Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
August 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 8, Post 1)********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"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... 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 were alive to see it."
– Neil Gaiman
"If you are looking for actors to play two of the best-loved characters you and Terry Pratchett ever created, then, if you are very lucky and have been very good, you will get Michael Sheen and David Tennant to bring them to life. The best Welsh actor of his generation gets to be an angel, the best Scottish actor of his, a demon." – Neil, again
"We've done the final tally. In 5 years and 9 productions we've donated £28,070 to dementia charities. We hope we did @terryandrob proud."
– Monstrous Productions, coming to the end of a brilliant run of Discworld theatre
"I have rather cunningly clustered three items in one corner of my desk, so that they can be swept up together and carried out under one arm should I ever have to evacuate in haste. The first is my honorary degree from Discworld's Unseen University, bestowed on me by my friend, the late Sir Terry Pratchett, back in 2008. It adds significant sparkle to my CV, and its very existence tickles me pink to this day."
– David Lloyd, Archcha–, er, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Australia, speaking to the Times Higher Education website
"The star of the show will be a full-size recreation of Terry's office – known as The Chapel – quite literally the place where so many of his books began their life. For the visitor, this represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Terry's world as he worked and the objects in situ with which he chose to surround himself."
– the Salisbury Museum whets our appetite for visiting the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit
"The one feeling I couldn't escape while reading Good Omens, was 'this would make an awesome TV series', not a film, the book has too much depth of character and the development would never get the treatment it deserves if it were crammed into a 2-hour time-frame. TV is the better format for long-form storytelling, as you get more room to breathe so to speak, to develop your characters better in front of your audience's eyes and you don't necessarily have to rush anything.'"
– blogger Danny T had a crystal ball...
02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
I thought August was supposed to be the quiet month! And yet somehow we have a packed issue, with more to come...
We're only a few weeks away from the opening of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit (see item 3.1). Remember, the exhibit runs from September 16 2017 until 13 January 2018 at the Salisbury Museum. Here be their lovely webpage, with images, info and a handy Buy Tickets button: http://www.pratchetthisworld.com/
Team Pratchett have posted the query, "If you could invite three Discworld characters to a dinner party, who would they be?" For the record, my choices would probably be Tiffany, Esk and Lady Sybil – but only if Mrs Gogol was doing the cooking. What about yours?
Spare a thought for the passing of Chantek, a notably learned person of the hairy orange persuasion who recently died at the advanced age of 39:
"An orangutan who was one of the first apes to learn sign language has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 39. Chantek lived with an anthropologist in Tennessee for about nine years and learned to clean his room, make and use tools and memorise the route to a fast-food restaurant. He spent his later years in Zoo Atlanta where he was treated for heart disease. Zoo officials said he had 'an engaging personality' and would be deeply missed. In a statement, Zoo Atlanta said that at 39, Chantek was one of the oldest male orangutans in North American zoos. His cause of death was not yet known, it said, but vets had been treating him for progressive heart disease. Orangutans are considered geriatric after the age of about 35, the zoo added..."http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40858040
...and this would be a good time to remind everyone of the URL for the Orangutan Foundation: http://www.orangutan.org.uk/
Monstrous Productions, huge-hearted purveyors of Discworld productions, have come to the end of their amazing run, as their founder and guiding light is exiting the stage (pursued not by a bear but by a life-changing event). @MonstrousPTC had this to say on Twitter: "Well have taken our final bows as a company. We had our biggest audiences ever this week and raised £4,200 for @TyHapusWales. Thank you for all your support over the past 5 years and for enjoying the Discworld with us. This account will remain active to inform you of any events or any projects the monsters now build out of this." Well done, Monstrous folk! Now who's going to pick up the baton next? Roundworld needs more Discworld-based theatre companies!
Right, on with the show...
– Annie Mac, Editor
03) ODDS AND SODS
3.0 HERE COME CROWLEY AND AZIRAPHALE: "GOOD OMENS" MINISERIES CAST AT LAST!
In a coup of perfect casting, it's been announced that David Tennant will play Crowley, opposite the hugely talented Welsh actor Michael Sheen as Aziraphale. Anyone who's seen Tennant's deliciously louche portrayal of Peter Vincent in the fun 2011 remake of Fright Night will have no doubts that he can do a fantastic Crowley:
"Michael Sheen and David Tennant have been cast in the lead roles in the Amazon series adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's 'Good Omens,' Variety has learned... co-produced by BBC Studios with Narrativia, the production company of Pratchett's daughter Rhianna, and the Blank Corporation and in association with BBC Worldwide for Amazon Prime Video and the BBC. Gaiman, Caroline Skinner, and Chris Sussman are executive producing for BBC Studios, and Rob Wilkins and Rod Brown will executive produce for Narrativia. Gaiman adapted all six episodes of the series and will also serve as showrunner. Following its exclusive launch on Amazon Prime Video, the series will also be broadcast on BBC in the U.K...."http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/neil-gaiman-good-omens-michael-sheen-amazon-1202522663/
...and here's a reminder of what the lead actors look like, for those of you who may have been hiding in a cave somewhere in Uberwald:https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/michael-sheen-david-tennant.jpg
The series will consist of six episodes, and will hit the air (BBC) and the clacks (Amazon Prime) next year. Bring it on!
3.1 "TERRY PRATCHETT: HISWORLD" EXHIBIT OPENING SOON!
The wildly-anticipated "Terry Pratchett: HisWorld" exhibit at the Salisbury Museum opens next month...
"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 email@example.com)
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/ADMEhttp://discworld.com/terry-pratchett-exhibition-announced-salisbury/http://pratchetthisworld.com
3.2 THE DISCWORLD IMAGINARIUM!
Paul Kidby has been up to something secret. Something wonderful...
"I am delighted to reveal what I have been working on this year: A collection of my favourite Discworld artwork, including a new portrait of Sir Terry himself."
The Gollancz press release:
"Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium, a stunning portfolio of illustrations from the brush of renowned Discworld artist, Paul Kidby. Paul Kidby was Sir Terry Pratchett's artist of choice. He provided the illustrations for The Last Hero, designed the covers for the Discworld novels since 2002 and is the author of the bestseller The Art Of The Discworld and Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book. Now, he has collected the very best of his Discworld illustrations in this definitive volume, including 40 pieces of never-before-seen art, 30 pieces that have only appeared in foreign editions, limited editions and Book Club editions, and 17 book cover illustrations since 2004 that have never been seen without cover text.
