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permalink #26 of 2008: Len Schiff (theboojum) Mon 18 Jun 01 07:30
So?  Was anyone (beside me) at the show last night?
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permalink #27 of 2008: Jouni Koponen (jonl) Mon 18 Jun 01 07:45
Email from Jouni Koponen:

Whoa! You turn your back for a few moments and everything gets upside

New topics, websites, books, babies...

(looks nervously around, sees familiar faces and relaxes a bit)

Dan Guy - GREAT NEWS! Congrats to you & Lori & little baby Alexander! Ours
is still rearraging my wifes internal organs ('Hmm. I think the liver
would look much nicer THERE... and if I could just remove this rib...')
Still couple of weeks (maybe less, maybe more) to go.

Michelle - Thanks. The b-day was actually 15 of june, so you were right on
time ;-) I'm 29 now... does that mean I should be like... dunno... adult?

Life tends to do that, doesn't it (sneak up on you I mean). Haven't had
time to hang around AFNG... damn! How are things around there? Many

Neil - The book is officially out now, isn't it? So officially
congratulations for the new book. It has been great hanging around here
with you and all these other cool people. Hope we can enjoy your comments
here also in the future... :-)

About - Cool stuff. One of the video clips wasn't available

Jouni (waiting for the baby, waiting for the book, waiting for the summer
vacation, waiting for the sun to come out...)
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permalink #28 of 2008: JaNell (janell) Mon 18 Jun 01 08:00
Squeaks- I'll get you that address. Jameson is now working on a series
of paintings- portraits of 11th St. Irregulars as Gaiman characters...
but who is the comic store owner? You've got to tell me. If it's who I
think it is, I'll laugh my ass off!

Neil- I've been working in the studio, so if I come to Lexington, I'll
have something for you... 

Walker, are you still alive out there?
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permalink #29 of 2008: Shawn Shelby (shawnshelby) Mon 18 Jun 01 08:03

I'm very proud to be the techno nut that I am, and I shudder to think
of the money I've spent over the years on the newest, coolest new
gadgets. But I don't think I'll ever really be enticed to reading
ebooks. I understand the advantages to the medium and anything that
makes it easier for good literature to be made available gets major
props from me, but like you said, I can't imagine myself hanging out in
my bed on a rainy day with my Ebook display screen. 

-Shawn-  done with _House of Leaves_ and finally starting my search
for American Gods
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permalink #30 of 2008: Joseph Walerko (cerebuspo) Mon 18 Jun 01 08:45
Kristin - From the brain of a computer engineer, I'd have to say that
eBooks are one of those works-in-progress.  The idea of transferring
paper effectively into little magnetic dots, light beams, quantum
points, etc, has been around for some time.  Many articles on the web
usually refer to Douglas Adams being one of the first eBook theorists,
and that was around 1979 (Personlly I'd pay good money for a handheld
gadget that looked just like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
complete with "Don't Panic", and contained all of Douglas Adams'

I remember a few years back articles in "Wired" that introduced the
Rocketbook, and many similar clones that were contoured to be held in
your hand just like a paperback with the cover folded back (so it's
more round on one end).  Unfortunately, the text was always an eyesore
in the way that ink on pages was not.  

However, higher resolutions and memory capacities have allowed text to
look better on a screen (which itself is lit to a point that your eyes
arent bothered much).  Microsoft's Reader does a pretty decent job; I
have been reading some Sherlock Holmes on my iPAQ and I can read for a
while before rubbing my eyes.  Furthermore, there's a free plugin you
can add to MS Word that lets you convert documents into eBooks and then
you can read them on your portable device.  

But you're right; the technology is still VERY expensive, and there's
nothing like the scent and feel of an old book.  Paper books will not
disappear for decades, if they are replaced at all.  But I must give
credit to the fact that the price will inevitably drop, and I already
appreciate the enormous volumes of classic literature and reference
tomes that are available for free on the Internet.

In short, my advice is to wait it out until something really tailored
to reading eBooks alone comes out at an affordable price.  It'll happen
eventually, and I'm sure in the meantime people are working on formats
to replace the PDFs and LITs that are out there now.  It's just going
to take more time to evolve because the big bucks are in video and
audio, not paper.

-Joe (the techno-rambler)
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permalink #31 of 2008: Jade Walker (maidenfate) Mon 18 Jun 01 09:19
Martha - You would have loved last night's show. Why the room was
positively buzzing with "Martha Soukup" and her many adventures. :-)

Neil - Thanks for a great reading. I attended the late night one at
The Bottom Line (didn't want to miss the most 'pornographic' part of
"American Gods" read aloud) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every time I
hear "Babycakes," it makes me reevaluate my cheeseburger cravings.
Looking forward to the signing on Tuesday.

All - I know you're huge fans of Neil's work -- why else would you be
traipsing through this well? But I strongly urge you to do two very
important things this summer. 1) Buy American Gods. It's brilliant. In
fact buy several copies and give them to all your friends. 2) Attend a
Neil Gaiman reading. I left last night's event positively brimming with
inspiration. Sure made going into work at The Times (where I have to
stick to nonfiction) very very difficult. <grin>
Jade Walker
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permalink #32 of 2008: Tara (taragl) Mon 18 Jun 01 10:03
Kristin - re: eBooks - I am personally going to have a hard time
getting over paying nearly as much as the cost for a print copy and
getting nothing tangible in return. Some of the eBooks are close in
price to a hardcover copy - and frankly I'd rather feel something with
weight in my hand for 19.95.

However, as a non-portable, desktop format, eBooks work well for me.
At work, I keep a window open to reading material for those times when
I'm stumped by a problem or need a 5 minute break. I did that with the
American Gods excerpt. But I'd never want just the eBook copy... I
mean, how on earth would Neil sign it??
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permalink #33 of 2008: Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 18 Jun 01 10:32
Okay, I don't think Neil's Nickelodeon book really exists.  In an idle five
minutes I actually went through all Amazon's Mysteries--Ages 4-8, and there
was nothing of the sort.

Maddy's your witness, but she seems dubious too.

I don't know if I need to be in a room buzzing about Martha Soukup....
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permalink #34 of 2008: Adriana Roze (ariadne26) Mon 18 Jun 01 11:12
oooh my this is exciting. i like the new digs.

DANGUY, i'm so happy for you three, congratulations.  i hope you have
a beautiful, beautiful time getting to know your new little human.  

So last night i dreamed i got a threatening phone call from Mr. Croup
(from Neverwhere) who was very angry because he had bought a one square
foot piece of land for one Billion dollars on my recommendation.  i
assured him that if he dug deep enough he would find a Reebok shoe box
which, if things were as i foresaw, would contain the Holy Grail. 

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permalink #35 of 2008: Kristin (kristin-liz) Mon 18 Jun 01 13:12
As far as books that I really _love_ or art books, or comics, or
graphic novels go, I want them in a tangible, permanent form.  eBook or
not, I'd buy American Gods to be signed, and also as the culmination
of much anticipation.  I'm that way with a lot of books:  I love the
feel of the paper, the way old books smell, the weight.  Besides when
it's nice out I tend to read everywhere.  I've been known to row a
canoe out to the middle of the pond and lay in the sun reading.  

That said, I also wouldn't mind having ebooks on CD that I can load
into a reader for situations like long trips when I'd read more than
one novel, and I could read professional journals that way too.  I
already throw journals out after I've read them because I can search
Medline to find what I need and get text much more efficiently than I
can remember which article on a given subject was in which journal. 
Also a CD containing a couple of books takes up much less space.  I
don't own a two story house with an attic and a basement and a library
like my grandparents did.  I'm still moving every couple of years b/c
of my education and every move is just a bit more work because I've
accumulated another box or two.
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permalink #36 of 2008: 'Walker (nightwalker) Mon 18 Jun 01 13:32
Martha - It's 'Comic Book Criminal' (Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, no.
7) by Dubowski. ISBN: 0671020072 Avail. from Amazon for $3.59... the
picture for the cover has the kid in the Green Lantern shirt and
everything... I'm trying to remember who found it before on here...

-- 'Walker
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permalink #37 of 2008: Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 18 Jun 01 13:33
Interesting it wasn't in their Juvenile Mysteries list!
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permalink #38 of 2008: Shawn Shelby (shawnshelby) Mon 18 Jun 01 13:40

Again, I feel very much the same way. To me it's very much like the
difference in seeing a movie in a large theatre, and watching it on a
little 15" tv in your kitchen. Proof that presentation can be a
significant factor  for some.

Speaking of AG, I idley decided to call around today and see if I
could find an unwitting bookstore employees before tomorrows onsale
date. One of them I talked to was a little too unwitting and when I
named the title and author for her she asked if he was the same person
as the singer. (not knowing the definitive pronunciation I pronounce it
"G-eye-man") I really tried not to laugh :^)

I told her she was probably thinking of Neil Diamond and assured her
that as far as I know the author I was thinking of is not currently
hosting a lounge act in Las Vegas.

Then she politely said she couldn't sell me the book till tomorrow.
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permalink #39 of 2008: abbe (abbecohen) Mon 18 Jun 01 14:46
I think it's a bit early yet to use the ebook for all of your
mass market paperbacks... however, I am quite happy with my much
more low-tech solution.  A bunch of those unfinished-wood-furniture
stores sell what they describe as "media shelves" - sized for video
tapes or dvds.  They're barely 6" deep, the shelves are a teeny
bit taller than a VHS videotape, and they house mass market paperback
almost as compactly as possible (I guess you could build your own
a teeny bit taller than a mass market paperback for even more
efficiency.) Anyway, i find that their limited depth is perfect for 
paperbacks and also for cramming more bookshelves into corners that
might be overwhelmed by full-sized bookshelves for full-sized books. 
(They also seem to just barely hold trade paperbacks.)
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permalink #40 of 2008: Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 18 Jun 01 15:28
I just went to one of those pine-furniture makers and had bookshelves made
that were sized for paperbacks.  An eight-foot case made with eleven
shelves, and to the proper depth, is perfect.  The price didn't even turn
out to be too bad.
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permalink #41 of 2008: Suzanne Scott (dreaming) Mon 18 Jun 01 15:37
Return from a trip to San Francisco and umpteen hours later I'm caught
up! New topic and a baby! Wow!! ::grins::

DanGuy & Lori. congrats on the little one!  Have either of you gotten
any sleep since the arrival (the doctor thing was quite the...
"hmmmm... medical field should not be trusted" tape running in the
head)?  Try and get some quiet time if at all possible and enjoy the
experience of being mum & dad!

Laydowns & Borders.  As Neil said, book stores can get in trouble with
publishers if they sell a book before a laydown date.  Last Friday, I
checked the Borders where I work and there's a floor stand display and
copies of AG in the back storage room. Expect the display may have been
put together by now and will be out tomorrow morning!   

Re: the manager not willing to pre-order a book.  Glad to hear that
they are no longer working for the store. That isn't the regular
policy. Borders will reserve request whatever title you want prior to
it's release. Just a better way of tracking inventory quantity and
hopefully having the book in stock when you walk off the street to pick
it up.

Smoke & Mirrors.  Our friend Pete, who was visiting from NZ, mentioned
he didn't have any luck picking up S&M back home so he was presented
with a copy to read on his flight back.  He mentioned that he was
considering writing again after reading most of the book.  Pete's a big
Sandman/Neverwhere/Good Omen's fan but had missed the chance to read
the collected books. He was taken by Neil's use of first person
narrative (we're both rather taken with Goldfish Pool)and the
biographical feel that some of the stories have. Needless to say, his
early b-day pressie is going to be a signed copy of AG.

Neil.  Thank you so very much for the "to do" list for an author
signing.  I've never actually been the person putting one together
(worked logistics for radio promotions and concerts -- been a helper at
a book signing). Had a good number of your comments already planned
but the suggestion about queue numbers was one I didn't think about and
it will be quite helpful!  We've been receiving calls from out of
state -- been my experience that folks like to visit Vegas and an
author reading is a good reason to do so -- thus we're expecting more
than we had originally planned (not sure if it will be 399, the seating
size of our venue, but we're expecting a couple of hundred). After
this Sunday, I'll be bothering Mr Womack for a possible stop on your
next tour (we'll hopefully be able to say Sunday's event was a smashing
success, that B&N sold lots of books, and Ms. Evanovich was quite
pleased with the library district). 

Gah... there was more but it's gone. Suppose I should go and bother
the nice people at Dreamhaven & order my plane tickets for the Pasadena

(who July 1st adds to the list of those who've been moving...)
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permalink #42 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Mon 18 Jun 01 16:03
Am still alive. All's well. So you know.
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permalink #43 of 2008: Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 18 Jun 01 16:24
Good to know.  Thanks.
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permalink #44 of 2008: Angelina Venti (velvetraisin) Mon 18 Jun 01 16:38
So excited.  Not sure I'll be able to sleep properly tonight, because
I'm a weenie like that.

Just bought the Tool DVD, and am off to watch as much as one can take
in one sitting.

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permalink #45 of 2008: Jenny B. (ophelia-b) Mon 18 Jun 01 18:01
Adriana - Interesting dream, I hope for your sake that it is there...

Okay, so today was my first day of work at my new job.  Library aid at
a small branch of the Dayton library.  Everyone is nice, the job is
easy, my feet hurt but that's okay.  And of course, everyone already
knows I'm a Neil Gaiman fan because I've already made sure to have next
weekend entirely off for signings.  I'm working and having fun, and
thinking 'this is my best job ever' and then at the end of the day at
closing that thought is suddenly underlined, put in bold and written in
really big letters.  One of the guys (I barely know anyone's name yet,
but I shall call him Friend Forever) comes up and says "you're a fan
of Neil Gaiman right?  I've got something for you."  To which I reply
"Oh yeah, Jan (branch manager) told me she got an uncorrected proof and
gave it to you but I'm buying my copy tomorrow so I don't need to
borrow it."  And he's reaching in his desk drawer saying "You don't
understand, I don't want it, my girlfriend has only read Good Omens and
she doesn't want it, I'm giving it to you."  So, I am very very happy
and my roommate has called me several unsavory names and I just thought
I'd share.  :-)

Jen, who woke up today thinking it was the 19th and was disappointed
but now is undisappointed.  
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permalink #46 of 2008: Suzanne Scott (dreaming) Mon 18 Jun 01 18:24
Neil... glad to hear all is well!  Get some rest if possible during
the whirlwind.  Know you said there wasn't anything we can bring you

Jen... that was a lovely surprise happy making gift!  

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permalink #47 of 2008: Jinxie with all her body parts (jinx) Mon 18 Jun 01 18:46
DanGuy~ Blessed Be, Congratulations and I am so very happy for you.

JaNell, please drop me an e-mail, I've been meaning to ask you a few

My sister is no longer a high school student and it was lovely, she
couldn't and doesn't believe that I haven't read her present. But I was
good and held out and using my last 30 bucks to pick up a copy
tomorrow.(anyone wanna buy some Sandman stuff???) I have to do this,
because, as I sit, prepping for the embarrassing-ness that is my
Thursday, missing the signing, and wondering when the warranty on my
body ran out, I need to be reading AG. Plus I know that if I blow off
the colonoscopy to see Neil he'll yell at me. (please go with that
Neil, it's all that's keeping me from jumping in the car now.) 
On top of everything, I'm no longer able to talk due to a complication
of my endoscopy.........I know it's only happened once before.

Jinx who knows if asked enough Walker will tell the story of when Jinx
couldn't talk
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permalink #48 of 2008: Michelle Montrose-Hyman (miss-mousey) Mon 18 Jun 01 19:25
Jouni - At least your waiting for reasonable things. Stuff I'm waiting
for include another raise, the opening of the San Francisco store
('soon' has been the word for the last 4 months...), and for my Burning
Man stuff to organize itself. :P afn-g is the same as always. Colt has
started a new group-grope since it's been so long since the last big
one. And the release of AG is bringing some of the lurkers out of
hiding to share info and try to meet up. It's sweet. :)

JaNell - Forgot his name, but the store is "It Came From The
Basement", and he's only half the character. I forget who made up the
rest of the character...

Jade - You understand now why I *stalk* the man? It's not enough to
own so much of it. You also have to hear him read it. :)

Martha - "I don't know if I need to be in a room buzzing about Martha
Soukup..." - Beware the San Francisco signings. I hear that several
people going to them have heard of you. Some may even ask for your
autograph. :P

Walker - It was <kristen-liz> who found the title in message #24.

Jinx - <<<hugs!!>>> and go get your body back in working condition!
can't have you missing future signings and things...

squeaks - who has WAY too much to do before the tour meanders this
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permalink #49 of 2008: Dan Guy (danfowlkes) Mon 18 Jun 01 19:29
Hey!  I got the last post in 104!  How delightful.

Angelina -- Such is the magic of virtual communities, I think.  In the
words of an unsoliceited email I got asking me to teach in China, "We
never met, but by this internet I can touch you."

JaNell -- Don't let anyone tell you that you are unfunny.

Lenny -- I liked K&C.  Just thought I'd third the recommendation.

Neil -- Now I have to find that _Comic Book Criminal_ book, just to
giggle at it.

I was rather hoping that my copy of _AG_ would have arrived by now. 
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permalink #50 of 2008: JaNell (janell) Mon 18 Jun 01 20:16
DanGuy-Thanks. But tell it to Neil: I've sent him some of my funniest
true stories related to him (ones too... well just TOO) and not one
smile or "that was funny" or really any reaction at all. A very tough
room. *sigh* 

Michelle-Jameson's address is coming-really. And I'm clueless, never
heard of that store, but must find out...

Jinx-Hang in there.

Neil-So glad you're alive. I looked around today and thought,
"something's  missing... oh good lord, there's NO NEIL POSTING
ANYWHERE!" which probably explained the cosmic shift thing... I had
visions of you cryogenically sealed up somewhere in your publisher's
basement in New York, to keep you fresh for the tour...


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