WOSSNAME -- SEPTEMBER 2005 -- PART 4 OF 4
==== Part 4
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
6) NEW DW CONVENTION PLANNED FOR U.S.
To the Editor:
My name is Emily Whitten. A few weeks ago I went to a
Terry Pratchett booksigning, and Terry did a Q&A, and I
happened to ask the question, "So, if we did a Discworld
Convention here in the US, would you come?" And Terry said,
"Absolutely." And, well, I am now heading up plans for the first
North American Discworld Convention, with Terry's ok.
At this point in time, along with Terry's avowals of participation,
Neil Gaiman (who I met a couple of days ago) has also said that
he would be interested in attending if his schedule will allow. I will
also be contacting the likes of Paul Kidby, Stephen Briggs, and
others to speak and be guests.
Currently, the date is not set for the Con b/c Terry has to get
back to me, but it will (we hope/assume) take place in either
2007 or 2008. When we know the date, we will let everyone
know. The Con will almost definitely be in Washington, DC
over a weekend.
Already I have had many offers to help and lots and LOTS of
ideas have come pouring in. More ideas, offers of help, etc. etc.
are very welcome, especially if people have convention-organizing
Within the next few weeks a website for the convention will go up.
Until that time, information about the convention can be found at:
which can be read and commented on by anyone.
I can be reached by that community or by email
is the one I will be using for that).
I would very much appreciate it if you let your members
know that this is in the works, and that all volunteers/offers
of help/ideas/questions about the con. are welcome.
-- Emily Whitten
(7) VIMES: BORN TO BE KING?
Is Vimes the next natural leader of Ankh-Morpork?
I've long been an avid follower of the life and times of Vimes, and
am fascinated by the changes - all of them so wonderfully,
graphically delineated by Pterry the Master - in his character,
outlook and, well, personal style of doing his job and dealing with
the often-confusing, often depressing yet triumphantly vital world of
Ankh-Morpork. When we Discworld readers first met Sam Vimes (in
Guards! Guards!), he was something of a no-hoper: a broke-down
engine, an alcohol-sozzled cynic who knew how the world *ought* to
work but had found his natural idealism drowning in a sea of
Bearhugger's finest. We learned of the "herrydeterry" weight he
carried - the inescapable knowledge of his direct descent from "Old
Stoneface" Vimes, who did what a man had to do in the form of giving
last reigning king, the inappropriately-named Lorenzo the Kind, a
very short haircut and then discovered that the public doesn't always
thank you for giving them what they really want - and of the fact
that he had no real life outside the Watch, even though he seemed to
feel that his job was pointless and that he and his beloved Watch had
no real power to keep the peace. At the start of G!G! Vimes was a
lost man; it took a threat from outside his city, the huge and
malevolent Draco Nobilis, to spur him out of his hopeless daze and
find the reluctant hero within. "Reluctant hero" - to me, that's the
phrase that best describes the core, the heart and soul, of Vimes. By
the end of G!G! he had been instrumental in saving the city, had
accidentally found love or something not unlike it, and in the
process had begun to save himself.
We next saw Vimes in action in Men at Arms, defending Ankh-Morpork
from the terror of a new high-tech weapon (the gonne) whilst
preparing for his own wedding to Lady Sybil Ramkin and dealing with
the Patrician's new "affirmative action" policy of hiring nonhuman
Watchmen; then, in Feet of Clay, living up yet again to his
reputation as Stoneface's descendant by protecting the city from not
one but two would-be kings (the King Golem and, gods 'elp us, the
hapless dupe Nobby Nobbs); then, in Jingo, protecting the city from
possible foreign invasion by perpetrating a ~cough cough~ foreign
invasion of his own; later, in The Fifth Elephant, he went abroad yet
again to represent Ankh-Morpork's interests in vital trade
negotiations; in Night Watch, all his temporally displaced adventures
were the result of his grim determination to nick a psychopathic
criminal who was, of course, threatening the peace of his, Vimes',
city. And he played a small but vital role in the events of Monstrous
Regiment, helping to stop another foreign war that could have, yes,
threatened the Big Wahoonie. And in THUD! - well, I can't really talk
about that yet, what with it not having been released everywhere in
Roundworld, but take it from me that Vimes well and truly gives his
all the protect and to serve the city that he loves.
During all this time, Lord Vetinari has been promoting Vimes, both in
his job and in Ankh-Morpork society. Sam Vimes is easily the last
person on the Disc who ever would have wanted to be elevated to posh-
nob-hood, but Vetinari, ever the master manipulator, knew that his
"terrier" would need to be a Person of Substance, at least on paper,
in order to best muster the power and influence needed to protect and
advance Ankh-Morpork's concerns. First Vetinari knighted him, and
later he revived the title of Duke of Ankh and forced - in Vimes'
point of view, tricked - Vimes into accepting it, and much of the fun
for me in my Vimes-watching has been seeing how this stubborn man,
with his lifelong aversion to officious authority figures in general
and hereditary ones in particular, has coped with being made one of
Them. For all his hatred of airs and graces, he's come to recognise
that Sir Samuel, and now His Grace Samuel, can get into places where
Sam Vimes (or even the Commander of the Watch) cannot; and although
he *is* still plain Sam Vimes under the occasional worn-under-protest
ceremonial tights and vermine, he has learned to use his high and
mighty position betimes in order to Get the Job Done, where the job
involves...yes, his beloved city. He even has learned to relish it,
just a little - witness his slightly-guilty satisfaction in Men at
Arms when Doctor Cruces, head of the Assassins' Guild, questions his
right to walk around the Guildhouse as if he owned the place ("the
most fundamental reason...is because I rather think I do."). We know
that Vimes resents what he sees as Vetinari "playing" him, but at the
end of the day he has to go along with it - for the benefit of the
city he once swore to protect and to serve.
As the years, and stories, have gone by, Lord Vetinari has been
putting Vimes into more and more situations beyond the usual purview
of a city copper. This has of course resulted in a gradual broadening
of Vimes' outlook - and not just a broadening, but also a refinement.
Simply put, Vimes is learning to see to bigger picture. Where once
he thought only about individual crimes and dealing with things at an
immediate, visceral street level, he has now been coming to see Ankh-
Morpork (and everywhere else!) more the way Vetinari himself does: as
a gestalt, a single entity greater than the sum of its denizens, um,
inhabitants; as an organism that needs tending and feeding and
pruning; as a vast whole whose needs sometimes come before the
individual needs of its component parts. Vimes the champion of
individual rights is becoming Vimes the potentially (and grimly)
utilitarian champion of the hive, the weigher of the "needs of the
many", yet he isn't losing his essential Vimesness.
In other words, the philosophical distance between Vimes and the
Patrician is lessening.
As I mentioned in last month's review of THUD!, Vimes is truly
becoming a "man of the polis" in the sense that he recognises the
need for political manipulations. And I have noticed something else
significant: the public may think of Vimes as a determined but dumb
copper - *Vimes* thinks of Vimes as a determined but dumb copper -
but I think it's getting more and more obvious that he's *not* dumb,
not in the least. Straightforward, yes. Egalitarian (except when it
comes to certain species, and even that is gradually changing), yes.
Unsophisticated, yes. But not stupid, and he's becoming more and more
subtle. So: Vimes has power, position and influence; Vimes has
Vetinari's ear; Vimes has an ever-increasing understanding of the
purpose and mechanics of government; Vimes has his own code of ethics
and his own conscience, and is accustomed to making his own
decisions, unhampered by committees; Vimes has, above all, an
unswerving love for Ankh-Morpork and an unshakeable desire to see his
city and its beings done right by. And more than ever, Vimes has a
fearsome reputation that is preceding him around the nations of the
Discworld. If there's a better set of qualifications for a truly
great - as in truly effective - ruler, I've not seen it!
The way it looks to me, there is a good possibility that Vetinari has
been grooming Vimes for Patricianship...if not as his successor, then
certainly as his deputy and emergency stand-in. Although the two men
are apparently pretty much of an age (given that in Night Watch,
Havelock was a young trainee Assassin, presumably of university age,
and newbie Watchman Sam was in his teens, presumably between sixteen
and nineteen), each may well have years in him yet. And we know that
Vetinari - and Pterry! - possesses a certain sense of humour. What
better Discly joke than to have the staunchly anti-royal descendant
of the most infamous of king-slayers become the absolute ruler of
-- Annie Mac
8) MORE ABOUT HNIFLNIFLWHIFLBAFLSNIFLTAFL?
ED: Last issue, there was some confusion about the various
editions of Thud. Tamar has the definitive answer:
To the Editor:
Simple. There are three editions of Thud! the Game that have hand
sculpted pieces (now lovingly made in the Far East) - each dwarf in the
set is noticeably different from the other dwarves, each troll in the set
is also different from the other trolls, which have a variety of colors,
including individual realistic, all-one-color, or all-one-metal, if I
recall correctly. Then there is the comparatively inexpensive one, in
which all the dwarves are from the same simple dwarf mold, and all the
trolls are from the same simple troll mold. Not nearly so posh but
ever so much more affordable.
9) AND ANOTHER DW CONVENTION IN 2007!
To the Editor:
We are pleased to announce that thanks to the hard work, eternal
cheer, good natured stubbornness and allround good-eggedness of
Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson, the Discworld Event 2007 is
The current details are:
August Bank Holiday Weekend in 2007
The fields attached to the Wincanton Pavilion Sports Centre, Wincanton,
Good question! At the moment there is no confirmed programme, however
over the next few months programme items will be added and confirmed to
allow children of all ages, from 9 months to 90 years, to have a great time.
We can guarantee that old favourites such as "Paint your own" and the
beer tent will be joined by many, many items which will be sure to
become firm favourites in the future.
So far the only name we can point at and go "We're pretty sure he's
coming" is a Mr Terry Pratchett, but we're fairly certain there will
be other people.
Because it's good for like minded people to get together in a friendly
environment and just chill and have fun.
I've got a question about bits of it.....
Good - if you'd like an answer then please drop a line to
and we'll get back to you. If you have a particularly novel question
then we'll get back to you in person, if it's a common question (or one
which becomes frequently asked) we'll put it in the FAQ.
Where can I get more information on this amazing happening?
Keep an eye on http://event.lspace.org.uk
for ongoing developments and
details for this Discworld extravaganza.
If you did not get all 4 parts, write: jschaum111@...
Copyright (c) 2005 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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