Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happies and creepies

Happy Hallowe'en. (The photo on the journal is a today-only picture of me with a just-carved yesterday's pumpkin).

-Mr. Gaiman

I've written you before but you haven't responded, i'm sure a big famous writer like yourself is very busy (seriously, I know you are) but I would like to express my pleasure at seeing your article in the New York Times. I had the opportunity to read it at the breakfast table, and even in the morning surrounded by people, you were as always able to give me chills. What's more I've recommended the article to all of the Neil Gaiman fans I know, and they all went out and bought the copy of the Times, which means that you just put Dinner on my table (my father's an editor for the Times). Economics aside, i just wanted to thank you for another job well done

Thank you so much, to everyone who wrote to say they liked it or that they got gooseflesh over their morning coffee.

And for anyone who hasn't seen it, as I mentioned a few days ago, I wrote a small Hallowe'en Op-Ed piece for the New York Times. You can read it here (and this link should work without you having to sign in).


Over the last couple of days I got two messages saying they didn't like the way clicking on a blog link opened new windows, of which this is one:

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who, like me, despise links that are hard-coded to open in new windows. It's unexpected behavior and I don't like web designers thinking they know what I want to do better than I do. If I want something to open in a new window, there are very easy ways for me to do this myself. Otherwise, it's just creating unwanted clutter. Other people like me may appreciate that Firefox has a preference setting that makes links like that open in new tabs instead of new windows. It doesn't totally solve the problem, but it makes it a little more tolerable.

and I got several dozen messages like this,

Dear Neil's web-elf:

Thank you. Holy crap, thank you, for the new window openy feature on Neil's journal. Thank you. Finally! That is all.

The internets are fun,
christine with an x

So unless the "please don't do this" groundswell grows very significantly I'll leave it as it is...


Hey Neil,

Just wanted to pass along that Stephen King listed the "American Gods" audio book as one of his top ten audio books.,6115,1551492_5_0_,00.html


That's very kind of him. (his reading of Bag of Bones is one of my favourite Audio books, BTW.) I think of the two I prefer the Lenny Henry Anansi Boys audiobook, but George Guidall did an astonishing job on American Gods.

Dear Neil, You may be interested in AudioFile's "soundreview" of the Fragile Things audiobook, part of our Audiopolis podcast. It's a spoken review that incorporates snippets from the audiobook, and you can hear it here: Best, Jennifer


Hi Neil, having had my head filled with work for the past few months I was greatly cheered and pleasantly surprised to stumble upon 'Fragile Things' and reading it certainly brightened up the dull Scottish autumn. It got me to check out your site for the first time in a while and I was immediately shocked and saddened to hear of John M Ford's passing. Furthermore, whilst catching up on the latest goings on in the worlds of my other favourite writers I stumbled upon the news that his friend, Robert Jordan, was also very ill. I just wanted to convey my condolences for your personal loss and ask if you know Mr Jordan yourself and indeed, how he is doing.

On a far lighter note, I was wondering if you knew if the BBC had any plans to re-air or release a DVD of Neverwhere as I would really like to see it again. It was responsible for sparking my interest in the fantasy genre and without it, I may never have enjoyed the work of such good writers as yourself, Jordan and Ford. Thanks

Jim Rigney, who writes under the name of Robert Jordan, was the first speaker at Mike Ford's memorial service. We'd never met before. I thought he was a real gentleman. We spoke for a while afterwards -- he seemed fragile, but in good spirits, or as good as possible, given the nature of the event we were at, and that we were both very conscious of having lost a friend.

(Here's his letter to Locus about his condition --

The truth is that the US release of Neverwhere on DVD is Region Zero, and not, as advertised, Region One, so you can watch it anywhere in the world. I'd love it if the BBC would release the original, obviously, although really I'd like it best if they could recut it, restore lost scenes, fix the look of it, and put in something that wasn't a big old cow as the Great Beast of London...


Here's a link to the Variety Bags and Boards review of Absolute Sandman --

It concludes, This is arguably the finest of DC's Absolute editions, which have improved in quality from an already high level to the level of minievents for such recent volumes as Absolute Dark Knight and Absolute Kingdom Come. But Sandman is the state of the art; it's hard to imagine a more lovely volume being published by anyone. Grade: A+

Which is nice, but it also makes me realise we need to figure out how to raise the bar even higher for volumes 2, 3 and 4...


I'm really sorry to bother you with this, and obviously I'm mostly thinking you won't answer this, and it is deeply unimportant in the grand scheme of things (or even in the petit scheme of things) - but. I've just moved from the UK to the US, and I just want to get a damn sim card for my perfectly lovely mobile (which works here, no matter how many people insist that it won't) - and I'm being told by phone-selling people that they don't have sims in their phones (and therefore I can't just get a new sim), and god only knows what other confusing nonsense. And you're a grownup, and you travel between the two countries, and you take out your US sim and put in your UK sim (you said, you said!) and please could you tell me a) what network you've been pleased with in the US, and b) is there no such thing as a sim card in the US, do I really have to buy a new phone and use it exclusively while I'm here? and c) can I go home now if I promise to be really good?
Yours pathetically,

How odd. Yes, they have SIM cards in their phones here. Have you tried just walking in to a T-Mobile/Cingular/ etc shop and asking to buy a pay-as-you-go Sim card? (Or if you're going to be in the US for a while, you could buy the kind of monthly service that comes with a free basic phone and then just not use the free phone.)

I use T-Mobile in the US, mostly because AT&T used to charge for roaming if you went to the wrong side of the street.


And finally, this is for Holly, because it was her favourite show a long time ago (well, about eighteen years ago, but still)...