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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion February 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 2) *********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2011
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      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      February 2011 (Volume 14, 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 (who still ate'nt dead)
      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
      Copyright 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion



      20) CLOSE



      "No one's policing their own minds more than an author. You spend a
      lot of time in your own head analysing what you think about things,
      and a philosophy comes. I think – this is going to follow me for
      ages – I'm open to moments of joy: the other day, it was just a
      piece of rusty barbed wire in the hedge. Something had grown over
      it, and the whole pattern, the different shades of brown, the red
      – everything made a superb construction. And I was just happy that
      I'd seen it."

      — Pterry, on writing



      Our thoughts go out to the Land of Fog this month, to the people of
      Christchurch and its environs who are mourning their losses and
      propping up the remains of their earthquake-shattered homes and
      businesses – and also to the Fourecksians of Queensland, who
      barely had time to recover from devastating floods before being hit
      by Cyclone Yasi. I was very relieved that my friends in both
      disaster areas came through (mostly) all right, but there were many
      who didn't. And while all this was going on, a friend out in Western
      Australia nearly lost her home to bushfires, and other friends in
      USA reported ten-foot snowdrifts and blizzard-generated power
      outages. So far 2011 is certain to be a year to remember.

      At least 2011 is also shaping up to be a memorable years for
      Discworld and other Pratchett activities, with Mob Films'
      announcement of Unseen Academicals as the next Discworld screen
      project, plus a long-awaited miniseries of Good Omens, the new
      Discworld novel due out in October, and several Discworld
      conventions large and small. Also, WOSSNAME wishes a happy and
      prosperous Year of the Rabbit to our Agatean readers!

      On with the show...

      — Annie Mac, Editor



      Remember, the new UK Magical Realms postage stamps, featuring two
      Discworld characters, will be available from 8th March 2011! To pre-
      order directly from the Royal Mail's website, go to:


      To view the whole set again:




      Don't know about you, O Readers, but after watching and enjoying
      Going Postal, I think this is *very* promising news and an
      excellent choice for the next Discworld screen project.

      In The British Comedy Guide:

      "The Mob Film Company confirmed that Unseen Academicals will be the
      next book to be converted into a TV comedy drama. According to the
      company's website, production will commence on the adaptation
      sometime later in the year. This will be the fourth adaptation of
      Pratchett's humorous fantasy novel series for Sky, with the
      Christmas-themed Hogfather, The Colour of Magic and Going Postal
      having been broadcast in 2006, 2008 and 2010 respectively... It is
      not yet known who will star in this new TV adaptation, but it would
      seem most likely that David Jason will return to star as the
      cowardly and incompetent wizard Rincewind, reprising the role he
      played in The Colour of Magic..."


      "This year also sees production commencing on the fourth Terry
      Pratchett drama, Unseen Academicals, and The Man Who Invented
      Christmas, about Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol for
      Channel 4, CBC in Canada and TNT."




      The teaser blurb, as posted on PJSM Prints:

      "According to the writer of the best selling crime novel ever to
      have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth
      universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would
      barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first

      "And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on
      holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a
      mere body in the wardrobe, but many, many bodies and an ancient
      crime more terrible than murder.

      "He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon
      sandwiches, occasionally snookered and occasionally out of his mind,
      but not out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a
      finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.

      "They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.

      "But not quite all..."

      But of course fans at the recent SFX Weekender already knew that:

      "The Discworld author and sci-fi writer Stephen Baxter took some
      time out from penning their upcoming collaboration The Long Earth to
      speak at this year's SFX Weekender. Pratchett began the talk by
      announcing: 'Last night, under the lash of my editor, I finished
      Snuff.' He continued to tease his rapt audience, saying: 'It's
      almost all about Commander Vines... but that's about enough.'"


      Snuff will be published on 13th October 2011. Signed copies will be
      available for pre-order from August 2011 from PJSM Prints:





      Not before time! But will they get it right...?

      by Brendon Connelly on Bleeding Cool:

      "Last week, a 'semi-official' Terry Jones fansite reported that
      Jones and his current co-writer of choice, Gavin Scott, were 'in
      talks' to write a new version of Good Omens. Within days, Pratchett
      himself took to the stage at the SFX Weekender and announced, at
      least sort of officially, that Good Omens was now headed to TV as a
      4-part series... One might assume it would be headed to Sky in a
      similar manner to the last few years of Discworld adaptations, but
      that's not yet confirmed..."


      On Digital Spy:

      "Fantasy novel Good Omens is reportedly being adapted for television
      as a four-part series. The 1990 book, co-written by Terry Pratchett
      and Neil Gaiman, focuses on the attempts of the angel Aziraphale and
      the demon Crowley to avert the end of the world following the birth
      of Satan's son. Pratchett recently confirmed that a television
      adaptation is in development but revealed no further details,
      according to SFX..."


      By Matt Blum on Geek Dad:

      "Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's novel Good Omens is by any
      reasonable standard one of the top ten funniest books ever written.
      I've read it at least a dozen times over the 21 years since its
      first publication, and it still makes me laugh out loud. Now comes
      word from Sir Terry himself that a four-part TV adaptation of the
      book (whose full title, incidentally, is Good Omens: The Nice and
      Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch) is in the works! Sadly,
      he hasn't provided any more detail than that... I can't wait to
      find out who gets cast as Aziraphale, Crowley and the Horsemen —
      and of course there's the task of finding a decent child actor to
      play Adam. Surely with this one more than with most adaptations, the
      devil's in the details..."


