Wednesday, February 14, 2007


You know, the readers of this blog, between you all, know everything. Last year I posted about Joe Hill saying
One of my favourite short stories from last year was called "Best New Horror" by an author I'd not previously heard of named Joe Hill, in PS publishing"s Postscripts #3. His website's , and I just noticed that he has a collection out, 20th Century Ghosts. I don't have much time for reading currently, but I'm going to order a copy.
and the next morning I got an email from someone named Jeff saying,
Thanks for your post on Joe Hill yesterday. It happened to be the other half of a coincidence that gave me a fun few minutes of detective work on the web. Perhaps you knew this already and were being coy, but it turns out Hill is actually Joe Hill King and his parents are backwoods Maine hermits who have dabbled in the writing game themselves from time to time.

See, I came home late with a copy of the new Entertainment Weekly and, working from the back, read Stephen King's latest essay wherein he gave a shout-out to a friend of his kids' named Shane Leonard. Good for him. Then I came upstairs to peruse a few blogs, clicked on the Hill link you provided and somewhere on there spotted a nod to Hill's web master -- a guy named Shane Leonard...

Like I say, between you, you people know everything, or you figure it out. It was something that, now I knew it, I decided not to remember or to mention here -- mostly because I could see why Joe was doing it under his own steam, and I thought that was a good thing. I was pleased I'd liked the story first, before realising that the author was the nice young man I'd met at the Season of Mists signing in Boston, fourteen years earlier.

Anyway, I loved Twentieth Century Ghosts, and was then very surprised by Heart-Shaped Box, which I had expected to be quiet and literary, like the short stories, and was instead a terrific roller coaster, almost impossible to stop reading. I loved it, took pleasure in blurbing it, and was extremely pleased to see this New York Times review by Janet Maslin who seems to have enjoyed it just as much as I did.

I see from his website -- -- that he's now, as of yesterday -- on an author signing tour. Go and see him if he's coming near you. Tell him I said Hi.

(So far this year, my favourite book is Diana Wynne Jones's The Pinhoe Egg. It's the nearest thing to a sequel to Charmed Lives she's written -- a Chrestomanci novel with Cat in it, and a lot more besides. The sort of book that makes you sad on page 400 because you only have a hundred pages to go and then it'll be done.)

Dear Neil;

Furtherto your comments on "The Land of Green Ginger", I remember seeing it televised in the late '50s. I searched the IMDB and it was Episode 6 of Season 1 of "Shirley Temple's Storybook" shown 18 April 1958. Each episode of the series dramatized a (usually) well known fairy/Arabian Nights/fantasy story. I really can't actually remember the episodes but I do remember the longing for the next episode in the series.


Paul Burrows

Oddly enough, some years ago I bought the video from someone on eBay. It was an odd sort of thing, not really funny, not quite sure what it was, and I wondered if it was the experience of working on it that sent Langley back to the material for what became the 1965 edition of the book, which is much sharper and more knowing and odd. It is out there, and probably pretty soon it'll probably show up on YouTube.


This came in from a very happy Elizabeth, the manager at DreamHaven...

42 orders so far. Your fans rock! You can tell them I said so. Also that we will fill orders as fast as possible, but there may be some delay, because the manager is now teary-eyed and it slows down her typing.


I'm as grateful as she is.

...and right now I find myself playing, over and over, "When My Ship Comes In" a piece of music I found on the Fabulist, by the North Atlantic Explorers.

And over at, is the North Atlantic Explorers cover of Lloyd Cole's "I Will Not Leave You Alone", which is a perfect Valentine's Day sort of a song, if you wanted one. (My very favourite Valentine song is probably Thea Gilmore's "Holding Your Hand" but I couldn't find it up online, so I am not linking to it.)

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