Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Ordinary Sunday, With Bees

A quiet Sunday. My trainer, Todd, arrived this morning, took me for a walk and a bike ride.

Bill and Sharon Stiteler came over, along with my assistant Lorraine, and the four of us went down to the beehives: all the bees are doing well. They're "Minnesota Hygienic" bees, a variety of Italian Bee. On Thursday (we think) the three packages of Russian Bees arrive, and we will install them in waiting hives. (The differences between Russian and Italian Bees are explained in this PDF document. Simply put, the Russians are more resistant to Varroa mites, keep queen cells on the go at all times so if something happens to their queen they have another ready to go, and they do better over winters than Italians because they don't overpopulate.)

Then I cooked and wrote and wrote some more. Now watching old episodes of 30 Rock with Maddy on the sofa...

I was just feeling like I was just starting to get back on top of everything today when I saw this:

I thought I would let you know that, while your Contact Neil page refers anybody looking for information to your About Neil page and Biography, a lot of the information there is shockingly out of date.

For instance, the Biography mentions nothing beyond 2004 - no Coraline movie, or Detective Comics, or Graveyard Book, and subsequently, no Newbery - and talks about 2005 events such as the release of Beowulf in the future tense.

Will this be remedied?


And thought, oh god. And yes, the biography needs updating. Probably, really it needs throwing out and writing a new one: it tended to be updated as I went, which meant that fairly small things and great huge things sat side by side. And for some reason it's always last on the list of things to do. So yes. I'll get on it, or find someone who will. Or I'll just keep meaning to do it...

Err... hello (blinks once or twice)

So... I was wondering... this wonderful Thow a Party win a Reading Thing-a-bobber... is it open to libraries?

I have a group of teen volunteers who slave for me here at my library, who are very excited about the possibiltiy that the contest may indeed be open to libraries.

Acting as the voice of reason, I said we needed to check the rules. I am not a very good voice of reason, because I am pretty excited about the possibility too.

So, is it? We'll probably have a Graveyard book themed party anyway, but it would be a lot easier to sell it to the Higher Ups if we could possibly get an author visit out of it.



Hmm. Good question.

No, I don't think the win-a-December-signing event is open to libraries. It's to encourage, and show support for Independent Bookshops. But I'm going to ALA in July to collect my Newbery, and there will be many librarians out there whose brains I can pick, and I bet we can come up with a library-friendly idea: there might possibly be some secret Library-related things in 2010 on the horizon, after all.

Is your piece about the '87 Worldcon going to be available anywhere except the Anticipation programme booklet?

'87 was also my first Worldcon. My own recollections, as a 22-year old student gopher include the moment when I somehow collected two entire TV news crews and was leading them round while completely failing to find anyone who knew where they were supposed to be, or why, or had any credible claim to be important enough to talk to them. Also the "we hate the hotel manager" Chinese wall, filk session, gopher party and (in hindsight blessedly) failed lynchmob.


Right now the only place it's going to be published is the Anticipation book. But I do tell, in abbreviated form, the story of why my hatred for the Metropole Hotel and its manager is peculiarly undiminished, 22 years on.

See this link
where the Web Goblin proposes the following:

WHEREAS Mr. G has a lot of trophies already and
WHEREAS Mr. G's house is of finite space and
WHEREAS Mr. G's mantle is already full and
WHEREAS the Web Goblin's mantle is quite bare and
WHEREAS the Web Goblin did write the blog much of last summer and
WHEREAS the Web Goblin keeps the blog running merrily
THEREFORE Mr. G should totally give the trophy to the Web Goblin should his blog win the British Fantasy Award for "Non-Fiction".

I think this merits consideration. :-)

Oh. Good idea. Sure, if the blog wins, the award is Dan's.

Good evening, Neil.

Sorry to burden you with this; over the past year I've been reading as much R.A. Lafferty as I could lay my hands on, but it seems that not much (particularly in second hand books) have sifted through to Southern Africa. So I decided it was time to buy another short collection like "Lafferty in Orbit" or "Iron Tears", only they were all gone. Most pages for Wildside Press editions were gone or are simple "out of stock" and have been that way for weeks. And this is, not some local on-line retailer. Likewise, Wildside Press has no longer individual volumes of Lafferty's work on sale.

I know you're not the executor of his estate, but I know you're one of the biggest Lafferty aficionados out there, second only to Michael Swanwick, and it was your generous mentioning of him on your journal that made interested in Lafferty. So I'm asking; has Lafferty's been dropped by Wildside Press due to the current world economic climate, or is this just temporary?

If he's been dropped, then the world has grown a great deal colder, and not because it's winter here.

Kindest Regards and yours sincerely


I don't know whether or not the Lafferty books from Wildside Press are still in print (it doesn't look like it). But there's an awful lot of Lafferty out there right now -- look at the Lafferty entries on . And there are many hungry dealers in second-hand books who will be only too delighted to take your money in exchange for books. Trust me.

Right. Bed.