inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #401 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sat 19 Aug 00 00:19
    
Reg, I don't think you can compare Charteris and Wheatley. Charteris
was a good writer, who wrote, at his best, with humour and panache and
a sort of cock-eyed brilliance. Wheatley was a lumbering sort of a
writer -- the kind you can read best when you're thirteen and you don't
care about the words, you just want the story, and the casual racism
of his stories is somehow deeper and darker than the (now risible)
racism and anti-semitism in "sapper"'s Bulldog Drummond stories.

But at least none of them were writing for Posterity, thank heavens. 

And posterity may turn around in five hundred years, when issues of
race have become irrelevant and the holocaust is as much forgotten
history as the York Massacre, and proclaim "Sapper" the greatest lost
writer of the 20th century. It's not likely. But deciding what
Posterity will think of authors who published in the last hundred or so
years is a dodgy call anyway. (Think of Melville, or Kipling.)

I don't think Wheatley is considered one of the fathers of British
occult fiction, except perhaps for the Dennis Wheatley library, where
he brought some interesting stuff back into print. The children of
Dennis Wheatley are writers like Sean Hutson and Guy N Smith (who both
started as imitators of James Herbert -- who, however, has real chops).

I think the best solution is to write the best stuff you can and not
to worry unduly about posterity -- or even Australian remainder tables.
These things sort themselves out in the end.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #402 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sat 19 Aug 00 12:51
    
There's a day I'm happy to see over and done. 

I did a Finncon Guest of Honour Speech. Followed by a signing. Go to
the comics con...for the Comic Convention Guest of Honour Interview,
making sure I don't repeat myself for the people who were at both.
Followed by a signing. About four Hours of signing in all... 

Dealing with the comics con people is intensely frustrating. I never
got to meet Enki Bilal, the other G of H. He's gone now, and it never
seemed to occur to the comics people I'd have wanted to meet him. The
other american Guest, Mike Diana, doesn't seem to be here, and they
weren't sure (I was told) whether he was in Finland or not. They
thought not. Gary Groth is here, though, which was a pleasant surprise.

Went to the Modern Art Museum afterward, hoping to refill the
batteries. It was like going to a university final year show -- a few
people that showed promise (and a theremin to play with as part of an
art exhibit) but intensely disappointing overall. 
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #403 of 1905: Martha Soukup (soukup) Sat 19 Aug 00 22:31
    
I can't wait until Michael has the time and space to properly set up his
theremin.  How are you at playing it?
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #404 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sun 20 Aug 00 12:20
    
How was I? I was... imaginative...

An easier day today. Did a little reading (the Essie Tregowan chapter
of American Gods which, I learned, takes exactly 30 minutes to read
aloud), a panel, an interview, a mini-signing, and some sightseeing.
Went on a ferry twice. Met lots of nice people at the Dead Dog party,
at which I leanred that I was not leaving at 11:30 am as I had thought
but at 7:15, which means a 5.30 am checkout.

And so goodnight. Neil in Helsinki signing off.

PS: Happy birthday Pekka.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #405 of 1905: David Gans (tnf) Sun 20 Aug 00 15:20
    


From: "S. A." <blueeyedmuse@hotmail.com>
To: inkwell-hosts@well.com
Subject: Neil Gaiman thingie, please
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 16:11:40 MDT


I am so jealous that you got to play with a theremin!  The documentary
"Theremin" is a favorite of mine.  Have you seen it?  If not, I recommend it.

Sunny
- wisdom tooth + heavy narcotics = something akin to a horror movie about
zombie chipmunks

PS
Do you know anything about you having a cameo in an episode of the Power Puff
Girls?
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #406 of 1905: Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 21 Aug 00 16:14
    
Sarah Rudek writes:

Hmm...Neil as the next Clara Rockmore... : )  Theremins are rad.  But 
anyways, I’m afraid I’m posting with just a silly little question that

contributes very little to the overall highbrow atmosphere of this 
discussion.  : )  *Ahem*  Shira and I are both Thingies of the Twin
Cities area, and we’ve decided to converge in merriment for the
official purpose of observing Thingiecon 2000.  After much careful
consideration and contemplation, we’ve decided: what would be more
appropriate than a Neil Gaiman-approved agenda?  Probably not much. 
So, assuming you’re somewhat familiar with this area, might you suggest
an addition to our as-of-yet-very-blank itinerary?  Anything from the
oddball to delicious would more than suffice (though I think we’re both
in still in our Close-Minded-Western-Phase of Not Eating Sushi...). 
So in closing, thank you, and I hope the FinnCon’s going well; Pekka
posted a hello from you to the afng, and I think I can take the liberty
to speak for all of us in saying ‘hello’ back.  : )


-Sarah  +who rather enjoyed seeing the oh-so-mighty Nightwalker cower
at the ferocity of a Minnesota thunderstorm..; )+
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #407 of 1905: Ron Hogan (grifter) Tue 22 Aug 00 07:59
    

Reg writes again:

Yes, it's me again. Sorry.
Thanks for your response but I think you missed my point.

I used Charteris as a comparison specifically because I was trying to
illustrate my point. Wheatley was writing for exactly the same audience at
the time and both were presumably equallly popular, and since thirteen year
olds now apparently have whole genres devoted to them, why is it that
Wheatley's name is remembered in the public consciousness while his work is
forgotten, while Charteris' name is largely unknown and yet even Val Kilmer
can't destroy his creation?

I quite agree with your point about the difference between Wheatley and
"Sapper". In the "Bulldog Drummond" stories, there is not a sense of deeply
felt racism, or anti-semitism. It is pure and simple period snobbery and
ignorance that comes across; much like the glorious Ian Fleming moment when
James Bond realises a chap is a bounder because he orders red wine with
fish. What disturbed me reading Wheatley was the real sense of hatred of the
other.

I feel you misinterpreted my question, reading it as "Do you write for
posterity?" which was not my intent. I was more interested in what you
thought might be fascinations for a contemporary writer, the zietgiest if
you wish, which you think might become quickly dated.

I only asked because I noticed you hadn't written any really decent legal
thrillers lately.

I'm sorry. I realise that I'm asking questions that would be better asked in
a bar where I could argue my point far more eloquently, and I know you have
a lot better things to do than waste time adressing such pointless issues.
(You really need a haircut for starters.) So I'll just shut up now.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #408 of 1905: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 22 Aug 00 18:40
    
From the Internet, Shira writes:

From Sbstarlet@aol.com Tue Aug 22 18:34:02 2000
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 13:15:13 EDT
From: Sbstarlet@aol.com
To: inkwell-hosts@well.com
Subject: For the Gaiman discussion...

This isn't the most on-topic question in the world, but I'm sure Neil or 
someone else here will be able to answer it.  I'm planning on going to the 
Minnesota Rennaisance Festival on August 26th - Saturday, I believe - and I 
was thinking it would be very cool to see The Fabulous Lorraine there.  I 
know she's involved with the RenFaire somehow, and if someone could tell me 
if she'll be there on that date, and if so, when and where, I would be most 
grateful.

Thanks,
Shira
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #409 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 22 Aug 00 20:18
    <scribbled>
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #410 of 1905: Amanda Slack-Smith (ancient-booer) Tue 22 Aug 00 21:01
    
Strange fact: 84% of Finns aged 14 or over own a mobile phone.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #411 of 1905: Amanda Slack-Smith (ancient-booer) Tue 22 Aug 00 21:02
    
Neil - are you back on home turf yet?
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #412 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 22 Aug 00 21:31
    
Amanda -- i'm home, but only for a few hours. Long enough to play with
the kids and check on the pumpkin, then I fall off the world for a
couple of weeks to try and finish the damned book and get a haircut.
(I'll probably be gone from here then too.)

And Finland (and Norway, and I assume Sweden) are mobile countries. I
was astonished at what they could do with the mobiles -- it was like
being issued with a ticket to 5 years in the future.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #413 of 1905: Amanda Slack-Smith (ancient-booer) Tue 22 Aug 00 22:31
    
Neil - Good luck with finishing the book.  If you do take a break from
here I hope you are able to come back.  It would be great to talk with
you about American God's as we have been subsisting on little bits of
information throughout this discussion.

I'd don't know where Reg found the secret pile of Stardust books, I
had to wait three weeks for mine because they had sold out.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #414 of 1905: Ron Hogan (grifter) Tue 22 Aug 00 23:32
    

That wasn't me, Neil. I don't have anything to say, really, I just pass
stuff along from the folks who aren't WELL members. *grin*
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #415 of 1905: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 23 Aug 00 01:27
    
A few hours!

Hey Neil, I don't know what it's like to be you, by far, but today the
Boston Herald and some other people are trying to get hold of me, ever since
I became The Person Who Blew The Roof Off Big Brother On Salon.com, or
something.  It shouldn't've had to be me, but I'm glad the story's working.
I didn't mention the story to you, did I?
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #416 of 1905: Ron Hogan (grifter) Wed 23 Aug 00 06:07
    

Anybody here who hasn't read it yet should definitely go to Salon and do so!
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #417 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 23 Aug 00 06:33
    
(replaces 409)
Nope, not seen the Theremin documentary -- have wanted to since I read
a martha Soukup review of it, years and years ago.

Sarah -- well, Sakkura (around the corner from the Convergence Hotel)
is a wonderful japanese restaurant - and they serve things that aren't
Sushi. You could try Shabu Shabu, where you cook things in a pot at
your table, for example. Or just hang out at Dreamhaven. Or, um,
wander
around the Walker gallery or something.

Have you tried Chiang Mai (spelling probably off), the really REALLY
good Thai restaurant?


Shira, she plays with a band called BEDLAM, and also does the FEAST
with the belly dancers(very expensive and drunken thing -- look
through
the window in Bad manor). She's there every weekend through Ren Fest.
I heartily recommend rereading Sandman 73 before going out there...

Ron -- not sure what your point is. Charteris created something that
was bigger than he was, and wrote it for 40 years (well, it was
ghosted
for at least the last decade). The Saint is remembered, and the
stories have remained more or less in print since 1920. Whereas Dennis
Wheatley wrote several forgettable historical novels, and a number of
-- at the time -- bestselling horror novels, most of which, if not
all,
are out of print today.

"why is it that
Wheatley's name is remembered in the public consciousness while his
work is
forgotten, while Charteris' name is largely unknown" ... I think that
Wheatley is now almost only remembered as the author of The Devil
Rides
Out and To The Devil a Daughter, as they were made into movies, and
among UK (and commonwealth?) adults of a certain age.

I always thought Sandman would date very quickly, and that it was very
much of its time. For that matter I'm surprised that Good Omens sells
more and more each year.

THE HAIRCUT ISSUE: I swore a mighty oath when I started American Gods
that I'd not get a haircut until it was finished. The hair and the
book
are both pretty long now. It's not my fault. 

I was given the URL of some digital photos that Otto Makela took in
Finland. I sometimes explain to people who want to know why I wear
sunglasses in photos that my pupils don't close up as they should
(which they don't). Looking at the photos, while I'm quite used to
having redeye in photos (it's my natural state in flash photos) --
these photos on the other hand are weird as a number of them have,
instead of red-eye, a sort of cats-eye phenomenon.

And one photo (the URL of which has been removed, at the
photographer's request) had both redeye and catseye. You'll have to
take my word for it.

.......

Martha -- you told me you were watching the web feed for Salon, but I
only just went and read the article. It's really good. 


 
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #418 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 23 Aug 00 06:38
    
Amanda - I'll probably not be here for the next week or so, because I
plan to disable all internet access while I'm gone. I'll get my e-mail
through an old Dos compuserve interface. It's too much of a time
sink... and I don't want to do ANYTHING except finish the book.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #419 of 1905: David Gans (tnf) Wed 23 Aug 00 09:55
    

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 22:05:26 +1000
From: Reg <reg@acepia.net.au>
To: inkwell-hosts@well.com
Subject: Digging in My Heels With Neil Gaiman



My point was that Wheatley and Charteris were writing for the same
audience, and I'm sure they didn't really care about whether their books
would be read or in print seventy years later either, and yet one is
still so readable whilst the other is almost painfully unreadable.

I don't think one can dismiss the disparity in recognition on the
grounds that Wheatley's books were made into films. The Saint has been
imortalised on celuloid and videotape so many times as to make any such
explanation meaningless.

I don't know if it's worth pursuing the original question any further,
but I will try to make it clearer. Are there any contemporary issues and
attitudes that you prefer not to discuss in your work on the grounds
that they are too ephemeral?

On the haircut thing, I was aware of your pledge and that was the point
of my mentioning it. I am not greatly concerned with your tastes in
personal coiffure, but I want to read the book. (Although you do look
scarily like Alice Cooper in the picture you liked to.)

And Amanda, if you want a spare copy, email me. I will be happy to
assist.

Reg(not Ron)
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #420 of 1905: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 23 Aug 00 09:59
    
The Theremin documentary is a wonder.  I bought a copy of it on laserdisk
after I saw it at the San Francisco International Film Festival.  If Neil
were ever near me and a laserdisk player--

Have fun with the book!
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #421 of 1905: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Wed 23 Aug 00 11:30
    
<off to read Martha's article at salon.com>
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #422 of 1905: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 23 Aug 00 12:13
    
I've been pre-interviewed by BBC radio!  I'm still not very much like Neil,
but there you go.
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #423 of 1905: Laurel Krahn (lakrahn) Wed 23 Aug 00 12:41
    
It's an outstanding article and I'm so very happy about the attention it's
getting.  And that Martha's getting!  Yay!
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #424 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 23 Aug 00 16:25
    
Martha, make sure you mention THE ARBITRARY PLACEMENT OF WALLS , or
ask them to mention it. Couldn't hurt.

Reg -- but I don't think that what makes Wheatley unreadable now is
the attitude: it's the writing. There are other writers out there from
his period as bile-filled as he was -- but  I'll forgive G.K.
Chesterton's (or to keep it pulp, Baroness Orczy's) antisemitism, as
I'll forgive Will Eisner his comedic black characters, if their
sentences can be read with pleasure, and if the whole is greater than
the sum. Charteris and Wheatley both wrote obscenely fast -- I doubt
either of them reread, let alone rewrote. But Charteris has a lightness
and a deftness of touch which means that he's readable today Even when
his themes and characters are utterly dated (Hoppy Uniatz, anyone?,
whereas I picked up a Charteris today and didn't even make it through
the introduction.

My point on the films is that that's the only way Wheatley (once a
internationally best-selling novelist) is remembered.

I don't think that anything that's about people is ephemeral; anything
that's perfectly of its time is of every time.

Does that help?

n
  
inkwell.vue.73 : Neil Gaiman - SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS
permalink #425 of 1905: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 23 Aug 00 16:27
    
That's why I'm not you: it never occurred to me they'd be interested in
mentioning something as off-topic as my story collection.  I've been letting
them call me a "freelance writer for Salon.com" because it was easiest for
them.
  

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