wossname: (Plays)
The HMS Collingwood RSC (Random Salad Company) are back with another Terry Pratchett play! This time around it's the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Dodger. Definitely not to be missed!

When: 29th, 30th 31st March and 1st April 2017
Venue: Millennium Hall, HMS Collingwood, Newgate Lane, Fareham, Hampshire PO14 1AS
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6, available from the Box office (phone 07502 037922)


wossname: (Plays)
After their successful run of Mort last year, We Are Theatre are gearing up for another Discworld production. This time it's Wyrd Sisters!

When: Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st June 2017
Venue: Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Haxby Road, York
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10.00 – £12.00, already available online at https://www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/eventids/923 or by ringing the Joseph Rowntree Theatre Box Office on 01904 50 1935

https://www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/performers/we-are-theatre.php
wossname: (Plays)
Discworld plays are popping up all over Roundworld! And here's the latest one:

"The Phnom Penh Players theatre troupe is back this Friday with a stage adaptation of Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett's 1988 parodic reimagining of Macbeth... Director Kevan Stuart, a massive fan of the sci-fi writer Pratchett, says Wyrd Sisters seemed fitting as a twisted story around Macbeth, which the Phnom Penh Players is preparing to stage later in the year. Describing the characters as 'fascinating', he says he especially enjoys the reinterpretation of the witches, who are presented as evil in Macbeth, whereas '[in Wyrd Sisters] the witches are portrayed as evil [by the duke and duchess] but they are not'... With a cast of 19 playing 31 characters, Stuart advises theatre-goers to take note of recurring actors who come back as minor characters with one-liners. 'Often those lines are the funniest in the entire scene, or the most important,' he says. 'It's really very funny, if you’ve got a British dry sense of humour'."

When: 24th and 25th February, 3rd and 4th March 2017
Venue: Department of Performing Arts, Street 173, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Time: 7pm all shows
Tickets: $10, available from Box Office, Showbox, Eleven One Kitchen and Tusk. "All proceeds go to OIC Cambodia, an organisation dedicated to speech therapy in Cambodia."

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/players-get-wyrd-macbeth-parody

https://www.facebook.com/PhnomPenhPlayers/

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wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
February 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 2, Post 1)


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WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
********************************************************************

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)

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) "TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK" NEWS AND REVIEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
09) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"You might quibble that showing him mostly in the context of his hardcore fans makes him look more like a cult hero and less what he truly was: a novelist for everyone, for all ages and for the ages."
– Frank Cottrell Boyce, reviewing Terry Pratchett: Back in Black

"On the first day of my journalistic career I saw my first corpse, some unfortunate chap fell down a hole in a farm and drowned in pig shit. All I can say is that, compared with his horrific demise, Alzheimer's is a walk in the park. Except with Alzheimer's my park keeps changing. The trees get up and walk over there, the benches go missing and the paths seem to be unwinding into particularly vindictive serpents."
– Sir Pterry on the disease that changed everything

"My heart was in my mouth when I realised Lyn had seen Paul dressed up as Terry before I'd had a chance to introduce them. I thought it might have upset her, but then I saw her having a chat with him and she was laughing. It was kind of wonderful, in an odd way."
– Rob Wilkins, on the filming of Terry Pratchett: Back in Black

"The only journalist who was interested in me was a snotty 24-year-old from an obscure sci-fi magazine."
– Kaye-as-Pratchett, on The Author's first meeting with Neil Gaiman

"It only took twenty years and three dozen novels before the critics finally caved in."
–ibid.

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Well now, Paul Kaye certainly got the voice right.

Kaye's performance as one TDJ Pratchett, storytelling revenant in Charlie Russell's new BBC documentary Terry Pratchett: Back in Black, was quite something. The look was close, yes, but the voice was downright eerie in its Pratchett-ness. For reviews and other news about the programme, go to items 4 and 8 (the latter being Around the Blogosphere, but that section starts with several blog reactions to watching TP: BiB). For viewers within the BBC catchment area, Terry Pratchett: Back in Black is still available on iPlayer, with 19 days left to watch (_http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08fjlvx/terry-pratchett-back-in-black_). For all other Pratchett fans around the rest of Roundworld, an a, parrot and Clacks connection will no doubt prove to be... erm... helpful.

There is some other exciting news, about an exhibition and a blue plaque, plus all the usual, so let's get to it. On with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 NEW TERRY PRATCHETT EXHIBIT!

A four-month exhibition on the works and life of Sir Terry Pratchett opens at the Salisbury Museum this coming September:

"The Salisbury Museum, The Estate of Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby present 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld', an exclusive major exhibition based on the extraordinary life of Sir Terry Pratchett, the creative genius behind the Discworld series. Follow his journey to becoming one of our best known and best loved writers. This unique exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry's artist of choice."

When: 16th September 2017 to 13th January 2018
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone 01722 332151, email museum@salisburymuseum.org.uk)
Time: opening times are Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sundays (9 April - 29 October) 12:00 to 17:00. "Please note that our cafe is closed on Sundays."
Tickets: Adult £8, child £4, family (2 adults/4 children) £20, under-5s free. "Please note that all tickets issued by the museum are ANNUAL PASSES and are valid for one year. This is a condition of participating in the Gift Aid scheme and is offered regardless of whether you opt for the standard or donation admission."

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/your-visit/prices

Tickets are also available online from http://salisbury.merlintickets.co.uk/product/ADME

http://discworld.com/terry-pratchett-exhibition-announced-salisbury/

Editor's note: Richard Henry, curator of the exhibition, told the Salisbury Journal, "The way we are designing it is allowing visitors to follow his journey into becoming one of the best-known authors... It is going to be accessible to all. The aim of the exhibition is to honour his legacy."

http://bit.ly/2l6XyqS


3.2 "...BORN HALFWAY UP A WALL..."

The Bucks Free Press, Sir Pterry's log-ago employers, have some exciting news:

"The life of much-loved fantasy author the late Sir Terry Pratchett will be honoured with a commemorative plaque at Beaconsfield Library next month. The plaque, will be unveiled at the library, in Reynolds Road, where Sir Terry was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks... Former librarian at Beaconsfield Library, and committee member of the Beaconsfield Society, Kari Dorme, welcomed the news, saying it would help make more people aware of the history and heritage of the town. She said: 'I think it is a super idea. He was particularly attached to Beaconsfield Library because he worked there.' Speaking about why she thinks this is good news for the town, she said: “I think it means that people can become aware of the literary heritage of the town, which I think is very important. It is quite exciting. It is good that the initiative has come from the town council. It is good that they recognise that history and heritage [are] important.'..."

The plaque will be formally unveiled at noon on Tuesday 7th March 7 2017. Rhianna Pratchett and Rob Wilkins will be there for the ceremony.

http://bit.ly/2kYmXlS


3.3 PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

Hilary Evans, Alzheimer's Research UK's Chief Executive, has written a post titled "Sir Terry Pratchett: The Fantasy Author's Legacy To Dementia Research". Some extracts:

"In the interviews after the death of Sir Terry Pratchett, the most common question we were asked is 'what did he mean to Alzheimer's Research UK'? Terry was incredibly generous to us, he donated over $1 million to our research to help reveal the mysteries of his disease. He encouraged our scientists. He became our Patron. He was angry about his diagnosis, outraged that the condition was stealing his abilities and sense of self – he helped us campaign around the disparity in funding for dementia research. As a small organisation fighting a big enemy, he gave us the confidence to think bigger... what we kept coming back to in the days after his death were, fittingly, his words. How he talked about his disease, the language he employed – arresting and evocative – was a new type of conversation around dementia. He began to make it OK to discuss a diagnosis, in the same way that people are now rightly emancipated to talk about their cancer...

"It can be a convenient narrative to pin a turning point in an organisation's history to a single person, and the reality is that many tens of thousands of supporters, scientists and staff make this charity what it is today. But as we lay increasingly important paths towards breakthroughs in research, increased public understanding, greater political will and more funding for our scientists, there is no denying that a lot of those paths lead back to Terry Pratchett."

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/hilary-evans/terry-pratchett_b_14673554.html


3.4 OOK! THE LANGUAGE OF ORANGUTANS

From BBC News:

Scientists who spent years listening to the communication calls of one of our closest ape relatives say their eavesdropping has shed light on the origin of human language. Dr Adriano Reis e Lameira from Durham University recorded and analysed almost 5,000 orangutan 'kiss squeaks'. He found that the animals combined these purse-lipped, 'consonant-like' calls to convey different messages. This could be a glimpse of how our ancestors formed the earliest words. The findings are published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. 'Human language is extraordinarily advanced and complex – we can pretty much transmit any information we want into sound,' said Dr Reis e Lameira. 'So we tend to think that maybe words evolved from some rudimentary precursor to transmit more complex messages. We were basically using the orangutan vocal behaviour as a time machine – back to a time when our ancestors were using what would become [those precursors] of consonants and vowels.'... There has been very little study of consonants in language research, but as Prof Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University, a lead author in the study, explained, they are crucial building blocks in the evolution of language. 'Most human languages have a lot more consonants than vowels,' said Prof Wich. 'And if we have more building blocks, we have more combinations.' The scientists recorded and analysed 4,486 kiss-squeaks collected from 48 animals in four wild populations. With thousands of hours of listening as the apes communicated, the researchers found that the animals embedded several different bits of information in their squeaks..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38907681

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04) TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK, NEWS AND REVIEWS

4.1 THE EARS HAVE IT, BUT THE EYES GOT A PRETTY FAIR LOOK-IN: A REVIEW OF TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK

By Annie Mac


The first thing my husband and I said to each other as the end credits for the BBC's "Terry Pratchett: Back in Black" rolled was, "It should've been longer."

The second was, "Let's go back and listen all the way through instead of watching it" – and in my opinion, if you've not seen the programme yet it might actually be worth your while to listen *before* watching it, because it may well have you believing Sir Pterry *did* come back for the filming of it.

Be warned: opening moments are heartbreaking. We see Sir Terry himself, filmed as he tries to tell of his rapidly fading personal memories to his loyal personal assistant and best friend Rob Wilkins. Seeing him in the latter stages of his disease, shrunken and uncertain, little more than a shell of the vibrant, articulate public speaker we knew and loved feels almost almost too private. Too personal. And yet, as painful as this part was for me to watch, I think it is important for so many reasons. It shows the ravages of Alzheimer's. It shows how much of himself he gave, to his art and to all of us, in his battle to continue creating until the last possible moment. And all that follows – a combination of biography, re-enactment of his own words and remembrances, and tributes from famous faces and fans alike – underlines both the awfulness of his battle with the disease that ended him, and the wonderfulness of his life and work.

That "last possible moment" occurred in early December 2014, and is here described by Rob Wilkins in aching detail, right down to his admitting, "I think we probably left this six months too late" as this "man of words" struggles with simple phrases. But Team Pratchett and experienced Pratchett documentary maker Charlie Russell found a way – a highly unusual, yet effective and deeply affecting way, no less – to tell Terry Pratchett's final story. A few scenes from the "rock concert of memorials", held in London in 2016, soon give way to Paul Kaye's personification of Pratchett as he leads the viewer through a visual biography, interspersed with testimonials from his literary agent and longtime friend Colin Smythe, who published his early novels; his Good Omens co-writer Neil Gaiman; Discworld auxiliaries co-creator and Discworld playwright Stephen Briggs, who describes and displays the evolution of the Discworld Companion; daughter Rhianna, of course; Discworld artist Paul Kidby, who first met Pratchett when he attended a book signing with an armload of his illustrations; Bernard Pearson, the "cunning artificer" who also presides over the Ankh-Morpork consulate in its twin town of Wincanton; author Val McDermid, who thinks Pratchett could have been – and in fact was, through his creation Sam Vimes – a brilliant crime writer; and a number of fans and "superfans", some of whom I imagine are familiar faces to Discworld conventiongoers.

Much of the biographical material in the programme will be familiar to Pratchett fans (and Wossname readers!), but seeing it laid out visually by actor Paul Kaye in a world-class display of what is essentially Pratchett cosplay brings an immediacy – a resonance – to all those articles and interviews most of us have read, watched, or listened to. I'm not familiar with Mr Kaye's previous work, but I have to say he patently put his heart and soul into this performance, and the result is so uncannily accurate that there were times when I was unsure if we were listening to the "stunt Pratchett" or the real one... and, due to clever editing, moments when I wasn't one hundred per cent certain about which Pratchett was on the screen.

(The coffin. The typewriter. Broke my heart all over again.)

One thing I took away from Terry Pratchett: Back in Black was increased respect for both Wilkins and Gaiman. Not that the depth of their friendships with The Author were ever in any doubt, but their willingness to let their naked emotion be filmed and broadcast was a precious thing. Also, Rhianna Pratchett gets my Mary Beard "I'm too wrapped up in what I'm doing to bother brushing my hair" award (and that is DEFINITELY a plaudit, not a criticism – I'm a major fan of Professor Beard, both on camera and in text). So open, so heart-warmingly artless in her reminiscences of a childhood spent with private but deeply loving father, that it cannot fail to touch anyone who watches Terry Pratchett: Back in Black.

Props go to fellow Discworld "genrelist" Jason Anthony, who proudly displayed a card sent to him by our favourite author. Jason should take acting lessons, because if they ever make a (coughs) *proper* Discworld film, he would be the perfect Rincewind. After all, as Discworld conventiongoers know well, he already *does* a perfect Rincewind. (Are you listening, Narrativia?). Kudos, lots and lots thereof, go to producer/director/head of filming Charlie Russell, who served in the same capacities for the earlier documentaries in the "Pratchett trilogy", and to editor Gary Scott and director of photography Patrick Smith, plus a special honourable mention to Andrew Ryan who played the parts of Headmaster Tame, the Bucks Free Press editor who was young Terry's boss, and Death.

(Another word of warning: if you aren't already in floods of tears by the forty-fourth minute of the programme, Neil Gaiman's last reminiscence will almost certainly gut you.)

So yes, my final verdict on Terry Pratchett: Back in Black is identical to my feelings about the life of Terry Pratchett himself:

Superb, but should've been longer.


4.2 THE OTHER REVIEWS

By Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian:

"One of the charms of this docudrama is that it largely eschews the usual talking heads in favour of Discworld fans. Even the famous faces that do appear – Neil Gaiman, Pratchett's consigliere Rob Wilkins, the illustrator Paul Kidby – first entered Pratchett's orbit as fans. Whether it was the life-changing offer he made to collaborate with the young Gaiman on Good Omens, or the blessing to Stephen Briggs's attempts to map Ankh-Morpork, or simply Tipp-Exing over an old dedication in a secondhand copy of one of his books so he could 'unsign' it for its new owner, Pratchett showered his fans with favours like a Highland clan chief. It's a clan with its own code of honour: to 'be a bit more Terry' is to be kinder, more tolerant. At first, it feels a little uncomfortable that instead of the man himself, we have the actor Paul Kaye dressed up as him. But then you notice that nearly everyone here is dressed up – as a witch, a member of the Nightwatch or some other character – and of course Pratchett himself was always dressed up as Terry Pratchett, with the iconic hat, big beard and black jackets... In a society that avoids discussing the subject, Pratchett made Death – with his horse Binky – his central creation, and his favourite. Seven of his books were written in the terrible interval between his being diagnosed with Alzheimer's and finally walking away with his most beloved character. In common with so many people now, I have someone with dementia in my family. Watching this, yes, is heartbreaking, but there's also something revelatory in this documentary..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/11/terry-pratchett-docudrama-discworld-back-in-black-frank-cottrell-boyce

...and another Guardian piece on the programme, by Nadia Khomami:

"The programme includes footage of the frail-looking author shortly before his death, and features an appearance from Rob Wilkins, Pratchett's long-term assistant and collaborator on the autobiography... In the programme, Wilkins recalls the day in autumn 2007 when he and Pratchett realised something strange had happened. He says Pratchett came into his office saying: 'The "S" on my keyboard has gone … Come on, what have you done with it?' It was in late 2014 that Pratchett realised he was not the same writer he used to be. 'We had a good day working on the biography and he said to me: "Rob, Terry Pratchett is dead." Completely out of the blue. I said: "Terry look at the words you have written today. It is fantastic." And he said: "No, no. Terry Pratchett is dead."' Wilkins said that towards the end of his life Pratchett became increasingly angered by his disease. 'He could see how it was affecting him, how it was tripping him up and I knew we were up against it for time. We had to get the words down and with that white heat, with that white anger driving him to write seven whole novels through the haze of Alzheimer's.'..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/03/terry-pratchett-docudrama-author-dead-alzheimers

By James Whitbrook on i09:

"Typically, these sorts of specials about dead celebrities include 'talking head' insight from fellow celebrities, but rarely cover the indelible mark left on seas of ordinary fans. Back in Black does, and it's what makes it stand out as a stunning farewell to Pratchett. There are three layers to Back In Black, starting with footage taken of Terry Pratchett in the final years of his life, attempting to recall his life story and his work for a planned—and ultimately unfinished—memoir before his mind deteriorated too far due to Alzheimer's. It's hard to watch, even if you're only a casual fan of Pratchett's work, as the writer—beloved for his imagination, his wit, his ability to craft beautiful, funny, heartbreaking sentences at the drop of his trademark hat — struggles to speak, to remember a story, or even just correct turn of phrase. It inspires a sort of fury behind the sadness you feel, as the documentary unfolds and the disease that would ultimately claim Pratchett's life gets worse and worse..."

http://bit.ly/2lENGYG

...and a combination review/Rob Wilkins interview in the Daily Mail. Say what you like about that paper's general scurrilousness, it's a fact that the Mail always showed deep love and admiration for our favourite author, and this piece by Jenny Johnston is superb:

"The original idea for the programme had been to use only the real footage of Terry, and Rob had compiled 26 hours of recordings. But the process proved difficult, due to the way the disease had taken hold. Terry's words, always so precise, were hit or miss. Starkly illustrative of what it means to be dying from Alzheimer's, perhaps, but also, says Rob, hard to watch. 'It started as a living will,' he explains. 'And there are some lovely, lovely bits. Heaven knows what we'll do with them, maybe it's one of those things the grandchildren will deal with. But using them as they were, I don't think it would have made a great film. I think it would have been far too upsetting for everybody concerned.' He talks rather movingly of how painful it was to record conversations that should have been so effortless. 'We do show a little of some of them to illustrate what it was like,' says Rob. 'But it was so hard. He'd go to tell an anecdote and he'd struggle with a word. There was one about looking in the mirror and seeing his father – and he couldn't find the word "mirror". Much as everyone would have wanted to watch Terry telling his own story, it wasn't possible. But having Paul involved gave us a solution, if you like. I'd say 90 per cent of the words Paul speaks are Terry's actual words. There's obviously a little bit of artistic licence there.'

"It's an unforgettable film, featuring incredibly moving recollections from family, friends and literary contemporaries such as fellow fantasy writer Neil Gaiman and crime author Val McDermid. The overall sense is an affectionate but at times fittingly surreal portrait of a man who had an imagination that seemed limitless. But it's the journey through Terry's final days that's the most poignant aspect of this programme..."

[Editor's note: if you've not seen Terry Pratchett: Back in Black yet, this piece will give you a fair idea of the emotional power of it. Be prepared to choke up. A lot.]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4211136/Terry-Pratchett-s-final-fantasy.html


4.3 THE EXTRAS

* A "deleted scene":

"Back to school: Exclusive extra scene from Back in Black: Pratchett, played by actor Paul Kaye, confronts his old headmaster."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4QP5HrMfrryfX00qVj789Ds/

* A behind-the-scenes exclusive:

"We're delighted to release these exclusive photographs from the filming of the BBC documentary 'Terry Pratchett – Back in Black'. The BBC crew filmed in several locations across the country and we followed Rob Wilkins on set."

http://discworld.com/new-documentary-air/
www.pratchetthisworld.com
www.salisburymuseum.org.uk

* Neil Gaiman reading his complete foreword to A Slip of the Keyboard aloud at the Terry Pratchett Memorial in London last year, and receiving The Hat:

http://sciencefiction.com/2017/02/13/the-bbc-shares-neil-gaimans-tribute-to-terry-pratchett/

* The artwork of Discworld:

Presented by the BBC, a selection of Kirby and Kidby covers:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2KxTw2gj0TR7PZ6lbKQvL4P/fantastic-pratchett-illustrating-discworld


4.4 PAUL KAYE ON BECOMING TERRY PRATCHETT

How actor Paul Kaye became Terry:

"When director Charlie Russell was asked by the BBC to make a film celebrating Sir Terry Pratchett's life, he knew that the standard talking heads documentary just wouldn't wash. How did he know this? Russell had already made three documentaries with Sir Terry himself: Living with Alzheimer's, Choosing to Die and Facing Extinction. 'I got to know him over a long period of time and we came to care for each other. As his illness progressed and it got harder for Terry to do certain things, we had built up a trust and I felt I had developed a real sense of who he was... I knew that he'd hate the idea of a conventional film full of people saying nice things about him. He would have wanted to do things differently, to come back and be in his own documentary and because we couldn't do that the next best thing was to get an actor to play him', Russell explained. With the blessing of Terry's family and close friends, Russell started the process of finding their Terry and although initially they were looking for a Pratchett fanatic in the end they chose a man who had never read a Pratchett book in his life..."

http://bbc.in/2kB2pQY


4.5 STEPHEN BRIGGS ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH TERRY PRATCHETT

"Terry was intelligent, irascible, witty and loyal, wryly observing the world around him, taking inspiration from everyone and everything he encountered and pouring wit and imagination into every word he wrote. He had a driven sense of fairness and justice, and was a staunch supporter of the conservation of orangutans, of the research into Alzheimer's Disease and of the right for people with a terminal illness to die with dignity. He loved the natural world, fought to preserve the nation's wildlife and raised goats, chickens, tortoises and carnivorous plants. He and his wife Lyn owned (if that is the right word) many cats. He was a keen amateur astronomer and built his own observatory in the garden of his home. Terry was also an inveterate collector of unconsidered trifles. He adored the strange and quirky things that happen in 'real life', and was fascinated by just about everything. He had what he called a 'pack rat' mind that enabled him to Hoover up snippets from conversations and transpose them into the worlds he created. Terry was an entertaining companion, a keen player of computer games and oh yes, he also wrote books... Speaking about his SF novel Strata in 1981, he said 'I am working on another Discworld theme, since I don't think I've exhausted all the possibilities in one book!' Quite an understatement...

"I met Terry through my interest in amateur theatre. I wrote to ask if I could stage his Wyrd Sisters, and much to my surprise he said yes, so my life was immediately catapulted down a different leg of the trousers of time. We worked together to map his world and Ankh-Morpork, its principle city. We also collaborated on a mini-raft of other publications. Terry was, as I've so often said, funny, loyal and supportive. He was also waspy – a man I could always rely on to say what he really thought about anything I did. Working with him was fast and fun – there were frequent phone calls (pre-internet), and a lot of laughs – we shared a common background in humour. At book signings we'd sometimes drift into Life of Brian... "Crucifixion? Good... line on the left, one cross each..." and then amble off into running entire scenes from memory, much to the confusion of the observing fans. It was masses of fun – and a real privilege to be a part of creating even a small element of his wonderful world..."

http://bbc.in/2kASGtU

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

Monstrous Productions' newest production is The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, starting tonight:

"Rats! They disarm the traps, widdle in the flour and charge a very reasonable price to leave town. That isn't how it's supposed to go of course, but then these are no ordinary rats. They are the Changelings, a group of rats who became smart after eating off a magical rubbish heap. With the guidance of the streetwise alleycat Maurice, the Changelings now run a very profitable business posing as a fake plague in unsuspecting towns. All they needed was stupid-looking kid with a pipe who leads them all out of town, for a fee...

"That is; until one last job in Bad Blintz, a starving town with a serious rat problem. They soon realise that this town is not quite as it seems and something darker is hiding underneath. Remember, there are bad things in the Dark Wood... Monstrous Productions have been bringing Terry Pratchett to the stage in Cardiff since 2012. After donating over £20k to Alzheimer's Research UK, Maurice is a new project for them, with all proceeds being donated to the Forget-me-not choir, a local choir for people with dementia and their families. Join them for an evening of storytelling, puppetry and live music."

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/

http://monstrousptc.com/


* WYRD SISTERS IN LONDON (MARCH)

Ben Hayward of the Imperial College School of Medicine Drama Society writes to say that he will be directing their production of Wyrd Sisters at the start of next month:

"ICSM Drama presents to you its fabulous production of Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett! Running from the 1st to the 4th March, it's sure to be a night of fantasy, comedy, romance, witchcraft, insanity and just plain wyrdness! So mark it down in your calendars! Save the date in your phones!"

When: 1st-4th March 2017
Venue: Union Concert Hall, Beit Quadrangle, Prince Consort Road , London SW7 2BB
Time: doors open 7:00pm; curtain up 7:30pm
Tickets: £6/£8 for student/Non-Student tickets (apart from Friday the 3rd of March which will be a special performance accompanied with drinks and canapes at higher price of £8/£10 (for student/non-Student tickets). "Take a look at our Facebook event for more details (_https://www.facebook.com/events/376900926013238/_) and email eri.aung15@imperial.ac.uk to reserve your tickets now!"

Note: the poster for this event is excellent – go have a look at it on the Wossname blog at http://wossname.dreamwidth.org/46314.html


* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

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.

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 7201

https://lacemarkettheatre.co.uk/LaceMarketTheatre.dll/WhatsOn

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

Bolton Little Theatre, "a vibrant amateur theatre company run by members" since 1931, will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in March.

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – 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/


5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

The Newbury Dramatic Society will stage their production of Maskerade, directed by John Hicks (possibly with the help of a skull ring?), in May: "In the Ankh Morpork Opera House, a strangely familiar evil mastermind in a mask and evening dress is lurking in the shadows. He lures innocent young sopranos to their destiny, commits occasional murder, and sends little notes full of maniacal laughter and exclamation marks. Opera can do that to a man. But Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience and she doesn't hold with that sort of thing... and the show must go on!"

When: 17th–20th May 2017
Venue: Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8AE
Time: 7.30pm Wednesday to Friday, 6.30pm Saturday
Tickets: £12.50 (£12 concessions), available online at https://www.watermill.org.uk/maskerade#dates-ttab or ring the Box Office on 01635 46044

https://www.watermill.org.uk/maskerade

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

Brisbane Arts Theatre will be presenting their next Discworld play, Lords and Ladies – adapted by Irana brown – next September!

"Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg – the witches of Lancre – are the Discworld's only hope of rescue when elves threaten to take control with their hypnotic 'glamour'. Standing stones, wizards, Morris men, rude mechanicals, country lore and ancient magic all combine in this adaptation of one of Sir Terry's finest. With a full supporting cast of dwarves, wizards, trolls and one orangutan, the hilarious Lords and Ladies delivers an abundance of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place."

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at
http://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?&presenter=AUBAT&event=LANDL

"Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/lordsandladies


5.3 REVIEWS

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON

The Southampton University Players' production of Monstrous Regiment, reviewed by Hilary Porter in the Daily Echo:

"Director Imogen Higgs has a lively cast and presents a reasonable night's entertainment that should satisfy Discworld fans. Polly Perks (Frankie Payne) binds herself in a male disguise in order to join the Borogravian army as, it transpires, many women have done. And so we meet various endearing characters, including Ellie Rose Fowler as Private Manicle, Gina Hodsman as the 'haunted and damaged' Wazzer Goom and, as the hunchbacked Private Igor, Bridget Wilkinson, heavily disguised but still a discernible character and personality. Stephen Fenerty makes a commanding and amusing Sergeant Jackrum, Christopher Gardener an endearing Lieutenant Blouse and Paul Cresser also scores as vampire recruit Private Maladict. The big Nuffield stage seems bare, two tables and back projections supplying settings and rather too many 'fade outs', but costumes and effects are fine."

http://bit.ly/2k2IoVB

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), still claims on their website to be meeting next on Monday 30th November 1999, but it's more more likely to be on Monday 6th March at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "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 from 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 uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

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 CoSG event will be the Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel on 23rd February. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 2nd March 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 3rd March 2017 (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. 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 6th March 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 6th March 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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

07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Longtime Pratchett blogger The Bookwitch's reactions to "Terry Pratchett: Back in Black":

"It was the Barbican memorial for Terry Pratchett all over again. In the BBC documentary Back in Black on Saturday we could see an almost Terry. It's enough to see someone wearing black, with a hat like his, and if there is a beard as well, then for a heartstopping moment it is Terry Pratchett. Here it was actor Paul Kaye doing what Terry didn't have enough time to do. He did as good a job as you could ask for, speaking in the style of Terry, while not quite being our much missed author who has gone to be with Death... Much of the rest of the programme was dedicated to alternately bless the world for having produced Terry, and crying because he's gone. I have never before witnessed the seemingly unflappable Neil Gaiman even close to tears. We heard part of their story, some of which was new to me, filmed in the actual (?) place where a very young Neil interviewed a not so well known Terry..."

https://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/terry-pratchett-back-in-black/

Blogger Anna's reaction was mixed, calling it "perfect" but then complaining:

"Everything about the show was perfect. All the names we know and love were there to talk about their memories of the great man from his daughter Rhianna to writer Neil Gaiman, assistant Rob to artist Paul Kidby. They all had wonderful tales to tell and fascinating facts to give. The mixture of Docudrama and Documentary didn't work for me and whilst I didn't mind Paul Kaye as Pratchett I'd rather we had been given a straight Documentary or a straight Docudrama. I think the BBC could make a really wonderful show about the life of Terry Pratchett and even bring to life some of his creations in a most wonderful way but it didn't really work, it made it disjointed and didn't add anything to the over all story. You felt like you wanted to hear more of what other people had to say rather then Paul Kaye wittering on, whilst no doubt the words he was wittering would be Terry's own words taken from the work Terry and Rob were doing for his autobiography before he died it just really didn't need to be there. I'd rather more time be given to fans and the people who knew him best. Paul Kaye ended up at best being a rather out of place narrator rather then bringing the great man back to life. That being said if down the line the BBC wanted to make something like Doctor Who's Adventure in Time and Space I wouldn't say no to Kaye returning to bring him to life... It was a lovely way to remember a man that brought happiness to a lot of people. It had the perfect tone to it too, it was upbeat and full of hope. It was sad, of course it was sad, thinking that we'd never read another story by the man and having to remember he was no longer with us, but at the same time it reminded me that we always have him here with us. He's left such a big body of work full of wonderful characters and a amazing world but most importantly that little bit of anger that he had inside himself at people who told him he'd never be anything and everything else that means he's still with us and will be with new fans in the future.

https://believeingeek.com/2017/02/12/terry-pratchett-back-in-black/

Blogger Chris Hoggins was very impressed by Terry Pratchett: Back in Black:

"What came across in the programme was that a lot of what propelled Terry to be such a prolific writer was a deep seated anger at the injustice of the world. Being written off from an early age, he was determined to prove a point and used all that fire inside to do it. Those who knew him well said that the character in his universe of characters most like himself was the formidable Granny Weatherwax, someone who would do the right thing rather than the nice thing or the kind thing as both the latter often turn out to be a cruelty in the long term. Perhaps the best known and most loved character in the Discworld is that of death itself, who is equally bemused and fascinated by the souls he meets. It is such a cruel irony that Terry met his end much sooner than was fair and in such appalling circumstances where the thing that powered that thriving world of characters disintegrated over the course of a few short years. That righteous fury pushed him to write a further seven books after his diagnosis, a testament to the power of anger used well. I feel a deep sadness that it will probably take another hundred years or so for the world to get the true significance of what Terry Pratchett achieved, a Dickens for our times really..."

http://bit.ly/2l3N2Bp

...and The Blogging Goth found the programme helped him to grieve:

"For me, the most painful moment was the interview with equally renowned author Neil Gaiman. Terry's collaborative partner on the darkly witty Good Omens – soon to receive a TV adaption – Neil has been closely involved with much of the remembrance and memorialisation. I had to leave the London Memorial early sadly, so I particularly appreciated seeing some of Neil's recitation to the audience. In a quiet little restaurant, Neil spoke personally about his grief surrounding the very early passing of his friend. It was very difficult for Neil. He cradled his face in his hands and mourned. He said very honestly, 'I miss him so much.' It was like a punch in the chest and a knife to the brain for me. I'm an Englishman, repressed emotionally, possessed of a stiff upper lip, and uncomfortable around death. To see another, even more archetypal Englishman, publicly display his grief was… liberating, as well as being deeply upsetting. With all the skill every writer longs to muster, Neil connected me to my own grief, helped me experience and evaluate my own sense of loss around a childhood hero, a venerated figure, an idol and example I've tried to follow..."

https://theblogginggoth.com/2017/02/14/the-death-of-discworld/

...while blogger My Library Books found resonance in his forthrightness about Alzheimer's:

"At the time I was finally reading his novels, Pratchett had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I didn't appreciate just how devastating this was. Clearly, for a man who was so renowned for his beauty through words, this was the worst possible diagnosis. In 2014 I finally understood, when my Grandma got diagnosed... Grandma had always been a strong female character in my life. She didn't suffer fools lightly and she didn't take any shit from anyone. Her house was her pride and joy and was always spotless. She was passionate about her past, regaling me with stories of her extensive family history. I shared my love of great food with her. She was one of the finest bakers I've ever met (her and my mum). Alzheimer's destroyed all this. It took away her confidence, her speech, her passion. I hate it. I HATE it..."

https://mylibrarybooks.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/terry-pratchett-back-in-black/

Blogger April of collective Without a Map writes about the influence of Pratchett and his stealth philosophy:

"Most of us, readers especially, can point to a work in our lives that influenced the way we think. We'd prefer it be someone impressive, Nietzsche, Kant, Salinger, Steinem, or Malcolm X. Someone you can genuinely bring up with reverence in intelligent company. There's a range, somewhere from your teens to early twenties where works of literature, film, and philosophy have a greater impact than any other time in our lives. They're introductions to thoughts outside of what we grew up with. What our parents, teachers, and friends taught. What we discover through these works can shape our beliefs in enduring ways. I did not encounter someone pretentious at this age. Instead, I stumbled across Terry Pratchett. To this day, I'm glad I did... I couldn't put it into words then, but now I know that through his works, he made me a humanist...

"I think Pratchett is a great writer to be reading right now. I think, if he were alive, he would be calling bullshit on this current U.S. administration, but he would also remind us that turns out the other side is probably trying harder to be good than we think, and we're a lot less righteous than we think. He'd caution us to be aware that the other side might be right sometimes, and we might be wrong. Even if we come to the conclusion that this is not the case, it's good practice to remind ourselves. Pratchett's books make you glad to be a part of humanity, even when you're fully aware humanity is a bloody, vindictive, irrational mess, and that's a feeling I need to keep close right now. Thank gods I chose him instead of Rand."

https://without-a-map.com/2017/02/17/rereading-pratchett/

Blogger Lukre's longish post sums up much of what it means to be a Pratchett fan:

"I have just finished watching the BBC documentary 'Terry Pratchett Back in Black' and I was reminded of those first books, of hearing about his death and about all the hours of enjoyment I've had over the years reading his books. You might hear people say, well, he's just a fantasy writer, or that he is just a parody writer who who makes simple jokes. To both those types of people I have just one thing to say – you couldn't be more wrong. He is a life-writer. He talks about the greatest of topics and tries to deliver, if not a solution, than at least an option to facing the issue. He presents the good and the bad in people, in societies. He unmasks our prejudices and out[sic] discrimination through characters that are so far removed from us that our sensitive selves are not offended. He reveals the goodness in ordinary men and women. He respects the rule of law but also he shows us that laws are there for the benefit of the people and not the other way around. He show us our own beliefs and questions them. And he does all that with such a mastery of language and idiomatic expressions that is at times mind-boggling. His plays on words could be taught at school. And jokes crop up when you least expect them..."

https://anatomyofreading.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/587/

Blogger Joanne Clapa aka The Bookworm Bistro on Night Watch:

"Here's the thing about Pratchett novels: He has created such a large, expansive world, that it's pretty much impossible to start from the beginning. Terry Pratchett wrote over forty novels in the Discworld alone, not to mention countless other stories. Needless to say I was a little confused about a few things when I picked up my first Pratchett novel, Going Postal. So, going into Night Watch I wasn't too surprised when I didn't understand a few things. Okay, a lot of things. Night Watch is the 29th book in the Discworld, and the 6th book in the City Watch series. It follows the story of Sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the City Watch. Right from the beginning the story is thrilling... Vimes meets a few interesting character from his past…and present… it's honestly a little confusing, even if you've read previous Night Watch novels. Despite being thoroughly confused for about 90% of this novel, I really enjoyed it. The characters are unique, and hilarious. Pratchett's writing style is one that I've never seen duplicated. It's very clear that he invested his entire being into creating this vast world his characters live in... Believe it or not, I think this is a great story to start with if you're new to Discworld. Despite the fact that it's the sixth book in the series, it really gives you an interesting glimpse into the world..."

https://thebookwormbistro.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/night-watch-terry-pratchett/

...and blogger In Shifting Colour, a self-confessed "cat lady", tells of how reading – and listening! – to Pratchett books made her feel less isolated in her perceptions:

"I never believed in grieving for celebrities. How could you miss someone who'd never truly been present in your life? The belief was, as all beliefs are, inherently flawed. Presence is more than a physical proximity. It's more, even, than a direct and personal communication. Presence occurs when your life is influenced, for better or worse, by another being. But I never truly understood this until the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett.... I saw the world in weird and colourful ways; I had a habit of looking at situations sideways and that confused my peers. In social constructs where clinging to 'sameness' was the method of survival, this left me weak... I escaped to places where I could imagine myself as strong, capable, even heroic. There was a freedom I had between pages that I didn't have in my primary school life. Stories were a coping mechanism, a joy, a proof that maybe… just maybe there really was a cupboard out there that would turn my toys to life (The Indian in the Cupboard was another key favourite. Even as indoctrinated in the ordinary magic of books as I was, nothing quite prepared me for my first plunge into Terry Pratchett's Discworld series... Here was someone who had committed their weird view to paper, and who was not ashamed of it..."

http://bit.ly/2md7MGb

Quite a few people seem to discount Eric as a minor work, but blogger Alice Dillon aka Lanterns and Hardbacks gives it five stars:

"Eric is such a perfect specimen of that man's genius, full of witticisms, incisive analysis of our own world, clever parody (this whole thing is a parody of Faust) and moments that really make you think. I had one of the biggest existential crises I've ever had while reading the parts set at the beginning and the end of the universe, both brilliantly thought out. I'm one of those people who loves to hypothesise about such things and so it was a glorious, though obviously disconcerting, crisis. I don't have much more to say about this book, but it's a really quick read and full of everything that made me fall in love with Terry Pratchett's writing in the first place. Pratchett fans, make sure you read this book if you weren't sure..."

https://lanternsandhardbacks.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/eric-by-terry-pratchett-discworld-9/

...while blogger The Idle Woman represents the mainstream opinions:

"Pratchett could never actually be bad, but the simple fact of the matter is that, when compared to the mainstream Discworld books, Eric isn't very good. It's essentially one gag dragged out over 163 pages and it feels less like a story that needed to be told and more like one that was written on commission... Pratchett gamely wheels out the absurdities, but this is situation comedy rather than the character-based comedy in which he excels. Even in what I think of as the 'concept' novels – the books which focus on one theme, like rock music or the cinema or The Phantom of the Opera – he populates the story with engaging characters who have a certain depth to them. We don't really have enough time to get to know anyone here and Eric, although allegedly one of the protagonists, never develops beyond being a lustful, big-headed adolescent..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/01/29/eric-terry-pratchett/

Swedish blogger abookwithoutend on Good Omens:

"What if 'Welcome To Night Vale' met the bible? This is the result (For all of you who have no idea what Welcome To Night Vale is, it's a podcast about a town where all conspiracy theories, and more, are true). The plot was confusing in an amusing way, not annoying. You could never understand or expect where the authors would take you next. The writing was so creative, like giving really ridiculous info-dumps and at times taking perspective from the poor stand-bys who only want to go home, not having to deal with scolding aliens or demons that break the speed limit (I can understand that a lot of people are quite negative about multiple p.o.v. because of the confusion that often occurs, but trust me on this one). Anything could be possible. I can just picture in my head how much Gaiman and Pratchett must have been laughing when writing this story... overall, this book was great and I'd definitely recommend this to anyone..."

https://abookwithoutend.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/book-review-good-omens/

Blogger rayunder1996 is starting on "The Pratchett Path" with tCoM:

Here in the Pratchett Path I'm gonna take a look through the work of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and give a few of my thoughts on them. These won't be full reviews as I'm sure many of you will be familiar Pratchett and his comedy works already, so you don't need me to prattle on about how you should read it. Our time would be much better spent talking about the lovable Luggage, dream powered dragons, and its wonderful way with magic. Luggage is one of the most emotive and iconic creations in the fantasy genre. I think that is something we all have to agree on. From his veracious[sic] appetite for all things...well all things to be honest to his odd adorableness he really does embody everything good about Discworld. Despite his absurdity in concept, within the confine of the world it has reasonably grounded explanation for its existence. That is a key part of its charm if you think about it, that even in a world where the insanity is commonplace there is an internal logic to the world..."

https://thefantasyfayre.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/the-pratchett-path-1/

Blogger pksupernovel found The Long Cosmos well worth reading:

"The Long Cosmos is easily the best book in the whole Long Earth saga. Speculative fiction that about travelling usually ends up presenting a series of increasingly cool and mind-blowing ideas. The one from The Long Cosmos that really stuck with me was the gigantic forest, with trees the size of skyscrapers supported by helium. Their reproduction strategy involves spreading seeds when they inevitably explode during bushfires. I also amazed by the sentient islands that sampled life while moving between worlds, and that ridiculously large computer. The Long Cosmos felt more coherent and less disjointed than the previous books in the series. I can't explain why I feel this way. Maybe it was because the plotlines felt more related, and came to a satisfactory conclusion... The Long Cosmos' genre means that it feels more like a Baxter book than a Pratchett one, although there is a fair bit of whimsy about. And I really don't think it would make much sense without reading the rest of the series..."

https://pksupernovel.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/the-long-cosmos-terry-pratchett-and-stephen-baxter/

Gareth Preston, director of Bolton Little Theatre's forthcoming production of Wyrd Sisters (see item 5.1), blogs his production diary:

