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WOSSNAME -- April 2011 - Special early edition

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion SPECIAL EARLY EDITION: SIR PTERRY DOWN UNDER April 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 4, post 1)
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      April 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 4, post 1)


      04) CLOSE



      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...


      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?


      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
      afraid of?

      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
      very much.

      Terry Pratchett: Thank you.


      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
      literary world..."

      "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
      emotional involvement:

      "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..."




      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:



      Twitter feeds:


      Video of the Dark Morris at NA3:

      Nullus Anxietas 2011 photos:

      Oook! – the Editor's favourite:

      Blog reports:

      "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..."



      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
      clicking here:


      "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
      Convention logo.

      "You can visit our online store by clicking on the following link:


      and then search for the local nullus_anxietas store."



      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




      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..."


      04) CLOSE

      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...

      – Annie Mac


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