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WOSSNAME -- March 2011 -- Main Issue

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion March 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 3, Post 4)
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      March 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 3, Post 4)
      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




      18) CLOSE




      "Terry is that rarity, the kind of author who likes Writing, not
      Having Written, or Being a Writer, but the actual sitting there and
      making things up in front of a screen. At the time we met, he was
      still working as a press officer for the South Western Electricity
      board. He wrote four hundred words a night, every night: it was the
      only way for him to keep a real job and still write books. One
      night, a year later, he finished a novel, with a hundred words still
      to go, so he put a piece of paper into his typewriter, and wrote a
      hundred words of the next novel."

      – Neil Gaiman on the Good Omens collaboration

      "I find Terry Pratchett books so easy to read, partly because
      they're so well written but mostly because they're so unbelievably
      funny. I can be reading for a while, perfectly quietly, then I'll
      come across something so absurd that I can't help laughing. Very
      often, this erupts into an uncontrollable fit of giggles that makes
      my stomach hurt. Even a description of a character trying not to
      laugh sends me off on one, because everyone (except the most
      miserable of people) knows what it's like when you're trying to keep
      a straight face."

      – Kung Fu Angel, on Wordpress, 13th March 2011




      Ten years ago, on a whim, I subscribed to a Terry Pratchett-related
      email discussion group called ozdw, otherwise known as Bugarup
      University or BU. It was a lively virtual "campus", full of rapid-
      fire wit, wonderfully silly sig-lines and fascinating anything-and-
      everything discussions (some of them even relating to Discworld),
      and one of the first members to respond to me was Joe Schaumburger,
      the "Elder god" of the group. Despite our age difference we quickly
      formed a friendship that lasted through the years. I soon found out
      that he was a retired science fiction editor who had worked with
      many of the Golden Age writers and who was publishing the monthly
      Pratchett and Discworld newsletter WOSSNAME; he later found out that
      I was a sometime proofreader and writing tutor who had dabbled in
      journalism long ago. The rest is history.


      Joe Schaumburger, the grandson of a Transylvanian emigrant who came
      to the United Stated with thirteen children, was born in The Bronx,
      New York. After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in
      Mechanical Engineering, he served in the US Army, and then entered a
      long career in the publishing industry that included working as an
      editor and then publisher for Parker Publishing Company (Prentice-
      Hall Division) and nine years as Managing Editor at DAW Books. He
      was also the author, under the pseudonym of Walter Delany, of a
      successful "self-help" book. In a long anecdote that deserves to be
      shared, Joe's daughter Barbara recalls:

      "Parker published 'practical' books, informational services, how-to,
      instructional, practice exams, and trade manual books, and also
      their edgier stuff about self-help, UFOs, Psychics, etc... Joe was
      stunned when he calculated how much the authors of some of the most
      egregious stuff earned in royalties. He sort of obsessed about how
      much nutters were earning on utter trash books, many times what he
      the publisher was paid. His wife Dorothy got tired of the moaning
      and told him, you're way smarter than them, write your own and make
      millions. And so he did. He decided to write the most absolutely
      unscientific, outrageous, pseudo-science, self help book ever seen:
      "Ultra-psychonics: how to work miracles with the limitless power of
      psycho-atomic energy" (ISBN-13: 978-0139356353).

      "I forget how he decided on the title, except that it had to have
      some reference to atomic and psychics, but I remember how he chose
      his pen-name. Joe refused to put his own name on the book - a wise
      move, I agreed, after seeing the sort of crayon on brown paper
      letters their customers sent to Parker Publications. Walter was
      because that was a classic name in old pulp Sci-Fi, and then he
      froze and couldn't think of a last name. He was down to the wire and
      stressed and wandered into the men's toilet at work. There, standing
      at the row of gleaming porcelain urinals, he looked up and saw each
      emblazoned with the manufacturers name: Delaney Flushboys.
      Inspiration! What could be a more perfect or appropriate name? He
      would be Walter Delaney.

      "You have to see the stuff he wrote to appreciate how truly loony
      the book is. I recall him reading us bits from one chapter on How to
      Get Rich – this was a practical instruction book, after all. Dorothy
      & I were doubled over laughing, choking. Briefly, readers were
      instructed to cut out and assemble tiny cardboard pyramids and then
      glue them into the corners of their bedroom to focus the Pyramid
      Power on the bed. This would not only improve the quality of their
      sleep but more important allow them to direct that power to create
      riches for them if they followed the secret formula exactly.
      Basically, they were instructed to gather all their bills, credit
      cards, wallet, checkbook, bank books, etc and place them under their
      pillow. Then at night, lay down in bed and before going to sleep
      chant the following magic//scientific//Ultra-Psychonic Psycho-Atomic
      Formula: 'My money lies under my pillow/My money lies close by to
      me/No matter what I spend tomorrow/Bring back my money to me' (I'm
      sure you can guess the tune). Yeah, just like that. And people
      bought it! Thousands and thousands bought it. In hardcover. And
      wrote him letters of gushing gratitude. He made a mint on that

