-N. (streak) Mon 26 Jun 00 00:17
Well, a quick poke around the Web turned nothing useful up, so I have to ask: What the heck is the Oxbow Lake Theory?
Elise Matthesen (lioness) Mon 26 Jun 00 11:46
Yes, please, if you aren't saving it for something, do tell. And how are the pumpkins?
From BatsNeedFriends@aol.com (tnf) Mon 26 Jun 00 15:23
BatsNeedFriends@aol.com writes: I *knew* there was a reason I stopped by the message board today! Neil, I loved the bat story (as you could have guessed!) I'd love to see Maddy's drawing! I am working on my own bat-ish art project (its a metamorphosis and I am changing a picture of my cat into a bat) anyway--> I hope everything is well with everyone...sometimes I feel like I am crashing a party though... if that makes sense to anyone oh well... its a slightly odd night and my stomach hurts -- anyway.... about bats and hibernation: bats in cold climates will hibernate until its warmer(or migrate to warmer places) while bats in warm climates don't have to hibernate. I have never heard of putting a bat in the fridge but I do know that if their body temperature drops to a certain temperature (I forget what it is) the bat will sleep... so I guess putting a bat in the fridge would put it to sleep...I won't be trying it though--> I think my mom would have a fit if she found a bat in her fridge! *giggle* I can picture it now! I am actually working on building my own bat house although my mom and I can't agree on where to put it..I wanted to put it in the tree right outside my bedroom window but I read that its not good for the bats because it wouldn't be warm enough...and my mom isnt too excited about it being elsewhere but we'll see, I havent finished building it yet (school's been the priority lately) ok I feel like I've batted everyone out! I'll be going now! Bats Need Friends.... Tori Bat!
-N. (streak) Tue 27 Jun 00 03:22
Say, Mr. Gaiman, since you've got Sandman like Sting has "Roxanne", I hope you won't mind another question about Old Tall, Dark, and Even Darker. I was watching the movie Labyrinth tonight, and was struck by how much the labyrinth and the Goblin King seemed similar to the Dreaming and Morpheus. Was it one of your influences, or just a case of parallel development?
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 27 Jun 00 21:18
Streak -- the Oxbow Lake Theory of time... I'd tell you, but I'd rather save it for a novel or something, if you don't mind. Elise -- The pumpkins are all doing well -- the ones with the salmon buried under them have exploded. Lots of male flowers, no females yet, and they're growing about a foot a day. Toribat -- I wouldn't worry about crashing a party -- although it's fairly quiet here. Makes me a little nostalgic for the glory days of Genie. Having said that, I spent, what, five years or a bit more with my topic on Genie as an ongoing discussion, diary, tea party and Q & A session, and I don't have the time any more for something like that, even if existed.... Streak -- no, I don't think Labyrinth was much of an influence, if any.
Lenny Bailes (jroe) Tue 27 Jun 00 22:48
Here's an optional question. I was wondering, the other day, whether Neil has any thoughts that he feels like sharing on the end of the current Books of Magic series. It's had a long, checkered history the past few years under John Ney Rieber and Peter Gross. In the Rieber issues, Neil was always listed on the first page as "creative consultant." At one point I remember Neil making a statement that the one thing he didn't want to see in BoM was a treatment of Tim Hunter as "Kid Constantine" a mini-Trenchcoat superhero. Ironically, toward the end of John Ney Rieber's run of BoM, the stories travelled into a series of parallel worlds that Tim created -- including one where Tim Hunter wore a "Hellblazer, Jr." insignia on his chest and gallavanted about with a red cape. I always wondered whether John threw that in as a kind of private joke. I noticed that Neil's billing as "creative consultant" disappeared from the title page of Books of Magic around that time. Since then, after Peter Gross started writing the book as well as drawing it, some of the stories have taken interesting turns -- more Neil-like than the John Ney Rieber issues in my opinion. Now Peter Gross has apparently ended his run, and the series has just stopped, with an announcement that it will pick up again in a few months with a new backdrop and continuity. I'm just wondering how Neil feels about this, and the end of the current BoM run. (Without necessarily getting into a discussion of the rumored Books of Magic movie, Harry Potter and all that -- as curious as I am about the rumors that they're going to de-Anglocize Tim so he won't be confused with Harry in the eyes of the moviegoing public.)
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 28 Jun 00 20:05
Hi Lenny well, I'm looking forward to the Dylan Horrocks Books of Magic stuff. I threw in the towel as consultant at Issue #50, as I was feeling guilty for taking DC's $200 an issue and not doing anything. In the final year they'd send me a script and I'd say "It doesn't make sense, but you could fix it like this..." and they'd say "We know but it's too late -- john handed it in so late it's already been drawn", so there didn;t seem any point in even reading the scripts after a while. The Dylan Horrocks stuff I've read so far I really like. It's certainly true that the plans for the book sof magic movie do not call for Tim to be a twelve year old bespectacled English kid, which would just leave us fending off accusations that Tim is a harry potter knockoff. (The last time I did an interview about that, it transmuted in the English press to "Gaiman accuses Rowling of ripping off Harry Potter from him" and I had to point out I hadn't said any such thing. Sigh.) ... Finished typing Chapter 12 today. 115,000 words into this bloody book and there's a huge vista stretching out in front of me still. Not amused. How on earth do the Jordans and suchlike do it for book after book? Also had a nice chat with a film director who got hold of Coraline and wants to film it. And, based on his previous films, and the conversation we had about what the touchstones were, he'd do it well. When I'll get a chance to write a script for it god only knows...
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 28 Jun 00 20:40
Just discovered a limitation of the web. maddy wants to know what "The naked bear" is -- from the Hiawatha line "hush, the naked bear will get thee!" So i went and looked. Search engines don't have any, um, constructive suggestions. Do any of you?
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 28 Jun 00 22:35
When I want to know the answer to something really esoteric I go to the News conference and look for the topic called Experts on the WELL and pose the question there. Usually someone comes along in short order with complete details. g news.
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 28 Jun 00 23:06
Okay -- I did.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 28 Jun 00 23:44
Experts on the WELL comes through again! Nine minutes from request to response!
Martha Soukup (soukup) Thu 29 Jun 00 14:16
Why oh why are you writing such a long long book? I don't read News but I'm impressed by the fast response and I think I'll go look at it. There is just about as much knowledge on the Well as there was on Genie. And I bet there are a ton of naked bears on the Web and I bet I know what they look like.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 29 Jun 00 14:36
Someone posted a description in News and I was surprised as hell.
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Thu 29 Jun 00 21:29
I was surprised and impressed, Linda. But the big lesson for me was : the reverend E. Cobham Brewer knows all. Ask him first. But 9 minutes was pretty impressive, and I explained it to Maddy this morning. Martha: "Why oh why are you writing such a long long book?" It's not like I want to, you now. I mean, I get the same advance for a long one as a short one, and everyone would have been much happier if it wasn't Late and was in fact coming out in October like we originally expected it would. I feel rather like someone living in New Jersey who set out to walk to California and is discovering it's not something you can do in a couple of weeks. In some ways I wish I'd not been quite so ambitious. On the other hand, I really love the short stories intertwining with the body of the novel as a technique. I think in retrospect it's probably a good thing that Sandman was published monthly, for it's much longer than this is...
Martha Soukup (soukup) Thu 29 Jun 00 21:30
You need to be Charles Dickens I guess.
The music's played by the (madman) Fri 30 Jun 00 10:54
I'm going to go back to Sandman, because I can come up with concrete examples of my question: Was it frustrating, when the art did not match up with what was going on, or was inconsistant? Did it bother you that Thess's eyes were brown in one book, and both green and blue depending on the artist in another? Or that Nuala's had the same problems? Or, most bothersome for me, in one panel, when Dream has gone all spoggly, he looks up at Del and says, "Your eyes are the same color." And in the next panel we see from Dream's perspective, looking up at Del, and her eyes are in fact different colors. Or Destiny casting a shadow in his garden in Mists.
Amanda Slack-Smith (ancient-booer) Sat 1 Jul 00 03:00
I just finished reading The day I swapped my Dad for 2 goldfish. Had a good giggle. I didn't even think you could get transformer robots anymore (transformers..more than meets the eye...). Really enjoyed the innocent sincerity. The artwork was pretty darn fantastic to!
Elise Matthesen (lioness) Sun 2 Jul 00 11:30
Hey, Neil, thanks for the mention of Martha's book a while back; I finally got a copy yesterday, and have been pretty much inseparable from it since. Good stuff! (Hey, Martha! Damn fine stories!)
Martha Soukup (soukup) Sun 2 Jul 00 12:14
Thank you, Elise! You are kind and swell. (Neil: my computer says my ink cartridge is 75% full but no ink hits the paper when I print, so it'll be at least until I get to a supplies store before I print anything....)
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sun 2 Jul 00 22:35
Went to Dragoncon to present Amano with an award. Due to standard Dragoncon organisational skills, the award was not presented on the first night. "Ah," they said. "you must present the award before the masquerade tomorrow". Masquerade started 80 minutes late, nobody had the awards that were menat to be presented or knew what was going on, and the lady who ran the masquerade came and pleaded with me to delay "my event" until the intermission. I explained that I was a victim and knew nothing, and then Amano-san decided he had had allt eh fun he could possibly have and went off to bed. So no award was ever presented. My impression of Dragoncon is that it is simply too big, too chaotic, and that nobody knows what anybody else is doing. Martha -- Do I really need to be Charles Dickens? Amanda -- isn't the art lovely? Goldfish was written in 1994 and there were still Transformers around then. Dunno if they're still around now. Madman -- well, the Sandman colouring was often deeply irritating, and was normally not the fault of the colourist but (During Brief Lives anyway) of the separations house in Dublin. In Brief Lives every few printings they let us go back and fix a few more of the goofs -- I think most of the ones you mention are currently fixed. Or at least, I *hope* they are. Elise -- oh good. Yes, she's a very fine writer. I just wish she'd write more stories, because there aren;t enough martha Soukup stories in the world. Martha -- it's about 450 pages, although you could single space it etc and make it shorter.
-N. (streak) Mon 3 Jul 00 00:19
I am now convinced that nobody involved in the scheduling of any convention masquerade is permitted to do a competent job, Or Else. We're past coincidence and into conspiracy here.
Amanda Slack-Smith (ancient-booer) Mon 3 Jul 00 06:25
Ventured into the toystore and found out that, yes indead, transformers do still exist! This discovery lead to a lively discussion as to the various cartoons that were around about the same time. Does anyone remember chatanooga cats? I am in a minority of one at the moment!
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Mon 3 Jul 00 10:05
Not me, Amanda Went onto Amazon.com last night and wrote a Note From The Author to let people know not to hold their breath for American Gods, as it won't be out this year. At least I'm in the last act. Went to Rock City yesterday, which is where I plan to set the first (and last) Last Battle of the war... I suspect I'd've hated it if I'd gone as a tourist rather than as a location scout.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 3 Jul 00 11:59
No, you don't need to be Charles Dickens, but if you could publish in installments with readers waiting on the docks--well, I guess you already did that with Sandman. You were kind to alert the Amazon readership. I've already compacted the ms., but as my printer doesn't want to print right now it's not making any difference. I'm still confused about my ink cartridge. I'll sort this out today or tomorrow, soon as I can get to a store--
Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 5 Jul 00 15:52
Martha, honestly, I am enjoying the idea that nothing I've written is fixed in stone until the whole thing is published. It's so pleasant a feeling to be able to change things I wrote earlier to make things later work. I'm currently very tempted to lose a sub-plot with Thunderbirds and eagle stones in , and if I do no-one will even know it's gone... which was not a power I had in Sandman. Everything written was graven in stone. It made particularly The Kindly Ones a hellish complicated book to write.
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