Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
February 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 2)
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide
Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North
American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a
member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address.
Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion,
you'd only forget them...
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
Editor Emeritus (retd): Joseph Schaumburger (who still ate'nt dead)
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti Osborn, Pitt the Elder, Steven D'Aprano
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare
Copyright 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) DISCWORLD STAMPS: A REMINDER
04) UNSEEN ACADEMICALS CONFIRMED AS NEXT TELEFILM
05) SNUFF: A SNEAK PREVIEW
06) GOOD OMENS FOR THE SMALL SCREEN
07) GET YOUR (BOARD) GAME ON!
08) ...AND A SECOND DISCWORLD GAME
09) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
10) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
11) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
12) WHO ARE YOU? DISCWORLD CHARACTER QUIZ
13) REVIEWS: I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT
14) REVIEW: GOOD OMENS
15) IMAGE OF THE MONTH
16) ROUNDWORLD TALES: REAL-LIFE ALCHEMISTS
17) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
18) AROUND THE BU CAMPUS
19) SFX LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"No one's policing their own minds more than an author. You spend a
lot of time in your own head analysing what you think about things,
and a philosophy comes. I think this is going to follow me for
ages I'm open to moments of joy: the other day, it was just a
piece of rusty barbed wire in the hedge. Something had grown over
it, and the whole pattern, the different shades of brown, the red
everything made a superb construction. And I was just happy that
I'd seen it."
Pterry, on writing
02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
Our thoughts go out to the Land of Fog this month, to the people of
Christchurch and its environs who are mourning their losses and
propping up the remains of their earthquake-shattered homes and
businesses and also to the Fourecksians of Queensland, who
barely had time to recover from devastating floods before being hit
by Cyclone Yasi. I was very relieved that my friends in both
disaster areas came through (mostly) all right, but there were many
who didn't. And while all this was going on, a friend out in Western
Australia nearly lost her home to bushfires, and other friends in
USA reported ten-foot snowdrifts and blizzard-generated power
outages. So far 2011 is certain to be a year to remember.
At least 2011 is also shaping up to be a memorable years for
Discworld and other Pratchett activities, with Mob Films'
announcement of Unseen Academicals as the next Discworld screen
project, plus a long-awaited miniseries of Good Omens, the new
Discworld novel due out in October, and several Discworld
conventions large and small. Also, WOSSNAME wishes a happy and
prosperous Year of the Rabbit to our Agatean readers!
On with the show...
Annie Mac, Editor
03) DISCWORLD STAMPS: A REMINDER
Remember, the new UK Magical Realms postage stamps, featuring two
Discworld characters, will be available from 8th March 2011! To pre-
order directly from the Royal Mail's website, go to:
To view the whole set again:
04) UNSEEN ACADEMICALS CONFIRMED AS NEXT TELEFILM
Don't know about you, O Readers, but after watching and enjoying
Going Postal, I think this is *very* promising news and an
excellent choice for the next Discworld screen project.
In The British Comedy Guide:
"The Mob Film Company confirmed that Unseen Academicals will be the
next book to be converted into a TV comedy drama. According to the
company's website, production will commence on the adaptation
sometime later in the year. This will be the fourth adaptation of
Pratchett's humorous fantasy novel series for Sky, with the
Christmas-themed Hogfather, The Colour of Magic and Going Postal
having been broadcast in 2006, 2008 and 2010 respectively... It is
not yet known who will star in this new TV adaptation, but it would
seem most likely that David Jason will return to star as the
cowardly and incompetent wizard Rincewind, reprising the role he
played in The Colour of Magic..."
"This year also sees production commencing on the fourth Terry
Pratchett drama, Unseen Academicals, and The Man Who Invented
Christmas, about Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol for
Channel 4, CBC in Canada and TNT."
05) SNUFF: A SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE NEXT DISCWORLD NOVEL
The teaser blurb, as posted on PJSM Prints:
"According to the writer of the best selling crime novel ever to
have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth
universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would
barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first
"And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on
holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a
mere body in the wardrobe, but many, many bodies and an ancient
crime more terrible than murder.
"He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon
sandwiches, occasionally snookered and occasionally out of his mind,
but not out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a
finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.
"They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.
"But not quite all..."
But of course fans at the recent SFX Weekender already knew that:
"The Discworld author and sci-fi writer Stephen Baxter took some
time out from penning their upcoming collaboration The Long Earth to
speak at this year's SFX Weekender. Pratchett began the talk by
announcing: 'Last night, under the lash of my editor, I finished
Snuff.' He continued to tease his rapt audience, saying: 'It's
almost all about Commander Vines... but that's about enough.'"
Snuff will be published on 13th October 2011. Signed copies will be
available for pre-order from August 2011 from PJSM Prints:
06) GOOD OMENS FOR THE SMALL SCREEN
Not before time! But will they get it right...?
by Brendon Connelly on Bleeding Cool:
"Last week, a 'semi-official' Terry Jones fansite reported that
Jones and his current co-writer of choice, Gavin Scott, were 'in
talks' to write a new version of Good Omens. Within days, Pratchett
himself took to the stage at the SFX Weekender and announced, at
least sort of officially, that Good Omens was now headed to TV as a
4-part series... One might assume it would be headed to Sky in a
similar manner to the last few years of Discworld adaptations, but
that's not yet confirmed..."
On Digital Spy:
"Fantasy novel Good Omens is reportedly being adapted for television
as a four-part series. The 1990 book, co-written by Terry Pratchett
and Neil Gaiman, focuses on the attempts of the angel Aziraphale and
the demon Crowley to avert the end of the world following the birth
of Satan's son. Pratchett recently confirmed that a television
adaptation is in development but revealed no further details,
according to SFX..."
By Matt Blum on Geek Dad:
"Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's novel Good Omens is by any
reasonable standard one of the top ten funniest books ever written.
I've read it at least a dozen times over the 21 years since its
first publication, and it still makes me laugh out loud. Now comes
word from Sir Terry himself that a four-part TV adaptation of the
book (whose full title, incidentally, is Good Omens: The Nice and
Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch) is in the works! Sadly,
he hasn't provided any more detail than that... I can't wait to
find out who gets cast as Aziraphale, Crowley and the Horsemen
and of course there's the task of finding a decent child actor to
play Adam. Surely with this one more than with most adaptations, the
devil's in the details..."
By Kevin Melrose on Spinoff Online:
"It looks like there finally could be progress on a long-discussed
adaptation of Good Omens, the 1990 novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil
Gaiman... Plans for an adaptation date back to at least 1999, when
director Terry Gilliam and frequent collaborator Tony Grisoni were
set to develop Good Omens as a $50 million film. Gilliam at one
point wanted to begin filming in April 2002, but those plans fell
apart, reportedly because of lack of funding. As recently as 2008
the filmmaker remained hopeful about the project, but there's been
little public movement on an adaptation until now..."
On Film School Rejects, Cole Abaius has a fantasy casting couch
"Capturing the comedy on screen would take a steady hand that has an
ear for this sort of thing. Plus, they'd also have to juggle a lot
of characters. Other than that, and a few things trimmed for time,
this thing could fly from book to script directly...
"Simon Pegg as Crowley... the idea of Pegg playing against type
could end up delivering something unexpected ...Alan Rickman as
Aziraphale... Anna Friel as Anathema Device... Famke Janssen as
Red... Stephen Merchant as Newt... This world demands to see its end
mocked and derided. Let's make it happen..."
07) GET YOUR (BOARD) GAME ON!
Z-Man Games has announced the forthcoming release of "Guards!Guards!
A Discworld Boardgame."
Here be the box cover:
Here be the text of the press release:
Based on the best selling books of Sir Terry Pratchett, Guards!
Guards! captures the almost addictive mix of satire, adventure and
fantasy that will instantly feel like home to the many thousands
of Discworld fans out there, and give a warm, fluffy welcome to
those who have yet to dip their toe in the veritable ocean of
wondrous works created by one of the world's best selling fantasy
The game sees players taking on the role of newly recruited members
of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. With the Eight Great Spells
missing from the Unseen University, the future of the Disc hangs
in the balance. Each player is tasked to collect and return a
number of the spells to the university before it is too late.
On their quest to save the Discworld, the players are faced with
the many hazards of everyday life in Ankh-Morpork, the Discworld's
oldest, grubbiest and least law-abiding city. Some perils are
thrust upon them by the hand of fate. Others are directed at
them by their opponents in the shape of sneaky guild abilities, or
skulking saboteurs, secretly planted to disrupt their attempts to
return the Great Spells.
Add to this the constant threat of being trampled by the Luggage,
an 800-pound magical chest thundering endlessly through the city
on hundreds of little legs, and the players soon learn that life
on the Discworld is not always easy.
And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, The
Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night, a secret society with a mind
to overthrow the governing powers of Ankh-Morpork, put in motion
their plan to magically summon a great Dragon to the city.
With over 90 characters cards illustrated by renowned Discworld
Artist, Stephen Player, each carrying a short quotation defining
the character in the author's own words, the players are quickly
emerged in the magical and wonderful world created by Terry
For gamers Guards! Guards! serves up healthy slice of strategy,
with a side order of cunning, and a liberal sprinkling underhanded
goings-on. But it is a true Discworld game, so the unexpected
should always be expected!
New to the scene, designers Leonard Boyd & David Brashaw bring a
fresh approach to this board game. Both long time game fans and
avid readers of Terry Pratchett's books, the unlikely team of a
talented graphic designer and a three-time Karate world champion
have produced a game that is visually enticing, strategically
challenging, but above all great fun!
Further information as posted by "Half-Shaft" (username of one of
the game's designers) on FortressAt Ameritrash:
A brief description of game play:
The players are tasked to collect and return five of the missing
spells to the University. Each player selects one of four Guilds to
infiltrate, Thieves, Assassins, Alchemists or Fools. Their chosen
Guild card will give them a specific selection of the Great Spells
to collect and grants them a unique Guild Ability which can be used
to hinder their opponents. It is also used to mark the players
Charm, Guild and Magic abilities, which can be developed throughout
Time is short, so rather than returning each spell in person, the
players have been granted the power to recruit the good, and the not
so good, inhabitants of the city to act as guards and runners to
protect and return the spells to the University. There are twelve
locations on the board where players may charm (or bribe) volunteers
to join them on their quest.
The characters are split into three Volunteer Decks each represent-
ing the range of inhabitants who might be found in different
locations within the city; Lords & Ladies, Man & Beast and Shades &
Shadows. Each Volunteer is assigned a set of skill attributes which
can be used individually to protect the Spells, or combined with
those of other volunteers and used to complete the Wizards
Challenges five tests of strength, brain, and worthiness which
the runners must complete in order to enter the Unseen University
with the Spells.
A selection of enchanted scrolls, weapons, armour and magical items
can be purchased by players to equip their volunteers and boost
A number volunteer cards carry the 'Mark of the Brethren' The
Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night... If a player holds three of
these cards at any time, he may choose to call a dragon to a
specific city quadrant. This effectively shuts down that area of the
city until the dragon is driven off. (handy if there are spells
located there that are needed by your opponents) Opposing players
may choose to face the dragon individually or to co-operate with
other players and send a combined squad of volunteers to see off the
beast. (Dragons may also be called to the city automatically during
the game (on the turn of a fate card) If this happens all players
must send at least one volunteer to face it.)
Members of the Brethren may also be secretly planted in city
quadrants to operate as saboteurs.
When a player feels has recruited the right volunteers they move to
collect and return the first required Spell (as marked on their
Guild Card). You can send up to 4 volunteers on a Spell Run.
Opponents may use magic, or Saboteurs if they have one in play, to
try and stop a spell run. If all (or any) of your runners make it to
the Unseen University, they must attempt one of the Wizards
Challenges (resolved by totalling a specific attribute score of the
successful runners, with any bonuses gained from items or magic and
a dice roll). If successful they have returned the Spell. The
volunteers used are seen to have fulfilled their duty and are
discarded. The player then goes on toward his next spell (recruiting
new volunteers along the way). The winner is the first to return the
five Great Spells shown on their Guild Card).
[Editor's note: the Guards! Guards! game will be distributed by
Esdevium Games in the UK & Europe.]
Game Basic Information
Game Name: Guards!Guards! A Discworld Boardgame
Publisher: Z-Man Games
Designer: Leonard Boyd & David Brashaw
Expected Release Date 2011 Q2
Ship Date July 12, 2011
"Great News! Discworld fans will have not one, but two new Discworld
Games to enjoy in 2011. Guards! Guards!, the second boardgame play
tested in Wincanton last year is well on its way to hitting the
shelves this summer..."
08) ...AND A SECOND DISCWORLD GAME
"Ankh-Morpork" sounds like fun:
"Traditionally, Martin Wallace's designs for his own Treefrog Games
and before that for Warfrog Games have been based on real-
world history: trains in the UK, battles in Poland, revolutionaries
in France, and so on.
"Not this time for Spiel 2011 Wallace and Treefrog Games present
Ankh-Morpork, with the setting being the largest city-state in Terry
Pratchett's Discworld. Says Wallace, 'The storyline is that Lord
Vetinari has disappeared and certain factions are trying to take
control of the city." Each player has a secret personality with
specific victory conditions, which means that you're not sure
exactly what the other players need to do in order to win.
"The action takes place on a map of Ankh-Morpork, with players
trying to place minions and buildings through card play. Each of the
132 cards is unique, and says Wallace, 'The cards bring the game to
life as they include most of the famous characters that have
appeared in the various books. The rules are relatively simple: Play
a card and do what it says. Most cards have more than one action on
them, and you can choose to do some or all of these actions. Some
cards also allow you to play a second card, so you can chain
"A team of artists will recreate the city and its residents for the
cards, game board and box, with Bernard Pearson coordinating that
team. Ankh-Morpork has been sublicensed to Mayfair Games for the
North American market and Kosmos for the German market.
Says Wallace, 'For fans of Sir Terry this will be a real treat. For
those who have not read the book it's still a highly enjoyable
[The Ankh-Morpork game has distribution deals in the USA and
Source: Boardgame News
09) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
Quite a few items this month...
9.1 GETTING AGGRESSIVE ABOUT ALZHEIMER'S
from the Daily Express:
"Alzheimer's sufferer Sir Terry Pratchett, 62, said aggressive
action was needed in the same way that HIV was propelled into the
public eye in the 1980s. Sir Terry, who wrote the fantasy Discworld
series and has sold more than 65 million books worldwide, helped to
launch a report for Alzheimer's Research UK. It reveals that there
are six times as many scientists working on a cure for cancer than
on dementia research. Sir Terry, a patron of the charity, announced
in 2007 that he had early onset Alzheimer's. He said: 'When the
world was shocked by HIV in the Eighties we saw a crash programme of
research which has helped tame it enormously. We need the same kind
of aggressive action on dementia now.'..."
from the Aberdeen Press and Journal:
"Dementia needs the same type of concentrated research as was put
into tackling HIV in the 1980s, Sir Terry Pratchett claimed
yesterday. The author said despite the large number of sufferers,
the world 'does not take much notice' because it was a series of
'small tragedies' played out behind closed doors. An Aberdeen
scientist backed his call to make dementia research a top priority
as a new poll for the Alzheimer's Research Trust showed people in
Scotland feared the disease more than cancer and even death...
Dementia costs the UK economy £23billion, more than cancer
(£12billion) and heart disease (£8billion) combined, according to
the charity. A report for the group found that for every UK
scientist working on dementia, six work on cancer.
Dr Donald Mowat, a researcher at Aberdeen University and co-
ordinator for Alzheimer's Research UK's east central Scotland
research network, said: 'There are nearly 3,000 people in Aberdeen
affected by dementia, and if we are to find effective treatments
that are so urgently needed, dementia research must be made a
national priority. Dementia researchers across the UK are making
progress, and with support from Alzheimer's Research UK, scientists
are making breakthroughs. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing
it is caused by brain diseases we can tackle, but we need more
investment in the research that will give us answers...'"
from Management in Practice:
"Award-winning author Sir Terry Pratchett has said society should be
taking the same sort of targeted action on dementia that it applied
to HIV and Aids 20 years ago. As a new report for Alzheimer's
Research UK is published, the Discworld writer who suffers from
Alzheimer's disease said more cash for dementia studies is
needed... Charity chief executive Rebecca Wood said: 'Public concern
around dementia is at an all-time high, yet dementia research is
still the poor relation in both capacity and investment. Dementia
poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the
from the Press Association (UK):
Dementia needs the type of aggressive action seen for tackling HIV
in the 1980s, Sir Terry Pratchett has said... Care services minister
Paul Burstow said: 'The Department of Health's research budget is
nearly a billion this year - I want more of that funding to be
supporting dementia research. But we can only do that if the number
and quality of the research proposals are of the right standard to
justify the investment.'"
from the Bucks Free Press, Pterry's journalistic alma mater:
"The UK's leading dementia research charity, the Alzheimer's
Research Trust, says its investigations into curing the disease are
'still crippled by underfunding'. It has urged the public,
Government and the private sector to help end 'years of pitifully
low investment in research'..."
from This Is Gloucestershire:
"People effected[sic] by dementia in Gloucestershire have called for
more cash to be ploughed into researching the disease. Their cries
come in the wake of the stance taken by Sir Terry Pratchett, who has
a rare form of dementia and says it needs the type of aggressive
action seen for tackling HIV in the 1980s... About 8,000 people in
Gloucestershire have dementia but this is expected to rise to nearly
12,000 by 2025...
"Sara Kewley, whose father Ray Walters, was diagnosed with dementia
six years ago, highlighted a lack of understanding about dementia.
The 37-year-old, from Cirencester, said: 'Until my dad got it I
didn't know much about it. My dad was in his 50s when he got it and
that's not old. I would welcome more research people need to be
aware that it's out there. Money is needed to cover the whole of
dementia and not just sweep it under the carpet as though it's not
there.' ... June Hennell, whose husband Brian, 72, has dementia,
echoed the call for more funding for research. Mrs Hennell, from
Stonehouse, said: "Any funds spent on research is an investment...'"
9.2 KEY MEMORY CHEMICAL DISCOVERED
from the Daily Mail:
"Scientists have shown that the brain chemical IGF-II plays a key
role in the laying down and the strengthening of memories. Learning
more about the process could lead to new memory-boosting drugs for
Alzheimer's, stroke and other conditions that rob people of their
ability to remember even the simplest things... In a series of
experiments the US government-funded researchers showed IGF-II to
play a key role in memory... The chemical occurs naturally in the
body, and is found in relatively high levels in the hippocampus, the
brain's memory hub. However, levels decline with age... Dutch
researchers recently discovered that beta-blocker drugs used to
treat heart disease may also help patients to banish bad
9.3 ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH TRUST RELAUNCH AS ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH UK
from Civil Society:
"The Alzheimer's Research Trust has relaunched as Alzheimer's
Research UK as a new poll reveals that people fear dementia more
than death. The rebrand aims to create a new visual identity that
encourages greater support and ultimately accelerate its charitable
progress. John Spencer, creative director of Spencer du Bois, which
carried out the rebrand, said: 'A clear, easy to read, immediately
obvious logo design was needed.' ... Spencer said the revamp
included use of a new font called ALZ, which is used extensively
across the charity's collateral..."
9.4 ALZHEIMER'S MISDIAGNOSES COMMON?
from Mediplacements News:
"Medical professionals commonly misdiagnose Alzheimer's disease,
according to new research. A study, conducted at Kuakini Medical
System in Honolulu, revealed that approximately half of autopsies of
those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease found no evidence of the
amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that define Alzheimer's
disease. However, characteristics of other forms of dementia such as
Lewy bodies, generalized brain atrophy and hippocampal sclerosis
were generally found instead..."
9.5 SCOTS FEAR DEMENTIA MORE THAN CANCER
from the Herald Scotland:
"The Alzheimer's Research Trust surveyed 2000 people and found
nearly one-third were more worried about dementia than cancer, heart
attacks or death. The figure was higher in Scotland than the rest of
the UK, with 37% of respondents naming dementia as their most
dreaded disease. More than half of people are also worried about
their parents developing the condition, the charity said... 37% of
Scots who rank it as their biggest health worry compare to just 23%
who named cancer first and 12% who had a general fear of death...
"Alan Brown, an Alzheimer's Research Trust supporter from
Motherwell, Lanarkshire, said he had seen first-hand the devastation
that dementia can cause. He said: 'My mum Christina was diagnosed
when she was 67. She's lived with this cruel disease for 11 years
now and needs 24-hour care. My hope is that one day I will see a
cure so that other people don't have to suffer. Dementia can only be
defeated through research but it is desperately underfunded, so I
urge everyone to support the vital work of Alzheimer's Research
9.6 RETAINING DIGNITY IN THE FACE OF DEMENTIA
Professor Desmond O'Neill, a consultant in geriatric and stroke
medicine, writes in the Irish Times:
"Our challenge is to seek out, and respond to a person's humanity,
and not allow ourselves to diminish their place among us... I hear
reference to someone with Alzheimer's disease in terms such as:
'It's so undignified for him'. This is a marker of how complex it
can be to understand the durability of our intrinsic humanity when
suffering from dementia. While no one wishes to have this (or any
other) illness, in 25 years of working with people with dementia, my
experience is that they do retain their dignity: indeed, loving
families grieve for the changes but still very much love the person.
Our challenge is to seek out, and respond to this humanity, and not
allow ourselves to diminish their place among us.
"The high profile of the celebrated author Terry Pratchett allows us
to rethink our attitudes to one of the most important illnesses of
later life. Through his public lectures and visiting professorship
in the Department of English in [Trinity College Dublin], his wit,
perceptiveness and continued writing in the face of Alzheimer's
disease help to undermine the bleakness associated with the
illness... While Pratchett retains eloquence and remarkable
insights, he and many others worry about what happens in the later
stages of the illness..."
9.7 NEW HIGH PROFILE SUPPORTERS
from the Press Association (UK):
"Sir Patrick Stewart has pledged his support to a campaign calling
for a change in the law on assisted dying in the UK. Dignity in
Dying, which aims to legalise the choice of assisted dying for
terminally ill, mentally competent adults, said the Star Trek actor
was one of a trio of new patrons to join more than 30 additional
high profile supporters of their campaign in the last 12 months. Sir
Patrick said: 'We have no control over how we arrive in the world
but at the end of a life we should have control over how we leave
it.' Author Ian McEwan and former England cricketer Chris Broad
complete the trio. Other patrons include comedian Jo Brand, author
Sir Terry Pratchett and presenter Nick Ross."
9.8 ...AND NEW WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT DEMENTIA
About.com has a feature on a recent book, "Dementia Reconsidered.
The person comes first" by Tom Kitwood:
"Tom Kitwood... suggests 7 ways in which we can gain some insight
into what it is like to have dementia such as Alzheimer's disease."
The seven "insights" are listed on the page, and although somewhat
simplistic, they seem sound enough:
10) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
10.1 NADWCON NEWS
We are so excited about this we are about to pop a stitch!
Check out our Merchandise webpage:
There you'll see some familiar characters put into fabric form!
They are cute, they are cuddly, and they are only available at the
2011 Discworld Conventions! These are limited edition collectibles
and will not be sold outside of the 2011 Discworld Conventions.
Sales of these toys are an international endeavor approved by Sir
Terry Pratchett. If you are attending the North American Discworld
Convention 2011 you can pre-order these items now, and pick them up
when you arrive at the NADWCon. If you are not attending the NADWCon
2011 you can still get your hands on these by ordering from, and
attending one of the other 2011 Discworld Conventions.
It's Getting Crowded in Here:
NADWCon is happy to announce that we are very close to having 500
registered members! We are expecting to achieve that number just a
little later this month. With about six months still remaining until
the convention, this is some very good news.
As many of you probably know, we are holding Full Memberships in
reserve until March 1st for those who purchased a Supporting
Membership. That is also the date that we are scheduled to raise the
price of membership by ten dollars. With everything going as well as
it is, we would like to push that date back a little, to give some
of you more time to Upgrade your Supporting Membership, or purchase
a membership at our current price. The new date for the membership
rate increase, and cut off of Supporting Membership reservations
will now be April 5th. Why April 5th? Because if it was April 1st,
you wouldn't have taken us seriously.
The NADWCon Dealer's Area is looking forward to your business! We
have a 51' by 37' room reserved for the duration of our convention
and have tables available. The Dealer's Room is on the ground floor
of the Concourse Hotel very close to the hotel's bar, its
restaurant, the elevators, and just off the main lobby. Given this
high traffic area we expect steady business to the Dealer's Room
throughout our four day convention.
The NADWCon 2011 will also be making our Dealer's Area and Art Show
open to the general public! Our convention will be taking place
during the same time as a HUGE art and craft event here in Madison,
with about a quarter of a million people in attendance! Madison's
annual Art Fair on the Square brings in people from all over the
country and will be taking place only one block away from the hotel.
The Dealer's Area is located just down a straight hallway from an
entrance that will be right off of the Fair, and signs and personnel
will be in place to direct people to the Art Show and Dealer's Area.
The NADWCon 2011 will be taking place from July 8-11 and our
Dealer's Area is available for setup as early as July 7th. Each
Dealer's Room reservation includes a single 8 ft by 2 1/2 ft table
and a full adult membership to the convention. Additional tables and
memberships can be purchased separately. Check our website for more
Rod Brown is a guest:
We're pleased to announce that Rod Brown, producer at Mob Films, the
company behind such gems as Going Postal, will be a guest at NADWCon
2011! Maybe we can persuade him to tell us about any new projects he
is working on!
Gala Banquet menu finalized:
Wait no longer for information about our Gala Banquet! We've
finalized the menu, which can be found at
Tickets for the banquet are $67 per person for standard seating, but
if you are willing to spend only a few dollars more, you can enjoy
the evening with one of our honored guests, and you just might get
to sit with Sir Terry himself!
10.2 AUSDWCON NEWS
Nullas Anxietas III is gearing up for April! And you can gear up,
too, with the official T-shirt:
"We are very pleased to announce the official convention attendee's
T-shirt. It's black with a stylish 'Run Rincewind Run' design on the
front, and the convention logo on the back. The shirts are a modest
$25.00. Unlike the Watch (where one size doesn't fit anybody), we
have a range of sizes from Small to 5XL.
"We are running a pre-convention order service, with a view to
getting the first batch made prior to the convention. So if you get
your order in by Monday, 14th March, then we will have it ready for
you to collect (and indeed wear) at the convention. We will need
your membership number on the order (you can find it on the
Attendees page) to help organise this. If you order later we will
have to post them on to you at an additional charge."
There's still time to get a discount on registration:
Full $120 ($150 after 1st July)
Concession $100 ($125 after 1st July)
Child $60 ($75 after 1st July)
Under 8's Free (will not change)
Supporting $30 (will not change)
For more info on membership types, go to:
To register, go to:
Here's what will happen on the days...
Registration will start at noon on Friday and the convention will
finish at 6pm Sunday. We have a lot of things planned for the three
Guests (both actual and virtual). Sir Terry Pratchett has confirmed
that he will be attending, along with his assistant Rob Wilkins.
Martin Pearson of 'The Hedgehog Song' fame, will be joining us for
song and comedy.
