Mar. 28th, 2017

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 3, 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.
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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) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Irreverence, humanity, courage and exuberance are qualities that the book trade (and the society it reflects) will need bucketloads of in the months to come. Be More Terry should be mounted in flashing neon cathodes on every author, agent, bookseller and publisher's wall."
Molly Flatt, on The Bookseller

"It's a really special thing. It's hard not to be excited. It will be the biggest exhibition that the museum's ever done... The reaction has been incredible and we've seen on Twitter how people have been booking flights from America and all over the world to come to see it. Some seem to be basing their holidays around it."
Richard Henry, curator of the forthcoming Terry Pratchett: HisWorld museum exhibit in Salisbury

"I spent a lot of time in the library reading and I was always reading library books up trees. It's wonderful to see his legacy continuing long after his death. The ripples he left in the world – one of the quotes from his book was 'a man is not dead while his name is still spoken', and it feels like he's very much alive and present in the world."
Rhianna Pratchett, at the unveiling of the Sir Terry Pratchett plaque

"There was a small part of me that wanted the world to be a place where, despite planning officers and EU directives and policemen, a stone *might* dance. And somewhere there, I think, is the instinct for folklore. There should be a place where a stone dances."
Terry Pratchett, in his introduction to The Folklore of Discworld

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Statues and blue plaques and owls, oh my! There's news a-plenty in this issue, so even though our favourite author left us two years ago this month, his life and works continue to cause ripples in the world – as well they should.

During an episode of illness last week, one of the books I re-read was Nation. Although I've lost count of how many times I've re-read it since I first received my review copy nine years ago, I find that on every re-read another jewel of wordcraft or comedy or philosophy leaps out at me in a new way. And I still, every time, find myself in tears by the end, moved by the beauty and rightness of the story. We're told that The Author considered Nation to be his finest work, and as much as I love the Discworld series, I have to agree with him on this. Oh, and if you've read Nation already, its Wikipedia page (_https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_(novel)_) remains worth a read; I don't know who wrote the Themes section, but it is a fine essay in itself. And if you haven't read Nation, please do!

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 PTERRY PLAQUE NEWS

It's more black than blue from the look of it (appropriate!), but it *is* halfway up a wall...

From the official Buckinghamshire website:

"A plaque honouring Sir Terry Pratchett has been unveiled at Beaconsfield Library, where the late author once worked. The plaque, which was commissioned by Beaconsfield Town Council, was unveiled by Sir Terry's daughter Rhianna and Business Manager Rob Wilkins, alongside Mayor Patrick Hogan... In his Who's Who entry, Sir Terry credits the library with his 'education'. In 2013 during a talk at the library, he told his fans he owed a great deal of his success to the time spent there during his youth. He donated all proceeds from the event to the library. Councillor Philip Bastiman, Chairman of the Open Spaces Committee at Beaconsfield Town Council, said: 'It is only right that there is a permanent celebration of Sir Terry in the town where he was born, and what better place than at the library which first sparked his amazing imagination. The town council is proud to have commissioned this plaque commemorating one of Beaconsfield's most famous sons.' Sir Terry's daughter Rhianna said: 'Dad was born in Beaconsfield, but Terry Pratchett the author was born at Beaconsfield Library. This was the place Dad got his education, where he indulged his love of reading. This feels like the perfect tribute to him.' The plaque is located on the outside of the library, near the entrance. Several Pratchett fans travelled to the event from as far away as Leeds and Swansea, with some dressed as their favourite characters..."

https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/news/plaque-unveiled-at-library-celebrating-sir-terry-pratchett/

From the Bucks Free Press

"A commemorative plaque, unveiled by Sir Terry's daughter Rhianna, now sits proudly outside the library where the fantasy writer was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks. Ms Pratchett, who is an award-winning scriptwriter, story designer and narrative paramedic, spoke to the Bucks Free Press about the honour, saying it was 'wonderful' to see her dad commemorated at the library where '*the* Terry Pratchett was born'. She said: 'He's always loved libraries, and librarians, a lot so it's very, very fitting. It feels like even more significant than having it, say, in the house that he was born in. This is where he got his education, where the ideas, the interest in the world and the love of reading took off.' Born in Beaconsfield and educated at John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe, Sir Terry went on to become a reporter at the Free Press before going on to make a name for himself as an author. In his speech, Rob Wilkins, MD of the Pratchett Estate, thanked the people of Beaconsfield for the Terry Pratchett 'we all knew and loved' because 'this is where all the seeds of all of those stories began'..."

[NOTE: includes a video of the unveiling, plus a gallery of 39 iconographs]

http://bit.ly/2lZtqhz

3.2 ...AND OFFICIAL PRATCHETT BUST NEWS

Here be a gorgeous 45-second video, posted by Paul Kidby himself, of the process of finishing his fantastic bust of Sir Pterry. Watch for a quick appearance by Rob Wilkins at the twentieth second, as a temporary artist's assistant. Video will play automatically, and you don't even have to be signed in to Twitter to watch it:

https://twitter.com/PaulKidby/status/841935476831461377

3.3 ...AND STATUE NEWS

From the BBC:

"A bronze bust of Sir Terry Pratchett has been unveiled ahead of plans to install a 7ft (2.1m) statue of the author in Salisbury, Wiltshire. It was created by Paul Kidby, who illustrated Sir Terry's Discworld novels, before his death in 2015. The statue of the author, who lived locally, is due to be erected in the marketplace or Elizabeth Gardens. Mr Kidby said getting his expression right so 'he's not unhappy' but 'not smiling too much' was the hardest part. Plans for a larger than life-sized bronze statue of the author were backed by the city council following an online campaign for a permanent 'tribute to Sir Terry' in the city. Mr Kidby said it had been 'scary' creating a tribute to Sir Terry that his fans and family would 'be pleased with'. 'You don't want it to be too stuffy or too haughty – you want it to be quite human and, I suppose, approachable and people to be drawn to it,' he said. 'But the feedback's been positive and Terry's family are happy with what I've done so that's wonderful.' The next stage is to make a small maquette or model of the author, with the possible addition of a few 'hidden' extras. 'It would be nice to make it as intriguing as possible, so if you haven't read any of Terry's books it makes you want to know more,' said Mr Kidby. 'And it would be lovely just to sneak a few of his characters in - maybe in his pocket.'..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-39229886

...and an interesting take on the statue on Gizmodo:

"This mighty metal warlord is a cracking likeness of author Sir Terry Pratchett, one that'll eventually be stuck atop a statue of the man that's planned for his home town of Salisbury in Wiltshire. It's been created by multidisciplinary art creator Paul Kidby, who illustrated Pratchett's Discworld series, so presumably has a good feel for the texture of the man's beard, the sparkle in his eyes and angle of hat..."

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/03/terry-pratchett-gets-the-bronze-god-treatment/

3.4 REVIEWS: TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK

In The Bookseller, a perspicacious piece with the emphasis on Sir Pterry as a publishing entity, by Molly Flatt:

"It was a funny, insightful and hugely moving programme, not least because it acted as a reminder (for me, at least) of just what a prescient pioneer Sir Terry was – and how much he still has to teach us about being a great writer and publisher (and human) now. Perhaps most obvious is Pratchett's disregard for the literary establishment. His novels refused to conform to the binary either/or thinking of the traditional publishing world. From his very first book, 1971's The Carpet People, Pratchett drew derision by daring to write fantasy that was for, and about, ordinary people, rather than an academic Oxford elite. But he didn't just redefine a genre. He insisted that writing that was imaginative, intelligent and formally experimental (see his footnotes, his avoidance of chapters, the Unquoted Small Caps Dialogue he coined for Death) could also be unashamedly populist, stuffed with page-turning plots and cheap jokes. It's an idea that still challenges sneering critics today..."

http://www.thebookseller.com/futurebook/be-more-terry-490666

On Livemint, Raja Sen's combination review and reminiscence:

"I can't quote much of what Terry Pratchett said to us at the University of Warwick many winters ago, save for that lovely line he used to illustrate how fiendishly simple it is to find a starting point – even when what you're doing is as complicated as creating an entire imaginary universe. The audience was rapt as this man – one I hadn't then read, but who wore a captivatingly majestic hat – elaborated on world-building, many a lethal line delivered with a straight face. We strained to hear him over our own giggles. Later, I bought him a beer and he made me a dragon... Pratchett, through his 41 Discworld novels, created a world of singular, unprecedented detail. A flat disc set on the backs of four elephants carried through space on the back of a humongous turtle, the Discworld has it all – footballers and film-makers, academics and politicians, supermodels and simian librarians. Back In Black provides insight into the mind of this stupendously imaginative writer and his creations. Kaye, imitating Pratchett's whistle-y voice, speaks about being an only child, about being savagely jeered at by his headmaster, and – his eyes a-twinkle – about the first time he read Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows... Pratchett believed in parity between his characters, which is why his is a strongly feminist and free world. This jaw-dropping inclusivity makes it fitting that – apart from a couple of friends and collaborators like Neil Gaiman, with whom he wrote the marvellous Good Omens – most of the people talking in the film are fans..."

http://bit.ly/2nYvUBu

3.5 MORE ON THE SALISBURY MUSEUM EXHIBIT

From The Bookseller:

"Richard Henry is organizing Terry Pratchett: His World at the Salisbury Museum in Wiltshire, with the help of the author's estate and his artist of choice, Paul Kidby, whose many designs will feature on display. The exhibition will also include artwork by Pratchett, creator of the Discworld fantasy series, and personal items which have never previously been on public display... Henry, an archaeologist, revealed: “Exhibitions are normally organised by pitching an idea but, fittingly for Terry, this kicked off with a sword...'

"The curator is delighted to be displaying the writer's important personal items. He said: 'We have things like his hat, sword, and stick accompanied by information all in his own words. There will also be a variety of badges and medals including his Carnegie medal...'"

http://tinyurl.com/hv86ca3

3.6 A PRATCHETT PARLIAMENT OF OWLS!

UK farm/sanctuary Birdworld has a very special new exhibit:

"Beautiful birds of prey with a fantasy twist... Birdworld proudly presents its brand new exhibit, The Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament. The impressive new display has been named in honour of the brilliant author, Sir Terry Pratchett due to his well-known love of wildlife and in particular, all species of owl. Created in collaboration with the World Owl Trust, the beautifully crafted satellite exhibit will aim to educate and raise awareness of these amazing birds. To recognise Sir Terry's passion for these rather mysterious birds of prey, many of the charming elements within this exhibit have been carefully designed to incorporate his fantasy novels of Discworld. Visitors familiar with the popular Discworld novels, will be able to easily recognise a number of the references but with the unique stylising of these aviaries, everyone exploring the exhibition will be drawn into the mythical and wonderful world of Sir Terry Pratchett."

The Parliament includes a range of different owl species, including Boobooks – otherwise known as... wait for it... Moreporks!

Birdworld is located at Holt Pound, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LD and is open every day from 10am to 6pm (4.30pm during winter hours), with last admissions one hour before closing. "As well as caring for and breeding as many species as possible at the park, Birdworld operates a conservation fund set up to support local and international conservation initiatives. We regularly donate money and assist various wildlife charities by sending our staff to pass on their expertise in animal care."

http://birdworld.co.uk/owls/

https://twitter.com/BirdworldSurrey

3.7 DISCWORLD MAKES A BUCKET LIST

In The Independent's "Indy 100" section, a fascinating feature on "35 books that will change how you see the world". This list includes Small Gods (and also Lord of the Rings, along with works by Dante, Shakespeare, St-Exupery, Angelou, Tolstoy, Mandela...):

"3. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett Difficult to pick just one novel in the canon of the late, great Pratchett, but this entry from the beloved Discworld series lampooning religion in society is probably the most important, as well as one of the funniest..."

https://www.indy100.com/article/35-books-that-will-change-how-you-see-the-world-7402486

3.8 ESSAY ON PRATCHETT, WEALTH AND SATISFACTION

By Charles Chu on Medium:

"Terry Pratchett was a millionaire many times over. But after his Discworld books became an international phenomenon, life didn't change for Pratchett — he just kept writing funny stories. I like guys like Pratchett. There's something about them, the frugal rich. Warren Buffett lives in the same Omaha house he bought in 1968. Mark Zuckerberg got married in his backyard. I look up to these people. But, for the longest time, I couldn't figure out why. I found a clue while reading A Slip of the Keyboard — a collection of Terry Pratchett's non-fiction writings. In it, he labels two types of wealth... Take away riches from a wise man, and he still has all that is his. And that, my friends, is the difference. While the horizontally wealthy own their riches, the vertically wealthy are owned by them..."

http://bit.ly/2n8TN8Z

3.9 MORE ABOUT MORRIS

A follow-up to January's piece on the Chelmsford Morris side looking for new Jason Oggs and Bestiality Carters (item 3.3). Long, interesting piece with plenty of photographs and a bit of a nod to a certain famous dance involving sticks and buckets:

"Last month the BBC told how a long-standing Morris group feared a dearth of 'fit, mildly eccentric men' would force its troupe to fold. Luckily men recognised themselves as both fit and quirky and helped avert a crisis. But what is the appeal of Morris dancing? Yes, Morris troupes put on the occasional display during the cold dark months of winter, but its seasonal home is the summer. Winter is the 'indoor season', a time for perfecting routines wearing informal attire, away from public view. Given the 'eccentric' tag was applied to members by the club's own bagman Celia Kemp, you might be expecting a cast of Willy Wonka types. You'd be wrong. Almost...

"Morris men wear matching uniforms for public performances. Their individuality is expressed through their headwear. 'It is the hats where our personalities come out,' says Mr Fitzgerald, who said he got into Morris following a martial break up. 'I have always been interested in folk music and had seen Morris dancing. Years later, my marriage broke and I looked at joining a Morris team and I found Chelmsford was very friendly.' His own hat bears a healthy bloom of flowers, badges, beer mats and pheasant feathers which, he says, tell the story of places danced and beers enjoyed...

"Morris-related injuries are not uncommon. I met members with shin injuries, sore hands and joint replacements. Peter Kemp, who returned to the world of Morris after many years in sword dancing, had a hip replacement just over a decade ago..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-39065775

3.10 ORANGUTAN ESCAPE ARTIST

Here be the story of Fu Manchu the orangutan. Is he using the stacks in L-space to help his escapes, we wonder:

"There are many clever animals, but when it comes to escaping, no creature is more ingenious than the orangutan. Fu Manchu, a late resident of the Omaha Zoo, frequently would be found lounging in the trees outside his exhibit when zoo employees arrived in the morning. Fu's James Bond-esque escape plots are the stuff of legend, and showcase the depth of the animal's foresight and imagination. High-tech surveillance was the only way that zookeepers were able to keep up. Long after zoo employees had left for the night, Fu would climb into the air vents connected to his enclosure and follow them to a dry moat surrounding the orangutan exhibit. Inside the moat was a locked door that employees often used. The clever ape would pull out a small piece of metal wiring that he kept hidden under his cheek throughout the day, and proceed to pick the door's lock! How Fu Manchu learned to pick locks remains a mystery. But it's the ape's cunning planning skills, demonstrated by his ability to keep they wiry tool hidden from zoo employees all day, that show the depth of an orangutan's intelligence..."

http://bit.ly/1MuxBLM

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 NULLUS ANXIETAS NEWS

We are now SOLD OUT! Yes, that's right! Only mere hours after announcing our guests, we are completely *SOLD OUT* of convention tickets! However, do not despair!

* If you already have a Supporting Membership, don't worry – your place is still guaranteed. You just need to upgrade before you can attend.
* If you really really want to come to the convention, please join the waiting list – and we will contact you if someone has to sell their ticket.

http://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/supporting-membership-upgrades/
http://ausdwcon.org/shop/waiting-list/

If you already have a ticket or a supporting membership but can no longer attend the convention, please have a read of the On-Sale of Tickets Policy: http://ausdwcon.org/convention/membership/on-sale-of-tickets-policy/

If you are lucky enough to have a convention ticket, don't forget that there are still places available at the Gala Dinner and the Winery Tour . Unfortunately the Gourmet Tour is already booked out, but you can also join the waiting list for that as well!

http://ausdwcon.org/convention/events/gala-dinner/
http://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/wine-tour-ticket/
http://ausdwcon.org/shop/waiting-list/

Guess who's coming to Discworld? Welcoming our very special guests!

*Attending the convention in person will be...*

Stephen Briggs
Stephen and Terry played together on Discworld for 25 years and had a lot of fun along the way. Stephen has collaborated with Terry on the many editions of the Discworld Companion, several diaries and maps, and a cook book. Stephen also took on the unabridged audio books and has recorded more than thirty of them, winning several industry awards that he's secretly very pleased with. It's plays, though, that got him into Discworld, and he's adapted, and published, around twenty Pratchett playscripts, which have been staged in more than 22 countries.

Daniel Knight
Daniel became a filmmaker because Terry Pratchett wasn't embarrassed by the idea of him adapting and directing a short film from his Discworld story /Troll Bridge/. Assuming Terry must have grossly overestimated his ability, Daniel then spent the next fourteen years studiously dedicated to the craft lest anyone learn of the ruse. This has apparently resulted in a career, awards, and a very confused balding man wondering what happened to his dreams of becoming a royal magician. Some of his other shorts include such monsters as /Blood on the Game Dice/ (if you've ever played a pen and paper RPG), /Undead Ted/ (which has more than a little Reg Shoe in it), and /Run Rincewind Run!/ if you've never been to an Australian Discworld Convention before. All can be watched on the internet if you ask it nicely.

Professor David Lloyd
Professor David Lloyd is Archchancellor... sorry, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Australia. He has the honour of being the only person to award Terry not only two honorary doctorates but also a professorship. While Dean of Research at Trinity College Dublin, David invited Sir Terry to receive an honorary doctorate and later asked Sir Terry back to Trinity College again to be a visiting Professor in Creative Writing in the School of English, which he only agreed to because of the special hat involved. Later still, Terry's second honorary doctorate presented by David came from UniSA, and this one involved a hat with corks.

Martin Pearson
Martin has entertained attendees at all of the Australian Discworld Conventions since 2007 with his wonderful renditions of Discworld and Roundworld folk songs. His versions of "The Hedgehog Song" and "A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob on the End" are particularly known for their rowdy audience participation.

And virtually appearing...

Given that being girt by sea makes Fourecks particularly difficult (not to mention expensive) to get to, the following wonderful guests will not be present physically but will be able to chat with us via the wonders of the magical Omniscope.

Professor Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart was born in 1945, educated at Cambridge (MA) and Warwick (PhD). He has five honorary doctorates (Open University, Westminster, Louvain, Kingston, and Brighton) and is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University. He has published over 100 books (mostly about mathematics) including the bestselling series /The Science of Discworld I, II, III, and IV/ with Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen.

Ray Friesen
Ray Friesen is a cartoonist and graphic designer living in California, USA. He met Terry Pratchett and Rob Wilkins at the 2009 North American Discworld convention, and was hired to draw cartoons for them a week later. After creating the Dweenicon Discworld character cartoon icons, Discworld Playing Cards, and the Death of Rats/Librarian plushies, Ray finally weaseled his way into illustrating a full Discworld comic book - 2015's Small Gods Graphic Novel Adaptation, a thrill and an honor.

The Discworld Emporium – Bernard and Isobel Pearson, Reb Voyce and Ian Mitchell
Bernard and his wife Isobel founded Discworld Emporium in Wincanton, Somerset, UK in 2000 under the patronage of Sir Terry himself. Bernard has now left the running of the Emporium to Ian and Reb while he loiters in his shed playing with lumps of wax. To this day, the Emporium continues to produce a wide range of Discworld inspired collectables, sculptures, art, wearables and sundries, using the original artwork of both Bernard and Ian. Uncle Bernard refused to make the trip out to Fourecks as he fears his pipe is too great of a fire danger in our tinderbox of a country. And Ian and Reb need to stay home to feed the cats.

http://ausdwcon.org/blog/sold-out/

4.2 NADWCON 2017 NEWS

"Hear ye! Hear ye! The North American Discworld Convention 2017 Official Opening Ceremony shall be at 5pm on Friday September 1st. The Official Closing Ceremony shall be at 4-6pm on Monday September 4th. Convention programming will start on the morning of Friday September 1st. Don't forget to book your hotel and flights! We don't want you to miss out!"

NADWCon 2017 will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Membership for the Convention is US$99.

"Membership to the North American Discworld Convention is what you buy instead of a ticket, and entitles you to entry to all events at the Convention (except the Gala Banquet, which is paid for separately). You can buy your membership here, and upon payment you'll be added to the membership list and receive an email confirming your membership number. When you arrive at the Convention itself, you'll need to go to our Registration Desk to collect your badge, event programme and member pack."

Membership Types:

Adult ($99) - An attending ticket for ages 18+*
**Youth ($49) - An attending ticket for ages 6 - 17* at the time of the convention
**Child ($1) - An attending ticket for ages 0 - 5* at the time of the convention
Supporting ($33) - A non-attending ticket

*Age restrictions applicable from first day of the convention - September 1st, 2017.

For more information, and to purchase, go to:
https://nadwcon2017.org/signup/2017-adult-membership.html

https://nadwcon2017.org/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN MARCH, APRIL AND MAY

* MORT IN SASKATCHEWAN (MARCH)

The Theatre Students' Association of Regina University are presenting their production of Mort this week! "Mort is a fun and fantastic adaption of Terry Pratchett's fourth Discworld novel. Directed by Theatre Department alumni Landon Walliser, this hilarious comic fantasy is based on the first of the Death stories in the Discworld canon. Death comes to us all, and when he came to Mort he offered him a job. After being assured that being dead was not compulsory, Mort accepted. However, he soon found that his humanity did not mix easily with the responsibilities of being Death's apprentice. Terry Pratchett's hilarious fourth Discworld story establishes once and for all that Death really is a laughing matter."

When: 28th–31st March 2017
Venue: Shu-Box Theatre, Riddell Centre, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2
Times: 7.30pm
Tickets: CA$10.00. To purchase online, go to https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/terry-pratchetts-mort-tickets-32022540280 and select date, then press the Tickets button

http://www.uregina.ca/finearts

* WYRD SISTERS IN FOURECKS (MARCH/APRIL)

CHATS Productions are staging their production of Wyrd Sisters this week!

When: 29th March–1st April 2017
Venue: Jetty Theatre, 337 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales 2450
Time: all evening shows 8pm, 1st April matinee 2pm
Tickets: $25, Concessions $22, U-21 $20, Groups 10+ $20, also 29th March $20, available online at http://bit.ly/2n8VjnZ or via the Box Office (02 6652 8088, open Tuesday through to Friday 12 noon to 4pm)

http://jettytheatre.com/wyrd-sisters/

* DODGER IN PORTSMOUTH (MARCH/APRIL)

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 and 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)

* WYRD SISTERS IN KENT (APRIL)

The University of Kent Players will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in April, in aid of the Orangutan Foundation:

"Follow Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, our three witches, as they attempt to stop the destruction of their kingdom from the wicked Duke and Duchess. Expect ghosts, spells and a whole lot of fun as Pratchett's reworking of Shakespeare's Macbeth is brought to life."

When: 6th, 7th and 8th April 2017
Venue: Gulbenkian Arts Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NB (phone for information 01227 769075)
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10 (assorted concessions £8), available online from http://www.thegulbenkian.co.uk/events.html

https://www.facebook.com/uokplayers/

* 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

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* WYRD SISTERS IN YORK (JUNE)

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

* 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

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM

By Alan Geary in the Nottingham Post:

"Pratchett's sharp and witty text is well handled by a huge cast. Especially at the start, poor articulation is a problem; but voice projection is fine. Acting standards are generally high, in some cases more than high. Maddy Stevens gives a highly spirited performance as Nanny Ogg. And Sam Howitt as Vlad, with his misgiving about his father's evil plans, and his soft spot for Nanny Ogg, is excellent. Sophie Boettge's Count is first-rate. Her control of voice, facial expression and bodily gesture are absolutely right for a tricky part. And Adelaide Marshall, as Granny Weatherwax, is also outstanding. Her speech with the light shining out of the anvil on to her face is a high-point of the play. Lighting design, crucial in this production, is especially good..."

http://bit.ly/2o7AB8K

By Kev Castle on Theatre Reviews:

"Foreknowledge of the series, or indeed 'Carpe Jugulum' itself, is definitely not necessary for this play to be enjoyed. I am living proof of this fact as I'd no prior knowledge of Pratchett's intricate Discworld series. Having never really ventured into Pratchett World, after tonight, I think I've been converted. The Nottingham Lace Market theatre production is performed by their Youth Group and directed by Roger Watson, who is a massive Pratchett fan.Rosina Reading, Sophie Owen and Jemma-Dawn Froggitt were Assistant Directors... The set is magnificent. Designed by Cris Brawn. There are about 33 scene changes which are handled by the ensemble with incredible ease. The set is almost comic-book/ cartoon-like in its' appearance and adds to the fun element of the play. The costumes likewise bring the whole atmosphere together. Max Bromley in the wardrobe department has really gone to town with them... A cast of 22 were smoothly stage managed, along with the props and everything else by one man, Jon Watson. This is a young group and delivering comedy isn't easy for a lot of actors, of any age, especially after lengthy rehearsals, the laughs can seem a bit flat to the actors. If this was the case it didn't come across, although a loot of Pratchett's lines are delivered dead pan, which made it even funnier..."

kevcastletheatrereviews.blogspot.com

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF

By twin bloggers CL Raven:

"Maurice was played fantastically by Matthew Hitchman. Being owners of 5 cats (12 in our lifetime) we can say that his was a very realistic portrayal of a cat. Becca Smithers, who played Malicia did a great job of being an overenthusiastic know-it-all. All of the actors played their parts brilliantly and it was nice seeing new faces as well as the regular cast. There wasn't a single bad performance and the actors' enjoyment of their roles really shows.

"The set and props were the most ambitious yet, with shed walls for the rat catchers' hut and a white screen with shadow puppets for the fighting ring. Clever lighting was used to represent a man hole cover in the sewers. There was also a brilliant use of red lighting and a scary voice recording for the King Rat to show it in Maurice and the rats' minds. It added a chilling element to what was otherwise, a very funny play. There was also an excellently choreographed fight scene between Maurice and several of King Rat's minions, which resulted in the deaths of Maurice and Dangerous Beans. But Maurice behaves very un-cat like when he trades one of his lives for Dangerous Beans's and both are returned to life... We've never read Maurice so had no idea what to expect. We loved it, and now we need to read the book..."

https://clraven.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/the-amazing-maurice/

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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 3rd April 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 30th March. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 6th April 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 7th April 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 3rd April 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 3rd April 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>

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 JOSH KIRBY ART PRINTS NEWS

From the official Josh Kirby estate website:

"We are excited to announce that we have chosen the first four Limited Edition prints that will become available for purchase! It's only fitting that we include Rincewind, Death and the Witches, so the obvious choices for us to start with are the first four books. It's been years since Josh Kirby's iconic Discworld art has been offered as a print so we're taking this opportunity to create and offer fine art prints unlike any that have ever been available before. As you may realize, the process of accurately reproducing Josh's art is critical to his legacy. The detail, depth and colour of the print can make or break the impact the art will have when framed and on display. Josh was often disappointed when he saw the final copy of a book or print that had compromised the composition or colours. Our goal was to create something Josh would have been very proud of, and we feel we have succeeded. The quality is outstanding! Each print will be numbered and include a certificate of authenticity from the estate. Stay tuned for more information!"

The four books are, of course, The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites and Mort.

http://www.joshkirbyart.com/news/discworldprints

http://www.joshkirbyart.com/


7.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* Tiffany's Hare necklace

"The Hare Through Flame Necklace has returned! Our tribute to Tiffany Aching and the spirit of the hare from the pages of I shall Wear Midnight is the perfect present for any Big Wee Hag. Crafted in precious silver in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter especially for the Discworld Emporium!"

Each Hare Necklace is priced at £55. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/jewellery/175-hare-through-flame-necklace

* Thud! the game

"The original Discworld boardgame is back! With historical treatise written especially for the game by Terry Pratchett, a heavyweight cloth board and 41 bone-finish pieces parodying the 'Lewis' Viking chess set, Thud is based on the age-old dwarfish game Hnaflbaflsniflwhifltafl (or its ancient Roundworld Scandinavian equivalent Hnefatafl)!"

Each Thud set is priced at £35. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/games-activities/229-thud

* Some "sinister restocks"

"The Summoning Dark Necklace is available once again. Our tribute to Vimes and his affinity with the demon of darkness is crafted in sterling silver, for when only the finest supernatural symbol will do!"

Each Summoning Dark Necklace is priced at £35. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/jewellery/172-summoning-dark-necklace

"Ominously, the Summoning Dark Keyfob is also back, a robust dwarfish artefact with Guarding Dark symbol on the reverse...just in case you need to control your dark side!"

Each Summoning Dark Keyfob is priced at £10. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/home-hearth/179-summoning-dark-keyfob

http://www.discworldemporium.com/


7.3 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* The Terry Silhouette Pin

"Commissioned to celebrate the life and work of Sir Terry Pratchett, this beautiful pin of the Terry Pratchett silhouette is finished in black and silver. It measures 20mm across and is presented in a collectable gift box. Please note: Due to the fine clasp on the reverse of this pin, it may be unsuitable for fastening to thick fabric." [Translation: you can't pin it through motorcycle leathers – Ed.]

Each Terry Silhouette Pin is priced at £8. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/collectables/terry-silhouette-pin/

* New Phone Covers

"When we introduced our range of phone covers last year, they were an immediate success. However, we've not rested on our laurels and can now introduce a fantastic new case design. There's new artwork too and we're finally supporting Samsung devices!"

Editor's pick: the Great A'Tuin phone case. "Crafted from a hard, scratch-resistant plastic, this high-quality phone case is sublimation printed and will fit snugly around your phone and is available to fit a range of models."

Each Great A'Tuin phone case is priced at £20. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/phone-covers/

* The Map 'n' Monsters Mug

"Despite being cruel and unusual, we don't think geography is a mug's game. This new addition to our popular mug range features Paul Kidby's map from The Last Hero reproduced in beautiful detail, and includes your recommended daily portion of sea monsters."

Each Map 'n' Monsters Mug is priced at £8. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/discworld-merchandise/map-n-monsters-mug/

* New Wee Free Men editions

"The first Tiffany Aching novel, The Wee Free Men, is to be re-issued in two beautiful new editions; a hardcover gift edition featuring a new Paul Kidby illustration and a new paperback edition with artwork by Laura Ellen Anderson. Both volumes are available for pre-order now and will hit shelves on the 27th of April."

Editor's pick: The Wee Free Men – Gift Edition. "There's a monster in the river, a headless horsemen in the drive. And now Granny Aching has gone, there's only young Tiffany Aching left to guard the boundaries. It's her land. Her duty. But it's amazing how useful a horde of unruly pictsies can be... Exclusively embossed with Terry's signature and sealed with his coat of arms."

The Wee Free Men Gift Edition hardcover is priced at £14. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/books/wee-free-men-gift-edition/

* New Stickers

"Our glossy Anthill Inside stickers have long been one of our most popular products. We're sticking with the idea and introducing a domed City Watch sticker and a Sunshine Sanctuary design to show off your civic pride and/or generous side."

Editor's pick: the City Watch sticker. "A self-adhesive domed sticker bearing the City Watch crest. Ideal for sticking onto computers, notebooks and policemen."

The stickers are priced from £1.50 to £3.50, depending on size and design. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/stickers/

* Terry's Memorial Pin

"Commissioned for the Terry Pratchett Memorial, to celebrate Terry's life and work, this pin features a sprig of lilac, a symbol of Discworld remembrance immortalised in Night Watch. Measuring 30mm high, this pin spells out Terry's name in golden detailing."

Each Memorial Pin is priced at £8. For more information, and to order, go to:

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

Also coming soon, new trading cards and tea towels:

"Series Four of our popular trading cards are on their way and will once again be randomly included with orders. For completists, the whole pack will be available to purchase on the website along with previous sets, whilst stocks last."

"We're delighted to shortly be introducing two new tea towels designs, featuring insights on dragons by Leonard of Quirm, and the Geography of the Disc, as observed by UU's Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography (with a little help from Paul Kidby)."

http://discworld.com/

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

08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

On Geek Dad blogger Mariana Ruiz compares a scientist's and a-scientist-a-mathematician-and-a-Pratchett's writings on evolution:

"Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari took me completely by surprise: the author is so full of data and interprets it in such a way that every three or four pages leave you thinking: Are we really just hunter-gatherers that are trapped in a new, technological and crammed world? Was it really that bad, exchanging foraging for cultivating grains? Where are we heading? And, of course: Are we unhappier now than 15,000 years ago?... I love his writing style, completely persuasive and affirming, but I don't necessarily agree with him. His arguments resemble those of three of my favorite authors, so I wanted to compare some of his arguments with theirs. I'm talking about Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, and Jack Cohen, and their book series: The Science of Discworld.

"The series feature lots of interesting questions, and they combine scientific data with unforgettable dialogues related to the Discworld Universe; besides, their research is really well-funded. The Science of Discworld II: The Globe was published in 2002, and specifically deals with our ability to tell stories. They even isolate a fictional element called “narrativium” to better explain our ability to shape stories where in fact there isn't any. This is a chaotic Universe, but the human mind cannot cope with its randomness. We are constantly seeking patterns and forming stories, and the authors agree in saying that our name should not be Homo Sapiens (Wise Man), and that we might be better described as Pan Narrans (Storytelling Chimpanzee)... And as for Harari's argument, that all gods, laws, and beliefs should be fitted inside the same bag, the next book in the Science of Discworld series talks about the same thing, using Darwin's decision to write his book: On the Origin of Species as an example of how ideas and conceptions change gradually over time... The difference between this series and the first book is the way Pratchett, Stewart, and Cohen introduce a plot and have fun with some fictional characters in the process..."

https://geekdad.com/2017/03/stack-overflow-human-evolution/

Blogger Takanoir found Interesting Times quite, well, interesting:

"I'd like to give a shout-out to my amazing friend Sarah for recommending this to me, or rather, sending me a copy, and letting me know this was her favorite book. I'm truly grateful. This book is hilarious and magical... The title is actually inspired by a curse mentioned throughout the novel... I personally would love to be bewitched by this particular curse, which is why I find the main character so interesting and hilarious. Rincewind, our main character, wants to live an uninteresting life. An uninteresting life means lower risk of dying. And that's a very nice proposal to a coward like Rincewind... The writing style reminds me quite a lot of “Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. It's definitely unique, and sometimes quite random and absurd in an extremely comical way... It's these kind of random detours that really make this book. There's genius amidst all the madness. And the further you go along, the more interesting the main plot becomes..."

http://bit.ly/2nYzawA

Blogger Gamobo has mixed feelings about Mort:

"From what I understand, most of the Disc World novels can be read independently, since the order of the novels are dubious in terms of preferred reading order. Mort centres on one of the recurring (and most popular) characters in the entire series, Death himself. Unfortunately, while the plot and characters have a strong foundation, the novel fails to capitalize on its promises, and instead uses arbitrary plot fluff to tie everything up... The biggest problem is the ending. While the set-up was great, everything is resolved on a whim. The whole reality-convergence is resolved in an instant and off-page; we are told what happens, and even if it were shown, it would've been boring and anti-climatic. The second major conflict, that of Mort unwillingly becoming Death (which causes him to lose his personality and conscience), is also solved in an instant, with Death deciding that perhaps fishing and being a fry-cook wasn't that great after all. This part really sucked, because the author does a good (and comical) job convincing us that Death actually enjoyed the normal life... This is where Terry Pratchett shines. A true master of the genre, Pratchett will effortlessly convince you that the Grim Reaper is a guy who enjoys fishing, cooking, and petting kittens. He's also able to convey characters efficiently and in a short amount of time, so that you'll end up sympathizing with or hate their guts, but will just as quickly be surprised by them. The source of the author's magic is simply that he can make you laugh. Throughout the charming and fantastical narrative the author use humour to ground his narrative, because if you can laugh at it, you can believe in it... I don't want to “disrecommend” it, nor do I think it's a must-read. For fantasy fans there's a lot of great stuff in here, but the fantasy isn't the focus. This is a story about a funny situation, with some philosophy on life and death thrown in, which is something you've probably never read before. I guess I would recommend it if you are willing to try something different, and looking for a good laugh..."

https://gamobo.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/mort/

Blogger The Written Word considers two portrayals of anthropomorphic Death. One of them is Pratchett's:

"In some ways, Pratchett's version of Death reflects the professional and unadorned demeanor one might associate with a modern-day, businesslike interpretation of Hades. Practicality is central to his identity. He does not care about right or wrong; he has deadlines (no pun intended) to meet... Perpetually level-headed, because his mind is uncluttered with human emotion, Death has an outlook that is quite removed from the madness of living beings. Even so, I can't help but love his attempts to become human, or at least to study humanity like a scientist outside of a rat's cage. He admires us. He has a clear case of curiosity, he observes, he even tries a new job or two–but, ultimately, he is a figure outside of space and time. Though Death does make meaningful discoveries, he must remain an outsider, at least to some degree... Because of his more direct dealings with inhabitants of the Discworld, I believe that this incarnation of Death is far more relatable..."

http://bit.ly/2n7BXyQ

Blogger The Idle Woman is back with a review of Moving Pictures:

"I increasingly feel that Discworld is at its best when taking regular characters or settings and putting them through the mangler. Now, to some extent we do have that here: Dibbler, Detritus and the wizards of Unseen University are recurring characters (and this is the book in which we welcome the University's new Archchancellor, Mustrum Ridcully, who becomes a bit of a favourite of mine throughout the series). But the focus of the book is on a group of new characters, predominantly on Victor and Ginger, the stars of the new 'clicks' business. We've never seen them before and we'll never seen them again. It feels as if Discworld is being twisted to fit an idea, rather than an idea being twisted to fit Discworld, and I think that's why it doesn't work so well. You may well point out that Pyramids was also set in an unfamiliar part of the world, with characters who are one-offs for that particular book, and yet I enjoyed that more. I can't explain why, but it just felt more successful – perhaps because it featured a sequence of ideas seen through Discworld's idiosyncratic lens rather than, like the present book, riffing on a single idea for the whole story. Furthermore, I can't shake off the feeling that Moving Pictures takes itself a bit too seriously. That's not to say there aren't very funny moments, but there are also parts where the story seems to be trying too hard, either to be grand and epic, or to nudge in yet another joke based on classic Hollywood cinema..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/03/07/moving-pictures-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Katyboo1 posts another Discworld re-read with her son. This time it's The Last Continent, and the two of them didn't exactly agree:

"This is the first time I've revisited it, and I still believe it is a low point in the series. It seems too much of a joke, and almost like a return to the Colour of Magic in some ways. Everything is a bit obvious, a bit too funny and the finesse that starts with Small Gods seems lacking in development here. I confess that it was lovely to see the Librarian get such a juicy role in this book and his shape shifting scenes were the thing that saved this for me. Having said that, Oscar really enjoyed it. He always loves anything with Rincewind and the Luggage in, and he was delighted to see them return here, roaming through the continent of XXXX, a thinly veiled Australia, which heaves with jokes about kangaroos and sheep and Mad Max type figures and which he found rip roaringly funny. He was sad that it finished. I wasn't..."

http://bit.ly/2nqZbDa

Blogger inkandcelluloid was very taken with Going Postal:

"Going Postal is much closer to the satirical pole than other of the novels from this series I have read. It's not so much about silly situations and having a witty narrator, but much more about social satire targeting bureaucracy, corporate takeovers, workplace exploitation, and, to a lesser degree, collectors, hackers and charlatans. Some people make it look like if you like one Discworld novel, you're going to like them all, but I've found them to be quite different from one another, and I have only read a few. So it's a good idea to do some reading around if you're new to the series. Though it's not meant to be a purely funny book, it's quite enjoyable..."

https://inkandcelluloid.com/2017/03/05/going-postal-terry-pratchett-2004/

Blogger Electra Nanou has posted about a recorded Pratchett interview from November 2000 at the Arthur Miller Centre International Literary Festival (UEA):

"To describe this interview between Professor Christopher Bigsby and Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld novels, as amusing would be an understatement. Having passed away two years ago, almost to the day, every reminder of this man's sheer character is precious. Contained within the video recording is more than a discussion on Pratchett's life and literary accomplishments or his favourite Discworld characters or even the difference between children's fiction and fantasy. It is one more testament to his wit and flair, as well as a tutorial on how to politely dominate an interview. And how to introduce potentially controversial topics with a smile. Perhaps, sheer naughtiness factored into certain small omissions in the transcript, available in Writers in Conversation: Volume 5 by Christopher Bigsby... The crowd that attended the Terry Pratchett Memorial in April 2016, made up of children and adults alike, was proof of how important a fresh and humorous look can be to something as simple as a literary genre..."

"The University of East Anglia Literary Festival Archive www.uea.ac.uk/bacw/litfest – visit the Archive to view the recording in full."

http://bit.ly/2n8NDlJ

Another interview – this one, posted by blogger Flora, is an action replay, namely a 2012 Pratchett-and-Baxter interview posted on Goodreads:

"Pratchett and Baxter chatted with Goodreads about the future of science fiction and the “very real” possibility of making contact with aliens.

"Goodreads: The science fiction premise at the heart of The Long Earth impacts the entire world population. Can one of you briefly explain the concept of quantum earths?

"Stephen Baxter: Over to you, Terry!

"Terry Pratchett: [laughs] You're the bloke who knows about quantum. I'm the bloke who knows about faeries.

"SB: [The quantum earths idea] is what Terry started with in the early outlines of chapters. It's the opening up of the “Long Earth.” It's a bit like the dream of the old west, the endless frontier, because the other worlds are like ours but without humans, and they go on forever as far as we can see, one after the other after the other. It's an expansion on the frontier and how that shapes our humanity..."

http://bit.ly/2nr8T8L

This is too much fun to not feature – Vacuous Wastrel, a blogger often mentioned here, devotes a very, very long blogpost to musing on said Wossname mentions, "Why My Reviews Are An Alternative Truth" It goes on... and on... and on, but the Vacuous One does make some valid points here and there in the avalanche of text:

"I don't really obsess over my blog stats that much – after all, I don't have enough visitors to sustain statistical interest. But I do pop in now and then to see what's been going on, and to pick up now and then perhaps an interesting site that might have linked to me. One passing link in an io9 article two years ago continues to drive hits; in recent weeks it seems I've become a case study of some kind, as some small school somewhere seems to be directing students to my blog, although sadly I can't see which review in particular they might be reading... But I also happened to spot a more interesting source of visitors: from a Terry Pratchett fanzine. I'm flattered, it goes without saying, that anybody would link to my reviews, particularly fellow Pratchett fans! Yet the tone of their remarks was not, shall we say, entirely crafted so as to flatter. I'm used to that – I'm an inherently annoying person, I'm aware. On this occasion, however, what struck me was not so much their disdain as their apparent confusion..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/or-why-my-reviews-are-an-alternative-truth/

And then we have a real gobsmacker of a dis of the entire Discworld oeuvre from one Robert Nielsen. Your Editor isn't at all sure what to make of this, having read several of this blogger's posts on other subjects and found them well-reasoned; but the "Are the Discworld Books Overrated?" post is not well-reasoned, as Nielsen give incendiary-to-some opinions without providing much in the way of backing up his conclusions, e.g. "Whatever you say about Pratchett's writing skills, there's no denying that his endings are terrible... They're usually a rushed mess with a half-baked solution covering the gap. Or characters just act inconsistently and undermine most of what happened in the book" and "A major failing of Pratchett is his writing of women who are some of his weakest characters." But if you wish to give your blood pressure a boost, feel free to read the entire post:

https://whistlinginthewind.org/2017/03/24/are-the-discworld-books-overrated/

...and finally, blogger mindhowyougo's moving tribute "To The Ladies of the Discworld (In Celebration, In Memoriam)":

"The Discworld has been a part of my life since I was ten, first introduced to me through the subseries following young witch Tiffany Aching, and to this day the series remains the greatest influence on me, both creatively and on a personal level. Unlike many successful male authors, Pratchett understands the relevance of and what makes a realistic, strong female character, and this is evident throughout the many women we see in the Tiffany series – all unique, all three-dimensional... So, this is a tribute not only to the tragic death of a wonderful author, but the lives of each of the female characters who deserve to be celebrated on International Women's Day, if only for the impact they've had on my life. Each of them taught a young, impressionable girl something different about what a woman can be, and to them I am eternally grateful."

Here be an abridged list of her rather wonderful choices:

"Granny Weatherwax taught me the value of respect, the power in the way people think... Nanny Ogg taught me the power of people – you can have as much power, magical or otherwise, as you want, but it is never more valuable than knowing how people work, and how to make them feel, and feel at home... Miss Perspicacia Tick taught me that there's nothing wrong with being a smart-arse, even if people might not always like you for it... Jeannie, Kelda of the Chalk Hill Clan, taught me that wives and mothers and leaders and wise women are not mutually exclusive categories... Granny Aching taught me that quiet does not always mean shy, or weak, or stupid... Miss Level taught me that there is always more to people than you first understand... Annagramma taught me that arrogance always comes from something – maybe insecurity, maybe the way they've been taught... Petulia Gristle taught me that there's nothing wrong with being plain... Miss Treason taught me that there's nothing wrong with being dramatic... Letitia Keepsake taught me that traditional femininity is not weakness... Mrs Proust taught me that there's always value in the ability to laugh at yourself... Eskarina Smith taught me that even if it has never been done before, you can always be the first... Amber Petty taught me that abuse survivors deserve support and respect, that they should be helped, not shunned... Nightshade taught me that there are reasons why people act the way they do – perhaps insecurity, or the way they've been taught – and people deserve a chance to redeem themselves... But out of all of them, Tiffany Aching has taught me the most..."

http://bit.ly/2omyAEX

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

09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

Here be a review of Clacks, by Iain on The Gaming Review:

"Not having read any Terry Pratchett books I'm not familiar with the Discworld bit and bobs, but it's not entirely necessary anyway – the key is how the Clacks system works, and how you'll be using it... Before forming a letter on the board your little meeple guy needs to be in the right place, which costs stress points, and each Jacquard has a stress cost too. It's a good dynamic in the game which forces you to priorities your strategies a little. Also helping or hindering you along the way are the fault cards, which let you carry out certain effects on you, your opponents or the board as a whole. Such effects include only allowing a player to use a single Jacquard on their turn, or turning the entire board of lights on or off. They can turn a potentially game-winning move into a total mess, which is great when you mess up someone else's turn, but heart-breaking if it happens to you. And that's one of the fun things about Clacks – you get almost just as much luck out of screwing things up for others as you do from aiming to form your own letters. Some won't like the game being so harsh and cut-throat as that, but it's the nature of the competitive game and personally I really enjoyed the annoyance I caused other players from time to time..."

"The one complaint though I'd have about Clacks (which, as you can probably tell I enjoyed a lot) was the components. The cards are nice, there's a cool felt bag to put the Jacquards in, and the wooden tiles feel great when you're handling them, but they don't come pre-stickered. That's not a problem by itself, but the stickers are almost exactly the same size as the tiles, making them a massive git to get on accurately. There are a few spare stickers, but some more thought could have been made to the sizing, and the fact it took me nearly an hour to unpack and prepare the game wasn't idea when we wanted to try it out straight away! If you've got this, get it read before you plan on giving it a go, you won't regret it! So Clacks is a very entertaining game which despite having been around for a fair while is still a relevant and fun experience..."

http://www.thegamingreview.com/10191/2017/02/27/board-game-review-clacks/

Editor's note: if you don't own a copy of Clacks, the game is still in stock:

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks/

The excellent lads at Backspindle also have some new games coming out soon. One of these is MourneQuest:

"The game will be our first miniatures game and will be packed with characters from the book and of course lots of the mythical creatures and nightmares... An ancient wall encircles the centre of the Kingdom, a wall that has held strong for centuries, but now the evil it was built to imprison has a plan to escape. The Nightmares — the deepest fears from the darkest corners of Irish Legend — are being called from their slumber. From the four corners of the Kingdom they come. Their one aim: to tear down the wall and set the Old Ones' WarDog free... We are hoping to launch MourneQuest on Kickstarter within the next two months."

Sounds interesting, and worth a shufti after all Backspindle has done to promote Discworld through their "Guards! Guards!" and "Clacks" games!

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/219783/mournequest

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

10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

The Kidby Pratchett bust, now bronzed:
http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/6DE5/production/_95133182_dsc_0100.jpg

The Kidby, the Wilkins and the bronzed and patinated Pratchett bust:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6352qlWcAA64CJ.jpg

Some iconographs of the Pterry Plaque unveiling, as posted by the NADWCon gang on Twitter:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6UrW2MUoAICBXf.jpg

Stephen Briggs tweeted his dramatic pose with a certain bust:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5ckxzBWUAArv4k.jpg

The Josh Kirby tribute picture for DWCon 2016:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5cuperWcAgHc3t.jpg

Paul Kidby tweeted his picture of Rob Anybody learning to read, for World Book Day:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C57ar4gXEAA34dI.jpg:large

The Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament entrance! Note the UU sign on the right:
http://birdworld.co.uk/management/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/owlslide1.jpg

...and a close-up of the gorgeously carved Seal of Ankh-Morpork at Birdworld:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6tQKKdW0AAl4oc.jpg

Pterry and the Pig – a joy-filled photo of The Author with "Snuff", his living Wodehouse Prize award, as republished in the Back in Black review on Livemint (item 3.4, above):
http://bit.ly/2n7EiKd

Fantastic picture by fantasy artist and former Discworld crafts-maker Anne Stokes. Liessa Wyrmbidder, anyone?:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6aTFGoXEAA3u3-.jpg

(about Ms Stokes: _http://www.annestokes.com/page10.html_)

Postcards from the Ogg – NADWCon 2017's rendering of an imagined Nanny Ogg postcard from her travels in Witches Abroad. She went down to the crossroads:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6AX_PQU8AAJHVt.jpg

...and just for fun – Argentinian software developer Christian Maioli tweeted a photo that surely must appear on some of Ponders Hex printouts:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7cy6_LWkAEDNS5.jpg

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

11) CLOSE

And that's the lot for March. Don't forget to take an occasional look at the Wossname blog (_http://wossname.dreamwidth.org_) – it's more than just a mirror site for our monthly issues. Since Wossname usually comes out only once a month, any time-sensitive items (such as Pratchett plays performed in a particular month by companies who might not have given several weeks or months' notice beforehand, or announcements of new releases or new projects) go up on the blog with a "newsflash" tag.

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

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