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594WOSSNAME -- January 2011 -- Part 1 of 1

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  • WOSSNAME-owner@yahoogroups.com
    Jan 24, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      January 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 1)
      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




      14) TALKBACK
      17) CLOSE



      "Most gods were people-shaped; people don't have much imagination,
      on the whole. Even Offler the Crocodile God was only
      crocodile-*headed*. Ask people to imagine an animal god and they
      will, basically, come up with the idea of someone in a really bad
      mask. Men have been much better at inventing demons, which is why
      there are so many."

      — The Last Hero



      It seems we've had a quiet start to the year, news-wise. But down
      here in Fourecks things have been anything but quiet...in fact,
      they've been very, very wet. I've been keeping in touch with my
      friends up in Queensland; luckily, none of them suffered *too* badly
      from the floods, but a very close friend's family farm in Toowoomba
      did end up under water; likewise, the state of Victoria has had some
      horrendous flooding (still ongoing). It looks like we might just dry
      out in time for this year's bushfire season... but Fourecksians are
      nothing if not tough!

      In other Down Under news, Melbourne Zoo has a new baby orangutan,
      born on the 9th of December:


      A lovely wee Librarian lass, but she now needs a name. As far as I
      know, her name has yet to be finalised, so do go to the page and
      vote! Unfortunately, "Worblehat" is not among the available options:

      "Melbourne Zoo Keepers have chosen four Indonesian names that
      reflect the cultural background of this endangered species. The
      names are Ayu- Beautiful, Dewi - Goddess/Princess, Melati - Jasmine
      (flower), and Surya - light..."


      For those of you living in more wintery places, I hope you enjoyed
      your holidays and didn't get snowed in or frozen!

      — Annie Mac, Editor



      The American Library Association has honoured Terry Pratchett once
      again, this time for his body of YA literature...

      In PR Newswire:

      "Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author, as well as a specific
      body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to
      young adult literature. Sir Terry Pratchett is the 2011 Edwards
      Award winner. His books 'include: 'The Amazing Maurice and His
      Educated Rodents,' 'The Wee Free Men,' and 'A Hat Full of Sky'
      published by HarperCollins Children's Books; and 'The Color of
      Magic,' 'Guards! Guards!,' 'Equal Rites,' 'Going Postal,' 'Small
      Gods,' and 'Mort' all published by HarperCollins Publishers."


      In the School Library Journal:

      "This year's well-deserved Margaret A. Edwards Award (sponsored by
      SLJ) went to Terry Pratchett, honoring his significant and lasting
      contribution to writing for teens. Pratchett, who published his
      first short story when he was 13, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
      in 2009 for his services to literature. A resident of Somerset,
      England, Pratchett has published more than 50 books--including his
      tales of Discworld, which have won over generations of teen readers
      --and his works have been translated into 36 languages. Pratchett
      will be honored at the Edwards Award Luncheon during the 2011 ALA
      Annual Conference in New Orleans, from June 23 to 28."


      Full list of winners at Publishers Weekly:




      ...not to mention Rupert Giles, Nakamura Kaito — and Dave Lister
      on the, um, turntables of the night!

      From Addict Music:

      The SFX Weekender is back! 2,500 sci-fi fans, four main events,
      exclusive screenings, tons of prizes, loads of live guests... one
      amazing weekend at Pontins Holiday Park Camber Sands 4th-5th
      February 2011. Attend the SFX Awards 2011, hosted by top sci-fi
      author Robert Rankin! Compete in the famous SFX Blastermind Quiz to
      become a champion of sci-fi knowledge! Dance the night away at the
      Maskerade Ball and experience the SFX imaginarium, the ultimate Sci-
      fi stage show!

      There will be top celebrity guests attending including Sir Terry
      Pratchett, Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Merlin),
      Sylvia Anderson (The voice of Lady Penelope for Thunderbirds),
      George Takei (Star Trek), Sally Knyvette (Blakes 7), Robert Rankin
      (author) and Craig Charles (Red Dwarf/Coronation st/Radio 6) who
      will be playing the tunes with one of his highly acclaimed classic
      DJ sets. Plus Author panels, Film premieres, exclusive footage, live
      Q&A sessions and star guest talks, comic workshops, music and video

      We've 10 sets of day tickets to give away. To win your tickets,
      simply answer this question: How many sci-fi fans are going to be
      attending the SFX Weekender 2011? A: 100 B: 250 C: 2500

      Email your answer (A,B or C) and your name and telephone number to:


      [Sir Pterry will discuss The Long Earth, his forthcoming
      collaboration with Stephen Baxter, during his appearance - Ed.]



