It's always the way when I'm AFK for any length of time: I fall so far behind on my RSS feeds that it can take weeks before I'm approaching current again. Luckily, whilst trawling through the blogs of all the authors I follow last night, I chanced upon Neil Gaiman's latest post, wherein the estimable author made mention of a short-story of his I'd never heard of.
It's called "Click-Clack the Rattlebag," and this is how it begins:
'What kind of story would you like me to tell you?''Well,' he said, thoughtfully, 'I don't think it should be too scary, because then when I go up to bed, I will just be thinking about monsters the whole time. But if it isn't just a little bit scary, then I won't be interested. And you make up scary stories, don't you?'
And today is the day for scary stories, isn't it?
Well, wonderfully, you can hear this one from free!
But we have to backtrack briefly, because I wrote hear rather than read. See, this neat Halloween treat is only available through Audible.
I confess I've never been particularly interested in audiobooks - I either focus too much on them, or not enough - so I didn't have an account already, but because Amazon now owns Audible, you can simply transfer your login details across.
Saying that, you still have to download a download manager and install player software capable of decoding DRM-ridden AA and AAX files, so yes, the process could certainly be better, but I dare say it's a fair price to pay for free Neil Gaiman.
One last caveat: you'll have to be timely to take full advantage of this offer. "Click-Clack the Rattlebag" is only available gratis till midnight tonight. On the other hand, for every download Audible tracks, the US arm of the organisation has pledged to donate $1 to the education-oriented charity DonorsChoose.org, whilst the UK site will give 50p per user to Booktrust. So it's a guddle for a good cause.
Plus, you get a creepy short story by Neil Gaiman for nowt. What's not awesome about that bargain, exactly?
Do this thing, dear readers.
This is the link to use if you're in the UK. If you're in Germany, you also have a special site. Everyone else needs to go here for their free Halloween reading.
To all and sundry, in any event: I wish you a happy All Hallows' Eve!