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WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- July 2012

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion July 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 7, Post 1) ********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2012
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      July 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 7, Post 1)
      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, L.C. Thomas
      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 2012 by Klatchian Foreign Legion



      03) DODGER NEWS
      18) CLOSE



      "We've got different but overlapping styles, I'll put it that way.
      I'd say what Terry likes to do is characters, situation and stick
      them in a room and let them talk and you're off. And you kind of
      discover the story that way. With the hard SF I do, what I tend to
      do is maps and timelines, and try to get some idea of the universe
      I'm going to explore, which changes as you work your way through,
      depending on what the story needs."

      –Stephen Baxter

      "It was rather like doing Good Omens with Neil Gaiman. At the end of
      it two guys had written a book. And you probably know the story: we
      were going through the proofs and Neil gave a chuckle and said,
      "That was a good piece you wrote.' And I said, 'I'm sure it was
      written by you.' Occasionally, when we were giving talks, Neil would
      pointedly put his jacket on the chair and I'd put my hat on top.
      That was the third person we'd created who was actually doing some
      of the work."

      – Terry Pratchett



      In last month's final post I commented that there was "so much going
      on in the Pratchettverse that WOSSNAME almost needs to be a weekly
      publication". This month is hardly less frantic! The Long Earth has
      made a splash in so many places – various sorts of splashes, in
      fact (and see another extended WOSSNAME-exclusive review in this
      issue) – and there's The World of Poo, the first run-ups to the
      publication of Dodger (also exclusively reviewed below), assorted
      re-releases and paperback releases and news about more than one
      member of the Pratchett family. There's hardly room for all the
      reports on all the activity...

      And speaking of room – room at the inn, please: the peripatetic
      Asti, mountaineer, technomancer, and occasional WOSSNAME roving
      reporter, managed to get a ticket for next month's sold-out DWCon
      thanks to "fiends (note spelling) in low places" but finds herself
      with no place to stay. Oh no, we can't be having with that! Asti has
      requested that I send out a plea: "Looking for a roomshare at DWCon.
      Preferably another woman. Preferably one who is no madder than I
      am." Of course that leaves the filed rather wide open, muhahaha, but
      if you know anyone who might be able to help, please email her:
      astrid (dot) byro (at) gmail.com – you'll be helping an excellent
      lady and also helping WOSSNAME in the process!

      Asti also has a new charity project of interest; read item 15 in
      this issue.

      Right, on with the show...

      – Annie Mac, Editor


      03) DODGER NEWS


      ...because it's so vivid:

      "A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy
      lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a
      vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her
      be caught again? Of course not, because he's ... Dodger.

      "Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a
      living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one.
      He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl — not
      even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in

      "From Dodger's encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his
      meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating
      politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a
      breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

      "Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high
      comedy with deep wisdom in this tale of an unexpected coming-of-age
      and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating world."


      The planned release dates:

      USA 25th September 2012

      UK 13th September 2012


      The first Dodger-related event is gearing up! Topping & Company
      Booksellers of Ely will be hosting an event, along with Sir Pterry
      of course:

      "We are delighted to announce that best-selling author Sir Terry
      Pratchett will be coming to Ely to celebrate the publication of
      Dodger, his new novel. This is a rare opportunity to hear Sir Terry
      talking about Dodger, a tale of skulduggery and dark deeds set in
      London, in the magical atmosphere of Ely Cathedral. There will be a
      very strictly limited opportunity for 100 ticket holders (chosen at
      the event) to meet Sir Terry on the night; for everyone else, copies
      of Dodger marked with a stamp designed uniquely for this event will
      be available, allowing everyone the chance to have a copy linked to
      this landmark evening."

      When: Monday 17th September
      Venue: Ely Cathedral, CB7 4DL
      Time: Doors open at 6:45pm
      Tickets: £10 for adults and £5 for children, with the price of
      each ticket redeemable against a copy of Dodger on the evening (one
      ticket redeemable per book).

      Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely
      9 High Street, Ely, Cambs CB7 4LJ
      Telephone: (01353) 645005
      Email: ely@...
      Opening Hours
      Monday - Saturday: 8.45am - 6pm
      Sunday: 9.30am - 6pm.




      Remember this item from last month's second post?

      "Meet the legendary author Sir Terry Pratchett and pick his brains
      over dinner for two at an exclusive Private Member's Club in London.
      You'll also receive a signed copy of his latest book. (Please note:
      dinner will be on Sir Terry, but travel and accommodation is not
      included. Mutually convenient time and date will be worked out once
      bidding closes.)"

      Well. Bidding ended on 4th July, and the winning bid was a very
      impressive £2,750.00! Pterry's reaction, via Twitter:

      "OMG this – http://r.ebay.com/HuQBQL – scares us. Happy bidding!
      And I suppose we better go somewhere really nice now."



      5.1 Reviewed for WOSSNAME by our resident Science fiction expert
      and sometime Relief Editor, Steven D'Aprano:

      In the spirit of "The Carpet People", which Terry Pratchett
      describes as having "had two authors, and they were both the same
      person", this book review will have two reviewers – who are also
      the same person.

