Subscribe: Neil Gaiman's Journal
http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/feed/rss.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
back  book  books  bundle  cover  gaiman  humble bundle  humble  neil gaiman  neil  new  people  posted neil  things  time  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Neil Gaiman's Journal

Neil Gaiman's Journal



Neil Gaiman's Journal: started February 2001 when nobody knew what the word Blog meant. Talking about writing, comics, books, films, bees, demonic tomatoes, cats, travel and a dog ever since.



Last Build Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 04:51:01 +0000

 



On Dedications & Radio Plays

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:59:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I finished the last of the last of the read-throughs of Norse Mythology this morning. I caught one paragraph that had somehow duplicated itself, fixed a couple of clunky sentences, and changed the word stone to iron somewhere I had thought one thing and typed another. I checked over the glossaryAnd then there was one last thing.Dedicating books is an odd process, combining whim and whimsy and debts owed and gods to be placated. Mostly you ponder who would be made happiest by having this book dedicated to them, and what the most appropriate person would be for the book you have written.But sometimes you do not have to ponder. Sometimes it's nice and obvious.I've dedicated Norse Mythology to someone who wasn't even around a couple of days ago, and is now here, and whom I haven't yet met and held and hugged and sung songs to (but I will, soon). My first grandchild, Everett, born to my oldest son Michael and his wife Courtney (Courtney obviously did all the hard work) about 48 hours ago.I get a grandson. Holly and Maddy and Ash get a nephew (and Ash gets someone to play with as he grows up). I am a proud and happy grandfather.Norse Mythology is Everett's book....This is a photograph of the cast - almost all of them, there are some secrets and surprises - of the two part BBC Radio Four adaptation of STARDUST that's coming out in December. (Here's the cast list: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1CJhmxQCq99GBn26FLh7qnk/stardust-whos-who)The BBC is holding a competition for original STARDUST art for UK residents -- details at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4m9W7cDHhnCDrBlBrkmL2YW/competition-draw-neil-gaimans-stardust-for-radio-4You will not need to be a UK resident to listen to it, however. You can listen to it anywhere in the whole wide world, via the magic of the Internet, or the BBC iPlayer app, for a month after it broadcasts.That's not the only Radio Four adaptation of one of my stories happening this year, though. There's also the (smaller) cast of How the Marquis Got His Coat Back:and yes, I'm in there. I got to be in the room, acting with Bernard Cribbins and Adrian Lester and Paterson Joseph and Don Warrington and everyone and IT WAS AMAZING.How the Marquis Got His Coat Back will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in early November (I think)....You can get registered to vote in the US via text messages: https://www.hello.vote/ has the details. Get registered. Vote. Your vote actually matters. Vote. Labels:  Radio four, how the marquis got his coat back, Everett Gaiman, Stardust, grandfather me         [...]



It's Ash's first birthday, a bare chin is revealed... (and so are the next three Robert McGinnis covers)

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:00:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman It was Ash's birthday on the 16th of September, and his mother and I went back to the place he was born to celebrate and to get away from cellphones and the world.He's a delight and I've never loved him more. His favourite books are Goodnight Moon and a book called Chu's Day (I've never been prouder). His eyes really are that blue.I'm now off writing, and I won't see them for another ten days. I'm loving the writing, loving the exercising and the quiet and the words, and missing them both, especially Ash, I miss singing to him, miss waking up early and going off and reading with him or walking with him (he can nearly walk). Miss feeding him.Today I shaved off my beard. I also got a FedEx package containing a proof "Advance Reading Copy" of NORSE MYTHOLOGY (it'll be published on the 7th of February) and an early reading copy of Colleen Doran's beautiful graphic novel adaptation of TROLL BRIDGE (out on October 18th).Here is a photograph of all these things at once. (Well, not the act of shaving.)...So, this is a very book-covery day,  because I'm going to do something fun.For the last few months, I've been showing people I've been talking to or talking about books with or just wind up sitting next to on a plane the Robert E. McGinnis covers for Stardust, Neverwhere and Anansi Boys.This is because I am so proud of them, and the work Todd Klein did with the lettering and the design for the books.The American Gods cover (it already came out) is, in my head, a 1968 SF cover. (I wrote about it here: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2016/07/robert-e-mcginnis-and-secret-of-new.html. Todd Klein shows all the design work that led to it on his blog http://kleinletters.com/Blog/title-and-cover-design-for-neil-gaimans-american-gods/.)Would you like to see the next three?Really?You don't have to see them. You can wait until you are in some little Indie Bookshop over the next few months, and be surprised...I love them. The Stardust cover is an early 70s book, and is funny, like the covers I delighted in for books like William Goldman's The Princess Bride -- the lettering style was inspired by the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Line, and  the whole is intended to be sort of heartwarming.Anansi Boys is done as a late 50s or early 60s paperback – one of those goofy comedies, with an illustration of a scene from the first chapter. (Also glad to finally get Mr Nancy on the cover of his book.) I think this one is Robert E McGinnis's masterpiece, and Todd's as well.  Neverwhere – when Robert McGinnis sent over this haunting cover I sent it over to Todd Klein and told him that I thought it was a 1970s gothic romance cover. He looked at the kind of covers I'd suggested, told me that they often have elegant and swirly titles and heavily serifed type, and he produced something as beautiful and haunting as the cover had been. Ready...?Oh, hell. Here you go. And I've just gone to Amazon to find out the publication dates so will put the links in...(And I checked Indiebound and the books are now up there too, so Indiebound links as well.)Anansi Boys (http://bit.ly/AnansiPulp) comes out on October 25th...  (I loved this one so much I bought the painting from Mr McGinnis.)http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062564337Neverwhere (http://bit.ly/NeverwherePulp) is published on November 29th. I love the rats in the shadows...http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062476371Stardust (http://bit.ly/StardustPulp) is the next one to come out -- it will be out in just six days from now on September 27th...http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062564344 Labels:  anansi boys, Ash, Troll Bridge, Todd Klein, Robert E McGinnis, colleen doran, Stardust, Norse Mythology, birthdays, Neverwhere, beards         [...]



A cover revealed! A book exposed! A year mislaid!

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:03:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I've been writing a book of retellings of Norse Mythology since about 2012. Writing it slowly, between other things. Reading and reading my prose Eddas and my poetic Eddas, in any editions I could find, thumbing through my Simek's Dictionary of Northern Mythology whenever I was unclear on something, and keeping it a secret, mostly.I actually did a reading of one of the first stories I completed at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts three years ago, and people liked it. (Here's a write-up.) I kept writing.I even wrote a glossary.And now the book is done, and will be coming out in February. All the stories I loved, all the myth, many of the contradictions. Loki and Thor and Odin and Freyr and Sif and the rest, from the beginning of things through to Ragnarok and after.Look! Here is the cover.It is coming.Are you ready?It spins!We are still working on the technology to get the hammer to spin like that on the actual cover.It will be coming out in the US from WW Norton (http://bit.ly/NorseMythology) and in the UK from Bloomsbury in February.Norton has a website -- http://www.neilgaimannorsemythology.com/ -- and if you go to it you will see  big, not spinning version of the cover, and a photo of me being menaced by a tree....That's almost that. Ash is one year old in two days. A year ago Amanda looked like this:and now Ash is almost walking and he looks like this:And I am not sure where the year went.... Labels:  Ash, Mjollnir, Norse Mythology         [...]



