wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
January 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 1, Post 1)


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WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
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Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 JOSH KIRBY DISCWORLD ART NEWS

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

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

http://www.joshkirbyart.com

3.2 SOME VERY USEFUL QUOTATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2kd41TV

3.3 THE OTHER DARK MORRIS

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

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

(contains many excellent iconographs!)

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

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

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

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

3.4 SIR PTERRY HONOURED IN SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME

On the Locus Magazine website:

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

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

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04) NEW DOCUMENTARY! AND GOOD OMENS TELLY SERIES NEWS

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

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

As announced in the Radio Times, by Ben Dowell:

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

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

And on the BBC's news website:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jWeYXk

From the Press Association, via the Irish Independent:

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

http://bit.ly/2jfDyoZ

From William Hughes, on the AV Club:

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

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

...and from the Penguin Classics website:

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

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

4.2 GOOD OMENS, ALSO ON YOUR TELLY!

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

The announcement, on Discworld.com:

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

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

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

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

http://narrativia.com/

From Penguin Classics:

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

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

In The Guardian:

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

http://bit.ly/2jyOM6N

On film site Joblo:

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

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

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

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2017

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON (JANUARY/FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

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

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

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

http://monstrousptc.com/

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

http://www.majestic.org/


5.2 PLAYS IN MARCH 2017

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

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

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

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


5.3 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

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

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

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

Some choice bits:

* Create Your Own Discworld Adventure roleplaying game!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Hat!

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

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

* The Discworld Gift Voucher!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Ankh-Morpork Passport!

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

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

* New stamps!

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

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

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


7.2 DISCWORLD.COM UPDATES

For the Discworld fan with deeper pockets...

* The Unseen University hoodies!

Unseen University Crest (£25 – £28):

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

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

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

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

Unseen University hoodie (£28):

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

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

Bugarup University hoodie (£28):

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

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

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

* The Unseen University scarf!

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

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

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08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

8.1 AUSDWCON 2017 UPDATES

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

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

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

8.2 IDWCON 2017 UPDATES

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

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

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

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

http://2017.idwcon.org/

8.3 NADWCON UPDATES

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

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

https://nadwcon2017.org/

8.4 CABBAGECON UPDATES

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

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

http://www.dutchdwcon.nl/

8.5 SCHEIBENWELT UPDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogger The Idle Woman celebrates Guards! Guards!:

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

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

...and also highly recommends Pyramids:

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

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

Blogger Emily Witt also reviews Pyramids:

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

http://bit.ly/2jfNsqI

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

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

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

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

Blogger Drinking and Ink's thoughts on Hogfather:

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jznKMq

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

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

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

A blog review of the Discworld MUD, by Clay:

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

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

...and of Discworld Noir, by Sonea:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jznNrx

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11) CLOSE

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

– Annie Mac


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

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

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

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


wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
January 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 1, Post 1)

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

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

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) NEW ELEMENT "OCTARINE" PETITION
04) ODDS AND SODS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
09) WITHOUT WHOM: STEPHEN BRIGGS
10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: LEUCIPOTTOMY
11) REVIEW: "IN MEMORY"
12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
13) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Alan Rickman without doubt the most perfect Lord Vetinari there never was."

  – the @terryandrob official Twitter account, 15th January 2016

"If it gets the symbol 'Oc', I'm pronouncing it ook."

  – Twitterer Jim Sheridan, commenting on the drive by Pratchett fans around the world to get a newly discovered element named Octarine

"I choose to celebrate Terry's life and all the joy it brought to many and I hope my final cover of a Discworld novel pays tribute to him as a fitting mark of my great respect."

  – Paul Kidby

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

  Hello, fellow celebrators of the Year of the Sneezing Panda aka 2016!

  I would like to draw your attention to a very special book. No, it's not an official Discworld book as such, but it *is* a book that would never have existed without the Discworld, and the other works of Sir Terry Pratchett, to inspire its creation. The book is called In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett, and is an anthology of mostly humorous stories published as a tribute to Sir Pterry and also as a fundraiser for Alzheimer's Research UK. So that makes it a Discworld ancillary book of a sort...

  Over the years Wossname has received and reviewed a number of Discworld ancillary books, and we have made no bones about finding many of these at best adequate and at worst barely mediocre, but when it comes to "In Memory" this is not the case! Please do read the full review, (item 11 in this issue), and then please, please do buy this book. It is really worth the (very reasonable) price, and all proceeds – yes, all of them – go to Alzheimer’s Research UK. There is more information at http://www.inmemorytribute.com/

*

  The release date for the upcoming Small Gods graphic novel, illustrated by Ray Friesen, is 14th July 2016. Here be a glimpse of the artwork, provided by the @terryandrob Twitter account: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZQzJ5hWAAAEWUK.jpg

  And now, on with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) NEW ELEMENT PETITION

Do you want a newly discovered Roundworld element named for the colour of magic? Of course you do!

An exciting surprise on Change.org...

  "Petitioning IUPAC and 2 others

  "Name new element 117 Octarine, in honour of Terry Pratchett's Discworld

  "This petition is to name element 117, recently confirmed by the International Union of Applied Chemistry, as 'Octarine', with the proposed symbol Oc (pronounced 'ook'), in honour of the late Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series of books... a particularly pleasing choice because, not only would it honour a world-famous and much-loved author, but it also has an 'ine' ending, consistent with the other elements in period 17. Octarine is being counted as 'a mythological concept' under IUPAC rules..."

To read the full petition, and to sign if you wish to, go to chn.ge/1mHR3dY

It's also been tweeted by Rob Wilkins, with the link, at https://twitter.com/terryandrob/status/684845900489977856 where Twitter account-holders can add a comment.

from BoingBoing:

  "Octarine, in the Discworld books, is known as 'the colour of magic', which forms the title of Pratchett's first ever Discworld book. According to Disc mythology, octarine is visible only to wizards and cats, and is generally described as a sort of greenish-yellow purple colour, which seems perfect for what will probably be the final halogen in the periodic table. Octarine is also a particularly pleasing choice because, not only would it honour a world-famous and much-loved author, but it also has an 'ine' ending, consistent with the other elements in period 17. Octarine is being counted as 'a mythological concept' under IUPAC rules, which state that elements must be named after 'a mythological concept or character; a mineral, or similar substance; a place or geographical region; a property of the element; or a scientist'. The Discworld stories are certainly stories about gods and heroes..."

http://bit.ly/22NoyN2

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04) ODDS AND SODS

4.1 COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE

According to the Bucks Free Press, Sir Pterry's onetime employers in his journalist days, our favourite author's favourite childhood library could do with a blue plaque:

  "The town council hopes to install a plaque on the wall at Beaconsfield Library in Reynolds Road, where Sir Terry was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks. Cllr Philip Bastiman, chair of the open spaces committee, said the council had been in touch with Sir Terry's daughter Rhianna, who was 'very supportive' of the idea of commemorating the author. He said: 'Because I believe he worked in the library and used the library a lot and he came back and actually gave talks at the library relatively recently, in their mind, it had a place in his affections. They feel it is wholly appropriate to have a commemorative plaque to Terry Pratchett at the library itself.' Cllr Bastiman said they could have to wait 'a number of years' for a blue plaque, which are commonly used to commemorate historical figures and places, so will remember him with their own plaque. The council wants to involve Sir Terry's family in the process and may present some designs to them for them to choose the best. Cllr Bastiman said: 'I don't think we need to be quite so formal in the way we recognise the achievements of one of our former citizens. We hope we could get a representative for the family to come up and to mark the occasion.'..".

http://bit.ly/1QpCqbq

...and from Get Bucks:

  "He was born in Beaconsfield and would often return to the area, most recently in 2013 when he gave a talk at the library in Reynolds Road. Beaconsfield Town Council has discussed the issue and has agreed that a plaque would be a good way to honour the life of one of the town's most famous residents. It has been in contact with Sir Terry's family to discuss the issue, and is set to ask Bucks County Council if it can move ahead with the plans... It is felt that honouring Sir Terry in a similar way would be a fitting tribute to the author. Beaconsfield mayor John Read said: 'I think it's excellent, and will be a really good way to mark his contribution to Beaconsfield and to literature. There are still a few things left to do, but it looks like it's all going to go ahead. Beaconsfield has a very rich literary history, and it is great to pay tribute to those who have lived and worked in Beaconsfield, and made such a contribution to the area.'... The town council is hoping to present potential designs for the plaque to Sir Terry's family in order for them to choose which one they like the most. Further announcements about the plaque are expected in the coming months."

bit.ly/1TmgezK


4.2 NEW DEMENTIA SERVICE

News from the Bucks Free Press:

  "A new dementia service will be launched for people in Buckinghamshire in April – just over a year after Beaconsfield-born Sir Terry Pratchett died. The author, who also went to school in High Wycombe and worked as a reporter at the Bucks Free Press, died on March 12, 2015. He had suffered from Alzheimer's for eight years and had been vocal about the need for better care. The new service, which was awarded by Buckinghamshire County Council and the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern), will be run by the Alzheimer's Society, which Sir Terry supported. From April 1, Buckinghamshire residents who are concerned about their memory, or who have been diagnosed with dementia, can benefit from the county's new Memory Support Service. The new care contract replaces a service which is currently split between the Alzheimer's Society and Age UK..."

http://bit.ly/1nkcv9q


4.3 THE END OF MY INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP

  My Independent Bookshop (_http://myindependentbookshop.co.uk_) has undergone a transformation for the new year. Here be extracts from the email Wossname received from their administrators:

"In May 2014, we launched My Independent Bookshop as a community where book lovers could create and curate their own virtual bookshelves, connect with independent bookshops across the UK and interact with fellow bibliophiles... we'll be closing our doors in preparation for moving into the brand new http://www.penguin.co.uk/ in the New Year. Here you'll be able to find information on all Penguin Random House books and authors, as well as read regularly published articles on all things books. Along the way, we have had an amazing amount of support from everyone we've worked with, from independent bookshops, authors, publishers and of course you – our virtual bookshop owners. Together you made the My Independent Bookshop community a vibrant place to show off our latest literary loves and discuss the books that meant something to us. Thank you for populating our virtual streets with your top picks, rave reviews and stellar shops. Over 20,000 books were put up on the shelves at My Independent Bookshop."

Sir Pterry was among those 20,000 recommenders. If any of you were also in that number, O Readers, we commend you for attempting to fight against the vile culture-destroying Beast of Amazon. Here's hoping 2016 will be the year that more and more people wake up and remember that keeping bookshops physical and local truly does matter...


4.4 ALZHEIMER'S EARLY DIAGNOSIS PROGRESS

It may soon become possible to spot pre-signs of Alzheimer's 20 years before symptoms appear. From The Telegraph:

  "Researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute and the Uppsala University discovered that inflammation occurs in the brain decades before the condition shows any other signs. It means that in future doctors could predict which people will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease when there is still time to make lifestyle changes or take drugs to slow down the condition. Treatments which can put the brakes on dementia are currently undergoing trials and could be available within a few years, so tests which can pick up the disease early are likely to be crucial in future care. Researchers followed families who were known to carry genes which made them more susceptible to Alzheimer's. Most of them will develop the condition by the time they are in their mid-50s. All participants underwent memory tests and brain scans. The mutation carriers were found to have inflammatory changes – known as astrocyte activation - almost twenty years before the estimated debut of memory problems. Astrocytes are a type of brain cell which increase following an injury to aid repair. The researchers also found a crucial window, around seventeen years before symptoms develop, where the sticky amyloid plaques which cause dementia began to increase. 'Inflammatory changes in the form of higher levels of brain astrocytes are thought to be a very early indicator of disease onset,' explains principal investigator Professor Agneta Nordberg at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Centre for Alzheimer Research at the Karolinska Institute..."

bit.ly/1nOx6TK

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 SHAKESPEARE CODEX UPDATES

The Studio Theatre Club, "the first, ever, anywhere in the world, to dramatise the works of Sir Terry Pratchett", will present the world premiere of The Shakespeare Codex by Stephen Briggs, the world's *premier* adapter of Discworld stories for the stage. If any of you haven't been following the pre-production announcements, The Shakespeare Codex is a mashup of The Science of Discworld II: the Globe, Lords & Ladies, and A Midsummer Night's Dream (the last one wasn't written by Terry Pratchett, of course), starring Ridcully, Rincewind, Granny Weatherwax, Angua, Vetinari, that Shakespeare feller, a noted 16th-century monarch – and noted Shakespeare impersonator, the Earl of Oxford.

When: 6th to 9th April 2016
Venue: Unicorn Theatre, Medieval Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk/Thames Street, Abingdon, OXON OX14 3HZ
Time: 7.30pm evening shows; Saturday matinee time not posted
Tickets: £10 (Wed./Thu.) and £11 (Friday and Saturday matinee). The Saturday evening show is already sold out. Tickets are sold via post, but phone and email requests can be made. For full information on ordering tickets, go to:
http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/ordering-tickets

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/whats-next
http://www.shakespearecodex.co.uk/

5.2 NEW: MORT IN VIRGINIA (FEBRUARY)

The Sterling Playmakers will be performing 'Mort' next month! Director Susan Kronenberg invites Discworld fans old and new to enjoy their production:

  "Imagine a world where Death (yes, the Grim Reaper himself) can take an apprentice. What if that apprentice, Mort, was suddenly put in charge of collecting souls while Death takes a holiday? What could possibly go wrong? After a 'small' mistake, EVERYTHING! Is this the end of Discworld? Will Mort and his friends, Ysabell, Death's 16 (?) year old daughter, and Albert, Death's man-servant, along with an incompetent wizard and a petulant princess be able to save the day before the whole space/time continuum collapses? Chaos abounds while Death searches for what it means to be truly 'human.' Join us on this mad romp through Terry Pratchett's Discworld — a place where magic works and science doesn't. This comic masterpiece will make you die with laughter."

When: 18th, 19th & 20th, 25th, 26th & 27th February 2016.
Venue: Sterling Middle School, 201 W. Holly Ave., Sterling, VA 20164
Time: all performances are at 8pm
Tickets: $12. To buy online, go to http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com/buy-tickets/

http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com

5.3 NEW: WYRD SISTERS IN DEREHAM (MARCH)

The Dereham Theatre Company will present their performances of the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Wyrd Sisters in March!

When: 10th–12th March 2016
Venue: Dereham Memorial Hall, 62a Norwich Street, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 1AD
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10 (£9 concessions for those aged 18 and under or over 60). Available Tuesday through Friday 10am–4pm and Saturday 9am–3pm at The Little Gallery, 62 Norwich Street NR19 1AD; by phone 01362 690 969; and by post cheques (supported by a valid cheque card) should be made payable to "Dereham Theatre Company" and posted to the address above with a stamped self-addressed envelope if you would like the tickets sent to you. Tickets can also be booked online at http://derehamtheatre.co.uk/ "On-line booking and sales from The Little Gallery will be withdrawn on the day of each performance. On the day of a performance tickets for that performance can only be purchased from the Box Office at Dereham Memorial Hall no earlier than 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance."

For full booking details, go to http://dosoc.co.uk/bookingdetails.asp

http://dosoc.co.uk/production2.asp

5.4 NEW: LORDS AND LADIES IN NEWCASTLE (JULY)

The People's Theatre, "the premier amateur theatre company in the North of England", will stage their production of Lords and Ladies, adapted by Irana Brown, in July.

  "We're no strangers to Discworld and this funny and fast-moving adaptation of (the much-missed) Sir Terry's fourteenth novel sees the welcome return of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg to our stage. It promises to be lots of fun, so book early to avoid disappointment!"

When: 12th to 16th July 2016
Venue: People's Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF. Phone: (0191) 275 9875
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £13.50 (£11 concessions). Box Office on 0191 265 5020 or email tickets.peoplestheatre@email.com.
(The Box Office is open weekdays 10.30am–1pm and Mon, Wed, Fri evenings 7.30–8.30pm)

To book online, go to the inappropriately-named Intelligent Tickets, and be prepared to jump through a truly daft series of hoops: http://www.intelligent-tickets.co.uk/index.php?th=pe

http://bit.ly/1lMl3Vj

5.5 REMINDER: ERIC IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

Monstrous Productions, who have now raised over £16,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK, bring their latest new play to the stage next month!

  "Eric Thursley doesn't want a lot from life – only mastery of his own kingdom, eternal life, and the most beautiful woman who ever lived. But he's got a dream, and even summoning the entirely useless failed wizard Rincewind by accident isn't going to make him give up any time soon. Between these two unlikely heroes and their goal lie ancient kingdoms, mythical wars and a lot of people who aren't very happy to see them. This includes the Lord of Hell and his great and terrible minions..."

When: Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 February at
Venue: The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff
Time 7:30 all evening shows;, matinee on Saturday, 2:30. These will be held at .
Tickets: £7 for adults (£5 concessions), available to purchase from the Gate Theatre box office (029 2048 3344) or by emailing monstrousproductions2012@gmail.com. To book online, go to http://7889269b08cd.fikket.com/

http://www.monstrousptc.com/

5.6 REMINDER: THE WEE FREE MEN IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS (APRIL)

NOTE: there is a special half-price ticket offer on now! Runs to the 4th of February, so get on it! – Ed.

The Unseen Theatre gang bring on a new era of Discworld adaptations with The Wee Free Men, adapted and directed by Pamela Munt!

  "In the first of a series of Discworld novels for young adults, we meet the young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching – a girl who reads the dictionary for fun – because no-one ever told her not to. With a trusty frying pan as her weapon, her grandmother's magic book (well actually its called 'Diseases of the Sheep') and the Wee Free Men by her side, Tiffany ventures into the realm of faerie land to rescue her very sticky, and not particularly likeable, baby brother. But, of course, all is not what it seems..."

When: Wed. 15th April to Sat. 30th April 2016; a Sunday 17th April matinee is to be confirmed
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2pm matinee
Tickets: Adults $22; Concession $18; Children $18; Groups (6+) $16; TREv $16; Families (2 A & 2ch.) $60. Al tickets for the Preview night (15th April) are $15. To book online, go to www.bakehousetheatre.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night, subject to availability. Box office opens 7pm.

http://bakehousetheatre.com/shows/wee-free-men

5.7 REMINDER: MORT IN YORK (JULY)

We Are Theatre will be staging their production of Mort in July!

When: 21st and 22nd June 2016
Venue: Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Haxby Road, York YO31 8TA
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions), available from the York Theatre Royal box office (phone 01904 623568). For group bookings, contact wearetheatre@googlemail.com or ring 07521 364107

www.wearetheatre.co.uk

5.8 REVIEW: UPPINGHAM THEATRE'S WYRD SISTERS

Uppingham Gets it Right

by Annie Mac

  Readers of Wossname will by now recognise the name of the Uppingham Theatre Company, whose late-October 2015 production of Wyrd Sisters had a long and fascinating pre-production runup that we featured over many issues. Being many thousands of miles from Uppingham, I was unable to attend a performance of the play in person, but techmaster Martin Baines kindly arranged to send a recording of one performance to me via clacks. And I am very glad he did – this is not the first amateur theatre rendering of Stephen Briggs' Wyrd Sisters play that I've seen, but beyond doubt it is the best.

  Top marks go to Stephen Green and Meryl Vincent-Enright as would-be royal couple Duke and Duchess Felmet, especially to Ms Vincent-Enright for giving the Duchess that fine – and canonically accurate – balance of pompousness and murderousness that melds Lady Macbeth and Hyacinth Bucket. Mick Barker excels as the Fool, the miserable bells-festooned jester who is far from foolish. The scenes between the Duke and his Fool are among the best in the production. Also of special note is Andrew Chapman's turn as Vitoller, owner-manager of the company of strolling players who shelter the infant Rightful King of Lancre (well played as a young man by Geran Jackson), and George Larkin's as the ghost of Verence I, recently-murdered Previous Rightful King of Lancre.

  As for the Wyrd Sisters themselves, Joy Everitt's portrayal of Granny Weatherwax has just the right amount of Granny's famously tight-lipped "I can't be having with this". Holly Bertalan may not be anywhere near as (also famously) flat-chested as Magrat but she makes up for her lack of lack by hitting Magrat's New Age-y soppiness spot-on. And Gillian Kendon does a creditable Nanny Ogg, although I could have done with seeing more of Nanny's legendary sauciness that Ms Kendon only showed at the very end of the production as she danced off into the wings, kicking up her heels and displaying her "scandalous" bright red petticoat with correctly Oggish delight.

  Vikki Shelton's direction is nicely timed, keeping the action moving along and getting the best projection from her players, and the entire cast achieves a satisfyingly low incidence of fluffed lines. But in many ways the shiniest star of this production is its technical excellence. Uppingham's Wyrd Sisters features the most professional-looking stage and costume design I have ever seen in an amateur theatre Discworld presentation. The sets are clever and striking, utilising well-planned back projection to create believable vistas – the wild Lancre moors, the streets (all right, street) of Ankh-Morpork, the vast-roomed, draughty expanses of Lancre castle and it gloomy dungeon. A round of applause goes to the aforementioned Martin Baines for his projection and projection design, and to stage manager Alan Jackson for ensuring that everything and everyone in this physically intricate presentation goes smoothly. Bex Key and John Everitt discharge their lighting and sound duties superbly, but I think I'll have to award Man of, that is, Seamstres-, er, Needlewoman of the Match to Mandy Jackson for her design and creation of the wonderful costumes, especially the Duchess' extraordinary gown that looked to be of full-on telly costume drama quality.

  What marks the Uppingham Theatre Company's production of Wyrd Sisters most of all is its sense of dedication – to detail, to the spirit of the chosen play, to making sure every member of the company gave their best from early days to the well-merited final bow. As producer-director, Vikki Shelton infused the entire process with indefatigable enthusiasm and all manner of promotional ideas, and most of all with sheer honest heart and soul. I do hope the company chooses to do another play from the series one of these days; based on the great showing of Wyrd Sisters, I would say Discworld is in great hands in Uppingham.

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06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

CLACKS: THE REVIEWS!

6.1 The official Wossname review, by Steven D'Aprano:

  The Clacks board game turns the climax of "Going Postal" completely around. Inspired by the infamous race between the Grand Trunk clacks company and the Royal Ankh-Morpork Post Office, in this game you try to race to Genua. But with a twist: you are working for the villains of the book, the Grand Trunk, and you're trying to beat the Post Office (represented by a cute little figurine of the Postmaster Moist von Lipwig – painted gold, of course).

  Presumably the Post Office has magical assistance, as the Postmaster speeds from town to town in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, the Trunk is plagued by problems including Deep Downers, inconveniently placed golems with bright lights, substandard wick-trimming, Nugganites, roving reporter Miss Sacharissa Cripslock, and the dreaded Killer Poke. Fortunately you only have to transmit two short words. Can you beat the Post Office?

  And the race is on!

  "Clacks" is fundamentally a game of skill, with just enough element of chance to mix it up a bit. It is certainly a challenging game, but fun, and will especially suit people with good pattern-matching skills. To move forward, you have a limited number of Jacquards available to flip the tower's lamps from On to Off, or vice versa. There are sixteen lamps all up, and you flip some number of them by playing a Jacquard from your hand. If you succeed in making the code for the letter you are trying to transmit, you move your token one step closer to Genua. A system of Stress Points and Faults control how often breakdowns occur and how fast the Post Office moves.

  If you're the sort of person who loves coin flipping puzzles, you might love this game. Even if you aren't too fond of them, it can still be very enjoyable once you get how the lamp flipping system works. I feel that the game's recommended age range, seven to adult, is probably over-optimistic. It seems to me that the average seven year old would find the lamp flipping too difficult to be fun. I had a bit of trouble too, admittedly after a long and tiring day, but once I got past that, and could successfully transmit letters, I found the game very enjoyable.

  Clacks is a rich and complex game, with three different sets of action cards ("Operator's Log", "Incident Report", and "Maintenance Report"). There are three distinct games possible: a cooperative game where the players work together to beat the Post Office, a competitive game where players play against each other, and a "Junior Race Game" for two players using simplified rules. Don't be put off by the word "Junior", it's quite good for adults too, especially when you're still learning how to recognise letter patterns and play Jacquards to make new patterns. Plus there are a variety of optional rules which can make the game more interesting for those who have mastered the basic rules, so you won't get bored in a hurry.

  (Hint: if you're looking to make it even more of a challenge, you can limit yourself to playing only a single Jacquard each turn, as we accidentally did.)

  The quality of the physical game pieces is excellent, and BackSpindle Games certainly haven't stinted on the materials used. I especially love that the rule book is printed as a Haynes Operators' Manual. The game pieces are very well made, and the artwork is well-done but not quite to my taste. (A bit too dark, and not quite enough contrast to read the cards easily.) There's an unfortunate discrepancy where the manual refers to the Maintenance Report cards as "Fault Report" cards, and preparing the lamp tiles for the first time is a bit fiddly, but making up for that, there's a lovely secret message in the manual, hidden in plain sight.

  I have no hesitation in giving this game a thumbs up, and I certainly will play it again.


6.2 Other reviews...

By "Miss T Fied" on Amazon:

  "It is incredibly well made, lovely solid quality pieces but not the sort of game to play with the whole family unless they all have Phd's and are great at mental manipulation. I don't and I'm not :-( BUT after a couple of days, we worked it out and to be fair, it's quite good. It can be played in different ways – suitable for kiddies (this is how we eventually learned to play it); collaboratively or competitively as adults. I'm still not 100% sure we are playing it correctly, but I prefer it to Witches."

...and by Antonios S on RPGnet, who calls it "Classy & Well Done" for style and "Average" for substance:

  "The game takes place in a 4 x 4 square board. Each position can be either on or off, thus geometrical shapes will be produced. Each letter of the English alphabet corresponds to a 3 x 2 rectangle where some positions are on and some are off (a bit like Braille, if you wish). On positions range from two to five, depending on the letter, obviously in different positions so that all letters are unique and easily distinguishable. Depending on the way that a player is sitted, he will try to form those letters within particular frames on the board. Even worse (for the player), each time he successfully composes a letter he will have to change the frame.

  "Each player begins the game with a Fault Report card and three random Jacquards. Jacquards are the cards that will allow the player to change the patterns on the board. They depict from two to four positions where a change will be effectuated within the board. Everything indicated must change; on becomes off and vice versa. The pattern they depict may be mirrored or rotated and can be apply to any part of the board as long as it fully fits. Some Jacquards also allow the player to draw Fault Report cards that he can play at any time during his or his opponents' turns, either to help his cause or to make his opponents' lives harder... The game ends when a player forms all five letters in his card, a point in which the player after him has one go towards sabotaging him. To achieve this that player must turn off all the lights in the winning player's tower by using his Jacquards with a limit of five stress points as usual. If he fails, victory is final. If he succeeds and has stress points to continue, he can actually get on with his turn. In the cooperative game the players play against the game trying to defeat the Post Office of Ankh-Morpork. There is an easy and a hard version. In both cases the players must transmit two words with a space between them and an end sign at their end (12 successful sent letters overall), while the Post Office however gets 38 and 34 steps respectively before reaching its destination...

  "The strong points: Clacks is an abstract logical puzzle with elements of hand management of your randomized Jacquards draw. Its whole premise is based on finding the easiest possible way to transmit your letters in the right order. Seeing how players will be sitted in a cross-like pattern, they do not have to submit the letters in the same form and direction. In a four player game you might have the exact same letter to send with the player immediately after you, yet your positions are vertical. You will be causing mayhem to one another (and that's good)... Forget the rules that omit the timer. Clacks is pure logic; some sort of adrenaline is needed. I am glad to see a game that offers so many variants after such a long time. It tries to satisfy everybody: from those interested into puzzles to those that like shorter games to more hardcore players to children. Idem for competitive versus the coop version. Well done, Backspindle...

  "The weak points: There is abstract, and then there is abstract. As much as I have read a couple of Discworld novels, the theme of Clacks is as pasted as it can be. This is a dry exercise in logic, especially if you are uninterested in the Discworld franchise. There is nothing wrong with that, of course; if however you like the games to have a recurring idea behind them, you might be disappointed... Conclusion: Clacks is a game for particular target groups and tastes. Discworld completists will be definitely intrigued, as will be puzzle solvers..."

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/16/16642.phtml

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

From the Discworld Emporium:

  "At Hogswatch the Sunshine Sanctuary is 'swamped' by countless dragons in desperate need of love and care. By adopting a dragon today you'll help provide vital aid for the sanctuary's most needy residents. In return for your contribution and support, you'll receive 3 own baby swamp dragons, lovingly and exclusively sculpted by Mr Paul Kidby!
Produced in a beautifully glinty cold-cast bronze finish, these dragon babies really glow! But that's not all – you'll also receive adoption certificates to name and keep safe with your dragons, all presented in transportation gift boxes to prevent escape!"

The Kidby dragons are priced at £30 each or £80 for the set of three. For more information, and to order, go to: http://www.discworldemporium.com/category/sunshine-sanctuary-adopt-a-dragon


  "The 2015 Definitive issues from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office will soon be retired to make way for new designs for The Year of the Sneezing Panda! These iconic issues, as designed by Moist Von Lipwig in Going Postal, are traditionally printed on authentic gummed stamp paper & available to collect as single stamps or in beautiful whole sheets... but not for long!"

To view the Discworld Emporium's stamps-for-sale collection, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-stamps

Also...

* Death of Rats scythe earrings:

  "Crafted in sterling silver and based on the Death of Rat's dinky little scythe, these miniature reaping tools designed by Terry Pratchett's himself look elegant dangling from even the most gnarled of earlobes. Measures 21mm, total drop length 31mm."

The Death of Rats scythe earrings are priced at £17.50/pair. For more information, and to order, go to: http://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-scythe-earrings

* Thud! Now back in stock:

  "As Vetinari's game of choice, Thud became the central theme to Terry Pratchett's 34th Discworld novel Thud!, made a cameo appearance in Sky One's film adaptations and is enjoyed by thousands of Discworld fans and gamers across the world. Based on the ancient struggle between Dwarf and Troll, Thud is a game of two halves. Players take turns to play the fast moving Dwarfs as they attempt to trap Trolls in a carefully constructed ambush, only to then take the part of the fearless Trolls who lumber slowly yet powerfully around the board. You can learn to play in a matter of minutes, and no two games are ever the same. Contained within a cotton travel bag, each set comprises 32 Dwarfs, 8 Trolls, a Thud stone, Thud board, rulebook and an exclusive treatise penned especially for Thud by Terry Pratchett himself. Also included are rules for Koom Valley Thud, a high speed version of the game.

  "The screenprinted heavyweight cotton board measures 47 x 47cm. The pieces are inspired by the Lewis Chessmen and are cast in resin with a carved bone effect finish. Dwarfs stand 35mms tall and Trolls stand at 62mms.
Thud was devised by Trevor Truran and is produced officially and exclusively under licence of the Discworld Emporium."

Thud! is priced at £32.00. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/ThudGame

* The Steeleye Span "Wintersmith" Deluxe edition:

  "An epic musical collaboration from mutual fans Steeleye Span and Terry Pratchett, based on the Discworld novel Wintersmith – a match made in folk-rock heaven! Steeleye Span famously played at Terry's 60th birthday party and they have been firm friends ever since. This deluxe double CD album features four extra songs, plus eight live tracks from the Wintersmith Tour and two exclusive demo versions. Features Maddy Prior, the voice of Steeleye for 40 years at the helm of the line-up, with band stalwart and fiddler extraordinaire Peter Knight, Rick Kemp on bass, Peter Zorn and Julian Littman on Guitars and Liam Genockey on the drum stool, With special guests Terry Pratchett, Kathryn Tickell and John Spiers."

The Wintersmith Deluxe edition CD is priced at £15.00. For more information, and to order, go to: http://www.discworldemporium.com/Steeleye%20Span%20Wintersmith


...and from Discworld.com... it's competition time!

  "It's the Year of the Sneezing Panda and we're kicking the January blues firmly in the posterior with a stunning framed sepia print of Greebo the Man. Simply email your answer to the following question to pr@discworld.com .... How does Count Casanunda get onto his horse?" (Use the subject line Greebo the Man competition)

[Editor's note: the Greebo print is gorgeous. I know because we have one!]

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

08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

  The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on 30th November 1999 (-5874 days to go), according to their website, or more probably on Monday 1st February 2016 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

  There is a new public Facebook meeting group, "The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)": "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information."

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

*

  The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. Our recent 'Murder In Morpork' mystery party was a great night out. With 26 people attending, we had 24 suspects, our special guest – Vetinari, and one dead mime! It was a fun night of food and murder and we are planning another Murder in December so stay tuned. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

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

*

  The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. For more information on their upcoming activities, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

"Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am."

For more info, go to http://ausdwcon.org/fan-clubs/adelaide/quiz/

*

  The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 4th February 2016 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

  The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 5th February 2016 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

  The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles. Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

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

*

  Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 1st February 2016 at 6.30pm (probably) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

  The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 1st February 2016 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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

09) WITHOUT WHOM: STEPHEN BRIGGS

  Alan Rickman may have been named by Team Pratchett as "the best Vetinari that never was", but the *first* Vetinari in Roundworld came properly to the stage in the person of Stephen Briggs. It could be said that he owns the part now, as he has been playing our favourite Patrician for over twenty-one years. He was even there officiating as Lord Vetinari when the Roundworld town of Wincanton twinned itself with Ankh-Morpork! But he has done much, much more to help bring the Oeuvre of Pratchett to the public. It's a rare Discworld fan who doesn't own at least ancillary work touched by the hand of Stephen Briggs, be it the Tourist Guide to Lancre, the Discworld Companion, or the beautifully presented compendium of Pratchett quotations known as The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld; his audiobook recordings of many unabridged Pratchett novels have won major industry awards, and his Discworld stage adaptations are performed around the world.

  Stephen Briggs' association with Terry Pratchett began back in 1991 when then-plain-Mister Pratchett saw the Studio Theatre Club perform Wyrd Sisters, which Mr Briggs had adapted (as well as playing the role of Duke Felmet of Lancre). The two of them then began an association that was to last for nearly twenty-five years, starting with the creation of the Discworld Companion and the original Ankh-Morpork Mapp. Since then, Mr Briggs has co-created many other Discworld ancillary works including Death's Domain, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, and a number of official Discworld yearbooks and diaries. He has also recorded audiobook versions of more than thirty Pratchett novels and adapted many of these (and other Pratchett novels) for the stage; while there are other licenced adaptations of Discworld novels being performed by amateur theatre groups, the Briggs versions are most considered "the real deal" and have raised over £100,000 for the Orangutan Foundation, a favourite charity of Sir Pterry's and one of which he was a leading patron.

  Most recently, Mr Briggs created a new play, The Shakespeare Codex (based on several Discworld books with a bit of Shakespeare for good measure) which will have its world premiere this April (see item 5.1 above), and recorded the unabridged UK and USA audiobook of The Shepherd's Crown.

  Oh, and he's a very helpful man, as some of the Wossname Newshounds can attest. So charge your glasses and raise a toast to Stephen Briggs. Hurrah!

http://discworld.wikia.com/wiki/Stephen_Briggs
http://www.stephenbriggs.com/
http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Stephen_Briggs

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

10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: A WORD ABOUT CHALK HORSES

  That's right – an actual word about chalk horses on hillsides. And that word, as it happens, is "leucipottomy". Coined, as far as we know, by one Morris Marples in 1949, leucipottomy is defined as the craft of cutting white horses into the turf chalk hillsides. Although there aren't many chalk horses in Roundworld, the making of them ranges across the centuries, from the famous Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire that inspired the look of the Chalk's White Horse in the Tiffany Aching series, to the turn-of-this-century one at Devizes in Wiltshire. White Horses can also be found in Kent, Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Surrey, Sussex, Dorset, Aberdeenshire (to date, the only White Horse in Scotland), Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, and South Wales, but Wiltshire is definitely the White Horse capital of the UK with at least six extant White Horses.

  The Westbury White Horse dates to the Iron Age, was restored in 1778 and is still maintained, shining out across the Bratton Downs to this day (_https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Westburywhitehorse.jpg_). Some other famous ones include the Cherhill White Horse (late 18th century); the Marlborough White Horse (1804); the Alton Barnes White Horse (1812), one of the largest in existence; and the Broad Town White Horse (1864), while less white than most, is still plainly a chalk horse. The Pewsey White Horse, first of the twentieth century, was cut in 1937 and now forms a major part of the town's flag (_http://bit.ly/1lZrSTy_). There are also other hillside chalk animals, including the Laverstock Panda which was created near Salisbury in 1968 but is no longer visible, and of course the infamous Cerne Abbas Giant with his great big to–, er, move along, nothing to see here...

  These monumental earth sculptures do require occasional maintenance. The traditional method is known as "scouring" and requires a good number of volunteers to strip away the weeds and dirt that have gathered since the previous maintenance (you may remember this being described, with the usual Oggish observation that clearing the shape of the horse is a rather secondary reason for young courting couples to participate). Another common method is "trenching": when the underlying chalk is not easily reached, a trench is dug and then filled with chalk from another site.

  According to Michael Quinion of World Wide Words, leucipottomy "looks as though it is formed from the Greek roots leuci–, white, hippo, horse, and the suffix –tomy. Unfortunately this last doesn't mean cutting or carving, but refers to cutting out or excising (as in many medical terms such as hysterectomy), so it actually means cutting off or excising white horses, which isn't the same thing at all." But as it's the only word we have for this activity, and the pastime is so rare, that will do nicely. I do hope Tiffany can find "leucipottomy" in her dictionary too.

Sources:
Wikipedia (various)
http://www.wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/
http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-leu1.htm

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

11) WOSSNAME REVIEWS "IN MEMORY: A TRIBUTE TO SIR TERRY PRATCHETT"

By Annie Mac

  It's less than a year since Sorin Suciu and Laura May first put out the call for submissions to a planned anthology of short stories on the theme of memory, with a bonus angle of humour, to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK as a loving memorial to the life and work of Sir Terry Pratchett. The response was immediate and wide-ranging, with stories offered by amateur and professional writers alike, and the final result – In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett – has been praised by no less a luminary of humour fiction than Robert Rankin.

  Although I've spent many years reviewing Pratchett novels and associated Discworld "spinoff" books, map(p)s and other auxiliaries, I was unsure how to go about reviewing In Memory. But then I realised that the kernel of this review was already in the book itself, in an afterword by Charlotte Slocombe, author of Bubble Trouble, thirteenth story in this anthology: "Thank you for buying this book, because you never know who you might be saving." And there you have it. In Memory is a unique work, created as a combination tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett and as fundraising "merch" for the benefit of Alzheimer's Research UK. By purchasing a copy of In Memory, you're helping to keep the name of one of our most (rightly!) beloved authors alive in the world of literature and donating to a worthy and vital cause, but the glow of a good deed done isn't the only thing you'll come away with – because you'll also have the pleasure of reading a collection of seventeen bloody fine stories.

  I really mean it. No lemonade is being squeezed here.

  Given the at best variable quality of fan-generated writings, my expectations of In Memory were not exactly high. But I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised – far more, in fact. The quality of the writing is high throughout. The least polished of these stories is worthy of being commercially published, but in my opinion there are several standouts that deserve special mention:

"Thanks for the Memory Cards" by Luke Kemp would make for a brilliant short film in the hands of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.

DK Mok's "The Heart of the Labyrinth" offers the kind of stealth philosophy, cloaked in the tropes of fantasy and mythology, of which Sir Pterry would have been proud.

"The Tale of the Storyteller" by Caroline Friedel is one of the sweetest tributes to our favourite author that I have yet seen.

In "The Vividarium", Steven McKinnon takes on Asimov and Clarke's clumsy attempts at humour and infuses them with a genuine sense of fun.

"Ackerley's Genuine Earth Antiques" by Michael K Schaefer upholds – proudly – the stylistic traditions of Fritz Leiber and Anthony Boucher with a light dusting of Connie Willis.

Co-editor Sorin Suciu's "Doris" is a classy enough tale to easily pass as golden-age Larry Niven.

  Also, kudos go to editors May and Suciu for delivering an almost unblemished example of careful proofreading (with the exception of the most chortle-inducing uncaught mistype since the Wicked Bible of 1631 – it's on page 264, in case you wondered), which is rare these days even in the output of major publishing houses.

  Each story in In Memory is followed by an afterword from its author, giving a brief overview of how it came into being and, of course, giving respect to Sir Pterry for inspiring them. The book is printed on decent quality paper and has a handsome cover – again, of a much higher quality than one might expect of a charity project. But most impressive of all, in my opinion, is that this collection represents a true labour of love. Nowhere did I find the slightest whiff of "I'm doing this to get my name out there in the industry" or "I'm doing this to make money". All seventeen authors – and the many others whose submissions couldn't be squeezed in – wrote their stories as a mark of the respect and admiration they felt for Sir Pterry, and as a way to give back for the joy his work brought into their lives. That kind of honesty is rarer than ye olde pearl of great price.

  To all of you out there who say you want to keep Terry Pratchett's name alive forever "in the Overhead", I say buy this book, because the more money is raised for research into Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia, the closer we'll get to stopping or even reversing the ravages of the awful thief of memory... and the more of us will never forget him. The people who put their hearts and time into this project hope to raise £6,500 for Alzheimer's Research UK; so far, almost £1,100 has been raised. Let's all go for it, hmm?

Editor's note:

Prices for In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett range from $13.99 on CreateSpace (_https://www.createspace.com/5759638_) down to $6.29 for a Kindle edition (_http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0163JZBLE?tag=sorsuc-20_). The ISBN is 1517603609, should you wish to source it elsewhere.

To read about the step-by-step making of this book, go to http://inmemorytribute.com/blog/

Also, check out these links:
http://inmemorytribute.com/
http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

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

12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

From superfan and legendary Discworld auctioneer Pat Harkin, a certain travel accessory:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZbp1bVWkAA-c1T.jpg:large

A photo album of the Orangutan Foundation UK's first twenty years: http://bit.ly/200mUJb

An action replay of sorts... this amazingly beautiful wall art of Sir Pterry and Gaspode by artist "RANDOM", featuring a quote from The Author about the reality of living with Alzheimer's, was featured on the Wossname blog last September, but it deserves another viewing. Here be the link to the post, with the image *and* the explanation of its location (the north Wales town of Buckley) and provenance: http://wossname.dreamwidth.org/21988.html

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

13) CLOSE

  And now, a word about orangutans.

  "Only 1 out of 6 orphans are lucky enough to be rescued. Care of these orphans is costly, as they require veterinary care to ensure that they are in a healthy condition and have the best chance of survival in the wild. From as little as £30 yearly you can make a real difference in helping these orangutans to survive! All adoption money goes directly towards helping orphaned orangutans in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve."

For more information, go to:
http://www.orangutan.org.uk/how-to-help/adopt-an-orangutan

  Books, DVDs, cuddly toys, t-shirts and much more – a great way to help conserve our precious Librarians whilst enjoying your purchases:
http://shop.orangutan.org.uk/

http://www.orangutan.org.uk/how-to-help/make-a-donation
http://www.orangutan.org.uk/

  Meanwhile, the long-awaited Troll Bridge film has a beautiful new-look website and still no purported release date:
http://www.trollbridge.film/

  And that's the lot for January 2016. I hope everyone out there had a good holiday season and is having a reasonable start to the Year of the Sneezing Panda. See you next month!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
By Steven D'Aprano

   The Clacks board game turns the climax of "Going Postal" completely around. Inspired by the infamous race between the Grand Trunk clacks company and the Royal Ankh-Morpork Post Office, in this game you try to race to Genua. But with a twist: you are working for the villains of the book, the Grand Trunk, and you're trying to beat the Post Office (represented by a cute little figurine of the Postmaster Moist von Lipwig – painted gold, of course).

   Presumably the Post Office has magical assistance, as the Postmaster speeds from town to town in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, the Trunk is plagued by problems including Deep Downers, inconveniently placed golems with bright lights, substandard wick-trimming, Nugganites, roving reporter Miss Sacharissa Cripslock, and the dreaded Killer Poke. Fortunately you only have to transmit two short words. Can you beat the Post Office?

   And the race is on!

   "Clacks" is fundamentally a game of skill, with just enough element of chance to mix it up a bit. It is certainly a challenging game, but fun, and will especially suit people with good pattern-matching skills. To move forward, you have a limited number of Jacquards available to flip the tower's lamps from On to Off, or vice versa. There are sixteen lamps all up, and you flip some number of them by playing a Jacquard from your hand. If you succeed in making the code for the letter you are trying to transmit, you move your token one step closer to Genua. A system of Stress Points and Faults control how often breakdowns occur and how fast the Post Office moves.

   If you're the sort of person who loves coin flipping puzzles, you might love this game. Even if you aren't too fond of them, it can still be very enjoyable once you get how the lamp flipping system works. I feel that the game's recommended age range, seven to adult, is probably over-optimistic. It seems to me that the average seven year old would find the lamp flipping too difficult to be fun. I had a bit of trouble too, admittedly after a long and tiring day, but once I got past that, and could successfully transmit letters, I found the game very enjoyable.

   Clacks is a rich and complex game, with three different sets of action cards ("Operator's Log", "Incident Report", and "Maintenance Report"). There are three distinct games possible: a cooperative game where the players work together to beat the Post Office, a competitive game where players play against each other, and a "Junior Race Game" for two players using simplified rules. Don't be put off by the word "Junior", it's quite good for adults too, especially when you're still learning how to recognise letter patterns and play Jacquards to make new patterns. Plus there are a variety of optional rules which can make the game more interesting for those who have mastered the basic rules, so you won't get bored in a hurry.

   (Hint: if you're looking to make it even more of a challenge, you can limit yourself to playing only a single Jacquard each turn, as we accidentally did.)

   The quality of the physical game pieces is excellent, and BackSpindle Games certainly haven't stinted on the materials used. I especially love that the rule book is printed as a Haynes Operators' Manual. The game pieces are very well made, and the artwork is well-done but not quite to my taste. (A bit too dark, and not quite enough contrast to read the cards easily.) There's an unfortunate discrepancy where the manual refers to the Maintenance Report cards as "Fault Report" cards, and preparing the lamp tiles for the first time is a bit fiddly, but making up for that, there's a lovely secret message in the manual, hidden in plain sight.

   I have no hesitation in giving this game a thumbs up, and I certainly will play it again.
wossname: (Plays)
Uppingham Gets it Right

by Annie Mac

Readers of Wossname will by now recognise the name of the Uppingham Theatre Company, whose late-October 2015 production of Wyrd Sisters had a long and fascinating pre-production run-up that we featured over many issues. Being many thousands of miles from Uppingham, I was unable to attend a performance of the play in person, but techmaster Martin Baines kindly arranged to send a recording of one performance to me via clacks. And I am very glad he did – this is not the first amateur theatre rendering of Stephen Briggs' Wyrd Sisters play that I've seen, but beyond doubt it is the best.

Top marks go to Stephen Green and Meryl Vincent-Enright as would-be royal couple Duke and Duchess Felmet, especially to Ms Vincent-Enright for giving the Duchess that fine – and canonically accurate – balance of pompousness and murderousness that melds Lady Macbeth and Hyacinth Bucket. Mick Barker excels as the Fool, the miserable bells-festooned jester who is far from foolish. The scenes between the Duke and his Fool are among the best in the production. Also of special note is Andrew Chapman's turn as Vitoller, owner-manager of the company of strolling players who shelter the infant Rightful King of Lancre (well played as a young man by Geran Jackson), and George Larkin's as ghost of Verence I, recently-murdered Previous Rightful King of Lancre.

As for the Wyrd Sisters themselves, Joy Everitt's portrayal of Granny Weatherwax has just the right amount of Granny's famously tight-lipped "I can't be having with this". Holly Bertalan may not be anywhere near as (also famously) flat-chested as Magrat but she makes up for her lack of lack by hitting Magrat's New Age-y soppiness spot-on. And Gillian Kendon does a creditable Nanny Ogg, although I could have done with seeing more of Nanny's legendary sauciness that Ms Kendon only showed at the very end of the production as she danced off into the wings, kicking up her heels and displaying her "scandalous" bright red petticoat with correctly Oggish delight.

Vikki Shelton's direction is nicely timed, keeping the action moving along and getting the best projection from her players, and the entire cast achieves a satisfyingly low incidence of fluffed lines. But in many ways the shiniest star of this production is its technical excellence. Uppingham's Wyrd Sisters features the most professional-looking stage and costume design I have ever seen in an amateur theatre Discworld presentation. The sets are clever and striking, utilising well-planned back projection to create believable vistas – the wild Lancre moors, the streets (all right, street) of Ankh-Morpork, the vast-roomed, draughty expanses of Lancre castle and it gloomy dungeon. A round of applause goes to the aforementioned Martin Baines for his projection and projection design, and to stage manager Alan Jackson for ensuring that everything and everyone in this physically intricate presentation went smoothly. Bex Key and John Everitt discharged their lighting and sound duties superbly, but I think I'll have to award Man of, that is, Seamstres-, er, Needlewoman of the Match to Mandy Jackson for her design and creation of the wonderful costumes, especially the Duchess' extraordinary gown that looked to be of full-on telly costume drama quality.

What marks the Uppingham Theatre Company's production of Wyrd Sisters most of all is its sense of dedication – to detail, to the spirit of the chosen play, to making sure every member of the company gave their best from early days to the well-merited final bow. As producer-director, Vikki Shelton infused the entire process with indefatigable enthusiasm and all manner of promotional ideas, and most of all with sheer honest heart and soul. I do hope the company chooses to do another play from the series one of these days; based on the great showing of Wyrd Sisters, I would say Discworld is in great hands in Uppingham.
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
   It's less than a year since Sorin Suciu and Laura May first put out the call for submissions to a planned anthology of short stories on the theme of memory, with a bonus angle of humour, to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK as a loving memorial to the life and work of Sir Terry Pratchett. The response was immediate and wide-ranging, with stories offered by amateur and professional writers alike, and the final result – In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett – has been praised by no less a luminary of humour fiction than Robert Rankin.

   Although I've spent many years reviewing Pratchett novels and associated Discworld "spinoff" books, map(p)s and other auxiliaries, I was unsure how to go about reviewing In Memory. But then I realised that the kernel of this review was already in the book itself, in an afterword by Charlotte Slocombe, author of Bubble Trouble, thirteenth story in this anthology: "Thank you for buying this book, because you never know who you might be saving." And there you have it. In Memory is a unique work, created as a combination tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett and as fundraising "merch" for the benefit of Alzheimer's Research UK. By purchasing a copy of In Memory, you're helping to keep the name of one of our most (rightly!) beloved authors alive in the world of literature and donating to a worthy and vital cause, but the glow of a good deed done isn't the only thing you'll come away with – because you'll also have the pleasure of reading a collection of seventeen bloody fine stories.

   I really mean it. No lemonade is being squeezed here.

   Given the at best variable quality of fan-generated writings, my expectations of In Memory were not exactly high. But I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised – far more, in fact. The quality of the writing is high throughout. The least polished of these stories is worthy of being commercially published, but in my opinion there are several standouts that deserve special mention:

"Thanks for the Memory Cards" by Luke Kemp would make for a brilliant short film in the hands of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.

DK Mok's "The Heart of the Labyrinth" offers the kind of stealth philosophy, cloaked in the tropes of fantasy and mythology, of which Sir Pterry would have been proud.

"The Tale of the Storyteller" by Caroline Friedel is one of the sweetest tributes to our favourite author that I have yet seen.

In "The Vividarium", Steven McKinnon takes on Asimov and Clarke's clumsy attempts at humour and infuses them with a genuine sense of fun.

"Ackerley's Genuine Earth Antiques" by Michael K Schaefer upholds – proudly – the stylistic traditions of Fritz Leiber and Anthony Boucher with a light dusting of Connie Willis.

Co-editor Sorin Suciu's "Doris" is a classy enough tale to easily pass as golden-age Larry Niven.

   Also, kudos go to editors May and Suciu for delivering an almost unblemished example of careful proofreading (with the exception of the most chortle-inducing uncaught mistype since the Wicked Bible of 1631 – it's on page 264, in case you wondered), which is rare these days even in the output of major publishing houses.

   Each story is followed by an afterword from its author, giving a brief overview of how it came into being and, of course, giving respect to Sir Pterry for inspiring them. The book is printed on decent quality paper and has a handsome cover – again, of a much higher quality than one might expect of a charity project. But most impressive of all, in my opinion, is that this collection represents a true labour of love. Nowhere did I find the slightest whiff of "I'm doing this to get my name out there in the industry" or "I'm doing this to make money". All seventeen authors – and the many others whose submissions couldn't be squeezed in – wrote their stories as a mark of the respect and admiration they felt for Sir Pterry, and as a way to give back for the joy his work brought into their lives. That kind of honesty is rarer than ye olde pearl of great price.

   To all of you out there who say you want to keep Terry Pratchett's name alive forever "in the Overhead", I say buy this book, because the more money is raised for research into Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia, the closer we'll get to stopping or even reversing the ravages of the awful thief of memory... and the more of us will never forget him. The people who put their hearts and time into this project hope to raise £6,500 for Alzheimer's Research UK; so far, almost £1,100 has been raised. Let's all go for it, hmm?

Editor's note:
Prices for In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett range from $13.99 on CreateSpace (_https://www.createspace.com/5759638_) down to $6.29 for a Kindle edition (_http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0163JZBLE?tag=sorsuc-20_). The ISBN is 1517603609, should you wish to source it elsewhere.

To read about the step-by-step making of this book, go to http://inmemorytribute.com/blog/

Also, check out these links:
http://inmemorytribute.com/
http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Here be a still from https://t.co/amBCEZ7bdL - as posted on the @terryandrob Twitter account. Hmm...


wossname: (Anthill inside)
"This is your chance to get in early for HALF PRICE (based on the adult ticket price). Book an "Earlybird" ticket for $11, from now until Feb 4th. After that deadline we revert to the normal ticket prices.

"THESE EARLYBIRD TICKETS APPLY TO THREE PERFORMANCES ONLY: Friday 15th, Wednesday 20th, and Thursday 21st April."

http://www.trybooking.com/175695

General info for Unseen's upcoming production:

When: Wed. 15th April to Sat. 30th April 2016; a Sunday 17th April matinee is to be confirmed
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2pm matinee
Tickets: Adults $22; Concession $18; Children $18; Groups (6+) $16; TREv $16; Families (2 A & 2ch.) $60; Preview all tix $15. To book online, go to www.bakehousetheatre.com Tickets also available at the door on the night, subject to availability. Box office opens 7pm.

http://bakehousetheatre.com/shows/wee-free-men

And here be an iconograph of some of the main cast in rehearsal:
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Do you want a newly discovered Roundworld element named for the colour of magic? Of course you do!

An exciting surprise on Change.org...

"Petitioning IUPAC and 2 others

"Name new element 117 Octarine, in honour of Terry Pratchett's Discworld

"This petition is to name element 117, recently confirmed by the International Union of Applied Chemistry, as 'Octarine', with the proposed symbol Oc (pronounced 'ook'), in honour of the late Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series of books... a particularly pleasing choice because, not only would it honour a world-famous and much-loved author, but it also has an 'ine' ending, consistent with the other elements in period 17. Octarine is being counted as 'a mythological concept' under IUPAC rules, which state that elements must be named after "a mythological concept or character; a mineral, or similar substance; a place or geographical region; a property of the element; or a scientist". The Discworld stories are certainly stories about gods and heroes..."

To read the full petition, and to sign if you wish to, go to chn.ge/1mHR3dY

It's also been tweeted by Rob Wilkins, with the link, at https://twitter.com/terryandrob/status/684845900489977856 where Twitter account-holders can add a comment.

Thanks to Sir Jase of ozdw for the heads-up!
wossname: (Plays)
Just received an email from Susan Kronenberg, director of this forthcoming production...

The Sterling Playmakers will be performing 'Mort' in February!

When: 18th, 19th & 20th, 25th, 26th & 27th February 2016.
Venue: Sterling Middle School, 201 W. Holly Ave., Sterling, VA 20164
Time: all performances are at 8pm
Tickets: $12. For more information, or to buy tickets online, visit
http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com


wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
My Independent Bookshop (_http://myindependentbookshop.co.uk_) has undergone a transformation for the new year. Here be extracts from the email Wossname received from their administrators:

We're closing our doors

    "In May 2014, we launched My Independent Bookshop as a community where book lovers could create and curate their own virtual bookshelves, connect with independent bookshops across the UK and interact with fellow bibliophiles.

    "On 21st December 2015, we'll be closing our doors in preparation for moving into the brand new http://www.penguin.co.uk/ in the New Year. Here you'll be able to find information on all Penguin Random House books and authors, as well as read regularly published articles on all things books.

    "Along the way, we have had an amazing amount of support from everyone we've worked with, from independent bookshops, authors, publishers and of course you – our virtual bookshop owners. Together you made the My Independent Bookshop community a vibrant place to show off our latest literary loves and discuss the books that meant something to us. Thank you for populating our virtual streets with your top picks, rave reviews and stellar shops. Over 20,000 books were put up on the shelves at My Independent Bookshop."

Sir Pterry was among those 20,000 recommenders. If any of you were also in that number, O Readers, we commend you for attempting to fight against the vile culture-destroying Beast of Amazon. Here's hoping 2016 will be the year that more and more people wake up and remember that keeping bookshops physical and local truly does matter...

"Vendor Librorum Floreat" – Flanders and Swann
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
January 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 1, Post 2)

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

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Wolfiekins
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) MORE QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) THE WOSSNAME REVIEW: PHILOSOPHY AND TERRY PRATCHETT
05) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
06) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
07) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
09) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
10) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"If Pratchett is sometimes accused of literature, I hope this book makes the case that he can be accused of philosophy as well."

– James B South, speaking of Philosophy and Terry Pratchett

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Here we are in the final hours of January, and here is the (very long) Wossname review of Philosophy and Terry Pratchett as promised! See item 4. This really is a book worth having, in my opinion.

There are some very inventive fundraisers for Alzheimer's research these days. Read about two of them in section 5.

In the Odds and Sods section, one reviewer compares Pratchett unfavourably to Wodehouse, a vastly inferior writer – and before you start throwing brickbats, let me tell you that I loved Wodehouse's tales for a long time before Pratchett came along; now, when I go back to Wodehouse, as much as I love his character creations I find him rather a one-trick pony, his writing stilted to the point of tediousness... and yet when I go back even to Pratchett's earliest works they still sparkle with wit and invention.

And that's all I have time to say right now – the clock is ticking!

– 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
January 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 1, Post 1)

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

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Wolfiekins
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) GOOD OMENS RADIO PLAY UPDATES
04) ODDS AND SODS
05) DISCWORLD LEGO: FINALLY A POSSIBILITY
06) REVIEWS: GOOD OMENS ON THE WIRELESS
07) CORY DOCTOROW RE-EXAMINES MONSTROUS REGIMENT
08) REVIEW: PHILOSOPHY AND TERRY PRATCHETT
09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
10) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
11) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
12) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
13) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
14) ROUNDWORLD TALES: POLLY PERKS IN REAL LIFE
15) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
16) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

""But the writer I'd most like to make time to solve all our problems has to be Terry Pratchett. Down-to-earth, acerbic, skewerer of all pomposity and hilarious to boot: there's no one better equipped to put troubled souls back on the right track."

– journalist Alison Flood proposes Sir Pterry as an agony aunt


"In effect, one might claim that Granny Weatherwax is a Kantian (or Kant is a Weatherwaxian)."

– Jennifer Jill Fellows waxes Weatherwax-ical in Philosophy and Terry Pratchett, p.206

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

In this issue you will find my rave review of the recent radio adaptation of Good Omens (item 6). And speaking of Pratchett works on the radio, the BBC has also recently presented an adaptation of Small Gods; great fun, and like Good Omens, it's still available for listening in all regions. Small Gods will run through the 31st of January. Here be the page for listening: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00b1p28 -- and I'll be reviewing that in the next issue.

What you won't find in this issue is the full official Wossname review of Philosophy and Terry Pratchett. This is not because my review copy didn't arrive – it did, weeks ago, thanks to the very helpful Rebecca Krahenbuhl of Macmillan – or because I didn't like it – this certainly is not the case – or because I was ill, away, or plain lazy – yes to the first two but that's irrelevant, no to the third. No, the reason that I've not yet completed my review is because I've found that every one of the thirteen long essays in four section has merited a lot of thought and a fair amount of real-life discussion of the content and implications of each with various people... but at last I am nearly ready with my review, which will be posted in a supplement before the end of the month. In the meantime, go to item 8 for a mini-review plus amusing relevant placeholder.

Next month sees the USA release of Dragons at Crumbling Castle, at the end of the first week of February if I'm not mistaken. This is a truly delightful wee book, especially fun for reading aloud to children *and* adults. Enjoy!

And now, on with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) GOOD OMENS THE RADIO PLAY: NEWS

The Radio Times published an interview with Good Omens co-author Neil Gaiman. Like Gaiman's introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard, it's not all sweetness and light – nor should it be. As he says of the production, "Time is running out... I want Terry to be able to enjoy this while he's still able to enjoy it."

Here be extracts:

"TV and cinema have had 25 years to adapt Good Omens, a cult hit co-written well before Gaiman would be known for novels like Stardust or find new fame with Doctor Who, and a few years before Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels would see him become the biggest selling UK author of the 1990s. The pair, friends since Gaiman interviewed Pratchett as a journalist five years prior, would collaborate after the latter offered to expand on an idea Gaiman had about the birth of the Antichrist. In between their respective work on the Sandman comic book series and Discworld (then merely a modest four novels in), they would navigate the dark days before email by working together via phone and posting a floppy disk back and forth – a process which, today, sounds like something out of Downton Abbey... 'When Terry and I wrote it, we wrote it very nervously,' Gaiman remembers. 'You're writing a book with the Antichrist as the hero. You're writing a book where we were vaguely worried if we were going to have to track down Salman Rushdie and ask to sleep in his back room. Instead the book came out and people read it and re-read it and re-read it. We'd seen copies of Good Omens at signings, and they were books where it was impossible to have read it more than they had read it. They would be swollen, the pages would be dirtied. One lady turned up with a cover of loose pages in a plastic bag. So, just from that, it was one of these slightly bizarre phenomenons that it hadn't ever been successfully turned into anything... The saddest time was seeing [Pratchett] in January 2002 when he had Robin Williams on board to play Aziraphale and Johnny Depp was signed up for Crowley. He had about 50 million dollars committed from around the world, and he needed a Hollywood studio and a bit more money to go into production, and he was completely certain it would be easy. But he went off to America, post 9/11, and watched people telling him, because this was before Pirates of the Caribbean, 'nobody wants to see movies with Johnny Depp.' It all came crashing down around him and it was all very tragic. It's not that people hadn't tried, but the stars just never aligned...'

"For any fan who ever turned up to a signing with their book in a bag, the radio play itself is a joy, with hardly any of the prose's tone or tongue-bursting-through-cheek humour lost in the transition. It is also, miraculously, the 'most complete adaptation possible'. Even the book's array of wry footnotes survive. It is, in short, bloody ace..."

http://bit.ly/1vn3fi4

...and here we have another piece in which Gaiman tells the story of how Good Omens came to be written in the first place:

"I was a young journalist. He was a former journalist and Electricity Board PR, and a writer who had just published his second Discworld novel. I was the first journalist who had ever interviewed him. I remember we made each other laugh a lot. We laughed at the same things. We became friends. It was easy... an exchange in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, combined with a late night viewing of The Omen and a love of Richmal Crompton's immortal Just William stories, had put a story into my head, about a demonic baby-swap that goes wrong, in which the Antichrist grows up to be a nice kid, with a dog and a gang. I wrote the first 5,000 words of William the Antichrist. It had a demon named Crawleigh. He drove a Citroen 2CV, and was ineffectual. Proper demons like Hastur and Ligur loathed him. It had a baby swap. I sent it to a few friends for feedback. Then my graphic novel Sandman happened, and it was almost a year later that the phone rang. 'It's Terry,' said Terry. ''Ere. That thing you sent me. Are you doing anything with it?' 'Not really.' 'Well, I think I know what happens next. Do you want to sell it to me? Or write it together?' 'Write it together,' I said, because I was not stupid, and because that was the nearest I was ever going to get to Michelangelo phoning to ask if I wanted to paint a ceiling with him..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30512620

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

04) ODDS AND SODS

4.1 The Science of Discworld 2 USA release!

Science of Discworld 2: The Globe is finally being released in USA – this coming week! Copies will be available from 20th January in American bookshops. Meanwhile, if you're waiting or if you live elsewhere on Roundworld but never managed to purchase your copy of this delightful book, you can read the first chapter of tSoD2 online, thanks to Tor who have reprinted it with permission:

"Rincewind, Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography, was cataloguing his rock collection. This was, these days, the ground state of his being. When he had nothing else to do, he sorted rocks. His predecessors in the post had spent many years bringing back small examples of cruel or unusual geography and had never had time to catalogue them, so he saw this as his duty. Besides, it was wonderfully dull. He felt that there was not enough dullness in the world..."

http://bit.ly/1BkFjDv

4.2 Long Earth 4 is The Long Utopia!

"The Long Utopia", fourth book in the Pratchett-Baxter "Long Earth" series, will be published in early June 2015.

The long blurb:

"2045-2059. After the cataclysmic upheavals of Step Day and the Yellowstone eruption humanity is spreading further into the Long Earth, and society, on a battered Datum Earth and beyond, continues to evolve. Now an elderly and cantankerous AI, Lobsang lives in disguise with Agnes in an exotic, far-distant world. He's convinced they're leading a normal life in New Springfield – they even adopt a child – but it seems they have been guided there for a reason. As rumours of strange sightings and hauntings proliferate, it becomes clear that something is very awry with this particular world.

"Millions of steps away, Joshua is on a personal journey of discovery: learning about the father he never knew and a secret family history. But then he receives a summons from New Springfield. Lobsang now understands the enormity of what's taking place beneath the surface of his earth – a threat to all the worlds of the Long Earth.

"To counter this threat will require the combined efforts of humankind, machine and the super-intelligent Next. And some must make the ultimate sacrifice..."

4.3 Are orangutans people? Of course they are!

A court in Argentina has ruled that Sandra, a Sumatran orangutan, is a non-human person with equivalent human rights, and as such no longer needs to reside in the Buenos Air es zoo:

"Sandra's case was taken up in November 2013 by the Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA). The lawyers argued that Sandra was intelligent and self-aware enough to understand and be negatively affected by her conditions, as well as being aware of the passage of time. The court agreed, and the judges unanimously voted in favor of a writ of habeas corpus for Sandra, deciding that she had been wrongfully imprisoned... Sandra was born nearly 29 years ago at a zoo in Berlin, Germany. For the last two decades, she has resided at the zoo in Buenos Aires. This lifetime of captivity is now coming to an end, as the court has decided she is free to leave the zoo and be relocated to a Brazilian wildlife sanctuary that will more accurately reflect the natural habitat of Sumatran orangutans... Though Sandra's case was successful in Argentina, similar cases in the United States have not been. Most recently, a NY court decided that a chimpanzee named Tommy who is privately owned did not qualify for legal personhood..."

http://bit.ly/1xFPbGn


4.3 The art and science of scientifically artistic science fiction!

An interesting piece by Susan Stepney in The Guardian, about writers of scientifically accurate SF:

"Many scientists and engineers acknowledge that science fiction helped to spark their imagination of what was possible in science (immersion in the genre from a young age might help explain why I now research unconventional computers). And science fiction authors are inspired by future science possibilities. But how do novel scientific ideas get into SF authors' heads in the first place?... Sometimes, authors just make things up, but untutored imaginings tend not to make the best science fiction. SF authors can ease their research burden by consulting the scientists. Jack Cohen, a reproductive biologist, has helped James White design his four-letter classification for alien species (we humans are DBDG), retconned Anne MacCaffrey’s dragons for her, and designed the life cycle of the grendels in Niven, Pournelle and Barnes's series The Legacy of Heorot.

"Writing, be it fiction or non-fiction, is usually a solitary task, but scientists often write in teams, each member bringing their own skill set to the collaboration. At one extreme we have Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC by The ATLAS Collaboration, which boasts more than 3,000 authors, listed over eight pages; the text has an average of fewer than six words per named author. Most research papers are written by significantly fewer co-authors than that, but collaborative writing is the norm in science. There are also SF writing teams: brothers, spouses, or just colleagues. Some teams consist of a more established author providing some of the ideas, or even just the background world, and a younger up-and-coming author who does most of the writing work – not too dissimilar to a PhD supervisor and student, really. Team writing can also help the infusion of science ideas into SF. Pair an SF author and a scientist, and see what results. One great example of this approach is the quartet of Science of Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, and Jack Cohen. In each book, Pratchett writes a short Discworld novel that exhibits some scientific properties of interest; in alternating chapters, Stewart and Cohen then explain the underlying science..."

http://tinyurl.com/pru6pab

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

05) DISCWORLD LEGO: POSSIBLE AT LAST

Congratulations to GlenBricker, whose impassioned appeal to Discworld fans to support his "make Discworld Lego an official thing" project has now amassed the 10,000 supporters needed for Lego to officially move towards creating a Lego Discworld set!

Here is Lego's official response to the tally:

"Dear GlenBricker,

"Time has passed, which, basically, is its job, and now the Discworld project has arrived at 10,000 supporters. Congratulations! You've done well engaging Discworld fans online and getting the vote out for this rather unique project, featuring the Discworld itself and associated key character vignettes. At this we are thrilled to officially advance your project to the Review stage. In the mean time, don't get any funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges ... or you'll go sailing off the edge!

"What happens now? This project moves from the Idea stage to the Review stage. A "LEGO Review Board" composed of designers, product managers, and other key team members will examine the idea. We'll build concept models and determine if the concept meets our high standards for what it takes to be a LEGO product. This includes factors such as playability, safety, and fit with the LEGO brand. Every potential LEGO product goes through a process like this and must meet the same standards.

"This project qualifies for the First 2015 Review, which includes projects that reach 10,000 supporters between early January and early May. For more information about the LEGO review process, please see the Project Guidelines and House Rules. The review is a thorough process and from its start, and can take several months. When finished, we make a "go/no go" decision to develop and sell a product based on the The Discworld project. When the review is complete, we will inform you of our decision. If green-lit, this project goes into the longest phase of the project; the Development phase. During this time, LEGO model designers refine the product and develop it for release, we create the product materials (box, instructions, marketing), and get everything ready for a production run. This also takes several months.

"We will post follow-up information and our decision here."

https://ideas.lego.com/projects/36302/official_comments

...and an article about it on Wired:

"The Discworld is the first project of 2015 to hit the required numbers and go forward for consideration for production. It's easy to see why, as it's a remarkable recreation of the setting for Terry Pratchett's beloved comic fantasy series of novels. The geography of the surface world is delightfully evoked in tiny brick form, and the four elephants and turtle – Great A'Tuin, to fans – are particularly striking. The set comes courtesy of designer GlenBricker (Lego Ideas log in required), who also created the Doctor Who set that is already under consideration. It's been a long time coming, first submitted over two years ago, but with a steady outreach campaign to both Discworld and Lego fans, it's close to approval..."

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-01/12/lego-discworld

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

06) REVIEWS: GOOD OMENS ON THE WIRELESS

6.1 THE RISING BOOKSELLER MEETS THE FALLEN ANGEL, AND IT ROCKS LIKE A ROCKING THING: A REVIEW OF GOOD OMENS

By Annie Mac

I have never been a fan of radio plays. Having tried a fair few across a number of genres, I always found that the picture of actors gathered round a microphone, scripts in hand, in a recording studio's vocal booth never left the forefront of my mind, and that persistent image would fray my suspenders of disbelief to snapping point; in fact, the only time I'd ever found a radio serial that *didn't* fray them was some thirty-five years ago when The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcast. Sadly, when I listened to the first episode of the BBC radio play of Good Omens, that fraying effect came into play once more, and my disappointed comment to 'im indoors was along the lines of "I can see the script, but at least they read it well." But knowing that I was duty-bound to listen to and review the entire work, I transferred all six episodes to my Portable Dis-Organiser, slapped on a good set of full-ear headphones, and...

Yowzah!

This one is a beauty. This is a work of aural art that rises to the level of The Hitchhiker's Guide. This is... argh, come on Auntie Beeb, please please release this on CD *right now*!

If I had to choose just one thing about Good Omens: the Wireless Version to praise, it would be that it manages to bring the entire book to life without sacrificing any important bits or chopping and changing anything beyond recognition. The dialogue is verbatim, but far more importantly, the *essence* – the *feel* – of the source material is there in all its comedic glory. This is a harder thing to achieve than you might think: when it comes to transforming novels for the screen, for example, there are many instances of productions that were entirely faithful to the original book but seem flat and static, and also instances of the essence of a book being retained but only by making radical changes to the original plot and dialogue... so to get Good Omens so deliciously right is an achievement of high order. Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised, since this adaptation of Good Omens is by the rather awesome Dirk Maggs, who co-wrote and co-produced the original Hitchhiker's Guide radio serial.

The cast were almost entirely superb. Not a rum 'un in the bunch, but for me the standouts were Peter Serafinowicz as Crowley (gets my Best Actor of the Production award), Clive Russell as Shadwell (Man of the Match!), Julia Deakin as Madame Tracey, Josie Lawrence as Agnes Nutter (brilliantly used as a sort of postvital narrator), Colin Morgan as Newt Pulsifer, and Charlotte Ritchie as Anathema Device. Bouquets go to Rachel Stirling (War), Jim Norton (Death), Ron Cook as the intrepid International Delivery Man, and Phil Davis and Neil Maskell doing their best Two Rons impression as Hastur and Ligur; special mention also goes to the Four Other Horsemen as played by Mitch Benn (Big Ted), Ben Crowe (Greaser), Arsher Ali (Pigbog), and Mark Benton (Scuzz). An affectionate nod goes to Simon Jones (beloved by all of us olde-tyme Hitchhiker's Guide fans as the voice – and body, in the charming old BBC telly dramatisation – of Arthur Dent) as Mr Young, Adam's non-biological father. And the only reason that Mark Heap's turn as Aziraphale is missing from this list of honours is that he did such a good job of impersonating Anthony Stewart Head that I kept longing for Head himself to materialise in my mental film of the play. (And by the way, the authors' turn as ill-fated coppers chasing Crowley on the motorway was simply adorable.)

The pacing is flawless throughout the six episodes, the build of the story judged just right. By the time the climax of the story arrived in the final extra-length episode, I was grinning with delight. Kudos to producer Heather Larmour, and for that matter, to everyone on the sound team for making Good Omens a triumph of radio art.

Trivia: fans of Doctor Who may recognise Mr Briggs as the voice(s) of the Daleks, Cybermen, and various other Whoverse aliens, and likewise Rachel Stirling as Mrs Gillyflower's blind daughter in the episode The Crimson Horror.

A few small quibbles: I wish the cast hadn't decided to pronounce our favourite demon's name as "CROW-ley", which, if it *is* the authors' choice of pronunciation, must have come as a shock to the many millions of us who have been pronouncing it happily as "KRAU-ley, you know, like Aleister" for nearly a quarter-century now – it certainly did to me. I was likewise a bit uncomfortable with the way "Aziraphale" seemed to be randomly pronounced as "Azira-FELL" rather than the familiar-to-us-millions*** – and more usually used – "Azira-FAIL". But those quibbles are small in the light of the overall excellence of the production.

Congratulations all around to the creators of Good Omens the radio play. I imagine – hope! – this one will run and run as repeats on BBC radio. Now about those CDs...


[*** apart from my friend Sacharissa, who was astonished to find herself the only one I've ever known who thought it was supposed to be pronounced as AHH-zuh-RAH-ful-lee". No, really. – Ed.]

*

And a review by Melissa Baron on Chicago Now:

"Something magical happened over Christmas week on BBC Radio. BBC adapted and dramatized Good Omens into a radio broadcast comprised of six episodes. Starting the Monday before Christmas, one episode was released each night, covering the entire book (well, as much as they can for a radio broadcast). English actor Mark Heap voices Aziraphale, the angel, and English actor Peter Serafinowicz (you might recall him as Denarian from "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Pete from "Shaun of the Dead") as Crowley, the demon... t is seriously delightful. I laughed out loud often, and I gotta tell you, Serafinowicz was a fantastic choice for Crowley. I could listen to him rattle off the ingredients from a cookbook..."

And she also reprints the legendary "Heaven has no taste" conversation between Crowley and Aziraphale, so unless you happen to have that page marked in your own dead tree copy of Good Omens, it's worth visiting the link:

http://bit.ly/1sNnslt

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

07) MONSTROUS REGIMENT REDUX: AN ANALYSIS BY CORY DOCTOROW

Cory Doctorow, science fiction author par excellence and major Pratchett fanboy, thinks Monstrous Regiment may well be the finest Discworld novel:

"Monstrous Regiment's cast of characters are almost all unique to this book – there's a few Ankh Morporkians who play a pivotal role, but they are introduced as strangers to Polly and her comrades – meaning that no prior knowledge of the series is necessary to enjoy it. And enjoy it you will, I think. This novel shows off all of Pratchett's strengths to best light. First of all is his capacity for marvellous bathos: that is, countersinking serious, emotional moments with slapsticks, puns and light humor, keeping the mood swinging all around the compass, poking you in places you didn't know you had. Secondly, there's his characterization, which is epic. Pratchett fans love his people, and these people are some of his most lovable. And finally, there's the plotting, which is drum-tight, as the book reveals surprise after surprise, right up the very ending... Like all of Pratchett's best work, this one has its roots in classical material: the 16th century misogynist tract First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, the folk-song Sweet Polly Oliver, and, of course, the story of Joan of Arc. But like all of Pratchett's best work, this book bridges its classical sources to the present day, bringing feminist and trans themes to light along with contemporary ideas about religious wars, militarism, mercantilism and geopolitics..."

http://boingboing.net/2015/01/05/monstrous-regiment-the-finest.html

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

08) REVIEW: PHILOSOPHY AND TERRY PRATCHETT

...or not. But it's coming! For now I shall hold this space with a deathless little ditty by numerous persons called Bruce, aka Eric Idle. For those of you who might not be familiar with Monty Python's (in)famous "Philosophers' Song", I imagine YouTube will provide...

"Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table
David Hume could out-consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel

"There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed

"John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart ('I drink, therefore I am')
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed!"

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

09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

The Backspindle gang wishes all Discworld fans a Happy New Year! And have ushered in the new year with a new newsletter – their very first! The link to it is below, but here is the most exciting part for Discworld fans:

"We have commissioned the wonderful Amber Grundy to create the artwork for Clacks. The cooperative game rules have been finalised and the game is due for release in summer 2015... A pre-order will be established in April 2015."

Here is the news, um, newsletter:

http://bit.ly/1GdEr6H

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

10) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

10.1 NULLAS ANXIETAS UPDATES

Danny and the Nullus gang write:

On April 10-12, 2015 in beautiful Parramatta, Sydney, NSW, Australia, you will experience the magic of MOVING PICTURES with a range of delightful activities for all types of Discworld fans.

* Special Guests Colin Smythe (in person!) and Rob Wilkins (via Omniscope!)
* Meet the stars of the silver screen at the Gala Dinner!
* Show off your costuming and/or acting skills in the "I Wanna Be A Star" Maskerade and XXXX Factor!
* Participate in Studio activities to ensure you make the best clickies possible!
* Test your knowledge of Discworld and Movies and their influence on each other in our Quiz!
* Support the Orang-utan Foundation and the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation at the Charity Auction!
* Be crafty with chain maille, knitting, card-making and more!
* Can you sing? Dance? Handle a sword a little? Learn all these skills and more at our workshops!
* And much much more! With one thousand elephants!

For information on all of the above in a lot more detail, head over to our website at http://ausdwcon.org

You can even get a lovely NAV t-shirt and coffee cup too! (Shipping to Australia and the UK): http://ausdwcon.org/shop/souvenirs/

www.facebook.com/Ausdwcon
https://twitter.com/NullusAnxietasV


10.2 NADWCON 2015 UPDATES

From the Seamstresses:

"The Discworld panels and events will be spread throughout the five days of this convention. DW meets are planned via various guilds, as well. A Discworld / Steampunk dance is being discussed for the first night. A DW parade has been proposed. The (in)famous Seamstress Guild party will be at least one night, and perhaps every night, if we have enough volunteers to help. DW fans will be active in the Art Show, as well as the fabulous Worldcon costuming events and workshops. We hoping to help organize a pub crawl or two, as well. There will be workshops and classes and filking around DW themes, and a YA track, as well. And then you'll have 5,000 people from all over the world - many of whom are DW fans we haven't met yet - to play with in a gorgeous setting. (Don't even get me started on their Dealer Room). Because this is a Worldcon, fans will hear panelists and speakers we could never get at a NADWCon. And Old friends will be coming as well. Worldcons always offer fascinating programs for anyone who loves stories. We hope you can join us. If you want to help make this a memorable event for DW fans, please consider volunteering. It's a great way to make new friends."

And from Sasquan:

"Various North American Discworld Guilds have been invited to organize and host Discworld fan meets at Sasquan and these include: The Seamstress Guild (famous for its parties, it has many decorators, costumers and performers among its members), the Alchemists (our science minds), the Cunning Artificers (arts & crafts), Discworld Musicians and Singers (for filking and other fun), Engravers & Printers (our writers and editors), the Dark Clerks (folks who like to organize both paper and people behind the scenes), our fabulous Bakers (lovers of food and drink who may be leading some of our pub crawls), the Witches & Wizards (cunning women and men who love history, myth, and folklore), various DW Family Groups, the Black Ribboners (DW folks in recovery), and more.

"The North American Seamstress Guild will be hosting its famous parties at this convention, and a Discworld exhibit will be mounted in the convention's Exhibition Room. Discworld fans are invited to submit their art to the Sasquan Art Show, and costumers should consider entering the famous Worldcon Costume Masquerade. The Programming and Events departments are working with notable fans and attendees from around the world to create a fascinating Discworld-themed track for fans."

https://www.facebook.com/sasquan

To purchase your membership for Sasquan, go to https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php


10.3 CABBAGECON 2015 UPDATES

This year's theme will be the Assassins' Guild orientation weekend:

"Ever wanted to be a member of one of the most prestigious guilds in Ankh Morpork? Now is your chance! The famous Assassins' Guild has announced that their orientation weekend in 2015 will be held at Cabbagecon 3, the Dutch Discworld convention. Representatives of four of the Guild Houses will be present at the convention to see if the convention members have the skills and dress sense necessary to make it as an Assassin. Our guest of honour is translator Venugopalan Ittekot, who will give an exclusive presentation about a very special project."

Cabbagecon 3

When: 27th and 28th June 2015
Venue: Golden Tulip Hotel, Val Monte, Berg en Dal (near Nijmegen, not far from the eastern border)
Tickets: €40,00 (children, seniors, students €35)

http://www.dutchdwcon.nl

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

11) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

11.1 RUNNING FOR ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH

Spare a thought for PCA sufferer Paul Bulmer, who ran the Essar Four Villages Half Marathon last Sunday (18th January 2015). Mr Bulmer, a former IT consultant who was diagnosed with PCA in 2012, said, "Although I've had to give up my job, stop driving and need help with many day-to-day things, I like to concentrate on what I can do rather than what I can't. I have always been a runner, purely for pleasure. Now I run with guide runners because of my visual processing difficulties. It's a challenge these days, but I want to run for as long as I am able. My diagnosis has closed many doors for me but I've been pleased to find it's opened others. My local running club has taken me to heart and I've made new friends as a result. The only answer to dementia is research and I plan to do everything I can to help Alzheimer's Research UK find the preventions and treatments so urgently needed."

Last year Mr Bulmer completed the 2014 race accompanied by Paul Eccles and support runners David and Stephen Wiggins from Helsby Running Club, in a time of 1.07:31. On that occasion he raised more than £600 for the charity and hopes to raise far more in 2015.

From the Chester Chronicle:

"Jodie Vaughan, community fundraising manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, praised Paul’s spirit and commitment. 'We couldn't be more grateful to Paul for taking on the Four Villages Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK and we wish him every success on the day,' she said. 'He's a true inspiration to many and is proof that a dementia diagnosis doesn't have to stop you leading a rewarding and fulfilling life. Every £20 Paul raises is enough to pay for an hour of pioneering research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.'"

To sponsor Paul, visit www.justgiving.com/paul-bulmer2

For more information about Alzheimer's Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

http://bit.ly/1IVs634


11.2 SLOW DEATH, WITH DIGNITY

The normally irritating-as-an-irritating-thing journalist and author Bryan Appleyard has written a very good article on a number of arts giants who have chosen who rage – or joke – against the dying of *their* light. The main focus is on the slow fade of mighty Clive James, but here be a relevant bit:

"The fantasy writer Terry Pratchett may have been less fortunate with his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2007, because that condition will stop him writing well before the end. But the very fact that he blithely called the disease an “embuggerance” suggested continuing creativity, and, indeed, until recently he has been bouncing along with writerly good humour. He was, immediately after the diagnosis, startled to find this quality still intact. 'The day after I had been diagnosed,' he told me, 'I was working in the garden and I suddenly realised I was whistling ... there is this sort of inner well of humour or good nature, there is some kind of insuppressible source of good humour that I can’t actually manage to get rid of'..."

It's a good, strong piece, originally published in the Sunday Times. I would say "recommended reading" and give you a link, but sadly in the time it took me to come back to the article to grab a quote, Evil Uncle Rupert's minions stuck it behind a paywall. And there I was, about to post the link with a comment that I have – for many decades – found the Australian-born Mr James such an awe-inspiring tower of intellectual acumen and brilliant wordsmithing that he almost makes up for the existence of Australian-born Rupert Murdoch. If I were in charge of The Duty, I know for certain which one of them I'd choose to reap first and which one would be given a sly top-up of sand in his lifetimer. So it goes... – Ed.


11.3 NEW TECHNIQUE FOR EARLY ALZHEIMER'S DETECTION

In SciTech Daily:

"No methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern University scientists and engineers has developed a noninvasive MRI approach that can detect the disease in a living animal. And it can do so at the earliest stages of the disease, well before typical Alzheimer's symptoms appear. Led by neuroscientist William L. Klein and materials scientist Vinayak P. Dravid, the research team developed an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure (MNS) with an antibody that seeks out the amyloid beta brain toxins responsible for onset of the disease. The accumulated toxins, because of the associated magnetic nanostructures, show up as dark areas in MRI scans of the brain. This ability to detect the molecular toxins may one day enable scientists to both spot trouble early and better design drugs or therapies to combat and monitor the disease. And, while not the focus of the study, early evidence suggests the MRI probe improves memory, too, by binding to the toxins to render them 'handcuffed' to do further damage..."

http://bit.ly/1BMFqXv

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

12) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

12.1 PAUL KIDBY'S "DISCWORLD MASSIF" LIMITED EDITION: COPIES STILL AVAILABLE

"This is a unique collectors print featuring 77 favourite characters from the realms of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Each print is hand signed and numbered and the edition is limited to only 2000 copies worldwide. Dimensions: 714mm x 475 mm. Prints will be despatched rolled in tissue in a postal tube."

Prices are UK £50, Europe £55, Rest of World £60

http://www.paulkidby.net/index.php/shop/art-shop


12.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM 2015 UPDATES

Some superb new merchandise for 2015!

The official Sonky Poster ("cheaper than children")!

"Add a touch of light relief to your walls with a cheeky Discworld poster from Ankh-Morpork's famous Sonky Bros!
Originally featured in the Compleat Ankh-Morpork, this humorous advertisement for Ankh-Morpork's renowned purveyors of rubber goods has been recreated as a traditional wall poster by popular demand! Printed for us the old fashioned way by the folk at Stamp Press, each poster has been lovingly screenprinted for your pleasure onto heavyweight textured fine art card. Each poster measures 300 x 420mm. Shipped in a sturdy postal tube."

Priced at £10.00 each. For more information, images, and to order, go to
http://www.discworldemporium.com/Sonky%20Poster

The sword of a certain anthropomorphic personification!

"A weapon that can reap royal souls, slice shadows and cut through air, sound and time! This magnificent miniature replica of DEATH's sword is cast in pewter with a dead cool satin finish! Featuring exquisitely detailed skull motifs, bone hilt, and Death's own personal Infinite Omega monogram, this fantastical weapon is self supporting, with a double hilt enabling it to be easily and stylishly displayed on your geek shelf! Sword Measures 155mm x 42mm and is presented in a Discworld Emporium gift box. Made for us by award-winning craftsmen in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter."

Priced at £25.00 each. For more information, images, and to order, go to
http://www.discworldemporium.com/DeathSword

The Great Lighthouse of Ephebe stamp minisheet!

This cultural issue from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office celebrates the beacon of hope, and more recently inevitable despair that greets mariners to the ancient city of Ephebe. Since its Relocation inshore, the Great Lighthouse provides entertainment to stranded sailors awaiting rescue. Created to a design by Pythagonal using the Golden Rule and the five Aesthetic Principles, it is a marble monolith of undisputed beauty and cultural importance.
Each sheet and presentation card are standard A6 postcard size for ease of display, the sheet consists of six stamps measuring 35 x 38mm."

Priced at £5.00 each. For more information, images, and to order, go to
http://www.discworldemporium.com/Lighthouse%20of%20Ephebe%20Minisheet

The Emporium says, "Wishing you all a fantastical year ahead."

http://bit.ly/1KT0TC0

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

13) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets on the first Monday of every month at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ: "We welcome anyone and everyone who enjoys Sir Terry's works, or quite likes them or wants to find out more. We have had many visitors from overseas who have enjoyed themselves and made new friends. The discussions do not only concern the works of Sir Terry Pratchett but wander and meander through other genres and authors and also leaping to TV and Film production. We also find time for a quiz. The prize is superb. The chance to set the quiz the following month. If you enter via the beer garden, you will find us at the opposite end of the pub. If you have any problems, the staff can direct you."

Next meeting: Monday 2nd February 2015

The Drummers' January meet report:

"So Drummers met on Monday. I always expect low numbers in January but in the end we had a pretty good turnout.
Having put off writing the meeting report for a few days I am struggling to remember what happened.Tim W. did a quiz on New Year. Eunice was the clear winner due to her knowledge of the Chinese Zodiac. She has agreed to do the next quiz.
I also recall a conversation about Bill becoming like the gamekeeper in Lady Chatterley's lover. Funny the things that stick in your mind."

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

*

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". Forthcoming events include a dinner and games night on the 29th of January. For more info about their next meetup, go to 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.

Next meeting: Thursday 5th February 2015, probably, but do email 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 Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

Next meeting: Friday 6th February 2015 (probably).

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles.

Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000.

Next meeting: Monday 2nd February at 6.30pm (probably). For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meet on the first Monday of the month (subject to holidays) at the child-friendly Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia.

Next meeting: from 5.30pm on Monday 2nd February 2015 (probably).

For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – otherwise message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

*

Western Drummers, also based in Sydney, meet at The Rowers, Nepean Rowing Club, Bruce Neal Drive, Penrith at 6.30-7.30pm for food, 7.30pm for games, quizzes and chat: "If you have never been, please come on down. You would be very welcome. We eat, have a drink, talk Discworld and play board games. Starts kind of 6 – 6.30ish and finishes kind of 9pm ish."

Next meeting: as there was a meeting last week, the next will probably be in mid-January. For more information, contact Nanny Ogg – lewis_oz@bigpond.com – or visit their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/westerndrummers

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14) ROUNDWORLD TALES: POLLY PERKS IN REAL LIFE

Milunka Savic, the most-decorated female combatant in the entire history of warfare, fought in the Balkan Wars and in World War I. Born in 1890 in Serbia, Savic led a "normal" girl's life until her brother was called to service in the Second Balkan War; like Polly Perks, she cut off her hair, put on men's clothing and went off to join the army, but unlike Polly she did so in her brother's place. She received her first medal almost immediately and was promoted to the rank of corporal in the Battle of Bregalnica, but when she was wounded in battle her "secret identity" was revealed.

Amazingly, her commanding officer refrained from punishing Savic in any way because she had already been in ten battles and had an outstanding record as a soldier. But the Serbian army was equally reluctant to send a known young woman back into battle. According to one source, "She was offered a transfer to the Nursing division. Savic stood at attention and insisted she only wanted to fight for her country as a combatant. The officer said he'd think it over and give her his answer the next day. Still standing at attention, Savic responded, 'I will wait.' It is said he only made her stand an hour before agreeing to send her back to the infantry."

Savic won a number of medals in the first world war – she was the only female to win the Croix de Guerre with Gold Palm for the 191401918 war. After being demobbed in 1919 she faded from public notice and was not rediscovered until the late 1960s. By then she was living in some difficulty, but the public reaction to her early military prowess resulted in Savic being given a house and a pension. Savic died in 1973 at the age of 84; no item of clothing or equipment bears her name, but there is a street in Belgrade named for her.

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

15) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Happy New Year from Paul Kidby's Hamish the Aviator (complete with Tiffany Aching's underwear parachute):
http://bit.ly/15cbszO

Marvellously moody portrait of Nanny Ogg and Greebo, by Marc Simonetti:
http://bit.ly/1xVTjlD

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

16) CLOSE

Just before I hit Send, let's look back to Tony Adler's finely written review in the Chicago Reader of Lifeline Theatre's production of Monstrous Regiment last July. Includes a good cast photo, too:

http://bit.ly/1udRCPT

As hedgehogs are dear to all Discworld fans, we note that Barbara Roberts, founder of the Withington Hedgehog Trust, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in recognition of her work.

And that's the lot for now. See you soon, with more news and reviews!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2015 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


January 2014 (Volume 17, Issue 1, 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 2014 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
02) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
03) THINGS PRATCHETT FANS SAY
04) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
05) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
06) CLOSE


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

So, has everyone recovered from the holidays? Good! That makes all of you and none of me (insert weak smile here). But January is traditionally a quiet month in Roundworld, so this issue is very small (but perfectly formed, I hope). I did promise some reviews – specifically of The Carpet People USA hardcover, the new hardcover Mort, and Dodger's Guide to London. These shall follow either in a week or so, or early in February. But in the meantime, there are some bits and pieces of information that won't wait!

First, for you readers living in or intending to visit the dreaming spires of Oxford next month, there's still time to get tickets for OrangAid! This is a fundraiser for our Librarians (note uppercase) with some very special non-orange-ape guests:

"Join the Sumatran Orangutan Society for an evening of comedy in aid of conservation on Monday 3 February 2014. The show will be headlined by Bill Bailey, and also features Rob Newman, Tony Law, Sara Pascoe and Paul Foot. All proceeds will support the charity's work to protect orangutans and their rainforest homes."

The show will take place at New Theatre Oxford, George Street, Oxford OX1 2AG. Tickets are £27.90 to £38.90 plus a £2.85 transaction fee.

Here be the link for ticket purchase and other information:

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/orangaid-with-bill-bailey/new-theatre-oxford/

To find out more about the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS), you can follow them on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/orangutanssos – and Twitter – http://twitter.com/orangutanssos

It says "Adult content, may contain swearing. Parental discretion advised" on the tin, by the way. Swearing? From Bill Bailey? Surely not...

*

Speaking of visiting southern Britain, reader Rebecca is seeking advice for Discworld tourism in London. She has written to WOSSNAME:

"Hi, Would it be possible to ask your fine readers if there is anything Pratchetty to see while visiting London? I am going to be there in 2015 and would LOVE to see anything that might be along those lines. :) Thanks!"

Responses via your Editor, please! It's worth noting that Rebecca is vegan, so don't suggest any visits to fish and chip shops...

*

I came across an amusing moment in the life of one Erica SadunJan:

"Last week, I picked up a copy of The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter at the library. The book was sitting there on the shelf. I had heard some reasonably good buzz about it. So when it caught my eye, I did something I haven't done in a while. I checked out a dead-tree version. I also did something I had never done before. As I was reading the book, I stumbled across an unfamiliar word and, rather hilariously, ended up tapping the printed page until it finally occurred to me that the book wasn't going to offer me built-in dictionary and Wikipedia access..."

http://tinyurl.com/lktep2t

And onwards...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

02) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

2.1 GUARDS! GUARDS! IN KNEBWORTH


When the Knebworth Amateur Theatrical Society's production of Guards! Guards! had to be cancelled at short notice last November due to a medical emergency, KATS secretary Jo Simpson assured us that the production would go ahead early in the new year. And that's just what's happening next week! Jo Simpson says:

"The Dragon is back! KATS planned to bring you this spectacular show, featuring light and sound effects and a flying dragon, in November. However, we hit a major stumbling block when a key team member, our technician Graham Dormer, had a heart attack the Saturday before curtain up. We are delighted to report that Graham is now in much finer fettle, and we are able to offer you a flying start to the New Year. As well as Graham’s heart attack, one of the actors fell ill but it will all be worth it as it is a very funny play. A stellar cast who take on a multitude of roles, make this one of the best plays KATS have ever put on stage. Featuring the voice of Graham Dormer as the Dragon.

"To put on the play, Terry Pratchett asks that amateur groups give a donation to an Orang-Utan charity. If you've enjoyed the play, we would encourage you to do so too."

When: Thursday 23 – Saturday 25 January 7.45pm
Venue: Knebworth Village Hall, Park Lane, near the train station (08457 484950 for arrival and departure times)
Time: 7.45pm (doors open at 7.15pm)
Tickets: £7 or £6 concessions from (01438) 814166 or 07952 199183 or Village News, Station Road, Knebworth.


There will be tea and coffee at the interval and a licensed bar before and at the interval

Getting there: http://www.knebworth.org/Pages/Information/travel.html

http://www.katsdrama.info/

2.2 MORT IN CARDIFF

Monstrous Productions, already old hands at producing Pratchett plays, will be presenting their new production of Mort at the end of this month. "Monstrous Productions is a Cardiff-based Theatre Company that specialises in the performance of adaptations of novels by Sir Terry Pratchett, the proceeds of which are donated to Alzheimer's Research UK. We are entirely funded through sponsorships, fundraisers and investors; we are currently sponsored by Barclays bank, Cardiff University and are backed by Alzheimer's Research UK."

When: 29th January – 1st February 2014
Venue: the Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch St, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7pm
Tickets: £8.00 (Concession £6.00). To buy online via PayPal or to reserve to pay on the door, go to http://7889269b08cd.fikket.com/


"Tickets can also be reserved by emailing us at monstrousproductions2012@gmail.com, or bought directly from the Gate Theatre, although we do encourage buying directly from us... 2 weeks to go and tickets are selling much faster than last time and seeing as we sold out on the Saturday last year we would recommend pre-booking if you intend to come on the Friday or the Saturday.

"We are extremely proud to announce that Carpe Jugulum raised an impressive £3100 for Alzheimer's Research UK! Thank you to everyone who came to watch, we couldn't do it without your support."

http://www.monstrousptc.com/

2.3 MAKING MONEY IN SALISBURY

Studio Theatre of Salisbury, whose production of Going Postal last year was greatly enjoyed and praised by Sir Pterry himself, will present another Discworld spectacular – Making Money, this time – in March. Chris Hawley of the theatre group says, "Like last time, we expect this show to sell out so to avoid disappointment best to book early. This is what Sir Terry said about Going Postal ...' This was so well done that I wish I had written a better book! I loved the voices, because it has to be about the voices. It was done so people could see it and have a lot of fun. If they (Studio Theatre) wanted to do some more Discworld, I would be here in the front row.'"

When: 20th February-1st March 2014 (no performances on Sunday 23rd or Monday 24th)
Venue: Studio Theatre, Ashley Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 7TN
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: from Salisbury Information Centre, phone 01722 342860


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

2.4 WYRD SISTERS IN BRIGHTON

Brighton Little Theatre will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in February.

When: Tuesday 28th January through Saturday 1st February 2014
Venue: Brighton Little Theatre Company, 9 Clarence Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2EG
Time: 7.45pm
Tickets: £9.00 "Book through our website at www.brightonlittletheatre.com or our telephone booking service on 0844 888 0432."
Box Office: 0844 888 0432
Enquiries: 01273 777 748 or email info@brightonlittletheatre.com


Tickets must be collected 15 minutes before the show start time

http://brightonlittletheatre.ticketline.co.uk/wyrd-sisters

http://www.brightonlittletheatre.com/

2.5 WITCHES ABROAD IN PORTSMOUTH

Collingwood RSC Theatre Group will be presenting their production – a world premiere, no less – of Witches Abroad in March.

When: Wednesday 26th through Saturday 29th March 2014
Venue: HMS Collingwood, Newgate Lane, Fareham, Portsmouth, PO14 1AS
Tickets: £6, available via the box office (07502 037922)


https://www.facebook.com/hmscollingwoodrsc

2.6 MEN AT ARMS IN KEW

The Q2 Players, "Kew's Leading Amateur Theatre Group", will present their production of Men at Arms in April.

When: Thursday 3rd – Saturday 5th April 2014
Venue: Kew Community Centre, St. Luke's in The Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2AL
Time: Thurs-Sat shows at 8pm; Sat Matinee 2.30pm
Tickets: £8 (concessions £6) Box office TBA; email q2players@gmail.com


http://www.q2players.org.uk/Q2_Players/Upcoming_Show.html

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

03) THINGS PRATCHETT FANS SAY

A fan letter on Facebook, from Andrew Spittal:

"I read Mort at the age of 14. From there, I discovered a world deeper than the Lord of the Rings, more detailed than Narnia, and more enjoyable than any other fantasy series I had then read in my young adult life. Then it all went black... The pressures of adulthood took hold, and I was lost amid a sea of expectations. The same feeling can be achieved from repeatedly dipping one's head in ice-cold cider, and, between dunkings, being hit around the face with a velvet glove filled with empty promises. It was worse than horror. My girlfriend salvaged me from this. She bought me a new copy of the Discworld roleplaying game this Hogswatch (Christmas).

"Now, I must admit, I'm back with a vengeance. Not the little vengeance, that creeps upon you like a burglar in the night, but rather like the vengeance that kicks in your door, punches your elderly grandmother round the chops, then helps itself to pork pie and wine before singing "Auld Lang Sine", and then exiting just as mysteriously as it had arrived. And all this magic I have to thank you for. My hero, my author, my man. Terry Pratchett, esq."

Amanda Vornauf says...

"I have read almost all of your books. Yesterday I introduced my 10 year old to your wee free men book series. She loves to read but most books don't interest her enough to finish them. However she is gladly reading the first book without my prompting her. Also we just discussed spending some of her chriatmas money on buying the rest of the book series for her. Thank you Sir Terry Pratchett! For writing books I love, and also writing books my daughter loves as well! 2 Generations of Discworld Readers!"

Ds Span says...

"Dear Sir Prattchett, Just joined in so I could thank you for the Turtle...She really moves!!!"

Steam buff Derek King and his eerily-named (he says) family say...

"Dear Mr Pratchett – I have just finished your latest tome 'Raising Steam' and being a steam railway buff, it was right up my street, so to speak. However I must take you to task on certain character names you used, Harry King indeed! and his wife 'Effie' who had a nickname 'Spike' – I have to tell you my name is Derek King, my wife is Yvonne, affectionately known as 'Effie' and we have a Cockatiel named Spike – are you Psychic or something, taking our family names and subjecting them to such ignominies! Still a damn good read though, have a happy Christmas and a Happy New Year Derek and Yvonne 'Effie' King"

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

04) 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.

Next meeting: Thursday 6th February 2014, probably, but do email 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 Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

Next meeting: Friday 7th February 2014 (probably).

*

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group", meets on the first Monday of every month at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ.

Next meeting: Monday 3rd February 2014,from 7pm onwards.

The Broken Drummers January 2014 meet report:

"Last night there was just a small gathering. We had colds so stayed at home and several of the regulars contacted me to say that they couldn't make it. However, there were three new people, Sam, Ben and Muhayman. James B. informs me that it 'was nice to have some fresh blood! Tasty, tasty blood!' Jacqui brought along the quiz that didn't happen at the Christmas dinner but decided to save it for next time (just to build the anticipation). She says that 'we had some lively chatting, Eunice was on the receiving end of an apparently very enjoyable neck massage, we talked of proper knives and having matching cookware!' Apparently Gary, the landlord, also came to thank everyone for coming to the Puzzle so often. I think we can pass on those thanks to the rest."

For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or 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, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles.

Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000.

Next meeting: Monday 3rd February 2014 at 6.30pm (probably). For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

Perth Drummers meet on the first Monday of the month, subject to holidays.

Next meeting: Monday 3rd February 2014 (probably).

"Please note we have moved to Carpe Cafe from 5.30pm Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, WA. Meeting at a cafe means we are under-18 friendly!"

For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com

*

Western Drummers (that's two groups for the Sydney Pratchett fans now) 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

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

05) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Sir Pterry, enjoying the best seat in the house – sitting on stage during a Steeleye Span "Wintersmith" concert:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bb4cociIEAAV5DS.jpg

...and riding on Iron Girder (as it were):
http://tinyurl.com/jvldznn

It's a World of Poo!
http://cheezburger.com/146181

Rozalind Mansfield and her daughter Ilyana created this excellent Hogswatch card:
http://tinyurl.com/ljyunwm

For all you pareidoliacs out there, Koos de Korte offers a sky full of hat:
http://tinyurl.com/l7lyn56

Mel Thomsett knew just what to leave out for the Hogfather:
http://tinyurl.com/kd2x278

And finally, here be an iconograph that brings together two of the best things in the Discverse: a hedgehog in a library!
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bc7MqBRIIAEnTir.jpg

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

06) CLOSE

Now then, I shall send this out immediately before the KATS footlights go on! Back soon, and to all of you WOSSNAME wishes an... erm... interesting Year of the Reciprocating Llama!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

———————————————————————————————————
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: interact (at) pearwood (dot) info
———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2014 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

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