wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 11, 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 GAMES NEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
09) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Alzheimer's is a cowardly disease. It creeps up on you from behind and by the time you realise you've got it you're probably not realising much else. It's a stinker... Not everyone can approach Alzheimer's with the bravery that Terry Pratchett showed."
    – Actor Alfred Molina, whose wife, actor Jill Gascoine, is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease

"Not a lot of people know this, but a lot of Terry Pratchett's novels are based in a place called Ankh-Morpork, a play on words of Lancaster and Morecambe."
    – everyone has a theory, it seems; this one comes from Morecambe bookseller Tony Vettese

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
    – Equal Rites, as recently re-quoted on Twitter by Rhianna Pratchett

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

    It was thirty-three years ago this month that The Colour of Magic first crept, without much fanfare, onto a few booksellers' display shelves. Eighty Million (or more) sales of books by Sir Terry Pratchett later, that may seem hard to believe... but everything has to start somewhere. In early days, it was a "done thing" to compare Pratchett's wordcraft and humour to that of PG Wodehouse – a comparison that never rang especially true for me – and also to the works of Douglas Adams – mostly, I always imagined, because Adams wrote comedic science fiction and the blurbmakers and reviewers weren't familiar with, say, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series (and his deathless parody, Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers). And now here we are, more than three decades on, and the Done Thing now is to compare this or that newbie author's work to that of... yes, to Terry Pratchett... and I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's a totally deserved mark of respect and an important way of keeping The Author's name alive on the Roundworld Overhead – always and forever a good thing! But on the other, it strikes me as somewhat lazy and unimaginative: "Oh, it's fantasy/science fiction and there are elements of humour/attempted humour, so let's say it's reminiscent of Pratchett..."

    Still – ripples. On the Overhead. Sending Home. And it would be nice to think that every time The Author's name is mentioned, somewhere, anywhere, the Death of Discworld saves another kitten...

    There is a lot of Discworld merchandise featured in this month's issue. Well, it is almost Hoswatch, after all. But there is also plenty of news and play reviews and other things for reading rather than for buying.

    Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 NEW PAUL KIDBY SCULPTURE: THE SIR TERRY PRATCHETT MEMORIAL BUST

From Mr Kidby's official site:

    "Back in 2015 a campaign was launched for the creation of a Terry Pratchett Memorial Statue and I was honoured to be put forward as the sculptor of choice to create it. Following a meeting at the Guildhall, Salisbury Council approved the proposal for the statue to be sited within the city, (exact location as yet undecided). A hiatus from this project followed whilst I produced the line art for The Discworld Colouring Book but by August my deadlines were met and I was ready to get my sculpting tools out.

    "To create a large scale piece of public art is a great responsibility. To do Terry justice I must finely balance his public persona and private self by ensuring that I honour him not only as an extraordinary writer whose books delighted readers around the world but also on a more personal level to those who knew him as a friend, beloved husband and father.

    "My first step in this process has been to create a head and shoulders bust, 40 cm high. This has enabled me to focus primarily on facial features and expression to capture a bearing that I feel best represents him as we all remember. Only when I was happy with his physical appearance did I turn my attention to making his glasses (four or five days of fiddling and swearing) and trademark hat. It was a great help to have both of these precious objects, and his well worn leather jacket, to use as direct reference, thank you to Rob Wilkins and Lyn Pratchett for lending them to me.

    "I am now in the final stages of creating this sculpture and will be carefully driving it to the foundry for bronze casting very soon. The bust will be available as a limited edition of twelve for dedicated collectors but most importantly it will be a valuable model and working maquette for the full sized statue and a vital first step in the creative process of this very important commission."

To read the announcement – with iconograpgs! – go to:

http://www.paulkidby.com/sir-terry-pratchett-memorial-bust/

...and here it is, packed for casting, as shared on Mr Kidby's Twitter account:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cx3A2pnXAAAvaln.jpg

3.2 THE SOUNDS OF DISCWORLD... NOT

By Gemma Toulson in the Nottingham Post:

    "A Nottinghamshire man who made more than £50,000 on illegally reproduced audiobooks has been convicted under copyright law. Nottinghamshire Police said they began to make inquiries into the activities of Manrico Toschi in 2012, when they were informed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of pirated audiobooks for sale for online. The police said the audiobooks in question had been copied from material produced exclusively for disabled U.S. citizens. An investigation by the East Midland Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) into the 43-year-old's online activities revealed more than 10,000 audiobooks in his digital library, dating between January 2008 and June 2014... Initially Toschi traded under his own name, but following cease and desist notices from the authorities in 2012, the police said he found a new way to continue his 'criminal enterprise'. Using the pseudonym Lee Sharpe, he opened a new bank account and advertised pirated audiobooks across the globe under that name. One such title was a Terry Pratchett audiobook, which featured a compilation of 47[sic] of the Discworld novels, published by Penguin Random House... At Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, November 8 he was sentenced to two years in prison. The court also determined that Toschi had benefited from his criminality to the sum of £56,000 and granted a Proceeds of Crime Act Confiscation Order to reflect this. Toschi must repay this amount within three months..."

http://www.nottinghampost.com/man-jailed-for-making-illegal-audiobooks/story-29882441-detail/story.html

3.3 PRATCHETT BOOK SIGNING MEMORIES

By Stephen Sinfield in the Burton Mail (Burton-on-Trent, Staffs)

"    Despite hundreds of people queueing in Coopers Square shopping centre, in Burton, there was no screaming hysteria as Terry Pratchett addicts limited themselves to a slight gasp as they met the author of the best-selling Discworld series face-to-face, and stammered out their thanks. The writer, once a journalist and press officer for the Atomic Energy Authority, was in Burton to sign his latest book and anything else – in print – his fans could lay their hands on. The crowd started forming outside Ottakars book shop as soon as the shopping centre's doors opened on the November morning, each fan arrived with carrier bags packed full of their precious collection of books. Others bought calendars, diaries, and copies of his last novel 'The Fifth Elephant' for him to dedicate, with a swift black flourish of his felt tip pen.

    "Unlike many top authors, Mr Pratchett liked to meet fans outside the big cities. His whirlwind UK book signing tour had started on November 8 in Dorset and would take him to 20 towns across England and Scotland before ending in Colchester. He arrived in Burton on November 17, 2000. Accompanied by a classical guitarist, who was also selling his wares on the side, and a man dressed as an animal to raise money for Children in Need, Mr Pratchett entered the fantasy world of the book signing sessionist. After an hour, the queues which were growing ever-longer, were stopped..."

http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/terry-pratchett-pulled-in-the-crowds-at-burton-book-signing-in/story-29919595-detail/story.html

3.4 A TEN-BEST DISCWORLD CHARACTERS LIST

By Tim Martin in The Telegraph:

    "In a distant and secondhand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly…” Terry Pratchett began his Discworld sequence with The Colour of Magic in 1983; it's extraordinary that a series which began as a mickey-taking parody of medieval-fantasy cliche blossomed, over 40 books, into British fiction's most brilliant satire on contemporary life. Everyone will have their own favourite characters from the hundreds of humans, vampires, trolls and golems who stalk the plains and cities of Pratchett's disturbingly familiar fantasy world. They have ensured that the writer, whose books sold over 85 million copies world-wide, will be remembered for many a generation of fantasy readers. Here are 10 of the finest..."

The list includes Death (and the Death of Rats, and Susan), Granny Weatherwax, Lord Vetinari, Nanny Ogg, Sam Vimes, the Librarian, Moist von Lipwig, Tiffany Aching, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, and the Luggage, with a paragraph's description of each. Good choices!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/terry-pratchetts-10-best-discworld-characters/

3.5 ALZHEIMER'S NEWS: TWO VIEWS, AND A SLOW RAY OF HOPE

    "Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, latest figures reveal. Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia - 11.6% of all recorded deaths. The Office for National Statistics says the change is largely due to an ageing population. People are living for longer and deaths from some other causes, including heart disease, have gone down. Also, doctors have got better at diagnosing dementia and the condition is now given more weight on death certificates... Hilary Evans of Alzheimer's Research UK said: 'These figures once again call attention to the uncomfortable reality that currently, no-one survives a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, it's caused by diseases that can be fought through research, and we must bring all our efforts to bear on what is now our greatest medical challenge'..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37972141

    "A week ago the story that dementia had become the leading cause of death in England and Wales was making headlines. But now we hear that the proportion of people suffering from dementia is actually falling - how can both statements be true, asks Charlotte McDonald? Last week's news was based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, and the statisticians themselves pointed out why the numbers have increased... 'With people living longer and surviving other illnesses, the number of people developing dementia and Alzheimer disease is increasing,' says the ONS. But there is a second reason, which has to do with the way deaths are registered. This data set is collecting the "underlying cause" of death, and that is defined as the 'the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death'. In the past there would have been a certain amount of stigma, or a reluctance to put dementia on death certificates... It is possible for dementia to be the sole cause of death without another cause like pneumonia but very few people are likely to die of dementia on its own..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38054877

...and hopeful news from science correspondent Hannah Devlin in The Guardian:

    "When Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's he recalled his wife's relief that he hadn't got a brain tumour. 'All I could think then was, "I know three people who have got better after having a brain tumour. I haven't heard of anyone who's got better from Alzheimer's,"' the late author wrote in 2008. Nearly a decade on, not much has changed for people facing a new diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Unlike patients with heart disease, cancer or diabetes, there is no well-trodden medical track to follow and no treatments that can slow the disease's devastating progress. Between 2002 and 2012, 99.6% of drugs studies aimed at preventing, curing or improving Alzheimer's symptoms were either halted or discontinued. The consistent failure of trials, at vast financial cost to drugs companies, caused many to shut down dementia programmes as a result.

    "The latest trial results from Merck, together with other drugs in the final stage of development, provide hope that the years of deadlock may be drawing to a close. The Merck trial may be preliminary, in the clinical sense, but it represents an entire career's work for some of the scientists involved. 'We're 16 years into the program,' said Matt Kennedy, the neuroscience director at Merck who led the research. 'It's a good example of how long it takes.' The first challenge scientists faced was creating a compound that would get through the blood-brain barrier, without also causing toxic side-effects or damaging healthy structures in the brain. Simply optimising the structure of the compound to do this took a decade, Kennedy said. The latest results appear to show that the scientists got this bit right – the drug appeared to have few side-effects and it substantially lowered levels of toxic amyloid compounds. The real question, which the next phase of the trial should answer, is whether the formation of plaques are a root cause of the disease or simply a visible symptom... There is no guarantee that the drug will ultimately make it to market, but in a field that has seen such scant progress, the fact that a major clinical trial is underway is welcome news. Professor John Hardy, a neuroscientist at University College London and pioneer in the study of Alzheimer's disease, said: 'Conveying some excitement isn't the wrong thing to do in this case.'"

http://bit.ly/2fFg8qX

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04) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS: CLACKS CHRISTMAS OFFERS

This, from the lads at Backspindle Games:

    We are delighted to make a couple of Christmas Offers! Below you can order a combination of our Award Winning, HIT Wrestling game, Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice with a copy of our brand new No. 1 Themeless game in the Dice Tower Podcast, Codinca… or you can order our really popular, (three games in one) Discworld board game, Clacks, based on the Terry Pratchett novel, Going Postal, together with a copy of Codinca.

    Please note, the last days for posting from our Post Office service are:
UK Customers – 20 December 2016
EU Customers – 16 December 2016 and
ROW Customers – 10 December 2016

http://www.backspindlegames.com/christmas-offers/

Special Clacks offer!

    For a limited period, you can order a copy of the game and a beautifully sculpted miniature by Microart Studios that can be used in the cooperative race game or you can order Moist by himself. (Miniature supplied unpainted)

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2016

* MORT IN HARROGATE

The Woodlands Drama Group will be staging their production of Mort in November and December!

When: 30th November–3rd December 3 2016
Venue: The Studio At Harrogate Theatre, 6 Oxford Street, Harrogate HG1 1QF (email: boxoffice@harrogatetheatre.co.uk)
Time: 7.45pm evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: all tickets £10, available from http://www.woodlandsdramagroup.co.uk/tickets/ or http://bit.ly/2di6RSA or by phoning the theatre's Box Office (01423 502116)

http://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/Mort-Presented-by-Woodlands-Drama-Group

* WYRD SISTERS IN BRISBANE

The Brisbane Arts Theatre's production of Wyrd Sisters is still going!

When: 29th & 30th November and 4th–6th December 2016
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays; 6.30pm Sunday matinees (29th November and 6th December)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Gold Members $15, Members $25, Student Rush $10 (10 mins before curtain); the online purchasing age at http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters appears to be broken, though... so if you can't get through to buy, try ringing the theatre on (07) 3369 2344 (active durning regular business hours and also during performances).

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN SUSSEX

The Midhurst Players, an amateur company of 65 years' standing, will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in late November through early December.

When: Wednesday 30th November – Saturday 3rd December 2016
Venue: South Downs Centre Memorial Hall, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9DH
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults £10 Under 18's £6, available online at https://thelittleboxoffice.com/midhurstplayers/book/event/52158

"We now have a fully automated online ticketing service where you can choose where you want to sit, pay and print off your own tickets. Just follow the links on the website.

"For telephone bookings please call 01730 815894 between the hours of 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, on weekdays only. Please note that initially we can only 'reserve' your tickets and there there will be a slight delay before the seats are allocated as we have to notify the Administrator. We are only able to reserve tickets for 48 hours so it is important to ensure that your payment reaches us in good time. All tickets issued by the Administrator will be printed off and will be ready to pick up on the night of your performance. We no longer post tickets to your home address.

"Do remember that the system runs in 'real' time so unless you book online we cannot guarantee your seats until they have been allocated and paid for."

http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/

5.2 PLAYS IN 2017

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)

Monstrous Productions carry on from strength to strength! Next up is their February 2017 production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Stay tuned for updates...

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

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH 2017)

The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum, "a pastiche of vampire literature playing with mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue in cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine and stay up till noon", in March 2017.

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

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

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY 2017)

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

When: 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th February 2017 (performances on the 12th and 19th are matinees)
Venue: The Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
Time: TBA
Tickets: TBA

http://www.majestic.org/

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)

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

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

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

5.3 REVIEWS

* REVIEW: WYRD SISTERS IN NEWPORT

By Julia Fitzgerald for the South Wales Argus:

    "The Newport Playgoers put their twist on a Terry Pratchett classic by setting out to save the kingdom of Lancre following the death of the king and fighting the new evil monarch. The witches Granny Weatherwax (Adele Cordner), Nanny Ogg (Andrea Pyke) and Magrat Garlick (Natty Niering) take on the challenge and work well together on their mission, bouncing off one another and using humour to connect with the audience. The large cast performed well in stunning costumes against creative scenery, standout performances came from The Fool (Stuart Moss) and Duke and Lady Felmet (Luke Bowkett and Kate Summers) who brought the villainy and sadistic behaviour to add spice to the show. The use of a giant film screen, special effects and magic tricks throughout meant the production was cleverly executed and enjoyed by all, really creating the illusion of magical goings on..."

http://bit.ly/2gwI5Bo

* REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

ARENAarts' sixth Discworld production, reviewed by Gordon The Optom for the Independent Theatre Association:

    "Great fun for the family. There are a couple of dozen scenes, varying from a castle battlement, several rooms, street scene, zoo etc., each represented with minimal – but very well presented – scenery and props (Set construction by Jim Chantry, adorned by scenic artists Kiri Vinsen, Sheila Wileman and Ashling Townsend, with the cast helping). It was essential with so many scene changes that the stage team should be well focused and quick. Stage manager Janet Vinsen with her assistants Callum Vinsen and Sean Schliwa were magnificent. With an average of 5 – 8 seconds, the stage was transformed each time. Josh Shoebridge and Simon Walters skilfully operated Simon James' lighting and sound design. It was obvious that a great deal of thought and precision was put into the complex plan and operation. Young Footnote (Callum Vinsen), the narrator of the story, sets the scene, popping in now and again to clarify the action. Director and multi-tasker, Simon James, has presented this play in the style of a pantomime, aimed at 9 yrs. and up. It is quite dark in places, and the script is rich with puns, double-entendres and subtle jokes. The kids will miss at least half of the humour, but will love the special effects, excellent costumes (Janet Vinsen and armourer Callum Vinsen) and dragons. There was a large cast, who were impressive and worked together with great chemistry. The delivery of the lines, humour and build-up of tension were all presented most proficiently. The main actors were superb, but even the ‘bit' players gave it their best. With so many players on stage, there can easily be pandemonium, with actors bumping into each other and fighting for exits – this team moved well, truly professional. Josh Shoebridge and Kiri Vinsen created the magnificent robotic performers, Errol and other dragons. They really were ‘alive', practically stealing the scene from the living actors..."

http://www.ita.org.au/2016/11/guards-guards-reviewed-by-gordon-the-optom/

* REVIEW: TAMAHER IN LEEDS

Leeds Children's Theatre's production of Amazing Maurice, reviewed by Christine Castle for NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association):

    "The untimely death of Terry Pratchett, one of our best-loved writers, has made us all realise what a tremendous loss his passing made in literary circles and beyond. I admire LCT for choosing one of his children's stories, now adapted for the stage, for their autumn production, as this is a hefty play by any stretch of the imagination, especially for younger members. I am pleased to say that the whole cast in this production gave it one hundred per cent commitment. The Directors, Jane Curtin and Alex Plygawko, had worked hard on their cast to bring the story of Maurice, an amazing talking cat and his friendly, educated (and also talkative!) rodents to life. Within the piece, one message shone through - never ignore the less well-liked members of your community (in this case, rats) as they are cleverer than you think! For the adult audience members, there were many clever references to modern political life making us nod sagely. The young people in this production were all extremely talented - they acted well and their diction was, as always, of the highest calibre. I was particularly impressed with the costumes, especially the 'rat' headgear - the costume department, in the tender care of Mavis Heaton, must have worked hard to make very convincing costumes for all the company. The set was very interesting in design (in the care of Dan Dainter) and gave the cast plenty of scope for moving around. Set changes were performed very quickly - maybe a little too much use of blackouts, which can disjoint the smoothness of the play, but this is a personal comment. The main character of the play, Maurice, was played with confidence and worldliness - his rat buddies had the most wonderful character names - for example, Hamnpork, Sardines, Donut Enter, to name but a few and each actor lived up to his or her name with total conviction. Although this play is rather wordy not one of the actors forgot their lines, which is a good thing, as I was told LCT do not have a prompt..."

https://www.noda.org.uk/events/reports/the_amazing_maurice_and_his_educated_rodents

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 5th December 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: "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."

*

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 End of Year Hogswatch Dinner will be held at Caffe Buongiorno, Mitcham on 15th December 2016. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 1st December 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 2nd December 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 5th December 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 5th December 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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07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

7.1 AUSDWCON NEWS: DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR UPDATE

A few reminders...

    We are also celebrating 10 Years of Australian Discworld Conventions with a special t-shirt – You don't have to be attending the convention to get this special t-shirt – we can post it to you within Australia, New Zealand, the UK or the USA.[2] https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/ten-years-t-shirt/ Shipping costs listed at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/delivery-timescales/

    Don't forget that you can buy your tickets for the Discworld Grand Tour in our shop right now:
https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/

    Please keep in mind that early-bird prices finish February 4th 2017. But wait – did you know there's a way to get the early-bird price without paying for a full ticket now? Yes, that's right! If you buy a Supporting membership ($40) before Feb 4th 2017, you will lock yourself in at the early-bird price, and you can pay the remaining balance (in instalments or all at once) any time up until July 21 2017!

    Buy your supporting membership here: https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/supporting-membership/
And read here for information about all membership types: https://ausdwcon.org/convention/membership/

https://ausdwcon.org/blog/on-your-holiday/

7.2 NADWCON NEWS

The fourth North American Discworld Convention (NADWCON) will take place from 1st–4th September 2017 in New Orleans – and appropriately, the theme will be The Genuan Experience!

