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WOSSNAME -- April 2011 -- main issue

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion April 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 4, Post 2)
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      April 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 4, Post 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
      News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
      Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
      Staff Writers: Asti, 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



      14) DEATH COMES TO MORT...?
      20) SNUFF TEASERS!
      22) ABP BITS
      23) CLOSE



      "When I was a boy, people still got hanged. What happens is the next
      generation looks down at the stupidity of the last few generations
      and says, 'You're bloody stupid, how can you possibly sit still for

      — Pterry, April 2011, NZ Sunday Star-Times

      "I am in an indescribable state beyond rage and bitterness over
      Terry's affliction. He's a good man; an intelligent man, an
      influential man and we goddam well NEED him. He's worth a hundred
      f**king Tony Abbotts or Julia Gillards — more. Yeah. Well. You
      can't always get what you want, eh? But I did promise myself one
      thing. I read a piece from him a couple years ago in which he
      declared he wanted to die peacefully, at home, with a glass of
      decent brandy. And if it comes to defying Britain's government to
      allow that to happen, I will fly to goddam England and put myself in
      the line with all the others, between Terry and the cops. It's the
      absolute least that I could do."

      — blogger Flinthart, 15 April 2011



      First and foremost, WOSSNAME wishes a very happy birthday (28th
      April) to Sir Pterry! There's some upstart prince who's trying to
      steal the thunder of his day with a wedding not 24 hours later, but
      we'll just ignore that and raise a toast in scumble to our favourite
      author, shall we?

      You'll have surely noticed by now that the aether is buzzing with
      yet another Pratchett-related controversy, this time concerning
      another documentary Sir Pterry is doing for the BBC on the subject
      of assisted dying. I've trawled through far too many articles and
      op-ed pieces to bring you a sampler of the kerfuffle, and I have to
      say it was a less than pleasant task. I don't know whether or not I
      hold the same point of view as Our Author about assisted dying, but
      I do know that I'm heartily sick of seeing it referred to as
      "suicide". Suicide is in my opinion a form of extreme rudeness; it
      may solve one person's problems, but it leaves a literal and
      psychological mess behind for friends and family, and sometimes
      strangers, who were not consulted or even considered by the suicider
      (and let me say here that I've lost more than a double handful of
      friends and colleagues to suicide over the years). Assisted dying,
      on the other hand, is a carefully planned action that takes one's
      nearest and dearest into account and deals with the "after"
      logistics beforehand. I think it's not appropriate for me to say
      more here, although those who know me well know that what I'd have
      to say would include giving certain people directions to do
      something in a place not far from Slice.

      But I'll say it again: Suicide is abhorrent. Assisted dying is not
      suicide. Nuff said.

      Enough of that. There's plenty of less disturbing or contentious
      news in this issue, and some bits that are simply delightful, so on
      with the show...

      – Annie Mac



      The official shortlist announcement...

      "Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers launched a new award
      for aspiring novelists in June last year: the Terry Pratchett
      Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize. Since the deadline for
      submissions on 31 December 2010, the team have spent many hours
      reading, reporting and discussing the over 500 entries that were
      submitted for the £20,000 prize as an advance on a
      publishing contract.

      "Here is the final shortlist in alphabetical order:

      1. *Postponing Armageddon* by Adele Abbott
      2. *The Platinum Ticket* by Dave Beynon
      3. *Half Sick of Shadows* by David Logan
      4. *Apocalypse Cow* by Michael Logan
      5. *Lun* by Andrew Salomon
      6. *The Coven at Callington* by Shereen Vedam

      "The six shortlisted books cover a breadth of topics and sub genres,
      imagination and alternate worlds. Each shortlisted entry was chosen
      for their skilful writing, vast imaginative powers and ability to
      tell a good story!

      "The winner will be judged by Sir Terry Pratchett, Tony Robinson,
      Michael Rowley from Waterstone's, Marianne Velmans, Publishing
      Director of Doubleday, and Simon Taylor, Editorial Director at
      Transworld Publishers. The winner will be announced by Sir Terry
      Pratchett at a party to be held on 31 May 2011.

      "Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers would like to thank
      everyone who submitted an entry to the prize."

      http://tinyurl.com/5tqc39m (downloadable PDF file)

      http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/32894 (text)

      ...and support for a shortlister from Book Southern Africa:

      "We contacted Salomon straightaway upon hearing the news, and he
      sent through a little teaser from on Lun:

      "'Richard Nevis is looking to change his life; that is why he has
      quit his job at an unscrupulous Cape Town law firm and started
      restoring antique boats. But things soon start unravelling when this
      volunteer work at a local tokoloshe shelter leads him and a spirited
      young tokoloshe named Lun headlong into the shadow side of the Cape.
      An ancient metal box that can only be opened by a tokoloshe holds a
      sought after object and the evil monster Mamron and his beautiful
      but mute sidekick twins will stop at nothing to get it. As if being
      on the run from them is not enough to contend with, Richard and Lun
      are also pursued by Kras, the merciless Cape Town crime lord who
      contracts Mr Doorway – said to be the most effective assassin in
      the business – to retrieve the box and eliminate all who keep him
      from this objective. As Richard and Lun try and stay one step ahead
      of annihilation they are aided by the Pit-bull Midwives; the
      enigmatic Miss Ngoyi whose past refuses to stay past, and her
      apprentice, the beautiful Emily White .

      The story enfolds at a brisk pace around Cape Town, Nieu Bethesda,
      Uniondale and Gansbaai as Richard gets way more change than he would
      ever have wanted, and more than he might survive. This is a South
      African landscape where myths and stories take flesh and the
      monsters are not just in your imagination. This is the world of




      ...and a very short update it is, for the same reason that WOSSNAME
      had a special early edition this month:

      "Apologies for the lack of news thus far this month; this isn't
      because of a lack of news, but quite the opposite – there's simply
      far too much of it! We're presently writing this in Australia in the
      middle of a magnificent tour and will update you shortly with great
      tales of speaking at the Sydney Opera House and visits to Hobbiton.

      "More from me very soon."

      [signed] Terry Pratchett

      Originally published on the web at:




      In all the kerfuffle about the grand tour of Australia and New
      Zealand, let us not forget that Sir Pterry is still a visiting
      professor at Trinity College Dublin, and thus still lecturing there.
      Here be a lovely article by Nadine O'Regan in the Irish Sunday
      Business Post about Sir Professor's most recent class:

      "The ten students before him today are all studying for an MPhil in
      Creative Writing at Trinity – and Pratchett will drop in from
      semester to semester to help their cause. Over the next two hours,
      Pratchett engages in a sort of freeform monologue: it's part-
      instruction, part-memoir, part-close reading of his Discworld novel
      Guards! Guards!. He talks about his youth – 'I got my library
      tickets and said four is not enough!' He talks about beginning to
      write, how he would 'type so fast that the page evolved under my
      fingers'. He is funny, erudite and warm to his students. But you
      notice how he struggles to drink the pint that he has so jauntily
      installed beside him. He raises it to his lips often, then pauses
      and returns the glass to the table, its contents untouched. The only
      time he seems able to snatch a drink is when one of the students
      asks a question at length. The fragility that comes with age is hard
      to watch sometimes – and so it is with Pratchett...

      "...he's here because he has a need to 'pay it forward'. 'What
      you've got, you give it to the kids,' he says. 'When I was a young
      science fiction fan, I went to a science fiction convention. It was
      the first time I'd been away from home and there at the bar was
      Arthur C Clarke and Michael Moorcock, and a whole load of writers
      you haven't heard of now because of the fashion. But they were
      giants in their time and they talked to me – so if you were young
      and you had your eyes open, you could get some idea of the
      possibilities.' Does he really believe it's possible to teach
      creative writing? 'I'm not certain that it can be taught,' Pratchett
      says. 'I think you have to have a spark. If the spark isn't there,
      then I don't think things are going to work. But I think quite a few
      people have the spark and I think you can make a decent writer

      "'Terry Pratchett is an inspiration because he doesn't give a shit
      – he's going to write what he writes,' says one student. 'What I
      learned from him is that reading is important and broadening your
      knowledge is important,' says another. 'I find his range of
      knowledge particularly fascinating.'... For a long time Pratchett
      was regarded as a wacky fantasy writer, albeit one who chalked up
      serious numbers. And the thing is, Pratchett is wacky, but in the
      most brilliant and smart of ways..."





      A forthcoming BBC documentary, "Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die",
      is stirring up controversy even before it airs, drawing cries of
      outrage from the doomsayers and words of approval from the more
      intelligent members of the community. Here be a selection of news

      From BBC News:

      "Actor Sir Patrick Stewart has spoken about his decision to become a
      patron of an organisation campaigning to legalise assisted suicide
      in the UK... the 70-year-old said the choice to have an assisted
      death 'should be a right'. 'Should the time come for me... I would
      like there to be a choice I might make about how I die,' he
      continued. His comments follow those of author Sir Terry Pratchett,
      who is to appear in a BBC documentary about assisted suicide... News
      of the BBC Two programme, to be shown this summer, drew censure from
      the Care Not Killing organisation, which accused the BBC of 'acting
      like a cheerleader for legalising assisted suicide'. Both Sir
      Patrick and Sir Terry are patrons of Dignity in Dying, which
      campaigns for a change in the law on assisted dying for terminally
      ill, mentally competent adults..."


      In The Telegraph:

      "Viewers of the BBC2 show will see the writer, whose Discworld
      series of books have sold millions of copies worldwide, at the
      Dignitas clinic in Switzerland with the 71 year–old motor neurone
      disease sufferer, named only as Peter..."


      In The Sun, under the (typically) misleading headline "Suicide is
      filmed by Pratchett":

      "Sir Terry - who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008 -
      said: 'I believe everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable
      disease should be able to pick the hour of their death. I wanted to
      know more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to go there


      In c21 media:

      "In other commissioning news, the BBC has been accused of being a
      "cheerleader for assisted suicide" after greenlighting a documentary
      in which a man kills himself at the notorious Dignitas clinic in
      Switzerland. Prominent euthanasia supporter Sir Terry Pratchett,
      author of the Discworld fantasy novels, presents the film Terry
      Pratchett: Choosing To Die, which will air on BBC2 this summer..."


      In online media magazine The Drum:

      "Charlotte Moore, the BBC's commissioning editor for documentaries,
      explained the decision to film: "Assisted death is an important
      topic of debate in the UK, and this is a chance for the BBC2
      audience to follow Sir Terry as he wrestles with the difficult
      issues that many across Britain are also faced with. I hope this
      sparks a constructive debate that people across the spectrum of
      opinion can engage in.'..."


      In the Daily Mail:

      "Whether or not you agree with assisted death and what goes on at
      the controversial Dignitas clinic in Switzerland where the suicide
      takes place is almost beside the point. To my mind, this is the
      almost pathologically liberal BBC at its worst, producing a
      propaganda film for the pro-euthanasia lobby and deliberately
      offending the significant number of Britons who believe in the
      sanctity of life. What makes this all the more insidious is the high
      moral tone adopted by the corporation. 'The BBC does not have a
      stance on assisted suicide, but we do think this is an important
      matter of debate,' says a spokesman. Giving Sir Terry free rein in a
      documentary on this highly sensitive matter seems like a pretty
      strong stance to me. And the very fact that Sir Terry is the front
      man is in itself a form of moral blackmail. How could any
      compassionate and reasonable person object to this individual — a
      man who, we are all too dreadfully aware, suffers from an incurable
      disease himself — promoting the right of another sufferer to be
      assisted to take his own life? The fact is that all right-minded
      people should be objecting to it..."


      In the Sunday Mercury:

      "The scenes, which are certain to upset, represent a first for
      British terrestrial television, although a suicide death was once
      beamed here by a satellite TV station. Now, you might expect me to
      be outraged, to be calling for heads to roll at the BBC. You might
      expect me to demand that the programme is banned. But I won't
      oblige. Because, just for once, the bungling Beeb has got something
      right. What's more, I will be glued to the screen myself to see what
      I can learn from the experience. The programme in question is a
      documentary about euthanasia, and is fronted by best-selling fantasy
      author Sir Terry Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer's...

      "Not far behind in the race to moral outrage was Right To Life
      campaigner Phyllis Bowman, who found the programme even more
      sinister than her counterpart. 'The BBC has an agenda,' she warned.
      'It has had one for years. Allowing Sir Terry Pratchett to make this
      documentary is effectively promoting assisted death.' Well, good for
      the BBC then. Because it is about time that someone did. Under
      current legislation, Sir Terry could face prosecution, and a prison
      sentence of up to 14 years, for simply being present at Peter's
      suicide and failing to prevent him from taking his own life. In such
      circumstances, the law is just about as wrong as it can possibly
      get. And although the Director of Public Prosecutions has said he
      will not prosecute in cases if the motivation of friends and
      relatives is shown to be purely compassionate, and there is no undue
      financial gain, the law remains on the books. This is a denial of
      the most basic human right of all, the right to die with some
      semblance of dignity. It is a protracted and cruel charade which has
      to be brought to an end, and the sooner, the better..."



      A radio interview on 2UE, during Pterry's Down Under tour:

      "Fantasy novelist and million selling author Sir Terry Pratchett was
      recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He talks to Michael Smith about
      his plans to die. An incredibly sobering interview that raises the
      issue of euthanasia."


      A press interview, in the Sydney Morning Herald...

      "[Pratchett]accepts the subject is divisive and raises vehement
      objections from religious groups and conservatives. But its
      legalisation should be a simple matter in secular states such as
      Australia. 'It seems to me since there are some perfectly decent,
      stable democracies that manage to run physician-assisted suicide it
      surprises me, given the amount of public support [for it], that some
      governments seem unable to face a proper debate let alone allow it.'
      Pratchett is not sure if assisted suicide will be legal in Britain
      by the time he wishes to end his life. But change is coming, he


      ...and one for TVNZ, during his Kiwi leg of the 2011 tour:

      "When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he made it his mission to
      tell everyone. 'I was a journalist for a while and I believe in the
      truth. I have Alzheimer's. That's the truth and I would not lie
      about it. And I hope, and I have been told, that because I stood up
      and said "I've got it" that has helped the cause of Alzheimer's in
      the UK,' he told TVNZ's Close Up... He added he was 'neither proud
      of having it nor ashamed of having it' and that it could happen to
      anyone. 'You don't have to consort with naughty ladies to get it or
      anything like that,' he said. Pratchett's support of assisted death
      has drawn controversy in the UK, but he says there is no reason it
      should be illegal and does not believe it will mean that 'old
      grannys[sic] are going to be marched into the gas chambers'. The
      term 'assisted death' has also become a point of contention, with
      Pratchett saying those who label it 'assisted suicide' are off the
      mark. He said his time spent as a journalist led him to believe that
      suicide is an irrational act, but that assisted dying suggested an
      act that was undertaken using a lot more consideration..."


      Small but significant news in The Scotsman: a new treatment might
      help improve the daily life of dementia sufferers by improving the
      quality of their sleep:

      "Researchers are appealing for 50 volunteers with Alzheimer's
      disease, the most common cause of dementia, to take part in a six-
      month clinical trial of a drug containing the sleep hormone
      melatonin. In the first study of its kind in the world, the
      scientists from CPS Research believe that prescribing the hormone
      could help improve the quality of life for people suffering from
      dementia. It follows findings showing that people suffering from
      dementia produce less melatonin than others. They are also known to
      experience disruptions in their sleep pattern, waking up in the
      night and often getting up and moving about.

      "Dr Gordon Crawford, from CPS Research, said: 'Dementia is a
      shattering condition for patients, their families and friends. By
      reducing the symptoms of the illness, it is hoped that both patients
      and their carers can enjoy a better quality of life and manage the
      condition more effectively... Our findings suggested that the
      participants functioned better during the day – possibly due to a
      better quality sleep pattern.' The move comes after author Terry
      Pratchett, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in
      2007, made a plea for more research into treatments for dementia..."


      Pterry talks to Charlotte Orson of Cambridge First about
      Alzheimer's Research UK and his own experience of PCA:

      "Sir Terry is still working and the 39th novel in the Discworld
      series will be published later in the year. He said: 'One of the
      quickest ways to describe it is it ages you quite fast and the way
      you have to think about things makes you more doddery. It seems to
      me I have had Alzheimer's forever. I might have had it for 20
      years before it crept up on me. You think yesterday was normal and
      today is like yesterday so everything's OK. But what we don't
      realise it's this little change each day which is sufficiently big
      enough to make things change. It's a very slow gentle slide and
      every now and again you notice you have slid a little bit further.'"


      Not Pterry, but a documentary about Australians and Alzheimer's:



      Blogger lilactoventoux – she of the sponsored bicycle ride (see
      item 15) wrote in LiveJournal's Discworld community:

      I came across this via Twitter: Sir Terry Pratchett to probe
      assisted suicide for BBC. Is anyone else having trouble
      reading/viewing these things? I don't mean technical trouble,
      I mean emotionally. I'm finding it incredibly difficult to accept
      that he is in a position to be having to explore this (particularly
      the bit on the ABC's 7:30 Report where he said that he would
      probably have to take this option while he is still compos mentis
      enough to communicate his wishes, i.e. before he's actually to the
      point where he would want to go). I fully support what he is trying
      to do, but it hurts immensely that it's him having to do it, if you
      see what I mean. I can't imagine what it must be like for his
      nearest and dearest.

      he talked about this a little when i went to see him and it made me
      extremely uncomfortable. though at the time he talked about
      'assisted death' as opposed to suicide which is even more
      unsettling. im not gonna click the link, just because the whole
      thing gets me upset. it's not something i want to explore to be
      honest :(

      I haven't listened to/read a few things for the same
      reason. It's hugely confronting.

      It's sad, but to me it makes sense and I completely support it. I
      watched my grandpa deteriorate and die trapped in a body that he
      couldnt do anything in. I watched him loose the ability to walk, to
      speak and to remember his family. I watched him do that for over a
      decade. I remember that when he finally passed away it was almost a
      relief because I knew he wasn't trapped in his body anymore. I'm
      sorry to go on about this, and now I'm stupidly crying.

