Neil Gaiman presumably could not be torn away from his young goth bride, and Joyce Carol Oates had already been hired to give the keynote. But the two most famous contributors to My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: 40 New Fairy Tales -- an anthology of "new stories sewn from old skins" -- are not necessarily its best.
Inspiration is seldom as easy as it seems. One of the lessons of STEVEN JOHNSON's Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation is that "Eureka!" moments -- sudden pinpoints of revelation -- are usually myths. Instead of coming like a flash of light, great ideas simmer. They benefit from intellectual incubation And this panel, also featuring one inventor, one surgeon, and one designer, is its own greenhouse of genius.
Just to make sure, we decided to wait until the Curse of the Hornbino had been demolished by Your 2007 Boston Red Sox before posting the rest of Nick Hornby's Q&A at the Devotion School in Brookline, where the patron saint of record-store geeks and football obsessives appeared last week to read from his so-called young-adult novel Slam, about a Tony Hawk-worshipping teenager named Sam who flees his hometown after knocking up his girlfriend.
A little over a week ago, the Phoenix's own Peter Kadzis chatted with Michael Palin over at the First Unitarian Church. They discussed Palin's new memoir, Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, Saturday Night Live, and why writers should always pose with beer and a cigarette in publicity photos.