wossname: (The Glorious 25th)
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Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
May 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 5, Post 1)

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

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






"It is through Terry's work that we have brought together a group of wonderful volunteers and donated over £23k to dementia charities."
– Monstrous Productions, on Twitter, 12th March 2017

"Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes."
– Night Watch



Putting this issue out a bit early, as a reminder that the Glorious 25th of May is almost upon us!

The 25th of May – Lilac Day – was first celebrated in 2008. 2017 marks the ninth Lilac Day. Have you got your boiled egg ready? From the Anyday Guide: "The Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May, also referred to as Wear the Lilac Day, is an annual celebration observed by fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Lately it has also become an impromptu Alzheimer's disease awareness day... The Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May is a remembrance day in the fictional Discworld that commemorates the People's Revolution, which put an end to Lord Winter's reign. On May 25, the survivors wear a spring of lilac and gather at the cemetery to honor those who fell during the Revolution. The Revolution is described in the novel Night Watch. The fictional celebration was adopted by fans of Terry Pratchett's works, who began to wear springs of lilac on May 25 to commemorate his writing. In 2007, Pratchett announced that he had Alzheimer's disease. His fans began the campaign Match It For Pratchett to raise awareness of Alzheimer's. Fans are encouraged to wear lilac in support of Pratchett and make donations to Alzheimer's research funds."


And here we have the L-space wikipage about the Wearing of the Lilac:

"Each year, on the 25th of May, a group of survivors of the uprising gathers at Small Gods' Cemetery to honor the casualties with lilacs and, affectionately, one hard-boiled egg (from Madam Roberta Meserole). The seven killed were mostly Watchmen from Treacle Mine Road : John Keel, Cecil Clapman, Horace Nancyball, Billy Wiglet, Dai Dickins, Ned Coates, and, temporarily, Reg Shoe – he will lie in his grave for a time during that day, and then leave. The 25th of May is also memorialized, among those who survive, by the wearing of lilac on that date. Persons known to wear it include Sam Vimes, Fred Colon, Nobby Nobbs, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, and, improbably, Havelock Vetinari (he, at the time a young assassin, has kept his and his aristocratic aunt Lady Roberta Meserole's, not-insignificant involvement in the affair entirely secret). The date is not publicly known as it was one of those revolutions where everybody likes to pretend in the aftermath that it never happened, with many new Watchmen uncertain of its relevance to the point that one new recruit tried wearing lilac only to be sharply criticised by Fred Colon. Vetinari once speculated about erecting a statue in memory of the soldiers, but Vimes rejected the idea, stating that the dead men would not want to be immortalised and inspire others to be heroes after they were betrayed for going beyond the call of duty, requesting that the men be simply left in peace."


...and here be a fine collage/collection on Pinterest, on the subject of Pratchett wisdom in general and Lilac Day in particular:

And for those of you who can manage an online donation, Alzheimer's Research UK is continuing the work Sir Terry promoted, and the Glorious 25th is a good excuse for giving: https://donate.alzheimersresearchuk.org/publicnew

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor




From the Clanfield Post:

"Birdworld celebrated what would have been Sir Terry Pratchett's 69th Birthday with the official opening of its new exhibit, the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament with the assistance of Discworld dignitaries, Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs. The beautifully crafted exhibit at the wildlife centre south of Farnham has been created in collaboration with the World Owl Trust (WOT) and has been named in honour of the award-winning author, Sir Terry Pratchett due to his well-known love of wildlife and in particular, all species of owl... The Owl Parliament has been created both as a satellite of the WOT's collection and to recognise Sir Terry's passion for these mysterious birds of prey... To celebrate the day, visitors attended the opening ceremony in their finest Discworld-themed costume before Rob Wilkins cut the red ribbon and christened the Owl Parliament with a bottle of champagne. After the ceremony Discworld auctioneer Dr Pat Harkin led a prize-packed auction which featured prizes ranging from rare signed books, Paul Kidby artwork and the star prize of feeding Birdworld's African penguins alongside Rob Wilkins. As a result of the auction and raffle, the day raised more than £1,400 for the Birdworld Conservation Fund which will in turn be donated to the World Owl Trust to support the work it does on both a national and international scale. Pratchett fans were also treated to a special question and answer session with Rob and Stephen which included personal book signings and photos as a reminder of the day..."


