Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Author meets world

Hullo world

I'm currently living in a house Amanda and I have rented in Cambridge MA. She wanted to be out here to be able to be here for her friend Anthony, who is going through some particularly gruelling cancer treatments. It's a large, strange house, all oak-panelling and odd-shaped rooms we didn't notice the first time we walked through it. I'm loving it, despite living out of boxes.

Amanda thinks, correctly, that it's too big, but is humouring me. (She's using the Cloud Club as an office home-base.)

The thing I'm missing most being out here is the dogs: Cabal is not doing well physically currently. He has Degenerative Canine Myelopathy and his back legs are liable to slip out from under him and he can no longer do stairs. When I got out here I realised that he wouldn't be able to manage this place and regretfully abandoned my plan to bring the dogs with me. He's got his world that he loves out there, and so I am going to go back to the Midwest and be with him whenever I can. (Lola, on the other hand, could come out here like a shot, but she's his company.)

Thanksgiving was spent at Amanda's mother and stepfather's, but over the Thanksgiving period all of my kids came in from all over the US.

I'm starting to get writing rhythms back, which is good.

I missed the shooting of my next Doctor Who episode, although I've seen a rough assembly already. Warwick Davies is really good in it, and I asked the impossible of Matt Smith and he pulled it off with aplomb. (Watching the rushes of Matt getting gloriously, apologetically, sweary at fluffed takes of some of the dialogue stuff I'd asked him to do made me grin like a mad thing.)

Right now, also due to being in the wrong country -- like this minute -- I'm missing this, which arrived a few hours ago:

That's left to right, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Harewood,  Natalie Dormer, Dirk Maggs, James McAvoy, David Schofield and Anthony Head, all gathered today to record the BBC Radio 4/Radio 4 Extra production of NEVERWHERE.

(It'll start on Radio 4 and then go over to Radio 4 extra.) The adaptation is by Dirk Maggs, who did the last three Hitchhiker's Guide Radio adaptations. He's co-directing it with producer Heather Larmour, who is the one who went off and made this happen after a small enthusiastic chat in a London coffee shop much earlier this year -- the kind of conversation that you have that normally just leaves you feeling happy, but doesn't actually turn into anything real. This time it did.

The cast includes...

James McAvoy                Richard
Natalie Dormer                 Door
David Harewood               Marquis
Sophie Okonedo               Hunter
Benedict Cumberbatch      Islington
Anthony Head                   Croup   
David Schofield                 Vandemar
Bernard Cribbins               Old Bailey
Romola Garai                    Jessica
Christopher Lee                Earl of Earl's Court
Andrew Sachs                    Tooley
George Harris                    Abbot   
Don Gilet                            Fulingous, Ruislip, Blackfriar
Abdul Salis                          Sable, Sump, Clarence, Homeless Man
Paul Chequer                     Gary, Guard 2    
Lucy Cohu                          Lamia
Yasmin Paige                     Anaesthesia, Tenant 2 – female, Match girl
Johnny Vegas                    Lord Ratspeaker
Stephen Marcus                Varney, Homeless man, Letting agent, Guard 1
Karen Archer                      Sylvia, Old Woman, Dream Hawker, Mother...

...and lots more (including an author, who recorded his bits last month). It will go out in six episodes.

Am I excited? I am. Very much so.

(Also, CHRISTOPHER LEE IS GOING TO BE SAYING LINES I WROTE. This makes me happier than I have any right to be.)

It will be broadcast somewhere in the first 4 months of 2013. And you will be able to listen to it wherever you are in the world, using the BBC's iPlayer.

I'm currently listening to Tor Dot Com's AMERICAN GODS MIX TAPE while I work on the HBO American Gods pilot episode.

Right. Back to work...

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Friday, November 09, 2012

Transcendent Jet lag: also an Elephant, Lunatic Heroes, Bad Sneezing & Media

I'm in Nantes, France, at the Utopiales Festival. A bit jet-lagged, but happy. I turned 52 about 40 minutes ago.

This morning I rode on a carousel and saw an elephant. Here is the elephant:

(Both of these things and more at

I just spent some of the last 40 minutes looking at the dailies from my Doctor Who episode. I won't put any spoilers about it up here, not yet -- not even things that probably aren't really spoilers, like the villain, the working title, or any of the stuff that's all over the web right now. (Google and it will all be yours...)

Dave McKean is here in Nantes. He drew me a birthday card...

I was in Vienna on Monday, kicking off a secret project with Lomo. (See some of my Lomo photos here, along with a Very Odd Interview).

One reason I'm a bit jet-lagged is that I flew with Amanda from Vienna on Tuesday morning to Boston, where she voted and we saw her best friend Anthony, who is having some very serious health issues, and then the next day I flew to France. 

(Amanda wrote a beautiful heartrending blog about who Anthony is, his illness, and his part in her life at her website here.)

Anthony's written a book, introduced by Amanda: stories about his life and family, called Lunatic Heroes. He's a terrific writer, and the book's good. He's having a book launch on the 20th on Nov in Lexington Ma., and Amanda and I are going to be reading/performing that night to support him. (I'll be reading some of my new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.) 

The tickets for the reading are $10 each, and the money from the tickets is going to cancer care and research.

Tickets for the event are available at

If you're anywhere in the Boston area, come to Lexington and say hello.


Would you like me to demonstrate how bad a sneeze-actor I am? You would? Then watch this...

It's the trailer for Chu's Day. Chu's Day will go on sale on January the 8th. It's for really little kids. (Here's an Amazon link.) Please spread the video around.


Cool author Patrick Rothfuss is the guiding light and force behind the Worldbuilders movement, which exists mostly on his blog and raises money for Heifer International. As he explains on his blog,

Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. All over the world Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry. 
They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so families can take care of themselves. They give goats, sheep, and chickens to families so their children have milk to drink, warm clothes to wear, and eggs to eat.
He's been giving away amazing books to people who donated, over the years. This year he's doing a calendar, with art by Lee Moyer. They asked if they could put a character from American Gods into it, and I said yes.

Apparently, Media looks and dresses a whole lot like the lovely Amanda Palmer. (It's a painting, not a photo.) She's June...

(I love the Lucy-Amanda creature talking to Shadow in the comic at the start of the month...)

You can order your Worldbuilders Calendar directly from Pat at

I hope you order yours. They'll make great gifts. And I trust that next year's Worldbuilders Fantasy Calendar will consist mostly of hunky Men-of-Fantasy wearing not very much at all, to balance things out.


Sleep. It's time.

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