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WOSSNAME -- DECEMBER 2004 -- PART 1 OF 4

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  • Joseph Schaumburger
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion December 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 12) *********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2005
      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      December 2004 (Volume 7, 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.
      *********************************************************************
      Editor in Chief: Joseph Schaumburger
      Managing Editor: Annie Mac
      News Editor: Bethany Ayers
      Convention News Editor: Anna M.Conina
      Staff Writers: Asti Osborn
      Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
      Puzzle Editor: Jared Hays
      DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet,
      Nathan Clissold, Dylan Williams
      Art Director: Rhett Pennell
      World Membership Director: Becky Swaney
      Webmaster: Paul Wilkins, disk@...
      Copyright 2004/2005 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      ***

      INDEX:

      ====Part 1

      1) Apologia

      2) Minicon Report

      3) Going Postal Redux

      4) Orange Word Interview

      ====Part 2

      5) Once More, With Footnotes

      6) New Year's Resolutions

      ====Part 3

      7) Letters From Our Readers

      8) Barnes and Noble "Going Postal" Reading Group

      9) The Art of Discworld


      ====Part 4

      10) The New Disc Horoscope


      *********************************************************************

      *********************************************************************

      APOLOGIA THINGUMMY

      As some of you may know, and many of you may not know, our beloved
      Editor-in-Chief and Elder God of the Outer Deeps, Joe Schaumburger,
      suffered a mild heart attack on Christmas Day - luckily, *after* the
      meal and the sweet trolley, as befits a proper wizzardly sort - and
      was carted off to hospital. In a typical act of Joe-ness, the first
      thing he did when allowed to have visitors was to pass a message to
      me asking if I could possibly do him the favour of putting together
      and publishing the December issue of WOSSNAME!

      After some uncomfortable surgical procedures, Joe was allowed home,
      but is under orders to rest (why these hospitals don't keep a handy
      Igor around is quite beyond me), so with the help of the delectable
      Anna M. Conina, I've cobbled together the slightly-late December
      issue in order to give the poor man a break. Normal service will
      resume next month, for a certain value of normal.

      The staff of WOSSNAME fervently wishes all our readers a very happy
      New Year, with good health and good fortune for all.

      Annie Mac, Managing Editor who has learnt some new and exciting
      things about, um, managing.

      *********************************************************************

      *********************************************************************

      MINICON NEWS

      by Anna M.C.

      Terry Pratchett is scheduled to appear as Writer Guest of Honor at
      Minicon 40, March 25-27, 2005, at the Sheraton Minneapolis in
      Bloomington, Minnesota. Programming ideas for "Minicon Fortean" are
      still in progress, so be sure to submit your Discworld inspirations
      to:

      programming@...

      For more information, please visit the Minicon website-in-progress
      at:

      http://www.mnstf.org/minicon/minicon40/


      *********************************************************************

      *********************************************************************

      GOING POSTAL REDUX: Pratchett's Marvellous Omniscope

      by Annie Mac

      I've been re-reading Going Postal this week, for the first time since
      it came out. Reading it, not at my usual FTL speed, but rather taking
      a few pages at a time, a few times a day, and savouring every
      paragraph, and musing on its contents, the way one would read a
      cherished childhood novel, or a rare uncorrected proof...or a chatty
      letter handwritten by a long-dead stranger. And I'm finding that
      Going Postal is rapidly moving up the upper reaches of the My
      Absolute Favourite Of All Time Discworld novels, climbing over the
      shoulders of a few of my other best-beloveds. How high it will
      eventually get, I don't know, but it's very near to Night Watch at
      this moment - and that's high on the list indeed.

      All the Discworld novels are endlessly quotable, but Going Postal
      seems to me to be one nearly-uninterrupted string of memorable lines.
      I wouldn't know where to begin if I had to list my favourite GP
      quotes (though the passage about B. S. Johnson's design flaws is a
      definite contender, as is Vetinari's manner of pointing out what the
      job description for Tyrant includes!); the book isn't merely a
      "sequence of unalloyed delight", as some reviewer once claimed about
      an earlier DW novel - it's a sequence of sequences of unalloyed -
      well, you get the picture. Or the iconograph. The earliest Discworld
      novels (The Colour of Magic through to and including Equal Rites),
      wonderful as they all were, tended to be a series of satirical images
      and anecdotes strung together by a minimum of plot. But as the now-
      familiar characters took on shape and substance and, I suspect, a
      life of their own (which the author as much as admits in a sense),
      their creator became free(r) to explore more textured stories, to
      flesh out the lives and histories of the players, and then the
      Discworld tales took off from the realms of what I call satirical
      fantasy into the meatier and darker lands of The Human Condition -
      oh, all right, The Person Condition [essayist dodges a dangerous
      Battle Bun hurled at this point by the Campaign for Equal Heights and
      a large lump of ooograh flung by the Silicon Anti-Defamation League].
      As the march of Discworld novels progresses, so does Pratchett ever
      more deeply delve into what makes people and societies tick, and what
      problems and situations are common to all sentient beings, be they
      human, Dwarf, Troll, werewolf, vampire or Nobbs...and as he does so,
      he shows this exquisite talent for getting inside the motivations of
      the great and the small (and even the *very* small, though your
      average Nac Mac Feegle is, shall we say, not overly complicated...but
      don't let them know that or you'll probably get a face full o' heid).
      Granny and Vimes and Vetinari and Carrot become ever more complex,
      ever more layered, ever more *real* as their lives and times continue
      - and I for one love that. Whenever I hear a self-proclaimed
      Discworld fan claim that Pratchett's "best" books were the earlier
      ones, I have to grit my teeth and bite my tongue to keep from getting
      mediaeval upon their, erm, selves. Whenever I hear such self-
      proclaimed fans complaining that the latter books "aren't as funny",
      I calm myself with the sure knowledge that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is
      stamped into said fans' personalities, somewhere in the slipping-on-
      bananana-peel sections of the brain. Hellooo, people, the Discworld
      books are still funny! - in fact, Going Postal is full of absolute
      howlers - as are even the most "serious" books such as Monstrous
      Regiment and Night Watch. It's just that underneath the pun(e)s and
      the hilarious set pieces are fine, deep currents of truth and
      timeliness, and universally applicable observations about all our
      Dark Moments of Existential Dreeed. Terry Pratchett has an emotional
      omniscope and he uses it without fear or favour, and I say hurrah
      for that.

      And now I'm going back to savour some more of Going Postal again.

      One of the recurring DW dust-jacket blurbs says that Pratchett
      occasionally gets accused of making Literature. Damn' right.

      *********************************************************************

      *********************************************************************

      ORANGE WORD INTERVIEW

      Thanks to the kind folk at "The Orange Word," a streaming audio
      recording of Terry Pratchett's hour-long interview for the 2004
      International Writers Season, is now available online. Acknowledging
      that Terry virtually "interviews himself," host Paul Blezard of One
      Word Radio knows when to stand back and let twenty-one years of
      Discworld speak for themselves.

      Progressing from the mostly plot-free The Color of Magic to a
      sneak preview of Nation (about a country consisting of only one
      boy), Terry reflects how his writing has matured, admitting a special
      fondness for the complex characters of Vimes and Granny, who curb
      their internal darkness with a wary self-restraint. Anecdotes about
      the perils of scented stamps and cross-dressing Dutchwomen emphasize
      how snippets of real-life history enrich his humor with the texture
      of truth. Fans will especially appreciate details from the upcoming
      Thud about Nobby's pole-dancer girlfriend, a class act who not only
      owns her own pole, but who was once Miss May *and* two weeks in June.

      Questions about his writing techniques yield less satisfying answers;
      the revelation that he juggles three books at once by "partitioning"
      his mind left me wondering how to accomplish that impressive feat,
      short of the application of plywood and particularly painful surgery.
      Perhaps the best answer to all these sorts of questions is his
      ultimate reply to the audience member who asks, "Why [the switch to]
      chapters?" After explaining their convenience in children's books in
      which "Mummy and Daddy...will read you up 'till the end of the
      chapter," the fun of Going Postal's early Victorian headings with
      "little tidbits about what's going to happen next," and the
      challenging "discipline" of the chapter form, he finally concludes
      that he decided to try chapters "Because I can do *whatever I want*!"
      With a talent like Terry's, you can indeed.

      Fleshed out with his incisive opinions of critics, other authors and
      the marginalization of science fiction/fantasy by booksellers, the
      interview is the next best thing to talking to Terry yourself. For
      those as tongue-tied as me, it's probably even better. ; )

      To hear the Windows Media interview, go to:

      http://orangeword.co.uk/DOCS/0102.htm

      by Anna M.C.

      *********************************************************************

      *********************************************************************


      END OF PART 1 OF 4 [Editor's note: sounds like a Borg to me!]

      If you do not get all parts of this issue, wait a while before
      emailing jschaum111@... - the man needs his rest!
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