Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Slough of Desmond

Let's see -- Continuum 3 is over. Poppy put her impressions up on her journal. She also told the story of how she built me a helicopter.( I enjoyed the con very much, but felt a bit awkward -- I'd expected a con more like previous Australian conventions I'd been to, with lots of hanging around at the bar and by the end of which I'd know absolutely everyone there and, quite often, their family. This con had almost 500 people, though, and so the hanging around and just catching up with the world didn't really happen. I got to catch up with lots of old friends though, and Medge and Bean were my support team, something they've done several times before, and they do it so well, and I wanted to thank them here.

(Incidentally, here's an article in The Age, notable mostly perhaps for Danny Oz's halo and assorted background thingies in the accompanying picture.)

I was given a black scarf, knitted during the convention, at the end of it, and I've been wearing it pretty much ever since as it was bracing in Melbourne and seriously chilly in Canberra.

Oh, and

Hi Neil - In one of your panels at Continuum you mentioned Lucy Clifford's eerie stories and how difficult it is to find them. Research geek that I am, I had a hunt round and turned up a site at which has all of "The Anyhow Stories" (including "Wooden Tony", which was originally in a different anthology, "The Last Touches", but was included in later reprintings of "The Anyhow Stories". The stories do appear to have been scanned, and OCR being what it is, there are some typos - but they're better than nothing.It was really lovely to meet you and thank you so much for all your time at the con. I hope your hand's not too sore from all the signings! Cheers, Zoe

Which for us Lucy Clifford fans is excellent news. (I have a copy of the stories, photocopied for me by China Mieville, but I'm so happy they're online for everyone.)

The last thing I did on Sunday night was change hotels to the Westin. Yesterday -- Monday -- was a day of interviews, starting around 8.30 am, and I slowly realised I was getting more and more tired. Finally slept for an hour before the Library event, because everything was getting foggy, and woke up unfoggy enough to talk to the people and then to sign and sign.

Like every sold-out library event I've done in the last few years, there were still some empty seats and the people who came along and chanced a standby all got in. (So it's definitely worth turning up at even sold-out events.)

After, a small knot of us went out and ate, and then I was introduced to Chloe, a painting that is the pride of Melbourne. And then back to the hotel at midnight.

I really like Melbourne, which is the only major city in Australia I'd not previously visited. It feels welcoming. Nice art and architecture, wonderful food, and good people.

Up early this morning to do phone interviews with the US, mostly talking about MirrorMask, and the MirrorMask prequel story that Tokyopop will be doing. One interview ended early, and I ate a hasty breakfast, and then once the interviews were done I scurried around packing my bags to head out for the airport.

It's the bags that are the worst part of being on the road for a month. I can find things at the start of a tour. By the end, everything's been thrown in and out of bags a hundred times and I can't find anything at all.

Off to Canberra. Slept on the plane.

Then did a signing that was really fun and felt like I'd taken a time machine ride back to the old days -- less than a hundred people, I think, and I got to do a small reading and chat to everyone who wanted to chat while I signed, and it wasn't a gruelling marathon. Then to the university, where I read another bit of ANANSI BOYS -- the room was about 2/3 full, which again gives me hope that Sydney and Brisbane may be easier to cope with.

Truth to tell, I was expecting the whole of the Australian end of the trip to be quiet and relaxing, and today was the first day that I felt like my batteries were actually going to get to recharge.

On the other hand I'm sitting here hastily blogging while waiting for a room service breakfast to arrive at quarter to midnight, because it was the only thing on the menu I could muster any enthusiasm for.

In case anyone doesn't know, here are the details on the last three events:

Date: Wednesday 20th July
Time: 12:30pm-3pm
Format of event: Signing Session
Enquiries tel no: 02 9267 7222
Galaxy Bookshop
143 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: None
Are bookings required: No, BUT, we are expecting a lot of people for this event, so arrive early and please be patient. Please bring no more than 3 ITEMS to be signed.

Date: Wednesday, 20 July
Time: 5:30pm
Format of event: Straight signing session
Enquires tel no: 02 9262 7996
Books Kinokuniya
Level 2, The Galeries Victoria
500 George Street
Sydney, NSW
Cost: Nil
Are bookings required? Bookings essential. Please call 02 9262 7996 to reserve your spot. Please be patient. Please note only 3 items per person can be signed.

Date: Thursday 21st July
Time: 7.00 for 7.30pm
Format of event - Neil to talk, do a bit of a q&a, then sign (3 ITEMS per person). His new book, MIRRORMASK on sale, along with backlist and we're taking preorders - at a special, discounted, on-the-night price for ANANSI BOYS.
Enquires tel no: Pulp Fiction Booksellers, 07 3236 2750
The Atrium,
Anzac Square Building (Pulp Fiction's building!),
Edward Street
Cost: $15.00 - food and wine provided.
Are bookings required? ESSENTIAL!!! Ticketed event - admission by ticket only!!! Please note only 3 items per person can be signed.

and I plan to read different bits of ANANSI BOYS at each event, whenever they'll let me. I'm enjoying working out which bits I like reading aloud.


There are two things that are cool in this article -- -- and they are

1) you get to see the opening of Henry Selick's Moongirl online. Henry told me he was playing with CGI stuff, and was planning on using it along with stop motion in CORALINE, and I was doubtful, but it's lovely.

2) LAIKA Entertainment, which will produce animated films in the $50 to $70 million dollar range, has greenlit Coraline, based on the Hugo Award-winning, international bestselling children's book by Neil Gaiman. Henry Selick will direct the feature length CGI animated project, which LAIKA will produce in association with former Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman and CEO Bill Mechanic and his Pandemonium films.

Which means I currently have two films in production and greenlit, Beowulf and Coraline. Fun.

Neil,If reviews of Anansi Boys are coming out now, how come the book isn't being released till mid September?-Aaron

Those are reviews for the book trade, not for the public. The reviews for the public will come out in September.


Mr Gaiman just dropped his cellphone in his scrambled eggs. He thinks it's time for bed now.