I ditched the Masquerade after about 40 minutes. It was very well attended, more people than the other big room events: a thousand, maybe twice that many. The costumes were from good to excellent – like professional / movie quality. But I find the dual language deal tedious, though they prattled it well enough again. Mostly I left because I wanted to go to the “Gaiman Reads Doctorow” event.
Neil read one of Cory’s short stories, “The Right Book”. It was recorded live as part of a collection of short stories from Doctorow being read by various author / voice talents. This one’s about books into the future. The collection will be reprints except for one new story. The room was packed with a couple hundred people, probably more refugees from the Masquerade. Just after the recording started a baby started crying on the floor just to Neil’s right. The mother quickly exited with the child. Cory chuckled and said they’d fix it in the edits (which you can see they did, at about 21 seconds into the video). Neil rolled on and at the end the woman came back in and apologized and Mr. Gaiman was very gracious, saying that, since it was right at the beginning, that he really didn’t have any rhythm yet or anything anyway. Beforehand I saw Cory lingering in the hall, still wearing the NATTC pin from our walk that morning and he mentioned it when he saw me walking up. I told him he was welcome to take it off whenever it suited him – he said one day was what he wore things like that, so he had it on for the next session, too – not sure if it shows in the video at all.
They followed the reading with a Q&A; after that I hung in the room, listening to Neil and Cory chat with fans. Neil did a few autographs (although elsewhere he says he prefers not to after panels). I snapped a photo of his back as he said good-bye to Cory . Like a kid on a camping trip doesn’t want to go to bed, I didn’t want to leave. WorldCon is essentially over for me, tomorrow being a travel day, and a day to see a little more of Montreal as I quest for bagels. I got some bus directions from the Info Booth lady at the Palais on my way out.