The Galah (note spelling!) Dinner will be held on the Saturday
Guilds join the Alchemists, Assassins, Beggars or Thieves to get
up to shenanigans (may contain nuts)! NEWS FLASH: In the run up to
the convention, we gave started an Inter-Guilds Scavenger Hunt
Guild Points can be won! You can find the list by clicking here and
more details by clicking here. Remember it's one entry per Guild.
Maskerade Parade your opportunity to show off your best
Discworld costumes and play your favourite character.
Fan Art Gallery an opportunity for anyone who would like to
display a piece of Discworld-inspired artwork!
Charity Auction we will be raising money for our chosen
charities with an auction of Discworld memorabilia. Further details
of some of the items up for auction will be posted soon.
To find out more about the convention charities, go to:
11) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on Monday 7th
March in the usual place: the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street,
London W2 1JQ.
Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney
at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 7pm. The next
meeting will be on the 7th of March. For more information, contact
No word on how last month's inaugural Perth Drummers meetup went,
but hopefully this new branch of Drummers Downunder will be carrying
on the tradition of first Monday of the month meetings in which
case the next one will be on the evening of Monday 7th March at The
Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.
For further info, email DANIEL_J_HATTON@...
12) WHO ARE YOU?
Here be an amusing and quite clever "which Discworld character are
you?" quiz link found and submitted by reader Perdita Fox:
The quiz-setter's username is not given, but two things are obvious:
one, that s/he is a geologist, and two, that s/he has read all the
Discworld novels and knows them well. The range of possible
character results is large and runs across many Discworld species,
with characters including Brutha, Twoflower, Rincewind, Detritus,
Polly Perks, Carrot, the Librarian, Bela de Magpyr, Vimes, William
de Worde, Drumknott, Moist von Lipwig, Ponder Stibbons, Nanny,
Tiffany Aching, Magrat, Lady Margolotta, the Bursar, Granny
Weatherwax, Angua, Mrs. Cake... and even the Luggage, Death, and
Greebo! Well worth taking a few minutes to see who you might be.
[Editor's note: for the record, I got Angua. Repeatedly. Proof
available on request, muhahaha]
13) REVIEWS: I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT
13.1 By Daniel Orner:
The Tiffany books are some of my favorite in the Pratchett oeuvre.
They are far more serious than is his wont, and are suffused with
urgency, beauty, and piercing insight into the human condition. The
fact that they are marketed as "for young readers" is nought but a
distraction from their quality.
The fourth book to star Tiffany Aching, I Shall Wear Midnight, is
an admirable addition to this impressive company, though it gives
somewhat of a more ragged performance.
As the novel begins, Tiffany, now aged sixteen and a witch for five
years, has morphed from a solemn, determined girl to a somewhat
weary do-gooder; the magic and adventure of her earlier travels
have been replaced by a mundane responsibility as doctor,
psychologist, arbiter and general helper of those around her. (Note
that this particular book is no longer marketed at young readers at
all; the story is quite adult in both theme and content.)
Into this everyday morass comes the evil Cunning Man, a demonic
spirit whose influence causes people to hate witches. Tiffany's
longtime friend, Roland, suddenly has to cope with the loss of his
father, the Baron, and his own newfound responsibilities, while
Tiffany herself has to resolve her own feelings about Roland's
engagement to another woman.
The plot moves quickly and with Terry's trademark wit and sagacity.
Tiffany doesn't always make the right decisions, nor is she a bundle
of laughs, but she is both clever and intelligent, and interacts
well with those around her. I was appreciative that the Cunning Man
doesn't incite riots and mobs (for the most part); instead, he is
insidious and malicious: a villain made up of bad feelings and
discontent, rather than a bad guy Tiffany could just whack on the
I do have a few general comments on the book, though, and many hold
true for the previous two installments, Making Money and Unseen
Academicals. Terry's writing style and content is still strong, but
he seems to be slowly losing the ability to juggle multiple story
threads. Here, a subplot that begins early on involving an abused
daughter just sort of peters out near the end and doesn't have a
significant impact on the overall story, despite promising to do
Terry has also shown a (nostalgic?) tendency to revisit past books.
Tiffany's actions in Wintersmith loom large here, as well as a
rather shocking revelation from a much earlier book in the series.
While my inner fanboy drools at these proceedings, my inner critic
is a bit disappointed that Terry couldn't keep up the independence
of story that characterizes most of his work.
I Shall Wear Midnight remains high up on Terry's quality spectrum,
and despite its somewhat wobbly attempt at keeping story threads
focused, it is a great read.
[Originally published on alt.books.pratchett Ed.]
13.2 By Mahvesh Murad, in the Express Tribune:
"Pratchett's young adult novels often deal with more serious ideas
than the main Discworld novels in this fourth installment of
Tiffany's adventures the themes and motifs aren't for the faint of
heart. There is much darkness in I Shall Wear Midnight: horrific
domestic violence, the death of an unborn child, vicious witch
hunts, and a strange eye-less specter called the Cunning Man who is
easily one of Pratchett's more frightening villains...
"How does Pratchett manage to write so ridiculously well, continue
to be so incredibly smart and funny and remain true to his own voice
and style while managing to bring to life a multitude of characters?
He is incredibly good at bringing to life different voices and
manages the voice of a teenage girl so convincingly that there is
never a moment of doubt in Tiffany's narrative..."
14) REVIEW: GOOD OMENS
By Michael DeGregori, a staff writer at the Regis University
Highlander, Denver, Colorado:
"What makes this book particularly interesting is how it
successfully combines the very different writing styles of the
authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. While both authors make
ample use of humor in their individual works, Gaiman (who wrote
books such as American Gods and Neverwhere) tends to use a darker
and edgier tone while Pratchett (best known for writing the
Discworld series) has a tone which is much more lighthearted and
silly. When they combined forces to write Good Omens, what resulted
was a darkly humorous and insanely zany tone which persists
throughout the entire novel. When reading the novel one can easily
tell that the duo of authors had a lot of fun writing it, which in
turn makes it a more entertaining experience for the reader...."
15) IMAGE OF THE MONTH
Just the thing for turning into a blog icon a performance
photograph from the Castaway Community Theatre's production of
Maskerade earlier this month, obviously influence by Pterry's
descriptions of Dwarf opera:
The Castaway Community Theatre has presented several Discworld plays
so far. And being located in Aberystwyth, the text on their website
is offered in both English and Llamedese! To learn more about the
company, go to:
16) ROUNDWORLD TALES: REAL-LIFE ALCHEMISTS
We laugh at the mishaps of Discworld alchemists and groan from the
safe distance of reality at Pterry's description of "oil of
scallatine", but there are Roundworld people who work on the
frontline of terrifyingly smelly or unstable substances...
Derek Lowe is an organic chemist from Arkansas who works on drug
discovery projects seeking new treatments for schizophrenia,
Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. He also
blogs about scary chemicals, in a humorous vein. Here are a few of
his favourite (not!) ones:
Carbon diselenide: http://tinyurl.com/bck46v
Small smelly isocyanides: http://tinyurl.com/3a2rkb7
Also of interest, Lowe's posts about Alzheimer's research:
17) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
A selection of blogposts about Terry Pratchett and Discworld. Enjoy!
Blogger gcatherinev on the excellence of Pterry and his works:
"He is cool enough to rock a Stetson. (Stetsons are cool :D yes, I
had to throw in a DW reference) He's a comic genius and the best
satirist of our time. He has done pieces on Leonardo da Vinci to
Elvis Presley. When he writes, he makes you think and feel... His
books are completely educational. From Going Postal and Making
Money, I have learned a lot about the postal service and the way
banks work.He made Death a fun character who was simply 'doing his
job'. He approaches every subject with a point of view that you
wouldn't normally look at. He gave the world a new look at trolls,
dwarves and Nobby Nobbs. :)
"His characters are well fleshed out unlike the many two-dimensional
creations of other fantasy authors. He makes sure they have depth
and ensures a story arc for almost every character, a rare find in
this genre where the people start and end the book with the same
viscosity. Fun fact: Terry Pratchett is a generous donor to Sepilok
and supports the conservation of the orang-utan. If you make a
reasonable donation to Sepilok, you just send him the receipt and
he'll put your name in one of his next books..."
Blogger Michael Ruffles on Discworld's relevance to current
"If I were a dictator somewhere in the world right now, I'd be
reading Terry Pratchett. I'd need all the help I could get, and I
might as well get the best advice... My advice to dictators, like
Colonel Gaddafi, whose Wikipedia page calls him the incumbent Leader
and Guide of the Revolution but that may have to change soon, would
be to read up on Discworld and learn how to do tyranny the right
way. The Vetinari way. Where most people are free to get on with
their lives. Where progress is made. Where committees are uses as a
means of control rather than torture chambers. Where leopards may or
may not be able to change their shorts. At least, that would be my
advice, if my advice wasn't actually 'piss off you cruel old
He also reviews Night Watch, at length:
"On Sunday, on a plane, I finished reading Night Watch, perhaps best
described as one of the crime genre sub-plots in the world of Disc.
The plot centres around Sir Sam Vimes, commander of the City Watch,
Duke, and all round good-guy in the sense that we're always on his
side even and especially when he is being bad. But to say it is
crime fiction is to overlook the time-travelling monks, the fact one
character becomes a zombie, and the youthful assassin Havelock
Vetinari hunting down a former tyrant during a revolution. Suffice
to say, I think it one of the better Discworld books, but then, I
usually think that of the latest one I have read..."
Blog review by Fyrefly of the ISWM audiobook:
"I don't know what more I can say in praise of the Tiffany Aching
series that I haven't already said at least twice. They're
brilliant! They're imaginative and entertaining! They're
bust-a-gut funny in places and heart-wrenching in others! They have
the most sensible attitude about life that I've ever encountered
in fiction! These are the books that converted me into a full-
fledged Pratchett-o-phile, and I'm terribly sad that there
aren't going to be more of them... As the series has progressed,
the focus has shifted from heavily magical to more about regular
life not coincidentally, at the same time that Tiffany is
learning how much of what people call magic is made up of regular
life... There were a few details that were added in to the story but
not utilized to their full potential, and I did think that the
ending felt a little too rushed, and somehow too easy it would
have been more compelling if Tiffany were actually a little less
sure of herself and a little more in danger. But regardless, I
enjoyed listening to every second of this book (Stephen Briggs did a
wonderful job with the narration, as always), and am now really
sorely tempted to go back to The Wee Free Men and start over..."
Blogger Loretta Casteen recently discovered the joys of Pterry, and
includes an L-space link to her "discovery" of Theatre of Cruelty:
"I had often heard of the Discworld series, but until about six
months ago had never actually read one. I picked up the novel Thud!
at random from a nice selection of Pratchett novels available at a
local book store. The introduction alone had me laughing out loud in
the aisle. Thud! got me hooked on Pratchett in a 'where have you
been all my life?' sort of way. The novels are irreverent, smart,
often sweet, charming and, most importantly, hilarious. I'm
laughing my way through my tenth Discworld book..."
Blogger Alex in Canada is continuing her tradition of ever larger
out-of-season Hogswatch celebrations:
"Well, it's over, we survived our epic Hogswatch cook-athon
was a success... there are a few people out there who are, as they
read this, going 'oooh, cool. You celebrate Hogswatch!' The rest of
you are wondering what it is, and if it involves watching pigs,
which probably isn't entertaining enough to take up an entire
weekend... Hogswatch [began] for me when a friend/fellow Pratchett
fan and I wanted to meet up and celebrate Xmas well after the
holiday season was over... Life at school is hectic, especially
around the holidays, so the first time we both had free of all the
other life-things was in February. We figured that, instead of
doing Christmas in February (which just sounds depressing), we would
do Hogswatch... it was a bit chaotic. We used two kitchens and a
dozen pots and pans, dinner was a bit late, and sleeping
arrangements involved couches and cushions on the floor. We had a
blast, and there was never any doubt we'd be doing it again this
And to finish, a very, erm, odd post by blogger Andreea Elena
Alexandru, speculating on the bond between Rincewind and the
Luggage, complete with also-very-odd iconograph:
Now, while Rincewind does some magic, The Luggage IS magic. It
follows him everywhere, protects him from people (it ate someone
once) and whenever Rincewind opens the lid he finds whatever he
needs in there..."
18) BU NEWSROUND
18.1 MRS PALM SETS UP IN ROUNDWORLD...
Seen in the city of Truro today. A small shop with a sign in the
window "Personal Products for Adults". The shop was called "Mrs
If I hadn't been utterly gobsmacked by the sight - and travelling on
a bus at the time - I'd have grabbed a shot with my phone camera.
Wot, you mean you didn't drop in to sample the merchandise?
Editor's note: here be a picture, complete with outraged locals
brandishing pitchforks and torches, so to speak:
...and an article:
18.2 A VERY FAMILIAR IMPLEMENT
New Bruce made a community announcement for visitors to the Land of
Scything Workshop 7am to noon. Come along to learn how to use this
www.scythesnz.co.nz (from the Oamaru Telegram)
Vera channelled a certain well-known Discworld persona:
I'LL DROP BY. I'M ALWAYS INTERESTED IN THE COMPETITION.
18.3 GOOD OMENS FANTASY CASTING COUCH
Uh oh, here comes another casting couch thread...
Stephen Fry for Aziraphale? Christopher Eccleston for Crowley?
Libwolf, stirring the pot
Ian McKellen for Aziraphale and Malcolm McDowell for Crowley.
Oliver Reed for Aziraphale and Peter O'Toole for Crowley
I thought Oliver Reed was dead? I considered Peter O'Toole for
Crowley but I'm just not sure. Mind you, I think he would do equally
well as Aziraphale.
Oops my bad, I thought they were both dead...
I was thinking Benedict Cumberbund[sic] for Crowley. And Ian
McKellen for Aziraphale.
Swap them around. Ian McKellen for Crowley & Benedict for Aziraphale
much better match.
Nonono, you're going about this in entirely the wrong way: Bill
Bailey for Aziraphale and Mark Sheppard for Crowley! Also, David
Tennant would make a great Newton Pulsifer. He excels at geeky-
Hah, I was thinking Tennant for Crowley =oP Bill Bailey though,
that's one I wouldn't have thought of . . . I always pictured
Aziraphale as looking a little more like Anthony Head
I'll take Tennant as Crowley only if we can have Matt Smith as
Aziraphale :P I do agree with you re Mr Head, though. He's got the
Aziraphale's English, upper-class, and gay, no? Or at least that's
how he appears to people. So I can't see Bill Bailey as Aziraphale.
Ah, I take it you've never seen him do his Thing with the Pipe on QI
I've seen the Thing with the Pipe, but I still don't see him as
Aziraphale. I think the role calls for someone rather nattier.
I bet he scrubs up surprisingly well! Also, is Barbara Windsor
retired from acting entirely now? Because she would ROCK as Madame
Tracy...oh, wait. Andrew Sachs who already has Pratchett movie
experience, so he's a shoo-in as Shadwell and Babs as Madame
Tracy. Ohh yesss.
"I still can't think of anyone obvious for Anathema though!" Emma
Watson in about 10 years. Who's got the time machine? With Daniel
Radcliffe playing Newt :) (And despite the smiley, I'm actually
serious.) How about Ronni Ancona? I think she comes quite close to
the look of Anathema in my head, but I don't know if she can act.
Another candidate if we can find the time machine... possibly Sandi
Toksvig 10 years ago... well maybe 20.
Martin Freeman as Newt?
As soon as I read Barbara Windsor as Madame Tracy, I realised I have
always thought of her as Barbara Windsor. In my mind she is Madame
Tracy to a T.
Oddly enough, Emma Thompson could probably do a good Madame Tracy,
now that she's older and has put in some time as Nanny McPhee!
...oh my. I just wikied Mark Sheppard (in case any of you don't know
who he is, more's the pity) and discovered he's been in a current
telly series playing a demon called Crowley ~dies laughing~
19) PTERRY GETS SFX LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD!!!
...and gives an amusing acceptance speech:
We're only weeks away from finding out which budding authors were
brave enough to submit entries for the first Terry Pratchett Prize
competition, as announced last year. The closing date for entries
was 31st December 2010, and a shortlist of six entries will be
announced by 31st March this year, with the winner to be announced
by the end of May. Here's a reminder of what it was all about:
We're also just over a week away from the first Soul Cake Duck
festival, Fat Tuesday (aka Pancake Day in Roundworld). These days
it's become a secular excuse for making and eating lots and lots of
pancakes, so get your batter and pancake pans ready for the 8th of
Your monthly Discworld horoscope will follow soon, as usual. We'll
see you next month with news, views and reviews of all things
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion