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WOSSNAME -- SEPTEMBER 2004 -- PART 1 OF 4

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion September 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 9) *********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2004
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      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      September 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 9)
      *********************************************************************
      WOSSNAME is a FREE publication for members of the
      worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates,
      including the North American Discworld Society and other
      continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in
      your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No.
      *********************************************************************
      Editor in Chief: Joseph Schaumburger
      Managing Editor: Annie Mac
      News Editor: Bethany Ayers
      Staff Writers: Asti Osborn
      Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
      Puzzle Editor: Jared Hays
      DW Horoscope: Anaemia Asterisk
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet,
      Nathan Clissold, Dylan Williams
      Art Director: Rhett Pennell
      World Membership Director: Becky Swaney
      Convention News Editor: Anna M.Conina
      Webmaster: Paul Wilkins, disk@...
      Copyright 2004 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      INDEX:

      ====Part 1

      1) NOREASCON 4: ALL TERRY PRATCHETT, ALL THE TIME

      ====Part 2

      1) (continued) NOREASCON 4: ALL TERRY PRATCHETT, ALL THE TIME
      2) THIS MONTH'S PUZZLE: A HAT FULL OF SKY

      ====Part 3

      3) "WYRD SISTERS" PRODUCTION IN THE UK
      4) AFP GREEN MAN MEET ON SEPTEMBER 18TH
      5) TWEED MEET 1.0
      6) AFP HALLOWEEN MEETING IN LONDON OCTOBER 30
      7) "GOING POSTAL" ON SALE IN THE UK
      8) "NIGHT WATCH" OPENS IN AUSTRALIA
      9) LETTER -- GRANNY LIVES!

      ====Part 4

      10) THE NEW DISC HOROSCOPE

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      1) NOREASCON 4: ALL TERRY PRATCHETT, ALL THE TIME
      or, "Hi, My name is Anna, and I'll be your stalker this weekend."

      by Anna M. Conina

      BEING the First of a Three-Part Convention Report on the
      62nd Worldcon's Guest of Honor.
      Part the First: Thursday -- Please Refrain from
      Bleeding on the Cookies

      So there I was, slumming in the Mended Drum, nursing a
      drink and cautiously eyeing the troll bouncer. I'd
      successfully recruited the proprietor to join the
      Klatchian Foreign Legion, despite his D'reg affiliations.

      I was waxing voluble with a deceptively sweet Agony Aunt
      and the very engaging Mr. Boggis, and had the Librarian,
      in all his glorious warm-fuzziness, firmly ensconced in my lap
      (thereby discouraging the eminent Mr. B. from making any
      untoward advances on my wallet). Earlier in the evening, I had
      been kissed by Terry Pratchett. In front of witnesses.
      And to top it all off, I hadn't accidentally scythed
      anyone -- fatally, anyway -- all night.

      All told, one of my better days. But perhaps I'd better
      start at the beginning. I came to Boston to attend
      Noreascon 4 as a Woman with a Mission.

      Well, Two Missions: first, to make Terry an
      Honorary Commandant of the KFL, whether he liked it or
      not, and second, to attend all his panels, speeches,
      autograph sessions, award ceremonies, interviews,
      miscellaneous public appearances, and pretty much
      anything short of his bathroom breaks (again, whether
      he liked it or not), and report on the highlights for
      WOSSNAME. You see, I was more than just a Slightly
      Scary Fan. I was empowered by Joe (foolish mortal) as
      an Official Representative of the KFL. I had a shiny
      new badge proclaiming said office. Granted, I'd made
      it myself, but it was no less official for all that.
      Joe said so, right after dubbing me Anna Conina,
      barbarian librarian/hairstylist of the Discworld.
      So clearly he was deadly serious about it.

      My Terry-intensive Noreascon experience commenced with
      the opening ceremonies, during which he strolled onstage
      wearing his trademarked Author Hat and a T-shirt that
      self-deprecatingly proclaimed, in progressively smaller
      typeface, "Tolkien is dead. J.K. Rowling said no.
      Phillip Pullman couldn't make it. Hi, I'm TerryPratchett."

      Immediately afterward, his two panels, Where Do Elves
      Come From?" and "The Art and Science of
      Glamour," followed hard on each others' heels,
      foreshadowing the sadistic scheduling crunch that was
      to plague him all weekend. Sharing the same room and
      topic, these first two panels tend to blend in memory
      into one big meta-panel of chocolaty elfin goodness.
      Or gleeful badness, really, since we're talking
      Pratchett elves here, and nobody can write a better fey
      bastard than the Master.

      Up for discussion was the popularity of fairy artwork
      ("an excuse to paint young women in the nuddy"), the
      practical challenges presented by Lothlorien treehouses
      (broadband access? Bathroom facilities? So *that's*
      how they water the trees), the trading of pretty human
      babies for ugly fairy changelings (Terry claims to be
      the regrettable result of one of these swaps),
      revelations of panelist Vera Nazarian's highly
      suspicious iron allergy (Terry raised the alarm with
      frantic gestures and accusatory cries of "Elf! Elf!"),
      the Hotness Factor of Orlando "Pinup Elf" Bloom, and the
      Coolness Factor of the ever-glamorous and fortuitously
      absent Neil "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" Gaiman.

      On the serious side, the panelists explored the
      evolution (or devolution) of fairies over the centuries,
      how they have been domesticated and "diminished" via
      cutesy names (have you ever met a badass named
      Peaseblossom?) and technology. Humanity conquered the
      denizens of fairyland when it conquered its own
      environment, yet "it only takes one power cut to bring
      them back."

      Even Terry the rationalist was once unsettled by
      an eldritch (but ultimately explicable) experience
      out in the midnight English countryside. It
      was the sort of spooky story that really cried out for
      a dark room and a flashlight under his face (prop people
      are never around when you need them). An audience
      inquiry about the growing popularity of the "urban elf"
      genre inspired some of the most interesting ideas; elves
      are creatures of "dark, dangerous places, and those
      places aren't in the country anymore." The country as
      elf-habitat is not the sole thing lost to the march of
      progress, though; tongue planted firmly in cheek, Terry
      conjectured that the _Lord of the Rings_ could never
      exist in its current form today. While the scarcity of
      women might be overlooked, Tolkien's editors would have
      demanded he include "at least one good orc, who's sort
      of seen the light . . . who's read poetry, maybe."

      As the last panel dispersed, Terry entered the hall, and
      hordes of fans converged on him for various purposes:
      general greetings, thoughtful gifts (one woman offered
      an origami crane and some heartfelt praise for the
      ending of _Hat Full of Sky_; obviously touched, he swore
      he'd written it just for her -- or at least people
      *like* her, who could understand and appreciate it),
      interview requests, and, of course, the ubiquitous
      signature seeking. Some fans were wonderfully sneaky
      about it. They'd sidle up, looking for all the world
      like some innocuous well-wisher, then abruptly conjure
      a book out of some hidden orifice and beseech him to
      sign it. And he always would, with scarcely a grimace.
      In turns out that, in addition to being a very clever
      guy, and a very funny guy, Terry is also a very, very
      nice guy. And boy, do his fans take advantage of it.
      Emboldened by this, I posed for a picture with him and
      stammered out some incoherent tribute to his books (his
      standard, endearing response to all women who pay him
      compliments is "Where were you when I was 18?"). I was
      surprised when he not only recognized my mention of the
      Klatchian Foreign Legion, but recalled that we were
      planning to inflict an award upon him after the Terry
      on Trial event later that night. Oh, yeah. The award.

      Oh, bugger . . . . You know, I'd spent months in frantic
      preparation for Noreascon, uplifted by the knowledge that,
      like the light at the end of the tunnel, Terry would turn up at
      the finish. Suddenly, the award presentation was less
      than three hours away, and it came as a bit of a shock
      to realize that I had never truly, viscerally grasped
      that I would be going onstage in front of both a
      good-sized crowd and the author whose genius had awed
      me for well over a decade. Sometimes, the light at the end
      of the tunnel is the Stage Fright Express -- and to make up
      for lost time, it hits you *twice* as hard . . . .

      Scarpering off to my room, I quickly squeezed into my
      Paul-Kidby-inspired Susan Death costume: a moderately
      low-cut and side-slit stretchy black velvet and lace
      dress, velvet cape, knee-high boots, black-and-white
      plaited fright wig, and glowing blue scythe crowned with
      the Death of Rats riding on Quoth the Raven. Joined by
      my partner in crime, valiant KFL-er and fellow library
      type Sheila, I hastened to the site of the advertised
      KFL pre-award dinner meet-up. Where not a single bloody
      Legionnaire showed up. Or unbloody Legionnaire, for
      that matter. Hoping the "bad rehearsal, good performance"
      law applied to this scenario, Sheila and I ate a hasty dinner,
      rehearsed for half an hour, grabbed the necessary props
      -- our scripts, the hat, a hatbox full of homemade
      cookies, and a KFL button reading "Join the Klatchian
      Foreign Legion, meet interesting people, and get killed
      by them" -- and hastened to the elevators. Slathered
      in death-mask makeup and gore, her white shirt bristling
      with arrows, and sporting a ludicrously fake moustache,
      Sheila made a marvelous Legionnaire, and together we
      attracted quite a few stares. Unfortunately, we quickly
      discovered that our costumes presented unique challenges.

      To avoid further embellishing the palm-tree-decorated
      hatbox with a copious quantity of fake blood, Sheila was
      forced to assume a stiff-armed, "Shawn of the Dead" style walk
      which luckily went well with the whole deceased image,
      but took up rather a lot of elevator space. Meanwhile,
      my scythe handle proved that black permanent marker is
      by no means permanent when applied to PVC pipe and
      grasped in a sweaty hand. From the wrists down, it
      appeared as if Susan had just returned from working a
      coal mining catastrophe. The way the scythe extended
      far beyond my personal space was also not making friends
      and influencing people in a positive way; the folks in
      the elevator were getting quite adept at ducking in
      unison whenever I moved. After four near-gougings, I
      began to see some sense in Noreascon 4's draconian
      weapons policy, and resolved to ditch the blasted thing
      as soon as possible.

      Finally, the Susan Death gown was. . . well, a bit
      less dress than I was accustomed to wearing.
      I kept hiking the bodice up and the side-slit
      down, which predictably worked at cross-purposes.

      The First Night Discworld celebration was in full swing
      when we entered the concourse, and I deeply regret being
      too paralyzed with incipient stage fright to appreciate
      most of it. We saw costumes galore, including a very
      impressive troll, a second Susan, Queen Molly,
      Rincewind, witches aplenty, and the aforementioned Agony
      Aunts and Mr. Boggis.

      A food court brazenly pleaded guilty to peddling
      C.M.O.T. Dibbler's snacks, while a large display
      promoted the Cunning Artificer's wares and
      Terry's publishing history. I coveted the Discworld
      calendar, which wasn't for sale, and fancied one very
      stylish "21 Years of Discworld" poster featuring a
      shadowy profile of Terry clutching a cane and brooding
      like some sort of film noir assassin, which wasn't for
      sale, either. Best of all was a wonderfully detailed
      replica of the Mended Drum set up in the concourse,
      guarded by a statue of a troll bouncer, which hosted an
      assortment of drinks, filking, and general bonhomie.

      I even managed a brief chat with one of its creators,
      the dashing Barak Brudo, talented artist and secret
      Med-Jai warrior, who really should supplement my
      far-too-brief description of the pub with a more
      detailed article for WOSSNAME (Barak, if you're reading
      this, that is what's known as a REALLY BIG HINT). I'd
      say the only disappointment was the complete lack of
      morris dancers in the concourse, although I suspect most
      of the men were consoled by the abundance of belly
      dancers who stepped up to fill the void. Perhaps it was
      for the best. Given the mayhem my scythe was causing,
      I doubt the space could have withstood a stick-and-bucket
      assault, too. (continued on Part 2)
      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      If you did not get all 4 parts, write: jschaum111@...
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      End of Part 1, says my computer -- continued on Part 2 of 4


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