Saturday, March 15, 2008

Closing Many Tabs

When I get a second I'll post about seeing The Magnetic Fields in Chicago. In the meantime, lots of tabs need to be closed here...


On April the 18th I'll be doing a reading and a Q&A as a benefit for the CBLDF at the New York Comic-Con. I haven't mentioned it here but people have already noticed,

Mr Gaiman,

I was really excited to hear that you'll be attending our Comic Con here in New York. then I read that it'll be a ticketed event. I'm sure it's for the Heroes fund or some other worthy cause, but surely you can do a free signing while you're there. You'e Neil freaking Gaiman, I'm sure DC would let youtake over their booth for a couple of hours. Please.



Hi Frank

I don't think it'll happen, I'm afraid. The CBLDF and the New York Con have organised the appearance as a fundraiser, and to ensure that it's successful that's going to be my one appearance (it's a lot more of an appearance than I had planned to do before the CBLDF asked me -- if they hadn't asked, I wouldn't be there at all). As you say, it's a worthy cause. (It's the same sort of thing they set up for Stephen King last year.)

Neil Gaiman, the renowned author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films will be presenting a live reading benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at the New York Comic-Con. The appearance, a paid ticketed reading event, will be called an "An Evening With Neil Gaiman" with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit the First Amendment legal work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. "Reed Exhibitions and the New York Comic Con have always shown a passion for the First Amendment, and their continued commitment to the CBLDF is a tremendous boon to our work," says CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. "We're thrilled to team up with them for this rare and special event."

"We're elated to be working with the CBLDF to host this incredible event," states Lance Fensterman, Show Manager for New York Comic Con. "Neil Gaiman is a huge personality, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is an incredibly influential and important organization. To have them both come together like this at New York Comic Con is a significant honor and I know this will be an enormous highlight of our weekend activity."

"An Evening With Neil Gaiman" will be Mr. Gaiman's only public appearance at New York Comic Con. It will be held on Friday, April 18, at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, and will feature a reading of material selected by Mr. Gaiman. A limited access VIP reception will take place immediately before the event. New York Comic Con, the largest popular culture event to occur on the East Coast, will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, April 18 – 20, 2008.

More details over at,


P. Craig Russell is doing some amazing art right now on his Dream Hunters comic and he talks about it at


This just came in from Harper Collins...

Stats on the American Gods full access promotion:

The book has now had 54k users and 2.3M page views. On average each user is viewing 42 pages.

Which doesn't tell us how many people have read the whole book on their screens and how many people have read one page and shaken their heads and gone away.

It'll be up for a couple more weeks...

This next just came in from Jennifer Brehl, my editor at Harpers, and someone who has been hard at work on making the book available.

Neil –

Below is a link to the survey that the HC internet team hope your will post to your blog. They are very enthusiastic about getting input from your fans to help them to improve the Browse Inside application.

The first few questions will be used for segmentation: current fans vs. new readers, print readers vs. digital readers, etc. It may be that the different groups have different reactions to this promotion and to the online reader.

At the end of this, the internet team would like to invite respondents to participate in a “Browse Inside” Advisory Panel to provide more in-depth feedback.

As you know your fans better than anyone, we’re eager to hear your opinions.

You can click through to the survey here:

I hope that people will take the survey -- the ones who didn't like the way that Harpers did it as much as the ones who did. If you would prefer a downloadable book or a different interface or something, let them know...


A review of M is for Magic in the Daily Telegraph that I've put up because it has the lovely Rick Berry cover for Diana Wynne Jones's magical short novel The Game in it.

I was vaguely wondering about whether to do a glossary of unusual words for The Graveyard Book, but for some reason when I read,
parents may need to be on hand to explain adjectives such as Miltonian. A glossary, rather than Gaiman's introduction, would have been a nice addition.
I found myself deciding against putting a glossary in. I thought that really, part of the fun of words is finding out what they mean. It was always one of the things I loved about books -- that they had cool new words in them. There are words I remember going and finding what they meant, puzzling over and chewing until I understood them (disembowel, for example, a word I ran into as a 7 year old in a John Brunner short story that taught me an awful lot about bodies and what's in them and what you could do to them) and words I remember discovering from fiction and understanding from context.

And it's fun as an author to throw in good words. Someone told me off for putting the word roiling in Odd and the Frost Giants [ make (a liquid) muddy or cloudy by stirring up sediment. 2) To displease or disturb; vex: My roommate's off-putting habits began to roil me.v.intr. To be in a state of turbulence or agitation], as if kids would be upset by an unfamiliar word. I think I got roiling from R. A. Lafferty, as a kid, and loved it.

Which reminds me -- the nine books of the World Books Day promotion are all in the top ten Uk bestsellers this week...


Less a question, more a link asking for comments:

Nicked from George R.R. Martin's blog (, and as much as I love reading both of your journals, I love reading your books and your characters more. And I know that blogging is a distraction to me whether writing papers or short stories -- especially that temptation to tell people what the story's about, which somehow always makes me want to write it less...

I think she has a very valid point (writers need to write, and they need to write the thing they're doing). Beyond that, I read the rest of the rant as a thickly trowelled-on mixture poetic license and rhetorical excess to make the point that when you're blogging, you're not working (a true statement). And it's obviously true for Robin. Me, I like being an author with a blog. And one reason I don't do comments here (as I've said before) is pretty much for the reasons she outlines -- I might get sucked into it and lost forever.

But I think that suggesting that a writer stops being a writer because they blog or have a LiveJournal is silliness, and obviously easily disprovable. Different writers work in different ways. Some are sociable, some aren't. As Robin Hobb says on her FAQ
I've always preferred to work alone, not sharing my work with anyone until it goes off to an editor. That's my quirk. Many professionals attribute a lot of their success to workshops and writers' clubs.
And I think her rant and her reaction to blogging is just part of the same quirk. Blogging works for some writers and not for others. For those for whom it doesn't work, her rant is a useful exhortation not to do it.


Another link from Jonathan Carroll -- this one to abandoned Russian wooden houses...


A couple of years ago Gene Wolfe wrote two stories inspired by Lisa Snellings-Clark art. DreamHaven published them. It's a book called Strange Birds. It's a wonderful book-- the second story is one the most disturbing horror stories Gene has ever written.

Now DreamHaven have announced Strange Roads, a chapbook featuring three new stories by Peter S. Beagle, with a full-color cover and black & white interior art by Lisa Snellings-Clark. Limited to 1000 copies.

(Strange Birds, Strange Roads... I wonder what the next book title could be, and what poor foolish author will be sucked into Lisa's dark world of madness and poppets and pain.)

(It's me actually.)


The Children's Book Council of Australia are holding a conference (as mentioned earlier on this blog) called "All the Wild Wonders" in Melbourne this year. It'll have some fun keynote speakers
two of whom will be giving speeches that are open to the public. Those two are me and Shaun Tan. And I want to hear what Shaun has to say enough that I'm going to get up early on Saturday 3 May 2008, because his talk starts at 9.00 am. (Mine is on Sunday the 4th and starts at the same time.)


I'm sure a lot of people have already asked you, but I'm dying to know your stance on the Spitzer scandal. Having written about it from time to time, how do you feel about prostitution in general?

Nope, nobody's asked me (probably very wisely). I think my views on adult sex-workers are a lot like the ones expressed on Penn and Teller's Bullshit episode on Prostitution (on YouTube here) only without all the swearing.


And finally, from Farah Mendelsohn, an important one:

Dear Neil,

this may be old news to you, but Terry Pratchett has donated $1 million to Alzheimer's research.

Pat Cadigan has launched a "Match it for Pratchett" campaign to get fans to see if we can raise as much. The initial post is here:

And a logo has popped up here:

If you felt like blogging it, we'd be very chuffed. You have more reach than anyone else in sf and fantasy.