Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
FEBRUARY 2009 (Volume 12, Issue 2)
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
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare
Copyright 2009 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
====Part 1 -- ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS
1) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
2) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
3) PTERRY'S LATEST UPDATE
4) TAPPED WITH THE ROYAL SWORD!
5) tCoM USA TELEVISION PREMIERE -- AT LAST
6) FIVE MINUTES WITH SIR PTERRY ON VIDEO
7) ...AND ON THE WIRELESS...
====Part 2 -- MORE NEWS, REVIEWS AND STUFF
8) TERRY PRATCHETT: LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S
9) OTHER ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
10) ODYSSEY AWARD FOR NATION AUDIOBOOK
11) GOOD OMENS WINS AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
12) LOCUS MAGAZINE ON NATION
====Part 3 -- ...AND MORE...
13) BROKEN DRUMMERS MEET-UP FOR MARCH
14) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
15) CONVENTION NEWS
16) SCIENCE: SO WHAT, FOLLOW-UP
17) AN ODD REVIEW OF NATION
18) DESPERATELY SEEKING "MAGIC"
19) BU CAMPUS NEWSROUND
====Part 4 -- HOROSCOPE
20) YOUR MONTHLY DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE
====Part 5 -- LATE BREAKING NEWS, AND CLOSE
21) LATE BREAKING NEWS
1) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"Terry has now written forty-eight books (of which thirty-six are
Discworld novels) and co-authored a further fifty. Between them they
have sold over 60 million copies in thirty-seven languages, which I
calculate would be a pile of books over 1,000 miles high, stretching
further than Land's End in Cornwall to the furthest tip of the
Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland -- or from New
Orleans to Chicago, and then some."
-- Colin Smythe, in his biography of Pterry on the L-Space web
"You can't ask a fantasy writer not to want a knighthood. You know,
for two pins I'd get myself a horse and a sword."
-- The above-mentioned novelist, after being gently thwacked with a
sword by real-world royalty
2) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
A VITAL LEGACY FROM OUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR
A few days ago, I watched the documentary Terry Pratchett: Living
with Alzheimer's, and it affected me even more strongly than I might
have expected. We're all well aware that Sir Pterry has mixed
feelings about now being known as much for his illness and his
campaigns to "kill the demon" as he is for his vast body of
wonderful novels and stories, but I'm becoming convinced that --
despite the enduring power of his prose -- his work on behalf of
Alzheimer's research is perhaps the most important contribution he
will have made to the world. It has been rare enough for famous
people to even admit to having Alzheimer's (comparisons have been
drawn with Ronald Reagan's "confession", but how many people out
there are aware even now of the fact that, for example, Margaret
Thatcher is severely afflicted with the disease?); and yet here is
Terry Pratchett, not only openly admitting it but coming out with a
figurative two-headed battle axe to make very public war upon it.
As a member of the baby boomer generation, I am only a few years
younger than Sir Pterry, but Alzheimer's never struck in my family
so I hadn't given it much thought. Now, though, the spectre of it
looms large. I've always been known to family and friends as a sort
of organic RAM, a living storehouse of random facts and personal and
family memories: for instance, my sixty-year-old brother, a
scientist by training who nonetheless never did have great memory
powers, frequently asks me about things we did in our adolescence so
the memories will stay alive for him. To quote the Master in the
first part of Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's, "What are
we? We are our memories. And Alzheimer's takes away your memories,
and then it takes away *you*", and the thought of experiencing such
a loss simply terrifies me.
I had intended to write my own review of the documentary, but after
reading a number of press and blog reviews I concluded that those do
a fine job of covering the territory. So I will just exhort all of
you to watch Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's. If you live
outside the BBC catchment area, go out on the internet and hit the
torrents. Auntie Beeb has given us so much wonderful programming
over the generations, but she's a bit of a jealous old bird who
likes to keep her golden eggs in her own henhouse. Fie and bah to
that! I found it heartening that the search engine pages for "Terry
Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's" were bursting with links to
torrents for it. A programme this important should be seen by all
around the world.
WOSSNAME extends its heartfelt thanks to Team Pratchett and the
programme makers for this moving, frightening but ultimately hopeful
I'll leave the last word to the man himself, at the close of the
second segment: "This has been an extraordinary journey, and I'm now
living in hope, not fear; optimism, not dread; and I'm looking
forward to next year. And the year after. And the year after that.
And the one after that, obviously."
And now, on with the show.
-- Annie Mac, Editor
3) UPDATE FROM THE MASTER
Well, there were around three million viewers of the documentary,
which seems to be well received so far. Of course, this means yet
another towering wave to the tsunami of mail that constantly crashes
down on this office. Can I add that I am astonished at all the
possible claimed causes of Alzheimer's that fans are sharing with
me; what with car exhaust fumes, mobile phones and white bread
(okay, so I made up white bread) I'm astonished that it is not
There is a rumour going around the Czech Republic, started by a
small group of students, that I can't sign my own name any more.
Technically speaking, I've probably been unable to sign my name
for the past twenty years. There is nothing like signing books for
hours and hours at a time to turn one's signature into something
like a squashed insect. In short, my signature is still the same as
it was several years ago and has actually settled into a curvaceous
shape that I think is rather spiffy. It does not look like my
signature of thirty years ago, but it never has, and I sign all the
time. What I've tried to steer clear of now is personalising
books, especially at large events. However, according to the lovely
Claudia, there seems to be no change in my condition since my last
major test in April 2008, PCA does have its effect and for some
reason my handwriting in general gets worse and worse the longer the
sentence. How can I put this...? When you have to concentrate on
something that until fairly recently was automatic, the mere fact of
you concentrating seems to make things worse. Besides, when I have
been doing large signings, it's made sense not to dedicate in any
case. The longest authenticated signing I've ever done was timed
at six hours thirty eight minutes and I never want to do one of
We are also having a problem here with people sending in books to be
signed and returned. At least the number of people who send in
books without return postage has reduced from about 75% to 10%, but
I do not like the whole idea of signing books by post because it
causes so many problems. The pile of books here is seven feet tall,
or it would be if it hadn't just fallen over. A lot of handling is
involved, especially since we are some distance from a major Post
Office and I have a suspicion, the cynical person that I am, that
quite a large number of the ones we now get are from dealers. The
days here are hectically overfull to begin with and turning the
place into a Sub Post Office is not what I had intended. The real
problem begins when people then contact us asking "What happened to
the book that we sent you?"; we go through the pile of what has not
yet been returned and find no such book -- but now the absence of
said book is our problem. All in all the flood of signed books
requests here is getting too much to cope with and we won't be.
My good friend Sandra Kidby is local to me and it's easy enough to
sign books that she exclusively sells here at PJSM Prints. And, to
reiterate, you will get my genuine signature, signed by me, in this
office, posted back to you in proper packaging designed to survive
the journey. You won't get a Certificate of Authenticity, because
they're not worth the paper they're written on, and anyway - who
would sign that? :o)
On top of all this, a few recent minor events have led us to upgrade
our security here. I'm sure fans will understand how hellish a chore
this is when you realise that we are two nerds, with a large budget
and a catalogue full of black and silver devices...
We're off to the Palace next week to collect my Knighthood. We'll
let you know how it goes.
All the best.
Originally posted on www.pjsmprints.com
4.1 A very short clip of the actual Striking with the Sword moment:
[This footage is rare and difficult to come by. Where are the
YouTube brigade when you need 'em? -- Ed.]
4.2 Three nice pictures here (one in which he's changed from his top
hat into a rather more familiar one):
4.3 The Press Association report:
"Dressed in a top hat and morning suit the writer said after the
ceremony: 'It would appear to me that me getting up and saying "I've
got Alzheimer's", it did shake people, you cannot help but notice
it's in the news an awful lot.
"Everybody thinks the Government should be doing more about
everything but just think how many of the bonuses which are quite
rightly being dragged off certain people, just think to what good
causes they could be put -- wouldn't that be a lovely thought?"
4.4 A BBC interview with Sir Terry following his investiture:
4.5 The Daily Telegraph article on the knighthood and Pterry's
"It enrages him that Viagra is easier to get on the NHS than a drug
to slow the progress of dementia. He is equally infuriated by the
embarrassment that surrounds such conditions, which resembles the
stigma attached to cancer 30 years ago..."
(includes short video)
4.6 ITN's report, with the same video:
"Dressed in a top hat and morning suit the writer said: 'It would
appear to me that me getting up and saying "I've got Alzheimer's",
it did shake people, you cannot help but notice it's in the news an
4.7 ...and the commemorative stamps, of course!
On eBay, an A5 mini sheet commemorating Pterry's knighthood:
5) THE COLOUR OF MAGIC U.S. TELEVISION PREMIERE
5.1 IT'S A PROMISE THIS TIME
Yes, tCoM is going out on the American airwaves at last! Originally
scheduled for broadcast on 23 November 2008, the programme was
mysteriously reshuffled but is now promised to air as, well,
promised, on Sunday, 22nd March 2009.
Here is an extract from the ION press release:
ION Television, the "Positively Entertaining" general entertainment
network available to over 94 million homes, and RHI Entertainment,
the leader in the production and distribution of groundbreaking
movies, miniseries and series for television, today announced the
U.S. television premiere of The Color of Magic, a four-hour
production premiering on ION Television on Sunday, March 22 at 7:00
This critically acclaimed production, which first debuted overseas,
received rave reviews from the British press. TV Easy called it
"visually stunning"; "Menacing performances from Tim Curry and
Jeremy Irons are great." TV Times; "With a starry cast, it's a wild
adventure through a land full of magic and mystery." TV Choice; "The
two-part adventure will have you spellbound." We Love Telly; and
"It's the Lord of the Rings with a comic twist." Bella. Attracting
over a million viewers, The Color of Magic first broadcast on Sky
One, a UK entertainment TV channel, in March of 2008. The two-part
television adaptation was well received by fans, garnering Sky One's
highest performing program to date and scoring the largest audiences
for the network since Hogfather aired in December of 2006.
5.2 WHERE AND WHEN
Helpful advice from Lee Whiteside of NADWCON:
"As with the last time we went through this, ION television airs on
local broadcast channels and cable TV and is also available on Dish
Network and Direct TV. For people to find out where to watch in
their local market, they should to to www.iontelevision.com and
enter their zip code into the "Find us by Zip Code" box in the
upper right corner."
6) FIVE MINUTES WITH SIR PTERRY..
A five-minute video interview by the BBC's Matthew Stadlen, who
grills our favourite Knight on a very green couch:
...and a fine grill it is! A lively and brisk five minutes, in which
we learn -- among other things - that Sir Pterry is entitled to make
his own sword...and intends to do so.
7) ...AND ON THE WIRELESS...
Here is an audio extract from Pterry's interview Radio 5 Live's
Simon Mayo about Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's, in which
he talks about looking at his own brain:
End of Part 1, continued on Part 2 of 5.
If you did not get all five parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2009 by Klatchian Foreign Legion