wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
October 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 10, Post 1)


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

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INDEX:

01) EDITOR'S LETTER
02) REVIEW: DISCWORLD AND PHILOSOPHY
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
05) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD METING GROUPS NEWS
07) CLOSE

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01) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Dear readers,

I need a break.

I really, really need a break.

I've been saying for years now, every month, that I can't keep editing and compositing Wossname forever, but despite there no longer being any new Pratchett writings since The Shepherd's Crown, there are still writings-about-writings and plays-based-upon-writings and telly-shows-adapted-from-writings that merit being written about. However, there are also changes in Your Editor's circumstances that, at present, are making it ever more difficult to turn out a full issue every month. So I'm going to attempt a compromise, at least for the rest of this year, which will take the form of brevity: this issue, and the two after it, are likely to be cut to the bone. We do get clacks at the Fortress of Woss from readers who enjoy Around the Blogosphere and Roundworld Tales and the less frontline items (about orangutans, for example), and to those of you who have clacksed I offer apologies, but right now I feel it's best for me to ignore the anternet as much as I possibly can. But Wossname will continue, even if no-one else steps forward to take the editor's baton. After all, there's the Good Omens miniseries to consider...

Wossname is not going dark. It's just going quiet. Ish. For a bit.

On with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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02) THE TURTLE MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS, AND ROUNDWORLD'S EPHEBIANS WANT A PIECE OF THE ACTION: A REVIEW OF DISCWORLD AND PHILOSOPHY

By Annie Mac

As I've mentioned before (in my review of another recent-ish book relating to philosophy and the works of Sir Terry Pratchett), I consider philosophy as thinking-about-thinking to be a worthy discipline but I have little patience with philosophy as practised by professional philosophers. I also mentioned that said other book seemed to be written specifically for philosophy students who liked Pratchett books. But Discworld and Philosophy, subtitled Reality Is Not What It Seems, reads more like a book by (mostly, on the face of it) Pratchett fans who happen to be philosophers. Without diminishing the worth of the other book, I think this one is more accessible to the general public, as it concentrates more on the concepts behind Sir Terry's "stealth philosophy" and relies less on jargon and/or assumptions of familiarity with the works of noted philosophers throughout history.

Also, to my surprise, Discworld and Philosophy contains quite a lot of fanfiction.

...no, really. Some of it is rather good-quality fanfiction, too. Philosophers writing fanfiction... heavy-question philosophical essays that are actually fun to read... who'd'a thunk it?

Using a similar format to that of the earlier philosophy-meets-flat-world-onna-turtle volume, Discworld and Philosophy is composed of twenty-three essays, divided into five sections, and the individual authors are once again generous in their application of what they imagine are Pratchettesque footnotes (and in some cases, are probably right). Section titles are "Rewriting Your Chem"; "Truth, Logic, and Law Are Nice, but Someone Still Has to Do the Wash"; "Some Things Are Necessary, Not Personal"; "Ye Canna' Ken What Ye Canna' Ken"; and "Probably Quantum". Authors – most of whom have contributed more than one essay – are, in order of first appearance, Vanessa Frolich, Matthew Skene, Michael Kugler, Jamie Carlin Watson, Brandon Kempner, Don Fallis, Daniel Malloy, Jeremy Pierce, Trip McCrossin, John V Karavitis, Douglas Jordan, Kamil Karas, Christopher Ketcham, Daniel Miori, and Nicolas Michaud (who is also the editor of the book).

Here follows a selection of what I consider to be the most outstanding essays in this collection, plus a few passing applications of mildly acid disapproval...

Section I

"More Golems Around Than You Might Think", by Vanessa Frolich: on postmodernism and power, how we all have chems (so to speak) that can be rewritten by people in power via the substitution of "texts" and "metanarratives" (I remember when these were known as memes; curses upon you, Roundworld Clacks, for hijacking the word!), and how the rough music of populism can create merry hell from the misapplication of modified texts.

Golem Morality in the Modern World, by Matthew Skene: purportedly on the morality of freedom, and the limits of personal responsibility... I think. This essay relies on the sort of ridiculously impractical supposition that in my opinion gives philosophers a bad name – positing that it can be considered immoral for any person to live at all above merest subsistence level if any other persons, anywhere, are living below it – and it got right up my nose because he references text on this subject by the Fourecksian philosopher Peter Singer, whose opinions generally *aren't* impractical, and who seems right in concert with Pratchett when it comes to what our favourite author described as the dreadful algebra of necessity. As a rank civilian in the demesne of betowelled Ephebians, I'm calling this one a load of tosh.

"We Willna Be Fooled Again! Wee Free Anarchists!" by Michael Kugler: on freedom and law, and Pratchett's interpretations thereof. This should have been a good'un, and the bones of it are worthy, but... I would have thought that when one is writing about a specific Discworld subject, and claiming – as it says of all these authors, in the book's preface – to be a huge Discworld fan, one can show enough respect for the source material to get names and terminology right, but Kugler's gaffes kept distracting me. Although he started off well enough, for some reason he refers variously to Granny Aching as "Grandmother Aching", "Grandma Aching", or plain "Aching", and to the Nac Mac Feegle as "the Wee Frees" (er, no; the Wee Frees are a Scots Protestant sect, which you can be sure Sir Pterry knew well), and comes up with something he calls "the Three Sights", despite Pratchett only giving us First Sight and Second Thoughts. Also, I wish to rain flames of incandescent fury on whoever – Kugler, his proofreader, or editor Michaud – for Failure to Properly Pluralise: "A little girl, Tiffany, grows up on her parent's farm", it says on page 27. No, and no, and a thousand times no; it's her *parents'* farm, or her father's farm (technically the Baron's farm, but I'd like to see Roland try to take it away from the Achings), but not her "parent's"... argh!

"The Liberating Power of Nanny Ogg's Bosom", by Vanessa Frolich: on how Nanny Ogg makes socially inappropriate behaviour a force for good. Frolich says, "When carnival and the grotesque meet high culture, they can bring it down to earth and question its boundaries" (page 41), and examines how Nanny's breaking of boundaries helped end Lily's reign in Witches Abroad.

"The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret", by Jamie Carlin Watson: on free speech, civic freedoms, well-meaning censorship, and Vetinari's and Vimes' ways of looking at these. This is a highly readable essay, low on jargon, with good footnote technique.

Section II

"The Absurdity of the Luggage", by Brandon Kempner: on absurdism and existentialism, the overwhelming human desire for order, and how a certain sapient pearwood travel accessory personifies the philosophical theories of Camus and Sartre.

"Pratchett's Republic": in his second essay, Brandon Kempner posits Pratchett as Plato and Ankh-Morpork as his "republic", compares and contrasts the modern "stealth philosopher" with the ancient Greek one, and presents Lord Vetinari as the "perfect Pratchett Philosopher King"(page 81), with Vimes and Carrot as his lieutenants: "It's only when Carrot's idealism, Vimes's practicality, and the Patrician's cleverness come together, that the city of Ankh-Morpork can survive and thrive" (ibid).

"Honesty Trumps Cleverness: Sam Vimes and Commonsense Philosophy", by Matthew Skene: making up for his shaky start in Section I, Skene offers a cracking good essay on the practicality of pragmatism, the dangers of following the advice of Some Guy Down the Pub (here, personified by Fred Colon), and the (acceptable, in both Skene's and my own opinion) limitations of scepticism – "Commonsense philosophy stands as a bastion of sanity amidst the storm, seeking to get philosophers to follow the lead of those like Sam Vimes who will take honesty over cleverness any day" (page 89). This was one of my favourites.

"Why Would You Put a Con Artist in Charge of the Money?" by Don Fallis: on the virtues of using deception in service of the greater good, musings on intentional deception, and the nature of counterfeit (counterfeitness? counterfeitcy?). A workmanlike essay; I enjoyed it.

"Lord Vetinari's Friendly Guide to Tyranny", by Daniel Malloy: a corker! – and also an excellent piece of fanfiction, in the form of a series of angry letters to the Ankh-Morpork Times as read by Lord Vetinari.

Section III

"Can a Leopard Change Its Shorts?" by Daniel Malloy: on the nature of cowardice – which some philosophers say cannot by definition exist – and Rincewind, who, according to Aristotle, isn't a coward, because the opposite of bravery is foolhardiness or recklessness, not cowardice. Note: also includes an amusing explanation of why one shouldn't try to put shorts on a leopard in the first place.

"Becoming Vetinari: Personal Identity on the Discworld", by Jeremy Pierce: on assumed identities as masks of functionality versus (attempted) assumption-by-metamorphosis of another person's identity, as shown by contrasting Moist von Lipwig and Cosmo Lavish, and Locke's and Leibniz' arguments about what a person *is* ("the axe of my grandfather" and teleporter accidents, anyone?). I found this to be one of the best essays in the book, with a lovely closing paragraph; Pierce also gets my Best Discworld-related Footnote Ever prize (see footnote 3, page 145).

"How to Be a Dwarf", by Daniel Malloy: on identity politics, gender, species, essentialism, assimilation, and all that jazz. Also discusses why Carrot *is* a dwarf but Thomas Stronginthearm isn't, and why Countess Notfaroutoe will never be a vampire no matter how hard she tries, and contains some interesting speculations about Cheery Littlebottom. A good, solid effort.

"Being One's Me: (Witchy) Personal Identity on the Discworld", by Trip McCrossin: aaand we're back to the axe of one's grandfather again, and the theories of Locke (again) and Joseph Butler, and self-recognition as applied to escaping from a prison of a million mirrors. Another solid offering.

Section IV

This is the shortest section, containing only three essays, and I have to say that it's also the shortest part of this review because I found little to enjoy. "The Serious Monk's Guide to Re-writing History", by John V. Karavitis, felt far too try-hard in its cutesy-clever tale of a literal monkey studying to be a History Monk. "Sin, My Young Man, Is When You Treat People as Things", an essay by Kamil Karas on defining sin, general morality, and "natural law", suffered from being a subject that's been rather done to death; and Douglas Jordan's "Getting at the Truth", on the quantification of knowledge ("what is knowledge?"), as proposed by philosophers through the ages, was only notable for me because my scribbled notes for it included "and Plato can -ing right -ing off". So let's move along...

Section V

"Fate on the Discworld and Roundworld", by Jeremy Pierce: on destiny, predestination, determinism, fate, call it what you like... oh, and Fate, of course, because no Discworld discussion of small-f fate is complete without that smarmy so-and-so... all couched in the form of an imagined conversation between Lu-Tze and Death, who drops in on our favourite Sweeper for a chat about his observations of UU's narrativium-free "Roundworld project". This is a wonderful essay that – quite unlike Getting at the Truth in the previous section – represents what I *do* like about philosophy. I suspect Pierce and Pratchett could have had some fascinating conversations.

"The Alchemy of Flat Worlds", by Christopher Ketcham: on... well, I'm not sure I'm confident to say *what* it's on. Possibly the discrete physics of two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds, but I found Ketcham's choice of milieu – apparently a professor at UU giving a series of lectures, or maybe not, because if this is meant to be set on Discworld it fails spectacularly – and his frequent digressions, both as the professor and as "faithful narrator", so distracting that I failed at all six attempts to get all the way through the piece without bailing by dint of a combination of confusion and boredom. I can't give this one a pass, I'm afraid.

"The Intersection of Science and Philosophy, the Seediest Corner of Ankh-Morpork", by Daniel Miori: on the history of philosophy and similarities between philosophy and the scientific method, using the Science of Discworld series for examples. For some reason no clearer than mud to this reader (nor to several others I asked to read it), Miori chose to present his subsection titles as if spoken by Cohen without his "dine-chewers" in; I found this quite off-putting, as I kept looking for the relevance. Oh well.

"Welcome to My World", by Christopher Ketcham: on Umwelt, known to most of us non-Borogravian-speakers as one's personal universe ("life-world"). Ketcham considers the life-worlds of various Discworld entities/animals/objects including the God of Evolution, the ambiguous puzuma, dromes, the shadowing lemma, Gaspode, hermit elephants, and re-annual plants. An odd essay but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

"Cocking a Snook at Death, and Getting Away with It: Does the Personification of Death Make It Less Scary?" by Daniel Miori: on Death – considered by Miori to be "one of the most humane characters in the Discworld multiverse" (page279), dualism, the power of belief, definitions of being alive, and death as an anthropomorphic personification in Roundworld history and culture. Miori also scores points for a small but much appreciated sneer at the sort of nicey-nicey censorship that the Mrs Maccalariats of the world impose on public broadcasting (page 288), and a much larger, also justified, sneer at paternalism in the medical sector (page 288-289).

"I'd Rather Stay an Orangutan Because That's Why Discworld Exists", by Nicolas Michaud: editor Michaud brings Discworld and Philosophy to a delightful close with another round of inspired, well-crafted fanfiction, in the form of his own Ephebianesque-towel-clad interuniversal journey to an unexpected audience with Lord Vetinari, who has been convinced by UU to hire a "cheap ... philosopher" (page 294) to prove to that the Discworld exists in some form of reality. Along the way, Michaud "meets" the Bursar, Ridcully and the Librarian, and has a true-hearted go at presenting them in proper character. Oh, and there's a nice bit of recursion towards the end. (Note, however, to the proofreader, who may have been asleep at the wheel, erm, word processor: I think the word Michaud wanted was "disconcertingly". See, we can be pretty sure that "disconcertedly" is a term that has never been applicable to His Lordship. "Disconcertedly" is part of what happens to other people around Vetinari, not to the man himself.)


Discworld and Philosophy: Reality Is Not What It Seems
Edited by Nicolas Michaud (Open Court, 2016)
316 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8126-9919-7

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03) ODDS AND SODS

Paul Kidby will be giving an illustrated talk at the Salisbury Museum on 25th October:
https://www.facebook.com/paulkidby/posts/10158636758292355

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Jon Hamm has been cast in Good Omens as the archangel Gabriel: "The character of Gabriel has a fleeting role in the original novel but showrunner Neil Gaiman explains why he is being developed for the screenplay: 'Once we had finished writing Good Omens, back in the dawn of prehistory, Terry Pratchett and I started plotting a sequel. There would have been a lot of angels in the sequel. When Good Omens was first published and was snapped up for the first time by Hollywood, Terry and I took joy in introducing our angels into the plot of a movie that was never made. So when, almost thirty years later, I started writing Good Omens for TV, one thing I knew was that our angels would have to be in there. The leader of these angels is Gabriel. He is everything that Aziraphale isn't: he's tall, good-looking, charismatic and impeccably dressed. We were fortunate that Jon Hamm was available, given that he is already all of these things without even having to act. We were even more fortunate that he's a fan of the books and a remarkable actor.' Commenting on his casting, Jon Hamm adds: 'I read Good Omens almost twenty years ago. I thought it was one of the funniest, coolest books I'd ever read. It was also, obviously, unfilmable. Two months ago Neil sent me the scripts, and I knew I had to be in it.'"

https://discworld.com/jon-hamm-joins-amazons-good-omens-archangel-gabriel/

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Blogger Nikki's write-up of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit:

"The exhibition is a must-see for any Discworld fan. It features Terry's own treasured possessions, artwork by the man himself and over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby (who I now realise was there viewing the exhibition at the same time as I was. I thought it might be him, but he was with family and I was too shy to say anything!)... I stood in awe in front of Terry Pratchett's desk, his six (yes, six!) monitors dominating it. Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell album playing on iTunes on one screen (the man had taste!), Doom loaded on another, the Arsenic page on Wikipedia (research, no doubt), a BBC News article about his first major award win, the obligatory file window and the Night Watch novel being typed into a Word document, as if the ghost of Terry Pratchett was sat there typing as a teary-eyed Discworld fan looked on. The Luggage sat quietly next to Terry's desk. I kept a close eye on it. It's well known for being 'half suitcase, half homicidal maniac' and fiercely defensive of its owner. Many people and creatures have been eaten by this suitcase on hundreds of little legs and I didn't want to risk upsetting it! The Octavo sat in one corner of Terry's recreated office. I didn't look too closely at the book as it has a mind of its own and a spell once decided to live in Rincewind's head. Terry's trademark hat, leather jacket and stick stood encased in glass with a description from Terry... This exhibition is Terry Pratchett's life in his own words, punctuated by artwork and possessions. His words adorn the walls and sit next to his possessions. From this headmaster telling him he would never amount to anything (how wrong was he?!) to test papers from 2009 and 2010 showing the effect his form of Alzheimer's (Posterior Cortical Atrophy) was having on his ability to draw and write..."

http://notesoflife.uk/2017/10/terry-pratchett-hisworld-exhibition/

Also, a few other bloggy bits, as I'd already gathered them whilst looking for more pieces about the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibition...

Blogger Amy's review of The Long Earth:

"I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. I read some pretty dire reviews before purchasing but I had faith in Terry Pratchett and his work. There are a few things that I don't like about the novel but overall it was a positive experience for me... The characters that this novel focuses on are great. They're varied in terms of age and race and ambition so it was great to see such a wide variety of characters interacting with the same idea in different ways. Joshua, the main character, is sarcastic and witty but also loyal and trustworthy. He's somewhat famous in his own world but he prefers the solitude that he finds on the far off Earths that he can travel to. He's an orphan and was brought up by a strange bunch of nuns. I loved the nuns. They were the best characters in the books for me because they were just so funny and weird... The opening sequence was fantastic. I loved the imagery that was created in both the 1914 scene and the 2015 scene. There's a mystical quality about these scenes which is replicated later as Joshua and Lobsang step beyond what is known about the Long Earth and into the abyss... One thing I didn't like about this book was the length. This book was just too long. It was occasionally boring too which didn't help the length of it. I had to power through some sections but it was really worth it in the end..."

http://bit.ly/2zmKchH

Blogger Muse With Me returns to review Guards! Guards!:

"Pratchett does his best work when he's telling a story first, rather than using the plotline as a vehicle for his humour, and this book definitely fits that category. Sam Vimes and the Watch have a rather dramatic arc over the course of the story, going from a pathetic ramshackle organization with no real authority or sense of will, to one that's more assertive with a growing sense of duty. They still have a long way to go, but it was satisfying to see a ragtag group come together and be better than they thought possible... The book uses familiar tropes of rightful heirs returning and dragon slaying, which many of the characters are consciously aware of, to explore this idea... while I thought I could see where the plot was going once the setup was underway in the early parts of the novel, I was pleased to see things take a dramatically different turn than I expected..."

http://bit.ly/2z7t1Qp

...and a review of Mort by blogger An Ice Cold Bear:

"The worst thing a joke can do is overstay its welcome and I never found that to be the case in Mort. It clocks in at just under 300 pages and is thoroughly enjoyable throughout. The jokes keep coming and then promptly see themselves out in a timely fashion. Some small things are left for you to catch rather than every single thing being made clear which lets little jokes or puns feel natural rather than making them too blatant... Death steals the show from the titular character though, particularly when he takes a holiday halfway through the book – it's fantastic... The humour was a little thin in the second half of the book. This is somewhat expected since the plot needed resolving. Not to say that it wasn't funny, just that the density was lower than the first half of the book. Luckily the plot finished up and got out of the way quick enough which allowed the humour to seep back in for the very end (the final exchange between Mort and Death was brilliant)..."

https://anicecoldbear.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/mort-review/

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04) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

4.1 PLAYS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

* WYRD SISTERS IN ONTARIO, CANADA (OCTOBER)

The Sault Theatre Workshop will present their production of Wyrd Sisters this month!

When: 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th October 2017
Venue: Studio Theatre, 121 Pittsburg Avenue, P6C 5A9 Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada (phone)+1 705-254-3366
Time: 8pm all evening shows; 2pm matinee on the 29th
Tickets: CA$29 ($27 seniors, $19 students), available online at https://th038wq008.boxpro.net/c2bownet.asp

There will also be a special preview performance of Wyrd Sisters on Tuesday 24th October on behalf of the Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District (all proceeds donated from this performance). Tickets for this performance only are CA$25 in advance only, available at the Alzheimer Society office, 341 Trunk Rd, Sault Ste Marie. To book, ring 705-942-2195.

www.saulttheatre.com

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* WYRD SISTERS IN WINSLOW (OCTOBER)

Winslow Players, "a small but perfectly formed amateur dramatic company based in the market town of Winslow", will be opening their 50th anniversary season with their production of Wyrd Sisters! "It's all there – a wicked duke and duchess, the ghost of the murdered king, dim soldiers, strolling players, a land in peril; and who stands between the Kingdom and destruction? Three witches!"

When: 5th–7th October 2017
Venue: Winslow Public Hall, Elmfields Gate, Winslow, Bucks MK18 3JG
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6 on 5th October, £8 on 6th and 7th October, available from Divine Diva Fancy Dress, 76 High Street, Winslow (01296 712728 during office hours) or by emailing tickets@winslowplayers.co.uk or by using the form on the Contact Us page (_http://www.winslowplayers.co.uk/Contact-Us.html_). "Your tickets will be provisionally booked until payment is received in full (either by bacs* or cheque). If you would like your tickets posted to you, you will need to enclose a stamped addressed envelope, otherwise they will be available for you to collect on the door at your selected performance."

http://www.winslowplayers.co.uk/

* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)

The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.

When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."

http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/

* WYRD SISTERS IN RHYL, LLAMEDOS (OCTOBER)

Rhyl Liberty Players will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in October: "RLP is an award-winning Amateur Dramatics Society based in Rhyl, North Wales. The society has existed for over 70 years and is still going strong today. We have members of all ages who usually put on two fantastic productions a year. We also take part in drama festivals and community events."

When: 25th–28th October 2017
Venue: The Little Theatre, 2 Vale Rd, Rhyl LL18 1AA
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 plus a booking fee of 7.5 per cent (concessions £8.50 plus same booking fee). To purchase, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/venue/FEMDJL and click on your desired date.

http://www.libertyplayers.co.uk/Wyrd_Sisters.htm
http://rhyllittletheatre.co.uk/whats-on/whats-coming-soon/

* MEN AT ARMS IN BERKSHIRE (OCTOBER)

The Cranbourne Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) will be staging Men At Arms, directed by Simon Heffer, as their autumn production: "The Ankh-Morpork City Night Watch find their services are once more needed to tackle a threat to their city. A threat at least as deadly as a 60-foot dragon, but mechanical and heartless to boot. It kills without compunction. It is the first gun on the Discworld. The original Watch – Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Corporal Carrot and Corporal Nobbs – are joined by some new recruits, selected to reflect the city's ethnic make-up – Lance-constables Cuddy, Detritus, and Angua. In a city, where Assassins are clowning about and Fools are dying, the Watch must keep control of themselves as much as its citizens."

A rather adorable promotional video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Dx_ndpHGevw (Looks like it's going to be great fun! – Ed.)

When: 26th, 27th and 28th October 2017
Venue: St Peter's Hall, Hatchet Lane, Cranbourne, Winkfield, Berks. SL4 2EG
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, with a 2.30pm matinee on the 28th
Tickets: £9, available from 25th September (details to follow)

http://www.cadsact.org.uk/shows/

* THE TRUTH IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)

Unseen Theatre's next production will be a revisiting of The Truth – updated for the Age of Fake News, we hope!

When: 27th and 28th October, 1st–4th and 8th–11th November 2017
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide, South Australia
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: $22 ($18 concessions/Fringe members/groups of 6+); previews $15, available via http://bakehousetheatre.com or at the door on performance nights

http://unseen.com.au/

* WYRD SISTERS IN HERTFORDSHIRE (NOVEMBER)

The Water Lane Theatre Company, a "local amateur dramatics company from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, performing a range of dramatic theatre, from Shakespeare to children's plays – and everything in between!", will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November.

When: 9th–11th November 2017
Venue: the Charis Centre, Water Lane, Bishop's Stortford CM23 2JZ
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 plus a 10 per cent booking fee. To purchase, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/waterlane and click on your desired date.

http://waterlanetheatrecompany.co.uk/
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4VkXEkjg5dOTFZTRDRybW9LdHc/view

* THE TRUTH IN BASILDON (NOVEMBER)

The Thalian Theatre Group's next Discworld production will be The Truth: "William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld's first newspaper. 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 a man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes. William just wants to get at the Truth, unfortunately everyone wants to get at William... this will be the Thalian's 12th Pratchett production."

When: 9th–11th November 2017
Venue: Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £11 (concessions £9), plus a booking fee of £1 per ticket, capped at £10. "A ticket must be purchased for every child regardless of age." To purchase online, go to http://www.towngatetheatre.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4718 and click the BOOK TICKETS ONLINE tab (under the event poster image), or ring 01268 465 465

http://thaliantheatregroup.wixsite.com/thalian/about

* MORT IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER)

Roleystone Theatre, "a non-for-profit community group managed entirely by volunteers", will stage their production of Mort in November and December.

When: 24th, 25th and 29th November and 1st and 2nd December 2017
Venue: Roleystone Theatre, 587 Brookton Hwy, Roleystone, Western Australia
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: $20 ($15 u-18's/Pensioners; 10 tickets bought receives an 11th free), which will be available for purchase via https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/web/Coming%20Attractions

https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/

4.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* LORDS AND LADIES IN NORWICH (DECEMBER)

The Youth Theatre Company will present their production of the Irana Brown adaptation of Lords and Ladies in December.

When: Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th December 2017
Venue: Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL
Time: 7.30pm all shows (includes audio described performance on the 16th)
Tickets: £10 (jobseeker/over 60 £8.50) plus £1.20 per order for Postage and Packaging. To purchase tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2gemJKI and select your desired date.

https://secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/Online/

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT

The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), 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... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!" – but still no news beyond that...

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

4.3 PLAYS IN 2018

* MASKERADE IN READING (JANUARY 2018)

The Progress Theatre will be staging their production of Maskerade in January next year.

When: 18th–27th January 2018
Venue: Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, 2.30pm matinees on 20th and 27th January
Tickets: TBA

http://progresstheatre.co.uk/maskerade

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)

Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."

When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, available from www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624. NOTE: by early August, 97 percent of the GTA performances were sold out. "Theater-goers may purchase tickets to one show or all five. They also may build their own custom ticket package, earning discounts for two shows or more."

http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/
http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/

* MASKERADE IN YORK (FEBRUARY 2018)

We Are Theatre's next Discworld play will be the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Maskerade!

When: 26th–28th Feb 2018
Venue: The Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10, bookable by phoning 07521 364107 (note that there is only limited seating available)

http://www.wearetheatre.co.uk/upcoming-productions.html

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

05) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

5.1 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* Socks!

Has the Eater of Socks been paying you too many visits lately? Discworld.com has the solution: Discworld socks! Officially licensed Discworld socks, a Discworld.com exclusive, come in four varieties, . All the socks are made of 75% Cotton, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane and sized to fit men's 7 – 11:

City Watch Socks: "Sprinting – or shall we say 'proceeding' – down a cobbled Ankh-Morpork street takes its toll after a while. Treat your toes to some sensible footwear – your regulation boots may be made of cardboard but there's no reason to scrimp on the socks! One pair of khaki green socks with the crest and motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in burnt orange... Certainly better quality than the standard-issue City Watch uniform socks…"

Death Socks: "Your white horse is saddled, your scythe is polished and you're just about ready to murder a curry. But whilst bare feet might work for your skeletal master, it's a little cold for you… These socks are warm and add an air of authority when reaping mortal souls across the Discworld. The trousers of time have nothing on these socks of Death! One pair of black socks with Death's omega symbol and one of His most well-known sayings in electric blue. Look stylish on all astral planes."

The Turtle Moves Socks: "It's a long way through the desert, and it's hard on your sandaled feet as you flee the Quisition. Whether or not you have the god Om in the shape of a tortoise with you, you can remain firm in your beliefs with these chelonium socks. One pair of blue socks featuring the Great A'Tuin and the motto 'The Turtle Moves' in emerald green. Guaranteed to thoroughly irk any nearby Omnian priests."

Unseen University Socks: "Your robes fit a treat, you've loosened your belt for a feast, your long white beard looks immaculate – but the Eater of Socks has struck again! Treat your toes to some fantastical footwear, the safest way to stave off the advances of the verruca gnome. One pair of burgundy socks with the crest and name of Unseen University in yellow gold. Guaranteed not to be devoured by sock-eating manifestations caused by excess amounts of belief."

Each pair of Discworld socks is priced at £6.50, or you can purchase a complete set of all four pairs for £22.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://discworld.com/products/socks/

* The Little Blue Book!

"Launched to celebrate the new exhibition at Salisbury Museum, Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, this collectable book features an introduction by exhibition curator Richard Henry and a guide to some of the Discworld's most memorable characters, all illustrated by Paul Kidby. Text is by Stephen Briggs. An extremely limited print run, this book is available embossed from Discworld.com while stocks last."

The Little Blue Book is priced at £20 plus shipping. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://discworld.com/products/collectables/little-blue-book/

* The Discworld Imaginarium!

Paul Kidby's masterwork, available now to pre-order!

"Paul Kidby was Sir Terry Pratchett's artist of choice. He provided the illustrations for THE LAST HERO, designed the covers for the Discworld novels since 2002 and is the author of the bestseller THE ART OF THE DISCWORLD and TERRY PRATCHETT'S DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK. Now, he has collected the very best of his Discworld illustrations in this definitive volume, including 40 pieces of never-before-seen art, 30 pieces that have only appeared in foreign editions, limited editions and Book Club editions, and 17 book cover illustrations since 2004 that have never been seen without cover text. Sir Terry Pratchett himself once said that Kidby's art is 'the closest anyone's got to how I see the characters'. If Terry Pratchett's pen gave his characters life, Paul Kidby's brush allowed them to live it, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in this magnificent book."

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium is priced at £35 in paperback and will be published on 23rd November 2017. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

https://discworld.com/products/bookloversday/terry-pratchetts-discworld-imaginarium-pre-order/

There is also a slipcased Special Edition, priced at £75 ("This Special Edition features an alternative cover design, a new piece of artwork produced exclusively for this version. It includes a specially designed slipcase, metallic page edgings and marker ribbon. All copies signed by Paul Kidby"), and a hardcover Deluxe Special Edition, priced at £100 ("This Deluxe Special Limited Edition is exclusive to only Discworld.com and PaulKidby.com. More details to follow shortly. Watch this space!"), both with a 23rd November release date. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

https://discworld.com/products/bookloversday/terry-pratchetts-discworld-imaginarium-special-edition-pre-order/ (Special Edition)
https://discworld.com/products/collectables/imaginarium-deluxe-special-edition-pre-order/ (Deluxe Special Edition)

5.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* The Unseen University jigsaw puzzle!

"The Great Library at Unseen University, as you've never 'Unseen' it before! See the most magical library in the multiverse unfold before your eyes with our exclusive 1000 piece Discworld jigsaw puzzle, featuring an astonishing illustration to make any booklover go wobbly at the knees – Ook! Terry Pratchett's multi-dimensional library in one thousand puzzling pieces! This fiendishly difficult Discworld jigsaw puzzle will transport you to the heart of Unseen University, where magical books literally fly off the shelves, and the Librarian has very long arms, a fondness for bananas and a tendency to say 'Ook'! We teamed up with Discworld artist David Wyatt to capture a view of this puzzling place with an incredible illustration packed full of details from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books – you may even spot a familiar face or two! Guaranteed to keep you entertained for days and possibly weeks, each puzzle is presented in a splendid spellbook box that you'll want to keep chained to your bookshelf! Health warning; this puzzle may have you reaching for the Dried Frog Pills, but we promise it won't make you go completely 'Bursar'!"

"Our production procedures safeguard against missing pieces, so please allow a few days of searching before declaring a piece missing! Puzzle pieces like to attach themselves to clothing, pets and children, so thoroughly check the packaging and any rooms used for opening, constructing, transporting or storing the jigsaw puzzle. This puzzle contains pieces of the same shape with similar imagery. If you are left with pieces that appear not to fit please double and triple check the puzzle to make sure that all of the pieces you've placed belong where they are."

The completed jigsaw puzzle measures 70 x 50cm; the puzzle box measures 20.5 x 25.6 x 6.3cm. The Unseen University jigsaw puzzle is priced at £19.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/games-toys/407-unseen-university-library-jigsaw-puzzle

Note: there is also a blog entry of interest, on how the UU Library was created: "What could possibly mean more to a reading addict than a book? A Library, of course! A temple for the worship of words. For us, the Great Library of Unseen University on the Discworld is, quite literally, the most magical literary institution of them all, containing the highest concentration of 'bookishness' anywhere in the multiverse! We wanted to pay artistic tribute to this astonishing establishment by devising an image to make every book-lover go weak at the knees, a view of this monumentally impossible place that would draw you in for a moment and make you want to stay forever..."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/blog/illustrating-the-unseen-university-library-n3

* Father Christmas's Fake Beard!

"Terry Pratchett presents Christmas with a difference! Forget the tinsel and turkey, gifts and games, and indulge in abominable snowmen, explosive mince pies, a Santa Claus who ends up arrested for burglary, and a partridge in a pear tree! Enjoy a festive frolic with ten early short stories written by Terry for the Bucks Free Press in his days as a journalist - Father Christmas's fake beard will have you chortling, giggling and possibly crying into your Christmas pudding!"

Father Christmas's Fake Beard is priced at £12.99. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/younger-readers-books/388-father-christmas-s-fake-beard

There is also a deluxe edition available, priced at £25, to be published on 5th November. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/younger-readers-books/389-father-christmas-s-fake-beard-deluxe-edition-pre-order

Note: It's also worth having a shufti at the new (re)releases page: https://www.discworldemporium.com/12-books

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

06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS

As this may be the only issue in October, despite its being only half-way through the month, here are November's meetup dates:

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), will be meeting next from 7pm on Monday 6th November 2017 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 Drummers have also taken up doing the odd afternoon meetup. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

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

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

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG events will be a the Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel on 26th October; a group outing to see Unseen Theatre's production of The Truth on 2nd November; and Pirate Bowling at Cross Road Bowl on 4th November.

The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:

Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:

A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

07) CLOSE

Just to wrap up for now...

A dialogue, presented without comment (but with rather a lot of involuntary giggling):
https://rubyandginger.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/dragons-like-coffee-too/ (worksafe)

Two members of the A-M City Watch, who showed up at Cork International Airport at IDWcon time:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLeTY30X4AMD7Tz.jpg

...and a beautiful iconograph, used as a header on a post from Pratchett-fan-site aggregator Clacks Header:
https://clacksheader.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/terry-writing.jpg

I'll leave you with a quote from Sir Pterry himself, from his last request – not a posthumous one, as originally reported – to Neil Gaiman re Good Omens: "I would very much like this to happen, and I know, Neil, that you're 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."

And he did help, by convincing Mr Gaiman to write the telly series himself.

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

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: A Clacks rendering of GNU Terry Pratchett (GNU)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
September 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 9, 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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

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

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"People have fallen in love with an angel and a demon in a book by Terry Pratchett and me, and they have been excited and nervous to see how they would appear on screen – and I was probably the most nervous and excited of all. This is a first look. Michael Sheen is the best and finest of bookseller angels, David Tennant the coolest and most delightful of demons. Together they are one hell of a double act (or do I mean one made in Heaven?)"
– Neil Gaiman, at the start of filming for Good Omens

"We were left with the author's final, perhaps greatest, creative statement: that there should be no room in this world for substandard art."
– journalist Peter Robinson in The Guardian, agreeing with Sir Pterry's wish that no lesser talents can ever finish what he ran out of time to finish himself

"It's so important to me. To give people a chance to see all this from Terry's world collected in one place is delightful."
– Rob Wilkins, commenting on the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit

"Having been to the Salisbury Museum today, I'm convinced it's a place Terry Pratchett wrote into existence."
– tweeted by journalist Tristram Fane Saunders @TATFS

" It's one of those books I think should be compulsory reading in schools. Sod Lord of the Flies or Animal Farm. This is the one."
– blogger katyboo1's verdict on TAMAHER

"Charity Auction at @nadwcon raised over $15,000 for Alzheimer's Foundation of America and LOFT. Thank you everyone who bid or donated!"
– Discworld auctioneer Pat Harkin, on Twitter

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Wotcha Readers! I hope your September has been better than mine (don't arsk), but at least we've all reached the end of it together.

I'll start off with an abject apology and a recommendation. Both of these are to do with a recently-ish published book, Discworld and Philosophy (Open Court/Carus, ed. Nicolas Michaud), the existence of which was brought to my attention a few weeks ago when I received an email from Jeremy Pierce, one of the authors. Mr Pierce send me a PDF of the book, and soon afterwards I managed to get my hands on a proper dead-tree copy... which I then failed to read and review. Yes, there were reasons (again, don't arsk), but that doesn't change the fact that I promised to review it for the August issue and here it is an entire month later and still no review (hence abject apology). However... having now read – and generally enjoyed! – Discworld and Philosophy, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to you, O Readers. But there's no review in this month's issue, because we've now run out of September and the text isn't ready yet. Given that I dedicated 3,000 words to my largely positive review of an earlier book in a similar vein (Philosophy and Terry Pratchett), and that Discworld and Philosophy is in my opinion the better book of the two, a review of it deserves no less attention and depth. So I shall finish said review and send it as a separate special in the next few days (no, really). And I hope Mr Pierce, who's a longtime Wossname reader and who wrote two of the best essays in the book (again, no, really; no crawling was involved in the making of that last statement, because it's quite simply true) is at least somewhat mollified by this...

In this issue you'll find exciting Good Omens news, reviews of the Salisbury Museum's now-open Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit, information about lots of forthcoming Discworld plays (how wonderful that the number of these productions continue to increase!), and a lot more. Be warned – the articles about the museum exhibit may bring a tear or two. For me, the most heartbreaking image of those reproduced there is by The Author himself. It's his sketch of a clock falling apart, done by him as the PCA began to tighten its hold: http://bit.ly/2wfpMJs

As mentioned in the previous issue, the wondrous and not at all monstrous Monstrous Productions drama group has now graced the Cardiff stage for the last time. Their final production, Guards! Guards!, was a sellout every night of its run and raised more than £4,000 for a centre for Alzheimer's sufferers. Monstrous' founder Amy said, "We've had a fantastic 5 years but now I'm off to study my doctorate and have twins due in February so running a theatre company too was just a bit much!" Wossname wishes Amy and all the cast(s) and crew(s) of Monstrous Productions the very best of fortune in whatever they turn their hands to next.

Right, on with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.0 GOOD OMENS NEWS

As you may know by now, the Good Omens telly miniseries has already begun filming (and will be continuing for the next six months in London, Oxfordshire and South Africa) under the watchful eyes of co-author Neil Gaiman and director/executive producer Douglas Mackinnon. From the BBC Media Centre:

"Confirmed to be joining Sheen and Tennant in the cast are Adria Arjona (Anathema Device), Nina Sosanya (Sister Mary Loquacious), Jack Whitehall (Newt), Michael McKean (Shadwell), Miranda Richardson (Madame Tracy), Ned Dennehy (Hastur) and Ariyon Bakare (Ligur)..."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/good-omens-first-look

...and there is more casting news now, about The Them and their parents:

"Twelve-year-old Sam Taylor Buck will play Adam Young, the reluctant antichrist, with Daniel Mays, from Line Of Duty, and Sian Brooke, who plays Sian in Doctor Foster, as his parents Arthur and Deirdre... Amma Ris as Pepper, Ilam Galkoff as Brian and Alfie Taylor as Wensleydale..."

http://www.chortle.co.uk/other-news/2017/09/22/37952/more_cast_announced_for_good_omens

Meanwhile, here be Neil Gaiman and Rob Wilkins in conversation about Good Omens at NADWCon 2017: https://vimeo.com/232085561/90799791f4

[Editor's note: the video is 30 minutes long. The page also includes download links.]

...and down in Fourecks, there's Good Omens: the Musical...

"Good Omens The Musical has been in development for some time and is preparing a workshop phase. Before we head into the rehearsal room, we will present this unique opportunity for an audience to participate in an often-mysterious process by presenting a reading of the current draft of the script and songs for this exciting new piece. Good Omens has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Ticket sales contribute entirely to the expense of mounting this presentation."

Good Omens The Musical features music, lyrics and musical direction by Vicki Larnach, book by Jim Hare and Jay James-Moody, and will be directed by Jay James-Moody.

When: Monday 13th November 2017
Venue: York Theatre, Corner of City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale NSW
Time: 6:30pm (duration of show is 120 minutes, including interval)
Tickets: $38 (online purchase fee $4.50, phone purchase fee $6.00). To book, go to https://boxoffice.seymourcentre.com/single/psDetail.aspx?psn=145517 or call 02 9351 7940. "Warning: this performance contains haze and adult themes. Recommended for ages 15+. Filming, recording and photography not permitted. Lockouts apply to latecomers."

https://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/good-omens-the-musical/

For an article containing more details about the production, go to https://aussietheatre.com.au/news/good-omens-squabbalogic-future-aussie-music-theatre

3.1 "TERRY PRATCHETT: HISWORLD" NEWS

Reviews! Of a museum exhibit! O brave new (Disc)world...

On the BBC, by Jon Kay:

"Four men are struggling to squeeze a solid oak desk through the doors of Salisbury Museum. It's not a particularly attractive desk. It's heavy, it's rather battered and the leather top is stained with coffee rings. But this is where the magic happened. This was Sir Terry Pratchett's desk. Two years after the Discworld author's death, this exhibition gives his fans the first opportunity to see his belongings up close and understand his creative mind... Dozens of boxes filled with Sir Terry's personal possessions have been brought to the museum from the study of his Wiltshire home... The exhibition is every bit as eccentric as you would expect from a writer whose imagination ran wild over so many decades. The display cases are packed with Pratchett paraphernalia, much of which has never been seen by the public before... At times, it almost feels like Sir Terry is about to walk through the door...

"The attention to detail is remarkable. Carpenters and painters have recreated the fireplace and window from the office. Life-size photographs of his cluttered bookcases line the wall, making it feel just as claustrophobic as the real thing. Even the author's spectacles sit on the desk among his piles of papers. It is a surprising exhibition for a museum which typically displays local embroidery and the archaeology of Stonehenge. But Sir Terry was well-known and well-loved in this area of Wiltshire, living just eight miles from the cathedral city of Salisbury in the village of Broad Chalke..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-41267378

In The Telegraph, by Tristram Fane Saunders:

"Despite the optimism of a few prominent fans (most notably A S Byatt), no book set on a flat world carried through space by four elephants riding a giant turtle was ever likely to make the Man Booker shortlist. Two years on from his death, however, it's increasingly clear that the Discworld author was his generation's Dickens. An unashamedly popular writer, he used humour – often rather silly humour – to sweeten his satirical bite. His best novels were fuelled by a moral anger at hypocrisy, cruelty and small-mindedness, balanced by a warts-and-all love for human fallibility. 'I wanted to write, in effect, an antidote to fantasy,' he explains in the label to one exhibit; they're all written in Pratchett's own words, culled from decades of essays and interviews. It's a splendid alternative to the stilted prose we usually expect from museum placards. 'I thought, let's take a ridiculously, self-evidently foolish world, but then put people on it and make them as real as possible.' As E M Forster wrote of Dickens's one-dimensional caricatures, 'There may be more in flatness than the severer critics admit.' Even Pratchett's most cartoonish grotesques feel true to life. It's not hard to imagine Dickens's Bumble, Krook and Buzfuz rubbing shoulders with put-upon wizard Ponder Stibbons or the carbuncular Corporal Nobbs... [Paul Kidby's] map of the mountainous kingdom of Lancre may well give you vertigo. Like Pratchett's novels, Kidby's paintings (mostly acrylic on board) begin with a simple idea – usually spoofing a famous work – and through their technical ingenuity, wry detail and sharp eye for character elevate mere parody into something more... Kidby's paintings will be familiar to many from Pratchett's dust-jackets; the real surprises are the author's own previously unseen pictures. He was a witty cartoonist and a striking illustrator. In the most moving part of the exhibition, we see two sheets of paper side by side. To the left, a Aubrey Beardsley-esque horseman Pratchett sketched in 1971. To the right, the formless scrawls he produced after the onset of what he called 'the Embuggerance'..."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/meticulously-crafted-hisworld-shows-terry-pratchett-generations/

In The Guardian, by Steven Morris:

"The objects on display range from the cosy and nostalgic, such as Terry Pratchett's Blue Peter badge, to the grand: a gleaming sword infused with shards of meteorite created by the author himself to commemorate his own knighthood. Fans will, no doubt, love the vivid, original paintings of Pratchett's beloved Discworld characters and the chance, for the first time, to peek inside a detailed reconstruction of his study, nicknamed The Chapel. Newcomers to the life and times of the author, humanist and activist may be surprised at the anger that inspired and drove him in his writing and campaigning... The memorabilia is as eclectic as the author's writing, from his first typewriter – a manual Imperial 58 bought secondhand for £14 – to his trademark leather jacket and Louisiana fedora... A central idea of the exhibition is for Pratchett's life to be told in his own words. Published writings, interviews and scribblings were mined. There is fun, jollity – and rage..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/15/terry-pratchett-exhibition-offers-peek-into-writers-own-world

...and there were "superfans" who travelled a long way from Fourecks to visit the exhibition on its opening:

"Shannan from Melbourne was one of the first people to visit the exclusive exhibition "Terry Pratchett; His World" when it opened on Saturday... Another family also travelled from Australia whilst one German fan told staff he had every addition of every book Sir Terry had written! More than 600 people visited on the opening day of the exhibition with many wearing costumes or a replica of Terry's famous black hat..."

http://bit.ly/2yMvAIf

3.2 A STEAMROLLER, AND THE END OF AN ERA

Those unfinished stories will remain unfinished...

@terryandrob posted on https://twitter.com/terryandrob/status/901028525200879616/photo/1: "About to fulfill my obligation to Terry"

And some of the many replies:

@Perdita_X_Nitt: And the little hard drive looked into the Blue Screen of Death's eyes and heard, in a resonant, deep voice, "CTRL, ALT, DELETE."

@bellinghwoman: He said back in the '90s that after his death, all trace of any works in progress should be destroyed. Rob is keeping the promise.

@teef2: Is the Death of hard drives a paperclip with a scythe?

@thisispoki: That's a very serious overreaction to "Please delete my browser history"!

@DWCGArchive: Should have put them in the firebox and melted them down completely and made them into a sword....

@telent_net: 'Tough shit, literary researchers of the future, try getting a proper job!' – pterry

Pat Harkin‏ @dwauctioneer: [Zooms in] let's see, that's 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0.....

@wolverinebruise: I raise a glass to Rob, Terry and the unknown stories.

@StuartVisick: Sometimes a promise is hard to keep, but if that's what Terry wanted we have to respect it. At least he will be forever in our hearts.

@sarkencullen: A very Terry way to do it. We are with you in spirit x

@joannasephine: Beautiful day for it - I hope you can enjoy a brandy in his honour afterwards

@DannyRosamond: Obligate away sir

@Parkeringshus: That is a serious crime and you know it, watch out for the Grags. drop it down a well so that someone can talk chicken to it in the future.

@buddy_trustlove: Carried out with style. Obligation well executed.

...and the official iconograph, by Rob Wilkins:

Before: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIEYpkvXUAMOStU.jpg

After: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIEgisCXYAAOwY6.jpg

In the Guardian:

"The unfinished books of Sir Terry Pratchett have been destroyed by a steamroller, following the late fantasy novelist's wishes. Pratchett's hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the author's life and work... On Friday, Rob Wilkins, who manages the Pratchett estate, tweeted from an official Twitter account that he was 'about to fulfil my obligation to Terry' along with a picture of an intact computer hard drive – following up with a tweet that showed the hard drive in pieces. The symbolism of the moment, which captured something of Pratchett's unique sense of humour, was not lost on fans, who responded on Twitter with a wry melancholy, though some people expressed surprise that the author – who had previously discussed churning through computer hardware at a rapid rate – would have stored his unfinished work on an apparently older model of hard drive..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/terry-pratchett-unfinished-novels-destroyed-streamroller

On the BBC news website:

"Richard Henry, curator of Salisbury Museum, said: 'The steamroller totally annihilated the stone blocks underneath but the hard drive survived better than expected so we put it in a stone crusher afterwards which I think probably finally did it in'. He said Pratchett did not want his unpublished works to be completed by someone else and released. He added: 'It's something you've got to follow, and it's really nice that they have followed his requests so specifically. It's surprisingly difficult to find somebody to run over a hard drive with a steamroller. I think a few people thought we were kidding when I first started putting out feelers to see if it was possible or not.' The pieces of the hard drive will go on display in the Terry Pratchett: His World Exhibition at the museum on 16 September."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-41093066

...and some dissenting opinions...

From Anthony Caruana on the Fourecksian site Lifehacker:

"Famed author Terry Pratchett may have shuffled off this mortal coil a couple of years ago but he can still grab a headline. Last week, in keeping with his wishes, a hard drive containing his unfinished work was destroyed. But in true Pratchett fashion, rather than settling for the mundane and sterile world of using software to destroy the data, Pratchett's wish to have his hard drive run over by a steamroller was honoured. But was that the best way to destroy the data? To be sure, the use of a steamroller makes for a great sight gag. But in this day and age of cloud backups and online storage, we need to think beyond our own computers when destroying data..."

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/09/was-terry-pratchetts-data-destruction-plan-the-best-way/

From Maddy Klein in the Indiana Daily Student:

"When dead artists leave their unfinished works as orphans, it is still best for these projects to reach the public somehow, however flawed or vulnerable they may be. Such will not be the fate of the body of unfinished work left behind by Terry Pratchett... I don't know about you, but if I loved Terry Pratchett's writing, I would much rather read whatever it was he had been working on than make some kind of sad pilgrimage to Salisbury and stare longingly at mangled computer guts. I actually have not read anything of Pratchett's, but that is entirely beside the point, which is that art belongs as much to an audience as it does to the artist. Spare me the witty objections involving copyright and intellectual property. This is about the separate life that art takes on when it reaches the public. Whether brought out through different lenses of critical theory or through the idiosyncrasies of individual perspectives, literature's greatest strength is the very quality that causes many people outside the humanities to dismiss it — there is no one right way to interpret a text..."

http://www.idsnews.com/article/2017/09/column-art-does-not-belong-solely-to-artists

...and from Robert Johnston in GQ Magazine:

"But is it such a bad thing when new authors pick up the baton when well-loved novelists pass away? If it hadn't been for JRR Tolkien's son Christopher editing his father's notes and fragments of ideas we would never had had the posthumous work The Silmarillion – and arguably Peter Jackson would have struggled to stretch The Hobbit over three films. Anthony Horowitz, the creator of Foyle's War, has done follow-on books in the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre as well as a James Bond novel – Trigger Mortis – published in 2015. And EF Benson's celebrated six-part series of Mapp And Lucia novels have been added to by at least two other writers – Tom Holt and Guy Fraser-Sampson. The latter actually slotted the first of his novels Major Benjy between Benson's third and fourth. In Dune, published in 1965, Frank Herbert wrote what is widely considered to be one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time along with its five sequels until he died in 1986. In 1999 his son Brian along with collaborator Kevin J Anderson published the first of 15 (and counting) prequels and sequels. It has to be said that father Frank must have left a whole lot of notes. Even the classics aren't immune – the late, great crime writer PD James wrote a sequel (her last novel) to Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice entitled Death Comes To Pemberley in 2011 – though she did describe it as a pastiche. Many of the above works are more or less successful, but what they share is that not one of them diminishes the originals..."

http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/why-we-hope-terry-pratchetts-discworld-will-live-on

3.3 A NEW PRATCHETT SCHOLAR

"Fascinated by Sir Terry Pratchett's own concept of 'small gods', Bachelor of Arts (English and Psychology) graduate, Freyja Stokes has been awarded one of the $100,000 scholarships established at UniSA in his name. Begun in 2015, the perpetual scholarship is awarded by the University of South Australia every two years and supports a student to undertake a Masters by research at UniSA's Hawke's Research Institute, covering stipend, travel and accommodation expenses as well as research costs. Stokes is the second recipient. Using her Graduate Diploma in Education, Stokes has worked as a teacher in non-English speaking classrooms in both Japan and Vietnam with a great passion for expanding her own knowledge, and where possible, passing that excitement on to her students. Stokes says Pratchett was a massive part of her childhood and conducting research informed by Sir Terry's works is a great thrill. 'I used to raid my dad's bookshelves and many of Pratchett's books would migrate to my room,' Stokes says. 'I grew up surrounded by his Discworld stories and it's amazing that other people think my idea, flowing from Sir Terry's small gods, is interesting enough to offer me this research scholarship opportunity'..."

http://bit.ly/2xJAVmn

3.4 REMINDER: LAST HERO-INSPIRED DANCE TOUR

The James Wilton dance company will be presenting their unique dance work "Last Man Standing" at various venues in the UK south-west in October and November:

"Last Man Standing draws from the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett. The work is about living for the moment, about appreciating every second and enjoying life while it lasts. Flying bodies, last minute catches and an energy you can feel as well as see, Last Man Standing is dance driven by unparalleled energy and athleticism, performed by world class dancers; an international award winning work by rising star, James Wilton. His work draws on martial arts, break dancing and capoeira to create raw, earthy and ground-breaking performance. All of this propelled by a trademark soundtrack of heavy rock, ambient music and textured soundscapes. Audiences will see dancers fly through the air and land quite literally at their feet. They will experience every drop of sweat, every gasp for air and every finger twitch."

7th October: Drimpton Village Hall, Chard Road, Dorset DT8 3RF
https://artsreach.co.uk/ (Buy Tickets link not available yet)

9th October: Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QB, 7.30pm
Tickets: £14 (£12 concessions, £9 for school groups of 10+ plus one FREE teacher ticket for every 10 students booked, £5 student standby. Groups of 10 get 11th ticket FREE. To book, go to https://exeternorthcott.co.uk/calendar/last-man-standing/

20th October: The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1JL, 7.30pm
Tickets: standard from £14, student from £10. To book, go to https://ticketsource.co.uk/booking/date/372656

21st October: Trowbridge Town Hall, Market Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EQl, 8.30pm
Tickets: £5 plus booking fee. To book, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boxoffice/select/tDniVoFPPIiT

1st November: The Bay Theatre, Weymouth College, Cranford Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7LQ
No times and tickets information available yet

30th November: Pavillion Dance South West, Westover Road , Bournemouth BH1 2BU, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions, £8 groups of 10+, £6 under-26). To book, go to http://www.pdsw.org.uk/event/book-now/LMS1/Performances
http://www.pdsw.org.uk/what-s-on/live-performance/last-man-standing-by-james-wilton-dance/

http://www.jameswiltondance.org.uk/performances

3.5 IN PRAISE OF PRATCHETT HEROINES

By Vikas Datta in Business Standard:

"Trawling the uproarious TV tropes site, I happened to come to Big Damn Heroes – about characters coming to save the damsel in distress in a big, awesome manner. Interest in it earned me a look of intense disapproval from a feministic colleague sitting in close proximity, despite explaining to her that these were now likely to comprise Action Girls, substantially or wholly. Gender double standards have been as prevalent in literature as in society with different roles for each sex as per assumptions of what men or women should or can do – and not do. And while the world has changed, all authors may not have kept pace. Even paradigm shifts that subvert the assumptions these double standards are based on can themselves be a double standard. Say it is a Big Damn Heroine instead, but this works on the principle that it is unusual. So perhaps my colleague's gaze of disapproval did have a justification. But you have to start somewhere and it is heartening that the blurring of these distinctions, and outright substitutions, are coming in book series targetted at children and young adult readers (many adults enjoy them too)... remarkable women protagonists are found in the older and more sprawling Discworld saga – over 40 books – of prolific British author Sir Terry Pratchett. For those not familiar with the series, they started out as parodies of heroic fantasies, but then went to get inspired by a range of popular literature, mythology and folklore, films and even historical and contemporary events and cultural manifestations to draw satirical parallels with our world's political, social and cultural trends...

"One-woman adventure whirlwind Conina appeared in Sourcery, one of the earliest in the series... Debuting in Men at Arms and appearing in any installment featuring the City Watch, the police of Discworld's largest city Ankh-Morpork, Delphine Angua von Uberwald became the force's first werewolf... granddaughter of Discworld's personification of death, the young but white-haired (with one black streak) Susan Sto Helit, has inherited certain of his abilities: she can 'walk through walls and live outside time and be a little bit immortal', and from her mortal parents, learnt to always be sensible and keep her head in a crisis... With a nose for news and a mind that thinks in headlines, and an ability to ask penetrating questions and find people, usually young men, who tell her what is happening, attractive and buxom Sacharissa Cripslock... in Going Postal, Making Money and Raising Steam, committed businesswoman Adora Belle Dearheart does not live up to her name, being no-nonsense and never far from anger, though always considerate to her employees..."

http://bit.ly/2x6UvID

3.6 WHAT A (HUMAN) LIBRARIAN LOOKS LIKE)

I suspect a certain orange-furred bibliocustodian would wear Scott Nicholson's t-shirt... under his old bathrobe, of course:

http://bit.ly/2rPm32s (second photo down)

By the way, this Guardian feature accompanies a delightfully-titled piece – "Blood, bookworms, bosoms and bottoms: the secret life of libraries" – about the wonders of books and libraries. Well worth a read!

http://bit.ly/2xmB4sp

3.7 WHAT'S IN A (DISCWORLD) NAME?

Martyna Gibka, PhD is engaged in a project called "Terry Pratchett: A Literary Onomastician":

"A reader who enters Ankh-Morpork meets a plethora of inspiring characters' proper names. The author in whose mind this city has its origins has been awarded a great number of literary awards, honorary doctorates and a knighthood. However, the onomasticon of his novels has attracted little attention of onomasticians. Now, Sir Terry is no longer with us in person. Let this first international project on literary onomastics (not dissimilar to Gaspode) be also a tribute to one of the most highly onomastically aware author of our times..."

The project aims to be a "comprehensive analysis of functions of characters' proper names in a series of novels (not an intuitive one, but one actually based on a scientific method) and in chosen translations of this series" and means to construct a database "enabling further research on methods of preserving the functions in question in literary translation – thus, the creation of a new onomastic discipline: literary translation onomastics."

Ms Gibka says the project is open to all comers: "Everybody who would like to do academic research on characters' proper names in the City Watch series. You may, but you do not have to have an academic degree. What you absolutely must have is the will to spend some of your time working (I will not lie to you, working a lot) on the translation of the series into your (preferably) native tongue. If you do not have enough time to work with me on the translation of the whole series, please find another person to share the work with." She intends to share the results globally at "international onomastic conferences. At Terry Pratchett fans' meetings. At international conferences/symposia of literary translators. In widely-known scientific journals."

If you're interested in contributing, contact Ms Gibka at martyna@gibka.pl

http://www.gibka.pl/pratchett.html

3.8 ORANGUTAN NEWS

A unique albino orangutan, five-year-old Alba, may be getting her own private home:

"Having rescued her from captivity earlier this year, conservationists now want to create a huge 'forest island' reserve for her so that she can live in peace. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation hopes to raise $80,000 to get the project up and running. Its plan is to home Alba, whose name means 'white' in Latin, and three other orangutans in a huge 5-hectare (12-acre) reserve in central Kalimantan, Borneo, Associated Press reports. It will be surrounded by a moat and monitored to protect her from poachers... Alba's all-white pigmentation makes her a particularly easy and desirable target for poachers. It also means she has other health problems, such as issues with her vision and susceptibility to skin cancer. These problems make it nearly impossible for her to be returned to the wild..."

http://bit.ly/2fmVQ74

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 AUSDWCON 2017 ROUND-UP CONTINUED

"It's the first convention I've ever been to, and I loved it. Mostly because of the people, and also the range of interesting activities, and those two things are the reason I've already bought a supporting ticket to the next one." To see this and a series of other quotes from the attendees, go to http://ausdwcon.org/convention/quotes2017/

Photographer "Steamkittens" took a fabulous set of professional-quality iconographs of the Maskeraders. Go look! http://bit.ly/2xoJiSX (Facebook page but does not require login). For a more casual look at the AusDWcon attendees having fun, go to https://www.flickr.com/groups/ausdwcon2017/pool/

"The secret is out... Nullus Anxietas VII will indeed be happening in 2019! This time, it's back to Melbourne, where the Australian Discworld Conventions all started 10 years ago. If you're super keen to make sure you get a spot at the next amazing convention, you can buy your supporting membership RIGHT NOW! More information about Nullus Anxietas VII will be revealed in a few months' time, so make sure you're subscribed to the mailing list to hear the news first! Thank you all, and farewell!"

To buy a Supporting Membership: https://ausdwcon.org/supporting2019/

To join the mailing list: https://ausdwcon.org/about/mailing-list/

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

4.2 REMINDER: THE FIRST ANNUAL DISCWORLD DAY: A ONE-DAY EVENT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Looks like it will be as fun as a fun thing! "We invite you to discover the streets of Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city of the Discworld. A folklorique network of old lanes, squares and alleys for your walking pleasure. Wherre exitement and trolls lurke arounde everry corner and much may be heard the traditional street cries of old time also the laughing visages of the denuizens as they goe about their business private. All guilds are welcome, so if you fancy yourself as an artificer, a seamstress, an assassin or a clown, you'll be sure to be in good company along The Street of Cunning Artificers. Dogs and unruly luggages to be kept on leashes at all times."

When: 4th November 2017
Venue: The Moors Castle, 638 Larsens Road, 1739 Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa
Time: 11.00 to 22.00
Tickets: R60.00. A limited number of tickets are available online http://qkt.io/DiscworldDay2017 or at the gate at a price of R80.00. Under-12s are free

https://www.facebook.com/events/320926284986740/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER

* WYRD SISTERS IN WEST YORKSHIRE (SEPTEMBER)

The Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (T.A.O.D.S.) will be presenting an unusual Discworld experience – Vince Foxall's BBC radio play of Wyrd Sisters, performed live – at the end of September. "As with previous productions, this Hippodrome Foyer Play is based on an original radio script dramatized by Vince Foxall for BBC Radio 4 and will be performed script-in-hand with live sound effects and a large cast of players old and new. Featuring strolling minstrels, fools, ghosts, murderers and diverse alarums!"

When: tonight (30th September 2017)
Venue: Hippodrome Theatre, 83 Halifax Road, Todmorden OL14 5BB
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £6, available online from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/todhip

http://www.todhip.org/wyrd-sisters

* DODGER IN BIRMINGHAM (SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER)

The Hall Green Little Theatre, a volunteer theatre group that has been going since 1950, are currently staging their production of Dodger! "Dodger is a scavenger living in Dickensian London. Everyone who is nobody knows him. Anyone who is anybody doesn't. But when he rescues a young girl, suddenly everybody wants to know him. And Dodger's tale of skulduggery and even darker deeds begins!"

When: currently through 7th October 2017
Venue: Hall Green Little Theatre Studio, Pemberley Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham B27 7RY (box office 0121 245 4455)
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £8 plus a £2.50 booking fee. To book online, go to http://www.hglt.co.uk/dodger.htm and click on the green Book Now tab to select your desired date.

http://www.hglt.co.uk/

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

Brisbane Arts Theatre will be presenting their next Discworld play, Lords and Ladies – adapted by Irana brown – in 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: currently – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/2tjucfQ "Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

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

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* WYRD SISTERS IN WINSLOW (OCTOBER)

Winslow Players, "a small but perfectly formed amateur dramatic company based in the market town of Winslow", will be opening their 50th anniversary season with their production of Wyrd Sisters! "It's all there – a wicked duke and duchess, the ghost of the murdered king, dim soldiers, strolling players, a land in peril; and who stands between the Kingdom and destruction? Three witches!"

When: 5th–7th October 2017
Venue: Winslow Public Hall, Elmfields Gate, Winslow, Bucks MK18 3JG
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6 on 5th October, £8 on 6th and 7th October, available from Divine Diva Fancy Dress, 76 High Street, Winslow (01296 712728 during office hours) or by emailing tickets@winslowplayers.co.uk or by using the form on the Contact Us page (_http://www.winslowplayers.co.uk/Contact-Us.html_). "Your tickets will be provisionally booked until payment is received in full (either by bacs* or cheque). If you would like your tickets posted to you, you will need to enclose a stamped addressed envelope, otherwise they will be available for you to collect on the door at your selected performance."

http://www.winslowplayers.co.uk/

* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)

The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.

When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."

http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/

* WYRD SISTERS IN RHYL, LLAMEDOS (OCTOBER)

Rhyl Liberty Players will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in October: "RLP is an award-winning Amateur Dramatics Society based in Rhyl, North Wales. The society has existed for over 70 years and is still going strong today. We have members of all ages who usually put on two fantastic productions a year. We also take part in drama festivals and community events."

When: 25th–28th October 2017
Venue: The Little Theatre, 2 Vale Rd, Rhyl LL18 1AA
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 plus a booking fee of 7.5 per cent (concessions £8.50 plus same booking fee). To purchase, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/venue/FEMDJL and click on your desired date.

http://www.libertyplayers.co.uk/Wyrd_Sisters.htm
http://rhyllittletheatre.co.uk/whats-on/whats-coming-soon/

* MEN AT ARMS IN BERKSHIRE (OCTOBER)

The Cranbourne Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) will be staging Men At Arms, directed by Simon Heffer, as their autumn production: "The Ankh-Morpork City Night Watch find their services are once more needed to tackle a threat to their city. A threat at least as deadly as a 60-foot dragon, but mechanical and heartless to boot. It kills without compunction. It is the first gun on the Discworld. The original Watch – Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Corporal Carrot and Corporal Nobbs – are joined by some new recruits, selected to reflect the city's ethnic make-up – Lance-constables Cuddy, Detritus, and Angua. In a city, where Assassins are clowning about and Fools are dying, the Watch must keep control of themselves as much as its citizens."

A rather adorable promotional video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Dx_ndpHGevw (Looks like it's going to be great fun! – Ed.)

When: 26th, 27th and 28th October 2017
Venue: St Peter's Hall, Hatchet Lane, Cranbourne, Winkfield, Berks. SL4 2EG
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, with a 2.30pm matinee on the 28th
Tickets: £9, available from 25th September (details to follow)

http://www.cadsact.org.uk/shows/

* THE TRUTH IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)

Unseen Theatre's next production will be a revisiting of The Truth – updated for the Age of Fake News, we hope!

When: 27th and 28th October, 1st–4th and 8th–11th November 2017
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide, South Australia
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: $22 ($18 concessions/Fringe members/groups of 6+); previews $15, available via http://bakehousetheatre.com or at the door on performance nights

http://unseen.com.au/

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* WYRD SISTERS IN HERTFORDSHIRE (NOVEMBER)

The Water Lane Theatre Company, a "local amateur dramatics company from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, performing a range of dramatic theatre, from Shakespeare to children's plays – and everything in between!", will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November.

When: 9th–11th November 2017
Venue: the Charis Centre, Water Lane, Bishop's Stortford CM23 2JZ
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 plus a 10 per cent booking fee. To purchase, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/waterlane and click on your desired date.

http://waterlanetheatrecompany.co.uk/
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4VkXEkjg5dOTFZTRDRybW9LdHc/view

* THE TRUTH IN BASILDON (NOVEMBER)

The Thalian Theatre Group's next Discworld production will be The Truth: "William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld's first newspaper. 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 a man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes. William just wants to get at the Truth, unfortunately everyone wants to get at William... this will be the Thalian's 12th Pratchett production."

When: 9th–11th November 2017
Venue: Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £11 (concessions £9), plus a booking fee of £1 per ticket, capped at £10. "A ticket must be purchased for every child regardless of age." To purchase online, go to http://www.towngatetheatre.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4718 and click the BOOK TICKETS ONLINE tab (under the event poster image), or ring 01268 465 465

http://thaliantheatregroup.wixsite.com/thalian/about

* MORT IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER)

Roleystone Theatre, "a non-for-profit community group managed entirely by volunteers", will stage their production of Mort in November and December.

When: 24th, 25th and 29th November and 1st and 2nd December 2017
Venue: Roleystone Theatre, 587 Brookton Hwy, Roleystone, Western Australia
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: $20 ($15 u-18's/Pensioners; 10 tickets bought receives an 11th free), which will be available for purchase via https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/web/Coming%20Attractions

https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/

* LORDS AND LADIES IN NORWICH (DECEMBER)

The Youth Theatre Company will present their production of the Irana Brown adaptation of Lords and Ladies in December.

When: Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th December 2017
Venue: Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL
Time: 7.30pm all shows (includes audio described performance on the 16th)
Tickets: £10 (jobseeker/over 60 £8.50) plus £1.20 per order for Postage and Packaging. To purchase tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2gemJKI and select your desired date.

https://secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/Online/

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT

The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), 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... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!" – but still no news beyond that...

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

5.3 PLAYS IN 2018

* MASKERADE IN READING (JANUARY 2018)

The Progress Theatre will be staging their production of Maskerade in January next year. But first, don't forget to check the auditions page, above...

When: 18th–27th January 2018
Venue: Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, 2.30pm matinees on 20th and 27th January
Tickets: TBA

http://progresstheatre.co.uk/maskerade

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)

Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."

When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, available from www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624. NOTE: by early August, 97 percent of the GTA performances were sold out. "Theater-goers may purchase tickets to one show or all five. They also may build their own custom ticket package, earning discounts for two shows or more."

http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/
http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/

* MASKERADE IN YORK (FEBRUARY 2018)

We Are Theatre's next Discworld play will be the Stephen Briggs adaptation of Maskerade!

When: 26th–28th Feb 2018
Venue: The Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £10, bookable by phoning 07521 364107 (note that there is only limited seating available)

http://www.wearetheatre.co.uk/upcoming-productions.html

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

06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), will be meeting next from 7pm on Monday 6th October 2017 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 Drummers have also taken up doing the odd afternoon meetup. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

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

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

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be a Board Games Day on 8th October.

The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:

Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:

A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Dan Ladle has Terry Pratchett: HisWorld envy (and who could blame him):

"If you are anywhere in about 1,000 miles of Salisbury then you should get down there. For those of us more geographically isolated (like me, in Fourecks), unless you are heading to England before the 13th of January 2018, then you're going to miss it. Thankfully my parents still live thereabouts and my Mum kindly offered to become stunt-Dan for the day last Saturday. She and my Dad visited the museum, saw all the exhibits and, most importantly, picked up a load of bits and pieces, including the exclusive Little Blue Book, which my Mum got signed by Rob Wilkins and Paul Kidby. She has kindly offered to post these to me and I gratefully accepted, then talked to her for almost an hour about all the wonderful things they saw at the Museum. I feel lucky to have parents who understand my weird fascination with all things Pratchett and who were willing to go out of their way (about 35 miles out of their way) to pander to their fourth son's unusual predilection..."

https://clacksheader.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/my-world-and-hisworld/

Blogger anglonerd is back and giving props to Nation

"I won't disagree with the reviewers who say that this may be Pratchett's best book. The way in which he creates and uses characters is typical Pratchett. Also, the personification of Death – not that Death is the same in this book. It's a god named Locaha who Mau manages to dodge twice. One thing that really resonates with me is when Pratchett describes how a thread connected Mau to how his future was supposed to go. Sometimes people have two threads, seeing themselves in one future and another. For Mau, when the wave destroyed his village, he lost the thread. He couldn't imagine what was in store for him. In the author note, Pratchett warns that this is a book that should make you think. I wouldn't be surprised if people felt threatened by this book, but that's the way people are. Pratchett was a humanist, but he doesn't preach atheism here. While Mau is very angry and defies his gods, Pratchett is not his characters. He wants people to ask questions, but he's not telling you what to believe..."

https://anglonerd.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/nation/

Blogger fantasyst95 returns with a good review of Men at Arms:

"I admire how Pratchett manages to drop in important themes within the utterly whimsical, comical and outrageous world that is the Discworld. Race is a topic that comes up throughout the book. Dwarves and trolls hate each other. Why? At some battle a long long time ago each side accused the other of foul play. Well, that's how it started. In today's society, dwarves and trolls hate each other because their ancestors have successfully hated each other for centuries. Why break tradition? Not only is race challenged as a topical issue, governmental corruption also features massively. Ankh-Morpork is a corrupt city through and through. Home to the Assassin's Guild, the Thieves Guild and even the Alchemist's Guild, to mention but a few names, the city thrives on money... I'm sure like many other readers out there, I read to escape from reality for a little while. I read to forget about those bills I have to pay and to forget I have to get up and go to work in the morning… and that's okay. I get that escapism from books. For me, it makes a goddamn fantastic author if they can achieve this and still highlight issues within our society without smacking you in the face with it..."

https://readersonline.blog/2017/09/12/review-men-at-arms-terry-pratchett/

...as does blogger Ashley:

"The pacing was perfect, so I never found myself skimming or became bored. There was just the right amount of detail. I never wanted to put the book down. As far as predictability goes, I couldn't figure out who did it, though I did figure out what the weapon was right away. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the mystery and suspense... the world building was astounding! In this novel, we are introduced to several new species that inhabit this world including werewolves, dwarves, trolls, and the undead. We also get to explore more of the Guilds within the city including the Assassin's and Fool's Guilds. Learning more about some of the Guilds was one of the highlights of the novel. Additionally, we travel below the city and learn more about how the city was built and re-built and kind of how it functions, which was all fascinating... Cuddy and Detritus, I think, change the most throughout the book as they learn to understand one another and forgo their differences. Carrot also changes quite a bit and becomes more of a leader while Vimes is away even though Colon is technically in charge. Colon also does a great job stepping up and filling the role as acting Captain for awhile. None of the Watch seem to be as clueless as they used to and I think they are starting to appreciate their roles..."

http://bit.ly/2xM3hw5

Blogger katyboo1 aka Making Them Readers returns to sing the praises of The Amazing Maurice:

"On first reading I found this a strange choice for a children's book. The Amazing Maurice may have more than echoes of the Pied Piper fable. It may also be influenced by Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, but it is a very dark tale. It's about the human in animals, and the animal in humans. It has moments of savagery and genuine fear and tension that many of the previous Discworld novels lack. Just as I assume that children's librarians are smarter, I found this was the point where I realised that Pratchett knew children were smarter than your average adult, too. There is no pandering to young minds here. There is direct, straight talking, fierceness and no compromise whatsoever and it makes the book worthy of the Carnegie and every other prize you might care to mention..."

http://bit.ly/2jGzhLR

Blogger parabatibooks' rave review of the Good Omens radio play as an audiobook:

"I do believe this is as close to a perfect media transference as there is possible. What description is lost due to the audio format, it is made up for with the emotion in the characters voices. The cast suited the characters very well, and the bloopers were extremely funny! I was so glad to be able to find the radio show on Audible as well as the standard book audio... The best bits of the book still shone through in the radio drama with all the characters and their interactions remaining true to the original. I absolutely loved it, and am now feeling the urge to read the book again!"

http://bit.ly/2xMfxgp

Blogger Annemieke aka A Dance With Books is also back, this time with her review of The Shepherd's Crown:

"As the afterword says, there is a beginning, a middle and an end. But Pratchett wasn't quite finished with this book when he left us. The afterword explains to us his writing ways was to write scenes, combine them and continue to add scenes to weave a whole story, and then editing quite a few times. Especially the first few chapters felt more like drafts in places. Even so that doesn't take away that the start of this book still gave an emotional punch. It is weird considering that we lose someone at the start of this book and knowing he isn't here anymore. It almost feels like he knew this would be his last. Having said that, this book is not just about death. But also about life. About Tiffany continuing to find her way as a Witch, dealing with expectations as people expect her to fill some rather large shoes. About being able to admit that you can't do everything on your own. That sometimes you need a little help. That doesn't make you less strong. About sometimes putting yourself out there to be able to become the person that you want to be, even if it might hurt. There is so much to love in this book. Familiar characters that come back to make us smile. The cat You who seems to be a bit of a stalker. But also new additions like George and his goat, and the discovery of a calm-weaver. All in all I do think this story is a fitting and wonderful end to Tiffany Aching's story for now. Everyone who needed to be there was there.

http://bit.ly/2hbDh6h

...and blogger Erik Shinker aka The Past Due Book Review returns with his overview of the Pratchett oeuvre:

"What sets Pratchett's writing apart from other authors in the genre is not only the amount of satire and references, but how they are employed. Pratchett takes a genre that can easily become formulaic and injects humor (or humour) and sarcasm into it; thereby creating a refreshing version of fantasy. His books don't try to imitate in a negative way or seek to mock past works in the genre; they instead point out illogical tropes and ridiculousness in a way that says 'let's all laugh at how silly this is.' I mean, the man laid out in his will that all of the unfinished stories on his hard drive were to be destroyed by a steamroller. I cannot recommend the Discworld novels to everyone who enjoys fantasy because I think a lot of 'serious' fantasy readers(whatever that means) would believe his poking fun comes from ill-intent; but if you enjoy reading fantasy, and don't mind when funny things are pointed out and are there for you to laugh at, then I highly suggest you give them a try. There are very few who have read Pratchett's work and been disappointed, and this is part of why he remains a vastly influential and beloved figure within not only the fantasy genre, but contemporary literature as a whole..."

http://bit.ly/2wDrbF9

...and his review of Wyrd Sisters:

"Granny Weatherwax really shines as a character in this book; she is a force of nature and affects the world around her. She is a fantastic example of a female character with agency, though she isn't without her faults. These small chinks in her otherwise admirable personage humanize (or…humanise..?) her (think of the people who talk in a theater or during a movie; Granny would be one of them). Wyrd Sisters take the promise of Equal Rites and fulfills it thoroughly. We see more of Granny Weatherwax, how she interacts with other witches, how the theater can be as magical as magic itself, and the references are on point throughout. Wyrd Sisters is one of the first Discworld novels to really set Pratchett apart from other fantasy authors; though his goofiness and humor (or humour) are in each book, he is well into his stride with this sixth entry in the series..."

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/09/20/wyrd-sisters-review/

Blogger Eloise aka To Whom Lit May Concern met The Colour of Magic and was enchanted:

"It seems that a common trait among my friends is recommending me good books. Despite my initial difficulty, I binged the entire book in two sittings, and fell in love. 'The Colour of Magic' takes you on a fast-paced adventure, lead by the wizard drop-out Rincewind and the Discworld's first ever tourist, the ever optimistic Twoflower. In a world filled with danger at every corner, how exactly they survive more than a page is an absolute mystery. What I think I love about the book, more than anything else, is the writing style. It simply give off the impression that Pratchett was writing just to enjoy himself, and did not care about sticking to what may have been deemed 'ideal' for the fantasy genre. This indulgent writing is what makes his personality shine through, with wit and humour jam-packed into every sentence: I mean, who else could think of quotes like 'Being Ymor's right-hand man was like being gently flogged to death with scented bootlaces'? I found myself shouting, laughing and gasping out loud at the pure ingenious madness I was reading. Everything, from descriptions to sentence structure, and even the cut-away passages not featuring our two main characters, had a purpose, and added to the experience in one way or another. Beautifully crafted, though sometimes a bit much: I did have to reread several passages to fully understand every joke he was adding in..."

https://towhomlitmayconcern.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/the-colour-of-magic/

Blogger Waistcoats, Gin and Words' latest review addresses Sourcery:

"It is getting to the point where Pratchett is a necessary staple for travelling, it's a necessary break between heavy books or anything that takes itself a little too seriously. Sourcery, is a great read and one of the more enjoyable Discworld novels I've read so far. This one follows Rincewind and tells of the dangers of what happens when a wizard is squared. This is certainly not my favourite Pratchett, but it is an enjoyable ride with some silly humour. Some find it the weaker out of Rincewind's three novels so far, but actually I found it had gained a little more depth and traction because of the novels it follows. The wizards of the Discworld aren't my favourite, but they are fun and a little silly and have their own quirks that can only be Pratchett through and through..."

https://waistcoatsginandwords.wordpress.com/2017/09/22/77-sourcery/

Blogger gorjessina17 was pleasantly surprised by The Long Earth:

"I really like the main character, Joshua. He's a bit of an oddball, but he seems so normal in comparison to the type of characters you usually get who are tasked with 'saving the world'. No real brooding or whining about how his life has turned out, Joshua is more of a live-in-the-moment kind of person. But he's also not the type to throw that in your face or act recklessly... I also really like the character of Lobsang. A sentient digital being, he's always insisting that he's human, but you can tell he's still trying to figure out exactly what 'being human' means... One of the things I ended up enjoying the most about the book, though, is actually something I think might put a lot of people off – the pacing. This book is SLOW. It makes sense in context; exploring hundreds of thousands of alternate Earths would take quite some time. And since this book is the lead in to a full series, the authors have the space to take as long as they want. The book also meanders a bit, throwing in seemingly random chapters that introduce new characters and explain how stepping has changed their lives. But none of the information we are given is completely useless; everything has a purpose. I like books that allow themselves to tell the story at their own pace..."

https://gorjessina17.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/book-review-the-long-earth/

...and finally, blogger Jonathan Feinstein, usually a big Pratchett fan, was less than impressed with The Long Cosmos audiobook:

"At last, the conclusion of 'The Long Earth' series. Way back, at the start of the series, there was an article on how to make a device called a 'Stepper' using a simple circuit and a potato... it turns out there are a lot of people who don't need those potatoes. So many, in fact I had expected that eventually it would be discovered the potato circuit was just a crutch, a placebo, if you will, that allows people to step when they don't think they can. Well, apparently not. As each book in the series progresses the Long Earth and the way it works gets more and more complex, which is odd, since in a world that is, for all purposes, infinite, a lot of the added complexity was far from necessary, so along with threats of various sorts from 'Joker' worlds, gaps in Earth's actual existence, creature of the far realities and so forth. We have travel to other planets where it turns out that any world that has or has had sentient life also has alternative realities (which implies that those that do not have only one reality) and apparently the various realities of the other Long Worlds have nothing to do with each other… until this final book in which they are described as a skein in which each of the Long World necklaces interlink in some places. It's an interesting notion, but like many interesting notions it is not enough to hold the story together by itself..."

http://bit.ly/2xjpHU6

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

08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Crowley and Aziraphale, to the life!
http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/corporate2/images/width/live/p0/5g/fk/p05gfk9c.jpg/624

"Adam Young" and his parents (see item ):
http://bit.ly/2wNDjUh

...and a delicious teaser image from the second day of filming, as tweeted by Neil Gaiman:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKLU6-7XUAEzTbA.jpg

Some excellent iconographs of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit, as tweeted by Stephen Briggs:
https://twitter.com/StephenPBriggs/status/911644106224541697

Paul Kidby standing in front of one of the gorgeous large graphic panels being installed at the Salisbury Museum's Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIzU52YW4AAzh9F.jpg:large

...and posing serious-faced in front of two of his most recent works, a rendering of the Mona Ogg, er, Lisa and a beautiful design for a proposed Sir Pterry statue:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKFu0ylW4AAuNTQ.jpg

...and here is Mr Kidby's "sculpt of the Morpork Owl and Ankh for the #Discworld postbox, cast in bronze and polished up a treat" (tweeted quote by @PaulKidby, iconograph by Kismet Photography):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJw43bNW4AEgF2O.jpg

...and his bronze sculpt of Rob Anybody Mac Feegle, a work in progress (as indeed the Big Man himself is):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIpaQQOXkAIEkbv.jpg

Sir Pterry's office, recreated for the HisWorld exhibit. Iconograph tweeted by Discworld Emporium:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJsxsMRWAAAeVrg.jpg

...and a close-up of his typewriter, with an appropriate message:
http://bit.ly/2wn7O8g

The cast of Monifieth Theatre's recent production of Wyrd Sisters:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIyOpg5W4AAhKh1.jpg

Another "before and after" of the hard drive and the steamroller:
https://edge.alluremedia.com.au/m/l/2017/09/terry-pratchett-harddrive-steamroller.jpg

NADWcon 2017 Guest of Honour Esther Friesner in her Feeglemancy tent:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJR21PEXcAAMNsf.jpg

A fine assembly of Maskeraders from last month's AusDWcon:
http://bit.ly/2fkMPvg

A great photo of Michelle Dockery as Susan Sto Helit in the telefilm of Hogfather:
http://bit.ly/2wA3hNZ

Australian Pratchett fan Shannan, who travelled all the way to Salisbury from Melbourne to attend the opening of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibition, shows her Paul Kidby-inspired tattoo sleeve to the artist himself:
https://cml.sad.ukrd.com/image/609267-500x375.jpg

...and finally, a selection of photos from Monstrous Theatre's final production:
http://eskarina54.tumblr.com/post/164635954683/some-pics-of-our-last-ever-production-terry

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

09) CLOSE

A few more odds and sods to wind up...

There's a well-written, longish post by blogger teacher2poet on the subject of recommending Discworld novels to newbies. I didn't include it in the Around the Blogosphere section because it's not easily reduced to an extract or two, but it's well worth a read nonetheless:

https://bartopia.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/recommended-reading-terry-pratchett/

The RSPCA has issued a warning about keeping African pygmy hedgehogs being kept as pets. Apparently they can be you-know-what, so to speak: "The animal charity said the exotic creatures required a 'considerable commitment'. It added they 'would need a large temperature-controlled enclosure to mimic where they come from.' RSPCA senior scientific officer Nicola White said: 'It is difficult to adequately meet the animal's needs in a household environment'. The warning comes after one of the hedgehogs was found abandoned in a small hamster carrier at a station on the London Underground. The hedgehog, now named Paddington, was rescued on 11 August by Jill Sanders, an animal collection officer..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41097140

Here be a BBC web-exclusive video of "Nomadic Kazakh's[sic] from western Mongolia, islanders from the Solomon Islands and animal herders from Ethiopia" reactions when they were shown news footage of Morris dancers: http://bbc.in/2wpAWHH

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

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Anthill inside)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
August 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 8, 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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Almost 30 years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world, populated with angels and demons... Three decades later, it's going to make it to the screen. I can't think of anyone we'd rather make it with than BBC Studios, and I just wish Sir Terry were alive to see it."
– Neil Gaiman

"If you are looking for actors to play two of the best-loved characters you and Terry Pratchett ever created, then, if you are very lucky and have been very good, you will get Michael Sheen and David Tennant to bring them to life. The best Welsh actor of his generation gets to be an angel, the best Scottish actor of his, a demon." – Neil, again

"We've done the final tally. In 5 years and 9 productions we've donated £28,070 to dementia charities. We hope we did @terryandrob proud."
– Monstrous Productions, coming to the end of a brilliant run of Discworld theatre

"I have rather cunningly clustered three items in one corner of my desk, so that they can be swept up together and carried out under one arm should I ever have to evacuate in haste. The first is my honorary degree from Discworld's Unseen University, bestowed on me by my friend, the late Sir Terry Pratchett, back in 2008. It adds significant sparkle to my CV, and its very existence tickles me pink to this day."
– David Lloyd, Archcha–, er, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Australia, speaking to the Times Higher Education website

"The star of the show will be a full-size recreation of Terry's office – known as The Chapel – quite literally the place where so many of his books began their life. For the visitor, this represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Terry's world as he worked and the objects in situ with which he chose to surround himself."
– the Salisbury Museum whets our appetite for visiting the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit

"The one feeling I couldn't escape while reading Good Omens, was 'this would make an awesome TV series', not a film, the book has too much depth of character and the development would never get the treatment it deserves if it were crammed into a 2-hour time-frame. TV is the better format for long-form storytelling, as you get more room to breathe so to speak, to develop your characters better in front of your audience's eyes and you don't necessarily have to rush anything.'"
– blogger Danny T had a crystal ball...

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

I thought August was supposed to be the quiet month! And yet somehow we have a packed issue, with more to come...

We're only a few weeks away from the opening of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit (see item 3.1). Remember, the exhibit runs from September 16 2017 until 13 January 2018 at the Salisbury Museum. Here be their lovely webpage, with images, info and a handy Buy Tickets button: http://www.pratchetthisworld.com/

*

Team Pratchett have posted the query, "If you could invite three Discworld characters to a dinner party, who would they be?" For the record, my choices would probably be Tiffany, Esk and Lady Sybil – but only if Mrs Gogol was doing the cooking. What about yours?

*

Spare a thought for the passing of Chantek, a notably learned person of the hairy orange persuasion who recently died at the advanced age of 39:

"An orangutan who was one of the first apes to learn sign language has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 39. Chantek lived with an anthropologist in Tennessee for about nine years and learned to clean his room, make and use tools and memorise the route to a fast-food restaurant. He spent his later years in Zoo Atlanta where he was treated for heart disease. Zoo officials said he had 'an engaging personality' and would be deeply missed. In a statement, Zoo Atlanta said that at 39, Chantek was one of the oldest male orangutans in North American zoos. His cause of death was not yet known, it said, but vets had been treating him for progressive heart disease. Orangutans are considered geriatric after the age of about 35, the zoo added..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40858040

...and this would be a good time to remind everyone of the URL for the Orangutan Foundation: http://www.orangutan.org.uk/

*

Monstrous Productions, huge-hearted purveyors of Discworld productions, have come to the end of their amazing run, as their founder and guiding light is exiting the stage (pursued not by a bear but by a life-changing event). @MonstrousPTC had this to say on Twitter: "Well have taken our final bows as a company. We had our biggest audiences ever this week and raised £4,200 for @TyHapusWales. Thank you for all your support over the past 5 years and for enjoying the Discworld with us. This account will remain active to inform you of any events or any projects the monsters now build out of this." Well done, Monstrous folk! Now who's going to pick up the baton next? Roundworld needs more Discworld-based theatre companies!

Right, on with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.0 HERE COME CROWLEY AND AZIRAPHALE: "GOOD OMENS" MINISERIES CAST AT LAST!

In a coup of perfect casting, it's been announced that David Tennant will play Crowley, opposite the hugely talented Welsh actor Michael Sheen as Aziraphale. Anyone who's seen Tennant's deliciously louche portrayal of Peter Vincent in the fun 2011 remake of Fright Night will have no doubts that he can do a fantastic Crowley:

"Michael Sheen and David Tennant have been cast in the lead roles in the Amazon series adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's 'Good Omens,' Variety has learned... co-produced by BBC Studios with Narrativia, the production company of Pratchett's daughter Rhianna, and the Blank Corporation and in association with BBC Worldwide for Amazon Prime Video and the BBC. Gaiman, Caroline Skinner, and Chris Sussman are executive producing for BBC Studios, and Rob Wilkins and Rod Brown will executive produce for Narrativia. Gaiman adapted all six episodes of the series and will also serve as showrunner. Following its exclusive launch on Amazon Prime Video, the series will also be broadcast on BBC in the U.K...."

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/neil-gaiman-good-omens-michael-sheen-amazon-1202522663/

...and here's a reminder of what the lead actors look like, for those of you who may have been hiding in a cave somewhere in Uberwald:
https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/michael-sheen-david-tennant.jpg

The series will consist of six episodes, and will hit the air (BBC) and the clacks (Amazon Prime) next year. Bring it on!

3.1 "TERRY PRATCHETT: HISWORLD" EXHIBIT OPENING SOON!

The wildly-anticipated "Terry Pratchett: HisWorld" exhibit at the Salisbury Museum opens next month...

"The Salisbury Museum, The Estate of Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby present 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld', an exclusive major exhibition based on the extraordinary life of Sir Terry Pratchett, the creative genius behind the Discworld series. Follow his journey to becoming one of our best known and best loved writers. This unique exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry's artist of choice."

When: 16th September 2017 to 13th January 2018
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone 01722 332151, email museum@salisburymuseum.org.uk)
Time: opening times are Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sundays (9 April - 29 October) 12:00 to 17:00. "Please note that our cafe is closed on Sundays."
Tickets: Adult £8, child £4, family (2 adults/4 children) £20, under-5s free. "Please note that all tickets issued by the museum are ANNUAL PASSES and are valid for one year. This is a condition of participating in the Gift Aid scheme and is offered regardless of whether you opt for the standard or donation admission."

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/your-visit/prices

Tickets are also available online from http://salisbury.merlintickets.co.uk/product/ADME

http://discworld.com/terry-pratchett-exhibition-announced-salisbury/
http://pratchetthisworld.com

3.2 THE DISCWORLD IMAGINARIUM!

Paul Kidby has been up to something secret. Something wonderful...

"I am delighted to reveal what I have been working on this year: A collection of my favourite Discworld artwork, including a new portrait of Sir Terry himself."

The Gollancz press release:

"Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium, a stunning portfolio of illustrations from the brush of renowned Discworld artist, Paul Kidby. Paul Kidby was Sir Terry Pratchett's artist of choice. He provided the illustrations for The Last Hero, designed the covers for the Discworld novels since 2002 and is the author of the bestseller The Art Of The Discworld and Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book. Now, he has collected the very best of his Discworld illustrations in this definitive volume, including 40 pieces of never-before-seen art, 30 pieces that have only appeared in foreign editions, limited editions and Book Club editions, and 17 book cover illustrations since 2004 that have never been seen without cover text.

"Sir Terry Pratchett himself once said that Kidby's art is 'the closest anyone's got to how I see the characters'. If Terry Pratchett's pen gave his characters life, Paul Kidby's brush allowed them to live it, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in this magnificent book.

"Orion Group Publisher, Jon Wood, and Gollancz Digital Publisher, Darren Nash, acquired the rights to Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium from Rob Wilkins at Dunmanifestin, Ltd, which controls the copyright to all of Sir Terry Pratchett's works, including his Discworld characters and creations. The 272-page full-colour volume will publish on 23rd November and retail at £35.

"But that's not all! Taken from the Patrician's private collection by a discerning art dealer* we've got a high-class treat for those looking for something a little more distinct: a Special Edition, which will feature a variant cover, a new piece of art produced exclusively for this version and signed by Paul Kidby, metallic page edging, a marker ribbon and a specially-designed slipcase. Also, released on 23rd November, the Special Edition will retail at £75.

"Artist Paul Kidby said, 'I am delighted to present the Discworld Imaginarium: a comprehensive collection of my favourite illustrations painstakingly selected after many weeks spent rummaging through my portfolios. The resulting pages of this book not only look back at works past, they also look forward – with newly created artworks in celebration of the amazing ongoing legacy that Sir Terry Pratchett created for us all.'"

http://www.paulkidby.com/terry-pratchetts-discworld-imaginarium/

Paul Kidby also tweeted a short video (1 minute 12 seconds) of himself creating his new portrait of Sir Pterry:
https://twitter.com/PaulKidby/status/891968443775365120

...and a few more details from The Bookseller:

"The book will comprise his favourite Discworld illustrations in what Gollancz is calling a "definitive" volume of his work. It includes 40 pieces of never-before-seen art, 30 pieces that have only appeared in foreign editions, limited editions and Book Club editions, and 17 book cover illustrations since 2004 that have never been seen without cover text. Publishing simultaneously there will also be a £75 Special Edition of the book featuring: a variant cover, a new piece of art produced exclusively for the edition and signed by Kidby, metallic page edging, a marker ribbon and a specially-designed slipcase..."

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/terry-pratchetts-discworld-imaginarium-gollancz-605941

3.3 STEPHEN BRIGGS HAS A LOT TO SAY!

Along with the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit, the Salisbury Museum will present a special one-off – "Building a World with Terry Pratchett: A talk by Stephen Briggs":

"Stephen Briggs and Terry Pratchett played together on Discworld for 25 years. They built a city on a brownfield site, then mapped a world to put it onto. They also wrote several other books, several diaries, and a cook book. Stephen will tell us how it happened. The talk will be followed by tea and biscuits and the chance to visit the 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld' exhibition."

When: Saturday 23rd September 2017
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone + 44 (0)1722 332151)
Time: 14:30 to 15:30
Tickets: £8 Members, £10 Non-Members ("tickets include tea and biscuits"). Booking required. Please contact the museum:
http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/38

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/events/building-world-terry-pratchett-talk-stephen-briggs

3.4 THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF DANCE!

The James Wilton dance company will be presenting their unique dance work "Last Man Standing" at various venues in the UK south-west in October and November:

"Last Man Standing draws from the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett. The work is about living for the moment, about appreciating every second and enjoying life while it lasts. Flying bodies, last minute catches and an energy you can feel as well as see, Last Man Standing is dance driven by unparalleled energy and athleticism, performed by world class dancers; an international award winning work by rising star, James Wilton. His work draws on martial arts, break dancing and capoeira to create raw, earthy and ground-breaking performance. All of this propelled by a trademark soundtrack of heavy rock, ambient music and textured soundscapes. Audiences will see dancers fly through the air and land quite literally at their feet. They will experience every drop of sweat, every gasp for air and every finger twitch."

7th October: Drimpton Village Hall, Chard Road, Dorset DT8 3RF
https://artsreach.co.uk/ (Buy Tickets link not available yet)

9th October: Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QB, 7.30pm
Tickets: £14 (£12 concessions, £9 for school groups of 10+ plus one FREE teacher ticket for every 10 students booked, £5 student standby. Groups of 10 get 11th ticket FREE. To book, go to https://exeternorthcott.co.uk/calendar/last-man-standing/

20th October: The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1JL, 7.30pm
Tickets: standard from £14, student from £10. To book, go to https://ticketsource.co.uk/booking/date/372656

21st October: Trowbridge Town Hall, Market Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EQl, 8.30pm
Tickets: £5 plus booking fee. To book, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boxoffice/select/tDniVoFPPIiT

1st November: The Bay Theatre, Weymouth College, Cranford Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7LQ
No times and tickets information available yet

30th November: Pavillion Dance South West, Westover Road , Bournemouth BH1 2BU, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions, £8 groups of 10+, £6 under-26). To book, go to http://www.pdsw.org.uk/event/book-now/LMS1/Performances
http://www.pdsw.org.uk/what-s-on/live-performance/last-man-standing-by-james-wilton-dance/

http://www.jameswiltondance.org.uk/performances

3.5 THE PASSING OF AN EDITOR OF NOTE

"Diane Pearson, who worked at Transworld for almost 40 years, has died, aged 85. Pearson worked as a senior editor at Transworld from 1964 to 2002 during which time she played 'a pivotal role' in the company's fortunes, both past and present, according to Transworld. She acquired and worked with many of the industry's biggest-selling authors, such as Terry Pratchett, Joanna Trollope, Kate Atkinson and Jilly Cooper, the latter for over 20 years, and in 1994 was awarded the British Book Award for Editor of the Year. She was also the President of the Romantic Novelists' Association from 1986 to 2011. Pearson was also an author in her own right. Her novels included The Marigold Field (1969, Corgi) and its sequel Sarah Whitman (1971, Corgi), Csardas (1975, Head of Zeus) and The Summer of the Barshinskeys (1984, Corgi). In tribute, Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld, said Pearson was 'an integral part of the Transworld story' whose legacy would "burn brightly for years to come'...

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/transworld-editor-diane-pearson-dies-aged-85-611441

3.6 MINE'S A PINT... OOK!

The new Discworld Ale from Ales by Mail ("official outlet for Discworld Beers on Roundworld") is L Space Voyager, described by the brewers as "a banana hefeweisen". Here be their announcement:

"Just over a year ago our beer supply portal from Discworld, established by the Wizards of UU, closed unexpectedly. Since then, Discworld Beer has been in scarce supply. We've been hearing disturbing news from Discworld about the many breweries producing Discworld beers. Recently, Frau Ortrud Ulrich – head librarian at Germany's Nationale Bier-Bibliothek, the library of beer knowledge on Roundworld – arrived at her office to find a small pile of empty peanut husks and banana skins, along with a significant amount of Discworld Beer sitting amongst piles of carefully sorted returned books. A hastily scribbled note, found along with these items, read simply 'Ooook'. Frau Ulrich of course reached out to us. So far we have been able to piece together only part of the puzzle. It would seem that Unseen University's Librarian has traversed L-Space bringing with him some essential supplies, and was able to liberate some cans of L-Space Voyager. We can only assume that he meant for us to get them into the hands of you, the Roundworld fans. It appears to be a delightful hefeweizen style beer with notes of banana (what else?) and a subtle but pleasant tang of peanut. His stay was, it seems, only brief, but importantly the Librarian left behind the beer! Rather oddly, the beer appears to bear the brewery name 'Drum Brewing Co'. To our knowledge, Drum Brewing came to prominence when the famed Ankh-Morpork brewtavern, the Mended Drum, was swallowed up by unknown parties as part of their acquisition of many of Discworld's brewing institutions. Our concerns about the fate of brewing on Discworld remain and we have sent out various exploratory expeditions in an attempt to find out more. For now, we are grateful to the Librarian for the chance to try and share Voyager with you, but watch this space for more details."

To read the announcement complete with iconographs and footnote, go to https://www.alesbymail.co.uk/blog/new-discworld-beer-l-space-voyager/

For more information, and to order, go to https://www.alesbymail.co.uk/browse-by-brewery/drum-brewing
A six-pack of L Space Voyager is priced at £14.24. More info:
https://www.alesbymail.co.uk/pick-n-mix-beer/drum-discworld-lspacevoyager-6pack

3.7 NEW BOOKS!

All right, new releases of old books. Specifically, the next round of classic Discworld re-releases. According to Penguin Books:

"We are thrilled to reveal Joe McLaren's covers for these upcoming additions to the Discworld Collector's Library: Thief of Time, Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment and Going Postal. Continuing in the style of the series, approved by Terry before his death, these beautiful hardbacks will hit bookshops in October. We hope you like them as much as we do."

There are pre-order buttons on the page – http://classics.penguin.co.uk/q/17EiCHLryPO1Iox75EywdU/wv – but these lead to Amazon pages. Or you could always wait for a reputable bookseller to offer them...

