Sunday, October 15, 2006

Um. Er. Um. Tea...?

There. Eighteen hours after getting on the plane I was home safely and at last, to find that winter has already begun. Not the real winter, of course. That will be here soon enough. But it's cold already when the sun goes down, and the leaves, which were all shades of flame and gold when I left, have almost all fallen now and are piled in leaf-mounds.

Piles 0f mail waiting on the kitchen table from the last few weeks, including the galleys of M is for Magic, the upcoming short story collection for kids with illustrations (and a lovely cover) by the amazing Teddy Kristiansen. Lots of things to get written and email to reply to. But I'm in an odd sort of too-much-travel-and-signing-and-now-I've-stopped-moving fugue state, where I sit down and then notice it's two hours later, and I didn't do anything as far as I can tell except perhaps make a cup of tea in the meantime. (Even this post has taken hours and hours to write, and my nearest and dearest have given up on trying to have conversations with me as a bad job, due to the way that I seem very pleased to have successfully said "Umm...." and sometimes "Er... is there any tea?" and such and then trail off into bemused and jet-lagged and tour-lagged silence.)

Fred the Now On His Ninth Life Black Cat has his own house. Well, it's the new garage with a cat door and a big pet pillow and cat food and water in the corner. He seems to like it, except I think he's sort of bored in there, so he's taken to following me when I walk around the woods, in a series of mad stalks and dashes-past, happily wandering along for a mile or more in a most uncatly manner.

I loved iCon -- the enthusiasm of the people at the convention was refreshing. They were welcoming and exactly like SF fans anywhere else in the world. It's a young fandom (in contrast to the complaints in the US and the UK about the "greying of fandom"). ICon has "lectures" rather than panels, though, chiefly because, I was told, they don't have normally have more than one guest, and the con scrapes by financially by selling tickets to the various events and with limited sponsorship. It's an interesting format, the lecture thing, and I wonder if it will change when they start getting more guests. There's a sort of puzzled excitement from a few people I spoke to at the idea that they are just now starting to grow their own fantasy writers (I met four of them for lunch one day, all with fantasy novels first published within the last year or so, and told them anything they wanted to know about writing and publishing).

(I need to apologise to the people who were at iCon but couldn't get a ticket for the talks, some of whom wrote in to me asking if I could post the text of my lectures here, and I'm afraid can't as I just got up and started talking, so I'm afraid you're at the mercy of what people post on Youtube.)


Several people wrote to let me know that actually honoured their original price posted and sent them copies of ABSOLUTE SANDMAN for $14. I'm very pleased for them.

(For some reason Amazon don't have the actual cover up.)

And here's the first review of Absolute Sandman I've seen so far --


In Cambridge (not the English one) there's a competition going on -- The Massachusetts Center for the Book invites fourth through twelfth graders to participate in Letters About Literature, an annual reading promotion that invites students to write about an inspiring piece of literature.

One of last years' winners, Adu Matory, wrote about how Anansi Boys had inspired him, and here's his winning letter -- (Well done, Adu and good luck. I hope you become a film director one day.)


More reviews for Fragile Things -- here's Mark Graham's review in the Rocky Mountain News:

The wide variety of selections shows Gaiman's influences and his amazing range as one of the world's most popular fantasy writers. Some stories are frightening; a couple are laugh-out-loud funny; some are downright strange.... Readers will be hard-pressed to find a better collection this year.

The most interesting and thoughtful review so far was Gary Wolfe's in Locus, but the reviews are only in the print version of Locus (that's this issue --

Which reminds me to point out that the order-a-taster-or-Free-Locus-issue-with-me-in-it-and-special-subscription offer from previous years is still valid. (this is a big interview with me) (this is me and Terry Pratchett talking Good Omens 16 years on)

(Which I mostly mention because if you're serious about wanting to write SF or horror or fantasy, you need a subscription to the print version of Locus. It's as simple as that.)


An audio interview from the Bookcast podcast series -- and you'll have to look down the list until you find the Fragile Things interview.


The first chapter of Victoria Walker's The Winter of Enchantment is up at the Fidra Books website --


I'll try and get to the backlogged FAQ line mail over the next few days. Sorry.

My assistant seems to have acquired a temporary puppy, which she will be delivering to her bandmate Malena in LA this Hallowe'en. It looks a bit like a frogbat, and a bit like a cartoon of a dog from a hundred years ago.

And a small final request -- does anyone know of a program that will export a playlist (not the songs in the playlist, just the playlist itself) from an iPod? iTunes won't, and while I've got a few programs for getting under the hood of the iPod on a PC or a Mac, none of them seems to want to do that.