      By Kevin Melrose on Spinoff Online:

      "It looks like there finally could be progress on a long-discussed
      adaptation of Good Omens, the 1990 novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil
      Gaiman... Plans for an adaptation date back to at least 1999, when
      director Terry Gilliam and frequent collaborator Tony Grisoni were
      set to develop Good Omens as a $50 million film. Gilliam at one
      point wanted to begin filming in April 2002, but those plans fell
      apart, reportedly because of lack of funding. As recently as 2008
      the filmmaker remained hopeful about the project, but there's been
      little public movement on an adaptation until now..."


      On Film School Rejects, Cole Abaius has a fantasy casting couch

      "Capturing the comedy on screen would take a steady hand that has an
      ear for this sort of thing. Plus, they'd also have to juggle a lot
      of characters. Other than that, and a few things trimmed for time,
      this thing could fly from book to script directly...

      "Simon Pegg as Crowley... the idea of Pegg playing against type
      could end up delivering something unexpected ...Alan Rickman as
      Aziraphale... Anna Friel as Anathema Device... Famke Janssen as
      Red... Stephen Merchant as Newt... This world demands to see its end
      mocked and derided. Let's make it happen..."




      Z-Man Games has announced the forthcoming release of "Guards!Guards!
      A Discworld Boardgame."

      Here be the box cover:


      Here be the text of the press release:

      Based on the best selling books of Sir Terry Pratchett, Guards!
      Guards! captures the almost addictive mix of satire, adventure and
      fantasy that will instantly feel like home to the many thousands
      of Discworld fans out there, and give a warm, fluffy welcome to
      those who have yet to dip their toe in the veritable ocean of
      wondrous works created by one of the world's best selling fantasy

      The game sees players taking on the role of newly recruited members
      of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. With the Eight Great Spells
      missing from the Unseen University, the future of the Disc hangs
      in the balance. Each player is tasked to collect and return a
      number of the spells to the university before it is too late.

      On their quest to save the Discworld, the players are faced with
      the many hazards of everyday life in Ankh-Morpork, the Discworld's
      oldest, grubbiest and least law-abiding city. Some perils are
      thrust upon them by the hand of fate. Others are directed at
      them by their opponents in the shape of sneaky guild abilities, or
      skulking saboteurs, secretly planted to disrupt their attempts to
      return the Great Spells.

      Add to this the constant threat of being trampled by the Luggage,
      an 800-pound magical chest thundering endlessly through the city
      on hundreds of little legs, and the players soon learn that life
      on the Discworld is not always easy.

      And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, The
      Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night, a secret society with a mind
      to overthrow the governing powers of Ankh-Morpork, put in motion
      their plan to magically summon a great Dragon to the city.

      With over 90 characters cards illustrated by renowned Discworld
      Artist, Stephen Player, each carrying a short quotation defining
      the character in the author's own words, the players are quickly
      emerged in the magical and wonderful world created by Terry

      For gamers Guards! Guards! serves up healthy slice of strategy,
      with a side order of cunning, and a liberal sprinkling underhanded
      goings-on. But it is a true Discworld game, so the unexpected
      should always be expected!

      Backspindle Games

      New to the scene, designers Leonard Boyd & David Brashaw bring a
      fresh approach to this board game. Both long time game fans and
      avid readers of Terry Pratchett's books, the unlikely team of a
      talented graphic designer and a three-time Karate world champion
      have produced a game that is visually enticing, strategically
      challenging, but above all great fun!


      Further information as posted by "Half-Shaft" (username of one of
      the game's designers) on FortressAt Ameritrash:

      A brief description of game play:

      The players are tasked to collect and return five of the missing
      spells to the University. Each player selects one of four Guilds to
      infiltrate, Thieves, Assassins, Alchemists or Fools. Their chosen
      Guild card will give them a specific selection of the Great Spells
      to collect and grants them a unique Guild Ability which can be used
      to hinder their opponents. It is also used to mark the players
      Charm, Guild and Magic abilities, which can be developed throughout
      the game.

      Time is short, so rather than returning each spell in person, the
      players have been granted the power to recruit the good, and the not
      so good, inhabitants of the city to act as guards and runners to
      protect and return the spells to the University. There are twelve
      locations on the board where players may charm (or bribe) volunteers
      to join them on their quest.

      The characters are split into three Volunteer Decks each represent-
      ing the range of inhabitants who might be found in different
      locations within the city; Lords & Ladies, Man & Beast and Shades &
      Shadows. Each Volunteer is assigned a set of skill attributes which
      can be used individually to protect the Spells, or combined with
      those of other volunteers and used to complete the Wizards
      Challenges – five tests of strength, brain, and worthiness which
      the runners must complete in order to enter the Unseen University
      with the Spells.

      A selection of enchanted scrolls, weapons, armour and magical items
      can be purchased by players to equip their volunteers and boost
      their attributes.

      A number volunteer cards carry the 'Mark of the Brethren' – The
      Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night... If a player holds three of
      these cards at any time, he may choose to call a dragon to a
      specific city quadrant. This effectively shuts down that area of the
      city until the dragon is driven off. (handy if there are spells
      located there that are needed by your opponents) Opposing players
      may choose to face the dragon individually or to co-operate with
      other players and send a combined squad of volunteers to see off the
      beast. (Dragons may also be called to the city automatically during
      the game (on the turn of a fate card) If this happens all players
      must send at least one volunteer to face it.)

      Members of the Brethren may also be secretly planted in city
      quadrants to operate as saboteurs.

      Spell Runs

      When a player feels has recruited the right volunteers they move to
      collect and return the first required Spell (as marked on their
      Guild Card). You can send up to 4 volunteers on a Spell Run.
      Opponents may use magic, or Saboteurs if they have one in play, to
      try and stop a spell run. If all (or any) of your runners make it to
      the Unseen University, they must attempt one of the Wizards
      Challenges (resolved by totalling a specific attribute score of the
      successful runners, with any bonuses gained from items or magic and
      a dice roll). If successful they have returned the Spell. The
      volunteers used are seen to have fulfilled their duty and are
      discarded. The player then goes on toward his next spell (recruiting
      new volunteers along the way). The winner is the first to return the
      five Great Spells shown on their Guild Card).


      [Editor's note: the Guards! Guards! game will be distributed by
      Esdevium Games in the UK & Europe.]

      Game Basic Information

      Game Name: Guards!Guards! A Discworld Boardgame
      Publisher: Z-Man Games
      Designer: Leonard Boyd & David Brashaw
      MSRP $49.95
      Expected Release Date 2011 Q2
      Ship Date July 12, 2011

      "Great News! Discworld fans will have not one, but two new Discworld
      Games to enjoy in 2011. Guards! Guards!, the second boardgame play
      tested in Wincanton last year is well on its way to hitting the
      shelves this summer..."




      "Ankh-Morpork" sounds like fun:

      "Traditionally, Martin Wallace's designs for his own Treefrog Games
      – and before that for Warfrog Games – have been based on real-
      world history: trains in the UK, battles in Poland, revolutionaries
      in France, and so on.

      "Not this time – for Spiel 2011 Wallace and Treefrog Games present
      Ankh-Morpork, with the setting being the largest city-state in Terry
      Pratchett's Discworld. Says Wallace, 'The storyline is that Lord
      Vetinari has disappeared and certain factions are trying to take
      control of the city." Each player has a secret personality with
      specific victory conditions, which means that you're not sure
      exactly what the other players need to do in order to win.

      "The action takes place on a map of Ankh-Morpork, with players
      trying to place minions and buildings through card play. Each of the
      132 cards is unique, and says Wallace, 'The cards bring the game to
      life as they include most of the famous characters that have
      appeared in the various books. The rules are relatively simple: Play
      a card and do what it says. Most cards have more than one action on
      them, and you can choose to do some or all of these actions. Some
      cards also allow you to play a second card, so you can chain

      "A team of artists will recreate the city and its residents for the
      cards, game board and box, with Bernard Pearson coordinating that
      team. Ankh-Morpork has been sublicensed to Mayfair Games for the
      North American market and Kosmos for the German market.

      Says Wallace, 'For fans of Sir Terry this will be a real treat. For
      those who have not read the book it's still a highly enjoyable

      [The Ankh-Morpork game has distribution deals in the USA and
      Germany. – Ed.]

      Source: Boardgame News




      Quite a few items this month...


      from the Daily Express:

      "Alzheimer's sufferer Sir Terry Pratchett, 62, said aggressive
      action was needed in the same way that HIV was propelled into the
      public eye in the 1980s. Sir Terry, who wrote the fantasy Discworld
      series and has sold more than 65 million books worldwide, helped to
      launch a report for Alzheimer's Research UK. It reveals that there
      are six times as many scientists working on a cure for cancer than
      on dementia research. Sir Terry, a patron of the charity, announced
      in 2007 that he had early onset Alzheimer's. He said: 'When the
      world was shocked by HIV in the Eighties we saw a crash programme of
      research which has helped tame it enormously. We need the same kind
      of aggressive action on dementia now.'..."


      from the Aberdeen Press and Journal:

      "Dementia needs the same type of concentrated research as was put
      into tackling HIV in the 1980s, Sir Terry Pratchett claimed
      yesterday. The author said despite the large number of sufferers,
      the world 'does not take much notice' because it was a series of
      'small tragedies' played out behind closed doors. An Aberdeen
      scientist backed his call to make dementia research a top priority
      as a new poll for the Alzheimer's Research Trust showed people in
      Scotland feared the disease more than cancer and even death...
      Dementia costs the UK economy £23billion, more than cancer
      (£12billion) and heart disease (£8billion) combined, according to
      the charity. A report for the group found that for every UK
      scientist working on dementia, six work on cancer.

      Dr Donald Mowat, a researcher at Aberdeen University and co-
      ordinator for Alzheimer's Research UK's east central Scotland
      research network, said: 'There are nearly 3,000 people in Aberdeen
      affected by dementia, and if we are to find effective treatments
      that are so urgently needed, dementia research must be made a
      national priority. Dementia researchers across the UK are making
      progress, and with support from Alzheimer's Research UK, scientists
      are making breakthroughs. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing
      – it is caused by brain diseases we can tackle, but we need more
      investment in the research that will give us answers...'"


      from Management in Practice:

      "Award-winning author Sir Terry Pratchett has said society should be
      taking the same sort of targeted action on dementia that it applied
      to HIV and Aids 20 years ago. As a new report for Alzheimer's
      Research UK is published, the Discworld writer – who suffers from
      Alzheimer's disease – said more cash for dementia studies is
      needed... Charity chief executive Rebecca Wood said: 'Public concern
      around dementia is at an all-time high, yet dementia research is
      still the poor relation in both capacity and investment. Dementia
      poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the


      from the Press Association (UK):

      Dementia needs the type of aggressive action seen for tackling HIV
      in the 1980s, Sir Terry Pratchett has said... Care services minister
      Paul Burstow said: 'The Department of Health's research budget is
      nearly a billion this year - I want more of that funding to be
      supporting dementia research. But we can only do that if the number
      and quality of the research proposals are of the right standard to
      justify the investment.'"


      from the Bucks Free Press, Pterry's journalistic alma mater:

      "The UK's leading dementia research charity, the Alzheimer's
      Research Trust, says its investigations into curing the disease are
      'still crippled by underfunding'. It has urged the public,
      Government and the private sector to help end 'years of pitifully
      low investment in research'..."


      from This Is Gloucestershire:

      "People effected[sic] by dementia in Gloucestershire have called for
      more cash to be ploughed into researching the disease. Their cries
      come in the wake of the stance taken by Sir Terry Pratchett, who has
      a rare form of dementia and says it needs the type of aggressive
      action seen for tackling HIV in the 1980s... About 8,000 people in
      Gloucestershire have dementia but this is expected to rise to nearly
      12,000 by 2025...