      Twenty years ago, in 1992 (coincidentally when "The Carpet People"
      was re-published), I would have adored "The Long Earth" if only it
      had existed. "The Long Earth" (TLE) is an Idea book: the story, at
      least so far, exists to give the authors an excuse to explore a Big
      Idea, "what if there are millions of parallel realities, and anyone
      can just step out of this world into the next Earth?". And it is
      exactly the sort of idea which appealed to younger-me: alternate
      universes filled with unspoiled wilderness, hardy explorers going
      off to explore the multiverse, a handful of mysterious alien beings,
      an enormous superorganism like something straight out of the novels
      of Olaf Stapleton or Brian Stableford, and homesteaders trekking off
      across the multiverse to find a home like some sort of slow-motion
      land rush. Great fun. Idea science fiction is often about exploring
      the milieu it is set in, and the Long Earth is quite possibly the
      biggest milieu ever: bigger than Great A'Tuin, bigger than Larry
      Niven's Ringworld, bigger than Dyson Spheres, and possibly even
      bigger than Greg Bear's Eon.

      The me of then loves TLE, and I look forward to reading the sequels
      to find out more about the multiverse and the adventures of the
      people exploring and colonising the Earths. I can't wait to find out
      more about the various aliens in the long earth (are they actually
      *alien* if they come from Earth?), as we're only given a few hints
      about their nature.

      (Actually, when I say "sequels" I am being polite. TLE reads like
      the first act in a three-part story, not a complete story in itself,
      and even ends on a cliff-hanger. So a more accurate way of putting
      this is that I'm incredibly frustrated to have to wait another 12 or
      24 months to find out the next chapter in the story and perhaps get
      some answers to the questions which have been asked so far, but such
      is the way of so much modern fiction, alas. I'm told that people
      like this sort of thing. Or at least publishers.)

      If the me of then loves TLE, the me of now is a little more
      ambivalent. As I've gotten older, I find it harder to care about Big
      Ideas for their own sake, and more about the consequences for the
      people in the stories. And unfortunately, TLE lets me down on that
      regard. The characters are, well, interesting enough in their own
      way, but none of them made me care like Sam Vimes, Granny
      Weatherwax, or especially not Mau and Daphne of "Nation" do. Joshua
      feels distant – not aloof and arrogant like Susan Sto Helit, or
      impersonal like Vetinari, but just... distant. Lobsang doesn't feel
      convincing as either a human reincarnated in a computer or as a
      sentient computer. And while we hear about the social consequences
      of Stepping, we never quite *see* the consequences, which makes the
      whole thing feel rather remote.

      I would have loved to have seen more of the Green Family as they
      travel across the multiple Earths, but we only get a few glimpses
      into their story – just enough to hint at their lives, not enough
      to paint a rich picture of the characters as fully-fleshed-out
      people. And they would make a fascinating story: apparently
      successful middle-class parents who abandon one child, and take off
      with another, into an unknown wilderness far from convenience stores
      and hospitals, apparently out of a sense of ennui. Just their story
      alone would make a novel, but a few sparse diary entries don't do it
      justice. These are secondary characters though, and although we get
      to see a few glimpses of Pratchett's excellence in writing strong
      children, we don't see enough of them to matter. We can but hope
      that the sequels will show us much more of these real people.

      Even though Pratchett gets top billing, this does not feel like a
      Pratchett book, unless it is one of his early attempts at science
      fiction like "Strata" and "The Dark Side of the Sun". And not much
      like either of those either! TLE is less of a parody than
      Pratchett's early fiction. But it doesn't display Pratchett's
      trademark humour, and nor does it show his usual fine
      characterisation and insight into people. Pratchett's previous
      collaboration, "Good Omens" with Neil Gaiman, reads like a Pratchett
      book – even though Gaiman did half the work, the style is out-and-
      out Pterry. But here, Pratchett's style is muted, and while we may
      never know for sure, this feels to me like "story by Stephen Baxter,
      based on a concept by Terry Pratchett". As somewhat of a Pratchett-
      snob, I hope that people won't read this as damning with faint
      praise when I say this is a good Stephen Baxter book. For those who
      love Baxter's writing – and why not? – this is not a bad thing.
      But if you are coming to TLE to read a Pratchett book, you may find
      something different from what you were expecting. Different, and for
      my own personal tastes, not as good. Although I think Baxter's usual
      work is competently done, his work doesn't touch me like Pratchett

      The end result is that I found that reading TLE was not like reading
      a Terry Pratchett novel, even if his name was on the cover. Instead,
      it was like a return to the fiction I loved 20 years ago but can't
      quite get enthusiastic about now. It is a good, fine piece of work,
      in its own way, and while I have criticisms, they're not major
      enough to spoil the story. But two in particular are niggling to the
      point of distraction, right clangers to a author of the skill of
      Terry Pratchett. Right at the start, TLE introduces us to a minor
      but significant character, a British World War I soldier who
      accidentally Steps into a parallel earth. Why, oh why, is he given
      the *exact* same name as the Scarlett Pimpernel? From the moment we
      learned Private Percy's full name, I was waiting for the other shoe
      to drop. This isn't just a Chekhov's Gun that never gets fired, but
      Chekhov's Howitzer, almost as big a distraction as if he had been
      called "Harry Potter" or "Luke Skywalker".

      And what's with the potato in the Stepper devices? It is too silly a
      concept to be taken seriously in hard science fiction. If the
      Stepper device requires some electricity to operate, it won't matter
      if it comes from a potato or a nuclear power station, electricity is
      electricity. It belongs in a parody as a gag, like the cheese drive
      of Harry Harrison's "Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers", not in a
      book that is intended to be read straight. If it's a shout-out to
      the Discworld to remind us that Terry Pratchett was one of the
      authors ("potatoes are funny, right? Rincewind is obsessed with
      them, and there's that weird religion with potatoes") it fails
      because it is more distracting than clever. If it is meant as a
      joke, we were never given the punchline.

      Like most milieu stories and hard science fiction, the major
      weakness of TLE is that the landscape is so big it overshadows the
      people in it. And that's a disappointment because Pratchett is
      *astonishingly good* at setting real living and breathing people you
      can care about in a powerful milieu without letting them get
      overshadowed. When the witches cross gnarly ground in "Carpe
      Jugulum", it's important because of the witches, not because of the
      gnarly ground. There's a big fanbase for this kind of idea-driven
      hard SF story with weak characters, and the me of twenty years ago
      was one of them, but I've moved on. And so I give TLE a respectable
      B. The me of twenty years ago wants to give it a better mark, but I
      shall not be swayed – he doesn't know as much as me, so his vote
      counts less. Well, okay, we'll make it a B+. This is nothing to be
      ashamed of, and much, much better than so much of the science
      fiction in my collection, some of which made me cringe even back
      then. But Sir Terry has spoilt me, and I hoped for, nay, expected,
      nothing less than an A+ from his work. So in that sense, TLE is less
      than I had expected, even if it is better than most.

      Overall, I'm not sorry I read this book. Despite its flaws, it was
      an enjoyable, competent, well-written science fiction novel with a
      truly fascinating idea. If the characters don't make you love them,
      at least they don't make you despise them, and they get the job
      done. The book is readable and entertaining if not gripping. I
      keenly look forward to the continuation of the story and finding out
      more about the multiverse of the Long Earth, and hope that the next
      novel will have more of Pratchett's deft touch.

      5.2 Reviewed by David Barnett in The Independent:

      "Terry Pratchett has, of course, mainstream cachet, thanks to the
      phenomenal success of his Discworld comic-fantasy novels and his
      battle with Alzheimer's. Stephen Baxter, while not quite the same
      household name, is one of Britain's leading science-fiction writers.
      Baxter excels at high-concept 'hard SF', while Pratchett is more of
      a character man with a finely tuned ear for dialogue, and it's this
      blend of talents that makes The Long Earth such a triumph... The
      Long Earth harkens back to the old SF of the Fifties and Sixties,
      which revelled in the delight of discovering new worlds. But
      Pratchett and Baxter have essentially democratised space
      exploration, taking the joy of finding new Edens out of the hands of
      rocket-owning millionaires and governments and giving it to the
      masses. This is an accessible, fun and thoughtful SF novel that
      offers the potential for a multitude of stories..."


      5.3 Reviewed by Rowan Kaiser for the Onion AV Club:

      "For Pratchett, well known for the comedic fantasy of the Discworld
      series, it's an interesting late-career switch. There are some
      recognizable Pratchett linguistic flourishes — one recycled joke
      describes the protagonist as the sort of person who 'commences'
      instead of just starting — but the book is largely dramatic over
      comedic. Baxter usually writes hard science fiction, like The Time
      Ships and the Time Odyssey series he co-wrote with 2001 author
      Arthur C. Clarke. This collaboration doesn't contain the outright
      silliness or wild far-future extrapolations of the authors' other
      works, but it does have Pratchett's compelling characterization and
      Baxter's fascinating ideas... The Long Earth also features interlude
      chapters from side characters, adding further depth to the world by
      depicting how humanity has reacted to having an infinite number of
      worlds instead of one overcrowded one, as well as the new economic
      and social tensions between those who can Step easily and those who
      can't do it at all. The story is filled with dozens of huge
      philosophical, scientific, and social questions, but it ends up
      short on answers. It lacks a strong plot, and asks, 'What does it
      all mean?' and 'What's going to happen to humanity?' several times
      over its course, then ends with a promise of sequels. That promise
      is welcome, but The Long Earth suffers slightly from its own
      overpacked potential..."



      In The Guardian, both authors interviewed by Alison Flood:



      "'It's like working with Tommy Cooper,' says Stephen Baxter. 'You've
      got to make the guys laugh,' protests Pratchett. In truth, Morecambe
      and Wise is closer to the mark. While Pratchett is ever prone to
      flights of fancy, Baxter plays the straight guy to perfection,
      manfully trying to answer questions about a collaborative SF novel
      that imagines what might happen if people were suddenly able to step
      from our version of the planet to endless parallel Earths, but also
      finding time for deadpan gags of his own. It's a terrifically
      entertaining double act to witness at first hand, a glimpse, you'd
      guess, of their working dynamic. This, after all, is a duo who can
      happily bicker over whether unk! or clop! comes closest to
      describing the noise a large predatory fish makes as it closes its
      mouth, only to segue to an idea so good that it urgently needs
      writing down for their next novel together. 'Can I have a piece of
      paper?' says Baxter, and SFX apologetically resorts to ripping a
      ratty-looking sheet from a notebook..."

      To read the full entertaining interview, go to:


      5.6 TLE audiobook, reviewed in Blogcritics by Colin Corlett:

      "One way to tell how well the story is written is to look at how
      quickly you start to believe the world in which it is set.
      Sometimes, as with werewolves, this can take a little getting used
      to. For The Long Earth I found the early chapters a little stilted.
      It wasn't always clear what exactly was going on and where we were
      going. However once the foundations were laid we were up and running
      across the multiple or parallel worlds. You don't get funny alien
      names, just normal ones like Joshua, Sally and Lobsang. Well maybe
      Lobsang is unusual but it works as a name for a computer... The
      reader does a good job with the various voices. He is consistent
      across the characters and manages to cope with some of the more
      unorthodox people. Looking back on the story I can't help but
      think that this is what sci-fi used to be about. Bringing a sense of
      wonder to the reader. Challenging their conceptions of the world
      without necessarily embracing intergalactic wars, alien monsters or
      just too much testosterone..."




      Dodger Reviewed, with Several Footnotes

      by Annie Mac

      Terry Pratchett has done it again. He made me cry, in the best
      possible way, with Nation; now, with Dodger, it's action replay
      time. And what wonderful action!

      As you may already know, Dodger is the story of a street survivor, a
      sewer-diver ("tosher") who interrupts a possible "'orrible murder"
      in progress and then finds himself caught up in all manner of
      intrigue amongst high and low society during the reign of young
      Victoria. It takes place in a London many of us will recognise and
      features a number of people from real-life history, as well as some
      oh-so-famous fictional creations of that era as reimagined by one of
      the great writers of our own time. The author refers to Dodger, in
      his afterword, as "historical fantasy". That's a lovely description,
      and an apt one.

      As the book won't be published for a couple of months yet, I can't
      do spoilage beyond what's already been "officially" done, so all I
      can say is that it is on a par with Nation for brilliance of
      wordcraft and storytelling, that it absolutely sparkles with the
      love that so obviously went into it, and that any witty and
      beautifully crafted novel that includes Dickens, Disraeli,
      Bazalgette, and anti-poverty crusaders Henry Mayhew and Angela
      Coutts among its major characters totally gets my vote –
      especially as over the past year I've read quite a lot of recently-
      unearthed or re-examined nineteenth-century history and the real
      historical personages are as fresh in my mind as, well, a newly-
      constructed richard. As for readers who *aren't* well-versed in
      British history of that period when Albert was a living, breathing
      Royal consort rather than a garish memorial, London air was thick
      enough to eat with a spoon, and the dangers that lurked in every
      dark alley were less lethal than the dangers that lurked in every
      cup of municipal pump water, rest assured that you will be equally
      captivated. See, I once knew a man who, being barely literate and
      culturally disadvantaged despite a high degree of basic
      intelligence, taught himself to read using Mort, Soul Music, and the
      Lancre Witches trilogy. Most of the cultural references flew right
      over his head, but he got as least as much pleasure from the stories
      themselves and the quality of the writing as any of us Better
      Educated Readers(TM) did[1], and I would say the same for Dodger in
      terms of story and writing shining through.

      Dodger is a wonderful work. A rollicking entertainment. A marvellous
      story of "boy meets girl on a dark and stormy night" that takes the
      reader to unexpected places. From the appropriately Bulwer-
      Lyttonesque feel of the opening paragraphs[2] and the viscerality of
      the attack in the dark and the mysterious rescuers, I was hooked.
      Enthralled. All that sorta fing, know wot I mean?[3]

      I only wish I had the ability to decorate this review with
      appropriate Victorian-style poster graphics in the style of, say,
      Wondermark, with elaborate arrows and tiny pointing hands and the
      like. But as I don't, you'll have to imagine them yourselves. Here
      we go:

      You Will GASP in ASTONISHMENT at the Secrets Of The Toshers!

      You Will NOD and WINK At The Power Of Semi-honest Journalism!

      You Will SHUDDER at the Cruel Machinations of International

      You Will SMILE KNOWINGLY at the Revealed Wisdom Of The Ancients![4]

      You Will GIGGLE at A Young Man's Clever Hi-jinks and DELIGHT in Acts
      Of Accidental And Intentional Heroism!

      You Will THRILL to Exciting Chases Through London's Underworld!

      You Will Be AMAZED at the Instructional Voyage of A Famous Waste
      System Saviour!

      I could go on and on, but you get the idea...

      Without engaging in spoilage, I can't go into more detail about the
      story and themes of Dodger, but I can and will say that after the
      relative dryness and emotional distance of The Long Earth, Pratchett
      is back to his scintillating best when it comes to bringing
      characters and milieu to life. Consider this typical example, from
      page 198 (advance edition), where Dodger contemplates the social
      ethos of London's bath-houses:

      "Dodger was aware that in some of those places the water that the
      nobs had bathed in ended up in the baths habituated by what you
      might call the middle classes, travelling afterwards to the great
      bath for the lower classes, where at least it arrived soapy which if
      you took the cheerful view meant a saving. Even though you might
      never sit down at a table with mayors and knights and barons, at
      least you could share their bath, which made you proud to be a

      and this brief passage (same page), so acute and accurate that one
      can smell, feel and even taste what's described:

      "The rain was falling faster now, rain that was undeniably London
      rain, already grubby before it hit the ground, putting back on the
      streets what had been taken away by the chimneys. It tasted like
      licking a dirty penny."

      Descriptive writing and stealth philosophy don't get better than

      In conclusion, I will say that Dodger, while powerfully affecting,
      doesn't quite have the sheer wrenching emotional gut-punch of
      Nation; but then Nation is a deceptively huge story of entire
      peoples and cultures in conflict (and resolving those conflicts),
      while Dodger is a delicious romp that will nonetheless make you cry
      when you least expect it.

      Dodger: it's a diamond. It's a beautiful piece of art that will run
      and run and run. Damn, that man can write.


      [1] Reader, I married him. Seriously.

      [2] I mean that in a complimentary way; far too few people realise
      what a good and influential popular writer Bulwer-Lytton was in his

      [3] No, that's not how Victorian Londoners talk in Dodger. It is,
      however, a general Sarf Lundun/Mockney/Gaspode, and as a former
      longtime south-of-the-Thames resident I find that when any
      believable London is evoked my brain goes into that accent and
      dialect mode.

      [4] Including 4,000 years of food safety procedures. And what the
      Romans did for us.


      Editor's note: for those of you unacquainted with the webcomic known
      as Wondermark, you might want to have a shufti here:




      In the Worcester News, by Natalie Bowen:

      "Terry Pratchett's hugely successful Discworld series has spawned
      a number of spin-offs, and there are many references to established
      characters. But grown-up fans, their young children and first-timers
      should all enjoy this scatological addition, which is filled with
      puns and snippets of unexpectedly fascinating information..."




      By Brandon Robshaw

      "Terry Pratchett's Alzheimer's has not yet significantly eroded his
      creative capacities, for which we must be thankful. This exhibits
      all the humour and inventiveness of his previous 38 Discworld
      novels... It's full of comic periphrasis and facetiously archaic
      words ("aforesaid", "endeavour"); characters have an annoying
      tendency to speechify and the running gags don't so much run as
      periodically wallop you over the head. The characters seem to be
      composites drawn from stock – Vimes's butler Willikins has a
      distinct air of Campion's butler Lugg in Margery Allingham's
      detective stories, though at times his diction seems to owe
      something to Jeeves. There's also a sharp-eyed lady writer who is a
      Discworld version of Jane Austen, and a cameo from Wee Mad Arthur
      Nac Mac Feegle, the violent drunken six-inch Scottish gnome. It's
      not my cup of tea I'm afraid, but it's well-plotted, eminently
      readable and Pratchett's heart is clearly in the right place..."




      An online essay by Imke Stevens:

      "In Adaptation and Appropriation Julie Sanders mentions John
      Ellis' opinion that adaptations can prolong pleasure connected to
      memory, in other words, adaptations extend the pleasure of the
      original but also of the adaptation because of the link between the
      two. In Pratchett's work this is actually the case. The reader
      remembers the original that is played at in the novel, and derives
      pleasure from that, and the reader's appreciation of the novel
      itself is heightened through the reader's ability to make the
      connection to the original work... The goal of any adaptation is to
      ultimately re-tell the original story and, where possible, highlight
      pieces and give them a new or a deeper meaning. In Witches Abroad
      Pratchett does not re-tell every fairytale, he gives the reader
      those snippets of information necessary for identifying the
      fairytale that is playing a part.... The English literary canon is
      famous, but when people stop reading it out of fear for dullness or
      complexity than it is doomed to become forgotten and the only
      knowledge of its fame will be in name. Terry Pratchett tries to keep
      this canon alive by adapting it into his Discworld series. The
      parody in his novels serves to give him the possibility to comment
      critically on various fairytales and other works of literacy and by
      doing so keeps those fairytales alive in the minds of the





      To celebrate DWCON 2012, Backspindle Games are running a very
      special competition:

      "The top prize is a 1st edition copy of Guards! Guards! A Discworld
      boardgame, which contains one of only five signed certificates by
      Sir Terry Pratchett decorated with a beautiful Discworld hologram.
      Second prize is one of our sought after black hoodies and third
      prize is one of our much loved t-shirts. The final prize will be a
      complete set of the four special edition bookmarks normally only
      donated to Discworld charity auctions.

      "What do you have to do? Help us reach our target of 1500 likes for
      our page and we will randomly draw four winners from all of our
      likes. The sooner you spread the word with your Discworld friends
      the sooner we will have winners. Good luck everyone!"


      Guards!Guards! co-creator David Brashaw writes to WOSSNAME:

      "Over the last four months we (Leonard & I) took Guards! Guards! A
      Discworld boardgame to the UK Games Expo, Q-Con and local gaming
      clubs. At each we tried the revised rules for the 2012 reprint. In
      summary these are: The Luggage interacts with the Dragons, players
      can purchase attribute points and it is easier to succeed in the
      final Wizard's challenge.

      "The response everywhere..everyone loved it, even more than
      before...especially 'The Luggage'. We reviewed all of the fantastic
      comments and FAQs by fans about the first edition and where possible
      included then in the restructured rule book. We may be slightly
      biased, but we think it's much better. It even has a 'What a player
      can do on their turn guide'. Fans can pre-order the 2012 revised
      edition at www.guardsguards.com

      "For those fans who purchased the first edition, we will be making a
      pdf version of the revised rules available on free download from our
      website around the beginning of September.

      "We hope to have copies for sale at DWCon 2012 (_www.dwcon.org_)
      where we will also be demoing games and running two games of the
      'live run-around the Convention' version of Guards! Guards! much
      enjoyed at the Irish Discworld Convention (_www.idwcon.org_). We
      also hope to have copies available at the international board game
      convention Essen, in October:


      It's goodbye from them, but hopefully not forever... Martin Wallace
      and his household are moving to Middle Ea–, erm, New Zealand, so
      Treefrog Games will no longer be dealing with direct sales. If you
      want to buy the Ankh-Morpork game you will have to go to a games
      retailer and hope it's still in stock.

      From the Treefrog website:

      "We have now closed the warehouse but we have some stock back at the
      house, so sales will continue until stock runs out – which in some
      cases will not be long.

      "Starting with Age of Industry we have changed the production model
      for our games. From now on we intend to produce a 1000 copy limited
      edition and additional copies of the standard edition. The limited
      edition will differ from the standard version in that it will be
      numbered and signed by Martin and will include some additional
      components that will replace the components in the standard version.

      "The limited edition will only be available direct from Treefrog and
      once the limited edition is sold out that is it. The standard
      version will be available through normal retail channels and when the
      limited edition is sold out the standard version will be available
      from us."

      Remaining available games at time of post include Ankh-Morpork, Old
      Men Of The Forest, Age of Industry Expansion 1, London, and Age of
      Industry. For any queries email julia@...




      Warp Zoned:

      "The gay tortoise-owning, tea-loving, goddess of game writing that
      is Rhianna Pratchett was revealed by Crystal Dynamics to be the lead
      writer of their Tomb Raider reboot. The game scribe has had a hand
      in crafting the stories for several well-regarded games in the past
      including Heavenly Sword and cult classic Mirror's Edge. 'I grew up
      playing Tomb Raider, uncovering the world's secrets and unearthing
      its treasures; I have lived and died as Lara Croft, but nothing
      comes close to the challenge of re-writing her,' Pratchett said.
      'Seldom do we get the opportunity to reimagine and reinvent a
      legend, so getting my narrative hands on Miss Croft was a once-in-a
      -life-time opportunity. It was going back to the genesis of video
      game action heroines and exploring how to make such an iconic
      character meaningful and relatable for gamers today.'

      "The announcement was made during this past weekend's San Diego
      Comic-Con, where Pratchett appeared at the Tomb Raider panel
      alongside the new voice of Lara Croft, Camille Luddington, creative
      director Noah Hughes, global brand director Karl Stewart and
      narrative designer John Stafford. Creativity certainly runs in the
      Pratchett family..."


      The official Tomb Raider blog:

      "'Rhianna has been working on the game with the narrative from its
      early inception,' said head of studio Darrell Gallagher. 'She has
      brought a unique perspective to the project and helped us explore
      the character origins of Lara Croft. There is no doubt that Rhianna
      has brought a depth and credibility to Lara, a heroine who will
      really connect with today's gamers.' English-born Pratchett began
      her career in the industry as a games journalist. Eventually she
      shifted focus to creating narratives for games themselves..."


      Computer and Video Games:

      "Mirror's Edge, Heavenly Sword and Overlord scribe Rhianna Pratchett
      has been revealed as the lead writer of Square Enix's Tomb Raider
      reboot... According to Darrell Gallagher, studio head at Tomb Raider
      dev Crystal Dynamics, Pratchett has been involved with the retelling
      of Lara's origin from an early stage... Earlier this month,
      Californication and True Blood actress Camilla Luddington was
      revealed as the new face of Lara Croft."


      New Game Network:

      "Crystal Dynamics, a Square Enix studio, today announced games
      writer Rhianna Pratchett is the lead writer of Tomb Raider. English-
      born Pratchett has been writing for and about videogames for over 12
      years. In 2007 her work on Heavenly Sword was nominated for a BAFTA
      and a year later she won a Writers' Guild of Great Britain 'Best
      Videogame Script' award for Overlord. Alongside writing for
      videogames, she has also authored the 6-part Mirror's Edge
      miniseries with DC Comics... Tomb Raider is the next title in the
      icon series that is set to reboot the franchise with an origins

      "Crystal Dynamics has announced that Tomb Raider will not make its
      launch window of Fall 2012, and will come out in 2013 instead.
      Darrell Gallagher, Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics explained:
      'Our priority now is to make sure we fully deliver the very highest
      quality game. In order to do this, we have decided to move the
      game's release date by a few months, from Fall 2012 to the first
      quarter of 2013. We're doing things that are completely new to Tomb
      Raider in this game and the additional development time will allow
      us to put the finishing touches into the game and polish it to a
      level that fans deserve,' he added..."

      and http://tinyurl.com/cdgb8x5

      And furthermore...

      Apparently there is a huge "controversy" (note ironic quote marks)
      about the Tomb Raider reboot since Ms Pratchett and the male Tomb
      Raider head honchos were interviewed, and showed one scene from the
      forthcoming game, at Comicon the other weekend. Here's Steve
      Farrelly at AusGamers:

      "The furore that erupted post-E3 from Tomb Raider saw a lot of
      misinformed blogging and blaming being thrown around, specifically
      regarding what was commonly referred to as the 'attempted rape'
      scene, and quite specifically from a lot of female or feminist
      bloggers/writers up in arms over the sequence. 'Lazy',
      'misogynistic' and 'male' were part of the problem, you see. At
      least in the assumption that Lara's origin tale was being written by
      a man, or men, and that males have no idea how to run a female
      protagonist through her paces, or how to offer her real challenges,
      and thus simply threw her into a scenario we all assume is tough to
      deal with, but lazy to explore. Today all of that can be put to rest
      though, as Square Enix has revealed that Lara's origin scribe is in
      fact a woman, and one heck of an established writer at that..."


      ...and Games blogger Becky Chambers, who addresses it intelligently
      (unlike so many others) on themarysue.com:

      "What would I have thought about Pratchett if I'd heard about her
      before the controversy? Probably something like this: 'Tomb Raider
      has a woman as its lead writer. That's noteworthy, because Lara
      Croft has historically been written from and for a male perspective,
      and because we don't often hear about women in the gaming
      industry. I'm interested to see how the narrative in this game
      plays out.'

      "And here's what I think about her now: 'Tomb Raider has a woman as
      its lead writer. That's noteworthy, because Lara Croft has
      historically been written from and for a male perspective, and
      because we don't often hear about women in the gaming industry.
      I'm interested to see how the narrative in this game plays out.'

      "How I feel about the Tomb Raider controversy has nothing to do with
      Pratchett's writing for this game. That's an unknown quantity at
      this point. To preemptively judge her work by the ill-advised
      comments of others or by a PR move would be unfair. We can talk
      about those things, but we should do so separately. So, what do I
      think about Rhianna Pratchett as the lead writer for Tomb Raider?
      I'll get back to you in March."





      Die Dramateure will present their production of Carpe Jugulum next

      When: Friday 17th and Saturday 18th August 2012
      Venue: Hohe Landesschule, Alter Ruckinger Weg 53, 63456, Hanau,
      Time: 7:30pm
      Tickets: 6 EUR

      All proceeds will be donated to the Orangutan Foundation.


      The Historic Mounds Theatre continue to present Pratchett plays,
      hurrah! After May's production of Amazing Maurice, next up is
      Guards! Guards! in September.

      When: September 7th-23rd, Fridays through Sundays
      Venue: The Historic Mounds Theatre, 1029 Hudson Road, Saint Paul, MN

      No information on tickets and times yet, but their website is here:



      "Three theatre groups and a production crew from Petersfield have
      united under one banner to produce a play for the Queen's Jubilee
      next year. Winton Players, Petersfield Theatre Group, Lion and
      Unicorn Players and the Green A Team have come together to form the
      Petersfield Performing Arts Federation. The union planned to perform
      fantasy author Terry Pratchett's 'Lords and Ladies' at St Peter's
      Church in September 2012. Federation spokesman Phill Humphries said:
      'This is important to us because we want this to be a real community
      production. We will be holding open auditions in January 2012 for
      anyone who is interested in any aspect of bring this production to
      the stage. You do not need experience – just enthusiasm and an
      open mind.'

      Anyone who wishes to find out more should e-mail:




      Glasgow's Cult Classic Theatre (motto: "We do the weird stuff") has
      received permission to present Good Omens in March 2013. Having
      already successfully tackled Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog, The
      Man in the Iron Mask, and other tough nuts, the wonderfully
      enthusiastic Amy Hoff, who will be directing her own adaptation of
      the book, says, "We're really looking forward to it – it's going
      to be a fairly large undertaking [and] we are all very excited."

      The performances are set for 20th-23rd March 2013 and 27th-30th
      March 2013 at Cottiers Theatre, a charming theatre-and-restaurant
      venue in a converted church. But before that, Cult Classic Theatre
      is holding auditions for the play.

      Auditions will be held October 1st & 2nd, 7 pm at Cottiers Theatre,
      93-95 Hyndland Street, Glasgow. For those of you up Caledonia way
      then, do come along; you might even meet the Pineguin...


      Have a look at previous productions on their website:



      The Socratic Theatre Collective's 2012 Toronto Fringe production of
      Mort, reviewed by Samantha Wu:

      "This site-specific show (University College Quadrangle) adds
      atmosphere to the show, situated outside surrounded by the old world
      picturesque buildings of the University of Toronto. And yes you are
      outside for the duration of this 90 minute show, keep that in mind
      to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, water, snacks if you wish, and
      sunglasses. The performance plays out around you so you'll have to
      turn around to catch all the action. I suggest standing and walking
      around to get a closer view. Being outdoors means sound can travel
      and it may be hard to hear all the dialogue unless you get closer.
      Just be mindful of other people and cast members who may need to
      walk through the crowd. There are laughs to be had throughout the
      show, even if it's just a chuckle here and there. The acting is
      superb. Cheers to Basel Daoud who delivers Death with such deadpan
      (excuse the pun) humor and an almost stoic confusion when he tries
      to understand humans' preoccupation with 'fun'. And more praise to
      Dave Heppenstall as his Mort really is endearing, dorky, lovable
      and you can't help but feel for him throughout his disastrous




      13.1 NADWCON 2013 UPDATES

      Booking a room at the NADWCon 2013 hotel: you can now book your room
      at the convention hotel, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront:


      More hotel information and photos can be found here:


      13.2 SADWCON NEWS

      The Feegles have landed! In fact, The Feegles Have Landed! –
      because, with appropriate capitalisation, that's the name of next
      month's SADWCON 2014 pre-event. With only 150 places available, this
      promises to be a small but enthusiastic event (like the previous
      Event, which was very classy indeed). TFHL will feature a costume
      parade, a Bloody Stupid Johnson workshop. a Discworld pub quiz, an
      auction "with many goodies", and a chance to win a signed proof of
      The Long Earth. WOSSNAME wishes Laura and the SADWCON team every
      success on their way to South Africa's first-ever Discworld

      When: 25th August 2012
      Venue: St George's Grammar School, Mowbray, Cape Town, South
      Time: 10am
      Tickets: R150

      For more information and to register, go to:


      13.3 DWCON NEWS

      "Good news! The guys at Backspindle Games have just confirmed they
      should have a few copies of the 2012 reprint of Guards! Guards! A
      Discworld boardgame for demoing and on sale at DWCon next month. The
      revised rules, especially The Luggage interacting with the Dragons,
      have already been very warmly received by many players. They will be
      also be running two live 'run around the convention' games of
      Guards! Guards! that were so much fun at the Irish Discworld
      Convention. More information is available on their facebook page."





      Here be a wonderful article by Mike Dash, sourced from Victorian
      chronicler Henry Mayhew, about toshers, sewer-flushers, and other
      Workers Below in the pre-Bazalgette days. Not to mention Queen Rats
      and giant black sewer-hogs! And with illustrations, no less:

      "Knowing where to find the most valuable pieces of detritus was
      vital, and most toshers worked in gangs of three or four, led by a
      veteran who was frequently somewhere between 60 and 80 years old.
      These men knew the secret locations of the cracks that lay submerged
      beneath the surface of the sewer-waters, and it was there that cash
      frequently lodged. 'Sometimes,' Mayhew wrote, 'they dive their
      arm down to the elbow in the mud and filth and bring up shillings,
      sixpences, half-crowns, and occasionally half-sovereigns and
      sovereigns. They always find these the coins standing edge uppermost
      between the bricks in the bottom, where the mortar has been worn

      "Life beneath London's streets might have been surprisingly
      lucrative for the experienced sewer-hunter, but the city authorities
      had a point: It was also tough, and survival required detailed
      knowledge of its many hazards. There were, for example, sluices that
      were raised at low tide, releasing a tidal wave of effluent-filled
      water into the lower sewers, enough to drown or dash to pieces the
      unwary. Conversely, toshers who wandered too far into the endless
      maze of passages risked being trapped by a rising tide, which poured
      in through outlets along the shoreline and filled the main sewers to
      the roof twice daily..."




      Asti of BU, otherwise known as WOSSNAME's founder Joe's favourite
      granddaughter and a wildly enthusiastic Discworld promoter,
      continues her high-climbing quest! You may remember last year's
      Everest ascent and the iconographs of Asti proudly displaying her
      official Unseen University scarf at Everest Base Camp. This time
      she'll be climbing to save important parts of Roundworld HEX
      history, to wit the famous Bletchley Park. As reported in The

      "An IT bod has vowed to clamber up Everest to raise £20k for
      Blighty's National Museum of Computing and Bletchley Park Trust –
      and she wants sponsorship and people to tackle the trek with her.
      Astrid Byro, a tech consultant and publicity officer for the
      Association of C and C++ Users, is heading to the mountain's base
      camp, which she has reached before but this time she will be doing
      it to help preserve computer history. Byro is calling the trip
      'Astrid's Bloody Challenge', and described the joy of high-altitude
      trekking thus: 'The trek to Everest Base Camp is an exhilarating and
      truly challenging journey through an alien, craggy, glacier-strewn
      landscape where oxygen is in short supply and the sun beats down
      relentlessly. The sense of achievement in getting a close-up view of
      Everest is never to be forgotten and worth every little hardship.'
      Which sounds like a lovely Easter break.

      "The expedition will leave on 24 April next year, and anyone willing
      to join should fill out their paperwork by 24 November. Byro said
      she will, as team leader, share her knowledge and experience of the
      first 17,598ft of Everest with any newbies who want to come along to
      the base camp in Nepal. Climbers can decide which of the two
      charities – both in Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire – they want
      to donate their sponsorship money to. Both organisations have
      pledged to educate young visitors who are inspired by technology of
      yesteryear in their exhibitions.

      "The National Museum of Computing will use the money raised to buy
      laptops to teach youngsters programming. Bletchley Park Trust will
      spend the cash on laptops for hands-on code-breaking and cipher
      classes for the 8,000 schoolchildren who visit site every year as
      well as historical research sessions and collaborative university
      projects. To donate dosh or sponsor the trekking techie, visit her
      JustGiving page."


      To join the climb, click here:


      To read the article on the web, with photo and links included:


      Asti's own blog about the proposed event:


      WOSSNAME wishes Asti every success and hopes she finds plenty of



      A new one! The WOTS (Omnian Temperance Society, Wincanton branch)
      meets on the first Friday of every month starting with at The Bear
      Inn, Wincanton (where else!) from 7pm. The WOTS is always keen to
      welcome new members and enquiries!


      The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last
      Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St,
      Adelaide (South Australia). Details, discussions and organisation of
      extra events (such as play outings) are held on their email mailing
      list, so do sign up at:



      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld
      meeting group, will be from 7pm on 6th August 2012 at the Monkey
      Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ.

      For more info, contact BrokenDrummers@...



      Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney
      at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. For more
      information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):



      Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the
      month, from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more
      information contact:

      Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...



      "Time to unveil a new cover. The new and improved cover for A Blink
      Of The Screen; Collected Shorter Fiction by Terry Pratchett,
      available 11th October 2012", posted by Lynsey of Transworld:


      A sneak preview of the new and expanded Compleat Ankh-Morpork. "The
      city will literally come alive before your very eyes!" [Or so we are
      told; has anyone checked this possible overstatement with Lord
      Vetinari? After all, we know what happens when cities hatch, which
      is to say "come alive, in unsuspecting households... – Ed.]


      Snowgum Films' Daniel Knight mugging in Doctor Hix-like fashion with
      an amazing coffee mug at the Unseen University Convivium:


      Rat onna stick in Roundworld! Nicholas Kristof writes, "I shot this
      photo in Malawi on the win-a-trip journey of a boy selling these
      roadside snacks. Mmmm."


      Balloon Discworld!


      Some Kidby classics!

      Greebo at the opera (head):


      Stinky the goblin:



      18) CLOSE

      Stephen Briggs and the Studio Theatre Club have left us an exciting
      teaser on their upcoming productions plans page: they intend to
      present the official adaptation of Dodger early next year! From the
      22nd to the 26th of January 2013, apparently. "Watch this space for
      news on this exciting project!"


      Also, I keep forgetting to recommend the continuing Pratchett
      Podcasts. They're now up to podcast 7a, so do visit and listen!


      Right, that's all for the moment. We'll be back in a couple of days
      with your monthly Discworld horoscope, Around the Blogosphere, and
      assorted late breaking news if any.

      – Annie Mac


      The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
      Copyright (c) 2012 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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