading and a signing this Saturday, the 18th of September, at DreamHaven Books. You can also order stuff for me to sign from them through This is the point in the year where I wind up drawing lots and lots of little holly leaves on things I sign that will one day be Xmas presents.)