Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Q: Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? A: No.

Hi Neil,

Go on, show us a picture. You know you want to ;-)


Here's a cameraphone pic I took for curious friends. It was taken yesterday, just after the doctor left, still a bit stunned. (In the strange way of these things, my doctor was just driving past, and called to see if I was around and could offer encouragement on his novel, just after the incident occurred. So I had a doctor there in minutes.)

Today I look much less stunned, the nose is even bigger, and there's emu oil and germoline on the cut to stop it scabbing and help with scarring. Opinions around here are divided on whether or not I'll have panda-eyes for New York. Opinions are also divided on whether I should try and cover the bruising up with make-up for the interviews on Friday, or whether I should use latex and a small bottle of Kensington Gore to make it look more interesting (my heart goes with the latter, my head for the former).

I drove Maddy to school this morning. She has an extremely cool crescent-shaped scar next to her eye, from when, as a small child, she ran into the corner of a table. She said,

"Will you get a scar?"


"I like my scar. You know, I get people I've known since kindergarten asking me about it, these days, as if they've just noticed it."

"Really? What do you tell them."

"What you told me to tell people who asked."

I racked my brains. Nothing. "What was that?"

"I tell them I got it in a swordfight."

"Oh. Good."

Dear Neil

What is it like to live in a world where one can call up some famous movie producer (or was it a director) and chat? Is it nice? Or is it a little bit lonely sometimes? Or am I just being presumptuous?

Thanks for your time.


Not presumptuous, but it's just sort of irrelevant, at least the famousness bit. Friends are friends and people you work with are people you work with. If you're working with them it takes about 20 seconds to get over the feeling of, "Oh my god I'm in a room talking to X!" and to get on with whatever it is you're meant to be doing (if it's work). If they're your friends you only become aware of the famousness thing when someone else says "Excuse me, was that X?" or asks for an autograph or something.

I wouldn't phone up a famous film director or producer to chat. But I might phone a friend, who produced or directed, and was famous, to chat. Big difference.

I'm lucky in that I'm not a celebrity, and I'm not really famous. I'm well known for what I do among the sort of people who like what I do, and I wouldn't want to be more famous. And famous is, for pretty much all of the people I know who are, a side-effect or by-product of doing what they do, which is pretty much always what they love doing, and it's not a particularly desirable by-product at that.

(Not necessarily a bad one either -- you can do good things with it. Gillian Anderson's used hers to help push National Doodle Day -- a neurofibromatosis fund-raiser that raises money from celebrity doodles. has doodles by lots of interesting people that will go up on eBay in a month. Although the ones I like best are from the less famous and the more draw-y, like Sergio Aragones, Gahan Wilson, and Kendra Stout (who did the "scary trousers" t- shirt, and just did a mouse pad for Cat Mihos's and Fred Hembeck. Also there are two by me.)

Lonely, when it happens and wherever in the world it happens, is lonely, and that has nothing to do with famousness (except as a sort of an occasional by-product of, Because I do what I do I'm sitting in a hotel-room in a country where I don't know anyone a long way from my family and friends. And authors don't have it bad compared to, say, stand-up comedians or truck drivers). But then, I'm also the kind of person who daydreams about booking a passenger cabin on a merchant ship and going off around the world for six months writing a book.

Dear Neil,

I have just discovered that brightly colored bubbles are available, and go by the name Zubbles ( Considering the story you read in Helena last year, I thought you might want to know, although since the website has a 2005 copyright date, maybe you already do.

Speaking of the story, I'm really looking forward to "Orange," and the rest of The Starry Rift. It comes out right before my birthday, and it seems fitting that I could get it a year after I got to hear you read "Orange," which was a one-day-late birthday present from my parents (who bought the tickets) and my best friend. (She drove us from Missoula to Helena, even though she'd only seen Mirrormask and knew nothing else about you! She loves Stardust now, and she liked Good Omens, too.)

- anna

It's mortifying to discover you're the kind of SF writer who can imagine something futuristic after it's been invented, isn't it? Soon I shall imagine the "air-plane" -- a fixed-wing heavier than air flying machine!

This just came in from Jonathan Strahan, editor of The Starry Rift:

I've set up a website at which contains
information about the book, downloads of the cover art, short interviews
with some of you (they'll appear one a day over the coming week or so), and
as much relevant stuff as I can muster.

I've also arranged a chance for readers to win some copies of the book.
Thanks to Viking, I'm giving away a copy of The Starry Rift to the first
five readers who email me at and tell me the name of
the last science fiction novel they loved and why. The details are at


Dear Mr. Gaiman,

I was wondering if the techno-masters behind your website might be able to turn the countdown for the upcoming American release of The Graveyard Book, which appears on your homepage, into one of those iGoogle "gadget" thingies. That way I can put it on my 'iGoogle' homepage next the "gadget" I have for Frank Miller's "The Spirit" movie.

Most Sincerely, Daniel Crandall

I forwarded it to Dan Guy, the webgoblin, and he sent back, within a couple of minutes:

Here's an off-the-shelf countdown clock for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. I may try to create a most customized one as well.

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