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592WOSSNAME -- December 2010 -- Part 1 of 1

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      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      December 2010 (Volume 13, Issue 12)
      *********************************************************************
      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
      time)
      Copyright 2010 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ————————————————————————————————————

      INDEX:

      01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
      02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
      03) ASK HIM ABOUT STAMPS
      04) ISWM UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK NOW AVAILABLE FROM AUDIBLE
      05) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
      06) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
      07) CONVENTION NEWS
      08) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
      09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
      10) MUMPING: DISCWORLD AS A LINGUISTIC REFERENCE
      11) REVIEWS FROM INTERNET LAND
      12) WHERE THE MULTIVERSES MEET
      13) CLOSE

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

      "The casual cruelty of nature is one example of the absence of a
      benevolent overseer in the universe. For another, I'd add the fact
      that Pratchett has been afflicted with a disease with no cure, of a
      kind that will slowly destroy his mind. We're left with only two
      alternatives: that if there is a god, he's insane or evil and rules
      the world with wanton whimsy; or the most likely answer, that there
      is no such being and it's simple chance that leads to these daily
      haphazard catastrophes. That's so depressing. Here, cheer up, it's
      the holiday season — go read Hogfather. You own a copy, right? If
      not, buy it — the money will go to a good man who has just donated
      a million dollars to Alzheimer's research."

      — PZ Myers, 4th December 2010

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

      02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

      So... how many of you wrote and submitted an alternate worlds novel
      for the Terry Pratchett Prize? If you still want to, better write
      very quickly; you have exactly two days left, with the deadline for
      submissions being 31st December. And you thought that NaNoWriMo was
      tough... remember, a shortlist of six entries will be announced by
      31st March 2011. Watch this space for updates in the New Year...

      The December WOSSNAME may well be the shortest issue ever! Not only
      because your Editor has been both away from home and quite ill with
      a persistent flu-like infection, but because it's been a very quiet
      month for news and such. Presumably everyone's been busy preparing
      for and then surviving the holidays. But there is news, and Sir
      Pterry has been given yet another singular honour (read on).

      Many thanks to all the readers who sent me get-well messages. I
      ate'nt dead yet :-)

      We had a Most Excellent Christmas. Hope your holidays have been as
      good as ours. Here's to a great New Year for one and all...

      — Annie Mac, Editor

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

      03) ASK HIM ABOUT STAMPS. NO, REALLY.

      Well, it's finally happened: we can all lick the back of Sir
      Pterry's head!

      Or at least we can lick the back of Great A'Tuin's head. The works
      of Terry Pratchett are to be featured on stamps issued by the Royal
      Mail in a new series celebrating the "very best of British". Along
      with characters from Discworld, the new stamp series, which goes by
      the name of Magical Realms, will also feature the creations of JK
      Rowling, Thunderbirds and Joe 90 maker Gerry Anderson, and Narnia
      author CS Lewis. The stamps will be released over the coming months.

      Congratulations, Sir Pterry! One suspects that many of these
      Discworld stamps will never make it onto and envelope. They're far
      too valuable not to frame and collect...

      http://tinyurl.com/2eodwce

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

      04) ISWM UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK NOW AVAILABLE FROM AUDIBLE

      "The book retails for $18.99 and is normally sold by Audible.com for
      $22.60, but if you're not already a member of Audible.com, you can
      take advantage a deal in which you can get I Shall Wear Midnight
      (Unabridged) or any other audiobook for free and fourteen days of
      free service. If you are currently a member of Audible.com, the book
      is available for 1 credit(s).

      "If you're not yet familiar with Audible.com, it's an online
      service that provides audiobooks as digital downloads that can be
      played on Macs, PCs, Android devices, iPods, iPhones, iPads,
      Kindles, Zunes, MP3 players, Garmin GPS devices and a number of
      other devices. The service now has more than 85,000 titles to choose
      from..."

      http://tinyurl.com/289zgv3

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

      05) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

      5.1 NEW ENQUIRY INTO THE LEGALITIES OF ASSISTED DEATH

      "An inquiry into assisted dying has been launched with funding from
      author Sir Terry Pratchett, a supporter of helping terminally ill
      people end their lives. But Lord Falconer, who is chairing the
      Commission On Assisted Dying, said it would be 'objective,
      dispassionate and authoritative'. It will receive evidence from
      experts and the public before publishing a report in December
      2011... The commission has not been set up by the government and a
      Ministry of Justice spokesman said: 'The government believes that
      any change to the law in this emotive and contentious area is an
      issue of individual conscience and a matter for Parliament to decide
      rather than government policy...'"

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11875323


      5.2 PTERRY ON HIS ILLNESS...

      "It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases
      – one was Alzheimer's and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer's.
      There were times when I thought I'd have been much happier not
      knowing, just accepting that I'd lost brain cells and one day they'd
      probably grow back or whatever. It is better to know, though, and
      better for it to be known, because it has got people talking, which
      I rather think was what I had in mind. The $1million I pledged to
      the Alzheimer's Research Trust was just to make them talk louder for
      a while..."

      http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.3109/09638231003728190


      5.3 ...AND PZ MYERS ON PTERRY AND HIS ILLNESS

      A well-written post, which includes the very quotation from Unseen
      Academicals that featured as a recent WOSSNAME Quote of the Month:

      http://tinyurl.com/26mqs4v

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

      06) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

      6.1 WYRD SISTERS IN ALBANY

      That's Albany, Oregon! "This loving parody of Shakespeare's Macbeth
      transports the Scottish play (with a few helpings of his Danish,
      Italian, and British plays for seasoning) to the small kingdom of
      Lancre, where three witches have their coven interrupted by the
      arrival of a royal baby in need of saving from a wicked duke and
      duchess..."

      When: 14th—29th January 2011 (matinee on 23rd January)
      Venue: Albany Civic Theater, 111 First Ave. W, Albany, OR.
      Time: Performances start at 8 pm, except for the matinee (starts at
      2:30pm)
      Tickets: $11/$8 (student discounts available for Thursday night
      performances).

      "Tickets can be purchased from: Sid Stevens Jewelers, 140 SW 1st
      Avenue, Albany (541) 967-8140, or Rice's Pharmacy, 910 NW Kings
      Blvd, Corvallis (541) 752-7760. Both outlets accept telephone
      reservations. If you wish to pick up reserved tickets at the
      outlets, please do so a day before the show — leftover and
      reserved tickets are delivered to the theater before each
      performance."

      The ACT also says, "Our acoustics are good, and for most productions
      there truly isn't a bad seat in the house."


      For more information, contact director John Carone:
      WyrdDirector@....

      http://albanycivic.org/10-11-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters.html


      6.2 REVIEW AND PHOTOS: MORT IN STOKE

      A review by Iain Robinson:

      "Director John Collier has assembled a strong cast for this
      production. Brian Hadley is very entertaining as Death, who tires of
      his endless occupation and yearns to find happiness and friendship.
      And Brian Rawlins delivers a great performance as Death's faithful,
      and very long-suffering servant, Albert.

      The production also benefits from an extremely detailed and
      atmospheric set design.But unfortunately the cast appear to struggle
      at times with the play's brief, rapid-fire scenes and frequent set
      changes, which often don't give the actors long enough to fully
      engage with the audience..."

      http://tinyurl.com/37zvr4t


      It *was* an exceptionally handsome production. Here be an album of
      iconographs that proves it:

      http://tinyurl.com/2vpo6la

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

      07) CONVENTION NEWS

      NADWCON NEWS

      From the NADWCon monthly newsletter:

      The NADWCon 2011 is very happy to announce that we are currently at
      almost 400 registrants! The price of an adult membership is now
      $85.00, and will remain that way until March.

      For those of you that are still not 100 percent sure you will be
      attending, but are worried about the NADWCon selling out early; we
      are happy to say that you can make a reservation without paying the
      full attending price! All those who purchase a Supporting Membership
      — $30, will automatically have an attending membership slot
      reserved for them. This slot will be held until March 1st, 2011, so
      all supporting members have until then to Upgrade their registration
      (pay the remaining cost of an adult membership). Bear in mind that
      the price of registration may have gone up by then though. This will
      give those unsure of their travel or financial situation extra time
      to get things sorted out.

      Once March 1 rolls around all reserved slots that have not been
      upgraded will be made available for new attending members, and any
      new supporting memberships made after March 1 will not come with a
      reservation. In other words, Supporting Members who upgrade before
      March 1 are guaranteed an Adult Membership no matter how full we may
      be at the time! We appreciate your support, but we would still
      rather see you in person and we hope this helps.

      An announcement that we feel cannot be made often enough: Madison's
      Annual Art Fair on the Square will be taking place during the same
      weekend as the NADWCon 2011. This is a HUGE event only one block
      away from the convention. It has music, food, and entertainment for
      all ages. It is something that we think you will really enjoy
      checking out while you are in Madison, but bear in mind that it
      attracts over a quarter of a million people! We strongly suggest
      booking your hotel stay early: http://tinyurl.com/23xu2ff

      http://www.nadwcon.org/Travel.html

      Attention Dealers!

      The NADWCon Dealer's Area is looking forward to your business! We
      have a 51' by 37' room reserved for the duration of our convention
      and have tables available. The Dealer's Room is on the ground floor
      of the Concourse Hotel very close to the hotel's bar, its restaurant,
      the elevators, and just off the main lobby. Given this high traffic
      area we expect steady business to the Dealer's Room throughout our
      four day convention.

      http://www.concoursehotel.com/

      The NADWCon 2011 will also be making our Dealer's Area and Art Show
      open to the general public! Our convention will be taking place
      during the same time as a HUGE art and craft event here in Madison,
      with about a quarter of a million people in attendance! Madison's
      annual Art Fair on the Square brings in people from all over the
      country and will be taking place only one block away from the hotel.
      The Dealer's Area is located just down a straight hallway from an
      entrance that will be right off of the Fair, and signs and personnel
      will be in place to direct people to the Art Show and Dealer's Area.

      http://www.mmoca.org/events/artfair/index.php

      And That's Cutting Me Own Throat!

      The North American Discworld Convention 2011 website has a new piece
      of exclusive merchandise that we are very excited to bring you. Show
      off your love of Discworld with the official NADWCon Great A'tuin
      Car Plaque! Cast in solid aluminum with a strong adhesive backing
      this high quality and lightweight decoration is guaranteed to turn a
      few heads.

      We have some more information still being finalized that will be in
      our next newsletter, so that is all for now. From the staff of the
      NADWCon 2011, may you all have a wonderful holiday season!

      Josh Goes — Chair
      Jon Lemerond — Vice Chair
      Vivian Obarski — Online Coordinator

      The North American Discworld Convention 2011
      July 8-11, Madison WI
      http://www.nadwcon.org

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

      08) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on 3rd January 2011
      in the usual place: the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London
      W2 1JQ.

      http://www.steeljam.co.uk/brokendrummers/

      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 3rd of January 2011. For more information,
      contact simlauren@...

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

      09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH: ESTONIAN DISCWORLD COVERS

      Cartoonist Hillar Mets has the official contract for Discworld
      novels cover art in Estonia. From the look of it, Mets, a native
      Estonian, owes much of his stylistic influence to Gary Larson ("The
      Far Side") and Gahan Wilson, and his darkly humorous drawings suit
      the Discworld stories well... even if the UU Library roof in the
      Night Watch cover illustration looks uncannily like a Dalek — or
      an R2 droid! To view a slide show of many covers, go to:

      http://www.hillarmets.com/#1

      For a selection of the artist's other cartoon work:
      http://www.hillarmets.com

      For information about Hillar Mets:
      http://www.hillarmets.com/#14

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

      10) MUMPING: DISCWORLD AS A LINGUISTIC REFERENCE

      From the 18th December edition of World Wide Words:

      Weird Words: Mumping

      "Mumping" is attached to the feast day of St Thomas the Apostle on
      21 December. This used to be known in some parts of England as
      "Mumping Day", when poor people went around their parish begging
      for alms. It's from the seventeenth-century Dutch verb "mompen", to
      cheat or deceive, but it became an English dialect word meaning to
      scrounge or beg.

      "Mumping" is also British police jargon for accepting small favours
      such as free meals from friendly tradespeople:

      Mumping free beer and a doughnut, well, that's part of being a
      copper. And who knows, there might even be a few greasy spoons in
      this town so happy to see a copper that they will spontaneously
      offer him a free nosh. Stranger things have happened.

      [Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett, 2002.]

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

      11) REVIEWS FROM INTERNET LAND

      11.1 REVIEW: JOHNNY AND THE BOMB

      by Daniel Orner

      The Johnny Maxwell books are an interesting progression. Only You
      Can Save Mankind was rather thoughtful and dreamlike. Johnny and
      the Dead was more of a classic kids' adventure. Johnny and the Bomb
      takes the best aspects of both of them and catapults them into an
      entirely different kind of story.

      Old Mrs. Tachyon, the bag lady, is a fixture of Blackbury. Nobody
      really knows where she goes, or what's in those creepy black bags
      in the shopping cart she lugs around. But when she turns up badly
      hurt, Johnny finds out that it's all got to do with time travel,
      and when there's something weird, you know he's going to be up in
      it to his neck.

      One major change is that Johnny's entire gang is together in this
      book. His main posse (Wobbler, Bigmac, and Yo-less) are fun
      together, but throw Kirsty, an arrogant, intelligent, activist
      know-it-all, into the mix, and the dynamic changes. This is what
      was missing from Johnny and the Dead, and it's great fun.

      More importantly, the story is far deeper and more thought-
      provoking. Terry deftly uses aspects of World War II life and uses
      them to shed light on modernity, in terms of how we think of them
      and their importance to us. Millions of people died in WWII — but
      in Blackbury, a podunk town in the middle of nowhere, which was
      bombed by accident, it was nineteen, and those nineteen wouldn't
      come back. The "bomb" is not a force of nature, nor is it really an
      act of war; it's something in between, and Terry uses it to great
      effect.

      As always, Johnny himself thinks in right angles to most people, and
      his philosophy drives most of the plot. Terry works in time travel
      and alternate realities (his favorite theory, the Trousers of Time)
      to yield a surprisingly complex plot — so complex, in fact, that
      most youngsters are going to have the devil of a time keeping up
      with it. It's subtle and somewhat hard to wrap your mind around at
      times, even for adults, and that might be off-putting.

      Johnny and the Bomb is definitely the best of this sadly short
      series, and as long as you can keep up with the science, a
      recommended read.


      11.2 REVIEW: THE LAST CONTINENT

      by Daniel Orner

      The Last Continent is Terry Pratchett's farewell to his softer,
      funnier, more pointless side. Distilling the essence of a Rincewind
      tale to its smallest particle, the book is less a story and more a
      series of parodies and sketches.

      There are two basic threads. The first follows Rincewind as he
      blunders through XXXX, a pastiche of Australia, and encounters
      parodic elements from everything from Crocodile Dundee to Mad Max
      to Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. The second involves the wizards
      of Unseen University as they try to find a cure for a magical
      malady afflicting the Librarian, and end up accidentally marooned
      on a tropical island.

      The Rincewind thread is the general focus of the book, and to be
      honest, while I found the situations fun and original, I just
      didn't get most of them. It's the kind of humor where, if you're
      unfamiliar with the thing being parodied, there isn't much to get.
      Contrast this with some of Terry's previous work, like Wyrd Sisters
      or Soul Music, where the jokes are funny regardless of your
      experience with the subject of the parody, and you can feel my
      disappointment.

      My knowledge of Australia, before reading this book, was limited to
      watching Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and one or two scenes from
      Crocodile Dundee caught out of the corner of my eye twenty years
      ago. I probably learned more about it from this book than anywhere
      else, which may not be a good thing. But if you, like me, don't
      know much about the Land Down Under, you'll probably be damned
      confused half the time.

      It's not just the parody that's confusing. This book is possibly the
      most shoddily edited and worst thought-out of any of Terry's work.
      People seem to continue conversations without starting them in at
      least two places. An acronym is given — once — without the full
      name ever being spelled out. The character of the God of Evolution,
      while a fun idea, has a completely contradictory backstory (he
      knows all about sacrifices and commandments, but has apparently
      never seen a human being before). Towards the end, events occur
      without any real narrative impetus and most of them are never
      explained, making me wonder if I accidentally found my way into a
      Tom Holt book. Jokes seem to be made without any regard for their
      impact on the story.

      Rincewind novels do tend to whirl him around like a twig in a
      tornado, but they all, with the exception of The Colour of Magic
      (which is more of a proto-Discworld book), have solid,
      understandable storylines that encapsulate the whole. There's a
      lame attempt at doing so here — something about making it rain —
      but nothing Rincewind does actually has any effect on it, short of
      a mysterious deity claiming it does. The end result is an
      incoherent tale where one event has nothing whatsoever to do with
      the next, and there is no overarching goal.

      The wizard thread is more sensical and therefore funnier than the
      Australian one, with lots of Monty Python-esque conversational
      comedy and character-driven farce. There are still hiccups even
      there, but it's much easier to follow, with some real laugh-out-
      loud lines.

      The Last Continent is a funny and entertaining book, but it doesn't
      seem to have a point, is ridden with errors and confusion, and lacks
      a coherent narrative. It's a good thing that this is the last
      straight comedy Terry has produced, because if the rest of them
      followed this mold, we wouldn't have been missing much.

      (both reviews originally posted on alt.books.pratchett)


      11.3 REVIEW: I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT

      by Chasing Bawa

      "Although there are plenty of laughs in this book, and I found
      myself laughing out loud in some parts, there are also some very
      dark moments... Pratchett has once again crafted a beautiful story,
      full of laughter, horror and a real sense of what it is to be human.
      He strips away the layers of what we see and shows us what life
      really is about. I thought this was a fantastic story and written
      with such depth and understanding that I defy anyone not to feel
      that you've come away with a little more understanding and respect
      for the world we live in. Pratchett really observes people and knows
      what he's talking about..."

      http://tinyurl.com/3xty2pj

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

      12) WHERE THE MULTIVERSES MEET: BATTLE BREAD?!

      In Roundworld, bakery products aren't considered to be weapons of
      mass destruction. But when a friend read out this article recently
      at work, several people — Discworld readers all — immediately
      suggested that Mark Morgan must have some Dwarf ancestry!

      As reported by Max Fisher in The Atlantic Wire:

      "The World Association of Chefs has named Master Sergeant Mark
      Morgan of the U.S. Army Rangers as one of the three best pastry
      chefs in the world... He earned the distinction at the recent
      Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, where he represented the U.S.
      culinary team and won two gold medals. Morgan has also been honored
      in his day job as an Army Ranger. At some point during his six tours
      of duty — two in Iraq and four in Afghanistan — he was awarded
      the bronze star... His peanut butter ganache earned him third place
      among 55 pastry chefs..."

      http://tinyurl.com/27zvfvv

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

      13) CLOSE

      And now it's time to gather up yer Trossachs, put the champagne in
      the fridge, and get ready to celebrate the coming of a new year —
      the true Hogswatch, at least according to Lancre calendars. May you
      have good health and good fortune in 2011, and may the procession of
      new Pratchett novels long continue. Remember, your monthly horoscope
      by Fernando will follow in your inboxes... soon, he tells me.

      See you next month!

      – Annie Mac

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ———————————————————————————————————
      The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
      interact@...
      ———————————————————————————————————
      Copyright (c) 2010 by Klatchian Foreign Legion