"Sir Terry Pratchett himself once said that Kidby's art is 'the closest anyone's got to how I see the characters'. If Terry Pratchett's pen gave his characters life, Paul Kidby's brush allowed them to live it, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in this magnificent book.
"Orion Group Publisher, Jon Wood, and Gollancz Digital Publisher, Darren Nash, acquired the rights to Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium from Rob Wilkins at Dunmanifestin, Ltd, which controls the copyright to all of Sir Terry Pratchett's works, including his Discworld characters and creations. The 272-page full-colour volume will publish on 23rd November and retail at £35.
"But that's not all! Taken from the Patrician's private collection by a discerning art dealer* we've got a high-class treat for those looking for something a little more distinct: a Special Edition, which will feature a variant cover, a new piece of art produced exclusively for this version and signed by Paul Kidby, metallic page edging, a marker ribbon and a specially-designed slipcase. Also, released on 23rd November, the Special Edition will retail at £75.
"Artist Paul Kidby said, 'I am delighted to present the Discworld Imaginarium: a comprehensive collection of my favourite illustrations painstakingly selected after many weeks spent rummaging through my portfolios. The resulting pages of this book not only look back at works past, they also look forward – with newly created artworks in celebration of the amazing ongoing legacy that Sir Terry Pratchett created for us all.'"http://www.paulkidby.com/terry-pratchetts-discworld-imaginarium/
Paul Kidby also tweeted a short video (1 minute 12 seconds) of himself creating his new portrait of Sir Pterry:https://twitter.com/PaulKidby/status/891968443775365120
...and a few more details from The Bookseller:
"The book will comprise his favourite Discworld illustrations in what Gollancz is calling a "definitive" volume of his work. It includes 40 pieces of never-before-seen art, 30 pieces that have only appeared in foreign editions, limited editions and Book Club editions, and 17 book cover illustrations since 2004 that have never been seen without cover text. Publishing simultaneously there will also be a £75 Special Edition of the book featuring: a variant cover, a new piece of art produced exclusively for the edition and signed by Kidby, metallic page edging, a marker ribbon and a specially-designed slipcase..."http://www.thebookseller.com/news/terry-pratchetts-discworld-imaginarium-gollancz-605941
3.3 STEPHEN BRIGGS HAS A LOT TO SAY!
Along with the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit, the Salisbury Museum will present a special one-off – "Building a World with Terry Pratchett: A talk by Stephen Briggs":
"Stephen Briggs and Terry Pratchett played together on Discworld for 25 years. They built a city on a brownfield site, then mapped a world to put it onto. They also wrote several other books, several diaries, and a cook book. Stephen will tell us how it happened. The talk will be followed by tea and biscuits and the chance to visit the 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld' exhibition."
When: Saturday 23rd September 2017
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone + 44 (0)1722 332151)
Time: 14:30 to 15:30
Tickets: £8 Members, £10 Non-Members ("tickets include tea and biscuits"). Booking required. Please contact the museum: http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/38http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/events/building-world-terry-pratchett-talk-stephen-briggs
3.4 THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF DANCE!
The James Wilton dance company will be presenting their unique dance work "Last Man Standing" at various venues in the UK south-west in October and November:
"Last Man Standing draws from the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett. The work is about living for the moment, about appreciating every second and enjoying life while it lasts. Flying bodies, last minute catches and an energy you can feel as well as see, Last Man Standing is dance driven by unparalleled energy and athleticism, performed by world class dancers; an international award winning work by rising star, James Wilton. His work draws on martial arts, break dancing and capoeira to create raw, earthy and ground-breaking performance. All of this propelled by a trademark soundtrack of heavy rock, ambient music and textured soundscapes. Audiences will see dancers fly through the air and land quite literally at their feet. They will experience every drop of sweat, every gasp for air and every finger twitch."
7th October: Drimpton Village Hall, Chard Road, Dorset DT8 3RFhttps://artsreach.co.uk/
(Buy Tickets link not available yet)
9th October: Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QB, 7.30pm
Tickets: £14 (£12 concessions, £9 for school groups of 10+ plus one FREE teacher ticket for every 10 students booked, £5 student standby. Groups of 10 get 11th ticket FREE. To book, go to https://exeternorthcott.co.uk/calendar/last-man-standing/
20th October: The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1JL, 7.30pm
Tickets: standard from £14, student from £10. To book, go to https://ticketsource.co.uk/booking/date/372656
21st October: Trowbridge Town Hall, Market Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EQl, 8.30pm
Tickets: £5 plus booking fee. To book, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boxoffice/select/tDniVoFPPIiT
1st November: The Bay Theatre, Weymouth College, Cranford Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7LQ
No times and tickets information available yet
30th November: Pavillion Dance South West, Westover Road , Bournemouth BH1 2BU, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions, £8 groups of 10+, £6 under-26). To book, go to http://www.pdsw.org.uk/event/book-now/LMS1/Performanceshttp://www.pdsw.org.uk/what-s-on/live-performance/last-man-standing-by-james-wilton-dance/http://www.jameswiltondance.org.uk/performances
3.5 THE PASSING OF AN EDITOR OF NOTE
"Diane Pearson, who worked at Transworld for almost 40 years, has died, aged 85. Pearson worked as a senior editor at Transworld from 1964 to 2002 during which time she played 'a pivotal role' in the company's fortunes, both past and present, according to Transworld. She acquired and worked with many of the industry's biggest-selling authors, such as Terry Pratchett, Joanna Trollope, Kate Atkinson and Jilly Cooper, the latter for over 20 years, and in 1994 was awarded the British Book Award for Editor of the Year. She was also the President of the Romantic Novelists' Association from 1986 to 2011. Pearson was also an author in her own right. Her novels included The Marigold Field (1969, Corgi) and its sequel Sarah Whitman (1971, Corgi), Csardas (1975, Head of Zeus) and The Summer of the Barshinskeys (1984, Corgi). In tribute, Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld, said Pearson was 'an integral part of the Transworld story' whose legacy would "burn brightly for years to come'...http://www.thebookseller.com/news/transworld-editor-diane-pearson-dies-aged-85-611441