      As well as his adventures in publishing, Joe Schaumburger was a
      "First Fan" (_http://www.firstfandom.org/_), a co-founder of the New
      Jersey SF Association, and was active in fandom from 1948 to the
      time of his death. He was also a member of Futurians, The Arisians,
      ESFA, The Hydra Club, The Lunarians, and many others, and later the
      South Florida Science Fiction Society, the Society for Creative
      Anachronism, the US National Fantasy Fan Federation, and the
      Southern Fandom Confederation, and founded the USA branch of the
      Pratchett-based Guild of Fans and Disciples (GOFAD), the Discworld
      fan club that was founded in 1994 by Phil Penney and Jacqui Edge.
      Joe's love of science fiction extended to his personal life: after
      his Army service was over, he shared a Slan Shack with legendary
      fantasy writer Lin Carter, who remained a lifelong friend, and
      Harlan Ellison, who didn't. Joe was a good friend of E.E. "Doc"
      Smith, creator of the seminal space-opera Lensman and Skylark of
      Space series. Joe once said, "I have the original cover art for
      Children of the Lens hanging on the wall next to my bed, plus
      several interior illos from the hardcover Lens books. In short, I am
      a lifelong EES fan and proud of it. I sometimes sign myself as Star
      A Star..." – and indeed he did, in our personal emails over the
      years and even betimes when signing off at the end of our many phone
      conversations (for the record, I was always "Red Lensman"). The
      walls of his New Jersey house were covered with Hannes Bok and
      Finlay originals – given to him mostly as thank-you gifts from the
      science fiction world.

      When it came to the written word, Joe was very much of the old
      school, not only in his former career in the publishing industry but
      also in his approach to fanzines and newsletters. Coming as he did
      from the early days of fandom when 'zines were a single sheet of
      excited (and mostly uppercase) news printed in purple ink on
      someone's back-room mimeograph, he never quite did get to grips with
      digital technology, but there was no denying his enthusiasm and
      dedication. He founded WOSSNAME back when Terry Pratchett was
      already successful yet little known outside the world of genre
      fiction, and Joe made it his mission to reach as many potential new
      readers as he could in addition to keeping the Pratchett fans
      informed and entertained, until a series of heart attacks forced him
      to retire from his final project. As his successor, I have made some
      changes in the format and focus of WOSSNAME but I try to always keep
      that sense of delighted wonder that was Joe's trademark.

      Joe Schaumburger was a lovely man, a true original and a true fan.
      He will be missed – and no mistake.

      – Annie Mac

      [Heartfelt thanks to Joe's granddaughter Astrid and her parents, who
      supplied much of the biographical information.]



      The Cunning Artificer is "temporarily out of stock", but do check


      Asti of BU says, "You can, of course, order them from Royal Mail but
      they won't be the same packaging and won't be franked from the
      Wincanton/Ankh-Morpork Post Office." I'd say the Wincanton/Ankh-
      Morpork franking is at least as important as the stamps themselves!
      Maybe even more so. But to order from the Royal Mail shop, go to:




      An SFX Magazine exclusive! Watch Pterry and Rob eat takeaway! See
      our favourite author accidentally impersonating a vicar in his
      accidental vicar shirt! Experience realtime difficulties with a
      conference call! Oh, and enjoy Pterry, Rod Brown, and several other
      quite interesting people as they discuss how to go about making a
      telly series about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch...

      "Sir Terry was so impressed with our meeting room when he guest-
      edited the mag last year he personally suggested it as the venue.
      They also allowed us to sit in and record the event for prosperity
      (as long as we supplied them with copious bacon butties), and you'll
      be reading a lot more about it in the next two issues of SFX. But
      here, as a taster, we give an exclusive look at those creative minds
      in action, bandying about ideas and expanding on the initial idea
      of, 'Wouldn't it be a great idea to make a case of the week,
      procedural show set in Ankh-Morpork?' Aside from a bunch of SFX
      hangers-on (who we've kept out of the picture for your own sanity),
      and Sir Terry (obviously), the other people round the table included
      producer Rod Brown, production designer Ricky Eyres and, down the
      line on speakerphone from LA, scriptwriter Gavin Scott. Enjoy this
      little piece of TV history in the making..."



      [1] Or whatever it's going to be called by the time the series goes
      into production – Ed.



      Just like the good old days of the Victorian era, when the pastime
      attending educational and enlightening lectures was opened to the
      general public... "Sir Terry Pratchett: Imagination, not
      Intelligence, Made us Human" is coming to the Sydney Opera House, at
      a price most of today's general public can afford:

      "See much loved fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett in conversation
      with Garth Nix in the Concert Hall. In his Sydney Opera House
      appearance Pratchett will take part in a lively interview and fans
      will have the opportunity to question him about his life and work.
      He'll also speak openly about his life with Alzheimer's and his
      views on assisted suicide. Regarded as one of the most significant
      contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett received a
      knighthood in 2009 and has won numerous literary awards, including
      the British Science Fiction Award, Carnegie Medal, Writers Guild
      Award and the Smarties Prize Silver Award. He is also Britain's most
      shoplifted author."

      Venue: Concert Hall
      Date: 17th April, 5pm
      Duration: 60 minutes
      Tickets: Adults $30, concessions $20 (concessions are available to
      Australian full-time students and Australian Pensioners only). A
      "booking fee" of $5.00 (Box Office Counter) or $8.50 (Contact Centre
      or internet booking) applies per transaction

      For all general booking enquiries call the Contact Centre on +61 2
      9250 7777 or email for more information.


      There is also a competition:


      "Purchase tickets before Friday 8 April to be in the draw to win the
      opportunity to have your Sir Terry Pratchett book personalised by
      the man himself. All you need to do is use the code FANTASY when
      booking online or over the phone and select the ***Competition***
      seat type. 200 lucky fans will be sent an email on Wednesday 13
      April confirming where they need to go with their book after the
      event. Good luck!

      "Please Note: Everyone who purchased a ticket between 1 – 4 March
      has automatically been entered into the competition."

      To book online: http://tinyurl.com/66fzdce



      So there was this celebrated author who needed some research
      assistance, and sent out a call for help over the internet. And lo,
      his fans came up trumps...

      From the Livejournal Discworld community:


      Much to my joy (hurrah! hurrah!) Pterry is back on Twitter
      (username is @terryandrob). He is looking for a speaker of Tibetan
      for his next book, and asks for people to spread the word/get in
      touch if they know someone. I'm not sure how people should contact
      him if they're not on Twitter, but I just asked and if I get a
      reply, I'll post it here.

      I work with someone who's said he can help- I've tweeted Pterry, but
      if you hear of other ways of contacting him then let me know?

      Ah, he's replied. I feel all star-struck :)

      Hurrah! :D The internet wins the day again. ETA: I went and looked
      and now I feel all star-struck in sympathy :D Woo!

      Well, if you hadn't posted on LJ I wouldn't have found out! Just
      think, Pterry wouldn't have been able to create his next story
      without us...

      Yay! Go us, we rock :D

      The internet is a wonderful place :D

      Just the fact that he's working on a next book is enough to make
      my day.

      The big question is, is this for another Discworld/History Monks
      book, or is it something for the Stephen Baxter parallel worlds
      book? I'm kinda hoping for the latter.

      I'm happy either way! :D

      I'm assuming the latter? Actual-Tibetan sounds not very Discworld,
      compared to the History Monks. Whereas Actual-Tibetan sounds perfect
      for Long Earth- we already know he wanted to write about Native
      Americans in non-occupied US, having Tibetans without China sounds a
      similar idea? Or something like that?


      To follow Pterry's Twitter page, go to:




      Here be a video of Neil Gaiman discussing the forthcoming Good Omens
      miniseries. Many thanks -- even more than usual! -- to PJSM Prints
      for posting it up, since the original source was apparently the
      notoriously patchy Brightcove TV and both DigitalSpy's article and
      YouTube failed to deliver anything but a depressingly blank


      The blog Shadowlocked features some quotes from the video:

      "In the same interview with DigitalSpy, Neil Gaiman confirmed that
      Good Omens is in development to become a four-part television
      series... Gaiman said that the advantage of doing a television mini-
      series over a feature film is obvious, 'You don't have that
      compression. You don't start out from a point of view of, "Okay,
      what are we throwing out?" because you can put it all in. You can
      put more in.' He also said that the major problem is going to be
      figuring out when the movie will be set, as some plot devices (such
      as tape cassettes, etc.) are anachronistic to a current film: but
      that he was relieved that this would be someone else's problem. 'I
      don't think I'm going to be very heavily involved in Good Omens.' He
      joked that he and Terry Pratchett could appear as extras,
      particularly in scenes that take place in really nice restaurants,
      eating really nice food. He said, 'We find the best possible people
      and let them get on with it.'"




      from Bedford Today:

      "The only swan to survive the mass slaughter of dozens of the birds
      on the Somerset Levels has been released at a secret location.
      Female swan Solo was released at a private lake, which came complete
      with a lonely male swan, by staff from the Secret World sanctuary.
      She was the only survivor after eight dead swans, shot in the head
      with airgun pellets, were found in a field outside Blackford in the
      Wedmore area of Somerset at the end of January. Further carcasses
      were found in nearby Westham and Godney. The two birds are now said
      to be 'inseparable' and starting a new life as a couple.

      "Secret World animal care manager Sara Cowen said: 'We are delighted
      to have such a happy ending to a distressing story and we hope Solo
      will find happiness with her new mate.' She said the sanctuary was
      contacted by a couple who offered their lake for a new home for the
      lonely swan, after reading of her plight and the death of the other


      from BBC News:

      "Pauline Kidner from Wildlife rescue group Secret World said x-rays
      revealed that eight birds had definitely been shot. She said a
      further 43 were found, but it was unclear how they had died...
      author Sir Terry Pratchett added £10,000 to a reward to help catch
      the killer of the swans. Ms Kidner said that so much money had been
      offered by well-wishers that the reward has been capped at £25,000.
      Other donations will go towards helping other injured swans rescued
      by the group, she said."


      from Farming Life:

      "Three men have been arrested and bailed over the slaughter of
      dozens of swans in Somerset. Eight dead swans, shot in the head with
      airgun pellets, were found in a field outside Blackford in the
      Wedmore area. Further carcasses were found in nearby Westham and
      Godney. Wildlife charity Secret World described finding the dead
      birds as "one of the worst incidents" it had ever attended. The
      charity believes the birds all died within a three-week period. The
      men were arrested by Avon and Somerset Police. On Wednesday a
      spokesman said: 'Police yesterday arrested three men, aged 34, 37
      and 45, on suspicion of criminal damage in relation to the shooting
      of swans in Somerset. The arrests follow an investigation by the
      RSPCA and the police into the shootings of an unconfirmed number of
      swans over a three-week period. The three men have been released on
      police bail pending further inquiries.' The birds' bodies have been
      found in just a few square miles around the Somerset Levels since
      the end of January..."




      One text, one video, one audio...

      9.1 The full text of Pterry's "Alzheimer's speech" a couple of years


      9.2 Neil Gaiman tells the true story – his version, at any rate –
      of how Good Omens was created:


      9.3 Four interviews of Team Discworld from 2010 by the lovely Emily
      Whitten of NADWCON. These can be downloaded as mp3s:

      Pterry: http://tinyurl.com/5vxy4d6
      Stephen Briggs: http://tinyurl.com/5unhfek
      Colin Smythe: http://tinyurl.com/6dz2pbh
      Bernard Pearson: http://tinyurl.com/6z5kx38

      ...or streamed from their NADWCON page:


      (scroll to the bottom of the page)



      Now you can wear Pterry on your hat! Or jacket, or wherever. The
      Author himself is featured in a new range of enamel pin badges,
      complete with hat and beard. Other badges available in this series
      are: Death, Rincewind with the Luggage, Lord Vetinari (complete with
      The Eyebrow!) and the Librarian. The badges are priced at £3.50
      each; each badge is hard-enamelled, measures 40mm (1.5 inches, for
      those of us who use Morporkian measurements), and attaches by means
      of a butterfly clip. Soooo cute!

      For more info, and to order:


      Each badge character is available as a magnet (£2.00 each) or
      coaster (£2.50 each)... and the magnet/coaster range also includes
      Susan Sto Helit (dressed for HER OTHER JOB), Granny Weatherwax,
      Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garl-, um, de Lancre, Moist von Lipwig, Tolliver
      Groat, Sam Vimes, Captain Carrot, Sgt Angua, Fred Colon, and Nobby
      Nobbs. Magnets are 57mm square, hardboard coasters 90mm square. All
      16 characters – or 15 characters and an author – are available as
      complete sets: £30.00 for the magnet set and £37.50 for the
      coaster set.

      For more info, and to order:


      For those of you with bigger pockets, how about a very special
      limited collector's edition of I Shall Wear Midnight? Each hardcover
      book is signed, hand stamped and numbered, "beautifully packaged in
      a slipcase and including extra content: a treatise on the folklore
      in the book by The Folklore of Discworld co-author Jacqueline
      Simpson plus one extra illustration from Paul Kidby". Priced at

      For more info, and to order:




      11.1 AUSDWCON NEWS

      Update: 25th March 2011

      When we first drew up our plans for the convention, we planned for a
      maximum of 400 people attending, and our events programme and use of
      the convention centre are based on this. The last 20 places have now
      gone. We will set up a waiting list in case anyone cancels. Please
      email daniel@... if you would like to go on the list.

      Because we are now full, we will not be offering day passes to the

      Thank you for bearing with us – the convention is run by a small
      team of unpaid volunteers, and the recent surge in registrations has
      caught us by surprise. And thank you for all your support. Terry
      will be arriving in less than two weeks!

      Not got a costume for the Discworld Convention and would like to
      blend in? Costumes n Things in Penrith are offering reduced rates on
      costume hire for those of you who are less gifted with a needle and
      thread but still want to blend in. And for those of you who have
      been busy threading their needles, they have a range of accessories
      to add those finishing touches to your costume. We have posted more
      details at http://ausdwcon.org/pages/costumes_n_things

      Originally published on the web at http://ausdwcon.org/news


      His Wholiness the Rev Dr Jon writes:
      If anyone is cursing that they missed out on a place at the Aussie
      Discworld Convention coming up in Penrith on 8-10 April, they've had
      20 openings come up through cancellations.


      (They are also reporting that "there is the whisper of a hint of a
      rumour that Bernard will be producing a special commemorative Four-
      Ecks 1 Squid stamp for the convention".)


      The original Nullas Anxietas stamp, from AusDWcon 1 in 2007, looked
      like this:


      ...until the Cunning Artificer turned it into this:



      The first official Dutch Discworld convention is a true fans'
      convention – no big name guests announced, just an opportunity for
      Discworld fans to gather and celebrate the works of Pterry... and
      play Thud, of course...

      "From May 28th to May 29th 2011, Cabbagecon will be held at the NH
      Hotel Atlanta in Rotterdam. This will be the first time a Discworld
      convention takes place on Dutch soil! It will be a place for many
      Dutch and non-Dutch fans of Sir Terry Pratchett's work to connect
      and have fun. We hope to see you there!

      Convention plushies: You may now pre-order your 2011 Discworld
      Librarian and/or Death-of-Rats plushie!! Pre-order the plushies by
      paying €10 per plushie into bank account number 1452.50.520 of
      DutchDWCon in Hilversum, Netherlands. IBAN NL19RABO0145250520, BIC

      You may also pay by Paypal to penningmeester@....

      Don't forget your convention registration number and please specify
      'librarian' or 'rat'. Leftover plushies will be available at the
      convention for €12,50 each."


      For further information, contact info@...




      The Compass Theatre (UK) will present a reading of "Mort: The
      Musical" in May 2011.

      "Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.
      Now the poor boy is apprenticed to an anthropomorphic
      personification who is having a midexistence crisis. And he's
      fallen in love with a princess who should be dead. Also, he's
      created an alternative reality that might end the universe. Still,
      it could be worse. At least he's not facing a life or death
      situa... oh dear.

      "Join us for a fun, informal reading of this stage adaptation with a
      professional cast of actors and a very large skeleton, prior to the
      Youth Music Theatre: UK production in 2011."

      When: 1st May 2011
      Venue: Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham, Middlesex UB10 8PD
      Time: 3:00 PM
      Tickets: £2.50
      Tickets can be reserved online at http://tinyurl.com/4uhr7u9
      Box Office 01895 673200
      Email compasstheatre@...


      The Phoenix Players, in a change to their previously advertised
      programme, will present their production of Wyrd Sisters next month.

      When: Thursday 28th April to Saturday 30th April 2011
      Venue: The Terry O'Toole Theatre, NK Centre, Moor Lane, North
      Hykeham, Lincs LN6 9AX
      Time: 7.30pm
      Tickets: £9.00 Concessions: £7.00
      Box office: 01522 883311
      Online booking:


      The Mill Arts Centre will present Stephen Briggs' adaptation of
      Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, directed by Linda Shaw, in May 2011.

      When: Wednesday 18th- Saturday 21st May
      Venue: The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury, Oxfordshire
      OX16 5QE
      Time: 7.45pm
      Running Time: Approx 2 hrs
      Tickets: £7.50/£8.50 (no concessions Fri/Sat)
      Box Office: 01295 279002 (open Mon to Fri 9am - 8pm, Saturday 10am-
      8pm, Sunday 12.30pm-5pm)



      The Unseen Theatre, premier presenter of Discworld plays in the
      continent of Fourecks, will next stage Wyrd Sisters as their next
      production in June 2011. Adapted by Stephen Briggs, directed by
      Pamela Munt and David Dyte, and featuring "the usual cast of

      When: Preview Fri. 10th June; opening night 11th June; season
      continues Wed to Sat until 25th June
      Venue: The Bakehouse Theatre, Angas Street, Adelaide, SA
      Time: 8pm all performances
      Tickets: Preview Night $14, Free Tix for healthcare card holders
      All other nights Adult $18, Conc $15, Groups (of 10+) $14,Fringe
      Benefits $14
      Duration: 2 hours plus a 15 minute interval



      The Purple Theatre Company of Pinner, Middx (UK) will be performing
      Stephen Briggs' stage adaptation of The Truth from 29th Jun 2011 to
      2nd Jul 2011 at the Compass Theatre, Ickenham. No information on
      times and tickets yet, but the bookings number is 01895 673 200 and
      you can check their page for updates:


      There's even a blog:



      First, the book; then the play... Stephen Briggs and Studio Theatre
      Club are planning to stage the first official performance of Briggs'
      adaptation of Snuff on 15 to 19 November at the Unicorn Theatre,
      Abingdon (UK). Tickets will go on sale on 10 September. Tickets will
      go *very* quickly, so mark the September date in your calendars!




      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on Monday 4th
      April 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 4th of April. For more information, contact

      Perth Drummers meet on the traditional of first Monday of the month.
      The next meeting will be on the evening of Monday 4th April at The
      Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.



      [write intro copy]

      [article in the Penrith Star]

      "Engrossed in the fantastical work of Englishman Sir Terry Pratchett
      a few years ago, Rhianna Williams sketched as she read each of his
      Discworld novels. Some of these "scribbles", as she calls them, will
      now feature on T-shirts, posters, badges, and the program for the
      third Australian Discworld Convention in April, to be held at the
      Panthers... 'The thought that Sir Terry is going to see some of our
      work, and that I'll get to meet him, is terrifying and exciting. I
      hope I can do a little justice to his wonderful writing!' Ms
      Williams' artistry has also seen her create a postage stamp with
      Bernard Pearson, who runs a workshop in England devoted to Discworld
      artefacts... 'I've admired Bernard's work for a long time so seeing
      our little stamp evolve into something that is to be printed with a
      traditional press, and having him as a guide, has been fantastic,'
      she said..."




      Here be extracts from a long by errolbaldwin3226 on zimbio.com that
      examines all the plotlines and Tiffany's reactions:

      "Compared to Pratchett's other books, this one has a bit of a slow
      start, but then, Pratchett's worst is still head and shoulders above
      most writers' best. Although the man is known for his humor, I'm in
      awe of his ability to create characters that matter, and to talk
      about the human condition by telling amazing stories...

      "From a young reader's standpoint, Tiffany brings up a valuable
      question, which is, 'I'm not like the others. Will anyone ever
      understand and care about me in a normal way, when I'm not normal?'
      We can easily see why Tiffany feels different, but then, don't most
      of us feel that way at least some of the time? Certainly the kind of
      bright, creative kids who are probably reading these books might
      share Tiffany's worries... All of us are, even when we're with the
      people we love and who love us. So Pratchett's answer to Tiffany's
      question is both yes, and no...

      "Mind you, Tiffany Aching is never a damsel in distress. She helps
      herself (ever-so-literally), and her efforts pay off. She also
      catches on to the fact that there's more to being a good witch than
      hard work, admirable though that may be. You have to pay attention
      to people, to what each of them wants and needs and feels. When you
      do, you might be knocked sideways at times, but you will be far more
      capable of helping those you want to help. People like Tiffany and
      Granny Weatherwax make a difference, although it isn't easy. But as
      Pratchett points out, it doesn't have to be. It simply has to




      * A review of Going Postal (the novel) by blogger bookwormz4:

      "It's a tremendous comedy, but still makes really good points about
      life. I'm butchering the explanation of it, I always do with these
      books. Read it. It's great... Something I love about Terry Pratchett
      books is how he puts in bits of other people's lives. Yes, the book
      was about Moist and Adora Belle Dearheart (I tried, I really tried
      to only write her first name. It didn't work.) and the post office,
      but the reader also gets a minute glance into the lives of the
      clacks workers at Tower 181 or into the life of the Igor employed by
      Gilt. Surely, that much indepthness was not needed to convey those
      parts of the story, but the reader is left with a sense of a bigger


      * Reviews of The Last Continent and Interesting Times by Fourecksian
      blogger and author Michael Ruffles:

      "Rincewind, for the uninitiated, is an anti-hero in the sense that
      he is the opposite of a hero. He runs, although usually head-first
      into trouble when he is trying to run away, and gets in an out of
      disaster through luck, good and bad. Lady Luck is on his side, or
      picking on him cruelly for malicious and sadistic fun, depending on
      your point of view. He's fairly pessimistic about the whole thing.
      Oh, and he's a wizard whose magical abilities are only very slightly
      above those of your average doorknob, and quite a deal less than the
      average doorknob at Unseen University. His hat also has the word
      'Wizzard' written on it.

      "I quite liked catching up with Rincewind. I quite liked the fact he
      was plucked magically from his island at the edge of the disc,
      hurled into Unseen University and then propelled against his wishes
      to the Counterweight Continent and reunited with his old friend/foe
      Twoflower. I quite liked the idea of Ghenghiz Cohen, aka Cohen the
      Barbarian, and his gang of old, old, old heroes who are constantly
      underestimated, taking over an empire. I quite liked Lord Vetinari's
      approach to diplomacy, in that he handed the whole problem off to
      Archchancellor Ridcully. But... Okay, call me overly sensitive. Call
      my concerns the product of political correctness gone mad. Call me
      an inner-city latte-sipping wanker. (Where is my latte?) Call me
      late for dinner. Call it what you want, but the truth is I felt
      uncomfortable with some of the descriptions of a race of people and
      an empire that is clearly a parody of Asians and an amalgam of Asian
      countries... Asia, of course, should not be immune from Pratchett's
      wit and brilliant satire. No subject could or should be off limits.
      He never descends into poor taste, and I absolutely adore his
      slogans for the ever-so-polite revolution. 'Necessarily Extended
      Duration To The Red Army! Regrettable Decease Without Undue
      Suffering To The Forces Of Oppression!' Still, I felt a little
      awkward at times..."


      "Maybe it was homesickness, but with more than a dozen Discworld
      books on the shelf in front of me, I had to choose the one that is
      set in a remote, dusty island prison that has a few things in common
      with 'Straya. And I loved it. And why? For exactly the same reasons
      Interesting Times bugged me. While I was a little uneasy about jokes
      about the Agatean Empire, I had the opposite reaction to the same,
      broadly stereotypical and often very astute observations about
      Fourecks, which of course is in no way related to my home country of
      Australia... And, frankly, when there are jokes about The Sydney
      Opera House, Mad Max, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rolf Harris,
      girting, ('Come out with your hands up, we have you girt!' Thanks
      Adam Hills) Waltzing Rincewind, Tinhead Ned (Kelly), Slim Dusty, Men
      At Work and the fictional city of Bugarup, the fate of the very much
      loved Librarian becomes rather of secondary importance...

      "In between the jokes about the tissues, I mean opera house, the
      creation of desserts in honour of cultural icons and just how drunk
      you need to be for a pie floater to make sense, there is the kind of
      fun plot we have come to expect from Pratchett. There are pub
      brawls, imprisonments, storms, magic, drag queens and balladeers.
      And, somehow, Rincewind is caught in the middle of the mess..."


      * A review of Night Watch by students at UCK College, London,
      complete with scholarly footnotes:

      "The word 'Discworld' now conjures up connotations of playful wit,
      in-jokes, cultural references and an underlying intelligence, mixed
      with a distinctly British ideology, and love of the underdog. The
      cerebral nature of the books makes them almost unfilmable, although
      five adaptations have been made. When a person buys a Pratchett
      novel, they are buying an alternative to the usual run of fantasy:
      This is why the SF/Fantasy club keeps them under a separate heading.
      What the franchise represents is a separate genre, falling over
      itself to re-examine the assumptions society makes; In part, this
      includes laughing at the assumptions of fantasy and its

      "'Night Watch' could be described as a turning point in Pratchett's
      writing, as it is the first of a number of darker novels he wrote,
      employing Juvenalian satire... In 'Night Watch' Pratchett examines
      the real nature of law in a modern context. A policeman is pitched
      back in time, along with a psychopath. Both find themselves in a
      lawless city, on the brink of a revolution. The conflict between
      these characters signifies the struggle between law and crime...
      Pratchett presents a picture of society in deep trouble. There is
      rife corruption, dangerous, stupid laws and officially sanctioned
      terrorism. There are plots on all levels of society to overthrow the
      government. All of this leads back to bad rulership. Chaos makes law
      difficult to establish: When offered a position of power, the hero
      thinks 'In this city?...now? [the watch] would just be another
      gang.' This is Pratchett's way of defining what society should not


      * A sonnet, Pan Narrans, by Jim Tait, inspired by Pratchett's

      'Tis clever, using what we have at hand
      to get ourselves what we and ours desire.
      'Tis wisdom, taking time to understand
      our lusts and dreams and what these both require.

      Our spirits tell us we are life inspired-
      set up above the crawling beasts, we claim.
      No heights for us to climb or to aspire.
      "Wise human" is already in our name.

      Our factions show us to be apes untamed.
      Our stories tell us of our human race.
      We run together, scattered, to our aim,
      and live our stories out in time and space.

      We clever apes may say that we are wise,
      then use this tale to help achieve our lies.


      * Blogger Bookmole experienced a Pewsey Ogg moment when trying to
      pick a favourite Pratchett novel:

      "I then came face to face with Day 4 – Favourite Book in Your
      Favourite Series. Honestly. After much consideration of the
      contenders, I threw my hands up in despair and left the ring. Pick
      your own favourite. I cannot. There are too many, and they are all
      good. Mort, where Death takes on an apprentice and trouble comes
      along for the ride. Small Gods, where Religion comes under scrutiny,
      and trouble comes along for the ride. Hogfather, where Christmas
      comes under scrutiny and trouble – what, comes along for the


      * Blogger Benny Wilkinson reviews a number of Discworld books (plus
      Good Omens) he has recently re-read:

      "I don't think anybody could accuse Pratchett of maintaining a
      status quo. Not only are there so many different characters who
      become the focus of a book or more, but those that appear again and
      again do grow and change..."


      * A review of A Hat Full of Sky by blogger RandomizeMe:

      "I loved Tiffany Aching when she was a bossy nine-year-old who knew
      she was always right (mostly because I wanted to be her). But the
      more vulnerable eleven-year-old Tiffany Aching is so much more
      relatable. I remember when I too became self-conscious about my
      appearance, or when acceptance by my peer-group gained an all-
      encompassing importance in my life. I've been there, thinking that
      I'm not good enough or trying not to cry when mocked by other little
      girls or in unleashing my inner 'mean girl' too. I'm not exactly
      sure how Terry Pratchett was able to put his finger on how an
      eleven-year-old girl feels growing up, but he got it. ... it was a
      total joy to read A Hat Full of Sky – I laughed many, many
      times...I got scared for Tiffany at times...and I also empathized
      with her growing pains. It is going to be such a pleasure to read
      the rest of the books in the series and watch Tiffany grow up some
      more ..."


      * Blogger Astrid Christie reviews Unseen Academicals:

      Terry Pratchett is back on form. This is the best book he's written
      in a long while, no argument. This is back to the hard-as-nails,
      philosophical, quick-firing Discworld that we all originally fell in
      love with. And there is football. Wait. What? I hate football.

      But don't fret – it's not all about football... In fact, the main
      characters are new: the working class! Hurrah. They have names and
      personalities, now. And one of those is the delightful Mister Nutt,
      a goblin with a mysterious past...


      * A review of The Wee Free Men by Irish blogger Ciara, who's
      training to be a librarian:

      "I was raised on fairy tales, specifically Irish fairy tales, where
      the fairies are out to get you. It's not that they're evil, per
      say, but they want what they want and they don't have the same
      understanding of consequences. They don't understand that humans
      need their friends and family, and that being tossed out of
      fairyland 100 years after you were taken, does you absolutely no
      favours... This novel is funny and sweet and possibly a bit scary
      for younger readers. Like a lot of Pratchett's works there are a
      few morals including: question conventional wisdom, don't assume
      that people you don't understand are evil..."


      * An essay by Fourecksian aniistar on the brilliance of Terry
      Pratchett's writing:

      "When I was young and my older brother was reading Terry Pratchett,
      and my younger brother was about to start reading Terry Pratchett,
      his books still had those dizzying, vulgar (I'm not sure whether I
      mean that in a positive or negative sense, but I'm sure that's
      the right word) covers. I thought for years that his books must be a
      surreal and adult romp through some incomprehensible world. Not all
      of that impression was wrong, but having now read almost every
      Discworld book, I know that not much of it was right. I'm reading
      his second-to-latest book at the mo, Unseen Academicals, and it's
      coming home to me all over again, just how well he writes
      characters. Specifically, characters who are pretending to be
      something they're not – or pretending not to be what they are...

      "His characters are complex. They are unreliable narrators, because
      they're not always honest with themselves about who (or what) they
      really are. Their motivations are not what they appear to be. Or
      else they have two opposing motivations, and you never know which
      one will out. It's nature v nurture battling it out inside one
      consciousness. It creates narrative traction like nobody's
      business, because whilst you're following the bigger-picture
      narrative and trying to figure that out, you're also working away
      in the back of your mind on what this character is hiding from


      * Schoolteacher and bibliophile TreasuryIslands lauds the feminist
      message for young readers in A Hat Full of Sky:

      "Science fiction and fantasy is a genre, arguably*, in which strong
      female characters are under-represented. Terry Pratchett has done
      much to redress the balance. His women are fully realised
      characters, with strengths and weaknesses that don't pander to
      gender stereotypes, and Tiffany Aching, one of his many magical
      women, is no exception. To him witchcraft is more than just playing
      with sparkly wands... A Hat Full of Sky doesn't overplay the
      virtues of its young protagonist, she is like us all open to
      temptation, but it does gently remind the reader that we are
      accountable to one another, and that in all of us there is the
      potential for greatness..."


      * A blogger calling himself "J. Holsworth Stevenson, writer &
      purveyor" reviews Mort – and gets it so wrong that I looked at a
      large number of his other reviews to compare, and discovered that
      this person thinks Philip K. Dick is Teh Ultimate and that Jonathan
      Strange and Mr Norell is a towering classic of literature. Ah, that
      explains a lot...

      "This was an enjoyable Discworld book, but it will never be one of
      the best. It has some interesting existential overtones, but the
      Death story is more like a robot-learning-to-love story than
      anything else. Pratchett does that particular storyline better with
      his golems. Besides that, this one stands out mostly for its rather
      disappointing lack of things that stand out. It's funny at times.
      There are interesting ideas raised occasionally. Pratchett keeps the
      reader's attention, but seems never to go anywhere. Oh, to be sure
      there is an interesting side plot about the wizards puzzling over a
      shopping mall that has appeared outside the city. And a side plot
      about some undead creatures. There's a really good side plot about a
      werewolf and a werehuman falling in love, and another one about
      Death falling in love. But by the time the end arrives, taking its
      time and moving a little slowly, this is a compendium of side plots
      strung together, and without either anything to bind each to its
      other. Good, but for Terry Pratchett 'good' translates as


      * In a post titled Alzheimers, Euthanasia and Zombies, blogger
      Phoenix offers a fascinating view, likening Alzheimer's to a zombie
      apocalypse while at the same time being earnest and serious:

      "My favourite author, Sir Terry Pratchett, has Alzheimer's. I'm
      going to see him at the Opera House in April, where he'll be talking
      about Alzheimer's and Euthanasia, amongst other things. And it's
      gotten me thinking. I support euthanasia. I think if someone (sound
      of mind) has decided that they don't want to live anymore, then they
      should be allowed to die. We have hospitals to bring people into the
      world, we should have similar to allow people to leave... To me (and
      a lot of highly intelligent people), losing your mind is synonymous
      with losing who you are. You're no longer you, just somebody who
      looks like you but isn't. And to me, that sounds a lot like being a

      "If the zombie apocalypse came around, and you were unfortunate
      enough to be bitten, would you rather turn into a mindless beast
      that inhabits your body, but isn't you, or be shot whilst still
      human and be remembered that way? (Assuming, of course, that there's
      no hope of a cure in your time). Back to Alzheimers, if you were
      losing your mind, your sense of who you are, would you rather lead a
      slow decline until you become nothing more than an addled shell, or
      go out on a high. How would you rather be remembered? Either way
      will be painful; those close to you will see you go either way, it's
      a choice between short and sweet (and heartbreaking), or a long
      tough road, wrought with pain and no hope of success..."




      The draft cover art for Snuff!


      Also, a good take on the Lancre Witches – especially Nanny Ogg –
      as performed by the Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Opera Society
      (SADOS) at Spalding Grammar School, Lincs (UK):


      More photos from the production are at:



      18) CLOSE

      And that's all from the WOSSNAME newsdesk for this month. I'm off to
      raise a glass in memory of Joe, and to bother Fernando about
      finishing your monthly Discworld horoscope. See you next month for
      the Soul Cake Duck holiday issue!

      – Annie Mac


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