wossname: (Plays)
Tonight and tomorrow night, the East Bergholt Dramatic Society are presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters! "Terry Pratchett's marvellous Discworld characters are brought to life in this hilarious and fast paced adventure."

When: 31st March and 1st April 2017
Venue: Constable Hall, Gandish Road, Dedham and East Bergholt, CO7 6TP
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: £7 on the door (if any left), or £6 if ordered in advance from 07803475750 and 01473 311553, and from The Fountain House Tea Room in East Bergholt. Or contact sheilamartin@hotmail.co.uk

http://bit.ly/2now6Ga
http://s620555308.websitehome.co.uk/Future.html
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>

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

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
wossname: (Plays)
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, Ist 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/

.
wossname: (Plays)
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

.
wossname: (Plays)
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/


wossname: cropped photo of Paul Kidby's stunning Pratchett sculpt (Kidby's Pterry bust)
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


wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
On the Overhead. Never forgotten.





Original art for Wossname by Tricia Ave, 2015
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
It's black, not blue, 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 today (Tuesday, March 7)... 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.'..."

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.' ... Speaking about growing up with her father, Ms Pratchett, who studied journalism at university, said he instilled a love of books and reading into her from an early age. She said: '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.'..."

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

http://bit.ly/2lZtqhz


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Well now, Paul Kaye certainly got the voice right.

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

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

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 NEW TERRY PRATCHETT EXHIBIT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2l6XyqS


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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2kYmXlS


3.3 PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

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

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

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

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


3.4 OOK! THE LANGUAGE OF ORANGUTANS

From BBC News:

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

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

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

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

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

By Annie Mac


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Superb, but should've been longer.


4.2 THE OTHER REVIEWS

By Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian:

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

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

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

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

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

By James Whitbrook on i09:

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

http://bit.ly/2lENGYG

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

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

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

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

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


4.3 THE EXTRAS

* A "deleted scene":

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

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

* A behind-the-scenes exclusive:

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

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

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

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

* The artwork of Discworld:

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

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


4.4 PAUL KAYE ON BECOMING TERRY PRATCHETT

How actor Paul Kaye became Terry:

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

http://bbc.in/2kB2pQY


4.5 STEPHEN BRIGGS ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH TERRY PRATCHETT

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

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

http://bbc.in/2kASGtU

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

When: 22nd–25th February 2017
Venue: The Gate Theatre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 25th)
Tickets: £7 (£5 concession), available from http://monstrousproductions.fikket.com/

http://monstrousptc.com/


* WYRD SISTERS IN LONDON (MARCH)

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

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

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

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


* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum, "a pastiche of vampire literature playing with mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue in cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine and stay up till noon", in March.

When: 22nd–25th March 2017
Venue: The Lace Market Theatre, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday 25th matinee
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), available online at http://bit.ly/2dIKhod or by phoning 0115 950 7201

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

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

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – group bookings of 10+ (£9) should be booked through the Box Office. "You can book at Bolton Little Theatre box office in person or by telephone on Monday night from 7.30 to 9pm and Friday mornings from 10.30 to 12 noon – no extra charge if paying by cash or cheque and you can book during the run of the plays or you can book online at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk ...credit card charges will apply. Tickets can be e-tickets (no charge) mobile phone ticket (50p) standard post (£1.50)."

http://www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/


5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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


5.3 REVIEWS

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON

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

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

http://bit.ly/2k2IoVB

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

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

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

*

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

*

For Facebook users in Fourecks: The Victorian Discworld Klatch is "a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett... run by a dedicated team who meet monthly and organise events monthly." "If you'd like to join our events please ask to join the Klatch."

https://www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." [Editor's note: this is an active group. If you use Facebook, it may be worth joining!]

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia: "We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come – you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."

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

*

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

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 3rd March 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005. The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles. Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 6th March 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

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

07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2l3N2Bp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogger Joanne Clapa aka The Bookworm Bistro on Night Watch:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2md7MGb

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swedish blogger abookwithoutend on Good Omens:

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

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

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

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

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

Blogger pksupernovel found The Long Cosmos well worth reading:

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

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

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

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

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

Blogger Tea and Tales on Nation:

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

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

Blogger Fiona on The Long Mars:

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

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

Blogger katyboo1 aka Making Them Readers on Jingo:

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

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

Blogger Nordie on The Long Earth:

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

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

Blogger Lucinda's tribute to Sir Pterry:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

09) CLOSE

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

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

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


– Annie Mac


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

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

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

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


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




(as tweeted by the Discworld Emporium here)

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

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

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

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

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


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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) NEW DOCUMENTARY! AND GOOD OMENS TELLY SERIES!
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 JOSH KIRBY DISCWORLD ART NEWS

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

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

http://www.joshkirbyart.com

3.2 SOME VERY USEFUL QUOTATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2kd41TV

3.3 THE OTHER DARK MORRIS

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

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

(contains many excellent iconographs!)

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

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

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

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

3.4 SIR PTERRY HONOURED IN SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME

On the Locus Magazine website:

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

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

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04) NEW DOCUMENTARY! AND GOOD OMENS TELLY SERIES NEWS

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

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

As announced in the Radio Times, by Ben Dowell:

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

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

And on the BBC's news website:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jWeYXk

From the Press Association, via the Irish Independent:

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

http://bit.ly/2jfDyoZ

From William Hughes, on the AV Club:

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

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

...and from the Penguin Classics website:

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

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

4.2 GOOD OMENS, ALSO ON YOUR TELLY!

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

The announcement, on Discworld.com:

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

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

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

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

http://narrativia.com/

From Penguin Classics:

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

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

In The Guardian:

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

http://bit.ly/2jyOM6N

On film site Joblo:

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

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

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

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2017

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON (JANUARY/FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

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

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

When: 22nd–25th February 2017
Venue: The Gate Theatre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 25th)
Tickets: £7 (£5 concession), available from http://monstrousproductions.fikket.com/

http://monstrousptc.com/

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

http://www.majestic.org/


5.2 PLAYS IN MARCH 2017

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum, "a pastiche of vampire literature playing with mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue in cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine and stay up till noon", in March.

When: 22nd–25th March 2017
Venue: The Lace Market Theatre, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday 25th matinee
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), available online at http://bit.ly/2dIKhod or by phoning 0115 950 7201

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

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

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – group bookings of 10+ (£9) should be booked through the Box Office. "You can book at Bolton Little Theatre box office in person or by telephone on Monday night from 7.30 to 9pm and Friday mornings from 10.30 to 12 noon – no extra charge if paying by cash or cheque and you can book during the run of the plays or you can book online at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk ...credit card charges will apply. Tickets can be e-tickets (no charge) mobile phone ticket (50p) standard post (£1.50)."

http://www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/


5.3 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 30th November 1999 (according to their website this week) or more likely on Monday 6th February 2017 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

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

*

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

*

For Facebook users in Fourecks: The Victorian Discworld Klatch is "a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett... run by a dedicated team who meet monthly and organise events monthly." "If you'd like to join our events please ask to join the Klatch."

https://www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." [Editor's note: this is an active group. If you use Facebook, it may be worth joining!]

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia: "We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come - you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."

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

*

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

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 3rd February 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005. The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles. Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 6th February 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

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

07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

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

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

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

Some choice bits:

* Create Your Own Discworld Adventure roleplaying game!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Hat!

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

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

* The Discworld Gift Voucher!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Ankh-Morpork Passport!

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

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

* New stamps!

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

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

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


7.2 DISCWORLD.COM UPDATES

For the Discworld fan with deeper pockets...

* The Unseen University hoodies!

Unseen University Crest (£25 – £28):

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

"This is a classic hoodie. Please ensure chest size is correct when ordering. For this design we use AWDis Hoodies which are 280gsm in weight. They have a double-fabric hood with self-coloured draw cord, front pouch pocket, ribbed hem & cuffs and set in sleeves. Twin needle stitching detail to armholes, hems & cuffs. 80% cotton / 20% polyester."

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

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

Unseen University hoodie (£28):

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

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

Bugarup University hoodie (£28):

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

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

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

* The Unseen University scarf!

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

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

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

08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

8.1 AUSDWCON 2017 UPDATES

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

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

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

8.2 IDWCON 2017 UPDATES

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

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

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

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

http://2017.idwcon.org/

8.3 NADWCON UPDATES

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

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

https://nadwcon2017.org/

8.4 CABBAGECON UPDATES

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

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

http://www.dutchdwcon.nl/

8.5 SCHEIBENWELT UPDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogger The Idle Woman celebrates Guards! Guards!:

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

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

...and also highly recommends Pyramids:

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

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

Blogger Emily Witt also reviews Pyramids:

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

http://bit.ly/2jfNsqI

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

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

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

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

Blogger Drinking and Ink's thoughts on Hogfather:

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jznKMq

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

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

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

A blog review of the Discworld MUD, by Clay:

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

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

...and of Discworld Noir, by Sonea:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jznNrx

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

10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11) CLOSE

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

– Annie Mac


ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

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

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

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


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