Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Still smiling...

A friend just sent me the link to the Time interview with yourself and Joss Whedon, where you said something along the lines of you'd love to stop blogging but you don't want to disappoint people. Good God, man! I really enjoy your books and your site, and I would indeed miss your blog if it vanished, but I'm no fan of forced labour. Why not just blog when you fancy it, rather than more or less every day? Just cut down a bit, if you don't want to give up altogether. And do cut it altogether if you think it a total pain. You are NOT a hamster on a wheel (although it may feel like it sometimes, during a tour). We'll all still buy the books and ask you nicely (in our gazillions) to sign them, never fear... LR.

Oh, don't worry. When I'm ready to stop, I will. I always do. The important thing in that interview was "For me, it's always that Mary Poppins thing. I'll do it until the wind changes." I started blogging in Feb 2001, certain that I'd do it until September 2001, but I've enjoyed having a soapbox, not to mention somewhere to witter on about writing and socks and things too much to stop. Still, one day the wind will change, and I'll either stop or take a break or something, probably as an initial step towards becoming a mysterious recluse rumoured to have tissue-boxes on my feet and a long scraggy beard. Mostly what I was trying to stress was the oddness of realising that there are A Lot Of People Reading This, and the weird feeling that gives -- the knowledge that something small I do for fun somehow matters, and that if I stopped people would care.


There's a big article on MirrorMask in today's LA TIMES --,0,308014.story
-- an excellent interview with me and Dave McKean with a very, um, moody photo.

Dave talks at

More MirrorMask reviews in --

And I got a note from the publicists at Sony asking me to stress that the first weekend's attendance will seriously affect what happens next. So if you are in a town that isn't showing it, and you want to see it, getting your friends who are in a town where it's showing to go and see it as soon as it's come out will increase the chances of it getting to you. Or something like that.

Here's the current list of places it's showing...

and a contest over at


Congratulations on the NYT thing, Neil. I spent the hours of 5-7 pm yesterday evening, reading the copy of Anansi Boys you signed in NY, on the steps of the New York Public Library (the bit directly opposite Library Way, where the models walking down Fifth are getting mildly disturbed at the intersection by the bookreading types coming down 41st). It's a wonderful book to read by twilight, with a 19th century beaux-arts facade behind you, the CNN building on your left and high fashion outlets in front. Old gods in a new world and all that. I won't hold out for a reply since I've written to your blog address five times without one(no worries, hehe, this is not a not-so-subtle complaint) but I really do hope they're telling the truth on the site when they say you read all of these. Having followed the course of this novel's inception it makes me strangely happy to see it rocket to the top. And so it should. It's very good.

I do read them. It's just that I can't put most of them up, because of space and because of time, and that is just how it is and always will be.

Hi Mr Gaiman.

just got a copy of Anansi Boys and devoured Chapter 1 in one gulp. Want to savor the book though, so i'm leaving Chapter 2 for later...

got a copy of the limited ed letter you wrote for us folks back here in the Philippines, too. just wanted to let you know that, though i'm still just in the first chapter, your book has already made me smile.

meanwhile, i also got a copy of the Mirrormask book "for young adults". i got a copy of the screenplay book that i refuse to read until i get the chance to see the movie, but the new Mirrormask book poses a bit of a dilemma for me, which you can find in detail if you mozy on over to

which basically says that i'd rather see the magic trick (the film) before peaking behind the curtain (reading the screenplay, but then the book "for young adults" seems to me is a whole other magic trick.

that shameless plug over and done with, i was wondering what your advice would be for someone who's picked up the book but hasn't seen the movie. what sequence, do you feel, provides the better experience: reading the book before seeing the film; seeing the film before reading the book; reading the book during bathroom breaks at the film; or seeing the film while reading the book simultaneously? the latter two seem ill-advised, the second to the last one because, honestly, who would want to take a bathroom break at Mirrormask? and the last given the darkened nature of theaters, but then what do i know? there are always, after all, flashlights.

hoping for the guidance of your exponentially more significant wisdom.


Well, the MirrorMask story book is a novella-length story, written as by Helena Campbell, our heroine, telling what happened to her. It leaves some things in MirrorMask out, and includes many things that aren't in the film, so if you read it first some things will still be a surprise, and if you see the film first you'll still find some things new in the book....

You can read the first few pages online here, at which should give you an idea of whether you want to read the rest of it or not.


To answer a question that's started coming in, the ANANSI BOYS at Number One thing will be on next week's list (to be published on the 9th of October 2005) -- right now, the list is this one --

You know, I don't generally stop to reflect, and am, to the exclusion of most other things, rather exhausted right now, all things considered, but I suspect that I'll always look back on this week as being one of the especially good ones -- it's not every week that you have a big budget movie start shooting on the Monday (I see from Beowulf's imdb that they've got a few more cast names up, including John Malkovich as Unferth), learn that your novel has gone to number one on the Times list on the Wednesday, and have the little film you made come out on the Friday. It's got to be special.

It's probably why I'm smiling. Well, that or the lingering aftereffects of the champagne.

If you're in the Bay Area, remember it's me and Michael Chabon in conversation tomorrow at Book Passage Corte Madera (Details here) -- followed by a signing -- and then the Cody's reading and signing is on Friday at 7.00pm, allowing you to go and see MirrorMask at the Landmark, at 4:30 pm first.

(And this is from the Cody's website --
7 PM at First Congregational Church of Berkeley(2345 Channing Way at Dana, Berkeley)TICKETS ARE REQUIRED:a complimentary admission ticket will be given with each purchase at Cody's of a copy of ANANSI BOYS beginning September 20, the day the book goes on sale. Books and tickets may be preordered by calling510-845-7852 or emailing
[PLEASE NOTE:If you want an additional ticket, it will be necessary to purchase a second copy of ANANSI BOYS, or a copy of either MIRRORMASK or THE ALCHEMY OF MIRRORMASK at Cody's. Please understand this restriction on tickets stems solely from the somewhat limited space we will be in. We urge you to plan to attend well in advance, as we cannot guarantee seats at the door; but you may call 510.845.7852 from 10 AM until 4 PM the day of the event to inquire if seating is still available. Regarding Neil's book signing time: he, and we, are happy to allow as many copies of ANANSI BOYS purchased from Cody's as you wish to have signed; you may request two additional items be signed for each customer. Neil's signing lines are long, but rest assured everyone will be accommodated. You'll receive a numbered card when you arrive, so you will have some idea of how long a wait, and whether you can go for coffee!]