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  • Not A Granny
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 (Volume 11, Issue 8a)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2008
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      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 (Volume 11, Issue 8a)
      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! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion,
      you'd only forget them...
      Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
      Editor Emeritus (retd): Joseph Schaumburger
      News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
      Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
      Staff Writers: Asti Osborn, Paul Blake, Steven D'Aprano
      Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
      Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
      Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
      Puzzle Editor: Tiff
      Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
      DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet, Nathan Clissold, Dylan Williams
      World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano
      Copyright 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion



      ====Part 1 -- DWCON 2008 SPECIAL REPORT

      2) DWCON 2008 REPORT


      3) DWCON 2008 REPORT, PART 2
      6) CLOSE



      Well, we promised an exclusive report on DWcon 2008, and here it is
      -- hot off the virtual presses and too exciting to leave for the
      regular September edition! This long and nicely detailed convention
      report comes courtesy of the intrepid Joann Richardson, who was the
      editor of the 2008 DWcon Chronicle (and gave blood, sweat, tears and
      Discworld-y love to the making of that; trust me, I was "there" for
      much of it), with prompting from the equally intrepid Bruce
      Richardson, who mopped up the B,S & T and also happened to be one of
      the convention organisers. From all reports -- including this
      official WOSSNAME one -- this year's DWcon was the best yet.

      Also included in this special edition: news of two rather smaller UK
      Discworld meetings. Much smaller, and the only guests of honour are
      the meet members themselves, but as they're both taking place before
      the regular monthly issue comes out, I'm taking advantage of the
      opportunity to include them. Read on...

      -- Annie Mac, Editor



      by Joann Richardson

      Let's see what I can remember about the 2008 Discworld Convention,
      which happened two weeks ago - 22-25 August, 2008.

      First of all, yes, it starts on a Friday. I don't care how many of
      the concom got there on Wednesday, and even though we all brought
      one more laptop than members of our parties (that means pairs of
      people brought three laptops, people travelling alone brought 2,
      etc.), the Convention itself only starts on Friday. So Wednesday we
      had more computers than we could use but no Convention spaces open
      to us yet, and instead we checked into our own hotel bedrooms,
      worked on trivia questions, tried to remind ourselves of where we
      were in the hotel, and Bruce [Richardson, who shall henceforth be
      known as...Bruce -- Ed.] recorded at least one interview for the DVD
      which will be explained later. I think we may possibly have seen a
      few non-committee Convention members arriving late on Wednesday, as

      Thursday morning was surreal: we had gophers turning up and asking
      how they could help, and we were only just starting to get access to
      Convention rooms! I spent most of Thursday fighting for access to
      the laptops (remember all the spares I mentioned earlier?) that
      would let me work on the graphics files for the signs, which would
      help people to find their way around the hotel, as it was a new one
      this time -- we'd been using the same hotel for the last three
      DWcons. Tech was turning up and rooms were being "built," supplies
      sorted, much ferrying of boxes, and oh yes, some guests began to
      turn up as well - did I mention the Convention doesn't start until
      Friday? And I went back through the NEC and realised just how
      enormous it is when I had to get from the hotel to the airport, all
      within walking distance (seriously! Rail and plane access in walking
      distance! I know!), as I was meeting my sister when her plane
      landed. This was the first time a member of my family was seeing the
      one of the events that led to me moving to another country, so it
      was kind of a big thing to me.

      Thursday evening we did some filming with Stephen Briggs for various
      points in the programme, and the tech crew paused in the building of
      the main room's tech to throw some sound at the Thursday night pub
      quiz, which has been an official staple of the programme since some
      smart person thought we ought to do something for the eager members
      who show up the night before the Convention starts. You may sense a
      theme, here.

      By Friday morning Bruce and I had already been in the hotel two days
      and the Con still hadn't started. More work on getting signs printed
      and posted for me, and we realised how big the hotel was. We had
      been excited before about having more than one function room that
      could hold an audience of the entire membership, but now we were
      noticing how big the rooms were to walk past, and how long it took
      to get from one end of the hotel to the other. Some of us got way
      more exercise than we'd ever intended just doing that, let alone
      using the gym! At some point Terry arrived, and eventually made it
      across the lobby.

      The opening ceremony, at long last. I did NOT know what was going to
      happen during it, in spite of having put people in touch and heard
      more than one person recording lines to be used for it. These turned
      out to be radio messages among the Convention Committee, about the
      fact that the Closing Ceremony had just finished and we needed to
      clean up and pack up, and the empty stage was covered with party
      favours, party hats, confetti, and so forth. Then some old guy came
      out of the wings, mumbling, pushing a broom...

      It turned out to be "Bri Tze" as Lu Tze, and someone in the audience
      explained that uh, no, we'd only just got here, so could he fix
      things, please? Which he kindly agreed to do, with the help of the
      rest of the Men in Saffron. And then Terry came on, and remembered
      his own name after reading it off his badge. Yes, he really did
      that, and I did have to tell more than one person that yes, that was
      his own idea, his own joke, and he meant it that way. He explained a
      bit about the dangers of doing Alzheimer's tests on someone who
      "hallucinates for a living," and how on his recent trip to the US,
      they discovered that while what he has is a rare variant of
      Alzheimer's, he has the kind that plays tricks with his eyes more
      than with his memory, and he can still out-remember the rest of us
      and will continue to do so for many years to come. And then, while
      other people made announcements and such at the end of the Opening
      Ceremony, he helped out by sweeping up the mess on the stage. As
      they say in the UK, "Bless."

      There was a bit of hoo-ha then as everybody tried to eat all at
      once, and then get changed into their jammies to go to Terry's
      Bedtime Stories reading, where he obliged by reading great wodges of
      Nation to us. I couldn't stay for the whole thing, but I do suspect
      he would have remained happily reading away for the bulk of the
      weekend, and I don't think the audience would have objected.

      Saturday and a day full of Events. More rushing around as we tried
      to get the last filming and editing done for the Guest of Honour
      Interview. Terry's been getting a little bored with the format in
      recent years - there's only so many times he can answer "where do
      you get your ideas" and "how did you get started" before it becomes
      a form of torture. So this time Bruce had the idea to do something
      different, and Jenny Delaney will not be forgiven for giving it the
      title "Disc Is Your World." A ha ha ha ha. This was what a lot of
      the filming was for: we got messages from guests who couldn't be
      there, and some of the other guests came on the stage to talk about
      their roles in the development and publication of the Discworld
      books. Colin Smythe told how it all began and how he switched from
      publisher to agent, Rob Wilkins talked about how he joined Terry as
      his PA and what they'd learned together ("Rule one: No one ever
      wants just one favour! Rule two: No one says thank you!"), Stephen
      Briggs talked about the plays, the maps, and the Companion. We got
      through as many guests as we could in the time (it ran the full two
      hours!), and hope to film more to put on the DVD.

      Oh yes, there will be a DVD. When Terry's Embuggerance announcement
      came out, the DWcon had already committed to two charities: the old
      favourite Orangutan Foundation, and the Starlight Children's Fund as
      the new one. Rather than split the money three ways so that none of
      them got much, Bruce decided to do a special project and use that to
      raise money for Alzheimer's research. He's been interviewing all the
      big Discworldy guests who've joined us at DWcons in the past, and
      played parts of some of these interviews in the movie room during
      the Convention. The DVD will have those interviews plus a few more,
      as well as the "Disc Is Your World" event filmed at the Convention.
      There is talk of putting on some other bits of events from the
      Convention, but whether or not that happens will depend on space in
      what is already a 2-DVD set! We hope to have it done sometime in
      October, and were taking reservations at the Con. It will also be
      available via the website, as I understand it, and at future DW
      events - the NADWcon and Australian DWcon, I think, are already set.

      In no particular order, some other memories: Oh, the food. The food
      was Good this time. Past DWcons have had problems with this, and the
      food at the Hilton Metropole did cost more, but they gave us a GOOD
      discount, and the food every evening for dinner was already better
      than anything we'd had at gala dinners in the past. My only
      complaint there was that there wasn't enough chocolate on the menu,
      but that's it.

      (Continued in Part 2)


      End of Special Edition Part 1, continued on Part 2 of 2.
      If you did not get both parts, write: interact@...
      Copyright (c) 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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