Sunday, September 30, 2007

Getting out of the Bath

I went to Bath from Bristol. Was trapped in a one way system by the taxi's GPS system and a taxi driver who seemed oblivious to the fact that the GPS system was taking him around and around the centre of Bath in repeating circles, but who was determined to obey his GPS orders anyway and thus ignored all the diversion signs that would have taken him where he needed to go.

But we got there. I printed stuff out. All was ready.

I came on in a huge thingummy of dry ice smoke that rolled across the stage and then lurched into the foggy darkness of what I could only imagine was an audience. You couldn't see much through the smoke but you could hear a few people coughing. It gave me hope.

Then I sat down and read some of the first chapter of "The Graveyard Book", and a little bit of "Odd and the Frost Giants", and then I answered questions. I'd made a promise to myself to try and answer as many questions as I could completely newly, ever since someone in Lund came up to me and said "I was answering along with you, word for word on that" (I think it was my reply to "How Did You And Terry Pratchett Write Good Omens?"). It meant I was a bit more hesitant and probably less funny, but, I hope, a bit more honest-in-terms-of-exactly-how-I-think-of-something-right-now.

They'd advertised the event as "12+ and adult" which meant that we got a mostly adult turnout of about 450 people. The signing went fast and everyone was really nice.

After, Bloomsbury publicist the magnificently pregnant Lucy Holden and I were meant to get the train back to London, but it was first delayed and then, eventually, cancelled, so we bit the bullet and got a taxi all the way from Bath railway station to London.

Stumbled back into my hotel very late and then couldn't sleep until early.

Dear Mr. Gaiman
I am very curious to know what the word "neepery" means. I looked up some of the dictionary's at home and came up with nothing. So i tried the internet and those dictionaries seemed to have nothing, except something about some physic's equation. Which has made my head spin and forced me to lie down, so strange it was. So i tried to just Google neepery and that has lead me to some other writers that write "neepery" and the context its used in didn't help me much. Will you please divulge on this young boys mind the meaning of the word neepery!!
Many Thanks
P.S. My best friend thinks that you made the word up, just to make yourself look cooler.

I have made many words up in my time, but that wasn't one of them. A quick Google gave me...

: /neep neep/, n.
[onomatopoeic, widely spread through SF fandom but reported to have originated at Caltech in the 1970s] One who is fascinated by computers. Less specific than hacker, as it need not imply more skill than is required to play games on a PC. The derived noun neeping applies specifically to the long conversations about computers that tend to develop in the corners at most SF-convention parties (the term neepery is also in wide use). Fandom has a related proverb to the effect that “Hacking is a conversational black hole!”.

Hope this helps.

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