Thursday, May 04, 2006

Several days of unposted mailbag...

Note to advertising agencies. If you want to make sure that people like you, it's probably wisest not to sue bloggers for defamation. Otherwise people will come to the not unjustifiable conclusion that you really don't know what you're doing when it comes to public relations, and go to a different ad agency. (Currently, if you google Paino Advertising, its own website comes about 45 spots down, way beneath all the people commenting on how foolish they were to sue a blogger who was rude about them...)


A small, shamefaced and very nice apology came in...

Er, right, about that Myspace thing. Just so you know, I didn't realize it'd get out of control so quickly. I did that as, well, as a sort of experiment to see A) how many people would buy it without any sort of proof and B) to see how well I could mimic someone (apparently not very well). At any rate, I was planning on deleting the account myself when I saw how many people had believed me (I felt kinda guilty, damn cricket!) but it appears that someone beat me to it. Anyways, I truly am sorry and, to those who were added as friends and suchlike, i'm truly, rather sorry. Oh, and for future reference, don't believe any of those myspace accounts, I was inspired to this by Tom Cruise's account (who is likely some schmoe like me) and, since i'd just been reading your blog here Neil, I decided to try it as you. It could have been anyone really. Sorry again and, also, sorry about the spelling, it's not one of my strong suits and I didn't figure anyone would really see the account.


Not actually a problem. It's just that it's the internet, and it has, like the night, a thousand eyes, the owners of which immediately write to me and each other to find whether something is really me or not.

If anyone decides they need to role-play as me (shakes head, blinks, shrugs, mutters oh god why?) then it's probably best if you just announce right up front that you aren't me, to get that out of the way. (Several people have already sent me this one -- although not surprisingly none of them thought it was me at all.)

What an odd world.


it says on Wikipedia that you and Terry Pratchett wrote Good Omens in different countries and so Terry did the actual writing, and you just talked on the telephone but it says in the new edition of Good Omens that you were in England and that you both wrote it. WHO IS THE TRUE???

We were both living in England when we wrote it. At an educated guess, although neither of us ever counted, Terry probably wrote around 60,000 "raw" and I wrote 45,000 "raw" words of Good Omens, with, on the whole, Terry taking more of the plot with Adam and the Them in, and me doing more of the stuff that was slightly more tangential to the story, except that broke down pretty quickly and when we got towards the end we swapped characters so that we'd both written everyone by the time it was done, but then we also rewrote and footnoted each others bits as we went along, and rolled up our sleeves to take the first draft to the second (quite a lot of words), and by the end of it, neither of us was entirely certain who had written what. It was indeed plotted in long phone daily calls, and we would post floppy disks (and this was back in 1988 when floppy disks really were pretty darn floppy) back and forth. I don't know where whoever wrote that Wikipedia entry got it from, but then, it's Wikipedia, which means it's only as good and as bad as the Wikipedia hive mind that created it.

Hey Neil,I ran across this by accident today (and it's the first time I've actually appreciated Internet ads!) This Saturday, May 6th, is Free Comic Book Day ( Alas, no Sandman, but it's pretty cool anyway.Theresa

It is!

Hi Neil, I've just purchased and begun reading the 'Stardust' paperback. It is the only book of yours I have never read, however this is only because I have read the comics many times over. Now that the filming is under way I was wondering if you might give us more details about who is who in the cast and other than the already mentioned charaters' name changes, are there any major changes to the story? Having just viewed the rather limited cast info at IMDB, I'm having fun picturing Ed Molina as 'Charmed', albeit with a little hobbit(tm) film magic to make this large actor fit the character description. Any hints?Kevin Be in Georgia

Alfred Molina actually isn't in it, and was never actually cast -- I don't know why the IMDB lists his name. And while there are some changes to the story, alas -- most of them what you get from having to compress a book into a movie -- it's still the same story. Or it was the last time I saw a script. But I think you'll have to wait until June 2006, or keep an eye on places like Ain't it Cool News, to find out more specifics of plot.

I woke up with this thought in my head, checked the FAQ like a good little fan girl, but cannot find the answer. I know that many of your fans have tattoos of your work (and some of your signature), but do you have any tattoos yourself? And if not, would there be something you have always wanted to take to the mortuary permanently attached to your skin? Shalene Shimer

No, none. Mostly because I haven't yet found anything I'd want there for ever.


Well, some time ago, searching through your website, I came across a section in which you liste all the research material for American Gods, one being a book called The Forbidden Zone by Mike Lesy. A book you've spoken of in a few interviews.

So I managed to snooker a copy from eBay in excellent condition for only a few mesely bucks. And I just finished it a couple of days ago. But all throughout reading it, I couldn't help but feel that the way Lesy fashioned the overall feel of the book had a profound influence on American Gods, and how some aspects of The Forbidden Zone parallel American Gods, in some obvious and not so obvious ways.

Anyways, here's my point: Zone is an excellent book, and you're absotively correct on how it's depressing that it's out of print, since I feel it's quite powerful and informative and urgent.

And, so, you're a man of some influence within the literary world, no? Perhaps you can coax the original publishers in printing the book again? Pretty please? I promise to buy all your books if you do.


I don't know that I have that power. Be fun if I did. I've been talking with Dark Horse about their publishing a line of out of print books that I love or miss, which has been a really interesting process so far -- although the books we've been talking about at this point have been fiction. The Forbidden Zone is a marvellous book -- I talk about it at and if anyone's reading this who has the4 power to bring it back into print, I recommend it.

Hi Neil,
Thanks for the picture of the Anansi Boys PB. I noticed at the top it said, by the author of American Gods and Fragile Things. Er, that means Fragile things is coming out really, really soon, right? (Amazon says Oct. 1, is that right?) When will we get to see the cover for that? A quick search on the site reveals it's "going to be lovely..." Please stop teasing us!
Dave/the Scoundrel

I don't have a picture of it, otherwise I'd post it -- they made dummies of the cover and gave me one, though, so I suppose I could always take a photograph of that. I think it'll be out in the last week of September 2006.

Hello Mr.Gaiman,
I did give a reasonable try at searching for the answer to my question in the archives to no avail, so please excuse me if forty five other people have already mentioned this. I finished Anansi Boys and toward the end there was a turn of phrase that caught my attention. Is, "The grave, as has been pointed out, is a fine place, not to mention a private one. . ." a nod to Peter S. Beagle? If I'm correct, then I think that was a clever way to pay him a much-deserved complement. -Erin

It's certainly a nod to Peter Beagle, and his lovely book "A Fine and Private Place", and it's as much a nod to Andrew Marvell and his lovely poem "To His Coy Mistress", lines from which which have probably titled more SF and Fantasy books than any other single poem.


Congratulations to Dave McKean, who is shortlisted for a Greenaway Medal for the MirrorMask book, and MirrorMask the film was awarded a Black Tulip for best Debut at the Amsterdam Fantasy Film festival.