Saturday, March 19, 2005

Author's Day

The name-the-cruise-ship CBLDF auction is over: it raised $3,533 for the CBLDF. I don't know who got it, or what the cruise ship is going to be named yet.

On Wednesday I go off for ten days to finish ANANSI BOYS: it's less worrying than it ought to be, mostly because I have a pretty good idea of the scenes that need to be written.

So far the feedback on ANANSI BOYS has been really positive, which has come as a relief. There seems to be pretty universal agreement on the things that don't really work too, most of which I think I already knew on some level but had sort of hoped to get away with (one place I didn't was a scene I wrote -- or thought I did -- from two different points of view in two different places, that I was quite proud of, and that left 100% of the beta readers convinced that I'd accidentally written the same scene twice, so that'll need to be fixed). Right now I'm looking forward to getting back to Fat Charlie and Spider and Daisy and Rosie and Rosie's terrifying mother and the Bird Woman and Grahame Coats and everyone.

Anansi Boys is being published on September the 20th, 2005, in the US (probably in the UK as well, although the UK signing tour won't be until mid-November); I was amused to discover from Amazon that the CD of the MirrorMask soundtrack (which contains the Iain Ballamy score, along with our version of Hal David and Burt Bacharach's "Close to You" and the "If I Apologise" song Dave and I wrote for the end credits) is also coming out on September the 20th, (here's the Amazon link). Dave's designed the CD, and it's lovely. Here's the cover:

Hi Mr. Gaiman,Was wondering if you had any hints on your upcoming Winter project for Marvel. Jason

The mysterious Marvel Project Two? Hints? Sure. It's based on something that was originally drawn by Jack Kirby.

And I think that's probably it for hints for now.


I happened to catch this in my local paper, apparently the guy who does the newspaper strip Funky Winkerbean is doing a storyline based on the big "Adult sells sells adult comics to another adult, and gets arrested" thing that's been happening far too often for... well, forever. Here's the link to the first one:

It really looks like he 'gets it' and I really hope that exposure like this will get more attention paid to just how insanely stupid such occurances are.

- Phil

It's an excellent storyline. If any of you wonder about the CBLDF -- what it does, and what the human cost of the kind of idiocy we're all fighting is -- than you should read this comic strip and the subsequent ones. (I had to twiddle my firewall stuff to allow me to read it on that site.) It's an excellent portrait of what it's like for small retailers who suddenly find themselves faced with the loss of their livelihood for selling things to adults that other people don't want to read, and don't want other people to read.

Aha! I see that in today's post, you revealed yourself to be a Futurama fan! (But were the brain slugs in that show from Neptune? I know that they were from the Brain Slug Planet, but not Neptune per se.) Because I'm an utter dork, I think it's really cool that one of my favorite authors is also into my favorite (but sadly defunct) tv show. But now I have to ask, who is your favorite Futurama character? It could be a main character or a tertiary character. (And you can't answer with "the Brain Slugs!")

Well, yes, I am a Futurama fan, but the brain slug reference was actually to the place Futurama stole it from, which was Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Puppet Masters (later made into a film. Read the book instead.)

(As for my favourite character in Futurama, you'll find that mentioned somewhere in the soon-to-be-more-easily-navigable archives of this journal. Oddly enough, I was discussing kitchenware.)


Lots of windows need closing. So...

Roger Avary talks about our Beowulf at Fangoria --

Beau Smith (the last Real Man in comics) has a new Busted Knuckles column out, where he says nice things about this journal, and much other interesting stuff besides.

A couple of years ago I bought a program that recorded streaming radio things to disk. The only problem was it made files of such enormous hugeness that I only bothered to use it once, and then abandoned it. Andy Ihnatko does a roundup of what's out there that does that now these days at the Sun Times:


This morning I got up early (landed late last night, in a blizzard) and drove Maddy about 40 miles to a Young Author event (she wrote a story for school that got her into it, and decided that she wanted me to take her, rather than her mother, mostly I think so that she could say "You'll enjoy it dad. There will be some real authors there, and you may even get to meet them," with a straight face. Little minx). I enjoyed it, and marvelled at the energy of the authors in question, selling themselves and what they do and the books they've written to an audience of several hundred kids, in a couple of shifts. It would, I suspect, scare me silly to do that in a way that talking to adults never could. (Plus, I could never sell my books to kids or to anyone with such guileless enthusiasm. I'd be like the Daniel Pinkwater character in his wonderful book Author's Day.)

(And I find myself remembering a conversation with David Gilmour, a dozen years ago, when even going out on the stage that the band were going to be performing on had given me a rush of stagefright, and I asked him if he ever got stagefright, playing in giant stadia. He said no, he didn't. Never. And then his wife, my friend Polly Sampson, reminded him just how terrified he had been the previous week when he had to go in to a nursery school, to play "Happy Birthday to You" on his guitar to a bunch of three-year-olds. At the time I thought "how odd" and now I find myself understanding that completely.)

Took Maddy to Sakura for lunch, and we played our usual variant of naughts and crosses (AKA tic tac toe) on the inside of the chopsticks wrapper, where we each have to draw something rather than doing Os and Xs. (In the past we've played such epic variants as bunnies vs monsters and fish vs body parts. Today it was mouths vs noses and boys vs girls.)


Now going downstairs to take an initial stab at dealing with the mail mountain. (Actually, today is the Fedex and courier package mountain. The Mail mountain is tomorrow.)