For more information about the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament, go to www.birdworld.co.uk


From Penguin Books : "Are you ready to step from the Discworld into the Long Earth? Now that the series is complete, we're giving our newsletter subscribers [a chance] to win the full set."

To enter, just go to http://bit.ly/2q5eEba and enter your name and email address. There doesn't appear to be a closing date set, so presumably the opportunity is still open!


Also from Penguin Books, a good collection of examples of Sir Pterry's "stealth philosophy" and general superb understanding of human nature:

"Tiffany Aching, Witch of the Chalk, taught us how to see beyond what is in front of us, and how to be brave… The friendly face of Death taught us that death in itself is nothing to fear… Granny Weatherwax taught us to treat others with respect, dignity and decency... Rincewind taught us that sandals make the best getaway shoes, and that prejudice is not a helpful approach to life… Moist Von Lipvig, a natural born criminal, a fraudster by vocation, an habitual liar and saviour of the postal service, taught us that the leopard can change his shorts… Esk taught us when not to know your place, and when to break the rules... Vetinari taught us that the only time politics is ever simple is when it's tyranny… Captain Carrot taught us that being simple is not the same as being stupid, and to light a candle in the dark…
Samuel Vimes taught us not to tolerate injustice, and that, while candles are all well and good, sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness… Susan Sto Helit taught us that words have power, that stories are important and that we want a schoolteacher around when the apocalypse comes…"



Paul Kidby tweeted a link to a rather familiar-sounding cat:

Pet adoption agency Cats of Melbourne, located in Melbourne, Australia, posted a darkly hilarious memo about Mr. Biggles (also known as Lord Bigglesworth) on its website this week, practically daring a future owner to take him in. Founder and group co-ordinator Gina Brett wrote the ad, describing the shiny black cat as 'an utter utter utter bastard' who throws tantrums and does not like to be thwarted. 'Mr. Biggles is a despot and dictator, he will let you know he is not happy, which is often because things are often just not up to his high standards,' the memo reads. 'Mr Biggles likes his cuddles on his terms, and will sit in your lap when he decides it's time. If the stroking is not up to his standards, he will nip you... Mr. Biggles is currently sunning himself in my backyard and eyeballing the chickens with a view to murder,' Brett told HuffPost. 'This morning he played with the dog (and didn't draw blood, I'm impressed) and savaged my brother who tried to cuddle him (I warned him but he didn't listen).' While Mr. Biggles' profile is the most shared one Brett has posted since founding the agency in October of last year, the dictatorial feline with a heart of gold has not yet been adopted..."





Charity Auction
Sponsored by Dymocks Adelaide

"It is a fine and grand tradition of all Discworld Conventions to have an auction of collectables and memorabilia to raise money for charity. The Charity Auction will be held on Sunday 6th August, and you'll want to be there to bid for some rare and highly sought after items, generously donated by our sponsors, guests and community. In addition, there is also a Silent Auction – that is, rather than the auction being live and being presided over by auctioneers, you simply just write your name, membership number and bid down on a sheet of paper."

Some of the items: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_QQGGlUwAErtM-.png

Donating Items

"We already have quite a lot of really great items to auction, but if you have something you would like to donate to the auction, please contact us to let us know what it is! However, please keep in mind that anything donated needs to appeal to fans, so it should be unique or rare or have high value as a collectable. The more valuable, the more money will be able to raise for our charities!"

Our Charities

Alzheimer's Australia SA

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation






Milton Follies are bringing Wyrd Sisters to the stage in June.

When: 9th-18th June 2017
Venue: Milton Theatre, 69 Princes Highway, Milton, New South Wales (phone 02 4454 3636)
Time: evening shows (9th, 16th) 8pm, Saturday matinees (10th, 17th) 4pm, Sunday matinees (11th, 18th) 2pm
Tickets: $25 (children, concessions and group tickets $20), available online now from Ticketbooth at https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/wyrd-sisters and from the 24th of April at Splatters at https://splatters.com.au/



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

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




The next exciting Discworld play presented by Monstrous Productions will be Guards! Guards!

When: 16th–19th August 2017
Venue: The Gate Arts Theatre, Keppoch St, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 19th)
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions), available online from https://t.co/vJToGp8O5P



Monifieth Amateur Dramatics (MAD) will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters, directed by Steven Armstrong, in August: "Stephen Briggs has been involved in amateur dramatics for over 25 years and he assures us that the play can be staged without needing the budget of Industrial Light and Magic. Not only that, but the cast should still be able to be in the pub by 10 o'clock!"

When: 24th-26th August and 31st August-2nd September 2017
Venue: Monifieth Theatre, 72 High Street, Monifieth, Angus DD5 2AE
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£6 concessions), available from Troups Pharmacy, Monifieth; Yorkshire Building Society, Broughty Ferry; and The Bay Diner/Grill, Monifieth. Ring 01382 480043 for details. Tickets are also available online at http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/tickets



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

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

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at

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



Twyford and Ruscombe Theatre Group will present their production of Mort, "an off beat tale of bacon, eggs and destiny", in October!

"Terry Pratchett's Discworld will once more be gracing the stage at Loddon Hall. We are putting on a production of Mort, which will involve a large cast, plenty of dramatic moments and a lot of laughs."

When: 5th–7th October 2017
Venue: Loddon Hall, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, Reading, Berkshire, RG10 9JA
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £7, £8, £9 and £10, available online at http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/171598



A little birdie (possibly an owl) at the Studio Theatre Club says: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (November 2017!), we've only just had the formal permission for a new play and Stephen's still writing it, but he thinks it's about time he tackled another of the novels, and the third in the Moist von Lipwig Trilogy might just be the right one. It's been on his to-do list for a while...he thinks he owes it to Terry..."

When: 22nd–25th November 2017
Venue: the Unicorn Theatre, 18 Thames St, Abingdon OX14 3HZ
Time: 7:30pm all evening shows, Saturday 25th matinee 2:30pm
Tickets: £10 (Wednesday 22nd, Thursday 23rd); £11 (Friday 24th, Saturday 25th). "Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!"




The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), still claims on their website to be meeting next on Monday 30th November 1999, but it's more more likely to be on Monday 5th June 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."

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


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


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



"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!]



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

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


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

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Social Meet at the Caledonian Hotel on 25th May (yes, the glorious 25th). For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au


The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 1st June 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk


The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 2nd June 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"


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



Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 5th June 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk


The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 5th June 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>




* Hedgehog Song Book Bag

"Folk it right up with the Hedgehog Song... Book Bag! Carry your Discworld books & belongings in style with our charming yet brimming-with-innuendo canvas tote, ideal for animal lovers and hags alike! Featuring Lancre's most notorious folk song and favourite tavern ditty of banjo-wielding witch Nanny Ogg, this sturdy shopper is bags of fun! Features long handles for carrying over the shoulder, crafted in 10oz eco-friendly canvas. Measures 48 x 38cm, with handles 63cm in length (stitch-to-stitch)."

Each Hedgehog Song Book Bag is priced at £9.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

* Death of Rats figurine

"Incarnated in the page[sic] of Reaper Man, the Death of Rats is a recurring favourite character throughout Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. How could we resist adding a little 'SQUEAK' to our range of figurines?! Sculpted by the artist behind our A'Tuin and Luggage pieces, Rich Kingston, Terry Pratchett's pint-sized usher of souls is produced in a glorious antique bronze finish, hand cast and finished by our team of local craftsmen. The Death of Rats (& other small rodents) will stand proudly yet mischievously on your bookshelf and safeguard your Discworld collection for generations to come! The Death of Rats stands approx. 185mm high and features our makers' mark inset on the base with scythe included separately for safe delivery! The Death of Rats is crafted in the highest quality bronze resin, filled and coated with real micro-fine powdered bronze. As with all precious bronze sculptures, it will need no particular extra care other than the occasional dust but will benefit from a gentle wax polish once a year or two to retain his cheeky glint."

Each Death of Rats figurine is priced at £45. For more information, and to order, go to:

Follow our adventures in making Discworld magic on our blog! Our first post is a behind the scenes 'squeak'-peek into the making of the Grim Squeaker! https://www.discworldemporium.com/blog/creating-the-death-of-rats-n1

* The Turtle Moves sticker

At long last, Terry Pratchett's symbol of 'Terryvangelism' is available as a sticker for your bumpers and belongings! Created for us by Terry Pratchett himself, The Turtle Moves emblem was designed as his own version of those little fishes belonging to followers of a certain faith. Produced in a chrome mirror-finish on a peelable backing, this tough vinyl sticker is long lasting indoors and outdoors and can be applied to cars, windows, tablets, laptops, grandmothers, walls, magical guitars & more! Sticker measures 100 x 98 mm, sticker & backing measures 120 x 108mm. In the interests of faff-limitation, this is not a reverse-application window sticker simply peel & place directly onto any flat surface. This sticker features a strong weather-resistant adhesive that has been designed to be easily removed without residue (care only needs to be taken with un-lacquered painted surfaces such as painted wood).

The Turtle Moves sticker is priced at £3.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

* Glorious 25th Tea Towel

"Wave the flag, or at least do the dishes, in the name of the Glorious Revolution with this %100 cotton tea towel. Created in the style of a banner from the barricades, each towel is emblazoned with the People's Republic manifesto screen printed in lilac onto 100% natural cotton. It's almost too lovely to dry the dishes with, so why not hang it as a flag of defiance in your abode to commemorate this most poignant date in the Discworld calendar."

The Glorious 25th Tea Towel is priced at £6.95. For more information, and to order, go to:



* The Little Black Book

"To mark the first anniversary of Terry's memorial, we have decided to offer fans the chance to own one of the few remaining copies of ‘The Little Black Book', a folio produced specifically to commemorate the wonderful event, held at the Barbican Theatre in London on April 14th 2016. With contributions from Rob Wilkins, Neil Gaiman and Rhianna Pratchett, it also includes Terry's A Little Advice For Life – read on the night by Sir Tony Robinson. This wonderful little volume offers an insight into the hearts and minds of Terry's closest friends and family. The numbers are very limited and all proceeds will go to one of Terry's favourite charities – RICE (_http://www.rice.org.uk/_) – an internationally renowned dementia research and treatment centre located in Bath. Please note: this item is limited to one per household."

Each Little Black Book is priced at £50. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Dragons Tea Towel

"Artfully illustrated by Paul Kidby, this tea towel [http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/dragons-tea-towel/] brings to life the collected observations of Leonard of Quirm on the dragons of Discworld, featuring annotations and carefully drawn studies of dragons and their anatomy. Printed in the UK on 100% cotton, this is sure to add some flare to the drying up!"

Each Dragons Tea Towel is priced at £6.95. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Discworld Map Tea towel

"Hot on the heels of our new dragon tea towel follows our Discworld Map tea towel, showing off a vast expanse of the Disc, as seen in The Last Hero. Chart your next journey across the disc whilst you finish the dishes – but remember – here be monsters..."

Each Discworld Map Tea Towel is priced at £7.95. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Turtle Moves T-shirts

"De Chelonian Mobile! Show those non-believers exactly what you think with our navy blue, 100% cotton 'The Turtle Moves' T-Shirt."

Each Turtle Moves t-shirt is priced from £18.00 – £22.00 depending on size. For more information, and to order, go to:

Also... "You asked, we listened! Two of our most popular shirts, the City Watch and the Unseen University Crest T-Shirts are now both available in ladies' fit in sizes from Small to 2XL in addition to standard fit sizes – a better fit for the Anguas and the Esks!"



Blogger Kibbin's interesting take on The Colour of Magic:

"The book reads a little less like a fantasy take on modern day and more like a fun parody of classic fantasy and to stress, when I say classic fantasy I mean less 'War of the Rings' and more Arnold Schwarzenegger in a loin cloth... it's the character of Twoflower who drives the story forward leaving Rincewind like a player character stuck on a level where he has to babysit a clueless npc who is just as likely to walk off a cliff as follow him through a doorway. It's interesting to see how little he has changed from the first entry, possibly why he got fewer and fewer appearances as the series went on until he was a background character and little else. Though part of me thinks that would be what he wanted all along. Twoflower himself however plays somewhat like a bumbling version of Captain America from '1602'... For those who skipped these early books to dive into the 'good stuff' you will find that Ankh Morpork isn't that different from the one you know... You could argue that while the early books are an exaggeration of fantasy literature that the Discworld books became an exaggeration of themselves..."


On blog The Unread Tome, sarahgoestobilbork's thoughts on Small Gods:

"I've seen a couple of movies based on Terry Pratchett's books, and each time I was blinded by the fantastic kaleidoscope of disparate pieces brought together: flashes of colors and references to our world, mushed together and shaped into something at once recognizable and completely, radically different – not to mention wickedly sly. I recently got around to actually reading one of his books, Small Gods, and it was just as good as the movies had been. It's quite hard to find one aspect of the book to talk about – the collage of pieces moving together absolutely defies that. Instead, I'm going to talk about the whole SPLAT of what I enjoyed and what I thought about, organized into severely diaphanous categories. It probably won't spoil the book for you, as there is a great joy in uncovering the great scattering that is Pratchett's ideas... I love the idea that, like trees falling in forests, history is not history unless it is observed. Like how light is either a particle or a wave depending on how it is observed, like a cat is both alive or dead until it is observed, so too is history. If your mind is blown already, keep it that way. Philosophers are described as generally useless and pedantic (in and out of this book). When the main character, Brutha, asks his god, Om, what philosophers are good for, when 99 out of 100 ideas stink like a skunk on ice, Om replies, 'Because the 100th idea is generally a humdinger'. The bulk of the book is about religion – as much as it can be about anything – and is what I spent the majority of my time thinking about... I have known a few people – thankfully not many – who have had religion not out of belief, but out of habit or fear; to see it so clearly defined in this setting was jarring and deeply enlightening. For all that this story is a work of comic genius, it is also a serious indictment of a certain kind of authoritarian religion and of the kind of government that rises up around that system. It goes to show how careful we have to be about who we give power – and how we give it to them. If this keeps you up at night, I'll keep you company..."


Blogger Casandara goes "around the Disc in 41 books":

"It's hard for me to explain how much the Discworld means to me. I was a teenager when I first discovered the books. A lonely, depressed, nerdy teenager who wanted nothing more than to disappear and whose chosen method for this was books. My first Discworld book was The Hogfather... Susan and Death, and the idea that justice is a lie we have to believe in, and in between this all jokes. Marvellous, side splittingly funny jokes about computers and the Oh God of Hangovers. I was confused, I was entertained, I wanted more. And so over the years I read all the Discworld novels. In no particular order, other than the one in which I could get my hands on them. And they gave me strength, they taught me to believe in myself, to do what is right and to forgive humans for being fundamentally human. They got me through years of depression. I read them when I was down and nothing else could cheer me up. I read them when I needed strength. I read them when I just wanted to laugh. And now, for the first time in all these years, I'm going to read them in order. I don't yet know what I'll encounter, I plan to post again when I finish. Perhaps in between I'll write reams on all the characters, the themes, things I've only just realised. Perhaps I'll write nothing and just chuckle and cry to myself..."


Dutch blogger Annemieke aka A Dance With Books gives Wintersmith 5/5 stars:

"I love how this is a story where Tiffany has to fix her own mistake. She gets scolded, but they still help her to a degree. Tiffany remains headstrong, doing things her own way. Yet she also wants to learn. Like in the previous book she is still vulnerable to insecurity. That did not completely disappear how that would not disappear with us, despite getting over some insecurities in that book... I liked how some of the characters from A Hat Full of Sky, mainly the other young witches, were seen, though sometimes shortly. Mostly I was surprised with the addition of Annagramma again as she was a bit negative towards Tiffany. She grows into the role she has to play, despite being too stubborn to initially want to listen to Tiffany and her friends. I liked seeing that and I actually kind of starting to like her a bit at the ending. But of course there are other familiar characters. The Wee Free Men play their part again. Like with Annagramma they are making their development throughout these books. Though in their case this has to do with reading which I quite enjoy seeming them do. Reading another book with written out dialect after this reminds me again how smartly Pratchett writes their speech out..."


Blogger Jaime Pond aka Anglonerd on Monstrous Regiment:

"Pratchett keeps the reader grounded in Polly's point of view even while satirizing the cruel reality of war. Borogravia doesn't care enough about their troops to give them proper food and armor. The soldiers begin to wonder if they wouldn't be in better hands with the enemy than with their lieutenant, but this rag-tag team quickly gains fame from a passing newspaperman who publicizes the underdog army who won't drop arms despite having lost the war... You don't need any prior knowledge of Pratchett's Discworld series to fall in love with Monstrous Regiment. This is one of Discworld's few stand alone novels. All of the characters are new, save cameos from William de Worde and some of the watchmen, including the ever-popular Commander Vimes. Not familiar with Discworld? It's a witty, satirical series set in a fantastical world on a flat planet on the back of four elephants standing on a space turtle. Monstrous Regiment is a great introduction to the series because Discworld doesn't need to be read in order, and some would argue, shouldn't be. Readers might need to read the book a second time to keep track of all the characters, what with the human soldiers having names like Tonker, Shufti, Lofty, and Wozzer. But hey, why not get it on audio this time around? Stephen Briggs does an unmatched Vimes and brings each character to life, giving them their own unique voices."


Blogger Kathy aka Much Ado About Novels' praise for Pratchett:

"I've read just under ten books by Pratchett, but I have plenty more left to read, including nine in my owned TBR list. His prose is witty, concise, and incredibly funny, but his stories are emotionally nuanced and deeply moving, and he tackles subjects such as the afterlife, and grief with incredible skill and beauty. His representation of Death is my favourite within fiction, and I actually quoted Reaper Man at my father's funeral..."


Blogger Luke Farnish compares various formats of The Colour of Magic/The Light Fantastic:

"The first important point to make is that none of the versions change anything particularly drastic from each other. A few more difficult to illustrate sections, and some minor details, had to be lost for the adaptation from novel to graphic novel, and the film version misses out some of the scenes altogether, but the main story remains the same throughout. Again, this makes a comparison between formats easier. Each version has something going for it. The film version (like all of The Mob's work) has a number of stars including David Jason as Rincewind, Sean Astin as Twoflower, Tim Curry, Christopher Lee and Jeremy Irons, to name some and some impressive visuals for a low budget film. The book though has far more detail and can take you right to the limit of what can be imagined, to places that simply would not work on a screen. The graphic novel is a wonderful mixture of the two, having both the fantastical quality of the book, but giving visual prompts as well. To rank formats is no easy task and I would refer to the above for what you would want from a story. I would, however, say this. If you are new to Pratchett, start here. The Discworld books are designed so they can be read in almost any order, but this really is a good place to start. Equally, if you are interested in graphic novels, I highly recommend this one as it is an excellent example of the genre. But, as for ranking the three formats, I would place the book first, followed by the film version and then the Graphic novel..."


Blogger Ryan's review of Sourcery:

"As I've praised Pratchett for before, he's established a rather distinct idea of what magic is as a physical property in this fictional universe. It leaves you with a decent understanding of it that feels unique to this world, while at the same time it's still a little veiled in mystery. It's like that feeling you get when you understand the meaning of a word, but when someone asks you to define it aloud you find yourself at a loss for words... Pratchett is a skilled writer, so I did have a good time reading it. His wordplay and comedic style are as strong as ever, things just felt rather typical for the type of misadventures Rincewind gets up to. It is after the matter with the hat gets resolved and he must decide what to do next that things get much more interesting. The highest point in this book for me was unusually in the climax and conclusion, rather than the lead up, leaving things on a rather poignant tone. The situation does not get nicely wrapped up without consequences. The climax also has a sequence where I laughed harder than I ever have while reading Discworld novel by far. I don't know if Pratchett intended the same humour in it I saw, but it tickled me in such a way that I had to put the book down for about five minutes..."


Erik Shinker aka The Past Due Book Review is back with his thoughts on Interesting Times, including a fun "recommended or not" section at the bottom:

"Fraught with peril, politeness, and parody, Interesting Times continues the story of Rincewind; a man who seeks boredom in lieu of his naturally exciting life. Much of Interesting Times alludes back to the first two books of the Discworld series. The stage is set with Fate and Luck, two of Discworld's gods, playing a game (as was first mentioned in The Color (or Colour) of Magic). Fate never loses but Luck is tricky and challenges him, choosing none other than her favorite (or favourite) pawn... Interesting Times is filled with references to feudal Japan and ancient China. The people of the Agatean continent live in a state of forced isolationism; they believe everything outside their continent to be inhabited by ghost-vampires and refusing to believe otherwise because there was no one brave or curious enough to find out if it was true (until Twoflower, that is). The Red Army is also reminiscent of the Terracotta warriors that guard the tomb of the first emperor of China. Interesting Times takes the goofiness of Pratchett's humor and the wit necessary to craft a story that is not only entertaining, but one of the better works of fantasy I have ever read. The jokes are quick and serve the plot, rather than the reverse, and the story sets up the next book of Rincewind's adventures nicely..."


...and The Idle Woman is back with her thoughts on Witches Abroad:

"I always enjoy the three witches, who have such wonderfully complementary characters and whose conversations fizz with authenticity. Nanny Ogg is a particular favourite – I'm sure we all know someone like her – and I was pleased to see brief reappearances of the Hedgehog Song and A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End. Magrat is, as ever, gently misguided and has given up some of her earth-motherliness in favour of the martial arts of the mystic east (having decided quite firmly that marrying the king, as seemed to be an option at the end of Wyrd Sisters, isn't her thing). And Granny Weatherwax is, as ever, far sharper than anyone around her and powerful in a vast elemental way that goes quite beyond the capabilities of her two coven-mates. But this book isn't just a delight for the main faces. There's a strong cast of secondary characters, of whom the two most striking must be the dwarf Casanunda (the Disc's greatest liar and second-greatest lover), for whom a stepladder is never far away; and, of course, Greebo. Greebo in human form is just a sheer delight – Pratchett has a ball with imagining how this scarred tomcat would translate to man-form... his is vintage Pratchett: a closely-focused story, cheerfully undermining traditional themes, with just the right number of cameos and allusions to spice the story, which barrels along at a fine pace..."


Blogger Ian Simpson aka The Forgotten Geek tests the Pratchett waters with Mort:

"The plot of Mort isn't particularly ground-breaking and most will know of it anyway... I thought it would be a familiar romp with some cutting insight into society. Comic novels are rare. Good ones rarer still. Genre-wise, I've read all of Douglas Adams oeuvre many times over, most of the early work of Robert Rankin (and some of the later), all of Jasper Fforde and the occasional random Tom Holt. Which I've enjoyed to varying degrees. So I did get the familiarity – the running gags, the knowing one-liners, anachronistic or out-of-context metaphors and of course the winks and conversations with the reader. Even footnotes. Love a bit of metafiction, me. What I also got was a fun (but not laugh-out-loud) fantasy genre romp. What I would call the perfect morning train read. Not too taxing to quickly get into at 7.15 on a Tuesday morning, and that means I'm the only commuter smiling. The things about the novel I liked the most wasn't the characters, although they were fun, and Death of course being the funnest, and it wasn't the plot. The descriptions of Discworld and how it works comes close. But… It was the sentences combined with Pratchett's wonderfully crafted wordplay that I enjoyed the most..."


Blogger Georgia aka Deer Reeder reviews Wyrd Sisters:

"A reason why Terry Pratchett is up there in my top authors list (I would write it down if I wasn't constantly changing my mind!) is because his imagination is superb and the way he captures and wrestles it down into writing is just magical. No other author I know would literally personify a storm to that of an actor's life waiting for its big break. Don't get me wrong here for I am not meaning he compares the look of the storm to that of an actor at an audition. No, what he cleverly does is write in a third person narrative of the storm as if it was an actor, saying how it had played as an extra next to huge storms but had never got its break in the weather to show its true talent. It is these small witty details that make this book, and many others, such a joy to read..."


..and last, Nat Wassell on Cultured Vultures, this time deconstructing Unseen Academicals:

"As a story, I can't say that 'Unseen Academicals' is one of the best, but it has moments of greatness. I didn't really remember the story and only knew it was about football because of the front cover. It is about football, of course, but it is also one of the Ankh-Morpork 'species acceptance stories' and it is a Romeo and Juliet parody too. The 'species acceptance stories' could have been getting stale by now and a more critical eye might argue that they are, but I think Sir Terry gets away with it because none of the stories are only about that. Nutt, the little orc who defies any stereotype of his species, is the main character for sure, but this story is as much about the star crossed lovers Trev and Juliet and the irrepressible pie maestro Glenda as it is him. They're an endearing group, very young and wide-eyed, and they hold the whole thing together very well... The magic of 'Unseen Academicals', for me, is the way in which Pratchett has managed to distil the feeling of being at a match and put it into words. There's a moment where Glenda insists that football is 'not about the football', that 'It's the sharing. It's being part of the crowd. It's chanting together.' Nutt puts it more finely still, saying 'It is the lonely soul trying to reach out to the shared soul of all humanity, and possibly much further.' Now, I am the first to say that sometimes football can be overrated, and it is never worth some of the drama that happens alongside it, but being in a crowd, all supporting the same thing, is a feeling that is hard to describe, or has been until now. For me, football has never been about football and thanks to this book, I can explain that better now..."




We know about the Graham Island (Ferdinandea), the island that comes and goes, but sailor Hakan Larsson's actually watched one being born! Here, from his blogpost:

"After five miles we noticed brown, somewhat grainy streaks in the water. First we thought that it might be an old oil dumping. Some ship cleaning its tanks. But the streak became larger and more frequent after a while, and there were rocklike brownish things the size of a fist floating in the sea. And the water were strangely green and 'lagoon like' too. Eventually it became more and more clear to us that it had to be pumice from a volcanic eruption. And then we sailed into a vast, many miles wide, belt of densely packed pumice... We were so fascinated and busy taking pictures that we plowed a couple of hundred meter into this surreal floating stone field before we realized that we had to turn back. Just as we came out of the stone field and entered reasonably normal water we noticed that there came no cooling water from the engine. Not surprising, really. After cleaning the water filter the Yanmar diesel started again. Thank God! Without wind we would have been stuck in a sea of stone if the motor had failed... There are two active volcanoes south of Late island, adjacent to Metis shoal and Home reef. Since we didn't know which one had erupted, the extent of the eruption and it was getting dark the we decided to anchor in Vaiutukakau bay outside Vava'u for the night...

"A couple of hours ago we identified the active volcano as the one close to Home reef, and we are on our way there now to take a closer look. We are two miles from it and we can see the volcano clearly. One mile in diameter and with four peaks and a central crater smoking with steam and once in a while an outburst high in the sky with lava and ashes. I think were the first ones out here so perhaps we could claim the island and name them..."


The original photos are at http://yacht-maiken.blogspot.com.au/2006/08/stone-sea-and-volcano.html

The Snopes article has larger photos: http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/maiken.asp



Monstrous Productions' adorable Errol for their latest offering (see item 5.2):

The Josh Kirby Estate channels Winston Churchill:

Stephen Briggs and friend, at the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament opening:

...and Rob Wilkins and friend, ditto:

Terry (or possibly Terri, they said) Pratchett, a lovely Humboldt Penguin chick hatched at Birdworld on their Terry Pratchett Day:

The Goddess Narrativia, at the Ankh-Morpork Consulate in Wincanton:

A fine sign at the Owl Parliament: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-gdC7nXsAE9ibg.jpg

The cast of Carlton Theatre Group's production of Wyrd Sisters this month in Wimbledon:

...and a perfect Nanny Ogg at the recent Oz Comic Con in Adelaide:

..and most appropriate for the month of May, a beautiful Glorious Revolution poster by yoodi-djxor3, courtesy of Flynn the Cat:

...and lastly, when worlds collide:



Before I forget, an embarrassed correction: somehow in last month's Close I typed "Don't forget to start gathering your violets for the Glorious 25th" when I meant lilacs. LILACS! D'oh!

Anyway, that's the lot for May. Take care, and we'll see you in June!

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion


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