"When I started off directing Wyrd Sisters I'd [hoped] to keep a production diary up on this blog. Predictably this ambition was quickly eaten up by the time and energy involved in actually realising the play. So you'll have to look forward to a retrospective article instead. However I can report that we are at an exciting phase where the books are down, the movements are being fine tuned and the set is almost in place bar the painting, thanks to the marvellous efforts of Jeff Lunt and his team. Not to mention a whole wardrobe of costumes which have largely been designed and made from scratch by Francis Clemmitt and her team. I've also been out banging the drum and trying to get people interested in coming. Marketing a play is a job in itself. We're having some publicity photos taken tomorrow which hopefully will excite the local media. I went on Bolton FM radio a couple of weeks ago and I'll be popping up again on their frequency on Monday during the drivetime show in the evening. I've also made a short video promo for promoting the show on social media..."

https://garethpreston.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/downtime-out-now-wyrd-sisters-soon/

Blogger Tea and Tales on Nation:

"There's a reason Pratchett writes 'Thinking. This book contains some. Whether you try it at home is up to you.' This book is so highly philosophical and painful, as two young people survive and are faced by tragedy. Mau has to bury everyone he knows, and lead the survivors in the rebuilding of Nation. But what is Nation? When everyone who lived the culture but one has died, can such a thing as 'Nation' still exist? Also, is there a God(s)? Yet even though the topics this book handles are very sophisticated and incredibly heavy, it does have typical Pratchett humour throughout. He makes fun of religion, the idea of Empire, the English, and succession. That said, he takes Mau, his musings and suffering, and his world very seriously... The writing is witty and poetic, like most Pratchett novels, but unlike most of his other work the tone of this one is heavily philosophical and serious. You feel for Mau, and as you enter his mind you are forced to face the same questions and issues. Can you believe in the Gods when they wiped out everything you knew and loved? Is it possible to rage against them if you do not believe? The chemistry between the characters is wonderful though, and it is not all misery and suffering..."

https://tea-and-tales.com/2017/02/03/nation-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Fiona on The Long Mars:

"Some readers have criticized this series as boring and without much action. It's true that not a lot happens in this book. It reminds me of early sci-fi novels, such as those by H.G. Wells. Instead of being action-packed with exciting events, this book is more of an exploration of ideas. The characters encounter all sorts of exotic environments and life forms in the exploration of the Long Earth and the Long Mars. Those chapters are a thought experiment in the types of life that might be possible. This book also explores what might happen if mankind continues to evolve. What will those people be like? How will the less-evolved people react to them? All in all, I enjoyed the book, though it is a bit of a slow-starter. But there is what seems to me a glaring oversight, and it really bugs me... What really bothered me was the treatment of the 'Next.' Everyone was arguing that they are a danger to humanity because of their high intellect. The danger isn't from their intellect. It's because they are psychopaths..."

https://selfeducatedconservative.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/the-long-mars-a-review/

Blogger katyboo1 aka Making Them Readers on Jingo:

"Jingo is the twenty first Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett that my son, Oscar and I have shared together... Oscar loved this because it is a book about the Watch. He brings to his reading, a wealth of knowledge amassed from the previous books and it suddenly makes him realise how valuable things like back stories are. He is beginning to predict how characters will behave in certain circumstances, and it gives him enormous joy when he is right... it seems to echo a lot of the political landscape in which we are forced to live at the moment, jingoism, xenophobia, racism and casual intolerance are all lampooned on Pratchett's sharpest pen and I was moved to laugh more than once by parallels with current events. Despite the fact that they aren't really funny. Current events that is..."

https://makingthemreaders.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/jingo-by-terry-pratchett-a-review/

Blogger Nordie on The Long Earth:

"This is a relatively slow book, where Lobsang, Sally and Joshua are generally left alone to do their own thing. Occasionally they get to investigate new creatures, some benign, some not, and this allows the authors to muse on what earth may have looked like had evolution taken a little detour from what happened on our version of earth... The focus on the Long Earth for the story made it a bit disconcerting when very late in the book they introduce the idea of the long Mars. Either I was not paying attention in the rest of the book...always a possibility...or this was a very late entry of the idea of alternate other worlds. The fact there is a whole novel dedicated to the long Mars makes me wonder… Whilst overall people like/love the book, there are a number of things said that I tend to agree with.."

https://nordie.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/book-review-the-long-earth-by-terry-pratchett-stephen-baxter/

Blogger Lucinda's tribute to Sir Pterry:

"I've loved Terry Pratchett ever since I was at university. My ex-boyfriend recommended him to me and bought me The Hogfather for Christmas (back when buying paperbacks was a thing). I immediately loved the inventiveness, the humour, the way that the story was a proper adventure. The expansiveness of the Discworld novels never fails to amaze me. At one point in the documentary, they show a map of Ankh Morpork and the level of detail is incredible. Terry literally imagined and remembered a whole world in his head. What a genius. I can't believe that someone with such an expansive mind was so reduced by dementia. From the documentary, I've learnt that there was a certain snobbishness about Terry's work from the professional book critics of the day (back when that was a real thing too). I've heard great stories about mums who would say to librarians 'he's never been interested in reading before he picked up a Discworld book. Now could you recommend some proper literature?' Apparently Terry was really angry about this and he loved to know that people had been put in their place (he referred to librarians as his dirndl army, which I just love)..."

https://lucindaisreading.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/a-tribute-to-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Phil Parker is a rare bird – namely, a Pratchett admirer who isn't a Pratchett reader:

"I've tried but failed to read Pratchett. I ought to love it but I can't find a way in. It doesn't matter, the documentary is brilliant, affecting and a superb celebration of the man. What struck me was that before he wrote, he read. Everything. Well, everything in his local library starting with fantasy and then history, 'Blokes in helmets bashing each other' as he described it. Reading planted all the seeds for the character in his stories... I've said before how my local library was essential for my development. I'm not going to compare myself with Pratchett but to lift a line from the documentary, I'm a human. He is a human. My poo stinks. His poo stinks. I loved my library. He loved his library. He is a writer. I want to be a writer..."

https://nolanparker.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/no-libraries-no-terry-pratchett/

Blogger The Past Due Book Review is back with musings on Sourcery:

"The prevailing theme in Sourcery is self identity; finding out who you are, not what other people tell you that you are or are not, is central to the development of the characters... Goofiness keeps the tone of the book light while dealing with the end of the world (just like in The Light Fantastic...I'm beginning to sense a pattern), and personal themes are more present, bringing the story to another level above general fantasy or simple parody. Sourcery is full of wordplay, satire, and such ridiculous fun that it is difficult to put down..."

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/02/15/sourcery-review/

...and blogger Nat Wassell's review this month is Going Postal:

"William de Worde runs a large free press, and here Moist joins their ranks as an equal opportunity employer, visionary thinker and actually quite nice guy, once you get to know him. It is a quartet of characters, along with Archchancellor Ridcully and at least some of the guild leaders who are starting to inspire this real progress. When the corrupt leaders of the clacks company are ousted at the end of the book, you get a real sense of moral outrage from most of the leaders mentioned here. Lord Vetinari may be the tyrant, a fact he still likes to remind people of, but he's also remarkably liberal in his thinking. This liberal approach to politics means that the issues of racism and stereotyping that were present in early novels has basically been eradicated in the city. Moist employs golems, the last race to be integrated into the fabric of the city, without a second thought, and really does want to know how to treat them correctly.

"Adora Belle Dearheart, the human face of the golem employment agency, says that Commander Vimes will employ anyone in the Watch and turn out a solid copper at the end of it. Lord Vetinari employs Mr Pump, another golem, as Moist's probation officer. It's a cynical approach, in many ways, but it also assumes that all races of creature have their own strengths that can be put to use, as long as they wish to work. I think it's an attitude that a lot of real life people could definitely consider adopting..."

https://culturedvultures.com/discworld-discussions-going-postal-2005/

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08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

The *real* Terry Pratchett, as photographed in 2013 at Beaconsfield Library and pictured in a recent Get Bucks article:
http://bit.ly/2keP4Sa

...and in 1992, from the same article as above:
http://bit.ly/2lCxrIT

...and another, this one from the Bath Chronicle, where he used to work:
http://bit.ly/2kEe4kq

...and programme maker Charlie Russell with Paul Kaye as Pterry:
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/976xn/p04sd9qm.jpg

...and your Editor's favourite Kaye-as-Pratchett photo:
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/480xn/p04sd5rn.jpg

...and both real and faux Pratchetts, collaged:
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/976xn/p04sdwv6.jpg

Rob Wilkins, Neil Gaiman and Marcus Gipps (from publisher Gollancz) working on the Good Omens telly script:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C44PA3mUYAANF66.jpg

The official Paul Kidby Pratchett bust waxes, now ready for bronze casting, as tweeted by Paul Kidby himself:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C48gRbdXUAArmLu.jpg

A photographic action replay – Fiona Fisher's marvellous Kirby-and-Kidby Discworld art staircase, this time tweeted by the official Kirby Art account:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4uYpUyWAAEpmW5.jpg

...and a Paul Kidby replay – Discworld Gothic, which will be part of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibition (see item 3.1):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4i7M3KWcAIMfM9.jpg

...and on the subject of action replays, here's a digital cut-out-and-keep, as it were – the Pratchett coat of arms, featuring its ankh and morepork:
http://bit.ly/2kOJCRp

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09) CLOSE

For all you Pratchett fans out in the USA who might be hoping to attend NADWCON 2017, there's still one week left to order your tickets at a special discount price:

https://nadwcon2017.org/
https://nadwcon2017.org/signup/2017-adult-membership.html

And that's the lot for February. Take care, and we'll see you next month!


– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Plays)
Ben Hayward of the Imperial College School of Medicine Drama Society writes to say that he will be directing their production of Wyrd Sisters at the start of next month:

"ICSM Drama presents to you its fabulous production of Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett! Running from the 1st to the 4th March, it's sure to be a night of fantasy, comedy, romance, witchcraft, insanity and just plain wyrdness! So mark it down in your calendars! Save the date in your phones!"

When: 1st-4th March 2017
Venue: Union Concert Hall, Beit Quadrangle, Prince Consort Road , London SW7 2BB
Time: doors open 7:00pm; curtain up 7:30pm
Tickets: £6/£8 for student/Non-Student tickets (apart from Friday the 3rd of March which will be a special performance accompanied with drinks and canapes at higher price of £8/£10 (for student/non-Student tickets). "Take a look at our Facebook event for more details (_https://www.facebook.com/events/376900926013238/_) and email eri.aung15@imperial.ac.uk to reserve your tickets now!"


wossname: cropped photo of Paul Kidby's stunning Pratchett sculpt (Kidby's Pterry bust)
A four-month exhibition on the works and life of Sir Terry Pratchett opens at the Salisbury Museum this coming September:




(as tweeted by the Discworld Emporium here)

Meanwhile, Terry Pratchett: Back in Black is currently airing on BBC2 and will be available via BBC iPlayer for a 'short while' afterwards. And for those of you who don't mind spoilage of a documentary (if such a thing can even be A Thing), here be a freshly posted review by Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian:

   "One of the charms of this docudrama is that it largely eschews the usual talking heads in favour of Discworld fans. Even the famous faces that do appear – Neil Gaiman, Pratchett's consigliere Rob Wilkins, the illustrator Paul Kidby – first entered Pratchett's orbit as fans. Whether it was the life-changing offer he made to collaborate with the young Gaiman on Good Omens, or the blessing to Stephen Briggs's attempts to map Ankh-Morpork, or simply Tipp-Exing over an old dedication in a secondhand copy of one of his books so he could 'unsign' it for its new owner, Pratchett showered his fans with favours like a Highland clan chief. It's a clan with its own code of honour: to 'be a bit more Terry' is to be kinder, more tolerant.

   "At first, it feels a little uncomfortable that instead of the man himself, we have the actor Paul Kaye dressed up as him. But then you notice that nearly everyone here is dressed up – as a witch, a member of the Nightwatch or some other character – and of course Pratchett himself was always dressed up as Terry Pratchett, with the iconic hat, big beard and black jackets..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/11/terry-pratchett-docudrama-discworld-back-in-black-frank-cottrell-boyce
wossname: cropped photo of Paul Kidby's stunning Pratchett sculpt (Kidby's Pterry bust)
Terry Pratchett: Back in Black will be broadcast on BBC2 in a week! And if you want to whet your appetite for this feast, CLICK HERE TO VIEW A VERY SHORT TEASER TRAILER!

And yes, it is uncanny how well actor Paul Kaye delivers Sir Pterry's speech patterns and vocal tone :-)
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
January 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 1, 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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) NEW DOCUMENTARY! AND GOOD OMENS TELLY SERIES!
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Here you go. This is what we were working on last year and – more importantly – the last few months of Terry's life."
– the @terryandrob Twitter account announces the new documentary

"Almost 30 years ago Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world, populated with angels and demons, not to mention an 11 year-old Antichrist, witch-finders and the four horse-people of the Apocalypse. It became many people's favourite book. Three decades later, it's going to make it to the screen. I can't think of anyone we'd rather make it with than BBC Studios, and I just wish Sir Terry was alive to see it."
– Neil Gaiman on the forthcoming Good Omens telly series

"With help from literary figures such as Neil Gaiman and Val McDermid, the poignant and humorous documentary Terry Pratchett: Back In Black tells the remarkable tale of this brilliant and original author, from troubled schooldays to being knighted by the Queen. Using an actor (Paul Kaye) to voice the words of Terry Pratchett in uncanny character, the resulting documentary film is by turns surreal, witty and unexpectedly poignant."
– the BBC Mediacentre

"There is almost no subject that Terry Pratchett hasn't explained better, funnier and more times than just about anyone else on the planet."
– journalist Katherine Trendacosta, on Gizmodo

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Well, we made it to 2017. Happy Roundworld New Year and Year of the Backwards Facing Artichoke to you all – and happy twentieth anniversary for Wossname!

If you read the news (and I imagine pretty much everyone is at the moment), it's certainly clear we're living in (coughs) interesting times, but as this is a Pratchett newsletter the only politics likely to be discussed here belong to Ankh-Morpork and its Disc-wide relations. I will go so far as to say that the wisdom and perspicacity Sir Pterry gave us through his writing has never been needed in certain quarters as badly as it is now, and encourage Pratchett readers in (coughs) certain quarters to keep spreading the "stealth philosophy" and humanistic messages we know and admire in his novels... However, there is some exciting Pratchett news and Wossname is happy to announce it: a new documentary airing in less than a fortnight, and a confirmation that the Good Omens telly series is going ahead with a planned release for next year.

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 JOSH KIRBY DISCWORLD ART NEWS

For Kirby fans, some very promising news about Discworld art prints:

"We are excited to announce that we'll soon be releasing pre-sale information for Limited Edition Josh Kirby Discworld fine art prints. These will be unlike any others you've seen in the past. We're meticulously testing paper options and printers to find the best option for our exacting demands. They will be numbered, signed and certified by the estate and ready for collecting or framing. In the meantime if you haven't chosen your favourite Discworld phone case, head over to our online store to whet your appetite. Stay tuned for more information and thank you so much for being a part of the Josh Kirby Universe!"

http://www.joshkirbyart.com

3.2 SOME VERY USEFUL QUOTATIONS

Mainly for the benefit of dwellers in (coughs) certain quarters, but of no less interest to all Roundworld, Gizmodo offers an intelligent list of "10 Discworld Quotes You'll Desperately Need For The Next Four Years" – including quotes from Vetinari, Vimes, Tiffany Aching and others. Some examples:

"6) There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carefully knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass), or who had no glass at all, because they were at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman's eye. – The Truth

"The world belongs to the entitled, who somehow not only avoid blame, but avoid being included in the proverbs.

"7) 'The secret is not to dream,' she whispered. 'The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. I know where I come from and I know where I'm going. You cannot fool me anymore. Or touch me. Or anything that is mine.' – Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men

"Pratchett followed this by saying that you can't be 'awake' all the time, that we dream because seeing everything as it really is would break us. And that explains why people complain when their 'escapism' touches on truths..."

[There are, of course, an uncountable number of other appropriate Pratchett quotes for our times, but this one's a well-chosen selection. – Ed.]

http://bit.ly/2kd41TV

3.3 THE OTHER DARK MORRIS

As always, there was wassailing in the depths of winter:

"Members of the Leominster Morris have celebrated the ancient custom of wassailing, said to prepare orchards for the new year, blessing trees with a good crop and frightening away evil spirits. Morris dancers and mummers led a procession to an orchard near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, to perform the ceremony, which involves placing a cider-soaked piece of Christmas cake on the branches of an apple tree and sprinkling cider around its roots, dancing and singing the Wassail Song. The term Wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase 'waes hael', and, originally, the wassail was a drink made with mulled ale and passed round in the communal wassail cup. Traditionally, wassailing was on Old Twelfth Night, 17 January, but nowadays it is often earlier in line with the Gregorian calendar."

(contains many excellent iconographs!)

http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-38517447

In other Morris news, a Chelmsford side is calling for would-be Morrisers:

"A decades-old Morris dancing group says it desperately needs 'fit, mildly eccentric men' to join in order to keep going. Chelmsford Morris was founded in 1972 and currently has about 30 members. However, the vast majority of members are now women and some male members are expected to retire soon. Club bagman Celia Kemp said the the situation meant 'the men of Chelmsford Morris may have to stop dancing in 2017 because of a shortage of dancers'. 'The women's side is doing really quite well,' she said. 'They are going from strength to strength. But we really need some younger people to join. We have nine grown up sons between us and none of them have taken up Morris dancing. We would like people who have perhaps got fed up with the gym and who want to try something new – it is also such a good social life. Eccentricity is not a requirement but is usually the definition of a Morris dancer.'..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-38663448

3.4 SIR PTERRY HONOURED IN SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME

On the Locus Magazine website:

"The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) announced the 2016 inductees to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Eligibility has been expanded 'to recognize the genre's most impactful creations,' and the 2016 inductees are authors Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, along with Star Trek and Blade Runner.

http://www.locusmag.com/News/2017/01/2016-sff-hall-of-fame-inductees/

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

04) NEW DOCUMENTARY! AND GOOD OMENS TELLY SERIES NEWS

4.1 "TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK" ON YOUR TELLY!

The "fourth instalment in the Terry Pratchett trilogy" of documentaries will be broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday, 11th February!

As announced in the Radio Times, by Ben Dowell:

"The BBC is making a documentary about the late writer Terry Pratchett in which his words will be read in character by actor Paul Kaye. Terry Pratchett: Back In Black is told in Pratchett's own words, with contributions from authors Neil Gaiman and Val McDermid, and his long-serving assistant Rob Wilkins. Kaye's impression of Pratchett is said to be 'uncanny' according to the BBC. The programme, which airs on BBC2 later this year, will follow his life from his troubled schooldays, to being dismissed by literary critics, to the remarkable creation of the Discworld series of fantasy novels, which have since sold over 85 million copies worldwide. It will also chronicle Pratchett's battle with Alzheimer's and his death in 2015. 'The documentary film is, by turns, surreal, witty and unexpectedly poignant,' the BBC said in a statement. 'Knighted by the Queen, adored by millions of fans and with a legacy of 41 much loved novels – Terry Pratchett is still having the last laugh.'"

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-01-12/bbc-reveal-plans-for-poignant-new-terry-pratchett-documentary

And on the BBC's news website:

"A 'humorous documentary' about the late fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett has been commissioned by BBC Two. Terry Pratchett: Back in Black will tell his story in his own words, with comedian Paul Kaye voicing the writer. 'Terry wanted to... write the story of his life as a writer but he never got around to it,' said Mark Bell, head of commissioning for BBC Arts... The film, to air on BBC Two later this year, will feature contributions from authors Neil Gaiman and Val McDermid. Rob Wilkins, the writer's long-serving assistant, said they had been working on the documentary during 'the last few months of Terry's life'. Wilkins said the film would follow the 'trilogy' of TV documentaries Sir Terry made between 2009 and 2013..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38601542

...and in the Bucks Free press, where the young Pratchett started his career in Writing Things Down:

"BBC crews descended on the Bucks Free Press offices in Station Road, Loudwater, to film parts of the new documentary in September last year. In the scenes, Paul Kaye as Sir Terry is sat at his typewriter, surrounded by piles of papers while the BFP’s current reporters work in the background..."

http://bit.ly/2jWeYXk

From the Press Association, via the Irish Independent:

"The Discworld author was working on his own life story before he died in 2015, but Alzheimer's meant that he was not able to finish it. Now Terry Pratchett: Back In Black will tell the writer's story in his own words, with comedian and actor Paul Kaye voicing the writer... Sir Terry's books sold millions of copies worldwide and were translated into more than 30 languages. He completed his last book – set like so many of his best-sellers in Discworld – a year before his death. Towards the end of his life, he used his fame and wealth to campaign for a greater awareness of dementia and assisted dying. Mark Bell, head of commissioning for BBC Arts, said: 'Terry wanted to effectively write the story of his life as a writer but he never got around to it because his bad health intervened. This was an attempt to say, here's a way of bringing his life as a writer to life. We got Paul Kaye to say Terry's words. It's quite bold and the family saw it and were moved I think. It's a sweet film.'"

http://bit.ly/2jfDyoZ

From William Hughes, on the AV Club:

"Best-selling fantasy author Terry Pratchett didn't shy away from his own mortality. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2007, the beloved Discworld author continued to write and work, even filming three somewhat grimly titled TV documentaries – Living With Alzheimer's, Choosing To Die, and the conservation-themed Facing Extinction – before his death in 2015. Now, the BBC is working to celebrate Pratchett's life, announcing a new, humor-laden documentary titled Terry Pratchett: Back In Black. The name, presumably, is a reference to Pratchett's frequently single-color wardrobe, while the film itself will feature a large amount of footage that was shot specifically for the production in the months before his death. British actor Paul Kaye will give voice to Pratchett's comic musings, as the doc attempts to capture the warmth, humor, and humanity that Pratchett infused into each of his more than 70 novels..."

http://www.avclub.com/article/bbc-making-new-terry-pratchett-documentary-248353

...and from the Penguin Classics website:

"If, like us, you can't wait to see Paul Kaye in action as Pratchett, you can catch a glimpse of him in the BBC's Cultural Highlights of 2017. Click below and skip to 01:35..."

http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1ujjmu7fbxqi4uIspWdnxMwVU

4.2 GOOD OMENS, ALSO ON YOUR TELLY!

Exciting news for Good Omens fans [Surely that's all of us – Ed.] – the Good Omens miniseries will be coming to the small screen next year, on the BBC and – for USA viewers – on Amazon Prime. Roll on, Lower Tadfield!

The announcement, on Discworld.com:

"Narrativia are delighted to announce their first major television Co-Production with BBC Studios and Neil Gaiman's Blank Corporation. The series will be broadcast in 2018 by Amazon Prime Video and the BBC. BAFTA-winning producers and Narrativia Directors Rob Wilkins and Rod Brown are to Executive Produce the project.

"Rob Wilkins said, 'Development began back in 2011 when Terry was still very much part of the process and we are thoroughly delighted that Neil has written six absolutely brilliant episodes that bring their novel to life. Terry would be thrilled.'

"Rod Brown added 'Narrativia was founded in 2012 by Sir Terry himself, with a mission statement to seek out co-production partners and broadcasters who not only had the vision to "get" Terry's (and in this case Neil's) tone of writing and storytelling, but also to have the financial ability to present his work with no compromise of scale or talent and at the highest possible quality, whatever medium we were working in. This TV production announcement, especially as it is one of a number of exciting projects we have in the pipeline, delivers on Terry's vision, as did our other recent announcement of our partnership with The Jim Henson Company on the Wee Free Men film project to be written by multi award-winning Rhianna Pratchett. We know that Good Omens, with its wonderful script written by the legendary Neil Gaiman, and the talent we are working with at Amazon and the BBC will be one the must-see shows of 2018!'"

To view online, go to http://bit.ly/2iYd5dQ

http://narrativia.com/

From Penguin Classics:

"Hot on the heels of the BBC's announcement of a new Pratchett documentary, comes an update on BBC Studios' Good Omens adaptation. The six-part comedy series will be adapted for television by Terry's co-author on the book, Neil Gaiman. The series will be broadcast on the BBC and Amazon Prime in 2018. Spanning not only the universe but also the entirety of time... this is a story that may be the largest ever told on television. We're excited to be working with BBC Studios to bring Neil and Terry Pratchett's incredible book to life."
– Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy and Drama (Amazon Studios)

"Good Omens has always been one of my favourite books, and it's hugely exciting not just to be able to bring it to life, but to do so with scripts from Neil Gaiman himself. It feels like a good time to be making a comedy about an impending global apocalypse."
– Chris Sussman, Head of Comedy (BBC Studios)

In The Guardian:

"Gaiman, who is also serving as showrunner on the series, has written all six one-hour episodes. The show, which has been co-produced with BBC Studios, will premiere in 2018 on Amazon's streaming service Prime Video, and will be broadcast on the BBC in the UK soon afterwards..."

http://bit.ly/2jyOM6N

On film site Joblo:

"A proper adaptation of GOOD OMENS has been in the works for quite some time. The show will be co-produced by BBC Studios with Narrativia, which is the production company of the late Terry Pratchett's daughter, Rhianna. Joining them in the production efforts of bringing this apocalyptic odyssey to life will be Blank Corporation and BBC Worldwide for Amazon Video and the BBC... Gaiman, along with Caroline Skinner, and Chris Sussman will act as executive producers on the project for BBC Studios – with Rob Wilkins and Rod Brown for Narrativia. In addition to the show's exclusive launch on Amazon Prime's streaming service, GOOD OMENS will also receive a BBC broadcast in the UK..."

http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/amazon-finally-brings-neil-gaiman-and-terry-pratchetts-good-omens-to-screen-237

...and likewise in numerous other places including the Hollywood Reporter (_http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/amazon-adapting-neil-gaimon-terry-pratchett-novel-good-omens-comedy-series-965892_), comicbook.com (_http://comicbook.com/2017/01/20/terry-pratchett-neil-gaiman-good-omens-amazon/_), Geeks of Doom (_http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2017/01/24/tv-series-gaiman-pratchett-good-omens_), and many more.

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

05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2017

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON (JANUARY/FEBRUARY)

The Nuffield Southampton Theatre will present their production of Monstrous Regiment starting at the end of this month!

When: 31st January–4th February 2017
Venue: NST (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), University Road, Southampton SO17 1TR
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £13 (concessions £10, under-16s £8, groups of 10 or more £10), available from the Box Office (phone 023 8067 1771) or online at https://www.nstheatres.co.uk/whats-on/monstrous-regiment/book

Note: there is a special 2-for-1 student offer on the Wednesday only.

https://www.nstheatres.co.uk/whats-on/monstrous-regiment

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

Heading into their fifth year of staging Discworld plays, Monstrous Productions' next offering is The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents:

"Rats! They disarm the traps, widdle in the flour and charge a very reasonable price to leave town. That isn't how it's supposed to go of course, but then these are no ordinary rats. They are the Changelings, a group of rats who became smart after eating off a magical rubbish heap. With the guidance of the streetwise alleycat Maurice, the Changelings now run a very profitable business posing as a fake plague in unsuspecting towns. All they needed was stupid-looking kid with a pipe who leads them all out of town, for a fee…

"That is; until one last job in Bad Blintz, a starving town with a serious rat problem. They soon realise that this town is not quite as it seems and something darker is hiding underneath. Remember, there are bad things in the Dark Wood... Monstrous Productions have been bringing Terry Pratchett to the stage in Cardiff since 2012. After donating over £20k to Alzheimer's Research UK, Maurice is a new project for them, with all proceeds being donated to the Forget-me-not choir, a local choir for people with dementia and their families. Join them for an evening of storytelling, puppetry and live music."

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/

http://monstrousptc.com/

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY)

The Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon, USA will be staging their production of Mort in February.

"DEATH is always right behind us. But if he were in front of us, and this were the fantastical Discworld invented by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Death would also be a seven-foot skeleton with a black robe and a scythe. And when Death is in front of young Mort, he also has an offer of an apprenticeship. In this hilarious overview of life, love, and death (not in that order), Mort finds himself living in Death's abode, but when he finally gets a chance to do the job, his mistakes cause reality to be sliced in half, with a beautiful princess somewhere between life and death and not very happy about it. Surrounded by panicked wizards, arrogant royalty, goofy drunks, and short-order chefs, Mort and Death must confront their own fears in order to restore order, and figure out who lives, and who's fired!"

When: 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th February 2017 (performances on the 12th and 19th are matinees)
Venue: Main stage, The Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
Time: 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th and 18th February at 7:30pm; 12th and 19th February at 2:30pm
Tickets: $16 (students and "seniors" $14), available online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=13&p=1 or from the Box Office (phone 541-738-7469).
Box Office Hours: 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Wednesday – Friday during periods of active production. The Box Office is also open 75 minutes before all performances.
Please note that there will be no late seating.

http://www.majestic.org/


5.2 PLAYS IN MARCH 2017

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

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.

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 7201

https://lacemarkettheatre.co.uk/LaceMarketTheatre.dll/WhatsOn

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

Bolton Little Theatre, "a vibrant amateur theatre company run by members" since 1931, will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in March.

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – 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/


5.3 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

The Newbury Dramatic Society will stage their production of Maskerade, directed by John Hicks (possibly with the help of a skull ring?), in May: "In the Ankh Morpork Opera House, a strangely familiar evil mastermind in a mask and evening dress is lurking in the shadows. He lures innocent young sopranos to their destiny, commits occasional murder, and sends little notes full of maniacal laughter and exclamation marks. Opera can do that to a man. But Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience and she doesn't hold with that sort of thing... and the show must go on!"

When: 17th–20th May 2017
Venue: Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8AE
Time: 7.30pm Wednesday to Friday, 6.30pm Saturday
Tickets: £12.50 (£12 concessions), available online at https://www.watermill.org.uk/maskerade#dates-ttab or ring the Box Office on 01635 46044

https://www.watermill.org.uk/maskerade

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

Brisbane Arts Theatre will be presenting their next Discworld play, Lords and Ladies – adapted by Irana brown – next September!

"Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg – the witches of Lancre – are the Discworld's only hope of rescue when elves threaten to take control with their hypnotic 'glamour'. Standing stones, wizards, Morris men, rude mechanicals, country lore and ancient magic all combine in this adaptation of one of Sir Terry's finest. With a full supporting cast of dwarves, wizards, trolls and one orangutan, the hilarious Lords and Ladies delivers an abundance of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place."

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at
http://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?&presenter=AUBAT&event=LANDL

"Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/lordsandladies

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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 30th November 1999 (according to their website this week) or more likely on Monday 6th February 2017 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "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 from 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 uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

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 CoSG event will be the Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel on 23rd February. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 2nd February 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 3rd February 2017 (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. 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 6th February 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 6th February 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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

07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

"We're back in business! The Discworld Emporium has re-opened after our festive break and shipping has now resumed, so if you placed an order over the holidays your Discworld goodies will be with you very soon. For our opening times and how to find us please check our VISIT US guide."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/content/7-visit-us

"Lots of Discworld bits and bobs sold out in the run up to Hogswatch, so we're working hard to replenish stock as soon as we can. If there's an item you've been lusting after, head to the product's page on our website where you can sign up for a restock alert, and we'll send you an email as soon as the item is added back on our site."

Some choice bits:

* Create Your Own Discworld Adventure roleplaying game!

"Will you battle Barbarians in the frozen wastes of the Hubland Steppes? Will you visit with Vetinari, meet a sticky end in the Shades or penetrate the Seamstresses' Guild? Gather with friends and fellow fans for an immersive escapade around Discworld from the safety of your own home with the Discworld Roleplaying Game!

"Brought to you by Steve Jackson (of Munchkin fame), this is a complete roleplaying game book containing full rules for GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System) along with a wealth of hilarious reference material from the Discworld canon. Containing 408 pages written by Terry Pratchett and Phil Masters with illustrations by Paul Kidby and Sean Murray, this hefty tome is for seasoned roleplayers, but can also enjoyed as an introductory roadmap through Discworld!"

Each Discworld Roleplaying Game set is priced at £33, but note the following (very) recent announcement:

"BUGGRIT! IT'S A SELL OUT! WE'RE DOING OUR BEST TO ACQUIRE MORE STOCK ASAP. FEEL FREE TO SET A RESTOCK NOTIFICATION ON THIS PAGE TO KEEP UPDATED."

For more information, and to order (eventually), go to
https://www.discworldemporium.com/home/348-discworld-roleplaying-game

* The Hat!

"Official sterling silver 'hat' pin featuring Terry Pratchett's iconic accessory -the legendary millinery of a literary mastermind! Terry Pratchett's famous black hat has been beautifully recreated in miniature by Birmingham's finest jewellers, and finished with a sleek dark patina. This symbolic badge of brilliance can be proudly worn on a lapel, scarf, or your own marvellous millinery to display your authorial affiliation! If you look closely, you'll notice that each pin is carefully and minutely inscribed on the back with Terry's motto 'Mind how you go'."

Each Terry Pratchett's Hat silver pin badge is priced at £28.50, measures approximately 12 x 10mm, includes a silver locking fastener and is presented in a Discworld Emporium gift box. For more information, and to order, go to
https://www.discworldemporium.com/jewellery/337-terry-pratchett-s-hat-silver-pin-badge

* The Discworld Gift Voucher!

"Indulge your fellow Discworld fans with a Discworld Emporium Gift Voucher! Nothing says 'I love you' like a thoughtful, personal gift. Failing that, give them a voucher so they can get themselves what they really want!

"Our vouchers allow you to choose a design and amount, and whether to print at home to present in person, or send directly to the recipient via email. Email vouchers can also be programmed to send on a specific date – never miss a birthday, Hogswatch or wedding gift again!

"Please Note: Vouchers can be spent in our online store only and are valid for 12 months. At this time, vouchers are not valid for use on postage or delivery costs, recipients will be required to pay for postage at checkout. The recipient may need to check their junk folder if their voucher doesn't turn up when expected."

There is a choice of four Gift Voucher designs (Mr. Fusspot, Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork, Great A'Tuin or Happy Hogswatch). Once you have nominated your chosen design, you can specify the amount of the voucher and the method of delivery (print at home or send by e-mail).

For more information, and to order, go to
https://www.discworldemporium.com/module/giftcard/choicegiftcard

* The Ankh-Morpork Passport!

"Issued exclusively by The Ankh-Morpork Consulate here at the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton, each passport is individually numbered by letterpress and pre-endorsed ready for you to fill in as imaginatively as you wish. Contains vital information on prohibited goods, currency and work permits along with immigration stamps from around the Disc along with space for stamps should you visit the Discworld Emporium in person, or any other place that is silly enough to stamp your passport."

Each Discworld Passport measures 100 x 140mm and is priced at £10. For more information, and to order, go to
https://www.discworldemporium.com/diplomas-documents/209-ankh-morpork-passport

* New stamps!

"Introducing the New Definitive issues from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office. Six iconic issues from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office as designed by Moist Von Lipwig himself ...and the famous Cabbage Field 50p! Traditionally printed on authentic gummed stamp paper, the definitive issues make their debut in the first Little Brown Envelope (_https://www.discworldemporium.com/42-little-brown-envelopes_) of the year, The Definitive Artichoke LBE, available NOW!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/42-little-brown-envelopes

To view the lot, and much more, go to www.discworldemporium.com


7.2 DISCWORLD.COM UPDATES

For the Discworld fan with deeper pockets...

* The Unseen University hoodies!

Unseen University Crest (£25 – £28):

"This grey marl hoodie features the crest and motto of Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University. 'Can't have a bunch of grocers and butchers telling a university how to run itself, Stibbons!' Ridcully said firmly. 'Thank them for their interest and tell them we'll continue to take one hundred per cent of complete and utter dullards, as usual. Take 'em in dull, turn 'em out sparklin', that's always been the UU way!'

"This is a classic hoodie. Please ensure chest size is correct when ordering. 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."

Available sizes go from Small (36″ chest) to 5XL (62″/64″ chest).

http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/unseen-university-crest-hoodie/

Unseen University hoodie (£28):

"Unseen University is the premiere school of wizardry in Ankh-Morpork, founded in the year 1282 AM (1 UC) by Alberto Malich the Wise. Located in the city of Ankh-Morpork, the UU is staffed by a faculty of fascinating characters, and you can show your allegiance now with this classic hoodie."

http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/1987/

Bugarup University hoodie (£28):

"These hoodies come straight from the premiere seats of learning on Discworld. Wear yours with pride."

http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/bugarup-university-hooded-top-white-royal-blue/

There are a number of other hoodie designs available, including Anthill Inside, Death with Kitten and Feegles Running. To view them all, go to http://discworld.com/products/hoodies/

* The Unseen University scarf!

"100% saxony wool – these scarves measure 10″ x 72″ and are striped in navy, crimson, yellow and purple. The UU crest is embroidered in colour at one end. Made in the UK by the leading Oxbridge scarf maker."

Each UU scarf is priced at £45. For more information, and to order, go to http://discworld.com/products/scarves/

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

08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

8.1 AUSDWCON 2017 UPDATES

Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – will be held at the Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia on 4th-6th August 2017.

"Lock-in your early-bird ticket price by buying a Supporting Membership before Feb 4th! https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/supporting-membership/ …"

https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/

8.2 IDWCON 2017 UPDATES

"Welcome to the IDWCon 2017 website! Please see our About the Convention, F.A.Q., and Venue pages to find out more. We've sold out of Memberships, but we have a waiting list instead. Our theme this year is the Unseen University Open Doors Weekend – we'll be visiting the U.U. to marvel at introductory lectures, research the groundbreaking Roundworld project, and find out more about the staff and Faculty. Whether you're a visiting scholar, a curious local or even a Tourist, the U.U.'s doors will be open to all for this extra-special event. Hold on to your pointy hats – it's going to be Hexcellent!"

Convention Guests of Honour will be Colin Smythe, Bernard "Cunning Artificer" Pearson, Isobel Pearson, Jack Cohen, Pat Harkin, Stephen Briggs and Rob Wilkins. All 300 memberships for the convention, which will be held from 6th–9th October 2017 at the Cork International Hotel, are already sold out, but there is a waiting list to cover possible cancellations:

http://2017.idwcon.org/index.php/waitinglist/

As always, the Irish Discworld Convention's website is simply gorgeous. Go look!

http://2017.idwcon.org/

8.3 NADWCON UPDATES

"Thinking about helping out? This convention is entirely run by volunteers and we're always looking for willing victims to become part of the convention committee or suggest program items. Please contact us with suggestions and/or what you would like to help with. To find out more about the convention please see our About NADWCon (_https://nadwcon2017.org/about.html_) and F.A.Q. (_https://nadwcon2017.org/f-a-q_) pages."

The 2017 North American Discworld Convention will be held on 1st–4th September at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. 70130 (phone: 504 525-2500). This year's theme is Witches Abroad. Membership for the entire convention is $88. To buy a membership, go to https://nadwcon2017.org/signup.html

https://nadwcon2017.org/

8.4 CABBAGECON UPDATES

"On 1 and 2 July 2017 the fourth Dutch Discworld Convention Cabbagecon 4 will happen at the hotel Carlton President in Utrecht. It will be an occasion for fans of Sir Terry Pratchett from the Netherlands and abroad to meet up again and have some fun. We hope to see you too!"

Membership of Cabbagecon 4 for the whole weekend is €60,00. One-day membership for either the Saturday or the Sunday is €35,00
per day.

http://www.dutchdwcon.nl/

8.5 SCHEIBENWELT UPDATES

"The German Discworld Convention will take place from the 18th to the 21st of May 2017 at Castle Ludwigstein. The theme we have chosen this time is the Witches and the Chalk. Our motto will be: Witchcraft & Feegle Spook."

Full price for the full four days of Convention, featuring guest Bernard Pearson (and the possible appearance of Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs), is €149 which includes accommodation in a bed in a shared room in the hostel of the castle, warm dinner and breakfast buffet, or €110 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Full price for camping guests (includes entry to the Convention including a place to put your own tent next to the castle, warm dinner and breakfast buffet) is €99 for the four days or €79 for Friday through Sunday. For day visitors (only entry to the Convention and no food or accommodation), prices are €20 for either Friday or Saturday, or €35 for both days:

http://www.discworld-convention.de/#/en/Tickets/Prices

To order tickets: http://www.discworld-convention.de/#/en/Tickets/Order

http://www.discworld-convention.de/#/en/

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

09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Nat Wassell, on Cultured Vultures, considers A Hat Full of Sky:

"Reading this book, I couldn't help but wonder if Sir Terry ever looked back at some of his earlier Discworld novels and thought about the occasional slips in clarity, especially from the first three books, and what he could have done about them if he had the chance. Maybe it was nothing and that's fine; we all write on a learning curve, of course, but it is interesting to consider... The Hiver isn't a bad creature, just as Tiffany isn't a bad person, but it shows that everyone has the potential for bad. Granny Weatherwax has never been easier to understand than she is by the end of this novel, in which she barely features.

"I also have to mention the Nac Mac Feegles again here. They're still tiny and angry and drunk, but they are also growing into characters worthy of the consideration given any other main player in the Discworld. We get to spend time with Jeannie, the new kelda of the clan and wife of Rob Anybody, the rambunctious but well-meaning Big Man. Jeannie is a modern and forward thinking young woman; not content with being the only Feegle able to read and write, she insists that Rob and the rest of the men learn... I also want to talk briefly about Rob in his own right. He's willing to do anything for Jeannie, even learning the letters that scare him so much, but he does not forget what he and the others owe to Tiffany..."

https://culturedvultures.com/discworld-discussions-hat-full-sky-2004/

Blogger Vacuous Wastrel is back with a review of Wintersmith that's so at war with itself that it might just be Alternative Truth:

"Let's try to list all the things I didn't like about this book. It still has too many Feegles in it... Because Tiffany is still young and inexperienced, a lot of things have to be explained to her. A lot. Pratchett is pretty fond of Explaining Stuff at the best of times, but here it feels at times like she's just wandering from one font of explanation to another... there's the gender politics. Which actually manages to irritate me from both directions... it feels as though Pratchett is laughing at [Tiffany], and at other women through her, and it isn’t pleasant... And there's a subplot that isn’t really necessary, but isn't fleshed out enough to stand by itself either. And the ending... well it makes sense, but it seems to all happen a bit too quickly. And the structural gimmick, while a break from Pratchett's normal linear methods, and while not exactly a failure, also don't fully convince. And 'boffo' is a stupid word... But all that aside, this is a fantastic book. Wintersmith is clearly the best of the first three Tiffany books, and while it may not have the depth to really rank with Pratchett's greatest it certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as them. The writing is consistently fantastic; the imagery constantly intriguing. It is highly polished, yet retains its character..."

[Um... er... okay... so he liked it? – Ed.]

