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inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #26 of 406: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 3 Jul 01 09:14
    
E-mail from Maggie:

The line-up was definitely well mixed.  You gave enough clues, though, that 
anyone with more than a passing interest in mythology would have enough to 
figure a few things out.  The Zorya were a little confusing at first, but 
thinking on them (three sisters, fortune tellers) for a bit cleared up 
their identities.  Hinzelmann I got right away (I speak German), but 
Bilquis puzzled me until later in the story.  The cast was very well 
balanced in that respect.

I mentioned to my husband that there was an Ifrit driving around NYC.  He 
sort of tipped his head and said "I hope he's wearing shades."  Nice touch, 
that.  Now I just need to get him to pick up the book...

Reading through again has been delightful - there have been many "Doh!  How 
could I have *missed* that?" moments.  It's been great fun watching that 
hand we were supposed to ignore, and realizing that you told us everything 
all along.  Very well done.

On another note:  After a lot of fussing with PhotoShop, praying to every 
Deity I can name, and just plain old swearing at the computer, I managed to 
salvage one of my photos.  It's of one of your younger fans, on his web page.

http://blake.prohosting.com/~woozle/neil.html


Maggie      UIN 10248195
http://www.chocolatefiends.com
"The Dark was cold until she came, but she was Midnight, kissed by 
Flame"-Rajiv Mote on rasfwrj
                                  
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #27 of 406: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 3 Jul 01 09:16
    
E-mail from Alexx Kay:
 
Hi Neil!

Recently finished American Gods, and thought I'd drop you a line,
as your work has been very important to me and to my fiancee.
She is completely blind, and I often read aloud to her, often
comic-book material (while describing the action), since that
sort of thing will *never* end up on tape.  From your work,
I have read her all of Sandman, Stardust, and Neverwhere,
plus a good chunk of Smoke & Mirrors.  You have given us many
many hours of pleasure :-)  Thanks (to you or to whoever is
responsible for the decision) for having an unabridged audio
book of American Gods released so soon.  Not that I would
*mind* reading it to her, far from it, but there's so much
good material, and so little (comparitively) time I can spend
with her, that having someone else help out is, well, helpful.

I was interested to read in AG that leprechauns were 
traditionally tall.  The only leprechaun I ever met (riding 
the Red Line on the Boston subway, of all places) was at least 
six feet, and I had thouht that that was unusual.  In fact,
when Mad Sweeney was first introduced in the book, I wondered 
if he had been the one I met, but the one on the subway was 
rather more garrulous.

I can confirm Shadow's observation that when you only catch 
a TV show on rare occasions, it's always the same episode.
Makes one wonder if the other episodes really exist.  Maybe
the universe really *is* a simulation on a giant computer, and
it's only got one episode cached in the area of memory it uses
to simulate your life...

Hope the rest of the tour goes well, and that you can spend 
lots of time with your family once it's over.

Alexx

Alexx Kay
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of my employers
alexx@world.std.com
http://world.std.com/~alexx
"Yes, he's dead," I replied, knowing she was about to ask.  They
always ask.  No one is ever officially dead until someone asks, "Is
he ... dead?"  (That's the law.  You could look it up.  It's not
legal without those three dots.)  
             -- from "The Return of Phil Noir" by Minstrel
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #28 of 406: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 3 Jul 01 09:49
    
JaNell -- not to worry.

Kelly -- I used the Norse gods because we know the Vikings were here,
so there was no leap of faith involved in assuming they"d left their
gods behind. And because Odin is such a magnificent god, and such a
bundle of contradictions. I'm not certain that the Norse liked him very
much. (They liked Thor, of course. Everyone liked Thor.)

Abbe -- yes, they're real. Everyone's real. There are even some slavic
god websites out there.

The main two Zorya symbolized the morning star and the evening star,
who opened the gate for their father, the sun, to ride across the sky. 
A few places mention the midnight sister as well.  So the Dawn is
literal...

Czernobog/Chernobog/charnobog/charnobo/carnobog etc was also in
Disney's original Fantasia. 

Rebecca -- the only one I wrote and cut, because the scene just didn't
work, was Jesus.  Most of the rest of them that didn't turn up just
didn't come on stage.

Hathor would have worked if I'd thought that any of the Egyptian
traders had arrived with cows, or sacrificed to her while they"d been
here. 

martha -- well, I wanted to hit some of the places people don't write
about much.  The ones that had surprised me when I came out here.  I
tried to include a few other places too, but was much less concerned
about describing them...

JaNell --  I guess. I knew I'd wanted to do The House on the Rock ever
since I first went there in 1997 or thereabouts. Rock City just sort
of crept into the book as I was driving from Minneapolis to Florida on
back roads, and I kept seeing the barns with SEE ROCK CITY painted on
them.

At one point I thought I'd get Ruby Falls and the tunnels under the
mountain into the book... but I didn't.

maggie -- I was hoping that it would work like that; that a second
reading would be as much fun as the first, from a completely different
direction.

Glad a picture was salvaged. if you're in Chicago, I'll be around in
November for the Humanities Festival, and in 2002 for World Horror Con.

Alexx -- well, all too often descriptions of things people are afraid
of  are euphemisms and opposites (see the Kindly Ones for the furies),
so it seemed right that a leprechaun (literally "small-body") would
apart from anything else, be tall.

And the one-episode-of-a-tv-show-you-don't-watch thing is an immutable
law.
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #29 of 406: JaNell (janell) Tue 3 Jul 01 10:00
    
I would very much like to have seen the tunnels, St. Elmo, Tiftonia
Pit, and several other such in the book-maybe in the (fictional)
annotated version (see Topic 115 post). Or maybe in the AG spinoff book
someone is already asking about...
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #30 of 406: Kelly (kellyhills) Tue 3 Jul 01 12:24
    
Thor was sort of hard *not* to like...  :-) Thanks for answering; I
think you also just answered why the Greek/Roman gods weren't around in
the book (which I saw asked somewhere recently - I think on the
www.neilgaiman.com message boards). 

I've heard referrenced now, a few times, that the Jesus-scene just
didn't work. The Salon review actually mentioned that it was "odd"
Jesus wasn't around, and I was wondering why the entire Christian
'pantheon' was missing... or were they just hiding? (And I have to
wonder which side they would have been on, the old or the new gods...)
As much as Media and Technology are worshipped here, Christianity still
has a very firm hold...

-Kelly 
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #31 of 406: Rebecca (nefertiti) Tue 3 Jul 01 14:37
    
So Rock City and all of the other rocks had nothing to do with
Ragnarock?  Nothing at *all*?
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #32 of 406: JaNell (janell) Tue 3 Jul 01 15:23
    <scribbled by janell Tue 3 Jul 01 21:27>
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #33 of 406: JaNell (janell) Tue 3 Jul 01 21:31
    
Rebecca, quit stealing my lines! Now I've had to go scribble again.
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #34 of 406: Joseph Walerko (cerebuspo) Tue 3 Jul 01 21:55
    
Hello all!  I feel like it's taken me absolutely FOREVER to catch up
with all the posts and new topics that popped up since I last posted.

Neil - All I want to share with you is this (which, by the way, is the
gods' honest truth):  I was on page 459 of American Gods, exactly
halfway through the page, when a thought suddenly struck me and I
turned my head to look at the bedside clock.  

It was 12:01 a.m., July 4th, 2001.

I laughed out loud for a full five minutes.  Thank you so very much
for writing this book.

- Joe 
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #35 of 406: Martha Soukup (soukup) Tue 3 Jul 01 22:07
    
As you're on your way to England, Neil: how do you think your American novel
will be received there?
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #36 of 406: JaNell (janell) Tue 3 Jul 01 22:18
    
It's all right to talk to people other than Neil here, I hope?

Kelly - My thought is, since Christianity does not acknowledge any
other gods, the Christian Diet(ies) would simply see the whole thing as
a fight among demons, thus not involving them.

I've also thought that most, if not all, of the Native American
pantheon would view it as a fight among interlopers, and possibly be
glad to get rid of the lot of them...
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #37 of 406: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 3 Jul 01 23:32
    
Kelly -- neither, really. Or a bit of both.

Rebecca -- Well, there's no rock in Ragnarok. Except, possibly, on an
almost subliminal level.

Joe -- how appropriate.

martha -- I have no idea. We'll find out very soon, I guess...

JaNell -- absolutely fine with me. 
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #38 of 406: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 4 Jul 01 01:01
    
The only difference between this topic and the other topic is that in this
topic, we focus on the book, American Gods.  Discuss away.
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #39 of 406: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 4 Jul 01 01:19
    

Thank you, Martha.
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #40 of 406: Kelly (kellyhills) Wed 4 Jul 01 01:26
    
Neither or both? Hmm. Cryptic.  :-)

JaNell - I don't know; the Jewish Scripture (Old Testament) had the
kind of go-out-and-kick-the-other/false-gods-rears kind of thing going;
then again, I suppose the key there is Jewish, not Christian,
Scripture.

Altho, Bilquis was there, and she's from the Scriptures. Curious. :-) 
(Does Bilquis appear anywhere else, besides being an apparently common
Middle Eastern name?)

-Kelly
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #41 of 406: Rebecca (nefertiti) Wed 4 Jul 01 09:55
    
Sorry about that.  I think I was writing so many rocks that the c just
crept in there.  
I guess I was reaching for the subliminal, and instead got my hands on
glaringly blatant.
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #42 of 406: JaNell (janell) Wed 4 Jul 01 18:30
    <scribbled by janell Thu 5 Jul 01 07:55>
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #43 of 406: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 4 Jul 01 19:45
    

(Please remember that this topic is for the discussion of Neil's
book.  Please post things that don't have to do with American Gods in
topic 115.  Please.)
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #44 of 406: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 4 Jul 01 19:45
    

From pandora@netcom.org Wed Jul  4 19:40:04 2001
E-mail from Robyn Pearson:

When were the quotes at the beginning of the chapters inserted?  Did you
gather those over time knowing you'd want to use them in a story or were
they something that you went out and found after the book was written?

And on a couple of other notes...Hope we'll still be on for Sushi next
time you're around the SF area!..and good job keeping Tori's album secrets
(but still giving cool little hints!)

---------------------------------------
Robyn Pearson (aka Wednesday)
chantrelle@foodporn.com
"I believe in eating. I think women especially have this
fear of eating, and I think there is a whole euphoric plane
you can rise to when you have a good meal. You sit down and 
with every bite you honestly just say thank you." 
- Tori Amos
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #45 of 406: Martha Soukup (soukup) Thu 5 Jul 01 00:19
    
Neil, once you've settled into the England thing, I will want to hear how
they've been receiving the book--
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #46 of 406: -N. (streak) Thu 5 Jul 01 05:29
    
        Neil, the central concept of American Gods, that of deities being
created by humans and hanging around even after they're not being
worshipped any more, is one that appeared regularly in Sandman and (if
I recall rightly) some of your short pieces as well.  What is it about
the concept that you enjoy or find compelling enough to return to it
like that?
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #47 of 406: Will Entrekin (willentrekin) Thu 5 Jul 01 06:29
    
Finished American Gods within the week it came out, and I wanted to
tell you Neil, how very much I enjoyed it, and meeting you (and it was
so very much worth waiting to be the first person signed on the tour to
hear you say, 'Oh, hi, Will,' so thanks for making my day).  I can't
say it replaced Stardust as my favorite of yours, but it really is an
odd, sweeping, epic, *fantastic (in every sense of the word)* book. 
Just so you know (as if you didn't already).

I was surprised when I read that you'd cut a scene with Jesus.  I'd
noticed his conspicuous absence, but I'd figured that, well, he didn't
need to be part of things so much as the other Gods; a lot more people
worship Jesus right now than believe in, say, Odin, for example.  I
didn't notice Allah mentioned, or Buddha, either, so I figured that was
the deal.

That's it.  Don't have a question, really, but I figured that was
considered discussing.  And on a completely different note without
quite being a tangent, have fun at your UK signing dates, Neil.  I'm
interested to know how your homeland receives you now you're an
International Best-Seller, and what they think of such an American
Book.

-Will, who's *so* happy American Gods sold so best in the country.
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #48 of 406: Stuart (sjs) Thu 5 Jul 01 07:11
    
I'm not nearly as timely as <willentrekin> in my reading -- I read
'Neverwhere' last week.  Because of this topic, I started AG yesterday.

Neil -- I saw where you did an American rewrite for 'Neverwhere' (I
think I'd have prefered the original, Britishisms and all).  Now that
your story takes place on the other side of the ocean, did you have to
do a British rewrite?
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #49 of 406: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Thu 5 Jul 01 14:37
    
Hullo Foodporn Robyn --   a bit of both. I was sort of
hunter-gathering things for the tops of chapters for a while before the
book -- I'd jot them down to remind me.  

And sometimes I'd start a chapter and just put one down.

And then when I finished the book I had about four chapters which
didn't have a quote at the beginning -- or in a couple of cases, the
quote would have cost real money and not really delivered. (E.g.
"lalalalalala I want to live in magic America with the Magic people" --
blur)so I'd find something to replace it with.

Streak -- it just seems like a tool you can use to open a lot of
different things with. Like a swiss army knife.

Will -- well, if the Jesus scene had worked it would have stayed in.
It was meant to imply that Jesus was -- as various characters state --
doin' just fine thank you very much.

Stuart -- check out topic 104 (and before that, 73) for various long
answers and explanations on Neverwhere.

And no, i didn't british American Gods. They know about pants and
sidewalks and parking lots. But the spelling is UK spelling -- which
was more or less how I wrote it.

...

Very very tired. in the UK. So far people seem to like the book...
  
inkwell.vue.116 : New York Times Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman: _American Gods_
permalink #50 of 406: Martha Soukup (soukup) Thu 5 Jul 01 15:24
    
Get some rest.  We'll ask more questions later.
  

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