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205WOSSNAME -- OCTOBER 2004 -- PART 1 OF 4

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    Oct 31, 2004
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      October 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 10)
      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.
      Editor in Chief: Joseph Schaumburger
      Managing Editor: Annie Mac
      News Editor: Bethany Ayers
      Staff Writers: Asti Osborn
      Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
      Puzzle Editor: Jared Hays
      DW Horoscope: Anaemia Asterisk
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet,
      Nathan Clissold, Dylan Williams
      Art Director: Rhett Pennell
      World Membership Director: Becky Swaney
      Convention News Editor: Anna M. Conina
      Webmaster: Paul Wilkins, disk@...
      Copyright 2004 by Klatchian Foreign Legion


      ====Part 1


      ====Part 2


      ====Part 3


      ====Part 4



      ====Part 1

      And now, the long-awaited continuation of . . .

      or, "Hi, my name is Anna, and I'll be your stalker this weekend."

      BEING the Second of a Three-Part Convention Report on the 62nd
      Worldcon's Guest of Honor.

      Part the Second: Friday/Saturday -- A Near-Sandwich Experience

      I would like to begin this portion of my report with an apology for a
      monstrous error -- a _Monstrous Regiment_ of an error, in fact. Last
      month I thanked Sami for her award presentation feedback and editing
      suggestions. Unfortunately, I should have thanked Sami for HIS feedback
      and editing suggestions. Major whoops. Believe me, no aspersions on
      Sami's cyber-masculinity were intended. I'm certain Sami is a manly man
      reeking of virility, sloshing with veritable bucketloads of
      testosterone, and hairy in all the right places.

      Now that we've cleared that up, let us return from me embarrassing
      myself in WOSSNAME, to me embarrassing myself at Noreascon.

      Friday morning saw Susan Death usurped by Jane Austen (now, *there*
      would be a mud-wrestling match for the ages). My lavender gown, gloves,
      and fan were designed for the afternoon Regency dance, not the
      relentless Hawaiian-theming of the Locus Awards, but I still settled in
      among the deafening tropical-patterned shirts and grass-skirted hula
      dolls like I'd stumbled into a production of _Pride and Polynesia_.
      Although the Noreascon program omitted Terry from the guest list, I
      figured any stalker worth her salt would be there just in case he
      appeared to accept his award for _The Wee Free Men_ in person. Plus,
      after the previous day's Elf Glamour panel had devolved into the Neil
      Gaiman Urban Legend Forum, I was curious to see the fabled Cool One in

      As it turned out, Terry did turn up, less to accept his award than to
      wax indignant, tongue super-glued in cheek. How have censors allowed
      such honors to be heaped upon a book featuring a belligerent mob of
      drinking, thieving, swearing fairies -- not to mention well-respected
      witches? Wouldn't anybody "have the decency to *burn* it?" A
      leather-clad Neil Gaiman also eventually slouched in, sunglasses
      shielding him from any rogue sunbeams that might stray into the
      completely windowless room, to accept his awards and apologize for
      clashing with the tropical atmosphere (leading to a story about an
      actual trip to Hawaii in which a bikini-clad girl took one look at his
      jacket and disapprovingly sneered, "Like, don't you realize you're in
      Hawaii?" prompting him to exclaim, "[Expletive deleted], they told me at
      the airport it was Denmark!"). Afterwards, I noticed Terry and Neil
      chatting companionably, no doubt replenishing their mutual collection of
      embarrassing stories to tell about one another. Theirs is a strange and
      beautiful friendship.

      Although I wasn't surprised that Terry didn't recognize me when I
      congratulated him on his award, I was astonished that his editor
      Jennifer Brehl *did*, taking the time to compliment me on my dress. I
      think I could have turned up in a full-face fright mask and she *still*
      would have known it was me. It's a gift. Either that, or she's the one
      assigned to keep an eye on the Slightly Scary Fans.

      Next up were Terry's "Looking Backward: the 20th Century" and "The
      Character of Death" panels, where the tone was set when Terry and Esther
      Friesner opened the first panel with the ritual dismemberment of a
      leftover _Locus_ hula doll. When Terry mentioned the excavation of an
      ancient Jerusalem latrine whose noxious contents were still miraculously
      intact (apropos of what, I haven't a clue), panelist John Scalzi
      interjected, with perfect timing, "Holy Sh*t!" Scalzi also had very
      definite ideas about how Hello Kitty kitsch might damage our future
      archaeological reputations ("The hideous cat-face is everywhere! It
      must mean something, dammit!"). After citing the influence of the
      Bergman film _The Seventh Seal_ on the Discworld's Death, discussion
      focused on the death of words themselves. Describing special rooms in
      the ancient world where marred religious texts would be "buried," since
      they were too sacred to be discarded, Terry then asked us to indicate
      who among us would be comfortable with burning books as a means of
      disposal. The conspicuous lack of upraised hands showed how the
      sacredness of the written word had not yet relinquished its hold on
      modern minds. So much for sneering at primitive superstitions.

      Between panels, I snapped some photos of burlap-clad members of the
      Beggars' Guild being tutored in the finer points of revoltingly hacking
      coughs by Terry himself. I also managed to visit the ballroom to
      execute a few Regency dances -- "execute" being the key word. I
      slaughtered those suckers.

      I finally fled the dance at 5pm, with only a half hour left to scarf
      down dinner, change clothes, and find a cab. I wanted to arrive at the
      Aquarium by 6pm to attend what promised to be one of the most exciting
      events of the convention: the HarperCollins private party in honor of
      Terry. Thanks to Joe, I'd actually snagged an invitation. Clearly
      amused at my enthusiasm, Jennifer Brehl had confirmed that Terry would
      indeed be attending, despite being scheduled to appear back at the Retro
      Hugo Awards immediately afterwards. Being more than a bit socially
      challenged, I normally avoid parties like the plague, but I had no
      intention of missing this one. With luck, I might overhear The Great
      One's witty conversations with other literary luminaries, and maybe even
      chat with Jennifer, whose determined friendliness was undermining all my
      efforts to regard her as a Scary Big Shot.

      After unpinning my hair and changing into a bright purple dress -- in
      retrospect, probably not the ideal choice for inconspicuous
      eavesdropping -- I headed to wait for one of the Sheraton's many
      elevators. Nervous as a cat in a microwave, I paced the floor,
      consulted my watch, inspected my makeup in the hall mirror, and
      freshened my lipstick about a half-dozen times, smiling sheepishly at a
      distinguished-looking silver-haired gentleman who raised one
      aristocratic eyebrow at my obvious agitation. It was only the following
      day, while watching the Hugo Awards, that I recognized the witness to my
      twitchiness as none other than Robert Silverberg.

      Still blissfully ignorant of having made a spectacle of myself in front
      of one of the legendary names in science fiction, I left the bemused Mr.
      Silverberg behind. The elevator's descent seemed painfully slow,
      stopping at almost every floor. I was tapping my foot impatiently as
      the doors opened to admit a dapper man in a stylish black velvet jacket
      fastened with black frogging, topped with an unmistakable black Author Hat.

      Against quite spectacular odds, Terry Pratchett had just entered my

      Needless to say, I had not anticipated this scenario. Staring fixedly
      at the floor and struggling not to laugh at the absurd coincidence, I
      debated what to do. He clearly hadn't noticed or recognized me, and I
      was afraid of seeming pushy, or even a bit creepy ("It's me again, the
      Fan of a Thousand Faces! I know your every movement!
      Muahahahahaaaa!"). Best to stick with the Unobtrusive Eavesdropping Plan.

      Still, I couldn't resist a sideward glance, and in doing so I found him
      looking thoughtfully at me. "This may be a very stupid question," he
      finally ventured, "but . . . are you 'Susan'?"

      Oh, bugger . . . .

      I pleaded guilty to both the Susan Death and the Regency personas, as
      well as to being the uncostumed KFL rep who'd posed for a photo with him
      on Thursday afternoon. "I'm going to the HarperCollins party now, too,"
      I babbled. "I didn't say anything because . . . . well, I'm trying to
      maintain the fine line between 'Hi, my name is Anna and I'm a really big
      fan,' and 'Hi, my name is Anna and I'll be your stalker this weekend.'"

      My joke did not evoke a laugh -- or even a faint smile. Could he have
      taken me seriously? Would equally humorless security guards be directed
      to detain me from the party? Panic was just commencing its intestinal
      tap-dance when, his expression completely inscrutable, he asked if I'd
      like to share a cab to the Aquarium.

      Weak with relief and fangirl euphoria, I nodded as we exited the
      elevator and mumbled something devastatingly witty along the lines of,
      "Urk . . . if it . . . um . . won't be a bother . . . ." At which
      point he turned to me, face still funereally grave, and replied, "Of
      course not, but I should warn you that I'm a very married man, so you'll
      have to promise not to molest me." Only then, while I was blushing a
      more apoplectic shade of purple than my dress, did he finally unleash
      the same wicked grin with which he'd summoned 'Susan' to the witness stand.

      Remember in part one, when I said Terry was a very, very nice guy?
      Important footnote: he also has just as evil a sense of humor as his
      books imply.

      The short cab ride to the Aquarium was surreal and fun and
      nerve-wracking, as my Inner Perdita amused herself by shrieking,
      "Ohmigod. You're having a conversation with Terry Pratchett. Please
      say something clever. At least say something halfway intelligent! No,
      no, don't say THAT!" We talked a bit about his family, he answered a
      question concerning _Night Watch_, and he seemed to agree with my
      suggestion that Captain Jack Sparrow would be right at home on the
      Discworld, informing me that the scriptwriters for _Pirates of the
      Caribbean_ were said to be fans of his books. Best of all, when I
      mentioned I'd dressed as Captain Jack last Halloween, he asked, "Ah, but
      can you do the voice?" -- and then proceeded to treat me to one of the
      best impressions of that pirate's rum-soaked, slurring tones I've ever
      heard. The pirate-hunting boy in the concourse Thursday night would've
      given his right eyepatch to be there.

      I quickly wandered away when we arrived, presuming that hovering by his
      side in obsessive fan fashion until they resorted to surgically removing
      me would probably not be a smooth move. I amused myself by examining
      the stacks of books by various HarperCollins sci-fi/fantasy authors, the
      Aquarium's special jellyfish exhibits, and plentiful trays of seafood
      hors d'oeuvres (insert your own joke about jellyfish sushi here;
      everyone else did), while a jazz trio provided a mellow backbeat.
      (continued on
      Part 2)

      If you did not get all 4 parts, write: jschaum111@...
      End of Part 1, says my computer -- continued on Part 2 of 4

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]