      You don't need to be sorry, I know what you mean because it was the
      same for us with our Grandpa. It was terrible to watch a once
      independent, lively, fit man be reduced to essentially being an
      adult-sized baby, unable to care for himself or communicate. I
      wouldn't wish that fate on anyone. :( More power to the researchers,
      I hope they find a cure or at least a good treatment soon, for this
      terrible disease... It's not stupid to cry about this at all.

      sirona_gs :
      Yes. I get really emotional when he talks about that, too, but I
      understand why he does it, or why he'd want it. I know the day is
      coming when we're going to have to say goodbye to him, but knowing
      and accepting are two different things, I guess. My heart goes out
      to his family. This can't be easy for them, either. It's gotten to
      the point that I can't read those articles, or watch those
      programmes. It's just self-preservation – I end up bawling my eyes
      out. Sigh. He has to do what feels right to him, though, in the end.

      I know the day is coming when we're going to have to say goodbye to
      him, but knowing and accepting are two different things, I guess.
      This is it, exactly. I feel for his family and friends.

      For me the big shock was the initial announcement that he had
      Alzheimer's. Personally I'm far more deeply disturbed by stories
      from friends whose parents or other relatives are gradually turned
      by the disease into walking shells than by his discussion of an
      escape from that fate. But certainly once you know what he's talking
      about, there's no reason you have to keep exposing yourself to it if
      it causes you pain. The important thing is for people who can
      reasonably afford it to support Alzheimer's research so that in the
      future people can avoid having to make this choice.

      You won't get any argument from me there! One of the things that he
      said in his interview on the 7:30 Report (which the interviewer
      didn't pick up and I *wish* she had) was that much of the funding
      goes on finding out what causes Alzheimer's/dementia, and on
      diagnosis, with the implication (he didn't come right out and say
      it) that not enough is being spent on research into treatments. I'd
      really like to ask him if that's what he intended to say.

      I think my reaction to his campaigning for assisted death is mixed
      up with my reaction to his Alzheimer's diagnosis. I saw how it took
      my grandfather, and I wouldn't want him to go through that too (or
      anyone else for that matter). It's a bittersweet thing to wish for
      him to be successful in his campaign, when it also means he might go
      before 'his time'.

      At this point research points to better chances of prevention than
      of treating cases after they're diagnosed. I didn't catch the item
      to which you're referring, so I don't know what he might have meant,
      but I'm sure he's aware of the situation and at the same time wishes
      something could be done for him before it's too late.

      Oh that's interesting, I somehow missed that in my reading. Thank
      you for the clarification. I can understand why that would be a
      primary focus too though – the projected figures for dementia in the
      coming decades are really scary.

      If you can somehow get a hold of it, I highly recommend you watch
      the 20 Richard Dimbleby Lecture that Sir Terry wrote on Assisted
      Death. The lecture was aired on BBC Two and it was incredibly moving
      and heartwrenching. The lecture was read by Tony Robinson (because
      Pterry has problems with reading, now, and just hearing the
      explanation behind that broke my heart) and he was incredible at
      portraying the emotion that Pterry wanted to get across. I think
      this lecture was the start of the BBC's interest in the subject
      matter and I'm not surprised in the slightest that they've teamed up
      to probe this.

      I believe this is the one to which you refer

      I think it's brave and clever. He has so many fans that it is
      spreading the word like nothing else. I don't think we are anywhere
      close to losing him but he is making preparations well before time.

      I think it's great that he's getting the issues around assisted
      death discussed in the public forum. I really hope it gets the
      results that he's aiming for.

      Most of all what I feel about this is pride in him for his campaign
      and awe and respect for him that he's willing to stick his neck out.
      Also I don't think it takes anything away from his genius as a
      writer, doesn't matter if I agree with his views on assisted death.
      Which I probably do, but then I'm not sure of anything except that
      it ought to be a legal option or at least not "criminalized".

      Yes, I think it's amazing of him to be doing this, particularly
      considering his personal context (i.e. actually being in the
      situation where he hopes to benefit himself from a change in the
      laws). I think that's pretty courageous.

      It's also ironic, isn't it, that his PCA and his campaigns for
      Alzheimer's Disease research and for the right to assisted death
      seem to be making him even more alive, if you know what I mean. When
      I listen to him on radio and telly and read interviews he sounds
      sharper than ever. Does that make sense?

      Yes it does. He comes across as very determined, almost non-
      negotiably so (to use an entirely out of context term). I find it
      inspiring, too.

      I think its more shocking than anything, I mean death isn't exactly
      something people normally talk about but especially assisted death
      but I mean I can see why people would want it. Watching someone with
      Alzheimer or Dementia deteriorate is not something I'd wish on
      anyone. My husband tells me stories about his grandmother and how
      she thought her husband was just the nice man who took care of her
      and how she thought that her husband had left her many years ago.
      She also thought that my husbands father was the child who had died
      in a car wreck instead of his brother.

      I don't know that I could personally ever have dealt with that and
      have been thus far lucky to not have to. Its a painful thing to hear
      about and I imagine even worse to witness that being said I will be
      incredibly sad when he starts deteriorating and I'm sure since he is
      campaigning for it he will choose assisted death if he can. I've
      never really cried when another author has died but the day he does
      I know I will.

      My mother had Alzheimer's. Whichever variant, it's an ugly thing to
      watch, and the part that would break my heart a bit more each time
      wasn't that she forgot me completely while depending more and more
      on my daughter, who, oddly enough, was identifiable up to the end as
      her 'only granddaughter', but those few lucid moments, when the
      intelligent woman peaked out of the crazily fogged old eyes and told
      me she knew she was going crazy but couldn't stop. Then the moment
      would pass, and she'd be trying to let my daughter's cat out again.
      (She hated cats. My daughter moved in as full time caretaker, and
      shortly after adopted a rescue cat. My mother convinced herself it
      was a dog named "Poochie" who needed to be let out regularly. We'd
      also find bologna sandwiches in the cat's bowl, because my mother
      said Poochie was too thin and needed a snack.)

      Anyway, the point is, I'm right on board with Sir Pterry's wishes.
      Why in all the hells can't a person legally decide when life is no
      longer able to be lived? Whether chained to machines or unchained
      from reason, I personally can't see that as a life worth continuing.

      I think it's important to remember that he's not definitely going to
      do it. He just wants the choice to be there if he ever needs it.

      I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I can be the "Edge Witch" who
      stands at the foot of my dying loved one's bed and assures the
      nurses that if they make a "mistake" in medicating her that I would
      not only hold them blameless, but bless them for it, so my Grandma
      Wilma's suffering could finally end. She died of stomach cancer and
      mid-stage Alzheimer's and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. On the other
      hand, it's Pterry. This man created characters that aren't just
      figures in a book but friends and loved ones to me. His books give
      me solace and hope that nothing else can, and I can't really stand
      by silently at the thought of that going away any time soon.

      It does make me sad and upset that he is having to even contemplate
      these things. But as someone whose both parents show signs of
      dementia/wasting away before their time...I'm so glad that he is, in
      as glad as someone who is heartbroken can be.

      it is so hard to think about. it makes me cry. i hate that he is
      faced with the loss of himself, and i find it terrifying and can not
      imagine how i would feel if it were happening to me. i support him
      fully, it is his choice, but i can not ever reconcile myself to the
      thought of it.

      I have no problems with Terry talking about this (although my
      personal feelings on the issue are something I still haven't worked
      out), but during his recent trip to Australia, it seemed that the
      only questions journalists asked him were about a) the knighthood,
      b) Alzheimer's and c) Assisted Dying. Hardly any of them asked any
      questions about the books or his writing process. I started to get
      sick of the same questions (and hence the same answers, which I
      don't blame Terry for using)

      Well, to be fair, Michael Smith tried to steer his interview away
      from the assisted death topic, and Pterry specifically dragged him
      back to it. He asked him something like, "Now, why don't you ask me
      about assisted suicide again?" After that, I think everyone supposed
      that that was what he wanted to talk about.

      I understand exactly what you mean. It makes me terribly sad to
      think that someday he'll be gone, but actually, I think I'll find it
      less upsetting if he choose the time and place. Death is a much less
      frightening option if you can control it. We may never be able to
      control what comes after, simply because we don't know, but the
      before and during...

      When he talks about assisted suicide, he talks about strength and
      power. He could let the Alzheimer's progress as usual, could resign
      himself to his slow and miserable descent toward death, but he's
      choosing not only to consider the other option, but also to spread
      the word and try to open that option to more people. He's assuming
      control over the rest of his life, the real rest of his life, and
      bringing a debilitating disease to bear. Death is bitter to think
      about, but the idea that we can make it into a choice makes it less

      That's why I can listen to what he has to say without getting too
      upset. It's bittersweet and I'll certainly cry when the day arrives
      (just like I cried, most recently, when I heard that Diana Wynne
      Jones had died), but I find it easier to swallow because he's
      approaching this without resignation and without remorse, but with
      open arms and determination.




      Going Postal has earned three nominations for the 2011 BAFTA
      Television Craft Awards. The winners will be announced at the
      British Academy Television Craft Awards on Sunday 8th May 2011. The
      nominations are for Original Music (John Lunn – Terry Pratchett's
      Going Postal, SKY 1/The Mob Film Company), Photography & Lighting
      Fiction (Gavin Finney – Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, SKY 1/The
      Mob Film Company), and Visual Effects (Simon Thomas, Reuben
      Barkataki, Zoltan Benyo – Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, SKY
      1/The Mob Film Company).




      "Thanks to everyone who took part in adding their image to the
      jacket. If you want to check you made it onto the cover, view the
      full list of contributor names: http://tinyurl.com/3sdo2co

      "You can pre-order this edition now, exclusively from Amazon.co.uk:

      "Please note, this edition is not available in the USA or
      territories reserved exclusively to the US publisher."




      From The Express:

      "Three men, aged 34, 37 and 45 were arrested in connection with the
      incidents. But police yesterday confirmed that two had been released
      without charge due to lack of evidence. A third, Shane Alway, 37,
      from Wedmore, is to face one charge – but only of possession of a
      shotgun without a firearms licence. A spokesman for Avon and
      Somerset Police said: 'The men were arrested on suspicion of
      criminal damage, as the swans were on a piece of land owned by a
      sanctuary. Unfortunately there was not enough evidence to ­proceed
      with that charge.' Tony Whitehead, South-west spokesman for the
      Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: 'The police have
      put a lot of effort into this investigation, but we are disappointed
      no charges could be brought. These cases are really difficult to
      work on. But we are still hopeful that something can be done because
      shooting swans is not nice to see or do.'

      "Pauline Kidner, founder of the Secret World animal charity, which
      helped raise the reward to find the culprit, said: 'We have
      contacted everybody who pledged money to explain there won't be
      any prosecutions, which we were very upset about. It was a horrible
      thing to have happened and somebody should have paid for it. But the
      money will be used to protect swans, such as dealing with discarded
      fishing tackle and educating ­children to grow up to respect
      wildlife. We had calls across the country reporting similar
      situations with swans being shot. So maybe this has highlighted the
      problem and people will report such incidents to police earlier'..."




      10.1 NADWCON NEWS

      Thanks to kind words from HarperCollins AuthorTracker, Made of Fail,
      io9's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy, and numerous other friends,
      we're getting more and more members signing up to join us for the
      shenanigans. Currently we're up to 650 members and counting.

      Gorgeous New Merchandise!

      Cast in solid bronze, our new Owl Logo pendant is made to resemble
      our clever little Ankh Morpork convention logo. It is around one
      inch in diameter, and is available as either a pin or pendant. For
      those of you looking for something even more rare, you may be
      interested to know that this Pendant is also available in Sterling
      Silver! If you enjoyed the Silver Turtle Pin featured at the 2009
      NADWCon, you may want to keep your collection going with this
      extremely rare and beautiful piece of jewelry. These high quality
      pieces of fine jewelry will be made to order with very few available
      for sale during the convention. Check out our convention merchandise


      to see for yourself! The price of precious metals is on the rise so
      we suggest placing your order as soon as possible because we may be
      forced to raise our prices in the near future.

      Can't Attend?

      Support the NADWCon and you can still get convention exclusive
      merchandise! You all really seem to love the merchandise we are
      offering. However many people have told us that they are not able to
      attend our convention, but still want a Shirt, Car Plaque, or
      Plushie of their own. We are sorry that we can't sell you these
      items outright; we have an agreement that they remain convention
      exclusive. What we can do, though, is send them to our Supporting
      Members, if they agree to pay for the shipping costs. We are sorry
      that we can't sell our merchandise to just anyone who wants it, but
      we hope this will help some of you get the items you desire:



      Got ideas?

      The ever-capable Denise Connell, of the Seamstress Guild and the
      Seamstress Guild Party from NADWCon2009, is now hard at work
      formulating a fun and exciting program of convention events for all
      to enjoy. As she develops this schedule, she would be happy to hear
      from any folks who would be interested in putting on or helping to
      run Discworldian events for convention attendees.

      If you are interested in helping with programs, or have a
      programming idea that you think might be fun to add to the schedule,
      please contact Denise at programming@.... When contacting
      Denise, please include your name, preferred contact information, any
      programming ideas or what help you might like to give, and any
      skills, background, or experience that might fit you for the role
      for which you are volunteering (including if you helped out in some
      manner during the 2009 convention). Our convention is made better by
      the involvement of our many enthusiastic attendees, and we would
      love to hear from you if you'd like to get involved!

      A Change in Announced Guests

      We are sorry to announce that while the estimable Bernard Pearson
      will most definitely still be joining us for the fun and frivolity
      of the 2011 convention, his other half, the lovely Isobel Pearson,
      has decided that someone needs to stay behind in jolly old England
      to mind the shop, the cats, and all the rest. However, while Isobel
      will surely be missed at the con, we are delighted to say that in
      her place we will be hosting two other members of The Discworld
      Emporium, Ian Mitchell and Reb Voyce!

      As we are assuming inquiring minds always like to know more about
      all of the wonderful guests they may be meeting at the con, here is
      a bit about our newest two:

      Ian has learnt an awful lot over the past years working with Bernard
      and Isobel Pearson at the Discworld Emporium, perhaps most notably a
      cruel and unusual new vocabulary. He accidentally became a Fine Arts
      graduate which may some day come in useful; in the meantime he
      continues to make silly things in the name of Discworld. He enjoys
      his continuing involvement in Discworld Stamps, sculpture, and
      artwork, and is currently helping to illustrate Ankh-Morpork, a new
      Discworld board game from Treefrog Games.

      Reb, once introduced by Terry as his hairdresser, has had her life
      hi-jacked and couldn't be happier! A 'grade-1 grown-up', she does
      her best to keep Ian and Bernard's noses to the grindstone and
      fingers out of the till. The pair were recently made partners at the
      Discworld Emporium, so there's no escape.

      Ever want to run Ankh-Morpork? You've got the chance now! We are
      delighted to announce that a prototype of the exciting new Discworld
      game, Ankh-Morpork, will be available for preview and demonstration
      at NADWCon2011! Please read on for a message from Martin Wallace of
      Treefrog Games:

      Just over a year ago one of my gaming friends suggested Discworld as
      a possible subject for a boardgame. This September, that idea will
      become reality for the gaming public. In the space of a year I have
      read 99 percent of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, come up with
      a hopefully decent game, and made a whole bunch of new friends.

      The game is set in Ankh-Morpork, which needs no introduction. The
      background story is that Lord Vetinari has vanished, with no
      explanation. There is now a power vacuum to be filled, and your aim
      is to oblige. You will be randomly assigned a secret personality at
      the beginning of the game, which will tell you what you need to do
      to win. If you are one of the three lords (Selachii, de Worde, Rust)
      then you want to take control of a certain number of areas. If you
      are Dragon King of Arms then you want to cause trouble. If you are
      Chrysoprase then you want to make money. You could be Lord Vetinari
      and secretly back in the city, which means you want to get your
      minions in a certain number of areas. Finally, you could be Vimes
      and aim to maintain the status quo, i.e. don't let any other
      bugger win. The fact that you do not know what other players are
      aiming to do creates the right amount of paranoia.

      The game is built around a deck of cards, which are mostly well
      known characters from the books. You play a card, do what it says on
      it, then refill your hand back to five cards. The cards allow you to
      place minions on the board (the people who will do your dirty work),
      remove other minions (with assassins) build buildings, earn money,
      and lots of other stuff. The actions on the cards are tailored to
      fit the character of the personality they represent, thus CMOT
      Dibbler may or may not make a profit, the Fire Brigade will not burn
      your house down for a reasonable sum of money, and Detritus will put
      a halt to trouble in a forthright manner. The characters you have to
      be careful about playing are the wizards, as when you do you also
      have to draw a random event card. There are no "good" random events.
      The game ends either when a player achieves their victory conditions
      or the deck of cards runs out (when Vimes will win if he is in

      This project is the largest one I have ever undertaken, and without
      the help of an amazing team of people it would still be just an
      idea. The kind people at the Discworld Emporium (Bernard and Isobel
      Pearson, Ian Mitchell, and Reb Voyce) have been instrumental in
      making sure the artwork is spot on. Ian spent over 300 hours
      producing an incredibly detailed map of the city. To help with the
      many card illustrations (one hundred and thirty two unique cards) I
      managed to convince my regular artist, Peter Dennis, to help out. He
      has kept up an amazing work rate and turned out some absolutely
      stunning images (which have passed the Sir Terry Pratchett seal of
      approval). Finally, Paul Kidby has kindly allowed the use of his
      artwork on the box cover. My own humble contribution to this project
      has been to do my best to treat the characters created by Sir Terry
      in as respectful a manner as possible. I wanted to design a game
      that captured the feel of the city, rather than paste the theme onto
      a Monopoly variant. Sometime later this year I will find out if I
      succeeded in this endeavour.

      Helping out our convention goers:

      In our registration area you will find a list of memberships for
      sale by registered attendees who find they have an extra one, or are
      regrettably unable to attend themselves. Some of these may even cost
      less than the current convention price, so be sure to check them
      out. You might save a few dollars, and you will certainly help out a
      fellow Discworld fan who finds they can't attend the convention:


      We have also included, in the hotel information section of our
      website, a place for members that are looking for someone to share
      their room. If you have booked a room but have an extra bed, contact
      our hotel liaison and let them know that you want your contact
      information to be put on this list. You may be able to find someone
      to help you split your hotel costs:


      Is your trip to Madison going to be by car? Then you may want to
      have your contact information added to the Road Trip section of our
      Travel and Tourism page. You may be able to find someone else coming
      from your general area that would be willing to help pay some of
      these rising gasoline costs:


      Costumes, Costumes Costumes!

      The Maskerade section of our website has been updated recently, for
      those of you with questions about the details of our Maskerade, check
      it out. If you still have questions, contact our Maskerade Director at

      What's been going on in Madison lately?

      We understand some of you are concerned about the political
      situation currently going on in Madison. There has been a lot of
      news coverage about our state Capitol lately, some of it positive,
      some of it negative, all of it eyebrow-raising.

      Since the convention committee consists mostly of Madison natives
      living with this political situation let us reassure you that the
      NADWCon is still taking place without a hitch. The convention space,
      food, hotel rooms, guests, entertainment, etc. have been booked. We
      accepted your registrations and fully intend to put on a great
      convention for you.

      Our downtown area has been very busy the past couple of weeks. The
      current state budget controversies have resulted in some very strong
      willed, but also incredibly peaceful protesting around our Capitol.
      There have been more than one hundred thousand people expressing
      differing opinions downtown but there has been virtually no
      violence, and almost no arrests.

      Even if the NADWCon 2011 were going to take during the height of the
      downtown protests, we would still put it on. Right now, the worst
      thing going on downtown is that it's a little more crowded than
      usual. However we have more than three months until our convention
      will take place; that is a long time for the situation change.

      When you arrive in Madison in July, we cannot say that you won't see
      any protesters around our Capitol. We are a young, hip, college town
      with a major government facility displayed right in the middle of
      it. Expressing political views is part of the background of our
      city, and there is almost always someone holding a sign in protest
      of one thing or another around our Capitol.

      What we can predict is that by July, the current situation will be
      vastly different. The budget situation will likely be resolved, and
      you can do what the rest of us in Madison do after a big political
      event, which is enjoy the atmosphere, buy a snarky politically
      charged t-shirt, and take lots of pictures.

      By July the crowds will be different, but probably not smaller. The
      annual Art Fair on the Square will be taking place at the same time
      as our convention, and it draws in more people than even our current
      number of protesters. No one ever said our city was boring!

      That is it for this month's NADWCon 2011 news. Now if you will
      excuse us, we want to climb these cool palm trees that have suddenly
      sprung up in our fair city!

      Josh Goes – Chair
      Jon Lemeornd – Vice Chair
      Vivian Obarski – Online Coordinator

      The North American Discworld Convention 2011
      July 8–11, Madison WI

      Also... calling all seamstresses, hem hem...

      The Seamstress Guild has a Facebook page:


      "We are using this page to post updates on our party plans for
      NADWCon 2011. We are hosting 3 parties at the convention, one for
      every night of the con. One will be in Uberwald, one in Genua and
      one in Quirm. You can also find info on Twitter via @nadwcon

      Yours Truly,

      Mrs Palm (Programming Director & Party Producer, NADWCon 2011)
      on Twitter as @Itbodes


      "The Discworld Emporium Spring bash will be from Saturday April 30th
      to Sunday 1st May here in Wincanton. though festivities will really
      kick off with the Fairytale wedding of Discworld superfan stalwarts
      Dave Hayden and Chris Gibbs on Friday 29th (see this 'ere thread for
      details: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16758)

      "We love our little spring do's as we get to frolic around like new
      born lambs, dress up in traditional May day themes and pretend we're
      in Lancre for a bit. This year's event however also coincides
      gloriously with a certain Royal wedding which altogether makes a
      fantastic excuse to wear a hat. On Saturday therefore we would like
      to see these themes manifested on your heads – from your most
      majestic millinery to your bonniest Easter bonnet!

      "In a similar (blue blooded) vein, activities will include a cake
      contest – so bring along your Easter cakes, Royal Iced buns, or
      wedding confections to be judged and consumed at teatime on Sunday.
      Also the traditional Grand Charity Auction will be held on Sunday
      morning with all profits going to Alzheimer's research – if you'd
      like to donate an item please contact reb@...
      .co.uk with details.

      "There'll be plentiful other good-natured going's on throughout the
      weekend to be delved into in greater detail soon. Please note that
      due to being on a well-earned tour of his beloved Australia Sir
      Terry will be unable to attend on this occasion.

      "Being a smaller gathering than Hogswatch, buying meal tickets from
      us will not be necessary. We will however be enjoying a communal
      feast – a 'Royal Banquet' if you will, on Saturday 30th for which
      bookings with our participating inns will be required – details to


      "Each year around early Spring the inhabitants of Wincanton can
      expect to catch a glance of a hungover Feegle or the swish of a
      wizards cloak in the alleyways of this fine market town. We invite
      you all to touch base with friends, new and old, to toast the coming
      of the new season and to have some bloody good fun. Each year we
      host an event where the sun doth shine, the cider flows and tales
      are told.

      "It was at one of these events where Terry first coined a phrase
      which has summed up the fans at our events for years 'They drink
      like a rugby club and fight like a chess club'."



      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!"





      Nanny Ogg's Cookbook – The Play
      by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
      adapted for the stage by Ian Rennie
      by arrangement with Brisbane Arts Theatre

      "Specially prepared for the Australian Discworld Convention in
      Sydney, this one-act play will be performed only once in Brisbane!
      Meet the cast for drinks and the 'Joye of Snacks' after the show!"

      Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD
      When: One show only, 8 May 2011,
      Time: 2:30pm
      Tickets: $20 each. Ticket price includes the Joye of Snacks.

      Online booking:



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

      "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 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 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:



      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 2nd May at
      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 2nd of May. 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 2 May at The
      Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.


      Adelaide Drummers (if they don't have a formal name yet) are gearing
      up for their first meeting, though *not* on a Monday:

      "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."



      From the Sydney Morning Herald:

      "Terry Pratchett, the prolific British fantasy author best known for
      the 65 million-selling Discworld novels, is no stranger to
      Australia. In a topic he is likely to address in his talk at the
      Opera House on April 17, his regular visits to the antipodes have
      even found their way onto his pages. His 2008 novel, Nation, for
      instance, was set on a fictional Pacific atoll, but much of the
      book's flora and fauna came from far north Queensland, where
      Pratchett often holidays. 'In the book, my heroine is going through
      brush on the island where she keeps finding these bloody great
      spiders with their webs across the path,' he told the Herald's
      fantasy correspondent, Sacha Molitorisz. 'She looks in her guide
      book, which says, "With a few regrettable exceptions, the spiders
      are harmless." So these are the regrettable exceptions.' For
      Pratchett, part of the appeal of Australia is its deadly beasties.
      'What I like about the philosophy of the place where we stayed was
      that it allowed no kids and no dogs, because they'd get eaten.'
      Pratchett announced three years ago that he has early onset
      Alzheimer's, but is still going strong and will continue visiting
      Australia. 'You're all Republicans down there now, aren't you?' asks
      Pratchett, who was knighted in 2009. He says he likes the Queen.
      'Somehow, she doesn't cost too much to run, and prevents some
      arsehole politician being at the top. I just trust an unelected
      monarch more.'"



      14) DEATH COMES TO MORT...?

      "Mort... C'est Mort?

      "Not much to report yet but word has come to me that Mort, the
      animated feature which Ron Clements and John Musker had planned to
      adapt from Terry Pratchett's 1987 fantasy/comedy novel, has been
      abandoned. I've been given no explanation yet for why this happened,
      but it's yet another promising project down the drain at the Walt
      Disney Animation Studios. The known animation slate at Disney
      remains remarkably bare; no wonder some animators might be looking
      to other studios, where they actually make movies.

      "UPDATE: I've just now come across this post and comment thread at
      the Animation Guild blog, which echoes these rumors, while also
      pointing out how bare Disney's development slate is these days.
      According to the anonymous nabobs on the Guild site, the issue with
      Mort came down to rights. Apparently Disney couldn't secure them,
      which is naturally a problem when you're trying to make a film based
      on a book. I haven't heard this personally from my sources, but I
      guess it's as good a reason as any to abandon another interesting
      premise for an animated film..."




      You may remember a feature here a few months ago on Camilla, a
      Discworld fan who's planning a sponsored bicycle ride up Mt Ventoux
      on the 25th of May whilst wearing the lilac, to raise money for
      Alzheimer's research. Now that the Glorious 25th is only a few weeks
      away, she could use your assistance more than ever!

      "The fundraising side of things is looking a bit worrying. I have a
      goal of £2000 on my JustGiving page, of which I've raised so far
      ... £40. Given that there are only 42 days till my ride on The
      Glorious 25th of May, I'm getting anxious about whether I'm going to
      make my fundraising goal. Part of the problem is that I am terrible
      at promoting myself. I'm generally shy, embarrassed about drawing
      attention to myself, and not wanting to be a pest, which is not a
      good combination for getting a message out there and inspiring
      people. The other is that I haven't been talking about it much with
      people who know me face-to-face, concentrating my efforts online
      instead. I think most of the people where I live have absolutely no
      idea what I'm planning to do, which seems like a mistake to me.
      Well, I have six weeks (argh) to turn this around. I think I can
      still make my goal, but I'm going to have to do some seriously way
      out of my comfort zone stuff to get there (which should be a useful
      experience in itself). So ... er, here I go?"


      "I am filled with a mixture of excitement and terror - the
      excitement for obvious reasons, and the terror because I did my
      first hill training on Saturday when Arnout and I went to Valkenburg
      and cycled the last part of the Amstel Gold Race route. We did a
      total of 42km, with six climbs, including (not necessarily in order)
      the Gulperberg, Kruisberg, Eyserweg, Fromberg, Eyserbosweg and the
      infamous Keutenberg (the steepest hill in the Netherlands, with a
      section at a gradient of 22%). Ouch... I was really proud of myself
      for making it up the hills I did though (especially the one that
      took me by surprise by being hidden round a corner. That was
      hilarious - I rounded the corner swearing and crashing down through
      all my gears, and there was a woman sitting on a rug on the grass by
      the side of the road, wearing a Nanny Ogg-ish grin and enjoying the
      spectacle... Now with Mt Ventoux firmly in my sights, I'm even more
      determined to get to the top of the mountain. The other 'mountain'
      in my sights is my fundraising goal of £2000. Thank you very much
      to Judy M and Rachel K who donated at my JustGiving page this week,
      and to Linda H, Arni and Stacie Y who donated there earlier, and
      also to Madfilkentist who donated to the Fisher Centre for
      Alzheimer's Research in honour of Lilac to Ventoux. I really
      appreciate your support.

      "With the Glorious 25th of May so close now, I'd be very grateful
      for some extra help in spreading the word about what I'm going.
      Please feel free to re-post, retweet and reFacebook to your hearts'
      content! And of course, if you can manage it, your donations to help
      Alzheimer's research would also be much appreciated..."





      Blogger SJ Higbee reviews ISWM:

      "There are familiar Pratchett themes in this book — the importance
      of thinking for yourself, rather than accepting what you're told; of
      doing the right thing whatever the cost; the notion of community;
      endeavouring to leave things better than you find them... Which all
      sound very worthy and rather stodgily dull. But this is Pratchett's
      genius — he manages to wrap up such fundamental, worthy ideals in
      stories that sparkle with wit, humour and adventure. This one is no
      exception. And there is, of course, the overarching idea that runs
      throughout this particular sub-series of the Discworld books – the
      notion that stories and belief profoundly impact on everyday life,
      affecting even those who are more sceptical. Pratchett's contention
      is that humankind cannot cope with Life on almost any level, without
      overlaying it with a veneer of the mystical, amazing and macabre.
      This theme is embedded in all the Discworld books to some extent –
      but is at the core of all the Tiffany Aching books, as Tiffany is
      the sceptical one who is frequently amazed at the lengths people
      will go to preserve their ideas and beliefs..."


      Blogger Carolyn on Cannonball Read III reviews Mort:

      "When I found out that Death played a large role in Mort, I decided
      to go ahead and pick it up. I liked Death a lot from the Hogfather
      film I watched on Netflix and so thought I'd like this Discworld
      novel equally as well. And I did, largely because I found Death so
      appealing. The story follows the life of Mort, a boy who, for lack
      of better options<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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