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WOSSNAME -- JANUARY 2004 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- JANUARY 2004 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2004
      WOSSNAME -- JANUARY 2004 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)


      To the Editor:

      Further to casting for Discworld characters,
      I've always liked the idea of Sigourney Weaver as
      Granny Weatherwax and Dolly Parton as Nanny Ogg!

      -- Stan Flatters, UK



      To the Editor:

      Does anyone know why the books are getting darker;
      and more Watch oriented. You can scarcely read a book
      these days without seeing "His Grace, His exellency, etc. etc. "

      -- pikachu

      To the Editor:

      Well, I think I agree with the other readers then...seriously, as
      far as Hogfather was concerned I thought the character of
      J.Teh-ah Time-eh was created with particular creepiness
      even though I've seen echoes of that psychotic frame of mind
      in t.v serials and movies. Who's your dark character?


      To the Editor:

      Well, I hope you like dark. They get darker. I like the newer
      ones even better, because I like dark. But it isn't to the
      taste of other readers.

      -- Stacie Hanes


      To the Editor:

      Well, if you see "His exellency" in a Discworld novel, I think PTerry
      should have his proof-reader fired :-)

      But seriously ... the reason the Discworld novels are getting darker is
      that PTerry is becoming a more mature, deeper writer.

      Although, I don't actually agree that his books are getting *darker*. To
      me, a dark story is something like the other Terry's "Brazil" (Gilliam
      of course), or the wonderful "Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis, or
      something like "1984" or "Animal Farm."

      I think Pratchett is just getting more serious, in the sense that his
      stories have less emphasis on the wacky puns and more on the story and
      plot. That isn't to say that they aren't funny, but much of it is wry
      humour instead of characters wearing silly fake noses, if you know what
      I mean. The humour is more thoughtful.

      Every time PTerry brings out a new book, people complain that he's
      getting darker. But I don't think he is, or at least not since Mort or
      maybe even Equal Rites. The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic
      don't count, they are so utterly light-weight, just pure send-ups.

      I think what has happened is that people discover the Discworld for the
      first time, they fall in love with the humour and the jokes and the
      songs about hedgehogs, and they don't notice just how serious the books
      are. Then after a few years of PTerry's influence, they gradually
      notice the depth and maturity of the novels, and forget that it was
      there in all of them.

      For instance, I remember when Carpe Jugulum came out. "It's too dark,"
      wailed many people -- but reading it, it is no darker than Hogfather,
      or Lords and Ladies, which those same people chortled and chuckled
      through a few years before.

      So I don't believe that PTerry has changed his style very much, at least
      not since Mort. He had settled into what we think of as the Discworld
      style, and everything he has done since then has been to just polish
      and shine it, not reinvent it.

      As for the Discworld being more Watch oriented, it is no secret that
      PTerry is fascinated with the social evolution of cities and the people
      in them.

      This is why he has spend to much time on taking Ankh-Morpork from a
      pseudo-medieval parody of a city to a post-Renaissance pre-Industrial
      Revolution city -- although still a parody of a city, it is a more
      thoughtful and deep parody. The old A-M was little more than those
      props from Holy Wood made of cheap timber and painted canvas. The new
      A-M is much more real.

      The Wizards don't really count -- they are the comedy relief of the
      Discworld, bless them, and we'd all be a lot worse off without them,
      but the Wizards don't really have much depth of character. They are
      caricatures. But Vetinari and Vimes, they are more real than most real
      people. They are concentrated essense-of-person, archetypes.

      Of the 31 Discworld novels, PTerry has written:

      2 Cohen novels;
      5 Wizards novels;
      7 Witches novels;
      5 Death/Susan novels;
      6 Watch novels;
      and 6 others that don't fit into any of the above.

      Of the latest 10 novels, (Jingo to Monstrous Regiment) only three are
      City Watch novels, although it is true that Vimes has a minor role to
      play in two more.

      The short answer to why PTerry is focused more on Vimes and less on
      Rincewind is a simple one: Vimes is a much more complex character, and
      PTerry can write much more interesting stories about him! After all,
      what does Rincewind do except run away? :-)

      -- Steven D'Aprano


      When: 28th January 2004
      Where: the Melbourne hippie district (aka Fitzroy)
      Who: Dru, Hania Ogg, Steven, assorted hippies and
                    Pagans, and a Magrat

      Since people have been recovering from the Hogswatch
      festivities, no-one had managed to organise a MelMeet.
      But yesterday I was suddenly-and-with-little-warning
      abducted by the elusive Hania Ogg and a carload of
      New Age Pagans. And where was this be-costumed,
      bejeweled, incense-wafting crowd heading? Why, to
      a Ballroom Dancing lesson, specifically a Tango one.

      "How weird is that?" I asked myself, but went along
      anyway with the festive air (and the Melbourne smog).
      On the way to Fitzroy we had a lively discussion of
      the repressive nature of a certain country's so-called
      Religious Right and how these people claim that
      Discworld and Harry Potter books are evil and dangerous
      and corrupt the minds of children by promoting witchcraft
      and Satanism.

      Yeah, right -- what they really fear is that writers like
      Terry Pratchett encourage free-thinking and
      poke fun at the very sort of people who would make
      such claims! One of our party, a lady who is so very much
      the image of Magrat that I've long since forgotten her
      Roundworld name, began shouting out the window: "I
      am the Witch Queen of Lancre and I have come to
      seduce your children to the ways of herbal tea-making
      and natural healing!" Quite amusing, really.

      The tango class was fascinating, a wide cross-section of
      all sorts of people united only by their inability to dance
      gracefully. Hania Ogg, as always, filled the room with
      single entendres and kept everyone giggling. There was
      even a failed attempt to convince the tango teacher to
      let them practise the Stick and Bucket Dance!

      Eventually all sore feet and kicked shins retired from the
      dance floor, and we headed down the street to meet
      Steven at the Bar Bukka, a music-venue pub straight out
      of 1972, where Wendy Rule and her acoustic band were
      playing. Wendy is a stunning-looking lady (her photos don't
      do her justice) from Melbourne with a faux Knightsbridge
      accent, a lovely contralto voice, fascinating taste in coats
      and corsetry, and an apparent conviction that she's Stevie
      Nicks reborn, which may come as a surprise to the
      still-living Stevie Nicks:


      The Bar Bukka has a devoted regular clientele whose
      attire and attitudes prove that hippies are alive and
      well in the 21st Century. It's a very friendly place that
      specialises in exotic liqueurs and cocktails and very
      sensible prices. I recognised many of the patrons from
      Hania Ogg's Solstice party last month -- lovely people,
      and about as devil-worshippy as Mrs Cosmopilite!

      After the gig, Steven and I headed off to walk the half-
      hour back to central Melbourne for our train home. On
      the way, Steven fulfilled a promise he made to me long
      ago by taking a route through Parliament Gardens to
      show me the possums. Oh, they are amazing little
      creatures! The Fourecksian answer to the squirrel in many
      ways, they are so used to humans that they stood calmly
      as we passed near them, and a few were even so bold as
      to approach us looking for treats. I know that Ecksians
      consider them a pest, but amongst the old oaks and
      equally old native trees of the park, they are a delight.
      And again, photographs don't do them justice.

      Hania Ogg informed us that there's to be a Pagans Picnic
      on the weekend after next. We might well go. I see a
      cauldron in my future...

      -- Report by Drusilla D'Afanguin

      (Ed note: My dog Luke certainly knows how to do justice
      to possums. We have them in Miami, Florida, too -- and
      Luke snaps their neck in about 5 seconds, especially
      if they are doing their "playing dead" trick.)
      If you did not get all 3 parts, write: jschaum111@...
      End of Part 2, says my computer -- continued on Part 3 of 3

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