Thursday, May 14, 2009

ants and screencracks

Somehow in my sleep last night (fell asleep while working, on the sofa) I cracked my notebook computer's screen, and yesterday afternoon the new posh slick black internet router was discovered when I picked it up to try and work out why the internet was so very, very slow, to contain an ants' nest,  upsetting a very large number of little black ants in the process, most of whom ran off, carrying their eggs and probably grumbling about me in Ant.

What an odd world.

Let' s see: interview with yours truly up on BBC Radio 3's R3Arts podcast at and downloadable at
-- as with the Jonathan Ross one, it may only be up for a few more days, so if you want to hear me burbling, that's where.

Stephin Merritt is interviewed about the CORALINE musical in Vanity Fair, with a great selection of photographs from the stage production.

and these reviews came in from  the FAQ line:

Hi Neil,

I was able to get rush tickets to Coraline last night and it was simply...astonishing. There are no words to even describe the beauty that I witnessed on that stage. I was surprised at how well the story translated to the stage and how perfect the lighting, music, and disturbing, yet exciting, acting performed. I know you probably feel the same way as well. So thank you for writing the story that eventually made its way as a piece of fantastic, jaw dropping theater. Do you know if the show will be running again in the future. Or if the music will ever be released?

All my best,

I just got home from the Coraline musical- it was delightful, enchanting, and fantastic! It was even better than what I'd imagined and I dream lots. My fiancee and I talked about the show all the way home from New York (we live in Philadelphia) and we both are wondering if there will be a CD made of the wonderful music? We loved the alternative instrumentation and all the singing was pure perfection tonight. I don't know if we'll be able to swing a second pair of tickets for the show, but we'd love to hear those songs again! Please use your powers for good once again and make this happen!

kerplink, kerplunk, kerploonk,
Elizabeth Hahn

and (for reasons of fairness and balance)

Hi Neil,
Got to see the musical Coraline last night. LOVED the toy pianos! Not sure about bits of it: our lead requires a degree of suspension of disbelief that approaches stress! And not quite sure that everyone's laughing in the right places. Liked the Cat & Misses F & S. Always love Mr. Bobo! My daughter, a huge Stephin Merritt/Magnetic Fields fan, adored the music, and how delightful to see Stephin himself after the show! He signed a Playbill for my daughter & we went home v. happy.

...and the answer is, I don't know if there will be an original cast album or not. I know a lot of shows don't get them, for reasons too complex to go into here (ie it was all explained to me late one night some years ago but I have forgotten the details which had something to do with Actors Equity and suchlike)but, like you, I very much hope there will be.

The CORALINE musical has a VERY limited run, so if you want to see it, and you are in the New York area, book tickets now. I know I keep saying this, and it's mostly because the moment that all the tickets are sold out I will start getting the sad emails that ask why I didn't mention it.

Ticket details are at and if you are under 30 or a student there are cheap seats available (if there are seats available) shortly before curtain-up.

And talking of limited ticketing, if you read you will learn that

This year's Chicago Tribune Young Adult Book Prize will be awarded to Neil Gaiman. Join us in congratulating Neil at the Chicago Public Library at 12pm Saturday, June 6, 2009. This event will be free, but it is a ticketed event because space is limited. Check back May 18, 2009 for ticketing information.

Again, you may want to get into the website early on Monday to get a ticket. (Free tickets are the worst, as people do not feel obligated to use them once they have been bought, and it's a sad thing to talk to a three-quarters filled "sold out" room when you know there were people who wanted to come.) It looks like a wonderful festival, too.

My question is inspired by your answer to the question re George R R Martin. There, you mentioned a story whose deadline passed you by so spectacularly that you simply apologized and moved on to your next bit of writing (a script which I am quite curious to learn the name of). I got to wondering what the story was about, and I started wondering if it would ever reappear.

So my question is, do you ever feel like things you are working on go completely dead, and you more or less just bin them and forget about it, or do you feel more like stories go dormant, but still have the possibility to be finished/rewritten at a later time?

There are a handful of unfinished stories. And in my head none of them are really dead. Only sleeping.


Finally, a huge thank you to Adelle, from LUSH (the nice smelly bath-and-cosmetics-and-stuff-people), who decided that it would be a good thing, while I was in the UK last week, if I went to their King's Road spa and got a "synaesthesia" massage

I wanted to relax, and that was what I got.

It was both perfectly awesome and slightly silly (although nowhere near as silly as the YouTube video implies), and the silly somehow seemed to help the awesome along. An amazing massage from Morag, along with colours, scents, birdsong and suchlike. The sort of thing you'd do for a loved one on a special occasion.

[I should add, I don't think they gave me the spa thing because I was going to blog it - more that they are fans at LUSH (witness the Stardust bathbomb) and wanted to do something nice for me. But I was very happy to blog about it anyway.]

Right. Work.

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