Tag Archives: gaiman

Friendly authors

I think my new cause is supporting authors who are actually open-minded.  I never had anything against writers who were defenders of “the old ways” – I completely understand when writers generally prefer typewriters or notebooks to laptops.  And even being opposed to the idea of the so-called revolution in reading brought on by the electronic book isn’t so bad.  (Even though I think authors are foolish to think they can prevent it from happening.  It’s happening… paper books may not disappear forever, but we know now that it’s not the only option.)

But instigating violence against forward-thinking people simply because one prefers traditional methods?  That grievously offends me.

That’s why I’m going to be keeping an eye out for writers who are notably supportive of the e-book.  I don’t necessarily mean that they have to be willing to hand out free digital copies of all their stuff.  I mean writers who are supportive of all their readers (two-way street, please), and recognizing that their readers still want to read their work but are asking to be able to read in the manner which pleases or conveniences them most.  It means making your works available in several formats and not complaining that bookstores are the only way in which you can interact with your readers because that’s just making excuses, and bad ones at that.

I would say that my current favourite Friendly Authors are:

  1. Neil Gaiman: partly because he’s my favourite contemporary author, but also because he seems to be the most accessible writer I’ve ever heard of.  For someone who’s so incredibly popular (pretty much world-wide), he’s really interactive on his award-winning journal and on Twitter too!  Now that’s a way to interact with your readers without clinging desperately to the brick-and-mortar institutions.
  2. Cory Doctorow: not because I’m particularly knowledgeable on his works (actually, I’ve read one… short story) but because I think he’s really quite brave to post Little Brother and some of his other works online for free.  He’s also a well-known supporter of more liberal copyright laws, filesharing, and the Creative Commons, and an opponent of DRM.  I promise to read at least Little Brother, in support of Doctorow.

And just now I’ve been reading about Bradley Denton, whose famous book Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede is being made into a movie starring Jon Heder.  Boingboing shared that Denton has posted a PDF of his book on his website in an effort to make his work more available to readers.  The link is in the article but Denton’s website doesn’t seem to be working at the moment (overloaded, maybe?) so I won’t link to it… but comments on the Boingboing article also share several other links which might work.

That’s all for now.  I feel like that was sufficient drama in the e-book world.  Now time to enjoy the weekend.

P.S. Yes, I’m still way behind on Infinite Jest (30%).  In my defense, my sisters having been borrowing my Kindle because there weren’t enough copies of their summer reading books at the library – Native Son and East of Eden.  Yet another Kindle WIN – no chance of all the library copies being loaned out.

Neverwhere

Neverwhere by possibly my favourite contemporary writer, Neil Gaiman, is about a reg’lar chap who lives a reg’lar life in London, complete with a normal job and a normal (if slightly, ok excessively, overbearing) fiancée. Then an injured girl on the street quite literally opens doors for him. All at once he finds himself in the London Below which is an entirely different and separate world from what he knows.

I really think that Gaiman probably has my favourite voice (and I don’t just mean when he speaks out loud, although in all fairness the man has won audio book awards) of all time. The main character, Richard Mayhew, is at first convincingly BORING to the point that you almost (but not quite) empathize with his domineering fiancée. And he continues to be quite unremarkable when facing a girl who can open all doors and create openings where there were none, and a hunter woman who is absolutely lethal. But he quietly and almost reluctantly wins battles on his own and starts to become the hero that he never knew he was.

This sort of character development really reminded me of Glory Road by Robert Heinlein, which I read recently. I’m quite sure I liked Neverwhere better, if only because I felt it had better characters; that is, more developed and just more interesting in general. Definitely exciting – I read it in just a few hours because I couldn’t put it down!

The Graveyard Book

I’m reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. So fun! It’s turning out to be a really quick read – technically it’s a children’s or young adult book but it’s not only that; it’s a great adventure and quite morbid if you think a little into it. It’s about a baby whose whole family is murdered by a man named Jack, but the baby escapes to the graveyard and is raised by its eerie inhabitants. And they name him, get this, Nobody Owens. I’ve always found Gaiman’s writing to be whimsical and bizarre – he’s definitely one of my favourite contemporary authors. Read The Graveyard Book!!!