3.8 FOR JOSH KIRBY FANS...

"Josh Kirby was a master painter renowned for his groundbreaking illustrations in science fiction, fantasy and horror. His work included Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the Pratchett and Neil Gaiman penned Good Omens, and countless other film posters and book covers. When Kirby passed on in 2001, the trustees of his estate had been tasked with sorting through his vast archives. Amongst the papers, receipts and correspondences with famous authors, was a hidden gem. Amy Anderson, the executive director of the Josh Kirby estate, says: 'We discovered a hand typed manuscript, along with sketches and doodles, telling the whimsical and adorable tale of a time traveling mouse, named Marmaduke. And now, sixteen years later, it's becoming a reality.' To bring this long, lost creation to the world, the Josh Kirby Estate assembled a dream team of sorts, by inviting Discworld cartoonist, Ray Friesen and Discworld co-author, and voiceover artist, Stephen Briggs, to lend their talent to the project... With the dream team in place, the estate made the decision to launch a Kickstarter campaign so that everyone could be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity..."

http://www.pr.com/press-release/726904

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 AUSDWCON 2017 ROUND-UP

"Thank you to our special guests Stephen Briggs, Daniel Knight, David Lloyd and Martin Pearson, our virtual guests Ian Stewart, Ray Friesen, and the Discworld Emporium, to Rob Wilkins and Colin Smythe, to Unseen Theatre Company, Hot for Joe Morris Dancers, Steamkittens, Susan Lonie, Matt Falloon, and all our volunteers, activity organisers, first aiders, security, press corpse, games teachers, gophers and anyone else who helped out. Thanks to all who bidded so generously at the charity auction raising over $9000 for the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation and Alzheimer's Australia SA. And of course, thanks to you, our amazing team of tourists!"

https://ausdwcon.org/blog/au-revoir/

"The secret is out... Nullus Anxietas VII will indeed be happening in 2019! This time, it's back to Melbourne, where the Australian Discworld Conventions all started 10 years ago. If you're super keen to make sure you get a spot at the next amazing convention, you can buy your supporting membership RIGHT NOW! More information about Nullus Anxietas VII will be revealed in a few months' time, so make sure you're subscribed to the mailing list to hear the news first! Thank you all, and farewell!"

To buy a Supporting Membership: https://ausdwcon.org/supporting2019/

To join the mailing list: https://ausdwcon.org/about/mailing-list/

The AusDWcon 2017 gallery of iconographs:
https://www.flickr.com/groups/ausdwcon2017/pool/

...and special guest Stephen Briggs tweeted some photos of AusDWcon's cuddly Twoflower doll's adventures on his journey from EcksEcksEcksEcks to Team Pratchett Central:

https://twitter.com/StephenPBriggs/status/895622447202009088

4.2 NADWCON NEWS

The countdown has begun... Guests of Hono(u)r are packing their Luggages for – or already on their way to – Genua, that is, New Orleans. The Convention begins on the morning of Friday 1st September and runs through the weekend. Join Stephen Briggs, Colin Smythe, Esther Friesner, Pat Harkin and the marvellous Discworld artist Omar Rayyan at the Sheraton New Orleans for an unforgettable "Genuan Experience"!

Some tickets are still available: https://nadwcon2017.org/signup/2017-adult-membership.html

https://nadwcon2017.org/

4.3 THE FIRST ANNUAL DISCWORLD DAY: A ONE-DAY EVENT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Looks like it will be as fun as a fun thing! "We invite you to discover the streets of Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city of the Discworld. A folklorique network of old lanes, squares and alleys for your walking pleasure. Wherre exitement and trolls lurke arounde everry corner and much may be heard the traditional street cries of old time also the laughing visages of the denuizens as they goe about their business private. All guilds are welcome, so if you fancy yourself as an artificer, a seamstress, an assassin or a clown, you'll be sure to be in good company along The Street of Cunning Artificers. Dogs and unruly luggages to be kept on leashes at all times."

Features include the Discworld Dress Up, "battles of Cripple Mr Onion, Thud! and the likes", Discworld telly at the Muntab Moving Pictures House, and much more...

When: 4th November 2017
Venue: The Moors Castle, 638 Larsens Road, 1739 Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa
Time: 11.00 to 22.00
Tickets: R60.00. A limited number of tickets are available online http://qkt.io/DiscworldDay2017 or at the gate at a price of R80.00. Under-12s are free

https://www.facebook.com/events/320926284986740/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.0 AUDITIONS

* MASKERADE IN READING

The Progress Theatre will be auditioning for the cast of their forthcoming January 2018 production of Maskerade (see item 5.3 below). The auditions will be held on Sunday 17th September at 2pm or Wednesday 20th September at 7.30pm at Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL. "Auditions are open to all,but if cast you will need to join Progress Theatre.

"If you have any questions or would like to be considered but can't make the audition dates please contact director Chris Moran on 07729 501350 or at chris.moran@me.com or assistant director Jordan Emmett on 07932 976693 or at jdemmett27@hotmail.co.uk prior to the auditions."

http://progresstheatre.co.uk/auditions-maskerade

* MASKERADE IN YORK

We Are Theatre's next Discworld production will be Maskerade, in February 2018 – but the word about auditions for the production has spread all over Roundworld, it seems. Open auditions will be held on Sunday 10th September. To book an audition, and for more information, email wearetheatre@googlemail.com

"We are holding open auditions for actors for the comedy play 'Maskerade' based on the Terry Pratchett Discworld Novel and adapted by Stephen Briggs. This comedy is a spoof on Phantom of the Opera and has lots of great character parts. Open auditions on 10th September and rehearsals on Sundays 3pm-5pm in York, though not every week. Performances in York at the end of February."

https://www.gumtree.com/p/artists-theatres/auditions-for-terry-pratchett-s-play-maskerade-/1260143792
http://www.wearetheatre.co.uk/

5.1 PLAYS IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER

* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)

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: 31st August-2nd September 2017
Venue: Monifieth Theatre, 72 High Street, Monifieth, Angus DD5 2AE
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£6 concessions), available from Troups Pharmacy, Monifieth; Yorkshire Building Society, Broughty Ferry; and The Bay Diner/Grill, Monifieth. Ring 01382 480043 for details. Tickets are also available online at http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/tickets and at https://www.tickettailor.com/all-tickets/13094/1940/

http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson

* WYRD SISTERS IN WEST YORKSHIRE (SEPTEMBER)

The Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (T.A.O.D.S.) will be presenting an unusual Discworld experience – Vince Foxall's BBC radio play of Wyrd Sisters, performed live – at the end of September. "As with previous productions, this Hippodrome Foyer Play is based on an original radio script dramatized by Vince Foxall for BBC Radio 4 and will be performed script-in-hand with live sound effects and a large cast of players old and new. Featuring strolling minstrels, fools, ghosts, murderers and diverse alarums!"

When: 29th and 30th September 2017
Venue: Hippodrome Theatre, 83 Halifax Road, Todmorden OL14 5BB
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6, available online from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/todhip

http://www.todhip.org/wyrd-sisters

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/2tjucfQ "Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

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

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)

The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.

When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."

http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/

* WYRD SISTERS IN RHYL, LLAMEDOS (OCTOBER)

Rhyl Liberty Players will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in October: "RLP is an award-winning Amateur Dramatics Society based in Rhyl, North Wales. The society has existed for over 70 years and is still going strong today. We have members of all ages who usually put on two fantastic productions a year. We also take part in drama festivals and community events."

When: 25th–28th October 2017
Venue: The Little Theatre, 2 Vale Rd, Rhyl LL18 1AA
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9.00 + booking fee of 7.5% (concessions £8.50 + booking fee). To purchase, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/venue/FEMDJL and click on your desired date.

http://www.libertyplayers.co.uk/Wyrd_Sisters.htm
http://rhyllittletheatre.co.uk/whats-on/whats-coming-soon/

* THE TRUTH IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)

Unseen Theatre's next production will be a revisiting of The Truth – updated for the Age of Fake News, we hope!

When: 27th and 28th October, 1st–4th and 8th–11th November 2017
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St. Adelaide, South Australia
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: $22 ($18 concessions/Fringe members/groups of 6+); previews $15, available via http://bakehousetheatre.com or at the door on performance nights

http://unseen.com.au/news/auditions-for-unseen-academicals/

* WYRD SISTERS IN HERTFORDSHIRE (NOVEMBER)

The Water Lane Theatre Company, a "local amateur dramatics company from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, performing a range of dramatic theatre, from Shakespeare to children's plays – and everything in between!", will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November.

When: 9th–11th November 2017
Venue: the Charis Centre, Water Lane, Bishop's Stortford CM23 2JZ
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: TBA; when available, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/waterlane and click on your desired date.

http://waterlanetheatrecompany.co.uk/
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4VkXEkjg5dOTFZTRDRybW9LdHc/view

* MORT IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER)

Roleystone Theatre, "a non-for-profit community group managed entirely by volunteers", will stage their production of Mort in November and December.

When: 24th, 25th and 29th November and 1st and 2nd December 2017
Venue: Roleystone Theatre, 587 Brookton Hwy, Roleystone, Western Australia
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: $20 ($15 u-18's/Pensioners; 10 tickets bought receives an 11th free), which will be available for purchase via https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/web/Coming%20Attractions

https://www.roleystonetheatre.com.au/

* LORDS AND LADIES IN NORWICH (DECEMBER)

The Youth Theatre Company will present their production of the Irana Brown adaptation of Lords and Ladies in December.

When: Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th December 2017
Venue: Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL
Time: 7.30pm all shows (includes audio described performance on the 16th)
Tickets: £10 (jobseeker/over 60 £8.50) plus £1.20 per order for Postage and Packaging. To purchase tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2gemJKI and select your desired date.

https://secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/Online/

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT

The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), 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... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!"

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

5.3 PLAYS IN 2018

* MASKERADE IN READING (JANUARY 2018)

The Progress Theatre will be staging their production of Maskerade in January next year. But first, don't forget to check the auditions page, above...

When: 18th–27th January 2018
Venue: Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, 2.30pm matinees on 20th and 27th January
Tickets: TBA

http://progresstheatre.co.uk/maskerade

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)

Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."

When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, available from www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624. NOTE: by early August, 97 percent of the GTA performances were sold out. "Theater-goers may purchase tickets to one show or all five. They also may build their own custom ticket package, earning discounts for two shows or more."

http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/
http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/

5.4 REVIEWS

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF

By twin bloggers CL Raven:

"Sadly, this was to be Monstrous Productions' final Pratchett adaptation. We've loved every play we've seen and we're gutted it's all over. This was a fantastic play for them to go out on. We've not read the book but will definitely be buying it now. This was another play to feature Sam Vimes and fitting for their final act. Jes Hynes fantastically reprised his role of Vimes from Nightswatch[sic]... This was the first play that featured the Librarian – a wizard who was accidentally turned into an Orangutan and refuses to be changed back. We love the Librarian in the books so were thrilled he was in this. Lowri Belson was superb as the book-loving ape. She injected so much character and personality into a role where communication was done solely through facial expressions and 'ook!' And the occasional 'eek!' The show was hilarious, with added things like Death playing with a fidget spinner, Brother Watchtower replacing his mask with a cat one and Errol flying across the stage on a wire to fight the dragon. What we love about Monstrous Productions plays is the cast always look like they're thoroughly enjoying themselves. Sets and props used are always minimal and work so well. Everyone was superb in their roles and made this a fantastic play to end on..."

https://clraven.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/guards-guards/

* WYRD SISTERS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE

By James Hanton in Edinburgh's The Student newspaper (which by the way is the UK's oldest student newspaper, ans which moreover was founded in 1887 by Robert Louis Stevenson, another of the world's greatest storytellers):

"Duck in a Hat Theatre's adaption of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters sees the cast clearly have a ball immersing themselves in the universe born from the incredible imagination of one man. While Pratchett's Discworld is a complex creation which spans many different stories and characters, Duck in a Hat keep it relatively straightforward. End-on staging, a couple of flats for set, medieval costume and not much more. It can be viewed as a bit basic; the show could have benefited from more music to help make the settings and scenes distinct from each other. The same set for the throne room is also the theatre, the dungeon and the street. Small changes would help to avoid confusion as to what is happening where. But basic does not mean completely ineffective. The play is easy enough to follow, and even finds some time to poke a (broom)stick at the idea of 'post-truth' that is of such great relevance today. It is a very easy tale to enjoy, so in some ways there is no need to complicate anything. In keeping it simple and down-to-earth, littered with moments of comedy that guarantee a smile, a very engaging show is produced... it is very difficult to leave the show without feeling entertained. Writer Stephen Briggs has delivered a wonderful adaption of the original story, one that is grasped with both hands by the cast who firmly make this play their own..."
http://www.studentnewspaper.org/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), will be meeting next on Monday 4th September 2017 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 Drummers have also taken up doing the odd afternoon meetup. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

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

*

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

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

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Social Meet at the Caledonian Hotel on 31st August. Next after that: Pirate Bowling at the Cross Road Bowl, 23rd September.

The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:

Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:

A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 7th September 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 1st September 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

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

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 4th September 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 4th September 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger thetroublewithtriffids reflects on the beauty and sadness of The Shepherd's Crown:

"Though I loved this novel, because it was brilliant, but as I was reading it something about the prose style felt a little off to me. And it wasn't until the afterword written by Rob Wilkins that I realised what was off: 'Once it was shaped, he would keep writing it too, adding to it, fixing bits, constantly polishing and adding linking sequences, tossing in just one more footnote or event. His publishers often had to prise the manuscript away from him, as there was always more he felt he could do […] The Shepherd's Crown has a beginning, a middle and an end, and all the bits in between. Terry wrote all of those. But even so, it was, still, not quite as finished as he would have liked when he died.' I couldn't have asked for a more perfect explanation. The book was perfect, but somewhat lacking in Pratchett's usual witticisms and personal style. If anything though this made the whole book so much sadder for me. Just the idea that Pratchett didn't get the chance to brush up this story (even though it was still amazing) to the excellent standards he worked so hard for his whole life..."

http://bit.ly/2wPbpe2

Blogger The Past Due Book Review is back with thoughts on Equal Rites:

"Pratchett hadn't quite hit his stride yet (which is understandable because it is only the third book his massive series), so some of his trademark charm and snark is missing. There are some jokes about witches; one standout is about a witch that has warts and no teeth, thereby gaining her credibility as a witch; Granny Weatherwax, on the other hand, has nice teeth and clear skin. Other than this subversion of the benefits of clear skin and a few other jokes thrown in, Equal Rites is not as campy and joke-heavy as other books, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing... there is some social commentary about both genders thinking women have a specific station because that's the way things have always been. This isn't used in any other vein than for driving the plot along and exposing Pratchett's views on the subject. There isn't a torrent of heavy handed calls for women to become wizards and the few that pop up are from Esk herself; Granny has to be convinced that it is worth the trouble for women to want to become wizards. This book also shares some plot elements with a later book, Sourcery, which has a young wizard in possession of a magical staff and he is the eighth son of an eighth son, though that qualifies him as much more than a simple wizard in the later book. Equal Rites isn't Pratchett's best work despite being a fun read; again, I want to reiterate that this is another early book in the series, so there isn't much here to elevate it above the other fantasy novels out there. The characters are entertaining and the ending is clever, but without much of the wit and cheekiness that makes his writing standout, Equal Rites remains a solid piece of fantasy fiction..."

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/08/16/equal-rites-review/

Blogger Aditi Mukund Prabhudesai aka Sunflower's cluey take on Maskerade:

"Straight off the bat, Terry Pratchett doffs his black fedora to the weird world of opera with the above dedication. Opera is an artistic medium comprehensible to few. It is instructive that at different stages in the book, both the protagonist and the antagonist launch into similar tirades about the absurdness of opera ('The plots don't make sense…There should be a sign on the door saying "Leave your common sense here"!'). Even the book cover illustrated by the great artist Josh Kirby is an extension of this belief. The leading characters are depicted at a bizarre angle which disorients the reader. Josh infuses them with such raw, unbridled energy that one feels they could leap out of the cover any second... The theme of masks runs deep throughout the novel. Almost every leading character appears to be operating behind one... Pratchett shows his realist leanings by drawing up a sympathetic portrayal of Agnes, but avoiding giving her a fairytale ending; even the Ghost of the Opera would rather train the less talented Christine than Agnes since Christine has star quality (I was reminded of the 'X-Factor' spiel of Indian Idol). This is a sobering moment, shaking your faith in the Ghost, and made all the more powerful when you consider that Walter himself was the object of ridicule due to his ungainly physicality and would have understood Agnes the most. It underscores the notion that Walter becomes an entirely different personality as the Ghost. Agnes's arc ends with her shedding Perdita and coming to terms with herself. This is in stark contrast to Walter's. Agnes discards her mask to become her true self; Walter sticks to his Ghost alter ego stunning everyone by his transformation..."

https://neitherlessnormore.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/first-blog-post/

Blogger Muse With Me returns with a review of Pyramids:

"There are only a few books in this massive series that are actually standalone tales, involving characters who will not, as far as I know, be appearing in any meaningful way again. Regardless of this, I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I've said it before, and I'll no doubt say it again, there are elements in Pratchett's Discworld novels that do become a tad repetitive, and this book doesn't quite escape that. In this case our protagonist Teppic is to blame, our assassin turned Pharaoh, who feels a lot like a Pratchett-styled stock main character. Though he's more skilled than some previous leading men, he's still awkward and insecure in ways that feel a little too familiar. I did, however, like his status of stranger in a familiar land. A lot of his formative years were spent in Ankh-Morpork, getting a rather detailed education from the Assassins' Guild, so his return home from a more open and ever-changing society is jarring to say the least... The supporting cast was particularly interesting in this book, focusing on a number of parties that don't interact with one another that much, but all have importance. There are the pyramid builders Ptaclusp and his two sons, Ptaclusp IIa and Ptaclusp IIb, as well as the master embalmer, Dil, and his apprentice, Gern. Each party adds some extra comic relief as they frantically try to deal with the demands from on high, but each are also tied to the physical embodiments of the kingdom's grip on the past. While others demonstrate a figurative anchor to the old ways, the pyramids (and the mummies they're built for) contribute to the literal one... All in all, Pyramids was a fine entry in to the Discworld. From appearances, much of the series has its legs thanks to the numerous sub-series within, but it's nice to see that a standalone novel can be as strong as this. It's also worth noting that while I'm reading the whole series in order, by no means are they written in a way that you'd have to. This could be your first, or even only Discworld novel, and I don't think that you'd be lost..."

https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/book-review-pyramids-by-terry-pratchett/

Texan blogger Dial H for Houston's thoughts on Raising Steam:

"The fun thing about Discworld is that, while it started as a general pastiche of fantasy tropes, Pratchett soon veered off and started doing his own thing, introducing modern(ish) technology like movies, the printing press, telegraphs (well, Semaphores, but still), and even Rock & Roll. And so, Ankh-Morpork, the central city of the setting, began to evolve into a kooky mirror of London, or any other major world city. In Raising Steam, Pratchett brings trains to Discworld. A brilliant young inventor figures out how to harness the power of steam, and then it falls on Moist von Lipwig, a fast-talking con man who's employed by the city (again, go read Going Postal) to organize it and shape the railway into something productive. It helps that Moist is my favorite Discworld character, so I was predisposed to like Raising Steam from the start... Raising Steam revolves around steam power, but it's not at all steampunk. There are no gears on top hats or nods to an idealized British empire, even if a few characters probably wear goggles at some point (for entirely practical reasons). Instead, Raising Steam is more interested in the magic of actual technology– which is to say, trains. The steam locomotive had a huge impact on the course of history, and Pratchett leans full into that, covering everything from commuter suburbs to changes in the price of fish to the rise of trainspotting culture. It's not just about trains, either. Pratchett emphasizes the 'melting pot' nature of Ankh-Morpork at every turn..."

http://bit.ly/2iA9814

Blogger Filip Magnus on A Slip of the Keyboard:

"The book itself is a collection of Terry Pratchett's non-fiction writing,which covers a variety of topics important to the man during his life — both personal and private ones, ranging from musings on his career as a journalist, PR and an author, to his passionate work to protect orangutans from extinction, to a deep-rooted appreciation for libraries and librarians (akin to Neil Gaiman), and wrapping up with his battles against Alzheimer's and for the legalization and broader acceptance of a sick person's right to die... His non-fiction captures the weirdness and the ridiculousness, and sometimes the cruelty of the world we all inhabit, of this wonderful, sometime twisted reality we all share. He fought injustice; in his writing, and outside it. He enjoyed life, and books, and I often think of how much the world could use him now."

http://bit.ly/2vfdrof

Blogger Katyboo1, mother of novice reader Oscar, returns with a love letter to Thief of Time:

"I was so looking forward to sharing this with Oscar, and the experience did not disappoint. This is one of the series that really has stood the test of both time and quality for me... full of jokes and wisdom and humanity, it's hard to see how Pratchett pieces all this together to create a unified narrative, but he does, and it is glorious..."

http://bit.ly/2vfbXKy

...and a fond remembrance of The Fifth Elephant:

"This is the twenty fourth book in the Discworld series, and one which I had very little recollection of when Oscar started reading it to me. As he read on, snippets came back to me, and I wondered why I had so comprehensively forgotten it, as I enjoyed it very much indeed the second time around... Oscar loved it because the Watch stories are his favourite, particularly any scenes that involve Nobby Nobs, and I loved it because it really hammers home the point that by this time, Pratchett had gone way beyond the traditional limits of fantasy and is writing in a much more philosophical vein about all the foibles of being human. This is particularly underscored in his handling of the Uberwald class system, and the things about the dwarves that Vimes discovers. It foreshadows his material about goblins in the very last books he wrote. There are the usual comic touches, but The Fifth Elephant is so much darker than the early works and, to my mind more multi faceted, showing the different layers of understanding and discovery that Pratchett was exploring. Whether a child reader will pick this up or not is largely irrelevant as the stories bear reading over and over again..."

http://bit.ly/2xlfFQk

...and on the subject of TFE, blogger Jamesbee agrees:

"It's always interesting to see a character taken out of their depth and put into an unfamiliar and unfriendly environment. That Vimes has to travel to a place that is as alien as the moon to him only makes things more interesting... The plot is intricate and engaging, with a number of clues and mysteries to solve. All the characters you would hope show up show up and grow and evolve. The novel hums along nicely with each chapter pushing the towards to the conclusion. Overall the Fifth Elephant had all of the elements that lend the Discworld novels its charms without having some of the pitfalls that sometimes show up. The novel was well plotted, charming, and in many parts, hilarious..."

https://jamesreads.blog/2017/07/17/the-fifth-elephant-no-spoilers/

Blogger Middle Brow gives top marks to Going Postal:

"Every time I find something new to laugh at, and that speaks to both the comic density of Pratchett's work and its effectiveness. For people who have always felt daunted by the idea of Pratchett's Discworld, I'd suggest this is an ideal second outing. I think most readers should start with one of the Rincewind novels; I started with Interesting Times, but you can always go back and start with The Colour of Magic to really get a taste for its roots. However, if this is your first Discworld entry, I don't think you miss much – Pratchett doesn't waste time trying to relay the entire back stories of characters from other Discworld books who pass in and out of the narrative of Going Postal. And what a narrative it is. It's a story that would be at home in any more mundane fantasy work – a criminal is given the choice of death or public service, chooses to live, and eventually begins to find themselves in their work in a way they never had in their criminal career. It's not an innovative story on the face of it, but the way that Pratchett works those well-worn tropes is where the magic happens...

"One of the things I love about Discworld is that it's ever-changing. Most fantasy worlds are stagnant from a technological point of view – magic has either replaced most mundane tasks or remains completely inaccessible. Peasants are still farming in fields for thousands of years. News travels by horse and cart. Not so, in Discworld. Not only is this a boring trope, it's unrealistic – people don't rest content at their current level of technology. People strive to make their everyday life easier. Half the fun of Going Postal is watching how Pratchett brings new 'inventions' to life in a fantasy context. Going Postal features the creation of the stamp, for example, inspired by Von Lipwig's previous life as a forger... Going Postal doesn't innovate in the plot department. Von Lipwig consistently outsmarts his opposition – but that's what we expect from stories about intelligent people surrounded by incompetence. He's the Sherlock of the Disc. He's genre-savvy – if not breaking the fourth wall, then certainly winking at it. But Pratchett's prose and his subversion and uptake of popular fantasy tropes make this a book I'll always revisit. .."

https://middle-brow.com/2017/07/26/review-going-postal/

Blogger Schlock Value was astonished by Strata:

"Terry Pratchett is among the greatest authors whom I've ever read. I could ― and have ― read each and every Discworld novel multiple times and will probably read them again. His passing in 2015 has left a hole in my life that will never be filled. But despite all this, my reading of his work outside of the Discworld is sorely lacking. Of course I love Good Omens, and I liked Nation and the first Long Earth novel (haven't gotten around to the rest yet), but those were all written after he'd started writing about the Disc. Strata stands out because a) it predates the Discworld novels, and b) it's purely science fiction... I probably don't have to say this, but of course this book was *phenomenal*. I mean, you could probably argue that by Pratchett standards the book was pretty meh. It certainly wasn't Night Watch or Small Gods, but c'mon. That's hardly a fair comparison. Another interesting thing about this book is that it was, in many ways, a sort of test run for Discworld concepts. Folks familiar with the the Disc―and if you aren't, drop this review right now and head to your nearest local book store or public library―will recognize a few familiar concepts, a couple of clever lines, and even a character... this book was great and grand, and moreover was an exercise in seeing the early work of one of my favorite authors. As great as the book was, it lacked some of the best aspects of his later works. There wasn't much 'stealth philosophy' as it were, although there's one bit that I really enjoyed that would fit that. The characters were fine, but they didn't have quite the depth that Sam Vimes or Granny Weatherwax do. Of course, he had a great many books to develop those characters, so that's no real surprise..."

https://schlock-value.com/2017/07/23/strata/

Blogger The Book Babblette had mixed – mostly positive – feelings about Small Gods:

"Almost certainly, the book's ultimate goal was to show the folly of religion. Pratchett's plot, style, characters, and setting were all used to further that goal. Within the book, Pratchett created a fictional, long-established religion: The Church of the Great God Om. The country of Omnia was ruled by the Church and the Church dictated the laws of all Omnians. Pratchett introduced us to Brutha, a slow-witted and good-hearted Omnian monk who accidentally stumbled upon a quest on behalf of the Great God Om. Pratchett also presented Vorbis, a leader in the Church and an all-around bad guy. Finally, Pratchett introduced Om, the once-great god who remembered the days when he was powerful enough to smite enemies and sacrifice believers but who now, because of a decrease of faith in Omnia, is only a one-eyed tortoise who reluctantly relies on Brutha's help. Pratchett didn't always take his plot too seriously. His writing style was satirical and clever. The pages were covered in jokes; some of which worked and some of which didn't. Many of the jokes were at the expense of religion or the idea that human knowledge and certainty is anything less than ridiculous... Although Pratchett used his plot as a tool to convey his message and showcase his cleverness, he did give the story a beginning, middle, and end, and I was usually invested in what was happening with Brutha, Vorbis, and Om. The story was too long, however, and became repetitive and dull. Also, Pratchett would sometimes write with such heavy irony or such deliberate passivity that the action was confusing and the story was unclear..."

https://thebookbabble.com/2017/08/23/small-gods/

Blogger neslibrarynews (no, really) was blown away by Nation... eventually:

"In his first non-Discworld novel in a decade, Terry Pratchett doesn't disappoint. I have to admit, it actually took me a few goes to get into Nation – it was only the Reading Ahead Challenge that got me to try it again, but I'm so glad I did! Nation starts off slowly, building the world first and foremost, but that's necessary to show how painful Mau's grief is when he loses his whole nation. Not only does he lose those he loves and his society, but he also loses his sense of identity. However, losing his identity and becoming isolated leads Mau to question the world-view he has been taught and take responsibility for leading his nation into a new world... Nation is also an anti-colonial story in many ways. The islanders are very aware of how the British sailors come to their islands and 'civilise' them at best, destroy and enslave them at worst. It is only through the friendship that Mau and Daphne have built up, and the nation they have formed together, that the island is able to keep its own identity in the face of a rapidly-changing world where people stake out claims to parts of the map. I love Pratchett's glimpse into the future of a nation where a meeting of cultures rather than a conquest has led to immense scientific discoveries..."

https://ccnlibraryblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/book-review-nation/

...and finally, two years into Nat Wassell's re-read of all of Discworld for the Cultured Vultures blog, we come to the final review – The Shepherd's Crown:

"I've talked a lot before on Granny and the impact she has as a character, and that is apparent even here when she is not present for most of the novel; my favourite moment is when the shockwave of her death resonates throughout the Disc and we see many other characters feeling that wave and just knowing that it must be because of her. The barriers of the world that she has held for so long, against the forces of darkness that would threaten the Disc, become more open after her death and it is up to Tiffany, Granny's chosen successor to co-ordinate the other witches and fight back against the elves who we saw banished way back in the series.

"Granny's death is the first we see of a main character in any of the books, and I am glad that it is given the time that it deserves. With everyone from Archchancellor Ridcully to Lord Vetinari watching and waiting to see what the witches will do, there can be no doubt of Granny's importance and the respect that she commanded. On a more personal note, Pratchett dedicates the book to her – 'For Esmerelda Weatherwax – mind how you go', and the bitter sweetness of that dedication, knowing now that he did not live to see the publication, plays very strongly on your mind as you read the novel. I try not to be too sentimental in these articles (probably not always winning at that) but I am glad that Sir Terry had Granny Weatherwax at his side in the end. She is, undoubtedly, a good friend to have there. There's a lot more that I could say about this book, and most of it would be rambling because it holds such a special place in my heart, but I won't do that. I will mention though, two lessons that are prevalent in this book and which, I think, sum up Discworld and Sir Terry's message, should anyone ever ask you what they might be. The first lesson is about giving people a chance... The second lesson is about what you take and what you leave behind... I believe that this is Sir Terry's message, above any other; the power to make the world a better place exists in everyone, no matter how small you might be, and no matter how much you might believe that you can't. You need to only look for it, and there it will be. It is a lesson that I think he would have been happy for any reader to take away and treasure. It is surely his greatest legacy..."

https://culturedvultures.com/the-shepherds-crown-2015-discworld/

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08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Some fantabulous iconographs from Monstrous Productions' grand finale (Guards!Guards!):
Vimes with fully loaded Errol: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTKW0AAIuh0.jpg
Carrot, the Librarian, and that wall in the Shades: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTLXgAEq_P9.jpg
Sybil and her lads: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTJXkAIgCim.jpg
The Brethren, in that "did any of them get out?" moment: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHsZiTPWsAAMhZB.jpg

...and a gorgeous one of members of The Clan reading Mr Bunnsy Has an Adventure, from Monstrous' staging of TAMAHER:
https://earlysince92.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0368.jpg

Two great photos from the Salisbury Museum's Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibit, posted on Twitter by Richard Henry:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DH6Vo4aXoAAdfp1.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DH6VnqGXoAAzRjx.jpg

The thespians of Unseen Theatre at AusDWcon 2017, photo by Danny Sag: http://bit.ly/2xlqZMu
Granny always understood this one...
https://cemeteryclub.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/bees-at-a-funeral-kalgorie-miner-27-oct-1930.jpg

More Feegle-sculpting from Paul Kidby:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFz0TUhW0AANq19.jpg

A brace of Moists, from the latest Australian Discworld Convention:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGbOAlSUQAEYAiD.jpg

A beautiful photo of one of the Melbourne Zoo orangutans, from the Zoo's Twitter account:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGgk6yPXoAA-TX3.jpg:large

The newest Discworld ale, L-Space Voyager, features a wonderful image of the Librarian on his Last Hero voyage:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGzD7cJXUAIVGgM.jpg (for more info on the contents of the can, see item 3.6 – Ed.)

A fine bit of Lancre – the cast of the Marlowe Players' production of Wyrd Sisters last month:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFVU17JXUAA0z2O.jpg

An action replay – the PTERRYDIS! (As reposted on Twitter by the Josh Kirby estate):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHC1ofOXsAAXDQp.jpg

...and another – an extensive gallery of images from Midhurst Players' production of Wyrd Sisters late last year:
http://www.midhurstplayers.co.uk/productions/wyrd-sisters/

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09) CLOSE

Did you hear about the orphaned Russian hedgehogs who were adopted by a cat? "Muska the cat adopted the spiky brood after their mother died in a lawn-mowing accident. The tiny hoglets, as they are known, had refused milk from a syringe, a bottle, and a saucer for two days, according to Sadgorod Zoo. At night, the babies had a heating pad to stimulate their digestion. Still, nothing helped. As Muska had recently raised a litter of foster kittens, she had milk to offer -- so the zoo decided to try the unusual pairing. The hungry orphans reacted to her bodily warmth and the smell of milk, and soon began to nurse. The good-natured cat proceeded to feed the hedgehogs for more than a week and comfort them at night, Russia's Vesti reports..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40720327

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

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
July 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 7, Post 1)


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"It's going to be a Happy Hogswatch! A new collection of 10 never-published stories by Sir T for the young & not-so young."
– tweeted by @terryandrob on 11th July 2017

"…if your Mickey Mouse ears fall off, that nice Mr. Disney is not unduly perturbed. If someone buys a Discworld t-shirt and the colours run in the wash, I am the person who gets the email.”
– Terry Pratchett, Science Fiction Book Club interview 1996, as quoted on the Discworld Emporium website

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

A shortish issue this month (owing to your Editor being knocked over by a case of bronchitis muscular enough to have come straight from the eighteenth century disguised as consumption... remember, it's the depths of winter down here in Fourecks), but not lacking in interesting content. I'm going to press Send now and take to my bed with a supply of leeches and lace hankies. On with the show...

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 NEW PRATCHETT STORIES COLLECTION

There's a new collection of fourteen "new" stories, to be published just in time for Hogswatch! Well, actually well and truly ahead of Hogswatch. Father Christmas's Fake Beard offers another collection of Pteenaged Pterry's delightfully wonky children's stories, following on from Dragons at Crumbling Castle and The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and once again illustrated by Mark Beech. The release date is either the 17th of August, or an unspecified date in October, depending on which social media or commercial enterprise page you're reading... but at any rate, it's coming out soon! See item 8.1 for more details!

3.2 REMINDER: "CAPTURE THE CASTLE" FEATURING PAUL KIDBY

The Southampton City Art Gallery's Capture the Castle exhibition, currently running, is meant to be "the first ever large-scale art exhibition on the subject of British castles", but a certain otherworldly castle – Unseen University's Tower of Art, by Paul Kidby – is featured as well...

When: through to 2nd September 2017
Venue: Southampton City Art Gallery, Commercial Road, Southampton SO14 7LP – 5 minutes' walk from Southampton Central Station – phone: 023 8083 3007 (option 3)
Time: Monday to Friday: 10am-3pm, Saturday: 10am–5pm (closed on Sundays)
Tickets: free admission to all exhibitions

https://www.southamptoncityartgallery.com/whats-on/capture-the-castle/

3.3 ASK THEM ABOUT STAMPS!

Roundworld's legendary, iconic and (possibly in)famous Ankh-Morpork Consulate – aka the Discworld Emporium – is, of course, the original only source of official Discworld stamps. On their website, Bernard "the Cunning Artificer" Pearson tells the history of Discworld stamps. Here be some extracts, but do go read the entire piece (link below)!

"Discworld Stamps began in 2003 while Terry was writing Going Postal. As part of his writing process, Terry's would revel in the opportunity to indulge boyhood fascinations with his subjects in the name of research. Being a stamp collector as a lad, philately was no exception and with our assistance he fully acquainted himself with the history of the Post Office and postage stamp manufacture in the Victorian era... The very first stamps off the press were perforated by Terry at Bath Postal Museum on a Victorian machine that we restored with the help of the author himself and a set of shiny new perforating pins! Terry became a patron of the museum and the Emporium consequently houses an array of postal paraphernalia that brings Going Postal to life...

"Since their inception in the book, our range has grown to encompass an ever-changing selection from post offices all over Discworld, illustrating a myriad of Terry Pratchett's characters and creations with contributions by guest artists including Paul Kidby, Joe McLaren, David Wyatt and Peter Dennis. Some of our older designs even make a guest appearance in Sky 1's television adaptation. We produce all manner of postal ephemera, from single stamps and whole sheets, to commemorative artefacts, lucky dip envelopes and first day covers. All our stamps are traditionally printed by our very own Mr Spools on authentic gummed stamp paper & perforated by hand. Like real stamps, designs come and go but thanks to a thriving secondary market older issues can be tracked down or traded on popular auction sites..."

https://www.discworldemporium.com/content/9-the-history-of-discworld-stamps

...and for a shufti at all the latest Discworld stamps, go to https://www.discworldemporium.com/39-new-stamps

3.4 ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

A promising report:

"Abnormal deposits that build up in the brain during Alzheimer's have been pictured in unprecedented detail by UK scientists. The team at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology says its findings 'open up a whole new era' in neurodegenerative disease. Their work should make it easier to design drugs to stop brain cells dying. The researchers used brain tissue from a 74-year-old woman who died after having Alzheimer's disease. The form of dementia leads to tangles of a protein called tau spreading throughout the brain. The more tau tangles there are, the worse the symptoms tend to be. Doctors have known this has happened for decades but what has been missing is a detailed understanding of what the tangles look like. The team took advantage of the "resolution revolution" in microscopy to take thousands of highly detailed images of the tau inside the woman's brain tissues... this could be one of the most important recent discoveries in tackling dementia. Attempts to develop a drug to slow the pace of dementia have been met by repeated failure. But it is hard to come up with a drug when you do not know the precise chemical structure of what you are targeting.

"Dr Sjors Scheres, one of the researchers, told the BBC News website: 'It's like shooting in the dark – you can still hit something but you are much more likely to hit if you know what the structure is. We are excited – it opens up a whole new era in this field, it really does.' The structure of tau, published in the journal Nature, is the first to be determined in such detail. Fellow researcher Dr Michel Goedert told the BBC: "This is a big step forward as far as tau goes but it is bigger than that. This is the first time anybody has determined the high-resolution structure [from human brain samples] for any of these diseases. The next step is to use this information to study the mechanisms of neurodegeneration'..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40493868

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 THE FIRST ANNUAL DISCWORLD DAY: A ONE-DAY EVENT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Looks like it will be as fun as a fun thing! "We invite you to discover the streets of Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city of the Discworld. A folklorique network of old lanes, squares and alleys for your walking pleasure. Wherre exitement and trolls lurke arounde everry corner and much may be heard the traditional street cries of old time also the laughing visages of the denuizens as they goe about their business private. All guilds are welcome, so if you fancy yourself as an artificer, a seamstress, an assassin or a clown, you'll be sure to be in good company along The Street of Cunning Artificers. Dogs and unruly luggages to be kept on leashes at all times."

Features include the following (the original text – note spelling! – was too adorable to abridge or summarise):

An Ankmorpork Adventure: Seek! Hustle! Build! Conjur! Enter as a single person or with a team of wizzards, complete the tasks as laid out for you by the Patrician.

Fabricati diem, pvnc: test your mettale and train with the City Watch, they are recuiting!

The presence of beer always greases the rungs of the evolutionary ladder so make sure your Inn-sewer-ants-polly-seas are up to date and join us in The Mended Drum. Expect a test of wits, much revelry and many barbarians.

The Discworld Dress Up will happen in Pseudopolis Yard. Embody your favourite character and be victorious. Win Thynngs.

The great Wizards of the Unseen University invite you to engage in battles of Cripple Mr Onion, Thud! and the likes. Can you beat the brightest of the Discworld?

Burnt crunchy bits, dwarf bread, rat onna stick and other local delicacies can be found between Harga's House of Ribs and the Curry Gardens, so weary travellers and brave explorers will not have holes in their tummies. Keep an eye out for Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler.

The Muntab Moving Pictures House invites those of a sloth-ier disposition to rest their weary rears upstairs in the Patrician's Castle, munch on banged grains and be enveloped in the screenings of Sir Terry Pratchett's visual fantastical-ness.

Garstairs Stables offers the usual range of equestrian services to the sons and daughters of gentlefolk.

When: 4th November 2017
Venue: The Moors Castle, 638 Larsens Road, 1739 Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa
Time: 11.00 to 22.00
Tickets: R60.00. A limited number of tickets are available online http://qkt.io/DiscworldDay2017 or at the gate at a price of R80.00. Under-12s are free

https://www.facebook.com/events/320926284986740/

4.2 DWCON 2018 NEWS

Short but sweet:

"Membership sales are now open, but we are almost full! You will now be sent an email if and when you can pay for your membership. Find out more about membership prices and types..."

https://2018.dwcon.org/membership/
https://2018.dwcon.org/membership/overview

"An update (and gentle reminder) about hotel bookings for the Convention:

"Those of you who have booked your Memberships will naturally be thinking about your accommodation. We will begin allocating rooms in the Convention Hotel, Chesford Grange, and our partner hotel, Woodland Grange soon. If you do want to stay in either of them, please make sure you update your details on our website by Monday. You can also book camping at the Convention Hotel."

https://2018.dwcon.org

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.0 AUDITIONS

The Progress Theatre will be auditioning for the cast of their forthcoming January 2018 production of Maskerade (see item 5.3 below). The auditions will be held on Sunday 17th September at 2pm or Wednesday 20th September at 7.30pm at Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL. "Auditions are open to all,but if cast you will need to join Progress Theatre.

"If you have any questions or would like to be considered but can't make the audition dates please contact director Chris Moran on 07729 501350 or at chris.moran@me.com or assistant director Jordan Emmett on 07932 976693 or at jdemmett27@hotmail.co.uk prior to the auditions."

http://progresstheatre.co.uk/auditions-maskerade

5.1 PLAYS IN JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER

* WYRD SISTERS IN DERBY (JULY)

The Marlowe Players, an amateur company who have been staging plays for nearly 70 years, take a crack at Wyrd Sisters next week!

On the subject of Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters director Rick Law says: "As someone who reads a fair few fantasy novels, I've never found a series that takes itself less seriously than the Discworld books, much to their credit. A lot of that comes from the narrator's voice, and that is Terry's voice. I challenge anyone to read his work without being reduced to a giggling mess at some point while your co-workers/people around you on public transport/your pets looks at you like you've gone mad."

When: 25th–29th July 2017
Venue: Darley Abbey Village Hall, Abbey Yard (off New Road), Darley Abbey, Derby DE22 1DS
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £7, available from the Box Office (phone 07961 607372) or online by filling in the web form at http://www.marlowe-players.co.uk/book-tickets/

"Please note that we do not have numbered seating at Darley Abbey but we will do our best to accommodate those with special needs if you advise us accordingly."

http://www.marlowe-players.co.uk/

* WYRD SISTERS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE... (AUGUST)

Return of the Hat! After their successes with Eric and Mort at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Duck in a Hat theatre company will be back at with their production of Wyrd Sisters in August.

When: 14th-19th August and 21st-27th August 2017
Venue: Paradise in Augustines, (Venue 152) 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL
Time: 6.25pm all shows; running time is 90 minutes
Tickets: £9.50 (concession £8.50), available from https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/775570-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/ or ring the Box Office on 0131 510 0022

http://duckinahat.weebly.com/

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF (AUGUST)

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

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

http://monstrousptc.com/
https://twitter.com/MonstrousPTC/
https://www.facebook.com/MonstrousProductionsTheatreCompany/

* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)

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

When: 24th-26th August and 31st August-2nd September 2017
Venue: Monifieth Theatre, 72 High Street, Monifieth, Angus DD5 2AE
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£6 concessions), available from Troups Pharmacy, Monifieth; Yorkshire Building Society, Broughty Ferry; and The Bay Diner/Grill, Monifieth. Ring 01382 480043 for details. Tickets are also available online at http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/tickets and at https://www.tickettailor.com/all-tickets/13094/1940/

http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson

* WYRD SISTERS IN WEST YORKSHIRE (SEPTEMBER)

The Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (T.A.O.D.S.) will be presenting an unusual Discworld experience – Vince Foxall's BBC radio play of Wyrd Sisters, performed live – at the end of September. "As with previous productions, this Hippodrome Foyer Play is based on an original radio script dramatized by Vince Foxall for BBC Radio 4 and will be performed script-in-hand with live sound effects and a large cast of players old and new. Featuring strolling minstrels, fools, ghosts, murderers and diverse alarums!"

When: 29th and 30th September 2017
Venue: Hippodrome Theatre, 83 Halifax Road, Todmorden OL14 5BB
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6, available online from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/todhip

http://www.todhip.org/wyrd-sisters

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/2tjucfQ "Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

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

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)

The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.

When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."

http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT

The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), 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... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!"

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

5.3 PLAYS IN 2018

* MASKERADE IN READING (JANUARY 2018)

The Progress Theatre will be staging their production of Maskerade in January next year. But first, don't forget to check the auditions page,. above...'

When: 18th–27th January 2018
Venue: Progress Theatre, The Mount, Reading RG1 5HL
Time: 7.45pm all evening shows, 2.30pm matinees on 20th and 27th January
Tickets: TBA

http://progresstheatre.co.uk/maskerade

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)

Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."

When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, available from 1st July 1 online at www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624.

http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/
http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), will be meeting next on Monday 7th August 2017 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 Drummers have also taken up doing the odd afternoon meetup; the next one will take place on 27th August. Meanwhile, here be last month's report by Helen Nicholls:

"We met nearly two weeks ago. There is no reason for the late report beyond the fact that I just didn't get round to it. When I arrived, Charles gave me a Zelda wolf amibo as a birthday present, which was very nice of him. Charles told us of his attempts to embrace his Scottish heritage when Mahrie came in, making the meeting more Scottish. Later Rak arrived, making it very Scottish indeed. I recall a discussion on ancient Rome, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and subsequent construction of the Colosseum from the proceeds. We also talked about Roman emperors and the suicides of Roman dignitaries that were really a polite form of execution (not that the death of Petronius could really be described as polite - Google it if you want the gory details). Never forget that this is a cultured group. Phil showed off cute pictures of his new kittens, Mort and Midnight, which caused an unbelievable chorus of cutesy noises from Andrew, Alex G. and Taz. Alex said that he loves to see pictures of cute animals and children. The others were very dismissive of the idea that children are cute. This reminded me of a Dara O'Brien routine where he asks what is wrong with us that we find the young of other species more appealing than our own. Jessica arrived in time to do her quiz on detective fiction. This was won by Mahrie, who will be doing the next 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."

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

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Social Meet at the Caledonian Hotel on 27th July.

The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:

Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:

A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 3rd August 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 4th August 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

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

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 7th August 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 7th August 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Navigating Neverland's introduction to Discworld comes via Guards! Guards!:

"The pacing of the book was fantastic! There weren't any parts in which the story dragged because even in parts that may have been uninteresting in another book, this one did it right by combining humor with fantastic characters. I was always interested in what was going on. The only part that caused trouble was at the beginning when we are just thrown into the story and, having never read Pratchett, I was trying to get used to his writing... The plot of the book was all-around entertaining, hilarious, and just down right enjoyable. This is the first book I have read in the series and, in my opinion, the world-building was terrific. I loved having my first experience being inside the city of Ankh-Morpork and learning all about its inner workings. It doesn't seem like a city I would enjoy living in, that's for sure..."

https://navigatingneverland.org/2017/07/11/guards-guards-discworld-8-city-watch-1-by-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Michael Beyer reviews Raising Steam:

Terry Pratchett is always a good choice if you like laughs, thrills, and satire. Raising Steam does not disappoint. It uses familiar characters like Moist Von Lipwig from Going Postal and Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork city watch along with new characters like the engineer Dick Simnel and the goblin Of The Twilight The Darkness (Yes, they like you to use the whole name)... The usual mix of plot complications and themes of science versus magic are thrown about like fireballs to keep the story interesting, and one dark and foggy night aboard the train on a rickety bridge with the deposed king of the dwarves on board headed back to his kingdom sums up the sheer magic of Terry Pratchett's gift for story-telling..."

https://catchafallingstarbook.net/2017/07/12/raising-steam-a-book-by-terry-pratchett/

Blogger okelay's thoughts on the Long Earth series:

"There isn't exactly one plot. It's more of a worldbuilding exercise and exploration, some stories get a lot of time, others little... This could be either positive or negative depending on the reader. Personally I liked seeing what was going on in all the different places of the Earth and would like to see more of that. Like what's stepwise Chile like? Underwater? Destroyed by vulcanos,earthquakes,tsunamis?, are there worlds where the Andes are not there and what does that do to the climate? What kind of life lives here? There's a lot to explore. I've also seen several reviews of people thinking the plot is too meandering. It's entirely possible, but I don't see that as a negative thing. It is fairly slow plot-wise, there's no thrill or urgency. Which is nice, cause there's no hurry to finish the book,no omg whats gonna happen, you're not racing to the end so you can sit back and enjoy the journey... [the books] are not particularly funny and prose doesn't feel Pratchett-like at all which makes me think that maybe he came up with the ideas and Baxter did the actual writing..."

https://okelay.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/book-review-the-long-earth-series/#more-1616

Blogger Ivy Torrejos loved The Last Hero:

"Seeing it on the shelves of a bookstore, I was drawn by its wonderful pages full of illustrations (it's like a childrens book) and it's a twist on a familiar theme (Conan the Barbarian?!). I read the synopsis at the back and was intrigued by the storyline. I bought the book and it became one of my favorite... I have read The Last Hero many times since I bought it. I always wanted to experience the adventure and funny moments. It helps cheer me up everytime I find myself in a lag..."

https://wearestockfile.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/stockfile-book-reviewthe-last-hero-a-discworld-fable/

Blogger The Past Due Book Review is back to give five out of five to Good Omens:

"Good Omens may seem a simple parody at first but it posits the theory that people, when left to their own devices, will be good or choose to carry on rather than chuck it and start over. Adam grows up under the influence of neither Good or Evil, but humanity. Pratchett and Gaiman weave a story that is entertaining, complex, and hilarious; their voices and writing prowess are so similar, and complementary, that I have a hard time picking out who wrote which parts despite having read multiple works by both authors. Filled with references to pop culture, the Bible, and literature, Good Omens is a treasure trove for those with sharp eyes that enjoy little Easter Eggs. I have three copies of this book; a dog-eared copy that I lend to other people, a nice (as in quality, not accuracy) hard cover I received as a Christmas gift, and this copy that I found in a Half Priced Books. If you are searching for a book that lands its jokes at with impeccable timing while delivering a message that could save us all, look no further."

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/06/28/good-omens-review/#more-5860

Blogger fantasyst95's review of Small Gods:

"I have found through reading Pratchett's books that they often have some underlying message, often by parodying life and our everyday struggles or alternatively, other literature; Equal Rites addresses the issue of gender equality, Wyrd Sisters parodies the three witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth and Moving Pictures is a humorous take on Hollywood and the power of media. Small Gods I think is no exception... Corruption in the church is also an issue which is brought up, as the local population with the help of Om attempt to depose Vorbis, the head of the Quisition with whacky schemes of a million-to-one-chance odds, so it just has to work… right?! Well, nothing ever goes exactly to plan, but the Discworld population are adaptable if nothing else. This book has some real laugh-out-loud moments, and although I wouldn't say it was in my top favourites of Pratchett's Discworld novels, it still holds its own..."

https://readersonline.blog/2017/06/25/review-small-gods-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Making Them Readers is back with another mother-and-child review, this time of The Fifth Elephant:

Oscar loved it because the Watch stories are his favourite, particularly any scenes that involve Nobby Nobbs, and I loved it because it really hammers home the point that by this time, Pratchett had gone way beyond the traditional limits of fantasy and is writing in a much more philosophical vein about all the foibles of being human. This is particularly underscored in his handling of the Uberwald class system, and the things about the dwarves that Vimes discovers. It foreshadows his material about goblins in the very last books he wrote.

There are the usual comic touches, but The Fifth Elephant is so much darker than the early works and, to my mind more multi faceted, showing the different layers of understanding and discovery that Pratchett was exploring. Whether a child reader will pick this up or not is largely irrelevant as the stories bear reading over and over again, and as my delight in rediscovering this attests, will last a lifetime of re-examination.

https://makingthemreaders.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/the-fifth-elephant-by-terry-pratchett/


Blogger Jamesbee also highly recommends The Fifth Elephant:

"The novel is takes place largely in Uberwald where dwarves, vampires, werewolves and Igors all live together in uneasy harmony. Pratchett uses this to make some interesting points on race relations and traditions. Drawing parallels between the Discworld and our own is not difficult, and is relevant even to this day. As usual, he hides his rather vicious deconstruction of society behind comedy. The plot is intricate and engaging, with a number of clues and mysteries to solve. All the characters you would hope show up show up and grow and evolve. The novel hums along nicely with each chapter pushing the towards to the conclusion. Overall the Fifth Elephant had all of the elements that lend the Discworld novels its charms without having some of the pitfalls that sometimes show up. The novel was well plotted, charming, and in many parts, hilarious. I would fully recommend this novel to any fantasy lover, even someone who hasn't read much or any of Terry Pratchett's novels before."

https://jamesreads.blog/2017/07/17/the-fifth-elephant-no-spoilers/

Blogger Rustling of Pages finds gloom worth loving in Feet of Clay:

"I had a bit of trouble finding into the story because I had never before read a City Watch Book and had to get to know the characters first. Next time it will be decidedly easier (hopefully). However, each more or less important character has their own backstory, doubts, feelings and thoughts. They are well-rounded characters who you just have to like immediately. The only one who annoyed me whenever he was on the page was Nobby for being … Nobby. The plot follows different strands, even into people's personal lives and leaves you wondering how they might fit together. At times it was difficult to tell what was even going on with all those deviations and digressions and in the end some things had nothing to do with the plot at all but I didn't mind. With Ankh-Morpork being shrouded in mist during the night the setting immediately became darker and more mysterious. Shadows lurking in the mist, murders being committed. This added a nice clammy and creepy touch to the story... Pratchett has a lovely writing style. Shorter sentences and devoid of lengthy descriptions. There is a lot of dry humour and playing on words which I absolutely love!

https://rustlingofpages.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/feet-of-clay/

Cultured Vultures blogger Nat Wassell is getting near to the end of her epic re-read of the Discworld novels. Here are her thoughts on Snuff:

"I am inclined to say that whilst I agree it is not the strongest Watch novel, as a finale to their story, it is a very good one. Sir Terry did not know that this was going to be the last Watch novel of course; I seem to remember several sources at the time of his death talking about how the one after 'The Shepherd's Crown' was going to be a Watch story, and as he did not know, most of the characters aside from Sam are probably neglected a little bit. Detritus and Angua, for example, have very little to do here, which is a shame for his last appearance. The focus is on Sam, for the most part, because he has been forced out of town on a holiday. Of course, the odds of Samuel Vimes actually enjoying a holiday are slim to none... 'Snuff' does such a great job of finishing off Sam Vimes' story because it is the perfect example of character growth and change. When we first met him back in 'Guards! Guards!' he was a drunken police captain who was in charge of a force of three people, including himself. He was reluctant to even take on a dwarf, let alone a troll. Now he is a duke, a happily married father, in charge of a metropolitan Watch; dwarves, trolls, gargoyles, vampires, werewolves, golems and a Feegle rub shoulders with humans, and everyone is much happier for it... I've talked a bit about how Vetinari, Vimes and Sybil, Archchancellor Ridcully, William de Worde and Moist Von Lipwig are changing the face of Ankh-Morpork, and it is encouraging to think that the future of the city, and indeed the Disc, lies firmly in the hands of youngsters like Young Sam and Tiffany Aching..."

https://culturedvultures.com/snuff-2011-discworld/

...and finally, on new fansite We Atent Ded, Spanish blogger Carlos Ors Bravo writes about his love for the Pratchett oeuvre and its effects on him:

"It isn't easy for me to talk (or, as is the case, write) about Sir Terry Pratchett. Not ever since he died. Although, if you were to talk to my close family, they'd say that Pratchett is the only person I talk about (if you don't take into account Neil Gaiman, Jeff Bridges, the Coen brothers and, on occasion, Tim Curry). But that's not what I meant. Even though I talk about STP quite often, I still feel a sting in my heart every time I mention him or quote him (which is very, very often). But before I talk about him, let's travel back in time. Seven, eight or, maybe, nine years. I'm not quite sure about it. Anyway, let's go to Arte 9 – a comic-book store that's one of Madrid's nerd culture staples. Let's go to the franchise they have by Manuel Becerra, where I spent many (maybe too many) afternoons as a teen... I went into that dark comic-book store, clutching what little money I had, and leaning by the door was a huge piece of cardboard with a book glued to it. The book was Equal Rites and, by it, the editor had said something or other about Pratchett. I don't remember what it was, but I'm sure it didn't do him justice. I'm positive. Two days after buying it, I'd already read it and was doing a short presentation on the bespectacled, bearded, man on the back-cover. I wasn't an expert, but I knew enough to convince people to read his books... thanks to the many books I've read ever since I picked up Equal Rites all those years ago, I've confirmed all my suspicions which, in retrospect, are fairly obvious: Pratchett was incredibly well-read (obvious, I know, but still…). He disassembled everything and satirized it in the process. Many other things. His culture lead me not only to writing, but to reading and buying other books (Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, for example) and, also, to improving myself as a person..."

https://weatentded.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/terry-pratchetts-obe-art-and-a-writers-adolescence/

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

8.1. DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* A new book of stories!

"Terry Pratchett presents Christmas with a difference! Forget the tinsel and turkey, gifts and games, and indulge in abominable snowmen, explosive mince pies, a Santa Claus who ends up arrested for burglary, and a partridge in a pear tree! Enjoy a festive frolic with ten early short stories written by Terry for the Bucks Free Press in his days as a journalist – Father Christmas's fake beard will have you chortling, giggling and possibly crying into your Christmas pudding!"

Priced at £12.99, Father Christmas's Fake Beard will ship on the 17th of August 2017 and can be pre-ordered via the link below. Also, a deluxe slipcover edition, priced at £25 and due for release on 5th November 2017, is available to pre-order (see second link below). Both editions promise to ship on the day of release. For more information, and to pre-order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/younger-readers-books/388-father-christmas-s-fake-beard-pre-order
https://www.discworldemporium.com/younger-readers-books/389-father-christmas-s-fake-beard-deluxe-edition-pre-order

* A found treasure trove of copies of The Witches!

"Long out of print and much in demand, we've rescued copies of this Discworld board game from distant lands and wrestled them out of the grasp of creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions to get them back on our shelves! DON'T MISS OUT!!

"Most problems can be solved with a little headology, but sometimes a witch must resort to magic - use caution however, as a little too much can cause an inexperienced witch to turn 'Black Aliss'. Play as Tiffany Aching, Dimity Hubbub, Annagramma Hawkin or Petulia Gristle and travel around the kingdom of Lancre. This beautiful game is illustrated by Discworld artist Peter Dennis and features 55 illustrated cards and a map of the witches' homeland. The second Discworld board game from Treefrog can be played by up to four participants, but can also be enjoyed as a solo adventure!"

The Witches is priced at £55. For more information, and to order, go to:

https://www.discworldemporium.com/games-activities/386-the-witches-a-discworld-board-game

8.2 PAUL KIDBY'S DISCWORLD MASSIF PRINTS

The stunning Discworld Massif, aka the Disc's biggest iconograph-selfie, was recently featured in art magazine ImagineFX – a timely reminder that prints of Mr Kidby's wonderful piece make great Hogswatch gifts for Pratchett fans...

"This is a unique collectors print featuring 77 favourite characters from the realms of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Each print is hand signed and numbered and the edition is limited to only 2000 copies worldwide. Prints will be despatched rolled in tissue in a postal tube. Price includes Postage and Packaging for UK Deliveries."

The Discworld Massif is priced at £50 (plus shipping, for buyers outside the UK). For more information, and to order, go to:

http://shop.paulkidby.com/discworld-massif-print/

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09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

A quick couple for you...

The "blocking-in" stage of Paul Kidby's latest Nac Mac Feegle sculpt:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFQQpJ5XgAAxxN2.jpg

A nicely funky Nanny Ogg preparing to do the Rite of Ashk'Ente, from the Maldon Drama Group's recent production of Wyrd Sisters:
http://bit.ly/2uITt45

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10) CLOSE

And that's the lot for July and back to bed for me. Take care, and we'll see you next month!

– Annie Mac

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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
June 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 6, Post 1)


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"People have a tendency to take libraries for granted. I don’t think we can take libraries for granted, because there’s a certain section of society that seems hell-bent on eliminating them. I can’t work out why they’d want to eliminate them, except that they’re just nasty people, and shouldn’t."
– much-loved author – and major Pratchett fan – Ben Aaronovitch

"I can't read any of his novels until I have finished my own. I would hate to find that someone else had already had one of my ideas first, and I would not want to be influenced by someone else's writing. But it is something to look forward to reading."
– another much-loved author, the now rather well-known JK Rowling, interviewed by The Bookseller in 1997

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

There is much kerfuffle (and fooferaw, and doo-dah, and hullabaloo, and isn't our language wonderfully daft!) in the Press and on the internet at the moment about a certain twentieth anniversary. Yes, that one. The Harry Potter series, for anyone who's been living in that place in Slice where the sun doesn't shine. So why am I leading this month's editorial with a mention of a book series that has nothing to do with Discworld? Easy: because there has also been a lot of Discworld-versus-Potterverse kerfuffle, fooferaw and the rest sailing back and forth across the Clacks for years now, and I have never understood it. See, back in the ancient twentieth-century days of the original Bands With Rocks In, there was a similar blather between fans of the Beatles and fans of the Rolling Stones, and it made no more sense to me then than Discworld-versus-Potterverse does in this century – especially the "if you love one of these then you can't possibly love the other" part. How ridiculous to think that one can't love both! Or indeed, that one can dislike both, or be less than enamoured of one for reasons that have nowt to do with t'other. So I hope that all Discworld fans and all Harry Potter fans can put aside any differences and celebrate this anniversary, because between them Sir Pterry and Ms Rowling CH (and how is it that she's not been made a Dame yet?) have done more to advance the cause of youth literacy – and all-ages joy! – than just about anyone else on the planet. Raise your glasses high!

Earlier this month, final year students from the University of Huddersfield's Costume with Textiles BA Hons degree course put on their yearly Costume Graduate Degree Show. This year's exhibition included costumes for "characters from books by Roald Dahl and Terry Pratchett and Edgar Allan Poe". How gratifying is it to see the name of Pratchett bookended by two of the (other) most famous writers of the past few centuries, with the assumption that everyone will recognise all three names equally well! And if you'd like to see the quality of the students' creations, there are some photos of last year's exhibition here: http://bit.ly/2sLNlX5

A bit of a mystery... Unseen Theatre's next Discworld production, coming in October, will be an action replay of one they've performed before... but which one? See if you can guess from this image of the production's first time around: http://bit.ly/2sgYhbB

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

It's come to my attention that we've been a bit lax in passing along information about new releases. Of course there are no *new* Pratchett books as such, but even those of us who have the entire Pratchett oeuvre already in various forms might want to update or replace old volumes, and of course almost everyone has friends and family who might be lacking a Discworld book or three... I know that in our household we have gradually been replacing our old falling-to-pieces Discworld paperbacks with the beautiful new hardcover releases...

Here be a list of much of what is now available:

"Gift Edition" hardcovers of all the Tiffany Aching books, featuring exquisite new Paul Kidby cover art
"Collector's Library Edition" hardcovers of The Truth, The Fifth Elephant, Carpe Jugulum and The Last Continent,
"Deluxe Edition" limited edition hardcover of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
The Terry Pratchett Diary (perpetual, so good for any year)
The Discworld Colouring Book Artist's Edition
A new cover edition of The Carpet People
A new cover edition of Raising Steam
A new omnibus edition of The Colour of Magic/The Light Fantastic
...and there's even The Little Black Book from the Pterry Memorial, a new edition of the Discworld Roleplaying Game, the soon-to-be-released 2018 Discworld Calendar,
and the Ankh-Morpork Post Office Notebook.

There is a choice of three main online sources for these, if your local bricks-and-mortar bookseller lets you down:

http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/
https://www.discworldemporium.com/19-new-books
http://discworld.com/products/books/

3.2 REMINDER: THE TERRY PRATCHETT "HISWORLD" EXHIBITION

September is getting closer... here be the item as originally posted in the February issue!

A four-month exhibition on the works and life of Sir Terry Pratchett opens at the Salisbury Museum this coming September: "The Salisbury Museum, The Estate of Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby present 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld', an exclusive major exhibition based on the extraordinary life of Sir Terry Pratchett, the creative genius behind the Discworld series. Follow his journey to becoming one of our best known and best loved writers. This unique exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry's artist of choice."

When: 16th September 2017 to 13th January 2018
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone 01722 332151, email museum@salisburymuseum.org.uk)
Time: opening times are Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sundays (9 April - 29 October) 12:00 to 17:00. "Please note that our cafe is closed on Sundays."
Tickets: Adult £8, child £4, family (2 adults/4 children) £20, under-5s free. "Please note that all tickets issued by the museum are ANNUAL PASSES and are valid for one year. This is a condition of participating in the Gift Aid scheme and is offered regardless of whether you opt for the standard or donation admission."

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/your-visit/prices

Tickets are also available online from http://salisbury.merlintickets.co.uk/product/ADME

http://discworld.com/terry-pratchett-exhibition-announced-salisbury/
http://pratchetthisworld.com

3.3 PAUL KIDBY'S TOWER OF ART CAPTURES THE CASTLE:

The Southampton City Art Gallery has a very special exhibition, and the Tower of Art is in it:

"This is the first ever large-scale art exhibition on the subject of British castles. Everyone loves a castle: the first sight of a great mediaeval castle such as Conwy, Harlech or Dover can be a spine-tingling moment, they have an exceptional visual wow factor. Steeped in history and legend, these extraordinary buildings exude a powerful and brooding presence. They conjure knights in shining armour, derring-do, evil deeds and deep dungeons, high adventure and royal intrigue. Turner and Constable, Girtin, Cotman, Ibbetson, Sandby, Varley and many others travelled to castles throughout Britain in the search of the Picturesque. Castles, often sited in spectacular locations, were the perfect subject for the Romantic movement of the early 19th century that embraced the heroic past. The Gothic Revival was to spawn a new wave of castle building. Showcasing the finest historic and contemporary castle artists and combining history with art, this exhibition conjures the mystique, excitement and prestige of the castle from Iron Age hill forts to Victorian reproductions and fantasy castles. It will include famous and rarely seen works from public and private collections, including loans from Tate, The British Museum, the V&A, the Government Art Collection and from the collections of major artists. The exhibition will include a fully illustrated catalogue, which has been generously sponsored by the Punter Southall Group."

When: currently running, through 2nd September 2017
Venue: Southampton City Art Gallery, Commercial Road, Southampton SO14 7LP – 5 minutes' walk from Southampton Central Station – phone: 023 8083 3007 (option 3)
Time: Mon to Fri: 10am-3pm,
Sat: 10am - 5pm, Sun: Closed
Tickets: free admission to all exhibitions

Paul Kidby says, "I am delighted and honoured be included in such a prestigious collection."

https://www.southamptoncityartgallery.com/whats-on/capture-the-castle/

http://www.paulkidby.com/event/capture-the-castle/


3.4 THE LIBRARIAN WOULD APPROVE

It seems criminal to throw books away, but some people do exactly that. Luckily, at least one Roundworld hero does something about it. From the BBC:

"A dustbin man in Bogota in Colombia, who never studied further than primary school, has gathered a library of more than 20,000 thrown away books. The collection began 20 years ago, when Jose Alberto Gutierrez fished out a discarded copy of Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina. He now offers his books to other people as a free community library. "I realised that people were throwing books away in the rubbish. I started to rescue them," he said. Mr Gutierrez, who has gained the nickname The Lord of the Books, began collecting books that had been dumped in the waste bins in wealthier parts of the city. He would take them out of the rubbish and retrieve them for families in poorer areas. His collection of chucked away books is now used by families wanting to help their children with their homework, in a free library called the Strength of Words. 'There was a lack of them in our neighbourhood, so we started to help,' said Mr Gutierrez..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-40173423

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 AUSDWCON 2017 NEWS

Nullus Anxietas VI (The Discworld Grand Tour) is completely sold out now, but there is still a waiting list in case some ticketholders have to drop out:

http://ausdwcon.org/shop/waiting-list/

Also worth noting: Adelaide's Roundworld-famous Unseen Theatre Company will be presenting a 'moved reading' (script in hand) performance of "The Trial" for the Discworld Convention on Sunday 6th August.

4.2 NADWCON 2017 NEWS

The ever excellent Emily Whitten's new infopost:

Welcome to the NADWCon blog, where we will endeavor to bring you informative and entertaining missives as we advance rapidly towards the 2017 NADWCon, to be held September 1-4 in historic New Orleans, Louisiana. As a co-founder of the NADWCon, I’m really excited to be working on yet another wonderful fan celebration of Sir Terry’s works – and as incredibly sad as I am that Terry is no longer with us in the Roundworld, I am glad that we will have an opportunity to further honor him at our con this Labor Day Weekend. And in such a setting, too! New Orleans has been called many things – The Big Easy, The Crescent City, the Birthplace of Jazz, the Mardi Gras City, and, of course, the modern portmanteau of New Orleans and Louisiana, NOLA.; but for Discworldians, the most important name for New Orleans is Genua: the Discworld equivalent for New Orleans, in which Granny, Nanny, and Magrat had a grand adventure in Witches Abroad. Terry spent some time in New Orleans years ago, and from that the inspiration for the bananana daiquiri and other Discworldian story elements was born. Visiting New Orleans after reading Witches Abroad (or the other way around) is an especially unique experience for Pratchett fans to have, as the book echoes so much of the feel and culture of that unique place.

Having been there a couple of times now specifically to scout out and find the best locale in which to celebrate - the excellent Sheraton New Orleans, book your stay here, located on Canal Street right near Bourbon Street (but don't worry, also far enough away to offer the option of a quieter environment for those who aren’t in the mood to paaaar-tay 24-7) – I can relay that it is an experience in itself to partake of the food, fun, and atmosphere of the city, and that you can certainly convince yourself, just by looking at things a little bit sideways, that you are actually in Genua after all.

Our hotel is handy to the shops and also to some excellent restaurants and sights. Along with being right near Bourbon Street, which boasts such famous bars as Pat O’Brien’s (the Hurricanes there are a must) and many, many places to procure a bananana daiquiri, around the corner is an excellent breakfast spot very in keeping with the fairytale theme of Witches Abroad, The Ruby Slipper Café; and right across the street from the hotel, for all of your last-minute costuming needs, is a costume and (hem hem) novelty shop that is, amazingly, called “Mr. Binky’s.” (I can hear Terry laughing from here.) I can vouch for the delicious fare at The Palace Cafe also across Canal Street; and there’s also an Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium right down from it that is still on my list of “to-visit” places.

And that’s just naming a few of the places that are right outside the door within walking distance. There are many other amazing, interesting, and historical sights to be seen all over New Orleans (check out our handy list right here!) And, of course, there will be many things to do at the con itself, with excellent programming, guests, and new and old friends to sit down with.

More on that shortly, but for now, if you are signed up for our con, I’d like to say, “Hurrah! Welcome! And we look forward to seeing you!” And if you haven’t signed up as yet, I encourage you to register for a membership, book your hotel room (noting that we have a special hotel rate available from August 24-September 10, should you wish to arrive early or stay a bit longer and explore), and join us for “The Genuan Experience” in beautiful New Orleans.

Cheers from your co-chair!

Emily S. Whitten
Co-Chair, NADWCon 2017

https://nadwcon2017.org/bloggings

The when, the where and the what of NADWcon 2017: https://nadwcon2017.org/f-a-q

4.3 DWCON 2018 NEWS

The original Discworld Convention has been going for over twenty years now and hardly needs publicity, as it tend to sell out almost as fast as concert tickets for (insert name of latest identikit boyband here). But for those among you who might like a chance to get your foot in the door early, here be an announcement from chairperson Tamara:

"Brethren, sistren, other-ren,

"It's a million-to-one chance, but we all know those come through nine times out of ten... I am very proud to announce The Discworld Convention 2018, a four day celebration of the works of Sir Terry Pratchett, which will be held at the Chesford Grange Hotel on 3rd – 6th August 2018. For the 11th Discworld Convention we are taking our inspiration from the book which introduced us all to the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch and its much beloved members Vimes, Carrot, Colon and Nobby – Guards! Guards! Have a look around to find all the information you need in order to join us in our hunt for Dragons, including when memberships go on sale, how to book your hotel room or camping plot, and what to expect at the Convention. I and the other Elucidated Brethren committee members welcome all of you and hope you will join us next year and help us open the Door of Knowledge Through Which the Untutored May Not Pass (it sticks something wicked in the damp). Whisper not our secret knowings to the uninitiated, lest your figgins be roasted..."

And look – you might have a newer and better foot-inna-door chance owing to a change in ticket availability:

"So, who was it that said a wise Chair never counts their dragons before they hatch? In my last message I said we'd be opening for sales in July. I gave you a date. I was sure. But then THINGS happened. Hex has had some issues and it's all gone a bit quantum. It's fair to say we've run into a couple of snags. The crack ConCom team are ON IT and yes, snags are being ruthlessly hunted down and eliminated. But that's taking a bit of time, and some of ConCom have started muttering about needing sleep. And food. So, in order to ensure that our sales launch goes smoothly and without any issues, we have decided to delay the opening of sales by just over one week. We will now be opening at 19:00 BST on 10th July. Information on the way memberships and hotel bookings will work is on the website now. If you need anything else then please drop us a line at info@dwcon.org. We are grateful for your understanding and support."

https://2018.dwcon.org/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JULY AND AUGUST

* WYRD SISTERS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE... AGAIN! (AUGUST)

Return of the Hat! After their successes with Eric and Mort at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Duck in a Hat theatre company will be back at with their production of Wyrd Sisters in August.

When: 14th-19th August and 21st-27th August 2017
Venue: Paradise in Augustines, (Venue 152) 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL
Time: 6.25pm all shows; running time is 90 minutes
Tickets: £9.50 (concession £8.50), available from https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/775570-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/ or ring the Box Office on 0131 510 0022

http://duckinahat.weebly.com/

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF (AUGUST)

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

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

http://monstrousptc.com/
https://twitter.com/MonstrousPTC/
https://www.facebook.com/MonstrousProductionsTheatreCompany/

* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)

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

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

http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017... AND 2018

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/2tjucfQ "Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

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

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)

The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.

When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."

http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT

The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), 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... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!"

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)

Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."

When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, availab le from 1st July 1 online at www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624.

http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/
http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/

5.3 REVIEWS

WYRD SISTERS IN BATH

By Pamela Kelt and Samantha Walker in the Bath Chronicle:

"Nadine Comba as clever Granny Weatherwax steers us majestically through the madness, ably assisted by her sisters in sorcery Angela Giddings, hilarious as earthy Nanny Ogg, and Gabrielle Finnegan as the charmingly naive Magrat Garlick. The fool, Iorwerth Mitchell, mastered the art of being funny without appearing foolish. The duke was deliciously bonkers. In truth, the whole cast was sterling, putting together a fast-paced rendition of Pratchett’s magical wit. With accents! Plus a rather super cauldron, courtesy of the Museum of Bath at Work (also responsible for the torture implements). According to Terry’s original notes on the play, ‘a bit of dry ice would be quite nice - I know it’s a swine to deal with, but it gives a good effect ...’ In the intimacy of The Rondo, a smoke machine works perfectly well to fabricate the meta world that Pratchett created. Witty music along with terrific sound and lighting contribute to a satisfying theatrical experience that blends fantasy with subtle views on the madness of life... The Rondo Theatre Company’s stage version of the Wyrd Sisters is a hugely enjoyable recreation of a novel that doesn’t appear to be complicated but is fantastically multi-layered. .."

http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/review-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters-126324

...and a blog review from "Rachy-Lou":

"Pratchett fans will be relieved to know that the plot isn’t altered from his original novel, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Following the murder of the Old King, the Lancre Oven Coven (Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and Magrat) smuggle the infant prince and his crown out of the country to safety... The chemistry between the three is perfect; Nanny Ogg’s (Angela Giddings) comic delivery and Magrat’s (Gabrielle Finnegan) eccentric naivety acting as the foil to Granny Weatherwax’s (Nadine Comba) stern realism. The relationship seems easy and natural, making the audience feel relaxed and engaged. From then on we are treated to some brilliant comedic performances from Iorwerth Mitchell as the Fool and Nic Proud as the Duke in particular, as well as a memorable Sergeant from Richard Chivers. Director Paul Olding (who also made a presumably last minute appearance in this performance as Vitoller due to ill health), utilised minimalist staging to great effect. The props were well chosen and realistic, some provided by the Museum of Bath at Work. The music was witty and lively, and the lighting and special effects timely and appropriate. Costumes were, for the most part, well put together and as I would have pictured Pratchett’s characters to be clothed with the exception of the Duchess. Unless The Queen of Hearts from Wonderland really is moonlighting in this production. Incongruously dressed Duchesses aside, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the Rondo Theatre Company’s production of Wyrd Sisters and any real criticism that I have of it is aimed solely at Stephen Briggs’ adaptation..."

https://habitualscribbler.com/2017/06/26/theatre-review-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est") will be meeting next on Monday 3rd July 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."

As you can see from their latest meet report, the subjects for discussion range well beyond the Disc:

"So, we met Monday night two days after the London Bridge attack. I had wondered if anyone would be put off coming but in the end we had a total of about 15. This shows that Broken Drummers does not bow to terrorism. Early on, a discussion on Jeremy Clarkson became surprisingly heated. I got into a debate with Phil over Clarkson's violent tendencies, which I resolved by punching him in the face for arguing with me (OK I didn't but I did see Have I Got News for You filmed yesterday and wanted to put some satire into the meeting report). In honour of the recent 25th May, I did a quiz on Night Watch. This confused some American tourists on the next table who asked if it was something to do with Game of Thrones. As always, there was a certain amount of heckling. This time, Edmund was a major source of disruption, trying to remember the name of the Night Watch's horse by saying names out loud (no-one got this one so be proud if you know it). Eventually, I picked up one of the drumsticks from our mascot and threatened to hit people for further disruptions, which helped. Chris B won and is now the proud owner of a Dr Who mug that my Dad donated to the quiz. We had two new people arrive just as the quiz started. I think that they were called Karen and Kerry Ann, however I did not get the chance to speak to them properly. Chris J. has returned, now a qualified accountant, so our singing the Accountancy Shanty a few months ago clearly helped." – Helen Nicholls

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Social Meet at the Caledonian Hotel on 29th June (tomorrow!); the next one after that will be on 27th July.

The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:

Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:

A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 3rd July 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

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

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07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Rebecca on Small Gods:

I have found through reading Pratchett’s books that they often have some underlying message, often by parodying life and our everyday struggles or alternatively, other literature; Equal Rites addresses the issue of gender equality, Wyrd Sisters parodies the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Moving Pictures is a humorous take on Hollywood and the power of media. Small Gods I think is no exception, introducing the idea that the power of God(s), one or another (there are thousands on the Discworld) are relative to the number of believers they have. In a way can I get behind that idea. I would truly be concerned however if God, Allah, Thor, Loki, Apollo etc all sat in heaven throwing dice and using us mere mortals as pawns for some game we don’t understand the rules of. As well as his ability to address these topics – Pratchett has an extraordinary sense of humour to do it with... This book has some real laugh-out-loud moments, and although I wouldn’t say it was in my top favourites of Pratchett’s Discworld novels, it still holds its own..."

https://readersonline.blog/2017/06/25/review-small-gods-terry-pratchett/

Blogger bookedbybliss on A Hat Full of Sky:

"A Hat Full of Sky is categorized as YA and although I found it to be more straightforward and simpler than the usual Discworld tales, compared to the average (and maybe even more than average) YA books out there, the story was definitely complicated and meaningful. In his usual wry and satirical manner, Terry Pratchett deals with issues that are commonplace to most young people – bullies, rivalry, peer pressure, being the odd one out. It is overall a coming of age novel but it has themes that adults can relate to as well such as taking responsibility for your actions and differentiating between what you want to do and the right thing to do. Tiffany’s interaction with the Hiver also forces us to face some truths about ourselves that we may not be comfortable with. Being a witch turns out to be very different from what Tiffany had imagined it would be and we as readers discover along with her that it’s not all about boiling cauldrons and casting spells and turning people into frogs... I found it interesting to see [Granny Weatherwax] portrayed in a different light here than the other Discworld books, where she’s often shown as a disagreeable and difficult woman in comparison to the more genial Nanny Ogg. In this book she is looked at with great reverence and likened to a leader of the witches..."

https://bookedbybliss.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/book-review-a-hat-full-of-sky-by-terry-pratchett/\

Blogger Ryan is back with his thoughts on Wyrd Sisters:

"The book’s parodying of Shakespeare’s plays supplants the usual jabs at the Fantasy genre. This is the first time (perhaps except Mort) that Pratchett has shifted the subject from that genre’s tropes to another that still works in the setting. Shakespeare having written a lot about royalty, it also plays heavily with the legends and beliefs behind the importance of kingship, those destined for it, and the power it grants. In classic Discworld fashion, the book doesn’t pull many punches when making fun of monarchy, especially in the face of the usual romanticizing... The trio of witches play off of each other really well. Granny’s stubborn expertise, Nanny’s jovial rambling, and Magrat’s meek inexperience makes for a lot of great banter, especially the more compromising a situation they’re thrown into... one thing this novel gets into that I really appreciated was the power of words (storytelling) in shaping reality. This not in the literal sense, but reality as perception. There are instances of word of mouth and spin, but this culminates in the use of theatre, which frequently portrays the drama of history. A popular production of a story, of history, becomes the truth in the eyes of the masses, even if the facts are much different. Felmet wants to use a play to turn public favour against the three witches and onto his side. We see how words could change a group of herbalists and healers who utilize the arcane into scheming hags that murder babies and sink ships with sinister powers, in the eyes of an audience. Though the book’s presentation of this is at a microcosmic scale, it demonstrates the realities that fiction can create and how that can be used for good or for ill in swaying perception..."

https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/book-review-wyrd-sisters-by-terry-pratchett/

A quick note from blogger thecorneroflaura about chapters and why Discworld never needed them:

"I’ve just finished reading Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. Like the other Discworld books, this one doesn’t have any chapters. You’d think that this would cripple a book, leaving no convenient place for a reader to leave off for the day and risking confusion when the scene changes. Yet, in Night Watch, it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment at all. Of course, this is mostly down to the late Terry Pratchett’s incredible writing (I think Sam Vimes has muscled his way into my top ten main characters list) but it got me thinking: could other books get away with it? Do you have to be as brilliant as Pratchett to be able to do away with chapters altogether?..."

https://thecorneroflaura.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/novel-writing-question-no-6-do-we-even-need-chapters-anyway/

Blogger cupofjobi, late to the Discworld party, will be partying enthusiastically after having a go at The Colour of Magic:

"I’m not sure why I’ve never read any Terry Pratchett before, especially since I’ve known about his series and heard nothing but high praise for it since I can remember, but this book is absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to read more of the Discworld series. It’s hard for me to even convey how much I loved this book. I will admit to being a little lost at first as to what exactly was happening but before I knew it I was whisked away on an adventure with Rincewind the wizard and Twoflower the tourist as the sapient pearwood luggage chest follows them all over Discworld. So many authors I read on a regular basis have sung such high praises for this series and now I know why. It is simply put, one of the best books I have ever read. I found it hard to put down even with the Pacific Ocean lapping at the seawall outside of our rental house. My only complaint about this book was that each of the chapters was extremely long, I believe there were only 4 in the entire first book, and I vastly prefer shorter chapters. But honestly who the hell cares how many chapters there are or how long each of them is when the writing, characters, and story are as amazing as what Terry Pratchett put onto the page. RIP Terry Pratchett, I feel ashamed for not finding your truly fantastic series of books before now..."

http://bit.ly/2th2KQP

Blogger Jeroen returns with thoughts on Tiffany Aching and The Wee Free Men:

"The Aching books are commonly labeled as young adult, but Pratchett is such a treasure that these books should not be overlooked. We are now in the final stretch of Discworld novels, in which Pratchett’s struggle with Alzheimer slowly becomes apparent. But the Tiffany Aching novels see Pratchett still on top of his game and are one of the jewels in his crown... What I admire greatly in Pratchett’s writing is how this story is about common shepherd people in a medieval fantasy setting, and how he grounds these people so strongly in the land and the communities they live in. During Tiffany’s adventure, we get flashbacks to her memories of her grandmother, 'Granny Aching', who wields this great influence over the community while all she does is sit still and smoke tobacco. Her “witchery” is being smart and silent, similar to the 'headology' of Granny Weatherwax in other Discworld novels. These characters are simply a stroke of genius... Unfortunately, the plot suffers from a number of tired tropes. Tiffany is trying to rescue her brother, who is stolen away by the fairy queen, and so Tiffany has to cross over to fairyland. It’s a dream-world where people’s dreams and mythological monsters become true, blablabla. I suspect that an adventure on Discworld itself would have been a lot more interesting than another rendition of the land of Oz..."

https://jeroenthoughts.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/terry-pratchett-the-wee-free-men-2003-review/

Blogger Jonathan Feinstein is back with thoughts on the Snuff audiobook:

"This is another great story that is a part of an all-around great series. The Discworld stories can be mistaken for mere parodies of fantasy tropes and, indeed, that is how they started out, but they stand on their own and are frequently good serious stories, wearing only a mask of satire. Snuff is a good solid story with some good solid social messages but delivered in a clever and entertaining manner. It is also an excellent example of how to mix a police procedural story with fantasy. Best of all, I think it makes sense even if you have not read all the stories that precede it which is hard to accomplish in such a long-running series. As usual, I very much enjoyed Stephen Briggs’ reading. He does occasionally resort to funny voices for some of the characters, but in most cases I think they are well chosen, especially for non-human characters, although I was slightly annoyed by the pubescent, breaking voice of the young “Chief Constable” out in the country. The character was much younger than Vimes, but I did not think he was that much younger. However, that was my only real criticism so all in all, he did well. Briggs has read many of the Discworld novels so it was very much a matter of coming back to a familiar friend..."

https://jonathanfeinstein.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/an-audio-book-review-ah-choo/

Blogger The English Student has had a re-think about Moving Pictures:

"Pratchett’s line is in interrogating the narrative structures that underlie our culture and our expectations of reality. In that respect, he is actually surprisingly formally innovative – surprisingly, that is, for such an unabashedly popular writer, though his fans have been pushing people to his work for years. Moving Pictures is an excellent case in point, though it’s not really a fan favourite – perhaps because it’s missing the savage flashes of explicit social criticism some of his works exhibit. (From Guards! Guards!: “we were dragons. We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless, and terrible. But…we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality.”) It’s a veritable tissue of structural irony, packed with a plethora of narrative levels. At its heart, it’s a tale that twists Hollywood sidelong by transplanting it into a fantasy world; asks us to look afresh at the silent-movie tropes that are by now embedded into our own cultural consciousness... It’s a hugely playful novel, one which also takes its characters seriously enough to have real warmth... the Discworld novels are a lot cleverer than I think I’ve given them credit for in the past. In fact, I think Pratchett might well be the Dickens of the twenty-first century: a popular writer who deals in kindly caricature and savage humour, who’s doing some real work beneath the densely detailed surface of his fiction..."

https://englishstudens.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/review-moving-pictures/

Blogger butiliketurtles loved Witches Abroad:

While enjoying my time road tripping through Uruguay, weeks ago now, I decided to start this little gem. Terry Pratchett has long been a soft spot for me and I don’t intend to grow out of fantasy any time soon, particularly this brand of silliness. Within a few pages I was hooked and I spent a lot of a ferry back to Buenos Aires in stitches and pestering my mate so I could read him snippets... I am quite a fan of Granny Weatherwax. I really enjoyed seeing a little bit of character development, a little bit more than all of those pointy edges and seemingly callous deflections. That outer layer is actually just hiding something a little more tender underneath. I could just boil this novel down into a talking mirror and witches not letting a young girl kiss a frog. But I could also boil it down into some very entertaining old ladies wrecking utter havoc on the general public. This is a melting pot of a lot of well loved fairy tales turned upside down and stitched together in a new pattern that I believe works very well..."

https://waistcoatsginandwords.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/61-witches-abroad/

Feminist blogger Eve S Rafter finds much of interest in a long post on Equal Rites:

"Contemporary gender studies would probably discuss this in terms of gender roles and socialization. Boys are encouraged to grow up with a particular mindset, girls with another. Boys who may show inclinations classified as feminine are pushed – or punished – away from them. Likewise with girls who show masculine inclinations. Granny Weatherwax’s reference to 'jommetry' echoes something my mother believes – that men have brains better suited to logic and mathematics, and that female brains are better suited to emotional or empathetic fields. Wizards’ magic is 'out of the sky' – a parallel can be drawn here to physics; while witch magic is out of the ground. It’s no coincidence that more women gravitate towards biology... The magic of men, if allowed to progress in an unrestricted fashion, will result in complete destruction of the universe. They are therefore not allowed to use their magic except in cases of absolute necessity (like when another wizard or set of wizards have already set about destroying the universe, and need to be stopped.) The wisdom and greatness of wizardry lies in doing nothing, which is why the greatest, strongest wizards do nothing but eat a lot and nap a lot. The magic of witches on the other hand is perpetually in use. For the most part, witch magic is nothing but knowledge of herbal medicine, gossipping around a pot of tea, and what Granny Weatherwax refers to as 'headology.' The witches are perpetual servants of society – they are midwives and healers, dispensers of justice, veterinarians. They tend to the elderly, the ones who have no one else to look after them. They take up the jobs no one else want, precisely because they can be so much more, and their power requires constant reminders of why it’s important to stay grounded..."

https://feministquill.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/book-review-discworld-3-equal-rites/

...and finally, Cultured Vultures blogger Nat Wassell considers the darkness of I Shall Wear Midnight:

"The first thing that strikes you reading ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ is that it is dark. Dark by Discworld standards anyway, and especially dark by Tiffany Aching standards... There is a darkness to ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’, although it is not lacking in the other elements that make up a good Discworld novel. Most importantly for me is the brief sojourn that Tiffany makes to Ankh-Morpork, the first time we have seen her visit the city. There she meets Mrs Proust, who runs the infamous Boffo shop, and whilst on this visit, Tiffany shares a page, albeit briefly, with Sam Vimes. She is, in fact, a little bit intimidated by him, when she is so often not intimidated by anyone, and I loved that idea. We don’t see Sam interact with any of the other witches at any point, and although I’d pay ridiculous money for a Vimes vs Granny Weatherwax novel (I think they would be best friends in the end), I’ll take this short scene and be appreciative of it..."

https://culturedvultures.com/discworld-discussions-shall-wear-midnight-2010/

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08) ROUNDWORLD TALES: BOOTS FOR DINNER, AND WAYZGOOSE

You may recall a certain famous dinner in Ankh-Morpork, when the Canting Crew were convinced to give up their footwear to be turned into new "exotic" dishes (with avec) at a posh restaurant. Here in Roundworld, a homeless man gave up his footwear so that someone else could *eat* in a posh restaurant! One Akbar Badshah found himself barred from his wife's birthday dinner because the sandals he was wearing failed to meet the restaurant's dress code:

"He turned to nearby rough sleeper John, who said he would be 'happy' to help and lend him his boots. Mr Badshah, who also wanted to break his Ramadan fast, told BBC Radio 5 live: "The [staff] said, 'unfortunately we have to turn you away - do you have any spare shoes?' I said, 'I don't, I've driven an hour to get here, I'm starving, I've not eaten all day.'" He and his wife Rozmin – who had previously suggested her husband should wear shoes – left the restaurant and later struck up a conversation with John, who had recently received a new pair of boots from an outreach shelter. "We had a little chat and I just asked John, 'What shoe size are you?'," Mr Badshah said. "He said, 'I'm a 14,' and I said, 'I'm a size 9, I'm in a bit of predicament... can I borrow your shoes?' "He goes, 'Yes certainly, I'll be happy to lend you my shoes.'" The couple went on to enjoy their meal as planned, then returned the boots to John, who told Mr Badshah he had just wanted "to help another human being out". Mr Badshah said John only accepted a £10 note in thanks "on the third attempt". Another man, who overheard the conversation between the pair, then gave John a £50 note, which Mr Badshah said was "good karma". Mr Badshah said he now hopes to return to the restaurant with John for a meal."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-40368439

You may also recall a certain ill-starred wizard at Unseen University – Virrid Wayzygoose, the Archchancellor-elect who fell foul of Coin the Sourceror's staff. You probably also laughed at the silliness of his name, but did you know that in using that name Sir Pterry was yet again proving his stellar worth as a picker-up of inconsidered trifles? The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that a wayzgoose (note spelling) was originally "an entertainment given by a master-printer to his workmen to mark the beginning of the season of working by candlelight", and later "an annual festivity held in summer by the employees of a printing establishment, consisting of a dinner and (usually) an excursion into the country" which was traditionally held in late August to coincide with the feast of St Bartholomew, the patron saint of bookbinders. But as to *why* a wayzgoose was so called, no-one is the wiser. The origin of the term is unknown! It's possible that it comes from the word waygoose, which might have meant a goose fed on field-stubble after harvest time, or possibly from wake-goose, an old printing house holiday, but there the trail goes cold. Still , the OED is determined to get to the bottom of this weird word. You can read the full article here:

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/08/origin-of-wayzgoose/

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09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

NADWcon 2017's excellent Witches banner, a composite of Agnes, Magrat, Granny, Nanny and – I think – Tiffany:
https://nadwcon2017.org/media/wysiwyg/Composite_Witch_bees_1.png

Some of the main cast of Milton Follies' recent production of Wyrd Sisters in Fourecks, looking very Lancrastian:
http://bit.ly/2ub9Gva

...and the Lancre Witches of Bath, as seen in the Rondo Theatre Company's recent production (see item 5.3):
http://bit.ly/2sWd3GX

Lord Vetinari, who sometimes cosplays as Stephen Briggs, has a message for us:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCA_aivXYAADHO_.jpg

The inimitable Paul Kidby, working on some new Nac Mac Feegle sculptures:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DC2WlhDXgAA6qOo.jpg

...and on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the release of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, My Kidby's amazing Band with Rocks In tribute "album cover" is always worth another viewing:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DBOLEDNWsAE4-TI.jpg

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10) CLOSE

Fans of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office might be interested to know that legendary Roundworld stamp collecting concern Stanley Gibbons – the source of our beloved Assistant Postmaster's name, Stanley Howler – is up for sale:

"The company has identified the Middle East and Asia as new markets for potential growth, but said expansion would require further investment. It said that it would therefore examine its options, which could include the sale of part or all of the business. The firm was set up by Edward Stanley Gibbons in 1856 and is the world's longest established rare stamp trader. It opened its first shop in 1891 on The Strand in London where it continues to trade from today. It also has overseas sites in Hong Kong and Singapore. The company also sells coins and antiques, but is best known for its rare stamps business..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40245067

In closing, let it be noted that the organisers of the Scheibenwelt (German Discworld) convention want you to know there are "only 827 days left" until the next convention...

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

– Annie Mac

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

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


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2026

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

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

https://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Glorious_Revolution

...and here be a fine collage/collection on Pinterest, on the subject of Pratchett wisdom in general and Lilac Day in particular:
https://au.pinterest.com/elpha1/glorious-25th-may-wear-the-lilac/

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

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 THE TERRY PRATCHETT OWL PARLIAMENT OPENING

From the Clanfield Post:

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

http://bit.ly/2r4UFgJ

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

3.2 LONG EARTH SERIES CONTEST

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

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

3.3 TEN LIFE LESSONS FROM TERRY PRATCHETT

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

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

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/features/2017/apr/life-lessons-from-terry-pratchett-discworld/

3.4 GREEBO, IS THAT YOU?

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

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

http://bit.ly/2rqc2bF

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

AUSDWCON NEWS

Charity Auction
Sponsored by Dymocks Adelaide

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

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

Donating Items

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

Our Charities

Alzheimer's Australia SA
https://sa.fightdementia.org.au/

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation
http://www.aboriginalliteracyfoundation.org/

https://ausdwcon.org/convention/events/charity-auction/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JUNE

* WYRD SISTERS IN MILTON, FOURECKS (JUNE)

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/

https://miltonfollies.org/portfolio/wyrd-sisters/
http://www.miltontheatre.com.au/

* WYRD SISTERS IN YORK (JUNE)

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

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

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

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF (AUGUST)

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

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

http://monstrousptc.com/
https://twitter.com/MonstrousPTC/
https://www.facebook.com/MonstrousProductionsTheatreCompany/

* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)

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

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

http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON! (NOVEMBER)

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!"

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), still claims on their website to be meeting next on Monday 30th November 1999, but it's more more likely to be on Monday 5th June at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. "We welcome anyone and everyone who enjoys Sir Terry's works, or quite likes them or wants to find out more. We have had many visitors from overseas who have enjoyed themselves and made new friends. The discussions do not only concern the works of Sir Terry Pratchett but wander and meander through other genres and authors and also leaping to TV and Film production. We also find time for a quiz."

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* Hedgehog Song Book Bag

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

Each Hedgehog Song Book Bag is priced at £9.50. For more information, and to order, go to:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/accessories/375-the-hedgehog-song-book-bag

* Death of Rats figurine

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

Each Death of Rats figurine is priced at £45. For more information, and to order, go to:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/home-hearth/372-the-death-of-rats-figurine

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

* The Turtle Moves sticker

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

The Turtle Moves sticker is priced at £3.50. For more information, and to order, go to:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/stickers/376-the-turtle-moves-sticker

* Glorious 25th Tea Towel

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

The Glorious 25th Tea Towel is priced at £6.95. For more information, and to order, go to:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/homeware/193-glorious-25th-may-tea-towel

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

7.2 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* The Little Black Book

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

Each Little Black Book is priced at £50. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/collectables/little-black-book/

* The Dragons Tea Towel

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

Each Dragons Tea Towel is priced at £6.95. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/dragons-tea-towel/

* The Discworld Map Tea towel

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

Each Discworld Map Tea Towel is priced at £7.95. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/discworld-map-tea-towel/

* The Turtle Moves T-shirts

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

Each Turtle Moves t-shirt is priced from £18.00 – £22.00 depending on size. For more information, and to order, go to:
http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/the-turtle-moves/

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

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08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

https://kibbinscodex.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/what-is-the-colour-of-magic/

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

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

https://theunreadtome.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/indignant-turtles/

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

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

https://casandara.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/around-the-disc-in-41-books/

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

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

https://adancewithbooks.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/book-review-wintersmith/

Blogger Jaime Pond aka Anglonerd on Monstrous Regiment:

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

https://anglonerd.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/monstrous-regiment/

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

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

https://muchadoaboutnovels.com/2017/04/27/the-5-authors-i-want-to-read-more-of/

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

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

https://thebroaduea.com/2017/04/26/books-vs-films-terry-pratchett-part-1/

Blogger Ryan's review of Sourcery:

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

https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/book-review-sourcery-by-terry-pratchett/

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

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

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/04/19/interesting-times-review/

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

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

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/04/16/witches-abroad-terry-pratchett/

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

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

https://theforgottengeek.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/on-reading-terry-pratchett-mort/

Blogger Georgia aka Deer Reeder reviews Wyrd Sisters:

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

https://deerreeder.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/wyrd-sisters/

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

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

https://culturedvultures.com/unseen-academicals-2009-discworld-discussions/

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09) ROUNDWORLD TALES: THE (EVEN MORE) REAL LESHP

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

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

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

http://yacht-maiken.blogspot.com.au/2006/08/whales-and-volcanoes.html

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

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

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Monstrous Productions' adorable Errol for their latest offering (see item 5.2):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_zsrUZXkAAOsSz.jpg

The Josh Kirby Estate channels Winston Churchill:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wZ3OIXkAEvpHZ.jpg

Stephen Briggs and friend, at the Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament opening:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-gxxpwXkAIXzRN.jpg

...and Rob Wilkins and friend, ditto:
http://bit.ly/2qDscxa

Terry (or possibly Terri, they said) Pratchett, a lovely Humboldt Penguin chick hatched at Birdworld on their Terry Pratchett Day:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-gu6e6XcAERXeQ.jpg

The Goddess Narrativia, at the Ankh-Morpork Consulate in Wincanton:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-gxxpwXkAIXzRN.jpg

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

The cast of Carlton Theatre Group's production of Wyrd Sisters this month in Wimbledon:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_x53EAXkAAkS07.jpg:large

...and a perfect Nanny Ogg at the recent Oz Comic Con in Adelaide:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8XXYwwVoAA3YX4.jpg

..and most appropriate for the month of May, a beautiful Glorious Revolution poster by yoodi-djxor3, courtesy of Flynn the Cat:
http://bit.ly/2pXIimG

...and lastly, when worlds collide:
http://bit.ly/2qDz2Tv

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11) CLOSE

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

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

– Annie Mac

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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-39614067

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:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/16/monty-python-terry-jones-learning-to-live-with-dementia

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

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 TERRY PRATCHETT DAY – IN SCHOOLS! ON THE CLACKS!

"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
connection."

http://puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk/

3.2 DISCWORLD DAY AT THE PRATCHETT PARLIAMENT OF OWLS

"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."

Programme:

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."

http://birdworld.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/BirdworldSurrey

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..."

http://bit.ly/2oQeMgA

3.3 DISCWORLD DAY AT THE OXFORD STORY MUSEUM

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.

http://www.storymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/discworld-day-truth/

3.4 YOUNG PTERRY WROTE FAN MAIL...

...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..."

http://bit.ly/2pr9sSl

3.5 ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

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..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39641123

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

SCHEIBENWELT NEWS

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

http://www.discworld-convention.de/
https://twitter.com/SWConvention
https://www.facebook.com/ScheibenweltConvention

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN MAY AND JUNE

* WYRD SISTERS IN WIMBLEDON (MAY)

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/
shows/wyrd-sisters/new-wimbledon-studio/

http://www.carltondramaticsociety.org/current-production

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN MILTON, FOURECKS (JUNE)

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/

https://miltonfollies.org/portfolio/wyrd-sisters/
http://www.miltontheatre.com.au/

* WYRD SISTERS IN YORK (JUNE)

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

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

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


5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF (AUGUST)

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

http://monstrousptc.com/
https://twitter.com/MonstrousPTC/
https://www.facebook.com/MonstrousProductionsTheatreCompany/

* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)

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

http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

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

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON! (NOVEMBER)

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!"

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld


5.3 REVIEWS

DODGER IN PORTSMOUTH

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.

http://bit.ly/2nF1Id4

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly 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:

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

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

07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* 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:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/games-activities/240-ankh-morpork-a-fiendishly-difficult-discworld-puzzle

* 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:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/other-pratchett-works/49-the-discworld-graphic-novels-the-colour-of-magic-the-light-fantastic-hardback

* 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:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-novels/363-the-colour-of-magicthe-light-fantastic-omnibus

* 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:
https://www.discworldemporium.com/19-new-books

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

7.2 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* 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:
http://discworld.com/products/badge/ankh-morpork-pin/

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

7.3 JOSH KIRBY ART PRINTS NEWS

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:
http://bit.ly/2q8C7I3

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:
http://bit.ly/2oZmYuV

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:
http://bit.ly/2puc0zc

*Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery

http://bit.ly/2pZQLVF

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08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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..."

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/04/19/interesting-times-review/

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..."

https://jonathanfeinstein.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/an-audio-book-review-an-infinite-earth-with-finite-people/

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..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/04/16/witches-abroad-terry-pratchett/

...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..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/04/13/reaper-man-terry-pratchett/

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..."

https://darkdates.org/2017/04/10/in-memory-of-terry-pratchett-a-defence-of-genre-fiction-and-reading-and-writing-what-the-hell-you-want/

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..."

https://shadowwalkingwithwords.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/book-review-5-interesting-times-by-terry-pratchett/

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..."

https://pctelanews.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/book-review-the-wee-free-men-by-terry-pratchett/

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..."

https://fargomusings.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/introducing-terry-pratchett-a-knight-and-a-scholar/

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..."

https://waistcoatsginandwords.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/54-equal-rites/

...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..."

https://yvettekan.com/2017/03/30/review-guards-guards-by-terry-pratchett/

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09) ROUNDWORLD TALES

9.1 FLORAL CLOCKS

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."

http://www.edinburghguide.com/venue/floralclock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floral_clock

9.2 THE SMELL OF BOOKS AND LIBRARIES

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..."

http://bit.ly/2pdgYxa

9.3 SUCKROSE AND AKWA, THE ROUNDWORLD VERSION

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".

http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/charity/how-we-can-help/articles/homeopathic-medicines/n/nat-mur/

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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:
http://www.discworld-convention.de/images/booth/band.jpg

A cute 1st April photo from the Discworld Emporium – all that's missing is Adam and the Them:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8QvviNXYAA8ZG5.jpg

A collage of the exquisite new Tiffany hardcovers by Paul Kidby:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8lSH6BW0AMmtoe.jpg

...and a glimpse of Mr Kidby's new map of the Chalk, as posted by him on Twitter:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8qOigjXYAIDRGq.jpg

The cover of the forthcoming 2018 Discworld calendar:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-HNQAvXcAALYr2.jpg

A Kidby classic – Attack of the Fifty Foot Ginger, from Moving Pictures:
https://theidlewoman.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/moving-pictures-kidby-e1488706241464.jpg

Another small Kidby masterpiece – Dwarf family values:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7_zAQnXgAAX5l6.jpg

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:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7xhUA5XwAIX7G4.jpg

...and finally, a picture of two baby hedgehogs. Definite cuteness overload, even if we know they can't be... well, you know:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8Gx-1IVAAAubZA.jpg

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11) CLOSE

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

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

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


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 PTERRY PLAQUE NEWS

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

From the official Buckinghamshire website:

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

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

From the Bucks Free Press

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

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

http://bit.ly/2lZtqhz

3.2 ...AND OFFICIAL PRATCHETT BUST NEWS

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

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

3.3 ...AND STATUE NEWS

From the BBC:

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

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

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

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

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

3.4 REVIEWS: TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2nYvUBu

3.5 MORE ON THE SALISBURY MUSEUM EXHIBIT

From The Bookseller:

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

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

http://tinyurl.com/hv86ca3

3.6 A PRATCHETT PARLIAMENT OF OWLS!

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

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

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/BirdworldSurrey

3.7 DISCWORLD MAKES A BUCKET LIST

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

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

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

3.8 ESSAY ON PRATCHETT, WEALTH AND SATISFACTION

By Charles Chu on Medium:

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

http://bit.ly/2n8TN8Z

3.9 MORE ABOUT MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

3.10 ORANGUTAN ESCAPE ARTIST

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

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

http://bit.ly/1MuxBLM

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 NULLUS ANXIETAS NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And virtually appearing...

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

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

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

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

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

4.2 NADWCON 2017 NEWS

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

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

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

Membership Types:

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

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

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

https://nadwcon2017.org/

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN MARCH, APRIL AND MAY

* MORT IN SASKATCHEWAN (MARCH)

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

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

http://www.uregina.ca/finearts

* WYRD SISTERS IN FOURECKS (MARCH/APRIL)

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

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

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

* DODGER IN PORTSMOUTH (MARCH/APRIL)

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN KENT (APRIL)

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

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

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

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

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* WYRD SISTERS IN YORK (JUNE)

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

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

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

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

5.3 REVIEWS

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM

By Alan Geary in the Nottingham Post:

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

http://bit.ly/2o7AB8K

By Kev Castle on Theatre Reviews:

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

kevcastletheatrereviews.blogspot.com

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF

By twin bloggers CL Raven:

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

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

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

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 JOSH KIRBY ART PRINTS NEWS

From the official Josh Kirby estate website:

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

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

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

http://www.joshkirbyart.com/


7.2 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* Tiffany's Hare necklace

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

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

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

* Thud! the game

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

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

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

* Some "sinister restocks"

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.discworldemporium.com/


7.3 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* The Terry Silhouette Pin

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

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

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

* New Phone Covers

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

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

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

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

* The Map 'n' Monsters Mug

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

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

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

* New Wee Free Men editions

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

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

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

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

* New Stickers

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

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

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

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

* Terry's Memorial Pin

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

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

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

Also coming soon, new trading cards and tea towels:

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

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

http://discworld.com/

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08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

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

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

Blogger Takanoir found Interesting Times quite, well, interesting:

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

http://bit.ly/2nYzawA

Blogger Gamobo has mixed feelings about Mort:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2n7BXyQ

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2nqZbDa

Blogger inkandcelluloid was very taken with Going Postal:

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2n8NDlJ

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

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

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

"Stephen Baxter: Over to you, Terry!

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

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

http://bit.ly/2nr8T8L

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here be an abridged list of her rather wonderful choices:

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

http://bit.ly/2omyAEX

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09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11) CLOSE

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

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

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
February 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 2, Post 1)


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

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

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) "TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK" NEWS AND REVIEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
09) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"You might quibble that showing him mostly in the context of his hardcore fans makes him look more like a cult hero and less what he truly was: a novelist for everyone, for all ages and for the ages."
– Frank Cottrell Boyce, reviewing Terry Pratchett: Back in Black

"On the first day of my journalistic career I saw my first corpse, some unfortunate chap fell down a hole in a farm and drowned in pig shit. All I can say is that, compared with his horrific demise, Alzheimer's is a walk in the park. Except with Alzheimer's my park keeps changing. The trees get up and walk over there, the benches go missing and the paths seem to be unwinding into particularly vindictive serpents."
– Sir Pterry on the disease that changed everything

"My heart was in my mouth when I realised Lyn had seen Paul dressed up as Terry before I'd had a chance to introduce them. I thought it might have upset her, but then I saw her having a chat with him and she was laughing. It was kind of wonderful, in an odd way."
– Rob Wilkins, on the filming of Terry Pratchett: Back in Black

"The only journalist who was interested in me was a snotty 24-year-old from an obscure sci-fi magazine."
– Kaye-as-Pratchett, on The Author's first meeting with Neil Gaiman

"It only took twenty years and three dozen novels before the critics finally caved in."
–ibid.

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Well now, Paul Kaye certainly got the voice right.

Kaye's performance as one TDJ Pratchett, storytelling revenant in Charlie Russell's new BBC documentary Terry Pratchett: Back in Black, was quite something. The look was close, yes, but the voice was downright eerie in its Pratchett-ness. For reviews and other news about the programme, go to items 4 and 8 (the latter being Around the Blogosphere, but that section starts with several blog reactions to watching TP: BiB). For viewers within the BBC catchment area, Terry Pratchett: Back in Black is still available on iPlayer, with 19 days left to watch (_http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08fjlvx/terry-pratchett-back-in-black_). For all other Pratchett fans around the rest of Roundworld, an a, parrot and Clacks connection will no doubt prove to be... erm... helpful.

There is some other exciting news, about an exhibition and a blue plaque, plus all the usual, so let's get to it. On with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 NEW TERRY PRATCHETT EXHIBIT!

A four-month exhibition on the works and life of Sir Terry Pratchett opens at the Salisbury Museum this coming September:

"The Salisbury Museum, The Estate of Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby present 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld', an exclusive major exhibition based on the extraordinary life of Sir Terry Pratchett, the creative genius behind the Discworld series. Follow his journey to becoming one of our best known and best loved writers. This unique exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry's artist of choice."

When: 16th September 2017 to 13th January 2018
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone 01722 332151, email museum@salisburymuseum.org.uk)
Time: opening times are Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sundays (9 April - 29 October) 12:00 to 17:00. "Please note that our cafe is closed on Sundays."
Tickets: Adult £8, child £4, family (2 adults/4 children) £20, under-5s free. "Please note that all tickets issued by the museum are ANNUAL PASSES and are valid for one year. This is a condition of participating in the Gift Aid scheme and is offered regardless of whether you opt for the standard or donation admission."

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/your-visit/prices

Tickets are also available online from http://salisbury.merlintickets.co.uk/product/ADME

http://discworld.com/terry-pratchett-exhibition-announced-salisbury/

Editor's note: Richard Henry, curator of the exhibition, told the Salisbury Journal, "The way we are designing it is allowing visitors to follow his journey into becoming one of the best-known authors... It is going to be accessible to all. The aim of the exhibition is to honour his legacy."

http://bit.ly/2l6XyqS


3.2 "...BORN HALFWAY UP A WALL..."

The Bucks Free Press, Sir Pterry's log-ago employers, have some exciting news:

"The life of much-loved fantasy author the late Sir Terry Pratchett will be honoured with a commemorative plaque at Beaconsfield Library next month. The plaque, will be unveiled at the library, in Reynolds Road, where Sir Terry was a Saturday boy and returned to give talks... Former librarian at Beaconsfield Library, and committee member of the Beaconsfield Society, Kari Dorme, welcomed the news, saying it would help make more people aware of the history and heritage of the town. She said: 'I think it is a super idea. He was particularly attached to Beaconsfield Library because he worked there.' Speaking about why she thinks this is good news for the town, she said: “I think it means that people can become aware of the literary heritage of the town, which I think is very important. It is quite exciting. It is good that the initiative has come from the town council. It is good that they recognise that history and heritage [are] important.'..."

The plaque will be formally unveiled at noon on Tuesday 7th March 7 2017. Rhianna Pratchett and Rob Wilkins will be there for the ceremony.

http://bit.ly/2kYmXlS


3.3 PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

Hilary Evans, Alzheimer's Research UK's Chief Executive, has written a post titled "Sir Terry Pratchett: The Fantasy Author's Legacy To Dementia Research". Some extracts:

"In the interviews after the death of Sir Terry Pratchett, the most common question we were asked is 'what did he mean to Alzheimer's Research UK'? Terry was incredibly generous to us, he donated over $1 million to our research to help reveal the mysteries of his disease. He encouraged our scientists. He became our Patron. He was angry about his diagnosis, outraged that the condition was stealing his abilities and sense of self – he helped us campaign around the disparity in funding for dementia research. As a small organisation fighting a big enemy, he gave us the confidence to think bigger... what we kept coming back to in the days after his death were, fittingly, his words. How he talked about his disease, the language he employed – arresting and evocative – was a new type of conversation around dementia. He began to make it OK to discuss a diagnosis, in the same way that people are now rightly emancipated to talk about their cancer...

"It can be a convenient narrative to pin a turning point in an organisation's history to a single person, and the reality is that many tens of thousands of supporters, scientists and staff make this charity what it is today. But as we lay increasingly important paths towards breakthroughs in research, increased public understanding, greater political will and more funding for our scientists, there is no denying that a lot of those paths lead back to Terry Pratchett."

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/hilary-evans/terry-pratchett_b_14673554.html


3.4 OOK! THE LANGUAGE OF ORANGUTANS

From BBC News:

Scientists who spent years listening to the communication calls of one of our closest ape relatives say their eavesdropping has shed light on the origin of human language. Dr Adriano Reis e Lameira from Durham University recorded and analysed almost 5,000 orangutan 'kiss squeaks'. He found that the animals combined these purse-lipped, 'consonant-like' calls to convey different messages. This could be a glimpse of how our ancestors formed the earliest words. The findings are published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. 'Human language is extraordinarily advanced and complex – we can pretty much transmit any information we want into sound,' said Dr Reis e Lameira. 'So we tend to think that maybe words evolved from some rudimentary precursor to transmit more complex messages. We were basically using the orangutan vocal behaviour as a time machine – back to a time when our ancestors were using what would become [those precursors] of consonants and vowels.'... There has been very little study of consonants in language research, but as Prof Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University, a lead author in the study, explained, they are crucial building blocks in the evolution of language. 'Most human languages have a lot more consonants than vowels,' said Prof Wich. 'And if we have more building blocks, we have more combinations.' The scientists recorded and analysed 4,486 kiss-squeaks collected from 48 animals in four wild populations. With thousands of hours of listening as the apes communicated, the researchers found that the animals embedded several different bits of information in their squeaks..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38907681

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04) TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK, NEWS AND REVIEWS

4.1 THE EARS HAVE IT, BUT THE EYES GOT A PRETTY FAIR LOOK-IN: A REVIEW OF TERRY PRATCHETT: BACK IN BLACK

By Annie Mac


The first thing my husband and I said to each other as the end credits for the BBC's "Terry Pratchett: Back in Black" rolled was, "It should've been longer."

The second was, "Let's go back and listen all the way through instead of watching it" – and in my opinion, if you've not seen the programme yet it might actually be worth your while to listen *before* watching it, because it may well have you believing Sir Pterry *did* come back for the filming of it.

Be warned: opening moments are heartbreaking. We see Sir Terry himself, filmed as he tries to tell of his rapidly fading personal memories to his loyal personal assistant and best friend Rob Wilkins. Seeing him in the latter stages of his disease, shrunken and uncertain, little more than a shell of the vibrant, articulate public speaker we knew and loved feels almost almost too private. Too personal. And yet, as painful as this part was for me to watch, I think it is important for so many reasons. It shows the ravages of Alzheimer's. It shows how much of himself he gave, to his art and to all of us, in his battle to continue creating until the last possible moment. And all that follows – a combination of biography, re-enactment of his own words and remembrances, and tributes from famous faces and fans alike – underlines both the awfulness of his battle with the disease that ended him, and the wonderfulness of his life and work.

That "last possible moment" occurred in early December 2014, and is here described by Rob Wilkins in aching detail, right down to his admitting, "I think we probably left this six months too late" as this "man of words" struggles with simple phrases. But Team Pratchett and experienced Pratchett documentary maker Charlie Russell found a way – a highly unusual, yet effective and deeply affecting way, no less – to tell Terry Pratchett's final story. A few scenes from the "rock concert of memorials", held in London in 2016, soon give way to Paul Kaye's personification of Pratchett as he leads the viewer through a visual biography, interspersed with testimonials from his literary agent and longtime friend Colin Smythe, who published his early novels; his Good Omens co-writer Neil Gaiman; Discworld auxiliaries co-creator and Discworld playwright Stephen Briggs, who describes and displays the evolution of the Discworld Companion; daughter Rhianna, of course; Discworld artist Paul Kidby, who first met Pratchett when he attended a book signing with an armload of his illustrations; Bernard Pearson, the "cunning artificer" who also presides over the Ankh-Morpork consulate in its twin town of Wincanton; author Val McDermid, who thinks Pratchett could have been – and in fact was, through his creation Sam Vimes – a brilliant crime writer; and a number of fans and "superfans", some of whom I imagine are familiar faces to Discworld conventiongoers.

Much of the biographical material in the programme will be familiar to Pratchett fans (and Wossname readers!), but seeing it laid out visually by actor Paul Kaye in a world-class display of what is essentially Pratchett cosplay brings an immediacy – a resonance – to all those articles and interviews most of us have read, watched, or listened to. I'm not familiar with Mr Kaye's previous work, but I have to say he patently put his heart and soul into this performance, and the result is so uncannily accurate that there were times when I was unsure if we were listening to the "stunt Pratchett" or the real one... and, due to clever editing, moments when I wasn't one hundred per cent certain about which Pratchett was on the screen.

(The coffin. The typewriter. Broke my heart all over again.)

One thing I took away from Terry Pratchett: Back in Black was increased respect for both Wilkins and Gaiman. Not that the depth of their friendships with The Author were ever in any doubt, but their willingness to let their naked emotion be filmed and broadcast was a precious thing. Also, Rhianna Pratchett gets my Mary Beard "I'm too wrapped up in what I'm doing to bother brushing my hair" award (and that is DEFINITELY a plaudit, not a criticism – I'm a major fan of Professor Beard, both on camera and in text). So open, so heart-warmingly artless in her reminiscences of a childhood spent with private but deeply loving father, that it cannot fail to touch anyone who watches Terry Pratchett: Back in Black.

Props go to fellow Discworld "genrelist" Jason Anthony, who proudly displayed a card sent to him by our favourite author. Jason should take acting lessons, because if they ever make a (coughs) *proper* Discworld film, he would be the perfect Rincewind. After all, as Discworld conventiongoers know well, he already *does* a perfect Rincewind. (Are you listening, Narrativia?). Kudos, lots and lots thereof, go to producer/director/head of filming Charlie Russell, who served in the same capacities for the earlier documentaries in the "Pratchett trilogy", and to editor Gary Scott and director of photography Patrick Smith, plus a special honourable mention to Andrew Ryan who played the parts of Headmaster Tame, the Bucks Free Press editor who was young Terry's boss, and Death.

(Another word of warning: if you aren't already in floods of tears by the forty-fourth minute of the programme, Neil Gaiman's last reminiscence will almost certainly gut you.)

So yes, my final verdict on Terry Pratchett: Back in Black is identical to my feelings about the life of Terry Pratchett himself:

Superb, but should've been longer.


4.2 THE OTHER REVIEWS

By Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian:

"One of the charms of this docudrama is that it largely eschews the usual talking heads in favour of Discworld fans. Even the famous faces that do appear – Neil Gaiman, Pratchett's consigliere Rob Wilkins, the illustrator Paul Kidby – first entered Pratchett's orbit as fans. Whether it was the life-changing offer he made to collaborate with the young Gaiman on Good Omens, or the blessing to Stephen Briggs's attempts to map Ankh-Morpork, or simply Tipp-Exing over an old dedication in a secondhand copy of one of his books so he could 'unsign' it for its new owner, Pratchett showered his fans with favours like a Highland clan chief. It's a clan with its own code of honour: to 'be a bit more Terry' is to be kinder, more tolerant. At first, it feels a little uncomfortable that instead of the man himself, we have the actor Paul Kaye dressed up as him. But then you notice that nearly everyone here is dressed up – as a witch, a member of the Nightwatch or some other character – and of course Pratchett himself was always dressed up as Terry Pratchett, with the iconic hat, big beard and black jackets... In a society that avoids discussing the subject, Pratchett made Death – with his horse Binky – his central creation, and his favourite. Seven of his books were written in the terrible interval between his being diagnosed with Alzheimer's and finally walking away with his most beloved character. In common with so many people now, I have someone with dementia in my family. Watching this, yes, is heartbreaking, but there's also something revelatory in this documentary..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/11/terry-pratchett-docudrama-discworld-back-in-black-frank-cottrell-boyce

...and another Guardian piece on the programme, by Nadia Khomami:

"The programme includes footage of the frail-looking author shortly before his death, and features an appearance from Rob Wilkins, Pratchett's long-term assistant and collaborator on the autobiography... In the programme, Wilkins recalls the day in autumn 2007 when he and Pratchett realised something strange had happened. He says Pratchett came into his office saying: 'The "S" on my keyboard has gone … Come on, what have you done with it?' It was in late 2014 that Pratchett realised he was not the same writer he used to be. 'We had a good day working on the biography and he said to me: "Rob, Terry Pratchett is dead." Completely out of the blue. I said: "Terry look at the words you have written today. It is fantastic." And he said: "No, no. Terry Pratchett is dead."' Wilkins said that towards the end of his life Pratchett became increasingly angered by his disease. 'He could see how it was affecting him, how it was tripping him up and I knew we were up against it for time. We had to get the words down and with that white heat, with that white anger driving him to write seven whole novels through the haze of Alzheimer's.'..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/03/terry-pratchett-docudrama-author-dead-alzheimers

By James Whitbrook on i09:

"Typically, these sorts of specials about dead celebrities include 'talking head' insight from fellow celebrities, but rarely cover the indelible mark left on seas of ordinary fans. Back in Black does, and it's what makes it stand out as a stunning farewell to Pratchett. There are three layers to Back In Black, starting with footage taken of Terry Pratchett in the final years of his life, attempting to recall his life story and his work for a planned—and ultimately unfinished—memoir before his mind deteriorated too far due to Alzheimer's. It's hard to watch, even if you're only a casual fan of Pratchett's work, as the writer—beloved for his imagination, his wit, his ability to craft beautiful, funny, heartbreaking sentences at the drop of his trademark hat — struggles to speak, to remember a story, or even just correct turn of phrase. It inspires a sort of fury behind the sadness you feel, as the documentary unfolds and the disease that would ultimately claim Pratchett's life gets worse and worse..."

http://bit.ly/2lENGYG

...and a combination review/Rob Wilkins interview in the Daily Mail. Say what you like about that paper's general scurrilousness, it's a fact that the Mail always showed deep love and admiration for our favourite author, and this piece by Jenny Johnston is superb:

"The original idea for the programme had been to use only the real footage of Terry, and Rob had compiled 26 hours of recordings. But the process proved difficult, due to the way the disease had taken hold. Terry's words, always so precise, were hit or miss. Starkly illustrative of what it means to be dying from Alzheimer's, perhaps, but also, says Rob, hard to watch. 'It started as a living will,' he explains. 'And there are some lovely, lovely bits. Heaven knows what we'll do with them, maybe it's one of those things the grandchildren will deal with. But using them as they were, I don't think it would have made a great film. I think it would have been far too upsetting for everybody concerned.' He talks rather movingly of how painful it was to record conversations that should have been so effortless. 'We do show a little of some of them to illustrate what it was like,' says Rob. 'But it was so hard. He'd go to tell an anecdote and he'd struggle with a word. There was one about looking in the mirror and seeing his father – and he couldn't find the word "mirror". Much as everyone would have wanted to watch Terry telling his own story, it wasn't possible. But having Paul involved gave us a solution, if you like. I'd say 90 per cent of the words Paul speaks are Terry's actual words. There's obviously a little bit of artistic licence there.'

"It's an unforgettable film, featuring incredibly moving recollections from family, friends and literary contemporaries such as fellow fantasy writer Neil Gaiman and crime author Val McDermid. The overall sense is an affectionate but at times fittingly surreal portrait of a man who had an imagination that seemed limitless. But it's the journey through Terry's final days that's the most poignant aspect of this programme..."

[Editor's note: if you've not seen Terry Pratchett: Back in Black yet, this piece will give you a fair idea of the emotional power of it. Be prepared to choke up. A lot.]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4211136/Terry-Pratchett-s-final-fantasy.html


4.3 THE EXTRAS

* A "deleted scene":

"Back to school: Exclusive extra scene from Back in Black: Pratchett, played by actor Paul Kaye, confronts his old headmaster."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4QP5HrMfrryfX00qVj789Ds/

* A behind-the-scenes exclusive:

"We're delighted to release these exclusive photographs from the filming of the BBC documentary 'Terry Pratchett – Back in Black'. The BBC crew filmed in several locations across the country and we followed Rob Wilkins on set."

http://discworld.com/new-documentary-air/
www.pratchetthisworld.com
www.salisburymuseum.org.uk

* Neil Gaiman reading his complete foreword to A Slip of the Keyboard aloud at the Terry Pratchett Memorial in London last year, and receiving The Hat:

http://sciencefiction.com/2017/02/13/the-bbc-shares-neil-gaimans-tribute-to-terry-pratchett/

* The artwork of Discworld:

Presented by the BBC, a selection of Kirby and Kidby covers:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2KxTw2gj0TR7PZ6lbKQvL4P/fantastic-pratchett-illustrating-discworld


4.4 PAUL KAYE ON BECOMING TERRY PRATCHETT

How actor Paul Kaye became Terry:

"When director Charlie Russell was asked by the BBC to make a film celebrating Sir Terry Pratchett's life, he knew that the standard talking heads documentary just wouldn't wash. How did he know this? Russell had already made three documentaries with Sir Terry himself: Living with Alzheimer's, Choosing to Die and Facing Extinction. 'I got to know him over a long period of time and we came to care for each other. As his illness progressed and it got harder for Terry to do certain things, we had built up a trust and I felt I had developed a real sense of who he was... I knew that he'd hate the idea of a conventional film full of people saying nice things about him. He would have wanted to do things differently, to come back and be in his own documentary and because we couldn't do that the next best thing was to get an actor to play him', Russell explained. With the blessing of Terry's family and close friends, Russell started the process of finding their Terry and although initially they were looking for a Pratchett fanatic in the end they chose a man who had never read a Pratchett book in his life..."

http://bbc.in/2kB2pQY


4.5 STEPHEN BRIGGS ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH TERRY PRATCHETT

"Terry was intelligent, irascible, witty and loyal, wryly observing the world around him, taking inspiration from everyone and everything he encountered and pouring wit and imagination into every word he wrote. He had a driven sense of fairness and justice, and was a staunch supporter of the conservation of orangutans, of the research into Alzheimer's Disease and of the right for people with a terminal illness to die with dignity. He loved the natural world, fought to preserve the nation's wildlife and raised goats, chickens, tortoises and carnivorous plants. He and his wife Lyn owned (if that is the right word) many cats. He was a keen amateur astronomer and built his own observatory in the garden of his home. Terry was also an inveterate collector of unconsidered trifles. He adored the strange and quirky things that happen in 'real life', and was fascinated by just about everything. He had what he called a 'pack rat' mind that enabled him to Hoover up snippets from conversations and transpose them into the worlds he created. Terry was an entertaining companion, a keen player of computer games and oh yes, he also wrote books... Speaking about his SF novel Strata in 1981, he said 'I am working on another Discworld theme, since I don't think I've exhausted all the possibilities in one book!' Quite an understatement...

"I met Terry through my interest in amateur theatre. I wrote to ask if I could stage his Wyrd Sisters, and much to my surprise he said yes, so my life was immediately catapulted down a different leg of the trousers of time. We worked together to map his world and Ankh-Morpork, its principle city. We also collaborated on a mini-raft of other publications. Terry was, as I've so often said, funny, loyal and supportive. He was also waspy – a man I could always rely on to say what he really thought about anything I did. Working with him was fast and fun – there were frequent phone calls (pre-internet), and a lot of laughs – we shared a common background in humour. At book signings we'd sometimes drift into Life of Brian... "Crucifixion? Good... line on the left, one cross each..." and then amble off into running entire scenes from memory, much to the confusion of the observing fans. It was masses of fun – and a real privilege to be a part of creating even a small element of his wonderful world..."

http://bbc.in/2kASGtU

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

05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

Monstrous Productions' newest production is The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, starting tonight:

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

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

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

http://monstrousptc.com/


* WYRD SISTERS IN LONDON (MARCH)

Ben Hayward of the Imperial College School of Medicine Drama Society writes to say that he will be directing their production of Wyrd Sisters at the start of next month:

"ICSM Drama presents to you its fabulous production of Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett! Running from the 1st to the 4th March, it's sure to be a night of fantasy, comedy, romance, witchcraft, insanity and just plain wyrdness! So mark it down in your calendars! Save the date in your phones!"

When: 1st-4th March 2017
Venue: Union Concert Hall, Beit Quadrangle, Prince Consort Road , London SW7 2BB
Time: doors open 7:00pm; curtain up 7:30pm
Tickets: £6/£8 for student/Non-Student tickets (apart from Friday the 3rd of March which will be a special performance accompanied with drinks and canapes at higher price of £8/£10 (for student/non-Student tickets). "Take a look at our Facebook event for more details (_https://www.facebook.com/events/376900926013238/_) and email eri.aung15@imperial.ac.uk to reserve your tickets now!"

Note: the poster for this event is excellent – go have a look at it on the Wossname blog at http://wossname.dreamwidth.org/46314.html


* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

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

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

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


5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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


5.3 REVIEWS

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON

The Southampton University Players' production of Monstrous Regiment, reviewed by Hilary Porter in the Daily Echo:

"Director Imogen Higgs has a lively cast and presents a reasonable night's entertainment that should satisfy Discworld fans. Polly Perks (Frankie Payne) binds herself in a male disguise in order to join the Borogravian army as, it transpires, many women have done. And so we meet various endearing characters, including Ellie Rose Fowler as Private Manicle, Gina Hodsman as the 'haunted and damaged' Wazzer Goom and, as the hunchbacked Private Igor, Bridget Wilkinson, heavily disguised but still a discernible character and personality. Stephen Fenerty makes a commanding and amusing Sergeant Jackrum, Christopher Gardener an endearing Lieutenant Blouse and Paul Cresser also scores as vampire recruit Private Maladict. The big Nuffield stage seems bare, two tables and back projections supplying settings and rather too many 'fade outs', but costumes and effects are fine."

http://bit.ly/2k2IoVB

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

06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), still claims on their website to be meeting next on Monday 30th November 1999, but it's more more likely to be on Monday 6th March at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Longtime Pratchett blogger The Bookwitch's reactions to "Terry Pratchett: Back in Black":

"It was the Barbican memorial for Terry Pratchett all over again. In the BBC documentary Back in Black on Saturday we could see an almost Terry. It's enough to see someone wearing black, with a hat like his, and if there is a beard as well, then for a heartstopping moment it is Terry Pratchett. Here it was actor Paul Kaye doing what Terry didn't have enough time to do. He did as good a job as you could ask for, speaking in the style of Terry, while not quite being our much missed author who has gone to be with Death... Much of the rest of the programme was dedicated to alternately bless the world for having produced Terry, and crying because he's gone. I have never before witnessed the seemingly unflappable Neil Gaiman even close to tears. We heard part of their story, some of which was new to me, filmed in the actual (?) place where a very young Neil interviewed a not so well known Terry..."

https://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/terry-pratchett-back-in-black/

Blogger Anna's reaction was mixed, calling it "perfect" but then complaining:

"Everything about the show was perfect. All the names we know and love were there to talk about their memories of the great man from his daughter Rhianna to writer Neil Gaiman, assistant Rob to artist Paul Kidby. They all had wonderful tales to tell and fascinating facts to give. The mixture of Docudrama and Documentary didn't work for me and whilst I didn't mind Paul Kaye as Pratchett I'd rather we had been given a straight Documentary or a straight Docudrama. I think the BBC could make a really wonderful show about the life of Terry Pratchett and even bring to life some of his creations in a most wonderful way but it didn't really work, it made it disjointed and didn't add anything to the over all story. You felt like you wanted to hear more of what other people had to say rather then Paul Kaye wittering on, whilst no doubt the words he was wittering would be Terry's own words taken from the work Terry and Rob were doing for his autobiography before he died it just really didn't need to be there. I'd rather more time be given to fans and the people who knew him best. Paul Kaye ended up at best being a rather out of place narrator rather then bringing the great man back to life. That being said if down the line the BBC wanted to make something like Doctor Who's Adventure in Time and Space I wouldn't say no to Kaye returning to bring him to life... It was a lovely way to remember a man that brought happiness to a lot of people. It had the perfect tone to it too, it was upbeat and full of hope. It was sad, of course it was sad, thinking that we'd never read another story by the man and having to remember he was no longer with us, but at the same time it reminded me that we always have him here with us. He's left such a big body of work full of wonderful characters and a amazing world but most importantly that little bit of anger that he had inside himself at people who told him he'd never be anything and everything else that means he's still with us and will be with new fans in the future.

https://believeingeek.com/2017/02/12/terry-pratchett-back-in-black/

Blogger Chris Hoggins was very impressed by Terry Pratchett: Back in Black:

"What came across in the programme was that a lot of what propelled Terry to be such a prolific writer was a deep seated anger at the injustice of the world. Being written off from an early age, he was determined to prove a point and used all that fire inside to do it. Those who knew him well said that the character in his universe of characters most like himself was the formidable Granny Weatherwax, someone who would do the right thing rather than the nice thing or the kind thing as both the latter often turn out to be a cruelty in the long term. Perhaps the best known and most loved character in the Discworld is that of death itself, who is equally bemused and fascinated by the souls he meets. It is such a cruel irony that Terry met his end much sooner than was fair and in such appalling circumstances where the thing that powered that thriving world of characters disintegrated over the course of a few short years. That righteous fury pushed him to write a further seven books after his diagnosis, a testament to the power of anger used well. I feel a deep sadness that it will probably take another hundred years or so for the world to get the true significance of what Terry Pratchett achieved, a Dickens for our times really..."

http://bit.ly/2l3N2Bp

...and The Blogging Goth found the programme helped him to grieve:

"For me, the most painful moment was the interview with equally renowned author Neil Gaiman. Terry's collaborative partner on the darkly witty Good Omens – soon to receive a TV adaption – Neil has been closely involved with much of the remembrance and memorialisation. I had to leave the London Memorial early sadly, so I particularly appreciated seeing some of Neil's recitation to the audience. In a quiet little restaurant, Neil spoke personally about his grief surrounding the very early passing of his friend. It was very difficult for Neil. He cradled his face in his hands and mourned. He said very honestly, 'I miss him so much.' It was like a punch in the chest and a knife to the brain for me. I'm an Englishman, repressed emotionally, possessed of a stiff upper lip, and uncomfortable around death. To see another, even more archetypal Englishman, publicly display his grief was… liberating, as well as being deeply upsetting. With all the skill every writer longs to muster, Neil connected me to my own grief, helped me experience and evaluate my own sense of loss around a childhood hero, a venerated figure, an idol and example I've tried to follow..."

https://theblogginggoth.com/2017/02/14/the-death-of-discworld/

...while blogger My Library Books found resonance in his forthrightness about Alzheimer's:

"At the time I was finally reading his novels, Pratchett had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I didn't appreciate just how devastating this was. Clearly, for a man who was so renowned for his beauty through words, this was the worst possible diagnosis. In 2014 I finally understood, when my Grandma got diagnosed... Grandma had always been a strong female character in my life. She didn't suffer fools lightly and she didn't take any shit from anyone. Her house was her pride and joy and was always spotless. She was passionate about her past, regaling me with stories of her extensive family history. I shared my love of great food with her. She was one of the finest bakers I've ever met (her and my mum). Alzheimer's destroyed all this. It took away her confidence, her speech, her passion. I hate it. I HATE it..."

https://mylibrarybooks.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/terry-pratchett-back-in-black/

Blogger April of collective Without a Map writes about the influence of Pratchett and his stealth philosophy:

"Most of us, readers especially, can point to a work in our lives that influenced the way we think. We'd prefer it be someone impressive, Nietzsche, Kant, Salinger, Steinem, or Malcolm X. Someone you can genuinely bring up with reverence in intelligent company. There's a range, somewhere from your teens to early twenties where works of literature, film, and philosophy have a greater impact than any other time in our lives. They're introductions to thoughts outside of what we grew up with. What our parents, teachers, and friends taught. What we discover through these works can shape our beliefs in enduring ways. I did not encounter someone pretentious at this age. Instead, I stumbled across Terry Pratchett. To this day, I'm glad I did... I couldn't put it into words then, but now I know that through his works, he made me a humanist...

"I think Pratchett is a great writer to be reading right now. I think, if he were alive, he would be calling bullshit on this current U.S. administration, but he would also remind us that turns out the other side is probably trying harder to be good than we think, and we're a lot less righteous than we think. He'd caution us to be aware that the other side might be right sometimes, and we might be wrong. Even if we come to the conclusion that this is not the case, it's good practice to remind ourselves. Pratchett's books make you glad to be a part of humanity, even when you're fully aware humanity is a bloody, vindictive, irrational mess, and that's a feeling I need to keep close right now. Thank gods I chose him instead of Rand."

https://without-a-map.com/2017/02/17/rereading-pratchett/

Blogger Lukre's longish post sums up much of what it means to be a Pratchett fan:

"I have just finished watching the BBC documentary 'Terry Pratchett Back in Black' and I was reminded of those first books, of hearing about his death and about all the hours of enjoyment I've had over the years reading his books. You might hear people say, well, he's just a fantasy writer, or that he is just a parody writer who who makes simple jokes. To both those types of people I have just one thing to say – you couldn't be more wrong. He is a life-writer. He talks about the greatest of topics and tries to deliver, if not a solution, than at least an option to facing the issue. He presents the good and the bad in people, in societies. He unmasks our prejudices and out[sic] discrimination through characters that are so far removed from us that our sensitive selves are not offended. He reveals the goodness in ordinary men and women. He respects the rule of law but also he shows us that laws are there for the benefit of the people and not the other way around. He show us our own beliefs and questions them. And he does all that with such a mastery of language and idiomatic expressions that is at times mind-boggling. His plays on words could be taught at school. And jokes crop up when you least expect them..."

https://anatomyofreading.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/587/

Blogger Joanne Clapa aka The Bookworm Bistro on Night Watch:

"Here's the thing about Pratchett novels: He has created such a large, expansive world, that it's pretty much impossible to start from the beginning. Terry Pratchett wrote over forty novels in the Discworld alone, not to mention countless other stories. Needless to say I was a little confused about a few things when I picked up my first Pratchett novel, Going Postal. So, going into Night Watch I wasn't too surprised when I didn't understand a few things. Okay, a lot of things. Night Watch is the 29th book in the Discworld, and the 6th book in the City Watch series. It follows the story of Sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the City Watch. Right from the beginning the story is thrilling... Vimes meets a few interesting character from his past…and present… it's honestly a little confusing, even if you've read previous Night Watch novels. Despite being thoroughly confused for about 90% of this novel, I really enjoyed it. The characters are unique, and hilarious. Pratchett's writing style is one that I've never seen duplicated. It's very clear that he invested his entire being into creating this vast world his characters live in... Believe it or not, I think this is a great story to start with if you're new to Discworld. Despite the fact that it's the sixth book in the series, it really gives you an interesting glimpse into the world..."

https://thebookwormbistro.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/night-watch-terry-pratchett/

...and blogger In Shifting Colour, a self-confessed "cat lady", tells of how reading – and listening! – to Pratchett books made her feel less isolated in her perceptions:

"I never believed in grieving for celebrities. How could you miss someone who'd never truly been present in your life? The belief was, as all beliefs are, inherently flawed. Presence is more than a physical proximity. It's more, even, than a direct and personal communication. Presence occurs when your life is influenced, for better or worse, by another being. But I never truly understood this until the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett.... I saw the world in weird and colourful ways; I had a habit of looking at situations sideways and that confused my peers. In social constructs where clinging to 'sameness' was the method of survival, this left me weak... I escaped to places where I could imagine myself as strong, capable, even heroic. There was a freedom I had between pages that I didn't have in my primary school life. Stories were a coping mechanism, a joy, a proof that maybe… just maybe there really was a cupboard out there that would turn my toys to life (The Indian in the Cupboard was another key favourite. Even as indoctrinated in the ordinary magic of books as I was, nothing quite prepared me for my first plunge into Terry Pratchett's Discworld series... Here was someone who had committed their weird view to paper, and who was not ashamed of it..."

http://bit.ly/2md7MGb

Quite a few people seem to discount Eric as a minor work, but blogger Alice Dillon aka Lanterns and Hardbacks gives it five stars:

"Eric is such a perfect specimen of that man's genius, full of witticisms, incisive analysis of our own world, clever parody (this whole thing is a parody of Faust) and moments that really make you think. I had one of the biggest existential crises I've ever had while reading the parts set at the beginning and the end of the universe, both brilliantly thought out. I'm one of those people who loves to hypothesise about such things and so it was a glorious, though obviously disconcerting, crisis. I don't have much more to say about this book, but it's a really quick read and full of everything that made me fall in love with Terry Pratchett's writing in the first place. Pratchett fans, make sure you read this book if you weren't sure..."

https://lanternsandhardbacks.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/eric-by-terry-pratchett-discworld-9/

...while blogger The Idle Woman represents the mainstream opinions:

"Pratchett could never actually be bad, but the simple fact of the matter is that, when compared to the mainstream Discworld books, Eric isn't very good. It's essentially one gag dragged out over 163 pages and it feels less like a story that needed to be told and more like one that was written on commission... Pratchett gamely wheels out the absurdities, but this is situation comedy rather than the character-based comedy in which he excels. Even in what I think of as the 'concept' novels – the books which focus on one theme, like rock music or the cinema or The Phantom of the Opera – he populates the story with engaging characters who have a certain depth to them. We don't really have enough time to get to know anyone here and Eric, although allegedly one of the protagonists, never develops beyond being a lustful, big-headed adolescent..."

https://theidlewoman.net/2017/01/29/eric-terry-pratchett/

Swedish blogger abookwithoutend on Good Omens:

"What if 'Welcome To Night Vale' met the bible? This is the result (For all of you who have no idea what Welcome To Night Vale is, it's a podcast about a town where all conspiracy theories, and more, are true). The plot was confusing in an amusing way, not annoying. You could never understand or expect where the authors would take you next. The writing was so creative, like giving really ridiculous info-dumps and at times taking perspective from the poor stand-bys who only want to go home, not having to deal with scolding aliens or demons that break the speed limit (I can understand that a lot of people are quite negative about multiple p.o.v. because of the confusion that often occurs, but trust me on this one). Anything could be possible. I can just picture in my head how much Gaiman and Pratchett must have been laughing when writing this story... overall, this book was great and I'd definitely recommend this to anyone..."

https://abookwithoutend.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/book-review-good-omens/

Blogger rayunder1996 is starting on "The Pratchett Path" with tCoM:

Here in the Pratchett Path I'm gonna take a look through the work of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and give a few of my thoughts on them. These won't be full reviews as I'm sure many of you will be familiar Pratchett and his comedy works already, so you don't need me to prattle on about how you should read it. Our time would be much better spent talking about the lovable Luggage, dream powered dragons, and its wonderful way with magic. Luggage is one of the most emotive and iconic creations in the fantasy genre. I think that is something we all have to agree on. From his veracious[sic] appetite for all things...well all things to be honest to his odd adorableness he really does embody everything good about Discworld. Despite his absurdity in concept, within the confine of the world it has reasonably grounded explanation for its existence. That is a key part of its charm if you think about it, that even in a world where the insanity is commonplace there is an internal logic to the world..."

https://thefantasyfayre.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/the-pratchett-path-1/

Blogger pksupernovel found The Long Cosmos well worth reading:

"The Long Cosmos is easily the best book in the whole Long Earth saga. Speculative fiction that about travelling usually ends up presenting a series of increasingly cool and mind-blowing ideas. The one from The Long Cosmos that really stuck with me was the gigantic forest, with trees the size of skyscrapers supported by helium. Their reproduction strategy involves spreading seeds when they inevitably explode during bushfires. I also amazed by the sentient islands that sampled life while moving between worlds, and that ridiculously large computer. The Long Cosmos felt more coherent and less disjointed than the previous books in the series. I can't explain why I feel this way. Maybe it was because the plotlines felt more related, and came to a satisfactory conclusion... The Long Cosmos' genre means that it feels more like a Baxter book than a Pratchett one, although there is a fair bit of whimsy about. And I really don't think it would make much sense without reading the rest of the series..."

https://pksupernovel.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/the-long-cosmos-terry-pratchett-and-stephen-baxter/

Gareth Preston, director of Bolton Little Theatre's forthcoming production of Wyrd Sisters (see item 5.1), blogs his production diary:

"When I started off directing Wyrd Sisters I'd [hoped] to keep a production diary up on this blog. Predictably this ambition was quickly eaten up by the time and energy involved in actually realising the play. So you'll have to look forward to a retrospective article instead. However I can report that we are at an exciting phase where the books are down, the movements are being fine tuned and the set is almost in place bar the painting, thanks to the marvellous efforts of Jeff Lunt and his team. Not to mention a whole wardrobe of costumes which have largely been designed and made from scratch by Francis Clemmitt and her team. I've also been out banging the drum and trying to get people interested in coming. Marketing a play is a job in itself. We're having some publicity photos taken tomorrow which hopefully will excite the local media. I went on Bolton FM radio a couple of weeks ago and I'll be popping up again on their frequency on Monday during the drivetime show in the evening. I've also made a short video promo for promoting the show on social media..."

https://garethpreston.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/downtime-out-now-wyrd-sisters-soon/

Blogger Tea and Tales on Nation:

"There's a reason Pratchett writes 'Thinking. This book contains some. Whether you try it at home is up to you.' This book is so highly philosophical and painful, as two young people survive and are faced by tragedy. Mau has to bury everyone he knows, and lead the survivors in the rebuilding of Nation. But what is Nation? When everyone who lived the culture but one has died, can such a thing as 'Nation' still exist? Also, is there a God(s)? Yet even though the topics this book handles are very sophisticated and incredibly heavy, it does have typical Pratchett humour throughout. He makes fun of religion, the idea of Empire, the English, and succession. That said, he takes Mau, his musings and suffering, and his world very seriously... The writing is witty and poetic, like most Pratchett novels, but unlike most of his other work the tone of this one is heavily philosophical and serious. You feel for Mau, and as you enter his mind you are forced to face the same questions and issues. Can you believe in the Gods when they wiped out everything you knew and loved? Is it possible to rage against them if you do not believe? The chemistry between the characters is wonderful though, and it is not all misery and suffering..."

https://tea-and-tales.com/2017/02/03/nation-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Fiona on The Long Mars:

"Some readers have criticized this series as boring and without much action. It's true that not a lot happens in this book. It reminds me of early sci-fi novels, such as those by H.G. Wells. Instead of being action-packed with exciting events, this book is more of an exploration of ideas. The characters encounter all sorts of exotic environments and life forms in the exploration of the Long Earth and the Long Mars. Those chapters are a thought experiment in the types of life that might be possible. This book also explores what might happen if mankind continues to evolve. What will those people be like? How will the less-evolved people react to them? All in all, I enjoyed the book, though it is a bit of a slow-starter. But there is what seems to me a glaring oversight, and it really bugs me... What really bothered me was the treatment of the 'Next.' Everyone was arguing that they are a danger to humanity because of their high intellect. The danger isn't from their intellect. It's because they are psychopaths..."

https://selfeducatedconservative.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/the-long-mars-a-review/

Blogger katyboo1 aka Making Them Readers on Jingo:

"Jingo is the twenty first Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett that my son, Oscar and I have shared together... Oscar loved this because it is a book about the Watch. He brings to his reading, a wealth of knowledge amassed from the previous books and it suddenly makes him realise how valuable things like back stories are. He is beginning to predict how characters will behave in certain circumstances, and it gives him enormous joy when he is right... it seems to echo a lot of the political landscape in which we are forced to live at the moment, jingoism, xenophobia, racism and casual intolerance are all lampooned on Pratchett's sharpest pen and I was moved to laugh more than once by parallels with current events. Despite the fact that they aren't really funny. Current events that is..."

https://makingthemreaders.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/jingo-by-terry-pratchett-a-review/

Blogger Nordie on The Long Earth:

"This is a relatively slow book, where Lobsang, Sally and Joshua are generally left alone to do their own thing. Occasionally they get to investigate new creatures, some benign, some not, and this allows the authors to muse on what earth may have looked like had evolution taken a little detour from what happened on our version of earth... The focus on the Long Earth for the story made it a bit disconcerting when very late in the book they introduce the idea of the long Mars. Either I was not paying attention in the rest of the book...always a possibility...or this was a very late entry of the idea of alternate other worlds. The fact there is a whole novel dedicated to the long Mars makes me wonder… Whilst overall people like/love the book, there are a number of things said that I tend to agree with.."

https://nordie.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/book-review-the-long-earth-by-terry-pratchett-stephen-baxter/

Blogger Lucinda's tribute to Sir Pterry:

"I've loved Terry Pratchett ever since I was at university. My ex-boyfriend recommended him to me and bought me The Hogfather for Christmas (back when buying paperbacks was a thing). I immediately loved the inventiveness, the humour, the way that the story was a proper adventure. The expansiveness of the Discworld novels never fails to amaze me. At one point in the documentary, they show a map of Ankh Morpork and the level of detail is incredible. Terry literally imagined and remembered a whole world in his head. What a genius. I can't believe that someone with such an expansive mind was so reduced by dementia. From the documentary, I've learnt that there was a certain snobbishness about Terry's work from the professional book critics of the day (back when that was a real thing too). I've heard great stories about mums who would say to librarians 'he's never been interested in reading before he picked up a Discworld book. Now could you recommend some proper literature?' Apparently Terry was really angry about this and he loved to know that people had been put in their place (he referred to librarians as his dirndl army, which I just love)..."

https://lucindaisreading.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/a-tribute-to-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Phil Parker is a rare bird – namely, a Pratchett admirer who isn't a Pratchett reader:

"I've tried but failed to read Pratchett. I ought to love it but I can't find a way in. It doesn't matter, the documentary is brilliant, affecting and a superb celebration of the man. What struck me was that before he wrote, he read. Everything. Well, everything in his local library starting with fantasy and then history, 'Blokes in helmets bashing each other' as he described it. Reading planted all the seeds for the character in his stories... I've said before how my local library was essential for my development. I'm not going to compare myself with Pratchett but to lift a line from the documentary, I'm a human. He is a human. My poo stinks. His poo stinks. I loved my library. He loved his library. He is a writer. I want to be a writer..."

https://nolanparker.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/no-libraries-no-terry-pratchett/

Blogger The Past Due Book Review is back with musings on Sourcery:

"The prevailing theme in Sourcery is self identity; finding out who you are, not what other people tell you that you are or are not, is central to the development of the characters... Goofiness keeps the tone of the book light while dealing with the end of the world (just like in The Light Fantastic...I'm beginning to sense a pattern), and personal themes are more present, bringing the story to another level above general fantasy or simple parody. Sourcery is full of wordplay, satire, and such ridiculous fun that it is difficult to put down..."

https://thepastduebookreview.com/2017/02/15/sourcery-review/

...and blogger Nat Wassell's review this month is Going Postal:

"William de Worde runs a large free press, and here Moist joins their ranks as an equal opportunity employer, visionary thinker and actually quite nice guy, once you get to know him. It is a quartet of characters, along with Archchancellor Ridcully and at least some of the guild leaders who are starting to inspire this real progress. When the corrupt leaders of the clacks company are ousted at the end of the book, you get a real sense of moral outrage from most of the leaders mentioned here. Lord Vetinari may be the tyrant, a fact he still likes to remind people of, but he's also remarkably liberal in his thinking. This liberal approach to politics means that the issues of racism and stereotyping that were present in early novels has basically been eradicated in the city. Moist employs golems, the last race to be integrated into the fabric of the city, without a second thought, and really does want to know how to treat them correctly.

"Adora Belle Dearheart, the human face of the golem employment agency, says that Commander Vimes will employ anyone in the Watch and turn out a solid copper at the end of it. Lord Vetinari employs Mr Pump, another golem, as Moist's probation officer. It's a cynical approach, in many ways, but it also assumes that all races of creature have their own strengths that can be put to use, as long as they wish to work. I think it's an attitude that a lot of real life people could definitely consider adopting..."

https://culturedvultures.com/discworld-discussions-going-postal-2005/

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08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

The *real* Terry Pratchett, as photographed in 2013 at Beaconsfield Library and pictured in a recent Get Bucks article:
http://bit.ly/2keP4Sa

...and in 1992, from the same article as above:
http://bit.ly/2lCxrIT

...and another, this one from the Bath Chronicle, where he used to work:
http://bit.ly/2kEe4kq

...and programme maker Charlie Russell with Paul Kaye as Pterry:
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/976xn/p04sd9qm.jpg

...and your Editor's favourite Kaye-as-Pratchett photo:
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/480xn/p04sd5rn.jpg

...and both real and faux Pratchetts, collaged:
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/976xn/p04sdwv6.jpg

Rob Wilkins, Neil Gaiman and Marcus Gipps (from publisher Gollancz) working on the Good Omens telly script:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C44PA3mUYAANF66.jpg

The official Paul Kidby Pratchett bust waxes, now ready for bronze casting, as tweeted by Paul Kidby himself:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C48gRbdXUAArmLu.jpg

A photographic action replay – Fiona Fisher's marvellous Kirby-and-Kidby Discworld art staircase, this time tweeted by the official Kirby Art account:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4uYpUyWAAEpmW5.jpg

...and a Paul Kidby replay – Discworld Gothic, which will be part of the Terry Pratchett: HisWorld exhibition (see item 3.1):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4i7M3KWcAIMfM9.jpg

...and on the subject of action replays, here's a digital cut-out-and-keep, as it were – the Pratchett coat of arms, featuring its ankh and morepork:
http://bit.ly/2kOJCRp

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09) CLOSE

For all you Pratchett fans out in the USA who might be hoping to attend NADWCON 2017, there's still one week left to order your tickets at a special discount price:

https://nadwcon2017.org/
https://nadwcon2017.org/signup/2017-adult-membership.html

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


– Annie Mac


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

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


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 JOSH KIRBY DISCWORLD ART NEWS

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

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

http://www.joshkirbyart.com

3.2 SOME VERY USEFUL QUOTATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2kd41TV

3.3 THE OTHER DARK MORRIS

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

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

(contains many excellent iconographs!)

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

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

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

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

3.4 SIR PTERRY HONOURED IN SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME

On the Locus Magazine website:

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

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

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

04) NEW DOCUMENTARY! AND GOOD OMENS TELLY SERIES NEWS

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

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

As announced in the Radio Times, by Ben Dowell:

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

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

And on the BBC's news website:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jWeYXk

From the Press Association, via the Irish Independent:

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

http://bit.ly/2jfDyoZ

From William Hughes, on the AV Club:

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

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

...and from the Penguin Classics website:

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

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

4.2 GOOD OMENS, ALSO ON YOUR TELLY!

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

The announcement, on Discworld.com:

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

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

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

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

http://narrativia.com/

From Penguin Classics:

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

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

In The Guardian:

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

http://bit.ly/2jyOM6N

On film site Joblo:

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

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

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

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

05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2017

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON (JANUARY/FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

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

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

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

http://monstrousptc.com/

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY)

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

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

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

http://www.majestic.org/


5.2 PLAYS IN MARCH 2017

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH)

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH)

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

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

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


5.3 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* MASKERADE IN BERKSHIRE (MAY)

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

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

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

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

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

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

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

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

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

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

06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

7.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM UPDATES

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

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

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

Some choice bits:

* Create Your Own Discworld Adventure roleplaying game!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Hat!

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

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

* The Discworld Gift Voucher!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Ankh-Morpork Passport!

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

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

* New stamps!

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

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

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


7.2 DISCWORLD.COM UPDATES

For the Discworld fan with deeper pockets...

* The Unseen University hoodies!

Unseen University Crest (£25 – £28):

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

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

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

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

Unseen University hoodie (£28):

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

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

Bugarup University hoodie (£28):

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

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

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

* The Unseen University scarf!

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

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

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08) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

8.1 AUSDWCON 2017 UPDATES

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

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

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

8.2 IDWCON 2017 UPDATES

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

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

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

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

http://2017.idwcon.org/

8.3 NADWCON UPDATES

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

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

https://nadwcon2017.org/

8.4 CABBAGECON UPDATES

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

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

http://www.dutchdwcon.nl/

8.5 SCHEIBENWELT UPDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogger The Idle Woman celebrates Guards! Guards!:

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

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

...and also highly recommends Pyramids:

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

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

Blogger Emily Witt also reviews Pyramids:

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

http://bit.ly/2jfNsqI

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

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

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

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

Blogger Drinking and Ink's thoughts on Hogfather:

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jznKMq

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

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

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

A blog review of the Discworld MUD, by Clay:

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

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

...and of Discworld Noir, by Sonea:

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2jznNrx

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11) CLOSE

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

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
December 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 12, Post 1)


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"The powers that be have spoken! The #Discworld year known on Roundworld as 2017 shall be named THE YEAR OF THE BACKWARDS FACING ARTICHOKE!"
– the Discworld Emporium

"What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."
– the wisdom of Moist von Lipwig

"Hogfather is the twentieth book in the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett. We loved it for many reasons, and in particular because it means that my son has now read nearly half the series, which is an immense achievement for a ten year old boy who a few years ago announced he wasn't going to bother to learn to read."
– blogger katyboo1

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

So much for my intention to take a first-time-ever Hogswatch break! This month's issue has made itself manifest after all. It is a bit smaller and lighter than usual, but there are still some interesting odds and sods, updates and what have you.

We had a wonderful Hogswatch holiday; I hope yours was as well. It's been a turbulent year around Roundworld, but we "risen apes" are a resilient species, so here's hoping that 2017 – or should I say the Year of the Backwards Facing Artichoke – will hold at least a modicum of hope and joy.

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 PTERRY AND THE LOCAL CHURCH

Sir Pterry's local Omnian priest (as it were) remembers him with respect at Roundworld's Hogswatch time:

"At St Martin's, the congregation was recently faced with a £96,000 bill for work to the roof and other essential works. They raised it all, with a further £25,000 put in the reserves for the future – and that with a population of just 20. The late author Terry Pratchett, who lived nearby, joined in with the fundraising despite describing himself as a Humanist rather than a Christian. He helped to organise a fair, advertising it on his Facebook page. On the day, his fans turned up dressed as wizards or as Death, characters from his novels. Mr Pratchett came to all the fundraising-committee meetings because he saw the importance of the church for the community. He used to like to sit in St Martin's, saying it was a place of 'solace to the soul'..."

http://www.countrylife.co.uk/country-life/country-life-christmas-message-bishop-ramsbury-144971

3.2 THE BAR IS OPEN. OOOK!

You may remember a Wossname feature not too long ago, about a Discworld-inspired London area micropub called The Broken Drum that was about to open. Well, open it did – and it's serving pints right now:

"In case you are not familiar of what a traditional ale house is, we: do not have a troll as our bouncer, sawdust covered floors or frequent bar brawls. In fact, despite its name, we encourage good conversation and only sell the finest real ales straight from the cask, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere."

The Broken Drum supports the Orangutan Foundation and Alzheimer's Research UK.

http://www.thebrokendrum.co.uk/

3.3 DISCWORLD: "HIGHEST FORM OF LITERATURE"?

On the Tor blog, fantasy author Brandon Sanderson confessed in 2013:

"I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to discover Terry Pratchett. I avoided him during much of my early reading career – I'd read the works of fantastical humorists before, and while I'd always enjoyed the experience, it wasn't something I intentionally sought out. I didn't realize I was missing out on what are arguably the best books fantasy has to offer. It's hard to describe Pratchett to the uninitiated. His works mostly take place on a fictional world shaped like a disc, and the stories tend to be murder mysteries or thrillers mixed with a healthy dose of satire on the human condition. Like the best works of fantasy, a journey with his trolls, witches, and crusty night watchmen provokes inspection of our own world. But what other authors do with light allusions, Discworld does with a sledgehammer. And with light allusion too. Then it steals your wallet.

"Discworld is story, humor, and philosophy all in one. Nowhere else have I been made to laugh so much while being forced to think so much, all while being given a wonderful plot. The closest thing to Pratchett out there is Shakespeare. Yes, really. Here's the core of my argument, then. Pratchett isn't just funny, Pratchett is transcendent. There are lots of funny writers. Some are hilarious. A few are good at making you think at the same time. But most humorists, while brilliant, have trouble with story. If I put their book down, I remember the laughter, but feel no urgency to return. Those narratives don't get their hooks in me – they don't have that pull, like gravity, that a good plot builds. In short, they don't make me think – bleary-eyed at 3:00 a.m. – that I need to read one more chapter. Pratchett, on the other hand, routinely makes me lose sleep. His best stories (I suggest Going Postal or The Truth) have excellent narrative urgency, but add to it a level of riotous wit. Then, if that weren't enough, they kick you in the head with moments of poignant commentary – unexpected, brazen, and delightful... In five hundred years, it won't be the Nobel laureates who are being studied. It's going to be this guy..."

http://www.tor.com/2013/04/27/terry-pratchetts-discworld-might-be-the-highest-form-of-literature-on-the-planet/

3.4 SIR PTERRY AND THE DOCTOR

A bit of an action replay – a lovely reminiscence from the "Anglonerd" ezine about Sir Pterry in 2014 at a Barnes and Noble bookshop, musing on Doctor Who (includes video):

"Terry Pratchett and Rob Wilkins had a discussion about Terry's new book Dodger. The conversation was wonderfully derailed several times, and they got to share other Pratchett news about The Watch TV series and Nation and so on (I'll be sharing those on this blog in forthcoming posts), as well as tangents about things like Doctor Who. Below is the transcript and video of Sir Terry's opinion on the casting of the Doctor...

"Terry: I was there for the first episode of Doctor Who. The thing about Doctor Who, if you are a real Doctor Who fan, you might know that when the BBC put it out, not many people watched the first episode, but those that did were telling people about it. So, on the next Saturday, they repeated the first one so that people could see what it was all about. Just a piece of trivia, but there it is, because I was there, hiding behind the settee.

"Rob: William Hartnell was no David Tennant, though, I'm sorry.

"Terry: No, but David Tennant is a definite David Tennant. He is the best Doctor Who of ever because he is an actor. The best of them are...funny, the modern ones are just bloody clowns..."

https://anglonerd.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/terry-pratchett-on-why-david-tennant-is-the-best-doctor/

3.5 A DEFINITIVE LISTING, OR...

...not? On Buzzfeed, one Tom Chivers has posted a list of what he claims is the correct rankings-for-excellence order of all the Discworld novels. Except it's *not* all the Discworld novels, and as for his rankings, well, anyone who lists Night Watch in one of the lowest positions and Pyramids in the top three... (insert eyerolls, facepalms and headdesks here). But it's nonetheless of interest:

"Disclaimer: This list will annoy some people, but it's my list, so there. Also, I haven't included the Tiffany Aching novels and the other young-adult books, or a few other oddments such as The Last Hero. The list was long enough already, and again, it's my list. With thanks to Graeme Neill, who is behind the blog Pratchett Job, in which he's reading all of the Discworld novels in chronological order and writing about each of them."

For the record, here is Chivers' list, from his lowest-ranked to his highest:

Snuff
Monstrous Regiment
Carpe Jugulum
Thud
Sourcery
Night Watch
Eric
Thief of Time
Soul Music
Hogfather
The Fifth Elephant
The Truth
Moving Pictures
The Colour of Magic
The Light Fantastic
Equal Rites
Jingo
Going Postal
Witches Abroad
The Last Continent
Maskerade
Lords and Ladies
Mort
Interesting Times
Feet of Clay
Guards! Guards!
Men at Arms
Wyrd Sisters
Pyramids
Reaper Man
Small Gods

https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/the-definitive-listing-of-terry-pratchetts-discworld-novels

3.6 ALZHEIMER'S NEWS: DEMENTIA VIEWPOINTS, AND A CLUE IN ART

Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan has seen the effects of Alzheimer's at close range, in her own family. She talked to the BBC about her activism:

The Christmas period is undoubtedly a time many of us look forward to spending with family and friends and that's no different for me. My beloved grandmother "Nans" turned 91 a couple of days before Christmas and my family and many of Nans' friends – laden with copious amounts of cake – went down to Wales to see her and celebrate. Nans and I have always been extremely close and she is the single most influential person in my life aside from my parents. But a lot has changed in our relationship in the last 12 years. Nans was diagnosed with dementia in 2004 and from that moment our lives changed significantly. But on days like Friday, when we all come together and celebrate her life with those who love her the most, there are still moments of the purest magic.

"Dementia is an urgent health crisis that we can no longer ignore. Some 850,000 people in the UK have the condition and more than 47 million people globally live with it. Its growing prevalence has improved how we, as a society, view dementia. But there is still a long way to go and the stigma of dementia remains rife... Too many common myths and misconceptions about dementia still exist. Time and again I hear reference to it as just being a natural part of ageing. And, unfortunately, it is often the butt of distasteful jokes. But dementia is a disease of the brain and it requires understanding, care and support. The first step in changing people's understanding of dementia and improving the lives of those who have the condition involves educating people not just on our doorstep, but across the world. Schemes that set out to change perceptions are doing fantastic work already. The Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friends is a good example. It has 1.7 million people signed up to take action and change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. Through information sessions participants are asked to think about what living with dementia might be like, practically and emotionally, and are encouraged to make changes within their community to make life a bit easier for people living with dementia.

"As a global ambassador for the schemes, my aim is to raise awareness and help change global attitudes towards dementia. I recently delivered a Dementia Friends information session to an audience of 50 young people in Los Angeles. In spite of a few misconceptions about dementia they were really interested to try to understand the disease in a real way. Many of them used words like 'crazy', 'loony' etc when I first asked them what words came to mind when we thought about dementia. But by the end of the session there was a room of young people inspired to do more for those in their communities living with dementia. A young person growing up with an understanding of the illness is one of the most crucial elements of changing how it is viewed and building a dementia-friendly generation..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38405698

...and Dominic Hughes reported on how artists' changing brush strokes might reveal early signs of dementia:

"But can art – more specifically, the way artists work – tell us something about the development of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases? A minute analysis of the brushstrokes used by artists who developed neurological diseases reveals intriguing clues about changes in the brain that occurred years before any symptoms became obvious. The mathematical method is called 'fractal analysis', which is a way of looking at recurring patterns that occur both in maths and in nature. Trees and clouds are said to be 'fractal', as are the recurring patterns of our brainwaves and heartbeats. The same applies to the individual brushstrokes of artists, which can be compared to their individual handwriting.

"Psychologist Alex Forsythe from Liverpool University carried out a fractal analysis of more than two thousand works by seven famous artists and found tiny changes in those patterns. 'In artists who went on to develop dementia or Parkinson's disease, the fractal patterns started to change in an unusual way. So what we found was that up to 20 years before they actually had a diagnosis of a neurological disorder, the fractal content in the paintings had started to decrease. So anything that helps us understand more about the way in which the brain operates is a useful way to inform future directions for research.' The artist Willem de Kooning was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after his death in 1997. The brushstroke patterns seen in his earlier work were different when compared to later paintings. But in artists like Monet and Picasso, who died free of any known neurological disease, the patterns remained constant throughout their lives. It's striking that the even though Picasso in particular changed styles so often throughout his career, his fractal range was constant, regardless of the style in which he painted..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38414104

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

AUSDWCON NEWS: LATEST UPDATE

THE DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR
4th-6th August 2017
Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, South Australia

All aboard for the Discworld Grand Tour! Grab your ticket at the early-bird price before February 4th, 2017. (_https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets_)

"But it's just after Hogswatch, I can't afford that right now!" you may cry! Well, despair not! If you purchase a Supporting Membership prior to February 4th 2017, you can upgrade at a later date to the early-bird price! (_https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/supporting-membership/_)

No tourist is complete without a cheesy hat or t-shirt, and we've got plenty available! Check out our full range of souvenirs at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/souvenirs/

And of course, for all the information about the Discworld Grand Tour, including activities, venue, and more, visit our website at http://ausdwcon.org

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2017

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN SOUTHAMPTON (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017)

The Nuffield Southampton Theatre will present their production of Monstrous Regiment next month!

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

Note: there is a special 2-for-1 student offer on Wednesday only. Also worth noting: the Friday show is already nearly sold out!

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

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)

Monstrous Productions' next offering is The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

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

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY 2017)

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

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

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

http://www.majestic.org/

5.2 PLAYS IN MARCH 2017

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH 2017)

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)

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

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

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

5.3 PLAYS LATER IN 2017

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2017)

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

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

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?&presenter=AUBAT&event=LANDL
"Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

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

5.4 REVIEWS

* REVIEW: MORT IN HARROGATE

By Kate Albrecht, in the Harrogate Advertiser:

"'It would seem that you have no useful talent whatsoever. Have you thought of going into teaching?' So writes Terry Pratchett. Death goes to the Jobcentre to look for a new job, having handed over the reins of Binky the horse to a hapless farm boy, in Terry Pratchett's highly popular novel Mort. Woodlands Drama Group presented the stage adaptation by Stephen Briggs at Harrogate Theatre with Julie James as producer/director. A very busy cast included Mark Dove with sepulchrally-amplified voice as Death, Max Albrecht as Mort, Brian Hey as the wizard Cutwell, Frankie Sharp as Death's daughter Ysabell, and Jonathan Hill as his manservant Albert. Ian Clarke, Jemma Bunting, Ben Pollard, Sarah Blackamore, Keiran Lancaster and Rosie Day all created distinct characters in multiple roles. A convoluted plot is kicked into action when Mort fails to collect the soul of Princess Keli (well played by Liz Watt) and kills her would-be assassin instead. Costume, lighting and sound departments all clearly had plenty to do; weapons and accessories were designed and made by Helen and Toby Albrecht; and the direction made excellent use of the limited space. It was a welcome treat for Pratchettphiles, and a good introduction to the Discworld creator's barmy universe for those who have always needed one but were afraid to ask."

http://bit.ly/2hT1qtT

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 9th January 2017 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

The next CoSG event will be a Board Games Day at La Scala Cafe on 15th January. For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 5th January 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 6th January 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

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

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 9th January 2017 at 6.30pm (probably, since Monday 2nd January is a public holiday) 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 9th January 2017 (probably, see above) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE: HOGFATHER

The Hogfather audiobook, reviewed by blogger Jonathan Feinstein:

"If I have any complaint it is that this audio-edition was abridged. A lot of really good stuff was cut out – oh nothing directly important to hold the plot together, but details and sometimes details matter, such as when Susan reminds one of her young charges to stop speaking with the exaggerated childish lisp she puts on just to be cute. It is a point that repeats several times in the story to good effect, but which was scrubbed from the abridged edition. Or of the scene in which Corporal Nobby Nobbs of the Ankh Morpork City Watch approaches Death, now playing the Hogfather at a Department store. Nobbs is unable to actually arrest the Hogfather and, instead, falls back on habits learned as a child and sits on the Hogfather's knee. Even Death is unable to exactly figure out Nobbs, though and asks things like 'AND WHAT'S YOUR NAME, LITTLE... PERSON?' and 'AND HAVE YOU BEEN A GOOD BO... A GOOD INDIVIDUAL?' Fun stuff and I'm sorry it got left out.

"The book is read by Tony Robinson who played Baldrick in the Blackadder series. He also appeared at the department store owner in the Hogfather TV adaptation. For the most part he reads wonderfully, but he does not quite get Death's voice right. He just does not have the deep resonant voice of Ian Richardson or Christopher Lee (both of whom have provided the voice of Death in Discworld adaptations) and his attempt to talk in a Deathly whisper pales beside those other actors who have tried. However, the rest of the reading is excellently done and well worth the time to listen to..."

https://jonathanfeinstein.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/an-audio-book-review-a-rather-different-holiday-story/

...and the print version, by blogger katyboo1:

"Hogfather is one of the stories with Death in, who I increasingly grow to love as the series goes on. Death becomes more complex, more thoughtful, more critical of humanity and indeed more human as the books progress. Death, in lots of ways, reminds me of Dr. Who in the way that he regards the human race. Always saving them, always baffled by them, can't help loving them... Many fine and beloved characters make their appearance in this book, which is one of the reasons we love it so. Bloody Stupid Johnson and his almost perfect bathroom in the Unseen University, Ridcully the arch chancellor and the bursar with his dried frog pills, Hex and his growing complexities, and even Corporal Nobby Nobs all get a look in on this seasonal and brilliant volume in the series..."

https://makingthemreaders.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/hogfather-by-terry-pratchett-a-book-review/

Recommended by blogger Heidi Teague for Debut magazine:

"There's nothing twee or sickly sweet about Hogfather, this is proper dark and wintery fare; think more of midwinter festivals and Pagan traditions than of the commercialised, sanitised Christmas seen in TV adverts. But it's all the better for that; children and adults alike relish the dark to balance the light, which is why fairy tales remain so popular. If Hogfather was to be likened to anything, The Nightmare Before Christmas is the best comparison; in fact the plots are somewhat parallel. The protagonists of this particular story are not your typical heroes; Susan is a young grim nanny who can see rather more than she would like, she's more Mary Shelley than Mary Poppins. Working hard to be the saviour of Hogswatch so the children aren't disappointed is Susan's grandfather, none other than Death himself. A mostly good-natured fellow, he doesn't always quite get humans and sometimes he'll take their wishes rather too literally, but he does appreciate cats.

"Terry Pratchett's writing is effortless to read; the humour is deft yet laugh out loud, and he knows just how to stay on the right side of eerie, much like Roald Dahl. The Discworld books are numerous and sprawling, yet can largely be dipped into at any point. Hogfather is an enjoyable stand-alone, or an excellent introduction to Discworld. If you enjoy this, I recommend reading more of the series..."

https://debutmagazine.co.uk/2016/12/22/character-reference-books-hogfather/

...and by blogger Clyde Umney:

"You may hear how funny [Pratchett] is – and he is undeniably that – or how wonderful Discworld is as a blending of the issues of our world and Pratchett's wondrous fantasy creation, and you think, okay, I get it. But what you don't understand until you read Pratchett was how profound and humane he could be, and how astonishingly complex his seemingly 'silly' stories could be. After all, who else could take the concept of Hogfather – in which Death takes over for Discworld's version of Santa Claus – and turn it into a profound, complex exploration of the importance of faith, belief, and fairy tales as a fundamental aspect of humanity? No one, I'd argue... and even if someone tried, it's hard to imagine them doing it as effortlessly, comically, and brilliantly as Pratchett manages... Pratchett uses his gleefully madcap plot – which incorporates a slew of local criminals, the secret life of tooth fairies, the god of hangovers, and so much more – to begin discussing the nature of belief, the importance of fairy tales to human existence, the nature of folk tales, and so much more. And if that's not enough, he still manages to get in his jabs at human existence – at the cruelties of tragedies in the holiday season, the hypocrisy of charity, and so much more. It's a book whose satirical edge is sharp and takes no prisoners, and yet never passes the chance to make you laugh, and laugh hard…but it will hit you in the gut right after it..."

https://clydeumney.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/hogfather-by-terry-pratchett/

Pratchett newbie Mysha-Tatiana took on Hogfather as her first essay into Discworld, and was intrigued:

"There's a lot to love about this book. It's sense of humor and the general absurdity of the plot at times had me inwardly chuckling to myself. I loved Death in this story. Just absolutely loved it. Especially as the Hogfather. There's just something so absurd about that premise and I loved how it was executed. I also really enjoyed the book's overall meditations on the nature of belief. The book's main conflict comes when the Auditors, beings that provide checks to the universe, tries to off the Hogfather because he represents one of the biggest examples of humanity's 'untruthfulness.' Due to the vacuum that the absence of the Hogfather creates, the leftover magic brings things into beings that are brought about by human imagination. As an example, if you ever wondered why socks always go missing when you put them in the laundry, you could reasonably conclude that it's because something (goblin, fairy, low level god) was stealing them away. Things exist to us when we believe they do and these conversations turned out to be the most interesting parts of the novel to me... I was unfamiliar with Discworld and I always felt like I was missing out on something because I hadn't completed any books prior to this one which is my own fault. I'll own that. I ended up liking what came in the end and couldn't put the book down for the last 100 pages..."

https://creativelyaddled.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/hogfather-review/

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08) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

The cast of the Woodlands Drama Group's recent production of Mort, featuring a perfect-looking Mort and Cutwell:
http://bit.ly/2hsTmAj

A wonderfully amusing letter from The Author, as tweeted by Letters of Note:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CzK-WG8WEAA86ZM.jpg

Another piece of Paul Kidby Discworld art:
"French publishers L'Atalante have requested to use my cover art for Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell series, here is Johnny & the Bomb, painted in 2013."
http://bit.ly/2hayi1g

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09) CLOSE

And as the last hours of 2016 tick away, Wossname wishes all you Readers and your friends and family an exciting (but not too exciting) Year of the Backwards Facing Artichoke, filled with interesting (but not *too* interesting) times. See you next month – and next year!

– Annie Mac

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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 11, Post 1)


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

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

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INDEX:

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

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

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

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

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

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

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

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

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

    Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

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

From Mr Kidby's official site:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.2 THE SOUNDS OF DISCWORLD... NOT

By Gemma Toulson in the Nottingham Post:

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

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

3.3 PRATCHETT BOOK SIGNING MEMORIES

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

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

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

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

3.4 A TEN-BEST DISCWORLD CHARACTERS LIST

By Tim Martin in The Telegraph:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bit.ly/2fFg8qX

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04) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS: CLACKS CHRISTMAS OFFERS

This, from the lads at Backspindle Games:

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

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

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

Special Clacks offer!

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

http://www.backspindlegames.com/clacks

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2016

* MORT IN HARROGATE

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN BRISBANE

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

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

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

* WYRD SISTERS IN SUSSEX

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.2 PLAYS IN 2017

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)

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

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

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH 2017)

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

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

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

* MORT IN OREGON (FEBRUARY 2017)

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

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

http://www.majestic.org/

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)

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

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

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

5.3 REVIEWS

* REVIEW: WYRD SISTERS IN NEWPORT

By Julia Fitzgerald for the South Wales Argus:

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

http://bit.ly/2gwI5Bo

* REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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

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

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

* REVIEW: TAMAHER IN LEEDS

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

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

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

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 5th December 2016 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ.

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

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

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 1st December 2016 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 2nd December 2016 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

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

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

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 5th December 2016 at 6.30pm (probably) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 5th December 2016 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

7.1 AUSDWCON NEWS: DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR UPDATE

A few reminders...

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

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

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

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

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

7.2 NADWCON NEWS

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

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

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

http://www.nadwcon2017.org/

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

8.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

The Discworld Emporium has an announcement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...and another announcement:

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

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

Thursday 1st December
Africa, Middle East

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

Thursday 8th December
Greece, Australia, New Zealand

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

Thursday 15th December
United Kingdom

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

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

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

*Rat onna stick plushy!

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

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

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

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

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

...and stamps, of course...

* Introducing our limited edition Hogswatch stamps & souvenirs!

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.discworldemporium.com/

8.2 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://discworld.com/products/tote-bags

6. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
Available in both a standard edition and beautiful slipcase, this is the second volume of Sir Terry's short stories. Bringing together fourteen of Terry's earliest stories, these entertaining tales show the seeds of ideas which Terry went on to develop in his later writing, making this a fascinating addition to your collection.

http://discworld.com/products/books/the-witchs-vacuum-cleaner/
http://discworld.com/products/books/witchs-vacuum-cleaner-collectors-edition-slipcase/

7. In Ancient Times... Tea Towel
This Christmas, even as you fight to keep the cat away from the turkey, you can be reminded of a snippet of Terry's feline-inspired wisdom. These high-quality UK-made tea towels are the purrrfect thing to help with all that extra washing up.

http://discworld.com/products/gimlets-kitchen/cats-tea-towel

8. The Discworld Convention Coin
Originally produced as a memento to the lucky people who managed to secure tickets to this year's Discworld Convention, the remaining number are available for sale, but do be quick as we're down to the last few! This striking coin features Terry's silhouette on one side and a beautifully embossed version of Paul Kidby's classic Under an Eldritch Sky artwork on the reverse.

http://discworld.com/products/limited-time-only/discworld-convention-2016-collectable-coin

9. Terry Pratchett postcards
Commissioned for the Terry Pratchett Memorial in April, these beautiful postcards were subsequently made available to all our customers. They all feature images of Terry including artwork by Josh Kirby and Paul Kidby.

http://discworld.com/products/postcards

10. Dark Side of the Turtle T-shirt
Released for this year's Band With Rocks In-spired UK Discworld Convention, this design was so well received, it's earned a place in our T-shirt hall of fame! Rock on!

http://discworld.com/products/bags-clothing/dark-side-turtle-t-shirt/

...and your Editor's pick of the lot – beautiful Discworld notebooks!

All notebooks are hardbacks, all are A5 size with lined pages, and all are priced at £15 each. A number to choose from:

Assassins' Guild Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of the Assassins' Guild. The notebook comes complete with a set of Assassins' Guild stickers:"
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/assassins-guild-notebook/

Unseen University Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of Unseen University. The notebook comes complete with a set of suitably simian UU stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/unseen-university-notebook/

Seamstresses Guild Notebook, "embossed with the coat of arms of the Seamstresses' Guild. The notebook comes complete with a set of Seamstresses' Guild stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/notebooks/seamstresses-guild-notebook/

Death Notebook, "embossed with the seal of Death, and bearing his motto – 'Non Timetis Messor'. The notebook comes complete with a set of Death stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/death-notebook/

Granny Weatherwax Notebook, "embossed with the hat of Granny Weatherwax, and bearing the legend of her famous sign – 'I Ate'nt Dead'. The notebook comes complete with a set of Witches stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/granny-weatherwax-notebook/

The City Watch Notebook, "embossed with the seal of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and bearing their motto – 'Fabricati Diem Pvnc'. The notebook comes complete with a set of City Watch stickers":
http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/the-watch-notebook/

...and the 2017 Discworld Calendar:

"The Discworld calendar dates are extensive, exhaustively researched, and include all major real-time calendrical data for Great Britain, Eire, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA – as well, of course, as notable Discworld dates. This year's calendar features a nostalgic look at the late Josh Kirby's iconic covers, featuring a selection from the earliest Discworld novels."

The 2017 Discworld Calendar is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/calendar/discworld-calendar-2017/

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger reuoq is back with a review of The Long Cosmos:

    "This picks the characters up as old men – the character Joshua Valienté is now in his sixties or seventies, and goes off for a final trip through the Long Earth, that strange multiverse introduced in the previous books in the series. He's very similar to the authors' ages now, and they wrote this very successfully, I thought. He gets trapped somewhere when he gets injured, and is taken care of by a troll, one of the other species of hominids that can step from world to world. So where The Long Utopia, the fourth book, was about Valienté's family history, and the history of the Long Earth by extension, this book explores the other species of the Long Earth, including the trolls, and what they call “elves”, introduced in the first book and almost forgotten since then. The trolls are depicted as a gorilla on the front cover, which I don't think is accurate – it should be more like Homo erectus, or like neanderthals, from the descriptions in the book. They can also communicate with the human characters using a kind of translator microphone thing, briefly mentioned a few books ago, although somehow humans and trolls can't truly learn each other's language – this is hand-waved away a few times by saying the grammar doesn't match properly. I liked this look into trolls – they were always elusive before, and even disappeared completely during one of the stories.

    "Not to deliberately spoil anything, but the book ends with a very grandiose cosmic tying together of loose threads, with a philosophical justification for the Long Earth that I didn't buy completely. It's at this point that I start to tease out Baxter's style from Pratchett's, which I found difficult to do in the first book, but having now read two of Baxter's books – Proxima and its sequel Ultima, which I've yet to review – these both have similar themes, exploring the nature of the multiverse with slightly far-fetched explanations. Despite this, I was overall satisfied with the book's conclusion..."

https://reuoq.com/2016/10/25/book-109-the-long-cosmos-2016/

The Literary Gamer, who believes that being well-read and having vast gaming-fu need not be contradictory, offers thoughts on Mort:

    "This book marks the first time that Death has been the center of attention throughout the entire book. In Discworld, Death is not a malicious evil, but rather a guy just doing his job. However, he also has a lot of pride in his job and does his best at it. These aspects make him a lot more relatable than other versions of the force of nature. I've always had a slight interest in the world building and mechanics of fantasy settings, so I was happy to see just how Death goes about his job. He's not present for every single person's death, just when the event is important (i.e. natural disasters, massacres, etc.) or with people who think they're important. Such individuals are usually aristocrats, monarchs, other politicians, and wizards and witches. I like to think he personally collects aristocrats and monarchs just to prevent them from throwing temper tantrums... This book has one of those premises that could either be extremely entertaining or just fall flat on its face. Since it was put in the hands of Terry Pratchett, we fortunately have the former... Mort's behavior also subverted my expectations. Typically a normal human turned into the embodiment of death has one of two reactions. The first is that they go mad with power striking down anyone that makes them even slightly angry. The second is that they resist the job with everything they have genuinely believing that the world would be better if no one ever died. Mort however does neither. He doesn't' revel in the killing like a psychopath. Death himself said that if Mort did that, then the boy would be fired and Death would find someone else. At the same time, Mort takes the time to be compassionate towards the souls that he collects. There was a tender scene where Mort sits down with an old woman while they wait for her hourglass to run out. It's a touching scene that really made me like Mort both as a character and as a potential Death..."

https://literarygamerblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/mort/

Blogger crosejack has mixed feeings – mostly good – about Raising Steam:

    "I was thrilled to find Moist von Lipwig was a prominent character in Raising Steam. But reading this book makes me very sad because it's not up to the standard of Pratchett's usual writing style. It was published in 2013, so I'm assuming Pratchett wrote it while he was suffering from Alzheimer's, and maybe he didn't have the time to do one more editorial pass-through. It reads like a draft. The story structure is not as tight as his earlier books- especially Going Postal. In his earlier books, there's foreshadowing and a fleshing out of the villains, and that's lacking in this book. On the other hand, I think this story reveals more about the relationship between Moist and Adora Belle because of the incomplete structure. I get the sense that we are able to peek into their private conversations and if Pratchett had done another editing round, he would have determined those moments too intimate for us voyeurs. The flirtation between Moist and Adora Belle is what made Going Postal seem like a very new story in a very established world. I can't think of another moment where Pratchett actually allows the reader into the head of a character at that point in the relationship..."

https://crosejack.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/the-writers-process/

Blogger Jeroen muses on Night Watch:

    "I could never really pin down Vimes as a character (but neither could Ankh-Morpork's Assassination Guild), but in this story he shows what a good down-to-earth guy he is. He's a watchman with street smarts, but he's never on the streets anymore and this worries him. But then a magical accident happens and he is flung back in time to the days of his first job as a watchman, and he's forced to tackle the streets if he wants to save the future that he just came from. But he wasn't that fond of that future before he accidentally left it, so this is where (or when) he has to make a choice.

    "I'm not too fond of time travel shenanigans. In the Discworld universe, however, that means we meet Lu-Tze the History Monk, one of Pratchett's finest creations. And that's not all. Vimes's trip back in time shows us a lot of Ankh-Morporkian history and especially about the watch and the early days of Vimes, Colon and human-like thing known as Nobbs. Another reason why you can't just dive into this book without being familiar with the watchmen... A general trend in Discworld is that in the later books the number of quick jokes and puns in the text goes down, while Pratchett's skill in storytelling goes up. Night Watch is a typical latter-day entry in that the story is a bit more serious, complex and heartfelt and not so much about a concentrated bombardment of jokes. And Pratchett transformed through the years into a first-class storyteller. He always had an amazing command of the English language, but now that he couples it to a deeper exploration of character and a well-plotted storyline, we've got a really cracking good book..."

https://jeroenthoughts.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/terry-pratchett-night-watch-2002/

Blogger JM Williams this time offers a three-part examination of Thud!, concentrating on certain memorable scenes:

    "I'm sure that I mentioned many times before how much of a Terry Pratchett fan I am. The man was a master of world-building, in particular, deep and resonate characters. Though he includes humor in is work, much more in earlier works, he does not rely solely on humor and eccentricity to keep readers hooked like Douglas Adams (not that there is anything wrong with that, I love Adams, too). The characters are what keep readers like myself coming back for more, and Pratchett's best characters are those in the City Watch series of books. His watchmen (and women) feel real, with honest reactions to the strangeness of the world... Pratchett's books are more than just humor and adventure, there is a subtle philosophy to it as well. This is best embodied in the lead character of the Watch novels, Sam Vimes. The character represents authority in a world shifting from authoritarianism to a sort of republicanism; Vimes often finds himself on the side of the latter..."

    "One scene that stood out to me as representative of Pratchett's humor and brilliant characters was the scene in Thud! where the main female cast goes bar hopping. Strangely, I often find myself drawn to Pratchett's female characters. Being a male writer, I am often concerned with the portrayal of my female characters, where they ring true and honest. Writing from perspectives you have no experience with seems to be a gamble. It is one that Pratchett often wins... This whole scene is about characters, and here we start to see how varied they can be. We get a impression of the main girls–Angua and Cheery–the reputation of Nobby (the ladies of the Watch assume him to be a lecherous hound, but we are given a different perspective here), and we start to unravel the new character Tawnee. All delivered with humor and great care..."

    "In all, it's turning out to be a great book. Pratchett is pushing gender a bit more than usual in this work, especially with the girls at the bar. He clearly making a statement about the fluidity of identity and the weakness of generalizations and stereotypes, here and throughout the book. I think people these days might benefit by giving the decade old book a go..."

https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/pratchetts-thud-part-1-a-medley-of-characters/
https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/pratchetts-thud-part-2-the-ladies-night-out-scene/
https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/pratchetts-thud-part-3-the-aftermath/

...whereas the almost always irritating blogger Vacuous Wastrel first wibbles on for some 2,000 words(!) in pursuit of overly faux-intellectual overthinking, before finally getting to the meat of "hang on, this book rocks!":

    "Oh, how good it was to be back with Vimes and Angua, and Carrot and Colon and Nobby and Detritus, and Vetinari and Ridcully (Ridcully! Pratchett never gave us enough Ridcully…) and all the others! Sure, the ending doesn't really work, but for most of the novel we get plenty of tension and excitement, and plenty of mystery and intriguing puzzlement. The exploration of dwarven culture may be a little suspect, but it's meaty, much meatier than anything we were given in recent volumes. And dear lord, it's just funny. Thud! is packed with a continual supply of beautiful lines, puns, wit, slapstick, deadpans, irony, absurd situations… it's almost constantly smile-inducing and at times it's laugh-out-loud. This novel is so much better than I remember it being, because it is just so much *fun*. All you have to do is: don't think that this is an attempt to continue the story. Think: the story is over. This is an epilogue to the story, just a little snippet of Our Heroes going about their daily lives and jobs. Is it sort of pointless, sort of repetitive? Yes! It makes a terrible Next Chapter. But that's not what it is. This isn't a pivotal episode – this is one of those interchangeable but enjoyable episodes of a longrunning series, one of the ones thaat isn't too memorable but where you spend the time with a smile on your face because you're watching characters you love do the things you love them to do (or, in the case of Angua, the things it's just funny to watch her have to go through). You don't want the whole series to be like this, but as a one-off episode taking time off from the larger arc, it's great..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/thud-by-terry-pratchett/

...and gives the same treatment to Going Postal:

    "The familiarity, the lack of novelty, the superficiality, the indulgent flabbiness… the problems are all here. They may not have suddenly sprung up here, but they're here very clearly to be seen. And yet... I enjoyed this book. This book was fun. The characters may not have been great, but they were likeable, engaging. The villain, Reacher Gilt, is actually one of Pratchett's best villains (that's not saying much), though sadly underused. I'm not exactly happy with such an uncomplicated parody of Atlas Shrugged (not that I want to protect Rand – on the contrary – it's just that it feels a little lazy), but that does result in a spark of authorial passion that helps provide a little energy and some good barbs. It's not hilarious, but there are some solid, good jokes. The plot isn't much, but it mostly works. There are a couple of really great set-piece scenes. It's more accessible than some of his books, both in style and in content, and it does feel as though it's partly written for newcomers and a broad audience, but at the same time there are callbacks for the long-time fans, and little gems of wit and erudition and cleverness buried near the surface here and there. And Pratchett in 2004 was just such a good writer. I know, I've said this in several of the reviews, but by now he was really polished. He's able to transition on a dime from witticism to slapstick comedy, to passages of, honestly, poetry (see the quote at the head of this review), and he always seems in control of his tone, his rhythm, his melody. Sure, he may go in directions – broad in humour perhaps, or sentimental in prose poetry – that some readers may not like, but he does so intentionally..."

https://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/going-postal-by-terry-pratchett/

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Paul Kidby working on his exquisitely beautiful bust of Sir Pterry (see item 3.1):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxN4aL9XgAAvXZr.jpg

A small but perfectly formed iconograph of Pamela Munt as Granny Weatherwax and Tony Cockington as Count de Magpyr in Unseen Theatre's recent production of Carpe Jugulum:
http://bit.ly/2ftEO1T

Rat-onna-stick! (see item 8.1):
https://www.discworldemporium.com/844-large_default/rat-onna-stick.jpg

Some familiar-looking designs for the forthcoming Josh Kirby smartphone covers:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxuWMA1UkAA0lgm.jpg

Rincewind, Twoflower and the Luggage at the recent Supanova fan convention in Sydney, as posted by the Nullas Anxietas gang on Twitter:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxlwQ5jVIAALz2E.jpg

Josh Kirby's unused cover for the Death Trilogy:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CySZW1aW8AAmwcv.jpg

The cast of Brisbane Arts Theatre's current production of Guards! Guards!:
http://bit.ly/2gx9mA4

...and their beautifully rendered Errol:
http://bit.ly/2fCRKls

Death in the Land of Fog – and Mort and Lezek, in Paeroa Little Theatre's recent production:
http://bit.ly/2gm4yyd

...and two of Melbourne Zoo's gorgeous orangutans, as photographed by Jack Wintle (and who needs an excuse, ever, for iconographs of orangutans?):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyJL03lWQAAoLmd.jpg:large

...and finally, a famous first meeting, 25 years ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxTP8V2XUAAU8Ao.jpg

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

11) CLOSE

    If you're the sort of person who 1) has a touchscreen mobile and 2) likes unusual phone covers, then you might wish to hie yourself to the Josh Kirby Art site, where you can buy Kirby's Discworld art turned into covers for iPhone, Samsung, HTC, LG, Google and Sony phones. Go to http://www.joshkirbyart.com/ and click on the Store button – at which point you'll be taken to a page that offers UK/Europe or USA options, presumably because the Kirby estate's web designer doesn't think anywhere else exists on Roundworld. Click on one of them and you will eventually find the page that offers the phone covers... a clear case of patience rewarded?

    And that's the lot for November. There may or may not be a December issue (and if not, all will be back to normal in January), so I'll take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Hogswatch!

– Annie Mac

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The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
October 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 10, Post 1)


********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
********************************************************************

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) REVIEWS: THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER, TERRY PRATCHETT DIARY, DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
09) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"There won't be another like him, but his values will influence and inspire his readers for as long as his books are read. Children become adults, teenagers become professors and heads of industry. And as Terry influenced them, they influence the world."
– Colin Smythe, in The Terry Pratchett Diary

"Oats knelt in the mud and tried a prayer, but there was no answering voice from the sky. There never had been. He'd been told never to expect one. That wasn't how Om worked any more. Alone of all the gods, he'd been taught, Om delivered the answers straight into the depths of the head. Since the prophet Brutha, Om was the silent god. That's what they said."
– Mightily Oats discovers the beginning of wisdom (Carpe Jugulum, Transworld hardcover, p.213)

"For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives, merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them can provide immeasurable comfort."
– archbishop Desmond Tutu

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

    Happy (slightly belated) Soul Cake Day to all! May your trickle-treating have been a runaway success, if by the time you read this you have stowed away your Soul Cake Duck costume for another year... and may this issue reach you in one piece, as at the moment our internet is up and down – mostly down – more often than the Unmentionables of a member of the Guild of Seamstresses.

    As the number of Discworld plays performed around the world continues to increase, the Discworld Plays section of each issue keeps getting more crowded. So the new format, starting with this issue, announces plays by month (and year, at this season). I hope this makes it easier to find plays in your area.

    Desmond Tutu has always been a fascinating man, and in his latter years he has become even more surprising and thoughtful. His op-ed on assisted dying, in The Washington Post, makes for passionate – and compassionate – reading. I think Sir Pterry would have approved of Bishop Tutu's thoughts: http://wapo.st/2dTXarC

    Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 PENGUIN PRATCHETT GIVEAWAYS!

...and other fun stuff for the season...

Penguin Books says:

    We're giving away a bewitching bundle this week – a beautiful hardback copy of Carpe Jugulum and the new collection The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. Perfect for witches and wizards (young and old!). You can read the first pages of Carpe Jugulum here: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lxtqv55FFkuEO7W9NrLwcr.

    Enter the competition: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lBsLQvP1aitoZZvy9aK8i2

    Terry Pratchett created a world full of beloved characters, old friends, who we have met time and time again in his novels. There are some characters however that we'd hate to meet on a dark night... Or any night for that matter. Pratchett's villains are as complex as his heroes and we've compiled a list of ten of the best. Take a look at our suggestions: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lFs7bWymFgs9bR4WuTIKnD

    Bake up a batch of bewitching star cookies with a The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner inspired recipe: http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lNqNSO13FcpDzAdJclFYyP

    Do you remember your first Pratchett? We think this collection is perfect for sharing with new fans. Listen to an audio extract here:
http://classics.penguin.co.uk/c/1q8lRq9eeKpaaonLrN7y4EAEq

3.2 PRATCHETT BOOKS: MOST SHOPLIFTED BUT ALSO MOST POPULAR FOR RESALE

On Bookriot, bookseller Danika Ellis writes:

    "A funny thing about working at a used bookstore is that there is only so much control you have over your stock. You can select from what people bring in, but you can't make more people bring you the books you want the most. Book buyers have to mentally calculate how many copies of this title we already have, how many we expect to sell, and what space we have for it. Sometimes a book piles up for years only to sell out in a week when a popular radio show mentions it. But there are some books that stay constant. Some books, despite being published decades (or centuries!) ago, still can't seem to stay on the shelves. This is a mix of a) sheer popularity and b) the delicate ratio of how copies go out the door vs how many books come in. Some books we sell in huge amounts, but we also buy stacks of, so it creates a perfect balance. Usually, it just doesn't add up that way, and we either end up with too many or not enough. Here are 17 books that are inexplicably difficult to keep on the shelf..."

The list includes sixteen specific titles, but "anything by Terry Pratchett" is in there on its own!

http://bookriot.com/2016/08/15/17-books-that-sell-way-too-fast-at-used-bookstores/

3.3 ROUNDWORLD ALCHEMISTS' GUILD FOR THE WIN!

Or at least for the explosions...

    "The drawers at the Making and Knowing Lab, at Columbia University, have labels rarely seen outside a Harry Potter novel: 'Ox Gall,' 'Spiderwebs,' 'Powder for Hourglasses,' 'Dragon's Blood.' The denizens of the lab re-create old recipes from alchemy-era texts – primarily of the sixteenth century – and this brings them into contact with some unusual ingredients. On a recent Monday morning, Joel Klein, a redheaded history-of-science postdoc who studies Isaac Newton's alchemical work, sniffed a bag of flakes labelled 'Rabbit-Skin Glue.' 'It smells like skin,' he said. Another sniff. 'Although I'm not sure what a sommelier would say.'... Elsewhere in the lab, a dozen students in white coats bustled about. Siddhartha Shah, an art-history graduate student, was making counterfeit emeralds. The recipe involved mixing red lead, copper, and other ingredients in a ceramic crucible, then melting everything with a blowtorch in a small furnace, which he'd constructed from bricks and wire. Although his first attempts had flopped – the 'emerald' looked like a nub of coal – Shah wasn't discouraged. 'It was fascinating to watch the color change from red to green to black,' he said. 'Then our crucible exploded.' The sixth and seventh attempts produced two translucent green buttons. Shah removed his own emerald ring – he also wore emerald earrings – and held it next to the buttons for comparison.

    "Pamela Smith, a science historian who directs the lab, exclaimed, 'They're like real emerald!' Smith founded the Making and Knowing Lab two years ago, in a moment of self-reckoning. She'd been working on a book about sixteenth- and seventeenth-century craftsmen. 'They made all these claims, but I realized I didn't exactly know what they were doing,' she said. Many recipes omitted crucial details or used obscure ingredients – swine paunch, jujube syrup, prunes of St. Antonin. Smith decided that the only way to really understand the recipes was to try them out herself, assisted by a platoon of graduate students..."

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/twenty-first-century-alchemists

3.4 WHO YA GONNA CALL? GIMLET'S DELICATESSEN, POSSIBLY

Authorities in Jakarta are offering a US$1.50 bounty for each rat caught, in an effort to tackle the Indonesian capital's rat problem:

    "Authorities hope the Rat Eradication Movement will help clean up the teeming city of about 10 million where enormous vermin are a common sight on rubbish-strewn roads and in slums. 'There are many rats here, and big ones,' Jakarta deputy governor, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, said a government news website, as he announced the plan recently. He said a recent encounter with a large rat had inspired him to start the programme, adding that the vermin were dangerous and could spread disease. 'For each rat, we will pay 20,000 rupiah,' he said. The deputy governor did not say how residents should catch rats, but urged people to refrain from using firearms. 'If possible, please do not use guns,' he told the Jakarta Post. 'If you miss your shot, the bullets could hit other people.' The captured rats will be handed over to local officials, who would dole out the money and pass the animals to Jakarta's sanitation agency for burial, the paper said. There is no guarantee the plan will work..."

http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/wanted-dead-or-alive-jakarta-puts-a-150-bounty-on-every-rat-in-city

[We know how well that worked in Ankh-Morpork. Rat farm tax plan, anyone? Also, special thanks to Mrs Cake and the Beermeister for items 3.2 and 3.3 – Ed.]

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04) REVIEWS: THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER, THE TERRY PRATCHETT DIARY, THE DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK

4.1 REVIEW: THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER

    Here's a funny thing: I was visiting a friend and fellow Pratchett fan the other day, and noticed that she had a copy of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. "Ah," said I, 'how did you find it compared to Dragons at Crumbling Castle?"

    "What's Dragons at Crumbling Castle?" quoth she.

    "Huh? That's the first volume of Pratchett's children's stories!"

    "There's another volume? I never heard of it! I bought this one because it's illustrated by Quentin Blake.'

    "Whaaa? No it's not, it's illustrated by Mark Beech. And who's Quentin Blake when he's at home? I never heard of him!"

    Several minutes and two Wikipedia pages later, our mutual confusion was sorted out, and my friend is now in possession of a borrowed copy (mine) of Dragons at Crumbling Castle. I look forward to hearing her comparison of the two. For my own part, I'm sticking with my description of Mark Beech's illustrations as written in my review of Dragons some time ago: "Beech's drawings are a stylistic cross between Pratchett's own (marvellous!) illustrations for The Carpet People and Johnny Hart's 'Wizard of Id' comic strip, exactly suited to the text." And now that I have seen some of Mr Blake's illustrations, I'd take Mr Beech over him any day.

    Anyway...

    The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner, like its 2014 predecessor, consists of fourteen stories rescued from the dusty vaults of the much younger Terry Pratchett's days as a young journalist and weekly storyteller and tidied up (though only slightly) for republication by the much older Sir Terry. If you and yours enjoyed Dragons at Crumbling Castle, I think you will adore The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. I certainly do! This collection seems to sparkle even more than Dragons did, and there is more cross-referencing and continuity of characters and places running through the stories this time around -- possibly because these are slightly later, perhaps, and young Pratchett had begun to find his own style...? And find his style he certainly did, as we all know. The Author himself says in his 2015 preface, "I've tinkered here and there with a few details, added a few lines or notes, just because I can – and because as I've got older my imagination has got even bigger so I can't stop myself adding bits and bobs. But the stories in this collection are all mostly as they were first printed."

    Several of the stories in The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner – The Great Train Robbery, The Sheep Rodeo Scandal, The Frozen Feud, and Lord Cake and the Battle for Banwen's Beacon – are set in the imaginary Welsh town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo (most often known locally, and even to its creator, as Llandanff) and feature PC Bryn Bunyan, "the fastest truncheon west of the River Severn", his deputy Gorsebush Jones, and an assortment of cartoon-caricature villains. Llandanff is an adorable stand-in for the American Wild West of legend, with even more amusingly stereotypes-of-Wales touches: coal rush instead of gold rush, a rodeo centred on sheep, and the Temperance Hotel which serves as a children's version of the familiar fictional Wild West saloon.

    As with Dragons at Crumbling Castle, there are hints of Pratchett YA and Discworldiana to come. Blackbury, later to become the setting for the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, is the scene of some of my favourite stories in this collection – especially The Time-travelling Television, The Truly Terrible Toothache, and the title story itself. The Blackbury Park Statues also sows the seeds of Johnny and the Dead, while Rincemangle, the Gnome of Even Moor is similarly a precursor to the Bromeliad trilogy, particularly Truckers, and Wizard War gives us Great Spells, talking doorknobs, and a gentler version of the destruction caused by the Mage Wars. We also see touches of what inspired our favourite author in his youth: The Extraordinary Adventures of Doggins could (and perhaps should) be subtitled A Child's Introduction to Tolkienian High Fantasy, and The Fire Opal is suffused with the feel of folk tales through the centuries, the kinds of tales a certain young boy might have devoured in his local library once he had discovered the delights of reading.

    The illustrations, as mentioned, are great fun and greatly appropriate. And once again the text is littered with odd-sized fonts and unexpected emphases. I imagine these will serve as "make funny noises or amusing gestures here" cues for a parent or childminder reading aloud to rapt young'un. Do I recommend The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner? Absolutely!

4.2 REVIEW: THE TERRY PRATCHETT DIARY

    The Terry Pratchett Diary is gorgeously designed and bound, following in the distinctive style of the other Discworld auxiliary hardcovers (The World of Poo, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook, Jack Dodger's Guide to London, etc.). Scattered throughout the book are tributes from family, colleagues and friends who knew Terry Pratchett best: Rhianna herself (who gets the first spot), Rob Wilkins (who gets the last spot), Colin Smythe, Paul Kidby, Bernard Pearson, Stephen Briggs, Professor David Lloyd, and a host of editors and co-writers. Neil Gaiman gets a two-page spread, but he does seem to like the look of his own voice (insert smiley here) and is, after all, possibly the world's leading famous Pratchett enthusiast.

    Dates are in the form of a perpetual calendar, in that no days of the week are named, and the pages feature random illustrations of Discworld people and artefacts, with a quotation from any of various Discworld novels in the bottom quarter of each odd-numbered calendar page. The quotations tend heavily to early-mid-period novels such as Jingo and Mort, but they are all memorable. In addition to a number of significant Roundworld dates and holidays – geared to UK calendars, which is only right for a UK-based author and team of Cunning Artificers – plus numerous Discworld dates and holidays including Patrician's Day (6th July), Uberwald League of Temperance Day (22nd July), Treacle Pie Day (24th June), Chase Whiskers Day (12th October), Brebb & Leppis Day (27th August), and of course, Lilac Day, Hogswatch (30th and 31st December and 1st Ick-or-January) and The Creator's Birthday (28th April).

    The quality of the illustrations is high throughout. Peter Dennis' portrait art is featured; for me, this is one of the least appealing things about the Terry Pratchett Diary, as despite Dennis' undeniable talent he tend to portray all characters as rather lumpen-faced and grubby, which is fine for the like of Nobby or Mr Boggis but works less well for Susan Sto Helit or Lord Vetinari... but that's just my opinion, and your mileage may vary.

There are a few egregious ball-drops from the proofreading department – e.g "Waetherwax" (p.84) and a quote claiming to be from from "INGO" (p.91) – which one hopes will be addressed for future printings. But those are mere details. The Terry Pratchett Diary is, all in all, a lovely thing. And if the final page and inside back cover don't bring on the waterworks...

    A keepsake for all time, and well worth the price of purchase.

4.3 REVIEW: TERRY PRATCHETT'S DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK

    In recent years, as any follower of internet-driven trends knows, colouring books for adults have become A Thing. Endangered animals, Old Masters, cityscapes, actors, pop stars, comics characters, Game of Thrones, even fashion magazines (yes, Virginia, there *is* a Vogue colouring book) have been turned into pastimes-for-grown-ups books. It's a fad, of course, and it almost certainly won't last. But Discworld fans have cause to celebrate this trend, because it made it possible for Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book to become A Thing too – and what a lovely Thing it is!

    The Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book (henceforth TPDCB) is an A4-sized paperback featuring almost one hundred pages of Paul Kidby's iconic Discworld character depictions, old and new, re-rendered as black and white line drawings that are ready for colouring in or for simply admiring. All the most instantly recognisable ones are there, plus some completely new illustrations created for the book.

    Let me say right now that if you are a Discworld artefacts collector, an all-things-Discworld completist, or just an admirer of beautiful art, TPDCB is a genuine treasure. Al the pictures stand on their own merits as finished art, so you're on a winner even if you never get around to attempting to colour them in. For those who do wish to have a go at colouring between the lines, TPDCB offers a fantastic challenge from the outset: the first page illustration is nothing less than a relief map of the Disc itself, surrounded by some of its most famous denizens – the Witches, the Watch and certain well-known anthropomorphic and wiz(z)ardly faces. The rest of the pieces vary in difficulty, with some (Gaspode, for instance) probably easy enough for novice colourers. The range is very wide – and yes, I am going to list them all here to show you just how wide:there's the Librarian, the Fresh Start Club, Death and Binky (and three more Death pictures: with the enchanted Soul Music motorcycle, with a kitten, and "un-masqued" and ready for the touch of a steady hand well supplied with red pencils), the Luggage, Rob Anybody Mac Feegle, Rincewind and Twoflower (and two more, Rincewind in the Dungeon Dimensions and in a wonderfully sour-looking solo portrait), the Eater of Socks, Sam Vimes, Susan Sto Helit dressed for her... other job, Granny Weatherwax, the Eater of Pencils, Hamish the Aviator and his embarrassing parachute, Errol, the "old guard" Watch from Guards! Guards!, Gaspode, the Mona Ogg, Greebo, Ridcully with a hatful of Blasteds, a full-page assortment of Feegles (including some delightful updates), the original Wyrd Sisters, Otto Chriek, Lord Vetinari, and a beautiful repeating motif of Sardines of the Clan... and not forgetting the two-page spreads (adult and infant swamp dragon varieties, the Finger of Cohen, the Librarian at work, the teenaged Tiffany Aching and Mephistopheles the clever goat, Death's skull-and-lifetimer-and-Omega wallpaper, the Death of Rats, Great A'Tuin and the Disc). Whew!

    As a bonus – or inspiration – or reminder of why Paul Kidby is a master artist and the rest of us... aren't, sixteen pages of some of the most famous and beloved Kidby Discworld art, presented as finished full-colour illustrations.

    Given the TPDCB's very reasonable price of £9.99 (or $20 in Fourecksian dollars), you might want to buy two – one to colour and one to keep, or at least a spare one to give as a Hogswatch present. I know I will.

    Highly recommended!

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2016

* FEET OF CLAY IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS: FINAL PERFORMANCES

Adelaide's Unseen Theatre is in its last days for their run of Feet of Clay! Director Pamela Munt says: "Next Unseen show not until April next year! Get your Pratchett fix while you can!"

When: 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th November 2016
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 AngasStreet, Adelaide
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults $22; Concession $18; Groups (6+) $16; TRev $16; available online at http://bakehousetheatre.com/shows/feet-clay

http://unseen.com.au/

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BRISBANE, FOURECKS: FINAL DAYS OF RUN

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: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th November 2016
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays (except 10th November)
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

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/guardsguards

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA: FINAL PERFORMANCES

"ARENAarts presents its 7th foray into the universe of Discworld Productions. GUARDS! GUARDS! A villainous plot to rule. A city under siege. A dragon on the loose. Adapted from Terry Pratchett's comic fantasy novel, this a fun production for lovers of silliness!"

When: 4th, 5th and 6th November 2016
Venue: Latvian Centre Theatre, 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont, W.A. 6104
Time: all evening shows (4th & 5th November) 8pm; matinee (6th November) 2pm
Tickets: $22 (concessions $16, children $10, groups of 10+ $15p/p), available online at
https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingDates.aspx?eid=206909

For further information, contact Simon James 08 9399 9947 arenaarts@hotmail.com.au

* AUDITIONS IN NOVEMBER 2016 FOR 2017 PRODUCTION OF WYRD SISTERS IN YORKSHIRE

After the success of their production of Mort in June this year, access-for-all theatre company We Are Theatre will be staging Wyrd Sisters a year later -– in June 2017. That's a long way off, but first, next month, it's audition time! Open auditions will be held in York on the 13th, 20th and 27th of November 2016. To book an audition email wearetheatre@googlemail.com giving your name, age (if under 18), and preferred audition date.

http://www.wearetheatre.co.uk/auditions.html

* CARPE JUGULUM IN SUFFOLK

The Quaysiders theatre company will be staging their production of Carpe Jugulum in November. "Having previously staged both 'Mort' and 'Maskerade' this time we continue to follow the antics of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Agnes Nitt as they face their most treacherous foes in the shape of a family of 'modern' vampires. The Vampires are determined to take over the Kingdom of Lancre, and their despicable plan seems to be working… but they hadn't reckoned on the formidable Granny Weatherwax."

When: 10th–12th November 2016
Venue: Seagull Theatre, Morton Road, Pakefield, NR33 OGH
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£8 concessions), available online at http://intelligent-tickets.co.uk/index.php?th=gl

For more information, ring 01502 589726 or email info@theseagull.co.uk

http://www.theseagull.co.uk/event/carpe-jugulam/

* GOING POSTAL IN BEDFORDSHIRE

The Westoning Players, a "very sociable, friendly amateur dramatic group with members from Westoning and surrounding areas of Central Bedfordshire", will be delivering the post, Discworld style, next month. Featuring an excellent wing-ed Postmaster's Hat and an Adora Belle who's clearly channelling Claire Foy's excellent rendering from the telly film (see item 10 below), this looks like it's going to be great fun!

When: 24th–26th November 2016
Venue: Westoning Village Hall, 34 Church Road, Westoning, Beds MK45 5JL
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (no concessions), available from http://www.westoning-players.co.uk/box_office.html – via email to westoningplayers@gmail.com, or by phone (07525926780, vox or text)

http://www.westoning-players.co.uk/current.html

* WYRD SISTERS IN NEWPORT, WALES

The Newport Playgoers Society are staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November!

When: 15th–19th November 2016
Venue: Dolman Theatre, Kingsway, Newport, NP20 1HY
Time: 7.15pm (evening shows); 2.30pm (Saturday 19th matinee)
Tickets: £12.50 (students £8.50, concessions £11), available online at http://bit.ly/2dDR5kr – there is a booking fee of £2.00 per per transaction.

"For more information about this performance, please contact the Dolman Theatre on 01633 263670."

http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk/show.aspx?id=298

There is also a Facebook event for the play: https://www.facebook.com/events/1232819446770130/

About the Playgoers Society, who have been performing plays since 1924:
http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk/newport-playgoers-society.aspx

* MORT IN PAEROA, LAND OF FOG

Paeroa Little Theatre will be staging Mort in November: "Mort is a story about Death. Not death as in dying, though that happens, but rather Death (Martin Welborn), the 7 foot tall skeleton who carries a scythe, wears a cloak, and TALKS LIKE THIS. Mort (Daniel Flynn) is his apprentice who finds that the reaping business isn't as easy as it might seem. When things go wrong he needs to get help from Death's adopted daughter Ysabell (Krista Maley), his manservant Albert (John Warren), and the incompetent wizard Cutwell (Ben Anderson) to save the technically dead Princess Keli (Olivia Dustow). Mort is also the final play to be directed by Dell King. She has helped produce many plays for our theatre and will be missed. We wish her the best for the future."

When: 9th–18th November 2016
Venue: Paeroa Little Theatre, 1 Francis Street, Paeroa 3600, the North Island, New Zealand
Time: evening performances (9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th and 18th) at 7.30pm; matinee on the 13th at 2pm
Tickets: NZ$20, on sale now from Positive Paeroa and Arkwrights Antiques. "If you wish to reserve tickets call 07 862 8399."

http://www.facebook.com/PaeroaLittleTheatre/

* TAMAHER IN LEEDS

Leeds Children's Theatre, "a voluntary drama society, producing quality drama for children of all ages since 1935", are presenting their production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents in November!

When: 16th–19th November 2016
Venue: Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
Time: 7pm (16th–18th), noon and 5pm on Saturday 19th
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), Family (2+2) £40. There is an early bird £1 reduction "if booked before 23 October 2016 (n/a to our coach inclusive deals)" Tickets are available for purchase in person at the City Centre Box Office, Leeds Town Hall LS1 3AD from 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday – telephone (0113) 376 0318; email boxoffice@leeds.gov.uk – also, an event Box Office will be open on the ground floor of the Carriageworks Theatre from 1 hour before show start time. To purchase tickets online, go to http://www.amazingmaurice.info/tickets.html

http://www.amazingmaurice.info/

* MORT IN HARROGATE

The Woodlands Drama Group will be staging their production of Mort in November and December!

When: 30th November–3rd December 3 2016
Venue: The Studio At Harrogate Theatre, 6 Oxford Street, Harrogate HG1 1QF (email: boxoffice@harrogatetheatre.co.uk)
Time: 7.45pm evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: all tickets £10, available from http://www.woodlandsdramagroup.co.uk/tickets/ or http://bit.ly/2di6RSA or by phoning the theatre's Box Office (01423 502116)

http://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/Mort-Presented-by-Woodlands-Drama-Group

* WYRD SISTERS IN BRISBANE

The Brisbane Arts Theatre is going multi-Pratchett for the back end of 2016! On the heels of their forthcoming production of Guards! Guards! in October and early November, they will be presenting Wyrd Sisters only a few weeks later!

When: 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th & 30th November and 4th–6th December 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays; 6.30pm Sunday matinees (29th November and 6th December)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Gold Members $15, Members $25, Student Rush $10 (10 mins before curtain). "Members can redeem their included season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased." Tickets are not yet available. Watch this space for updates...

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters


5.2 PLAYS IN 2017

* TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)

Monstrous Productions carry on from strength to strength! Next up is their February 2017 production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Stay tuned for updates...

When: 22nd–25th February 2017
Venue: The Gate Theatre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 25th)
Tickets: £7 (£5 concession), available from http://monstrousproductions.fikket.com/

* CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH 2017)

The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum, "a pastiche of vampire literature playing with mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue in cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine and stay up till noon", in March 2017.

When: 22nd–25th March 2017
Venue: The Lace Market Theatre, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday 25th matinee
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), available online at http://bit.ly/2dIKhod or by phoning 0115 950 7201

https://lacemarkettheatre.co.uk/LaceMarketTheatre.dll/WhatsOn

* WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)

Bolton Little Theatre, "a vibrant amateur theatre company run by members" since 1931, will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters next March.

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/boltonlittletheatre or https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EFILHL – group bookings of 10+ (£9) should be booked through the Box Office. "You can book at Bolton Little Theatre box office in person or by telephone on Monday night from 7.30 to 9pm and Friday mornings from 10.30 to 12 noon – no extra charge if paying by cash or cheque and you can book during the run of the plays or you can book online at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk ...credit card charges will apply. Tickets can be e-tickets (no charge) mobile phone ticket (50p) standard post (£1.50)."

http://www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/


5.3 REVIEWS

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BRISBANE

By Susan Hetherington on ABC Radio Brisbane:

    "Every year for as long as I can remember Brisbane Arts Theatre has included an adaptation of a Terry Pratchett novel in its season. I've seen about a dozen of them and this is by far the best... it's really, really funny. And as Arts Theatre transitions to a pro am model it is also interesting to see how the sets are on the up and up. This one was certainly one of the most elaborate I've seen and the investment was well spent. There were times however where the dialogue was lost because it was spoken from behind walls in that set or elaborate masks. The cast are mic-ed in the musicals. It may be time to look at the same treatment in the dramas even though the theatre is intimate. Those who love the Pratchett tradition at Brisbane Arts Theatre will be pleased that it has been retained into the first year of the new look theatre model with Lords and Ladies scheduled in September/October..."

http://ab.co/2dDOK8j [Note: includes available audio download of the programme – Ed.]

* FEET OF CLAY IN ADELAIDE

By Christine Pyman for Broadway World

    "The tale explores what it means to be self-directed and, as such, is something to which everyone can relate. Cleverly, out of all of the Pratchett plays, this showed the hubble-bubble of humanity, with the grand total of only three or four actors managing to convince us that we were seeing and experiencing the seething life in the city of Ankh Morpork... Mike Shaw, as Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, is the main defender of the truth, playing the part with a suitably world-weary determination that has us believing that he really has spent years trying to whip many species into a functioning City Watch. His sergeant, 'Nobby' Nobbs, who is caught up unwillingly in the politics, was beautifully portrayed by Aimee Ford, the character having the right balance of Chaplinesque humour and grossness to appeal to the audience. This is the first time Ford has appeared on the stage for Unseen, instead of behind the scenes, and makes the transition more than smoothly. Danny Sag, who, appropriately enough, is involved in running the Discworld fan group, City of Small Gods, in our world, played Lord Vetinari with restraint and suitably evil energy. The standout performance of the evening was Belinda Spangenberg as Dragon King of Arms, the ancient vampire trying to control all. She took command of the stage at each entry, and, although we didn't see her change form, her countenance was only too believable. Alycia Rabig, as Corporal Cheery Littlebottom, also deserves a special mention, transforming from a gauche new recruit passionate about his/her (Ankh Morpork has more pronouns than dwarvish, you know) science, to a shyly public dwarf going against all tradition and thoroughly enjoying showing femininity. Lead[sic], as always, by director, Pamela Munt, the passion and dedication that goes into Unseen Theatre Companies performances, is phenomenal and their plays, for Pratchett aficionados, are not to be missed..."

http://bit.ly/2fg0tyV

By Nicola Woodford for Glam Adelaide

    "This is the thirty-first Discworld play produced by Unseen since 2000 – their creative and enthusiastic celebration of Pratchett's oeuvre must be commended. Unseen honours the bizarre stories, idiosyncratic characters, and wry humour of the original novels while lending them fresh lease on life as they artfully adapt them for the stage. The stage had three main levels: the city streets, the City Watch office slightly raised, and the palace up a small flight of stairs. This layout offered a visual representation the social hierarchy that our Commander Vimes negotiated throughout the play. Perhaps one of Unseen's best comedic additions was the theme songs played for the City Watch (Pink Panther) and the palace (Yes Minister). Unseen Theatre Company is among the best amateur theatre Adelaide has to offer..."

http://www.glamadelaide.com.au/main/theatre-review-feet-of-clay/

By Allison Thomas -for TASA/Encore

    "Very clever set design by Pamela Munt, Andrew Zeuner and David Good created three stages of different heights in one area and, without a curtain and no movement of furniture or props, enabled the characters to move from one scene to another quickly and easily so the performance flowed smoothly. As usual, Terry Pratchett's quirky sense of humour made the full house audience on Opening Night laugh often. Alycia Rabig enticed and delighted as Cheery Littlebottom and stole the show with her lovely long beard and cheeky repartee. Mike Shaw in his role has Commander Sir Samuel Vines[sic] was very sleuth-like and dramatic, apart from a couple of lines. Each time I've seen Aimee Ford perform in a male role she pulls it off admirably, and she was suitably unsophisticated as Nobby Nobbs and Doughnut Jimmy. The other actors played multiple characters (including the golem) to good effect with many gender and accent changes...."

http://bit.ly/2eZ2mwd

...and by Jamie Wright for the Adelaide Theatre Guide.

    "Pamela Munt's cast of ten portray a wide range of (mostly) multiple characters; the standout is Hugh O'Connor as Captain Carrot, with some good moments from Mike Shaw as Vimes, Kahlia Tutty as Angua, Danny Sag as Vetinari and Alycia Rabig as Cheery. The set is well-planned and, along with some tight lighting from Stephen Dean, allows for the numerous scene changes to happen quickly. Unfortunately, thanks to the (presumably) limited costume budget for the golems, differentiating between them is nigh-on impossible – which makes a couple of important scenes more than a little confusing... It's difficult at the best of times to convert literary works to the stage, and it's always a problem with the Discworld adaptations as so much of the beauty of Pratchett's writing is in the description and the subtext – which are difficult to factor into a theatrical production. But there is enough of his humour, wit and characterisation brought to life in them that, as in this case, there should be something there for the fans of the world he created."

http://bit.ly/2eWWFiL

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 7th November 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."

*

For Facebook users in Fourecks: The Victorian Discworld Klatch is "a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett... run by a dedicated team who meet monthly and organise events monthly." "If you'd like to join our events please ask to join the Klatch."

https://www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." [Editor's note: this is an active group. If you use Facebook, it may be worth joining!]

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia.

"We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come - you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."

The next Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel will be held on 24th November 2016. Before that, there will be a group outing to see Unseen Theatre's production of Feet of Clay (opens 21st October), and the Quiz Long and Prosper – Science Fiction and Fantasy Quiz Night (12th November). For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 3rd November 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 4th November 2016 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles. Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 7th November 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 7th November 2016 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

7.1 AUSDWCON NEWS: DISCWORLD GRAND TOUR UPDATE

The word (with footnotes) from Danny Sag, AusDWcon organiser (and occasional Discworld thespian), is:

We have so much news to announce this month! Please take the time read everything below (you'll regret it if you don't. Honest).

What to do on your holiday

Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – The Australian Discworld Convention (_https://ausdwcon.org_) is getting closer and closer every day! On August 4-6, 2017, we'll have a weekend packed full of lovely Discworld and Pratchett related activities for you to enjoy!

You can already find out a little bit about Vaudeville Le Maskerade, Passports, Mr Shine's Thud Parlor, the Gala Dinner and the Wine and Gourmet Tours on our website (_https://ausdwcon.org/convention/events/_), with more information about these and other events coming soon!

BUT (and my, that is a big but) we also desperately need your help to ensure our tour's itinerary is full of wonderful things to do. If you've got a great idea of an activity that you would like to run, please volunteer at http://ausdwcon.org/volunteer

Where to stay on your holiday

The Australian Discworld Convention will take place at the Lakes Resort Hotel in West Lakes, Adelaide, and the hotel is now ready for your booking! We've managed to negotiate a fantastic room rate at this luxury hotel which includes breakfast every day!

For more information on the hotel and how to book, see https://ausdwcon.org/convention/venue/accommodation/

What to wear on your holiday: Deck your body out in our fashionable Discworld Grand Tour merchandise! Ranging from t-shirts to hats to coffee mugs, you can choose one, any, or all of our wonderful items to celebrate your attendance at the convention.[1] Check them out here https://ausdwcon.org/shop/souvenirs/

We are also celebrating 10 Years of Australian Discworld Conventions with a special t-shirt - You don't have to be attending the convention to get this special t-shirt – we can post it to you within Australia, New Zealand, the UK or the USA.[2] https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/ten-years-t-shirt/ Shipping costs listed at https://ausdwcon.org/shop/delivery-timescales/

Tickets for your holiday: Don't forget that you can buy your tickets for the Discworld Grand Tour in our shop right now: https://ausdwcon.org/shop/tickets/
Please keep in mind that early-bird prices[3] finish February 4th 2017.

But wait – did you know there's a way to get the early-bird price without paying for a full ticket now? Yes, that's right! If you buy a Supporting membership ($40) before Feb 4th 2017, you will lock yourself in at the early-bird price, and you can pay the remaining balance (in instalments or all at once) any time up until July 21 2017!

Buy your supporting membership here: https://ausdwcon.org/shop/product/supporting-membership/
And read here for information about all membership types: https://ausdwcon.org/convention/membership/

Every holiday needs a postcard...

We can now reveal to you the lovely Discworld Grand Tour postcard (our advertising material) with a very happy Great A'Tuin! See it at https://ausdwcon.org/blog/on-your-holiday/ (If you're attending Supanova Adelaide in November, we'll be handing these out at our table in Fan Club Central, so pop along and grab one!)

Welcoming our sponsors! We are proud to announce the following companies as sponsors of the Australian Discworld Convention!

* Dymocks Adelaide
* Pace Advertising
* University of South Australia

Their contribution will help to make the convention significantly better – and we hope you will support them in return.

[1] Please note most of these items are *only* available for pick up at the convention
[2] Please note that for now, this is a pre-order, and shirts may not be posted until after August 2017.
[3] Possibly a geas or a scalbie.

https://ausdwcon.org/blog/on-your-holiday/

7.2 NADWCON NEWS

The fourth North American Discworld Convention (NADWCON) will take place from 1st–4th September 2017 in New Orleans – and appropriately, the theme will be The Genuan Experience!

"The 2017 NADWCon will be organized by RavenQuoth, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was responsible for NADWCon 2013, which raised over $24,000 in charity funds that were split equally between the Orangutan Foundation UK and Alzheimer's Research UK. The 2017 NADWCon will be co-chaired by Emily S. Whitten and Richard Atha-Nicholls. Emily S. Whitten was co-founder of The North American Discworld Convention, Vice-Chair of NADWCon 2009, and Chair of NADWCon 2011. Richard Atha-Nicholls was Chair of NADWCon 2013 and is President of RavenQuoth, Inc.

"NADWCon 2017 and RavenQuoth, Inc. will provide further announcements and details about the 2017 convention in the upcoming months. Further information will be available at http://nadwcon2017.org."

http://www.nadwcon2017.org/

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* Your very own Discworld! With Turtle! And 1,000-, er, four elephants!

To mark the quarter-century of the Discworld Emporium creative team, a very, very special item:

    "We've been making little bits of Discworld for a very long time... From the first Discworld figurines as Clarecraft in 1991, to a cornucopia of collectibles and publications at the Discworld Emporium, we've been bringing the creations of Sir Terry Pratchett to life for 25 years. To celebrate this milestone in our Discworld journey we wanted to make something really rather special. We wanted to make a world...

    "Created with the sculpting talents of Emporium associate artist Richard Kingston, this stunning rendition of Great A'Tuin celebrates our illustrious heritage, and marks a return to our roots producing figurines & objet d'art. Produced in a glorious bronze and verdigris finish, it will sit elegantly on any bookshelf, look at home in any nook and last for generations. From the resolute expression to the stylish finish, it has an elegant understated presence – a work of true craftsmanship for those who cherish Discworld as much as we do, and a most elegant addition to your Discworld collection. Each piece is hand cast and finished locally by our team of professional craftsmen, and features our makers' mark inset as a little button on the base, allowing A'Tuin to rest at an angle that really portrays a sense of movement through the cosmos.

    "The piece is cast in bronze resin, coated with real micro-fine powdered bronze. You should care for it in the same way as your other priceless bronzes. If left indoors it will need no particular extra care other than the occasional dust, but you can treat it to a gentle wax polish once a year or two if you wish to keep A'Tuin sparkling."

Each Great A'Tuin Discworld figurine is priced at £50, measures approx 120mm across and stands 66mm high, and is presented in a Discworld Emporium Gift Box.

The piece is currently out of stock, the first batch having already sold out, but the Emporium elves are hard at work on hatching a new flock (pod? school?) of A'Tuins, so do check back frequently!

http://www.discworldemporium.com/atuin-discworld-figurine

* The Soul Cake first day cover!

    "As we all know, Soul Cake Tuesday falls on the first Tuesday after the first Half Moon of Sektober. To mark this year's celebration the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has released its very first Soul Cake Duck postage stamp! The Soul Cake Duck Penny makes its debut on this charming First Day Cover, depicting the Soul Cake Duck surrounded by its famous edible eggs. Each cover features a commemorative insert and bears the new One Penny Soul Cake Duck Penny franked by the iconic hand-stamp of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office. So grab your celebratory First Day Cover, roll your eggs down a hill, paint your faces and go trickle-treating!"

Each Soul Cake first day cover is priced at £6.50. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://www.discworldemporium.com/soul-cake-day-fdc

...and an important announcement from the Emporium Hex:

    "++ Next week we'll be conducting some major work on our website while we introduce some exciting changes and improvements ++
While we will do our best to keep out-of-cheese errors to a minimum, there may some adjustments that affect your Discworld Emporium account information. Should you wish to take copies of your order histories (other than our confirmation emails) we recommend you do so now as they will no longer be accessible once these changes are implemented. Pending order information can be found in your confirmation emails for reference. Please bear with us while we iron out any gremlins, feegles, demons, and possibly Bernard. We'll keep you updated on further developments and look forward to sharing our efforts with you!"

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09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Jenny Roman recalls a very special writing class:

    "The English Department at my secondary school did a lot of things to inspire my literary ambitions – one of which was to invite the late Terry Pratchett to come and give a talk about his writing experiences. Imbued with a heady idealism about writers and writing, I hoped Mr Pratchett (he wasn't a Sir back then) would regale us with tales of the creative process, and somehow pass on some magic pearls of wisdom which would instantly enable us to plunge into our own rich world of creativity and become best-selling authors too. When I bravely stuck up my hand and asked him for his top piece of advice for aspiring authors, he said, 'Get a word processor.' To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Now, of course, I realise that this was jolly good advice. Even if my 17 year old ears did not wish to hear about the mundane mechanics of the writing process (I'm not quite sure what I had expected his answer to be – other than magic – but it was presumably something to do with inspiration not perspiration), now I'm...ahem...somewhat more mature, I have come to appreciate the importance of 'creative hardware'. In order to write at the simplest level you need a pen and paper, but in order to write with even a semblance of professionalism, you need much more... I did subsequently take Mr Pratchett’s advice, and got an Amstrad 8256 (oh, what a joy after my old typewriter!), which made me feel like a real writer, even though I most definitely wasn't. It didn't, of course, make me write. No gadget or gismo can help with that in the long term but, as they say, a workman is only as good as his tools. If you are going to write, you need the right basic equipment. Sir Terry, you were right all along. And for that, a belated thank you."

https://jennyroman.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/terry-pratchetts-advice-for-aspiring-writers/

booksbooksbooks200 gives The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner high marks:

    "The stories are written in Pratchett's inimitable style. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a treasure trove of stories for readers of all ages. The majority of these were written when Pratchett was a young journalist and the tweaked before his untimely death last year, this collection showcases his then emerging talent and humour. A wonderful book and If I had any kids I would delight in reading them these stories at bed time, instead I will keep them to myself and savour them when I need the a childish escape from real life that we all need from time to time."

https://booksbooksbooks200.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/the-witchs-vacuum-cleaner-by-terry-pratchett/

The gaming/horror/metal blog-collective known as GBHBL gives nine of ten stars to Mort:

    "This is it. The moment where the Terry Pratchett's Discworld series finally starts coming into its own. The first that really begins to create the universe we all know & love, filled with plenty of the magic & wonder that existed before but held together with a fantastic plot... There is a reason why Mort is such a beloved story, one that has seen many adaptions & even ended up on stage! The Death books are some of my least favourite of the entire series but Mort is the standout of his stuff. It gives a massive amount of detail & character development for one of the most important characters on the Disc & introduces both Mort & Ysabell... Mort is the best of the series so far, so good I named my cat after him."

https://gbhbl.com/2016/10/17/discworld-series-review-mort-terry-pratchett/

On the Danville Library bookblog, Jessica A. feels the Wyrd Sisters love:

    "What does one do when the very country itself (more than just the people within it) rejects the usurper to the throne? What does the usurper do to rewrite history? Should the witches even involve themselves in the matter? As with all Pratchett novels, this one is very funny. The footnotes are often the best part, explaining, for instance just why the Thieves have a Guild and why guild members must therefore give receipts to those they rob. The story involves many references to Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and others. The characters are by turns endearing, intriguing, and in some cases horrifying. Death makes his usual cameo appearance and steals the show, literally. This is my favorite series, and I'm eagerly rereading the whole set..."

https://danvillelibrary.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/wyrd-sisters-by-terry-pratchett/

Blogger Beth reflects on The Shepherd's Crown:

    "I really enjoyed this book. I loved Tiffany. I loved the Discworld. I loved so much about this book, but I can't help but feel I missed something. Although The Shepherd's Crown works fairly well as a standalone, the references to previous books were common and, given that I have only read a couple of Discworld novels before now, I expect often went over my head. I think that had I read it in the context of the previous Tiffany Aching novels I would have certainly enjoyed it more... In many ways, The Shepherd's Crown could be called a coming-of-age story, following Tiffany as she finds her place in the world. As she steps out of simply being Granny Weatherwax's heir and becomes her own witch. I think finding your own way in a changing world is one of the most important themes of the book. Although Tiffany is at the centre of the story, The Shepherd's Crown is full of characters fighting for their own place in the world, even if it isn't what they always thought it would be. From Geoffrey the boy witch to Nightshade the evil queen come good at last. Speaking of Geoffrey though, I wasn't his biggest fan I have to be honest. At times, he felt a little bit like a Mary Sue character. A boy from a privileged background, but oh no his dad was horrible, so he runs away and it turns out he has all of these magical gifts and everyone likes him. I didn't hate Geoffrey, I just felt he was a little bland. Overall, I liked The Shepherd's Crown and I do have plans to venture backwards into Pratchett's earlier Discworld stories..."

https://bethsbooktalk.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/review-the-shepherds-crown/

Pratchett collector (and fan) tonofwoot91 offers a long post, well worth reading, on the early Discworld novels including tCoM/tLF, Equal Rites, Mort, and Sourcery:

    "The Colour of Magic was an excellent introduction... The Light Fantastic is a far more orthodox novel...

    "Buying Discworld novels has become a hobby of mine. Whenever I'm in a new town, I go to the nearest charity shop to scour their shelves. My entire collection is made up of little finds from this place and that. Most of the time, I come up empty-handed but every now and then I find something new. In the back of older editions you'll find advertisements for the Discworld fanzine known as The Wizard's Knob. On seeing this, I didn't think much of it but now I realise just how important a fanzine was. Such groups are a great incentive to keep writers going... I wasn't as enthralled by Equal Rites as I was with other books in the series. This third novel comes at the point in the series where the author’s output has just kicked up a notch. Despite being a pleasant book to read, it didn't carry the same level of humour as the other books. But what I will praise it for is its message: Reach for your dreams if you believe they're meant to be... Death and Mort have a touching relationship which goes through its rough patches. Overall, I think the character development in this book is some of the best in the series so far..."

https://wootreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/my-thoughts-on-the-discworld-so-far/

Lizzy the Bent Bookworm, on the other hand, thinks Equal Rites 5 out of 5 stars:

    "I was immediately hooked by the mildly hysterical battle of the sexes that takes place within the first few pages – a dying wizard tries to bequeath his powers (and staff!) to the 8th son of an 8th son...who turns out to be a daughter... I love Esk, and I love Granny, and watching them tear through Discworld was just a rollicking, fun ride... Pratchett, as usual, manages to create his own very entertaining world and somehow have it be a satirical commentary on [its] own..."

https://bentbookworm.com/2016/09/13/book-review-equal-rites/

...while blogger Ryan, on Muse With Me, makes a well-intentioned attempt at analysing it:

    "Though humorously approached, the gender issues seemed too simply presented to me at first. At the forefront they are apparent through negation: Esk seeks education saying 'Yes I can,' while the community and the wizards say 'No you can't.' Reading between the lines a little more, I did find that the argument for equality is more artfully woven into the story than I'd initially though. Each respective school of thought is simply a different way of approaching the same natural phenomenon. When considering this along with Granny's practice of Headology — which is essentially the idea that belief shapes reality — it's easy to see how their institutional structure is held together by how they believe things to be rather than what is possible... The characters are evocative and a lot of fun to read about. Granny is wise and capable, but a lot more unsure and inexperienced than she lets on. Esk, while intelligent and capable, is still childlike, retaining a bold and curiously naive approach to the people and places she encounters. This often goes array as her powers act more upon her whims than her will, which helped to keep things interesting. The plot is where the book felt flimsy to me, good characters notwithstanding... The writing style is witty and deceptively clever, articulating a world that I wanted to laugh with as much as speculate upon. The gender politics could have been more deeply explored than they were, but I don't feel the subject was done any disservice. It is the third book in the series so some prior experience would be handy, but it is quite accessible as well, if you'd rather pick and choose from this extensive series. I don't feel this will have been one of Pratchett's best for me, but it's still worth the read."

https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/review-equal-rites/

Blogger The Bookbeard is ecstatic about the Discworld Colouring Book:

    "Let me preface this by saying, I hid this from my son as soon as I opened the parcel. I love him but he's a toddler and will daub colour and wild scribbles on anything that stays still long enough. Including me. From the stylish cover to the excellent set of illustrations in the back of the book, this is both a testament to Terry Pratchett's wonderful Discworld and Paul Kidby's brilliant visual interpretation of those characters and places. Many of the drawings available to colour are accompanied by fantastic quotes from the Discworld novels, adding a great (and, for me, nostalgic) element to the concept. The illustrations are fantastic and I, for one, will not be attempting to let my (or my son's) crayons loose on such a magnificent book..."

https://thebookbeard.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/review-terry-pratchetts-discworld-colouring-book-by-paul-kidby/

...and finally, in the idiot's corner, we have one JM Williams, an unpublished soi-disant "author" who blathers at considerable length about how he considers Monstrous Regiment to be a failure even though "it’s a great book with some of Pratchett’s best characters", simply because Men Can't Write Female Characters. A prime contender for Your Editor's James B Tiptree Words "May Have Sex But Brains Don't" Award, and yet another demonstration of the dangers of Academia (may contain nuts):

    "Anyone who has spent years in the liberal arts knows there are many traps to avoid with female characters. All too often, female characters are defined by their relationships to others, particularly to men or the patriarchy, rather than on their own terms. Pratchett’s work seems to suffer the same problem. The main characters, all women but for one, are ultimately defined in this way. None of them join the army because they want to be soldiers; the enlistment is for each simply a means to an end. One joins in order to search for the deadbeat father of her unborn child; another needs to rescue her brother so he can inherit the family business; a pair join to stay together; another follows her lover; and so forth. Three of the characters are escaping abuse, two are trying to prove themselves in a societies that view women as lesser, one is working a legal loophole against a rule that is designed to keep women from social power; they are all rather cliche as concepts when you really think about it. Only two of the main characters are defined on their own merits, and they are men. And when one of these characters is revealed at the end to be a woman, her life in the army, a life as the most rugged and successful soldier ever, is degraded to a decision to follow her male lover into the military and then just sticking it out because there was nothing better. What the story lacks is any woman, any female at all, that chooses to join the army because they actually wanted to be soldiers. Every woman soldier, high or low, ended up there indirectly, but some just decided to stay for various reasons or because it was easier than leaving. So the overriding moral message is that yes, woman CAN do the same things that men can but they don’t WANT to. By the end of the book it becomes a sweeping generalization. This in turn helps to reinforce the gender divide, rather than tear it down. It is ultimately limiting in its own way. The women defeat the strict patriarchy of their society by working from the inside, but their stories are always defined by these relationships...."

https://jmwwriting.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/discussion-the-danger-of-male-writers-and-female-characters/

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Sculptor Richard Kingston at work on his marvellous piece for the Discworld Emporium – and some of the results:
http://bit.ly/2fuWG00

Moist, Adora Belle and Postman Groat from the forthcoming Westoning Players production of Going Postal:
http://www.westoning-players.co.uk/sitebuilder/images/GP2016_Adora_Moist_Groat-286x386.jpg

The Abbot of the History Monks, by Paul Kidby in 2007 for the Talpress edition of Thief of Time:
http://bit.ly/2epQ8LZ

...and a lovely sketch of Nanny and Greebo, that says it all about her feelings for him:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CvwxzeEWIAASyfm.jpg

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11) CLOSE

    It's been a long time since Pratchett quotes began to surface out in the wider world; these days it's nearly a badge of nous for random journalists and such to quote The Author. But Pratchett quotes can still crop up in surprising enough places to make them noteworthy – in this case, in an article about endangered big cats: "The five-day challenge opened volunteers' eyes to the plight of big cats across the world and the multitude of issues they face at the hands of man. Among those taking part was Al Scott, whose wife Adelle works in the foundation's Bognor office, on Castlegrove Business Park, and heads the communications and fundraising team. He said: 'Terry Pratchett once wrote "Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices". I'm one of them that can and there are some big cats who can't, and who need a voice.'" (To read the original article, go to _http://bit.ly/2f3aJHJ_)

    And that's the lot for October. See you next month!

– Annie Mac

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The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
September 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 9, Post 1)


********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
********************************************************************

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

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INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
09) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
11) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Terry reveals an all-too-sad truth about our relationship to religion, power and personal/national identity. However, his handling of such heavy material is still great fun, and offers many brilliant visuals of which I hope to have captured an inkling."
– illustrator Omar Rayyan, commenting on his work on the Folio Society's illuminated Small Gods

"The current WWF estimates of surviving orang-utan populations are: 6,600 in Sumatra and 54,000 in Borneo."
– Melbourne Zoo

"Whether or not you agree with Terry Pratchett's outspoken views on assisted suicide, it is hard to argue with his logic for living a good life right up until death and dying, as far possible, in your own terms."
– Secret Scribbler, in a Guardian review of The Shepherd's Crown

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

This might just be the latest-posted issue of Wossname ever – certainly the latest-posted in my term of editorship. Many apologies! There are also some features I had hoped to complete that will have to wait, such as our reviews of the Discworld Colouring Book (marvellous!) and The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner (excellent, even better than Dragons at Crumbling Castle, highly recommended); keep an eye on the Wossname blog (_http://wossname.dreamwidth.org/_) for updates, and of course those will be included in the October issue... which I will try to post out on time!

More and more amateur theatre companies around the world are performing Discworld plays. It's heartwarming to see that the number of different Discworld plays is also on the increase: while Wyrd Sisters remains the primary go-to (and is becoming a Halloween season tradition in ever more places), companies are now tackling a more diverse range including Carpe Jugulum, Mort, Amazing Maurice, Going Postal, The Wee Free Men and ever more. What an excellent way of keeping the Terry Pratchett legacy alive, and long may it continue! See section 5 for a round-up of the latest productions.

From heartwarming to heart-breaking: Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones, noted as much for his latter career as a telly presenter, author and keen amateur historian, has been diagnosed with the dementia variant known as primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and can no longer perform or give interviews. PCA robbed our favourite writer of his ability to physically write; PPA has robbed a beloved presenter/performer of his ability to perform. That the public know of Terry Jones' plight at all is a testament to the ceaseless Alzheimer's activism to which Sir Pterry dedicated so much of his final time and energy, and is a stark reminder that he may well be remembered as much for that activism as for his writing.

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 DRAGON AWARD

A new award for The Shepherd's Crown, and one that I'd hope Sir Pterry would have appreciated, despite its keeping company with some very dodgy works – Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel at the inaugural Dragon Awards:

"This year's inaugural Dragon Awards were handed out today at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. The winners show a remarkable contrast to the recipients of this year's Hugo Award winners, one of the major awards in science fiction and fantasy literature. The Dragon Awards were instituted earlier this year in conjunction with the convention's 30th anniversary. The award is designed to be a "true reflection of the works that are genuinely most beloved by the core audience," the larger fan world, rather than the core literary circles that help choose the Nebula Awards and Hugo Awards. The Dragon Awards opened nominations and voting to the general public..."

http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/4/12794666/dragon-award-dragoncon-david-weber-terry-pratchett

3.2 BEAUTIFUL NEW "ILLUMINATED" FOLIO SOCIETY NOVEL: SMALL GODS

The Folio Society continues its offerings of Discworld books with a stunning "illuminated" edition of Small Gods, once again featuring the work of illustrator Omar Rayyan. The Guardian has a feature on it, with reproductions of some of the illustrations. In these, Mr Rayyan seems to me to have channelled the look of Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins in the Middle Earth films, and I think this is a good thing: it brings a new, very human warmth to the character of Brutha. The Folio Society editions aren't exactly cheap, but if you can afford to spend a bit more on something truly special, this is a must-have!

The Guardian feature: http://bit.ly/2d1a3nj

The Folio Society link for the illuminated Small gods: http://www.foliosociety.com/book/SLL

3.3 REVIEWS: THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN

Somehow we missed this one back in July! A deeply thoughtful review of The Shepherd's Crown in The Guardian by "Secret Scribbler":

"There was certainly an autumnal breeze which seemed to stroke the pages of Terry Pratchett's forty-first and final Discworld novel, much like the penultimate Long Earth story published earlier last summer. The Shepherd's Crown whispered of things unsaid, of time running out, of not being able to leave things exactly the way one wanted. In many ways it is an imperfect, unfinished novel... Everything is set for an epic clash between good and evil. Yet this is no Middle Earth or Narnia; much of the rest of the novel is devoted to Tiffany's backbreaking day-to-day work. In Pratchett's world, witches perform the role of a comprehensive health service, free at the point of need (paid for through favours and kindness), fully integrated with social care like something out of Andy Burnham's wildest dreams. They perform messy, practical, essential services – caring for the sick, ushering babies into the world and escorting people out with as much gentleness as possible, trimming the toenails of lonely old men. Tiffany is spread thin and pulled in disparate directions by her passion for her work; her sense of loyalty to her family; her tentative relationship with medical student Preston. Besides, Terry Pratchett has little time for unadulterated evil in the style of Sauron or the White Witch, though his writing is incandescent with rage against stupidity and cruelty... Is this actually a good novel? To some extent, it doesn't really matter. For a Discworld aficionado, the book's very existence is a kind of miracle, like an unexpected letter addressed just to you..."

http://bit.ly/2bXsqcL

...and a somewhat bizarre (in my opinion, at any rate – Ed.) analysis/review of The Shepherd's Crown, by one Peter L. Edman in the University Bookman:

"It is a testimony to the previous forty tales in the Discworld fantasy universe that the flaws of this story do not completely overshadow its wistful pleasures, at least for the long-time Pratchett reader... The Tiffany novels are targeted at the young adult market, and despite the fantasy tropes of elves and witches, I suspect that the greatest strain on suspension of disbelief for the average reader in Britain and America is Tiffany's bone-deep connection with her land and heritage. But the railroad has come to the Discworld; cold iron is transforming or bypassing the ancient traditions. She must somehow choose what to preserve... Pratchett has been accused—inaccurately—of writing escapist fiction, but it seems no escape is permitted to those disturbed by the dissolution of gender roles and gender identity—the latest effects of the elites' dismemberment of Western culture. Among other examples in the novel, Tiffany takes on a new apprentice, Geoffrey, a boy who eschews traditional roles and wants to be a witch. He is presented as calm and quiet, good with the elderly and with babies, a vegetarian, a natural peacemaker driven by the winds of destiny. He demonstrates no romantic interests. Pratchett's remaining skills do, if barely, keep Geoffrey from becoming a stock allegorical figure of the New Tolerance..."

http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/bookman/article/the-last-pratchett

3.4 THIEF OF TIME REVIEW

By Sam Jordison in The Guardian:

"Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some caves somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry. Imagine also a world in which 'democracy at work' is really just reckless and mindless chaos. Imagine a world in which one of the chief aspects of humanity is, as noted by Death (a character with so much gravitas that he always speaks with caps-lock on): 'ARROGANCE, PRIDE AND STUPIDITY.' Sounds familiar, doesn't it? So familiar that reading Thief of Time after the Brexit vote is a strange, disconcerting experience for me. I've just finished the novel and I felt at times that Pratchett, who died in 2015, must have foreseen our current sad story. But it also felt like he was bringing good news. Alongside a few stern words about our collective idiocy, the great writer had a message of hope. Someone in Thief of Time does inevitably push that awful button – which in fact concerns a clock that traps time rather than cuing Article 50– but he reassures us with: “We can learn. That's how humans become humans.” We may do bad things, but there's also something about humanity that helps us go on. It's a comforting thought. But even without my current political obsessions and fears, I'm certain that I'd find other kinds of solace in this wonderful novel. Pratchett understood human nature, for better or for worse. I imagine future generations will be seeing their own mistakes in this novel, just as clearly as I've seen our own. And I find such thoughts comforting: there's nothing new about folly. Humans have always got it wrong, but we've generally muddled through too.

"There are other reasons to find hope in Thief of Time, chief among them that it's a delight to read. The story is as complicated, daft, hilarious and satisfying as vintage PG Wodehouse: part kung fu epic, part philosophical novel, part mind-bending experiment with chaos theory (and a piss-take of those three things)... it's a lampoon. But it's also full of warmth and sympathy. The same is true of the rest of the book. Pratchett may think us fools – but he still likes us. That too is consoling..."

http://bit.ly/2cHcGtT

3.5 REVIEW: SERIOUSLY FUNNY, THE ENDLESSLY QUOTABLE TERRY PRATCHETT

By Karen Jones on Starts at 60:

"Always clever with his witty sayings, some of Terry Pratchett's best quotes adorn the pages of this beautiful little compilation. Divided into categories of Human nature, Romance, Learning and Wisdom, Success, Life and Death, Animals, Religion, Politics, and last but not least, Words and Writing. There are 130 pages of gorgeous, pithy, astute quotes about life and living... I suppose Seriously funny. The endlessly quotable Terry Pratchett could be classed as a coffee table book. As a compilation, it is the perfect size to carry around in your pocket or to leave on your bedside table. It is the sort of book that the reader will want to pick up often just to enjoy a clever quote, or to cheer themselves up when they need a laugh. The depth of wisdom and the scope of wicked humour is a great reminder of the incredible creative talent of the author himself. His imagination seemed to be so vast, his parodies of real life so astute and funny, it is a sad loss that he has now passed away..."

https://startsat60.com/stories/entertain/books/saturday-on-the-couch-seriously-funny

3.6 A GOOD DISCWORLD QUIZ

In The Guardian, a good Discworld quiz (with a nod to general Pratchett titles) features a number of questions, among them:

"What was the name of Pratchett's first published short story, published when he was a teenager? ... Which children's book was Good Omens initially intended to be a parody of? ... Eric is a parody of which classic tale? ... Which classic rock album cover does the cover for Soul Music resemble? ... A collection of travel stories called 'What I Did On My Holiday' became a revolutionary text in which Discworld book? ... What does the motto NVNC ID VIDES, NVNC NE VIDES, carved above the doors of Unseen University, mean?"

http://bit.ly/2d3XuYs

3.7 UNSEEN UNIVERSITY, THE SCHOOL TO CHOOSE

On Epic Stream, a listicle of "10 Awesome Schools from Sci-fi and Fantasy That'd Never Get Boring" gives high marks to UU:

"The school of Wizardry in Terry Pratchett's Discworld universe is another magical one, but unlike Hogwarts, nobody bothers to pretend they know what the hell they're doing. We see a lot of weird experiments with magic rather than busywork. The wizards who run the place are reckless and a bit unhinged, but I'd want to go there anyway. I mean, it has the best library ever- you can read every book ever written in the past, present and future. This library is also run by former-wizard-turned-orangutan. One drawback is that there aren't many women attending, so girls might feel pretty awkward (and the lack of women and general celibacy might be a bummer for any dudes interested in girls as well). Due to the strict gender divide in the magical culture of Discworld, it was quite a while before the first girl attended the university (her name was Eskarina Smith). Witches in Discworld operate differently from wizards and don't really do formal higher education. Thanks to Eskarina's trailblazing, though, girls presumably can attend the school now, even if they're currently in the minority. .."
http://bit.ly/2cv3BQI

3.8 MORE DANGER TO WILD ORANGUTANS THAN THOUGHT

Fresh – and distressing – news about the plight of orangutans in the wild:

"The new Apes Seizures Database paints a more detailed picture, compiling figures for any seizure of a great ape in an unlawful situation dating back to 2005.
'It's definitely a staggering number, it's larger than we expected,' said Doug Cress from the Great Ape Survival Partnership, who have put together the new database. 'We're finding that it's really averaging about two seizures a week around the world. That may seem small but the usual ratio for a chimpanzee is that to get one alive you've had to kill five or 10, for gorillas it's like four to one. That extrapolates quickly to a lot of dead in the wild.'

"Orang-utans were by far the most commonly captured animals, accounting for 67% of seizures by the authorities. It's believed that habitat destruction in Borneo and Sumatra has seen large numbers flushed out of the forests. The conversion of their natural homes into palm oil plantations or for pulp and paper has made the orangutans easy prey for those who want to trade them illegally..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37513707

And speaking of our favourite orange apes, at Melbourne's Federation Square there will be a protest, palm oil labelling petition signing, and display of 1,000 cuddly orangutan toys from on Tuesday 4th October 2016:

"Food manufacturers are still allowed to include palm oil as a vegetable oil on their labels. So you don't realise you may be contributing to the deaths of over 1,000 orangutans a year as their habitat, and that of Sumatran Elephants and Tigers is destroyed through unsustainable palm oil production. Later this year selected Australian Ministers will meet to decide whether Australia will once and for all label palm oil on food products. Add your name to the growing list of over 30,000 Australians who support palm oil labelling."

http://www.zoo.org.au/get-involved/act-for-wildlife/dont-palm-us-off

http://www.zoo.org.au/palmoil/label

...and here be a report from the Melbourne Zoo's World Orangutan Day celebration/information event in August:

http://www.zoo.org.au/news/world-orang-utan-day

3.9 MONSTROUS PRODUCTIONS, ROUNDWORLD'S THEATRICAL DISCWORLD FUNDRAISERS

A lovely feature on Cardiff's Monstrous Productions, who have so far raised more than £20,000 for dementia research through putting on Discworld plays:

"A Cardiff-based theatre company has raised over £20,000 by staging theatrical versions of the late Sir Terry Pratchett's works with all proceeds going to the charity he was patron of, Alzheimer's Research UK. Monstrous Productions Theatre Company has been putting on adaptations of Pratchett's works since 2012. Their latest play, ‘Going Postal', was performed at The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff, over four nights in August. It raised over £3,000 for the UK's leading dementia research charity, helping the group to reach their fundraising goal of £20,000. Amy Davies, 31, is co-founder and co-director at the company. She directed her first Terry Pratchett play, ‘Monstrous Regiment', with Cardiff University's drama society, Act One, while studying for her Master's degree. The success led to a flood of requests from fans, wanting them to stage more. Now an assistant psychologist with the NHS, Amy has directed seven plays with Monstrous Productions. It was decided from the beginning that all proceeds from the performances should go to Alzheimer's Research UK. Pratchett became a patron of the charity after he was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia called Posterior Cortical Atrophy in 2007... Zoe Baggott, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: 'Monstrous Productions is an amazing group. We're so grateful to them for supporting Alzheimer's Research UK. Not only are they a talented bunch, but they're extremely generous too. 225,000 people in the UK will develop dementia this year – that's one every three minutes. With enough research, we can beat this devastating condition.'..."

http://www.charitytoday.co.uk/pratchett-players-raise-20000-dementia-research/

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04) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

From the Backspindle gang, makers of the "Guards! Guards!" and "Clacks" games, have a special offer for UK buyers:

"Free Shipping during October... The Clacks have won! Postal Office charges for Backspindle Games ordered for UK addresses in October 2016 are FREE! This includes our our new acclaimed puzzle game 'Codinca' (recently named the Number 1 themeless game) by the Dice Tower's Sam Healey. Please note: Games ordered between 11-17 October will be dispatched between 19-20 October.

"Discworld Combos: we are very aware everyone likes a bargain, so we are delighted to confirm we have created a Special Offer for those of you who would like to purchase a copy of Clacks! together with a copy of Guards! Guards! The total discount is £10.00 of the total retail price. (While stocks of Guards! Guards! last)
You can access this bargain here: http://www.backspindlegames.com/multigames/ "

Other news, for buyers in America: "Our US partner Ninja Division (_http://ninjadivision.com/_) now has 'all of our games' back in stock: http://ninjadivision.com/backspindle-games/ "

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05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

EDITOR'S NOTE
A reminder from last month's main issue: "April 2018 would have seen Sir Terry Pratchett's 70th birthday. He had a well-known connection with the theatre, and so to celebrate, why not put on a play? Local theatre companies around the world can use this month to stage any Discworld play, in a great big celebration and commemoration of Sir Terry's life and work. I discussed the idea with Colin Smythe at the DW Convention 2016, and he said it was a good one, go for it. So here we are, going for it. Let everybody know, and book the performance slot at the next planning meeting at your local theatre group!"

There's a Facebook event page for this, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/580653112059960/

To view the original announcement, go to http://discworld.livejournal.com/1107951.html

5.1 NEW: TAMAHER IN CARDIFF (FEBRUARY 2017)

Monstrous Productions carry on from strength to strength! Next up is their February 2017 production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Stay tuned for updates...

When: 22nd–25th February 2017
Venue: The Gate Theatre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 25th)
Tickets: £7 (£5 concession), available from http://monstrousptc.com/

5.2 NEW: WYRD SISTERS IN BRISBANE (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER)

The Brisbane Arts Theatre is going multi-Pratchett for the back end of 2016! On the heels of their forthcoming production of Guards! Guards! in October and early November, they will be presenting Wyrd Sisters only a few weeks later!

When: 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th & 30th November and 4th–6th December 2017
Venue:
Time: 8pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays; 6.30pm Sunday matinees (29th November and 6th December)
Tickets: Adults $31, Concession $25, Group 10+ $25, Group 75+ $20, Gold Members $15, Members $25, Student Rush $10 (10 mins before curtain). "Members can redeem their included season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased." Tickets are not yet available. Watch this space for updates...

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/wyrdsisters

5.3 NEW: WYRD SISTERS IN BATH (OCTOBER)

The Bathford Players, an amateur company of 50 years' experience, will present their production of Wyrd Sisters this month.

"Adapted by Stephen Briggs, and produced by Ken Tatem, this has been selected specifically to use as many members of the Players as possible in a large cast to celebrate our 50'th anniversary."

When: 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd October 2016
Venue: Bathford Village Hall, Church Street, Bathford, Bath BA1 7RS
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £8, available from the Bathford village shop (01225 859111), or online at http://bathfordplayers.weebly.com/ticket-sales.html

​There's also a Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1667203456939738/

http://bathfordplayers.weebly.com/

5.4 NEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)

"ARENAarts presents its 7th foray into the universe of Discworld Productions. GUARDS! GUARDS! A villainous plot to rule. A city under siege. A dragon on the loose. Adapted from Terry Pratchett's comic fantasy novel, this a fun production for lovers of silliness!"

When: 21st October–6th November 2016
Venue: LC Theatre, 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont, W.A. 6104
Time: all evening shows (21st, 22nd, 28th & 29th October, and 3rd, 4th & 5th November) 8pm; all matinees (23rd & 30th October and 6th November) 2pm
Tickets: $22 (concessions $16, children $10, groups of 10+ $15p/p), available online at
https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingDates.aspx?eid=206909

For further information, contact Simon James 08 9399 9947 arenaarts@hotmail.com.au

5.5 NEW: CARPE JUGULUM IN SUFFOLK (NOVEMBER)

The Quaysiders theatre company will be staging their production of Carpe Jugulum in November.

"Having previously staged both 'Mort' and 'Maskerade' this time we continue to follow the antics of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Agnes Nitt as they face their most treacherous foes in the shape of a family of 'modern' vampires. The Vampires are determined to take over the Kingdom of Lancre, and their despicable plan seems to be working… but they hadn't reckoned on the formidable Granny Weatherwax."

When: 10th–12th November 2016
Venue: Seagull Theatre, Morton Road, Pakefield, NR33 OGH
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£8 concessions), available online at http://intelligent-tickets.co.uk/index.php?th=gl

For more information, ring 01502 589726 or email info@theseagull.co.uk

http://www.theseagull.co.uk/event/carpe-jugulam/

5.6 NEW: WYRD SISTERS IN NEWPORT, WALES (NOVEMBER)

The Newport Playgoers Society are staging their production of Wyrd Sisters in November!

When: 15th–19th November
Venue: Dolman Theatre, Kingsway, Newport, NP20 1HY
Time: 7.15pm (evening shows); 2.30pm (Saturday 19th matinee)
Tickets: £12.50 (students £8.50, concessions £11), available online at http://bit.ly/2dDR5kr – there is a booking fee of £2.00 per per transaction.

"For more information about this performance, please contact the Dolman Theatre on 01633 263670."

http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk/show.aspx?id=298

There is also a Facebook event for the play: https://www.facebook.com/events/1232819446770130/

About the Playgoers Society, who have been performing plays since 1924:
http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk/newport-playgoers-society.aspx

5.7 NEW: TAMAHER IN LEEDS (NOVEMBER)

Leeds Children's Theatre, "a voluntary drama society, producing quality drama for children of all ages since 1935", are presenting their production of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents in November!

When: 16th–19th November 2016
Venue: Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
Time: 7pm (16th–18th), noon and 5pm on Saturday 19th
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), Family (2+2) £40. There is an early bird £1 reduction "if booked before 23 October 2016 (n/a to our coach inclusive deals)" Tickets are available for purchase in person at the City Centre Box Office, Leeds Town Hall LS1 3AD from 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday – telephone (0113) 376 0318; email boxoffice@leeds.gov.uk – also, an event Box Office will be open on the ground floor of the Carriageworks Theatre from 1 hour before show start time. To purchase tickets online, go to http://www.amazingmaurice.info/tickets.html

http://www.amazingmaurice.info/

5.8 NEW: MORT IN HARROGATE (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER)

The Woodlands Drama Group will be staging their production of Mort in November and December!

When: 30th November–3rd December 3 2016
Venue: The Studio At Harrogate Theatre, 6 Oxford Street, Harrogate HG1 1QF (email: boxoffice@harrogatetheatre.co.uk)
Time: 7.45pm evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: all tickets £10, available from http://www.woodlandsdramagroup.co.uk/tickets/ or http://bit.ly/2di6RSA or by phoning the theatre's Box Office (01423 502116)

http://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/Mort-Presented-by-Woodlands-Drama-Group

5.9 NEW: CARPE JUGULUM IN NOTTINGHAM (MARCH 2017)

The Lace Market Youth Theatre present Carpe Jugulum, "a pastiche of vampire literature playing with mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue in cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine and stay up till noon", in March 2017.

When: 22nd–25th March 2017
Venue: The Lace Market Theatre, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; 2.30pm Saturday 25th matinee
Tickets: £11 (£10 concessions), available online at http://bit.ly/2dIKhod or by phoning 0115 950 7201

https://lacemarkettheatre.co.uk/LaceMarketTheatre.dll/WhatsOn

5.10 REMINDER: FEET OF CLAY IN ADELAIDE, FOURECKS (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)

Adelaide's famous Unseen Theatre will be staging Feet of Clay as their next Pratchett production!

"It's Murder in Discworld!—which ordinarily is no big deal. But what bothers Commander Samuel Vimes, Head of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, is that the unusual deaths of three harmless old men do not bear the clean, efficient marks of the Assassins' Guild. But that's only the start… someone is slowly poisoning the Patrician. No one knows who, no one knows why and, worst of all no one knows how – he just gets weaker and weaker. Added to that, the City Watch has got problems of its own. There's a werewolf suffering from Pre-Lunar Tension, Corporal Nobbs is hobnobbing with the nobs, and there's something really strange about the new dwarf recruit – especially his earrings and eyeshadow. Who can you trust when there are mobs on the streets, plotters in the dark and all the clues point the wrong way? Nevertheless, Sam Vimes has got to find out not only whodunit, but howdunit too. He's not even sure what they dun. But soon as he knows what the questions are, he's going to want some answers. We don't want to give anything away, but Vimes may find that the truth is not out there at all. In fact, it may be inside – but inside what? or should we say whom?"

When: 21st October–5th November 2016 (preview Friday 21st October; opening night 22nd October 22; then season continues Wed.–Sat. to 5th November)
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 AngasStreet, Adelaide
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: Adults $22; Concession $18; Groups (6+) $16; TRev $16; Preview $15, available online at http://bakehousetheatre.com/shows/feet-clay

http://unseen.com.au/

5.11 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN EAST GRINSTEAD (OCTOBER)

The Ace Theatre Company will stage Wyrd Sisters in October. They have put an extra measure of their hearts into this production!

When: 20th – 22nd October 2016
Venue: Chequer Mead Theatre, De La Warr Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 3BS
Time: all evening shows 7.30pm; matinee on Saturday 22nd, 2.30pm
Tickets: evening shows £13 (£11 concessions); Saturday matinee £11 (£9 concessions), available from the Box Office by phoning 01342 302000, by email to tickets@chequermead.org.uk, or online at http://www.chequermead.org.uk/whats-on/theatre/event/?e=364967&cat= (click on the desired date button to purchase)

http://www.chequermead.org.uk/

5.12 REMINDER: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN BRISBANE (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER)

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
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

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/guardsguards

5.13 REMINDER: MORT IN THE LAND OF FOG (NOVEMBER)

Paeroa Little Theatre's major production for 2016 will be Mort. Stay tuned for updates, as there is still no information available for times and tickets...

When: 9th–18th November 2016
Venue: Paeroa Little Theatre, 1 Francis Street, Paeroa 3600, th North Island, Land of Fog, er, New Zealand
Time: TBA
Tickets: TBA

http://www.facebook.com/PaeroaLittleTheatre/

5.14 VAGUELY NEW-ISH: WYRD SISTERS IN BOLTON, LANCS (MARCH 2017)

Bolton Little Theatre, "a vibrant amateur theatre company run by members" since 1931, will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters next March.

When: 6th–11th March 2017
Venue: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (Monday night 3 for 2 special), available at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk – group bookings of 10+ (£9) should be booked through the Box Office. “You can book at Bolton Little Theatre box office in person or by telephone on Monday night from 7.30 to 9pm and Friday mornings from 10.30 to 12 noon – no extra charge if paying by cash or cheque and you can book during the run of the plays or you can book online at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk ...credit card charges will apply. Tickets can be e-tickets (no charge) mobile phone ticket (50p) standard post (£1.50).”

http://www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk/terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 3rd October 2016 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. There will also be an afternoon meetup on Saturday 22nd October 2016.

The most recent meet report sounds fun!

"We met Monday night. We had several new people come along: Jeroen, who lives in London and Richard and Andrea, two Americans who were on holiday in Britain. We also had Cecilia, who has been once before, a long time ago. She brought a bag of Convention goodies and handed them out. We got a Band with Rocks In rock. Left over were two drumsticks which we decided to leave at the pub along with our Broken Drum mascot. Thanks to Cecilia for bringing all that stuff along. Sim appeared sporting a new triple man-bun hairstyle. This sparked some semantic debate over whether it was possible for a woman to have a man-bun. Sim was very insistent that a man-bun is a distinct style rather than a bun worn by a man. She later demonstrated how it is done.

"Chris came and brought his quiz along. When he won a quiz all those months ago, others feared it would be too hard. He promised that his quiz would be multiple-choice. A couple of days before the event, he posted on Facebook that he did not say it would be easy. It turned out to be a based on Pointless. There were a number of possible answers to each question (note this is not what is usually meant by "multiple-choice") and the more people who gave the same answer, the higher the score. Failure to give a valid answer resulted in the maximum score and there were trick questions designed to invoke this. The person with the least points at the end was the winner. That person was me. There were some Discworld questions but topics ranged from the Famous Five to tectonic plates. Chris also gave us the chance to lose points with bonus questions. I was amused by the group's horror at a sports question. The laughably easy task of naming a country that has won the FIFA World Cup ever was treated as objectionable. The bonus question was to name the winner that was not a country. Many claimed not to understand the question. Alex G. (having the advantage of a politics degree) pointed out that there were members of FIFA who are not technically countries. Chris confirmed that this was the solution. Many people failed to work out the answer. And if you're now asking what it was, I'm not going to enlighten you. I fear we are only reinforcing stereotypes about geeks! Anyway, I won a box of Convention colouring pencils and a picture to colour in because according to Chris, 'Multiple-choice quizzes are for children'. I will sort out a quiz for next time and I promise it will not be all that difficult. It will certainly lack Chris' fiendish innovations."

(sent in by Mss C. The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/55107511411/permalink/10154735030556412/ but you have to be signed in to Facebook to read it – Ed.)

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."

*

For Facebook users in Fourecks: The Victorian Discworld Klatch is "a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett... run by a dedicated team who meet monthly and organise events monthly." "If you'd like to join our events please ask to join the Klatch."

https://www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." [Editor's note: this is an active group. If you use Facebook, it may be worth joining!]

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia.

"We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come - you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions on Terry's latest, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."

The next Monthly Dinner and Games at the Caledonian Hotel will be held on 24th November 2016. Before that, there will be a Games Day at La Scala Cafe Unley (9th October), a group outing to see Unseen Theatre's production of Feet of Clay (opens 21st October), and the Quiz Long and Prosper - Science Fiction and Fantasy Quiz Night (12th November). For more info, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 6th October 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 7th October 2016 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes and raffles. Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the Discworld Stamps forum:

http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 3rd October 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 3rd October 2016 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) ALZHEIMER'S NEWS

A possible step forward:

"A drug that destroys the characteristic protein plaques that build up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's is showing 'tantalising' promise, scientists say. Experts are cautious because the drug, aducanumab, is still in the early stages of development. But a study in Nature has shown it is safe and hinted that it halts memory decline. Larger studies are now under way to fully evaluate the drug's effects... The next phase of research – phase 3 – involves two separate studies. These are recruiting 2,700 patients with very early stage Alzheimer's across North America, Europe and Asia in order to fully test the drug's effect on cognitive decline. Dr Alfred Sandrock of the biotech company Biogen, which worked with the University of Zurich on the research, said: 'Phase 3 really needs to be done and I hope it will confirm what we have seen in this study. One day I could envisage treating people who have no symptoms because if you have amyloid in the brain it's likely you'll develop Alzheimer's one day.' However, there have been many disappointments in Alzheimer's drug development, and it is over a decade since the last drug for people with the condition was licensed..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37222863

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08) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS

8.1 DISCWORLD EMPORIUM NEWS

* The Greebo Plushy

"Introducing 'Nanny's little softy', here to terrorize your stuffed toys and have you scream 'gerroffyerbugger!!!' This official Greebo Plush from Terry Pratchett's Discworld is the most adorable bundle of claws, battle scars and gnarled ears you'll ever own – just don't leave him alone with Fluffy or Mittens!" Measures approx 200mm high

Priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to http://www.discworldemporium.com/terry-pratchett-discworld-greebo-plush

[For the record, I am only reluctantly promoting this; while I find the concept wonderful, I think the execution is barely above deplorable – and I say that as a collector and kinda-connoisseuse of cuddly animal toys. My own recommendation? The Librarian Plushy, a much better rendering of concept and priced at the same £15. For more information, and to order, go to http://www.discworldemporium.com/discworld-plush-librarian – Ed.]

* The Perennial Terry Pratchett Diary

"To celebrate the life and works of the remarkable Sir Terry Pratchett, the 2017 Discworld Diary has become a perennial publication, packed full of quotes, witticisms and illustrations along with tributes from some of those who knew and loved him and his extraordinary body of work. Contributors include Neil Gaiman, A S Byatt, Terry Pratchett's literary agent Colin Smythe, Emporium founder Bernard Pearson, co-author of the Long Earth books Stephen Baxter, and many more. Includes an introduction from his daughter Rhianna Pratchett and an afterword from longtime friend, assistant and business manager Rob Wilkins. Of course the Terry Pratchett Diary teems with all the important Discworld and Roundworld dates to help keep him with you as you go about your day – 'mind how you go'!

"We're proud to have worked with publishers Orion on the creation of this book, and as a further celebration of the great man every copy includes a sumptuous A5 art print of Sir Terry Pratchett's Coat of Arms, exclusive to the Discworld Emporium!

Each Terry Pratchett Diary with free art print is priced at £16.99 plus shipping (£3.50 UK, £7 Europe, £10 rest of the world) and will be published on 13th October 2016. For more information, and to pre-order, go to http://www.discworldemporium.com/new-terry-pratchett-books/terry-pratchett-discworld-diary

* New stamps

Plenty of these, including the Alchemists' Guild 3p and the Guild's Going for Gold LBE. A single stamp is 60p (£0.60), and a sheet of 19 stamps is £11.40. The Going for Gold LBE, which includes an Alchemists' Guild 3p stamp and a selection of other current stamps, is priced at £5. For more information, and to order, go to

http://www.discworldemporium.com/new%20stamps/alchemists-guild-three-pence

http://www.discworldemporium.com/new%20stamps/going-for-gold-lbe

A larger selection of available stamps can be found at http://www.discworldemporium.com/new%20stamps

8.2 DISCWORLD.COM NEWS

* Discworld trading cards!

"You may have noticed the small pieces of artwork that mysteriously began arriving with Discworld.com orders this month. Well, we're excited to confirm that there are twelve different designs and every time you order from us, one will be randomly selected to include with your goodies. All feature artwork from renowned Discworld artist Paul Kidby. And to answer the most frequent question we get asked - YES, you can now buy individual cards to fill in the gaps in your collection! The current Summer 2016 range is now available for purchase on Discworld.com."

The trading cards comprise a fascinating selection, all featuring the exquisite artwork of Paul Kidby: Granny Weatherwax, Carrot Ironfoundersson, Mr Ixolite, the Librarian (saluting), Ponder Stibbons, BS Johnson's Pie Cooler, Horace Worblehat (pre-transformation), the Tower of Art, Mr Slant, the Eater of Socks, 71-hour Achmed, and Leonard da Quirm (painting the Disc)

The cards are priced at £1 each, with the exception of the special DWcon 2016 card which is priced at £2 (see below). A full set of cards is priced at £12 and for a limited time includes the DWcon special card. For more information, and to order, go to http://discworld.com/products/trading-cards/ which contains links to individual cards for purchase. To buy the full set, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/trading-cards/trading-cards-series-one-including-shiny-convention-card/

...and the special Convention card, aka DWC2016 – The Empty Chord – foiled trading card: "Released to celebrate the 2016 UK Discworld Convention – this foiled trading card features Paul Kidby's artwork, set against a foiled sky."

http://discworld.com/products/limited-time-only/dwc2016-empty-chord-foiled/

* The Librarian and Greebo mugs!

"The very first pencil print released was the Librarian, a perennial favourite with readers. This classic illustration is now available as a mug for the very first time."

Each Librarian mug is priced at £8. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/librarian-mug/

"The second in a series of prints released back in 1995, this pencil image of Greebo is now available in all it's[sic] glory as a mug."

Each Greebo mug is priced at £8. For more information, and to order, go to:

http://discworld.com/products/convention-launches/greebo-pencil-mug/

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09) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE: THE TRUTH AND TAMAHER

The Truth, by Nat Wassell on Cultured Vultures:

"‘The Truth' revolves around the efforts of small time reporter William de Worde, writer of a monthly newsletter with a limited circulation, who accidentally falls in with a group of dwarves who have perfected the printing press. Before long, not only does William have a newspaper to run and a newspaper rival to see off, he also finds himself in the middle of a plot to overthrow Lord Vetinari and the reluctant middle man for a ‘translator' who claims he has got the full story from Vetinari's dog, Wuffles. It sounds complicated but as you may remember, my appetite for Sir Terry's complicated storylines is very limited so I can assure you that this one is almost as simple as any he ever did. It helps that it is packed with characters we know and love, alongside the new; Vimes, the Watch and Lord Vetinari rub shoulders with William, his right hand dwarf Goodmountain, the irrepressible roving reporter Sacharissa and Otto, the vampire photographer who has sworn off blood and just wants to focus on his pictures. As with all Sir Terry's novels, it helps immensely that all of the new characters are very likeable and relatable, too.

"William is probably the cleverest Discworld character I have come across, aside from Leonard of Quirm and the Patrician himself. There are few who match wits with Lord Vetinari and Sam Vimes and come out not only unscathed but almost on top. William is a highly educated second son, determined to make his own way in the world that his father so despises, and he does that by watching, listening and always being ready to learn more. Some Discworld characters, by the very nature of the fantasy, are probably certifiably insane, but William, although he does have some quirks, is one of the most normal Sir Terry created... One of my favourite things about this novel was a chance to see some of our best loved characters in a different light. Until now, we have only really seen Vetinari and Vimes through the prism of the Watch novels, which give us an idea of how their own men view them, but little by way of public image. They are public figures, of course, and the eyes of ordinary people tell us a lot about them..."

http://culturedvultures.com/discworld-discussions-truth-2000/

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, by Ryan on Hubward Ho:

"This is an unusual book in the annals of Discworld, and not only because it is the first 'children's' book. It has a certain odd quality that I enjoy deeply but struggle to put into words. It's a struggle I've had before in amplified form when reading the Tiffany books. The dynamics and themes here are—I hesitate to say it—simpler? I've heard this book called 'simple' in more than one review, but that doesn't seem right to me. Tiffany's stories, and to a lesser extent Maurice, feel somehow sharper, more distilled, stripped down to something that feels true in the pit of my stomach... It's a gentle sensation in Maurice, and more like a river bursting a dam in the Tiffany books, but it's there in both: the cartilage of fantasy has worn down, and we're hard up against the bones of reality. Big themes, sharp shadows, no pretence...

"For me, the obfuscation of fundamental Discworld elements allows the story to exist in a kind of purely local geography, where cosmology and astrophysics are not even passing concerns. This is an unabashedly provincial book. This feels important to me, as the directness of the morality could seem like pontificating except for these subtle little ways that Pratchett redraws the world and redefines what about it is meaningful. By making mighty people, places, and ideas of Discworld small, Maurice makes room for the little people to be big. In a sense, Maurice begs a question I didn't know I wanted to ask, which is, 'What, really, makes Discworld?' How much of the world can you strip away before it becomes something, somewhere, sometime else? Is this what Discworld is, the closer you get to the bone?..."

http://bit.ly/2dwejgf

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10) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

Fourecksian actor Mike Shaw as Sam Vimes in Unseen Theatre's forthcoming production of Feet of Clay (photo courtesy of director Pamela Munt):
http://bit.ly/2dvuZV2

The full (and very large) cast of Monstrous Productions' presentation of Going Postal, with director Amy Davies front and centre:
http://bit.ly/2cWwL19

Paul Kidby's finished prize drawing – colouring in his own lines!
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CrbJEh1WcAAgbHL.jpg

...and the man himself, looking rightly pleased with his efforts:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtBud0SXYAEZRwL.jpg

A Kirby centrefold! The Witches, as seen in A Blink of the Screen:
http://bit.ly/2djifkc

Apparently this is a cake. Holy moley! (link from the Josh Kirby estate Twitter account):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtR_KfkWIAA-PRP.jpg

A couple of nineteenth-century toffs at the Dodger launch. You may recognise them (iconograph rediscovered by Stephen Briggs):
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CseRC3JWEAAZcuq.jpg

The broken drum of the Broken Drummers, London's legendary Pratchett fangroup, as posted on the @BrokenDrummers Twitter account:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Crmz7s4WAAACYJ2.jpg

Rincewind and the Luggage, by the super-talented Amy Simmonds:
https://t.co/SvXQ8NFFqf

...and another Amy Simmonds winner, Carrot and Angua:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CsVAhOjWAAAUHja.jpg

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11) CLOSE

And that's the lot for September, since September is now receding into the middle distance. We'll be back soon with more reviews, news and updates. Take care, and enjoy your autumn nights – or, in Fourecks and the Land of Fog, your spring mornings...

See you next month!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
August 2016 (Volume 19, Issue 8, 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)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
08) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
10) CLOSE

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01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"Rob [Wilkins] ... created the first version of this site in the 1990s, writing all the code and designing it from scratch. Where would I have been without his remarkable (but little-known) computing and programing genius?"
Colin Smythe, on his new Colin Smythe Ltd publishing website

"Often adolescent in humour, yes, and not exactly Joycean in style, Pratchett's work fizzes with originality and razor sharp allegory, taking aim at the ludicrous hypocrisies and conventions that we all somehow contrive to take seriously."
Michael Honig, in Publishers Weekly

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02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

Yes, the August issue was held back until September, but there waas a good reason – see section 4.1 below for an exclusive report on Discworld Convention 2016!

Now that Paul Kidby's amazing Discworld Colouring Book has been published – at least in some parts of Roundworld – publishers Gollancz are running a special contest for Discworld fans in the UK and Ireland (see item 3.1 below). For the rest of us outside that catchment area, here's a photo of Mr Kidby's progress in colouring in the prize:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CqsYxKxW8AAhlzq.jpg

Gollancz has also just published The Last Hero as an ebook, if that sort of thing takes your fancy. I have to admit that while the story of TLH stands on its own merits, it seems a shame to separate it from Paul Kidby's exquisite ilustrations, but there you go...

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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03) ODDS AND SODS

3.0 NEW COLIN SMYTHE WEBSITE!

All Discworld conventiongoers, and a vast number of other Discworld fans, know well the name of Colin Smythe, "the man who discovered Terry Pratchett", who published his early novels, and who then served as his literary agent for the rest of The Author's days. But not everyone may realise that Colin Smythe is a world-respected publisher of fifty years' standing who, through the company Colin Smythe Ltd, offers some of the best and rarest of Irish literature, a fascinating selection of literary criticism, theatre history, biographies, and yes, even science fiction and fantasy works *not* by Terry Pratchett! And now the Colin Smythe Ltd internet presence is beautifully catalogued and up-to-date, all shiny and in good working order.

For the Pratchett-and-Discworld fan, there's a comprehensive set of infopages covering the entire oeuvre of Terry Pratchett – hundreds of individual pages, painstakingly compiled, and including all the Discworld novels in all their forms (books, audiobooks, graphic novels, films, radio and stage plays, etc.) and Discworld auxiliaries, both by Sir Terry himself (Where's My Cow?, The World of Poo, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook) and collaborative works such as Good Omens, The Unadulterated Cat, the Long Earth series, the Discworld Companions, Folklore of Discworld, Mapps, Almanaks, Diaries, Calendars, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook and so on... the non-Discworld novels, short story collections and nonfiction collections... a compendium of works *about* the works of Terry Pratchett (articles, interviews, analyses – 45 years' worth so far!) and assorted articles and other contributions *by* him... the chronology and extensive biographical information for the life and times of Terence David John Pratchett, from earliest days to a collection of farewells and memorials, and so much more – including international fan convention literature (with links!). Even Wossname gets a mention!

A few of the many fascinating Pratchett-y things you'll learn by wandering around the site:

* Josh Kirby's secret name

* The true story of that German soup advert

* The lowdown on of sex and death (all right, sex of Death)

* Young Terry Pratchett's definition of autocracy

* What Discworld publication was a nonfiction bestseller

* What Discworld novel was originally titled Interesting Times

Furthermore, any fans of *other* great writers such as Yeats, Joyce, Shaw, Synge and Wilde will find invaluable resources in Colin Smythe Ltd's catalogue.

A wonderful, useful website. Do have a look!

http://colinsmythe.co.uk/


3.1 THE DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK COLOURING-IN CONTEST!

For UK and Ireland Discworld fans: how are you at colouring inside the lines? Gollancz, publishers of the gorgeous new Discworld Colouring Book, offer you a challenge:

"Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book Competition!

"To celebrate publication, we're offering one lucky reader the chance to win a page from the book, hand-coloured by Paul Kidby himself! We've made a page available on the Gollancz website as a PDF, so no purchase is necessary. Just download the page and colour it in, then post a photo of your coloured page to social media, tagging @Gollancz on Twitter or Instagram, or GollanczPublishing on Facebook, with the hashtag #Octarine, and Paul Kidby will choose his favourite piece. The winner will receive the competition page, hand-coloured by Paul Kidby, as well as a signed copy of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book. Five runners-up will each receive a copy of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book.

"The closing date is midnight on 12th September 2016, and the winner will be announced during Gollanczfest (_http://www.gollanczfest.com/_) on Twitter (_https://twitter.com/gollancz_), Instagram (_https://www.instagram.com/gollancz/_), Facebook (_https://www.facebook.com/gollanczpublishing_) and the Gollancz blog (_http://www.gollancz.co.uk/_). The competition is open to residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Please see http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/Information/Terms%20and%20Conditions.page for Terms and Conditions."

Click here to download the PDF: http://www.gollancz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Discworld-Colouring-Page-2.pdf

http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2016/08/terry-pratchetts-discworld-colouring-book-competition/

http://www.paulkidby.com/


...and here be an early review of the Discworld Colouring Book, on The Bookbag:

"In Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book Kidby has produced a selection of some of his favourite characters all redrafted as line art. I liked this approach: there's nothing worse than trying to reproduce an original picture which you love – and failing. Here you get original pictures to complete, including many of your favourite characters: Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, Archchancellor Ridcully, Rincewind, Tiffany Aching and Death. There are some colour prints at the end of the book, which I wasn't expecting. Fortunately I didn't spot them until I'd had a go, so I wasn't discouraged. You get some great quotes too... As well as the full-page and double-page spreads there are smaller projects: I idly coloured in a banana whilst listening to a disembodied voice tell me that my phone call was important to them. The paper is of better quality than I suspected at first glance – a black felt-tip pen didn't show through on the reverse no matter how hard I tried. I preferred the effect of using crayons – the result was more subtle, but give your creativity free rein and see what happens. I've got just the one quibble about the book and that rests with the double-page spreads where the picture is trapped in the spine of the book and it's impossible to colour proficiently without taking the book to pieces. It was fun trying though..."

http://bit.ly/2chxhCp


3.2 THE ARTIST KNOWN AS KIDBY!

In The Guardian, an interview/article by Alison Flood about Paul Kidby:

"Kidby first discovered Discworld in 1993, when he was given a copy of The Colour of Magic for his 29th birthday, and was immediately taken with Pratchett's writing. After drawing a range of Pratchett's characters for fun, he took a bundle of them along to a book signing in a WH Smith's in Bath, and handed them over to Pratchett. 'I queued for three hours – he was so popular and I'd had no idea about it,' says Kidby. 'When I got to Terry, I gave him some photocopies of the drawings I'd done in an envelope, and thought "that's it". He didn't need another illustrator; he had Josh Kirby, and he'd made it, he was successful. So I resigned myself to the fact that he wouldn't get in touch.' But a few weeks later, Pratchett rang him. 'He phoned up and said "this is the closest anyone's got to how I see the characters". And that was it – the beginning. It's a fantastic endorsement when an author says that ... For me, creatively, to do my interpretation of a writer's character was pretty much top of the tree.'... Kidby was a freelance illustrator, painting popular video game characters like Sonic the Hedgehog for magazine covers. He'd always known he wanted to be an artist – as a teenager, he applied to art colleges and was offered a place in Hounslow, but ended up declining it as it was too far from where he lived. But his parents were friends with a retired art teacher and “I knocked on her door with my drawings and she very kindly looked through what I'd done, and took me under her wing”. On the side, Kidby started making false teeth during the day to bring in some money. 'At the time it was the most creative job I could get, as I was still working with my hands. I was 17,' he says. 'Looking back over my career path, I was always trying to do something more creative. False teeth were the beginning.'..."

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/18/terry-pratchett-artist-illustrating-discworld-colouring-book


3.3 NEW STEPHEN BRIGGS WEBSITE!

Well, page-onna-website. Another new shiny thing in the world of published Pratchettry:

"As all children know, the way you get into a fantasy world is by accident... You go into the wardrobe, looking for somewhere to hide and – bingo. And that's how Stephen Briggs found Discworld. In 1990, he wrote to ask Terry if he could stage Wyrd Sisters. That was the first time anyone, anywhere in the world, had dramatised Terry's work. He had no idea it would go any further than one play (possibly two). But it did. So far, he has now adapted, staged and published twenty-two plays. He and Terry also worked together to produce the original Discworld Maps and Diaries, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, The Discworld Companion (now called Turtle Recall) and The Wit & Wisdom of Discworld."

https://www.oberonbooks.com/stephen-briggs.html


3.4 LONG COSMOS REVIEW!

by Glen Seeber on News OK:

"In the five books, Pratchett and Baxter explored the ramifications from all sorts of angles, touching on governmental control versus individual freedom, strife between those who can step and those who are unable to do so, development of children whose mental capacity far outshines that of normal humanity, and treatment of beings common to the parallel worlds who did not develop on the home planet. In 'The Long Cosmos,' inhabitants of all of the worlds, including apelike creatures called trolls, living islands known as Traversers and, of course, humans, get a message from space saying, essentially, 'Join us.' The narrative jumps from one character to another, carrying the reader slowly toward a climax when most of the characters come together at last and find out just what is meant by the message... While 'The Long Cosmos' is an entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the five-novel series, first-time readers would be well advised to start with the first book, 'The Long Earth,' and follow the story in order of publication. Things will make more sense..."

http://newsok.com/article/5511712


3.5 THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER REVIEW!

By Juliette Harrisson on Den of Geek:

"The stories were edited and prepared by Pratchett shortly before his death, and the book includes an introduction from him that must be one of the last things he wrote. Like the first volume, this book is illustrated throughout by Mark Beech, whose style is clearly influenced by Quentin Blake's work, especially his work on Roald Dahl's books – it work very well here, immediately signalling the tone and style of the stories to the reader. His portrait of a waving Pratchett for the Introduction is particularly nice, and his interpretation of a small man in a big black hat is also, touchingly, distinctly Terry-like... Juvenilia by famous authors can vary a bit in quality, but one of the nice things about these stories is that they were written by a young man, for even younger people (and edited by the older Sir Terry as well). Most of the stories are relatively timeless or are clearly set in the past, so young readers will be able to enjoy them easily – one story, for example, makes a brief reference to this being 'the twenty-first century', despite the distinct absence of mobile phones or laptops... Regardless of the age of the author or intended audience, these stories are as funny, magical and whimsical as any of Pratchett's work. There are a few stories set in the mysterious town of Blackbury, and several in the Wild Welsh town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo, home of the fastest truncheon in the West and a delightful addition to the little-known 'amusing takes on Wales' subgenre (also including the works of Jasper Fforde and Malcolm Pryce). There are truly enchanting tales of dancing statues and visits to magical places in another realm of existence and several delicate touches of romance, not enough to put off young readers but enough to warm the hearts of older ones..."

http://bit.ly/2bS944Q


3.6 WHAT'S IN A NAME, ER, WORD...

From the BBC's news site:

"'Moist' is the early front-runner in a search to find the most-hated word in the English language. The distasteful adjective – a favourite of Great British Bake Off presenting duo Mel and Sue – has topped polls in the UK, US and Canada, according to those behind the global survey. 'Moist' – dubbed by comedian Miranda Hart the 'queen of all words' – also leads the way in the US, Canada and Australia, also coming second in the poll of Dutch opinion... Dan Braddock, from Oxford University Press, said this was the first time Oxford Dictionaries – which focuses on current English usage – had tried such an experiment and 'we're not entirely sure what to expect yet... We thought for a long time about the question to open with, but we decided to go down the negative route,' he said..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-37183043


3.7 WHY FILMING THE WEE FREE MEN IS A GOOD CHOICE

Some good musings on the forthcoming film of The Wee Free Men, by Tom Bacon on Moviepilot::

"The Jim Henson Company – most famous for Farscape, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal – is bringing one Discworld novel, Wee Free Men, to the big screen. Rhianna Pratchett, an award-winning scriptwriter in her own right, is adapting the novel for the feature film. But why have the team chosen Wee Free Men? 1. A 'Young Adult' Vibe with a Tremendous Star... The star of Wee Free Men is the brilliant character of Tiffany Aching, a 9-year-old girl who is drawn into a fantasy realm of danger. Brought up as a shepherd in the hills of a region known as the Chalk, Tiffany Aching is the unwitting inheritor of her grandmother's witchcraft. She soon winds up forced to take a stand, becoming a trainee witch and battling against the elves of Fairyland! Tiffany is a formidable character, much-loved and with tremendous depth... 2. A Perfect Introduction to Discworld... 3. A Creative Fantasy Story...

"Wee Free Men has all the staples of fairytale mythology – from witchcraft to elves – but all are subverted, in that classic Pratchett style. Tiffany winds up on an epic quest into Fairyland, but Pratchett's Fairyland is a barren and dangerous place, one that would translate easily into a haunting location on the big screen. It's the beginning of a classic Hero's Journey, one that was only truly completed in The Shepherd's Crown, and it has all the mythic quality you'd expect of a classic..."

http://moviepilot.com/posts/4068544


3.8 THE LUGGAGE, ROUNDWORLD STYLE!

On M2, Isaac Taylor tells us of a digital-era travel accessory with some familiar characteristics:

"Ever since we read Terry Pratchett for the first time we dreamed of a suitcase that could follow us everywhere. While planet earth may not have any sapient pearwood to build magical chests out of, we do have a butt ton of robotics that can help make our dreams come true. Enter the Cowarobot R1, a travel companion that follows you on your journey. It can intelligently avoid obstacles and always dutifully keep up with it's human. This means your hands are free to deal with other things like passports, wallets, coffee, or whatever you normally use your hands for. At full charge it can go for 20km, and if it falls behind you, it quickly catches up with a max speed of 7.2km/h. It's fixed with a depth sensor as well as sonar technology to get around. An R1 bracelet on your wrist is what it uses to track you. And If you've left it somewhere you can double tap the screen and it quickly finds a path and navigates to wherever you are..."

http://www.m2now.co.nz/1-robotic-suitcase-follows-everywhere-go/

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04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

DWCON 2016 NEWS

4.1 AN EXCLUSIVE WOSSNAME REPORT

From Brian Dominic, Wossname's man on the scene, who writes:

(Starts computer)

(Straps into saddle)

(Starts pedalling)

RIGHT – let's go!

What follows is a very personal account of what was a fabulous weekend.................

THURSDAY (helping day)

I'd arrived at the Ramada hotel (the overflow hotel just down the road from the Grange) reasonably early in the morning, and having been able to check in before The Allotted Time I was able to go up to the Grange, find Ops and ask if there was anything that needed doing. Eyes lit up. I was duly handed a thick wad of posters and some Blu-tac, and sent forth to decorate the hotel. The walls of the hotel were dotted with fake adverts for things a Morporkian might want to buy – all tastefully produced and in various sizes. I caught up with (and lent a hand to) the Official Renaming Detail, who were erecting the large signs that said "UPPER BROADWAY" "LOWER BROADWAY" "CAVERN CLUB" "STO LAT", "L SPACE (1 & 2)" (when joined together they were an l-shaped place) so that people would know where they were.

After this, is was Goodie Bag Stuffing Time! Picture the scene: a long line of tables, stacked with Goodies – a "Mystery Envelope" packed with totally unknown goodies, the Posh Programme (which normally gets looked at by me after the event), the Read Me, which is a smaller and more convenient version of the Convention Programme – as suggested, this is the one you can use your highlighter and marker pen on to mark up those unmissable events you just HAVE to go to, plus a colouring sheet, a set of small coloured pencils to use on it, a commemorative medal and the all-important lanyard, pen and badge holder. One walked steadily down one side of the table, adding each article as one passed it, then left the full bags at the other end, picked up an empty bag and worked your way down the other side of the table, which had exactly the same things on it in the same order!

After dinner, the evening was taken up with The Incredibly Hard Pub Quiz (well, she DOES have two years to put it together) with an incredibly picky Judge of What Is Right (the only village in the UK with an exclamation mark in it's name is Westward Ho!, but miss the exclamation mark off and you get nil points).

That was about it for Thursday.................

FRIDAY (Registration Day)

This was the day I now normally give to the Convention: I was on duty just after 0900 in Registration, to unite Convention goers with their badge and goodie bag. Old hands knew what to do, but newcomers had to be told what to do with their badge (no sniggers at the back, there!) and to put their hotel key cards there as well, to save them getting deprogrammed by their mobile phone. It was also our job to suggest that Newbies went to Der Troll's Guide For Der Confused – a briefing intended for new visitors. We also had to tactfully enquire if there were any issues which would require the addition of a blue spot to a badge which gave priority in queues and lifts. As the registrations progressed, we found our selves with less and less boxes to look through as more and more people arrived and the contents of the boxes (one envelope for each attendee) disappeared. When we got to two boxes, we moved the Registration table across Upper Broadway to a more shady spot, as we had been under the Greenhouse Roof on the outer side and were starting to gently bake. I'd been off site for some reason and arrived back as Bernard Pearson was about to read "Where's My Cow" – an experience I would have liked to share in, but people were crammed into the space provided and there was no way I could get any way near.

I missed the Opening Ceremony, which actually finished before the scheduled time – something of a "first" – but got in for Terry Pratchett – a Memorial which were the highlights of the Memorial held earlier this year. I don't know how much of this may have leaked around to Oz, but I suspect it might get there sooner or later so I won't say to much about it. The only thing I WILL share is that the final item was "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". I sat, I sang, I wept uncontrollably (and I wasn't the only one)...................

Next up was Bedtime Stories, for which I didn't follow the pyjamas dress code! There was some interesting material, including the outline of a section of a book that will never be published (and which was shredded in stage after it had been read). Finally, I went to the Karaoke Session, which was rubbishy in that it didn't contain any of the ninety-odd songs I sing.

SATURDAY (Costume Day)

This was the day I intended to wear my Auditor's costume all day and appear in the Masquerade. The first thing to do was to attend the Masquerade Rehearsal, to work out what things needed to happen in my piece, and get Pat Harkin to co-operate with what I wanted to do. After that, I costumed up and went a-wandering. I managed to drop in on a session or two – nobody stopped me.................... For lunch and dinner I dropped out of character – when I took off the mesh mask that effectively stopped people from seeing me I was quite surprised at how cool it was! It was very difficult to stay in character – stopping oneself from using "I" is very, very difficult! I dropped into the Stephen Briggs / Rob Watkins conversation but chickened out of How to fit a Corset and Sewing Cheats! After dinner, it was time to report backstage for the Masquerade. At least we could see each act as it went on but we couldn't unfortunately hear them, as we'd only got a monitor off the video system which was projecting images onto a large screen alongside the stage. Whilst the judges were deliberating, we all went for a photo shoot, then went back in to hear the results. After that, it was off to the late night Hedgehog Party, where everybody can bring food from their part of the country / world...............

SUNDAY (Lazy Day)

I started off late on Sunday – my first event was at 1100 and was entitled "Liner notes – Annotating the Discworld" which gave an interesting insight into the adding of footnotes and the building up to a punch line. I went to Juke Box Jury, where the idea was to sing one tune to the words of another. In the course of this workshop, we came across a previously unknown version of The Dwarf Song, sung to the tune of "Let it Go" from Frozen......... later, I took in the children's Masquerade, seeing as how I hadn't seen the adult one.