Thursday, October 23, 2008


Lots of people wrote to say that a G1 would work, sort of, in my area and that I should get it. A couple of people wrote to say that the stores outside of 3G areas actually weren't being sent the phones yet because of stocking problems and that I should get it. And people wrote to tell me I could buy it online. But mostly I just wanted to play with one and see what I thought.

And, having read another email, I think I may be being sent one now. So will play with it, if it arrives, and will report back here.

People have been writing to ask if I know anything about the Coraline movie video game, but I'm afraid all I know is what I've read in the news links.


If you click on you can watch Michael Dirda introduce me at the National Book Festival on the Mall. And then you can watch me talk about The Graveyard Book, and do a short reading, and then answer questions. I tell the story of how I declined to buy an elbow in China.


Remember the complaint from a reader in Melbourne about the difficulty in getting Graveyard Books there? Well, this just came in from Sydney. It's a shameless plug. Shameless. But seeing I'm currently writing BATMAN in a Moleskin that was a gift from Kinokuniya Sydney the last time I signed there (and in which lots of people wrote nice messages, doodles etc, before it was presented to me) I find myself peculiarly happy to shill for them...

Hi Neil and fans

Wholly molly we can’t wait for the Graveyard book to turn up! The whole front of the store will be stacked high with the hundreds of copies of both editions. And thanks to our friends at Allen & Unwin, we will even have limited stock of the limited edition (hence it being limited). People would have to get in quick before the staff buy them all though!

Our Christmas catalogue even has an “Everyone Loves Neil” section where all Neil Gaiman new releases will be listed i.e. ‘Coraline the Graphic Novel’, ‘Prince of Stories’, ‘The Graveyard Book’ adult and Children’s ed. and ‘The New Annotated Dracula’. Kinokuniya is the one stop shop for everything Neil.

Everyone in Melbourne is welcome to fly up and grab a copy, or you can order through our website and click the Australia link, we can send it down for just $12.


Steve Jones
General Manager
Kinokuniya Bookstores of Australia


Talking about shameless things, the wonderful Thea Gilmore is touring the US for the next month, supporting Joe Jackson. On her last tour, if you told her merchandise folk (which was probably her) that you found out about the gig from here, you got a free thingummy of some kind. You could try it this time...

The tour list can be found at

She's the smartest songwriter I know, has an amazing voice, and is astonishingly tall. After I mention her here people write to me and say things like,

hi neil,

i just wanted to mention that i saw thea gilmore at the fleece in bristol (uk) last night and was blown away by her talent. her voice just transported me and she's really funny and self-deprecating and the bridge of her nose wrinkles up when she sings which is beautiful to behold. i came to her through you mentioning her here so just to say-thanks! I will take notice of your music recommendations in the future!



thanks for mentioning Thea Gilmore the other week. I went to see her play and she was awesome.


and so on. Check her out on her website or at

I am currently reading reports that you and Roger Avary have left 'Black Hole' due to David Fincher taking over the project and having a different idea of how to go about the creative process. As with everything in Hollywood, I take it with a grain of salt. Can you confirm or dispell this news? Thanks.
Logan M. G.

It's amazingly old news, and no, it wasn't "creative differences" -- I never met or spoke to David Fincher (who I think is a terrific director). Roger and I handed in our last draft of Black Hole to Paramount last August, before the writer's strike. When the strike was over, I heard from Roger, who had already written a film for David Fincher, that Fincher was on board, but that his method involved having draft after draft written, and then a month or so after that I heard from one of the producers that they'd brought a new writer on who would work cheaper than we would in order that David could have as many drafts as he needed, given that, contractually, Paramount would have to pay for every draft we did. (I don't know if the new writer was starting with the draft that Roger and I did, or starting afresh.) That was almost a year ago. At this point in time, and given how things move in Hollywood, I don't even know if David Fincher is still on board to do Black Hole any longer. Mostly, I just hope that whatever director they wind up with, and whatever script gets shot, it's faithful to Charles Burns' remarkable vision.

Ian Sinclair is Banned in Hackney --

Andy Riley is banned in Oregon -- -- or at least a lady who doesn't know what an ordeal is wants him and his book of bunny suicides banned...

"It is a comic book, but that's not funny. Not at all," Anderson told the Albany Democrat-Herald newspaper. "I don't care if your kid is 16, 17, 18. It's wrong."

Anderson contacted Principal Julie Knoedler, who told her about the district's book-challenge policy.

Anderson plans to fill out the forms, but she's not taking any chances. Once the review is over, regardless of the outcome, she plans to burn it.

"They're not getting this book back," she said, adding that if the library replaces it: "I'll have somebody else check it out and I'll keep that one. I'm just disgusted by the whole ordeal."

And I know what I want for Christmas.


And finally, another one from, I suspect, a parallel earth:

Dear Neil,

As a Borders (Waldenbooks, really, but same overall company) employee, I wouldn't blame you if you were calling for a boycott. I understand that it's bad for business, but the business is in bad shape as it is (and they treat us like we aren't people). A boycott might be the difference between whether it goes under or stays afloat, but there is absolutely no reason to be rude to someone who may or may not be calling for a boycott.

As I'm sure you understand, it's hard to sell books that you don't get from the distributors. Because the store I work at usually gets five or fewer copies of new releases, we do a lot of special ordering, and I guess we're lucky because most of the time people are willing to wait the week or two for the books to come in.

Special ordering things has its problems, too, though -- books take a very long time to come in when it says on the order page that both of our suppliers have multiple copies of this book in stock. It's ridiculous. But sometimes it works out nicely and books that are supposedly on back-order come in within a week.

So, I suppose, if people would remember to be patient, that Borders is not stocking some new books wouldn't be such a problem. (Remember: We can order almost anything if it's in print.)

Boycott Borders if you must. We'd prefer it if you didn't, but I'm not going to stop you, and I'm certainly not going to send you hate mail if you do. (Then again, maybe I'm past the point of caring what happens to Borders. There are other places to work.)


It's the bit about how I "may or may not be calling for a boycott" that leaves my head spinning, Sarah. In this universe, I wrote a post explaining why I thought a Boycott of Borders was a very bad idea. And then got hate mail (and now sad "Boycott if you must, it's no secret we're in trouble" mail) from Borders people. Is there some kind of secret Borders messaging board where they discuss this, and decide that what I obviously meant by Don't Boycott Borders They Can't Stock Everything Why Not Support Specialist Stores Who Do Stock That Stuff was Boycott Borders? Tobias Buckell seems to be having the same mysterious problem.

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