The Geek Watcher

The blog of Linda Hogg

Fabulous Response to our Very Special Christmas Greeting!

We’ve been receiving fabulous feedback for our Christmas ‘card’ this year!  To mark our 15th Anniversary, we decided to put together ‘A Fight Before Christmas’ based on  the poem, ‘T’was the night before LaurenChristmas …’.  We are delighted with the response and I thought I would put together some of them here.  If you would like your own copy of the book, please email us at with your address!

Enda Flynn, Comperiogreat work with the Xmas card - my 3 year old has been picking it as bedtime story.

Hazel Woodcock, IBM: The book is fantastic. Story, artwork, production, all first rate.

Eileen Brown, Social Media Guru: Thank you so much for quite frankly the best Christmas card I’ve received for years – what a joy to go through it.  Inspired.

Wilbour Craddock, Microsoft Canada: Awesome! Simply Awesome!

From Martin Casey, Arekibo: Congratulations to @BlackMarble - Your Christmas book/card is exceptional - thank you!

Amanda Lennon: Thank you SO much for my Xmas story book - absolutely fab!

Diarmuid Murphy, Microsoft Ireland: Just got this gorgeous Christmas storybook from @BlackMarble put me in the festive mood.

Ben Nunney, Microsoft UK: Wow. Epic Christmas Comic from@BlackMarble arrived this morning...

Richard Costall, MVP: Big thanks to @BlackMarble for a fantastic Christmas card/story very clever. #HappyChristmas

Craig Murphy, MVP: Awesome @BlackMarble Xmas greeting this year!

Ian Palmer, University of Bradford: Just got the 'card' from@BlackMarble. They surpassed themselves this year. This is a BOOK guys, not a card. Genius. :)

Steven Murgatroyd, KCom: Just got this from @BlackMarble, love it...very creative! Merry Christmas! #xmasfun

Kevin Ball, HP: - it's fabulous!

Plus we are supporting The National Museum of Computing and Bletchley Park with our Christmas campaign!

Neverwhere but here …

I thought I would take this opportunity to post about what I’ve been reading.

Neil Gaiman seems to be one of those writers that geeks love to love – usually starting with “The Sandman”, but many enjoying his novels too.  Even non-geeks have been exposed through “Stardust”, the movie.  Having only become a fan of Neil Gaiman’s writing (his books, not his comics) in the last few years, I am not surprised to find that I missed the TV Series, “Neverwhere” when it was first shown in 1996. 

Finally got around to reading the book version – the interesting thing is that the TV Series came first, the first edition of the book was written as the series was filmed.  I understand the major difference with the book (based on Neil’s intro in my edition) is that he included everything they didn’t want in the series … as well as including some things he had originally left out for the US publication.  I wouldn’t call it the best book he’s ever written – it’s an interesting twist and commentary on London ‘above’, one that has been used again by others, with some even crediting Gaiman’s book in their own (“UnLunDun”).  The key appears to be that yes, there really is an Angel called Islington, and yes there is an Earl holding Court too and so on.  The story is told through the eyes of Richard, from London ‘above’, having found himself pulled reluctantly (as all good heroes are) into the perils of London ‘below’.

The most interesting characters are the shadier ones (Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar), even on the side of ‘good’(the Marquis) whereas the two main characters appear to spend more time reacting (Door and Richardrichardmayhewdick) than initiating.