Tuesday, March 22, 2005

from the mailbag

Hi Neil, Are you absolutely, positively sure the Mirrormask book is coming out May 3? I have gotten info it was postponed to September, closer to the release date of the movie (and Anansi Boys). Just trying to get a straight answer, Your friend in the book trade, R.

As far as I know, it's still coming out May 3rd. The illustrated MirrorMask story book, and the Alchemy of MirrorMask art book both come out in September-Oct though. The Harper Collins online catalogue still has it as May 3rd. I'd not worry.

As a trademark lawyer and huge fan of yours, I love reading your first hand accounts of the McFarlane debacle. I thought I would let you, and your adoring blog-public know, that a continually active link to the opposed MIRACLEMAN trademark application can be found here:

(The TESS link had expired by the time I got to it.)


Thanks, Emily. (I wonder if Todd has any idea how quickly the stuff he says can now be debunked.)

Neil, Do you ever question the influence of your picture on the back cover of your books? I know Orson Scott Card once said something to the effect once that he doesn't have his picture on his books because he is well aware of his own attractiveness as a human being. Personally, I found that the traditional picture of you on the back of American Gods caused me to envision Shadow as looking exactly like the You in that picture, just as the slightly scruffier picture of you on the back of Neverwhere was how I envisioned Mr Mayhew. I know at least two other readers who shared these perceptions. Anyway, your opinions?

I always used to like knowing what authors looked like, perhaps because I've always liked thinking that real people made the books I loved: it made it even better, somehow, knowing that Mike Moorcock was huge and bearded, that Samuel R. Delany was black, that Will Eisner looked strangely like Commissioner Dolan, that Harlan Ellison looked like a feisty Jewish Puck in shades. (I don't think I ever thought that Zelazny heroes looked like Roger, except on the inside, just as I didn't think that Elric of Melnibone looked like Mike Moorcock.) I wanted to be an author, so I liked seeing photos of authors, because it made them real.

The biggest problem with author photos as far as I'm concerned, is the disappointment that sets in somewhere in the vast gulf between Cool Author Photo and Sadly Not As Impressive Author in Real Life, which is why I try and get new author photos taken every few years, so with luck people don't look at me and feel sadly disappointed at how much older or scruffier or less impressive I am than I was in the photo.

(I don't think there's going to be much chance of people confusing me with any of the characters in Anansi Boys, for reasons that'll become obvious when you read it.)


And my copy of New Scientist arrived this morning, with a great article in it about Thirteen Things That Do Not Make Sense. I checked and was pleased to see that, probably just for a week or so, they have the article up online at Some fascinating stuff in there.