WOSSNAME -- April 2011 - Special early edition
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
SPECIAL EARLY EDITION: SIR PTERRY DOWN UNDER
April 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 4, post 1)
01) EDITOR'S LETTER
02) PTERRY'S ANTIPODEAN TOUR
03) NULLUS ANXIETAS III REPORTS
01) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
The month of April is only half over, but Pterry's been a busy man
in Fourecks so busy that I felt his Antipodean tour deserved its
own issue. Here for your perusal is a collection of memorable
moments, plus reports on the wildly successful third Australian
Discworld convention aka Nullus Anxietas III (NA3 for short).
The regular issue for this month will be along after the holidays.
Annie Mac, Editor
02) SIR PTERRY DOWN UNDER, 2011
A collection of some memorable moments...
2.1 ON THE GOGGLE BOX IN FOURECKS
Available for worldwide watching! A superb interview by presenter
Leigh Sales on Australia's ABC network, in which our favourite
author pulls no punches, looks more relaxed and healthier than ever,
and speaks without false modesty and with the stunning clarity and
pacing of a master storyteller:
(click on "Extended interview with Sir Terry Pratchett (22:14)" on
the right-hand side of the page)
A partial transcript, as posted on the site above:
Leigh Sales: Terry Pratchett, welcome to the program. I read that
one of your British fans drove for a day to go to one of your book
signings and then he stood in the freezing rain for six hours and he
said afterwards that it was worth it to see you because you're an
incredible writer and an incredibly nice man. Do compliments get any
better than that?
Terry Pratchett: Oh, yeah. I get kissed by the ladies. Which is
I think that's better than that, to tell you the truth. Yeah. After
a while, you just learn to, you know, smile and have a (inaudible)
and all the rest of it. You get very embarrassed, for heaven's sake,
'cause you know when you go home you're just your wife's husband and
you've gotta go and clean out the cat box.
Leigh Sales: It must be such a nice privilege though to have a job
where people want to tell you how much they appreciate you. It's not
like if you're lift maintenance guy and, you know, this life ...
Terry Pratchett: Well I always tell the lift maintenance guy that
I'm really pleased that we actually got to the bottom in one piece.
But it becomes part of the job. And there is a dark side, because
you do a lot of things for the fans because, you know, I suppose you
want to maintain their image and you don't want them to find out
what a terrible old curmudgeon you are really.
Leigh Sales: Your book sales are in the millions, you have millions
of fans. I've mentioned how zealous they are.
Terry Pratchett: Many millions.
Leigh Sales: But you've recently become known beyond the fans of
your books because you've gone public to discuss the fact that you
have a rare form of Alzheimer's disease. And you've become an
advocate for the right to assisted death. What made you decide to do
Terry Pratchett: Well when I first thought when I was sitting
there thinking about the Alzheimer's and I thought, well, what I'd
like is, you know, let's hang out and do the best we can and then
I'd very much like to have a lie down in the sunshine somewhere
listening to Thomas Tallis on the iPod after a nice brandy and a
nice, friendly doctor will give me the little jab which would just
send me away. And I had so much mail after that. Most of it, by far
the most of it, was from people who agreed and said, "Yes, that's
exactly right. That's what we want. Why, if you're old and lame and
you can't be cured and the disease is getting worse every day, are
you expected to grin and bear it just because someone would like to
care for you?" It's not up to them. It is up to you.
Leigh Sales: So what role do you think that governments should have
in this issue? Because it's treated as a societal issue rather than
a an individual issue.
Terry Pratchett: It's an individual issue. It should be the fact
that one person has an assisted death does not mean that anyone else
by any means should have one. I'm actually clear on this and so is
everybody else that does it. And if you go to Switzerland for
example where they do allow foreigners to die, which I think shames
everybody involved, the person who wants to die has to make it very
clear over a period of days to a doctor that this is what they want
to do and the reasons for wanting to die are set out, because
they're not all that keen on letting someone die just because they
really feel like it. It really has to be you know, you have to
be possessed of a bad disease. But what happened is I think some of
the Christian majority these days put a spoke in the wheel and they
say that they say, "What about the sanctity of human life?" And
I say, "What about the dignity of human life?"
