wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
April 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 4, 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)






"We're extremely proud to be hosting Discworld Day in honour of the official opening of the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament at Birdworld. April 28 marks Sir Terry's 69th birthday and to celebrate this special day with an event such as this we hope will be a fitting tribute to the award-winning author. We are looking forward to being able to showcase such an extraordinary selection of owl species, many of which are threatened with the loss of habitat in the wild and for visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in the mysterious world of Sir Terry Pratchett in the process."
– Mark Anderson, general manger of Birdworld

"You are powerful, though. *You* could rule the world," said Nightshade. "Really?" said Tiffany. "Why should I want to do that? I am a witch. I like being a witch, and I like people too. For every nasty person, there's a nice one, mostly. There is a saying, 'What goes around comes around', ad it means that sooner or later you will find yourself on top, at least for a while. And another time, the wheels turns and you will not* be on top but you have to put up with it."
– The Shepherd's Crown, Doubleday hardcover, p.230



The 28th of this month would have, *should* have, marked Sir Terry Pratchett's 69th birthday. There is nothing we can do about this dreadful state of affairs, but we can – and should – ever continue to speak his name, celebrate his life and work, and buy his books. Even if you own your own copy of every Pratchett novel, there are new generations to give those books to as presents... friends, children, friends' children, nieces, nephews, and on and on so that the ripples never fade. Long ago, I would give away copies of The Little Prince or The Wind in the Willows to special people as coming-of-age presents, but at some point in the '90s I added Pratchett books and never looked back. And as for celebrating Sir Pterry's life and work, look at section 3 for some notable events taking place this coming week...

Fans of steam might want to keep tabs on the doings of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway: "A heritage steam railway is set to become 'one of the best in the country' after raising £1.25m to fund a track extension, its bosses claim. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway launched a public appeal to complete its 'last mile' a year ago. It currently runs between Cheltenham and Laverton but has long planned to extend to Broadway in Worcestershire. After an 'overwhelming response' it will reach the Cotswolds village for the first time since 1960. The project involves extending the volunteer-run line and building a new station at Broadway, similar to the original which was demolished soon after closure. Chris Bristow, the line's finance director, said extending the track will enable the line to become one of the best in the country for steam services..."


What one famous Terry brought out of the shadows, another famous Terry is now happy to discuss – as best he can. Most of you will know by now that Terry Jones of Monty Python fame has frontotemporal dementia (FTD), another form of dementia that destroys the ability to communicate in words. Here be an piece well worth reading – an interview in The Guardian, in which Mr Jones is assisted by his daughter Sally and his dear friend and ex-Python colleague Michael Palin:


According to The Bookseller, the Folio Society's gorgeous limited edition of Mort turned out to be the fastest selling title in Folio history, selling out all 500 copies in 13 hours. Oh, to have been one of the lucky purchasers...

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor




"Celebrate Terry Pratchett Day at your school with a show all about The Wee Free Men! Hosted by CBBC's Ed Petrie, your class will learn all about Terry's remarkable imagination and writing process, plus find out top tips for creating their own magical worlds. Show highlights you can look forward to:

"Terry Pratchett's best friend and right-hand man Rob Wilkins answering your questions
"A draw-along with illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson
"Writing tips from authors Dave Rudden (Irish Children's Book of the Year Knights of the Borrowed Dark),
"Robin Stevens (Murder Most Unladylike) and Jennifer Bell (The Uncommoners)
"A crash course in speaking like a Wee Free Man – get ready to do your best Scottish accent!

"See your school name on screen! Send in your class's weirdest and most wonderful answers to the following question: What would be in your imaginary world?"

When: 28th April 2017
Venue: on the Clacks!
Time: 2pm–2.30pm

To register to receive and/or participate in th podcast, go to http://puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk/author/TerryPratchettDay2017 and click on the "create an account" button in the yellow-bordered textbox.

Teachers can do download The Wee Free Men Teacher Resources: http://puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk/WFMTeacher%20Resources_final.pdf

What is Puffin Virtually Live?

"Imagine if you could ask your favourite author anything . . . Puffin Virtually Live gives millions of children the opportunity to do just that. It is a free series of curriculum-tailored webcasts starring children's authors and illustrators.It brings stories to life and encourages reading for pleasure for Key Stage 2 pupils. It is watched in classrooms around the world. Each 30-minute episode is comprised of author interviews (led by questions from the online audience), fun videos, draw-alongs and theatrical performances. The show is designed for formal learning: curriculum-linked lesson plans accompany every event, providing teachers with book extracts and all the tools they need to prepare their classes pre-show, and to stimulate classroom discussion post-event. Most schools outside big cities would never get the opportunity for an author visit – but through Puffin Virtually Live, millions of children around the world can meet their heroes, and all they need is an internet



"Join us on the 28th April for Discworld Day! To celebrate the launch of The Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament, we're hosting a special day for Discworld fans filled with special guests and additional educational talks."


10.00am – Park Opens. Please take this time to explore the park, answer our Discworld quiz and take a photos with the Birdworld photographer!

12.00pm – Official opening ceremony at the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament with Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs which is followed by the Discworld Day Auction.

1.30pm – A Q&A with Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs in the Discovery Theatre followed by book signing.

2.30pm – Outdoor flying display at the outdoor arena

3.00pm – Draw of the Discworld Day Raffle and fancy dress prize award at the outdoor arena

3.30pm – Penguin feeding at Penguin Beach

4.00pm – Owl Prowl at the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament

6.00pm: Park Closes

Tickets: Adult: £15.95; child 3–6: £12.95; child 7–15: £13.95; child under 3: Free; family: £49.95; concession: £13.95, available online at http://birdworld.co.uk/product-category/tickets/ (NOTE: there is a 15% discount for online ticket purchase, plus a free guidebook per transaction)

"All visitors who arrive in Discworld-themed costume on the day will receive a discounted entry rate of £10 per person."

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


From the Farnham Herald:

"The beautifully-crafted exhibit has been created in collaboration with the World Owl Trust and has been named in honour of award-winning author Sir Terry Pratchett to reflect his well-known love of wildlife and, in particular, all species of owl. As well as showcasing a wonderment and diversity of owls from the magical snowy owl to the reputedly wise long-eared owl, the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament will aim to educate and raise awareness of these amazing birds. The display will also provide an interactive space for visitors to learn fascinating facts about strigiformes – the order in which owls belong. The Owl Parliament has been created both as a satellite of the World Owl Trust's collection and to recognise Sir Terry's passion for these mysterious birds of prey. Visitors familiar with Pratchett's popular Discworld novels will easily recognise a number of the references but with the unique stylising of these aviaries, everyone exploring the exhibit will be drawn into the mythical and wonderful world of the late Sir Terry Pratchett. To celebrate the day, visitors will be invited to attend the official opening ceremony and to explore the unique aviaries for themselves before joining in with plenty of Discworld fun and games throughout the day, including a themed quiz trail, a charity raffle and auction packed full of prizes, educational talks and even a special question-and-answer session with Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs..."



Last year's Discworld Day theme was The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. This year, it's... The Truth!

"Discworld Day sees The Story Museum celebrating the work of much loved author Terry Pratchett. This year's Discworld Day at The Story Museum is based on Terry Pratchett's best-selling novel The Truth. The Truth tells the story of William de Worde, the accidental editor of the Discworld's first newspaper. New printing technology means that words just won't obediently stay nailed down like usual. There's a very real threat of news getting out there. Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist's life – people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, and the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes. William just wants to get at the Truth. Unfortunately, everyone else wants to get at William. And it's only the third edition…

"Take part in printing workshops learning how newspapers were before the digital age, create your own newspaper comic, meet Otto Shreik[sic] Discworld's only Vampire photographer and pick up your copy of the Ankh Morpork Times to catch up with the latest news..."

The Discworld Dinner ("The Truth Shall Make Ye Hungry") is already sold out, but here's what the lucky ticketholders will be getting: "a very special two course dinner party with guest of honour Ben Aaronovitch, bestselling author of the Rivers of London book series and self-professed Pratchett fan. The evening will include a fish and chip supper (wrapped up in yesterday's copy of the Ankh Morpork Times), a Q&A with Ben Aaronovitch, and a special Discworld quiz compiled by Stephen Briggs (reader of the Discworld audio books), with the chance to win a limited edition Discworld print by artist Barry Bulsara."

When: Saturday 27th May 2017
Venue: Story Museum, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP (phone (0)1865 790050)
Time: 10am–5pm
Tickets: free with museum entry – Adult: £7.50
Under-18s and concessions: £5
Family ticket: £20 (4 people including at least 1 child)
Children under 2 and companions of disabled visitors: free

Editor's note: a 12-month Annual Pass (Adult: £18.75, Child: £12.50) can be purchased. Children aged 11 and over may visit The Story Museum unaccompanied provided that they have their parents' or guardians' permission.



...to JRR Tolkien! From The Australian:

"When JRR Tolkien published his first story of a questing hobbit 80 years ago he had no inkling of the fan mail that would follow, or the frustration it would bring. Long before social media ­allowed authors to satisfy fans with online postings, Tolkien was beset with messages of adulation from fellow writers, a president's daughter, a young Terry Pratchett, a future queen of Denmark and Joni Mitchell. The letters, which have not been seen by scholars or the public, will go on display next year at the Bodleian Library in Oxford in the exhibition Tolkien: Maker of ­Middle-earth. The letters and the replies show how Tolkien was at first flattered but eventually overwhelmed in the mid-1960s when sales of The Lord of the Rings trilogy soared... Pratchett, whose Discworld novels became the most successful fantasy series since Tolkien's work, was 19 and a reporter for the Bucks Free Press when he sent a letter praising Tolkien's novella Smith of Wootton Major. 'An odd feeling of grief overcame me as I read it,' he wrote..."



Scientists hope they have found a drug to stop all neurodegenerative brain diseases, including dementia. From the BBC:

"In 2013, a UK Medical Research Council team stopped brain cells dying in an animal for the first time, creating headline news around the world. But the compound used was unsuitable for people, as it caused organ damage. Now two drugs have been found that should have the same protective effect on the brain and are already safely used in people. 'It's really exciting,' said Prof Giovanna Mallucci, from the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester. She wants to start human clinical trials on dementia patients soon and expects to know whether the drugs work within two to three years...

"When a virus hijacks a brain cell it leads to a build-up of viral proteins. Cells respond by shutting down nearly all protein production in order to halt the virus's spread. Many neurodegenerative diseases involve the production of faulty proteins that activate the same defences, but with more severe consequences. The brain cells shut down production for so long that they eventually starve themselves to death. This process, repeated in neurons throughout the brain, can destroy movement, memory or even kill, depending on the disease. It is thought to take place in many forms of neurodegeneration, so safely disrupting it could treat a wide range of diseases..."





The 2017 German Discworld Convention (Scheibenwelt) takes place next month, with Guests of Honour Rob Wilkins and Bernard Pearson – and there will be another special guest!

"Stephen Briggs' first public appearance in Germany! 5.3.2017 We have just received confirmation from Stephen Briggs! He will be present at the German Discworld Convention in May. Among other things, he will give his first signing session in Germany and there will be the possibility of a personal conversation in a small group during our first Klatch."

They'll be rocking the castle with workshops, shepherding, mediaeval weaponry, the inimitable Pat Harkin and much more... here be a list of workshops, talks and events:






The Carlton Theatre Group will present their production of the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Wyrd Sisters, directed by Richard Broughton, next month: "This fantastical, satirical, retelling of a certain 'Scottish Play' is sure to put a smile on your face. We invite you to an evening of magical mayhem, a comical brew of good witches, divers soldiers, peasants, wicked aristocracy, a ghost and a fool… With an amazing cast, and suitable for ages 12+, this play is a perfect option for a family outing."

When: 9th – 13th May 2017
Venue: New Wimbledon Studio Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG
Time: all evening performances (Tuesday-Saturday) 7.45pm, Saturday matinee 3pm.
Tickets: £15.40 (Theatre Card members £14.00), no fees. To purchase online, go to http://www.atgtickets.com/



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

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



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!

"Keep an eye on our website and social media streams for more information."

When: 16th–19th August 2017
Venue: The Gate Arts Theatre, Keppoch St, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: TBA
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions), available soon



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 Buiding 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!"




By David Putley in the Daily Echo

"IT is all in the perspective" says Charles Dickens (a suave, eloquent Jo Allen) in this highly entertaining adaption of Terry Pratchett's book by Stephen Briggs. Playfully directed by Chris Blatch-Gainey, a multi-skilled cast mix fictional with real notable Victorians. Dodger (an athletic, charming, roguish Tom Rawlings) rises from the underbelly of the sewers to mix with the likes of Disraeli (an arch David Powell), Angela Burdett-Coutts (a bankable Sarah Miatt) and even Q.V. herself. Ben Gainey brought pathos to Sweeney Todd whilst Lorraine White's Mrs Sharples hilariously failed to grasp the concept of personal space. Bob Bell's witty Soloman as a Faginesque mentor added much humour to a script peppered with literary and political references, many of which resonate today. Dodge not, if you can.




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 8th May 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 27th April. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au


The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 4th May 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 5th May 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 1st May 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 1st May 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>




* The 2018 Discworld Calendar

"It's never too early to announce a Discworld calendar! Available to pre-order, the Collector's Edition Discworld Calendar for 2018 features the artwork of both Josh Kirby AND Paul Kidby – two iconic Discworld Illustrators, one fantastically functional work of Discworld art!"

The 2018 Discworld Calendar is priced at £14.99 and will be published on the 17th of August 2017. For more information, and to pre-order, go to: https://www.discworldemporium.com/23-diaries-calendars

* The Ankh-Morpork Jigsaw Puzzle

"The Fiendishly Difficult Discworld Puzzle is back! You can't get enough of this perplexing pastime (much to our own puzzlement), and keeping this dastardly jigsaw in stock is as much a challenge as the puzzle itself – It's probably best to nab this while you can!!"

The Ankh-Morpork Jigsaw Puzzle is priced at £ 19.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Discworld Graphic Novels

"The Discworld Graphic Novels are BACK IN STOCK! The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic adaptations by Scott Rockwell and Steven Ross were first published in parts waaay back in 1991 and 1992, but nowadays they are available bound together in this handsome hardback for comic book fans!"

The Discworld Graphic Novels duo is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic Omnibus Edition

"The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic Omnibus is now in stock at the Emporium! This beautiful hardback edition from Terry's original publisher Colin Smythe features the inimitable artwork of Josh Kirby, and lovely holographic detailing on the cover. A fine acquisition for the new collector!"

The tCoM/tLF Omnibus Edition is priced at £17.99. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Tiffany Aching Gift Editions

"Following on from the release of The Wee Free Men later this month, the rest of the beautiful Tiffany Aching Gift Editions will be released together on the Glorious 25th of May, each with a free Turtle Moves bookmark from us! These lovely hardbacks feature new character artwork by Paul Kidby, and exclusive endpapers featuring Paul's beautiful new illustration of the Chalk. The Wee Free Men is out April 27th & available to pre-order separately."

...and the Tiffany Aching paperback editions: "One can never have enough Tiffany Aching or Nac Mac Feegles, so we're thrilled to have these additional editions aimed at encouraging new young readers into discovering Discworld!"

The Gift Editions are priced at £12.99 each. The paperback editions are priced at £7.99 each. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:



* The Ankh-Morpork Pin

"Remember me? Originally released by the original C.M.O.T Dibbler himself, way back in the day, we're pleased to reintroduce the Ankh Morpork Pin. It's a 3D design in brass metal, plated with real gold, gold, gold. With a butterfly pin fastening, this pin badge is just the right size to be worn on a lapel, a tie, or anywhere else to show off your Morporkian citizenship."

Each Ankh-Morpork pin measures 25mm x 25mm x 1.6mm nd is priced at £4.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

* The Death on Binky Canvas Print

"This canvas print reproduces one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork from Paul Kidby's The Last Hero, and depicts Death atop his faithful – and very much alive – steed Binky."

The Death on Binky Canvas Print is available in two sizes – 300mm x 400mm, priced at £35.00, and 380mm x 500mm, priced at £48.00. The "official" page (_http://discworld.com/products/artwork/death-on-binky-canvas-print/_) seems to be blank apart from the image, but you can order by going to http://discworld.com/products/new/ and scrolling to the relevant box, then clicking on the desired purchase button.

* The Map 'n' Monsters mug

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

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


For Pratchett-and-Kirby fans blessed with a goodly amount of disposable income...

"We are incredibly proud to announce that as of right now you can pre order Series One of our Limited Edition Discworld Prints! We have created three options to choose from, so that everyone can take home a piece of Josh Kirby and Terry Pratchett's legacy! All are numbered, authenticated and signed by the estate. We are confident that you will love these as much as we do!"

1: Discworld Limited Edition: "Similar in size to Josh Kirby Discworld prints you've seen in the past but with superior paper quality. Limited to 500 worldwide. 18" X 23" (457mm x 584mm)."

The Discworld Limited Edition prints are priced at £59 each. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

2: Discworld Collector's Edition: "Larger than the Limited Edition above, on archival smooth, matte paper. Limited to 250 worldwide. 20" X 25" (508mm x 635mm)."

The Discworld Collector's Edition prints are priced at £99 each. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

3: Out of This World Edition: "Extremely limited run and the largest size ever created in a Discworld print, with extraordinary, incomparable archival paper quality this is a must for collector's and begs to be framed for proud display. Limited to 100 worldwide 22" X 28" (558mm x 741mm)."

The Out of This World Edition prints are priced at £199 each. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

*Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery




The Past Due Book Review on Interesting Times:

"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. Pratchett hits a high point with one of the standouts in a series filled with wonderful storytelling..."


Jonathan Feinstein on the Long Utopia book and audiobook:

"The main story was a tapestry woven with characters from previous books of the series and some new ones, including Joshua, Lobsang (an artificial intelligence who thinks he is a reincarnated Tibetan mechanic) Sister Agnes (one of the nuns who raised Joshua and now in a robotic body), and Sally Lindsay, another natural stepper and the daughter of the inventor of the Stepper Box, the device I mentioned that runs on a potato. In all, however, it is difficult to detect Terry Pratchett's hand in this story and like a few other reviewers I find myself wondering just what he did contribute. Well, the potato thing might be one of his, and Lobsang as well, but the writing seems to have more Baxter than Pratchett in it. And, sadly, like the other books of this series so far, the story does not so much conclude as just pause at the very end, leaving the reader, or maybe just me, left waiting for a denouement that never comes. I can only hope the fifth and final book of the series has a satisfying conclusion...

"Michael Fenton Stevens does the same fairly even reading he has in previous volumes of this series. For the most part he reads well, but every so often he makes the mistake of trying to read a character in a funny voice or an outrageous accent. Very few readers can pull that off and not be annoying and Mister Stevens is not one of them..."


The Idle Woman 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... this 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 and climaxes with a grand ball at the castle..."


...and on Reaper Man:

"Reaper Man is another of those books where a lot is going on, and there are parts where it feels that it's trying to be overly epic (the sections with Azrael for example). Death also becomes even more human than he normally is, which doesn't really suit him, although of course there's an element of poignant impossibility about his complex feelings for Miss Flitworth. I still feel that Pratchett is best at chamber works, that is to say, following a single focused storyline rather than splitting his story into several different plots. And, while there are amusing riffs here on traditional English country life (Morris dancing, for example), and popular activism, it just feels… bitty. Not one of the best books in the series, therefore, but a perfectly solid instalment full of the usual chaotic exuberance, and featuring a lot of Ankh-Morpork cameos..."


Author and blogger Dark Dates writes in memory of Pratchett:

"Pratchett's A Slip of the Keyboard is a collection of non-fiction that is a must for any writer. He talks not only about the oddness of literary fame, but the inherent sexism too often found in fantasy (his chapter on the reason there are no male witches or female wizards is fascinating) but also the snobbery and dismissiveness around writing what is classed as 'genre' fiction. Fantasy is not serious, so people who write it are not serious writers – if someone literary (say Margaret Atwood) writes it, it magically becomes transformed into something that is no longer genre. (He also neatly skewers the elitism that often accompanies this, saying 'magic realism' is a term used by reviewers to mean 'fantasy by someone I went to university with'). It's a topic I've written about myself – though obviously he is, ahem, just ever so slightly more eloquent – and it made me think not only about how other people see my books, but also how I do..."


Takanoir is back with a rave review of Interesting Times:

"To this day I have never before read a book that is a part of a series close to fifty volumes long, finished it, and thought to myself, wow, this was so incredibly good that I am going to commit to finishing the entirety of this ridiculously long saga. The key phrase here was 'never before'. I feel a bit bad by heaping such high praise upon the past five book reviews, but it's probably because I didn't choose these books at random. All of these books were recommended to me, with the exception of Armored, by people whose taste I trusted, so it's not a surprise that I've had good luck in finding books that I consider worthwhile. So, with that out of the way, let me explain to you why this story was so fantastic... I think this was one of the most quotable books I have ever read... Despite all of the ridiculousness, the actual plot of this book is very good. I think this comes together best in the last 80 pages or so, when you realize how brilliantly Pratchett set up the final battle. It would take a while to discuss this, so I'd rather sell the writing itself and simply have you take it on faith that there is indeed a plot, and that the ending is quite satisfying..."


