Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"My heart was under lock and key, But somehow it got unhitched"

If you've ever thought to yourself "I would love to help the CBLDF by volunteering, or just go and say hello and tell them they're doing good work or something but I live in New York City -- why oh why are the Gods so cruel as to make me want to trek all the way to Northhampton Ma. in order to meet Charles Brownstein and see the CBLDF offices in all their glory?" then you will be enormously relieved to know that the Gods have listened to you, and have magically moved the offices of the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund to New York, just so that you can get involved.

The fund's new offices will be just around the corner from the New York Public Library, at 271 Madison Avenue. is the news story.


I've ordered a replacement black and white Samantha for Maddy from

In addition:

Hi Neil, In regards to Maddy's love of Bewitched: I'm afraid I don't know of any Samantha maquettes for sale. However, I live in Salem, MA, where they are currently constructing a 9-foot statue of Elizabeth Montgomery in full Bewitched garb in the center of the downtown area. Next time you're in New England, you might consider taking her to see it. In fact, they'll probably start selling all kinds of Bewitched memorabilia to go with it. I'll let you know. I also feel it necessary to mention that I was terribly depressed about this, seeing as how Salem's tourist trade is quite tacky enough without oblique witchcraft references in the form of cutesy TV shows; however, if the statue can become a part of the Maddy Gaiman Show, then perhaps it will be worth it. P.S. Can't wait to get Anansi Boys signed in Boston!

I'll bear that in mind. She seemed very excited when I mentioned to her that I had a copy of the Al Hine Bewitched novel downstairs (it's where I learned, as a boy, that Samantha's maiden name was Dobson, and that she used magical powers to check out Darrin in the shower when she got interested in him) that I'll go and find for her. I haven't yet told her that the theme tune had lyrics (sung here by Peggy Lee).


Several hundred more messages from people about tea, which makes it the single most contentious subject since I told someone here that I really didn't want to know about real person slash fiction, especially not the kind with me in it.

Many people wanted me to mention this:

Hi Neil, You may already have seen it, but Douglas Adams wrote about the perfect cup of tea. It's available via the h2g2 site at "Americans are all mystified about why the English make such a big thing out of tea because most Americans have never had a good cup of tea." Actually, I think this applies to Indian food as well.Regards,Gavin.

Scaryduck ( wrote to plug a site:

Neil--- Tea! You really ought to visit this website (if you haven't already, and I'm certain that at least one of your readers has prodded you in the right direction):
Then, buy the book. It comes with the Scaryduck seal of approval, but spends rather too much time on biscuits rather than on the important art of tea-brewing. After that, I'd encourage you to buy the film rights for this important body of work before it's too late and Hollywood wrecks the entire tea-drinking experience for everybody. Regards, Alistair / Scaryduck

and when someone writes and says his Dad makes interesting teapots I sort of click on the link with an eyebrow raised and then it turns out that they really are some of the most interesting teapots I've ever seen,


Hello Neil It occurred to me after reading your latest journal post on tea, that you'd probably be needing a teapot (well actually I assumed you already had one, but probably not like these)My dad makes interesting teapots and I thought some of them might appeal to you... have a look at: click on the Current Range page for....well for the Current Range. All the bestJago

and the current range link is at


I'm a big fan of yours, Neil, and have been for a long, long while, but something lately has been bothering me. You keep mentioning blurbs. And how you don't want to give them, etc. Which is fine. I realize you are, indeed, a busy man who hasn't quite mastered the art of bilocation when in fact tri- or tetralocation would probably be extraordinarily handy.But still, "Gaiman is a treasure trove of story, and we'd be lucky to have him in any medium." -Stephen King
That's the one that sticks out in my head, because it was in big ole' type on the back of *Neverwhere,* which was the first novel of yours I skeptically picked up after I'd avoided *Sandman* for years (as it wasn't My Sort Of Thing). King was, then, my favorite writer.Tori Amos and Norman Mailer (the former not much a surprise, of course, but the latter) are two other names I remember from that first novel, by a guy by the name of Gaiman (I was always pronouncing as "Guy-m'n," so I had to keep explaining to people I hadn't actually said I was reading a book by Neil Diamond). I can't read it as arrogance or forgetting-you-were-once-in-the-other-guys'-position, because I know you aren't and I know you remember (because you're not that like that arrogant Hitchens idiot from several posts ago), and I enjoy your works far more than Atwood's (of course, that's like saying I prefer, say, the Magnetic Fields over the Indigo Girls. I do, of course, but it's a designation that makes no sense). And I remember reading how happy you were to have received a rather glowing blurb from Harlan Ellison (whose opinion would never matter to me in the first place, anyway, but did to you).
I have no point, really. I like your books, and I already like -Anansi Boys- enough that I'll buy it no matter what anyone says about it. It just niggled at me, and I thought I'd say something.Keep up the good work, because I'll keep reading it.-Will

Well, it's not that I don't give blurbs any longer -- Barry Yorgrau's NASTYBOOK and Susanna Clarke's JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL are probably the most recent ones, along with M. John Harrison's LIGHT and Bill Gibson's PATTERN RECOGNITION. Several blurbs over the last couple of years, from authors as diverse as Greg McDonald, Nick Sagan, Robin McKinley and Peter Straub were actually taken from entries in this blog (not that I mind that). And it's not that I don't write introductions from which blurb lines can be extracted just as the Stephen King quote about me was. I do (I just wrote one for Al Davidson's new Spiral Dreams book, and I have three mutually contradictory drafts of an intro to M. John Harrison's Viriconium sitting in notebooks needing to be typed).

But it's also something that I approach with a little trepidation. Books accompanied by imploring letters arrive daily. They may well be books I'd love to read, but the stack of books and manuscripts wanting blurbs gets bigger daily (until my assistant decides they've been sitting there long enough and they need to go and visit the basement), and I still haven't finished Flashman's March [edit make that Flashman on the March], the last book I bought for pleasure. It gets to the point where people approaching me with books they wish blurbed gives me a terrified, guilty feeling -- which was why I mentioned that it was very nice to be given books by people who just wanted me to have them.

And to add weirdness to it all, of course now that ANANSI BOYS is coming out, the publishers would like blurbs for it. Preferably from people who are known for being funny. If Wodehouse were still alive we'd be camping out on his door...