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WOSSNAME -- AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 SPECIAL EDITION -- PART 2 OF 2

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  • Not A Granny
    WOSSNAME -- AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 -- PART 2 OF 2 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 2 -- DWCON REPORT, CONTINUED,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5 4:09 PM
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      WOSSNAME -- AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 -- PART 2 OF 2 (continued)
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      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ====Part 2 -- DWCON REPORT, CONTINUED, AND OTHER MEET NEWS

      3) DWCON 2008 REPORT, PART 2
      4) SEPTEMBERMEET
      5) BROKEN DRUMMERS IN SEPTEMBER
      6) CLOSE

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      3) DWCON REPORT, CONTINUED

      Speaking of the Gala Dinner... It was preceded by a free drinks
      session for all members of the Convention, sponsored by Transworld,
      who are Terry's UK publishers. Then came the opening of the Dragon
      Racing event, which was MCed by The Shend, the actor who played the
      title role in Hogfather and the barbarian chief in Colour of Magic,
      as well as a thug in Johnny and the Dead, making him the actor who
      has appeared in more Pratchett movies than any other. He brought his
      Hogfather tusks along, and thoroughly charmed everyone he met. When
      the dragon racing had been introduced, a bunch of us went off to the
      gala dinner. Where the food, wait for it, was excellent.

      During dinner, there was much discussion of the view of corsets from
      the top table among at least two of the guests. After yet another
      passed in front of the table and drew appreciative sighs, I felt
      obliged to point out that the young lady wearing it was the same
      person who had played Vetinari's humourless (and certainly
      corsetless) secretary Drumknott at a few events at both this and the
      previous DWcon in '06. I shall long treasure the double-take this
      information inspired.

      Bruce kept his Gala Dinner speech short, and then Terry spoke, and
      admitted that yes, he'd been trying to find flaws in the Con and
      problems with the hotel, but it had been damned difficult and he
      didn't have much to work with. And that he was interested in coming
      back again in 2010, which was news received with some joy, as you'd
      expect. And around then someone who'd had a bit too much alcohol
      shouted for Vetinari to speak, and this was followed by someone else
      shouting that Vetinari was her hero. Stephen Briggs was there in his
      Vetinari robes, true, but had not planned to speak. But when a male
      voice then yelled that he wanted to have Vetinari's children, Terry
      decided it was time to drop Mr Briggs in it, and sat down, leaving
      Vetinari to thank his creator and have stern thoughts about scorpion
      pits.

      Oh yes, the scorpion pit! As some may be aware, UK DWcons in recent
      years have been infested by Guilds. And then a parody guild called
      the Dark Clerks turned up. This time, they brought a black velvet
      bag labeled "Portable Scorpion Pit," full of pictures of scorpions
      and various plastic animals and monsters (they couldn't find any
      actual scorpions). And then they helped out at an event organized by
      other "real" guilds, called "Where's the Mime, My Lord?" which I'm
      told is based on a UK game called "Where's the Sheep?" A crowd of
      people stood behind Briggs (channelling Vetinari, although he was
      allowed to not wear the huge, hot, heavy robes). The crowd had to
      sneak up to him, and every so often someone would chant, "Where's
      the mime, my lord?" He would then turn around, and the crowd had to
      act as un-mime-like as possible. He would stalk over and tag whoever
      was too mimey for his taste, and then a group of "guards" swooped in
      to drag the protesting street artist to the scorpion pit.

      This sounds mad. It was. First, as I said, the "pit" was a velvet
      bag, and "being thrown into the scorpion pit" actually meant
      sticking your hand in the bag. But the first person tagged by Briggs
      put up a fight, and tried to get away. I believe he was tackled, and
      from then on, many had to be physically dragged over to the Pit.
      Some people even ran away when Briggs was trying to tag them, and he
      was forced to give chase. This had some of us, watching from the
      back of the room, open-mouthed in awe, seeing what little it took
      for people to do such completely bonkers things, and my face wound
      up hurting from all the grinning and laughing. I have no idea how
      things like that happen, and they end up being the hits of the
      Convention! That was just my favourite and maddest example to date.

      This mime-torturing event happened to be next door to where Dr.
      Patrick Harkin was giving a lecture on the medicine of the
      Discworld. After having been interrupted one too many times by the
      roars of laughter from the next room, he stormed over to the door
      connecting the two rooms and flung it open... only to be confronted
      with Briggs/Vetinari, right in front of the door and facing it,
      looking serious while what appeared to be his own army of loonies
      were advancing on Pat. As you'd expect, poor Pat - who has been a
      university lecturer for many years and has never been found at a
      loss for words before - lost that round.

      Another one for the Vetinari fans was "The Weakest Guild," in which
      he took over Anne Robinson's job. Again, more fun was had than you
      would have thought possible. There was irony, and everything. The
      Witches won.

      We were introduced to a new film crew in "Meet the Crew," these
      being the ones who've been following Terry for the past 6 months,
      making a documentary about this 25th anniversary of Discworld year
      for the BBC to show in (we think) January of 2009. It was great fun
      meeting them and hearing about their travels and some stories about
      what we're likely to see when it airs. The Mob returned as well, and
      after telling us a bit about their plans for filming "Going Postal"
      and showing us the blooper reel and a deleted scene from Colour of
      Magic, Rod Brown then returned to the Gala Dinner wearing
      Twoflower's costume from the movie and most of us spent the night
      not recognizing him and wondering where someone had managed to find
      a shirt with the same pattern as Twoflower's. Next time, Ian
      Sharples is threatening to come in costume as well!

      Maskerade: it was the first time I've seen a costume contest since
      the first DWcon, in 1996. Pat Harkin was the best possible MC for
      it, and did a brilliant job stalling while competitors got their, a
      ha ha, acts together. It is a fact that as soon as Beth Delany sang
      her version of "Defying Gravity" from Wicked, rewritten for Tiffany
      Aching, I leaned over to my sister and said "Now THAT is the best-
      in-show winner!" I was right, too. There were many good acts,
      though, and my sister had been leaning over to me after each one
      saying, "THAT one's gonna win!" There were slightly fewer entries
      this time, but nearly all of them were just brilliant. I also loved
      the "Definitely NOT Nac Mac Feegles" guy. I've had "Defying Gravity"
      stuck in my head for nearly two weeks, now, though...

      I only managed to stay up till a decent DWcon bedtime (5:30am) on
      one night, but as it was the night after the gala dinner, I think I
      picked the right one. Many silly conversations were had, and I have
      a vague memory that a menu was passed around to be signed by people
      for a German Convention member, and Stephen Briggs wrote out some
      German for me to copy, and now I'm not sure, but I think it said "Do
      you have a vegetarian menu?" There were also a few diagrams drawn to
      explain what people were talking about, we saw how Dark Clerk Jill
      can juggle eyebrows, and my sandals cut into the back of my heel
      till it bled and I never felt a thing. So I must have been having
      fun. And there was further admiring of corsetry.

      I didn't have any alcohol, but no one bought me a book, a monkey, or
      a goblin, either. And I never got a back-rub. Those are my main
      complaints.

      Closing Ceremony: madness. Bruce staggered onstage and slumped in a
      chair half undressed, wearing the Regency gear he'd worn to the gala
      dinner. The lights coming on woke him up, and after asking the
      audience if they could write down their appreciation instead of
      making loud noises, he asked Terry to come onstage and deal with us
      as he wasn't up to it. Terry then thanked everyone for a great
      weekend and much corsetry, which seems to have made a great
      impression on him. Behind him, Bruce pulled something out from under
      himself on his chair, and it turned out to be, yes, the most
      popular corset of the previous evening. Then they moved on to the
      prize giving. Bruce read them off, Terry congratulated them and the
      Shend, wearing his tusks, handed over the prizes. I believe the
      first place guild was the Unseen University Wizards - Ian Stewart
      was the guild head, anyway. Bruce pulled himself together to give us
      a speech, thanking his committee for their dedication and in
      particular the two who had been told their house had been robbed the
      Friday night of the Con, and who had chosen to stay till the end:
      Pam and John Hicks. And because sometimes the universe works that
      way, their missing belongings HAVE been found and are to be returned
      to them! (YAY!)

      And then Brian Nisbet stepped forward as the Chair of Discworld
      Convention 2010, there were streamers and party hats, and much
      cheering...and then messages over the radios to clean up the stage,
      and a little old man came on to sweep it all up...

      Of course, this time when the audience said we'd all just got there,
      he said we'd already used that trick and it wasn't going to work
      twice.

      Rats.

      CODA: The next morning, the hotel was welcoming their next
      convention: Avon. And for some reason, there was a cameraman filming
      the arrival of their "delegates." I was so hoping that in the middle
      of this, they'd have a shot of Terry walking across the lobby to
      check out. Since we had refrained from sending any of our many men-
      in-drag members over to the Avon rooms to give them a real
      challenge, I can't help hoping there was a nice dose of culture
      shock for someone. Maybe next time some Avon people would like to
      arrive early and help our Nac Mac Feegles with their makeup...?


      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      4) SEPTEMBERMEET

      Tony Evershed writes:

      I'm resuming my pattern of organising a September Meet in London at a
      time close to my birthday - though I should stress that it is *not* a
      birthday party - after a break last year (moving house, blah blah blah.)
      I'm intending to host another Not-A-Birthday-Party meet at the Pembury
      Tavern (Hackney/E8) in London, starting at around 18:00 on Saturday 20
      September.

      The Pembury Tavern's website is here:

      http://www.individualpubs.co.uk/pembury/

      -- they do food, and (as I'm sure most of you will already know) are
      quite definitely geek-friendly though those intending to bring
      children should note their comments at:

      http://www.individualpubs.co.uk/pembury/info.html

      They have, in particular, an excellent directions page:

      http://www.individualpubs.co.uk/pembury/where.html

      A full meet-explanation can be found at:

      http://countertony.livejournal.com/49503.html

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      5) BROKEN DRUMMERS MONTHLY MEET

      The next Broken Drummers meet is this coming Monday in Paddington
      (the London district, not the bear).

      When: Monday, 8th September, 13th October & 10th November 2008 at
      7:00 PM

      Where: The Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ

      Phone 0207 723 0143

      Directions and further information can be found on the Broken
      Drummers website:

      http://www.brokendrummers.co.uk/

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      6) CLOSE

      That wraps it up for this Special Edition. A reminder for our UK
      readers: Nation comes out on the 11th of this month, as do The
      Folklore of Discworld and The Illustrated Wee Free Men. We'll see
      you in a few weeks with the regular September issue of WOSSNAME. In
      the meantime, I wish you a happy autumnal equinox, or a happy spring
      one for our antipodean readers. Wotcha!

      -- Annie Mac

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      Copyright (c) 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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