Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mailbag time...

Hi Neil,

Technically not a question but...

Now that there's an ABSOLUTE SANDMAN in the works, I thought I had to point something out. It concerns p. 27 of FABLES & REFLECTIONS -- I have seen the word "peremptory" instead of "pre-emptory" used in Emperor Norton's proclamation in reliable sources; one source even claimed explicitly that "pre-emptory" was dead wrong. I don't know what is true, but you might want to check it up (wish I could remember the sources!).

Yr obt Servt

P. S. Love your books, etc. (you've heard it before). I would also like to say hi from my friend Freya, who thinks SMOKE AND MIRRORS is your best book so far.

How odd. It's "peremptory" in the script for Sandman 31 (I just checked), and it's "peremptory" in Drury's life of Norton, which I used as my reference. It looks to me like someone went in and "fixed" it after it was lettered -- probably, at a guess, DC's proofreader of the time. I'll get it fixed, although it won't be until the second volume of Absolute Sandman.

I have to proofread Fragile Things this week. I've done extensive copyediting and proofreading posts on this blog before (for example,, and this will be more of the same. I am starting to think, though, that I should do up my own list of preferences for whoever gets to copyedit me in future, because there are several places that the Harper Collins style sheet and I part company, and it would be good if the copy-editor knew that ahead of time.

The bear in the woods destroyed the last standing (empty) bird-feeder last night. I think it's time to go and get some bear pepper spray, otherwise going for walks simply isn't going to happen. I briefly entertained thoughts of getting a Karelian Bear Dog, but after reading've decided that that might be somewhat overambitious a plan.

Do you have any detailed plans of what you will be doing at Balticon this month? Are there going to be any autograph policies in place depending on the length of the autograph lines? Have you decided what you will be reading at the reading?


Neil Ottenstein

No; probably but it'll all depend on how many people there are in each line and will be up to the convention; and not yet (often I don't decide what I'm going to read until I get up there) but it'll probably be something unpublished.

I came across this comic at and thought you might find it amusing and\or grimly ironic.

Jon Deeming.

Bit of both, really.

Hey Neil,

I was looking for information on Stardust, and I noticed that the IMDB has you posted as a producer for Beowolf, Stardust, and Books of Magic. I was wondering what your role as a producer entails.

Thanks for writing the way you do,

For Beowulf -- not much. I suppose it's mostly a thank you for all the years Roger Avary and I hung in there with our script. For Stardust -- a fair amount, including suggesting the scriptwriter, having a voice in the casting process (although the final voice on everything is Matthew's, because he's the director and that's how it works), at one point in there serving as a sort of translator between the British Filmmakers and the American Film Studio, offering input on the script (often taken) and generally being a help where I could and staying out of the way where I couldn't. For Books of Magic -- I read the various drafts of the script as they came in, pointed out when they were getting too far away from the comic, pointed out when they were moving even further away from the comic, and, finally, enthusiastically agreed with the powers that be at DC Comics when they decided that the movie script had got so far from the comic that it would be best for everyone if the movie's character wasn't called Tim Hunter, the film wasn't called Books of Magic and we took our toys back and started again... (Their film might be quite good. It's just not anything to do with anything anyone who has ever read the comic would ever recognise.)