Thursday, August 04, 2005

Kids! Win! Stuff! etc

Two different competitions that I've just been made aware of. Both of them are only open to US residents, I'm afraid.

Both of them are just sweepstakes, and you don't even have to come up with an "I can't stand Neil Gaiman because..." tiebreaker. Just go to the website, enter your details and hope.

Over at you can win a visit to Hollywood as a guest of the Jim Henson company, plus Cool MirrorMask Swag. With five runners-up, who just get Cool MirrorMask Swag. -- MirrorMask site:

While over at ten people can win a complete Neil Gaiman Library -- all the books published by Harper Collins, in an assortment of formats.

And good luck...


I just got an email from Lucy Anne at The Dreaming letting me know that 1602 is one of the five Quills Finalists as best Graphic Novel of the Year. The finalists are:

American Splendor: Our Movie Year
Harvey Pekar

Bone: One Volume Edition
Jeff Smith
Cartoon Books

In the Shadow of No Towers
Art Spiegelman
Pantheon Books

Marvel 1602 Volume 1
Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, Richard Isanove
Marvel Comics

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return
Marjane Satrapi
Pantheon Books

-- Details at . It's an honour just to be nominated, but I'd feel slightly weird if 1602 beat any of those others. I'm not sure any of those five things are comparable anyway, other than they all have words and pictures in. Having said that, if bookstores get behind the Quill Awards, and do displays of the nominated books, it'll be a good thing all around. And then there's the rather scary TV event bit of it -- it'll be just like the Oscars, only not.

She also wanted to let me know that,

Tickets for September 19th interview with Susanna Clarke at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater are now on sale from the Symphony Space.Tickets are $20.50 ea with fees, $22.50 with processing fees, and must be picked up from the box office.More info on ordering tickets is here:
And a ticketing FAQ is here:

Lucy Anne also wanted to know about RSS feeds and more particularly whether they were being taken into account in the whole where people are coming in from thing, and whether they should be. And no, they aren't. But I still don't think the figures are that off, because there's a consistency, month in, month out that allows one to assume that they're more or less uniformly off -- it's a sampling, not an exact total.

And for that matter, about 60% of the people who come into this site don't come in with whatever information the site needs to decide where they're coming from attached. So it's also basing everything on about 40% of the traffic. So I'm perfectly sure that there are more than 81 people reading this blog in North Dakota, for example, just as I'm sure that there are more than 11,670 New Yorkers. But I doubt that more accurate figures would change the overall rankings of New York (lots of people) and North Dakota (not lots of people). Slice it by day, by month or by year, the rankings stay pretty much the same.

Or to put it another way, in the site's breakdown by continent for July:

North America with 372,021 (33.08 % of traffic)
Europe with 87,711 (7.80 % of traffic)
Asia with 40,407 (3.59 % of traffic)
Australia & Oceana with 20,926 (1.86 % of traffic)

South America with 4,169 (0.37 % of traffic)
Africa with 2,052 (0.18 % of traffic)

...a quick check reveals that 1,976 of the people on the African continent are coming from South Africa, with the remaining 78 people scattered across 18 countries. So it doesn't matter if lots of people in Senegal or Gambia are reading the RSS feed or the Livejournal feed, or if there are several times as many people reading the website there as are showing up, I'm still going to go and sign in South Africa, if ever I go to sign books in Africa.


And my favourite typo of the day is from a news report on Crispin Glover and Beowulf at Moviehole, in which we learn that "Beowulf" from Robert Zemeckis, Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman, is an age-old yarn of a knight who slays a dragon and becomes kind.

(Actually, if we're going to get into dragonfighting, it's about a king who fights a dragon and becomes dead...) I spoke to Steve Starkey, the producer, today, and he told me the rest of the lead casting, and I am incredibly happy and cannot say a word until everythng's announced and am mostly just disappointed that I'll be touring through the majority of the filming period and, except for a couple of weeks between the US and the UK, won't be around to watch.