3.6 MINE'S A PINT... OOK!
The new Discworld Ale from Ales by Mail ("official outlet for Discworld Beers on Roundworld") is L Space Voyager, described by the brewers as "a banana hefeweisen". Here be their announcement:
"Just over a year ago our beer supply portal from Discworld, established by the Wizards of UU, closed unexpectedly. Since then, Discworld Beer has been in scarce supply. We've been hearing disturbing news from Discworld about the many breweries producing Discworld beers. Recently, Frau Ortrud Ulrich – head librarian at Germany's Nationale Bier-Bibliothek, the library of beer knowledge on Roundworld – arrived at her office to find a small pile of empty peanut husks and banana skins, along with a significant amount of Discworld Beer sitting amongst piles of carefully sorted returned books. A hastily scribbled note, found along with these items, read simply 'Ooook'. Frau Ulrich of course reached out to us. So far we have been able to piece together only part of the puzzle. It would seem that Unseen University's Librarian has traversed L-Space bringing with him some essential supplies, and was able to liberate some cans of L-Space Voyager. We can only assume that he meant for us to get them into the hands of you, the Roundworld fans. It appears to be a delightful hefeweizen style beer with notes of banana (what else?) and a subtle but pleasant tang of peanut. His stay was, it seems, only brief, but importantly the Librarian left behind the beer! Rather oddly, the beer appears to bear the brewery name 'Drum Brewing Co'. To our knowledge, Drum Brewing came to prominence when the famed Ankh-Morpork brewtavern, the Mended Drum, was swallowed up by unknown parties as part of their acquisition of many of Discworld's brewing institutions. Our concerns about the fate of brewing on Discworld remain and we have sent out various exploratory expeditions in an attempt to find out more. For now, we are grateful to the Librarian for the chance to try and share Voyager with you, but watch this space for more details."
To read the announcement complete with iconographs and footnote, go to https://www.alesbymail.co.uk/blog/new-discworld-beer-l-space-voyager/
For more information, and to order, go to https://www.alesbymail.co.uk/browse-by-brewery/drum-brewing
A six-pack of L Space Voyager is priced at £14.24. More info: https://www.alesbymail.co.uk/pick-n-mix-beer/drum-discworld-lspacevoyager-6pack
3.7 NEW BOOKS!
All right, new releases of old books. Specifically, the next round of classic Discworld re-releases. According to Penguin Books:
"We are thrilled to reveal Joe McLaren's covers for these upcoming additions to the Discworld Collector's Library: Thief of Time, Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment and Going Postal. Continuing in the style of the series, approved by Terry before his death, these beautiful hardbacks will hit bookshops in October. We hope you like them as much as we do."
There are pre-order buttons on the page – http://classics.penguin.co.uk/q/17EiCHLryPO1Iox75EywdU/wv
– but these lead to Amazon pages. Or you could always wait for a reputable bookseller to offer them...
3.8 FOR JOSH KIRBY FANS...
"Josh Kirby was a master painter renowned for his groundbreaking illustrations in science fiction, fantasy and horror. His work included Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the Pratchett and Neil Gaiman penned Good Omens, and countless other film posters and book covers. When Kirby passed on in 2001, the trustees of his estate had been tasked with sorting through his vast archives. Amongst the papers, receipts and correspondences with famous authors, was a hidden gem. Amy Anderson, the executive director of the Josh Kirby estate, says: 'We discovered a hand typed manuscript, along with sketches and doodles, telling the whimsical and adorable tale of a time traveling mouse, named Marmaduke. And now, sixteen years later, it's becoming a reality.' To bring this long, lost creation to the world, the Josh Kirby Estate assembled a dream team of sorts, by inviting Discworld cartoonist, Ray Friesen and Discworld co-author, and voiceover artist, Stephen Briggs, to lend their talent to the project... With the dream team in place, the estate made the decision to launch a Kickstarter campaign so that everyone could be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity..."http://www.pr.com/press-release/726904
04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
4.1 AUSDWCON 2017 ROUND-UP
"Thank you to our special guests Stephen Briggs, Daniel Knight, David Lloyd and Martin Pearson, our virtual guests Ian Stewart, Ray Friesen, and the Discworld Emporium, to Rob Wilkins and Colin Smythe, to Unseen Theatre Company, Hot for Joe Morris Dancers, Steamkittens, Susan Lonie, Matt Falloon, and all our volunteers, activity organisers, first aiders, security, press corpse, games teachers, gophers and anyone else who helped out. Thanks to all who bidded so generously at the charity auction raising over $9000 for the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation and Alzheimer's Australia SA. And of course, thanks to you, our amazing team of tourists!"https://ausdwcon.org/blog/au-revoir/
"The secret is out... Nullus Anxietas VII will indeed be happening in 2019! This time, it's back to Melbourne, where the Australian Discworld Conventions all started 10 years ago. If you're super keen to make sure you get a spot at the next amazing convention, you can buy your supporting membership RIGHT NOW! More information about Nullus Anxietas VII will be revealed in a few months' time, so make sure you're subscribed to the mailing list to hear the news first! Thank you all, and farewell!"
To buy a Supporting Membership: https://ausdwcon.org/supporting2019/
To join the mailing list: https://ausdwcon.org/about/mailing-list/
The AusDWcon 2017 gallery of iconographs:https://www.flickr.com/groups/ausdwcon2017/pool/
...and special guest Stephen Briggs tweeted some photos of AusDWcon's cuddly Twoflower doll's adventures on his journey from EcksEcksEcksEcks to Team Pratchett Central:https://twitter.com/StephenPBriggs/status/895622447202009088
4.2 NADWCON NEWS
The countdown has begun... Guests of Hono(u)r are packing their Luggages for – or already on their way to – Genua, that is, New Orleans. The Convention begins on the morning of Friday 1st September and runs through the weekend. Join Stephen Briggs, Colin Smythe, Esther Friesner, Pat Harkin and the marvellous Discworld artist Omar Rayyan at the Sheraton New Orleans for an unforgettable "Genuan Experience"!
Some tickets are still available: https://nadwcon2017.org/signup/2017-adult-membership.htmlhttps://nadwcon2017.org/
4.3 THE FIRST ANNUAL DISCWORLD DAY: A ONE-DAY EVENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Looks like it will be as fun as a fun thing! "We invite you to discover the streets of Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city of the Discworld. A folklorique network of old lanes, squares and alleys for your walking pleasure. Wherre exitement and trolls lurke arounde everry corner and much may be heard the traditional street cries of old time also the laughing visages of the denuizens as they goe about their business private. All guilds are welcome, so if you fancy yourself as an artificer, a seamstress, an assassin or a clown, you'll be sure to be in good company along The Street of Cunning Artificers. Dogs and unruly luggages to be kept on leashes at all times."
Features include the Discworld Dress Up, "battles of Cripple Mr Onion, Thud! and the likes", Discworld telly at the Muntab Moving Pictures House, and much more...
When: 4th November 2017
Venue: The Moors Castle, 638 Larsens Road, 1739 Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa
Time: 11.00 to 22.00
Tickets: R60.00. A limited number of tickets are available online http://qkt.io/DiscworldDay2017
or at the gate at a price of R80.00. Under-12s are freehttps://www.facebook.com/events/320926284986740/
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
* MASKERADE IN READING
The Progress Theatre will be auditioning for the cast of their forthcoming January 2018 production of Maskerade (see item 5.3 below). The auditions will be held on Sunday 17th September at 2pm or Wednesday 20th September at 7.30pm at Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL. "Auditions are open to all,but if cast you will need to join Progress Theatre.
"If you have any questions or would like to be considered but can't make the audition dates please contact director Chris Moran on 07729 501350 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or assistant director Jordan Emmett on 07932 976693 or at email@example.com prior to the auditions."http://progresstheatre.co.uk/auditions-maskerade
* MASKERADE IN YORK
We Are Theatre's next Discworld production will be Maskerade, in February 2018 – but the word about auditions for the production has spread all over Roundworld, it seems. Open auditions will be held on Sunday 10th September. To book an audition, and for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
"We are holding open auditions for actors for the comedy play 'Maskerade' based on the Terry Pratchett Discworld Novel and adapted by Stephen Briggs. This comedy is a spoof on Phantom of the Opera and has lots of great character parts. Open auditions on 10th September and rehearsals on Sundays 3pm-5pm in York, though not every week. Performances in York at the end of February."https://www.gumtree.com/p/artists-theatres/auditions-for-terry-pratchett-s-play-maskerade-/1260143792http://www.wearetheatre.co.uk/
5.1 PLAYS IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER
* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)
Monifieth Amateur Dramatics (MAD) will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters, directed by Steven Armstrong, in August: "Stephen Briggs has been involved in amateur dramatics for over 25 years and he assures us that the play can be staged without needing the budget of Industrial Light and Magic. Not only that, but the cast should still be able to be in the pub by 10 o'clock!"
When: 31st August-2nd September 2017
Venue: Monifieth Theatre, 72 High Street, Monifieth, Angus DD5 2AE
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£6 concessions), available from Troups Pharmacy, Monifieth; Yorkshire Building Society, Broughty Ferry; and The Bay Diner/Grill, Monifieth. Ring 01382 480043 for details. Tickets are also available online at http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/tickets
and at https://www.tickettailor.com/all-tickets/13094/1940/http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson
* WYRD SISTERS IN WEST YORKSHIRE (SEPTEMBER)
The Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (T.A.O.D.S.) will be presenting an unusual Discworld experience – Vince Foxall's BBC radio play of Wyrd Sisters, performed live – at the end of September. "As with previous productions, this Hippodrome Foyer Play is based on an original radio script dramatized by Vince Foxall for BBC Radio 4 and will be performed script-in-hand with live sound effects and a large cast of players old and new. Featuring strolling minstrels, fools, ghosts, murderers and diverse alarums!"
When: 29th and 30th September 2017
Venue: Hippodrome Theatre, 83 Halifax Road, Todmorden OL14 5BB
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6, available online from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/todhiphttp://www.todhip.org/wyrd-sisters
* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)
Brisbane Arts Theatre will be presenting their next Discworld play, Lords and Ladies – adapted by Irana brown – in 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://bit.ly/2tjucfQ
"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
5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017
* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)
Twyford and Ruscombe Theatre Group will present their production of Mort, "an off beat tale of bacon, eggs and destiny", in October.
"Terry Pratchett's Discworld will once more be gracing the stage at Loddon Hall. We are putting on a production of Mort, which will involve a large cast, plenty of dramatic moments and a lot of laughs."
When: 5th–7th October 2017
Venue: Loddon Hall, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, Reading, Berkshire, RG10 9JA
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £7, £8, £9 and £10, available online at http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/171598http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk
* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)
The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.
When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_
). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/
* WYRD SISTERS IN RHYL, LLAMEDOS (OCTOBER)
Rhyl Liberty Players will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in October: "RLP is an award-winning Amateur Dramatics Society based in Rhyl, North Wales. The society has existed for over 70 years and is still going strong today. We have members of all ages who usually put on two fantastic productions a year. We also take part in drama festivals and community events."
When: 25th–28th October 2017
Venue: The Little Theatre, 2 Vale Rd, Rhyl LL18 1AA
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9.00 + booking fee of 7.5% (concessions £8.50 + booking fee). To purchase, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/venue/FEMDJL
and click on your desired date.http://www.libertyplayers.co.uk/Wyrd_Sisters.htmhttp://rhyllittletheatre.co.uk/whats-on/whats-coming-soon/
* THE TRUTH IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)
Unseen Theatre's next production will be a revisiting of The Truth – updated for the Age of Fake News, we hope!
When: 27th and 28th October, 1st–4th and 8th–11th November 2017
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide, South Australia
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: $22 ($18 concessions/Fringe members/groups of 6+); previews $15, available via http://bakehousetheatre.com
or at the door on performance nightshttp://unseen.com.au/news/auditions-for-unseen-academicals/
* WYRD SISTERS IN HERTFORDSHIRE (NOVEMBER)
The Water Lane Theatre Company, a "local amateur dramatics company from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, performing a range of dramatic theatre, from Shakespeare to children's plays – and everything in between!", will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November.
When: 9th–11th November 2017
Venue: the Charis Centre, Water Lane, Bishop's Stortford CM23 2JZ
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: TBA; when available, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/waterlane
and click on your desired date.http://waterlanetheatrecompany.co.uk/https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4VkXEkjg5dOTFZTRDRybW9LdHc/view
* MORT IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER)
Roleystone Theatre, "a non-for-profit community group managed entirely by volunteers", will stage their production of Mort in November and December.
When: 24th, 25th and 29th November and 1st and 2nd December 2017
Venue: Roleystone Theatre, 587 Brookton Hwy, Roleystone, Western Australia
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: $20 ($15 u-18's/Pensioners; 10 tickets bought receives an 11th free), which will be available for purchase via https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/web/Coming%20Attractionshttps://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/
* LORDS AND LADIES IN NORWICH (DECEMBER)
The Youth Theatre Company will present their production of the Irana Brown adaptation of Lords and Ladies in December.
When: Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th December 2017
Venue: Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL
Time: 7.30pm all shows (includes audio described performance on the 16th)
Tickets: £10 (jobseeker/over 60 £8.50) plus £1.20 per order for Postage and Packaging. To purchase tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2gemJKI
and select your desired date.https://secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/Online/
* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT
The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), we've only just had the formal permission for a new play and Stephen's still writing it, but he thinks it's about time he tackled another of the novels, and the third in the Moist von Lipwig Trilogy might just be the right one. It's been on his to-do list for a while...he thinks he owes it to Terry... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!"http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld
5.3 PLAYS IN 2018
* MASKERADE IN READING (JANUARY 2018)
The Progress Theatre will be staging their production of Maskerade in January next year. But first, don't forget to check the auditions page, above...
When: 18th–27th January 2018
Venue: Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, 2.30pm matinees on 20th and 27th January
* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)
Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."
When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, available from www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624. NOTE: by early August, 97 percent of the GTA performances were sold out. "Theater-goers may purchase tickets to one show or all five. They also may build their own custom ticket package, earning discounts for two shows or more."http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/
* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF
By twin bloggers CL Raven:
"Sadly, this was to be Monstrous Productions' final Pratchett adaptation. We've loved every play we've seen and we're gutted it's all over. This was a fantastic play for them to go out on. We've not read the book but will definitely be buying it now. This was another play to feature Sam Vimes and fitting for their final act. Jes Hynes fantastically reprised his role of Vimes from Nightswatch[sic]... This was the first play that featured the Librarian – a wizard who was accidentally turned into an Orangutan and refuses to be changed back. We love the Librarian in the books so were thrilled he was in this. Lowri Belson was superb as the book-loving ape. She injected so much character and personality into a role where communication was done solely through facial expressions and 'ook!' And the occasional 'eek!' The show was hilarious, with added things like Death playing with a fidget spinner, Brother Watchtower replacing his mask with a cat one and Errol flying across the stage on a wire to fight the dragon. What we love about Monstrous Productions plays is the cast always look like they're thoroughly enjoying themselves. Sets and props used are always minimal and work so well. Everyone was superb in their roles and made this a fantastic play to end on..."https://clraven.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/guards-guards/
* WYRD SISTERS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE
By James Hanton in Edinburgh's The Student newspaper (which by the way is the UK's oldest student newspaper, ans which moreover was founded in 1887 by Robert Louis Stevenson, another of the world's greatest storytellers):
"Duck in a Hat Theatre's adaption of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters sees the cast clearly have a ball immersing themselves in the universe born from the incredible imagination of one man. While Pratchett's Discworld is a complex creation which spans many different stories and characters, Duck in a Hat keep it relatively straightforward. End-on staging, a couple of flats for set, medieval costume and not much more. It can be viewed as a bit basic; the show could have benefited from more music to help make the settings and scenes distinct from each other. The same set for the throne room is also the theatre, the dungeon and the street. Small changes would help to avoid confusion as to what is happening where. But basic does not mean completely ineffective. The play is easy enough to follow, and even finds some time to poke a (broom)stick at the idea of 'post-truth' that is of such great relevance today. It is a very easy tale to enjoy, so in some ways there is no need to complicate anything. In keeping it simple and down-to-earth, littered with moments of comedy that guarantee a smile, a very engaging show is produced... it is very difficult to leave the show without feeling entertained. Writer Stephen Briggs has delivered a wonderful adaption of the original story, one that is grasped with both hands by the cast who firmly make this play their own..."http://www.studentnewspaper.org/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS
The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), will be meeting next on Monday 4th September 2017 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. "We welcome anyone and everyone who enjoys Sir Terry's works, or quite likes them or wants to find out more. We have had many visitors from overseas who have enjoyed themselves and made new friends. The discussions do not only concern the works of Sir Terry Pratchett but wander and meander through other genres and authors and also leaping to TV and Film production. We also find time for a quiz."
The Drummers have also taken up doing the odd afternoon meetup. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/
or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or email@example.com
Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "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." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/
The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.
For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/
or contact Ula directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia: "We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come – you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."
The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Social Meet at the Caledonian Hotel on 31st August. Next after that: Pirate Bowling at the Cross Road Bowl, 23rd September.
The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:
Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_
)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:
A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com
The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 7th September 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact email@example.com
The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 1st September 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 4th September 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): firstname.lastname@example.org
The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 4th September 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 <email@example.com>
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
Blogger thetroublewithtriffids reflects on the beauty and sadness of The Shepherd's Crown:
"Though I loved this novel, because it was brilliant, but as I was reading it something about the prose style felt a little off to me. And it wasn't until the afterword written by Rob Wilkins that I realised what was off: 'Once it was shaped, he would keep writing it too, adding to it, fixing bits, constantly polishing and adding linking sequences, tossing in just one more footnote or event. His publishers often had to prise the manuscript away from him, as there was always more he felt he could do […] The Shepherd's Crown has a beginning, a middle and an end, and all the bits in between. Terry wrote all of those. But even so, it was, still, not quite as finished as he would have liked when he died.' I couldn't have asked for a more perfect explanation. The book was perfect, but somewhat lacking in Pratchett's usual witticisms and personal style. If anything though this made the whole book so much sadder for me. Just the idea that Pratchett didn't get the chance to brush up this story (even though it was still amazing) to the excellent standards he worked so hard for his whole life..."http://bit.ly/2wPbpe2
Blogger The Past Due Book Review is back with thoughts on Equal Rites:
"Pratchett hadn't quite hit his stride yet (which is understandable because it is only the third book his massive series), so some of his trademark charm and snark is missing. There are some jokes about witches; one standout is about a witch that has warts and no teeth, thereby gaining her credibility as a witch; Granny Weatherwax, on the other hand, has nice teeth and clear skin. Other than this subversion of the benefits of clear skin and a few other jokes thrown in, Equal Rites is not as campy and joke-heavy as other books, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing... there is some social commentary about both genders thinking women have a specific station because that's the way things have always been. This isn't used in any other vein than for driving the plot along and exposing Pratchett's views on the subject. There isn't a torrent of heavy handed calls for women to become wizards and the few that pop up are from Esk herself; Granny has to be convinced that it is worth the trouble for women to want to become wizards. This book also shares some plot elements with a later book, Sourcery, which has a young wizard in possession of a magical staff and he is the eighth son of an eighth son, though that qualifies him as much more than a simple wizard in the later book. Equal Rites isn't Pratchett's best work despite being a fun read; again, I want to reiterate that this is another early book in the series, so there isn't much here to elevate it above the other fantasy novels out there. The characters are entertaining and the ending is clever, but without much of the wit and cheekiness that makes his writing standout, Equal Rites remains a solid piece of fantasy fiction..."https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/08/16/equal-rites-review/
Blogger Aditi Mukund Prabhudesai aka Sunflower's cluey take on Maskerade:
"Straight off the bat, Terry Pratchett doffs his black fedora to the weird world of opera with the above dedication. Opera is an artistic medium comprehensible to few. It is instructive that at different stages in the book, both the protagonist and the antagonist launch into similar tirades about the absurdness of opera ('The plots don't make sense…There should be a sign on the door saying "Leave your common sense here"!'). Even the book cover illustrated by the great artist Josh Kirby is an extension of this belief. The leading characters are depicted at a bizarre angle which disorients the reader. Josh infuses them with such raw, unbridled energy that one feels they could leap out of the cover any second... The theme of masks runs deep throughout the novel. Almost every leading character appears to be operating behind one... Pratchett shows his realist leanings by drawing up a sympathetic portrayal of Agnes, but avoiding giving her a fairytale ending; even the Ghost of the Opera would rather train the less talented Christine than Agnes since Christine has star quality (I was reminded of the 'X-Factor' spiel of Indian Idol). This is a sobering moment, shaking your faith in the Ghost, and made all the more powerful when you consider that Walter himself was the object of ridicule due to his ungainly physicality and would have understood Agnes the most. It underscores the notion that Walter becomes an entirely different personality as the Ghost. Agnes's arc ends with her shedding Perdita and coming to terms with herself. This is in stark contrast to Walter's. Agnes discards her mask to become her true self; Walter sticks to his Ghost alter ego stunning everyone by his transformation..."https://neitherlessnormore.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/first-blog-post/
Blogger Muse With Me returns with a review of Pyramids:
"There are only a few books in this massive series that are actually standalone tales, involving characters who will not, as far as I know, be appearing in any meaningful way again. Regardless of this, I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I've said it before, and I'll no doubt say it again, there are elements in Pratchett's Discworld novels that do become a tad repetitive, and this book doesn't quite escape that. In this case our protagonist Teppic is to blame, our assassin turned Pharaoh, who feels a lot like a Pratchett-styled stock main character. Though he's more skilled than some previous leading men, he's still awkward and insecure in ways that feel a little too familiar. I did, however, like his status of stranger in a familiar land. A lot of his formative years were spent in Ankh-Morpork, getting a rather detailed education from the Assassins' Guild, so his return home from a more open and ever-changing society is jarring to say the least... The supporting cast was particularly interesting in this book, focusing on a number of parties that don't interact with one another that much, but all have importance. There are the pyramid builders Ptaclusp and his two sons, Ptaclusp IIa and Ptaclusp IIb, as well as the master embalmer, Dil, and his apprentice, Gern. Each party adds some extra comic relief as they frantically try to deal with the demands from on high, but each are also tied to the physical embodiments of the kingdom's grip on the past. While others demonstrate a figurative anchor to the old ways, the pyramids (and the mummies they're built for) contribute to the literal one... All in all, Pyramids was a fine entry in to the Discworld. From appearances, much of the series has its legs thanks to the numerous sub-series within, but it's nice to see that a standalone novel can be as strong as this. It's also worth noting that while I'm reading the whole series in order, by no means are they written in a way that you'd have to. This could be your first, or even only Discworld novel, and I don't think that you'd be lost..."https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/book-review-pyramids-by-terry-pratchett/
Texan blogger Dial H for Houston's thoughts on Raising Steam:
"The fun thing about Discworld is that, while it started as a general pastiche of fantasy tropes, Pratchett soon veered off and started doing his own thing, introducing modern(ish) technology like movies, the printing press, telegraphs (well, Semaphores, but still), and even Rock & Roll. And so, Ankh-Morpork, the central city of the setting, began to evolve into a kooky mirror of London, or any other major world city. In Raising Steam, Pratchett brings trains to Discworld. A brilliant young inventor figures out how to harness the power of steam, and then it falls on Moist von Lipwig, a fast-talking con man who's employed by the city (again, go read Going Postal) to organize it and shape the railway into something productive. It helps that Moist is my favorite Discworld character, so I was predisposed to like Raising Steam from the start... Raising Steam revolves around steam power, but it's not at all steampunk. There are no gears on top hats or nods to an idealized British empire, even if a few characters probably wear goggles at some point (for entirely practical reasons). Instead, Raising Steam is more interested in the magic of actual technology– which is to say, trains. The steam locomotive had a huge impact on the course of history, and Pratchett leans full into that, covering everything from commuter suburbs to changes in the price of fish to the rise of trainspotting culture. It's not just about trains, either. Pratchett emphasizes the 'melting pot' nature of Ankh-Morpork at every turn..."http://bit.ly/2iA9814
Blogger Filip Magnus on A Slip of the Keyboard:
"The book itself is a collection of Terry Pratchett's non-fiction writing,which covers a variety of topics important to the man during his life — both personal and private ones, ranging from musings on his career as a journalist, PR and an author, to his passionate work to protect orangutans from extinction, to a deep-rooted appreciation for libraries and librarians (akin to Neil Gaiman), and wrapping up with his battles against Alzheimer's and for the legalization and broader acceptance of a sick person's right to die... His non-fiction captures the weirdness and the ridiculousness, and sometimes the cruelty of the world we all inhabit, of this wonderful, sometime twisted reality we all share. He fought injustice; in his writing, and outside it. He enjoyed life, and books, and I often think of how much the world could use him now."http://bit.ly/2vfdrof
Blogger Katyboo1, mother of novice reader Oscar, returns with a love letter to Thief of Time:
"I was so looking forward to sharing this with Oscar, and the experience did not disappoint. This is one of the series that really has stood the test of both time and quality for me... full of jokes and wisdom and humanity, it's hard to see how Pratchett pieces all this together to create a unified narrative, but he does, and it is glorious..."http://bit.ly/2vfbXKy
...and a fond remembrance of The Fifth Elephant:
"This is the twenty fourth book in the Discworld series, and one which I had very little recollection of when Oscar started reading it to me. As he read on, snippets came back to me, and I wondered why I had so comprehensively forgotten it, as I enjoyed it very much indeed the second time around... Oscar loved it because the Watch stories are his favourite, particularly any scenes that involve Nobby Nobs, and I loved it because it really hammers home the point that by this time, Pratchett had gone way beyond the traditional limits of fantasy and is writing in a much more philosophical vein about all the foibles of being human. This is particularly underscored in his handling of the Uberwald class system, and the things about the dwarves that Vimes discovers. It foreshadows his material about goblins in the very last books he wrote. There are the usual comic touches, but The Fifth Elephant is so much darker than the early works and, to my mind more multi faceted, showing the different layers of understanding and discovery that Pratchett was exploring. Whether a child reader will pick this up or not is largely irrelevant as the stories bear reading over and over again..."http://bit.ly/2xlfFQk
...and on the subject of TFE, blogger Jamesbee agrees:
"It's always interesting to see a character taken out of their depth and put into an unfamiliar and unfriendly environment. That Vimes has to travel to a place that is as alien as the moon to him only makes things more interesting... The plot is intricate and engaging, with a number of clues and mysteries to solve. All the characters you would hope show up show up and grow and evolve. The novel hums along nicely with each chapter pushing the towards to the conclusion. Overall the Fifth Elephant had all of the elements that lend the Discworld novels its charms without having some of the pitfalls that sometimes show up. The novel was well plotted, charming, and in many parts, hilarious..."https://jamesreads.blog/2017/07/17/the-fifth-elephant-no-spoilers/
Blogger Middle Brow gives top marks to Going Postal:
"Every time I find something new to laugh at, and that speaks to both the comic density of Pratchett's work and its effectiveness. For people who have always felt daunted by the idea of Pratchett's Discworld, I'd suggest this is an ideal second outing. I think most readers should start with one of the Rincewind novels; I started with Interesting Times, but you can always go back and start with The Colour of Magic to really get a taste for its roots. However, if this is your first Discworld entry, I don't think you miss much – Pratchett doesn't waste time trying to relay the entire back stories of characters from other Discworld books who pass in and out of the narrative of Going Postal. And what a narrative it is. It's a story that would be at home in any more mundane fantasy work – a criminal is given the choice of death or public service, chooses to live, and eventually begins to find themselves in their work in a way they never had in their criminal career. It's not an innovative story on the face of it, but the way that Pratchett works those well-worn tropes is where the magic happens...
"One of the things I love about Discworld is that it's ever-changing. Most fantasy worlds are stagnant from a technological point of view – magic has either replaced most mundane tasks or remains completely inaccessible. Peasants are still farming in fields for thousands of years. News travels by horse and cart. Not so, in Discworld. Not only is this a boring trope, it's unrealistic – people don't rest content at their current level of technology. People strive to make their everyday life easier. Half the fun of Going Postal is watching how Pratchett brings new 'inventions' to life in a fantasy context. Going Postal features the creation of the stamp, for example, inspired by Von Lipwig's previous life as a forger... Going Postal doesn't innovate in the plot department. Von Lipwig consistently outsmarts his opposition – but that's what we expect from stories about intelligent people surrounded by incompetence. He's the Sherlock of the Disc. He's genre-savvy – if not breaking the fourth wall, then certainly winking at it. But Pratchett's prose and his subversion and uptake of popular fantasy tropes make this a book I'll always revisit. .."https://middle-brow.com/2017/07/26/review-going-postal/
Blogger Schlock Value was astonished by Strata:
"Terry Pratchett is among the greatest authors whom I've ever read. I could ― and have ― read each and every Discworld novel multiple times and will probably read them again. His passing in 2015 has left a hole in my life that will never be filled. But despite all this, my reading of his work outside of the Discworld is sorely lacking. Of course I love Good Omens, and I liked Nation and the first Long Earth novel (haven't gotten around to the rest yet), but those were all written after he'd started writing about the Disc. Strata stands out because a) it predates the Discworld novels, and b) it's purely science fiction... I probably don't have to say this, but of course this book was *phenomenal*. I mean, you could probably argue that by Pratchett standards the book was pretty meh. It certainly wasn't Night Watch or Small Gods, but c'mon. That's hardly a fair comparison. Another interesting thing about this book is that it was, in many ways, a sort of test run for Discworld concepts. Folks familiar with the the Disc―and if you aren't, drop this review right now and head to your nearest local book store or public library―will recognize a few familiar concepts, a couple of clever lines, and even a character... this book was great and grand, and moreover was an exercise in seeing the early work of one of my favorite authors. As great as the book was, it lacked some of the best aspects of his later works. There wasn't much 'stealth philosophy' as it were, although there's one bit that I really enjoyed that would fit that. The characters were fine, but they didn't have quite the depth that Sam Vimes or Granny Weatherwax do. Of course, he had a great many books to develop those characters, so that's no real surprise..."https://schlock-value.com/2017/07/23/strata/
Blogger The Book Babblette had mixed – mostly positive – feelings about Small Gods:
"Almost certainly, the book's ultimate goal was to show the folly of religion. Pratchett's plot, style, characters, and setting were all used to further that goal. Within the book, Pratchett created a fictional, long-established religion: The Church of the Great God Om. The country of Omnia was ruled by the Church and the Church dictated the laws of all Omnians. Pratchett introduced us to Brutha, a slow-witted and good-hearted Omnian monk who accidentally stumbled upon a quest on behalf of the Great God Om. Pratchett also presented Vorbis, a leader in the Church and an all-around bad guy. Finally, Pratchett introduced Om, the once-great god who remembered the days when he was powerful enough to smite enemies and sacrifice believers but who now, because of a decrease of faith in Omnia, is only a one-eyed tortoise who reluctantly relies on Brutha's help. Pratchett didn't always take his plot too seriously. His writing style was satirical and clever. The pages were covered in jokes; some of which worked and some of which didn't. Many of the jokes were at the expense of religion or the idea that human knowledge and certainty is anything less than ridiculous... Although Pratchett used his plot as a tool to convey his message and showcase his cleverness, he did give the story a beginning, middle, and end, and I was usually invested in what was happening with Brutha, Vorbis, and Om. The story was too long, however, and became repetitive and dull. Also, Pratchett would sometimes write with such heavy irony or such deliberate passivity that the action was confusing and the story was unclear..."https://thebookbabble.com/2017/08/23/small-gods/
Blogger neslibrarynews (no, really) was blown away by Nation... eventually:
"In his first non-Discworld novel in a decade, Terry Pratchett doesn't disappoint. I have to admit, it actually took me a few goes to get into Nation – it was only the Reading Ahead Challenge that got me to try it again, but I'm so glad I did! Nation starts off slowly, building the world first and foremost, but that's necessary to show how painful Mau's grief is when he loses his whole nation. Not only does he lose those he loves and his society, but he also loses his sense of identity. However, losing his identity and becoming isolated leads Mau to question the world-view he has been taught and take responsibility for leading his nation into a new world... Nation is also an anti-colonial story in many ways. The islanders are very aware of how the British sailors come to their islands and 'civilise' them at best, destroy and enslave them at worst. It is only through the friendship that Mau and Daphne have built up, and the nation they have formed together, that the island is able to keep its own identity in the face of a rapidly-changing world where people stake out claims to parts of the map. I love Pratchett's glimpse into the future of a nation where a meeting of cultures rather than a conquest has led to immense scientific discoveries..."https://ccnlibraryblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/book-review-nation/
...and finally, two years into Nat Wassell's re-read of all of Discworld for the Cultured Vultures blog, we come to the final review – The Shepherd's Crown:
"I've talked a lot before on Granny and the impact she has as a character, and that is apparent even here when she is not present for most of the novel; my favourite moment is when the shockwave of her death resonates throughout the Disc and we see many other characters feeling that wave and just knowing that it must be because of her. The barriers of the world that she has held for so long, against the forces of darkness that would threaten the Disc, become more open after her death and it is up to Tiffany, Granny's chosen successor to co-ordinate the other witches and fight back against the elves who we saw banished way back in the series.
"Granny's death is the first we see of a main character in any of the books, and I am glad that it is given the time that it deserves. With everyone from Archchancellor Ridcully to Lord Vetinari watching and waiting to see what the witches will do, there can be no doubt of Granny's importance and the respect that she commanded. On a more personal note, Pratchett dedicates the book to her – 'For Esmerelda Weatherwax – mind how you go', and the bitter sweetness of that dedication, knowing now that he did not live to see the publication, plays very strongly on your mind as you read the novel. I try not to be too sentimental in these articles (probably not always winning at that) but I am glad that Sir Terry had Granny Weatherwax at his side in the end. She is, undoubtedly, a good friend to have there. There's a lot more that I could say about this book, and most of it would be rambling because it holds such a special place in my heart, but I won't do that. I will mention though, two lessons that are prevalent in this book and which, I think, sum up Discworld and Sir Terry's message, should anyone ever ask you what they might be. The first lesson is about giving people a chance... The second lesson is about what you take and what you leave behind... I believe that this is Sir Terry's message, above any other; the power to make the world a better place exists in everyone, no matter how small you might be, and no matter how much you might believe that you can't. You need to only look for it, and there it will be. It is a lesson that I think he would have been happy for any reader to take away and treasure. It is surely his greatest legacy..."https://culturedvultures.com/the-shepherds-crown-2015-discworld/
08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
Some fantabulous iconographs from Monstrous Productions' grand finale (Guards!Guards!):
Vimes with fully loaded Errol: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTKW0AAIuh0.jpg
Carrot, the Librarian, and that wall in the Shades: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTLXgAEq_P9.jpg
Sybil and her lads: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTJXkAIgCim.jpg
The Brethren, in that "did any of them get out?" moment: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTPWsAAMhZB.jpg
...and a gorgeous one of members of The Clan reading Mr Bunnsy Has an Adventure, from Monstrous' staging of TAMAHER:https://earlysince92.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0368.jpg
Two great photos from the Salisbury Museum's Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit, posted on Twitter by Richard Henry:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DH6Vo4aXoAAdfp1.jpghttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/DH6VnqGXoAAzRjx.jpg
The thespians of Unseen Theatre at AusDWcon 2017, photo by Danny Sag: http://bit.ly/2xlqZMu
Granny always understood this one...https://cemeteryclub.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/bees-at-a-funeral-kalgorie-miner-27-oct-1930.jpg
More Feegle-sculpting from Paul Kidby:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFz0TUhW0AANq19.jpg
A brace of Moists, from the latest Australian Discworld Convention:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGbOAlSUQAEYAiD.jpg
A beautiful photo of one of the Melbourne Zoo orangutans, from the Zoo's Twitter account:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGgk6yPXoAA-TX3.jpg:large
The newest Discworld ale, L-Space Voyager, features a wonderful image of the Librarian on his Last Hero voyage:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGzD7cJXUAIVGgM.jpg
(for more info on the contents of the can, see item 3.6 – Ed.)
A fine bit of Lancre – the cast of the Marlowe Players' production of Wyrd Sisters last month:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFVU17JXUAA0z2O.jpg
An action replay – the PTERRYDIS! (As reposted on Twitter by the Josh Kirby estate):https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHC1ofOXsAAXDQp.jpg
...and another – an extensive gallery of images from Midhurst Players' production of Wyrd Sisters late last year:http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/productions/wyrd-sisters/
Did you hear about the orphaned Russian hedgehogs who were adopted by a cat? "Muska the cat adopted the spiky brood after their mother died in a lawn-mowing accident. The tiny hoglets, as they are known, had refused milk from a syringe, a bottle, and a saucer for two days, according to Sadgorod Zoo. At night, the babies had a heating pad to stimulate their digestion. Still, nothing helped. As Muska had recently raised a litter of foster kittens, she had milk to offer -- so the zoo decided to try the unusual pairing. The hungry orphans reacted to her bodily warmth and the smell of milk, and soon began to nurse. The good-natured cat proceeded to feed the hedgehogs for more than a week and comfort them at night, Russia's Vesti reports..."http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40720327
And that's the lot for August. Take care, and we'll see you next month!
– Annie Macooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info
Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion