wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
On the USA's National Public Radio site, an extract from The Shepherd's Crown! Published with permission! Hurrah!

Under the cut is a small extract from the extract.. For those of you who wish to avoid spoilage, don't click on it :-)

For those of you who with to read the entire extract as republished, go to http://n.pr/1hH1CMw

NPR says:

The young witch Tiffany Aching returns in Pratchett's last Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown. Readers first met Tiffany in 2003's The Wee Free Men, when she faced down the wicked Queen of the Elves to rescue her baby brother. Now, the Queen (she's really not very nice at all) is back — dealing with a rebellion among oppressed goblins — great change is coming to the Disc, and it may fall to Tiffany to restore the balance.

In this scene, the Queen begins to realize that her power is fading. The Shepherd's Crown will be published on Sept. 1.

In your Editor's opinion, Sir Pterry's writing has lost none of its magic. This extract proves it.


Also, for those of you who will have read The Shepherd's Crown by the time you see this, here be a first review, in The Guardian, by literary giant and longtime Pratchett fan AS Byatt. WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN AND WANT TO AVOID SERIOUSLY MAJOR SPOILAGE, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK BELOW!!!.

Really. Seriously. But I felt it was important to post it here for people who have read the book...

Here is The Guardian review.

— Annie Mac, Editor
wossname: (what duck)
From the 'private musings of Tiffany Aching':

On becoming

  Tiffany didn't often have nightmares, but sometimes, when she couldn't sleep, she found herself worrying about who she was and why she was and where she was and how she had got there. The tinkling and occasional twang answered the last question, and all the others amounted to whom would you have been by now if you hadn't been who you are?

  Supposing on that spring day young Tiffany Aching hadn't gone down to the stream with a frying pan because a monster had scared her brother. They could have gone for a walk in an entirely different direction! Would the Tiffany who didn't take her brother down to the stream on that day have ended up as a witch? What would she be doing now? Would she have become a witch anyway, bouncing through life until she landed in the slot marked witch? Supposing one of the other girls had gone down to the river that day? Would she be the witch today, watching Tiffany Aching being prodded by that stupid old woman with the stick, and dreaming and hoping that she would meet a village boy who would make a decent enough husband with enough manners to get out of the tin tub when he wanted a wee.

  It was a suddenly intriguing question because one answer meant that you could never change anybody, and that was horrible.

On witches

  Somehow everybody knew that witches were bad and witches were trouble and witches were a problem.

  Everybody knows, everybody knows, who knows what everybody knows? What is something that everybody knows? Is it something you've heard more than once? Who has made up all the things that everybody knows? Where did they come from, all these things that everybody knows? Who has been hanged for what everybody knows? Who has thrown stones for what everybody knows? And where does it all break down, when all everybody knows is what everybody says?

On naming a baby Tiffany

  There were the days when a potion really worked, or because of you a man could use his hand again, or a woman could walk again. Sometimes, when she had delivered a baby the delighted mother would ask her, if the baby was a girl, whether she could be named after Tiffany. She always said yes, but when the time came, it never happened. The child got a different name, one that ran in the family, perhaps, or one the mother really liked. Or maybe someone had wondered whether it was a good thing to name a baby after a witch. You didn't mind, or at least you didn't mind where anyone could see.

On Granny Weatherwax

  She wondered if Granny Weatherwax ever truly slept. She knew that the old woman lay down on a bed quite often, with a square of cardboard affixed to a string around her neck, and it read 'I Ate'nt Dead'. In fact it meant that granny was letting her mind ride unnoticed in the mind of a bird or of an animal, to keep an eye on what was happening in the world, and on the other hand perhaps it was there to reassure her if she woke up.

wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)

From Laura at terrypratchettbooks.com:

  Penguin Random House UK Children's are honoured to announce a very special collector's edition hardback of The Shepherd's Crown by Sir Terry Pratchett, with an exclusive art print from the illustrator of the Discworld novels, Paul Kidby. The edition will be published on 5th November.

  The luxury gold edition, packaged in a foiled 'honeycomb' slipcase, will be limited to just 500 copies. Each copy will be numbered and stamped by Rob Wilkins, Terry's close friend, using the 'Order of the Honeybee' insignia which is reserved for the special correspondence of Terry's office. With a beautiful debossed bee image on the front and back and bespoke bee ribbon bookmark, this special hardback contains special full-colour endpaper images from Discworld illustrator Paul Kidby, and a limited-edition colour print, signed and numbered by Kidby to match each book.

  The endpapers feature two never-before-seen colour illustrations: the landscape of Granny Weatherwax's home in Lancre, and Tiffany Aching's beloved Chalk. The exclusive signed and numbered print will feature an image of Tiffany standing on the Chalk, accompanied by the Wee Free Men. This is the image that Paul Kidby says he wanted to draw to honour Terry.

  In addition there are four commentaries on the folklore of the book from Jacqueline Simpson, co-author of The Folklore of Discworld, which include insights into shepherds' crowns and bees – which are a central motif of this final novel.

  Kidby says: 'When I read the first Tiffany Aching book I felt an immediate affinity for the Chalk as described by Terry, having lived on the Wiltshire downlands myself. Capturing aspects of this special landscape with pencil and paint was therefore a profoundly personal experience; illustrating the final Discworld novel written by Terry even more so. As I drew I remembered snippets of our conversations about folklore, gardening and recipes for nettle soup. We shared a love for the Chalk that seemed to exert a creative energy for us both. Our time is short, we must make the most of it and take care of the natural world around us which generates so much inspiration. Terry's writing helps to remind us of this, which is just one of the reasons I will always be grateful to him.'

  Rob Wilkins adds: 'The publication of The Shepherd's Crown is a momentous occasion and I am delighted that fans are to be offered an exclusive art print from Paul Kidby, a phenomenal talent who truly captures Discworld as Terry saw it. The combination of the limited edition print and the specially commissioned endpaper artwork makes for a very special and beautiful collector's edition of The Shepherd's Crown.''

To view the original announcement, go to http://bit.ly/1MICqRg
wossname: (GNU Terry Pratchett)
The UK version, which will be released on 27th August:

The USA version, which will be released on 1st September:

wossname: (Anthill inside)
The simultaneous UK/USA publication date for The Shepherd's Crown, final Tiffany Aching novel (and last of all the Discworld novels), has been moved forward by a fortnight, from 10th September to 27th August. The publishers have also officially released the UK and USA cover art. Very exciting news!

Here be the UK cover, by Paul Kidby of course:

...and here be the USA edition cover:

Furthermore, UK booksellers Waterstones have their own announcement about this and some very special offers to go with it...


You can pre-order The Shepherd's Crown for a special price of £10.00 – a saving of fifty per cent on the recommended retail price! Day-of publication delivery is for UK only. To ensure UK delivery on the day of publication, please select "Courier" or "Free Delivery to shop" at the checkout.

To pre-order, go to


and click on the pre-order button on the right, about one-third of the way down the page.


"The Waterstones Exclusive Edition is a stunning real cloth slipcase, limited to just 5,000 copies. The cloth for the book itself is sophisticated grey glitter, and will feature a gold bee motif on both front and back covers. Each copy is individually stamped and numbered, and features the article 'Doing As You Would Bee Done By', written by Sir Terry Pratchett in 1975 – a witty insight into Terry's beekeeping experiences. Silver bee-printed endpapers – with different designs for front and back – complete this beautiful, must-have package. The perfect gift for any Pratchett fan. A brand new Discworld novel from the man himself, the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett. Completed in the Summer of 2014, The Shepherd's Crown features the much-loved teenage witch, Tiffany Aching, the hugely popular character (also one of Sir Terry's own favourites) who appeared in The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and most recently, I Shall Wear Midnight. A hugely anticipated book in an iconic series, which will appeal to both adult Discworld fans and to younger readers."

The Slipcase Edition is priced at £35.00. To pre-order, go to


and click on the pre-order button on the right, about one-third of the way down the page.

The UK publisher is Random House, and the ISBN for The Shepherd’s Crown is 9780857534828

82 days to go until the publication date. Start counting...

An editorial note: this doesn't count in any wise as spoilage, since I'm as much in the dark as you are, O readers – but upon first seeing the UK cover art I was struck by a thought that filled my eyes with bittersweet tears, because there seem to be hints of... well... all I can say is that I hope Sir Pterry was wise enough and brave enough to write the event that is implied, to me at least, by certain presences in Paul Kidby's cover art. And if what I think may be implied turns out to be true, I hope we legions of Discworld fans are wise enough and brave enough to accept it.


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

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