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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: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:16:12 +0000

 



For James Vance, and his family

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:39:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I read James' Vance's work before I met the man. He was a playwright who had discovered comics and  wrote a graphic novel called KINGS IN DISGUISE, set in the great depression. I loved it. Powerful, moving and smart. Years later, when I was creating a line of comics for Tekno Comics, I asked James to write "Mr Hero", because I suspected that someone who could go so deep could also do funny and light and sweet, and he could. We became friends.James met another friend of mine, who was writing Tekno Comics: Kate Worley. They fell in love, they had two children together.Then Kate got cancer. I posted their appeal 13 years ago. (This is a beautiful letter from Jim to this blog in 2005, asking people to stop sending money, following Kate's death. It gives you the measure of the man.)Jim died of cancer on June the 5th, leaving a wife and three children (two Autistic, one with Chronic Fatigue  Immune Disfunction).Here's his obituary in the Tulsa World.Go and read all about Jim and Kate and their lives and children at https://www.gofundme.com/vance-family-home-mortgage. If you're someone who was touched by their work, or by their friendship, please donate, even if it's a few dollars.  I did. Labels:  James Vance, Kate Worley         [...]



The whole Cheesecake Menu Thing Explained, with photographs

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:29:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I met Sara Benincasa eight years ago, when she interviewed me in a bathtub. (I was in the bathtub. Sara wasn't even wet.)She's an author and comedian and the sort of person who has strange ideas and acts upon them. So when she tweeted me the other night and asked me if I would read the Cheesecake Factory Menu live, if she raised half a million dollars for the charity, I did not ask any of the obvious questions (like, why would I read the Cheesecake Factory Menu aloud? or Who would want to hear this? or even How would you ever make that much money for something so unlikely?). Instead I said I'd like the money to go to Refugees, please, and sure. ( And I added, "If you get to a million dollars, I'll also read the entirety of Fox in Socks after the Cheesecake Factory menu.")And then Sara did something even more unlikely. She set up a page to allow people to donate at Crowdrise.com... and people started to donate. Lots of them.It's been up a couple of days since then, and we are (as I type this) 8% of the way to the target at over $42,000. It's started to be picked up by newspapers -- here's the LA Times,  and the Boston Globe, and even the Guardian.Let's do what we can to spread the Crowdrise address around the world: https://www.crowdrise.com/neil-gaiman-will-do-a-live-reading-of-the-cheesecake-factory-menu-if-we-raise-500000-for-refugees/fundraiser/sarabenincasaAnd I will do my own bit for it. I will put up something unique to this blog.Probably you are thinking, will he write about his time on the Red Carpet at Cannes for HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES?It is not that. (But here are costume designer Sandy Powell, channeling Ziggy Stardust, and star Elle Fanning eating colour-coordinated macaroons.)Perhaps you are thinking, Will he perhaps post photographs of Gillian Anderson as Media in the next episode of American Gods incarnated as Ziggy Stardust also eating colour-coordinated macaroons?I will not. I do not believe such photos exist. Instead I will put up photos of my elf-child, Ash. I will see him on Saturday, and the Cannes red carpet would have been much more fun if he had been on it....Whether or not I get to read the Cheesecake Factory Menu in public (or Dr Seuss's tonguetwisting Fox in Socks) I will be doing a few more readings and talks this year. Tickets are going fast:06 Jul 2017Austin, TXLong Center Presents Neil Gaiman07 Jul 2017Dallas, TXAn Evening with Neil Gaiman08 Jul 2017Houston, TXSociety for the Performing Arts presents Neil Gaiman09 Jul 2017Washington, D.C.An Evening with Neil Gaiman10 Jul 2017Hartford, CT       An Evening with Neil GaimanEach of these should be links to the event -- all of them are solo me just reading and talking and answering your questions, except for the Hartford one, where I'll be interviewed by the NYPL's very own Paul Holdengraber. Labels:  bowie, Cannes, Refugees, Ziggy stardust, How to talk to girls at parties, macaroons, the Cheesecake Factory, Sara Benincasa, baby photo         [...]



The Neil story (with additional footnote)

Wed, 17 May 2017 19:26:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman (I wrote this on Tumblr. It's since been picked up and quoted all over the place, and I'm being asked a lot if it's actually something I said, and if it's true. It is, and it is. Here's the original.)duckswearhats asked: Hi, I read that you've dealt with with impostor syndrome in the past, and I'm really struggling with that right now. I'm in a good place and my friends are going through a lot, and I'm struggling to justify my success to myself when such amazing people are unhappy. I was wondering if you have any tips to feel less like this and maybe be kinder to myself, but without hurting anyone around me. It's a big ask, I know, but any help would make my life a lot less stressful The best help I can offer is to point you to Amy Cuddy’s book, Presence. She talks about Imposter Syndrome (and interviews me in it) and offers helpful insight.The second best help might be in the form of an anecdote. Some years ago, I was lucky enough invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things.  And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things.On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name*. And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.”And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.”And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for. (There’s a wonderful photograph of the Three Neils even if one of us was a Neal at http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2012/08/neil-armstrong.html)...*(I remember being amused and flattered that he knew who I was, not because he'd read anything by me, but because the Google algorithm of the time had me down as Neil #1. If you just typed Neil, it would take you to neilgaiman.com. Many people, including me, felt that if there was a Neil #1, it was most definitely him.) Labels:  Imposter Syndrome, Neil Armstrong         [...]



On Translations

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:01:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman Dear Neil,I am teaching Translation at the University of Nottingham, and every year I am running an extra-curricular programme on cultural translation.  In one week of that programme, I have students analyse and translate the ending of the Graveyard Book, with particular emphasis on capturing the emotional development that runs through the pages.Most of my students are quite young (21-25) and working into languages that are quite far away from English (e.g. Chinese, Slovene, Russian, Arabic), and some of them are very insecure about what liberties they can take in terms of syntax, word choice, collocation etc. when they translate literature. Especially the song that Mistress Owens sings for Bod poses a challenge, as recreating rhythm and rhyme, while sticking closely to the English words usually results in clumsy verse. Some of them opt for a recreation that entails replacing some of the original images, resulting in quite beautiful renditions that actually sound like, say, a Chinese lullaby, rhymes and all, while others choose to translate almost word for word, so as to not interefere with the original text.I know that different authors have different opinions on the matter of what their translators should do/are allowed to do - Tolkien, was keen on retaining names, Eco was keen on retaining scenes and rhythm, but not necessarily the same items and cultural references he used; and I was wondering if you could comment on what you would tell a translator (or perhaps did tell translators) who translates your work, for instance to, as you once said in an interview, make the reader 'sniffly' at the end of the Graveyard Book.I hope you read this, and I hope you find the time to answer, and I'd like to share that every time we do this task, there are a lot of tissues emerging from pockets and bags, as the students read through Bod's departure.Thank you for your work, Neil. It makes a difference.KlausThat's such a good question, and I'm not sure that it has a single answer. I'm not sure there are hard and fast rules: more like a set of "if... then..." questions.For Mistress Owens' song, I'd want it to feel, for the reader, like a cradle song, if the translator can manage that. If they can't, then they should probably go literal. What I want is for the reader, in whatever the reader's native language is, to get something close to the experience that a reader in of the original in English would have. The rhythms don't have to be my rhythms, nor the rhymes my rhymes, nor the words exactly my words, if it feels like a cradle song, and it means the same thing. (The hardest thing I've ever done as a writer  -- or at least, the thing I spent the most time on for the least amount of words -- was Princess Mononoke, writing the English language lyrics for the theme song and for the Tatara Women's song. And I'm not even sure that you can hear the words of the Tatara Women's song in the film. The challenge was taking the Japanese lyrics and then making it work as English lyrics that you could sing to the Japanese tunes.)I figure a translator has a huge tool kit at his or her or their disposal. I've had translators decide to keep names of characters and translators change the names of books (The Graveyard Book's title in French is L'Etrange Vie de Nobody Owens -- the Strange Life of Nobody Owens); I've had translators change the names of characters while keeping the name of the book (Mr Wednesday in the French edition of American Gods -- which is called, in French, American Gods -- is called Voyageur, because Wednesday in French is Mercredi -- Mercury's Day, not Odin's).I don't want the translators inserting themselves between the reader and the book. (There wasn early French edition of Stardust, where the translator decided that the book was an allegory based on John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, and added notes to make sure the reader understood this.) I don't want things mistranslated in ways that, in these[...]



Do I Actually Have or Need Diplomatic Immunity?

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:20:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I'm typing this on a plane to Australia where I will hunker down and go back to being a man writing a novel, and life will turn into a long-running battle between man and blank page, between man and what happens next, between man and the people in his book who have other ideas about what they ought to be doing now.I had a fascinating time on the road, though. I was never not exhausted: Initially I knew that all I had to do was keep going until the second weekend, and then by the time I got to that weekend plans had changed and now I was in Iceland for 36 hours, filming a mini-documentary extra for American Gods. It was wonderful: I love Iceland. But I was tired, and didn't really get to see much Iceland.(My favourite moment was one where the director asked if I would mind being filmed in an alleyway reading American Gods. I suggested we wander into a bookshop instead, if they didn't mind, and have me look at books in there. So I did, and took the opportunity to sign as many books as I could, in the time we had, racing before the last of the February light went.)Iceland really is beautiful. And if it wasn't for Iceland, there wouldn't be an American Gods...I had some really fun times. The BBC radio interviews were all so different and all so much fun. My Royal Festival Hall event was a delight to do, and that lunchtime I showed up as Children's Laureate Chris Riddell's secret guest on the same stage, and I got to meet Posy Simmonds and turned immediately into a starstruck teen.Chris stayed and drew while I spoke and was interviewed that night:\...Now I'm in Melbourne, Australia and it's two days later and I'm not really sure where the last 48 hours went. I caught up on my sleep (Amanda and Ash are in Adelaide, where she's performing), started to clamber up the email mountain that was waiting for me, spent time with a sick friend, and, today, actually started to write some more of the novel.Norse Mythology came out on February the 7th and went straight in at Number One on the US, UK and Canadian bestseller lists; in its second week it dropped to Number Two in the US, and has somehow stayed at #1 in the UK and Canada, despite a lot of bookshops running out of copies. The phenomenon of it becoming an incendiary sell-out hit has left me delighted and a bit baffled -- my books always sell, but they usually sell sanely and normally and I'm a bestselling author because they keep on selling in healthy numbers for ever.  It's not usual to see people online talking about visiting five bookshops and getting the last copy (or failing to find any) in whatever town or city they are in. People (friends, family, journalists, even Amanda) tell me that I and the publishers and the bookshops must have expected this sort of response, and I reply that if we'd expected this level of enthusiasm and sales, the publishers would have printed a lot more copies to begin with and the booksellers would all have ordered a lot more copies, and for that matter I wouldn't have taken over four years to write the book...But then, I think it may be that this book happens to be ridiculously popular partly because it is now and this is the right time for it to have been published.There have been lots of terrific articles about the book and a slew of amazing reviews.  I really enjoyed this article in the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/02/the-politics-of-retelling-norse-mythology/517422/ and this blog review, which I felt articulately explains what I was trying to do, https://andrewfindlaywrites.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/gaiman-norse-mythology/.I liked this James Lovegrove review from the Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/42fad176-ec96-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6Sarah Lyall interviewed me and came to the New York event for the New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/12/books/neil-gaiman-norse-mythology.htmlHere's me talking to the New York Times Book Revie[...]



Reading George Reynolds on the plane

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 07:17:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman A small thought on reading George W M Reynolds’ Wagner the Wehr-Wolf on a plane.It was obvious, just as it was open to no doubt, no kind of doubt at all, oh reader, that the person, the fine, good hearted gentleman who had written this story, a man with the frosty hair of too many winters yet still with the apple-cheeked demeanour of a lad of no more than thirteen summers,  a lad ready to clamber out on a spring morning his pockets filled with marbles, aye and perchance even stuffed with several of the miniature animals that comprise a Noah’s Ark as well: this individual of whom I speak, this person and this noble, fusty elderly and yet young person alone, was, there was no arguing with it or saying that it was not happening, for it was, it was and none could deny it with an honest heart and a clear conscience: this man and no other, I tell you, was being paid, recompensed and otherwise compensated by the word. Labels:  Wagner the Wehr-Wolf, George W M Reynolds, writing         [...]



The Longest Day

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:11:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I'm on a plane to LA, where I change planes and fly to New York. My alarm went off in Hobart, Tasmania at 4 am this morning, the 8th of February. (I was at the MONA Museum, where Amanda will be playing a gig. There may be nicer places to stay than the pavilions at the MONA Museum, and better places to eat than the Source restaurant at MONA, and there may even be finer museum-gallery-James-Bond-Villain-Lairs than MONA, but I have not yet encountered them.) I will land in New York at 6pmish on the 8th of February, about 30 hours after I set off.Yesterday, although it may still be today as I type this, was or is publication day for Norse Mythology. It seems to have gone straight to #1 on the Amazon book charts (it's www.bit.ly/NorseMythology) which has taken me rather by surprise. Not that I'm grumbling, mind. I just wish I was enjoying it with loved ones and friends instead of sitting on a plane in the dark.I went with the family and with some of the Bookend Trust folk to the Bonorong Animal Sactuary in Tasmania. Go, if you are there. They take in injured birds and animals and rehabilitate them, then, if they can, they return them to the wild.  We fed an echidna and tawny frogmouths and sugar gliders and a wombat and many, many kangaroos...Some articles about me and Norse Mythology out there.  Lovely Guardian article, even if the title is clickbait (and many of the commenters seem to have fallen for it) https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/04/neil-gaiman-interview-booksA really personal sort of an interview with the Big Issue at http://www.bigissue.com/features/letter-to-my-younger-self/7316/neil-gaiman-interview-stephen-king-gave-me-the-best-piece-ofHere's a Tor.com review... http://www.tor.com/2017/02/07/book-reviews-neil-gaiman-norse-mythology/And the plane internet is getting dodgy, so I'm going to post this, and try and get a nap. It's a long day.Thank you, to everyone who bought Norse Mythology. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed it and told other people about it... Thank you! Labels:  Bonorong, kangaroo feeding photo, Mona, Norse Mythology         [...]



California! Arizona! Seattle! Bard! Spend an Evening With Me.

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 02:43:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I took 2016 off from all public engagements, in order to get a novel written.I did a lot of things last year. I finished writing the Norse Mythology book (it comes out in February). I finished writing the six hour long Good Omens television series (the BBC will be making it this year).  I did a lot of baby-raising.  I endured a hurricane and a bad haircut. And I got the new novel started...But I didn't get it finished.So this year, I'll be madly writing a novel AND doing the public appearances and such I didn't do last year.There's a West Coast tour in March/April, that starts in San Diego and finishes in Seattle, and goes to Costa Mesa (which is secretly Los Angeles) and Santa Rosa (north of the Bay Area).I'll be at Bard College on the 15th of April, talking about American Gods and the American Gods TV series (and if possible, we'll be screening an episode or two).In July I'll be in Texas (Austin, Dallas and Houston) and in Hartford CT.There's another talk in a Library that isn't on here, but basically, that's about it.  (I'm not listing the New York or London Norse Mythology events in February as they are both sold out -- although there are still a few tickets on sale for Town Hall members.)The brown links will take you to relevant place on the Where's Neil page.29 Mar 2017San Diego, CAAn Evening with Neil Gaiman30 Mar 2017Costa Mesa, CA (LA)An Evening with Neil Gaiman31 Mar 2017Santa Rosa, CAAn Evening with Neil Gaiman01 Apr 2017Mesa, AZAn Evening with Neil Gaiman02 Apr 2017Seattle, WAAn Evening with Neil Gaiman15 Apr 2017BARD COLLEGE: Annandale-on-Hudson, New YorkNeil Gaiman and American Gods06 Jul 2017Austin, TXLong Center Presents Neil Gaiman07 Jul 2017Dallas, TXAn Evening with Neil Gaiman08 Jul 2017Houston, TXSociety for the Performing Arts presents Neil Gaiman10 Jul 2017Hartford, CT An Evening with Neil GaimanSome of the events have plenty of tickets left, some are almost sold out. You probably need to move fast if you want to get a ticket for Seattle. (Mostly the ones with lots of tickets left have only just gone onsale.) The "Evening With..." is me talking, and reading things published and things new, and answering questions.Dallas is not yet available singly -- but you can get tickets if you wanted to see me and two other events. And they have Neil deGrasse Tyson and they have Fran Lebowitz and Garrison Keillor there for you to choose from, giving rise to one of my favourite Headlines of last year:Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil Gaiman, Two People Not Named Neil to Speak in Dallas(Up there with the New York Times's iconic headline "Neil Armstrong and Someone Not Named Neil Walk on the Moon"*)*I understand they might have changed it in later editions....I'm getting better. Fever is very over. Bronchitis is a pain in the chest but it is on the mend. Ash got very sick after I did, but now he's through the fever bit and is perking up, which bodes well for everyone getting a bit more sleep: his nose is running like a tap, though, which means that sometimes without even trying he blows snot-bubbles half the size of his head.We're in Melbourne.  Amanda's going to be doing a residency here, while she also tours Australia. I am writing my novel, using as my office the same tiny flat that Amanda began to work on The Art of Asking. (I've read it reported online that we've moved to Australia now, but we haven't. We're here for a couple of months. We just have a different kind of visa. But 'they have a different kind of visa' isn't really newsworthy.)And it was our sixth wedding anniversary. This is a photo of Amanda and Ash I took a week ago, on Hermosa Beach, when we got stranded for 24 hours in LA by a late plane. I am a lucky man to have so much love in my life. Labels:  Touring, Neil deGrasse Tyson, writing novels, An evening with Neil Gaiman, Neil Armstrong       [...]



Another Year

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 01:25:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman We landed in Brisbane 24 hours late, because a set of plane delays had made us miss the flight we were meant to be on, and I started fading away during the drive out here. (I wasn't driving. I was entertaining Ash, mostly.) By the time we got to the house I was gone. I need to sleep, I thought, and isn't it odd that in such a hot part of Australia in high summer it is so cold that I'm shivering...And then I was mostly asleep for 3 days, with a fever caused by something that was probably a really nasty flu. Then it became a chest infection. During the short waking periods I would read volume 3 of Henry Mayhew's LONDON LABOUR AND THE LONDON POOR.Three days of fever dreams filled with Guy Fawkes Men and Penny Mousetrap makers was entertaining, but it wasn't getting better. So yesterday evening, I went in to the Woodford Festival to see the doctor there. By luck, I caught the song Amanda dedicated to me, then went home, took the medicine, slept, woke up, thought I really need to write a blog for the New Year, and went straight back to sleep...Which is why I'm writing a New Year's wish on New Year's Day. Although it's New Year's Eve still in the US (and in the UK as I type this, but it will already be next year there by the time I post it).It's been a strange, hard year for so many of us. I find myself thinking of the old Jack Benny radio shows. Particularly during World War Two they'd do a new year's sketch, where the old year (played by Jack, with an old man voice) would give advice to the new year (played by a child). They weren't funny: they were a mixture of hope and sentiment, optimism, realism and resilience.We are going to need all of these things in 2017.For this year, the words are Leonard Cohen's, someone that 2016 took from us. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LSieFj9lh2o" width="480"> Seventeen Years ago, I wrote:May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.And almost a decade ago I said,...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.Half a decade ago, I wrote:And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.And it's this.I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.Make your mistakes, next year and forever.From 2012, terrified but trying to be brave, from backstage at a concert:It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world. So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with sm[...]



Watch DEMOCRACY melting in water colours

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 15:00:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman We were in Toronto on November the 11th, the day after we heard Leonard Cohen died, and four days after the election. I was there as tour nanny, but Amanda asked if I would do something on her stage. I loved the spoken word version of Democracy Leonard Cohen had recorded, and so I went to YouTube, worked out what lines from the song he had dropped for the poem, and what he had moved, and read it on the stage. And then I did it again in Chicago and Minneapolis. We recorded it, me taking time from the recording of the audiobook of How The Marquis Got His Coat Back to record it, and email it to her, Amanda recording her piano accompaniment up a mountain in a snowstorm, then Jherek Bischoff and a string section doing glorious quiet things to make it sing. We gave it to PEN America as a gift, to draw attention to their sterling work and to help raise funds for them. Then David Mack painted many paintings (there's one below this), and Olga Nunes animated them into a video.It was all funded by Amanda’s Patreon, and I thank all 9000-odd people who support her and it.It’s a very beautiful video. I could post the YouTube video here, but I’d rather you went and watched it at the PEN America page, at https://pen.org/donate-democracy. If you watch it, and it it moves you, reblog it. I hope people watch it. I hope they care.You can buy the track too, at Bandcamp. All proceeds go to PEN America as well. https://amandapalmer.bandcamp.com/track/amanda-palmer-neil-gaiman-democracy-leonard-cohen Labels:  Leonard Cohen, Former webelf makes good art, Olga Nunes, Jherek Bischoff, Democracy, amanda palmer         [...]



A huge thank you

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:46:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman The Humble Bundle finished yesterday, at a little over $394,000, from almost 25,000 people. Some of that goes to Refugees. Some to the CBLDF. Some goes to the Publisher, which in this case is basically me, and all my share goes straight to the Gaiman Foundation (and my agent, who dealt with all the contracts, is passing on her share to the Gaiman Foundation too). Some of the artists of the work asked for their share to go to specific charities, most wanted it tossed into the general charity pot, and two are using their share of the money to pay rent and buy food.The last time we did the Humble Bundle, 15 months ago, it raised $633,000. Which means that old and out of print books, comics, and things I was embarrassed to let out in public, have now raised over $1,000,000. I wish I could go back in time and tell the 23-year old me writing his Duran Duran book that it would be the best thing he could be doing with his time. Thank you to everybody who bought it. Thank you to everybody who helped, or who agreed to have their work go into the bundle, to Charles from the CBLDF and Cat from Neverwear who worked their bottoms off to assemble everything and make it work, and to the people at Humble Bundle for having a wonderful platform that does good.You can donate directly to UNHCR through this link:https://donate.unhcr.org/int-en/neil-gaiman/Donate, or become a member of the CBLDF through this link:http://cbldf.org/contribute/donate/I'm going to be mostly offline for the next week, in places where there isn't a lot of internet. I hope I get a lot of writing done.Happy holidays. Here's a link to a piece I wrote 8 years ago about being a small Jewish boy who wanted a Christmas tree. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/neil-gaiman-hanukkah-with-bells-on-1203307.html Labels:  Humble Bundle, CBLDF, UNHCR, whew         [...]



Where do you run?

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 16:06:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I just woke from a dream in which my film agent (the redoubtable Jon Levin) was upset because a movie company had bought the rights to the 1972 Steptoe and Son movie and were convinced that by redubbing it to change the plot and adding special effects, they would have a science fiction blockbuster on their hands, and he was calling me in the hopes that I could persuade them that it was a bad idea. I'm not quite sure what I am trying to tell myself about Hollywood here.I'm on my own for a few days to write, while Amanda and Ash are in Havana. Amanda will be doing a gig there, and Ash will be squeezing people's noses and continuing to learn how to walk. His hair is getting darker as my hair gets greyer.Reading about what's happening in Aleppo is soul-numbing. I look at Ash and wonder what I'd do if the normal world I lived in became a war zone, how I'd cope, and the only thing I'm certain of is that I'd want to get him somewhere safe.I supported refugees before Ash came along, but having him here makes it feel so real and immediate: I remember the people I saw entering the camps in Jordan who had carried their own babies and small children for hundreds of miles to get them to safety.The Humble Bundle has four days left to go. You get over a thousand pages of ridiculously rare stuff by me, comics and books and more. There's new audio and video material, even posters for those who got it before (and you can gift a bundle to a friend or enemy for the holidays). The money goes to two charities -- to the CBLDF, and to refugees, and you can adjust the slider however you wish on who gets what. Please support it, and spread the word on social media.https://www.humblebundle.com/books/neil-gaiman-book-bundle is the link.And https://donate.unhcr.org/int-en/neil-gaiman/ is a direct page with a video from me in the camps, and ways to donate. Also, especially in these dark times, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/....I drove up the coast yesterday and listened to the BBC production of STARDUST. I think it's my favourite adaptation of any of my books or stories. It's broadcast in two parts, tomorrow and Sunday, and you can hear it over the internet anywhere in the world for a month after broadcast free, because the BBC is still a wonderful thing. There's a page of Stardust clips, art and other goodies for you here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xs1fdAnd one more Ash photo, taken by Amanda on a chilly beach a few days ago, because I miss him. Labels:  Dreams, jon levin, Ash, Humble Bundle, UNHCR, Hollywood, baby photo         [...]



Many Candles: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:38:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman




 The Worldbuilders charity passed its stretch goal of a million dollars, so I lit a whole bunch of candles, put on a coat once worn by a dead brother in the Stardust movie, and I read Edgar Allan Poe's poem THE RAVEN by candlelight. You can donate to Worldbuilders at worldbuilders.org. And you should.



 (Thanks to Deanna Leblanc who filmed it, Augusta Ogden who helped light candles, and Phillip Marshall who held the baby.)



You can find out all about Worldbuilders, and the inspiring copy of STARDUST, and so many other things, at http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2016/12/ravens-and-recitations-the-kindness-of-neil-gaiman/






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DO YOU WANT TO SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WHILE DOING GOOD? ER, AND ALSO GET SOME INTERESTING THINGS TO READ AND LISTEN TO?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:00:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman A little over a year ago I released my rarest, earliest, and hardest to find work -- books and comics --  through Humble Bundle to fund charities that do good work.  People were all so generous and enthusiastic that the Bundle broke several records. More importantly the people who donated to get the Bundle made it possible for the CBLDF and for the charities supported by the Gaiman Foundation, including the CBLDF, to help make things better for people. People asked if the books and comics in the Humble Bundle would be put up for sale afterwards. I said no. They were part of the Humble Bundle, and it had happened and it was done.The world is a more dangerous place than it was 14 months ago. Refugees need help and support. Freedom of speech is under threat.I've brought back the original Humble Bundle of Gaiman extreme and collectible rarities, and I have added some brand new bits, including audio stories.  The Bundle supports the UN Refugee Agency, the CBLDF, and the Gaiman Foundation (which then, in its turn, supports other good causes). Get the books and stories and such for yourself if you missed out the first time. Give them as gifts to friends. It will make a difference.And if you are wondering what is in the Humble Bundle, here is the original post:https://www.humblebundle.com/books/neil-gaiman-book-bundleThe 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 program which 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 Bund[...]



Want to hear me reading Norse Myths in Public? (London and New York)

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 20:56:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I'm doing two events for NORSE MYTHOLOGY. I'll read from the book, be interviewed, take audience questions, sign a lot of books.The first event to go on sale is at New York's Town Hall on February 9th. http://thetownhall.org/event/neilgaiman is the link. Tickets are not cheap, but each ticket price includes a copy of the book. It will be hosted, and I will be interviewed by, NPR's Ophira Eisenberg (whom I last met a few years ago on Ask Me Another on the radio, when she made me answer questions on and even sing Gilbert & Sullivan on the air).(The photograph is of me and a tree by Beowulf Sheehan.)The second is the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank on February 15th. It's going to be just as much fun. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/119851-neil-gaiman-norse-mythology-2017(And at 2:30 that afternoon Chris Riddell will be doing an event in the same place. Come to both events! https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/119612-childrens-laureate-chris-riddell-friends-2017)...And while I've got you here, the BBC RADIO 4 adaptation of Stardust is wonderful! I've been listening to it over and over for the last couple of weeks, and smiling in delight at the performances and the clever way the adaption has been done. It will be broadcast in two parts, on the 17th and 18th of December. You can listen to it all over the world after that, for a month.  The episodes will go up here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xs1fd/episodes/guideAnd a huge congratulations to the winners and runners up of the Stardust art competition: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1wFrP0b6KZh9CVnSG9BLTwg/stardust-drawing-competition-winnersYou can see the whole gallery of delightful submissions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04fqwzs/p04k98kc Labels:  Stardust, Norse Mythology         [...]



Lifey Death Dances Again

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 11:55:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I'm in an Atlanta airport lounge, and the time is 6:30am, but my body is convinced it's only 3:30 am because I got on a plane in San Francisco a few hours ago. I'm here because of the thing that Eddie Campbell calls, in his book of the same name, The Dance of Lifey Death.A month ago I became a grandfather. My son Michael and his wife Courtney had their first child, a small boy called Everett. I've been counting down the days until I could go and see him, but first had to survive a Florida hurricane (it was fine as things turned out: didn't even lose power) and then drive home across country and so on.I spent time working as a rickshaw driver for a one-year-old with his own tiny rickshaw (found abandoned on the streets of Boston by Lee, Amanda's Cloud Club landlord, and painted up and repaired). And then I waved goodbye to Amanda and Ash as they went off for a short European tour.Which reminds me: here is a beautiful, and genuinely sweet time-lapse video starring Ash (he plays the sleeping baby in the cradle) for the Jack and Amanda Palmer cover of "Wynken, Blynken and Nod". Amanda is in it, and so is Maddy and so are the Welcome to Night Vale crew and so many of our friends. (I was writing in Scotland the night when it was made. I am not in it.) Watch it on full screen, if you can, as so much is happening. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bWa2w9pYuWQ" width="480"> I went to Toronto to attend the American Gods TV series first season wrap party, because I wanted to thank the cast and crew for the amazing job they had done and the hard hard work it had involved. I went to Los Angeles, where I did something cool and secret (you'll know in a year), and was interviewed for the Electronic Press Kit for American Gods.  (It will be out in the spring. I'm really excited.)And then, finally, I went to San Francisco to be a grandfather.Everett is the sweetest baby. He looks like he was drawn by Crockett Johnson on a day that he was feeling particularly impish. He looks a little like Barnaby and a little like Mr O'Malley, Barnaby's fairy godfather. I spent a happy couple of days changing nappies and dandling him. Lots and lots of dandling.I tried to explain what being a grandparent was like on Twitter. I said, "It is a very comfortable thing to wear. Like a brand-new favourite old coat." And it is. You don't need instructions, you just fit right in, and the love just grows and your heart grows with it, in the same sort of way it does when your children are born.This is a photo I took of Michael and Everett. My son and his son. I am so proud of Courtney and Michael: such good parents. I feel like I must have done something very right, somewhere along the way.I had planned to stay with them in San Francisco for four days, but as I was leaving LA I heard that my cousin Sidney had died.Sidney was married to my cousin Helen. She's 98, he was 94. They were married 68 years. Sidney was funny, impish even, smart, and in all my dealings with him, unflappable. He was a building contractor, and when he retired he became a sculptor and he made wonderful sculptures, realistic and abstract, but always things you wanted to touch and run your fingers over. Over the last decade he's been getting slowly more and more deaf, and more distant, but when he would show you his art his eyes would light up and he'd seem to hear everything you said, and he'd be perfectly present.Here's a photo of Sidney and Amanda in 2013: I took her to Sarasota to meet them, and we put on an impromptu ukulele concert (Amanda) and reading (me) for Helen and Sidney and several hundred people who had [...]



Waiting, and Cinnamon

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 18:00:00 +0000

posted by Neil Gaiman I'm in Florida, and I'm typing this on Wednesday night and setting it to post on Thursday because tomorrow I may not have power, or Internet. I'm slightly nervous: I bought water to drink, and just filled the bath with more water, have lots of food in tins and packets, and the house I'm in has stormproof windows. But still, if the hurricane comes and does its stuff things are going to be less than fun. And according to Snopes, the candles I bought because there were no more flashlights or batteries should be left unlit.Um. I was impelled to get a haircut before the hurricane. I'm not sure why. It just seemed to make sense that if serious weather was coming I should be able to see out. The hairdressers had closed up shop and fled further inland, but there was a barber still working. Normally I can work with barbers to get a haircut that isn't too bad, but this time I had encountered a barber who obviously only did one haircut, and was going to give it to me no matter what I asked for. I should have shouted "PUT THOSE DOWN AND STEP AWAY FROM ME NOW" when he picked up the electric clippers as his first thing. Instead I thought "I wonder what he is going to do with those?" and then it was too late as half my hair had fallen to the tiles. So now I have the kind of haircut that means I feel like someone else whenever I pass a mirror or touch my hair. Perhaps the someone else I am now wears hats. I must find out.As of a couple of days ago, there is a new book for sale in the US: it's the gorgeous hardback Chris Riddell illustrated edition of Odd and the Frost Giants; http://bit.ly/OddFrostRiddell Lots of Silver ink and gorgeousness. I'm very fond of the story, too.IT IS THE MOST HANDSOME OF BOOKS. Silver ink and lots of Chris Riddell art makes it so. http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/books/Odd-Frost-Giants/And here is a book that won't be out until May of 2017. It's a story I wrote about 20 years ago, inspired by a Lisa Snellings carousel sculpture of a girl called Cinnamon, with pearlescent eyes, riding on a Tiger.For the last 12 years or thereabouts, it's been available on the Audiobook The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection. Now it's finally going to be available as something you can touch and hold.It's beautifully illustrated by Divya Srinivasan. (Divya lives in Austin, Texas. Her illustrations have appeared in the New Yorker magazine. She is the author and illustrator of the picture books Little Owl's Night, Little Owl's Day, and Octopus Alone.  You can see more of her work  at www.pupae.com.)Right. I'm going to go to bed now, and worry, and then, I hope, take all the worry and give it to the people in my book... Labels:  Divya Srinivasan, haircuts, Odd and the Frost Giants, chris Riddell, hurricane, cinnamon, storm warning, secret identities         [...]



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...htt[...]



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 diff[...]



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 [...]