      He's started a trend... Trinity College Dublin has added a number
      of other members of the creative arts and media world to their
      Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture Initiative:

      "Distinguished writers, publishers, composers and experts in
      creative technologies will be joining Trinity College Dublin,
      Ireland, as adjunct professors and lecturers as part of Trinity's
      new Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture Initiative. A stellar
      cast, including three of Ireland's leading composers, award
      winning playwright Michael West, novelist Terry Pratchett, and
      Disney Research Director, Jessica K. Hodgins, will be giving master
      classes to Trinity students and engaging in collaborative research
      among other activities as part of their new adjunct professorships
      and lectureships over the next three years. The public will also
      have an opportunity to benefit as each of the new adjuncts will be
      variously giving public inaugural lectures, readings and
      performances this year.

      "The appointments are part of a major initiative launched by Trinity
      College Dublin last year to spearhead a dynamic new approach to the
      Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture. Promoting the generation of
      new ideas, connectivity and programmes across the Arts and Sciences,
      and between the Capital City of Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, a
      new appreciation of creative practice within the university is at
      its core."


      [All quoted text in this item is copyrighted to Great Reporter
      online: http://greatreporter.com/mambo/ — Ed.]



      "'Guards! Guards!: Discworld, Book 8 (Unabridged)' is available as a
      digital audiobook from Audible.com. The title, provided by Random
      House AudioBooks and authored by authored by Terry Pratchett, has
      also become an American Consumer News favorite... The audiobook is
      normally sold by Audible.com for $24.33, but if you're not already
      an AudibleListener, you can take advantage of a special promotion
      and get 'Guards! Guards!: Discworld, Book 8 (Unabridged)' or any
      other audiobook for free with a 14-day free trial. If you are a
      current Audible.com member, the audiobook is available for 1


      Audible's link for Guards! Guards!:





      Calling all Oregonians! Don't forget the final weekend of the ACT's
      production of Wyrd Sisters:

      "'Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters isn't just Macbeth with jokes,'
      said director John Carone. 'Pratchett is taking a look at
      Shakespeare and his works, asking why theater or stories exist at
      all and what their purpose is. He is taking a look at witches, at
      fools, at demons and using humor to break our default way of looking
      at such things and allows us to see them from different
      perspectives.' ...Carone started reading Pratchett's books awhile
      ago and was in Borders when he saw a new book called Terry
      Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters — The Play. He decided he wanted to
      direct it. 'Between my love for Shakespeare and Pratchett, this was
      a dream,' he said..."

      When: 27th-29th January 2011
      Venue: Albany Civic Theater, 111 First Ave. S.W., Albany, OR
      Time: 8 p.m.
      Tickets: $11 (adults), $8 (under 18 or over 60). Advance tickets
      available at Sid Stevens Jewelers in Albany, Rice's Pharmacy in
      Corvallis or at the ACT box office 45 minutes before curtain.

      For more info: www.albanycivic.org



      To our readers in Llamedos: fancy participating in a production of
      Lords and Ladies? The Tenby Observer writes:

      "Last year, the Tenby Youth Theatre performed the last production on
      the De Valence stage before it closed. It was an amazing show of
      Carol Ann Duffy's Grimm Tales, cleverly staged as each traditional
      story rolled out with an ensemble performance from a talented group
      of young people. When the De Valence closed, the group were
      determined to keep up the good work. They renamed themselves as NED
      — the Never Ending Drama group, after their need to carry on and
      have already enjoyed a term of fun drama sessions at their new home.

      "This term they are deciding to tackle a Terry Pratchett play, Lords
      and Ladies, a tale with typical Pratchett fantasy underworlds with a
      hint of a shared story line with Shakespeare's A Midsummer
      Night's Dream. The group would like to welcome new members to join
      them. So, if you fancy a dabble at drama and treading the boards,
      why not join NED for a read through of the script on Tuesday,
      January 25, at Greenhill School.

