Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
June 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 6, Post 1)********************************************************************
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.
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, 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)
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) REVIEWS: THE LONG COSMOS, FOLIO SOCIETY'S MORT
04) ODDS AND SODS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) ACTION REPLAY: SIR PTERRY CHATS WITH JACQUELINE SIMPSON (2010)
07) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: RAT'S ON THE MENU!
11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"'I believe the countryside creates folklore in the same way that the mists rise in the evening. I think it just happens. People get feelings. The chill you feel when you walk in this place and all these things, and because we want this. We don't want the world to be too inexplicable and we stand and salute Richard Dawkins as he goes past and would shake hands with Mr. Einstein, but we just like to think that's not the end of it. I rather suspect there are people that would give up belief in God rather than belief in luck."
– Terry Pratchett in conversation with Jacqueline Simpson, 2010
"It's not usually the original artist that's gone back and changed it from a full colour painting into black and white line – and I was keen to do that, because I wanted to keep the characters clearly identifiable."
– Paul Kidby, describing his process for creating the Discworld Colouring Book
02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
Greetings, O Readers! You'll notice that the June issue has arrived in your inboxes in the merrie month of, er, July. This is due to illness (mine), but while it's not the first time Wossname has gone out late, I think it pretty much is for the years of my being head honcho (honchess? honchette?). So let's get on without further delay...
As the number of Discworld plays being performed around Roundworld continues to rise, the Discworld Plays News section seems like the best place to put a feature on staging Discworld plays – from the digital quill of "Lord Vetinari himself". Do have a look at item 5.13 in this month's issue!
Journalist David Astle, writing about "internet laws" in the Sydney Morning Herald, mentioned Asimov's Laws of Robotics early on. Then at the end, he writes, "The final law was foreseen by another sci-fi giant, Terry Pratchett. Known as the law of exclamation, this applies to online shouters. In short, the more exclamation marks you use, or capital letters you bash out, the more flawed your view." I mention this in passing because of the casual way he calls Pratchett "another sci-fi giant". Which he was – and ever will remain. Consider the Johnny Maxwell books. Consider Night Watch. Consider his fantastic short story # ifdef DEBUG + "world/enough" + "time"... and more. So yes, it warms the cockles of your Editor's heart to see The Author's name up there on the Great and Terrible List of Giants. Especially as, unlike Asimov, Clarke et al, who were strong on ideas but weak on wordcraft and the art of believable character creation, Pratchett's science fiction has the lot.
Remember, the fifth and final Long Earth book, The Long Cosmos, is now available in hardcover (Penguin Random House; see various reviews under item 3.1). And if you've been collecting the series in paperback, The Long Utopia (book four) is also now available. As is the paperback edition of The Shepherd's Crown, at last! And more of The Bromeliad. Also, this is a good time to pre-order the Paul Kidby Discworld Colouring Book and The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. And furthermore... all right, look, the best way to keep up with the myriad of new releases is to check on http://discworld.com/
in their books sections.
Lastly, here is the only feature Wossname is going to offer about Brexit. Because the marvellous Evening Harold gave the least "WHUT?" commentary about it all:
"The UK is under new leadership this morning following a coup by the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, Lord Havelock Vetinari. 'Coup is a needlessly dramatic word,' Lord Vetinari told reporters. 'I can hardly be said to have violently thrown a government from power when you don't have one, or an Opposition. Both sides seem entirely preoccupied with what one might call "internal matters". Indeed barely anyone noticed as I walked into Number Ten and installed myself in the best office and Drumknott in an suitable alcove nearby. The only person to do more than raise an eyebrow was Theresa May who I must say kicks like a mule and has a command of the baser aspects of the English language that is entirely formidable.' Until yesterday Vetinari was the tyrant of Ankh-Morpork the largest and most powerful city on Discworld. A place known to us through the life-enhancingly brilliant reporting of much-missed travel writer Sir Terry Pratchett. Today Lord Vetinari says he's the man to lead the UK through the Brexit crisis. 'A firm hand is all it takes,' he said calmly..."
Do go read the entire piece. It's a thing of beauty:http://eveningharold.com/2016/06/29/lord-vetinari-takes-control-of-the-uk/
And now, on with the show!
– Annie Mac, Editor
03) REVIEWS: THE LONG COSMOS, FOLIO SOCIETY'S MORT
3.1 THE LONG COSMOS REVIEWS
In The Guardian, by Jenny Colgan:
"If it is pulse-racing narrative you're after, you should know that the Long Earth books are not so much stories as travelogues. New worlds are intricately described – the corn fields, the ice belts – and there is jeopardy, but never anything terribly concerning, even when nuclear war wipes out half the Datum (the name given to the original Earth). Fans, of whom I am one, love them for their gently immersive properties: it is extremely relaxing to travel so many worlds from home in a luxury airship, 'stepping' with every turn of the page. The Long Cosmos doesn't meddle with this template: journeys are made, quite slowly; strange creatures emerge and vanish; things that were lost are found again. Even the more horrific aspects, such as the lollipop heads – humanoids with brains so enormous that they are literally spilling out of their skulls – turn out to be more or less benign. The charm of these books lies in the way they weave the worlds together: they're not funny, and nor are they designed to be, unless you find trolls who say 'hoo' intrinsically hilarious. For The Long Cosmos specifically, a good working knowledge of the film version of Carl Sagan's Contact is useful, as the book often plays out as a homage, while long-term fans will be excited to learn that as well as going east and west, we finally step north. Not all our questions are answered, but Baxter's scientific grounding will make you dwell once more on that chilling quantum idea that to exist is to be observed, as well as on more quotidian reflections about what is important in life..."http://bit.ly/29bqyZK
In The Telegraph, by Tristram Fane Saunders:
"It is impossible to read The Long Cosmos without a pang of melancholy... Although the familiar protagonists have reached their late sixties, the atmosphere is still one of childlike wonder. The hero, Joshua, watches the hive of activity around a newly-built spaceship, as if it were 'to be powered, not by any kind of technology, but by a surge of shared enthusiasm'. The Long Cosmos may be a bit slapdash in construction, but it, too, hums with shared enthusiasm, reading like a roll-call of the authors' favourite things. Whereas the Discworld novels favoured the wink, here the allusions are far more open: the spaceship is christened the 'Uncle Arthur', after Arthur C Clarke (with whom Baxter wrote three novels). Pratchett fans sifting through Baxter for a gem of Sir Terry won't quite come up empty-handed... There are a couple of nods to Discworld (including a simian librarian), but only one vignette has Pratchett's particular spark: the story of wandering teacher Johnny Shakespeare...
"Like many travellers of the Long Earth, Joshua is a fan of 'ancient' sci-fi films. As another character – a different nun – remarks, no-one can remember the Pope, but everyone knows who Captain Kirk is. And so we meet a 'baby elephant with a mask like a Star Wars stormtrooper,' while a song Joshua hears sounds 'like samples of an opera in Klingon.' But these allusions distract from the world of the novel... Although it nods toward 20th-century fiction, the Long Earth's true parent is 500 years old this year – Utopia. Amid the recent wave of YA dystopias, it's rare to find an optimistic vision of the future, but The Long Cosmos is exactly that..."http://bit.ly/2999r99
In The Independent, by David Barnett:
"It's a very different beast to those used to Pratchett's humorous Discworld fantasies - a hard, high-concept science fiction series based around the central conceit that our world is but one of an infinite number of parallel Earths, strung out like a multi-dimensional string of pearls... Although there are a core cast of well-rounded characters, including central protagonist Joshua Valiente, one of the first to learn how to “step” between the worlds, and Lobsang, a Tibetan motorcycle repairman who has been reincarnated as an artificial intelligence computer (one guesses that to be a very Pratchettian touch) the series has always seemed less about the people and more about the sense of wonder of good, old-fashioned science fiction. More than that, it's about exploration and discovery, and even rediscovery - if we found an Earth identical to our own but uninhabited and unspoiled, would humanity do things differently, or just make the same old mistakes?..."http://ind.pn/299g5PG
In the Daily Mail, by Ned Denny:
"The inspired concept at the heart of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's Long Earth series is an immense series of Earths – receding, perhaps endlessly, like the images in two facing mirrors, but all of them other than our home planet (‘Datum Earth') empty of human beings. These books are less tongue-in-cheek than Pratchett's solo work and have something of the poetry and visionary wildness of an author such as Jeff VanderMeer. This final instalment – in which humans, Neanderthal-like trolls and a race of supposedly higher beings known as The Next try to fathom this cosmic invitation – is enthralling and thought-provoking in equal measure."http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-3657393/SCIENCE-FICTION.html
On Flickering Myth, by Tony Black:
"Originally sketched out as a trilogy, The Long Earth saga ultimately needed extra room to breathe and this fifth and final entry was completed by Baxter upon Pratchett's untimely death. He does a fine job in bringing to a conclusion what could have been a jarring juxtaposition between two very different writers; Pratchett, one of the masters of comic fantasy, and Baxter, one of the giants in speculative science-fiction. The Long Cosmos, however, much like the previous four books, manages to fuse these two disparate talents together in an enjoyably imaginative, often lightly and comfortably jovial way, shot through with plenty of pop-culture references and fascinating scientific concepts... Even with Baxter's penchant for hard science (which is far more apparent here than Pratchett's acerbic droll, only popping up occasionally), what never becomes lost in the stepping and conceptual scientific ideas is the warmth of heart built into The Long Earth story and it's characters. There's a wistfulness about this book, a sense of ending, perhaps not just for Joshua but Pratchett himself, and a sense of looking back on a world unrecognisable and searching for constants, for memories, for as the trolls call it 'remember'. It's a story about family, about the loss and rediscovery of family, the importance indeed of maintaining those relationships and that humanity in the face of so much ‘other', and in the end about finding a family with those you are thrown together with, across divides equally in terms of background and race... While these two writers make this happen with a redoubtably British tongue in cheek, they do so equally with a true sense of comforting, innocent wonder and hope, and it makes for lovely, spirited reading..."http://bit.ly/29grjCQ
3.2 MORT (FOLIO SOCIETY EDITION) REVIEW
On Den of Geek by Aliya Whiteley:
"It's a beautiful book, and it showed me that Mort is as much a fairy tale as a fun read. It sinks deep roots into traditional ground, and this classic hardback version suits the more meaningful aspects of this story very well indeed. For Mort is a young apprentice, and he has a lot to learn, and challenges to overcome, before he learns some wisdom and finds some happiness. And that makes for a really old kind of story, and a satisfying one, featuring all the recognisable aspects such as love, moral dilemmas, crushing responsibilities, and a race against time. Also, what kind of apprenticeship story would this be without an exacting master? This one has the best – Death himself. Although Death is busy having an identity crisis and could, on occasion, murder a curry. It's the surprises I always liked. That curry, those footnotes, the unexpected lists of foods that are served in Ankh-Morpork or the sudden appearance of an orang-utan. But this time around it was Pratchett's propensity to bring a scene to life in classic style that struck me. He could make it all seem so real before inviting you to laugh at it, and see through it... Those are good lessons to learn by holding this new and beautiful version of Mort in your hands, with a brilliant illustration by Rayyan on the cover that will remind you of woodcut art from Grimm's Fairy Tales and the like..."http://bit.ly/297pskB
04) ODDS AND SODS
4.1 THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN LOCUS AWARD
"The prestigious Locus prizes, which are voted for by the American speculative fiction magazine's readership, have been running for more than 40 years, and have gone to authors including Isaac Asimov, Gene Wolfe and Ursula K Le Guin in the past. This year, Pratchett took the prize for best young adult novel for his final Discworld book, The Shepherd's Crown...."http://bit.ly/29az5hQ
The full list of winners:http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/06/2016-locus-awards-winners/
4.2 A FINE SET OF "KILLER QUOTATIONS"
In the Irish Times, Martin Doyle interviews Colin Smythe and author Lisa McInerney about their favourite Pratchett quotes. Here be an extract:
"Colin Smythe, the Trinity College Dublin graduate who published Pratchett's first five books and has been his agent since 1987, admitted: 'I can't remember Terry telling me any jokes. Both poor memory and because he must have kept them to put in his books. Over the last decade, I think we talked about facts, research for the book he was working on, that sort of thing.' In his tribute to his friend in The Irish Times, Smythe wrote: 'It is hard to look at a future without Terry, his humour, wicked bubble-pricking comments, his amazing inventiveness, his style, the deftness of his puns, and the deep moral sense that pervaded all of the books, without being obtrusive.' So what is his favourite Terry Pratchett quotation? 'Too many to choose from. But how about...? "Susan... it wasn't a good name, was it? It wasn't a truly bad name, it wasn't like poor Iodine in the fourth form, or Nigella, a name which means ‘oops, we wanted a boy'. But it was dull. Susan. Sue. Good old Sue. It was a name that made sandwiches, kept its head in difficult circumstances, and could reliably look after other people's children.`It was a name used by no queens or goddesses anywhere. And you couldn't do much even with the spelling. You could turn it into Suzi, and it sounded as though you danced on tables for a living. You could put in a Z and a couple of Ns and an E, but it still looked like a name with extensions built on. It was as bad as Sara, a name that cried out for a prosthetic H." Far too long, I know. How about a talking raven on a battle-field, looking for eyeballs and other scraps, saying "Carrion regardless. That's what I say."? Or the cleric in a band that went off with all its takings, and was arrested. "And what did they do with that felonious monk?"...'..."http://bit.ly/297hBPT
4.3 MORE ABOUT THAT ALABAMA PRATCHETT COURSE
You may remember a mention is last month's main edition of a special interim course, on the works of Pratchett, being taught at the University of Alabama. I have since had a conversation with the gracious Mark Hughes Cobb, whose piece in the Tuscaloosa News gives additional detail and insight. Do have a read! A few bits:
"Terry Pratchett's books sprawl all over the kitchen, the bathroom, by the bed, everywhere. Those have been read, are being read, and will be read again. 'With Pratchett, you kind of live with it,' said Barton, an instructor in the University of Alabama English department, teaching an interim course on his work, titled 'Special Topics in Literature: Discworld.'... Pratchett subverted fantasy tropes to reflect human follies and foibles about gender, war, religion, technology, racism, xenophobia, and more. 'He creates this entire universe of characters you would want to know,' Barton said, 'and people who just seem very genuine, seem who they are. At times it's almost a kind of muted, almost dry, very quiet kind of funny, and at other times, it's just broad hilarity.'... Barton used Gaiman's elegy as an introduction for the class. 'It's almost like he knew what I was going for,' she said. They're also looking at recurring, developing characters. Pratchett drew Sam Vimes close to his heart, a gutter-poor child who grew up with fists, knees and elbows in the mean streets. Through unbending will and innate decency, Sam rises to command the watch, and become Duke of Ankh-Morpork, a bluntly honest antithesis to the effete, the snobs and white-collar criminals... 'Vimes resists classicism, resists superiority,' Barton said. 'If you want to make who you are, you have to put your boots on and walk the streets. You have to, as he does in "Night Watch," create yourself.' Other texts they'll study include novels 'Thud,' 'Making Money' and 'Raising Steam.'..."http://bit.ly/1Yh6WXP
4.4 PAUL KIDBY ON CREATING THE DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK
Here be a short, fascinating video about how Mr Kidby turned his Discworld paintings into a black and white colouring book. Watch it!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ7IBBbwmuw
4.5 ABOUT TELLING LIES TO CHILDREN
From The Science of Discworld to the wider world, with its own extensively footnoted page on Wikipedia:
"Scientists Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart first discussed the term in their non-fiction book, The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994). They elaborated upon this concept in their non-fiction book: Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind (1997). Cohen and Stewart further delved into a discussion of the issue with author Terry Pratchett in the book The Science of Discworld (1999). The term subsequently gained traction by academics and has been since discussed within the framework of teaching methodology. British author David Langford said his favorite theme within Discworld was the lie-to-children trope. Andrew Sawyer included the subject itself in his article titled: 'Narrativium and Lies-to-Children: Palatable Instruction in "The Science of Discworld"'. Tim Worstall wrote for Forbes that lie-to-children was ubiquitous across multiple academic disciplines... The definition given in The Science of Discworld (1999) is as follows: 'A lie-to-children is a statement that is false, but which nevertheless leads the child's mind towards a more accurate explanation, one that the child will only be able to appreciate if it has been primed with the lie'. The authors acknowledge that some people might dispute the applicability of the term lie, while defending it on the grounds that 'it is for the best possible reasons, but it is still a lie'. This viewpoint is derived from earlier perspectives within the field of philosophy of science.
"In a 1999 interview, Pratchett commented upon the phrase: 'I like the lies-to-children motif, because it underlies the way we run our society and resonates nicely with Discworld.' He was critical of problems inherent in early education: 'You arrive with your sparkling A-levels all agleam, and the first job of the tutors is to reveal that what you thought was true is only true for a given value of "truth".' Pratchett cautioned: 'Most of us need just "enough" knowledge of the sciences, and it's delivered to us in metaphors and analogies that bite us in the bum if we think they're the same as the truth.'..."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie-to-children
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
5.1 NEW: MORT AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE (AUGUST)
Duck in a Hat are coming back to Edinburgh with another Discworld production!
"Mort doesn't know what to expect when he starts his new job: apprentice to the Grim Reaper (scythe, hooded cloak, and all). But things slip out of his control when he saves a princess destined to die, tearing apart the fabric of reality. With the help of Death's adopted daughter and a mysterious manservant, can Mort thwart destiny, save the princess, find true love and have his own happily ever after? Presented by the team behind the 2015 sell-out Terry Pratchett's Eric, this is a hilarious new adaptation of Pratchett's beloved tale of life, death and destiny."
When: 15th–28th August 2016 (excepting 21st)
Venue: Paradise in Augustine's, 41–43 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL
Time: 7.35pm all shows
Tickets: £9.50 (£8), available from https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/590050-terry-pratchetts-mort/
or by phone 0131 510 0022http://duckinahat.weebly.com/https://twitter.com/duck_in_a_hat
5.2 NEW: LANCRE WITCHES ON THE ROAD! CARPE JUGULUM IN ESSEX (AUGUST)
"Come and join Chameleon's Web Theatre Company for a fun-filled show suitable for all ages from 4-104. Although we can guarantee the quality of the performance we cannot guarantee the British weather so please bring appropriate clothing for an outdoor performance! Please bring rugs, low backed chairs and picnics but be warned – the residents of Lancre are very partial to a sausage roll or two!"
When: 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th August 2016
Venue: various; see below
Time: various; see below
Tickets: £11 (£9 concessions; family ticket £34), available from http://www.chameleonsweb.co.uk/www.ticketsource.co.uk/chameleonsweb
or bookable by phone on 0333 666 3366 (local rate, £1.50 booking charge which includes postage of tickets)
5th August: The Amphitheatre, Park Drive, Promenade Park, Maldon, Essex CM9 5HX at 6pm
For more info: http://www.visitmaldon.co.uk/promenade-park/
6th August: Tollesbury Community Centre, East Street, Tollesbury, Essex CM9 8QD at 7pm (indoors)
For more info: http://bit.ly/299hVmL
7th August: Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex CO7 7DB at 6pm
For more info: http://www.bethchatto.co.uk/events/theatre-performance-in-the-gardens.htm
13th August: The Whalebone, Chapel Rd, Colchester, Essex CO5 7BG at 5pm
For more info: http://www.thewhaleboneinn.co.uk/
14th August: Dedham Vale Vineyard, Green Lane, Boxted, Colchester, Essex CO4 5TS at 6pm
For more info: http://www.dedhamvalevineyard.com/
Tour Information Line - 07936067657 (please note tickets cannot be purchased from this number)http://www.chameleonsweb.co.uk/next.html
5.3 NEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN THE WIRRAL (JULY)
Greasby Players, who produced a run last year of Wyrd Sisters, will be staging Guards! Guards! this month!
When: 13th -16th July 2016
Venue: Westbourne Hall, Westbourne Road, West Kirby, Wirral CH48 4DQ
Tickets: £8.00 (£6.00 concessions). To book, ring 677 9187 or visit Greasby Players' Facebook page (URL below)https://www.facebook.com/GreasbyPlayersWirral/http://www.wirralradio.co.uk/news/whats-on/
5.4 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN DARLINGTON, FOURECKS (JULY)
Darlington Theatre Players' production of Wyrd Sisters, which started on the 17th of June, is still going!
When: to 9th July 2016
Venue: Marloo Theatre, 20 Marloo Road, Greenmount, Western Australia (phone 08 9255 1212)
Time: 8pm evening shows; 2pm Sunday matinees
Tickets: adults $22, concession/child $20, family ticket $70, available from Gwyne Marshall (Bookings Officer) at the Marloo Theatre Box Office (phone 08 9255 1783). To purchase online, go to http://www.marlootheatre.com.au/wyrdsisters
nd click on the Buy Tickets buttonhttp://www.marlootheatre.com.au/
5.5 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN NORTH YORKSHIRE (JULY-AUGUST)
The Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society aka RADS will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in July. RADS chairman Mike Walker writes, "For anyone who hasn't visited the Georgian Theatre Royal, it is an experience in itself, being Britain's oldest working theatre in its original form; a Grade 1 listed building and an accredited museum. It is an 18th century 'courtyard' theatre which seats just over 200 people, the furthest seat being only 10.7m from the stage! I do hope Terry Pratchett fans will be interested in seeing Wyrd Sisters in this fascinating setting."
When: 28th–30th July and 4th–6th August 2016
Venue: Georgian Theatre Royal, Victoria Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4DW
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6.50 to £12.50, available online at https://tickets.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk/
or ring the box office 01748 825252http://www.richmond-ads.org.uk/http://www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk/
5.6 REMINDER: MORT IN YORK (JULY)
We Are Theatre will be presenting their production of Mort in July. Getting closer now...
When: 21st and 22nd June 2016
Venue: Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Haxby Road, York YO31 8TA
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions), available from the York Theatre Royal box office (phone 01904 623568). For group bookings, contact email@example.com or ring 07521 364107
5.7 REMINDER: CARPE JUGULUM IN SLOUGH (JULY)
Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre aka CAST will stage their production of the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Carpe Jugulum in July!
When: 13th-16th July 2016
Venue: CAST, Colnbrook Village Hall,. Vicarage Way, Colnbrook, Berks SL3 0RF. Phone 07944 215487 (Secretary)
Time: 7.45pm all shows
Tickets: TBA. Normally £8 (£6 concessions), eventually available online at http://www.cast-online.org.uk/box-office/http://www.cast-online.org.uk/
5.8 REMINDER: MORT IN READING (JULY)
Theale Green School will be staging Stephen Briggs' adaptation of Mort in July!
When: 13th July
Venue: Greek Theatre, Bradfield College, Bradfield, Reading, Berks RG7 6BZ (13th)
Tickets: £7 (£5 concessions), available to reserve from Nicki Cowen via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5.9 REMINDER : LORDS AND LADIES IN NEWCASTLE (JULY)
The People's Theatre, "the premier amateur theatre company in the North of England", will stage their production of Lords and Ladies, adapted by Irana Brown, in July. "We're no strangers to Discworld and this funny and fast-moving adaptation of (the much-missed) Sir Terry's fourteenth novel sees the welcome return of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg to our stage. It promises to be lots of fun, so book early to avoid disappointment!"
When: 19th-23rd July 2016
Venue: People's Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF. Phone: (0191) 275 9875
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £13.50 (£11 concessions). Box Office on 0191 265 5020 or email email@example.com. (Box Office is open weekdays 10.30am–1pm and Mon, Wed, Fri evenings 7.30–8.30pm). To book online, go to the inappropriately-named Intelligent Tickets, and be prepared to jump through a truly daft series of hoops: http://www.intelligent-tickets.co.uk/index.php?th=pehttp://bit.ly/1lMl3Vj
5.10 REMINDER: GOING POSTAL IN CARDIFF (AUGUST)
The Monstrous Productions Theatre Company, who specialise in staging Pratchett plays and have so far raised – and donated – over £18,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK, are taking on the Ankh-Morpork Post Office for their next project!
"Moist Von Lipwig is a conman, forger and all-round confidence trickster, always on the look out for the next big game. Until one of his many personas has a run-in with the law and is hanged to within a inch of his life. And so begins the biggest game of all. He must restore Ankh-Morpork's defunct post office to it's former glory or else have a second shot at dancing the hemp fandango. On his side he has the Disc's oldest junior postman, Stanley ('ask me about pins!') and his pottery probation officer, Mr Pump. It's a mighty task, made mightier by competition from Ankh-Morpork's newest technology, the Clacks, and its piratical owner, Reacher Gilt."
When: 17th-20th August 2016
Venue: The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm evening shows (doors open at 7pm); 2.30pm matinee on the 20th (doors open 2pm)
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions), available from http://7889269b08cd.fikket.com/
– also by email (firstname.lastname@example.org, pay by cheque or bank transfer)
Also, if you are local to the Cardiff area (or fond of travelling), the Monstrous company works to a great model: "We announce auditions for upcoming productions about a month before casting. We have a laid back audition process and people travel from all over the South Wales area. No experience is necessary, our only stipulation is that members must be over 18 and younger than 70. Membership is £10 per year. We rehearse twice a week over the course of a few months, with some social activities thrown in."http://www.monstrousptc.com/
5.11 REMINDER: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BRISBANE (OCTOBER)
The Brisbane Arts Theatre takes on yet another Discworld play later this year, in October and November.
"From the legendary author Sir Terry Pratchett comes the eighth novel in the Discworld series and first featuring the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen, The Noble Dragon has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all). With some help from an orangutan librarian, it is the task of the Night Watch to overpower the secret brotherhood and restore order to the kingdom in this fantastical Discworld adventure."
When: 8th October through 12th November 2016
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000. Phone: (07) 3369 2344
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays (except 10th November); 6.30pm Sundays (16th & 30th October)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Student Rush $10 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/1QGbXBFhttp://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/guardsguards
5.12 NEW: WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)
Bolton Little Theatre, "a vibrant amateur theatre company run by members" since 1931, will be presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters next March.
When: 6th – 11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk – group bookings of 10+ (£9) should be booked through the Box Office. "You can book at Bolton Little Theatre box office in person or by telephone on Monday night from 7.30 to 9pm and Friday mornings from 10.30 to 12 noon – no extra charge if paying by cash or cheque and you can book during the run of the plays or you can book online at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk ...credit card charges will apply. Tickets can be e-tickets (no charge) mobile phone ticket (50p) standard post (£1.50)."http://www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/
5.13 STEPHEN BRIGGS: HOW TO STAGE AN OFFICIAL PRATCHETT PLAY
Here be some samples of his advice and instructions. But do go read the page itself, because it has all sorts of important things on it. And a scorpion pit. No, really:
"We have licensed hundreds of productions in over twenty countries and, although, by and large, everything works on a fairly informal and good-natured basis, we are dealing with material which is copyright and with areas from which some people earn all or part of their living, so there do have to be rules. It's the lesson of bitter experience; for every fifty groups that are happy to 'play the game', there are one or two who'll 'try it on'. If you're in any doubt about anything – ask first! At the foot of this page (just below the scorpions!) is a Dropbox link to the info about, and application to stage, the seven of my plays which I administer for the Orangutan Foundation... Discussions are also in hand to publish my dramatisations of Lords & Ladies and Terry Pratchett: the Shakespeare Codex...
"All requests for permission to licence amateur dramatic or professional productions in English or in translation of Terry Pratchett's novels adapted by Stephen Briggs, and published by Corgi and Oxford University Press, should be sent to me.
"Other adaptations of Terry Pratchett's novels are published by Methuen Drama (part of the Bloomsbury Group), and by Samuel French, details of which follow. For requests to perform the Methuen titles: Going Postal, Jingo, Monstrous Regiment, Night Watch, Interesting Times, The Fifth Elephant & The Truth and for their application form and contact details, see http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/company/permissions/permissions-performance-rights/
"The Samuel French publications are
Making Money: https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/making-money
(adapted by Stephen Briggs)
Carpe Jugulum: https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/carpe-jugulum
(adapted by Stephen Briggs)
(adapted by Stephen Briggs)
Lords and Ladies: https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/books/lords-and-ladies
(adapted by Irana Brown)
Samuel French control the amateur dramatic rights in these plays in the English language, but for professional stage rights and translation rights contact me. To contact Samuel French, see https://samuelfrench-london.co.uk/contact
"If you were thinking of writing your own adaptation of any of Sir Terry's novels, please contact me immediately – before starting any work, or committing any financial or other resource. There is now much more TV and movie interest in Terry's works, and this greatly complicates the previously fairly liberal access enjoyed by amateur groups. The rights to Terry's works are closely controlled, and you should not assume permission will be forthcoming. If you fail to get permission up front, your production will be halted – regardless of the stage it has reached..."
To read the full page, go to http://www.stephenbriggs.com/terry-pratchett
06) ACTION REPLAY: SIR PTERRY CHATS WITH JACQUELINE SIMPSON (2010)
Here be the transcript of a conversation between Sir Pterry and folklorist Jacqueline Simpson at the 2010 UK Discworld Convention. The recording was done by Katie Brown and Julie Sutton, so I imagine one or both of them did the transcribing. Some extracts:
"TP: I'm interested in the history of London which is absolutely superb because it's impossible to believe things that happen in the biggest, richest city in the world, in Georgian England all the way up to the death of Victoria. That kind of interest is also a kind of folklore because many of the things that happened then get an aura of folklore about them, and it turns out that it isn't folklore. Have you heard the song Knees up Mother Brown?
"JS: I believe so. And so small that it became possible to imagine that she had been turned into minced meat and put in a tin. Right, did you know that Knees up Mother Brown was actually originally based on the terrible murder of Mrs. Josephine Baxter in Bow in 1870, and she was not only killed but dismembered by her husband? Rather similar, have you heard of Sweet Fanny Adams and what happened to Sweet Fanny Adams? Well she was chopped up, apparently by her boyfriend, was that the case?
"TP: In fact what I just told you about Knees up Mother Brown is entirely an invention, but the point is, it's how I work... it's very easy as it were to make up folklore, I would hesitate to say that's because it's made up anyway... I was reading about the folklore of Ireland and I'd got hooked on Lord of the Rings, so you'd read anything that had runes in it or fairies or anything. I was coming across folklore which was really very interesting and possibly that might have been where the whole thing really began. You start off with the fantasy and then you find out that the fantasy may be not exactly as unreal as you thought and that becomes very exciting that there are people alive at that time who knew people who had known , the Witch of County Clare, around which a folklore has gathered rather similar to that to Robin Hood, who I suspect was a real person but who wound around himself, because of the way folklore works, tales of other bandits at the same time. That really fascinated me. Going through the book there's a type of folkloric creature called the Phouka, which can take many shapes. And there was one story that was passed on by a farm labourer who was, early evening, digging away at his potatoes, and he heard this sizzle and he saw coming across the uneven landscape, something like a carpet but made out of silver, and as it passed over the humps and hollows in the ground it took the shape of them. And when I read that a chill went down my spine because I thought, this sounds electrical, this sounds like something real. Fairies, that sounds like something Guinness, about three pints of Guinness I would have thought. But the sizzle as it travelled, I couldn't help thinking, ‘that was something'. I'd loved to have known what it was..."
"JS: One of the things I like about folklore in Discworld, is that it's not only rural, ok it's all over Lancre, it's all over the Chalk, but you also have urban folklore in Ankh-Morpork itself. You have children's games, you have beliefs that have sort of worn down and got distorted but are still there.
"TP: The rhyme that I made up for Wintersmith... 'Iron enough to make a nail', was it ‘phosphor enough to make a match'?
"JS: You asked me about that at the time and I've never found a source for it, but like you I'm convinced that it was real or at any rate something very like it was real. I think I remember it being in a sort of science for kids book back in the ‘30's.
"TP: I know I invented the last two lines 'Hands enough to hold a child'.
"JS: Oh yes, that wouldn't have been, no, that's you, definitely you.
"TP: Ah, and what was the other one, 'Time enough for love', or was it 'Heart enough for love'?
"JS: 'Heart enough for love,' I think.
"TP: And that's why the Wintersmith couldn't quite make a man because he didn't understand the last two lines.
"JS: When I was saying about the folklore in Ankh-Morpork, I was thinking of things like when Vimes goes back to Cockbill Street, is it, where he was brought up, and sees the kids playing hopscotch?
"TP: Oh yes, in the school yard, if you were unlucky it was your name as well! But in the running gutters of Ankh-Morpork they play pooh sticks.
"JS: Yes, I loved that! That was one of the occasions when I disgracefully laughed for ten minutes in a public place..."
For the full transcript, go to http://bit.ly/1WM8I4d
[Editor's note: the entire piece is a good read!]
07) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS
The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 4th July 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 email@example.com
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."
"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "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." [Editor's note: this is an active group. If you use Facebook, it may be worth joining!]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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia.
"We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come - you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. 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. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions on Terry's latest, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."
The next Games Day will be held on 24th July; the next Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel, on 28th July. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au
The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 7th July 2016 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact email@example.com
The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 5th August 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 July 2016 at 6.30pm (probably) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): firstname.lastname@example.org
The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 4th July 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 <email@example.com>
08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
8.1 GOODIES FROM DISCWORLD.COM
* The BU t-shirt!
"So, thinking about heading to Fourecks on your Summer break? We have everything you need to arrive in style and stay 'cool' in the sun! For this design in classic fit we use 100% cotton, highest quality t-shirts which are 205gsm in weight. They have self-fabric shoulder to shoulder taping to maintain shape. The image is applied using a hard-wearing Superflex Vinyl. White on Royal Blue. For the ladies skinny fits we use high quality 190gsm weight t-shirts. They have taped neck & shoulder to maintain shape and double stitched hems. Material 96% cotton/4% elastane single jersey for comfort and shape retention with shaped seams for a feminine fit. The image is applied using a hard-wearing Superflex Vinyl."
Round-neck BU t-shirts are available in all sizes from Small to Extra Extra Large; Ladies Skinni Fit are only available in Small (UK 8-10) or Extra Large (UK 18).
Each Bugarup University tee is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/bugarup-university-t-shirt-white-royal-blue/
* The BU hoodie!
"For this design we use AWDis Hoodies which are 280gsm in weight. They have a double-fabric hood with self-coloured draw cord, front pouch pocket, ribbed hem & cuffs and set in sleeves. Twin needle stitching detail to armholes, hems & cuffs. 80% cotton / 20% polyester."
The BU hoodie is available in sizes from Small (36" chest) to Extra Extra Large (50"/52" chest) and is priced at £28. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/bugarup-university-hooded-top-white-royal-blue
* The Element Octarine collection!
Element 117 has been officially named, and neither Discworld fans not Motorhead fans got their wish. But for those of you who either 1) remain in the Roundworld equivalent of a certain river in Djelibeybi or 2) are in possession of the healthy sense of the ridiculous that every Discworld aficionado should have, here's your chance to own some very special items...
The Octarine 117 button badge. Priced at £1 each. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/badges/148/
The Octarine 117 coaster. Priced at £2.50 each. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/coaster/octarine/
The Octarine 117 magnet. Priced at £2 each. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/coaster/octarine/
The Octarine 117 chopping board. Priced at £15 each. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/discworld-chopping-board-copy/
* Gorgeous postcards!
The Check Mort postcard! "Created as a part of the Terry Pratchett Memorial goodie bag, this postcard features artwork painted by Paul Kidby to commemorate the life of Sir Terry Pratchett."
Each Check Mort postcard is priced at £1.50. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/artwork/check-mort-postcard/
The Raising Steam postcard! "Created as a part of the Terry Pratchett Memorial goodie bag, this postcard features a photo of Terry taken on a tour during the promotion of Raising Steam."
Each Raising Steam postcard is priced at £1.50. For more information, and to order, go to:http://discworld.com/products/artwork/5126-2/
8.2 GOODIES FROM THE DISCWORLD EMPORIUM
* The Summoning Dark necklace!
"Solid silver Summoning Dark pendant and chain - a precious gift for Vimes fans! Wear your affinity with the demon of darkness and Sir Samuel Vimes with our beautifully crafted supernatural symbol from Terry Pratchett's bestselling Discworld novels Thud! and Snuff. Hand cast in solid silver and stamped with the official silver + Discworld hallmarks. Presented in a Discworld Emporium gift box."
Each Summoning Dark pendant and chain is priced at £35.00. For more information, and to order, go to:http://www.discworldemporium.com/summoning-dark-necklace
* New Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork stamps!
"Featuring artwork by guest artist David Wyatt, The Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork $1 issues comprise two designs; chairman of the bank and top dollar Dog, Mr. Fusspot, and the elegant fiscal facade of the Royal Bank itself. Both issues are available to collect as a set of two individual stamps, or on one beautiful whole sheet. Stamp measures 47 x 32mm, Sheet measures 275 x 165mm. Spot the sport! One stamp on every sheet contains a 'deliberate' mistake or variation - only included on whole sheets or in lucky LBEs."
A set of two single stamps (RBA-M building and Chairman Fusspot) is priced at £1.60, and a sheet of 20 at £12.80. For more information, and to order, go to:http://www.discworldemporium.com/royal-bank-one-dollar
* A bag of Ankh-Morpork money!
"Treat yourself to a sausage-inna-bun or two with an authentic bag of five half-dollars from the streets and pockets of Discworld's mercantile metropolis. Featuring the profile of Ankh-Morpork's esteemed tyrant Lord Havelock Vetinari, with Morporkia on the flip side, each coin has been hand-cast and individually worked to achieve a suitably distressed appearance with an antique patina. Lead-free pewter, each coin has a diameter or 29mm."
Each bag of A-M half-dollars is priced at £10. For more information, and to order, go to:http://www.discworldemporium.com/hogswatch-gift-shop/DiscworldCoins
09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
This is an extended comment – a blogpost in itself – left by "Anne" in the Hubward Ho! blog's comments section of their Hogfather pot:
"Losing teeth is a physical reality, but adults create a fantasy structure around the process to...do what, exactly? Add an element of magic and whimsy to childhood? Revel in the absurdities children of a certain age will believe in? And why, exactly, would a child who knows that the Tooth Fairy is not real grow up to be a parent who perpetuates the myth? ... For me, even as a child, the Tooth Fairy seemed a particularly nonsensical entity. Why take teeth? Why leave money? Why the facade of fairy at all – I would have been just as likely to believe that my teeth turned into money through some kind of pillow-triggered alchemy. We (meaning "humans") build relationships through shared experience. Each family has its own stories and traditions, but the Tooth Fairy enforces the relationships among people within the cultures that go through that shared ritual. Even if you, as a parent, decide to forgo the trappings of the Tooth Fairy in your family, your child will come home from school one day with the learned story from her friends, and no amount of rational explanation will be enough to justify why Jeremy got $5 for a lost tooth and she didn't...
"Hogfather is a book about children and belief and the value of that belief. Without belief in the Hogfather, the sun will not rise. Believing in things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy prepare us, as Death says, to believe in the greater myths of Truth and Mercy. Like the current incarnation of Santa Claus, the modern incarnation of the Tooth Fairy is cheery packaging over an older tradition that no longer matches with our modern sensibilities. Early Norse records include references to a 'tooth-fee' (thanks, Wikipedia!), where a child's first lost tooth was exchanged for money. Other practices included burning or burying a child's lost teeth to protect her. In Northern European cultures, the loss of baby teeth is marked by this kind of small ceremony. You don't just leave lost teeth lying around – they're special. They have power. These are the traditions that Pratchett plays off of in Hogfather, combining the childish trappings of the Tooth Fairy's realm with the darker magic at the heart of Teatime's plan. I would argue that there is a metaphor to be found in the role of the tooth-money exchange and its relationship to belief.
"Children do not only go through a physical transition into adulthood, but also a cognitive one. There are all sorts of studies about how children think and how that thinking changes as they age. Infants can't recognize themselves in a mirror – 'Theory of Mind' refers to the cognitive development a child goes through to understand that she is an individual mind, and, importantly, that other people have their own individual minds that are not the same as hers... In Western studies, the last big changes in this development take place between third and fifth grade (ages 7 to 10). Which, interestingly, is around when children lose their baby teeth. In the absence of revelation from an older sibling or schoolmate, children will 'grow out' of believing in childhood myths. They simply are no longer capable of thinking in the way that they did when they were younger. The exchange of teeth for money is a cultural metaphor of the exchange of a child's perspective on the world to an adult's. But, as we see in Hogfather, the teeth, the child's perspective, is still powerful, still valuable. It is the foundation upon which we understand ourselves and our relationship to the world, even if it is in contrast to what we once believed. A full Theory of Mind may be the end goal, but it is only through working through the process that one gets there. And that, I believe, is why we grow up to be parents who tell our children of the Tooth Fairy – we know it is not true, but we also know that children need it to be true, if only for a while."http://hubwardho.com/2016/06/14/baby-teeth-the-value-of
...and the post itself:
"General sentiment seems to be that Hogfather is a delightful comic romp through Yuletide tropes. I've also heard it remarked that it's a wonderfully polished book, and I can't disagree: note, for instance, how the Bogeyman that fuels the novel's twist appears first on page one. For a rhet/lit guy, that's deliciously well crafted storytelling. But what I like best about Hogfather is its philosophical complexity, class critique, and examination of myth, belief, and justice. The book is so much more than a jovial winter comedy. In fact, I would also tender the notion that Hogfather may be the, or one of the, axial turning points in the whole Discworld series, and that its importance to the saga has to do, in fact, with how it approaches the idea of myth. So let me ask the Big Question for today's entry: What does myth, legend, and deep history look like when your characters walk in the grass under sun alongside the myths themselves – gods, demons, and wizards? It seems to me that the question has implications for what kind of universe the Disc is... Pratchett gives only hints about the Discworld's mythic past – The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, and Sourcery tell us a little about a world of surplus magic, ice giants, wizard wars, and common people bearing the brunt of the fallout. In terms of meta-history, these stories are not terribly concerned with a real-world historical past so much as they are with a mytho-fantastic one that includes pulps, swords-and-sorcery flicks, and a host of high fantasy novels... From the first page of Hogfather, Pratchett begins to revise his mytho-history. Immediately, we get the ice times, when there were only small people and not children. We get the Bogeyman. We get seasonal pagan rites about the sun. We get the sober admonishment that all stories are, at root, about blood – even when the fact has been forgotten... Hogfather is the first book since Sourcery to reconfigure the history of this world significantly. It's a palimpsest for the latter half of Discworld. The ice times weren't just an epoch of giants – they were the time in which common people struggled to survive against nature itself. Likewise, the recent past wasn't just an age of barbarians or wizardly wars – it was a time in which, again, common people struggled to see another spring. More so than Sourcery's high fantasy past, and with more finesse than the tonal mismatches of Reaper Man and Soul Music, Hogfather's grim, hardscrabble mytho-history encapsulates the kinds of stories Pratchett is telling at this point..."https://hubwardho.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/hogfather-5.jpg
10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: IS CATSUP 5p EXTRA?
It seems certain Discworld dwellers aren't the only ones fond of a meal of tasty rat:
"On 7 March every year, in a remote village in the hills of north-east India, the Adi tribe celebrates Unying-Aran, an unusual festival with rats as the culinary centrepiece. One of the Adi's favourite dishes is a stew called bule-bulak oying, made with the rat's stomach, intestines, liver, testes, foetuses, all boiled together with tails and legs plus some salt, chili and ginger. Rodents of all kind are welcomed in this community, from the household rats often seen around the house to the wild species that dwell in the forest. The rat's tail and feet are particularly appreciated for their taste, says Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow, at Oulu University, Finland, who interviewed several members of the Adi tribe for a recent study into rats as a food resource. Rodent meat is the most delicious and best meat they can imagine The answers he got revealed a different view of the pesky pests. The respondents told Meyer-Rochow that rodent meat “is the most delicious and best meat they can imagine. 'I was told: "No party; no happiness if there is no rat available: to honour an important guest, visitor or relative, to celebrate a special occasion; it can only be done if rats are on the menu."'... Little is known about when or how the Adi people developed their taste for rats, but Meyer-Rochow is certain it is a long-held tradition, and not formed due to a lack of other choices of game. Plenty of animals such as deer, goat and buffalo still roam the forests surrounding the village. These tribes simply prefer the taste of rodents. '[They] assured me that "nothing beats the rat",' he says..."
Apparently rat is also, or has been, a favourite food in many other Roundworld places: in parts of Cameroon; among the Dalit caste in India; in China during the Tang dynasty (7th through 10th century); in areas of the south Pacific including New Zealand; and, it seems, quite often in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, Ghana and Vietnam, according to the International Rice Research Institute.
"In Nigeria, for instance, the African giant rat is a favourite among all ethnic groups, says Mojisola Oyarekua, from the University of Science and Technology Ifaki-Ekiti (Usti) Nigeria. “It is regarded as a special delicacy and it is more expensive than equivalent weight of cow meat or fish..."
Includes many iconographs. You have been warned!http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151207-the-countries-where-rats-are-on-the-menu
11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
A whole load of witchery – the Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre's coven, ready for their July production of Carpe Jugulum:http://bit.ly/298pCqm
A small but perfectly formed – and wonderfully whimsical – photo of Sir Pterry at the TCD Science Gallery, from the Irish Times article above (item 4.2):http://bit.ly/29cVSI3
The Check Mort postcard. So beautiful. Buy some! (See item 8.1 above):http://discworld.com/management/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/checkmort.png
In The Independent, a cheerful "top ten" list of Shakespeare adaptations includes Wyrd Sisters, of course: "Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett's sixth Discworld novel, throws the same three plays, Macbeth, Hamlet and Lear, 'into a cauldron and stirs, with the Bard reimagined as a Dwarf', says Tom Joyce." The list is worth reading, and can be seen at http://ind.pn/1Y0GjYY
And that's the lot for June. Take care, and we'll see you next month!
– Annie Macooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info
Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion