Editor's Foreword

In books like these the editor is supposed to write an introduction, or foreword if you like, about the book and the process that generated it. Especially if that editor has, like I have, contributed in some small way to it. This introduction is supposed to be sincere, suitably witty and somewhat soppy. So thatís what youíll get.

The story you are about to read is something pretty unique in alt.fan.pratchett history. Not because it is uniquely witty, imaginative, or has hordes of uniquely bad puns (though it does), or even for its faint relation to the Discworld, but because it is the result of a thread that stayed on topic for over two years. The Tale of Westala and Villtin started being written in March 2002, and as I write this in August 2004, this has to be a record.

When the story began, no one - least of all I [1] - thought that it would go on for this long. It started out as a mock challenge to arms and a comparison of weaponry between four afpers, ÷rjan Westin, Marco Villalta, Richard Bos and FranÁois-Xavier de Montgolfier, it then quickly expanded into a fully fledged Sword and Sorcery epic,[2] inspired by ppintís invitation to eat free food (which is the very first part of chapter 1). Originally it was thought that maybe it could be finished in time for the 2002 Discworld Convention in Hinckley, but obviously this was not to be. But here it is now, just in time for the 2004 convention instead, and all the better for it, in my opinion.

Had the tale been hurried we wouldnít have met Mega Vole or the Dalamas, had a musical episode or so little clothing. And I wouldnít have seen the Alien movies, which, had I known it, Iíd surely have regretted. The Tale would have most likely passed as a slightly amusing parenthesis in the book of afp. Instead it is a full half-page footnote, one of those you go back to even if you never re-read the rest of the book.

When reading the Tale of Westala and Villtin it is easy to think that ÷rjan and Marco have in fact known each other and been best friends for years. The reality is that until a few months ago they had never even met in real life. While both are Swedish they live in different countries and had, until they met, never talked about what was going to happen next in the story. I dare say it has probably brought them closer. I know for a fact it has given me two new good friends that I didnít have before we started this collaboration, which Iím very happy about. And Daibhid and I have had enormous fun, satisfaction and frustration trying to crack all the annotations. I hope you do too - but be prepared for some really bad puns.

If youíve got the CD, you have the Prehistory and the Annotated Westala and Villtin File (AWVF for short) on it, together with some illustrations and assorted other extra goodies.[3] If you donít youíll find most of it on-line - we arenít in it for the money, if we were, the sex would be a lot more actually there.

So anyway, after all this talking, I present without further ado The Tale of Westala and Villtin. Enjoy.

Elin Rosén
August 2004

[1] If I had Iím not sure I would have volunteered to compile it. Though Iíve had a lot of fun doing it and wouldnít go back if I could.

[2] If youíve read any of those you will see that I am fully correct, as they are usually neither epic, long nor necessarily in possession of much of a plot.

[3] We saw what they did with The Lord of The Rings on DVD, and learned. Though here there isnít an extended version, you get all the character development up front.