WOSSNAME -- FEBRUARY 2007-- PART 2 OF 6 (continued)
THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN DISCWORLD CONVENTION
(continued from Part 1)
Now we were waiting for Terry's Bedtime Stories. A whole bunch
of people in their pyjamas with teddy bears... and not much
happening. Eventually it's discovered that Terry is still a bit
jet lagged and has fallen asleep. So the Bedtime stories
have been moved to tomorrow night, and Late Night Lust Objects
moved here. I'm quite tired at this point and am not really interested
in the aforementioned session, so off to bed for me.
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 10
Up, shower, breakfast, Thud. Before the main sessions start
this morning, I figure I can get in a quick game of Thud - Ben
is there without a challenger so I say "hey, want a game?"
I tried using the strategy that I worked out with my friends when I first
bought a Thud set - there's good techniques for both Trolls and Dwarfs,
but unfortunately, too many mistakes means Ben wipes the floor
with me. I'm down to four dwarfs by the end of round 1 and Ben
hasn't lost ANY trolls. What happened there? Second round, I do
manage to wipe out a lot of dwarfs, but also lose four of my trolls,
so even this way I am still completely defeated. Oh well, it's obvious
my strategy doesn't work against someone who actually knows
how to play properly!
At 10 o'clock a small group of about 8 of us have the benefit for a
private coffee & chat with Terry - we won the competition after all.
It's quite pleasant, and people have interesting things to ask -
but the session became a lot less private as people wandered
past, saw Terry in the Lancre Dungeon, and popped in to listen.
We covered such topics as Death, Gender inequality,
and Terry's research techniques. After an hour I still haven't
managed to squeeze in a question I wanted to ask - but it
wasn't where the conversation was going, so it could wait.
Next up I manage to catch half of Bernard Pearson's interview - he's a
very funny man, great to hear him chat about the Clarecraft models,
the UU cut out book, the tamps, and the soon-to-be Ankh-Morporkian
money to be released about the same time as the book "Making Money".
Now Terry has an interview conducted by Daniel Knight. I'd managed
to have a quick chat to Daniel just before hand and told him the question
I didn't get to ask that morning - what sort of music does Terry listen
to while he's working? - and Daniel very kindly managed to slip that into
the interview! Some tidbits of info here which I can't quite remember.
Money is the next book, coming out later this year. After this, it seems
probable that Terry is working on "Nation", as he mentioned it several times
and that he'd already written 5000 words for 'the next book',
and that he can see "Nation" as a movie in his head, he just has to write
it down. No mention at all of Unseen Academicals, and the next Tiffany
Aching book, I Shall Wear Midnight, will still happen but not just yet.
Next up is the Undead Thespians Society - the Theatre panel, in
which I am participating. A small crowd in the audience, but they
happily listened to us rabbit on about the various plays we've been
involved in and tricks of the trade, such as staging, lighting vs sets,
costumes, a good balance of fans vs actors in the cast, adapting a
book into a playscript, and other bits and pieces. Not too many
questions from the audience, but the three of us could talk about
anything anyway, so that wasn't a problem.
Back to the audience now - Daniel Knight and a small team from
Snowgum Films have come along to show us how things are
progressing with the short film of Troll Bridge. We were treated with
a teaser trailer (soon to be up on http://www.snowgumfilms.com
and a whole heap of bits and pieces of behind the scenes footage
and discussion from the actors, fight coordinator, 'gore' makeup artist,
and Daniel, the writer/director/producer. Great stuff. Have suggested to
Daniel that if/when he wants to revisit Terry's work in short film (after
Troll Bridge is finished, of course), that Final Reward is a good short
story that is quite cinematic. Have to remember to send him a copy :)
As we come out - wow, what a long signing queue. I guess that's where
everyone was. I figure I can't be bothered waiting today, I'll try tomorrow,
and I head off down to the Lancre Dungeon.
SIGNIFICANT QUEST - yep, there's still room at the table for me, great!
This is a Discworld board game designed by Grombek, where the players
are the various Gods of the Disc, and the aim is to collect believers, and
smite or convert the believers of other players! If you have no believers,
then you're a Small God and can quite easily be squished! It is a fun and
well planned game, I do hope Grombek will be able to share it with a lot
more fans in the near future. We played for almost 2 hours with about
10 players, and just so the game wouldn't have to be continued the
next day, I caused the Apocralypse with Ronnie Soak, who also has
the benefit of randomly distributing everyone's existing cards so that
in the end, NOBODY won! (which of course means, we all did)
I had a break then - and went back to my room to get into costume for
the vening. It's a pity, really, because I missed Wossnames which was
apparently a riot! (i.e. a good fun time, not a big pile of people with
Detritus on the top reading the Riot act).
At six o'clock, every night, Sam Vimes reads "Where's My Cow?" to
his son, young Sam. So did we. Tonight I wasn't up the front, so the
book was read through entirely, and then at the insistence of
some audience members, the free form improv quoting started up
again anyway. Well at least no one's embarrased to yell 'Crivens!'
or 'BurSAR!' at the top of their voice :)
By six thirty, we had a spontanous Mob formation in Sator Square,
where everyone showed off their fantastic costumes. A whole
bunch of great photos can be seen at the Nullus Anxietas
Flickr site, so check em out!
Nothing was mentioned about a costume competition all night, which
seemed a bit weird, but it was kind of like the Witch Trials. Everyone
knew that the Death of Rats had won, it was just a competition to see
who was going to come second. (If you don't get that reference, have a
read of the short story "The Sea and Little Fishes" in the Legends
The Gala Dinner happened next, with a nice little folky backing band,
and some decent dinner conversation.I didn't know anyone at my table
to begin with, but that didn't matter, we chatted about all sorts of things
anyway. I was lucky to share a table with the REAL Sandra Battye (as
featured in Night Watch) and Undecided Adrian (Going Postal) who
came all the way from the UK and have been involved in Discworld
Conventions since he beginning - which is why they've been lucky
enough to become characters on Discworld too!
After the dinner, we all moved back to the Great Hall for Take 2 of
Terry's Bedtime Stories. He ended up reading us an hour and a half of
extracts from "Making Money" before the laptop battery died, leaving us
all in suspense until the book is published. Just like Going Postal, Moist
von Lipwig is coerced into taking charge of running the Ankh-Morpork mint,
and we managed to meet a few of the new characters that
populate this place - Mr Bent, Mrs Lavish and her dog Mr Fusspot,
the Shed People, and Hubert who runs the Gloopah.
When this was over, the late night sessions - including Filking - were
abandoned, and it was bed time for me.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12
First up in the morning - an interview with Jack Cohen. Ian Stewart
unfortunately had to pull out, but Jack was quite entertaining - he
had a lot of great stuff to say about Science in general, and the
Science of Discworld books (including that there are vague plans
for a fourth, but not much has been written just yet, so it may still
be a while away).
Then Part 2 of Daniel Knight's interview with Terry - a lot of great bits
of insight here - where certain bits of inspiration comes from, Terry
wielding an air axe whilst acting out Vimes' bezerker scene in Thud,
Where Terry stores his reference books on his 'estate', and the rebuilding
of the stables, the Dinosaur Footprint mafia working in a quarry, and
his cat Genghis and the invisible fence.
Immediately after this, we read out the first act of Pyramids. Once again,
a small audience, but it appeared to be well received. Well, nobody
yelled 'Boo!', but the laughter was kind of quiet. Maybe people were hanging
on our every word? No big problems and perhaps some people will journey
across to Adelaide for the full production in May ( www.unseen.com.au )
After this, I lined up in the HUGE signing queue, I wanted to get my
Pyramids script signed, plus the other books I had just happened to
bring with me - Once More with Footnotes and Where's My Cow?
I guess once again the small audience for the Pyramids reading
could be put down to everyone wanting to have their books signed...
It took quite a while to get to the head of the queue, so I ate my lunch
(well, snacks) while waiting, and chatted to Robbie who I hadn't
met in person until then, despite the fact that we spoke on the phone when
he called me to tell me he couldn't do the script reading. Terry very
kindly signed all my books and the script, (despite Ben, ahead of me
in the line, giving him Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to sign -
he didn't), and we were all gifted with a few teeth - props from the
telemovie. That's cool and unexpected, but Terry did bring over a huge
bag of them, so there was enough for everyone.
After this I managed to catch the tail end of the Anxietas Continuous
panel - working out what we might do next time, and finding out if
anyone is willing to follow in Pat's footsteps. I volunteered (on paper) to
help with Trivia plus the theatrical based sessions (as done this time)
but I doubt I'd be able to do too uch more as I live in the wrong city! :)
(Any Con will most likely be Melbourne or Sydney, which makes sense.
It'd be nice to hold one in Adelaide, but I don't know enough fans here
who could make up a reliable committee, plus I have plenty of other
things in life to keep me busy)
Then it was Fair Go Dibbler's Charity Auction (honest) - a huge range of
great items up for auction, of course the best pieces I wasn't even going
to bid on, being too large or too expensive. I ended up getting an old
SF book, and old SF short story collection, and a Pyramids t-shirt. Well,
it all goes to the Orang-utans, so that's good. Some absolutely amazing
artwork from Sarah and Abee was on sale, and luckily it did go for some
good money. The auction took two and a half hours, so we were running
late for The Apocralypse, but after a whole bunch of thanks were given
out to the volunteers, committee, and Terry and Guests, it was all over!
I collected my auction winnings, and then dumped everything in my room
and headed down to the bar where everyone else was - and a night of
sitting, talking, drinking and eating actually allowed me to meet a whole
bunch of new people I didn't get the time to talk to over the weekend. I
retired at midnight, (yeah, I know,soft, but some of us turn into pumpkins)
and slept the sleep of the just, or the just asleep.
SESSIONS I'M SORRY I MISSED
There was just so much on, it was impossible to get to everything.
After hearing from other people, I am really sorry I didn't get to see:
- The Unfinished Spelling Errors of Bolkein, a musical parody of Lord of
the Rings by Martin Pearson. Martin sang one or two songs impromptu
for us in the bar on Sunday night, and he's a great guy, so I bought his CD
and will listen to it soon to see what I missed. Definitely a man to see
whatever show he's doing.
- Colin Smythe's interview
- Music with Filks In - this didn't end up happening, but I'm sure with a
bit more planning in future, we could fit it in anywhere.
- Mort and Wyrd Sisters play performances - there just wasn't time to sit
for 2 hours seeing a play!
(I have seen both before in other productions, plus have performed in
Mort as well... so I guess missing them wasn't too bad for me. But
a lot of people who'd never seen a Discworld play before really enjoyed
them, what with the raucous laughter we overheard)
- The Great Debate
So, wow, that was great. Let's hope there's another one, soon.
(Rumour says it may be October 2008. The idea is that the next Con is held
at the same time that Transworld has arranged a signing tour for Terry...
because then they pay for the flights, which means more money in the Con
budget for other things!)
A huge thankyou to Pat, Ben, Kerry, Mark, Suzie, Melanie, Erica, Tess,
Tania, Paul, Adrian and Nathan. You've done a tremendous amount
of work for other people's enjoyment - and I know that being in charge
of an event means you rarely have time to enjoy it yourself (been there
done that) so it's great that you are all so selfless to do this for us.
Next time, may the stress be less, and the help be greater.
And of course, a big thanks to Terry Pratchett, who's given a great group
of people something wonderful to be obsessed about, so that we can
join together in an event like this and find there's lots of people who
get our jokes and don't think we're *that* weird.
-- Email: Danny@...
End of Part 2, says my computer -- continued on Part 3 of 6
If you did not get all 6 parts, write: jschaum111@...
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