Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's a Books! Books! Books! Books! Books! World.

It's World Book Night.

Last night I was in Cambridge Ma. and I was on a World Book Night panel (as co-author of Good Omens) at the lovely Cambridge Public Library, along with Vanessa Diffenbaugh (who wrote The Language of Flowers) and Lisa Genova (who wrote Still Alice). Here's the full list of books that are being given out in the US today -- I don't think there's a book on the list I wouldn't like to receive.

Here's what I think about books. It's very short and is one of the BlackBerry Keep Moving films.

And here's also what I think about books. It's the Keynote speech I gave to the London Book Fair's Digital Minds conference.

It's long, I'm afraid -- about half an hour. I'm tired and jet-lagged, but it's a speech I'm proud of, and I'm pleased to put the whole thing up here.

(Particularly pleased because I've been seeing it misquoted, and sentences taken out of context, ever since I gave it, which means that people immediately start arguing with things I didn't say and set me up as a straw man. The speaker after me immediately got up and said he had to disagree with me, because the music industry was actually in real trouble, and I thought, How odd: I never said anything about the music industry not being in trouble. What I said was, "Home taping didn’t really kill music. Music’s out there doing just fine. More of it’s actually being made than ever, but the trick is becoming to find the good stuff. And for people who make the music to figure out how to monetize what they’re doing." Something very different.)

Watch it when you can. As I said, I'm really proud of it.

Neil is thrilled he can claim he’s mammalian. “But the bad news,” he said, “Girl, you’re a dandelion..." Tori Amos.

PS: I'm signing my way through 10,000 sheets of paper that will be bound into the pre-signed copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

If ever you have to do this (it feels like the sort of penance you had to do at school if you were caught eating chocolate in class), here is advice on what you do if your pen decides to make an enormous inkblot that soaks through several sheets...


PPS: In late May, the Brattle Theatre here in Cambridge MA is due to host a weekend screening of four films -- I was going to show two of my favorites, Amanda was going to show two of hers. I wanted to show DROWNING BY NUMBERS, a Peter Greenaway film I love that I think you have to see on the big screen to properly enjoy. The Brattle cannot find a 35mm print, and they tell me "The problem with the DVD versions is that they were transferred from a TV source – not original 35mm print – so all of them are of poor quality and in the wrong aspect ratio. There appears to have been a Japanese edition that was correct but it is out-of-print." I do not want to pick another film.

Anyone have any ideas where a 35mm print of Drowning By Numbers might be found?

(If you do, please drop a line to the webgoblin, at

UPDATE: We are following a lead.

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