Leigh Sales: In your case, with your Alzheimer's disease, what
effect is having it on you so far? Because people watching this
interview'll be thinking, "He's talking very well, he's completely
lucid. I can't see anything wrong."
Terry Pratchett: Talk to me again in two years time. It's a
cumulative thing. But also...
Leigh Sales: Are you noticing it having an effect on you yet?
Terry Pratchett: Yes. Bits drop out. The short-term memory has gone
and so has the short-term memory. The short-term memory OK,
little jokes won't be so funny in the fullness of time, but laughter
is the best medicine.
Leigh Sales: Well you have a reputation in your books for being able
to wring humour out of dark situations.
TERRY PRATCHETT: Oh, indeed. PCA, which is a posterior cortical
atrophy, that means that my problems are more or less with if you
put a glass down on that table, I'd have to, look (touching
table and glass) table, glass, in other words, I wouldn't just pick
it up. It's depth vision and all kinds of weird things often to do
with your sight. Nothing wrong with the sight, but the parts of the
brain dealing with the sight have some difficulty.
Leigh Sales: Are you afraid of death?
TERRY PRATCHETT: No!
Leigh Sales: He's a rather likely character in the books.
TERRY PRATCHETT: Yes. Yes. He owes me a lot of money.
Leigh Sales: He's made you a lot of money.
TERRY PRATCHETT: But who can be afraid of death? What's there to be
Leigh Sales: Well the unknown.
TERRY PRATCHETT: Oh, no, I treasure the unknown. It's the here and
now that worries me. Oh, my word. No, it's what people dread is the
dying, not the death. And that's why I think assisted dying comes
in. It goes it takes you from the life to the death without the
inconvenient bit in the middle.
Leigh Sales: And how will you know for yourself when it's time to
TERRY PRATCHETT: I thought it was about last Thursday, meself, but I
had a convention to attend. What I really like is what they do in
is it Wyoming? Not Wyoming. I've forgotten.
Leigh Sales: Oh, Oregon.
Terry Pratchett: Oregon, that's right. Once you're diagnosed with
the disease and they suggest you are a candidate, let's fix the
thing, they give you the potion. The thing is, there is some
evidence that people live longer. They know that they could die if
they took this medicine, but, "It's a nice day today and it doesn't
feel too bad and the wife is cooking a really good dinner, so, maybe
I'll die tomorrow." And then tomorrow, "Oh, well, the grandchildren
are coming. Maybe I'll die tomorrow." And one guy who was expected
to die within two years was still going after three years, because
every day he did the most human thing: he decided whether he was
going to die and he decided whether he was going to live. Animals
can't do that. It's nice to think that man can. It's perhaps one of
the greatest things we can ever do.
Leigh Sales: Sir Terry, it's been so lovely to meet you. Thank you
Terry Pratchett: Thank you.
2.2 ON THE WIRELESS
A fun radio interview by Tom Wright, in which he discusses with
Pterry equal rights for Orcs and the value of comedy to get real-
life points across:
"Terry Pratchett is going through a car crash. A very slow one where
he can see the inevitable horrendous finale but in really slow
motion. That's how the best-selling author describes coping with
Alzheimer's. Terry is more famous for selling books, both fiction
and non-fiction, as of August last year he had sold over 65 million
books worldwide in thirty-seven language, most of them set on his
fantasy based Discworld novels. Hear him say why dictating novels is
better than typing, why he's tired of explaining his condition and
why his honorary degree from Dublin means more than any other."
On the ABC's Book Show, presented by Ramona Koval:
"Since being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease the
immensely successful fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett has
travelled the world talking about the condition. He has found ways
to work around it too, like dictating speech to his computer. How
does a writer go on, and what are Terry Pratchett's ideas about what
he wants to happen in the end?"
[Editor's note: if the audio files on these pages are no longer
available for listening or download, let me know! They're well worth
listening to, and the WOSSNAME vaults contain the downloads...]
2.3 IN THE PRESS
The text version of a very special extended phone interview, pre-
Down Under 2011 tour, with Mark Broatch of the New Zealand Sunday
"He has written books other than about Discworld, including some
sci-fi at the beginning of his career, but he accepts his fantasy
label with resignation. 'If I wrote a book set in Tombstone,
Arizona, with Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, the Clancy Boys and one
lousy dragon they would call it fantasy.' His reluctance seems
to stem from the feeling that despite his devoted hordes, sales
only put into shadow by JK Rowling, his eight honorary doctorates
and a fat swag of awards fantasy is not taken seriously in the
"He loves everything about books their heft, their smell but
he also likes e-books. Almanacs would make perfect e-books, he says,
and wonders why all newspapers, demanding trees be felled and oil
for transportation, aren't electronic. But he thinks we have to pay
attention to how we store words. A lot of books may not be read for
years, but they should not be thrown away. 'There are skills which
are dying out because no one needs that skill any more, but one day
someone will need that skill and there is going to be no one to
teach it, unless someone has written down, "this is how you can do
this". If the climate changes so much that our entire way of life
has to change, possibly going back to a slightly more simpler one,
there are a whole lot of techniques that we have lost because
generations of farmers and artisans have been displaced by
A pre-NA3 interview in the Penrith Star by Gemma Seymour:
"How does one write a story about one of the best living story
tellers? Sitting down for a chat with Sir Terry Pratchett on Friday,
in Penrith for the third Australian Discworld convention, it's
clear why he has sold millions of books it's almost as if he
speaks in stories. The interviewer became the interviewed when the
conversation began, with questions about the common ground we shared
working as a local newspaper journalist. How many years have you
been a journalist? How many journalists are there at the paper?
What's your circulation? And so the stories started..."
2.4 IN PERSON
Pterry's only Melbourne date on this tour was a presentation of his
talk, "Imagination, not intelligence, made us human", at the Wheeler
Centre, Storey Hall, RMIT on a rainy Tuesday night. Here, attendee
and blogger Jason Nahrung describes the evening with passion and
"Yes, it was a strange old night, sitting there, miles away in the
tiered seats, acutely aware that the creative soul on the stage
below is having a much more intimate conversation with his old
character DEATH than he really ought to be... Still sharp, Sir
Terry; still able to deploy observation and wit to poke a laugh,
even when talking about death and the right to end life that has run
its course. The conversation covered his journalism career and that
industry's inability to relate the whole truth of incidents the
cause and effect, the story behind the story, the ugly truths that
society might not like to take responsibility for and
reflections on his writing career and on his relationships with his
characters. The hour-long session was sprinkled with his trademark
dry humour, and flavoured with poignancy because there was a feeling
that this might be the last time we'd hear this stuff first-hand
and, quite frankly, we're not quite ready to lose that, that and the
stories yet untold..."
03) NULLUS ANXIETAS III (AUSDWCON 2011) REPORTS AND ICONOGRAPHS
A round-up article in the Penrith Star, press organ of NA3's host
"Nullus Anxietas III was 'absolutely awesome', events co-ordinator
Tania M C Lewis said.The event was held at Panthers from Friday to
Sunday and hosted Discworld series author Sir Terry Pratchett, who
flew from the UK to join his fans. More than 400 people attended a
weekend of parties, discussions and fun, Mrs Lewis said... 'We had a
didgeridoo player at the opening ceremony and Brisbane Arts Theatre
did a world premiere of their Discworld play. The masquerade ball
had amazing costumes and the gala dinner was great. There were about
70 different events... The feedback on Twitter and Facebook was
Also on the page is a link to photos of the NA3 Maskerade Ball:
3.1 NULLUS ANXIETAS 3 HIGHLIGHTS
Video of the Dark Morris at NA3:
Nullus Anxietas 2011 photos:
Oook! the Editor's favourite:
"Walking out of Philosophy of Discworld, it turned out that Terry
had gathered about thirty people around him and was just telling
stories about things like his sword and his arsenic collection and
the sewers of Victorian London and the time that he went to a
Finnish Discworld convention where they'd translated the Spanish
Inquisition sketch into Finnish "Mumble-mumble-mumble Soft
Cushions! Mumble-mumble-mumble Comfy Chair! Mumble-mumble-mumble
Cardinal Biggles!" and how all of the Brits there were rolling in
the aisles despite only actually recognising one word in twenty...
The costumes. Ye gods above. The Maskerade was fantastic, but the
people who didn't take part were fantastic too... BEDTIME STORIES.
Rob, in his pajamas, read us a decent portion of Snuff. Yeah, you
know you're jealous..."
"There were so many fabulous costumes. There were several Moist von
Lipwigs, one of whom was me, numerous Gods, Feegles, a vampire (very
good looking one) and so many others, you're really best off
looking at the photos. The set up and layout of the whole convention
was just superb. Their attention to detail was incredible. I noticed
very few things that were not entirely right and that's only
because I was looking with a very critical eye..."
A blow-by-blow description, so to speak:
...and the next one:
"Nothing is 100% official yet, but keep an eye on the forums here,
on the Facebook page, and Twitter for further confirmed details.
However: Nullus Anxietas 4 will be in Melbourne in 2012..."
3.2 LEFTOVERS FOR LATECOMERS
From the official AusDWcon website:
"We still have a number of Nullus Anxietas III badges, stubby
coolers and other items available after the convention. You can see
a view of some of the items by clicking here:
"We need a few days to work out what we have left. If you forgot to
buy them at the convention, or were having too much fun, you will be
able order them from our website shortly...
"Bearnard[sic] Pearson of The Discworld Emporium has very generously
manufactured a limited run of our own Discworld Stamp. Over the
years they have designed and produced many pieces of Discworld
memorabilia, including a wide range of Discworld stamps after 'Going
Postal' was published. ('Ask THEM about stamps') Designed by our own
Rhianna Williams, it features Great A'Tuin and a symbolic outline
of XXXX on its back. We still have a limited number of sheets
available for the discerning philatelists1 among you. The price is
$15.00 per sheet plus $1.00 postage, and you can order one by
"For those of you who did not get a T-shirt at the convention, or
order one there, you will still be able to order a T-shirt from our
web site for the next couple of weeks. The shirts are a modest
$25.00. Postage is $5 for up to 3 shirts. Unlike the Watch (where
one size doesn't fit anybody), we have a range of sizes from Small
to 5XL.b The order page has now been updated click here:
"If you ordered a T-shirt at the convention, we will confirm this
with you in the next few days.
"Pre-Convention Merchandise: with the assistance of Mr. 'Fair Go'
Dibbler, we still have our pre-convention merchandise store in
partnership with Zazzle. We have T-shirts, mugs, mouse mat, badges,
bumper stickers and even an apron (for those of you brave enough to
experiment with Nanny Ogg's Cookbook) all with the new Discworld
"You can visit our online store by clicking on the following link:
and then search for the local nullus_anxietas store."
3.3 TROLL BRIDGE APPEAL
Independent Australian filmmakers Snowgum Films have been working on
Troll Bridge, a short film inspired by the Pratchett short story of
the same name, for eight years now. Bits of the film have been
featured at three Nullus Anxietas conventions now, but Troll Bridge
is still not complete. Here be a video appeal from director Danny
Knight and other members of the cast and crew for AUD$45,000 in
backing funds to finish the film to the highest possible standard.
There is the option to pledge $10, $30, $50, $85, $120, $150, $500,
$1,000, or $5,000, with a minimum pledge of $1. What you'll get in
return for your money apart from the satisfaction of having done
your part to enable the Troll Bridge film ranges from an online
credit (for a $10 pledge) to Associate Producer credit and "a small
slide of the director's blood" (for a $5,000 pledge). The appeal
video includes footage of Pterry talking about his thoughts on the
3.4 NEW DISCWORLD MEETING GROUP IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Following on from the convention:
Attention all Discworld Fans in Adelaide, Australia!
Coming out of Nullus Anxietas 3, we are starting up a new fan
social group, along the lines of the Broken Drummers.
Our first meeting will be on Thursday, May 5th at
Higher Ground, 9 Light Square at 6pm for dinner, migrating
across to the Colonel Light Hotel at 8pm. Come along for
a chat, drink, and potentially a game or two.
We have also set up an email mailing list at
so please sign up there.
Danny writes, "at the moment we don't have a name - it may just
become the Downunder Drummers (Adelaide), but I've opened it up for
suggestions :) I'll send in an extra notice for our June meeting
when it happens and maybe we'll have a name by then..."
And that's all for now. Have a very happy Soul Cake holiday, and
we'll see you again in ten or twelve days' time...
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion