Monday, December 19, 2005

tab closing time

Currently feeling a bit under the weather, although it's probably just being a bit tired out from all the travel combined with a sore throat.

The most exciting thing I've done since getting home was picking up my Mini Convertible, wishing that it wasn't 6 degrees F ( -14 C) and I could actually open the top...

But in the meantime, I need to close some Firefox tabs. Some of them are news stories -- such as Drunken Santas Run Riot In Auckland ( in which we learn that A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus outfits, many of them drunk, went on a rampage through Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, robbing stores, assaulting security guards and urinating from highway overpasses, police said Sunday. I think it's the phrase "many of them drunk" I like best about that.

John Clute writes Robert Sheckley's obituary in the Independent --

Someone has made a beautifully disturbing Snow, Glass, Apples doll -- photos at

Someone else sent me a note asking how I'd like it if people misspelled my name, which seemed sort of odd because they do, all the time. A hasty google of Gaimen gave me 29,200 results, Gaimon 15,500 and Gaimin a mere 640 (lots of which weren't about me at all). Googling "Neal Gaiman" turned up another 12,600 results. One of the most popular results for "Gaimon" was this interview with Terry Pratchett I'd never seen before -- -- which I thought mostly interesting as it was done while we were still writing "Good Omens" -- a week away from finishing the first draft, back when it was still called "William the Antichrist".

There's an interview with Ursula K LeGuin in the Guardian, and incidentally the next Studio Ghibli film may be an Earthsea story.

Over at Frommer's they've done a list of favourite books that make us see the world. It's a wonderful list, mostly of proper travel books, but I was thrilled that Neverwhere was on there. That Man Jonathan Strahan's list of his top ten novels of the year is really good, and has Anansi Boys on it as well (, as does -, while the New Zealand Herald lists Mirrormask as one of its best books of the year (while also upping the "Neal Gaiman" number on Google by one).

Two contrasting C.S. Lewis articles, demonstrating, at least to my mind, that two diametrically opposed points of view can both be pretty loopy. The Baptist Standard is one of them - apparently I have "satirized him [Lewis] brutally" although I don't believe I ever did. ("The Problem of Susan" may have been a lot of things, but I don't see how, if you'd read it, you could call it satire), and approaches hagiography, while on the other hand these barking mad webpages endeavour to prove that Lewis was actually a Pawn of Satan -- is my favourite page, but the whole thing is entertainingly loony. It's magnificently crazed, attempting to prove that Lewis was "perhaps the single most useful tool of Satan" since World War 2, but perhaps the author does have a point in suggesting that Lewis was promoting paganism-- when I was seven I hit the encylopedias to find out who Silenus was, and Bacchus, and the Maenads, because they turned up in Prince Caspian, and Lewis seemed to know a lot more about them than he was telling...

I was wondering if you have time, could you please post to your loyal blog readers the link to MOCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) in New York and let them know that they have wonderful works by your friend and fellow collaborator Charles Vess and Michael Kaluta until January 6th, and if one is in New York, it really is worth a look and the $3 admission. They even have a very lovely original from Stardust and two huge and stunning charcoal drawings that Charles brought from his personal collection. Here is their weblink:

With pleasure.

Do you think your blog readers would like to know about the Michael Moorcock Event we're having in January? As in, would you mention it on your blog? There's no reason you should advertise Blackwell's events, but I thought there might be a fair amount of crossover in terms of your readerships, and we only have three weeks (over Xmas!) to get the word out to people.

Wednesday January 18th, at the Vanbrugh Theatre, Rada, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU. Tickets �6/�4, in store at Blackwell CXR or from 0845 456 9876, Mon-Fri, 9.30 to 6.00. Questions & Signed copy reservations to: .

I think some of them would. Or at least, if I was in the UK I'd like to know. So I shall put this up here. (Moorcock's website is

Hi Neil,I spend loads of my free time reading your blog. It's wonderful. I do have one suggestion you might like to consider to help make it that wee bit better. It would be useful to have a search function for your journal. This way, we can all search for a topic more easily. Just my two cents' worth!A big thank you for having this blog for your fans!~Chan~

The magnifying glass on the left of the page with "Search" written underneath it in backwards writing (I know, I know, it wasn't my idea) takes you to which is a google search engine for the blog, and dead useful.

Hey Neil, what do you think about starting up a Audio Blog? You got a cool voice and I think it'd be cool to take your voice around on my ipod... Actually that sounds a bit creepy, don't do it! Just kidding, I thought you'd like that suggestion. Peace.

I don't think I'd do an audio blog. But I keep thinking there must be an interesting way to do a podcast sequence that would be worth everyone's time.

Mr. Gaiman, My fantasy book is currently in the text production phase at Publish America. They are quite big on author self promotion. I was wondering how much self-promotion you did in the first years, or if you let the publication do its magic and wait for the calls to arrive.I have already made arrangements with the comic book store where I normally shop with my husband and daughter for a book release party and signing. I have also put up a website for the book. I'm not sure if I should run about willy nilly setting up book signings for "King's Assassin" at other bookstores in the Metroplex before the release, and if hounding Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram to print a press release (having to be written by me) once my book is released would truly help bolster sales in the long run. It has not seemed to help a fellow author who published a nonfiction work, so I am flummoxed as to whether I should spend my time working on my current story in progress or on self promotion. What is your experience on the matter?As always, I enjoy your works and your blog,Juli Nelson

Well, there's nothing wrong with authors promoting their own work. One of the advantages of working with more traditional publishing models is that publishers have people who will do things like write catalogue copy, and write press releases and send them out, while books from traditional publishers are several thousand percent more likely to be picked up and read by book reviewers than books which are perceived as being self-published. Most authors are better writers than they are publicists, for a start, and are, as you note, better off spending their time writing than publicising, especially when, as in your case, even if they do succeed in publicising the book, people will have real trouble getting it. As the CEO of Barnes and Noble explains in this Washington Post article about PublishAmerica, "if authors want their books in stores, they need to go the traditional publishing route." There are other problems with PublishAmerica as a way to get your book into people's hands -- I'd point you to for a useful summary.


And finally, the happiest of birthdays to Ms Lisa Snellings Clark. You should go to her blog at and wish her happy birthday and remind her she was going to put up video footage of my statue doing its pecular thing.