      "The junior group is for eight to 11-year-olds and the sessions
      start at 4.30 pm until 6 pm, with the senior group starting at 5.15
      pm until 7.30 pm for anyone over 12-years-old, and costs £55 per

      "If you would like further information, please contact Jane on
      (01834) 844926 or turn up on the 25th with a sense of fun and





      Inter Guilds Challenge – The Discworld Scavenger Hunt

      "With the convention just 3 months away, we are launching an Inter-
      Guild Competition – it's a Scavenger Hunt! You and your fellow
      guild members can earn guild points by completing the Scavenger Hunt
      in the run up to the Convention. There are 20 Discworld related
      items on the list which you can find on our website by clicking here

      "We want one entry from each Guild. Elect a Scavenger King or Queen
      and co-ordinate your efforts via the forums (click here), or you can
      take the discussions to private emails if you prefer- it's up to
      you. No-one is expected to start buying loads of stuff to get all
      the items in the Scavenger Hunt – photographs of most items will
      be acceptable. Several are items that a Discworld fan might have
      collected over the years.

      "You may beg, borrow, create, take photos, download pictures... but
      you may not steal! Be as creative as you like, it might earn you
      extra points (or not... that's going to be up to the Monks of Cool
      or the Dark Clerks). Additional guild points will be awarded for
      ingenuity, creativity and even total stupidity. The Challenge is




      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on Monday 7th
      February 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 7th of February. For more information,
      contact simlauren@...; Lauren has moved to Colder Parts, but
      probably knows who's running the Drummers Downunder now...


      A new branch of Drummers Downunder will be starting in Perth,
      Western Australia, with the first meeting set for Monday 7th
      February at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.

      For details contact DANIEL_J_HATTON@...



      Journalist Bridgette P. LaVictoire writes on the renewed call for
      the USA military to allow women on the front ground lines, and an
      interesting article on the subject in Ms Magazine online:

      "When Terry Pratchett wrote the novel Monstrous Regiment, there were
      people, including his editors, who found the concept rather absurd.
      The idea that women could perpetuate the deception to appear male
      and serve in the armed forces of a given nation seemed hard to
      grasp. After all, would the women not be spotted? It was not until
      the modern army with its physical exam prior to allowing someone
      into a combat role that women were excluded from fighting entirely.
      Of course, this is just in the modern and strictly patriarchal idea
      of the military. While legends of the Amazons are commonly used
      throughout fantasy, women warriors existed... There are many world
      militaries which allow for women to fight in combat roles, and now
      the United States could join them, at least according to a panel
      which will recommend in March that Congress and the White House lift
      the current ban on women participating in combat roles within the
      military. This recommendation is based upon the reality that women
      are already involved in the fight, but invisibly, since women
      already support combat roles on the ground. Women routinely are
      involved in combat situations while defending convoys, and on bases.
      Women also serve on combat ships and fly combat aircraft..."


      From the Ms article:

      "Tammy Duckworth, second in charge at the Department of Veterans
      Affairs and a former helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in
      Iraq, said, 'I would do it in a minute [ground combat] for the honor
      of being able to serve next to some of the greatest folks that
      I've ever been able to serve next to. ... Women are doing that
      right now.' In other words, the military has been practicing its
      own 'don't ask, don't tell' policy of using women in combat
      roles even though it's not supposed to..."




      Brave lady Camilla, aka niamh_sage, is undertaking a sponsored
      bicycle ride up France's famous Mt Ventoux on the 25th of May this
      year, to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Research Trust (UK) &
      Stichting voor Alzheimer Onderzoek (Belgium):

      "Worldwide, an estimated 35.6 million people are affected by
      dementia, which is expected to almost double by 2030 and triple by
      2050. Around two thirds of these people live in low to middle income
      countries. The world wide cost of dementia in 2010 is estimated at
      US$604 billion, more than the GDP of Belgium... Currently, research
      into Alzheimer's disease receives comparatively little funding,
      despite its considerable global impact. More research is needed to
      understand the mechanism of the disease and to find more effective
      treatments, and hopefully means for prevention and a cure. By
      supporting me in my ride up Mt Ventoux on 25 May 2011, you can


      "Donations to the Alzheimer's Research Trust (UK) go via the Lilac
      to Ventoux JustGiving page. (I'm still working out how best to
      organise donations to the Belgian one, but they do have a Paypal
      button on their front page.)

      "Fellow Discworld fans, I would be hugely grateful if you could
      spread the word about Lilac to Ventoux. If you feel moved to cheer
      me on by friending me on LJ or following me on Twitter & Facebook, I
      would love that too. And of course, most importantly, I would really
      appreciate seeing some donations come in!"




      12.1 The AUSDWCON Nullas Anxietas III poster:


      12.2 Badges for your blog!

      ...or website, or Facebook page, or...

      To see the available selection of online badges (Crivens! I'm
      reading Terry Pratchett; I'm reading I Shall Wear Midnight; Terry
      Pratchett Fan) and grab the embedding code for your choice, go to:




      Blogger Melissa Rochelle has dedicated a page to Discworld,
      including overviews and relevant links:

      "While the Watch novels are considered 'the best' by some on the
      Interwebz, I decided to read the Witches novels (you see...none of
      my local libraries had a copy of the first Watch novel – Guards!
      Guards!). Equal Rites was very cute and funny. I hope to see more of
      Eskarina Smith and Granny Weatherwax in future books (yes, I'll
      read more). One thing I love about Discworld is the incredible
      number of resources available on the web thanks to all the awesomely
      dedicated fans..."


      Blogger Matthew Rantala on Pratchett in general:

      "I started with The Color of Magic and while it took a bit to get
      into, I enjoyed it. I also read Equal Rites (my favorite so far),
      Mort, Wyrd Sisters (which I did not finish), and now Sourcery. I am
      hooked. Pratchett's humor is similar to Adams' but is, for better or
      for worse, better at having an actual plot to keep the story going
      instead of just a bunch of good gags and situations... I may have to
      stop reading Pratchett for a while because he is so good, it is
      intimidating... reading a master writer can have a negative effect
      on your own ambition because, especially as a new writer, you fear
      you will never write as well..."


      Blogger Game and Book Reviews (only name given) on Night Watch:

      "Possibly the greatest book ever written by Sir Terry Pratchett,
      Night Watch is an outstanding novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. This
      book has moved me in more ways than one.

      "The story stars Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, Duke of Ankh, one-time
      gutter trash and now one of the most important men in the twin
      cities of Ankh-Morpork. An evil-hearted criminal named Carcer is
      loose in the city on a killing spree, caring naught for his victims
      or their status in society. It is up to the Commander and his Ankh-
      Morpork City Watch to stop him before it gets worse. But a magical
      accident sends both the valiant Vimes and the murderous-yet-cheerful
      Carcer back to a dangerous time in the cities' history, as it
      teeters on the brink of civil war. Can Vimes find Carcer before he
      destroys the future? And to top it all off, now the Commander has to
      train a new young and impressionable copper, a lad named Sam
      Vimes... If you have not read this book, you must first repeatedly
      hit yourself about the head with a blunt object, then proceed to
      purchase it..."


      Blogger Geoff Shupard on Good Omens:

      "I have always been very interested in different takes on the
      incredibly complex world of theology, and Good Omens did not let me
      down. There is not a person on this earth who has not wondered about
      the apocalypse. Whether you're an atheist, or a stout-hearted
      believer in one of the thousands of religions on this earth, the
      idea of the end of the world has crossed your mind. In Good Omens,
      Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman have taken this notion of paranoia
      and created something completely unexpected... The main characters
      are all dynamic and very unique from each other. Many authors often
      get so wrapped up in making the story vivid and compelling that they
      forget to do the same with their characters, which results in a
      story with five or six of the same people. Pratchett and Gaiman are
      able to create such original characters that they add to the
      complexity and ever-expanding nature of the book... The book is
      incredibly clever. If you're looking for an entertaining journey
      through a theological forest as thick as the Amazon, then Good Omens
      is the book for you... "


      Blogger Jess Laurel Williams on The Colour of Magic:

      "I decided, that after many years of looking at this series from
      afar, I would read one, the first book in the series and obtained a
      copy from a swap on the internet. I enjoyed reading this novel. I
      liked how the book was split into several adventures which seemed to
      get progressively more exciting towards the latter half of the
      novel. I particularly liked the adventure which involved the
      'imaginary' dragons. The ending of the book left me wanting more
      and encouraged me to add the second book in the series to my TBR
      list... I intend to read more of his series, particularly some of
      the newer ones as I am told that his style has changed with time.
      I'm also looking forward to reading the witches series. I
      recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy like me, for
      example, if you love Douglas Adams you will probably have equal
      feelings of sentiment for Mr Pratchett..."


