Thursday, December 16, 2004

in which you lot do all the work...

Dear Mr. Gaiman;

Since I know you are currently wrapped in the coils of the creative process,
I'll try to be brief. I thought you'd appreciate knowing that we are another
step closer to renaming the Bay Bridge to the Emperor Norton bridge (originally
mentioned in the 28 September 2004 entry of your journal

A fairly detailed story is in today's SF Chronicle:

The important detail is that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a
resolution, 8-2, with one abstention. The resolution now passes to the Mayor of
San Francisco, Gavin Newsom. If he approves it, it then passes to the Oakland
City Council (both ends of the bridge have to approve, after all), and then to
the California Legislature (state money pays for the bridge, after all).

Two other details of interest in this story:

- Like the late local columnist Herb Caen, His Majesty abhorred the linguistic
abomination "Frisco". (Mr. Caen, aka "Mr. Dot-Dot-Dot", was a local columnist
and coiner of the word "beatnik". I have no idea how well known he is outside of
the Bay Area).

- The cartoonist Phil Frank was doing a series of comics about local California
history, establishing another link between His Majesty the Emperor of America
and comics.

If anyone feels like burning some bandwidth, this link: brings up a RealPlayer video of
the television news story I saw this morning.

The discouraging thing is that the three people Kim Yonenaka asks either rather
dislike the idea, don't have any idea who Emperor Norton is, or both. Phil Frank
likely would note that it is not only students who know little of local history.

The encouraging thing is when the two reporters comment that the late Herb Caen
would have loved the idea. Invoking the aura of Herb Caen would be known as a
Good Move; he could be a very strong influence on local public opinion.

At the very end of the clip is a mention of a Radio DJ named "Emporer Norton".
As to whether His Majesty faked his own death in 1880, traveled abroad incognito
in the manner of Sherlock Holmes, then many years later returned to become a
radio to this could be true, I will conjecture another time.

Alas, this is not in the least brief. My apologies, but I hope it gives you a
mental moment away from your struggles with the Gods of Writing.

I look forward to the publication of your latest efforts.


Lars Eric Holm


Fingers crossed that it goes through. (For those of you who want to learn about Emperor Norton, my story about him, "Three Septembers and a January", is in the Sandman collection Fables and Reflections, and is pretty much all true. Except I've never been able to get DC to recolour Mark Twain's hair...)


Hello Mr. Gaiman,

A bit ago, I was reading Gabe Choinard's blog at and I just about cried. Remember Gabe? Didn't you have some cool conversations with him on his blog?

At any rate, Gabe is the founder of Fantastic Metropolis and the gone-but-not-forgotten S1ngularity, and is also the guru/mentor/agitator supreme of the Dead Cities messageboard. And I thought, you know what? If he's really in need of assistance, can't we do something about it?

A while back, Gabe posted on his board about selling Dead Cities merchandise through CafePress at , and I bought the supremely cool "Elitist Bastards Unite" tee shirt. And he just posted a rather asskickingly cool print at which I'm also buying. And since the stuff is so cool, I thought maybe you could put a shout out on your journal for him, so your readers can have the opportunity to help him out and get some cool merchandise as well.

I hate seeing people suffering at this time of year. Tis the Season, right?

I hope you find it in your heart to let people know about this. I had the opportunity to meet Gabe once, and he was a stellar guy with some absolutely gorgeous little girls.


Jon Ridley

Consider it posted. Gabe obviously needs a hand right now (mostly, I think he needs a job -- anyone in the Western-Wisconsin-Eastern-Minnesota area take note).

Hi Neil,

Dunno if you've seen this yet, but the girl who brought us the raddest Doc Marten's ever ( is in a bit of a bind. If you get this before X-mas, would you mind posting this link?

If nothing else, it would mean a potentially very weird holiday gift.


Omygaaaad. A Holy Weeping Miracle Teapot! Quickly people, go and spread the word to the faithful! Also rescue Snoopygirl from her financial bind. Or pay her lots of money to customise Doc Martens for you. Or something.

Meanwhile, a secret source has let me know that:

The full, unedited text of Le Guin's commentary on the "Legend of
Earthsea" miniseries broadcast this week on SciFi Channel is at the
Agony Column here:
If you've ever worked with Rick Kleffel or know of his hard work there
at the AC, say something nice about him. I sure hope he meant it when
he said he could take the bandwith hit.

I hope he can. Anyway, go and read it, and spread the word: It's an essay by Ursula called Earthsea In Clorox, which, as an author, it hurts to read. Of course, the books haven't been damaged: they're still between their covers, waiting for you, and you know that what's in the books is Ged's real story. But what the producers did to Earthsea reminds me of the versions of Good Omens the producers wanted (and which Terry and I said no to) where Adam was a bright, normal, AMERICAN kid living in Southern California, because, they were convinced, no-one watching the film would possibly understand anything else. Or the awful fists-flying Sandman script (which you can read about at ain't it cool news here).

You have probably already been questioned about this, but in my edition of Neverwhere there is an inconsistency. Early on in the book, Jessica calls Richard "Richard Oliver Mayhew", yet, near the end, when Richard gets his promotion the sign on his door says "R.B. Mayhew". Does the R.B. stand for something other than his name, what's going on with his middle name? Thanks for your time.

It sounds like the kind of typo that is mysteriously impossible to eradicate -- like the crediting of the "Midsummer Night's Dream" Sandman story to Charles Vess and Malcolm Jones in Dream Country, when Malcolm had nothing to do with it. We fix it, it stays fixed for a couple of printings, then it mysteriously unfixes itself once more. I know that that typo has been fixed in Neverwhere several times, in several editions. It's definitely R.O. Mayhew.