wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
December 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 12, Post 1)

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WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide
Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North
American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a
member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address.
Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion,
you'd only forget them...
********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, LC Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) RAISING STEAM: REVIEWED BY CORY DOCTOROW
04) RAISING STEAM: OTHER REVIEWS
05) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
09) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
10) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
11) ACTION REPLAY: WEIRD ALICE'S SEASONAL CAROLS
12) ROUNDWORLD TALES: HEROES OF STEAM
13) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
14) CLOSE


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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

'It is at the level of the sentence that Pratchett wins his fans.'

– Andrew McKie, reviewing Raising Steam in The Times


'It worries me that I might be a poster boy for dementia, because I make it look good.'

– Sir Pterry, interviewed by Charlie Stayt, BBC, December 2013


'Lord Vetinari is that wonderful thing: a sensible ruler — that's why he's so popular. Everyone grumbles about him, but no one wants to chance what it would be like if he wasn't there. I like Vetinari. I don't mind authority, but not authoritarian authority. After all, the bus driver is allowed to be the boss of the bus. But if he's bad at driving, he's not going to be a bus driver anymore.'

– and interviewed by Cory Doctorow, November 2013

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02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Happy 30th birthday, Discworld! On 24th November 1983, The Colour of Magic was first published, and the world of wordcraft and bedtime reading has been a better place ever since. I have no idea how many, if any, of us – including the author himself – imagined back in the mid-'80s that Discworld would become a series, an icon, and a multimillion-selling publishing phenomenon, but surely we are all thankful and grateful that it did. And that it looks set to continue for generations.

Terry Pratchett has created narratives and characters – most of all, characters! – that not only will live on and on in that hallowed pantheon of fiction's "immortals", from Darcy and Heathcliff to Sherlock Holmes to Prince Elric, Doctor Moreau, Cthulhu and, yes, a certain artful Dodger – but that have also influenced real lives in very real ways and served as inspirations, lifestyle pointers, even savers of lives (I know personally of a couple of cases, there). Also, who else could have made Death cuddly, eh?

So raise your glasses, especially if they are filled with a wee dram of scumble or Special Sheep Liniment, in praise of Discworld. Long may it reign! Long may it continue! Ooook ook oook and crivens!


*

It's official! 2014 will be known as The Year of the Reciprocating Llama on the Discworld. So sayeth the Master!

[...which gives me to think: since this is not the only known reciprocating Discworld animal, isn't it time to lobby Paul Kidby or Stephen Player (or both, or...) to give the world a Discworld bestiary? Perhaps with text by Sir Pterry and Jacqueline Simpson? I'd certainly buy one! – Ed.]


*

...and here be an iconograph of Sir Pterry, looking very dapper in his velvet jacket and coachman's hat, standing outside London's famous Groucho Club with some friend of his called, er, I think it's Neil something. Possibly some kind of writer? Apparently they weren't discussing the telly version of Good Omens, no, not at all...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BbNt5KFIEAAYNgp.jpg

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) RAISING STEAM: REVIEWED BY CORY DOCTOROW

Some extracts:

"Longstanding Pratchett fans know that the series started off with a light (even slight), silly tone – one that deepened, book by book, into something altogether more serious. Raising Steam has a lot more of the feel of that early Pratchett, with some very silly wordplay (the Marquis of Aix en Pains!) and a serious quantity of funny/silly footnotes. Even the dwarfish names tilt more towards Snow White jokes than references to Icelandic lore. But as the synopsis above implies, this is also one of the darkest of the Pratchett novels, a thoughtful and often graphically violent story about modernity, terrorism, and technology's discontents...

"Pratchett's dallied with the theme of technology as a force superior to mysticism and magic before (see, for example, Pyramids), but never with such a keen enthusiasm. Paradoxically, Pratchett gives technology a kind of mystical spirit – his railroad is a kind of living god (a kind of positive version of the "gonne" in Men at Arms or the films in Moving Pictures) that ensnares the imaginations of the people who behold it, driving them to spread it far and wide. And unlike the previous anthropomorphized technologies of Discworld, the railroad is a great liberator, a greater magic than that of the wizards...

"Most of the Discworld novels stand alone, but not this one. From the intertextual references (Dick Simnel is the son of Ned Simnel, a minor but crucial character in Reaper Man) to the complex relationship between Commander Vimes and the dwarfs (not to mention the military mystery of Koom Valley, presented in Thud), this is a book that practically requires you to have read all 39 of the previous volumes before you can get to grips with it. But it's worth it. This is a surprisingly layered and sneaky sort of book..."

To read the full review, go to:

http://boingboing.net/2013/11/27/pratchetts-raising-steam.html

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04) RAISING STEAM REVIEWS

Reviewed in The Guardian, by fellow bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch:

"The series started as a satirical journey through the conventions of the fantasy genre. It painted its world in broad outline and great splashes of colour, although, from the first, the novels demonstrated Pratchett's eye for telling detail and the absurdities of the human condition. As the series progressed, a strange thing occurred – the Discworld, created as a setting for humorous stories, began to take on a certain solidity, as if it were striving to become a real place... Thirty years on, the Discworld has grown so solid and so weighty that any new novel has to exert a great deal of narrative power just to get that world moving at a decent pace. So it's just as well that the latest book concerns the arrival of the Discworld's very own steam locomotive... The genius of Pratchett is that he never goes for the straight allegory... Pratchett's themes are the big ones: the threat and promise of change, the individual's search for meaning within their own society, and the fine moral judgments that have to be made between competing rights and freedoms..."

http://tinyurl.com/o825b9p

*

Reviewed by Rene Nol in the Otago Times:

"It's all aboard (and mind the gap please) as the traditionally horse-powered Discworld is introduced to the age of steam in the form of Iron Girder, the Disc's first locomotive. And wealthy Harry King (aka the King of the Golden River – don't ask why!) looks set to become its first railway baron as he bankrolls the infant enterprise... Pratchett's latest offering rattles along, navigating the bends and gradients nicely under his sure touch, as the plot thickens and the pace quickens..."

http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/books/283510/pratchett-amuses

*

...and the rest of that Andrew McKie review in The Times:

"There are sly nods to the history of railways and a cheeky reference to The Railway Children. Most aficionados, however, will be on the look-out for in-jokes and references from previous novels — of which there is no shortage. There are supporting roles for Sam Vimes and other members of the Watch, and some surprising developments amongst the dwarfs, who initially have a Luddite objection. Raising Steam is certainly less pacy than the earliest books, and its diversions on social history, the threat of new technology to traditional industries, and even terrorism and sabotage, can be fairly dark. But Discworld's success, like that of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories, has never been driven by the plots, no matter how laboriously worked out. It is at the level of the sentence that Pratchett wins his fans. There are fewer truly tremendous verbal pyrotechnics in Raising Steam than in others in the series. Some of the humour is rather laboured but Pratchett fans will find plenty to like as well. And the closing words of the book suggest more to come."

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05) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT

Happy Hogswatchdays at the Discworld Emporium:

"Two weeks on from our Hogswatch festivities and we've hardly drawn breath; with orders still pouring in from all o'er the world. Hogfather's little helpers are hard at work to get your Discworld goodies packed and posted, and UK customers still have until the 18th to order before the big day. However, while we are still accepting and shipping orders worldwide we now cannot guarantee delivery in time for the 25th for orders placed after the dates shown in the banner below. Please note that we'll be taking some time off to slurp sherry and gobble mince pies in front of the telly box and will therefore close and cease shipping from December 20th – orders placed after that date won't be dispatched until we reopen on January 6th. We welcomed an unprecedented number of visitors to Hogswatch 2013, with many having travelled from distant lands to celebrate 30 years of Discworld in the company of one Sir Terry Pratchett. Various events over the weekend, including our Grand Charity Auction, raised a whopping £3924.53 for our sponsored charity RICE (Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly) and a further £633 for King Arthurs School Library appeal. Our heartfelt thanks to those who donated items, emptied their wallets for good causes, and helped to make Hogswatch such a magical event."

From the Western Gazette:

"Bernard Pearson, partner of the Discworld Emporium, which has organised the annual Hogswatch event for the past 12 years, said that so many Discworld fans turned up for the celebration that 'there literally was no more room to be had in any inn, hotel or guest-house'. He said: 'The event was a resounding success and the largest by far in the 12 years the Emporium has been holding them.' Fans came to meet Sir Terry Pratchett from Australia, America, Germany, Iceland, Italy, France, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden as well as from all over the UK. Mr Pearson added: 'Not only was this event a celebration of Christmas – well Hogswatch to Discworld readers – but also it marked 30 years of Discworld books being published. With more than 85 million books being sold worldwide and millions of fans and readers enjoying them it was a celebration indeed.'...Mr Pearson added: "A spokesman for Sir Terry told us he had enjoyed himself hugely and once again was so impressed in the way that Wincanton offers such friendship and hospitality to his fans.'"

http://tinyurl.com/m5wsm25

*

Watch out! The Fools Guild's about! As reported in The Guardian, under the headline of "Norfolk police warn of alarming clown epidemic":

A police force has told members of the public to ignore people dressed as clowns if they meet them in the street. Norfolk police received a report from a member of the public alarmed by a clown sighting in Gaywood, near King's Lynn, on Tuesday evening. The suspect was described as wearing a 'full clown outfit' with a red suit and red hair. The following evening the force received a similar report after two clowns were spotted near a skate park in the town. These people wore 'Halloween-type' clown masks. In both cases, the callers reported being alarmed and being chased a short way up the road. It follows recent reports of the circus characters scaring people in Northampton. Superintendent Carl Edwards said no one had been injured or assaulted. He added that it seemed whoever was behind the makeup was probably trying to shock people and it was best not to give them the attention. Officers would patrol areas where the reports had been made and, if they found any clowns, they would 'offer them strong words of advice', he said..."

http://tinyurl.com/qy7s778

*

Now that's what I call a book crossing! In Metro News:

"A Good Samaritan has returned a Terry Pratchett book to a Sutton library dock after discovering it languishing 6,000 miles away in Mauritius. The library in the town of Cheam now wants to thank the unknown altruist after the novel was returned to the book shelf in the train station with a note saying it had been found abroad. The book, The Fifth Elephant, had been classed as 'lost' for roughly five years before it suddenly reappeared and library staff are astonished. Hannah Bell, from Cheam Library, told the Sutton Guardian: 'They really are a good Samaritan. I don't think it showed up on our system but just showed up as "lost" as it was gone for such a long time. Nothing like this has happened before.'..."

http://tinyurl.com/kunb3ef

*

In The Guardian, a young reader's review of Dodger:

"I hadn't read any of Terry Pratchett's books before, but when my granddad bought this book for me for Christmas I got straight into it. From the front cover I was intrigued, about the look of murder in his eyes and the look of mystery of it, from the clothing that he was wearing to the razor or knife in his dirty left hand, and the brown scruffy matted dog showing its ribs leaning next to him... It's a 335 page book that is brilliantly written with awesome wordplay. However unfortunately for you younger ones I recommend this to 11+ as it has quite a bit of swearing and violence..."

http://tinyurl.com/kvwctdb

*

A thoughtful review of Jingo and how it mirrors Roundworld, by Chan Akya in the Asia Times:

"Many years ago, when I first read Jingo, there was some incident in the Indian ocean where a small island had appeared from the depths and caused some debate as to which country was the real owner of the wretched place – (as I remember, it disappeared in the next seismic event). That debate had nothing to do with natural boundaries of countries and everything to do with the 200-mile exclusive economic zone covering the islands. That's one reason a lot of people have this fascination with what are often little more than rocky outcrops. The main plot device of Jingo is an island that suddenly appears exactly in the middle of the water body between the two main fictional countries of Discworld – Klatch and Ankh- Morpork. Whilst the Klatchians, described as "secretive and primitive" are a bit keen to start a war to claim the island, the rulers of the wealthier trading oriented city-state of Ankh-Morpork are less keen on outright hostilities as they believe it is easier to sell stuff to living people than to dead soldiers. With that description it become obvious that we have a similar, farcical situation in Asia with the events in the islands called Diaoyudao/ Diaoyutai/ Senkaku by the main claimants – China, Taiwan and Japan... Reading the commentaries – be it the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times, not to mention the more jingoistic publications from China, Japan and Taiwan – one is struck by the sheer sense of farce underpinning the whole situation... Even the inestimable Pratchett couldn't have concocted what passes for reality in Asia today, but if he did try he might have written Jingo with four main characters and a couple of others purely for (further) comic relief: a. An aging economic superpower that is somehow trying to cling on to its regional relevance even though, quite literally, it has no standing armed forces; b. A brash upstart who, going through a painful adolescent adjustment period, has decided to risk all by challenging the aforementioned aging economic superpower; c. Lastly, a spoilt brat which was previously owned by the aging economic superpower and is currently independent but sees its future as part of the new brash upstart, probably intending to bring these wretched islands as its dowry to the wedding; d. The world's only superpower has borrowed so much money from all three players above than it can never repay even one of them; it is currently distracted by the absence of a functioning government and unable to complete simple tasks like putting together a website; e. Asia's third- and fourth-largest economies, utterly confused by the proceedings without an inkling of whether they should even say anything let alone do something. This has the making of a grand comedy, an opera even..."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-031213.html

*

A review of Steeleye Span's Wintersmith concert in Bradford. Uncredited, in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"Led, as ever, by the soaring voice of Maddy Prior, the band appeared fresher than ever playing new material from their collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett and his Wintersmith novel. And it was scintillating stuff, with supreme musicianship, terrific changes of pace within the folk rock genre and totally mesmerising. The first half ended with a rocking number, Dance The Dark Morris, which featured black-faced Morris dancers accompanying the band. And after the break, more Wintersmith material which has definitely given the band new impetus, and showcasing all the amazing dexterity of all five band members with decades of experience behind them..."

http://tinyurl.com/lh7z6kr

*

From Michael Quinion's marvellous World Wide Words, some information about Catoptromancy that Lily Weatherwax probably knew:

'Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?' At some time or other, almost anything you can think of has been used to foretell the future, from straws on a red-hot iron to disembowelled chickens. But the mirror, that most strange thing that allows not only reflection but self-reflection, has always been special. Hence catoptromancy, the art of divination by means of mirrors. As a result there are many superstitions about mirrors — such that they must be covered or removed after a death to prevent the soul of the dead person from being stolen. In part it also explains why it is considered bad luck to break one (until modern times, they were also rare, so breaking one really was bad luck). There are records from many ancient civilisations of mirrors being used for magic..."

http://tinyurl.com/mnwnf4t

*

Igor technology comes to Roundworld:

"Xiao Wei lost his right hand in an accident at work but could not have it reattached to his arm right away. Instead, the hand was kept alive by stitching it to Mr Wei's left ankle and "borrowing" a blood supply from arteries in the leg. A month later, surgeons were able to remove the hand and replant it back on his arm..."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25405543

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06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

Sir Pterry's fight to raise Alzheimer's awareness and stimulate the research field continues. Here is a live BBC interview (embedded on the page):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25324655

From The Times Sunday edition (sadly, behind a paywall):

"Sir Terry Pratchett, the bestselling author who is suffering from dementia, has accused David Cameron of failing in his pledge to tackle the crisis caused by the disease. In an article for The Sunday Times the acclaimed author of the Discworld series, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007, says he fears the prime minister's promise to improve life for dementia patients and fund research into drugs to treat the condition may prove to be no more than a 'podium promise for the press'. 'David Cameron made a solemn pledge one year ago,' he writes. 'In what I hoped wouldn't simply be a podium promise for the press, he announced intentions to double money spent on dementia research and to tackle the 'crisis' the condition is causing..."

www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/People/article1347247.ece


More about the "dementia summit", from BBC News:

"Dementia is heading towards being the biggest health and care problem of a generation so you'd think it would have the funding to match. Yet it really is the poor relation of other diseases. In the UK, about £590m is spent on cancer research with £267m coming from government. At the moment £52m of government money goes to dementia research. It's a pattern reflected around the world... David Cameron called on governments, industry and charities all to commit more funding. He said the G8 should make this the day 'the global fight- back really started'. He said the UK Government would boost annual research funding from £66m, the 2015 pledge, to £132m, which will be adjusted for inflation, by 2025. Mr Cameron told the summit: "This disease steals lives, wrecks families and breaks hearts. If we are to beat dementia, we must also work globally, with nations, business and scientists from all over the world working together as we did with cancer, and with HIV and Aids. This is going to be a bigger and bigger issue, the key is to keep pushing...'"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25318194


In the Bath Chronicle:

"A Bath charity, which specialises in helping people with dementia, is to be part of a new £4 million research project... The Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE), based at the Royal United Hospital, will work with experts at Bangor University, Cardiff University, Brunel University, the London School of Economics, King's College London, Sussex University, the Alzheimer's Society and Innovations in Dementia CIC. The Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active life: Living well with dementia project, known as IDEAL, will investigate how social and psychological factors affect people living with dementia. Director of RICE, Professor Roy Jones, said: 'We have been committed to improving life for people with dementia and their families for more than 25 years. We are delighted to be part of the IDEAL project team that will try and understand how people cope with dementia and its effects and how best everyone can help people affected by dementia to live as well as possible.' At the moment, around an eighth of the sum spent on cancer research in the UK goes on investigating treatment for dementia... Author Sir Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2008 and has been treated at the RICE research charity in Bath, told the BBC's Newsnight programme 'a lot more' money should be spent on dementia research and care. Sir Terry, who worked as a journalist in Bath, told Jeremy Paxman dementia research was a Cinderella issue. 'I have been saying for a long time, it doesn't get noticed. It does need a lot more money put in. It needs more people trying to see what they can do.' Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: 'Given that this is the first time a prime minister has used the presidency of the G8 to take action on a single disease, we are expecting a rallying cry from the UK government. 'Yet the details we have seen so far are not enough...'"

http://tinyurl.com/okqo55c

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

The Cunning Artificer has something special to mark the occasion of Discworld's 30th birthday:

"To celebrate 30 years of Discworld, the Emporium's Bernard Pearson has dusted off his sculpting tools, and flexed his creative muscle to create a special objet d'art to mark the occasion. The Piece pays tribute to The Colour of Magic and is available in an ivory finish, and as a brass finish in a limited edition of 300. The '30 year sculpt' will be made to order in the new year on a first-come first- served basis, so to register your interest, and reserve any edition number of the limited brass version please email isobel@discworldemporium.com"

To preview this very lovely 189mm square x 84mm deep piece, with multiple iconographs:

http://tinyurl.com/l36ydzm

"Two editions of this special piece will be available to own: an antique brass finish of which a limited edition of only 300 will be produced, and an unlimited version in an attractive Ivory effect. Each limited edition brass version will be numbered and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, while the reverse of both editons will be adorned with a short missive about the piece from Bernard himself... If [you] wish to own the limited edition brass finish please remember to include any edition number that you would like us to reserve and we will do our very best to oblige. Each piece is produced in high quality cold cast resin and features an integrated hook for wall hanging, but can also be displayed freestanding. The cost of these will be in the region of £75 for the Ivory Edition and £90 for the Antique Brass finish."

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O8) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

Siobhan Greaney's report on the recent Irish Discworld Convention:

"Yep, I fully admit to being a nerd. But not all of the people I meet at Discworld Conventions are. Despite the connotation the 'convention' label can give, it's a very casual environment for fans and non-fans alike. Attendees come from all age ranges, all walks of life, and all levels of nerdiness. Friends and family who are 'dragged' along by enthusiastic fans always comment on how much fun they have, how welcoming everyone is, and how they don't feel left out by not necessarily having read the books. Yes, some people have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the books, but most read the books years previously and would quake at the idea of joining a quiz. This year I encouraged my housemate, who has read a total of one Discworld book, to tag along. He had a blast, made new friends, and is keen to come again. Most people at the end of a Convention weekend have a new set of contacts to meet up with at the next one. As Discworld is so full of sarcasm, parody and puns, if you're a fan you generally share a sense of humour with the rest of the fans. And sharing a laugh is a great way to cement a friendship. So to those who have read the books but don't think they're 'nerdy' enough for a convention, I share this nugget of wisdom that was given to me before my first one, and which I have found true over the years: Going to a Discworld event isn't like spending time with a bunch of strangers; it's meeting friends you just hadn't met yet..."

http://tinyurl.com/laprbnv

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09) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

The Pratchett Partisans are a new fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". For more info about their next meetup, go to

http://www.meetup.com/Pratchett-Partisans/

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 regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit:

http://cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. The next meeting will probably be on Thursday 2nd January 2014, but do email (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:

broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first Friday of every month at the famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome! The next WOTS meeting will (probably) be on Friday 3rd December 2014.

*

The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, " London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group", will be from 7pm on Monday 6th January 2014 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ. Note the new web address:

http://brokendrummers.org/

For more information email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

The Broken Drummers December 2013 meet report:

"We had a delayed Christmas dinner on the second Monday (to avoid a clash with the Hogswatch event). It was great to see so many people there. We had a visit from Mandy (aka Periwinkle) from Wincanton. There was much discussion of the recent Hogswatch event in Wincanton and next year's Wadfest which Tim W. will be fronting (alongside the eponymous Waddy) and in which I will be running the murder mystery for the first time. Otherwise, there was much eating, drinking and merriment. Jax did a quiz, however I have no idea what it was on or who won as we went home before it took place."

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, have been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, N Yorks, 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/

*

Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. The next meeting will (probably) be on Monday 6th January 2014. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):

kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the month. The next meeting should be on Monday 6th January 2014. "Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA)."

For details follow Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/

or message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com

*

There's a new Pratchett meeting group in Fourecks, known as Western Drummers. That's two for the Sydney Pratchett fans now! The Western Drummers intend to meet on the third Monday of every month at The Rowers, Bruce Neal Drive, Penrith at 6.30-7.30pm for food, 7.30pm for games, quizzes and chat. For more information, contact Nanny Ogg – lewis_oz@bigpond.com – or visit their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/westerndrummers

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10) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Random Alex offers an interesting sociopolitical analysis of Snuff. He also loves it:

"I've had to think carefully about the way Pratchett portrays the goblins. One of the crescendo moments is a goblin, Tears of the Mushroom, playing the harp for a huge crowd in Ankh-Morpork. That is, a member of a subjected race, wearing 'civilised' clothes, goes to the heart of civilisation and plays an instrument that is coded as approaching the zenith of musical accomplishment, and there impresses the (civilised) bigwigs. This could all be seen as uncomfortably close to recreating the classic idea of the western civilising mission... Except that the goblins have already been shown, very clearly, to have their own culture and don't need 'civilising'. They have a rich language, evidenced clearly by their names (Tears of the Mushroom!); they make art (some of which is so precious that humans who regard the goblins as little better than animals will steal it); they care for one another and about justice. They are wretches in that they are wretched – through no fault of their own. And Tears of the Mushroom plays her own composition, and is in no way dismayed by the audience before her. By the time Tears of the Mushroom plays, the reader should be so convinced about the sentience and sapience of the goblins that any of the characters doubting it should cause serious eye-rolling. Many of the human characters are also convinced early on, which is also intended to convince the audience, just in case you missed all of the other very obvious signs. Thus what Pratchett is doing is showing, to some extent, an example of the old westernising/civilising mission – there's no doubt that's what Miss Beadle is doing, whatever her intentions – and then not entirely sending it up, but certainly undermining it, and definitely showing that is is quite unnecessary for the sake of the goblins themselves. Although maybe it's necessary for the acknowledged-as- civilised, to make them realise what they are doing to this race..."

http://randomalex.net/2013/12/03/snuff/


Blogger Nadine was thoroughly delighted with Men at Arms:

"I'm always most interested in characters. Worldbuilding is great, and plot is of course necessary to keep me interested, but the characters make or break a book for me. I already loved Vimes but Carrot seemed like too much of a goody-goody. He gets a lot of depth in this book, while still being the purest human being I could dream up. Reading about comic relief characters like Cuddy and the inimitable Detritus (who learns to count in the funniest way you can imagine), and especially Angua, was exactly the breath of fresh air the Watch books needed. Angua's story in particular appealed to me, not only because she's a woman (although that's great), but because she is torn between her two states of being. She is a practical woman who gets annoyed about always being naked when changing back into human form. But she also has a lot to offer as a Watchman. Having a keen sense of smell is the obvious contribution but, much to my amusement, she can also talk to dogs such as Gaspode. That little guy kept showing up and remarking on the affairs of humans and sniggered his way straight into my heart. Plot-wise, this is a police procedural, complete with interrogating suspects, writing up police reports and figuring out whodunnit. The reports in question made me laugh so hard, I may have snorted a bit. Just warning you… don't read this in public..."

http://tinyurl.com/kv8dnba

...and also with Feet of Clay:

"As has been the case with the other City Watch novels, I was less intrigued with the murders and the crime-solving, and more with all the other stuff that goes on in Discworld's capital city. This novel did some interesting things and, in the process, granted the characters an additional layer of credibility. As much as we love Carrot, for example, he is quite surprised and makes some truly idiotic remarks when he finds out one of the new Watch members (a dwarf) is female... it was just lovely to see other sides of these characters. Especially Carrot, who was too good to be true anyway. It's nice to see him blunder and just blurt out whatever comes to mind. But once his mistakes are pointed out, he goes back to being a Protector Of The People – including undead, unalive, and females. Having fallen in love with the Discworld through the Tiffany Aching novels, I couldn't help but grin when Wee Mad Arthur showed up in Feet of Clay. As a professional rat-catcher, no less. Although he is called a gnome, we all know he is a sort of Nac Mac Feegle. And, if you ask me, any book is automatically better if it has Feegles in it..."

http://tinyurl.com/kpk3ahl


...as was blogger Gabriella Gricius:

"I think I shall always love reading a good Terry Pratchett novel, and Feet of Clay was no exception. Classic quick-witted prose that had be struggling desperately to keep up with all of the event passing by – I will always love his novels. There's something just so perfect about an Assassin's Guild who operates quite legally in the city Ankh Morpork. Now that I've finished the novel, I can absolutely agree that the cover is entirely appropriate – and I encourage other readers of humorous fantasy novels to try it out. Character-wise, there is no one better to run the crime division in Ankh Morpork (who does not like Clues, no sir), than Vimes. He is a continuing character throughout many of Pratchett's other novels, but he plays his role here spectacularly – being every inch the grumpy but excitable Commander that we all know he is. When it comes to plot, Feet of Clay was one of those unique novels that had me guessing until the end..."

