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Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
December 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 12, Post 1)

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WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
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Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Wolfiekins, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) RHIANNA PRATCHETT'S YEAR'S-END TRIBUTE TO HER FATHER
04) ODDS AND SODS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
09) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: HO, THE MEGAPODE!
11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
12) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Terry's final day of writing was exactly one year ago today. We spent the morning working on his biography and we laughed. A lot. Later, he called Rod Brown – MD of @Narrativia_Ltd – and Mark, his accountant, before heading back down to the house. He then called @rhipratchett for a chat over a cup of tea and we talked about the next novel. Specifically, which one should come next. And then – on December 8th – after such a blessedly slow decline, PCA became Alzheimer's and nothing was ever quite the same again. Mind how you go, Terry."
  – Rob Wilkins, 5th December 2015, on the official @terryandrob Twitter account, hashtagged #speakhisname

"I like to think that wherever Dad is now, there is a hat on his head, a stick in his hand and a whistle on his lips. There's probably a cat about somewhere too. There should always be a cat."
  – Rhianna Pratchett, in her tribute to Sir Pterry in The Guardian, 25th December 2015

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

  Well now, here we are in the final hours of the final day of the year that was 2015, and to my own astonishment I seem to have managed to out together a December issue of sorts. It's been a very odd month for me (don't arsk), and somehow the various book and play and game reviews that were meant to be in this issue have yet to come into being. Here's hoping the January issue will be more, erm, inclusive. And extensive. And other words ending in -ive. But meanwhile...

  In a somewhat bizarre "listicle" on Dread Central, one David Gelmini puts the "Discworld Death Trilogy" in his "Top 5 Horror Book Series You Should Be Reading". In the relevant section, he says, "I know what you're thinking: That sounds more like comic fantasy than horror. Well, hear me out... one of the major recurring characters in the series, who appeared in nearly every book, was Death, depicted in his classic skeletal grim reaper form. Three of the books in the series – Mort, Reaper Man, and Soul Music – were known as the 'Death Trilogy' and featured Death as a protagonist rather than a supporting player, so if that doesn't place them in the horror category, then I don't know what does."

  Yes, Mr Gelmini, that's right: you don't know what does. The whole point of Pratchett's most famous anthropomorphic personification is that the character of Death is a *sympathetic* character, that the author took a traditional figure of horror and turned it into a kind of person, an entity with definite character and definite opinions – an entity that endlessly strives to understand humans as more than mere stalks for the reaper's scythe, to the point of undertaking human activities and adopting and raising a child. If that doesn't place the Death of Discworld in the *not*-horror category, then I don't know what does.

  And staying on the subject of grim reapers, do have a look at the Discworld Emporium's adorable new Death of Rats plushie in Item 7. As cuddly and not-horrible as any Death can ever be...

[Editor's note: if you want to read the Dread Central listicle on the web, go to http://bit.ly/1NGuu2F ]

  On with the show! Even if it's a very short one...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) RHIANNA PRATCHETT'S TRIBUTE TO HER FATHER

In The Guardian, a loving remembrance at the end of the year of loss:

  "The reaper came for my father much earlier in his life in the form of Death from his world-famous and much-loved Discworld novels. Death was a towering, cloaked and scythe-wielding skeleton who had a penchant for curries, a love of cats and TALKED LIKE THIS. We got a number of tear-inducing letters from fans who were nearing the end of their lives and took great comfort in imagining that the death that came for them would be riding a white horse called Binky. Dad had done something with more success than anyone else – he made Death friendly.. Dad was a great observer of people. And when he ran out of actual people, he was a great imaginer of them. Both his grannies come through in his witch characters, while there's a fair chunk of me in Tiffany Aching and Susan Sto Helit, Death's adoptive granddaughter. He always said that he was most like the brusque Commander Vimes, raging against injustice. But he was a little like Death too; always loved a good curry and Pratchetts have cats like other people have bathrooms...

  "His funeral showed me that my father meant many things to many people, and we were all grieving for different versions of him, when he felt most ours. For my mother, it was their early years together when they were semi self-sufficient, grew their own vegetables and had goats in the front garden and chickens in the back. For his manager Rob, it was sitting side by side, helping him keep the words flowing and making him the odd 'glug' – a coffee with a tot of brandy. Or, on harder days, a brandy with a tot of coffee. For me, the dad I grieved most for, and still do, is the one I remember as a kid.., Dad was someone who committed to the narrative of a situation rather more than the practicality. So he would wrap me up and take me out of bed in the middle of the night to show me the glow-worms in the hedge or Halley's Comet blazing across a star-filled sky. For him, his daughter seeing these marvels of nature was much more important than sleeping, which I could do any time. He didn't teach me magic, he showed me it..."

To read the full piece – and oh yes, you should! – go to http://bit.ly/1ShsLnI

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04) ODDS AND SODS

4.1 PAUL KIDBY REFLECTS

Paul Kidby looks back on 2015:

  "When the call came to tell me of his death on the morning of the 12th of March I was working on my first draught for the cover of The Shepherd's Crown and it is undoubted that my feelings leaked down my pencil into the drawing and Tiffany developed a sorrowful gaze. When I amended the cover for a second draught I had come to terms with things a little and I think it is again reflected in the face of Tiffany. This time she looks perhaps a little sad but I like to think that her knowledge of the patterns of life and natural order of things shine out with a touch of defiance mingled with an inner peace and happiness. I choose to celebrate Terry's life and all the joy it brought to many and I hope my final cover of a Discworld novel pays tribute to him as a fitting mark of my great respect.

  "The Tiffany Aching books are special to me as both Terry and I share a love of the Chalk landscape where he lived and for a time so did I. Capturing aspects of this special place is always a treat for me and working on The Shepherd's Crown was a moving experience, as I drew I remembered the conversations Terry & I used to have about gardening, folklore and recipes for nettle soup (good fodder for starving artists!) The chalk landscape with its ancient drove roads and wide skies seemed to exert a creative energy for us both. I am comforted by the knowledge that this landscape will endure..."

http://bit.ly/1Zk1nY1

Editor's note: please do visit this page to see the drawings that accompany the text. Be ready for strong feelings...


4.2 COVER ART FOR THE LONG COSMOS

...which will, of course, be published in June 2016: http://bit.ly/1ITaw5I


4.3 GOOD OMENS AND HOGFATHER REMEMBERED

A loving look back at Good Omens, by Justine Jordan in The Guardian:

  "Twenty-five years on, the book has lasted surprisingly well. Pratchett and Gaiman's obsession with tech meant they were ahead of the curve when it came to the 'slim computers' that demon Crowley likes so much. Some things haven't changed: 'All that lather comes up from the centre of the Earth, where it's all hot,' says a member of Adam's gang. 'I saw a programme. It had David Attenborough, so it's true.' And the real end of the world that Adam foresees is closer and scarier than ever: 'Everyone's goin' around usin' up all the whales and coal and oil and ozone and rainforests and that, and there'll be none left for us. We should be goin' to Mars and stuff, instead of sittin' around in the dark and wet with the air spillin' away.' I remember longing, after finishing Good Omens all those years ago, for another Pratchett/Gaiman book, something that was never likely to happen and is of course impossible now. In retrospect, it seems amazing that two such singular and prolific creative energies could share the writing of a novel..."

http://bit.ly/1Yf5esg

...and a paean to Hogfather, by Katharine Trendacosta on i09:

  "Hogfather mercilessly deconstructs a lot of the usual Christmas tales, while ultimately still coming down on the side of belief being important. Death stops the Little Match Girl from dying, as she does in the story, since the best gift he can give her is a 'future.' And there's also a great big problem with being a jerk every other day, and deciding to be charitable just for Christmas, like Good King Wenceslas. Death's also confused by the things he's supposed to do as the Hogfather, wondering if checking his list twice is 'enough.' There are a lot of problems with Christmas myths, Pratchett points out, but children's belief in Santa is not one of them. Pratchett himself was an atheist, but not of the science and logic kind. The embodiment of scientific rules and rationality in Discworld are the Auditors, and they're the villains..."

http://bit.ly/1RQJnSV


4.4 REVIEW: GOING POSTAL

Nice review of Going Postal in the University of Washington Daily:

  "The book is unique, silly, and therefore a classic Pratchett novel. Every paragraph has a joke (even if they can be obscure), each character has a valid point to make, and the plot makes sense while still staying true to a classic form. The writing is dead-easy to understand and parse — great for kids — but has enough puns to last an adult reader a lifetime. There's something wholesome about these books — even though the words themselves definitely aren't — that make them great to read on a bad day. So, forget your muted, boring daily life, and enter the bright world of the Discworld..."

http://bit.ly/1lus8Kz


4.5 POINT-AND-CLICK DISCWORLD MEMORIES

The point-and-click 1990s game "Discworld" remembered, by David Fox on Moviepilot:

  "It's hard to over-emphasise just how big a deal it was for young me that I could play my favourite style of game based on my favourite novels! Discworld put you in the role of Rincewind, the main protagonist of the early Discworld novels and the worst wizard in the world. He's voiced by Monty Python's Eric Idle in a performance so pitch perfect that I hear his voice in my head when I re-read the Rincewind-starring novels. Idle is joined by other British comic actors including Rob Brydon and Tony Robinson, and the top quality voice acting – along with the hilarious script that really translates Pratchett's humour from page to screen – is a big plus in Discworld's favour."

http://moviepilot.com/posts/3670561


4.6 REVIEW: SMALL GODS

A savvy review of Small Gods and its Roundworld relevance, by Wayne Gregson in the Bendigo Advertiser:

  "It's been a bad year for losing talented, prolific writers. But I'm particularly missing Sir Terry Pratchett, the British former journalist who created the mad-but-sane satirical universe of Discworld. I was thinking about him after watching the TV news the other night, and wondering if all the world's wars would end if leaders were forced to read Pratchett's Small Gods. Most wars are about differences in religion, or at least people using difference in religion as an excuse to steal stuff. Most of the differences are fabricated, petty and pointless. It is most clearly shown in the wildly complex alliances, hatred, bombings, invasions and murders in the Middle East, which – on the tellie at least – looks like madmen fighting over shattered rocks and pulverised dirt.

  "Good science fiction and science fantasy teaches us something about ourselves. It's possible to tease out concepts when you put them in an unfamiliar environment. In Small Gods, Pratchett explores the religious power of the once Great God Om and pumps up the idea that the supernatural sphere has many, many gods, some bloated arrogant things and some not so big. It just all depends on how many people the gods can get to believe in them. Or to just follow them. Like a Facebook or Twitter fanatic..."

http://bit.ly/1lRcyJI

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.0 HAPPY HOGSWATCH FROM UNSEEN THEATRE!

Pamela Munt writes:

"We at Unseen would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal patrons for their support during 2015.
We could never do it without you, the audience to cheer us along!

"You may have noticed that our website badly needs some updating which I hope to get time to do over the break.

"Meanwhile, the hot news is that you should keep an eye out for 'The Wee Free Men' in April (15th to 30th). More news on this later.

"I hope that you all enjoy your Hogswatch break!"

Also, a reminder for the cast of The Wee Free Men: "Don't forget! First rehearsal after our Christmas Break is THIS coming Sunday 3rd Jan at 3pm. (please enter via red foyer door in Cardwell St). There is also a production meeting afterwards at 6pm.! (for Heads of Departments - all of them this time). See you all there!"


5.1 REMINDER: ERIC IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2016)

Monstrous Productions are going from strength to strength! Having raised over £16,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK so far through ticket sales for their Discworld plays – including £4,000 for their recent and much lauded production of Night Watch – the company is now set to tackle Eric in the new year!

When: 18th, 19th and 20th February 2016
Venue: The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW Box Office (029) 2048 3344
Time: 7pm all evening shows; 2pm matinee on Saturday 20th
Tickets: £7 (£5 concessions). To purchase online, go to http://7889269b08cd.fikket.com/

"Tickets are now on sale for Eric! They're a bit cheaper than usual as the play is shorter. Please be aware that there is one performance less than usual too so there will be fewer tickets available."

5.2 REMINDER: MORT IN YORK, 2016: AUDITIONS!

We Are Theatre, a performance group particularly dedicated to engaging community and disability, will be presenting their production of Mort next June – the 21st and 22nd, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York. But first, it's auditions time! Charlotte and Donna of We are Theatre tell us: "York is readily accessible via transport and as a company, we have an open door policy, so we do not have a core membership, instead holding open auditions and casting from those auditions for each show."

When: 10th, 17th and 24th January 2016
Time: late afternoon/early evening. To book an audition, contact wearetheatre@googlemail.com or ring 07521 364107, and give the following information: name, age (if under 18), email address, telephone number, and preferred audition date.

Rehearsals for the June dates will be held on Sunday afternoons/evenings "from Spring 2016 onwards".

www.wearetheatre.co.uk

5.3 REMINDER: THE SHAKESPEARE CODEX TICKETS!

"Tickets will be on general sale from 10 January 2016. We're expecting quite a lot of interest in this show, so early booking (particularly for the weekend performances) is recommended. More news on the show here, as it happens. There will be four evening performances, plus a matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are £10.00 (Wed, Thu) and £11.00 (Fri, Sat mat and evening). Block bookings (6 & over) will be available for the Wed and Thu performances only."

http://www.shakespearecodex.co.uk/
http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/whats-next

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06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

CLACKS UPDATES AND NEW BACKSPINDLE PROJECTS

The lads at Backspindle Games, makers of the Guards! Guards! and Clacks boardgames, say:

  "For a limited period our new Clacks board game together with a beautifully sculpted miniature of Moist von Lipwig (that can be used in the cooperative race game) can now be ordered together here:

http://bit.ly/1OqgLKt

  "If you already have Clacks and you'd just like the Moist von Lipwig miniature, it is also available for a limited period too.

  "The last ever print-run of Guards! Guards! has been completed. So if you want a copy for yourself or a friend to keep before they are all gone, copies can still be ordered here (FREE UK delivery):

http://bit.ly/1TnwP4b

  "It's fun game for 2-6 players and "a great evening's entertainment", according to one fan! Every game has 90 illustrated Discworld character cards, each with a quote about them taken from Sir Terry's books.

  "We are delighted to confirm Ninja Division (_www.ninjadivision.com_) will be stocking our Discworld games for US and Canadian customers in 2016.

  "Thank you for enjoying our games and reading our news. A peaceful New Year to all!"

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

  "Ever dreamed of living in Ankh-Morpork? Why not grab a slice of the Big Wahoonie with your very own piece of Discworld 'Unreal Estate'! Back with a new look, our 'Portal Properties' portfolio contains your lease, tenancy agreement & property specifications, along with a delicious illustration of your home by EA illustrator Jonathan Kirtz! Also included is a neighbourhood guide to help you settle in to your new surroundings, and a free key-chain for the first 500 new residents!"

Each piece of Unreal Estate is priced at £10. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://bit.ly/1MFVNpE

About the illustrator: http://www.jkirtz.com/

  "Our solid silver unisex pendant & chain features Great A'tuin by Joe McLaren in a cool satin finish. Smithed by real craftsmen in the historic workshops of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, each pendant is stamped with the Discworld and sterling silver hallmarks."

Each Great A'Tuin necklace is priced at £45. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://bit.ly/1JeBfd8

  "Introducing our limited edition festive stamps and souvenirs! This year's Hogswatch issues feature three designs created on behalf of the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons, and illustrated by Peter Dennis. By collecting these marvellous issues you'll help provide vital aid for the Sanctuary's residents. Each $1 stamp is available to own as a set of 3 single stamps, in stunning whole sheets or in the latest 'Little Brown Envelope' Edition from Tuesday 1st December."

The Sunshine Sanctuary stamps are available as a sheet of 24 stamps, priced at £12, or a set of three single stamps, priced at £1.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://bit.ly/1JeBBAC

  "The Sunshine Sanctuary Hogswatch Appeal First Day Cover is a limited edition of 200 envelopes. Each cover bears this year's $1 Hogswatch Issues, marked with an exclusive Sunshine Sanctuary Frank, and swamp dragon illustrations by Peter Dennis! Includes an A5 fold-out appeal insert for your kind consideration. Available from Tuesday 1st December."

The Sunshine Sanctuary First Day Cover is priced at £7.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://bit.ly/1QWu3Fx

  "NEW IN! Add a little 'Ook' and SQUEAK to your bookshelves this Hogswatch with Discworld plushies designed by cartoonist and comic book artist Ray Friesen! ...because who wouldn't love to wake up to a little Death of Rats under the tree (apart from the family hamster)!"

The Discworld Plushies are priced at £15 each. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://bit.ly/1YMVuG6

  "Granny's iconic borrowing sign recreated as a beautiful silver pendant and chain, smithed by real craftsmen in the historic workshops of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. A precious and essential accessory for any aspiring witch!!"

The I Ate'nt Dead necklace is priced at £45. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://www.discworldemporium.com/I%20ATE'NT%20DEAD%20Necklace

  "The Emporium is now in hibernation. You are more than welcome to place orders at this time but please be aware that they won't ship until after January 5th. Thank you for a wonderful year and Happy Hogswatch from us all."

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

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08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on 30th November 1999 (-5874 days to go), according to their website, or more probably on Monday 4th January 2016 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "We are a newly established Terry Pratchett & Discworld social group in Canberra called Drumknott's Irregulars. The group is open to all, people from interstate and overseas are welcome, and our events will not be heavily themed. Come along to dinner for a chat and good company. We welcome people all all fandoms (and none) and we would love to see you at one of our events, even if you're just passing through. Please contact us via Facebook (_https://www.facebook.com/groups/824987924250161/_) or Google Groups (_https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/drumknotts-irregulars_) or join us at our next event."

*

There is a new public Facebook meeting group, "The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)": "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information."

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. Our recent 'Murder In Morpork' mystery party was a great night out. With 26 people attending, we had 24 suspects, our special guest – Vetinari, and one dead mime! It was a fun night of food and murder and we are planning another Murder in December so stay tuned. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. For more information on their upcoming activities, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

"Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am."

For more info, go to http://ausdwcon.org/fan-clubs/adelaide/quiz/

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 7th January 2016 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 1st or 8th January 2016 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles. Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 4th January 2016 at 6.30pm (probably) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 4th January 2016 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

09) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

NADWCON IV!

Emily Whitten says:

  "NADWCon is BACK, Baby!

  "Yes, that's right, The North American Discworld Convention, previously held in 2009, 2011, and 2013, is coming back to an as-yet-unannounced North American location in 2017! And yes, I've ordered my con-runner's straitjacket, as I will be co-chairing the Con along with the Chair from the 2013 Con. (For those who are not aware, I also co-founded NADWCon from 2005-2009, Vice-Chaired the 2009 Con, and Chaired the 2011 Con. In other words, I know a bit about con-running.)

  "Despite knowing I'm probably going to lose a healthy dose of sanity before the end, I'm super excited to be helping to bring back this awesome Discworld Con for North American (and world-traveling!) fans. We took a break in 2015 (due in large part to Discworld creator Sir Terry Pratchett's declining health and sad passing in March) but even with Sir Terry gone, his creations and fans live on, and we will continue to celebrate that 'until the ripples they cause in the world die away.'

  "For further convention news, please stay tuned to the new NADWCon website, and check out our first press release there..."

http://www.comicmix.com/2015/12/01/emily-s-whitten-nadwcon-is-back-baby/

Further information will be available at http://nadwcon2017.org

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: HO, THE MEGAPODE!

A fascinating item sent in by Wossname's "Mrs Cake":

Editor's note: language sissies be warned – this article is liberally salted with, well, salty words:

  "There are plenty of things in our world that share, completely or partially, the common name of the Meleagris birds. A venomous marine fish. Soy-based meat alternatives. West Asian countries. All these, of course, are Meleagris-style 'turkeys' in name only. There are even a handful of other species of bird that are, confusingly, referred to as 'turkeys' despite not being particularly close relatives of the gobble-gobble/hand tracing variety so familiar to North Americans. One of these not-turkeys resides on the opposite side of the Pacific from Meleagris, and in the Southern Hemisphere. The animal I'm referring to is the Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami). With its beefy, bowling ball shape, alert and fanned out tail feathers, and naked head and neck…both saturated with colors that look like the end result of receiving a swirly in a vat of liquefied candy corn…the brush-turkey seems damn deserving of its fowl moniker... Australian brush-turkeys, growing to as much as two and a half feet long, are the largest living members of the megapode family (Megapodiidae). Megapodes, so named for their typically thick, powerful legs and large feet, are a somewhat primitive fork of the 'ground fowl' clan. Megapodes and true turkeys are both members of the ground fowl order (Galliformes), but hail from very different evolutionary lineages within that larger umbrella of relatedness. Megapodes are restricted to Australasia, with much of their biodiversity scattered through Australia, New Guinea, and many of the islands in the eastern section of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. While the Australian brush-turkey isn't domesticated or ritually consumed by Ozzies like Meleagris is in the States, there are unique aspects of the biology of this megapode on the antipode that are worth sharing... perhaps the most interesting thing about Australian brush-turkeys is how they bring little brush-turkeys into the world. They, like all megapodes, have highly divergent reproductive practices..."

http://sydkab.com/2015/11/26/australias-turkey/

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

French Discworld illustrator Marc Simonetti's delightful take on Death as the Hogfather holding court in Crumley's: http://bit.ly/1O7PEDM

A spot-on Nanny Ogg, from the Attic Players' production of Wyrd Sisters this month:
http://bit.ly/1OyYfCH

With Britain's first-ever International Space Station crewmember – Tim Peake – now in space, it's a good time to revisit the crew of the Kite, as imagined by Paul Kidby in The Last Hero:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWQphiWW4AAnUgp.jpg

Artist Bruce Brenneise's poignant tribute to Sir Pterry. Scroll on the right for accompanying text: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/JEO6n

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

12) CLOSE

  And that's the lot for 2015. We'll be back in late January, I hope. Wishing you all a very happy Year of the Sneezing Panda, aka 2016!

– Annie Mac

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The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2015 by Wossname for the Klatchian Foreign Legion
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wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
wossname

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