    "The 2017 NADWCon will be organized by RavenQuoth, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was responsible for NADWCon 2013, which raised over $24,000 in charity funds that were split equally between the Orangutan Foundation UK and Alzheimer's Research UK. The 2017 NADWCon will be co-chaired by Emily S. Whitten and Richard Atha-Nicholls. Emily S. Whitten was co-founder of The North American Discworld Convention, Vice-Chair of NADWCon 2009, and Chair of NADWCon 2011. Richard Atha-Nicholls was Chair of NADWCon 2013 and is President of RavenQuoth, Inc.

    "NADWCon 2017 and RavenQuoth, Inc. will provide further announcements and details about the 2017 convention in the upcoming months. Further information will be available at http://nadwcon2017.org."

http://www.nadwcon2017.org/

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

8.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

The Discworld Emporium has an announcement:

"IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE DISCWORLD EMPORIUM TODAY, YOU'RE SURE OF A BIG SURPRISE!

    "The Emporium team is proud to unveil our new website, full of the glingleglingleglingle of bells, whistles and lots of lovely Discworld goodies! We've been working hard to improve functionality, navigation and user experience with our new home, which is fully optimised for all your mobile clacks devices. With a new look, new features, and new products we're sure you'll enjoy rummaging around for all your Discworld merchandise needs & Hogswatch gifts. You'll be able to make wishlists, purchase vouchers, set restock alerts on out of stock products and much, much more!

    "Being well-read and intellectually gifted clever clogs, we're sure you'll understand that such a magical website does not get launched without a few thaumic ramifications here and there. Due to our website being built with all-new techno-thingies please bear the following in mind...

* If you previously held an account at our old site, you'll need to retrieve a new password when you log in, and reset it in your account.

* Our emails and order notifications may end up in your junk box, so please check there for expected alerts,

...and remember to ADD US TO YOUR ADDRESS BOOK to ensure you don't miss important correspondence from us

* Orders placed on our old site before 31st October will NOT be visible on our new site. Please refer to your order confirmation emails which contain the very same information.

    "We hope you enjoy exploring the Emporium and feel right at home wandering around its nooks and crannies (take a piece of string with with you, and maybe some crampons. Our site is like a new born kitten; beautiful, cuddly but finding its feet and occasionally pooping on the carpet. While are endeavouring to soothe any teething troubles as quickly as possible, if you encounter any glitches or metaphorical brick walls during your visit please feel free to CONTACT US (_http://www.discworldemporium.com/contact-us_) and we'll work it out together."

...and another announcement:

    "There's only seven days left to place your Hogswatch orders with us if you live outside of Europe and the US! For all our customers who don't live in the UK, Europe or the USA, we wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you have just seven days to place your Hogswatch orders before our cut-off date of the 2nd of December. After this date there's no guarantee the items will reach you in time for Hogswatch!

    "As an official branch of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office we pride ourselves on offering swift and reliable delivery all over the Roundworld, but even our postmen deserve a rest over the festive holiday! For our final posting dates and holiday closure information please read on! For delivery in time for the Hogfather to make his rounds, please be sure to order by the recommended dates below":The Midhurst Players, an amateur company of 65 years' standing, will stage their production of Wyrd Sisters in late November through early December.

Thursday 1st December
Africa, Middle East

Tuesday 6th December
Cyprus, Asia, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Far East (including Japan), Caribbean, Central & South America

Thursday 8th December
Greece, Australia, New Zealand

Tuesday 13th December
Western Europe (Except Greece), Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Canada, USA

Thursday 15th December
United Kingdom

    "ORDERS WILL CEASE SHIPPING FROM THURSDAY 15TH. YOU ARE WELCOME TO PLACE ORDERS OVER THE FESTIVE PERIOD, BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY WILL NOT SHIP UNTIL WE REOPEN ON FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. THE EMPORIUM SHOP IN WINCANTON WILL BE CLOSED FROM THURSDAY 22ND DEC – FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. Please note that communication will be limited at this time, as we'll likely be pissed as farts. Refund or replacement requests made during our closure will be processed on our return."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/content/11-hogswatch-delivery-holiday-closures

...and on to the best offer of the month...

*Rat onna stick plushy!

    "Treat yourself to an icon of Ankh-Morpork street cuisine – with ketchup & no green wobbly bits!! Fresh from Gimlet's Hole Food Delicatessen, this favourite among discerning dwarfs it is made from 100% free-range & locally sourced ingredients (aka plush!) – an ideal addition to any Hogswatch feast or stocking! At the Discworld Emporium, we pride ourselves on producing things of great beauty, craftsmanship and cunning. We also pride ourselves on making great dead rats with sticks up their bums!

    "Ankh-Morpork is a melting pot of vibrant and divers dining experiences, but for a true taste of Ankh-Morpork a visit to Gimlet's for a slice of humble rodent is not to be missed! Finally that most famous of snacks, the rat-onna-stick is available for Discworld fans to savour at home! This gluten-free, low-fat treat is also surprisingly suitable for vegetarians and features finely embroidered ketchup, fully posable tail and lovingly executed griddle marks. Our plush Rat-onna-Stick is possibly the BEST plush Rat-onna-Stick ever produced in any known multiverse.

    "If you buy only ONE food-based-dead-rat-with-a-stick-up-its-bum plush item this year, make it this one." – creators and perpetrators of crimes against cuddly toys, Messors Ian Mitchell and Bernard Pearson."

The Rat-onna-stick plushy measures 23cm nose to end of stick and is priced at £ 13.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-plushies/332-rat-onna-stick

...and stamps, of course...

* Introducing our limited edition Hogswatch stamps & souvenirs!

"For this year's designs, we asked Discworld artist David Wyatt to create a special festive version of the cityscape he illustrated for the Discworld Emporium's website homepage – and the result is a stunning collection of stamps & ephemera to get us into the festive spirit! The Hogswatch 50p stamps are available on a traditional First Day Cover, as a limited edition minisheet featuring a triptych of stamps set inside David's festive scene, and in a special edition 'Little Brown Envelope' – a lucky dip assortment of Discworld stamps!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/39-new-stamps

    "This year we're rolling our super-limited Hogswatch and Seasonal LBEs into one festive bonanza of an edition! The Happy Hogswatch LBE will be available for the Hogswatch season until December 25th, and is packed full of the sports of a super-limited edition but features MORE prizes, AND the free stamp of a standard seasonal LBE! Each LBE contains one of three Hogswatch 50p stamps, exclusive to this issue, along with a free Hogfather Penny stamp as a gift from us! The Hogfather Penny is also available to collect as a whole sheet of stamps for collection or application to your Hogswatch correspondence! Lucky LBEs contain prize tickets for sport First Day Covers (featuring sport variants of the Hogswatch 50p), and exclusive sets of 3 whole stamp Sheets. Plus TWO of the most coveted stamps of them all – the Temple of Small Gods Blue Triangle Sports – are waiting to be found in this festive bonanza along with Clacks-o-grams, dead letter labels and sports!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/little-brown-envelopes/336-hogswatch-lbe

https://www.discworldemporium.com/new-stamps/335-hogfather-penny

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

8.2 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

"A Top Ten of our Most Popular Products of 2016"

1. The Terry Pratchett Memorial Pin
Without doubt, our most popular product of 2016. Produced to celebrate the life of Sir Terry, this pin features a sprig of lilac – a symbol of Discworld remembrance immortalised in Night Watch.

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

2. Dried Frog Pills
If you didn't need them before, surely after all this talk of Hogswatch, you most definitely will! Our range of Discworld confectionary has grown this year; you can now achieve sanity with UU Dried Frog Pills, whimsy and giggles with Brother Auguste's Happy Pills and er, a swift inhumation with Lord Downey's Esteemed Humbugs.
Disclaimer: Whilst these products are real, we can't be 100% sure as to their side-effects.

http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/dried-frog-pills/

3. The Discworld Colouring Book
Our best-selling book of the year, the Discworld Colouring Book, not only brings the adult colouring book phenomenon to Discworld, but is unique in the fact that Discworld artist - Paul Kidby himself - re-worked every single piece of artwork into stunning line-drawing versions of the originals. Also available in a glorious Artist's Edition.

http://discworld.com/products/colouring-books

4. Signed Prints
A perennial favourite with fans the world over, our range of prints were all hand-signed by Sir Terry. Each one is numbered and signed but be quick as numbers are declining rapidly. Non Timetis Messor and The Map of Lancre are down to the last few. Grab something special before it's too late.

http://discworld.com/products/colour-prints

5. Terry's Memorial Tote Bag
Another fan-favourite from Terry's Memorial, this practical tote bag is a great way to remember Terry and carry all your Discworld goodies at the same time.

http://discworld.com/products/tote-bags

6. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
Available in both a standard edition and beautiful slipcase, this is the second volume of Sir Terry's short stories. Bringing together fourteen of Terry's earliest stories, these entertaining tales show the seeds of ideas which Terry went on to develop in his later writing, making this a fascinating addition to your collection.

http://discworld.com/products/books/the-witchs-vacuum-cleaner/
http://discworld.com/products/books/witchs-vacuum-cleaner-collectors-edition-slipcase/

7. In Ancient Times... Tea Towel
This Christmas, even as you fight to keep the cat away from the turkey, you can be reminded of a snippet of Terry's feline-inspired wisdom. These high-quality UK-made tea towels are the purrrfect thing to help with all that extra washing up.

http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/cats-tea-towel

8. The Discworld Convention Coin
Originally produced as a memento to the lucky people who managed to secure tickets to this year's Discworld Convention, the remaining number are available for sale, but do be quick as we're down to the last few! This striking coin features Terry's silhouette on one side and a beautifully embossed version of Paul Kidby's classic Under an Eldritch Sky artwork on the reverse.

http://discworld.com/products/limited-time-only/discworld-convention-2016-collectable-coin

9. Terry Pratchett postcards
Commissioned for the Terry Pratchett Memorial in April, these beautiful postcards were subsequently made available to all our customers. They all feature images of Terry including artwork by Josh Kirby and Paul Kidby.

http://discworld.com/products/postcards

10. Dark Side of the Turtle T-shirt
Released for this year's Band With Rocks In-spired UK Discworld Convention, this design was so well received, it's earned a place in our T-shirt hall of fame! Rock on!

http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/dark-side-turtle-t-shirt/

...and your Editor's pick of the lot – beautiful Discworld notebooks!

All notebooks are hardbacks, all are A5 size with lined pages, and all are priced at £15 each. A number to choose from:

Assassins' Guild Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of the Assassins' Guild. The notebook comes complete with a set of Assassins' Guild stickers:"
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/assassins-guild-notebook/

Unseen University Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of Unseen University. The notebook comes complete with a set of suitably simian UU stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/unseen-university-notebook/

Seamstresses Guild Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of the Seamstresses' Guild. The notebook comes complete with a set of Seamstresses' Guild stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/seamstresses-guild-notebook/

Death Notebook, "embossed with the seal of Death, and bearing his motto – 'Non Timetis Messor'. The notebook comes complete with a set of Death stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/death-notebook/

Granny Weatherwax Notebook, "embossed with the hat of Granny Weatherwax, and bearing the legend of her famous sign – 'I Ate'nt Dead'. The notebook comes complete with a set of Witches stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/granny-weatherwax-notebook/

The City Watch Notebook, "embossed with the seal of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and bearing their motto – 'Fabricati Diem Pvnc'. The notebook comes complete with a set of City Watch stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/the-watch-notebook/

...and the 2017 Discworld Calendar:

"The Discworld calendar dates are extensive, exhaustively researched, and include all major real-time calendrical data for Great Britain, Eire, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA – as well, of course, as notable Discworld dates. This year's calendar features a nostalgic look at the late Josh Kirby's iconic covers, featuring a selection from the earliest Discworld novels."

The 2017 Discworld Calendar is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/calendar/discworld-calendar-2017/

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09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger reuoq is back with a review of The Long Cosmos:

    "This picks the characters up as old men – the character Joshua Valienté is now in his sixties or seventies, and goes off for a final trip through the Long Earth, that strange multiverse introduced in the previous books in the series. He's very similar to the authors' ages now, and they wrote this very successfully, I thought. He gets trapped somewhere when he gets injured, and is taken care of by a troll, one of the other species of hominids that can step from world to world. So where The Long Utopia, the fourth book, was about Valienté's family history, and the history of the Long Earth by extension, this book explores the other species of the Long Earth, including the trolls, and what they call “elves”, introduced in the first book and almost forgotten since then. The trolls are depicted as a gorilla on the front cover, which I don't think is accurate – it should be more like Homo erectus, or like neanderthals, from the descriptions in the book. They can also communicate with the human characters using a kind of translator microphone thing, briefly mentioned a few books ago, although somehow humans and trolls can't truly learn each other's language – this is hand-waved away a few times by saying the grammar doesn't match properly. I liked this look into trolls – they were always elusive before, and even disappeared completely during one of the stories.

    "Not to deliberately spoil anything, but the book ends with a very grandiose cosmic tying together of loose threads, with a philosophical justification for the Long Earth that I didn't buy completely. It's at this point that I start to tease out Baxter's style from Pratchett's, which I found difficult to do in the first book, but having now read two of Baxter's books – Proxima and its sequel Ultima, which I've yet to review – these both have similar themes, exploring the nature of the multiverse with slightly far-fetched explanations. Despite this, I was overall satisfied with the book's conclusion..."

https://reuoq.com/2016/10/25/book-109-the-long-cosmos-2016/

The Literary Gamer, who believes that being well-read and having vast gaming-fu need not be contradictory, offers thoughts on Mort:

    "This book marks the first time that Death has been the center of attention throughout the entire book. In Discworld, Death is not a malicious evil, but rather a guy just doing his job. However, he also has a lot of pride in his job and does his best at it. These aspects make him a lot more relatable than other versions of the force of nature. I've always had a slight interest in the world building and mechanics of fantasy settings, so I was happy to see just how Death goes about his job. He's not present for every single person's death, just when the event is important (i.e. natural disasters, massacres, etc.) or with people who think they're important. Such individuals are usually aristocrats, monarchs, other politicians, and wizards and witches. I like to think he personally collects aristocrats and monarchs just to prevent them from throwing temper tantrums... This book has one of those premises that could either be extremely entertaining or just fall flat on its face. Since it was put in the hands of Terry Pratchett, we fortunately have the former... Mort's behavior also subverted my expectations. Typically a normal human turned into the embodiment of death has one of two reactions. The first is that they go mad with power striking down anyone that makes them even slightly angry. The second is that they resist the job with everything they have genuinely believing that the world would be better if no one ever died. Mort however does neither. He doesn't' revel in the killing like a psychopath. Death himself said that if Mort did that, then the boy would be fired and Death would find someone else. At the same time, Mort takes the time to be compassionate towards the souls that he collects. There was a tender scene where Mort sits down with an old woman while they wait for her hourglass to run out. It's a touching scene that really made me like Mort both as a character and as a potential Death..."

https://literarygamerblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/mort/

Blogger crosejack has mixed feeings – mostly good – about Raising Steam:

    "I was thrilled to find Moist von Lipwig was a prominent character in Raising Steam. But reading this book makes me very sad because it's not up to the standard of Pratchett's usual writing style. It was published in 2013, so I'm assuming Pratchett wrote it while he was suffering from Alzheimer's, and maybe he didn't have the time to do one more editorial pass-through. It reads like a draft. The story structure is not as tight as his earlier books- especially Going Postal. In his earlier books, there's foreshadowing and a fleshing out of the villains, and that's lacking in this book. On the other hand, I think this story reveals more about the relationship between Moist and Adora Belle because of the incomplete structure. I get the sense that we are able to peek into their private conversations and if Pratchett had done another editing round, he would have determined those moments too intimate for us voyeurs. The flirtation between Moist and Adora Belle is what made Going Postal seem like a very new story in a very established world. I can't think of another moment where Pratchett actually allows the reader into the head of a character at that point in the relationship..."

https://crosejack.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/the-writers-process/

Blogger Jeroen muses on Night Watch:

    "I could never really pin down Vimes as a character (but neither could Ankh-Morpork's Assassination Guild), but in this story he shows what a good down-to-earth guy he is. He's a watchman with street smarts, but he's never on the streets anymore and this worries him. But then a magical accident happens and he is flung back in time to the days of his first job as a watchman, and he's forced to tackle the streets if he wants to save the future that he just came from. But he wasn't that fond of that future before he accidentally left it, so this is where (or when) he has to make a choice.

    "I'm not too fond of time travel shenanigans. In the Discworld universe, however, that means we meet Lu-Tze the History Monk, one of Pratchett's finest creations. And that's not all. Vimes's trip back in time shows us a lot of Ankh-Morporkian history and especially about the watch and the early days of Vimes, Colon and human-like thing known as Nobbs. Another reason why you can't just dive into this book without being familiar with the watchmen... A general trend in Discworld is that in the later books the number of quick jokes and puns in the text goes down, while Pratchett's skill in storytelling goes up. Night Watch is a typical latter-day entry in that the story is a bit more serious, complex and heartfelt and not so much about a concentrated bombardment of jokes. And Pratchett transformed through the years into a first-class storyteller. He always had an amazing command of the English language, but now that he couples it to a deeper exploration of character and a well-plotted storyline, we've got a really cracking good book..."

https://jeroenthoughts.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/terry-pratchett-night-watch-2002/

Blogger JM Williams this time offers a three-part examination of Thud!, concentrating on certain memorable scenes:

    "I'm sure that I mentioned many times before how much of a Terry Pratchett fan I am. The man was a master of world-building, in particular, deep and resonate characters. Though he includes humor in is work, much more in earlier works, he does not rely solely on humor and eccentricity to keep readers hooked like Douglas Adams (not that there is anything wrong with that, I love Adams, too). The characters are what keep readers like myself coming back for more, and Pratchett's best characters are those in the City Watch series of books. His watchmen (and women) feel real, with honest reactions to the strangeness of the world... Pratchett's books are more than just humor and adventure, there is a subtle philosophy to it as well. This is best embodied in the lead character of the Watch novels, Sam Vimes. The character represents authority in a world shifting from authoritarianism to a sort of republicanism; Vimes often finds himself on the side of the latter..."

    "One scene that stood out to me as representative of Pratchett's humor and brilliant characters was the scene in Thud! where the main female cast goes bar hopping. Strangely, I often find myself drawn to Pratchett's female characters. Being a male writer, I am often concerned with the portrayal of my female characters, where they ring true and honest. Writing from perspectives you have no experience with seems to be a gamble. It is one that Pratchett often wins... This whole scene is about characters, and here we start to see how varied they can be. We get a impression of the main girls–Angua and Cheery–the reputation of Nobby (the ladies of the Watch assume him to be a lecherous hound, but we are given a different perspective here), and we start to unravel the new character Tawnee. All delivered with humor and great care..."

    "In all, it's turning out to be a great book. Pratchett is pushing gender a bit more than usual in this work, especially with the girls at the bar. He clearly making a statement about the fluidity of identity and the weakness of generalizations and stereotypes, here and throughout the book. I think people these days might benefit by giving the decade old book a go..."

https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/pratchetts-thud-part-1-a-medley-of-characters/
https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/pratchetts-thud-part-2-the-ladies-night-out-scene/
https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/pratchetts-thud-part-3-the-aftermath/

...whereas the almost always irritating blogger Vacuous Wastrel first wibbles on for some 2,000 words(!) in pursuit of overly faux-intellectual overthinking, before finally getting to the meat of "hang on, this book rocks!":

    "Oh, how good it was to be back with Vimes and Angua, and Carrot and Colon and Nobby and Detritus, and Vetinari and Ridcully (Ridcully! Pratchett never gave us enough Ridcully…) and all the others! Sure, the ending doesn't really work, but for most of the novel we get plenty of tension and excitement, and plenty of mystery and intriguing puzzlement. The exploration of dwarven culture may be a little suspect, but it's meaty, much meatier than anything we were given in recent volumes. And dear lord, it's just funny. Thud! is packed with a continual supply of beautiful lines, puns, wit, slapstick, deadpans, irony, absurd situations… it's almost constantly smile-inducing and at times it's laugh-out-loud. This novel is so much better than I remember it being, because it is just so much *fun*. All you have to do is: don't think that this is an attempt to continue the story. Think: the story is over. This is an epilogue to the story, just a little snippet of Our Heroes going about their daily lives and jobs. Is it sort of pointless, sort of repetitive? Yes! It makes a terrible Next Chapter. But that's not what it is. This isn't a pivotal episode – this is one of those interchangeable but enjoyable episodes of a longrunning series, one of the ones thaat isn't too memorable but where you spend the time with a smile on your face because you're watching characters you love do the things you love them to do (or, in the case of Angua, the things it's just funny to watch her have to go through). You don't want the whole series to be like this, but as a one-off episode taking time off from the larger arc, it's great..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/thud-by-terry-pratchett/

...and gives the same treatment to Going Postal:

    "The familiarity, the lack of novelty, the superficiality, the indulgent flabbiness… the problems are all here. They may not have suddenly sprung up here, but they're here very clearly to be seen. And yet... I enjoyed this book. This book was fun. The characters may not have been great, but they were likeable, engaging. The villain, Reacher Gilt, is actually one of Pratchett's best villains (that's not saying much), though sadly underused. I'm not exactly happy with such an uncomplicated parody of Atlas Shrugged (not that I want to protect Rand – on the contrary – it's just that it feels a little lazy), but that does result in a spark of authorial passion that helps provide a little energy and some good barbs. It's not hilarious, but there are some solid, good jokes. The plot isn't much, but it mostly works. There are a couple of really great set-piece scenes. It's more accessible than some of his books, both in style and in content, and it does feel as though it's partly written for newcomers and a broad audience, but at the same time there are callbacks for the long-time fans, and little gems of wit and erudition and cleverness buried near the surface here and there. And Pratchett in 2004 was just such a good writer. I know, I've said this in several of the reviews, but by now he was really polished. He's able to transition on a dime from witticism to slapstick comedy, to passages of, honestly, poetry (see the quote at the head of this review), and he always seems in control of his tone, his rhythm, his melody. Sure, he may go in directions – broad in humour perhaps, or sentimental in prose poetry – that some readers may not like, but he does so intentionally..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/going-postal-by-terry-pratchett/

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Paul Kidby working on his exquisitely beautiful bust of Sir Pterry (see item 3.1):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxN4aL9XgAAvXZr.jpg

A small but perfectly formed iconograph of Pamela Munt as Granny Weatherwax and Tony Cockington as Count de Magpyr in Unseen Theatre's recent production of Carpe Jugulum:
http://bit.ly/2ftEO1T

Rat-onna-stick! (see item 8.1):
https://www.discworldemporium.com/844-large_default/rat-onna-stick.jpg

Some familiar-looking designs for the forthcoming Josh Kirby smartphone covers:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxuWMA1UkAA0lgm.jpg

Rincewind, Twoflower and the Luggage at the recent Supanova fan convention in Sydney, as posted by the Nullas Anxietas gang on Twitter:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxlwQ5jVIAALz2E.jpg

Josh Kirby's unused cover for the Death Trilogy:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CySZW1aW8AAmwcv.jpg

The cast of Brisbane Arts Theatre's current production of Guards! Guards!:
http://bit.ly/2gx9mA4

...and their beautifully rendered Errol:
http://bit.ly/2fCRKls

Death in the Land of Fog – and Mort and Lezek, in Paeroa Little Theatre's recent production:
http://bit.ly/2gm4yyd

...and two of Melbourne Zoo's gorgeous orangutans, as photographed by Jack Wintle (and who needs an excuse, ever, for iconographs of orangutans?):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyJL03lWQAAoLmd.jpg:large

...and finally, a famous first meeting, 25 years ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxTP8V2XUAAU8Ao.jpg

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

11) CLOSE

    If you're the sort of person who 1) has a touchscreen mobile and 2) likes unusual phone covers, then you might wish to hie yourself to the Josh Kirby Art site, where you can buy Kirby's Discworld art turned into covers for iPhone, Samsung, HTC, LG, Google and Sony phones. Go to http://www.joshkirbyart.com/ and click on the Store button – at which point you'll be taken to a page that offers UK/Europe or USA options, presumably because the Kirby estate's web designer doesn't think anywhere else exists on Roundworld. Click on one of them and you will eventually find the page that offers the phone covers... a clear case of patience rewarded?

    And that's the lot for November. There may or may not be a December issue (and if not, all will be back to normal in January), so I'll take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Hogswatch!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Anthill inside)
News from the Discworld Emporium...

"There's only seven days left to place your Hogswatch orders with us if you live outside of Europe and the US! For all our customers who don't live in the UK, Europe or the USA, we wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you have just seven days to place your Hogswatch orders before our cut-off date of the 2nd of December. After this date there's no guarantee the items will reach you in time for Hogswatch!

"As an official branch of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office we pride ourselves on offering swift and reliable delivery all over the Roundworld, but even our postmen deserve a rest over the festive holiday! For our final posting dates and holiday closure information please read on! For delivery in time for the Hogfather to make his rounds, please be sure to order by the recommended dates below":

Thursday 1st December
Africa, Middle East

Tuesday 6th December
Cyprus, Asia, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Far East (including Japan), Caribbean, Central & South America

Thursday 8th December
Greece, Australia, New Zealand

Tuesday 13th December
Western Europe (Except Greece), Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Canada, USA

Thursday 15th December
United Kingdom

"ORDERS WILL CEASE SHIPPING FROM THURSDAY 15TH. YOU ARE WELCOME TO PLACE ORDERS OVER THE FESTIVE PERIOD, BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY WILL NOT SHIP UNTIL WE REOPEN ON FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. THE EMPORIUM SHOP IN WINCANTON WILL BE CLOSED FROM THURSDAY 22ND DEC – FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY. Please note that communication will be limited at this time, as we'll likely be pissed as farts. Refund or replacement requests made during our closure will be processed on our return."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/content/11-hogswatch-delivery-holiday-closures


*


Introducing our limited edition Hogswatch stamps & souvenirs!

"For this year's designs, we asked Discworld artist David Wyatt to create a special festive version of the cityscape he illustrated for the Discworld Emporium's website homepage – and the result is a stunning collection of stamps & ephemera to get us into the festive spirit! The Hogswatch 50p stamps are available on a traditional First Day Cover, as a limited edition minisheet featuring a triptych of stamps set inside David's festive scene, and in a special edition 'Little Brown Envelope' – a lucky dip assortment of Discworld stamps!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/39-new-stamps

"This year we're rolling our super-limited Hogswatch and Seasonal LBEs into one festive bonanza of an edition! The Happy Hogswatch LBE will be available for the Hogswatch season until December 25th, and is packed full of the sports of a super-limited edition but features MORE prizes, AND the free stamp of a standard seasonal LBE! Each LBE contains one of three Hogswatch 50p stamps, exclusive to this issue, along with a free Hogfather Penny stamp as a gift from us! The Hogfather Penny is also available to collect as a whole sheet of stamps for collection or application to your Hogswatch correspondence! Lucky LBEs contain prize tickets for sport First Day Covers (featuring sport variants of the Hogswatch 50p), and exclusive sets of 3 whole stamp Sheets. Plus TWO of the most coveted stamps of them all – the Temple of Small Gods Blue Triangle Sports – are waiting to be found in this festive bonanza along with Clacks-o-grams, dead letter labels and sports!"

https://www.discworldemporium.com/little-brown-envelopes/336-hogswatch-lbe

https://www.discworldemporium.com/new-stamps/335-hogfather-penny

http://www.discworldemporium.com/
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
...and here be a word from the lovely lads at Backspindle Games:

We are delighted to make a couple of Christmas Offers!

Special Clacks offer!

For a limited period, you can order a copy of the game and a beautifully sculpted miniature by Microart Studios that can be used in the cooperative race game or you can order Moist by himself. (Miniature supplied unpainted)

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks

Also...

Below you can order a combination of our Award Winning, HIT Wrestling game, Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice with a copy of our brand new No. 1 Themeless game in the Dice Tower Podcast, Codinca... or you can order our really popular, (three games in one) Discworld board game, Clacks, based on the Terry Pratchett novel, Going Postal, together with a copy of Codinca.

Please note, the last days for posting from our Post Office service are:
UK Customers – 20 December 2016
EU Customers – 16 December 2016 and
ROW Customers – 10 December 2016

http://www.backspindlegames.com/christmas-offers/
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 11, Post 1)

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

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

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) THE TERRY PRATCHETT SCHOLARSHIP: A REPORT
04) ODDS AND SODS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
09) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE UNDELIVERED LETTERS
11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
13) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"I have reached the conclusion that a person may make a decision to die because the balance of their mind is level, realistic, pragmatic, stoic and sharp. And that is why I dislike the term 'assisted suicide' applied to the carefully thought out and weighed up process of having one's life ended by gentle medical means."
  – Sir Terry Pratchett, 2010, in his Dimbleby Lecture "Shaking Hands with Death"

"We should always debate ideas that appear to strike at the centre of our humanity. Ideas and proposals should be tested." – ibid.

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

  Hogswatch is a-coming, the sausages are fat... and as winter sets in around the lands of the Ankh-Morpork Consulate and the dwellers in Fourecks start to gear up for BBQ season, the naughty and the nice are making their hopeful lists to send to the Hogfather. Item 7 is full of excellent suggestions from the assorted artificers at the Discworld Emporium and Discworld.com, should you be in the market for fanworthy gifts. And if you're thinking of gifts of the dead tree variety, don't forget your local booksellers, both real and virtual (_http://www.myindependentbookshop.co.uk/_).

  There is quite a lot of Discworldly art featured in this issue, both official and fan-made. Some of it requires staying within the lines. Some of it is also edible. I hope you enjoy the various art links we've gathered for your delectation...

  And that will do for the moment. But first, a word about a kerfuffle. In last month's issue, item 9 ("Fanac") was devoted to a string of Discworld-centric limericks sent in by one of our Newshounds. As no source was given apart from "found this on Facebook", I did a number of searches (as I normally do) but found nothing to indicate where the limericks thread came from; but as it was obviously fan-made and definitely fun, I decided to include it in the issue. Then, not long after the month's issue went out, I received an email from Jason Anthony of Discworld Monthly newsletter, explaining that the limericks came from a thread on the Discworld Monthly Facebook group, which is a private group. Jason and I have since discussed this and all's sorted. But as offence was taken, Wossname hereby apologises to the Discworld Monthly Facebook group for the uncredited sharing of a thread posted in that group.

  The very purpose of Wossname, since its beginning back in the 1990s, has been to make fans aware of both direct news of the life and work of Terry Pratchett and various international activities of Pratchett fans, including links to fan art and reposting of forum threads and assorted fan poetry and essays; and that will continue to be our policy and raison d'etre. But to anyone – staff or civilian – who wants to send in any fan-based items from less than public sources in future, do let us know the origins...

  On with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) THE TERRY PRATCHETT SCHOLARSHIP: A REPORT

A special report by Danny Sag of the Australian Discworld Convention Committee

  As you may have heard, Sir Terry Pratchett has – posthumously – created a perpetual scholarship at the University of South Australia, allowing Masters students to undertake their research at the Hawke Institute at UniSA and the Long Room at Trinity College Dublin.

  On Monday September 28, Rob Wilkins – Terry's long time PA, Business Manager and friend presented the scholarship to UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd. You may have seen some of the news articles, or the official video from UniSA (links below), but I'm here to tell you about a fan's perspective.

  Members of the Australian Discworld Convention committee including myself were fortunate enough to be invited to this event, and so we stood there nervously amongst many other university dignitaries, feeling a little out of place - until Rob came in, recognised us, and gave us all hugs!

  Once the formalities began, Professor Lloyd introduced Rob and the scholarship, Rob spoke for a short while about Terry's life since the embuggerance, and the relationship Terry and Rob had developed with Prof. Lloyd at his time at Trinity College Dublin and later UniSA. Terry was given an honorary doctorate at Trinity College in 2008 and at UniSA in 2014, and for some of the time in between, Terry was a visiting Professor at Trinity College giving some lectures on writing. Rob then told us how last October – on the day after Prof Lloyd had visited to present Terry with his UniSA doctorate (together with a graduate's hat with corks), Terry wrote letters to his family and to Rob, which were not opened until Terry's birthday this year, after his passing.

  The letter to Rob included a phrase similar to "I fancy a memorial scholarship in my name. Speak to David Lloyd and make it so." – and it has now happened! This is special as it's a perpetual scholarship - worth AU$1,000,000 (there or thereabouts) – which should tie the two universities together in Terry's name forever.

  After the speeches, Rob presented Professor Lloyd with a large novelty cheque from the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork, the official documentation was signed (and stamped with Terry's bee), and a few of us had Rob sign our copies of The Shepherd's Crown.

  A fun morning all around, and we were *also* lucky enough to catch up privately with Rob a little later to discuss the 2017 Australian Discworld Convention, which will be held in Adelaide. But we can't possibly tell you about that.... although if you sign up to the mailing list at http://ausdwcon.org you'll find out about Nullus Anxietas VI when we have stuff to announce!

  Here be more photos: http://imgur.com/a/MlZfc

[Editor's note: there is indeed fresh Nullus Anxietas VI news! Scroll down to item 9.1]

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

04) ODDS AND SODS

4.0 PTERRY STATUE UPDATE

From the Salisbury Journal:

  "A campaign get a statue of the late Sir Terry Pratchett installed in Salisbury has gathered more than 2,500 signatures. Organisers say they are now working [with] an artist and Sir Terry's management team to draw up concept designs for the statue. Campaigner Emily Brand said: 'We've had some fantastic support and media coverage for the project, and it just goes to show how much love the community in both Salisbury and across the world had for Sir Terry. It's been a little quiet the last couple of weeks, but we are now working with artist Paul Kidby and Sir Terry's management team to create some concept designs for the statue in the near future. Once we have some designs I can go forward with the official pitch which I have been invited to put forward to one of the local councils. This project is going to be a long time coming to fruition, but I am so overwhelmed by the positive responses we've had so far, and I hope you'll all continue to follow us we work together to see this tribute to one of Britain's great authors come to life.'..."

http://bit.ly/1OlfWFA


4.1 THE FIFTH AND FINAL LONG EARTH NOVEL

The final Long Earth novel is due to be published in June 2016. Here be blurbage from Goodreads:

  2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day and in the Long Earth, the new Next post-human society continues to evolve. For Joshua Valiente, now in his late sixties, it is time to take one last solo journey into the High Meggers: an adventure that turns into a disaster. Alone and facing death, his only hope of salvation lies with a group of trolls. But as Joshua confronts his mortality, the Long Earth receives a signal from the stars. A signal that is picked up by radio astronomers but also in more abstract ways – by the trolls and by the Great Traversers. Its message is simple but ts implications are enormous:

  JOIN US.

  The super-smart Next realise that the Message contains instructions on how to develop an immense artificial intelligence but to build it they have to seek help from throughout the industrious worlds of mankind. Bit by bit, byte by byte, they assemble a computer the size of a continent – a device that will alter the Long Earth's place within the cosmos and reveal the ultimate, life-affirming goal of those who sent the Message. Its impact will be felt by and resonate with all – mankind and other species, young and old, communities and individuals – who inhabit the Long Earths...

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25859268-the-long-cosmos

...and here be an interview with Guardian journalist (and fan) Alison Flood, back in 2010, when the Long Earth series was a mere project in its infancy:

  "Both authors are determined to put the parameters of their world(s) down in concrete before getting started. 'Once you've got the science and the background you have to be true to it. One of the problems of Doctor Who-type fiction is that you can make it up as you go along. If you do it right, you use the modelling clay you've got,' said Pratchett. 'You only get one chance to put down the parameters of what's possible. I've been phoning doctors and people like that and saying "Can this work?" You have to find something which seems right and not too blatantly bad from a scientific point of view'..."

http://bit.ly/1P1tMzZ


4.2 THE BOING BOING REVIEW: THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN

By Cory Doctorow, with little to no spoilage:

  "The Tiffany Aching books were Pratchett's personal favorites, a fact that had puzzled me, because as good as they were, they seemed slight alongside of the Moist von Lipwig books, whose exploration of the way that modernity and technological change rippled out through society really resonated with me. But in The Shepherd's Crown, I've come to realize what it is about these books that makes them so special and endeared them so well to Pratchett's own heart: it's their compassion... In The Shepherd's Crown, Tiffany's coming of age arrives at its climax, and Pratchett uses her challenges to bring her into contact with a much wider piece of the Discworld. More importantly, he makes her confront impossible situations – wicked problems where someone must lose. Into this action, Pratchett introduces all kinds of symmetries and touches in on some of the Discworld's old threads: the old romance between Granny Weatherwax and Archchancellor Ridcully, the ongoing story of the railroad (see Raising Steam), the social pecking order of witches, and the relationship of gender to witchcraft and wizardry, first explored in 1987's Equal Rites.

  "What makes this book so great – what made Pratchett so great – is his commitment to making jokes into something more than gags. The early Pratchett Discworld novels were rather thin by comparison to the later ones (he confesses as much in some of his essays), because Pratchett got better as he went along. Pratchett's early work was dominated by puns, Douglas-Adams-ish comic footnotes (that often fell short of Adams's high standard) – cheap yucks. But Pratchett got better. Lots better. He didn't get better by giving up on those cheap yucks: he got better by making them into something more than cheap yucks. The Nac Mac Feegle are a silly gag about Scottish, drunken, ultraviolent Smurfs. In the Wee Free Men, Pratchett played with this notion, figured out where and how he could push it around. Five books later, the Nac Mac Feegle aren't a gag anymore. They're full-blown characters, and if there are running gags about them all being called things like No'-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock Jock, they are garnish, not the main dish, which is a deft way of using these spear-carriers to move the story into complicated places where Tiffany's wisdom, self-confidence, compassion and sense of duty are all tested... I loved this book. I loved it even when it tore my guts out. If you love Pratchett, I guarantee it will tear your guts out too, and even though I'm not someone who worries much about spoilers, this one is big and I'm going to leave it to you to discover. But you've been warned..."

http://bit.ly/21ccap7


4.3 DISCWORLD COLOURING-IN PAGES!

A set of Paul Kidby's Tiffany Aching novels illustrations for all ages, generously made available on Terry Pratchett Books to print out and colour...

Tiffany and her frying pan:
http://bit.ly/1Hh1ejm

Rob Anybody Mac Feegle of the Chalk Feegles, looking fearsome as a Big Man should:
http://bit.ly/1MwAcn8

Miss Treason's Boffo skulls, Enochi and Athootita:
http://bit.ly/1PISjdc

...and a rendering of the original Paul Kidby cover for The Shepherd's Crown:
http://bit.ly/1QCM0bt

And to get ready for next October, you can download the Shepherd's Crown Halloween Pack, complete with costume suggestions and plenty of other things, by going to http://bit.ly/1MwAkTw and clicking on the download button


4.4 ADOPT A DRAGON!

From the Discworld Emporium and the creative genius of Paul Kidby...

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

  "Our dragons are house trained but will sit happily outdoors should they become too much of a handful. It is also worth noting that these dragons are 100% unexplosive, and pose no risk to your home or possessions."

There are several different dragons...

Swamp Dragon #1: "This little cutie measures 160(l) x 95(w) x 60(h)mm." Priced at £30. For more information, and to order, go to http://bit.ly/1MfT73b

Swamp Dragon #2: "This little cutie measures 95(l) x 100(w) x 95(h)mm." Priced at £30. For more information, and to order, go to http://bit.ly/1MfTb34

Swamp Dragon #3: "This little sweetheart measures 115(l) x 85(w) x 100(h)mm." Priced at £30. For more information, and to order, go to http://bit.ly/1LUvpeV

Full set of three dragons: "These little b-lighters measure (mm): 95(l) x 100(w) x 95(h), 95(l) x 100(w) x 95(h), 160(l) x 95(w) x 60(h)." Priced at £80 the lot. For more information, and to order, go to http://bit.ly/1Hw6WZh

To view the main Adopt a Dragon page, featuring photos of Mr Kidby putting the finishing touches on his original dragon sculptures, go to http://bit.ly/1PepeWW


4.5 JIM VISION'S NEW DISCWORLD TRIBUTE ART

Nomes! On a boat!

  I've been following Jim Vision and End of the Line's Twitter feeds ever since the Brick Lane Pratchett mural made the headlines many moons ago, and I was gratified to find that there was further Discworld tribute art to be had from the same artists in London. But as it.'s been several months since the post about the "Terry Pratchett boat" and the starboard side photos never materialised, here be the post with its incomplete set of art photos:

http://www.endoftheline.co/the-terry-pratchett-boat-starboard-side/

Another straight-on view, from Jim Vision's collection:
http://bit.ly/1XTWbcx

  "Following the production of the Terry Pratchett tribute wall by Jim Vision & Dr Zadok, fans gathered far and wide to marvel at the spectacle. One of them being barge owner and London resident Faith. Faith got in touch with us to request her very own Terry Pratchett mural to be painted along the side of her house boat which moors on the east London canal. Jim Vision headed on over last week to get started and completed the starboard side with signature Josh Kirby gnomes and frogs. Take a look below. The port side still needs completing, so you can find Jim & Faith's brand new boat on the canal this Saturday. Final images to come next week.."

Photo credit on the page: T.Elhaj

http://jimvision.co.uk/

Also, here be an action replay of the Brick Lane mural, which has been partially changed by the same artists to Star Wars figures, after an unusually long tenure with minimal vandalism:

http://www.endoftheline.co/the-terry-pratchett-tribute-mural/


4.6 JOSH KIRBY GIVEAWAYS!

From the dedicated Josh Kirby Facebook page:

  "In December we have two big giveaways planned so please share this page with friends, family and fans of Josh Kirby, Terry Pratchett and Discworld."

https://www.facebook.com/officialjoshkirby/

Editor's note: the page can be viewed even by those who don't have a Facebook account. If you're not familiar with Kirby's non-Discworld art, go give yourselves a treat! And be sure to have a shufti at Mr Kirby's biography:

http://www.artofjoshkirby.com/about.html


4.7 STEELEYE SPAN WINTER 2015 TOUR DATES

The wonderful co-creators of the Wintersmith songs, live on tour:

Tue 24 Nov The Stables, Milton Keynes – Box office/info: 01908 280800
Wed 25 Nov New Vic Theatre, Newcastle Under Lyme – Box office/info: 01782 717962
Thu 26 Nov Prince of Wales Centre, Cannock – Box office/info: 01543 578762
Fri 27 Nov Town Hall, Cheltenham – Box office/info: 0844 576 2210
Sun 29 Nov Royal & Derngate, Northampton – Box office/info: 01604 624811
Mon 30 Nov Epsom Playhouse, Epsom – Box office/info: 01372 742555 / 742227
Tue 1 Dec The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield – Box office/info: 01246 345 222
Wed 2 Dec Huddersfield Town Hall, Huddersfield – Box office/info: 01484 223200
Thu 3 Dec Sage, Gateshead – Box office/info: 0191 443 4661
Fri 4 Dec Leeds Town Hall, Leeds – Box office/info: 0113 224 3801
Sun 6 Dec Great British Folk Festival, Skegness – Box office/info: 0330 102 5295
Tue 8 Dec The Apex, Bury St Edmunds – Box office/info: 01284 758000
Wed 9 Dec Corn Exchange, Ipswich – Box office/info: 01473 433100
Thu 10 Dec St Mary's In The Castle, Hastings – Box office/info: 01323 841414
Sat 12 Dec The Lighthouse, Poole – Box office/info: 0844 406 8666
Sun 13 Dec Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch – Box office/info: 01708 443333
Mon 14 Dec Cadogan Hall, London – Box office/info: 020 7730 4500
Tue 15 Dec St George's Bristol, Bristol – Box office/info: 0845 40 24 001
Wed 16 Dec Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth – Box office/info: 0844 847 2362
Thu 17 Dec City Hall, Salisbury – Box office/info: 01722 434434

To purchase tickets online for any of these dates, go to http://steeleyespan.org.uk/tour/ and click the button for the desired date.


4.8 THE RETURN OF... GREEBO?

In the Nottingham Post:

  "A missing cat returned to its owners having lost an eye after five years in the wilderness – and weeks before the couple perform in a play featuring a one-eyed feline. Half-Persian tabby Silva was feared dead when she went missing from her Colwick home in 2010. But last Monday owner Gale Brammer received a call from Cat Rescue saying microchipped Silva had been picked up by one of their volunteers. The news came as Gale, 56, and her husband Richard, 48, were rehearsing the Colwick Theatre Club's production of Terry Pratchett's Maskerade. Richard, producer of the show, said: 'It's the most bizarre coincidence. It was almost too coincidental to be true. In the play, Nanny Ogg has a tomcat called Greebo, who only has one eye. Silva had two eyes when we last saw her, so she must have been through some awful things. It's very sad, but she's home and safe now.' The couple toyed with the idea of casting their cat in the role but decided it would be too cruel to put her on stage in front of live audiences. 'If it was being recorded like a film, I'm sure we could have involved her,' said Richard. 'But it's just not fair on her and we don't want to frighten her.'..."

http://bit.ly/1GHnOky


4.9 THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY BLOG: THE LANGUAGE OF DISCWORLD

An excellent Oxford Dictionaries blog entry about the language of Discworld!

  "What first started life in 1983 as a parody of the fantasy and science fiction genres has now blossomed into a minutely detailed world. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Pratchett's writing is that, despite the fantastical setting, the people and places seem very real and relatable. One of the ways that Pratchett has achieved this is through richness of language... The Disc is both 'a world and mirror of worlds', filled with different countries and cultures which have more than a passing resemblance to our own, and it's clear that Pratchett has had a lot of fun creating the linguistic identities of Discworld's various inhabitants... With so many different languages spoken on the Disc – Morporkian, Klatchian, Ephebian, and Omnian to name a few – there's no wonder that language barriers, as anywhere, can cause confusion. For example, Ankh-Morpork might be the Disc's greatest metropolis but to a native of Uberwald (a 'very wild' place indeed!) Morpork is a word for an item of ladies' underwear. The Borogravian national anthem is another familiar example of the problems of translation. While probably a rousing call to arms in its native tongue, the Morporkian (or English) translation is somewhat mystifying... If human language differences weren't problematic enough there are also Trollish and Dwarfish to contend with. A clear parody of Tolkien's own inventions, Discworld dwarves speak a guttural language which, to the untuned ear, sounds like someone in need of a throat sweet or two. Dwarves famously have no single word for rock and can also communicate through a complex pictorial language known as Minesign. Trolls, on the other hand, are much more physical beings, communicating mainly by hitting each other with rocks. They do, however, have both a written and a spoken language and are perhaps responsible for the oldest writing on the Disc... Aside from the amusing names and satirizing of cultural confusion, language forms an important part of the underlying philosophy of the novels as Pratchett recognises how language creates the reality it describes. He also demonstrates the power of language in shaping the way we relate to our own identities and the past..."

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/06/the-language-of-discworld/


4.10 REVIEW: THE WORLD OF POO

In The Missoulian (of Missoula, Montana), a review by Marjorie Doyle:

  "If you have a child around 9 or 10 years old and are a fan of Pratchett's 'Discworld,' this is the book for you. If you've never read Pratchett and need some humor in your life, this little book will have you hooked. One of the only authors that my spouse and children have in common, Pratchett's use of word play and irreverent humor will have most chuckling all the way through this book 'for all ages.' The story of young Geoffrey – who is sent off to visit his grandmamma while his mother is preparing for childbirth – and his quest to collect samples of poo of every variety is more amusing than can be imagined..."

http://bit.ly/1ShyN5F


4.11 A CHAMPION DISCWORLD CAKE!

In the South Wales Argus:

  "An Ebbw Vale woman and her five-year-old son were 'over the moon' after they were given top prizes in an international cake competition at the weekend. Jay Humphris won gold for her two-foot goblin and fairy cake while her son Toby Ashman, five, was given a certificate of merit for his creation at the Cake International show in Birmingham. The pair entered the decorative exhibit category alongside Emma Phillips, who runs Ebbw Vale-based Epic Cakes and also won a silver prize for her elaborate Terry Pratchett-inspired cake... Ms Phillips, who owns Epic Cakes and runs classes in Ebbw Vale learning action centre, won silver in the competition. She said: 'This is the first year I've entered. We were delighted to bits. My cake was a bit of a nod to Terry Pratchett because he passed away last year and my husband is a huge fan.'"

http://bit.ly/1NIhW85

And here is a photo of Emma and her award-winning cake: http://bit.ly/1XgblXB

[Editor's note: for more amazing Discworld cakes, go to the Images section!]


4.12 TERRY PRATCHETT, MIRROR(ER) OF (REAL) WORLDS

Here be a well-crafted piece by Shweta Taneja about how speculative fiction can provide a truer picture of reality, on the Indian culture site Scroll:

  "In 2001, while receiving the Carnegie Medal for his children's book The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, author Terry Pratchett said, 'We categorise too much on the basis of unreliable assumption. A literary novel written by Brian Aldiss must be science fiction, because he is a known science fiction writer; a science fiction novel by Margaret Atwood is literature because she is a literary novelist. Recent Discworld books have spun on such concerns as the nature of belief, politics and even of journalistic freedom, but put in one lousy dragon and they call you a fantasy writer.'... For fantasy, be it in gaming or books or movies, is perceived by the majority as escapism and a desire to live in alternate realities. But for many authors like Pratchett, the purpose of fantasy is not to immerse yourself in another world so as to forget your own, but to reflect on your own society, to gaze into its gaping holes. In the same speech, Pratchett says, 'Far more beguiling than the idea that evil can be destroyed by throwing a piece of expensive jewellery into a volcano is the possibility that evil can be defused by talking. The fantasy of justice is more interesting that the fantasy of fairies, and more truly fantastic. In the book the rats go to war, which is, I hope, gripping. But then they make peace, which is astonishing.' And the skilled writer that he is, he manages to reflect our society's political and social milieu through satire, mirroring international bickering on climate change, the modern day obsession with television, ambitious politicians who force war in the name of justice, and even the disruptive role that everyday greed and cowardice play, all through a bunch of monsters and wizards..."

http://bit.ly/1N4t0zW


4.13 "RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER" CONTAINS A TRIBUTE FROM RHIANNA TO HER DAD

In Gamezone:

  "The daughter of beloved fantasy giant Terry Pratchett, she had the opportunity to learn at the knee of one of the greats, but she's stood out on her own skills and has carved an niche into the world of gaming with writing credits for the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider, Mirror's Edge, Heavenly Sword, Overlord, and she's back with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Lara's father has been a specter and motivator for the titular archaeologist since her inception, exploring Croft Manor and traversing tundra following his clues and with the passing of Terry Pratchett, the younger saw a good opportunity to include an homage to the late author. 'There is one journal ... when my dad was being interviewed about his Alzheimer's, he said that there was one particular memory he didn't want to lose,' Pratchett recently told GamesRadar. 'It was about the time I was born. The night I was born. I immortalized that memory in one of Richard [Croft]'s diaries. So it's a little– it's a riff on that memory of my father's, rolled into Richard's memories.' Pratchett described the experience as cathartic and it's nice to see such a genuine tribute to someone who was not only clearly dear to her, but to the many Discworld fans around the world...."

http://bit.ly/1NjV1pp

There's also a full interview with Ms Pratchett in The Telegraph, about the game and other things:
http://bit.ly/1O9ohxO


4.14 ON READING THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN

Tracy Briseno of the Ames Public Library has written a reflective essay about the end of new Discworld novels:

  "I am having trouble reading this book. Usually, I buy the newest Pratchett book the day it is released and read it cover to cover that day or at the very least, within that week. I devour the book, then often go back and re-read it again once I've finished. Pratchett's books are fun and interesting, thought-provoking, and make the reader see the world around them with different eyes. I've read most of them multiple times and regularly recommend them to friends (and strangers). The point remains, that I don't want to finish this book. I dearly want to read it, but when it is over, there will be no more new adventures in this wonderful world I've come to love. That breaks my heart... The interesting thing for me is that the loss is felt anew when you discover an author you love, read through their whole body of work, then get to the end... For me, this doesn't translate to wanting others to continue ghostwriting (which Pratchett's daughter has assured fans will not happen in his case.) I mourn the finality, but anything else would feel like a sham, not quite right..."

http://amestrib.com/news/memory-terry-pratchett

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.0 NEW: UNSEEN THEATRE'S NEW AUDITIONS!

Unseen Theatre's next Discworld play will be Feet of Clay! The play will run from 15th to 30th April 2016 – but first, a cast is needed. Director Pamela Munt says, "This is a 'City Watch' play so I am hoping that lots of you male actors out there are jumping in to attend auditions. Female roles are also available of course. Basically we need a cast of thousands."

Auditions info:

When: Sunday 29th November 2015
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Time: 5pm

Rehearsals will be held each week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings, running to this schedule:

December 8th to 20th (Christmas break)
Jan 3rd to Feb 11th (Fringe break)
March 15th to April 14th (Production Week commences Sunday April 10th)

If you are interested in auditioning, contact Pamela Munt at pamela@unseen.com.au to let her know. "No appointment time is necessary because the auditions will be run in a group format. BUT we do need an idea of numbers."


5.1 NEW: ERIC IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2016)

Monstrous Productions are going from strength to strength! Having raised over £16,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK so far through ticket sales for their Discworld plays – including £4,000 for their recent and much lauded production of Night Watch – the company is now set to tackle Eric in the new year!

When: 18th, 19th and 20th February 2016
Venue: The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW Box Office (029) 2048 3344
Time: 7pm all evening shows; 2pm matinee on Saturday 20th
Tickets: £7 (£5 concessions). To purchase online, go to http://7889269b08cd.fikket.com/

"Tickets are now on sale for Eric! They're a bit cheaper than usual as the play is shorter. Please be aware that there is one performance less than usual too so there will be fewer tickets available."


5.2 REMINDER: MASKERADE IN CAMBRIDGE (DECEMBER)

Discworld plays and home of the Cambridge Footlights – what's not to like? The ADC Theatre will present their production of Maskerade in December.

  "After the sell-out success of Wyrd Sisters, Bawds bring another Discworld to the ADC Theatre with their unique mix of film, music and comedy, directed by a former President of the Footlights and dedicated to the proposition that 'in opera, no-one can hear you scream'."

When: Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12 December 2015
Venue: ADC Theatre, Park Street, Cambridge CB5 8AS (phone 01223 300085). "Parking is available in Park Street Car Park operated by Cambridge City Council. Street parking on Jesus Lane is often available for minibuses and other large vehicles. Approach must be made via Victoria Avenue or Maids Causeway due to traffic restrictions."
Time: 7.45pm
Tickets: £12/£10 concessions (Tue & Sat Matinee £10/£8 concessions). To book, go to https://www.adctheatre.com/whats-on/drama/maskerade.aspx and select a date from the drop-down menu on the right of the page

https://www.adctheatre.com


5.3 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN HEXHAM (NOVEMBER)

The Queen's Hall Theatre Club are presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters this week.

When: Thursday 26th – Saturday 28th November 2015
Venue: Main Theatre, Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 3LS (Box Office 01434 652477)
Time: 7:30pm a shows
Tickets: £10 (concessions £9, under 18s £7). The Box Office is open from 10.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday & 10.00am to 4.00pm Saturday and one hour before the start of every performance. To buy online, go to http://bit.ly/1O5eIAp and click on the tab marked BOOK, then click the BOOK tab for the date of your choice.

http://www.queenshall.co.uk/events/terry-pratchett%E2%80%99s-wyrd-sisters
http://www.queenshall.co.uk/


5.4 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN BELFAST (NOVEMBER)

The Bart Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters this week.

25th–28th November 2015
Venue: Bart Players, 183 Stranmillis Road, Belfast
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10.00 (Concession for Under 18/Over 60s/Students £8.00; groups of 10 or more will earn a discount). Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bartplayers – or by email to bartplayersbelfast@gmail.com,
or by phoning 028 9020 2280.

http://bartplayers.co.uk/


5.5 NEW: MORT IN YORK, 2016: AUDITIONS!

We Are Theatre, a performance group particularly dedicated to engaging community and disability, will be presenting their production of Mort next June – the 21st and 22nd, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York. But first, it's auditions time! Charlotte and Donna of We are Theatre tell us: "York is readily accessible via transport and as a company, we have an open door policy, so we do not have a core membership, instead holding open auditions and casting from those auditions for each show."

When: 10th, 17th and 24th January 2016
Time: late afternoon/early evening. To book an audition, contact wearetheatre@googlemail.com or ring 07521 364107, and give the following information: name, age (if under 18), email address, telephone number, and preferred audition date.

Rehearsals for the June dates will be held on Sunday afternoons/evenings "from Spring 2016 onwards".

www.wearetheatre.co.uk


5.6 REVIEW: MASKERADE IN LINCOLNSHIRE

by Winston Brown in the Spalding Guardian

  "The ever-ambitious Act II Theatre Company set its drama group the task of bringing Pratchett's reworking of The Phantom of the Opera to theatre audiences at Spalding's South Holland Centre... The production turned into an epic, two-hour, 40-minute marathon with catchphrases like 'It's all about the music', 'the show must go on', and 'if your house is on fire, what's the first thing you would take out?' Kelly's remarkable turn as Nanny Ogg, plus steal-the-scene turns from Lily Bergin (Sgt Detritus) and Summer Milnes (Corporal Nobbs), added to reliable performances by Morgan, Hayley and the precocious Alex Gilman (Greebo)..."

http://bit.ly/1NIgSkD

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06) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

6.1 LEGO NO-GO

Some disappointing news for Lego and Discworld fans:

  "Lego has just reported the results of Lego Ideas, in which it crowdsourced suggestions from Lego lovers for new products. And the news is bad. Not one of the ideas, all of which received the required 10,000 supporters, has been given the green light. In total, 13 ideas were rejected, including a Lego set that replicated the living room from '80s sitcom The Golden Girls; minifigures of the two elusive members of dance act Daft Punk; a scene from the Discworld novels; a Tyrannosaurus rex; the International Space Station; video game The Legend of Zelda and an ice palace from Disney movie Frozen. Each suggestion received at least 10,000 backers between January and May this year, making it eligible for Lego Review. But the Danish company decided not to forward any of the projects to the production stage, an unwanted first in Lego history. Lego did not divulge the reasons behind its decisions, although one factor could be the challenge of securing intellectual property rights on certain ideas."

http://yhoo.it/1X44u8M

However, some people remain undaunted, especially amazing large-scale Lego sculptor Eero Okkonen, interviewed here by Lego aficionados "The Brothers Brick":

  "TBB: What was the hardest aspect of a Discworld character to capture in LEGO?

  "Eero: Probably the Librarian's shapes and proportions, especially with my limited dark orange collection. The Dean's leather coat's text 'DEAN – BORN TO RUNE' was tricky too. Most of the MOC was built simply around it, as it set the scale for it.

  "TBB: Did you have a moment of 'Eureka' when a particularly odd part just seemed to fit?

  "Eero: The Librarian's face, definitely. It took lot of shaping, but came out surprisingly fast in night-time, two or three hours. I tried all sorts of odd parts to capture his rubbery baggy face. The minifig arms connected to the hip piece were going to be used as the brow but they ended up in the lower jaw instead. The handlebar piece had the most important 'Eureka' moment here, as it made a great upper lip and framed the eyes. It also made it possible to move the yellow teeth a bit forward, giving a bit less human-like and more orangutan-like overall shape to the face.

  "TBB: How much time does it take to complete a build? Do you revisit for improvements before you are satisfied?

