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.


A Peek into the Geek Den …

Ever wondered what it takes to keep geeks happy?  Running HR for a company full of hardcore geeks means more than keeping the milk fresh and the lights switched on.

Black Marble is a deeply technical software house, and that means our staff are mostly developers.  And it’s one of my responsibilities to ensure that our developers have a comfortable working environment.  It’s not easy keeping a geek house – it has needs unlike any other office … more kinds of pop (soda) than you can imagine (on any given day, you can find 7 different varieties of Coke … and that’s not counting the guest cokes that accompany our conference-hopping staff back to our fridge).  On top of that … there’s the eerie glow coming from many corners of the office at lunchtime … when the Halo wars break out!  Plus all those gadgets … contrary to popular opinion, they don’t just appear overnight!

On top of that, some of the younger generation of geeks are lacking an understanding of their cultural beginnings … I mean how could they not have seen “Blade Runner” ??

So I will take this opportunity (and this blog …) to share with you what makes geeks tick.