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We went to MONA FOMA last week. It was amazing. Perhaps not as astonishing as last year - the format was different, which meant the musical acts on offer felt less diverse and experimental.

But it was fantastic.

David Byrne and St Vincent were a revelation. Other highlights: All Fires, Neil Gaiman, Ben Walsh's Orkestra of the Underground scoring Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival'.

Once MOFO was over, we took a day tour down to Port Arthur. Our tour guide was like a Chris Lilley character, complete with catchphrase and borderline homophobic jokes.

I don't have time for a proper write-up - I'm trying to finish my novel by the end of the month. But I made a Storfy story of all my tweets from MOFO, and they cover it off pretty well. So this is a placeholder, in case I never get back to do a proper write-up.


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The Wheeler Centre is presenting Tom Stoppard and Neil Gaiman at the Athenaeum Theatre on Friday the 16 December.

(On the same night, I should point out, but not together.)

And yes, I have tickets.

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A bit of a strange day.

Got up stupidly early to see Neil Gaiman talk at the Childrens Book Council  of Australia national conference. The venue was easy to find -- you just followed the goths and librarians.

I don't think the early timeslot suited Gaiman -- he can be charming and witty speaker, but he kept vaguing out this morning. He read some poems, and talked about writing children's books that are read by adults.

There was a signing afterwards. But rather than wait in the gigantic queue,  we poked around the Expo instead, looking at artworks and children's books.

Home for lunch.

Late afternoon, we went to the Windsor Castle Hotel for Dom's 30th birthday.

And then when we got home, the neighbours were gathered out the front of the flat. I thought there might have been a fire or something.

Turns out our schizophrenic neighbour died a few days ago, but was only discovered today. We waited outside while the undertakers removed the body.

Poor guy.


Oct. 3rd, 2007 10:27 pm
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We saw Stardust last night.

Romantic fairytale. Funny. Sweet. Occasionally a bit wet. Much as you'd expect from something based on a Neil Gaiman book.

It's got skyships, evil witches, a somewhat dorky young man on a quest, sword fights, murder, ghosts, boob jokes, and a very blonde Claire Danes as a fallen star.

Claire Danes is amazingly beautiful. And like many amazingly beautiful women, she can actually look quite ugly. Especially when her eyebrows are bleached platinum, and she spends most of the movie scowling. Still... Claire Danes. Blonde. In a corset.

Charlie Cox plays the somewhat dorky young man on the quest. He's more pretty than beautiful. But he's very, very pretty.

Michelle Pfeiffer - who's not exactly a slouch in the looks department either - has a ball as the evil witch Lamia. She's fantastic.

There's a lot of other actors, many of them who are fairly attractive. But I've gone on enough about the prettiness of the cast. You'll start to think I'm shallow.

To be honest, it took me a while to actually click with this film. The start is very choppy. Which kicked in the analytical part of my brain --"What's wrong here? Has this been edited badly? Was that really the best way to write that scene?"

Half the film was over before I managed to shut that part of my brain up and enjoy the rousing ending of the movie.

So I think I have to see the movie again. Just to judge it properly.

And not to perve at Claire Danes. Not at all.
sharplittleteeth: (Default)
If you're not reading Neil Gaiman's blog, well... I'm not really sure why I'm friends with you.

But he's posted an unused introduction he wrote for a Doctor Who novel. And in it, he nails exactly what it is l love about both Doctor Who and Gaiman's Neverwhere:

For a start, I had become infected by the idea that there are an infinite number of worlds, only a footstep away.

And another part of the meme was this: some things are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. And, perhaps, some people are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside, as well.


A final Dr Who connection – again, from the baggy-trousered Troughton era, when some things were more than true for me – showed itself, in retrospect, in my BBC TV series, Neverwhere.

Not in the obvious places – the BBC decision that Neverwhere had to be shot on video, in episodes half an hour long, for example. Not even in the character of the Marquis de Carabas, who I wrote – and Paterson Joseph performed – as if I were creating a Doctor from scratch, and wanted to make him someone as mysterious, as unreliable, and as quirky as the William Hartnell incarnation. But in the idea that there are worlds under this one, and that London itself is magical, and dangerous, and that the underground tunnels are every bit as remote and mysterious and likely to contain Yeti as the distant Himalayas...

An infinite number of worlds, only a footstep away...

Oh yes. Oooh yes.

I was always a daydreamer. In primary school, while the other kids were off playing kiss chasey, my small circle of friends and I would be huddled around an old tree stump, pretending it was the TARDIS console. The monkey-bars became the landing gear of a spacecraft. And there was a giant wooden climbing frame (seriously huge- twice the size of an adult) that became an alien pyramid on an alien world.

I once spent an entire weekend playing Lord of the Rings, incorporating everything into my game: chopping firewood, eating dinner, taking the dog for a walk. (I was the only one playing this game - imagination, like long-distance running - is a lonely sport.)

And that's why Neverwhere was so exciting when I first read it.

Because it's not set in some unattainable fantasyland. It's set in a real city, with real landmarks. The imagination is not some distant country. It radiates out from us, bathing the streets and train stations and office blocks of our everyday lives, and makes us see them in strange and dazzling new lights.


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