You Pinhead!

You Pinhead!

When I was in England in the mid-90s, I had the opportunity to meet Clive Barker at a book signing at Forbidden Planet. The movie, Nightbreed had recently been released and I picked up a copy of the Nightbreed Chronicles. Many poopooed this movie as tripe, but I remember enjoying it immensely in its first run. I rented it a few years ago and have concluded that it doesn't hold up over time.

I haven't read any Barker in years, I think the last book was the Books of Blood series and half of Imagica. I did get all the Epic comics based on Nightbreed and Hellraiser though.

Clive was good enough to sign it, as was Doug Bradley who played the character of Lylesburg. But you may know him best as Pinhead in the innumerable Hellraiser movies.

I'd like to take this opportunity to mention the other authors I've met but since I don't have any of the books they'd signed for me, I'll accompany the prose with a spooky pic from Nightbreed.

I think the first author I met was Peter Ustinov who was doing a book-signing for My Russia. I picked up a few copies of Dear Me in paperback as Christmas presents. When I approached him, I asked him, if he would mention the character of Dennis the Badger from the Doctor Snuggles series. He looked at me oddly and I remarked, "Have you never had such a request before?" He subtly replied, "Not from an adult." Back in University, hungover or still under the influence on a Sunday morning, we'd watch Coronation Street and then we'd watch the wonderful Doctor Snuggles which was narrated by Sir Peter. It was a Netherlands/British/German production and I just found out that two episodes were written by Douglas Adams.

Speaking of Douglas Adams, I met the very tall (late) Mr. Adams in 1990 while he was promoting Last Chance to See, an amazing book where he would go around the world, see endangered species in their natural habitat and make fun of them. I bought a copy (in hardback...a rare thing for me) and a few copies of Hitchhiker's Guide for him to sign (Christmas presents again.) Since everyone prior to me was asking about Hitchhikers, I asked him if there would be a new Dirk Gently novel. He replied, "No, there's none in the works, but I am thinking of a new Hitchhikers book." He was a charming man, who had a great influence on me in the 80's. I won tickets to a premiere of "Search for Spock" by answering a bunch of Star Trek trivia questions and at the costume party that night, I went as Arthur Dent, clad in a housecoat & towel with a Babelfish dangling from my ear. Very few people guessed who I was, but I became enamored with a Dale Arden who did.

Tanya Huff of The Blood Books fame at Bakka when she worked there. I so liked her first vampire tale, Blood Price, that I tracked down the entire series. I understand that this series has been adapted into a TV series and is on the Lifetime channel (if anyone actually subscribes to that.) Sorry, I have no recollection of a snide remark from me nor a memorable quote from her.

A more reknown author that I encountered at a book signing for around his 3rd or 4th novel (probably Virtual Light) was William Gibson. After waiting for hours at a Harbourfront book signing weekend, I proferred my copy of Neuromancer for him to sign and commented to him, "You know, my friends and I were discussing you the other day, and we regard you to be the Dick of the 90s." He unamusedly looked up at me and I retorted, "I trust you take it as a compliment." He then replied, "Actually Philip and I were good friends, I miss him." I didn't want to bring up that Philip Kindred Dick had died in 1982 and Neuromancer was written in 1984 because he was beginning to look annoyed and I didn't want security to be called. Besides, maybe they did befriend each other.

I'm pretty sure that I've also met Michael Crichton and Spider Robinson as well, but darned if I can remember an anecdote about them. I can tell you that Michael is really tall and has recently passed away and Spider's wife Jeanne isn't doing so well. Buy something from here if you'd like to help them out. Come to think of it, most of the above authors have passed on...the others had better be careful!

I'd like to dedicate this post to David Forde. He was a dedicated History and English teacher and we had many good times over the years. (Starting with Curtain Call!) He died a few years back, and he was the first recipient of the signed Dear Me. Over the years, I'd given him a copy of most of the above books as presents. I'd like to think he's reading them now.

BY THE WAY: This post is a rerun from about 2 years ago! But the movie Nightbreed is now on the tube and when I looked it up in my blog, none of the photos were embedded! So I've spent a bit of time re-posting them now. That means that I still need to have a 1300th post!


The Frog Queen said...

Creat post. Very big Clive Barker fan, have met him on many occasions and he is always graciuos to his fans. Thanks for sharing your stories and the wonderful pictures.


Michael Jones said...

Thanks FQ, coming from you that means a lot!

Shawn Robare said...

Personally I love Nightbreed. It's such a strange beast in the horror genre that tries really hard to blend in an interesting continuity and an element of high fantasy.

I did not know about that book though, so thanks for pointing to it (one more thing for the amazon wishlist!)

Also, can't wait to see what you have for the Halloween countdown...


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