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543WOSSNAME -- February 2010 -- Part 1 of 5

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  • granny_tude
    Feb 25, 2010
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      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      FEBRUARY 2010 (Volume 13, 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
      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
      time)
      Copyright 2010 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

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      INDEX:

      ====Part 1 -- ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS

      01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
      02) LETTER FROM THE (ACTING) EDITOR
      03) A LETTER FROM THE MASTER
      04) NATION AT THE NT NEWS AND REVIEWS

      ====Part 2 -- MORE NEWS, REVIEWS AND SUCH

      05) NATION AT THE NT NEWS AND REVIEWS, CONTINUED
      06) PTERRY'S DIMBLEBY LECTURE: "SHAKING HANDS WITH DEATH"
      07) GUILD OF SEAMSTRESSES CREST BADGE NOW AVAILABLE

      ====Part 3 -- EVEN MORE NEWS AND REVIEWS

      08) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
      09) REVIEW: UNSEEN ACADEMICALS AUDIO BOOK
      10) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
      11) UNSEEN ACADEMICALS STILL GOING STRONG
      12) CONVENTION NEWS
      13) ACTION REPLAY: PTERRY'S BLOOPER REEL
      14) NEW FOLKLORE MUSEUM AND RESOURCE
      15) ODDITIES OF NOTE
      16) IMAGE OF THE MONTH
      17) HOW TO READ IN THE BATH
      18) "NATION" MELMEET REPORT AND REVIEW

      ====Part 4 -- REPORT CONTINUED, REVIEW, AND HOROSCOPE

      19) "NATION" MELMEET REPORT AND REVIEW, CONTINUED
      20) NATION (NOVEL) REVIEW
      21) NT'S NATION: LOVED IN BOSTON
      22) EBOOK WARS: KOBO JOINS IN
      23) YOUR MONTHLY DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE, MARCH > MAY

      ====Part 5 -- HOROSCOPE CONTINUED, AND CLOSE

      24) YOUR MONTHLY DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE, MAY > MARCH
      25) CLOSE

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

      "I'm writing a lot. I'm just signing up for two more books. I'm
      always writing. If they can put a pencil and a paper in my coffin,
      I'll write there too."

      --Sir Terry Pratchett, 2010

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      02) LETTER FROM THE (ACTING) EDITOR

      Sir Terry Pratchett has recently signed a petition asking the
      British government to pass further laws against file-sharers. This
      law, if passed, will enable copyright owners to have entire
      households cut off from the Internet, potentially for years at a
      time, because of the actions of a single individual in that house.
      The seriousness of this collective punishment to the entire
      household and not just the offender should not be underestimated.
      The Internet is rapidly becoming to the 21st century what the postal
      service, telephone and television combined were to the 20th, only
      more so. The European Union has even recognised Internet access as a
      basic necessity for prisoners in jail, on a par with the ability to
      receive visits from family or to receive education and
      rehabilitation.

      Although I haven't had to "change banks having filled the first one
      up" like Sir Terry, I have smithed a few words in my time, both for
      the love of it and for profit. Speaking as both a reader and a
      writer, I believe that Sir Terry has made a grievous error by
      signing this petition. Independent studies show that the claims of
      losses from file-sharing are vastly inflated, but even if they were
      correct, the cure suggested is much worse than the disease.

      Copyright holders are already abusing the existing laws daily, and
      the proposed legislation not only fails to remove the avenues for
      abuse but it adds new ones. Sir Terry's admirably restrained and
      generally sensible attitude towards non-commercial or semi-
      commercial copyright infringement (such as fan fiction and
      unauthorised amateur performances of Discworld plays) is so
      completely at odds with his support of this bad law that I'm at a
      loss to understand it. But whatever the reason, it has led to a
      small but growing number of fans calling for a boycott of his work.

      A number of highly influential publishers and authors, including
      science fiction writers Eric Flint, Charles Stross and Cory
      Doctorow, believe that not only has the threat from file-sharing
      been exaggerated, but that it is actually good for business. Not
      content with empty words, they have made their work available for
      free download without copy protection or DRM (Digital Restrictions
      Management) software. To authors who have embraced the Internet-
      savvy generation, file-sharing isn't a threat but their life-blood,
      and the chilling effect of this law will hurt 21st century writers
      far more than it will help established ones like Sir Terry.

      I'd like to finish with a quote from author Charles Stross:

      "Back before the Internet came along, we had a very special term for
      the people who buy a single copy of a book and then allow all their
      friends to read it for free. We called them librarians."

      -- Steven D'Aprano, Acting Editor


      Selected further reading:

      Cory Doctorow - http://tinyurl.com/yl9w9fy
      Charles Stross - http://tinyurl.com/ygdbcc8
      The Baen Free Library - http://www.baen.com/library/
      O'Reilly Books - http://tinyurl.com/6oddbc

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      03) A LETTER FROM THE MASTER

      Folks,

      So many people have contacted me since the Richard Dimbleby lecture
      that there is no possibility at all that I can reply to everyone
      individually.

      Generally speaking people are asking what they can do to help,
      support and, indeed, take some control over their own death. The
      people to contact for all this are at Dignity in Dying --
      www.dignityindying.org.uk -- they can campaign better than two
      blokes in an office.

      I'm getting some interesting letters though, some of them are from
      couples who have refrained from having children for the good of the
      planet, and now fear facing their final illness with no one to fight
      their corner. The same thinking seems to be affecting people who are
      happily single. Suddenly the ties of family seem more attractive
      than once they did. As one lady said "saying that friends are the
      new family is all very well, but it starts to ring hollow as we get
      older."

      I want to make it clear what it is that I have been saying recently
      since retelling can change things.

      I think that assisted death should be available to people who
      clearly have a serious and incurable disease and are demonstrably
      capable of making their wishes felt and clearly do understand their
      situation.

      And that is that. Causing or assisting the death of somebody who has
      not made their wishes publicly clear should be treated, at least
      initially, as murder. If there are exonerating circumstances, then
      the legal system is capable of recognising these. We are not, by and
      large an uncaring and punitive society.

      The tribunal idea which the charity Dignity in Dying is
      investigating is a suggestion, and at the moment only that.

      I believe it could help those unclear about the law and the
      guidelines, and also act as a gentle filter, identifying the
      hypothetical pressured grannies that opponents of assisted dying
      continue to summon up as an argument, but also perhaps to suggest
      that a future that currently looks dark may yet be improved. I
      suspect that the majority of people seeking assisted death will be
      individuals in every sense of the word, looking for an organised
      death after a productive and organised life. I'm probably one of
      them. But I must say, it is a pleasure to meet other people with
      PCA, even if only to share anecdotes with those who truly know where
      you're coming from. A trouble shared is not halved, whatever the
      proverb says, but at least it is understood.

      The generation currently sliding into old age must surely be the
      first one ever to grow up unfamiliar with the realities of death. It
      has been hidden away, not spoken of, not acknowledged. It would be
      better for our mental health to do so.

      I can just remember, when I was a child, that sometimes you would
      see somebody wearing a black band around their arm, as a sign of
      mourning. I've seldom seen them as an adult. But now the task of
      dying is left to us, we might as well get good at it.

      On a more cheerful note, I'm working my way through the second
      draft of I Shall Wear Midnight, but as ever fighting for writing
      time among all the other calls. I shall be back on the sofa of the
      One Show on Thursday 11th February at 7pm on BBC One and I hope to
      get my Seamstresses Guild Crest before bumping into Christine
      Bleakley again :)

      Late News: We've been told that my sword is ready for viewing; I
      couldn't have any hand in the making of the horn hilt or the
      silverwork. Sadly, I won't get to see it until next week.

      All the best.

      Terry Pratchett

      The original message can be viewed at PJSM Prints:
      http://www.pjsmprints.com/news/index.html

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      04) NATION AT THE NT NEWS AND REVIEWS

      4.1 The live London production reviewed by David Finkle for
      Theatermania:

      "Nation appears to be a belated strike against imperialism and a
      hearty vote for societies and civilizations wherever they've
      developed. Rather than being invaded and subsumed, they must be
      celebrated and honored -- a notion that would not have received much
      sympathy in 19th-century England, but is undeniably popular now as
      the world gathers to help rebuild earthquake-shaken Haiti...
      Daphne's rank -- she is 130th in line to the British throne -- puts
      her in a position where she must choose between her origins and her
      newfound loyalties to a crowd much given to singing and dancing and
      worshipping an all-powerful god called Imo. What she decides she
      must do further emphasizes Pratchett's beliefs about disparate
      countries... The humans involved -- led by the energetic and likable
      Carr and Taaffe -- give their all to the general merriment..."

      http://www.theatermania.com/london/reviews/01-2010/nation_24274.html


      4.2 NATION AT THE NATIONAL CINECAST: THE KUDOS AND THE CAVILS

      A review by WOSSNAME's Annie Mac

      So. At last I've seen Nation on the National Theatre stage, or as
      close as those of us who live at the bottom of the world can come to
      it: a cinecast of the live performance of 30th January, shown in
      Australian cinemas on the 13th of February.

      Nation is one of my favourite novels by any author in any era, and
      in my opinion it was far too large a story for a stage adaptation to
      do it sufficient justice. Now that I've seen Nation as a play, my
      opinion is unchanged -- but I do think that Mark Ravenhill, Melly
      Still, and the National Theatre cast and crew made a very good try,
      and came away with a win on technical merit. Here are my
      observations:

      * There was something many reviewers didn't like that I liked very
      much.

      * There was something almost every reviewer (and viewer) liked that
      I didn't much like at all.

      * There were some things that many Pratchett fans -- and some
      reviewers, presumably also Pratchett fans -- objected to that I
      thought were not only reasonable but also rather cleverly done.

      I'm not a great fan of modern theatre, mostly because I find it to
      be too dependent on Ye Suspenders of Disbelief; I don't like it when
      the script staggers under the weight of infodump (owing to the
      constraints of trying to depict what only carefully edited film can
      truly show), and even more than that I really, really don't like to
      see the wires. So when I first heard, months ago, that Nation would
      include puppetry and mock-ups of the ocean and the tsunami, I was
      less than impressed.

      And I was even less impressed when I heard there would be music,
      because I have a lifelong distaste for almost all musicals, since I
      see them as the worst sort of compromise, with neither the dialogue
      nor the music strong enough to stand alone and the sight of cast
      members bursting into song in the midst of a story little short of
      risible. But when I watched the rehearsal videos on the NT website I
      found the music moved me, so I was ready to forgive. In the event,
      however, no forgiveness was required: Nation-the-play is *not*
      Nation: the Musical. The song and dance numbers weren't a substitute
      for dialogue, but rather a believable depiction of the Pelagic
      Islanders' ancient traditions of praising their gods through music
      -- punctuation rather than text, as it were -- and it worked very
      well indeed.


      (review continues in Part 2)

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      End of Part 1, continued on Part 2 of 5.
      If you did not get all five parts, write: interact@...
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      Copyright (c) 2010 by Klatchian Foreign Legion