      "Sara Kewley, whose father Ray Walters, was diagnosed with dementia
      six years ago, highlighted a lack of understanding about dementia.
      The 37-year-old, from Cirencester, said: 'Until my dad got it I
      didn't know much about it. My dad was in his 50s when he got it and
      that's not old. I would welcome more research – people need to be
      aware that it's out there. Money is needed to cover the whole of
      dementia and not just sweep it under the carpet as though it's not
      there.' ... June Hennell, whose husband Brian, 72, has dementia,
      echoed the call for more funding for research. Mrs Hennell, from
      Stonehouse, said: "Any funds spent on research is an investment...'"



      from the Daily Mail:

      "Scientists have shown that the brain chemical IGF-II plays a key
      role in the laying down and the strengthening of memories. Learning
      more about the process could lead to new memory-boosting drugs for
      Alzheimer's, stroke and other conditions that rob people of their
      ability to remember even the simplest things... In a series of
      experiments the US government-funded researchers showed IGF-II to
      play a key role in memory... The chemical occurs naturally in the
      body, and is found in relatively high levels in the hippocampus, the
      brain's memory hub. However, levels decline with age... Dutch
      researchers recently discovered that beta-blocker drugs used to
      treat heart disease may also help patients to banish bad



      from Civil Society:

      "The Alzheimer's Research Trust has relaunched as Alzheimer's
      Research UK as a new poll reveals that people fear dementia more
      than death. The rebrand aims to create a new visual identity that
      encourages greater support and ultimately accelerate its charitable
      progress. John Spencer, creative director of Spencer du Bois, which
      carried out the rebrand, said: 'A clear, easy to read, immediately
      obvious logo design was needed.' ... Spencer said the revamp
      included use of a new font called ALZ, which is used extensively
      across the charity's collateral..."




      from Mediplacements News:

      "Medical professionals commonly misdiagnose Alzheimer's disease,
      according to new research. A study, conducted at Kuakini Medical
      System in Honolulu, revealed that approximately half of autopsies of
      those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease found no evidence of the
      amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that define Alzheimer's
      disease. However, characteristics of other forms of dementia such as
      Lewy bodies, generalized brain atrophy and hippocampal sclerosis
      were generally found instead..."



      from the Herald Scotland:

      "The Alzheimer's Research Trust surveyed 2000 people and found
      nearly one-third were more worried about dementia than cancer, heart
      attacks or death. The figure was higher in Scotland than the rest of
      the UK, with 37% of respondents naming dementia as their most
      dreaded disease. More than half of people are also worried about
      their parents developing the condition, the charity said... 37% of
      Scots who rank it as their biggest health worry compare to just 23%
      who named cancer first and 12% who had a general fear of death...

      "Alan Brown, an Alzheimer's Research Trust supporter from
      Motherwell, Lanarkshire, said he had seen first-hand the devastation
      that dementia can cause. He said: 'My mum Christina was diagnosed
      when she was 67. She's lived with this cruel disease for 11 years
      now and needs 24-hour care. My hope is that one day I will see a
      cure so that other people don't have to suffer. Dementia can only be
      defeated through research but it is desperately underfunded, so I
      urge everyone to support the vital work of Alzheimer's Research



      Professor Desmond O'Neill, a consultant in geriatric and stroke
      medicine, writes in the Irish Times:

      "Our challenge is to seek out, and respond to a person's humanity,
      and not allow ourselves to diminish their place among us... I hear
      reference to someone with Alzheimer's disease in terms such as:
      'It's so undignified for him'. This is a marker of how complex it
      can be to understand the durability of our intrinsic humanity when
      suffering from dementia. While no one wishes to have this (or any
      other) illness, in 25 years of working with people with dementia, my
      experience is that they do retain their dignity: indeed, loving
      families grieve for the changes but still very much love the person.
      Our challenge is to seek out, and respond to this humanity, and not
      allow ourselves to diminish their place among us.

      "The high profile of the celebrated author Terry Pratchett allows us
      to rethink our attitudes to one of the most important illnesses of
      later life. Through his public lectures and visiting professorship
      in the Department of English in [Trinity College Dublin], his wit,
      perceptiveness and continued writing in the face of Alzheimer's
      disease help to undermine the bleakness associated with the
      illness... While Pratchett retains eloquence and remarkable
      insights, he and many others worry about what happens in the later
      stages of the illness..."



      from the Press Association (UK):

      "Sir Patrick Stewart has pledged his support to a campaign calling
      for a change in the law on assisted dying in the UK. Dignity in
      Dying, which aims to legalise the choice of assisted dying for
      terminally ill, mentally competent adults, said the Star Trek actor
      was one of a trio of new patrons to join more than 30 additional
      high profile supporters of their campaign in the last 12 months. Sir
      Patrick said: 'We have no control over how we arrive in the world
      but at the end of a life we should have control over how we leave
      it.' Author Ian McEwan and former England cricketer Chris Broad
      complete the trio. Other patrons include comedian Jo Brand, author
      Sir Terry Pratchett and presenter Nick Ross."



      About.com has a feature on a recent book, "Dementia Reconsidered.
      The person comes first" by Tom Kitwood:

      "Tom Kitwood... suggests 7 ways in which we can gain some insight
      into what it is like to have dementia such as Alzheimer's disease."

      The seven "insights" are listed on the page, and although somewhat
      simplistic, they seem sound enough:




      10.1 NADWCON NEWS

      We are so excited about this we are about to pop a stitch!
      Check out our Merchandise webpage:


      There you'll see some familiar characters put into fabric form!

      They are cute, they are cuddly, and they are only available at the
      2011 Discworld Conventions! These are limited edition collectibles
      and will not be sold outside of the 2011 Discworld Conventions.
      Sales of these toys are an international endeavor approved by Sir
      Terry Pratchett. If you are attending the North American Discworld
      Convention 2011 you can pre-order these items now, and pick them up
      when you arrive at the NADWCon. If you are not attending the NADWCon
      2011 you can still get your hands on these by ordering from, and
      attending one of the other 2011 Discworld Conventions.

      It's Getting Crowded in Here:

      NADWCon is happy to announce that we are very close to having 500
      registered members! We are expecting to achieve that number just a
      little later this month. With about six months still remaining until
      the convention, this is some very good news.

      As many of you probably know, we are holding Full Memberships in
      reserve until March 1st for those who purchased a Supporting
      Membership. That is also the date that we are scheduled to raise the
      price of membership by ten dollars. With everything going as well as
      it is, we would like to push that date back a little, to give some
      of you more time to Upgrade your Supporting Membership, or purchase
      a membership at our current price. The new date for the membership
      rate increase, and cut off of Supporting Membership reservations
      will now be April 5th. Why April 5th? Because if it was April 1st,
      you wouldn't have taken us seriously.

      Attention Dealers:

      The NADWCon Dealer's Area is looking forward to your business! We
      have a 51' by 37' room reserved for the duration of our convention
      and have tables available. The Dealer's Room is on the ground floor
      of the Concourse Hotel very close to the hotel's bar, its
      restaurant, the elevators, and just off the main lobby. Given this
      high traffic area we expect steady business to the Dealer's Room
      throughout our four day convention.

      The NADWCon 2011 will also be making our Dealer's Area and Art Show
      open to the general public! Our convention will be taking place
      during the same time as a HUGE art and craft event here in Madison,
      with about a quarter of a million people in attendance! Madison's
      annual Art Fair on the Square brings in people from all over the
      country and will be taking place only one block away from the hotel.
      The Dealer's Area is located just down a straight hallway from an
      entrance that will be right off of the Fair, and signs and personnel
      will be in place to direct people to the Art Show and Dealer's Area.

      The NADWCon 2011 will be taking place from July 8-11 and our
      Dealer's Area is available for setup as early as July 7th. Each
      Dealer's Room reservation includes a single 8 ft by 2 1/2 ft table
      and a full adult membership to the convention. Additional tables and
      memberships can be purchased separately. Check our website for more

      Rod Brown is a guest:

      We're pleased to announce that Rod Brown, producer at Mob Films, the
      company behind such gems as Going Postal, will be a guest at NADWCon
      2011! Maybe we can persuade him to tell us about any new projects he
      is working on!

      Gala Banquet menu finalized:

      Wait no longer for information about our Gala Banquet! We've
      finalized the menu, which can be found at


      Tickets for the banquet are $67 per person for standard seating, but
      if you are willing to spend only a few dollars more, you can enjoy
      the evening with one of our honored guests, and you just might get
      to sit with Sir Terry himself!


      10.2 AUSDWCON NEWS

      Nullas Anxietas III is gearing up for April! And you can gear up,
      too, with the official T-shirt:

      "We are very pleased to announce the official convention attendee's
      T-shirt. It's black with a stylish 'Run Rincewind Run' design on the
      front, and the convention logo on the back. The shirts are a modest
      $25.00. Unlike the Watch (where one size doesn't fit anybody), we
      have a range of sizes from Small to 5XL.

      "We are running a pre-convention order service, with a view to
      getting the first batch made prior to the convention. So if you get
      your order in by Monday, 14th March, then we will have it ready for
      you to collect (and indeed wear) at the convention. We will need
      your membership number on the order (you can find it on the
      Attendees page) to help organise this. If you order later we will
      have to post them on to you at an additional charge."


      There's still time to get a discount on registration:

      Membership Type
      Full $120 ($150 after 1st July)
      Concession $100 ($125 after 1st July)
      Child $60 ($75 after 1st July)
      Under 8's Free (will not change)
      Supporting $30 (will not change)

      For more info on membership types, go to:


      To register, go to:


      Here's what will happen on the days...

      Registration will start at noon on Friday and the convention will
      finish at 6pm Sunday. We have a lot of things planned for the three

      Guests (both actual and virtual). Sir Terry Pratchett has confirmed
      that he will be attending, along with his assistant Rob Wilkins.
      Martin Pearson of 'The Hedgehog Song' fame, will be joining us for
      song and comedy.

      The Galah (note spelling!) Dinner will be held on the Saturday

      Guilds – join the Alchemists, Assassins, Beggars or Thieves to get
      up to shenanigans (may contain nuts)! NEWS FLASH: In the run up to
      the convention, we gave started an Inter-Guilds Scavenger Hunt –
      Guild Points can be won! You can find the list by clicking here and
      more details by clicking here. Remember it's one entry per Guild.

      Maskerade Parade – your opportunity to show off your best
      Discworld costumes and play your favourite character.

      Fan Art Gallery – an opportunity for anyone who would like to
      display a piece of Discworld-inspired artwork!

      Charity Auction – we will be raising money for our chosen
      charities with an auction of Discworld memorabilia. Further details
      of some of the items up for auction will be posted soon.