Year 8 student Kaitlyn Search on The Wee Free Men:

"There are many excellent books out there that everyone should read. The Book Thief. Little Women. Scaramouche. But the book that gets you into reading will always be the best book. It might not be your favorite but it will always hold a special place in your heart. For me this book is The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. It's terribly witty and very much hard to describe. It is exactly what you'd expect from a book about a world on a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin. The Wee Free Men is the kind of book you miss when it's over, like you lost a good friend... Terry Pratchett was (he is sadly deceased) the kind of author whose writing is fantastic at its best and great at its worst. The kind of author who believed in intelligent young characters and intelligent young readers whom he believed to be perfectly capable of following a story with multiple layers of complexity. He was the kind of author who sent a nine-year-old girl to battle the queen of fairies with nothing but a frying pan and the help of some little blue crivens-shouting men. If I haven't made it clear, I believe he was a good author. His writing is relatable, magic, and always a joy to read..."


Fargo Musings muses on Pratchett:

"Small Gods is the book that matters here. I don't think I read a full chapter the first time I opened it up, but my older brother started reading it, so I had to finish it before he did. By now I've probably read that book more than 10 times. And of the 41 novels set in the same world (the Discworld), I've paged through all but three or four. Picking up Small Gods was genuinely a turning point in my life. I started reading a lot more after I started reading Pratchett. Suddenly I could see the tricks and needles and jokes in the text. It wasn't boring. Pratchett is never boring. If you're reading Pratchett and you're not chortling occasionally, then you probably missed something. For those unfamiliar with his writing, all I have to say is try it. I would suggest starting with Small Gods, Guards! Guards! or Going Postal..."


Waistcoats, Gin and Words on Equal Rites:

"The novel is fast paced and flutters all over the place, into magic, into the brewing and spoiling of ales and into some of the mystic of the Unseen University itself. I am a big fan of objects that have a mind of their own in the Disc, Twoflower's Luggage being the most important example of this. I enjoy knowing a Staff has a will of it's own and will beat people who upset it, just as much as I enjoy a chest that runs around of its own accord eating people that upset it. What starts out as a simple journey to the city very quickly turns into protecting the disc from being invaded by slimy things that aren't sure what animals are so buckle lots of horns and claws and wings onto themselves to appear menacing but in fact, look rather comical. But I'm not going to spoil it any further, you should experience the fun for yourself! This is one of the better Discworld novels and I really enjoyed it..."


...and Yvette Kan aka This Volcanic Heart gives Guards! Guards! a 5/5:

"The first time I read Guards! Guards! was three years ago. Really liked it even then, and rereading it only fuels my obsession with Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld series... When I last read the Discworld series, I made my way by arc: I wiped out Witches and Tiffany Aching, proceeded to devour Rincewind and Unseen University, ploughed through the delightful Death-centred arc, and finally came to the City Watch books. Left the City Watch books for last, because … well, I didn't think they were gonna be all that interesting. Major regrets. Because holy crap, the City Watch characters are too damn fantastic... The thing about Pratchett's novels is that at the first glance, the plot is all over the place. You are thrown violently into the story, and once you get the hang of the ride with one character, you are introduced to another, which you can't help but like too..."





We all know about the famous floral clock of Quirm. But did you know that in our world, floral clocks actually do tell the time? Not quite in the same way, though. For instance, the (also famous) floral clock of Edinburgh has gone through some time-telling changes. The clock first entered time-telling service in 1903 with an hour hand; a minute hand was added a year later, and a mechanism to imitate a cuckoo's call a year after that. The display then changed variously over the years, but the original clockwork carried on working until replaced by an electric one 70 years later.

"With tens of thousands of small, colourful plants, the clock takes two gardeners five weeks to plant, and is trimmed, weeded and watered by one gardener for the rest of the season. The clock flowers from July until October. Plants vary each year but some of the more commonly used varieties include Lobelia, Pyrethrum, Golden Moss and succulents such as Echeveria and Sedum... The minute and hour hands measure approximately 2.4m and 1.5m respectively and when filled with plants, the large hand weighs approximately 36kg while the small weighs 22.7kg. The clock itself is 3.6m wide, with a circumference of 11m."




You don't have to be a magically transformed orangutan librarian to love the smell of books and libraries, but did you know there's quite a lot of science behind those smells? And would you agree that old books smell like "a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness"? New studies have made strides at quantifying those scents. Here be some extracts from a very long but quite fascinating piece in the Heritage Science Journal, by Cecilia Bembibre and Matija Strlič:

"We don't know much about the smells of the past. Yet, odours play an important role in our daily lives: they affect us emotionally, psychologically and physically, and influence the way we engage with history. Can this lead us to consider certain smells as cultural heritage? And if so, what would be the processes for the identification, protection and conservation of those heritage smells?... The smell of historic paper was chosen as the case study, based on its well-recognized cultural significance and available research. Odour characterization was achieved by collecting visitor descriptions of a historic book extract through a survey, and by conducting a sensory evaluation at a historic library. These were combined with the chemical information on the VOCs sampled from both a historic book and a historic library, to create the Historic Book Odour Wheel, a novel documentation tool representing the first step towards documenting and archiving historic smells.

"Our knowledge of the past is odourless. Yet, smells play an important role in our daily lives: they affect us emotionally, psychologically and physically, and influence the way we engage with history. In this work, we propose that smells are part of our cultural heritage, and that a structured approach to researching them is required... Odours are powerful triggers for emotions via the limbic system of the brain, which deals with emotions and memory. They are an effective way to evoke recollections; certain aromas can even act as part of the common memory of a generation..."

"The vocabulary we use to describe smells is important and it is essential that a methodology to describe odours for archival purposes includes a sensory description, in addition to the chemical one. In some industries, the human nose is the main tool to characterize odours due to its accuracy and sensitivity... Often, the smell of books intrigues and inspires: a copy of the novel Ulysses which belonged to T. E. Lawrence, and documented as having 'a sweet, somewhat smoky aroma that suffuses every bit of paper and leather', embarked several researchers in a quest to find out the author's life experiences behind the fragrant notes. In this case, association with a prominent author gave significance to the information resulting from the VOC analysis. O. These aromas, along with those of the surrounding furnishings of a historic library space, create the unique smell that many visitors appreciate, conferring significance to this aroma through its communal value. Similarly, users of archives consider smell as an important characteristic of documents; this could be related to the fact that, in the age of digitization, working with physical records is an increasingly rare practice, and therefore the opportunity to touch and smell the documents is perceived as valuable..."



According to the British Homeopathic Association, common salt is far more than a condiment: "Salt preserves and it retains – not only fluids, but also old emotions, and unfortunately hoards them like a miser hoards his gold" and is "a remedy of profound importance in the treatment of emotional suffering: the pangs and hurts of life, which are most often hidden from others". If that sounds ridiculous, it's because it *is* ridiculous, but we should never forget the power of the human mind to effect a cure based on belief alone. Granny Weatherwax certainly understood that principle! So if you fancy reading the link below for the lulz, remember that there can sometimes be a grain of sense, if not actual truth in, sugar-water – or salt-water – "cures".




A proper Discworld band with rocks in – Sebastian Barwinek, Christian Reiter and friends, who entertain at every Scheibenwelt convention and will be there again next month:

A cute 1st April photo from the Discworld Emporium – all that's missing is Adam and the Them:

A collage of the exquisite new Tiffany hardcovers by Paul Kidby:

...and a glimpse of Mr Kidby's new map of the Chalk, as posted by him on Twitter:

The cover of the forthcoming 2018 Discworld calendar:

A Kidby classic – Attack of the Fifty Foot Ginger, from Moving Pictures:

Another small Kidby masterpiece – Dwarf family values:

A print-and-keep graphic of the various names under which palm oil is disguised on ingredients lists – remember, buying products that use palm oil is contributing to the deforestation that endangers orangutans:

...and finally, a picture of two baby hedgehogs. Definite cuteness overload, even if we know they can't be... well, you know:



On the subject of World Book Day, Wikipedia says, "From Middle Ages to 18th century books were often chained to a bookshelf or a desk to prevent theft" and provides a familiar-looking image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-G9MgsUIAAfped.jpg – but we know better, don't we...

And that's the lot for April. Don't forget to start gathering your violets for the Glorious 25th, in a month's time. Take care, and we'll see you in May!

– 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
wossname: (Blue plaque)
Birdworld, home of the new Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament, will be hosting a Discworld Day on Friday 28th April - which is, of course, our favourite author's birthdate!

"To celebrate the launch of the new exhibit we’re hosting a special day for Discworld fans filled with special guests and additional talks. Follow our social media pages for more information."



And on that day, at that place, there will also be a couple of very special guests:

As tweeted by Birdworld
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
April 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 4, 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)






"As the forest of the Indonesian Leuser Ecosystem continues to be cleared to meet demand for Palm Oil, the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan is being pushed to the brink of extinction. Here, at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme's Orangutan Quarantine Center, rescued orangutans are rehabilitated so they can be released back into the wild. If we don't stop this rampant destruction, the Leuser Ecosystem and the Sumatran orangutans that call it home could be lost forever."
– Leonardo di Caprio

"Don't let elves and dwarves fool you. Fantasy is not divorced from our world. It's a lens through which we explore it."
– Rhianna Pratchett on Twitter, 6 April 2016



A packed issue this month, so I won't make it any longer by inflicting my wibblings on you. Instead, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor



Reminiscences of the evening from Bernard Pearson's blog:

"Terry Pratchett would have loved it... The memorial celebration started with the music of Thomas Tallis and finished with Eric Idle. It was opened by Larry Finlay the top honcho in Transworld and hosted by Rob who did the introductions like a professional, linking everything in seamlessly. The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork put in a brief appearance; Neil Gaiman and Tony Robinson read tributes and Rhianna spoke about growing up with her Dad. We had songs (including Wintersmith) from Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span and the fond memories of three of Terry's editors. I have no recollection of what Pat and I said but it must have been reasonably alright for the both of us to be invited back on stage later in the proceedings. We stood in line with several other folk who had been chosen by Terry to become members of the 'Venerable Order of the Honeybee'. We have been entrusted to hold Terry's vision for the future, each in our own way and each with our unique skills. Such an accolade would be enough in itself you would have thought. But Terry had planned even more –the gift of a gold bee pin –created with exquisite ingenuity by master goldsmith Tom Lynall. This is a true honour and a piece of jewellery that I will always cherish along with the memory of receiving it. And then Rob showed us the future: that this was not the end of the story but a beginning of something new. Terry's world and vision is being carried on in film and television... The Barbican memorial was not a wake it was a bloody great wave, not of goodbye but of friends across a divide. A divide that will be bridged by the things yet to come, set in motion by those who loved him..."


This from the North American Discworld Convention gang. It's a Facebook post but can be accessed by non-users:

"As we entered the auditorium, the first thing we saw was Sir Terry's sparkling silhouette filling the screen and his voice filtering through the speakers. Everyone had received a goodie bag on their seat. These included a bottle of 'Ankh' Water (anything that's passed through several pairs of kidneys has to be very pure indeed), a commemorative book entitled 'Terry Pratchett: from birth to death, a writer', a pin badge, a selection of photo postcards, a tin of dried frog pills and a thoughtful pack of tissues. As the choir filed onto the stage, the audience immediately fell silent. A picture of Lord Vetinari by Paul Kidby was accompanied by the Patrician's warning, that no photos or recordings were to be taken, on pain of death. And who in their right mind would argue with Lord Vetinari? The choir, the Epiphoni Consort, then gave us a beautiful rendition of Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium... Stephen Briggs then took the stage as the Patrician to introduce Rob Wilkins, our host for the evening. Rob described how when he had asked Terry about what he would like for his memorial, Terry's response was "I'd want to be there". Terry also wanted to hit the right tone for the memorial, especially if he wasn't able to attend, and this basically meant some decent swearing, Monty Python style...

"Rhianna Pratchett, looking resplendent in red and carrying the sword that Terry had created himself upon his knighthood, proceeded to deliver the obituary she gave in December... Larry Finlay of Transworld Publishers gave a touching speech and an amusing account of Terry's star rating for bookshops that he had been to for signings. Apparently the star rating extended to hotels too. We were also to have the pleasure of Steeleye Span performing some of their hits from the Wintersmith album... Three of Terry's editors gave us their accounts and some favorite memories of Sir Terry. Philippa Dickinson recounted the times when she would ask him to change something and his sometimes stubborn reluctance to agree, while referring to her as a 'cantankerous cow!'. Jennifer Brehl said she would miss the somewhat random phone calls she would receive from him, to inform her of some new fact he had discovered or story thread he was working on and the way he would tease her for crying when they finally cracked the New York Times bestseller list – it's only a list Jen. Anne Hoppe spoke of Sir Terry's delight in hearing of children who had never picked up a book before picking one of his and how it inspired them to continue. The letters he received from these children who had gone on to become Professors of English, or writing novels of their own and how it was all about paying it forward, not awards. So even when the time came for him to drop the baton of fantasy writing, someone would always be there to catch it before it hit the ground...

"Rob told us of a day in October 2014 that he was away from the office and Terry took the opportunity to write letters to those he loved most, to be found after his death. Which they were on April 28th, Terry's birthday, in 2015. These letters included his father of the bride speech for Rhianna and a letter of advice for the wedding night. Rob read the letter he had received out to us. There were more tears as Sir Terry's words told us to appreciate each other and live life to the full, because life is short... Then came news of future projects, including the next in the Long Earth series, the Discworld coloring book, the Discworld Encyclopedia, Small Gods the graphic novel, and a biography written by Rob Wilkins himself. Adaptations that we have to look forward to include the Wee Free Men, screenplay by Rhianna Pratchett; Mort, screenplay by Terry Rossio; and the hotly anticipated Good Omens, screenplay by Neil Gaiman, who had previously refused to adapt it on numerous occasions as it was a collaboration and that's how they wanted to keep it. However, it was a last request of Sir Terry's for Neil to adapt the book, and this time he could not refuse - much to all the fans delight..."



Sian Cain, in The Guardian:

"The evening was a celebration not only of Pratchett's life and work, but also of the people he brought together. Some Discworld fans spoke of travelling from the US and Australia. One recounted meeting her husband when she appeared in a Discworld play he was directing. The musicians and artists I spoke to, all choosing different elements of Pratchett's creative output that had, in turn, inspired their own... Sir Tony Robinson read Pratchett's Dimbleby lecture on Alzheimer's and assisted dying, while the author's daughter, Rhianna, read the obituary she wrote for the Observer. Dr Patrick Harkin, whose collection of Pratchett ephemera includes an onion pickled by the man himself, appeared alongside Discworld sculptor Bernard Pearson, as well as Pratchett's publisher, Larry Finlay, and agent, Colin Smythe. Neil Gaiman flew in from the States to read his introduction to Pratchett's 2014 non-fiction collection A Slip of the Keyboard, and found himself presented with his friend's trademark hat. Gaiman, looking a tad thunderstruck, placed it for a moment on his head, but quickly took it off again, saying: 'Oh, I don't dare.'

"Overall, the mood was fond. There was laughter at an early Pratchett quote about writing more Discworld novels, when the author was quite unaware of the fame and books that would follow ('I don't think I've exhausted all the possibilities in one book'). Friends and editors recalled his occasional cantankerousness, his delight at cracking America and his vigorous campaigning to change the law on assisted dying. Footage from an upcoming BBC documentary about Pratchett's life showed the author – a little thinner, but still blessed with the same humour – remembering his first impressions of The Wind in the Willows as a child: 'The moles and badgers go into each others' houses! They had hats! I thought: 'This is lies.'... fans were reassured that Pratchett's legacy is in safe hands; Wilkins insisted once more that the 10 unfinished novels sitting in Pratchett's archives would not be published or finished by another author. It was an evening that matched the deft tone of Pratchett's work – joyful silliness mixed with wry philosophy and honest, often humorous reflections on death. A night that began with a solemn choir accompanying a montage of bookcovers falling through an hourglass ended with a rousing version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, led via video message by Eric Idle. Pratchett may not have been there, but there is no doubt he would have enjoyed himself."


Katherine Cowdrey in The Bookseller:

A biography of Terry Pratchett written by his personal assistant Rob Wilkins, a graphic novel by Pratchett and a Discworld Encyclopedia were among the new publishing revealed at a memorial to celebrate the late author last night (14th April)... While Transworld has not released any more details on the projects, Wilkins revealed he would be writing the biography on stage at the end of the memorial and said that Small Gods, a graphic novel from Pratchett with new artwork by Ray Friesen, will also be released, to be published on 28th July under the Doubleday imprint. A 'Discworld encyclopaedia' is also in the pipeline. A host of adaptations were also revealed. Along with Gaiman writing Good Omens for the screen in a six-episode series, the book Mort is to be made into a film by Terry Rossio, the second highest grossing screenwriter in the world behind such successes as Disney's Aladdin, Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean, Wilkins revealed. The Wee Free Men is also being adapted for the screen by Pratchett's daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, with further details expected to be revealed at Comicon...

"Transworld m.d. Larry Finlay also spoke, adding: 'As the Discworld world developed, Terry's novels just got better and better. His characters richer and fuller. One of the joys of this world is it holds up a sparkling distorted mirror to our own world in all its complexities, it's joys, it's frustrations, it's brilliance and its madness. Whether his keen lens scrutinised trade unions, or banking, or prejudice, the cloth, bureaucracy or academia, Terry's novels shone a light on us and the bizarre, baffling yet extraordinary rich tapestry of our lives.' He closed: 'The PCA finally took Terry from this world on 12th March last year. It robbed him of so many more years of life, family, friendships and writing, and it robbed us of so many more books unwritten, so much invention, so many stories, so much wisdom and so much joy – but, as Terry wrote in Reaper Man: 'No one is finally dead until the ripples they caused in the world die away – until the clock he wound up winds down'..."





In The Guardian, by Sian Cain:

"Neil Gaiman, the author and longtime friend of Sir Terry Pratchett, has announced he will be writing the adaptation of their co-authored novel Good Omens for the screen... Pratchett's longtime friend and assistant Rob Wilkins recalled asking Gaiman to adapt Good Omens as they were driving back from Pratchett's house, on one of the final occasions Gaiman met with him before his death. He said he had approached Gaiman because 'it required love, it required patience'... Released in 1990, Good Omens was listed among the BBC's Big Read of the nation's 100 favourite books. Another adaptation of Pratchett's work was confirmed at the memorial event on Thursday evening: a feature film of his 1987 novel Mort. The second-highest-grossing screenwriter of all time, Terry Rossio – who has written hits including Shrek, Aladdin and Pirate of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – will be writing the adaptation, while Narrativia will co-produce it. Rhianna Pratchett is also confirmed to be adapting her father's 2003 novel Wee Free Men into a feature film..."


By Jess Denham in The Independent:

"'Terry and I [initially] had a deal that we would only work on Good Omens things together,' Gaiman said at a memorial event for Pratchett in London last Thursday. 'Everything that was ever written, bookmarks and tiny little things, we would always collaborate. Everything was a collaboration.' When Gaiman finally agreed to adapt Good Omens by himself, Pratchett sent him a letter shortly before his death, writing: 'I would very much like this to happen and I know, Neil, that you're very very busy, but no one else could ever do it with the passion that we share for the old girl. I wish I could be more involved and I will help in any way I can.'... 'I've been working on the Good Omens scripts for much of the last year, wishing that [Pratchett] was still here and could help, even if it was just to take a phone call,' he wrote. 'It's hard when I get stuck, and want to ask his advice. It's harder when I come up with something clever or funny that's new and I want to call him up and read it to him, and make him laugh or hear him point out something I'd missed. We were always each other's first audiences for Good Omens. That was the point. Neither of us had any idea whether or not we'd be able to sell this odd book or not, when we were writing it, but we knew that we could make the other one laugh. I'm now 72 per cent of the way through the Good Omens scripts, and the end is in sight.'..."


On BoingBoing:

"After several false starts, including one that involved Terry Gilliam and a groat, Neil Gaiman has announced that he will personally adapt he and Terry Pratchett's outstanding, comedic apocalypse novel Good Omens as a six-part TV series. Gaiman made the announcement at a memorial event for Pratchett held last night in London, revealing that Pratchett had left him a note urging him to do it. 'Absolutely not,' Gaiman recalled replying, to laughter. 'Terry and I had a deal that we would only work on Good Omens things together,' he explained. 'Everything that was ever written – bookmarks and tiny little things – we would always collaborate, everything was a collaboration. So, obviously, no.' But Wilkins revealed to the audience that Pratchett had left a letter posthumously for Gaiman. In the letter, Pratchett requested that the author write an adaptation by himself, with his blessing. 'At that point, I think I said, 'You bastard, yes,'' Gaiman recalled, to cheers. 'How much are we allowed to tell them?' Gaiman teased, before he was hushed by Wilkins. 'Are we allowed to tell them it is a six-part television series?'..."


In the NME:

"This isn't the first time producers have tried to bring the novel, which sees an angel and a demon teaming up to defeat the antichrist, who due to unfortunate circumstances turns out to be a boy growing up in the English countryside, to the screen. In 2002, a Terry Gilliam pitch reputedly involving Johnny Depp and Robin Williams fell through due to issues with portraying the end of the world after 9/11. Another attempt, in 2011, also featuring Gaiman, with another ex-Monty Python star, Terry Jones, also came to nothing. BBC Radio 4 produced a version in 2014, which brought Pratchett and Gaiman together to provide voicework, and which was done deliberately so Sir Terry could enjoy the work while he was still alive..."


...and Neil Gaiman's own blog post about it:



Now that adult colouring books are A Thing, it's good news for fans of Paul Kidby's exquisite Discworld art:

"Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of World Rights to publish a colouring book of line drawings by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry Pratchett's artist of choice. Gollancz Digital Publisher, Darren Nash, brought the rights to Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book from Rob Wilkins at Narrativia, who own and control the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all of Sir Terry's works, including his Discworld characters and creations... Rob Wilkins said: 'Paul Kidby is Terry Pratchett's artist of choice. Paul – in a seemingly effortless and certainly modest way – breathed life into Terry's characters for more than two decades. Terry often commenting that Paul must have the ability to step right into Discworld, because the accuracy with which he depicts his creations often surpassed his own imagination.'... Containing black-and-white line drawings based on his hugely popular artwork as well as original pieces produced exclusively for this book, Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book features iconic Discworld personalities as Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, Rincewind, Tiffany Aching and, of course, DEATH..."


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

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

To read the full press release, go to http://discworld.com/press-release-colouring-book-announced/

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book will be published by Gollancz on the 11th August priced at £9.99. To pre-order a copy from Discworld.com, go to:


A podcast you definitely want to listen to!

"I found myself in the unlikely position of my day job being that of dean of research at Trinity College, Dublin. My wife Annie, who is immeasurably cleverer than I am, and who is also a long-time fan of the goings-on on the Discworld, and I were at home in Dublin having a conversation about honorary degrees. As you do. I was quite fixated on Trinity College advancing candidates of international renown for these honours. I was bringing my work home with me. Annie said, 'What about Terry Pratchett?' Bing... Honorary degrees are not lightly bestowed. Once proffered, the mechanics of ensuring their actual acceptance by the nominee are complex. With high profile nominees, there's not usually a direct link to the person. Ordinarily, a letter is dispatched to a third party who is in a position to ask said person if they'll actually accept the award. That way refusals are not seen as huge snubs, they may be just miscommunications. Anyway, the third party in question in Terry's case was Colin Smythe, Terry's long-time literary agent. Colin was the man who first published Pratchett and launched Great A'Tuin into the cosmos of print. Colin also happened to be a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and an honorary doctor of the institution to boot. (This is a useful set of qualifications to hold, if an honorary degree offer is coming from Trinity College Dublin to someone you know—particularly if that someone might require some convincing to accept)

"'All the way to Ireland to dress up for a parchment? No bloody way—I'm trying to write a book!' I'm paraphrasing. But that, apparently, was Terry's initial reaction... unlikely circumstances relating to matters Hibernian and academic led to arms being duly (though gently) twisted, and the offer of a Trinity College honorary award was grudgingly accepted. Whatever the reluctance behind the scenes in the UK, I was determined that, for me at least, this would not be a missed opportunity...

"As Dean, my office was located in House 1 of Trinity College—in the old college armoury to be precise. This abutted the provost's residence at 1 Grafton Street: a Georgian Palladian townhouse of utter magnificence, where VIPs are looked after on occasions such as this. The house is truly splendid, with many period features spanning its Georgian origins and later Victorian innovations, such as indoor loos and central heating. The lavatory to which I escorted Terry was a late-adopted, early Victorian affair, a pull-chain number, with a rather ornate porcelain throne complete with the original wooden seat—in near mint condition, lightly polished by generations of provostorial and deanly buttocks. So proud were its creators that they had christened it 'The Deluge' and emblazoned its name brazenly in brown glazed script just beneath the rim, for all future users to marvel at. As Terry entered the chamber of ablution, I heard an exclamation of pure joy... I waited respectfully outside the door. There came a rattle of chain. The whoosh of the Deluge deluging accompanied by a 'whoo-hoo' of pure delight from Terry. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between man and plumbing, which would eventually see the latter immortalised in print several years later in The World of Poo..."



Discworld Day sees The Story Museum celebrating the work of much loved author Terry Pratchett. This year's Discworld Day at The Story Museum is based on Terry Prachett's Carnegie Medal winning novel The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents, in which a street smart cat, a gang of educated rats and a 'stupid looking kid' pull off the swindle of the century with unexpected consequences. Join us for a day of rat-tastic events and activities including rat handling, tap dancing, magic tricks, illustration, games and more!

When: Saturday 21st May 2016
Venue: Oxford Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP
Time: 10am-5pm
Tickets: "All events are included with museum entry unless otherwise stated." Standard price for the museum entry is adults £7.50, under-18s and concessions £5, family ticket: £20 (4 people including at least 1 child). Free entry for children under 2 and companions of disabled visitors.

Two extra special events on the day are "Dangerous Beans' Dinner" and "Draw Along Read Along with Stephen Briggs and Neill Cameron". Details are:

Dangerous Beans' Dinner
"Join fellow Terry Pratchett fans for a very special two course dinner party including rat themed cuisine (food will contain no actual rats) a special Discworld quiz compiled by Jason Anthony, editor of Discworld Monthly,and plenty of fun and frivolity. The guest of honour for the evening will be Stephen Briggs, reader of the Discworld audio books, mapper of Ankh Morpork and adapter of several of Terry's best loved works for stage. Ticket price includes a two course meal. Ages 18+."

Time: 19:00-22:30
Tickets: £25, available at http://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/ticketsoxford/index.aspx#event=20805

Draw Along Read Along with Stephen Briggs and Neill Cameron
"Join voice of the Discworld audio books Stephen Briggs and Phoenix Comic artist Neill Cameron for a special read along draw along event. As well as picking up tips on how to draw your very own rat, Stephen will be reading extracts from the book as Neill draws live illustrations for your enjoyment. A must for fans of Pratchett and aspiring illustrators alike. Ages 8+."

Time: 14:00-15:00
Tickets: £7/£5, available at http://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/ticketsoxford/index.aspx#event=20804



The concept art for the (thankfully!) ill-fated Disney adaptation of Mort is available to view.

From Den of Geek:

"Back in 2010, there were strong rumours that Walt Disney Animation Studios was set to make a movie based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel, Mort. At the time, directors John Musker and Ron Clements were linked with the project, although they eventually made Moana – due in cinemas later this year – their latest project. However, it seems that Mort was indeed a project very much under development at Disney, even if it's no longer active. And former Disney animator Claire Keane has uploaded some of the concept art from Mort to her website..."

The full collection of images lives at http://www.claireonacloud.com/misc-development/



Children's author Tom Nicoll tells how the works of Terry Pratchett inspired him as a child:

"The first book I ever read by Terry Pratchett was Truckers. This was 1992 and ITV were airing a fantastic stop-motion animation of it at the time, produced by Cosgrove Hall. When I discovered the book in my local library the opportunity to find out what happened before any of my friends was too good to miss. So basically I read it for the exact same reason I would read George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire 20 years later. I had no way of knowing that this would be the book that would inspire me to become a writer of funny stories. The book itself made no mention of this. Not even a warning on the back... As much as I wanted to race through it to find out what happened next, I soon learned that I simply can't read a Terry Pratchett novel quickly. To do so runs the risk of missing a joke and I simply can't have that. Not on my watch. It wasn't just the quality of the jokes. It was the quantity and variety of them. I would often spend ages rereading the same paragraphs, in awe of how anyone could construct sentences so densely packed with humour. Like the best satirists he could make the everyday seem absurd, but like Douglas Adams he could also just as easily turn the absurd into the perfectly logical. He'd treat old sayings and cliches on a par with the laws of physics, like in the eighth Discworld book Guards, Guards where saving the day rests entirely on the fact that million-to-one chances always happen when you need them. And of course the footnotes..."



The Westbury White Horse, a A 175ft (53m) long chalk figure in Wiltshire that was described as a 'bit of a grey mare', has been restored:

"Up to 20 volunteers have spent the weekend power cleaning the horse, which is carved into a very steep slope.`The English Heritage monument was steam cleaned in 2012. The cleaning project was organised by the Westbury Rotary Club. Once clean, the hillfigure is due to be given a new coat of white paint. Under the supervision of an expert climber, two volunteers at a time are lowered down the face of the horse to blast dirt and algae off its surface. Organiser Steve Carrington said weather conditions over the weekend had been ideal 'to get the white horse white again'... Westbury's horse is said to be the oldest in Wiltshire. It was restored in 1778, but many believe it is far older than that..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-36066414 (includes video)


"Wincanton residents are still waiting for a pedestrian crossing promised as part of a new housing estate seven years ago, it has emerged. Taylor Wimpey agreed in 2009 that it would fund a crossing and traffic calming measures on Common Road near its Kingwell Rise development off Deanesly Way. The developer confirmed this week that construction of homes at the site was completed in November 2014 and that all the properties there have now sold. But a number of measures agreed as part of a Section 106 deal are yet to become a reality... In 2009 several streets on the Kingwell Rise development were named after fictional places in the works of the late author Terry Pratchett. Treacle Mine Road, Peach Pie Street and Morpork Street are among the roads on the estate named after Mr Pratchett's creations. The owner of Wincanton's Pratchett-inspired shop the Discworld Emporium, Bernard Pearson, said: 'It's a shame children can't cross the road safely. Sir Terry Pratchett was very keen on children growing up to read his books!'..."



From The Express:

"DiCaprio has been visiting the Sumatran rainforest this week to highlight the threats its unique wildlife is facing in the wake of rampant destruction. Timeless trees are making way for palm oil plantations, putting pressure on a priceless population of tigers, elephants, rhinos and great apes. DiCaprio posted this photograph after visiting the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme's quarantine centre as part of his tour of the Mount Leuser National Park in Acehon the northern tip of Sumatra, with friends and fellow actors Adrien Brody and Fisher Stevens. Wearing a mask is vital to stop infections jumping the species barrier... DiCaprio has become one of the world's highest profile environment campaigners. The Leonard DiCaprio Foundation is supporting a wide range of projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Alongside the star's Instagram posting, he explains how the lowland rainforest of Leuser Ecosystem is considered the world's best remaining habitat for critically endangered animals..."





The Masquerade Theatre Group will be bringing their production of Wyrd Sisters to the stage in early June.

When: Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th June 2016
Venue: Parkside Community Hall, Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire MK45 2HX (phone 01525 634 215)
Time: 7:45pm
Tickets: £10, available from 07817528077 or masqueradetheatregroup@gmail.com


Haaaags... in... spaaaaace! Well, not really, but MAD – the Music and Drama Club of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland – are putting on their production of Wyrd Sisters in May!

When: 6th–21st May 2016
Venue: Barney & Bea Recreation Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Time: 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 3pm Sundays
Tickets: $16 in advance, but special prices for the opening weekend: $14 Friday & Saturday and $12 Sunday (Mother's Day). Tickets at the door will be $20 for all performances. To purchase online, go to https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=mad

The MAD website has a trailer for the production.



The People's Theatre, "the premier amateur theatre company in the North of England", will stage their production of Lords and Ladies, adapted by Irana Brown, in July. "We're no strangers to Discworld and this funny and fast-moving adaptation of (the much-missed) Sir Terry's fourteenth novel sees the welcome return of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg to our stage. It promises to be lots of fun, so book early to avoid disappointment!"

The production dates have been unavoidably rescheduled, moving back by a week from the original schedule of 12th-16th July. See below!

When: 19th-23rd
Venue: People's Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF. Phone: (0191) 275 9875
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £13.50 (£11 concessions). Box Office on 0191 265 5020 or email tickets.peoplestheatre@email.com. (Box Office is open weekdays 10.30am–1pm and Mon, Wed, Fri evenings 7.30–8.30pm). To book online, go to the inappropriately-named Intelligent Tickets, and be prepared to jump through a truly daft series of hoops:



Caversham Park Theatre will present their production of Wyrd Sisters next month.

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

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


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

When: 1st, 3rd, 6th and 7th May 2016
Venue: Cellar Theatre of the English Seminar, University of Basel, Nadelberg 6
Time: 8pm all shows, except 1st May which starts at 5pm
Tickets: CHF25 (students, apprentices, AHV, IV CHF15). There is a group discount for school classes of CHF10 per student; contact reservations@gay beggars.ch for groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be reserved by emailing reservations@gaybeggars.ch. "Reserved tickets must be picked up at the evening box office (opens one hour before the show).'



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

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



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

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



The Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in July

When: 28th–30th July and 4th–6th August 2016
Venue: Georgian Theatre Royal, Victoria Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4DW
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6.50 to £12.50, available online at https://tickets.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk/ or ring the box office 01748 825252



We Are Theatre will be presenting their production of Mort in July. Getting closer now...

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



The Monstrous Productions Theatre Company, who specialise in staging Pratchett plays and have so far raised – and donated – over £18,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK, are taking on the Ankh-Morpork Post Office for their next project!

"Moist Von Lipwig is a conman, forger and all-round confidence trickster, always on the look out for the next big game. Until one of his many personas has a run-in with the law and is hanged to within a inch of his life. And so begins the biggest game of all. He must restore Ankh-Morpork's defunct post office to it's former glory or else have a second shot at dancing the hemp fandango. On his side he has the Disc's oldest junior postman, Stanley ('ask me about pins!') and his pottery probation officer, Mr Pump. It's a mighty task, made mightier by competition from Ankh-Morpork's newest technology, the Clacks, and its piratical owner, Reacher Gilt."

When: 17th-20th August 2016
Venue: The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm evening shows (doors open at 7pm); 2.30pm matinee on the 20th (doors open 2pm)
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions), available from http://7889269b08cd.fikket.com/ – also by email (monstrousproductions2012@gmail.com, pay by cheque or bank transfer)

Also, if you are local to the Cardiff area (or fond of travelling), the Monstrous company works to a great model: "We announce auditions for upcoming productions about a month before casting. We have a laid back audition process and people travel from all over the South Wales area. No experience is necessary, our only stipulation is that members must be over 18 and younger than 70. Membership is £10 per year. We rehearse twice a week over the course of a few months, with some social activities thrown in."



The Brisbane Arts Theatre takes on yet another Discworld play later this year, in October and November.

"From the legendary author Sir Terry Pratchett comes the eighth novel in the Discworld series and first featuring the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen, The Noble Dragon has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all). With some help from an orangutan librarian, it is the task of the Night Watch to overpower the secret brotherhood and restore order to the kingdom in this fantastical Discworld adventure."

When: 8th October through 12th November 2016
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000. Phone: (07) 3369 2344
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays (except 10th November); 6.30pm Sundays (16th & 30th October)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Student Rush $10 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/1QGbXBF



Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre aka CAST will stage their production of the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Carpe Jugulum in July! The main roles have already been cast, but there are "still supporting roles available if anyone would like to join the cast!!!"

When: 13th-16th July 2016
Venue: CAST, Colnbrook Village Hall,. Vicarage Way, Colnbrook, Berks SL3 0RF. Phone 07944 215487 (Secretary)
Time: 7.45pm all shows
Tickets: TBA. Normally £8 (£6 concessions), eventually available online at http://www.cast-online.org.uk/box-office/



By Alex Ballingeron for the Oxfordshire Guardian:

"The most poignant part of Briggs' latest tale, The Shakespeare Codex, hit me around halfway through the first act: this would be the first of the last of Pratchett on stage, since Bill Door came knocking last March. The great man is no longer here to spew out his powerful imagination, not around to pen new tales for us to stage, so we are left without additions to the Discworld saga. But because of this, I loved The Shakespeare Codex: it was something special, a barrage of farce and wit that would have made Pratchett proud. And seeing the works of Pratchett and the Bard side by side felt nothing but appropriate and I quickly came to see that this was not the beginning of the end, because his work would survive him. In the year 2415, I would expect to see a year's worth of events commemorating the 400th anniversary of Pratchett's passing. This play sees a band of wizards battle elves to ensure Shakespeare pens his timeless works. Stand-out performances came from Dan Booth as the terrified and inept wizard Rincewind, the lynchpin of the Unseen University, Ponder Stibbons, played by Brian Mackenwells, and Natasha Warner as the Elf Queen. Rory Morrison also played Shakespeare with the likeability we all hope the real playwright had. The charming touch of the am drams doesn't detract anything from the tale and Briggs' sense of humour doesn't blunt in transition from Pratchett's sharp nib..."



By Christine Pyman for Broadway World:

"Every Sir Terry Pratchett story is magic, and Unseen Theatre Company's 2016 world premier of The Wee Free Men, at Adelaide's Bakehouse Theatre, is no exception. In fact, it's totally enthralling and sheer magic to experience this production... Alycia Rabig plays Miss Tick, with a suitably strait laced respect-commanding manner, reminiscent of every clever teacher you've ever known. Hugh O'Connor is Toad, effortlessly being more amphibian than anyone could possibly expect from an actor that Unseen audiences know better as the anthropomorphic entity DEATH. As Toad, he spends his time giving laconic advice, until he truly comes into his own when memories surface and he steps in to save the day, or at least one battle of it. The set was cleverly designed with three separate areas, allowing audience attention to be directed by use of lighting. The Wee Free Men of the title, known for their thieving ways, were used for set changes, which added to their shenanigans.

"Tiffany is brought to life by Josephine Giorgio, an outstanding young actor in her first role with Unseen. She breathes strength, determination and sheer witchiness as she battles not only the Faerie Queen, but the big questions in her life, such as why she wants her annoying little brother back, and exactly where is the witch school? During her adventure, which is an adventure of self-realisation, she is accompanied by the Wee Free Men, led by the Big Man of the Nac Mac Feegle clan, Rob Anybody, portrayed by Harold Roberts, resplendent in filthy Feegle gear, tattoos, tangled beard, and convincing accent..."


By Sebastian Cooper for InDaily:

"Directed and adapted for stage by Pamela Munt, The Wee Free Men is a light-hearted story which ebbs and flows at the whim of the actors. The Nac Mac Feegle – or Wee Free Men, as they are better known – form an important part of the story. The hilarious band of bumbling blue brutes love to steal, drink and fight, and are terrified of lawyers. Some questionable Glaswegian accents occasionally prove a burden when trying to follow the story, but they always provoke giggles. Giorgio refuses to be outshone by her funny and rowdy cast-mates, presenting Tiffany as headstrong and confident; she's a character audience members will cheer for. Capturing the naivety and wonderment of a child, however, can be difficult, and I missed that part of Tiffany. The use of the thieving Nac Mac Feegle to remove props and sets is a clever and humorous way to maximise a low-budget set design, while clever lighting and wonderful costumes make for fantastic visuals. Once again, Unseen Theatre Company has produced a wonderful tribute to Discworld and its late creator. This is a great production for adults and children alike, and a fantastic way to get your kids into literature by the great Terry Pratchett..."


...and if you haven't time to visit the age and read the whole review right now, do have a shufti at this wonderful photo of Miss Tick and Tiffany:
http://indaily.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Wee-Free-Men-2-Bakehouse-Theatre.jpg – Ed.

By Anthony Vawser for Stage Whispers:

"The first half-hour or so is highly promising indeed, offering up generous servings of Pratchett's typically delightful wordplay and clever wit, delivered by the cast -- including, but not limited to, Olivia Cameron as Footnote the Narrator -- with sharp timing and elegant enunciation. There is also amusement generated in the early stages by illustrating comically quirky metaphysical ideas using decidedly low-tech design concepts. The characters of Tiffany, Toad, and Miss Tick establish themselves in their initial scene as an engaging and dynamic triple act. It is made clear that Tiffany will have a somewhat spikier personality than your average heroine, which adds an extra layer of intrigue. The blue-skinned title characters are colourfully quirky, making an undeniably impressive visual impact through facial hair-pieces and make-up. Toad is fantastically well-costumed in a yellow suit, complementing Hugh O'Connor's excellent physical acting and facial expressions, while Tiffany is herself appropriately tailored to remind us of Lewis Carroll's Alice. Unfortunately, the story that attempts to bring these elements together -- as well as to bring the audience along with them -- never quite becomes compelling enough, at least to a non-devotee of Terry Pratchett's writing. Though the plotting feels less busy and less convoluted here than what is usually found in the Discworld series, this reviewer found it less interesting and never fully engaging..."


By Nicola Woolford for Glam Adelaide:

"The Wee Free Men delivered tongue-in-cheek humour, honoured the fantasy of the original novel, and boasted an exemplary cast of amateur players. Giorgio in particular should be praised, as she displayed great talent for a year-12 student. The 'Wee Free Men' ensemble was unerring in their portrayal of the pilfering pixies. Munt's adaptation was peppered with clever, practical solutions – such as casting O'Conner as Toad, and her inventive use of the 'Wee Free Men'. Having a fully-grown man wearing a yellow suit, green tie and toe-socks with bright make-up at once added a note of absurdity to the play and brought the character of Toad to life..."


by Ewart Shaw in the Advertiser:

"If you know Pratchett you'll appreciate the challenges which face the oxymoronically named Unseen Theatre. Their approach to magic is of the sleight of hand variety, now you see it, now you see someone moving it off the small Bakehouse stage... A lot of the useful details in the background have been lost in the adaptation, and there's a limit to how much the cute and articulate footnote (Olivia Cameron) can provide, but there are many laughs. Right at the end the witches arrive, Alycia Raebig as Miss Tick, Michelle Whichello as Nanny Ogg and, adaptor/director Pamela Munt as Granny Weatherwax, familiar characters to regular playgoers. There's a prediction. I feel a sequel coming on..."


By Sarah-Jean for TREv:

"Eccentric, charming and endearing, The Wee Free Men follows the journey of young Tiffany in a journey of magic and self-discovery, as she battles swamp monsters, dream worlds and dromes in a mission to rescue her sticky and rather unlikeable little brother. Along the way she learns more about what it means to be yourself, and how quickly dreams and nightmares can collide. With a story as delightful as this, it's hard to go wrong. With a charming cast, the performance tends to favour comedy over depth. Josie Giorgio was a particular stand-out, bringing light to the role of Tiffany, and adding layers to the young witch-to-be. The Wee Free Men, and in particular Natalie Haigh's performance of No'-as-Big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-Bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock, brought dynamism and charisma to the more 'dull' moments – leaving the audience laughing and engaged, while the tongue in cheek humour of Toad played by Hugh O'Connor brought a beautiful energy to the stage..."


By Stephen Davenport for Barefoot Review:

"Cordial, stimulating, and above all funny, The Wee Free Men is a rare stage adaptation that more than lives up to the standard set by its creator, author, the late, Sir Terry Pratchett. A radiant roller-coaster jaunt of colour, exposition and fantastical incidents, Pamela Munt's stage version of Pratchett's first Discworld novel to feature Tiffany Aching (Josephine Girogio), is almost as entertaining as the book. And though a lot of that comes down to the show's intrepid direction, it's also due to the main attractions. In this adaptation that's not the clever and satirical dialogue, but the eccentricity of the fine ensemble and the delivery of the humorous lines... Munt devises and adapts the group's productions, and it consistently works. She also has the knack of finding performers who seamlessly transition between multiple characters, in scenes that are by turns animated and affecting... The show is an absolute riot of comedy and resourceful staging, as Tiffany leads us through a series of set pieces in the weird locations where, one by one, the naughty Pictsies dispose of the real and imagined enemies with brute force, ignorance and comic invention..."


By Brian Godfrey for the Adelaide Theatre Guide:

"With many thoughts, ideas and plot lines running throughout, many scene changes into some very strange places and many, many varied and interesting characters running amok in the late Sir Terry Pratchett's novels; they have never lent themselves that easily to stage adaptations. Stephen Briggs has managed a few and for some time now so has Adelaide's Pamela Munt. Her versions are just getting better and better. 'The Wee Free Men' is Munt's latest attempt and it's pretty good. Although set in the Discworld and featuring some familiar characters, this story does not particularly require previous knowledge of Pratchett's work... As Toad, Hugh O'Connor gets the best and driest lines in the show, and delivers them superbly. His competition in the comedy stakes, however, are the 'Wee Free Men', in particular Harold Roberts as Rob Anybody. These blue-faced, kilted, Scottish-speaking wee ones are hilarious, bounding around on stage like the Keystone Kops on steroids..."



In the Southern Daily Echo, either by Hilary Porter or Ed Howson:

"It's abundantly clear how much this company loves Terry Pratchett (it's Director Chris Blatch-Gainey's fourteenth TP play!), the 35-strong cast revelling in the storytelling of this multi-layered play/fairytale with its nods to Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' (Rustics performing a play for the King's wedding), 'Macbeth' (three witches) and Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' (Elvish Archers). Set in Pratchett's Discworld, with plots too diverse to explain, we were transported to a world of evil elves, old-fashioned witches, paralytically shy royalty, academia, and bees! Narrated by Abi Philo as Footnote, we saw King Verance (sheepish David Powell) finally arrange to marry his love, apprentice witch Magrat (versatile Laura Woodward) while the villainous Elf Queen (Ashleigh Motley) was finally brought to heel by Emma Hughes's tenacious Granny Weatherwax and Jane Blatch-Gainey's deliciously coarse Nanny Ogg. Lovely cameos, too, from Bob Bell as the foghorn-voiced Archchancellor and Joe Allan's Harry Potter-esque Stibbons."




The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club in Adelaide, South Australia is having a Tabletop Day!

"On April 30th 2016, join us from 10am-8pm at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Road Unley in the function room. Bring games you'd like to play or borrow from the large collection loaned by members of CoSG and other attendees... We will have learn-to-play sessions for Thud, Ankh-Morpork, The Witches and Clacks!"

Entry is free, but the Club will be collecting donations for the Women's and Children's Hospital Kids FUNd.





The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 2nd Mayl 2016 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk


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


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



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

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


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

"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 on Terry's latest, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."

For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au


The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 5th May 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 6th May 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:



Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 2nd May 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 2nd May 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>




"A huge thank you from us all here at Discworld.com for your support of the Sir Terry Pratchett Memorial. If you were able to attend on the night, maybe even one of our lucky competition winners, we hope you enjoyed the evening and we look forward to seeing you at future events. We've received hundreds of requests to make available various items from the memorial goodie bags. Please check Discworld.com for the delightful dried frog pills, memorial lilac pin, Terry silhouette tote bag and some extra special postcards. And don't forget Slip of the Keyboard features Neil Gaiman's moving tribute to Terry and both The Dark Morris and The Making of a Man by Steeleye Span appear on the Wintersmith CD and DVD. All of which were performed beautifully on the night."

A Slip of the Keyboard, "Exclusively embossed with Terry's signature and sealed with his coat of arms", is priced at £10. For more information, and to order, go to:


The WIntersmith Single CD edition is priced at £12, while the Deluxe 2 CD edition is priced at £15. Both are "Exclusively sealed with Terry Pratchett's coat of arms". For more information, and to order, go to:


Also... "The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner" Collector's Edition Slipcase is now available for pre-order:

"A special slipcase edition of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner, complete with a new foreword, critical commentaries, two bonus stories and a beautiful limited-edition print. The limited hardback edition will be a run of 5000 copies, inside a deluxe slipcase with silver foil printing and over a hundred black-and-white illustrations by Mark Beech. Each story shows the seed of an idea, which Terry developed in his later writing. A critical commentary will accompany each story, highlighting where particular ideas and characters appear elsewhere in Terry's work. A must-have for any Pratchett fan."

The special slipcase edition of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner is priced at £30.00. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:



* New Discworld stamps!

"Introducing Four new Discworld Stamps from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, produced in affiliation with the Unseen University and celebrating Rincewind's specialist subject, The Cruel and Unusual Geography of Discworld! This set of sixpence issues comprises four designs featuring Cori Celesti, the Fat Geysers of Uberwald, the Wyrmberg and the mysterious sunken island of Leshp! These extraordinary little issues are available to collect as a set of individual stamps, presented together on on beautiful whole sheets, or in the latest 'Little Brown Envelope' - a 'lucky dip' assortment of Discworld stamps with a chance of sports and rarities."

For more information, and to order, go to:


* Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book!

"Paul Kidby has designed the covers for the Discworld novels since 2002, and is the author and artist of the The Art Of Discworld. If Terry Pratchett's pen gave his characters life, Paul Kidby's brush allowed them to live it. Containing black-and-white line drawings based on Sir Terry Pratchett's Best Loved characters, his hugely popular artwork as well as original pieces produced exclusively for this book - featuring such iconic Discworld personalities as Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, Archchancellor Ridcully, Rincewind, Tiffany Aching and, of course, DEATH - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book is required ...reading? ...for all Discworld fans."

The Discworld Colouring Book will be published on 11th August 2016. It is priced at £9.99, plus shipping, and comes with a free The Turtle Moves bookmark. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:


* The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner hardcover!

"An illustrated collection of short stories by master storyteller Sir Terry Pratchett, featuring food fights, pirates, wizards and crooks! Poor Mr Swimble is having a bad day. Rabbits are bouncing out of his hat, pigeons are flying out of his jacket and every time he points his finger, something magically appears – cheese sandwiches, socks . . . even a small yellow elephant on wheels! It's becoming a real nuisance – and he's allergic to rabbits. His friends at the Magic Rectangle can't help, but the mysterious vacuum cleaner he saw that morning may have something to do with it . . . Fourteen fantastically funny stories from master storyteller Sir Terry Pratchett, full of food fights, pirates, wizards and crooks!"

The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner will be published on 25th August 2016. It is priced at £12.99, plus shipping, and comes with a free The Turtle Moves bookmark. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:


* The Long Cosmos hardcover

"The fifth book in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's science fiction collaboration, The Long Earth series. 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 Mergers: 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 Traverse rs. Its message is simple but its implications are enormous: JOIN US."

The Long Cosmos will be published on 14th June 2016. It is priced at £18.99, plus shipping, and comes with a free The Turtle Moves bookmark. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:


* Seriously Funny: the Endlessly Quotable Terry Pratchett

"The most quotable writer of our time, Terry Pratchett's unique brand of wit made him both a bestseller and an encyclopedic source of modern wisdom. This endearing little book is a collection of his funniest and most memorable words about life, the universe and snoring - for whenever you need a drop of Pratchett wisdom! 128 pages."

This is a collection of quotes, but no information seems to be forthcoming about who collected or edited it. If you are willing to play lucky dip with your hard-earned, Seriously Funny is priced at £9.99, plus shipping, and comes with a free The Turtle Moves bookmark. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:




Blog reviews of the Terry Pratchett Memorial Event...

By Hermie One:

"With little detail about proceedings released beforehand it was an evening of surprises, the first of which was the discovery of a generous goody bag on every seat. Containing a wonderful first and very special edition book, a beautiful commemorative lilac pin, dried frog pill mints, a quintet of postcards, a packet of tissues and a small bottle of Ankh Morpork water, it was a thoughtful and unexpected moment... starting with a wonderful choral rendition of Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium and ending with an audience singalong to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. In between, Steeleye Span performed two songs from their hauntingly beautiful adaptation of Wintersmith as well as the classic Thomas the Rhymer. The wonderful Rob Wilkins was the perfect host whilst Rhianna Pratchett shared her memories of a father who truly showed her magic. Watching her place his sword, Thunderbolt Iron, alongside his trademark black hat (later bequeathed to his friend and co-author Neil Gaiman) was a poignant moment. The general mood, however matched that of his books – a joyful celebration of the absurdity of human life and death... I particularly enjoyed the musings of Dr Patrick Harkin and Bernard Pearson who fondly recalled Terry's seemingly insatiable demand for random facts, including how much ear wax a person produces in a lifetime. Neil Gaiman spoke of his friend who was jolly (and possibly other words ending in Olly) yet, like my favourite Discworld creation Sam Vimes, was also fuelled by anger and a keen sense of fairness. Three hours after taking our seats, the evening drew to a close and for once we really were glad to have let Lord Vetinari detain us!"


By Aran Ward Sell:

"When I got to my seat I was delighted to find a black tote bag waiting for me, emblazoned with a silhouette of Sir Terry's face and iconic 'Author Hat'. This contained a number of mementoes, many referencing minor in-jokes from the Discworld novels, including a beautiful Lilac pin to be worn on the glorious 25th of May. It was classy in exactly the right, jovial, slightly sniggery way. Just before the event began, someone scurried along and took the empty seat to my left; a dedicated Pratchett fan had travelled up from Cardiff in the vague hope of getting a ticket on the door, and had been given my spare by the Barbican staff. She was exhilarated and I felt delighted to have accidentally improved someone's night...

"It was beautiful in parts, and even though I don't particularly like the music of Steeleye Span I cried when Steeleye Span came onstage and played 'The Dark Morris' because they were the right people, playing the right song. Terry's daughter Rhianna gave a touching and obviously difficult elegy. Neil Gaiman appeared onstage to gasps and cheers, and read out his own, accurate summation of how the rage which powered Terry's writing made it into so much more than merely comic writing. When Gaiman had finished, Wilkins presented him with the real Author Hat, a genuinely touching moment. Tony Robinson read out a piece of Tarry's own, and several former editors and associates spoke, and Lord Vetinari spoke on behalf of Terry's characters even though he's made up and not real... on some levels it didn't really matter what was said in the memorial, anyway. It was the right place to be. People gather at memorials and scatter flowers for a reason. They mob David Bowie's mural in Brixton on the night of his death for a reason. Sir Terry made Death into a sympathetic, compassionate (but very, very good at his job) character for a reason. There is sentiment behind these reasons but sentiment is not a dirty word, and a coming-together over death of the beloved (beloved soul, beloved books, beloved words) is right, and I'm glad I was there..."


By Manaburnt:

"Yesterday evening we had the infinite pleasure to assist the Terry Pratchett memorial at the Barbican Theatre (London). A very selective event, kept very hush-hush, but magical nonetheless. We cried as much as we laughed through the nearly 3 hours the celebration went on for... Rob Wilkins was more than a host or presenter; he acted like a dear friend to the audience, sharing experiences, comments and anecdotes from his time with Terry. Many of the author's friends came to the stage: publishers, editors, colleagues, it was a wholesome symphony of praise, respect and love for one of Britain's most popular and beloved writers. Everyone had kind words for him not only as a professional, but as a person. Rhianna Pratchett came to the stage to share her memories of him as a father, privilege she has only amongst anyone.

"I could not help but feel that, despite I never met him – for by the time I came to the UK his illness was advanced, and I did not have the chance to go to a book signing or a convention – I somehow knew him, as a mentor, as a role model. As an inspiring figure, with all his complexities. I guess all these emotions became much more real when Neil Gaiman entered the scene and proceeded to read a piece I already knew – his introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard. I knew the piece, almost by heart. But I had only read it, I hadn't been told it. Suddenly these words, that I thought I comprehended, took new real meanings. An overwhelming emotional wave took me by surprise – I don't think I have recovered quite yet; I could hardly go to sleep last night after that..."


By the Bookwitch:

"There was a choir. There was a display of all of Terry's books travelling through a time glass. Lord Vetinari kicked off – after the death threats – by thanking Terry from all his characters for putting them in his books before they ended up in someone else's books. After a long-wished-for opportunity to utter the words 'do not let me detain you' to Vetinari, Rob was there to speak for the family, introducing others, including Terry's daughter Rhianna. There were people from Terry's past (whom I might have known if I knew more). There was a coven of Terry's three editors; Philippa Dickinson, Anne Hoppe and Jennifer Brehl. Only once did Philippa fear she'd gone too far in suggesting a change in one of the books, but whereas Terry wouldn't go so far as to say she had been right, he could see some merit in what she said...

"And then there was Steeleye Span. You could hear the collective held breath of the audience as we deduced we were about to be treated to some top notch music from Terry's favourite band. You can't send just anyone in after such a music display, and they didn't. We got Neil Gaiman, who had flown in specially for his old friend, reading his foreword to A Slip of the Keyboard, including the tale of their long trek through San Francisco when they really should have been on live radio. He was also able to spill the beans on a Manchester bookshop that did get a minus star in Terry's ratings. (It's when the staff lock themselves in and won't come out until the customers have gone away.) ... Rob was aware that the clock was ticking, but he still talked us through what the future has in store. There will be no more Discworld books, but there will be books on all sorts of things, including a biography by Rob. Films are also in the pipeline, for The Wee Free Men, Mort, and Good Omens (with screenplay by Neil Gaiman, despite his agreement with Terry that they'd always work together). And lots more."


Next, a couple of reviews/deconstructions from blogging collective Hubward Ho...

"Returning to this book for a reread, I can happily say that Mort still works in the ways it first worked for me. Pratchett does quite so much right, and some of his scenes here rank among Discworld's most iconic. Take the scene in which Mort, all alone, meets Death for the first time. In the empty town square, in the cold and the dark, on Hogswatch night, this awkward boy takes his first tantalizing steps into a world much bigger than he, and in some ways it feels like our first proper introduction to the Discworld. Death looms, Death falls down—Pratchett tells us everything we need to know about everybody's favorite anthropomorphic personification to be going on with. Likewise, take the scene in which Mort, all alone, meets death for the first time. The scene is poignant and bittersweet, and again we get a deft introduction to the world of the Disc. These moments sing.

"And there are the characters themselves. Mort is a sympathetically beleaguered character. Ysabell's abrasive personality belies a lonely interior. And there's Death, immediately majestic, mysteriously, and ironically mundane. He's the real success of this book, but Mort and Ysabell (and to a lesser extent Keli and Cutwell and Albert) are competently drawn. Like many of Pratchett's early characters, there's not much complexity to these people and I'm not sure they quite come alive for me, but they do provide a sturdily built structure on which to hang a narrative. Narrative, however, is where things go a little off the rails. Despite great scenes and reasonably interesting characters, the resolution of the plot is a mess. This is early days for Pratchett, and you can tell that he's still working out how to structure his books..."


Reaper Man:
"The Dark Morris is one of my favorite Pratchett inventions. The idea feels narratively and culturally resonant. If there's a Morris to enact the rebirth of the sun, surely there's a Morris to enact its death? How logically Pratchett. (It is without shame that I admit to whooping aloud when I realized that Wintersmith, one of Pratchett's best books, begins and ends with and just generally has a lot to do with the Dark Morris.) When Pratchett writes about the dance, he sets it up immediately as a counterpoint to what he describes as the typical human relationship to nature—running over a sheep with your Volvo. On one hand, you have a mass-produced machine that disconnects those who make from those who consume. On the other hand, you have a dance that begins in folk wisdom and ends with feet moving over soil, in the dark, as the cold sets in, reifying tradition. This dichotomy informs Reaper Man, which can be read as a blunt indictment of mass thinking, consumerism, and rampant capitalist consumption.

"However, the book takes place in Ankh-Morpork—a pit of feints and fobs and woolly commercial schemes, a colonizer of the world through production and communication, and yet the city from which all civilizations in all the universes are made. How does a writer who created Ankh-Morpork, who celebrates street quackery, the printing press, and the steam engine, nonetheless condemn the shopping mall and the combine harvester? This question has been playing in my mind for a while, and Reaper Man offers some ideas. Reaper Man reminded me that Pratchett's writing is often an exercise in reconciling possible contradiction. Consider: Discworld's ideology is politically and socially progressive, liberatory toward knowledge, and interested in commonality, but the world in which that ideology unfolds is distinctly Victorian... The answer, I think, is that pretty much anything goes in Pratchett's world as long as it goes with empathy. Characters like the Auditors (and Trymon and Astfgl) have the knowledge to make order but not the compassion. Even the highwayman is better than the soulless thing that brings the artless shopping cart into being—note how the criminals of Pratchett's world are often hard-working people who care deeply about their craft and serving their victims customers well. Personal is necessary..."


A review of The Folklore of Discworld by bilingual Finnish blogger Thoughts on X:

"I just read this book a second time, and it was really fast going and entertaining — I can't remember when I last read a nonfiction book that went so smoothly. Speaking of nonfiction, the book is still written as if the Discworld is real and the similarities to our world are coincidences or the result of ideas floating around the multiverse. I found this slightly tiresome, especially as it ended up repeating the same 'jokes'. Also, for a nonfiction book, this book didn't always say everything quite explicitly — whether because of the above or for something else like irony. This mostly works quite smoothly, but sometimes, it left me wondering about small details. There was a slight potential for confusion as to whether things said were true in our world, our folklore, the Discworld, or their folklore, or whether they were being said as part of the joke that pretends the relationship between these is different than it really is. But like I said, it was well written and this was hardly ever really a problem. It's just not what I'm used to from nonfiction. I wonder if Pratchett could even have got away with writing in a more matter-of-fact tone..."

A review of A Slip of the Keyboard by blogger Owen Kelly:

"This book is the first of his that I have read that is not fiction but is the author's own thoughts not framed by the customary characters of Ankh Morpork or the Unseen University, even though I still catch glimpses of their presence hidden in the shadows. There are four sections to the book covering various elements categorised as collections usually are and there is a certain amount of repetition which I haven't fully decided whether it's a good or bad thing but just accepted it as part of the experience.

"I haven't been to a Science Fiction conference and doubt I will and I haven't got the patience to queue up for a book signing but I did find the speeches and writings on these subjects interesting along with the process of writing and having to deal with fan letters and the like. I had always thought that his first Discworld book 'A Colour of Magic' was not his best and I think he felt the same, in my opinion the series got better and better and that was one of the things I liked. When I look at my favourite music groups and artists I often note that the best of them grow and develop and witnessing that process draws me even closer, I don't think music artists get much of a chance at this nowadays. In film I always dread the sequel or follow up as it so often fails to improve. I was also surprised that the book 'Nation' was so high on his list; it is on mine, even though I always felt a bit guilty as it wasn't part of the Discworld series of which I am such a fan. I found these and many other small comments on his own writings really illuminating and enjoyable, like having a discussion with a friend. I was drawn into reading more, many of the chapters are quite short and I would say to myself just one more and I'll leave it there for the night and an hour later I would say the same thing again..."


...and finally, some delighted words about Thud! from second-generation Pratchett newbie Mummiebirch:

"My mum was a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and she used to always go on and on about how I should give his books a chance. When I was younger just reading the blurb was too much for me, too many long words and confusing names like Ankh-Morpork and Pseudopolis Yard, but after studying Shakespeare for a year and as I'm now, as much as I hate to admit it, an adult I've gotten used to long words and decided I'd give it another go. I've recently finished reading Thud! by Terry Pratchett and I wasn't able to put it down! From Commander Vimes to Sally the vampire, the characters completely won me over. I'm very picky about books and usually put them down before the end of the first chapter if they haven't caught my attention. It was a slow start as I hadn't chosen the best first book to join the Discworld with, it kind of expected you to know some of the characters, but I kept with it and don't regret it at all... My favourite aspect of the book has to be how relatable, yet unrealistic it is. We don't have trolls, werewolves and vampires but I do, like Commander Vimes, have a set time for bedtime stories that I would NEVER miss. .."




"Poo is all around us and inside us, but we ignore it," says Daniel Roberts, co-curator of a very unusual new museum in the Isle of Wight that would delight Young Sam:

"A museum dedicated to excrement, with examples from the animal and human world, has opened to the public. The exhibition at the Isle of Wight Zoo features faeces from animals such as elks and lions as well as a human baby. The National Poo Museum has been created by members of the artist collective Eccleston George... Twenty illuminated resin spheres show off the different types of faeces with facts hidden behind toilet lids on the museum walls. Samples of faeces have been gathered from around the world as well as donations received from the Isle of Wight Zoo and Dinosaur Isle museum. The display also includes fossilised poo (coprolites) dating back 140 million years as well as a tawny owl pellet containing bones and teeth..."

The, er, specimens are dried in a specially-built desiccating machine before being displayed. Don't forget your bucket...

