Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Where the Books Are

It's already after lunch on April Fool's Day, except in Hawaii. But this article is, um, posted without comment:

which reminded me of Locus's Gaiman One Step Closer to Sainthood.

And then there's the tragic news that I'm to be stripped of my Newbery.

And it's all an odd sort of way to wake up on an April 1st when there's something that seems to want to be a blizzard going on outside the window.

The first email I sent today was to some people who wanted to give me an award. I was declining it, because on that day I had to be to be in another city getting a different award. This did not feel cool, and I did not feel happy about it, or special, or, well, anything good. Mostly it felt like the universe was being sarcastic for emphasis, and I sort of felt like, yes, I got it. Important things= loved ones and the stories; unimportant things = everything else. Everything.

The best news is that I seem to be writing again. I finished something yesterday I'd been working on since January, which was an enormous relief, because in the travel and movie promotion and family tragedy and all I'd started to think I had forgotten how to do it.

Lots of writing in the small hours of the morning, with odd DVDs on the TV for company, of the kind where you wind up half-watching the never-watched DVD extras because you can't be bothered to go upstairs and find a new DVD, and then you suddenly find yourself watching Val Singleton making a Dalek Cake out of a swiss roll, liquorice allsorts and some Smarties at 4.00am...

Now I've got some shorter things, and introductions to do.

The #100K competition we did over at Twitter has closed. (It took a bit longer for Kitty and Lorraine to judge than we'd expected, because there were around 6000 entries.) You can read the 27 winning entries (and possibly find out if you won) at
(from which I also note that Kitty is down to the last few Day The Saucers Came prints.)

So. Tab-closing...

Todd Klein is relettering Death: The High Cost of Living for the upcoming Absolute Death, and writes about it at

LibraryThing is offering flashmobs of librarians to sort and scan books for authors. Frankly, I just love the idea of flashmobs of librarians.

Empire reviews CORALINE -- it's the first UK review, I think. (It comes out in the UK on May 8th.)

Michael Marshall Smith just won a French literary award. And when I read the list, I discovered that Sandman: The Kindly Ones (Les Bienveillantes) had just won it as well. Which is great news. It's always frustrated me that Sandman's publication history in France has been amazingly spotty. It's won lots of awards (including an Angouleme Award for Season of Mists) but it's taken all this time for the whole thing to come out. (I'm not even sure if The Wake has come out there or not yet.) customers may want to vote for The Graveyard Book (if you liked it) in the Audible Award Finals

Hi Neil,

Have you seen this?
It's a poster from a movie directed by Brian Pulido:



Yup, I've seen it. I was amazed and amused.

Hello, Mr. Neil.
This is my question: You lived most of your life in the UK but now live in the United States, right? Which one do you consider to be your home? And for that matter, what do you think classifies as a 'home'?
I'm asking this because my mother died in January. I'm a seventeen-year-old kid. I think I've forgotten what my home is supposed to be. The concept 'home' seems strangely alien all of a sudden.....
I was hoping someone who's experienced two potential 'homes' might help- and explain it in a way my comic-book-fried-mind can understand.

Best wishes.


I find myself remembering the Richard Burton (the actor, not the Arabian Nights one) line about "Home is where the books are". And by that token, home is the one in the US.

But truly, even now, when I go to the UK I think, I'm going home. And when I go, er, home, I think I'm going to America. Probably why I've never taken citizenship...

But at the end of the day, I think Home is something you make, not something you find. Something you're always leaving, and somewhere you're always looking for or returning to. It's part of growing up, and not the best part.

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