      Blogger Labyrinth Librarian reviews Mort:

      "There is no way of knowing if any of those are actually what
      happens to us when we die. At least not until we actually do it. So
      since we cannot know, we make stuff up, if only to make the whole
      thing easier to bear... Which brings us to Death... Fans of
      Discworld love Death, which I imagine was somewhat baffling for
      Pratchett early on. In the first few books, Death was a bit
      character – he showed up a couple of times to collect the recently
      deceased, and that was it. But his scenes were so memorable and so
      good that they sometimes stuck out above the rest of the book... The
      book, as you might imagine, is all about being alive. What makes
      life special and precious and ultimately worth living... While the
      book gives no answers to what may happen after death (the Discworld
      books rarely do), it does give us another way to look at life. And
      that, ultimately, is the goal of any great story..."


      Blogger Drew the Biblioholic's long and thorough review of I Shall
      Wear Midnight:

      "Even a so-called 'children's' book, like this one, seems more
      magical than expected – though, of course, children's is in
      quotes there for a reason. Like many of his books, I Shall Wear
      Midnight plays on multiple levels, delighting children and adults
      both. This fourth Tiffany Aching book, however, cannot truly be
      called a children's book like the first three... I can't think
      of another time that I've seen Pratchett handle a very delicate
      and very emotionally raw issue like a father beating his daughter to
      the point of miscarriage. It was handled tactfully and (wisely)
      without much humor – reminding readers that Pratchett is excellent
      not only at the witty and the droll, but at the human as well... the
      star of this book is, of course, Tiffany. Like Moist von Lipwig,
      she's one of Pratchett's late-series mini-series creations and
      she shows that the Disc is still full of remarkable individuals...
      Easily the strongest Tiffany Aching book and a delightful diversion
      to the Chalk – an area of the Disc that seems boring,comparatively
      ... but sometimes a quieter tale on the Disc is exactly what's


      Blogger R. Hirst's thoughts on Jingo:

      "Jingo like many of Pratchett's books, is light-hearted parody
      fantasy (which most people already know) chock full of pessimistic
      social commentary (which people always seem surprised to find, even
      though it's right there on the surface and at the core of most of
      the humour and fantasy). There were a lot of issues in this book,
      perhaps squeezing out some of the larger footnotes we see in other
      Discworld novels, but the one that really struck home to me was one
      of the core plot issues... I know some people in real life who would
      be in that Ankh-Morporkian street mob, and a lot of them would be
      Terry Pratchett fans who would consider themselves progressive and
      tolerant. I also know a lot of people who would be being lynched by
      the mob. Maybe that's why some scenes had me feeling like a
      member of a very petty and small species instead of laughing out
      loud(though that could just be my usual end-of-year cynicism showing
      from under my hat). Vimes and his `Us and Them and Us' thoughts
      hit the nail on the head..."


      Blogger Making Noir reviews Hogfather:

      "Another Terry Pratchett masterpiece (in my opinion) and kinda
      apropos, considering I started it around Christmastime. Yes, I admit
      that I watched the movie first, but that was before I realized the
      genius of Pratchett's books. Hogfather is a lot of fun, mostly
      because of all the Christmas and Seasonal jokes that take place. I
      concede that it was probably, as books go, a dozen pages too long
      and the ending itself – the very, very ending – was a tad
      dragging. Still, Death is hilarious as always and remains my
      favorite character (is it a problem when one best connects to the
      most anti-social and socially awkward 'person' in the book that
      isn't really a person, but an anthropomorphic personification??).
      Fun read, fun plot, fun characters and fun sidetracks. Again, the
      narration alone makes the book worth while and I do not think it
      requires a great amount of intelligence to find it amusing...'