Robert E McGinnis and the Secret of The New Cover

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:31:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I've loved Robert McGinnis's covers for a very long time. I remember the first one I was aware of (it was the cover of Ian Fleming's  James Bond book DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, when I was about 9. They put the film poster on the book cover, which puzzled me a bit because the plot of the book isn't the plot of the film.) And I assumed that he had retired a long, long time ago.About a year ago, Jennifer Brehl and I were talking. Jennifer is my editor at William Morrow, and is one of the best, most sensible and wisest people in my life. I am lucky to have her. We were talking about paperbacks, and how publishers put less effort into them these days. I went off about how paperback covers used to be beautiful, and were painted, and told you so much. And how much I missed the covers of the '50s and '60s and '70s, the  ones I'd collected and bought back in the dawn of time.And somehow the conversation wound up with me asking if Harper Collins would publish a set of mass market paperbacks of my books with gloriously retro covers and Jennifer saying that yes, they would.A few days later I was in DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis. I noticed a particularly gorgeous cover on an old book on a shelf. "Who did that?" I asked Greg Ketter."Robert McGinnis," said Greg. "Actually we have a whole book of McGinnis artwork." He showed it to me. The Art of Robert E. McGinnis. It's gorgeous. Here's the cover:I was surprised at how recent the book was. It had been published a few months earlier. "Oh yes," said Greg. "Bob's still painting. Must be almost 90."(He was 90 in February 2016.)I sent a note to Jennifer asking if there was even the slightest possibility that Mr McGinnis would be interested in painting the covers for the paperback set we wanted to do. He said yes.I say that so blithely. But he has retired, pretty much, and he doesn't have email, and it was only because the Morrow art director had worked with him, and he was intrigued by the commission... and ROBERT MCGINNIS SAID YES.He sent in the first painting, the one for American Gods. It was perfect. Now we needed to make everything that wasn't the cover  feel right.Todd Klein, the finest letterer in comics, came in to create each book's logo and to help design it and pick the fonts, to make each book feel like it came from a certain age.Each painting from McGinnis was better than the one before. Each Logo and layout from Todd Klein was more assured and more accurate. These things are glorious.Now... we were planning to announce these in an much more planned and orderly way. I'm not going to tell you what books we're doing, or to show you any covers but the one.And that's because the upcoming 2017 Starz American Gods TV series has created a huge demand for copies of American Gods. People who have never read it have started buying it to find out what the fuss is about. People who read it long ago and gave away their copy bought new ones to reread it.The publishers ran out of books to sell.So they've rushed back to press with the new paperback edition, which wasn't meant to be coming out for some months (and the text is the text of the Author's Preferred edition in case you were wondering).And that means the version of the paperback with the new cover is going to be coming out a lot sooner than we thought. And tomorrow it will probably up on Amazon.And I wanted you to hear it from me first.  You aren't going to see the rest of the Robert E McGinnis covers for a little while (and each of them looks like a different kind of book from a different era). But this is the first of them.In my head, and Todd's, it's probably from about 1971...Are you ready?Okay....Here goes......and wait until you see the rest of them. Labels:  American Gods, Pulp Covers, Todd Klein, Robert E McGinnis, paperbacks         [...]



The First American Gods Trailer

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 02:18:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oyoXURn9oK0" width="480">I've just come back from San Diego Comic-Con, where I didn't really go to Comic-Con. Instead, from 8 am until about 11 at night, I was interviewed, photographed, asked questions, moved in and out of serious black people-movers. I got to fall in love with the American Gods cast -- I'd met a few of them in Toronto, but now I got to know the lovely people who portray Shadow, Mr Wednesday, Bilquis, Mad Sweeney and the Technical Boy up close, not to mention get a hug from our brand spanking new Easter.A very silly and lovely cast: Clockwise, from bottom left, Yetide Badaki (Bilquis),  Pablo Schrieber (Mad Sweeney), Ricky Whittle (Shadow), Bruce Langley (The Technical Boy), Ian McShane (Mr Wednesday). This is my favourite moment: I was on the IMDB yacht, for an interview with Kevin Smith, and before the interview began they pointed to a large and very white bed, and suggested I should do the thing that made me happiest in bed. So I pulled out my notebook, and started writing...I finished the latest draft of all six GOOD OMENS scripts the day before Comic-Con. That was really the last major project I had to finish before I could start the novel. Which means I should be starting to write a novel very soon... Labels:  American Gods trailer, San Diego Comic Con         [...]



Doctor Doctor

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:22:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I did two things yesterday I've never done before: wear a white bowtie, and be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from The University of St Andrews. Really nice people, a wonderful time and if I didn't have Amanda and Ash with me, I had our friend Chris Cunningham, and, more or less by coincidence, my cousins Abigail and Kezia. So many excellent conversations, too.This was Chris Jones's speech (although you cannot hear him Do The Voices on the Good Omens bit): http://linkis.com/www.st-andrews.ac.uk/SQ7buI'm typing this from Edinburgh Airport -- I'm heading to NYC, where I will be appearing on the Seth Meyers show on Thursday night.(I've been out of the UK for 15 years, which is when they take your vote away from you, so I cannot vote. If I could, I would vote Remain.)A thousand congratulations to Chris Riddell, who won the Kate Greenaway Medal for our book The Sleeper and the Spindle. Is that not wonderful?And a Q and A from Tumblr that may be useful for everyone:neil-gaimansecretfiri asked:So, I've been having troubles writing for the past 5 years and I really want to get back into it. Do you have any kind of suggestion or advice?Set aside time to write that’s only writing time. Put away your phone. Turn off or disable your wifi. Write in longhand if you wish. Put up a do not disturb sign. And make your writing time sacred and inviolable. And in that time, this is the deal. You can write, or you can not do anything. Not doing anything is allowed. (What not doing anything includes: staring at walls, staring out of windows, thinking broodily, staring at your hands. What not doing anything does not include: alphabetising the spice rack, checking Tumblr, taking your pen apart, playing solitaire or running a clean up program on your computer.)You get to pick how long a day your writing time is. An hour? Two? Three? Your call.Doing nothing gets pretty dull. So you might as well write. (And if you write 300 words, one page, every day, you’ll have a 90,000 word novel in a year.) Labels:  bow ties, Greenaway Medal         [...]



Prelude to Softly and Silently Vanishing Away

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 12:48:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman My plans for the rest of the year are basically, finish the last Good Omens TV script, and then to write a novel.I'm doing one TV interview for THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS.I'm making a couple of mysterious appearances for the American Gods tv series.I'm not going to entirely vanish from social media, but probably, pretty much, I'll be gone, and living in a book which currently doesn't exist except in weird notes and ideas and things in my head.As a general rule, when I leave social media, I blog a bit more. So keep half an eye on this blog. There are some amazing things coming out this year, and I would be an idiot if I didn't let you all know about them, so you will...For example, what on earth is this photo about?Who are these people? And what does it have to do with Neverwhere?All the BBC website tells us is ...we’re thrilled that, later this year, led by the ever-dangerous Marquis de Carabas, we’ll be taking a short trip back to the land of London Below.We're expecting high adventure and a spine-tingling ride, with a mix of brand new characters and old favourites....which is definitely interesting. And will need to be announced. And so will the amazing new Chris Riddell illustrated edition of Neverwhere from the UK: I've never seen anything like it before.This is a photograph of Chris and the cover of the book, wrapped around a completely different book, to make it look like the actual book.And then there's the wonderful secret thing we are doing with the US paperback covers, which is making me very happy indeed. And you'll learn about them here, and I'm sure I'll put that up on Facebook and Twitter too.And then there's the announcement of the book I finished last month... That's happening soon. It's exciting. I'll announce that.So I'm basically around for another week. Expect a vague vanishing. And an eventual return. And interruptions for information.But mostly I'm planning to be low profile online and living in my head in order to report back, from dark strange places, the remarkable doings of some most peculiar people. Labels:  chris Riddell, how the marquis got his coat back, The Seven Sisters, Vanishing authors         [...]



The View, and the Plan

Tue, 31 May 2016 14:19:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman In a friend's old old house today, as Amanda records in the basement studio and I write in a corner, while Ash sleeps in his seat beside me. Rain lashes the windows and the wind shakes the shutters, and it seems like a proper English Summer as far as I'm concerned.Today is the publication date for THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, my collection of non-fiction, of essays and speeches and introductions. It's out. it looks like this:Or it looks like this:Depending on whether you are in the UK or the US. There are independent bookshops in the US with signed-and-embossed copies. (Here's a link to all the shops which have ordered them: https://www.facebook.com/WmMorrowbks/posts/1017987604950366)  There are bookshops in the UK that have signed copies (I don't have a list. Lots of Blackwells and Waterstones shops for a start.)Tonight UK time -- in a few hours -- I'll be talking to Audrey Niffenegger about the book at Union Chapel. It's very sold out, but you can watch it online via this. Click and it should take you to the livestream.And you can get it online at places like Amazon (http://bit.ly/VfCheapSeats) and Indiebound.Maria Popova at Brainpickings wrote a beautiful piece on one of the essays in the book, the introduction to the 60th anniversary edition of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.It's been reviewed elsewhere, as well. Here's a bit of the NPR review:What View accomplishes, though, is considerable. Broken up into sections — "What I Believe," "Music and the People Who Make It," "Some People I Have Known," "Make Good Art," and so on — his musings shine with wit, understatement, and a warm lack of pretention. He speaks of "backing awkwardly away from journalism" in his youth, the first step of his eventual metamorphosis into an award-winning fantasy author with a fanatical following, and reflects on the patterns that arise in our lives: "Events rhyme."Accordingly, View draws order out of the seeming chaos of Gaiman's scattershot career, from journalism to comics to novels to children's books to screen adaptations. He talks about his life, but always through the lens of an external subject, usually on object of passion: the superhero comics of the legendary Jack Kirby, the transgressive songs of Lou Reed, the way "the shape of reality — the way I perceive the world — exists only because of Doctor Who." That was written in 2003, before Gaiman actually wrote for Doctor Who; similarly, his many ruminations onAmerican Gods, his greatest work of prose, take on a deeper resonance now that the book is well on its way to becoming a cable TV series.Gaiman is a writer above all, though, and his entries about writing and reading make up the meat of View. They range from the deeply personal, eerily poignant "Ghosts in the Machines: Some Hallowe'en Thoughts," first published in the New York Times, to an appreciation of the element of dreams in H. P. Lovecraft's work — a particularly illuminating topic, as one of Gaiman's most beloved characters, Morpheus of The Sandman, is the deity of dreams himself. Even more intriguing is "All Books Have Genders," a meditation on the making of American Gods — as well as a humble assessment of his authorial flaws — in which he offers the succinct slogan "Novels accrete," an entire master class on the creative process summed up gracefully in two words.It's a relief that it's published: I don't think I've ever been as nervous about a book coming out as I have been about this one. You can hide behind fiction. You can't hide behind things that are about what you think and believe.Over at Powells, I wrote a playlist for the book:  http://www.powells.com/post/playlist/wheres-neil-when-you-need-him-neil-gaimans-playlist-for-the-view-from-the-cheap-seats- which I'm currently listening to on Spotify, with a lo[...]



Finishing Things

Tue, 17 May 2016 03:40:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman It's 2016, a writing year. On Friday I finished a book I've been working on since 2013 (you will find out what it is sometime in the next few months. Promise). Tomorrow I finish the introduction to it. The world feels a little lighter.The book I finished is not the big thing I have to do this year -- I think I'm going to fall off the world completely to do that pretty soon. But it's something I'm really proud of nonetheless.It's really nice not having to do anything but writing.Having said that, THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, my huge collection of non-fiction, of essays and speeches and suchlike, is coming out, and I'm even doing an event for it: http://store.unionchapel.org.uk/events/31-may-16-an-evening-with-neil-gaiman--audrey-niffenegger-union-chapel/I'm not really meant to be doing any events this year, although I'm doing a couple of things that had to be postponed last year when I flew back to the US suddenly to be at a friend's deathbed. *(Oh the things I've had to say no to.) But I'm doing this one CHEAP SEATS event in the UK. As we get closer I'll announce how it will stream, etc.This is how they describe it:To celebrate the publication of Neil Gaiman’s collection of non-fiction, The View from the Cheap Seats, the award-winning author will be joined by Audrey Niffenegger, bestselling author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, at a rare public event in London. The Union Chapel, Islington, will play host to these two literary heavy-weights, as they discuss Gaiman’s latest work, lauded by Stephen Fry as ‘magnificent’, amongst a myriad of other topics sure to delight fans – with a couple of surprises also in store…Tickets are £20 each, and include a free signed copy of The View from the Cheap Seats for every ticket-holder, which they will receive on the night courtesy of Waterstones. The event will be live-streamed across the globe, via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, so fans who are unable to attend can also enjoy this special, one-off event. Furthermore, Gaiman and Niffenegger will be answering audience questions, both from within the chapel and from those viewers at home or in bookshops tuning in. Anyone not present at Union Chapel will have the opportunity to submit their own questions via Twitter ahead of the event using the hashtag #CheapSeats.There are still a few seats left, but not many. Order from http://store.unionchapel.org.uk/events/31-may-16-an-evening-with-neil-gaiman--audrey-niffenegger-union-chapel/This is the first copy that arrived in my house, a couple of days ago. I'm going to give it, as a graduation present, to Maddy Gaiman, who was about 6 when this blog started and is 21 now. She graduated today from Wake Forest.Gaiman's Law holds true: when I opened the book for the first time, I saw a typo and my heart sank. I've not found any more, though.Ash has his first tooth. He's all joy, all the time. It was an especial joy to see him with his brother and his sisters this weekend.I thought about posting some graduating Maddy photos, but instead decided to link to this page, of Maddy in 2007, aged 12, on the set of Hellboy 2. She took over the blog, and captioned the photos herself. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/06/photos-yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.htmlNine years have passed since that blog came out, and it feels like yesterday.And on May 26th, at 9pm, on Sky Arts, LIKELY STORIES begins. Four episodes based on short stories by me, directed by Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollock, with an original soundtrack by Jarvis Cocker. Check out the trailer: allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/RtDJJD8eS7M/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RtDJJD8eS7M?feature=player_embedded" width="320">*(One of the things I had to postpone was getting an honorary doctorate at St Andrews[...]



Good Omens, Cheap Seats, and the Memorial

Sat, 16 Apr 2016 20:23:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I haven't blogged for a long time, but right now I'm on a train, and it feels like a good time to catch up. Thismorning I was interviewed by Charlie Russell for his documentary on Terry Pratchett. (Charlie made the previous BBC Terry Pratchett documentaries, Living With Alzheimer's, Choosing to Die, and Facing Extinction.)We did it in a Chinese restaurant in Gerrard Street, because Terry and I had first met in a Chinese restaurant, in February 1985. It was easy and pleasant, and then suddenly it wasn't. I was talking about the last time I'd seen Terry, and what we said, and I found myself crying uncontrollably, unable to talk. And then I pulled it together, and we carried on. "Look,this is really unprofessional,” said Charlie, when the interview was all over, “and I haven't said it before to anyone I've interviewed, but would you like a hug?” And I said that, yes, I would. I'm still a bit shaken. It's as if all the emotion that I'd kept under control for the public Terry memorial, for the public Terry, the other night, erupted when I talked about the private people that were us. The memorial the other night was beautiful. I wore my mourning frock coat that Kambriel made for me, and I went out that afternoon and bought a white shirt and a black tie. (Actually, I bought four shirts, which, given how often I wear white shirts, should take me easily to the end of my lifetime.) I read the introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard, which I'd written for Terry while he was alive. I got sad at the end but that was fine. And I held it together just fine when Rob, Terry's amazing right-hand man, presented me with a big black author's hat Terry had left me. I couldn't put it on, though. I wasn't ready for that. (I tried it on later, in the dressing room. I looked, to my mind, like a rabbinical cowboy assassin. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)At the end of the evening, Rob announced upcoming things, and one of the things he announced was GOOD OMENS on the screen, written by me. (There was a little confusion in the way that it was reported, by the way: because Rob had been talking earlier about the letters found in the safe that Terry had left us, people assumed that me writing was something Terry asked me to do from beyond the grave. Actually, it was more of a last request while he was still alive. (“I would very much like this to happen, and I know, Neil, that you're very very busy, but no one else could ever do it with the passion that we share for the old girl. I wish I could be more involved and I will help in any way I can,” he wrote, once I said yes.)I've been working on the Good Omens scripts for much of the last year, wishing that he was still here and could help, even if it was just to take a phone call. It's hard when I get stuck, and want to ask his advice. It's harder when I come up with something clever or funny that's new and I want to call him up and read it to him, and make him laugh or hear him point out something I'd missed. We were always each other's first audiences for Good Omens. That was the point. Neither of us had any idea whether or not we'd be able to sell this odd book or not, when we were writing it, but we knew that we could make the other one laugh. Anyway. I'm now 72% of the way through the Good Omens scripts, and the end is in sight.My goal is to finish it before the publication day of THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, my book of selected non-fiction, which comes out in the US and the UK on May 31st. There are two different covers. The US one shows me sitting looking thoughtful in a crumbling theatre, the UK shows me with my hair all blowing in the wind and gears exploding from the back of my head. Both of these seem pretty accurate, especially the exploding gears. (US Amazon link: http://bi[...]



We Thought You Were Dead, with baby photos

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 21:00:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I've been very bad at blogging for the last three months. I've actually been pretty bad at everything for the last three months, except for changing a baby, bathing a baby, remembering the words to old nursery rhymes, and helping Amanda to get enough sleep.People ask me what cool new music I've been listening to, and all I can think of is Wally Whyton's 50 More All-Time Children's Favourites (which I had on LP when I was tiny and recently downloaded on MP3) and the Ellis/Laycock/Broadside Band's Old English Nursery Rhymes (which I'm only allowed to play when Amanda is not in earshot, even though it calms the baby like magic). Nobody seems very interested in my opinions about nappies aka diapers (when we use disposables, we use the Andy Pandy bamboo ones, no! come back! I used to be interesting...) or baby clothes (huge fan of the Magnificent Clothes magnetic clothes line, which allow you to get up in the night and change the baby without ever waking up enough to figure out complicated things like snaps or buttons or velcro) or...There. No brain. I sound like a walking advert for baby things. If I get email done, or something read, I'm proud of myself. The rest of the time, it's changing the baby. Who mostly seems amused by the whole thing...I've finished the giant proofread for a book coming out in May, called THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. It's a collection of my nonfiction.  It's not every speech, introduction or article I've written, but it's all the speeches that seemed important, all the articles I was still proud of, all the introductions that seemed to be about something bigger than just telling people about the book or author they were going to read. (Kat Howard helped such a lot: she went through the archives, read everything, and made an initial call about what should go in or go out. Then she sighed whenever I changed my mind or remembered a forgotten piece I'd written about something).I'm about three months behind right now, on everything. And I'm cooking a new novel in the back of my head, which I was meant to start next week, but may be as far as three months away while I finish things that people are waiting for.I'm thrilled that people have been buying and saying nice things about Sandman: Overture (bit.ly/OvertureDeluxe).  It's been eight weeks at the top of the NYT Graphic Novel bestseller list, and it's made it onto lots of End of the Year Best Of lists, The consensus seems to be that it added something real to the Sandman story, and I'm not sure I wanted anything more than that, apart from the joy of working with J. H. Williams III.Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary. It was a quiet day, with a lot of love in it. We did not need to sacrifice the baby to the Fish Gods, or send him into space in an attempt to save him from this doomed planet before it explodes. I'm profoundly grateful to his gorgeous, brilliant and kind mother, my wife and friend and partner and love. I wouldn't change a thing.It's worth all the sleep I've lost.And I'll try and be a better Blogger, in the months to come, and a worse Tweeter and Facebooker and Tumblrer.Thank you for sticking around. Labels:  Ash, Amanda, Anniversary thoughts, Five Years, nappies, Baby brain         [...]



A New Year's Wish

Fri, 01 Jan 2016 05:20:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NY8MeouaE1w" width="480">

I didn't write a new New Year's wish this year. But I recorded an old one. Thank you cameraperson Amanda Palmer.


(image)   (image)   (image)   (image)   (image)



TWO BABY PHOTOS! (And, oddly enough, some news too.)

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 02:49:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I'm typing this in an airport lounge in Cleveland. It's a 'pay money or use a fancy credit card to get in' lounge, and I have a fancy credit card I never actually use in the back of my wallet, so hurrah, free internet and a cup of tea.Last night was my first night away from the baby and Amanda since the birth. I spoke at an event at the University put on by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and Case Western Reserve University. I enjoyed talking, and managed not to get too wistful about missing the baby.This morning felt very strange: I woke up in a kind of panic in a hotel bed, wondering how I had slept so long and why I hadn't changed the baby in the night and oh my god where was the baby oh right I'm in Cleveland.This is what he looks like when he wakes up.Now I'm flying back to them.We've spent the last week in the sunshine seeing aged relatives and being on holiday. Real life (and chilly Autumn in the NorthEast) starts on Monday.This is Anthony. We call him Ash for short. He wears a hat these days.(I haven't received a full report on the Humble Bundle yet. Will post it here when I do.)BUT THERE IS NEWS:On November 9th, I'll be in Brooklyn, in conversation with Junot Diaz, talking about Sandman and such, and afterwards there will be the only Sandman Overture hardcover signing. (The book is officially released on November 10th.)Tickets are free, but you must RSVP: https://neilgaiman.splashthat.com/On Nov 7th I'll be in Conversation with Armistead Maupin at Bard. This is the fourth of the Bard talks I've been doing (Art Spiegelman, Audrey Niffenegger and Laurie Anderson were the first three).Join a public conversation between Neil Gaiman, Bard’s Professor in the Arts, and Armistead Maupin, the best-selling writer and activist. Maupin is the author of 11 novels, including the nine-volume Tales of the City series, three of which were adapted for television with Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney. He and Gaiman will discuss their heroes Charles Dickens and Christopher Isherwood, the craft of storytelling, and many other subjects. Part of a regular series of conversations at the Fisher Center hosted by Professor Gaiman.If you are in the area, you should come. Tickets and info at  http://fishercenter.bard.edu/calendar/event.php?eid=129331.Me and Armistead in San Francisco in the summer. There are a handful of other appearances I'll be doing before I retire from the appearances and talks thing at the end of November and go back to being a full time writer for a while:On Friday Oct 23rd, I'll be at the West Virginia Book Festival, in Charleston, WV.http://wvbookfestival.org/On Friday the 13th of November I'll be in Texas. Will there be masked figures with machetes, or will it be a local chainsaw massacre? Probably neither, given that I'm talking in Austin, reading stories and answering questions and generally having too much fun on stage. It's a big Auditorium, and there are still a few hundred seats left, but they are going fast. http://thelongcenter.org/event/neil-gaiman/On Saturday the 14th of November I'm doing the same thing, more or less, only with different words, in Long Beach, CA. (There are about 20 seats left, from what I can see: http://www.carpenterarts.org/2015-2016/neil-gaiman.html )THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE came out in the US and (much to my surprise) went in at #1 on the NYT YA bestseller list. It's now in its 3rd week on the list, and is a really pretty book.Hayley Campbell's gorgeous book of everything you ever wanted to know about me is coming out in paperback soon, with a faux Victorian cover that doesn't have a picture of me on it. Too many people thought the hardback was just drawings of me or by me or something[...]



A huge thank you, and some life and some death...

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 22:39:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman Thank you all for taking part in the Humble Bundle, or just for putting up with me blogging, tweeting and facebooking about it. It's been over for a couple of days now: We just got a letter from the guys at Humble letting us know it was:#1 on the Humble Book Tab#1 Highest Overall Average for any Bundle.#1 Media Coverage for a Book Bundle And they went on to say:This bundle was particularly special since it elicited such a beautiful and positive reaction from both our fans and Humble newbies alike.   I talked with our Customer Service Manager yesterday and he reported that there wasn't a single negative comment.  (Except new customers not understanding how to redeem their bundles.  A very common complaint.)   This has never happened before either!There was a tremendous amount of delighted energy at Humble HQ since the launch.    Everyone here was stoked to be involved.   Dare I say that it was almost in the realm of The Magical.  I was so happy how many friends, acquaintances and people I do not even know gave it a push.John Scalzi went further -- he reviewed my 1985 Duran Duran book, and let the review become a gentle meditation on who we are and who we were and who we become. It's at http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/09/22/duran-duran-neil-gaiman-and-beginnings/ and you might enjoy it.Here are the final results for your interest:Humble Book Bundle: Neil Gaiman Raritieshttps://www.humblebundle.com/books?view=pPpiWRbzesK-Launch Date:  September 9th 2015End Date: September 23rd 2015Avg. price per bundle: $19.6332,294 bundles purchasedTotal Revenue: $633,787.98(Note the numbers might change ever so slightly over the next few weeks.)  I'll post the actual numbers here, and how much money that actually makes and how much is going where, when I get the information from Humble.  Hurrah for transparency.(Also, I commend to you the Banned Comics Humble Bundle that's going on right now: $231 of forbidden comics for Pay What You Like https://www.humblebundle.com/books )...Meanwhile, so many things. For example The Sleeper and the Spindle came out in the US on Tuesday. So did the new Sleeper and the Spindle Full Cast Audio. You can listen to it at https://soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/sleeperandthespindle_gaiman or width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/220273578&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false">And read a great interview with Chris Riddell (and see pictures from the book) at http://epicreads.tumblr.com/post/129147915806/books-for-keeps-window-into-illustration-with allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/76p5i861rds/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/76p5i861rds?feature=player_embedded" width="320">The Moth put up a new radio show and weirdly, in a week a son is born, it includes me talking about my father and my son: http://themoth.org/posts/episodes/1520 (This was actually recorded somewhere on the Unchained Bus Tour of 2012.)I recorded a documentary for the BBC  Radio -- I'm presenting it -- on Orpheus: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06cw171  I'm really proud of it, and it has wonderful people, like Margaret Atwood and Jonathan Carroll and Peter Blegvad in it. (And this is the poem I wrote for Kathy Acker that's extracted in it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5gmSz0PkBn6G81cdsySP8mJ/orphee-a-poem-by-neil-gaiman)Miracleman, The Golden Age stories by me and Mar[...]



Our Not-So-Humble Bundle.

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:07:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman

He was born at 8:37 in the morning on September the 16th, which is, I am told, the commonest birthday in the US.  It was a long but rewarding labour. The name on his birth registration is Anthony, but mostly I call him Squeaker. He makes the best noises in the world, mostly squeaks and peeps and snuffles.

Amanda is an amazing mother. I am changing nappies (or diapers, if you are not English) and enjoying it much too much. This is wonderful.



Labels:  Baby


(image)   (image)   (image)   (image)   (image)



Holy Thundering Sludgebuckets! THANK YOU!

Thu, 10 Sep 2015 04:33:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman The Humble Bundle went live almost ten hours ago.It's broken all the previous Humble Bundle records for Books.  As I type this, about 7000 people have already bought the  Bundle. It's raised $133,000. And it's done something really peculiar...The average donation (right now $18.88) is actually higher than the level we had set as our top level ($15). This means that the books we thought were going to be mid-level books are actually, much to our surprise, the top level books.This means a few things, including some changes of plans in the week ahead to make sure that as many people as possible get as much stuff as possible...There's a great interview with me over at The Nerdist where I talk about embarrassment and age and why I'm willing to let some of the embarrassing stuff from the basement and the attic out. (Well, out for the next 13 days, anyway.) It's at http://nerdist.com/exclusive-neil-gaiman-discusses-uncovering-rarities-for-humble-bundle/One of the best unexpected side-effects of this has been an ask me anything on Reddit with my daughters, Holly and Maddy Gaiman. You get a great sense of their personalities. They are both very funny in very different ways. For anyone wondering, this is what they look like now.Maddy is the author of this book. Or she was, in 2002. It's letters and poems we sent each other while I was off writing American Gods, and she was Very Young. Only 100 copies were published, and given to close friends. And now it's part of the Humble Bundle too...So thank you, and thank you again.If you haven't bought it yet, you can still get your rare and collectible eBooks, eComics and eWhatnots at https://www.humblebundle.com/books for the next 13 days and 14 hours. 1249 pages of  stuff. All the money goes to good causes, and you can control how much of it goes to charities, to the creators, to Humble Bundle...(There will be more stuff in the bundle released midweek. If you've already bought the bundle you will get it all without having to pay any more.)...Also, things I should mention:Miracleman #1 is out! The art by Mark Buckingham has never looked better. The story by me is, well, I'm still proud of it, after all these years. If you've wondered what the fuss was about, it's a great place to start and should be at your local comic shop.http://marvel.com/comics/issue/50326/miracleman_by_gaiman_buckingham_2015_1The Global Goals: On the 25th of September, the UN will officially adopt the new Global Goals. Head over to http://www.globalgoals.org and learn what they are, and what you can do to change the world for the better...Before that, Penguin are going to be releasing the world's first Post-It Note book, to draw awareness to the global goals: I helped, a little, in making it happen: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/richard-curtis-and-neil-gaiman-michael-joseph-global-goals-curate-worlds-first-post-it-note-book-311417  Richard Curtis did all the heavy lifting.And, in case you were wondering... Labels:  Miracleman, Global Goals, Humble Bundle, Holly, Maddy, thank you so much         [...]



Do YOU want to save THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS while DOING GOOD? Er, and also get some interesting things to read.

Wed, 09 Sep 2015 20:00:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman https://www.humblebundle.com/booksThe thing about having a writing career that spans more than thirty years is that that you write things – books, comics, all sorts of things – that for one reason or another become rare. They go out of print. Often because you are embarrassed by them, or do not want to see them in print. Or because circumstances are against you. Or because something was only ever published in a limited edition.I have a basement library filled with mysterious copies of things. Some I only have one copy of. One book, the hardback of my Duran Duran biography, I paid $800 for, about eight years ago, astonished that anyone would ask that much, but aware that I'd only ever seen one other copy. (I saw another one for sale last week for over $4000.)Many years ago, I sued a publisher for non-payment of royalties, registering copyright in his own name on things I'd written, and various other things. And, because it felt right, I decided that any money I made from the case would go to charity. Long after the case was won, when the finances were eventually settled, I found myself with a large chunk of money.  I didn't want to give it all to one charity, and instead formed the Gaiman Foundation which has, for several years, been using that money to Do Good Things. The Gaiman Foundation has funded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Education program, various Freedom of Speech initiatives, the Moth's High School programwhich teaches kids the power of telling their own stories, along with helping to fund good causes like the Lava Mae charity, which gives showers and cleaning facilities to the homeless around San Francisco.Giving money away to good causes has been a fine thing to do, especially when the results were immediate and obvious.The only downside is that the initial chunk of money from the lawsuit is almost used up. I've been putting money into it as well, but last year Holly Gaiman (who is not only my daughter and an ace hat maker, but is studying running non-profit organisations and has been invaluable on the professional side of things of the Foundation) pointed out to me that if the Gaiman Foundation was to continue, it would need me to put in a big chunk of money as an endowment. And I started thinking...Some years ago I took part in one of the earliest book-based Humble Bundles, and was really impressed with how the Humble Bundle thing worked.  E-books (back then,  of out of print or unavailable work,) would be put up DRM free: some of them would be available to anyone who paid anything at all, some only for those who paid above the average, some available to anyone who paid more than a specific amount. Artists and writers got paid, and money also went to support good causes -- when you paid for your books, you could choose how much of the money going to charity went to which charity, how much goes to the creators, how much to Humble Bundle. Hmm. I had the beginning of an idea.Charles Brownstein at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is always willing to listen to my strange ideas. He liked this one.This was the idea:I'd put into the Humble Bundle all the rare things we could find. Books that were long out of print, stories and such that collectors would pay hundreds of dollars for, obscure and uncollected comics and pamphlets and magazine articles. Even the things I am still vaguely embarrassed by (like the Duran Duran biography, a hardcover copy of which, as I said, can set you back thousands of dollars these days, if you can find one). Books which have been out of print for 30 years, like GHASTLY BEYOND BELIEF, a c[...]



How to help your family and save lives.

Sun, 06 Sep 2015 20:16:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman It's very safe here: we're in Tennessee, in a perfect little house we are borrowing from a midwife who has gone out west to her son's wedding. We are cooking, eating,  catching up on our sleep. Amanda's due in a week and her Nesting Instinct seems to be manifesting chiefly in trying to clean out her email inbox. She's also cleaning, washing and folding baby clothes and clean towels. I'm writing a lot, enjoying the lack of cell-phone connection, and the lack of internet connection, and getting things written without distraction. (I wrapped the first draft of a script on Thursday, wrote a preface to SANDMAN:OVERTURE on Friday.) We've felt like a couple for a long time. We're starting to feel like a family.And the safety feels very fragile, and like something to be treasured.There's a photo I'm not going to post. You've probably seen it already: it shows Aylan Kurdi, a three year old Syrian refugee, dead on a beach in Turkey after his family tried to get to Greece. It made me cry, but I know I'm overly sensitive to bad things happening to small children right now. I'm reacting as if he's family.In May of last year I was in a refugee camp in Jordan. I was talking to a 26 year old woman who had miscarried her babies in Syria when the bombs started falling. She had made it out of Syria, but her husband had left her for another woman he hoped would give him babies. We spoke to women eight months' pregnant who had just walked through the desert for days, past the dead and dismembered bodies of people fleeing the war, like themselves, who had been betrayed by the smugglers who had promised them a way to freedom.I gained a new appreciation for the civilisation I usually take for granted. The idea that you could wake in the morning to a world in which nobody was trying to hurt you or kill you, in which there would be food for your children and a safe place for your baby to be born became something unusual.I wrote about my time in the Syrian refugee camps here, in the Guardian. (You can read it here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/21/many-ways-die-syria-neil-gaiman-refugee-camp-syria and you should, if you have time. I'll be here when you get back. And here are some photos from my time there: http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2014/may/21/neil-gaiman-syria-refugees-jordan-in-pictures)Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon have, between them, taken in millions of Syrian refugees. People who fled, as you or I would flee, when remaining in the places they loved was no longer possible or safe.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has made a plea to Europe that you should read (and insist that whoever represents you also read)  at http://www.unhcr.org/55e9459f6.htmlThe only ones who benefit from the lack of a common European response are the smugglers and traffickers who are making profit from people's desperation to reach safety. More effective international cooperation is required to crack down on smugglers, including those operating inside the EU, but in ways that allow for the victims to be protected. But none of these efforts will be effective without opening up more opportunities for people to come legally to Europe and find safety upon arrival. Thousands of refugee parents are risking the lives of their children on unsafe smuggling boats primarily because they have no other choice. The UN Refugees Agency wrote about words, and how they matter. In this case, the word migrants and refugees: they don't mean the same thing, and have very different meanings in terms of what a government's obligations are to them.  http://www.unhcr[...]



Have I Actually Been Eaten By A Bear?

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:54:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman Amanda is now 8 and a bit months' pregnant, and she wanted to have our baby off the grid, in the middle of the woods with nothing and nobody around but midwives, a doula, and me.Which seemed like an odd idea when she first floated it by me, but has come to strike me as more and more sensible in the last few months, especially when I would look at my deadlines. It's been a mad year anyway, and more and more things have crept onto my schedule: the idea of going off to a cabin in the woods and writing, away from phones or emails or any distractions seemed increasingly attractive. So I get the best of all worlds: undistracted time with Amanda, undistracted time with Amanda and the baby (when he appears), and relatively undistracted time to write.Photo by Kyle Cassidy,  last Friday.Except, the birth-month is September. And September is the month when everything is happening.It's the month that the Chris Riddell-illustrated boxed set of my children's books comes out in the US, for example. It's still ridiculously cheap on Amazon, for three books you could not previously get in these editions in the US.It's the month that The Sleeper and theSpindle is released in the US. The last issue of Sandman Overture will come out in September (although not the hardback collected edition of the whole thing. That comes out on November 10th -- my birthday, oddly enough: details at http://bit.ly/OvertureDeluxe )And, more personal for me even than these, it's the month that the Humble Bundle happens.You know what a Humble Bundle is, don't you…? It's a bundle of Digital Stuff (usually games, sometimes eBooks or Graphic Novels) that goes out to the world on a Pay What You Like basis. Sometimes you can get hundreds of dollars of stuff cheaply.But I think it's fair to say there will never have been a Humble Bundle like this before. Why ever is that? you wonder. Ah,  you will have to be patient. It's going to be remarkable.But...I'm going to be away. So I'm planning to learn how to use the various timed posting things on Twitter and Facebook and here on the Blog. People will think I am back from the woods, but no, I won't be. Magical timed postings will be going up to let people know what's happening.(This may also result in a few tone deaf postings in September, as I apparently plug the Humble Bundle or Sleeper and the Spindle immediately after I hike into town to find internet to tell you that the baby has turned up. Forgive me if they happen.)   Labels:  Humble Bundle, The Sleeper and the Spindle, chris Riddell, Sandman Overture, Baby         [...]



“Behind the Trees”

Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:08:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9QlDX8mPAcc" width="480"> I love my wife so much. This is an animation by animator Avi Ofer that uses a voice memo from Amanda's phone of a conversation she had with me while I was asleep. (I can have conversations while I am asleep, I am told). She found the message she had left on her phone for herself, whispered in a bathroom while I slept,  a year or so after she’d left it, and played it to me. I said it sounded like an animated film, and she agreed, and used her Patreon to make it happen…Only watch it if you want to know what the inside of my head is probably like while I am asleep.         [...]



After the Pause

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:30:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman And now, the exhale. Then quiet: only birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Labels:  Anthony Martignetti, Life         [...]



Existing in the pause

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 17:10:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I was meant to be in the UK for another ten days. It was the ten days I was most looking forward to: a long-overdue trip to Scotland, to St Andrews (where I would be receiving a doctorate) and to Edinburgh and on to Skye. My friend Polly's 21st birthday party. A Masterclass in story writing I was going to teach.I was walking in to a meeting with TV execs from around the world, along with my American Gods TV posse (the people from Fremantle Media, and Bryan Fuller and Michael Green) when Amanda texted to tell me she was on a train into London from Hornchurch, our friend Anthony was dying, and we were on a plane that was leaving in three hours from Heathrow. I explained what American Gods was to the TV people, and then I ran for it.Somehow (well, with the aid of Clara Benn) we were packed and on that plane, in the last two seats in the back. (I am not pregnant: I took the middle seat.)We made it to the hospital while Anthony was still conscious and more or less able to communicate. I told him about the umbrella cane I had discovered for him (I get him canes, with stories, from all over the world). He put his hand on Amanda's baby-bulge, and we talked to him about the baby's name, and he smiled.We were in the hospital with him for two days and it seemed like a lifetime. On the third day the doctors said he could go home: he would get no better, and he was slipping away.Amanda and I have moved next door to Laura and Anthony, moved to Amanda's old family home, as we wait.It's the morning of day four now, a beautiful sunny fresh day. It rained in the night, and the grass was covered with webs that held the raindrops, and the morning sunlight slanted in at an angle that made everything look clean and magical and whole.Anthony's dying fast. He communicates sometimes, if he's thirsty, or hungry, or needs to pee. He groans, and rolls, and does not want to be in his bed and does not have the strength to be anywhere else. There's nothing more. He hurts, his body is failing, and the leukemia and all that goes with it is draining him away. His wife, Laura, is being remarkable: saintly and brave and helpful and a rock for all the people around. His family and his friends are here sometimes. People are around the bed, and then they move away and talk, and then they are around the bed once more.I keep making food, and feeding people. It helps.Amanda is here, with me, with Anthony. So pregnant,  a beam of life and light in the darkness of the dying.We won't be waiting long.It doesn't feel like real time. Normally, we breathe in and we breathe out, and we never notice the beat between the breath. Right now we are living in the place between the inhalation and the exhalation, existing in the pause.Do you want to know who Anthony is? Read this:  http://www.neilgaiman.com/Cool_Stuff/Essays/Introductions/Eight_Views_of_Mount_FujiIt's the introduction I wrote to Anthony's book Beloved Demons, in November 2013, when his cancer was in remission. It stayed in remission for a long time, but not long enough.It starts:blockquote { margin-left: 60px; margin-bottom: 40px;} div.indent { text-indent: 30px; } I had known Amanda Palmer for six months, and we were going on our first date. Our first date was four days long, because it was all the free time we had at the beginning of 2009 and we were giving it to each other. I had not yet met her family. I barely knew her friends."I want you to meet Anthony," she said.It was January. If I'd really known who [...]



Drawing the Undrawable: An Explanation from Neil and Amanda.

Sun, 31 May 2015 18:59:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman So that, as they say, was a thing.The Neil and Amanda guest-edited New Statesman came out a couple of days ago. It's what we wanted it to be – an issue about saying the unsayable, filled with writers saying stuff. We are in it too. Everything is perfect...Except the cover isn't the Art Spiegelman cover it was meant to be, the one that went up online at the New Statesman site and then vanished again. It's an Allan Amato photo of Neil and Amanda instead. A beautiful photo, with text over it. But it's not the cover we told people we were putting out, the cover that people have been asking us about.This is what it looks like with the flap covering the left of it:We owe you an explanation for why this is, especially as it gets into strangely self-reflexive territory: an issue about saying the unsayable that loses its cover for reasons of, among other things, freedom of speech, human error, and whether or not you can say the unsayable. Or show the unshowable.And the short tl:dr version of this is:We loved Art's cover. (So did the New Statesman.) We are really sorry that the cover wasn't used. Art pulled it because he felt that agreements with the NS weren't being kept, specifically, he had done a comic that he wanted in the issue, and as Guest Editors we'd assured him that wouldn't be a problem. Communications between Art and the NS were not good: they didn't get back to him on his questions, or, we think, understand that they were meant to include the comic. When the NS editors learned about the comic it was already too late to put it in the magazine, and when the Amanda-and-Neil-put-it-online solution failed, Art, with enormous regret, pulled his cover.…Amanda:Of all the things we were excited to attack with this "Saying the Unsayable" issue, the cover was at the top of the list, because it posed such a great braintwister: how do you draw what can't be said? Neil and I spent a few weeks chatting through all the various options - one of the nice things about being a musician and graphic novelist who have both been collaborating with artists for years is that we had a list of art-geniuses a mile long. Art Spiegelman won, in the end, because he was perfect for the theme. I remember seeing, in a newstand the week after Sept. 11, 2001, the cover of the New Yorker - thinking, at first, that it was a solid black image. And then, as the issue caught the light and revealed two magically disappearing towers, painted in ghostly gloss with a single antenna thrusting through The New Yoker masthead, I knew I was looking at the work of artistic emotional genius. Art's been a fighter for visual free speech for ages: his seminal graphic novel "Maus", a profound commentary on family and nazism, has recently been banned from sale in Russia because it featured a swastika on the cover (though one could argue it was hardly "nazi memorablia - not to mention Art has already won the argument in Germany that Maus was culturally significant enough material to allow it onto shelves). Art's also let us crash at his apartment. So we were gleeful when Art agreed to do the cover, even though he had his grumpy doubts about the British press (we'll get to that in a second), and I traipsed over to Soho to have a long chat with him about what we might do for an image. For three hours, over two walks and three locations (one cafe, Art's studio, and we stopped by to visit the artist JR: you'll note that that gave accidental birth to the use of J[...]



Ursula at 85

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 01:26:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I was thrilled to be interviewed for a documentary on Ursula K. Le Guin on BBC Radio -- who are also going to be broadcasting their adaptations of The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea Trilogy. I was even more thrilled to hear the finished programme -- not because it has me in it, and David Mitchell, and Karen Joy Fowler, and lovely Naomi Alderman asking the questions and doing the talking, but because it has so much Ursula K Le Guin in it. She reads from an essay. She answers questions. She explains how you balance a writing life with having a family. She talks about gender and about writing and about humanity.For the next few weeks you can listen to it here, wherever you are in the world:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pkmyg(If you are on a phone or tablet you'll need an app like TuneIn Radio to listen.)Allegra, the producer, told me that the success on BBC Radio of Neverwhere and Good Omens were what gave the people who wanted to make Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness the clout they needed to get Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra to agree to make them. I've never been happier for an unintended consequence.Here's a great recent interview with Ursula: http://www.denofgeek.us/books-comics/ursula-le-guin/245224/ursula-le-guin-talks-sci-fi-snobbery-adaptations-troublemaking And here's a clip: frameborder="0" height="500" src="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nm9cg/player" width="400"> ...To honour Terry Pratchett, the BBC is rebroadcasting their adaptation of GOOD OMENS, too:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h is the BBC's Good Omens site, with lots of goodies, and links to the programs. If you are in the UK, it's going out at about 11:30pm each night, and the final episode will be on Saturday at 2:30 pm.There's a new book by me out, with pictures by the amazing Mr Adam Rex: Chu's Day at the Beach It's intended for readers a little older than the first Chu books (who are mostly 1-3). This one is for 4 and 5 year olds. It has a plot. It even has merpandas.I'm really proud of it. It's my favourite of the Chu books, and once you look at it, you'll know why. Labels:  Chu's Day at the Beach, Good Omens, Ursula K. Le Guin         [...]



The Facts of Death

Mon, 30 Mar 2015 01:03:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman It is not a wise or a sensible thing to do, to fly from the US to the UK, getting in late on the Tuesday night, and flying back early on the Thursday morning, in order to go to a funeral on the Wednesday, but sometimes you do the wrong thing because it's the only right thing you can do, and because you have to say goodbye to a friend properly, and that was true this week.We didn't always look like this. 24 years ago, on tour for Good Omens, we looked more like this:It's a bookshop signing photo, which is a nice change. Back then, every newspaper interview we did they'd drive us to a graveyard. I'm not 100% certain why. But in ancient crumbling newspaper picture archives, there should be a host of photos of Terry and me holding Good Omens and looking not very scary at all.It accompanies this:  http://www.locusmag.com/2006/Issues/1991_Gaiman_Pratchett.html --  an interview with us both from 1991, in Locus Magazine, from back when we were very young and prone to finishing each other's sentences.BBC Radio 4 is going to repeat GOOD OMENS as a tribute to Terry: it starts Monday the 6th, at 22:30 UK time. Details at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h If you missed it, you can listen to it from anywhere in the world, using the internet, or an app (if you have only a phone/tablet).And Terry's death makes me think of Douglas Adams' death (I missed the memorial: it was the first day that planes were flying again after 9/11, and I gave my seat on the plane up so that someone could get home). On March 3rd I was in the UK to deliver the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture, to help Save the Rhinos. You can watch the talk I gave here: allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/D8UU-F1Yorg/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D8UU-F1Yorg?feature=player_embedded" width="320">(The blog title is borrowed from a poem Terry wrote for an anthology called NOW WE ARE SICK, which I edited with Steve Jones in 1985. His poem began...They don’t teach you the facts of death,Your Mum and Dad. They give you pets.We had a dog which went astray.Got laminated to the motorway.I cried. We had to post him to the vet’s.You have to work it out yourself,This dying thing. Death’s always due.A goldfish swimming on a stall,Two weeks later: cotton wool,And sent to meet its Maker down the loo.) Labels:  Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, Save the Rhinos, Douglas Adams, Flights         [...]