Friday, January 06, 2006

flotsam and jetsam

Miss Olga wrote to let me know that she has brought back the Fabulist over at (NOTE FROM 2023: The domain is now a hive of villainy and viruses, so the link has been removed.), brighter, shinier and more faboo than ever. It may grow to become the for kitsch t-shirts and funky things you can listen to or hang on your wall or eat or just make you happy, or possibly it may not.

(The coolest thing I've bought recently, doing my own bit for the fabulist, is four CDs of girlsongs in a hatbox -- details at And given that every six months someone writes to the FAQ line and asks about region-free DVD players available in the US, I'll put in a plug for, which is a nice multi-region DVD player for $129.)

(And, because it makes me happy on a daily basis, and has caught and zapped 17 pieces of Spam while I've been writing this, let me add another plug for the Cloudmark spam filter .)

Is it a definite that you'll be signing after you speak at the 92nd St Y? If so, do you know how the line will work? Will it be by seating or will it work more like it did after the Symphony Space Susanna Clarke event, with everyone making their way toward the lobby to line up? I called and asked, but the woman on the phone wasn't very informative. She said she couldn't tell me which room the talk will be in (and therefore couldn't tell me how many tickets are available) and that there's no standard way of running signing there. Also, I was wondering if this talk is the only thing you're dragging yourself to New York for. I'm pleased whenever I see you'll be making an appearance, but at the same time I feel bad and think, "Aw, poor him, he has to leave his family and home again." Especially this soon after a brutal signing tour.

I'll definitely be signing after the talk, but I don't know how it'll be organised. When I did it with Art Spiegelman a couple of years ago, it was a reasonably informal sort of thing.

Which reminds me, there's an interview up on the 92nd St Y site -- . I looked at the site and saw that I'm the first of the "Wired at the Y" talks -- WIRED magazine and the 92nd Street Y bring you a special series featuring leaders in business, technology, design, entertainment and science. Adam Rogers, WIRED's senior editor, moderates. The second speaker in April is Brian Greene, "one of the world's leading theoretical physicists, is a brilliant communicator of string theory, a concept that might be the key to a unified theory of the universe. He is the author of the bestseller The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality. Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and is co-director of Columbia's Institute for Strings, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics."

Just what I need, I thought, with gloomy satisfaction. "The next speaker in this series will give you a key to a unified theory of the universe. But tonight, an English bloke who needs a haircut will talk about, er, making things up I expect."

And yes, there's something else I'll be doing. It's going to be fun, I think. And I'll tell you what it is next week.


Mr. Gaiman:I have just completed the first chapter of the newest edition of "Lud-In-The-Mist" as well as your own introduction to the text. These first nineteen pages appear to me to include the major themes of existential philosophy some seventeen years in advance of Satre's publication of "Being and Nothingness". I am neither a philosopher nor a literary critic, but I am interested in defending my thesis. I have searched the internet for additional critiques of Ms. Mirrlees work in vain. Do you have any references or suggestions that might be useful? Thank you in advance if you are able to reply. Joel Abrams

Well, it'll make a change from people pointing out that her poem "Paris" prefigured "The Waste Land". The only solid critical-biographical study I know of is Michael Swanwick's essay in FOUNDATION., which I believe he's going to publish as a chapbook sooner or later. It doesn't seem to be available on-line, though.

The Wikipedia article on her at isn't as bad as a lot of Wikipedia, and it has a link to a photo of young Mirrlees and Jane Harrison at

Neil, I read your journal daily, and yet, when you write a Deadman story for DC, I have to find out about it from bloody Ain't It Cool News? What's up with that? A little more shameless self-promotion, please.


(I just did a search on the site for Deadman, and found which at least proves I once mentioned it existed.)


I was intrigued by the review of Jay Lake's Rocket Science at Bookslut, and doubly so after a quick google took me to an intriguing essay by Matt Cheney at Strange Horizons about Rocket Science and Anansi Boys and the difficulties of writing about entertainments.


Maddy and I (and Mike and Holly and Holly's friend Rachel) watched the Christmas episode of Dr Who together, and although Maddy was not, as she would be the first to tell you, actually scared or anything, she did decide it might be sensible to sleep on the sofa in my room that night. Just, you know, because.