Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 3, Post 4)
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) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: JOE SCHAUMBURGER, 1930-2011
03) DISCWORLD STAMPS: A REMINDER
04) PTERRY TALKS ABOUT "THE WATCH"
05) PRATCHETT DOWN UNDER (AND NOT JUST FOR AUSDWCON)
06) THE POWER OF PTWEETS
07) NEIL GAIMAN DISCUSSES THE GOOD OMENS MINISERIES
08) SOMERSET SWANS UPDATE
09) ACTION REPLAY
10) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
11) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
12) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
13) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
14) AUSSIE ILLUSTRATOR JOINS THE DISCWORLD TEAM
15) REVIEW: I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT
16) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
17) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"Terry is that rarity, the kind of author who likes Writing, not
Having Written, or Being a Writer, but the actual sitting there and
making things up in front of a screen. At the time we met, he was
still working as a press officer for the South Western Electricity
board. He wrote four hundred words a night, every night: it was the
only way for him to keep a real job and still write books. One
night, a year later, he finished a novel, with a hundred words still
to go, so he put a piece of paper into his typewriter, and wrote a
hundred words of the next novel."
Neil Gaiman on the Good Omens collaboration
"I find Terry Pratchett books so easy to read, partly because
they're so well written but mostly because they're so unbelievably
funny. I can be reading for a while, perfectly quietly, then I'll
come across something so absurd that I can't help laughing. Very
often, this erupts into an uncontrollable fit of giggles that makes
my stomach hurt. Even a description of a character trying not to
laugh sends me off on one, because everyone (except the most
miserable of people) knows what it's like when you're trying to keep
a straight face."
Kung Fu Angel, on Wordpress, 13th March 2011
02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
VALE JOE SCHAUMBURGER, A TRUE ORIGINAL
Ten years ago, on a whim, I subscribed to a Terry Pratchett-related
email discussion group called ozdw, otherwise known as Bugarup
University or BU. It was a lively virtual "campus", full of rapid-
fire wit, wonderfully silly sig-lines and fascinating anything-and-
everything discussions (some of them even relating to Discworld),
and one of the first members to respond to me was Joe Schaumburger,
the "Elder god" of the group. Despite our age difference we quickly
formed a friendship that lasted through the years. I soon found out
that he was a retired science fiction editor who had worked with
many of the Golden Age writers and who was publishing the monthly
Pratchett and Discworld newsletter WOSSNAME; he later found out that
I was a sometime proofreader and writing tutor who had dabbled in
journalism long ago. The rest is history.
JOSEPH SCHAUMBURGER 1930-2011
Joe Schaumburger, the grandson of a Transylvanian emigrant who came
to the United Stated with thirteen children, was born in The Bronx,
New York. After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in
Mechanical Engineering, he served in the US Army, and then entered a
long career in the publishing industry that included working as an
editor and then publisher for Parker Publishing Company (Prentice-
Hall Division) and nine years as Managing Editor at DAW Books. He
was also the author, under the pseudonym of Walter Delany, of a
successful "self-help" book. In a long anecdote that deserves to be
shared, Joe's daughter Barbara recalls:
"Parker published 'practical' books, informational services, how-to,
instructional, practice exams, and trade manual books, and also
their edgier stuff about self-help, UFOs, Psychics, etc... Joe was
stunned when he calculated how much the authors of some of the most
egregious stuff earned in royalties. He sort of obsessed about how
much nutters were earning on utter trash books, many times what he
the publisher was paid. His wife Dorothy got tired of the moaning
and told him, you're way smarter than them, write your own and make
millions. And so he did. He decided to write the most absolutely
unscientific, outrageous, pseudo-science, self help book ever seen:
"Ultra-psychonics: how to work miracles with the limitless power of
psycho-atomic energy" (ISBN-13: 978-0139356353).
"I forget how he decided on the title, except that it had to have
some reference to atomic and psychics, but I remember how he chose
his pen-name. Joe refused to put his own name on the book - a wise
move, I agreed, after seeing the sort of crayon on brown paper
letters their customers sent to Parker Publications. Walter was
because that was a classic name in old pulp Sci-Fi, and then he
froze and couldn't think of a last name. He was down to the wire and
stressed and wandered into the men's toilet at work. There, standing
at the row of gleaming porcelain urinals, he looked up and saw each
emblazoned with the manufacturers name: Delaney Flushboys.
Inspiration! What could be a more perfect or appropriate name? He
would be Walter Delaney.
"You have to see the stuff he wrote to appreciate how truly loony
the book is. I recall him reading us bits from one chapter on How to
Get Rich this was a practical instruction book, after all. Dorothy
& I were doubled over laughing, choking. Briefly, readers were
instructed to cut out and assemble tiny cardboard pyramids and then
glue them into the corners of their bedroom to focus the Pyramid
Power on the bed. This would not only improve the quality of their
sleep but more important allow them to direct that power to create
riches for them if they followed the secret formula exactly.
Basically, they were instructed to gather all their bills, credit
cards, wallet, checkbook, bank books, etc and place them under their
pillow. Then at night, lay down in bed and before going to sleep
chant the following magic//scientific//Ultra-Psychonic Psycho-Atomic
Formula: 'My money lies under my pillow/My money lies close by to
me/No matter what I spend tomorrow/Bring back my money to me' (I'm
sure you can guess the tune). Yeah, just like that. And people
bought it! Thousands and thousands bought it. In hardcover. And
wrote him letters of gushing gratitude. He made a mint on that
As well as his adventures in publishing, Joe Schaumburger was a
"First Fan" (_http://www.firstfandom.org/_)
, a co-founder of the New
Jersey SF Association, and was active in fandom from 1948 to the
time of his death. He was also a member of Futurians, The Arisians,
ESFA, The Hydra Club, The Lunarians, and many others, and later the
South Florida Science Fiction Society, the Society for Creative
Anachronism, the US National Fantasy Fan Federation, and the
Southern Fandom Confederation, and founded the USA branch of the
Pratchett-based Guild of Fans and Disciples (GOFAD), the Discworld
fan club that was founded in 1994 by Phil Penney and Jacqui Edge.
Joe's love of science fiction extended to his personal life: after
his Army service was over, he shared a Slan Shack with legendary
fantasy writer Lin Carter, who remained a lifelong friend, and
Harlan Ellison, who didn't. Joe was a good friend of E.E. "Doc"
Smith, creator of the seminal space-opera Lensman and Skylark of
Space series. Joe once said, "I have the original cover art for
Children of the Lens hanging on the wall next to my bed, plus
several interior illos from the hardcover Lens books. In short, I am
a lifelong EES fan and proud of it. I sometimes sign myself as Star
A Star..." and indeed he did, in our personal emails over the
years and even betimes when signing off at the end of our many phone
conversations (for the record, I was always "Red Lensman"). The
walls of his New Jersey house were covered with Hannes Bok and
Finlay originals given to him mostly as thank-you gifts from the
science fiction world.
When it came to the written word, Joe was very much of the old
school, not only in his former career in the publishing industry but
also in his approach to fanzines and newsletters. Coming as he did
from the early days of fandom when 'zines were a single sheet of
excited (and mostly uppercase) news printed in purple ink on
someone's back-room mimeograph, he never quite did get to grips with
digital technology, but there was no denying his enthusiasm and
dedication. He founded WOSSNAME back when Terry Pratchett was
already successful yet little known outside the world of genre
fiction, and Joe made it his mission to reach as many potential new
readers as he could in addition to keeping the Pratchett fans
informed and entertained, until a series of heart attacks forced him
to retire from his final project. As his successor, I have made some
changes in the format and focus of WOSSNAME but I try to always keep
that sense of delighted wonder that was Joe's trademark.
Joe Schaumburger was a lovely man, a true original and a true fan.
He will be missed and no mistake.
[Heartfelt thanks to Joe's granddaughter Astrid and her parents, who
supplied much of the biographical information.]
03) DISCWORLD STAMPS FIRST DAY COVERS
The Cunning Artificer is "temporarily out of stock", but do check
Asti of BU says, "You can, of course, order them from Royal Mail but
they won't be the same packaging and won't be franked from the
Wincanton/Ankh-Morpork Post Office." I'd say the Wincanton/Ankh-
Morpork franking is at least as important as the stamps themselves!
Maybe even more so. But to order from the Royal Mail shop, go to:
04) PTERRY TALKS ABOUT "THE WATCH"
An SFX Magazine exclusive! Watch Pterry and Rob eat takeaway! See
our favourite author accidentally impersonating a vicar in his
accidental vicar shirt! Experience realtime difficulties with a
conference call! Oh, and enjoy Pterry, Rod Brown, and several other
quite interesting people as they discuss how to go about making a
telly series about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch...
"Sir Terry was so impressed with our meeting room when he guest-
edited the mag last year he personally suggested it as the venue.
They also allowed us to sit in and record the event for prosperity
(as long as we supplied them with copious bacon butties), and you'll
be reading a lot more about it in the next two issues of SFX. But
here, as a taster, we give an exclusive look at those creative minds
in action, bandying about ideas and expanding on the initial idea
of, 'Wouldn't it be a great idea to make a case of the week,
procedural show set in Ankh-Morpork?' Aside from a bunch of SFX
hangers-on (who we've kept out of the picture for your own sanity),
and Sir Terry (obviously), the other people round the table included
producer Rod Brown, production designer Ricky Eyres and, down the
line on speakerphone from LA, scriptwriter Gavin Scott. Enjoy this
little piece of TV history in the making..."
 Or whatever it's going to be called by the time the series goes
into production Ed.
05) PRATCHETT DOWN UNDER (AND NOT JUST FOR AUSDWCON)
Just like the good old days of the Victorian era, when the pastime
attending educational and enlightening lectures was opened to the
general public... "Sir Terry Pratchett: Imagination, not
Intelligence, Made us Human" is coming to the Sydney Opera House, at
a price most of today's general public can afford:
"See much loved fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett in conversation
with Garth Nix in the Concert Hall. In his Sydney Opera House
appearance Pratchett will take part in a lively interview and fans
will have the opportunity to question him about his life and work.
He'll also speak openly about his life with Alzheimer's and his
views on assisted suicide. Regarded as one of the most significant
contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett received a
knighthood in 2009 and has won numerous literary awards, including
the British Science Fiction Award, Carnegie Medal, Writers Guild
Award and the Smarties Prize Silver Award. He is also Britain's most
Venue: Concert Hall
Date: 17th April, 5pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: Adults $30, concessions $20 (concessions are available to
Australian full-time students and Australian Pensioners only). A
"booking fee" of $5.00 (Box Office Counter) or $8.50 (Contact Centre
or internet booking) applies per transaction
For all general booking enquiries call the Contact Centre on +61 2
9250 7777 or email for more information.
There is also a competition:
"MEET SIR TERRY PRATCHETT
"Purchase tickets before Friday 8 April to be in the draw to win the
opportunity to have your Sir Terry Pratchett book personalised by
the man himself. All you need to do is use the code FANTASY when
booking online or over the phone and select the ***Competition***
seat type. 200 lucky fans will be sent an email on Wednesday 13
April confirming where they need to go with their book after the
event. Good luck!
"Please Note: Everyone who purchased a ticket between 1 4 March
has automatically been entered into the competition."
To book online: http://tinyurl.com/66fzdce
06) THE POWER OF PTWEETS
So there was this celebrated author who needed some research
assistance, and sent out a call for help over the internet. And lo,
his fans came up trumps...
From the Livejournal Discworld community:
Much to my joy (hurrah! hurrah!) Pterry is back on Twitter
(username is @terryandrob). He is looking for a speaker of Tibetan
for his next book, and asks for people to spread the word/get in
touch if they know someone. I'm not sure how people should contact
him if they're not on Twitter, but I just asked and if I get a
reply, I'll post it here.
I work with someone who's said he can help- I've tweeted Pterry, but
if you hear of other ways of contacting him then let me know?
Ah, he's replied. I feel all star-struck :)
Hurrah! :D The internet wins the day again. ETA: I went and looked
and now I feel all star-struck in sympathy :D Woo!
Well, if you hadn't posted on LJ I wouldn't have found out! Just
think, Pterry wouldn't have been able to create his next story
Yay! Go us, we rock :D
The internet is a wonderful place :D
Just the fact that he's working on a next book is enough to make
The big question is, is this for another Discworld/History Monks
book, or is it something for the Stephen Baxter parallel worlds
book? I'm kinda hoping for the latter.
I'm happy either way! :D
I'm assuming the latter? Actual-Tibetan sounds not very Discworld,
compared to the History Monks. Whereas Actual-Tibetan sounds perfect
for Long Earth- we already know he wanted to write about Native
Americans in non-occupied US, having Tibetans without China sounds a
similar idea? Or something like that?
To follow Pterry's Twitter page, go to:
07) NEIL GAIMAN DISCUSSES GOOD OMENS MINISERIES
Here be a video of Neil Gaiman discussing the forthcoming Good Omens
miniseries. Many thanks -- even more than usual! -- to PJSM Prints
for posting it up, since the original source was apparently the
notoriously patchy Brightcove TV and both DigitalSpy's article and
YouTube failed to deliver anything but a depressingly blank
The blog Shadowlocked features some quotes from the video:
"In the same interview with DigitalSpy, Neil Gaiman confirmed that
Good Omens is in development to become a four-part television
series... Gaiman said that the advantage of doing a television mini-
series over a feature film is obvious, 'You don't have that
compression. You don't start out from a point of view of, "Okay,
what are we throwing out?" because you can put it all in. You can
put more in.' He also said that the major problem is going to be
figuring out when the movie will be set, as some plot devices (such
as tape cassettes, etc.) are anachronistic to a current film: but
that he was relieved that this would be someone else's problem. 'I
don't think I'm going to be very heavily involved in Good Omens.' He
joked that he and Terry Pratchett could appear as extras,
particularly in scenes that take place in really nice restaurants,
eating really nice food. He said, 'We find the best possible people
and let them get on with it.'"
08) SOMERSET SWANS UPDATE
from Bedford Today:
"The only swan to survive the mass slaughter of dozens of the birds
on the Somerset Levels has been released at a secret location.
Female swan Solo was released at a private lake, which came complete
with a lonely male swan, by staff from the Secret World sanctuary.
She was the only survivor after eight dead swans, shot in the head
with airgun pellets, were found in a field outside Blackford in the
Wedmore area of Somerset at the end of January. Further carcasses
were found in nearby Westham and Godney. The two birds are now said
to be 'inseparable' and starting a new life as a couple.
"Secret World animal care manager Sara Cowen said: 'We are delighted
to have such a happy ending to a distressing story and we hope Solo
will find happiness with her new mate.' She said the sanctuary was
contacted by a couple who offered their lake for a new home for the
lonely swan, after reading of her plight and the death of the other
from BBC News:
"Pauline Kidner from Wildlife rescue group Secret World said x-rays
revealed that eight birds had definitely been shot. She said a
further 43 were found, but it was unclear how they had died...
author Sir Terry Pratchett added £10,000 to a reward to help catch
the killer of the swans. Ms Kidner said that so much money had been
offered by well-wishers that the reward has been capped at £25,000.
Other donations will go towards helping other injured swans rescued
by the group, she said."
from Farming Life:
"Three men have been arrested and bailed over the slaughter of
dozens of swans in Somerset. Eight dead swans, shot in the head with
airgun pellets, were found in a field outside Blackford in the
Wedmore area. Further carcasses were found in nearby Westham and
Godney. Wildlife charity Secret World described finding the dead
birds as "one of the worst incidents" it had ever attended. The
charity believes the birds all died within a three-week period. The
men were arrested by Avon and Somerset Police. On Wednesday a
spokesman said: 'Police yesterday arrested three men, aged 34, 37
and 45, on suspicion of criminal damage in relation to the shooting
of swans in Somerset. The arrests follow an investigation by the
RSPCA and the police into the shootings of an unconfirmed number of
swans over a three-week period. The three men have been released on
police bail pending further inquiries.' The birds' bodies have been
found in just a few square miles around the Somerset Levels since
the end of January..."
09) ACTION REPLAY: HAT TRICK
One text, one video, one audio...
9.1 The full text of Pterry's "Alzheimer's speech" a couple of years
9.2 Neil Gaiman tells the true story his version, at any rate
of how Good Omens was created:
9.3 Four interviews of Team Discworld from 2010 by the lovely Emily
Whitten of NADWCON. These can be downloaded as mp3s:
Stephen Briggs: http://tinyurl.com/5unhfek
Colin Smythe: http://tinyurl.com/6dz2pbh
Bernard Pearson: http://tinyurl.com/6z5kx38
...or streamed from their NADWCON page:
(scroll to the bottom of the page)
10) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
Now you can wear Pterry on your hat! Or jacket, or wherever. The
Author himself is featured in a new range of enamel pin badges,
complete with hat and beard. Other badges available in this series
are: Death, Rincewind with the Luggage, Lord Vetinari (complete with
The Eyebrow!) and the Librarian. The badges are priced at £3.50
each; each badge is hard-enamelled, measures 40mm (1.5 inches, for
those of us who use Morporkian measurements), and attaches by means
of a butterfly clip. Soooo cute!
For more info, and to order:
Each badge character is available as a magnet (£2.00 each) or
coaster (£2.50 each)... and the magnet/coaster range also includes
Susan Sto Helit (dressed for HER OTHER JOB), Granny Weatherwax,
Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garl-, um, de Lancre, Moist von Lipwig, Tolliver
Groat, Sam Vimes, Captain Carrot, Sgt Angua, Fred Colon, and Nobby
Nobbs. Magnets are 57mm square, hardboard coasters 90mm square. All
16 characters or 15 characters and an author are available as
complete sets: £30.00 for the magnet set and £37.50 for the
For more info, and to order:
For those of you with bigger pockets, how about a very special
limited collector's edition of I Shall Wear Midnight? Each hardcover
book is signed, hand stamped and numbered, "beautifully packaged in
a slipcase and including extra content: a treatise on the folklore
in the book by The Folklore of Discworld co-author Jacqueline
Simpson plus one extra illustration from Paul Kidby". Priced at
For more info, and to order:
11) CONVENTION NEWS
11.1 AUSDWCON NEWS
Update: 25th March 2011
When we first drew up our plans for the convention, we planned for a
maximum of 400 people attending, and our events programme and use of
the convention centre are based on this. The last 20 places have now
gone. We will set up a waiting list in case anyone cancels. Please
if you would like to go on the list.
Because we are now full, we will not be offering day passes to the
Thank you for bearing with us the convention is run by a small
team of unpaid volunteers, and the recent surge in registrations has
caught us by surprise. And thank you for all your support. Terry
will be arriving in less than two weeks!
Not got a costume for the Discworld Convention and would like to
blend in? Costumes n Things in Penrith are offering reduced rates on
costume hire for those of you who are less gifted with a needle and
thread but still want to blend in. And for those of you who have
been busy threading their needles, they have a range of accessories
to add those finishing touches to your costume. We have posted more
details at http://ausdwcon.org/pages/costumes_n_things
Originally published on the web at http://ausdwcon.org/news
His Wholiness the Rev Dr Jon writes:
If anyone is cursing that they missed out on a place at the Aussie
Discworld Convention coming up in Penrith on 8-10 April, they've had
20 openings come up through cancellations.
(They are also reporting that "there is the whisper of a hint of a
rumour that Bernard will be producing a special commemorative Four-
Ecks 1 Squid stamp for the convention".)
The original Nullas Anxietas stamp, from AusDWcon 1 in 2007, looked
...until the Cunning Artificer turned it into this:
11.2 CABBAGECON NEWS
The first official Dutch Discworld convention is a true fans'
convention no big name guests announced, just an opportunity for
Discworld fans to gather and celebrate the works of Pterry... and
play Thud, of course...
"From May 28th to May 29th 2011, Cabbagecon will be held at the NH
Hotel Atlanta in Rotterdam. This will be the first time a Discworld
convention takes place on Dutch soil! It will be a place for many
Dutch and non-Dutch fans of Sir Terry Pratchett's work to connect
and have fun. We hope to see you there!
Convention plushies: You may now pre-order your 2011 Discworld
Librarian and/or Death-of-Rats plushie!! Pre-order the plushies by
paying 10 per plushie into bank account number 1452.50.520 of
DutchDWCon in Hilversum, Netherlands. IBAN NL19RABO0145250520, BIC
You may also pay by Paypal to penningmeester@...
Don't forget your convention registration number and please specify
'librarian' or 'rat'. Leftover plushies will be available at the
convention for 12,50 each."
For further information, contact info@...
12) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
12.1 MORT: THE MUSICAL, A READING
The Compass Theatre (UK) will present a reading of "Mort: The
Musical" in May 2011.
"Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.
Now the poor boy is apprenticed to an anthropomorphic
personification who is having a midexistence crisis. And he's
fallen in love with a princess who should be dead. Also, he's
created an alternative reality that might end the universe. Still,
it could be worse. At least he's not facing a life or death
situa... oh dear.
"Join us for a fun, informal reading of this stage adaptation with a
professional cast of actors and a very large skeleton, prior to the
Youth Music Theatre: UK production in 2011."
When: 1st May 2011
Venue: Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham, Middlesex UB10 8PD
Time: 3:00 PM
Tickets can be reserved online at http://tinyurl.com/4uhr7u9
Box Office 01895 673200
12.2 WYRD SISTERS IN LINCOLNSHIRE
The Phoenix Players, in a change to their previously advertised
programme, will present their production of Wyrd Sisters next month.
When: Thursday 28th April to Saturday 30th April 2011
Venue: The Terry O'Toole Theatre, NK Centre, Moor Lane, North
Hykeham, Lincs LN6 9AX
Tickets: £9.00 Concessions: £7.00
Box office: 01522 883311
12.3 WYRD SISTERS IN BANBURY
The Mill Arts Centre will present Stephen Briggs' adaptation of
Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, directed by Linda Shaw, in May 2011.
When: Wednesday 18th- Saturday 21st May
Venue: The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury, Oxfordshire
Running Time: Approx 2 hrs
Tickets: £7.50/£8.50 (no concessions Fri/Sat)
Box Office: 01295 279002 (open Mon to Fri 9am - 8pm, Saturday 10am-
8pm, Sunday 12.30pm-5pm)
12.4 WYRD SISTERS IN ADELAIDE
The Unseen Theatre, premier presenter of Discworld plays in the
continent of Fourecks, will next stage Wyrd Sisters as their next
production in June 2011. Adapted by Stephen Briggs, directed by
Pamela Munt and David Dyte, and featuring "the usual cast of
When: Preview Fri. 10th June; opening night 11th June; season
continues Wed to Sat until 25th June
Venue: The Bakehouse Theatre, Angas Street, Adelaide, SA
Time: 8pm all performances
Tickets: Preview Night $14, Free Tix for healthcare card holders
All other nights Adult $18, Conc $15, Groups (of 10+) $14,Fringe
Duration: 2 hours plus a 15 minute interval
12.5 THE TRUTH IN ICKENHAM
The Purple Theatre Company of Pinner, Middx (UK) will be performing
Stephen Briggs' stage adaptation of The Truth from 29th Jun 2011 to
2nd Jul 2011 at the Compass Theatre, Ickenham. No information on
times and tickets yet, but the bookings number is 01895 673 200 and
you can check their page for updates:
There's even a blog:
12.6 SNUFF IN ABINGDON
First, the book; then the play... Stephen Briggs and Studio Theatre
Club are planning to stage the first official performance of Briggs'
adaptation of Snuff on 15 to 19 November at the Unicorn Theatre,
Abingdon (UK). Tickets will go on sale on 10 September. Tickets will
go *very* quickly, so mark the September date in your calendars!
13) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on Monday 4th
April 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 4th of April. For more information, contact
Perth Drummers meet on the traditional of first Monday of the month.
The next meeting will be on the evening of Monday 4th April at The
Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.
14) NEW SOUTH WALES ILLUSTRATOR JOINS THE DISCWORLD TEAM
[write intro copy]
[article in the Penrith Star]
"Engrossed in the fantastical work of Englishman Sir Terry Pratchett
a few years ago, Rhianna Williams sketched as she read each of his
Discworld novels. Some of these "scribbles", as she calls them, will
now feature on T-shirts, posters, badges, and the program for the
third Australian Discworld Convention in April, to be held at the
Panthers... 'The thought that Sir Terry is going to see some of our
work, and that I'll get to meet him, is terrifying and exciting. I
hope I can do a little justice to his wonderful writing!' Ms
Williams' artistry has also seen her create a postage stamp with
Bernard Pearson, who runs a workshop in England devoted to Discworld
artefacts... 'I've admired Bernard's work for a long time so seeing
our little stamp evolve into something that is to be printed with a
traditional press, and having him as a guide, has been fantastic,'
15) REVIEW: I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT
Here be extracts from a long by errolbaldwin3226 on zimbio.com that
examines all the plotlines and Tiffany's reactions:
"Compared to Pratchett's other books, this one has a bit of a slow
start, but then, Pratchett's worst is still head and shoulders above
most writers' best. Although the man is known for his humor, I'm in
awe of his ability to create characters that matter, and to talk
about the human condition by telling amazing stories...
"From a young reader's standpoint, Tiffany brings up a valuable
question, which is, 'I'm not like the others. Will anyone ever
understand and care about me in a normal way, when I'm not normal?'
We can easily see why Tiffany feels different, but then, don't most
of us feel that way at least some of the time? Certainly the kind of
bright, creative kids who are probably reading these books might
share Tiffany's worries... All of us are, even when we're with the
people we love and who love us. So Pratchett's answer to Tiffany's
question is both yes, and no...
"Mind you, Tiffany Aching is never a damsel in distress. She helps
herself (ever-so-literally), and her efforts pay off. She also
catches on to the fact that there's more to being a good witch than
hard work, admirable though that may be. You have to pay attention
to people, to what each of them wants and needs and feels. When you
do, you might be knocked sideways at times, but you will be far more
capable of helping those you want to help. People like Tiffany and
Granny Weatherwax make a difference, although it isn't easy. But as
Pratchett points out, it doesn't have to be. It simply has to
16) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
* A review of Going Postal (the novel) by blogger bookwormz4:
"It's a tremendous comedy, but still makes really good points about
life. I'm butchering the explanation of it, I always do with these
books. Read it. It's great... Something I love about Terry Pratchett
books is how he puts in bits of other people's lives. Yes, the book
was about Moist and Adora Belle Dearheart (I tried, I really tried
to only write her first name. It didn't work.) and the post office,
but the reader also gets a minute glance into the lives of the
clacks workers at Tower 181 or into the life of the Igor employed by
Gilt. Surely, that much indepthness was not needed to convey those
parts of the story, but the reader is left with a sense of a bigger
* Reviews of The Last Continent and Interesting Times by Fourecksian
blogger and author Michael Ruffles:
"Rincewind, for the uninitiated, is an anti-hero in the sense that
he is the opposite of a hero. He runs, although usually head-first
into trouble when he is trying to run away, and gets in an out of
disaster through luck, good and bad. Lady Luck is on his side, or
picking on him cruelly for malicious and sadistic fun, depending on
your point of view. He's fairly pessimistic about the whole thing.
Oh, and he's a wizard whose magical abilities are only very slightly
above those of your average doorknob, and quite a deal less than the
average doorknob at Unseen University. His hat also has the word
'Wizzard' written on it.
"I quite liked catching up with Rincewind. I quite liked the fact he
was plucked magically from his island at the edge of the disc,
hurled into Unseen University and then propelled against his wishes
to the Counterweight Continent and reunited with his old friend/foe
Twoflower. I quite liked the idea of Ghenghiz Cohen, aka Cohen the
Barbarian, and his gang of old, old, old heroes who are constantly
underestimated, taking over an empire. I quite liked Lord Vetinari's
approach to diplomacy, in that he handed the whole problem off to
Archchancellor Ridcully. But... Okay, call me overly sensitive. Call
my concerns the product of political correctness gone mad. Call me
an inner-city latte-sipping wanker. (Where is my latte?) Call me
late for dinner. Call it what you want, but the truth is I felt
uncomfortable with some of the descriptions of a race of people and
an empire that is clearly a parody of Asians and an amalgam of Asian
countries... Asia, of course, should not be immune from Pratchett's
wit and brilliant satire. No subject could or should be off limits.
He never descends into poor taste, and I absolutely adore his
slogans for the ever-so-polite revolution. 'Necessarily Extended
Duration To The Red Army! Regrettable Decease Without Undue
Suffering To The Forces Of Oppression!' Still, I felt a little
awkward at times..."
"Maybe it was homesickness, but with more than a dozen Discworld
books on the shelf in front of me, I had to choose the one that is
set in a remote, dusty island prison that has a few things in common
with 'Straya. And I loved it. And why? For exactly the same reasons
Interesting Times bugged me. While I was a little uneasy about jokes
about the Agatean Empire, I had the opposite reaction to the same,
broadly stereotypical and often very astute observations about
Fourecks, which of course is in no way related to my home country of
Australia... And, frankly, when there are jokes about The Sydney
Opera House, Mad Max, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rolf Harris,
girting, ('Come out with your hands up, we have you girt!' Thanks
Adam Hills) Waltzing Rincewind, Tinhead Ned (Kelly), Slim Dusty, Men
At Work and the fictional city of Bugarup, the fate of the very much
loved Librarian becomes rather of secondary importance...
"In between the jokes about the tissues, I mean opera house, the
creation of desserts in honour of cultural icons and just how drunk
you need to be for a pie floater to make sense, there is the kind of
fun plot we have come to expect from Pratchett. There are pub
brawls, imprisonments, storms, magic, drag queens and balladeers.
And, somehow, Rincewind is caught in the middle of the mess..."
* A review of Night Watch by students at UCK College, London,
complete with scholarly footnotes:
"The word 'Discworld' now conjures up connotations of playful wit,
in-jokes, cultural references and an underlying intelligence, mixed
with a distinctly British ideology, and love of the underdog. The
cerebral nature of the books makes them almost unfilmable, although
five adaptations have been made. When a person buys a Pratchett
novel, they are buying an alternative to the usual run of fantasy:
This is why the SF/Fantasy club keeps them under a separate heading.
What the franchise represents is a separate genre, falling over
itself to re-examine the assumptions society makes; In part, this
includes laughing at the assumptions of fantasy and its
"'Night Watch' could be described as a turning point in Pratchett's
writing, as it is the first of a number of darker novels he wrote,
employing Juvenalian satire... In 'Night Watch' Pratchett examines
the real nature of law in a modern context. A policeman is pitched
back in time, along with a psychopath. Both find themselves in a
lawless city, on the brink of a revolution. The conflict between
these characters signifies the struggle between law and crime...
Pratchett presents a picture of society in deep trouble. There is
rife corruption, dangerous, stupid laws and officially sanctioned
terrorism. There are plots on all levels of society to overthrow the
government. All of this leads back to bad rulership. Chaos makes law
difficult to establish: When offered a position of power, the hero
thinks 'In this city?...now? [the watch] would just be another
gang.' This is Pratchett's way of defining what society should not
* A sonnet, Pan Narrans, by Jim Tait, inspired by Pratchett's
'Tis clever, using what we have at hand
to get ourselves what we and ours desire.
'Tis wisdom, taking time to understand
our lusts and dreams and what these both require.
Our spirits tell us we are life inspired-
set up above the crawling beasts, we claim.
No heights for us to climb or to aspire.
"Wise human" is already in our name.
Our factions show us to be apes untamed.
Our stories tell us of our human race.
We run together, scattered, to our aim,
and live our stories out in time and space.
We clever apes may say that we are wise,
then use this tale to help achieve our lies.
* Blogger Bookmole experienced a Pewsey Ogg moment when trying to
pick a favourite Pratchett novel:
"I then came face to face with Day 4 Favourite Book in Your
Favourite Series. Honestly. After much consideration of the
contenders, I threw my hands up in despair and left the ring. Pick
your own favourite. I cannot. There are too many, and they are all
good. Mort, where Death takes on an apprentice and trouble comes
along for the ride. Small Gods, where Religion comes under scrutiny,
and trouble comes along for the ride. Hogfather, where Christmas
comes under scrutiny and trouble what, comes along for the
* Blogger Benny Wilkinson reviews a number of Discworld books (plus
Good Omens) he has recently re-read:
"I don't think anybody could accuse Pratchett of maintaining a
status quo. Not only are there so many different characters who
become the focus of a book or more, but those that appear again and
again do grow and change..."
* A review of A Hat Full of Sky by blogger RandomizeMe:
"I loved Tiffany Aching when she was a bossy nine-year-old who knew
she was always right (mostly because I wanted to be her). But the
more vulnerable eleven-year-old Tiffany Aching is so much more
relatable. I remember when I too became self-conscious about my
appearance, or when acceptance by my peer-group gained an all-
encompassing importance in my life. I've been there, thinking that
I'm not good enough or trying not to cry when mocked by other little
girls or in unleashing my inner 'mean girl' too. I'm not exactly
sure how Terry Pratchett was able to put his finger on how an
eleven-year-old girl feels growing up, but he got it. ... it was a
total joy to read A Hat Full of Sky I laughed many, many
times...I got scared for Tiffany at times...and I also empathized
with her growing pains. It is going to be such a pleasure to read
the rest of the books in the series and watch Tiffany grow up some
* Blogger Astrid Christie reviews Unseen Academicals:
Terry Pratchett is back on form. This is the best book he's written
in a long while, no argument. This is back to the hard-as-nails,
philosophical, quick-firing Discworld that we all originally fell in
love with. And there is football. Wait. What? I hate football.
But don't fret it's not all about football... In fact, the main
characters are new: the working class! Hurrah. They have names and
personalities, now. And one of those is the delightful Mister Nutt,
a goblin with a mysterious past...
* A review of The Wee Free Men by Irish blogger Ciara, who's
training to be a librarian:
"I was raised on fairy tales, specifically Irish fairy tales, where
the fairies are out to get you. It's not that they're evil, per
say, but they want what they want and they don't have the same
understanding of consequences. They don't understand that humans
need their friends and family, and that being tossed out of
fairyland 100 years after you were taken, does you absolutely no
favours... This novel is funny and sweet and possibly a bit scary
for younger readers. Like a lot of Pratchett's works there are a
few morals including: question conventional wisdom, don't assume
that people you don't understand are evil..."
* An essay by Fourecksian aniistar on the brilliance of Terry
"When I was young and my older brother was reading Terry Pratchett,
and my younger brother was about to start reading Terry Pratchett,
his books still had those dizzying, vulgar (I'm not sure whether I
mean that in a positive or negative sense, but I'm sure that's
the right word) covers. I thought for years that his books must be a
surreal and adult romp through some incomprehensible world. Not all
of that impression was wrong, but having now read almost every
Discworld book, I know that not much of it was right. I'm reading
his second-to-latest book at the mo, Unseen Academicals, and it's
coming home to me all over again, just how well he writes
characters. Specifically, characters who are pretending to be
something they're not or pretending not to be what they are...
"His characters are complex. They are unreliable narrators, because
they're not always honest with themselves about who (or what) they
really are. Their motivations are not what they appear to be. Or
else they have two opposing motivations, and you never know which
one will out. It's nature v nurture battling it out inside one
consciousness. It creates narrative traction like nobody's
business, because whilst you're following the bigger-picture
narrative and trying to figure that out, you're also working away
in the back of your mind on what this character is hiding from
* Schoolteacher and bibliophile TreasuryIslands lauds the feminist
message for young readers in A Hat Full of Sky:
"Science fiction and fantasy is a genre, arguably*, in which strong
female characters are under-represented. Terry Pratchett has done
much to redress the balance. His women are fully realised
characters, with strengths and weaknesses that don't pander to
gender stereotypes, and Tiffany Aching, one of his many magical
women, is no exception. To him witchcraft is more than just playing
with sparkly wands... A Hat Full of Sky doesn't overplay the
virtues of its young protagonist, she is like us all open to
temptation, but it does gently remind the reader that we are
accountable to one another, and that in all of us there is the
potential for greatness..."
* A blogger calling himself "J. Holsworth Stevenson, writer &
purveyor" reviews Mort and gets it so wrong that I looked at a
large number of his other reviews to compare, and discovered that
this person thinks Philip K. Dick is Teh Ultimate and that Jonathan
Strange and Mr Norell is a towering classic of literature. Ah, that
explains a lot...
"This was an enjoyable Discworld book, but it will never be one of
the best. It has some interesting existential overtones, but the
Death story is more like a robot-learning-to-love story than
anything else. Pratchett does that particular storyline better with
his golems. Besides that, this one stands out mostly for its rather
disappointing lack of things that stand out. It's funny at times.
There are interesting ideas raised occasionally. Pratchett keeps the
reader's attention, but seems never to go anywhere. Oh, to be sure
there is an interesting side plot about the wizards puzzling over a
shopping mall that has appeared outside the city. And a side plot
about some undead creatures. There's a really good side plot about a
werewolf and a werehuman falling in love, and another one about
Death falling in love. But by the time the end arrives, taking its
time and moving a little slowly, this is a compendium of side plots
strung together, and without either anything to bind each to its
other. Good, but for Terry Pratchett 'good' translates as
* In a post titled Alzheimers, Euthanasia and Zombies, blogger
Phoenix offers a fascinating view, likening Alzheimer's to a zombie
apocalypse while at the same time being earnest and serious:
"My favourite author, Sir Terry Pratchett, has Alzheimer's. I'm
going to see him at the Opera House in April, where he'll be talking
about Alzheimer's and Euthanasia, amongst other things. And it's
gotten me thinking. I support euthanasia. I think if someone (sound
of mind) has decided that they don't want to live anymore, then they
should be allowed to die. We have hospitals to bring people into the
world, we should have similar to allow people to leave... To me (and
a lot of highly intelligent people), losing your mind is synonymous
with losing who you are. You're no longer you, just somebody who
looks like you but isn't. And to me, that sounds a lot like being a
"If the zombie apocalypse came around, and you were unfortunate
enough to be bitten, would you rather turn into a mindless beast
that inhabits your body, but isn't you, or be shot whilst still
human and be remembered that way? (Assuming, of course, that there's
no hope of a cure in your time). Back to Alzheimers, if you were
losing your mind, your sense of who you are, would you rather lead a
slow decline until you become nothing more than an addled shell, or
go out on a high. How would you rather be remembered? Either way
will be painful; those close to you will see you go either way, it's
a choice between short and sweet (and heartbreaking), or a long
tough road, wrought with pain and no hope of success..."
17) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
The draft cover art for Snuff!
Also, a good take on the Lancre Witches especially Nanny Ogg
as performed by the Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Opera Society
(SADOS) at Spalding Grammar School, Lincs (UK):
More photos from the production are at:
And that's all from the WOSSNAME newsdesk for this month. I'm off to
raise a glass in memory of Joe, and to bother Fernando about
finishing your monthly Discworld horoscope. See you next month for
the Soul Cake Duck holiday issue!
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion