Tag Archives: neil gaiman

All Hallow’s Read Book Exchange

Neil Gaiman has established a new Halloween tradition. He’s Neil Gaiman, he can do that sort of thing. Essentially, he has decreed that Halloween should be a book-giving holiday, because there really aren’t enough of those. I agree. You can read about the basic idea here.

So I was thinking…I like books. I like giving people books. I like receiving books. I like the idea of a holiday where people do just that. So here is my own modest proposal based on the All Hallow’s Read idea: oh people of the, interwebs, would you like to exchange books with me? I see this working one of two ways. If only a few people are interested, I propose a one-on-one exchange: I give you a book, you give me a book, everyone is happy. If a whole bunch of people are interested, we make a chain: person X gives person Y a book, person Y gives person Z a book, and so on, until we’ve closed the circle.

Based on the original concept of All Hallow’s Read as proposed by Mr. Gaiman, the book would be horror, or horror-esque, including dark fantasy, crime, mystery, etc. Ideally, the book you chose to give would be one that means something to you – your favorite scary story from when you were a kid, the most recent horror title you read that you just can’t wait to share with the world, the book that really freaked you out and made you sleep with the light on for months – that kind of thing. When you exchange said book, I propose you also include a brief explanation of why it is import to you, because, why not? Ideally, the book would also not be terribly expensive – either purchased used, something from your own library you want to unload, or something purchased new but reasonably cheap – we don’t want to bankrupt ourselves here. Although if someone really wanted to buy me a signed, first edition copy of Ray Bradbury’s A Graveyard for Lunatics, who am I to object? (Of course, looking at it now, the book is incredibly reasonably priced, and far cheaper than it was the last time I looked at it. Excuse me, I have to go to the bookstore now.)

Since I’m just proposing this idea two days before Halloween, the books obviously wouldn’t have to be exchanged on Halloween itself. Also, keep in mind you’d have to be comfortable with the possibility of sharing your contact information with a stranger.

So…anyone interested? If so, leave a comment, or send me an email. Feel free to share this with friends, family, etc. or anyone who you think might be interested. Re-post it, spread the word; the more books the merrier! I’m willing to be the point-person/coordinator for linking people up if there’s an overwhelming interest. Think of it as a large, loosely-connected book club. You might make a new friend, or discover an awesome new author, and you’ll certainly get a free book out of it. Any takers?

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Con Artist

I attended my first ever Worldcon this past weekend. The following post will  be long and rambling. Consider yourself warned.

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Keyboard

My very pretty Neil Gaiman keyboard arrived today.

GaimanKeyboard

In case you can’t read it, it says ‘keyboard I wrote some Sandman with’. This makes me very happy. Now I just have to figure out how to keep it safe from marauding cats, who – incidentally – are thrilled that a kind man and his fabulous assistant took the time to mail them a wonderful box to play in.

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Thirteen is My Lucky Number

The Shirley Jackson Award Lottery winners were announced today. Not only am I not getting stoned to death, but I won a signed copy of Elizabeth Bear’s The Chains That You Refuse and a signed keyboard from Neil Gaiman. How abso-freaking-lutely cool is that?

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A Post to Annoy My Husband*

*Let’s see if he’s paying attention.

For a rabidly obsessed fan, it’s been a shockingly long time since I posted about the Marvelous Mr. Gaiman (add a Fantabulous Shop/Circus/Cavern of Wonders and you have a great children’s book title. To be fair, I suspect he actually does have a fantabulous shop/circus/cavern of some sort already, probably full of trained raccoons and lap-pandas, but I digress).  To make up for being so remiss, I give you the all Neil all the time post.

The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Marvelous Mr. Gaiman confirmed that said book will be made into a movie. I’m already looking forward to it.

And speaking of movies, check out this delightfully creepy trailer-type-thing for Coraline. Neil Gaiman Talks About Buttons

Isn’t his library gorgeous?

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Happy Birthday, Mister Morpheus

Speaking of influential things and turning points in my psyche, Sandman turned 20 this year. In relation to that, and his own birthday, Neil Gaiman posted a picture on his blog from back when Sandman was first published. When he was my age. Not that anyone is keeping score but, to recap: Neil Gaiman, my age, already publishing the first issues of a genre-changing, award-winning comics series, which is still influencing the industry today. And me? Well, I…um…I…well, bugger. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do before the end of December.

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To Walk in Graveyards…

…where stories never die, where the ghosts are words, whispering themselves anew to each passerby.

Okay, I never claimed to be a poet. How about this, then? He imagined a future in which he could read everything, in which all stories could be opened and discovered. — Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book.

It’s just a brief line, but it’s one of my favorites. I smiled when I heard it read aloud, and I smiled again as I read it to myself. I imagine I’ll smile everytime I think of it, because it’s such a perfect love-note to the concept of stories. At the same time, by its context, it expresses the idea of graveyards as respositories of tales. They are, just as surely as any library or bound volume.

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In Your Soul Are Infinitely Precious Things

My autographed Anansi Boys preview brochure arrived in the mail today. This is primarily interesting (beyond the obvious) in that it appears to be signed in blood. In reality, of course, I’m sure that this is an illusion created by some rich and deeply colored ink that just happens to have dried to an ominous reddish brown. Surely a man whose waking life contains wonders beyond most mortals’ dreams wouldn’t be so careless as to sign away his soul where it could fall into just anyone’s hands. However, should it turn out that this is more than a mere trick of the light and I have in fact come into possession of Mr. Gaiman’s soul, I promise to treat it with the utmost respect. Such a rare artifact will be reserved strictly for parties, special occasions, or those times when I find myself in dire need of my very own lap-panda. And should its rightful owner ever ask for said soul back, I promise to even have it carefully cleaned before its return.

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Author Readings and an Honorable Mention

I’m planning on attending the Philadelphia stop of Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book Tour, which got me thinking about author readings in general. I’ve been to relatively few – fewer than I would like certainly – and each was completely unique.

The first reading I ever attended was by Maya Angelou. It was part of distinguished speaker series, and it was held in a very large theater. My seat was far enough back that she was mostly a squidgy blur on the stage, but even so – wow. She probably could have read in a space twice that size and her voice still would have touched everyone in the room.

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Independent Bookstores

IndieBound is a great website, which I found via Neil Gaiman’s journal. Among other things, it lets you find listings for independent bookstores in your neighborhood. The list is by no means exhaustive. For example, Robin’s Bookstore, which I’ve mentioned here before, didn’t show up in my Center City Philly search, but it did turn up a whole slew of bookstores that I wasn’t even aware of – several within walking distance of my workplace. This is a very dangerous knowledge for me to have, and it makes me very, very happy.

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