WOSSNAME -- OCTOBER 2004 -- PART 1 OF 4
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
October 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 10)
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
1) NOREASCON 4: ALL TERRY PRATCHETT, ALL THE TIME
1) (continued) NOREASCON 4: ALL TERRY PRATCHETT, ALL THE TIME
2) DW NEWS FROM ALL OVER
3) DUTCH THEATER NEWS
4) ANKH-MORPORK POST OFFICE (WINCANTON BRANCH)
GRAND OPENING AND HOGSWATCH FAYRE
5) TROLL BRIDGE: DISCWORLD FILM DOCUMENTARY
6) 6) SNOWFEST REPORT -- AUSTRALIA
7) THE NEW DISC HOROSCOPE
8) THIS MONTH'S PUZZLE: GOING POSTAL
And now, the long-awaited continuation of . . .
NOREASCON 4: ALL TERRY PRATCHETT, ALL THE TIME
or, "Hi, my name is Anna, and I'll be your stalker this weekend."
BEING the Second of a Three-Part Convention Report on the 62nd
Worldcon's Guest of Honor.
Part the Second: Friday/Saturday -- A Near-Sandwich Experience
I would like to begin this portion of my report with an apology for a
monstrous error -- a _Monstrous Regiment_ of an error, in fact. Last
month I thanked Sami for her award presentation feedback and editing
suggestions. Unfortunately, I should have thanked Sami for HIS feedback
and editing suggestions. Major whoops. Believe me, no aspersions on
Sami's cyber-masculinity were intended. I'm certain Sami is a manly man
reeking of virility, sloshing with veritable bucketloads of
testosterone, and hairy in all the right places.
Now that we've cleared that up, let us return from me embarrassing
myself in WOSSNAME, to me embarrassing myself at Noreascon.
Friday morning saw Susan Death usurped by Jane Austen (now, *there*
would be a mud-wrestling match for the ages). My lavender gown, gloves,
and fan were designed for the afternoon Regency dance, not the
relentless Hawaiian-theming of the Locus Awards, but I still settled in
among the deafening tropical-patterned shirts and grass-skirted hula
dolls like I'd stumbled into a production of _Pride and Polynesia_.
Although the Noreascon program omitted Terry from the guest list, I
figured any stalker worth her salt would be there just in case he
appeared to accept his award for _The Wee Free Men_ in person. Plus,
after the previous day's Elf Glamour panel had devolved into the Neil
Gaiman Urban Legend Forum, I was curious to see the fabled Cool One in
As it turned out, Terry did turn up, less to accept his award than to
wax indignant, tongue super-glued in cheek. How have censors allowed
such honors to be heaped upon a book featuring a belligerent mob of
drinking, thieving, swearing fairies -- not to mention well-respected
witches? Wouldn't anybody "have the decency to *burn* it?" A
leather-clad Neil Gaiman also eventually slouched in, sunglasses
shielding him from any rogue sunbeams that might stray into the
completely windowless room, to accept his awards and apologize for
clashing with the tropical atmosphere (leading to a story about an
actual trip to Hawaii in which a bikini-clad girl took one look at his
jacket and disapprovingly sneered, "Like, don't you realize you're in
Hawaii?" prompting him to exclaim, "[Expletive deleted], they told me at
the airport it was Denmark!"). Afterwards, I noticed Terry and Neil
chatting companionably, no doubt replenishing their mutual collection of
embarrassing stories to tell about one another. Theirs is a strange and
Although I wasn't surprised that Terry didn't recognize me when I
congratulated him on his award, I was astonished that his editor
Jennifer Brehl *did*, taking the time to compliment me on my dress. I
think I could have turned up in a full-face fright mask and she *still*
would have known it was me. It's a gift. Either that, or she's the one
assigned to keep an eye on the Slightly Scary Fans.
Next up were Terry's "Looking Backward: the 20th Century" and "The
Character of Death" panels, where the tone was set when Terry and Esther
Friesner opened the first panel with the ritual dismemberment of a
leftover _Locus_ hula doll. When Terry mentioned the excavation of an
ancient Jerusalem latrine whose noxious contents were still miraculously
intact (apropos of what, I haven't a clue), panelist John Scalzi
interjected, with perfect timing, "Holy Sh*t!" Scalzi also had very
definite ideas about how Hello Kitty kitsch might damage our future
archaeological reputations ("The hideous cat-face is everywhere! It
must mean something, dammit!"). After citing the influence of the
Bergman film _The Seventh Seal_ on the Discworld's Death, discussion
focused on the death of words themselves. Describing special rooms in
the ancient world where marred religious texts would be "buried," since
they were too sacred to be discarded, Terry then asked us to indicate
who among us would be comfortable with burning books as a means of
disposal. The conspicuous lack of upraised hands showed how the
sacredness of the written word had not yet relinquished its hold on
modern minds. So much for sneering at primitive superstitions.
Between panels, I snapped some photos of burlap-clad members of the
Beggars' Guild being tutored in the finer points of revoltingly hacking
coughs by Terry himself. I also managed to visit the ballroom to
execute a few Regency dances -- "execute" being the key word. I
slaughtered those suckers.
I finally fled the dance at 5pm, with only a half hour left to scarf
down dinner, change clothes, and find a cab. I wanted to arrive at the
Aquarium by 6pm to attend what promised to be one of the most exciting
events of the convention: the HarperCollins private party in honor of
Terry. Thanks to Joe, I'd actually snagged an invitation. Clearly
amused at my enthusiasm, Jennifer Brehl had confirmed that Terry would
indeed be attending, despite being scheduled to appear back at the Retro
Hugo Awards immediately afterwards. Being more than a bit socially
challenged, I normally avoid parties like the plague, but I had no
intention of missing this one. With luck, I might overhear The Great
One's witty conversations with other literary luminaries, and maybe even
chat with Jennifer, whose determined friendliness was undermining all my
efforts to regard her as a Scary Big Shot.
After unpinning my hair and changing into a bright purple dress -- in
retrospect, probably not the ideal choice for inconspicuous
eavesdropping -- I headed to wait for one of the Sheraton's many
elevators. Nervous as a cat in a microwave, I paced the floor,
consulted my watch, inspected my makeup in the hall mirror, and
freshened my lipstick about a half-dozen times, smiling sheepishly at a
distinguished-looking silver-haired gentleman who raised one
aristocratic eyebrow at my obvious agitation. It was only the following
day, while watching the Hugo Awards, that I recognized the witness to my
twitchiness as none other than Robert Silverberg.
Still blissfully ignorant of having made a spectacle of myself in front
of one of the legendary names in science fiction, I left the bemused Mr.
Silverberg behind. The elevator's descent seemed painfully slow,
stopping at almost every floor. I was tapping my foot impatiently as
the doors opened to admit a dapper man in a stylish black velvet jacket
fastened with black frogging, topped with an unmistakable black Author Hat.
Against quite spectacular odds, Terry Pratchett had just entered my
Needless to say, I had not anticipated this scenario. Staring fixedly
at the floor and struggling not to laugh at the absurd coincidence, I
debated what to do. He clearly hadn't noticed or recognized me, and I
was afraid of seeming pushy, or even a bit creepy ("It's me again, the
Fan of a Thousand Faces! I know your every movement!
Muahahahahaaaa!"). Best to stick with the Unobtrusive Eavesdropping Plan.
Still, I couldn't resist a sideward glance, and in doing so I found him
looking thoughtfully at me. "This may be a very stupid question," he
finally ventured, "but . . . are you 'Susan'?"
Oh, bugger . . . .
I pleaded guilty to both the Susan Death and the Regency personas, as
well as to being the uncostumed KFL rep who'd posed for a photo with him
on Thursday afternoon. "I'm going to the HarperCollins party now, too,"
I babbled. "I didn't say anything because . . . . well, I'm trying to
maintain the fine line between 'Hi, my name is Anna and I'm a really big
fan,' and 'Hi, my name is Anna and I'll be your stalker this weekend.'"
My joke did not evoke a laugh -- or even a faint smile. Could he have
taken me seriously? Would equally humorless security guards be directed
to detain me from the party? Panic was just commencing its intestinal
tap-dance when, his expression completely inscrutable, he asked if I'd
like to share a cab to the Aquarium.
Weak with relief and fangirl euphoria, I nodded as we exited the
elevator and mumbled something devastatingly witty along the lines of,
"Urk . . . if it . . . um . . won't be a bother . . . ." At which
point he turned to me, face still funereally grave, and replied, "Of
course not, but I should warn you that I'm a very married man, so you'll
have to promise not to molest me." Only then, while I was blushing a
more apoplectic shade of purple than my dress, did he finally unleash
the same wicked grin with which he'd summoned 'Susan' to the witness stand.
Remember in part one, when I said Terry was a very, very nice guy?
Important footnote: he also has just as evil a sense of humor as his
The short cab ride to the Aquarium was surreal and fun and
nerve-wracking, as my Inner Perdita amused herself by shrieking,
"Ohmigod. You're having a conversation with Terry Pratchett. Please
say something clever. At least say something halfway intelligent! No,
no, don't say THAT!" We talked a bit about his family, he answered a
question concerning _Night Watch_, and he seemed to agree with my
suggestion that Captain Jack Sparrow would be right at home on the
Discworld, informing me that the scriptwriters for _Pirates of the
Caribbean_ were said to be fans of his books. Best of all, when I
mentioned I'd dressed as Captain Jack last Halloween, he asked, "Ah, but
can you do the voice?" -- and then proceeded to treat me to one of the
best impressions of that pirate's rum-soaked, slurring tones I've ever
heard. The pirate-hunting boy in the concourse Thursday night would've
given his right eyepatch to be there.
I quickly wandered away when we arrived, presuming that hovering by his
side in obsessive fan fashion until they resorted to surgically removing
me would probably not be a smooth move. I amused myself by examining
the stacks of books by various HarperCollins sci-fi/fantasy authors, the
Aquarium's special jellyfish exhibits, and plentiful trays of seafood
hors d'oeuvres (insert your own joke about jellyfish sushi here;
everyone else did), while a jazz trio provided a mellow backbeat.
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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