wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 3, Post 1)


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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 PTERRY PLAQUE NEWS

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

From the official Buckinghamshire website:

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

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

From the Bucks Free Press

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

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

http://bit.ly/2lZtqhz

3.2 ...AND OFFICIAL PRATCHETT BUST NEWS

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

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

3.3 ...AND STATUE NEWS

From the BBC:

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

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

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

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

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

3.4 REVIEWS: TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2nYvUBu

3.5 MORE ON THE SALISBURY MUSEUM EXHIBIT

From The Bookseller:

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/hv86ca3

3.6 A PRATCHETT PARLIAMENT OF OWLS!

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

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

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/BirdworldSurrey

3.7 DISCWORLD MAKES A BUCKET LIST

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

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

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

3.8 ESSAY ON PRATCHETT, WEALTH AND SATISFACTION

By Charles Chu on Medium:

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

http://bit.ly/2n8TN8Z

3.9 MORE ABOUT MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

3.10 ORANGUTAN ESCAPE ARTIST

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

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

http://bit.ly/1MuxBLM

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 NULLUS ANXIETAS NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And virtually appearing...

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

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

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

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

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

4.2 NADWCON 2017 NEWS

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

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

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

Membership Types:

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

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

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

https://nadwcon2017.org/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN MARCH, APRIL AND MAY

* MORT IN SASKATCHEWAN (MARCH)

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

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

http://www.uregina.ca/finearts

* WYRD SISTERS IN FOURECKS (MARCH/APRIL)

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

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

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

* DODGER IN PORTSMOUTH (MARCH/APRIL)

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN KENT (APRIL)

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

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

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

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

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* WYRD SISTERS IN YORK (JUNE)

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

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

https://www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/performers/we-are-theatre.php

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

5.3 REVIEWS

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM

By Alan Geary in the Nottingham Post:

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

http://bit.ly/2o7AB8K

By Kev Castle on Theatre Reviews:

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

kevcastletheatrereviews.blogspot.com

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF

By twin bloggers CL Raven:

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

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

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

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), still claims on their website to be meeting next on Monday 30th November 1999, but it's more more likely to be on Monday 3rd April at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel on 30th March. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 6th April 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 3rd April 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 JOSH KIRBY ART PRINTS NEWS

From the official Josh Kirby estate website:

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

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

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

http://www.joshkirbyart.com/


7.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* Tiffany's Hare necklace

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

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

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

* Thud! the game

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

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

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

* Some "sinister restocks"

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.discworldemporium.com/


7.3 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* The Terry Silhouette Pin

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

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

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

* New Phone Covers

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

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

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

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

* The Map 'n' Monsters Mug

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

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

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

* New Wee Free Men editions

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

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

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

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

* New Stickers

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

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

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

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

* Terry's Memorial Pin

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

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

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

Also coming soon, new trading cards and tea towels:

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

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

http://discworld.com/

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08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

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

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

Blogger Takanoir found Interesting Times quite, well, interesting:

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

http://bit.ly/2nYzawA

Blogger Gamobo has mixed feelings about Mort:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2n7BXyQ

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2nqZbDa

Blogger inkandcelluloid was very taken with Going Postal:

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2n8NDlJ

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

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

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

"Stephen Baxter: Over to you, Terry!

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

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

http://bit.ly/2nr8T8L

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here be an abridged list of her rather wonderful choices:

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

http://bit.ly/2omyAEX

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09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11) CLOSE

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

Take care, and we'll see you next month!

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Plays)
CHATS Productions are staging their production of Wyrd Sisters this week!

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

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

.
wossname: (Plays)
The Theatre Students' Association of Regina University are presenting their production of Mort this week!

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

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

http://www.uregina.ca/finearts

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

   "A bronze bust of Sir Terry Pratchett has been unveiled ahead of plans to install a 7ft (2.1m) statue of the author in Salisbury, Wiltshire. It was created by Paul Kidby, who illustrated Sir Terry's Discworld novels, before his death in 2015. The statue of the author, who lived locally, is due to be erected in the marketplace or Elizabeth Gardens. Mr Kidby said getting his expression right so 'he's not unhappy' but 'not smiling too much' was the hardest part. Plans for a larger than life-sized bronze statue of the author were backed by the city council following an online campaign for a permanent "tribute to Sir Terry" in the city.

   "Mr Kidby said it had been 'scary' creating a tribute to Sir Terry that his fans and family would 'be pleased with'. 'You don't want it to be too stuffy or too haughty – you want it to be quite human and, I suppose, approachable and people to be drawn to it,' he said. 'But the feedback's been positive and Terry's family are happy with what I've done so that's wonderful.' The next stage is to make a small maquette or model of the author, with the possible addition of a few 'hidden' extras. 'It would be nice to make it as intriguing as possible, so if you haven't read any of Terry's books it makes you want to know more,' said Mr Kidby. 'And it would be lovely just to sneak a few of his characters in – maybe in his pocket.'..."

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


wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
It's black, not blue, but it is halfway up a wall...

From the official Buckinghamshire website:

"A plaque honouring Sir Terry Pratchett has been unveiled at Beaconsfield Library, where the late author once worked. The plaque, which was commissioned by Beaconsfield Town Council, was unveiled by Sir Terry's daughter Rhianna and Business Manager Rob Wilkins, alongside Mayor Patrick Hogan today (Tuesday, March 7)... Councillor Philip Bastiman, Chairman of the Open Spaces Committee at Beaconsfield Town Council, said: 'It is only right that there is a permanent celebration of Sir Terry in the town where he was born, and what better place than at the library which first sparked his amazing imagination. The town council is proud to have commissioned this plaque commemorating one of Beaconsfield's most famous sons.'..."

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

From the Bucks Free Press:

"A commemorative plaque, unveiled by Sir Terry’s daughter Rhianna, now sits proudly outside the library where the fantasy writer was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks. Ms Pratchett, who is an award-winning scriptwriter, story designer and narrative paramedic, spoke to the Bucks Free Press about the honour, saying it was “wonderful” to see her dad commemorated at the library where 'the Terry Pratchett was born.' She said: 'He's always loved libraries, and librarians, a lot so it's very, very fitting. It feels like even more significant than having it, say, in the house that he was born in. This is where he got his education, where the ideas, the interest in the world and the love of reading took off.' ... Speaking about growing up with her father, Ms Pratchett, who studied journalism at university, said he instilled a love of books and reading into her from an early age. She said: 'I spent a lot of time in the library reading and I was always reading library books up trees. It's wonderful to see his legacy continuing long after his death. The ripples he left in the world – one of the quotes from his book was "a man is not dead while his name is still spoken", and it feels like he's very much alive and present in the world.'..."

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

http://bit.ly/2lZtqhz


wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Exciting news, O Readers! And I know that for our household this is a long-hoped-for dream come true:

  "Containing black-and-white line drawings based on his hugely popular artwork as well as original pieces produced exclusively for this book, Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book features iconic Discworld personalities as Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, Rincewind, Tiffany Aching and, of course, DEATH.

  Gollancz Digital Publisher, Darren Nash said 'This is the perfect mix of fad and phenomenon: adult colouring books and the UK's bestselling Fantasy series. And the fact that it's come from Paul and Rob is a guarantee that Sir Terry's creations will be treated with the respect they deserve.' Rob Wilkins said: 'Paul Kidby is Terry Pratchett's artist of choice. Paul – in a seemingly effortless and certainly modest way – breathed life into Terry's characters for more than two decades. Terry often commenting that Paul must have the ability to step right into Discworld, because the accuracy with which he depicts his creations often surpassed his own imagination.' Paul Kidby said: 'It's been a great pleasure to select some of my favourite artworks and recreate them as line drawings here ready for colouring. Now it's over to you to embark upon the Discworld colouring-in extravaganza. The future is bright; it's not orange, it's Octarine!'

  If Terry Pratchett's pen gave his characters life, Paul Kidby's brush allowed them to live it. He provided the illustrations for The Last Hero, which sold over 300,000 copies, and has designed the covers for the Discworld novels since 2002. He is also the author of the definitive portfolio volume The Art Of Discworld."

  Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book will be published by Gollancz on the 11th August priced at £9.99. You can pre-order a copy at Discworld.com by going to http://bit.ly/1SlbsOF

TO READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE, GO TO http://discworld.com/press-release-colouring-book-announced/

...and here is an image of the cover. But to see it in its full glory, go to the URL above!

wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 3, Post 2)

********************************************************************
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) FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS
04) ODDS AND SODS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
07) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: SOUL CAKES
11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
12) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"It's interesting that I Shall Wear Midnight (2010) was written by a man who was, at the time of writing, beginning a more serious struggle with Alzheimer's disease than his outward persona may have let on. The pacing, complexity and adventure of this story is exceptional, and I rank it among Terry's very best work. Reflecting on his own mortality and the role that Alzheimer's might play in his demise, Terry once told me, riffing on Spike Milligan, I don't mind dying, I'd just like to be there when it happens."
– David Lloyd

"These books have meant the world to me. They opened my eyes and broadened my mind and inspired my writing, and I have enjoyed reading every one of them, and I will enjoy reading every one of them again and again, all through my life. Because a man isn’t really dead as long as people speak his name, as long as people read his books, as long as the ripples keep spreading. And still the turtle moves."
– a blogger called AR

"Sir Terry Pratchett the frail human being has passed away. Terry Pratchett the author is immortal. He talks to thousands – perhaps millions – of people every day, in more countries than you or I could name in twenty minutes without an Atlas. He tells people that, hey, it’s not so bad. He makes people laugh. He makes people cry. He teaches people things they never knew they wanted to know. He takes people on mesmerising journeys through fantastical lands, lands that he created. He tells people that maybe – just maybe – they, too, can send heartwarming ripples across the world with nothing more than a human mind and a keyboard.
Terry Pratchett isn’t dead. He’s just reached the point where people have finally stopped asking him to sign things."
– Luke Kemp, on Reddit, June 2015

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Spring is in the air! At least it is in the parts of the world that brought us Sir Terry Pratchett. Down here in the land of Fourecks, the days are ever longer and the rather mild season the Ecksians call winter is on its way. But wherever you are, this is a good time for remembering and praising the Works of Pratchett. Next month sees the official London remembrance event, but for all those millions of Pratchett fans who can't attend, we have our groaning bookshelves and our blogposts (there are some sweet memories in item 9, Around the Blogosphere).

April will also see another plentiful helping of Discworld theatre activity. It's heartwarming to see a continuing increase in the number of local theatre groups performing Discworld plays. Long may that continue.

As it's just been Easter weekend, this month's Roundworld Tales (item 10) is about soul cakes. Here's hoping the Soul Cake Duck brought you tasty treats...

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS

3.1 NEW SHORT STORY COLLECTION

After the rollicking success of Dragons at Crumbling Castle, here comes The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner!

From Charlotte Eyre in The Bookseller:

"Penguin Random House Children's will this summer publish a second collection of short stories from Terry Pratchett. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner, like the first volume Dragon's at Crumbling Castle, features 14 stories written by Pratchett when he was a young man. The book will again be illustrated by Mark Beech. PRH Children's acquired the world rights from Colin Smythe of Colin Smythe Ltd... The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner will be published on 25th August in hardback, priced at £12.99. PRH will also release a collector's edition with bonus stories and a critical commentary to accompany each story, with price to be announced.

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/new-pratchett-short-story-collection-prh-323771

From Discworld.com:

"Penguin Random House Children's is delighted to announce a new collection of short stories by master storyteller, Sir Terry Pratchett, due to be published this August. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is the second collection of Pratchett's short stories, following on from the hugely successful first volume, Dragons at Crumbling Castle, which became a number 1 bestseller. Beautifully illustrated and brought to life by Mark Beech, these stories feature food fights and pirates, wizards and crooks and are sure to delight Pratchett fans worldwide. Written when he was just seventeen, The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner brings together fourteen of Pratchett's earliest stories. Each of the stories shows the seeds of ideas which Terry went onto develop in his later writing, making this a fascinating collection for his fans.

"Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children's commented: 'Dragons at Crumbling Castle engaged a new generation of Terry Pratchett fans, and we are delighted to be building on this success by publishing a second collection of Terry's fantastically funny stories. Once you've read Pratchett, you love Pratchett – and our mission is to inspire even more young readers with his wonderful stories.' Rob Wilkins, from the Estate of Sir Terry Pratchett, adds: 'Terry was thrilled by the warm response to Dragons, and it meant a lot to him that children were reading and loving these stories. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is just as silly and brilliant, and we can't wait to share this collection with readers young and old.'

"A separate collector's edition will also be published this August featuring bonus stories and a critical commentary to accompany each story."

http://discworld.com/press-release-terrys-new-book-announced/

3.2 WINGS COMPLETES THE TRILOGY

A new edition of Wings – final instalment in the Bromeliad Trilogy that includes Truckers and Diggers, featuring illustrations by Mark Beech, is coming soon! The release date as posted on Amazon is 7th April 2016. Waterstones have it for pre-order, priced at £6.99: http://bit.ly/21MSdT9 – and no, you won't get it any cheaper on Amazon.

By the way, Waterstones is currently offering Diggers, the second instalment, at £5.99:
https://www.waterstones.com/book/diggers/terry-pratchett/9780552573344

3.3 THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN IN PAPERBACK

The paperback edition of The Shepherd's Crown is set for a publication date of 2nd June, under the Corgi Children's imprint. Priced at £7.99 (Waterstones), it can be pre-ordered by going to http://bit.ly/1MJSXSf – or in Fourecks, at a price of $17.99, via https://www.bookdepository.com/Shepherds-Crown-Terry-Pratchett/9780552574471

3.4 THE LONG COSMOS PRE-ORDERS

The final instalment in the Long Earth series, The Long Cosmos, will be published in hardcover at the end of June (30th). Priced at £18.99, it can now be pre-ordered at Waterstones by going to http://bit.ly/1UUclCx

The Long Cosmos Slipcase Edition will be released on the same date (30th June) and is now available for pre-order, also in hardcover and priced at £35. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:
http://bit.ly/1TbSoXX

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04) ODDS AND SODS

4.1 A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DISCWORLD

By the excellent David Lloyd, ArchChancell-, er, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia and a leading keeper of the Pratchett flame, an appreciation of and newbie guide to Discworld:

"Terry Pratchett once told me that he didn't actually recommend beginning your relationship with the Discworld through his first novel in the series, The Colour of Magic (1983). That's because hindsight is 20:20. When Terry wrote 'The First Discworld Novel' in 1983 he didn't know how big a phenomenon he was starting. Over the next 32 years, 40 more novels flowed, first from his keyboard and later from his speech recognition software, up until a year ago this Saturday, when Alzheimer's stole away one of the greatest contemporary English language writers.

"Back in 1983, Terry was working full-time and writing in his spare time. When he created the Discworld, Pratchett simply couldn't have foreseen how things would evolve. It was a strange, magical, flat world, populated by wizards, dwarfs and trolls, replete with dragons and barbarian heroes. In turn, this world was perched atop four enormous elephants, themselves standing atop a giant star-turtle swimming through the galactic void. Any reader beginning with 'book one' and thinking that they're embarking on a journey that will take them through 41 variations on that first theme is hugely mistaken. For one thing, the Discworld novels aren't, strictly speaking, a series. Certainly not in the sense of a story where plot continues to be told across multiple instalments...

"In his graduation address to the University of South Australia's Class of 2014, on receipt of his honorary doctorate from our institution, Terry noted, there is possibly more of me in Sir Samuel than in any other player on my pages. That's what makes the group of books that deals with the Watchmen of Ankh Morpork a must for anyone interested in Pratchett. Samuel Vimes, introduced as a drunken night-watchman in Guards! Guards! (1989), develops and grows in the course of our encounters with him across multiple books... Across ten Guards novels Pratchett explores prejudice and humanity with forays into nationalism, racism, bigotry and genocide. Big topics, subtly handled and with a thread of passion that leaps from the page. Whenever asked, I generally recommend that anyone stepping onto the Disc for their first time does so with Guards! Guards!..."

http://theconversation.com/a-beginners-guide-to-terry-pratchetts-discworld-55220

4.2 A NOTABLE POSTHUMOUS AWARD

From the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America):

"The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is pleased to announce that Sir Terry Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) has been named the recipient of the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. Among the positive changes SFWA has made this year is renaming the Solstice Award to the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. We felt that doing so acknowledged the important role that Ms. Wilhelm has played not just in SFWA's history, but overall in the field of speculative fiction. This decision also brings the award's name more in line with the naming of other SFWA awards, such as the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction, and the Kevin O'Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award... Sir Terry joins the ranks of previous honorees, including Octavia E. Butler, James Tiptree, Jr., Tom Doherty, Carl Sagan, and Stanley Schmidt. In his long career, Sir Terry used humor and satire to entertain and educate, becoming one of the best-selling British authors of the twentieth century... The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 12-15th and feature seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA's annual business meeting, and receptions..."

http://www.sfwa.org/2016/03/sir-terry-pratchett-receive-kate-wilhelm-solstice-award/

...and from Locus magazine:

"The Solstice award, created in 2008 and given at the discretion of the SFWA president with the majority approval of the Board of Directors, is for individuals, living or dead, who have had 'a significant impact on the science fiction or fantasy landscape, and is particularly intended for those who have consistently made a major, positive difference within the speculative fiction field.' Previous winners include Octavia E. Butler, Alice B. Sheldon (AKA James Tiptree, Jr.), Tom Doherty, Carl Sagan, Stanley Schmidt, Michael Whelan, Kate Wilhelm, Terri Windling, Donald A. Wollheim, and John Clute. Pratchett will be honored at the 2016 Nebula Awards Weekend, the 50th anniversary of the Awards, to be held May 12-15, 2016, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago IL."

http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/03/pratchett-receives-solstice-award/

4.3 THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN SHORTLISTED FOR BRITISH BOOK OF THE YEAR

In The Bookseller:

"The inaugural British Book Industry Awards' Book of the Year shortlists – covering Children's, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-fiction – showcase the 'glorious way that publishing continually shifts and reinvents itself', chair of judges Cathy Rentzenbrink has said... the lists consist of eight books in each of the four categories. The awards honour not just the author and illustrator of a title, but the entire team, from editor to publicity to sales, and all those in between. Among the books making the shortlist are Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman (William Heinemann), Joe Wicks' Lean in 15 (Bluebird), and Terry Pratchett's The Shepherd's Crown (Doubleday Children's). One author, Matt Haig, has two books on the shortlists. Rentzenbrink, The Bookseller's contributing editor, said: 'The Book of the Year shortlists showcase the breadth and depth of British publishing and the glorious way that publishing continually shifts and reinvents itself as huge bestsellers come out of left field. In the lists, we have a YouTube star, a 92-year-old author/illustrator, there are books in translation... and who would have ever foreseen the Ladybird [Books for Grown-Ups series] effect? There is also serious history, significant literary endeavours and debut novels that hold all the promise of a fine future.' Judges for the Children's category are Booka Bookshop manager Carrie Morris; Waterstones head of books Melissa Cox; Book Trust's Gemma Malley; journalist Stuart Dredge; and author and The Reading Agency ambassador Bali Rai...."

The British Book Industry Awards take place on 9th May in London. For more information and to book, go to:
http://www.thebookseller.com/british-book-industry-awards

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/inaugural-books-year-shortlists-revealed-324288

4.4 NEIL GAIMAN ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH PRATCHETT

From The Bookseller:

"Gaiman's non-fiction title The View From the Cheap Seats will be published by Headline on 31st May and include writings, lectures and talks on passions that ignited him as a boy, youth and young man and which still 'burn within him today'. They include the lives of writers he admired and loved – Douglas Adams and his one time collaborator Terry Pratchett, along with genres and personalities, libraries, bookshops, films and comics... The View From the Cheap Seats will be published in hardback priced £20."

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/neil-gaiman-release-non-fiction-title-year-323407

4.5 ORANGUTAN POPULATION IMPROVES

In the Mirror Daily (USA):

"It seems that the Sumatran orangutans have a larger population than expected, but that doesn't mean that they are out of harm's way. Severe deforestation is threatening their natural environment, and the number of individuals is still declining rapidly. The latest nose count revealed that there are approximately 14,600 Sumatran orangutans on the island. It may sound that they have plenty of specimens, but the orangutans are native to the northern part of the Indonesian island, and they cannot be relocated... according to the researchers, if the current forest loss rate will continue, more than 4500 orangutan individuals will die by 2030. With this in mind, scientists are urging the local authorities to implement protection measures for the red-haired mammals.

"The complete nose count was conducted because the researchers need an accurate estimation of the size of the Sumatran orangutan population to plan conservation measures. In order to obtain a result as precise as possible, the team of scientists that participated in the nose count conducted various surveys. In the end, they counted over 3000 nests on a 300 kilometers territory. According to the calculation, this means that there are roughly 14.600 Sumatran orangutans in the Indonesian forests. The previous estimate was of 6600 individuals. This remarkable difference was not given by a spike in the number of the apes, but because last counts did not include certain areas like logged forests, some areas situated on the west side of Lake Toba and the red-haired mammals that lived at higher elevations..."

http://www.mirrordaily.com/sumatran-orangutans-population/27889/

4.6 ESSAY ON PRATCHETT AND HUMANISM

By Kannal Achutan in The Hindu:

"While many fantasy authors' works are anchored on the grand theme of good versus evil, Terry Pratchett's gift lies in spinning everyday struggles into literary gold... While the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin are anchored on the grand theme of good versus evil, Pratchett's gift lies in spinning everyday struggles into literary gold... The transformation of Sam Vimes from a rookie night policeman in Ankh-Morpork to Commander of the City Watch is similar to the growth of Pratchett's oeuvre. Vimes's motley group of policemen fight a magical dragon in the first Watch book Guards! Guards! and, by the last book Snuff, Vimes has made a strong case for the embracing of diversity, a familiar topic of today. Pratchett uses Vimes to take on heavy subjects: corruption in business and politics (Feet of Clay), land rights (Jingo), diplomacy and foreign policy (Fifth Elephant), and intolerance and war (Thud!). But far from becoming a superhero, Vimes becomes increasingly aware of his flaws. In Thud!,for example, Vimes struggles to be master of the 'Summoning Dark', a creature of dwarfish lore that is a metaphor for the policeman's desire for vengeance...Vimes is Discworld's greatest humanist just like the stellar humanist that Pratchett was in his fight for freedom of choice, his ethics classes for schools, and his support for critical thinking and scientific enquiry..."

http://bit.ly/1XWS9zm

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.0 LORDS AND LADIES IN SHREWSBURY (APRIL)

The Ruyton Amateur Theatrical Society aka RATS will be staging their production of Lords and Ladies next week!

When: 1st and 2nd April 2016
Venue: Village Hall, Church Street, Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 1LJ
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £7 (£5 for over-60s and 16-and-unders), available on the door or in advance from Cafe Eleven on Church Street (phone 7976 024654) or the Box Office (phone 07950 838349). For further info, email Chrissie Niddrie-Davies: cnd998@hotmail.co.uk

5.1 GOOD OMENS IN HESSE, GERMANY (APRIL)

Having already successfully taken on Discworld productions including Wyrd Sisters, Monstrous Regiment and Eric, German theatre company Die Dramateure will present Ein Gutes Omen (Good Omens) next month!

When: 8th and 9th April 2016 (also on 16th April, see below)
Venue: Burgerhaus Bruchkobel, Jahnstrabe 3, 63486 Bruchkobel
Time: 1930
Tickets: €8,50 (€7 online) To purchase online, go to: http://www.dramateure.com/kontakt#vvk

There will be a further performance on 16th April at a different venue. For more information, go to:
http://kunstforum-seligenstadt.de/veranstaltung/ein-gutes-omen

http://www.dramateure.com/eingutesomen-2016

5.2 WYRD SISTERS IN HAMPSHIRE (APRIL)

The Worthy Players of the appropriately-named Kings Worthy*** will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters next month! "This Worthy Players show also coincides with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's passing. Funds will be raised through this production for Alzheimer's charity and the Orangutan Foundation, Terry Pratchett's preferred charities."

When: 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd April 2016
Venue: Jubilee Hall, London Road, Kings Worthy, Hants SO23
Time: 7.30pm all shows (doors open at 7pm)
Tickets: £7 (Adults) and £6 (Seniors, Children and Students), available from the box office (phone 07599 981922), by email to tickets@theworthyplayers.co.uk or online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/122778 (there are no extra fees for online bookings)

http://www.theworthyplayers.co.uk/

*** One of The Worthies, in a catchment area also including Headbourne Worthy, Abbots Worthy and Martyr Worthy – names weird and wonderful enough to have come from the Disc itself...

5.3 REMINDER: THE SHAKESPEARE CODEX IS COMING! (APRIL)

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/

5.4 REMINDER: LORDS AND LADIES IN HAMPSHIRE (APRIL)

The Collingwood RSC Theatre Club – the RS stands for Random Salad in this case – have been presenting various Discworld plays for over 18 year now. Now, following on from Wyrd Sisters in 2011 and Witches Abroad in 2014, they are completing the original Witches trilogy with their first production of Lords and Ladies!

When: 20th – 23rd April 2016
Venue: Millennium Hall, HMS Collingwood, Newgate Lane, Fareham, Hants PO14 1AS
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: can be booked at the box office (phone 07502 037922) or by emailing collingwoodrsc@sky.com

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

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

5.6 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN READING (MAY)

Caversham Park Theatre will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in April!

"If you have never experienced the late Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld but wonder what you might have missed... Caversham Park Theatre is proud to stage Wyrd Sisters. We hope you will dip your toe into Sir Terry's Discworld and discover a whole new universe of thoughtful comedy."

When: 12th, 13th and 14th May 2016
Venue: Milestone Centre, Northbrook Rd, Caversham, Reading, RG4 6PF
Time: 8pm for 12th and 13th April, 7pm for 14th April
Tickets: £7.00, available by phone (01189 481 377) or online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/118288
Book online at: www.cavparktheatre.org.uk or phone 0118-948-1377

5.7 REMINDER: LORDS AND LADIES IN SWITZERLAND (APRIL/MAY)

The Gay Beggars theatre group of the University of Basel will present their production of Lords and Ladies, adapted by Irana Brown, in May!

When: 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th April; 1st, 3rd, 6th and 7th May 2016
Venue: Cellar Theatre of the English Seminar, University of Basel, Nadelberg 6
Time: 8pm all shows, except 1st May which starts at 5pm
Tickets: CHF25 (students, apprentices, AHV, IV CHF15). There is a group discount for school classes of CHF10 per student; contact reservations@gay beggars.ch for groups of 10 or more.

Tickets can be reserved by emailing reservations@gaybeggars.ch. "Reserved tickets must be picked up at the evening box office (opens one hour before the show).'

http://www.gaybeggars.ch/

5.8 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN SOMERSET (MAY)

The Minehead Dramatic Society will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in May.

When: 13, 14 and 15th May 2016
Venue: Regal Theatre, 10-16 The Avenue, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5AY (phone 01643 706430)
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults £8.00, Friends £7.50, ES40's/Students £4.00. Online tickets can be purchased by logging in to http://bit.ly/21MET1d and clicking on the date of your choice. "Please note that tickets cannot be purchased, on-line, on the same day as the performance. Please call into the box office or telephone 01643 706430 (Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 3.00pm)"

http://regaltheatre.co.uk/
http://regaltheatre.co.uk/whatson/?pno=2

5.9 REMINDER: MORT IN HESSE, GERMANY (MAY)

The Helden Theatre will be staging their production of Gevatter Tod (that's the Deutsche title of Mort) in May 2016!

When: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May 2016
Venue: Theater Altes Hallenbad, Haagstrasse 29, 61169 Friedberg
Time: 7.30pm Saturday 21st, 3.30pm Sunday 22nd
Tickets: €10 concessions €8). To purchase online, go to http://bit.ly/1Rbt0MP and click on the Tickets button

http://heldentheater.de

5.10 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

5.11 REMINDER: : 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. (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

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06) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

6.1 AUSDWCON 2017!

"Ladies, Gentlemen, Dwarfs, Trolls, Vampires, Werewolves, Goblins, Feegles, sundry others and Nobby Nobbs - the Ankh-Morpork Tourism Board invites you to a journey of wonder, whimsy, and, er, wossname at Nullus Anxietas VI - The Discworld Grand Tour - The Australian Discworld Convention. The Discworld Grand Tour will be held on 4th-6th August 2017 at the Lakes Resort Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia. This convention will be a way to escape on a luxurious trip to the Discworld to enjoy three (or four) fabulous days of fun and frivolity with your fellow fans of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett. Please read all about the upcoming convention and book your tickets (_https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/_)!

"Let Rincewind tell you all about it: https://youtu.be/j80m1JdktQA

"When you buy a ticket to Nullus Anxietas VI, you are also purchasing membership to the convention - we want everyone to be involved in a fundamental way. You don't simply attend Nullus Anxietas, you absorb it, and it emanates from you. In a very real sense the convention just wouldn't be the same without you. We hope that you will join us to make Nullus Anxietas VI that much better!

"Buying a supporting membership ($40) helps to support running the convention, and also acts as a holding deposit for your place at the convention. However, it does not enable you to attend unless you choose to upgrade. Buy your supporting membership here: https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/ "

Ticket prices range from $120 (Early Bird child ages 6-15) to $640 (full price full family membership). To pre-order, and for more information, go to:
https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/

https://ausdwcon.org
https://twitter.com/ausdwcon

6.2 CABBAGECON 4!

"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!"

When: 1st and 2nd July 2017
Venue: Hotel Carlton President, Floraweg 25, 3542 DX Utrecht, NL
Theme: Ankh-Morpork Guild of Merchants
Tickets: €35 to €60. For more information, and to book, go to www.dutchdwcon.nl and click on your desired dates.

6.3 SCHEIBENWELT 2017!

"The lease for the castle of ludwig stone is signed! On 18.05.2017 you can arrive and celebrate with us!"

"The German Discworld Convention takes place every 2 years and is organized by the Ankh-Morpork e.V., the German Terry Pratchett Fan Club, for all ardent readers of the British author. Members of the Fan Club get a discount on the tickets. The club contributes the core organization team, the K.A.O.S.*, and many of its members volunteer for the creation of program items, decorating the castle or helping at the bar. In contrast to similar events which take place at the conference rooms of expensive hotels the German Discworld Convention takes place on the grounds of a German castle. In 2007 this was Castle Freusburg, 2009 and 2011 it was Castle Bilstein. In 2015 it is Castle Ludwigstein. The castles include youth hostels so guests of the German Discworld Convention can sleep at the castle and get catering there."

When: 18th-21st May 2017
Venue: Burg Ludwigstein, 37214 Witzenhausen, Hesse
Tickets: TBA

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

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07) 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 4th April 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 7th April 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 1st April 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 4th April 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 4th April 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>

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

From the Discworld Emporium:

* The Flora and Fauna of Discworld art poster!

"Exclusive poster featuring some of your favourite Discworld plants and creatures from Terry Pratchett's Discworld, including the Curious Squid, Quantum Weather Butterfly, Counting Pine, Hermit Elephant and Swamp Dragon! With glorious illustrations by Vladimir Stankovic, this fantastical print is a tribute to some of the 'wilder' creations from the mind of Terry Pratchett - the flora and fauna that made the Discworld world just a little bit more, well, Discworld. Measures 80.5 x 50cm"

The Flora and Fauna of Discworld poster is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-flora-and-fauna-poster

* The wonderful hard-boiled egg!

"Commemorate the Glorious 25th of May with Vimes and the Watch with this elegant inscribed hard-boiled egg - a fitting tribute to the boys of Treacle Mine Road. Each egg stands at 2 inches high, and is produced in an ivory finish and presented in a lilac cotton drawstring pouch."

The Hard-boiled Egg is priced at £5. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/Hard%20Boiled%20Egg

* Tiffany's hare!

"To celebrate the release of I Shall Wear Midnight in 2010 we created the original Golden 'Hare Through Flame' Necklace, limited to an exclusive edition of only 200 worldwide. By popular demand our exclusive tribute to Tiffany's own necklace and the spirit of the hare is now available in precious solid silver - the perfect present for any 'Wee Hag'! Each necklace is strung on a generous length of chestnut brown cotton cord for easy adjustment. Approx. 36mm diameter, cord length (end to end) 78mm"

The Tiffany Hare pendant is priced at £55. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/HareNecklace

* The Ankh-Morpork Doodle Map!

"Giant art print of the Big Wahoonie, based on the original ink sketch created for The Compleat Ankh-Morpork! Keep it stylish in black and white, or make a blot on the landscape with colouring pencil or pen. Shade in the Shades, adulterate the Ankh, add the hues of Hide Park and tones of the Tump, or a splash of the colour of magic... It's up to you! Printed on heavyweight art paper, measures 84cm x 59cm"

The Ankh-Morpork Doodle Map is priced at £12. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/ankh-morpork-discworld-doodle-map

* More bronze Kidby Dragons to adopt!

"More little Swamp Dragons by Paul Kidby have freshly hatched and are ready for rehoming! Because you are such jolly good eggs, we're still giving you £10 off when you save three swampies - But remember, a dragon is for life, not just for Easter!"

The Swamp Dragons are priced at £30 per dragon or a special price offer of £80 for all three! For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/category/sunshine-sanctuary-adopt-a-dragon


From Discworld.com (formerly PJSM Prints):

* Pre-order The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner!

"The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is the second collection of Pratchett's short stories, following on from the hugely successful first volume, Dragons at Crumbling Castle, which became a number 1 bestseller. Beautifully illustrated and brought to life by Mark Beech, these stories feature food fights and pirates, wizards and crooks and are sure to delight Pratchett fans worldwide. Written when he was just seventeen, The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner brings together fourteen of Pratchett's earliest stories. Each of the stories shows the seeds of ideas which Terry went onto develop in his later writing, making this a fascinating collection for his fans.

"Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children's commented: 'Dragons at Crumbling Castle engaged a new generation of Terry Pratchett fans, and we are delighted to be building on this success by publishing a second collection of Terry's fantastically funny stories. Once you've read Pratchett, you love Pratchett – and our mission is to inspire even more young readers with his wonderful stories.'

"Rob Wilkins, from the Estate of Sir Terry Pratchett, adds: 'Terry was thrilled by the warm response to Dragons, and it meant a lot to him that children were reading and loving these stories. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is just as silly and brilliant, and we can't wait to share this collection with readers young and old.'"

The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is priced at £15 and is now available for pre-order. Go to http://discworld.com/products/books/the-witchs-vacuum-cleaner/ and click on the pre-order button!

* Clacks, the game!

"Using a semaphore system of shuttered lamps on top of high towers, the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company has revolutionised long distance communications on the Discworld. Their network of towers covers most of the Unnamed Continent, but now the old postal service is fighting back. Driven by the determination of newly 'volunteered' Post Master 'Moist Von Lipwig' the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has challenged the Clacks operators to a race from Ankh-Morpork to Genua. Play against your friends and claim the title of Fastest Clacks Operator on the line, or play together as a team to win the race across the Discworld and prove that Clacks is here to stay. In the box there is rules for 'player versus player', a 'co-operative race game' against the Post Office and a 'Children's introductory game'."

Clacks is priced at £30. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/games/clacks-a-discworld-board-game/

* Phone covers!

Wyrd Sisters, Death with kitten, or Sam Vimes with "loaded" swamp dragon

The Discworld phone covers are priced at £10 each. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/phone-covers/

* Unseen University diplomas!

Assassins' Guild graduate certificate:
"Celebrate your proficiency with a blade, penchant for dark clothing and membership in one of Ankh-Morpork's most powerful organisations. Recognised by the Assassins' Guild and signed by Lord Vetinari himself. The certificates were commissioned over twenty years ago as part of Stephen Briggs' CMOT Dibbler collection, making them not only rare, but a truly collectable part of Discworld history. These certificates were produced as part of the original run so we have limited availability."

Doctorate of Sweet Fanny Adams:
"The rather colourfully named 'doctorus adamus cum flabello dulci' (Doctor of Sweet Fanny Adams), is an hounourary qualification available from Unseen University to all those who are impressed by long names and was bestowed upon Prince Khufurah of Klatch in Jingo. The certificates were commissioned over twenty years ago as part of Stephen Briggs' CMOT Dibbler collection, making them not only rare, but a truly collectable part of Discworld history."

Bachelor of Fluencing Certificate:
"Display your aptitude for the fundamentals of magic, as recognised by Unseen University and signed by Archchancellor Ridcully and let everyone know you're a B.F. The certificates were commissioned over twenty years ago as part of Stephen Briggs' CMOT Dibbler collection, making them not only rare, but also a collectable part of Discworld history."

"These certificates were produced as part of the original run so we have limited availability."

The Unseen University certificates are priced at £7.50 each. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/certificates/

http://discworld.com/

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09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

From blogger Martin, a review of The Shepherd's Crown:

"I finished Terry Pratchett's last novel on Monday. I returned it to the library yesterday, but it still lingers for me. It would, though. I found, as I read the denouement, that I was growing somewhat weepy. This was largely down to the very comforting cyclical nature of both the novel itself, and the novel as part of the Tiffany Aching stories. Things returned to where they began, though we were (arguably) wiser for the experiences along the way. This was also largely down to the awareness that this was Pratchett's last novel. This is it. And, while I haven't read all that he's written, his writing has been such a big part of my reading habits that part of me is deeply saddened that there aren't going to be more. It made me grateful to be in a world where I can read his stories and re-read them as I desire. It reminded me what great writing can do to transcend the everyday and tap into something larger..."

http://bit.ly/1XVQg62

Blogger Drunken Dragon is deeply moved by Night Watch:

"With no competition by and far, this is the best Pratchett novel written in the City Watch subseries I've read so far. Funnily enough, it's also the instalment I've enjoyed the least, because of my personal exhaustion with the entire 'man goes back in history to change his past' schtick. Granted, Vimes doesn't so much go back to change as gain an all new perspective on the most formative moments of his life as a City Night Watch officer, but it's still not enough to beat that particular dead horse back to life. Another major reason for my personal reaction is because, very much unlike the City Watch novels up to this point, this isn't a story meant to entertain and delight readers, with a little light fun laced with poignant commentary. Pratchett's style has gradually shifted over the course of this subseries as he's matured as a writer, and in this novel we see the culmination of that change, with a novel containing about as much humor as your average Dark Web video. A tale in which Vimes not only considers the numerous directions his life could have taken at unknown, pivotal points, a poignant sense of serious retrospective consideration is threaded throughout the novel, applying not just to Vimes but to many of the older members of the Watch. For readers who've not only grown to expect a certain amount of humor and lightness being a major part of Pratchett's stuff, especially after being fed a steady dose of it in everything you've read by him so far, it can honestly feel like a disappointing read. But once those expectations are set aside? What Pratchett's written here, for me, is the possibly the peak of the entire subseries..."

http://bit.ly/25qxmKb

and from the same blogger, re The Fifth Elephant:

"I've been repeatedly told that as I read further into this particular Discworld sub series, and the series overall, I'll notice a decline in quality. Looking back on The Fifth Elephant, however, I'm beginning to wonder if the perceived 'decline in quality' is simply just Pratchett writing a different sort of story from those he's written before, as the case is with this particular novel. With very little attention paid to the comic aspect of his writing in this outing, we get a more serious look at Pratchett, with a story that is more plot-centric in nature than those in the past where cracking jokes and making light of situations was mostly the order of the day. That's not to say the humor aspect is abandoned, its simply a case of it going to the back burner. For readers picking up his books expecting dollops of humor per page as I was guilty of, I can see where the perceived decline in quality came from. If anything, I'd say this book is much better than the previous in the sub series, Jingo, was. Much more tightly plotted, Pratchett interweaves distinct plot threads from numerous characters into a tight, cohesive story that each bring different types of story into the fold – the political via Vimes, the emotional/personal via Carrot and Angua, and even the sociological via Fred Colon and the rest of the Watch. It's a tactic that lets him play with numerous themes – the correlation between incompetency and dictatorship (I'm currently living under one, so I'd wager I can see the signs clearer than most readers), liberalization versus tradition and culture, and the value of bipartisanship in politics. Needless to say, these are just the big ones – Pratchett is a thoughtful writer who incorporates more into his average book than most genre writers do in entire sagas, and attempting to parse everything in one reading is arguably a Sisyphean task..."

http://bit.ly/25qxmKb

A review of Eric live on stage by Monstrous Productions, from twin bloggers CL Raven:

"The play was hilarious. And just when thought it couldn't get better…they made Luggage! We admit, we did squeal and clap like overexcited sea lions when Luggage trundled on stage. We may have even declared 'Oh my god! Luggage!' and then Tweeted about it. Even better, Luggage chased people and ate them (complete with chomping sound effects), which was just perfect. Luggage was designed by Joe Davey and built by Tony Beard and Emma Paines. Tony also controlled it. As much as Luggage can be controlled... As always, the cast and crew were amazing. So much goes into every play. The make-up was brilliant and we loved the giant book in the background, with scenes fabulously painted on the pages. Nick Dunn was fantastic as Rincewind. Rincewind isn't usually popular among Pratchett fans but we've always loved him and Luggage. He was the first character we met when we started reading the Discworld novels. And it was strange to see a play where Nick didn't die! (He is an expert at dying). Though he did go to Hell, so that counts. And Loz Shanahan was superb as Lavaeolus, who would prefer to build large wooden horses and find tunnels than kill someone in battle. Neil Chappell played a sulky thirteen year old boy very convincingly! We particularly enjoyed the scenes set in Hell, which had lift music, voices over the tannoy system, and every torture was accompanied by a reading of health and safety regulations, complete with sub-clauses that ran into several volumes – that's more terrifying than pitchforks and hellfire.."

https://clraven.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/eric/

Something a bit different – a reading meetup group reviews Maskerade:

"Not all of us in the group had ever been drawn to read Terry Pratchett as he seems to write in such a specific way. However Kath, a very welcome newcomer to the group, made such a compelling case that we all voted this as the first book to kick off 2016. This novel forms part of the Discworld series, but also stands alone as quite separate to anything else he wrote. There are at least 3 layers to this book. He uses the sci-fi world to mirror our society and each book is a social commentary. We loved… – That it was a standalone book in a large series. – How he allows his characters to change to suit the particular novel in the series. – Kath's reading out of the chocolate sauce passage – Anne's mask which we all had the joy of wearing – How Judy J said it didn't make her laugh once, just before she burst into laughter re-reading one of his paragraphs..."

http://bit.ly/1oef4d6

Blogger 0wlmachine on Witches Abroad:

"After reading this book, I want to suggest that we allow a quirky pack of ladies like this run every story, because they are so damn good at it. Step aside, rice-cake princesses – the witches are abroad. Other powerhouse women in this book are Lilith, the antagonist, and Mrs. Gogol, the voodoo witch they meet when hunting Emberella. Both are packed with personality, agency, and energy. This could not be any less like a fairy tale. I'd also like to shout out to Greebo for being a hysterically funny feline. In Witches Abroad, Pratchett recognizes the danger of letting the story run the characters, and I could not agree more with this approach to storytelling. A man after my own heart, it would seem. He does this, of course, through Lilith. Her evil plan is to make fairy tales happen, and the cast of characters she chooses are forced to behave like puppets. From the heartbreaking animals-turned-human to poor Emberella, who has had as much an active part in this story as her traditional counterpart, nobody is driving their own actions but puppeteer Lilith and her magic mirrors. Enter the witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg – women determined to do exactly what they want to do. Women who know exactly who and what they are, and have never even considered being ashamed of it. Women who, even while walking all over the younger Magrat, inspire her to become a more assertive version of herself..."

http://bit.ly/25qxGsr

Blogger Bookaccio reviews Raising Steam:

"I’m going to put it out there: it feels like an ending. Ankh-Morpork, the city away from which all roads lead, feels like it has some kind of resolution for the major players in it. Each of Vetinari, Moist, and Vimes are shown and own their own plot in the novel – there’s political intrigue, entrepreneurship and crime-fighting. Truthfully, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Each of the individual plots orbit around the two main plots, which dovetail into one another. In the first half, there’s the invention of the railway on the Disc, and its introduction to the masses of that world; then there’s a political thriller plot that bubbles away in the background before coming to the fore in the second half... they dovetail nicely into one another, with the railway plot not disappearing entirely in the second half, but becoming background, gently chugging away†. Further, they are both necessary in order for the novel to have any semblance of resolution. I hate to say it, but a novel about building railways would not be terribly dramatic, per se. Though now that I’ve said it, that’s almost certainly what people said about the post office and banks… Were the novel to only have one of these plots, it would, in the first instance, be half the length, and secondly, be half as interesting. It is enjoyable to have these characters interact with one another, and see them having a role in one another’s lives.

"The writing, is of course, classic Pratchett. It is easy to read, flitting between characters as the plot develops, but this is clearly marked by the shift in tone. The protagonists are mostly likeable, while the antagonists are mostly unlikeable. Dialogue is fast-paced and funny, and serves to develop new and old characters alike. My only complaint would be, as mentioned previously, that there is this feeling of drawing things to a close – each of the characters could do with a little more time devoted to them, as there is a certain amount of rushing going on to get from scene to scene. Pacing then, would be the issue at hand, though given that Raising Steam is about building railways, it seem thematically appropriate. I found myself genuinely caring for Dick Simnel and then as she grew to be a character in and of herself, Iron Girder too. It is a testament to Pratchett’s style that he can make you care about what is fundamentally, a clever pile of iron..."

https://bookaccio.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/raising-steam-by-terry-pratchett/

Dutch blogger Jeroen's thoughts on Thief of Time:

"This is typical Pratchett, to drag by the ears all sorts of seemingly unrelated topics together, but it all sort of fits together well, like a Swiss watch... A highlight is the character Lu Tze, a History Monk. Never trust small bald wrinkly men and their wise sayings. We are given an extended storyline in his mountain monastery, which is an absolutely brilliant and genius creation by Pratchett. Igor (one of them) also plays a big role, and Pratchett takes the time to flesh out, as it were, the Igors and their existence a bit more. In the second half, the story bogs down a bit, and this is something that happens for me in every Pratchett book. I would be happier with them if 50 pages were cut out. In Thief of Time, Pratchett switches in the second half to a stronger focus on so-called Auditors, and most of the comedy about Lu Tze and Jeremy Clockson and Igor disappears. I didn’t think these parts were all that funny and Susan Sto Helit becomes a bit too stern and boring. Death himself also barely enters the book here. I was about to say that this is perhaps the best Discworld book of the series so far, but because of the second half it is more like “one of the better” ones..."

http://bit.ly/1oef8cR

Blogger firstmatebamba was unimpressed by The Long Earth:

"I've never read a Stephen Baxter book, but being a massive Terry Pratchett fan, I had high hopes for this novel, sadly these hopes were not met. While the actual story is a very interesting idea and the realities of a world where these things are possible are described pretty perfectly; surge in bank robberies, economies dying, countries going bankrupt ect, I felt that rest of the book was almost flat. The main story is interwoven with small tales of pioneers, bravely facing this new, unknown frontier, which read like a lovely history lesson, but get old fast. There was no character development, there was no discernible plot until about halfway through, and even then it didn’t really feel like it was going anywhere, just two people on a ship heading off into the unknown. Who knows what they will find! Answer: not a lot. A nice idea, written in an extremely smart and engaging way, interspersed with some lovely Pratchett-esq humour, that just fell a bit short of the hurdle. The whole book feels like its only purpose is to gear up for the rest of the series and it takes a good 200 pages to get there. The whole thing left me feeling a little disappointed..."

http://bit.ly/1SefI2q

Blogger Wyrd Smythe muses at length on the "my grandfather's axe" concept, with frequent references to Discworld. Well worth reading:

"[M]y favorite science fiction author, Terry Pratchett, tells the axe version in a Discworld story (The Fifth Elephant) that considers a sacred political object that is mysteriously stolen (from a locked room!) but later recovered. Or is it? It appears the recovered object is a copy. And it turns out that the one that was stolen was also a copy. Which makes perfect sense when you think about it. Even very large scones, even of dwarf bread, do not last for centuries. Of course it’s a copy. Had to be. But the role of the Scone of Stone, that never changes, the role endures! Which brings us to the idea of continuity. The Dwarf’s Scone of Stone, the Greek’s Ship of Theseus, the family axe, along with state roles like Presidents and Kings and Queens; these are continuous roles that are generally not fulfilled by the same continuous physical entity. The old phrase, “The King is dead! Long live the King!” (which confused the crap outta me when I was young) speaks to how kingship transfers from person to person. Terry Pratchett (I think in either Lords and Ladies or Carpe Jugulum) once said that kingship travels instantaneously — way faster than the speed of light! (Which isn’t really a challenge on Discworld where light moves leisurely — even sluggishly in the morning.)..."

http://logosconcarne.com/2016/03/19/my-grandfathers-axe/

From blogger Gavin R, a few thoughts about Dragons at Crumbling Castle:

"Reading to kids is a non-negotiable feature of good teaching in the primary and intermediate years. Choosing good material is the hard part. Not every children's writer is worth the effort. One criterium – apart from the fact that you need to enjoy them yourself – is quirkiness. You need something that will grab kids' attention and, hopefully, lead them to move on and explore further. Which leads me to the late Terry Pratchett. I wasn't aware that he'd written quite a number of books for children. Digging into Dragons at Crumbling Castle this weekend has been an enjoyable experience. Pratchett wrote these short stories as a young man in the 1960s, but they didn't see the light till 2014. They're a real find. Short stories can be polished off in a single reading. That's especially important for day relievers. Start something more substantial and you're likely to leave things unfinished and hanging..."

https://gullyheights.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/not-quite-discworld/

Blogger Juhi feels the love for A Hat Full of Sky:

"At the start of the story Tiffany is apprenticed to Miss Level whose chief skill, it appears to Tiffany, is her ability to co-exist in two bodies simultaneously. Miss Level’s idea of witchcraft is not Tiffany’s for it seems to her that all Miss Level does is tend to the sick and help out with the odds and ends about the village. Dissatisfied with the notion that “witchcraft is mostly about doing quite ordinary things,” restlessness skims along just underneath the surface of Tiffany’s life. What happens next cements my love for Terry Pratchett. Pratchett conceives of a foe whose vanquishing demands that Tiffany acknowledge the darkest of her thoughts and bring to light those parts of herself that she’d rather wish away. ALL of Tiffany is powerful, especially the parts that she would rather did not exist. It is only by making those parts visible that she can gain control over them, and begin to understand her enemy. It’s a clever, and deeply satisfying construct to watch unfold. This integration of a bit of philosophy, a bit of metaphysics into the plot is one of my favorite things about A Hat Full of Sky. It is something that Pratchett apparently excels at and that puts me in awe of the breadth of his imagination and the depth of his writing skills..."

http://bit.ly/22QzTuZ

Blogger AR reflects on the death, and Death, of Sir Pterry:

"This man’s death was, in many ways, a perfectly unremarkable event. Men die every day. Death (like taxes) is inevitable. This man was a man like any other man, and also unlike any other man, as all men are. But there was something different about this death. Because the man met by Death one year ago today was a creator. He invented with an incomparable and dynamic mind a world also both like and unlike any other. A world that traveled through space on the back of four elephants, themselves standing on the back of a giant turtle. And as they say, The Turtle Moves. This man was the Creator of the Discworld. And his death was an event keenly felt by those who never met him, but who felt they knew him at least a little through his books... It is strange to feel such an overwhelming attachment to a person who did not have the slightest awareness of my existence. While Terry Pratchett was incredibly central to my life, a figure who held my rapt attention and my adoration and respect, I was a faceless member of the many. He had no particular feelings towards me. He did not know that I, personally, exist. I do not doubt that he was aware of and appreciated his fans. But as an individual I was unknown to him. I never met him. It is one of the regrets that kept swimming up to the forefront of my mind when I heard news of his death, one of the thoughts that redoubled the tears I had perhaps no right and every right to cry. It was a loss I felt deeply, and still do..."

https://dearfuturepublisher.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/on-terry-pratchett/

From blogger Deborah Osborne, a paean to Monstrous Regiment:

"If a gun was put to my head, or, more to the point, a match to my library, and I had to chose my favourite Discworld book my brain would go straight to Monstrous Regiment. This is one of the books I think of as 'grown up’ books because this is where you can more clearly see the angry that Neil Gaiman talks about his article here. It does all of the things that I love most about the Discworld books so well. It takes an idea (in this instance heroine dressed as a boy) and pushes it so far to the extreme that before you realise it you’ve gone full circle and are looking back thinking that the insanity actually makes a great deal of sense... When you finish it you feel like you’ve been on an inner journey. Every time I come out of Monstrous Regiment I want to go and adjust my socks. It’s a book that shouts out that you have to be yourself no matter how hard it is, or how inconvenient it is for everybody else..."

http://bit.ly/1ZFubKs

...and finally, some musings on Tiffany Aching and on Pratchett in general from religious blogger Bobby Winters:

"In going through the these books, one can pick up on the idea that Pratchett's witches are doing the things we would like a pastor to do. They make rounds among the people of their region and give help to them that need it. This doesn't require much intelligence (though a lot of common sense) but it does require compassion. Pratchett's books are all comic fantasy, but every page breathes with the reality of human life. The people in his books whether witches, wizards, fairies, or other act and react with the logic and illogic of real human beings. The personalities rise off the page. I do a lot of my reading of Pratchett from audiobooks. They are well done enough that the reader will supply the accents of the various characters. The Nac Mac Feegles, for example, are done in a Scot's accent. They are such engaging personalities that the other characters will pulled into imitating their vocabulary from time to time... Pratchett described himself as a humanist. I seem to remember reading somewhere he was an agnostic. But his work, and the Tiffany Aching books in particular, do portray a value system that shares much in common with Christianity. Now one reason for that is reading is an interactive experience. Everything thing one reads is interpreted in the light of one's own experience; it can be a mirror as much as a lens. (Anyone who had ever written for the public and had his work commented on by a reader knows what I am saying is true.) Yet the other truth is that Christianity has been influencing British culture for nigh on to two thousand years. Pratchett being the honest and astute student of human nature picked it up and saw its value..."

http://www.morningsun.net/article/20160229/OPINION/160229869

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0) ROUNDWORLD TALES: SOUL CAKES

"Soul, Soul, a soul cake!
I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake!
One for Peter, two for Paul,
three for Him what made us all!"

In the Discworld universe, Soul Cake Day and the Soul Cake Duck seem somewhat analogous to Roundworld's Easter celebrations. But here in our non-turtle-carried world, the traditions of soul caking and soul cakes have always been associated with All Hallows Eve and All Souls' Day – Hallowmas – better known these days as Halloween. Once upon a time, inthe days when England was a Catholic country, singers would wander the roads and towns at this time singing folk ditties and begging for cakes in remembrance of the souls of the dead. These singers were known as soulers, and their songs were anything but fun: "Doubtless Shakespeare was familiar with the whining songs because Speed, in Two Gentlemen of Verona, observes tartly that one of the 'special marks' of a man in love is 'to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas'." There was plenty of old-fashioned fun otherwise on All Hallows Eve, though. Children and adolescents would bob for apples, and young lovers would seek the names of their future spouses in the curling of apple peels and the hopping of roasting chestnuts. Pre-Christian traditions also held that All Hallows was the night when the ghoulies and ghosties roamed free:

"The Celts believed that, on the eve of the festival, the dead returned to walk the earth for a night and a day and with them came the spirits of evil, at their most potent. Fires blazed on every hilltop to purify the land, defeat the evil ones and encourage the wasting sun to revive. Ceremonial dancing, noisy games and harvest-end rituals took place around these fires with drinking of the herbal ales for which the Celts were renowned... these practices survived the advent of Christianity, in barely translated form at first, and only very gradually died out. The evil spirits became witches, and the bonfires burned them in effigy (for instance the Shandy Dann at Balmoral where, we are told, Queen Victoria much enjoyed the fun). A great number of divining rituals and games, often involving apples, nuts and fire, persisted; apples and nuts were the last-harvested fruits. Even the old herbal ale: survived as mulled ale or punch with roasted apples floating in it... The more significant pre-Christian practice of impersonating the dead and other spirits and by so doing protecting oneself and others from their spectral power also continued. Sometimes this was acted out by processions of young adults (later children) wearing or carrying grotesque masks and often headed by a youth carrying a horse's skull (as, for example, the Lair Bhan in co Cork, or the Hodening Horse in Cheshire). They went from door to door or visited friends and neighbours, collecting money for food. Before Christian times, such largesse had no doubt been given to feast the dead spirits in return for the promise of fertility and protection from evil provided by the visit. But in pre-Reformation Christian Europe, it provided candles and masses for the dead and snacks for the living."

Soul cakes and souling customs varied around the shires, but the baking of soul cakes was always a part of the festivities. These were given to the poor of the parish, sometimes accompanied by "soul papers" – written prayers for the dead. Some soul cakes were flat; others were more like buns than cakes.

The tradition of giving and eating soul cakes continues in some countries to this day, and is purported to be the origin of the American practice of trick-or-treating. An old 'soul-caking' play is still performed in Cheshire. The songs are sung as well, "but with little meaning now because the soul cakes once baked in great batches, as described by John Aubrey, are no longer made." The Halloween bread known as parkin may be the only surviving genuine "soul cake" now.

Sources:
http://catholiccuisine.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/soul-cakes-original-halloween-treat.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_cake

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11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Neve, a young Feegl-, um, Scots lass, as Tiffany Aching on World Book Day 2016:
http://bit.ly/1OX1XDb

From blogger Hubward Ho, an animated Clacks shutter to help us all keep Sir Pterry's name in the Overhead:
https://hubwardho.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/gnu-terry-pratchett.gif?w=748

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12 CLOSE

And that's the lot for March. Meanwhile, if you'd like to create your own "GNU Terry Pratchett" Clacks icon for use on your social network pages, this is the place to go:

http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/genclacks.php

Take care, and we'll see you next month!

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 3, Post 1)

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


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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) A FEW TIME-DEPENDENT THINGS
04) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"It is hard to look at a future without Terry, his humour, wicked bubble-pricking comments, his amazing inventiveness, his style, the deftness of his puns, and the deep moral sense that pervaded all of the books, without being obtrusive. Time and again readers of his books have told me how their lives had been shaped by them. And every time I finished reading a new book, I did so with a sense of immense satisfaction at having read yet another work by a master, at the tremendous sense of superb craftsmanship he had brought to the book, this amazing skill that produced books that can be read again and again over the years without ever feeling a loss of admiration, and discovering some historical or literary reference or joke that had passed me by on earlier readings. AS Byatt said in her tribute that 'No writer in my lifetime has given me as much pleasure and happiness'. I wholeheartedly endorse that."

   – Colin Smythe, in his tribute in the Irish Times, 2015

"Anyone who has read one of Terry's novels will know how he could spin the most beautiful sentences and make his craft look effortless – it was what made him such a huge success. Now he was using that talent not for another piece of fiction, not for his own benefit at all, but to deal with a very real issue that we are all, at some point in our futures, going to have to face."

   – Rob Wilkins, in his introduction to the published transcript of Shaking Hands with Death

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR: REMEMBER HIS NAME

   Today marks the first anniversary of the day Sir Terry Pratchett died.

   Some months ago, I said in an editorial here that I refused to mourn his passing, preferring to only celebrate his life and work. That remains true to this day, but I have to admit that in an ideal world I would have wished for a different outcome. I would have wished, in an ideal world, that PCA had never taken my favourite author's brain in its horrible grip. I would have wished, in an ideal world, that he live to a grand old age, a productive old age, such as the ninety-three years achieved by PG Wodehouse, that luminous yet far lesser talent to whom Sir Terry's writing was often compared. I would rather he'd had the opportunity to lead us at a more relaxed pace through the social and technological changes of the Discworld, without the ever-growing spectre of memory and processing loss looming over his shoulder. In an ideal world, he would still be with us, still entertaining and educating us with the magical-in-all-ways worlds he created. But our world is not ideal, and that's not the way it happened.

   It is customary in many parts of our world to mark certain anniversaries with a minute or two of silence, in order to pay respects. For Terry Pratchett, I suggest we show our respect doing the opposite, in ways of which he would have heartily approved. Make two minutes, not of silence, but of joyful noise. Read a Tiffany Aching book aloud in your best Nac Mac Feegle accent. Torment your nearest and dearest with ridiculous pun(n)(e)s***. Consider the wisdom of Granny Weatherwax, Pastor Oats, Lord Vetinari, Solomon Cohen, or Mau of the Nation. Turn a workmate or neighbour on to the works of Pratchett. And most of all, remember that Terence David John Pratchett, like so many of his creations, left the world a better place than he found it.

– Annie Mac, Editor

*** e.g. "What do you call it when two Fools divorce but can't decide who gets the children? A custardy battle!"

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03) A FEW TIME-DEPENDENT THINGS

3.0 PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE WANTS YOUR TRIBUTES

...for a new video:

   "We are collecting fan tributes to create a video celebrating what Terry meant to his readers. If you’d like to be included, simply film a short clip of yourself (landscape) holding up, on a piece of plain paper, one or two words that sum up what Terry Pratchett and the Discworld means to you, whilst saying that word or phrase out loud. Send your clips in to discworld@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk by 18th March."


3.1 DISCWORLD PLAYS ON STAGE THIS WEEK

MASKERADE IN SOUTHEND

When: 15th - 19th March 2016
Venue: Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, 430 London Road, Southend, Essex, SS0 9LA (phone 01702 351135)
Time: all evening shows 7.30pm. Matinees on Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th March 2.30pm
Tickets: £11.50 and £12.50. A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies capped at six per order. To purchase online, go to http://bit.ly/1nxQ6p8 and click on the Buy button for your chosen date.

http://www.eastessexplayers.co.uk/
http://www.sosac.co.uk/c/?776

MORT IN CHELMSFORD

When: NOW through 19th March 2016 (daily performances from Wednesdays to Saturdays)
Venue: The Old Court Theatre, 233 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 (phone 01245 606505)
Email boxoffice@chelmsfordbc.gov.uk
Website www.ctw.org.uk
Time: 7.45pm all shows
Tickets: £10.00 (£9.00 for over-60s, Under-16s or Students). A £1.50 fee is applicable per transaction, except for cash and debit card payments made in person and by telephone (01245 606505). To purchase tickets online, go to http://bit.ly/1XiRW9i and click the Buy Tickets button for your desired date.

http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/mort

MASKERADE IN WITHAM, ESSEX

When: Wed. 16th to Sat. 19th of March 2016
Venue: Witham Public Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 2DY
Time: 7.45 pm all shows
Tickets: £10 advance, £12 on the door (for senior citizens and U16s, £8 in advance but £10 on the door; this discount is not available for the Friday and Saturday shows), available by phone (01621 892404), by emailing Contact@WithamDramatic.co.uk, or online at http://www.withamdramatic.co.uk/boxoffice.html

http://www.withamdramatic.co.uk/production.html#inprod


3.2 NAMING THE NEW WINCANTON BRIDGE

From the Western Gazette:

   "Wincanton residents are to be given the opportunity to name a new bridge in the town. The bridge will provide access to a new play area in Cale Park, as a project to regenerate the recreation ground moves forward with its first phase. So far some of the suggestions have been inspired by the town's literary connections and its voluntary organisations, with possible names such as the Terry Pratchett memorial bridge or the C.A.T.C.H bridge being put forward. Other monikers being touted include the Queen Elizabeth II bridge, the Gateway bridge or the Troll bridge... A public consultation will be held on Friday, April 8 at the David Sharp Centre to encourage residents to learn more about the plans for the park and to submit their name ideas for the bridge. The consultation will also ask people what they wish the next phase of development at the park to focus on. Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Cale Park group or submitting a suggested name for the new bridge should contact town council clerk Sam Atherton on 01963 31693 or wincantontownclerk@hotmail.co.uk."

http://bit.ly/1SGPt9w

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04) CLOSE

   The shortlist of eight books for this year's Carnegie prize has now been announced, and The Shepherd's Crown is on it. This is an appropriate remembrance, but the book deserves to be there anyway for its brilliance.

   You can still apply for a ticket to attend the Terry Pratchett Memorial in April. Go to http://bit.ly/ticket-application any time until 14th March. "You may request a single ticket or a pair. Tickets will be chosen at random and successful applicants will be contacted as soon as possible after the ballot closes. Hope to see you there.

   See you later this month, with the regular March issue. And now and always, GNU Terry Pratchett!

– Annie Mac

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Oh, poot! Not ten hours after posting out the last March issue, I've received an email from the marvellous Pamela Munt of Unseen Theatre, Australia's premier Discworld plays company:

Earlybird tickets for "Small Gods" at the ridiculous price of only $12 each. (Only for bookings made by April 13)

To buy tickets, go to http://www.trybooking.com/129353

...and here is the text of Unseen's latest announcement about their next production, which opens in May:

Unseen Theatre Company presents

Sir Terry Pratchett's "Small Gods"

Adapted for the stage, and Directed by Pamela Munt


It's a God-eat-God world, which makes life a bit tricky when you are manifesting as a tortoise, because everyone knows that there's good eating on one of those things. Brutha, is a simple novice who only wants to tend his melon patch. Until one day he hears the voice of a god calling his name. A small god, to be sure, but bossy as hell.

In what has been described as one of the 20th century’s finest satires, "the gods are pompous, the worshippers cowed, and the priests violently closed-minded. Yet the tale is never heavy-handed, thanks to some deftly comical plot twists, as well as all the levity that comes from picturing an angry god trapped in the body of a tortoise." (Australian author Jack Heath)

The main target of Pratchett's perceptive, satirical wit in Small Gods is religion and intolerance. Funnily enough, according to his fan mail, both believers and non-believers have praised the book for supporting their position! Philosophical and theological arguments aside, it is still epic storytelling (with one foot of silliness stuck in the door), a comedic character piece, an awfully big adventure, and, as always, it examines the never ending conflict between good and evil. So you could say that it pretty much covers everything! (including the number 42).

This is also one of Terry's works that is most often accused of being literature. However Terry himself preferred to put his views in a simpler fashion:-

Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it's all because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place.

Although this production was planned quite some time before Terry’s passing, some may see it as fate, others as simply co-incidence, that we decided on this particular one of his works that is concerned with theological and philosophical issues. Whatever your beliefs, we hope that it is a fitting tribute to him.

Small Gods has all the usual comedy, action, and drama that we have come to expect from one of the most insightful minds of our era. It will also make you think about...well...everything, long after you have left the theatre!

RIP Sir Terry. We hope you are giving our favourite character a good run for his money! We at Unseen Theatre Company will be sure to keep your work alive on stage.

WHERE: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
WHEN: Preview Fri. May 15. Opening Night Sat. May 16. Season continues Wed to Sat until May 30. All shows at 8pm.
TICKETS: Adults $20; Concession $18; TREv $16; Groups (10+) $16; Preview all tix $15; Companion Card accepted.
BOOKINGS: www.bakehousetheatre.com and at the door on the night (subject to availability)

Copyright © 2015 Unseen Theatre Company, All rights reserved.


To view this announcement on the web, go to http://bit.ly/1bIBCgy
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 3, Post 4)

********************************************************************
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)
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INDEX:

01) QUOTES, CONTINUED
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) TRIBUTES, CONTINUED
04) ...AND THE REST
05) MORE ON "SENDING HOME"
06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
07) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
08) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
09) IMAGES, CONTINUED
10) CLOSE

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01) MORE QUOTES

"I carried my father's sword at his funeral. Not many daughters who can say that."
– Rhianna Pratchett

"I believe everyone should have a good death. You know, with your grandchildren around you; a bit of sobbing. Because, after all, tears are appropriate on a death bed. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop."
– The Author

"GNU Terry Pratchett is not fan graffiti, plastering the author's name all over the public-facing internet – the tribute is invisible unless you know how to look ('view source' on a browser). For a digital literary monument, it's surely much better to avoid the kitsch of a Facebook memorial page. And millions of RIP tweets will soon be lost, like tears in rain. By contrast, the encoding of Pratchett's name into the fabric of the internet seems a fitting modern homage, as though millions of computers were whispering his name, and chuckling softly to themselves."
– Steven Poole in The Guardian

"Terry was kindly, driven and intolerant of half measures. Last year when he, Neil Gaiman and I collaborated, despite his illness Terry was very lucid about the areas where we should not compromise. It was a glimpse into the acute mental discipline that was the foundation of the worlds he seemed to write about so effortlessly."
– Good Omens radio producer Dirk Maggs

"The most prominent connection, but perhaps hardest to define, is Pratchett's influence over PC gaming as a whole, from the people who make them to those of us who just play them. It wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that most comedic fantasy games have been in some way been influenced and inspired by the Discworld novels."
– Christopher Livingston of PC Gamer

"As an educator, I gave Sir Terry Pratchett the greatest honor I could: I never tried to teach one of his works. They weren't made to be taught. Lord of the Flies is made to be taught. Poor Piggy. The Discworld novels served a higher, more personal purpose, to illuminate our world with high humor, and when you least expected it, rake with some unexpected wisdom or altogether unlooked for insight."
– an uncredited teacher on sociopolitical blog Scholars and Rogues

"As we watch memorial after memorial crop up to Terry Pratchett — obituaries, articles, posts plastered over social media — we should remember him for all that he was. Not just one of the greatest fantasy writers of this generation, but one of its greatest writers."
– Margaret Sessa-Hawkins, on The Millions

"Ever since I discovered Discworld in 1989 at the British Library in Delhi, hardly a day has passed that I didn't explore some part or the other of it. It was a like a walk in the evening to meet old friends and see familiar sights. For a small town boy with a chip on his shoulder, these daily visits proved transformative. I learnt to question my beliefs, to laugh at myself and accept people who looked, sounded or thought different from me. The greatest sin, I learnt, was to treat people as things. Thank you Sir Terry. I only wish, the sand would flow upwards in your hourglass."
– Satrajit Bhattacharya

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02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

My apologies go to you, O Readers, as I still haven't found time to gather my own thoughts in the bustle of gathering the thoughts of others. So no personal tribute or reviews from me this issue. But they will come. In the meantime...

As Wincanton has been twinned with Ankh-Morpork since 2002, it's about time that it had a properly Discworld-y pub sign — and now it has. Antony Yateman, landlord of Uncle Tom's Cabin, an old-fashioned, thatch-roofed pub that would not look at all out of place in A-M itself, now sports a beautiful sign that references The Mended Drum. The sign was created by illustrator (and Uncle Tom's regular) Richard Kingston of the Discworld Emporium. Mr Yateman said, "I commissioned the new sign, and was hoping that Sir Terry would unveil it himself. Sadly he died, but the sign is now up and serves as a memorial to a great author and character." The pub is located at 51 High St, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 9JU, if you happen to fancy a pilgrimage. To view an image of the sign, go to http://bit.ly/1xK5KCf

Also on the subject of Discworld pubs in Roundworld, The Broken Drum in Blackfen will open for business next Friday, 3rd April 2015. Landlord and Discworld fan Andy Wheeler jumped through all the necessary hoops to turn a disused nail bar into a licenced "micropub" selling real ale, wine and cider. While a certain Librarian might be disappointed by the lack of anything resembling a Barbarian Invaders machine, Roundworld pubgoers will surely appreciate the deliberate lack of
"electronic games, TV, music and mobile phones", a Mr Wheeler puts it: "I now hope to promote locals to relax and converse in a friendly atmosphere with good ale to drink." To read more about the Drum, go to http://bit.ly/1CRq4ne

*

Multiple donations of €50,00 and £50.00 lead the list of more than 2,000 donors to the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE), the Bath-based nationwide UK charity of which Sir Terry was both patron and care recipient. RICE provides "services and support for people with Alzheimer's disease and other memory problems", and engages in "vital research to learn more about the ageing process, find new and better treatments, and improve the quality of life for older people". The donations page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett/ and the RICE homepage at http://www.rice.org.uk/

The official statement from RICE this week:

"Many thanks to everyone who has donated to RICE in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett, the total raised is now £50,515. We would also like to thank Sir Terry's publishers for setting up the page and for the £1000 donation from Transworld. "

*

As a tribute on the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, BBC Radio 4 will repeat its fantastic six-episode radio play of Good Omens. The repeat broadcast dates are 6th through 10th April 2015 at 23.30, and then the final instalment on 11th April at 14.30. Don't forget, listeners all over the world can access this programme. For more information go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h

And the ripples that will not fade continue...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) EULOGIES, TRIBUTES, OBITUARIES...

In the Irish Times, a tribute from Colin Smythe:

"Terry's love of Trinity came about because of the Library's Long Room: he adored the great barrel-vaulted curve of the wooden ceiling which he first saw when he came to Dublin to receive an honorary doctorate of literature in 2008 (on the same day that Sir David Attenborough received his). Terry thought the library was ideal territory for the Unseen University's orangutan Librarian, one in which that great ape would be entirely at home...

"The Library inspired the idea of the cartoon short, The Duel, a battle between two wizardly professors for the same book that came to fruition in 2013. It was a collaboration between Trinity's Animation Hub, the staff and students of Ballyfermot College, TCD, and animation studio Giant Creative. On October 16th, 2013, Terry, Rob and I flew to Dublin to see its premiere. It could suitably be described as a success. Who noticed that the book on the Librarian's desk had its title on the back cover? It proved to be Terry's last visit to Dublin, as his PCA symptoms made it impossible for him to travel, although he was still slowly working at one final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown, featuring Tiffany Aching, which he completed last year, and will be published this autumn...

"Our working association therefore covered nearly half a century. It is hard to look at a future without Terry, his humour, wicked bubble-pricking comments, his amazing inventiveness, his style, the deftness of his puns, and the deep moral sense that pervaded all of the books, without being obtrusive. Time and again readers of his books have told me how their lives had been shaped by them. And every time I finished reading a new book, I did so with a sense of immense satisfaction at having read yet another work by a master, at the tremendous sense of superb craftsmanship he had brought to the book, this amazing skill that produced books that can be read again and again over the years without ever feeling a loss of admiration, and discovering some historical or literary reference or joke that had passed me by on earlier readings..."

To read Colin's full tribute, go to http://bit.ly/1CnlhXj

[Editor's note: at the top of the piece, the headline reads "A tribute to Terry Pratchett by his agent, the man who first published him in 1971". The correct date was actually 1968]


A tribute from Wincanton Window, a news site of Ankh-Morpork's twin town, by John Smith:

"Terry leaves Wincanton a great legacy that will never be forgotten. He will live forever in the minds and hearts of his fans all over the world, but particularly here in Wincanton, being the only town in the universe twinned with the fictional city of Ankh Morpork. Families today will be able to pass down stories to their children about Terry, his books and the famous Discworld Weekends in Wincanton. Maybe someday people will ask about some of the street names in Wincanton, and why they were given those names. After all Peach Pie Street is a perfectly normal street name..."

http://bit.ly/1D9ojjK


A superb tribute – with giggle-inducing opener – by author Nick Harkaway in The Guardian:

"[M]y friend said, 'Terry Pratchett lives just down the road!' We'd been discussing Wiltshire as a place to live – my friend had recently moved there... I had to admit the Pratchett connection was a powerful plus. 'Do you see him a lot?' I asked. 'Almost every day. He walks past the bottom of my garden.' 'What's he like?' I asked. My friend sighed. 'Mostly, he's a hat,' he said. 'The hedge is just a little bit shorter than he is, so I see his hat and occasionally an ear as he goes by.' After that, we sat quietly for a while, until finally my friend said: 'I suppose one day, if the wind's strong enough, it might blow off.'

"The man who died last week was possessed of a talent so magnetic that a perfectly rational person would sit in the garden day in and day out, hoping for a meteorological caprice to reveal the top of his head. I never met him, though I have loved his work since 1983, and now I think that will be my enduring image of him: a peripatetic black hat seen over a hedge, like the tip of a very funny iceberg... Reading the news after his death was announced, you could almost have believed that Pratchett was primarily a commentator on the human heart or a revealer of societal insanity. He was those things, of course, but more: Pratchett was genuinely, reliably funny. Even his less funny books were funny. We should add him to that infamous list – pizza, sex and Terry Pratchett. Even when they're bad, they're still pretty damn good..."

http://bit.ly/1G6icNO


A heartbreaking tribute from Paul Kruzycki, the Discworld Ales man:

"When Terry Pratchett first met me he didn't know who I was. The last time I was fortunate to spend time in his company, the same was sadly true. Ravaged by his embuggerance, his brave fight was coming to an end and the vicious bastard that is PCA had finally rendered him silent... I'm just a little younger than Terry was when we first met – when he decided not to snuff out an offer to run a Discworld fan convention. Would I feel the same way now if asked to put my faith in an untested, unknown person? Would I put my faith and trust in them? In honour of my friend and his vision, for what remains of my life I will try. I owe Terry a tremendous debt of gratitude. He gave me a chance to shine...

"Over the years we had our moments – friendships do. We fell out, we disagreed and more than once relations broke down with only essential communication via third parties. During those times I missed being able to seek his counsel. A true friendship survives these trials: his capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation was massive. My temperament when younger didn't help, for sure. More than once he gave a way back, when frankly he didn't need to. The generosity of these actions is what I will remember of him most. He really had no obligation to put his faith in me again and again – looking back now as I reflect on our history I can finally understand just what our friendship was. I know a lot of what he felt for me – and I for him – was unspoken. A very British friendship indeed... A generous friend, he was prepared to let me play in his creation and to create ales based on his characters. Others would not have been so overwhelmingly generous. I've had so much fun in his world..."

http://www.discworldales.co.uk/


A tribute, with footnote, by Jonathan O'Brien of UK booksellers (and long-time staunch Pratchett promoters) Waterstones:

"I would have been about eight years old and I'd discovered the Discworld through the old 'point and click' PC game. I played the game for months. I loved the world, the city of Ankh Morpork, the wonderful mix of magic and humour, and when I heard that it was all based on a series of books I asked my mum if I could read them. I didn't understand everything in The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. My dad had to explain what 'In Sewer Ants' was and it was years before I learnt why the iconograph kept running out of pink before all the other colours, but I devoured it over and over again. I remember sitting in the car outside school and talking to my mum about Cohen taking pictures of himself standing over his defeated foes. She, no doubt imagining some terrifying scene, said that maybe I shouldn't be reading these books. I panicked, worried that I'd managed to talk my way out of reading more of something I knew I loved. I explained that it wasn't violent but funny and, after about five minutes of non-stop backtracking, I managed to convince her to let me keep reading them... I begged to go to to the [Hogfather] signing at Hammicks. My grandparents took me out of school for the day and we queued for hours to meet him. He was, of course, lovely. We spoke for a few minutes, he signed my book and I bounced around with excitement for the rest of the day. Whoever said you should never meet your heroes had obviously never met Terry Pratchett... As a bookseller it's always been impossible not to come to work and think in some way of L-Space. Terry Pratchett's words and ideas are locked deep inside me and every other person who has read him over the years. I probably owe far more of my personality than I realise to him and his books..."

https://www.waterstones.com/blog/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015


A fine obit/tribute by Giles Hardie in th Sydney Morning Herald:

In many ways, all you need to know about Sir Terry Pratchett is this: When he died, his fans launched an online petition requesting Death to reinstate the author. To the uninitiated it might seem tasteless or a sign of mislaid grief. To those in the know, it was a perfectly logical step. Death is a certainty for all of us, but for fans of the author Death is also an ever-present character. Death is a grandfather, a rider of a horse named Binky, a lover of cats, A TALKER IN ALL CAPS and a beloved friend who would at least be approachable on this topic and give it due consideration. Sadly, he did not. Fittingly though, Pratchett's death was announced by Death himself... Such was the magic of Pratchett. He gave Death life. Though this was only one of this literary magician's many tricks. Here was proof that an author must master drama in order to write the best comedy..."

http://bit.ly/1BIAW0L


An interesting remembrance from Zoheb Mashiur & Aadiyat Ahmad in Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star:

"He was an enormously successful writer, Discworld alone having sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. Yet this success was hard-won, and in many respects his reader-base has been a steadily-growing cult. Due to misconceptions about what he wrote, mainstream recognition of his work has been slow in coming, and still insufficient. Pratchett was ostensibly a fantasy satirist, which is one of the worst combinations of labels one can have if they wish to be taken seriously.

"Humour is seen as low and dirty in contemporary culture and not worth proper critical or scholarly attention (as an example from another medium, no one has ever won an Academy Award for comedic work). And fantasy as a genre has for the longest time been seen as niche, which has only recently turned around with the success of The Lord of the Rings films, Harry Potter and HBO's Game of Thrones. Yet few discussions of contemporary authors who are culturally significant – authors with a rich understanding of human nature, authors who wrote cleverly – indeed any discussion of contemporary literature would be unlikely to so much as touch upon Terry Pratchett. It is the price of writing about flat worlds on the backs of cosmic turtles... He was no mere summariser of others' work, of course: his gift for seeing clearly into the truth of things was coupled with a humour that was as biting as it was kind. Pratchett understood. Few writers have written so intelligently and comprehensively on the human condition, and even fewer have done so using wizards and dragons. He has demonstrated fantasy's power as a tool for social criticism, and it's going to be some time before the importance of his work fully sinks in..."

http://www.thedailystar.net/shout/remembrance/dont-fear-the-reaper-72123


A loving farewell by William Shaw in the Oxford Student

"Pratchett was an immensely skilled prose stylist, with a knack for the comedic turn of phrase and a great ability at assembling silly, yet deeply thoughtful plots. When it came to satire he could give Douglas Adams a run for his money, and he rivalled P.G. Wodehouse for sheer readability. He was, quite simply, one of Britain's finest comic novelists, and his work ethic was such that, even after his death, he still has two more novels yet to be published, the fourth book in his Long Earth series with Stephen Baxter, and the final Discworld instalment... for all their weirdness, his novels always maintain a solid grounding in the material world. Pratchett places his examination and parody of genre tropes and the conventions alongside observational humour about real-world institutions and phenomena... Pratchett was able to balance these real-world concerns with an extraordinary gift for comedy. His novels are immensely quotable – I had cause to quote him in an article just last month – and that degree of quotability is the mark of a skilled and powerful writer whose works stick with their readers. And Pratchett has undeniably left a mark on those who have read him..."

http://oxfordstudent.com/2015/03/22/a-farewell-to-terry-pratchett/


On examiner.com, Sean O'Connor offers an impressively comprehensive four-part series on Pratchett's life, works and publishing history, complete with many links (including, on the fourth page, an embedded link to Sir Pterry's inaugural Trinity lecture, "The Importance of Being Amazed about Absolutely Everything"):

Part I: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-i
Part II: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-ii
Part III: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-iii
Part IV: http://www.examiner.com/article/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015-part-iv


In The Times Higher Education supplement, John Gilbey's remembrance:

"How do you judge the greatness of a writer? By the number of copies sold? Awards received? Translations of works into other media and other languages? Or is greatness more than that: the ability of the writer to get inside the head of the reader and paint enduringly vivid pictures of invented places, people and events that are 'real' in every important sense? By any of these measures, Sir Terry Pratchett was a great writer...

"The Discworld universe is huge, deep and complex, and it seems almost shocking that so much fruitful imagination could have come from a single person. I was eager to know how Pratchett did it, and managed to meet him in the summer of 2010 when he spoke at the University of Winchester's Writers' Conference – a riotously funny and insightful stream-of-consciousness talk that captured and enraptured the audience of wannabe Pratchetts. Pratchett already knew that he was on borrowed time, and my timid request for an interview was based on anxious hope rather than expectation, but he gave up a generous chunk of his day to talk with me in a dank student bar about the art of writing, childhood, sword-making, the dangers of bureaucracy and other important things ('Fantastic voyager', 16 September 2010). Then we had lunch, a cheerful dreamlike event with chilled white wine. I'd long wondered if he conversed in the same genial voice that he wrote with, and was delighted to find that he did..."

http://bit.ly/1F2Ldbz


A tribute from PC Gamer, written by Christopher Livingston:

"It goes without saying that many connections can be drawn between Pratchett's writing career and the rise of PC gaming. The most obvious, naturally, are the games themselves: The Colour of Magic, the text adventure from 1986; Discworld, Discworld 2, and Discworld Noir, all point-and-click adventures; and Discworld MUD, a text based role-playing game. In 1993, Pratchett appeared on the cover PC Gamer Magazine — the very first issue of the magazine, in fact. Inside, he was interviewed by Gary Whitta about his books and the upcoming Discworld adventure game.

"Pratchett played plenty of games himself. He loved computers in general, and he told PC Gamer he enjoyed games like Wing Commander, X-Wing, and Prince of Persia. He described the addictive nature of Tetris as 'a computer virus which human beings can catch.'... The most prominent connection, but perhaps hardest to define, is Pratchett's influence over PC gaming as a whole, from the people who make them to those of us who just play them. It wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that most comedic fantasy games have been in some way been influenced and inspired by the Discworld novels. Scroll through any gaming forum and you're likely to find passionate discussions about his books and the fervent hope of there someday being more Discworld games. Stroll through any fantasy MMO and you're bound to spot an avatar named Sam Vimes. Rincewind. Angua. Cheery Littlebottom...

"We've made a PDF of the 1993 PC Gamer interview with Terry Pratchett available [on the web page], which you can pop out and download for easier legibility...."

http://www.pcgamer.com/a-tribute-to-terry-pratchett/


A eulogy from noted science fiction author Charles Stross:

"I first met him, incidentally, back in 1984, at a British eastercon in Leeds. It was, I think, my first SF convention. Or my second. I was a spotty 17- or 18-year-old nerd, wandering around with a manuscript in a carrier bag, looking for an editor — this was before the internet made it easy to discover that this was not the done thing, or indeed before word processors made typewritten manuscripts obsolescent... Back then, Terry was not some gigantic landmark of comedy literature, with famous critics in serious newspapers bending over to compare his impact on the world of letters to that of P. G. Wodehouse. Terry was earning his living as a press officer and writing on the side and didn't feel embarrassed about letting other people pay for the drinks. And so over the next few years I bought him a pint or two, and began to read the books. Which is why I only got hooked on Terry's shtick after I'd met him as Terry the convention-going SF fan...

"Terry was not only a very funny man; he was an irascible (and occasionally bad-tempered) guy who did not suffer fools gladly. However, he was also big-hearted enough to forgive the fools around him if they were willing to go halfway to meeting him by ceasing to be foolish at him. He practiced a gracious professionalism in his handling of the general public that spared them the harsh side of his tongue, and he was, above all, humane. As the fame snowballed, he withdrew a bit: appreciating that there was a difference between a sharp retort from your mate Terry at the bar and a put-down from Terry Pratchett, superstar, he stepped lightly and took pains to avoid anything that might cause distress..."

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/03/terry-pratchett.html


A hand-copied salvo from Private Eye magazine, by "Bookworm"

"Absent from the many pages of lamentation following Terry Pratchett's death was any expression of regret over the way the same publications had ignored him until recently, let alone any acknowledgement of snobbery or hypocrisy.

"Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s the broadsheet press rarely reviewed Pratchett's books or interviewed him, and literary and media folk (with the honourable exception of AS Byatt) were happy to leave him to their school-age or student offspring. He won only fantasy or children's awards, TV and radio arts programmes avoided him, and mainstream broadcasters' drama divisions were only interested in his kids' books (though Sky began adapting some adult works a decade ago).

"If asked to explain the neglect, the sniffy cultural gatekeepers involved would probably have dismissed him as someone who wrote genre fiction, churned out two or more books a year and, worst of all, was, oh dear, funny; and, as his publisher was the shamelessly commercial Transworld, he lacked the offsetting attraction of his bestsellers subsidising authors of difficult literary novels, as JK Rowling's did at Bloomsbury. Only after Pratchett announced that he had early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007 (and later began discussing assisted suicide) did everything change: at last he was talking about something serious, not silly Discworld!"

[Editor's note: special thanks to Colin Smythe for this one.]


A very intelligent eulogy by Arthur Chu on Thoughtcatalog:

"Pratchett was a bundle of contradictions in his lifetime. He was 'conventional' and 'commercial' in comparison to China Mieville, certainly – his books were wildly popular, and he was wildly prolific, to a degree normally seen only among writers who are actually pseudonyms for several people. Somehow he pushed out an average of two books a year, and his oeuvre, in the 1990s, made up an astonishing 6.5 percent of all books sold in the UK. In the celestial sphere of UK fantasy authors J.K. Rowling is the sun, Pratchett was the moon, and everyone else merely scattered stars. And yet his books matched or exceeded his more 'experimental' and 'literary' colleagues in terms of subversiveness – both of fantasy genre tropes and overall. Philip Pullman made headlines with The Golden Compass for writing a William Blake-inspired children's series where God is the enemy and must be heroically defeated; three years earlier Pratchett wrote Small Gods, a novel about God being turned into a helpless cranky tortoise who needs to learn to be a better God to be rescued.
[Pratchett was] one of the most 'progressive' writers I can think of, not just in the sense of his political positions matching up with what I'd call progressive but in the sense of believing in the idea of progress, of shattering idols and overturning comforting lies, of subverting tropes at every turn... But all this deconstruction and subversion didn't come across as having to eat your vegetables, the way literary fiction often does. And it didn't come across as a bitter, guilty pleasure either, the way people geek out about the horrifying viciousness of 'low fantasy' worlds like A Song of Ice and Fire's Westeros. Pratchett somehow made his progressive, subversive work as tasty a snack as any of the high fantasy he was subverting. Much of that candy coating was humor – the ability to laugh, as he once argued, being our brain's way of extracting pleasure from the otherwise painful process of recognizing uncomfortable truths..."

http://tcat.tc/1BBtljE


A rather marvellous tribute, "How To Tell If You Are In A Terry Pratchett Novel" – complete with footnotes – by Elyse Martin on The Toast. Warning – may cause tearful laughter:

"You are a wizard and practice magic. Even tourists who do not speak your language know how this will end: badly for you [urinating dog] [urinating dog] [urinating dog].... You are a wizard and do not practice magic, which means you're in no danger at all of going Bursar.[1]... No matter what country you find yourself in, someone always offers you a cutthroat deal on very dubious-looking sausages in buns... It is a dark and stormy night. 'Bugger this for a lark,' you grumble. 'I don't see why we have to meet at night, and even less why we should meet in a storm. It'd be much more sensible to just lunch at the Ritz.'... You've sung every verse of 'All the Little Angels,' which at first seems silly, but then gains significance until the very question 'How do they rise up?' makes you unexpectedly weepy. Soldiers' songs are alike that way: sentimental with naughty bits in, and sung by voices you hear only in your memory... You've seen an old man of no discernible race calmly sweeping the street. You think you may have seen him before, but, then again, you could just be peering down the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time... You have a pet that has, at least once, turned into a human being... You are a human being that has, at least once, turned into a pet... You see little blue men. You haven't been drinking. They are happy to change that for you..."

http://the-toast.net/2015/03/16/how-to-tell-terry-pratchett-novel/

"It's ironic that I have only a vague mental picture of Pratchett, a real actual human, while I can vividly call up images of many of the characters from his Discworld series... No fantasy author but Pratchett would have written multiple novels starring Rincewind, a failed wizard (his hat says 'Wizzard' in sequins) whose main response to danger is to desperately run the other way, a middle-aged alcoholic Night Watchman named Sam Vimes, a seemingly halfwitted but kind young monk in the midst of a horrifying theocracy, or Death, complete with scythe, white horse, black robe, etc.

"Pratchett's books work first because they are funny. Very funny. Laughing out loud inappropriately while reading them on public transit funny. Gripping you with the desire to read the best bits out loud to anyone who happens to be within earshot funny. They work secondly because they are serious... He dug deep into ridiculous comedic characters and found their hard bedrock beliefs. His characters are the pivot points of his novels. They make choices, take stands, try to do the right thing, and thereby save the world, or at least their little bit of it... And then whenever things seem a little too deep, there'll be a rude song about hedgehogs..."

http://bit.ly/1MkSSsC


Obituary/tribute from Gwen Ansell of South Africa's Mail and Guardian:

"Pratchett loved the fantasy genre for its capacity to exercise the 'what if?' mental muscle; he called it 'an exercise bicycle for the mind'. He was also an accomplished wordsmith: his prose was crisp and free from redundancy and the clean lines of his sentences often sang at you from the page. That skill made the comic punch much harder, and made cheeky, challenging ideas – for Pratchett was a lifetime rationalist – accessible to often quite young readers who may have picked up the books initially for their funny covers and intriguing opening lines... Long before JK Rowling (a far less elegant wordsmith) and George RR Martin (a far more conventional world-builder), Pratchett got children – and their parents – across the world reading fantasy without shame and with a great deal of loud laughter..."

http://mg.co.za/article/2015-03-19-the-word-is-out-pratchett-lives


A thank-you, posted by physicist Nicole Yunger Halpern on the Caltech physics blog Quantum Frontiers:

"Terry Pratchett continues to influence my trajectory through physics: This cover has a cameo in a seminar I'm presenting in Maryland this March. Pratchett set many novels on the Discworld, a pancake of a land perched atop four elephants, which balance on the shell of a turtle that swims through space. Discworld wizards quantify magic in units called thaums. Units impressed their importance upon me in week one of my first high-school physics class. We define one meter as 'the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.' Wizards define one thaum as 'the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal-sized billiard balls.'... Reading about the Discworld since high school, I've wanted to grasp Pratchett's allusions. I've wanted to do more than laugh at them. In Pyramids, Pratchett describes 'ideas that would make even a quantum mechanic give in and hand back his toolbox.' Pratchett's ideas have given me a hankering for that toolbox. Pratchett nudged me toward training as a quantum mechanic. Pratchett hasn't only piqued my curiosity about his allusions. He's piqued my desire to create as he did, to do physics as he wrote. While reading or writing, we build worlds in our imaginations. We visualize settings; we grow acquainted with characters; we sense a plot's consistency or the consistency of a system of magic. We build worlds in our imaginations also when doing and studying physics and math. The Standard Model is a system that encapsulates the consistency of our knowledge about particles. We tell stories about electrons' behaviors in magnetic fields. Theorems' proofs have logical structures like plots'. Pratchett and other authors trained me to build worlds in my imagination. Little wonder I'm training to build worlds as a physicist..."

http://bit.ly/1EmKh4h


In The Guardian, Frank Cottrell Boyce calls Pratchett "the equal of Swift":

"He wasn't imagining an alternative universe; he was reimagining ours. His fantasies sit alongside – and are the equals of – those of Rabelais, Voltaire, Swift, Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams. He's surely our most quotable writer after Shakespeare and Wilde. Granny Weatherwax's definition of sin – 'When you treat people as things' – is all you need to know about ethics. So there will be many commentators today bemoaning his lack of literary prestige, but the fact that he dodged the gongs is part of his power. Whereas all my beloved P G Wodehouses and Philip Pullmans are neatly arranged on the bookshelves, my Pratchetts are strewn under the beds, in the bathrooms, the glove compartments. They have shopping lists, takeaway orders and Scrabble scores scribbled on the fly leaves. They were part of life. You could take a random Discworld to the dentist's knowing that you could open it at any page and be transported. A writer with mere literary prestige would not have inspired my 11-year-old to create a Lego tombstone for him. Rincewind is always looking for something 'better than magic'. Pratchett found something better than literature..."

http://bit.ly/1HV7jO0


Art Marmorstein of South Dakota's Aberdeen News's tribute is eloquent if unnecessarily pessimistic:

"Lose a favorite fantasy writer and you lose also the alternative world that writer has created — in Pratchett's case, Discworld, the magical land that drifts though space on the back of four giant elephants who, in their turn, stand on the back of Great A'tuin the turtle. As Pratchett, who died at age 66, struggled with Alzheimer's, the door to Discworld began to close and, with his death, that world is gone altogether. Gone too are all the characters Pratchett fans regard as, in a way, their friends. We'll hear no more about newspaper editor and publisher William de Word and his search for Truth — or what's true enough. No more stories of con-man turned civic hero Moist Von Lipwig. Gone too is Sam Vimes, the policeman's policeman who conquers the darkest of dark forces only because of his commitment to, without fail, read 'Where's My Cow?' to his young son every day at bedtime. Time to say goodbye to Susan Sto Helit, the teacher who can stop time, walk through walls, and turn even the most obnoxious student into an avid learner. And it's time to say goodbye to Susan's grandfather, Death, the anthromorphic personification who, strangely enough, often serves as champion of life and growth, doing everything he can to stop the Auditors, the bureaucratic-minded devotees of a static, changeless world devoid of individual personalities. Now, of course, Pratchett fans can always go back and reread the novels, but it's not quite the same..."

http://bit.ly/1bDy7Ig


A long, geekish tribute from Matthew Kelly on NZ site Off the Tracks:

"I spent four years at University studying philosophy. During this time I pondered such concepts as whether an infinite universe meant it was logically necessary that all possibilities existed somewhere, whether time stretched backwards without beginning as it presumably does forwards without end, and if I would ever get laid. I blame Terry Pratchett. Like many teenagers of a nerdier disposition, I loved comedy and I loved fantasy. So when friends started talking about this guy who combined the two with a brilliance hitherto unseen, I took a look at these 'Discworld' books. Soon I was chuckling away... Pratchett, a school leaver at 17, saw deeply into the world. His works are crammed with intellectual nuances, sometimes light, sometimes profound, that seep into your brain, challenging, provoking thought. Small Gods is perhaps the most noted in this respect, but across the novels this occurs – the character of Vimes for example is a longform examination of the conflict between moral relativism and absolutism. You might roll your eyes, but read the Watch books with that in mind and see how you feel after. Politics students could do worse than to study the character of the Patrician, leader of the Discworld's largest city, who is at once cruel and wise. His management of people is fascinating, as Pratchett delves into the complexities of the relationships between what is 'right' and what is pragmatic. And all this without mentioning Pratchett's numerous excellent non-Discworld books; Good Omens, Nation, The Bromeliad and more, all showcasing an author of boundless wit and invention stretching out and taking a fresh angle on things, never settling down into mundanity, age and infirmity be damned. Pratchett is gone now, but his humour and his quest for truth and life-principles based on consideration rather than conceit stays with me...."

http://bit.ly/1F7zt7O


A salute from Tallulah Me Grey in the Queensland, Australia-based Morning Bulletin:

"Pratchett's anthropomorphic personification of Death is one of the most human and loveable characters I have read. He loves and feels with more soul than most heroes of literature. He rages with a quiet power rarely seen outside Pratchett's writing... I like to think that Pratchett, like his Cohen the Barbarian, less than politely ignored Death and left to explore the universe. Although, if ever a man could greet Death as an old friend, it would be Sir Terry..."

http://bit.ly/1DhGghD


And one from Shannon Anderson, Arts and Culture Editor of The Argus campus newspaper of Canadian university Lakehead:

"My first experience reading Terry Pratchett was at the age of perhaps nine or ten, when I spent an entire afternoon on my grandmother's chesterfield crying with laughter at The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. My father's copy of Good Omens (co-authored with a young Neil Gaiman) found me sometime around grade eight or nine, and I spent many happy afternoons and evenings in later high school and early college taking turns reading the Discworld series aloud with my boyfriend... Terry Pratchett's fiction was an examination of human grace and fallibility wrapped up in neatly absurd packages of story. The cliches of fantasy and the creative freedom of fiction allowed him free reign[sic] in to dabble in interests ranging from natural history and mythology to astronomy and neuroscience..."

http://www.theargus.ca/index.php/archives/17805

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
March 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 3, Post 3)

********************************************************************
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) EDITOR'S LETTER: REMEMBERING SIR TERRY PRATCHETT
02) SOME SELECTED QUOTES
03) HOW THE WORLD TOLD US THE NEWS
04) SOME SELECTED TRIBUTES
05) MY FATHER, BY RHIANNA PRATCHETT
06) SENDING HOME: IMMORTALITY VIA ROUNDWORLD'S CLACKS
07) DONATIONS TO RICE CENTRE
08) SOME SELECTED IMAGES
09) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Dear Readers,

After almost five days of reading, gathering and compositing to the best of my ability other people's words about the untimely death of Sir Terry Pratchett, I find I am at a loss to add my own yet. There will be a second March issue at the end of the month; but for now, speaking for Wossname, I present the words and thoughts and images of the world's reaction to the passing of one of the greatest writers – and greatest humanists – our roundish world has ever seen.

Here is an image, by Farlander, that perhaps says it best:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B_9ymNUWgAAKdHh.jpg

Another image, by Sandara, beautiful if more sombre:

http://bit.ly/1NUiPNV

Here is the official Terry Pratchett Facebook page, with tributes:

https://www.facebook.com/pratchett/posts/10152645359765025:0

Here is a list of programmes, as BBC Radio 4 remembers the man and author:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02ltvn2

Wossname's special thanks go to Lynsey Dalladay (aka Lynsey from Transworld), for organising the Just Giving fundraising page for RICE in Sir Pterry's honour:

https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett/ (see item 7 for more details)


To you, the fans who supported his work and spread his name with so much passion: he belonged to you once. He belongs to the world now. You made that possible.

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

02) THE QUOTES

"Many thanks for all the kind words about my dad. Those last few tweets were sent with shaking hands and tear-filled eyes."
– Rhianna Pratchett

"There was nobody like him. I was fortunate to have written a book with him, when we were younger, which taught me so much."
– Neil Gaiman

"No writer in my lifetime has given me as much pleasure and happiness. He could do knockabout for schoolboys (and girls) but he was also subtle and wise and very funny in the adult world. I loved him because almost all the characters he didn't like slowly grew more real, more interesting, more complicated perhaps to his own surprise. He could write evil if he needed to, but if he didn't his characters surprised us and him. His prose was layered: there was a mischievous surface, and a layer of complicated running jokes, and something steely and uncompromising that turned the reader cold from time to time. He was my unlikely hero, and saved me from disaster more than once by making me laugh and making me think."
– A S Byatt

"It was a lot of fun to be around him. His skewed view of the world was there in everything. He was always looking at things in a different way, like a cracked mirror perspective."
– Stephen Briggs

"His creativity bought so much inspiration and joy to so many of us. It was an honour and privilege to work with him and I owe him a great debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace."
– Paul Kidby

"Terry was a class of his own in so many ways; other people will write about his wisdom and his skills as an author. I remember his kindness to his fans. No letters went unanswered and every person in a bookshop signing queue got his full attention even if he and they had been there for many hours."
– Bernard Pearson

"There is nothing spiteful, nothing bitter or sarcastic in his humour. But he was also very shy, and happiest with his family. Everybody who reads his work would agree Death was one of his finest creations – Terry in some way has now shaken hands with one of his greatest-ever creations."
– Philip Pullman

"Sir Terry's final tweet reads simply: 'The End.' But, undoubtedly, he will live on for a very long time through his writing."
– The Independent

"He took a despised literary form and made it dance. His legions of fans will miss him – but at least they have the Discworld he left behind... By the time he had finished with Discworld, it was clear that a fantasy universe could be used to write with echoing profundity about love, death, religion, duty, opera, politics, and – above all – decency."
– Andrew Brown, in The Guardian

"During the many times Terry supported Alzheimer's Society, publicly and privately, I was struck by his passion, resilience and courage to fight and kill the demon of dementia. When thanked for his work, he'd simply smile and shake his head modestly, insisting it was nothing. Never dwelling on his own dementia, he used his voice to shout out for others when they could not."
– Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK

"When he talked about writing and work he was very lucid but as soon as you mentioned ordinary things like a cup of tea there was confusion. If he talked about writing or developing his characters his brain seemed to go to another place. It was bittersweet but also joyous that we did the Wintersmith album while Terry was cognisant of it."
– Julian Littman of Steeleye Span, who worked with Sir Terry on the Wintersmith album

"He is survived by Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Mort, Death, Death of Rats, Commander Vimes, the Librarian, Cohen the Barbarian, Rincewind the Wizard, the Luggage, and hundreds of other unforgettable characters, whose adventures will continue to delight and surprise readers all over the world for many years to come."
– George RR Martin

"Terry had a tremendous gift of giving life to stories of great wonder, richness, humanity and warmth, for which many people all over the world will remember him. He had a great heart as well. Joy, suffering, happiness, the whole of the human experience: his stories captured all of this and much besides with good humour, and he turned these same talents to providing for a better future for generations to come, through his steadfast work to promote Humanism and a compassionate assisted dying law."
– Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association

"Ostensibly, Pratchett dealt in fantasy, but in the same way that the London Symphony Orchestra could be considered to 'do a bit of music'. His gift was to weave together parody, satire and adventure and reinvent them in sublime ways."
– journalist Kat Brown, in The Telegraph

"I am glad to hear that Terry died peacefully. I do not know if he was listening to Thomas Tallis, as he had so often described as his favoured way to go. However the reality is that without an assisted dying law there is no peace of mind for people when approaching their own death. There is no choice, there is no control and there is no compassion."
– Dignity in Dying patron Lesley Close

"Though he may not release any more novels, nor provide smart quips in interviews and thoughtful banter at conventions, Death cannot truly take Terry Pratchett from the world. His influence has gone too deep, his words have spread too far, and the things he most believed in — laughter, bravery, community — are the very things he's left in our care."
– Jess Waters, a student at Emerson College

"I learnt more from your books than my entire education. Thank you, Sir Terry."
– Tom, donor to RICE on Pterry's memorial Just Giving page, 12th March 2015

"I'm thinking we get some kittens, and then propose Death a trade."
– Ole Ulloriaq Lonberg-Jensen, on the Reinstate Terry Pratchett petition at change.org

...and a few words from The Author himself:

"'I know about Sending Home,' said Princess. 'And I know the souls of dead linesmen stay on the Trunk.'"

"'His name is in the code, in the wind in the rigging and the shutters. Haven't you ever heard the saying "A man's not dead while his name is still spoken"?'"
– Going Postal

"In the Ramtops village where they dance the real Morris dance, for example, no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away – until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence."
– Reaper Man

"'We dinnae mourn like ye do, ye ken. We mourn for them that has tae stay behind.''
–The Wee Free Men


Additionally, BBC America offers a collection of "30 Terry Pratchett quotes to guide you through life". You probably know most (or all) of them, but it's handy to have them in one place: http://bbc.in/1HO1G4d

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

03) HOW THE WORLD BROKE THE NEWS

The announcement on PJSM Prints:

It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66.

"Larry Finlay, MD at Transworld Publishers:

"'I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds. In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention. Terry faced his Alzheimer's disease (an "embuggerance", as he called it) publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come. My sympathies go out to Terry's wife Lyn, their daughter Rhianna, to his close friend Rob Wilkins, and to all closest to him.'

"Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with PCA1 in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.

"We ask that the family are left undisturbed at this distressing time."

http://www.pjsmprints.com/

...and from Bernard Pearson, the Cunning Artificer:

"Today our deepest sympathy is with Lyn and Rhianna Pratchett and also with Terry's amanuensis and friend Rob Wilkins.
I once said to Terry 'There are no pockets in a shroud'. We had been talking about him buying a new car and I said he could afford a Rolls-Royce if he wanted to but he was never a man for ostentation and thought he might look at a Jag. 'Anyway', he replied 'It depends who your tailor is, I'm having bloody great big ones in mine.' I'm writing this because right now I could find out if that were true.

"I have known Terry since 1990 when we met in a bar in Covent Garden to discuss the idea of me creating small sculptures from the characters in his books. We found common ground in his days as a journalist and my days as a policeman and we became friends. Over the years we spent a lot of time together not just at the many gatherings at the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton and at conventions all over the world but also for family celebrations at Christmas or New Year, birthdays and wedding anniversaries, lunch at the pub or bacon sandwiches round our dining room table. Every occasion enlivened by his quickness of mind, his encyclopaedic knowledge and most of all by his humour.

"He was not always easy to be with; he didn't suffer fools gladly and with his command of the English language a blast from him was something that this 'silly old fool' certainly would remember for quite a while. I have been bollocked by the best in my time but dear old Terry was in a class of his own.

"Terry was a class of his own in so many ways; other people will write about his wisdom and his skills as an author. I remember his kindness to his fans. No letters went unanswered and every person in a bookshop signing queue got his full attention even if he and they had been there for many hours.

"He enjoyed spending time with his readers – he would say they worked hard to earn the money to buy his books and therefore he owed them. He also genuinely enjoyed their company.

"We were privileged to co-author or as he put it 'aid and abet' him in one or two books. It was a revelation the way he could sprinkle stardust on a sentence and make it shine or take the germ of an idea, hold it up to the light, and within minutes polish it into something original, clever and very funny. We shall miss his many phone calls requesting information about police procedure, and latterly the location of a particular town, or the landscape of a train journey.

"We shall miss him.

"Bernard Pearson, on behalf of us all at the Emporium."

www.discworldemporium.com/a%20message%20from%20the%20heart

On the BBC news website:

"Despite campaigning for assisted suicide after his diagnosis, Sir Terry's publishers said he did not take his own life.
BBC News correspondent Nick Higham said: 'I was told by the publishers his death was entirely natural and unassisted, even though he had said in the past he wanted to go at a time of his own choosing.'..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-31858156

...and the BBC's full obituary:

"Terry Pratchett proved that it was possible for a world to be flat. He first created Discworld in 1983 because he wanted to 'have fun with some of the cliches' of fantasy novels. Pratchett's whimsical writings endeared him to millions of avid fans across the world. But in later years he fought a much-publicised battle against Alzheimer's disease...

"His breakthrough came in 1968. While interviewing a publisher, Peter Bander van Duren, he casually mentioned he had been working on a manuscript. Van Duren and his business partner Colin Smythe read the draft and The Carpet People was published in 1971. According to Smythe, the book received few reviews, but they were ecstatic, with one describing it as 'of quite extraordinary quality'. Pratchett followed this up with his only two purely science-fiction novels, The Dark Side of the Sun, published in 1976, and Strata five years later. The latter work introduced the concept of a flat world, something that would surface again in Pratchett's most popular series of novels. 'Nothing in the universe is "natural" in the strict sense of the term,"' Pratchett said of Strata. 'Everything, from planets to stars, is a relic of previous races and civilisations.'

"His style of writing was nothing if not eccentric. He avoided chapters where possible, on the basis that they broke up the narrative, and peppered his text with footnotes. Pratchett also used punctuation as a source of humour. His character Death always conversed in capital letters while the auditors of reality eschewed quotation marks. He drew heavily on real people for many of his characters. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, became the painter and engineer Leonard of Quirm. Many of his works were adapted for the stage and animated versions of some of his children's stories, including Truckers, have appeared on TV. He fought a running battle against critics who said fantasy could never be considered as literature. 'Stories of imagination,' he said witheringly, 'tend to upset those without one.'

"Away from writing he maintained an interest in astronomy and natural history. He became a campaigner to promote the conservation of the orangutan and the librarian in Pratchett's Unseen University found being the shape of an orangutan ideal for his work..."

www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-25401679

In The Guardian:

"The announcement of his death unleashed a tide of sympathy from around the world. David Cameron tweeted: 'Sad to hear of Sir Terry Pratchett's death, his books fired the imagination of millions and he fearlessly campaigned for dementia awareness.' The author Neil Gaiman, a friend and collaborator, tweeted: 'I will miss you, Terry, so much.'... The characters of his fantastical creation, Discworld, inhabit a world held up by four elephants balanced on the back of a giant turtle. It is a world peopled by incompetent wizards, upside-down mountains, slow-witted barbarians and a wry incarnation of Death. Begun as a cheerful parody of fantasy authors from JRR Tolkien to Ursula K Le Guin, Pratchett's ambitions gradually expanded to encompass life, death and humanity's place in the universe – though the jokes kept coming..."

http://bit.ly/1C92UH2

...and the Guardian's full obituary, by Christopher Priest:

"BEING DEAD IS NOT COMPULSORY. NOT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. These are the words of Death, one of Terry Pratchett's ingenious comic creations in his Discworld novels. Death has a booming, unamused voice (always in capitals, never in quotation marks), and is the permanent straight man in the comic chaos around him. He goes about his morbid business on a horse called Binky, whose hooves throw up sparks on every street cobble. Death is a skeleton, with eyes like two tiny blue stars set deep within the sockets. He wears a black cloak, carries a scythe and, at the end of a day's work, loves to murder a curry. At the point of contact with his latest client, he usually spends a few moments having a courteous word or two with the recently deceased, until they fade away. Now Death has gained a most illustrious client, for Pratchett himself has died, aged 66, after suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The exchange is no doubt unamused but courteous on one side, amusing but rueful on the other, but of fervent interest to both parties. It's a conversation that millions of Pratchett fans would ache to overhear. Would Death dare to speak in capitals to Sir Terry Pratchett?

"Pratchett was, and will remain, one of the most popular British authors of all time. In the modern age, only the career of JK Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, is comparable. The facts of Pratchett's success are impressive: the sheer number of books he has sold (some 80m copies worldwide), and the number of reprints, translations, dramatisations on television and stage, audio versions and spin-offs, plus awards and honorary doctorates galore. Then there's an inestimable amount of Discworld spinoffery: chess pieces, wizardly hats, cloaks and T-shirts, leathern bags, pottery figurines, fantastic artwork, magic clobber of every kind including dribbly candles – all made by and sold to fans. His signings at bookshops were legendary: a queue stretching down the street was de rigueur, and although Pratchett worked quickly at the signatures, he was unfailingly friendly to everyone who turned up. He was open to readers: he answered emails (or some of them, because the volume of incoming messages was spectacular) and he went to Discworld conventions (almost all of them). He was a nice man, unpretentious and with a wry manner...

"Pratchett's first fantasy book was The Carpet People, written when he was 18; he rewrote it 30 years later, having revised and reversed his ideas about the importance of kings and wars. It was originally published in 1971 by a local publisher, Colin Smythe Ltd, based in Gerrards Cross. Smythe published the next two or three novels, licensing other editions in British paperback and in the US, but as Pratchett's popularity grew it became clear to everyone that a larger publisher would be better equipped to promote his books. Smythe stepped aside as publisher and became Pratchett's agent instead. Thereafter, hardbacks appeared from large publishers, beginning with Gollancz...

"In a publishing world where popular success often equates to ill-written or hackneyed work, Pratchett's novels, although in a racy, readable style, were constantly witty, with many cultural, vernacular and literary references. You never quite knew where the next association was coming from: you would find sideways references to HP Lovecraft, William Shakespeare, Beachcomber, Sellar and Yeatman, Thomas Hughes, Peter Shaffer (a good joke about Salieri), JRR Tolkien, Egyptology, vampirism, dragons... The humour of the novels was likable and liked: most of Pratchett's books sold on word of mouth, and the many conventions thrown in his honour were happy occasions. He gave his readers memorable hours of talks, interviews and jokes... His last years were astonishingly active. He continued to write fiction, learning to dictate rather than type, and a last Discworld novel was completed and delivered last summer..."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/12/terry-pratchett

In The Independent:

"As soon as news broke of his death broke on Thursday afternoon, his website crashed under the weight of fans wanting to remember the writer... A JustGiving page has been set up in his name, which aims to raise money for the Research Institute for the Care of Older People..."

http://ind.pn/1DmiqAI

In The Telegraph:

"The author had succumbed to a chest infection earlier this year, which gradually worsened. He passed away on March 12th.
He finished his final book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014 before entering the final stages of Alzheimer's... Sir Terry, who wrote more than 70 best-selling novels, had waged a very public struggle with Alzheimer's disease in recent years. He was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a progressive degenerative condition involving the loss and dysfunction of brain cells, in 2007 and continued writing, broadcasting and meeting his fans. After losing the ability to touch type in 2012, he used voice-recognition technology to complete his much-loved new works. He went on to become one of the most prominent and influential voices in the campaign for research into the disease, and was a patron of Alzheimers Research UK. When asked about his career in May 2014, he said: 'It is possible to live well with dementia and write best-sellers 'like wot I do.'

"Hilary Evans, director of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: 'The loss of Sir Terry Pratchett will have a profound effect on both literature and the 850,000 people who live with dementia. Sir Terry's uniquely witty and affecting announcement of his diagnosis with Alzheimer's at our 2008 conference will be seen as a watershed moment for all people living with dementia. It engendered huge public awareness of Alzheimer's and issued a call to arms for society to talk about dementia and take steps towards defeating it. We will miss him.'..."

http://bit.ly/1BFWygu

...and the Telegraph's full obituary:

"His appeal was solidly based on well-crafted prose, imaginative situations, economically phrased humour and well-observed characters . With his knack for choice similes – Death himself, a recurring character, speaks with 'a voice like the slamming of coffins' lids', rendered entirely in capital letters – his style appealed equally to young and adult readers; and his use of a fully realised alternative world made it possible for him to tackle a wide range of contemporary topics and issues without forfeiting his essential lightness of touch. Ironically, it was Pratchett's ground-breaking achievement in making comic fantasy acceptable to the mainstream reader that allowed J K Rowling to usurp his place as the most widely read living British writer...

"Terry attended High Wycombe Technical High School, which he chose in preference to the local grammar school because 'woodwork would be more fun than Latin'. He was, by his own admission, a 'nondescript' student; the most significant event in his school career was probably the publication of his short story The Hades Business in the school magazine when he was 13 (two years later he sold it commercially, and used the proceeds to buy his first typewriter)...

"He enjoyed walking; that aside, his activities were mostly connected with or ancillary to his work. He took an interest in computers and played computer games (from which he drew the inspiration for his children's novel, Only You Can Save Mankind); he eagerly participated in many online newsgroups and discussion groups frequented by his fans, to whom he always tried to be as accessible as reasonably possible, for a writer with such a large and often fanatical readership. He also maintained his childhood interest in astronomy, at one point building an observatory in the grounds of his Wiltshire house, and collected carnivorous plants...

"Around the turn of the millennium, Pratchett's work began to display a change of direction. The rate of production dropped from two books a year to one. The books themselves became darker, more thoughtful and more complex. In his earlier work, the plot was often a loose framework for gags and comic set pieces, the characters frequently little more than mouthpieces for the jokes. Nightwatch (2002) and Monstrous Regiment (2003), by contrast, are meticulously structured, with the comedy arising organically out of the interaction of situation and character. This progression was partly a natural consequence of the coral-reef development of the Discworld itself. A minor character in one book would become a central player in another; a passing joke would grow into a substantial theme. In consequence, as the texture of Discworld became richer, it enabled Pratchett to write more ambitiously. The comedy never waned, nor was it ever entirely subordinated to a serious purpose; but the books began to achieve objectives other than the maximum number of jokes per page...

"Pratchett was often compared to Swift, but the comparison does him no favours. He was not a satirist. Closer to Wodehouse than Waugh, he preferred to create a self-contained world in which he could dictate everything from the laws of physics to the number of colours in the spectrum (eight), with human nature the only factor outside his control. Although Discworld served to hold a distorting mirror up to the world in which his readers lived, satire was a by-product and a means to an end, rather than the object of the exercise..."

http://bit.ly/19mH8on

In the Daily Mail:

"The comic universe he created in Discworld – a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle – made millions laugh and made them think as well. His sense of fun made him stand out in the often po-faced world of fantasy literature - he would turn up at conventions wearing a T-shirt saying: 'Tolkien's dead, JK Rowling said no, Philip Pullman couldn't make it. Hi. I'm Terry Pratchett.' Towards the end of his life, he used his fame and wealth to campaign for a greater awareness of dementia and assisted dying... Hilary Evans, director of Alzheimer's Research UK, said the death of Sir Terry would have 'a profound effect on both literature and the 850,000 people who live with dementia'..."

http://dailym.ai/1BFWGfS

An obituary by David Colker in the Los Angeles Times:

"Pratchett won a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his young adult novel, "Nation," which takes place on a mythical South Seas island in the 19th century. The plot revolves around an island-born boy and shipwrecked girl, from very different cultures, trying to survive a natural disaster. He accepted the award in a videotaped message from a slightly disheveled, book-filled office with a large cat perched on the desk. 'It was like being shackled by one leg to a bulldozer,' the white-bearded Pratchett said about writing the novel as the scene-stealing cat looked ready to pounce. 'It just bound its way across the landscape, but it was up to me to keep up with it and bang my head on the trees as we rode across.' Though 'Nation' was aimed at young adults, the Guardian in London said the book 'has profound, subtle and original things to say about the interplay between tradition and knowledge, faith and questioning.'

"With his books regularly hitting the top of best-seller lists in England, Pratchett was likely that country's most popular novelist until the arrival of J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' tales in the 1990s. He took Rowling's rise with customary humor, wearing a T-shirt to fan conventions that read, 'Tolkien's Dead, J.K. Rowling said no,' and then in small letters, 'Hi, I'm Terry Pratchett.'...

"In the years after his diagnosis, Pratchett spoke openly of his condition and supported not only Alzheimer's but also right-to-die causes. But his character Death doesn't appear in his last published book, 'Raising Steam.' 'It's not deliberate,' he told the Telegraph in 2013 with a laugh, 'but I don't want to be a death fetishist.'..."

http://lat.ms/1ba6OFi

A knowing and loving obituary by Bruce Weber in the New York Times:

"An accomplished satirist with a penchant for sending up cultural and political tomfoolery, Mr. Pratchett created wildly imaginative alternative realities to reflect on a world more familiar to readers as actual reality. Often spiced with shrewd and sometimes wryly stinging references to literary genres, from fairy tales to Elizabethan drama, his books have sold 85 million copies worldwide, according to his publisher. And though Mr. Pratchett may have suffered from the general indifference of literary critics to the fantasy genre, on the occasions when serious minds took his work seriously, they tended to validate his legitimate literary standing... Mr. Pratchett often wrote with eyebrow arched and tongue planted firmly in cheek; in the behavior of his mythical creatures it was hard to miss the barbs being tossed in the direction of humanity..."

http://nyti.ms/1F5o21t

From Reuters:

"News about the death of Pratchett – who campaigned during his final illness for legalizing assisted death – came on his Twitter account in a series of tweets written in the style of his Discworld novels, where Death always talks in capital letters. 'AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER,' said the first tweet on @terryandrob. 'Terry took Death's arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night,' said the second, while a third read simply: 'The End'... A unique creation, Discworld is a circular world set on the backs of four elephants standing on the shell of a giant turtle, populated by a vast and colorful cast of characters inspired by the worlds of fantasy, folk tales and mythology. Pratchett used Discworld to parody those genres, but also to send up aspects of modern life by drawing often incongruous connections between his imaginary world and things ordinary people living in 20th century Britain would recognize..."

http://reut.rs/1MBNi1N

From the Continent of Fourecks, a combination announcement and obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld series and author of more than 70 books, has died. He was 66.
Pratchett, who suffered from a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease, had earned wide respect in Britain and beyond with his dignified campaign for the right of critically ill patients to choose assisted suicide... Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams, who hosted Pratchett on what would become his last tour of Australia in 2011, remembers him as a likeable and fiercely intelligent man. 'I've been a fan of his for many years and I was lucky enough to interview him. He was very witty and very wise and endlessly curious. The conversation would spark off in a million different directions.' Peter Nicholls, an Australian expert on science fiction, author of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia was a friend of Pratchett. 'It's a difficult think to talk about Terry because he's been a pretty mysterious character,' he said.

"The author disclosed his condition in 2007. His doctors at first believed he had suffered a stroke, but found him to have an unusual form of Alzheimer's disease. He tried to be optimistic with his millions of fans, assuring them on his website that the condition didn't seem to be immediately life-threatening. As he lost the ability to write on a computer, he turned to a dictation system that allowed him to keep producing fictional works, his agent Colin Smythe said. 'It may have changed his prose style slightly,' Smythe said. 'The real problem is the difficulty of revising it.'

"Pratchett didn't shy away from the emotional public debate about assisted suicide. He used the prestigious Richard Dimbleby lecture in February 2010 to argue the logic of allowing people to end their lives at a time they chose. He said assisted suicide should be decriminalised and that suicide panels should be set up to judge cases, and offered his own case as an example. In the lecture, Pratchett said there was no reason to believe a cure for his disease was imminent. He said he could live his remaining years more fully if he knew he would be allowed to end his life before the disease claimed him..."

http://bit.ly/1MCgns5

...and a marvellous obituary-cum-tribute by Kieron Gillen, "Why We Need Terry Pratchett's Brand of Moral Outrage", on Vulture.com:

"As I write this, my brother talks about his dyslexia and how Pratchett made him want to read even when his brain didn't. I think earlier, and think of a teacher friend of mine who talked about the sheer number of children she taught who were brought into books by Pratchett. This reminds me how I was involved in a conversation earlier that compared him to Dickens, which struck me as correct. Massively popular writing powered by a strong sense of the pains of society. And then Pratchett added jokes, which makes him a dream mash-up of Dickens and Wodehouse, with a healthy sprinkling of genre just to ensure he got right up the right noses. ('A complete amateur ... doesn't even write in chapters,' as the Late Review once said, the quote that was proudly printed at the front of a string of Pratchett books. The best revenge is always funny.)...

"The jokes, the wordplay, the sentences were the style. We came to Pratchett for the substance, what he said about people. Pratchett fundamentally understood fantasy as a device for emphasizing humanity rather than escaping from it. You use the fantasy to make the point more precise, more undeniable, easier to digest, and impossible to refute. We can see ourselves more clearly. As core character and general force of nature Granny Weatherwax once put it: 'Sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself.' Despite the core moral compass, a sermon wasn't the point. This is moral rather than moralizing. When your core moral compass, as suggested above, is a militant empathy, then the characters have to embody that, even the villains — especially the villains. The one exception I can think of is his wicked deconstruction of all things elves in Lords and Ladies, and the attacking of the problematic core of the idea of 'higher people' was very much the point. By way of example, despite the fact that Pratchett was an atheist, Small Gods manages to brutally satirize religion while having at its core a sympathetic portrait of a prophet of a god in the body of a tortoise. Pratchett may not have believed, but he understood why people did. Both the practicing Catholic who first read it and the atheist who is writing this think it's his best book, and if you've yet to read any Pratchett, Small Gods is where to begin.

"I made a typo in that last paragraph, writing, 'Pratchett is an atheist.' I moved the cursor back and corrected it to 'was,' and the tears were in the eyes again..."

www.vulture.com/2015/03/terry-pratchett-kieron-gillen.html

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

04) SOME TRIBUTES

From Stephen Briggs, via an interview in the Oxford Mail:

"Sir Terry wrote more than 70 novels and Mr Briggs recorded audiobooks as well as bringing dozens of them to the stage, including at the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon. He said: 'For me it's been a wonderful time with Terry over the last 25 years. We became good friends. He was a lovely and supportive man. I saw him two weeks ago. I went down to his house and pottered in to see him, and he wasn't well then. He will leave a large gap in the world.' Mr Briggs, a member of the Headington-based Studio Theatre Club, said: 'I first wrote to him through amdram and asked if we could stage one of his books. We were the first in the world to stage any of his stuff. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. It's a real privilege to be a part of creating even a small part of his wonderful world, and it's something which I never take for granted.'... He added he was planning to carry on adapting Sir Terry's work for future generations to enjoy."

http://bit.ly/1BFKEoc

A remembrance from Long Earth series co-author Stephen Baxter:

"Terry Pratchett and I started work on our science fiction series, The Long Earth, in the spring of 2010. It came out of a dinner-party conversation. We'd known each other for nearly 20 years, and talked about shared enthusiasms, the fiction, the science – which Terry called 'the quantum'. Terry had always been a science fiction reader, and had produced two fine SF novels, but abandoned a third. Now he described that shelved idea and I could see why Terry had got stuck; his work was of character and dialogue, whereas this project was about landscapes and exploration. So we decided to try collaborating. We worked up ideas on the phone, and a Discworld convention that year turned into a kind of mass workshop. Terry always enjoyed engaging with the fans. He listened to them.

"In October 2010 we started working sessions at his home in Wiltshire. Terry's study is the chapel of an old monastic house, lined with dusty books and cluttered with Discworld souvenirs. Terry was always prolific, but as we worked he would be deliberate. He would sit in silence, or poke the fire in the stove, and think, and then produce an almost perfect sentence. As he drafted he liked to improvise. He said that if you gave him two characters talking in a room, the story would come. And as we worked we drilled deep into the heads of the characters, especially the young ones. I could see why his Tiffany Aching novels, meant for young adults, are so popular.

"But when we started work it was already a couple of years after his condition had been diagnosed [early-onset Alzheimer's]. His sight was the first to be affected, a cruel affliction for any writer. But Terry found workarounds. He used custom-built voice-recognition software to dictate his drafts, then revised them with the help of his supremely loyal business manager, Rob Wilkins. I read printed manuscripts to him, which we would amend line by line, sitting by the stove. As the core condition began to affect him, he needed more workarounds and assistance, and the work was interrupted by his commitments to the causes of dementia sufferers and right-to-die campaigns. But work was everything to Terry, after his family. If anything, he worked even harder.

"The last time I saw him was a sunny day last summer. We went into Salisbury for an author photograph by the cathedral. Even then he had new ideas for the books. What he liked about science fiction, I think, was the way it addresses the bigger picture. 'By the time we get to Book Five,' he said to me, 'will we find out what it's all about?'"

http://bit.ly/1NYrK0S

Cory Doctorow's very personal tribute:

"Terry Pratchett, a treasure of a writer, a gem of a human being, and a credit to our species, has died, far too soon, at the age of 66. Pratchett died at home, in bed, surrounded by his family and with his cat. He was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007, and has since been a tireless advocate for the right to die with dignity, as well as a major donor to Alzheimer's research. Pratchett continued to produce brilliant books after his diagnosis, most recently the important Raising Steam, which, more than any of the other Discworld books, explored the intrinsic "magic" wrought by technology on its advocates, and worked through technology's discontents.

"I'm deeply saddened by Pratchett's death, even though I, like his other fans, had so long to get used to the idea that he would only be with us for a short time. The Discworld books are some of my truest friends. I've read many of them dozens of times, and always find new things to love in them. I interviewed Pratchett last year on the occasion of the reissue of his first novel, The Carpet People, which he wrote at the age of 17. He was gentlemanly and fascinating, something that many of his interlocutors and fans have noted, but as Neil Gaiman reminds us: the thing that kept Terry Pratchett going wasn't his sweet nature, it was his anger:

"There is a fury to Terry Pratchett's writing: it's the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld. It's also the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11-plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think serious is the opposite of funny; anger at his early American publishers who could not bring his books out successfully. The anger is always there, an engine that drives. By the time Terry learned he had a rare, early onset form of Alzheimer's, the targets of his fury changed: he was angry with his brain and his genetics and, more than these, furious at a country that would not permit him (or others in a similarly intolerable situation) to choose the manner and the time of their passing.

"And that anger, it seems to me, is about Terry's underlying sense of what is fair and what is not. It is that sense of fairness that underlies Terry's work and his writing, and it's what drove him from school to journalism to the press office of the SouthWestern Electricity Board to the position of being one of the best-loved and bestselling writers in the world..."

http://boingboing.net/2015/03/12/rip-terry-pratchett.html

Andrew M Butler, author of the Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett and co-editor of Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature, has written an obituary/appreciation for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

"While each new Pratchett book becomes a bestseller, the literary establishment has been less generous. There is a lazy assumption — most recently characterized by an episode of BBC Radio 4's A Good Read, in which veteran journalist Katherine Whitehorn's 'surprise choice' of reading recommendation was The Colour of Magic. The program's webpage asks, 'if three adult women [will] agree on a novel from a series usually thought of as the preserve of teenage boys.' They do — and positively — against their better judgment. Pratchett's background in fantasy counts against him — Tolkien, after all, is still patronized — and it is assumed that comic novels cannot also be serious. Alongside Pratchett's humor and humanity, there are condemnations of sexism, racism, xenophobia, and the misuse of power.... We are left with memories of his many appearances at conventions, the legendary queues for his autograph, his accumulated wisdom, and shelves full of books that will be read by people of all ages — male and female — for the foreseeable future."

http://bit.ly/1HTSrQf

A fine tribute from Guardian columnist Dean Burnett:

"I never got to meet him in person, much to my regret, and it may seem weird to feel strong and profound grief for someone you didn't really know, but it's very common. And it's surely to be more common in this case. Because if you've read all of his books (many repeatedly) it sort of feels like you know Pratchett on some deep intimate level.

"The fact that a brain like Pratchett's could be afflicted with early onset Alzheimer's just seemed too cruel a twist in what is supposedly a random universe. It's bad enough when it happens to anyone of course, but when it's to a mind and brain that I such a bountiful source of joy and entertainment, it was just a bit much to take seriously. It was so like something from one of his books that you may be forgiven for thinking it was an elaborate set up of some sort.

"But as is perhaps to be expected of an individual who made death into a relatable, even likable character in his books, Pratchett faced his condition head-on. He was never one for shying away from expressing his enthusiasm for science, producing several books on the subject where he combined it with his fantasy work with a gleeful disregard for whether or not this was 'the done thing'. This example was one of the things that inspired the comedic science approach adopted in these very blogposts, which is admittedly like a flickering candle next to the Pratchett floodlight, but still. And of course, science ended up taking on a direct relevance to his own life; following his campaigning and outspoken attitude to his condition probably did more for our understanding and study of early onset Alzheimer's disease as a dozen cutting edge studies. But awareness and understanding are only useful to an extent, and they weren't enough this time. Maybe one day they will be, and that day may come sooner thanks to Pratchett, who cheered and inspired so many, all while seemingly having a whale of a time doing what he loved..."

http://bit.ly/1DmjlBq

Another in The Guardian, by Andrew Brown:

"To say that a writer is interesting is normally a completely bullshit phrase, there to draw attention to the superior culture of the critic who can form such Parnassian judgments about what matters. But Terry Pratchett, who has died aged 66, was one of the most interesting writers of the past 30 years in an entirely literal sense. He interested readers. He captivated them, in fact. The captives wandered happily for years around Discworld and the other territories of his imagination. He was loved – not at all too strong a word – by his readers. He brought them, us, me, delight... By the time he had finished with Discworld, it was clear that a fantasy universe could be used to write with echoing profundity about love, death, religion, duty, opera, politics, and – above all – decency... I think of Pratchett as the most admirably English writer since Orwell. They make an unlikely pairing, and Orwell is the more sentimental of the two, but in both there is a rooted affection for the goodness of a world that is frequently awful and fundamentally absurd. But, see, Pratchett said, the world can be a wonderful place even if it is only turtles all the way down. Death will come, but he will have things to say, as well..."

http://bit.ly/1BzP9iR

And a third in The Guardian, a shortish tribute from fan Helen Lewis:

"No subject was too big for Terry Pratchett, who died on Thursday – once he'd found a way to make it ridiculous. He took on capitalism, religion, sexism, war, death and why you should never buy food from a man with a tray in the street. His books wore their learning lightly, sweeping the reader along on a river of bad puns, self-deprecating footnotes and weird scenarios constructed with impeccable internal logic. Over the course of more than 40 novels, his Discworld series evolved into something much richer and darker than perhaps even he initially expected. Fittingly for someone who spent his final years talking about the need for reform in assisted dying legislation, Pratchett's best-loved character was Death, an imposing skeleton – who rode a white horse called Binky and spoke IN SMALL CAPS... For me, though, the best character in the Discworld is Samuel Vimes, the descendant of a regicidal ancestor, who ends up as commander of the Watch in the chaotic city of Ankh-Morpork. Because Vimes hates authority, the city's Machiavellian ruler, the Patrician, keeps giving him more just to annoy him. At one point, he wades into a war and tries to arrest both sides for 'breach of the peace'. Here was Pratchett's own view of humanity: we are endlessly fallible, but usually worth saving..."

http://bit.ly/19mI3oE

A thought-provoking tribute essay by William Hughes at the A. V. Club:

"The only book my local library had was the 19th, Feet Of Clay. I picked it up and tore through it in a matter of days.
In hindsight, Feet Of Clay might be the worst possible starting point in the entire Discworld series, dense as it is with continuity and a complex plot of political intrigue. So it's a testament to Pratchett's talents that I was still hooked, telling myself I'd understand all of that stuff later and letting myself be sucked in by the jokes and the characters and the footnotes and the tone. Especially the tone... It's easy to use 'funny' as a dismissive adjective, to give in to the knee-jerk reaction to call the Discworld novels 'more' than just funny books. But Discworld is great because it's funny, not in spite of it. Death's deadpan sarcasm, Bloody Stupid Johnson's increasingly improbable inventions, and even poor, cowardly Rincewind — they're all evidence of a world that operates under the auspices of a benevolent, funny god. It's not that the comedy makes the lessons go down easier. The comedy is the lesson. I'm not ashamed to say that my younger self learned many things from reading Sir Terry's work, beliefs that I now prize as some of the best parts of my self. But that idea, that the world really is a good, funny place, is the one I hold closest as I mourn his death..."

http://avc.lu/1EFKv6o

A tribute from Telegraph journalist Kat Brown:

"Terry Pratchett, who has died at the frankly absurd age of 66, was an author whose reputation swelled along with his back catalogue. He will be so much missed that the millions of people who read, and loved, his books will struggle to get their heads around it... Each book in his 40-strong Discworld series is like taking a life-changing adventure with a particularly sarcastic guide. Pratchett wrote more than 70 books, of which the Discworld saga was the most famous. He observed the world and turned it inside out until the silly could be found, and laughed at. He had the most formidable of weapons at his disposal: a cocktail shaker of a brain, filled with esoteric knowledge of the sort a crossword compiler would envy. From Ancient Egypt to computers, religious fanaticism, Hollywood, musical theatre and the industrial revolution, Pratchett's references were wide and wonderful... Pratchett's world expanded as your mind did. His writing style was inclusive but never patronising, and there were secret layers of words, references, jokes to appreciate as you grew up and learned more. Thousands of children discovered their love of reading in Pratchett, and now their children do the same..."

http://bit.ly/1Em068J

A tribute from Petra Mayer on NPR:

"Pratchett was no stranger to death. The big guy with the scythe and the booming voice was a constant and vital presence in the Discworld books and their screen adaptations. "HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING," Death says in Pratchett's 1996 book Hogfather, and while it's Death speaking there in his characteristic capitals, that one sentence sums up what was marvelous about Pratchett: He found human beings so interesting.

"Few writers were as insightful and just plain good as Pratchett was at winkling out all the secret scraps of human nature and then disguising them as broad comic fantasy. 'He really had the gift of making fun of human foolishness without being cruel,' says fantasy author Delia Sherman, who has taught college classes on Pratchett's work. 'He was just so compassionate, even to the most horrible of his characters. He allowed them to be fully human, even if they were rocks who walked.'... After his diagnosis, Pratchett became an inspiration to dementia patients and an advocate for physician-assisted suicide for those suffering terminal illnesses..."

http://n.pr/1BaEOGm

On the occasion of Pratchett's death, a paean to Pratchett's Death, by Matilda Battersby in The Independent:

"If you're going read just one Discworld novel make it Mort. Terry Pratchett, who died today aged 66 after a well-documented battle with Alzheimer's, was poking fun at death long before he began campaigning for assisted suicide. Published in 1987, Mort is the fourth of Pratchett's vividly surreal Discworld novels and the first to feature death as a main character. In the novel the titular protagonist Mort is enlisted as Death's assistant, helping him usher souls into the next world. But unlike the cold, stereotypical hooded figure wielding a scythe, Pratchett's Death is a haphazard figure who we see embarking on the very human experiences of getting drunk, dancing wildly and even hankering after happiness. He likes cats. He enjoys curry. Far be it for Pratchett to stick reverently to the hackneyed image of the Grim Reaper, the novelists' Death dresses up as Father Christmas and displays an endearing fascination for the human lives he is helping to extinguish. He might yell COWER, BRIEF MORTALS but no-one is hiding behind the sofa..."

http://ind.pn/1xoq6v6

A lovely tribute from Church Broughton Primary School, which staged the world premiere of Matthew Holmes' superb adaptation of The Amazing Maurice:

"As news spread around the world about the sad death of author Sir Terry Pratchett, there may have been people in South Derbyshire who were particularly moved by his loss. Two schools in the district – Church Broughton Primary School and St Edward's Catholic Primary School, in Swadlincote – were touched by the Discworld writer during his life, meaning their pupils had a special knowledge of who he was and what he did.

"The author died on Thursday at the age of 66, following a long fight with Alzheimer's disease. He had already been diagnosed with the condition when he became involved with St Edward's in 2010 after staff wrote to tell him about their book club. Celia Anderson, literacy co-ordinator at the school, who ran the club, said: 'It started off with the club and we took off from there. We still use the books in school. It struck me as such a nice thing to do for these young children, who may become future readers.' The following year, Church Broughton Primary School staged the world premiere of a musical stage adaptation of his The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodent. The children's book was adapted by Church Broughton musician Matthew Holmes, who had a child at the school at the time. He said at the time: 'I've been really overjoyed to work on it. He has seen the script and the music, but he hasn't seen the final stage production.'..."

http://bit.ly/1LdCMjZ

On Third Sector, a remembrance from Stephen Cook, who undertook and finished the Lyke Wake Walk 40 years ago with Pterry and also interviewed him in 2011:

"I first met Terry Pratchett in the early 1970s when we completed the Lyke Wake Walk, a 40-mile route over the North York Moors said to cover paths once used to carry coffins to burial. He was a subeditor on the Bath Evening Chronicle, the former workplace of one of the other three of us, all reporters at the Telegraph and Argus in Bradford. The walk has to be completed within 24 hours if you are to become a 'dirger', join the Lyke Wake Club and claim your coffin-embossed tie. We set off from Osmotherley at 3 am, talking shop and setting the world to rights. By noon, a weary silence had descended. Near the surreal white domes of the Fylingdales early warning station, as we rested before the final push, Terry delivered a withering denunciation of all hearty outdoor activities that would have made a good episode in Discworld. When we reached Ravenscar at 1 am we were stumbling and whimpering with fatigue, but Terry folded his arms and puffed out his chest for the commemoration photo, like an aspiring Royal Marine after his first assault course. Only two members of that outing 40 years ago are now still alive. Soon afterwards Terry became a press officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board ('What leak at a nuclear power station? Oh, that leak at a nuclear power station,' as he has joked); and soon after that he was a famous author.

"Our paths never crossed again until three and a half years ago, when the readers of Third Sector voted him Celebrity Charity Champion in the Britain's Most Admired Charity awards. He was already suffering from Alzheimer's and donating significant amounts to medical research and a range of other charities. He was unable to come to the awards because he had a prior date on stage, doing one of his Evenings with Terry Pratchett, so a colleague and I went down to his home near Salisbury to record an interview we could show at the event..."

http://bit.ly/1F83PrM

From Arifa Akbar in The Independent:

"When Pratchett revealed to the world that he had Alzheimer's, he did so in stalwart fashion, talking about the need to be cheerful, and about his own necessity to carry on working as long as he could. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, only last summer. When he could no longer type, he bought voice-sensitive software that did the typing for him – he wasn't precious. 'I don't need a special pen to write', he said, in a jibe to those authors who demand perfect conditions in which to finesse their prose. He had worked as a journalist on the Bucks Free Press, in Buckinghamshire, long enough to know how to write on the go, in all conditions... I met him in 2012, by which time he had lived with Alzheimer's for five years. As someone who lives at close quarters to dementia – my father has suffered from the illness for the past 13 years – I am well-acquainted with the signs. In our conversation, Pratchett was warm, engaging, mischievous and loquacious, only occasionally lapsing into pauses that were a just slightly too long, and stumbling occasional mid-sentence, so that I couldn't be certain he would carry on. But he did carry on, and it was one of my most memorable and enjoyable interviews. He told me stories about his childhood love of science fiction – how he would have to sneak into a local porn shop in High Wycombe because it was only place that sold fantasy books in the late 1950s and early 60s. He said – tantalisingly – that he had an unfinished memoir – half-written then because he kept getting distracted by his fictive universes... We over-ran the hour allotted for our chat. 'Maybe we'll talk again,' he said, referring to the novels he hoped to publish in future. He seemed to be writing voraciously, as if fending off the worst through sheer force of creative spirit..."

http://ind.pn/1xoqslw

From Jennifer Will on Canadian online magazine Macleans:

"I first learned the news through Twitter, with two simple words: The end. It arrived from the account shared by Terry Pratchett and his assistant, Rob Wilkins. I understood immediately that it meant Pratchett, my favourite fantasy author, had died. Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007, called posterior cortical atrophy (PCA). He spoke candidly about his illness, donated money to Alzheimer's research and worked with the BBC on a two-part documentary called Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer's. Pratchett also spoke about wanting to die by assisted suicide before his disease progressed too far and made another documentary with the BBC on this topic, called Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die. As it turned out, complications of his illness took him in the end... Even though he tackled serious issues in his books, he had a wonderful way with words, making even the most dire situation lighter, even funny. More than once I received strange looks on public transit when I laughed out loud while reading one of his books. It was his simple turns of phrase, clever puns and astute observations that made the books so special..."

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/terry-pratchett/

By Jess Waters in Emertainment Monthly, the online newspaper of Boston-based Emerson College:

"Documented forever in the pages of Pratchett's novels are the wit and whimsy that made the man so beloved. If you've never read a Pratchett novel and aren't sure what all the fuss is about, this is the reason you should pick one up. Even if you feel that fantasy isn't your genre or that young adult fiction is childish, know that there's nothing immature about these books. According to Pratchett in a 2006 interview with Science Fiction Weekly, Discworld originated as a way to 'have fun with some of the cliches.' Its irreverent and satirical nature has tackled everything from war, theocracy, and capitalism, to Conan the Barbarian and opera music. Those who know and love Pratchett's work can find comfort in returning to it again and again. A good book is not a one-use item, and rereading one can be as comforting as visiting an old friend. In the same way, a good author is never truly gone — Pratchett will continue to make his fans laugh, even through the sadness of his loss, for many years to come...

"In summer 2014, for the first time since its inception, Pratchett was unable to attend the biennial International Discworld Convention, a fan-run event celebrating his Discworld series and other works. Pratchett had been the guest-of-honor at the convention (also known as DWcon) since it began in 1996. He has also been the guest-of-honor at a number of conventions around the world, both dedicated to his work and to science fiction and fantasy in general. Pratchett spoke often about his fanbase and his love for book tours and the convention circuit — in a 1997 interview with January Magazine, he declared that his fans were 'everything' to him. Despite his absence, the four day convention sold out with more than a thousand attendees who gathered for panel discussions, craft workshops, gaming, cosplaying and more, all related to Pratchett's Discworld series. According to an announcement on its website, DWcon 2016 is still on and scheduled to be much the same. Eelco Giele, the chairman of the convention, wrote in the announcement that 'although he will not be joining us in person, in his stories he will be with us.' This is exactly the following — those who have devoted their time, energy, passion, and efforts — that will keep Pratchett's memory alive. DWcon will continue, as will many similar conventions around the world, and they will welcome newcomers to share their excitement just as much as they provide old-timers with familiar companionship and nostalgia... People of many different backgrounds have already written dozens of articles and thousands of social media posts have spoken about how Pratchett had touched their lives. In his passing, that touch has not been erased. Though he may not release any more novels, nor provide smart quips in interviews and thoughtful banter at conventions, Death cannot truly take Terry Pratchett from the world. His influence has gone too deep, his words have spread too far, and the things he most believed in — laughter, bravery, community — are the very things he's left in our care."

http://bit.ly/1b9KBHk

This moving tribute by Anna Landin on Tumblr made me cry all over again:

"I usually don't get too emotional over the deaths of famous people, but I'm a bit of a wreck over this one. I have been reading the works of Terry Pratchett since I found Interesting Times on a shelf at the back of my local bookstore when I was fourteen. My bookshelf groans under the weight of all the Discworld novels, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, Where's My Cow and the Mappes of Discworld and Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook for the Ankh-Morpork Hygienic Railway. What I've lost now is not just the source of great books and entertainment; it feels almost like I've lost a distant grandfather. So this is for him.

"Thank you, Mr Pratchett, for a flat world on the backs of four elephants, travelling through space on the back of a turtle – a world that was somehow more than the sum of its parts. Thank you for incompetent, potato-obsessed wizzards. Thank you for sentient pear-wood and many-legged Luggages. Thank you for unwilling rightful heirs, for burping swamp dragons, for vicious elves and feet of clay. Thank you for hot-headed dwarfs, for troll-gangsters, for moving pictures and Music With Rocks In. Thank you for witches. Thank you for Magrat Garlick, for Agnes Nitt of the fabulous hair and great personality; for Tiffany Aching and her frying pan and fierce will to save herself; for Nanny Ogg. For Granny Weatherwax.

"Thank you for the Night Watch, for Vetinari, for Rufus Drumknott; for the Truth that Shall Make Me Frep – for Dibbler and Harga's House of Ribs, for secret brotherhoods and snooty Assassins and thieves and ladies of negotiable affection; thank you for Vimes. Thank you for Angua, for Sergeant Colon, for Nobby Nobbs, for Carrot and Rob and A.E Pessimal. Thank you for Ankh-Morpork. Thank you for cross-dressing soldiers. Thank you for Small Gods. Thank you for Anoia, Goddess of Things That Stick In Drawers. Thank you for printing presses, railways, postage stamps, clacks-towers and Royal Mints. Thank you for golems. Thank you for Anghammarad. Thank you for the Silver Horde. Thank you for Cohen the Barbarian, for Old Vincent, for Boy Willie, Mad Hamish and Truckle the Uncivil. Thank you for Binky, for Mort and Ysabell and Albert and for Susan Sto Helit.

"Thank you for the fierce humanity of your writing. Thank you for hiding a voice of social awareness, of reason and compassion beneath the layers of loving parody. Thank you for Vimes' Boots Theory of Socio-Economics.

"Thank you. Morituri Nolumus Mori, but some of us do all the same.

"I may sometimes wonder if what I do – the stories I try to tell – are worth it; if there's any point at all, when there are so many other important things one can do – but then I find myself sitting here crying over a man I have never met, and now never will, simply for the stories he has given me. Words matter, as do the stories they tell."

A heartfelt thank-you tribute from Galenwolf on Reddit:

"I'm dyslexic and grew with a loathing of the English Language, it would never sit still or make any damn sense. I swore off reading unless it was absolutely necessary. One year I saw Soul Music on TV one Christmas and thought it was great, I saw Wyrd Sisters the next year and wondered who this Terry was and if he had any more stories. That was that for a while until one day I was in, I believe, W H Smiths and saw his books. On a whim picked it up Deaths Trilogy an bought it as it had Soul Music in it, the first book I had ever bought. Within months I had devoured more books than I had in my entire life, and more followed soon after. Terry made me love the language I once hated and fired up a passion in me that's lead me to have my own library full of worlds I have come to love. R.I.P Terry, thank you."

Also on Reddit, a deeply respectful bit of fanfiction by dwellerWorcestershireish:

"Death looked, insofar as it was possible for a skeletal figure to look anything, a touch overexcited. 'THIS IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR DEATH. I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SAY THAT.' He added. 'FOR SOME TIME.'

"'Er. Yes. Very nice. Are you just here for me?'

"'I'M HERE FOR EVERYONE.' When the man looked a touch disappointed he added 'BUT ESPECIALLY YOU. YOU MADE IT EASIER FOR LOTS OF PEOPLE. ALSO FOR ME. HARDLY ANYONE COMPLAINS. THANK YOU.' He leaned in, and down, conspiratorially. 'I REALLY ENJOYED THE ONE WITH THE POST OFFICE. VERY AMUSING. NOT ENOUGH ME, THOUGH.'

"'Aha. Yes. I liked that one too. Um... so what happens now?'

"Death squirmed. It looked exactly like a human squirm. 'I WONDERED... IF YOU COULD SIGN THIS FOR ME?' White bony fingers held out a fat paperback book. With no surprise at all, the man read the title. Mort. 'Do you have a pen?' Death fumbled in his robes for a moment and with a flourish, drew out a quill, a bead of ink ripening at the end.

"The man took it gingerly, opened the book and, trying not to blot, went about the business of constructing sentences with his old fluid ease. 'To our dear friend Death, for all the times you've showed up, and all the times you didn't. Your pal, humanity.' He swirled off his signature at the end, marvelling at the way it had come with him through the fog. You knew you were you when you signed your name. "'And now...?'

"'ER. THERE MIGHT BE ONE OR TWO MORE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MEET YOU.' Death now managed to look sheepish. It was clever, really, how he'd mastered such complex human emotions as embarrassment. 'THEY ALL KEPT ASKING ME IF I KNEW YOU.' He shuffled, and even managed a small cough. 'ER... YOU'LL BE NEEDING THE QUILL.'"

From Graeme Neill in The Guardian:

"One solace for devotees like me was the multitude of people who came forward and said they loved his Discworld. Even though Pratchett was the bestselling author of the 1990s, it still came as a pleasant surprise that he meant so much to so many... Since October, I have been reading Pratchett almost exclusively, and I have found out that my younger self had decent taste in books. When I first picked them up in the early 90s, I was attracted by the humour, the inspired puns, the fantastical and apocalyptic nature of the books (four of Pratchett's first five Discworld novels have a world-ending threat), and the sense that I was reading something a bit adult... His books are fuelled by a deep-seated moral anger about the stupid things humans do: Pratchett was so furious because he was adamant we are all capable of so much more. His Watch novels deployed trolls and trans dwarves to rail against racism and social constraints, but did so by showing how we all have some degree of prejudice. By placing the tyrannical genius Havelock Vetinari, one part Steve Jobs to two parts Lex Luthor, as head of the city of Ankh-Morpork, Pratchett challenged us to embrace a dictator. And we do, because he makes the city work. Vetinari is my favourite Discworld character. I worry what this says about me...

"Above all, what Pratchett gave us is a 40-book love letter to reading. Stories are what the Discworld were built on, with his characters using them to explain the chaos of the world. While embracing storytelling, he also showed us its limitations. He was critical of characters who don't live in the real world, but also showed how stories help us get one step closer to understanding..."

http://bit.ly/1HTPgrH

From Ben Pobjie on junkee.com:

"Being human was a central concern of Pratchett. Has anyone managed to write with such biting humour, such raucous absurdity, while simultaneously infusing every page with a warm, big-hearted humanity that never left any doubt in the reader’s mind that they, the author, and everyone else were together on this weird, tangled journey called life? To be a human being is to be a big awkward mess, and Pratchett made it his mission to get us all to embrace that, to laugh at it, and to love it... Few writers could weave Pythonesque comedy, quicksilver satire and hoary puns together with heartfelt emotion and true dramatic tension so deftly – few would even try. But Terry Pratchett had an astonishing ability to make the story silly and real at the same time. The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork is called Vetinari – named for a throwaway pun and still as indelible and fascinating a character as was ever committed to the annals of fantasy. Never did Pratchett allow himself to believe that fun was incompatible with meaning.

"And meaning he brought to us. It wasn’t necessary to see the response to his passing for me to know I was far from alone in feeling that Terry Pratchett changed my life. As a writer, certainly: his wizardly way with words, his razor-edged yet generous humour, his light, precise touch, all inspired me creatively and pushed me to strive for that rarefied level of expression. Pratchett runs inevitably through everything I write; all that I create carries a little of him with it, and I cannot sufficiently convey how grateful I am to him for that.

"But more: he changed me – and millions of others – as human beings. He was our company when we felt most alone, a comfort in distress, a font of wisdom and laughter at times when we were most desperately in need of both. His characters were friends, his manic Discworld a destination to head for whenever we needed reminding that our own world was stupid, hilarious, frustrating...but also, every now and then glorious – for a world that produced Terry Pratchett must be so. In the sad, often intolerable procession of life, the population of Discworld endured, and found joy, and we knew we could do the same..."

http://bit.ly/1BATNgx

By Jim Cook, columnist for the Dothan Eagle in Alabama:

"One of the worst things about getting older is watching your heroes die. People who inspired you. People who made you think or feel. People who made you want to do something or be something... Like the best humorists, Pratchett taught while he amused. Fantasy and speculative fiction give authors leeway to handle thorny issues of race, religion, class and equality that would trigger Twitter outrage death spirals if broached in conventional fiction. Couching your criticisms of various human foolishness on a flat world held aloft by four giant elephants standing atop of an enormous spacefaring turtle helps to keep the reading public from getting their knickers in a twist. Pratchett was a master of gently pointing out the various foibles and failings of the human condition. While his satire could be sharp, it was always delivered in the tones of a teacher gently correcting his students... It hurts to think of all the stories that will be left untold by Pratchett’s passing, but I’m grateful for the ones he left us."

http://bit.ly/1Fqe2Al

...and last but certainly not least – in the Bucks Free Press (Sir Pterry's former place of work), a tribute from John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe (formerly Wycombe Technical High School, Pratchett's place of education from 1959 to 1965), which includes a photo of Pratchett as a schoolboy:

A High Wycombe grammar school has paid tribute to 'inspirational' former student Sir Terry Pratchett and announced plans to honour his life by raising money to fund research into Alzheimer's disease... Assistant headteacher Andy Wright said the 66-year-old former Bucks Free Press reporter's legacy will continue to be long-lasting and added that they are currently looking into re-naming their school library after him. Mr Wright said: 'He's one of the most inspirational characters to come from this area and his work has influenced a number of others. Many who knew him or met him in the past have been sharing their stories and memories in the last day. Over the years he was very supportive of the school and has on a number of occasions been back here to look around and talk to students. He's been described a lot as a nondescript student, but I think to say this truly downplays his time at the school where he was a key figure in our debating society and also wrote stories for our school magazine. Our school debating society was even named after him and when we asked for his permission to do this he found it ironic because during his time here, debating was not a subject the headmaster wanted students to take part in.' He added: 'We are hoping to do what we can to honour his life in the right way and are looking at possibly republishing some of his old work and put profits towards research into Alzheimer's disease. We would also like to speak to his estate about renaming our library after him – we have a big section already dedicated to him and his books remain the most borrowed.'..."

http://bit.ly/1HTPiQn

Editor's note: I haven't yet looked around the blogosphere for fan tributes. I think it would break me, at the moment. But I will do so soon, for the end of month issue.

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05) MY FATHER, BY RHIANNA PRATCHETT

An interview The Telegraph, published 15th March 2015:

"One of Rhianna Pratchett's most cherished early memories is of tucking herself 'like a human hot-water bottle' at her father's back in the big chair in his study, 'peering out from behind him' as he played computer games. The year was 1982 and Rhianna was six. Her father, Terry, was a young science-fiction writer who would the following year publish The Colour of Magic, the first in the bestselling Discworld series that would see him become one of Britain's most successful authors, second only to J K Rowling. Those hours spent in front of the computer with her father had a lasting impact on Rhianna, who went on to become a successful writer of video games, known for her work on Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword and Mirror's Edge. 'I was interested in what my dad was interested in – robotics, gadgets and computers,' she says. 'I thought that fighting aliens and robots was something that girls did as well as boys, so I found a way of doing that for a living.'

"And now, following her father's untimely death at the age of 66, she has another role: guardian of Discworld – the fantastical, hilarious, endlessly surprising milieu that Sir Terry devised. It is loved by millions the world over, from children who delight in the daft humour and silly puns to academics who relish the sharp satire and social critiques (there is at least one serious philosophical volume examining the epistemological and existential implications of the novels). Sir Terry announced in 2012 that he would be leaving the intellectual rights for Discworld to Rhianna, and father and daughter launched the multimedia production company Narrativia to retain exclusive rights to his work across all platforms. With sales of tens of millions of books worldwide, it is a massive empire. 'My role will be to protect the brand that Dad has established,' she says. 'I will steer Discworld. I will be a caretaker and look after how it's used and adapted.'

"For Rhianna, who announced Sir Terry's passing on Twitter in the voice of Death, one of his best-loved characters, her father was always a kindred spirit. They shared, she says, the same imagination, a sense of impatience and a fondness for witty sarcasm. 'I just always 'got' Dad,' she says. 'He always had this desire to share experiences; it was the way he was brought up himself, so he would talk to me as if I was on his level and he made a literary confidante of me pretty early on. Dad was like a druid: he taught me how to build watermills in the stream, the names of plants and flowers, and what was edible in nature. It was like growing up in Middle Earth and having a full‑sized hobbit for a father.' She recalls when she was very young being woken by him in the middle of the night, wrapped in a blanket, and taken outside to see the glow-worms in the hedge. 'He felt it was more important that I experienced the wonders of the world than got a good night's sleep,' she says...

"Last week Rhianna tweeted a picture of herself with her father, saying 'Miss you already'. It's a sentiment shared by millions."

http://bit.ly/1CisfzW

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06) SENDING HOME: IMMORTALITY BY ROUNDWORLD CLACKS

Remember the Smoking GNU, the trio of slightly mad tech geniuses who helped Moist in Going Postal? Now our own Roundworld version of the Clacks can contribute to keeping Terry Pratchett's name forever in the Overhead. On the Discworld's Clacks, G stands for a message that goes on, N for not logged, and U means the message is turned around at the end of the line. Cory Doctorow tells us how to "GNU Terry Pratchett" with HTTP headers:

"In Terry Pratchett's novel Going Postal, an allegory about the creation of an Internet-like telegraph system called 'the clacks,' workers who die in the line of duty have their names 'sent home,' by being transmitted up and down the line in the system's signalling layer ('A man is not dead while his name is still spoken'). GNU Terry Pratchett, which works with both Apache and Nginx, causes web-servers to transmit a special 'X-Clacks-Overhead' header, reading, 'GNU Terry Pratchett,' so that Terry's name lives on in the Internet's 'overhead' forever."

For examples of how to do it (if you are already sysadmin-savvy), go to http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/

If "sysadmin-savvy" isn't how you'd describe yourself but you know a friend or relative or co-worker who might be willing to put GNU Terry Pratchett on their Hex, have a word with your local Technomancer. And remember – Sending Home is invisible to us mere mortals, but it will always be there. In the Overhead. Remembering Pterry, forever, so long as our Roundworld Clacks goes on.

Here is the Reddit thread where GNU Terry Pratchett started:

http://np.reddit.com/r/discworld/comments/2yt9j6/gnu_terry_pratchett/cpcvz46

On Wired:

"When Discworld creator Sir Terry Pratchett passed away last week, a tremendous sense of loss rippled through his dedicated fanbase. Now, a group of those fans are turning to code in an effort to keep the author alive. It all started as an endearing tribute, drawing on one of Pratchett's best-loved books, 2004's Going Postal.... But where the book had 'GNU John Dearheart' – the prefix being a basic code to instruct clacksmen to pass on, not file, and return the message – the internet gives us GNU Terry Pratchett... Developers have been coming up with further tweaks, with ways to include the subtle memorial into everything from Java and Wordpress, to invisible Gmail signatures. Reddit user SillySosis even posted a Chrome extension to Github, which displays an icon in the browser's address bar when a site with the code embedded somewhere in its digital nethers is loaded..."

www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-03/16/terry-pratchett-code-memorial

On Gizmodo:

"Modifications to HTTP headers are seeding an unseeable tech memorial to everyone's favourite fantasy author, with the message 'GNU Terry Pratchett' being added to web server headers in memory of the late writer. The idea copies the concept Pratchett introduced in his books, where a message was sent around communication lines as an aid to remember a passed relative... If you have access to the complicated bits that go along with having a web presence outside of a sparsely updated Twitter feed and some dog photos on Facebook, everything you need to add your echo to the chorus can be found on the GNU Terry Pratchett site, with the change as simple as adding a line of code to the .htaccess file if you've got a server that runs on Apache..."

http://bit.ly/1wS6Knb

Editor's note: Wossname's own Hex has been modified. So every time you look at the original Wossname site, you are helping Send him Home.

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

07) DONATIONS TO RICE CENTRE

The Research Institute for the Care of Older People


Alison Flood in The Guardian:

"Pratchett died at home on Thursday, aged 66, 'with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family', said his publishers, Transworld. His publicist, Lynsey Dalladay, set up an appeal shortly afterwards, and by lunchtime on Friday more than 1,600 people had donated £28,053 to the charity The Research Institute for the Care of Older People (Rice). The charity was chosen by Pratchett's family and by his long-term assistant, Rob Wilkins...

"Messages from those donating ranged from quotes from Pratchett's more than 40 novels – such as: 'No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away' – to outpourings of gratitude for what the author has meant to his fans. 'Thank you for Tiffany Aching and all the characters that are part of my world. 'Stop stealing the funeral meats right now, you wee scuggers!',' wrote one donor. 'The Night Watch salutes you Sir,' wrote another. 'There will be a little less laughter on the Roundworld without you,' said a third.

"'The outpouring of love for Terry and his books has been completely amazing and we're all overwhelmed,' said Dalladay this morning. 'It is completely heartbreaking to think Terry is no longer here, he was such a force in all our lives.'... Professor Roy Jones, director of Rice, said the charity had been unaware of the JustGiving page until 'money started to appear unexpectedly'. 'Clearly it's a tribute to him,' Jones said this morning. 'People want to donate, and we're getting money in euros and dollars and pounds. Terry and his family knew we were trying to expand our research programme, and that they decided it should be us is very generous.' Jones, who met Pratchett in 2008, said the author was 'a character – not a typical patient in many ways', and paid tribute to the way he managed to change the public conversation about Alzheimer's and dementia more broadly. 'He has really set a marker,' he said. 'He was relatively shy in many ways. He didn't necessarily seek a lot of publicity before his diagnosis, but he faced up to his diagnosis by saying he was going to talk about it openly. He may not have realised how much his message was going to take off; that people would be surprised that someone of his profile would speak out.'

"George RR Martin posted a tribute to the writer on his blog, echoing the feelings of many when he wrote: 'Terry Pratchett is gone, and the world of fantasy is that much poorer this morning.' Martin continued: 'I cannot claim to have known Terry well, but I ran into him at dozens of conventions over the decades, shared a stage with him a few times, and once or twice had the privilege of sharing a pint or a curry. He was always a delight. A bright, funny, insightful, warm, and kindly man, a man of infinite patience, a man who truly knew how to enjoy life ... and books.'..."

http://bit.ly/1FdAzzZ


Editor's note: as of this afternoon, £38,451.29 has been raised. Do keep the donations going. Consider it a form of thank-you to the man whose words brightened – and often profoundly changed – our lives.

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

08) IMAGES

The Ankh-Morpork flag, flying at half-mast from the Wincanton Town Hall:

http://bit.ly/1Ch2KNI

Paul Kidby's drawing of Sir Pterry accompanied by three of his most cherished creations – Errol, Rob Anybody and Sardines of the Clan:

http://bit.ly/1BxQY0Q

Randall Munroe's timely tribute on xkcd:

http://xkcd.com/1498/

The Independent's gallery, "Terry Pratchett: a career in pictures":

http://ind.pn/1EOvUWs

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09) CLOSE

And then there was the petition...

"Thousands of fans of the great fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett have signed a petition to bring him back from the dead. The Discworld author, who died aged 66 after a long battle with early onset Alzheimer's, featured the character 'Death' in almost all of his 40 Discworld novels. Pratchett's Death was not your stereotypical Grim Reaper, but was instead an irreverent portrayal who – featuring heavily in 1987 novel Mort – had a fondness for cats, enjoyed curry and spoke LIKE THIS. A change.org petition has been signed by more than 6,600 supporters since it launched last night. The petition's founder, Tom Pride, set it up 'because Terry Pratchett said 'There are times in life when people must know when not to let go.'...

http://ind.pn/1AlxTLm

And to finish, here is the link to an interview with Neil Gaiman talking about the loss of his friend and collaborator – and more importantly, about their friendship and the creative process they shared through the years, told in a delightful way. It's 35 minutes long and every moment is worth it, even his often understandably emotional reading of a long extract from Good Omens. And the anecdote, which starts around the 25 minute mark, about a very funny incident on their Good Omens tour:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPBetz7p3fQ

...and a final quote for now:

"The ripples continue to spread. I just spoke to a friend of mine, also a fan. She visited Taronga Zoo (Sydney, Australia) on the weekend. Propped up by the Orang Utan enclosure she saw an 'In Sympathy' card. Unable to resist curiosity, she peeked inside. One word: 'ook"'. In her own words, she collapsed into a quivering puddle of tears on the spot."
–Craig Williams, on FacebOook

And the show will go on...

– 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)
THE LOVE SONG OF TDJ PRATCHETT

Let us go then, you and I,
When the Rimfall is spread out against the sky
Like a victim on Quetzovercoatl's altar
Let us go, through certain dark Ankh-Morpork streets,
As Cumbling Michael bleats
Of restless nights in Elm Street's cheap bedsits
And Harga's restaurant with greasy chips
Streets that follow like a Fools' Guild argument
Of a humorous intent
To lead you to an overt wealth of... footnotes!
Oh, do not play Greek Chorus
Let us go and dance Dark Morris.

In the room the wizards come, unseen
Talking of thaumic octarine.

The Morpork smog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The river-fug that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the Bucket,
Lingered upon the gargoyles guarding drains,
Let fall upon its back the black of lithe Assassins,
Slipped by the terrace, writhed round Sator Square,
And seeing that it was a soft Sektober night,
Curled once around the Tump, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be crime
Under Ankh-born fumes that slide down Easy Street,
Rubbing grey-black upon the window-panes; Disc-ing itself
There will be crime, and barely time
To prepare a voucher for the Thieves that you may meet;
There will be time to say the number Eight,
And time for all Devices wrought by dwarfs
That lift this brawling City toward its fate;
Time for Schleppel, time for Reg,
And time yet for an Igor's deft incisions,
And for a Sweeper's history revisions,
Before the taking of meat and two veg.

In the room the wizards come, unseen
Making a joke about the Dean.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, 'Do I dare? Will Vimes go spare?'
Time to turn back Time and deeds repair,
With P.L.T. making horrors of my hair—
[They will say: 'How she stoops, to wear the tin!']
My armoured breasts, my collar fastened firmly 'neath my chin,
My pedigree's the oddest, but blue-blooded via lupine kin—
[They will say: 'But she's a vegetarian!']
Do I dare
Disturb the multiverse?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which the Moon will soon reverse.

For I have known the grags already, known them all—
Have known the meetings, mineshafts, Ankhian ruins,
I have squandered all my gold in greasy spoons;
I know the old life's dying, like an axe's fall
Beneath the bustle under cellar rooms.
So should I mention Koom?

And I have known the toffs already, known them all—
The eyes that damn you with a far too inbred phrase,
And when I am relegated, tossed like Mr Pin,
When I am told 'No comment!' by Lord Rust,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all Spike's butt-ends from the Golem Trust?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the 'girls' already, known them all—
Arms of that painted Guild, pale, white and calm
(But in the lamplight, best of Mrs Palm's!)
Is it scumble from a dish
That makesh me shpeak like thish?
Arms that twine around a client, or cap a maiden's fall.
And should I rent a room?
How soon should I dig in?

. . . . .

Shall I say, I have lurked at dusk in Morpork's streets
And watched the Clacks that clatter from the roofs
Midst lonely geeks with code-books, changing shifts in towers? . . .

I should have been a cruel wild banshee's claws
Scuttling between the Trouserlegs of Time.

. . . . .

And 'til well past noon, Young Sam will sleep so peacefully!
Smooth is his breathing,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or merely teething
Safe in his bed, here beside you and me.
Should I, after teetotal libations,
Have the strength to foil yet more assassinations?
But though I have cursed and shouted, growled and coughed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] fetch ever higher prices
I am no genius — but I'm cool in crisis;
I have seen the sternest of my Watchmen flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Death of Rats go SNH, and snicker,
And in short, I was pissed off.

And would it have been worth it all, and sweet,
After millennium hand and shrimp for tea,
Among the Faculty, among some talk of Sourcery,
Would it have been worth while
To endure Ridcully's hassling with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe's rubber sheet
To roll it toward some thaumic insurrection,
To say: 'We are wizardry's future, come have fun
'Come HEX me up a treat, H.E.M. is neat!'
If one, scoffing a sausage inna bun,
Should say: 'That is not what I meant to eat.
'That is not real named meat.'

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the battles and the broadswords and the trampled thrones,
After the sagas, after the horse cheese, after the skirts I chased
from Rim to Hub—
And dine-chewers for my grub?—
It is 'barbarian' to say just what I mean!
But seen by a magic lantern through a silken Agatean screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, scuttling a Dark Lord or storming Io's gate
To turn larks into legends, should say:
'That's not a hero's fate,
'That's not a deathless hero's fate.'

No! I am not King Verence, nor was meant to be;
I'm just a tender Tomjon, one who'll do
To thrill the punters, steal a scene or two
Advise the prince; he jingles, but he's cool,
Deferential to the senior Ogg
Mildly thick, gracious, and fond of his wife;
Full of high purpose, but a bit agog;
At times, indeed, a cliche brought to life—
Almost a perfect Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall yet wear midnight when the nights are cold.

Shall I shout 'Io's not blind!'? Do I dare to speak of Klatch?
I shall wear black pointy headgear, and fly on brooms of thatch
I have heard the Beggars, canting to the Watch.

I do not think that they will beg from me.

We have seen young vampires gliding past the Moon
Combing the land for humans to attack
Venting their blood-lust stylishly in black.

We have lingered on the shambling Circumfence
By sea-trolls wreathed with foam against the sky
Till Great A'Tuin takes us, and we fly.



(by Weird Alice Lancrevic, with abject apologies to Thomas Stearns Eliot)

[Editor's note: this was originally published in an issue of Wossname several years ago. I can think of no better time to share it with you again.]
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2014 (Volume 17, Issue 3, post 1)
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) RAISING STEAM: NEW (USA) REVIEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
09) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE STINKPIPES AND SEWERS OF DODGER'S LONDON
10) THINGS PTERRY FANS SAY
11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
12) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

ALL OF THEM! here is The Daily Pratchett, a Twitter account that presents, yes, daily quotes from the works of a certain (or Sir-tain?) Mr Pratchett. "Suggestions welcome", it says there:

https://twitter.com/DailyPratchett

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

First off, a grateful thank-you to the various people who wrote in over this past month expressing sympathy for my illness woes. Things are slowly improving – the best part being a resurgence of general Joy of Living (a wonderful thing, no matter what Reg Shoe might think). Hopefully my improved spirits will be reflected in the tone of this issue!

Some bits and bobs (not to be confused with Odds and Sods, which is section 3 in this month's issue):

Locus Magazine's March hardcover bestsellers list has a new entry: Raising Steam, coming in at number 2.

http://tinyurl.com/n9xg93w

Laugh and a half ye first: on the Minnesota website zumbrota.com, Jan David Fisher's piece on satirical fantasy/SF includes an accurate description of Pratchett's work until we get to "One of the books had the Captain of the Night Watch reading the children's book 'Are You My Mother' to his young son." Methinks Mr Fisher is conflating Where's My Cow with a certain episode of Christopher Eccleston's Doctor Who season...

http://tinyurl.com/jwp55cq

Laugh and a half ye second: American political commentator Bill O'Reilly, whose worldview is without doubt the utter antithesis of every piece of Pterry's "stealth philosophy" espoused in his works, quoted Miss Tick ("If you trust in yourself . . . and believe in your dreams . . . and follow your star . . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.") in his op-ed titled "Liberalism is destroying things that work" and followed it by stating, "I haven't read Pratchett's 'The Wee Free Men' book series, but after stumbling across that quote, I wish I had. I mean, here's a man who clearly gets it." Oh dearie dearie me, someone does *not* get it. This could possibly be the most jaw-droppingly inappropriate use of a Pratchett quote ever...

In an amusing piece of what one might call cross-species casting, I note that the actor playing Angua in next month's production of Men at Arms by the Q2 Players is called... Cat! Here's wishing a successful run to Cat Lamin and her castmates (see item 5.4 for details).

Speaking of our favourite werewolf Watch officer, your Editor had an "Angua moment" recently: someone asked me what hair product I was using because my hair smelt so good, and I had to admit that I'd sneaked a squirt of "...for a glossy coat" dog spray when helping to primp a friend's showdog...

The Science of Discworld IV is released this week in paperback! To order a copy, go to http://amzn.to/1g1NnZv

A reminder: The Long Mars, third book in The Long Earth series, will be released in hardcover and ebook versions on 19th June 2014. To pre-order from Amazon, go to http://amzn.to/1jxuSkt

Another reminder: Sir Pterry will be the special guest at Eastercon 65 from 18th – 21st April 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow, health permitting: http://satellite4.org.uk/

There's quite a lot of action on the Discworld plays front around Roundworld, so do have a shufti at section 5. And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 THE LONG MARS: OFFICIAL BLURB

2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are all involved in this perilous work when, out of the blue, Sally is contacted by her long-vanished father and inventor of the original Stepper device, Willis Linsay. He tells her he is planning a fantastic voyage across the Long Mars and wants her to accompany him. But Sally soon learns that Willis has ulterior motives . . .

Meanwhile U. S. Navy Commander Maggie Kauffman has embarked on an incredible journey of her own, leading an expedition to the outer limits of the far Long Earth.

For Joshua, the crisis he faces is much closer to home. He becomes embroiled in the plight of the Next: the super-bright post-humans who are beginning to emerge from their 'long childhood' in the community called Happy Landings, located deep in the Long Earth. Ignorance and fear are causing 'normal' human society to turn against the Next – and a dramatic showdown seems inevitable . . .

3.2 NEW PAUL KIDBY EXHIBITION AND WORKSHOPS

Discworld and Beyond, the noted exhibition of the work of Paul Kidby, opens in a new venue this weekend. "This exhibition showcases the wonderful book covers and illustrations for Pratchett’s novels including favourite characters like Rincewind, the Wee Free Men and, of course, Death. All his work is marked by a staggering quality of draughtsmanship and effective use of colour, bright for the book covers and muted for his faerie paintings."

When: 29th March through 28th June 2014
Venue: Willis Museum, Market Place, Basingstoke RG21 7QD (phone 0845 603 5635)
Time: Tuesdays to Fridays 10am – 5pm
Tickets: Admission free

Mr Kidby will also be heading some workshops during the Easter holidays. Fancy learning how to draw dragons, from the visual creator of Errol himself? Here's your opportunity:

10am – 1pm Saturday, April 12. Adult Workshop
"Join Paul for an inspiring workshop and tutorial. Receive hands on help with your own work in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Please bring your own materials e.g. sketchbooks, pencils, colour pencils. Participation, which costs £20, must be booked in advance by ringing or popping in."

1.30pm – 3.30pm Saturday, April 12. Family Workshop
"Join Paul for an inspiring family friendly workshop and learn the art of drawing dragons! Receive hands on help with your own work in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Children to be accompanied by an adult. All materials provided. Book in advance by ringing or popping in. Cost: £7 per participant."

11am – 4pm Thursday, June 26. Adult Masterclass
"Join Paul for an inspiring workshop and tutorial. Receive hands on help with your own work in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Participation, which costs £20, must be booked in advance by ringing or popping in."

For more information, go to hants.gov.uk/willis-museum or ring 01256 465902.

3.3 WINCANTON SPRING FLING

Heading for Ankh-Morpork's official twin town this Spring? The 2014 Wincanton Spring Fling swings into action on May Bank Holiday weekend, 3rd and 4th May. This year's Fling will feature a Friday night storytelling session, maker's market and grand charity auction, among many other pleasant events.

For more information, go to http://www.discworldemporium.com/

3.4 REMINDER: THE STORY MUSEUM OPENING

The Story Museum exhibition is due to officially open on Saturday, 5th April 2014.

"Oxford's Story Museum will open this spring with a photographic exhibition featuring famous authors dressed as the characters they loved most as children. The 26 Characters exhibition will feature children's laureate Malorie Blackman as the Wicked Witch of the West in Frank L Baum's The Wizard of Oz, Terry Jones as the comic strip character Rupert Bear, Terry Pratchett as Just William from the Richmal Crompton series, and Neil Gaiman as Badger from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, in a series of photographs taken by Cambridge Jones... The museum is planning a full programme of events and activities, with a talking throne and a dressing-up area. The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council and will run from April to November..."

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/authors-dress-story-museum.html

3.5 MARK READS...

Soi-disant "Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor" Mark Oshiro has just begun a huge project: to read and review the entire Discworld series: "If you’ve not heard, I will be starting a long, long, LONG journey on March 12th, in which I will attempt to read every Discworld book in publication order. Yes, all of them..."

http://markreads.net/reviews/

[Editor's note: I have looked at the page and it seems to me that Mr Oshiro charges a fiver for the ebook of his comments on each book he reads. I have no idea what the appeal of this might be, but then I am to the best of my knowledge neither a "vegan cyclist" nor an "internet nerd", so perhaps I'm missing some information here. Any answers?]

3.6 A TORTOISE TO MAKE OM PROUD?

Journalist Sally Kettle writes about meeting Jonathan, St Helena's 182-year-old giant tortoise whose life so far has life has spanned the reigns of eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II, and 51 prime ministers:

"A photograph taken in 1882 shows Jonathan at his full size, and it can take 50 years to reach that physical maturity. The years since haven't always been kind. Tourists would often do whatever it took to get 'that' photo. Now, a viewing corridor runs along the bottom of the lawn to keep overzealous sightseers at bay. It was a huge privilege for me to get so up close and personal. Jonathan loves having his neck stroked. His head extends out from his shell to a surprising length. He snaps for his food – bananas, cabbage and carrots – with some ferocity. [keeper] Joe almost lost the end of his thumb and has resorted to wearing thick gloves. 'He doesn't mean to nip me,' he says, 'he just finds it difficult to locate his food.'... Blindness made it hard for Jonathan to find the right vegetation, and due to malnutrition Jonathan's beak became blunt and soft, adding to his problems finding food. Now there's a new feeding regime, in place where Joe delivers a bucket of fresh fruit and vegetables every Sunday morning. With this extra nutritional boost Jonathan's skin now looks plump and feels supple. His beak has become a deadly weapon for anyone attempting to shove a carrot anywhere near his mouth. And he can belch..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26543021

3.7 REVIEW: THE TRUTH

In North Carolina's Times-News, Sara Ingle recommends new Discworld readers start with The Truth:

"Although the series is slightly self-referential, there is no need to read them in order, though those who become hooked will benefit from re-readings later on. The 25th book in the series, 'The Truth,' generally is agreed to be a good place to start. Ankh-Morpork is a city that lives on gossip, and William de Worde writes it all down, sending it in a monthly letter to the upper-crust of Ankh-Morpork's friends and rivals. It's an easy life, and when rumor says that the dwarves can turn lead into gold, he writes that down, too. But when the aforementioned lead turns out to be a printing press, Williams finds himself enlisted as the head writer for Discworld's first newspaper. Working with the woman whose father he just put out of business, plus an unstable, teetotaling vampire photographer who crumples to dust with every camera flash, he finds himself writing about (and suddenly in the midst of) murders, conspiracies to overthrow the government, and humorously shaped vegetables... Although the book is not overly coarse in language or in content, it is not suggested for young readers. Pratchett has written several young-adult books that are excellent no matter your age..."

http://tinyurl.com/mazqyey

3.8 REVIEW: DODGER'S GUIDE TO LONDON

By Caroline Smart on the South African website Artslink:

Fascinating, well designed and very amusing look at Victorian London through the eyes of Dodger... Dodger's Guide To London (with an especial interest in its underbelly...) sounds so genuine and paints the sights, sounds, smells and social structures of London so well that you actually start believing that Dodger (a name for someone who dodges trouble) exists. However, a tiny footnote explains that Dodger is a fictional character as are a number of his associates in the book... Chapters have headings like Aspidistra Land; A Nation of Shopkeepers and Nippers, Scallywags, Urchins and Rascals as well as When Clobber Maketh the Gentleman and Places to Avoid. Each page produces fascinating historical information, quotations from personalities of the times and Dodger's inimitable comments... Paul Kidby's illustrations add visual charm while the text design is by Lizzy Laczynska and picture research by Liane Payne..."

http://tinyurl.com/ozk567c

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04) NEW REVIEWS: RAISING STEAM

Because, of course, it is now officially released in the USA...

4.1 By Ken Armstrong in the Seattle Times:

"Building a railway is as much about economics as engineering, and with this being Discworld — sort of like our world, sort of not — the hurdles are both familiar and twisted. The starting capital traces its origins to sea plunder ('your granddad were slightly a bit of a pirate,' the railway's engineer is told); land rights must be settled with goblin squatters; and legal niceties fall to a lawyer who happens to be a troll, which is no longer a big deal in Discworld, with trolls so much like people, only bigger, that some work as dentists, some as hair stylists, and the one who's handling all the contracts elicits this reaction from a new client: 'Weren't he nice? For a lawyer.'... Pratchett melds politics, finance and the occasional dark turn with his fantasy and humor, and as ever his footnotes are not to be missed. It is there that we learn that 'stumbleweed is like tumbleweed, but less athletic.' Reading the previous 39 Discworld novels is not necessary to delight in 'Raising Steam,' which is a good thing, because that would seem to be asking a lot. That said, how many writers are more fun to spend time with?..."

http://tinyurl.com/kgxpj39

4.2 By CA Bridges in the Daytona News-Journal:

"'Raising Steam' has a very different tone than the previous books. Darker, action-packed, with a quicker pace and possibly the biggest cast Pratchett has ever used, as fits a story as expansive as this needs to be. Where most of the previous books could be read and enjoyed without having read the rest, this one almost demands a certain level of familiarity, if only to get all the references and cameo appearances. 30 years ago the Discworld books began as light-hearted parodies of fantasy tropes, poking fun at warriors and wizards and getting in some licks on our own modern society. Since then, as Pratchett's characters grew in complexity and the Discworld itself grew in scope, the Discworld series has become a wholly remarkable work of satire Pratchett wields like a scalpel. 'Raising Steam' is about the first railroad, yes, but it's also about the industrial revolution and class warfare and diplomacy and the changing world and the dangers of dogma and the excitement and terror of change and the struggle for universal suffrage and the sheer love of great big iron things and how an entire society can be changed by one man who knows how to use a slide rule. Also, it's funny..."

http://tinyurl.com/kdeb7rw

4.3 A harsh yet considered review by Christopher Bahn in the Onion AV Club:

"Raising Steam suffers from being Pratchett's least whimsical Discworld book, though he sneaks in some solid punnery, like a town called Aix-En-Pains. But in place of the usually effortless-seeming sly wit and silliness, Raising Steam offers unsubtle earnestness. It rarely feels like vintage Pratchett, and at times it doesn't sound very much like the writer at all. Characterizations of long-established Discworldians like Vetinari are off-kilter. Lawman Sam Vimes sounds more like a soldier than a cop. The momentum of the railroad and coup storylines grind slowly down through an interminable journey to Uberwald that eats up far too much of the narrative... Hopefully, this is just an uncharacteristic blip of mediocrity in a mostly unbroken line of terrifically enjoyable books, though it's been sadly clear that a decline would come sooner or later after Pratchett was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007. Certainly, the speed at which Raising Steam moves forward long-simmering elements of the overarching Discworld plot, not to mention the unusually large number of cameos by characters from earlier novels, suggests that Pratchett might be moving to bring the series to an endpoint on his own terms. He's certainly earned that right..."

http://tinyurl.com/kqkqg3d

4.4 ...and a more positive review by Jacob Edwards in buzzymag.com:

"One great strength of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series comes by way of the eponymous world's being always in flux. Ever since The Colour of Magic (1983), in which Ankh-Morpork first was established – a most pungent and exquisitely base city – the Discworld has undergone a renaissance that has been blossoming now for thirty years and seen great strides taken in terms not only of technology but also of social issues such as gender, race and even species equality. Pratchett's fortieth Discworld book, Raising Steam, deals with the advent of railways, the newfound humanoid dignity of goblins (following on from the previous novel, Snuff), and the rise of terrorism by way of a rabid, deep-dwelling dwarf sect. In many ways this is Pratchett's most ambitious project to date... An unusually large number of characters having been reprised from previous stories and called aboard this latest outing, Raising Steam constitutes a rare instance of Pratchett's crafting a book that may prove insufficiently self-contained to hold the interest of new readers. Though stoking the nostalgia of longstanding fans, Discworld in-jokes such as 'going librarian' lie dangerously self-indulgent across Pratchett's newly laid tracks. In mitigation of such criticism, let it be said that Terry Pratchett has given himself wondrously high standards to live up to, not least of all in his imaginative scope and his ever-blossoming proliferation of wordplay and wit. Raising Steam may not be his finest work, but still it chugs along nicely and affords Pratchett plenty of scope to traverse the variegated landscape of language..."

http://buzzymag.com/raising-steam-by-terry-pratchett-book-review/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 REMINDER: GOING POSTAL IN BASILDON

The Thalian Theatre Company, experienced Discworld plays producers, will present Going Postal this week.

When: 27th to 29th March 2014
Venue: Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, St. Martin's Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL
Time: 8pm
Tickets: £10 adult, £8.50 concessions, available from the theatre box office on 01268 465465, or you can book tickets online by going to http://tinyurl.com/kfubr4y

http://www.towngatetheatre.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4771

5.2 WYRD SISTERS IN TYNESIDE

The Westovian Theatre Society will present their production of Wyrd Sisters from the end of this month through early April.

When: Monday March 31 to Saturday April 5 2014
Venue: Pier Pavilion, Pier Parade, South Shields, Tyne and Wear NE33 2JS
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £6 on Monday and Tuesday and £7 Wednesday to Saturday, available from the Visitor Information Centre, Haven Point, South Shields. Tel. 0191 424 7788. Opening hours are 10am – 1pm and 1.30pm – 5pm until Saturday 29th. From Monday March 31, tickets will be available at the Theatre Box office, which is open for telephone calls between 6.30pm and 8pm. Tel. 0191 456 0980. Cash or Cheques only (Cheques payable to 'The Westovians Theatre Society') – No cards available at present.

www.westovians.co.uk

5.3 REMINDER: WITCHES ABROAD IN PORTSMOUTH

Collingwood RSC Theatre Group, already veteran Pratchett play presenters, will offer their production – a world premiere, no less – of Witches Abroad this week!

When: Thursday 27th through Saturday 29th March 2014
Venue: HMS Collingwood, Newgate Lane, Fareham, Portsmouth, PO14 1AS
Tickets: £6, available via the box office (07502 037922)

To see their whimsical Kidby-pastiche poster, go to http://tinyurl.com/l9hlaka

https://www.facebook.com/hmscollingwoodrsc

5.4 REMINDER: MEN AT ARMS IN KEW

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

When: Thursday 3rd – Saturday 5th April 2014
Venue: Kew Community Centre, St. Luke's in The Avenue, 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

5.5 REMINDER: NATION IN TEMPE, ARIZONA

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts will present a production of Mark Ravenhill's NT stage adaptation of Nation in April, directed by Megan Weaver.

When: 4th–13th April 2014
Venue: Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St, Tempe, AZ 85287 (at Mill Avenue & 10th Street, University of Arizona Tempe campus)
Time: 4th, 5th, 10th and 12th at 7.30pm; 6th and 13th at 2pm
Tickets: $8-$16; to buy online, go to http://tinyurl.com/lhb2oyw
Herberger Institute students are offered free admission on tickets reserved in advance.

5.6 LORDS AND LADIES IN CHELTENHAM

The Deep End Theatre Company will present their production of "Lords and Ladies", adapted by Irana Brown, in April.

When: Wednesday 9th - Saturday 12th April 2014
Venue: The Playhouse, Cheltenham, 47-53 Bath Rd, Town Centre, Cheltenham GL53 7HG
Time: 7.45pm (Saturday matinee at 2pm)
Tickets: £10 (£8 Concessions on Wed evening & Sat Matinee only) Available from Cheltenham Playhouse Box Office: 01242 522 852

5.7 MASKERADE IN WEYMOUTH

The Weymouth Drama Club will be presenting their production of Maskerade in early April.
When: April 3rd, 4th and 5th
Venue: The Weymouth Pavilion, 7 Hope Street, DT4 8TU Weymouth, Dorset (phone 1305 750050)
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10.50. To buy online, go to http://tinyurl.com/ptf5vjx

https://www.facebook.com/weymouthdramaclub

Here be a cast photo: http://tinyurl.com/kbhqlo5

5.8 WEIBERREGIMENT (MONSTROUS REGIMENT) IN GERMANY

German amateur dramatics group "Die Dramateure" present their third production of a Discworld play. This time it's Weiberregiment (Monstrous Regiment). WOSSNAME wishes them every success!

When: 11th and 12th April 2014
Venue: Burgerhaus Bischofsheim, Dornigheimer Weg 21, 63477 Maintal, Germany
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: 8,50€ (7,00€ if bought online). To buy tickets online, go to http://www.dramateure.com/karten

5.9 GUARDS! GUARDS! IN ELTHAM (LONDON)

The Bob Hope Theatre's in-house amateur drama company will present their production of Guards! Guards! in May.

When: 14th-17th May 2014 at 19:45
Venue: Bob Hope Theatre, Wythfield Road, Eltham SE9 5TG
Time: 7.45pm (bar opens at 7pm)
Tickets: £9 (concessions £8, not available Friday or Saturday). Group discounts are on offer. Box Office: 020 8850 3702 or book online at www.intelligent-tickets.com/index.php?th=bh

www.bobhopetheatre.co.uk

5.10 WYRD SISTERS IN ACCRINGTON, WHICH IS STILL NOT IN CHESHIRE

Oswaldtwistle Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters, adapted by Stephen Briggs and directed by Martina Burns, in late April and early May.

When: 30th April - 3rd May 2014
Venue: Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre, 157 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington BB5 3HZ
Time: 19:30
Tickets: £8.50 (concessions £7.50); all tickets £7 on 30th April

http://i72139.wix.com/oswaldtwistleplayers

5.11 REMINDER: MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN CHICAGO

Chicago has already experienced Discworld on stage a few months ago, and now the Windy (and currently bloody freezing) City gets another taste: Lifeline Theater will present their production of Monstrous Regiment, as adapted by Chris Hainsworth and directed by Kevin Theis, on various dates in May, June and July, a veritable season!

When: 30th May – 20th July 2014
Venue: Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL, 60626
Time: evenings at 7.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays and at 8pm on Saturdays; matinees at 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Tickets: $20 for previews (30th May-8th June), $40 for Regular Run: June 12-July 20 (Thu & Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 4pm & 8pm, Sun at 4pm). To book online in advance, go to http://tinyurl.com/kzehtaw and click on the desired dates at the bottom of the page (or scroll through from there to the June or July calendars for tickets on those dates)

http://www.lifelinetheatre.com/performances/13-14/mr/index.shtml

5.12 REVIEWS: MAKING MONEY IN SALISBURY

Reviewed by Ham Quentin in the Southern Daily Echo:

"Director Chris Hawley's adaptation... features the resourceful con merchant Moist von Lipwig, who is again played by Stew Taylor, displaying enough energy to help us sail through a three hour play featuring 35 characters, not to mention four thousand Golems! This time Moist, who's getting rather bored with running the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, inherits control of the town's biggest bank via its new major shareholder, the dog Mr Fusspot (superbly designed and constructed by Sally Preisig at Mimic Productions) bequeathed by deceased chairwoman Topsy Lavish (Theo Ross gives a lovely cameo, and goes on to play two more characters)..."

http://tinyurl.com/msheb5r

...and by Hannah White, in the same paper:

"The plot is everything you would expect from Sir Terry – an extraordinary storyline with plenty of humour. There were outstanding performances, especially from Stew Taylor as the lead role, Moist von Lipwig. Phil Taylor, as golum Gladys, was responsible for many of the laugh out loud moments, and Alistair Faulkner was fantastic as Mr Bent. Special mention must also go to Teddy Woolgrove, socially awkward Hubert, and George Goulding as Igor and Mr Slant as well as Theo Ross, Mrs Lavish... All of the actors gave it their all and it was clear they were thoroughly enjoying themselves..."

http://tinyurl.com/k9flxcv

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

06) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

"Greetings one and all! Our big ginger cat has rediscovered his spot in the Emporium shop Window after his seasonal hiatus, and the pungent whiff of cabbage is in the air... ladies and gentlemen, spring has sprung! To mark the changing of the season our traditional reissue of the 50p 'Cabbage Field' Stamp from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has arrived. This definitive Discworld Stamp celebrates the bountiful cabbage fields of the Sto Plains, and is our nod to the cabbage-flavoured and scented stamps mentioned in Thud! and Making Money.

"In further celebration of the humble cabbage, we've also released the 'Penny Sprout', a diminutive regional issue from Sto Helit honouring that small brassica of questionable palatableness. Both new issues are available to own now, and can be purchased singly or in elegant sheets from the New stamps section of our website – http://tinyurl.com/p4auaev

"Also released this week is our brand new Little Brown Envelope, the 'of Cabbages and Kings' LBE (_http://tinyurl.com/prs7orz_). Each envelope contains the new 50p Cabbage Field and Penny Sprout issues, along with a 'lucky dip' assortment of Current Discworld stamps. A generous serving of sports and $5 Blue Triangles has been scattered throughout the issue
http://tinyurl.com/kt99x7z

"We are pleased to report that (thanks to a large mallet and a truckload of cheddar) our web-wobbles as outlined in our previous newsletter have now been resolved and its business as 'unusual' at the Discworld Emporium and we can once again be contacted with any concerns or enquiries via reb@discworldemporium.com. Thank you once again for your support!

"For all our latest wares and releases have a browse through our New Products page – it's mostly harmless!"
http://tinyurl.com/l8ztg9n

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

07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

7.1 WADFEST 2014

"This year's theme is heroes and villains. This means you get the chance to dress up as the hero or villain that you have always wanted to be. You can take your inspiration from comics, films and cartoons, or invent a new character for yourself. There will be trophies for the best dressed villain and best dressed hero, so get your sewing machine out and give it a go! If you're no good at sewing and you don't have anyone to help out, you can always hire a costume for the weekend. As well as special themed hero and villain games there will be all your usual Wadfest favourites, including smack the penguin. If it's your first time at Wadfest, why not take a look through the photos of Wadfests past to get an idea of what to expect?

"The X-Men's blackbird? Batman's batmobile? Green Goblin's glider? If you're feeling really adventurous why not turn your vehicle into the kind of transport a hero or villain would have? Perhaps you’re more interested in a permanent base like Superman's Fortress of Solitude or He-Man’s Castle Greyskull? If so, why not dress your tent up as your lair? There will be a prize for the best one. There are no limits to what you can do with your costumes. Be as inventive as you like or faithfully recreate your favourite character's costume. "

When: 15th to 17th August 2014
Venue: Wood Green, The Animal Charity, King's Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH
Tickets: £25.00 per adult for the weekend including Camping and Events. Children under 16 go free when
accompanied by a paying adult. To purchase tickets online, go to http://www.wadfest.co.uk/page2.html

http://www.wadfest.co.uk

7.2 AUSDWCON 2015

Nullus Anxietus V is coming! Some early details:

When: 10th to 12th April 2015
Venue: Novotel, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
Tickets: current ticket prices are $80-$140 per Attending Member, $400 per Family, $30 per Supporting Membership. To purchase at these rates, go to http://ausdwcon.org/shop/

"Previous Conventions have had Guilds. For Nullus Anxietas V the Guilds are replaced by the Studios of Holy Wood and Convention members (who choose to join a "guild") will be randomly assigned to one of the five studios for activities. Can't sing? Can't dance? Can handle a sword a little? Then Holy Wood beckons, and the clickies want YOU." – Daniel Hatton, Guildmeister

"The date of the convention is still too far distant for us to start negotiating room rates but we will have the upper hand if we can go into the discussion with an estimate of how many we would likely need. We'd like to convince them to be the cheapest rate in all of Parramatta and make their money by booking every room rather than them charging a lot for a few rooms. If at all possible, please give us an indication if you will be booking accomodation at the venue and what sort of room you would like. You do not need to be registered to fill in the survey, we would just like an idea of how many rooms we will need for the weekend. Rest assured we will not hold you to this – it's just an estimate. Your name will only be used to ensure you're not on the spreadsheet twice. You will still need to book your own accommodation." – the organisers

http://ausdwcon.org/

7.3 CABBAGECON 2015

Cabbagecon 3, the third Dutch Discworld Convention, will take place in June of next year!

When: 27th and 28th June 2015
Venue: Tulip Inn Hotel Val Monte in Berg en Dal (near Nijmegen)
Tickets: Membership of Cabbagecon 3 for the whole weekend is priced at €40,00, with a €5 discount for children, seniors and students. For the Saturday only or the Sunday only, the price is €25,00, with the same discounts as above applying. To book online in advance, go to http://www.dutchdwcon.nl

Apparently Cabbagecon 2 was a great success on the fun front. The organisers say of next year's event, "It will be a happy occasion for fans of Sir Terry Pratchett from the Netherlands and abroad to meet each other again and have fun. We hope to see you too!"

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

08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS

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: "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."

Next meeting: Monday 7th April 2014, from 7pm onwards.

The Broken Drummers March 2014 meet report:

"There was a good crowd at Drummers last Monday. We had a visitor from California, plus a lot of the regulars – including Barbara, who hasn't been for a while. When talk turned to video games, Jacqui said, 'Oh, no you're not discussing Zelda again.' Indeed we were. We even told James about all the Zelda T-shirts you can buy on Red Bubble. Tim E. could not make it with a quiz so I decided that we would play a game I learned from Chris over the weekend. Each player writes the name of a film at the top of the page and passes it on. The next player draws the film however they see fit, turns the paper over so the title is obscured and passes it to the next person, who describes the picture in words. This carries on alternating between drawing and writing until we get to the bottom of the page and ideally end up with a picture that bears no relation to what is at the top. The results were suitably hilarious. Andrew's interpretation of one image was very Freudian (he also chose 'Free Willy' as his film) but my favourite was James' illustration of Zulu as a toilet with a zoo on top. Only Judy's 'Mary Poppins' remained clear all the way through. Since the game has no winners and losers, Tim is still responsible for the next quiz. Otherwise, knitting and similar are clearly contagious as Jacqui spent the evening doing crochet. Our American visitor took a 3D photo of the group, which I'm hoping he'll send me. A couple on the next table showed great interest in our group and thought it was wonderful that such a thing would exist. Plus James managed to find the Zelda T-shirt online with the slogan, 'You make me harder than the water temple'. He was deliberating whether to buy one when we left so maybe Jax has a point about the Zelda obsession."

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

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a 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 3rd April 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 4th April 2014 (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 7th April 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 7th April 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

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

09) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE STINKPIPES AND SEWERS OF DODGER'S LONDON

Residents of and visitors to London and other major UK cities often pass certain tall, mysterious iron posts at or near kerbsides. Twenty feet or more in height and often whimsically ornate, these look like 19th-century lampposts. But in actuality they are Victorian stink-pipes, created to burn off the ghastly smells rising from urban sewers.

Students of London history – and readers of Dodger's Guide – know of the Great Stink of June 1858, that debacle of choking, eye-watering stench that sent Parliament scrambling for more salubrious parts; even Benjamin Disraeli, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, was reported as running from the Commons chamber with a handkerchief pressed over his face. The Great Stink led directly to the creation of Joseph Bazalgette's superb sewer system, of course, but a certain degree of noxious smells still persisted for many years afterwards.

Webb's Patent Sewer Gas Destructor was invented by Birmingham native Joseph Edmund Webb. Patented in 1895, the Destructor featured a glass-enclosed pilot flame at its top, linked to the local gas supply; by heating the air in an enclosed "chimney", the flame drew sewer gas up to the top of the post and ignited it. This served not only as smell-destroyer but also as a free streetlight.

Sheffield was the "capital of the destructor". Webb's company installed 84 destructors between 1914 and 1935. Amazingly, 22 of these are still standing, and three are still at work, illuminating certain streets with an orange glow every night.

I remember, from my years as a London resident, a charming old-fashioned streetlamp behind the Savoy. I only learned recently that it was a Webb's Patent Sewer Gas Destructor called – wait for it – Iron Lily! Yes, this sewage-powered lamp shares a name with the fearsome sports mistress of the Quirm College for Young Ladies. Somehow this seems appropriate...

Sources: http://tinyurl.com/lcmsfag and http://tinyurl.com/lm8f86c

There are also some excellent photos here:

http://tinyurl.com/qjzlao6

A blogpost about London's stink pipes:

http://greatwen.com/2011/09/27/secret-london-stink-pipes/

And then we get to the River Fleet, once one of London's great waterways and latterly one of its most infamous sewers. Here be fascinating piece by Peter Watts on traversing that very sewer. Written in 2005 for an issue of the London magazine Time Out, it is now finally available to read online, and gives a queasily picturesque description of what the working environment of a tosher must have been like:

"The tunnel is around ten feet tall and wide, so we can walk two abreast. It's about the same size as a tube tunnel. The smell slowly subsides, although lumps of faeces and toilet paper gather in places where they've washed against the brickwork. Otherwise, there's just a trickle of brown water ferrying the odd cotton-bud downriver. It's no hellhole, but still a far cry from the Fleet's sixteenth-century heyday as one of London's key tributaries, when, flanked by wharves and warehouses, it was a centre of London commerce. It separated Westminster from the City and carried cargo to the Thames, was compared unfavourably with the four rivers of Hades by Ben Jonson, was briefly turned into a canal and then covered in portions from 1732, by which time it was little more than an open sewer... In 1846, the Fleet exploded, its sewage gasses bursting the street above, rendering King's Cross Road impassable, destroying Clerkenwell poorhouses and smashing a Thames steamboat against Blackfriars Bridge. This river, it seems, has a habit of coming back to ambush those who thought it dead and buried...

"Almost two centuries later, traffic and police sirens are audible overhead, competing with the constant crash of water that flows from numerous side tunnels, feeding the central trickle. Rats stop and stare as we walk past. I nervously keep my torch shining on them until we have moved on... Water which before barely covered our feet is now above our knees, flooding downhill towards us at pace and rising slowly all the time. Wading into the tide, our clothes are heavy with water and our feet struggle to grip the slimy stone floor. Panicking rats scurry up the walls to get out the way of the bubbling water. It's frightening. Nobody knows we are down here and as our pace slows I begin to ponder our options. Should we press on, or brave a side tunnel, where a ladder may at least take us above water level, so we can sit it out. But how long would that take? And what if the water keeps rising and the side tunnel we're in doesn't have access to the street..."

Gripping stuff! To read the entire article, with its accompanying photos, go to: http://tinyurl.com/kfaumsv

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

10) THINGS PTERRY FANS SAY

Bonnie Riley says...
I opened Raising Steam today, and finished my first read straight through. Sir Terry, I first found your books 10 years ago, at the onset of a condition I will have for the rest of my life. Thank you for all the joy you have given. Bless you in your journey. Know that you are loved.

Brittany DuMond says...
I preordered Raising Steam on audiobook and I woke up early just to start listening to it. (: It's one of the best I've ever read. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the world of fantasy, Terry Pratchett!

Greg Buist says...
I've just finished Raising Steam. Thank you again Mr Pratchett you wonderful wonderful man. May you continue "raising steam" for many years to come.

Sean Gillin says...
Just read The Long Earth and it was brilliant. (Congrats to Stephen Baxter too).Actually, I devoured the pages with my eyes.I love that feeling from a book.Have you thought about a film of?Possibly animated?

Mohamed Murad says...
The more I see him in action the more I have to wonder: Was Havelock Vetinari based on Vladimir Putin or did Valdimir Putin base his leadership style on Lord Vetinari?

Patricia F Talley says...
Mr Pratchett, I love your Disc World! You made the list of my favorite books ever and its pretty much all of them! There is no trophy for this honor I'm afraid, no big party or anything, You are in good company on the Favorites Book Shelf tho, I won't drop any names or anything. Just know you are honored Sir. Thank you.

Matthew Kerslake says...
Mr Pratchett, Sir, my love, are you and Mr Baxter doing a talk this year on the Long Mars by chance? if so, when, will it be at the institute of engineering in London again and how can i get tickets? For more years than i can remember you have been an inspiration to me and i would love to come see you talk again. Yours fanatically, the little boy in Wooton Basset , at the Johnny and the Dead signing with the bin liner of books.

Poor Adam says...
I have always had trouble reading a book from start to end until my friend gave me her dad's copy of The Bromeliad. thank you so much for helping me love something that school made me hate

Melanie Roth says...
Thank you so much for Tiffany!

Jeroen van Gessel says...
Thank you very, very, very much Terry, for giving me so much joy by reading your books. Started with "The colour of Magic"up to Raising Steam. It is a joy and privilage to read your books. Many greetings. Jeroen.

Mike Lacey says...
Good to see Terry back to his very best with Raising Steam.

Peter Gerling says...
32 years old and a long time fan!!! glad the voice recognition software eased the hassle of writing manually!
I'm still envious of my cat seeing the color octarine after all these years! I'm reading thud right now and can't wait to get my hands on future publications =);-)

Agarwaen Cran says...
Dear Sir Pterry, I want randomly say "thank you" for all the phantastic moments with your books. So... Thank you :-)

Holly Witchey says...
The caravansary of friends I've made in Discworld make life on Earth a richer experience.

Sharon Tansill says...
Terry signed my 'Soul Music' book ... your words in my head ... they have been ever since ... read every discworld over & over

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

11) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

A very young fan doing a very creditable impression of a certain author!
http://tinyurl.com/ln9p58y

Another young fan putting her naturally ginger hair to good use for Feegle-ing as part of her school's book day:
http://tinyurl.com/pu9dkfc

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

12) CLOSE

And so we come to the end of a fairly long issue. Hope you enjoyed it!

If you're a Backspindle Games fan and happen to find yourself in NI on Saturday 5th April, do drop in to the Lisburn Gaming Club (Laganview Enterprise Centre, Drumbeg Drive, Old Warren, Lisburn BT28 1QR) where Dave and Leonard will be hosting "a very special Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice tag-team tournament in addition to the normal Tabletop Day games. This event should have masks, costumes, music, lights, lots of noise and hopefully at the end a tag-team of very happy winners who will get a prize. We may even have it broadcast via Youtube...fingers crossed..."

http://www.lisburn-gaming.co.uk/

Also note that Backspindle's popular Discworld game, "Guards! Guards!", will be available for purchase again soon, and there will be a special pre-order page on the site:

http://backspindlegames.com/news-2/international-tabletop-day-2014

And that's all for now. Have a foolishness-free All Fools (1st April), and we'll see you next month!

– 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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