Friday, August 01, 2008

on the concept of fiction

Let's see...

Mr. Gaiman,
I recently read your journal and the response you made to someone attacking your previous and future work on Batman. I saw this person as an average flamer who, for some reason, needed you to know that he didn't like your work. What surprised me was that you responded to his criticism in such an open forum. I figured it was a way to bring up the argument that all popular creators must bring up from time to time, "It's doesn't bother me that some people don't like my work." On the other hand, it could just as easily have been a way for you to point out this person's ignorance to your fans so that we could send bad thought his way. So I've decided to ask: Why did you post such a venomous remark and your response on your journal?

Feel free to edit this post in any way for your purposes.

Normally I pick emails to put up based on a unique and complex algorithm built around 1) How many people are asking similar things, 2) how interesting I think it is, 3) whether I get around to putting it up or whether it's swept away by the flood the following hour, day or week, 4) whim. In that case I'd got lots of people writing in to say that the news that I was writing Batman made them happy, which was nice but not really something I'd put up here, and a few people who seemed deeply hurt that I was writing Batman, which I found odd and a bit interesting. That was the best written of the lot. I probably should have edited it for language, but was worried that if I left F blanks it would look like I was messing with his words to make him look stupid, so didn't.

This next one I chose because of the four letters that came in objecting to yesterday's photos, one, from someone who wanted to let me know she would now never buy anything by me ever again, seemed to be a bit mad, and one was crass, and one was funny but I thought this was the most interesting:

Hi Neil, is that lady wearing a slip? It looks nasty. What does Maddy think about that picture? My mom says it's in bad taste. LOL Patti

I think Maddy's been around film sets and photo sets enough to know that film and photo sets are fictional. That was Amanda's costume for the photo shoot on the roof that preceded the photos you saw. (Below you can see three out of six of today's costumes in pictures that, I hope, will be more reassuring and family friendly. Except possibly for the first, now I come to think of it.) Kyle is shooting a book of photographs called "Who Killed Amanda Palmer". Amanda is in all the pictures -- which are a lot like scenes from movies -- and I'm writing very short stories to accompany them. I'm trying to do the majority of them while I'm here, as my plate is scarily full right now, and it seemed easier and faster just to come out while many of the photos were being taken and see what was going on and write.

The photos yesterday, and the ones below, were all taken by Kyle between actual shots, because the man does not put down his camera.

They are very long days -- we were still shooting stuff way past midnight, and I'm typing this at 3:30 am, but it's good work, and Kyle is producing some extraordinary images. (Except for the Oboe-and-Dirndl shots. Those are just wrong.) (And he's blogging in the other corner of the room.)

You can hear some of the WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER songs on YouTube: four videos have been put up so far at . Although my favourite, which is called OASIS, doesn't yet have a video.


Back in March The New Yorker ran a wonderful article on magic, magicians, and Jamy Ian Swiss (who, in addition to being all the cool things that they say he is in the article, read the manuscript of American Gods for me and told me when my coin magic was off). It's now available to read online at


That was it for blogging tonight. If I owe you a letter, sorry...

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