http://tinyurl.com/n5rhhfc

Blogger DWJ Jones gives the Raising Steam audiobook 9 out of 10 points:

"As with most of Pratchetts work its hard to go into too much detail without giving away the plot, but suffice to say it is a fast paced well oiled machine powering through the Satirical landscape. As with most it can be read as a standalone novel but I would implore you to read the first 39 novels first, or if you don't have time at least Going Postal and Making Money which introduce us to Moist. As mentioned this version reviewed is an audiobook read by Stephen Briggs. Once again he brings the characters of the Discworld to life. Recently I have found my ability to sit a read a book severely curtailed in the form of a bouncing baby boy. I have however found myself listening to Audiobooks with increasing frequency. The Discworld novels are some of the best and that is in no small part to Briggs' talent..."

dwjjones.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/raising-steam-terry-pratchett


...and blogger Nordie lauds the print version:

"With so many previously established characters making an appearance, it's certain that some favourites will not get the exposure that some people want. It could be seen as perhaps too- crowded with characters, and could one or more of them have been dropped without anyone noticing? I dont know. Anyway, story covers change, factionism, new technology, religious doctrine, feminism, being true to ones self, bigotry, racisim, in such a way to still make it enjoyable to read. Plus plenty of footnotes. Whilst we still have him, Pratchett's at least working at his best..."

http://tinyurl.com/l7fjuyn


Blogger easyondeyes is back with a rave review of Night Watch:

"I loved this Terry Pratchett for so many reasons! Not least, because I'm a huge fan of Sam Vimes and Vetinari and in this book we get to see a different side of both. While Vimes shows up as this canny cop with some serious hero skills, we get to see Vetinari in his pre-patrician days when he was still a young Assassin at the guild. Though, that's not to say he was not creepily omniscient and brilliant. If you like your Night Watch books you can't miss this one..."

http://easyondeyes.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/night-watch/


Blogger And the Geek Shall Inherit's review of Raising Steam:

"So, is Raising Steam a fitting conclusion of an always wonderful series or does it leave you wanting - nay hoping - for yet another final hurrah? Well, yes & yes really. As a contained story within a 30 year legacy, it satisfies that things can end most happy but it still leaves chances for progress -either by Sir Terry or by (Om & other gods forbid!) another suitable author (though Sir Terry himself said that will most likely be his own daughter Rhianna, who is a writer in her own right). Whilst the novel certainly ends, leaving the plot nicely bundled, the narrative world, much like the Great A'Tuin itself, can continue ever onward. Either on page or in our own unfettered imaginations. Yet, what of the story itself? I have to say, as a long term reader, it is an interesting beast to say the least... Raising Steam deals with some very heavy issues concern views of modern fundamentalism -especially in light of such events of the British soldier- but it casts all such extremists, no matter what they are extreme about, as being forces that should be removed from society but also understood so such acts never happen again. Ideas of how such people can strives & recruit others to their causes underlie all the dwarf vignettes but the book also shows the positives of people of all racists, former enemies & untrusted minorities, can work together once you get passed ingrained prejudices. Raising Steam is carrying on many themes & plots points that were started in the previous Discworld novel Snuff, with the goblins now coming into society & showing people their true value. This theme does overshadow many of the other plot points but its still handled deftly..."

http://tinyurl.com/mxbkcg3


...and another review of it, by blogger Lit Chic:

"It's no surprise I loved this book. As usual, Pratchett's wit makes this an enjoyable read. I'm impressed with how he takes such an ordinary and seemingly uninteresting subject matter and spins an interesting story around it. The subtle humor in the writing as well as the laugh-out-loud moments kept me going even when the plot slowed down. Pratchett takes full advantage of his subject matter and characters, even to the point of over-kill. Not that I'm complaining..."

http://tinyurl.com/mabseyu


Blogger Miss Bibliophile's first Discworld experience was Small Gods, and she loved it:

"All in all, it completely engrossed me. It amazed me how cleverly Discworld was linked to our world, and I liked that in Discworld, people believe the world is a sphere, when it is in fact flat, whereas in our world we used to believe the opposite. Small Gods has some very dryly funny bits, but it remains much more meaningful than I had expected, raising to my mind the issue of corruptcy in religions and governments alike. This book has made me eager to read more of the Discworld novels, to find out if they are all so original, funny and meaningful. I think that Terry Pratchett has done what many writers are afraid to do, and written something so weird that it stands out amongst other books. It's quite inspiring, really, since it shows that it's alright to be a bit different every once in a while. I recommend this to anyone looking for something refreshingly different to read, or anyone interested in theories about gods, religion or politics..."

http://tinyurl.com/m8zrprl


Blogger therankspoon is back with a rave review of Wintersmith:

"While I have only been introduced to Ms. Aching through this book (her previous books being A Hat Full of Sky and I Shall Wear Midnight) I still enjoyed the hell out of this book. Terry Pratchett has that rare gift that most fantasy writers lack: He's able to write a book series that you can drop down right in the middle of and still be able to figure out what's what and who's who without having to consult Wikipedia. Suffice it to say, I didn't know who half these 'regular' characters were and I was still able to catch as catch can. An added bonus of this book (at least for people who are new to Sir Pratchett and who either don't like the mythology behind Discworld or else they just don't get it) is that there is very little Discworld geography included in this book at all. In the previous books of his that I have read, I have found it a bit hard to understand all of the places and turn's of phrases that he has created because they were originally brought up in other books of his that I haven't read yet. This isn't the case with The Wintersmith. Pratchett doesn't disappoint. If you are new or if you are a regular reader, do yourself a favor and go out and pick this up..."

http://tinyurl.com/mflzs2a


Blogger E G Cosh lauds Pratchett as a master of humour – and truth:

"The joy of reading Pratchett, is that he knows the world is a slick smiling conman built from the lies we tell ourselves and each other, that pile up into a lie so heavy that no-one can move it alone. He knows we all struggle to see, let alone change our own realities. Pratchett twitches back the curtain and shows us how ridiculous it is—shows us the greasy machinery of prejudice and ignorance behind the scenes and inside our own minds. We don't feel stupid for believing the lies. We're all in it together, he says. But we are left thinking that we'll spot it next time. Next time someone tries to trick you with your own fear, with ignorance or vanity or shame, you'll see it for the silliness it really is. You won't feel angry or afraid or any other emotion that provides fertile soil for lies to grow. You'll remember his stories and you'll laugh. The lies will shrivel. Leaving space for a breath, for a lifetime. That is his gift to us: a brief respite. A moment's freedom for us to figure out what we want our own truths to be."

gcosh.com/2013/11/22/the-joy-and-pain-of-pratchett/


Blogger Bibliophilic Boy revels in Equal Rites:

"So I decided to start off my summer of books with an author that has yet to let me down. He's witty, He's fun, He's fantastical: The amazing Terry Pratchett! Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but after a long year of academic reading Pratchett really was like a window cracked open in a dusty old library (Run by a Orang-outang that was once human, but has decided that feet that can grip really are quite an asset to a librarian). And Equal Rites really turned out to be one of his best gems... The novel is fully of witty one-liners, that had strangers looking at me like I was mad every time I would suddenly just guffaw at a particularly funny sentence. It's really just a bit of fun and you don't need to have read any of Pratchett's other books to enjoy it. The plot seemed strangely un-linked in some places, and some of the scenes just seem so random. But Pratchett succeeds in creating a fantasy world that is easy to get into, and rich characters that are difficult not to like..."

http://tinyurl.com/ks9jspj


Blogger Jeannette Porter is back with a shortish reflection on the *things* of Discworld (not to be confused with the ones from the Dungeon Dimensions):

"Part of creator Terry Pratchett's genius is that the Discworld is so richly textured that some of the signature objects are practically living characters. That the objects have readily recognizable Roundworld counterparts just lets the reader in on the joke..."

http://tinyurl.com/l5nat8k

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11) ACTION REPLAY: WEIRD ALICE'S SEASONAL CAROLS

Some oldies but goodies from a few seasons ago...

11.1 WE THREE HAGS: ANE HOGSWATCHE CAROL

NANNY, GRANNY AND MAGRAT:

We three Hags Lancrastian are
Straddling brooms, we travel afar
Hearth and privy, pub and smithy
Casting our spells bizarre

Ohh...
Stars of Lancre, stern in black
Dames in regal pointy hats
Hubwards breezing, nethers freezing
Witches three who've got the knack


VERENCE:
Born a Fool, yet destined to reign
Never cruel though sometimes a pain
King well-meaning – New Age-leaning
Sensible, in the main

Ohh...
Star of Lancre, staunch and meek
Castle sanitation geek
Bells a-clinking, forward-thinking
Modernise your farm techniques


MAGRAT:
Frank but senseless, soppy am I
Wrinkled gowns and head in the sky
Sweet tomfool'ry, occult jewellery
"Wet as a hen," they sigh

Ohh...
Star of Lancre, star-crossed Queen
Star of herbal research scene
Keen defender, nappy-mender
Keeping Ynci's armour clean


NANNY:
Scumble mine, 'tis boozy perfume
Breath like fire can clear a big room
Girlish in spirit, bawling lyrics
Bawdy and rude – boom-boom!

Ohh...
Star of Lancre, super-Nan
Head of matriarchal clan
Crude and chummy, Greebo's Mummy
Who can fix things? Nanny can!


GRANNY:
Hogswatch parties? Sausages fat?
Ha! I can't be having with that!
Bees I'll borrow near and far, so
I can patrol my patch

ALL:
Ohh...
Stars of Lancre, wyrd and wise
We've no need to advertise
Maiden, mother, and the... other
Guarding all 'neath Lancre's skies



11.2 A FAIRYTALE OF OLD ANKH

(with apologies to the Pogues)

A PRISONER IN THE PALACE DUNGEONS:
It was Hogswatch Eve, mate
Down in old Ankh
A chained mime said to me
"Won't learn another word!"
And then he sang a song:
The hedgehog's point of view
I turned twice Widdershins
And dream'd of hot stoo

Got Raven's lucky beak –
See, Death of Rats says SQUEAK
A slate is running
In Biers for me and you
So Happy Hogswatch
From Dots and Sadie
Making Morpork free of crime
And nightmares all come true...

TWOFLOWER:
They've got gnolls big as trolls
They've got wizards in robes
But the smell goes right through you
There's no rest for your nose
When we walked round the Shades
On that cold Hogswatch night
You promised me Ankh-Morpork vampires don't bite

VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE BEGGARS' AND THIEVES' GUILDS:
"You were Bursar – "
"You were jolly..."
"You stank like Queen Molly!"
When the minstrels stopped playing
We set them alight
Piss Harry's "collecting"
Mossy Lawn, he's dissecting
We ate Dibbler's meat pies
And retched through the night

EVERYONE:
The boys from the YMPA Choir
Were singing sourly
And Dark Morris bells rang out
For Hogswatch Eve.

NOBBY AND COLON:
"You're a Fool, a nut-case."
"You're a civic disgrace,
"Swigging Bearhugger's booze
"Till you hoick on your shoes!"
"You Lancre sheep-shagger..."
"You unlicensed Beggar"
"Happy Hogswatch, you Nobbs - "
"Hope the Gods shut yer gob!"

EVERYONE:
The cops of the Day and Night Watch Choir
Committed harmony
And Dark Morris bells rang out
For Hogswatch Eve.

DUKE FELMET: "I could've ruled the Disc..."
DUCHESS FELMET: "Well, so could any twit!
"You took my crown from me
"When ghosts unmanned you..."
DUKE: "I killed for Lancre, dear
"I grabbed it for our own..."
DUCHESS: "I'd rather stand alone!"
ALL LANCRE TOGETHER: "But we could never stand you!"

EVERYONE:
The ghouls from the Bel-Shamharoth Choir
Were howling tunelessly
And Dark Morris bells rang out
For Hogswatch Eve!


The original lyrics can be found at:
www.pogues.com/Releases/Lyrics/LPs/IfIShould/Fairytale.html

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12) ROUNDWORLD TALES: HEROES OF STEAM, AND A MODERN HARRY KING

12.1 RAILWAY HISTORY AND THE HEROES OF STEAM


The Ned Simnels of Roundworld:

John Blenkinsop (1783–1831) was an early steam inventor who designed the first practical and financially successful railway locomotive. In 1811 he patented a rack and pinion system for a locomotive. Blenkinsop locomotives had the first double-acting cylinders and no flywheel; the engines saw more than twenty years of service, until superseded by iron rail, which could carry the weight of the heavier adhesion locomotives, in 1820.

Richard Trevithick (1771–1833) was a Cornish engineer who developed the first high-pressure steam engine and built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive, in 1802. As a child he often watched steam engines pump water from the mines and dreamt of using steam power for locomotion. Trevithick's (sadly, unnamed) steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks, in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, on 21st February 1804 – the world's first locomotive-hauled railway journey (although he was not the first experimenter using "strong steam": William Murdoch developed and demonstrated a model steam carriage in 1784, and had demonstrated it to Trevithick ten years later).

George Stephenson (1781–1848), renowned as the "Father of Railways" and best known for his engine "Rocket", built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use steam locomotives: the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in 1830. His rail gauge of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches is to this day the world's standard gauge. Iron rails were prone to excessive brittleness and could not support the weight of steam locomotives; Stephenson solved the problem by using multiple wheels. He also built an 8-mile colliery railway at Hetton in 1820, which was the first railway to use no animal power. The Stockton and Darlington Railway, for which Stephenson used wrought iron rails, opened on 27th September 1825. The Stephenson engine "Locomotion", driven by its inventor, hauled an 80-ton load of coal and flour nine miles in two hours, reaching a then-amazing speed of 24 miles per hour. The first purpose-built passenger car, Experiment, was attached and carried dignitaries on the opening journey. Five years later, the opening ceremony of the London and Manchester Railway (15th September 1830) was attended by the great and good up to and including the Prime Minister and the Duke of Wellington. The parade was led by "Northumbrian" driven by Stephenson, and included "Phoenix" driven by his son Robert, "North Star" driven by his brother Robert and "Rocket" driven by assistant engineer Joseph Locke.

The fabulous engines:

"Catch Me Who Can", by Richard Trevithick, was built in 1808 and was demonstrated to the public at a "steam circus" organised by Trevithick on a circular track in Bloomsbury. Catch Me Who Can's top speed was 12 mph, but it was too heavy for the brittle cast-iron rails then in use; Trevithick ended the exhibition after a broken rail caused a derailment.

"Salamanca" by Matthew Murray, the first commercially successful steam locomotive, first rack and pinion locomotive and the first to have two cylinders, was built in 1812 for the Middleton Railway. Four locomotives of this class were built for the railway. Salamanca was destroyed six years later, when its boiler exploded; George Stephenson testified before a Parliamentary committee that its driver had tampered with the boiler safety valve.

"Blucher", by Stephenson, could pull a train of 30 tons at a speed of 4 mph up a gradient of 1 in 450. After measuring its performance parameters, Stephenson decided to break it down and recycle its parts for more advanced models. And of course everyone knows "Stephenson's Rocket", built in 1829 in Newcastle Upon Tyne. The Rocket won the Rainhill Trials held by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1829 to choose the best design to power the railway. Though Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, it was the first "improved" steam locomotive, and it served as the template for most steam engines for 150 years.

"Northumbrian", another early Stephenson family locomotive used at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, was the first locomotive to have the Stephenson type firebox incorporated in the boiler; it also featured a proper tender. "Planet", built in 1830, was the first locomotive to employ inside cylinders. On 23rd November 1830 No.9 Planet ran the 50 km from Liverpool to Manchester in one hour.

The Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Wales was the world's first passenger railway service. Originally a horse-powered railway for moving limestone from the Mumbles quarries, it carried the world's first fare-paying railway passengers on 25th March 1807 and was converted to steam in 1877, and then to electricity before finally closing in January 1960, at which point it had been the world's longest serving railway.

The Kilmarnock and Troon Railway in Ayrshire, the first railway in Scotland to use a steam locomotive and the first to carry passengers, opened in 1812. The passenger service operated at first with just trucks filled with straw for passengers, but later two dedicated carriages ("Caledonia" and "The Boat") were added. A regular passenger service, costing one shilling for the two-hour journey, started on 1st May 1813.


12.2 IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HARRY KING

An article by Rebecca Burn-Callander in The Telegraph:

"Where there's muck, there's brass, or so the old saying goes. And given that we generate about 177 million tonnes of waste every year in England alone, that's a lot of brass. Last year, sales of coffee outpaced tea sales for the first time in the UK. Research by Allegra shows that the category grew 7.5pc to reach £5.8bn sales in 2012. Coffee-making is highly wasteful, however, as the entire bean is thrown away once the flavour is extracted. London alone produces 200,000 tonnes of coffee waste every year. UCL architecture student Arthur Kay landed on an idea to turn these waste coffee grounds into fuel last year. 'I wanted to design a coffee shop where all the coffee grounds were turned into biodiesel to provide light and heat for the shop,' he explained. All vegetables have oil content but no technology existed for extracting the energy from coffee. Mr Kay enlisted the services of a team of bio-chemical engineers and developed a brand new technology for processing the new waste stock... Bio-bean collects from coffee shops, roasters and instant coffee manufacturers across London and transports the waste grounds to a processing unit in Edmonton, where the material is turned into biodiesel and pellets. Previously, these companies were paying £64 a tonne for the waste to be dumped in landfill, with transport costs taking the total per tonne to £154. Bio-Bean pays a nominal fee for the waste, as covers the cost of collection. Unsurprisingly, the growth of the business has been exponential. Still in its first year, Bio-Bean is forecast to turn over £7.5m by 2016. London Mayor Boris Johnson has declared his support for Bio-Bean, awarding it his Low Carbon Prize this year. 'This level of green innovation is brilliant to see,' he said. 'We are 100pc behind Bio-Bean, which is absolutely full of beans.'..."

http://tinyurl.com/k9vnfd5

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13) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

It's the pTARDIS!

http://tinyurl.com/n4o9see


The cover of Night Watch, admirably re-created at the 2013 Irish Discworld Convention:

http://pop-verse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/IMG_0754_med.jpg


The Rince Cycle on stage at the Studio Theatre:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BaI_wc3IEAAaAEj.jpg


A Temple of Om on Roundworld?:

http://tinyurl.com/o2c9yr9


...and finally, some appealing fanart – Constable Dorfl:

http://tinyurl.com/msm2ahf

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14) CLOSE

We may be back before the end of the month, if time allows. Also coming next, reviews of the hardcover Carpet People, the hardcover Mort, and the delicious Dodger's Guide to London. All I can assure you at the moment is that all three are fantastic.

And that's it for the moment, as the holiday season looms and your Editor is under starter's orders. WOSSNAME wishes all our readers and all on Team Pratchett a fun and safe Hogswatch Season, and all the best for the coming Year of the Reciprocating Llama!

– Annie Mac

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———————————————————————————————————
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: interact (at) pearwood (dot) info
———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion

November 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 11, Post 1)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups.

********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

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INDEX:

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) THE OFFICIAL WOSSNAME REVIEW: RAISING STEAM
04) RAISING STEAM NEWS
05) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
06) CRIVENS! IT'S MOVIE TIME!!!
07) HOGSWATCH IN WINCANTON
08) REVIEW: WINTERSMITH, THE ALBUM
09) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
10) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
13) CLOSE


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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Siren voices tell me, 'You don't have to keep going on.' And then you think, 'I'm a writer. What do I do? Sit there watching my wife clean up?' I don't know. I like being a writer. The book I'm writing right now is gonna be a good one, I believe. If it gets really bad, get the little men to go into the flying saucer and take me away from it all."

– Pterry, interviewed on NPR, 3rd November 2013...

[Note: the radio interview, if still available online, can be accessed via http://tinyurl.com/l6tkk6u – Ed.]


"Lord Vetinari is that wonderful thing: a sensible ruler — that's why he's so popular. Everyone grumbles about him, but no one wants to chance what it would be like if he wasn't there. I like Vetinari. I don't mind authority, but not authoritarian authority. After all, the bus driver is allowed to be the boss of the bus. But if he's bad at driving, he's not going to be a bus driver anymore."

– and interviewed by Cory Doctorow, November 2013

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02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

I have always loved steam trains, even though a former dearly- beloved of mine was run over by one (yes, true and documented, but he made a full recovery apart from being several inches shorter afterwards). Raising Steam captures the magic of steam railways perfectly. Sheer magic! See my review below (item 3).

*

Raising Steam went to number 1 on the UK hardcover original fiction bestseller list after only three days! It also made number 3 in in the UK's overall, fiction, non-fiction and children's top 50 list.

http://tinyurl.com/jw2r5fx

http://tinyurl.com/lplc8yc


*

USA readers, have you bought your copy of The Carpet People yet? If not, you are missing out on a classic that is also beautifully presented in hardcover this time around. There is an extract available for new readers:

http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/the-carpet-people-excerpt

...and the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6XSAhx6yG4


*

Once again, I'm promoting the Cory-and-Pterry interview, but this time with a direct link to BoingBoing:

http://tinyurl.com/l667o3y

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) STEAM CLEANED, OR HOW MOIST VON LIPWIG BECAME PURER IN HEART: A REVIEW OF RAISING STEAM

By Annie Mac


I love the way Terry Pratchett writes sex scenes.

No, really.

It began in The Fifth Elephant, when... wait, no, I suppose it began all the way back in Men at Arms, when Carrot's first experience of the joys of dancing the horizontal tango was presented with a small yet perfectly formed "After a while the bedsprings went *glink*", and continued through various delectably understated Sam And Sybil Moments – and that tantalising teaser in Unseen Academicals, where the combination of Vetinari and Lady Margolotta, private Palace rooms, and a quick but clear reference to, erm, recreational rubberwear can surely only lead the reader to one Ogg-approved assumption – to the depictions of conjugal bliss in the Lipwig- Dearheart household. Somehow, Pratchett's offhanded one-liners convey both passion and tenderness without ever having to resort to the sort of prosed that demands plain brown wrappers.

That said, Raising Steam is not at all *that* kind of steamy, but the steam it *is* about is no less exciting in its way.

Let me start by acknowledging that yes, the "feel" of Raising Steam is somewhat different from that of the mid-period Discworld novels. Stylistically, it seems to me to be closer to Snuff than to, say, Night Watch; more episodic, with the main thrust of the story not developing until we get a fair way in. I do not consider this a weakness – yes, it's different, but I feel very strongly that it is *not* lesser for it. The series is thirty years old now, and Pratchett's style was never likely to remain static. Nor am I dancing around the PCA issue here: in the early parts of the narrative I kept getting distracted by the beauty of the language, the sheer sparkle and flow of it, and I do suspect that that distracting loveliness is likely a result of the author's acclimatising to creation-by-dictation. Imagining – and telling – a story in speech is not quite the same as doing it via pen and keypad. Sir Pterry has had to get used to this change, and I am very willing to get used to the changes it's brought.

Many people group Discworld novels into sub-headings: the Watch novels, the Witches novels, the Death novels and so on. I tend to think of the series as being composed of only two categories: books that are primarily driven by people or events, and books that are primarily driven by, well, *things* – pastimes, arts, sport. Some of the Discworld novels I place in the latter category are Soul Music, Unseen Academicals, and Maskerade... and now, Raising Steam. It's not that these lack richness of stories and characters; it's just that the art or artefact takes the starring role in the proceedings. The people and the plots are very much there and fully realised, but to me they take second place. And there is no doubt that Raising Steam's raison d'etre, if you'll pardon my Quirmian, is trains and the coming of the Age of Steam.

This is above all a book about trains. And train spotters, because where there are trains, there are train spotters. And steam enthusiasts – some of them surprisingly close to home. And, eventually, it's about timetables, travel guides, days at the seaside, and the creation of suburbs and holiday homes. And it's also about the knock-on effects of getting one's perishable produce to international markets in an unperished condition. All of this is liberally spiced with lashings of avec, that is, the delights of Roundworld name-checks (sometimes not so much thinly disguised as hardly disguised at all) and a wealth of bilingual pun(e)s. Furthermore, Raising Steam gives squee-worthy fan-service to all faithful Discworld series followers: you will find a tasty macedoine (or perhaps salade Nicoise, given the plentiful Quirmian fish and seafood references) of cameos, some in the form of blink-and-you'll miss-it passing mentions but none of them gratuitous, and assorted welcome resolutions of or updates to various character arcs.

It is also a longer book, not in physical length – 375 pages, far from the longest novel in the series – but in elapsed story-time. This is as it should be, since one can't expect a railway line to be laid from Ankh-Morpork to Quirm (or Uberwald!) in anything less than multiple months. All right, yes, a Sourcerer could do it, but we all know where that sort of thing leads...

Now then, Moist von Lipwig: I have always been fond of Moist, from the moment we met him in the Palace dungeon, awaiting his appointment with Mr Trooper, and now I have another reason to celebrate this third Moist-centric book. It seems to me that of all Pratchett's primary characters in the series, Moist von Lipwig has evolved and matured the most. By the end of Raising Steam, he is truly a changed man, and yet the change comes without any loss of the traits that made him so fascinating from the off. And yet... oh, how he's been changing! Once a taker, now a giver; always seeing his new behaviours as being at odds with what he believes to be his true nature (con man ever ready to run), yet in reality ever more thoughtful, philosophical even, and ever less ready to see the people around him as ciphers – even when those people belong to nonhuman species. Moist the Liberator, who'd'a thunk it?

Also, I have always enjoyed Moist and Adora Belle as an odd couple, but in Raising Steam, they are less odd and more of a team, and it would seem that they are influencing each other – "Spike" seems more playful now, whereas Moist is becoming more likely to engage in passionate activism. Go figure.

Another delightful surprise comes in the form of Sir Harry King. I had begun to grow fond of Harry as he was presented to us in The World of Poo, and now I find myself very much in his corner. From King of the Golden River to King of the Railways, he remains the square-dealing hard man of yore, but time and wealth (and a very determinedly social-climbing wife) have mellowed him just enough to make him fascinatingly layered. As is so often the case with Pratchett's characters, a man who was once a walking cliche is now a living, breathing, real person. Speaking of which, it's great to see Vetinari mellowing as well (for a very unusual value of "mellowing") without losing any of his power. Age has not withered nor tyrant-ing staled him, and we get treated to a gem of a scene in Wilinus Pass as proof of both. Oh, and am I the only one who sees more and more of the implied Terry-and-Rob dynamic in the Vetinari-and-Drumknott scenes?

Yet another welcome return: Rhys, the Low King, the conservative but above all honourable Albrecht ("shadow party" personified), and the Thing with the Dwarfs (aka Politics and Terrorism Stuff). A number of years have passed since the events of The Fifth Elephant, so I applaud the continuation of that story thread. Oh, and hurrah for yet more development on the "Sam Vimes has a superpower and he's gonna use it" front!

If any main character in Raising Steam seems relatively shallow to me, it is Ned Simnel. But then, he's an engineer, and engineers are not a breed known for lyrical, romantic personalities, hmm? Furthermore, I don't think he *needs* to be lyrical and romantic, because his passion for steam power and his almost-obsessive love for first and finest engine "Iron Girder" are the parts that matter here, and they are well drawn (did I say "*almost* obsessive"? Hah!).

Themes in Raising Steam include that of the self-made man, or perhaps that should be self-made entity; social mobility and the desire for self-betterment; change versus resistance to change, in society and in politics; emancipation and equality of species and sexes; and of course, evolution, both of the Discworld societies and technologies and of the more personal-growth sort.

As a side note, I am a bit sad that there's no more information about The Undertaking. Then again, presumably the unexpected arrival of the Age of Steam has put back, or at least changed, that timetable. The centre continues to hold, and Vetinari is ever a master of long-distance temporal vision and creative thinking.

As is in keeping with the gradual changes in Discworld novels, Raising Steam has fewer laugh-out-loud moments but masses of laugh- in-delight ones. I have read it through three times now and feel satisfied every time. No, the story doesn't ever reach the heights of breathtaking tension that keep Night Watch as my favourite Discworld book – but I already feel an overwhelming affection for Raising Steam that Night Watch could never match in my heart.

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04) RAISING STEAM NEWS AND REVIEWS

4.1 PTERRY TALKS STEAM


Some great video snippets here of Sir Pterry talking about themes and subjects and history as they relate to his writing of Raising Steam:

"It's about the romance of the railway. It grabbed us as soon as it turned up, and is still here. It's the fascination of steam, a giant permanently conquered."

"I fell in love with Iron Girder. Dick Simnel built her, and in my mind's eye she became every railway engine from the Trevithick... to, I don't know, the Royal Scot..."

"I thought it was time to raise steam on Discworld, but better than that, I thought it would be fun..."

www.youtube.com/user/terrypratchettbooks?feature=watch


4.2 REVIEWS

Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt for the British Fantasy Society:

"As always with anything written by Terry Pratchett, this is a fantastically entertaining story. In all honesty, as with most of the other 39 novels, you could probably read this one as a stand- alone story. However, having recently started reading them all again from the very first novel – The Colour of Magic, I can't imagine why you would want to do yourself out of the pleasure of full immersion in this world. One of the extremely pleasurable aspects of this story in the 30th anniversary year is to revisit familiar characters and places alongside the new ones, and look out for all the name checks and in-jokes.

"An extra treat, and the real beauty of the book, is the way in which it expresses and translates the emotional power of steam trains for converts and non-believers alike. I love steam trains anyway but this book made me feel a little of what I imagine first experiences of steam trains must have been like..."

www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/reviews/raising-steam-book-review/


Reviewed by Jonathan Wright for SFX Magazine:

"Whereas the first few books were essentially powered by the lampooning of fantasy tropes, which produced a new kind of magic unique to Pratchett's work, the Discworld has changed. A medieval world has morphed into what's essentially a 19th century society, albeit one where humans co-exist with such people – and they're presented as fully rounded people, it's important to note – as trolls, dwarves, golems and now even geeky goblins. Raising Steam marks a completion, of sorts, of this process, because such a world can't rely on the magic of the Middle Ages for its forward momentum. No, it needs a new power source: coal-fired steam. Step forward Dick Simnel. It would be easy to mistake Simnel for a straightforward, even simple lad, but that's to overlook the fact that he's an engineer. And not just a glorified blacksmith, but someone who's learnt the mysteries of the sliding rule, an innovator, a lad with a shed who knows how to use it..."

www.sfx.co.uk/2013/11/08/raising-steam-by-terry-pratchett-review/


Reviewed by Dan Lewis for the bookseller Waterstones blog:

"Raising Steam feels a much more expansive read than previous books in the series. Indeed, it can often feel like events are passing by at some speed as you hurtle along the narrative rails. There's a sense that there's no time for dawdling, with a greater degree of reported action than in stories such as Night Watch or Snuff, where the narrative feels almost to take place in realtime. Here, background detail – such as Moist's to-ing and fro-ing as he attempts to negotiate the railway's route with resistant landowners – quickly shifts out of view leaving room for slower explorations of political intrigues and cunning plans. These shifts in speed allow Pratchett to pack in glimpses of far more characters than he might otherwise have been able – which will bring smiles of delight to fans. Lu-Tze, Rincewind, Ponder Stibbons, Nobby and Colon, Drumknott, William de Worde, Sam Vimes, The Low King and Diamond King of Trolls – they're all there, if only for a moment. There's a real excitement in reading the book, wondering not only what will happen next but which old friend will pop up..."

www.waterstones.com/blog/2013/11/review-raising-steam/


Raising Steam has also been reviewed in The Times by Andrew McKie. Unfortunately the review is only available to paying subscribers, but to judge by the opening paragraphs in the free preview, the review is an approving one:

"This is Terry Pratchett's 40th foray into Discworld and, despite that productivity and the author's widely-publicised diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, his creation hasn't run out of steam. Indeed, 30 years and around 75 million copies in, Sir Terry appears to be expanding his scope. "In this latest novel, Ankh- Morpork, Discworld's principal city, continues its evolution from quasi-medieval settlement to bustling industrial metropolis, and over a wider canvas, and longer time-frame than previous books..."

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05) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT

5.1 SIR PROFESSOR, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE DOCTOR


In The Guardian:

"It's funny that way, Doctor Who, it's been such a part of the DNA of Britain for so many years now that even if you didn't watch it religiously, you probably know more about it than you think. Daleks, Cybermen, bigger on the inside – everyone knows what you're talking about. And it was always a safe option for Saturday afternoon tea with the family. Doctors came and went, but for 26 years it was part of this country's shared heritage and memory. Anybody my age or younger has been informed by it, moulded by it, at least to some degree. For so many during those years it was their first introduction to science fiction, and its influence is far- reaching. Generations of authors, screenwriters, actors, dreamers found their escape in the wonky corridors and Styrofoam monsters of this enduring institution... the recent actors have been wonderful, drawing that line back to the grumpy old man who kicked it all off 50 years ago. And the Daleks are still scary, which isn't something you can say about many half-century-old alien designs..."

http://tinyurl.com/qcbmf77


5.2 RETIREMENT? OF COURSE NOT

In SFX Magazine issue 242, currently available, there is an interview...

"Even though Raising Steam, the 40th novel (yes, 40th!) in Pratchett's Discworld series is now in bookshops, the legendary author says he's not ready for retirement just yet. What's stopping him from hanging up his pen? A good idea for a book it seems. 'Some part of me is telling me that there is no one who will actually say, apart from my agent actually, that I shouldn't do it, but suddenly you think, 'I must do another book for next year!' A little voice says 'You don't really have to if it's going to be a difficulty.' On the other hand, if I find a really snazzy plot, that will send me on fire and away we go. Don't worry,' he jokes. 'I don't fancy dying yet.'..."

http://tinyurl.com/nx4zgof


5.3 TELLING TALES FOR ADOPTION

From This is Somerset:

"Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld series, and Tommy Banner from The Wurzels, are among those who have backed the 'Time for a Story' campaign by sharing their favourite memory of reading a children's story with a loved one. Sharing a children's book can create some of the most magical moments of both childhood and parenting. The 'Time for a Story' campaign aims to get people talking about these special moments and thinking about adoption. Members of the public are also being encouraged to post their own fondest moments of being read to or reading to their child on the organisation's Facebook page...

"Author Terry Pratchett said: 'I think the first book my wife Lyn and I read to our daughter Rhianna was The Maggie B by Irene Haas, which she greatly enjoyed, and she had two library tickets of her own before she could read. Later she came to love Tove Jansson's books, as I had copies of every one'..."

http://tinyurl.com/k6z4cpf


5.4 ANKH-MORPORK: A NICE PLACE TO MOVE TO...

The Onionesque publication "The Evening Harold" has a delightful piece:

"Britain has been plunged into an emigration crisis as newly published figures reveal that no fewer than seven out of ten of us have applied to leave the country to live and work in Ankh-Morpork. Ankh-Morpork is the largest city on the Discworld which some say is a fictional realm created by Sir Terry Pratchett but to a great many people is as real as Tamriel, The Shire and Gotham City i.e. completely. Harold resident Gary Thorne is one of many villagers hoping for a new start in a city described by Sir Terry as being 'as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.' 'It's a no-brainer for me,' Thorn said. 'Sure in Ankh-Morpork there's no democracy or flood protection and there there'll always be a chance that the dragon of unhappiness could fly up my bottom but there's also no scripted reality shows or music that makes me feel old. Plus, I'm looking forward to meeting the ladies from the Seamstresses' Guild, if you know what I mean, hur, hur, hur...' Pensioner Tom Stalling knows exactly why he's going to Ankh-Morpork. 'Two words,' he told us, 'steam trains. They've got 'em and we don't...'"

http://tinyurl.com/ojcn6a6


5.5 A TOP TEN LIST: DISCWORLD CHARACTERS

In The Telegraph, Tim Martin presents capsule descriptions of Death (and the Death of Rats, and Susan), Granny Weatherwax, Vetinari, Nanny Ogg, Vimes, The Librarian, Moist von Lipwig, Tiffany Aching, C.M.O.T. Dibbler, and the Luggage:

"PERHAPS THE GREATEST — that is, perhaps the greatest character in all Discworld, in a personal as well as an eschatological sense..."

"Crotchety, eminently no-nonsense (the trolls call her 'She Who Must Be Avoided') and one of the prime exponents of Pratchett's number- one virtue of common sense, Granny Weatherwax is another of the tough thinkers with hearts of gold who stalk through Pratchett's fiction and are, one suspects, an important factor in its endless popularity..."

"The kind of benign despot who would make Machiavelli faint with fear and envy, Vetinari presides over Pratchett's capital city-state of Ankh-Morpork without ever needing to raise his voice..."

To read the full article, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/npgedav


5.6 REVIEW: AN EVENING WITH TERRY PRATCHETT AT BRIGHTON READS

By Thomas Powell on Badger Online:

"Sir Terry's air was one of a grandfather addressing a loving but impudent horde of grandchildren. In the same flippant tone no doubt familiar to many in the audience, he batted away the allegedly most common question he's asked, regarding where he draws his inspiration. His insistent answer, 'It just turns up!'.

"Ultimately, the trio proved very forthcoming – treating the assembled audience to an exclusive preview of Pratchett's next novel, Raising Steam, due to be published in November. Rob Wilkins' poor attempt at a northern accent did little to dampen the palpable sense of excitement as he read the first chapter; only exceeded by that which followed Rod Brown's announcements regarding the slew of Discworld screen adaptations under development. Brown gushed like a new father about the upcoming series The Watch, featuring the familiar Ankh-Morpork police force, including fan favourite Sam Vimes... Brown also proudly proclaimed that two Discworld novels are also being adapted, Good Omens and Dodger. Hinting that Mort might also follow..."

www.badgeronline.co.uk/evening-terry-pratchett-friends-review/


5.7 AN ART EXHIBIT OF INTEREST

"Angels, Faeries and Femmes Fatales: Dadd to Discworld", currently on display at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery in Bournemouth, features the art of Paul Kidby:

"This exhibition explores the Victorian obsession with the supernatural and the spirit world. Featuring the work of renowned artists, Paul Kidby, illustrator of the internationally bestselling 'Discworld' novels, and 2012 Turner Prize nominee Spartacus Chetwynd. Many of Paul's artworks are for sale..."

The museum "holds collections of international status and reflects the Victorian fascination with world cultures" and is "just two minutes walk from Bournemouth Pier and less than five minutes walk from the town's main shopping and commercial hub".

When: the exhibition will run through to 9th March 2014.
Venue: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, East Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth BH1 3AA UK (phone 01202 451858)
Times: All year round from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.
Tickets: free admission from 1st October until 31st March. Donations welcome.

Here are some lovely photos from the exhibit, taken by Kirsty Stonell Walker...

Cupid meets Rob Anybody:

http://tinyurl.com/mvon7h8

Kidby's fabulous bust of Granny Weatherwax:

http://tinyurl.com/ll5zumf


5.8 REMINDER: THE DISCWORLD COLLECTOR'S LIBRARY

"Gollancz began publishing the Discworld novels, which have sold more than 85 million copies around the world, in hardback in 1987 and have worked with Sir Terry Pratchett ever since. He has become the most shop-lifted author in the UK, selling more than 2.5 million copies every year, and these will be the most desirable editions of his novels yet published.

"The Discworld Collector's Library will be published thematically, beginning in November 2013, as stunning B-format hardbacks at an affordable £9.99 – and that's cutting our own throats!"

The covers are charmingly illustrated by Joe McLaren. Gollancz are releasing the titles under a theme of, well, themes. Here be the info including release dates:

The Death Collection
November 2013: Reaper Man; Mort
December 2013: Hogfather; Soul Music

The Cultures of Discworld Collection
January 2014: Small Gods; Pyramids

The Unseen University Collection
February 2014: Eric; Sourcery
May 2014: Interesting Times; Moving Pictures
August 2014: The Colour of Magic; The Light Fantastic

The City Watch Collection
March 2014: Guards! Guards!; Men at Arms
June 2014: Feet of Clay; Jingo

The Witches Collection
April 2014: Equal Rites; Wyrd Sisters
July 2014: Witches Abroad; Lords and Ladies; Maskerade

The publishers add, "N.B. Apologies to our North American readers but we're afraid these editions will not be available in the US or Canada. This is not because we don't like you – its because our contract only allows us UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights. Sorry."

http://tinyurl.com/n7zvr6k

ISBNs, for your information:

MORT is 9781473200104 and REAPER MAN is 9781473200111.

[Editor's note: I have received my hardcover of Mort, and it's beautiful!]


5.9 REMINDER: STEELEYE SPAN LIVE WINTERSMITH TOUR

"This time the band has looked even further afield and has found inspiration in the work of famous British author, Terry Pratchett. Famous for his series of Discworld novels Terry is a long-standing fan of the band, even booking them to play at his sixtieth birthday party... Fans will be able to get a taste of these new songs along with the familiar classics and gems on the band's forthcoming UK tour."

The tour kicks off on 15th November at the Babbacombe Theatre in Torquay, Devon, and carries on through the West Country before moving on to the Northeast and on around Britain. For a comprehensive listing of tour dates through December, refer to last month's issue of WOSSNAME or visit the Park Records site:

http://parkrecords.com/tourdates.php

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06) CRIVENS! THE WEE FREE MEN IN THE CLICKS!

"Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of Discworld creator Sir Terry, and a successful writer herself, working on the recent BioShock and Tomb Raider games, among others, has announced via her twitter that she's adapting The Wee Free Men, the first in the young adult series of Discworld books featuring apprentice witch Tiffany Aching."

In a word, "Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"

http://tinyurl.com/n3lbbvw

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07) REMINDER: HOGSWATCH 2013 IN WINCANTON!

Not a convention as such, but certainly an Event! Ankh-Morpork's beloved twin town is pushing the boat out for Hogswatch this year! And you certainly have to push a boat to get it across the Ankh...

"Join us on the 29th November – 1st December for our famous Hogswatch festivities in Wincanton, Somerset, and revel in entertainments diverse and unusual in Ankh-Morpork's own twin town. This year we're celebrating the 30th anniversary of our beloved Discworld, so dress as one of the hundreds of characters or concepts that have graced the pages of Terry Pratchett's fantasical work over the years, or just don your best party outfit, at least a tinsel garnish, and come join in the fun!

"The weekend's merriments will include a series of Unseen University Hogswatch lectures, theatrical entertainments, activities for little folk, Grand Charity Auction, traditional Sausage Supper and, if you've been good little boys and girls, a visitation from a certain Hogfather – all held in venues throughout the town in the company of fellow fans Discworld dignitaries. For more details of programme items click the 'What's On' button below.

"Hogswatch is a delightfully informal gathering that is (mostly) free to attend, but be mindful that you will have to source your own accommodation – click the 'Where to Stay' button below for ideas on where to rest your head. How to find us – we're on Google Maps, where you'll find directions, public transport infomation and more to aid you in your journey."

http://www.discworldemporium.com/Hogswatch%202013

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O8) REVIEW: THE WINTERSMITH ALBUM

By David Kidman for FATEA Records:

"One might be tempted perhaps to summarise Wintersmith as 'the legends of folk-rock take on the legends of Terry Pratchett', For, while Wintersmith isn't exactly a concept album as such, it does take its inspiration (and much of its narrative import) from the third of Terry's 'Tiffany Aching' books (the series of novels within the Discworld canon which follow the growth of the young trainee witch of that name), although some knowledge of (or sympathy with) which (and witch!) is not necessarily a pre-requisite, since the songs within by and large stand on their own. Having said that, Wintersmith's particular backdrop, that of ancient rituals and secret folk dances, is of course entirely apposite, both as a credible and matching stamping-ground for Steeleye sensibilities, and as suitable subject-matter for a prog-folk-rock kind of musical treatment... The powerhouse clatter of The Dark Morris Song (and its stick-wielding counterpart Tune), together with the disc's spooky Overture, certainly set the scene strongly, in the approved manner, with stirring, stomping yet mysterious skirling swathes of sound and a typically evocative lyric..."

http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/2013/SteeleyeSpan.html

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09) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

9.1 UPDATE: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN KNEBWORTH


The Knebworth Amateur Dramatic Society was expecting to present their production of Guards! Guards! this week. Unfortunately, the company's sound and light man had a heart attack a few days ago, so the performances have been postponed. But luckily, Graham (the sound/light tech) is on the mend. KATS are hoping to present the play in January, so keep an eye on their website and we will update you as soon as a new date has been confirmed.

http://www.katsdrama.info/


9.2 REMINDER: THE RINCE CYCLE

"Studio Theatre Club continues its world-famous Discworld stage series with a new offering: 'The Rince Cycle', dramatised by Stephen Briggs. An adventure based on Terry Pratchett's Rincewind novels The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and snippets of Sourcery."

When: 26th to 30th November 2013
Venue: Unicorn Theatre, Old Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3HZ
Time: 7:30
Tickets: £8.50.

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/CurrentPlans.html

http://www.abingdonabbey-unicorntheatre.org.uk/findus.html


9.3 MASKERADE IN BRISTOL

The St Ursula Players will be presenting their production of Maskerade next month.

When: 4th – 7th December 2013
Venue: Newman Hall, Grange Court Road, Bristol, BS9 4DR
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £8 adults, £4 children; parties of 10 or more, £7 per ticket. Tickets are available from the box office, or via a printable postal form on the St Ursula Players' website (below), "or take your chance on the door. But they are selling fast!" To ring the box office: 0117 962 4431

http://www.stursulaplayers.co.uk/index.htm


9.4 REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BURY ST EDMUNDS

In the Bury Free Press:

"Stephen Briggs' adaptation of the Discworld novel brilliantly condenses its plot, humour and anarchic logic. Theatre Royal Young Company then gave it all the life and fun Pratchett gives his books. Many of the cast showed superb comic timing, especially Sam Rees as the dragon summoning Lupine Wonse. Asha Ray was so spot on as Lady Sybil Ramkin that you forgot she was probably less than half the age of the formidable miniature dragon breeding dame. Perhaps David Bolwell was a little lanky to be the muscular Carrot, who Pratchett modelled on Liam Neeson, but that did not seem to matter..."

http://tinyurl.com/kos9s4j

About the company:

http://www.theatreroyal.com/take-part/young-people/young-company/

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10) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

The Pratchett Partisans are a new fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". For more info about their next meetup, go to

http://www.meetup.com/Pratchett-Partisans/

or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

Hogswatch Dinner

"Join fellow Pratchett lovers and celebrate a slightly belated Hogswatch with a lovely dinner and great drinks. Wagaya is a Japanese restaurant with a huge selection of meat and non-meat share meals (and some set main meals), beers and cocktails (including nonalcoholic). You order using a touchpad at the table and pay at the end of the meal. They do not split bills. I suggest we divide the food bill by the number of people so every one pays the same amount (prob about $40 each). In regards to drinks, we can probably get an itemised bill and figure out who drank what."

When: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Venue: Wagaya, 315 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley, 4006, Brisbane ("we will be in a private room under the name 'Ula'")
Time: 5:30 PM

Picnic in the park

"Come along for a family friendly chill-out in the park. Please bring along some (DW themed if possible) nibbles to share, and a blanket or two. Drinks (non alcoholic) will be provided. We will also have a few fun activities and games."

When: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Venue: Roma Street Parkland, 1 Parkland Blv, Brisbane ("We will probably be in 'sunset glade'")
Time: 12:00 PM


*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia.

"We have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit:

http://cityofsmallgods.org.au"


*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. The next meeting will probably be on Thursday 5th December 2013, but do email (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:

broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first Friday of every month at the famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome! The next WOTS meeting will (probably) be on Friday 6th December 2013.

*

The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, " London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group", will be from 7pm on Monday 9th December 2013 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ. Note the new web address:

http://brokendrummers.org/

For more information email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, have been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, N Yorks, 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/

*

Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. The next meeting will (probably) be on Monday 2nd December 2013. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):

kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the month. The next meeting should be on Monday 2nd December 2013. "Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA)."

For details follow us on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/

Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com

*

There's a new Pratchett meeting group in Fourecks, known as Western Drummers. That's two for the Sydney Pratchett fans now! The Western Drummers intend to meet on the third Monday of every month at The Rowers, Bruce Neal Drive, Penrith at 6.30-7.30pm for food, 7.30pm for games, quizzes and chat. For more information, contact Nanny Ogg – lewis_oz@bigpond.com – or visit their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/westerndrummers

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11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Olga Godim reviews Night Watch:

"Unlike most other Discworld novels, this is not a funny book. It's exploratory and philosophical and delves deep into the natures of leadership and decency, courage and tolerance... The story is seemingly slow, rooting for a wide panorama and deep understanding instead of a lighter mockery, as in many of Pratchett's earlier novels. Nothing is galloping or hurtling ahead. The events are gradually expanding, rolling forward like an unstoppable avalanche. When the plot gathers momentum, nothing can stop it. Of all the City Watch books I've read so far, this one made the best and most profound psychological portrait of Sam Vimes. Finally, after several earlier volumes, I could see the man in all his complexity, and my respect for him, high already, soared..."

http://tinyurl.com/pv8zvzy


The Bookwitch is back with a loving review of Raising Steam and a rightfully angry backward look at the Beeching Axe of Roundworld:

"All Terry Pratchett's books are loveable in their own way, but I have a special fondness for ones about my kind of topics. Writing. Post Office-ing. And now trains. Raising Steam has let me experience the birth of railways, and what a wonderful feeling that is! (Death to that Beeching person. Actually, Death is too good for him.) Instead of closing lines and getting rid of stations and services, here we have the complete and utter opposite, starting with young Dick Simnel, who knows about the sliding rule, and who saw his father die in some unexpected pink steam. He builds himself a prototype steam engine – the train kind – and goes off to Ankh- Morpork in search of, not so much his fortune, but a welcome for his beloved Iron Girder. I'm guessing Dick is Discworld's Yorkshireman, judging by his speech and the way he dresses. He's lovely. Very straight. Even a scoundrel like Moist von Lipwig has to admire his honest ways. (Though I'm not sure about that smooth- talking Moist.) Eventually, seemingly all men are seduced by the steam engines Dick builds. It's pathetic. Or would be, were they not such great things to be seduced by..."

http://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/raising-steam/


Blogger and writer Martin Crookall's long, in-depth critique of Raising Steam:

"Raising Steam has a curious feel to it. It's very different from the 'usual' Discworld book, in that it is focussed upon its theme, almost to the exclusion of its characters. Each book is gifted with a clear and present central idea – it is part of Pratchett's immense skill that he has found so many distinct and individual 'abouts' to build a story upon – but in all cases prior to this, the story has played out through the central characters, whose fates and fortunes are bound up in the resolution of whatever threat may be about to unbalance the Discworld, or some discrete part of it... instead of translating a Roundworld notion into Discworld terms, what Pratchett has done is to bolt the Railway in the very form we know it to be, on top of his fiction. Discworld has now had the Industrial Revolution, and just as that changed our world out of all recognition, so too is Discworld changed. And the thing about change is that it doesn't have to be for the better, or for the worse: it is Change, and it can't be undone... Discworld in this book, acquires a concreteness that cannot help but change the nature of the books... In a way, it's only a Moist von Lipwig book because he's primus inter pares: whilst he's the only one whose head we really get into, the book is as much about the Patrician, Harry King (of the Golden River), Dick Simnel, the goblin Of the Twilight the Darkness, Rhys Rhysson, Low King of the Dwarfs and Sam Vines [sic] as it is about Moist..."

http://tinyurl.com/k6x8poh


...while blogger Laurence Ivil aka The Electrospank's review is also long, and very well-written. Some extracts:

"In Raising Steam, our hero, Dick Simnel, a rural self-taught engineer, has discovered how to harness steam. In taking his engine – Iron Girder, to Ankh-morpork at the centre of the disc, he has begun a chain reaction of events in which the familiar faces of Harry King, Lord Vetinari and others return to shape and profit from the wonders of technological progress. As this triumph makes inexorable tracks, we watch in awe as Pratchett's pen plays with landowners and surveyors, rent and taxation, swamps and bridges, commuters and tourists. Who else could yarn these tropes so effortlessly and with such thrill?

"Raising Steam invites us to float with the zeitgeist as the advent of the railway threatens to derail a fragile peace maintained by Lord Vetinari, the responsible tyrant, whose Watch of werewolves often look the other way, respond with merciful force when necessary and send miscreants to the dungeons for creative kitten punishment if needs must. Civis ankhmorporkianus sum – In Discworld, every man, child, dwarf, troll, werewolf, vampire, zombie and goblin is free. But, for how long...

