Thursday, July 30, 2009

Doing a gloomy bear and other noises

The best bit of today was reading ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS aloud for the audio book. (It's short enough that I could do it in an afternoon, and it will be about 90 minutes long when it's released). I discovered that the first chapter is a bugger to read aloud -- no dialogue and great big run-on-sentences that were a delight to write for me the author and a serious pain in the buttocks to read aloud for me the reader; and I discovered that I love doing my gloomy bear voice (which is pretty much the voice I read Eeyore in, when I read the Pooh books aloud over the years), and the fox-telling-a-story-in-which-he-does-other-characters, and the Frost Giant himself, who is never quite as posh as he thinks he is.

And then I had dinner with Maddy and Holly and their mum, and I waved them goodbye. They're off to the UK now for a few weeks, and I'll see them next when I go over for the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

I noticed today the first solicitation for the upcoming Harper Collins signed, limited edition of Neverwhere. (It was here.) If you pre-paid Neverwhere from the now-as-far-as-I-can-gather extremely defunct Hill House, then you will get one of these. (You should have received an email from Harpers letting you know this edition was on the way.) It should be amazingly beautiful, is the first time that Harpers have done something like this, and will be, like the audio book, the "author's preferred text" and thus several thousand words longer than the current US edition. It also has a bunch of odd, previously stuff in the back -- my original outline for the BBC series and such.

Mr. Gaiman, first of all I love your work. Second, I was wondering if you knew about the North American Discworld Convention being held on Sept. 4-7 in Tempe, Arizona with guest of honor Terry Pratchett, and if so might you be able to attend?

It's been a while since I posted anything about No, I can't go -- I'll be in the UK, recovering from the Edinburgh LIterary Festival and preparing for a short silent movie I'll be shooting. But I wish everyone there well, and hope you don't make Terry sign too many things.

Hi Neil!

Not a question, just a fun fact. Did you know Coraline the movie is being released in Tasmania four days before it's being released anywhere else in Australia? This isn't a complaint. I just thought it was funny because, you know, it's Tasmania :)

Thanks for all your amazing work. The Graveyard Book is one of my top ten favourite books of all time.


I think Tasmania is one of the coolest and most delightful places in the world. Most of my non-Tasmanian Australian friends will confess to regarding Tasmania much as the Canadians seem to regard Newfoundland, or the Americans regard er, most of the rest of the world, as being hopelessly provincial and impossible to get to.

I am delighted that they are getting Coraline four days before the rest of Australia, and hope that this might start a flood of cinematic tourism from the rest of Australia for those four days.

Regarding Marvel's recent announcement concerning the acquisition of the rights to Marvelman -- Will you be involved in any way with the future publications and/or marketing? If so, would you and Marvel possibly consider continuing to use the name Miracleman rather than reverting to Marvelman? My personal experience with the character began in the mid-80's with the Eclipse run by Alan Moore and then you; and, regardless of the actual reasons those stories used the Miracleman name, I have always felt "Miracleman" was -- for lack of better explanation -- a classier, more appropriate, more adult designation than "Marvelman". Thanks for taking the time for this.

We'll see. And no, I think it's Marvelman, which is what it was until 1984ish when Marvel complained.

Right now I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen, and Mark Buckingham and I haven't signed anything, but I'm really hopeful that Marvel will bring Alan Moore's stories back into print, and the work I did with Mark Buckingham (Miracleman 25 was finished, ready for printing, 16 years ago. It's still in Mark Buckingham's possession, although some of the lettering balloons have gone a bit yellow.) I'm not entirely sure what Marvel's plans are for the character at this point -- obviously I'd like to finish the story I started.

Hey Neil,

You mentioned owing something of the story for "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" to Kurt Busiek, and previously you'd talked about cooking up a big crazy Batman story with Busiek during a long car trip. Leaping to the conclusion that WHTTCC is the road trip story, any chance you could share with us something of the shape of that early version of the tale, and how it was similar to/different from the published piece?

The central conceit in the Alfred story in the first part of WHTTCC was something that Kurt and I spun and grew thirteen years ago, almost to the day, during a drive from San Diego to Thousand Oaks to go and be there as Winter McCloud was born (we didn't know that was what we were going to Thousand Oaks for. I thought I was just going to be taking Scott and a very-pregnant Ivy out to dinner, and it wasn't until the point of the dinner where she grabbed my arm and had me start timing contractions that the evening got unusual).

I realize that perhaps more experienced fans probably line up for days just to meet you, but as a student trying to pay her way through school with a full time office job I don't think I can afford to act like a "fan". So for your upcoming appearance at Anticipation '09 in Montreal, do you have any advice as to how early I should show up to meet you? I know you don't come to Montreal often and it would mean the world to meet you.

So far, I'm glad to say, while people have on occasion turned up fairly early in the morning, I don't know of anyone who has lined up for days to meet me. Which is probably a good thing because I would simply feel guilty about it.

There are lots of events with me in at Worldcon, and a few signings. I don't know whether the signings are going to be lottery apportioned or first in line. I'll ask.

I rather hope that meeting me will be as easy as simply saying hello when you bump into me, but I might be being optimistic. We'll see. (And for those people who've written in to ask if Amanda will be there, no, I'm afraid she'll be in Russia that week doing gigs with the inimitable Jason Webley.)

(Which reminds me -- my books are being reissued in Russia any moment now with really beautiful new covers. I'll try and get some pictures of them up here soon.)


And finally, this NPR piece on beekeeping has a video they filmed out at our hives a couple of weeks ago. I was still in Chicago for ALA, so I wasn't there, but Sharon the Birdchick and Fabulous Lorraine had a great time.

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