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/wintersmith-by-terry-pratchett/

Blogger The Idle Woman celebrates Guards! Guards!:

"This is a really lovely instalment in the series. Unlike the 'concept' novels, it never feels restricted by its subject, instead merrily subverting cherished fantasy cliches: the dragon; the eldritch secret society; the king returning to save his people in their hour of need… And its real strength is in the characters. Though this is very much a comedy, there's a real poignancy to the men of the Night Watch, especially Vimes, with a grim life of wasted potential behind him and only a flicker of hope left. Yet, although Carrot is the physical model of a hero, it's Vimes whose grit, determination and sheer bloody-mindedness will come to the fore as his troop seeks to defeat the dragon, save the noble damsel and restore peace to the city, etc. A smart, rip-roaring adventure, this is one to savour, with nods to Dirty Harry and Casablanca, along no doubt with many other references I missed. It also introduces the concept of L-space, which will be immediately familiar to anyone who, like me, has spent long hours in second-hand bookshops. A measure of its popularity is that, like Wyrd Sisters, it has been adapted for the stage, and you can also enjoy exploring the Watch's territory for yourself on an Ankh-Morpork map..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/01/24/guards-guards/

...and also highly recommends Pyramids:

"Pyramids is one of my favourite books in the Discworld series and I've read it far more frequently than most of the others I'll be encountering in this reread. It doesn't feature any of the usual recurring characters, but it has such a wonderful concept, riffing on Ancient Egypt, the Trojan Horse, Zeno's theory about Achilles and the tortoise, the Crossing of the Red Sea, and tales of mummies rising from the dead. Plus, I love the glimpse we have of the Assassins' Guild, which is basically Eton or Harrow with added caltrops and the kind of final exam which makes a PhD viva sound like a piece of cake. And Teppic is a marvellous protagonist, terribly well-meaning and polite, but at the same time rather subversive with a dash of embarrassed heroism thrown in. Theoretically you could read any of the Discworld books as a standalone novel, but this one works better than most. If you're looking for a way to dip in your toe, this might be a good one to try..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/01/22/pyramids-terry-pratchett/https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/

Blogger Emily Witt also reviews Pyramids:

"Given the nature of satire, this isn't really the sort of book I'm used to reading – the YA ones where I can get completely unhealthily invested in the characters, but the characters were all well-developed in a way that furthered the points that Pratchett was making about religion and sticking to tradition in the face of every suggestion to get with the times. I laughed at Teppic's awkwardness regarding Dio's inability to let him actually do any ruling, and I sympathised with the dead former King, who was unable to move on and had to watch all his wishes being decidedly not carried out. Some of the quantum stuff got a bit confusing, as there would be several versions of the same character, all from slightly different time periods, in the same room at the same time. For the most part, though, I was able to keep these straight. Time travel-type stuff always runs the risk of getting confusing, but I think Sir Terry managed to strike the right balance..."

http://bit.ly/2jfNsqI

Blogger Amelia Mackenzie tackles the daunting task of introducing newbies to Discworld:

"I love the characters that start out like cliches but grow into so much more, I love Pratchett's philosophy about human kindness and belief and the wonders of imagination, and I love the fact that all of this is packed into dozens of books that make me giggle from one cover to the other. But when I recommend Discworld to people, they tend to view them the same way people view comics. By which I mean, they look at the sheer number of them and panic. How the hell am I meant to read all those? Where do I even START?

"The nice thing about the Discworld books is that, technically, you can start them anywhere. The books run chronologically, and certain groups of characters pop up repeatedly (there are the Guards Books and the Death Books and the Witches Books), but it doesn't matter which book you actually start on, because they all explain themselves fully. I started on Hogfather, the 22nd book in the Discworld series and the fourth in the Death Books series. This, however, tends to terrify people even more, because now they really, really don't know where to start. So here's my informal, quick guide on some of the best books to start with, and why..."

https://ameliamackenzie.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/where-to-start-with-discworld/

Blogger Drinking and Ink's thoughts on Hogfather:

"There's humor, much of it contained in footnotes, and puns. There's action and excitement, there's an orangutan playing the organ, there's a computer of sorts, there are wizards, there are children and some true observations about childhood, and loads of holiday spirit. There's a lot of fairly deep stuff about the importance of stories and fantasy and how myths and legends evolve. There’s also a skeleton in a Santa Claus outfit, who somehow manages to be completely different from the one in The Nightmare Before Christmas except perhaps with a shared difficulty in delivering a convincing 'ho ho ho.' There's also, for you fans of strong female characters, a very interesting lead in Susan Sto Helit, Death's granddaughter. Susan is currently a governess trying to be more or less normal. She is self-possessed, educated, clever, and not a natural at this whole 'normal' thing. She's the closest thing to a grown-up in most scenes: as is noted at one point, if other characters are listening to their inner child, she is the inner babysitter. She also shares certain talents with her grandfather... Listen. It's just – it's good. It's really good. You should read Terry Pratchett. And you should definitely read this one."

[Editor's note: the suggested drink here to accompany Hogfather is sherry, or a mug of cocoa...]

http://bit.ly/2jznKMq

Blogger Aaron Jacobs shares thoughts on death and dying and a very special essay by Sir Pterry:

"When Terry Pratchett realized he wouldn't be able to attend the 2014 Discworld Con due to his health problems, he compiled a small book as a gift for the attendees. It contains some fragmented stories, poetry, a dedication, stuff that is private and only for the eyes of the devotees who came to see him. You won't find these books on sale anywhere, I hope. He had them distributed freely to the convention-goers under the condition no one try to sell them. They're individually numbered and the convention heads keep a master list of who each one belongs to, so if anyone does decide to go for a quick buck with their book it'll be readily apparently[sic]. He also included this essay. My friend typed it up for me and gave me permission to share it with the context and background story. It's an incredibly important essay and something I think about during dark times when people you care about seem to be dying with rapidity. I read it what felt like weekly when Bowie, Rickman and others died early this year. I read it the day Leonard Nimoy passed. I read it when Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds died on nearly the same day. It’s about how things aren’t all terrible. It goes like this..."

https://aaronjacobsblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/on-death-and-living/

A blog review of the Discworld MUD, by Clay:

"I have been playing this single MUD off and on since 1998, back when I was in high school. I have tried numerous other MUDs, including some of the bigger ones like Aardwolf, Genesis, and the IRE Family of MUDs and no matter what, I always end up coming back to the Disc. Why you might ask? Well for a variety of reasons. Let's break down what makes the Discworld MUD unique, and why I think anyone who is looking for something fun and different should give this world a try.."

https://pageturnersinc.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/the-discworld-mud-a-review/

...and of Discworld Noir, by Sonea:

"The game is set in a fictional universe known as Discworld, referencing some places like Ankh-Morph[sic] from Sir Terry Pratchett's novels (which are beyond some very fantastical imagination), but do not rely on the characters and you do not need to read them in order to understand the story of this game. Lewton is a private investigator who is on a murder case which sets him off on a long trail across different towns in the city. Along his way, he meets a lot of eccentric characters that he speaks to and some that require a more brutish tone to get some answers, after all everyone is a suspect. For a game from an older generation, it was one of my childhood gaming experience and one I grew to love in my adult life... I love the idea of being able to interact with any characters in the game as many times as you want, listening closely to their conversation and taking notes which you use for clues for the next lead in your investigation. It's also reassuring that you won't get to a 'game over' point at anytime as it's a game of wit and relies on a structural narrative, allowing the player to use clues to figure out where to go next and who to talk to now. The whole tone, dialogue and graphics are similar to the feel of stepping into a classic noir movie, with the jazz music in cafes and the darkly dim shadowed places that you'd find in a crime scene..."

https://soneawritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/discworld-noir/

...and finally, a lovely blogpost from Gareth Preston, who will be directing the Bolton Little Theatre's production of Wyrd Sisters this March, on how he first came to stage a Pratchett play:

"I had become involved with amateur dramatics, and I loved Stephen Briggs' adaptations and the idea of realising them on stage. So in time I persuaded my then current group of Mawdesley Amateur Dramatics to stage Wyrd Sisters. The photo at the top of the page is from that production. Like many groups, a majority of MADS were women, so it was an advantage to have a play with four really good female roles, not to mention a fair amount of characters who could be played by either gender. That 2007 production was my first experience of directing theatre. It helped that we were already a group of friends, so that made it less intimidating that it could have been. We played it on a smallish village hall stage, with much less in the way of facilities at the time than Bolton Little Theatre has. For example the sound system consisted of my laptop computer and a guitar amp at the rear of the hall. I should add that the current hall has had something of an upgrade since. However the show was a success, and I think the local audience enjoyed the fact that we were trying something a bit different from the traditional amateur dramatic fare. Now ten years later I am about to direct a new production in a fully equipped theatre with a specially designed set and a cast that is an interesting mix of experienced Bolton regulars and newer faces, some for whom this will be one of their first plays..."

http://bit.ly/2jznNrx

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

A photograph of The Author at work... or is it? Muhahaha:
https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/nintchdbpict0002951728311.jpg

...and another, from the filming at the Bucks Free Press for "Terry Pratchett: Back in Black":
http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/resources/images/5930794

The witches of NADWCON!:
https://nadwcon2017.org/media/wysiwyg/Composite_Witch_bees_1.png

The AusDWcon Grand Tour logo:
http://bit.ly/2jHfEiF

Cabbagecon's adorable logo, featuring the Latatian motto "Sit brassica non movet ab testudo, testudo movet ab brassica":
http://www.dutchdwcon.nl/sites/all/themes/cabbagecon/logo.png

Iconographs from the Midhurst Players' production of Wyrd Sisters last month. The cauldron scene:
http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Clip_15-920x400.jpg

The Rite of Ashk-Ente:
http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Clip_26-600x400.jpg

Nanny in the dungeon:
http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_5449-591x400.jpg

A chin-wag at Lancre Castle:
http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Copy-of-DSC_5507-533x400.jpg

Theatrical witches: http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Clip_11-600x400.jpg

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11) CLOSE

And that's the lot for January. Keep calm and carry on, and we'll see you next month!

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Plays)
The beautiful Welsh town of Abergavenny's amateur theatre group are bringing Feet of Clay to life this month!

"In their 50th anniversary year, Abergavenny Theatre Group bring back some familiar characters to the stage in Terry Pratchett's Feet of Clay. The guards of The Watch (who last featured in ATG’s production of Men at Arms more than a decade ago) are back, as Vimes and his team investigate who is slowly murdering the Patrician! This madcap comedy features dwarfs, golems, vampires and werewolves (though not real ones!) and is a must for any Pratchett fan!"

When: 26th-28th January 2017
Venue: Borough Theatre, Cross Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 5HD
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £8.50 (concessions £7.50), available online from https://borough.ticketsolve.com/shows/873566181/events


wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
December 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 12, 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)

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
09) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"The powers that be have spoken! The #Discworld year known on Roundworld as 2017 shall be named THE YEAR OF THE BACKWARDS FACING ARTICHOKE!"
– the Discworld Emporium

"What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."
– the wisdom of Moist von Lipwig

"Hogfather is the twentieth book in the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett. We loved it for many reasons, and in particular because it means that my son has now read nearly half the series, which is an immense achievement for a ten year old boy who a few years ago announced he wasn't going to bother to learn to read."
– blogger katyboo1

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

So much for my intention to take a first-time-ever Hogswatch break! This month's issue has made itself manifest after all. It is a bit smaller and lighter than usual, but there are still some interesting odds and sods, updates and what have you.

We had a wonderful Hogswatch holiday; I hope yours was as well. It's been a turbulent year around Roundworld, but we "risen apes" are a resilient species, so here's hoping that 2017 – or should I say the Year of the Backwards Facing Artichoke – will hold at least a modicum of hope and joy.

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 PTERRY AND THE LOCAL CHURCH

Sir Pterry's local Omnian priest (as it were) remembers him with respect at Roundworld's Hogswatch time:

"At St Martin's, the congregation was recently faced with a £96,000 bill for work to the roof and other essential works. They raised it all, with a further £25,000 put in the reserves for the future – and that with a population of just 20. The late author Terry Pratchett, who lived nearby, joined in with the fundraising despite describing himself as a Humanist rather than a Christian. He helped to organise a fair, advertising it on his Facebook page. On the day, his fans turned up dressed as wizards or as Death, characters from his novels. Mr Pratchett came to all the fundraising-committee meetings because he saw the importance of the church for the community. He used to like to sit in St Martin's, saying it was a place of 'solace to the soul'..."

http://www.countrylife.co.uk/country-life/country-life-christmas-message-bishop-ramsbury-144971

3.2 THE BAR IS OPEN. OOOK!

You may remember a Wossname feature not too long ago, about a Discworld-inspired London area micropub called The Broken Drum that was about to open. Well, open it did – and it's serving pints right now:

"In case you are not familiar of what a traditional ale house is, we: do not have a troll as our bouncer, sawdust covered floors or frequent bar brawls. In fact, despite its name, we encourage good conversation and only sell the finest real ales straight from the cask, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere."

The Broken Drum supports the Orangutan Foundation and Alzheimer's Research UK.

http://www.thebrokendrum.co.uk/

3.3 DISCWORLD: "HIGHEST FORM OF LITERATURE"?

On the Tor blog, fantasy author Brandon Sanderson confessed in 2013:

"I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to discover Terry Pratchett. I avoided him during much of my early reading career – I'd read the works of fantastical humorists before, and while I'd always enjoyed the experience, it wasn't something I intentionally sought out. I didn't realize I was missing out on what are arguably the best books fantasy has to offer. It's hard to describe Pratchett to the uninitiated. His works mostly take place on a fictional world shaped like a disc, and the stories tend to be murder mysteries or thrillers mixed with a healthy dose of satire on the human condition. Like the best works of fantasy, a journey with his trolls, witches, and crusty night watchmen provokes inspection of our own world. But what other authors do with light allusions, Discworld does with a sledgehammer. And with light allusion too. Then it steals your wallet.

"Discworld is story, humor, and philosophy all in one. Nowhere else have I been made to laugh so much while being forced to think so much, all while being given a wonderful plot. The closest thing to Pratchett out there is Shakespeare. Yes, really. Here's the core of my argument, then. Pratchett isn't just funny, Pratchett is transcendent. There are lots of funny writers. Some are hilarious. A few are good at making you think at the same time. But most humorists, while brilliant, have trouble with story. If I put their book down, I remember the laughter, but feel no urgency to return. Those narratives don't get their hooks in me – they don't have that pull, like gravity, that a good plot builds. In short, they don't make me think – bleary-eyed at 3:00 a.m. – that I need to read one more chapter. Pratchett, on the other hand, routinely makes me lose sleep. His best stories (I suggest Going Postal or The Truth) have excellent narrative urgency, but add to it a level of riotous wit. Then, if that weren't enough, they kick you in the head with moments of poignant commentary – unexpected, brazen, and delightful... In five hundred years, it won't be the Nobel laureates who are being studied. It's going to be this guy..."

http://www.tor.com/2013/04/27/terry-pratchetts-discworld-might-be-the-highest-form-of-literature-on-the-planet/

3.4 SIR PTERRY AND THE DOCTOR

A bit of an action replay – a lovely reminiscence from the "Anglonerd" ezine about Sir Pterry in 2014 at a Barnes and Noble bookshop, musing on Doctor Who (includes video):

"Terry Pratchett and Rob Wilkins had a discussion about Terry's new book Dodger. The conversation was wonderfully derailed several times, and they got to share other Pratchett news about The Watch TV series and Nation and so on (I'll be sharing those on this blog in forthcoming posts), as well as tangents about things like Doctor Who. Below is the transcript and video of Sir Terry's opinion on the casting of the Doctor...

"Terry: I was there for the first episode of Doctor Who. The thing about Doctor Who, if you are a real Doctor Who fan, you might know that when the BBC put it out, not many people watched the first episode, but those that did were telling people about it. So, on the next Saturday, they repeated the first one so that people could see what it was all about. Just a piece of trivia, but there it is, because I was there, hiding behind the settee.

"Rob: William Hartnell was no David Tennant, though, I'm sorry.

"Terry: No, but David Tennant is a definite David Tennant. He is the best Doctor Who of ever because he is an actor. The best of them are...funny, the modern ones are just bloody clowns..."

https://anglonerd.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/terry-pratchett-on-why-david-tennant-is-the-best-doctor/

3.5 A DEFINITIVE LISTING, OR...

...not? On Buzzfeed, one Tom Chivers has posted a list of what he claims is the correct rankings-for-excellence order of all the Discworld novels. Except it's *not* all the Discworld novels, and as for his rankings, well, anyone who lists Night Watch in one of the lowest positions and Pyramids in the top three... (insert eyerolls, facepalms and headdesks here). But it's nonetheless of interest:

"Disclaimer: This list will annoy some people, but it's my list, so there. Also, I haven't included the Tiffany Aching novels and the other young-adult books, or a few other oddments such as The Last Hero. The list was long enough already, and again, it's my list. With thanks to Graeme Neill, who is behind the blog Pratchett Job, in which he's reading all of the Discworld novels in chronological order and writing about each of them."

For the record, here is Chivers' list, from his lowest-ranked to his highest:

Snuff
Monstrous Regiment
Carpe Jugulum
Thud
Sourcery
Night Watch
Eric
Thief of Time
Soul Music
Hogfather
The Fifth Elephant
The Truth
Moving Pictures
The Colour of Magic
The Light Fantastic
Equal Rites
Jingo
Going Postal
Witches Abroad
The Last Continent
Maskerade
Lords and Ladies
Mort
Interesting Times
Feet of Clay
Guards! Guards!
Men at Arms
Wyrd Sisters
Pyramids
Reaper Man
Small Gods

https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/the-definitive-listing-of-terry-pratchetts-discworld-novels

3.6 ALZHEIMER'S NEWS: DEMENTIA VIEWPOINTS, AND A CLUE IN ART

Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan has seen the effects of Alzheimer's at close range, in her own family. She talked to the BBC about her activism:

The Christmas period is undoubtedly a time many of us look forward to spending with family and friends and that's no different for me. My beloved grandmother "Nans" turned 91 a couple of days before Christmas and my family and many of Nans' friends – laden with copious amounts of cake – went down to Wales to see her and celebrate. Nans and I have always been extremely close and she is the single most influential person in my life aside from my parents. But a lot has changed in our relationship in the last 12 years. Nans was diagnosed with dementia in 2004 and from that moment our lives changed significantly. But on days like Friday, when we all come together and celebrate her life with those who love her the most, there are still moments of the purest magic.

"Dementia is an urgent health crisis that we can no longer ignore. Some 850,000 people in the UK have the condition and more than 47 million people globally live with it. Its growing prevalence has improved how we, as a society, view dementia. But there is still a long way to go and the stigma of dementia remains rife... Too many common myths and misconceptions about dementia still exist. Time and again I hear reference to it as just being a natural part of ageing. And, unfortunately, it is often the butt of distasteful jokes. But dementia is a disease of the brain and it requires understanding, care and support. The first step in changing people's understanding of dementia and improving the lives of those who have the condition involves educating people not just on our doorstep, but across the world. Schemes that set out to change perceptions are doing fantastic work already. The Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friends is a good example. It has 1.7 million people signed up to take action and change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. Through information sessions participants are asked to think about what living with dementia might be like, practically and emotionally, and are encouraged to make changes within their community to make life a bit easier for people living with dementia.

"As a global ambassador for the schemes, my aim is to raise awareness and help change global attitudes towards dementia. I recently delivered a Dementia Friends information session to an audience of 50 young people in Los Angeles. In spite of a few misconceptions about dementia they were really interested to try to understand the disease in a real way. Many of them used words like 'crazy', 'loony' etc when I first asked them what words came to mind when we thought about dementia. But by the end of the session there was a room of young people inspired to do more for those in their communities living with dementia. A young person growing up with an understanding of the illness is one of the most crucial elements of changing how it is viewed and building a dementia-friendly generation..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38405698

...and Dominic Hughes reported on how artists' changing brush strokes might reveal early signs of dementia:

"But can art – more specifically, the way artists work – tell us something about the development of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases? A minute analysis of the brushstrokes used by artists who developed neurological diseases reveals intriguing clues about changes in the brain that occurred years before any symptoms became obvious. The mathematical method is called 'fractal analysis', which is a way of looking at recurring patterns that occur both in maths and in nature. Trees and clouds are said to be 'fractal', as are the recurring patterns of our brainwaves and heartbeats. The same applies to the individual brushstrokes of artists, which can be compared to their individual handwriting.

"Psychologist Alex Forsythe from Liverpool University carried out a fractal analysis of more than two thousand works by seven famous artists and found tiny changes in those patterns. 'In artists who went on to develop dementia or Parkinson's disease, the fractal patterns started to change in an unusual way. So what we found was that up to 20 years before they actually had a diagnosis of a neurological disorder, the fractal content in the paintings had started to decrease. So anything that helps us understand more about the way in which the brain operates is a useful way to inform future directions for research.' The artist Willem de Kooning was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after his death in 1997. The brushstroke patterns seen in his earlier work were different when compared to later paintings. But in artists like Monet and Picasso, who died free of any known neurological disease, the patterns remained constant throughout their lives. It's striking that the even though Picasso in particular changed styles so often throughout his career, his fractal range was constant, regardless of the style in which he painted..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38414104

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

AUSDWCON NEWS: LATEST UPDATE

THE DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR
4th-6th August 2017
Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, South Australia

All aboard for the Discworld Grand Tour! Grab your ticket at the early-bird price before February 4th, 2017. (_https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets_)

"But it's just after Hogswatch, I can't afford that right now!" you may cry! Well, despair not! If you purchase a Supporting Membership prior to February 4th 2017, you can upgrade at a later date to the early-bird price! (_https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/supporting-membership/_)

No tourist is complete without a cheesy hat or t-shirt, and we've got plenty available! Check out our full range of souvenirs at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/souvenirs/

And of course, for all the information about the Discworld Grand Tour, including activities, venue, and more, visit our website at http://ausdwcon.org

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2017

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017)

The Nuffield Southampton Theatre will present their production of Monstrous Regiment next month!

When: 31st January – 4th February 2017
Venue: NST (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), University Road, Southampton SO17 1TR
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £13 (concessions £10, under-16s £8, groups of 10 or more £10), available from the Box Office (phone 023 8067 1771) or online at https://www.nstheatres.co.uk/whats-on/monstrous-regiment/book

Note: there is a special 2-for-1 student offer on Wednesday only. Also worth noting: the Friday show is already nearly sold out!

https://www.nstheatres.co.uk/whats-on/monstrous-regiment

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)

Monstrous Productions' next offering is The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

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/

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY 2017)

The Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon, USA will be staging their production of Mort in February.

"DEATH is always right behind us. But if he were in front of us, and this were the fantastical Discworld invented by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Death would also be a seven-foot skeleton with a black robe and a scythe. And when Death is in front of young Mort, he also has an offer of an apprenticeship. In this hilarious overview of life, love, and death (not in that order), Mort finds himself living in Death's abode, but when he finally gets a chance to do the job, his mistakes cause reality to be sliced in half, with a beautiful princess somewhere between life and death and not very happy about it. Surrounded by panicked wizards, arrogant royalty, goofy drunks, and short-order chefs, Mort and Death must confront their own fears in order to restore order, and figure out who lives, and who's fired!"

When: 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th February 2017 (performances on the 12th and 19th are matinees)
Venue: Main stage, The Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
Time: 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th and 18th February at 7:30pm; 12th and 19th February at 2:30pm
Tickets: $16 (students and "seniors" $14), available online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=13&p=1 or from the Box Office (phone 541-738-7469).
Box Office Hours: 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Wednesday – Friday during periods of active production. The Box Office is also open 75 minutes before all performances.
Please note that there will be no late seating.

http://www.majestic.org/

5.2 PLAYS IN MARCH 2017

* 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.

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 7201

https://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 in March.

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – 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/

5.3 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2017)

Brisbane Arts Theatre will be presenting their next Discworld play, Lords and Ladies – adapted by Irana brown – next September!

"Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg – the witches of Lancre – are the Discworld's only hope of rescue when elves threaten to take control with their hypnotic 'glamour'. Standing stones, wizards, Morris men, rude mechanicals, country lore and ancient magic all combine in this adaptation of one of Sir Terry's finest. With a full supporting cast of dwarves, wizards, trolls and one orangutan, the hilarious Lords and Ladies delivers an abundance of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place."

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?&presenter=AUBAT&event=LANDL
"Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/lordsandladies

5.4 REVIEWS

* REVIEW: MORT IN HARROGATE

By Kate Albrecht, in the Harrogate Advertiser:

"'It would seem that you have no useful talent whatsoever. Have you thought of going into teaching?' So writes Terry Pratchett. Death goes to the Jobcentre to look for a new job, having handed over the reins of Binky the horse to a hapless farm boy, in Terry Pratchett's highly popular novel Mort. Woodlands Drama Group presented the stage adaptation by Stephen Briggs at Harrogate Theatre with Julie James as producer/director. A very busy cast included Mark Dove with sepulchrally-amplified voice as Death, Max Albrecht as Mort, Brian Hey as the wizard Cutwell, Frankie Sharp as Death's daughter Ysabell, and Jonathan Hill as his manservant Albert. Ian Clarke, Jemma Bunting, Ben Pollard, Sarah Blackamore, Keiran Lancaster and Rosie Day all created distinct characters in multiple roles. A convoluted plot is kicked into action when Mort fails to collect the soul of Princess Keli (well played by Liz Watt) and kills her would-be assassin instead. Costume, lighting and sound departments all clearly had plenty to do; weapons and accessories were designed and made by Helen and Toby Albrecht; and the direction made excellent use of the limited space. It was a welcome treat for Pratchettphiles, and a good introduction to the Discworld creator's barmy universe for those who have always needed one but were afraid to ask."

http://bit.ly/2hT1qtT

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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 9th January 2017 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "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 uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

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 CoSG event will be a Board Games Day at La Scala Cafe on 15th January. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 5th January 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 6th January 2017 (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. 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 9th January 2017 at 6.30pm (probably, since Monday 2nd January is a public holiday) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 9th January 2017 (probably, see above) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE: HOGFATHER

The Hogfather audiobook, reviewed by blogger Jonathan Feinstein:

"If I have any complaint it is that this audio-edition was abridged. A lot of really good stuff was cut out – oh nothing directly important to hold the plot together, but details and sometimes details matter, such as when Susan reminds one of her young charges to stop speaking with the exaggerated childish lisp she puts on just to be cute. It is a point that repeats several times in the story to good effect, but which was scrubbed from the abridged edition. Or of the scene in which Corporal Nobby Nobbs of the Ankh Morpork City Watch approaches Death, now playing the Hogfather at a Department store. Nobbs is unable to actually arrest the Hogfather and, instead, falls back on habits learned as a child and sits on the Hogfather's knee. Even Death is unable to exactly figure out Nobbs, though and asks things like 'AND WHAT'S YOUR NAME, LITTLE... PERSON?' and 'AND HAVE YOU BEEN A GOOD BO... A GOOD INDIVIDUAL?' Fun stuff and I'm sorry it got left out.

"The book is read by Tony Robinson who played Baldrick in the Blackadder series. He also appeared at the department store owner in the Hogfather TV adaptation. For the most part he reads wonderfully, but he does not quite get Death's voice right. He just does not have the deep resonant voice of Ian Richardson or Christopher Lee (both of whom have provided the voice of Death in Discworld adaptations) and his attempt to talk in a Deathly whisper pales beside those other actors who have tried. However, the rest of the reading is excellently done and well worth the time to listen to..."

https://jonathanfeinstein.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/an-audio-book-review-a-rather-different-holiday-story/

...and the print version, by blogger katyboo1:

"Hogfather is one of the stories with Death in, who I increasingly grow to love as the series goes on. Death becomes more complex, more thoughtful, more critical of humanity and indeed more human as the books progress. Death, in lots of ways, reminds me of Dr. Who in the way that he regards the human race. Always saving them, always baffled by them, can't help loving them... Many fine and beloved characters make their appearance in this book, which is one of the reasons we love it so. Bloody Stupid Johnson and his almost perfect bathroom in the Unseen University, Ridcully the arch chancellor and the bursar with his dried frog pills, Hex and his growing complexities, and even Corporal Nobby Nobs all get a look in on this seasonal and brilliant volume in the series..."

https://makingthemreaders.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/hogfather-by-terry-pratchett-a-book-review/

Recommended by blogger Heidi Teague for Debut magazine:

"There's nothing twee or sickly sweet about Hogfather, this is proper dark and wintery fare; think more of midwinter festivals and Pagan traditions than of the commercialised, sanitised Christmas seen in TV adverts. But it's all the better for that; children and adults alike relish the dark to balance the light, which is why fairy tales remain so popular. If Hogfather was to be likened to anything, The Nightmare Before Christmas is the best comparison; in fact the plots are somewhat parallel. The protagonists of this particular story are not your typical heroes; Susan is a young grim nanny who can see rather more than she would like, she's more Mary Shelley than Mary Poppins. Working hard to be the saviour of Hogswatch so the children aren't disappointed is Susan's grandfather, none other than Death himself. A mostly good-natured fellow, he doesn't always quite get humans and sometimes he'll take their wishes rather too literally, but he does appreciate cats.

"Terry Pratchett's writing is effortless to read; the humour is deft yet laugh out loud, and he knows just how to stay on the right side of eerie, much like Roald Dahl. The Discworld books are numerous and sprawling, yet can largely be dipped into at any point. Hogfather is an enjoyable stand-alone, or an excellent introduction to Discworld. If you enjoy this, I recommend reading more of the series..."

https://debutmagazine.co.uk/2016/12/22/character-reference-books-hogfather/

...and by blogger Clyde Umney:

"You may hear how funny [Pratchett] is – and he is undeniably that – or how wonderful Discworld is as a blending of the issues of our world and Pratchett's wondrous fantasy creation, and you think, okay, I get it. But what you don't understand until you read Pratchett was how profound and humane he could be, and how astonishingly complex his seemingly 'silly' stories could be. After all, who else could take the concept of Hogfather – in which Death takes over for Discworld's version of Santa Claus – and turn it into a profound, complex exploration of the importance of faith, belief, and fairy tales as a fundamental aspect of humanity? No one, I'd argue... and even if someone tried, it's hard to imagine them doing it as effortlessly, comically, and brilliantly as Pratchett manages... Pratchett uses his gleefully madcap plot – which incorporates a slew of local criminals, the secret life of tooth fairies, the god of hangovers, and so much more – to begin discussing the nature of belief, the importance of fairy tales to human existence, the nature of folk tales, and so much more. And if that's not enough, he still manages to get in his jabs at human existence – at the cruelties of tragedies in the holiday season, the hypocrisy of charity, and so much more. It's a book whose satirical edge is sharp and takes no prisoners, and yet never passes the chance to make you laugh, and laugh hard…but it will hit you in the gut right after it..."

https://clydeumney.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/hogfather-by-terry-pratchett/

Pratchett newbie Mysha-Tatiana took on Hogfather as her first essay into Discworld, and was intrigued:

"There's a lot to love about this book. It's sense of humor and the general absurdity of the plot at times had me inwardly chuckling to myself. I loved Death in this story. Just absolutely loved it. Especially as the Hogfather. There's just something so absurd about that premise and I loved how it was executed. I also really enjoyed the book's overall meditations on the nature of belief. The book's main conflict comes when the Auditors, beings that provide checks to the universe, tries to off the Hogfather because he represents one of the biggest examples of humanity's 'untruthfulness.' Due to the vacuum that the absence of the Hogfather creates, the leftover magic brings things into beings that are brought about by human imagination. As an example, if you ever wondered why socks always go missing when you put them in the laundry, you could reasonably conclude that it's because something (goblin, fairy, low level god) was stealing them away. Things exist to us when we believe they do and these conversations turned out to be the most interesting parts of the novel to me... I was unfamiliar with Discworld and I always felt like I was missing out on something because I hadn't completed any books prior to this one which is my own fault. I'll own that. I ended up liking what came in the end and couldn't put the book down for the last 100 pages..."

https://creativelyaddled.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/hogfather-review/

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08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

The cast of the Woodlands Drama Group's recent production of Mort, featuring a perfect-looking Mort and Cutwell:
http://bit.ly/2hsTmAj

A wonderfully amusing letter from The Author, as tweeted by Letters of Note:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CzK-WG8WEAA86ZM.jpg

Another piece of Paul Kidby Discworld art:
"French publishers L'Atalante have requested to use my cover art for Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell series, here is Johnny & the Bomb, painted in 2013."
http://bit.ly/2hayi1g

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09) CLOSE

And as the last hours of 2016 tick away, Wossname wishes all you Readers and your friends and family an exciting (but not too exciting) Year of the Backwards Facing Artichoke, filled with interesting (but not *too* interesting) times. See you next month – and next year!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Nullus Anxietas VI - The Australian Discworld Convention

THE DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR

4th-6th August 2017
Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, South Australia

All aboard for the Discworld Grand Tour!

Grab your ticket at the early-bird price before February 4th, 2017.

"But it's just after Hogswatch, I can't afford that right now!" you may cry! Well, despair not! If you purchase a Supporting Membership prior to February 4th 2017, you can upgrade at a later date to the early-bird price!

No tourist is complete without a cheesy hat or t-shirt, and we've got plenty available! Check out our full range of souvenirs at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/souvenirs/

And of course, for all the information about the Discworld Grand Tour, including activities, venue, and more, visit our website at http://ausdwcon.org

Find us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/Ausdwcon and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ausdwcon
wossname: (Anthill inside)
...the Year of the Backwards Facing Artichoke. At least according to the good folk at Cunning Artificer HQ, aka the Discworld Emporium. And as they're located in Wincanton, official twin town of Ankh-Morpork, we have to assume they'd know!

Here be the Emporium’s rather spiffy artwork for the YotBFA:




To view it in its original posting, go to the this post on the Discworld Emporium's Twitter account.
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 11, 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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
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
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Alzheimer's is a cowardly disease. It creeps up on you from behind and by the time you realise you've got it you're probably not realising much else. It's a stinker... Not everyone can approach Alzheimer's with the bravery that Terry Pratchett showed."
    – Actor Alfred Molina, whose wife, actor Jill Gascoine, is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease

"Not a lot of people know this, but a lot of Terry Pratchett's novels are based in a place called Ankh-Morpork, a play on words of Lancaster and Morecambe."
    – everyone has a theory, it seems; this one comes from Morecambe bookseller Tony Vettese

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
    – Equal Rites, as recently re-quoted on Twitter by Rhianna Pratchett

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

    It was thirty-three years ago this month that The Colour of Magic first crept, without much fanfare, onto a few booksellers' display shelves. Eighty Million (or more) sales of books by Sir Terry Pratchett later, that may seem hard to believe... but everything has to start somewhere. In early days, it was a "done thing" to compare Pratchett's wordcraft and humour to that of PG Wodehouse – a comparison that never rang especially true for me – and also to the works of Douglas Adams – mostly, I always imagined, because Adams wrote comedic science fiction and the blurbmakers and reviewers weren't familiar with, say, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series (and his deathless parody, Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers). And now here we are, more than three decades on, and the Done Thing now is to compare this or that newbie author's work to that of... yes, to Terry Pratchett... and I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's a totally deserved mark of respect and an important way of keeping The Author's name alive on the Roundworld Overhead – always and forever a good thing! But on the other, it strikes me as somewhat lazy and unimaginative: "Oh, it's fantasy/science fiction and there are elements of humour/attempted humour, so let's say it's reminiscent of Pratchett..."

    Still – ripples. On the Overhead. Sending Home. And it would be nice to think that every time The Author's name is mentioned, somewhere, anywhere, the Death of Discworld saves another kitten...

    There is a lot of Discworld merchandise featured in this month's issue. Well, it is almost Hoswatch, after all. But there is also plenty of news and play reviews and other things for reading rather than for buying.

    Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 NEW PAUL KIDBY SCULPTURE: THE SIR TERRY PRATCHETT MEMORIAL BUST

From Mr Kidby's official site:

    "Back in 2015 a campaign was launched for the creation of a Terry Pratchett Memorial Statue and I was honoured to be put forward as the sculptor of choice to create it. Following a meeting at the Guildhall, Salisbury Council approved the proposal for the statue to be sited within the city, (exact location as yet undecided). A hiatus from this project followed whilst I produced the line art for The Discworld Colouring Book but by August my deadlines were met and I was ready to get my sculpting tools out.

    "To create a large scale piece of public art is a great responsibility. To do Terry justice I must finely balance his public persona and private self by ensuring that I honour him not only as an extraordinary writer whose books delighted readers around the world but also on a more personal level to those who knew him as a friend, beloved husband and father.

    "My first step in this process has been to create a head and shoulders bust, 40 cm high. This has enabled me to focus primarily on facial features and expression to capture a bearing that I feel best represents him as we all remember. Only when I was happy with his physical appearance did I turn my attention to making his glasses (four or five days of fiddling and swearing) and trademark hat. It was a great help to have both of these precious objects, and his well worn leather jacket, to use as direct reference, thank you to Rob Wilkins and Lyn Pratchett for lending them to me.

    "I am now in the final stages of creating this sculpture and will be carefully driving it to the foundry for bronze casting very soon. The bust will be available as a limited edition of twelve for dedicated collectors but most importantly it will be a valuable model and working maquette for the full sized statue and a vital first step in the creative process of this very important commission."

To read the announcement – with iconograpgs! – go to:

http://www.paulkidby.com/sir-terry-pratchett-memorial-bust/

...and here it is, packed for casting, as shared on Mr Kidby's Twitter account:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cx3A2pnXAAAvaln.jpg

3.2 THE SOUNDS OF DISCWORLD... NOT

By Gemma Toulson in the Nottingham Post:

    "A Nottinghamshire man who made more than £50,000 on illegally reproduced audiobooks has been convicted under copyright law. Nottinghamshire Police said they began to make inquiries into the activities of Manrico Toschi in 2012, when they were informed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of pirated audiobooks for sale for online. The police said the audiobooks in question had been copied from material produced exclusively for disabled U.S. citizens. An investigation by the East Midland Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) into the 43-year-old's online activities revealed more than 10,000 audiobooks in his digital library, dating between January 2008 and June 2014... Initially Toschi traded under his own name, but following cease and desist notices from the authorities in 2012, the police said he found a new way to continue his 'criminal enterprise'. Using the pseudonym Lee Sharpe, he opened a new bank account and advertised pirated audiobooks across the globe under that name. One such title was a Terry Pratchett audiobook, which featured a compilation of 47[sic] of the Discworld novels, published by Penguin Random House... At Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, November 8 he was sentenced to two years in prison. The court also determined that Toschi had benefited from his criminality to the sum of £56,000 and granted a Proceeds of Crime Act Confiscation Order to reflect this. Toschi must repay this amount within three months..."

http://www.nottinghampost.com/man-jailed-for-making-illegal-audiobooks/story-29882441-detail/story.html

3.3 PRATCHETT BOOK SIGNING MEMORIES

By Stephen Sinfield in the Burton Mail (Burton-on-Trent, Staffs)

"    Despite hundreds of people queueing in Coopers Square shopping centre, in Burton, there was no screaming hysteria as Terry Pratchett addicts limited themselves to a slight gasp as they met the author of the best-selling Discworld series face-to-face, and stammered out their thanks. The writer, once a journalist and press officer for the Atomic Energy Authority, was in Burton to sign his latest book and anything else – in print – his fans could lay their hands on. The crowd started forming outside Ottakars book shop as soon as the shopping centre's doors opened on the November morning, each fan arrived with carrier bags packed full of their precious collection of books. Others bought calendars, diaries, and copies of his last novel 'The Fifth Elephant' for him to dedicate, with a swift black flourish of his felt tip pen.

    "Unlike many top authors, Mr Pratchett liked to meet fans outside the big cities. His whirlwind UK book signing tour had started on November 8 in Dorset and would take him to 20 towns across England and Scotland before ending in Colchester. He arrived in Burton on November 17, 2000. Accompanied by a classical guitarist, who was also selling his wares on the side, and a man dressed as an animal to raise money for Children in Need, Mr Pratchett entered the fantasy world of the book signing sessionist. After an hour, the queues which were growing ever-longer, were stopped..."

http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/terry-pratchett-pulled-in-the-crowds-at-burton-book-signing-in/story-29919595-detail/story.html

3.4 A TEN-BEST DISCWORLD CHARACTERS LIST

By Tim Martin in The Telegraph:

    "In a distant and secondhand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly…” Terry Pratchett began his Discworld sequence with The Colour of Magic in 1983; it's extraordinary that a series which began as a mickey-taking parody of medieval-fantasy cliche blossomed, over 40 books, into British fiction's most brilliant satire on contemporary life. Everyone will have their own favourite characters from the hundreds of humans, vampires, trolls and golems who stalk the plains and cities of Pratchett's disturbingly familiar fantasy world. They have ensured that the writer, whose books sold over 85 million copies world-wide, will be remembered for many a generation of fantasy readers. Here are 10 of the finest..."

The list includes Death (and the Death of Rats, and Susan), Granny Weatherwax, Lord Vetinari, Nanny Ogg, Sam Vimes, the Librarian, Moist von Lipwig, Tiffany Aching, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, and the Luggage, with a paragraph's description of each. Good choices!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/terry-pratchetts-10-best-discworld-characters/

3.5 ALZHEIMER'S NEWS: TWO VIEWS, AND A SLOW RAY OF HOPE

    "Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, latest figures reveal. Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia - 11.6% of all recorded deaths. The Office for National Statistics says the change is largely due to an ageing population. People are living for longer and deaths from some other causes, including heart disease, have gone down. Also, doctors have got better at diagnosing dementia and the condition is now given more weight on death certificates... Hilary Evans of Alzheimer's Research UK said: 'These figures once again call attention to the uncomfortable reality that currently, no-one survives a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, it's caused by diseases that can be fought through research, and we must bring all our efforts to bear on what is now our greatest medical challenge'..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37972141

    "A week ago the story that dementia had become the leading cause of death in England and Wales was making headlines. But now we hear that the proportion of people suffering from dementia is actually falling - how can both statements be true, asks Charlotte McDonald? Last week's news was based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, and the statisticians themselves pointed out why the numbers have increased... 'With people living longer and surviving other illnesses, the number of people developing dementia and Alzheimer disease is increasing,' says the ONS. But there is a second reason, which has to do with the way deaths are registered. This data set is collecting the "underlying cause" of death, and that is defined as the 'the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death'. In the past there would have been a certain amount of stigma, or a reluctance to put dementia on death certificates... It is possible for dementia to be the sole cause of death without another cause like pneumonia but very few people are likely to die of dementia on its own..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38054877

...and hopeful news from science correspondent Hannah Devlin in The Guardian:

    "When Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's he recalled his wife's relief that he hadn't got a brain tumour. 'All I could think then was, "I know three people who have got better after having a brain tumour. I haven't heard of anyone who's got better from Alzheimer's,"' the late author wrote in 2008. Nearly a decade on, not much has changed for people facing a new diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Unlike patients with heart disease, cancer or diabetes, there is no well-trodden medical track to follow and no treatments that can slow the disease's devastating progress. Between 2002 and 2012, 99.6% of drugs studies aimed at preventing, curing or improving Alzheimer's symptoms were either halted or discontinued. The consistent failure of trials, at vast financial cost to drugs companies, caused many to shut down dementia programmes as a result.

    "The latest trial results from Merck, together with other drugs in the final stage of development, provide hope that the years of deadlock may be drawing to a close. The Merck trial may be preliminary, in the clinical sense, but it represents an entire career's work for some of the scientists involved. 'We're 16 years into the program,' said Matt Kennedy, the neuroscience director at Merck who led the research. 'It's a good example of how long it takes.' The first challenge scientists faced was creating a compound that would get through the blood-brain barrier, without also causing toxic side-effects or damaging healthy structures in the brain. Simply optimising the structure of the compound to do this took a decade, Kennedy said. The latest results appear to show that the scientists got this bit right – the drug appeared to have few side-effects and it substantially lowered levels of toxic amyloid compounds. The real question, which the next phase of the trial should answer, is whether the formation of plaques are a root cause of the disease or simply a visible symptom... There is no guarantee that the drug will ultimately make it to market, but in a field that has seen such scant progress, the fact that a major clinical trial is underway is welcome news. Professor John Hardy, a neuroscientist at University College London and pioneer in the study of Alzheimer's disease, said: 'Conveying some excitement isn't the wrong thing to do in this case.'"

http://bit.ly/2fFg8qX

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04) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS: CLACKS CHRISTMAS OFFERS

This, from the lads at Backspindle Games:

    We are delighted to make a couple of Christmas Offers! Below you can order a combination of our Award Winning, HIT Wrestling game, Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice with a copy of our brand new No. 1 Themeless game in the Dice Tower Podcast, Codinca… or you can order our really popular, (three games in one) Discworld board game, Clacks, based on the Terry Pratchett novel, Going Postal, together with a copy of Codinca.

    Please note, the last days for posting from our Post Office service are:
UK Customers – 20 December 2016
EU Customers – 16 December 2016 and
ROW Customers – 10 December 2016

http://www.backspindlegames.com/christmas-offers/

Special Clacks offer!

    For a limited period, you can order a copy of the game and a beautifully sculpted miniature by Microart Studios that can be used in the cooperative race game or you can order Moist by himself. (Miniature supplied unpainted)

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2016

* 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: boxoffice@harrogatetheatre.co.uk)
Time: 7.45pm evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: all tickets £10, available from http://www.woodlandsdramagroup.co.uk/tickets/ or http://bit.ly/2di6RSA 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's production of Wyrd Sisters is still going!

When: 29th & 30th November and 4th–6th December 2016
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); the online purchasing age at http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters appears to be broken, though... so if you can't get through to buy, try ringing the theatre on (07) 3369 2344 (active durning regular business hours and also during performances).

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters

* WYRD SISTERS IN SUSSEX

The Midhurst Players, an amateur company of 65 years' standing, will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in late November through early December.

When: Wednesday 30th November – Saturday 3rd December 2016
Venue: South Downs Centre Memorial Hall, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9DH
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults £10 Under 18's £6, available online at https://thelittleboxoffice.com/midhurstplayers/book/event/52158

"We now have a fully automated online ticketing service where you can choose where you want to sit, pay and print off your own tickets. Just follow the links on the website.

"For telephone bookings please call 01730 815894 between the hours of 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, on weekdays only. Please note that initially we can only 'reserve' your tickets and there there will be a slight delay before the seats are allocated as we have to notify the Administrator. We are only able to reserve tickets for 48 hours so it is important to ensure that your payment reaches us in good time. All tickets issued by the Administrator will be printed off and will be ready to pick up on the night of your performance. We no longer post tickets to your home address.

"Do remember that the system runs in 'real' time so unless you book online we cannot guarantee your seats until they have been allocated and paid for."

http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/

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 7201

https://lacemarkettheatre.co.uk/LaceMarketTheatre.dll/WhatsOn

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY 2017)

The Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon, USA will be staging their production of Mort next February: "DEATH is always right behind us. But if he were in front of us, and this were the fantastical Discworld invented by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Death would also be a seven-foot skeleton with a black robe and a scythe. And when Death is in front of young Mort, he also has an offer of an apprenticeship. In this hilarious overview of life, love, and death (not in that order), Mort finds himself living in Death’s abode, but when he finally gets a chance to do the job, his mistakes cause reality to be sliced in half, with a beautiful princess somewhere between life and death and not very happy about it. Surrounded by panicked wizards, arrogant royalty, goofy drunks, and short-order chefs, Mort and Death must confront their own fears in order to restore order, and figure out who lives, and who's fired!"

When: 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th February 2017 (performances on the 12th and 19th are matinees)
Venue: The Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
Time: TBA
Tickets: TBA

http://www.majestic.org/

* 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
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – 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/

5.3 REVIEWS

* REVIEW: WYRD SISTERS IN NEWPORT

By Julia Fitzgerald for the South Wales Argus:

    "The Newport Playgoers put their twist on a Terry Pratchett classic by setting out to save the kingdom of Lancre following the death of the king and fighting the new evil monarch. The witches Granny Weatherwax (Adele Cordner), Nanny Ogg (Andrea Pyke) and Magrat Garlick (Natty Niering) take on the challenge and work well together on their mission, bouncing off one another and using humour to connect with the audience. The large cast performed well in stunning costumes against creative scenery, standout performances came from The Fool (Stuart Moss) and Duke and Lady Felmet (Luke Bowkett and Kate Summers) who brought the villainy and sadistic behaviour to add spice to the show. The use of a giant film screen, special effects and magic tricks throughout meant the production was cleverly executed and enjoyed by all, really creating the illusion of magical goings on..."

http://bit.ly/2gwI5Bo

* REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

ARENAarts' sixth Discworld production, reviewed by Gordon The Optom for the Independent Theatre Association:

    "Great fun for the family. There are a couple of dozen scenes, varying from a castle battlement, several rooms, street scene, zoo etc., each represented with minimal – but very well presented – scenery and props (Set construction by Jim Chantry, adorned by scenic artists Kiri Vinsen, Sheila Wileman and Ashling Townsend, with the cast helping). It was essential with so many scene changes that the stage team should be well focused and quick. Stage manager Janet Vinsen with her assistants Callum Vinsen and Sean Schliwa were magnificent. With an average of 5 – 8 seconds, the stage was transformed each time. Josh Shoebridge and Simon Walters skilfully operated Simon James' lighting and sound design. It was obvious that a great deal of thought and precision was put into the complex plan and operation. Young Footnote (Callum Vinsen), the narrator of the story, sets the scene, popping in now and again to clarify the action. Director and multi-tasker, Simon James, has presented this play in the style of a pantomime, aimed at 9 yrs. and up. It is quite dark in places, and the script is rich with puns, double-entendres and subtle jokes. The kids will miss at least half of the humour, but will love the special effects, excellent costumes (Janet Vinsen and armourer Callum Vinsen) and dragons. There was a large cast, who were impressive and worked together with great chemistry. The delivery of the lines, humour and build-up of tension were all presented most proficiently. The main actors were superb, but even the ‘bit' players gave it their best. With so many players on stage, there can easily be pandemonium, with actors bumping into each other and fighting for exits – this team moved well, truly professional. Josh Shoebridge and Kiri Vinsen created the magnificent robotic performers, Errol and other dragons. They really were ‘alive', practically stealing the scene from the living actors..."

http://www.ita.org.au/2016/11/guards-guards-reviewed-by-gordon-the-optom/

* REVIEW: TAMAHER IN LEEDS

Leeds Children's Theatre's production of Amazing Maurice, reviewed by Christine Castle for NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association):

    "The untimely death of Terry Pratchett, one of our best-loved writers, has made us all realise what a tremendous loss his passing made in literary circles and beyond. I admire LCT for choosing one of his children's stories, now adapted for the stage, for their autumn production, as this is a hefty play by any stretch of the imagination, especially for younger members. I am pleased to say that the whole cast in this production gave it one hundred per cent commitment. The Directors, Jane Curtin and Alex Plygawko, had worked hard on their cast to bring the story of Maurice, an amazing talking cat and his friendly, educated (and also talkative!) rodents to life. Within the piece, one message shone through - never ignore the less well-liked members of your community (in this case, rats) as they are cleverer than you think! For the adult audience members, there were many clever references to modern political life making us nod sagely. The young people in this production were all extremely talented - they acted well and their diction was, as always, of the highest calibre. I was particularly impressed with the costumes, especially the 'rat' headgear - the costume department, in the tender care of Mavis Heaton, must have worked hard to make very convincing costumes for all the company. The set was very interesting in design (in the care of Dan Dainter) and gave the cast plenty of scope for moving around. Set changes were performed very quickly - maybe a little too much use of blackouts, which can disjoint the smoothness of the play, but this is a personal comment. The main character of the play, Maurice, was played with confidence and worldliness - his rat buddies had the most wonderful character names - for example, Hamnpork, Sardines, Donut Enter, to name but a few and each actor lived up to his or her name with total conviction. Although this play is rather wordy not one of the actors forgot their lines, which is a good thing, as I was told LCT do not have a prompt..."

https://www.noda.org.uk/events/reports/the_amazing_maurice_and_his_educated_rodents

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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 5th December 2016 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "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 uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

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 End of Year Hogswatch Dinner will be held at Caffe Buongiorno, Mitcham on 15th December 2016. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 1st December 2016 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 2nd December 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 5th December 2016 at 6.30pm (probably) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 5th December 2016 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

7.1 AUSDWCON NEWS: DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR UPDATE

A few reminders...

    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.[2] https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/ten-years-t-shirt/ Shipping costs listed at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/delivery-timescales/

    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/

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."

http://www.nadwcon2017.org/

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

8.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

The Discworld Emporium has an announcement:

"IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE DISCWORLD EMPORIUM TODAY, YOU'RE SURE OF A BIG SURPRISE!

    "The Emporium team is proud to unveil our new website, full of the glingleglingleglingle of bells, whistles and lots of lovely Discworld goodies! We've been working hard to improve functionality, navigation and user experience with our new home, which is fully optimised for all your mobile clacks devices. With a new look, new features, and new products we're sure you'll enjoy rummaging around for all your Discworld merchandise needs & Hogswatch gifts. You'll be able to make wishlists, purchase vouchers, set restock alerts on out of stock products and much, much more!

    "Being well-read and intellectually gifted clever clogs, we're sure you'll understand that such a magical website does not get launched without a few thaumic ramifications here and there. Due to our website being built with all-new techno-thingies please bear the following in mind...

* If you previously held an account at our old site, you'll need to retrieve a new password when you log in, and reset it in your account.

* Our emails and order notifications may end up in your junk box, so please check there for expected alerts,

...and remember to ADD US TO YOUR ADDRESS BOOK to ensure you don't miss important correspondence from us

* Orders placed on our old site before 31st October will NOT be visible on our new site. Please refer to your order confirmation emails which contain the very same information.

    "We hope you enjoy exploring the Emporium and feel right at home wandering around its nooks and crannies (take a piece of string with with you, and maybe some crampons. Our site is like a new born kitten; beautiful, cuddly but finding its feet and occasionally pooping on the carpet. While are endeavouring to soothe any teething troubles as quickly as possible, if you encounter any glitches or metaphorical brick walls during your visit please feel free to CONTACT US (_http://www.discworldemporium.com/contact-us_) and we'll work it out together."

...and another announcement:

    "There's only seven days left to place your Hogswatch orders with us if you live outside of Europe and the US! For all our customers who don't live in the UK, Europe or the USA, we wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you have just seven days to place your Hogswatch orders before our cut-off date of the 2nd of December. After this date there's no guarantee the items will reach you in time for Hogswatch!

    "As an official branch of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office we pride ourselves on offering swift and reliable delivery all over the Roundworld, but even our postmen deserve a rest over the festive holiday! For our final posting dates and holiday closure information please read on! For delivery in time for the Hogfather to make his rounds, please be sure to order by the recommended dates below":The Midhurst Players, an amateur company of 65 years' standing, will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in late November through early December.

Thursday 1st December
Africa, Middle East

Tuesday 6th December
Cyprus, Asia, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Far East (including Japan), Caribbean, Central & South America

Thursday 8th December
Greece, Australia, New Zealand

Tuesday 13th December
Western Europe (Except Greece), Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Canada, USA

Thursday 15th December
United Kingdom

    "ORDERS WILL CEASE SHIPPING FROM THURSDAY 15TH. YOU ARE WELCOME TO PLACE ORDERS OVER THE FESTIVE PERIOD, BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY WILL NOT SHIP UNTIL WE REOPEN ON FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. THE EMPORIUM SHOP IN WINCANTON WILL BE CLOSED FROM THURSDAY 22ND DEC – FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. Please note that communication will be limited at this time, as we'll likely be pissed as farts. Refund or replacement requests made during our closure will be processed on our return."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/content/11-hogswatch-delivery-holiday-closures

...and on to the best offer of the month...

*Rat onna stick plushy!

    "Treat yourself to an icon of Ankh-Morpork street cuisine – with ketchup & no green wobbly bits!! Fresh from Gimlet's Hole Food Delicatessen, this favourite among discerning dwarfs it is made from 100% free-range & locally sourced ingredients (aka plush!) – an ideal addition to any Hogswatch feast or stocking! At the Discworld Emporium, we pride ourselves on producing things of great beauty, craftsmanship and cunning. We also pride ourselves on making great dead rats with sticks up their bums!

    "Ankh-Morpork is a melting pot of vibrant and divers dining experiences, but for a true taste of Ankh-Morpork a visit to Gimlet's for a slice of humble rodent is not to be missed! Finally that most famous of snacks, the rat-onna-stick is available for Discworld fans to savour at home! This gluten-free, low-fat treat is also surprisingly suitable for vegetarians and features finely embroidered ketchup, fully posable tail and lovingly executed griddle marks. Our plush Rat-onna-Stick is possibly the BEST plush Rat-onna-Stick ever produced in any known multiverse.

    "If you buy only ONE food-based-dead-rat-with-a-stick-up-its-bum plush item this year, make it this one." – creators and perpetrators of crimes against cuddly toys, Messors Ian Mitchell and Bernard Pearson."

The Rat-onna-stick plushy measures 23cm nose to end of stick and is priced at £ 13.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-plushies/332-rat-onna-stick

...and stamps, of course...

* Introducing our limited edition Hogswatch stamps & souvenirs!

"For this year's designs, we asked Discworld artist David Wyatt to create a special festive version of the cityscape he illustrated for the Discworld Emporium's website homepage – and the result is a stunning collection of stamps & ephemera to get us into the festive spirit! The Hogswatch 50p stamps are available on a traditional First Day Cover, as a limited edition minisheet featuring a triptych of stamps set inside David's festive scene, and in a special edition 'Little Brown Envelope' – a lucky dip assortment of Discworld stamps!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/39-new-stamps

    "This year we're rolling our super-limited Hogswatch and Seasonal LBEs into one festive bonanza of an edition! The Happy Hogswatch LBE will be available for the Hogswatch season until December 25th, and is packed full of the sports of a super-limited edition but features MORE prizes, AND the free stamp of a standard seasonal LBE! Each LBE contains one of three Hogswatch 50p stamps, exclusive to this issue, along with a free Hogfather Penny stamp as a gift from us! The Hogfather Penny is also available to collect as a whole sheet of stamps for collection or application to your Hogswatch correspondence! Lucky LBEs contain prize tickets for sport First Day Covers (featuring sport variants of the Hogswatch 50p), and exclusive sets of 3 whole stamp Sheets. Plus TWO of the most coveted stamps of them all – the Temple of Small Gods Blue Triangle Sports – are waiting to be found in this festive bonanza along with Clacks-o-grams, dead letter labels and sports!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/little-brown-envelopes/336-hogswatch-lbe

https://www.discworldemporium.com/new-stamps/335-hogfather-penny

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

8.2 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

"A Top Ten of our Most Popular Products of 2016"

1. The Terry Pratchett Memorial Pin
Without doubt, our most popular product of 2016. Produced to celebrate the life of Sir Terry, this pin features a sprig of lilac – a symbol of Discworld remembrance immortalised in Night Watch.

http://discworld.com/products/collectables/terry-s-memorial-pin/

2. Dried Frog Pills
If you didn't need them before, surely after all this talk of Hogswatch, you most definitely will! Our range of Discworld confectionary has grown this year; you can now achieve sanity with UU Dried Frog Pills, whimsy and giggles with Brother Auguste's Happy Pills and er, a swift inhumation with Lord Downey's Esteemed Humbugs.
Disclaimer: Whilst these products are real, we can't be 100% sure as to their side-effects.

http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/dried-frog-pills/

3. The Discworld Colouring Book
Our best-selling book of the year, the Discworld Colouring Book, not only brings the adult colouring book phenomenon to Discworld, but is unique in the fact that Discworld artist - Paul Kidby himself - re-worked every single piece of artwork into stunning line-drawing versions of the originals. Also available in a glorious Artist's Edition.

http://discworld.com/products/colouring-books

4. Signed Prints
A perennial favourite with fans the world over, our range of prints were all hand-signed by Sir Terry. Each one is numbered and signed but be quick as numbers are declining rapidly. Non Timetis Messor and The Map of Lancre are down to the last few. Grab something special before it's too late.

http://discworld.com/products/colour-prints

5. Terry's Memorial Tote Bag
Another fan-favourite from Terry's Memorial, this practical tote bag is a great way to remember Terry and carry all your Discworld goodies at the same time.

http://discworld.com/products/tote-bags

6. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
Available in both a standard edition and beautiful slipcase, this is the second volume of Sir Terry's short stories. Bringing together fourteen of Terry's earliest stories, these entertaining tales show the seeds of ideas which Terry went on to develop in his later writing, making this a fascinating addition to your collection.

http://discworld.com/products/books/the-witchs-vacuum-cleaner/
http://discworld.com/products/books/witchs-vacuum-cleaner-collectors-edition-slipcase/

7. In Ancient Times... Tea Towel
This Christmas, even as you fight to keep the cat away from the turkey, you can be reminded of a snippet of Terry's feline-inspired wisdom. These high-quality UK-made tea towels are the purrrfect thing to help with all that extra washing up.

http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/cats-tea-towel

8. The Discworld Convention Coin
Originally produced as a memento to the lucky people who managed to secure tickets to this year's Discworld Convention, the remaining number are available for sale, but do be quick as we're down to the last few! This striking coin features Terry's silhouette on one side and a beautifully embossed version of Paul Kidby's classic Under an Eldritch Sky artwork on the reverse.

http://discworld.com/products/limited-time-only/discworld-convention-2016-collectable-coin

9. Terry Pratchett postcards
Commissioned for the Terry Pratchett Memorial in April, these beautiful postcards were subsequently made available to all our customers. They all feature images of Terry including artwork by Josh Kirby and Paul Kidby.

http://discworld.com/products/postcards

10. Dark Side of the Turtle T-shirt
Released for this year's Band With Rocks In-spired UK Discworld Convention, this design was so well received, it's earned a place in our T-shirt hall of fame! Rock on!

http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/dark-side-turtle-t-shirt/

...and your Editor's pick of the lot – beautiful Discworld notebooks!

All notebooks are hardbacks, all are A5 size with lined pages, and all are priced at £15 each. A number to choose from:

Assassins' Guild Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of the Assassins' Guild. The notebook comes complete with a set of Assassins' Guild stickers:"
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/assassins-guild-notebook/

Unseen University Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of Unseen University. The notebook comes complete with a set of suitably simian UU stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/unseen-university-notebook/

Seamstresses Guild Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of the Seamstresses' Guild. The notebook comes complete with a set of Seamstresses' Guild stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/seamstresses-guild-notebook/

Death Notebook, "embossed with the seal of Death, and bearing his motto – 'Non Timetis Messor'. The notebook comes complete with a set of Death stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/death-notebook/

Granny Weatherwax Notebook, "embossed with the hat of Granny Weatherwax, and bearing the legend of her famous sign – 'I Ate'nt Dead'. The notebook comes complete with a set of Witches stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/granny-weatherwax-notebook/

The City Watch Notebook, "embossed with the seal of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and bearing their motto – 'Fabricati Diem Pvnc'. The notebook comes complete with a set of City Watch stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/the-watch-notebook/

...and the 2017 Discworld Calendar:

"The Discworld calendar dates are extensive, exhaustively researched, and include all major real-time calendrical data for Great Britain, Eire, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA – as well, of course, as notable Discworld dates. This year's calendar features a nostalgic look at the late Josh Kirby's iconic covers, featuring a selection from the earliest Discworld novels."

The 2017 Discworld Calendar is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/calendar/discworld-calendar-2017/

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

09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger reuoq is back with a review of The Long Cosmos:

    "This picks the characters up as old men – the character Joshua Valienté is now in his sixties or seventies, and goes off for a final trip through the Long Earth, that strange multiverse introduced in the previous books in the series. He's very similar to the authors' ages now, and they wrote this very successfully, I thought. He gets trapped somewhere when he gets injured, and is taken care of by a troll, one of the other species of hominids that can step from world to world. So where The Long Utopia, the fourth book, was about Valienté's family history, and the history of the Long Earth by extension, this book explores the other species of the Long Earth, including the trolls, and what they call “elves”, introduced in the first book and almost forgotten since then. The trolls are depicted as a gorilla on the front cover, which I don't think is accurate – it should be more like Homo erectus, or like neanderthals, from the descriptions in the book. They can also communicate with the human characters using a kind of translator microphone thing, briefly mentioned a few books ago, although somehow humans and trolls can't truly learn each other's language – this is hand-waved away a few times by saying the grammar doesn't match properly. I liked this look into trolls – they were always elusive before, and even disappeared completely during one of the stories.

    "Not to deliberately spoil anything, but the book ends with a very grandiose cosmic tying together of loose threads, with a philosophical justification for the Long Earth that I didn't buy completely. It's at this point that I start to tease out Baxter's style from Pratchett's, which I found difficult to do in the first book, but having now read two of Baxter's books – Proxima and its sequel Ultima, which I've yet to review – these both have similar themes, exploring the nature of the multiverse with slightly far-fetched explanations. Despite this, I was overall satisfied with the book's conclusion..."

https://reuoq.com/2016/10/25/book-109-the-long-cosmos-2016/

The Literary Gamer, who believes that being well-read and having vast gaming-fu need not be contradictory, offers thoughts on Mort:

    "This book marks the first time that Death has been the center of attention throughout the entire book. In Discworld, Death is not a malicious evil, but rather a guy just doing his job. However, he also has a lot of pride in his job and does his best at it. These aspects make him a lot more relatable than other versions of the force of nature. I've always had a slight interest in the world building and mechanics of fantasy settings, so I was happy to see just how Death goes about his job. He's not present for every single person's death, just when the event is important (i.e. natural disasters, massacres, etc.) or with people who think they're important. Such individuals are usually aristocrats, monarchs, other politicians, and wizards and witches. I like to think he personally collects aristocrats and monarchs just to prevent them from throwing temper tantrums... This book has one of those premises that could either be extremely entertaining or just fall flat on its face. Since it was put in the hands of Terry Pratchett, we fortunately have the former... Mort's behavior also subverted my expectations. Typically a normal human turned into the embodiment of death has one of two reactions. The first is that they go mad with power striking down anyone that makes them even slightly angry. The second is that they resist the job with everything they have genuinely believing that the world would be better if no one ever died. Mort however does neither. He doesn't' revel in the killing like a psychopath. Death himself said that if Mort did that, then the boy would be fired and Death would find someone else. At the same time, Mort takes the time to be compassionate towards the souls that he collects. There was a tender scene where Mort sits down with an old woman while they wait for her hourglass to run out. It's a touching scene that really made me like Mort both as a character and as a potential Death..."

https://literarygamerblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/mort/

Blogger crosejack has mixed feeings – mostly good – about Raising Steam:

    "I was thrilled to find Moist von Lipwig was a prominent character in Raising Steam. But reading this book makes me very sad because it's not up to the standard of Pratchett's usual writing style. It was published in 2013, so I'm assuming Pratchett wrote it while he was suffering from Alzheimer's, and maybe he didn't have the time to do one more editorial pass-through. It reads like a draft. The story structure is not as tight as his earlier books- especially Going Postal. In his earlier books, there's foreshadowing and a fleshing out of the villains, and that's lacking in this book. On the other hand, I think this story reveals more about the relationship between Moist and Adora Belle because of the incomplete structure. I get the sense that we are able to peek into their private conversations and if Pratchett had done another editing round, he would have determined those moments too intimate for us voyeurs. The flirtation between Moist and Adora Belle is what made Going Postal seem like a very new story in a very established world. I can't think of another moment where Pratchett actually allows the reader into the head of a character at that point in the relationship..."

https://crosejack.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/the-writers-process/

Blogger Jeroen muses on Night Watch:

    "I could never really pin down Vimes as a character (but neither could Ankh-Morpork's Assassination Guild), but in this story he shows what a good down-to-earth guy he is. He's a watchman with street smarts, but he's never on the streets anymore and this worries him. But then a magical accident happens and he is flung back in time to the days of his first job as a watchman, and he's forced to tackle the streets if he wants to save the future that he just came from. But he wasn't that fond of that future before he accidentally left it, so this is where (or when) he has to make a choice.

    "I'm not too fond of time travel shenanigans. In the Discworld universe, however, that means we meet Lu-Tze the History Monk, one of Pratchett's finest creations. And that's not all. Vimes's trip back in time shows us a lot of Ankh-Morporkian history and especially about the watch and the early days of Vimes, Colon and human-like thing known as Nobbs. Another reason why you can't just dive into this book without being familiar with the watchmen... A general trend in Discworld is that in the later books the number of quick jokes and puns in the text goes down, while Pratchett's skill in storytelling goes up. Night Watch is a typical latter-day entry in that the story is a bit more serious, complex and heartfelt and not so much about a concentrated bombardment of jokes. And Pratchett transformed through the years into a first-class storyteller. He always had an amazing command of the English language, but now that he couples it to a deeper exploration of character and a well-plotted storyline, we've got a really cracking good book..."

https://jeroenthoughts.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/terry-pratchett-night-watch-2002/

Blogger JM Williams this time offers a three-part examination of Thud!, concentrating on certain memorable scenes:

    "I'm sure that I mentioned many times before how much of a Terry Pratchett fan I am. The man was a master of world-building, in particular, deep and resonate characters. Though he includes humor in is work, much more in earlier works, he does not rely solely on humor and eccentricity to keep readers hooked like Douglas Adams (not that there is anything wrong with that, I love Adams, too). The characters are what keep readers like myself coming back for more, and Pratchett's best characters are those in the City Watch series of books. His watchmen (and women) feel real, with honest reactions to the strangeness of the world... Pratchett's books are more than just humor and adventure, there is a subtle philosophy to it as well. This is best embodied in the lead character of the Watch novels, Sam Vimes. The character represents authority in a world shifting from authoritarianism to a sort of republicanism; Vimes often finds himself on the side of the latter..."

    "One scene that stood out to me as representative of Pratchett's humor and brilliant characters was the scene in Thud! where the main female cast goes bar hopping. Strangely, I often find myself drawn to Pratchett's female characters. Being a male writer, I am often concerned with the portrayal of my female characters, where they ring true and honest. Writing from perspectives you have no experience with seems to be a gamble. It is one that Pratchett often wins... This whole scene is about characters, and here we start to see how varied they can be. We get a impression of the main girls–Angua and Cheery–the reputation of Nobby (the ladies of the Watch assume him to be a lecherous hound, but we are given a different perspective here), and we start to unravel the new character Tawnee. All delivered with humor and great care..."

    "In all, it's turning out to be a great book. Pratchett is pushing gender a bit more than usual in this work, especially with the girls at the bar. He clearly making a statement about the fluidity of identity and the weakness of generalizations and stereotypes, here and throughout the book. I think people these days might benefit by giving the decade old book a go..."

https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/pratchetts-thud-part-1-a-medley-of-characters/
https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/pratchetts-thud-part-2-the-ladies-night-out-scene/
https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/pratchetts-thud-part-3-the-aftermath/

...whereas the almost always irritating blogger Vacuous Wastrel first wibbles on for some 2,000 words(!) in pursuit of overly faux-intellectual overthinking, before finally getting to the meat of "hang on, this book rocks!":

    "Oh, how good it was to be back with Vimes and Angua, and Carrot and Colon and Nobby and Detritus, and Vetinari and Ridcully (Ridcully! Pratchett never gave us enough Ridcully…) and all the others! Sure, the ending doesn't really work, but for most of the novel we get plenty of tension and excitement, and plenty of mystery and intriguing puzzlement. The exploration of dwarven culture may be a little suspect, but it's meaty, much meatier than anything we were given in recent volumes. And dear lord, it's just funny. Thud! is packed with a continual supply of beautiful lines, puns, wit, slapstick, deadpans, irony, absurd situations… it's almost constantly smile-inducing and at times it's laugh-out-loud. This novel is so much better than I remember it being, because it is just so much *fun*. All you have to do is: don't think that this is an attempt to continue the story. Think: the story is over. This is an epilogue to the story, just a little snippet of Our Heroes going about their daily lives and jobs. Is it sort of pointless, sort of repetitive? Yes! It makes a terrible Next Chapter. But that's not what it is. This isn't a pivotal episode – this is one of those interchangeable but enjoyable episodes of a longrunning series, one of the ones thaat isn't too memorable but where you spend the time with a smile on your face because you're watching characters you love do the things you love them to do (or, in the case of Angua, the things it's just funny to watch her have to go through). You don't want the whole series to be like this, but as a one-off episode taking time off from the larger arc, it's great..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/thud-by-terry-pratchett/

...and gives the same treatment to Going Postal:

    "The familiarity, the lack of novelty, the superficiality, the indulgent flabbiness… the problems are all here. They may not have suddenly sprung up here, but they're here very clearly to be seen. And yet... I enjoyed this book. This book was fun. The characters may not have been great, but they were likeable, engaging. The villain, Reacher Gilt, is actually one of Pratchett's best villains (that's not saying much), though sadly underused. I'm not exactly happy with such an uncomplicated parody of Atlas Shrugged (not that I want to protect Rand – on the contrary – it's just that it feels a little lazy), but that does result in a spark of authorial passion that helps provide a little energy and some good barbs. It's not hilarious, but there are some solid, good jokes. The plot isn't much, but it mostly works. There are a couple of really great set-piece scenes. It's more accessible than some of his books, both in style and in content, and it does feel as though it's partly written for newcomers and a broad audience, but at the same time there are callbacks for the long-time fans, and little gems of wit and erudition and cleverness buried near the surface here and there. And Pratchett in 2004 was just such a good writer. I know, I've said this in several of the reviews, but by now he was really polished. He's able to transition on a dime from witticism to slapstick comedy, to passages of, honestly, poetry (see the quote at the head of this review), and he always seems in control of his tone, his rhythm, his melody. Sure, he may go in directions – broad in humour perhaps, or sentimental in prose poetry – that some readers may not like, but he does so intentionally..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/going-postal-by-terry-pratchett/

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

10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Paul Kidby working on his exquisitely beautiful bust of Sir Pterry (see item 3.1):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxN4aL9XgAAvXZr.jpg

A small but perfectly formed iconograph of Pamela Munt as Granny Weatherwax and Tony Cockington as Count de Magpyr in Unseen Theatre's recent production of Carpe Jugulum:
http://bit.ly/2ftEO1T

Rat-onna-stick! (see item 8.1):
https://www.discworldemporium.com/844-large_default/rat-onna-stick.jpg

Some familiar-looking designs for the forthcoming Josh Kirby smartphone covers:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxuWMA1UkAA0lgm.jpg

Rincewind, Twoflower and the Luggage at the recent Supanova fan convention in Sydney, as posted by the Nullas Anxietas gang on Twitter:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxlwQ5jVIAALz2E.jpg

Josh Kirby's unused cover for the Death Trilogy:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CySZW1aW8AAmwcv.jpg

The cast of Brisbane Arts Theatre's current production of Guards! Guards!:
http://bit.ly/2gx9mA4

...and their beautifully rendered Errol:
http://bit.ly/2fCRKls

Death in the Land of Fog – and Mort and Lezek, in Paeroa Little Theatre's recent production:
http://bit.ly/2gm4yyd

...and two of Melbourne Zoo's gorgeous orangutans, as photographed by Jack Wintle (and who needs an excuse, ever, for iconographs of orangutans?):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyJL03lWQAAoLmd.jpg:large

...and finally, a famous first meeting, 25 years ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxTP8V2XUAAU8Ao.jpg

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

11) CLOSE

    If you're the sort of person who 1) has a touchscreen mobile and 2) likes unusual phone covers, then you might wish to hie yourself to the Josh Kirby Art site, where you can buy Kirby's Discworld art turned into covers for iPhone, Samsung, HTC, LG, Google and Sony phones. Go to http://www.joshkirbyart.com/ and click on the Store button – at which point you'll be taken to a page that offers UK/Europe or USA options, presumably because the Kirby estate's web designer doesn't think anywhere else exists on Roundworld. Click on one of them and you will eventually find the page that offers the phone covers... a clear case of patience rewarded?

    And that's the lot for November. There may or may not be a December issue (and if not, all will be back to normal in January), so I'll take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Hogswatch!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Anthill inside)
News from the Discworld Emporium...

"There's only seven days left to place your Hogswatch orders with us if you live outside of Europe and the US! For all our customers who don't live in the UK, Europe or the USA, we wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you have just seven days to place your Hogswatch orders before our cut-off date of the 2nd of December. After this date there's no guarantee the items will reach you in time for Hogswatch!

"As an official branch of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office we pride ourselves on offering swift and reliable delivery all over the Roundworld, but even our postmen deserve a rest over the festive holiday! For our final posting dates and holiday closure information please read on! For delivery in time for the Hogfather to make his rounds, please be sure to order by the recommended dates below":

Thursday 1st December
Africa, Middle East

Tuesday 6th December
Cyprus, Asia, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Far East (including Japan), Caribbean, Central & South America

Thursday 8th December
Greece, Australia, New Zealand

Tuesday 13th December
Western Europe (Except Greece), Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Canada, USA

Thursday 15th December
United Kingdom

"ORDERS WILL CEASE SHIPPING FROM THURSDAY 15TH. YOU ARE WELCOME TO PLACE ORDERS OVER THE FESTIVE PERIOD, BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY WILL NOT SHIP UNTIL WE REOPEN ON FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. THE EMPORIUM SHOP IN WINCANTON WILL BE CLOSED FROM THURSDAY 22ND DEC – FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. Please note that communication will be limited at this time, as we'll likely be pissed as farts. Refund or replacement requests made during our closure will be processed on our return."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/content/11-hogswatch-delivery-holiday-closures


*


Introducing our limited edition Hogswatch stamps & souvenirs!

"For this year's designs, we asked Discworld artist David Wyatt to create a special festive version of the cityscape he illustrated for the Discworld Emporium's website homepage – and the result is a stunning collection of stamps & ephemera to get us into the festive spirit! The Hogswatch 50p stamps are available on a traditional First Day Cover, as a limited edition minisheet featuring a triptych of stamps set inside David's festive scene, and in a special edition 'Little Brown Envelope' – a lucky dip assortment of Discworld stamps!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/39-new-stamps

"This year we're rolling our super-limited Hogswatch and Seasonal LBEs into one festive bonanza of an edition! The Happy Hogswatch LBE will be available for the Hogswatch season until December 25th, and is packed full of the sports of a super-limited edition but features MORE prizes, AND the free stamp of a standard seasonal LBE! Each LBE contains one of three Hogswatch 50p stamps, exclusive to this issue, along with a free Hogfather Penny stamp as a gift from us! The Hogfather Penny is also available to collect as a whole sheet of stamps for collection or application to your Hogswatch correspondence! Lucky LBEs contain prize tickets for sport First Day Covers (featuring sport variants of the Hogswatch 50p), and exclusive sets of 3 whole stamp Sheets. Plus TWO of the most coveted stamps of them all – the Temple of Small Gods Blue Triangle Sports – are waiting to be found in this festive bonanza along with Clacks-o-grams, dead letter labels and sports!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/little-brown-envelopes/336-hogswatch-lbe

https://www.discworldemporium.com/new-stamps/335-hogfather-penny

http://www.discworldemporium.com/
wossname: (Plays)
The Midhurst Players, an amateur company of 65 years' standing, will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in late November through early December.

When: Wednesday 30th November – Saturday 3rd December 2016
Venue: South Downs Centre Memorial Hall, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9DH
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults £10 Under 18’s £6, available online at https://thelittleboxoffice.com/midhurstplayers/book/event/52158

"We now have a fully automated online ticketing service where you can choose where you want to sit, pay and print off your own tickets. Just follow the links on the website.

"For telephone bookings please call 01730 815894 between the hours of 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, on weekdays only. Please note that initially we can only 'reserve' your tickets and there there will be a slight delay before the seats are allocated as we have to notify the Administrator. We are only able to reserve tickets for 48 hours so it is important to ensure that your payment reaches us in good time. All tickets issued by the Administrator will be printed off and will be ready to pick up on the night of your performance. We no longer post tickets to your home address.

"Do remember that the system runs in 'real' time so unless you book online we cannot guarantee your seats until they have been allocated and paid for."

http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/


wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
...and here be a word from the lovely lads at Backspindle Games:

We are delighted to make a couple of Christmas Offers!

Special Clacks offer!

For a limited period, you can order a copy of the game and a beautifully sculpted miniature by Microart Studios that can be used in the cooperative race game or you can order Moist by himself. (Miniature supplied unpainted)

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks

Also...

Below you can order a combination of our Award Winning, HIT Wrestling game, Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice with a copy of our brand new No. 1 Themeless game in the Dice Tower Podcast, Codinca... or you can order our really popular, (three games in one) Discworld board game, Clacks, based on the Terry Pratchett novel, Going Postal, together with a copy of Codinca.

Please note, the last days for posting from our Post Office service are:
UK Customers – 20 December 2016
EU Customers – 16 December 2016 and
ROW Customers – 10 December 2016

http://www.backspindlegames.com/christmas-offers/
wossname: (what duck)
"Ave bossa nova, similis bossa seneca!"

   – Mr Slant, a noted lawyer of extremely long tenure, who knows about this sort of thing






Note: original image, from art by Paul Kidby for the Discworld trading cards series, can be found at the Discworld.com website
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

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
11) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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.

    Anyway...

    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.

    Highly recommended!

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

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-clay

http://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 at
https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingDates.aspx?eid=206909

For further information, contact Simon James 08 9399 9947 arenaarts@hotmail.com.au

* 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 wearetheatre@googlemail.com 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 info@theseagull.co.uk

http://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 westoningplayers@gmail.com, 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 boxoffice@leeds.gov.uk – 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.html

http://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: boxoffice@harrogatetheatre.co.uk)
Time: 7.45pm evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: all tickets £10, available from http://www.woodlandsdramagroup.co.uk/tickets/ or http://bit.ly/2di6RSA 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 7201

https://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
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – 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/


5.3 REVIEWS

* 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

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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 nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

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 uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

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 broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

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): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

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 <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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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.[1] 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.[2] 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[3] 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.

[1] Please note most of these items are *only* available for pick up at the convention
[2] Please note that for now, this is a pre-order, and shirts may not be posted until after August 2017.
[3] 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."

http://www.nadwcon2017.org/

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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!"

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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/

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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

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11) CLOSE

    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 Mac

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Plays)
The Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon, USA will be staging their production of Mort next February.

"Death is always right behind us. But if he were in front of us, and this were the fantastical Discworld invented by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Death would also be a seven-foot skeleton with a black robe and a scythe. And when Death is in front of young Mort, he also has an offer of an apprenticeship.

"In this hilarious overview of life, love, and death (not in that order), Mort finds himself living in Death's abode, but when he finally gets a chance to do the job, his mistakes cause reality to be sliced in half, with a beautiful princess somewhere between life and death and not very happy about it. Surrounded by panicked wizards, arrogant royalty, goofy drunks, and short-order chefs, Mort and Death must confront their own fears in order to restore order, and figure out who lives, and who's fired!"

When: 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th February 2017 (performances on the 12th and 19th are matinees)
Venue: The Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
Time: TBA
Tickets: TBA

But first: OPEN AUDITIONS!

Auditions for the full cast of Mort (13 to 17 people) will be held at the theatre at 7:30pm on the 14th 15th of November (2016, that is), with callbacks taking place on the 16th, also at 7.30pm.

To see the full page containing all information on the auditions, go to

http://www.majestic.org/event/audition-terry-pratchetts-mort/?instance_id=1715




http://www.majestic.org/
wossname: (Anthill inside)
The Rochester Literature Festival, running this very weekend, will feature a Turtle Moves day in honour of The Author! "Fun and activities for all ages inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld. We were too far down the line to organise a tribute to STP last year, but were keen to keep his name and work alive. 'The Turtle Moves' is the call of Discworld fans across the Roundworld! Our main base of operations will be the Rochester Community Hub, where the Medway Adult and Community Learning Service is partnering us with 3 themed workshops. We'll also have our own crafty drop in session, plus other activities available in the high street. Make it a mini comic con too, and come along dressed as your favourite Discworldian – we promise you won't be alone!"

When: Saturday 8th October 2016
Venue: Community Hub and High Street, Rochester Literature Festival, Rochester, Kent
Time: 10am–4pm

Free activities at the Community Hub (all children to be accompanied by an adult; booking required where stated) will include a Juvenile Crafters' Guild – "Feet of Clay – Make your own Golem", "Magrat's Magical Herbs – Botanical illustration", "The Octavo – Create your own powerfully magic spell book", and "Interesting Times: Design your own Luggage, Maskerade Mask or Quantum Weather Butterfly." Also, in the High Street, there will be theatre, games ("Rochester Games and Models is hosting a re-enactment of the Battle of Koom Valley!"), and "Discworld Delicacies from Nanny Ogg and CMOT Dibbler" at Cafe @172.

And best of all – Dark Morris: "The Dark Morris – (Wolf's Head and Vixen) As alluded to in Wintersmith! Border Morris is the most primitive and arguably the most exhilarating of the Morris dancing styles. Wolf's Head (the men) and Vixen (the women) dance to a variety of traditional and original tunes, with a Gothic feel and a mesmerising drumbeat."

[Border Morris are a truly wonderful and exciting side. I've seen a number of their videos. Look them up on the Clacks! – Ed.]

To read the full schedule, go to https://rochesterlitfest.com/2016/09/02/rlf2016-the-turtle-moves/

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wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
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