Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

Pollyanna wishes you a Happy 2015

I can think of no better way to ring in the new year than to quote the new year wish of the always brilliant Neil Gaiman:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Pollyanna says Don’t Panic – the answer is 42

DON’T PANIC.

The answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is…

is…

Forty-Two.

Join the Pollyannas in celebrating the birthday of Douglas Adams, the creator of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – which started as a British radio series, then later became “the increasingly inaccurately named trilogy” of books.

He also wrote “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” and “The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul” which I am always haranging people to find and read. So read them, for crying out loud!

And “Last Chance to See” and “The Deeper Meaning of Liff“.

And don’t miss “Good Omens” with Neil Gaiman. Be sure to read Neil Gaiman’s books too.

Douglas Adams’ books are good in the same way that the sun is a bit warm. His books are funny and quirky, and he had deep insight and understanding of the weird and mostly harmless creatures known as human beings.

Here’s a quick article about him. The little video inside that shows all the ways that you can play with the Google Doodle tribute.

What’s your favorite Douglas Adams quote?

Pollyanna Is (Almost) One Degree From Terry Pratchett

Hey there, fankids, Anna-Liza here.

Knitting Sprite, Darlin’ K and I went and listened to Neil Gaiman read from his new book, The Graveyard Book, on Tuesday night. If you don’t know (and how could you not?), a number of years ago he collaborated with Terry Pratchett on that brilliantly funny novel about the Apocalypse, Good Omens. So I didn’t actually meet him, but I was in the same (large) room with him while he read me (and several hundred other people) a story, so it almost counts, doesn’t it? As one degree from … ? Oh, come on. It’s not like I’ll ever get any closer!

He was freakin’ brilliant. He was funny, he was interesting, he didn’t take himself too seriously, and he was really excellent at reading his own work. None of those are things one can take for granted at an author appearance, but especially that last bit. He read half a chapter (it was a long chapter), and the entire audience was entirely caught up in the story. I had knitting with me, but I didn’t even remember it was there.

There’s a place on his website where you can watch video of his readings and, if you go through all of them, you’ll get the entire story. Look a little down the page on the left to where it says “The Graveyard Book Video Tour”. It’s really worth doing. And now I have to go buy the book. If we hadn’t needed to get home to rescue the babysitter, I would have done it then, but the line was too long.

Freakin’ brilliant. No joke. Truth is, I’m a Gaiman fangirl first–I found Terry Pratchett after reading Gaiman. So sue me.

Pollyanna and the Fragile Zombies

Lyda here. As if ya’ll didn’t already know…

I completed another book for Pollyanna’s Reading in Wonderland Challenge.

I’m going to count this for Challenge #1: ‘…at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’  Read a fiction book in a genre you don’t usually read. 

That quote really fits the book I just finished, “Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders” by Neil Gaiman, who wrote “Good Omens” with Terry Pratchett.

A book of short stories and a few poems, these tales are… odd and twisted. In a good and slightly creepy way.

I don’t usually read books of short stories. Either I don’t like all the stories but I feel compelled to plow through them all – or I really like them and feel a sense of loss when each story is done.

But Neil Gaiman is a master. Each story is complete and is exactly the right length for what it is. They vary from one page to a 56-page novella. At the end of each story, I automatically put the book down and let the story sink in.

I also don’t usually read books of… horror? I don’t quite know what to call these. There are monsters, vampires, and zombies. ZOMBIES! There are aliens and creatures from mythology.

Some of the stories/poems are funny as hell. Some are quite disturbing, not in a blood-and-guts way, but in a psychological way.

They defy categorization. In these stories, myths are true and the modern world is a bizarre and alien landscape. No one and nothing can be taken for granted.

I think “The Day The Saucers Came” is my favorite. Or “October in the Chair.” Or “Bitter Grounds.” Or “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.” Or “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire.” Isn’t that an awesome title?  Or maybe…

I can’t choose my favorite. And that’s the way it should be.

There are zombies in several of the stories, but I’m not telling you which ones. You should find out for yourself.

On the Pollyanna Zombie Review scale, I give it 5 out of 5 brains for great storytelling and excellent writing, and a 1/2 brain out of 5 brains for gore and violence. Highly recommended.

See how much I liked it? Not a digression in the whole post.

Oh wait, is this…? 

Damn.

Got to go. The Zombie Army wants me to read their favorite of the stories to them. Again.