Friday, April 26, 2013

(Not actually Science Fiction) Double Feature...

As tickets go on sale in half an hour, I thought I had better put something up here about....

“You Show You Mine, I’ll You Show me Yours: The Neil & Amanda Double Features”

When you start a relationship with someone -- long before you get married -- you occasionally get baffled by the films they haven't seen that you think everyone must have seen.

In the case of Amanda and me, we made lists of our favourite films about four years ago and swore that one day we would have a long romantic weekend where we would do nothing but watch each other's films. It's not actually happened. A couple of times, late at night, we've downloaded and watched a film in bed, but the whole planned "I'll show you mine, you show me yours" hasn't happened.

And then we were seeing Nick Flynn talk at the Brattle Theatre, hanging around backstage, and I was reminiscing about doing the CBLDF "Last Angel" Tour stop there over a decade ago, and Amanda was reminiscing about all the times she'd seen things there, and they were doing a Kickstarter to get a digital projector, and we thought it would be good to get involved, and the upshot of it all was...

May 18th and 19th, there will be a double bill each night at the Brattle. I'll show a film I love to Amanda and she'll show one she loves to me. In each case, a film the other one hasn't seen. (I do not know why I haven't seen Santa Sangre. I'd never heard of King of Hearts.) The tickets benefit the Brattle (and the Kickstarter -- which was fully funded -- means we'll be going out to eat first of all with people who backed it at that rate.) We'll introduce the films, probably talk afterwards about what we thought of the films we saw that night...

And the films are:

Saturday, May 18
Introduction by Neil Gaiman
at 6:30pm | Tickets (on sale today at 3PM)

(1988) dir Peter Greenaway w/Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, Joely Richardson, Bernard Hill, Jason Edwards [118 min]
Three women in the same family (all named Cissie Colpitts) each drown their troublesome husbands – and convince the local coroner to help cover up the crimes. It sounds simple but in the hands of masterful visual artist Peter Greenaway, the film becomes a baroque meditation on the nature of life and games – and the game of life.
Introduction by Amanda Palmer
at 9:15pm | Tickets (on sale today at 3PM)

(1989) dir Alejandro Jodorowsky w/Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra [123 min]
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s wildly unrestrained flights of cinematic psychedelia are legendary midnight movies and SANTA SANGRE is no exception. Fenix, the scion of a circus family has entered an asylum after witnessing his mother commit a heinous crime and get both her arms cut off. Eventually she secures his release and forces him to become her arms.
“This is a movie like none I have seen before, a wild kaleidoscope of images and outrages, a collision between Freud and Fellini. It contains blood and glory, saints and circuses, and unspeakable secrets of the night. And it is all wrapped up in a flamboyant parade of bold, odd, striking imagery, with Alejandro Jodorowsky as the ringmaster.” – Roger Ebert
Sunday, May 19
Introduction by Neil Gaiman
at 6:30pm | Tickets  (on sale today at 3PM)

(1968) dir Lindsay Anderson w/Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, Rupert Webster [111 min]
Lindsay Anderson’s searing excoriation of British boys school traditions features the screen debut of Malcolm McDowell.
Digital Presentation
Introduction by Amanda Palmer
at 9:15pm | Tickets  (on sale today at 3PM)

(1966) dir Philippe de Broca w/Alan Bates, Genevieve Bujold, Adolfo Celi, Jean-Claude Brialy [102 min]
This counter-culture cult classic screened for over five years straight in Cambridge during the late ‘60s and one can see why. Alan Bates plays a Scottish WWI soldier dispatched to disarm a bomb left by the retreating Germans in a French town. When he arrives he discovers that the supposedly abandoned hamlet is actually still inhabited – what he doesn’t realize is that it’s been taken over by the cheerful lunatics from the local asylum.
Tickets for individual films are $10 general admission; $8 students, seniors, Brattle members
Double feature tickets are $15 general admission; $12 students, seniors, Brattle members
A limited number of full weekend passes are available for $30
Brattle member passes will be accepted for individual screenings at the door only.
We strongly advise that you buy tickets in advance.
tickets will be on sale starting at 3 pm EST today (friday april 26th)
ticket link:

If it's fun we may do it again.

Labels: ,

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.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 08, 2013

Unnatural Creatures, and other things you don't see every day

Last year I edited an anthology, as a benefit for 826DC. This year -- in two weeks time -- it will be published.

826DC is also known as the Museum of Unnatural History, so a book of unnatural creatures seemed obvious. I gathered together my favourite stories of werewolves and griffins and unicorns and the like. I tried to include authors I'd loved as a child (E. Nesbit, Frank R Stockton) authors I'd loved as a young man (Samuel R. Delany, Gahan Wilson, Diana Wynne Jones) and authors I had only started loving comparatively recently (Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson). And there's an introduction and a story by me in there, too.

When the process started getting a bit beyond me I called for help and was assisted in this mad endeavour by Maria Dahvana Headley, who is not only a terrific writer but is a great deal more organised than I am. She gave the book a story (did I mention that all the everything on this was done for free, so that the advance money could go to 826DC?) and she found an illustrator and suggested some more stories  and she contacted everyone and got them contracts and got the contracts signed and was overall pretty amazing.

We now have US and UK covers... AND a handful of early reviews coming in.

That's the US cover.

The UK cover is:

Here's the starred review from Publisher's Weekly:

Unnatural Creatures
Edited by Neil Gaiman with Maria Dahvana Headley. Harper, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-223630-2
In this striking anthology of 16 stories of strange and incredible creatures (most previously published), Gaiman and Headley have included several classic tales, such as Frank R. Stockton’s delightful “The Griffin and the Minor Canon” (1885), which concerns the unlikely friendship between a monster and a minister; Saki’s mordant werewolf tale “Gabriel-Ernest” (1909); and Anthony Boucher’s astonishingly silly “The Compleat Werewolf” (1942). There are also fine stories from such major contemporary fantasy writers as Peter S. Beagle, Samuel Delany, Diana Wynne Jones, and Gaiman himself. Particularly pleasurable are the stories by newer writers, such as Nalo Hopkinson’s “The Smile on the Face,” which demonstrates the benefits of channeling one’s inner hamadryad; E. Lily Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” an animal fable with a sting in its tale; and Nnedi Okorafor’s original story “Ozioma the Wicked,” which concerns “a nasty little girl whose pure heart had turned black,” but who nonetheless saves her village from a monstrous snake. Teens with a yen for the fantastic would be hard pressed to find a better place to start. The collection benefits literacy nonprofit 826DC. Ages 13–up. (May)

Booklist made it their Review of the Day and they said

 From darkly menacing to bizarrely surreal, these 16 fantasy stories featuring mythical and imaginary creatures combine work from such luminaries as Saki, E. Nesbit, and Anthony Boucher, as well as more contemporary writers. Larry Niven’s “The Flight of the Horse” is on the sillier side of the spectrum: a time traveler is sent to the past to retrieve a horse, which he has never seen except in picture books, and he mistakenly returns with a unicorn instead. In Nalo Hopkinson’s “A Smile on the Face,” a self-conscious girl is bullied for her size and pressured into an unwanted sexual encounter, but she finds inner strength—and an inner fire-breathing monster—thanks to an accidentally swallowed cherry pit from the hamadryad in her front yard. Gaiman’s contribution, “Sunbird,” recounts the adventures of the Epicurean Club members, who, grown bored after tasting every available thing on the planet, enjoy the best (and last) meal of their lives. In true Gaiman fashion, these stories are macabre, subversive, and just a little bit sinister. His fans will eat this up—ravenously. The book will benefit nonprofit 826DC, which fosters student writing skills.

Labels: , ,


This is the cover of the UK edition of Fortunately, The Milk, illustrated by the amazing Chris Riddell.

And when I say illustrated, I mean there is a glorious Chris Riddell drawing on pretty much every page.

This is quite possibly the most exciting adventure ever to be written about milk since Tolstoy's epic novel War and Milk. It has aliens, pirates, dinosaurs and wumpires in it (but not the handsome, misunderstood kind), also a never-adequately-explained-bowl-of-piranhas, not to mention a Volcano God.

It will now be released on the same day as the US edition, September the 17th.

If you are wondering what Fortunately, The Milk is about, here is a video of me describing it:



The information on where I will be will be continually updated over at  Where's Neil, which is (It looks like the thing I've cut and pasted in below.)

The Portland signing has already sold out. The London Royal Society of Literature event has sort of sold out -- they're not selling any more tickets but are keeping a large handful to go out on the day.

 Canadian dates and Summer UK dates and events haven't been announced yet. And then there's the Autumnal Amazing FORTUNATELY THE MILK special event I am not even allowed to mention here...

05 May 2013Los Angeles, CAEW CapeTown Festival: Coraline screening with Q&A
14 Jun 2013Bath, UKNeil Gaiman in the Bath
17 Jun 2013London, UKMemory, Magic and Survival: Neil Gaiman in conversation with Claire Armistead
18 Jun 2013Brooklyn, NYThe Last US Signing Tour: A Night at the Opera
19 Jun 2013New York, NYThe Last US Signing Tour: Broadway Neil
20 Jun 2013Saratoga Springs, NYThe Last US Signing Tour: The Shire
21 Jun 2013Washington, DCThe Last US Signing Tour: Mr. Gaiman Goes to Washington
22 Jun 2013Decatur, GAThe Last US Signing Tour: Gaiman on My Mind
23 Jun 2013Coral Gables, FLThe Last US Signing Tour: Coral (signing) Line
24 Jun 2013Dallas, TXThe Last US Signing Tour: Fright-Hair on Elm Street
25 Jun 2013Denver, COThe Last US Signing Tour: Under Cover Gaiman
26 Jun 2013Phoenix, AZThe Last US Signing Tour: Phoenix
27 Jun 2013Los Angeles, CAThe Last US Signing Tour: Visitations and Angels
28 Jun 2013San Francisco, CAThe Last US Signing Tour: Mr. Gaiman, with the book, in the Conservatory
29 Jun 2013Portland, ORThe Last US Signing Tour: City of Books
02 Jul 2013Seattle, WAThe Last US Signing Tour: Call of Clarion
06 Jul 2013Santa Rosa, CAThe Last US Signing Tour: When We Walk in Fields of Copper
07 Jul 2013Ann Arbor, MIThe Last US Signing Tour: A Man, A Book, A Theater, Ann Arbor
08 Jul 2013Bloomington, MNThe Last US Signing Tour: Rock 'n' Roll High School
09 Jul 2013Chicago, ILThe Last US Signing Tour: Gaiman Unabridged
10 Jul 2013Nashville, TNThe Last US Signing Tour: Of Course You Know This Means War Memorial
11 Jul 2013Lexington, KYThe Last US Signing Tour: Manchester Reservation
13 Jul 2013Cambridge, MAThe Last US Signing Tour: The Parish at the End of the Tour

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Starred reviews, in the journals that publish reviews before books come out, are good. 

Publishers Weekly just gave THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE a starred review. It's a bit Spoilery, so I'm going to put a few sections of it white-on-white. Block to read.

★ The Ocean at the End of the
Neil Gaiman.William Morrow,$25.99 (192p)
ISBN 978-0-06-225565-5
“Childhood memories are sometimes
covered and obscured beneath the things
that come later... but they are never lost
for good”—and the most grim of those
memories, no matter how faint, can haunt
one forever, as they do the anonymous
narrator of Gaiman’s subtle and splendid
modern myth. The protagonist, an artist,
returns to his childhood home in the
English countryside to recover his memory of
events that nearly destroyed him and
his family when he was seven. The suicide
of a stranger opened the way for a deadly
spirit... who disguised herself as a housekeeper, 
won over the boy’s sister and
mother, seduced his father, and threatened
the boy if he told anyone the truth. He
had allies—a warm and welcoming family
of witches at the old farm up the road...

but defeating this evil demanded a sacrifice 
he was not prepared for. Gaiman
(Anansi Boys) has crafted a fresh story of
magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories
“waiting at the edges of things,” where
lost innocence can still be restored as long
as someone is willing to bear the cost.

The Kirkus review, also starred, said (spoilery bit also whited out):

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 192
Price ( Hardcover ): $25.99
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-06-225565-5
Category: Fiction

From one of the great masters of modern speculative fiction: Gaiman’s first novel for adults since Anansi Boys (2005).

An unnamed protagonist and narrator returns to his Sussex roots to attend a funeral. Although his boyhood dwelling no longer stands, at the end of the road lies the Hempstock farm, to which he’s drawn without knowing why. Memories begin to flow. The Hempstocks were an odd family, with 11-year-old Lettie’s claim that their duckpond was an ocean, her mother’s miraculous cooking and her grandmother’s reminiscences of the Big Bang; all three seemed much older than their apparent ages. Forty years ago, the family lodger, a South African opal miner, gambled his fortune away, then committed suicide in the Hempstock farmyard. Something dark, deadly and far distant heard his dying lament and swooped closer. As the past becomes the present, Lettie takes the boy’s hand and confidently sets off through unearthly landscapes to deal with the menace; but he’s only 7 years old, and he makes a mistake... Instead of banishing the predator, he brings it back into the familiar world, where it reappears as his family’s new housekeeper, the demonic Ursula Monkton. Terrified, he tries to flee back to the Hempstocks, but Ursula easily keeps him confined as she cruelly manipulates and torments his parents and sister. Despite his determination and well-developed sense of right and wrong, he’s also a scared little boy drawn into adventures beyond his understanding, forced into terrible mistakes through innocence. Yet, guided by a female wisdom beyond his ability to comprehend, he may one day find redemption.
Poignant and heartbreaking, eloquent and frightening, impeccably rendered, it’s a fable that reminds us how our lives are shaped by childhood experiences, what we gain from them and the price we pay.

And finally, Booklist gave us a starred review. And there aren't any spoilers to remove...

The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

In Gaiman’s first novel for adults since Anansi Boys(2005), the never-named fiftyish narrator is back in his childhood homeland, rural Sussex, England, where he’s just delivered the eulogy at a funeral. With “an hour or so to kill” afterward, he drives about—aimlessly, he thinks—until he’s at the crucible of his consciousness: a farmhouse with a duck pond. There, when he was seven, lived the Hempstocks, a crone, a housewife, and an 11-year-old girl, who said they were grandmother, mother, and daughter. Now, he finds the crone and, eventually, the housewife—the same ones, unchanged—while the girl is still gone, just as she was at the end of the childhood adventure he recalls in a reverie that lasts all afternoon. He remembers how he became the vector for a malign force attempting to invade and waste our world. The three Hempstocks are guardians, from time almost immemorial, situated to block such forces and, should that fail, fight them. Gaiman mines mythological typology—the three-fold goddess, the water of life (the pond, actually an ocean)—and his own childhood milieu to build the cosmology and the theater of a story he tells more gracefully than any he’s told since Stardust(1999). And don’t worry about that “for adults” designation: it’s a matter of tone. This lovely yarn is good for anyone who can read it.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: That this is the popular author’s first book for adults in eight years pretty much sums up why this will be in demand.

Those are the reviews we've got so far. I think it's probably my best book, which is why I am very nervous about it, which is why I really want to do whatever I can to make sure that as many people as possible read it.

The William Morrow press office just sent me the dates and locations of the OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE tour.

This may be modified slightly as we go -- I'll add any additional information (there's nothing on ticket prices here, for example -- most stores will count your ticket cost toward the cost of the book.)

The current plan is that I'll sign any copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane for you, and one or two other things, depending on lines and numbers. This may change.

I'll also plan to sign as much as possible of what the bookstore has of mine when I get to each new shop, including many copies of OCEAN. So you can watch me read and do a Q&A and then take off if you do not want to wait.

Many shops will have leftover signed books after the signing, or will take preorders for a book to be signed and sent out. I'll sign all the books that each store needs signed, but there's no guarantee that I'll be able to personalise phone/internet orders.

And yes, this will be my last US book-signing tour. And I'm going to try and do as much as possible of it in a bus, mostly so I can get more sleep than I did on the Anansi Boys tour.

Feel very free to spread the information around. (UK & Canada & the rest of the world signing information is not in this post.)

Neil Gaiman/OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE/Full Ticket Info Events

Tuesday, June 18/BROOKLYN, NY
Greenlight Bookstore w/ Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) @ Howard Gilman Opera House
7:00 PM
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY  11217


Wednesday, June 19/NEW YORK, NY
Symphony Space “Thalia Book Club Series”
7:00 PM
2537 Broadway (@ 95th Street)
New York, NY  10025

Box Office: 212-864-5400

Thursday, June 20/SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY
Northshire Bookstore Saratoga @ Saratoga City Center
6:00 PM
522 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY  12866

Box Office: Tickets will be sold on the store’s website, or in the VT store (4869 Main Street Manchester Center, VT 05255)
Twitter: @NorthshireBooks

Friday, June 21/WASHINGTON, DC
Politics & Prose Bookstore @ George Washington University Lisner Auditorium
6:00 PM
730 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC  20052

Twitter: @Politics_Prose

Saturday, June 22/DECATUR, GA
Eagle Eye Book Shop @ Agnes Scott College Presser Hall
7:00 PM
141 East College Avenue
Decatur, GA  30030

Twitter: @eagleeyebooks

Sunday, June 23/CORAL GABLES, FL
Books & Books @ Temple Judea
2:00 PM
5500 Granada Boulevard
Coral Gables, FL  33146

Twitter: @booksandbooks
Instagram: Booksandbooks

Monday, June 24/DALLAS, TX
Dallas Museum of Art @ Majestic Theatre
7:00 PM
1925 Elm Street
Dallas, TX  75201

Box Office: 214-922-1818 or visit
Twitter: @DallasMuseumArt

Tuesday, June 25/DENVER, CO
Tattered Cover Book Store (LoDo)
6:00 PM
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO  80202

Twitter: @tatteredcover

Wednesday, June 26/PHOENIX, AZ
Changing Hands Bookstore @ South Mountain High School Auditorium
6:00 PM
5401 South 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ  85040

Twitter: @changinghands

Thursday, June 27/LOS ANGELES, CA
Live Talks Los Angeles w/ Barnes & Noble @ Alex Theatre
8:00 PM
216 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA  91203

Twitter: @livetalksla

Friday, June 28/SAN FRANCISCO, CA
The Booksmith @ American Conservatory Theater (ACT) Geary Theater
7:00 PM
415 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA  94102


Saturday, June 29/PORTLAND, OR
Powell’s Books @ Crystal Ballroom
3:00 PM
1332 West Burnside Street
Portland, OR  97209

Twitter: @Powells

Tuesday, July 2/SEATTLE, WA
University Book Store w/ Clarion West Writers Workshop @ Town Hall Seattle
7:00 PM
1119 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA  98101


Saturday, July 6/SANTA ROSA, CA
Copperfield’s Books @ Santa Rosa Theater
8:00 PM
1235 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA  95401

Twitter: @Copperfields

Sunday, July 7/ANN ARBOR, MI
Nicola’s Books @ Michigan Theater
6:00 PM
603 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI  48104

Box Office:   

Monday, July 8/BLOOMINGTON, MN
Barnes & Noble of Edina @ Jefferson High School Auditorium
6:00 PM
4001 West 102nd Street
Bloomington, MN  55437

Tuesday, July 9/CHICAGO, IL
Unabridged Bookstore @ Music Box Theater
7:00 PM
3733 North Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL  60613

Twitter: @unabridgedbooks

Wednesday, July 10/NASHVILLE, TN
Parnassus Books @ Tennessee Performing Arts Council’s War Memorial Auditorium
6:00 PM
301 6th Avenue North
Nashville, TN  37243

Twitter: @parnassusbooks1

Thursday, July 11/LEXINGTON, KY
Joseph-Beth Booksellers @ Grand Reserve Events Center
7:00 PM
903 Manchester Street
Lexington, KY  40508

Tickets: purchase at Joseph-Beth Lexington 800 248 6849 or 859 273 2911.
Twitter: @josephbethlex

Saturday, July 13/CAMBRIDGE, MA
Porter Square Books @ First Parish Church
6:30 PM
1446 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA  02138

Twitter: @PorterSqBooks

Labels: , , , , ,