I remember reading Gaiman’s Fragile Things on an Alaskan Airlines flight between DCA and SEA in late 2007 or early 2008. I was delighted when I saw one of Neil’s titles in the airport bookstore, and by the time I disembarked in Bellingham, I was thoroughly intoxicated. It is too dark for Cathy’s taste, but if you like a bit of morbidity with your fairy tales, you cannot go wrong with this book. And since it’s a collection of short stories (and poetry), there’s a great deal of variety. I strongly recommend it!
One of the ideas that stuck with me after reading this came from “October in the Chair,” which is a ghost story contained inside an allegorical story populated by characters representing months of the calendar year. I though it would be absolutely awesome to get a few people together around a fire and take turns reading October-spirited short stories — a little King, a lot of Bradbury, and definitely some Gaiman. It doesn’t have to match the canonical “ghost stories around a fire” trope, a la the opening of The Fog, but a little bit of that wouldn’t really hurt, would it? Sadly, October’s weather and my schedule have been equally inconvenient for making this happen.
To compensate for this failure, I have recorded myself reading “October in the Chair” and I have added campfire sound effects. It’s a pretty crappy amateur recording job, I’m afraid. But if you like Neil Gaiman, or you like ghost stories, or you think you might enjoy listening to my voice in the dark… give it a listen. Running time, 24 minutes and 21 seconds; file size, 44.5 MB.
Note: my office is woefully inadequate for any serious recording project — too many hard, refractive surfaces. Also, you will here many instances of my cats mewling in the background. And Cathy talking to them. All mangled by my noise filters 😉