Sunday, November 23, 2008

written to the sound of gunshots

It's cold here these days. The other night the outside thermometer said it was 7 degrees F, and the wind took it colder -- and winter has not quite started yet. Winter starts in a week, after the weekend that follows Thanksgiving, when the hunters get back into their cars and go home.

The gunshots start at first light on the weekends. I can hear them now. Bam. Bam. Bam.

The dog is now wearing his fluorescent orange cape at all times, and if I'm walking with him or alone I'll put an orange cap or a fluorescent orange knitted headthingummy on: too many people are out in the woods right now, loaded with beer and weapons, shooting loudly and enthusiastically at anything that moves that isn't orange.

We get local news stories at this time of year that range from the comic to the nightmarish and tragic about overenthusiastic hunters mistakenly shooting and killing horses, cows, goats, members of their families, each other, and, normally unintentionally, themselves. (And a few years ago, a lady inside a house, who got hit while indoors by a hunter who was outdoors (she survived).)

There was a farmer round here who took to painting the word COW in bright orange lettering on the side of his cows.

I've got NO HUNTING signs posted on my land, hoping it'll lower the odds on anyone here wandering off for a morning walk being accidentally shot, but most years I'll find one or two hides built at the edges of the land, if not on it.

So the dog looks like Krypto when we we go walking, and I look like a fluorescent orange version of Where's Wally/Waldo.

Only a week to go. Bam. Bam.


Hi Neil,

Love the new Coraline website. While the other girls are crazy over Twilight, I'm just as crazy for the upcoming movie! What I would really like to do is walk in the movie theatre with a Coraline t-shirt, maybe some tubesocks covered in buttons, and if I can fit all my hair into one - a blue wig, well maybe not that. Anyway do you think any merchandise will be made? I'm thinking a couple of with a quote from the book on it or that G.K. Chesterton quote. Thanks for the inspiration for aspiring writers like me, making stuff up forever.

from Tejas.

I don't know. I'll ask.

Hello Neil. I have a question that may only be due to some basic misunderstanding on my part, but I've searched and can't seem to find an explanation anywhere. Hopefully I'm not the only one confused by this.

In Stardust, at the beginning of the book, the Fair is described as being every nine years. But Tristran leaves during one such Fair, and returns one year later for another. Doesn't he?

Nope. He leaves before the fair and returns during it.


As much as I enjoy your blogging, I'm always pleased when Maddy guest blogs. I remember fairly clearly Maddy's blogging during your visit to the Hellboy II set. It seemed to be hinted (or maybe I'm insane) that Maddy might appear in a DVD extra somewhere. For this reason, I went out and bought the three-disc version of Hellboy II (otherwise, I probably would have bought the single-disc edition). At any rate, I haven't plowed through all of the DVD extras yet (there seem to be kind of a lot of them), but I was hoping you could let me know... is Maddy an international superstar? Did she make a cameo on the Hellboy special features, or get mentioned in the commentary or something? Or did I get my hopes up for nothing? I'm a big fan of Maddy's guest-blogging and the Maddy anecdotes, so I was looking forward to this. At any rate, you should tell Maddy she has adoring fans.

Sandra Seaman.

I heard from Maddy that she's on the DVD being shown Wink (she was emailed this information by her friend Javier the extras director). I think the interviews with her are probably still in the Hellboy vaults.

Hello Mr. Gaiman~

An interesting thought just struck know how they maintain houses of famous people eg. Bertrand Russell, Jane Austen, do you think they'll have one for you too when you die? Sorry about the morbidity...but I just found the idea quite amusing, and I do think people would flock to your house after your death. ^_^


Oh god. Does that mean I have to tidy the place up?

Just seen this on the BBC website when they interviewed Joseph Paterson about Dr Who....

“My favourite character was the Marquis de Carabas from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

"I love that character because he's so flamboyant but also darkly dangerous - and he's also 200 years old.

Looks like he would be an ideal Doctor!

It's certainly a fun rumour, and he's currently the bookies' favourite: is the article.

Paterson's an amazing actor, and I loved working with him on Neverwhere. There were a lot of things I didn't like about the BBC Neverwhere, but he was always marvellous -- he got it and ran with it (here's the first few minutes of him on screen).

Whether he'll get to be the next Doctor Who... well, I know no more than you do. But I'd give him the job in a trice, if it was mine to give.

Incidentally, forty five years on from the first episode of Doctor Who (happy birthday, by the way) the BBC have put some archive files online.


Still playing with the G1. Starting to get more enthusiastic as I play with more and more apps -- there's a strange delight in going to Instamapper and looking at the patterns I make as I walk around, for example. Maddy keeps borrowing it to play Pacman and a game called AMAZED where you have to maneuver a ball around the screen by tipping it one way and another. I'm impressed with the bar code reader that tells me where I can buy anything cheaper locally, and would be even more impressed if it wasn't convinced I could buy Ellen Klages books at my local Walmart.

The iSkoot Skype app is fairly wonderful, iMeem is great (but the phone's okay-but-not-great speaker quality means I'll probably never actually use iMeem on the road, now I've tried it out... better sound reproduction and a speaker jack would be on my list of must-haves. Along with better battery life if you're actually using any of the things that make the G1 more than just a cell phone). Now I'm just waiting for the iris recognition software... ("Oh no! Not only have they cut my eyes out but now I can't get to my address book!")


Miyazaki fans and Ursula K LeGuin fans will want to know about this auction.

I keep meaning to post a link to this article on TOR Books and libertarianism and SF.

And on the Entertainment Weekly blog, Marc Bernardin writes a really nice little heartfelt thing on twenty years of Sandman.

There is an award for adult novels that children or young adults would enjoy. Here's a list of recent books for children and young adults that adults would enjoy.


And finally, I'm thrilled that The Graveyard Book made it into another end of year round up -- Michael Berry's in SF Chronicle:

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; 312 pages; $17.99; ages 12 and up) On the night a mysterious stranger kills his parents and sister, a toddler escapes from the house and finds sanctuary in a cemetery. There he is adopted by a ghostly couple, accepted by the other revenants in residence and given the name Nobody Owens, or Bod, for short. Bod's coming-of-age has its moments of wonder, terror and tenderness, and Gaiman hits exactly the right notes every time. This is a book that should be passed from brother to sister, child to parent.

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