  "Eero: The time taken differs... But I think I am quite fast builder. These usually have taken something like six hours each, some less, some more. Ridcully, who was the first one built, was done in a weekend shortly after Sir Terry's death in March and it took a bit more; I somehow found the legs challenging as most of my character builds usually have longer cloaks. Rincewind, on the other hand, took a lot less. His facial features took some shaping and SNOT work, but everything else came together in hour or two, the shaping being very simple here. I always revisit my old creations, but usually after they are photographed and posted online..."

http://bit.ly/1lAcNse

If you haven't time at the moment to read the full interview, do take a moment to look at these amazing photos of his Discworld work!

Ridcully, Rincewind, the Dean and the Librarian:
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5687/23056056312_22b5f5c521_z.jpg

The amazing Vimes, with cigar, truncheon – and proper bare toes:
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5707/21719775158_55b8f10547_z.jpg

...and Susan, dressed for The Duty and accompanied by the Death of Rats:
http://farm1.staticflickr.com/733/21808725266_2fdb0855ae_z.jpg

6.2 "CLACKS": A HOGSWATCH REMINDER!

No, there's no new news (or indeed, new ODs) since last month. But this is where your Editor imp-lores all and sundry who haven't bought Clacks yet to go to your nearest Roundworld game-seller and demand they present you with a copy to buy. While I have no full review to offer yet since it's taken a while to arrange a proper multiplayer session (December issue will have the review), we at Wossname Central have tinkered a bit with the game and can assure you that it's a goer. And what better way to liven up your post-Hogswatch dinner family games, right?

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks/
http://discworld.com/products/games/
http://www.discworldemporium.com/Clacks

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD.COM UPDATES

It looks like Discworld.com have got their hands on Tiffany's goddess-of-summer cornucopia, when it comes to Discworld merchandise...

  "Crunching snow, snorting boar and rolling turnips in the office herald the approach of Hogswatch at Discworld.com HQ, and we're delighted to invite you to explore our range of seasonal gifts on our NEW festive favourites pages. Here you'll find tempting treats to delight every Discworld fan, unusual stocking-fillers and some new ideas from the Roundworld goodies vault. But do avoid disappointment and heed our last ordering dates as we cannot guarantee postage of items ordered after the following:

UK – 11th December
Europe – 4th December
USA – 4th December
The rest of the world (including Australia & New Zealand) – 1st December

http://discworld.com/products/festive-fun/
http://discworld.com/products/stocking-fillers/

Stocking fillers

  "We have a ton of treats to stuff the stocking of any Discworld fan and a host of affordable Roundworld gifts too so please take a browse through our new Hogswatch pages, where everything is grouped together for simpler, faster shopping! Brighten up your desk with one of our quality mousemats, which are now all priced at just £5 – stock is extremely limited so grab your favourite design while it lasts. Or order one of our canvas bags and cover it with badges from our massive selection – we even have a colourful range of six 'festive specials'. Our quality Dweenie badges are always a hit but when the Hogfather turns up who can resist! He's only available for a limited time so snap one up while you can. And don't forget to deck your Christmas kitchen with magnets and coasters from our Dweenie range, again the Hogfather is only available for a short time. And grab the hugely popular rat chopping board and NEW Death chopping board while we still have stock!"

http://discworld.com/products/stocking-fillers/
http://discworld.com/products/bags/
http://discworld.com/products/badges/
http://discworld.com/products/dweenie-badges/
http://discworld.com/products/coaster/
http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/rat-chopping-board/
http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/death-chopping-board/

And for under the tree...

  "We're delighted to offer you a huge range of high quality goodies featuring all your favourite characters from the Discworld. We have t-shirts and hoodies, Tiffany's exquisite pendants, stunning artwork (some still signed in person by Terry Pratchett), DVD's (including Terry's 'Living with Alzheimer's', now back in stock) and a hog-load more."

http://discworld.com/products/t-shirts/
http://discworld.com/products/hoodies/
http://discworld.com/products/jewellery-discworld-merchandise/
http://discworld.com/products/signed/
http://discworld.com/products/dvds/terry-pratchett-living-with-alzheimers/

Festive Favourites...

  "All your festive favourites are here in our Hogswatch special page, from Death as the Hogfather specials to our seasonal range of high-quality A5 Hogswatch cards. Beautifully illustrated gloss cards featuring the artwork of Paul Kidby, they include a lineup of Discworld characters guaranteed to titillate even the most cynical scrooge. Cards feature The Hogfather, The Librarian (We all need a little extra 'Ook! in life!) and Nanny Ogg in a festive mood. All cards have individual messages and come complete with colourful envelopes."

http://discworld.com/products/hogswatch-cards/
http://discworld.com/products/festive-fun/

A really special gift...

  "We have limited stocks of items that were personally signed by Terry Pratchett. Keep a little piece of history and remember him by tucking these items away on your shelf at home. A truly irreplaceable and precious Hogswatch gift. We also have limited numbers of collectable items and keepsakes for you to choose from for those extra special gift ideas."

http://discworld.com/products/signed/
http://discworld.com/products/collectables/

  "Books, books and more bOOKs! As well as a vast range of Discworld novels in paperback and hardback, embossed with Terry's golden coat of arms, we have a wonderful selection of gift books ranging from the sublime Nanny Ogg's cookbook, Terry's incredible & moving 'Shaking Hands with Death' and the wickedly funny 'Good Omens', to the glorious Death's Domain and other Discworld mapps! We're all engrossed in the NEW Discworld atlas too, well worth a read! This stunning work brings to life the lands and locations of the Discworld stories in a way never seen before. Accompanied by lavish full-colour illustrations and a detailed world map, this is a must-have for any Discworld fan."

http://discworld.com/products/paperbacks/
http://discworld.com/products/hardbacks/
http://discworld.com/products/books/book-nanny-oggs-cookbook/
http://discworld.com/products/books/shaking-hands-with-death/
http://discworld.com/products/books/book-good-omens-paperback/
http://discworld.com/products/books/book-deaths-domain/
http://discworld.com/products/books/book-a-tourist-guide-to-lancre/
http://discworld.com/products/books/the-discworld-atlas/

  "Organise your year with us... With 800 days, 13 months, two of each season and more festivals than Vetinari has mimes in his dungeon, a Discworld year is hard to keep track of! But we CAN help you keep tabs on a Roundworld Year with the 2016 Collector's Calendar. This unusual collection features twelve pieces of original art from Joe McLaren, cover artist for Gollancz's hugely successful Discworld Collector's Library. The calendar includes all major realtime calendrical data for Great Britain, Eire, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, as well as notable Discworld dates. And the delightfully illustrated 2016 diary is a must for any Pratchett fan's Hogswatch stocking! A durable, high quality hardback, with heavy weave pages, this beautiful book comes with all the functionality of an everyday diary but also packs the charm, wit and wonder of the Discworld into every month – a must for the modern witch!"

http://discworld.com/products/books/discworld-2016-collectors-edition-calendar/
http://discworld.com/products/discworld-library/
http://discworld.com/products/books/discworld-2016-diary-a-practical-manual-for-the-modern-witch/

  "Collect all your favourite characters from the Lancre Coven now easily accessible in our special selection pages. From Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick and Agnes Nitt to our youngest star, Tiffany Aching. We have a wonderful selection of magical merchandise to please every fan of the delightful Discworld witches."

http://discworld.com/products/the-witches/

  "Cheer up the tree this Hogswatch! You asked for them and we're delighted to announce the launch of three heavenly Hogswatch decorations to brighten up the tree of any Discworld fan! These cheerful designs feature Paul Kidby's ever-popular artwork. The reverse is printed with festive mottos and each aluminium disc is suspended from a jolly red ribbon – Happy Ho Ho Hogswatch from us all!"

http://discworld.com/products/hogswatch-decorations/

  "We've launched three quality new phone cases just in time to make the Hogswatch of any iPhone 5 or 6 user. Sporting three of our most popular designs these cases are proving to be a huge hit so order while we still have stock. And for those of you who don't have an iPhone, don't worry, we're looking at stocking other covers so keep checking our Facebook, Twitter and website!

http://discworld.com/products/phone-covers/
https://www.facebook.com/discworldofficial/?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Discworld_com
http://discworld.com/

7.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

First off, the Hogswatch delivery news:

  "'Nether rain nor snow nor glo m of ni t...' As an official branch of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office we pride ourselves on offering swift and reliable delivery all over the Roundworld."

For delivery in time for Hogswatch please make sure you order by the following dates:

Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Japan, South America, Eastern Europe – 6th December
Australia, New Zealand, Greece – 9th December
Germany, Italy – 13th December
Canada, USA – 14th December
Rest of Europe – 15th December
UK – 18th December

  "We will cease shipping from Friday 18th December. Orders placed after this date will not be sent until we re-open on Tuesday 5th January. Check the postal system for worldwide incidents or status updates by visiting
http://www.royalmail.com/service-updates."

Editor's note: for the full info, go to http://bit.ly/1lBEUXP

Now, for some new stuff...

* The Great A'Tuin game mats!

  "A generously proportioned Discworld game mat from Micro Art Studio featuring Great A'tuin, the Star Turtle by Paul Kidby. This marvellous mat isn't just for gaming though, oh no. In fact, we've been using ours as a general desk mat but it is also ideal for crafting, table decor, pet bowls and as a mouse mat for trolls for example! Measures 60 x 40cm, fabric with 2mm rubber non-slip backing."

Each Game Mat is priced at £10.00. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-atuin-mat

* The Flora & Fauna of Discworld tea towel!

  "100% cotton tea towel featuring some of our favourite Discworld plants and critters, including the Curious Squid, Quantum Weather Butterfly, Counting Pine, Hermit Elephant and Swamp Dragon! Illustrated exclusively for us in glorious thaumicolour by Vladimir Stankovic in his wonderfully dark story-book style, this fantastical tea towel 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 78 x 48cm."

Each Discworld Flora & Fauna tea towel is priced at £9.95. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-flora-and-fauna-teatowel

* The Death's Cloak pin!

  "A replica of the Omega cloak pin worn by Death and Susan in the film adaptation of Hogfather. Made in pewter with a heavyweight brooch clasp, and delivered in a stylish presentation box. Measures 70 x 40mm."

Each Death's Cloak pin is priced at £10.00. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://bit.ly/1vleZlt

...and the Kidby Dragons latest...

  "Thank you! Our baby swamp dragons, exclusively sculpted for us by Mr Paul Kidby, have twice sold out, meaning that lots of little dragons have been adopted, helping to provide vital aid for dragons in desperate need of love and care this Hogswatch. Each dragon is hand-cast, polished and finished to achieve their special glow – so it takes time for them to be created, but we're working hard to get them restocked soon and will let you know when they are ready for re-homing once more."

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

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08) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 7th December 2015 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 has a new Discworld fan group, 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. Next event Loonies Christmas Party. Same weekend as Hogswatch would have been. ie 27/28/29 November."

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 100 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

Upcoming events hosted by the Pratchett Partisans include:

Homicide at Hogswatch. Sat 19 December 6pm-10pm. Grand Central Hotel Dining Car. Will another Murder will be committed in Ankh Morpork? More details will be released soon.

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."

Upcoming events include:
Nov 26th Monthly Dinner and Games, Seven Stars Hotel, 187 Angas St
Nov 29th Planning Picnic, Botanic Park, 11.30am
Dec 6th Round World Events SA Annual General Meeting
Dec TBA End of Year Dinner

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

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 3rd December 2015 (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 4th December 2015 (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 7th December 2015 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 7th December 2015 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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

09) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

9.1 AUSDWCON 2017 NEWS

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

Announcing The Discworld Grand Tour!

=======================================
  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.

  Our wonderful new website has just launched and can be found at https://ausdwcon.org
Please visit the site to read all about the upcoming convention and to book your tickets!

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

Terry Pratchett Folio Special Offer

=======================================
Thanks to the kind generosity of Rob Wilkins, the first 50 people to purchase tickets to Nullus Anxietas VI will receive a very special gift – a limited edition Terry Pratchett Folio, containing some short writings by our very favourite author. These have only been previously available to attendees at the UK Discworld Convention in 2014, at Nullus Anxietas V in 2015 and for a very short time at Discworld.com. This is your chance to get one of the few remaining copies, simply by buying your ticket to Nullus Anxietas VI!

For more information, see https://ausdwcon.org/shop/folio-special-offer/

HO! HO! HO! Buy your loved one a Hogswatch present!

===================================================
Also now available in the Australian Discworld Convention shop are Hogswatch Presents – vouchers you can buy for a friend or loved one which they can use at a later date to buy their Nullus Anxietas VI ticket! This is a special limited-time sale – Hogswatch Presents will only be available until December 20th.

Meet your fellow tourists

====================
You can find out more about Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – The Australian Discworld Convention and chat with other potential tourists at:

Website: https://ausdwcon.org
Facebook page: https://facebook.com/Ausdwcon
Facebook group: https://facebook.com/groups/ausdwcon2017
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ausdwcon


IDWCON LETTERS

The Irish Discworld Convention committee have now released a collection of these letters, from members of Team Pratchett and members of the public, in .pdf form.

  "Throughout the Convention, we ran a memorial event called 'Letters to Terry', where attendees were encouraged to write a letter celebrating the impact of Sir Terry's work on their lives." A few extracts to whet your interest:

  "Well, if the old adage is true: 'no man is truly dead while his name is remembered', then there are millions of us remembering your name old darling, so many in fact that perhaps by some strange alchemy of fate the concept you so wonderfully explored in 'Small Gods', of deities being created by the prayers of their followers, then you might yet appear in some vision to a virgin or as a rocking statue in the grotto of your choice..."
– Bernard Pearson

  "So many of us mourn you not just as an admired author, a fiction producing superstar glimpsed from afar, but for the very real way your writing touched our lives, widened our world view, improved our sense of justice and made us laugh."
– Shivers

  "I had never been part of a fan community. I knew nothing of fan conventions or fan culture... And so, when the 2008 convention rolled around, I, at age 48, packed up my bags and flew to England from New Delhi to attend and it was the first time in my entire life that I had gone somewhere alone, to be amongst people I had never met before for any purpose, least of all for the purpose of celebrating works of fiction and their author. I arrived, met a few people, started gophering and the first duty I was given was to carry your bags. I was in awe..."
– Elizabeth Ann Warner Gaw

  "I am a religious believer, and you weren't, and we had many a good discussion on this. But ultimately, once one has crossed the black sands under the starry skies, these speculations will disappear in the light of reality. So it is my confident prayer that one day we shall see one another again, and talk, and talk, and talk..."
– Jacqueline Simpson

  "I was a geek when that was a thing that got you beat up regularly in school, long before it turned into an ironically cool label. You were a refuge, an example that people who unabashedly spent their time thinking about witches and elves could be spectacularly successful and not apparently bothered if others didn't care for the same thing... You gave me joy, Terry, when I needed it. You gave me a way to connect with those I love. You let me look at the world in a different way, and continue to do so. I miss the idea that there is more to be heard from you, but I know that's incredibly greedy when you've already given me so much."
– Kris Vasquez

To read the whole collection, go to http://idwcon.org/index.php/convention/2015aftermath.html/ and click on the Letters to Terry link. Beware, the whole document is 54 pages long and may cause strong emotions...

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

10) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE UNDELIVERED LETTERS

As told by Maev Kennedy in The Guardian:

  "Thousands of pieces of correspondence, many still unopened, were stored away by Dutch postmaster and are now being examined by academics... an extraordinary trove of thousands of pieces of correspondence, never delivered, many still unopened and sealed closed, found packed into a leather trunk and stored away for centuries in the Netherlands. The collection includes letters from aristocrats, spies, merchants, publishers, actors, musicians, barely literate peasants and highly educated people with beautiful handwriting, and are written in French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Latin... The letters were sent between 1680 and 1706, a time of constant war and political upheaval in Europe, and were kept by a married couple, Simon de Brienne and Maria Germain, the postmaster and mistress in The Hague. They were a canny business couple who spent a period in England as court officials to the newly crowned William III before selling their positions for £1,550 and a barrel of Burgundy and returning home. At the time the delivery of letters was paid for by the recipient, and many may have been undeliverable because the recipient had changed address – one had been forwarded to a series of different addresses, in vain – or even died. Smith believes that they were kept in the hope that one day they would be collected and paid for. 'Something about these letters frozen in transit makes you feel like you've caught a moment in history off guard,' he said. 'Many of the writers and intended recipients of these letters were people who travelled throughout Europe, such as wandering musicians and religious exiles. The trunk preserves letters from many social classes, and women as well as men. Most documents that survive from this period record the activities of elites – aristocrats and their bureaucrats, or rich merchants – so these letters will tell us new things about an important section of society in 17th-century Europe. These are the kinds of people whose records frequently don't survive, so this is a fantastic opportunity to hear new historical voices.'..."

http://bit.ly/1HBvVKP

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

11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Here be another thoughtful review by the excellent Kokay Maramot. This time it's Jingo:

  "Jingo is easily Terry Pratchett's craziest stunt. Unlike most City Watch novels, Jingo didn't start with a murder or death (or at least not obviously criminal). It starts with squids and fishermen! It is fair to say that everything would have continued peacefully where it not for a freak geological movement which caused an island (much like Atlantis, though possible less grander and definitely smellier), to surface. Crane up to Ankh-Morpork where the social weathercocks are stirring in the direction of war! From the humblest citizen to the bigwigs in the war councils of Ankh-Morpork, everyone is talking big and thinking small. But this being a City Watch novel and our main heroes and heroines [are] policemen, it's not going to be about the merits of diplomacy. It's going to be about the delights and excites of proactive crime fighting... But while Jingo had a lot to say about the stupid things people do that gets them into stupid wars, most of the novel is just gratuitously fun. And that fun goes a long way when your subject matter is something as grave as war. And I realized something peculiar at how Terry Pratchett frames his omniscient authorial voice. One can't help but laugh when Colon goes on with his aggressive jingoism, but feel truly disgusted when the nobles do the same..."

http://bit.ly/1X5s9FR

...and here we have a fascinating blog post by one Jamie Gibbs, covering all the stages of being in a Discworld play (this on being Monstrous Productions' recent Night Watch), from auditions to final bows and post-run celebrations, complete with terrific iconographs:

  "It was a strange experience – I've not done any kind of performing for about a decade, so suddenly being back in that world again was a little nerve-wracking. I read Carcer's monologue at the audition – not too successfully as I fumbled the words and didn't come across as menacing at all. The dialogue scenes were easier as the nerves had worn off and there was less of a deer-in-headlights feeling. Thankfully, that night after the audition I'd been told I'd got a part and could become a member of Monstrous Productions! As the play progressed, I was lucky enough to get an upgrade to my role not once, but twice, due to cast members leaving. And so it was that I went from Waddy to Billy Wiglet to Ned Coates, earning me the award for 'Most Promoted' at the Night Watch after-show party... When it came to the first day of show week, I'd started to get a little nervous. Thankfully the rest of the cast and their backstage shenanigans did away with any nerves pretty quickly. One of the most satisfying things was, during a fight scene when I get winded by John Keel and go down like a sack of potatoes, there were audible gasps from the audience. Jes and I had practiced the fight numerous times, but it was great to get confirmation that it was believable..."

http://bit.ly/1PUEo2k

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

12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

12.1 FAN ART

A selection of Discworld fan art...

A funky group portrait by FaQy:
http://faqy.deviantart.com/art/discworld-456356452

...and one by Yenefer:
http://yenefer.deviantart.com/art/Discworld-characters-121973566

...and one by Jesskat:
http://bit.ly/1PH0NS4

Bob Greyvenstein's fabulous take on Granny, Nanny, Lily and Tiffany:
http://bit.ly/1X5Eo5q

A (literally) eye-popping Rincewind by a-discworld-guild:
http://bit.ly/1NJmhHY

A collection of assorted Discworld fan art from the sublime to the, um, less sublime:
http://bit.ly/1MJRVoR

...and a fine collection of Discworld animal life in sepia, by Andrew Salt:
http://bit.ly/1SRmVHl

Wossname has featured several "Discworld Doodles" drawings by the extremely talented Amy Simmonds, who says, "I would just like to say thank you very much for featuring some of my Doodles on the Wossname newsletter and crediting me by name :D I have absolutely no problem with you using any of my Discworld fan art but might I ask that you also provide a link to my Discworld Doodles Facebook page please?" Of course we will, Amy!

Amy's Facebook page:
https://t.co/Yf7B37PMKe

Amy on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/InkaDoodleDo

12.2 MORE CAKES!

A small but perfectly formed iconograph of possibly the best Discworld cake ever, made by Mrs Barracude-Bruce, as posted on Cake Wrecks:
http://bit.ly/1MG1iVL

Natalie Porter of Immaculate Confections, cakemaker extraordinaire and dedicated Discworld fan, made an amazing Grim Squeaker cake for Hogswatch at the Discworld Emporium:
http://www.immaculateconfections.co.uk/grim-squeaker-hogswatch-cake/

Jo Orr of Ciccio Cakes made an amazing Hogfather from Rice Krispies Treats, fondant, white chocolate and edible lace, for UK children's charity Bake a Christmas Wish:
http://bit.ly/1SRljxc

And from Cake International 2013, a fine Luggage:
http://bit.ly/1lBIpO9

12.3 OTHER IMAGES

A marvellous montage! Some characters who will be in the Studio Theatre's 2016 production of The Shakespeare Codex:
http://bit.ly/1kM3LIl

From Paul Kidby's official page: "Here is Granny's cottage in the Ramtops, one of the endpapers I created for The Shepherd's Crown collectors gold edition."

http://bit.ly/1KXd64F
https://www.facebook.com/paulkidby

We all know what Paul Kidby looks like, but if you ever wondered what Josh Kirby looked like, here you go:
http://bit.ly/1KYaC6i

A set of photos from Uppingham Theatre Company's recent production of Wyrd Sisters:

http://mdbaines1.jalbum.net/Wyrd%20Sisters/Friday%20Photos/index.html

Also, Magrat and Verence caught (almost) in the act:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSqGZT3WwAAYNnl.jpg

...and some of the audience, who definitely got into the spirit of things:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSrH5vWWUAErhxr.jpg

Some of the Alexandra Players' cast from their recent production of Wyrd Sisters:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSo4Ef8WIAA0rKx.jpg
and https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSp8aoeXIAEEPT8.png
and https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSz0RM0WEAEyftn.jpg

...and finally, possibly the best Discworld cosplay ever – one David Mountain and friends, doing true justice to Moist, Angua, Colon, Vimes and Mort at a convention in the UK:

http://bit.ly/1Yn7quu

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

13) CLOSE

And that's the lot for the moment, apart from a few items:

  The superb Good Omens radio play has been nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award in the Best Audio Drama (series or serial) category. Judging for the awards will be on 31st January 2016 at Broadcasting House in London.

*

  According to the Random House website, there will be a graphic novel version of Small Gods, to be published in July of next year. Stay tuned for updates!

*

  Granny Weatherwax made it easily into a "top ten greatest witches of all time" list in the Huffington Post:

"There are loveable witches aplenty in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, from the earthy Nanny Ogg to would-be opera diva Agnes and YA heroine Tiffany Aching. Esme Weatherwax is exceptional in that she is far from loveable, but will always do right by her village, even sitting down to play dice with the Grim Reaper on occasion it it means saving a life..."

http://huff.to/1NJhlD5

*

  There's an interesting blog entry on The Oxford Student, about authors and their "look". Included, of course, is The Hat:

"A distinctive look can reinforce, or play against, a reader's perception of what an author is like based on their work. No-one is surprised after reading Neil Gaiman's work to find him a slightly dishevelled, tousle-haired goth with a fondness for black coats... The late, great Terry Pratchett was known not only for his unique prose style, but in his public appearances for his trademark black hat, to the point where it was disconcerting to find pictures of him not wearing it..."

http://oxfordstudent.com/2015/11/13/an-author-after-a-fashion/

  In closing, I'd just like to point out that Pratchett superfan Emily Whitten is truly amazing. In addition to being bright, beautiful and clever, she has written a top-notch topical essay that references a certain Discworld book that can be said to reflect certain current events. Do have a read: http://bit.ly/1NlGmtM

  Wossname wishes our USA readers a very happy Thanksgiving. See you all soon!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

Copyright (c) 2015 by Wossname for the Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
The sixth official Australian Discworld convention aka Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – will take place at the Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia on 4-6 August 2017. Read on...

Announcing The Discworld Grand Tour!
=======================================
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.

Our wonderful new website has just launched and can be found at https://ausdwcon.org
Please visit the site to read all about the upcoming convention and to book your tickets!

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

Terry Pratchett Folio Special Offer
=======================================
Thanks to the kind generosity of Rob Wilkins, the first 50 people to purchase tickets to Nullus Anxietas VI will receive a very special gift – a limited edition Terry Pratchett Folio, containing some short writings by our very favourite author. These have only been previously available to attendees at the UK Discworld Convention in 2014, at Nullus Anxietas V in 2015 and for a very short time at Discworld.com. This is your chance to get one of the few remaining copies, simply by buying your ticket to Nullus Anxietas VI!

For more information, see https://ausdwcon.org/shop/folio-special-offer/

HO! HO! HO! Buy your loved one a Hogswatch present!
===================================================
Also now available in the Australian Discworld Convention shop are Hogswatch Presents – vouchers you can buy for a friend or loved one which they can use at a later date to buy their Nullus Anxietas VI ticket! This is a special limited-time sale – Hogswatch Presents will only be available until December 20th.

Meet your fellow tourists
====================
You can find out more about Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – The Australian Discworld Convention and chat with other potential tourists at:

Website: https://ausdwcon.org
Facebook page: https://facebook.com/Ausdwcon
Facebook group: https://facebook.com/groups/ausdwcon2017
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ausdwcon


Editor's note: the image below is the property of the Australian Discworld Convention folks. Be sure to visit their website to see it in its proper place!



wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2014 (Volume 17, Issue 11, Post 2)

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

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


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) MORE QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
03) GOOD OMENS ON THE WIRELESS NEWS
04) NEW BOOK ON PRATCHETT AND PHILOSOPHY
05) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
06) MORE IMAGES
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) THE OTHER QUOTES OF THE MONTH

    "He knew what he wanted to do. If they'd been people, scuffling in the gutter, he'd have known what to do. He'd have banged their heads together and maybe shoved them in the cells overnight. But you couldn't bang countries together." – Vimes contemplates the Borogravia-Zlobenia conflict, in Monstrous Regiment

    "Ye used yer eyes and used yer heid. That's what a real hag does. The magicking is just there for advertisin'." – William the Gonnagle points out that Tiffany already knows the basics of witchery, in The Wee Free Men

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

02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

    It's Hogswatch time! In the town of Wincanton! Right now! Far classier than any Black Friday crush, so if you happen to be near Wincanton, do go join in the festivities. From local news site Wincanton Window:

    "Fans of the work of Sir Terry Pratchett, author of diverse works of fantasy and satire (and even some serious stuff), will be gathering in Wincanton in Somerset on 28/29/30 November 2014... This will be the 13th Hogswatch gathering in the town following its formal twinning in 2002 with Ankh-Morpork on the Circle Sea. Check the town sign! Fans will come from all over the globe including the USA, Australia and South Africa, to enjoy meeting friends old and new at the Discworld Emporium, the inns of the town, the Balsam Centre and the Memorial Hall. There will be a host of silly things to do, interesting lectures at the Balsam Centre – along with a Magnificent Makers Market – costumes to flaunt and to admire, lovely things to buy at the Emporium, and diverse activities in the Bear and the Memorial Hall...

    "See entertainments by and for the fans before and after the watershed! Expect jolly fun with the Fools Guild circus workshops. There will be the Grand Charity Auction in aid of R.I.C.E. with at least one special item to raise money supporting the Wincanton local library. On the Sunday evening, there will be a quiz hosted by the Bear Inn. Come early if you would like to participate – it is very popular.

    "We are going to have enormous fun as we always do. Come and join us. There is no cost to attend except for the important stuff like transport, food, accommodation and money to buy wondrous things! We look forward to meeting you whether 'tis again or for the very first time."

www.wincantonwindow.co.uk/hogswatch-2014-is-coming.htm

*

    Who ever thought an estate agent's advertisement would be relevant to feature in Wossname? Ah, but this is the sort of estate agent's advert you don't see every day:

    "Property-seekers could enjoy their dream family Christmas in a brand new home if they choose one of the final two houses available at Kingwell Rise, Taylor Wimpey's sought-after development in Wincanton, Somerset... Kingwell Rise is located just outside Wincanton and enjoys a rural feel with a welcoming village atmosphere. Street names are inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, such as Peach Pie Street or Treacle Mine Road. Wincanton, which itself is 'twinned' with Discworld's Ankh-Morpork, is conveniently placed off the A303, one of the main routes connecting the south-west to London..."

    If you want to see the whole advert – the houses are more Scoone Avenue than Treacle Mine Road, but after all this is Roundworld – go to http://bit.ly/1zntsjn

*

    Now read on for some exciting news about the forthcoming Good Omens radio play... and a new book about Terry Pratchett and philosophy, by actual philosophers (Wossname's review copy is in transit, so expect a full review in next issue)... and updates on Discworld games... and stuff...

– Annie Mac, Editor

THE REST OF THIS ISSUE IS UNDER THE CUT. CLICK HERE TO READ! )
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2014 (Volume 17, Issue 11, Post 1)

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

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

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) REVIEWS: RAISING STEAM; A SLIP OF THE KEYBOARD
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
09) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"Come on, you're supposed to be a hard-nosed journalist! Pick up your pen and ask me about my sex life!"
– Pterry, being interviewed for the Ashbourne News Telegraph by tongue-tied fan Natalie Wakefield

"We can determine almost every facet of our life, why can't we choose our death?"
– Travis Wright, Managing Editor of The Stylus

"It's a story about the Antichrist. There's nothing more festive than that!'"
– actor Colin "Newt Pulsifer" Morgan enthuses about the seasonality of the Good Omens BBC radio play

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

So how was it for you, darlings? The new Wossname mailing list so far, that is. I can report that from this end things are going much, much more smoothly than ever during my editorship in the Yahoogroups era. We have had a few problems with new issues being falsely flagged as spam by some ISPs (most notably Yahoo – somehow, not surprising) but for the most part readers are reporting good deliveries of entirely intact, un-truncated Wossname issues. Many thanks to all of you for your patience, and especially to the indispensable Steven D'Aprano for doing the admin while I was down with yet another long-running illness (also not surprising).

This is the time of year when everyone with actual funds or a plastic imitation of same is madly shopping for holiday goodies, and at the moment, both the Discworld Emporium and PJSM Prints are absolutely on fire with excellent Discworld-themed merchandise – see item 7.

Last week I went with some friends to see "Pride", possibly the best "Brit feelgood film" since "The Full Monty". All through the film I kept wondering why George MacKay, the actor playing the lead/viewpoint character, looked so familiar. Eventually the penny dropped: he played Johnny Maxwell in the BBC miniseries of Johnny and the Bomb eight years ago! I heartily recommend both productions, the current film and the older miniseries (which in my opinion was an excellent adaptation, true to the spirit of the book even though they changed a few things).

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

A very mixed bag...

3.1 COLIN MORGAN INTERVIEWED ABOUT BEING NEWT PULSIFER

From the Radio Times:

"Plenty of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett fans are excited about the upcoming radio adaptation of the authors' joint novel Good Omens – but it turns out one of them is actually in the cast. 'I've always been a fan of Terry Pratchett, I think he's great,' Colin Morgan (who plays Newt in the fantasy comedy) told RadioTimes.com. 'So when Good Omens came along it was a bit of a no-brainer for me. I've always felt this about Terry's books and Neil's books – they're an absolute pleasure to read personally, but I think they're just an honour and a privilege to get the chance to perform professionally.'

"Also starring Mark Heap, Peter Serafinowicz, Sherlock's Louise Brealey and Fresh Meat's Charlotte Ritchie, Good Omens follows the attempts of an angel and a demon to save the world from the antichrist – but all is not as it seems. It was written by Gaiman and Pratchett in 1990, and became a bestseller that remains popular to this day – and while the authors haven't had too big a role in the radio adaptation (Gaiman has pitched in with the scripts), they will be popping up in cameos..."

http://bit.ly/13p4VAE

3.2 THE STORY MUSEUM'S SEASONAL GOODIES

"If you're searching for that perfect Christmas present, we may have just the thing: 60 copies of our 26 Characters exhibition book have been signed by every single author involved, including Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Julia Donaldson and Terry Pratchett. These are on sale for £260, and all proceeds go to supporting The Story Museum's work."

The Story Museum's "26 Characters" exhibition, which includes Sir Pterry's "Just William" character contribution, reopens this weekend. The exhibition is recommended for age 4+.

When: from 22nd November
Venue: The Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP
Times: Fridays 10.00 – 17.00; Saturdays 10.00 – 17.00; Sundays 11.00 – 16.00. Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
Tickets: Full price: £7.50. Concessions: £5 (Under-18's, full-time students, job-seekers, over-60s). Family ticket (for a group of 4, including at least 1 child): £20. Children under one year, and companions of disabled visitors: Free
To book tickets, go to http://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/ticketsoxford/#venue=530 or ring the ticket hotline at 01865 305305

Also, there is an excellent explanatory brochure in .pdf form about the exhibition and venue, downloadable for free:

http://bit.ly/1t5PT8N

And here be the Story Museum's dedicated Pterry page, complete with a link to an audio Q&A:

http://bit.ly/1quuISz

For more information, go to www.storymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/26characters/ or email honor.dawkinsstean@storymuseum.org.uk

http://www.storymuseum.org.uk/

3.3 THE HISTORY OF DRAGONS (AT CRUMBLING CASTLE, THAT IS)

On the Waterstones blog, Kirsten Armstrong – an editor for Terry Pratchett's children's – "explains how his new collection of stories for children provides an insight to the development of his extraordinary imagination.

"Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a collection of fourteen of these early short stories, and it shows that, even aged sixteen, Terry had a powerful wit and sense of humour. We are introduced to daring animals, useless wizards and scheming criminals, all vividly imagined to hilarious effect. Yet the stories in this collection derive added charm by the fact that they offer a unique insight into the mind of Terry as a young man – and what first inspired him. A keen astronomer from childhood, the colonization of the moon was clearly on Terry's mind when he wrote The Great Speck: 1969 was, after all, the pinnacle of the space programme, and as Terry has said, he – along with many other keen young boys with telescopes – had what seemed then quite realistic dreams of space exploration taking us to other planets in the near future... Abominable Snowmen turn up several times in Terry's stories for the Bucks Free Press. It may be that Abominable Snowmen, or yetis, are simply creatures that appealed to Terry; however, it is worth noting that in 1967 Doctor Who, which Terry has acknowledged as a major influence, introduced the yetis as recurring villains in the series called The Abominable Snowmen..."

http://bit.ly/1AQigAP

3.4 HEROINES FOR GEEKS – AND EVERYONE ELSE

In The Telegraph, a ten-strong list of "the best geek culture heroines" includes Granny Weatherwax ("Terry Pratchett's best heroines share qualities with his first, the redoubtable Granny: hard work, sense, withering sarcasm and a rigid control of the darkness they secretly fear in themselves.") and Pratchett the Younger's reboot version of Lara Croft ("Croft received a more realistic make-over for the franchise's 2013 reboot in which she became a fully-rounded character, and one that women were proud to play."). The list is quite impressive and also includes such fictional luminaries as Buffy Summers, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, Gaiman's Death, and Rogue of the X-Men:

http://bit.ly/1BONmJE

3.5 DISCOVERING THE WONDERS OF DISCWORLD

By Laura Antonucci:

"You can find Terry Pratchett in the sci-fi section in any book store, but he should really have a section all to his own. Pratchett has written an insane amount of published works, and which are mostly in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. In a similar vein of Douglas Adams — author of 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' — 'The Color of Magic' is funny, weird and one hell of an adventure. 'The Color of Magic' is the first in a vast amount of novels, however you can pick up any of The Discworld Series and not need know any background and still get swept up in the insane world of A'Tuin. When you begin a book that describes a world balanced on a disk, balanced on the back of four elephants, balanced on the back of a gigantic turtle, you either think, 'huh, based in religious world theory, cool,' or 'what the heck.' And it just gets weirder from there... I can't even begin to talk about 'The Color of Magic' and do it justice in one column, but that shouldn't stop anyone from picking up a copy from whatever bookstore you choose..."

www.thetowerlight.com/2014/11/bookmarks-a-series-for-the-sci-fi-fan/

3.6 THE LIFE OF A PRATCHETT SUPERFAN

By Jane McFarlane in the Derby Telegraph:

"Natalie started to collect the Discworld series, scouring charity shops at weekends in the hope of finding them... Natalie has just read each of the previous 39, in chronological order, in preparation for the new release. 'It's the first time I've ever read all of them in order," she said. "I started in May and then was horrified to get to the end of the 39th only to realise I hadn't pre-ordered Raising Steam! While I was waiting for it to be delivered, I ended up reading all the books I have about the Discworld series, ones like the Science of Discworld – I couldn't break off and read something else!"... This summer, Natalie treated herself to a weekend away at the Discworld Convention at the Palace Hotel in Manchester, leaving the family behind and joining fans from across the country for the three-day event... Natalie threw herself into the fun, designing a costume to be the Goddess Anoia, who is the goddess of things that get stuck in drawers. 'Originally I was just going to wear a white robe and fasten some kitchen utensils to it,' she said. 'But then I started planning more and more and in the end my dad even made me a crown with bent spoons around it. I absolutely loved the convention and going on my own was brilliant. I could do my own thing and be completely selfish – Daisy wants to come with me next year and I'm gutted!' A bone of contention between Natalie and journalist husband Andrew is that years ago, while working on the Western Gazette, Andrew actually interviewed Terry Pratchett. 'He read a couple of the books when he was a teenager but never really got into them so I was so jealous that he'd interviewed Terry Pratchett,' said Natalie. 'He redeemed himself by getting up virtually in the middle of the night a few years ago to drive me to a book signing in Winchester, but I still almost held it against him that he'd interviewed my hero.'..."

http://bit.ly/1t7liqj

3.7 ALZHEIMER'S STRIKES A MUSIC WITH ROCKS IN LEGEND

From our favourite Author to one of the greatest rhythm guitarists in rock history, Alzheimer's is no respecter of artists:

"AC/DC founding member and guitarist Malcolm Young is suffering from dementia, his family has confirmed. It was announced last week the 61-year-old would not be returning to the rock band after taking a break earlier this year due to an unspecified illness. 'Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy,' his family told People... The group said last week that 'due to the nature of Malcolm's condition' Young would not feature on the new recordings or participate in the tour. His nephew, Stevie Young, will accompany the band on tour after playing rhythm guitar on the album. The news confirms rumours that the musician was suffering from the illness. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Young had been moved into full-time care at a nursing home in Sydney. According to a family friend, the guitarist could no longer remember how to play AC/DC songs. 'If you were in the room with [Young] and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn't remember who you are. He has a complete loss of short-term memory,' the unnamed source said..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-29439423

3.8 EARLY TEST FOR ALZHEIMER'S LOOK PROMISING

By Lisa Winter on IFLS:

"An early diagnosis is necessary to intervene and slow down the progression of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Unfortunately, the disease typically isn't spotted until symptoms have already appeared and amyloid plaques have begun to accumulate and cause damage to the brain. A new blood test claims to be able to accurately identify Alzheimer's disease 10 years before the onset of symptoms.

"The paper was published in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Lead author Dimitrios Kapogiannis from the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore presented the research this week at the 2014 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, DC. The blood test was performed on 174 patients with various degrees of neurological health: 84 of the participants were healthy adults, 20 were elderly adults with no dementia, and 70 had been diagnosed with AD. The researchers also had access to frozen blood samples from 20 of the AD patients that had been taken anywhere from 1-10 years prior to the diagnosis...

"There have been other AD tests announced this year that use different biomarkers to predict disease. Based on 10 proteins found in the blood, a team from Oxford predicted onset of AD within a year for over 1,100 participants, with 87% accuracy. A team from Georgetown University screened for 10 lipids in 525 participants, and was 90% accurate in predicting disease in three years. This current test is still in its early stages, and larger studies will be needed to replicate and validate these findings. The researchers are confident that using IRS-1 as a biomarker will be able to stand up to that scrutiny and will allow for early intervention of AD in the future..."

http://bit.ly/1v1emAB

3.9 IAN STEWART ON FLATLAND

Science of Discworld co-creator Ian Stewart loves the classic maths fantasy "Flatland":

"Mathematician Ian Stewart wants us to see what he sees. Which is kind of a problem, because he’s accustomed to envisioning some pretty impossible shapes: snowflakes in fractional dimensions, hypercubes in 4-D, 11-dimensional superstrings. So when the University of Warwick professor and author writes about these freaky geometries, he relies on an analogy — a way for us blockheads to understand realities above, below, and in between our three dimensions. His guide is a little mathematical fantasy he read over half a century ago: the cult classic Flatland. Written in the early 1880s by Edwin A. Abbott, the story follows A. Square, a regular quadrilateral who lives on a 2-D plane. He can’t conceive of depth, but his perspective expands when a sphere visits him from 3-D Spaceland. Though Square can’t experience all three of the sphere’s dimensions, he can see it in cross-section as a circle of various sizes. That’s the trick Stewart uses: By describing what it’s like for a flat object to imagine a solid one, he can help us imagine an object in four dimensions. For instance, a crazy 4-D sphere (called a glome) might appear to us as expanding and contracting spherical cross-sections. 'Starting with Flatland's point of view,' he says, 'you find a way in.' Stewart considers Flatland one of the earliest works of popular science..."

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/geometry-of-flatland/

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04) REVIEWS: RAISING STEAM; A SLIP OF THE KEYBOARD

4.1 RAISING STEAM

By N.C Sanders on Science Fiction.com:

"In any long running series, sequelitis is bound to set in at some point. It is an inevitability, along with getting the sniffles during flu season or craving anything and everything displayed on a cooking show. Someone neglected to inform Terry Pratchett of this fact, however. 'Raising Steam' is the fortieth book in his 'Discworld' series and it shows no signs of slowing down at all... This combination of playing around with real-world history and sprinkling it in with the magic and varying cultures unique to Discworld makes much of the adventure a real treat. It is the varying perspectives and continual shifts of narration which prove to be both a plus and a minus. Later on in the story, the character switching adds well-built tension into the drama filled final act, but can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning when trying to acquaint (or reacquaint) one's self with the ensemble cast. But this one wrinkle is far from enough to drag down this rousing tale which seems destined to pull an aged series into a new and exciting age..."

http://bit.ly/1x2NUpQ

...and by Cindy A. Matthews on Authorlink:

"Dick Simnel's creation of a prototype steam engine starts a commercial, transportation and technological revolution practically overnight, and of course it can't remain a secret for long. The newfangled invention inspires rabid trainspotters and Luddite-type detractors alike, as well as attracting the attention of those in power and those who are forced to maintain it, namely the Patrician Lord Vetinari and his right hand man, the amiable scallywag forever in his debt, Moist von Lipwig. Throw in a few grease-loving goblins, exercising their newly acquired civil rights, and some very angry dwarves, voicing quite a political agenda, and the fireworks begin in earnest. Pratchett constructs the conflict on his flat-disc fantasy world parallel to a Dickensian Earth where the steam engine shook up more than a few people's notions of how life could be and should be like..."

http://authorlink.com/2014/11/10/raising-steam-by-terry-pratchett/

4.2 ...AND A SLIP OF THE KEYBOARD

By Byron Gillan in the Buffalo News:

"Since his debut novel 'The Carpet People' in 1971, Pratchett has constructed an entire literary universe that some think is on par with the likes of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or such authors of the newer generation as George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling. So extensive is the Discworld collection, that there are fan-made guides for new readers first-approaching Pratchett's sprawling world. At times the author has branched out to write other works, such as his collaborations with the darling of the literary Comic-Con scene, Neil Gaiman (of 'Sandman' and 'American Gods' fame). However, Pratchett's attention has primarily concerned the world of Discworld and for good reason. The elaborate series boasts a massive fan base, with conventions, games, and more having grown and evolved around the books. As a result, Pratchett has achieved fame as one of the pillars of the modern fantasy community... His prose rails against the unjust ways of the world, and the circumstances of his own life. This image at once dispels the notions of Pratchett as the 'lovable-professor' as many have sought to describe him... We see Pratchett fighting to write down a few words of prose over an entire day in a novel's early pages; a weakness fans don't normally believe a talented and experienced author would possess. Later we see his frustrations with editors, event organizers, publishers and even fans. 'A Slip of the Keyboard' offers readers a candid, and extremely 'real' view of the world as Pratchett sees it. Warts included.

"That isn't to say there isn't humor, an iconic standard of Pratchett's work. Oh there is indeed that, and in spades. While he does not shy away from the darker aspects of his ascension to fame and fortune, Pratchett remains appreciative and loving of his ability, and the fans who made his rise possible. He shares many lovely and heartbreakingly-sweet tales of bonding with fans, experiencing the rising popularity of the Discworld series through conventions, and more..."

http://bit.ly/1xQPDPe

...and Colin Steele in the Sydney Morning Herald gives an Australian perspective:

"It's not all gloom and doom. Pratchett's dry humour and common sense pervades many of the essays, which are organised into three sections. A Scribbling Intruder covers his career as an author almost literally from rags to riches; A Twit and a Dreamer covers a range of subjects from school days to the meaning of Christmas, and Days of Rage covers issues relating to his struggle with Alzheimer's. Pratchett has been very outspoken about his diagnosis and the problems of the British National Health Service (NHS). His advocacy of assisted deaths is also emphasised in several essays, notably his reprinted 2010 BBC Richard Dimbleby lecture Shaking Hands with Death.

"Pratchett likes Australia, which he has visited more than a dozen times, and which features as the subject of his Discworld novel The Last Continent. His 1998 Australian signing tour is covered in a chapter diary, No Worries, which includes his Canberra Times/ANU lecture in which this reviewer features... Pratchett is very conscious of his working-class origins and reflects on his now rather stellar position, which includes a knighthood and a number of honorary doctorates. As a result, several of his essays emphasise the importance of education. He also emphasises the value of his school library and public libraries in general, although he deplores librarians calling themselves 'information providers'. Pratchett would much prefer the label, 'Shining acolytes of the sacred flame of literacy'..."

http://bit.ly/11Mmwlx

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 NEW: WYRD SISTERS IN BRISBANE

The Brisbane Arts Theatre, having just finished their triumphant run of The Amazing Maurice, are back with a new production of Wyrd Sisters, now open!

When: 22nd November to 13th December 2014
Venue: Brisbane Arts Centre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland 4000 Phone (07) 3369 2344
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays; 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $31, Concessions $25, Group discount (10+) $25, Large Group (75+) $20, Gold Members $15, Members $25AUD, Student Rush(10 mins before curtain) $10. Members can redeem their included season tickets for this show.
To buy tickets online, go to http://bit.ly/1AJ9lkw

http://artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters#sthash.3sCsVAE6.dpuf

5.2 NEW: AUDITIONS FOR MONSTROUS PRODUCTIONS' WITCHES ABROAD

Monstrous Productions are seeking cast and crew for their 2015 production of Witches Abroad:

"All roles are available and anyone aged between 18 and 70 is welcome. No experience necessary so why not have a go? Auditions will be held between 17th and 21st November with an open audition at Cardiff University Main Building on Thursday 20th; meet at 6pm in the foyer. Email us at monstrousproductions2012@gmail.com for your audition pack."

Witches Abroad will be performed at the Gate Theatre, Cardiff, from 8th-11th April 2015. Remember, all profits from Monstrous Productions plays and merchandise go to Alzheimer's Research UK. In fact, they exist solely to perform Pratchett plays for this very purpose!

http://www.monstrousptc.com/

5.3 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN WEST SUSSEX

Stage-Door Theatre Company, having already tackled the Scottish Play some eleven years ago, will tackle the Disc-ish Play – Wyrd Sisters – this December.

When: 10th-13th December 2014
Venue: The Windmill Theatre, The Green, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5LM
Time 7:30pm for evening performances, 2:30pm for the Saturday (13th) matinee
Tickets: £11 (concessions at £10). Please contact the box office at the Circle of Health, 67 Sea Lane, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 2RQ (telephone 01903 856801) for all ticket enquiries.

5.4 REVIEWS: WYRD SISTERS IN CARDIFF

In Wales Online:

"I don't know how they did it, but with no scenery and very few props, just the odd table or teapot, the Monstrous Productions Theatre Company managed to magic up the Discworld. From the opening scene where the three witches Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat meet – all played brilliantly by Ellen Warren, Zoe Azzopardi and Lowri Belson – it was like seeing the much-loved book come to life... During one scene, there is a play within the play. Some of the actors sat down in the front row, my heart sank as I sensed audience participation. There is nothing guaranteed to put me on edge as much as joining in. I cringe at forced frivolity. To me, fun is a four-letter word, and not just because I can't spell. But I was wrong. I wasn't forced to take part, just sit back and enjoy the witches' hilarious heckling a few seats down from me. The entire cast did an amazing job, with many or them bringing multiple roles to life..."

http://bit.ly/1xc19FD

...and on Mithril Wisdom:

"The entire cast were superb, working well with Monstrous's hallmark minimalist stage decoration and allowing more room for all characters to shine. The witches themselves, performed by Ellen Warren, Zoe Azzopardi and Lowri Belson (Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat) had great chemistry with one another and did justice to the roles. My favourite performance, though, came from Jes Hynes (Lord Felmet), whose descent from simpering hen-pecked nobleman into guilt-ridden madman was a delight to watch, giving the role a touch of pantomime villainy but with the gravitas of the Shakespearean tragedy the story satirises. Once again, Davies' direction gives the audience plenty of Easter eggs during the performance... As the second Witches story under their belt, Wyrd Sisters shows that Monstrous Productions can tackle even the most ambitious of Pratchett stories..."

http://bit.ly/1sdCha9

5.5 REVIEW: MORT IN QUEENSLAND

In the Inverell Times:

"The large audience laughed its way through the very entertaining Mort and enjoyed a light supper at interval. The cast for Mort was a mixture of actors that were either new to the stage or new to Inverell audiences. The roles of Mort and Death were brilliantly portrayed by Brendon Evans and Dayne Rosolen. They were ably supported by young actors Eloise Collins, Emma Muggleton and Lachlan McDonald. Audiences familiar with Inverell Theatre Company productions would have been very familiar with the actor who portrayed Albert, Peter Caddey..."

http://www.inverelltimes.com.au/story/2679078/on-the-pulse/

5.7 NEW FOR 2015: WYRD SISTERS IN UPPINGHAM

The Uppingham Theatre Company (under the patronage of Stephen Fry) will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in October 2015 at the Uppingham Theatre, Stockerston Road, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9UD

Audition and read-through dates are not available yet, but keep an eye on http://www.uppthearts.co.uk/ for updates!

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS

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

Next meeting: Monday 8th December 2014, from 7pm onwards.

The Drummers' November meet report:

"We met on Monday. It seems a long time ago now. We had one new person, Marina, who we knew from the forum. We talked a lot about Hogswatch and did our best to encourage those who have never been to come along. There was discussion of the most recent Dr. Who. My impression from that discussion is that I enjoy it more than most because my expectations are a lot lower. I still think the 'moon is an egg' episode was utter crap, though and don't get me started on why anyone would repair a Dalek without disabling its weapon function first. The was a happy moment when the staff at the Monkey Puzzle brought us a free bowl of chicken goujons. I'm still not quite sure why but they were nice (as is their roast pork belly with crackling and an apple stuffed with black pudding. I'm having a Homer Simpson moment just thinking about it). Only other thing that sticks in the mind is that I mentioned that I avoid putting anything too smutty in meeting reports as they are seen by people who have never been to Drummers. Everyone pointed out that anyone who would be shocked would probably hate Drummers anyway. Very true."

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

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a new fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". Forthcoming events include:

Thursday, 27th November 2014: Dinner and games at Groove Train, King George Square, from 5.30pm

Saturday, 6th December 2014: Discworld board games +early Xmas dinner at Bris Square Library Theatrette, from 2pm (dinner from 6pm)

For more info about their next meetup, go to www.meetup.com/Pratchett-Partisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia: "We have regular monthly dinner and games nights, longer games days, plus play outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the year. For more info and to join our mailing list, visit http://cityofsmallgods.org.au "

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight.

Next meeting: Thursday 4th December 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 5th December 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 1st December 2014 at 6.30pm (probably). For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

Next meeting: from 5.30pm on Monday 1st December 2014 (probably).

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

*

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/westerndrummers

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 PJSM PRINTS UPDATES

PJSM Prints are back in action with a piggies-drawn sleigh-full of Discworld goodies:

"Hogswatch is approaching! Check out the latest range of calendars, diaries, cards, badges and more from PJSM Prints!

"After much discussion and deliberation with Terry we have decided that from now on all new titles will be exclusively embossed with his signature plate rather than hand signed. He would like to make it clear that this has absolutely nothing to do with the progression of his Embuggerance, but after more than forty years of signing he feels that his hand really could do with a bit of a rest. And so even though we still have a large stock of signed books and prints, we now think it unfair to ask Terry to work his way through the inevitable mountain of orders that land around publication time. The signature embossing is pressed directly onto the page and is further enhanced with a golden Pratchett Coat of Arms. Thank you for your understanding, but we first and foremost have to think of Terry while still being able to offer something exclusive to our Discworld collectors worldwide.

"UPDATE! Thank you for all your feedback, but Terry would like to point out that he really is very much okay and has just finished one book and has already started another. He's still writing every day!"

Some PJSM goodies presently available include...

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition Calendar 2015

"Exclusively embossed With 800 days, 13 months, two of each season and more festivals than you can shake a stick at, a Discworld year is hard to keep track of! Whilst we can't offer the same excitement here in Roundworld the 2015 Discworld calendar is bursting with colour and features the artwork of Discworld artist Stephen Player. Each month sports a glorious full colour picture of your favourite characters and ample space for notes."

Price £15.00. To order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/books/index.html#calendar

Discworld 2015 Diary: We R Igors

"Exclusively embossed with Terry's signature, this delightfully illustrated diary is a must for any Pratchett fan's Hogswatch stocking! A durable, high quality hardback, with heavy weave pages, this beautiful book comes with all the functionality of an everyday diary but also packs the charm, wit and wonder of the Discworld into every month."

Price £20.00. To order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/books/index.html#Igors

Badges

"Our quality hard enamelled badges are always a hit but when the Hogfather turns up you simply can't resist! Great for pinning onto anything from school bags to blazers, wear your Hogfather with pride! He's only available for a limited time and stocks will dwindle, so snap one up while you can! Great stocking filler for the Discworld fan in your life."

Price for individual 40mm/1.5" badges (including Susan, Twoflower, Moist, Granny, Death, Rincewind with the Luggage, Vetinari with the Eyebrow, Pterry himself, the Librarian, and the new Hogfather badge) is £3.50 each; for individual 25mm/1" badges – a huge selection – £1 each. To order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/badges/index.html

Canvas prints

"We love our new range of canvases and can't wait to share them with you! Printed on the best quality, robust material and wonderfully sturdy, these vibrantly coloured prints feature some of our most popular artwork and classic quotes from the Man Himself. 5 Exclamation Marks is the Sign of an Insane Mind !!!!!"

Prices vary from £15 to £35.00 for a wide selection of different sizes. To view the full collection and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/canvas/index.html

Hogswatch cards

"Wish your loved ones a truly merry Hogswatch with our seasonal range of high-quality A5 cards. These beautifully illustrated gloss cards feature the artwork of Paul Kidby and include a lineup of Discworld characters guaranteed to titillate even the most cynical Ankh-Morporkian denizen. Cards feature The Hogfather, The Librarian (Who doesn't need an 'Ook!' in their life?) and Nanny Ogg in festive mood. All cards have individual messages and come complete with colourful envelopes."

Priced at £2.95, the cards are all A5 size and come with coloured envelopes. To view the full collection and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/Hogswatch/index.html

Mousemats

"Cheer yourself up at work or home with one of our quality Discworld mousemats, your desk will never be dull again with Death of Rats to keep you company (squeak!) All mousemats are now reduced so snap them up at only £5 each! Once they're gone, they're gone."

Price £5. To view the full collection and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/mousemats/index.html

Mort and Greebo

"Our latest 2 designs in the ever popular magnet and coaster Dweenie range, we're delighted to offer you Mort and Greebo. Take a look at the full range to mix and match your favourites. Don't forget, the Hogfather is available for a limited time only."

Price per magnet is £2.00; per coaster, £2.50; a set of 22 magnets is £42.00, and a set of 22 coasters is £52.00. Each magnet measures 57mm square; each coaster measures 90mm square. To view the full collection and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/dweenie/index.html

Death Hoodie

"A black outfit... with a hood... who wears an ensemble like that? Oh yes, Death! And now we're offering you the chance to as well with our NEW Death hoodie! Made of superb quality, heavy woven cotton our new hoodies will see you through the coldest Hogswatch in style. With one of our most popular images screenprinted on the reverse, these are a fabulous buy and are selling fast."

Price £38.00, in a range of sizes from Small to Extra Extra Large. For full details and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/tshirts/index.html

Paper Panda Cards – New

"We're exceptionally proud of these versatile and unusual cards featuring some of the most popular Discworld characters. Seasonal enough to use for Hogswatch greetings but left blank inside for you to personalise, each design is reproduced in faithful detail on A5 card and comes complete with envelope."

Price £2.95 each (editor's note: these new cards are exceptionally beautiful!). To view the full collection and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/greetingscards/index.html

CMOT Badges – Popular and easy to pack, good stocking fillers

"Proudly display your affiliation to the various Ankh-Morporkian guilds, institutions, organisations and individuals with our range of best selling designed lapel wear. Cock-a-snook at mere undergraduates with [the] Unseen University Alumni Badge" (approximately 35mm high)... Cock-an-even-bigger-snook at holders of inferior degrees with [the] Unseen University Doctoral Badge" (approx. 40mm high)... and not forgetting the Ankh-Morpork City Watch Badge: "Essential for every budding Watch Man, Woman, Troll, Dwarf, Golem, Vampire, Pixie etcetera. Antique bronze metal – approximately 35mm high."

UU Alumni Badge is £4.50; UU Doctoral Badge, £4.95; A-M City Watch Badge, £6.95. To view the full collection and to order, go to:
http://www.pjsmprints.com/cmot/index.html

"PLEASE NOTE OUR LAST GUARANTEED ORDERING DATES FOR HOGSWATCH 2014 ARE:

UK – 13th December
Western Europe – 6th December
USA – 5th December
The rest of the world (including Australia and New Zealand) – 27th November"

http://pjsmprints.com/


7.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

"Hogswatch is on the horizon, and our final recommended posting dates are here giving you plenty of time to peruse our range of Discworld delights and place your orders. To ease the burden of browsing we've compiled a handy selection of our favourite items for you to choose from":

New stuff: http://bit.ly/14kVeDD
Jewellery and apparel: http://bit.ly/1zo3EnE
Homewares: http://bit.ly/1oUaHDY
Printed gifts: http://bit.ly/1zo3QmT
Games and pastimes: http://bit.ly/1GV6ANA
...and of course, stamps: http://bit.ly/1wwj8Tn

USA: 11th December
EU: 13th December
UK: 18th December
Rest of the world: 3rd December

* Ankh-Morpork, the fiendishly difficult Discworld puzzle!

"Back in August we premiered our Ankh-Morpork Jigsaw, which promptly sold out at the International Discworld Convention. We've since been working on some tweaks and are pleased to announce that the Fiendishly Difficult Discworld Puzzle is now back in stock for Hogswatch!

"Ankh-Morpork, city of one thousand surprises – now in a thousand puzzling pieces! See the city unfold before your very eyes, but only if they can take the strain! Featuring artwork from The Compleat Ankh-Morpork, this fiendishly difficult Discworld puzzle is a must for any jigsaw collector and Pratchett fan. 'Compleated' puzzle measures 66 x 50cm, made in the UK. (Health warning; side effects may include head scratching, wall climbing and mild bouts of lunacy – but the view is worth it!). 2nd Edition."

Ankh-Morpork 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, is priced at £17.50. For full details and to order, go to:
http://bit.ly/1ww2SSd

* Hogswatch 2014 Update!

Hogswatch 2014, "A gathering of Discworld fans who really should know better", will take place on 28th-30th November:

"Join us [in] Wincanton on November 28-30th in for a festive celebration of all things Discworld in Ankh-Morpork's very own twin town. Enjoy a weekend of diverse entertainments including, games, talks, activities for little folk and Hogswatch staples such as the traditional Sausage Supper, Strut your Stuff, and the Grand Charity Auction – all held in venues throughout the town. Good little boys and girls may even be treated to a visitation from the Hogfather himself. Expect good food, a warm welcome, and plenty of charitable nonsense in the company of fellow fans and likeminded folk. A full programme of events will be available nearer the date...

"This year we're also celebrating three major book anniversaries – 10 years of Going Postal, 20 years of Interesting Times and 25 years of Pyramids, giving a huge range of costuming opportunity. Dressing up is wholeheartedly encouraged, so whether Noble Postman or Agatean Emperor, don your Discworld gladrags and paint the town Octarine!

"Hogswatch is an informal gathering, with a friendly atmosphere and easygoing charm. It's (mostly) free to attend but you will have to source your own accommodation – click the 'Where to Stay' button below for ideas on where to rest your head.

"Getting there – for directions and public transport information (Google Maps): http://bit.ly/1xE5Sl5 – CAR PARKING – Wincanton is blessed with three free carparks, for restriction information and a car park map:
http://en.parkopedia.co.uk/parking/wincanton/

"Don't forget to order your limited edition Hogswatch 2014 Medal of Honour – exclusive to our fearless and foolhardy Hogswatch attendees!" The Hogswatch 2014 Medal of Honour is priced at £3.50. For full info and to pre-order for collection at the event:

www.discworldemporium.com/Hogswatch%20Medal%20of%20Honour

*

FURTHER UPDATES

"Hogswatch is a special time for the Ankh-Morpork Post Office; the crisp crunch of snow under foot on the morning rounds, the back-breaking mail sacks full of Hogswatch cheer, the quivering excitement of stamp collectors as they await the Hogswatch designs... With previous guest artists including Paul Kidby and Peter Dennis, the limited edition Hogswatch issues from Discworld Stamps are always eagerly anticipated. We're excited to reveal that this year's designs are the result of an exclusive collaboration between The Discworld Emporium and guest artist Joe McLaren; cover artist for the stunning Discworld Collector’s Library Edition Hardbacks from Gollancz! A true Pratchett fan at heart (and a member of the Discworld Collector’s Club back in the 90s), Joe has used his distinctive style to depict a view of Sator Square on Hogswatch eve complete with wizards, beggars, dwarfs, trolls, the Hogfather in his sleigh, snow swirling around the Tower of Art and candlelit carols – a real Hogswatch treat!"

Here we go...

* "Fairytale of Ankh-Morpork" Minisheet

"This glorious image has been cleverly designed to incorporate four separate tableaus that make our new issues from the A.M.P.O. presented here as a limited edition minisheet measuring approx 90 x 90mm. An edition of only 300."

Priced at £5.00, the Fairytale of Ankh-Morpork minisheet will be available online on 2nd December (also available at Hogswatch 2014 Wincanton festivities next weekend). To see images of the Minisheet, and to order (in the fullness of time), go to: http://bit.ly/1yFbatF

* Hogswatch exclusive Little Brown Envelope!

"No Hogswatch would be complete without a festive edition of our Little Brown Envelope – a lucky-dip assortment of Discworld Stamps with a chance of rarities, sports and prizes. Each LBE in this edition will contain at least one of Joe McLaren’s Hogswatch stamps, along with a generous sprinkling of the two Hogswatch sport variants, rare Blue Triangles and Dead Letter Labels distributed throughout the edition. And that's not all! Being the season of goodwill there will also be TWO ultra-rare Blue Triangle Sports waiting to be found in lucky envelopes, along with prize tickets for 1 of 30 exclusive Sport Covers, or 1 of 30 Large Format Sheets of Hogswatch stamps – Now if that doesn’t get you in the festive mood, we don't know what will!

"ON SALE AT OUR HOGSWATCH EVENT IN WINCANTON FROM SAT 29TH, AND ONLINE IN TWO BATCHES AT 10:00AM & 6:00PM GMT ON TUESDAY 2ND DEC. For more information & a sneaky preview click the images!"

http://bit.ly/1uSUI8w
http://bit.ly/1xEC077
http://bit.ly/1raRx8o
http://bit.ly/1zNom0t

"N.B. Special Editions tend to sell our VERY quickly, often within the first ten minutes of release. To avoid disappointment we recommend the purchase of an LBE Season Ticket. Otherwise please have this page ready at the time of release and remember to refresh your browser. It is important to note that adding LBEs to your cart does NOT guarantee purchase - proceeding quickly to checkout once they have been added to cart is heartily advised."

The Hogswatch LBE is priced at £5.00. For more information and to order (in the fullness of time), go to: http://bit.ly/1torZEG

* "Hogswatch 2014 First Day Cover"

"A beautifully illustrated First Day Cover featuring this year's Hogswatch issues by guest artist Joe McLaren - cover illustrator of the stunning Discworld Collector’s Library edition Hardbacks from Gollancz. Joe has used his distinctive style to depict a festive view of Sator Square complete with wizards, beggars, dwarfs, trolls, the Hogfather in his sleigh, snow swirling around the Tower of Art and candlelit carols - a real Hogswatch treat! Each cover features all four designs, embellished with a limited edition Hogswatch frank from the A-M.P.O and accompanied by a decorative commemorative insert! An edition of only 250, each cover measures 110 x 220mm (DL)."

The Hogswatch 2014 First Day Cover is priced at £10.00 and will be available online on 2nd December (also available at Hogswatch 2014 Wincanton festivities next weekend). To see images of the First Day Cover, and to order (in the fullness of time), go to: http://bit.ly/1vaa7To


* "Hogswatch 2014 is only a week away and we are pleased to announce that our official programme of events is now LIVE! View on our website, or download a printable version for Acrobat-supporting devices – click below to view!"

http://www.discworldemporium.com/Hogswatch%202014


*** Editor's Choice: some recommended selections from the Discworld Emporium for your Hogswatch stockings...

a. "The Witches" board game

"The Witches is set in the magically charged land of Lancre. Players take on the role of trainee witches, such as Tiffany Aching and Petulia Gristle, learning their craft and dealing with all the problems that life on Discworld can throw at them. Our heroines will tackle everything from a sick pig to a full-blown invasion of elves - life can be tough for a young witch in Lancre! Fear not however, as an array of Discworld's most famous characters will be on hand to aid your quest. Along the way you'll meet the guiding forces of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, along with a rich supporting cast of familiar faces from Terry Pratchett's bestselling Discworld series. Compete with your fellow 'hags' to master the witches' craft, and cooperate to prevent crises from escalating into catastrophes. Most problems can be solved with a little headology and a nice cup of tea, although at times you must resort to magic, but beware - too much may cause you to turn 'Black Aliss'. The Witches can be played with up to four players, competitively, co-operatively, or even played solitaire.

"The Witches is the second Discworld game from Martin Wallace and explores another corner of Discworld, where our brave heroines are forever on call to impart their wisdom, and battling evil is just part of the job. Suitable for ages 13+ Play length 90 minutes approx."

"The collector's edition of The Witches includes exclusive alternative cover art, a larger Lancre map game board, four exclusive pewter figurines of each playable character: Tiffany Aching, Petulia Gristle, Annagramma Hawkin and Dimity Hubbub, along with a rather stunning A1 poster of artwork from the game. This edition is limited to 2000 copies world wide."

The Standard Edition is £29.99. To order:
http://bit.ly/1zDU9ky

The Collector's Edition is £40.00. To order:
http://bit.ly/1uSqUKt

b. The Ankh-Morpork Post Office Collection Box

A cut out and build beauty!

"From the pages of Going Postal and the team who brought you the Unseen University Cut Out Book this cut-out and build collection box is an ideal activity to while away a soggy afternoon. When complete your Ankh-Morpork post box can be used to collect anything from small coinage to love notes, or simply used as a table decoration. Each pack contains four sheets of sturdy paper to cut out including the option to make either a clean and shiny post box or a graffiti-decorated version more often seen on the streets of Ankh-Morpork. Finished article measures 235cm high, glue and cutting implement not supplied. Supervision of little folk is advised."

The A-M Post Office Collection Box is priced at £5.00. To order:
http://bit.ly/1p1yRw6

c. "Raising Steam" Collector's Pack

"The age of steam has arrived in Ankh-Morpork, and to celebrate the Discworld Emporium is proud to offer this exclusive collection of stunning ephemera from Terry Pratchett's 40th Discworld novel, Raising Steam! Each set includes an A3 folded guide to Discworld's new Railway, featuring cover artwork by Peter Dennis and Ian Mitchell depicting the glorious Iron Girder, Discworld's first locomotive. Inside you'll find the official map produced by Ian Mitchell for the frontispiece of Raising Steam, only BIGGER and in FULL COLOUR! On the reverse you'll find a full explanation of services available to first, second and third class passengers. Each guide has been lithographically printed onto high quality 280 micron art paper.

"You will also receive a third class luggage label featuring additional artwork of Iron Girder - a souvenir from your journey on the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway. This label is robust enough to withstand even the most 'enthusiastic' baggage handler and is matt varnished for a tactile finish. Measures approx. 70 x 110 mm. And then there's the ticket – the ultimate keepsake! Printed on textured paper and punched at either end on our own perforator, each ticket is printed on both sides for an authentic 'age of steam' appearance. On the reverse of your ticket you'll find a few useful titbits of information to make your journey more pleasurable (No singing, spitting or micturating from the windows).

"Also Included is a postcard from Uberwald, featuring an illustration of the Fifth Elephant crashing into the hills surrounding Bonk and Schmaltzberg. On the reverse, you can read the missive of a young dwarf in search of his roots. Each card bears an Ankh-Morpork Post Office 5p Rail Mail stamp, featuring Iron Girder herself, franked in transit. (Discworld Stamp collectors, please note that mint examples of this stamp will be available in the near future).

"All of the above has been prepared with great care to contain no spoilers - only details that have been made immediately apparent in the press as approved by Sir Terry."

The Raising Steam Collector's Pack is priced at £12.50. To order:
http://bit.ly/1BNZBGf

d. The City Watch Pocket Notebook

"Uphold the law on the streets of Ankh-Morpork with the aid of the official issue pocket notebook - a trusty companion to the officer on the beat or in a bind. Contains 44 plain pages for your reports and scribblings, along with six pages of reference material to guide you about your duties. Includes quick-fire information on powers of arrest, chargeable offences, first aid and watch houses, equipment regulations, and the all-important watch oath. Features sketchbook-quality 190gsm off-white leaves made from 100% real paper, and textured card cover with rounded corners. Measures 105 x 147mm."

The City Watch Pocket Notebook is priced at £5.00. To order:
http://bit.ly/11v2cUE

e. The I ATE'NT DEAD Necklace

"The Feegles call her the 'Hag O' Hags', the dwarfs 'She Who Must Be Avoided', but we know her best as Esmerelda Weatherwax: Discworld's most formidable practitioner of headology. Our tribute to Granny Weatherwax is her iconic borrowing sign recreated as a beautiful silver pendant and chain. Created by our award-winning silversmiths in the historic workshops of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, each pendant has been hand-crafted so that no one sign is precisely the same, and stamped with the Discworld and sterling silver hallmarks on the reverse. A precious and essential accessory for any aspiring witch!! Pendant measures approx 25 x 22mm, necklace (end to end) measures 480mm."

The I ATE'NT DEAD Necklace is priced at £45.00. To order:
http://bit.ly/1CdxRWp

f. And finally... Wintersmith! The Deluxe Edition of Steeleye Span's officially Pterry-approved concept CD

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

The Deluxe Wintersmith CD set is priced at £15.00. To order: http://bit.ly/1xVb1E1

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

08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

An excellently cast trio of Lancre Witches, from Monstrous Productions' Wyrd Sisters:
http://bit.ly/1zb1IPx

The title page of the BBC Good Omens radio play script, "signed by All Involved", which raised £360.00 in the 2014 Children in Need auction:
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMDY2/z/cm4AAOSw1XdUW75P/$_57.JPG

...and the hardcover edition of Good Omens, signed by the authors, which raised £285.00 in the auction:
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTA2NlgxNjAw/z/UusAAOSwosFUW7zO/$_57.JPG

The Author has a new hat!
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2Qe7mYIgAA99HT.jpg

The Treacle Miners of Perth, Fourecks did a creditable Ankh-Morpork City Watch for Comic Con:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BkCYy87CcAAibKs.jpg:large


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

09) CLOSE

As time continues to tick on and our favourite author's Embuggerance steals him away cell by cell, the subject of the freedom to choose one's own time and place of dying becomes ever more relevant. Here is a well-written, level-headed editorial piece on the subject in Brockport College's student newspaper. Well worth reading and considering.

"Terry Pratchett, a writer I admire, has Alzheimer's disease, which has recently begun affecting his ability to write.
Though he lives in the UK, which does not have any sort of Death with Dignity law, he sought information in Switzerland which does allow for physician-assisted suicide. He published 'Choosing to Die' which follows several patients as they travel to the Swiss company Dignitas to end their lives. In the documentary, Pratchett said if and likely when he loses his ability to write, he will most likely choose to end his life rather than live in a world where he can't write..."

http://bit.ly/1zEv5Kc

And here is another well-written and well-reasoned piece, this time from a demographic usually associated with social conservatism (i.e. corporate chartered accountancy):

"Our society has begun to move toward discussing death more frankly and re-examining many of our existing suppositions about what a good death looks like. A study released early this year found that most doctors surveyed would prefer a do-not-resuscitate, or 'no code,' order for themselves should they be diagnosed with terminal illness, though by default, most patients receive all available measures unless they specifically indicate other wishes. VJ Periyakoil, the study's lead author, observed that, 'Our current default is "doing," but in any serious illness there comes a tipping point where the high-intensity treatment becomes more of a burden than the disease itself.' Identifying this tipping point cannot be easy for doctors or loved ones, but surely when patients still have the capacity to do so, they deserve the power to make this call..."

http://bit.ly/1ucYPsg

In slightly cheerier news, Pratchett the Younger has now taken on writing the Tomb Raider comic, according to her Twitter feed: "Excited to announce that I'm writing the next run of Tomb Raider comics with @DarkHorseComics, starting with #13"

And a thought to finish on: according to the QI Elves, "The Aymara people of the Andes speak of the past as lying ahead and the future behind them". Backwards time among mountain dwellers? Sounds like a concept the Discworld troll community would find familiar...

And that's the lot for now. If there's any late-breaking news or other items of interest, we'll be back at the very end of the month. Otherwise, see you in December!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
WOSSNAME

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion

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

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

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


Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

INDEX:

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


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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


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

– and interviewed by Cory Doctorow, November 2013

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

02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

*

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

http://tinyurl.com/jw2r5fx

http://tinyurl.com/lplc8yc


*

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

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

...and the trailer:

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


*

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

http://tinyurl.com/l667o3y

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

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

By Annie Mac


I love the way Terry Pratchett writes sex scenes.

No, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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04) RAISING STEAM NEWS AND REVIEWS

4.1 PTERRY TALKS STEAM


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

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

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

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

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


4.2 REVIEWS

Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt for the British Fantasy Society:

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

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

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


Reviewed by Jonathan Wright for SFX Magazine:

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

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


Reviewed by Dan Lewis for the bookseller Waterstones blog:

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

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


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

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

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05) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT

5.1 SIR PROFESSOR, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE DOCTOR


In The Guardian:

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

http://tinyurl.com/qcbmf77


5.2 RETIREMENT? OF COURSE NOT

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/nx4zgof


5.3 TELLING TALES FOR ADOPTION

From This is Somerset:

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/k6z4cpf


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

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/ojcn6a6


5.5 A TOP TEN LIST: DISCWORLD CHARACTERS

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

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

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

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

To read the full article, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/npgedav


5.6 REVIEW: AN EVENING WITH TERRY PRATCHETT AT BRIGHTON READS

By Thomas Powell on Badger Online:

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

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

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


5.7 AN ART EXHIBIT OF INTEREST

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

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

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

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

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

Cupid meets Rob Anybody:

http://tinyurl.com/mvon7h8

Kidby's fabulous bust of Granny Weatherwax:

http://tinyurl.com/ll5zumf


5.8 REMINDER: THE DISCWORLD COLLECTOR'S LIBRARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/n7zvr6k

ISBNs, for your information:

MORT is 9781473200104 and REAPER MAN is 9781473200111.

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


5.9 REMINDER: STEELEYE SPAN LIVE WINTERSMITH TOUR

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

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

http://parkrecords.com/tourdates.php

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

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

In a word, "Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"

http://tinyurl.com/n3lbbvw

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07) REMINDER: HOGSWATCH 2013 IN WINCANTON!

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

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

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

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

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

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O8) REVIEW: THE WINTERSMITH ALBUM

By David Kidman for FATEA Records:

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

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

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09) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

9.1 UPDATE: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN KNEBWORTH


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

http://www.katsdrama.info/


9.2 REMINDER: THE RINCE CYCLE

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

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

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

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


9.3 MASKERADE IN BRISTOL

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

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

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


9.4 REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BURY ST EDMUNDS

In the Bury Free Press:

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

http://tinyurl.com/kos9s4j

About the company:

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

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10) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

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

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

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

Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

Hogswatch Dinner

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

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

Picnic in the park

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

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


*

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

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

http://cityofsmallgods.org.au"


*

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

broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

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

http://brokendrummers.org/

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

*

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

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

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

*

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

kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

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

Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com

*

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

https://www.facebook.com/westerndrummers

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11) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Olga Godim reviews Night Watch:

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

http://tinyurl.com/pv8zvzy


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

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

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


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

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

http://tinyurl.com/k6x8poh


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

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

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

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/m6ocrre


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

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

http://tinyurl.com/mkee62m


Blogger Honya thoroughly enjoyed Dodger:

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

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


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

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/lucua5o


The gloriously ginger allmyrandomnotes enthuses over Monstrous Regiment:

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

http://tinyurl.com/kvv3e3u


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

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

http://tinyurl.com/k6eo3s5


Blogger Nicolle goes postal for Going Postal:

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

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


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

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

http://tinyurl.com/q79td4c


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

12) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

http://tinyurl.com/m6ejnoo


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

http://tinyurl.com/ld3cv6e


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

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


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

http://tinyurl.com/kud8znk


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

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


This one by Ivka Hrzalova is excellent:

http://tinyurl.com/l3myrrv


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

http://tinyurl.com/lgdpyl3


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

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

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

13) CLOSE

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

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/lwh4hjm


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

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

To order the Wintersmith CD from Amazon UK:

http://tinyurl.com/mtpwr89

To buy from Park Records:

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


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

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

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

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

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

———————————————————————————————————
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: interact (at) pearwood (dot) info
———————————————————————————————————
Copyright (c) 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

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