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WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2006 -- PART 3 OF 5 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2006 -- PART 3 OF 5 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3) LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1 8:41 AM
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      WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2006 -- PART 3 OF 5 (continued)

      To the Editor:

      Just a heads-up to Australians that the Unseen University
      Cut-out book has been spotted at Galaxy in Sydney,
      Paperchain in Manuka, and Borders in Hornsby (where they
      have a *lot* of copies out), and it is doubtless available
      at many more good bookstores[1].
      If I don't receive a copy for Hogswatch, I will definitely be
      buying it myself.

      -- ConMan, also happy about having a few extra
      letters to stick on his name

      [1] A good bookstore being one where you can get the UU
      Cut-out book, of course.

      To the Editor:

      Aha! I asked Steve - last week - to put our "Mister Teatime in the
      Hogfather film looks eerily like Alex from A Clockwork Orange, and I
      somehow doubt that's a coincidence" picture up somewhere on the
      internet, since Yahoo doesn't allow images in WOSSNAME. In all
      fairness, things have been extremely chaotic and largely unpleasant
      at his job for the past couple of weeks; but he finally did it, and
      the link is below in his email to me.

      He's also included his response to ConMan's ozdw post about the
      Tiffany books; Steve decided to put this on his own blog instead of
      posting to ozdw, and has offered both links for WOSSNAME.

      -- Not a Dead Penguin
      From: Steven D'Aprano
      To: Parrot Lady <notadeadpenguin@...>


      To the Editor:

      > One thing that I've mentioned before, and that I noticed more than
      > ever, is that PTerry is writing more cinematic scenes into his
      > books (I won't go into any details save to say that the opening
      > and climactic scenes are the most obvious of this), and I have to
      > wonder: is it a phase he's going through, or is it because he's
      > getting some books filmed and feels he needs to make things easier
      > on the filmmakers, or is it part of some longer trend that I've
      > been missing?

      Or none of the above -- Sourcery, way back in 1988, included a
      wonderfully big, cinematic scene of the Ice Giants on the march. The
      Lost Continent had a wonderful chase in the desert scene taken
      straight from Mad Max. I think it is just that some stories lend
      themselves to cinematic scenes and some don't.

      Actually, I reckon it would be really hard to think of a Discworld
      novel that didn't contain a cinematic scene or ten! Think of Moist
      on the horse in Going Postal, or the burning of Ankh-Morpork and the
      flying dragons in The Colour of Magic, or the fight between Dorfl
      and the king of the Golems in Feet of Clay. PTerry's books have
      always including wonderfully visual scenes.

      > It's certainly nothing bad, and some of the big
      > scenes in the recent books have been absolutely fantastic to
      > visualise, but I would like to know if anyone else has noticed
      > the trend.

      If it's a trend, I think it goes back to Book One :-P

      > And now, to get a little more specific on things in
      >Wintersmith, it's time to leave some

      > I still feel that there are some things in there that are a case
      > of "I want to use something I've established in the main Discworld
      > books, but can't just assume they'll know about it, so I'll give
      > it a new name". In previous books we've had the whole "using magic
      > vs. not using magic", the Agnes Nitt-style introduction to
      > witchcraft, and so forth.

      PTerry has been known to cover similar ground in multiple books -- he
      has a number of signature themes, such as Vimes' complex moral
      stance regarding authority (so much more than the alive Reg Shoe's
      primitive sense of Us versus Them -- even his view of watchmen is
      complex -- he recognises the existence of street monsters).

      Granny's self-denial and sense of duty, Susan's reluctance to get
      involved rapidly turning into a passion to fix the problem, and of
      course way back in 1987, Equal Rites preshadowed both Tiffany Aching
      and Ponder Stibbons in the High Energy Magic Department.

      In a sense, it is recycling, and when the best writers do it, the
      result is gold. Recycled gold.

      > This time, a concept we know perfectly
      > well as headology is renamed "boffo".

      Headology is bigger than boffo. If anything, boffo is merely one
      little part of headology -- and, I should point out, a form of
      headology that Granny would rather cut her own head off than lower
      herself too. Use conjurer's tricks? Pah!

      Granny doesn't need artificial boffo because people soon learnt that
      she was not a woman to be crossed. I have absolutely no doubt that
      people learnt that long before she qualified to be called "Granny".
      Nanny Ogg doesn't need boffo because everybody likes Gytha,
      especially the menfolk, and besides a woman with a big strapping son
      like Jason doesn't have much to fear in a small place like Lancre.
      So it isn't surprising that neither of them had a word for boffo,
      even if they had a witch's intuition that if you're going to be a
      woman living alone in the wood you need people to be just frightened
      of you enough that they don't bother you, but not so frightened that
      the whole town gathers with flaming torches and pitchforks.

      > The idea of advertising yourself as a witch comes pretty much
      > straight from Equal Rites.

      Boffo isn't just advertising yourself. It is advertising that you're
      occult and *dangerous* and not to be messed with.

      > and there are other parts of the novel which feel like they've
      > been stolen from the main series as well (Roland, for example, is
      > growing up a bit like a young King Verence II).

      Both Roland and Verence are wet and earnest and well-meaning and
      sensitive, but for very different reasons and in quite different
      ways. Verence, for example, is full of ideas of progress; there is no
      sign that Roland considers progress something to aspire too, I think
      he just wants to be a good leader.

      Just because neither of them quaff beer and toss half-eaten
      steaks to enormous dogs sleeping by the fire doesn't make them
      clones of each other. It isn't like real world history contains only
      one earnest young ruler who grew up under difficult circumstances;
      why do you think Discworld should have only one?

      -- ConMan

      by Lady Anaemia Asterisk


      She's baaack! And it feels like it's been such a long - wait, it HAS
      been a long time. That's what I get for casting my own horoscope and
      discovering it wasn't safe to get out of bed for a whole month...now
      that Alls Fallow has come and gone while I wasn't looking, and now
      that everyone's made their traditional post-Fallow dentistry
      appointments, it's as good a time as any to concentrate on the
      astro-illogical interpretations on monsters and demons and personal
      Bugbears of Horrorscopic Horribleness. Not your actual Bugbear, which
      is a harmless insect-mammal hybrid that lives in the Forest of Skund
      and produces a wonderful milk-flavoured honeycomb, but the more
      mettyforical sort of bugbear. The sort one has to beware. Or more
      properly, bewhere, as in "be where these creatures aren't". So for
      your edification and protection (after all, Alls Fallow will come
      around again next year), I present the most dangerous and distressing
      bugbears for each Sign. Bewhere!


      The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

      BUGBEARS TO BEWHERE: the Truth Fairy; Al-Zyma, Lord of Forgetfulness
      and Confusion

      Unlike the Tooth Fairy, who gives you money for each tooth you put
      under your pillow, the Truth Fairy gives you nothing but trouble. Oh
      yes, sometimes people may commend you on your honesty after a visit
      from this bothersome creature, but what they're really thinking is
      more along the lines of "you know, there's a ship leaving for
      HungHung at six o'clock, and I would very much like you to be on it."
      It is particularly important for Hoggers, with their tendency to
      loud voices and positions of authority, to be where this Fairy is
      not - as confessions about one's private business tend to diminish
      respect amongst employees, troops and student bodies. You wouldn't
      want your wet-eared new recruits to know about the time you gave
      your trousers an inner redecoration at the Battle of Wounded Kneecap,
      or about those secret meetings you've been having with the nubile
      young second wife of your main business partner, or about - well, I
      leave it to your imagination. The truth can set you freer than you
      ever wished to be. Literally.

      Another creature to avoid at all costs is Al-Zyma, rightly feared by
      scholars, executive officers, wizards and elderly single persons
      everywhere. The dreaded touch of Al-Zyma can lead to embarrassing
      public outings (without clothing, for starters), unwitting explosions
      (various), and spells going horribly wrong and opening a rift to the
      Dungeon Dimensions. Worst of all, Al-Zyma can make you forget to
      avoid...the Truth Fairy. Bewhere!


      Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

      BUGBEARS TO BEWHERE: Count Specula; the demon Ankulta

      Count Specula, once a minion of Lord Astfgl of the Underworld but
      now an independent Dis-harmony contractor, is the secret motivating
      force behind unwise investments, foolish major purchases, ill-
      considered business expansions, national lotteries, and the Antiques
      Roadshow. Patron demon of economists and financial advisors
      everywhere, Count Specula can always be counted on to find you when
      you've just discovered a stash of dollars the tax collectors
      overlooked, or when Great-aunt Anaesthesia finally dies and leaves
      you that promising block of flats in Empirical Crescent. Don't
      listen to a word he says, unless you really enjoy dining on old
      boots and keeping company with Foul Ole Ron.

      Few demons are more terrifying than Ankulta, who presents a face of
      great fairness but whose evil influence causes sane, gentle folk to
      experience sudden attacks of rabid nationalism; social, moral and
      religious intolerance; and an addiction to supporting pointlessly
      repressive laws. Her honeyed words, poured into the ears of the
      unsuspecting, have ruined many a sweet soul! One day you're sporting
      the next, you're declaring war on Klatch. A must to avoid,
      especially if you live in a large city-state. Bewhere!

      End of Part 3, says my computer -- continued on Part 4 of 5
      If you did not get all 5 parts, write: jschaum111@...

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