      To find out more about the convention charities, go to:





      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on Monday 7th
      March in the usual place: the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street,
      London W2 1JQ.


      Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney
      at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 7pm. The next
      meeting will be on the 7th of March. For more information, contact

      No word on how last month's inaugural Perth Drummers meetup went,
      but hopefully this new branch of Drummers Downunder will be carrying
      on the tradition of first Monday of the month meetings – in which
      case the next one will be on the evening of Monday 7th March at The
      Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.

      For further info, email DANIEL_J_HATTON@...


      12) WHO ARE YOU?

      Here be an amusing and quite clever "which Discworld character are
      you?" quiz link found and submitted by reader Perdita Fox:


      The quiz-setter's username is not given, but two things are obvious:
      one, that s/he is a geologist, and two, that s/he has read all the
      Discworld novels and knows them well. The range of possible
      character results is large and runs across many Discworld species,
      with characters including Brutha, Twoflower, Rincewind, Detritus,
      Polly Perks, Carrot, the Librarian, Bela de Magpyr, Vimes, William
      de Worde, Drumknott, Moist von Lipwig, Ponder Stibbons, Nanny,
      Tiffany Aching, Magrat, Lady Margolotta, the Bursar, Granny
      Weatherwax, Angua, Mrs. Cake... and even the Luggage, Death, and
      Greebo! Well worth taking a few minutes to see who you might be.

      [Editor's note: for the record, I got Angua. Repeatedly. Proof
      available on request, muhahaha]



      13.1 By Daniel Orner:

      The Tiffany books are some of my favorite in the Pratchett oeuvre.
      They are far more serious than is his wont, and are suffused with
      urgency, beauty, and piercing insight into the human condition. The
      fact that they are marketed as "for young readers" is nought but a
      distraction from their quality.

      The fourth book to star Tiffany Aching, I Shall Wear Midnight, is
      an admirable addition to this impressive company, though it gives
      somewhat of a more ragged performance.

      As the novel begins, Tiffany, now aged sixteen and a witch for five
      years, has morphed from a solemn, determined girl to a somewhat
      weary do-gooder; the magic and adventure of her earlier travels
      have been replaced by a mundane responsibility as doctor,
      psychologist, arbiter and general helper of those around her. (Note
      that this particular book is no longer marketed at young readers at
      all; the story is quite adult in both theme and content.)

      Into this everyday morass comes the evil Cunning Man, a demonic
      spirit whose influence causes people to hate witches. Tiffany's
      longtime friend, Roland, suddenly has to cope with the loss of his
      father, the Baron, and his own newfound responsibilities, while
      Tiffany herself has to resolve her own feelings about Roland's
      engagement to another woman.

      The plot moves quickly and with Terry's trademark wit and sagacity.
      Tiffany doesn't always make the right decisions, nor is she a bundle
      of laughs, but she is both clever and intelligent, and interacts
      well with those around her. I was appreciative that the Cunning Man
      doesn't incite riots and mobs (for the most part); instead, he is
      insidious and malicious: a villain made up of bad feelings and
      discontent, rather than a bad guy Tiffany could just whack on the

      I do have a few general comments on the book, though, and many hold
      true for the previous two installments, Making Money and Unseen
      Academicals. Terry's writing style and content is still strong, but
      he seems to be slowly losing the ability to juggle multiple story
      threads. Here, a subplot that begins early on involving an abused
      daughter just sort of peters out near the end and doesn't have a
      significant impact on the overall story, despite promising to do

      Terry has also shown a (nostalgic?) tendency to revisit past books.
      Tiffany's actions in Wintersmith loom large here, as well as a
      rather shocking revelation from a much earlier book in the series.
      While my inner fanboy drools at these proceedings, my inner critic
      is a bit disappointed that Terry couldn't keep up the independence
      of story that characterizes most of his work.

      I Shall Wear Midnight remains high up on Terry's quality spectrum,
      and despite its somewhat wobbly attempt at keeping story threads
      focused, it is a great read.

      [Originally published on alt.books.pratchett — Ed.]

      13.2 By Mahvesh Murad, in the Express Tribune:

      "Pratchett's young adult novels often deal with more serious ideas
      than the main Discworld novels — in this fourth installment of
      Tiffany's adventures the themes and motifs aren't for the faint of
      heart. There is much darkness in I Shall Wear Midnight: horrific
      domestic violence, the death of an unborn child, vicious witch
      hunts, and a strange eye-less specter called the Cunning Man who is
      easily one of Pratchett's more frightening villains...

      "How does Pratchett manage to write so ridiculously well, continue
      to be so incredibly smart and funny and remain true to his own voice
      and style while managing to bring to life a multitude of characters?
      He is incredibly good at bringing to life different voices and
      manages the voice of a teenage girl so convincingly that there is
      never a moment of doubt in Tiffany's narrative..."




      By Michael DeGregori, a staff writer at the Regis University
      Highlander, Denver, Colorado:

      "What makes this book particularly interesting is how it
      successfully combines the very different writing styles of the
      authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. While both authors make
      ample use of humor in their individual works, Gaiman (who wrote
      books such as American Gods and Neverwhere) tends to use a darker
      and edgier tone while Pratchett (best known for writing the
      Discworld series) has a tone which is much more lighthearted and
      silly. When they combined forces to write Good Omens, what resulted
      was a darkly humorous and insanely zany tone which persists
      throughout the entire novel. When reading the novel one can easily
      tell that the duo of authors had a lot of fun writing it, which in
      turn makes it a more entertaining experience for the reader...."




      Just the thing for turning into a blog icon — a performance
      photograph from the Castaway Community Theatre's production of
      Maskerade earlier this month, obviously influence by Pterry's
      descriptions of Dwarf opera:


      The Castaway Community Theatre has presented several Discworld plays
      so far. And being located in Aberystwyth, the text on their website
      is offered in both English and Llamedese! To learn more about the
      company, go to:




      We laugh at the mishaps of Discworld alchemists and groan from the
      safe distance of reality at Pterry's description of "oil of
      scallatine", but there are Roundworld people who work on the
      frontline of terrifyingly smelly or unstable substances...

      Derek Lowe is an organic chemist from Arkansas who works on drug
      discovery projects seeking new treatments for schizophrenia,
      Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. He also
      blogs about scary chemicals, in a humorous vein. Here are a few of
      his favourite (not!) ones:

      Carbon diselenide: http://tinyurl.com/bck46v
      Thioacetone: http://tinyurl.com/ku78xy
      Small smelly isocyanides: http://tinyurl.com/3a2rkb7

      Also of interest, Lowe's posts about Alzheimer's research:




      A selection of blogposts about Terry Pratchett and Discworld. Enjoy!

      Blogger gcatherinev on the excellence of Pterry and his works:

      "He is cool enough to rock a Stetson. (Stetsons are cool :D yes, I
      had to throw in a DW reference) He's a comic genius and the best
      satirist of our time. He has done pieces on Leonardo da Vinci to
      Elvis Presley. When he writes, he makes you think and feel... His
      books are completely educational. From Going Postal and Making
      Money, I have learned a lot about the postal service and the way
      banks work.He made Death a fun character who was simply 'doing his
      job'. He approaches every subject with a point of view that you
      wouldn't normally look at. He gave the world a new look at trolls,
      dwarves and Nobby Nobbs. :)

      "His characters are well fleshed out unlike the many two-dimensional
      creations of other fantasy authors. He makes sure they have depth
      and ensures a story arc for almost every character, a rare find in
      this genre where the people start and end the book with the same
      viscosity. Fun fact: Terry Pratchett is a generous donor to Sepilok
      and supports the conservation of the orang-utan. If you make a
      reasonable donation to Sepilok, you just send him the receipt and
      he'll put your name in one of his next books..."


      Blogger Michael Ruffles on Discworld's relevance to current
      Roundworld events:

      "If I were a dictator somewhere in the world right now, I'd be
      reading Terry Pratchett. I'd need all the help I could get, and I
      might as well get the best advice... My advice to dictators, like
      Colonel Gaddafi, whose Wikipedia page calls him the incumbent Leader
      and Guide of the Revolution but that may have to change soon, would
      be to read up on Discworld and learn how to do tyranny the right
      way. The Vetinari way. Where most people are free to get on with
      their lives. Where progress is made. Where committees are uses as a
      means of control rather than torture chambers. Where leopards may or
      may not be able to change their shorts. At least, that would be my
      advice, if my advice wasn't actually 'piss off you cruel old

      He also reviews Night Watch, at length:

      "On Sunday, on a plane, I finished reading Night Watch, perhaps best
      described as one of the crime genre sub-plots in the world of Disc.
      The plot centres around Sir Sam Vimes, commander of the City Watch,
      Duke, and all round good-guy in the sense that we're always on his
      side even and especially when he is being bad. But to say it is
      crime fiction is to overlook the time-travelling monks, the fact one
      character becomes a zombie, and the youthful assassin Havelock
      Vetinari hunting down a former tyrant during a revolution. Suffice
      to say, I think it one of the better Discworld books, but then, I
      usually think that of the latest one I have read..."


      Blog review by Fyrefly of the ISWM audiobook:

      "I don't know what more I can say in praise of the Tiffany Aching
      series that I haven't already said at least twice. They're
      brilliant! They're imaginative and entertaining! They're
      bust-a-gut funny in places and heart-wrenching in others! They have
      the most sensible attitude about life that I've ever encountered
      in fiction! These are the books that converted me into a full-
      fledged Pratchett-o-phile, and I'm terribly sad that there
      aren't going to be more of them... As the series has progressed,
      the focus has shifted from heavily magical to more about regular
      life – not coincidentally, at the same time that Tiffany is
      learning how much of what people call magic is made up of regular
      life... There were a few details that were added in to the story but
      not utilized to their full potential, and I did think that the
      ending felt a little too rushed, and somehow too easy – it would
      have been more compelling if Tiffany were actually a little less
      sure of herself and a little more in danger. But regardless, I
      enjoyed listening to every second of this book (Stephen Briggs did a
      wonderful job with the narration, as always), and am now really
      sorely tempted to go back to The Wee Free Men and start over..."


      Blogger Loretta Casteen recently discovered the joys of Pterry, and
      includes an L-space link to her "discovery" of Theatre of Cruelty:

      "I had often heard of the Discworld series, but until about six
      months ago had never actually read one. I picked up the novel Thud!
      at random from a nice selection of Pratchett novels available at a
      local book store. The introduction alone had me laughing out loud in
      the aisle. Thud! got me hooked on Pratchett in a 'where have you
      been all my life?' sort of way. The novels are irreverent, smart,
      often sweet, charming and, most importantly, hilarious. I'm
      laughing my way through my tenth Discworld book..."


      Blogger Alex in Canada is continuing her tradition of ever larger
      out-of-season Hogswatch celebrations:

      "Well, it's over, we survived – our epic Hogswatch cook-athon
      was a success... there are a few people out there who are, as they
      read this, going 'oooh, cool. You celebrate Hogswatch!' The rest of
      you are wondering what it is, and if it involves watching pigs,
      which probably isn't entertaining enough to take up an entire
      weekend... Hogswatch [began] for me when a friend/fellow Pratchett
      fan and I wanted to meet up and celebrate Xmas well after the
      holiday season was over... Life at school is hectic, especially
      around the holidays, so the first time we both had free of all the
      other life-things was in February. We figured that, instead of
      doing Christmas in February (which just sounds depressing), we would
      do Hogswatch... it was a bit chaotic. We used two kitchens and a
      dozen pots and pans, dinner was a bit late, and sleeping
      arrangements involved couches and cushions on the floor. We had a
      blast, and there was never any doubt we'd be doing it again this


      And to finish, a very, erm, odd post by blogger Andreea Elena
      Alexandru, speculating on the bond between Rincewind and the
      Luggage, complete with also-very-odd iconograph:

      Now, while Rincewind does some magic, The Luggage IS magic. It
      follows him everywhere, protects him from people (it ate someone
      once) and whenever Rincewind opens the lid he finds whatever he
      needs in there..."



      18) BU NEWSROUND


      Seen in the city of Truro today. A small shop with a sign in the
      window "Personal Products for Adults". The shop was called "Mrs

      Wannawannawanna iconograph!

      If I hadn't been utterly gobsmacked by the sight - and travelling on
      a bus at the time - I'd have grabbed a shot with my phone camera.

      Wot, you mean you didn't drop in to sample the merchandise?

      Editor's note: here be a picture, complete with outraged locals
      brandishing pitchforks and torches, so to speak:


      ...and an article:




      New Bruce made a community announcement for visitors to the Land of

      Scything Workshop 7am to noon. Come along to learn how to use this
      beautiful tool.

      www.scythesnz.co.nz (from the Oamaru Telegram)

      Vera channelled a certain well-known Discworld persona:




      Uh oh, here comes another casting couch thread...
      — Jase

      Stephen Fry for Aziraphale? Christopher Eccleston for Crowley?
      — Libwolf, stirring the pot

      Ian McKellen for Aziraphale and Malcolm McDowell for Crowley.
      — MsA

      Oliver Reed for Aziraphale and Peter O'Toole for Crowley
      — Jase, pot-toasting

      I thought Oliver Reed was dead? I considered Peter O'Toole for
      Crowley but I'm just not sure. Mind you, I think he would do equally
      well as Aziraphale.
      — Asti

      Oops my bad, I thought they were both dead...
      — Jase

      I was thinking Benedict Cumberbund[sic] for Crowley. And Ian
      McKellen for Aziraphale.
      — Fuzzy

      Swap them around. Ian McKellen for Crowley & Benedict for Aziraphale
      – much better match.
      — Libwolf

      Nonono, you're going about this in entirely the wrong way: Bill
      Bailey for Aziraphale and Mark Sheppard for Crowley! Also, David
      Tennant would make a great Newton Pulsifer. He excels at geeky-
      — Vera

      Hah, I was thinking Tennant for Crowley =oP Bill Bailey though,
      that's one I wouldn't have thought of . . . I always pictured
      Aziraphale as looking a little more like Anthony Head
      — Snow Queen

      I'll take Tennant as Crowley only if we can have Matt Smith as
      Aziraphale :P I do agree with you re Mr Head, though. He's got the
      — Vera

      Aziraphale's English, upper-class, and gay, no? Or at least that's
      how he appears to people. So I can't see Bill Bailey as Aziraphale.
      — Fuzzy

      Ah, I take it you've never seen him do his Thing with the Pipe on QI
      then :D
      — Vera

      I've seen the Thing with the Pipe, but I still don't see him as
      Aziraphale. I think the role calls for someone rather nattier.
      — Asti

      I bet he scrubs up surprisingly well! Also, is Barbara Windsor
      retired from acting entirely now? Because she would ROCK as Madame
      Tracy...oh, wait. Andrew Sachs – who already has Pratchett movie
      experience, so he's a shoo-in – as Shadwell and Babs as Madame
      Tracy. Ohh yesss.
      — Vera

      "I still can't think of anyone obvious for Anathema though!" Emma
      Watson in about 10 years. Who's got the time machine? With Daniel
      Radcliffe playing Newt :) (And despite the smiley, I'm actually
      serious.) How about Ronni Ancona? I think she comes quite close to
      the look of Anathema in my head, but I don't know if she can act.
      Another candidate if we can find the time machine... possibly Sandi
      Toksvig 10 years ago... well maybe 20.
      — SteVen

      Martin Freeman as Newt?
      — Libwolf

      As soon as I read Barbara Windsor as Madame Tracy, I realised I have
      always thought of her as Barbara Windsor. In my mind she is Madame
      Tracy to a T.
      — Dianne

      Oddly enough, Emma Thompson could probably do a good Madame Tracy,
      now that she's older and has put in some time as Nanny McPhee!
      ...oh my. I just wikied Mark Sheppard (in case any of you don't know
      who he is, more's the pity) and discovered he's been in a current
      telly series – playing a demon called Crowley ~dies laughing~
      — Vera



      ...and gives an amusing acceptance speech:

      http://tinyurl.com/5tql946 (video)


      20) CLOSE

      We're only weeks away from finding out which budding authors were
      brave enough to submit entries for the first Terry Pratchett Prize
      competition, as announced last year. The closing date for entries
      was 31st December 2010, and a shortlist of six entries will be
      announced by 31st March this year, with the winner to be announced
      by the end of May. Here's a reminder of what it was all about:


      We're also just over a week away from the first Soul Cake Duck
      festival, Fat Tuesday (aka Pancake Day in Roundworld). These days
      it's become a secular excuse for making and eating lots and lots of
      pancakes, so get your batter and pancake pans ready for the 8th of

      Your monthly Discworld horoscope will follow soon, as usual. We'll
      see you next month with news, views and reviews of all things

      – Annie Mac


      The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
      Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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