With the signing being at Pulp Fiction which is just a short stroll from work I wandered down from work and got there about 6:30.
Originally it was supposed to be 6:30 for a 7:00pm start, but due to changes in Neil's flights they changed it to 7:00 for 7:30 start, so after saying hello to the people I knew there I wandered into the city for something to eat (Subway) and then back to the venue.
There was a lot of milling around and chatting before they let us in, and I saw turner23, bunnitos, darcrider, fenqshuiguy, freerider, omegamorningsta and zephyrinous and I'm sure there was more but I can't remember at the moment.
We were let in and people milled around further, ate from the nibblies provided (I was a good boy and had very little) and drank from the drinks provided and generally waited for a while.
Eventually it was time for the man of the moment, and Neil was introduced. He said a few words, and then read most of chapter four from Anansi Boys, the new novel coming out in September. Very amusing, and he's got a very good speaking voice.
As a small aside, when he started talking he at first sounded to me like Alan Rickman in the role of Severus Snapes from the first Harry Potter movie. His accent settled down a bit to be somewhere between British (which he is) and American (which is where he lives).
Then there was a Question and Answers section with some pretty good quests. The concept of American tourist attracts as the equivalent of Prayers Wheels was interesting, as was the news that Neil and Terry Pratchett may be collaborating on another project together.
Finally there was the signing. People got in line, and we (myself, darcrider, freerider, zephyrinous, Andrew and Andrew's lovely lady who I can't for the life of me remember the name of) decided that getting in line right from the start was probably a waste of time, so we just hung around and was social for a while. Eventually we got in the line when we realised that the line wasn't actually moving and more people were getting into the line.
The line actually was progressing, but because the first part of the line was so crowded it wasn't moving forward as people went through but instead was spreading out so people weren't actually sitting in each others pockets.
We got friendly with the people around us in the line which was fun, except for the comic book geek who had had a bit too much to drink and I wanted to kill, but the rest were fun especially chatting with Rowena who invited people to the gig her band was doing.
We were limited to three things to sign each. So (after much thought) I choose two books and the first of the Sandman collected works trade paper back. As we were standing and waiting and chatting, I looked down and saw my tie (I had come from work, so I was still in my work clothes) and thought to myself that the plain white tie I was wearing had a nice big area that would be perfect for someone to sign...
After a quick check of what pens other people had to sign the tie with (Neil was using a fountain pen which wouldn't be good for signing the tie) we gave a quick check with a pen that zephyrinous had with her signing my tie as well (in a different place to where Neil would be signing it) and all was good.
I gave one of the books I wanted signed to darcrider since he had only two objects to get signed, and Andrew offered to get another book of mine signed since he also only had two. Eventually we got to the front of the line and got things signed.
In my copy of Good Omens Neil wrote "We made the devil do it", in the Sandman trade paper back he wrote "Dream!" and on my tie he did a little portrait of Lady Death and the words "Don't Die! and his signature. I now have my very own limited edition Neil Gaiman Lady Death Tie!!!! Squee!
Currently it's sitting at home in my tie drawer. Eventually I'm going to spray it with fixative (meaning the ink won't run) so I can still use it.
Afterwards we were going to go out for coffee, but Three Monkey's was closed by the time we got there.