Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
SPECIAL EARLY EDITION: "CHOOSING TO DIE"
June 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 6, post 1)
01) EDITOR'S LETTER
02) TERRY PRATCHETT: CHOOSING TO DIE
03) NADWCON UPDATES
04) THE PTWITTER MYSTERY
01) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
First, a couple of relevant quotes for this early edition:
"I treasure the unknown. It's the here and now that worries me. Oh,
my word. No, it's what people dread is the dying, not the death. And
that's why I think assisted dying comes in. It goes it takes you
from the life to the death without the inconvenient bit in the
Sir Terry Pratchett during his Australian tour, April 2011...
"If I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly
every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I
could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice."
...and from his 2010 Dimbleby lecture
The new documentary "Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die", with its
attendant storm of controversy, is about to hit the airwaves.
Although I have watched the painful but superb "Terry Pratchett:
Living with Alzheimer's", I willingly admit that I won't be watching
this companion programme. But this is not because I disapprove
it is simply that I am, when it comes to observing the moment of
death in real life, a coward's coward. I've held the hand of the
still-warm corpse of a beloved relative, no problem there, but I
still find that being in the presence of that actual moment of
transition between life and no-existence terrifies me too much to
bear. Nonetheless, I admire and congratulate all those involved with
the making of this documentary. May it stir up yet more controversy,
as the subject is such an important one.
Below are more details about the programme, along with a few lighter
items that just couldn't wait...
Annie Mac, Editor
02) TERRY PRATCHETT: CHOOSING TO DIE
After a special pre-broadcast premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest today,
"Terry Pratchett : Choosing to Die" will be broadcast on Monday 13th
June at 9pm on BBC2. This will be followed by an in-depth interview
by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight at 10pm, also on BBC2.
The BBC has also given permission for a select set of viewers in
North America in this case, the NADWcon attendees to watch
the programme during the course of the convention, if they so
2.1 "CHOOSING TO DIE" PREMIERE TODAY AT SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST
"It's a plotline he can't rewrite: Sir Terry Pratchett has
Alzheimer's. Faced with a failing brain, he is terrified that he
will no longer be able to write novels he has 37 under his belt.
He can try, however, to control the ending..."
Tickets for the extended "Choosing to Die" Q&A session (with Sir
Pterry), which will be held on Saturday 11th June at 10am in the
Library Theatre are available to the general public. For more
information, go to:
2.2 THE BBC PRESS RELEASE
In "Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die", world-renowned author Sir
Terry Pratchett explores the realities of medically assisted death.
Diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease in
2008, Terry considers how he might choose to end his life as his
condition progresses. Terry meets men suffering from degenerative
conditions and is with a British motor neurone sufferer as he
carries out an assisted death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
Sir Terry says: "I am a firm believer in assisted death. I believe
everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable disease should
be allowed to pick the hour of their death. And I wanted to know
more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to go there myself."
Sir Terry has said that he would like to choose to end his own life
rather than succumb to his degenerative condition. However, he
acknowledges that there are a number of people who are against
assisted dying for religious, moral or practical reasons and at
present, assisted death is both an ethically contentious and illegal
act in the UK.
In a moving BBC Two documentary, Sir Terry meets those who, like
him, would like to control the way they die.
From across Europe he compares other countries' legal positions with
that of the UK and asks what the future is for assisted death in the
Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, says:
"Assisted death is an important topic of debate in the UK, and this
is a chance for the BBC Two audience to follow Sir Terry as he
wrestles with the difficult issues that many across Britain are also
faced with. I hope this sparks a constructive debate that people
across the spectrum of opinion can engage in."
Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die is an exploration of one of
society's most sensitive issues and reunites the best-selling author
with the award-winning team that made Terry Pratchett: Living With
Craig Hunter, Executive Producer for KEO North: "This intensely
personal film, by one Britain's best loved authors, tackles a deeply
taboo subject with sensitivity and with Pratchett's idiosyncratic
humour. It's a valuable contribution to the increasingly urgent
debate as to who determines when and how we die."
Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die (1x60-minutes) was commissioned by
Charlotte Moore and executive produced by Craig Hunter for Keo North
and Sam Anthony for the BBC.
2.3 A VIEWER'S OPINION
Guardian columnist Zoe Williams, who attended a Press pre-screening
of the documentary, was deeply moved and very impressed, and her
piece on it is well worth reading:
"I had all the standard reservations about why you'd allow a hoard
of near-strangers at your death bed, but that was a failure of my
imagination... It is not the first time a death has been shown on
television Emma Swain, acting controller of knowledge at the
BBC, says BBC1 has done it before, as has Sky and an Irish channel
but nevertheless, I've now seen a man whom I didn't know die. I
don't see how this can be anything other than a Rubicon moment. I
don't necessarily mean that in a bad way.
"Pratchett is terribly affected by the experience, saying into the
camera that he doesn't know if he would be able to do it himself.
His dilemma as someone with Alzheimer's disease is a terrible one,
of course, since with Alzheimer's more than any other condition, the
decision to die has to be taken prematurely. By the time he's in
enough anguish to want death, nobody will listen to him. In
Pratchett's film, though, the process of chosen suicide looks human
and beautiful to me, anyway. Not everybody at the screening
03) NADWCON UPDATES
The second North American Discworld Convention is only a few weeks
away now! Here be some highlights from the Con's latest newsletter:
Good news! You no longer need to pack those heavy hardcovers! Due to
both consideration for Sir Terry's health and well-being and the
sheer number of Discworld fans who will be attending our amazing
convention, it has been arranged that in place of traditional
signing sessions, we will be hosting meet-and-greet sessions in
which each attendee will have the opportunity to receive a special
signed bookplate from The Man Himself. The bookplate that you will
receive personally from Sir Terry will be a limited edition made
just for our convention, and will indicate that the plate was signed
at the NADWCon2011!
Bookplate session tickets will be assigned randomly, and may be
swapped between attendees at a Friday swap meet session that will be
indicated on the program schedule. Please be aware that just like
with a traditional signing, you will need to bring your ticket to
the session to be admitted and receive your bookplate. More details
Please note: No flash photography will be permitted during these
sessions, nor will photography while at the front of the line be
permitted. Non-flash photography from the sidelines that does not
slow Sir Terry or the line will be allowed. We also request that out
of consideration for Sir Terry and out of fairness to all of the
attendees, you do not approach Sir Terry at any time with requests
for signatures. Approaching him with offers of a beer or interesting
topics of conversation, or just to say hello or have a chat is fine,
But wait! There's more! There will be a special Monday signing
session where Sir Terry will personally sign a limited number of
books or other items. This session will be open solely to those who
have won items in the Charity Auction that they would like signed,
and for the lucky folks who win a Signature From Sir Terry in the
Charity Auction. We will have 20 lots of one signature each
available for bidding.
Need a roommate, rideshare or just seeking a bargain?
Found out too late about the convention and can't afford the full
membership price? Need a roommate or a floor to sleep on? What about
a ride to and from Madison? Check out our webpages:
Membership Transfer: http://www.nadwcon.org/SaleMemberships.html
Hotel Roomshare: http://www.nadwcon.org/Roomates.html
Ride Share: http://www.nadwcon.org/RoadTrips.html
Banquet deadline set for July 1
Not sure if you're going to the July 10 Gala Banquet? Well, the July
1 deadline is looming! Even though spots at the guest tables are sold
out, a few tickets remain for the banquet. Get 'em now!
The great city of Quirm is undoubtedly the jewel of the Sto Plains.
We are the number-one vacation and retirement spot for the Ankh
Morpork elite. Our beautiful city is home to one of the finest
educational institutions on the Disc, and our breathtaking floral
clock is one of the wonders of the modern age, but the true glory of
Quirm comes, of course, from our world famous cheeses. The Duke and
Duchess of Quirm do hereby open their city to the travelers
attending the North American Discworld Convention, and invite you to
join them for an evening of dining and entertainment.
Tickets for the banquet are $67 and for more information on our
offerings, visit http://www.nadwcon.org/GalaBanquet.html
Announcing the North American Premiere of the New BBC Documentary
"Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die":
The North American Discworld Convention 2011 is pleased to announce
that it will be hosting the North American premiere of Sir Terry
Pratchett's newly finished BBC documentary, "Terry Pratchett:
Choosing To Die." The program will be aired, with permission from
the BBC, during The North American Discworld Convention 2011 (taking
place at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin from July 8-11,
2011), and will feature an in-person introduction by Sir Terry
Pratchett and his assistant Rob Wilkins, as well as a post-airing
question and answer session by the same.
This documentary will premiere first in the UK at Sheffield Doc/fest
on June 11, 2011, and follows on the success of the Scottish BAFTA
Award-winning "Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer's".
A Note from The North American Discworld Convention 2011:
Please be aware that this film covers a controversial topic, and
that it features the assisted death of a man on screen. The North
American Discworld Convention neither endorses nor disagrees with
any occurrences or opinions contained within this documentary. The
purpose of this convention is to provide a weekend of programs and
events which focus on the life and works of Sir Terry Pratchett, and
as such, we are honored to have been given permission to include
this documentary in our program schedule.
A change of plans regarding one of our honored guests
Rod Brown, our friend and honored guest from Prime Focus
Productions, has sadly had to cancel his convention appearance due
to business obligations. He sends his apologies and hopes we all
have a fantastic time! Rod, we'll miss seeing you but wish you luck
with your business endeavors!
Got a question for our special guests?
We have many wonderful guests who will be spending the convention
weekend with us! Got a question regarding writing or Discworld for
Sir Terry? Maybe something about what it's like to be on set of
Going Postal? Worry no more about whether you'll get to ask those
questions or not instead, just e-mail questions@...
We'll be collecting those questions to ask our guests during the
Going Postal movie props up on the auction block
We are pleased to announced that not one, not two, but a plethora of
movie props from Going Postal will be featured at our charity
auction during NADWCon2011, July 8-11! Among the items are Sergeant
Angua's City Watch costume, Moist Von Lipwig's prison "outfit" (no,
we don't know where the pants got to, but his shirt and vest are the
finest in Ankh-Morpork prison-wear!) and four newspapers featured in
the film! Not to mention all those lusciously pristine sheets of
uncut stamps! (Stop drooling, flatalists, and start stashing away
some cash for these beauties!)
In addition to this, we also have items donated from the UK
Discworld Convention, as well as foreign language Discworld books,
Discworld related games, items from guests and Discworld notables,
For more information about the props and an in-progress list of items
up for auction, visit: http://www.nadwcon.org/CharityAuction.html
Please Note: We are still very happy to accept donations for the
auction (please give us things for charity! Think of the monke---ow
ow ow ow ow THE ORANGUTANS!!) and if you have any items you wish to
donate to our auction, or if you have questions about our charity
auction, please contact us at auction@...
. All proceeds from
this auction will go to The Orangutan Foundation and The Alzheimer's
Shop early to ensure that you get your Discworld souvenirs!
Don't forget to check out our merchandise webpage at
There you'll find many ways to help stimulate our economy and aid
our convention be it a special brass pin, your very own cuddly
Death of Rats or even a t-shirt!
All convention merchandise is to be picked up by the customer upon
their arrival at the NADWCon 2011, and will not be mailed to the
customer prior to that time. Pre-ordering merchandise means you do
not have to worry about it being sold out at the convention. This
also helps the convention by providing it with earlier funds from
sales and helps us determine the popularity of a particular item. As
a thank you for helping the NADWCon 2011 in this way, we are making
a few items slightly cheaper when you pre-order.
Want to Volunteer? It's become even easier!
Thanks to our talented volunteers, you can now fill out a form to
volunteer for the convention! The form can be found here:
Why should you volunteer? Well, it's one of the easiest ways to get
to know your fellow Pratchett fans and also get into the thick of
things. It's also a great way to help our convention be the best
that it can be!
In addition to helping out with the day-to-day convention duties,
panelists are needed for the following panels:
The Family That Reads Together: Join us for a discussion of the
young adult and children's books by Pterry. We'll talk about what
they mean to us, what they teach our kids, what our young people
think about these books, and how we can get more of them into the
hands of teachers and librarians.
When Worlds Collide: Where Steampunk Meets the Discworld: It can be
argued that certain subtle elements of Steampunk can be found on the
Discworld, a place that has yet to discover steam power. How does
magic come into it? What about Hex? Is this convergence centered on
clothes (little boots!) or is there more to it? The intriguing mix
of history, sf, tech, folklore, modern culture, and fantasy is one
of the reasons why Terry Pratchett's books are so popular with a
wide-ranging audience, many of whom are also Steampunk fans. So
bring your corsets and your goggles and we'll see what's what.
What To Read When You're Not Reading Pratchett:
What? You mean there are other books out there? Fans who share your
taste will guide you gently towards other worlds and authors.
If you'd like to volunteer for the panels, contact programming at
Changes and Additions to the NADWCon Committee
As you may know, NADWCon recently lost some committee members in key
positions due to unforeseen circumstances. Certain volunteers have
stepped down recently due to Illnesses, financial difficulties or
the needs of family. Fortunately, Discworld fans are a wonderfully
helpful breed, and we have been able to quickly fill the gaps left
behind with more folks from Wisconsin, dedicated fans from all
around the country, and members from the ever-helpful Seamstresses'
Guild (Always happy to lend a hand). The North American Discworld
Convention is organized by Discworld fans, for Discworld fans, and
we are deeply grateful for everyone's help. We know that this is a
tribute to the affection and respect they feel for Terry as well as
their desire to provide a wonderful experience for those who share
their love of the Discworld books. Our first and only concern is
that the convention be worthy of the fans who are attending and that
guy in the black hat.
Among the committee members lost was our Chair, Joshua Goes, who had
to step down due to illness. After much deliberation and discussion,
and by mutual agreement, a few key positions have now been shifted
to make best use of the experience and expertise of our volunteer
* Emily Whitten (former Vice Chair, NADWCon 2009; Chair, The Guild
of Chelonavigators; and co-founder of the 2009 convention) will step
into the role of Chair of the committee (and continue in her role as
Guest Liaison Coordinator)
* Our former Vice Chair, Jon Lemerond, who has been working with
great dedication on this convention for two years will now be
serving as Assistant to the Chair, Co-Coordinator of Ambience, and
* Marg Grady, coordinator of the excellent NADWCon2009 banquet and
convention decor, and a seasoned con-runner, is now serving as our
Vice Chair and Treasurer, along with her current duties as Volunteer
* Denise Connell, Founder and Chair of the Seamstresses' Guild will
be serving as Assistant to the Vice Chair, along with her current
roles as Programming Director and Seamstresses' Guild Parties
We would also like to welcome these experienced and talented folks
to our team:
David Barker (ConOps & Information Coordinator)
Barry Newton (At-Con Treasurer)
Erin Prindiville (Art Show Coordinator)
Fae Townsend (Costumers Dungeon Coordinator)
z! (Tech & Staging Coordinator; Charity Auction Co-Coordinator)
Our recent staffing changes are a positive and beneficial evolution
in the con planning process. The convention is on track, and NADWCon
will be a unique and very special experience for all our attendees
Our committee will be working hard in this final month and we look
forward to seeing you all in Madison, and to having a great time
04) THE MEETING THAT...WASN'T...?
It seems that quite a large number of Pratchett fans are also Doctor
Who fans (not really surprising). Here be an amusing sequence of
Pterry's (p)tweets on (P)twitter over the course of some hours the
other day, as reproduced from said Twitter page:
"A meeting of minds with gentlemen we cannot mention about a project
we cannot discuss. However, a good day all round."
"No! No! We absolutely 100% did not meet @steven_moffat today. But
now we've denied it..."
"We reiterate; we DID NOT meet or talk to or phone or Skype or send
letters or emails or carrier pigeons to @steven_moffat"
"Further more, our people are not talking to @steven_moffat people,
"We love this! Therefore it is our duty to inform you all that we
didn't meet the Queen of England either... err..."
"Again, for clarity; we are almost entirely sure that @steven_moffat
does not have clacks. Or receives smoke signals. Or Morse code."
"Oh, and doesn't have a tin can on the end of a looooooong piece of
string. Or shouts."
"NO! Not semaphore either..."
"We HAVE NOT met @steven_moffat EVER. Oh, except when Rob met him
on the set of 'Silence in the Library'."
Don't forget, if you're in Fourecks this month, to visit sunny
Adelaide and view Unseen Theatre's new production of Wyrd Sisters.
It premiered yesterday and the season continues until 25th June:
In other news, WOSSNAME congratulates the non-related Logans
David (Half Sick of Shadows) and Michael (Apocalypse Cow), who are
not only not related but don't even come from the same country!
for their shared win of the first "Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But
Now" Pratchett Prize. To read more about this, and to view a photo
of Pterry with the winners, go to:
And that's it for the moment. We'll be back later this month with
all the rest of the news and features. Happy Solstice to all!
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion