I couldn't've expected someone taller.
The man has a pleasant speaking voice. I didn't get to the bookstore early enough to be able to hear him as he spoke- mercifully they were piping his voice through the store, and I could hear him speaking. His voice was pretty close to the voice I'd imagined narrating his books, again (just like LeGuin).
Given that I couldn't get upstairs to see him, I figured I'd park my ass at the front of the line. I was the fifth person to get his books signed (one! one bribe for the boss! ah hah hah hah!), and he wasn't to that point of 'oh god MORE people???' when I got up there. Shook his hand, said it was pleasant to hear his voice, as it changes how one reads the author's work, and he laughed and said he felt that way about one of the math professors he'd taken classes from- 'I read most of his books, got into the class, and it all sounded different! It was weird. I wanted someone to tell me he wasn't the guy I read!'
Then thumbed a ride back with lemasquegris, who was already taking redshrike and the hoptoad home. Saw madhatter, and saw one of the folks who works for nihilistic_kid's publisher- who actually recognized me from his job at the local SF bookstore.
Man, Telegraph avenue in Berkeley has CHANGED in 16 years! It was 7:30 PM. I saw a TOTAL of 20 people on the street between Cody's books and THE UNIVERSITY! Very strange: where was everyone?
Neal's a very tall guy- and he looks suspiciously like the fellow who played the father on 'Family Ties'.
The new book, 7 pages in, is intriguing- though in part, that's because I seldom see an author playing around in the interstice between European Enlightenment and early Colonial America (which were contiguous, you know, even though you don't think of them as simultaneous).