More information – and photographs! – can be found at:




Paul Kidby and Stephen Briggs, flanking Rob Wilkins, show their Venerable Order of the Honeybee medals:

Neil Gaiman, wearing The Hat:

Adorable rendering of Mort, Ysabell, Keli and Death by Disney artist Claire Keane:

Steeleye Span performing at the Pratchett Memorial:

Some cast photos from The Shakespeare Codex:

...an amazing photo by Michael Errey of Harold Roberts as Rob Anybody:

...here we have Tiffany and the witches:

...and the full cast takes a bow after their sold-out run:

From the Discworld Collectors' Guild (_https://twitter.com/DWCGArchive_), here be Pterry and Rob in Lego (although it looks more than a bit like Rob is impersonating Neil Gaiman!):

The Studio Theatre Club shows how to "do" elves right, from the run-up to their premiere of the Stephen Briggs play "The Shakespeare Code":

Discworld cosplayers at 2016 Adelaide Comic Con! A perfect Tiffany (including a cleverly constructed "hat full of sky"), An appropriately floral Magrat, and an adorable "kitten version" of Greebo:

...and surely the best Rincewind action figure ever:

...and finally, Rob Wilkins' birthday tweet to his late employer, on Twitter:



Whew! Almost at the finish line... but a few bits first!

Jim Vision, the marvellous public artist who painted the Pratchett memorial in Brick Lane and also Pratchetted half a boat (see item 4.5 in the November 2015 main issue), has now completed "The Great A'Tuin" barge! Here be the photo he posted:

...and an action relay of the starboard side:

As Sir Pterry showed us why spelling is important (remember the Seriph of Al Ybi?), so The Bookseller website shows why grammar is also important: "While Transworld has not released any more details on the projects, Wilkins revealed he would be writing the biography on stage at the end of the memorial..." Hmm. Either it's going to be a very, very short biography or Rob Wilkins has 1) super-speed powers or 2) a very sore hand. Need some liniment for that, Rob?

Here be a quite decent quiz on the works of Pratchett, in The Guardian: http://bit.ly/1TyA3CV

Welsh illustrator John Avon's lovely cover for Johnny and the Dead is only a fraction of his vast catalogue. Have a shufti:

And that's the lot for April. Take care, and we'll see you next month!

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Today millions of us are celebrating the birth of the incomparable, irreplaceable Sir Terry Pratchett. Speak his name. Remember him always. Keep him in the Overhead. But please don't wish him a 'happy birthday', because the only person truly qualified to do that is the fellow who TALKS LIKE THIS...

Here be a small selection of some of my favourite Pterry iconographs - some harvested from the Clacks, some sent to me by Newshounds. I think the lovely father-and-daughter one comes from Stephen Briggs' collection. Anyone? Otherwise, provenance given where known.

Thank you Terry Pratchett, for the years you gave to our world – even though they were far too few – and for the world you gave to our world. For your imagination. For your supreme talent as a seamless remixer of 'phrase and fable'. For turning the dreaded-by-all-students footnote into something to love and cherish. For your uncompromising worldview and stealth philosophy. For deathless words, for brave words about dying, and for the words of Death. And most of all, for creating characters who, to paraphrase Mistress Weatherwax, look (and feel) more like real people than real people.

Sir Terence David John Pratchett, 28th April 1948-12th March 2015. Gone but never, ever forgotten.

Professor and Blackboard Monitor!

At Secret Garden animal rescue sanctuary


Knighted by the real Quin

ISWM midnight signing, Waterstones, London

wossname: (Plays)
Crivens! Unseen Theatre's raved-about production of The Wee Free Men, adapted and directed by Pamela Munt, is still on the go! Four more performances, tomorrow through Saturday. If you're in or near Adelaide on the Continent of Fourecks, do go see this world premiere production.

"Munt uses a very clever device for staging scene changes in this production – the ‘Wee Free Men’ steal all the props and set dressing... These blue-faced, kilted, Scottish-speaking wee ones are hilarious, bounding around on stage like the Keystone Kops on steroids." – Brian Godfrey, Adelaide Theatre Guide

"Here's the thing about fantasy on stage: it's usually far superior or a good deal shoddier than real life. The action in this production is inflated; exuberant slices of satire that begins with a simple knock-knock joke and ends with sprawling whopping wedges of laugh-out-loud humour." – Stephen Davenport, Barefoot Review

"The Unseen Theatre Company has again succeeded in bringing Discworld to life. Any fans of Sir Terry Pratchett’s works are encouraged to attend." – Nicola Woolford, Glam Adelaide

When: Wed. 27th, Thu. 28th, Fri. 29th and Sat. 30th April
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St., Adelaide, SA 5000
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults $22; Concession $18; Children $18; Groups (6+) $16; TREv $16; Families (2 A & 2ch.) $60, available online at
https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=175695 or by contacting http://www.bakehousetheatre.com

And before heading to the play, why not consider dropping by the City of Small Gods Pratchett fanclub's "Black Hat dinner" in honour of Sir Pterry's birthday on Thursday (the 28th, of course), at the Caledonian Hotel on the corner of O'Connell Street and Barton Terrace in North Adelaide!

For more info about the City of Small Gods gang, go to https://ausdwcon.org/fan-clubs/adelaide/
wossname: (Plays)
Just a reminder to our readers in Fourecks that the world premiere of The Wee Free Men, adapted and directed by Pamela Munt for Australia's marvellous Unseen Theatre, opens next Saturday (16th April) at the earlier than usual time of 7.30pm! "Preview Night is already SOLD OUT! But there are plenty of other dates available including a MATINEE on Sunday 17th April at 2pm. Book Now to avoid disappointment."

WHEN: Saturday 16th April, then Wednesdays through Saturdays to 30th April 2016
VENUE: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St., Adelaide, SA 5000
TIME: 7.30pm all shows, except Matinee on Sunday 17th April at 2pm
TICKETS: Adults $22; Concession $18; Children $18; Groups (6+) $16; TREv $16; Families (2 A & 2ch.) $60; available online at http://www.trybooking.com/175695 or through www.bakehousetheatre.com
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
April 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 4, 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.

GNU Terry Pratchett: Sending Home, forever (and secreted in Wossname's own server)
Never forget: http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/


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)






"I think it's a lovely idea, even though it makes my head spin to think of the books becoming a little closer to reality. And they are nice names, even though I say it myself."

– Sir Pterry in 2009, commenting on the naming of Ankh-Morpork streets in Wincanton



On this day in 1948 – 28th April, to be precise – the child who would become Sir Terry Pratchett was born. It's a sad truth that it's no longer possible to wish him a happy birthday in person, but we can celebrate the day of his birth, year after year, for all time. I find a certain recent internet-driven practice, that of wishing historically famous but long dead people a happy birthday, to be irritatingly daft, but acknowledging – and celebrating – the birthdate of such people is a reasonable thing... especially as it's yet another way of keeping the memory of them in the world. So let's all raise our glasses, be they of scumble or of some gentler poison, to one of the greatest writers and greatest human beings of all time: Terence David John Pratchett, Kt, OBE, and Blackboard Monitor!

In other news, apparently the 25th of April was World Penguin Day. And Paul Kidby responded to that in a truly inimitable fashion:

"Today is World Penguin Day, so here is The Librarian as a penguin to celebrate! Drawn for the Talpress edition of The Last Continent." https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155966414612355

For those of you who might be insufficiently familiar with the magical Discworld Emporium in Ankh-Morpork's twin town Wincanton, here is a gorgeous page telling the history of the shop and its Cunning Artificers:

And there's more – there's always more – but for now I'll close, in the hope that I can get this issue posted while it's still the 28th...

– Annie Mac, Editor




Listen again to the BBC's four-part adaptation, starring Anton Lesser and Carl Prekopp. The programme will be available worldwide for another three weeks.

Episode one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007k0v6
Episode two: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007k134
Episode three: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007k1c1
Episode four: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007k1l2


Somehow Wossname missed this one when it happened! We reported fully on the Wincanton Discworld street names back in 2009, but this was what happened a year later:

"Legendary author Sir Terry Pratchett OBE returned to the Somerset town of Wincanton to leave Hollywood style 'walk of fame' imprints at Taylor Wimpey's Kingwell Rise development... Treacle Mine Road and Peach Pie Street won the public vote but since then Taylor Wimpey has gained council approval to name all of the roads at the development after Discworld with additions including Hen And Chickens Field, Morpork Street and Kinklebury Street. Hundreds of Discworld fans, many in costume, descended on Kingwell Rise to see Sir Terry place his hands and signature into concrete at the development following other Discworld activities organised by the Discworld Emporium of Wincanton. Sir Terry Pratchett said: 'It is just great to return to Kingwell Rise a year on and actually see homes now built along Treacle Mine Road and Peach Pie Street – it certainly feels more real now – as opposed to fantasy fiction! I hope the new residents are enjoying their road names – I'd definitely pay good money to live on Hen And Chickens Field!'"

...and an iconograph of the imprints ceremony:

In addition to Treacle Mine Road and Peach Pie Street, Wincanton streets now include Hen and Chickens Field, Moon Pond Lane, Morpork Street and Kinklebury Street. Replica signs of all the named roads were auctioned in August 2009 and raised funds for the Alzheimer's Research Trust; builders Taylor Wimpey also made an independent donation to the Trust. – Ed.


wossname: (Anthill inside)
...Terence David John Pratchett was born.

...and this was the schoolboy who grew up to be one of the most talented and beloved writers in the history of writing...

...and this is the grown Author with one of his most, well, appreciated awards...

We can no longer wish him a happy birthday, but we can always celebrate the day of his birth. Let's all raise a glass of scumble (or your poison of choice) to the wonderfulness of Terry Pratchett!
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Latest announcement from the Backspindle boys...
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
The newest version of VideoLAN's excellent VLC Media Player, updated from their WeatherWax version, has been named "Terry Pratchett" in honour of The Author:

"VLC 2.2.1 'Terry Pratchett' is a fixed version of 2.2.0 'WeatherWax'. It fixes numerous crashes (FLAC, SPC), codec issues (VP9, Atrac3, AAC), regressions and several issues (Resume, MP4 chapters, MKV over network) and security issues."


More about the VLC Media Player:

wossname: (Anthill inside)
The county of Hampshire is obviously good Discworld plays territory of late...
wossname: (Anthill inside)
Update to the previous post. Unfortunately this image of the CATS Wyrd Sisters poster arrived late, and Dreamwidth's photo hosting arrangements don't allow for photo-addition edits...
wossname: (Anthill inside)

CATS (Copythorne Amateur Theatrical Society) are presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters this month. "The cast is truly local and amateur with ages ranging from eleven to seventy years."

When: 17th, 23rd and 25th April 2015
Venue: Copythorne Parish Hall, Pollards Moor Road, Copythorne, Southampton, Hants SO40 2NZ
Time: 7:30pm all performances
Tickets: £6 adults, £5 under 16s or family tickets (2 adults and 2 children £15) available from Bartley Post Office, Bramshaw Stores and Landford Village Stores – or by phoning the CATS box office on 02380 813415.

"In the future we're hoping that you'll be able to use this page to securely purchase tickets using your credit or debit card. For now however, if you would like to purchase tickets for our next performance, you can obtain them from one of the following places:

* Direct from Copythorne CATS
* Contact Sandra on (023)80 813415 or email tickets@copythornecats.com
* or from the following local shops who support us: Bartley Post Office, Bramshaw Stores, Landford Village Stores."



The amateur theatre company Grup de teatre de l'Espiga de Les Corts are presenting their special production of Wyrd Sisters – that's Bruixes, in the Catalan tongue – translated by Marta Armengol with permission, this month.

"We're an amateur theatre group in Barcelona," Marta writes, "and I doubt anyone's going to come all the way to Barcelona to see it, but... We'd just be dead chuffed to appear on your site... To our knowledge, this is the first time a Discworld play is translated and performed in Catalan."

When: 25th and 26th April, 9th and 10th May 2015 (additional date in October TBA)
Venue: L'Espiga de Les Corts, Joan Gamper, 30, Barcelona (phone 93. 419. 44. 20)
Time: 6.30pm all performances


...and there's a poster:

...and the company's Facebook page (in Catalan, but the photos speak for any language):

wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
April 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 4, 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.

GNU Terry Pratchett: Sending Home, forever (and secreted in Wossname's own server)


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)






"It is a huge privilege to be publishing Sir Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown. Terry's writing is loved and respected the world over and this publication will be an incredibly important and special event for us all at Penguin Random House, and for fans and readers everywhere."
– Tom Weldon of Penguin Random House

"Here's what happens to me when I read a Terry Pratchett book: In the midst of the horror, the stupidity, the sheer insanity of the world, someone takes me by the hand. I'm pulled away from the latest disaster, personal or worldwide, and I walk away willingly to a place where I can breathe easily, a place where my brain whirs happily and my shoulders shake with laughter. As I get lost in this delightful, bizarre world, I find that it is the same world I was scared of a few pages before. It is my world, reflected back to me and made bearable."
– university journalist Jessica Sager

"I've always been open about the fact that I do not see myself (or anyone else) writing Discworld novels. They're sacred to dad."
– Rhianna Pratchett on Twitter, 12th April 2015

"It is not a wise or a sensible thing to do, to fly from the US to the UK, getting in late on the Tuesday night, and flying back early on the Thursday morning, in order to go to a funeral on the Wednesday, but sometimes you do the wrong thing because it's the only right thing you can do, and because you have to say goodbye to a friend properly, and that was true this week...
– Neil Gaiman



Dear Readers,

It has taken me nearly a month to assemble my thoughts in a coherent enough form to write my own reaction to the death of my favourite author. In these past weeks I've read and listened to many people speaking of loss, of desolation and yes, of being gutted to know there will be no more new words from the pen and mind of Terry Pratchett. I've read and listened to testimonials giving thanks to the man's writing and to his courage and activism in his last years. "Terry Pratchett gave me a reason to go on living," say some. "Terry Pratchett helped me to find my direction/confidence/faith in humanity," say others, and still others, "Reading Terry Pratchett helped me to become a writer/secular humanist/wildlife activist/volunteer dementia carer." And I can feel the sincere emotion in every tribute and memorial. Around our not-Disc-shaped world, millions are mourning his passing with all their hearts.

But I am not among the mourners.

I admired – ever will admire! – the man hugely, not only for his genius but also for his principles and his passion and his work ethic – but I feel no need to mourn his dying. This shows no lack of emotion on my part: some of you may remember that in my review of Nation some years ago, I admitted that I'd cried so hard at the end that I became physically sick, and my love of the characters and stories of Discworld is and ever will remain fearsome in its intensity. But I've done my mourning already.

I was mourning him for more than seven years, ever since he first made us aware of the cruel death sentence that chance and biology had handed him. Along with the rest of you, I went through periods of outrage, of gut-churning sadness, of wishing the gods of Cori Celesti existed so that I could confront them and rage at them for the sheer unfairness of daring to curtail the life of this great man, of wishing there were some impossible magic-driven way I could offer him some of what life I have left on the chance that if it might help stave off his too-early ending. I did all those things... but I am not mourning him now.

I am not mourning Terry Pratchett now because a part of him, the part he chose to share with the world, lives in me and will continue to live in me for the rest of my life. For me, Terry Pratchett is not "gone"; his words, his genius, his way of cutting to the heart of the human-ness of humanity and showing the rising ape inside us, are very much alive in me, forming a part of the mortar of my inner self. You know – that mortar that holds the bricks of one's worldview together. The mortar that works so well that you rarely, if ever, realise it's keeping your bricks from tumbling down. At some point well over twenty years ago, Terry Pratchett's way with words became a part of my mortar, and there they shall stay until my own point of ending comes.

Terry Pratchett never saved my life. He never influenced my outlook on life either. I never felt that I knew him, because the man himself was a stranger, and I never had any desire to attend one of his book signings because the words I cared about were already in my possession. And while his stories taught me nothing about myself that I didn't already know, they did teach me more about human nature, and the way our species thinks, than I had learned in years of studying anthropology and headology (there you go: Pratchettisms have become so much a part of my unthinking daily vocabulary that "headology" springs first to mind and fingers when "psychology" is the word I mean). And of course his stories fill my heart, over and over, every time I re-read them – and O, I do re-read them often. The words of Terry Pratchett never grow stale. They never will.

Now I *am* crying as I type this. But my tears are not tears of loss; they are tears of awe, and joy, and gratefulness for all the magic words and worlds Terry Pratchett brought to us and left us for all time.

Terry Pratchett made reading fiction worthwhile for me. I refuse to mourn his death, but I will always celebrate his life and works. I hope we all will keep him in the Overhead, to make sure that his name never ceases to be spoken.

– Annie Mac, Editor



Official publication dates around the world for The Shepherd's Crown are, thankfully, very close together.

"This September Penguin Random House will be publishing The Shepherd's Crown, the final Discworld novel by Sir Terry Pratchett. Editor Kirsten Armstrong bought Exclusive World All Language rights (excluding US, US dependencies and Philippines) from Colin Smythe of Colin Smythe Ltd. The Shepherd's Crown is the fifth Discworld novel featuring young witch Tiffany Aching. Previous titles in the Tiffany Aching sequence include: The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight.

"Terry completed The Shepherd's Crown in the summer of 2014. It will be published in hardback, ebook and audio formats on September 10th 2015, and is now available for preorder. A collector’s edition will also be available."


...and in the USA, only five days behind:

"This September HarperCollins Children's Books will be publishing The Shepherd's Crown, the final Discworld novel by Sir Terry Pratchett. Jennifer Brehl, SVP, Executive Editor & Director of Editorial Development bought U.S. rights from Colin Smythe of Colin Smythe Ltd... Terry completed The Shepherd's Crown in the summer of 2014, and it's scheduled for publication on September 15, 2015.

"'We are honored to be publishing Sir Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown,' says Susan Katz, President and Publisher, HarperCollins Children's Books. 'Sir Terry's books are beloved by readers everywhere, and we are incredibly proud to bring this novel to his legions of fans in the United States.'"




Sir Terry Pratchett's funeral took place on the 25th of March. This is from the British Humanist Association, an organisation he supported very actively for many years (and this was reciprocated, as he was named their Humanist of the Year in 2013):

"Terry Pratchett's funeral ceremony was held yesterday, and it was an important opportunity for his family to remember him and celebrate the wonderful life he led. Our funeral celebrant Kenneth Greenway conducted the moving humanist ceremony. Over a distinguished career, Terry brought happiness to audiences of all ages and charmed readers through his many humorous explorations of the human experience. In one of his novels, he writes: 'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' Terry was a true humanist, and continues to be missed by all at the British Humanist Association (BHA)."


Also, here is the complete memorial tribute from the BHA. Well worth reading:


And as the thought-spirit of Sir Pterry rides the Overhead, things both mundane and magical relating to his life and works continue. Here are a few...


Paul Kidby's "Discworld and Beyond" exhibition is currently showing at the Gosport Gallery. The exhibition includes his long-awaited "Discworld Massif" mega-portrait and the exquisite "Check Mort" (Sir Pterry and Death playing chess, a picture that has been sent around the aether countless times already and will continue to keep The Author's name alive). The Gallery says, "This exhibition showcases the wonderful book covers and illustrations for Pratchett s novels including favourite characters like Rincewind, the Wee Free Men and of course Death. It also reveals Paul s own projects influenced by British folklore and landscapes."

When: now through 30th May 2015
Venue: Gosport Discovery Centre, High Street, Gosport, Hants PO12 1BT (phone 0300 555 1387)
Time: 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (the Gallery is closed on Sundays and public holidays)
Tickets: Free Admission for all


For discerning Discworld drink aficionados in the UK, a special offer. Be warned, er, aware that this offer only stands for a short while:

"Official Discworld Cider, Nanny Ogg's Scumble is crafted in the Lancre marshes using a closely guarded recipe handed down through Ogg family generations. It contains mostly apples. Brewed using the Lancre Blackheart apple (similar to the roundworld Russet and Cox apples) and an exotic mixture of secret ingredients, Nanny Ogg's Scumble has the subtle taste of oak floorboards and the aroma of melting butter. The juice is pressed from the fruit and allowed to naturally ferment with its own yeast and sugars for over 6 months. Medium dry to the taste, 'golden straw' in colour and suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.

"WARNING: If at all possible avoid bringing Scumble into contact with water. If used for cleaning cutlery, one thimbleful of Scumble should be diluted in a bucket of water for best results, and to avoid dissolving the forks.

"Always drink sensibly – do not allow Nanny Ogg's Scumble to touch the lips or other sensitive areas."

Nanny Ogg's Scumble is 7.5% ABV 330ml. Regularly priced at £3.10 per bottle, for a short time the Special Price is £2.40 per bottle.

"Shipping costs for beers are typically just £6.99 for up to 24 bottles in the UK mainland, but there are a range of delivery options and prices depending on your location. Order placed before noon are typically shipped the same day. For more information, or to ask us questions about shipping, visit our Helpdesk."


To purchase your Scumble, and for more information, go to:

About the brewers:

"Generations of students at Unseen University have dabbled in the dark arts of brewing. The Boathouse Brewery came into existence following an explosion deep within the cellars of the University after which Archchancellor Ridcully issued a decree banning all brewing activities. It turned out that the little-used boathouse was not technically within University grounds and was exempt from the decree and so the Boathouse Brewery was born. Boathouse Brewery beers are produced under licence by Ales By Mail Limited."


4.3a It seems that some minor UK crowd-stirrer called Katie Hopkins referenced Sir Pterry during a public rant against dementia patients. Here was the response from Alzheimer's Research UK:

"TV personality Katie Hopkins has caused controversy after making a series of comments about dementia on Twitter. In one tweet, the TV personality said that people with dementia 'should not be blocking beds' in hospital. Hilary Evans, Director of External Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK's leading dementia research charity, said: 'Katie Hopkins should be ashamed at her comments. Views such as these reinforce misunderstanding of dementia and show just how much work there is still to do in changing harmful perceptions of the condition. People who have been diagnosed with dementia still face an unacceptable level of stigma and social isolation as a result of their condition, and we need much greater awareness about the reality of life with dementia. All too often dementia is talked about in negative terms, and we must challenge the feeling of hopelessness that surrounds the condition...'"


[Editor's note: out of curiosity, I looked this person up. Apart from looking like a suitable candidate to play Mrs Proust without needing prosthetics, she seems to revel in carefully designed rudeness for no other purpose than to attract clickbait customers. And, it seems, she succeeds at it. I'm reminded of a certain comment – by the Auditors in Thief of Time, I believe – about humanity being so easily persuaded to shoot itself in the foot...]

4.3b Here is a moving personal account by Shanda Deziel on Yahoo Canada, "How Terry Pratchett helped my mother cope with Alzheimer's":

"I first heard of popular British fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett, who died on Thursday, when I was Googling posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's. Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series, had written a series of articles in British newspapers about having PCA, a disease that shuts down communication between the brain and the eyes. My mother had just been diagnosed and I was desperate for information. Pratchett's articles, in which he vowed to keep writing fiction, offered such comfort... For Mom, Pratchett's articles were a lifeline. Here was a bright, funny, literary man who had the same disease as she did. He looked young like her and was bound to 'keep things cheery.' She was very impressed that he was able to continue writing – using dictation software or an assistant – as she could no longer perform her duties as a cashier. She carried around his articles and when she had to explain PCA to someone new, she diminished her embarrassment by pulling out Pratchett's articles. Because he had the disease, she felt she was in good company... As others celebrate a man who gave them the magical universe of Discworld, I'm forever grateful he shared the all-too-real account of the disease that would take his life."



A gentle, thoughtful memorial tribute from Jessica Sager in Georgia Regents University newspaper The Bell Ringer:

"A couple years ago, I sat in the communications office, flipping through a course catalog and trying to decide what to do with myself after the professional writing track was discontinued. The journalism track seemed like a pretty good fit, especially compared to transferring. But would this journalism thing be a good fit for an aspiring fiction writer? Hmm. Seemed to work out all right for J.K. Rowling, Charles Dickens and, yes, Pratchett – who happens to be my favorite of the three. Majoring in journalism is so far turning out to be one of the best decisions of my life. As a busy student and news writer, though, it is easy to lose track of time to write poetry or stories. It can even be tempting to lay aside a story or column for the paper and say 'I can't do it.' It's not just being a student: I think most writers are prone to being too tired or too awake, too bored or too busy, too lonely or too happy, just too damn everything to sit down and write. I still make these excuses for myself, but because of Pratchett I know better than to buy into the idea that I ever just can't write. In 2007, before he was even 60 years old, Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare type of Alzheimer's disease.

"Have you ever wondered how you would react to being diagnosed with a terminal illness? I have, and for me, it always comes back to the stories – the stories unwritten. I hope this never becomes a reality for me, but I also hope that, if it does, I will react the way I want to, the way that Sir Terry did: Keep on writing. For eight years after his diagnosis, Pratchett kept writing, releasing roughly one novel a year. He needed help as his disease got worse, but nonetheless he kept writing. When compared to Alzheimer's, my petty excuses slink away in shame. And I write...

"I've never read a word of Pratchett that didn't read true. I've never said to myself 'That isn't a what a real blank would do!' when reading one of his books. I don't know how he did that; probably by being a good journalist, i.e. an observant one. As far as I can tell, every experience in his books, no matter how extraordinary, is relatable. Reading Pratchett's books reminds me that authors can make a difference. Remembering the impact he's had on my life, and those of millions of other readers, assures me that what I aspire to do isn't just decoration, icing on a world that needs more than pretty tales. What Sir Terry's books have done for me isn't mere escapism, isn't just one distraction of many. It has influenced me and positively impacted my life, in part by reminding me that I, too, could someday help, comfort or inspire someone with my words..."





The Chelmsford Theatre Workshop are presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters this month.

"Our next production is linked to our long history of producing Discworld plays – and we've a treat in store for Pratchett fans and theatre lovers alike this April... Wyrd Sisters is a cornerstone of the Discworld series and features some of CTW's favourite characters including Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. In this brilliantly different take on the story of Macbeth, the witches find themselves entangled in a web of murder and betrayal. We recommend booking in advance, as Discworld plays at CTW have a habit of selling very well – and very quickly!"

Co-director Mark Preston says: "We're planning to turn the show into our tribute to [Sir Terry], and will be collecting for the Alzheimer's Society."

When: 15th-18th and 22nd-25th April 2015
Venue: the Old Court Theatre, 233 Springfield Road, Chelmsford
Time: 7.45 pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (concessions £8). Tickets can be purchased from the Civic Theatre (phone 01245 606505), or online at
A £1 transaction fee per ticket applies to online purchases.

For more information, go to:


Riverside Players proudly present a new interpretation of Wyrd Sisters. Stephen Briggs' play has been specially adapted for this amateur production by the director, Rob Tizzard.

"This Spring, Riverside Players bring you their first ever Production based on the work of the great and prolific author, Sir Terry Pratchett. This unique new take on an often performed tale comes from the long running Discworld series. To those unfamiliar with his work, it may seem like the usual fantasy hokum, but if you take a closer look, they are stories steeped in imagination that take a cheeky sideways look at the absurdity of everyday life. Wyrd Sisters takes a satirical look at the works of Shakespeare, namely Hamlet, Richard III and Macbeth, and explores the power of 'words'.

"This Production marks another first for Riverside Players, in the use of full stage background projection. An original musical accompaniment will be performed by a live band. A wondrous cast who relish bringing the many colourful characters to life. You may even spot the odd cat or orangutan, both beloved by the author. So please join us to celebrate the life of the great writer, with a couple of hours of comedic fun for all. We look forward to seeing you so book now as there will only be six performances of this show."

There will be collections for the RICE Centre during the shows.

When: 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th May 2015
Venue: Eynsford Village Hall, High Street, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0AA
Time: Friday 8th & 15th, 7.45pm; Saturday 9th & 16th, 3pm & 7.45pm
Tickets: Adult £11, Concessions £9 (under 16s, over 60s and students with NUS card), Family £35 (2 adults and 2 concessions); Group Discount: buy 10 tickets, get one of them free! Applies to Adult and Concession
tickets only. Discount will be applied at payment stage.

There is a Discount Code for buying advance tickets: 'ESME15' until 23rd April 2015


Unseen Theatre says of their latest production, which opens next month:

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

"This is also one of Terry's works that is most often accused of being literature. However Terry himself preferred to put his views in a simpler fashion:- 'Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it's all because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place.'

"Although this production was planned quite some time before Terry's passing, some may see it as fate, others as simply co-incidence, that we decided on this particular one of his works that is concerned with theological and philosophical issues. Whatever your beliefs, we hope that it is a fitting tribute to him. Small Gods has all the usual comedy, action, and drama that we have come to expect from one of the most insightful minds of our era. It will also make you think about....well...everything, long after you have left the theatre!

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

When: Preview Fri. May 15. Opening Night Sat. May 16. Season continues Wed to Sat until May 30.
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Time: All shows at 8pm
Tickets: Adults $20; Concession $18; TREv $16; Groups (10+) $16; Preview all tickets $15; Companion Card accepted.
To book online, go to: www.bakehousetheatre.com
Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night (subject to availability).



By Adam Walker, in Wales Online:

"Pratchett has gone but the worlds he created, particularly the phenomenally successful Discworld, live on in the pages of his books, the hearts and minds of his fans and in the plays of Monstrous Productions – the Cardiff-based theatre company who have been bringing the Discworld to the city since 2012... the witches from Monstrous Productions' last show, Wyrd Sisters, are back with Ellen Warren playing Granny Weatherwax, Lowri Belson as Magrat and Zoe Azzopardi as Nanny Ogg. The three young actresses did another fantastic job of spinning a spell on the audience, making them believe they'd been whisked away to Pratchett's Discworld. They were joined by Caroline McCann who was suitably sinister as the bad witch Lilith and her sidekick who was suitably, well slimy, as The Duc, a frog who's been magiced into a man, played by Michael Dickinson. Other stand-out stars were Dominique Workman who played the magnificently made-up voodoo witch Mrs Gogol and her tap-dancing zombie, the ex-Baron Saturday, play by Harry Spencer. The sprinkling of scenes where simple-minded Jason Ogg, played to perfection by Tony Beard, struggles to read letters from his Nanny Ogg about her adventures were hilarious and also served to tie the rather wide-ranging story of Witches Abroad together..."




The Cunning Artificers are back in action. Here are the latest offerings from the Discworld Emporium:

"We want to say a HUGE thank you for your understanding and support, and for bearing with us over the past few weeks. The tremendous outpouring of tributes from all over the globe has reaffirmed that Terry's legacy will continue to 'Light a flamethrower' in the darkness and ignite the imaginations of millions for years to come #GNUTERRYPRATCHETT

"And so, Transworld publishers have announced that the final Discworld book and fifth Tiffany Aching novel, The Shepherd's Crown, completed last summer and revealed by Terry himself at the International Discworld Convention in August, will be published this September 10th by Penguin Random House. We aim to have pre-order available as soon as possible, and will post details as soon as we are able.

"A little later than scheduled, we are pleased to announce new releases from the Ankh-Morpork Post Office... The 'Vimes and Punishment' LBE is a special City Watch edition of our Little Brown envelope, featuring new and exclusive issues from illustrator Bill Sanderson, a V&A Illustration Award Winner and Royal Mail artist. This limited edition of 1200 envelopes will be available Saturday April 11th in two batches at 10am and 6pm BST. Each envelope includes a 'Penny Copper' charity issue and an exclusive lilac version of our forthcoming $1 Vimes stamp. This is the very first Discworld Stamp ever to feature His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, and Bill's exquisite artwork has been impressed using a vintage letterpress and traditional copper printing plate."

For more info go to http://bit.ly/1I1IGz8

"A generous amount of sports and rarities have also been sprinkled throughout the edition, including the first of this year's coveted Blue Triangle stamp – The Patrician's Palace $5. One very lucky envelope will contain the first Blue Triangle Sport of the year, one of only 10 to be released!

"AND THAT'S NOT ALL! Prize tickets for 1 of 50 exclusive 'rap sheet' sets are loitering in lucky envelopes. Each set includes a full sheet of lilac $1 Vimes stamps, and an imperforate misspelled 'sport' sheet of forthcoming general $1 Vimes issues, accompanied by an evidence label for crimes against printing plates.

"The Penny Copper is also available to purchase singly or as beautiful whole sheets from Saturday 11th. All new issues are available for preview in the NEW STAMPS section of our site."

For info about the Penny Copper go to:

"N.B. Special Editions tend to sell our VERY quickly. To avoid disappointment we recommend the purchase of an LBE Season Ticket. Please have the relevant page ready at the time of release, refresh your browser and proceed quickly through checkout. Adding LBEs to your cart does NOT guarantee purchase.

"Wishing you all the very best."

To see all the new stamps, go to http://bit.ly/1I1IxM3



Nullus Anxietas V is waking up to its final day as I type this. According to their various online feeds, the attendees have been having a great time remembering Sir Pterry and celebrating his life and works. There will be assorted reports to follow, we hope. In the meantime, here are some iconographs from last night's Gala...

Best. Handbag. Ever.

Vena the (formerly) Raven-haired, looking both stunning and dangerous:

Stephen Briggs in full-on Vetinari mode: http://bit.ly/1FxPU0b

An excellent Susan and a probable (as he's somewhat postvital-looking) Windle Poons:

If you are in the area today, have money to burn, and would like to join the final day of the convention, a Sunday all-day ticket is $80 for adults ($60 concession).



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

Next meeting: Monday 4th May 2015

The Drummers' April meet report:

"The Broken Drummers met on Easter Monday. As expected most of the talk early on was about Terry. We also discovered that most of the people present were librarians at school (as was Terry). One exception was Alex C. who was an armourer, which was apparently like being a librarian but with guns rather than books (this is really true, Alex went to a military school). Andrew gave the toast to Terry. He reminded us of Terry's statement that a person never dies until the ripples they created fade. Jessica then told us about all the tributes to Terry that took place at EasterCon and handed out some goodies.

"We had one new person, Barbara. Others present included some of the newest members who seemed very keen to help recruit more newbies. I promised that I really was going to sort out flyers and the Facebook group. I've meant to do it for years and I'm writing it down now so that you can remind me to get on with it. Then I can remind Marina and Phil that they volunteered. Later in the evening conversation turned to upcoming events. Then somehow we got onto singing silly songs and discussing the etymology of swearwords. Marina was especially puzzled by the similarity of words for the female genitalia in unrelated languages. The best explanation I could come up with was 'people have always had them.'

"That's it for now. It only remains for me to say thank you to Terry Pratchett for sowing the seeds that grew into Drummers and every other permutation of Discworld fandom. He used to say that he felt like Frankenstein did as the monster was walking out of the door. I can imagine. However, he once said to me that he felt very blessed with his fans because we were all such nice people. Without Terry I would never have met any of you, including my husband. So, once again: thank you Terry. May the ripples you made echo through the years (OK that's mixing a metaphor) and may your monster grow and carry on lurching."

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


The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". Forthcoming events include a discussion of "The Foode and Drinke of Discworld" on Saturday, 14th March at 2pm. 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:

"Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at the Seven Stars, 187 Angas St, Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Fluxx, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting.

"Games Days: 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. Check the calendar below for the date of the next event.

"Other gatherings: in addition to the above, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions on Terry's latest, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities. See our upcoming events for further info, and join the mailing list to get the details. To keep up on exactly what's happening and when, or to take part in some online discussion, please join!"



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 7th May 2015, probably, but do email to check.

All new members and curious passersby are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk


The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first Friday of every month at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

Next meeting: Friday 1st May 2015 (probably).


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

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



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 4th May 2015 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 4th May 2015 (probably).

For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group:
– or 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: Tuesday, 21st April at 6:00pm. For more information, contact Nanny Ogg – lewis_oz@bigpond.com – or visit their Facebook page:




In London's Brick Lane, an anonymous artist has painted gorgeous Terry Pratchett and Discworld tribute murals, after the style of the late Josh Kirby – though it could be said that these look far better drawn large on a wall than they ever did as paperback covers. And the portrait of Sir Pterry himself is simply amazing!

A head portrait of The Author, surrounded by some of his Discworld characters:

A Josh Kirby-esque Death and Binky cover pastiche:

Some more shots of the installation, from different perspectives:

...and a nice shot of the mural as a work in progress:

[Editor's note for prospective pilgrims: The panels are at the end of Code Street, off Brick Lane itself.]

...and the far more stylistically original but no less lovingly rendered wall art tribute – this one, a comics-style mural of Death, The Luggage, and Rincewind, is in Stokes Croft, Bristol:

And here is the article on it in the London Evening Standard, who were the first to report on the tribute art:

"A huge graffiti tribute to late author Terry Pratchett has appeared in east London. The mural shows artwork for the cult writer's Discworld books Mort and Reaper Man, complete with a massive portrait of the man himself, who died last month at 66 after a battle with Alzheimer's. Characters such as the skeletal, dry-humoured Death and inept wizard Rincewind dance across the walls of the Pillow Cinema... Ella Finch, who captured these pictures, told the Standard the paintings were 'so evocative'. 'I wish I knew who the artist was, as it's beautifully done," she said. "As cheesy as it may sound, I hope Terry and Death can walk together along these walls for a long time before any more graffiti takes over.'"


...and the story behind them, which was soon revealed:

"One of the artists behind a Terry Pratchett mural that was shared thousands of times online has revealed the inspiration behind his Brick Lane street art. Jim Vision, 33, told the Standard the piece – a joint effort with 'Dr Zadok' – was a work-in-progress that would eventually span even more of the former Shoreditch station's walls. 'It's an area that has quite a lot of social problems,' he said, 'so it feels good to bring something colourful to it. We've had some incredible feedback – just people saying, "oh my God, there's Terry Pratchett!"' The wall now belongs to the underground Pillow Cinema and is a favourite with street artists, meaning Pratchett's legacy there may be rather short-lived. 'We'd love to do something a bit more permanent if we could find a wall,' said Jim, 'but that one does tend to get painted quite regularly... It was very inspirational reading [Pratchett's] books growing up,' explained Jim. 'They present a pretty anarchic world. It's all pretty fantastic – it takes things from our world and twists it into something quite incredible. It's really important to commemorate people's lives, especially somebody who brought so much to UK literature.' The response to the mural – pictures of which have been shared across the internet – was a surprise, he added. 'We didn't do it expecting it to be shared," he said. "We're doing it for personal reasons – but it's fantastic when people appreciate what you do.'..."


And here be some other, unrelated, images...

I love this whimsical – indeed, magical – photo of The Author:

Two mathematicians in conversation, by Witek Rajtor:

A fascinating road sign in Suffolk:

A drawing by Amy Simmonds, of an imagined book signing:

...and another bow for Randall Munroe's wonderful xkcd tribute:



And that's the lot for the moment. More to come, including my now long-overdue review of the delightful republished Truckers. Special thanks go to all the kind folk who have written to us to state their appreciation of Wossname carrying on. And we shall carry on!

By the way, the official Terry Pratchett site has gathered a number of short tribute quotes from Assorted Famous Faces. In case we've missed any of significance during the past month, here is the link:


Before I go – Long Earth series completionists should note that The Long Mars is now available in paperback.

And remember, you can still donate to the RICE Centre via the JustGiving page set up by Lynsey of Transworld. The total raised now stands at nearly £43,000, but more donations will always be put to good use:


One more thing: the mirror site – http://wossname.dreamwidth.org – is set to become more than just a mirror of these text-based issues. If you fancy having a shufti over there, you will find several image posts and announcements of time-sensitive things. Stay tuned for further updates. Dreamwidth is a much more welcoming place to be than the messy chaos of Facebook!

And the show goes on. See you soon...

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2015 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Anthill inside)
Eynsford in May, and Uppingham in October. Lovely posters!

Also, a text-free image from South Australia's Unseen Theatre, who are presenting their special version of Small Gods next month.

wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
In London's Brick Lane, an anonymous artist has painted gorgeous Terry Pratchett and Discworld tribute murals, after the style of the late Josh Kirby – though it could be said that these look far better drawn large on a wall than they ever did as paperback covers. And the portrait of Sir Pterry himself is simply amazing!

A head portrait of The Author, surrounded by some of his Discworld characters

A Josh Kirby-esque Death and Binky cover pastiche

...and the far more stylistically original but no less lovingly rendered wall art tribute – this one is in in Stokes Croft, Bristol:

A large comics-style mural of Death, The Luggage, and Rincewind

And here is the article on it in the London Evening Standard.

...and the story behind the Brick Lane murals, which are the work of artists Jim Vision and "Dr Zadok":

Jim – whose East End firm, End of the Line, paints murals and film scenery full-time – added the work was a tribute not just to Discworld author Pratchett, who died last month after battling Alzheimer's, but also to artist Josh Kirby. Kirby, who died in 2001, designed the book covers for the original Discworld novels.

"It was very inspirational reading [Pratchett's] books growing up," explained Jim. "They present a pretty anarchic world. It's all pretty fantastic – it takes things from our world and twists it into something quite incredible. It's really important to commemorate people's lives, especially somebody who brought so much to UK literature."...

wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
April 2014 (Volume 17, Issue 4, post 1)





"An International Terry Pratchett Day? I have a day?"

– guess who...

"My Independent Bookshop gives readers the ability to discover surprising new worlds in an interesting way. Go on, have a virtual rummage around you'll never know what you might find."

– our favourite author, on setting up his own virtual bookshop

And a lovely image to go with that last quote: http://tinyurl.com/kdgwfhb

"If you haven't read any Terry Pratchett books you are missing out. Imagine Harry Potter, Monty Python, Neil Gaiman, Blackadder, Airplane!, Alan Moore, Lemony Snicket, National Lampoon, Mad Magazine and Private Eye were all a single person. That person's name would be Sir Terry Pratchett."

– Blogger The Equiatic Blind



Before we begin, are you sitting comfortab-, I mean, we have an urgent message for "green-eyed Kate, who wrote to Terry on 1 April". And the message is "please send Colin Smythe ( mailto:cpsmythe@aol.com ) your email or snailmail address. It's very difficult to give you answers to your questions without one or the other..." The letter in question bore what appears to be a Fourecksian postmark, with a $2.60 stamp featuring a cute image of an Echidna, but lacking an airmail label or mention of the UK in the address. If you're out there, Kate, do get in touch...

This month's issue is jam-packed with all manner of news and such, so let's go right to the meat of it. On with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor



We've already missed it for 2014, but put this in your diary for next year:

"To celebrate Sir Terry Pratchett as The London Book Fair's (LBF) Author of the Day on Tuesday 8 April, the International Authors Forum, in association with LBF, has designated Tuesday 8 April International Sir Terry Pratchett Day, to mark his phenomenal international publishing success. To launch the day, authors from around the world will be asked to vote for their favourite character from one of his books choosing from a list of Sir Terry's Official Top 10 Favourites, which are:

1. Commander Vimes
2. Death
3. Granny Weatherwax
4. Tiffany Aching
5. Lord Vetinari
6. The Librarian
7. Nanny Ogg
8. Rincewind
9. The Nac Mac Feegle
10. Willikins

"Katie Webb, International Authors Forum, said: 'Sir Terry Pratchett is a huge source of pride amongst the global author community. His innumerable achievements and dedication to his craft – unlocking imaginations, giving entertainment, education and wonder to so many – are testament to the value of the author in society. We are honoured to be celebrating Sir Terry Pratchett, and to be spreading the celebration worldwide'..."

...and here be a direct link to the official logo:




It's new! It's virtual! It's Pterry's!

"My Independent Bookshop is a new reader recommendation website for booklovers everywhere. You'll be able to set up and curate your own bookshop, review books and recommend reading suggestions to others. If you've always wanted to set up your own bookshop, My Independent Bookshop is for you! We're currently in a beta phase (gotta dust off those shelves!) but we'll be opening our doors to everyone in early May. In the meantime though, you can register your interest by clicking http://bit.ly/1lDD0n1 and we'll let you know when we're ready for you."


"Terry has set up his own online bookshop, named Narrativia, on My Independent Bookshop – a new website where anyone can go and set up their own virtual bookshop. Narrativia is filled with the books which have most inspired Terry over the years and it'll open for new users in May. Sign up now if you'd like to receive more information and check out Terry's bookshop when it's open."





Random House Children's Publishers UK have announced the forthcoming publication of "Dragons at Crumbling Castle", a heavily illustrated new collection of children's stories that represents some of Sir Pterry's very earliest published work. "Dragons" will be released in September of this year.

"We're thrilled to announce the forthcoming publication of DRAGONS AT CRUMBLING CASTLE by Terry Pratchett in September 2014. Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a new collection of children's stories with over a hundred full-page black-and-white illustrations from Mark Beech. Full of crooks, knights and dragons this is a book for children to treasure and we can't wait to read them all!"

"World rights for DRAGONS AT CRUMBLING CASTLE were bought by Kirsten Armstrong, Fiction Editor at RHCP UK from Colin Smythe. RHCP will publish the collection in print and ebook in September. Kirsten comments: 'We're so thrilled to be publishing this collection – Terry's youngest work yet. These stories are full of Pratchett's trademark wit and imagination and will be adored by anyone aged 8-108. Brimming with knights, dragons, abominable snowmen and even more abominable crooks, they are a joy to read and share with young readers. We can't wait to introduce Terry's genius to a whole new generation of future fans.' RHCP will also be publishing a collector's special edition of DRAGONS AT CRUMBLING CASTLE with extra content in November."

"Published together for the first time with over a hundred full-page black-and-white illustrations from Mark Beech, this is a book to make children laugh and introduce them to the wit and magic of Terry Pratchett. And the discerning Discworld reader will discover in each of these stories ideas which Terry developed elsewhere in his later novels."

"RHCP will publish Dragons at Crumbling Castle in £12.99 hardback and as an e-book in September. A collector's edition with extra content will follow in November."






The theme thith time ith Igorth! To be published in August, so start looking for your pre-orders now...

"Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, in partnership with the official purveyor of merchandise from Terry Pratchett's Discworld, The Discworld Emporium, are delighted to announce plans to publish Discworld diaries for the next three years from 2015 to 2017. With background detail and hilarious one-liners, The Discworld Diaries will help all fans of Sir Terry Pratchett keep their lives in order. Developed in consultation with Sir Terry Pratchett, the Discworld diaries are one part diary, one part guide to the arcane practices of the funniest creation in modern fantasy. Each diary celebrates the unsung heroes of the Discworld universe; in this instance: those stoic, selfless minions from the farflung region of Uberwald, the Igors.

"Gollancz's previous Discworld diaries sold over 25,000 copies per year at their peak, and their Discworld calendars continue to sell in the order of 15,000 copies per year. The Discworld Collector's Library, launched in November last year and has already sold more than 40,000 copies. Terry Pratchett's editor at Gollancz, Darren Nash, says: 'From the moment we sat down with the team from the Discworld Emporium it was clear that they shared the Gollancz vision: fans producing wonderful things for other fans. We're delighted to be working with them and with Sir Terry Pratchett, and confident that 2015's will be the best Discworld Diary ever – until next year!' The Discworld Emporium adds: 'As any Igor will tell you, 'What goeth around, cometh around'. This excursion into Pratchett's world of the Igors has taught us more about anatomy, and indeed 're-cycling', than one could possibly have wished to know. Regardless, we're delighted to share it with you in this little tome. Hopefully it will have you in thtitcheth!'

"The Discworld Diary 2015 is the most lavishly illustrated Discworld diary Gollancz has ever produced – full-colour throughout for the first time – and is published in hardback on the 21 August 2014, priced at £16.99. The following two diaries will be published in August 2015 and 2016, and will be sure to delight Terry Pratchett fans around the world for years to come."



On the 25th of May, the Story Museum in Oxford will host a Discworld Day! Stephen Briggs will read extracts from Going Postal at 11.30am and 2pm, and there will be various other Discworld-y goings-on from 11am to 5pm. Don't forget to wear your lilac!

"We’re Going Postal here in Oxford’s old post office with Discworld Day activities inspired by Ankh Morpork’s Post Office."

In addition to the exhibition entrance fee of £7.50 (£5 for under-18′s, full-time students, job-seekers, over-60s; no charge for children under one year and companions of disabled visitiors), there will be a £2 charge for the event. £4 event-only tickets will be offered on the day, subject to availability. Advance booking is recommended.

The Story Museum
Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP
+44 (0)1865 790050



Come to Ireland and dance the Dark Morris...

Monday 19th May
Town Hall Theatre Galway
00353 (0) 91-569777
Tickets are €25. To purchase online go to http://tinyurl.com/lexdxb7


Tuesday 20th May
The Hawk's Well Theatre Sligo
00353 (0) 71-9161518
Tickets are €25.00; online booking: http://www.hawkswell.com/events/event/steeleye-span and go to http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase for that date; concession prices are available in person at the box office or by phone 071-9161518

Wednesday 21st May
Vicar Street Dublin
00353 (0)1 77 55 800

Tickets are €31.50 (including booking). For details go to http://tinyurl.com/mod7dlu


HarperCollins, USA publishers of Turtle Recall, say:

"For every Pratchett fan, the must-have fully updated guidebook to Discworld! The Discworld, as everyone knows, is a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the shell of the giant star turtle, the Great A'Tuin, as it slowly swims through space. It is also a global publishing phenomenon with sales of nearly 85 million books worldwide (and counting). With 39 books in the canon, not including the various guides, maps, diaries, and other tie-in volumes, there's a lot of Discworld to keep track of—more than most fans can manage without magic.

"Turtle Recall is the ultimate authority on probably the most heavily populated—certainly the most hilarious—setting in fantasy literature and includes a guide to Discworld locales from Ankh-Morpork to Zemphis, as well as information to help you distinguish Achmed the Mad from Jack Zweiblumen and the Agatean Empire from the Zoons. Plus much, much more.
Covering everything from The Colour of Magic, the first Discworld novel, through Snuff!, Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion . . . So Far is the most up-to-the-minute encyclopedia of Terry Pratchett's extraordinary universe available."



Remember "The Duel", the collaborative project between Trinity College Dublin animation students and Professor Sir Pterry? Well, an official trailer is now available to view. Looks very professional indeed!



By Sara Sklaroff

"'Raising Steam' is Terry Pratchett's 40th — yes, 40th — Discworld novel, and it won't disappoint fans of the earlier 39... Salted among all the treacle miners and nascent trainspotters are some serious ideas about technology and the irrevocable changes it brings. Pratchett's noir police commander, Sam Vimes, muses on what Discworld's version of the telegraph has meant to society: 'Here is the new thing and here it is. And yesterday you never thought about it and after today you don't know what you would do without it. That was what the technology was doing. It was your slave but, in a sense, it might be the other way around.' As on our spherical world, some folks embrace the change, while others are deeply suspicious... While exploring questions about the unintended consequences of technology, Pratchett also blasts fundamentalists who resist all progress. But mostly he seems to be having fun with words in the very British strain of absurdist humor that he has made his own..."


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

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


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

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


A nice shout-out by Sarah Abraham in The Indian Republic, in a piece titled "Books For All Moods: Which Ones to Read?":

"Somehow, it's easier to take an objective look at the problems of life if we can take a step back and put some distance between us and the problem. Subjectivity can mess up the process considerably. So it makes sense that one of the best ways to see the problems with our world clearly is to set it all on another one. In this case, it's a flat world carried by four elephants that stand on a turtle who swims through space. Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, despite being set in such a world, will give you fresh perspectives on religion, racism, sexism, changing world order, politics, football, the industrial revolution and much more. Oh, and they're rib-ticklingly funny, only you won't always know if you're laughing at the book or yourself."



Gaenor Burchett-Vass, a teacher (and student) whose online alias is "Aunty Muriel", has posted an extract, "Speech and Thought Representation in Terry Pratchett's 'Going Postal'", from from chapter two of her MA thesis "Stylistics and the Form/Content Dichotomy". An extract of the extract:

"Terry Pratchett, the author of the hugely popular Discworld series, is a writer who, like many modern authors, makes extensive use of dialogue. Pratchett's dialogue serves both to advance plot and to delineate character, but there is more to it than this: through his use of FID, Pratchett is able to pass comment on both the characters he creates and the world they – and by allegorical extension, we – inhabit. Pratchett's use of FID enables the characters to comment both on themselves and on other characters, and the narrator can do the same. The allegorical nature of the text means that there is frequently a real-world counterpart to which the comments of the narrator/character also apply. For modern-day readers, comments of a moral nature are generally more palatable when they come from the mouths of fictional characters rather than that of the narrator. The idea that literature exists to edify and instruct the reader is now old-fashioned, but this is what Pratchett manages to do nevertheless. The didactic purpose of the text is achieved through FID without alienating the reader: because his voice is inextricably intertwined with that of his characters, the narrator can moralise without appearing to do so..."

It's always exciting to see Pratchett's work used in academic theses, and if the differences between Pure Narrative of Narrative Report of Action, Narrative Report of Speech, Narrative Report of a Speech Act, Indirect Speech, Free Indirect Discourse, Direct Speech, and Free Direct Thought whet your interest this is the link for you...


And then we have Linn Marie Tonstad, assistant professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School, considering Discworld in light of another theologian's book:

"The characters of Pratchett's city offer a vivid imaginative rendering of the vulnerabilities and possibilities of life in everyday finite contexts that bring together diverse creatures in the service of the goal of common flourishing. Although all theologies outline a social imaginary, whether implicitly or explicitly, the dry and technical character of much theological reflection can make it difficult for the reader to imagine what life would be or could be like given the proposals advanced by a particular author. Pratchett is a consummate observer of the everyday, and his world brings to life what a theology of the everyday would look like... The meaning of this life is central to the possibilities of flourishing in everyday contexts. The only protection against the yawning threat of meaninglessness and futility is to get on with things, to act wisely for the flourishing of the quotidian even while recognizing and affirming its finitude and vulnerability. A theology of finite flourishing in quotidian proximate contexts might look very much like Pratchett's satirical rendering of the challenges of life together. Pratchett offers a lively theology of finite ordinary existence that helps the reader to see her own context with eyes newly attentive to vulnerability, truth-telling, the threat of violence, and the inevitability of death. Neither Kelsey nor Pratchett are avowed feminists, but elements of their projects show a deep and unexpected affinity with feminist approaches to the value of ordinary life precisely in its ordinariness and finitude..."





The Boundary Players will present their production of Mort next month.

When: 6th-10th May 2014
Venue: William Penney Theatre, Aldermaston Recreational Society complex, Tadley, Hants RG26
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £7 adult, £5 concession (all tickets £5 on opening night which is Tuesday 6th)
Tickets can be reserved by telephoning 07756 141734 (voicemail available) or by e-mailing tickets@boundaryplayers.co.uk. When reserving tickets please provide details of your name, the type of tickets you require i.e. Full price or Concession, the performance night and the number of tickets required. Tickets will be held in the Box Office for collection on the night of the performance.



Sudbury Dramatic Society presents Monstrous Regiment in May.

When: Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th May 2014
Venue: The Quay, Quay Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2AN Tel. 01787 374745
Time: 7.45pm
Tickets: £9.00 (Friends £8.00). Tuesday 13th only - all tickets £7.00. Groups of 10 or more students £7.00
To buy tickets, phone 01787 374745 or online at https://quaytheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873507408/events

Pre-theatre suppers are available to book on the Friday and Saturday evenings only.



Chesham Bois Catholic Players (Amateur) present MORT at the Little Theatre next month.

When: 16th-18th May 2014
Venue: Little Theatre By The Park, Church Street, Chesham Bucks HP5 1HU
Time: Fri. 16th at 8pm, Sat. 17th at 7.30pm, Sun. 18th at 4pm
Tickets: all tickets £10. "Unsold tickets may be available at the
To book online, go to http://cbcp.ticketsource.co.uk/



The Maryborough Players present their exclusive production of Witches Abroad, as adapted and directed by Renoir (presumably not the dead Impressionist master). Profits from the production will go to Alzheimers Australia and the Australasian Order of Old Bastards, they claim!

When: 4th-7th June 2014
Venue: Brolga Theatre & Convention Centre, 5 Walker Street,Maryborough, QLD
Time: all evening performances 7.30pm; additional Saturday matinee 2pm
Tickets: Adults $30.00, Concession and Friends $25.00, Students $20.00
To book online, go to http://www.brolgatheatre.org/default.asp?PageID=95



...although the new travelling production by the Jadis Shadows company is also a sort of "witches abroad"! Jadis Shadows, "Resident Company for STMO Media's Magic Alley in Stratford Upon Avon", present their production in May and June 2014, in a number of places.

When: 2nd & 3rd May 2014
Venue: Old Joint Stock Theatre, Temple Row West, Birmingham B2 5NY
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: £12, £10 concessions. Box Office 0121 200 0946

When: 16th & 17th May 2014
Venue: Leicester Guildhall, Guildhall Lane, Leicester LE1 5FQ
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: £12.50, £10.50 concessions. Box Office – 0116 253 2569

When: 29th & 30th May 2014
Venue: Swan Theatre, The Moors, Worcester, WR1
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: £13.50 (No concession prices). Box Office – 01905 611427. Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm. Tickets can be booked or held on reservation for up to 4 working days but must be paid for, in full, 4 days prior to the performance. To book online: http://tinyurl.com/lomgby3

When: 11th, 12th & 30th June 2014
Venue: Castle Theatre Wellingborough, 10 Castle Way, Wellingborough, Warwickshire NN8 1XA
Time: 7.45pm
Tickets: £10 for everyone. Box Office – 01933 270007



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

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



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

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



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

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



By Simon Lewis in the Gloucestershire Echo:

"Engaging and entertaining, if disjointed, chaotically pantomimish and blighted by fluffed lines, it peaked and troughed through whirlwind of set pieces that bristled with splendid costumes, luxuriant beards, unsteady doors, laugh-out-loud humour and lengthy elf ears. Yet out of the mirth and mayhem emerged several outstanding individual performances. With characteristic skill, Mike Sheldrick turned another off-beat role into an award-winning display, this time as the hilarious helmeted herald Shawn Ogg, while Jan Uzzell shone as his cheery mother Nanny. She, in turn, was suavely romanced by the foppish dwarf Casanunda, deliciously played by the velvet-voiced Gwenefer Roskilly. American-accented Anja Stevens commanded all attention as the glamorous, red-robed Queen of the Elves, while Anthony Bolding oozed charm as the lovelorn academic Ridcully, seeking reconciliation with the haughty, but captivating, Granny Weatherwax, whose studied portrayal by the supremely capable Sharon Villiers securely anchored the entire performance..."





"Greetings all,

"The Emporium recently enjoyed a visit with the lovely Paul Kidby at his New Forest home to pick up copies of his illustrated book, The Charmed Realm. While there we were lucky to ogle his work in progress for a HUGE group portrait of Discworld denizens, and admire the Discworld BookBench he is painting for the Literary Trust's Books about Town project


"And so we are proud to offer the English edition of the Charmed Realm, a truly beautiful book depicting a world of fairy folk and magical creatures, imagined and brought to life by Paul's sumptuous imagery and words penned by wife Vanessa.


[Editor's note: there are five additional images, clickable on the page]

"We've also added a brand new poster print to our range from Ankh-Morpork's most disreputable drinking establishment, The Mended Drum! Visitors to our Hogswatch event may remember seeing Discworld artist Peter Dennis creating this image in person at his live draw session, and here is the result! This humorously detailed rendition of Discworld's iconic tavern brings the Drum to life in all its gory - this is certainly a poster that demands a closer look, if you're brave enough!


[Editor's note: there are three additional images, clickable on the page]

"New releases from Discworld Stamps include the elegant Assassins' Guild 3p issue


and the Fools' Guild 10p


"Both stamps are available as singles or as attractive full sheets, and in the latest edition of our lucky-dip envelope full of assorted Discworld Stamps. Every envelope will include the Assassins' Guild 3p, while select LBEs will contain the Fools' Issue along with the chance of finding rare and elusive 'sport' variants.


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



9.1 WADFEST 2014

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

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

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


9.2 AUSDWCON 2015

Nullus Anxietus V is coming! Some early details:

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

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

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



Cabbagecon 3, the third Dutch Discworld Convention, will take place in June of next year. Among the special guests will be Venugopalan Ittekot, Dutch translator of the Discworld novels.

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

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



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

Next meeting: Monday 5th May 2014, from 7pm onwards.

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


The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett". For more info about their next meetup, go to http://www.meetup.com/Pratchett-Partisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au


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



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 1st May 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 2nd May 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:



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 5th May 2014 at 6.30pm (probably). For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk


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

Next meeting: Monday 5th May 2014 (probably).

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

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


Western Drummers (that's two groups for the Sydney Pratchett fans now) intend to meet on the third Monday of every month at The Rowers, Bruce Neal Drive, Penrith at 6.30-7.30pm for food, 7.30pm for games, quizzes and chat. For more information, contact Nanny Ogg – lewis_oz@bigpond.com – or visit their Facebook page:





By manaiaclemim, on tametheboardgame.com:

"I'm personally of the opinion that Ankh Morpork is the best Discworld board game so far, and I believe Dave agrees with me. However, this game is also brilliantly conceived. It's more laid back than Ankh Morpork, in that, you're not really trying to one up any of the other players, or double-bluff them into now knowing your objective, or anything like that, because you're all sharing the same objective and there are plenty of problems on the board, so you don't usually ever have to go for the same one as another player! It's also great because you can play it as a 1-player game, just to fill a rainy afternoon. I highly recommend this game, to everyone, but also specifically to people who prefer games that aren't super-competitive!"

The review includes detailed descriptions of the game itself and the rules of gameplay, and is clearly written.



Also by manaiaclemim:

"The game is a little like Poker in two respects, the first of which is that you must make the highest scoring hand to win the round, and the second of which is that, if you don't play it often, the rules are such that's it's easy to forget them and end up both confused and annoyed. There's a dealer for each round, which changes at the end of every round. The game starts by each player being dealt five cards face down, which they are immediately allowed to look at and can then discard up to four of them, being given replacement cards by the dealer. Once everyone's done this a further five cards are dealt face up onto the table in front of each player – except the dealer, who receives theirs face down. The first player then begins by trying to assemble a high-scoring hand (I'll list the different hand in point order in a minute), once they've done this, the player to their left must assemble a higher-scoring hand, or fold. If they succeed in creating a higher scoring hand the first player is then allowed to try to rearrange their cards to score even higher, or fold. Once on player has been forced to fold play continues to the left until one player remains. This player wins the hand and becomes the dealer for the next round..."

Again, plenty of details about gameplay, plus a link to where to get the most suitable Roundworld pack of cards.




There's a lot of blog action out there lately...

Blogger Beka Cooper's short musings on The Carpet People:
"It's a cute concept made into a fairly standard quest narrative, with thoughts on free will and empire that show the beginnings of that depth-behind-humor that we know and love Pratchett for. Maybe it was just me, but the cast was large enough that I had trouble keeping track of everyone. I still prefer The Wee Free Men as a kid's first introduction to Pratchett, but Pratchett not quite grown into his full writing strength is still worth reading."


Blogger N J Magas thinks the best Discworld book to read is all of them:
"Believe it or not, my first introduction to Pratchett's writing wasn't Discworld. It was Good Omens, coauthored with the above mentioned Neil Gaiman. I adore that book to itty bitty pieces; just thinking about it now makes me want to go back and reread it. I've read a handful of his Discworld books as well and have the opinion that – as an author – he can do no wrong. As I've mentioned in previous entries, Pratchett writes an amazing, entertaining Death, such that I look specifically for those books which feature Death as a character. Really, it's hard to pick a wrong place to start with Terry Pratchett's books... Each one is a witty little adventure into a brilliant tongue in cheek fantasy world filled with complex societies, strong personalities, and a full, rich magic system. "


...as does blogger Dicken:
"Terry Pratchett is among the most creative and witty modern authors, and certainly one of my favorite authors of all time. His characters are both likable and interesting, and his world-building is remarkable (you may have noticed these things are important to me). Pratchett is a leader in the genre of fantasy-satire fiction. His jokes are funny, clever, and above all else, very British... Terry Pratchett is a very prolific writer and I have found pretty much everything of his worth the read. His Magnum Opus has got to be the collection of works set in the Discworld, thanks to which he is well known. Discworld is a place of magic and mythology, and above all else, stories. These range from epic struggles involving heroes and gods, to the adventures of a deadbeat cop. Regardless of the plot, it will be fun..."


...and blogger Antipelican:
"SIR Terry Pratchett (um, yes, he was knighted for being so fab-tastic and writing beautiful things) has written approximately eleventy billion books. Most of them, but not all, are set in a made-up universe called Discworld. And though his Discworld books are full of wiz(z)ards, witches, vampyres, and other magical magic-y things, and even though they're quite funny and stunningly witty, they are also some of the realest descriptions of what it is to be human that I've ever come across. And I recently found a small passel of Discworld books I hadn't read yet (joy oh joy oh joy), so I rectified that situation as fast as possible. I don't so much read books by Pratchett as inhale them, gobbling them up with my eye-holes as fast as possible. The pages sometimes catch fire behind me as I go..."


Game industry blogger BehindTheWires gets to grips with Discworld novels via The Colour of Magic audiobook:
"The version that I picked up was a spritely 7 hours long and narrated by Nigel Planer, who does a great job at getting hold of all of Pratchett's complicated, imaginary vocabulary. A semi-downside of the Nigel Planer version is that it sounds a lot like it has been ported from an old cassette version. You can hear the subtle, magnetic squeal of digital synthesis in the background and the volume, and even general mastering of the audio track varies from chapter to chapter; which can be obnoxiously jarring when you're caught up in the story. It does, however give it the retro feel of an 80′s novel though, which is probably as close to the feeling of picking up a tattered, much-read, beloved book as you can get with an audio track... Despite it being an introductory novel, of sorts, it actually does a great job of introducing you to the concept of Discworld and the physics, lore and jargon that surrounds it..."


Blogger Mr Rhapsodist's review of Thief of Time:
"It's a given that any novel that contains Terry Pratchett's Death is going to interest me, though he doesn't have as big a role in this story as he does in Hogfather or Reaper Man. Still, his granddaughter Susan is a nice semblance of order in a chaotic storyline, trying to make sense of everything. I also loved the inclusion of irreverent characters like Nanny Ogg and Lu-Tze (the latter being so darn insistent of getting everyone to remember Rule One). The other protagonists, Lobsang Ludd and Jeremy Clockson, are interesting in their own way, but that's less to do with character development and more to do with identity and backstory... But as Pratchett is so good at doing, he also brings a nice element of pathos to the story. Characters like Lobsang, Jeremy, and Myria LeJean are more amusing because of their naivete, especially when paired with more cynical characters like Lu-Tze, Igor, and Susan..."


...and of The Truth:
"While the cast of this novel didn't hit me in the same as Hogfather did (which remains my all-time favorite Discworld read), it did have a quality that reminded me of Mort. William is very much like the titular character from that story, idealistic and brash in a way that puts him in danger more often than not. And just as Mort has Ygritte [sic], William has the lovely Sacharissa to assist him, though she proves to be a far more cunning writer than he is. By far, my favorite character in the story was Otto, the reformed vampire and photographer. Besides his Bela Lugosi-type accent, every 'vord' out of his mouth is a delight and he has some wonderfully terrifying moments every now and then... William de Worde is a great lens for the rest of the story, but he doesn't really bring much skill on his own. That's up to people like Sacharissa, Otto, and the dwarves. But to be fair, William does have a knack for getting into people's faces and being persuasive by whipping out his notebook..."


Blogger Rachelefish reviews The Fifth Elephant, tissues at the ready:
"What was it about this particular Terry book that got me? They all get me, on some level, but by the end of this one I was off and on crying, cheering for the characters, and holding my breath. Admittedly, I haven't had a good cry while reading in awhile so I'm glad I picked this one up. It's been on my shelf for nearly a year... I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say the whole last third had me bursting into tears and letting out terrified yelps. I was going to put in some of my favorite quotes, but I'd have to type out the whole book, and I think there are laws against that..."


Blogger (and Scone of Stone baker!) Mari was delighted by Raising Steam:
"Of course, what is an Ankh-Morpork story without its multitude of problems? Along with the steam train revolution, there is also a civil war brewing amongst the dwarves, and to make matters worse, grags–dwarf rebels–are burning down clacks towers and attacking non-dwarfish characters. And what happens when goblins and trolls become a major part of the train-running business? Raising Steam (#40 of the Discworld novels) answers these questions, and puts forth even more to think about. But that's Terry Pratchett for you. It's actually been a while since I've returned to Ankh-Morpork, so reading up on the latest happenings within the city was tremendously welcome on my part. I loved that the entire book involved many of the Ankh-Morpork factions, especially when it meant reading about some of my favorite characters, like William de Worde and Sacharissa Cripslock, Vetinari, Sam Vimes and the Night's Watch, the wizards of Unseen University, a mention of CMOT Dibbler (who will always remain my favorite businessman), etc. The list really does go on. I loved that Moist Von Lipwig remains forever a scoundrel, but one with a heart of gold, and I loved what Pratchett concluded regarding the Low King of the Dwarves..."


Blogger Vacuous Wastrel is back with a surprisingly positive review upon re-reading Soul Music:
"I didn't remember Soul Music fondly, or at least having read some negative reviews I came to remember it unfondly – the negative elements I remembered, while the positive I forgot. And I'm glad of that. Because the result was that this was a really enjoyable surprise... Music, in this book, is life, is creation, is the futile and ultimately self-destructive defiance of death, the great stygian opiate against pain and loss, and the question of to what extent we should imbibe of it ties the book together and gives it much of its power... Yes, the rock music is indulgent, a personal enthusiasm, but Pratchett's earned a little indulgence. Both the music and the death make the book feel authentic, and I don't think it's entirely a coincidence either that Sir Terry has essentially chosen to affiliate his family with Susan's. Susan Sto Helit feels like one of the greatest, but in particular one of the most real, the most authentic, of Pratchett's characters. I don't know what Pratchett's daughter actually is (or was) like and whether Susan is a true reflection of her, but I felt strongly when reading this that that author's attitude toward Susan is very much the attitude of a father toward his teenage daughter (whether or not its specifically the attitude of the real Pratchett toward his real daughter): there's a real tenderness there that I don't think I've seen since Equal Rites..."


...and he also disses – or doesn't dis? – Men at Arms:
"I'm disappointed. Firstly because Men at Arms follows a blisteringly brilliant run of Pratchet[sic], from the final section of Witches Abroad, through the whole of Small Gods and Lords and Ladies, and stopping off at the non-Discworld Only You Can Save Mankind (which, OK, isn't actually brilliant, but is much better than a lightweight children's novella about computer games has any right to be) along the way. And secondly because I remember it as one of my favourites, and have been really looking forward to it... It feels like an attempt to get back to the zany humour after the relatively Big and Important Small Gods and Lords and Ladies, but I didn't feel it really worked. There were several laugh-out-loud moments in this book – but most of them weren't actually the overt 'jokes'. And yet, disappointed I may be, thanks to my impossibly high expectation, yet I did end up really liking this book. Why? Well, let's be honest here, one big part of the reason is very obvious, unavoidable, and I guess not entirely generalisable to all readers: it's got a sexy, kickass, smartarse tomboy werewolf girl in it, and thus I am genetically unable to dislike it..."


...and witters on lovingly about Lords and Ladies:
"Lords and Ladies is a new start for Pratchett. Underlyingly, this is because it represents a move away from (albeit not a complete abandonment of) the central themes of belief, stories, representation and so on that so dominated Moving Pictures, Reaper Man, Witches Abroad, and Small Gods – those themes remain an important part of the metaphysical bedrock of this novel, but the novel is not about them in the way its predecessors seemed to be... although the plot is standalone, this is the second outing for most of the characters, and third or fourth for some of the main ones (and in one case I think the eleventh), so it's probably a book that benefits from knowing about the previous novels, even if detailed recall of plot points is not really required. With the exception of The Light Fantastic, I'd say it's the least standalone of the novels so far. And I think this is significant: Pratchett has, it feels, said what he wanted to say, done his experimenting, and is now returning to established parts of his world to tell stories. Because while Lords and Ladies doesn't feel like it has the thematic focus of previous installments, it sure as hell has a story..."


Blogger reuoq returns with a review of Dodger:
"One advantage of not being Discworld is that Pratchett is freed up from having to use all his recurring characters all the time – he doesn't do this in every novel, of course, but frequently it feels like he's only including a character because he feels obliged. Here he has free reign over who gets into the book. He's also able to actively explore Victorian history, rather than obliquely alluding to it. As his postscript notes, it's something he's had on the backburner for a while, and it's good that he's had the chance to write a novel about it while he still can. It's just a shame that by writing about something non-Discworld, he's chosen the place that most resembles the Discworld, and I feel like he could have used the opportunity to write about somewhere else instead, or another period..."


An uncredited member of blogging collective The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society presents a list/review of favourite "quirky and captivating characters of Discworld":
"However, while I could rhapsodise on the humour (silly and serious, wound through every topic), the cultures (satiric and exaggerated, but multi-layered and deeply thought-out), the plots (wide-ranging and intriguing), and many other things, what I've actually decided to focus on is what definitely keeps me coming back to Discworld over and over again. The amazing characters... My shortlist for characters to include for even a basic overview of the variety that Discworld offers in this arena was almost twenty. It was extremely difficult to choose between then, and, no doubt, I could happily go on about all of them – and I could have gone on more about the few who made it to my final list..."

The list includes Vimes, Vetinari, Granny Weatherwax, Tiffany Aching, Carrot, and Death.


Young blogger Ren, whose favourite Discworld novel is Monstrous Regiment, warms to Tiffany Aching:
"Tiffany is the protagonist, but the ones who get top billing (and the best part of the book, hands down) are the wee free men, aka the Nac Mac Feegle, a clan of pictsies. No, that's not a misspelling, it's just this thing that Pratchett does, he takes the idea of Picts and Pixies and so you get blue-tattooed warriors in kilt who are only a few inches tall, and it's so ridiculous that it may just work. They're loud and disorderly and fairly stupid, and have names like Rob Anybody and Daft Wullie and No'-As-Big-As-Medium-Sized-Jock-But-Bigger-than-Wee-Jock Jock. According to them, the Nac Mac Feegle rebelled against the wicked rule of the Queen and were therefore exiled from Fairyland. According to everyone else, they were kicked out for being drunk. Either way, they accompany Tiffany in her search for her brother, providing interesting dialogue and headbutting enemies. If it sounds like a big bowl of nonsense, that's because it is. Like I said, Discworld books don't go in for logic. I did rate this 3 teacups, but that's only because it's not Pratchett's best book. A 3-teacup Discworld book is as good as a 4-teacup or 5-teacup book by anyone else, in my opinion..."


Blogger Gingersister's fun review of Dodger:
"Mr. Pratchett. You, sir, are a genius, and I am unanimous in this. I kept finding things to photograph, from the opening paragraph, to the book's end, and I felt they were too much and too good to just randomly throw out on the interwebs without context. Instead I thought they warranted a blog post, so that I could combine quote and review in one nice spot... A) Terry Pratchett knows a lot of history. B) Terry Pratchett has a good of respect for Henry Mayhew, and we all should. C) Terry Pratchett cares about things like poverty, and injustice, and the fact that he can make a discussion about them funny and entertaining is just splendid. D) Any author who can reference 'that nice young man, Karl, that I hid from the cossacks with once' and make it clear who he is referring too without being OBVIOUS should be my friend. I liked the characters in this very much, especially since they have a place in my pop culture and literary reference library. It isn't a fantasy novel the way most of the other Discworld books are. Instead Pratchett explores Victorian London from above and below, allowing the flights of fancy point to the things our society has been battling for a long time: Poverty, injustice, the difficulty of choosing the welfare of one vs the many. I especially enjoyed Solomon who was unique, fascinating, full of surprises, scandalous stories and philosophical wisdom. Read the book, enjoy the sewers, meet Sweeney Todd, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and a very amused royal 'We'..."


Blogger funkyfacecat also enjoyed Dodger:
"Dodger is a rollicking read; it's fun spotting the cameo appearances by Victorian figures, there's a sense of the uncanny in the sewer-world, the intrigue is interesting, with echoes of Wilkie Collins as well as Dickens, and the city and its denizens are lovingly evoked. It's very enjoyable – but. It lacks edge and genuine peril. It is aimed at non-adult readers, which is fair enough, but the Tiffany Aching books are scary enough, even when their heroine is nine years old. Although Dodger's relationship with his grownups is amusing enough, they almost protect him too well, and Dodger himself is a more than capable adversary. There just could be more of everything – more verve, more danger, more cameos, more smells. What there is, though, provides a very pleasant and amusing read..."


...as did blogger Antonio Urias:
"Terry Pratchett has created a vast and highly populated world that is now more than capable of propelling an entire novel on its own power. The cameos and honorable mentions are more than just fan-pleasing moments, although they are that too, they are also demonstrations of just how rich Discworld has become. One of the joys of this book was the interactions between Lipwig and Vimes, two characters who despite living in the same city have previously had only limited interaction. The copper's copper and the 'reformed' con man make an amusing pairing. Nevertheless, for all the fun cameos, and delightful pairings, there is little that is new here... But as I said earlier, after 40 books, one of the central joys of reading a Discworld book that it is a Discworld book, and while Raising Steam did not quite rise to the heights of previous novels, Pratchett remains highly enjoyable..."


Blogger Apaperbackpacker was pleased by Raising Steam:
"This story also sees a transformation in Lipwig's personality and mindset, which brings about a sort of somberness to the otherwise comical story. Pratchett emphasizes on themes that include coups, government de-stabilization, terrorism, Steam Engines and the advent of railways, commercialization, racism and gender inequality all portrayed by the various species that co-habit the Discworld. Pratchett also delves deep into the nuances and technology surrounding the working of a Steam Engine, the commercial ventures and subsequent employment opportunities that arose with the railways while managing to retain his trademark sense of humor which made this book all more enjoyable and a fast paced read..."


...as was blogger Geekgirlinlove:
"I loved this book, but its tone is a little different from the earlier Discworld books, including those featuring Moist. The humor is sharp but less laugh-out-loud in nature. In fact there are very few sections during which I whooped with laughter, or rushed to quote a passage. The Discworld books have always had some serious points to make, and my sense with this book and the previous book, Snuff, is that Terry Pratchett has no interest in messing around – if he has a point to make, he's just gonna come out and make it... If you are deeply opposed to things like legalizing gay marriage, or equal opportunities for women, or racial and ethnic diversity, then you won't like this book although I'd argue that you certainly ought to be reading it. I don't recommend Raising Steam as the first Discworld book you should read but I do highly recommend it overall, and if you haven't read other Discworld books, don't worry, you'll catch up just fine. I loved this book even though I missed the madcap feel of earlier installments..."


Blogger Graham Rutter's take on the religious philosophies of Small Gods:
"The novel Small Gods by Terry Pratchett is another book I think that vicars and church leaders in general really should read. It's well-written and a great story, but also has an important theological message. Actually, it's even more than that. As well as being an adventure story and a coming-of-age novel, it is also a meditation on the problems of power, structure, authority and faith... The really interesting part, for theological reflection, is Pratchett's plot device that belief 'powers' the different gods. The more people who believe, the more power the god has. If a god has no believers, then they become little more than a wandering spirit... And, of course, Pratchett is absolutely right. We need structures to operate, but it's sometimes easier to act as if that is the important thing, rather than God, whom the structures of the church are meant to serve..."


Blogger Coree, on Radical Farmwives, admires the Tiffany books:
"Tiffany is a practical girl who thinks a lot. She's an astute nine year old, but still definitely a youngster. She also fends off the magical creatures and even the deceptive and wicked Queen of Fairyland with nothing more than her common sense, love of the land, and a cast iron skillet. There are more nuggets of curious wisdom in this first book than in the whole Potter series (no offense to Harry – I do love those books – just saying). Tiffany's wonderful foil throughout her adventures are the Nac Mac Feegle, otherwise known as the Wee Free Men. They are a class of fairies unto themselves... Feegles are the rogues of the fairy world, whose misadventures are written phonetically in such a strange and hilarious brogue accent that it brought the whole family to uproarious laughter – even the three year old... One of the things I love about these books, besides the good entertainment, is that they promote a sense of place, and the place, in this case, is a rural countryside. That's a rare find these days..."


Blogger Canadian Bibliophile praises The Light Fantastic:
"There is so much to love about the Discworld, and especially the first two books in this series. I love Twoflower for many reasons. One is that my career is the same as his – he sells insurance (or in-sewer-ants as he describes it to Rincewind). He's definitely a glass-is-half-full kind of guy and a perfect match for Rincewind, who is sure the glass is pretty empty... I really enjoyed this on audio. I have only listened to one other Discworld on audio (Raising Steam) and I'm glad that Nigel Planer's narration lived up to my expectation. His voice for Death is just perfect, as was the scene where Twoflower teaches Death and several gods to play cards! After imagining all these voices in my head for the last two decades of reading these novels, I'm glad to discover that the audiobooks are just as fantastic..."


Blogger The Childlike Author thinks I Shall Wear Midnight did not come up to the brilliance of the first Tiffany book, but was still fine:
"Tiffany defeats them all in the end. She beats the Hiver and the Wintersmith by submitting to them (in a way), and she beats the Cunning Man and the Queen of the Fairies by (essentially) having more help. And yet they're all too inhuman for my taste. Miss Aching needs a real person as an enemy for once... if I were to rank the four antagonists, greatest to least, they would be in this order: Queen of the Fairies, Cunning Man, Wintersmith, Hiver. What I like so much about the Cunning Man is his curious ability to affect a crowd's mind and thoughts... The story itself is a good one, despite the antagonist clone straight from the two previous books. Tiffany Aching has aged a little more, gets jilted instead of doing the jilting, and finds herself surrounded by supportive friends as well as an especially supportive friend in the final scene. The main difference in this novel compared to the others is simply that Tiffany Aching is her own witch. She has officially 'grown up' as the saying goes, and is no longer apprenticing. But she still has to prove to herself (and to all the other witches) that she truly can handle being on her own. And, of course, she acquits herself well..."


...but (grudgingly) admires Wintersmith:
"I will admit that I may have underrated both this book and the preceding Tiffany Aching novel, A Hat Full of Sky... I liked The Illustrated Wee Free Men simply too much and couldn't bear to see them rated at the same level. However, Wintersmith follows in the spirit of both just fine, though more in the spirit of A Hat Full of Sky than The Illustrated Wee Free Men, and more in simply the spirit than anything else... My favorite part of the book is Tiffany Aching's dealings with one of her witchy peers... Tiffany deftly handles the situation that arises, and ends up, in no uncertain terms, showing everyone that she is indeed Mistress Weatherwax's future successor. And if she's not, I'm going to eat a pair of woolen socks..."


Blogger Lakes Mum offers a short rave review of Equal Rites:
"Having loved reading this myself its great to return to it as an audio book. Having a female narrator is perfect as the story is mostly about Esk and introduces Mistress Weatherwax the witch (one of my discworld favourites). This was a perfect one to be listening to over International Women's Day as it shows the fight for the rights of females to be accepted as wizards and attend Unseen University. Its also a great contrast between the rural back water of Badass and the metropolis of Ankh Morpork. I would definitely recommend this one. It can stand on its own or as an introduction to Discworld for newbies."


Blogger Edouard Stenger gives Night Watch 9/10 rating in his short review:
"I haven't chronicled here all the previous Pratchett I read, I have really the impression, reading Discworld novels that they are getting better all the time. Night Watch is indeed even funnier than the previous ones and is an even fiercer satire of our world... This is the occasion for Terry Pratchett to give numerous treats to his readers with several explanations and facts about the main Ankh Morpork characters and I have to admit I enjoyed them all. A state-of-the-art book that will send you – again ! – rolling on the floor laughing out loud. A must if you have enjoyed previous Discworld novels."


Blogger nobookshallbeleftbehind gives a big thumbs-up to Hogfather:
"This book is very funny and you might get some strange looks for randomly laughing in public places. This is a book about the nature of beliefs. It is a reminder that things as we think of as essential, eternal, unbreakable are here because we willed them to be. Death is nothing like you would expect, he is very sarcastic, funny and witty. Susan, who is Death's granddaughter, is left to fix this entire mess. Susan is level headed, rational, self-sufficient duchess-turned-governess who firmly believes that 'Real children do not go hoppity skip unless they are on drugs.' This is an amazing book which I am very happy to have read. It makes a great reading any time during the year..."


Blogger PoiSonPaiNter reviews Eric:
"I read this in German. Simply because almost every book I own is the German translation/version. Therefore I can't say anything about Pratchett's original jokes, as I don't know which are his and which came through the translation.
The only thing that I can properly say about the reading itself is, that the novel is far too short.
It seemed a bit rushed at times and I am certain there would have been way more stories to tell, but we only got a little glimpse of that. Still a fun read though..."


...and finally, a delightful short observation about Discworld and parody, by blogger Farilian:
"Pratchett's parody of fantasy cliches is not the same as in so-called 'true' parodies (like Bored of the Rings, The Chronicles of Blarnia or Barry Trotter). It goes deeper. While the parodies mentioned are happy with poking fun at the original text and trying to make some money while doing it, Pratchett takes his inspiration from countless authors and sources. He takes mythology, folklore, fantasy and numerous other topics and genres and mixes them together to form his own world – the Discworld. Compared to the copycat-worlds we encounter in parody texts, the Discworld is a world on its own – yes, it is based on a cosmological image from Hindu mythology, but Pratchett's interpretation of it is unique and fresh. In short, it is not a copy but something that hasn't been there before. So don't go tell the inhabitants of the Discworld that they are cardboard copies of someone else – they might take offence."




A lovely Discworld Reading Order chart:




And that's all we have time – or room – for this month, apart from a note that Raising Steam retains last month's number 2 position on the Locus hardcover bestsellers list: www.locusmag.com/Magazine/2014/04/locus-bestsellers-april-2/

I hope everyone received plenty of treats from the Soul Cake Duck last weekend. And remember – next month brings the Glorious 25th, and also Towel Day on the same date, so do remember to at least take a lilac towel everywhere you go then!

– Annie Mac


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


wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)

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