      Blogger Brian Park reviews I Shall Wear Midnight:

      "It is ironic that his previous, fairly lightweight, Discworld title
      Unseen Academicals was written for adults yet this one, which deals
      with themes of extreme domestic violence, attempted suicide and
      cultural prejudice, is pitched for younger readers. Perhaps the
      author believes that some matters are so grown-up that only a
      child's mind can comprehend them... the essence of Terry Pratchett
      has always been far more than well-written sentences. It is the
      stance which he takes on important issues which is the life-blood of
      his stories. In this book, as already mentioned, a central theme is
      that of domestic violence but it is typical of Pratchett that he
      refuses to take a simplistic moral high-tone over the matter. With
      consummate skill he allows the reader to feel compassion for the
      perpetrator of such a monstrous deed as a man beating his own
      teenage daughter so severely that her unborn child dies. The image
      of the man subsequently placing a bouquet of stinging nettles on the
      child's grave after he has been rescued from his attempted suicide
      is a vivid and powerful one..."


      Blogger Nathan (Vovatia) has a few questions about ISWM:

      "By the way, is this the first mention of Wee Mad Arthur being in
      the Watch? I know he was an exterminator in Feet of Clay, but I
      think Sergeant Colon might have deputized him? I can't remember
      for sure. We do have the precedent of Detritus and Reg Shoe being
      established characters before becoming policemen, I suppose. Anyway,
      seeing these old characters again was fun. Now Terry just needs to
      tell us about the more recent experiences of Conina, Pteppic, and
      Victor Tugelbend..."


      Blogger Tommy Ingram reviews Hogfather:

      "One of the things that has struck me while reading Terry
      Pratchett's phenomenal Discworld series is that he hardly ever
      seems to really hate a character, even a villain. There are only two
      instances I can think of off the top of my head: the throwaway
      sweat-shop owner in Feet of Clay and Captain Swing from Night Watch
      – and they were both nasty cases. He has no illusions about his
      characters' flaws, and bad guys usually get what's coming to
      them, but overall the the books show the good and bad of humanity
      from all angles with amused affection... The straight-faced,
      methodical treatment of what would normally be one-off gags is
      precisely the reason the Discworld books stand out. As you read,
      you'll encounter a one-eyed assassin named Teatime, a
      supercomputer who writes letters to the Hogfather, and Bilious, the
      oh god of hangovers. There are laugh-out-loud moments, but Pratchett
      spins these ingredients into a tight story that works..."


      The rather pompous, up-himself J. Holsworth Stevenson reviews Unseen
      Academicals and grudgingly admits to liking it whilst sneeringly
      dismissing every Pratchett novel of the past decade:

      "Unseen Academicals is rather heavy-handed in its moralising and its
      constant pronouncements that everyone is valuable and everyone has a
      chance to make something out of his or her or itself; but since when
      has Terry Pratchett shied away from pasting his opinions all over
      his books? The ending of this book is pretty clear from the first
      sixty or eighty pages in, but the writing remains entertaining –
      and that is what Pratchett's books are all about..."


      Blogger David Knights' review of Going Postal is short on analysis
      but long on enthusiasm:

      "I just finished reading this book (Going Postal) for the third
      time. Actually I've read it once and listened to it on CD twice.
      This book, like all of Pratchett's work just gets better and better
      with each reading. For a review of Pratchett's most recent books,
      see my review here. If you are unfamiliar with the work of Sir Terry
      Pratchett (he was knighted a year or two ago) then run, do not walk
      to the book store where you will find that he has written more than
      3 dozen books, each of which is a pleasure to read. He is the most
      gifted writer of our age, with an ability to turn a phrase and a
      command of the language that makes him a pleasure to read... In
      addition to great writing, Sir Terry has an insight into human
      nature and the way things really work in the world that is amazing.
      This makes it all the more interesting that his books are set in a
      made up fantasy world setting..."


      Blogger Bea Turvey tried Nation on the word of her students:

      "I am not a Terry Pratchett fan. I enjoyed Going Postal on tele but
      I just have never been able to get into his writing. Just before
      Christmas I was encouraged by several students to try Nation: 'It's
      completely different, Miss'; 'It's about sort of real people and
      almost real places and historical and stuff'; 'It's not fantasy,
      Miss, honest'; 'It's kinda racial but radical'. I was intrigued and
      took the book home over Christmas. I finally got around to opening
      it the day before school started again and finished it within three

      "Nation is about a boy and a girl from different continents stranded
      on a desert island after a decimating tidal wave. The Island is the
      boy's home and the book intuitively and humorously wends its way
      through all the pitfalls of differing class, race and sex, or at
      least the way these two children perceive them and how their
      isolation breaks down these boundaries. A wonderful book, I have no
      hesitation in recommending it. Although it was written for children,
      like the HP series, it will also appeal to adults..."


      Blogger Simon Sterg on TAMAHER:

      "In The Amazing Maurice and his educated rodents, Maurice is a
      talking, thinking cat. And Darktan, Dangerous Beans, Peaches,
      Hamnpork and Sardines are talking, thinking rats... Amazing that
      Terry Pratchett, in amongst all the wise-cracks, quirky references,
      and one-liners, manages a kind of meditation on what evil is and
      what it is to be human..."


      And finally, a review of The Unadulterated Cat by blogger Mr Kitten,
      who is, yes, a cat:

      "Squeak and I have been enjoying Terry Pratchett's The Unadulterated
      Cat, which one of our human housemates was given for Christmas. The
      book is a sort of campaign to get humans to recognise Real cats and
      not been taken in by the cute fluffy stereotypes. There are so many
      gems between its pages, we couldn't agree on our Quote of the Day,
      and a game of Scissors, Paper, Mouse ended in a draw..."


      [Editor's note: the number of people I know whose cats have their
      own blogs is...um...disturbing...]


      14) TALKBACK


      A response by Tamar Lindsay to last month's Daniel Orner review of
      The Last Continent:

      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.

      Not so separate: the wizard plot is directly connected to the
      Rincewind plot. The wizards think that they could cure the
      Librarian if they knew his name, and the only other person who might
      know it is Rincewind, so they start to search for Rincewind. Their
      first step is to find a map of XXXX, which leads them to the
      geography professor's rooms and thus to the back window. Rincewind
      is where he is because of a magical accident created by the wizards,
      and that caused the background problems which he must now repair.
      Sir Pterry frequently has dual plot strands that work together, and
      The Last Continent continues the pattern. Both strands begin with
      and focus on where Rincewind is and the intention of getting him
      back to UU.

      An acronym is given — once — without the full name ever being
      spelled out.

      The only acronym not explained in detail is BU, which is used twice,
      both times in the context of the wizards in the university at
      Bugarup. I assume it means Bugarup University, as UU means Unseen
      University, though it might possibly mean Bill University, if it had
      been named after its current archchancellor, Bill Rincewind.

      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

      Previous Rincewind stories have indicated that the gods showed up
      and created men, but the first creation was very different from
      later ones. There were so many problems that the whole lot were
      wiped out and the later creation was very different. It's entirely
      possible that the God of Evolution's original "men" were each
      individually created and had only one sex.

      Towards the end, events occur without any real narrative impetus and
      most of them are never explained

      Rincewind has been chosen by the Old Man with the Sack to create all
      the hero myths of the newly settled continent. Skippy is there to
      make sure it happens. That is the narrative impetus for all of the
      events leading up to Rincewind's recovering not only the wizards but
      also the lost object, which would not have been lost if the wizards
      had done the original spell correctly and brought Rincewind directly
      back to UU at the end of Interesting Times.

      ...something about making it rain — but nothing Rincewind does
      actually has any effect on it

      Quite the contrary. The lost object was whirled by the Librarian in
      the deep past; the Librarian was in that past because the wizards
      were searching for Rincewind and accidentally went there. Rincewind
      recovered it (and them) and whirled it, and that completed the

      The Last Continent is a funny and entertaining book, but it doesn't
      seem to have a point

      The plot is coherent, it just happens to be complex because it's a
      time-travel plot. Beneath the comparatively simple surface, there is
      a major theme of change, caused by creation, by evolution, and by
      experience. In this book, Rincewind makes a major advance in his
      character growth. We see the result of it in The Last Hero.

      (reprinted with permission)


      Readers Clyde and Susan Johnson have sent in their observations
      about the WOSSNAME November 2010 Images of the Month:

      The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of the underside of
      Great A'Tuin swimming in space! Another coup by Pterry...and most
      people just believe he writes "fiction" or "fantasy", but now we
      know better! This also gives strong support for my theory that UFOs
      are flown by Feegles, and that most people who encounter them are
      fooled by the lighting into thinking they see Little *Green* Men,
      when in fact they are seeing Little Blue Men.

      In fact, seen in daylight, some people DO report them as "little";
      "blue", prone to disappear, and behaving oddly: remember the old
      1950s song, The Little Blue Man?

      Song Lyrics:
      One morning when I was out shopping
      Though you'll find it hard to believe
      A little blue man came out of the crowd
      And timidly tugged at my sleeve.

      "I wuv you! I wuv you!" said the little blue man
      "I wuv you! I wuv you to bits."
      "I wuv you!" He loved me said the little blue man
      And scared me right out of my wits.

      I hurried back to my apartment
      I rushed in and I closed the door
      But there on the desk stood the little blue man
      Who started to tell me once more

      "I wuv you! I wuv you!" said the little blue man
      "I wuv you! I wuv you to bits."
      "I wuv you!" He loved me said the little blue man
      And scared me right out of my wits.

      For weeks after that I was haunted
      Though no one could see him but me
      Right by my side was the little blue man
      Wherever I happened to be.

      One evening in wild desperation
      I rushed to a rooftop in town
      And over the side pushed the little blue man
      Who sang to me all the way down

      "I wuv you! I wuv you!" said the little blue man
      "I wuv you! I wuv you to bits."
      "I wuv you!" He loved me said the little blue man
      And scared me right out of my wits.

      I whispered, "Thank goodness that's over!"
      I smiled as I hurried outside
      But there on the street stood the little blue man
      Who said with a tear in his eye

      "I don't wuv you anymore!"

      [Editor's note: I'm pretty sure that was a mistranslation; surely no
      self-respecting Feegle would claim to "wuv" anyone!]

      To check the images again, go to:




      As mentioned in last month's issue, Royal Mail (UK) will be issuing
      some very special postage stamps:

      "Issued on 8 March Magical Realms includes stamps reflecting the
      legendary tales of King Arthur and his court magician Merlin through
      to the million selling books of Sir Terry Pratchett and JK Rowling.
      This issue salutes some of the fictional characters that have
      enchanted generations of readers: Rincewind, and Nanny Ogg, who
      appear in many of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Dumbledore
      and Voldemort from JK Rowling's Harry Potter books, Merlin and
      Morgan Le Fay from Arthurian legends, and Aslan and the White Queen
      from books by C. S. Lewis."


      We may have to wait, but images of the stamps are already available
      for viewing at PJSM Prints:


      In your Editor's opinion, the Nanny Ogg stamp looks simply perfect
      – I don't know who the artist is, but Nanny looks like Nanny as
      I've always imagined her, even more so than in the also excellent
      renderings by Paul Kidby and Stephen Player – but the Rincewind
      stamp, while a fine piece of comic art, just doesn't look right to
      me. I like his features, I like the WIZZARD hat, but his expression
      is far too crafty for the perennially nervous, somewhat gormless
      Rincewind we all know and love. I'd go as far as to say that his
      expression looks more like what one would expect in a portrait of
      Trymon! So what do *you* think, O Readers?



      This one is a must-watch! Vlogger Hank Green, an articulate, affable
      young man who certainly knows his way around a videocam, has posted
      a live review of Nation on his YouTube channel. His love for both
      book and author shine through several minutes of delightfully rapid-
      fire commentary, and he has some very astute and interesting things
      to say about the genius of Pratchett and his own thoughts on why The
      Author's YA books are so extraordinary. Hank Green is a star in the
      making, and he's got good taste in reading matter!



      17) CLOSE

      And that's it for now. Your monthly Discworld horoscope will be
      along some time this week, as soon as we discover where Fernando is
      hiding this time...

      See you next month!

      – Annie Mac


      The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
      Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion