Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
October 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 10, 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) ODDS AND SODS
04) REVIEWS: THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER, TERRY PRATCHETT DIARY, DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
09) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"There won't be another like him, but his values will influence and inspire his readers for as long as his books are read. Children become adults, teenagers become professors and heads of industry. And as Terry influenced them, they influence the world."
– Colin Smythe, in The Terry Pratchett Diary
"Oats knelt in the mud and tried a prayer, but there was no answering voice from the sky. There never had been. He'd been told never to expect one. That wasn't how Om worked any more. Alone of all the gods, he'd been taught, Om delivered the answers straight into the depths of the head. Since the prophet Brutha, Om was the silent god. That's what they said."
– Mightily Oats discovers the beginning of wisdom (Carpe Jugulum, Transworld hardcover, p.213)
"For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives, merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them can provide immeasurable comfort."
– archbishop Desmond Tutu
02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
Happy (slightly belated) Soul Cake Day to all! May your trickle-treating have been a runaway success, if by the time you read this you have stowed away your Soul Cake Duck costume for another year... and may this issue reach you in one piece, as at the moment our internet is up and down – mostly down – more often than the Unmentionables of a member of the Guild of Seamstresses.
As the number of Discworld plays performed around the world continues to increase, the Discworld Plays section of each issue keeps getting more crowded. So the new format, starting with this issue, announces plays by month (and year, at this season). I hope this makes it easier to find plays in your area.
Desmond Tutu has always been a fascinating man, and in his latter years he has become even more surprising and thoughtful. His op-ed on assisted dying, in The Washington Post, makes for passionate – and compassionate – reading. I think Sir Pterry would have approved of Bishop Tutu's thoughts: http://wapo.st/2dTXarC
Right, on with the show!
– Annie Mac, Editor
03) ODDS AND SODS
3.1 PENGUIN PRATCHETT GIVEAWAYS!
...and other fun stuff for the season...
Penguin Books says:
We're giving away a bewitching bundle this week – a beautiful hardback copy of Carpe Jugulum and the new collection The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. Perfect for witches and wizards (young and old!). You can read the first pages of Carpe Jugulum here: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lxtqv55FFkuEO7W9NrLwcr
Enter the competition: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lBsLQvP1aitoZZvy9aK8i2
Terry Pratchett created a world full of beloved characters, old friends, who we have met time and time again in his novels. There are some characters however that we'd hate to meet on a dark night... Or any night for that matter. Pratchett's villains are as complex as his heroes and we've compiled a list of ten of the best. Take a look at our suggestions: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lFs7bWymFgs9bR4WuTIKnD
Bake up a batch of bewitching star cookies with a The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner inspired recipe: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lNqNSO13FcpDzAdJclFYyP
Do you remember your first Pratchett? We think this collection is perfect for sharing with new fans. Listen to an audio extract here:http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lRq9eeKpaaonLrN7y4EAEq
3.2 PRATCHETT BOOKS: MOST SHOPLIFTED BUT ALSO MOST POPULAR FOR RESALE
On Bookriot, bookseller Danika Ellis writes:
"A funny thing about working at a used bookstore is that there is only so much control you have over your stock. You can select from what people bring in, but you can't make more people bring you the books you want the most. Book buyers have to mentally calculate how many copies of this title we already have, how many we expect to sell, and what space we have for it. Sometimes a book piles up for years only to sell out in a week when a popular radio show mentions it. But there are some books that stay constant. Some books, despite being published decades (or centuries!) ago, still can't seem to stay on the shelves. This is a mix of a) sheer popularity and b) the delicate ratio of how copies go out the door vs how many books come in. Some books we sell in huge amounts, but we also buy stacks of, so it creates a perfect balance. Usually, it just doesn't add up that way, and we either end up with too many or not enough. Here are 17 books that are inexplicably difficult to keep on the shelf..."
The list includes sixteen specific titles, but "anything by Terry Pratchett" is in there on its own!http://bookriot.com/2016/08/15/17-books-that-sell-way-too-fast-at-used-bookstores/
3.3 ROUNDWORLD ALCHEMISTS' GUILD FOR THE WIN!
Or at least for the explosions...
"The drawers at the Making and Knowing Lab, at Columbia University, have labels rarely seen outside a Harry Potter novel: 'Ox Gall,' 'Spiderwebs,' 'Powder for Hourglasses,' 'Dragon's Blood.' The denizens of the lab re-create old recipes from alchemy-era texts – primarily of the sixteenth century – and this brings them into contact with some unusual ingredients. On a recent Monday morning, Joel Klein, a redheaded history-of-science postdoc who studies Isaac Newton's alchemical work, sniffed a bag of flakes labelled 'Rabbit-Skin Glue.' 'It smells like skin,' he said. Another sniff. 'Although I'm not sure what a sommelier would say.'... Elsewhere in the lab, a dozen students in white coats bustled about. Siddhartha Shah, an art-history graduate student, was making counterfeit emeralds. The recipe involved mixing red lead, copper, and other ingredients in a ceramic crucible, then melting everything with a blowtorch in a small furnace, which he'd constructed from bricks and wire. Although his first attempts had flopped – the 'emerald' looked like a nub of coal – Shah wasn't discouraged. 'It was fascinating to watch the color change from red to green to black,' he said. 'Then our crucible exploded.' The sixth and seventh attempts produced two translucent green buttons. Shah removed his own emerald ring – he also wore emerald earrings – and held it next to the buttons for comparison.
"Pamela Smith, a science historian who directs the lab, exclaimed, 'They're like real emerald!' Smith founded the Making and Knowing Lab two years ago, in a moment of self-reckoning. She'd been working on a book about sixteenth- and seventeenth-century craftsmen. 'They made all these claims, but I realized I didn't exactly know what they were doing,' she said. Many recipes omitted crucial details or used obscure ingredients – swine paunch, jujube syrup, prunes of St. Antonin. Smith decided that the only way to really understand the recipes was to try them out herself, assisted by a platoon of graduate students..."http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/twenty-first-century-alchemists
3.4 WHO YA GONNA CALL? GIMLET'S DELICATESSEN, POSSIBLY
Authorities in Jakarta are offering a US$1.50 bounty for each rat caught, in an effort to tackle the Indonesian capital's rat problem:
"Authorities hope the Rat Eradication Movement will help clean up the teeming city of about 10 million where enormous vermin are a common sight on rubbish-strewn roads and in slums. 'There are many rats here, and big ones,' Jakarta deputy governor, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, said a government news website, as he announced the plan recently. He said a recent encounter with a large rat had inspired him to start the programme, adding that the vermin were dangerous and could spread disease. 'For each rat, we will pay 20,000 rupiah,' he said. The deputy governor did not say how residents should catch rats, but urged people to refrain from using firearms. 'If possible, please do not use guns,' he told the Jakarta Post. 'If you miss your shot, the bullets could hit other people.' The captured rats will be handed over to local officials, who would dole out the money and pass the animals to Jakarta's sanitation agency for burial, the paper said. There is no guarantee the plan will work..."http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/wanted-dead-or-alive-jakarta-puts-a-150-bounty-on-every-rat-in-city
[We know how well that worked in Ankh-Morpork. Rat farm tax plan, anyone? Also, special thanks to Mrs Cake and the Beermeister for items 3.2 and 3.3 – Ed.]
04) REVIEWS: THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER, THE TERRY PRATCHETT DIARY, THE DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK
4.1 REVIEW: THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER
Here's a funny thing: I was visiting a friend and fellow Pratchett fan the other day, and noticed that she had a copy of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. "Ah," said I, 'how did you find it compared to Dragons at Crumbling Castle?"
"What's Dragons at Crumbling Castle?" quoth she.
"Huh? That's the first volume of Pratchett's children's stories!"
"There's another volume? I never heard of it! I bought this one because it's illustrated by Quentin Blake.'
"Whaaa? No it's not, it's illustrated by Mark Beech. And who's Quentin Blake when he's at home? I never heard of him!"
Several minutes and two Wikipedia pages later, our mutual confusion was sorted out, and my friend is now in possession of a borrowed copy (mine) of Dragons at Crumbling Castle. I look forward to hearing her comparison of the two. For my own part, I'm sticking with my description of Mark Beech's illustrations as written in my review of Dragons some time ago: "Beech's drawings are a stylistic cross between Pratchett's own (marvellous!) illustrations for The Carpet People and Johnny Hart's 'Wizard of Id' comic strip, exactly suited to the text." And now that I have seen some of Mr Blake's illustrations, I'd take Mr Beech over him any day.
The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner, like its 2014 predecessor, consists of fourteen stories rescued from the dusty vaults of the much younger Terry Pratchett's days as a young journalist and weekly storyteller and tidied up (though only slightly) for republication by the much older Sir Terry. If you and yours enjoyed Dragons at Crumbling Castle, I think you will adore The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. I certainly do! This collection seems to sparkle even more than Dragons did, and there is more cross-referencing and continuity of characters and places running through the stories this time around -- possibly because these are slightly later, perhaps, and young Pratchett had begun to find his own style...? And find his style he certainly did, as we all know. The Author himself says in his 2015 preface, "I've tinkered here and there with a few details, added a few lines or notes, just because I can – and because as I've got older my imagination has got even bigger so I can't stop myself adding bits and bobs. But the stories in this collection are all mostly as they were first printed."
Several of the stories in The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner – The Great Train Robbery, The Sheep Rodeo Scandal, The Frozen Feud, and Lord Cake and the Battle for Banwen's Beacon – are set in the imaginary Welsh town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo (most often known locally, and even to its creator, as Llandanff) and feature PC Bryn Bunyan, "the fastest truncheon west of the River Severn", his deputy Gorsebush Jones, and an assortment of cartoon-caricature villains. Llandanff is an adorable stand-in for the American Wild West of legend, with even more amusingly stereotypes-of-Wales touches: coal rush instead of gold rush, a rodeo centred on sheep, and the Temperance Hotel which serves as a children's version of the familiar fictional Wild West saloon.
As with Dragons at Crumbling Castle, there are hints of Pratchett YA and Discworldiana to come. Blackbury, later to become the setting for the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, is the scene of some of my favourite stories in this collection – especially The Time-travelling Television, The Truly Terrible Toothache, and the title story itself. The Blackbury Park Statues also sows the seeds of Johnny and the Dead, while Rincemangle, the Gnome of Even Moor is similarly a precursor to the Bromeliad trilogy, particularly Truckers, and Wizard War gives us Great Spells, talking doorknobs, and a gentler version of the destruction caused by the Mage Wars. We also see touches of what inspired our favourite author in his youth: The Extraordinary Adventures of Doggins could (and perhaps should) be subtitled A Child's Introduction to Tolkienian High Fantasy, and The Fire Opal is suffused with the feel of folk tales through the centuries, the kinds of tales a certain young boy might have devoured in his local library once he had discovered the delights of reading.
The illustrations, as mentioned, are great fun and greatly appropriate. And once again the text is littered with odd-sized fonts and unexpected emphases. I imagine these will serve as "make funny noises or amusing gestures here" cues for a parent or childminder reading aloud to rapt young'un. Do I recommend The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner? Absolutely!
4.2 REVIEW: THE TERRY PRATCHETT DIARY
The Terry Pratchett Diary is gorgeously designed and bound, following in the distinctive style of the other Discworld auxiliary hardcovers (The World of Poo, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook, Jack Dodger's Guide to London, etc.). Scattered throughout the book are tributes from family, colleagues and friends who knew Terry Pratchett best: Rhianna herself (who gets the first spot), Rob Wilkins (who gets the last spot), Colin Smythe, Paul Kidby, Bernard Pearson, Stephen Briggs, Professor David Lloyd, and a host of editors and co-writers. Neil Gaiman gets a two-page spread, but he does seem to like the look of his own voice (insert smiley here) and is, after all, possibly the world's leading famous Pratchett enthusiast.
Dates are in the form of a perpetual calendar, in that no days of the week are named, and the pages feature random illustrations of Discworld people and artefacts, with a quotation from any of various Discworld novels in the bottom quarter of each odd-numbered calendar page. The quotations tend heavily to early-mid-period novels such as Jingo and Mort, but they are all memorable. In addition to a number of significant Roundworld dates and holidays – geared to UK calendars, which is only right for a UK-based author and team of Cunning Artificers – plus numerous Discworld dates and holidays including Patrician's Day (6th July), Uberwald League of Temperance Day (22nd July), Treacle Pie Day (24th June), Chase Whiskers Day (12th October), Brebb & Leppis Day (27th August), and of course, Lilac Day, Hogswatch (30th and 31st December and 1st Ick-or-January) and The Creator's Birthday (28th April).
The quality of the illustrations is high throughout. Peter Dennis' portrait art is featured; for me, this is one of the least appealing things about the Terry Pratchett Diary, as despite Dennis' undeniable talent he tend to portray all characters as rather lumpen-faced and grubby, which is fine for the like of Nobby or Mr Boggis but works less well for Susan Sto Helit or Lord Vetinari... but that's just my opinion, and your mileage may vary.
There are a few egregious ball-drops from the proofreading department – e.g "Waetherwax" (p.84) and a quote claiming to be from from "INGO" (p.91) – which one hopes will be addressed for future printings. But those are mere details. The Terry Pratchett Diary is, all in all, a lovely thing. And if the final page and inside back cover don't bring on the waterworks...
A keepsake for all time, and well worth the price of purchase.
4.3 REVIEW: TERRY PRATCHETT'S DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK
In recent years, as any follower of internet-driven trends knows, colouring books for adults have become A Thing. Endangered animals, Old Masters, cityscapes, actors, pop stars, comics characters, Game of Thrones, even fashion magazines (yes, Virginia, there *is* a Vogue colouring book) have been turned into pastimes-for-grown-ups books. It's a fad, of course, and it almost certainly won't last. But Discworld fans have cause to celebrate this trend, because it made it possible for Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book to become A Thing too – and what a lovely Thing it is!
The Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book (henceforth TPDCB) is an A4-sized paperback featuring almost one hundred pages of Paul Kidby's iconic Discworld character depictions, old and new, re-rendered as black and white line drawings that are ready for colouring in or for simply admiring. All the most instantly recognisable ones are there, plus some completely new illustrations created for the book.
Let me say right now that if you are a Discworld artefacts collector, an all-things-Discworld completist, or just an admirer of beautiful art, TPDCB is a genuine treasure. Al the pictures stand on their own merits as finished art, so you're on a winner even if you never get around to attempting to colour them in. For those who do wish to have a go at colouring between the lines, TPDCB offers a fantastic challenge from the outset: the first page illustration is nothing less than a relief map of the Disc itself, surrounded by some of its most famous denizens – the Witches, the Watch and certain well-known anthropomorphic and wiz(z)ardly faces. The rest of the pieces vary in difficulty, with some (Gaspode, for instance) probably easy enough for novice colourers. The range is very wide – and yes, I am going to list them all here to show you just how wide:there's the Librarian, the Fresh Start Club, Death and Binky (and three more Death pictures: with the enchanted Soul Music motorcycle, with a kitten, and "un-masqued" and ready for the touch of a steady hand well supplied with red pencils), the Luggage, Rob Anybody Mac Feegle, Rincewind and Twoflower (and two more, Rincewind in the Dungeon Dimensions and in a wonderfully sour-looking solo portrait), the Eater of Socks, Sam Vimes, Susan Sto Helit dressed for her... other job, Granny Weatherwax, the Eater of Pencils, Hamish the Aviator and his embarrassing parachute, Errol, the "old guard" Watch from Guards! Guards!, Gaspode, the Mona Ogg, Greebo, Ridcully with a hatful of Blasteds, a full-page assortment of Feegles (including some delightful updates), the original Wyrd Sisters, Otto Chriek, Lord Vetinari, and a beautiful repeating motif of Sardines of the Clan... and not forgetting the two-page spreads (adult and infant swamp dragon varieties, the Finger of Cohen, the Librarian at work, the teenaged Tiffany Aching and Mephistopheles the clever goat, Death's skull-and-lifetimer-and-Omega wallpaper, the Death of Rats, Great A'Tuin and the Disc). Whew!
As a bonus – or inspiration – or reminder of why Paul Kidby is a master artist and the rest of us... aren't, sixteen pages of some of the most famous and beloved Kidby Discworld art, presented as finished full-colour illustrations.
Given the TPDCB's very reasonable price of £9.99 (or $20 in Fourecksian dollars), you might want to buy two – one to colour and one to keep, or at least a spare one to give as a Hogswatch present. I know I will.
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
5.1 PLAYS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2016
* FEET OF CLAY IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS: FINAL PERFORMANCES
Adelaide's Unseen Theatre is in its last days for their run of Feet of Clay! Director Pamela Munt says: "Next Unseen show not until April next year! Get your Pratchett fix while you can!"
When: 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th November 2016
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 AngasStreet, Adelaide
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults $22; Concession $18; Groups (6+) $16; TRev $16; available online at http://bakehousetheatre.com/shows/feet-clayhttp://unseen.com.au/
* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BRISBANE, FOURECKS: FINAL DAYS OF RUN
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: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th November 2016
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays (except 10th November)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Student Rush $10(10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/1QGbXBF http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/guardsguards
* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA: FINAL PERFORMANCES
"ARENAarts presents its 7th foray into the universe of Discworld Productions. GUARDS! GUARDS! A villainous plot to rule. A city under siege. A dragon on the loose. Adapted from Terry Pratchett's comic fantasy novel, this a fun production for lovers of silliness!"
When: 4th, 5th and 6th November 2016
Venue: Latvian Centre Theatre, 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont, W.A. 6104
Time: all evening shows (4th & 5th November) 8pm; matinee (6th November) 2pm
Tickets: $22 (concessions $16, children $10, groups of 10+ $15p/p), available online athttps://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingDates.aspx?eid=206909
For further information, contact Simon James 08 9399 9947 email@example.com
* AUDITIONS IN NOVEMBER 2016 FOR 2017 PRODUCTION OF WYRD SISTERS IN YORKSHIRE
After the success of their production of Mort in June this year, access-for-all theatre company We Are Theatre will be staging Wyrd Sisters a year later -– in June 2017. That's a long way off, but first, next month, it's audition time! Open auditions will be held in York on the 13th, 20th and 27th of November 2016. To book an audition email firstname.lastname@example.org giving your name, age (if under 18), and preferred audition date.http://www.wearetheatre.co.uk/auditions.html
* CARPE JUGULUM IN SUFFOLK
The Quaysiders theatre company will be staging their production of Carpe Jugulum in November. "Having previously staged both 'Mort' and 'Maskerade' this time we continue to follow the antics of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Agnes Nitt as they face their most treacherous foes in the shape of a family of 'modern' vampires. The Vampires are determined to take over the Kingdom of Lancre, and their despicable plan seems to be working… but they hadn't reckoned on the formidable Granny Weatherwax."
When: 10th–12th November 2016
Venue: Seagull Theatre, Morton Road, Pakefield, NR33 OGH
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£8 concessions), available online at http://intelligent-tickets.co.uk/index.php?th=gl
For more information, ring 01502 589726 or email email@example.com://www.theseagull.co.uk/event/carpe-jugulam/
* GOING POSTAL IN BEDFORDSHIRE
The Westoning Players, a "very sociable, friendly amateur dramatic group with members from Westoning and surrounding areas of Central Bedfordshire", will be delivering the post, Discworld style, next month. Featuring an excellent wing-ed Postmaster's Hat and an Adora Belle who's clearly channelling Claire Foy's excellent rendering from the telly film (see item 10 below), this looks like it's going to be great fun!
When: 24th–26th November 2016
Venue: Westoning Village Hall, 34 Church Road, Westoning, Beds MK45 5JL
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (no concessions), available from http://www.westoning-players.co.uk/box_office.html
– via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (07525926780, vox or text)http://www.westoning-players.co.uk/current.html
* WYRD SISTERS IN NEWPORT, WALES
The Newport Playgoers Society are staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November!
When: 15th–19th November 2016
Venue: Dolman Theatre, Kingsway, Newport, NP20 1HY
Time: 7.15pm (evening shows); 2.30pm (Saturday 19th matinee)
Tickets: £12.50 (students £8.50, concessions £11), available online at http://bit.ly/2dDR5kr
– there is a booking fee of £2.00 per per transaction.
"For more information about this performance, please contact the Dolman Theatre on 01633 263670."http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk/show.aspx?id=298
There is also a Facebook event for the play: https://www.facebook.com/events/1232819446770130/
About the Playgoers Society, who have been performing plays since 1924:http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk/newport-playgoers-society.aspx
* MORT IN PAEROA, LAND OF FOG
Paeroa Little Theatre will be staging Mort in November: "Mort is a story about Death. Not death as in dying, though that happens, but rather Death (Martin Welborn), the 7 foot tall skeleton who carries a scythe, wears a cloak, and TALKS LIKE THIS. Mort (Daniel Flynn) is his apprentice who finds that the reaping business isn't as easy as it might seem. When things go wrong he needs to get help from Death's adopted daughter Ysabell (Krista Maley), his manservant Albert (John Warren), and the incompetent wizard Cutwell (Ben Anderson) to save the technically dead Princess Keli (Olivia Dustow). Mort is also the final play to be directed by Dell King. She has helped produce many plays for our theatre and will be missed. We wish her the best for the future."
When: 9th–18th November 2016
Venue: Paeroa Little Theatre, 1 Francis Street, Paeroa 3600, the North Island, New Zealand
Time: evening performances (9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th and 18th) at 7.30pm; matinee on the 13th at 2pm
Tickets: NZ$20, on sale now from Positive Paeroa and Arkwrights Antiques. "If you wish to reserve tickets call 07 862 8399."http://www.facebook.com/PaeroaLittleTheatre/
* TAMAHER IN LEEDS
Leeds Children's Theatre, "a voluntary drama society, producing quality drama for children of all ages since 1935", are presenting their production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents in November!
When: 16th–19th November 2016
Venue: Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
Time: 7pm (16th–18th), noon and 5pm on Saturday 19th
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), Family (2+2) £40. There is an early bird £1 reduction "if booked before 23 October 2016 (n/a to our coach inclusive deals)" Tickets are available for purchase in person at the City Centre Box Office, Leeds Town Hall LS1 3AD from 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday – telephone (0113) 376 0318; email email@example.com – also, an event Box Office will be open on the ground floor of the Carriageworks Theatre from 1 hour before show start time. To purchase tickets online, go to http://www.amazingmaurice.info/tickets.htmlhttp://www.amazingmaurice.info/
* MORT IN HARROGATE
The Woodlands Drama Group will be staging their production of Mort in November and December!
When: 30th November–3rd December 3 2016
Venue: The Studio At Harrogate Theatre, 6 Oxford Street, Harrogate HG1 1QF (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Time: 7.45pm evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: all tickets £10, available from http://www.woodlandsdramagroup.co.uk/tickets/
or by phoning the theatre's Box Office (01423 502116)http://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/Mort-Presented-by-Woodlands-Drama-Group
* WYRD SISTERS IN BRISBANE
The Brisbane Arts Theatre is going multi-Pratchett for the back end of 2016! On the heels of their forthcoming production of Guards! Guards! in October and early November, they will be presenting Wyrd Sisters only a few weeks later!
When: 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th & 30th November and 4th–6th December 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays; 6.30pm Sunday matinees (29th November and 6th December)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Gold Members $15, Members $25, Student Rush $10 (10 mins before curtain). "Members can redeem their included season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased." Tickets are not yet available. Watch this space for updates...http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters
5.2 PLAYS IN 2017
* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)
Monstrous Productions carry on from strength to strength! Next up is their February 2017 production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Stay tuned for updates...
When: 22nd–25th February 2017
Venue: The Gate Theatre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 25th)
Tickets: £7 (£5 concession), available from http://monstrousproductions.fikket.com/
* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH 2017)
The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum, "a pastiche of vampire literature playing with mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue in cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine and stay up till noon", in March 2017.
When: 22nd–25th March 2017
Venue: The Lace Market Theatre, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday 25th matinee
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), available online at http://bit.ly/2dIKhod
or by phoning 0115 950 7201https://lacemarkettheatre.co.uk/LaceMarketTheatre.dll/WhatsOn
* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)
Bolton Little Theatre, "a vibrant amateur theatre company run by members" since 1931, will be staging 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 https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre
– 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/
* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BRISBANE
By Susan Hetherington on ABC Radio Brisbane:
"Every year for as long as I can remember Brisbane Arts Theatre has included an adaptation of a Terry Pratchett novel in its season. I've seen about a dozen of them and this is by far the best... it's really, really funny. And as Arts Theatre transitions to a pro am model it is also interesting to see how the sets are on the up and up. This one was certainly one of the most elaborate I've seen and the investment was well spent. There were times however where the dialogue was lost because it was spoken from behind walls in that set or elaborate masks. The cast are mic-ed in the musicals. It may be time to look at the same treatment in the dramas even though the theatre is intimate. Those who love the Pratchett tradition at Brisbane Arts Theatre will be pleased that it has been retained into the first year of the new look theatre model with Lords and Ladies scheduled in September/October..."http://ab.co/2dDOK8j
[Note: includes available audio download of the programme – Ed.]
* FEET OF CLAY IN ADELAIDE
By Christine Pyman for Broadway World
"The tale explores what it means to be self-directed and, as such, is something to which everyone can relate. Cleverly, out of all of the Pratchett plays, this showed the hubble-bubble of humanity, with the grand total of only three or four actors managing to convince us that we were seeing and experiencing the seething life in the city of Ankh Morpork... Mike Shaw, as Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, is the main defender of the truth, playing the part with a suitably world-weary determination that has us believing that he really has spent years trying to whip many species into a functioning City Watch. His sergeant, 'Nobby' Nobbs, who is caught up unwillingly in the politics, was beautifully portrayed by Aimee Ford, the character having the right balance of Chaplinesque humour and grossness to appeal to the audience. This is the first time Ford has appeared on the stage for Unseen, instead of behind the scenes, and makes the transition more than smoothly. Danny Sag, who, appropriately enough, is involved in running the Discworld fan group, City of Small Gods, in our world, played Lord Vetinari with restraint and suitably evil energy. The standout performance of the evening was Belinda Spangenberg as Dragon King of Arms, the ancient vampire trying to control all. She took command of the stage at each entry, and, although we didn't see her change form, her countenance was only too believable. Alycia Rabig, as Corporal Cheery Littlebottom, also deserves a special mention, transforming from a gauche new recruit passionate about his/her (Ankh Morpork has more pronouns than dwarvish, you know) science, to a shyly public dwarf going against all tradition and thoroughly enjoying showing femininity. Lead[sic], as always, by director, Pamela Munt, the passion and dedication that goes into Unseen Theatre Companies performances, is phenomenal and their plays, for Pratchett aficionados, are not to be missed..."http://bit.ly/2fg0tyV
By Nicola Woodford for Glam Adelaide
"This is the thirty-first Discworld play produced by Unseen since 2000 – their creative and enthusiastic celebration of Pratchett's oeuvre must be commended. Unseen honours the bizarre stories, idiosyncratic characters, and wry humour of the original novels while lending them fresh lease on life as they artfully adapt them for the stage. The stage had three main levels: the city streets, the City Watch office slightly raised, and the palace up a small flight of stairs. This layout offered a visual representation the social hierarchy that our Commander Vimes negotiated throughout the play. Perhaps one of Unseen's best comedic additions was the theme songs played for the City Watch (Pink Panther) and the palace (Yes Minister). Unseen Theatre Company is among the best amateur theatre Adelaide has to offer..."http://www.glamadelaide.com.au/main/theatre-review-feet-of-clay/
By Allison Thomas -for TASA/Encore
"Very clever set design by Pamela Munt, Andrew Zeuner and David Good created three stages of different heights in one area and, without a curtain and no movement of furniture or props, enabled the characters to move from one scene to another quickly and easily so the performance flowed smoothly. As usual, Terry Pratchett's quirky sense of humour made the full house audience on Opening Night laugh often. Alycia Rabig enticed and delighted as Cheery Littlebottom and stole the show with her lovely long beard and cheeky repartee. Mike Shaw in his role has Commander Sir Samuel Vines[sic] was very sleuth-like and dramatic, apart from a couple of lines. Each time I've seen Aimee Ford perform in a male role she pulls it off admirably, and she was suitably unsophisticated as Nobby Nobbs and Doughnut Jimmy. The other actors played multiple characters (including the golem) to good effect with many gender and accent changes...."http://bit.ly/2eZ2mwd
...and by Jamie Wright for the Adelaide Theatre Guide.
"Pamela Munt's cast of ten portray a wide range of (mostly) multiple characters; the standout is Hugh O'Connor as Captain Carrot, with some good moments from Mike Shaw as Vimes, Kahlia Tutty as Angua, Danny Sag as Vetinari and Alycia Rabig as Cheery. The set is well-planned and, along with some tight lighting from Stephen Dean, allows for the numerous scene changes to happen quickly. Unfortunately, thanks to the (presumably) limited costume budget for the golems, differentiating between them is nigh-on impossible – which makes a couple of important scenes more than a little confusing... It's difficult at the best of times to convert literary works to the stage, and it's always a problem with the Discworld adaptations as so much of the beauty of Pratchett's writing is in the description and the subtext – which are difficult to factor into a theatrical production. But there is enough of his humour, wit and characterisation brought to life in them that, as in this case, there should be something there for the fans of the world he created."http://bit.ly/2eWWFiL
06) 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 7th November 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."
For Facebook users in Fourecks: The Victorian Discworld Klatch is "a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett... run by a dedicated team who meet monthly and organise events monthly." "If you'd like to join our events please ask to join the Klatch."https://www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch
"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, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."
The next Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel will be held on 24th November 2016. Before that, there will be a group outing to see Unseen Theatre's production of Feet of Clay (opens 21st October), and the Quiz Long and Prosper – Science Fiction and Fantasy Quiz Night (12th November). For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au
The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 3rd November 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 4th November 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 7th November 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 7th November 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>
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
7.1 AUSDWCON NEWS: DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR UPDATE
The word (with footnotes) from Danny Sag, AusDWcon organiser (and occasional Discworld thespian), is:
We have so much news to announce this month! Please take the time read everything below (you'll regret it if you don't. Honest).
What to do on your holiday
Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – The Australian Discworld Convention (_https://ausdwcon.org_
) is getting closer and closer every day! On August 4-6, 2017, we'll have a weekend packed full of lovely Discworld and Pratchett related activities for you to enjoy!
You can already find out a little bit about Vaudeville Le Maskerade, Passports, Mr Shine's Thud Parlor, the Gala Dinner and the Wine and Gourmet Tours on our website (_https://ausdwcon.org/convention/events/_
), with more information about these and other events coming soon!
BUT (and my, that is a big but) we also desperately need your help to ensure our tour's itinerary is full of wonderful things to do. If you've got a great idea of an activity that you would like to run, please volunteer at http://ausdwcon.org/volunteer
Where to stay on your holiday
The Australian Discworld Convention will take place at the Lakes Resort Hotel in West Lakes, Adelaide, and the hotel is now ready for your booking! We've managed to negotiate a fantastic room rate at this luxury hotel which includes breakfast every day!
For more information on the hotel and how to book, see https://ausdwcon.org/convention/venue/accommodation/
What to wear on your holiday: Deck your body out in our fashionable Discworld Grand Tour merchandise! Ranging from t-shirts to hats to coffee mugs, you can choose one, any, or all of our wonderful items to celebrate your attendance at the convention. Check them out here https://ausdwcon.org/shop/souvenirs/
We are also celebrating 10 Years of Australian Discworld Conventions with a special t-shirt - You don't have to be attending the convention to get this special t-shirt – we can post it to you within Australia, New Zealand, the UK or the USA. https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/ten-years-t-shirt/
Shipping costs listed at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/delivery-timescales/
Tickets for your holiday: Don't forget that you can buy your tickets for the Discworld Grand Tour in our shop right now: https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/
Please keep in mind that early-bird prices finish February 4th 2017.
But wait – did you know there's a way to get the early-bird price without paying for a full ticket now? Yes, that's right! If you buy a Supporting membership ($40) before Feb 4th 2017, you will lock yourself in at the early-bird price, and you can pay the remaining balance (in instalments or all at once) any time up until July 21 2017!
Buy your supporting membership here: https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/supporting-membership/
And read here for information about all membership types: https://ausdwcon.org/convention/membership/
Every holiday needs a postcard...
We can now reveal to you the lovely Discworld Grand Tour postcard (our advertising material) with a very happy Great A'Tuin! See it at https://ausdwcon.org/blog/on-your-holiday/
(If you're attending Supanova Adelaide in November, we'll be handing these out at our table in Fan Club Central, so pop along and grab one!)
Welcoming our sponsors! We are proud to announce the following companies as sponsors of the Australian Discworld Convention!
* Dymocks Adelaide
* Pace Advertising
* University of South Australia
Their contribution will help to make the convention significantly better – and we hope you will support them in return.
 Please note most of these items are *only* available for pick up at the convention
 Please note that for now, this is a pre-order, and shirts may not be posted until after August 2017.
 Possibly a geas or a scalbie.https://ausdwcon.org/blog/on-your-holiday/
7.2 NADWCON NEWS
The fourth North American Discworld Convention (NADWCON) will take place from 1st–4th September 2017 in New Orleans – and appropriately, the theme will be The Genuan Experience!
"The 2017 NADWCon will be organized by RavenQuoth, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was responsible for NADWCon 2013, which raised over $24,000 in charity funds that were split equally between the Orangutan Foundation UK and Alzheimer's Research UK. The 2017 NADWCon will be co-chaired by Emily S. Whitten and Richard Atha-Nicholls. Emily S. Whitten was co-founder of The North American Discworld Convention, Vice-Chair of NADWCon 2009, and Chair of NADWCon 2011. Richard Atha-Nicholls was Chair of NADWCon 2013 and is President of RavenQuoth, Inc.
"NADWCon 2017 and RavenQuoth, Inc. will provide further announcements and details about the 2017 convention in the upcoming months. Further information will be available at http://nadwcon2017.org
08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS
* Your very own Discworld! With Turtle! And 1,000-, er, four elephants!
To mark the quarter-century of the Discworld Emporium creative team, a very, very special item:
"We've been making little bits of Discworld for a very long time... From the first Discworld figurines as Clarecraft in 1991, to a cornucopia of collectibles and publications at the Discworld Emporium, we've been bringing the creations of Sir Terry Pratchett to life for 25 years. To celebrate this milestone in our Discworld journey we wanted to make something really rather special. We wanted to make a world...
"Created with the sculpting talents of Emporium associate artist Richard Kingston, this stunning rendition of Great A'Tuin celebrates our illustrious heritage, and marks a return to our roots producing figurines & objet d'art. Produced in a glorious bronze and verdigris finish, it will sit elegantly on any bookshelf, look at home in any nook and last for generations. From the resolute expression to the stylish finish, it has an elegant understated presence – a work of true craftsmanship for those who cherish Discworld as much as we do, and a most elegant addition to your Discworld collection. Each piece is hand cast and finished locally by our team of professional craftsmen, and features our makers' mark inset as a little button on the base, allowing A'Tuin to rest at an angle that really portrays a sense of movement through the cosmos.
"The piece is cast in bronze resin, coated with real micro-fine powdered bronze. You should care for it in the same way as your other priceless bronzes. If left indoors it will need no particular extra care other than the occasional dust, but you can treat it to a gentle wax polish once a year or two if you wish to keep A'Tuin sparkling."
Each Great A'Tuin Discworld figurine is priced at £50, measures approx 120mm across and stands 66mm high, and is presented in a Discworld Emporium Gift Box.
The piece is currently out of stock, the first batch having already sold out, but the Emporium elves are hard at work on hatching a new flock (pod? school?) of A'Tuins, so do check back frequently!http://www.discworldemporium.com/atuin-discworld-figurine
* The Soul Cake first day cover!
"As we all know, Soul Cake Tuesday falls on the first Tuesday after the first Half Moon of Sektober. To mark this year's celebration the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has released its very first Soul Cake Duck postage stamp! The Soul Cake Duck Penny makes its debut on this charming First Day Cover, depicting the Soul Cake Duck surrounded by its famous edible eggs. Each cover features a commemorative insert and bears the new One Penny Soul Cake Duck Penny franked by the iconic hand-stamp of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office. So grab your celebratory First Day Cover, roll your eggs down a hill, paint your faces and go trickle-treating!"
Each Soul Cake first day cover is priced at £6.50. For more information, and to order, go to:http://www.discworldemporium.com/soul-cake-day-fdc
...and an important announcement from the Emporium Hex:
"++ Next week we'll be conducting some major work on our website while we introduce some exciting changes and improvements ++
While we will do our best to keep out-of-cheese errors to a minimum, there may some adjustments that affect your Discworld Emporium account information. Should you wish to take copies of your order histories (other than our confirmation emails) we recommend you do so now as they will no longer be accessible once these changes are implemented. Pending order information can be found in your confirmation emails for reference. Please bear with us while we iron out any gremlins, feegles, demons, and possibly Bernard. We'll keep you updated on further developments and look forward to sharing our efforts with you!"
09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
Blogger Jenny Roman recalls a very special writing class:
"The English Department at my secondary school did a lot of things to inspire my literary ambitions – one of which was to invite the late Terry Pratchett to come and give a talk about his writing experiences. Imbued with a heady idealism about writers and writing, I hoped Mr Pratchett (he wasn't a Sir back then) would regale us with tales of the creative process, and somehow pass on some magic pearls of wisdom which would instantly enable us to plunge into our own rich world of creativity and become best-selling authors too. When I bravely stuck up my hand and asked him for his top piece of advice for aspiring authors, he said, 'Get a word processor.' To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Now, of course, I realise that this was jolly good advice. Even if my 17 year old ears did not wish to hear about the mundane mechanics of the writing process (I'm not quite sure what I had expected his answer to be – other than magic – but it was presumably something to do with inspiration not perspiration), now I'm...ahem...somewhat more mature, I have come to appreciate the importance of 'creative hardware'. In order to write at the simplest level you need a pen and paper, but in order to write with even a semblance of professionalism, you need much more... I did subsequently take Mr Pratchett’s advice, and got an Amstrad 8256 (oh, what a joy after my old typewriter!), which made me feel like a real writer, even though I most definitely wasn't. It didn't, of course, make me write. No gadget or gismo can help with that in the long term but, as they say, a workman is only as good as his tools. If you are going to write, you need the right basic equipment. Sir Terry, you were right all along. And for that, a belated thank you."https://jennyroman.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/terry-pratchetts-advice-for-aspiring-writers/
booksbooksbooks200 gives The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner high marks:
"The stories are written in Pratchett's inimitable style. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a treasure trove of stories for readers of all ages. The majority of these were written when Pratchett was a young journalist and the tweaked before his untimely death last year, this collection showcases his then emerging talent and humour. A wonderful book and If I had any kids I would delight in reading them these stories at bed time, instead I will keep them to myself and savour them when I need the a childish escape from real life that we all need from time to time."https://booksbooksbooks200.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/the-witchs-vacuum-cleaner-by-terry-pratchett/
The gaming/horror/metal blog-collective known as GBHBL gives nine of ten stars to Mort:
"This is it. The moment where the Terry Pratchett's Discworld series finally starts coming into its own. The first that really begins to create the universe we all know & love, filled with plenty of the magic & wonder that existed before but held together with a fantastic plot... There is a reason why Mort is such a beloved story, one that has seen many adaptions & even ended up on stage! The Death books are some of my least favourite of the entire series but Mort is the standout of his stuff. It gives a massive amount of detail & character development for one of the most important characters on the Disc & introduces both Mort & Ysabell... Mort is the best of the series so far, so good I named my cat after him."https://gbhbl.com/2016/10/17/discworld-series-review-mort-terry-pratchett/
On the Danville Library bookblog, Jessica A. feels the Wyrd Sisters love:
"What does one do when the very country itself (more than just the people within it) rejects the usurper to the throne? What does the usurper do to rewrite history? Should the witches even involve themselves in the matter? As with all Pratchett novels, this one is very funny. The footnotes are often the best part, explaining, for instance just why the Thieves have a Guild and why guild members must therefore give receipts to those they rob. The story involves many references to Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and others. The characters are by turns endearing, intriguing, and in some cases horrifying. Death makes his usual cameo appearance and steals the show, literally. This is my favorite series, and I'm eagerly rereading the whole set..."https://danvillelibrary.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/wyrd-sisters-by-terry-pratchett/
Blogger Beth reflects on The Shepherd's Crown:
"I really enjoyed this book. I loved Tiffany. I loved the Discworld. I loved so much about this book, but I can't help but feel I missed something. Although The Shepherd's Crown works fairly well as a standalone, the references to previous books were common and, given that I have only read a couple of Discworld novels before now, I expect often went over my head. I think that had I read it in the context of the previous Tiffany Aching novels I would have certainly enjoyed it more... In many ways, The Shepherd's Crown could be called a coming-of-age story, following Tiffany as she finds her place in the world. As she steps out of simply being Granny Weatherwax's heir and becomes her own witch. I think finding your own way in a changing world is one of the most important themes of the book. Although Tiffany is at the centre of the story, The Shepherd's Crown is full of characters fighting for their own place in the world, even if it isn't what they always thought it would be. From Geoffrey the boy witch to Nightshade the evil queen come good at last. Speaking of Geoffrey though, I wasn't his biggest fan I have to be honest. At times, he felt a little bit like a Mary Sue character. A boy from a privileged background, but oh no his dad was horrible, so he runs away and it turns out he has all of these magical gifts and everyone likes him. I didn't hate Geoffrey, I just felt he was a little bland. Overall, I liked The Shepherd's Crown and I do have plans to venture backwards into Pratchett's earlier Discworld stories..."https://bethsbooktalk.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/review-the-shepherds-crown/
Pratchett collector (and fan) tonofwoot91 offers a long post, well worth reading, on the early Discworld novels including tCoM/tLF, Equal Rites, Mort, and Sourcery:
"The Colour of Magic was an excellent introduction... The Light Fantastic is a far more orthodox novel...
"Buying Discworld novels has become a hobby of mine. Whenever I'm in a new town, I go to the nearest charity shop to scour their shelves. My entire collection is made up of little finds from this place and that. Most of the time, I come up empty-handed but every now and then I find something new. In the back of older editions you'll find advertisements for the Discworld fanzine known as The Wizard's Knob. On seeing this, I didn't think much of it but now I realise just how important a fanzine was. Such groups are a great incentive to keep writers going... I wasn't as enthralled by Equal Rites as I was with other books in the series. This third novel comes at the point in the series where the author’s output has just kicked up a notch. Despite being a pleasant book to read, it didn't carry the same level of humour as the other books. But what I will praise it for is its message: Reach for your dreams if you believe they're meant to be... Death and Mort have a touching relationship which goes through its rough patches. Overall, I think the character development in this book is some of the best in the series so far..."https://wootreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/my-thoughts-on-the-discworld-so-far/
Lizzy the Bent Bookworm, on the other hand, thinks Equal Rites 5 out of 5 stars:
"I was immediately hooked by the mildly hysterical battle of the sexes that takes place within the first few pages – a dying wizard tries to bequeath his powers (and staff!) to the 8th son of an 8th son...who turns out to be a daughter... I love Esk, and I love Granny, and watching them tear through Discworld was just a rollicking, fun ride... Pratchett, as usual, manages to create his own very entertaining world and somehow have it be a satirical commentary on [its] own..."https://bentbookworm.com/2016/09/13/book-review-equal-rites/
...while blogger Ryan, on Muse With Me, makes a well-intentioned attempt at analysing it:
"Though humorously approached, the gender issues seemed too simply presented to me at first. At the forefront they are apparent through negation: Esk seeks education saying 'Yes I can,' while the community and the wizards say 'No you can't.' Reading between the lines a little more, I did find that the argument for equality is more artfully woven into the story than I'd initially though. Each respective school of thought is simply a different way of approaching the same natural phenomenon. When considering this along with Granny's practice of Headology — which is essentially the idea that belief shapes reality — it's easy to see how their institutional structure is held together by how they believe things to be rather than what is possible... The characters are evocative and a lot of fun to read about. Granny is wise and capable, but a lot more unsure and inexperienced than she lets on. Esk, while intelligent and capable, is still childlike, retaining a bold and curiously naive approach to the people and places she encounters. This often goes array as her powers act more upon her whims than her will, which helped to keep things interesting. The plot is where the book felt flimsy to me, good characters notwithstanding... The writing style is witty and deceptively clever, articulating a world that I wanted to laugh with as much as speculate upon. The gender politics could have been more deeply explored than they were, but I don't feel the subject was done any disservice. It is the third book in the series so some prior experience would be handy, but it is quite accessible as well, if you'd rather pick and choose from this extensive series. I don't feel this will have been one of Pratchett's best for me, but it's still worth the read."https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/review-equal-rites/
Blogger The Bookbeard is ecstatic about the Discworld Colouring Book:
"Let me preface this by saying, I hid this from my son as soon as I opened the parcel. I love him but he's a toddler and will daub colour and wild scribbles on anything that stays still long enough. Including me. From the stylish cover to the excellent set of illustrations in the back of the book, this is both a testament to Terry Pratchett's wonderful Discworld and Paul Kidby's brilliant visual interpretation of those characters and places. Many of the drawings available to colour are accompanied by fantastic quotes from the Discworld novels, adding a great (and, for me, nostalgic) element to the concept. The illustrations are fantastic and I, for one, will not be attempting to let my (or my son's) crayons loose on such a magnificent book..."https://thebookbeard.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/review-terry-pratchetts-discworld-colouring-book-by-paul-kidby/
...and finally, in the idiot's corner, we have one JM Williams, an unpublished soi-disant "author" who blathers at considerable length about how he considers Monstrous Regiment to be a failure even though "it’s a great book with some of Pratchett’s best characters", simply because Men Can't Write Female Characters. A prime contender for Your Editor's James B Tiptree Words "May Have Sex But Brains Don't" Award, and yet another demonstration of the dangers of Academia (may contain nuts):
"Anyone who has spent years in the liberal arts knows there are many traps to avoid with female characters. All too often, female characters are defined by their relationships to others, particularly to men or the patriarchy, rather than on their own terms. Pratchett’s work seems to suffer the same problem. The main characters, all women but for one, are ultimately defined in this way. None of them join the army because they want to be soldiers; the enlistment is for each simply a means to an end. One joins in order to search for the deadbeat father of her unborn child; another needs to rescue her brother so he can inherit the family business; a pair join to stay together; another follows her lover; and so forth. Three of the characters are escaping abuse, two are trying to prove themselves in a societies that view women as lesser, one is working a legal loophole against a rule that is designed to keep women from social power; they are all rather cliche as concepts when you really think about it. Only two of the main characters are defined on their own merits, and they are men. And when one of these characters is revealed at the end to be a woman, her life in the army, a life as the most rugged and successful soldier ever, is degraded to a decision to follow her male lover into the military and then just sticking it out because there was nothing better. What the story lacks is any woman, any female at all, that chooses to join the army because they actually wanted to be soldiers. Every woman soldier, high or low, ended up there indirectly, but some just decided to stay for various reasons or because it was easier than leaving. So the overriding moral message is that yes, woman CAN do the same things that men can but they don’t WANT to. By the end of the book it becomes a sweeping generalization. This in turn helps to reinforce the gender divide, rather than tear it down. It is ultimately limiting in its own way. The women defeat the strict patriarchy of their society by working from the inside, but their stories are always defined by these relationships...."https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/discussion-the-danger-of-male-writers-and-female-characters/
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
Sculptor Richard Kingston at work on his marvellous piece for the Discworld Emporium – and some of the results:http://bit.ly/2fuWG00
Moist, Adora Belle and Postman Groat from the forthcoming Westoning Players production of Going Postal:http://www.westoning-players.co.uk/sitebuilder/images/GP2016_Adora_Moist_Groat-286x386.jpg
The Abbot of the History Monks, by Paul Kidby in 2007 for the Talpress edition of Thief of Time:http://bit.ly/2epQ8LZ
...and a lovely sketch of Nanny and Greebo, that says it all about her feelings for him:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CvwxzeEWIAASyfm.jpg
It's been a long time since Pratchett quotes began to surface out in the wider world; these days it's nearly a badge of nous for random journalists and such to quote The Author. But Pratchett quotes can still crop up in surprising enough places to make them noteworthy – in this case, in an article about endangered big cats: "The five-day challenge opened volunteers' eyes to the plight of big cats across the world and the multitude of issues they face at the hands of man. Among those taking part was Al Scott, whose wife Adelle works in the foundation's Bognor office, on Castlegrove Business Park, and heads the communications and fundraising team. He said: 'Terry Pratchett once wrote "Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices". I'm one of them that can and there are some big cats who can't, and who need a voice.'" (To read the original article, go to _http://bit.ly/2f3aJHJ_
And that's the lot for October. 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