Neil Gaiman at Cody's

by Suw on April 23, 2007

In that sad and slightly pathetic way that self-employed people deal with such things, I'm attempting to have a few days off this week. It's not a holiday as such – I'm not going anywhere, I'm not escaping my laptop, and I'm not slumped on the sofa watching the TV. (Mainly because our sofa is not good for slumping on, having been made by someone who believed that people should Sit Up Straight at all times, but also because our TV is a small box that one plugs into the computer in order to provide us with endless hours of joy adjusting the exact positioning of our small internal aerial which – as with all small internal aerials – is never quite in exactly the right place.)
My friend Steve has kindly offered to break all my fingers if I do any work this week, but I have a day of proper work on Friday, and in the meantime I have odds and sods that I need to do or else people will be unhappy with me. I'd like to ignore email if I could, although some might argue that my new method for dealing with it (put all mail in a folder marked 'Pending' until I have time to look at it) is exactly the same as ignoring it, but I am scanning the inbox for urgent missives that demand my attention or, at least, make me feel guilty for not replying sooner to some previous plea for assistance.
In lieu of actually having a proper holiday that involves beaches, warm sun and mojitos served to me by a nicely tanned cabana boy, I am doing the next best thing. I'm sitting slightly stiffly on my landlady's choice of slightly-too-short couch and watching Neil Gaiman do a reading and answer questions at Cody's last year.
I embed the player here for your delectation. If you have a couple of hours to spare, watch it. Neil is really very, very good at doing readings and answering questions. In fact, I wonder sometimes why he doesn't do stand-up comedy, because he's very funny.

Primarily, though, I embed the video here so that I can come back to it tomorrow and try to finish it off. It conks out for me at around the 01:19:10 mark, and even if I can manually move the playback head forward a minute or two, it just conks out again after playing me a tantalising snippet. I'm not sure whether it's just that Neil's east coast fans have all woken up and, seeing the post he posted at 9.33pm last night have decided to join me in attempting to watch Neil at Cody's, thus causing to conk out. Or maybe it's just that it conks out at 01:19:10, or thereabouts, for some unexplained technical reason. I guess I'll have to wait til I wake tomorrow morning, when our friends across the water are asleep, to find out.
UPDATE: Still can't get the last section to play smoothly, so have instead downloaded it. If you want to do the same, go to the site, launch the player, and look for the 'download' link in the top right-hand corner.
And whilst I'm doing the fan thing, I bought Fragile Things yesterday, finally. Feh, some fan I am… Anyway, I'm going to read it to Kevin just as soon as we finish Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising pentology, which I have loved for the best part of my adult life, and which Kevin now also adores. I don't think Kev's ever read any of Neil's work, though, so it'll be fun to start off with a book neither of us are familiar with. Don't tell him, but I'm hoping to convert Kev into a fan, so that maybe he'll stop rolling his eyes every time I mention Neil.
Which reminds me, I have Neil's keyboard, signed and dated (1986 – 1989) and complete with coffee stains and other markings of dubious provenance sitting just in front of me. I must a) take lots of photographs of it and b) arrange a time to give it to the most fabulous Mr Ben Goldacre, who won it in the ORG raffle, so he can finish his own book off on it.

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Anonymous April 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Can't get it to post from neither Firefox nor IE. So here's what I was going to say:
I love The dark is Rising, definitely one of the books that got me into fantasy. I remember having to keep waiting for them to come into the library so that I could read them in order. I did this a few times, it was not until much, much later I got my own copy. I still read through it every few years.

Anonymous April 23, 2007 at 4:06 pm

I have this thing with The Dark Is Rising – I only read them every few years, and I only read them over Winter. I try to time it so that I am reading the second book in the run-up to Christmas. It just adds to the atmosphere for it to be cold and wintery outside when it's cold and wintery in the book, and Christmassy inside when it's Christmassy in the book. It'd be just wrong to read it during the Summer!

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