Friday, August 18, 2006

You have luggage

Spanair's finally answered their phone, and I have luggage. My suit is hanging in the shower right now, slowly uncreasing I hope.

My plans to work this morning were defeated by my inability to wake up. I'm normally pretty good about moving from time zone to time zone, but not this time. Sigh.

Dear Neil, You mentioned a couple of posts ago that you are reading Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Since I'm nearly through with my Pile of Books to Read (tm), I thought I'd give it a read. According to however, it hasn't been published yet. Is Amazon mistaken, or do you have time traveling capabilities? Regards, Julia in PA

I don't have time-travelling capabilities, alas. I'd mentioned how much I liked Joe's short story "Best New Horror" on this blog, and his editor at Morrow (who is also my editor) sent me a nervous note saying that seeing she spends most of her life telling other editors to leave me alone when they want to send me manuscripts to look at she felt really guilty, but that Heart-Shaped Box was really good, and if I liked his short fiction I should try the novel...

And I made a noncommittal sort of noise, because I didn't have time to read it, and a few days later the manuscript arrived, and seeing that Twentieth Century Ghosts had been my one-a-week short fiction read recently, I wound up taking it with me when I went out to Las Vegas the following week, expecting it to be quiet and thoughtful and cool and odd, like the Twentieth Century Ghosts stories. I wasn't expecting it to be so nightmarishly more-ish that I wound up reading it while cleaning my teeth, and I'll scribble an honestly enthusiastic blurb for it when I get some down time (probably on a train or a plane in the next few days): Best debut novel in the horror field since Clive Barker's The Damnation Game and soforth.

So that's how I got a copy. Just lucky.

Hey Neil:Long time reader, first time poster. Came across you with the strangest google search terms this morning; Vancouver "first haircut"

There you are, number 3.

And I still can't find a place to get my son's hair cut.

What's the most bewildering google search you've seen that comes up with reference to you? Love the blog. L.

I think it was back in the Googlewhack days, when people would write in and tell me the googlewhacks (two real words that only gave one website result through google) by which they'd found me. I'd list a few, but those emails were long ago eaten by goats. Still, they would have gone up at

Dear Neil, Regarding your oh-so-clever new phone, what model is it? I tend to suffer from a distinct case of, "Ooh, shiny!" and I suspect that a phone smarter than I am (which it certainly will be, if it's smarter than you) may make certain tasks more feasible--such as, say, remembering when certain authors and PA's are in my remote area, and what tropical fruits they covet. Thank you! Susan Ward

It's a Nokia N80. So far it's behaving well, although I distrust anything I need to use that makes me go and check the instruction manual all the time to figure out how to do things. I like my technology to be transparent, and like my instruction manuals best when accidentally thrown away.

And finally, this was forwarded to me by Shelly Bond at DC Comics. I've not seen anything of the Absolute Sandman yet, and this was the first thing I'd heard by someone who'd seen anything of the finished version...

Hey, Neil!
I've been meaning to write you since San Diego Comic-Con, but things have been so hectic since I got back to New York that I completely forgot to sit down and write a simple email. I've asked Shelly to forward this note to you in the hopes that it will not be lost in your inbox full of fan questions and requests. I've met you a handful of times in the past (you signed my Sandman #1 at the Harvey Awards and left the silliest livejournal phone post for me), but I most recently saw you at your Stardust panel. My first reason in writing you is to tell you how very much I enjoyed that panel. I thought all the footage screened was incredibly beautiful, and had the same sort of feel as The Princess Bride. I can't wait to see the final product. My second reason for writing to share my excitement at the upcoming Sandman collection. I'm working at DC Comics this summer, and I happened to be in the right place (Paul Levitz' office) at the right time (last Friday around lunchtime) to get a look at The Absolute Sandman Volume One. I don't know if you've seen a copy yourself yet, but I was thought it was the most beautiful graphic novel collection I'd ever laid eyes on. I wanted to share my excitement at seeing your wonderful stories bound in a volume that seemed to suit them so well. The book actually looks like it belongs in Dream's library, something which I'm sure you will understand that your fans will appreciate.

I fear that I may be rambling, so I will end this email. I hope you are well, and perhaps I will see you again when you visit New York (or Chicago, where I will now be attending school).Your faithful reader, Sara Katz-Scher

Which is very good to know. (Incidentally, people have written to ask why only 18 of the 20 issues of Sandman in Absolute Sandman are listed as being recoloured, and it's because Steve Oliff's colouring jobs on Sandmans 19 and 20 were beautiful, and we didn't want to change a thing.)