WOSSNAME -- DECEMBER 2008 -- PART 3 OF 4 (continued)
====Part 3 -- ...AND MORE, WEIRD ALICE AND HOROSCOPE
19) ABP BITS, CONTINUED
20) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
21) THE TURTLE MOVES!: A REVIEW, ISH
22) WEIRD ALICE: A SEASONAL PARODY
23) YOUR MONTHLY HOROSCOPE MAR > MAY
20) ABP BITS, CONTINUED
20.1 NATION REVIEWED
by ABP reader Richard
Ok, then, review. Liked it, didn't love it. PTerry's best? By no
means. His worst? Certainly not. There's something different about it,
which is good, and the alternative Earth is a nice touch. A lesser
author would have put it either on another world altogether, or on
ours as-is. The story is good, and the characters (well, most of them,
anyway) well written.
I did actually like the way not everything is spelled out for you.
Some things _should_ not be explained, especially not if one of the
aims of the book is to make its readers think. If some people can't
be bothered to do that, then some authors would pander to the lowest
denominator and pin down every detail for you, leaving no room for
your own thoughts and opinions. PTerry doesn't, and that
intentionally. And on a trivial note, I like the typography.
On the negative side, there were times when I wanted to slap some of
the characters. Daphne really does worry too much over some of her
actions, even for what amounts to a home-bound Victorian society belle
in training. Then again, some real-life teenage girls deserve a bucket
of water in the face, too.
Ataba. Really didn't like him, and didn't like how he was treated.
He's the most simplistic, most stereotypical kind of Primitive
Ooga-Booga Priest you get, and he's the only one, so he's _all_ the
priesthood you get in the book. The "modern" priests, by contrast, are
well-meaning but vague and inconsequential. I suppose that if all your
information about organised religion comes from watching TV interviews
with Jerry Fallwell on the one hand and with Rowan Williams on the
other, that would be just to be expected, but from PTerry I do expect
a more thought-through image.
In balance, then, would I buy another book in this series, should
there ever be one? Without a doubt, but I wouldn't make a trip to the
city especially to buy it (which I do do with DW books).
On a scale of 1 to 10, about an 8, I guess.
20.2 19.2 THE ANNOTATED PRATCHETT FILE: BEAUTIFUL PLUMAGE...
Just to wander off on a tangent here, whatever happened to the
'official' annotated pratchett file? It seems to have been not
very updated for a while now :(
-- John Hinge
-- Leo Breebaart
"That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange eons, even
death may die."
-- Chris Zakes
More like: "Remarkable document, the APF, idn'it, ay? Beautiful sub-
"Dead APFs are files, too! End updateism now!"
21) THE PLAY'S THE THING: DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
21.1 WYRD SISTERS: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT
Studio Theatre Club, Stephen Briggs' own theatre group, will present
a special new dramatisation of Wyrd Sisters in celebration of 25
years of Discworld and 60 years of Terry Pratchett. Wyrd Sisters was
the first Discworld play ever performed by the company, but this
time around they promise a bigger cast, new scenes and characters,
and spectacular -- or at least better! -- costumes and effects.
Where: the Unicorn Theatre, Thames Street, Abingdon, OXON
When: 20th to 24th January 2009 at 7:30pm (matinee at 2.30pm on 24th
Tickets: £8, available from Tickets@...
booking details can be found on their website:
21.2 THE TRUTH IN OXFORD
Parabox Productions return to the Old Fire Station, after their
successful Edinburgh Fringe run of Mort, with Terry Pratchett's
The Truth to celebrate the Discworld's 25th Anniversary.
Where: Old Fire Station Studio, Oxford, UK
When: 3 March - 7 March 2009
For further details, please see:
22) THE TURTLE MOVES! ...OR MAYBE NOT
A review by Annie Mac
So. After quite a lot of searching around the wild bookshops of
Fourecks, I finally got myself a copy of The Turtle Moves!
Discworld's Story Unauthorized, by Lawrence Watt-Evans. And I read
it from cover to cover, for the purpose of reviewing it. And I find
that, having read the book, I'm not at all sure what to say about
That in itself says something. After all, I found plenty to say
about Andrew M. Butler's Unauthorised Discworld Companion, didn't I?
And there's no question that Mr Watt-Evans is a dyed-in-the-wool
Discworld enthusiast. And he hails the greatness of Tiffany Aching,
which buys him a myriad of brownie points with me. And he's
obviously put a lot of time and effort into classifying the sub-
series of the Discworld novels, and into writing footnotes... lots
and lots of footnotes. But ultimately, I'm not sure The Turtle
Moves! is a book worth buying or borrowing, because I can't say with
certainty what it's *for*.
In the course of the book's 285 pages, Watt-Evans covers an apologia
to both potential and existing fans of the series, what the series
is generally about, a description of the Discworld and its universe,
a short (far too short, in my opinion, to be enlightening to
newcomers) essay on each extant Discworld novel (with a nod to
several short stories not included in the novels), essays about the
Discworld phenomenon, essays on each sub-series (the
classifications, of course, being his own), essays on secondary and
background characters, and a bibliography. Again, all good... but
very little of the content strikes me as particularly enlightening.
For those of us already familiar with the series, there's certainly
nothing new there. Watt-Evans does offer the disclaimer that he
wasn't trying for any sort of serious literary analysis of Terry
Pratchett's writing, but while what he accomplishes may not be
lit-crit it also isn't sufficiently detailed to entice prospective
readers who come across the book. At least, not in my opinion...
There's no question that Watt-Evans can write well. His style here
is bright and friendly, easy to read and intelligent in a casual,
almost bloggish way. But at the same time I found his voice a bit
too preciously self-effacing in places, and he rides the "Pratchett
is a genius, but I've been writing for a long time so why can't *I*
be as successful as he is?" train until it gets old and loses any
charm it might have had at the start.
I do have to complain about the footnotes. Yes, I've always found Mr
Pratchett's own Discworld novels' footnotes charming (and often
extremely funny), but they are there for a purpose. In The Turtle
Moves!, Watt-Evans' footnotes -- which he openly admits are there as
homage -- often serve no real purpose, and sometimes would have been
more effective in the body of the text; also, there are far, far too
many of them.
One thing I did gain from The Turtle Moves! is a greater cultural
understanding of why most American readers simply wouldn't "get" the
essential Englishness of the Discworld novels -- something that
never occurred to me as a native of those little islands tucked away
in a corner of northwestern Europe. The more I think about it, the
more surprised (and delighted) I am that Discworld is at all
successful across the pond. If this book helps increase the profile
of Discworld, more power to its bindings!
My Dearly Beloved has asked me to add his comments to this review:
"Speaking as the fellow who handed over his hard-earned cash to buy
the book, I'm not sorry I did. It might be damning the book with
faint praise, but TTM! isn't a bad book -- there's nothing
particularly wrong with any of it. But somehow it just wasn't as
satisfying as it might have been. In my opinion, it reads like a
series of well-written tributes to Discworld, written as blog posts
by a talented, loving fan. And that's not intended as a put-down:
good writing is good writing, whether on a blog or in a book. But
it's missing that extra something that (in theory at least)
distinguishes books by pro writers from blog posts by talented
amateurs, and that's a shame, because Lawrence Watt-Evans is a pro
writer. As a tribute to Discworld, TTM! is quite good, but if
you're looking for something more, you may be come away feeling,
not exactly disappointed, but not quite satisfied either."
So...is The Turtle Moves! a good book, or a waste of time? I don't
know. Was it worth the effort of writing? I don't know. Am I
recommending it as a purchase or read, or giving it a thumbs-down? I
don't know. Did it make me want to read any of watt-Evans' own
original fiction? Not particularly. Ah well, that's the way the
THE TURTLE MOVES! DISCWORLD'S STORY UNAUTHORIZED
By Lawrence Watt-Evans
Published by BenBella Books
23) WEIRD ALICE PRESENTS...
WE THREE HAGS, ANE HOGSWATCHE CAROL
NANNY, GRANNY AND MAGRAT:
We three Hags Lancrastian are
Straddling brooms, we travel afar
Hearth and privy, pub and smithy
Casting our spells bizarre
Stars of Lancre, stern in black
Dames in regal pointy hats
Hubwards breezing, nethers freezing
Witches three who've got the knack
Born a Fool, yet destined to reign
Never cruel though sometimes a pain
King well-meaning -- New Age-leaning
Sensible, in the main
Star of Lancre, staunch and meek
Castle sanitation geek
Bells a-clinking, forward-thinking
Modernise your farm techniques
Frank but senseless, soppy am I
Wrinkled gowns and head in the sky
Sweet tomfool'ry, occult jewellery
"Wet as a hen," they sigh
Star of Lancre, star-crossed Queen
Star of herbal research scene
Keen defender, nappy-mender
Keeping Ynci's armour clean
Scumble mine, 'tis boozy perfume
Breath like fire can clear a big room
Girlish in spirit, bawling lyrics
Bawdy and rude -- boom-boom!
Star of Lancre, super-Gran
Head of matriarchal clan
Crude and chummy, Greebo's Mummy
Who can fix things? Nanny can!
Hogswatch parties? Sausages fat?
Ha! I can't be having with that!
Bees I'll borrow near and far, so
I can patrol my patch
Stars of Lancre, wyrd and wise
We've no need to advertise
Maiden, mother, and the... other
Guarding all 'neath Lancre's skies
For the original lyrics to the carol We Three Kings, go to:
24) THE NEW DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE
by Fernando Magnifico
Hallo and buongiorno to all my friends, it is I, Fernando, and I
shall be your astrologer today, for the Lady Asterisk has got her
hand stuck in her Hogswatch goose.
Unless you have been hiding in the basement building the machine for
modelling the ebb and flow of money through this fine city (but
Fernando cannot think of anyone in their right mind who would want
to do that), or perhaps you are one of the unfortunates deep in the
Patrician's dungeons (but then how would you be reading this, my
friend?), then you will be aware that Hogswatch is upon us. In only
a few more days, the Hogfather will be bringing presents to those
who have been good, and bloody bones for those who have been bad.
Fernando is always very good, except once when he was very tired and
had the flu, but the signorina and her friend were very
understanding and forgiving.
This month, the stars say, is the time for parties -- big parties,
small parties, parties for many people and small intimate
tete-a-tetes for two. During this month, some of the most powerful
men in the city will be having the very large balls, and this
requires much careful handling to prevent embarrassment. Even Lord
Vetinari, who normally is not a man who has problems with anything,
has taken on extra staff to plan and prepare for the Annual
Patrician's Charity Ball. Fernando hears that Lord and Lady Rust's
plans for their Hogswatch Ball are in complete disarray after their
son has shot another butler. Not that Fernando has been counting,
but that is the fourth servant this year.
Whether you are catering for the Patrician's Ball, or, how do you
say it, having a knees up down the pub, this month is a molto
difficile time. There is so much to be planned, so many parties to
attend, enemies to be polite to, lesser enemies to snub, friends to
pull out of the gutter and carry home, and so much more. At a time
like this, Fernando knows that it is more important than ever to
have the guidance from the stars, and so this is your guide to the
parties. Happy Hogswatch and ciao bella!
The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr
For Hoggers who are single, or those with understanding wives and
husbands, the stars smile on you this month for your party is the
singles party. Fernando gets the many invitations to singles parties
all year round, but for those who have never been to one before, you
can expect many awkward silences, much desperate attempts to impress
with the machismo, the occasional cutting remark or face slapping,
and, if you are very lucky, a quick and fumbling grope in the
corridor with somebody who is not too unpleasant. Fernando is very
sorry about this, but if you see him at one of these parties,
perhaps he can "set you up", as they say, with the attractive and
confident young ladies and gentlemens, since they will all be
gathered around Fernando talking to him. Such is Fernando's burden,
but he loves to share.
The Half-Eaten Sandwich 21 Apr - 21 May
Those born under the sign of the Half-Eaten Sandwich are known as
Munchers, but also sometimes as Sandies. So what better party for
you than the beach party? The stars agree and say that this is the
good time to hire a cart, make up a picnic basket, and go for a day
trip down to the Holy Wood beach with your friends. Watch out for
sand in your drinks, ants in your food, biting flies, salt water in
your eyes, and sharkses. The best thing about a beach party is that
you can't go hungry, because of all the sand-witches there! Ha ha,
Fernando has made the joke!
End of Part 3, continued on Part 4 of 4.
If you did not get all four parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion