Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

WOSSNAME -- May 2010 -- Part 1 of 5

Expand Messages
  • granny_tude
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion MAY 2010 (Volume 13, Issue 5) *********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , May 25, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      MAY 2010 (Volume 13, Issue 5)
      *********************************************************************
      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, Pitt the Elder, 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
      time)
      Copyright 2010 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      INDEX:

      ====Part 1 -- ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS

      01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
      02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
      03) UPDATE FROM THE MASTER
      04) GOING POSTAL NEWS
      05) PTERRY TAKES ON DOCTOR WHO

      ====Part 2 -- MORE NEWS AND SUCH

      06) PTERRY ON DOCTOR WHO (CONTINUED)...
      07) ...AND REVEALS THE SECRETS OF HIS SUCCESS
      08) OUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR LENDS A HAND
      09) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
      10) SIR PTERRY AT WINCHESTER WRITERS' CONFERENCE
      11) CONVENTION NEWS

      ====Part 3 -- ...AND MORE...

      12) MOIST LIKES HIS PRATCHETT THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY
      13) REVIEW: UNSEEN ACADEMICALS
      14) NEW DISCWORLD MINIATURES FROM PJSM PRINTS
      15) REVIEW: ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND (THE NOVEL)
      16) UNSEEN UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE...ISH
      17) GUILTY OF LIT-CRIT: PTERRY STUDIED IN PTEXAS
      18) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
      19) DISCWORLD VERSUS NEW TECHNOLOGY: NOT A WIN
      20) ABP BITS
      21) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

      ====Part 4 -- WEIRD ALICE AND HOROSCOPE

      22) WEIRD ALICE PRESENTS
      23) YOUR MONTHLY DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE, MAR > NOV

      ====Part 5 -- HOROSCOPE, LATE BREAKING NEWS, AND CLOSE

      24) YOUR MONTHLY DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE, NOV > MAR
      25) LATE BREAKING NEWS
      26) CLOSE

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

      "I have to admit that I never, ever sit down and plan a novel."

      -- Pterry, interviewed by Sky TV

      "I've signed a contract for two more books after this one -- I don't
      know if my health will actually survive that, but it's an act of
      faith. I cannot conceive of not being a writer and not having a book
      to do. And I've always said that if my PA or my wife finds me
      slumped over the machine, what's the first thing they should do?
      Save the work in progress!"

      -- ...and interviewed in The Daily Mail

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

      02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: SHE'S BAAAACK!

      So, did you miss me, O Readers? (Don't answer that.)

      First, I'd like to thank our brave Acting Editor, Steven D'Aprano,
      for filling in so admirably for the past four months. I decided to
      take a much needed break after several unbroken years of editorship
      and some five years before that of providing main content every
      month when WOSSNAME creator Joe Schaumburger was in charge; the idea
      was for me to use the free time to work out some personal stuff
      (mostly unsuccessfully) and improve my health (epic fail -- I fought
      the chronic illness and the chronic illness won). But I do have to
      say I'm glad to be back. It's an exciting time on the Pterry-culture
      front, what with Going Postal about to air at last and with The
      Author serving as editor of SFX Magazine.

      So...it's historic moment time this month, as one iconic British
      institution takes on another iconic British institution, aka Pterry
      critiques Doctor Who. His opinion piece in SFX has ruffled more than
      a few feathers in the young and old-school fan communities, but I
      have to say that I agree with him. I've been a Who watcher since the
      very beginning (and still am, and yes, I love the 21st century
      version of the show beyond all measure), and I've been saying since
      time out of mind that it isn't science fiction.

      I've been debating this with Other Half recently; he insists that
      anything with spaceships and futuristic technology in it
      automatically qualifies it as science fiction, whereas my take is
      that it's only science fiction if the science/technology is
      believable (without, that is, the reader/viewer having to click
      their heels together three times). But I do agree with him that
      the term 'fantasy' -- which once simply meant 'fiction', by the way
      -- has acquired too much contextual baggage these days and tends to
      indicate the presence of magic or mythology. Therefore I've proposed
      a new term: science fantasy.

      The difference immediately becomes clear, in my opinion. The trouble
      with Doctor Who as science fiction is that the 'science' is as
      unscientific as an unscientific thing. The technologies in Doctor
      Who can rarely-if-ever be traced to extrapolations from known
      science; the technologies in, say, Firefly/Serenity, on the other
      hand, are quite realistic for the most part (non-FTL space travel,
      vastly advanced psychopharmacology, and I give it extra points for
      noting the total lack of anything out there on the sentient life
      scale except us, since that's probably true). Star Wars? Science
      fantasy. Stargate? Science fiction, just barely. Star Trek? A little
      of both, though leaning very strongly towards science fantasy.

      I think a big problem with Doctor Who - science-fiction-wise - is
      the lack of scientific credibility, combined with a lack of
      technological consistency. As Pterry has pointed out, the sonic
      screwdriver is nothing more than a barely-disguised magic wand, and
      that's just the tip of the iceberg of daft unbelievable
      pseudoscience in the show. Team Who does get some points for
      gradually attempting to make Timelord physiology have some sort of
      consistency, but for the most part DW is an ongoing series of
      fantastical tall tales held together by the awesome persona of the
      Doctor himself.

      None of this changes the fact that I love the Whoniverse to bits and
      always will :-)

      But enough of that. On with the show!

      -- Annie Mac, Editor

      Edited to add: I've just discovered that Good Omens co-writer Neil
      Gaiman -- who has written an episode for next season's Doctor Who --
      agrees with me:

      "'Doctor Who has never pretended to be hard science fiction,' Gaiman
      said. 'At best Doctor Who is a fairytale, with fairytale logic about
      this wonderful man in this big blue box who at the beginning of
      every story lands somewhere where there is a problem...'"

      To read the whole article, go to:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment_and_arts/10146657.stm

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

      03) UPDATE FROM THE MASTER

      UPDATE FROM THE MASTER...SORT OF

      Here be Pterry's opening remarks as guest editor of issue 196 of SFX
      Magazine (May 2010). Or rather, his opening opening remarks. To read
      all of it, you'll have to buy the magazine -- which is full of
      interesting articles chosen by the current editor:

      "My first impression upon arriving at SFX Towers was that regular
      editor Dave must have quite a cushy job because editing the mag
      seems to consist of no more than drinking coffee and chatting about
      Galaxy Quest. He gets paid for this? I just did it for the bacon
      sarnie. But it was lovely meeting the SFX team who, on the whole,
      looked more normal than you would expect. We talked through the
      issue and I instantly shot the person who said that there should be
      a Buffy retrospective, once was enough! And they obviously all love
      their Doctor Who. I am in two minds about him, and you can read some
      of my thoughts on the matter here on the website; but nevertheless I
      was happy to agree to have Amy on the cover and an interview with
      Karen Gillan. But fortunately I was able to persuade them to run
      features on Blade Runner and my favourite PC game Oblivion: The
      Elder Scrolls.

      "You will also find a feature on the Mob Films adaptation of Going
      Postal. I have to say that Mob are getting better at Discworld with
      every movie. Sometimes they miss a detail, but they really make a
      wonderful effort to get it right and the clacks system they built is
      everything I could have hoped for. Unfortunately, the whole effect
      is totally ruined by some amateur actor they allowed in at the last
      minute. They did the same thing in the previous two. You are allowed
      to boo him.

      "This month kicks off SFX's three month celebration of SF in books.
      I love SF and fantasy at the cinema and on TV, but we mustn't forget
      the significance of written fiction. So starting this month the team
      are going to include bonus features and interviews from the world of
      literature.

      "Look out for notes from me dotted throughout the issue, where I've
      felt the need to stick my oar in and tell the team what they should
      be doing. If you like what you read this month, it was down to me.
      If you don't like what you see, then it was SFX's fault and you
      should send your hate mail to the usual place. I do."


      This extract originally published at SFX online:
      http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/05/05/terry-pratchett-introduces-sfx-196/

      For a list and description of this issue's contents, go to:
      http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/04/30/sfx-issue-196/

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

      04) GOING POSTAL -- AT LAST!

      Going Postal, starring Richard Coyle, Claire Foy and Charles Dance,
      is finally hitting the aether this week! The two-part film will be
      broadcast on Sunday, 30th May, at 6pm (part 2 will be shown on 31st
      May, presumably at the same time). This production may well be the
      best Discworld film yet, so get ready for a magical good time!

      Here be a fascinating interview with Pterry on the Sky One site:
      http://sky1.sky.com/going-postal-sky1-hd-meets-terry-pratchett

      (Also downloadable as an audio podcast)

      ...and one with Claire Foy, on being Adora Belle Dearheart:
      http://sky1.sky.com/going-postal-claire-foy

      Some Going Postal fan-extras, including the inimitable Pat Harkin,
      discuss their filming experiences:
      http://sky1.sky.com/going-postal-fans

      Twitter users can send a clacks via the anternets from this page:
      http://sky1.sky.com/Going-Postal-Twitter-Clacks

      And there are free Going Postal wallpapers for your Hex:
      http://sky1.sky.com/going-postal-wallpapers

      WOSSNAME wishes Sky TV every success for bringing Going Postal to
      our screens!

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

      05) PTERRY TAKES ON THE DOCTOR...

      ...and everyone wins...mostly.

      In his current capacity as guest editor of SFX Magazine, Sir
      Pterry's first editorial was about the nature of Doctor Who -- the
      character and the programme:

      "A decent detective story provides you with enough tantalising
      information to allow you to make a stab at a solution before the
      famous detective struts his stuff in the library. Doctor Who
      replaces this with speed, fast talking, and what appears to be that
      wonderful element 'makeitupasyougalongeum'. I don't know about you,
      but I don't think I would dare try to jump-start a spaceship that
      looks like the Titanic by diving it into the atmosphere... but I
      have to forgive the Doctor that, because it was hilariously funny...
      People say Doctor Who is science fiction. At least people who don't
      know what science fiction is, say that Doctor Who is science
      fiction...

      "And yet, I will watch again next week because it is pure
      professionally-written entertainment, even if it helps sometimes if
      you leave your brain on a hook by the door. It's funny, light-
      hearted, knows when to use pathos and capable of wonderful
      moments... when you've had your moan you have to admit that it is
      very, very entertaining, with its heart in the right place, even if
      its head is often in orbit around Jupiter. I just wish that it was
      not classified as science fiction."

      http://tinyurl.com/3aeystb


      On BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow, who definitely *does* write science
      fiction, says, "Writing in SFX Terry Pratchett explains why Doctor
      Who, whatever its other merits, isn't very good science fiction. A
      provocative hypothesis, but it's hard to argue with his reasoning."
      The comments section is worth a shufti:

      http://tinyurl.com/3yljut9


      Another British icon, the vast and marvellous London bookshop
      Foyles, says on its website, "The writer pointed out that Doctor Who
      now concludes most episodes by resorting to the literary technique
      of deus ex machina -- or an unexpected solution which arrives at the
      last minute and resolves the story's problems with little
      explanation. Despite his criticism, Pratchett admitted that he will
      watch the show week after week as, once he ignores its flouting of
      narrative conventions, he recognises moments of light-hearted, funny
      and pathos-filled writing..."

      http://tinyurl.com/3xlk5up

      (This item continues in Part 2)

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      End of Part 1, continued on Part 2 of 5.
      If you did not get all five parts, write: interact@...
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Copyright (c) 2010 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.