March 12th was an exciting and very sad day for me. Excited, because I got to see a very close friend of mine and see Neil Gaiman in San Francisco that night. Very sad, because I also found out that Terry Pratchett passed away. The last series I read from Pratchett was his collaboration with Baxter on the Long Earth series, which I really enjoyed, but nothing will ever replace the Discworld series for me.
The majority of the Enchanting Neil Gaiman event at the JCCSF was about Terry Pratchett which didn’t surprise me at all. I can’t even imagine what that must be like for Gaiman, to find out one of your close friends passed away while being on tour. I really appreciated him talking about Terry Pratchett. He too, is one of my favorite authors so to have an event starring one of my favorite authors talking about another of my favorite authors is the best of both worlds, really.
The little adventures Neil and Terry had were nice to hear, from how they met, to sharing a hotel room to save money, and what a boss Terry was while his mind was deteriorating from his illness.
The night was too short. After paying respects to Terry Pratchett, Michael Chabon (the MC!!) was able to read only 2-3 questions and Neil then finished the night with reading an excerpt from “Trigger Warnings”. He read the October Tale from The Calendar of Tales, which was one of my favorites from that awesome Twitter prompt. Oh, and Neil Gaiman is such a tease for telling us he usually does have sequel ideas for his finished projects (a Neverwhere sequel!!!), but as he explained, something else usually comes along and is more interesting at the time…damn him.
If anyone gets a chance, you must see Neil Gaiman live. Like his books, he seems so subtle, but if you squint just a bit you’ll realize and see the magic and be blown away.
Title: Trigger Warning
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow
Keywords: short stories, weirdness, American Gods, Sherlock Holmes, Neil f*cking Gaiman
I love this collection, but I remember enjoying his previous short story collections more. Yes, there were some stories that kind of creeped me out, but didn’t necessarily push my ‘trigger warning’ button. What that says about me I don’t really want to know. I still really enjoyed this book though, so here’s a list of stories I particularly liked or made a note of:
The Thing About Cassandra: Okay, I dog-eared thing because this story just weirded me out. So who was dreaming who?! I must know!!
The October and November Tale from A Calendar of Tales: I love my romance simple, not so corny, and so matter of fact. As for November’s, I remember wishing our health can be restored as easily as burning our health records away. My mom passed away last November you see, and with all her health problems, I wish I could have just burned her health issues away like that. On another note, the idea of A Calendar of Tales was pure genius (Neil Gaiman asked the Twitterverse story question prompts for each calendar month and he chose the most interesting ones).
The Sleeper and the Spindle: I’m a sucker for all things Sleeping Beauty. Don’t know why.
The Black Dog and The Case of Death and Honey: American Gods and Sherlock Holmes? Yes please.
For those who have read Trigger Warnings, is there a particular story that “triggered” you?
And now, one of my favorite quotes:
Sometimes I think truth is a place. In my mind, it is like a city: there can be a hundred roads, a thousand paths, that will all take you, eventually, to the same place. It does not matter where you come from. If you walk toward the truth, you will reach it, whatever path you take.
Next: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children