"Raising Steam is, without doubt, a fantastic story. It is also an example of something very, very important. Raising Steam, much like other Discworld novels is rife with satirical parallels of very current social, political and scientific issues. Golem Housekeepers and Goblin hairdressers benefit from a growing level of social equality, female Dwarves still pretend that they are men if they wish to gain respect in their communities and the vampirical press (quite literally!) hang onto Dick Simnel's every word in an attempt to derail his fantastic progress. A passing aside to the slothful linguistic learning curve of the English (Morporkians), refusing to master any language but their own, the Low King avoiding bloodshed and mastering politics even when others hold great value in the former. As we all know, people fear change...

"Raising Steam is, quite simply, a truly magnificent addition to this incredible series. It may be the 40th entry, yet it bears no indication of being the last..."

http://tinyurl.com/m6ocrre


Blogger Jeannette Porter points out that the people of the Discworld are indeed people, fully realised and worth caring about:

"Creator Terry Pratchett has a gift for letting dialogue and pithy description tango together, creating a 'you are there' sensation. It's a good trick, considering 'there' doesn't, hasn't, and probably will never exist, in the mundane, Roundworld sense... Ah, the Patrician. Libertarians and fascists alike pine for his Roundworld analogue, as liberals yearn for a real-life Josiah Bartlett... And Discworld contains yet more lethal characters. In fact, it contains the ultimate lethality: the anthromorphic personification of Death, who speaks IN CAPITAL LETTERS and likes cats. Death (skeleton, scythe, black robe, the whole bit) appears in just about every Discworld book and is the focus of at least two of them... There is Gaspode the talking dog, Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax, Lu Tze the History Monk, Susan Sto Helit (Death's daughter), Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully and the faculty of Unseen University (motto: Nunc id vides, nunc ne vides), the Auditors, zombie Reg Shoe, the Luggage and (mostly) reformed con man Moist von Lipwig. And those are just some of the characters Discworld readers see repeatedly and come to love. Really, they're not characters—they're people. Even the trolls and dwarves and anthromorphic personifications..."

http://tinyurl.com/mkee62m


Blogger Honya thoroughly enjoyed Dodger:

"Dodger is truly an excellent historical novel. Terry Pratchett brings both the place and the people of early Victorian London to life vividly. There is a rich amount of historical detail, down to the slang that permeates the story. Moreover, the writing flows well, is both exciting and easy to read, yet is rich in expression, full of fresh, unexpected turns of phrase and vivid metaphors. The characters themselves are equally vibrant–colorful, complex, not always sure who they are themselves, yet carrying on nevertheless. Finally, I appreciate that Pratchett takes a time and people group that had very little hope and portrays them honestly, but still provides a story that is neither grim nor ultimately hopeless..."

http://honyasbookshelf.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/dodger/


In an uncredited review on the Twitbookclub site, a blogger was delighted by Unseen Academicals:

"I was worried that I wouldn't get a lot of the references or tied in histories of Unseen Academicals. My worries were put to rest of course by Pratchett's clever way of treating the book as -almost- a novel on its own. He adds useful anecdotes where needed and adds just the right amount of character building for you to get the feel of his characters without having to read any of the numerous prequels to this one. I myself instantly felt affection for those crazy old nutters at the Unseen University, their 'Old Boy' mentality and 'delegation of delegation duties' reminds me all too well of grammar school days where the teachers still dressed in 'bat cloaks.'

"The fact this book was about Football didn't deter me one bit, as his perfect balance of humour and satire made situations both on the pitch and off make me snigger to myself loud enough to make people worry about my mental health. Not only football, but pokes at said Old Boy ways and the world of fashion had me grinning and devouring the pages as I went..."

http://tinyurl.com/lucua5o


The gloriously ginger allmyrandomnotes enthuses over Monstrous Regiment:

"Unlike some of the series that are focused on recurring characters, the main characters in Monstrous Regiment are standalone. Some of the familiar Ankh-Morpork crowd (for those familiar with the series) is there, but mainly as supporting characters. Polly, the main character from the recruits, is one determined girl exhibiting a whole lot of common sense, and sergeant Jackrum is another one of those flawed, loud, larger than life Pratchett characters that I find brilliant and entertaining. From the small country with a ridiculously restrictive religion, to the war that they couldn't win but were fighting out of pride, to the girls that end up finding themselves on the quest, it is a very entertaining story brilliantly tackling in a satirical way serious topics. However, the serious topics it tackles do not take anything away from the sheer enjoyableness of the prose...."

http://tinyurl.com/kvv3e3u


Blogger Andrew Knighton is back with a post about books he will always keep:

"Of all the writers who have been active in my lifetime, Pratchett is the one whose wonderful work I most want to pass on to future generations. The tone of these stories may have shifted hugely over time, but I still love them all, from the weird satire of Colour of Magic to the heart-warming philosophising of his latest works. I've read half at least twice, Pyramids many more times than that, and Small Gods is one of my favourite reflections on religion. The man's a treasure, and I treasure his books... I'm not a big keeper of books as objects. But if anyone harms my signed Pratchett there will be trouble..."

http://tinyurl.com/k6eo3s5


Blogger Nicolle goes postal for Going Postal:

"In one sentence, I would describe this book as a wonderful creation myth for the post office. A convicted swindler, Moist von Lipwig, is offered a second chance at life as the Postmaster of Ankh-Morpork, and we follow him on his journey from continuously trying to figure out a means of escape to figuring out ways to reestablish to the post office to its former glory. The enemy is the Grand Truck clacks communication (a form of text messaging) service. As a person who loves to write letters and creating mail art, I loved this story. At times, I really felt myself wishing that I could step into this world...."

http://culturejaunt.com/2013/11/05/favorite-books-of-october/


Teacher, marathoner and blogger J.E. aka runninginmyhead came to Discworld via the clicks;

"Normally, I read the book before the movie and then spend the length of the feature critiquing it. But, to this point, I was unaware of the beauty and glory that is the Disc. That changed the following weekend. While browsing our local bookstore (a chain, the last local closed a year before), I decided to track down the book upon which the film was based. The book is superb and remains one of my favorite Discworld novels. However, I couldn't get enough. I began to buy a book a week, soon accumulating the entire series (except for Last Hero and Raising Steam, which was released today), including the so-called 'children's books' (which aren't just for kids, in case you didn't know). Today, they occupy a prominent space in my personal library, with Good Omens being my most recent purchase..."

http://tinyurl.com/q79td4c


The blogger known only as Choosing talks about how Tiffany Aching's "this I choose to do" mantra, in Wintersmith, has been a major life influence:

"These words have had a powerful impact on me when I first read them, and they still have. They have become my personal mantra, in big things and in small ones. Life is about choices. Choices like staying home with the kids, doing diapers and laundry and dishes – yes, and being with them while they grow, show them the world, show them the words, help those wonderful minds and souls unfold. But also little choices like what to put first on a normal weekday morning, a chore or a passion. Sometimes, when I am doing things that are boring or annoying, I remind myself. This I choose to do. I do it now. I could do something else, but I am doing this now for a reason. No one forces my hand, I could stop any second. But I choose to do it. And therefore there is no need to feel anger or boredom. I am fully aware that there are a lot of things in life that we cannot choose – things that present themselves to us wether we like them or not. Life is full of moments that look like we do not have a choice at all. But I do believe that there is always something we can choose: our reaction to these things. We might not be able to change the things themselves, but if we stand still for a moment we might realise that we are not really forced into reacting in a certain way, even if it feels like this. We can choose to get angry – or not. We can choose to be afraid – or not..."

http://choosingblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/this-i-choose-to-do/


...and finally, blogger reuoq gives high praise to The Long War:

"I really loved the extra chance to explore this world (or these worlds, I suppose is more accurate), and I can't wait until the next book comes out, apparently next year. I did get a bit confused by the plot towards the end, not sure where it was heading, and I was left wondering what had just happened at one point, right near the end where all the climaxes happened. Part of this may have been confusion at the three or four story strands happening simultaneously (there are two whole new sets of characters introduced who travel across the worlds in different directions for different reasons). Part of it may have been that I was expecting more of an actual 'war' to happen during the book, whereas it didn't seem to turn out that way in the end, the word being more metaphorical. A little bit more streamlining of the plot would have been nice. I definitely think people should get into this series, in any case..."

http://reuoq.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/book-42-the-long-war-2013/

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

12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Fabulous retro poster for the new railway, by Paul Childs:

http://tinyurl.com/m6ejnoo


The Wyrd Sisters, ably depicted by the Guisbrough Theatre Club:

http://tinyurl.com/ld3cv6e


Sir Pterry with the very first copy of Raising Steam, hot off the presses:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXxSvIeIEAAHrLK.jpg


An excellent Luggage birthday cake by WOSSNAME's own Sir Jase:

http://tinyurl.com/kud8znk


This fan-art by Sixteentons is interesting because the artist appears to have attempted to cast Hugh Laurie as Vimes:

http://sixteentons.tumblr.com/post/65031705721/first-impressions


This one by Ivka Hrzalova is excellent:

http://tinyurl.com/l3myrrv


This one by Rhianimated looks to me like a believable Rincewind, though at the age of about seventeen (click to enlarge):

http://tinyurl.com/lgdpyl3


...and here we have an almost painfully cute Moist and Adora Belle from the Going Postal days, to be found on the blog of Farilian, a doctoral student studying, yes, the works of Terry Pratchett:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7hz432oyV1rtb5xpo1_500.png

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

13) CLOSE

Before I sign off, here be an interview on GeekSybdicate with the Backspindle lads, creators of the "Guards! Guards!" board game:

"GS: Why do you think board games are coming back in a big way?

BSG: The flagging world economy has certainly helped. Less money to go out. More people are rediscovering the value of social gaming...."

http://tinyurl.com/lwh4hjm


Don't forget, Steeleye Span's Wintersmith album is now on general release! Have an action replay of the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ6QgOA1pj4

To order the Wintersmith CD from Amazon UK:

http://tinyurl.com/mtpwr89

To buy from Park Records:

https://parkre.secureconnection.com/cgi-bin/shop.pl


...and finally, this infobit from a blogger who attended Sir Pterry's talk at the World Fantasy Con earlier this month:

"Sir Terry Pratchett has a chicken named Biggles. Biggles can fly, but doesn't know how to land."

If Biggles fancies a Fourecksian adventure, I am sure my own hens would be delighted to play host...

And that's it for this issue. WOSSNAME wishes all our USA readers a happy Thanksgiving. We'll see you all next time!

– Annie Mac

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———————————————————————————————————
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: interact (at) pearwood (dot) info
———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion


October 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 10, Post 1)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...
********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) RAISING STEAM NEWS
04) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
05) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
06) MADDY PRIOR INTERVIEWED RE WINTERSMITH
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
09) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
10) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
13) CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"He looked proudly at the Combination Harvester. Of course, you needed a horse to pull it. That spoiled things a bit. Horses belonged to Yesterday; Tomorrow belonged to the Combination Harvester and its descendants, which would make the world a cleaner and better place. It was just a matter of taking the horse out of the equation. He'd tried clockwork, and that wasn't powerful enough. Maybe if he tried winding a – Behind him, the kettle boiled over and put the fire out. Simnel fought his way through the steam. That was the bloody trouble, every time. Whenever someone was trying to do a bit of sensible thinking, there was always some pointless distraction."

– Reaper Man (Gollancz 1991 hardcover, p. 153)

"He is friendly to his fans and really open... He had no qualms about talking to people, would sit for hours in bookshops with enormous queues and he wouldn't go until everybody had been up to have their book signed. He's probably one of the most approachable people I have ever met. He really is."

– Pat Harkin on Pterry

"When I'm a long way from home and need cheering up, Terry Pratchett's Discworld books do the trick."

– author Val McDermid

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02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Now this is what you can call a packed issue! It includes plenty of exciting information, and if I've gone a wee bit overboard on the exclamation marks, at least there is no instance of five in a row...

The Steeleye Span "Wintersmith" album is released today, and here's to it making plenty of waves... or drifts, as that's more appropriate. Go to item 6.3 below and have a watch and listen. Whether the band and the folk-rock genre are to your taste or not – and while I admit that my personal first choice to do an album based on Wintersmith would have been a reunited Planxty or The Waterboys, I'm not Terry Pratchett and it's only right that *his* favourite band should handle the project! – I defy you to listen to the whoosh of wind and the tinkling ice sounds at the beginning of the album trailer without feeling the shiver of combined delight and fear that the true spirit of Winter inspires.** "Wintersmith" features my second favourite folk fiddle player in the world, whose interview about the album and about working with Sir Pterry can be found below at item 6.2.

** That's for the many places that have actual winter, of course. Of which Fourecks is not one. My husband, a born-and-bred Fourecksian, once told me about how amazed he was, on seeing the film "Fargo" before we met, at the vast expanses of snow-covered landscape. I admit I goggled at him: "But but but that's just normal winter in North Dakota! And most of the upper end of the USA! And nearly all of Canada. And most of northern Europe! And and and..." Yes, there's a reason why seasonal skiers down here say they're "going to the snow" – it's because they only have one of them...

*

Also down in section 6, Cory Doctorow interviews Sir Pterry about The Carpet People (which is about to be released in the USA for the first time ever, don't forget!). Doctorow, one of my own favourite science fiction writers and a (sometimes caped) crusader for freedom and privacy issues – not to mention being the benevolent ruler of BoingBoing – asks some very interesting questions, and Sir Pterry gives some very interesting answers. Enjoy!

*

In other news, American publishers have struck a new ten-book deal for USA Pratchett releases – or more properly, a pair of deals!

"The first book, 'Raising Steam,' will be released in March as part of a seven-figure deal. Mr. Pratchett, whose books have sold more than 80 million copies, is known for his satirical series 'Discworld.' Edward Kastenmeier, executive editor at Vintage Anchor, is the acquiring editor. 'Terry's work has a huge following and an enormous footprint in the fantasy world, as they were the first adopters of his enthralling, hilarious fiction,' Mr. Kastenmeier said. 'With mainstream readers warming to the work of Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin, we see this as a crossover moment for Terry, an opportunity to expand his audience.'"

http://tinyurl.com/lnbbol9

Here be some more details, courtesy of Colin Smythe:

There is a seven-book deal with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group that covers the 40th Discworld novel, Raising Steam, the four Science of Discworld books, A Blink of the Screen, and the forthcoming A Slip of the Keyboard. Transworld/RandomHouse UK are licensing three additional titles to Doubleday/Knopf/Anchor: an updated edition of The Folklore of Discworld, The World of Poo and The Compleat Ankh-Morpork.

The schedule of releases for 2014 are as follows:

March 2014: Raising Steam (Doubleday, in hardcover); The Folklore of Discworld (Anchor, paperback only) June 2014: The Science of Discworld (Anchor, paperback only) December 2014: The Compleat Ankh-Morpork (Doubleday, hardcover only); The Science of Discworld 2: The Globe (Anchor, paperback only).

I know many of you American Pratchett fans are dismayed by the delayed release date for Raising Steam, but on the other hand you will be getting a number of releases formerly not planned for the USA.

A further note about changed released dates: as the UK Doubleday edition of A Slip of the Keyboard was replaced in Doubleday's publishing schedule by Raising Steam, it will not be published until October 2014. But again worth waiting for!

*

Jacqueline Blitenthall asks a fascinating question: "How do you get 'rights' to using a Paul Kirby drawing as a tattoo idea?" (I assume she means Paul *Kidby*.) In this case I would imagine the best way is to write to Mr Kidby via his website or Facebook page, but as we already know, there are hundreds of Kidby-derived Discworld tattoos out there that came about as a result of the customer taking an illustration in to an inker and asking for it to be turned into a tattoo. However, it does give one to think: of course Team Discworld is far too civilised to chase after unauthorised Discworld tattoo- wearers with a "have that lasered off right now or else!" solicitor's letter, right? – but I can imagine scenarios like that involving the evil lawyers of certain megacorporations, can't you? "Take that Mickey and Minnie tatt off RIGHT!NOW! or there will be trouble and no mistake!!!" It's certainly worth passing along to intellectual rights discussion boards to see what the fair-use gurus think.

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) RAISING STEAM NEWS

As the countdown to the publication of Raising Steam enters its final days, some more teasers...

3.1 A POSTER!

Here be a printable sepia poster version of the official Raising Steam cover, and a handsome thing it is too. To view via the Raising Steam Machine, go to http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=2792 and
enter the password 2261. Or to view directly, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/mvfofdc


3.2 EEE BAH GUM! AN EXTRACT! ALL ABOUT THE DISC'S "MAN OF STEAM"!

As readers of Reaper Man will remember, Ned Simnel of Sheepridge was the inventor of the ill-fated Combination Harvester. When we left young Ned, he was picking up the pieces of his failed machine. It would seem, according to the (deliciously long and intriguing!) extract below, that in the years after the events of Reaper Man Ned Simnel married and fathered a son, and also developed an interest in the potential of steam power. It would also seem that Sheepridge is in the Discworld version of what we might call "storybook Yorkshire" (I suspect your Editor is not the only one who will find themselves hearing the theme music from Last of the Summer Wine as they read the extract).

If you want the fun of going through the Raising Steam Machine to see it in all its image-of-vellum loveliness – and yes, someone has put a lot of work into these teasers and done a very good job – go to http://terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=2818 and click on the "Read all about him" link; the password to enter is 2112.

If you want to cut to the chase and view the extract the "fast" way, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/p4dabt8

And if your internet is acting up or you just want plain text, the extract is reproduced below for your convenience:

"Some background information on the man behind the railway

"Dick Simnel was ten years old when, back at the family smithy in Sheepridge, his father simply disappeared in a cloud of furnace parts and flying metal, all enveloped in a pink steam. He was never found in the terrible haze of scorching dampness, but on that very day young Dick Simnel vowed to whatever was left of his father in that boiling steam that he would make steam his servant.

"His mother had other ideas. She was a midwife, and as she said to her neighbours, 'Babbies are born everywhere. I'll never be without a customer.' So, against her son's wishes, Elsie Simnel decided to take him away from what she now considered to be a haunted place. She packed up their belongings and together they returned to her family home near Sto Lat, where people didn't inexplicably disappear in a hot pink cloud.

"Soon after they arrived something important happened to her boy. One day while waiting for her to return from a difficult delivery, Dick walked into a building that looked interesting, and which turned out to be a library. At first he thought it was full of poncy stuff, all kings and poets and lovers and battles, but in one crucial book he found something called mathematics and the world of numbers.

"And that was why, some ten years later, he pulled together every fibre of his being and said, 'Mother, you know last year when I said I were going hiking in the mountains of Uberwald with me mates, well it were kind of...sort of...a kind of lie, only very small, mind you.' Dick blushed. He didn't like lying to his mother and so continued, 'You see, I found t'keys to Dad's old shed and, well, I went back to Sheepridge and did some experimenting and...' He looked at his mother anxiously. 'I think I know what 'e were doing wrong.'

"Dick was braced for stiff objections, but he hadn't reckoned on tears – so many tears – and as he tried to console her he added, 'You, Mother, and Uncle Flavius got me an education, you got me the knowing of the numbers, including arithmetic and weird stuff dreamed up by the philosophers in Ephebe where even camels can do logarithms on their toes. Dad didn't know this stuff. He had the right ideas but he didn't have the...tech-nol-ogy right.'

"At this point, Dick allowed his mother to talk and she said, 'I know there's no stopping you, our Dick, you're just like your stubborn father were, pigheaded. Is that what you've been doin' in the barn? Teck-ology?' She looked at him accusingly, then sighed. 'I can see I can't tell you what to do, but you tell me: how can your "logger- reasons" stop you goin' the way of your poor old dad?' She started sobbing again.

"Dick pulled out of his jacket something that looked like a small wand, which might have been made for a miniature wizard, and said, 'This'll keep me safe, Mother! I've the knowing of the sliding rule! I can tell the sine what to do, and the cosine likewise and work out the tangent of the quaderatics! Come on, Mother, stop fretting and come wi' me now t'barn. You must see 'er!'

"Mrs Simnel, reluctant, was dragged to the great open barn he had kitted out like the workshop back at Sheepridge, hoping against hope that her son had accidentally found himself a girl.

"Inside the barn she looked helplessly at a large circle of metal which covered most of the floor. Something metallic whizzed round and round on the metal, sounding like a squirrel in a cage, giving off a smell much like camphor.

"'Here she is, Mother. Ain't she gradely?" Dick said happily. 'I call her the Iron Girder!'

"'But what is it, son?'

"He grinned hugely and said, 'It's what they call a pro-to-type, Mother. You've got to 'ave a pro-to-type if you're going to be an engineer.'

"His mother smiled wanly but there was no stopping Dick. The words just tumbled out.

"'The thing is, Mother, before you attempt owt you've got to 'ave some idea of what it is you want to do. One of the books I found in the library was about being an architect. And in that book, the man who wrote it said before he built his next big 'ouse he always made quite tiny models to get an idea of how it would all work out. He said it sounds fiddly and stuff, but going slowly and being thorough is the only way forward. And so I'm testing 'er out slowly, seeing what works and what doesn't. And actually, I'm quite proud of meself. In the beginning I made the track wooden, but I reckoned that the engine I wanted would be very 'eavy, so I chopped up t'wooden circle for firewood and went back to t'forge.'

"Mrs Simnel looked at the little mechanism running round and round on the barn floor and said, in the voice of someone really trying to understand, 'Eee, lad, but what does it do?'

"'Well, I remembered what Dad said about t'time he were watching t'kettle boiling and noticed t'lid going up and down with the pressure, and he told me that one day someone would build a bigger kettle that would lift more than a kettle lid. And I believe I have the knowing of the way to build a proper kettle, Mother.'"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"For an additional sneak preview of what's to come, see the paperback edition of the Station Master's Dodger, which is available now from all good booksellers (and possibly the odd bad one too)."


3.3 A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

In this video, Sir Pterry muses briefly on the technology of steam and the coming of the railway.

http://youtu.be/XBFYXqelmr4

Accompanied by, once again, the teaser blurb:

"Change is afoot in Ankh-Morpork – Discworld's first steam engine has arrived, and once again Moist von Lipwig finds himself with a new and challenging job.

"To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork – a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it's soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

"Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work – as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital . . . but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don't always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse . . .

"Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi' t'flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs and some very angry dwarfs if he's going to stop it all going off the rails . . .

"The new Discworld novel, the 40th in the series, sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town."

http://www.raisingsteam.co.uk/

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

04) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT

4.1 CORY INTERVIEWS PTERRY!


In which a leading light of science fiction interviews a leading light of fantasy and science fiction:

"Cory Doctorow: The Carpet People was your first novel, and now the fortieth book in your Discworld series is about to be published. Do you think you could have kept us in the Carpet for anything like forty books?

"Terry Pratchett: I was about to say, 'No,' but right now I wonder. . . . If the idea had taken, I don't know. I really don't. But how would it be? People in the Carpet are more or less tribal. What would happen if I . . . You've got me thinking!

"CD: You took a bunch of runs at building a world where a million stories could unfold — The Carpet People, Truckers, and, finally, Discworld. Is Discworld's near-total untethering from our world the secret of its staying power?

"TP: It isn't our world, but on the other hand it is very much like our world. Discworld takes something from this world all the time, shows you bits of the familiar world in new light by putting them into Discworld...

"CD: One thing I've always enjoyed about your books with feudal settings is that it seems you get something like the correct ratio of vassals to lords. So much of fantasy seems very top-heavy. Do you consciously think about political and economic considerations when you're devising a world?

"TP: I've never been at home with lords and ladies, kings, and rubbish like that, because it's not so much fun. Take a protagonist from the bottom of the heap and they've got it all to play for. Whereas people in high places, all they can do is, well . . . I don't know, actually: I've never been that high. If you have the underdog in front of you, that means you're going to have fun, because what the underdog is going to want to do is be the upper dog or be no dog at all..."

To read the full interview, go to http://tinyurl.com/khs6ytv and don't be put off by the fact that it's an Amazon page. Just scroll down until you reach the interview! – Ed.


4.2 REMINDER: PTERRY AND ROB AT WORLD FANTASY IN NOVEMBER!

"We are delighted to announce that Sir Terry Pratchett will be dropping by World Fantasy Convention 2013 on the Friday, 1 November 2013. The 2010 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be in conversation with Rob Wilkins, talking about his life and career, as well as hopefully reading from his 40th 'Discworld' novel, Raising Steam, published by Transworld the following week."

http://www.wfc2013.org/


4.3 "THE CARPET PEOPLE": ONLINE EXTRACT AND TRAILER!

Here be an extract from The Carpet People. Go read!

http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/the-carpet-people-excerpt

...and here be a fine little trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6XSAhx6yG4


4.4 DISCWORLD COLLECTOR'S LIBRARY!

Hogswatch is a-comin', the bookshelves are too bare... here's a great gift idea – Gollancz are to release extremely reasonably priced hardcover versions of the first 21 Discworld novels, including the earliest ones that were formerly only available as paperbacks:

"Gollancz is delighted to announce the launch of a long-anticipated, and beautiful, new project: The Discworld Collector's Library. This project, developed in consultation with Sir Terry Pratchett, will see the release of a beautiful, affordable new set of hardback editions of the Discworld novels, from The Colour of Magic to Jingo, for readers who love the Discworld and would like high quality editions to treasure.

"Sir Terry Pratchett said: 'The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books can distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned second-hand bookshop, so just think what a lovely big collection of Discworld novels like this might do.'

"Gollancz began publishing the Discworld novels, which have sold more than 85 million copies around the world, in hardback in 1987 and have worked with Sir Terry Pratchett ever since. He has become the most shop-lifted author in the UK, selling more than 2.5 million copies every year, and these will be the most desirable editions of his novels yet published.

"The Discworld Collector's Library will be published thematically, beginning in November 2013, as stunning B-format hardbacks at an affordable £9.99 – and that's cutting our own throats!"

The covers are charmingly illustrated by Joe McLaren. Gollancz are releasing the titles under a theme of, well, themes. Here be the info including release dates:

The Death Collection
November 2013: Reaper Man; Mort
December 2013: Hogfather; Soul Music

The Cultures of Discworld Collection
January 2014: Small Gods; Pyramids

The Unseen University Collection
February 2014: Eric; Sourcery
May 2014: Interesting Times; Moving Pictures
August 2014: The Colour of Magic; The Light Fantastic

The City Watch Collection
March 2014: Guards! Guards!; Men at Arms
June 2014: Feet of Clay; Jingo

The Witches Collection
April 2014: Equal Rites; Wyrd Sisters
July 2014: Witches Abroad; Lords and Ladies; Maskerade

The publishers add, "N.B. Apologies to our North American readers but we're afraid these editions will not be available in the US or Canada. This is not because we don't like you – its because our contract only allows us UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights. Sorry."

http://tinyurl.com/n7zvr6k


ISBNs, for your information:

MORT is 9781473200104 and REAPER MAN is 9781473200111.


4.5 JUNIOR SHORTLISTED FOR A GAME AWARD!

"The UK Writers' Guild has announced the shortlist for its 2013 awards, with game writers Rhianna Pratchett, Mike Bithell and Graham Goring up for the Video Games award. The award aims to highlight the best storytelling in video games during the last year. Pratchett's work on Tomb Raider is up for nomination, while Mike Bithell's Thomas Was Alone and Graham Goring's Lego City Undercover story are also highlighted. The award will be presented to the winner next month in London."

http://tinyurl.com/mk9psdf


4.6 REMINDER: STEELEYE SPAN LIVE WINTERSMITH TOUR ITINERARY!

"This time the band has looked even further afield and has found inspiration in the work of famous British author, Terry Pratchett. Famous for his series of Discworld novels Terry is a long-standing fan of the band, even booking them to play at his sixtieth birthday party... Fans will be able to get a taste of these new songs along with the familiar classics and gems on the band's forthcoming UK tour."

The tour kicks off on 15th November at the Babbacombe Theatre in Torquay, Devon, and carries on through the West Country before moving on to the Northeast and on around Britain. For a comprehensive listing of tour dates through December, refer to last month's issue of WOSSNAME or visit the Park Records site:

http://parkrecords.com/tourdates.php


4.7 "THE DUEL" COMES TO LIFE!

You may remember several features we've done here on "The Duel", the short animated film about duelling wizards produced by a collective of animation students with the approving collaboration of Professor Sir Pterry. The film is now finished!

First off, a video of the debut, featuring Sir Pterry in a marvellous new hat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwxv7UBN8UM

Then, the Press...

In Animation World Network, which features a number of iconographs from the film:

"Set in the 'Unseen University' of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld, The Duel is a new animated short film produced by the Animation Hub, a collaboration between the Irish School of Animation (ISA) at Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Irish animation studio, Giant Animation Studios... World-renowned fantasy and science fiction novelist, and Adjunct Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, Sir Terry Pratchett was hands-on engaged with the production, working with both institutions and the team from Giant Animation Studios. The short film has blended fantasy and reality, with notable Irish landmarks set amongst the unreal environments of this animated adventure. Commenting on his involvement in the project, Sir Terry Pratchett said: 'The Duel is something new from something old – Discworld was borrowed by the students in the Animation Hub to produce a wholly new adventure. It's wonderful to see this type of project supported and made real – and we had a lot of fun while we were at it.' ... Professor David Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Australia, formerly of Trinity and an executive producer of the film said: 'Having The Duel premiere in Dublin is a fitting conclusion to a great collaboration that has blended both teaching and practice, combining originality and creativity, while providing students with a unique opportunity to work alongside one of the world's most prolific and popular authors.'..."

http://www.awn.com/news/short-films/ireland-s-duel-debuts-trinity

In Irish Film and Television News:

"The aim of the project was to see students from both institutions afforded the opportunity to gain experience in a professional-grade studio while learning from industry professionals Giant Animation, who spearheaded the production... The film is three minutes long and straddles the line between fantasy and reality, featuring real locations from around Dublin fused with the surreal landscape of Pratchett's Discworld. Speaking to IFTN, Giant Animation's Daniel Spencer said: 'The screening went very well - Terry really enjoyed it, the crowd really enjoyed it... Our next screening of note is at the Discworld convention down in Limerick, and what we're going to be doing after that is putting it on the festival circuit'..."

http://tinyurl.com/mx3k2vm


In Animation Magazine, with additional images:

"The aim of the project was the develop the skills of students from TCD and BCFE in animation, music composition, motion capture and acting (The Lir Academy) by integrating them into production under the guidance of Giant. The Duel was supported through funding from the Irish Film Board, Trinity, Giant and Ballyfermot..."

http://tinyurl.com/lkx7vps


In the Irish Independent:

"Speaking at the screening of 'The Duel' in TCD last night, Pratchett said he was "very impressed" with the finished product. "I'm amazed. "All I did was write the book," he said. Praising the work carried out on the project, he revealed he was not apprehensive about the group taking on the world he created: "They only needed a little push in the right direction. "I thought, 'let them do their stuff, it's not really up to me'. All the words I use were made up by a lot of people before I was born, so they allowed me to use them. So if you find them doing something where they are having fun, and it's looking good – that's what I think is the best thing." ... Gareth Lee, one of the producers, said it was "fantastic" to work with the 65-year-old, who acted as an executive producer on the project. "The 'Discworld' is a fantastic world to be able to play around with," Mr Lee said. He added that the author took his role very seriously: "He gave us a lot of creative freedom.'..."

http://tinyurl.com/px7ckhj


4.8 DOCTOR WHITEFACE WOULD NOT BE AMUSED!

You may have read recently of a murder in Mexico supposedly carried out by clowns... well, now the clowns are up in arms – and noses – in protest:

"Clowns gathered at a convention in Mexico City have denied any of their colleagues were behind the killing of a former drug cartel leader last Friday. Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, was killed in a beach resort in Baja California in north-western Mexico. Gunmen dressed as clowns opened fire on the former leading member of the once-powerful and violent Tijuana cartel, authorities say. Around 500 clowns at the convention held a 'laugh-a-ton' rally for peace.

"A clown leader said if a real member of the profession had been involved in the shooting, they would have been easily identifiable by their costumes, masks and painting. 'The people who do that, they're not clowns. I can swear on my mother's grave it wasn't a clown,' Tomas Morales, whose stage name is Clown Llantom, told Associated Press news agency. They say clowns are frequently victims of robberies and their costumes and masks are then used to commit other crimes..."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24648526


In The Independent, more about the clown convention:

"Colourful wigs, large shoes, red noses and doubtless a fine collection of squirty plastic flowers were on show at the first day of the convention at a theatre in Mexico City. On arrival, and in order to register for the conference, clowns were asked to raise their 'official clown rulebook', without which they wouldn't be able to register. According to Associated Press some clowns could only raise an imaginary rulebook 'while making a sad face.' During the four-day event, the clowns competed in best makeup, improvisation, best group show, juggling and, of course, best balloon shaping..."

http://tinyurl.com/keuvszn

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05) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

5.1 A POSSIBLE BREAKTHROUGH


From BBC News:

"The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as an exciting and historic moment in medical research. More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients. But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases... It is rare to get cautious scientists keen to describe a study in mice as a turning point in treating Alzheimer's. It is early science, a lot can go wrong between a drug for mice and a drug for humans and the only published data is for prion disease, not even Alzheimer's. So why the excitement? It is the first time that any form of neurodegeneration has been completely halted, so it is a significant landmark. It shows that the process being targeted has serious potential... In Parkinson's the alpha-synuclein protein goes wrong, in Alzheimer's it's amyloid and tau, in Huntingdon's it's the Huntingtin protein. But the errant protein is irrelevant here as the researchers are targeting the way a cell deals with any misfolded protein. It means one drug could cure many diseases and that really would be something to get excited about... The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, showed mice with prion disease developed severe memory and movement problems. They died within 12 weeks. However, those given the compound showed no sign of brain tissue wasting away..."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24462699

In The Guardian:

"The Medical Research Council (MRC) team focused on the root cause of many degenerative brain diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's – abnormally shaped proteins that stick together in clumps and fibres. When enough misshapen protein builds up in the brain, it can trigger a reaction that results in the death of nerve cells. Other approaches have sought to stop or limit the accumulation of the abnormal protein, whose structure is folded the wrong way. Instead, the MRC team targeted the harmful way brain cells react to misfolded proteins. Using a drug injected into the stomachs of mice, they flipped a cellular switch from off to on to prevent neurons dying. Five weeks after treatment, one group of mice remained free of symptoms such as memory loss, impaired reflexes or limb dragging. They also lived longer than untreated animals with the same disease... The research, reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, duplicated previous results achieved by the same team by means of genetic engineering. As in the earlier study, a neurodegenerative disease caused by abnormal prion proteins was induced in the mice. Prion diseases, which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), are rare in humans but share the same underlying cause – misfolded proteins – as more common conditions such as Alzheimer's...

"Commenting on the research, Prof Roger Morris, from the department of chemistry at King's College London, said: 'This is the first convincing report that a small drug, of the type most conveniently turned into medicines, stops the progressive death of neurons in the brain as found, for instance, in Alzheimer's disease. True, this study has been done in mice, not man; and it is prion disease, not Alzheimer's, that has been cured. However, there is considerable evidence that the way neurons die in both diseases is similar; and lessons learned in mice from prion disease have proved accurate guides to attenuate the progress of Alzheimer's disease in patients. This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's disease.'..."

http://tinyurl.com/mqurgcv


Also in The Guardian, a Q&A, "Everything you need to know about new research that could lead to future treatments for neurodegenerative diseases":

"Researchers led by Giovanna Mallucci at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, based at the University of Leicester have found that a chemical compound (called GSK2606414) could block some of the UPR's functions in a mouse's brain and stop the death of brain cells. Mice that had been infected with a prion disease developed symptoms (such as memory and movement problems) within 12 weeks, whereas those treated with the drug twice a day showed no signs of disease over the same period. Their results were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Specifically, the drug was found to inhibit a part of the UPR defence mechanism called the PERK pathway. The researchers said that this pathway could form a target for future drugs to treat neurodegenerative problems...

"To get into human trials after a succesful mouse study, scientists would have to first trial the drug in larger mammals and then, because this is a brain-related compound, in primates. After many years (perhaps decades) of work like this, the drug might make it to limited numbers of patients in early-stage clinical trials. There are a lot of big ifs along that path and only a tiny proportion of promising-looking drugs make it that far...

"In an accompanying article in the journal, scientists not involved in the work pointed out that a deficiency in PERK causes Wollcott- Rallison syndrome in humans, which can lead to problems in the pancreas and neonatal diabetes. In addition, there could be weight loss and problems in organs such as the kidney and liver..."

http://tinyurl.com/l2uv7ho

Here is the source page for the original study:

http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/5/206/206ra138

Also, do remember to drop by the Alzheimer's Research blog, http://www.dementiablog.org – and read the post about this new discovery and its implications:

http://www.dementiablog.org/neurodegeneration-common-cure/


5.2 A CHEAP DIAGNOSTIC TOOL?

"A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can be used to confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer's disease, University of Florida Health researchers have found. Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and her colleagues reported the findings of a small pilot study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences... She noticed while shadowing in Heilman's clinic that patients were not tested for their sense of smell. The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline. Stamps also had been working in the laboratory of Linda Bartoshuk, the William P. Bushnell presidentially endowed professor in the College of Dentistry's department of community dentistry and behavioral sciences and director of human research in the Center for Smell and Taste. 'Dr. Heilman said, "If you can come up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it,"' Stamps said. She thought of peanut butter because, she said, it is a 'pure odorant' that is only detected by the olfactory nerve and is easy to access.

"In the study, patients who were coming to the clinic for testing also sat down with a clinician, 14 grams of peanut butter — which equals about one tablespoon — and a metric ruler. The patient closed his or her eyes and mouth and blocked one nostril. The clinician opened the peanut butter container and held the ruler next to the open nostril while the patient breathed normally. The clinician then moved the peanut butter up the ruler one centimeter at a time during the patient's exhale until the person could detect an odor. The distance was recorded and the procedure repeated on the other nostril after a 90-second delay. The clinicians running the test did not know the patients' diagnoses, which were not usually confirmed until weeks after the initial clinical testing. The scientists found that patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease had a dramatic difference in detecting odor between the left and right nostril — the left nostril was impaired and did not detect the smell until it was an average of 10 centimeters closer to the nose than the right nostril had made the detection in patients with Alzheimer's disease..."

http://news.ufl.edu/2013/10/08/alzheimers-test/

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

06) WINTERSMITH ALBUM UPDATES

6.1 MADDY PRIOR INTERVIEW


In the Bucks Free Press, Pterry's old haunt:

"What's [Pratchett] like to work with?

"He's still as astute as he ever was. He misses nothing. He notices everything and remembers things. We had a day with him recently doing stuff around the album.

"So you've looked through his books and basically put music to it?

"Yes – he suggested we do it, and it took us a couple of years to get round to it, because we are like that, and we have finally done it. I have to say they are great songs. It's going to be a really nice album. It should be really powerful. It is out in the middle of our tour, hopefully. Given the normal run of things, it will be the tour plus three days, by the time it gets out. It never happens bang on time!

"He's happy with it?

"Yes, he is delighted. I don't think he's heard all of it yet, but we haven't heard all of it yet..."

http://tinyurl.com/m75xoqg


6.2 PETER KNIGHT INTERVIEW

Steeleye Span's fiddle man speaks:

"Fantasy author Terry Pratchett paid violinist Peter Knight the most elegant compliment when he called him 'the man who can spin the world on his bow'. Peter, who is coming to Sheffield with his band Gigspanner next week and has been performing with Steeleye Span for 40 years, was suitably impressed. 'It's a beautiful thing for him to say,' he said. 'We were playing at his 60th birthday party. He loves Steeleye Span and that's how our Wintersmith project came about.'

Peter was prompted to mention a potential collaboration with the Discworld author and to his joy found he jumped at the chance. Terry Pratchett sent the members of Steeleye Span away to read Wintersmith and his other novels featuring his character Tiffany Aching, who is a trainee witch. Band members were inspired to write songs and that has resulted in the Wintersmith CD, which is out this winter. Peter said: 'I've just heard the mixes of a couple of my songs. They sound fantastic and it's going to be a very good album. You're never really sure when you're doing it.' Perhaps that sounds surprising but he has been around for long enough never to take anything for granted..."

http://tinyurl.com/k7lott2


6.3 A LIVE TRAILER!

Terry Pratchett and Maddy Prior discuss the creative process of the Wintersmith collaboration, with contributions for other members of Steeleye Span, over the music of new album track The Dark Morris as played live in concert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ6QgOA1pj4


To order the Wintersmith CD from Amazon UK:

http://tinyurl.com/mtpwr89


To buy from label, Park Records:

https://parkre.secureconnection.com/cgi-bin/shop.pl

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

O7) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

7.1 HOGSWATCH 2013 IN WINCANTON!


Not a convention as such, but certainly an Event! Ankh-Morpork's beloved twin town is pushing the boat out for Hogswatch this year! And you certainly have to push a boat to get it across the Ankh...

"Join us on the 29th November – 1st December for our famous Hogswatch festivities in Wincanton, Somerset, and revel in entertainments diverse and unusual in Ankh-Morpork's own twin town. This year we're celebrating the 30th anniversary of our beloved Discworld, so dress as one of the hundreds of characters or concepts that have graced the pages of Terry Pratchett's fantasical work over the years, or just don your best party outfit, at least a tinsel garnish, and come join in the fun!

"The weekend's merriments will include a series of Unseen University Hogswatch lectures, theatrical entertainments, activities for little folk, Grand Charity Auction, traditional Sausage Supper and, if you've been good little boys and girls, a visitation from a certain Hogfather – all held in venues throughout the town in the company of fellow fans Discworld dignitaries. For more details of programme items click the 'What's On' button below.

"Hogswatch is a delightfully informal gathering that is (mostly) free to attend, but be mindful that you will have to source your own accommodation – click the 'Where to Stay' button below for ideas on where to rest your head. How to find us – we're on Google Maps, where you'll find directions, public transport infomation and more to aid you in your journey."

http://www.discworldemporium.com/Hogswatch%202013


WHAT'S ON:

The Night Before Hogswatch soiree – Sup on a comforting nightcap and hear tales before bedtime from 9pm on Friday night at the Bear Inn (pyjamas optional).

Music Hall Variety Show – Be entertained, amused and confused at this showcase of Discworld fan talent with performances by our troupe of talented Discworld afficionados in Wincanton Memorial Hall on Saturday afternoon. Doors open 1:30pm.

Unseen University Hogswatch Lectures – Treat your ears to the musings of Discworld experts in a series of educational and exceedingly fun talks throughout the weekend.

Secret Hogfather – Spread a little Hogswatch cheer, and sit upon the Hogfather's knee, by taking part in our ever popular anonymous gift swapping scheme, being organised by our forum elves...

Grand Charity Auction – Empty your wallets for a good cause on Sunday morning and you'll get a 'lot' of fun and some new clutter in return. If you've an item to donate then please contact us for approval and bring it along to the Emporium counter at the start of the weekend.

The Traditional Hogswatch Sausage Supper – Fill your boots at this communal festive feast, held in hostelries throughout the town on Saturday evening at 7pm.

Crafting – PlayArt will here to get creative with the little ones (and grown-ups!) in making some adorable Discworld knick-knacks for your mantlepiece.

Gaming – Pit your wits in a game of Thud, Ankh-Morpork, Guards! Guards! or The Witches at the Bear Inn. Becky from Eclectic Games will be on hand to provide expert advice and tuition, and will have a vast array of other gaming goodies to bring out your inner tyrant, warlord or warlock treasures on sale.

Hogswatch Maker's Market – Open throughout the weekend and hosting a wealth of clever crafters along with refreshments and demonstations at the Balsam Centre.

Happy Birthday Discworld Party – Bring your cake and chocolate creations to the Bear on Sunday afternoon from 2:30pm for a celebration of Terry Pratchett's wondrous works. Enter the Guild of Confectioners chocolatiers contest, and partake silly games aplenty!

The Pink Pussycat Club Cabaret – a light-hearted evening of naughty song & dance and bawdy poetry aplenty in this after hours Saturday show. Not suitable for the eyes or ears of little folk.

http://tinyurl.com/kspt2bh


THE TRADITIONAL SAUSAGE SUPPER

Price: £10.50

Meal tickets now on sale!

Supper options: Meat, Vegetarian, Children's (the Children's supper is £5)

http://www.discworldemporium.com/Hogswatch%20Sausage%20Supper


7.2 DEATH OF A LEADING DISCWORLD FAN

The NADWCon Steering Committee has sent out this announcement:

"We announce with great sadness the passing of Eric Peak: Wizzard, world traveler, train enthusiast, and raconteur. The Discworld community has lost a cherished member and friend. Our condolences go out tonight to his wife Diana Young, to Eric's family and to their many friends. We shall not see his like again.

IN MEMORIAM: If you wish to honor Eric's memory, his wife asks that you donate to an animal rescue group of your choosing in his name. Thank you."

There are some wiz(z)ardly photos of Eric on the NADWcon Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/NADWCon

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08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

8.1 REMINDER: THE RINCE CYCLE


"Studio Theatre Club continues its world-famous Discworld stage series with a new offering: 'The Rince Cycle', dramatised by Stephen Briggs. An adventure based on Terry Pratchett's Rincewind novels The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and snippets of Sourcery."

When: 26th to 30th November 2013
Venue: Unicorn Theatre, Old Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3HZ
Time: 7:30
Tickets: £8.50.

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/CurrentPlans.html

http://www.abingdonabbey-unicorntheatre.org.uk/findus.html


8.2 REMINDER: MASKERADE IN CHESHAM

A handsome-looking cast will be bringing the Ankh-Morpork Opera House to life in November! From an interview in Get Bucks:

"Director and chairman of the theatre company, Trevor Pilling, said: 'Rehearsals are going very well but it's a very complicated play to do. I have a very good cast who are all working extremely hard learning their lines. I also have a big back stage team because of all the scene changes.' This is the first time the play, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, has been performed at The Elgiva and it is believe it is also the first time it has been done in Bucks, which is exciting news for lovers of Pratchett's Discworld series.

Mr Pilling has directed so many plays he has lost count and been with the company for about 40 years. However, he said this is one of the most difficult ones he has done. He said: 'I think for me this is one of my most challenging ones certainly because there's a lot to it, but it's a good story.' ... Mr Pilling has also added a character to the show of his own, Pratchett's Death. 'I'll have Death walking through the audience. He's not in the book, but I've brought him in because his such an iconic character for Terry Pratchett... He has such a huge support and following all over the place. I read a few of his books and decided this was the most theatrical one. It's never been performed in this area before.'

"The company has sent an invitation to Terry Pratchett, who lives in Beaconsfield, to come along. Mr Pilling said: 'He does say whenever he can, he and Stephen Briggs come to see it. It obviously depends on how he is. I'd love to know what their reception of it is because I've added a few twists of my own and I'd love to know what he thinks of those. I've tried to include the fun of Pratchett, everything he writes is relatively tongue in cheek and I've tried to keep that in...'"

When: Wednesday 6th November – Saturday 9th November
Venue: The Elgiva Theatre, St Mary's Way, Chesham, Bucks
Time: evening performances at 8 pm, matinee (Saturday) 2.30pm.
Tickets: £14 (full), £10 (conc), from The Elgiva Box Office (tel: 01494 582900) or online at www.elgiva.com

http://www.cheshamtheatrecompany.org.uk/

http://tinyurl.com/krev98n


8.3 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN LINCOLNSHIRE

The St Peter's Hill Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in time for Halloween! "This is a fun theatrical comedy for all the family and as a treat for Halloween the Players have reduced ticket prices for all performances."

When: Wednesday 30th October to Saturday 2nd November 2013
Venue: Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter's Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ, "parallel to the High Street in the centre of town. It is instantly recognisable, located beneath the clock tower which dominates the green."
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: £7.50. Call the box office (01476 406158), or to purchase tickets online, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/kuootf2

http://www.guildhallartscentre.com/shows/wyrd-sisters


8.4 REMINDER: MORT IN NORCROSS, GEORGIA

Lionheart Theatre will present their production of Mort, directed by Jason Caldwell, in November. A Discworld first for the state!

When: 1st-17th November 2013
Venue: Lionheart Theatre, 10 College Street (at the corner with Britt Avenue), Norcross, GA 30071
Time: Friday and Saturday nights 7:30pm, Sundays 2pm
Tickets: $15 for Adults $12 for seniors and students. Groups of 10 or more $10 each. Please call to arrange. All ticket prices include dessert and beverage

For more information, ring (770) 885-0425

http://www.lionhearttheatre.org/


8.5 GUARDS! GUARDS! IN KNEBWORTH

The Knebworth Amateur Dramatic Society (KATS) will present their production of Guards! Guards! in November.

When: Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 November
Venue: Knebworth Village Hall, Park Lane, Knebworth, Herts
Time: 7.45pm (doors open 7.15pm)
Tickets: £7, concessions £6

Box office: Jo Simson 01438 814166 or 07952 199183
or Village News, Station Road, Knebworth

For further information on this production/KATS contact Jo Simson, jo.simson@ntlworld.com, tel 01438 814166

http://www.katsdrama.info/


8.6 MAKING MONEY IN SALISBURY

Studio Theatre of Salisbury will present their production of Making Money, adapted by Chris Hawley, next February.

When: 20th February to 1st March 2014
Venue: Studio Theatre, Ashley Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7TN
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: TBA. Box office number is 01722 342860

http://www.studiotheatre.org.uk/

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

09) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

The Pratchett Partisans are a new fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". For more info about their next meetup, go to

http://www.meetup.com/Pratchett-Partisans/

or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

Celebrate the release of Raising Steam

"Lets go to the markets and enjoy a Steam train ride! The market is free and pretty close to Bundamba Train Station. Steam train rides are $10 (half hour ride) and leave at 11am and 12 noon."

When: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Venue: Ipswich Turf Club
Brisbane Road, Bundamba
Time: 10.00am

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia.

"We have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit:

http://cityofsmallgods.org.au"

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. The next meeting will probably be on Thursday 7th November 2013, but do email (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:

broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first Friday of every month at the famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome! The next WOTS meeting will (probably) be on Friday 1st November 2013.

*

The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld meeting group, will be from 7pm on Monday 4th November 2013 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ. Note the new web address:

http://brokendrummers.org/

Here be the Broken Drummers' October 2013 meet report:

"So, Drummers met Monday. I was at another meeting so Andrew was left in charge early on. He did a quiz on first and last lines, which was won by Jax. Andrew then went home because he was not feeling well.

"Meanwhile, I was about to leave the pub I was in when Andrew called to say he was leaving. I decided to come to Drummers anyway, where I found those left playing Cards Against Humanity. Eunice has acquired the British version of this depraved game. It was nice to see James O there, who has not been along for a while.

"Since Jax can't make November, I told Eunice and Alex that we could play Cards Against Humanity instead of a quiz. I would suggest that persons of a sensitive disposition towards crudeness, lewdness and anything gross do not participate.

"That's all I can remember. Unfortunately both of us have been ill all week and my mind's a bit hazy."

For more information email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, have been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, N Yorks, 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/

*

Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. The next meeting will (probably) be on Monday 4th November 2013. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):

kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the month. The next meeting should be on Monday 4th November 2013. "Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA)."

For details follow us on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/

Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com


*

There's a new Pratchett meeting group in Fourecks, known as Western Drummers. That's two for the Sydney Pratchett fans now! The Western Drummers intend to meet on the third Monday of every month at The Rowers, Bruce Neal Drive, Penrith at 6.30-7.30pm for food, 7.30pm for games, quizzes and chat. For more information, contact Nanny Ogg – lewis_oz@bigpond.com – or visit their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/westerndrummers

Apparently one of the Drummers identifies with Llamedos:

"Wellllllllll we had a GREAT first meeting. There were nine of us and we ate, played games and chatted for a couple of hours. A few more elephants were made and there were a few Dr Who discussions along the way. Fun was had by allllll."

The next meeting of Western Drummers is on November 18th.

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

10) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

10.1 "THE WITCHES" IS HERE!!!


The Witches "follows on from the success of Ankh-Morpork. With over 50,000 copies sold worldwide Ankh-Morpork continues to delight gamers and fantasy fans alike and continues to sell strongly in its third year of release.

"The Witches is set in the magically charged land of Lancre. Players take on the role of trainee witches, such as Tiffany Aching and Petulia Gristle, learning their craft and dealing with all the problems that life on Discworld can throw at them. A subtle blend of headology, magic and, of course, the all-important cup of tea will see our heroines tackle everything from a sick pig to a full-blown invasion of elves.

"Life can be tough for a young witch in Lancre, fear not however, a cast of some of Terry Pratchett's most famous characters will be on hand to aid your quest. Along the way you'll meet Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, along with a rich supporting cast of familiar faces from some Pratchett's bestselling Discworld series. When things get really tough and you feel you are turning 'Black Aliss' you can always have a cup of tea with one of your fellow witches. The game can be played with up to four players, and can even be played solitaire.

"The Witches is more of a gentle family friendly game, well, as friendly as you can get with Nac Mac Feegles hanging around, rather than the back-stabbing experience that is Ankh-Morpork, and can be played co operatively if players so wish. Once again Sir Terry Pratchett and the folks at the Discworld Emporium have made sure that each character is faithfully represented, with all of the artwork being produced by Peter Dennis.

"Treefrog Games are proud to announce the release of The Witches Collector's Edition. Take on the role of Tiffany Aching or one of her friends and dive into the land of Lancre. You must deal with the various 'problems' that crop up, which may be a broken limb or an invasion of elves.

"The Collector's Edition comes with four hand crafted pewter pieces, representing Tiffany, Petulia Gristle, Annagramma, and Dimity Hubbub. The game also contains a poster showing Peter Dennis's artwork. This edition is limited to two thousand copies.

"The main differences between this version and the standard version are:

– Four custom sculpted pewter figurines, representing the four witch characters.
– An A1 size poster presenting artwork from the game.
– A larger map.
– Different cover artwork and box size.

"The Witches Collector's Edition is now available to buy via PayPal.

The prices are:
UK – £40 plus £4.50 P&P
Europe – 45€ plus 13.50€ P&P
US / Canada – US $60 plus $23.50 P&P
Rest of the World – US $60 plus $36 P&P (Tracked)

"As you can see, PayPal allows us to accept US Dollars, British Pounds and Euros."

www.treefroggames.com


10.2 NEW DISCWORLD GAME MIGHT BE POSSIBLE, SAY THE PRATCHETTS

A Digital Spy interview from earlier this year is back on the web
again:

"'Every now and again, dad gets approached about a game,' she told
Digital Spy. 'Dad is a gamer himself so he has an idea what he'd
like to see, and we've just not got the right developer with the
right pitch come knocking yet. I think dad is waiting to be
impressed by developers. I think there's a lot of potential there,
and I know people have a lot of fond memories of all three Discworld
games.' She added: 'Now you've got the reinvigoration of adventure
games with things like Kickstarter, I think players are becoming
more interested in that genre again. You never know what's out
there; if the right developer, the right pitch came knocking, then I
think it'd be something dad and myself would be interested in...'"

http://tinyurl.com/kzf7ntk


Gamer site vg24/7 adds:

"There's some uncertainty about who now holds the license. The most
recent Discworld games were two developed by long-defunct Perfect
Entertainment and published by Psygnosis, which was later acquired
by Sony and eventually shuttered. Discworld Noir was published by GT
Interactive, which no longer exists, Whoever owns the rights now
might be missing a trick."

http://tinyurl.com/ks4n5c8

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

11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger PCJ reviews tCoM:

"Mr. Pratchett's characters are familiar, but, not familiar at the same time. Wizards who are generally inept and could easily be analogous to modern day US Congress in their bungling, back stabbing and overall unwillingness to do anything that doesn't continue to keep themselves in power and enriched...sorry, wasn't intending a political rant, but, I think it fits... Mr. Pratchett at once honors and spoofs the fantasy genre... the entire series is a must read whether you enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, humor or just plain fiction..."

http://tinyurl.com/lrvczsr

Blogger unrulyginger very much enjoyed Going Postal:

"I read it, and I really, really liked it. It was a tad on the dark side sometimes, but that wasn't a problem. At least not for me. I think Moist von Lipwig is a lively, incredibly likable character, and it didn't hurt that he had to interact with the Patrician a lot. Plus, we got a few familiar faces, such as some members of the watch and some wizards. The only problem I had was my English. It's pretty good, and usually I understand everything, but what with Sir Terry's word plays and twisted proverbs and whatnot, I'm sure I didn't get the 'finer' points he has almost certainly written. Still better than reading it in German, because if I had, I wouldn't have gotten the 'he gave you the bird' joke, since this is one of the numerous word plays you just CAN'T translate..."

http://tinyurl.com/p2y38bz


Blogger and Morris dancing enthusiast Shortfinals offers a paean to Morris – and to Pratchett:

"All this might be just nothing more than an arcane, minor footnote in social history, a topic for anthropology professors to use as a way of motivating some of their students (rural pubs, dancing, beer – what's not to love?). Except, that is, for another British author, one so popular that he has sold more than 85 million books, worldwide, translated into 37 languages, and has received a knighthood. Yes, we're talking about Sir Terry Pratchett, that giant of the fantasy novel. I must freely confess that I enjoy Terry's works immensely (and no, its not just because I used to live less than 15 miles away from him, and worked in the same building for a while). There is just not another modern author who could more genuinely be identified as being 'seriously involved with the Morris'... Pratchett even invented the 'Dark Morris' which is featured in his novel 'Wintersmith' (2006); a dance performed in total darkness, in complete silence, with the 'side' dressed in black, to bring the winter on. Yes, Terry Pratchett is to Morris dancing what Dashiell Hammett is to the snap- brim fedora..."

http://tinyurl.com/kuz73mx


Blogger Tokyo Blazer loves the wit, humour and characters of Good Omens:

"The relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley is a genuine pleasure to read. They are much more alike than either is willing to admit, and much of the comedy is derived from watching these supremely powerful, ancient, supposedly ecclesiastical figures act so human. Whether it's getting drunk together, bragging about their achievements (Crowley: His vintage Bentley. Torturing his potted plants in order to encourage some form of eugenics. Aziraphale: His collection of rare books.), or casually having dinner at the Ritz, they're always entertaining to read. The rest of the cast are equally entertaining... Good Omens is a great read. It flows smoothly from one character to another, and the plot progresses at a steady rate to culminate with a satisfying finale. It's also a very funny book; humourous in its own exclusive way, with a large yet delightful cast that consistently delivers quality material. If you've enjoyed any of Gaiman's or Pratchett's previous work, you'll find yourself at home reading this novel. If not, I suspect you'll find a highly enjoyable introduction to their work..."

http://tokyoblazer.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/good-omens-1990/


Blogger Andrew Knighton is back with his review of The Long War:

"It's fair to say that, while there's a lot to enjoy in this book, I wound up as ambivalent about it as I was about its predecessor. This time though I think there was a clearer, more definite problem, and it's one that interests me as a writer – it's the problem of expectations... As with The Long Earth, this is well written. It flows easily, the characters are likeable and interesting, and the world that's being built is fascinating. I had the same problem with the narrative's ambling nature as I had with the previous book, but that's a matter of personal taste – I prefer my stories with a bit more focus, a bit more intensity to them. But this book had a problem its predecessor didn't, and that's in the expectations it set... it wasn't what I'd been led to expect. There's wasn't a big build-up of tension. There wasn't a feeling that things could go violent at any minute. And there really wasn't a war. In fact, if not for a single reference near the end, the book's title would have seemed to be completely cheating..."

http://tinyurl.com/n3n3kws


Australian blogger Faith Mudge, who enjoyed The Long Earth, is disappointed by The Long War:

"I know very little about Stephen Baxter's work but I admire Terry Pratchett's enormously and enjoyed their previous collaboration, The Long Earth, so it makes me sad to admit how much I didn't like this. The concepts established in the first book continue to be rich with possibility, but the plot lacked any sense of direction, the characters had no substance, and the title is deceptive at best. This book is more philosophy than fiction, with extensive exposition slowing down most of the action. It's clear they intend to continue the series with a third novel, but I doubt I'll be reading it... I had particular problems with the character of Sally Linsay. She is presumably supposed to be an admirable character, but keeps doing highly offensive things... I expect better than this from Terry Pratchett, much better..."

http://tinyurl.com/mfu5ow4


Blogger Leanne Egan's very funny post about scary old crones is well worth savouring:

"I have ambitions to scare the crap out of any, if not all, descendants I have. My inspiration is a character written by the magnificent Terry Pratchett, the wonderful Ms. Treason; who even after her death was remembered and became part of the local mythology. That is what it boils down to for me, being remembered. Too many are forgotten and dismissed. That, and imagination. I want my descendants to love the idea of stories and mythology and magic..."

http://lyrasmith.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/ambitions-for-old-age/


Blogger and gamer Tolenmar's very well-written and comprehensive post about the Ankh-Morpork board game:

"You have heard of Discworld, right? No? Go to your library. Now. Well, not now, at least finish this paragraph, then go. Look up Terry Pratchett. He is a master of comic fantasy... Trust me, if you like to laugh and you like fantasy, you will love these books. Now go to the library. I'll wait.

"Back? Good. I was beginning to wonder about you... As far as the graphic design goes, ['Ankh-Morpork'] definitely fits with the pseudo old world feel of the books. Control of each of the different districts grants you a special ability that helps you accomplish your goals... Here's the kicker: Only you know what your goal is. Everyone else has to use intrigue and trickery to figure out your goal, while working to accomplish theirs. Ankh-Morpork is a hidden identity game, like The Resistance or Battlestar Galactica. If they figure out what you are doing, they can do their best to stop you from doing it. Of course, you can also attempt to stop them... Of course, I can hear you all now: Do I have to be a fan of the books to enjoy this game? No, you don't. It does help when you see a card and can recall where (as in which book) each character came from, but most of our group has not read the books, and they do fine and enjoy it well enough. At the same time, if you have read the books, and enjoyed them, then you ill get a kick out of seeing all of your favorite characters..."

http://tinyurl.com/kwhoyy5


Blogger Julian Saheed's review of The Truth:

"Characters dance from the pages and within moments of being introduced to them you feel as though you know exactly where they have come from, what they had for breakfast, and what they like to do on their weekends. Ankh-Morpork continues to evolve into a squalid, yet loveable cesspool of civilisation that reminds us of everything that the real world and the Fantasy genre have to offer.... 'The Truth' deals with the arrival of newspapers and journalism to Ankh-Morpork and for the most part the characters are not too different from ones that have appeared in previous books. In many ways I was reminded of 'Going Postal', but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The main character, William is likeable enough and the rest of the cast (dwarves, vampires and talking dogs), all add a certain charm. The villains in the book are also well presented and a great take off of the 'brawns and brains' crime outfit.

"The book's strength is in its evolution of the newspaper. As things come together and William begins to get papers into the streets, you find yourself wanting to read more and see what happens next. The sub plot of the attempted replacement of the Patrician, I found to be less interesting, though vital to the story. That being said, as ever Lord Vetinari stands out as a brilliant character, and when he is involved in the dialogue I cannot get enough..."

http://tinyurl.com/ktwvd6y


Blogger Jeannette Porter is on a (quite articulate and entertaining) crusade to spread the Pratchett love around the USA. Includes a self- made photo of The Librarian with a collection of Pratchett books:

"Discworld is the greatest English-language phenomenon that nobody in the United States has ever heard of. To quote Terry Pratchett, the creator of Discworld, 'That sentence is wrong in every particular, but it's quite a useful lie.' ... It would be more accurate to say that very many people in the United States, (some of whom are intelligent and might really enjoy the reads,) have never heard of the 40 novels or seen the abundance of Internet and other content that make up Discworld's multiverse. This series of blog postings is meant to gently shepherd the uninitiated to this threshold of delights, or at least to clue in those unfortunates as to what they're missing..."

http://tinyurl.com/jw3ledu


Blogger Cleo aka The Literary Flaneur found unexpected depths in The Carpet People:

"One thing I find lacking in many fantasy novels is the characters' lack of inclination to question what exists beyond their known world, far away and up above. In The Carpet People, they do do that, to a certain extent, wondering what's above the Carpet, and whether it ever ends. I loved that that so often left out element was included, acknowledging how humans (and other creatures) are always curious about unknown places. It's just unrealistic that in a fantasy realm where not a lot is known that a person wouldn't care at all about uncharted territories.

"Character development was a bit thin, but I ended up enjoying the book more than I thought initially. It starts out pretty slowly and confusingly, but gradually things become clearer and one is able to enjoy this rather silly story... I would recommend The Carpet People to fans of odd but good fantasy; I'm glad that a new edition was issued..."

http://tinyurl.com/mtaeac3


Inspired by the forthcoming release of the 40th Discworld novel, blogger Mikha Chan presents an excellently crafted essay on the wonder of Pratchett:

"Where can one begin when it comes to the long career of one of the wittiest writers in the fantasy genre? And I use the term 'fantasy' loosely; to simply label him as a fantasy writer would be to do him a disservice. His books are no simple sword-and-stone affairs. Terry Pratchett is probably the first writer to singlehandedly overturn the entire genre with his long-spanning Discworld series of books, liberally mixing in his unique brand of humour and sharp insights of humanity's idiosyncrasies. His stories are peppered with endless cliches and parodies of pop culture. I know this will sound ageist, but for a 65-year-old man, the man is amazingly, er, hip... His constant sense of humour makes the darkness seem all the darker, and brings it into sharp contrast for scrutiny, such as the various evils and threats one has to deal with not just on a personal scale, but on an overall, more depressing scale: humankind. The nature of evil is a frequent theme within his books; one thing one of his characters Granny Weatherwax said has always stuck with me for its sheer profundity: 'Evil begins when you treat people like things.' In another book (Guards! Guards!), the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork talks about how evil exists when people do nothing, a sort of evil that isn't the 'really high, creative loathsomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul...they accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don't say no.' And it is this sort of deep thought that gives weight and heft to the blade of his wit..."

http://tinyurl.com/krkhlqy


Blogger Nadine is back with a rave review of Lords and Ladies:

"This was a particularly fun Discworld novel. I never liked Magrat as much as I did in Lords and Ladies and even though I know that she will be replaced by Agnes Nitt (she of the angelic voice, large body, and personality disorder), I believe that I will end up missing Magrat Garlick. That quiet, too-nice-for-her-own-good girl kicked some serious fairy butt! I was also pleased to discover a different side to Granny Weatherwax. She always seems so aloof, so unconcerned about her private life and especially all things romantic (and I like her that way) but the peculiar kind of havoc wrought by the fairies shows us that, at the very least, Granny could have led a very different life. But whatever may or may not have been, we still get to enjoy Granny's wonderful wit and incredible practicality... I've always had a soft spot for fairies, but for some reason, the Disney version never did it for me. I like the mysterious, dark ones that aren't all bad but most certainly aren't all good either (the real Tinkerbell is still one of my favorites). Terry Pratchett ditched the wish-fulfilling, glittering good fairies and instead opted for a seductive, dangerous, alluring, and most importantly, stylish kind of fairie folk. The way they are set up makes them more creepy than funny but as soon as people decide to fight back, there are a few absolutely hilarious scenes involving fairies, Magrat, and Greebo. I don't think I need to say any more... it also came as a bit of a surprise to find out that some characters knew each other from 'way back when'. In one clever stroke, Terry Pratchett breathes life into his world, its mythology, and its characters. All of this is achieved without long expositions or boring info-dumps. After all, the characters know who they are and how their world works. We have to figure it out from the context – something I immensely enjoy and that far too few authors trust their readers to manage. Thanks again, Sir Terry, for believing that your readers have the ability to think for themselves..."

http://tinyurl.com/mjb9od2


Games blogger Nick Lyons was blown away by "Ankh-Morpork":

"At first, 'Discworld: Ankh-Morpork' feels like a variation of 'Monopoly,' but it soon becomes clear that this is a much faster paced and more eventful game than 'Monopoly' ever could be. Right off the bat, I was drawn to the fact that there are a variety of winning conditions. Since you initially don't know what the opponent(s) are doing, you have to strategize how to win while also observing the opponent's every move. This makes for a very competitive and fun race to the finish game in which players can even play mind games with each other if they think they have figured out each other's moves.

"Another deeply impressive component to the game are the pieces themselves. With wooden token pieces, a meticulously drawn Ankh- Morpork board, and a large amount of illustrated cards featuring characters and towns, it's clear that a lot of work went into this thematic game. This isn't a cheaply produced licensed product which we so often see these days. It's abundantly clear that Martin Wallace and company are passionate about Terry Pratchett's world and they went all out to create a fitting board game tribute to his beloved work.

"Summary: Fans of the Discworld series will fall head over heels in love with this game, but you don't just have to be a fan to appreciate this game. The easy to learn game has wide appeal and massive amounts of replayability thanks to the work of acclaimed designer Martin Wallace..."

http://tinyurl.com/n3vjm9d


...and finally, Scots author Mac Logan, not a very young man, posts about a young woman whose taste in reading took him by surprise on a Glasgow to Ayr bus:

"Her energy and excitement amazed me – all for a book? She fixed her eyes on her gran with a loving, childlike authenticity, and said, 'Yesssss...' She held the book, by it's spine, in her left hand shook the cover towards her companion and poked the cover hard enough for the impact to be heard. She struck it a few times with her right finger, smiling, triumphant. I couldn't see the cover. Her gran smiled and laughed with a knowledgable nod... Surprised by the event, and curiosity aroused, I had to ask. 'You seem pretty pleased, I hope you don't mind me asking...what's the book?' A thoughtful, intelligent gaze assessed me from clear gold flecked brown eyes. She wrinkled her straight nose with the sleeper through the flesh above the bridge. Next she smiled a sweet smile, her face morphing to mischief. The stud in her lower lip rose with her grin. Once more her hand fumbled inside the big bag and she pulled out the book. With a theatrical gesture, she held the rear of it towards me in both hands and placed her beaming countenance beside it.

"Okay reader, pause for a second, what would you expect to see? Me? I thought Young Adult, Vampires, Werewolves. But no, none of those. She did a dramatic show, eyes wide and smiling locking her eyes to mine. 'Ta-daa' giggled out of her. She twirled the book cover towards me. Terry Pratchett. We talked about her reading, her love of books. She found the fun of the Disc World tales a delight. Gran approved. She and I talked about Philip Pullman as a possible other author of interest. The lassie wrote down the name. It turned out the youngster had been travelling from the SouthWest of England since 5:30 that morning, reading TP all the way..."

http://tinyurl.com/mhprfqx

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12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

A memorable illustrated quote from Raising Steam:

http://tinyurl.com/l6sumru

...and another:

http://tinyurl.com/pwf93rl

Stew Taylor's delightful poster for an upcoming production of Making Money in Salisbury (see Discworld Plays section):

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BW8JemiCMAA4aN7.jpg


The stunning Wee Free Men birthday cake Gillykat made for her daughter:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXinD_gIgAARda-.jpg

...and Lempop's impressive Discworld cake:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXhD_wbIcAEQFK_.jpg


Paper Panda's fantastic Rincewind tribute cutout:

http://tinyurl.com/jwnestj


Sir Pterry receiving his Open University degree:

http://tinyurl.com/khj8orh


...and did he actually wear this to "at least one convention"?:

http://tinyurl.com/q6qkeee


And finally, technically not Discworld, but so very Non Timetis Messor – legendary graffiti artist Banksy's current street art and art installations "tour" of New York included a wonderful installation called "Reaper". Death may not ride a white horse on Roundworld, but he definitely looks like he's enjoying using his scythe to power a dodgem car:

http://instagram.com/p/f6E4XnDfxD/

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13) CLOSE

Here be a review of The Long Earth in Fife Today. They may be one book behind but hey, they do recommend it:

"This is much more sci-fi than fun fantasy but what remains is Sir Terry's natural storytelling ability in this intriguing tale of multiple Earths and mankind's need for exploration and knowledge. With Baxter providing the hard science and theories, the two mesh well and while the ending is perhaps not completely satisfying, it is a compelling and original concept..."

http://tinyurl.com/lvsovm7


Don't forget – you can pre-order Jack Dodger's Guide to London now! Release date is 21st November. I for one can hardly wait! For more info, and to order, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/lzvqlap

Last but not least, have a photo of the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork masquerading as astronaut Chris Hadfield's pet pug. Come now, you know that's really Mr Fusspot:

http://tinyurl.com/kzuv8n2

And that's it for the month of October. Have a happy Hogswatch/Halloween and we'll see you in November!

– Annie Mac

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———————————————————————————————————
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: interact (at) pearwood (dot) info
———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion


September 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 9, Post 1)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...

********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

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INDEX:

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) RAISING STEAM NEWS
04) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
05) REVIEWS
06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
09) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
12) CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"You know, I get the feeling that Sir Terry's life is stranger and even more interesting than his books!"

– awed fan Amaya Ramiel


"Terry Pratchett redeems a bad day, every time."

– adoring blogger Hopehare

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02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Nation. Is it only five years? – and yet, how is it that Nation feels like it's been a part of the body of truly great literature for generations now? To quote WOSSNAME's own pre-publication review back in 2008:

"I believe that Nation is one of the most important books ever written, not just for readers in that contentious Young Adult bracket but for readers of any and every age. Much as I love the Discworld series, I place Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell books among my very favourite novels, and Nation has done what I thought was impossible – taken a place in the top echelon of my Most Cherished Novels list. When I read Nation, I was so moved by it that it made me physically ill. What higher recommendation could I possibly give? But fear not; for all its power and depth, Nation is also a delicious book, full of unexpected hilarity and "daww!" moments. I would have loved to have been a very young child when this book was written, just for the pleasure and thrill of having it read to me at bedtime by my grandmother.

"Buy this book. And keep it for your children and grandchildren. They will thank you forever, as I thank Terry Pratchett for it. I hope he continues to write for many years, but if he were never to publish another novel, he has brightened the world beyond measure with Nation."

An unforgettable book that also made a very impressive stage production, Nation should and surely will live on in the canon of greatest literature in the English (or any) language. Time we all agitated to get Nation included in school literature curricula across the world!

[Editor's note: to read the complete original WOSSNAME review on the Ygroups site, go to http://tinyurl.com/kox2nxj – the review is item 7]


*

In other news, Doubleday and Anchor Books have struck a new ten-book deal for USA releases:

"The first book, 'Raising Steam,' will be released in March as part of a seven-figure deal. Mr. Pratchett, whose books have sold more than 80 million copies, is known for his satirical series 'Discworld.' Edward Kastenmeier, executive editor at Vintage Anchor, is the acquiring editor. 'Terry's work has a huge following and an enormous footprint in the fantasy world, as they were the first adopters of his enthralling, hilarious fiction,' Mr. Kastenmeier said. 'With mainstream readers warming to the work of Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin, we see this as a crossover moment for Terry, an opportunity to expand his audience.'"

http://tinyurl.com/lnbbol9

Yahoogroups have revamped their entire site. Many of the so-called improvements, er, aren't, but it appears that they *have* finally stopped imposing a ridiculously narrow characters-per-line limit, so I have tried posting this edition "unwrapped". We shall see how it goes.

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) RAISING STEAM NEWS

The Raising Steam Machine is a success!

"We have achieved full pressure in the Raising Steam machine! The passenger list is available to download and we are well on the way to unlocking the synopsis!"

https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/raisingsteam

"Ticket holders are now entitled to view a partial passenger list."

Here is the notice itself, for those of you who can't (or won't!) navigate the scary wilds of Facebook:

CUSTOMER NOTICE

All aboard! Customers are invited to make all necessary arrangements to travel on our special service on 7th November, for what promises to be a most edifying experience. Among the Great and Good of the land whose attendance is already confirmed, we are pleased to note the following passengers:

Sir Harry King
Mr Moist von Lipwig
Ms Adora Belle Dearheart
Mr Dick Simnel
Of the Twilight the Darkness
Mr Thunderbolt
Sgt Fred Colon
Mr Crucible Wesley

Significant demand is anticipated for this journey – all those who wish to travel are advised to attend the ticket office regularly for service updates.

How to view this announcement yourself:

1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/raisingsteam

2. Find the Raising Steam Machine image and click on it; this will take you to https://www.facebook.com/pratchett?sk=app_190322544333196&app_data

3. When the Raising Steam Machine page loads, click on the "Press" button above the words "Ticket available"

4. A "ticket" will appear - click on it. This will take you to a new page which is your "Ticket". Copy the number to the right of the words "Use this ticket number as your password", then click on "click here". This will take you to http://terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=2724

5. Click on the "The list can be viewed here" hyperlink. This will take you to the announcement!

Remember, to pre-order Raising Steam from Amazon UK in hardcover at a special-offer price of £10.00 (even lower than previously announced), go to:

http://tinyurl.com/qxmh87w

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

04) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT

4.1 REMINDER: SIR PTERRY AT BRIGHTON READS


There's still time to get your tickets for Terry Pratchett and Friends at Brighton's City Reads 2013 festival!

"Joining Sir Terry Pratchett will be three friends from his multimedia production company, Narrativia. Sir Terry is unable to do a signing, but books on sale, courtesy of City Books, will be stamped exclusively for this event."

When: Sunday 29th September
Venue: Concert Hall, Brighton Dome
Time: 2pm
Tickets: £15 (£12 conc) To book by phone, ring (01273) 709709. To book online, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/mqkw3gh

Also, here be a set of iconographs from last Friday's Brighton City Reads 2013 "rehearsed reading" of Guards! Guards! at Hove Lawns. Looks like an excellent time was had by all:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nigeyb/sets/72157635530863564/


4.2 GOLD, GOLD, GOLD...

Sir Terry Pratchett, financial adviser? Apparently! At least according to Miranda Marquit in Business Insider Australia, who uses Moist and Making Money as a lengthy illustration of the power and secrets of gold:

"One of my favourite books is 'Making Money' by Terry Pratchett. In it, a former con man, Moist von Lipwig, is put in charge of the mint by the city's benevolent dictator. He is opposed by the head clerk of the bank, Mr. Bent — who is all about the virtue of gold. Mr. Bent insists that a currency must be backed by gold in order to be truly legit. On the other hand, Moist believes that it's OK to print money. And as long as it goes 'round and 'round, everything will be fine — whether or not there's actual gold in the bank's vault.

"Among the most interesting insights, though, comes during an exchange about the relative value of gold. Moist points out that on a desert island, gold is basically useless. You can't eat it. You can't plant it. A potato, though, can be eaten. Part of it can be planted to grow more potatoes. When you're starving, gold suddenly isn't so valuable. Just like everything else, the value of gold is in how it's perceived. This is true in the 'real' world as well. Anyone watching the rollercoaster ride that has been gold prices for the last year or two knows that gold's value changes on whims..."

http://tinyurl.com/mbxol9y


4.3 TRUCKERS DVD UPDATES

The magazine SciFiNow has posted several clips from the remastered stop-motion miniseries of Truckers. To view the trailers/clips, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/qbxbscx

Truckers can be pre-ordered from Amazon at a special price of £11.26 (free delivery only in UK):

http://tinyurl.com/kz7nw4g


4.4 RICHARD J ARTLEY MEMORIAL SITE

From the family of the late, much-loved Discworld superfan Richard J Artley, whose passing last month was noted throughout Pratchett fandom and in the August issue of WOSSNAME:

"Memorial Site for Richard

"We have received many emails of condolence for which our family are very grateful. We have set up a memorial page for Richard at the address below. Please feel free to pass this on and to remember him by adding a photo, sharing a story or leaving a tribute in his memory."

Visit Richard's memorial website:

http://www.forevermissed.com/richardjartley/#about


4.5 ACTION REPLAY: SHE'S GONNA GET MARRIED

From The Telegraph:

"Rhianna, who is a BAFTA-nominated writer for games including Tomb Raider as well as film, TV and comics, thought she and boyfriend Louis Leigh were at the Screen on the Green in Islington, where they had their first date, to watch a late-night showing of The Blues Brothers to celebrate Leigh's 35th birthday. But instead of the film, a 'trailer for the proposal' about her life, which had been specially created by Mr Leigh with the help of two friends – comic illustrator Naniibim and composer Michael Kruk – appeared on screen. Rhianna said: 'At first I didn't recognise myself, it was so unexpected but such a wonderful experience.' After the trailer, Leigh went down on one knee and said to her, 'I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?' to which she replied yes. Leigh had been planning the proposal since January and the couple will marry next year..."

http://tinyurl.com/nun3vvr

To see the film again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA8XgI81ElI&feature=youtu.be


4.6 REMINDER: RICE MEMORY TRAIL THIS MONTH

RICE – the Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly – is holding its yearly Memory Trail sponsored walk this month, on Sunday 22nd September. As WOSSNAME readers will remember, Sir Pterry opened the new RICE Centre back in 2008. The Memory Trail is a great way for people living or visiting in the Bath area to have a lively day out and raise funds for Alzheimer's and elderly care research:

"You can raise sponsorship or just bring yourselves, as your contribution through the registration fee is valuable to us. Encourage your friends to come as well and visit one of the wonderful local hostelries for lunch after your walk. Registration is between 10am and 12pm in the Marshfield Church Hall.

"All entry fees and sponsorship raised goes to RICE for our research programme and for supporting and educating carers and families. Entry fees are £5 per adult; £2.50 per junior or £12 per family and we have a prize for the person who raises the highest sponsorship."

The RICE Memory Trail 2013 takes place on Sunday 22nd September. To download a registration form, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/mwhwtzz

and send your completed form to: RICE Memory Trail, the RICE Centre, Building 8, Royal United Hospital, Bath BA1 3NG

The fundraising office can be contacted by phone (01225 476435) or email (info@rice.org.uk) if you have further questions about the event.

http://www.rice.org.uk/the+memory+trail


4.7 STEELEYE SPAN LIVE WINTERSMITH TOUR ITINERARY!

Steeleye Span Wintersmith 2013 Tour

"Now having established themselves live over the last 2 years as a 6 piece, Steeleye Span are emerging on another new exciting chapter. This time the band has looked even further afield and has found inspiration in the work of famous British author, Terry Pratchett. Famous for his series of Discworld novels Terry is a long-standing fan of the band, even booking them to play at his sixtieth birthday party. Now the two are to collaborate on a brand new project, a record based on Pratchett’s Wintersmith novel. The subject matter is completely appropriate for Steeleye, a tale of ancient rituals and secret folk dances that perfectly complements their previous work whilst taking it in new directions. The resulting album will be released towards the end of the year. Fans will be able to get a taste of these new songs along with the familiar classics and gems on the band’s forthcoming UK tour."

15th November: Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay. Box office: 01803 328385
16 November: Hall For Cornwall, Truro. Box office: 01872 262466
17 November: Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham. Box office: 01242 572573
18 November: Forest Folk, Wickham (TBC).
20 November: Octagon Theatre, Yeovil. Box office: 1935 422884
21 November: Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple. Box office: 01271 324242
22 November: Electric Palace, Bridport. Box office: 01308 426336
23 November: Exmouth Pavilion, Exmouth. Box office: 01395 222477
25th November: Southport Theatre & Convention Centre, Southport. Box office: 01704 500036
26 November: St Georges Hall, Bradford. Box office: 01274 432000
27 November: The Sage, Gateshead. Box office: 0191 443 4661
28 November: Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton. Box office: 0151 666 0000
29 November: Royal & Derngate, Northampton. Box office: 01604 624811
1 December: Great British Folk Festival, Skegness. Box office: 0845 070 4734
2 December: The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury. Box office: 0844 871 7607
3 December: Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick. Box office: 02476 524524
4 December: Theatre Royal, Margate. Box office: 01843 292795 or 01843 296111
6 December: Shanklin Theatre, Shanklin. Box office: 01983 868000
7 December: St Mary in the Castle, Hastings. Box office: 01323 841414
8 December: Queens Theatre, Hornchurch. Box office: 01708 443333
9 December: Barbican Hall, London. Box office: 020 7638 8891
10 December: The Apex, Bury St Edmunds. Box office: 01284 758000
11 December: The Concert Hall, Reading. Box office: 0118 960 6060
13 December: Theatr Hafren, Newtown. Box office: 01686 614555
14 December: The Platform, Morecambe. Box office: 01524 582803
16 December: Opera House, Buxton. Box office: 0845 127 2190
17 December: New Vic Theatre, Newcastle–Under–Lyme. Box office: 01782 717962
18 December: St George’s, Bristol. Box office: 0845 40 24 001
19 December: City Hall, Salisbury. Box office: 01722 43443

http://parkrecords.com/tourdates.php


4.8 ORANGUTAN NEWS

Chester Zoo is promoting their "Go Orange for Orangutans" appeal for October:

"Orangutans are one of our closest relatives. We share OVER 96% of our DNA with them and, along with humans, they're the only great ape to live outside of Africa. Known as the 'old man of the forest', they're also the only apes that spend almost their entire lives in the rainforest canopies of Sumatra and Borneo. Their treetop homes are some of the oldest on earth and had remained almost unchanged for the past 70 million years. However in the 21st century the demand for timber, palm oil, roads, agricultural land and space for mining means huge areas of the forest have now been lost, taking with it the homes of orangutans. With their numbers dwindling we're on the verge of losing this species FOREVER.

"HOW YOU CAN HELP

"We're asking you to pick a day in October to Go Orange for Orangutans! Donate a pound to saving this unique species and go to school or work for a day dressed in as much orange as you dare! Maybe you could dye your hair, or paint your face as well. Don't let it stop there, get creative with other orange themed fundraising ideas. We'll be awarding a prize for the craziest idea, and also for the school or company that raise the most money.

"OUR TARGET

"We're aiming to raise enough funds to help our conservation partners begin a new project looking at how these beautiful creatures are adapting to living on the ground in areas where their forest homes have been destroyed. A minimum of £5,000 will help purchase 15 specialist camera traps that will enable us to see images of the orangutans and give us an insight into their lives on the ground. Will you help us do this? Please take part in our campaign and help secure the survival of this magnificent species. 100% of money raised goes to funding the organisations working on the frontline of orangutan conservation. You can find out more about how your money is spent on our Act for Wildlife website:

"A minimum of £5,000 will help purchase 15 specialist camera traps that will enable us to see images of the orangutans and give us an insight into their lives on the ground. Every little helps in the fight to save orangutans and their forest home. In addition to the camera traps your money could help in many ways..."

http://tinyurl.com/lrqyoyk

"REGISTER NOW AND GET STARTED

"Getting started is really easy. Complete a short form on our Act for Wildlife website to register and you'll get a free fundraising pack to download that includes everything you need, from why we need your help to fundraising ideas to get you started. Register now on Act for Wildlife":

http://tinyurl.com/mscjsfs

http://www.chesterzoo.org/support-us/go-orange-for-orangutans

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

05) REVIEWS

REVIEW: A BLINK OF THE SCREEN

By Maree Field on the Land of Fog site Stuff:

"A new book from Sir Terry Pratchett is always a treat for fans, and A Blink of the Screen is no exception. Indeed, it's more of a treat than usual because it's Pratchett's collected short stories, including several from the legendary Discworld series... It's a treat of a book to dip into, as Pratchett's humour is at the forefront, and he does chatty little forewords for each story. The Discworld section of the book - which features regulars like Granny Weatherwax and Granny Ogg – has an extra treat, with illustrations by Josh Kirby, which bring the stories to vivid life. What really shines through in the whole collection is Pratchett's joy in the absurd, and his celebration of it, companionably brought to colourful life by Kirby's illustrations..."

http://tinyurl.com/ktq4r2c


REVIEW: SNUFF

By Leslie Ashmore in the Los Altos Town Crier:

"Pratchett's Discworld novels are remarkable creations. Somehow, he manages in each book to do several things at once: introduce dozens of new, highly developed characters while resurrecting many familiar and beloved faces; craft two or three amazing plots that meld together by the end; satirize our current social mores and conventions; create the highly authentic city of Ankh-Morpork; and play with the English language and its idioms with hilarious results. Not bad in a day's work.`So how does 'Snuff' stack up against Pratchett's earlier works? It's a complicated question. The premise of the book is simple... It sounds like the beginnings of a classic Pratchett tale, but 'Snuff' is curiously heavy-handed. He details the crimes against the goblin people in such repetitive, brutal detail that at times I wanted to shout, 'I get it, I get it – discrimination is really bad!'... Despite the minor shortcomings of 'Snuff,' a fairly good Pratchett novel is still better than most other best-selling works of fiction, so I can recommend it to book clubs that enjoy fantasy and satire..."

http://tinyurl.com/moo6lsr

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

06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

6.1 THE WITCHES ARE, ERM, IS COMING!


"Treefrog is proud to announce that September 2013 will see the release of The Witches, the second Treefrog Discworld game, based on the novels of Sir Terry Pratchett. It follows on from the success of Ankh-Morpork. With over 50,000 copies sold worldwide Ankh-Morpork continues to delight gamers and fantasy fans alike and continues to sell strongly in its third year of release.

"The Witches is set in the magically charged land of Lancre. Players take on the role of trainee witches, such as Tiffany Aching and Petulia Gristle, learning their craft and dealing with all the problems that life on Discworld can throw at them. A subtle blend of headology, magic and, of course, the all-important cup of tea will see our heroines tackle everything from a sick pig to a full-blown invasion of elves.

"Life can be tough for a young witch in Lancre, fear not however, a cast of some of Terry Pratchett's most famous characters will be on hand to aid your quest. Along the way you'll meet Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, along with a rich supporting cast of familiar faces from some Pratchett's bestselling Discworld series. When things get really tough and you feel you are turning ‘Black Aliss' you can always have a cup of tea with one of your fellow witches. The game can be played with up to four players, and can even be played solitaire.

"The Witches is more of a gentle family friendly game, well, as friendly as you can get with Nac Mac Feegles hanging around, rather than the back-stabbing experience that is Ankh-Morpork, and can be played co operatively if players so wish. Once again Sir Terry Pratchett and the folks at the Discworld Emporium have made sure that each character is faithfully represented, with all of the artwork being produced by Peter Dennis."

http://www.treefroggames.com/witches

"Treefrog will also be producing a very limited Collectors Edition. As with the Discworld Ankh-Morpork game, Treefrog will be publishing a Collector's Edition of The Witches. Only 2000 copies will be produced, with no possibility of a reprint. The main differences between this version and the standard version are:

- Four custom sculpted pewter figurines, representing the four witch characters.
- An A1 size poster presenting artwork from the game.
- A larger map.
- Different cover artwork and box size.

"The figurines vary between 40mm and 50mm in height. They have been hand-polished and finished with a black ink. A cloth bag will be included in the game for their storage. These figures will not be available to but separately. The figurines have been sculpted by Anton Ducrot.

"You will only be able to buy the game direct from Treefrog, either from our website or at Essen. The game will be available to order on the 20th September."

http://www.treefroggames.com/the-witches-collectors-edition


A further update from Martin:

"The collector's edition will only be available direct from Treefrog. We are starting direct sales again using an order fulfilment service based in the UK. With the standard version we are planning to ship a number of copies to Mind Games Canberra, but that will be by ship so will take a little time. People might be able to pick up the standard edition via Good Games (who will probably be importing it from Mayfair)."

There will be yet more updates after the Essen con!


6.1a REVIEW: "ANKH-MORPORK" GAME

by Nick Lyons

"Prior to receiving a review copy of the 'Discworld: Ankh-Morpork' board game, I decided to familiarize myself with Terry Pratchett's fantastical Discworld book series so that I could have a frame of reference for the game. I opted to go with the first book in the series ('The Color of Magic') and I found myself largely enjoying the whimsical and weird story. While the board game doesn't include a ton of references to ‘Color,' I can safely say that the game captures Pratchett's imaginative creations quite nicely... At first, 'Discworld: Ankh-Morpork' feels like a variation of 'Monopoly,' but it soon becomes clear that this is a much faster paced and more eventful game than 'Monopoly' ever could be. Right off the bat, I was drawn to the fact that there are a variety of winning conditions. Since you initially don't know what the opponent(s) are doing, you have to strategize how to win while also observing the opponent's every move. This makes for a very competitive and fun race to the finish game in which players can even play mind games with each other if they think they have figured out each other's moves.

"Another deeply impressive component to the game are the pieces themselves. With wooden token pieces, a meticulously drawn Ankh- Morpork board, and a large amount of illustrated cards featuring characters and towns, it's clear that a lot of work went into this thematic game. This isn't a cheaply produced licensed product which we so often see these days. It's abundantly clear that Martin Wallace and company are passionate about Terry Pratchett's world and they went all out to create a fitting board game tribute to his beloved work..."

http://tinyurl.com/n3vjm9d


6.2 GUARDS! GUARDS! BOARD GAME NEWS

A reminder from the wizzardly, um, hardworking G!G! creators Dave and Len:

"Hi everyone in the US,

"Just to remind you that you can buy you copy of the revised Guards! Guards! boardgame from Game Salute. It includes the acclaimed 90 Discworld character cards illustrated by Stephen Player. USA price $60."

http://shop.gamesalute.com/products/guards-guards


6.3 DISCWORLD LEGO: AN UPDATE

Remember the Discworld Lego crusade from a few months ago? Head crusader GlenBricker has now garnered 2,000 supporting votes and has added a Rincewind character to the proposed set. Now all he needs is to top 10,000 votes and Lego will produce it!

http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/36302

Glen's blog can be found at:

http://blog.brick-hero.com/

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O7) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

HERE COMES THE FIRST POLISH DISCWORLD CONVENTION!!!

Or as the wonderfully slightly-wonky English translation puts it, "Lancre Convention Celebrating Discworld 30 years of anniversary October 11-13, Nawojowa Gora, near Krakow"

Yes, next month the world of Discworld fandom in Poland gets an opportunity to express itself en masse. WOSSNAME wishes this convention every success, as the organisers certainly seem to have got well into the spirit of the thing.

Below are some highlights and info, including order of service. Or of chaos. All right, of convention...

Friday, October 11 activities:

Opening of registration point
Gambler's Guild
L-Space
Underground Mime's Guild
Night Kitchen of Unseen University
The Ankh-Morpork Watch
Unseen University and Artificer's Guild
Hex building
Susan's school

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/#chapter-1

Saturday, October 12 activities:

Guild of Exotic Dancers
Witch'es cottage
Unseen University's Library
Fools's Guild
Unseen University
Dibbler's special
Merchant's Guild
Discworld Miss and Mister contest

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/#chapter-2

Sunday, October 13 activities:

Actor's Guild
Music's Guild
Ankh-Morpork Times
Town Criers' Guild
Secret association
Alchemist's Guild

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/#chapter-3

Organizing a piece of program:

Do you have a great idea that we did not come up with? Or maybe you just want to help with any of existing ones? Please email grace@pratchett.pl and let us know about your idea! Everything is created by fans and at the cost of it, but we will try to organize some surprises for those who helped.

Volunteering:

If you think, that during the event you will find some time to help, do something, then you should let us know. If you are going to be dressed up as one of the characters/ things/ phenomenon, don't forget to let us know. We're going to need help with cleaning, moving things, helping in the kitchen, info point, watching etc. But we want to make sure that no one will miss anything that wanted to attend, so it is enough if someone can help for an hour or two. Contact grace@pratchett.pl

Other help:
You dare to think you know something well and you can help? You have some great ideas, but not necessarily about organizing program. Maybe you want to help with advertising, or filming? We are waiting for you! Contact grace@pratchett.pl

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/#footnotes

Links for accommodation, registration, maps and directions, and general FAQ:

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/#editorial

The FAQ page is particularly excellent! Some examples:

Q: I am Troll, and I want to dress as a dwarf, is it allowed?
A: If only you will not bring the Campaign for Equal Heights with you and will not start another Koom Valley, then we do not see a problem here.

Q: I am a 42 year old dwarf, do you require a consent from the parents only for underaged humans or other species as well?
A: All of the underaged persons of any species are obliged to bring a consent from their parent. If you are not sure, ask your parents.

Q: I am travelling on the broomstick, is there a runway?
A: Depending on space you need, you can land on the local field. We also have a broomstick park.

There's even a page of useful Polish-English phrases:

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/#dictionary

Registration Price list

If paid until September 22nd:
30 PLN - entrance for 3 days (with at least 1 hot meal per day)
20 PLN Convention t-shirt with a possibility of your name on the sleeve
25 PLN Dragon t-shirt (only black ones)
18 PLN Dragon bags (black)

If paid until October 6th:
35 PLN - entrance for 3 days (with at least 1 hot meal per day)
20 PLN Convention t-shirt with a possibility of your name on the sleeve
25 PLN Dragon t-shirt (only black ones) – if available
18 PLN Dragon bags (black) - if available

If paid after October 6th or at the event:
40 PLN - entrance for 3 days (with at least 1 hot meal per day)
20 PLN Convention t-shirt with a possibility of your name on the sleeve
25 PLN Dragon t-shirt (only black ones) – if available
18 PLN Dragon bags (black) - if available

You will receive a bank account details after verifying your registration. Please direct all the questions to
konwent@pratchett.pl

http://konwent.pratchett.pl/english/

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08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

8.1 RINCE CYCLE TICKETS!


ORDERING TICKETS FOR THE RINCE CYCLE – NOW AVAILABLE

"Studio Theatre Club continues its world-famous Discworld stage series with a new offering: 'The Rince Cycle', dramatised by Stephen Briggs. "An adventure based on Terry Pratchett's Rincewind novels The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and snippets of Sourcery.

"Tickets are £8.50 each. You should send us your order, with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, and your cheque (payable to 'STC'). PLEASE - If you're booking for one of the weekend performances (Friday evening, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening), please do give us a second and third choice, in case we've sold out for your first choice. Tickets will be allocated in order of receipt with us.

"Please send your orders to:
STC (Rince Cycle), PO Box 1486, Oxford, OX4 9DQ, with
· A stamped, self-addressed envelope;
· Your choice of dates (with 2nd and 3rd choice if you're after weekend tickets);
· Your cheque, payable to 'STC';
· An email contact if possible."

When: 26th to 30th November 2013
Venue: Unicorn Theatre, Old Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3HZ
Time: 7:30
Tickets: £8.50.

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/CurrentPlans.html

http://www.abingdonabbey-unicorntheatre.org.uk/findus.html


8.2 WYRD SISTERS IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Dursley Operatic and Dramatic Society (DODS) will be presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters next month. "The DODS is one of the leading amateur dramatics societies in the South West with an ethos of staging the best possible productions in whatever show we undertake. The society currently stages three senior shows a year plus one show from its thriving Junior group. The society is a warm, friendly and welcoming group that embraces all newcomers and encourages them to realise their talents whether that be on stage, backstage, wardrobe, lighting, sound etc."

When: 9th-12th October 2013
Venue: Lister Hall, The Chantry Centre, 34-36 Long Street, Dursley, Gloucs GL11 4JB
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10.00 adults, £8 youth (in full time education). To buy online, go to:

http://www.thedods.ticketsource.co.uk/

http://www.the-dods.com/


8.3 MASKERADE IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

Chesham Theatre Company presents their production of Maskerade in November.

When: Wednesday 6 November to Saturday 9 November Venue: The Elgiva Theatre, St Mary's Way, Chesham, Bucks Time: evening performances at 8 pm, matinee (Saturday) 2.30pm. Tickets: from The Elgiva Box Office (tel: 01494 582900) or online at www.elgiva.com

http://www.cheshamtheatrecompany.org.uk/


8.4 WYRD SISTERS IN LINCOLNSHIRE

The St Peter's Hill Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in time for Halloween! [Wyrd Sisters on 31st October is becoming something of a worldwide tradition, innit – Ed.]

"Celebrate Halloween with Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett's hilarious Shakespearean tale. The story includes a fool, a wicked Duke and Duchess, the ghost of a murdered King, dim soldiers, strolling players, unionised robbers, a land in peril and of course, not forgetting the three witches who stand between the kingdom and certain destruction. Will the witches defeat evil? Hubble, bubble, we smell trouble! This is a fun theatrical comedy for all the family. As a treat for Halloween SPHP have reduced ticket prices for all performances!"

When: Wednesday 30th October to Saturday 2nd November 2013
Venue: Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter's Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ, "parallel to the High Street in the centre of town. It is instantly recognisable, located beneath the clock tower which dominates the green."
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: £7.50. To purchase tickets online, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/kuootf2

The Box Office is open from Mon to Fri 9.30am to 4.30pm, Sat 9.30am to 1.00pm and 45 minutes prior to events. Discounts are available to Artscene Members, unemployed, senior citizens, students, children under 16, those in receipt of income support, invalidity, benefit or disability allowance, and to a carer accompanying a disabled person. Please bring proof of status when making a booking.

Student Standby tickets are available to anyone in full-time education for all Guildhall promoted shows for just £2.00, 15 minutes prior to a show, provided it is not sold out.

Paid-for tickets should be collected at least 15mins before the start of a show to avoid a last minute rush.

Note: Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and will only be admitted unaccompanied to events deemed to be age appropriate. Children under the age of 18 months are not admitted into the theatre. Any child brought to see a performance must have a ticket and an allocated seat due to Health and Safety regulations.

http://www.guildhallartscentre.com/shows/wyrd-sisters


8.5 MORT IN NORCROSS, GEORGIA

Lionheart Theatre will present their production of Mort, directed by Jason Caldwell, in November 2013. A Discworld first for the state!

When: 1st-17th November 2013
Venue: Lionheart Theatre, 10 College Street (at the corner with Britt Avenue), Norcross, GA 30071
Time: Friday and Saturday nights 7:30pm, Sundays 2pm
Tickets: $15 for Adults $12 for seniors and students. Groups of 10 or more $10 each. Please call to arrange. All ticket prices include dessert and beverage

For more information, ring (770) 885-0425

http://www.lionhearttheatre.org/

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09) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

The Pratchett Partisans are a new fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". For more info about their next meetup, go to

http://www.meetup.com/Pratchett-Partisans/

or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

A fanfic extravaganza?

"Exclusive reading of John's new Discworld Short story. This will be your first chance to hear a brand new DW story called 'The Patrician's Voice', written by one of us - John O. John says has been making a nuisance of himself on various stages since 1974 and has bought many Pratchett plays to life at Brisbane Arts Theatre since 2007, one of which, 'Nanny Ogg's Cookbook' Sir Terry himself attended.

"John has recently created a mini-masterpiece to share with us: a short story that came to him nearly fully formed as he woke up one morning. Set after The Truth and before Going Postal, The Patrician's Voice brings together many of our favourite Watch and Wizard characters, Vetinari, Reacher Guilt and a few surprise guests, and takes us for a new adventure into the world we know and love.

"Join us for a reading, discussion and afternoon tea."

When: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Venue: Coffee Club Goodna, Shop 1/12 Queen Street, Goodna (in the enclosed side room outside)
Time: 2pm

Brisbane/Ankh Morpork Photo Scavenger Hunt No#2

"Missed our August scavenger Hunt? Or did you go and have heaps of fun? Either way join us for another one! Use DW related clues to explore Brisbane and find a variety of Ankh Morpork related places and things. The adventure will probably take about an hour and a half, after which we will share prizes and drinks/food at a place to be decided. The more the merrier so please bring family and friends – non Pratchett people are most welcome."

When: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Venue: Groove Train, King George Square, 100 Adelaide St, Brisbane
Time: 3:00 PM


Celebrate the release of Raising Steam

"Lets go to the markets and enjoy a Steam train ride! The market is free and pretty close to Bundamba Train Station. Steam train rides are $10 (half hour ride) and leave at 11am and 12noon."

When: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Venue: Ipswich Turf Club
Brisbane Road, Bundamba
Time: 10.00am

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. TCoSG have regular dinner and games nights, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join the mailing list, go to:

http://ausdwcon.org/pages/smallgods


TCoSG will also be hosting a special one-night-only event this coming November:

"The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club presents 'QUIZ LONG AND PROSPER' – a Science Fiction & Fantasy themed Quiz Night!"

When: 26th October 2013
Venue: Clarence Gardens Bowling Club, Winona Ave, Clarence Gardens, South Australia
Time: 7pm
Tickets: $15 Adult/$12 Concession, tables of 8. To book tables, email: RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

For more information, go to:
http://ausdwcon.org/pages/quizlong

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. The next meeting will probably be on Thursday 3rd October 2013, but do email (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:

broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first Friday of every month at the famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome! The next WOTS meeting will (probably) be on Friday 4th October 2013.

*

The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld meeting group, will be from 7pm on Monday 7th October 2013 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ. Note the new web address:

http://brokendrummers.org/

Here be the Broken Drummers' September 2013 meet report:

"We had a nice meeting Monday. Early on there was discussion of which animals we would and would not eat. Alex C. treated us to graphic descriptions of the general grossness of sheep as I ate my lambsteak. This led to discussion of performing mouth to mouth resuscitation on animals (as my uncle once did with a piglet). James B. declared that he would be willing to do this to save a snake (perform mouth to mouth on the snake that is, not a pig) in principle although not in practice because it wouldn't work.

"Jessica did a quiz based on the Hobbit. This was won by Andrew who received a pink stationary[sic] set. Jessica was apologetic about the colour but I pointed out that a man with two My Little Pony T-shirts would not be afraid of pink."

For more information write to BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, have been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, N Yorks, 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/

*

Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. The next meeting will (probably) be on Monday 2nd September 2013. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):

kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the month. The next meeting should be on Monday 7th October 2013.

Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA).

For details follow us on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/

Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com

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

10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Awesome art car from Burning Man – yes, it's Great A'Tuin and the elephants and the Discworld! Amazing:

http://tinyurl.com/la29jsv


Pterry, looking very dapper at the Edinburgh Festival with Rob Wilkins and John Lloyd:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BSTsHIyCEAAoaVe.jpg


One Derek Taylor is a seriously hardcore Pratchett fan – just look at his whole-back tattoo:

http://tinyurl.com/nyx9sk7


Posted by Kim White, a timely "iconograph" of Lord Vetinari:

http://tinyurl.com/mtbvg38


26 Discworld quotes in poster-able form:

http://tinyurl.com/ng3mmgq


Billy Joe Walchuk posted this Unseen Academicals-appropriate photo:

http://tinyurl.com/lgb939j


...and last, fabulous edible orangutan by Richard's Cakes:

http://tinyurl.com/mzcuo95

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

11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger KokkieH's review of The Long Earth:

"Parallel universes are nothing new to Science Fiction, but the idea is given a wonderful new spin in The Long Earth, a collaboration between Sir Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter... The main plot of the novel revolves around Joshua Valiente, a natural stepper (someone born with the ability) from Madison, Wisconsin and one of the first to be identified, giving him a kind of celebrity status. Joshua teams up with Lobsang, a Tibetan motorcycle mechanic who reincarnated into a supercomputer. Together they set out on a journey beyond a million Earths out. Lobsang claims the purpose of the journey is for scientific discovery, but Joshua soon learns there is some threat out in the Long Earth... There are several more subplots woven into the story, focusing on various individuals and how they deal with stepping and exploring and exploiting the new Earths... I haven't read anything by Baxter, but I could spot Pratchett's style almost immediately. Similar to his Discworld novels, The Long Earth is not so much made up of chapters (even though the novel has numbered chapters), as scenes that at first seem to be tossed in there rather haphazardly. If you've never read anything by him before it can be jarring at first as you struggle to figure out what the story actually is, but after a while you get used to it and everything makes sense.

"The characters come across as a little flat. The focus is much more on stepping and its effect on humanity than on the characters and we don't even see the main character, Joshua, from all sides. However, if you're used to Sir Terry's style that's also not surprising as he tends to let his characters grow over the course of several novels (and there's at least three more novels planned in this series). What really impressed me about this novel is the world-building... I wouldn't call this novel a page turner. Rather, it reads almost like a documentary, as if it is reporting on events as they unfold while giving us some insight into the thoughts and emotions of the characters. This unfortunately makes it easy to put down, but it was good enough that I kept picking it back up again..."

http://tinyurl.com/kketvpd

Reviewing Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, blogger Nadine is a bit sad that the "dirty bits" were expunged from it:

"I had known about Nanny Ogg's Cookbook for a while, being surrounded by Terry Pratchett fans in my internet bookosphere. But until I read Maskerade, I never quite saw the appeal in reading a book of recipes written by a fictional character. Once I had that little background knowledge (and got to know Nanny Ogg in all her glory), this became a must-buy. I found a second hand hardback copy and began reading the day it arrived. The format allows for quick reading and it doesn't matter if you only manage to read one recipe on the train or one chapter about etiquette before bed. There is no plot you have to keep in mind, this is just Nanny Ogg's wisdom as she shares it with the world, complete with misspelled words and her translations of words in 'foreign'. The editor's notes, shown as little post-its, remind us that grammar has been fixed, whenever necessary, and – to my chagrin – all the potentially dirty bits were left out... My greatest surprise was probably that most of the recipes could actually be made without poisoning anybody. They are, so to speak, Roundworld-friendly...

"The real joy came in two parts. One is the wonderful illustrations that accompany you throughout the book. Each of these is intricate and lovingly drawn. But they are not just pictures slapped in the margins to show Nanny in her kitchen, they all tell you something about the characters and amused me greatly, even without reading the text. My second favorite part were Nanny's lessons about etiquette. She distinguishes between Discworld in general and Lancre culture specifically. Whereas somebody may be knighted in Lancre for managing to make the castle less draughty, in Ankh-Morpork, other rules apply. Nanny mostly gets by with her confidence and warm heart, or in case that doesn't work, with a nice jug of something alcoholic. The entire book is infused with her wonderful sense of humour and her love for food and friends and family..."

http://tinyurl.com/lxhrggn

...and Nadine also thoroughly approves of travelling Lancrastian witches, as they go Abroad:

"Terry Pratchett knows his fairy tales. While this Discworld book focuses mainly on Cinderella, influences of other well-known and not so well-known stories slip into the witches' adventure. Take Mrs Gogol's house, for example. You can see it in the (very green!) full cover illustration above. Anyone who's ever heard of Baba Yaga will recognise that house on chicken's legs immediately. But even if you're not a friend of fairy tales, classic or obscure, there are many more things to amuse and delight. If you've ever wondered, for example, if Discworld had its own Casanova, search no longer. That is all I will say on the subject because he is best enjoyed without bias. I also loved Discworld's take on racism. There is none. Because the inhabitants are too busy with speciesism, nobody cares what color your skin is, just so long as you're not a goblin. Of course, this is meant to be taken with a grain of salt, but I believe it shows Pratchett's amazing gift when hiding real- world issues in Discworld without wielding the morality hammer. Sometimes when I read his books I feel that he just gets it..."

http://tinyurl.com/mo6km7j

Blogger jennykathleen's essay comparing the Golems of Feet of Clay to the robots of the film Wall-E:

"When rereading Feet of Clay, of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, I realized how much the use of the golems in the book reminded me of the robots in Wall-E, especially the ways in which they interact with humans... One of the first commonalities that struck me was the subservience/dependency present in these works. It's obvious in Wall-E that the robots are a subservient working class, even though the humans would be quite helpless without them. While the humans of Discworld are less directly reliant on their golems, they still refuse to rid themselves of what they consider to be blasphemous, unnatural magic because they're just too useful to destroy. I know it's a drastic comparison to make, but it does remind me of the arguments against abolishing slavery pre-Civil War. With our current, modern morality, we know it's wrong to use people as mere tools, but where do we draw that line? Particularly intelligent animals, like dolphins and great apes? How to we prove and quantify that intelligence? Robots? Where's the sentience limit on personhood? I'm not suggesting that we start paying our Roombas wages any time soon, but I think it's something to be aware of as our technology advances and we become more aware of intelligences besides our own...

"As a linguistics major, I'm pretty biased in saying that language and communication are quite central to being human. Both the golems and the robots are limited in regards to speech, so it's interesting to see how they overcome that. The golems of Feet of Clay are built without tongues, and so do all their communication by writing on slates carries with them at all times. When a golem gains ownership of himself, he shows the first inklings of speech, but is not fully capable of it until a human rebuilds him to have a tongue (now free, speech is literally gifted unto him by his previous masters). Quite a big deal is made of this, with one antagonist calling it blasphemy. In a very poignant moment, one of the main characters responds, 'That's what people say when the voiceless speak.' The robots of Wall-E, on the other hand, are verbally capable, though presumably only the words that have been programmed into them..."

http://tinyurl.com/k2frn6r

Blogger Elle sees the City Watch stories as "morality for minors":

"I'm completely new to Terry Pratchett, but I've just read the first five books in the City Watch strand, starting with Guards! Guards!, progressing to Men at Arms and Feet of Clay, and finishing up with Jingo and The Fifth Elephant. It's smart and funny stuff. The satire gets better, more focused, as he goes along; in Guards! Guards! and Men at Arms there is a generalized sense of poking fun at petty-mindedness, smallness, meanness; but this is as much as to say that he is satirizing humanness. Which isn't to say that Pratchett doesn't come out with some damning one-liners... Pratchett writes this: 'Dorfl was standing at bay at the end of the alley. Three men with hammers were approaching the golem cautiously, in the way of mobs, each unwilling to strike the first blow in case the second blow came right back at him. The golem was crouching back, shielding itself with its slate on which was written: I AM WORTH 530 DOLLARS.' It tries to save itself by telling its value–but its value is literal. Its only chance is to prove that it is worth money, because that is all that will interest anyone in its favor. I am not sure I have ever read anything so simple, so sad and so utterly effective.

"And that's what science fiction and fantasy are for. That's what novels are for–to demonstrate human behavior without reference to the reader's own life, so that we can read it from a place of objectivity and realize the truth without becoming too self-defensive to get the message. SF and fantasy just places us on a different plane, a further level of removal. Golems don't exist in our world and so we can read about their enslavement and oppression without the line being jammed in the same way that it would be if, say, Pratchett was writing about the enslavement and oppression of people of color, or women, or women of color. We would inevitably bring to such a novel our own backgrounds, biases, guilt or shame or anger, and so on. The key to reading SF and fantasy is connecting the two, seeing the places where the social realities of the Discworld (or Middle-earth or wherever) and the real world intersect..."

http://tinyurl.com/loho6l7

Blogger inkandsteeljunkie sings the praises of Monstrous Regiment:

"You know Mulan? This book constantly reminds me of Mulan. You like Mulan? (The only answer is 'yes') You'll LOVE this book. It's a war novel from the perspective of Polly, a young girl from a small country in the Disc ‘verse. Pratchett enjoys writing all sorts of well-rounded female characters and Polly is intelligent with a good head for business and a little bit snarky. However, her brother Paul has gone missing in action after fighting in the army. Polly decides to set out and join the army in search of her brother. I refuse to give away any spoilers except that you will have Mulan in mind when you read this book (yeah, I totally used 'when' instead of 'if'). It's chock full of Pratchett's characteristic wit and humour while also being full of substance. I like to think of the book as pretty feminist friendly, as well. I highly recommend this book as a fantastic starting point for anyone curious about Terry Pratchett..."

http://tinyurl.com/ky7k8vy

Blogger Olga Godim's review of Guards! Guards! finds it triumphant but unsettling:

"Like many Pratchett's novels, this one is a contemplation of human nature, and the picture the author paints is grim. Are we all really as bad, I wonder? Is there even a shred of decency in any of us? The novel starts as a satirical farce, with a number of hysterical pages. In the beginning, I laughed myself to tears, until the mood turned midway through the novel, and I stopped laughing. Nothing the author said in the last third of the book was funny. The dragon was defeated, yes, but in Pratchett's interpretation, the implied triumph of freedom became a rather morbid study of human guile and its inescapable companion – stupidity.

"Characters are the unquestionable forte of this book, foremost of them Carrot. A star of the tale, Carrot doesn't change. Instead, he is a catalyst of change. Like a real star, he causes the others to revolve around him, to absorb his inner light and become better in the process. I'm absolutely fascinated by Carrot, and even more by the writer who invented him and put him in the middle of his very cynical series. Captain Sam Vimes and the members of his Watch are also worth mentioning. They are people ground into the dirtiest dirt by life and self-disgust and then pulled out of the gutter by Carrot. They rise to the occasion, becoming reluctant heroes. Almost. At Carrot's side, they all try to be taller, bolder, smarter. It's a fascinating metamorphosis and fun to watch – how men learn to respect themselves..."

http://tinyurl.com/k9kkn4o


Blogger ana was blown away by Nation:

"I was forewarned by friends and readers. I have read – and loved – a couple of other books by the author. So it's not like I didn't know the odds this would be good but this book? It blew my mind away. In its epilogue, Terry Pratchett says: Thinking. This book contains some. And that's true: this is one of the most think-y books I have ever read. I loved it with every fibre of my being. Nation is a book of ideas. Its main theme, that of construction and creation: the construction of a home, of a family, of rules, tradition and religion. It is about those building blocks of civilisation itself and of individuals, in a way that is both extremely rational and enormously emotional. Writing that line just now makes me realise how weird that might sound to those who haven't read the book. Above all it makes me think about how hard it is to pull something like this off and to keep a balance between what drives a story and the story itself without making a book about ideas, a book that is solely about ideas. If that makes any sense at all – I am finding it extremely hard to write this review because how do you describe perfection? Especially when it's so affecting?

"...In a way, a wave came but they are not completely marooned because they have Tradition. But does Tradition serve them at this time of need or is that now an impediment? How important is it to keep going as it 'has always been'? Or is this yet another misconception about the world? Slowly: the understanding that those are internalised voices and that questioning is good. To understand the HOW is all the more important: history becomes religion becomes tradition becomes internal rules living inside one's head... Interestingly enough, limited as my Terry Pratchett experience might be, I found Nation to be slightly different in tone (not as funny) to the other books I have read from the author but exactly the same in how smart it is..."

http://tinyurl.com/lnfdejf


Blogger thejollyape's awe-filled love letter about The Author and his work:

"This isn't simply a resonance of the 'real-world', it's its own beautifully dirty little creature with a strong heart and an independent will. The level with which I'm invested in this world is both a happy and sad thing. More than once have I wished deeply I could plan and then go on a holiday to this place. I want to smell the stench, wear the tattered clothes and watch the sites watch me. A weekend trip to Ankh-Morpork and then a week or two up north getting the experience both the urban and rural, but always making sure to cover up my jugular real well on account of liking my blood to be mostly on the inside of my veins.

As a result Terry Pratchett feels like my favourite uncle (I'm sorry, Uncle, you're still my favourite uncle when I'm not trying to make points in blog posts). I've grown up with this man always being present through his words and worlds. He's always been there to tell a good story, impress me and help me see how big the world really is by making sure I look beyond its geographical boundaries..."

http://tinyurl.com/lsgvtyq


For blogger Wendy, The Colour of Magic was only moderately magical, despite her giving it four out of five stars:

"I really liked this novel. Pratchett is an artist with the way he uses words. And this book is especially my kind of humour: raw, sarcastic. Exactly how I like it! You can view this book as a parody of fantasy and science fiction writing. Everything that's been written before by other writers is mocked. And this mocking and sarcasm is in every sentence. Nothing is ever serious... I thought there wasn't a coherent story. The novel exists of a few different parts and every part contained another encounter with something fantasy-like and a lot of indirect references. These parts didn't really fit together to form one story. I know it's part of the humour that the two travelers jump from one typical fantasystory into another, but I found it therefore very hard to really get into the story. Pratchett is great writer and I love his writing style, but I would certainly recommend another novel of the Discworld series if you wish to read one..."

http://tinyurl.com/k9kp8jj


Tellyblogger Pond TV picks Mister Teatime as one of the greatest British telly villains:

"Marc Warren channels the childlike voice of Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka, made all the more creepy with mismatched eyes and a dagger. Teatime (not pronounced like 4:00) is a psychotic assassin hired by the auditors to kill the Hogfather, but Teatime decides to take it to the next step and kill all mythological characters, including the tooth fairy, the soul cake duck, and Death, which proves difficult when he learns that Death's granddaughter is a fiery young governess by the name of Susan Sto Helit."

http://acrossthepondtv.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/top-5-villains/


Blogger Hannah's piece shows that the "Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice" holds true no less in our own universe:

"'A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars. Therefore over a period of ten years, he might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before. And he would still have wet feet.'

"That's it, in a nutshell. Lower-income families have to make do with lower quality items because they simply cannot afford the initial investment required to buy something well-made that will last for years. This holds true for everything from sneakers to looseleaf binders to pencils. It's the number-one reason why I approve of teachers who simply ask for a cheque so that they can buy school supplies in bulk for the classroom. For a lot of years I was one of the kids with the 'Club Z' brand markers, and the orange one always died out half-way through colouring my Hallowe'en pumpkin. Did I want the Crayola markers? Of course I did. And my mom knew they would last longer, too. But one pack of Crayolas equaled multiple packs of El Cheapo Store Brand and with four kids guess which one we always got? My parents would inevitably spend more in total that the ones who could afford the Crayolas, and yet our markers never worked..."

http://tinyurl.com/l3vdn5o


Blogger Brendan Mancilla was somewhat puzzled by The Long Earth:

"As a novel that blends comedy, pseudo-science, and pioneer adventurism The Long Earth is, perhaps, the strangest book that I've read in a long time. It is a mixture of at least four genres that produces, maybe not too surprisingly, an equally strange novel. Almost two weeks after I finished The Long Earth I'm still grappling with my final impression of the book... I'm pretty sure I liked the book. It's fun and humorous at times, and Joshua Valiente is an extremely well-developed protagonist that I mostly approve of. The book's breakout character, of course, is Lobsang the AI who moves from machine to machine as needed. He's clever and witty and the inclusion of a non-human character allows the novel to inquire on the human condition but it never quite escapes the gimmicky feeling that stitches the book together. Boy, does it wander. Not that wandering is a bad thing since this is, at its heart, a novel about a journey with no destination. Books, however, have an end and so when The Long Earth begins the rushed approach to its own ending the experience is rushed and disconnected; surreal but relevant in a strange way. The Long Earth owns a cool premise that it loses sight of on its way to the next sequel. Not quite a disappointment, but not quite spectacular either. The best way I can phrase it is that I'm glad I picked up the book and I did enjoy it, but not enough to run out and buy book two..."

http://bmancilla.com/2013/08/29/book-review-the-long-earth/


...and blogger toppersbooks reviews Men at Arms with an eye to the issue of gun control:

"Pratchett rather brilliantly satires prejudice here – oh, not the overt prejudice that people really notice, but the little, tiny comments and attitudes that can nearly silently and subtly attack people. It's funny but very relatable. And no one is free from these attitudes – it's nice how even the best of his characters are shown to have some sort of unrealized prejudice... I think my favorite quotes were to do with the justice system and how justice ought to be served. (Vetinari is of the belief, of course, that every crime ought to have a punishment and if that punishment happens to fall upon the perpetrator of the crime, well, so much the better.) There were also some zingers about a monarchy vs. a dictatorship (Ankh-Morpork's current regime) which I thought were full of some commonly unrealized truths.

Now, Pratchett is British and he does share what I think is (but have no idea if it's true) a British dislike of guns. This is a book with the underlying message that guns are evil and shouldn't be used. (If you have a different reading, please let me know in the comments!) I'm a Texan and while I believe in reasonable laws regulating ownership of guns, I don't believe in the abolition of guns – this is one of the few subjects on which Pratchett and I disagree. It didn't take away from my appreciation of the book or from the humor; I just didn't agree with all the points he was trying to make..."

http://toppersbooks.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/men-at-arms/

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

12) CLOSE

And this month there's more to come, including a review of The Carpet People. Don't forget – you can pre-order Jack Dodger's Guide to London now! Release date is 21st November. I for one can hardly wait! For more info, and to order, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/lzvqlap

See you in two weeks or sooner...

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

———————————————————————————————————
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: interact (at) pearwood (dot) info
———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion


October 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 9, Post 2)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...

********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
02) RAISING STEAM NEWS UPDATE: THE SYNOPSIS!
03) PRATCHETT AND GAIMAN "MYSTERY PROJECT"
04) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
05) SUPERFAN! AN INTERVIEW WITH PAT HARKIN
06) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
07) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE RETURN OF LESHP?!
08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
09) MORE IMAGES OF THE MONTH
10) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
11) THE WOSSNAME REVIEW: THE CARPET PEOPLE
12) LATE BREAKING NEWS, AND CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Back again with some more news, bits, bobs, odds and sods for September... A quote to start:

"Big respect for the organist at the @OpenUniversity degree ceremony today; a fine rendition of the Imperial March!"

– Sir Pterry ptweets, and WOSSNAME congratulates him for winning yet another honorary degree (this one from the Open University)

*

Next up: the Carpet People trailer! An epic saga of miniature proportions, as they say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6XSAhx6yG4

Also, for Facebook users only, a selection of stills from the DVD:

http://tinyurl.com/le42edk

*

There's a new Pratchett meeting group in Fourecks, known as Western Drummers

"Come and join the newly formed Western Drummers for their first meeting Monday 21st October 2013, Nepean Rowers Club 7.00pm."

*

Apparently Going Postal is being released in Hebrew. For the Golem readers among us, perhaps?

http://www.fantastic-library.com/?p=7821


And on we go...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

02) RAISING STEAM NEWS UPDATE: THE SYNOPSIS!

"To the consternation of the Patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork – a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it's soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrived armed with note pads and very sensible rainwear.

"Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work – as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital... but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don't always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse...

"Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi' t' flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs and some very angry dwarfs if he's going to stop it all going off the rails..."

To view this announcement on the web, in all its graphic-image-y loveliness, the procedure is the same as for the previous Raising Steam Machine announcement:

1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/raisingsteam

2. Find the Raising Steam Machine image and click on it; this will take you to
https://www.facebook.com/pratchett?sk=app_190322544333196&app_data

3. When the Raising Steam Machine page loads, click on the "Press" button above the words "Ticket available"

4. A "ticket" will appear – click on it. This will take you to a new page which is your "Ticket". Copy the number to the right of the words "Use this ticket number as your password" (this time the number is 6819), then click on "click here". This will take you to http://terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=2724

5. Click on the "The list can be viewed here" hyperlink. This will take you to the announcement!

Remember, to pre-order Raising Steam from Amazon UK in hardcover at a special-offer price, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/qxmh87w

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
THE REST OF THIS ISSUE IS UNDER THE CUT. CLICK HERE TO READ! )
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion


August 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 8, Post 1)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...

********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) FESTIVALS NEWS
04) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
05) NEW PTERRY AND STEPHEN BAXTER INTERVIEW
06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
09) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE REAL BRINDISI
10) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
11) THE DISCWORLD RALLY THAT ISN'T...?!
12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
13) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
14) CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"Ask yourself how often rockets were going to the Moon in science fiction way before we ever did in reality."

– Pterry, interviewed at the Long War launch

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

02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

This is a good month for festivals – and Sir Pterry and his works are enlivening some of the best! From an hour of free-form conversation with iconic programme creator John Lloyd at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to an evening on stage at the Brighton Reads Festival, to a performance of Steeleye Span's new Wintersmith songs at Hever Castle, there is plenty of not-to-be-missed Pratchett action for those of you who are in the appropriate "jograffy". See item 3 below for details.

*

From the Official Voice of Pterrydom, a Raising Steam announcement:

"** SERVICE UPDATE **

"We regret to announce a delay in the expected arrival of the new service from Discworld. Fuel is being loaded, knobs are being polished and engines stoked.

"RAISING STEAM will arrive into the Roundworld on the new date 7th November 2013. We apologise for any delays this may cause to your Discworld journey."

*

Exciting news for the Pratchett family! This item in from Rhianna's Twitter page:

"This happened to me last night as I sat in my local cinema with Louis, his family & 50 strangers. P.S. I said yes!"

http://youtu.be/iA8XgI81ElI

*

Now read on for plays (including an exclusive presentation of Soul Music this week!) and meet-up information, interviews, news, odds and ends and all the rest...

– Annie Mac, Editor

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
THE REST OF THIS ISSUE IS UNDER THE CUT. CLICK HERE TO READ! )
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion


July 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 7, Post 1)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...

********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) NEW RELEASES!!! WITH TRAINS!!!
04) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
05) IAN STEWART ON THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD
06) THE LONG WAR REVIEWS
07) THE THINGS PRATCHETT FANS SAY...
08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
09) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE REAL MOIST VON LIPWIG?
10) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
11) HOGSWATCH IN JULY
12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
13) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
14) CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"So when I was taking high school Biology back in the 90's, we had to make these flash cards of varying animal species. My teacher wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, and my project partners had a mile-wide streak of mischief in them. We made a card for a giant star turtle. Made up a genus/species for it, and put down for 'information' that it had four elephants and a discworld on its back. She never caught it. This may partially explain my love/hate relationship with biology."

– FlowerGirlPhysicist, on i09

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
THE REST OF THIS ISSUE IS UNDER THE CUT. CLICK HERE TO READ! )
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion


July 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 7, Post 2)

********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...

********************************************************************
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
02) PTERRY FOR CITY READS IN BRIGHTON
03) BACK TO BEACONSFIELD
04) DISCWORLD APP PRICE DROP FOR THE REST OF JULY
05) THE THINGS PRATCHETT FANS SAY...
06) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) A READER'S LETTER
09) MORE IMAGES OF THE MONTH
10) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
11) LATE BREAKING NEWS, AND CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Back again with some more news, bits, bobs, odds and sods. Like this one:

Fantasy, fiction, philosophy, psychology... what do (or don't) they have in common? In this live discussion video, two Terrys – our favourite Author and the philosopher Terry Eagleton – and famed novelist (and leading Pratchettian) AS Byatt engage in a British Humanist Association-sponsored debate about the nature and uses of fantasy. This fascinating exchange covers the topics of "fantasy and freedom", "fantasy and desire", and "fantasy and fiction", not forgetting the psychological aspects of fantasy. The sound quality is fairly wretched but the content is fascinating. Many thanks to Colin Smythe for pointing this one out!

http://iai.tv/video/at-the-world-s-edge

*

Talk about taking one's cosplay seriously – in the Land of Fog, needlewoman The Dreamstress has finished her version of a Polly Oliver uniform after five years of planning and execution. From the lack of, erm, places to put a pair of socks, we can only imagine that this is the uniform Polly might have worn *after* effecting reforms post-return to duty, but do have a look because the results are truly spectacular! The page includes photos and the history of creating the costume:

http://thedreamstress.com/2013/07/announcing-polly-oliver/

*

In other news – or lack of it – seems to be very little text out there about this month's NADWCon. If anyone can point me to reviews or reminiscences, we'd be much obliged!

And on with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
THE REST OF THIS ISSUE IS UNDER THE CUT. CLICK HERE TO READ! )

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