WOSSNAME -- APRIL 2005 -- PART 1 OF 5
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
APRIL 2005 (Volume 8, Issue 4)
Part 1 of 5 Sections
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
Creative Co-Conspirator: Valeria Lynne
Staff Writers: Asti Osborn
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: volunteer needed
DW Horoscope: Anaemia Asterisk
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet,
Nathan Clissold, Dylan Williams
Art Director: Rhett Pennell
World Membership Director: Becky Swaney
Webmaster: Paul Wilkins, disk@...
Copyright 2005 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
2) MINICON (USA) -- THE FULL REPORT
2) MINICON (USA) -- THE FULL REPORT (continued)
2) MINICON (USA) -- THE FULL REPORT (continued)
3) OTHER NEWS
4) CONS AND MEETS
5) HOW I DISCOVERED TERRY PRATCHETT
6) YOUR MONTHLY DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE
Little did I know a few days ago that a 30 second
lightning strike and power blackout almost put
WOSSNAME into an early grave. I thought nothing of it
at the time -- Florida is the lightning capital of the world
and resetting the clocks is almost an automatic response.
However, I was online when it happened.
Next morning I sat down to begin work on WOSSNAME and
found there was something missing -- namely the whole file.
It is a very large file -- I estimate it at about 2,000 pages, going
back to 1998 -- -- and without it, putting together the issue is a
daunting job. I seriously considered not putting out the issue.
I searched and searched, getting absolutely nowhere. Finally,
I tried to see if it was still on the machine at all. Steve D'Aprano,
a good friend and BU member in Australia, suggested I try the
Find feature. It generated a lot of crap, but in it there was a hint
that there was some WOSSNAME stuff on a file called 0-WRITING.
I thought this was a bit bizarre, since that file consisted of about
300 pages of an unsold novel that I hadn't touched for several years.
Also, it was not on AOL but on another program called Corel (better
known as WordPerfect 8.0). Calling it up, I found that all the missing
WOSSNAME files had somehow migrated there, under the heading
of LETTERS. Whoopee!
Since then, I've been struggling to move the files back and think
it is all fixed. However, if you find some of your priceless prose
has been mangled or omitted, I beg your indulgence.
Otherwise, it was just an ordinary month without much happening.
The most exciting event coming up is a production of the play
MASKERADE as an opera, which will be presented in downtown
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from June 22 through June 25.
The moral of all this: if it starts to thunder and lightning when
you're online, it might be a good idea to turn off your computer,
unplug it, wait awhile, and think deep thoughts.
Joe Schaumburger, editor
2) MINICON (USA) -- THE FULL REPORT
by Anna M. Conina and Valeria Lynne
We're not going to sugar-coat it for you: if you missed Minicon
Fortean, you missed an absolutely fabulous, chock-full-o'-Terry,
rip-roaringly helluva good time.
Held March 25th-27th at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Minneapolis,
Minicon Fortean (a.k.a. Minicon 40) attracted a crowd of about 630
attendees, large enough to be interesting yet small enough to be
intimate. Chairman Greg Ketter, owner of Minneapolis's famous
DreamHaven Books, offered a line-up that included fan guest of honor
James Young and artist guests of honor Fastner and Larson, as well as
author guest of honor Terry Pratchett.
Armed with three costumes apiece, we arrived at Minicon uncertain of
what to expect, since Noreascon had set standards that were difficult to
meet. Much to our satisfaction, Terry Pratchett was everywhere at
Minicon: in the lineup of books in the dealer's room, in the
"Discworld" sign spelled out in Christmas lights, in about half the
panels, and in the clever Faster and Larson "Death of Cheeses" artwork
embellishing the program and sold-out convention T-shirts
More importantly, Terry was in the halls and in the consuite, mingling
with his fans in a way that larger cons could never manage. It "felt
like a Discworld convention" to Terry, which for him is the highest of
And now that you're wailing and gnashing your teeth in earnest, let us
rub salt in your already festering wounds with our Minicon report. Read
it and weep.
Part One -- Shepherd's Huts and Screaming Orgasms:
The Joy of Pratchett Programming
by Anna M. Conina
Now that I have your undivided attention . . . .
If you're expecting another lengthy epic akin to my Noreascon
Obsessive-Compulsive Real-Time Transcript, prepare for disappointment
(or possibly relief). This time around, Val has been ordered to
restrain me, with electroshock and duct tape if necessary.* Instead,
you may access the schedule via our scanned pocket program
you won't see my two favorite events listed: Terry's pre-con speech at
the Southdale Library, and the impromptu reading from the upcoming
_Thud!_ which Terry graciously added at his fans' request.**
Although Thursday's library speech started only two hours after our
respective flights landed, we still managed to arrive almost an hour in
advance. Since the really early birds had already laid claim to the
first few rows, we were not seated anywhere near front and center. We
were dressed normally. We sat quietly. We were as inconspicuous as
Terry still spotted me almost immediately.
This is, in fact, an understatement. Executing a picture-perfect
double-take, Terry buried his head in his hands, laughed until his
shoulders shook, and asked the audience, "You don't know why I'm
laughing, do you? My Designated Stalker is here."***
While I smiled weakly at neighboring audience members and Val cruelly
laughed herself sick at my expense, he worked his way through the
signing queue, delighting one mother by pretending to sign her
bewildered baby's forehead. Immediately afterwards, he launched into a
wonderfully stream-of-consciousness speech that reminisced about his
days working at the Beaconsfield Library; the history of military
cross-dressing underlying _Monstrous Regiment_; the
Tiffany-Aching-inspired shepherd's hut recently constructed on his
property; the suicidal fragility of sheep ("Sheep have a hobby, which is
dying"); and his own desired epitaph ("Amazingly, he remained sexually
active up until the day he died").
As his talk turned to _Thud!_, the audience learned about the new female
vampire on the Watch and the unique difficulties presented by
transforming into several bats as opposed to a single werewolf (although
killing off one bat is a quick and easy weight-loss system). Both Val
and I are eager to read the referenced "girl's night out" scene
featuring Angua, Sally the vampire, and Cheery Littlebottom
female-bonding in a bar; poor Cheery, still confused about certain
fundamentals, keeps drinking "Screaming Orgasms" in the vain hope that
they'll eventually work.****
During his Saturday reading, other new characters emerged, including a
reformed vampire who dresses in tacky sweaters and desperately
over-pronounces his "w's", a stoned-out-of-his-mind urban troll named
Brick who's had far too many slab-fueled Worst Nightmares to keep count
anymore, and Tawnee, Nobby's knockout pole-dancer girlfriend. Best of
all was the Godfather-esque scene in the pork futures warehouse between
Vimes, Detritus, and Chrysoprase the troll, thrumming with the same grim
tension and gallows humor of _Night Watch_. Aside from the frustrations
incited by Terry's frequent pauses to edit out "a bit of plot," it was
pure pleasure. He even asked me to keep an eye on his computer when he
had to leave the room prior to the reading.*****
Equally impromptu was Terry's appearance at the Rivendell Group's
discussion of his works. I had mentioned the book talk to Terry when he
asked me when his next event was scheduled (why he assumed I'd have his
schedule memorized, I can't imagine), and he decided to "drop in and
spoil their fun." By the time I arrived, the group was forcing him to
relocate from the rear of the room to the front, happily quizzing him
about everything from his books to his work with the Orangutan Foundation.
Along with the usual three-mile signing queues, highlights of Terry's
programming included his kneeling portrayal of a "Footnote," complete
with goofy Gumby-esque voice; a comparison of the casual British and
uptight American perspectives on cursing; and the revelation that Sean
Astin is a big-time Discworld fanboy. If you've read "The Big Store" in
_Once More, with Footnotes_, you know the Bromeliad trilogy was inspired
by Terry's childhood visit to a department store at Christmas; Jim
Young's Saturday interview with Terry brought out details of the store's
cheesy wooden airplane to the North Pole, complete with hand-cranked
canvas clouds, as well as a hilarious account of the convoluted ceremony
for bestowing an Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace (an
award which he accepted because "it made my Mum proud.") But I'll stop
there, since, thanks to http://www.tvbookshelf.com, the entire interview
will soon be available online (watch WOSSNAME for updates).
Also, Val is coming towards me with duct tape, sparking wires, and a
terrible look in her eyes.
(continued on Part 2)
* She just loves that sort of thing. I'm a bit worried, really.
(Ed. Note: Not by me! I told her to write it all down, even
if it ran to 100 pages.)
** And no, I wasn't the only fan who asked him. Seriously. Stop
looking at me like that.
*** He clearly recalled my nervous Noreascon joke, "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.'"
What you say to Terry can come back to haunt you.
**** Only the lack of a car at my disposal prevented me from running to
the craft store and accessorizing Friday's Cheery Littlebottom costume
with a fancy drink glass labeled "Screaming Orgasm."
***** Of course, I responded with the enthusiasm of a Nac Mac Feegle
left in charge of the sheep, leading to his teasing inquiry about the
presence of portable electronic downloading devices upon my person. And
yes, he was just teasing. I think.
If you did not get all 5 parts, write: jschaum111@...
End of Part 1, says my computer -- continued on Part 2 of 5
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]