Friday, June 15, 2007

Come to Dance the Macabray

Just a few things....

Lucy Anne pointed out that there was a tiny promotional film up for Wolves in the Walls at the New Victory site. I just popped it up on YouTube, suspecting that they won't mind at the New Victory, especially if a few of you watching it are impelled to order tickets when they go on sale in August... (

[If you're on a feed that cuts off here, click to see the original post, as there is much stuff.]

YouTube embiggened it slightly, I'm afraid.

I was both saddened and sort of glad he was properly remembered when I saw that Melvin McCosh had died and had a nice obituary and photo in the Star Tribune. I loved going to McCosh's house of books (his motto, You Need Them More Than I Do) as long as it, and he, were there. I bought my favourite book in the whole world there (it's a huge 150 year old 500 page leather-bound blank accounts book. Either I will write a novel in it, or I will want to write a novel in it until I die. Either's fine). The obituary is up at -- you may have to log in to read it.

Many years ago I put a character based on Melvin McCosh into an SF TV series I never made (it was called Back of Beyond), because I had never before met anyone so transparently fictional in real life. And my love for John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester's poetry goes back to buying some books from McCosh, and when he looked at the pile he wandered off into a back room and put a book of Rochester's poetry on top of the books I was buying. "If you like all that, you'll like this," he said.

Hey Neil,
I picked up American Gods this weekend and have been really enjoying the book. What's been bugging me, however, is the chili recipe you describe in Chapter 2. It sounded delicious and I'm pretty curious to try it. Is it a personal chili recipe you use? And if so, are you willing to share it?


It was my variant on the Silver Palate Chili for a Crowd recipe (which I just googled and found at I could never be bothered with the olives or sausage meat, and everything else was a sort of generalised "adjust quantities to taste", which is how chili works best anyway. I still don't think the dill ought to work in a chili, but it does, magnificently.


Today is the World's End Message Board's 6th Birthday, and I just wanted to thank you for providing a place for all these lovely people to get together.

Thank you :)


Which is one of those unexpected side effects of something like this. You turn around and there's a whole community there, and I tend to forget they exist until they turn up at signings bearing red balloons and alcoholic beverages and chocolate and suchlike. Happy Birthday... (They can be found at for anyone not using the website as a way to read this.)

Just a short one ... did you know that there is a book out there, written by some Miss Laurell K. Hamilton, (fantasy and quite different from your writing) that is called DANSE MACABRE?

(It's not one of my faves by her, I admit, but I remembered the title and wondered how it comes that both of you got to it ... have to check my French and see whether it is some saying or ...)


There are many, many things called Danse Macabre out there. Stephen King's excellent non-fiction book about horror, for a start, not to mention a very wonderful piece of music by Saint-Saƫns. It refers to the Dance either of the dead, or of the dead with the living, to remind people that they are mortal. It goes back to the Fourteenth Century, to the plague times. Lots of interesting stuff in this Wikipedia article. Did you know that our word Macabre comes from the dance, and was a reference to the Maccabees? S'true. And it was originally pronounced macabray. (More details at

Rich and poor dance in the same way, said poet John Lydgate in The Dance of Death, and that squashed together in my head with Shelley's "I met murder on the way..." and instead of thinking "He had a mask like Castlereagh" I thought "I met murder on the way, come to dance the macabray..." and suddenly there was a story in my head where there wasn't one before.

Which is too much information, and won't make much sense until you've read the story, but there are probably a few word-buffs out there who will take as much joy in it as I did.

Hey Neil,

Its not so much as a question as shameless self promotion. I did an interview with Barron Storey today. It was for my radio show Inkstuds. The show is all about interviewing alternative and underground creators. I thought your fans would be interested in this interview. We talk a little bit about the 15 portraits of Despair.

Here is a link directly to the posting.


Of course. (And if you don't know what Barron Storey's work looks like you can find some of it at

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