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






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



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



Paul Kidby will be giving an illustrated talk at the Salisbury Museum on 25th October:


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.'"



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..."


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..."


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..."


...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)..."






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.



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



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."



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."



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.



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)



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



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.



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



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




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.



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...


4.3 PLAYS IN 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



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."



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)





* 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:


* 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:


* 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:


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)


* 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:


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..."


* 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:


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:


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



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."



"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.



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



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:



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>



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:

...and a beautiful iconograph, used as a header on a post from Pratchett-fan-site aggregator Clacks Header:

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


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)
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)






"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



    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




...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:


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!



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..."



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..."


[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.]




    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.


    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!


    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.


    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!





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



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



"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

For further information, contact Simon James 08 9399 9947 arenaarts@hotmail.com.au


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.



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



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)



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."


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:


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."



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



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)



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...


5.2 PLAYS IN 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/


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



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)."




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.]


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..."


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..."


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...."


...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."




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."



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



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

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


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

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

The next 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:



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>




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.



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."





* 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!


* 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:


...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!"



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."


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."


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."


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..."


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..."


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..."


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..."


...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."


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..."


...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...."




Sculptor Richard Kingston at work on his marvellous piece for the Discworld Emporium – and some of the results:

Moist, Adora Belle and Postman Groat from the forthcoming Westoning Players production of Going Postal:

The Abbot of the History Monks, by Paul Kidby in 2007 for the Talpress edition of Thief of Time:

...and a lovely sketch of Nanny and Greebo, that says it all about her feelings for him:



    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


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

Copyright (c) 2016 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Plays)
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


Auditions for the full cast of Mort (13 to 17 people) will be held at the theatre at 7:30pm on the 14th 15th of November (2016, that is), with callbacks taking place on the 16th, also at 7.30pm.

To see the full page containing all information on the auditions, go to


wossname: (Anthill inside)
The Rochester Literature Festival, running this very weekend, will feature a Turtle Moves day in honour of The Author! "Fun and activities for all ages inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld. We were too far down the line to organise a tribute to STP last year, but were keen to keep his name and work alive. 'The Turtle Moves' is the call of Discworld fans across the Roundworld! Our main base of operations will be the Rochester Community Hub, where the Medway Adult and Community Learning Service is partnering us with 3 themed workshops. We'll also have our own crafty drop in session, plus other activities available in the high street. Make it a mini comic con too, and come along dressed as your favourite Discworldian – we promise you won't be alone!"

When: Saturday 8th October 2016
Venue: Community Hub and High Street, Rochester Literature Festival, Rochester, Kent
Time: 10am–4pm

Free activities at the Community Hub (all children to be accompanied by an adult; booking required where stated) will include a Juvenile Crafters' Guild – "Feet of Clay – Make your own Golem", "Magrat's Magical Herbs – Botanical illustration", "The Octavo – Create your own powerfully magic spell book", and "Interesting Times: Design your own Luggage, Maskerade Mask or Quantum Weather Butterfly." Also, in the High Street, there will be theatre, games ("Rochester Games and Models is hosting a re-enactment of the Battle of Koom Valley!"), and "Discworld Delicacies from Nanny Ogg and CMOT Dibbler" at Cafe @172.

And best of all – Dark Morris: "The Dark Morris – (Wolf's Head and Vixen) As alluded to in Wintersmith! Border Morris is the most primitive and arguably the most exhilarating of the Morris dancing styles. Wolf's Head (the men) and Vixen (the women) dance to a variety of traditional and original tunes, with a Gothic feel and a mesmerising drumbeat."

[Border Morris are a truly wonderful and exciting side. I've seen a number of their videos. Look them up on the Clacks! – Ed.]

To read the full schedule, go to https://rochesterlitfest.com/2016/09/02/rlf2016-the-turtle-moves/

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
October 2015 (Volume 18, Issue 10, Post 1)

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

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Wolfiekins, 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)






"I'm tremendously grateful to Terry for the chances he gave me, for the opportunity he gave me to change my life in ways I couldn't possibly imagine."

– Stephen Briggs

"People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them *new* things. New things ... well, new things aren't what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don't want to know that a man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people *think* they want is news, but what they really crave is *olds*."

– Lord Vetinari to William de Worde (The Truth, Doubleday hardcover p. 77)

"We are delighted and honoured to display the Discworld Knight. Terry was a regular patron and would have been pleased to see this statue in the restaurant where he so often raised a glass with friends."

– Elizabeth Edwards, manager of the Queen's Head, Sir Pterry's local pub



October has been a month of waiting for me. Waiting on tenterhooks. Waiting for the Compleat Discworld Atlas to arrive. Waiting for Wossname's hose copy of Clacks to arrive. Waiting for a certain exclusive report to come back from the person who is vetting it... and as of today the waiting for all of these continues, but ticking clocks and hissing sand demand that we go to press... erm, to clacks... and so we shall.

Things waited for will arrive, and be reported on, but for the moment, enjoy this issue of Wossname which is full of news. And possibly some olds. And if you haven't re-read The Truth recently, do give it a go – coming back to it after almost fifteen years, I found The Truth to be a weighty and significant story disguised (brilliantly so) as a lightweight comedy caper. Beautiful stuff...

On with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor




Here be a wonderful video of Mr Briggs at Sir Terry's home, talking about their 25-year collaboration and how it changed his world:


The video can also be accessed via http://www.shakespearecodex.co.uk/ – click on the orangeish button on the lower left of the homepage.

Many thanks go to Mr Briggs for this gift to the fans!


In a lovely eleven minute video, Rob answers questions put to him by attendees of the Scheibenwelt (German Discworld) convention. He discusses the possible Discworld Lego set, forthcoming productions from Narrativia, and gives some fascinating bits of inside knowledge – including the fact that Sir Pterry left the world of the living to the sound of Meatloaf's classic Bat Out of Hell! Some quotes:

"Yes, there will be other adaptations, for the TV and for the big screen, but I can't be specific about which novels..."

"Terry really did leave behind a huge volume of unpublished material... The ideas are ideas we discussed together, so maybe some episodes of The Watch will be influenced by some of that material..."

"Did we ever have an argument? We argued every day! Every day I quit, and every day Terry sacked me... but we only argued if we were arguing about a plot point... we did argue, but it was always about the story... we did make it up very quickly..."

"Can you imagine being at the forefront of the creative process, sitting beside Terry Pratchett every day as he wrote..."

"I can honestly say that out of all the fan mail Terry received, Eskarina Smith was asked about the most..."

"Terry left what he called 'anchors' throughout his writing, and could refer back to them -- something you as a reader would have skimmed over, wouldn't have even noticed at the time, and yet he would refer to it twenty-five novels later..."





As mentioned in the previous issue...

"Sir Terry Pratchett is a national icon when it comes to creating fantasy worlds that bring joy to millions of people. With over 70 books and 75 million copies sold worldwide, he created a powerful legacy that has encouraged reading and creativity. And here in Salisbury we were lucky enough to have him as a local resident for over 20 years. He worked with local people and artists, and made wonderful contributions to the local hospital.

"But there is little to inform the guests and residents of this vastly popular city of Sir Terry's involvement, or the love the community had for him in return. Salisbury take pride in many notable statues and works of art across the city, but we would like to campaign for a permanent statue, in a prominent location, in memory of Sir Terry's incalculable role in the culture of this country.

"Our aim will be to contact local officials via Salisbury City Council to either encourage them to take on the project themselves, or grant us permission to work with them in making it happen. If funding becomes an issue, it is possible that crowd-sourcing some of the costs could be viable, with any additional money raised going towards those charities supported by Sir Terry."

If you wish to sign the online petition, go to:



The Discworld Baron was auctioned to the tune of £5,000 for the Trussell Trust, making it the highest-priced of the Barons. At first it was credited to a mystery bidder, but soon the bidder was identified as none other than Rob Wilkins himself. Now it has been donated to a permanent place in the Queen's Head pub in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire – otherwise known as Sir Pterry's local!

The Charter Barons project raised £200,000 altogether for the Trussell Trust, which coordinates the ever-increasing number of vital food banks in the UK.

This from Discworld.com, formerly PJSM Prints:

"The Discworld Knight baron has this week taken up residency at The Queen's Head pub in Broad Chalke in Wiltshire, where it will be on display for the next couple of months before moving to its permanent home in the Chalke Valley. It is hard to imagine a more fitting tribute to Terry for whom this statue was dedicated. The design of the baron was already in production at the time of Terry's untimely passing on 12th March 2015. His family kindly gave permission for The Discworld Knight to remain in The Barons' Charter project in his memory and at the auction on 1st October, Rob Wilkins was the winning bidder. Rob worked alongside Terry for many years, and felt that the most fitting tribute to the author would be to secure the magnificent statue and place it in the author's favourite pub for all to admire. 'We all know that Terry had the most incredible sense of humour, and would have taken great delight in reappearing here to keep an eye on the locals,' he said..."

To read the whole announcement, go to:



On The Bookseller:

"Illustrators are now listed on the CILIP Carnegie 2016 nominations list, revealed today (19th October), following last year's complaint from author/illustrator Sarah McIntyre. In October 2014, CILIP nominated Oliver and the Seawigs (OUP Children's Books) for the 2015 Carnegie medal, mentioning writer Philip Reeve as the author but not McIntyre, who illustrated the book. McIntyre, who said she co-created the story, suggested the organisers should open the award up to books attributed to co-authors. 'Because the book has a lot of illustrations it has a shorter text; the world is built by the pictures as well as the words.' Her campaign has paid off because the titles nominated for the 2016 Carnegie medal are listed with both the author and illustrator. So both Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt are listed for Katy (Puffin), as are David Walliams and Tony Ross for Awful Auntie (HarperCollins Children's Books) and Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby for The Shepherd's Crown (Doubleday Children's Books)..."

The full list of nominations can be found online at http://bit.ly/1PBvhne



"Tim Parry from Alzheimer's Research UK said that the late author had transformed attitudes towards the disease. 'Terry Pratchett has played a huge role in just bringing it to people's attention and beginning to change the language towards the idea that we actually may be able to fight these diseases,' he said. 'He was the first person to say he wanted to kick it in the arse.' Parry, who is head of communications for the organisation, also spoke about how crucial it was to remove the stigma and shame around the disease, and that Pratchett's frank and very public discussion of his condition had helped..."



In the Western Morning News:

"Members of the Exeter Camera Club have curated a series of exhibition to celebrate the club's 125th anniversary, making it one of the oldest camera clubs in the country. The black and white and monochrome photographs are currently being exhibited all month at The Cafe, Topsham, Devon. Photographer Phil Lockett paid tribute to author Terry Pratchett in his image 'A Tribute to Sir Terry'. He said: 'The image idea came very easily, it was the most natural of reactions when you hear news of a personal loss, to stop what you're doing or reading, take off your glasses and just absorb what that news meant. The book was one on my bookshelf I knew had his famous Death character appearing in, and I wanted him evident on the pages spread open. Death always speaks all in uppercase. I let the book fall open pretty much unguided and placed the glasses gently before taking the picture.'"


The photograph: http://bit.ly/1GO2Lrs


By Allen Adams for the Maine Edge:

"One of the reasons that Pratchett is so beloved is his ability to create richly detailed worlds. 'The World of Poo' was essentially a throwaway joke in 'Snuff,' and yet Pratchett managed to extrapolate that brief bit into something fully formed and – frankly – awfully funny. It is Pratchett all the way down, too, with plenty of winks and nods to various other Discworld properties and even a handful of his usual footnotes. As for readers of all ages, that is absolutely accurate. Granted, there's a lot of nuance that one could only pick up if one was familiar with Discworld, what with the sly references and central roles for a couple of Discworld's tertiary characters. However, while those details will enhance the enjoyment of the more experienced, younger readers will find plenty to delight them. It's a sweet story about a curious little boy who is fascinated by poo – no doubt there are more than a few kids just like Geoffrey out there in the wide world. Poo is hilarious and no one understands that better than little boys. 'The World of Poo' is a delight, working on multiple levels to engage and entertain young and old alike..."




By Rene Nol for the Otago Times:

"Someone once said of Terry Pratchett that he was the kindest teacher you could ever have. Certainly for me he was the funniest. The research (he insisted it was pleasure reading) Pratchett did for his Discworld books was astoundingly wide-ranging, as he gleaned obscure tidbits, about the grittier side of Victorian London (from the sewers up, literally) say, to the sublime works of Leonardo da Vinci, among a host of subjects. These were then processed by Pratchett's lively imagination to reappear sometimes as major themes in his books, sometimes as one-liner jokes. Even a chance encounter was enough to set Pratchett's mind working: he once saw a large woman struggling with her wheeled suitcase, which appeared to have a mind of its own regarding where it was going. From this was born the Luggage, a chest on dozens of little legs. It was bound to follow its owner wherever that might be (even through time itself), and it radiated malevolence when in the mood.

"It is tempting to think Pratchett had his own demise at the front of his mind when he was writing The Shepherd's Crown..."


By Scott Wilson on Popzara:

"Reading this novel made me realize just how different Discworld stories can be told just by changing the age of the character. Most of the political satire and adult humor is replaced with more toned down versions, which are pretty funny, but not in the same way. Another oddity about this novel is a trend that carried over from his previous book, Raising Steam, in which many of the point-of-view characters seen in different chapters only pop up once and are never heard from again, while established characters seem to miss out on the action. While it does a good job of saying goodbye to Discworld as a whole, The Shepherd's Crown feels like one of the weakest stories in the series. Many of the situations and villains are reused from earlier works without much more characterization. It carries many of the usual themes that Pratchett uses, such as sexism, change, and the inevitability of death, but everything seems to resolve entirely too easy, and very rarely is there much conflict between characters... The Shepherd's Crown is not an ending. It is, however, a reminder of stories that will never be told..."


By Hannah Sissons on Forge Fuse:

"The Shepherd's Crown is the fifth and final book about Tiffany and Pratchett keeps her spirit beautifully alive throughout. Pratchett's book is laced with ideas which he evidently wanted the world to know of before he departed... Whilst written for younger readers, this book can appreciated by anyone of any age. It stands for friendship, hard work, family and above all real magic; magic that is created, not by swishing a wand around or reading off spells, but by embracing our humanity, speaking for those with no voice and caring for those in need..."



More from blogger Nat Wassell, on Cultured Vultures:

On Equal Rites: 'Equal Rites' is the third book in the series, and it is a landmark point in the series for several reasons. One of the things I noticed during this novel was that Sir Terry never tries to disguise the narrative voice as being anything but his own. There are a lot of metaphors that come up which involve comparisons to things like dodgems and radio, things that do not exist on the disc and therefore cannot be compared by anyone who is not firmly of our own world. I wonder if this is a deliberate move on Sir Terry's part, claiming Discworld for his own and allowing no one to mistake it as belonging to anyone but him. There is no omniscient third party here, telling the stories. There is only Terry Pratchett and his wacky, wonderful imagination..."


On Mort: "I think the fact that Death is one of the most fleshed out, sympathetic characters in the whole series tells you everything that you need to know about Discworld and the delight that Pratchett takes in inverting the norm. If Granny Weatherwax was Pratchett's muse, Death was his closest companion... When I was first discovering Discworld, 'Mort' was the title that kept coming up as the best place to start, although I never followed that advice. On doing some informal research now (stalking Tumblr and Goodreads) it seems that a lot of people agree on 'Mort' being one of the best in the series. I'll be honest though; I didn't like it that much the first time round. I liked Death, but then it is difficult not to like him, he is so warm, so endearing, so funny. It was everything else that I didn't much care for; Mort as character was not my favourite, although I liked him more than Rincewind, and the story didn't quite make sense to me. If it had been the first book that I picked up, I cannot say for sure that I would have carried on with the rest of them. So I'm pleased to say that, the second time around, 'Mort' was much more enjoyable for me... In terms of style, the main thing I noticed is that one of my main gripes from the first three novels – the fact that Pratchett has a habit of repeating himself a lot – has been put to a stop here, and that Pratchett even comments on it, like he has suddenly realised he was doing it. It's self-conscious writing and it shows a respect for the reader; he knows that they will have noticed and he makes no apologies for it, but does accept he was doing it..."





It's that time at last! After a long run-up, the Uppingham Theatre Company will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters at the end of this month. Many thanks to Vikki Shelton and her team for the updates – it looks like this production will be truly excellent!

When: Thursday 29th October through Saturday 31st October 2015
Venue: Uppingham Theatre, 32 Stockerston Road, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9UD
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; Saturday matinee 2.30pm
Tickets: £10 (includes a £2 charity donation per ticket to Rutland Reminders). Available in person from Uppingham Sports and Books, 9 High Street East, Uppingham. To purchase online, go to https://www.wegottickets.com/location/1664

A special Discworld menu to accompany the production, devised by the Uppingham Theatre Company's Vikki Shelton and approved by Colin Smythe, will be served at The Vaults restaurant, The Market Place, Uppingham LE15 9QH starting on the 18th October through to 31st October to help Uppingham Theatre Company raise money for Rutland Reminders (50p from the price of each plate). To enquire about booking a table for a pre Wyrd Sisters meal, or for more information, contact Tom on 01572 823259. "Please pre order your food to ensure its availability, and be mindful of the play's starting time if you are eating pre show"




Editor's note: for some fun photos of the cast larking about, go to http://wossname.dreamwidth.org/24897.html


The Lismore Theatre Company continues to present their production of Mort this month.

When: 30 and 31 October 2015; also, matinee performance on the 25th
Venue: Rochdale Theatre, 603 Ballina Rd, Goonellabah, New South Wales 2480
Time: 8pm all evening shows; 5pm matinee
Tickets: $20 all shows except for the performance on 31st October which is $30 as it will be a special Halloween fancy dress night. Tickets are available at the door, or to pre-purchase online go to:

http://www.trybooking.com/158774 (for all performances except the 31st)
http://www.trybooking.com/158775 (for the Halloween Gala night)



The Watlington Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters at the end of this month.

When: 29th – 31st October
Venue: Watlington Village Hall, Church Road, Watlington, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE33 0HE
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £7 (£5 concessions). To purchase online, go to

"If you wish to pay with cash or cheque, the box office can be called between 6.00pm and 7.00pm – 0845 052 9645.
We would like to invite you all to dress up as your favourite Pratchett or Halloween character for our Saturday night performance, however this will not be an essential!"



The Alexandra Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters at the end of this month.

When: 28th–31st October 2015
Venue: Alexandra Hall, Bramshot Avenue, Charlton, London SE7
Time: 8pm (Wednesday 28th, Thursday 29th, Friday 30th); 7pm (Saturday 31st)
Tickets: £9 (£8 concessions). To order online, go to http://alexandraplayers.org.uk/?page_id=2738 and use the booking form on the page, or for a block of more than four tickets email alexandraplayers@gmail.com



The Dereham Theatre Company will present their production of Wyrd Sisters next March. All performance royalties for will be donated to The Orangutan Foundation!

When: Thursday 10th March through Saturday 12th March 2016
Venue: Dereham Memorial Hall, 61 Norwich Street, Dereham NR19 1AD
Time: 7.30pm all performances
Tickets: TBA


The online audition form can be found at http://dosoc.co.uk/audition.asp

Read-Through: Monday October 26th at 7:30pm.
Auditions: Saturday October 31st from approx. 11:00am till 5:00pm
Venue: The Studio, Rear of Dereham Memorial Hall, 62 Norwich Street, Dereham NR19 1AD

"It is beneficial to attend one or both read-throughs to get a feel for the play and characters, although not necessarily essential. Please make sure you are available for the whole Audition day. If you are unable to make this or need to attend at a specific time, please let us know ASAP. Whilst it will not count against you, learning the extracts ahead of Auditions will help us judge your comedic skill. Also whilst accents can be worked on (we have six months) we are looking for at least some effort in speaking with the appropriate dialect... There are 33 individual parts and we're aiming for a cast of around twenty. Those not in lead parts are likely to be playing 2–4 characters throughout the production and there are plenty of lines (and comedy moments) to go around...

"A full Audition Timetable will be e-mailed by Thursday October 29th. However, if you have any further questions, e-mail me at secretary@dosoc.co.uk."




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

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

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



The Queen's Hall Theatre Club will perform their production of Wyrd Sisters in November.

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



The Marlow Players will present their production of Unseen Academicals in November.

When: 12th, 13th and 14th November 2015
Venue: Shelley Theatre, Court Garden, Pound Lane, Marlow, Bucks SL7 2AG
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £12. To purchase online, go to http://marlowplayers.org.uk/product-category/boxoffice/



The Thalian Theatre Group are back in November with a new Discworld production: Making Money!

When: Thurs. 12th – Sat. 14th November 2015
Venue: Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, St Martin's Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL.
Time: 8pm
Tickets: £10 (£8.50 concessions), with a booking fee of £1. To purchase online, go to http://thaliantheatregroup.wix.com/thalian and click on the tickets image. To reserve tickets by phone, ring 01268 417854. A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to Alzheimer's Research UK.

Box Office telephone: 01268 465 465.




"Discworld's 'stars' have to stop the elves taking over our world, make Shakespeare write A Midsummer Night's Dream ... and ensure the potato is discovered! Featuring Ridcully, Rincewind, Granny Weatherwax, Angua, Vetinari, Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I ... & the Earl of Oxford. Based loosely on The Science of Discworld II: the Globe, Lords & Ladies, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Staged on 6 to 9 April 2016 (both Terry's and Shakespeare's birth month)... We're expecting quite a lot of interest in this show, so *early booking* (particularly for the weekend performances) is recommended. Block booking discounts will be available for the Wed and Thu performances."

When: 6th-9th April 2016
Venue: Unicorn Theatre, Medieval Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk/Thames Street, Abingdon, OXON, OX14 3HZ
Time: TBA
Tickets: £10.00 (Wed, Thu, Fri shows) and £11.00 (Sat mat and evening shows)



An article about the Henley Players' recent production of Maskerade featured tributes to Sir Pterry from sibling actors George and Harry Petrie:

Two brothers appearing in a play based on the work of Sir Terry Pratchett have each written their own tribute to the late author... Among the cast of the play, the plot of which is said to carry echoes of The Phantom of the Opera, are brothers George and Harry Petrie. Together, they decided to use the occasion to pay tribute to Sir Terry, who died in March.

George says: 'I grew up with Pratchett and in every book, movie, play or game I have enjoyed I can find certain similarities in his style. My views on both art and modern life are shaped by his unique way of looking at any subject. He saw both the way things often presented themselves as well as the way they looked from angles you hadn't considered before. I sincerely doubt I would be as cynical, or as in love with creative fiction as I am without his influence. Beyond what he meant as a writer, whose work I love, he also stood as an exemplar of what an artist should be: looking at genres outside your own and expanding your view of the world and your mind constantly; never looking down at alternative art forms but instead looking for ways you can express yourself through them. Above all, he held that money was 'an unavoidable consequence' and that the only reason to write, to create, was it gave you joy to do so.'

Harry says: 'Having come to Pratchett's works at a later point than my brother, I found their wonderful oddness and fantastic humour a constant joy. His inimitable style has left it's impression deep on both the way I write, as well as how I view the world. Having greatly felt his passing, as did legions upon throngs of his fans, finding a means of paying tribute to the man that had, and will always have an immense impact on me, has been no mean feat. But I hope, as I am sure my fellow cast members do, that our production of Maskerade will in some small way show our appreciation, respect and love for both the man and his works.'



The Bart Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in late November!

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




Here comes Clacks!

"The Fastest (non-magical) Messaging System on the Discworld. Using a semaphore system of shuttered lamps on top of high towers, the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company has revolutionised long distance communications on the Discworld. Their network of towers covers most of the Unnamed Continent, but now the old postal service is fighting back. Driven by the determination of newly 'volunteered' Post Master 'Moist Von Lipwig' the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has challenged the Clacks operators to a race from Ankh-Morpork to Genua.

"Play against your friends and claim the title of Fastest Clacks Operator on the line, or Play together as a team to win the race across the Discworld and prove that Clacks is here to stay. In the box there is rules for 'player versus player', a 'co-operative race game' against the Post Office and a 'Children's introductory game'. Clacks artwork was created by Amber Grundy (a.k.a The Artful Nudger)."

Meanwhile, while Wossname awaits the delivery of our copy, here be the story of Clacks and how it came to Roundworld...

"Back in September 2011 Leonard Boyd and I (David Brashaw) who run Backspindle Games had recently published Guards! Guards! A Discworld Boardgame in conjunction with Z-Man Games. Both being from Ireland we thought, where was the best place to be just after its release? The Irish Discworld Convention, of course! This venture was not without its challenges as it took us five hours 'by car" to get there, while many others who had travelled from across Europe got there in less than four hours... We were mostly delayed by a Post Office van that was broken down at the Mad Cow roundabout. Funny how this later impacted subliminally in our game Clacks! (darn Post Office)... On the final day when we were all packed up and relaxing in the lounge, we talked with other delegates about the Sky TV adaptations of Discworld books. I had just said that my favourite one was Going Postal and the great race when Leonard came out with the statement, "I'm sure there is a good game in there somewhere." Hence we started talking about how many lamps were on a Clacks tower, the type of alphabet, semaphore, and transmission of words, and in no time at all had come up with an initial idea of a board game in which players would compete to transmit words.

"Once back safe and sound in County Down we developed the idea further, agreeing on how many lamps should be on a board, and Leonard devised the Clacks alphabet. We dug out our respective copies of Going Postal for reference purposes. Leonard then created a simple board and tile lamp stickers while I got some wooden blocks cut and painted them black with the interference of our cat — they became his plaything while drying on the windowsill — and we had a demo game ready to go...

This is a good, long, detailed diary of the development of Clacks, well worth taking the time to read while you await delivery of your own copy.


Not ordered your copy yet? You know you want to! You can get Clacks from...





"Next week I am releasing my new fine art limited edition signed print: Drawings from the Shepherd's Crown. It features 12 iconic vignette illustrations including Tiffany, Rob Anybody, Mephistopheles the Goat and You the Cat."

A photo collage of the drawings:



"Welcome one and all to Spindlewinter at Discworld.com HQ. 'Tis the month for all things Eldritch and Discworld's finest have taken over our website until Hallows Eve. To celebrate the witching hour, you can now add the NEW Granny Weatherwax bust to your collection, and sport our elegant NEW Granny T-shirt. We're also hailing the return of the Collector's Death Pin and bringing our popular Roundworld section back. Not only that but we've added a handy 'New Products' section! Join us as the season changes, rejoice in the magic of Discworld and follow your heart to the Lancre Coven..."

* The Granny bust:

"Based on Paul Kidby's illustrations of Granny, this detailed bust is made from high-quality resin and is ideal for painting."

The unpainted Granny Weatherwax bust is priced at £28. For more information, and to order, go to:


* The Granny t-shirt:

"A silhouette image of Discworld's foremost practitioner of headology, in striking colours from a design by Paper Panda. For this design in classic fit we use Gildan 200gsm weight garments in 100% cotton. They have taped neck and shoulders, seamless twin needle 7/8″ collar, quarter-turned to eliminate crease. The image is applied using a hard-wearing purple Superflex Vinyl. For the skinny fits we use combed and ringspun 100% cotton in 145gsm weight. They have shoulder taping to maintain shape, a longer body length and flattering side-seaming."

The Granny Weatherwax Papercut t-shirt is priced at £15. For more information, and to order, go to:


* The Death pin:

"When released back in 2008, this proved to be one of our most popular pins ever produced. Inspired by Death's Domain: A Discworld Mapp, the design features purple enameling, Death's famous piercing blue eyes and the motto 'NVLLA IVSTITIA EST EGO SOLVM EST'. The detailing and art nouveau styling is simply stunning. VERY LIMITED STOCK!"

The Death Pin is priced at £60. For more information, and to order, go to:


"Soon we'll be hearing the tramping of hogs and decking the Discworld.com halls with sausages again so we're delighted to introduce our fab new 'Festive Favourites' page, a quick-click option for all your Hogswatch specials, and some nifty stocking fillers. Keep an eye on this page over the coming weeks as we'll keep it up to date with all the finest finery for your festive frolics!"

* The Festive Favourites include a selection of button badges priced at £1 each (Nanny Ogg, Hogfather, Feegles, etc.), a Death as Hogfather pin priced at £3.50, and a Death as Hogfather 30mm metal cast miniature priced at £8.50. For more information, and to order, go to:


"We're feeling social here at Discworld.com HQ and are delighted to welcome you to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as encouraging you to chat to us on email, Reddit and see our latest photos on Flickr. Please join us and do offer your opinions, we value your views and love seeing your photos and collections!"

email: pr@discworld.com

We're giving away a set of US paperback edition copies of the first four Tiffany novels this month. Simply email your answer to the following question to pr@discworld.com to be entered into the draw. "Name the third son of Lord Swivel". Good luck!"


* Terry Pratchett's Folio!

"This highly collectable hardback, originally produced for fans at the 2014 UK Discworld convention when Terry himself was unable to attend, stands at just over five inches tall. 'Terry Pratchett's Folio', contains two scenes cut from Raising Steam, Terry's advice for life, Rob Wilkins' thoughts on Terry, an Ode to Multiple Universes, and is embossed with Terry's personal coat of arms. All proceeds from this special keepsake will go to the RICE centre in Bath."

The Terry Pratchett Folio is priced at £25. For more information, and to order, go to


* The Discworld survey!

"Please take a moment to help us! We'd like you to have your say on our future product range..."




Get-cher Compleat Discworld Atlas heeeere! Companion piece to the Compleat Ankh-Morpork, now available to Roundworld customers!

"Your Compleat guide to the geography and topography of Discworld! The Compleat Discworld Atlas is a wondrously witty travel guide brought to you by The Ankh-Morpork Guild of Trespassers and Unseen University Press. Each atlas boasts full colour plate maps, sumptuous illustrations and a comprehensive gazetteer, all accompanied by a giant double-sided map featuring a magnificent vision of The World Turtle A'Tuin and wonderfully detailed delineation of the Disc on the reverse. The Compleat Discworld Atlas is our final collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett. A project 3 years in the making, this new guide to the extraordinary world he created was completed before his untimely death in March 2015.

"To honour this auspicious publication each copy from the Emporium includes a souvenir travel poster as a gift from us."

The Compleat Discworld Atlas is priced at £25 (and that's cutting their own throats!). For more information, and to order, go to:


"Accompany your Discworld Atlas with our exclusive set of postcard prints, featuring 7a exotic scenes from the atlas itself. Send them, frame them, or use them to mark your place in your favourite Discworld books! The world is your mollusc with our exclusive set of postcard prints featuring artwork from the Compleat Discworld Atlas and Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook! Frame them, send them, or use them as bookmarks – each set includes 7a postcards from Ankh-Morpork, Lancre, Sto Lat, Big Cabbage, Uberwald, Genua, Old Treachery and Krull, each printed in a traditional vintage postcard finish."

The set includes postcards of the Wonderful Fanny, Big Cabbage, Lancre, Uberwald, Krull, Sto Lat, Genua, and of course Ankh-Morpork ("I survived the Mended Drum and all I got was this lousy postcard").

The Discworld Postcard Prints set is priced at £5. For more information, and to order, go to:


"A brand new puzzle game based on Discworld's "Clacks" semaphore messaging system, as featured in Sir Terry Pratchett's novel Going Postal! Play against your friends and claim the title of Fastest Clacks Operator on the line, or play together as a team to win the race against the Post Office across the Discworld in this strategic puzzle game from the makers of Guards! Guards!. Using a semaphore system of shuttered lamps on top of high towers, the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company has revolutionized long-distance communications on the Discworld. Their network of towers covers most of the Unnamed Continent, but now the old postal service is fighting back. Driven by the determination of newly "volunteered" Post Master Moist Von Lipwig, the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has challenged the Clacks operators to a race from Ankh-Morpork to Genua! Contains rules for a player vs. player game, a co-operative race game against the Post Office, and a children's introductory game."

Clacks is priced at £29. For more information, and to order, go to:


"As a Terry-appointed Ankh-Morpork Consulate we are officially authorised to issue these truly fantastic Discworld artefacts, each featuring individual numbers, immigration stamps from your travels around the Disc, and a 'real' Ankh-Morpork duty stamp fixed inside. Knowing Terry Pratchett fans to be nought but trustworthy, each passport is pre-endorsed ready for you to fill in your details as honestly, or as imaginatively, as you wish. The Passport contains vital information on prohibited goods, currency, and work permits along with space for stamps should you visit the Discworld Emporium in person, or any other place that is silly enough to stamp it. Measures 100 x 140mm."

Each Discworld Passport is priced at £10. For more information, and to order, go to:


"Our popular Turtle Moves design by 2016 Discworld Calendar artist Joe McLaren is now available on a brand new tote bag as well as our bestselling t-shirts! These cotton shoppers have 'bags' of room, and long handles for ease of toting!"

Each Discworld Turtle Moves tote bag is priced at £7.50. For more information, and to order, go to:


It's back to school time for all you UU students out there!

Choose from a fine collection of Unseen University clothing and accessories, including the UU hoodie (£28); UU Scarf (£40); UU 35mm Alumni Badge (£4.50); UU Doctoral Badge (£4.95); The Librarian's 'Ook' badge (£4). For more information on each, and to order, go to:


"And finally, what better way to make your luggage stand out on the carousel (without numerous little legs) than a set of Discworld Luggage Labels! (warning: may irritate Sapient Pearwood). A set of six luggage labels harking from Discworld's new age of steam! Each label is a souvenir from adventures in Discworld travel, and has been printed to withstand the most rigorous of expeditions. With designs from favourite Discworld destinations including Lancre, Uberwald, and Ankh-Morpork along with designs from C.M.O.T. Dibbler travel, the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Trespassers, and the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway, our Discworld Luggage Labels will render your cases unique on the luggage carousel! Circular stickers measure 95mm diameter, rectangular designs measure 111 x 69mm."

Each Discworld Luggage Labels set is priced at £6. For more information, and to order, go to:





The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est"), meets next on Monday 2nd November 2015 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London, W2 1JQ. For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk


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


There is a new public Facebook meeting group, "The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)": "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information. Next event Loonies Christmas Party. Same weekend as Hogswatch would have been. ie 27/28/29 November."

Some updates, for anyone who'd like to attend:

The Victorian/Dickensian/Steampunk Gathering of The Loonies

* Deck the hall with balls of holly – bring some spare decorations and help us decorate our hall for a weekend of festivities
* We want to put up a tree for geeks – so if you have small geeky things to put in the tree – Deathstar baubles – toy Daleks – miniature magic wands – a fairy Mr Spock – anything geeky (even some festive Watchmen or Feegles – it's not a Discworld Tree – it's a Geeky Tree)
* The Good Old Days – Charge your beer mugs and gather around the tables for a fun chat about things that made you the geeks you are today – what was your first costume? – who was your first geeky crush? – what geeky books would be on your desert island? The stuff that has made you – you.
* The Victorian poor lived in hand-me downs & second hand clothes – so can we! Bring any costumes or bits of costumes you don't want to the Sweetman Hall and then buy/sell/barter/swop with somebody else.. Larks what fun we could have....
* In Victorian times urchins didn't know where their next meal was coming from and neither do we – forage in food establishments for your lunch...
* Geeky afternoon of Games
* Tea Duelling
* Promenade up and down the High Street in you best Geeky togs.... Victorians loved nothing better than walking around showing off their finery – we can do the same in anything geeky – Steampunks – Victorians – Witches - Seamstresses – Trekky costumes – Fez's and long scarves....anything
* Join us for a geeky Xmas Meal – Bring crackers and have a festive Geeky dinner... [Note: Saturday supper at Bear is
£12 for two courses, £8.95 one course, or £3.95 for pudding only. Turkey, beef or vegetarian option (aromatic Moroccan stew with couscous), and Christmas Pudding to finish. Please call the Bear to book]
* After Dinner Victorians didn't sit watching the TV or playing video games – they gathered around the piano and sang songs and played silly parlour games and entertained themselves – we geeks can do the same – sing songs – tell jokes etc – NOT A SHOW – but everybody entertaining everybody...
* It's not Xmas without a Ghost Story (or a Doctor Who special!) – Finish the night with a spooky telling of A Christmas Carol by our own Scrooge – Mr Ebenezer Hicks!
* Nothing Planned yet
* As you were so good at foraging on the Saturday see if you can repeat it on the Sunday!
* A Tea Party with Tea and cake (please bring cake) Party hosted by a Man in a funny Hat so wear a Hat and join in (maybe a small prise for the best hat?)
* Join the Queen for a small game of Croquet on our specially imported indoor crochet lawn
* Being Polite Victorians we will be invited to 'Vacate the premises' (No mucky words at this gathering!) (Pack up the Geeky Tree, collect stuff people brought and depart home.)

"This is by no means a finished or full plan – there is still space in it that we can fill with other stuff – if anybody has ideas or suggestions – shout out and if we can make them happen we will. This is not a Hogswatch and it is not intended as a big even so if you want to come see friends – have fun – great. But if you don't come it's possibly something your life will go on with without. We aren't advertising this big time – it's mainly targeted at the friends who have been gathering for more than 10 years now – to continue doing so..."



The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. Our recent 'Murder In Morpork' mystery party was a great night out. With 26 people attending, we had 24 suspects, our special guest – Vetinari, and one dead mime! It was a fun night of food and murder and we are planning another Murder in December so stay tuned. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 100 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

Here be some upcoming events hosted by the Pratchett Partisans:

Carpe Jugul– Vinum! Halloween Party. Friday 30th Oct 7pm. Lady Margolotta's Castle. Appropriate Halloween/Discworld/Formal attire compulsory. $20 per person: platter food, games, prizes and dessert.

Discworld games afternoon Sat 14 November 2pm-8pm. Community meeting room Brisbane Square library. Drop in during the afternoon for Discworld board and card games, then dinner and drinks starting from 6pm at a local eatery.

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

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


The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia. For more information on their upcoming activities, go to www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

"Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am."

Upcoming events include:
Nov 15 Chain Maille Workshop (TBC)
Nov 26 Monthly Dinner and Games, Seven Stars Hotel, 187 Angas St
Nov 29 Planning Picnic, Botanic Park, 11.30am
Dec 6 Round World Events SA Annual General Meeting
Dec TBA End of Year Dinner

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


The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 5th November 2015 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk


The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 6th November 2015 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"


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



Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 2nd November 2015 at 6.30pm (probably) in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk


The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 2nd November 2015 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>



Here be a gem mined from the wilds of Facebook by one of our Newshounds. Marvellous stuff!

Hampus Lybeck of Gothenburg, Sweden started the proceedings with a challenge, "The rule of thumb is that there are limericks you can read with ladies present, limericks you can read with vicars present and then proper limericks." and then offered the first one:

From Lancre (Bad Ass) hailed a witch
Who had an unfortunate glitch
Her time-line bifurcated
And she duplicated
Now her friends can't tell which witch is which.

...and this happened...

Lucie Zeale
There once was a Smith in Bad Ass
With seven fine boys and a lass
A wizard was she
And eventually
she could travel through time to the past.

Sarah Rutherford Smith
There once was a boy from Copperhead
Whose hair was indelibly red.
He enforced the laws,
Loved a girl with four paws
And had irrefutable street cred.

Ruth Leslie
There once was a dashing young author.
Who said to himself "Well I oughta",
bring Disc world to life,
let laughter run rife.
You did good, you well loved old author. Tah dah!

Roger McKillop
There's music frae oor Feegles moond,
whaur drinkin', an' fechtin' aboond,
Wi' a big bottle o' Scumble,
We'll jine in the rumble,
An' hope the roast ship isnae foond!

Dan Ladle
In Ankh-Morpork there was a dictator,
Who preferred to be earlier than later,
He talked to the rats and liked crunching the stat's
On things said at a Square named Sator

Tania Maria Cann Lewis
Headology, said Nanny Ogg
Whilst talking to Gaspode the Dog
Is a load of old Fanny
I leave it to Granny
I prefer just to swig at my grog

Lucie Zeale
There was a man from Llamedos
Who played a fine harp of course
With a dwarf and troll
They made rock and roll
And were the best band there ever was!

There was a wizard in Ankh
A tourist with luggage like a tank
Too far did they roam
From Morporks loam
That straight off of the disc, they sank

Nicole B Hicks
Vimes walks the streets in the night
With nary a crim'nal in sight
The agony aunts
Hung two up, by their pants
And the rest are all hiding, in fright.

The Ankh is a curious river
Not so much a flow, as a quiver
You can skip more than a rock
If you're quick, you can walk
But it smells like a half-rotten liver.

Ruth Leslie
There once was a Magrat from Lancre,
Whose future was looking quite danker.
But she met a fool, who was destined to rule,
and all Verence could do,was to thank her.

Nicole B Hicks
The Alchemist's Guild has gone missing
In a pile of rubble, all hissing
Lots of bricks, I am told,
But none of them gold
So all of us are left wishing.

Monks sew up the trousers of time
Dumping bits in some unvisited clime
The Procrastinator rolls
And the Mandala scrolls
Whilst I fiddle about with this rhyme.

Nigel Finn
Leonard of Quirm was never quite sure,
How to continue limericks after line four,
When asked why this was,
He answered "Because."
Then he became distracted and sketched a detailed drawing of muscles in the human thumb, a nice little invention for keeping cheese at a consistent temperature, and a device for raining down fire on enemy ships.

Hampus Lybeck
A nice young man from Sutton Hoo
Knew a limerick that stopped at line two...

Nigel Finn Oook ook oooook ook ook,
Ook ook, oook ook ook,
ook ook OOK!
ook OOk OOK?
OOK ook OOOOK ook ook!

Nicole B Hicks
Though it looks like a cosmic mistake,
A world, round and flat, like a pancake,
The black-hatted creator,
Gave the Disc no equator,
Tis perfect, it requires no remake.

David Bond
Promotion in the halls of UU,
Was filling the dead men's pointy shoes,
Then along came Ridcully,
A fellow quite jolly,
Now the Bursar hides in the loos.

Nigel Finn
There once was a copper called Vimes,
Who knew he should move with the times,
He employed dwarfs and trolls,
A werewolf, some gargoyles,
And a vampire to help solve some crimes.

Nicole B Hicks
If wishes were horses, we'd ride
On A'tuins back, we'd abide
And while that would be merry
We can all be more Terry
And spread ripples on earth, far and wide.

A photog named Otto loves light
But crumbles away when it's bright
Shriek, if you must
Then sweep up the dust
So he can get the iconograph right

Nigel Finn
A man with a fowl on his head,
Was sick of the rumours they spread,
About a duck on his bonce,
So with much nonchalance,
He'd just reply "What duck?" instead.

Hampus Lybeck
From the town of Ohulan Cutash
(Well, the suburb, Sheepridge, let's not clash)
came a man with a secret
So dreadful you won't hear it
From me without huge loads of cash!

Roger McKillop
Tae write this poem, Daft Wullie wished.
Bit couldnae cause he wis pished!
He's reduced tae a mumble,
By scoffin' mair Scumble,
Than even he could hae wished!

Hampus Lybeck
There once was a young dwarf named Glod.
Through life did he happily plod.
Until this spot of bother;
His 'dad' was his mother
it turned out, or that's what I'm tlod.

Lucie Zeale
there once was a man called Groat
who drank turpentine for his throat
He lived with young Sidney
who was not of that kidney
a knowledge of pins was his boat.

Chris Browne
There once was a Reaper called Mort
Who travelled from Morpork to Tsort
Taking souls without fear
Till a change of career
Made him boss of the Sto Helit court.

There was a young Aching called Tiff
Whose cheeses had started to whiff
She did witchy magic
But the outcome was tragic
When Horace rolled over a cliff.

Nicole B Hicks
Young Sam, it is said, enjoys poo
From animals which quack, oink or moo
When asked about smell
He just said, "Oh well,
I'm from Ankh, it's nothing too new."

Chris Browne
Ponder Stibbons said, wiping his specs
And flexing his magical pecs,
'No cause for alarm
'When splitting the thaum
'I leave all the hard parts to Hex'

Roger McKillop
Moose pipes soond oor warnin' clear,
The big wee Hag's stridin' up here!
She kens aboot the ship,
Wi' her hauns oan her hip,
"A reckonin'" aw' Feegles fear!

Hampus Lybeck
Old women who live in The Shades
have handbags that bristle with blades
for every occasion
from tea to castration
or wanton destruction and raids.

Chris Browne
Jools Stollop was built like a waif
Her beauty assured she was safe
To succeed as a model
On high heels she'd toddle
Wearing micromail frocks (does not chafe)

Hampus Lybeck
Goodie Whemper (Maysherestinpeace)
used research methodologies.
Turned witchcraft into science
despite Granny's annoyance
at their likeness to jommetries.

Nigel Finn
A five part limerick briefly summing up the events of Feet Of Clay;

A dwarf named Cheery Littlebottom
Announced to the room "I have found some
Arsenic that was used
By the person accused
Of killing the priest and Hopkinson"

Old Stoneface remained quite confused
By an overabundance of clues
He couldn't find a link
And he needed a drink
And both those thoughts gave him the blues

Vetinari, meanwhile, remained ill
The thing that poisoned him was still
A mystery to all,
A trained wasp in the wall
Seemed all that could cause it. untill;

"Why hadn't I seen it before!?"
Thought Vimes as he ran to the door,
"The butcher, the baker,
The candle-stick maker!
I've figured it out now, I'm sure!"

Meanwhile Dorfl had helped save the day
Which provoked Captain Carrot to say
"Let's reward this beings acts,
Since he stopped the attacks
By destroying the clay of his clay."

Roger McKillop
"Bit it wisnae an Aitken ship!"
Said Rob wi' tremulous lip.
Fir oor mutton roast,
He ken't he wis toast,
She'd a skillet firm in her grip!

Roger McKillop
The Big Yan an' Rob were lampooned,
An' liftit high aff the groond,
Thus Tiff made her point,
Ower the stolen lamb joint,
As oor lads landed an' mooned!

Nicole B Hicks
Things get cold on Cori Celesti
Bring wool socks, and a double thick vesty
Please don't anger Fate
You won't like him irate
And no priest on the Disc will dare bless thee.

There once was a crook called von Lipwig
On the end of a rope he danced a jig
An angel helped Moist
Slip from the joist
And got him an honest to gods gig.

Hampus Lybeck
A young lad from Pseudopolis
gave demonology a whiz
wished for long life and beauty
and chestfuls of booty
got a wizzard instead, what a miss!



It seems that Moving Pictures' alchemists were echoing Roundworld history...

"When you played billiards during the early days of plastic, you took your life into your hands. Under the right circumstances, your bank shot could cause a ball to explode.

"Billiards played an important role in driving the development of synthetic plastic. In the Victorian era, billiard balls were made of ivory, a material created from carved tusks. But some feared (perhaps erroneously) that ivory's popularity was going to lead to a shortage of the material, as elephants would be hunted to near extinction. They were onto something — but it wouldn't happen for decades.

"Phelan and Collender, a major billiard table manufacturer, offered a $10,000 reward to any person who could make a non-ivory billiard ball. In 1869, an inventor named John Wesley Hyatt came up with a solution. He mixed nitrocellulose with alcohol and a waxy resin called camphor, and molded it into a ball that looked and felt a lot like ivory. This material, patented as Celluloid and later used for artificial dental plates, was the first mass-market synthetic plastic, launching what became known as the Age of Plastics. Unfortunately, nitrocellulose is also called guncotton, and it's combustible. It explodes so rapidly that it doesn't typically set anything on fire, but it can burst into flame and make a loud bang. And in boozy 19th-century pool halls, that was not such a great idea..."




The excellent Kokay Maramot has some further Pratchett thoughts...

On Where's My Cow:

"My first story as a child was told to me by my father. I was probably the same age as Young Sam (in Where's My Cow). I remember the nights, inside my parent's room in our small starter home. My father would read it to me again, over and over – the tale of how the animals from all over the world, walked by pair inside Noah's Ark. To a child's imagination, the arc bent space and time, it was infinitely large inside! There came the largest elephant, the fiercest lions, the birds, the dogs, cats, probably a kangaroo hopped inside too, but at the age of one, the only exotic animal I could fit inside it were ducks and rats. My mother bought me a duck and a rat one day from some church vendor. One day, both disappeared. No, they didn't die, I would have remembered. Probably went and freed themselves in search of Noah's Ark. Every capricious kid must've been as wicked as Egypt's King Ramses!... I remember my father, patient man that he is, reading Noah's ark many times in one night. My mother was probably relieved that I was nagging someone else during bedtime! My parents celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary last May 17th! They should be congratulated!

"Noah's Ark must have been a big hit for a child of one, but it could be trying to fathers (and mothers) all over the world. So, Terry Pratchett, being a genius (as this site attest to the many books I've reviewed) released a truly interactive approach to the usual animal bedtime story with a twist in Where's My Cow? It is a plus if your household loves the Discworld series and is familiar with one of its heroes – Sir Samuel Vimes, Knight, Duke and Commander of Discworld's fictional police force..."


On reading Pratchett on public transport:

Got on the bus at around 10pm today. I had to finish a few things in the office and extended my hours. The bus I got on was a one year old yellow skinned smelly creature. At one year old, it's cleaner than most buses in the metro, but that doesn't mean it's on top condition. The aircon is busted and the cover seats are muddied. For two hours this will be my shell because it's going to be a turtle soon when it hits EDSA- the longest, most crowded and, most dreaded pass any Filipino commuter had to endure every day. Anyway, I've learned to shun all the noise and distraction by plugging my headphones and playing some music from my phone while reading. When I'm feeling confident and focused, I could do without the headphones and would read all the way through the ride without breaking my concentration. All the way through the ride is almost two hours of squeezing in a crowded world of people who looks like they had a long day and would like it to end as soon as possible. The bus crawled anyway... As I read I Shall Wear Midnight, I had to stop and look out the bus window and not look anyone directly in the eye or they will see tears flowing from behind my glasses. When I read Terry Pratchett, I am reminded of the people in my hometown, in this city, in this country. I am reminded of my old grand aunt, living alone in her house, burgled just a few days ago. I am reminded of the 44 police officers who died in an encounter with the rebels in my country at Mamasapano, Maguindanao. I am reminded of the people who doesn't know the sophisticated words to make sense of this new world. I am reminded of my father and mother. The people I ride the bus everyday who had to endure buses like this. No other author has made me glance thoughtfully at strangers before..."


From Pratchett Job, one blogger's ultimate top ten:

"Consider the output of your average author, who writes a handful of books over the course of their career. That's impressive in itself, hell, being able to get your book snapped up by an agent, skip through the minefield of the acquisition, editing, marketing and publicity processes before spotting your novel in your local Waterstones makes you The Big (Wo)Man in my eyes. Pratchett did this repeatedly. Several times a year for many years. While working on countless other things, raising a family, having hobbies. How? Seriously, how? And that's before we start discussing the quality of his books. This top 10 is Pratchett's zenith. Imagine being in the position where you are writing Small Gods and know you have something golden on your hands. Then doing it again. And again..."

The list includes Going Postal, The Last Hero. The Fifth Elephant, Pyramids, Small Gods, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, Feet of Clay, Night Watch, and Thief of Time. This list and his reasons for his choices may not match your own, but it makes for a fascinating piece.




Some photos of a very pleased Paul Kidby with his Discworld baron, which fetched £5,000 for the Trussell Trust:

...and here is the Discworld Baron in his new home, the Queen's Head

Sybil Ramkin and Errol, from the recent Harbour Theatre production of Guards! Guards!, nails the look:

...and the dragon-o-lantern carved for the production:

...and a selection of iconographs from the production:

Gaspode and Laddie, drawn by the very talented Amy Simmonds:

The cast of Wyrd Sisters from this recent production by the Twin Lakes Playhouse of Mountain Home, Arkansas, has a definite Scottish Play look:

Paul Kidby's "American Gothic" colour portrait of Bill Door and Miss Flitworth:

Some very good Discworld fanart by Peter Klijn:

And finally, a bijou diamond – Sir Pterry pictured with the Errol created for the first production of Guards! Guards! Photo courtesy of Stephen Briggs on the internet:



News coming soon about a new – additional – Wossname format will be... well... coming soon! There may even be another October post. Watch this space...

– Annie Mac


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

Copyright (c) 2015 by Wossname for the Klatchian Foreign Legion
wossname: (Anthill inside)
Starting this evening (UK time) on BBC Radio 4 Extra, a six-part adaptation starring Martin Jarvis, John Wood and Melvyn Hayes. Each episode is 30 minutes long and will be available internationally for several weeks after broadcast. Check it out!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fgszb (episodes 1 and 2)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jmk0 (episodes 3 through 6)
wossname: (Plays)
It's that time at last! After a long run-up, the Uppingham Theatre Company will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters at the end of this month. Many thanks to Vikki Shelton and her team for the updates -- it looks like this production will be truly excellent!

When: Thursday 29th October through Saturday 31st October 2015
Venue: Uppingham Theatre, 32 Stockerston Road, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9UD
Time: 7.30pm all evening shows; Saturday matinee 2.30pm
Tickets: £10 (includes a £2 charity donation per ticket to Rutland Reminders). Available in person from Uppingham Sports and Books, 9 High Street East, Uppingham. To purchase online, go to https://www.wegottickets.com/location/1664

A special Discworld menu to accompany the production, devised by the Uppingham Theatre Company's Vikki Shelton and approved by Colin Smythe, will be served at The Vaults restaurant, The Market Place, Uppingham LE15 9QH starting on the 18th October through to 31st October to help Uppingham Theatre Company raise money for Rutland Reminders (50p from the price of each plate). To enquire about booking a table for a pre Wyrd Sisters meal, or for more information, contact Tom on 01572 823259. "Please pre order your food to ensure its availability, and be mindful of the play's starting time if you are eating pre show"




And here are some fine cast photos to whet your appetite:

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
I'm tremendously grateful to Terry for the chances he gave me, for the opportunity he gave me to change my life in ways I couldn't possibly imagine. – Stephen Briggs

Here be a wonderful video of Mr Briggs at Sir Terry's home, talking about their 25-year collaboration and how it changed his world:


The video can also be accessed via http://www.shakespearecodex.co.uk/ – click on the orangeish button on the lower left of the homepage.

Many thanks go to Mr Briggs for this gift to the fans!
wossname: (Anthill inside)
The Bay Area Harbour Playhouse is currently presenting a rollicking production of Guards! Guards!

When: current, weekends through 18th October

Venue: Harbour Playhouse, 3803 Highway #3, Dickinson, TX.

Time: 8pm Friday and Saturday nights, Sunday matinee at 2:30 pm

Tickets: $17 adults, $12 students and senior citizens, $6 children 12 and under; $15 each for groups of 10 or more, and $10 each for students and seniors groups of 10 or more.

To purchase tickets, go to http://bit.ly/1L0I2Cp and select your desired date from the drop-down menu.

"Sunday, Oct. 11, from 12 noon until 2:00 p.m. Bill Underwood will dress as a knight in armour and ride his steed in front of the theatre. Free hot dogs and soft drinks will be served as the public has opportunity to be photographed with the knight."

More information, and a set of photos from the performances, can be found at:

wossname: (Anthill inside)
The Watlington Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters at the end of this month.

When: 29th – 31st October
Venue: Watlington Village Hall, Church Road, Watlington, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE33 0HE
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £7 (£5 concessions). To purchase online, go to

"If you wish to pay with cash or cheque, the box office can be called between 6.00pm and 7.00pm – 0845 052 9645. We would like to invite you all to dress up as your favourite Pratchett or Halloween character for our Saturday night performance, however this will not be an essential!"

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
The Perpetual Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here be more photos: http://imgur.com/a/MlZfc
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
October 2014 (Volume 17, Issue 10, Post 1)

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

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






"This isn't the proper way to go exploring! You can't just take someone's wife along!"

– "The Abominable Snowman", from Dragons at Crumbling Castle

"One person in six has poor literacy in the UK – below the level expected of an 11-year-old, which will hold them back at every stage in their life. In these challenging economic times the need to address the national literacy challenge has never been more urgent and we're thrilled that with the vital funds raised by Books about Town, the National Literacy Trust can continue to make a difference in the UK's poorest communities, raising levels of literacy and opening up new opportunities."

– Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, which will benefit from the sale of Paul Kidby's Ookbench



It's that time of Roundworld year again, when young witches, wizards, zombies and all manner of other life- and unlife-forms come out of the woodwork and strike terror into the hearts of adults, or at least party down and solicit donations of sweet treats. And there's a new Halloween tradition that has sprung up over the past few years, namely the presenting of adaptations of Wyrd Sisters on stages near and far (see section five for some details). Also do check out this month's Roundworld Tales for some history of our own world's witches, and how the image of an 'orrible old crone came to symbolise them. And of course, The Cunning Artificers at Discworld Emporium also have some goodies for Halloween and Hogswatch – see section eigh-, I mean 7+1.

The "official" Wossname reviews of Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook and Dragons at Crumbling Castle can be found in section four. Both publications are highly recommended.

SF-geek website io9 wants to see Cripple Mr Onion come to Roundworld. The classic Disworld card game with its eight-suited card deck is number six on their ten-strong list of imaginary games from SF and fantasy media that they want to see in the real world:

"Trust Terry Pratchett to come up with his own absurdly quirky take on card games. Like many of the card games on this list, the fantastically named Cripple Mr. Onion (which first appeared in Wyrd Sisters) is essentially quite similar to Poker, except that players are dealt 10 cards, 5 face up, 5 face down, and must construct a winning set of cards in numerical order - with wonderful names like Triple Onion or a Bagel - or fold..."


I hope the new, non-Yahoo, non-uppercase Wossname is going well for you, O Readers. It's certainly less stressful to produce and send! Now if we could only have fewer Hex breakdowns here in Wossname Central, life would be grand...

It's a packed issue this month, so on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor



An eclectic assortment this month. Enjoy!


There's still time to win if you write quickly...

"Ook! The Library in Ankh-Morpork is on fire. Even the long-limbed, agile Librarian will have time to save only one volume from the conflagration, and, as he's squatting near the science-fiction and fantasy sections, the surviving book must come from there. We'd like you to tell us, in a review of no more than 500 words, which book it ought to be.

"Entries should be emailed to enquiries@thegreatbritishbookshop.co.uk, using SFcomp as the heading. Judges of the competition will include Marc Gascoigne MD & Publisher, Angry Robot Ltd, and our very own David Birkett. We'll publish a selection of the book review entries, and the winner will receive this exclusive print signed by Sir Terry Pratchett and the Discworld artist Paul Kidby, the latter of whom created the amazing BookBench that we sponsored as part of the Books about Town campaign. The winner and four runners-up will also receive paperbacks of Sir Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men and Going Postal, signed by the author and Paul Kidby.

"Entries should be received by midnight on the 31st October 2014.

"In summary, how to enter...

"1. Choose your favourite Sci-Fi or Fantasy novel.

"2. Write your review in no more than 500 words about the book and the reason it should be saved from the fire..

"3. Send your entry to enquiries@thegreatbritishbookshop.co.uk by midnight on the 31st October 2014, using SFcomp as the heading.

"4. Sit back and wait for our wonderful judges to decide if your book will be saved from the fire."



"A limited edition, deluxe slipcase version of collected short stories by master storyteller Sir Terry Pratchett, featuring dragons, dinosaurs, cavemen and car races! Fully illustrated and including a special foreword by Terry Pratchett plus two bonus stories; critical commentaries to accompany each story; limited-edition colour print; and additional content."

Priced at £25.00, from the Discworld Emporium:



From the Waterstones Books blog comes a long and loving post by Suzanne Bridson (an editor at Terry Pratchett's publishers) about Sir Pterry's real-world inspirations for Raising Steam:

"Anyone who has ever read a Discworld novel knows that despite being flat, and travelling through space on the back of a giant turtle (and being inhabited by dwarfs and trolls) Terry Pratchett's world is in many ways a mirror image of our own... But if you look beneath the surface of a Discworld novel, past the most obvious jokes, there are layers and layers more of real-world influences creeping in, which is what makes Discworld feel so familiar a place, despite all the magic. They are cleverly woven together from snippets of knowledge gleaned here there and everywhere by an author who has seen a lot, done a lot, and who as a child set out to read his way through the library, and hasn't stopped since...

"Steam trains are undeniably imported from the real world, or as Discworld aficionados would call it, Roundworld. But there are steam trains and there are steam trains – and Terry's are solidly grounded in history and all those books he's read (this resulted in a very specific brief for his cover designer). The Raising Steam train, Iron Girder, ends up bearing a close resemblance to the Lion locomotive that plied the first passenger line between Liverpool and Manchester. (Lion later starred in a 1953 comedy film, The Titfield Thunderbolt, seen and loved by Terry and still highly recommended by him, if you haven't come across it – it's no coincidence that a character in Raising Steam bears the name Thunderbolt, and in fact one of the earliest stories Terry ever wrote, for a local paper as a teenager, was the steam-powered tale of Humphrey Newt and the Thunderbolt Carriage.) However, Iron Girder evolves – in one single train she embodies years and years' worth of work by numerous inventors and engineers...

"Look beyond the trains themselves to their destinations and passengers and the Roundworld parallels pop up again. The most exotic train journey operating in Discworld (so far) is the Altiplano Express through the mountains to the bandit country of Zemphis, and beyond to the dwarf mines in Uberwald. Real altiplano trains exist, though in reduced numbers these days, on the high altitude plains of South America, where they were built in part to service the lucrative mining operations of the 19th and early 20th centuries. One such line runs to the edge of Lake Titicaca, where there are floating villages built on islands artificially created by their inhabitants from the reeds and mud of the lake. Not unlike, some might say, the raft people of the Netherglades in Raising Steam (though the villagers of Lake Titicaca certainly don't have webbed feet). Traversing every one of these routes across the Disc is Georgina Bradshaw, a train enthusiast and compiler of useful information for the intrepid yet respectable traveller. Her real world counterpart is of course George Bradshaw, whose Victorian railway guides remain popular today.."

An excellent piece, well worth reading in its entirety!



£8,000 was raised by the sale of the Ookbench! Paul Kidby's fantastic bench was one of the top ten fundraising items at the official auction:

"A collection of literary-inspired benches were recently sold at auction to raise money for the National Literacy Trust. A public auction was held on October 7 at the Southbank Centre, with some pieces selling for a near-five figure sum. Proceeds will help to raise literacy levels amongst disadvantaged children in the UK. The 50 unique BookBenches were designed by a selection of local and renowned artists, including many of the books' original illustrators. Originally scattered across London during the summer, they pay homage to such celebrated literary minds as Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf and Dr Seuss...."

For the record, the most successful individual item was the Jeeves and Wooster bench, which raised £9500. A good pair!


"After 10 weeks on a public art trail in London, the National Literacy Trust's 50 BookBench sculptures designed by famous artists, children's illustrators and prominent local artists, went to auction on Tuesday 7 October 2014. Hosted auctioneer Edward Rising in association with Sotheby's and attended by a host of illustrious literary names from Joanna Trollope to Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, the Books about Town auction was an absolutely fantastic evening which raised £251,500...

"The National Literacy Trust is dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. Our research and analysis makes us the leading authority on literacy and informs our work. We work with schools, run literacy projects in disadvantaged communities and campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents. The Books about Town public art trails launched by the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art in July, attracted thousands of visitors over the summer. The 51 unique BookBench sculptures were based on a range of iconic books from treasured children's stories such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Peter Pan to classic adult titles including 1984 and The Day of the Triffids. The initiative celebrated the joy of books and reading while giving people the chance to admire beautiful works of art, created by local artists and famous names..."



by David Barnett in The Independent:

"Pratchett cuts an affable figure both in print and real life – whether he's turning up for a convention devoted to his phenomenally successful Discworld comic fantasy series, or attending a TV panel debate on dignity in dying, he's never without his black hat and neatly trimmed white beard. It's wrong, though, to mistake his popular image for the be-all and end-all of the man himself, who emerges as, yes, likeable but also complex and angry... it is the essays, articles and journalism collected under the heading 'Days of Rage' which really open up Pratchett's character. A vocal proponent for a change in the assisted dying laws, yes, but also commentary on NHS funding (he was refused a £2.50 Alzheimer’s drug because he was too young) and the plight of the orang-utans. That isn't to say that there isn't a lot of fun in this book – it includes after-dinner speeches he can't remember if he actually made, not because of the Alzheimer's, but because of the late hour and the drink..."


By Alex Sarll in The Northern Echo:

"Like any journalism collection, it's not something to be read straight through, being far better suited to occasional dipping. Not every piece has aged well; particularly baffling is the decision to include, as the second item, a 20-year-old look at the state of portable computing (spoiler: back then, not terribly portable). Even the better light pieces, amusing though many are, are more likely to please existing fans than make new ones. But the angrier pieces towards the end, on disease, dying and the barbaric British prohibition on euthanasia, are essential stuff..."


By Jennifer Kuan on Neontommy:

"Pratchett's writing is witty and engaging, but Gaiman makes it clear that Pratchett has a 'foundation of fury' in him as well that belies the picture on the cover of the book. With over 40 titles in his "Discworld" series and other books for readers of all ages Pratchett has quite the extensive publishing history, but this will be his first foray into nonfiction. "A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction" is a collection of essays, speeches and lectures compiled from the duration of Pratchett's career... As a fantasy writer, many of Pratchett's writings focus on the genre—both defending it and discussing how to do it well. His essays also include insights into the excitement and exhaustion of signing tours. While Pratchett does not consider himself to be an author in the true sense, it is clear that writing is Pratchett's passion. Even if he never were to publish a book, Pratchett attests that he would still write every day...

"Pratchett notes that almost all readers know the tropes of the genre: dragons, elves, wizards, dwarfs, magic. According to him, the best fantasy writers "change the rules by which the world works and then write very carefully and logically by those rules." Rather than relying on these tropes to keep the story engaging, Pratchett suggests contemplating "how the wizards are dealing with the challenge of genetically modified dragons, and what the dwarfs are doing to stamp out racial harassment of gnomes" — in short, taking social issues and applying them to the writer's carefully structured world...

In [the] final section, Pratchett proves that he can handle serious topics with the same deftness with which he writes comedy and fantasy. His essays and speeches are honest, poignant and sometimes, as suggested by the title and Gaiman's introduction, rageful. He will be sorely missed when he goes not-so-gentle into that good night. Pratchett's book is the rare and valuable kind that simultaneously inspires, astounds and intimidates readers, especially those that aspire to have a similar career. He inspires because he has true passion for and belief in his work; he plans to continue writing until his dying day. He astounds because at one point, he would write 400 words each day, and if one day, he finished a novel in only 300 words, he would write 100 words of the next one. He intimidates because of the manner in which he inspires and astounds..."



A Mighty Girl, "the world's largest collection of books, toys, and movies for parents, teachers, and others dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls", offered The Wee Free Men as their Pick of the Day:

"The Wee Free Men" by Terry Pratchett. Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching takes care of her irritating brother, reads everything she can find, makes delicious cheese on her father's farm, and has decided to be a witch. Her courage, clear-sightedness, and competence in wielding a frying pan prove to the witches in Fairyland that she was indeed born a witch, and a powerful one at that..."



"The founder of the Secret World Wildlife Rescue charity, Pauline Kidner, hosted a book signing to celebrate her fourth book, titled A Place of Safety. The book follows the latest chapter in the ongoing success of East Huntspill-based Secret World, and Pauline's joys and sorrows working with wildlife. Sir Terry Pratchett has shown his support for the book by writing a foreword and it has been endorsed by nature photographer and television presenter, Chris Packham. The book tells the story of how Secret World grew from a former tourist attraction into a rescue centre that takes in 5,000 animals a year."

From This is the West Country:

"Pauline told the Weekly News: 'It has been 25 years since the arrival of the first badger cubs here at Secret World and it's been quite a journey for everyone involved since the creation of the charity. I never would have dreamed the charity would have grown so big. It's amazing how nature still surprises you after all these years – even now we have a very young fallow fawn which is so late as they usually are born in June. I am so lucky to have close contact with such beautiful and sometimes rare creatures.'"



For those of you who suffer fro-, own iPads, there are some updates to the Mapp App:

"Want to explore the city of Ankh-Morpork? The Discworld App for iPad allows you to zoom in on map features, find Discworld characters walking about, even take 'walking tours'... and it has now been updated!"


The updates include the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway. Image is available at


This info comes from the Chicago Discworld Fans on Facebook:



From The Stage:

"Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz are to lead the cast of a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. The cast for the six-part series – which is about the end of the world – also includes Sherlock actor Louise Brealey, Whitechapel's Phil Davis and Mark Benton, who has appeared in series such as Waterloo Road. They will be joined by Colin Morgan, Paterson Joseph and Josie Lawrence. The book is being adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs, who was behind last year's adaptation of Gaiman's Neverwhere, starring James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch. It is produced by Heather Larmour, with Gaiman assisting...

The adaptation will be broadcast on Radio 4 in December. The exact broadcast dates have not been confirmed, however Radio 4 said five episodes would be aired across a week in 30-minute installments, culminating with a 60-minute finale on a Saturday, just before Woman's Hour."





By Annie Mac

I may have mentioned before that certain friends of mine read Pratchett novels aloud to each other at bedtime[1], their favourites being the Tiffany Aching novels or anywhere else the Nac Mac Feegle put in an appearance. With this in mind, I handed them a copy of Dragons at Crumbling Castle for a test drive... and the verdict was a resounding *"YES!!!"* (imagine that response in gazillionty-point type, rather as it would appear in the pages of Dragons at Crumbling Castle itself).

Dragons at Crumbling Castle is no towering example of Great Works of Terry Pratchett, but that doesn't mean anyone should be tempted to dismiss as a throwaway work for Pratchett completists. It stands on its own merit, and can be read in three different ways: as an amusing collection of fractured fairy tales and mild satirical fables; as a fascinating look into Pratchett's evolution as a writer, as well as a glimpse of early ideas for names, places and situations that came to fruition as parts of the Discworld series and other novels; and, of course, as a book of bedtime stories for children.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle contains fourteen stories over 340 pages, including two "new" – which is to say, very old – Carpet People adventures, all ably illustrated by Mark Beech. As with The Carpet People, the young Terry Pratchett shows his talent for twisting things slightly sideways and finding the funny side of serious endeavours. There is much wordplay, with place names that include Even Moor, the Costa Lotta, and Chilistan's capital city Chilblaine. The town of Blackbury, eventually known as the home town of Johnny Maxwell and friends in Pratchett's marvellous YA trilogy, makes its earliest appearance as a "lovely little market town in Gritshire". The county of Gritshire also contains East Slate and Umbridge, all of which appear repeatedly as the settings for many of these stories. There is also a first outing for some names any Discworld fan will recognise – the Stronginthearm family and Alice Band among them. And the concept of the Joke Monks in The Abominable Snowman has a distinctly Discworldish flavour[2]:

"'Hmm,' said Tence, tapping the paper. 'You know what this is, don't you? It's a Joke Wheel. There must be a Joke Monastery up here – and Joke Monks.' He explained: 'You see, they think the world was created as a joke, so everyone should give thanks by having a good laugh. That's why they tie jokes to water wheels. Every time the wheel goes round a joke goes up to heaven.'
"'What singular persons,' said Bill. 'You mean they spend all their time telling jokes?'
"'Yes. They even get up in the middle of the night to invent some more.'
"Someone tapped him on the shoulder. It was a small round man in a blue robe with a bald head and a big grin. Slowly he took a custard pie from one of his voluminous sleeves... It was a curious scene, halfway up the twenty-seventh largest mountain in the world. The monk stood there, laughing, while everyone else looked embarrassed, and Twist stood with custard dripping into his collar. Then there was a green flash, a popping noise, and the monk was gone... 'That was one of them,' said Tence. 'I forgot to add that they can do magic as well.'"

The Abominable Snowman and the title story (the latter as reviewed in September issue) are similarly themed tales of quests for fantastical creatures that turn out to be rather different from what the questers expected. The Great Speck imagines dust motes as microscopic stars and planets and presages The Last Hero with its wooden spaceship and reluctant astronauts as the feuding nations of Posra and Grabist, on the world of the Great Speck (.01mm long), both discover a promising New Speck approaching Great Speck-space. Their leaders force astronomers Gwimper and Winceparslie to invent inter-speck craft for the purpose of exploiting the new world. Of course things go wrong, but all works out in the end (apart from the stone crabs being inedible). This story gets extra points for introducing the expletive phrase "wootling mousesherters".

Father Christmas Goes to Work at the Zoo is an early take on the idea of an anthropomorphic personification needing to seek out a day job (this one in Blackbury!). The Big Race, a parody of those great-race parody films, gives us a first glimpse of Pratchett's long love affair with steam power. The Great Egg-dancing Championship is Romeo and Juliet with hints of Rocky and old-fashioned movie chase scenes – and eggs, naturally.

Rounding out the collection are The Blackbury Monster, an account of municipal ambition with a twist ending; Hunt the Snorry, a cautionary tale about not placing too much trust in rumours (or perhaps just a cutely daft tale of incompetent explorers); Dok the Caveman, in which we meet a sort of prehistoric Leonard da Quirm who invents all manner of anachronistic not-yet-useful things (including language and cookery); and Hercules the Tortoise, possibly the only story in the entire collection that reads like it was written to be read to young children, but after all, that was what all of these stories were meant to be!

My personal favourite is probably The 59A Bus Goes Back in Time, a curious and thoroughly fun story about a bus that, yes, goes back in time, in fact goes to a number of times including the Britannic era: "Soon the 59A – or rather, Mechanical Elephant LIXA – was bowling down the Roman road, filled with centurions all as pleased as puppies with their first bus ride."

Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a good, fun read all the way through. Get it for your children or young relations and read it aloud – they will surely enjoy it. Or try it for yourselves... perhaps at bedtime.


[1] Feel free to interpret that as Ogglishly as you wish
[2] Possibly pineapple, in this case


By Annie Mac

A notice to residents of Ankh-Morpork and The Continent:

*Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook to Travelling upon the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway is a superb traveller's compendium, offering 143 fully illustrated pages of route overviews, amusing facts and vital geographic and cultural information for persons of any species who wish to travel on this marvellous railway. Quirm College alumna Mrs Georgina Bradshaw, a genteel widowed lady of upstanding character whose fine copperplate handwriting is beautifully reproduced by the famed publishing house of Messrs Goatberger, has compiled a considerable list of "places of accommodation and refreshment", plus local market days, holidays, attractions and assorted comments about what each place is most famous – or infamous – for. Whether you are travelling on business, planning a holiday "away", or simply a steam enthusiast wanting to explore the delights of the most fragrant of Lord King's many enterprises, you will find "the Bradshaw" indispensable! Copies can be purchased from Goatberger's factory shop in Brewer Street, Isle of Gods, Ankh-Morpork for a reasonable price. Be sure to place your order now!*

...and for those of us less fortunates who reside on Roundworld:

What an amazing little gem this is!

Remember how lyrical I waxed about The Compleat Ankh-Morpork in that Wossname review a couple of years ago? Well, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook is a smaller work, but it's no less of a triumph. From its antique-looking, gold(ish)-embossed cover to its wealth of illustrations and "reproduced" handwritten correspondence, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook is a worthy addition to the smaller Disc books collection. Connoisseurs of Discworld ancillaries will no doubt find the look of it familiar, as it is Pterry-plus-Team Artificer effort bearing the distinctive style of the Discworld Emporium aka Isobel and Bernard Pearson, Reb Voyce and Ian Mitchell, with the added bonus of some fantastic Peter Dennis artwork. Dennis' contributions, including a lovely portrait of Mrs Bradshaw herself, carry on the conceptual theme of his "Ankh-Morpork meets the Age of Industry" illustrations that graced The World of Poo. All members of the team have done themselves proud, and the text is no less enchanting than the illustrations; I was delighted to see so many towns and districts, familiar to us from Discworld novels over the years, fleshed out and given distinct personalities (and if ever a somewhere could have a personality, that somewhere would surely be on the Disc) to add to what were once mere names on a map... or Mapp.

Mrs Bradshaw's journey on the Unnamed Continent's first steam-driven railway begins at the vast, teeming New Ankh Station, a "fine building with a grand facade and a large entrance hall where greenish light filters through the great stained-glass windows of the front elevation" and ends in the moutainous wilds of Ohulan Cutash, gateway to the Ramtops and home of all-weather-wear purveyor Orac Oracsson, clothier of choice for the Disc's new breed of trainspotters ("You can depend on an Orac", as their pune-y advert tells us). Along the way readers will encounter

Chapter 1 provides extensive information on the nuts, bolts and how-tos of Discly rail travel. Chapter 2 explores the route from Ankh-Morpork to Quirm, and subsequent chapters take us onwards along the coast, across the Sto Plains, up to Zemphis on the Altiplano Express, and finally to the current terminus of the "A-M&SPHR". Along the way we are treated to commentaries on the capacities, services and general quality of hotels and inns, the locations of clacks and post offices, and descriptions of the landscape, architecture and denizens, that is, residents of towns and cities (and city-states) including Quirm, Shankydoodle, Scrote, Upunder, Big Cabbage, all three Sto's, Little Swelling, High Mouldering, Great Slack, Much Come Lately, Upper, Lower and Middle Feltwhistle, fustic Wells, Zemphis, and of course Twoshirts. We can only hope that a later, updated Bradshaw will be published when the railway once again reaches Uberwald.

There is no question that the coming of rail travel will change the sleepy world we long-time readers once knew and loved, but this is not a bad thing – because it amply demonstrates one of Pratchett's great strengths as a fantasist, namely those touches of under-the-bonnet realism he's always brought to the Discworld. Most fantasy writers give us sweeping wars, royal romances and political intrigues but fail to mention the unfortunates who have to clean the blood off rune-engraved leather jerkins or to search far and wide for a seller of armour polish; Pratchett gives us all the drama, romance and intrigue but adds in genuine sweat, laundry workers, petty bureaucrats and disgruntled shopkeepers... and genuine progress. Things *change*, often in the space of a lifetime or even in the space of a few Disc years. And if that seems unlikely to you, just think about the changes the internet has brought to our own world.

Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook is a definite must-have. Highly recommended. Put it on your Hogswatch list now!




"Unfortunately, due to a combination of several personal emergencies among the cast, we have sadly decided to postpone our production of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters." – Liz Bragg, Artistic Director of the Socratic Theatre Collective

The production was due to run from the 31st of October to the 9th of November. Wossname will update with a rescheduled dates as soon as aailable.

For more information, go to:



The Brisbane Arts Theatre finish their season of the wonderful Matthew Holmes musical adaptation of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents with a final matinee performance this coming Saturday.

When: Saturday 1st November 2014
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland 4000 Phone (07) 3369 2344
Time: 2pm
Tickets: $16; Group (10+) $13, Gold Members $6.50, Members $13. Families with family membership can redeem their included season tickets for this show.

To order online, go to http://bit.ly/1ppEGyw



The Wharf Theatre are currently presenting their production of Guards! Guards!, which will finish its run this weekend.

When: through 1st November 2014
Venue: Wharf Theatre, The Wharf, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1EB
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: £9/£8 from Devizes Books, Handel House, Sidmouth Street, Devizes, SN10 1LD and 01380 725944.



Guisborough Theatre Company will be presenting their production of Carpe Jugulum in early November. The large cast looks good and enthusiastic!

When: Thursday 6th, Friday 7th, Saturday 8th November
Venue: St.Nicholas Church Hall, Bow Street, Guisborough, TS14 6BP
Tine: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £6, available from The Guisborough Bookshop (4 Chaloner Street, Guisborough, Cleveland TS14 6QD), or on the door; or to purchase online, go to:



Bay Area Harbour Playhouse are presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters in October and November. The opening night features a special seasonally appropriate offer:

"Dress as a witch Halloween night, Oct. 31, and head for the Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson – witches get in free for the opening night performance of 'Wyrd Sisters' at 8 pm. It promises to be a delightful evening for everyone – for the witches plus others not in costume who will purchase their admission..."


When: 31st October–23rd November 2014
Venue: Harbour Playhouse, 3803 Highway #3, Dickinson, TX
Time: Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm.
Tickets: Adults $17. Seniors and Students $12. Children (12 and under) $6. Groups of 10 or more $2 off.

Call 281-337-7469 for ticket reservations or more information.



"Beaulieu Hall will be lit up again as the revived Inverell Theatre Company invites the community to enjoy their coming fantastical production of Mort, a play adapted by Stephen Briggs from the popular Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett... It is 16-year-old Brendan Evans' first production since the Inverell High School musical Fame earlier this year. He said he is getting comfortable with his role as the lead character, Mort..."

When: Thursday and Friday, 30th and 31st October, and Thursday through Saturday, 6th–8th November
Venue: Beaulieu Hall, Copeton Dam Road, Inverell, New South Wales
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: $15 (concession price of $10 is available on 30th October). Supper is a gold coin donation. Tickets can be purchased at the Inverell Tourism Centre (phone 6728 816)



After their successful presentation of Monstrous Regiment, Monstrous Productions are back with another Discworld goodie: Wyrd Sisters! "Check us out on the official Terry Pratchett website! Not long to go now and less than 2 weeks before we announce our premiere and open audition applications! Lovely to see that so many of our regulars have already bought their tickets, it means a lot to us that you keep coming back- we must be doing something right!"

When: 5th – 8th November 2014
Venue: the Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch St, Cardiff
Time: 7pm-10.30pm all shows
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions). To purchase online, go to:


or email monstrousproductions2012@gmail.com

Remember, all profits from Monstrous Productions plays and merchandise go to Alzheimer's Research UK. In fact, they exist solely to perform Pratchett plays for this very purpose!



"East Essex Players, who have recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, have decided to break away from their usual Earth based comedies to take on the fantasy of Pratchett's Discworld. 'We have performed a variety of comedy genres from Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, to episodes of Fawlty Towers' says East Essex Players chairman Hazel Latcham, 'We are now looking forward to the challenge of a fantasy comedy that has a cult status.'"

When: 12th – 15th November 2014
Venue: Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre, 430 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 9LA
Time: TBA
Tickets: £11.50, £10.50. A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies, capped at four per order. Groups of 10+ please call 01702 351135 to buy fee-free.
Box Office: 01702 351135. To buy online, go to link below and click on the button for the desired date:


For more information, go to:



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

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




"Are you the next Buddy? Are you on a mission from Glod? Are you going to be The Next Big Thing? Would you like to entertain the guests at the Gala Dinner? If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in, please send your details to galadinner@ausdwcon.org. Do us a deal that's cutting your own throat!"


"There's A Special Place At Nullus Anxietas V For YOU. Nanny Ogg, Events Mistress for Nullus Anxietas V has placed a couple of casting calls for events at NAV:

I'm looking for a volunteer to organise and run the Lyrical Literature event. This is where the compere gives brave souls a song and a passage from a Discworld book to sing to the song tune. The audience then have to decide what the song is and possibly, if we want to be that sophisticated, which book the segment is from!
You will need to sort out the song titles and pieces from books and be prepared to run the event which is currently scheduled for 1-2pm on the FRIDAY.

PLEASE NOTE: this can be more than one person.

I am also looking for a volunteer to run the Chaos Costuming area. This is a place where we set up a sewing machine and provide bits of old fabric and costumes for attendees to tear up and recreate. The volunteer will need to organise and bring fabric etc, and will also need to see if they can get other people to cover shifts or at least leave the area nominally under someone's eye during the whole weekend.

Is this YOU??? If this sounds like your metier, you can respond to Nanny via the Nullus Anxietas V Forums or email enquiries@ausdwcon.org


REMEMBER! Nullus Anxietas V takes place 10-12 April 2015 at the Novotel Parramatta, Parramatta, New South Wales, XXXX. Tickets for the convention are held at the following prices until 15th March 2015: full $180, concession/child $120 (no charge for young children), family $500 and Supporting Membership $30. To purchase advance tickets, go to:


It's less than a year until the next Irish Discworld Convention, but you can already book your hotel! The A-M City Watch-themed convention will be held at the Cork International Airport Hotel on 2nd–5th October 2015.

"Hotel bookings for the Watch Open Weekend have just been made available, the Times can exclusively reveal. In an interview with our correspondent, Watch spokesperson Captain Shivers acknowledged that it is now exactly one year to go until this historic Watch outreach programme. She had this to say on the subject: 'In light of reaching this important milestone, we have published details of how to book a room at our venue, the Cork International Airport Hotel, not only for the enthusiastic recruits that have already signed up, but also any potential others who may be interested in this excellent opportunity to serve alongside our great City's finest.' Capt. Shivers strongly denied any rumours that the hotel had been booked up by the Sunshine Sanctuary's annual fundraiser, and confirmed that the Watch Open Day would go ahead on the 2nd-5th of October next year. More reports to follow as the story unfolds."

Room Costs

The special convention rate organised is:
– €75 per night for a single or double/twin room.
– €90 per night for a triple room.

"Breakfasts are optional, at a price of €10 each per person. Please specify if you'd like breakfasts when booking.
Room upgrades may also be available for an additional charge – please ask when booking if you are interested."

How to Book

The special convention rate is not available when booking through the hotel website, so please:
– Phone: (+353) 21 454 9800
– or Email: reservations@corkairporthotel.com

"Remember to quote your membership number(s), number of people for the room, dates required, and the code 'IDW conference 2015' [sic] when booking to avail yourself of the special rate."



Tickets ("memberships") for IDWcon are now available to pre-book at the following prices: Full Membership €50.00, Concessionary Membership €40.00, Child 12 years and under must be accompanied by an adult but are apparently uncharged. To book, and for further information, go to:



An announcement from the Guild of Seamstresses...

Updates: Programing for The Great Discworld Fan Meet At Sasquan

Greetings all,

We've been in touch with Sasquan (WorldCon 2015) about the Discworld panels we'd like to see offered there for The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at that convention. We have suggested, among others, the ever popular NADWCon panels titled "The Science of Discworld" and "The Tech of Discworld", "The Women of Discworld" and "Folklore, World Myths, Ancient Legends and The Discworld".

Are there classes, panels, events, or meets you'd like to see there, either for kids or adults? Let us know using the link noted below. We can and will suggest the names of interesting people (many of them folks you might know from previous NADWCons) for these panels and events AND we are always looking for new people who can add to our sum of Discworld knowledge. So don't be shy, step up and offer your skills.

Over the next few months we will be working closely with the Chair of Events and the Chair of Programming for Sasquan. We will gather names and recommend folks for *every* Discworld panel and event until May 1st, 2015 (which is the programming cut off date). If you wish to be included on a panel - or want to suggest some good ideas – please use the Sasquan Program Idea form.


Have an idea for Events or Program? Drop us an E-mail. We’re eager to hear what you've liked at conventions. Worldcons are always interested in ways to innovate new kinds of Program and Events. Currently, we have panels, videos, dances, parties, workshops, contests, game shows, concerts, Masquerade, Hugo Awards Ceremony, readings, autographings... Over the last few years, a film festival and Strolling with the Stars have been added to the Worldcon schedule. Between now and September 1, 2014, we’d like to get con attendees to think a little about new types of Program or Events we could add. We're also looking for new topics and panelists for Program, and can take topic/panelist suggestions until May 1, 2015. This idea form can help you reflect on what you've liked about recent conventions, and what you’d like to see Sasquan try to do in 2015.





"The biennial Discworld Convention takes place at a castle in a German speaking country. The next Convention will be 10.09. – 13.09.2015 at Burg Ludwigstein. During this period we offer our more than 200 guests workshops, talks, games, guests of honour and Discworld merchandising normally not available in Germany. You can visit us for a day or stay at the castle or a hotel nearby."

Registration is now open! "We reduced the number of bookable packages. As always there will be a special price for members of the Ankh-Morpork e.V.. Early bookers who finish their ticket order till December, the 31st 2014 will receive a free 5 € Convention prepaid card when arriving at the castle!

"If you would like to participate by organizing a workshop or giving a talk please contact us at Orga@Scheibenwelt-Convention.de."

To order tickets, go to:





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

Next meeting: Monday 3rd November 2014, from 7pm onwards.

The Drummers' October meet report:

"We had a great meeting last night. There were four new members and a lot of the regulars. First new person to arrive was Cecilia, who lives locally. Next was Richard, who was visiting from France. Shortly after Robin arrived. He came all the way from a remote part of Australia, where there are no Pratchett fans at all. Finally James B. arrived later on and, as promised, brought his new wife Christina. She showed us all the wedding photos including cute spider and cat cakes.

"I had a lot of discussion with Richard and Robin about Discworld movies, diaries and other memorabilia that is not easy to get abroad. Robin was overwhelmed by the geekiness and made nervous by the fact that he got all the references.
There was no quiz as Mark wasn't there but I did bring a prize since we have been sorting out our stuff. Alex G. was declared winner because he was the only person who wanted a Darth Vader model, which contained shower gel. The meeting ended with a lot of us quoting Blackadder.We walked back to Paddington Station with Alex and later spotted him on the opposite platform cuddling and caressing Darth Vader."

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


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


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


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

Next meeting: Thursday 6th November 2014, probably, but do email to check.

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


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

Next meeting: Friday 7th November 2014 (probably).


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

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



Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000.

Next meeting: Monday 3rd November 2014 at 6.30pm (probably). For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk


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

Next meeting: from 5.30pm on Monday 3rd November 2014 (probably).

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


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

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





1a. Train time!

"Mrs Bradshaw, if you were to go everywhere where the trains go and write about all those places, perhaps you could send me a copy of your notes? They could be useful to other intrepid passengers..." – Moist Von Lipwig, in Terry Pratchett's Raising Steam

"At long last Raising Steam is released in the UK in glorious paperback this week, with new cover artwork by Paul Kidby depicting Iron Girder with her industrious crew. Also published on October 9th is Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook; an invaluable and fully illustrated guide to Discworld's premier railway created at the behest of Most Von Lipwig and published by Ankh-Morpork's esteemed printer Thomas Goatberger.

"To coincide with the release of these fine Pratchett publications, we're offering a limited edition collector's pack including exclusive notes from Mrs Georgina Bradshaw herself along with souvenirs and ephemera from her journey on the A-M and Sto Plains Railway. Each pack includes four pages of jottings detailing two locations that didn't make it into Goatberger's final edit of her famous handbook. Also included are two beautifully illustrated postcards from Sto Lat and Brassica World, and an 'I love Big Cabbage' sticker ready to decorate your own luggage. Each set is presented in an illustrated envelope addressed to Moist Von Lipwig, and featuring a new Discworld postage stamp from The Chalk (Discworld Stamp collectors may wish to note that this new issue will be available for general release very soon. – more information coming soon).

"EMPORIUM EXCLUSIVE – Own a share in the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Railway Company, with an official share certificate – free with every copy of Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook!"

Raising Steam paperback, priced at £7.99: http://bit.ly/1wcMZCO
Collector's pack, priced at £12.50: http://bit.ly/1y4qqAx
Mrs Bradshaw's Guide plus railway share, priced at £12.99: http://bit.ly/1sVYHlb

And here be the banner for these offers, showing the lovely Mrs Bradshaw herself:


Also available: A Slip of the Keyboard, hardback, priced at £20.00: http://bit.ly/1DnkyW1

"Choo! Choo!"

To view these offers on one webpage, go to http://www.discworldemporium.com/index.php

1b. "Putting the 'Ook into spooky this Halloween"

"Grim Reapers, Igors, vampires, werewolves, witches, wizards, zombies... for Halloween inspiration you couldn't draw from a richer well than Discworld! If you're planning a Pratchett-inspired outfit or carving a pumpkin into the shape of Nanny Ogg we'd like to see it – send pictorial evidence of your efforts to us via shop@discworldemporium.com or via Facebook by Nov 2nd and we'll pick our favourite – the winner will receive our new Unseen University Diploma in Indefinite Studies, and will be announced on our Facebook page on Nov 3rd!"

To visit or post on the Discworld Emporium Facebook page, go to:


"And now for some suitably spellbinding new Discworld merchandise...

"Available now is our aforementioned addition to our range of Unseen University diplomas! Become Master of Indefinite Studies today, or choose from five other subjects from Discworld's most extraordinary educational establishment – a magical gift for any Terry Pratchett devotee or aspiring wizard! Each diploma is accompanied by a bronze octogram – affixed to a keychain for safekeeping – and a Graduate Declaration certificate to ensure that alumni leave Ankh-Morpork's foremost seat of learning with their education and university apparatus in a satisfactory state."

Available diplomas include Indefinite Studies (new!), Vindictive Astronomy, Creative Uncertainty, Cruel and Unusual Geography, Inadvisably Applied Magic and Post-Mortem Communications.

UU Graduation Set, priced at £12.50: http://bit.ly/1ppohKi

"The gods play games with the fates of men... now YOU can play games with the dice box of the gods! As passed around the deities of Cori Celesti, this delightfully macabre shaker has a rather satisfying rattle; so you can strike the fear of god(s) into your opponents while rolling them bones! Our version has been scaled down to fit comfortably into puny mortal hands and is accompanied by a pair of 12mm dice – a divine accompaniment to your Discworld board games! Sculpted by Bernard Pearson and hand-cast in resin, each dice box measures approx. 120 x 100 mm and is presented in a cotton pouch."

The Gods' Dice Box, priced at £25.00: http://bit.ly/11Nyb3h

"The third issue in the 'Wonders of the World' minisheet collection from Discworld Stamps is now available. Celebrating the Great Troll Bridge of Tübz. Each miniature stamp sheet features an illustration by Peter Dennis, and is accompanied by an informative (and not to mention decorative) postcard."

THE GREAT TROLL BRIDGE OF TÜBZ MINISHEET, priced at £5.00: http://bit.ly/1ohqOeJ

"HOGSWATCH NEWS! Tickets are now on sale for our traditional Sausage Supper at Hogswatch 2014 are now on sale – join us for our communal feasting of pork products at 7:30pm Saturday 29th November – limited spaces available! Meal ticket holders will enjoy a course of sausages from our local butcher, a generous dollop of mash and seasonal veg, followed by a traditional pudding in the name of Discworld. Your Meal Ticket will be available for collection in person from the Emporium counter from Hogswatch eve Friday 28th November, and will be marked with your designated Eating House. Please note that Meal Tickets will not be posted – so ignore our delivery information in your email confirmations. **Please do not order if you have any special dietary requirements, or a dislike of sausages** – Due to the unique pressures of Hogswatch we are unfortunately unable to cater for special requirements this year. If you require an alternative meal, don't despair – there are plentiful other dining opportunities in the town along with extensive bar food menus at our pubs. If you have allergies or intolerances our wonderful pubs may also be happy to accommodate your own grub by pre-arrangement."

Choices are Named Meats Sausage Supper priced at £10.99, Vegetarian Sausage Supper priced at £10.99, or Children's Sausage Supper priced at £4.99: http://bit.ly/1sZtCx8

"Stay 'orrible!"

To view these offers on one webpage, go to http://bit.ly/1nuWrR7

1c. "Atumnal Discworld goodies ahoy!"

Autumn evenings are best done 'deluxe', so draw the curtains, pour yourself a tipple, throw another Victorian orphan on the fire and wrap yourself in the words of the master while surrounded by some suitably luxurious Discworld merchandise...

"With Dragons at Crumbling Castle you can while away the hours with dragons, dinosaurs, cavemen and wizards. This limited edition slipcase version includes a special foreword by Terry Pratchett, bonus content and an exclusive print of Sir Terry himself in shining armour.

"To set the mood for the oncoming winter, what better than a deluxe edition of Wintersmith, a folk-rock collaboration from mutual fans Steeleye Span and Terry Pratchett. This double CD album features four brand new songs, eight live tracks from the Wintersmith Tour and two exclusive demo versions!

"Continuing the Tiffany Aching theme, the latest Little Brown Envelope from Discworld Stamps has arrived! The Chalk and Cheese 'LBE' contains an assortment of Discworld Stamps with the chance of sports & rarities, along with the first ever stamp from The Chalk – a charming little farthing issue depicting the rolling hills and woolly 'ships' of home. In contrast, each LBE also includes a new penny stamp from Ankh-Morpork's good-time guild – the upstanding Guild of Seamstresses. Both new stamps are also available singly and in beautiful whole sheets. Find then in the New Stamps bit of our site!

"Hogswatch is approaching fast and with our festive gathering here in Wincanton at the end of November we're pleased to announce our limited Hogswatch 2014 Medal of Honour – exclusive to our fearless and foolhardy Hogswatch attendees – is now available to pre-order Don't miss out! – order yours today and show the world you were there!

"Don't forget – tickets are now on sale for our traditional Sausage Supper at Hogswatch 2014 are now on sale and selling fast – join us for our communal feasting of pork products at 7:30pm Saturday 29th November – limited spaces available!


Dragons at Crumbling Castle deluxe slipcased edition, priced at £25.00:

Wintersmith deluxe double CD album "Features Maddy Prior, the voice of Steeleye for 40 years at the helm of the line-up, with band stalwart and fiddler extraordinaire Peter Knight, Rick Kemp on bass, Peter Zorn and Julian Littman on Guitars and Liam Genockey on the drum stool, With special guests Terry Pratchett, Kathryn Tickell and John Spiers", and is priced at £15.00:

Chalk and Cheese LBE, priced at £5.00:

Chalk Farthing stamp, priced at £0.50 each or £4.50 for a sheet of 9:

Guild of Seamstresses 1p stamp, priced at £0.60 each or £12.00 for a sheet of 20:

The New Stamps page:

To view these offers on one webpage, go to http://bit.ly/1wMj6Mp


The Archive "of Discworld Merchandise, (Clarecraft, Bernard Pearson,PJSM , Paul Kidby, Mark Ayling, Discworld Emporium, Cunning Artificer, Waxworks etc) is looking for "likes":

"One of our posts reached 716 people this week... WOWsers!!! not bad for a page with only 376 Likes!!! Keep sharing the amazing works of the craftsmen(and women) who have made this wonderful stuff and encourage peeps to "Like" the page ... would love to hit 500 Likes before Hogswatch!"




Remember the Discworld Lego project? It's now much, much closer to the 10,000 supporters needed for Lego to release a new official set... over 7,000 supporters have now registered their interest!

In June of this year, when the project had garnered over 5,000 supporters, Lego sent an official – and very encouraging – message:

"The great Great A'Tuin never looked so good. With this project, fans can now decide where his path through the cosmos will lead, be they followers of the Steady State Theory, the Steady Gait Theory, or even, the Big Bang Theory! We love that you've included so much information about this project, and have really worked to inspire a passionate fan base. Stay focused on your goal, you're more than halfway there. Keep on journeying to 10,000 supporters!"

Want to be part of the Discworld Lego True Believers? Off you go, then, to


And here be an updated Granny Weatherwax vignette:


And a Tiffany Aching set proposal:


[Editor's note: good work for the most part, but Tiffany's "sheep" look disturbingly like Doctor Who's robot dog K-9...]




In a report for BBC Culture, Alastair Sooke investigates the provenance of our modern images of witches:

"Ask any Western child to draw a witch, and the chances are that he or she will come up with something familiar: most likely a hook-nosed hag wearing a pointy hat, riding a broomstick or stirring a cauldron. But where did this image come from? The answer is more arresting and complex than you might think... Witches have a long and elaborate history. Their forerunners appear in the Bible, in the story of King Saul consulting the so-called Witch of Endor. They also crop up in the classical era in the form of winged harpies and screech-owl-like 'strixes' – frightening flying creatures that fed on the flesh of babies. Circe, the enchantress from Greek mythology, was a sort of witch, able to transform her enemies into swine. So was her niece Medea. The ancient world, then, was responsible for establishing a number of tropes that later centuries would come to associate with witches.

"Yet it wasn't until the early Renaissance that our modern perception of the witch was truly formed. And one man of the period arguably did more than any other to define the way that we still imagine witches today: the German painter and printmaker Albrecht Durer. In a pair of hugely influential engravings, Durer determined what would become the dual stereotype of a witch's appearance. On the one hand, as in The Four Witches (1497), she could be young, nubile and lissom – her physical charms capable of enthralling men. On the other, as in Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat (c 1500), she could be old and hideous. The latter print presents a naked crone sitting on top of a horned goat, a symbol of the devil. She has withered, drooping dugs for breasts, her mouth is open as she shrieks spells and imprecations, and her wild, wind-blasted hair streams unnaturally in the direction of her travel (a sign of her magical powers). She is even clutching a broomstick. Here is the matriarch of the witches that we find in popular culture today..."

Sooke further notes that Durer may well have been inspired by an 15th-century artist, Andrea Mantegna, who portrayed Envy in "an extraordinarily intense Italian print known as Lo Stregozzo (The Witch's Procession) (c 1520). Here, a malevolent witch with open mouth, hair in turmoil and desiccated dugs clutches a steaming pot (or cauldron), and rides a fantastical, monstrous skeleton. Her right hand reaches for the head of a baby from the heap of infants at her feet..."

And then there was Francisco Goya and Henry Fuseli, with their fantastical portrayals of witches: "Plate 68 of [Goya's] Los Caprichos is especially memorable: a wizened hag teaches an attractive younger witch how to fly a broomstick. Both are naked, and the print was surely meant to be salacious: the Spanish 'volar' (to fly) is slang for having an orgasm... The Swiss-born artist Henry Fuseli, for instance, made several versions of the famous moment when Macbeth meets the three witches for the first time on the heath..."



If only New York postman Joseph Brucato had realised the letters wanted to be delivered...

"A New York postman hoarded as many as 40,000 pieces of undelivered mail in his home, car and work locker over nine years, prosecutors have said... Postal investigators subsequently found 2,500lb (1.1 tonnes) of mail dated as far back as 2005. Mr Brucato's lawyer said in court his client suffered from depression. But the lawyer did not give a reason why Mr Brucato had allegedly taken the letters... According to court records, Mr Brucato became a postman in 2001 and had been assigned a regular route in the New York borough of Brooklyn for the past 11 years. When confronted by postal investigators about the undelivered mail in his vehicle, Mr Brucato said he had been keeping mail there for six months and 'on some days... did not deliver the mail intended for his route for various personal reasons', according to a federal criminal complaint. A search of Mr Brucato's residence, vehicle and locker at work found even more mail that investigators said was post marked as early as 2005..."



The London Beer Flood of 1814 was an event in Roundworld history, but can't you just see this happening in Ankh-Morpork?
In separate articles, London historian Mike Paterson and beer historian Martyn Cornell offer an in-depth look into the Great Beer Flood and the Horseshoe (Meux) Brewery's history.

"...this rather bizarre industrial disaster that occurred near what is now the Dominion Theatre on 17 October 1814. Back then, London's drinking classes were supplied by dozens of competing breweries dotted around the capital and its outskirts. The competition between some of these manifested itself by their building ever bigger vats. Prior to going into commission, the brew-houses, as PR stunts, would typically use these massive containers to host big swanky dinners for the directors and their guests..."

At about six o'clock on the evening of the 17th, one of the steel bands restraining the huge vat, with its a capacity of over a million pints, burst, starting a liquid chain reaction: "The force of the escaping beer, and flying debris, including the huge staves of the collapsing vat, smashed several hogsheads of porter in the storehouse and knocked the cock out of another large vat in the cellar below which contained 2,100 barrels of beer, all of which except 800 or 900 barrels joined the flood..." and then "The tsunami of beer smashed down the brewery wall, destroyed immediately two houses and severely damaged many others plus the Tavistock Arms. The beer then flooded the basement rooms of numerous adjacent buildings. A huge throng immediately assembled many of whom had the presence of mind to harvest beer in pots, pans, teapots, jars, bottles – anything that came to hand..."

Eight people – Ann Saville, Eleanor Cooper, Elizabeth Smith, Sarah Bates, Catharine Butler, Mary Mulvey, the infant Thomas Murry and the child Hannah Banfield – lost their lives, and there were many additional injuries:

"As the huge wave of beer, at least 15 feet high, roared down the street it flooded cellars, knocked in the backs of houses and washed people from first-floor rooms. One little girl, Hannah Banfield, aged four, was taking tea with her mother Mary, a coalheaver's wife, in an upstairs room of one of the New Street houses when the vat collapsed. When the torrent of porter rushed in, Hannah was swept from the room through a partition and killed, while her mother was washed out of the window and badly injured and another child in the room 'nearly suffocated'... Houses in Great Russell Street, including the Tavistock Arms pub at number 22, that backed on to New Street had their cellars and ground floors filled with beer and their backs badly damaged. Those living in the cellars had to climb up on top of their highest pieces of furniture to save themselves from drowning in porter. At the Tavistock Arms, where beer had washed right through the taproom and into the street outside, pouring into the "areas" (basement entrances) of the houses opposite, part of the back wall collapsed on top of one of the pub servants, Eleanor Cooper, aged 14, who was at the pump in the yard, scouring pots. She was dug out of the ruins nearly three hours later, still standing upright, but dead..."

The smell of stale beer apparently lingered on in the area for many months.

It would seem that inappropriately comical accidents happened more than once there, as when one owner, John Stephenson Jnr, came to an unfortunate end:

"By 1792 the brewery was in the hands of John Stephenson. He was the 'natural' son of another John Stephenson, a wealthy London merchant, originally from Cumberland. John Stephenson senior, whose uncle was at one time Lord Mayor of London, was an MP for more than 30 years from 1761 until his death at his home in Bedford Square in April 1794, aged 84. Stephenson senior was unmarried, and left almost all his estate, which included land in Cumbria, to his son. John junior, his wife Susan and their six or seven children moved after John senior's death from nearby Charlotte Street into the rather finer house in Bedford Square, which was itself only a short walk north from the brewery... Tragically, John junior had little time to enjoy his extra wealth. Like other breweries at the time, the Horse Shoe brewery cooled the hopped wort after it was boiled by pumping it into large, shallow vessels at the top of the building, before it was run into the fermenting vessels and pitched with yeast. Around 10am on the morning of Thursday, November 13, 1794, one of the brewery workers spotted a hat swimming on top of the beer in one of the coolers. It was Stephenson's. Just a short time before he had been in the brewery "accompting house". Unnoticed, he had gone up to where the coolers were, fallen in and drowned..."

After the disaster, the Horse Shoe brewery carried on as one of London's leading porter producers for the rest of the 19th century before being absorbed into the huge Allied Breweries conglomerate.




From Sir Pterry's Twitter feed, "An edible Iron Girder toolkit to celebrate t'publication of Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook and Raising Steam p/b. Gradely!" Gradely indeed:

Ray Friesen's charming toon-icon of "Team G. O.", aka the Good Omens radio play gang:

A familiar quotation, illustrated for all to see at The Book Grocer in Morwell (Shop 37, Mid Valley Shopping Centre, Morwell, Victoria, Australia):

...and finally, always a favourite: Sir Pterry at Secret World rescue centre in 2011, with Pauline Kidner and a hedgehog!



And there you have it. Before closing, I'd like to share this amazing image of a library cake. There's no Librarian there, but with a bit of marzipangutan the possibilities would be endless...


And speaking of libraries, Warrington Guardian columnist Jeremy Craddock offers a fine, impassioned defence of libraries, referencing Pterry and Neil Gaiman in the process. Well worth a read:


Lastly, a non-Pratchett book recommendation: Reading the OED, by Ammon Shea (Penguin|Viking, 2008). A book that is both useful and fun. And daft. Here be a quote from Chapter A: "All of the human emotions and experiences are right there in this dictionary, just as they would be in any fine work of literature. They just happen to be alphabetized."

Remember, the mirror version of this issue can be viewed at

And that's the lot for October. Happy Hogswatch, er, Halloween, um, Hogoween to all! See you next month!

– Annie Mac


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

Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion

October 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 10, Post 1)

WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion, you'd only forget them...
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Wynn-Jones
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico, Kevin
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion






"He looked proudly at the Combination Harvester. Of course, you needed a horse to pull it. That spoiled things a bit. Horses belonged to Yesterday; Tomorrow belonged to the Combination Harvester and its descendants, which would make the world a cleaner and better place. It was just a matter of taking the horse out of the equation. He'd tried clockwork, and that wasn't powerful enough. Maybe if he tried winding a – Behind him, the kettle boiled over and put the fire out. Simnel fought his way through the steam. That was the bloody trouble, every time. Whenever someone was trying to do a bit of sensible thinking, there was always some pointless distraction."

– Reaper Man (Gollancz 1991 hardcover, p. 153)

"He is friendly to his fans and really open... He had no qualms about talking to people, would sit for hours in bookshops with enormous queues and he wouldn't go until everybody had been up to have their book signed. He's probably one of the most approachable people I have ever met. He really is."

– Pat Harkin on Pterry

"When I'm a long way from home and need cheering up, Terry Pratchett's Discworld books do the trick."

– author Val McDermid



Now this is what you can call a packed issue! It includes plenty of exciting information, and if I've gone a wee bit overboard on the exclamation marks, at least there is no instance of five in a row...

The Steeleye Span "Wintersmith" album is released today, and here's to it making plenty of waves... or drifts, as that's more appropriate. Go to item 6.3 below and have a watch and listen. Whether the band and the folk-rock genre are to your taste or not – and while I admit that my personal first choice to do an album based on Wintersmith would have been a reunited Planxty or The Waterboys, I'm not Terry Pratchett and it's only right that *his* favourite band should handle the project! – I defy you to listen to the whoosh of wind and the tinkling ice sounds at the beginning of the album trailer without feeling the shiver of combined delight and fear that the true spirit of Winter inspires.** "Wintersmith" features my second favourite folk fiddle player in the world, whose interview about the album and about working with Sir Pterry can be found below at item 6.2.

** That's for the many places that have actual winter, of course. Of which Fourecks is not one. My husband, a born-and-bred Fourecksian, once told me about how amazed he was, on seeing the film "Fargo" before we met, at the vast expanses of snow-covered landscape. I admit I goggled at him: "But but but that's just normal winter in North Dakota! And most of the upper end of the USA! And nearly all of Canada. And most of northern Europe! And and and..." Yes, there's a reason why seasonal skiers down here say they're "going to the snow" – it's because they only have one of them...


Also down in section 6, Cory Doctorow interviews Sir Pterry about The Carpet People (which is about to be released in the USA for the first time ever, don't forget!). Doctorow, one of my own favourite science fiction writers and a (sometimes caped) crusader for freedom and privacy issues – not to mention being the benevolent ruler of BoingBoing – asks some very interesting questions, and Sir Pterry gives some very interesting answers. Enjoy!


In other news, American publishers have struck a new ten-book deal for USA Pratchett releases – or more properly, a pair of deals!

"The first book, 'Raising Steam,' will be released in March as part of a seven-figure deal. Mr. Pratchett, whose books have sold more than 80 million copies, is known for his satirical series 'Discworld.' Edward Kastenmeier, executive editor at Vintage Anchor, is the acquiring editor. 'Terry's work has a huge following and an enormous footprint in the fantasy world, as they were the first adopters of his enthralling, hilarious fiction,' Mr. Kastenmeier said. 'With mainstream readers warming to the work of Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin, we see this as a crossover moment for Terry, an opportunity to expand his audience.'"


Here be some more details, courtesy of Colin Smythe:

There is a seven-book deal with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group that covers the 40th Discworld novel, Raising Steam, the four Science of Discworld books, A Blink of the Screen, and the forthcoming A Slip of the Keyboard. Transworld/RandomHouse UK are licensing three additional titles to Doubleday/Knopf/Anchor: an updated edition of The Folklore of Discworld, The World of Poo and The Compleat Ankh-Morpork.

The schedule of releases for 2014 are as follows:

March 2014: Raising Steam (Doubleday, in hardcover); The Folklore of Discworld (Anchor, paperback only) June 2014: The Science of Discworld (Anchor, paperback only) December 2014: The Compleat Ankh-Morpork (Doubleday, hardcover only); The Science of Discworld 2: The Globe (Anchor, paperback only).

I know many of you American Pratchett fans are dismayed by the delayed release date for Raising Steam, but on the other hand you will be getting a number of releases formerly not planned for the USA.

A further note about changed released dates: as the UK Doubleday edition of A Slip of the Keyboard was replaced in Doubleday's publishing schedule by Raising Steam, it will not be published until October 2014. But again worth waiting for!


Jacqueline Blitenthall asks a fascinating question: "How do you get 'rights' to using a Paul Kirby drawing as a tattoo idea?" (I assume she means Paul *Kidby*.) In this case I would imagine the best way is to write to Mr Kidby via his website or Facebook page, but as we already know, there are hundreds of Kidby-derived Discworld tattoos out there that came about as a result of the customer taking an illustration in to an inker and asking for it to be turned into a tattoo. However, it does give one to think: of course Team Discworld is far too civilised to chase after unauthorised Discworld tattoo- wearers with a "have that lasered off right now or else!" solicitor's letter, right? – but I can imagine scenarios like that involving the evil lawyers of certain megacorporations, can't you? "Take that Mickey and Minnie tatt off RIGHT!NOW! or there will be trouble and no mistake!!!" It's certainly worth passing along to intellectual rights discussion boards to see what the fair-use gurus think.

And now, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor



As the countdown to the publication of Raising Steam enters its final days, some more teasers...


Here be a printable sepia poster version of the official Raising Steam cover, and a handsome thing it is too. To view via the Raising Steam Machine, go to http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=2792 and
enter the password 2261. Or to view directly, go to:



As readers of Reaper Man will remember, Ned Simnel of Sheepridge was the inventor of the ill-fated Combination Harvester. When we left young Ned, he was picking up the pieces of his failed machine. It would seem, according to the (deliciously long and intriguing!) extract below, that in the years after the events of Reaper Man Ned Simnel married and fathered a son, and also developed an interest in the potential of steam power. It would also seem that Sheepridge is in the Discworld version of what we might call "storybook Yorkshire" (I suspect your Editor is not the only one who will find themselves hearing the theme music from Last of the Summer Wine as they read the extract).

If you want the fun of going through the Raising Steam Machine to see it in all its image-of-vellum loveliness – and yes, someone has put a lot of work into these teasers and done a very good job – go to http://terrypratchett.co.uk/?p=2818 and click on the "Read all about him" link; the password to enter is 2112.

If you want to cut to the chase and view the extract the "fast" way, go to:


And if your internet is acting up or you just want plain text, the extract is reproduced below for your convenience:

"Some background information on the man behind the railway

"Dick Simnel was ten years old when, back at the family smithy in Sheepridge, his father simply disappeared in a cloud of furnace parts and flying metal, all enveloped in a pink steam. He was never found in the terrible haze of scorching dampness, but on that very day young Dick Simnel vowed to whatever was left of his father in that boiling steam that he would make steam his servant.

"His mother had other ideas. She was a midwife, and as she said to her neighbours, 'Babbies are born everywhere. I'll never be without a customer.' So, against her son's wishes, Elsie Simnel decided to take him away from what she now considered to be a haunted place. She packed up their belongings and together they returned to her family home near Sto Lat, where people didn't inexplicably disappear in a hot pink cloud.

"Soon after they arrived something important happened to her boy. One day while waiting for her to return from a difficult delivery, Dick walked into a building that looked interesting, and which turned out to be a library. At first he thought it was full of poncy stuff, all kings and poets and lovers and battles, but in one crucial book he found something called mathematics and the world of numbers.

"And that was why, some ten years later, he pulled together every fibre of his being and said, 'Mother, you know last year when I said I were going hiking in the mountains of Uberwald with me mates, well it were kind of...sort of...a kind of lie, only very small, mind you.' Dick blushed. He didn't like lying to his mother and so continued, 'You see, I found t'keys to Dad's old shed and, well, I went back to Sheepridge and did some experimenting and...' He looked at his mother anxiously. 'I think I know what 'e were doing wrong.'

"Dick was braced for stiff objections, but he hadn't reckoned on tears – so many tears – and as he tried to console her he added, 'You, Mother, and Uncle Flavius got me an education, you got me the knowing of the numbers, including arithmetic and weird stuff dreamed up by the philosophers in Ephebe where even camels can do logarithms on their toes. Dad didn't know this stuff. He had the right ideas but he didn't have the...tech-nol-ogy right.'

"At this point, Dick allowed his mother to talk and she said, 'I know there's no stopping you, our Dick, you're just like your stubborn father were, pigheaded. Is that what you've been doin' in the barn? Teck-ology?' She looked at him accusingly, then sighed. 'I can see I can't tell you what to do, but you tell me: how can your "logger- reasons" stop you goin' the way of your poor old dad?' She started sobbing again.

"Dick pulled out of his jacket something that looked like a small wand, which might have been made for a miniature wizard, and said, 'This'll keep me safe, Mother! I've the knowing of the sliding rule! I can tell the sine what to do, and the cosine likewise and work out the tangent of the quaderatics! Come on, Mother, stop fretting and come wi' me now t'barn. You must see 'er!'

"Mrs Simnel, reluctant, was dragged to the great open barn he had kitted out like the workshop back at Sheepridge, hoping against hope that her son had accidentally found himself a girl.

"Inside the barn she looked helplessly at a large circle of metal which covered most of the floor. Something metallic whizzed round and round on the metal, sounding like a squirrel in a cage, giving off a smell much like camphor.

"'Here she is, Mother. Ain't she gradely?" Dick said happily. 'I call her the Iron Girder!'

"'But what is it, son?'

"He grinned hugely and said, 'It's what they call a pro-to-type, Mother. You've got to 'ave a pro-to-type if you're going to be an engineer.'

"His mother smiled wanly but there was no stopping Dick. The words just tumbled out.

"'The thing is, Mother, before you attempt owt you've got to 'ave some idea of what it is you want to do. One of the books I found in the library was about being an architect. And in that book, the man who wrote it said before he built his next big 'ouse he always made quite tiny models to get an idea of how it would all work out. He said it sounds fiddly and stuff, but going slowly and being thorough is the only way forward. And so I'm testing 'er out slowly, seeing what works and what doesn't. And actually, I'm quite proud of meself. In the beginning I made the track wooden, but I reckoned that the engine I wanted would be very 'eavy, so I chopped up t'wooden circle for firewood and went back to t'forge.'

"Mrs Simnel looked at the little mechanism running round and round on the barn floor and said, in the voice of someone really trying to understand, 'Eee, lad, but what does it do?'

"'Well, I remembered what Dad said about t'time he were watching t'kettle boiling and noticed t'lid going up and down with the pressure, and he told me that one day someone would build a bigger kettle that would lift more than a kettle lid. And I believe I have the knowing of the way to build a proper kettle, Mother.'"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"For an additional sneak preview of what's to come, see the paperback edition of the Station Master's Dodger, which is available now from all good booksellers (and possibly the odd bad one too)."


In this video, Sir Pterry muses briefly on the technology of steam and the coming of the railway.


Accompanied by, once again, the teaser blurb:

"Change is afoot in Ankh-Morpork – Discworld's first steam engine has arrived, and once again Moist von Lipwig finds himself with a new and challenging job.

"To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork – a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it's soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

"Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work – as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital . . . but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don't always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse . . .

"Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi' t'flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs and some very angry dwarfs if he's going to stop it all going off the rails . . .

"The new Discworld novel, the 40th in the series, sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town."





In which a leading light of science fiction interviews a leading light of fantasy and science fiction:

"Cory Doctorow: The Carpet People was your first novel, and now the fortieth book in your Discworld series is about to be published. Do you think you could have kept us in the Carpet for anything like forty books?

"Terry Pratchett: I was about to say, 'No,' but right now I wonder. . . . If the idea had taken, I don't know. I really don't. But how would it be? People in the Carpet are more or less tribal. What would happen if I . . . You've got me thinking!

"CD: You took a bunch of runs at building a world where a million stories could unfold — The Carpet People, Truckers, and, finally, Discworld. Is Discworld's near-total untethering from our world the secret of its staying power?

"TP: It isn't our world, but on the other hand it is very much like our world. Discworld takes something from this world all the time, shows you bits of the familiar world in new light by putting them into Discworld...

"CD: One thing I've always enjoyed about your books with feudal settings is that it seems you get something like the correct ratio of vassals to lords. So much of fantasy seems very top-heavy. Do you consciously think about political and economic considerations when you're devising a world?

"TP: I've never been at home with lords and ladies, kings, and rubbish like that, because it's not so much fun. Take a protagonist from the bottom of the heap and they've got it all to play for. Whereas people in high places, all they can do is, well . . . I don't know, actually: I've never been that high. If you have the underdog in front of you, that means you're going to have fun, because what the underdog is going to want to do is be the upper dog or be no dog at all..."

To read the full interview, go to http://tinyurl.com/khs6ytv and don't be put off by the fact that it's an Amazon page. Just scroll down until you reach the interview! – Ed.


"We are delighted to announce that Sir Terry Pratchett will be dropping by World Fantasy Convention 2013 on the Friday, 1 November 2013. The 2010 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be in conversation with Rob Wilkins, talking about his life and career, as well as hopefully reading from his 40th 'Discworld' novel, Raising Steam, published by Transworld the following week."



Here be an extract from The Carpet People. Go read!


...and here be a fine little trailer:



Hogswatch is a-comin', the bookshelves are too bare... here's a great gift idea – Gollancz are to release extremely reasonably priced hardcover versions of the first 21 Discworld novels, including the earliest ones that were formerly only available as paperbacks:

"Gollancz is delighted to announce the launch of a long-anticipated, and beautiful, new project: The Discworld Collector's Library. This project, developed in consultation with Sir Terry Pratchett, will see the release of a beautiful, affordable new set of hardback editions of the Discworld novels, from The Colour of Magic to Jingo, for readers who love the Discworld and would like high quality editions to treasure.

"Sir Terry Pratchett said: 'The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books can distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned second-hand bookshop, so just think what a lovely big collection of Discworld novels like this might do.'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ISBNs, for your information:

MORT is 9781473200104 and REAPER MAN is 9781473200111.


"The UK Writers' Guild has announced the shortlist for its 2013 awards, with game writers Rhianna Pratchett, Mike Bithell and Graham Goring up for the Video Games award. The award aims to highlight the best storytelling in video games during the last year. Pratchett's work on Tomb Raider is up for nomination, while Mike Bithell's Thomas Was Alone and Graham Goring's Lego City Undercover story are also highlighted. The award will be presented to the winner next month in London."



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

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



You may remember several features we've done here on "The Duel", the short animated film about duelling wizards produced by a collective of animation students with the approving collaboration of Professor Sir Pterry. The film is now finished!

First off, a video of the debut, featuring Sir Pterry in a marvellous new hat:


Then, the Press...

In Animation World Network, which features a number of iconographs from the film:

"Set in the 'Unseen University' of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld, The Duel is a new animated short film produced by the Animation Hub, a collaboration between the Irish School of Animation (ISA) at Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Irish animation studio, Giant Animation Studios... World-renowned fantasy and science fiction novelist, and Adjunct Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, Sir Terry Pratchett was hands-on engaged with the production, working with both institutions and the team from Giant Animation Studios. The short film has blended fantasy and reality, with notable Irish landmarks set amongst the unreal environments of this animated adventure. Commenting on his involvement in the project, Sir Terry Pratchett said: 'The Duel is something new from something old – Discworld was borrowed by the students in the Animation Hub to produce a wholly new adventure. It's wonderful to see this type of project supported and made real – and we had a lot of fun while we were at it.' ... Professor David Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Australia, formerly of Trinity and an executive producer of the film said: 'Having The Duel premiere in Dublin is a fitting conclusion to a great collaboration that has blended both teaching and practice, combining originality and creativity, while providing students with a unique opportunity to work alongside one of the world's most prolific and popular authors.'..."


In Irish Film and Television News:

"The aim of the project was to see students from both institutions afforded the opportunity to gain experience in a professional-grade studio while learning from industry professionals Giant Animation, who spearheaded the production... The film is three minutes long and straddles the line between fantasy and reality, featuring real locations from around Dublin fused with the surreal landscape of Pratchett's Discworld. Speaking to IFTN, Giant Animation's Daniel Spencer said: 'The screening went very well - Terry really enjoyed it, the crowd really enjoyed it... Our next screening of note is at the Discworld convention down in Limerick, and what we're going to be doing after that is putting it on the festival circuit'..."


In Animation Magazine, with additional images:

"The aim of the project was the develop the skills of students from TCD and BCFE in animation, music composition, motion capture and acting (The Lir Academy) by integrating them into production under the guidance of Giant. The Duel was supported through funding from the Irish Film Board, Trinity, Giant and Ballyfermot..."


In the Irish Independent:

"Speaking at the screening of 'The Duel' in TCD last night, Pratchett said he was "very impressed" with the finished product. "I'm amazed. "All I did was write the book," he said. Praising the work carried out on the project, he revealed he was not apprehensive about the group taking on the world he created: "They only needed a little push in the right direction. "I thought, 'let them do their stuff, it's not really up to me'. All the words I use were made up by a lot of people before I was born, so they allowed me to use them. So if you find them doing something where they are having fun, and it's looking good – that's what I think is the best thing." ... Gareth Lee, one of the producers, said it was "fantastic" to work with the 65-year-old, who acted as an executive producer on the project. "The 'Discworld' is a fantastic world to be able to play around with," Mr Lee said. He added that the author took his role very seriously: "He gave us a lot of creative freedom.'..."



You may have read recently of a murder in Mexico supposedly carried out by clowns... well, now the clowns are up in arms – and noses – in protest:

"Clowns gathered at a convention in Mexico City have denied any of their colleagues were behind the killing of a former drug cartel leader last Friday. Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, was killed in a beach resort in Baja California in north-western Mexico. Gunmen dressed as clowns opened fire on the former leading member of the once-powerful and violent Tijuana cartel, authorities say. Around 500 clowns at the convention held a 'laugh-a-ton' rally for peace.

"A clown leader said if a real member of the profession had been involved in the shooting, they would have been easily identifiable by their costumes, masks and painting. 'The people who do that, they're not clowns. I can swear on my mother's grave it wasn't a clown,' Tomas Morales, whose stage name is Clown Llantom, told Associated Press news agency. They say clowns are frequently victims of robberies and their costumes and masks are then used to commit other crimes..."


In The Independent, more about the clown convention:

"Colourful wigs, large shoes, red noses and doubtless a fine collection of squirty plastic flowers were on show at the first day of the convention at a theatre in Mexico City. On arrival, and in order to register for the conference, clowns were asked to raise their 'official clown rulebook', without which they wouldn't be able to register. According to Associated Press some clowns could only raise an imaginary rulebook 'while making a sad face.' During the four-day event, the clowns competed in best makeup, improvisation, best group show, juggling and, of course, best balloon shaping..."





From BBC News:

"The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as an exciting and historic moment in medical research. More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients. But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases... It is rare to get cautious scientists keen to describe a study in mice as a turning point in treating Alzheimer's. It is early science, a lot can go wrong between a drug for mice and a drug for humans and the only published data is for prion disease, not even Alzheimer's. So why the excitement? It is the first time that any form of neurodegeneration has been completely halted, so it is a significant landmark. It shows that the process being targeted has serious potential... In Parkinson's the alpha-synuclein protein goes wrong, in Alzheimer's it's amyloid and tau, in Huntingdon's it's the Huntingtin protein. But the errant protein is irrelevant here as the researchers are targeting the way a cell deals with any misfolded protein. It means one drug could cure many diseases and that really would be something to get excited about... The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, showed mice with prion disease developed severe memory and movement problems. They died within 12 weeks. However, those given the compound showed no sign of brain tissue wasting away..."


In The Guardian:

"The Medical Research Council (MRC) team focused on the root cause of many degenerative brain diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's – abnormally shaped proteins that stick together in clumps and fibres. When enough misshapen protein builds up in the brain, it can trigger a reaction that results in the death of nerve cells. Other approaches have sought to stop or limit the accumulation of the abnormal protein, whose structure is folded the wrong way. Instead, the MRC team targeted the harmful way brain cells react to misfolded proteins. Using a drug injected into the stomachs of mice, they flipped a cellular switch from off to on to prevent neurons dying. Five weeks after treatment, one group of mice remained free of symptoms such as memory loss, impaired reflexes or limb dragging. They also lived longer than untreated animals with the same disease... The research, reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, duplicated previous results achieved by the same team by means of genetic engineering. As in the earlier study, a neurodegenerative disease caused by abnormal prion proteins was induced in the mice. Prion diseases, which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), are rare in humans but share the same underlying cause – misfolded proteins – as more common conditions such as Alzheimer's...

"Commenting on the research, Prof Roger Morris, from the department of chemistry at King's College London, said: 'This is the first convincing report that a small drug, of the type most conveniently turned into medicines, stops the progressive death of neurons in the brain as found, for instance, in Alzheimer's disease. True, this study has been done in mice, not man; and it is prion disease, not Alzheimer's, that has been cured. However, there is considerable evidence that the way neurons die in both diseases is similar; and lessons learned in mice from prion disease have proved accurate guides to attenuate the progress of Alzheimer's disease in patients. This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's disease.'..."


Also in The Guardian, a Q&A, "Everything you need to know about new research that could lead to future treatments for neurodegenerative diseases":

"Researchers led by Giovanna Mallucci at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, based at the University of Leicester have found that a chemical compound (called GSK2606414) could block some of the UPR's functions in a mouse's brain and stop the death of brain cells. Mice that had been infected with a prion disease developed symptoms (such as memory and movement problems) within 12 weeks, whereas those treated with the drug twice a day showed no signs of disease over the same period. Their results were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Specifically, the drug was found to inhibit a part of the UPR defence mechanism called the PERK pathway. The researchers said that this pathway could form a target for future drugs to treat neurodegenerative problems...

"To get into human trials after a succesful mouse study, scientists would have to first trial the drug in larger mammals and then, because this is a brain-related compound, in primates. After many years (perhaps decades) of work like this, the drug might make it to limited numbers of patients in early-stage clinical trials. There are a lot of big ifs along that path and only a tiny proportion of promising-looking drugs make it that far...

"In an accompanying article in the journal, scientists not involved in the work pointed out that a deficiency in PERK causes Wollcott- Rallison syndrome in humans, which can lead to problems in the pancreas and neonatal diabetes. In addition, there could be weight loss and problems in organs such as the kidney and liver..."


Here is the source page for the original study:


Also, do remember to drop by the Alzheimer's Research blog, http://www.dementiablog.org – and read the post about this new discovery and its implications:



"A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can be used to confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer's disease, University of Florida Health researchers have found. Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and her colleagues reported the findings of a small pilot study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences... She noticed while shadowing in Heilman's clinic that patients were not tested for their sense of smell. The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline. Stamps also had been working in the laboratory of Linda Bartoshuk, the William P. Bushnell presidentially endowed professor in the College of Dentistry's department of community dentistry and behavioral sciences and director of human research in the Center for Smell and Taste. 'Dr. Heilman said, "If you can come up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it,"' Stamps said. She thought of peanut butter because, she said, it is a 'pure odorant' that is only detected by the olfactory nerve and is easy to access.

"In the study, patients who were coming to the clinic for testing also sat down with a clinician, 14 grams of peanut butter — which equals about one tablespoon — and a metric ruler. The patient closed his or her eyes and mouth and blocked one nostril. The clinician opened the peanut butter container and held the ruler next to the open nostril while the patient breathed normally. The clinician then moved the peanut butter up the ruler one centimeter at a time during the patient's exhale until the person could detect an odor. The distance was recorded and the procedure repeated on the other nostril after a 90-second delay. The clinicians running the test did not know the patients' diagnoses, which were not usually confirmed until weeks after the initial clinical testing. The scientists found that patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease had a dramatic difference in detecting odor between the left and right nostril — the left nostril was impaired and did not detect the smell until it was an average of 10 centimeters closer to the nose than the right nostril had made the detection in patients with Alzheimer's disease..."





In the Bucks Free Press, Pterry's old haunt:

"What's [Pratchett] like to work with?

"He's still as astute as he ever was. He misses nothing. He notices everything and remembers things. We had a day with him recently doing stuff around the album.

"So you've looked through his books and basically put music to it?

"Yes – he suggested we do it, and it took us a couple of years to get round to it, because we are like that, and we have finally done it. I have to say they are great songs. It's going to be a really nice album. It should be really powerful. It is out in the middle of our tour, hopefully. Given the normal run of things, it will be the tour plus three days, by the time it gets out. It never happens bang on time!

"He's happy with it?

"Yes, he is delighted. I don't think he's heard all of it yet, but we haven't heard all of it yet..."



Steeleye Span's fiddle man speaks:

"Fantasy author Terry Pratchett paid violinist Peter Knight the most elegant compliment when he called him 'the man who can spin the world on his bow'. Peter, who is coming to Sheffield with his band Gigspanner next week and has been performing with Steeleye Span for 40 years, was suitably impressed. 'It's a beautiful thing for him to say,' he said. 'We were playing at his 60th birthday party. He loves Steeleye Span and that's how our Wintersmith project came about.'

Peter was prompted to mention a potential collaboration with the Discworld author and to his joy found he jumped at the chance. Terry Pratchett sent the members of Steeleye Span away to read Wintersmith and his other novels featuring his character Tiffany Aching, who is a trainee witch. Band members were inspired to write songs and that has resulted in the Wintersmith CD, which is out this winter. Peter said: 'I've just heard the mixes of a couple of my songs. They sound fantastic and it's going to be a very good album. You're never really sure when you're doing it.' Perhaps that sounds surprising but he has been around for long enough never to take anything for granted..."



Terry Pratchett and Maddy Prior discuss the creative process of the Wintersmith collaboration, with contributions for other members of Steeleye Span, over the music of new album track The Dark Morris as played live in concert:


To order the Wintersmith CD from Amazon UK:


To buy from label, Park Records:





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

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

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

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



The Night Before Hogswatch soiree – Sup on a comforting nightcap and hear tales before bedtime from 9pm on Friday night at the Bear Inn (pyjamas optional).

Music Hall Variety Show – Be entertained, amused and confused at this showcase of Discworld fan talent with performances by our troupe of talented Discworld afficionados in Wincanton Memorial Hall on Saturday afternoon. Doors open 1:30pm.

Unseen University Hogswatch Lectures – Treat your ears to the musings of Discworld experts in a series of educational and exceedingly fun talks throughout the weekend.

Secret Hogfather – Spread a little Hogswatch cheer, and sit upon the Hogfather's knee, by taking part in our ever popular anonymous gift swapping scheme, being organised by our forum elves...

Grand Charity Auction – Empty your wallets for a good cause on Sunday morning and you'll get a 'lot' of fun and some new clutter in return. If you've an item to donate then please contact us for approval and bring it along to the Emporium counter at the start of the weekend.

The Traditional Hogswatch Sausage Supper – Fill your boots at this communal festive feast, held in hostelries throughout the town on Saturday evening at 7pm.

Crafting – PlayArt will here to get creative with the little ones (and grown-ups!) in making some adorable Discworld knick-knacks for your mantlepiece.

Gaming – Pit your wits in a game of Thud, Ankh-Morpork, Guards! Guards! or The Witches at the Bear Inn. Becky from Eclectic Games will be on hand to provide expert advice and tuition, and will have a vast array of other gaming goodies to bring out your inner tyrant, warlord or warlock treasures on sale.

Hogswatch Maker's Market – Open throughout the weekend and hosting a wealth of clever crafters along with refreshments and demonstations at the Balsam Centre.

Happy Birthday Discworld Party – Bring your cake and chocolate creations to the Bear on Sunday afternoon from 2:30pm for a celebration of Terry Pratchett's wondrous works. Enter the Guild of Confectioners chocolatiers contest, and partake silly games aplenty!

The Pink Pussycat Club Cabaret – a light-hearted evening of naughty song & dance and bawdy poetry aplenty in this after hours Saturday show. Not suitable for the eyes or ears of little folk.



Price: £10.50

Meal tickets now on sale!

Supper options: Meat, Vegetarian, Children's (the Children's supper is £5)



The NADWCon Steering Committee has sent out this announcement:

"We announce with great sadness the passing of Eric Peak: Wizzard, world traveler, train enthusiast, and raconteur. The Discworld community has lost a cherished member and friend. Our condolences go out tonight to his wife Diana Young, to Eric's family and to their many friends. We shall not see his like again.

IN MEMORIAM: If you wish to honor Eric's memory, his wife asks that you donate to an animal rescue group of your choosing in his name. Thank you."

There are some wiz(z)ardly photos of Eric on the NADWcon Facebook page:





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

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




A handsome-looking cast will be bringing the Ankh-Morpork Opera House to life in November! From an interview in Get Bucks:

"Director and chairman of the theatre company, Trevor Pilling, said: 'Rehearsals are going very well but it's a very complicated play to do. I have a very good cast who are all working extremely hard learning their lines. I also have a big back stage team because of all the scene changes.' This is the first time the play, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, has been performed at The Elgiva and it is believe it is also the first time it has been done in Bucks, which is exciting news for lovers of Pratchett's Discworld series.

Mr Pilling has directed so many plays he has lost count and been with the company for about 40 years. However, he said this is one of the most difficult ones he has done. He said: 'I think for me this is one of my most challenging ones certainly because there's a lot to it, but it's a good story.' ... Mr Pilling has also added a character to the show of his own, Pratchett's Death. 'I'll have Death walking through the audience. He's not in the book, but I've brought him in because his such an iconic character for Terry Pratchett... He has such a huge support and following all over the place. I read a few of his books and decided this was the most theatrical one. It's never been performed in this area before.'

"The company has sent an invitation to Terry Pratchett, who lives in Beaconsfield, to come along. Mr Pilling said: 'He does say whenever he can, he and Stephen Briggs come to see it. It obviously depends on how he is. I'd love to know what their reception of it is because I've added a few twists of my own and I'd love to know what he thinks of those. I've tried to include the fun of Pratchett, everything he writes is relatively tongue in cheek and I've tried to keep that in...'"

When: Wednesday 6th November – Saturday 9th November
Venue: The Elgiva Theatre, St Mary's Way, Chesham, Bucks
Time: evening performances at 8 pm, matinee (Saturday) 2.30pm.
Tickets: £14 (full), £10 (conc), from The Elgiva Box Office (tel: 01494 582900) or online at www.elgiva.com




The St Peter's Hill Players will present their production of Wyrd Sisters in time for Halloween! "This is a fun theatrical comedy for all the family and as a treat for Halloween the Players have reduced ticket prices for all performances."

When: Wednesday 30th October to Saturday 2nd November 2013
Venue: Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter's Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ, "parallel to the High Street in the centre of town. It is instantly recognisable, located beneath the clock tower which dominates the green."
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: £7.50. Call the box office (01476 406158), or to purchase tickets online, go to:




Lionheart Theatre will present their production of Mort, directed by Jason Caldwell, in November. A Discworld first for the state!

When: 1st-17th November 2013
Venue: Lionheart Theatre, 10 College Street (at the corner with Britt Avenue), Norcross, GA 30071
Time: Friday and Saturday nights 7:30pm, Sundays 2pm
Tickets: $15 for Adults $12 for seniors and students. Groups of 10 or more $10 each. Please call to arrange. All ticket prices include dessert and beverage

For more information, ring (770) 885-0425



The Knebworth Amateur Dramatic Society (KATS) will present their production of Guards! Guards! in November.

When: Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 November
Venue: Knebworth Village Hall, Park Lane, Knebworth, Herts
Time: 7.45pm (doors open 7.15pm)
Tickets: £7, concessions £6

Box office: Jo Simson 01438 814166 or 07952 199183
or Village News, Station Road, Knebworth

For further information on this production/KATS contact Jo Simson, jo.simson@ntlworld.com, tel 01438 814166



Studio Theatre of Salisbury will present their production of Making Money, adapted by Chris Hawley, next February.

When: 20th February to 1st March 2014
Venue: Studio Theatre, Ashley Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7TN
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: TBA. Box office number is 01722 342860




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


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

Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

Celebrate the release of Raising Steam

"Lets go to the markets and enjoy a Steam train ride! The market is free and pretty close to Bundamba Train Station. Steam train rides are $10 (half hour ride) and leave at 11am and 12 noon."

When: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Venue: Ipswich Turf Club
Brisbane Road, Bundamba
Time: 10.00am


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

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



The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. The next meeting will probably be on Thursday 7th November 2013, but do email (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:



The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first Friday of every month at the famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome! The next WOTS meeting will (probably) be on Friday 1st November 2013.


The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld meeting group, will be from 7pm on Monday 4th November 2013 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ. Note the new web address:


Here be the Broken Drummers' October 2013 meet report:

"So, Drummers met Monday. I was at another meeting so Andrew was left in charge early on. He did a quiz on first and last lines, which was won by Jax. Andrew then went home because he was not feeling well.

"Meanwhile, I was about to leave the pub I was in when Andrew called to say he was leaving. I decided to come to Drummers anyway, where I found those left playing Cards Against Humanity. Eunice has acquired the British version of this depraved game. It was nice to see James O there, who has not been along for a while.

"Since Jax can't make November, I told Eunice and Alex that we could play Cards Against Humanity instead of a quiz. I would suggest that persons of a sensitive disposition towards crudeness, lewdness and anything gross do not participate.

"That's all I can remember. Unfortunately both of us have been ill all week and my mind's a bit hazy."

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


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

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



Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. The next meeting will (probably) be on Monday 4th November 2013. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):



Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the month. The next meeting should be on Monday 4th November 2013. "Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA)."

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

Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@live.com


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


Apparently one of the Drummers identifies with Llamedos:

"Wellllllllll we had a GREAT first meeting. There were nine of us and we ate, played games and chatted for a couple of hours. A few more elephants were made and there were a few Dr Who discussions along the way. Fun was had by allllll."

The next meeting of Western Drummers is on November 18th.




The Witches "follows on from the success of Ankh-Morpork. With over 50,000 copies sold worldwide Ankh-Morpork continues to delight gamers and fantasy fans alike and continues to sell strongly in its third year of release.

"The Witches is set in the magically charged land of Lancre. Players take on the role of trainee witches, such as Tiffany Aching and Petulia Gristle, learning their craft and dealing with all the problems that life on Discworld can throw at them. A subtle blend of headology, magic and, of course, the all-important cup of tea will see our heroines tackle everything from a sick pig to a full-blown invasion of elves.

"Life can be tough for a young witch in Lancre, fear not however, a cast of some of Terry Pratchett's most famous characters will be on hand to aid your quest. Along the way you'll meet Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, along with a rich supporting cast of familiar faces from some Pratchett's bestselling Discworld series. When things get really tough and you feel you are turning 'Black Aliss' you can always have a cup of tea with one of your fellow witches. The game can be played with up to four players, and can even be played solitaire.

"The Witches is more of a gentle family friendly game, well, as friendly as you can get with Nac Mac Feegles hanging around, rather than the back-stabbing experience that is Ankh-Morpork, and can be played co operatively if players so wish. Once again Sir Terry Pratchett and the folks at the Discworld Emporium have made sure that each character is faithfully represented, with all of the artwork being produced by Peter Dennis.

"Treefrog Games are proud to announce the release of The Witches Collector's Edition. Take on the role of Tiffany Aching or one of her friends and dive into the land of Lancre. You must deal with the various 'problems' that crop up, which may be a broken limb or an invasion of elves.

"The Collector's Edition comes with four hand crafted pewter pieces, representing Tiffany, Petulia Gristle, Annagramma, and Dimity Hubbub. The game also contains a poster showing Peter Dennis's artwork. This edition is limited to two thousand copies.

"The main differences between this version and the standard version are:

– Four custom sculpted pewter figurines, representing the four witch characters.
– An A1 size poster presenting artwork from the game.
– A larger map.
– Different cover artwork and box size.

"The Witches Collector's Edition is now available to buy via PayPal.

The prices are:
UK – £40 plus £4.50 P&P
Europe – 45€ plus 13.50€ P&P
US / Canada – US $60 plus $23.50 P&P
Rest of the World – US $60 plus $36 P&P (Tracked)

"As you can see, PayPal allows us to accept US Dollars, British Pounds and Euros."



A Digital Spy interview from earlier this year is back on the web

"'Every now and again, dad gets approached about a game,' she told
Digital Spy. 'Dad is a gamer himself so he has an idea what he'd
like to see, and we've just not got the right developer with the
right pitch come knocking yet. I think dad is waiting to be
impressed by developers. I think there's a lot of potential there,
and I know people have a lot of fond memories of all three Discworld
games.' She added: 'Now you've got the reinvigoration of adventure
games with things like Kickstarter, I think players are becoming
more interested in that genre again. You never know what's out
there; if the right developer, the right pitch came knocking, then I
think it'd be something dad and myself would be interested in...'"


Gamer site vg24/7 adds:

"There's some uncertainty about who now holds the license. The most
recent Discworld games were two developed by long-defunct Perfect
Entertainment and published by Psygnosis, which was later acquired
by Sony and eventually shuttered. Discworld Noir was published by GT
Interactive, which no longer exists, Whoever owns the rights now
might be missing a trick."




Blogger PCJ reviews tCoM:

"Mr. Pratchett's characters are familiar, but, not familiar at the same time. Wizards who are generally inept and could easily be analogous to modern day US Congress in their bungling, back stabbing and overall unwillingness to do anything that doesn't continue to keep themselves in power and enriched...sorry, wasn't intending a political rant, but, I think it fits... Mr. Pratchett at once honors and spoofs the fantasy genre... the entire series is a must read whether you enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, humor or just plain fiction..."


Blogger unrulyginger very much enjoyed Going Postal:

"I read it, and I really, really liked it. It was a tad on the dark side sometimes, but that wasn't a problem. At least not for me. I think Moist von Lipwig is a lively, incredibly likable character, and it didn't hurt that he had to interact with the Patrician a lot. Plus, we got a few familiar faces, such as some members of the watch and some wizards. The only problem I had was my English. It's pretty good, and usually I understand everything, but what with Sir Terry's word plays and twisted proverbs and whatnot, I'm sure I didn't get the 'finer' points he has almost certainly written. Still better than reading it in German, because if I had, I wouldn't have gotten the 'he gave you the bird' joke, since this is one of the numerous word plays you just CAN'T translate..."


Blogger and Morris dancing enthusiast Shortfinals offers a paean to Morris – and to Pratchett:

"All this might be just nothing more than an arcane, minor footnote in social history, a topic for anthropology professors to use as a way of motivating some of their students (rural pubs, dancing, beer – what's not to love?). Except, that is, for another British author, one so popular that he has sold more than 85 million books, worldwide, translated into 37 languages, and has received a knighthood. Yes, we're talking about Sir Terry Pratchett, that giant of the fantasy novel. I must freely confess that I enjoy Terry's works immensely (and no, its not just because I used to live less than 15 miles away from him, and worked in the same building for a while). There is just not another modern author who could more genuinely be identified as being 'seriously involved with the Morris'... Pratchett even invented the 'Dark Morris' which is featured in his novel 'Wintersmith' (2006); a dance performed in total darkness, in complete silence, with the 'side' dressed in black, to bring the winter on. Yes, Terry Pratchett is to Morris dancing what Dashiell Hammett is to the snap- brim fedora..."


Blogger Tokyo Blazer loves the wit, humour and characters of Good Omens:

"The relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley is a genuine pleasure to read. They are much more alike than either is willing to admit, and much of the comedy is derived from watching these supremely powerful, ancient, supposedly ecclesiastical figures act so human. Whether it's getting drunk together, bragging about their achievements (Crowley: His vintage Bentley. Torturing his potted plants in order to encourage some form of eugenics. Aziraphale: His collection of rare books.), or casually having dinner at the Ritz, they're always entertaining to read. The rest of the cast are equally entertaining... Good Omens is a great read. It flows smoothly from one character to another, and the plot progresses at a steady rate to culminate with a satisfying finale. It's also a very funny book; humourous in its own exclusive way, with a large yet delightful cast that consistently delivers quality material. If you've enjoyed any of Gaiman's or Pratchett's previous work, you'll find yourself at home reading this novel. If not, I suspect you'll find a highly enjoyable introduction to their work..."


Blogger Andrew Knighton is back with his review of The Long War:

"It's fair to say that, while there's a lot to enjoy in this book, I wound up as ambivalent about it as I was about its predecessor. This time though I think there was a clearer, more definite problem, and it's one that interests me as a writer – it's the problem of expectations... As with The Long Earth, this is well written. It flows easily, the characters are likeable and interesting, and the world that's being built is fascinating. I had the same problem with the narrative's ambling nature as I had with the previous book, but that's a matter of personal taste – I prefer my stories with a bit more focus, a bit more intensity to them. But this book had a problem its predecessor didn't, and that's in the expectations it set... it wasn't what I'd been led to expect. There's wasn't a big build-up of tension. There wasn't a feeling that things could go violent at any minute. And there really wasn't a war. In fact, if not for a single reference near the end, the book's title would have seemed to be completely cheating..."


Australian blogger Faith Mudge, who enjoyed The Long Earth, is disappointed by The Long War:

"I know very little about Stephen Baxter's work but I admire Terry Pratchett's enormously and enjoyed their previous collaboration, The Long Earth, so it makes me sad to admit how much I didn't like this. The concepts established in the first book continue to be rich with possibility, but the plot lacked any sense of direction, the characters had no substance, and the title is deceptive at best. This book is more philosophy than fiction, with extensive exposition slowing down most of the action. It's clear they intend to continue the series with a third novel, but I doubt I'll be reading it... I had particular problems with the character of Sally Linsay. She is presumably supposed to be an admirable character, but keeps doing highly offensive things... I expect better than this from Terry Pratchett, much better..."


Blogger Leanne Egan's very funny post about scary old crones is well worth savouring:

"I have ambitions to scare the crap out of any, if not all, descendants I have. My inspiration is a character written by the magnificent Terry Pratchett, the wonderful Ms. Treason; who even after her death was remembered and became part of the local mythology. That is what it boils down to for me, being remembered. Too many are forgotten and dismissed. That, and imagination. I want my descendants to love the idea of stories and mythology and magic..."


Blogger and gamer Tolenmar's very well-written and comprehensive post about the Ankh-Morpork board game:

"You have heard of Discworld, right? No? Go to your library. Now. Well, not now, at least finish this paragraph, then go. Look up Terry Pratchett. He is a master of comic fantasy... Trust me, if you like to laugh and you like fantasy, you will love these books. Now go to the library. I'll wait.

"Back? Good. I was beginning to wonder about you... As far as the graphic design goes, ['Ankh-Morpork'] definitely fits with the pseudo old world feel of the books. Control of each of the different districts grants you a special ability that helps you accomplish your goals... Here's the kicker: Only you know what your goal is. Everyone else has to use intrigue and trickery to figure out your goal, while working to accomplish theirs. Ankh-Morpork is a hidden identity game, like The Resistance or Battlestar Galactica. If they figure out what you are doing, they can do their best to stop you from doing it. Of course, you can also attempt to stop them... Of course, I can hear you all now: Do I have to be a fan of the books to enjoy this game? No, you don't. It does help when you see a card and can recall where (as in which book) each character came from, but most of our group has not read the books, and they do fine and enjoy it well enough. At the same time, if you have read the books, and enjoyed them, then you ill get a kick out of seeing all of your favorite characters..."


Blogger Julian Saheed's review of The Truth:

"Characters dance from the pages and within moments of being introduced to them you feel as though you know exactly where they have come from, what they had for breakfast, and what they like to do on their weekends. Ankh-Morpork continues to evolve into a squalid, yet loveable cesspool of civilisation that reminds us of everything that the real world and the Fantasy genre have to offer.... 'The Truth' deals with the arrival of newspapers and journalism to Ankh-Morpork and for the most part the characters are not too different from ones that have appeared in previous books. In many ways I was reminded of 'Going Postal', but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The main character, William is likeable enough and the rest of the cast (dwarves, vampires and talking dogs), all add a certain charm. The villains in the book are also well presented and a great take off of the 'brawns and brains' crime outfit.

"The book's strength is in its evolution of the newspaper. As things come together and William begins to get papers into the streets, you find yourself wanting to read more and see what happens next. The sub plot of the attempted replacement of the Patrician, I found to be less interesting, though vital to the story. That being said, as ever Lord Vetinari stands out as a brilliant character, and when he is involved in the dialogue I cannot get enough..."


Blogger Jeannette Porter is on a (quite articulate and entertaining) crusade to spread the Pratchett love around the USA. Includes a self- made photo of The Librarian with a collection of Pratchett books:

"Discworld is the greatest English-language phenomenon that nobody in the United States has ever heard of. To quote Terry Pratchett, the creator of Discworld, 'That sentence is wrong in every particular, but it's quite a useful lie.' ... It would be more accurate to say that very many people in the United States, (some of whom are intelligent and might really enjoy the reads,) have never heard of the 40 novels or seen the abundance of Internet and other content that make up Discworld's multiverse. This series of blog postings is meant to gently shepherd the uninitiated to this threshold of delights, or at least to clue in those unfortunates as to what they're missing..."


Blogger Cleo aka The Literary Flaneur found unexpected depths in The Carpet People:

"One thing I find lacking in many fantasy novels is the characters' lack of inclination to question what exists beyond their known world, far away and up above. In The Carpet People, they do do that, to a certain extent, wondering what's above the Carpet, and whether it ever ends. I loved that that so often left out element was included, acknowledging how humans (and other creatures) are always curious about unknown places. It's just unrealistic that in a fantasy realm where not a lot is known that a person wouldn't care at all about uncharted territories.

"Character development was a bit thin, but I ended up enjoying the book more than I thought initially. It starts out pretty slowly and confusingly, but gradually things become clearer and one is able to enjoy this rather silly story... I would recommend The Carpet People to fans of odd but good fantasy; I'm glad that a new edition was issued..."


Inspired by the forthcoming release of the 40th Discworld novel, blogger Mikha Chan presents an excellently crafted essay on the wonder of Pratchett:

"Where can one begin when it comes to the long career of one of the wittiest writers in the fantasy genre? And I use the term 'fantasy' loosely; to simply label him as a fantasy writer would be to do him a disservice. His books are no simple sword-and-stone affairs. Terry Pratchett is probably the first writer to singlehandedly overturn the entire genre with his long-spanning Discworld series of books, liberally mixing in his unique brand of humour and sharp insights of humanity's idiosyncrasies. His stories are peppered with endless cliches and parodies of pop culture. I know this will sound ageist, but for a 65-year-old man, the man is amazingly, er, hip... His constant sense of humour makes the darkness seem all the darker, and brings it into sharp contrast for scrutiny, such as the various evils and threats one has to deal with not just on a personal scale, but on an overall, more depressing scale: humankind. The nature of evil is a frequent theme within his books; one thing one of his characters Granny Weatherwax said has always stuck with me for its sheer profundity: 'Evil begins when you treat people like things.' In another book (Guards! Guards!), the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork talks about how evil exists when people do nothing, a sort of evil that isn't the 'really high, creative loathsomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul...they accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don't say no.' And it is this sort of deep thought that gives weight and heft to the blade of his wit..."


Blogger Nadine is back with a rave review of Lords and Ladies:

"This was a particularly fun Discworld novel. I never liked Magrat as much as I did in Lords and Ladies and even though I know that she will be replaced by Agnes Nitt (she of the angelic voice, large body, and personality disorder), I believe that I will end up missing Magrat Garlick. That quiet, too-nice-for-her-own-good girl kicked some serious fairy butt! I was also pleased to discover a different side to Granny Weatherwax. She always seems so aloof, so unconcerned about her private life and especially all things romantic (and I like her that way) but the peculiar kind of havoc wrought by the fairies shows us that, at the very least, Granny could have led a very different life. But whatever may or may not have been, we still get to enjoy Granny's wonderful wit and incredible practicality... I've always had a soft spot for fairies, but for some reason, the Disney version never did it for me. I like the mysterious, dark ones that aren't all bad but most certainly aren't all good either (the real Tinkerbell is still one of my favorites). Terry Pratchett ditched the wish-fulfilling, glittering good fairies and instead opted for a seductive, dangerous, alluring, and most importantly, stylish kind of fairie folk. The way they are set up makes them more creepy than funny but as soon as people decide to fight back, there are a few absolutely hilarious scenes involving fairies, Magrat, and Greebo. I don't think I need to say any more... it also came as a bit of a surprise to find out that some characters knew each other from 'way back when'. In one clever stroke, Terry Pratchett breathes life into his world, its mythology, and its characters. All of this is achieved without long expositions or boring info-dumps. After all, the characters know who they are and how their world works. We have to figure it out from the context – something I immensely enjoy and that far too few authors trust their readers to manage. Thanks again, Sir Terry, for believing that your readers have the ability to think for themselves..."


Games blogger Nick Lyons was blown away by "Ankh-Morpork":

"At first, 'Discworld: Ankh-Morpork' feels like a variation of 'Monopoly,' but it soon becomes clear that this is a much faster paced and more eventful game than 'Monopoly' ever could be. Right off the bat, I was drawn to the fact that there are a variety of winning conditions. Since you initially don't know what the opponent(s) are doing, you have to strategize how to win while also observing the opponent's every move. This makes for a very competitive and fun race to the finish game in which players can even play mind games with each other if they think they have figured out each other's moves.

"Another deeply impressive component to the game are the pieces themselves. With wooden token pieces, a meticulously drawn Ankh- Morpork board, and a large amount of illustrated cards featuring characters and towns, it's clear that a lot of work went into this thematic game. This isn't a cheaply produced licensed product which we so often see these days. It's abundantly clear that Martin Wallace and company are passionate about Terry Pratchett's world and they went all out to create a fitting board game tribute to his beloved work.

"Summary: Fans of the Discworld series will fall head over heels in love with this game, but you don't just have to be a fan to appreciate this game. The easy to learn game has wide appeal and massive amounts of replayability thanks to the work of acclaimed designer Martin Wallace..."


...and finally, Scots author Mac Logan, not a very young man, posts about a young woman whose taste in reading took him by surprise on a Glasgow to Ayr bus:

"Her energy and excitement amazed me – all for a book? She fixed her eyes on her gran with a loving, childlike authenticity, and said, 'Yesssss...' She held the book, by it's spine, in her left hand shook the cover towards her companion and poked the cover hard enough for the impact to be heard. She struck it a few times with her right finger, smiling, triumphant. I couldn't see the cover. Her gran smiled and laughed with a knowledgable nod... Surprised by the event, and curiosity aroused, I had to ask. 'You seem pretty pleased, I hope you don't mind me asking...what's the book?' A thoughtful, intelligent gaze assessed me from clear gold flecked brown eyes. She wrinkled her straight nose with the sleeper through the flesh above the bridge. Next she smiled a sweet smile, her face morphing to mischief. The stud in her lower lip rose with her grin. Once more her hand fumbled inside the big bag and she pulled out the book. With a theatrical gesture, she held the rear of it towards me in both hands and placed her beaming countenance beside it.

"Okay reader, pause for a second, what would you expect to see? Me? I thought Young Adult, Vampires, Werewolves. But no, none of those. She did a dramatic show, eyes wide and smiling locking her eyes to mine. 'Ta-daa' giggled out of her. She twirled the book cover towards me. Terry Pratchett. We talked about her reading, her love of books. She found the fun of the Disc World tales a delight. Gran approved. She and I talked about Philip Pullman as a possible other author of interest. The lassie wrote down the name. It turned out the youngster had been travelling from the SouthWest of England since 5:30 that morning, reading TP all the way..."




A memorable illustrated quote from Raising Steam:


...and another:


Stew Taylor's delightful poster for an upcoming production of Making Money in Salisbury (see Discworld Plays section):


The stunning Wee Free Men birthday cake Gillykat made for her daughter:


...and Lempop's impressive Discworld cake:


Paper Panda's fantastic Rincewind tribute cutout:


Sir Pterry receiving his Open University degree:


...and did he actually wear this to "at least one convention"?:


And finally, technically not Discworld, but so very Non Timetis Messor – legendary graffiti artist Banksy's current street art and art installations "tour" of New York included a wonderful installation called "Reaper". Death may not ride a white horse on Roundworld, but he definitely looks like he's enjoying using his scythe to power a dodgem car:




Here be a review of The Long Earth in Fife Today. They may be one book behind but hey, they do recommend it:

"This is much more sci-fi than fun fantasy but what remains is Sir Terry's natural storytelling ability in this intriguing tale of multiple Earths and mankind's need for exploration and knowledge. With Baxter providing the hard science and theories, the two mesh well and while the ending is perhaps not completely satisfying, it is a compelling and original concept..."


Don't forget – you can pre-order Jack Dodger's Guide to London now! Release date is 21st November. I for one can hardly wait! For more info, and to order, go to:


Last but not least, have a photo of the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork masquerading as astronaut Chris Hadfield's pet pug. Come now, you know that's really Mr Fusspot:


And that's it for the month of October. Have a happy Hogswatch/Halloween and we'll see you in November!

– Annie Mac


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


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

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