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The SANDMAN, Master of Dreams
Gruppo di discussione: alt.fan.neil-gaiman

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Questa è una piccola pagina di presentazione per coloro che hanno intenzione di seguire il gruppo di discussione dedicato a Neil Gaiman e ai suoi molteplici lavori (quindi non solo su Sandman), gruppo che comunque Neil NON segue.


Il gruppo di discussione si trova facilmente in tutti i news server ed ha un'affluenza di post attorno alla decina al giorno. Ovviamente tale dato risente di diversi fattori, come per esempio la pubblicazione recente di un'opera, ma in linea di massima questo è il traffico giornaliero.
Dream and MervDurante i miei trascorsi sul gruppo di discussione in questione ho raccolto alcuni interventi che ho trovato interessanti; ve li ripropongo, ovviamente in lingua originale, in questa pagina.

All'interno del gruppo di discussione viene postata di tanto in tanto una "Sandbox", ossia un post con diverse informazioni sul gruppo stesso, sulle FAQ, sulla Netiquette, e via dicendo. Notizie insomma che sono senza dubbio utili ed interessanti (oltre che simpatiche!) per chi vuole partecipare attivamente al gruppo e non solo come lurker.
Una di queste Sandbox periodiche viene riproposta qui, io mi limito quindi a dare qualche dato in più a chi non abbia voglia di leggersela tutta in inglese!

Viene proposto un "questionario" a tutti i nuovi adepti del gruppo, molto "gaimaniano", una serie di acronimi maggiormente usati nelle discussioni, si spiega il perché chi partecipa al gruppo di discussione si fa chiamare "Thingie" e ovviamente una lista di links molto interessanti.

Welcome to alt.fan.neil-gaiman (a.k.a. 'alt.fan.thingie'). We (the 'Thingies') hope you enjoy your time in the sandbox with us, and offer the following useful information (particularly helpful to those new to this newsgroup). Please note, this is not *really* a FAQ, just something to get you started.

A.) The Thingie Questionnaire
B.) afn-g Posting Etiquette
1.) Be nice.
2.) Please don't feed the trolls.
3.) Respect the big (c)
4.) Limit your commercial posting.
5.) Just say no to picture files.
6.) Just the FAQs, ma'am.
C.) Thingie Terminology
D.) Useful Sites


A.) The Thingie Questionnaire

This is just a way to introduce yourself to the newsgroup gang. Whether you've been lurking for months or minutes, feel free to answer the following questions and prepare to be welcomed to the group. Please note: we don't force anyone to answer these questions, and we certainly try not to ignore any one who posts to afn-g, whether they've answered the questions or not. We just realize that it's often very difficult to jump into the waters of a pool like this, where everyone seems to know everyone else already, often for a long time. The following questions are just one suggested way to join in the fun, give the rest of us a little (or a lot) of your insight, and help you wade into the waters with a familiar subject - Neil. If the questions aren't your thing, then don't answer them. It's just one of a dozen fun options.

1. When you're not dreaming, where are you?
2. Have you ever seen Neil? Not wearing black? Without shades?
3. In 20 words or less, why is Neil the Chosen One?
4. What's a word that means red and green at the same time? (feel free
to get creative)
5. What kind of ice cream (or Jello) shall we get for you?
6. Other than Neil stuff, what floats your boat?
7. In what kind of music do you currently delight?
8. Which of Neil's works (or which part) has moved you most, and why?
9. To Whedon? Or not to Whedon? That is the question. (or "of what TV show
are you a cult follower?")


B.) afn-g Posting Etiquette

Thingies are reputed to be some of the nicest people on the 'net, and we'd like to keep our reputation. :-) Most of this stuff (lengthy as it seems) is just common sense, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded.

1.) Be a nice person.
a.) Be a friendly poster. No flames, trolls, or personal insults will be tolerated on this newsgroup. We won't tell you that you can't post something, but really, is all the pointless insulting very necessary?
Disagreeing with someone, or having a strong opinion on a subject is accepted and welcome. A personal attack on another Thingie or a group of Thingies is not.

Someone posts: "I loved Hempel's art in The Kindly Ones" Possible acceptable response: "Ugh! I couldn't stand it! And this is every reason why..."
An unacceptable response: "Well, I HATED it. And you're a moron to think that Hempel has any talent..."

This group is a melting pot of differing viewpoints and we will not take sides or start a flame war because of them. If you have a problem with a post, by all means, speak up and say so, but please don't attack anyone in doing so. There have been many instances of thingies simply 'agreeing to disagree' on things... and that's okay!

b.) When things get really out of hand, please 'take it to email'. If a problem persists on this ng, even after an urge to desist has been posted, then it may be time to continue the correspondence over email. This is not an open invitation to flame someone personally, and this should only be used as a last resort. If necessary, a condensed report of the email correspondence should be posted to the ng, so that the rest of us know that the
situation has been dealt with.

Someone has sent several lengthy commercial posts (see below) for items on ebay when a single informative post would suffice. The first response would be to post the correct method of advertising on afng. If the multiple commercial posts continue to appear, or the person who sent them begins flaming the newsgroup, then it's time to send someone from afn-g to email the problem poster. That thingie could then send a post to afn-g to let the rest of us know what happened to the poor fool.

c.) Remember not to take everything too personally. Humour on the 'net can *easily* be misinterpreted, especially if it hasn't been labeled with a smiley :-) or a giggle/grin <g>, or some other emoticon (and not each humourous post will have one). Be lighthearted, and if you feel that a post was aimed to hurt you, ask yourself if it could have been interpreted any other way, take a deep breath, and if you're still unsure, ask someone what was meant with the post. In general, Thingies are a very lighthearted and silly lot, if not a bit sarchastic at times. We mean well, even if it doesn't always come across that way.
And always remember: It's only Usenet, for cryin' out loud! :-)

2.) Please do not feed the trolls.
Occasionally, there will be a 'troll' problem on the ng. A troll is someone who posts something (usually negative and/or completely off topic) just to get a response and a rise out of the other posters. The best way to get rid of the troll is to ignore it. This doesn't always work, but it often helps. And by not responding, your posts don't lengthen the unnecessary threads. If you ignore the person and there is still a problem, you can always learn the art of the "killfile".

There is also occasional spam on the ng. Many of the thingies have particular filters set up on their ng accounts to prevent it from popping through on their viewers, but nothing is 100%. As a favour to the few thingies who don't see the original spam threads, it's best to let it alone and not respond to it with remarks on how rude or ridiculous the subject of the spam might be.

3.) Respect the big (c)
Copyright is a very big deal around these parts, particularly when it involves Neil's works. If you want to post about copyrighted material, then mention the topic of the work in question, describe it if you want to, and then tell us where we can purchase said item. Please do not post poems, stories, novel excerpts or what have you without express written permission from the author.

4.) Limit your commercial posting.
Most Thingies are always on the lookout for new Neil-related items to acquire. If you know where we can get some, we want to know! However, commercial postings have been known to get out of hand, so if you are not a current subscriber to this newsgroup, please send your 'ad' to a current Thingie (I'll be happy to do the work for you). If you are a Thingie or a friend of Neil, and are selling Neil/Sandman-related items (personally, or thru an online auction site), please put together a single post with the following information: A list of items for bid or sale with a *brief* description if necessary (this would include an auction deadline) or a note that there are several items for bid, if more than 2 or 3, the name of the auction site (eBay, or some other site, if applicable), a keyword or two to narrow the search at the auction site, and an email address in case anyone has futher questions.
*Please avoid direct links to the items for bid, as I understand this is not encouraged by eBay and other providers*

5.) Just say no to picture files on alt.fan.thingie.
*NEVER* post pictures (.jpg, .gif, .bmp, .avi, etc.) to the newsgroup! We are not a binary newsgroup. If you want to share photos, post an address where they can be found on the 'net. We even have a 'ThingieClub' at Yahoo Clubs with a photo album page expressly for this purpose. Photos can really foul up some newsreaders, so please just don't post any, ever.

6.) Just the FAQs, ma'am.
For those of you interested in further afn-g or Neil-related information, there is a FAQ... but it's currently down. Sorry.


C.) Thingie Terminology.

What can I say? Sometimes we make up words/acronyms, and other times we have inside jokes that have taken on a life of their own and become a part of us. Hopefully the following will help more than hinder (and it's a VERY incomplete list).

alt.fan.thingie - This came about because it's what Neil calls us. Keep in mind how odd it might sound to say 'alt.fan.neil-gaiman' when you *are* Neil Gaiman. Kudos to Puck for, however unintentionally, starting this up.

Thingie (well, it doesn't have to be capitalized) - Any regular subscriber to afn-g.

FOG - Short for Fan Of Gaiman. There are different names that have become associated with different region of FOGs. ba-FOG (bay area, California); sea-FOG (Seattle area, Pacific Northwest); new london-FOG (New London, Connecticut and surrounding area); soupy-FOG (Southern Parts of the US); aus-FOG (Australia); your-FOG (Europe) - these are the first few that come to mind. Make up your own region if you wish. :) And thanks to Eric W. for letting me get away with the acronym he was doubtful about.

Tuesday - Blame Ivory for this one. Tuesdays have simply become an 'anything goes' day on afn-g. We become particularly gropey and lewd and altogether silly on Tuesdays. And some weeks tend to turn into week-long Tuesdays, what with the time differences in the universe.

BISS - The power of 'Because I Said So!' in the hands of the Thingie collective is a marvelous and glorious wonder to behold. Things will go your way 'because I said so'!

The Tori Amos Connection - It all started when Neil got a demo tape at San Diego ComiCon in 1989(?) (given to him by Rantz, who was standing in front of Walker) of many of the songs that would eventually make it onto Little Earthquakes. Tori had written "Tear In Your Hand" with a line about Neil in it. Most of her subsequent albums also had Neil references thrown in.
-Little Earthquakes/Tear In Your Hand - "If you need me, me and Neil'll be hanging out with the Dream King. Neil said hi by the way." (Neil followed up by beginning the intro of one of her tourbooks 'Hi, by the way...')
-Under The Pink/Space Dog - "Seems I keep getting the story twisted, so where's Neil when you need him?"
-Boys For Pele/Horses - "But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?" (Neil followed by making Tori a fabulous tree with vibrant red leaves and 'boy faeries in her bush')
-From The Choirgirl Hotel/Hotel - "Where are the velvets when you're killing me" (Velvets were a creation of Neil in his novel Neverwhere)
-To Venus and Back - Don't quote me on this, but I thought Neil had mentioned that the song with the Neil reference never made the final cut of this album. Anyone able to confirm this?
-Strange Little Girls - Neil wrote short stories for each of the twelve strange little girls on the album. The album features a line from each story Neil wrote. The tourbook has the full length stories in it.

PN or P&N - Preludes & Noctures (Book 1, if you're reading them in order)
DH - Doll's House (Book 2) (Sandman: The Dream Hunters is usually written out)
DC - Dream Country (Book 3)
SoM - Season of Mists (Book 4)
GoY - Game Of You (Book 5)
BL - Brief Lives (Book 6)
FR or F&R - Fables and Reflections (Book 7, although all stories are also stand-alones)
WE - World's End (Book 8)
TKO - The Kindly Ones (Book 9)
(The Wake is Book 10)
D:HCOL - Death: The High Cost of Living (best read after GoY)
D:TOYL - Death: The Time of Your Life (best read near/at end of Sandman run)
A&V - Angels & Visitations, a miscellany of short stories, poetry and stuff.
S&M - <g> no, it's short for Smoke & Mirrors!
BoD or SBoD - The Sandman Book of Dreams, a book about Sandman characters, edited by Neil.
WCL - Warning: Contains Language, a cd of Neil, reading selected works from A&V
BoM - Books of Magic
EN (or SEN) - Sandman, Endless Nights
MM - MiracleMan or MirrorMask
TGE - Thingie Gift Exchange

Some other shortcuts that aren't necessarily thingie-related:
BTW - By the way
AFAIK - As far as I know
ROTF(L) - Rolling on the floor (laughing)
IM(NS)HO - In my (no so) humble opinion
IIRC - If I recall/remember correctly
IRL - In real life (whatever that means)
HTH - Hope that helps
WRT - With regard to
obGaiman (or 'ob'anything) - obligatory comment on Gaiman (or anything), usually to point out something that isn't the topic of the rest of the post.


D.) Useful Sites

*Neil sites

Neil Gaiman dot com

The Dreaming

The Wake

The WELL's Neil Discussion

*Thingie Sites

The ThingieClub at Yahoo!

*Book Sites

DreamHaven Books and Comics

Avon Books Online


Barnes & Noble

Borders Books

*Miscellaneous Sites

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)

Greenman Press (Charles Vess stuff)

Tips on Netiquette


If you have any further questions regarding any of the information above, or something that has not been posted and should have been, please email me at favourite_stalker *at* snafu.org.

-Michelle & Thing e & Polly